IS MY TIARA ON STRAIGHT?

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

cakecentral

  My daughter (number 3 as I call her since I seem to call her every other siblings name) has now been a newlywed for 3 months.  They have returned from their dream honeymoon cruising the Hawaiian Islands.  Daryl has accepted a new job with a new company.  Katelyn has returned to her job as a correctional nurse, and they have settled into their roles of husband and wife, tossing aside the old titles of boyfriend and girlfriend.  They have moved in with her father and his wife while they are saving money for a down payment on a home they are buying in February.  All in all, life is rolling along as it should be.  I have begun dating a wonderful man, which now involves “running” every weekend, here and there, with each weekend being a new adventure. Since Katelyn and I work together, every Monday we share with each other how our weekends went, where we had gone, etc.  After our share session this week she pouted and said “Wow, you guys are old and are doing more than we do.  We just sit and watch movies at home or go out to eat once in awhile!”  I told her that we are just in the dating phase that they were in 2 years ago, and quite frankly…HA HA HA….NANA NANA BOO BOO!!!!
Monday morning she came  into work and said that she and “D” had a fight before she came to work.  Of course being the mother bear that I am I was prepared to kick some son-in-law butt.  She then sat down in my office and told me what had happened.  She said that she asked him to go out and start her car in order to warm it up, and he was playing a video game that he couldn’t pause, so he told her he would do it in a minute.  She then became upset because he didn’t jump up and do as she commanded.  She said that she stormed out to the car, while saying a few sailor words, and left for work.  I just looked at her in amazement…and went “WHAT?????…..Kateyln! Shame on you!”  I told her that first off, it was 36 degrees out, so her car didn’t need to be warmed up for 10 minutes, and that her response to him was way out of line.  I went on to tell her that there was no reason that she could not have put on some shoes and start her car if it was that important to her.  She looked at me in stunned silence and informed me that she was a diva and he should have done as she asked.  With that statement came the usual motherly eye roll…except it was the monster of all eye rolls…one that could be mistaken as the start of a seizure…I swear I saw the bottom of my brain from the inside.  Where had this “diva” come from?  Where did she learn such behavior?  I knew that she didn’t learn it from me, as I am as far from a diva as they come.  We all knew that she was a self proclaimed princess….but a diva?

  At this point her co-worker Bonnie joined the conversation and said that her husband starts the car every morning without being asked, so it was fine for Katie to expect it to be done.  They then laughed and joked about being divas as I sat there with this stupid, bewildered look on my face.  Who were these fairy princess women?  Had I truly missed the boat during my former marriage by not declaring myself a diva?  After sitting at my desk contemplating what had just happened, I decided that my next question was “How does one become a diva, or at least a princess?”  So out of my office I go to have this all important question answered.  I then posed the question, and waited for guidance, because now that I was embarking into a new relationship, perhaps I too could be Cinderella instead of Ursela the sea witch?????  My beautiful, educated, funny, and loving daughter answered in all of her blond innocence: “Mom, NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE A PRINCESS….IT CHOOSES YOU!”  I just stood there with a pout on my face as the tiara slowly slipped off of my head and hit the floor with a gently ping….sigh. ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY  

 Six Minute Caramels

(shared with me by a new friend Jane)

Ingredients:

 1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

 1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup light Karo syrup

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

1.  Combine all ingredients.

2.  Cook 6 minutes on a medium high heat, stirring every minute.

3.  Stir and pour into lightly greased dish

 4.  Let cool

5.  Cut, wrap in wax paper & store in an air tight container

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May Day….days gone by…

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photocredit:tlc.howstuffworks

