Saturday, October 22, 2011

A sister.. A mother.. and a accident Part 2

  How many people do you know, that can't wait for Monday to start?  If you know me, then count me as one.  Monday could not get here fast enough.  Let me back track a little, to fill you in on Sunday night.

  My sister did not leave the accident site until very late.  The accident happened at 4:30am, she was leaving Daytona early in hopes to have lots of time to spend with the family, she was off work for the next three days and so was I.  We planned a super duper yummy dinner;  my wonderful Meatloaf with Creamy mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler for a tasty coffee side.  Who could ask for more.  Plans for the days ahead were;  going through some clothing my mother was tossing out {for my niece Patricia}, going through pictures and copying the ones Maryann did not have, making awesome meals together {Maryann is a self made chef ~ man can she cook}, and catching up on sisterly bonding stuff.  I still can not grasp that fact that in a few short days, she will be moving to Tennessee.  I am happy for her, and sad all in the same breath.

Senior Picture 1981

  When Mr Bell's invention did it's ringing after 5pm, I rushed to the telephone in quite a hurry.  From the first time the phone rang at 5:00 am when my sister called, I never put the phone far out of reach.  I walked around, paced, fed the dogs, birds, and horse with my cell phone in my pocket, and the house phone in my sweetie pocket.  Where ever I went, Mr Bell followed.  I attempted to answer the phone in a calm manner, but it was hard not to be out of breath.  Michael {my brother in law} had already called the house to let me know that my sister was released from the accident site.  Her car was looked over with a fine tooth comb. The accident site was classified as a hit and run, a felony, and as lady luck would have it; most of the examination was done on my sisters carShe was driving home and should arrive shortly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A daughter, a sister, a mother.. and a accident

Alexander Graham Bell would be shocked to see his invention today.  Not only do we have means of communication with friends and family in other states, across  large bodies of water, on high mountain tops, and underground; but we also have communication as we travel.  Although Bell didn't invent the cell phone, I feel it was his concept of communication that started the ball rolling on the cell phone.

As a child, we were taught the telephone was for adults.  We would see our friends for 8 hours at school, therefore the theory was we should have said everything needed during those 8 hours.  "You were just with your friends all day, what could you possibly have left to say" would be recited not once, not twice,  not even three times; rather five times as we all grew up.  Two boys and three girls waited until it was felt they were old enough to have phone privileges. "The phone is not a toy"  our parents would say, and as time moved forward we all learned, when the phone rang late at night or early in the morning; it was never good news.  Something that pretty much stuck with us, as well as every household I am sure, throughout our teens, young adult, and even until this very day.

 Wonder if Alexander Bell intended for a single telephone ring after a proper hour, meant bad news.

{From Left to Right} 
Maryann {my sister} born Oct 16, 1963  and Joslinda {Me} born Dec 28, 1964

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where's the B E E F ???

I hate to shop.  For myself anyways; now I could spend hours shopping for someone else or, grocery shopping.  Man, it's so odd to see that typed on my computer.. me, liking grocery shopping.  Now that is one cold day.  Better mark it in red, and remind me I said such a thing at a later date. 

In order to like shopping, you have to have the "One" place that pulls at your heart strings, and wallet.   I could name more then a few places that I like to shop at; such as Winn Dixie, Sweet Bay, Publix, Sam's Club.  One place that I hate the thought of shopping at, which I will not name in my Blog.  Then there is the heart string tugger... oh my good kitchen night, is this place wonderful.

In order for a store to tug at heart strings,  love has to play a big factor.  Boy do I LOVE their products.    The place has to stop your heart and jump start it all at once.  It's the one store, that when you walk through the front doors, you gasp.   I have found just the place right here in Tampa.  I live to shop at this place.  I gasp every time I enter the front doors, and never stop grabbing at the sales until I exit the store.  One day, last week in fact, we even went back in the store a second time and made one last purchase. 

 Check out these T-Bone steaks.  Look at how big each steak is.  How red the color.  Is your stomach growling?  The taste buds have lulled into overdrive?  Mouth watering, huh?  Let me tell you, not one of the three men in this house could finish their T-Bone.  Hugh.  Massive.  Big.  Yummy is just was it was.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Goodbye Ms Independent ...

