It's all about the food

me_and_mom
Mary and Mom

In our house, it really is all about the food.

When I was growing up, we traveled to my grandmother’s most Sundays for homemade pasta and meatballs.

I’m not talking about the kind of pasta that comes from a machine-fed operation; I’m talking about the hand-cut stuff that got rolled into gigantic round sheets and cut with a knife—a dull knife. Grandma used to work that old knife through the dough, her gnarled fingers cutting with such patience. Such precision. No measuring, no fancy gadgets.

Grandma lived with my Aunt Marie and together they made cavatelli and something else we called “hats” and I still don’t know the real name for “hats”. When we visited, all four of us kids couldn’t wait to try making cavatelli. The trick was in the way you rolled the cut dough with your index and middle finger. By the twentieth one, I was ready to be done. Not Grandma. On and on she went, just like she’d done for a good part of her eighty-plus years.

But there was nothing like the smell of a good meatball frying in the kitchen. Have you ever tried brown meatballs? Aunt Marie fried them, no baking in those days, and she’d leave four out of the sauce, one for each of us kids.

Continue Reading…

Trenches, Teenagers, and Older Parents

I wrote NOT YOUR EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE from the trenches. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I’m talking about….does the word teenager make you shudder? My husband and I blended our families, his two, my three. At one point, we had four teenagers in the house. Four of them were girls. Can you say estrogen? There were a few years with three in college at the same time. My husband could give lessons on filling out FAFSA forms. With the blended family, came the exes. Some play nice, some are like my ex-husband. Ahem. Enough said.

Mix in the visit from my mother where she tripped over her suitcase and fell into the door—the night before she was heading to California to stay with my brothers. I drove her to the ER at 3:00 a.m. where the doctor loaded her up with pain meds and said she’d broken her humerus. She spent the next month sleeping on the recliner in our living room with me on the couch. Two months later, after several trips to the physical therapist, my oldest brother flew in to escort her to California. Suitcases are now prohibited in her room.

The night my mother fell into the door was also the night my middle daughter suffered a high fever and night sweats which resulted in a doctor visit the next morning, a pneumonia diagnosis and admission to the hospital. I spent the next four days between my mother in her recliner and my sixteen year old in a hospital bed. Despite my lack of sleep and horrible stress, I did not once suffer the migraines which plague me when I sleep too little and stress too much. God was indeed watching over me.

Somewhere along the way, I wondered if I could disappear for a little while. Maybe come back in a day? Two? Even after dinner? I’d even fix dinner first. That’s when I got the idea for NOT YOUR EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE. Life happens. I didn’t run away, instead I ran into the book and wrote it for every woman who will read it and think of her own stories.

By the way, the kids are grown, four out of college, self-supporting, and truly a pleasure. The last one is slowly making her way through college. She’s still a work in progress…maybe to get me all geared up in case I need to write a sequel! As for my mom, she’s visiting soon which means a few weeks of great cooking, baking, and reminiscing! And all I have to do is keep her upright…

Ramona

Ramona Casherdon, A Family Affair- The Gift
Ramona Casherdon, A Family Affair: The Gift

Everyone knows Ramona Casherdon is a “tough cookie” who will do anything for her nephew, Cash. But when she thinks he’s jeopardizing the best thing that ever happened to him, she has a thing or two to say about it…

What do you think of Ramona? Do you think she’ll ever find her own happiness or will she be too afraid to open up and let anyone in…you know….like the man she once loved all those years ago and maybe still loves? Guess we’ll have to wait it out and see.

For now, Ramona’s no-nonsense, sensible attitude is needed in Magdalena. It doesn’t hurt that Pop and Not Your Everyday Housewife’s Tula Rae are determined to find out if the new woman in town is really who she says she is…

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