Thursday, November 15, 2018


I made these for dinner before trick or treat time

I ran out of time to make these

I ended up cutting biscuit dough in strips 
and adding a smoked almond finger nail

Filled these with mac n cheese.  
B dumped out the mac n cheese and ate the pepper!

I've made several variations of a turkey.  This is my favorite!

Thank goodness for Disney!  So easy to make Olaf.

I've only made these ONCE.  Very time consuming!!

I've made these lots of times!

This one is soooo easy!

 Black sesame seeds for the spots.  They fell off pretty easy

I used a curled green onion strip for the tail.

Who says you can't play with your food!??

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


You just gotta love Facebook.  If someone disagrees with your take on things, just call them names!  That'll show them!!  While I have not done a scientific study, it seems to me that the people DOING the name calling are often describing themselves.

Yesterday I was called ALL three of these things ... all from the same person.  Although this time, NOT on Facebook!

Some common signs of passive-aggressive behavior include:
  • bitterness and hostility toward other peoples’ requests
  • intentionally delaying or making mistakes when dealing with other peoples’ requests
  • having a cynical, pessimistic, or aggressive demeanor
  • frequently complaining about feeling under-appreciated or deceived
  • Science does not yet call this a mental condition although it seems to go hand in hand with some illnesses.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.  Most of the time people just throw out this term when your mood is opposite to theirs.  If I'm having a good day and  Susie's day started off wrong the moment she got out of bed, I'm bipolar.  Since I've been on the wrong side of the bed before, I think today I am just lucky!

For people who have had this illness diagnosed, it seems like antidepressant medication can keep it under control.  The trouble with this disease is often people stop taking their medicine because they "feel better”.

Some signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder
  • Sense of self-importance. ...
  • Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur. ...
  • Needs constant praise and admiration. ...
  • Sense of entitlement. ...
  • Exploits others without guilt or shame. ...
  • Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others.
I just happen to think the person who called me all of these, is going through an EXTRA unhappy phase (think Eeyore)  Said person can complain about a sunny day!

It may seem hard to believe, but I think there is a lot of truth behind the idea that happiness is a choice. Even though genetics and life circumstances play a role in happiness, you do have control over a lot of it. If you bring consciousness, gratitude and even frivolity to your day, you'll likely feel more joyful. So, just how can you do that?

Try these five ways to boost your level of happiness:

Reconnect with what brings you joy. From throwing around a baseball to taking art classes, everyone has activities they used to enjoy. Perhaps a busy schedule or aging body got you out of the habit or made you feel like you should quit. Regardless of the reason you stopped, give those fun activities a try again. Reconnecting with what you love to do is a simple way to increase your joy.

Get in the zone. Have you ever been so involved in something that time seems to stand still and your concerns seem to disappear? This is called being in a state of flow. It's a state of complete engagement in the task at hand, and it can boost your happiness. Playing a musical instrument and getting lost in a good book are examples of how you can get into the flow.

Find novelty in everyday life. Your brain is attracted to things that are new or novel. When you are paying attention to something new, you are focused on the present moment, which can boost feelings of happiness. Engage your brain by finding something new or seeing something in a new way. You don't have to go bungee jumping off the Eiffel Tower. Start with something small, such as looking up at the clouds. Although the clouds aren't new, each cloud is different, and be honest, when is the last time you did this?

Put yourself first. There will always be something you "should" be doing. That to-do list will never end. It's up to you to find balance. If you keep a calendar, add something at least once a week that's just for you. Let your family know that this is a priority, so you don't risk canceling as soon as something else pops up. It can be as simple as spending an hour at the library.  Or buying a tiny bouquet of flowers for your night stand.

Immerse yourself in nature. Spending time in nature can reduce stress and increase feelings of vitality, awe, gratitude and compassion. The natural world helps remind people that they are but small beings on this planet and gives them a greater sense of the whole. Nature nurtures and restores. It is one of the greatest resources for happiness.

Walking around, in or out, helps get your heart pumping and your body secreting cortisol ... the anti stress hormone!