Growing up, May Day used to be one of my favorite days of the year, that is, after Christmas and my birthday.  In the seventies we still celebrated May Day in our small town of 1,100 people.  Mom would send us uptown with 2 dollars, and our job was to pick out 100 pieces of penny candy, plus some special candy.  Back in the “dark ages,” as my kids refer to my youth, there was a very nice assortment of penny candy available for stuffing the baskets.  There were those chewy cherry (or strawberry?) circular candies that had the appearance of a coin, Tootsie Rolls in a decent length, Pixie Sticks, Milk Duds, Nik-L-Nips, Candy Buttons on a strip of paper, Bit-O-Honey, Candy cigarettes, about 20 different suckers, Chicklets, candy bracelets, wax lips, Sweet Tarts, Dubble Bubble, Licorice, Lemon Drops, Black Jack Gum, Teaberry Gum, Necco wafers, Sugar Babies, Rasinets, Charms, Razzles, Chocolate coins, Pirates gold gum that came in a little sack, and it you had a little extra money you could get some Brachs candy too.  Now, not all of these candies sold for a penny, but they weren’t more than a dime each.  I can clearly remember going up to the Sweet Shop, money in hand, and beginning the task given to me.  As my sisters got older, they would come up too, and we were like the proverbial “kids in a candy shop.”  We would grab candy and set them in little piles, according to price, on top of the ice cream freezer (self-serve kind with 2 doors that slid both ways)  “Doc,” the owner would stand of the other side of the freezer and divide the piles into smaller piles, to make adding up our total easier.  It seemed like such a huge pile of candy….and we were in heaven.  We gladly gave over our money, while often times having to return some candy because our count was off, and left the store with our bags of happiness.  After the 2 block walk home we would begin making the baskets.  Mom would pop some popcorn on the stove, without butter, to be added to the baskets as a filler.  All we needed now was construction paper, scissors, some crayons for decorating the baskets, and a stapler. Sometimes she would have some paper doilies to make special baskets for family.  We always made them in to a cone shape, and cut an extra strip of paper for the handle.  It was imperative that you have a sturdy handle, because the baskets were to be hung on the door knobs of their front doors.  If it was a boy that you thought was cute, you could ring the door bell, then run…and if they chased after you, then  that meant they liked you.  unfortunately the only thing that chased after me were the family pets…….Sometimes we would go out in the yard and pick some of those little purple wild violets that grew close to the ground (actually, I think they were weeds) and add them to our mix of candy and popcorn.  It was truly one of the best days of the year.  Spring was making its appearance, the tulips were open, and the leaves were turning the trees green.  The long snowy cold winter was behind us.  If it was nice we would load the baskets on our bikes and make our deliveries, and if it was raining Mom would take us around.  Then you would anxiously return home to see how many baskets were left on the porch for us.  Truly magical 🙂

photo credit:peoplesumcnews.blogspot

I tried to continue the tradition when my oldest were in grade school a decade later, but many kids their age just didn’t know about giving out May Day baskets. They had a chosen few that got “special” baskets, including our neighbor Emma, their piano teacher Anne, and any other adults who touched their lives in a personal way.  One year we made them out of construction paper, and another year we used Dixie cups with pipe cleaners for handles.  They were always hand-made and decorated with the love and dedication that only a child can create.   I am a lover of traditions, and this was one that I hated to see die, but eventually we stopped making them as well……so to all of my friends and readers, I am sending you a virtual beautiful May Basket filled with any candy that you can fondly remember, popcorn that was popped on the stove, with a sprinkling little purple violets ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Red Cake

4 (1/2 oz) bottles red food coloring

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp. vinegar

3 Tbls. Nestle milk cocoa

1/2 cup Crisco

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

Mix food coloring and cocoa together and set aside.

Combine flour and salt, sifting 3 times.

Cream sugar, crisco and egg.

Mix food coloring/ cocoa mixture to above.

Add buttermilk, flour, salt and vanilla.

Add baking soda to vinegar and stir well in to mixture.

Grease and flour pans (I use 2 heart-shaped pans) and bake for 30 -35 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Frosting:

2 stick oleo

7-8 Tbls Crisco

3 Tbls flour

2./3 cup milk (room temperature)

1 cup granulated sugar

Vanilla to taste

Cream the oleo, Crisco, sugar and flour (add flour one Tbls at a time)

Add milk and vanilla.

Mix with an electric mixer until creamy.

