Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Well, well, well, here we are at the end of another fast-as-a-freight-train month. Spring really will be here before we know it. I look for it every day.
Yesterday I checked to see if our crocus was blooming, but saw no sign yet. I did notice our tulips are beginning to pop through the soil. Seems early but with February greeting us, I guess it isn’t.
I organized my seed drawer and discovered I collect seeds the way I collect books. Maybe this year I’ll get more of them in the ground.
Sweet and Sour Cauliflower
Y’all. This sweet and sour cauliflower is delicious.
I used this recipe from Creme de la Crumb, and I didn’t change a thing other than I used jalapeño ketchup (because jalapeño ketchup is all we ever have). So maybe I made Sweet and Sour and Spicy Cauliflower?
If you are a fan of sweet and sour chicken, this is a yummy vegetarian substitution. No, it isn’t the same as eating deep fried chicken, but we can’t only live on fried chicken. You know?
Truthbomb: A filling meal doesn’t always have to include meat.
Today would have been my daddy’s 84th birthday. He has been gone so long, it doesn’t seem possible. Daddy died in 1994 of colon cancer. He was only 57.
I’m older than he was when he died.
I think of all the things he missed out on, and it feels surreal even after all this time.
Several years ago, I spent a little time researching our family tree. I fell back into the genealogy hole a few days ago and found this picture of Daddy’s grandfather on his mother’s side, John Thomas McGougan.
I never met him. Neither did Daddy, because John Thomas McGougan died in 1935 in Hayti, Missouri. (Daddy was born in ’37). Anyway, Daddy must have been named after both his dad (my grandfather, John Homer Tate) and his great-grandfather, the man pictured below, John Thomas McGougan. I think they look alike.
I don’t know why I’m blabbering on about this other than it’s Daddy’s birthday, and genealogy fascinates me. And because I recently read a book based on the biography of a Kansas farmer in the late 1800s, which has me thinking more about genealogy and our stories and the little things that disappear if we don’t write them down.
Daddy liked chocolate pudding and fudge. Momma often made both for him.
He liked his popcorn slightly burnt.
He wrote in very small, very neat, cursive writing, straight across the page.
He had a tattoo on his arm, and as long as I knew him, he had a farmer’s tan no matter the time of year.
He made the best pork ribs of anyone, cooked so slowwwwwww we nearly starved waiting to eat.
He could explain (in a way that mostly made sense) that if Train A left San Francisco traveling east at a 95 mph and Train B left Oklahoma City heading west at 110 mph (SF and OK being 1,300 miles apart), they would collide in 6.341 hours. And he would say this information is important to know.
Daddy wasn’t perfect—who is?—but some of my strongest characteristics came from him. The older I get, the more I need to talk to him.
Typical situation at our house. Annabelle lures Gracie upstairs, Annabelle rushes back down, Gracie is trapped. This happens about ten times a day.
Meanwhile, John and I are getting more steps in, which we need.
She did jump on the couch for the first time last night. So, it’s only a matter of time.
They grow up so fast. 😭😭😭
For fans of Schitt’s Creek, check out my colored pencils from Schitt’s Color$ (from PopColors). With color names like Ew David and Jazzagals and Moiroon, each shade brings back the magic of the Rose family.
I’m a sucker for Schitt’s Creek, and I’m still in mourning that the show is over after only six short binge-able seasons.
Pair my new pencils with my Schitt’s Creek coloring book, and I’m easily entertained on a cold, rainy day.
I know y’all think I don’t do anything but color and paint and eat, but I swear I’ve been working on my next book. I finished my first round of edits, started on the second round, and wrote an article for Front Porch Magazine. And don’t forget, I spend ALOT of time chasing Gracie around.
Things Momma Says:
I slept on the wrong side of the bed last night. I slept good, but the cats were confused.
Tomorrow is February. Then, onward to Groundhog’s Day. (Like every day lately hasn’t been Groundhog’s Day?) Please, Punxsutawney Phil, do NOT see your shadow. We need an early spring.
Remember in early fall when I saw the groundhog in our neighborhood? Maybe I’ll go try to find him again and get a more local weather prediction.
See you later, Sunday Letter friends. Try to act right.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. My January 2021 Book Reviews will be coming in the next day or so. Readers say, “Yay!”