Category Archives: Home Cooking

The First Thanksgiving

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It’s a little bit different today. All my siblings are here in town for the holiday. That hasn’t happened for a long time. Thanksgiving was always the short holiday we couldn’t really make it home for, so most everyone just stayed home or took short trips. Fitting since it’s not notabout what you can have but what you already have & should be thankful for.

Thanksgiving was my dad’s favorite holiday. Before I was born my family did Thanksgiving with my father’s side of the family. Things fell by the wayside and individual family units went their own separate ways. My dad always liked when we were all able to be together. If he had the choice he would’ve wanted us to be together on Thanksgiving rather than Christmas.

Time dictates everything so time only allowed us together most times at Christmas, but even then it was rare ALL 6 kids were able to be home for any holiday.

It was only recently that we all began showing up for holidays/family functions together. My brother John’s wedding, my parent’s 50th Anniversary, and most recent my father’s passing. In between we were able to get together in spurts for functions, niece’s shower & wedding.

Lemme clarify a bit, 3 of my brothers were in the military, so getting together always proved a bit challenging.

I just want to say that I’m thankful for my siblings & mother, and will always cherish our times together. Each and every day, minute & second I’m able to be around my family is precious & special. I look forward to these rare occasions more than anything else in life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Father’s Day Weekend

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I was gonna laze around my house this past weekend, but my mom called me on Thursday & asked if I was coming in, I decided sure, why not. It was going to be me & my brother John & his wife were coming in town as well. I checked the bank account & the trip was on.

The dogs & I packed up on Friday morning & headed out. Now I always tell myself I’m gonna stop at all the neat little places I usually see when we drive to Marksville. But did I stop this time when I had all the time in the world, nope. I drove straight through.

Mom had back surgery May 3rd, but luckily the day I arrived was the day her doctor gave her the okay to drive finally. Apparently she’s on the fast recovery track. Pretty amazing. When I pulled up to their apartment Mom was behind the wheel with the car already running & Dad waiting to get the dogs out of my car to doggie sit while we went to get Mom’s hair done.

Mom drove to Fawn’s & you could totally tell she was very excited to be mobile in a vehicle again. I know it had to have been killing her not to drive herself. Let’s face it my dad isnt’ the best driver in the world. After the hairdresser we went back to the apartment & had dinner: Mom’s red beans & rice with fresh tomatoes, yummy!

John & Jeannie finally arrived with their little bundle of joy, Isabella, their toy yorkie. She’s a cutie & loves to play, right up Howie’s alley. Howie usually tries to dominate & intmidate his new playmates, but Isabella came in saw Howie, smacked him around a bit & they started playing like best buds. Personally I could watch dogs playing all day long, it’s too hysterical.

It got late & I went to the cabins & checked in, got a smoking cabin, ugh, but whatever I was only there at night. Me & dogs settled in for the night & rested up for the next day. I was soooooo craving a breakfast, but maybe considering our breakfast escapades of late in Marksville, maybe it’s good I partook of McDonald’s.

So after Daddy got back from his treatment we headed up to Tioga, La. That’s where Rudy is staying now with his new girlfriend, Christy. Christy is a sweetheart & it was her granddaughter’s birthday party. It ws outside on her proch of her house, a pretty nice set-up that sits a nice sized piece of land with animals included: cows, donkeys & monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys. Christy has 3 monkeys: Kenzie, Keaton & Cleo. Adorable, you can see 2 of them here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=56992&id=1071103772&l=828e447225 & in this
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They are too cute & fun to watch, kind of like watchin the dogs play. Watching them & how they interact with each other & then wth people, pretty fascinating. Christy went inside the cage with her grandaughter Addie & the boy monkey, Keaton, was all over her, hugging her & laying his head in her lap, it was the cutest thing, too precious.

Afterward we went back to Marksville & I went & had dinner with John & Jeannie. Then we went up to their suite & I took a nice little nap on the sofa. John woke me up & we went down & met Mom & Dad for the concert: Irma Thomas.

Now I remember Mom telling me stories of Irma Thomas & Aaron Neville coming into her bank where she used to work. How nice & sweet they both were. And how Irma Thomas used to bowl in the league on a different night than her league. I was really glad I went too, becasue for a second I was considering not going. She was incredible!

She sang some of her old songs & some done by others. Some of the highlights were when she informed the audience that recently 3 of her songs had been in a few movies; Breakaway in The Secret Life of Bees, which I had completely forgotten about; another in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & Stuck In The Middle With You in Why Did I Get Married Too, which she gaced us all with at that moment.

Irma went on to tell us that she dresses for comfort & since she still bowls one hand doesn’t have nails. Of course any Louisiana entertainer worth their weight in salt nowadays has to give their audience a pep talk that we’re a surviving state & will get over anything thrown at us; which got every going. Requests were welcomed, however Irma made sure to say she doesn’t mix her gospel with her R&B.

The first request was You Ain’t Hittin on Nothin’. Then a couple who was celebrating their 44th anniversary got serenated with At Last. After a few more songs she sang some of her more famous tunes the first being a big hit for Otis Redding as Pain In My Heart, but for Irma it was Ruler of My Heart, which I gotta tell ya I prefer over Otis’ version. I’m still a sucker for Otis’ Try A Little Tenderness. Then my absolute fave of her songs Breakaway, the one in Secret Life of Bees & It’s Raining So Hard. I came home & looked up Irma online & found out Tracey Ullman did a cover of Breakaway, who knew?! Apparently, Wikipedia & YouTube do, lol.

Next morning I went & said hi to Dad & gave him his Father’s Day card, sat & visited with John & Jeannie. Then headed over to Mom’s. Mom gave me leftover red beans for Mike, since I teased him with a picture text on Friday. Gorgeous day made for a very nice drive on Sunday.

‘Til next time.