These Aren’t Your Momma’s Sloppy Joes! (well,my Mom anyway)

I grew up on Sloppy Joes or “Manwiches” as they were called in the 70’s. I loved them, they were better than the chicken liver my Mother made us eat! And they were cheap, hence why we were eating them and I suppose forced to eat chicken liver too…. but I digress. Sloppy joes! My Mother-in-law is the best! A few years back she made all of us a book of recipes from her kitchen, which I thought was very thoughtful and something I will forever cherish. In that book was her Sloppy Joe recipe. My family loves this! It is way better than Manwich from a can that is for sure! I want to share it with you! (Diane, I hope you don’t mind;-)

What you need:

  •  1-2 lbs of Hamburger (I used 85%)

  • 1 Green Pepper

  • 1 Onion

  • Buns

  • 1 cup Ketchup

  • 1 Tbsp Mustard

  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar


The actual recipe card in the book with her writing!


You saute the pepper and onion first in a little butter or olive oil, then add the meat. Notice that handy dandy tool in there? That is also from my Mom-in-law! It is awesome!


 Once the meat is browned, you throw in the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar! Let is simmer for a little bit-like 10 minutes or more and Voila! You are done! Serve on hamburger buns. They are messy, so I eat mine with a fork!


Finding a Passion

Sometimes passions find us and sometimes we find them. But either way, when you are at it, making it, living it-The Passion is what makes us feel alive. It is the essence and meaning to our being. It is the “good stuff.”  When we can witness it, it is also the “good stuff” and quite a blessing.


An Open Letter To My Mom

May 10, 2014
The Eve of Mother’s Day
An Open Letter To My Mom,
It will be 15 years at the end of June since you have left your worldly body. I know some might say things like: “my heart aches each day for the emptiness and lack I feel each year she is not here to celebrate Mother’s day” or “it feels just like yesterday that you were here, I miss you so!”
In 15 years a lot has happened in my life. My children have grown into teenagers, they eat a lot. They drive me nuts at times, not turning their jeans” inside right” before they throw them into the wash! My husband and I are still married, who d’a thought! He is my best friend. I have been challenged in more ways than I ever thought possible-Yes, even more than losing You when I was 29 and you were 50. I’ve gotten fat, we have another dog.
But perhaps the reason my heart doesn’t ache every day, every holiday, ever sad Mother’s Day without you is because… well, I guess I made a choice a long time ago, not to let it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, through the years I have had my moments, my wailing cries, asking God “Why Me?” Why MY Mom?! I have been pissed when I can’t just call you up to ask you about that recipe or where those pictures are? I want so badly to tell you about what Mimi did or how well she is doing! I have been envious when I see my friends with their Moms still in their life and feel angry that you are not.
But you know all this, don’t you? You know about the times I have wept and felt furious at the loss of You. You know about the pool we put in and that my “real” father died. You know my life is blessed, but far from easy.
I know you don’t wonder how I know this and it isn’t our little secret. I feel you Mom. I feel you in the wind on a warm summer’s day. I see you in the Tiger Lily’s on the side of the road. I smell you from the fragrance of an old worn book. I hear you in a song on the radio, and I SEE you at night in my dreams….
Mom, I wish you were still here in your body to share Mother’s Day with me. But alas, I know you were tired and it was time to shed that old skin and stretch your wings into lightness and love, where there would no longer be pain.
So tomorrow I shall celebrate you, My Mother, with my own Motherhood. I will be grateful for my sons and my husband, and one day where maybe, just maybe I won’t have to do laundry! I will feel the warm breeze of spring on my face and smile with lightness in my heart! I will listen for songs on the radio that spark a memory or a feeling that reminds me of you. I won’t be sad, or sorry for the loss of you, I will feel gratitude for having you as MY Mother for as long as did. I certainly wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for you.
But you already know all this, don’t you? Happy Mother’s Day Mom! May you continue to be ever present in my life until we meet again someday!

172048_1701493691800_2654571_oShirley Ann Woodward

My Mom