I’m Want to be a Salt of the Earth Person Too

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Aunt Doris, Erna, Grams and cousin Cher

(My aunt Dorrie, Grams, great-aunt Erna and aunt Lois)

       When I sit back and just reminisce about my childhood, most of my fondest memories revolve around my family and extended family.  I count myself blessed that I grew up surrounded by men and women who are what some people would call “salt of the earth” people.  Wikipedia describes salt of the earth people as “humble and unpretentious people.:  The Collins dictionary describes them as “a person or group of people regarded as the finest of their kind.”  They are hard working, uncomplicated, decent, dependable, and add value to those around them.  Wow, how can anyone lose when these people are in your lives as your ego and psyche are being formed?  I grew up in a small town of 1,000 people and most of my extended family lived somewhere on Hickory Street…with some a few blocks away “on the east side” of town.  I find this so funny now that I’ve grown up that we referred to it as the “east side of town” because our town was only about 10 blocks wide in any direction you looked.  Family was very important, and a holiday and vacation never passed without a get together.  As a child, you not only had a mom and dad, you had aunts and uncles who would step in and fill those shoes, especially if we were getting in trouble.  They all took responsibility for each other, and there was nothing that they wouldn’t do for each other.

(My uncle Shelly, Cousin Mosey and some of us “younger kids” banned to the front room)

Looking back, each and every one of my extended family members worked hard for the possessions they owned.  Many times they would share the cost of bigger ticket items, especially if is was something that everyone was going to be able to use.  They lived within their means, and I really think they appreciated the things they had.   The men and women of the family loved to fish, and it made economical sense to purchase an outboard motor to use on our annual family vacations every year.  So they all pitched in and bought that beloved boat motor.  I can vividly remember it all oiled up and wrapped in an old blanket ready to be hauled to Wisconsin for everyone to use every year.  The men would get up at the butt-crack of dawn to fish, and then the ladies would go out in the afternoon or early evening.  As kids we usually didn’t go out in the boat unless it was for a quick “ride around the lake” to look at houses that we knew we would never own.  We would sit on our assigned bench in the fishing boat, snuggly strapped into our moldy smelling orange life jackets, trying to dodge the spray coming up from the boat as it went faster and faster. You were usually soaked by the time you got back, but it didn’t matter, because you had no other worries in the world at that age.

hot game of cards at Christmas

(Aunt Doris, uncle Shelly, Grams, my mom, aunt Lois and great-aunt Erna)

Then there was the tiller that the “men” combined their money to buy.  Everyone had a garden somewhere, and a tiller just made the job so much easier.  So instead of one person buying one to use, they decided it would be easier to buy it together, and each spring everyone got to use it to start their garden.  If I close my eyes I can see it as clear as a bell, big, noisy, and brown and white.  It truly took a strong man to use it, as it was a beast.  But that’s what these salt of the earth people did.  They shared, they loved, they respected each other, and they passed down that respect and strong sense of family values to their children.  My mom and dad have passed away, my grandparents are gone, my great aunts and uncles are no longer here, but rest assured they, and my Aunts and Uncles who remain, have left behind a legacy of what it meant to be a “salt of the earth” person.  I cherish the memories that these people gave to me, even though at the time they were just going thorough the motions of every day life.  Did they know that the actions they displayed would affect so many of the next generation?  They set the bar high for those following them, but out of honor and respect  I will try to be true to my roots.  I will always treasure the things I have, I will try not to covet the things that others have, I will work hard for what I need in life, I will love those people who are close to me in my life, I will not hesitate to help someone in need, I will love God and my country, and  I will always try to  remember that family comes first.  For there would be no greater honor than to be remembered as a “salt of the earth” human being ♥

55 by 55

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

forums.comicbookresources.comA year ago my daughter became engaged to a wonderful young man.  She called me to share the news, and after I hung up I was surprised at my first thought.  My first thought wasn’t “I hope I can save enough money to help them pay for the wedding,” or “I hope she is making the right choice,” or “Thats three out of four now married,”…..no, my first thought was “Crap, I need to lose some weight!”  For my whole entire life I have been overweight.  The other day there was a conversation in our office about what the ladies weighed when they got married.  One was 125 pounds, one weighed in at  135, and the other tipped the scales at 115.  They then looked at me, and I just laughed heartily and said “I beat you all…I weighed all of those numbers by the time I graduated from eighth grade!”  We all laughed because they thought I was kidding….HA!  Actually, when I got married I weighed 195 pounds, and am 5 foot 9.  My mom thought I was overweight at that time, and always encouraged me to lose a little “for my health.”  We were raised eating meat and potatoes for supper 4-5 nights a week and snacked on buttery popcorn in the evening. I didn’t stand a chance…I just loved food!

