Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Letter to Moon


This past weekend, much like the last few, we have been going through mom’s stuff that she and dad had put in storage at least 6 years ago.  For the most part it has not been that emotional for me. My parents bought storage rooms. You know like the guys on Storage Wars. So a lot of the stuff they have doesn’t have a sentimental value tied to it. It is actually making it easier to go through.

One of the exceptions is her safe, she didn’t have a lot of worldly possessions in her safe mostly papers, some marbles my Papa had given her as a child, stuff like that. One of the papers in her safe was a letter that my Papa had written my baby brother before he was even born.

A little bit of history: my Papa wanted to name my brother Moon. My parents gave him a resounding NO. But he kept on pestering. Dad’s parents picked nice Irish names and mom and dad were going with those. But my Papa, with Indian blood flowing through him stood strong and kept insisting that his Grandson’s name was going to be Moon.

It wasn’t until my mom and dad got the letter, addressed to Moon, that they changed their minds and knew this child coming would have to have Moon in his name. My mom saved the letter and I found it in the safe. Even though it is too my brother, it is all about my mom. It is a beautiful letter written by a Daddy that loved her so much his heart must have exploded. I know how that feels with my little one.

Here is the letter – with his grammar errors and all:


                                                                                                                                4 am June 22, 1977

Dear Moon,

This will probably be the first letter you receive in this great world. I just wanted to be one of the first to welcome you. Moon, I want to tell you a few things about one of the greatest person in the world, she is your mother, Carlotta (I have left out her full name but Papa wrote it here). I have known her all her life and very few people could mean as much to me as she does.

I remember from the day she was born she was not too cute but she was my black head a very good baby with big eyes and a loving heart. And she has never lost that loving heart. She was at my heels from the time she could walk until she got married.

I could never milk a cow, feed a pig, work in the garden, or do anything that she was not there and she always helped me whatever I was doing. Sometimes I wish I could keep her that way, a little child, but the Lord bless me and let her grow up into the finest person in the world.  She will always be that little girl to me. I love her so much.

I remember when she would let me milk Su pet milk right in her mouth. Ride Friedman(?) the bull, feed the hogs. She was always doing something.  She never shucks her duties in fact she does more than her share of work. May it be easy or hard she never complains. She did a lot of her sister and brothers jobs too. You could never ask her where anything was that she just couldn’t go and put her hands right on it.

I remember one day when she was about 4 years old. We were riding along and she saw a house painted yellow. She said “Daddy get some yellow wood and build us a yellow house.” She did not have a lot as she grew up but one thing she had enough of was pink dresses. At one time she had 11 pink dresses. She was so pretty in pink.

She followed me everywhere I went. She would go to work with me and stay all day, help when she could. Go with me shopping, just anywhere she could be with me. She was a daddy’s girl. I miss those great times. But those memories will linger as long as there is life in my body and in eternity we will be together again.

Moon, I could go on and write for weeks or even years telling you what a fine person your mother is and how much she means to my life. I love her so much. But I won’t write on and on, I will just wait and let you see some of these nice things in your mother for yourself as you grow up.

If I never have a lot of material things in this world, I have something more precious, “Your Mother”.

Moon, I will close now but remember I love you and sweet Shelly, also your father.

May the Lord bless you and your family; see you when you start to school. (oh he was such a jokester)

I love you all,

Papa Cliff


Before I was a parent I would have never understood the extent of a love for your child. My Papa loved my Momma with great intensity.

My mom was like this as an adult to. She was a loving loyal hard worker who never ever complained.
Papa raised a good daughter and I am blessed that she was my mom. And just like one of his lines in his letter, Momma and Papa are now spending eternity together.

Oh and needless to say my brother’s middle name is Moon!

Its Soup Time!


It is that time of year again. The weather is getting cold and when we think about dinner we start thinking about comfort foods and soups. No wonder we gain so much weight in the winter months. Along with all the holidays we have a natural drawing towards comfort foods.

