For My Pops

40 years ago, on June 17, 1976, my pop held my hand, touched my hair and kissed my hand for the last time. He shut his eyes and left our lives but not our heart and memories. Truth is, he really never left me because I have always felt him around if I needed him. He’s always been able to encourage me to keep going no matter how hard the path. He gently tells me when mom needs me if I was not paying attention. He is the angel that protects my sons no matter how far away they are. Someday I will see him again and he will confirm all the ways he shared these 40 years with us. Pops, I am still loving you and will continue to keep you close to me for the rest of my life. Until we meet again, your Chula.
Some one wrote these beautiful sentiments that I can imagine my pops sharing with me and that I will share with you

“When you remember me, it means that you carry something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can see me in your mind even though countless years stand between us. It means that I have never completely died to you and those that keep me inside where it counts. The best parts of me I see in you. Those pieces like sand will join with who you are and pass to your children and theirs. They also pass to those that love you. So see, I will never truly be gone, and neither will you.”

The BEST MOM in the WORLD!

I am in awe of my mom. She had me late in life and I remember I used to be sad that she was not like the younger moms that came to my grade school and helped out, went on our trips, brought treats and such.  I figured out at an early age what type of woman mytina mom&dad mom really was.  I see how much she had to work for us because my dad was sick so she had to make money and still come home to cook, clean, and do all the things that kept our house running.  She would have wanted to be the mom at school supporting her daughter if she could.

More importantly, she was the mom at home that even if she was busy, she had time to hug me and hold my hand when I needed her. She kissed my cuts and consoled me when kids were mean to me.  She taught me to pray and love God.  By her example she showed me how to defend my family without losing my dignity, without being angry, jealous or vindictive. She taught me to accept what my life is and to be thankful for every lesson we have to learn from it.

When I was young, I watched as some others talked down at her or tried to make her feel inadequate because she had to work or because her husband was sick or because her daughter got pregnant before she was married.  She handled it by not talking back, not being vindictive, not getting into a fight.  She calmly walked away.  Sometimes she would go to her room and cry and then she would pray.  That made me want to protect her and guard her more fiercely than anything because I knew right there what type of woman she was. She was a woman of courage and faith.  Did she make mistakes in her life? Sure, we all do, but she never deserted her family in our need, in our sickness, or in our mistakes.  She never talked down to us or was ashamed of us.  She taught me what unconditional love is.

She is truly a woman of honor and God would be pleased when she comes home to Him. If there was a huge way to honor her I would.  She would receive all the presents, the biggest house, the softest bed, the most comfortable shoes, and the biggest piece of cake!  She would have anything she could hope for.

So here it is, as I walk up the hill on this bright sunny day, I lift my arms and say, “Thank you God for my mom!  You did good, and she was better than I could have imagined.”  I will sing her praises and hope and pray that she knows how important she is to all of us.

Happy Mothers Day mom & God bless!! Your stinker

 

 

If You Stick Around (A Letter To Suicidal Teens)

Too many parents are losing their children to a world that they don’t understand and that doesn’t understand them. Keep them around, keep them in the game and always offer hope.

john pavlovitz

StickAround

Dear Hurting Teenager,

I know you want to leave.

I know the horrible, endless walks through the hallways that you endure every morning, near vomiting.
I know the afternoon bus rides to Hell where you sit frozen with fear, praying to just become invisible.
I know the locker room beat-downs and the lunch room stares and the wounding words behind your back and the hateful taunts in your face.
I know how it takes every bit of strength you have just to paint on a smile and pretend you’re OK and to hide how much it hurts and to act “normal”.

I know that all of this has left you exhausted; that you’ve drugged yourself and cut yourself and starved yourself and sold yourself, in the hope that their voices will become silent, and their fists will be lifted, and you can finally breathe again.

I know that right now, you’d…

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On the Day I Die

I must share this insight. My sister died a few months ago.  It was a sudden loss, a void that she filled is felt in our family.  I can relate to all of this, can you?

john pavlovitz

flowers copyOn the die I day a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.

The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.

The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.

The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.   

All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always…

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Liberals as Pro-life advocates historically

http://www.breakpoint.org/features-columns/articles/entry/12/28703

Here’s an excerpt from the book “Defenders of the Unborn” The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v Wade by Daniel K Williams.  “What if I told you there was a time in American history when many Republicans supported liberalizing abortion laws, while liberal Democrats protested that fetuses had constitutionally protected rights? That liberals like Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and Dick Gephart took pro-life positions while Republican governors Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller signed legislation expanding access to abortion? Would you believe it?”
–end excerpt–

Isn’t that a great lead in to a good read?  Feel free to read the book, I have left the link above that tells more about the history of the pro-life movement which was championed by the Catholics.

