Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


The Day Finally Came



This morning (May 19th) at 2:00 am, it happened. The day all parents wait for.

As you know my son lives with me. Last May he moved back home after being away 5 years for college.

Within a month of being back he found a job. YAY!!!! He works 2nd shift. I like to be awake when he comes home so he can talk about his day. I want him to know I am proud of him and that I am there for him. I know he’s 24 but I want to show him I love him and be there even at 2 AM.

This past year has been a transition for both of us. Me, losing my job and him trying to find his place in this world. It’s been tough on both of us.

When I lost my job he was in my corner, cheering me on to do whatever I wanted. He has been my biggest supporter in this new blogging world I’ve entered. He gives me ideas for blogs, and sometimes a blog comes from a conversation we have had. He gives me suggestions to do bigger things to get my name out there.

My son has helped me this past year and all the struggles that has come up. All the while trying to figure out his next step to becoming the man he wants to be.

Before the divorce my son has struggled with a lot of different things. After the divorce his struggles were longer lasting and more important, life struggles. He has gone through anger stages, hate stages, disappointments in others, disappointments with himself and just in general growing pains.

He informed me about 4 weeks ago that he was moving back to the state he went to college. I was surprised but not really. I knew this day would come, that he would leave home for good. I really thought that was going to be last year. He decided to come home instead. Which was great. I love that he is here with me.

When he told me he would be moving at the end of June, I had a bazillion questions for him. Like any other mom, the questions were, where are you going to live, do you have a job there, how are you going to do this without support, on and on and on?

He looked at me and said, “I know I don’t have all the answers, but this is something I have to do. This is something I need to do. I no longer belong in this state.”

Then he followed that up with: “I have to do this by myself, I am asking you not to step in or ask a bunch of questions”. My response was, “Great, I have been let go of 2 jobs in less than a year”. We began to talk about his decision. I have concluded that he is right, my job as a parent is done and my role is changing. I am ready for that new chapter.

He is also right about being here. Where we live is not suited for him. He needs something better. He deserves something better.

I think he is very brave making this decision. I know I couldn’t just pick up without knowing I have a backup plan. I am proud that he is trying to find his way and even making the scary decision to move.

My boy is a man, it’s time for him to leave the nest.

That is something that all parents wait for and dread at the same time, our children coming into their own and leaving home. We could not be more proud and heartbroken at the same time.

But that is NOT the day we truly long for.

The past couple of weeks have been rough for me. Learning to keep my mouth shut and not ask questions about his move. He gave me a list of things that he needs. I have been going to garage sales, flea markets and dollar stores since he sleeps in the morning due to his job.

The reality sets in when you are buying chairs to towels. I am sad but grateful I have the time to do these things for him.

Since I have been gathering things for him to have his own place, I decided to write down all my recipes and instructions on cooking.

When he came home last night (2 AM), I handed him a binder full of recipes and instructions on how-to. I informed him what was inside and he flipped through it and said “cool, thanks”. He then goes to the kitchen to make a sandwich and went upstairs to his room.

That’s when “IT” happened.

After about a minute of him in his room he runs down the stairs gives me a huge hug and says….”YOU’RE AWESOME!!!!”

I just about fell off the couch. In a joking manner I ask him, what do you want? His response is “nothing”. You are a great mom and you need to be told that you are awesome more often.

I cried like a baby. So sweet of him to say those words to me. He continues to tell me that he is grateful that he got to stay with me after the custody battle. Telling me that having me as his mom was the best thing.

He told me, he would have been worse off with his dad and he would never be the person he is today without me as his mom.

The sweetest words a mom (any person) will ever hear, is a true heartfelt “You’re Awesome”.

I realize some parents never hear those words from their kids. For that, I will say, You Are Awesome. You raised your kids and they are decent people. Great job. That’s a lot of work and you deserve the praise.

Tell me your defining moment when you realized all your hard work paid off.

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Blogger Award Encouraging Thunder #3

Thanks Raymond, A very nice compliment coming from such an active blogger. Your posts are something I look forward to. Again, Thanks so much for mentioning me and for the nomination.

