Category Archives: Family

Please Join The Bully Project!

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Today, I’m donating space on my blog to promote this film and this movement. Everyone needs to care about this…kids are bullied relentlessly all across this nation every day, even sometimes to the point where they end up taking their own lives. 

Here is the description of The Bully Project copied and pasted directly from their website….

“The Bully Project highlights solutions that both address immediate needs and lead to systemic change. Starting with the film’s STOP BULLYING. SPEAK UP! call to action, The Bully Project will catalyze audience awareness to action with a series of tools and programs supported by regional and national partners.

The Bully Project is a collaborative effort that brings together partner organizations that share a commitment to ending bullying and ultimately transforming society.

Help keep The Bully Project alive by donating to the film’s social action campaign through our nonprofit partner, Creative Visions Foundation (CVF). CVF is a publicly supported 501(c)3, which supports Creative Activists who use the power of media and the arts to affect positive change in the world.  All donations are tax deductible”. 

Click Here To Visit That Nonprofit Organization’s Webpage: Creative Visions Foundation 

A link to the film’s official trailer…Please Watch! 

Finally, a link to the official page for the movement: The Bully Project Please go there, donate your Twitter and Facebook status to the cause for a day, and share this with all your friends and family. 

A lot of attention nowadays goes to bullying of kids who are gay, and that has been wonderful for anti-bullying efforts. Although this is one group of kids who are bullied, it also happens to anyone who is different in any way…special needs kids included. Please care enough to get involved and take action to combat this very real problem! 

Two Kids Of Infamously Bad Famous Parents Navigate The Forgiveness Culture

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for·give·ness [ fər gívnəss ]   Audio player
  1. act of pardoning somebody: the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing
  2. forgiving quality: the tendency to forgive offenses readily and easily

This morning, as I do most mornings, I was perusing the pop news articles, looking for interesting stuff to tweet to my followers. I ran across two articles that effectively demonstrated the polar opposite flip sides of the same coin. 

The first was a piece about Christina Crawford, child of Mommy Dearest, all set to expose Mom Joan’s “naked tapes”:   Burn! 

And the second was an article about how Ryan O’Neal has found someone new to blame for his troubles with his daughter–Oprah Winfrey: Ryan O’Neal Blames Family Drama On Oprah Of course he does…:::Insert eyeroll here:::

Both of these stories really stem from tragic tales of children wronged somehow by parents during their years growing up, and even beyond, but choosing very different ways of dealing with that reality in order to move on with their lives. 

One is society’s heroine, due to her apparent devotion to the ever growing, wildly popular forgiveness culture which dictates that in order to move on and heal from hurts inflicted upon us by others, sometimes those who were charged to love and protect us, we must forgive that person–at all costs. We have to “let it go” in order to be whole and happy. Is this true? I’m not sure, but it sounds a little too easy if you ask me. Yet Tatum, bless her tender broken heart, is doing her level best to forgive her Dad, who clearly–clearly is neither sorry, nor even aware that he has done anything the least bit wrong. If you’ve watched even a clip of the reality show on Oprah’s network starring Tatum And Ryan O’Neal, you’ll know exactly what I mean. In gut wrenching, painful reality scenes, Tatum so obviously wants nothing more than for her father to own up, and moreover, to be sorry for the past and agree to change the hurtful behaviors–or at least try. What is also obvious is that Ryan O’Neal has absolutely no intention of doing any of that, or even looking at himself seriously in any way. Yet Tatum soldiers on, and strives to forgive anyway, in the one sided, supposedly soul enriching way that is advocated by every self help guru and life coach, hiding under every rock these days. 

Clip from The O’Neals

And then there’s the one boo’ed by those experts and society at large in the Forgiveness Culture–Christina Crawford. Christina had this to say on the topic of forgiving her mother, explaining why she would have none of that hogwash,  “Forgiveness is a two-way street and she never took responsibility for her behavior.” To me, this seems the more realistic perspective on the matter, and could be healthy for folks if they do not remain simultaneously obsessed with the offender, making a career out of their mother’s career, vengefully spending waking hours looking for dirt on her to exploit in the context of a one woman show. Yikes! This seems to be going too far the other way, when naturally running screaming from the Forgiveness Culture, which imposes what I think are unrealistic expectations on wronged people to forgive those who aren’t sorry and very likely would do the same things ten times over if given the chance. 

“Why Did You Adopt Me” Scene From Mommy Dearest

I think what these two women and their experiences have to teach us is that the right answer is more than likely a response which is somewhere in between Tatum’s painful to watch, willingness to allow her narcissistic Peter Pan of a father to gut her as many times as he likes from now on in the spirit of forgiveness and enlightenment, and Christina’s cringe inducing, love/hate, don’t let it go even if it kills you, inability to separate herself and her identity from the mother who nearly destroyed her, in the name of backlash to a somewhat annoying, unrealistic Forgiveness Culture. 