As a young Catholic girl in the 60’s-70’s I supported the right of the unborn child. As a liberal woman I often wondered how pro-life groups defending the unborn were in a party that seemed to care less about humanity and human rights and family values over making sure government stayed out of their lives and business, pulling support of programs that help families and children eat and get help to succeed.  A party that uses the pro-life supporters as a platform to maintain human credibility and steal votes from good men and women that have taken up the gauntlet of protectors of the unborn child.  A Godly mission.

They stop short of really supporting their cause instead use them as a front to legitimize their platforms. They could care less about a child’s life, if they did, there would be more adoption alternatives, mental health and wellness for mothers and their children, rape and incest help and counseling, and educational opportunities supported and maintained that not only saves the child’s life but ensures it has all the opportunities for positive outcomes.  Republicans would not fund or support these types of programs but will support that we just protest outside clinics in a meaningless show of outrage at women that have few alternatives.

I propose this type of program could be maintained by liberals and conservatives alike, how about just calling us “those in support of the unborn child and mother.”  Meeting together apart from parties that use us. Take this fight outside of the political parties. It is wrong to think that all Liberals are pro-choice or against the life of a child. The same rhetoric that says Republican Pro-Lifers do not care for the mother.  That’s the lie the Republicans use to keep the pro-lifers in their pocket.

In my own circumstance, I was a young girl pregnant and unmarried. The father and I were under age. Everyone thought that because of our sin, the decision to keep my child would ruin my life and ensure that I had no future. Some in my family and friends were suggesting that I have an abortion because it was legal and would ensure that I would have a normal life, fulfill my dreams of college, marriage, a career that being a mother to the child would certainly destroy.

My mother and I prayed that God would take care of us and He did.  He gave me a life that was more than I could imagine. He made sure I was offered opportunities that I can only attribute to His intervention.  I have children, grandchildren and a loving husband, family, church family and I even went to college, and have a good career.  All because I chose to keep the small life growing inside me instead of aborting.  Was it easy? Heck no, it was hard, and just another mountain that we are called upon to climb with the help of God. Because if you climb that mountain, accept the life, you will be rewarded. It takes more than faith, it takes courage to accept your responsibility, no matter what. To attribute that life to the only giver of life, God.

Those who are entrusted with a life should accept it because no life is without a purpose.  We are given choices and just because there is an abortion clinic on every block, the choice is still yours.  No one political party will really protect your right to choose life but do it anyway.

 

 

Halloween Popcorn Balls are in the house!

My sister Caroline has been asking me for popcorn balls for at least the last 10 years. I used to make them every Halloween when my children were young.  Today I finally made some.  

My friend Ramona offered to help as we thought this would be a good treat to make for our grandkids for Halloween.  I only have 4 grandchildren in town, and the other 5 are a plane ride away so basically the rest of mine went to my husband, kids and sister. We had quite a few.  But there’s never enough.

We doubled the recipe below twice.  This made about 30 good sized balls.  (For comparison, they were bigger than a baseball and smaller than a softball)

popcorn balls
Popcorn Balls

Popcorn
1 cup popcorn
2 tbsp. canola oil
Salt
2 tbsp. butter (melted for popcorn)

Softened butter or Parkay for hands
Pop the popcorn in canola oil according to package directions.  I don’t use the microwave stuff because there are so many added ingredients that sometimes leave a nasty after taste.

Use the old heavy skillet, the one with a tight fitting lid.  The skillet we used was the original one I used to make popcorn when I was a kid.  It’s moms skillet and looks pretty old but we hold it in high honor in this house.

Add the canola, heat it up then pour in the cup of popcorn shake the pan a bit and let it do its thing.  When its finished popping, quickly pour it out into the biggest bowl you can find.  It needs to be big enough to mix the popcorn and syrup.

Salt and butter the popcorn, it will get sealed in under all that sweet syrup.  No really, its the secret of keeping the popcorn fresh and tasty under that gooey mixture.
usmakingpcballs22
Set popcorn aside and make your syrup.


Syrup for popcorn

4 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. Vanilla
¾ Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cup marshmallows
1 cup granulated sugar
Orange food coloring (Optional)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan on med-low heat, melt butter, vanilla, corn syrup, marshmallows, sugar, and vanilla.

Boil the marshmallow mixture for approximately 3 minutes, being careful not to scorch.  Pour over popcorn and stir to coat all the popcorn with the syrup.  Keep pulling it up from the bottom of the bowl.  It needs to be cool enough to handle but warm enough to form balls.

Grease hands with butter or Parkay.  We used plastic gloves to keep from burning our hands.  We also used the Parkay to butter our hands or else the syrup will stick to your hands and you won’t be able to form the balls.

Place them on a cookie sheet to cool before you place them in the plastic bags.

Seal them up with a tie or ribbon.  This will keep them fresher and chewy longer.  

Tip! If after time they harden too much to bite, simply place them in the microwave and heat no more than 4 or 5 seconds to loosen up again.

Time to sit back and watch the World Series! GO ROYALS!!

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