Showing posts with label true life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label true life. Show all posts

Friday, October 25, 2013

La Bella Mafia - Morgan St. James & Dennis N. Griffin, Authors

Honey Bun Cake
(A Bella Favorite)

1 pkg. Super Moist butter recipe yellow cake mix
2 sticks of butter (1 cup) softened
4 eggs
1 container (8 oz.) sour cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease bottom only of 13 x 9 pan, or spray with non-stick spray.  Remove 1/2 cup of dry cake mix and set aside.  Beat remaining dry cake mix, butter, eggs and sour cream in large bowl on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Spread half batter in pan.  Stir together reserved dry cake mix, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.  Sprinkle over batter in pan.  Carefully spread remaining batter over pecan mixture (to make spreading easier, drop batter by dollops over pecan mixture then spread).  Bake 30-33 minutes or until deep golden brown and cake springs back when touched lightly in center.  Stir powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thin enough to drizzle (stirring in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time if necessary).  Poke top of warm cake several times with fork and spread glaze over top of cake.  Cool completely and store covered.
La Bella Mafia – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

I was old enough to want to try to figure out how I became the person I was.  I felt a need to locate people who had known me when I was little.  I was able to find one of the social workers who worked with my whole family when I was small.  I stayed with that woman for a week, went places wither family, ate dinner with them and learned a lot about those early years.  She was wonderfully frank about answering every question I asked her. 

I wanted to know how she saw me as a child.  Imagine my shock when she said, “I saw you as a little girl who could poison her parents’ coffee and walk away like nothing happened.

Bella was four when the abuse really took hold of her life.  Her mother was an addict, her father had ‘connection’ and got his enjoyment by getting drunk and beating her mother and older brother.  Her brother got his kicks by beating her and later abusing her sexually.  And after he mother went into rehab her father decided she would become his punching bag.  But Bella didn’t give up nor give in to any of her life of hell.  It was the only way of life she had ever known so it became ‘normal’ to her.  So when she started cutting school, drinking and doing drugs she was doing what was normal.  But when the beatings got worse she had no choice but to turn herself in to social services for protection, several times.  That venue out was sometimes good and sometimes bad.  She was tossed from foster homes that didn’t care, to one that really did to a group home that she found to be more of a cult than a real home for her and the others living there.

With all of the beatings as a child as well as an adult, it’s a miracle that Bella survived.  Her determination, with the help of God, kept her from committing suicide many times. It gave her the courage to live next door to the park that was practically owned by a gang known as the Crips.   It gave her the strength to stand up to her husband, take her four daughters and leave everything she knew and loved and start over while burying herself in hiding.  But most importantly, it gave her the knowledge and desire to help others who have been through her trials in life and are on the verge of giving up. 

I can’t help but be amazed by this woman whom I see as being terribly strong but I also see her as one that can never let her mental guard down for fear of slipping.  There are few women, or men, in this world that I truly admire.  Most people never acquire the strength to fight back and keep going while living through what Bella has endured her whole life.  Most give up and give in, eventually destroying what is left both inside and out.  But not Bella.  This book is one that everyone, male and female, should not only read but listen to what you’re reading.  While reading I ran across what I believe to be the perfect closing for my review.  This is Bella’s purpose in life and I can’t help but feel proud to say that I’ve read her story and felt her pain, as much as possible, without going through this with her.   This is priceless.

“When your reality is a living Hell, you actually do believe you did something wrong and that’s why you’re there.  The first time I sat in a  therapist’s chair I didn’t feel like I deserved to be there.  Of course, I have come leaps and bounds from that time and now I pour out my soul every day in the hope my message will reach even one girl who feels the way I did.  If that happens, it will spare her some of the torment of finding her way.  That’s how LaBella Mafia began.  Most of the Bellas are women I touched who had experienced what I did and worse.  We’ve bonded to help each other.  It is never really over, but it can get better.” -  Bella

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Renaissance - Sarah Tate, Author

Low Fat Chicken Curry
(A specialty of Sarah Tate)

Makes 2 servings
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 birds eye chilli
1 thumb ginger
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp fat free yogurt
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garam masala
1 tin tomatoes
1 tsp vegetable oil

peel the onion, garlic and ginger. chop the top off the chilli but leave the seeds in. put onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in magimix and whizz until finely chopped. Place half the onion mix in a bowl and mix in the yogurt. Cube the chicken and add to the yogurt mixture. Leave for 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, in an oven proof saucepan heat smallest amount of oil you dare and add the rest of the onion mixture. Fry gently for 3 mins, stirring now and again. Add all the spices and salt. In the
magimix (no need to clean after onions) whizz the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook on lowest heat uncovered for 1/2 hour.
Add the chicken and yogurt to saucepan stir and cover. Cook in preheated oven (180'c) for 40 mins. Thats it. Serve with rice.

Sarah Tate

Renaissance – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds – Desserts
‘My marriage had just fallen apart.  It wasn’t like I didn’t see it coming.  So why was I in complete and utter shock?  The warning signs had been blasting out at me in fanfare for the past…oooooh, six years, or so?  Why the hell didn’t I hear them.  What was wrong with me that I ignored it all for so long?  It was a hell of a wake-up call, discovering my fifty-four year old husband having cyber-sex with a twenty-four year old girl he’d met online.  I suppose I should be grateful to her in a way.  She gave me the shove I needed to finally take action and end a marriage that had been dead in the water practically from day one, if I’m honest.  But I hadn’t expected the tirade of emotions that would come when I finally discovered that it was him, and not me, who had gone astray.  Even until the very end, I had always (stupidly) believed he really did love me.  OK, I know, he had a funny way of showing it.  It’s one thing to make a declaration (or in his case, millions of declarations) of love.  It’s quite another to actually mean what you say and follow your words with honest and genuine actions.
Sarah Tate found herself in a position that so many other women (and some men) find themselves in and struggle to survive through.  Some make it and some fail.  Sarah was one of the lucky ones who simply wouldn’t give up.  What is Sarah’s problem?  She is ending her marriage to the man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with.  But to her surprise, she will not only have the responsibility to support and care for their 3 children but she will also be left with bills, taxes and commitments that he acquired by using her name.  So the struggle begins and so do the side-effects. 
In her book Web of Lies – My Life with a Narcissist, Sarah Tate opens her life to the world as she goes through an emotional roller-coaster with her husband Bill.  She becomes aware that he really isn’t the person she met, fell in love and started a family with.  In Renaissance she takes us, in detail, through the two year struggle to keep her own sanity as well as create some sort of normalcy within the lives of her three children.  A lot of this even takes place while still in the marital home with the husband living in the basement.  She takes you through the trials experienced as she breaks free from the toxic relationship that has threatened so many times to take her under.  The problems experienced while trying to explain to her two oldest daughters as to why their daddy isn’t in the home and why he doesn’t bother to visit.  She explains the importance of support not only through family but through friends and even therapy.  She takes us through the 5 steps to recovery – Euphoria, Disquiet, Denial, Despair and finally Release. 
In today’s time, the divorce stats are tremendously high and getting higher every day.  As I read Renaissance, I found myself relating to so many of Sarah’s problems and feelings of helplessness.  Whether you are or were married to a narcissist or not, I feel that just about anyone, male or female, can find something in common with Sarah and hopefully through reading Renaissance you will be able to see that you are or were not alone in your struggle and that her strength will help you to make the right choices for your own situation.
319 pages
ISBN# 978-1456388171

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