When Pigs Fly


So I’m sharing this with you, those that live in my neck of the woods will appreciate it, those who do not just may be traveling sooner than they thought.

My loyal followers are fully aware that I write like I speak, this post will be no different.  I have devoured many food blogs, some had me salivating and some caused me to lose my appetite, because the food description was too technical and distracted from what I wanted to know! Was the FOOD good? , venue clean?, staff friendly? And come on throw in some information on menu prices!

In my neck of the woods there was a well-known eatery called “The Corner House”. A few years back they closed their doors. Now let me tell you my neck of the woods is eclectic, nationalities vary and so do palates. We are offered  variety of eateries that come with a variety of menu prices. In my particular neighborhood many of these eateries are in walking distance. On any given day I can sashay up the block in heels, stroll down the block in my best boots, or trot around the corner with my sneakers. For the most part I rather trot in my prettiest flats , a pair of jeans and a hip new shirt (that is fitting enough to show I am a woman yet leave me enough room to trick the eye that I have not indulged too much).

“The Corner House” was transformed into a Chinese restaurant. The neighborhood was quiet about it, I can only guess the hush  was due to the fact there is such a place on every corner and they all pretty much offer and taste the same. (not in a bad way, I mean who don’t love Chinese food?!) As the new sign went up and advertisement started, we were promised  authentic taste and experience unique to the award-winning Chef.

The opening banners were up, doors open…I eagerly slipped on ,my flats and prepared myself for an experience (and a long wait). My party of 4 was greeted in a foreign language (ok! they did state authentic), we were seated immediately, as I glanced around the empty tables my eyes hurt. The authentic owners kept the wooden walls and flooring, all the beautiful wooden trim that I am sure was hand-made and  for some odd reason decorated here and there is some sort of red origami creations. The table ware made me feel like I was in a diner. The wait staff wore tuxedo pants, crisp white shirts which made them look stiff and out-of-place. . They too spoke in a foreign language broken with their version of English. My party ended up pointing to the items wanted on the menu. The presentation was on oddly shaped over sized bowls.  As nicely as I can state it….the food was not authentic and certainly not unique (I want to know who awarded the Chef). If I experienced what I was promised perhaps the prices would not have caused me to choke on the crispy noodles I can buy in my local supermarket! Well as you can imagine the place did not even last a month!

The building was empty for a few months, we were all speculating what was to come of the property! ( hoping for a return of the original)

While running to the corner store I noticed the building looked clean, taking a closer look I realized it was obviously painted. Now I was intrigued! I like to believe I started the buzz about something opening soon! (well i did in my house) Driving by hoping to see a sign, I giggled a bit noticing the cow pattern on the lower half of the building. A few days later the top was magnificently portraying the American Flag.  {In my neck of the woods we have a famous painter, made famous by his amazing paintings of the American Flag, Scott Lobaido} Now I was really intrigued!!

Soon after I was noticing on my Facebook feed some buzz about a restaurateur that collects pictures of pigs. The buzz continued that the owner of two other eateries in my neck of the woods planned on adding to his establishment in the intriguingly painted building. Oh! how the neighborhood began to buzz! Hoping the eatery would be comparable to what “The Corner House” was. Rumors began to circle that it was going to be one of those upiddy restaurants.! Ya know, like one of those yuppy places that just would not fit in a particular  neighborhood therefore would come along with yuppy prices and small servings.  I hoped for the best and wished I could tell the potential owner a thing or two about the neighborhood before he too was forced to close the doors, and have waisted Scott Lobaido’s talent!

I discovered it was  going to be a BBQ place. Hmmm….BBQ?  In my neck of the woods there are very few BBQ places. I will not mention names, we have one that most people refer to, not the best reviews and not the worst, I personally never had the opportunity to give it a try. I usually cruise over to the next state and go with familiar BBQ. I mean I take my BBQ serious and much rather indulge in the familiar! I knew I would step out of familiarity and give the intriguingly painted place a try simply because it is in walking distance.

Opening day, banners were up and a  colorful life-size rooster metal sculpture greeted you on the side-walk by the door! I mean really how can one not go inside and see what other whimsical art hid inside? Unfortunately other commitments kept me from opening day. Ya know what, so be it, at least now I avoided the fumbles and trials of opening day mishaps.

My party of 3 met the rest of the party of 5. I planned on slipping on the flats and sashaying down the block but the weather refused to cooperate. ((I don’t think Spring is ever arriving in my neck of the woods!)) So boots, jeans and flattering top it was!            (a decision I soon regretted, why? why? didn’t I go with a loose top, who cares if I am man or woman????)

After being amused by the rooster I walked in to a crowd, announced my arrival completing the party of 5. The friendly smiling young lady led me over to the bar to join my party while waiting to be seated. My eyes were overwhelmed by the decor. Not hurting, not distracted but joyfully overwhelmed. Brass, metal, wooden, clay sculpture of pigs and cows displayed tastefully throughout the room. I noticed the familiar wooded walls and flooring, and bar! The red bar stools popped out. Immediately was greeted by the bar tender , Danielle.  Not with the how can I help you, or what can I get you, but with a sense of friendship, like she has been waiting to pour me my favorite drink.  It wasn’t like she was standing around waiting for me, she had a full bar but she seemed to enjoy standing behind their making people smile.

