*Show Me You Love Me, Bake Me A Peach Pie

or a vanilla coconut cake, or a chocolate cake with raspberry preserves, please.

or buy me one.. How about a last of the summer plum-cake? I would love that too. The way the first bite of flaky, buttery crust feels as it slides into your mouth. The texture of the  plums both soft, liquified, chunky, as they scrape against your teeth. Tart and sweet at the same time. Summer is officially over when you see the first prune plums in the supermarket, it’s a daunting site. For my mom and me, it’s the true symbol that Summer is definitely and completely OVER.

Another plum cake

Another plum cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Rapture. Heaven. I am a sweet tooth junkie. My husband would be happy with a bowl of ice cream every night but I dream of pastries. This is what happens when you are born to a German mother and an Austrian father. I blame it all on genetics and the fact that I only had jello,applesauce and sherbet for dessert growing up. I didn’t know any other desserts existed.b

Banana cream pie, crème brule, there is no dessert I would refuse. Fresh fruit cup, perhaps? That’s not a dessert to me, it’s a snack. True, also for cheese plate, that’s lunch.

Yesterday, at our town’s farmer’s market I saw a small homemade peach crumb pie that I bought immediately. I was ready to devour it that night but my husband cajoled me into freezing it and saving it for when our son comes home from college for a visit. God knows I love my children more than myself but I had to really think about this. Sigh, it’s in the freezer.

There was nothing there was pure chocolate for when my daughter comes home but I know the exact place to buy her a chocolate-chocolate cake. I could even bake it myself.

Even when the kids were little dessert was holy, we definitely weren’t one of those organic, no sugar, no junk food homes. Having been deprived of snacks like Yodels and Chocolate Chip cookies, Mallomars, Oreos and milk I stocked them for my kids when they came home from school. Their cousins LOVED to sleep over at our house, they came in and dove into our cereal aisle. The only cookie we had growing up was “Social Tea.” I happen to still really like them but on a play date I discovered a junk food group I had never seen before!

Before I get any angry letters from herbalists and organic naturalists, I should say that everything is good in moderation. We don’t eat boxes of any cookie, we’ll eat one cookie or two and we eat fresh fruit and vegetables always. Now that the kids are in college, we tend to eat much healthier.

Dessert is a treat, “no dessert” used to be a punishment in our house. We thought it was a good idea until a few years ago our grown-up children told us it was a complete joke.

Parenthood, you do the best you can, it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet.


 

*This post may not be safe for those who are diabetic.

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Fibro Girl, Grey’s Anatomy And Me

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think of “Fibro Girl” I imagine a small, spunky superhero with brown hair and round black glasses and a red cape that has a big bold black F on it. I don’t know why I think of her that way but it amuses me. Maybe because it’s such a juxtaposition between her life and mine. She is trying to fight Fibromyalgia with her strength. I have NO strength. When I was FINALLY diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, seven years ago, my strength was taken away.

Our lives with this illness are question marks. It is hard for us to plan ahead. In fact for me, it’s impossible. For people who DON’T have FIBROMYALGIA OR DOUBTERS (seriously? still?)  I am physically unable to commit to a date in the future without the caveat “depends on how I’m feeling.”  People who cannot understand that are not true friends. We didn’t ask for this, we wish we didn’t have it. Believe us.

My current experience with Fibromyalgia is that I am able to do one errand per day, MAYBE two. If I push my limit I’m wiped out and pay for it later with exhaustion/ pain. At the moment I am not suffering as much physical pain as I had in the past. (see past Fibromyalgia posts) There’s always some pain but I have learned to accept and manage that pain because of a great doctor and the right combination of Fibro drugs. Now, doctors are worried about a new “balance issue” which has nothing to do with Fibromyalgia.  More tests, a pink cane….I can’t walk a straight line, two perfect CAT scans. Can we stop now? No.

Fibromyalgia takes control over us. I’m embarrassed to say that I never thought about it that way. Amazing how our lives change so quickly. If stress is indeed a factor, I’m in deep trouble. My husband got laid off 2 days ago. I can’t work even though I want to and we need the money but it’s not possible. It doesn’t seem right to punish us for something we physically cannot do. Not right at all.

We don’t live in a perfect world, although I really do know people who live a charmed life in every aspect of their lives. Lucky them, maybe they have dark secrets but I doubt it. All I want is a break in having to struggle every single day with some new illness or symptom. The umbrella of Fibromyalagia has so many illnesses underneath it I go to the doctor(s) way too much.

