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Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

Sadness & Gratitude for Extraordinary People


This Christmas season finds me with feelings of both sadness and gratitude this year. For even though the season is filled with the joy that Christ’s birth brings, I selfishly mourn for the loss of loved ones this year…

My sadness comes from the loss of my very special, sweet father-in-law whose body succumbed to Alzheimer’s this summer…and from the loss of 2 wonderful friends this fall…and from the impending loss of another dear friend, given only days to live.

All three were extraordinary people…giving of themselves to help others: Read more

September 11 – There is Beauty


Ever since 2001, 9-11 has brought sadness to the hearts of many.

On that iconic day, so many lives were lost.  So many dreams were shattered.  So many families grieved.

And we grieved with them.

I’ll never forget where I was when the first and then the second plane hit.

I saw the pictures of the devastation of the first plane just as I was about to leave the house that morning.

I saw the second plane hit just after I got to the babysitters.  I had told her to turn on her TV and we watched it together.

The feeling of sadness is still overwhelming when I watch the shows depicting what happened that day.

The feeling of heaviness and fear.  The knowledge that there is true evil in this world.  The feeling of insufficiency, wishing there was some way to reach out to the families.

Then I take a step back…

A step back from my sadness to remember.

To remember and revel in the love that was spread that day.

The show of caring, of bravery, of humanity.

Not only from the rescuers, the fire fighters, the police, and the EMTs.  These people were incredible and I hold them in the highest regard.

But the everyday person.  The people who opened their arms, their hearts and their stores and restaurants, to help everyone.  The people who made food for the rescuers, the people who joined the rescuers, the men and women who fought back, the friends and relatives that surrounded the families in their time of need and fear.

This is the beauty of that day.

The day that beautiful buildings which held beautiful people were destroyed.

The day that changed so many lives.

The day that changed our world.

Forever.

While we must never forget, we must not linger in that sadness and pain.

We must look for the good…

There is beauty.

For you it might be a ray of sunshine.

Or maybe a call from a friend.

For you it might be the smile of a young child.

Or maybe spending some time with a relative.

For me, it’s remembering that on this day in 1999, I attended a barbeque where I was introduced to my husband.

It was a blind date.

For me, it’s realizing how blessed I am.

And for me, it’s looking at the beauty that comes from nature, from age.  From hardship, from joy, and even from tragedy.

The picture you see is the bottom of a metal cabinet that I pulled from a dumpster.

The cabinet had obviously sat in water or was left in a damp environment.  The rust was taking over the original shine.  It had been neglected.  There was a little rust visible on the outside, but I didn’t see this until I turned it over.

There, is the beauty.  A beauty that came from age and neglect.

Find the beauty.

In the tragedy, after the tragedy, in everyday life.

There is beauty.

Patty O

 

 

The Toilet Paper Caper


On a lighter note,

I have an apology to make to my adorable, funny, devilish, littlest daycare girl.

About a week ago my daughter Sam found her in the bathroom where she’d unrolled all of the toilet paper.

Sam said “Did you do this?”

To which Nic responded “Yes”.

Sam promptly had her roll it back up.

Fast forward to the next week.

I find Nic in the bathroom where the toilet paper is once again rolled out and on the floor.

I gave her ‘the look’ and she quickly said “I didn’t do that!”

I believe I gave her a ‘hmm, mmm’ and said ‘let’s clean it up’.

Two days later, when the girls weren’t here, I walked in to find the toilet paper roll unrolled again!

Just then a strong wind blew in through the open window and I saw the toilet paper flutter.

Sigh.

It was the wind.

Nicole wasn’t fibbing.

I’ll be apologizing to her and I think extra hugs are in order!

My little devilish, funny girl was telling the truth!

I love that little peanut…

I hope your day brings a little quirky adventure~

Patty O

Tim vs Shrimp fra Diavolo


Valentine’s Day 2016.

I was working on a project, so, Tim decided he’d make dinner.

He opened up his ‘The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook’ (which was a present from our daughter and her fiance’ on Christmas 2014) and started to flip through it’s vast array of recipes.

Our daughter LOVES to cook – anything and everything – from Grandma’s old recipes to haute cuisine.  She knows that Tim likes to dabble in trying new recipes also, so it was the perfect gift.

His choice for last night was the Shrimp fra Diavalo.  I won’t share their recipe, but I will share his version…it was minus a few ingredients, a substitute of another, and a little less of another.

With that said, I HIGHLY recommend you get the cookbook and try their recipe.  You can find it on Amazon here:  The COMPLETE AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN TV SHOW COOKBOOK 2001/2014

Here is Tim’s version:

Shrimp fra Diavolo

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Table salt

1 pound linquine or spaghetti

1 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), peeled and deveined

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup red wine

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Add 1 tbsp salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 2 tbsp of the oil, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and 3/4 tsp salt.  Heat a 12 inch skillet over high heat.  Add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until the bottoms of the shrimp turn spotty brown, about 30 seconds.  Flip the shrimp to brown the other side.  Transfer the shrimp to a medium bowl.
  3. Add 3 tbsp more oil and 3 tbsp of the garlic to the cooled skillet and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the garlic becomes straw colored.  Add 3/4 tsp salt, the tomatoes, wine and sugar, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  4. Stir the shrimp with accumulated juices, the remaining 1 tbsp garlic, and the parsley into the tomato sauce.  Simmer until the shrimp have heated through, about 1 minute.  Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tbsp  oil.  Add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce (no shrimp) to the pasta; toss to coat and adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.  Mix the pasta and tomato sauce and serve with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.  (Of course we add rolls to the dinner…what’s a good bowl of pasta without a fresh, warm roll? 🙂 )

As you can tell by the picture, we ate dinner casually in the living room last night.  (What you see beyond my feet is my latest project. Stay tuned for my next blog!)

Dinner was soooooo good!

Besides the fact that Tim did such an amazing job making this recipe, doesn’t everything taste better when someone else makes dinner?

😉

I hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day as much as I did!

Patty O

ps…Maybe next time we’ll have everything to make the original version!

Reminders of Love, Faith and Gratefulness


I happened upon a Facebook post of one of my friends just now.

I want to thank Sue for sharing it with her family and friends.

As you’ll read in the link below, she and her husband took our town with them on a journey of love, heartbreak, and faith.

Their son Sasha was the gift that God gave us all so that we could see that beauty can shine through even during sadness.

This post was written just over 2 years ago.

It’s definitely my favorite post on faith, and probably the most heartfelt posts that I’ve ever written.

Without further ado, click on the link below…

Witnessing a Story of Faith, Love and Support

God bless…and thank you…all 535 of you who read my ramblings.

You are appreciated and loved.

Patty O

Featured Image credit goes to The Nectar Collective Read more

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