Day 2 of the Big Journey

This is exciting but difficult. Change is hard whatever it may be, and for me that change is my love for food and making it quick and easy. I know it’s only the second day and it will take time to make my changes a habit. I’m not depriving myself either. I believe in the weight watcher’s approach to a new me. 

If you deprive yourself, you just focus more on what you can not have and that stinks, but having a little bit in moderation at certain times always helps me. Tonight, I was craving Mongolian beef. I had a small portion of beef and smaller portion of rice, but it was enough to satisfy my longing. I had budgeted calories in my day for this dinner, too, so that I had enough in my bank, so to speak, to enjoy my dinner and not have to worry about ruining my diet on the second day.

It’s so difficult to want to trim down my calories each day while wanting to boost calories for my kids who are still growing and in need of them. While they enjoy earing healthy, they also enjoy comfort foods, too. I guess I’ll have to learn how to make those a bit healthier and more calorie friendly since hubs is joining me this time around. It won’t hurt the kids either to have those comfort foods in a healthier version. Granted, most of our homemade food is already fairly healthy, but could use some tweaking. Another experiment for hubs and I. 

Our greatest challenge is always what t of eat first dinner. I see that we will finally be planning out our menus like I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time now, but the challenge will be adding the healthy aspect to our recipes. Any ideas? We love our crock pot and I see some ideas meandering around in my brain with ingredients and the like to attempt. I’ll be sure to share my creations if they are tasty. 

Thus endeth day 2 of our journey. So far, so good, but I can tell you, I could really go for some ice cream right about now. Too bad I won’t be having any. 😣

Peace and love guys!

Deirdre

Decluttering Your Life

Lately I’ve been working on trying to clean out my house a little bit at a time, one room at a time, one space at a time. it amazes me how much junk we all accumulate over time. I am no exception. my problem however, is that even when I am not particularly attached to certain things, I still somehow feel like there should be a place for those things that I may need. I am ever the work in progress and so is my family.  I can honestly tell you some members need more motivation than others and some need more help to rid themselves of the clutter.

My problem has been the lack of motivation to begin the process. I then have to think whether or not I have used the items within the last year. if the answer is yes, and I still use it, it’s a keeper, if not, I have to ask why not and then either put it in the give it away or throw it away bag, whichever is appropriate. I’ve found it is really cathartic to get rid of things and simplify life. 

We all seem to hold on to clothes as well as other memorabilia but as we age, we suddenly realize that it is unnecessary to save every picture and project little Johnny made growing up. there just isn’t room in the house, no matter how great is was. If you’ve been blessed with more than one child like me, you will certainly run out of space! Sure I have saved a few things, but not enough to fill tubs full of artwork and favorite memories. 

When cleaning out kitchen cupboards,I find it extremely helpful to and skills myself how much do I really use the item. I got rid of so much unnecessary stuff. Hopefully all those items received new homes, as they were in good condition and were given away.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

We still have too much stuff but I continue to work on my simplification of my life. one day, when there are no more kids at home and less pets to care for, I may just have that home I’ve always dreamed of, but for now it’s a home of love that is well lived in. I can live with that and always have my eye on the prize. 

It’s a Birthday Coffeeshare Weekend!

I celebrated my birthday on Friday and what great friends I truly have. My friends took me out for dinner minus one of my besties who was trying to get her pool closed for the year as well as not feeling great. We had a blast! The 5 of us are out hearts out, fixed all the world’s problems over food and good wine and just had such a good time together it was hard to say goodnight when our evening was over. I am so truly and utterly blessed to have the very best friends in the world. Thanks to my T for managing to throw it all together and make it a memory that will surpass some of the other birthday memories that were not nearly so pleasant. 

Earlier in the day, I was blessed to go pick up my beautiful daughter from school and take her out for lunch at a great diner! What a truly fabulous gastronomic adventure! If you are ever in St. Louis and looking for a superior diner atmosphere to partake of, look no further than the loop. Fitz’s diner is phenomenol! The burger and the fries! Plus homemade sodas and floats that will absolutely bust a gut! We shared, and did not finish, a black forest float made with their black cherry soda and rich chocolate ice cream! Yummy! 

The best part of that was spending time with my girl! I missed her do much! Catching up on everything is so important in the grand scheme of life. A bond between a mother and her children can not be broken. Well, not in my case. My oldest sweet daughter even came home.