As my eyes continued the survey , the decor continued to overwhelm me. Different textures and shades of wood, shelves lined with art and exquisite boxes of alcohol.  My party pointed out the unique lighting fixtures. I made a mental note of the zig zag bulbs covered with glass jars hoping to find such fabulousness to light up my yard!

My friend is naturally social and is known for her (over) posting on Facebook. She started taking pictures which caught Danielle’s eye. She came over and eagerly told my friend to “friend” her on Facebook and tag her in the photo’s. My friend introduced herself stating her obsession to Facebook and to my surprise introduced me as a writer and blogger! (well I do love the spot light but at that moment I wanted to die, the pressure was on)  I decided to make a short post of the food and decor and call it a day! (well as you see that decision was overturned). Danielle introduced us to the owner Phil. (later in the evening I discovered he was 1 of 3 owners,). We congratulate him and made small talk. From behind us the lovely young lady informs that our table is ready.

On the table were the menus and an adorable mini metal bucket housing the utensils, napkins, wet naps and wrapped plastic toothpicks. (the kind with floss!)   Before my eyes took in the decor I now noticed the staff’s uniform. Flannel shirts, not all the same color or the typical mens flannel but uniformed! (how cool is that for the staff? I mean comfort goes a long way )  All the tables were occupied, the customers were smiling and conversing happily with full glasses always in front of them.  The waitress was quick with the drink order and ready to discuss the menu options.

Since it was my parties first time there we decided to order  a few things and share. We started with appetizers, mac and cheese, chicken wings, french fries,  corn pudding , biscuits, and main entrée of their WEDNESDAY ONLY special of chicken and waffles accompanied with the full house (brisket,pulled pork, chicken, sausage and pork ribs).

Waiting for our order I noticed there was NO loud music, and the BBQ/smoke house familiar hum was absent. Ya know the hum of exhaust fans to rid the eatery of smoke? There was a large wall television playing sports but no sound. (I’ll assume if there had been a must see game on the volume would be on) Personally I was pleased, I hate having to talk over the back round noise, which causes me stress and a hoarse voice.

Ok so to the nitty-gritty of food blogging!  Plates were just the right size, roomy for the food but not overtaking table space or hurting the eye…plain white square! Appetizers strategically placed along center of table. The mac and cheese…perfectly cooked covered with smooth creamy cheese. Ok so you think it’s just mac and cheese, NO wrong! The pasta was absolutely perfect, very pleasing to the bite, from the taste and smoothness of the cheese you just knew the Chef was explicate in indicating the melting temperature and turn of blending spatula. The chicken wings were crispy and moist covered with crispy garlic slices.  I am not a big fan of french fries (my lil guy was part of the party), but I had to give them a taste. I was pleased I tasted the potato and gravy instead of oil. The  corn pudding  was a pleasant surprise, corn bread mix with the perfect amount of corn. The biscuits….the biscuits….oh the delicious biscuits. Firm, flakey, fluffy, dry, moist, buttery! I know what you’re  thinking, NO that’s not possible, it’s a biscuit they are always dry and the butter is what makes them eatable. No, No. No my friends…they were all that and more. I devoured half until I decided to smear a bit of butter on! Oh how I wish I could have gotten away with having the butter as an additional appetizer. I don’t know which pleased my palate more the taste or texture of the butter.  I did not want the array to end, but one must move on to the entrée!

Glasses full, table cleared and fresh mini bucket of utensils and plates provided .  Phil checks on us, making sure we are being well served. After a friendly exchange 3 wait staff presents the main dishes!  Again not on fancy over sized plates, the perfect size for the portion and table, all placed along the middle to share.

On my end of the table was the “full house”, so naturally I reach for the brisket first, then pulled pork, then rib. (not the biggest fan of  BBQ sausage or chicken). The presentation was large, mounted on the plate, but let me tell you it was obviously carefully mounted by someone who cared enough to please the eye with the feeling of abundance but decadence. The meat, oh my! Perfect texture and temperature. The taste blew me away. It was definitely not simply thrown on the BBQ or shoved in the smoker with an ordinary dry rub then smothered with sauce. The brisket,pulled pork and rib each with their own distinct flavor as if cooked in personal smokers. Pleasingly moist , not chewy or stringy.  I was forced to try the sausage and chicken to see what I was missing, still not a fan but the sausage had the perfect snap and the chicken was delightfully moist. The flavor surprised me but I am just not a fan.  I had t stop myself from reaching for more and sample the chicken and waffles. Again not the biggest fan of chicken, however  the flavor  very pleasing, the perfect crisp and extreme moisture forcefully had me reaching for more. I decided to try the waffle separate from the chicken not wanting to sweeten the flavor.  Again perfectly cooked, fluffy and airy deliciously buttery. To my delight the waffle was served with the sumptuous sweet butter.  I didn’t need the maple syrup but because of the cute tiny bottle I couldn’t resist a little drizzle.

Phil came back to the table to ask a few questions, I’m sure he was trying to get a heads up on what I would write I am also pretty sure he thought I was lying . I was very honest and not very articulate in telling him everything was amazing and perfectly cooked.  He informed us that he was not the “smoker” that his partner Anthony was in fact the smoker who was going on about 30 minutes of sleep all due to the fact that the different meats smoke at different lengths of time. Poor guy, hand over the reigns and trust in an assistant, but my taste buds thank him for the dedication!

