Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Oh happy days!  My amarillys bloomed again.  We have tried to keep something consistently blooming in our home since the first frost.  I didn't expect this one and am pleasantly surprised. 

Now instead of planting our solitude with our dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen.  It is simply there to fill the vacuum.  When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place.  We must re-learn to be alone.

I was without internet service yesterday and felt quite uncomfortable not being able to visit my clicker in between daily chores.  I did have time for reflection, however.  I am trying to accept the recent deaths of loved ones, and despite this challenging task, I have pursued my reconnection with significant persons from my past.  Mercury being retrograde has this affect on people.  We can't help ourselves when the planets dictate, and that is a good thing.  Time can be greedy if we let him deny us the moments we deserve. We stay in touch with those who have been witness to our accomplishments and shared triumphs and offered solace in times of need.  We are all connected and touching base reminds us to stay that way. 

I ran across Helen's recipes that I typed for her 30 years ago and decided to honor her by making this dish which includes homemade dumplings and porcupines.  It includes rice which is why I think she named this dish so.  My boys mentioned it brings back fond memories when she made this dish for us.  Funny how food can trigger things. 

Gramzie's Porcupines

3 lbs. ground chuck
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 large can tomato puree
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients and form into balls.  Save some tomato puree for topping prior to baking. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for an hour.  I slice potatoes and bake with the meatballs.  You can add peppers but my boys are not too fond of them. 

My youngest son, Steven, finalizes his days at Downers Grove South today.  He has taken accelerated classes and managed to secure 20 credits at the community college already, so he is way ahead of his game.  Good planning, for now Steve pursues a teaching degree in Fine Arts.  He anticipates his new journey armed with the knowledge that life is what we make it, taking one step at a time.  Our choices can serve us well if we do the right thing.  Winter is tough for us for we so love the warm sunny weather but he spends his time writing a book, painting, playing piano and looking at all the seeds we will plant in a few months, mentally embellishing our outdoor garden.
I am tickled that he is able to share this new endeavor with his brother, Mike, for they are taking a speech class together in the evening. Mike only has two more classes and he will obtain his degree in Criminal Justice.  He has quite a few accomplishments under his belt with having a dream job at the State's Attorney's office, his own condo, a side hobby flipping cars, playing guitar in a band and has a great gal to share his stories with. 
Dan is busy being bartender at Gold Class Cinema, is mastering his passion for drumming, enjoys the company of his friends and continues his education at DePaul University. This quarter he takes the Metra train to their Loop location and discovers it is not as bad as he thought.  I still can't get used to not being his alarm clock.  Whenever I forget and try to awaken him he reminds me he has an alarm and diligently gets up when his alarm tells him to, showers and is out the door.  They are blossoming as fine young men and I have to remember to let them go a little more often than not.  Note to self.  Perhaps I'll let the amaryllis be my reminder.

Here are a few snapple real facts for your enlightenment:

honeybees have hair on their eyes and navigate by using the sun as a compass; they are the only insects that create food for humans

the only jointless bone in the body is in your throat

if you shake a can of mixed nuts, the larger nuts will rise to the top

no word in the English language rhymes with month

relative to size, the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body

children have more taste buds than adults

a baby caribou can outrun its mother at 3 days old

like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different and is the fastest healing part of the body

your skull is made up of 29 different bones

it is not possible to tickle yourself

I encourage you to find time to give a shout out to someone you have not seen in awhile.  Befriend them on facebook, give them a call, write them a letter or just drop in for a friendly visit.  It soothes the soul to share warm words or give and receive a big hug. 

It has been scientifically proven that hugs boost our immune system.  xo