Times They Are A Changin’

You may have noticed that I made a slight change to the name of my blog.  It used to read Knitting Socks:  Musings on Life and Death   It now reads Knitting Socks: Life, Love and Adventures at Flamingo Farms.  Why?  Well originally I started writing my blog as a way to help me deal with the sudden death of my older sister.  We had her memorial a few weeks ago after putting it off for several months.  Immediately after the memorial, I spent some time with my middle sister; a very accomplished woman who always looks on the positive side.  Those few days with her have changed my life.

I have a tendency to dwell on my past.  Not a good thing to do.  You can’t change it and  you can’t make it go away.  But what you can do is reduce or eliminate it’s ability to ruin your future.  When I was with my sister, I realized that the difference in our outlook on life were how we processed the past.  She, of course, has regrets, but she has not let those regrets paralyze her ability to positively move forward.  No, that has been my job.  SO, effectively immediately, I am moving on with mindful purpose and  positive outlook.  Maybe easier said than done, but I have a great support system and a wonderful and wise adviser.  And besides, how can you be negative when you get to wake up to the simple (?) life on a Hobby Farm!

The other day, it actually stopped raining.  I went down to the barn at 6:45 as I have been doing for the past 6 years.  But this time, I took my morning cup of coffee with me.   My mare, Va. Tech Gina Leigh is on stall rest.  She has a hole in her flexor tendon and has been in a stall since mid February.  Needless to say, she is not a happy camper at all.  After I gave both of the horses their breakfast, I sat in the barn and drank my coffee.

imageTiger Lily, my lovable feral cat jumped into my lap; kneading and purring in happiness to be there.  Gina was munching quietly on her hay.  The birds were starting to wake up, and were chirping and singing good morning to one another.  There were no other noises, no other distractions to the peace that was Flamingo Farms in the morning.  It was just breath taking.  I sat there so long, my husband came looking for me.  He saw that I was communing with my animals and left without saying a word.

How could you possibly dwell on the negative when you get to start your day like that?  The universe was sending me a message…Life is good, embrace what you have and move forward with confidence and conviction.  Do you think my sister was really the one sending me the message?



Comfort Food

My husband had a dinner meeting tonight.  What to do, what to eat?  I could go the fast food route, but since I am trying to lose weight, I should pass on that.  I know, I will eat something that he does not like; flat iron steak and french fries.  Ummm.

My mother used to make this meal on Saturday evenings, but she called the meat minute steak.  She would fry up peppers and onions and sometimes put the steak on a roll and call it a hoagie.  Since my parents were from Philadelphia, they used a few different terms.  A hoagie is the Philly equivalent to a sub.  No matter what you call it, very tasty indeed.  Mom had several go to meals that have become my favorite things to eat.  There is this steak and fries, then there is burger (no bun) and mash potatoes; and my all time favorite was, and still is, buttered spaghetti.  The spaghetti without her sauce was a meal we saved for the running of the Kentucky Derby.  Not sure why, but who cares, it is good.

Of course, I have modified most of her flavor profiles, but these three meals remain untouched.  I eat them when I am alone and they still take me back to my childhood.  I think being Jewish has embedded the food gene in my brain.  My husband does not appreciate the flavor of the flat iron steak, cooked in an iron frying pan. And, the simplicity of plain spaghetti is just lost on him.  He wants sauce!  He eats southern country with a little Jewish influence.

There is one person that shares my connection between food and memories.  My youngest son.  Without exception, he still clings to these meals that I made for my sons.  As a single mom you go with what you know and what can be made quickly.  He tells me that my three year old granddaughter appreciates our favorite food as well.  I have had to share my secrets with my daughter in-law so the traditions can continue.  I find it funny that I have passed along egg in a hole ,steak and fries and chicken patties and applesauce instead of chicken soup and latkes.

As I sat alone tonight relishing my steak and fries, my thoughts went to my mom and it made me smile.  And then my thoughts turned a little sad as I realized I was sitting and eating alone.  My children are grown and have moved on.  My grand daughter is coming to spend the weekend with me.  We haven’t spent much time together since she lives on the other side of the country, but I plan to cook her some memories.  Life goes on.  You can hold on to your memories and review them with fondness, but you need to make new ones for the future.