Right now, with the weather is getting colder. I always feel worse when it is cold outside. Then, a good time for me is staying in bed with my dog lying next to me, watching Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood or The Voice. The television has become my life line. That and this computer connecting me to friends with Fibro and without. We do the best we can with what we have. Minute by minute, day by day. We’re in it together, holding hands, on-line and off.

Are Lance Armstrong And Honey Boo Boo REALLY Related?

Cyclist Lance Armstrong visiting the NIH (Nati...

Cyclist Lance Armstrong visiting the NIH (National Institutes of Health). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are the chances? I know! I couldn’t believe it either! Imagine my surprise when I read somewhere that Lance Armstrong was the third cousin, twice removed, step-uncle to Honey Boo Boo’s step-sister’s cousin’s,  mother-in-law’s niece. Well, okay, I did know this but that’s because I made the whole thing up; I lied. It seems like there’s a lot of lying going around these days so I figured I’d just tell a teeny tiny one and add to the chaos. The only difference?  I copped to it right away. I told the truth immediately and willingly because I know lying is wrong and some people would do anything to get away with an incredibly wild ego ride that lasted many, many years. I’d say more than seven years. Right, Lance hon?

Now, that brings to another little hon, it brings us up to Honey Boo Boo, a legend of her own making. I  swore I wouldn’t write about Honey Boo-Boo, I promised myself that I would just bite my tongue so hard that it bled but once again “bad” has just changed definitions for me. There are thousands of people who just love little miss cutie -pie- sunshine and then again, there are people like me who just don’t care about the her and her family and the mud, pigs, junk food and little beauty queen contests. So? I choose not to watch the shows. I’m not going to bash her and her family for goodness sake, if they want to do what they do, it’s fine.I’m more of a Grey’s Anatomy/Parenthood kind of gal. That’s my decision and that’s okay. For the people who love Honey Boo Boo go for it, no one is hating here.

As for Lance Armstrong, now that’s a harder conversation because I’m pissed. What an arrogant son of a bitch he seems to be. I didn’t watch every minute of Oprah’s OWN special so I’m still not completely sure what he did or didn’t say directly. Did he apologize straight out and sincerely, or not. I hear that he came close but didn’t seem really remorseful. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Whatever happened there are two sides of Lance Armstrong and I acknowledge that. There is the lying, cheating, arrogant Armstrong that wanted to conquer the world at ALL costs, fooled the nation, allegedly threatened players and their wives who wanted him to tell the truth and went to extremes to hide his doping habit that went on for many long years.

The other part of Lance Armstrong is the Livestrong Cancer Non-Profit Company. I will defend THAT Lance Armstrong ONLY because he gave a lot of money and brought cancer awareness to people and that was a good thing. That’s it. I too, wore that yellow junky bracelet with pride because I believed in him. How do I feel now? Like most people: disappointed, betrayed and disgusted, it’s the point where the two sides of Lance Armstrong meet. Personally, I only liked Lance when he was married to Sheryl Crow, and as soon as he left her when she was newly diagnosed with cancer I never liked him again. Done. Go figure, what a prince of a guy. He lost me then, it showed character, or lack thereof (not that I know the details.)

So, even if Honey Boo Boo is NOT related to Lance Armstrong they have one thing in common, I have no interest in either of them. For me, they are both a waste of time, energy and quality television. I am happy for the people who love Honey Boo Boo’s show, they should enjoy it while they can and I am deeply sorry for all the Lance Armstrong believers, myself included, that got swindled out of the meaning of a true champion. Lance Armstrong was not and is NOT a hero of any kind, he is not the role model your kids want to be; he was/is an immoral, deceitful, arrogant, liar who hurt many people especially his family, his own kids. “Don’t defend me anymore” he said to his son. Really?

If I had to pick a hero between Lance Armstrong and Honey Boo Boo, I’d go with the kid, at least she is honest. She’s being herself and that means a lot these days. As for Lance Armstrong, he’s probably still lying, I’d bet money on that one. If anyone agrees to let him ride competitively again, they are even crazier then he is.

* I posted that particular photo because he was speaking at the National Institutes of Health, oh the irony!

Carry On Tuesday – Only In Our Dreams

Eating Shiva

Eating Shiva (Photo credit: Mirror | imaging reality)

I felt virtuous when I sat, eating an open-faced veggie burger, with stone ground mustard and drinking ice water. I don’t feel the same way now. It’s three hours later and my son is having a barbecue for his friends. He came running up the stairs with a freshly charred hamburger on a bun dripping with ketchup and a slice of cheese slithering on top, shining with grease. I did not hesitate, I ate it  in one minute and I’m paying the price, in fullness and actual physical pain. I can’t lie; I have enjoyed it immensely along with the toasted marshmallow he brought up too. I know this game very well.