In grade school I was the one picked last for teams in PE (I just want to go on record and send up a plea to the teachers…please just count off the kids to avoid humiliating kids everywhere)  On the playground I would be on one end of the teeter totter, with 2 friends on the other end.  They loved me, so they would face each other and share the handle, even though the one without the seat had to be a little more careful, if you know what I mean.  My clothes were purchased in the “husky” section, now they call that section of the store the Pretty Plus section, so bless the kind human who thought up that name change.  If I situated myself on the outside of the Tilt-A-Whirl car, my friends could almost get whiplash from the spinning.

photo credit:amazon.comIn high school the  boys wouldn’t give me a second look when I stood next to my slim friends,but were seldom cruel to me.  We had a small high school, and these were kids I had known for my entire life, and fat was the only way they knew me.  My mom would give me a hug, wipe away my tears and tell me that they didn’t matter anyway!  She assured me that once I got into college the men would be different, and would love my personality instead.  I admit that it did happen as she predicted, and while I was still overweight, I could hold my own against the skinny-minnies.  I will admit that sometimes it is easy to hide behind the plumpness….I can flirt with the best of them, and have a lot of guy friends of all ages.  There is comfort in begin overweight because you know they wouldn’t be interested in you in a romantic nature, so you can be yourself and relax.  Of course there are drawbacks….the other night we were watching a trailer for “Pitch Perfect” and my daughter and I roared when we saw Fat Amy wearing a swimsuit just like mine.  “OMG…Fat Amy has my swimsuit on!!!!”  It was hilarious I will admit, and if a person can’t laugh at herself she will be a stick in the mud for sure.

There are the many misguided thoughts throughout the world when it comes to plump women.  Number one: No, we aren’t dirty.  Believe it or not, we take baths just like skinny people, and even put on deodorant AND perfume.  Number two:  We have no self-control or we wouldn’t be fat.  Well that one is partly true, but we must have some self-control or else we would have punched out a lot of skinny snobs who have looked down on us.  Number three:  We must not mind being fat, or else we would change that.  Again, that one for the most part is true, but I think that many overweight people have tried so many times to lose weight and failed, that it’s easier to just give up and live in shame.

The other day I went through the personal care section of Walmart and I passed the Dr. Scholls display for shoe inserts, stopping to look them over.  As a nurse I am on my feet during the day, so maybe they would be a great addition to my tennis shoes.  It instructed you to take off your shoes (right away…not a great idea to me), step on the footprints on the kiosk and push start.  Now, again, the first thing that came to mind was that a booming voice was going to yell at me from the kiosk, telling me to put down the small child in my arms….even though I was the only one around for 10 feet.  I actually laughed out loud, and thought that maybe I would pass on the inserts for now.

005This summer, I had to get off of a ride at a theme park, in front of my family, because they couldn’t bring down the bar far enough to securely hold me in.  Now, you would think with that humiliation I would do something to change my life?  I did, I went to the food stand while they enjoyed the ride, and ate a corn dog.  As I write this I am shaking my head in amazement…….I do want to go on the record as saying that even though I am overweight, I am healthy.  My blood pressure is good, cholesterol a smidge high, and blood sugars where they need to be….but when the day comes to a close,  I can say that I am unhappy with my body shape and size.