Music is:   Life.  Love.  Inspirational.  

Often, and there is no way I am the only one, there are a few songs that speak to my soul.  I can relate to the words, swear someone wrote a song about my life.  Peeked into my emotions and sang everything I ever thought, felt, and said; in a song.  Haven't you felt the same way when you listened to an old song or new song?  Just knew the artist was speaking right to you, singing your life. 

The original Ms Independent.  When I first heard that song years ago, I said "this song is about me".  Who needs love anyway, right?  Someone dictating when or where or how I could do something.  Someone I would have to "report" to before departing to spend time with friends.   Demanding meals, serving drinks, time keeping.  Who needs a full time adult sitter, I sure don't.

That didn't keep the "Every girls dream" phase.  Sure I searched for love.  Fell for a guy in high school who I thought didn't have an interest in me, and ended up dating plus marrying someone else.  Everything I tried to keep from, was my marriage.  The best part of him and the marriage; are my two children.  Yet, I never stopped hoping for my one and true love.  You know; I wanted the knight to ride in on a white horse and rescue me.  Love me and care for me.  Dreams of a house and white picket fence.  Happy ever after and all the rainbow colors that come along with it.  

While part of me hoped it would happen, another part of me knew some things were unreachable.  If it should happen, it would be at a great cost; I would lose myself.  So many girls and women changed who they were, and what they stood for in the name of "relationship", and I knew that would never be me.  Not again.  Not at any cost.

It was easier to date.  Have a good time in the moment.  When things became too close or real; it was time to get out and more often than not; I would do the pushing.  I became very good at it.  Relying on one person; myself.  Counting on the one true person who mattered; myself.  Keeping together all that I held close to my heart; my children.  Never letting anyone in, never getting close enough to be loved or allow myself to truly fall in love.  

Oh, that was until Ms Independent was reunited with her Knight. Years of feelings and wonder came flooding back to me.  Suddenly, I found myself wanting to learn to cook.  Longing to figure out compromise.  Needing to open my heart to feel love, and allow myself to be loved.  This is the dream I have longed for.  The everything I have always wanted, just never knew it.

 Cooking for my sweety and seeing him happy; is just what I waited years for.  Hearing his voice on the other end of the phone, makes my day brighter.  Just watching him, makes my heart flutter.

 It is the one thing I could do, endlessly ....

And daily ...

 Cooking has blended in with relationship quite nicely... and I love it.  Go figure.  Seeing the smile on my sweeties face after a hot home cooked meal, makes it all worth while.

 Fresh hot breakfast ...

 Outstanding Dinners ...

 And wonderful Desserts ...

 This Ms Independent ... is still Independent, but now I'm not alone.  Now I know love and am in love.   I have the dream, and am living the dream.   I couldn't be more happy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Never Tired; Always Ready....

As a Military Mom, during Deployments, I look for anything and everything to do.  "Keep yourself busy" is what my inner voice tells me.  So in search of "anything" and "everything" is how I begin my day.

in my Quest to stay busy....

Sweets are baked I  posted on that in my: Let the Cooking Begin: Sweets, Part Six blog; 

check it out..Sweets = Yummy, and there is nothing better than a house filled with the aroma of a freshly baked pie, or cake, or muffins, or ... you get the idea.

A Flag Pole is made...

With all the help from my sweety, we made a Flag Pole for my mothers flag.  Can't have Deployment without properly displaying the American Flag.  The Idea of making the Flag Pole out of PVC was mine, and the specks of how it should be put together was my sweeties.  He is so smart.  We had gotten the original idea from Texas, when we seen two houses displaying the American Flag  in the same fashion.  Our Flag Pole isn't made the same as theirs. 

The Parts...

The flowers...

My Sweety...

The Out come...

Outdoor Seating Area...

It started out to be a Fire Pit seating area.  I pictured family and friends sitting in front of a squarish Fire Pit, like the ones you can buy at Home Depot.  Roasted Marshmallows, star fill nights,  laughter... It Didn't happen.  So With the help of my mother, we made a wonderful outdoor seating area instead.   With the changing weather , I am going to look into adding an Umbrella,  along with a few wood flower pots to complete the area.

