Archive for June, 2012


Had an awesome time with my son and his partner at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center. the King Tutankhamen Exhibit will be there until early January 2013. It is supposed to be the last North America exhibit of the artifacts. They are amazing.

Later we went out to the Saffron Grill in Northgate and I tried a new favorite for me.. Tandoori chicken tikka with cilantro chutney. Yummmmm!!!

I hope you all enjoy the photos

 

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Ty’s baptism

Gathered near the lake, Phillip watched his grandchildren. Ty stood talking with the pastor while little Jonathan marched onto the scene, not wanting to be left out. Sarah shadowed Ty, but as usual was daydreaming of being with fairies and princesses dancing on the sunflower covered hillside.

 

They had gathered on this warm sunny day to picnic after church and witness Ty’s self-chosen commitment to express his desire to follow the Lord with his life.

 

Phillip sat near his daughter, alternating between the last bites of his sandwich and snapping photos. He took an oatmeal cookie and pulled a piece off, gently offering to the 13 month old his daughter held. Laura opened her mouth like a baby bird and as she sensed the morsel of sweetness near her lips she leaned in fast and bit her grandfather’s fingers and cookie at the same time. As he pulled back his hand, looking at baby teeth marks that stung slightly, Anna giggled “When will you learn she is part raptor Dad?”

 

He tilted his head downward until he could see the chubby cheeked offender’s adorable face, leaned in and nuzzled his nose in her neck, making her giggle. As he repeated this he looked up at his Anna and reminisced how lovely the smell of babies are.

 

Every one’s attention was directed towards the lake as the Pastor cleared his throat and spoke. “Brothers and sisters, Ty came to me three weeks ago with a request. After many questions and prayer I truly believe and trust that he is very earnest about expressing his sanctification with God. Baptism is a ceremonious custom in which a believer shows his commitment to the congregation and world by physically washing his sins away in the water of life.”

 

The pastor knelt before Phillip’s eldest grandchild and spoke softly to him, to which Ty shook his head yes and smiled. Before entering the lake the pastor practiced the baptism with Ty by making him cross his arms on his chest and shut his eyes and praying with him. “Trust me to dip you back and pull you up, ok?” Ty shook his head enthusiastically. Twice they did this, Ty, stiff as a board was able to be dropped back several feet and brought back up.

 

The smiling child looked at his church leader as if to say he had waited long enough, he trusted and he was more than ready. Ty grabbed the older man by the hand and walked into the nearly ripple-less lake reflecting all of God’s beauty.

 

As the ceremony ensued before his eyes Phillip looked around at the scene and teared up. He may have made mistakes that ended his marriage but the blessing before him was the result of a love he held dear to his heart at one time. After his grandson was lifted from the lake with a smile he could not contain, Phillip shut his eyes and recalled Proverbs 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.

For A!!

Be…

Be the one who makes a difference today!!! No matter how small the gesture…be the one! 

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My Father’s Day rant…

For those of you who do not know me, please know this: I am not one to ever advocate hatred or bad feelings. At times I struggle in my writing but try to face hard feelings for stupid things in the past by making them into something you can read like a story, almost removing myself from the picture.

Sometimes I truly abhor Father’s Day. I dislike seeing pictures of people, smiling with their dads, out to dinner or arm in arm. I dislike this because I am extremely jealous.

I see those of you who have caring dads and take him for granted. I see those of you curse your dad because you were disciplined (not beaten). I see those of you who anguish that your dad was strict. Shame on you!

Before you stop reading let me explain.

My dad was a drunkard, his tongue was condescending. My strongest recollection of my dad is the smell of alcohol and cigarettes. He squinted with one eye a lot, you know that drunken squint like he was trying to focus all the time.

I am the baby of 6, both parents worked, so was very much raised by my siblings, especially my brother Tom. I do not remember my dad’s interaction with me, until, as I posted a couple days ago in my blog titled “Forever distinct”, he made me tell my best friend goodbye because he was black.

My dad, after that, began raping me. I was 7. My mama worked 2 jobs and tried to make ends meet because my dad drank his money away. My dad knew my heart, he knew how much i loved my mama. He never threatened me if I told, he threatened that he would hurt or kill my mama if I told.

By the time this started there was only myself and 2 brothers left at home. With mama working and my brothers not having to change out of their jeans when they got home from school I was left in the house, alone with my dad. I always had a school dress on and had to change into a play dress and shorts.

In the years I was raped by him I became inventive. I would push my dresser in front of my door, pop out my screen and either sneak out the window or pretend I did. When I pretended I usually was hiding in my closet. I had a cardboard box that I kept toys in that fit under the bottom shelf, I would take the toys out and crawl in, cover myself with some stuffed animals and scoot the box until it was under that shelf. I slept countless hours in that stupid cardboard box.My tricks did not always work.

When I was 9 1/2 my dad hurt me bad enough to take me to the ER. I watched him pay cash for it, Oh he was mad at me. Two days later a police officer showed up at school and gave our class the good touch bad, touch talk. As he spoke to us he walked up and down the aisles of desks. He squeezed my shoulder as he passed by me and I was petrified. I memorized his phone number and name that day.

When I got home, it was the same thing…brothers out the door and my dad, almost wasted in his chair. But this time I was angry. I climbed onto the kitchen counter and grabbed my moms biggest knife. I walked up to my dad and told him if he ever touched me again I would hurt him. No nine year old should ever feel like that nor be pushed to the point that they must take measures to protect themselves from someone who is supposed to protect them.

Well, that ended that, my dad never so much as touched me again. I was never told no after that, I was never grounded, never hugged nor heard the words I love you from him while he was sober and maybe once a year in his pitiful drunken stupors.