That brings me to this blog….January 1st decided that I was going to lose 55 pounds by the time I am 55 years old, which is September 24th.  So far I have gained 4 pounds 🙂 Perhaps it’s time to get serious about this! My beautiful daughter is getting married on September 21st, which is my moms birthday.  I am now going public with my top bucket list item…..and since I have readers throughout 28 countries, I will tell myself that the whole world is pulling for me.  I won’t share my weight, as I am not that nutso at this point, but I will faithfully give updates every Wednesday…good or bad.  I want to honor my daughter at her wedding, and also honor the memory of my mom on her birthday, hopefully 55 pounds lighter!  Then once I accomplish what will be the biggest hurdle of my life, I will start checking off more items on that bucket list.  Wish me luck ♥

Fourth of July Fun

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

me in my homemade floatGrowing up in a town of 1,000 people was just the right fit for me.  We lived almost in the center of town…2 blocks from uptown, 3 blocks from the school and 2 blocks from the park.  As most small towns do, we always had a full day celebration on the 4th of July.  It would begin with a festive parade, complete with fire engines, police cars, floats, tractors and horses.  The kids would stand at the edge of the road, bag in hand, ready to get a months supply of free candy that was thrown out to the crowd from the passing entries.  The parade started at the grade/ high school, went down main street, turned at the hotel and went straight down to the park.  It was always exciting because we only had to walk 1/2 a block to reach the parade route.  We would cross the street with our blankets and lawn chairs sit in my Aunt Doris and Uncles Shellys yard.  This was the meeting spot for the extended family to assemble.  For many years we would have a fish fry and potluck in that same back yard.  They would un-thaw the fish that the men and ladies had caught that previous summer when we all went on vacation together in Wisconsin.  After the parade, while the adults were cooking the food, the kids would go to the park for the awards ceremony so see who’s float was the winner, and then to play some kids games.

moms creationToday I began going through some photos that we kept in a trunk after my parents passed away.  It was too painful to look at them for the past 5 years, and I will admit I have shed a few tears in the last few hours.  I found these photos of floats my mom created when I was a baby, and  that continued throughout our grade school years.  I just look at these and I shake my head in total awe of my mothers creativity and spirit.  These were made with a wagon,  chicken wire and countless tissues.  This one is probably the best one that I could find.  The date on the photo is 1960, which means I was 2 years old as a passenger in the float.

Scan_Pic0034In this one, my sister Tammy was a baby, and my other sister Kelly was the one appointed to push her the short 4 block through the kiddie parade starting line, to the park.  I would have been about 12 at this time, so I am sure that I was following close behind in some sort of get up.  One year the town replaced the old water tower with a new one, and Kelly and I went as the old and the new water towers.  She was in the “old” one, which was brick and straight up and down in shape.  Mine was silver in color, and had the familiar shape of most water towers now..looking like a golf tee with a golf ball sitting on the top.  I am hoping to find that picture somewhere.  I know we were older, and I can even remember trying to walk inside my water tower, trying not to fall over.

mom and I 1959...her carousel creationl This is the one that shows this wonderful, amazing woman who I called “mom”….As I said before, I am in awe of the things she did as we were growing up.  Most things went unnoticed by her children, until after she was gone.  She made every holiday special, but the July 4th and Christmas were always the best.  Now I am in a new town, double the size…but the parade goes right by my house.  My kids sat for years, as we did, with their bags, ready to catch the bounty of candy.  I wasn’t as creative as mom, and we didn’t enter many kiddie parades, so perhaps I cheated my kids in a way.  I have no excuse, other than the shoes I had to fill were much too large ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

PATIO POTATO SALAD

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  •    1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 7 medium red potatoes, cubed and cooked
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • Lettuce leaves and paprika, optional

Directions

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, mustard, salt and celery seed. Stir in the milk, vinegar and egg until smooth. Add butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Cool. Stir in onion and mayonnaise. In a large bowl, combine potatoes and hard-cooked eggs. Add dressing and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If desired, serve in a lettuce-lined bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Yield: 8-10 servings.

 

Marlin and Jim Please Step Aside For Mike

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

hilobrow When I was a young girl in the 60’s we would gather around the TV to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on Sunday nights.  For one hour we would watch Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler trek into the wild to feature animals from birds to elephants.  They would put themselves in harm’s way to show the American public what the world had to offer as far as dangerous and beautiful animals.  I would sit with eyes glued on the screen, often times having to cover my eyes at the thought of handsome Jim getting torn apart by a tiger, or stomped to death by a rhino.  Now, animals have always been fine in my life, if they are at a distance.  I am not really a pet lover, I don’t like the accidents, shedding hair, or hidden surprises left in the corner.  I always figured raising 4 kids involved enough messes and drama without adding a pet to the mix.  Sorry…that’s just me….critters and I will never be friends.

