Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aunt Laura's Chili

I had to share this recipe. My sister-in-law made it when we were visiting once, and I had three bowls of the stuff. Which was ok because it's one she got from an eat healthy web sight. It's actually called Doc's Chili, but we call it Aunt Laura's Chili so everyone knows it's not the one I normally cook (which is also a really yummy one that has been passed down in my family).

Aunt Laura's Chili

-3 cups chopped yellow onion (that's a bit much for us so I only use half of an onion)
-1 lb. ground turkey
-2 Tablespoons chili powder
-1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground mustard
-2 Tablespoons chopped garlic (we just sprinkle in garlic powder)
-1 15 oz. can rinsed and drained pinto beans
- 1 15 oz. can rinsed and drained black beans
-3 cups diced tomatoes (or you can use one 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1/2 cup block olives (we don't use these)
-1/2 cup chopped green onions (we don't use these either)

-Spray skillet w/ cooking spray
-Saute onions
-Add turkey and cook thoroughly
-Add rest of the ingredients
-Bring to a boil
-Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm so Blue...and Brown and Green!

I will explain the title in a minute. I need to say though that I will soon return to more fabulous memories of Blake. But even though I'm overly sad and morning for the loss, I still have a family to take care of and in honor of him, we are continuing life as we should.

So in due of this, I wanted to update what has been going on.

Last weekend was the Neiman Marcus holiday window reveal and celebration. Larry's work is next door so they play a big part of it. And we had the advantage of getting to go up in part of the building that isn't finished and leased to shops yet so we were looking out the windows above onto the big reveal and were also face to face with Santa as he road a cable down onto the stage (last year he came in on a jet pack).

This weekend Larry is headed off to go hunting again, Holly is going with my aunt all day Saturday to help and learn the workings of a dog show. Since I haven't been able to get the van in to the shop to get some work done, I'm not going to chance going out to Bryan this weekend. I may do as Larry suggested and go on a week day right after Thanksgiving.

Now for the title. Some time ago I got the June/July edition of Threads magazine due to the project on the cover. It was a while before I started it and then took a lot of reading and rereading to get it all down. I have been working on it for a while. I was almost finished with it over a month ago, but then just go super busy. Yesterday I made time though and am proud to say it's finished!! There are mistakes here and there. But most of you won't know or notice, and I'm proud of it, and that's what counts, right?! I made one addition to it. Using this tutorial, I added a magnetic snap.

I am also very pleased with my fabric choices. And I am now using it for my purse. Ok, off to get some errands done so I don't have to deal with the weekend crowds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

M.O.B. Part 3

Another quick one for you.

Blake and I were also in the same class together in 2nd grade. I don't remember as much about him from that year other than that is when he started wearing a black leather jacket similar to his older brother.

Here is our class picture from that year. 1987-1988

Blake is back row (as usual ) on the right. I am in the next to back row middle in the middle of a blink. Lori (Lucas' mom) is in the front row seated on the left. And my good friend Roseanne is in the front right (she was in 1st grade with us too). I have stayed close to these two girls to this day...obviously.

Friday, November 14, 2008

M.O.B. Part 2

It's a busy day, so I will only share a couple memories today, but I wanted to get some in now that I got the pictures scanned thanks to my big bro.

Here is why I had my hair pulled on a lot. This was summer of 1988. I didn't get my first haircut till then.

My mom shared with me a pretty funny one. She told me that our first grade teacher told her she really enjoyed watching the two of us. She said anyone could tell Blake really liked me, and I milked it for all its worth. I apparently had no objection to letting him turn in all my papers for me and carrying all my stuff! Boy was I rotten!!

I also remember 1st grade class picture day really well. I remember after the picture was done and we were standing around about to line up, Blake came hurrying over. He told me he almost threw up in the picture and when it was done ran out of the library without telling our teacher (I guess he had to throw in that part to show how daring he was.) I didn't believe him. When we got the pictures in class, I hurried to open mine and see what it showed.
And low and behold:
(Look at the top left. I'm in the front second from the left.)

Those two memories have definitely brought some happy thoughts despite all the sadness.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Been on a break

Sorry I haven't been faster with more stories, but I've been taking a break from some of it. I've still been battling a lot of back and forth, and went to the library and check out some books to help me with getting through all of this. I've just had a hard time accepting that it happened, and I really need to.
Haylee is coming to town for the weekend. So I've planned my trip to visit Blake and his family around that. Since my meeting spot with Haylee's mom is in Waco, that puts me half way. I will take her back a couple hours earlier than normal on Sunday and then head out to College Station/Bryan so I can get there before dark. Then I will also have time to visit with his family before I have to head home.
I plan to get pictures scanned tonight so I can get a few up tomorrow. The next couple of stories I would like to share are quite the chucklers. One is actually one my mom shared with me that I didn't remember.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Memories of Blake Part 1 *Updated*

The past day has been rough. I have gone back and forth with mourning my friend and with being in denial. He is buried here in FTW next to his brother. I plan to go visit him on Thursday, his birthday, in hopes of finding some peace and acceptance of all this. I am not a person who normally handles cemeteries very well, but I think this time I need it.

My husband has been fabulous. He knows that Blake was a special and true friend. The kind that is so very rare to find. So he has been fabulous at trying his best to give me what I need. A shoulder to cry on, understanding with my feelings, and trying his best to make me feel better but not forcing it on me. I'm so thankful he is not a jealous person. This is the first person I was very close to who has died since we have known eachother.