Early morning Breakfast ...

While the rest of the house sleeps.  While my sweety gets ready for work.  I  cook.  Hot breakfast is in the making and served right as my sweety sits at the table.  Now this was being done before Deployment, I am just getting better at it now.

Sisterly Gift...

Before my eldest sister, Marry Ann,  moves out of state, I have been working on a give for her.  Photos of our younger sister, mother, and family members.  Pictures my Marry Ann doesn't have.  Pictures close to our hearts.

And wood palettes are collected...

in the hopes of hanging a spice rack on the wall.  Seeing Wood Planters on my deck one day.  Adding wooden hanging lanterns in the garden or flower beds. 

Right now, I am looking for anything and everything to keep busy during this Deployment.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Let the Cooking Begin : Sweets, Part Six

I could not wait to dive into the Flat Apple Pie Recipe.  I am a huge Apple Pie fan, which is often seen as American History in my eyes.  Just like Hot Dogs and Baseball go hand in hand.  Beer and Football.  Sweatshirts and Hockey.  For me, Apple Pie is an American right of passage.  There should be one smelling up a kitchen often.  Added to a lunch box weekly.  And enjoyed with a hot cup coffee more often then not.

 Don't you love the color of this leaf?  The way the light filters down to it is fabulous.

 OK, back to the deliciously fabulous Flat Apple Pie.  I didn't take any before pictures, so you wont see how the Flat Apple Pie formed, but you can see plenty of before and after pictures in Ree's Cookbook, Pg 216-217.  It was so simple to make and tasted awesome.  I can not wait to make it again, and there will be more Flat Apple Pie.

 Just look at the juicy filling.  I could have a slice right now with a hot cup of coffee.  The fact that the crust did not have to be perfect, is a mind blowing idea.  Yay for ~ Non Perfect.  It was so easy to slice and the men to grab a chunk and eat it like pizza.  Oh, there was more than a slice for some than others, making two pies next time will be in order.

The flaky crust was out of this world.  You could peal back the layers and have the inner as a surprise.  Although I savored every bite.  With three men, you have to slice it just as it warms and hide your piece first; otherwise you might not see the massive blur that leaves you with just, an empty baking stone.

Oh, I used a Baking Stone from Pamper Chef instead of a cookie sheet.  The Baking Stone is a wonderful kitchen must.  I have turned to my baking stones more often then not.  The wonderful flavor trapped in the stone that is released when used over and over again, is the best fragrance a house could ever ask for.  Remember; NEVER use soap on your baking stone.  Never.  You simply scrape off anything that might bake onto the stone, and use plain water to wash it off.  Don't get gray hair over the color your stone will turn.  It only reflects the great cooking and baking you have done.  Just sit back and enjoy your cup of hot coffee and Flat Apple Pie.

Not everything I bake is Home Made.  From scratch that is.  Some days I am so busy making a home made meal, that the yummy dessert takes a back seat to, made from scratch. Such a sad sad fact.  This is such the case of my Blueberry Muffins...

I did folded in real Blueberries, and added the crumble topping, so that part is me, but the mixes belong to another.  It didn't make a difference, the men and women in the house loved every bite of the muffins. 

The pan I used made 12 muffins, as you can plainly see for yourself.  Given the chance to make bigger muffins with a small pan would have been my first choice; but I couldn't find my mothers smaller muffin pan.  It goes without saying, that I would have loved to use a Pampered Chef Baking Stone Muffin Mold most of all. 

Baking, what a great stress reliever.  Go ahead,and pull out those baking pans, I can here them calling you now, whip up something sweet for your sanity today... and watch the faces of your family.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sisters ~ The Never Ending Bond....

One of the most difficult task in life, for me, is letting go.  I hold on to every word, every memory {the important ones}, the way someone smiles, something they might say ~ even when they are no longer here.  I think, so many times, I can hear them whisper words of encouragement and direction in my ear.  Play in my mind, what they wore.. how they stood.  It is one of the greatest things the good Lord above gave us, the ability to remember... reminisce... 

