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August 28, 2011

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

It was just a plain wall that never looked dressed up no matter what picture I hung there. My home is a very small size three bedroom home, where living and dining room share the big room with designated sides that we call "Area". 

My brother Carlos had given me the trim he no longer needed and I used it to trim this mirror I picked up at a yard sale for 25.00. The room looks larger because of the mirror, yet it still seems unfinished. I am on the look-out for antique Limoges plates to put on each side. I have seen several plates but it has not drawn me to purchase any. Once I find the right plates I will add a new picture to share with you.

August 26, 2011


1008 E. Camelback Road, what a busy place! The moment you approach the patio you hear laughter and music. The servers were bringing food or clearing tables, yet with all the rush they stopped for a moment to greet us as we walked by, and not just a greeting as in passing but a warm smile and friendly words of welcome
as they acknowledged us as their guest. The atmosphere is definitely Italian; fun with people talking, laughing and dishes clanking in the background. I looked about and could see everyone was having a good time and enjoying their meal with friends or family. At no table did I see anyone sitting alone. Oregano’s is a place for groups of two or more people. It is very casual, very loud, lots of food and a lot of hustle and bustle.

For an appetizer, we ordered the brochette and it was wonderful. The freshest tomato, onions, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and basil leaves topped the freshly made bread. Cruets were placed at our table with warmed olive oil and balsamic vinegar adding flavor that was pleasing to everyone. Mmm, excuse me, my mouth is watering just remembering the flavor of the brochette. My meal was a hot Italian sausage sandwich with sauteed onions and peppers. “Momma Mia! That’s a spicy meatball”, I mean sausage! Incredible is all I can say.

Would I recommend this place to my friends? The ambiance is similar to an Applebee's or a Chilies restaurant without the large screen TV but they serve alcohol. Because of this, lunch would be the better time to eat there, since the patrons are local business professionals whose state of mind must remain competent.

What Cha Cooking, Oregano's Menu, August 25, 2011
“Momma Mia! That’s a spicy meatball”, Alka Seltzer Commercial 1969,  Arizona, August 27, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alka-Seltzer

August 20, 2011

New Find

There was loveliness, right before my eyes as I walked into an antique store and found this beautiful tablecloth and napkins for only $45.00. So, I got an early start on Christmas and bought myself this treasure. Isn't gift giving a really great thing? Took it to the dry cleaners and had to put it on my table. "What a find!" or is it, "What a steal!" I am wishing myself a very Merry Christmas.

Happy Birthday, Jared!!!

Woooohoooo! 21 today. Let's celebrate!

August 18, 2011

Back to School

On Monday, August 22, school starts again. Christopher is starting his eleventh year and is fully excited for it to begin. The privilege's of being a Junior is going to cost him a lot of work. 
Along with the Senior class he will be participating in school fundraisers for the graduating class of 2012. There will be hot lunches he will need to contribute too, rummage sales where he will stay up all night pricing and setting up the school parking lot for the sale and a few of the boys will be sleeping in the parking lot posing as "Night Security". He will be helping make tamales for the Christmas season, and running the snack bar at school. I know there will be days when he is going to tell me on the morning of or on the night before an event that he needs to take this and that or that I was supposed to cook or bake and by the way, where did I leave his permission slip? I have lived this life routine for 11 school years plus kindergarten, and every year I say I will plan better, shop wiser, that I will be the school mom everyone loves because I am willing to go the extra mile and oh, so helpful! Like I said, "Christopher is starting his eleventh year and is fully excited for it to begin." This privilege of him being a Junior is going to cost me a lot of work.

August 11, 2011


I have a vast collection of cookbooks that I purchased at yard sales, antique stores, ladies auxiliary, or any bookstore that has a Starbucks in it. I have tried to condense my kitchen library several times, but this cookbook has this recipe and I cannot do without that recipe; then they get replaced in the bookshelf right where they belong, right where I need them to be if I am looking for that particular recipe everyone enjoys.
But, I have found some of the best recipes are those I just “whipped up” and “add a little of this” and a “squeeze of that”, needs a “pinch”, then “top it off with grated and crumbled”, and serve.
The table has been set, the aromas have filled the air, and the voices are leaving their rooms and entering my domain, and the only language I hear them speak is “Umm, yumm”. It’s funny though, because it is a language I understand. Okay, so I keep the cookbooks for comfort and because it provides the look of a gourmet cook (prideful, tsk,tsk.)and I have used a few recipes. So, I must confess, “Father, most of the time these cookbooks stay on the shelf and I use the ingredients Mom used back home to guide my cooking. I am following the “Old Bookmark” in my mind as it turns the pages of the Commandments I remember like: Do not add cinnamon instead of cumin in the Spanish rice, (my first attempt at making rice), Do not forget to put the sugar in the custard, (Oops!, but I asked him if he was alright!), and, Do not catch my blouse on fire from the gas cook stove, (it was one of my favorites, too). Father, you have kept me alive and others as well. For which, I give you thanks. Amen".

Happy Birthday, Jared

Twenty-one years; it seems like such a long time but it happened when I blinked my eyes. You passed the teen years and we came through alright, now the fun really begins. This is where, for many, decisions are cemented in life, perhaps marriage, purchasing a home, or whether to have a family and settle down. None the less, I know whatever decision you make will be done carefully and with prayer as you have shown through the early years to be your heart’s desire to please our Lord. I love you, Son, “Happy Birthday”, and happy, happy everything and everyday of your life. You make me proud just to be your mom.

August 03, 2011

Raspberry 51Chevy Convertible Deluxe

Just for one night, when the weather was still cool, in this incredible car we went to get ice cream. This kind of car gets the attention of everyone. Strangers wanted to sit in the driver seat and have pictures of themselves taken from their cell phones. So, I did the same. It was not my car, but for one moment, I was able to pretend that this beautiful car in it's pink berry tones was mine. And then I heard the click and flash, and now, I only have the picture. It is what we call a Momento.

Days from My Childhood

I mentioned I come from a family of 16; ten boys and six girls, these are the ones that made it to adulthood; my parents actually had 21 in all. I never met the other five children; they passed before I was born. I got to grow up with the best family. I enjoyed watching my brother’s haul hay or drive diesel trucks for my dad’s company, Fred Espinoza and Son’s Trucking Co., with loads of watermelons or peaches onto our ranch, I would climb on the back of those trailers as quick as any barefooted little redheaded country girl could and eat a summer peach. We would eat so many watermelons till our hands and faces were so sticky from all the juice, our fingers would stick together. I can still remember my sisters preparing the evening meal for when the men came home; it was a time of excitement for me because I knew if I stayed close I would get a hot tortilla freshly made and smothered in butter. Ours was a very old fashioned way of dinnertime, because there were many of us, the men would eat first, then the women and children. But we never complained that was just the way things were.

Our homes were always big some even had 2 story guest houses so we could all fit. After I grew up my sister Olga and I were at the swap meet in Phoenix, talking to people we just met and they mentioned they were from Modesto, California, we said, “Us, too”. We told them where we lived and they responded with “Oh!, The house with all the adopted kids?” How we laughed. 
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