Though the abuse was over, I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t trust him to not hurt my mama.

I spoke with my dad when i was 23. I confronted him and he looked at me as if he had never known anything had gone on. I looked at this man, crippled from his horrid lifestyle eating away at his body. He was 59 and looked 70 or older. I smiled at him and said “Daddy, I forgive you, not because you ask for it but because I need to give it. This burden I have carried for 16 years was never mine, your abuse of me was never my fault. You never have to ask forgiveness and I don’t suspect you ever will but you have it. Take your guilt back because I have three babies to take care of and cannot be bothered with it.”

That afternoon, Tuesday March 18, 1986 was the first time in  my life i recall my dad telling me he loved me when he was sober. He died three days later after not eating or drinking anything but water.

So those of you that I addressed earlier, thank your dad for loving you enough to say no, thank him for setting a curfew and caring enough to come find you when you were late, for giving you chores that taught you how to do things, thank your dad and love him.

Please don’t mind me as I turn my head in utter jealousy with tears pouring down my face.

I have been asked by a couple family members to share recipes I am either good at making or have invented myself, here is Soft Pretzels. I recommend owning a very handy dandy kitchen-aid mixer, which i no longer own, sigh!

Ingredients:
1 heaping tablespoon yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup water (115 degrees)
3 cups flour
large NON ALUMINUM pot of water with 5 tablespoons of baking soda
Melted butter and Kosher salt or egg wash (1 egg + 2 tsp water mixed) and Kosher salt

Directions:

1. In mixer combine yeast, sugar, salt and water. Allow to sit until yeast bubbles up in the water and all you can see it the yeast.

2. Add flour and use dough hook to mix the ingredients. Let machine knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough should not  cling to the sides of the bowl.

3. Remove dough hook, cover with plastic wrap and let set in cold oven for 1 hour. (dough should be doubled in size)

4. Turn water in pot on high while shaping pretzels. Shape all pretzels and leave out to be boiled.

5. Turn oven on 500 and grease cookie sheet. Set aside

6. Add baking soda to boiling water. Gently lower shaped pretzel into boiling water, when it rises turn over with a slotted cooking spoon. Boil 20 seconds more and remove to a cookie cooling rack to drain. Repeat with all pretzels.

7. Once drained, place on cookie sheet. Here is where you can either egg wash and salt the pretzels before baking or bake plain and brush with butter and salt after baking.

8. Bake 10-12 minutes in 500 degree oven (until brown). Remove, cool slightly and enjoy.

I have been asked by a couple family members to share recipes I am either good at making or have invented myself, here is pico de gallo or salsa fresca.

Ingredients:
4 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2-3 seeded and diced jalapenos (I use rubber gloves when doing this part)
2-3 cloves minced fresh garlic
Juice from 2 limes
2/3 – 1 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Sometimes when I want this more as a dip I will add 1/4 cup V8 juice.

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients.

2. Refrigerate for several hours.  Stir and serve as a dip with tortilla chips or as a topping to put on tacos or Carnitas

I believe my views on ethnicity and race have been forever molded by the bigotry I witnessed throughout my life.

My first encounter with bigotry was through my dad. We lived in a small town site in Nevada…company housing for the mine he worked for.

There on the corner, near the bus stop lived my very best friend in the whole world. Everyone called him Choo Choo which made me angry, even at 5. What a stupid nickname, something in me felt it was wrong. His name is William. William I would scream at my brother who would make fun of me because I was the only one who played with William.

At 5, and all my life I have not considered a person’s skin tone in my decision to like or dislike them. I have always looked in their eyes, curiously looking at them to see their soul.

William and I played together, day in and day out, laughing uncontrollably as we would swing as high as we could, or sliding barefoot in the green algae in the gutters. His Mama was the best hugger ever! I sometimes think she loved me like she loved William.

The thing that bothered me about William is that I never saw him in school. I would run to see him after I changed into a play dress and I would tell him all about class. He listened with intent, I even brought my schoolwork to show him my grades. I begged him to come to school and he said, very quietly “Mama won’t let me go.” But she had lined school paper and pencils and we would sit for hours and write.

I hugged him hello and goodbye everyday we played together, like I had not seen him in ages. Our friendship began when i was 5 and shortly after my 7th birthday my dad drove by as William and I  were playing school on the picnic table.I saw my dad’s face and knew I had best get home. I remember wrapping my arms around William and telling him “no matter what I love you, no matter what!!”

Oh I was in trouble when I got home. My dad used words I had never heard before and with such disdain that I knew his hatred for my best friend that he had never even met before. I argued with my dad, my eyes flooded with tears, even my hands balled up in fists.

I hated my dad that day, hated! He walked me down to the end of the block and waited as I crossed the street. I knocked on Williams door and with he and his Mama standing there I had to tell him I didn’t want to be friends with him anymore. I never stopped crying as I said it and at one point I remember turning and pointing at my dad.

For the first time I saw William cry and my heart broke. I felt like I could not move, but i slowly turned and walked back towards my dad. Half way across the street i screamed at my dad “I hate you!” I knew William was watching me as my dad tried to take my hand. I pulled away. I turned quickly and looked back… I pointed at myself, crossed my arms and pointed at William…He knew I loved him, he had to.

I never looked at my dad the same again. I think my first experience of his bigotry and fear will always evoke the tears I felt as a 7 year old. And I think it also was the catalyst that began the abuse I endured from my dad.

If I could find William today I would tell him I am sorry, I would hug him and probably not let go until he made me. And where ever you are in this world… William, i still love you!

Busy little things!! Making a pollen mess