Myself and party were stuffed and not thinking of dessert. Phil questioned us on our planned  dessert order, informing us of customer glowing statements of the cheesecake being the best they ever had. Well now I just had to try it. We glanced at the dessert menu, all feeling stuffed and figuring to share the cheesecake. Of course our eyes being bigger than our stomaches and Peter telling us about the spicy brownie, we ordered of course the cheesecake, the brownie and the bread pudding. (that was all me, I mean if something is accompanied with caramel I am all in)  I know!. I know, back up. spicy brownie!!   Engulfed in conversation with Phil we forgot to order coffee!  That is how stuffed we were and how desperately I did not want to cleanse the flavors in my mouth. But habit had us ordering 4 coffees.  (lil guy does not need any sort of caffeine running through his veins)  I am so glad we placed the order. The coffee was not anything to rave about, although delicious, not too strong , not to week just your average run of the mill well made coffee. But the tiny  metal milk jug that the milk was served in had me squealing and of course searching amazon for a dozen! So I know you’re wondering about the spicy brownie…well first the cheesecake, I do feel bad and perhaps the customers that raved about it only ever had store-bought or their grandmothers heavy ricotta filled version but it was not any better than lets say Junior’s, tasty YES but not the best! The bread pudding was a bit too firm and cake like for my liking but the delicious all natural tasting vanilla ice-cream on top drizzled with caramel will excuse that! So the brownie, texture wise also a bit too firm, the chocolate taste delicious and the kick of spice in the middle SPECTACULAR! Definitely spicy but not overpowering and mixed with the chocolate it kicks and soothes  the taste buds all at the same time! (By the way I am told all desserts are made in-house and so are the delicious biscuits, oh those biscuits!!!)

As we were  marveling over the spicy brownie Phil introduces us to his 3rd (and final) partner Peter. I recognize him immediately , I was introduced to him by a mutual friend when he opened a completely different eatery in my neck of the woods. (tell you about that place at another time)

SO what you need to know is the name….“THE CORNER HOUSE BBQ”. 

The restaurant is casual. The wait staff is pleasant and accommodating.  The food is absolutely delicious. The price is mid range, I can not provide a priced item list but I will round out the night. My party consisted of 4 adults and 1 tween, the adults had 2-3 alcohol drinks and the tween ice tea, a grand total of (rounded) $160.00 The decor  an eclectic collection of pigs, country/ rustic and whimsical art. (provided by fame) The bar tender Danielle, is sort of kind of famous (came out of retirement to work for a childhood friend of her sisters, and states she has the potential to have the bar two rows deep) The 3 owners have different culinary and restaurateur talents they are serving up!  The Corner House BBQ  is their 3rd restaurant and they have plans to open another in the very near future in my neck of the woods and yet another in the works for further upstate!

I could never rave enough about the food, staff, owners and decor! I absolutely recommend this experience to everyone.If you are a seasoned BBQer your palate will be smoking!!! If you are planning on trying for the first time be prepared to be fired up for your return!! {all puns intended}

For address of “The Corner House BBQ, feel free to email me at Suecatrama@yahoo.com




Not Everything can be Gender Neutral

I am trying to wrap my thoughts around a Swedish Church pushing for gender neutral reference to Jesus!  (oh, YES you read that right!)  The National Evangelical Lutheran Church in pushing such nonsense! I am guessing it is just a matter of time before a so called Church pushes such rhetoric in the states!

A Pastor in  Vasteras, Sweden referred to Jesus using the term “hen” while teaching the word to his disciples. (“hen” is the Swedish pronoun often used when a persons gender is unknown).  It has been advised for the Pastors to avoid referring to God using male identifiers such as…”he”, “the Father”,and the “Lord”. Even more insane it is suggested to omit the phrase “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” and insert  “In the name of God, and the Holy Trinity”.

Wait…. first of all religious or not everyone knows NOTHING in the BIBLE is a “phrase”!!!!!

Those pushing this unnatural agenda want people to believe, we perceive God as a man because our human brains were conditioned to do so. ( and they intend of washing our human brains with evil)

In full disclosure I did not count how many times but I am sure at least one thousand times in the Bible my human eyes have read God referred to as “He, Him, King, Lord and Father”.

I do not wish to hurt feelings or cause any one to seek a safe place, have the need for coloring books or to pet puppies BUT, come on!!  When a so called Church dips their foot in the political pool they have crossed the Biblical line.  Since the beginning of time, no matter what faith you follow or scientific beliefs you possess, it is clear that there are 2 genders, MALE and FEMALE!  I am trying to be knowledgable about those who decide they are no longer what they were at birth (TRYING). And I fully understand that in our private lives we are free to feel and think every which way but loose.  What I do not understand and think is an abomination is when leaders ESPECIALLY a leader of  young innocent minds seeking knowledge of the Lord dismantles the Bible and inserts evil!  The persons in charge of this crusade needs to be stripped of their position and seek an evaluation of their mental status! (and repent!)

People have been dissecting the Bible all throughout history. The pages have been misrepresented , fought over, disbelieved, misunderstood and interpreted several different ways. Not once was the gender of God questioned! This unholy agenda being shoved down everyones throat needs to be stopped !