Thursday, November 8, 2018


Well, by now people are screaming and yelling and calling foul.  Whichever way the voting went in your area.  I guess it is good that more people are involved in voting.  Each vote DOES count.  I've always voted .... even while living in California and we had to go to a voting place AFTER getting off work and commuting 90 minutes home.

I'm going to try to counteract all the negative stuff going on with a story of brotherly love.

On Thursday, Deacon's preK class held a potluck Fiesta to celebrate the Day of the Dead.  They recited a little poem and did a Mexican hat dance and sang a song, all in front of their families.

I drove over to pick up Braeden at his school (instead of him taking the bus) and we got to the preschool about 10 minutes early.  He was acting a little surly and he'd rather be playing outside (it was sunny and nice!) than spending it with little kids.

Deacon's class (of 9) were outside on their little playground.  As soon as he saw his brother get out of the minivan ... he came running over to the fence screaming "my brubba, my brubba!  Hey guys, come meet my super cool brubba!"

All the other children came running over.  Braeden's chest swelled.  After they went inside to wash hands and get ready, he searched all over my car for a hat and sunglasses ... to build on the super coolness.  He tried to feign disinterest in these "little kids" but soon was up and playing with them and the fun stuff.  He is an alumni and remembered so many of items and dress up clothes from his day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


In 1952 on May 1, I arrived into this world.  May Day, May Day!  Besides being a great birthday, it is also celebrated in many countries as a traditional springtime festival or as an international day honoring workers  (My husband used to send my Mom flowers on my birthday!)  So far, it's been an interesting journey.

One thing I have trouble with is using politically correct "PC" verbiage.  For the first 40 years of my life, I referred to black people as black people.  Then it was corrected to Afro American.  Now it seems to be black again.  In fact, different groups of this ethnicity call themselves black or African American.  So really, I have to check my audience before I speak.

Unfortunately, I often can't distinguish some Asian races from another.  I used to say Oriental to incorporate all people of Asia.  WRONG.  Must now say Asian so as not to offend someone. 

I don't ask people to call me German American.  Heck, I'm okay with being called "hey you".  So often I hear now, mostly from a younger generation, is that I am White Privilege (said with disdain).  Through no fault of MY own.  My objection to how the term “white privilege” is being used is that it is not intended to try and educate people about real injustices that blacks (or other ethnicities) have historically faced and continue to face currently, but instead it is intended to shame them for their whiteness .... which is problematic. 

The problem isn’t whiteness. The problem is racism and racists. People can’t help being born white any more than black people can help being born black. Judging people based upon their race and assuming negative characteristics because of a person’s race is racism, regardless of who is doing the judging.

My next hot button is everything should be FREE.  It's hard to explain to some people that nothing is free.  While it may be free for you ... someone else's taxes are paying for it.  The cries of "well, Sweden provides over one year of paid parental leave" and many other FREE family friendly assistance.  Their tax rate of 62% ... THAT is what pays for all their free stuff.  Because nothing is free.  Their traffic violations are not just a set  "$100 for speeding" ... it's a percentage of your income!  Yes!  Could be tens of thousands of dollars.

There are so many other terms that mean practically the total opposite of my understanding.  When I look them up in the dictionary, it gives many uses but the FB world screams at me when I am using it MY way and not theirs.

There are so many people on Facebook that say the most vile things, screaming "not my President", reposting misinformation (and when it is pointed out to them, they so "Oh, I didn't know" but do not take down the post) and blaming others for everything that is wrong in the world

I really should just take a break from Facebook and look once a week.  For children and grandchildren and kittens and puppies and recipes.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


WARNING:  This is not a dinner conversation kind of blog.  It’s an intimate and embarrassing topic for women and their doctors.  I have lichen sclerosus.

Lichen sclerosus (LIE-kun skluh-ROW-sus) is an uncommon condition that creates patchy, white skin that appears thinner than normal. It usually affects the genital and anal areas.

Anyone can get lichen sclerosus but postmenopausal women are at higher risk.   People with lichen sclerosus are also at an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the affected area.