Encouraging Life

Encouraging Thunder Encouraging Thunder

Here comes the third nomination for bloggers who are considered to be active bloggers, read my posts, reblog my posts, leaving lots of comments and likes to my posts. They are truly amazing people who give so much support and besides I also visited their blog and having good interaction with these awesome people. The award could be rewarded many times and who knows what might happen if someone receives the same award many times! I am very thankful for these kind bloggers and therefore I grant all of them a special award Encouraging Thunder as a symbol of protection from nature in random order 🙂

  1. Lovely
  2. Garfieldhug
  3. Michelle Cook
  4. faburlifekhloe
  5. Mariposaoro
  6. Tessa
  7. benjii1993
  8. TheUglyDucklingsLife
  9. abyssbrain
  10. AKIRAA
  11. SimpleLivingOver50
  12. Meihsiu
  13. William
  14. Ritu
  15. zdunno03
  16. Rellick
  17. Ritu
  18. Reaching Meadow Lane

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Photo Update

Walnut Tree

Walnut Tree

I have added 30 or more photos to Fine Art America website. I hope you will take a look at my work.  Click the “Photo” tab at the top of the page to view my gallery.

I have entered a few photo contests. They are not for money or awards, just for fun.
I am  trying to use the contests to market my photos and myself.  I am trying to get my name out there a little bit and leaving my comfort zone. Its’ scary putting your product/brand out there for the world to judge.

Take a  look at the contests I have entered. You may have to sign up for Fine Art America to vote. There is no obligation to purchase anything. Please help a girl out.

This is the first contest:

The other contests do not start the voting till tomorrow. You can check them out under my profile page on Fine Art America website, listed as “Contest” then participating contests.

Thanks for your help. Thanks for supporting me and reading the blog. You all are fantastic.

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4 Steps To Help With Empty Nesting

empty nest

Graduation ceremonies are over and graduation parties have been cleaned up. Now it is time to start planning for our kids to go off to college. Time for us parents to figure out what we are going to do when our child leaves home.

Scary thoughts come to mind. For us single mom’s our kids’ lives has made us who we are today. We have made our kids the center of our world. All the other stuff like our jobs are things we have to do in order to be with our kids.

With them leaving home, our role is changing. What are we going to do without someone to take care of? Our helper is leaving us. What are going to do without 3-10 other teenagers in our homes on any given day? The questions and fears are real.

For some of us this transition will be really tough and others, not so much.

Here are a few things that I did to prep myself when my son went away to college. He was 2 states and an hour drive away. This was a huge transition for both of us.

Be prepared. Be prepared for stillness in your home. Get yourself ready for the quiet. That was the big one for me.

Be ready for the meals for one. Get ready for less cleaning and less laundry. I didn’t realize how dirty boys are till mine left.

Be prepared for the emotions you will go through and think about your reactions to those emotions.

All of those heartfelt conversations at midnight will be over. Sad I know. But I promise the conversations you will have when they come home to visit are amazing.

There will be no more arguments over chores, playing video games and chatting on the phone to much.

Some big changes are coming. Get ready.

Being mentally prepared takes some of the pressure off when things do come up.

Relax. This is not the end of the world. This is only a new chapter in your book. Remind yourself that this is good for my child.

Relax and enjoy the quiet in your home. Enjoy not having to clean so often or do laundry every day.

Remind yourself that you did everything you needed to do to raise your child.

This is the time to enjoy the things you may have missed out on.

Time to let your child shine on their own and show us we did well.

The more relaxed you are the easier it is for you.

Do something. Don’t set in the emotions or the loneliness. Get up and do something. You have been busy for your child, now do some things for you.

Get back into that hobby that was pushed to the side since you became a mom.

Visit your friends whenever you want. Have people over to your house. It will be a nice change from teenager conversations to adult conversations.

Reinvent yourself. Do something you have always wanted to do but didn’t because you had a child at home.

Think about the positives. Think about all the great things that will happen to your child. Their journey is new and I guarantee you they still need you. It’s just in a different way now.

Think about how your journey as a parent and how it has changed you.

Think about how nice it will be to be in the bathroom with them not bugging you. Or how nice it will be not to have that dreaded question….what’s for dinner?

Going to the refrigerator and realizing that the milk container is not empty and the left-overs are still there.

It’s a positive to be in your car and not have to turn down the radio or listen to whatever yucky music they were listening to the night before.