In the very beginning of the most sold book, the BIBLE, [Genesis 1:16] any one of sound mind will read for themselves that God is a man!  At the end of the Bible [Revelations 22:13] just in case the reader had any doubt the words…”I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE FIRST AND THE LAST. BLESSED ARE THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENT”  clearly states what gender Jesus is telling us who to follow.

Said Pastor ought to open the Bible to Mathew or Luke kneel down and repent, raise both hands and learn the very first prayer taught!  “OUR FATHER…” (then maybe a dictionary ; Father:a man in relation to his child or children…)

The only explanation I could possibly wrap my mind around is that the devil is dwelling within the Pastor at the National Evangelical Lutheran  Church in Vasteras Sweden!  (MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL)


( My dear readers, you now know my political and religious stand) 

The Evil Eye

                Malocchio, pronounced “Maloik”, a.k.a…The Evil Eye!

Maloik is part of the Italian tradition, a superstition.  It is a curse placed upon you when an Italian feels jealous and envious. Some may say the Evil Eye is an “old wives tale” but let us not forget that those old wives gave birth to “new wives” who can not stand the tale of others happiness!

The good news is that the Maloik can be lifted. You can wear the Italian horn (sort of resembles a chili pepper). To confirm you have been cursed place 3 drops of olive oil (imported from Italy of course) in a bowl of water. If the oil forms an eye shape or long bead shape, well you ought to be doing the sign of the cross! You immediately search out an Italian grandmother or elder and have her place her hand upon you as she recites prayers to female or male saints.  Keep in mind that is just one way to life the curse. Others may or may not include herbs, candles, spit and red ribbon. If all these fail there’s always “Uncle”  So and SO to call upon to make an offer not to be refused  to the one who gave you the Maloik.

There is a fool-proof way to avoid the Maloik.                                                                        If you have happiness, love,family, friends, a good job, a home and belief in a higher power that provided you…DO NOT BOAST ABOUT IT!

Just enjoy it. Wake up each morning with a smile, but don’t tell others what gave you that smile, simply allow it to be infectious. The ones you love and feel love from do not discredit it by talking how much you do for them or what you do to earn their love. Simply bask in it and whole heartily give it. While your surrounded by your family show them how thankful you are by honoring them, do not tell others how lucky you are to have them. Cherish your friendships not by boasting about the numbers of friendships but by being there for the ones who need you. Never tell others how hard you work or how much you earn, prove your worth of the paycheck by providing your best to those who sign the check and provide for those in need.  No matter how large or small your home is do not shout how lucky you are, but always have your door open and an extra place setting at your table. Whatever you belief is, however you spend your Sunday’s thanking and giving back never judge another how they spend theirs.  Remember that it is by grace that you have been saved through your faith, it is not your doing, it is a gift given to you.

If you simply live your life, humbly accept what you have and offer to others the Maloik can not touch you!

HOWEVER….if you are rooted in an Italian family you ought to be wearing your horn, red ribbon should be tied in your cars and doorways and pinned on your lapel. Your Nonna should be on call with her herb mix, candles, olive oil and her mouth ought to be moist.  And please have “Uncle” SO and SO on speed dial. You door better be always open and your number ONE rule...STATAZIT!! (Italian slang for, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT)




I can not believe all the political hoopla against the President of America.

All this negativity toward a man simply due to the fact that he showed he possesses empathy toward his fellow-man and did not use political correction!

Such terrible negativity because he took the time out to call the family of fallen solders and offer his condolences. I am sure he fumbled his words as all of us do when trying to comfort those who lost loved ones. There are no words or action that could comfort anyone during their time of mourning.

It is disgusting that every media venue is telling us what a horrible man our President is for not having the right words to express his empathy towards the family of the fallen solders. What makes such negativity  worse is those families time of mourning is being used as a political ploy.

Do the nay sayers understand that the man they are choosing to discredit is the Commander and Chief, the President of America? I am quite sure at the moment he made the phone calls to offer his comfort he put aside his immense duties.

The President of America momentarily set aside his immense duty of … running this great country!

He took time away from his influence of how the stock market has reached record-breaking numbers. He took time away from negotiating the biggest tax breaks America has seen since President Reagan was in office.   He took time away from negotiations that ensure or safety and finances. He took time away from negotiations on a border wall that will protect all American’s from drug runners, gun runners, child trafficking, murdering gang members, and those who choose to come in America illegally. He took time away from negotiating a more efficient way for DREAMERS to remain in America and thrive.

While the President of America was trying his best to offer condolences to the families of fallen solders he took time away from negotiations of a better health care system. A system that will help all Americans A system where insurance companies will have the ability to insure American towards  their specific needs. A system that does not require all American to pay for services they do not need or believe in. A health care system in which you can literally “keep your doctor if you like your doctor”!  

Perhaps he  did fumble his words but I am proud the President of America cares enough to place the feeling of the families of fallen solders above his immense responsibilities!

Let us not forget that the man who just about every media venue is attacking is                                           THE PRESIDENT OF AMERICA.!!!!

Since when did it become acceptable to criticize  our fellow-man for having the greatest of all qualities, empathy?

