Category Archives: Family

Easy and Delicious! Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I usually review products and books, but yesterday I tried a recipe that was so yummy that I had to give it a mention – Cajun Chicken Pasta by blogger Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman.

I saw Drummond prepare this meal a few weeks ago on her new Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman. The recipe is simple and quick, but boy oh boy, the end result is rich and delicious.

I did have one issue with the wine; I couldn’t for the life of me get the darn cork out of the bottle. It may have to do with my, ahem, frugality and the fact that my corkscrew was bought from a dollar store. Very. Bad. Idea. Hey, I drink wine socially, not at home. Although disappointed that I could not add the wine, the dish turned out wonderfully. I can only imagine how great it tastes with all of the ingredients.

My Wine Disaster. The silver distending into the wine is the tip of the corkscrew. AARGH!

Do yourself and your family a favor and give this recipe a try. If you like flavorful and spicy dishes, you will love this!

As always, may God continue bless you and your family.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

You were my first “crush”. The first man I was glad, heck ecstatic, to see at the beginning, middle and end of the day. You were the first man whose arms I ran into. The first man whose hugs gave me a sense of security.

By your example, I learned that hard work doesn’t kill you. I learned not to be selfish and how to treat others fairly. From your instruction, I learned to value myself – my mind and my body. You taught me that a man’s words are a dime a dozen; his actions speak volumes. I now know that a passionately whispered, “I love you,” means nothing if I am not being treated with respect. Because of you I have had the strength to let several frogs hop away while I wait for my prince.

You were also the first man to show that although people disappoint, it doesn’t make them bad. You taught me that no one is perfect and to accept people as they are. Because of you I focus less on what appears to be and more on what actually is.

The relationship between a father and daughter is dynamic. It is also filled with many emotional levels – happiness, sadness, anger, joy, frustration but always – always – love. It hasn’t been easy (few things worth having are) but I am glad neither one of us gave up on the other. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Today and everyday.

Are We Loving Our Children To Death?

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Our society has come a long way. Technological and social advances have opened remote worlds to the masses and have helped foster understanding and tolerance. It is through the power of these advances that I am able to share this message with you today.

However, as we advance, it seems our willingness to accept has turned us away from common sense. In these “enlightened” times, we have deemed the practices and norms that fostered a generation old-fashioned, cruel and, in some instances, illegal.

There was a time when one could tell a misbehaving child that his parents were going to be informed of his mischief and that child would instantly begin to behave. That was during the time when parents had more control over their children and administered discipline when necessary. No child wanted to be on the receiving end of a spanking. Now, children misbehave in front of their parents with no fear of repercussion. Parents are either too weary from daily stresses, too afraid of the opinions of others or so focused on making their children happy that they are afraid of properly disciplining them.

By discipline, I am not referring to violence. No one – child, woman or man – should have to contend with being beaten. A hand to the bottom is not the same as a fist to the eye. Anger should never be a factor in disciplining a child; love should always be the basis. You don’t love a child by turning a blind eye to his or her antics. You love a child when rules and expectations are set and by making sure he or she understands there are consequences to their actions – both good and bad.

I know this is not a popular sentiment and I certainly don’t mean to offend. However, there is an influx of wayward children who have absolutely no respect or consideration for others. And, if you ever have the opportunity to hold a conversation with them, you will find that these children have no idea that they are disrespectful and inconsiderate. They feel they are normal because everyone they know acts the same way.

We have to start doing better by these kids. It always starts at home. Loving your kids is natural. Raising them is tough. Most parents do the best they can and this is not admonishment to them. It is just a plea to not love them to death.

A Child Should Never Be A Secret

Oprah Winfrey announced today that she has a younger sister, something she had only become aware of within the past few months. It was a family secret that only her mother and cousin knew. Wow.

I have some experience with family secrets and discovering a younger sibling. I was fifteen when I learned I had a younger brother. My father had a son with another woman. It wasn’t as exclusive a secret in my family as it was in Oprah’s. My mother knew and so did several other family members. I was the only one left in the dark.
Like Oprah, I finally met my sibling and hopefully, like my brother and me, she will develop a bond with her sister.

I’m not writing this to show a type of kinship with a celebrity or elicit compassion, empathy or understanding. I’m certainly not writing it to air my family’s dirty laundry. I am writing this for one reason and one reason only – to call a time-out on major family secrets.
Every family has its secrets, those things that the elders only whisper among themselves and will carry to their graves. I don’t believe children have the right to know everything. Some things are best kept in the past. Some things. Not a child.

One’s life is turned inside out upon learning of a secret sibling. For me, there was a sense of betrayal on two fronts – the first is obvious, that of my father to my mother and then to me by both parents for their failure to tell me. There was also a sense of loss on two fronts – my life, my world, as I knew it would never be the same plus I had been cheated of precious moments with my brother. And I was angry but honestly didn’t understand why and at whom. Was it the betrayal? The loss? My parents? The kid? Luckily, my anger subsided and my relationship with my parents went on as usual. I’ve had many years since then to think about it and now understand and accept the many layers at play in my own family drama.

My brother and I eventually met and forged a beautiful relationship. Was it easy? Of course not, situations of this nature are rarely easy when emotions are involved. It won’t be easy for Oprah and her sister either, but it’s possible. One thing in their favor is their maturity. They are able to understand things at a level that is impossible when you are a teen or young adult.

If you are currently harboring such a secret, please confess it to your loved ones. Get past your feelings of (fill in the blank) and let your family know. It will be a burden lifted from your shoulders plus your family deserves to know it’s true history and genealogy. Your intentions in the beginning may have been to spare hurt feelings but the longer you hold on to it the harder it will be to explain when the truth comes out. The truth will come out. Let your family hear it from you.