So what is that happy medium? Well, it beats me. But something tells me that not many of the experts, or relationship gurus and writers write about it because it’s not a solution you can guide masses of people to find easily with a $29.95 hardback and accompanying lucrative speaking engagements. It has to be a journey that is individual, thereby unique to everyone who undertakes it, with no clear or easy path to the end. And it has to be an undertaking that will leave you whole, nobody’s free ride or doormat, but letting the past go to the point where you are truly focused upon your own life, making yourself the best you can be, and cultivating healthy relationships, not necessarily remaining hell bent upon singlehandedly fixing the ones that perhaps, sadly, will remain unfixable, because forgiveness really is a two way street…

What are your thoughts on forgiveness? 

Remembering With Recipes

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The First Page of My Grandmother’s Homemade Cookbook

When my grandmother, who I always called “Mamaw”, died a few years ago, I realized just how many of my memories of her included/revolved around food. I think this is often true about the women in our lives, because we are usually the ones doing the cooking for family gatherings, Sunday dinners, etc. The exception is cooking that involves the outdoor grilling of some slab of meat or another, in which case the memories would be of the man of the house. Because in my lifetime I don’t think I’ve ever known a guy who would allow anyone to cook anything on his grill while there was still breath in his body.

AKA, “Kay” to Everyone Who Knew Her, “Mamaw” to Me

Mamaw was a good cook—not a gourmet chef, but a good, memorable cook. Over the years she collected various recipes from friends and family members that she made a lot and that all of us remember her preparing. She is the reason that I have a particular fondness for the easy but unbelievably delicious dishes one can make by simply opening a bunch of cans and bags, mixing stuff together, and baking for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

A Favorite From the 80’s…I prefer these days to use an equivalent amount of fresh chopped broccoli instead of frozen.

And then there were her Christmas specialties such as her fabulous Bisquick Sausage Balls—to die for, people! For those of you who aren’t from the South, sausage balls are a common Christmas-time staple in our neck of the woods. They always have ground country sausage, mixed with cheddar cheese, and some sort of biscuit type ingredient to make them stick together and bake in the oven. Every Northerner or Californian I’ve ever made them for has fallen in love—with the sausage balls, not me. Mamaw found the easiest and also the most delicious sausage ball recipe ever, of course, and not only do I associate them with memories of her and her annual Christmas Eve buffet spread, but when I make them myself I can literally feel her presence in my home.

Mamaw’s Infamous Sausage Balls! I make them with less Bisquick, and more cheese, but try to get them just as “crumgly” 🙂

Food, especially a loved one’s trademarked recipes, is a conduit of memories, love, and comfort–even more so when they are gone from your life. Those sensory memories that familiar flavors spontaneously evoke are one way to keep your special person close to you always. Several years before she became ill and her health began to decline, Mamaw and my grandfather, who I always called Papaw, gathered up all her best recipes, typed them out (complete with some really endearing typos and misspellings), and made handmade cookbooks for all us kids and grandkids. My copy is well worn, and I have often referred to my “Kay’s Kollection” cookbook when planning a meal, or looking for something different to take to a potluck or Holiday gathering. And this book of Mamaw-related memory treasures honestly means more and more to me as the years pass on. Now I am somebody’s grandmother and I can only hope that my kids and grandkids will want to make some of my signature recipes someday. I have my own, and I have Mamaw’s originals, and my own versions of those with my special tweaks, that I can envision my kids and grandkids making years from now, and maybe remembering me when they do.

A 70’s Sunday Dinner Staple, Of Course! Who didn’t love to talk about Tricky Dick then?

I wanted to share all of this with you because I think more people should consider putting together handmade cookbooks like the one I treasure so. It’s a priceless gift for your kids and grandkids, a great way to carry on family traditions, and to remember all the precious times we’ve shared with the people in our lives, who all will inevitably leave us at some point. And my Mamaw’s simple recipes and some of the memories they hold for me are worth sharing with the world, I think. So, hats off to my special someone, and her knack for the simple and delicious! A few of my favorites are scattered throughout this piece, and have been photographed just as they appear in Kay’s Kollektion, with her typos and my kitchen spill stains. If you click each of the photos to view its actual size, the recipes should be very readable and, of course, easy to follow.

I hope you enjoy them, and they will encourage you to make your own memory filled cookbook for your family!

She Made This Concoction During the 70’s & 80’s. And she got it from her sister in law and friend, Opal “Opie” Hunt, who also happens to be Phil Hunt’s Mom.

Another Christmas Celebration Favorite From the 70’s!

My Grandparents, “Mamaw & Papaw”

Until next time…