 (shame on the media venues and nay sayers, remember your words of hate when you need to muster up empathy to console a person at their worst possible moment, you better hope no one is listening and ready to scrutinize your words)






Social Media Narcissists

In my opinion most people on social media are narcissists.  (solely my opinion)

Well the people who over post or post about their perfect lives

If they are so perfect and living the perfect life, how are they finding the time to boast about it. Sure we all boast every now and then. It is social media…so we all like to stay social and share our excitement. . We will boast about a significant date, an anniversary, birthdate or a special event. But I’m talking about the ones that post everything, from what they made for breakfast to how many times they had a bowel movement, and how much in love they are with the perfect person.

I believe most people on social media are covert narcissists. Not your every day full of themselves narcissists but a more deadly  sort. They are more discrete, more shy with a reserved personality. They possess grand delusions of entitlement, of being better than others. They are condescending, insensitive, passive aggressive,defensive, hostile and lack any real emotion.

A covert narcissist believe they are highly intelligent, insightful and more beautiful than their parent or child. They view their children as a threat, a possession, a source of jealousy . They are quick to take praise of their child’s accomplishments and just as quick to place blame  for short comings. They view their parent as a nemesis. It infuriates them when given advise and makes them extremely uncomfortable to receive love and sends them in an enraged state when their parent gives attention to the children.

In a relationship a covert narcissist will first come across as genuine. Then become self-centered, emotionally abusive, stubborn and will place blame for any and all problems. They will never admit wrong doings, in fact they will play the victim. They are constantly in need of attention, admiration and validation. When the other person see’s through this behavior they will be dismissed and blamed. The covert narcissist will lie about the break of a relationship to gain sympathy.

The one thing  your average narcissist and the covert narcissist do have in common is their complete lack of empathy. They know what they are doing and enjoy every second of it. They will spend their down time plotting and manipulating ways to get their fill of narcissistic behavior. When another is low they will kick them lower, when on a high they will take them down for pure pleasure.

Therefore it is my opinion that most people who over post about their perfection on social media are covert narcissists. They have a desperate need to have the social media world  believe their lives are perfect. But are incapable of living that life! The fact that some see right through the desperation is irrelevant.

I mean rely if your busy being the perfect loving, doting, honoring respectful wife/husband . Or the most dutiful child and best friend, Or the best cherishing, helpful, fun-loving parent…..how or when do you find the time to boast about it on social media?

On a twisted note….the mix of narcissists personalities will completely blind side social media and go as far as having another post about them!

In the words of a dear wise friend…“If it’s not on Face Book, It didn’t happen”

Too Quiet to Write…


Now that my little guy is in school I am left with too much time and quiet.  I guess I complained enough to anyone who would listen which opened the window to advise!

I’ve been told to relax, enjoy the quiet time. Ya know relax, like go to a salon try a new hairstyle, get my nails done or maybe even a message.  Or join a gym! (umm, does this mean the middle age bulge is showing?)  I was told that with all my free time I should be able to do more writing and even have the opportunity to get a job!

I’ll start with being advised to relax. First off I should have asked why,  do I look stressed? Do I not look rested? Second I would stated how I was relaxed..Yes WAS relaxed!  I was a relaxed home school mom. I did not have to make sure the little guy was somewhere on time in a building full of strangers before the sun even had time to warm the earth. I didn’t see the stress in his eyes of looking for his designated line and hoping that his friends were already there.  I was so very relaxed taking my time in the mornings enjoying multiple cups of coffee before the little guy’s feet hit the floor running. We were both relaxed with the only time we worried about was dinner time. Whatever we studies , learned ,experimented on, and whatever adventure the day laid out for us needed to be complete by dinner time. Not that anyone held us accountable, but dinner time is family time.

As far as the, oh so annoying , advise of get a job,  please allow me to list a few of the jobs I have.

I operate a wake up center. I am a short order breakfast cook. I am a chauffeur and a wardrobe stylist. I am a therapist, although operating illegally as I am not a licensed therapists.  I am  middle management of absorbing  negativity.  I am a personal shopper.   I  am the CEO of stocking the snack shelves with “I don’t know”, “I don’t care” or the all important “whatevers”.   I am even in charge of stocking the refrigerator shelves with the “fine I’ll eat that” and the “if that’s all we have”.

I am a housekeeper, dog walker, cat feeding and animal hair removing specialists. I have become so efficient at be a launderer that the clothes never see the inside of a basket. I pride myself on being an award-winning (actual award given to me by my oldest when he was a little one) comfort food executive chef. I am also an understudy executive sous chef for all gourmet food prep. (my husband wins that award). I am a waitress, busboy/girl and dishwasher. I did earn my master at delegating responsibilities to other members of the house.( but failed at executing the follow through rule)  After years of study I have mastered the art of how not to nag . My studies taught me that the complaint box never gets read and that necessities will always meet a deadline. (so in other words right before I go bat shit crazy).

I’m even thinking of obtaining my detective’s license because I am the only one that can see the jar of mayonnaise on the first shelf in front of the milk. I am the only one who knows where the keys are. I am the only one capable of finding a cell phone that the battery either died or the volume is off.  I am the only one that knows what and where the favorite sock, shoe, shirt and or pants are.

Perhaps I should seek a course in psychic reading as well. One job that I am still trying to master is reading minds. I am struggling with the ‘well you should know” duties.

I am also an amateur magician.  I  say words no one hears, make disappearing lists and pull entertainment out of a hat! My favorite and most secret magic trick is turning everyday simple tap water into delicious aromatic caffeine.

