Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What is wrong with the people in this country?

I have been trying to write this post for a few days and I really don't know where to start....I like to write about happy things, but something bad happened last week, April 19th, yes, Patriots Day. We were home that morning, just outside, it was a beautiful warm, sunny day. The phone had rung and we did not hear it. When I came in there was a message from our son, he said Mom, Dad, I just want you to know I am OK...something really bad happened here today, I am not at liberty to say right now, but no matter what you hear I am OK. They will be shutting down communication so you may not hear back from me for a few days....don't worry I am OK. I knew by his voice it was bad, but had no idea what happened. Please call Grampa and Kaylee, let them know I am fine....I can't make anymore calls, I love you guys! My son is in Kabul, Afghanistan at Camp Phoenix with the 1st Battalion 101st Field Artillery Regiment, based out of Fall River MA.

I am so thankful my son called.....we received a call later that afternoon from his unit telling us there had been enemy conflict, eight soldiers were wounded and one KIA......I gulp KIA??? Killed in Action? Yes ma'am. Your son was one of the wounded, but is back to work. Wounded, how? I am sorry ma'am I do not have that information. We will have a meeting tomorrow night at the Amory and should have more details at that time......oh my God, please keep my son safe. My mind races, what Mother, wife, child, father lost their son....please God give them comfort. What happened? The reality really hits home, too close to home. Scared, sick, thankful, scared, scared,the emotions are so great.

The meeting....ahhhhh we learn that some Afgani, stole a uniform and strapped several bombs on himself and came walking up to the soldiers who are there to train them....a suicide bomber. How? Why? Who can do this? A soldier died, a father, a son...21 yrs old a mere babe. My son kept saying he was such a good man, a kind man, a friend. This part of the tribute my son posted on his face book page:

19APR2010 A daughter lost her father, a veteran lost his son, a mother lost her son, our squad lost a friend, and the 1st-101st lost a hero!! You are loved and missed by us all. And we know that bright light that your soul brought to us will help guide us through the dark. 19APR2010 GOD CALLED HOME AN ANGEL!!!WE WILL NEVER FORGET. R.I.P. SGT ROBERT BARRETT.

I have cried my eyes out and only wish I could give my son more comfort or the man's family some peace.
Now this is why I am writing this.....on Sunday the Nat'l Guard was doing a blood drive and they were standing at every corner in town to raise money for wounded soldiers. My husband and I stop and made a donation...they came right up to the car, no time or effort involved for us. We took a minute to Thank the men for their service and tell them we were proud. Now do you know how many cars whisked by, no stop, no ask, look away...pretend you don't see soldiers on the corners. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE????? Men are risking and giving their lives every day so that we can live in freedom! What is wrong? How can they just ignore what is going on. I am sensitive right now I cry at the drop of a hat.
Six Hundred soldiers left New England in January. DO you know how many families are suffering, missing loved ones, praying for their safety? All so you can whisk by on a Sunday morning, maybe go to church or breakfast, with out a care in the world.
I know the warm kind thoughtful people out there in Blog land, but what is wrong that people can be so thoughtless, so untouched? We live in a great country with freedom. I think more people need to stop and appreciate what we have here. They need to appreciate the proud strong men and women who defend their FREEDOM!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happiness is.....

Of all the things we could have done this weekend I just wanted to be home. My work has been oh so busy and we had 100yr storms here last week and many homes were flooded out, people had to evacuate. Roads are still closed. Kids have been fishing on Main Streets, but are lucky, We are high and dry, but one street over is closed down due to flooding. I decided to appreciate what I am blessed with. I just wanted to stay home and do some cleanup in the garden and not have to leave here. Our son's daughter and her Mom came to visit, a pleasant surprise...My daughter came by. We had just put our outside furniture back out and it was enjoyed! Sunshine in the form of flowers....sunflowers just make me smile:) Now when I want to work all day and not think about coming in to cook....this is a fave. Great for a party or a bunch of unexpected guests. The Barefoot Contessa is always a hit in my home. I have all her books and use them regularly. I have lots of cookbooks that sit on the shelf, but not hers, they are well used. This is her ~Chinese Chicken Salad~
8 split chicken breasts, bone in skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 pound asparagus, ends removed, cut into thirds diagonally
2 red bell peppers cored and seeded
4 scallions (white and green parts) sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken breast on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove meat from bones, discard skin, and shred chicken into large, bite size pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain. Cut peppers into strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the shredded chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Serves 12

This is the wonderful book I found the recipe in. A great way to end a wonderful day. Take it to a picnic, serve for lunch.Yummy!