This is a fun time for both of you. Embrace the opportunities you have. You know your child is embracing this big new world and you can do the same.

Having your home empty is not a bad thing. It’s just a new thing. Enjoy it, relax and have some fun along the way.

I hope these suggestions will help you. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

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Photo Promo

For the next 5 days I am having a promo on one of my photos. You can order a 16 x 20 stretched canvas print at a special price.

This is a limited offer. I only have five (5) that are available.

Get yours today before they are all gone.

Click the link below and you will  be taken directly to the  offer.

Thanks for taking a look. Have a wonderful weekend.



Never Forgotten

Local Cemetery

Local Cemetery

Monday, May 25th is Memorial Day.

I know for most of us we are looking forward to having a long weekend and enjoying some time off from work. It is great to spend extra time with family and friends this weekend.

For me this weekend reminds me of all my family, Uncles and cousins that have served and still serving this great nation in the armed forces. It reminds me that our country’s freedom has a price.

That price is the commitment these folks give to our country. They are away from their families for long periods of time and sometimes with no communications for weeks or months to their families. The greatest price that is paid for our freedom and protection is: these brave men and women are willing and proud to lay down their lives for you, me and for their brothers/sisters fighting beside them.

We live in an amazing country, let’s not forget how we got here and the people that laid their lives on the line for all of us to enjoy this great country.

This weekend is to remember the ones that have gave their lives protecting our freedom. Remembering those still serving to protect us.

I want to challenge you to “Thank” a vet, any vet.

In Memory of those who have served

In Memory of those who have served

Buy a dozen flowers and go to your local cemetery and place a flower on each headstone that represents a soldier.

Put an American flag in the window of your home or in your yard.

If you know someone that has served or is serving, Make a phone call and tell them Thank You. Send them a text.

Go on social media and “Thank” every person that has served our country.

Plant a tree in memory of the ones that gave their lives.

My point is, don’t let this weekend be just another extra-long weekend.

God Bless The USA

God Bless The USA

On a personal note, My “Thank You”.

To my Grandpa’s brother, Woodrow Dixon: Served as a Navy gunner in WWII. He gave his life on September 11, 1943 on his ship the USS Savannah (a destroyer) when it was hit with a 500 pound bomb. Woodrow has a marker at Arlington National Cemetery. Thank you, Woodrow for your sacrifice. You gave your life to protect mine.

To my Grandpa’s nephew, CP Dixon: served as a pilot for our country in 3 wars, WWII, Korean and Vietnam. He was shot down 3 times and lived to tell his story. Thank you for your bravery.

I am grateful for my Uncles that have served. I wish I could name all of you. There have been so many I do not want to leave anyone out. But you know who you are. Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice by serving our country and protecting our family.

Thank you to all my cousins that are serving or have served. You are a wonderful group of human beings and I am blessed to call you family. Thank you for protecting our country and preserving our freedom. Most of all thank you for your bravery and your love for country.

I love each one of you and so very proud to call you family.

To all the service-men/women in my family, to the ones that gave the ultimate sacrifice, to you that have served/still serving and protecting this great nation. Thank you, your love for family and country does not go unnoticed and will always be remembered.

Thank You

Thank You

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6 Simple Recipes I Use

I am not a chef. I’m a mom that likes food and my kid is a picky eater. These are my recipes either handed down from my family or things I have made up myself.

The recipes are simple and don’t cost a lot of money. They are not gourmet meals and you may think they are not the healthiest. But they have served us well for many years.

These recipes are meant to feed my family on a dime and to have as many servings as possible to save me money. The recipes are for serving 6 people or more. They are quick meals that generally have about 20 minutes or less prep time and can be cooked in crock pot or actual cooking time is less than an hour.

These recipes are great for pot luck meals, reunions, or to have on hand when friends, family pop in at dinner time.

Sorry, I only have a few pictures for the recipes.  I also didn’t’ give precise measurements for seasonings because I do not measure. Sorry.

Here are 6 of my simple recipes I like to use.


Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

3 Lbs. ground beef or turkey                                     1-2 Heads or bags Lettuce

1 Large Onion                                                              2-4 Tomatoes

Salsa or taco sauce                                                     2 large bags Shredded cheese

Sour cream                                                                   2-3 bags Corn chips, Doritos, or tortilla chips

Brown hamburger in large skillet, add whatever seasonings you would like. You can add a packet of taco seasoning too. Drain hamburger and set aside in a bowl.

