Death · Family · grief · Love

Another One Bites the Dust…

Today is father’s day, and there is an emptiness inside that is so deep, you could build a pool, and swim in the sorrow of it.  I don’t know if it gets any easier or if you just get used to the sadness.  I miss him very much.  But this post is not about him.

My aunt passed away in May on Memorial Day, and I went back to my hometown to be with my family for an extended amount of time.  It was tough, but it was good to be with family.  To see them again, and to be reunited.  It’s a bit sad that there is so much distance between us, but when we are together, it’s quite nice.  There are cousins, and their children, and other relatives that I don’t ever see, and even though they are my blood relatives, I am so disconnected from them.  But being back with them again, well, I hope to reconnect.  At least send yearly Christmas cards or something.  We did grow up together, at least, a little bit.

Most of our parents, well, they didn’t really know us, or try to know us.  They were not our friends or our confidants.  They showed us tough love, and worked all the time to give us better opportunities than they had.

My aunt’s passing was the first funeral I’ve been to since my father’s death.  And it’s the first matron death on my mother’s side.  And it hurts.  We make such a big fuss over the death of our fathers and mothers, but what about siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins?  I don’t want to even think about it, but I know it will hurt.  Sometimes death can be expected, but other times, it comes as a shock.  My aunt’s health had been on the decline, and she seemed to go peacefully in her sleep.  But she was still young, and it is strange that a woman so fierce in life should be taken so soon.  I will miss her, and I will always remember her as a fighter, a risk taker, a go getter, loud, proud, stubborn, fearless, and beautiful.

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33

Growing up, my family always had a big party for my sister and my birthdays.  Our birthdays are four days apart, and it was always easier to have a big party for the both of us, so I’ve grown accustomed to having big birthday parties.  I won’t lie, I’d love to have a big celebration, but I also have one big fear.

What if I throw a party and no one shows up?

I know, it sounds stupid, but it’s a legitimate worry that I have, so I usually try to do several events.

Here are thirty three ideas that I have for birthday events.  I’m not going to get to do all of them, but at least there’s a starting point.

  1. Go Camping
  2. Ice Cream Social
  3. Birthday Breakfast
  4. Birthday Lunch
  5. Birthday Dinner
  6. Tres Leches Cake Tasting
  7. Karaoke Room
  8. Picnic Party
  9. Swing Dancing
  10. Wine and Cheese Tasting
  11. Board Game Party
  12. Escape Room
  13. Make Art
  14. Make a Movie
  15. Pool Party
  16. Tea Party
  17. Mall Rats Scavenger Hunt
  18. City Scavenger Hunt
  19. Blazer Tag
  20. Food Crawl
  21. Build a Bear
  22. Lush Treatment
  23. Get a Massage
  24. Rock Climbing
  25. Rent Bikes and Ride
  26. Cocktail Crawl
  27. Musical Marathon
  28. Crazy Outfit Thrifting
  29. Cupcake Decorating
  30. Amusement Park
  31. Costume Party
  32. Day Trip
  33. Birthday Blessings/Prayers
Art · culture · Death · DIY · Food · God · Health · History · Holidays · Religion · Self Improvement · Women

Holy Hamantaschen!

Chag Purim Sameach!  Or Happy Purim, Y’all!  I’m not Jewish, but I like holidays.  And this one strikes a particular chord because it’s the story of Esther- the “foreign” queen who saves her people from genocide.  Yaaaas, queen!  On a side note, can we please have more celebrations of women who do awesome things?

In honor of this day, I made some hamantaschen.  What is that, you ask?  They are cookies that symbolize the holiday’s origins.  You see, Haman was the evil dude who wanted to get rid of the Jews.  So he bribed King Xerxes, but Esther helped to save her people, and Haman was executed.

Some say that hamantaschen are supposed to be “Haman’s Pockets” as in the money that he bribed King Xerxes with; others say it’s “Haman’s Ears” as in the cutting off of criminals ears which happened to Haman, as well as being executed (?).  I didn’t do a thorough fact check on this, so forgive me if that’s incorrect.hamantaschen

Now, I am on a very particular diet, which is grain free, gluten free, sugar free, caffeine free, alcohol free, gmo free, cage free, organic, grass fed, wild caught, fair trade, and a lot of other hippy dippy stuff that limits what I can eat. So I’ve had to look up ingredients from every where and modify my own hamantaschen recipe.

ANYWAY.  COOKIES.  YOU WANT THESE COOKIES. Here’s what you’ll need:20170311_101705-1 20170311_104556-1 20170311_175735-1

1 & 1/2 cups of almond flour
2 tablespoons of xylitol (can be found at whole foods/natural grocers/wheatsville)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon almond extract (or vanilla, I prefer almond)
Circular cookie cutters
Jams that you like (with no sugar added)
Parchment paper
Baking Sheet
Time

Step 1: Mix your dry items together in a bowl.  On a slow speed (if you’re using a mixer), mix in your wet ingredients.  This is the order I mixed it in: started with butter, then milk, then extract, and lastly coconut oil. The consistency may seem crumbly at first, but if you mash your finger into it, and it seems soft and doughy, then it’s good for the next step.

