A humbling experience~

So today was an interesting day. I woke somehow feeling stressy and pressed for time.  I don’t have a full-time job, my kids are grown and happy, my husband is wonderful yet I felt sorry somehow for myself.  Aww..poor me. So I ran to Wally World and after checking out noticed that the nail salon wasn’t busy so I really needed a pedicure and I thought it would make me feel better. Heck, I deserved it!!!

So I climb up in the chair and the lady doing my well deserved pedi turns on the massage thingy and I put my feet in the bubbly warm water and lean back. The nice lady starts to work and I feel the stress leaving my body. We begin to visit and I ask her a few questions and then somehow she begins to tell me the story of her life. At first I had a hard time understanding her English and would have to stop her and ask her to repeat what she said. Then I became so interested and touched I clung to every word.

She told me of her and her husbands escape from Vietnam with 8 (yes I said 8!) small children. How the communist took over and lied to the people, how her husband had been forced to work in the mines with little food and beatings for months on end. How they took her parents home and her mother was so upset she died of a massive heart attack. How her sisters daughters were raped by the  government soldiers.  About their decision to run.

Then she tells me of coming to American with 8 hungry children, 4 were his and 4 were hers and his. She tells a touching story of how they made it to Houston. They could speak very little English and were starving to death and had to find work.  How they somehow met a wonderful lady named Eva and she gave her a job cleaning her home and then they helped her husband get a job mowing lawns. This wonderful woman helped her find other houses to clean and then encouraged her to learn to do nails. That is what she did…for 15 years…from 7 am-9 pm everyday but Sunday. She cleaned all day and did nails at night. The children….well the oldest took care of the youngest. They survived and were so happy and blessed. She said this like 10 times….they were so blessed. You see this Eva lady, she took them to church. She taught them about God. She had a sports car and would take 2 children at a time and buy them shoes. Then one day, she traded her car in for a van so she could pick up the children and buy them all clothes and shoes.  Every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter she brought them all food and at Christmas gave them all presents.  She even sent her and her husband on a vacation for a week, kept the children and took them to Sea World!

I commented that she was an angel. She again told me how blessed she was, how lucky they were to have made it to America. I felt about an inch tall. I asked about her family now. She explains that her husband left and went back to Vietnam. She moved to Lubbock several years ago with her son while he went to school. You see….ALL of her children are college graduates. One of her sons is a doctor and works in the ER here. Her other son is in his last year of residency at UMC. Her daughter got her degree and moved back to Houston and married. Her youngest just graduated. Amazing! Then she tells me that the woman Eva was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.  Before she died, her and her 4 children all saved and put their money together, drove to Houston and gave her and her husband a trip to Hawaii. Eva took pictures from a helicopter flight and sent them all pictures. She passed away 6 months ago. Tears were pouring down my face, not as much from this sweet woman passing (because she is definitely in heaven) but from being humbled.  So humbled.  As she scrubs my feet, she tells ME how much she appreciates ME and how wonderful and easy her life is now.

God put this sweet, hard-working Vietnamese woman in my path today. She is blessed. She blessed me.

I had the privilege of keeping my 2 healthy, precious grand babies tonight. We all went to bed with full stomachs, snuggled safely in our warm beds in a beautiful home. I am blessed. I am truly blessed and I know it.  My prayers will be different tonight……

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Kade’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

OK, I know it is spring and it is time for fresh fruit and cookouts BUT it is rainy and dreary out here and according to the weather reports could be for several more days. I have had several friends ask for my Tortilla Soup recipe….well here it is and for the record….it is my sons. He has taken after my hubby and is a great cook. So if you feel like soup…this is yummy!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (just do it to taste..if you like a little more…go for it!!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3(10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked  ( we use frozen or fresh and I use more than this)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Small pkg of boneless chicken thighs, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (he insists on NOT using breasts but I use a whole roasted chicken occasionally!)
  • Juice of 1 lime!!!!!! Important!
  • crushed tortilla chips (he fries corn tortillas…yea right, I will leave that to him and Greg)
  • sliced avocado
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • chopped green onions
  • Sour cream

Directions

  1. In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in corn, chilies, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Right before serving squeeze the juice of 1 lime into pot. This really makes the soup!!!!!! Or you can squeeze a wedge into your bowl…
  4. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion.

If you like it hot use hot green chilies and the cayenne. That’s it and it is really yummy!!! Enjoy!!!

Be true to who you are….

Do you ever go blog surfing and think….I HATE my house?  I wish my house looked like that? I want to change everything? I catch myself doing this all the time! The fact is that most of us can’t change everything and (even if we could afford to) our homes or lifestyles may not support some of the “in” styles.  I just recently ran across these great posts and they are totally how I feel about decorating! Thanks ladies for telling it the way it is or should be! When you get a chance read My Top 10 Biggest Decorating Mistakes at The Nesting Place and my absolute favorite, Finding Your Style (what you won’t see in my home) at Southern Hospitality.

It is very nice to know that others feel the way I do!

Reading these just made me feel better, hope they do you too!!!!

Phew..we have been busy!

We have been really busy around here! We decided it was time to do a little updating. This kind of updating is not as fun as new paint and furniture but it needed to be done. Our door handles and  knobs were all gold, our faucets and bath fixtures gold and silver, and our ceiling fans were white with gold. So we ordered all new and have been busy changing out knobs and door handles, hiring plumbers, and waiting! Our shower door, fans and bath lighting are still not in!

New kitchen knobs

Door handles

handles

faucets

Roman tub faucets

By the way, oil rubbed bronze spray paint is amazing!

We had to use it on our pocket door handles because they don’t make them anymore. No one would ever know we sprayed them…

Of course I thought I had to have a new picture! I am really into botanicals!

As you know, when you start one project it leads to another.

Our TV room holds 2 leather chairs, 1 side chair and our antique bar. I have wanted seating for at least 4 in here forever. After searching and searching I finally found 2 chairs that didn’t overwhelm the room.  I found these at Grandin Road and I think it makes the room lighter and more open. Since I love gardening so much, I just totally went with the garden theme….now I call it the Garden room…LOL.

Sorry about the glare...

Then I had to plant something!!! It is still a little too early here to plant yet…we are expecting a freeze later this week. So I planted some herbs in little pots I painted with chalkboard paint and even had to plant some lavender. The house smells so good!

I love this little beverage stand..I use it for everything...except beverages!!!

We are almost done and hopefully I can get to my true passion soon…..Gardening!!

Hopefully the wind will stop blowing long enough for me to get started soon!!!!!!

Have a wonderful week!!

Gigi

What are little boys made of?

Isn’t my little grandson precious???

He is adorable but he is all boy. We found them in the garden after the Easter egg hunt having a dirt fight and eating the dirt.

I have to mention that we JUST added manure to the garden on Saturday!!!!

Boys will be boys!

This one….doesn’t like dirt, she likes pretty things….

“Sugar and spice and all things nice…..”

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!!!!