Chop up all veggies and put them in separate bowls.

You can use any combo of the chips or just one kind.

Now comes the fun. Get a couple handful of chips and crush them up on your plate. Then add some hamburger, shredded cheese, some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a little sour cream and drizzle taco sauce on top and enjoy.

You can also add black beans, refried beans, and rice. Feeds approx. 6-8

Smoked Sausage with Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

2 packages of Smoked Sausages (Hillshire works great)

2 boxes Zatarains Red Beans and Rice

I cut the sausages in quarters then split each quarter. I then place on baking sheet and bake on 400 for about 15 minutes.

After sausage is cooked I then slice each quarter into bite size pieces.

Cook the rice and beans according to box instructions.

When rice is almost done, add the sausage and continue cooking till rice/beans are done.

Serve with salad and French bread. Serves 6 people

You can add corn, okra to the mix as well. You can make this with chicken or shrimp.

You can also add beef broth to make into a soup.

Italian chicken

6-8 Chicken breast                               2 Bottles of Zesty Italian salad dressing

Put chicken breast in crock pot. Cover chicken with dressing. If you want less Zest add some water.

Cover with lid. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. You can do this right before you leave for work and dinner is ready when you get home.

You can also cook chicken in oven with dressing. Put in casserole dish cover with dressing and cook on 425 for about an hour.

You can put chicken on a bed of pasta or rice or leafy greens. You can serve by itself with a baked potato and a salad. Serves 6-8

Baked Pasta Pizza

2 lbs. hamburger or ground turkey                          1 lrg. packet Pepperoni

2 jars spaghetti sauce                                                  1 lrg. Packet shredded cheese

1 box elbow macaroni

Brown hamburger and season the way you want.

In a large pot boil water and cook macaroni. When pasta is cooked, drain and add hamburger and 1 jar of spaghetti sauce. Mix together and if the mixture is too dry or not saucy enough, add second jar of sauce.

Once combined transfer pasta mixture to an 11×13 casserole dish. Top with cheese and pepperoni.

Put in oven (uncovered) on 400 degrees till cheese is melted and almost golden, 10-15 minutes.

Serve with salad and a nice French bread. Serves 8-10

You can also add onion, green pepper or mushroom when browning hamburger.

Junk Casserole

I call this a junk casserole because I use whatever I have in the house.

2 boxes of scalloped potatoes or 2 boxes of Mac-n-Cheese

1-Lbs. hamburger or a package ½ package of hot dogs (chopped), or a few slices of thick sliced ham (chopped). Basically any meat of choice you just need approximately 1 pound

2 cans vegetables: corn. Peas, lima beans, green beans, spinach, frozen veggies (1 bag), broccoli, carrots, (any combo of 2 veggies)

Brown meat if not already cooked.

Put potatoes or mac-n-cheese in large casserole dish. Prep according to instructions on box.

Drain canned veggies or frozen veggies and add to casserole dish.

Add meat and stir together.

You can top with cheese, crackers, crushed Cheez-its.

Cook according to box instructions.

Serves 6 people.

Green Beans/Potatoes and Ham

Green Beans Potatoes and Ham

Green Beans Potatoes and Ham

6-8 small cans of green beans or 2 of the large size

5-6 potatoes medium size

2 packages of chunked ham (1 Lb.)

Put cans of green beans in a large crock pot. Do not drain

Peel and cut potatoes in large pieces. Put in crock pot

Rinse Ham and put in crock pot.

Add salt to taste in you want.

You can cook on low over night till you get home. Put everything in crock pot before you go to bed. It will be fine to cook for 16 hours or more.

You can cook before you go to work. Turn crock pot on high and cook till you are ready for dinner.

Corn bread is great with this dish. I also like sliced tomatoes with a slice of bread with butter.

Serves: 6-10

The websites I have listed below are just some suggestions for simple meal ideas. I am not endorsing these sites nor do I get paid to share these sites. They are things that I personally use or like and thought they may help you.

Tell me what your favorite recipe is and I will share them in a post. Let me know if you tried any of the recipes and which ones you liked. Would love to hear your input.