Autumn Gratitude

Consistently, Nature provides gifts, as Autumn breezes blow whispers of change all around us.  The Nandina berries turn to orange, Virginia creeper crawls over rocks in crimson splendor, shades of yellow hint from beneath green, tattered leaves against the rich, blue skies, Red Buds shimmer their golden branches in the sunlight, and owls shatter the silence of darkness, shouting their hoots across the creek beds.  Change is upon us but covers our land with a cloak of beauty.  Our Blessings these Fall mornings are abundant if we are still and watch the metamorphosis unfold.

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TK’s Marinara Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is absolutely delicious, healthy and very filling.  If you are blessed with fresh herbs in your fall garden, the aromas will tempt everyone who enters your home.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Two sprigs fresh thyme, stripped

Four medium fresh basil leaves, chopped

One spaghetti squash (Slice off ends, cut vertically in standing position, deseed, rub olive oil inside each half, turn upside down on foiled baking sheet and cook 40 minutes at 400 degrees).

1 pound turkey sausage, sliced and cut in half

One yellow onion, chopped

Two cloves garlic, minced

11/2 bottles of Organic Marinara Sauce

1 14-ounce can artichokes, chopped

1 pint Roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

Fresh or shredded Parmesan cheese

Sea salt to taste

Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:                                                                                                                                      *Prepare spaghetti squash and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.                    *In skillet, brown turkey sausage in olive oil.                                                                            *Add chopped onion and saute 5 minutes.                                                                                        *Add minced garlic and saute approximately 30 seconds

*Pour in Marinara sauce.                                                                                                                    *Add fresh herbs                                                                                                                                    *Add chopped artichokes                                                                                                                    *Add Roma tomatoes                                                                                                                            *Stir in sea salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                  *Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         *String spaghetti, place into bowls and top with marinara sauce mixture.                             *Top with fresh or shredded parmesan cheese.

Enjoy every bite!

 

International Widow’s Day

I have always had an aversion to the word “widow” based on my previous experiences-associated with “the black widow” or other evil, poisonous associations. But, today, I was taken by an article suddenly appearing for my viewing from CNN, regarding stories expressed today by various “widows” throughout the world, regarding what it means to experience this sudden or forced entrance into the world of “widowry”.

I never had any desire of any sort to be a member of this group. I empathized frequently with friends, neighbors, etc. who were suddenly thrown into this distant group. But, I had never envisioned myself as an actual member.

I read the stories today with great interest. Though each of these ladies’ circumstances were so very different from mine, I did engage in a certain camaraderie with this group of women, who had never planned on partaking of this adventure, and had never envisioned life without their spouses (in my case, the absence of my best friend and partner of my soul).

I was blessed with six months to prepare for Billy’s death, though the unknown of the details of the arrival of “death” throughout those months, resulted in mental anguish and much turmoil, inhibiting our supposed preparation for that dreaded event.

In reading each of the stories of these “hero women” in this article, I realized the blessings of family in my situation, occurring in stark contrast to many of the painful, judgmental experiences of these women within their own cultures across the world. Some of these women experienced cruelty, rejection, and/or humiliation from family members, as a result of becoming a widow. This circumstance appears unimaginable in our culture, but it was a recurrent theme within the stories of the other women throughout the world. Unfortunately, many of us shared the themes of death and cancer in common. But, the reactions of cultural bias painted the darkest contrast in our situations.

I am thankful, that in my situation, I was graced with the enveloping of love from extended family members throughout our difficult journey of illness, comforting me still. However, this article has made me realize the importance and relevance of our reaching out to expand, understand, and assist women throughout the world, regardless of their circumstance, to successfully survive the frightening phenomenon of suddenly being a “widow”.

Therefore, I am attempting to change my perspective on being considered a part of this “widow” group. I find myself, now, being quite proud to join their ranks, being able to say “I was Loved so deeply” by my spouse and my family, and I am now aware of the circumstances of cultural change within the concept of “widow”, that all of us need to address in the future.

LIFE CHANGES IN BUT, A MOMENT

37 years

37 abundant moments

37 pauses and reflections of enduring love

37 enriched memories-two, as one

EVERGREEN

Enlightened

Discussions of wisdom and truth

Togetherness

Boys pure and delightful; creations of wonder

Family; four together; never to be separated

Always one for all and all for one

Love conquers all

Love endures

Love seemingly gone in a flash, but etched in our minds and hearts forever.

Love eternal

                                                                                                                     Terry Grosvenor                                                                                                                                      May 15, 2017

Taco-filled Tortilla Bowls-TMG

 

These TACO TORTILLA BOWLS are delicious and perfect for busy parents:

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

12 flour tortillas

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

1 cup salsa

1 can black beans, (rinsed and drained)

Mexican shredded cheese

1 bunch red leaf lettuce

Guacamole (see recipe below)

Light sour cream

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave tortillas 15 minutes, separated on paper plate.

Form tortilla into a bowl inside each large muffin cups with two folds on each side.

Crunch foil and place foil ball into the center of each tortilla bowl

Place tortilla bowl muffins into oven and bake for a total of 13 minutes.

While tortillas bake, brown meat and drain, if needed.

Season with kosher salt to taste, chili powder and pepper.

Pour 1 cup salsa into cooked meat mixture.

Boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Microwave black beans 3 minutes.

Add spoonfuls of meat and beans into each tortilla bowl, topped with Mexican cheese.

After cheese melts, add pieces of lettuce, guacamole mixture and sour cream.

ENJOY!!!

GUACAMOLE MIXTURE:

3 avocados sliced and chopped (include one seed)

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 sliced/chopped onion

1 large lime, squeezed

1 fresh tomato chopped

 

 

THIS OLD HOUSE and ALL THAT LIES WITHIN IT!!!

Having just accomplished one of those “always projected to the future, major household, this old house, MUST DO NOWS”  (i.e. rewiring our entire home electrical wiring that has survived all of the yearly natural corrosion , squirrel chews, etc. since  1938), we find ourselves surrounded by “STUFF”.  “STUFF” is absolutely everywhere!  You can imagine the look on my face, when told by our contractor:  “Please empty this closet, so I can get my ladder into it when I return from lunch”!!!!!   He was so very patient with me, but I was so horrified that all of that “stuff” had to make an appearance right in front of my face, and in every room, yet.  And, although our huge job is finished and well done, I am still surrounded by “stuff” and loving being able to step into my little 1038 closets.  A trivial problem, I know, but overwhelming on a daily basis, nonetheless!  Of course, I don’t consider any of my creative materials stuff-hah!!!!!!!!!  Where is my husband?  He is hiding, of course.  If you see him, please let me know.