You see; I do have a job.  I am a mother , I am a wife. I will not be so cynical  as to state that I do not get paid for such specialties because there is no amount that could compensate the fulfillment I receive.  I love what I do and who I do it all for!

My actual monetary job is…I am a writer!

As far as the great advise as “use the time to write more”.  I am sure many writers crave the silence. I am not one of those writers! My muse is noisy chaos. My muse sat with me while the dogs were running after the little guy. She cringed  with me as the cat was running from the dogs and all we heard was the  …click….click…click of their nails on the hard wood floors. She whispered to me as the little guy was finishing his learning for the day and getting ready to turn on the T.V, the video games or make his thousandth bottle flipping you tube video. She sang with me to the blaring radio that drowned out the thump…thump…thump of the flipping bottle. She made me see the excitement of finishing a scene before dinner needed to be placed on the table. She helped me enjoy the silliness and love that circled around me as the dark words appeared on the screen.

Now as I sit with nothing but time and quiet, I sit alone. My muse must have thought the quiet was all I needed to write more!

NO…NO…NO Miss Chaotic Muse , I need you. It is too quiet to write!

  • DISCLAIMER: I do not think I do any more or less than any other stay at home mom or dad…


Home, well of course this word has different meanings to  many.

I will tell you what it means to me.

Home is my sanctuary.  Home is where the outside world is not welcome. I live in my home with my husband, my 24 year old and 11 year old son along with our 3 dogs and the queen of the house Bella (the cat). My husband and older boy work and the 11 year old is back in school. (I’m still trying to come to terms with that).

I would like to tell you that the men in my house are woke with the smell of a hot hearty breakfast being cooked and coffee wafting in the air. I would also like to tell you that they are sent out into the world with a homemade bagged lunch made with love.  However the only thing I can tell you that coffee is indeed wafting through the house.

The coffee most often than not is for me! I mean how am I supposed to function at such an early hour? Do they not understand that Bella (the cat) may be the queen but I am the Queen Mom and should be doted on?  All joking aside. The coffee may be for me, but I’ll go as far as offering a cup to my husband and at least a drink for the boys.  I will offer the little guy a bite to eat. He may choose left over dinner, mac n cheese, perhaps a bagel, cereal and most likely just hot chocolate, but it is made with love.  (I’ll even hand him a bag of chips with love…parenting fail 101) The older boy rather make his own meals, he’s a recent vegetarian and don’t trust that I will prepare a meat free meal. (Gees kid, an egg cooked in bacon grease shouldn’t count…oh wait ,is an egg considered eating an animal?)

The point is they all wake to love and calmness. Before they leave the house there may be a rush to find a shoe, a tool, a phone that the volume is off (grrr…) or homework that never made it in the back pack, but when they leave they know they are loved and cherished.  My husband receives and gives a warm embrace and a wish for a great day.  The 11 year old is reassured that school will become the norm (he was homeschooled), assured that all he needs to do is his very best and that he is a great kid. The 24 year old is told to have a great day and not to let his boss (his father, for now)  over work him and receives and gives a peck on the cheek.  (how dare he be a grown up?)

I go about my morning routine of plopping on the couch to have a cup of coffee that is actually hot. Sometimes I stay on the couch longer than I ought to. But the dogs always let me know when my time is up. The queen usually in a no fuss unless there is a morsel missing from her food or a sip taking from the water bowl. I set out to do all the “house work” that every other stay at home mom(or dad) does. (I am having such a hard time embracing being a “house wife”…I mean really who is this person?…I was a homeschool mom!…)  Since I don’t have  toddlers the house chores are not that complicated. I run the errands and pick up whatever was requested for dinner.  In between all this, I am in front of my desk banging out the next #1 best seller novel on the New York Times list, sending magazine articles and my secret political articles, blogging and e-mailing resume’s for more prominent magazine opportunities.

Through all the rejections, re-writes and misspelled words I know this is not my families frustration. I know my husbands customers who want him to re-build or re-tile or simply did not anticipate the wood work to be so dark/ light  is not my frustration. I know that the 24 year old waiting for the e-mail from the employer that he is desperately hoping to hear from is not my frustration. I know that the 11 year olds friend drama and learning how to sit for a 6 hour day and hand in work according to 7 different teachers requirements is not my frustration.  I know I am here to listen and in any way I can be a help with their frustrations and they mine. None of this comes to the dinner table. None of this makes a home.

When I pick up the 11 year old, he is greeted with a smile. He’s allowed to throw his day in my lap, as long as it stays there. I’ll gladly take it off his shoulders but refuse to put it on mine. The 24 year old carry’s his day on his shoulders for a bit but they always end up in his lap and at times mine. (which I love). My husband carry’s his own but leaves them in his work truck.

My home is not a combat zone. Not a place to carry in the worlds problems. Not a place to put problems on others. Not a place to pass blame. Not a place where stress is created over money or things that need fixing. Not a place where anyone worry’s about what they say. Not a place where everything or anyone needs to be perfect. Not a place where if one is smiling the other tries to wipe that smile. Not a place where your voice is not heard. Not a place where dreams are crushed. Not a place where anyone feels less than.

My home is for knowing money can always be made. things will be fixed or can be replaced . My home is where anything can be said.(ummmm..the 11 year old takes this literal).  My home is where dreams are dreamed and nourished. No one in my home is perfect,  we are all perfectly imperfect. In my home a smile is contagious. My home shows and receives (not commands) respect. My home is where we all know each others stress points and we do not press them.  My home is where we can be our flawed selves.

