Tag Archives: family

#Linkinprofile

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I have always wanted to say that in my posts on social media without sounding like I am begging for people to come to my blog and read what I have written.  I have never been one to seek attention, good, bad, or otherwise.  (Wait, what would otherwise be??) Then I made the most delicious dinner the other night and took a picture of the post deliciousness and #checkmyblogfordetails & #inprofile happened.  Now, I have to make good on my promise to the 10 people who liked or commented on the picture and post the recipe OR maybe just the experience of creating the recipe. I don’t really know yet, you’ll just have to keep reading to see what transpires here. So a while ago I wrote a blog that was about dinner and how frustrating it is sometimes to figure out what to cook and how unhelpful my family can be.

Last night I didn’t know what to cook.  I had chicken and some homemade curry sauce in the freezer.  I also had some peppers and onions that needed to be cooked.  I decided to start with the peppers and onions and really I wasn’t sure where it would go from there.  I cut them up bite size (my bite size is usually to big for most people) and sautéed them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. From there I decided I wanted to cook the chicken and, wait, what is that?? Lo Mein noodles from Wegmans in the freezer? MMMMM

So then the magic started to happen.

I don’t know how to explain this magic as it has happened so infrequently in the last 5 years, since my sister’s death.  But when it does, I love it.

I love the end result when my husband says, “Did you write this down so you can make it again?”

And I say, “No.”

Then quickly pull out my phone to start writing the bones of the recipe down so I don’t forget that I magically created.

I know I will never be able to recreate it.  It is an impossibility to truly recreate a magic trick.

Often times that is what making dinner feels like, a magic trick.  One that, even I do not understand.

So here is my attempt to give you the recipe that was magical:

  • 1 yellow pepper chopped however you like it but small enough to cook all the way
  • 1 small red onion diced but not to finely
  • 2 average cloves of garlic (FRESH is best) cut up however you like
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
    • saute and set aside
  • Cook lomein noodles, rinse and set aside
  • cube chicken of your choice (3/4 of a pound or so) I used chicken thighs (5 of them)
  • cook in batches in sesame oil and olive oil with a little s & p to taste
  • the second batch of chicken add in 2 TBPS of soy sauce
  • when all the chicken is cooked toss it together with the soy sauce and let it steam for 5 or so minutes
  • toss the pepper and onions in with the chicken to coat with the soy sauce
  • SERVE over the lomein noodles

No pictures. I really, honestly, didn’t think it would be good so I didn’t take any pictures. While we were eating and my family was reflecting on how they really liked it and how I should make it again, I thought, “Well Gee!  I should have taken a photo for insta.”

And thus this post was born.

Maybe I will post about my cooking block that has last for 5 years.  Maybe I won’t, it is a hard subject to discuss because I really do love to cook.  No, really, I DO! I also love to do grocery shopping, but that is a post for another day.

Where am I

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So I am embarking on a journey.

I want to be a writer.

I feel called to write.

I will write.

I AM A WRITER!

My daughter is my accountability partner as she is a writer as well.  An amazing one that that.

She is in an out patient treatment facility and has asked that as practice and exposure I write for her blog for the next few weeks.

I have practice writing every day (remember Dressember??) but that was super-hyper focused writing and had a concentrated purpose.  Now I am kinda flailing and not writing because I am not sure what to write, how to write, grrrrrr.

So frustrating.

ANYWAY, everyday is a new day and a chance at renewal.  So you can check me out blogging at cathyterranova.com

The holidays are over & I have glitter in my hair!

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I had to go back to work today.  I am exhausted.  I felt like falling asleep while I was lecturing.  My students were all asleep too. Think about it…

They say that having 2 days off for a teenager is like traveling to the west coast and back in the amount of sleep lost over the weekend.  So, now imagine 2 glorious weeks!!

They are bound to be jet lagged for at least a week or more.  It took me a month to recover from my 10 day trip to Seattle 2 years ago.

But still, the beat goes on!  We must, we must, we must, teach to the test…..

Wait this blog isn’t about the perils of being a public school teacher.  I will not let that be a thing, not here anyway.  At happy hour? Maybe. Here. No. Not a thing.

Good news:

  1. I had a great holiday with my family and extended family.
  2. We celebrated a beautiful birthday of my grandma who is 90 years young.
  3. Our travel was safe and there were few, if any, road blocks along the way.
  4. We ate delicious pizza at Sergeant Pepperoni’s in Knoxville.
  5. We are back to a schedule (a thing that humans apparently love??) and I have a job (that I do love!!).

Bad news:

  1. I have glitter in my hair.

I don’t know what to make of that.  I see these strands of hair and they are gray.  Silver? no. white? no. My mom says glitter. No, because glitter would be of my choosing.  AND the glitter would be green or purple, not silver (gray).