For the past few years, I’ve been itchy and often a bit smelly down there.  I’ve gone to the doctor thinking it was a yeast infection or bladder infection or some such.  Treatment seemed to work for a bit, but this always returned.  It started in Maui so I thought it was due to the heat and sweat and often changed the 100% cotton panties two or three times a day.  To no avail.

This summer it was time for the PAP and general check up in the nether regions.  Lucky for me there was a new Nurse Practitioner at my Doctor’s office who listened to my mild complaints of itching and odor.  Lichen sclerosus. WHAT?  I’d never heard of such a thing and it sounded scary!  Lichen?  Doesn’t that grow on trees?

Lichen sclerosis is a skin condition that exists in an inconvenient gray area between dermatology and gynecology; it isn’t heavily studied.  She prescribed meds for an infection (just to be on the safe side).  She recommended Dove soap for sensitive skin or Cetaphil cleanser.  She also had me use over the counter cortisone cream on the affected area.  The tube says “never apply to genital area” and I had to call her office to ask if I wrote down her recommendation correctly. 

After about a month of that, the itching wasn’t as bad but still noticeable.  She had to do a vulvar biopsy to assure her diagnosis (ouch!).  Next phase of attack was a prescription corticosteroid  cream. 

My pharmacy did not have a generic so my copay was $120!

The following day I received an email from Icon Undies on this very topic!  If I had been diagnosed earlier, I wouldn’t have as many of the gruesome side effects.  75% of patients have permanent scarring or phimosis (yeh, look that one up!  Fusing of the skin around the clitoris).  Another visual diagnosis was “loss of architecture of the labia minor”.  Which means they are disappearing!

It’s a shocking diagnosis and embarrassing to discuss.  But I wish someone had mentioned it to me a few years ago.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Even I can't believe it!  Actually, there are two guys I've been seeing a lot this week, one on one.

On Tuesday after school, Braeden asked if we could have some alone time.  We checked it out with the parental unit and got permission to have a couple of hours.  He had been sick all weekend and had cabin fever.  After a little after school snack, we went on a search for a machete (or other killing device) to finish his Jason costume (from Friday the 13th shows).  UGH!  Boys are really into gore and blood.  It took a long time to choose (not too heavy since he has to carry it all night).  Then thought we should get something for brother for his Army outfit.  Mission accomplished.

Of course, Deacon was home sick on Weds, and he asked if we could have a tea party!  This past summer, I bought a little blue tea set, thinking I could bribe them into some quiet time.  

And he wanted "real" tea ... not milk or juice.  I brewed a cup of throat relief blend, used a tiny funnel and filled the tea pot.  We had miniature Vanilla wafers that he put on a tiny platter along with one piece of bubble gum for each of us and a tiny piece of candy.  We used real cream and I put sugar in the sugar bowl.

It was a delight!  He did the pouring and serving (pretty good for a 4.5 year old!).  We talked about school and what he liked about it.  And did not want to have brubba join us when he got home from school.  He helped me make a snack plate for Braeden so we could continue our party.  (Fortunately, B's friend came over and they went outside to play, so no feelings were hurt in the making of this tea party). I washed the dishes and he put everything back in the little basket.

I just love alone time with EACH of these guys.

There was no school on Friday, and Deacon came in with his froggy little throat, Gramma?  Wanna go on a date with me?  I wasn't even done with with my morning coffee!  Well, of course!

He got out his leather dress shoes and some dress pants and had Dadda get him a "cool" shirt to wear.  He combed his own hair (I wish I had a photo!).  We put on our jackets and he brought an umbrella and said "let's go to the Clubhouse".  Beaming from ear to ear, he unlocked the door (mostly on his own) and went around turning on the lights as well as the gas fireplace.  Our library has a few games and every time I had to take one of them with me for a meeting, the box of dominoes kept them entertained.

So we played dominoes!  Building towers, matching numbers, playing "war" where whoever had the most dots won the battle.

He got to sit in the "big boy" car seat so I could drive through the post office then stop at our Adult Center to drop off some papers.  He came in with me and was the delight of the afternoon.  He shook hands, spoke his name clearly and loved when I told people he was my date.

And he always will be!