My home is where I know what my family means to me. I know what I mean to them. My home is where we learned to need one another and learn to stand alone.

                                   My home is where my family is. 

Farewell Summer

Here in my neck of the woods school has started. For me and many others that means bidding Summer a bitter-sweet farewell.  In full disclosure I find nothing sweet about it, I am completely bitter!.

For the past few years I was blessed to be able to home school my boy. For many reasons he decided to go back into the system. He started 6th grade, his first year in Junior High school.  I waited for the last-minute (hoping he would change his mind) to allow this fact to sink in. I woke early his first day. I shuffled through the house singing “rise and shine, its morning time”. I prepared a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, and topped it off with hot chocolate for the boy and much-needed coffee for myself. I could not keep my eyes off my growing boy. Who told him he was allowed to grow?  Who told him he was allowed to make his own decisions?   Does he not understand he is my youngest by far of my 3 boys and he has to stay that way?

I know what you are thinking…and your right! His father taught him such nonsense!!! Well, ok in full disclosure we both taught him and his brothers to grow into confident, strong, independent , well-rounded,compassionate men.  Although my little guy is far from a man, he his headed in the right direction, (that does not mean I have to like it).

For the past few years this time of year was a celebration. In fact we would get together with our home school community and have a “Not Back To School” picnic celebration. We celebrated not having to keep a schedule, not having to answer to the man and the fact the our Summer was as long as mother nature provided it to be.  I loved not waking to an alarm clock, having the run of the parks and teaching my boy the basics and focusing on his interests.  We have a diverse home school community with many interests and we gathered often for learning and playing. My boy was well-rounded with learning and socializing but he felt something was missing.  Rather he wanted one aspect of his diverse day to be missing…..ME!!

I sort of understand where he is coming from. He is struggling so hard for his independence and he feels if he remains home with me he will never gain such. Again…how dare he have such thoughts? Where did I go wrong? Does this boy not understand, it’s all about me?!  I do not want him at the tender age of 11 to be so independent. I want him home with me. I want to be the one teaching him. I want to be the one seeing the very moment he understands what is being taught.  I want to watch him interacting with his friends. I do not want him in the care of strangers. I WANT the Summer to last as long as possible! I NEED his childhood to last for as long as possible!

I stood there at the far end of the court-yard with all the other parents. I needed to be there on the line with him assuring him that everything was going to be just fine and that I was just a phone call away. In reality I was the one that needed reassuring.

When I returned to my house, I was devastated.  I was alone. It was too quiet. Who am I? What am I?  I was a home school mom. Now I was just a mom home alone!

I bid Summer a sad,sad farewell!   I will face wherever this new season of my life takes me and thrive in it!!           (but…I DO NOT HAVE TO LIKE IT!)






Friend or friendship

Friend or friendship…that is the question.  (is there a difference?)

Friend by definition is a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection. Typically exclusive of sexuality or family relation.

Friendship by definition is the emotions or conduct of friends ; the state of being friends.

It is true that we can not pick and choose our family but we certainly do such with friendships. Of course there are those few friendships that are formed through parents and even a spouse, but still we choose to keep them.

Family is fabulous and most times will always be there for you. (well they ought to be) Family likes to believe no one knows you better than they, but come on we all know that’s not true. The only thing family knows better than anyone else is who, what and why you are the person you are. Only family can fully understand our value wiring because they were wired the same way!  The bond we create with friends are true and deep, friends are the ones we choose to confess what color our wires are.

Having someone to laugh with, cry with , be silly with, be crazy with and just be silent with is essential to the human spirit. Having that bond is as vital as consuming water.

When I was a child (many moons ago) life here in my neck of the woods was what I wish for every child. We didn’t have scheduled play dates. Friendships did not depend on the mothers getting along or having the  time. We didn’t have electronic devices to keep in touch, we actually walked up to front doors and knocked. (and politely asked if Janie or Johnny could come out to play) We didn’t wait for the mother’s to clean the house, send her e-mails and troll Face Book, or for her socks to match her purse before chaffering us to a timed park event.  We woke up did our chores and waved goodbye as mom reminded us that “so and so” from the next block would paddle our behind if we acted up! (paddle …I crack myself up, no I am not talking about Little House on the Prairie time, but it was a safer and less technology driven time where the village had a voice)

I did not dare utter the words “I’m bored”.   To be honest not only would I get smacked upside the head and given enough chores to occupy my time, but I was never bored. During school months I would be sent out the door with a full belly, by the time I got to the end of my block I was joined by 8-10 of my friends on the way to school. We knew enough to go straight home after school to do a few chores and get the homework done in time for a game of man hunt (hide and seek) before dinner. School breaks and Summer was a glorious time. Excitement rose me with the sun. I either  dug out hats, gloves and scarves or shorts, tank tops and flip-flops rushed through the chores and headed out for the day. My stomach dictated when it was time to show my face at my door or a neighbor’s door so they knew we were safe and when our names echoed through the neighborhood  we knew it was dinner time. The street lights coming on informed us that it was time to gather on a stoop until one of the moms gave “the look”.   Summer meant the fun didn’t end at dinner time ; it meant that chore money went on batteries for the flash light man hunt adventures!                                                                                               Now everything has to be scheduled and supervised.   Parents have forgotten the value of  childhood friends.