Now I am convinced that the members of the world of nature have zoned in on my dislike of them.  In the past 2 years I have had to call my brother-in-law Mike over from across the street 4 times to become my personal Marlin Perkins.  Several summers ago, I went into my garage to get a hammer, and while opening and shutting drawers I noticed what looked like a fur hat in one of the drawers.  I did what was expected of me, I screamed like a girl and called for Katelyn to come outside.  I instructed her to open that drawer and tell me what she saw.  She cautiously opened the drawer, saw the hat.. noted that it was breathing, and mimicked me with a matching girl scream.  She then bolted from the garage and we stood by the door screaming like it was going to eat us alive.  Over comes my neighbor, James, who then crept into the garage and looked into the drawer.  This time the fur hat is mad and raised its head to snarl at James.  He made tracks getting out of the garage and there we all stood trying to figure out how to get this rectified.  We send for Mike, who was raised on a farm (as close to nature that I can think of), and he comes over armed with a gun and bucket.  As I stood in my neighbor’s yard petrified, Mike makes quick work of extracting the full-grown opossum from my drawer and leaves with it in a bucket.  I was in awe of his bravery!

That next fall Maddie and I woke up and heard birds singing…but sounding a little too close?  We cautiously went downstairs and there were 2 beautiful, rather large birds, hanging onto the fireplace screen….just chirping to beat the band.  Thank goodness that the screen is one that curves up and covers the whole fireplace opening.  First I put a brick against the screen so it wouldn’t fall over, then called Mike.  He came over later and POOF…birds were gone.  I was not home, so I have no idea how he got them out, and it’s probably better that I not know.    Last fall it was a bat, of which I wrote a blog about.  The hunting of that bat was a family affair, or should I say Mike, Kelly, Jared and Maddie, with me holding the front door open while standing outside on the porch.  I told them it was a good position for me because I could watch for the bat and leave an easy escape route for it at the same time. My nephew found the flying rat hanging onto the back of my valance in my upstairs hallway.  Mike, the bat slayer, then gently grabbed it, came onto the porch and let it go free.

Last night I was on the computer downstairs and Maddie was upstairs playing Sims on her computer. We both heard a loud boom, but neither of us acted on it because we each thought the other one dropped something of significant heft. (actually she probably thought I had fallen and would press my Life Alert button if I needed help)  We shared thoughts later as we were getting ready for bed, and determined that something must have happened outside to cause that loud boom.  This morning we were still talking it over as I was pulling out of the driveway to take her to the bus and we saw it….and everything fell in to place.  On my sidewalk, on the side of my house, lay a Canadian Goose….deader than a doornail.  It must have slammed into my house last night in the thick fog, with such force that it broke its neck and tumbled down to my sidewalk.  We just sat there for a few seconds with our mouths hanging open staring at this poor creature.  Of course,  Maddie then bolted into the house to get my phone to snap a picture, as I am trying to avoid hurling in my car.

I drop off my young teenager at school, and watch her race to her friends, ready to tell her awesome story, and I return home to stare at this bird.  What in the world am I to do now…I can get my snow shovel and scoop it up, but where do I go with it after that?  I can probably get it  into one of my Hefty Force Flex bags, but where do I go with it after I have it bagged?  Then I do the only thing I know to do….I leave a message with my sister to send Mike over when he gets home.  A few minutes ago he arrived, pitch fork in hand (see men just know the right tools needed for the job), and came to the back door in amazement.  He said he thought I had my birds mixed up, and was expecting a black bird……and was totally shocked to see a small Canadian Goose laying there. Now I know I’m not Marlin, or Jim, but I know a goose when I see one.  He said I was lucky it didn’t hit one of the windows, because the force would have propelled it into my bedroom. YIKES!!!! I told him that I have been hearing a goose around the house this morning, and he said that geese mate for life, so it maybe it’s mate is looking for it.  That saddens me to my core…maybe I have some heart for natures animals after all?  I had to get one final picture of Mike and the goose….and we said our goodbyes….

