Birthday Wishes

I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday! He’s my friend, my role-model, my hero. Without him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I am forever thankful for everything he’s done, for me and the rest of our family.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tomorrow, May 12th, has multiple meanings for me. The most obvious is that it’s Mother’s Day. I love my mother immensely and know just how lucky I am to have her in my life. It’s also the day, seventeen years ago, that I met my husband. Another lucky break for me.

What I’m trying to say is that, while Mother’s Day is difficult for me for personal, fertility-based reasons, it’s also a day that has brought me great joy. It is a day of contrasts for me indeed.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Storytime: Beauty and the Beast

When I was nine years old, Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast came out. It’s the first movie I remember seeing in theaters. It stuck in my memory because of what happened that day before we went to the movies.

My dentist in Arizona was named Dr. Lamb. I saw him every six months for routine cleanings. When I reached the age of nine, he decided that, in order for my adult teeth to grow in with no problems, I needed to have four of my molars pulled. The reasoning behind this decision was that, with one molar taken from each quadrant of my mouth, my adult teeth would have the room necessary to grow in without overcrowding. Now, mind you, I still ended up needing braces due to extremely crooked and crowded teeth. So, I’m not entirely sure that his idea actually worked. Regardless, at this point in my life, that was the procedure recommended, so that’s what I got.

My appointment was in the morning and I got to miss school. Not a bad trade-off. Or so I thought. I’m not a fan of going to the dentist for anything other than cleanings. I love getting my teeth cleaned. They feel so wonderful afterwards and don’t hurt in the process. Anything else, as in anything that requires the use of needles in my gums, and I’m a huge mess. Nowadays, I can only go in for other procedures under the use of sedation – either I.V. or pill sedation.

Of course, that wasn’t an option when I was a child. I had to lay there quietly as they placed the numbing gel in my mouth on a cotton swab, followed by the dreaded needle for the full numbing effect. It wasn’t fun. Once I was fully numb, he used these awful looking pliers to grab my teeth, that weren’t even loose yet, and twisted and yanked until they finally released from my mouth. There was no pain at this point, but the sound was simply appalling. The ripping and tearing sounds as the roots were broken made me cringe.

When all was said and done, I had a mouth full of cotton and four less teeth. My face was numb for a long time afterwards and I couldn’t eat or drink anything until the feeling came back. I was fairly miserable and wishing I’d just gone to school instead. I think my mum must have known this and decided to cheer me up with a special trip to the movie theater, just me and her. It was awesome.

We got in the theater just after the movie started, but before anything big happened. It quickly became one of my all-time favorite movies and has stayed that way ever since. When the live action remake came out in 2017 with one of my favorite actresses, I was thrilled. When it turned out to be excellent, my heart overflowed with joy. Having been connected to a terrible experience, I could have ended up despising the movie. I’m glad it went the other way though. Belle is a heroine I can truly relate to and who continues to inspire the bookworms of the world to keep reading and be kind to everyone, even the beasts in our lives.

Happy Easter!

Tomorrow holds a great deal of meaning to many people. For me, it’s more about it being my parents’ anniversary. In fact, it’s their 40th anniversary. Quite an accomplishment, especially in today’s world. Most people view marriage as something of a temporary nature. More like dating than an actual commitment.

I hold a different view.

Perhaps it’s old fashioned, but I believe that marriage is meant to last a lifetime. Marriage is hard work. I know from experience. I have been married for almost 17 years myself and it hasn’t been one long walk in the park. But even when times get hard, for whatever reason, I have never seen it as an excuse to just give up. And, luckily for me, neither has my husband. We both have the same view on taking vows. We take our vows to each other seriously, just as we took our vows to our country seriously.

I appreciate that being with someone else, anyone else, can have its trials and tribulations. All I’m saying is that it shouldn’t be so easy to throw away what should be a lifelong commitment.

That was a little preachy, I know. I just have strong opinions when it comes to the state of matrimony.

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and, to my parents, Happy 40th Anniversary. We all love and respect you so much!!

Binge-fest

When Game of Thrones first came out, back in 2011, I tried watching it, but it was never much of a priority. I had much more important shows to watch, like Supernatural and True Blood.

My husband recently started watching Game of Thrones and I found myself getting drawn in. This culminated in us binge-watching the seventh season in its entirety yesterday.

It was awesome!

I am now quite impatient for the eighth, and final, season to begin in three weeks. I can’t believe I waited this long to watch such an impressive show. Better late than never.

Hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Remembrance

Twenty-two years ago today, my great-grandmother passed away. I didn’t know her as well as I would have liked, but I do have some fond memories. She always wore a turban, for some reason, had a collection of glass trinkets. She gave me one for my birthday one year. It was a glass dish shaped like a bunch of grapes. It was beautiful and particularly special since she didn’t usually give away parts of her collection. I’m pretty sure I still have it, somewhere. In all my moves, it got misplaced. I hope to find it again someday.

The winter holidays are all about family, the ones that are here and the ones that are gone. We lost GG Vi while we were in Okinawa, five months before returning to California. It broke my heart that we weren’t able to say goodbye, but I continue to remember her affectionately, especially this time of year.

I will never forget you, GG Vi, for you are always in my heart.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and joyful time spent with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s almost Turkey Day!! The food holiday that many people look forward to all year long. It’s the one day when eating way too much is not only socially acceptable, but absolutely expected. The day for stretchy pants and food coma’s.

It’s a day for being thankful for what we have and spending time with family while eating fabulous food. I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but we were invited to a cousin’s house for dinner. She has everything covered, but I wanted to bring her a little something anyway. So, I had a bit of a baking day today.

I made Shortbread Cookies using a recipe from GeniusKitchen.com

I made a Pumpkin Roll using a recipe from GimmeSomeOven.com

I made Raspberry Pastry Roll-Ups using a recipe from GeniusKitchen.com

And, I made Cheesecake Stuffed Banana Bread using a recipe from CookiesandCups.com

It was a fun and tasty day.

I’m super thankful for all the people in my life who are there when I need them. I’m also thankful for my husband, dogs, and birds. Our little family unit makes me happy every day and I will always be grateful that we are together.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Taco Rice

When I was younger, I lived on Okinawa, Japan for about 3½ years. During that time, a new dish was introduced to my family at the bowling alley on base – Taco Rice. This dish has since become a staple in all our diets.

Taco Rice is extremely easy to make. It is essentially the inside of a taco over rice. Another way to look at it is a taco salad with rice instead of tortilla chips. Either way, it’s rice, seasoned beef, cheese, lettuce tomatoes, salsa, and (for me at least) sour cream.

It is truly delicious and pretty healthy. By making it yourself you can control the type and quality of the ingredients. You could add anything that you like to the dish: corn, beans, lime, whatever.

The beauty of this dish is that it is versatile. I love building my Taco Rice bowl and mixing all the deliciousness together. It makes my tummy very happy, and that makes me very happy.

Enjoy!