Back to blog and a chili recipe.

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I’m dreaming of a White Emerson!  I am ready for cold and winter birds and making a big pot of Texas chili…the best chili that there is!  My recipe is from scratch and is so easy.  No need to buy that Fowlers packet with the dried onions.  Brown some ground beef.  A pound will make a small pot for 2, usually enough for 2 mealtimes.  Chop some onion and bell pepper and jalapeno.  I take out the seeds from the hot peppers.  Smash and mince 4 cloves of garlic.  Drain the fat from the meat and add everything but the garlic.  Add a tbsp. of salt and a tsp. of black or red pepper.   Let it cook for 10 min on med. heat.  Stir it a few times.   Add the garlic and cook another minute.  If you don’t have fresh garlic it is fine.  Add 1 tbsp. of garlic powder, 2 tbsp. of paprika, 1 tsp. of oregano, 3 tbsp. of cumin and 4 tbsp. of chili powder.  Cook it with the meat for a minute.  Then add a can of RoTel tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce and a can of diced tomatoes and about 2 cans of water.  Make it thin or thick, however you like.   Cook it an hour or so and taste for salt.  You can add some rinsed canned beans but I really like it without.  If you find yourself without bell pepper you can add a couple of cans of chopped green chilies or dice up some pickled jalapenos.  It is fabulous with fritos, cheese and chopped raw onion.  Alas, I am going to try very hard to eat clean starting tomorrow so it will have to wait for a very cold winter’s day to be consumed.  A special occasion…like National Chili Day, if there is one.  I am making myself late for church if I keep typing.  I am at the beginning of my life this morning, as we all are.  I will have a great day and be thankful for it!

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Out of pocket

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I have not written here in a long time. I was in the hospital for 3 days last week because I had some neurological symptoms getting checked out. Namely, I had a seizure in the drive-thru at the Taco Bell. It sounds like an episode of some weird HBO series. I had been to the ER and they sent me home with a bad headache that they said was a migraine or bad sinus infection. Tami took me home and went through the drive-thru because she had been with me all day at the ER and was gonna get food to take home. I was sitting there with my bad headache and felt my arm go up in the air and I thought that I was having a stroke and said so and then I had a seizure. Tami called 911 and an ambulance crew had to deal with a 296 lb short woman who was confused and combative and totally out of it! It took 5 of them to deal with me and one man had to sit on me to keep me contained. I am still covered with bruises from the trip. I went for an MRI the next day or so and the 2 man crew from EMS took me to MRI and we had a good time laughing about them dealing with me. They were very nice! The result of all of the tests is that they don’t know why I had a seizure and 3/4 of the doctors seem skeptical that I even had a seizure. I think they think I am a whacko. Maybe I am but I haven’t felt good since with a dull headache and continued numbness and vision problems intermittently. I see my reg. doctor for a follow-up in the morning. I hope to get a referral to a neurologist and an ophthalmologist, too. I know I am selfish to want to feel better with others out there with terrible illnesses and the poor little boy that fractured his throat from a fall from a bunk bed and others with cancer and others who can’t walk or can’t see but I am so tired of feeling bad. I try every day to move around and go about my day but it is hard most days. I am not writing this to say that I am giving up. I am writing this to keep going and say to myself to trust God and believe that He is healing me every day. I know it’s true it’s just that I am an impatient and imperfect person struggling to live each day the best that I can and some days it is a poor performance. I love all of my friends on the social media and y’all help me all day long with the encouraging posts. I wish everyone well today! And thank you again to my faithful friend Tami who always helps me and keeps me going! She is a rock and a source of strength for me and many others. She has a gift from God to make me feel better and I love her. Next entry will be funny. Bye for now.

Well, I am about to depart to Momma’s house. Packed some art supplies to work on several things. It is raining here in Emerson. I am kinda glad because the sun won’t be shining in my eyes while I’m driving.
Had to listen to Beck for a minute. I was obsessed with him a few years ago and love most of his work. Where else can you see a belly dancer, country line dancing and bad 70s retro ties and suits along with animation and a man with a big sweaty belly falling to the ground and some of the best bass track ever! None of my friends will get this. But we are supposed to be ourselves.
Things that I do that are good:
Eat an apple, leave the house, talk to a person, paint a picture, answer my phone, pray, miss my Dad and Mammaw and cry about it for a few minutes, look at inspirational art, call a friend, wash clothes and self, apply a little eyeliner, read a book, look at the internet but don’t order anything, cook a casserole and have one helping, feed the birds, laugh, smile and tolerate the Big Store while spending less than 50, thank God for all of my gifts and blessings.
Things that I do that are bad:
Lay in bed and watch 5 episodes of “House of Cards”, sit in a chair and watch paternity results on “Maury” or “The Price is Right” while drinking 3 cups of coffee, walk past the pile of laundry or dirty dishes, get situated in the pink chair with 3 chihuahuas and a fuzzy blankie and don’t move for 3 hours while eating an entire bag of cheetos and sipping on diet coke, look out of the window for a few minutes staring at the EFD and wishing the fire whistle would blow and some action would occur, look at Facebook for a few hours so that I am late to some event, pick my nose, smell a shirt to see if it can be worn again, wash lights and darks together, take a selfie and notice goat hairs and a mustache, consider taking a shower, eat junk from Taco Bell and enjoy it way too much, ask God to excuse my bad behavior, especially the gluttony and sloth. Oh, and eat some vanilla oreos.
In my midnight confession, I’ll be telling the world that I love me.