819312_4183489156612_647997085_o

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Crock pot Chicken and Noodles

This recipe comes from my good friend Jan Hovey

1 large can chicken broth (or 3 small cans)

1 family size cream of chicken soup

4 boneless chicken breasts

1 stick of butter

24 oz of egg noodles ( used the one that are like homemade, thicker in cut)

Put first 4 ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours.

Remove chicken, shred and return to pot.

Add the uncooked noodles, cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.

Season to taste.

Very yummy and makes your house smell like heaven!  Enjoy 🙂

What About The Other Guy?

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

supportI just had a one hour visit with my ex-husband, the first face to face since his cancer diagnoses.  Sure, there have been phone calls and texts, but not a face to face.  He shared his fears about death, his fears about being a burden on his new wife and his family, and how he never expected to have cancer.  I am in a strange situation, on one hand we shared 27 years of ups and down, and on the other hand, he is now remarried and has a new wife and family.  Our divorce was anything but amicable, so this makes this whole situation all the harder.  Again, I am choosing to follow my heart, and will do what ever I can do to give support, and advice if asked.  He and I have now come full circle, and while we know we will never be able to live in the same house again, we can be friends.  It is funny how a life threatening event can cause many people to once again put life into perspective.  One thing I discovered when my mom, dad and sister were diagnosed with cancer, is that this diagnoses is often times harder on the loved ones.  I remember Kelly and Mom telling me that is was much easier to be the patient than to be the family member.  I shared this with Bill, and encouraged him to take time to support Mary (his new wife).  She is going through so many emotions at this time, as are all of us.  But it hits closer to home for her.  I can only imagine how she may feel cheated, in a sense, because she was alone after her divorce until she met Bill, fell in love and married.  Now a mere 6 months later they are facing one of the hardest challenges that life can throw at a couple.  Life is just so freakin unfair at time.  I can’t even begin to count the times that I have been slapped down by life.  Again, we have 2 choices in life…let it win, or beat it within an inch of its life.  It’s okay to challenge God, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to bargain, it’s okay to be sad, but it’s NEVER  okay to give up.  In 1968 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book about the 5 stages of death and dying, based on her work with terminally ill patients.   The steps are 1. Denial…2.Anger….3. Bargaining…..4. Depression….5. Acceptance.  That simple model has now become a reference for anyone going through a life changing events, from  breakups of relationships, to dealing with a terminal illness.  It is such a good read…and can be so inspirational to know that the feelings you are having are valid, and quite frankly okay to have.  Sometimes a person will start with one step, touching briefly on the following steps, and then ending with the last step.  Others will circle a few time, touching on a few of the steps, but hopefully landing on the last step, which is acceptance.  As person really can’t move on and be at peace until they reach that last step….even if they touch a tip of their toe on that step, and then stumble back down a few steps.

I personally went through a bad breakup a few years ago, and trust me, I stomped on every one of the 5 steps.  For 2 years I was like a child on the playground, playing  hopscotch all over those steps.  Then one day, I decided that the step proclaiming acceptance was the one I needed to land on, and stay there.  So my point here is that Bill needs to remember that while he is fighting for his life, he needs to always be aware of those around him, and support them as well.  Even if it involves reassuring that person that nothing will happen that they can’t get through together. He has been blessed with a wonderful woman, and I can assure him that she is scared to death.  There is nothing scarier than the unknown.  NOTHING!  These things can also cause you to challenge your faith in God.  Frankly, you can be pretty honked off at Him….and anyone in raised in the faith knows that is not the way to feel…but  He will wait patiently for you to work it out and come back to Him.  I strongly believe that God puts these challenges in your life, and then sits back and watches how you handle them.   I did suggest that they get into a cancer support group, and soon.  My mom, sister and I joined one when Kelly was done with her cancer treatment.  The wonderful thing is that you realize that you are not alone, your thoughts and fears are real, and that there are others out there that can help you to get over these bumps in the road.

So as I said before If God brings you to it, He will see you through it!  We just need to stand united, knowing that not one person is alone here, and it’s okay to be scared, angry or at peace.  Never be too proud to get the support you need, even if it’s through blogging, as has become my saving grace.  You are never alone ♥