It started at birth with me, a six-week premature baby having to stay in the hospital until I gained enough weight to be able to come home. After that, my mother overcompensated and then I went full speed to fat or what they used to call “chubby.” I can pretend to eat healthy food now (most of the time) but I know that I will always be the fat, round, girl, that I have always been.

My mother could never figure out why I never wanted to go shopping when I was a child and a teenager, how could she not know? I was a very slim child only from age five to six until she decided to fatten me up, relentlessly, wherever we went. The Nestle’s Quik was at my side, spooned generously into my milk at every meal, like a religion.

Last year, I gained forty pounds when our house was demolished by termites and carpenter ants and we had to stay in a hotel, in one room, three of us and our dog, our disappointment and our dreams, dashed. My husband was also on medical leave for a snapped Achilles tendon, our sixteen year-old daughter cooped in one room with us while our house was built again from bare walls. That’s when you know who your real friends are, because it is at their house you are sharing a meal, they are asking you in and treating you like family, it saved our souls and sanity.

The only comfort in our lives was that our son was away in college was missing the trauma we were living through, and FOOD. We ate out at restaurants, two or three times a day. It was clear we were not eating healthfully, we were eating to comfort ourselves, dessert for lunch and for dinner every single day and night. French fries with your sandwich? Yes please. The only decision to make was what flavor milk shake we wanted, vanilla, strawberry or chocolate. Candy bars, cookies and crackers were stored in our hotel room like paper cups.

Piles of cakes and pies, white tendrils of coconut smiled down at us from its vanilla perch. Chocolate mousse cake winked at us from its place on the revolving cake display, cheesecake with strawberries, we denied ourselves nothing. Deep, deep down I knew what was happening though I chose to deny it; only in our dreams did I believe that we were not feeding our depression. When times were easier, better, we would deal with it. Then, we couldn’t cope with one more detail, one more restriction.

In three and a half months we moved back into our completely disorderly yellow house. For months we didn’t know where anything was. There are still boxes missing, items that some day we hope to find. I started taking responsibility for my unhealthy body. I worried about my heart, I started slowly and decided to eat more vegetables and less red meat. In the end, I lost forty pounds with another five to ten to go. I drink ice water with lemon instead of soda. I try not to have dessert but lately I have been craving something sweet. It’s a slippery slope; I have to be very careful.

I know I am the same chubby girl I was when I was little. I will always be that child in my mind and body; I will always be the last girl picked for any team sport, the fat kid, the ugly, stupid child. I don’t measure up, why should I be able to do something when my parents always said I wouldn’t be able to do it?

As we get older we make our own choices, we slip away from the past and make up our own rules, our own belief system, we cherish different qualities than those that we were taught. I taught my own children that they can do anything they want and they can do it well. Whatever they want to do they should do it with pride. There is nothing that they can’t do, nothing they can’t succeed at; in my heart, I love and like these two people. When they were young, if I was fearful for them, I hid it, because they had the right to experience life through their own feelings and not become unnerved because of mine. That, is what parenthood should be about. This was my gift to them; the gift of freedom, freedom to choose, but most of all, freedom to believe in themselves, knowing, always knowing, that I believed in them too.

Plinky Prompt: TV Habits

A recreation of the logo for the first America...

A recreation of the logo for the first American Survivor season, Survivor: Borneo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • TV Habits
  • TV: It’s Better Than Drinking or Smoking
    Emmys 2009 Well, there’s Grey’s Anatomy and of course Private Practice (they are practically connected by blood.) There’s Parenthood (which took the place of Brothers and Sisters which some moron took off the air.) Modern Family is a must see and I do admit my husband and I found ourselves back again, after many years, watching the last season of Survivor. I know……we swore we would never watch it again, but times were hard, and reality can be such a bitch that for one hour a week we sat on our faux leather couch, shut the door to the family room and escaped to whatever paradise island they were in. I’m not proud but I’m not ashamed. We may even watch it next season too……sometimes all you need is a little fantasy, your spouse’s arm around your shoulders and escapism. Besides, it was good to see Jeff Probst again, like a long-lost friend; there’s something comforting about that.

I Wish I Had Twizzlers Right Now

A pack of Twizzlers

Image via Wikipedia

Random things about me:

I love deleting my SPAM folder. I don’t just like it, I look forward to it. Now its at zero, YES!!