I made a great Chicken soup last night and I just have to share it with you. I know this isn’t a food blog but it is about life and we have to eat to live. The challenge for me is that I love comfort foods and I am on Weight Watchers. On Weight Watchers you can eat just about anything you want as long as you count your points, but you want to use those points wisely.

So I took a recipe from Campbells Kitchen, Mom’s Favorite Chicken Soup and tweaked it and bulked it up. Here is the original recipe.
I took away some of the fat but kept all the flavor. This is a very yummy soup and for you Weight Watchers conscience cookers like me, my version is only 6 WW Points Plus for a cup. I promise you though you will feel guilty eating it, it is so good.

So Here it is:
Shelly’s Yummy Chicken Soup

  • 4 Cups Water
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (uncooked)
  • 2 Stalks Celery Chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion Coarsely Choppped
  • 2 Cups Baby Carrots Sliced into 4 lengthwise strips
  • 2 Cups potatoes cut into about 1” pieces
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Whole Kernel Corn
  • 2 10 ¾ Oz Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Slices American Cheese Singles
  • 2 Slices Low-Fat American Cheese Singles
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce


Place uncooked chicken breast and chopped celery in the 4 Cups of water, season water with salt and pepper to your taste and boil chicken breast until done on medium heat. About 40 minutes.

When chicken breasts are done remove them from water and set aside. You should have about 3 cups of chicken broth left in the pot.

Add Onions and Carrots to broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and add potatoes, peas, and corn, cook for approx 20-30 minutes or until veggies are all tender, stirring as needed.

While the veggies are cooking take your cooled chicken breast and pull apart into chunks or shredded pieces. It should have boiled so tender that you can do this with your hands. Remove any pieces of fat you come across. You will only be using 10oz of the chicken (it is best if you have a food scale to measure out the 10 oz) Shredded this goes a long way.

When the veggies are tender add the shredded chicken, canned soup and 4 cheese slices. Stir until cheese is fully melted.

Serve with hot sauce if desired (we put this in our individual bowls so that our 2 year old could eat and it is not too spicy)

Makes 8 – 1 Cup Servings for 6 WW Points Plus Points.

Ok hope you guys enjoy as much as I did.

Have a great day!

She is in the Presence of her Maker


It has been a few months since I have written anything here.

It has taken me this long to be able to sit down at the computer and write without bawling my eyes out.

On September 9th my mother went to sleep for the last time. She was surrounded by her best friend, her pastor, and her sister. They told me they were playing her favorite song on the CD player, holding her hands and praying with her. She did not struggle; she did not feel any pain. She just simply took one last breath and left our world and stood in front of her maker.

I wasn’t with her but I think she wanted it that way. I think she was trying to keep myself and my brother from the pain of seeing her take her last breath. My mother was that kind of person. She was the most kind, generous, and loving woman you could have ever met. She loved her family and she would stand down giants to take care of us.

It was hard the last few months as I watched her slowly die here. But I wouldn’t change that for the world. My mother took care of us all our lives and I was able to give back a little to her, to take care of at a time in her life when she truly needed it.

I have been through all the stages of grief and I am beginning to see the light at the end. To realize I don’t have to feel guilty that life goes on. I don’t see her ghosts (those little reminders) in the rooms as much anymore. I don’t come down the stairs expecting to see her as often anymore. I don’t hear a crash and feel my heart drop that something happened to her anymore.

Stormy still asks about her often. But she says now that Nana lives in her heart like Jesus. It makes me terribly sad and terribly happy all at the same time. I am so glad that she got to know her Nana; even it was just for a little while. And I truly believe that Stormy is the only reason that mom fought her Cancer so hard at the beginning. She was determined she was going to see the child she had been waiting on for so long.

Life does go on. I didn’t get to give mom all the things I wanted to give her; a cruise, a visit to the aquarium, and many more things. She knows I tried! I only hope that I am able to give Stormy all the things she wants in life.

If I could give you any advice it would be don’t wait for the “right” moment to do those things you want to do in life, make the “right” moment right now. You never know how much time you have left on this earth.