Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reflection: 2011 Reading Challenge

This year, I participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge.  I am happy to report that I completed my challenge of five books (I know this may seem like a small amount, but these were the books that I chose to read as compared to the array of books requested by my daughters at bedtime).

Femme du Monde: Poems
Femme du Monde: Poems by Patricia Spears Jones

Quicksand and Passing
Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen

Glorious
Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden

Rhythms
Rhythms by Donna Hill

Half-Lit Houses
Half-Lit House by Tina Chang

I am currently, reading The Yellow House on the Corner by Rita Dove and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle for 2012.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Reflection: Summer Eats

Last Tuesday marked the beginning of summer.  To some that means the end of school.  To other it means taking a dream vacation.  For me it means taking a break in the kitchen. 

I loathe turning on my oven in 90 degree weather.  The old saying, "If you can't take the heat.  Then stay the Hell out of the kitchen." is my motto. But, one must still eat, right?  So, one must create some cool dishes. 

Well, I created two.

First is my Tunafish w/raisins on a bed of Spinach Salad
1 can of tunafish in water (drained)
1 Tbsp of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of raisins
baby spinach (raw)
1 medium tomato sliced
Italian Dressing

Mix tunafish, mayonnaise, and raisins in bowl.  Place a nice proportion of baby spinach on plate with tomato slices.  Drizzle spinach and tomato with Italian Dressing.  Pat tunafish into four balls and place on top of spinach and tomatoes.  Add a strawberry for garnish.

Next my Barbecue Chicken with Mixed Salad

2 barbecued chicken thighs (skinless/boneless)
baby spinach
chopped romaine and red cabbage
1 small cucumber (sliced)
1 medium tomato (sliced)
Italian Dressing
1 cup of coleslaw

Cut barbecued chicken thighs into strips (Okay, either spark up the oven for the chicken or the outdoor grill.  It was cool the night before I made the salad, so I used the oven and had left over chicken).  Place a nice mixed proportion of baby spinach, romaine, red cabbage, cucumbers, and tomatoes on a plate.  Drizzle with Italian Dressing and top with chicken.  Add cucumbers for garnish.

For Coleslaw

Mix a bag of pre-made coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) with  a 1/4 jar  (or less) of Marie's Coleslaw Dressing.

And yummy!

Now, you can get the Hell out of the kitchen.

Good eating.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reflection: My Dad


I think about our last Chicago excursion.

Your CB name was Country Kid.
Remember how you and your brother Big Al skid
down the asphalt road.
Who would make the longest skid mark in town?
You two argued each other down.
Both of you not giving in
’cause you both wanted to win.
And us kids stood enjoying the fun.
We didn’t care who really had won



This time of the year is filled with graduations, barbecues, and summer vacations.  I remember as a kid driving to Chicago with my father.  My parents were separated (not divorced) since I was four years old.  Whatever issues or problems my mother had with my father, she never denied him visitation.  I admire my mother for that and I vowed to do the same if my marriage ever became strained do to irreconcilable differences. 

So, from July through mid August, my sister, brother, and I stayed with my father in Chicago.  The last summer we did this, it was a true family event.  My aunt with her arm baby and daughter crammed between me and my brother and sister. While some more cousins, crammed into my Uncle Albert's car.  We stopped in Transylvania, Pa, and my father teased us about seeing bats.  We lost my Uncle Albert somewhere enroute and reconnected with him via CB.

When we arrived in Chicago in the dead of night, we stayed with my father and his girlfriend. For the rest of the summer, we did our rounds to relatives who we haven't seen since the last visit.

I could go on and on with this story (and maybe I will in an extended essay later on) but my reason for retelling some of this story now is that Sunday is Father's Day and my father has been up in heaven for thirty one years.  I just wanted to let him know I didn't forget about him.

Peace Dad
Love, Sam