There would be the practice of learning to live with the memories; good and bad ones, but I wouldn't give up one single past memory for anything in the world.

This is our first family photo after moving from New York to Florida.  It was taken shortly after my father died.
 {L to R back row} Fred, Marry Ann, Mark
{L to R middle row} My grand parents Belia [granny] and Bill [pop], My mother Eneida, Gladys
{on the floor} Me ~ Joslinda

 I am working on a going away gift for my sister.  Photos of our younger sister, Gladys Marie, who passed away September 17, 1986.  She was only 17 years old when she died, Gladys would have been 42 on the 5th of March, 2011.  She has been gone 25 years now, yet it seems like just yesterday we were feeding the chickens on my parents property.   Watering the cows and tossing slop to the pigs. 

 As a small child, Gladys hated having her photo taken by men.  In fact, she did not like any other man except for my father.  If you had facial hair, forget it.. you would have never gotten close to her.  As Gladys got older, she became all legs, and skinny as ever.  My father would call her Droopy Drawers.  Nothing would fit her tight enough to stay on.  My grandmother, called Gladys Skinny Malinkie.

Their wasn't a person, who wasn't fond of Gladys.  Her smile was captivating, her personality was indescribable,  there was never a person she met that wasn't her friend, people just flocked to her energy.  The love of life glowed all around her.   

 When she was little, as she grew into her body, she often told me and Maryann "I'm not pretty like you guys" she would say "My hair is ugly, my teeth are ugly"  I remember like it was yesterday, we would tell her "You need to read the story of the Ugly Duckling then, cause you don't see yourself like we do.  You are very beautiful, you just have to look past the shell"

 {L to R} Gladys, Ann, Granny Bea [our grand mother}, Me [Joslinda}, and Marry Ann

 Even when she complained about the way she looked at herself, within seconds she was happy.  Laughing and joking. 

She grew into herself.  Had lots of friends.  Loved her nieces {Patricia, Tabitha, and Christina ~ she never new my youngest daughter Ashley or my brothers' daughter Anna} and her only nephew {my son James}.   

 {L to R}  Our brother Fred, Our Auntie Linda, Gladys, and our grand mother

 She was never married;  That would have been a breath taken wedding.  She never had any children; I would have loved the chance to see her as a mother.  She didn't have a job; although she would have been good at anything she done.  There is so much I wish.. but my biggest wish would be to have her and my father again.

 Her grades were awesome.  Even with the trials and tribulations teen age children have, you would see Gladys with that smile on her face.  The dimples letting you know she was as happy as anyone could be. 

I sure do miss Gladys, and I know my sister Marry Ann does as well.  I knew, that no matter how painful it is to relive the memories I have with Gladys,  making this going away gift for Marry Ann will mean just as much to her as it has to me.  She will be able to relive all the wonderful times that she shared with Gladys, just by glancing at the photos.  

Sisters are the greatest gift... No matter where I am in life or my sister is in distance;  We will always have each other.  Sisters ~ It's The Never Ending Bond.

Let the Cooking Begin: Part Four

I'm not climbing the hill any more.. I own the hill.  This cooking stuff has taken completely over.  Let me tell you, I'm getting quite good at it, and for me to admit that... I must be doing something right.  I even received the thumbs up from my brother Mark, and he is a "Fried meat and Rice with Beans" {stated in his words} kind of man. 

This is my brother ~ Mark

You know, almost like the saying "Meat and Potatoes", only different.    He is Spanish through and through {without ever speaking a word of it] eating type of person.  So with this meal, why not give it a Spanish twist ~ and that is just what I did.

Ree's Pulled Pork recipe; meet Black Beans and Rice.  The trio blasted with yummy seasonings and delighted tummy's.  The 8 pound pulled pork barely made it through the night.  Three starving men {because the cooking started it at 7am Saturday morning} waited all day long for three small simple words... "OK, It's Ready".   I find it so much easier to start making a big meal early on Saturday, due to Football and Baseball games, then everyone isn't trying to drum up a lunch meal, at the same time,  on their own.  It has become a weekend tradition in our house.  Besides, I have a Nac for making a meal and cleaning up as I go.  So my mixing bowls are cleaned as soon as they are emptied, the pots are cleaned as soon as their use is finished, and my counter tops remain spotless.   Plus, has anyone else noticed, that men can not seem to just add their plate/glass/silverware to an empty dishwasher?  Maybe the instructions for operation are in a foreign language, to just men.