Step 2: Get two pieces of parchment paper and roll out your dough between them.  You can make them as thick or thin as you want, but thinner dough is a little bit more difficult to shape them and cut without it crumbling apart (because almond flour is not as sturdy as regular).  Then refrigerate until your dough is firm (30 min-1 hr).
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Step 3: Once your dough is firm, using circular cookie cutters, cut out your dough.  My first attempt, I rolled it too thin in spots, and the dough would crumble.
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Step 4: Set your oven to bake on 350 degrees, and add your jam!!! Now, I’m not going to tell you how much or how little to put in your hamantaschen… that choice is yours.  You might want to test. I put in one spoon for the smaller ones, and two spoons for the bigger ones.  The choice is yours.  Oh, also, you might want to do a test run of folding them before you put all your jam in them… because I ended up getting jam all over my arms, but eventually found a way of folding the dough into triangles that worked for me.

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Step 5: Bake for about 8 minutes, let them cool off for about 5 minutes, and then eat and enjoy!!!

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Death · Family · Future · grief

Don’t You Forget About Me

The anniversary of my father’s death is fast approaching, and I am burying it deep inside.  I am still so saddened by it all, and I should probably see a grief counselor, but I’m not going to.  I know I should take care of myself, but I don’t always know how to do it.

I miss him.  How tiny his eyes would get when he would smile.  His mustache.  How his lips would purse when he was really thoughtful about something.  I miss the sound of his voice- even his yelling.  There are so many tiny details that I wish I could remember, and I can look at him in pictures, but some things are fuzzy.  I can’t remember his exact height.  I can’t remember if he had two moles on his stomach above his belly button so that his torso looked surprised 😮 … or if I just made that up.

I’m not sure exactly what I meant to write here, but I don’t want to just forget it.  Or him.  How can I keep his memory alive when he isn’t here?  How can I continue to remember him without feeling the pain of losing him?  I wish I had just been able to see him that winter.  It is one of the biggest regrets that I have.

Art · Conflict · Death · Family · Love · marriage · Music

Bad Wife Dead Dad Blues

I’ve got the blues-
the bad wife dead dad blues.

I’m over worked
I’m underpaid
It’s been almost two months
Since I last got laid.

I’m yelling at my husband
All day and all night
Everyday for the past four weeks
We’ve had a fight

I’ve got the blues-
The Bad Wife Dead Dad Blues

The holidays are over
And I’m feeling sad
I miss my family
Especially my dad

I keep on thinking
About the night he was shot down
I keep on drinking
In the booze will my sorrows drown

I got the blues-
The bad wife dead dad blues….

Art · Death · Film · History · Literature · marriage · Music

Cimarron

 

 

Today I watched the 1931 4th Academy Award winner, Cimarron, originally a novel by Edna Ferber, and was impressed with the improvements in sound, film, and acting.  At first, the film seems to be about Yancey Cravat (Richard Dix) and his desires to pioneer the wild west of Oklahoma, as he publishes his new-fangled ideas on equality and justice in his paper, while his square wife Sabra (Irene Dunne) spends her time bitching about the dirty Indians and ostracizing the town whore, Dixie Lee (Estelle Taylor).  However, it’s pleasantly surprising that with each time Yancey leaves, Sabra is forced to grow and adopt his ideals.  It takes her years of being without her husband for her to mature, and when she finally is reunited with her hubby, it’s brief, and he dies in her arms.

Stay tuned for the next film: Grand Hotel

Art · Death · Film · History · Literature

All Quiet on the Western Front

allquiet

Erich Maria Remarque’s novel was forced on me by an English class when I was 14, and it was depressing as hell.  The film which won Best Picture in the 3rd Academy Awards might be even more depressing.  It follows Paul Baumer (played by Lew Ayres) through WWI as he changes from a school boy to a man who has seen the horrors of war- living in trenches, fighting, and trying not to be killed.  It kinda makes me wanna sing, “War! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing!”

hands-on-fence

This film is much easier to watch than its winning predecessors as the directing and acting are more realistic.  And Lew Ayres’ boyish good looks are also easy on the eyes in the midst of explosions, like the one pictured above.  Gross.  The film quality and sound seems to have improved vastly as well.

Stay tuned for the next film: Cimarron

 

culture · Death · Food · History · Holidays · Religion

St. Patrick was not Irish

So, everyone thinks of St. Patrick’s Day as a day of drinking green beer and celebrating Irish heritage and culture.  But it’s not.

St. Patrick is that Irish Saint, right?

WRONG.  St. Patrick was of Roman-British descent.  He was kidnapped and sold into slavery by Irish raiders, and it was in Ireland that he found God.  Later, he escaped from Ireland, and became a priest.  Then, he went back to Ireland as a missionary and was willing to die there if it meant converting the pagans.  He did convert many Irish to Catholicism, and it is believed that he died on March 17 in Ireland.

Why the drinking of beer and mass consumption of corned beef and cabbage?  Well, the Catholic church decided that St. Patrick Day was a feast day- so even though during the lent season, one should fast, the fast could be lifted for the day- hence the alcohol consumption.

Corned beef and cabbage is actually not very Irish in terms of Ireland, but it’s an American Irish tradition- because the Irish who had immigrated were poor, they could only afford their food on the cheap, so corned beef and cabbage was the usual on the menu.

So, another holiday debunked, but I might try a green beer before the night is over, as long as its gluten free…