When I eat a piece of dark chocolate I feel virtuous. Let’s face it, milk is my chocolate of choice, it’s sweet, it’s sensual but dark is healthy and I’m aiming to please. Health points, two for me.

Haven’t had red meat in three months. When hubby starts grilling those famous burgers of his outside, I know I won’t be able to resist. I can deal with that: moderation.

I am proud to say that I both Love and Like my son and my daughter and I’m Proud of them both. This is an amazing feeling. It gives my life purpose and meaning. They have turned into wonderful young adults, 17 and 19. Goal: Achieved.

It takes my ten-year old dog more time to jump on and off the bed. I have noticed a difference in the last year and it breaks my heart. You can never be ready but I am starting to prepare myself. Preparation: Grief. I need to do this. I love her THAT much.

Starting to explore the Internet for new recipes  to try. Good for me.

Bought a juicer, used it for a week. Hid it. Pain in the ass to clean. Need to find it (again) and man up. Love the juices, hate the cleaning. I need to get over myself. Fail.

Am reading a trash novel, it’s a nice break from all the morbid and depressing books I always read. It’s not even trashy as it is easy chick lit although rumor has it that the phrase is not politically correct anymore. Sorry, Jennifer Weiner, author.

When I wear the perfume Angel, I feel special and people compliment me on it all the time. I like that.

I dress so poorly, my daughter is a bit ashamed of me, she has a right to be. She’s taking me shopping soon, I’m more than a little afraid.

I have very bad feet. I can only wear one type of sneaker with orthotics. Other people with bad feet understand this. Fashionable girls (like my daughter) do not. That, I cannot change.

Deviled eggs, roast chicken, banana bread, pot roast, pea soup, chicken soup are things I cook/bake extremely well.

I once pooped in my pants when I had a stomach virus and couldn’t make it home on time. Mad sick.

Last night I woke up and my jaw was locked, it was terrifying. I must have been clenching my teeth so hard I could not open my mouth. Grabbed an Alleve and swallowed it, thankfully it helped.

I have a fear of germs and sickness, especially getting the dreadful Eppiglottitis again which just about killed me. Twice. Pain like searing swords in a red, hot throat. Childbirth was easy compared to it. Please don’t come back again. I carry Purell in my purse.

Sometimes I feel scared and anxious of things in advance, I try to talk myself out of it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I hate when it happens.

I still have stuffed animals and I am proud of it. There is no age limit on stuffed animal friends.

I tell myself that “life is short” so I should “enjoy each day” but then I forget. Working on it.

The TV Executives should never have taken off the show “Brothers and Sisters.” Don’t even think about taking off “Parenthood.”

I should listen to more music.

Haiku Heights – Confession

Cheese School 101

Image by niallkennedy via Flickr

Bright flecks from the past

Burst into every day life

Like a dream sequence

********************************************

Romance like a gift

A single red rose one time

Memories are free

********************************************

Parenthood is hard

I love all so intensely

Sometimes I feel…. used?

********************************************

Real life is so sad

My dog, my love, is older

I worry inside

*********************************************

A different country

Tearing bread with joy, laughter

Cheese and an apple

************************************************

Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away (Plinky)

Tiger on my way

Image by gynti_46 via Flickr

  • Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away
  • I Knew It Then; I Know It Now
  • It’s embarrassing after all these years but I still regret throwing away a (barely) stuffed animal named Tigre (pronounced Tie-gree.) I remember that he was bright orange with black stripes, a tiger with honor and kindness. I felt protected by this sewn-up, bedraggled stuffed animal but I was going to college and had to give some stuff away. This was a mistake, I knew it then as I pushed his frail, falling apart body down the incinerator shoot. I regret it still. I can picture him perfectly but I do regret getting rid of him since he comforted me in my childhood. Sometimes, I would use his body as a pillow when I couldn’t sleep. When I was a child, stuffed animals and dolls were very important to me, they were like family. I’ve very sentimental about stuffed animals and still love them. I still have Nokey, my monkey, the one stuffed animal I would save if there was a fire. My dad bought me Nokey ( I couldn’t pronounce Monkey) from Lamstons for my birthday when I turned two. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me. I’m not going anywhere without him.

Where I Go for News

Channel Sunshine

 

I would assume that MOST people would take this as “the news” so the internet might be a choice, maybe breaking headlines during one of my yummy television shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Brothers and Sisters or Modern Family or even Parenthood or….I think I’ve said enough. When I have bad days from chronic pain from my Fibromyalgia and Auto-immune disease, I tend to watch a lot of television. I know. My bad. But, I will not watch “the news.”I will not watch any channel for the news unless it is absolutely necessary. Honestly, I get too overwhelmed, too stressed, too sad and mad and I am left feeling completely helpless and extremely anxious.