Making the black beans was next on the list of things to do.  In a small crock pot {or one sized to your family} add the beans of your choice, and begin to cook as you normal would.  In a small frying pan, add Goya Olive Oil ~ just enough to saute the following ingredients on medium heat ...

1/2 cup chopped Red Peppers
1/2 cup chopped Yellow Peppers
1/2 cup chopped Yellow Onions
1/2 of one Goya Chorizos {sliced}
2 Tablespoons of Goya Sofrito.

Mmm.  Try not to let anyone pick the sliced Chorizos out of the frying pan.. they are heavenly.  When the Onions are slightly browned, add the mixture to the beans and cover the crock pot.  Let the beans and mixture cook until the beans are soft.  Yummy is all I can say.  

The rice is easy to make.  I make 2 cups, and not your normal cups.  I take a coffee cup and fill it with white rice, twice.  Pour the rice in a medium sauce pan, add the same amount of water {2 coffee cups}, and Goya Olive Oil {just a splash so the rice doesn't stick}.  Cover and let the rice boil.  Once the rice comes to a boil, stir and turn to the lowest temp, and let it simmer for 30 minute; stirring occasionally. 

When the Pull Pork is done, the beans are cooked, and the rice is hot.. Serve to your hungry family.  With my family, I learned that 8 pounds will never be enough, next Pulled Pork I pick up.. is going to be a 20 pound pork.  And it will be served at Thanksgiving {even if my brothers want Turkey} and Christmas.   

Now, don't forget the snack after your meal.  There has to be a mouth watering dessert... I made Banana Nut Bread.. I know, not much of a dessert, but it went over very well that morning {while the pork smell filled the house}, the afternoon as a "taste of this" finger food, a bed time snack, and a Sunday morning coffee side. 

Moist.  Soft.  Nutty.  Yummy.   Banana Nut Bread.. Think I am going to need to make another batch of this friendly tasty coffee side. 

Let the Cooking Begin: Part Five...

 Autumn ~ Doesn't that word just sing to you?

The leaf picture has nothing to do with the blog, but I can not get over the wonderful weather Florida is having so far.  I would love for the mornings to always be 58 degrees.  Love it!!

Another thing that I love, is the Meatloaf from Ree's cook book.  Not only was it easy to make and cook, always a plus when learning new things or just learning period, but it was a huge hit with the family.  Anyone with 3 men to feed, knows that if they like it.. it has to be good.  Both my mother and myself worked on the meatloaf together.  We both checked on it often, and could not be more pleased when it was finished. 

Moist, topped with bacon, and just the right amount of sauce.  If you haven't picked up Ree's cookbook,  let me just tell you, you're missing out.  Oh yeah.. This was a simple Sunday meal, and I can not say it enough...  very very good.   I served with potato salad and fresh hot bread.   We will be having this meatloaf again.. real soon. 

Don't you Love an Autumn sky?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sisters are Love...

Mary Ann ~  My sister,  is moving.  

While I am happy that she has this awesome job opportunity, I am sadden that her move will take her to Tennessee.  When I lived in Texas, she lived in Florida; we talked daily and text often, but had not seen each other in 2 1/2 years.

My sister Maryann {left}, and myself

I was beside myself when I first seen her. We talked face to face {with hot coffee in hand} until 4 O'clock in the morning. 

 High School Photo  1981

I will miss her visits... 

 Maryann and Patricia {her first child}, with our grand mother Belia

Seeing her on her days off....

 One of many visits to my house

And watch her create art work with plants...

 My sister and Christina, her youngest child

I will miss her smile greatly....

Mary Ann and her husband Michael

I wish you the best of luck Mary Ann... in everything you do.  Knock their socks off, and while I hope you climb sky scraper ladders in your new position ...

Hurry home, cause I miss you already.

I love you Sis...