Over the break I spent a lot of time with my Aunt and her family.  We discussed Essential Oils (another post all together but a future post nonetheless), work, faith, family, football, & so many other things ( we did not discuss my glitter!).  The one topic that kept coming up was my Dressember mission.

My cousin was really interested in what I was doing and why I wasn’t taking my dress off and getting “comfy” when we were just hanging around at my aunt’s house. I told her that it was because I was sticking to my mission to choose to do something where other had no choice at all.  I was choosing to wear a dress till I went to bed each night for my own sake, a personal statement to myself.

Now, I know that dressember is over (it is officially Jeanuary, not really a thing BTW) but the slavery hasn’t stopped.  IJM has a desire to end all slavery by 2020 but without our constant vigilance and continued discussion about the issues it will disappear as quickly as it came about.  I am in this for the long haul.  You will see IJM reposts on my insta, facebook, & twitter feeds. You will encounter the topic more than once in the next 11 months as I learn I will share.

The best part is that Dressember knows there are people who wait till the last minute to donate and then still forget!  They have extended the donation window till the end of this month.  SO donate away!! I have raised half my goal amount and Dressember has $60,000 left till they reach their campaign goal.

I am going to blog my normal once or twice a week (maybe more but ALWAY on Mondays or Tuesdays) and be assured that for Jeanuary I will post pics of me in my jeans from time to time.  The jeans are a thing that is easy to choose. 🙂

Thanks for reading.  Tell your friends to read my blog too.

PS I still don’t know what to make of the glitter.

The holiday dichotomy

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This is the season that causes people to feel a pull toward joy. A joy that for some is contrived and painful. There, in this season of supposed joy, is a deep grief that loss brings.

A loss of a person you love or hate, an animal that was dear to you, a job, etc. It could also be the loss of a relationship that was deemed important at one point. Now looking back with fondness on the better days you sorely miss it.

The songs in the stores and on the radio. The decorations on the streets, on the houses, & seemingly everywhere. They are a constant reminder of what you have lost and the pain you are feeling.

It is strange that in the most wonderful season of all walking around hearing that it is the hap-happiest time of the year and many are not really “feeling” it.

But that makes it so trite. Not “feeling” it? No, they are grieving and life has taken a turn in a direction they did not expect.
The hard thing is that this feeling is hidden as far down as the person who is experiencing it wants it to be hidden. No one ever has to know about the pain if the griever doesn’t want anyone to know.

Joy is an easy thing to fake. Show up to a party, laugh, engage in lively banter, meet new people, eat and drink too much. No-one needs to know that the pain you feel this to me of year is real and harmful to you and the people around you.

It is interesting that people in grief are expected to cover their pain so that others can “enjoy” the season and not have to worry about the “downers”.

I feel like this months conversation about slavery is like this grief joy dichotomy. Isn’t it something that December is the month that was chosen to raise awareness to this cause?

The month where we buy mounds of stuff for people who may already have loads of stuff.

The month where we have parties celebrating different holiday times.

The month where we cherish time spent with family and friends.

The month where we pull our hair out in stress due to financial issues or lack of ability to please others.

It is the month that was chosen to shed light on the people who are bought and sold on a daily basis.

It is a month where every morning I put on a dress and think about why I am wearing a dress.

We don’t want to see the slavery. We want to have the whole world at peace and in happiness for this one month during the year.  But that is the dichotomy.  That is what makes this month sometimes a farce.  It is why this HAD to be the month to raise awareness for this cause.

Slavery is a hidden ill in society.  It is something that is hidden so deep that we don’t have to see it if we don’t want to.  We can easily go on enjoying our parties and fun this month.

It’s like the sadness that is so pervasive this holiday; “a downer”.

If we don’t face it now it’s not like it is going away.  We need to look at it and take a stand, do something, help others that are outside our safe zone.  We have to look at it square in the face.  IJM helps us do that.  They tell us that they have freed and helped in after care 18,000 people.  They have convicted 770+ people who were slave owners.  They are making a difference and shining a light on the problem even in this month.

You can help too.  Look at what IJM is doing and see what you can do with them.  You can donate to my Dressember site where all the proceeds are going to help IJM and their mission.  You can also pray for those enslaved, their owners, and the people who are working to free them.

Yes, I said pray for their owners.  We can talk about that next time.

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This sweet little face is that of the daughter of one of mah honks. I love this girl to the moon and back!

Just blessed

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So cliche.

At Christmas we say such cliche things.

You can look at and say, “Man, I am so over that!”

Or you can say, “Oh tradition!  So wonderful to have the same things said at this time of year.”

Some may even choose to just go against the whole idea of anything anyone has ever done and say, “Festivus for the rest of us!” (HA! Seinfeld, gotta love some old school sit coms.  They just don’t make them like they used to.)