Bad personal news, however, should always be prefaced by a “Honey, I need to tell you something” or “I have some bad news” even “I think you should sit down.”This should only be done IN PERSON. It makes my brain prepare myself for something that I know will be unpleasant or upsetting, generally both. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of good news going around right now. Here are more television analogies: Oprah, to me was good news. Ellen, funny, warm news, Rosie, straight shooter and wonderfully pro-children, pro-democracy, pro-truth and yes, a little pro-nutty but that’s perfectly okay with me.

Many years ago I used to watch the news at night; not a chance anymore. I couldn’t fall asleep after hearing about all the tragedies and the deaths, murders and dismemberment that the newscasters would cheerfully declare. You always find out the bad news, it’s the good news that should be broadcast. Life is too short, we know the bad stuff, that spreads quickly. Good news? That, should be on it’s own special channel, MY channel, broadcast and celebrated everywhere, every day, even every hour throughout the country, throughout ALL countries in the world. Don’t you think it would make for a better day? I do.

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…Because That’s Why They Have Xanax

Nanny McPhee and the big bang - Emma Thompson

Image by WorthingTheatres via Flickr

It’s all Jonathan’s fault.  No seriously. This dude (NOT my nephew Jonathan) called my Aunt at 10:35 last night pretending he has searched for her because he has always loved her. Romantic? Not so much. He knew her name and of course, instead of just hanging up on him, she engaged him. (‘Auntie Joan, its not the 60’s anymore.’) Afterwards, she freaked out  and kept the phone in her bed and ever since then weird things have happened in MY home. Lights are buzzing mysteriously, the oven is playing drums while it is baking Ghiradelli chocolate brownies and my daughter’s confident voice sounds timid like a sleepy mouse with slippers.  Something is going on and I am not sure what it is. I admit it, the brownies are frightening me and the washing machine is terribly noisy with a beat like swish-swish, a-swish, yes, you heard me, swish-swish, a-swish. It’s as if the dirty laundry is sneezing it’s resentment straight through the walls and into my agitated shell-like ear drums.

I am trying to breathe deeply but it is not working. I look for toothpicks and come up with a cow bell; I am trying to act like a grown-up but I am spooked.  Sure, I could reach for the anti-anxiety pills but this is too disturbing for even that. I’m too anxious to take an anti-anxiety pill.  Do I sound vaguely like Charlie Sheen?  I feel sorry for him in one way because I really do think he needs help although he could just be a friggin’ genius putting us all to shame and running to the bank with buckets of dough. Neither option is good. “Charlie, get some help and don’t even think of doing a reality tv show.”

I watched   “Nanny McPhee” today and I do think they need a warning label for adults. First, did they not realize that it is a plain rip off from both “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” intertwined with LSD or perhaps some crack cocaine? That movie, for scary pups like me, should not be watched alone. (Do you hear that Tammy Lou?!)

Thank goodness the Ghiradelli brownies are done so I can escape the scary kitchen and go upstairs to hide. The FedEx guy just appeared like a shadow until my dog started barking furiously as if there was an imminent threat. Am I watching too much TV? I’m not talking comedy shows like the impeccable “Modern Family” or the lovely, realistic show “Parenthood” not even “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (Wait, did I hear something about Donald Trump wanting to run for President or was it another victim of my overworked and anxious mind?) I did see a flash of the news today, the real news and even watching it for two minutes made it leech into my brain and stay there giving “fear” company for “anxiety.”

I should practice the art of meditation. Do I really need to learn how to meditate? I mean do I actually need to pay money (at this point I think there’s no denying it) to teach me to cross my legs and breathe deeply, in and out, in and out, exuding calmness and harmony? Shouldn’t breathing be a natural process? I can make up my own “mantra.” Thank you.

I am trying to calm down, I shouldn’t watch those “scary” movies all alone at my ripe old age of 54. Next time I want to be scared silly, I will order “Nanny McPhee Returns” ( I actually can’t wait) from Netflix and take half a Xanax beforehand. We live in an insane world, how could we possibly feel sane all the time? It doesn’t work; I’m the example. Tonight I will eat calming foods, such as: the meatloaf I made yesterday drowned in ketchup, rice with butter and salt, and mango peach applesauce. I’ll be fine after that, I hope.