I didn’t get to see her until yesterday, but it’s so much fun to hug my girls. I miss them so much. She bought me the cutest clock and it matches my living room colors perfectly! 

I always say I will always love my kids even if I don’t always like what they do. I say this often to my youngest when he is driving Hubs and I crazy in the evenings over the old homework issue. Most of the time it’s been a lot better, but there are those nights when he is just so tired and we have both worked all day. When that happens, homework time leads to a screaming banshee child and it just stinks. Homework generally gets deferred to 6 am the next morning with me and then he’s like a brand new kid. This weekend he’s been terrific though. He even spent the night at his friend’s house and had a wonderful time doing so.

I have been on a baking kick lately. Its all about muffins. Cinnamon apple muffins more precisely. I make them from scratch. Although I prefer larger pieces of apple in mine, the family prefers the pieces to be diced very small. The tops are dipped into butter when the muffins come out of the oven and then into a mixture of cinnamon sugar. My 15 year old have me the greatest compliment ever. He said they were the best thing he had ever eaten. How cool is that for a mom to hear, especially when it’s not heard very often from a picky eater!

So that’s what going on in my neck of the woods. What’s going on in yours? You know I love to hear from you. Today I’ll be making homemade granola and some pumpkin muffins for the family! Family and food. What more could you ask for? Well… Maybe hockey and football…but that’s another story for another day! Take care and have a great day!

Fall Has Arrived

It’s that time of year when school is back in full swing and the weather begins to turn cooler. It’s fall! This is one of my favorite times of year, before it gets too cold. 

I am a lover of warm weather and sunshine, but when the autumn chill hits the air, I love to snuggle under my blanket, grab my cup of coffee, and write. Watching the world around me change each day gives me new life and brings about new things to write about.

Have you ever looked at the leaves on an overcast day? The leaves changing color becoming so vibrant in the coolness of dusk or more vibrant still when it rains softly.  What a beauty to behold!

Fall also brings about Halloween which in our house means festivities and decorations. I used to go all out and then life got in the way. Well my friends, Pinterest and I have become good friends and I have plans for this year! We even hope to have one of our parties since my biggest Halloween fan, my 15 year old, will have practice for a show on Halloween itself. Let the good times roll.

Another thing I’ve always loved about fall is the food. Comfort food. Chili and cornbread. I make the best cornbread. It’s sweet and tastes like heaven. Caramel apples, fruit cobblers, bread puddings. And there’s football and my favorite sport, hockey! God bless my St. Louis Blues! 

So as we begin this fall, take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. I have so much. No, ibdont have everything, but I have the most important things life has to offer. I have my health, my family and my friends. Let’s make this fall a fall to remember. 

It’s About Time for Coffee

Good morning all! I’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning so far and am so glad you’ve made it here for coffee. I’ll admit, I started my coffee early this morning, as I seem to be awake very early these days. Hubs thinks I’m crazy to wake up as early as I do but he’s a VERY good sleeper in the early mornings. He doesn’t sleep well at night and needs his sleep. Me? I am out like a light these days. It’s nice for a change.

Coffee gets my motor running in the morning. I don’t need a pot. I just like my 1 or 2 cups unless I have company. Marz, my BFF neighbor, often shares coffee with me once the kids are at school. It’s wonderful. We can share the worries and joys of our world’s as well as solve all of the world’s problems all over a cup of joe. 

Whenever my oldest BFF and I go shopping, we have to have one specialty coffee somewhere. This, again, allows us time to solve all the world’s problems over our special java. Since we’ve known each other nearly 30 years (scary thought) we’ve solved a lot of problems, dried many tears and laughed over many funny stories over coffee. It never gets old.

When I lived up north, I used to share coffee by the potfull. I had a beautiful sister-in-law, Amy. We were well known for spending many hours drinking our cafe with cookies on my old porch or her basement. It was just what we did. We went to a family restaurant to escape the world and drank carafe after carafe. Amy passed away 3 years ago and I miss her still. When I see butterflies, certain flowers and hummingbirds, I think of my dear friend. I miss those hours but treasure the memories deep within my heart. 

Coffee in our American society is a social gathering. It’s a means of friendship and communication. In my Irish family, we drink tea. Many hours were spent with my mom over a cup of tea and cookies or biscuits, as it were. I’m missing my mom and will be thinking about her a great deal over the coming months. 

Thursday. The 15th, would have been mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. It was the first one without her here. We all went to dinner with dad. He said he’s forgotten “that was today”. This week is his birthday and onward we go with birthdays and holidays. 