Please pass the butter

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As I surf facebook my mind is drifting to thoughts of those good meals that Momma cooked. Spaghetti with meat sauce and she made soft garlic bread by slicing a french loaf and putting butter and garlic powder between each slice and then wrapped in foil and baked it until it was hot. Wow it was good and leftover the next day was a great breakfast, especially if someone like me could raid the leftovers early the next morning and eat that bread with gusto! I am toting about 100 pounds of good dinners, lunches and breakfasts on my marshmallow middle but she sure did lots of great meals for us without any complaint. And Momma made the best fried chicken, mashed taters, good gravy, casseroles, Mexican cornbread, angel biscuits and cookies. I recall us heating honey buns with butter on them in a little toaster oven until the sugar caramelized and having a little orange juice in those little jelly glasses. The sweet bun with the tart orange flavor was heavenly! I am enthusiastic about good food because it is my love of family, friends and myself all jumbled up with laughter, joy, warmth and comfort. Besides, kids love a squishy aunt to jump on, animals seek my abundant cushioning and I can give a very soft and loving hug to anyone who needs it. Ha, with every day I get more and more committed to accepting myself and taking off with ideas and finding ways to use my insides to make art, make laughter and make each day something to savor…even the dark days.
I probably sound like a sap but I am and will always be one.

Key Largo

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It occurs to me that I can write a lot of stuff while the paint dries on my latest artwork. I posted something on Facebook about a seafood restaurant and one of my friends remarked that her favorite seafood place had closed. It made me think of 2 restaurants that were a big part of growing up on the Texas gulf coast. When I was 4 or 5 my parents moved to Bay City, TX that is south of Houston close to Matagorda Bay. My Dad loved all kinds of seafood but Momma only liked lake fish or flounder. They would take the family to Peterson’s restaurant in Matagorda, about 20 miles away from home. I remember the front of the place had a giant blue crab on a pole and they were right on the bay. There were docks to run down and waterfowl and it was fun! I sat in a booster chair and ordered stuffed crab and I have never found any elsewhere that tasted that good! Cloth napkins and silverware that was heavy and smooth and a tier of salad dressing that they brought to the table. Daddy always had blue cheese. I had 1000 island. My sister had French which was bright and orange and tangy sweet. Momma always had the flounder which was superb! One of my favorite meals from childhood. When I was 8 years old we moved to Baytown, TX, near Galveston Bay. Which leads me to another favorite meal at a restaurant in Kemah, TX, named Key Largo. It was down at the very end of the Clear Lake waterway and sat out on a dock overlooking all of the sailboats and traffic in and out of the channel. It wasn’t fancy but the food was delicious and they had all of the little things that restaurants today have stopped doing for customers because of the cost involved. They had starched cloth napkins folded in a fortune cookie shape, the good flatware, the shining plates and the carousel of dressings, too! The view was amazing with windows along all of the walls in the dining room and I felt like a queen when we dined there! The food was excellent and my sis and I had the fried shrimp and it was heavenly! We got to order an adult sized plate! No kiddie stuff! After I grew up (ha) and moved away to school I heard that it had burned down and that they had rebuilt the place. I made a point to eat at the new joint but it was just average and the place was not the same. But I still have my memories of my 2 seafood restaurants and they are precious to me. How fortunate I am to be here in the states with all of the conveniences that I take for granted. I thank God for my computer today, my phone, my art supplies, my sense of humor about myself, my silliness, my pain, my tears and everything that is me! I hope I will dream of seashells, smells of saltwater and the taste of perfectly fried shrimp tonight. I’m drifting away now as my paint is beyond dry! Later.

Artful Word

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The ladies at First Baptist Church in Emerson were wondering what to do with old bibles. I suggested that I would love to use them to make inspirational art. There are 4 bibles that Loudean gave me along with some old silverware and old buttons. I am so happy with the donations. I will be making some art with pages from the bibles and using the buttons in original artwork, too! My art comes from God so I feel that using the bibles in this way is ok. And to my amazement the smallest bible was broken in half with 2 pages of Psalms stuck together and loose. When I gently pulled them apart there was Psalm 40 which is very special to me! Momma told me to read that Psalm and others when I was at my lowest point in my life about 4 years ago. Psalm 40 is one that I read over and over and is so special to me. Thank you God and thank you Loudean for the materials that I hope to use in a reverent way to honor God and make folks feel better!

