I was e-mailing back and forth with a long-time family friend yesterday.  What began as a response to a Facebook posting of mine turned into some reminiscing for both of us.  The topic of her mother, the late Patsy Rockwood, came up and that brought us both to tears.  She reiterated how much her mom thought of me and that she would be proud of what I’ve done with my life.  I made the mistake of reading her message during some downtime of yesterday’s football game.  As I began reading, I felt my eyes get water, so I quickly exited out of the message.  Knowing what to expect, I opened it back up later.  I smiled at what she wrote and memories of her Mom started flashing through my mind.  I loved her mother like my own-she just had this sweet way about her and we formed a bond.  When I was little, my Mom would take me to church with her.  On the way back from communion, I would spot “Pappa” as I called her, and would sit with her for the rest of mass.  She would stretch out her arm and engulf me in a hug.  Though her name was Patsy, I was too little to use her first name.  So she was, and will always be, Pappa to me.  We lost her too soon to cancer years ago but she will always be with me.

While doing errands today, I was listening to some music via my iPod.  The song “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton came on and for some reason, I started thinking about Pappa again.  It didn’t take long before the tears started flowing.  I laughed, saying to myself “hmm, maybe I won’t go to the store just yet.”  So I just kept driving.  I finally pulled over and let the tears come.  After composing myself, I looked toward the sky and said, “Oh Pappa, I hope you know how much I loved you….just show me that you know that.”  On my way back to the store, I’m driving down a side street.  I look up briefly to see a street sign on the right and smile: Rockwood Dr.  I turned around and pulled over by the entrance.  I grabbed my phone and took a picture of the sign.  As corny as it sounds, I couldn’t help but look up to sky and grin.    

Confession from Norman

I hate to cook.  It is an act that tends to require some sort of creativity.  Well, not even that, it requires one to have a plethora of ingredients on hand (and by plethora, I mean variety).  If anyone were to see the lack of food inside my pantry or refrigerator, they would be ashamed.  Naturally, I love to eat…just prefer not having to devise the meal (nor make it) myself. 

As I am typing this, I am watching yesterday’s episode of The Pioneer Woman (with Ree Drummond).  Every time I watch her show, a part of me (rather small part mind you) gets an interest to cook.  She makes it look so darn fun and easy.  Don’t mind the fact that she has a huge kitchen, fresh vegetables ….and her own show…and cookbook….oh and you might have heard of her blog.  Anyway, back to me….so it’s the lack of motivation to put any effort into being creative with my meals.  Ugh, very boring and frustrating to eat the same meals over and over. 

Tonight was fortunately an exception.  I made stew…well, sort of made it.  I’m one of those clueless people who go down the aisles of grocery stores having no idea what I’m doing. For whatever reason, I got the idea in my head that I wanted to make stew.  Fine, whatever…simple enough.  I make my way over to the area with packaged meats.  I see a package of long strips of meat. Hmm, that looks good….oh wait, that says fajita meat. Small chunks of meat catch my eye–and it says Stew Meat on the label.  Bingo.  That was easy.  Now, um, what else goes with the meat….right-sauce.  Fast forward, and I check out with stew sauce mix (love when it’s right there on the package for cooking-challenged people like me), meat, some Ozarka water and package of frozen vegetables.  I don’t have patience for slicing the potatoes and all that.  I should, but I don’t.  I get home and unload the bags.  I scan the directions for the sauce….notice I said scan as reading directions completely doesn’t run in my family.  My “concoction” turned out okay…a little salty but not bad. Of course, I’m the opposite of my Mom and only use one pot….a crock pot.  I threw the ingredients in there and kept checking on it. Seeing as how I like to see glass half full, it was not a sandwich or anything from a fast food restaurant…so on that note, it was a success.  But I don’t anticipate Ree calling me anytime soon for the recipe. 

Until my next attempt at cooking…
Helpless in Norman