Family and friends should be cherished. Life is shorter than we think it is for we know not the time or place when this life will end. I’ve learned and relearned, assessed and reassessed things in my life over the last year and the one thing that is clearer than anything is that we truly need to love one another. Treat those people in your life gently and with care. Treasure them and tell them you love them each and every day or as often as you get a chance. Never let the opportunity go by to show them how much you care and appreciate them. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m doing my best. 

Love and Care for your People

Ever worry about people you care about that don’t live with you? I do. Sometimes we don’t see those people all the time and if you’re like me, you worry. You worry needlessly, or perhaps because they need to be worried about because they do silly things like go on roofs to check them out at 80 years of age or go up 30 feet in the air on ladders to paint with no one to watch them while their up there the whole time. Regardless, I’m a worriwart. 

That’s where my faith comes in to help me out, but what about those who have no dai faith? What do they do? I have often wondered about this. I pray for my loved ones’ safety. I pray that God will watch them and keep them safe when I know I can’t. I used to be a home health nurse and drove hundreds of miles each week in all kinds of weather. I prayed each day to keep me safe so that I could come home and care for my family at the end of each day.

These are some of my rambling thoughts that come about due to several terrible accidents recently. One was of a nurse who was leaving for vacation with her husband and 3 year old daughter. I never knew her, but from what I was told, she was perfect. A lovely person, perfect mom and wife. She lost her life as their rv rolled over. Her husband and daughter walked away. 

Another terrible crash happened recently in our area when a semi truck and trailer rear ended a can killing the 2 small children in their car seats. The parents walked away. The van looked like it had been a sedan after the crash. Not a can at all. 

I know this is a depressing post, but love your loved ones and hold them close. Only God knows the day He will call them home. Also, don’t let them do dumb things alone. My dad will be 86 next week and hasn’t been on any roofs lately that I know of, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing silly things. He lives alone and is rather cryptic sometimes in what he’s been up to.  So, love them, visit them and talk to them. That’s my advice for today!

Blessings of Friendship

I haven’t been writing lately. Life has done that thing where it simply gets in the way. Life does that sometimes and thank God it does. What a joy to behold when we become so enthralled with family and friends, that we suddenly realize it has been a long time since we wrote anything. It’s been a while since I checked my overflowing email. What a shame I have no guilt about not checking my email. 

After such a summer as I have had. I suppose I’m making up for lost time. I’m spending time with my husband, when he isn’t tired from working, my kids, when they aren’t with their friends out somewhere or with my wonderful friends. 

I have to say that these friendships are the ones I treasure more than anything. My friendships are golden, as these friendships have lasted the rest of time. I suppose I’m particular in letting people get too close to me. Some of my friendships have lasted nearly 40 years and others 30 years. 

My dearest friends, and they know who they are, I don’t think I could live without. Even though we may go without talking for sometime, we simply pick up where we left off. We finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. We really can look at something and know what the other person is thinking. There may be a look between us or we may burst into hysterical laughter, but it is an unspoken and heartfelt understanding. 

Just over the weekend I was so blessed to see a dear friend I hadn’t seen in 30 years. Our time was too fleeting together, but the bonds that tied our hearts of friendship together remain all these years later. What an amazing and special coffeetime we had this weekend. We talked about so many things and the time just passed to quickly. If only he lived closer with his family. Another treasure for my heart to hold onto until we meet again.

My sweet overgrown”little brother”, a dear friend since childhood and his lovely wife and son were visiting this weekend, too. As kids, we played together outside every day. We would ride our rocket from his front porch to Jupiter. We had our own air guitar band as a tribute to the Beatles. I always win at basketball but He kicked my butt at baseball. He is a writer and a darned good one. He is working on another book. His dad was a journalist and second dad to me growing up. How blessed I am. 

So, between baking, caring for family and animals, creating BBQ sauces, and preparing myself for my second child leaving the nest, I’ve spent quality time catching up with wonderful friends.who could ask for any greater blessing!

When Words Get in the Way

I am such an emotional person. I’ve wished a thousand times to be the cool, emotionless woman who keeps it all together and never cries. It would certainly help when in an emotional crisis and trying to get the right words to come out of my mouth. You know that feeling. That one when you know what you want to say but your emotions get the best of you and the words come out jumbled at best. What you wanted to say and what comes out are completely unrelated to each other.