Anyway, all I have to say today is that I am just blessed.

Blessed to live in the US

Blessed to work for the public school system

Blessed to worship how I like

Blessed to have friends over for dinner in the middle of the week

Blessed to go see movies with my son

Blessed to have 3 beautiful children

Blessed to have an amazing husband

I am just blessed

As cliche as it sounds, I am.  I am blessed! Part of my family just had a fantastic dinner with a family we have gone to small group with for the last (almost) 4 years (in Feb.). Lauren and I have shared so much and our boys are such good friends.  It is nice to have a closeness with a family, share a meal, & a faith.  So blessed.

The thing about being blessed is that many of us have no idea how blessed we are.  We take advantage that things will always be the way they have been. We shouldn’t, we should savor every moment.

I try to remember how blessed I am without being arrogant about it.  I try to look at the gift of life, liberty, & pursuit of happiness I have been given and remember that not everyone has those blessings.

This month I am reminded of that as I talk to people about IJM and my Dressember event.  I ask if they are reading my blog and tell them they should.  I ask if they know that there are 29.8 million slaves in the world today.  When they say no and get that far aways look in their eye, I just encourage them to come here and read about my self discovery.  I hope that they are and that it is ok to not realize.  It is ok to still be learning about the world.  No-one is expected to know everything about everything.  But once you are exposed to it you can no longer feign ignorance.  I am trying to learn and do.  I am trying to teach so others can help too. I am not perfect.  Never will be.  I am not better than others, that’s not my thing.  But I do want to be better than I was last year.  I want to share what I have with others.  I want others to be blessed.

Uncompartmentalize

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In life I have been so busy at times that I compartmentalize my friends and the “church”, “work”, “school”, and so on. Friends never came home with me.  And if the truth were to be told I never wanted to let them in.  I had a full life with my family and the outside friends made the other components of my life nice but I didn’t want to be burdened with them in my home.  They are all excuses because I have now realized that I do need those relationships (well, some of them) outside of their compartments and I like them too.  I am trying to be more intentional now that I know.  Being a good friend is hard when you are also a compartmentalizer. I have to learn to uncompartmentalize in order not to treat people in a manner that I do not want to be treated.

This is the beginning of a blog I wanted to write 7 months ago. Now that I re-read that paragraph I see that I have been a little more intentional recently than I every thought I would be.  I have allowed more people to enter my life.  Like, in a real way not just surface.

In November we had a house guest. Nope, that’s a lie.  We had family come and stay with us for a week.  The reason why I said she was a guest is because, though I call her my daughter, she has never slept at our house before.  She chose us to be her parents after she was well into adulthood and married. She came to celebrate our familyhood for a week prior to the crazy holidays of owning a bookstore.

Having someone stay in our house is not something “we” do (as a family rule).  It allows people to see who we really are and the facade may fall a bit and you may see us for who we really are.  We have had other family live with us and that didn’t go very well.  One of them moved out 4 and 1/2 years ago and now we really don’t speak.  The other moved out and now has a job that keeps her busy so we don’t see her either.  Now, granted they stayed for a year or more….but it still was family who stayed with us and it didn’t end well.

Allowing someone we cared about to stay with us, even if just for a visit, was a stretch.  But, it went well, I think.  She hasn’t stopped talking to us and has mentioned coming back again ❤

We are having dinner guests tomorrow.  That is also a stretch for us.  We are relatively private people after we get home.  We like our space so much we don’t even really know our neighbors.  But we have a meal planned and we are excited to have a family we care about to our house.

I know for myself the compartmentalizing was easy for a long time.

My work was miles away from home and I didn’t really have the same lifestyle as the people I worked with.  I had young children and a mortgage, they were single and lived in apartments.  It was a different phase in life for the people who were in my circle.

My church was a place I went on Sundays only.  The people all worked and I didn’t want to bother them during the week.  I was very involved with my church and loved it and the people but it didn’t leave its cubby hole of Sunday mornings.

If I am honest this way of living is still the easy way out.

Now, I foray out and try to incorporate people into my life. I am finding that my eyes are opening up to the fact that there are things and more important people outside of work, church, home, repeat.

I am seeing that there are needs outside the little circumference that I run around in like a hamster (most weeks).  They are needs that I can fill most of the time.

Dressember has started to help me see more often that I need people just as much as people need me.  We need to support each other outside our out comfort zones.

While you are enjoying what this season of joy and stress has to offer spend a few minutes praying about your compartments. Who do you need to start letting in a little more?

Think about the people who I have blogged about this month who are enslaved and don’t have the luxury of compartmentalizing.  Pray for them. Learn about their plight. Better yet, help our the dressember donation campaign to help release people from slavery.

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It is day 16 and I am more than half way done with my campaign. Make sure you check out IJM and Dressember to learn and support the cause.