As adult, married with children and grandchildren , no one can ever come above or before God and my family but I value my friends and friendship so much more.  I hope my boys value their friends and friendships. (I know my older boys never waited for my socks to match but my younger boy waits for other moms to send their e-mails!)

I have friendships, many friendships.  The one that I can laugh for hours with. The one that understands what our crazy aging bodies are going through. The one that understands the mental anguish of the daily routine, The one that tells me the truth about not succeeding at hiding the middle age bulge but compliments me on trying. The one that will join in on my plots against the “20 something know it all’s”. The one that knows the right time to drag me out of the house for a cup of coffee and when to keep me out for a cocktail.  The one that will come pick up my youngest child while secretly turning off my phone so I can recharge my patience . The one that speaks only the truth I need to hear.  That one who is always on the sidelines shaking her pom pom’s cheering me on.  That one who  helps guide my path.  That one who feels no envy but shares my joy.  That one that our lives have taken a different path and when we do find the time to speak we pick up right where we left off.  All of these friendships are vital to my existence, I need love and cherish them.    But only a friend is all of these friendships rolled into one amazing person! 

There is a clear difference between friendships and having a friend!                           By definition a friend is by far the best answer!

 (you know who you are )

It takes a village

It takes a village to raise a family.

Young mothers today seem to feel threatened by the village.  They take away the village , take away the child’s ability to know and show love to anyone other than themselves!  These new mother lack confidence and assurance that their child will and does love them!

Once upon a time when a child was born into a family, the Grandmothers and Aunts were on hand and ready to bathe, cut  nails and show the mother the best way to relieve infant gas. Now they wait  for the golden invitation for the opportunity  to look at the infant in the bassinet from afar. (but not before they are power washed with sanitizer in the front yard and stripped of all thoughts of kissing the precious child)

Grandmothers, Aunts and Cousins would walk throughout the door with trays of fried, sautéed and baked goods as they were announcing (shouting)  they were there to squeeze the little ones cheeks and bit their chubby legs.                                      Grandfathers and Uncles were behind the woman with their tool bags, a few beers and cigars to stand around patting the new dad on his back with pride and scare him a bit with diaper explosion stories as they were putting together all the infant essentials.   Now mothers are out to prove they need no one. They rather no dinner be on the table for the father when he excitingly returns home from work. They rather a hired high school student from the local baby store fumble through tightening each screw of the crib and of course there would be no cigar smoking celebratory pat on the back within 10 miles of the house. (ok…we all know smoking of any kind is terrible for anyone especially an infant, but you get the point here…)  Any talk of “been there done that” is utter nonsense to the new mother. Even though her and the infants father made it to the point in their lives to conceive a child, the parents had nothing to do with it, in fact they did everything wrong and know nothing about raising a child!

Mothers use to carry their bundle of joy with anticipation of one day having their figure back and fitting into their favorite dress and leaving the baby at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the long-awaited date night to celebrate being a parent . (in reality the first sleep over was just so mom and dad could sleep).                                                                     Now the mothers forget all about the fact that they created this beautiful being with the man they love. They want the world to believe being a mother fulfills their every second and the father should be just as fulfilled working all day and coming home to a woman who “is a mother” therefore she has no time to even brush her hair. He should take over child rearing but he of course does nothing right so the mother is “fine” with doing it all.  If the father dare express he is tired from work, or that he would like to go out with just his wife, well then he of course  hates his life and certainly can not love his child!

These new mothers do not look at their child as a member of the family (the village). No..the child is their possession! Their possession is not a grandchild, niece, nephew or cousin, he/she is a possession that requires written notice to be loved. The family is thought of as out of control and disrespectful to dare to want to hold the child, feed the child, spend time with the child or even buy the child unaproved gifts.

What is the threat? What happened to this generation?  When did these new mothers lose the values they were raised with?  Who led them to believe they do not need the village? When will they understand the village is there for them to learn from, lean on, teach to and fill their child’s world with love?  Why would they want to raise a child that will never know the debts of their father’s silliness and capabilities? Why did they have a child with a man who is nothing more than a pay check? How can these new mothers deny their child the joy of the parent that is not stressed with routine, rules and regulations and that can show a different way to  do things. Why would they not want to lean on the man they chose to have a child with? How dare they raise a child that does not know that there are no rules at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and that their every wish will be granted?  Why deny them the fact that “NO” is not in a Grandparents vocabulary? What is the reasoning to deny the child to spend time with an Aunt or Uncle that can share fun stories of their parents? How is the child ever going to learn that an Aunt or Uncles house is always a safe place to complain about mom and dad. How can anyone deny a child a safe place to express a thought that only an Aunt or Uncle would understand?  Will the child ever learn that cousins are  your best friends? (no one will understand the craziness of your family better than a cousin)

I fear there will never be an answer to these questions. I fear generations to come will never know that using the village ensures a healthy, happy, loved,  well adjust adult!

I realize this has been happening with the generations that came after me, and that is why the world is in the sate its in!!!

It will take a strong village to rebuild and show these new mothers…there is nothing new about raising a child. The village needs to show these new mothers that your child is of course “your child” and will love you no matter what, but love is what makes the village work