Down and downer

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I have had low lows today peppered with tears and irritation and all coming from internal sources. I am back on Prozac as of today so I hope that it will help with my mood and mood swings. Sometimes my days are bad and I accept it. I was in WalMarks today and smiled and was nice to people because for some reason I felt pretty good at that moment. Saw Tami and Daphne and Valarie and the banana display by the entrance. 57 cents a pound. Pretty good. I realized something a few minutes ago. The thingy that picks up wireless on my desktop can be plugged into the front USB ports so that if it needs to be reset I don’t have to move the tower. The yard is a mud pit. I need a new car battery. I am cooking hamburger veg soup tomorrow. I gained 10 lbs from my last depression med and hopefully my appetite will calm down now that it’s been changed back to Prozac. I was reading about Prozac and latest studies show it is no more effective than a placebo for depression. All I know is that my moods will get better and less tears and anger and hopelessness will be the result so it works for me. I was too sensitive all day today, I cried twice. I bought a small loaf of poundcake to go with my pounds and it really needs Hershey’s syrup or some strawberries or blueberries to go on top. But as the evening winds down I can say that I did not drink alcohol, I did not lie to anyone, I did not eat an entire bag of mini Reeses, I did not steal or hurt anyone so I guess it was a good day. This blog is probably boring but that is sometimes a good thing. Nobody I love died or got hurt, my little dogs are still spoiled, I have a home and a bed and a poundcake, I don’t live in a big concrete city or sit in a prison cell. I am here in Emerson, a heart of a little town with lot’s of nice folks to rein me in and keep me safe. I will put a better story on here next time. Goodnight!

Titanic

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Why is there a picture of an iceberg here? Because when I took that profile picture this morning that turned out to be pretty good I had the thought that it is a misrepresentation of me. It is only 9/10ths of me and the rest is pretty bad. I thought of how an iceberg is just the tip of something large and looming like how I see myself. I am really tired of having this fatness but apparently not tired enough to quit eating unhealthy foods like the stuff for lunch from the Chinese buffet! I will try to do better tomorrow. I will never like my body as long as I am such a mass of blubber. But I will keep living my life one day at a time and laughing at myself and probably being way too hard on myself but that is just what I do.
I heard some good singers today from Central Baptist College. Very talented kids! Had a good time with Tami and Valarie, too! Saw a good saying on Facebook that I must find so I can use it on a card or artwork. I’m working on a pet portrait, postcard, cards and a little bird cutout of wood. So blessed to be able to sit at my table and create. Blessings!

Crafting a child

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I recently commented on some illustrators who are my favorite and they were featured in the Childcraft encyclopedias by World Book. My parents opened the door one evening and a salesman showed them the books and they asked my sister and I if we would like them…we were only 3 and 5 years old at the time. How wonderful they were! We spent hours looking at those books, both the set for kids and the grown-up ones, too! What wonderful illustrations and poems and stories and humor and how things work. How fortunate we were to have them and how great to have parents who cared about us! There were even pictures by Chagall, Picasso, Monet and other artists! And I couldn’t wait to turn the pages before the spider section and get creeped out!

On another note, there are more chickadees and now cardinals have come back. Huge flocks of redwing and other blackbirds are making their way through the area and are feasting on the tallow tree seedmeats. Of course the finches are still eating up all of the seeds along with the more aggressive pine siskins. Love the birds. Later.

Does what I do make a difference?

specialJust ate some chili and was about to take a bite and something glistened…turns out it was a jagged piece of glass about an inch long….must have come from one of the cans of tomatoes or green chilies or sauce.  Hmmm.  Things that make you go “yikes!”  Calling a lawyer from one of those commercials just popped into my thoughts.  “Call Norman R. Gordon, when you need a lifeline!”  Which can was it? Sue them all!  So silly…

I am working on the appearance of this header on the blog and will eventually get it right. With regard to Marty’s question on Facebook this morning “Sometimes I pause and really wonder if I have made a difference in people’s lives”,  I have a response to that! Yes! We all do if we seek to help someone else or just live a good life. It brought to mind an incident on a Psych unit a couple of years ago. One of the patients was very panicky and upset and crying and saying that she couldn’t take it anymore and seemed inconsolable. I sat with her and reassured her as best I could in a soft voice. I could not see much evidence that she was responding and she took her evening meds and went to bed. The next day at work she came up to me and told me that I was so nice to talk to her and calm her down and that she appreciated my kindness. Wow!  Seldom do you get feedback from someone in your path.  We are not going to be affirmed in this life and should not expect it.  On the other hand we should always try to help others and live for the good of this world.  Don’t expect praises or attention from others because you will rarely get one of those gems. Instead give affirmation to God and coast along seeking His guidance.  And if you are lucky enough to get a thanks and acknowledgement along the way then savor it!  This sounds “preachy” but I am talking to myself, too.  I have been kinda discouraged lately with all of my anti-depressant meds and working on art projects.  I create art and after awhile I don’t like it because I still get so tired when I work.  I need to take my own advice and just keep going along with my gift from God.  Hope everyone is safe this evening and thanks for all of the encouragement and compliments on my work!   Later!

And keep yourselves safe by looking at that bowl of chili with suspicion!