Sunday, March 28, 2010
I was just getting back on track, when what does my DH pronounce last week??? That he WILL learn to make his mother's famous pie crust. He has nine....YES, NINE....sisters and they are all excellent cooks. But the eldest sister, Betty, reins SUPREME at the pie baking. Art decided that this was the year that HE would learn to make her famous, delicious crust, so armed with a video camera and his "middle" brother (yes, he has two of those!), he videoed Betty's procedure from start to finish. It is a treasure and they had a delightful, special day together. Art has vowed now to make our MOMMY her favorite for Easter, Chocolate Silk pie. We all know that the crust makes all the difference. As some of you know, Art and I dance most every weekend, so he made the pies before we left and I cleaned the kitchen for him....this time! (We won't let THAT become a habit, if his baking does!) Last night, upon our return, we HAD to taste that pie...We would neither of us admit it, but just the thought of the pie brought us home a bit earlier than usual. I must say W O W!
BINGO...SUCCESS! Monday will bring me to double time on the elliptical and low carbs all next week! But....my dear friends....I must admit and sorry to say, but...IT WAS WORTH IT! Life isn't just a "BOWL OF CHERRIES". IT'S A HUGE PIECE OF MY ART'S CHOCOLATE SILK PIE! woot woot! TROUBLE IS.....HE ALSO MADE COCONUT CREME! IT'S STILL ALL IN THERE..... AND, WE'RE GIVING IT AWAY.....TODAY!!!!!!!!!
XXOO HAPPY SPRING!
PS Now you know one of the reasons I've been married to DH for almost 43 years!
Monday, March 22, 2010
HONEY OAT BISCOTTI (found in “Southern Illinois Health & Life” magazine)
I thought I would pass along this good recipe made with no sugar or fake sugar. My hubs actually found this recipe and I made it tonight….YUM! Made with HONEY….(“A favorite of such notables as Cleopatra and Winnie the Pooh), this gooey substance has a sweet reputation and infinite shelf life.”
Makes 24-30 servings
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
3 tsp. gound cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp.baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup walnuts, pecans or almonds
*Cream butter; beat in honey, eggs and vanilla
*Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well.
Stir into butter mixture.
*Stir in oats and nuts. On a greased baking sheet, shape dough into two loaves, each
approximately 10 inches long and 3 inches wide.
*Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cook 5 minutes;
move to cutting board.
*Cut each log into ½-inch strips and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for
an additional 25-30 minutes or util strips are crisp throughout. Cool thoroughly.
Store in airtight container. Keeps for days.
Enjoy my Sparkies! HAPPY SPRING!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
When you see a happy, young face, beaming with joy all over the place,
Jumping, giggling with squeals of glee....Gaily yelling, "NANA COME PLAY WITH ME!"
On the swing, basketball court, the jungle gym and MONKEY BARS.....
This NANA is so proud and happy that she CAN STILL and WILL DO IT!!!!
(Not too pretty....but I did it! haha!)
HAPPILY....WITH COMPLETE JOY and conviction that I am helping her to become the wonderful, young person that she is...making straight A's....just getting inducted into the HIGH HONOR SOCIETY at her school, making friends and loving life. SO FAR, SO GOOD!
She, her friend, Taylor, and I had the best afternoon...even though it was overcast and a little chilly. Hay remembered all the wonderful times we spent at the park when she stayed with me for the first five years of her life during the day from when she was born. I wouldn't take a million $'s for that bonding experience with my only granddaughter!
Saturday afternoon taught me a sweet lesson. Even though she will soon be 13 years old, those girls truly loved being childlike .....There were none of their peers around to watch them and they seemed entirely...free to be themselves. It is so important that grandparents and parents "be there" to just talk and play with them. Given the opportunity, they will share and let you in, but you have to allow the time....and create the place.
This is a confusing, complex world and I don't want to squander the opportunities I have to be with her, to keep teaching and guiding her, to listen to her....and yes.....TO PLAY....HANGING UPSIDE DOWN! Those precious words yesterday, "NANA, WILL YOU COME PLAY WITH US?"meant more than she will ever know. She will always know just where to find me. She is always in my heart and I am in hers.....I know that and it makes me an extremely proud and happy grandmother.
So....if your grandchildren aren't calling .....CALL THEM! Have them over and go PLAY!
I love you, my Sparkly friends. HAVE A HAPPY SPRING!
HALEY AND HER MOM...TAKEN TODAY 3/21/2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to to dance better than myself.”
