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. ♥


 Six Minute Caramels

(shared with me by a new friend Jane)


 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


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


Princess Katelyn’s Wedding

somehow I now have an extra blogging page….going to try to include this on my shellys stories page.

My Blog

Food For The Soul

wedding 9/21/2013It’s now been 2 weeks since the event of the year. An event that was in the planning since she was old enough to notice boys. An event that will live in the memories of those who were present to share the event with each other.  Yes, we are talking about the wedding of Princess Katelyn and her new husband Daryl.  This was the wedding in which I was determined to lose 55 by age 55….(perhaps 20 by 55), the event of the century, the event that often times had just a hint of bridezilla bubbling to the surface, the event that every girl dreams of.  I will go on record as saying, as her mother, that she was absolutely beautiful, and appeared to be walking on air the entire evening.  Everything went as planned, except we forgot to unbustle her dress before she walked down the aisle…but she…

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55 by 55……Week 3



Hmmmm……what can I say about the last week?  It continues to be an hour by hour struggle, but I have come to the realization that this will be a long, drawn out process.  I may have bit off more than I can chew with my goal of 55 by 55.  Still I am not going to give up like I have in the past.  I have been unable to get out and walk due to the snow and freezing rain we have had this week….yep, that’s the best excuse I can come up with.  I realize that this is going to be a lifestyle change, not a “diet’…..and it is true that old habits are hard to break.  I am becoming more aware of the foods that I choose, and am trying to eat when I am hungry, not when the clock says it’s time to eat.  I have been continuing to drink water (which is really new to me,) and have had a few Diet Sierra Mists this past week.  One thing I have noticed is that I no longer have the beginnings of “cankles”….all of the ankle bones are now clearly visible.  🙂 Apparently I stored fluid in my feet and ankles….but no more.  I strongly feel this is due to the fact that I am avoiding so much extra sodium from the diet colas….Who knew?  Our “snack counter,” as the kids used to refer to, is no longer filled with chips, crackers, fruit rollups, and all of the other high calorie snacks, and has been slowly replaced with pretzels, apples, oranges, bananas, and fiber bars.  Again….who knew?  I readily admit that I cheat….but I eat healthier and healthier every day.  I have spied something called a portion control plate, but since I am too much of tight wad, I will take the idea and draw invisible lines on my plate to fill it accordingly. Again….baby steps.

My daughter Katelyn, my coworker Diane, and I have loosely formed  a “Biggest Loser” competition at work.  We will weigh in on Thursdays, and use the formula to measure our losses.  There will now be a little money on the line, so the competition will be fierce.  You know you are good friends when each of you knows the others weights.  Of course, we all agree that anyone who reveals another’s weight in public will be severely dealt with…and hell hath no fury like a woman on a diet.  Today was weigh in day….and I lost 3 pounds from last week.  This amazes me because I really don’t feel like I have lost any weight at this point…..but I will take it.  I guess that just leaves 49.5 pounds by 55.  So here’s to another week of life long changes, and another week of fighting off the urges to eat when I am not hungry, and hopefully next Thursday I will have another loss to report.  Nobody said that life was easy, and I have faced challenges much worse than this I guess.  Wish me (us) luck ♥

55 by 55: Week One



Week one is done!  Since I am going to hold my self accountable in every way along this journey, I will report that I lost ZERO pounds the past 7 days.  NADA…ZILCH….NONE…. Let me be honest here, as a red-blooded human being I considered 2 things this morning…#1. pretend today wasn’t Wednesday, and forget all about Word Press and #2. just to lie and say I lost 1 or 2 pounds.  Then it hit me that I would only be cheating myself by avoiding the fact that this is going to truly be a work in progress.  I can not believe how addicted I am to food, and this didn’t happen overnight, as I well know.  I look at food as a way to comfort myself if I’m sad, or treat myself it I did something good.  Kind of like a dog gets a treat when he’s done some amazing stunt.  When I was younger there was a lot of emphasis placed on my weight.  People who loved me meant well. They knew that as an overweight human being I would have more trouble fitting in, wouldn’t get the “boys” as easily as my thin friends, and the wanted me to begin the race on the same playing level as everyone else.  They were absolutely correct, but as a young teenager I saw eating as a way to have some control over at least one choice in my life.  What a skewed view that was….no body was going to tell me what to eat, for I was in control.  I remember someone in my family telling me what long beautiful legs I had, and what an asset they would be if I could just lose a little around the waist and belly.  OUCH!  Growing up, I associated love with food.  My mom was a wonderful cook, and she always said I was happiest when I sat down to the supper table.  I know she meant no harm because it was true.  I woke up every morning wondering what was for lunch at school and what was going to be for supper.