To better help everyone understand what a special person he was and to share the many, many memories we shared, I will do many posts on them. I need to write these down for my own sake. But since I'm not good journaling, I thought I would use this to help get it all down. Forgive me if the posts jump around in years, but as I've made notes on remembering what I want to put down, something else will pop in my head. I always thought it was odd how I remembered so many odd details from our friendship, but now I understand. It's a gift from God to help me though this time. Unfortunately these memories will stop at 5 years ago. Out of respect for my marriage and probably realization of the demands of being a wife and mother, Blake lessened our amount of contact. And with the demands of it all and never dreaming of anything like this, I put our friendship on hold too. I regret it and advise everyone to NEVER do something like that.

On to the memories:
Blake and I first met in first grade. As always, he was the super tall kid. He had a tendency to pull my pigtails when he walked by me. Well not "pull", but handle in one way or another. I did not have my first haircut till after 2nd grade, so obviously I had long hair at the time that was blond. And my mom always put it up. Often in braids or dog ear pony tails. Blake wasn't the only one who did it. And with so many doing it, I was constantly calling out to the teacher. I have always, always been a person who needs her personal space.

For Halloween at our school, we were not allowed to wear costumes. But we were allowed to wear face paint. I can't remember what my face was done up as, but I can remember his and his mom's. Some of the mom's took turns volunteering with listening to the kids read to them. Both of our mom's helped with this (my mom has many found memories of Blake too), and this was his mom's day again, so she joined in the festivities of face painting. I remember they had their whole face painted (I only had some small things on mine like hearts or something) in metallic colors. His was green and hers was gold. I was so fascinated with the colors, how fancy they were, and how perfectly done it was.

Ok, that's all for now. I have one more memory from 1st grade I want to share, but it includes a photo I would like to try and scan in before I post on it. My scanner isn't working, so I don't know if I will get it done soon or if I will just have to save it and do a post of pictures. These couple of memories don't really touch on what a great person he was, but they are some fun ones I've kept tucked way.

Thank you to those who have sent messages and for all the prayers. I know I haven't sat and prayed much myself yet. But like I said, I'm still facing a lot of denial. I know that God is next to me now, and He is who is giving me my strength.

If you can learn one thing from this, please let it be to never put a friendship aside for a more convenient time. I read and receive those forwards that say don't wait to tell someone how precious they are. I've always believed them, but never followed what they say the way I should. Now I truly know what it feels like when the chance is gone. I do believe that God has passed the message on to him that he was a special person to me, but I wish I could have done it while he was still here.

God Bless you, and keep you. And rely on Him no matter what you are going through.

*Update* Blake's family got my message today and contacted me immediately. For which I am very thankful. They were very upset for me for finding out about his passing in such an impersonal way. That is something that is in no way anyone but mine's fault. I am the one whoh allowed us to loose touch over the recent years. They said they had planned to have him placed next to his brother, but that was not able to happen. Instead he was placed in Bryan next to his grandfather who passed away this last February. I don't know that I will be able to, but my plan is to go to his gravesight this Sunday and then stop to visit with his family for a while. Please send out a prayer that I in no way reverse their healing process. Again I do not want to in any way bring more pain to his family. They are absolutely wonderful people who have suffered more than their fair share.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In Memory of Blake

Blake F. Williams was one of my dearest friends. And I am devastated to find out that I now have to use the term was.

I had lost contact with him a little under a year after I got married. I have been putting in searches for him off and on for the past few years. I tried again today while thinking about his birthday coming around the corner. I was lead to this link today.

I am more than heart broken to find out he passed away less than 6 months ago. Did he know how very, very special he was to me? Next to my husband and dad, he is/was the most special and influential male in my life. The memories I have. And that's what is breaking me, all I have is memories now. They are MANY but will never be enough. I will never again get to see/talk to my friend here on earth. I will miss those hugs. Those ones where my face is in a stomach because he was sooooo tall.

What hurts even more is I do not know what happened. I am trying to get in contact with his family to find out, but I hate to bring more pain with my questions.

Blake, I know you are truly where you deserve to be in Heaven, but earth is a much darker place without your smile and wonderful heart. I look forward to seeing you again, but until then, my heart is not quite whole without you. I love you very much and will NEVER forget you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Sorry no Halloween pictures to share this year. Since Halloween fell on a Friday for the first time in a loooooong time, Holly went to spend the holiday with her mom.

Larry had gotten free tickets from one of his vendors for us to go to the Craftsman's Truck races at the Texas Motor Speedway. We had been looking forward to going for a few weeks. But when Larry got home, we were tempted to go a different rout with our plans. Larry was planning on leaving late that night or this morning to go to East Texas for opening weekend for hunting, cutting our first weekend alone in a while very short. This disappointed us both, but we both want to make sure he gets his money's worth out of his hunting license and his gear. So instead we spent the evening going out to dinner at IHOP (we had the T.V. on while we were making up our minds to go to the races or not and an advertisement came on for there). We had the restaurant almost completely to ourselves. I think there were at most 5 other tables of people. We then went to Walmart to see about buying a movie to watch but ended up renting a couple from Redbox. So we went home and vegged out and just spent some nice time together. I enjoyed getting a whole evening talking with him with minimal interruptions.

Well Larry just left and I'm off to spend some time with a friend I haven't seen in a while and then home to do laundry, and sew for a while. And go to sleep watching chic flicks with no one sighing over how ridiculous they are. :)

Hope everyone enjoys the first day of November (can you believe it's practically hot outside?!).