This fabulous quote got me to thinking this afternoon. I have been making excuses for the last couple of months for my lack of time to eat right, exercise as often, emotional eating.... allowing the white stuff to creep back into my diet, yadayadayada. Enough already! It's not that I weigh that much, but this is just how it gets started. The few lbs. become 10...then 15...then....GEEEZZZ! I have always been able to keep myself in check and I will do it again. NOW! Before I change my ticker to show the 5 or 6 lb. weight gain I've had over these same two months, since my mother's stage IV cancer diagnosis, I am giving myself two weeks to change the things I can to get back on track.
1. Start drinking my water again.
2. Stop eating too many nuts!
3. Get the 5 or 6 workouts in instead of the 3 or 4 I'm down to.
4. Limit my carbs to under 100.
5. Get back on the scale.
6. STAY ON SPARK!
After two weeks, I will place my "accurate" ticker up regardless. I admit that I am only human and am consumed with the same problems as others who fight these battles with themselves every single day. You are not alone, as you all well know. The battle is with myself and I am here today to say that I am ready to DO IT AGAIN before it gets way out of hand. That's the trick....not to let IT, (whatever the IT is), get the best of you and take you over.
I WILL dance....and do it BETTER THAN MYSELF! HAVE A GORGEOUS SPRING, MY FRIENDS!!!! I LOVE YOU AND HOPE YOU'LL DUST OFF THOSE BICYCLES AND HAVE SOME FUN! (WHATEVER YOU LIKE DOING!)
Friday, March 12, 2010
As most of my Sparkfriends know, my Mother was recently diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. She will be 87 in May. I won't go into what a brave, graceful, loving person she is here, but she is amazing all who know her, because her positive attitude and beautiful smile is still in tact. She has not shed a tear and is grateful for all the happy years she's had. At first, I awoke in the night in terror of what lie ahead. Crying in the night and not sleeping was not what I wanted to do, but it was beyond my control. But we got up every morning and headed to a Dr.'s appointment for radiation, blood work, or other procedure every single day (sometimes three appointments in one day!). My wonderful husband of 43 years drove...Dad with his thermos of coffee I prepared for him next to him, Mom and I all cuddled in the back seat holding hands in an afghan I had knitted for her about 20 years ago. We did what we could do to keep her from almost immediate paralysis and now she has decided not to have surgery or opt for chemotherapy as her cancer has mastastasized to her liver, bones, breast and thyroid. Very serious.....scary.....devastating and every other horrendous adjective you could exclaim. But now....we have our routine. We are accepting her fate....resigned to do what we can as cheerfully as we can. Putting a smile on our faces and being optimistic is not always easy, but we're trying. I remember my parents dancing in the kitchen to all those country singers such as Patsy Cline and Hank Sr. We put those records on and they take us back to those days. It's the cherished memories that keep us all going some days...and give us peace.
My father is 86 and our family is all pitching in to give him time to himself. Going to the store, taking a walk helps him so much. He has surely stepped up and is taking such good care of her, making sure she takes her medicine and getting her food to her. We have all helped keep homemade chicken and noodles, etc. in their frig. I help her shower, clean her house, help with cooking and laundry. Since I am also their beautician/barber, etc., and basic court jester giving them comic relief when needed. it's very convenient to only have them six miles away. It is my honor to serve them both as they have been the most loving parents who have always shown us how to love and live. Their marriage of 63 years is remarkable. She has come to love the "shakes" we are making with whey protein powder, Ensure, milk, and a dollop of ice cream. These have put the glow back in her cheeks and a little weight back on. We will continue to love, hug, pat and kiss her....making her as comfortable as we can for as long as we have her here. I have one brother and we are both on the same page and cooperating with one another, so that is a blessing.
Now that I have accepted all that is happening, I am better equipped to handle whatever happens. She is still smiling and now looking better than she has in months. Her taste is returning and she is eating better. Yesterday as I looked at her, she was absolutely radiant....! It is truly my honor to serve my Mother and Father. We will continue to take care of them in their home for as long as we can and then she will come here and we'll continue to do what we can to keep her out of pain. The blessings I have received in my life are many and I am grateful.
I am also so grateful for all of you.....Since you have shown so much love and concern, I thought I would bring you all up to date in this blog. To all of my Sparkfriends who have written, sent flowers, cards and listened to me rant in the middle of the night, I am humbled by your compassion, huge hearts and kindness! Thank you from the bottom of mine....For letting me vent....For being there to listen. You'll never know how much being able to do that has helped me. I know that I can handle whatever comes....I can smile, dance, be joyful for her and for the others I have to care for and who cares for me. I am trying to be positive and have a radiant spirit. It brings us all back from the devastating despair that covers us like a blanket at times. THANK YOU! XXOO MaryAnn
PS....I promise that my next blog will not be on this subject, but on something a little more cheerful. I appreciate your love so much and I pray that you and yours remain healthy and happy. Enjoy each and every day........Put your face to the sun and be glad..........
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