Have yoenu ever known precisely what you were going to say because you had practiced the exchange in your head? But no matter how many times you practice, how many scenarios you think of, being in the moment is so utterly different.

I become a flustered mess whose emotions get the best of me every time. I either ending in tears of anger or sadness or frustration. Regardless, I’m the emotional mess who had great points 5 minutes earlier but now can’t speak because I’m so ridiculously emotional. 

It isn’t fair because no one takes me seriously either. Who would take a blubbering fool seriously? Would you, in all honesty? Probably not unless they were injured seriously. We aren’t crazy. We are passionate. We deserve to be heard and heeded. Our minds are full of compassion. This is why we feel so passionately about certan things. Enough to fight them! 

    We are honorable. If we say we will do something, it will be done. If I love something or someone enough to fight for them, I will fight till my last breath. The words get in the way, but I will always keep trying to use them!

    That Elusive Sleep and Other Short Tales

    Oh how I wish I could sleep like normal people. These days it just isn’t happening. Some nights are good, but this isn’t one of them. To top it off, I need the sleep. I’m headed out early in the morning with my brother and my dad to head out of town. 

    We are off to a memorial service of a very special woman, my cousin’s wife who lost her battle with cancer recently. She was an exceptionally wonderful and funny person, always so full of life. She fought valiantly to say the least and will be missed by so many. 

    As it is, if I were to fall asleep precisely in 3 minutes, I could get up to 4.5 hours of sleep. It’s a good thing I’m not driving, although I am a navigator since we recently were there at the same church for my sweet uncle’s funeral. My brother is driving and was out of town last time. Thank the good Lord above for GPS and Google maps!

    I continue to heal these days, but my mind and heart have been rather heavy which is why I haven’t written much. It isn’t anything about my health I’m particular, just that I want so much to be completely back to my old self and I grow so impatient sometimes. There have been a few other issues that burden my heart, but they are mine alone. All I can do is pray for that matter to eventually resolve itself.

    We celebrated dear Hubs’ birthday yesterday which was great. The cake that my middle 2 kids made was extraordinary! Bear was the baker and Bug was the sculptor! They even made their own marshmallow fondant! It was delicious too! I have to say, eating a cake so cute and named ‘Beau, the Otter’ is rather hard to do! 

    Thursday will mark Hubs and my 10th anniversary. I’m very excited. I can’t say we have anything planned. I’m actually just glad to  not be in a hospital and to be feeling better at this point. Sure, I wish we could do something special, but all I keep thinking is the medical bills will be coming soon. Very soon. I didn’t think we would be where we are at this point in our marriage, in fact, I pictured things quite differently. What I can tell You is this, we have had our own very unique and bumpy journey to get here, but it’s proven that our love is a forever love based on the right values and morals with a foundation of faith. I wouldn’t trade this man in for anything. No one else would or could put up with the highly emotional, sometimes irrational, often overthinking, loud-mouthed, opinionated, but thoroughly lovable me. Thank you Jim from the bottom of my heart, for always supporting me No matter what! I never truly understood love until I married you.

    Weekend Coffee Share

    If we were having coffee this weekend, I would be so happy since its been so long! I have had a very good week of recouperation since Monday, the day Pablo, my pancreatic drain, was removed. 

    Tuesday I went off to see my surgeon with my dad in tow. I figured having my own personal, retired surgeon by my side would be a prudent idea, just in case. Hubs was working Tuesday and dad is great to have gone with me. Dad spoke to my surgeon from one pro to another. 

    I am happy to report that with Pablo gone, I am finally able to work on getting my strength back. With walking and swimming, I should get back to my old self fairly soon. That is my hope so I can conquer the w orld, okay, well, go back to work. 

    I also wrote a few posts this week as well! This also shows that I am on the road to my fullest recovery. I realize, although I get frustrated, that this is a slow process, but as the saying goes, patience is a virtue, therefore I must be patient with myself. I shall get there. Things are still tiring. 

    My wondeful family came to see me from St. Louis yesterday. To see me! My cousin just lost his sweet and fabulous wife to cancer last week, yet here he was with one of his brothers and their mom, visiting me and my family. Tom and Barb were what I would call the perfecT couple. Barb will be missed greatly. She was so much fun to be around at family functions. Its hard to believe Such a bright and gloriously wonderful soul has been taken from us too soon. So, in Tom’s time of sorrow, he decided to visit me, to check on little old me.

    So there you have my week in review. What a week of positubes ending in a day of family love and support. What more could a girl ask for! So how was your week?