I remember about 5 years ago I sat in a meeting with a counselor who worked with me and her stomach was growling.  It was 2 in the afternoon, and I asked her it she had eaten lunch yet, and she said “No, I forgot to eat.”  I was in awe that someone had actually forgotten to eat….how was that possible?  Of course I had to ask her how it was that she could forget to eat, which turned into a lengthy conversation about the difference between eating for comfort and eating for survival.  She eats because she needs to survive, not because it’s noon and time for lunch.  To this day I have never forgotten that conversation.  She eats when her body tells her to eat, not when the clock tells her to eat.  Fascinating!  So as week 1 ends, and week 2 begins, I will document some of the positive things I have done this week, not dwell on the negative “loser” weaknesses 🙂  I walked 2 times this week, once with my 13 years old, who complained how the cold hurt her cheeks.  That was a great walk because the more she complained, the more frustrated I became, and the faster I walked.  I was almost in a full trot by the time I arrived home.  I am drinking at least 24 ounces of water daily.  This is BIG for me, as I have always joked that water “gave me gas!”  I have been having McDonalds Fruit and Maple oatmeal  (which is yummy since I didn’t know I liked oatmeal), for breakfast on the days I work instead of a doughnut (s), and I am trying to pare down my evening snacking.

So here’s to week 2, to more challenges and more little successes.  I thought I would take it day by day, but quickly found out that I need to take it hour by hour, or minute by minute if need be.  I am taking little baby steps…over and over…and hoping that each week my blogs will make a slow 100 degree turn to learning to live a healthier lifestyle.  I watched a documentary the other day, and they suggested to post this motivational saying on your bathroom mirror,and look yourself in the eye 2 times a day and repeat: I ACCEPT MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY RIGHT NOW!!!!  What good advice to anyone going through any type of personal turmoil…not just trying to lose weight.

♥ baby steps baby steps baby steps♥



4 Tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup chunky applesauce

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup golden raisins

Mix on low speed the butter and sugar until combined.

Add egg and applesauce, mix well until blended (2-3 min)

Mix in dry rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden and just set (about 13-15 min)


1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 Tablespoons water

Whick together and drizzle over cooled cookies

Cancer…I HateThat Word


 “Her cancer has returned and it’s peppered throughout both of her lungs.  I’m sorry.”  Those were the words that my sisters, dad and I heard from the surgeon that beautiful July afternoon in the family conference room.   We knew that there was a slim chance that the cough that had been racking my mothers body for months was not cancer, but we always held hope.  Five years earlier we stood at the foot of her bed and heard her family doctor proclaim to us that she had a mass in her colon, and it looked to be cancerous.  My mom was still very sleepy from the colonoscopy so we were not sure she heard his proclamation.  In complete and utter shock, my youngest sister, dad and I bolted out of different doors, leaving my other sister, Kelly, at her bedside.  It was a horrible and selfish thing to do, but we needed to compose ourselves before we relayed the news to her.  She went through surgery to remove the mass, had chemotherapy and the cancer was in remission within 6 months.  We really didn’t discuss it much, because in our family you remain stoic and you “do what you have to do” in order to get the job done.  I had so much respect for this woman who gave me birth.  She went to her chemo treatments in the morning, and then went to work in the afternoon.  If there were any side effects we were unaware of it, for she never complained.  This was her private journey, and we respected that. Her only fear was that she was going to lose her hair.  I smile as I type this because she was such a beautiful and proud lady, and we were pleased that the poison coursing through her veins to kill the cancer cells, did not take her hair.  Five years had passed, with each check up bringing good news, and at the five-year mark she had won the fight.

The cough began early spring of 2001.  My sister and I are both nurses, and we tried in vain to talk her into getting a chest x-ray.  She was being treated  for asthma and bronchitis by the same family doctor that had diagnosed the colon cancer years earlier.  What was he thinking?  Could he not make the connection between the cough and a possible reoccurrence of the cancer?  Why would he not refer her for a chest x=ray?  She was in charge and while we made our concerns clear to her, I think her feeling was that if he didn’t mention it, then it wasn’t necessary.  To this day my sister still carries the guilt of not making her go for an x-ray.  I tell her repeatedly that you were not going to make her do anything, and I think she knew in her heart that her cancer had returned.  The thinking is “If they don’t tell me I have it, then I don’t!”   She is finally hospitalized with “bronchitis” which leads to a collapsed lung.  Her doctor attempts to put in a chest tube at her bedside as we rush to the hospital.  It is apparent as I enter the room that there is a problem with the chest tube placement, as her face, neck and upper chest were swollen, and her the tissue under her skin felt  like rice krispies.  We then literally bully her doctors associate to release her so we can transport her to Springfield where her care will be taken over by Dr. Hazelrigg, who had previously performed chest surgery on my dad. We had total faith in him, and at this point we would move heaven and earth to save this wonderful woman.  She is admitted and many tests, CT scans, MRI’s and consultations are completed.  It was decided that exploratory surgery would be completed and a date is set.  I can remember so clearly sitting in that waiting room, watching families go into the consultation room, only to exit the room in tears.  I said to my sister, “I pray the nurse doesn’t come out and tell us to wait for the doctor in that room!”  Shortly after the words left my mouth, the nurse came out and we were herded into that room.  The door was quietly closed leaving us in stunned silence wating for the confirmation of our fears that had plagued us all spring and summer.  Dr. Hazelrigg enters the room and the rest is a blur….”There was too much cancer to remove….”  “We just closed her up…”  “Take her home and make her comfortable….”  “I’m sorry…”  My mom was 63 years old, she was my rock,  how could I live without my mom?  We put on our brave faces and go to take her place at her bedside as she slowly wakes up from surgery…..not knowing there would only be 6 weeks left ♥

My mom in the red holding my nephew.

My aunt Lois, her sister,  next to her.