The week the dull ache, throbs…

There is a dull ache in my heart constantly, that is currently throbbing. A difficult week of reflection. A nightmare that re-plays itself daily and in the days leading up to “it”, drives the pain in a way that is indescribable, except to those who have experienced it.

For you Daniel, I will continue to stand strong. I am here to encourage others who are “new at it”. I have figured it out. I don’t like it. As a matter of fact, I still hate it. I will never tell anyone it gets easier. BUT, I know it…it has become familiar.

It is not like any death I have or will still experience because you are my child. Nothing compares to the love you have for your child and nothing can compare to the pain of losing that child.

For you Daniel, I will continue to live each day in an attempt to honor your sacrifice. I am forever grateful for your courage, your kindness, and your willingness to do this selfless service.

Missing you, doesn’t begin to describe it. Twelve years without you, March 7, 2009.

Thank you for being such an incredible son, brother, friend and leader.

ALWAYS SMILING…

A Desert Respite

Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs is the perfect respite. It is peaceful, not crowded, and if you are a bird watcher many varieties can be spotted year round. I thought the lakes might be dry and was happy when I arrived to find they are not. Fishing is allowed in any of the four lakes. What a great place to “get away” even if only for an hour.

This beautiful park is only a 10-minute drive from my house. I will be returning soon.

Gluten free? don’t miss these!

I HAD to pass on the recommendation I received on the gluten free coffee cake muffins from Trader Joes. IF YOU EAT A GLUTEN FREE DIET, YOU MUST TRY THESE. They are the best, most moist, tasty, muffins I have ever had. Those are not raisins they are blobs of cinnamon. I am over the moon to have found a really good gluten free muffin. The recommendation came from a friend of my son’s. I decided they deserved a post because I discovered them through Megan’s recommendation. I wanted to share the love. They freeze nicely too.

The gluten free cupcakes are also tasty. I do like the chocolate better since I’m a huge fan of chocolate.

If you are going to choose one or the other, choose the muffins, you will not be sorry.

Book 2 in 2022

I’m excited to be in the midst of writing a second book. Never in my life would I have imagined I would write one, but sometimes life events move you to places you never though you could go.

Just as my first book writing experience was educational, I am continuing to learn about the people who surrounded Daniel and provided the content for me to write again. I could not feel more blessed and I am excited to share these pages.

My goal is to be published in 2022.

We have no control over some of the events that change our life, but we can control what we do in response to those changes.

The tip that turned it for me

I said I would share a tip that helped me get my sweet cravings under control. I do not have A sweet “tooth”, mine are ALL sweet.

I found a tasty protein bar (honestly) and by mistake (through a sample) found an even tastier one. I ordered BUILT bars on the recommendation of an influencer on Instagram. They ship via Protein Wise and I got one of “their” Rockie Road bars and thought it tasted darn good. Quite honestly I was starting to get concerned about the amount of sugar I was consuming. I will never be the person to tell you to give up sugar unless you must for health reasons. But I needed to pull the reigns in real hard.

I found that the protein bar gave me enough satisfaction for something sweet and also filled me up. I understand there is controversy as to protein bars being “healthy.” I think everyone has to do what works for them. I noticed that after a few days of a protein bar at the time of day when I craved candy the most, I started loosing my craving. The way I see it I’m getting less sugar, protein I probably need, and feel satisfied to the point that for several days I didn’t eat any chocolate at all. For me that is BIG.

I received a box of chocolates for Valentines Day and make no mistake I will eat them.

If you struggle with sweets overtaking you, you may want to give a protein bar a try. They (like most things) have really improved with time.

Grandma’s dresser, take 3

I’m excited to have finished my 3rd re-make of Grandma’s dresser. From olive green, to white with a natural top, to the 3rd (and I hope final) change…

I’m tending towards black and dark wood now, since my house is light, bright and white. I like the contrast!

While waiting for handles to come in the mail and paint to dry, I found myself folding a throw into a heart shape. I tried several variations.

The sweets I’ve sampled for this week of LOVE include (but are probably not limited to): Hershey’s milk chocolate hearts, Hershey’s roses milk chocolate meltaways (very good), and Trader Joe’s- Belgian chocolate hearts, gluten free cupcakes (VERY GOOD) and my favorite so far, the Cocoa truffles (FABULOUS)! #hersheys #traderjoes

My last LOVE week tip is when you buy berries immediately put them into a larger container where they can lay flat and not on top of each other…they will last a lot longer in your refrigerator!

Next week: HOW TO CUT DOWN ON YOUR SUGAR IN-TAKE… AND STILL BE SATISFIED, because that would just be cruel, this week!

darn it! I did it again

For only the second time in almost the 12 years since Daniel’s death, I dreamed about him and didn’t get up to write the dream down. I was SURE I would remember, and I can’t. I’m so unhappy.

I don’t dream about him very often. I do remember he was an adult. (many times in my dreams he is young). When I see him as an adult it is more substantial and meaningful. I have stilled my mind this morning trying to remember the dream, and I can not.

So sorry sweet boy. It will be a long time before I make this mistake again. I feel so deprived, like I finally got to see you again and I can’t remember what the message was.

Love week

I don’t think the emphasis on love should be limited to one day a year. How about Love week, instead of Valentines Day?

Having worked several years in a flower shop Valentines Day is the 2nd largest (busy) day of the year, out-done only by Mother’s Day. I always feel sorry for people scrambling at the last minute to grab the last box of chocolates or last decent bouquet of flowers. Plan ahead people, it gets sold out! AND, if no one is buying you flowers or chocolates, treat yourself. YOU DESERVE IT! YOU ARE SPECIAL! That’s exactly what I did…bought myself some flowers and cocoa truffles from Trader Joe’s.

Flower arranging 101

Put your greens in first, thick. It allows you to place flowers where you want them and they will stand up and stay in place. Give your flower stems a good clean side angle cut, to allow them to drink the water. Then begin to add other fillers. Find your one big center flower or perhaps three or so of the largest and start placing them where you like.

Think ahead as you eyeball what you have, since putting long stems in and then trying to remove them can be difficult and mess up what you have going on. Have fun, enjoy it and remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. There are many styles…you could also pull up pictures of arrangements and use them as a guide.

If you are late to See’s and don’t want to wait in line you could pick up a heart shaped dish probably at the grocery store or any small “everything” store and fill it with chocolates. Perhaps a variety? A pretty bow tied around it would make a thoughtful gift and the dish could be used again, for years.

Also, how about everything you do this week you do in the shape of a heart? Pancakes, cookies, fruit snacks, berries, cheerios, popcorn, pizza, you could even cut a muffin up in small pieces and make a heart shape on the plate for your little ones. The possibilities are ENDLESS.

Come back this week and I will have a couple more quick ideas for you to make your LOVE WEEK a bit more special.

My Inheritance

I am lucky to have inherited my great Aunt Peggy’s glass cocktail stir sticks.

I used to keep them on the bar because that’s where they go obviously BUT, I wasn’t using them. I moved them to the kitchen and placed them in the pineapple my daughter crafted in high school ceramics class. NOW, I use them everyday and recently I gave my daughter a few of the stir sticks so she could benefit from them as well.

They are perfect for stirring heavy cream into my morning coffee and more fun to use, than a spoon.

When I was young my Great Aunt was one of my favorite people. She would come to visit her sister, (my grandma) from So. Cal and she always let me have one piece of “flavored” ice, out of her evening cocktail. My Grandmother didn’t like perfume but Aunt Peggy loved it and so did I. When she came to visit she always let me put on some of her expensive perfume.

It’s not always about valuables, sometimes it’s just about the memories.