God Bless the Bloated Road

It’s not often a person can brag they went around the world in a month, but here we are.

It wasn’t just me, but my entire family that went on this journey and we never left our kitchens.

I left December a few pounds heavier after the culinary road trip that took us to Germany, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, and of course, the deep south.

Every year at Christmas my family picks a food theme that will cleanse our collective palates of turkey.

This year we chose Mexican food, and my Mom’s house was full of tacos, enchiladas, guacamole, queso, enchiritos and sweets – all homemade. We are amazing when we travel together, and even moreso when we cook together.

Nobody messed up, and there will be nobody to bring paper goods to the next event, so we’ll probably travel to the Sandwich Islands next year.

A week later, the culinary adventure continued in South Carolina when my daughter (who is not Italian, that I know of) greeted us the first night there with her homemade spaghetti. The next night they took us to Brazil with some great steaks, then off to Germany when my son-in-law made Schnitzel.

When it was my turn for the trip’s itinerary, I chose our roots.

This means I went all the way to the redneck branch of the family that likes to sit on the porch with our crazy and a mason jar full of … homemade (of course) beverages.

That’s right, my leg of the trip wasn’t to a glamorous place, unless you consider banjos elegant dinner music. I took us to the woods where Spam and potatoes are fried together openly and with no shame whatsoever.

And it was good, as long as you don’t consider my husband’s opinion about Spam and the people who eat it.

We ran out of year before he could take us to his country where the food is brown and vegetables that aren’t spelled p-o-t-a-t-o are not on the menu.

It just occured to me what I really got for Christmas. Pounds – delicious ones and a lot of them. And I have just enough time to get into shape before our next trip.

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Cookies, Saints and Ghosts

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day that ultimately ended in mystery and intrigue, mostly on the part of my sweet husband, Bobby.

The Patron Saint of Hips, Thighs (& Happiness)

I talked to both of my children who live out of state. I looked on adoringly while everyone and their mother wished everyone and their mother Happy Mother’s Day on Facebook. Then I put some pants on and took my own mother some flowers and a tray of cookies that included her favorites – the Macadamia Nut white chocolate chip variety. That should have made me her favorite.

But no.

The Patron Saint of Animals (and now Mother’s Day)

My sister, Kay, got our animal lover mother a Saint Francis of Assisi Statue. Her gift probably trumped a plate of cookies because Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, while cookies are the patron saints of hips and thighs. Also, the flowers are certain to die eventually, and that I know of there is no patron saint to keep cut flowers alive.

Next year, Kay. Next year.

Later that night I settled in for some solo viewing of a Ghost Asylum marathon on TV, which is a reality show about ghost hunters from the south. I had never watched this show before, but ghost hunting shows are my guilty pleasure.


After a couple hours of this new show, I emerged from my cave and my husband asked what I was watching.

I told him, “It’s this show about ghost hunters from the south. There’s this one good-looking redneck who wears a thumb ring. And their thing is …  they want to catch a ghost.”

A Southern Ghost complete with a thumb ring, grandma’s quilt and Vans

“On film?”

“Oh no … no, no, no, no, no. In a contraption of some sort. Like GhostBusters, only being a  southern ghost trap, I’m pretty sure it is made with WD40, duck tape and spot welds. Their entire body of work depends on getting a ghost to get into that contraption and frankly, I’m rooting for them.”

“You are kidding me.”

“I wouldn’t do that. But, I haven’t even gotten to the good part. One of them actually said, ‘We need to figure out what we’re going to do with it if we catch it.’ Apparently it’s still early in the season and they haven’t figured out all the details.”

“How can you watch that garbage?”

“The bigger question is how can I not watch it? Because if they catch the ghost, I want to know what they do with it.”

They didn’t catch the ghost this week, which would have been a great Mother’s Day gift to me.

Next week, Bobby. Next week.


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