Mothering, Smothering, Idk?

Well here it comes again, mothers day. A wonderful time to really think about and appreciate all the things that mothers do. Sometimes you don’t realize all the ways your mother has influenced your life. Sometimes you wish your mother was here for advice, for comfort, for those little things that mean so much, that only mothers can do. Sometimes your not that close with your mother or don’t even know who she is. I have heard that before we are born we choose our parents. I don’t know if that is true but I was very close with my mother. My mom was larger than life! She was a free spirit and chose to do things her own way. Cooky at times but I loved her! I am certain I got some of my wild craziness from her! My love of animals and nature, my love of cooking and baking, my love of adventure too. I am grateful to my mom for all these things. I do miss her.

Sometimes I wonder if I was a good mom, I tried. Children don’t come with instruction manuals, so we all just do the best we can. Actually that is all we can do. I thought I did a pretty good job. Sometimes, even in the hardest of times, they turn out wonderful and sometimes, despite our best efforts, they travel a rocky road. My daughter is all grown up and following her own path.

I may be outta my mind! But I am going to be a mommy again…a puppy mommy! I can pick her up in two weeks, she is so cute! I am so excited! WAIT! Before you judge me. Let me just say that every pet I have ever had has been a rescue, and I have loved them all. And when I worked at the Bleu Biscuit we worked with the Humane Society and I found forever homes for 100’s of dogs and cats! In fact the dog I have now, McKenzie, was from there and I love her so much I wanted to find one just like her! She happens to be a Wire Haired Pointing Griffon, hard to find. I even looked up rescues and couldn’t find one.  The only breeders I found were way up north like in Idaho or Kansas. So after a year of looking and waiting for a rescue, a breeder from Georgia contacted me with a new litter of pups! So I had to do it, right!? I must be cray cray! I am heading to Georgia in a couple of weeks to bring home my new baby. Wish me luck!

Easter Enjoyment

I am definitely getting better. Some days I feel like I’m back to my old self. Some days, when I do too much, I get all achy and crappy feeling again but generally I am making progress. We had a wonderful Easter. I cooked Friday and Saturday. I made Greek Easter bread and potato salad, and baked beans, and ambrosia, and we had a Honey Baked ham, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, and spiced apples. Not to mention a little spring cleaning and shopping. Too much food for sure. I am grateful to be able to have so much, we will be eating leftovers for days! Every year we say we will cut down on the menu but everyone seems to have their favorites so we can never narrow it down. The guys pitched in to help and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I couldn’t have done this a few weeks ago! I was on my feet a lot. My thighs still get tingly and burn if I stand up too long and I did. So the next day I knew I would have to take it easy. But thats alright I’m just happy to be able to be cooking again.

Good friends and good conversation. At this time in my life one of the things I find myself enjoying the most is getting together with good friends and sharing a meal. It brings me such joy to be able to connect with others and share a laugh or two. When I was not feeling well I couldn’t participate in the kitchen (or anything else for that matter) as much as I would have liked but Easter (a time of renewal and new beginnings) gave me the opportunity to get back in the kitchen and start kicking butt! Feeding people great food is very rewarding. Eating is such a basic human need. I guess this is why almost every celebration is based around food.

I have really come to realize how important the people in my life are to me. I have so much fun with them. I absolutely love adventurous eaters, nothing crazy but people that are willing to try new things. I have so much fun introducing someone to a new delicious food. It’s crazy to me that some people are so set in their ways, they never want to try anything new, thats no fun! I am learning, more and more, that it really is the people that come into your life that make it interesting. Even if just for a brief encounter you may be enlightened or inspired by new thoughts and perceptions. In this crazy, rushed world we live in take the time, put down your phone and interact with someone. You just might be amazed!  Even just a genuine,” Hello, how are you?” can make all the difference in the world to someone. Thank goodness that through all my chemotherapy and treatments my tastes are still the same, yea! I am ready for new foods, new friends, and new adventures! To be able to actually participate in life again is such a blessing!

Happy Fourth

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I definitely appreciate my independence, Fourth of July celebrations not so much. Don’t get me wrong, the fireworks are beautiful and cookouts are fun. But every year they seem to have to push the fireworks envelope further and further, more, bigger, better!  Are we never happy? What if the fireworks display was just as good as last year? The crowds are crazy and we live in a relatively small town. You have to park a mile away from any venue if you can even find a spot to park. Not to mention, this time of year in Florida is pretty brutal, July in Florida is usually 95 degrees and 100% humidity. If it’s not storming, with nature putting on her own light show then it’s so humid the smoke from the fireworks lays heavy on the ground. Most of the time there are enough people in the neighborhood setting off fireworks that we can sit in our backyard and see plenty. And then there’s the fact that we live on a farm. With animals. And animals, for the most part, HATE fireworks! The horses will be spooked and nervous and my dog MacKenzie will be shaking under my bed all night. Not a whole lot of fun. We will make it through and I’m sure everything will work out fine!

One of my favorite Fourth of July memories was when my daughter was about six years old and we went to a little town not too far from where we live. We went with her best friend Candace and her father. We sat on blankets in the grass and watched fireflies, there were just enough fireworks and lemonade. It all seemed so magical! Oh for simpler times!

I hope you have a wonderful fourth, enjoy doing whatever makes you happy!

Moms Day

I always seem to approach Mothers Day with mixed emotions. It’s hard when your Mom is not with you any longer. But then I remember, my Mom is who influenced me the most and she is the reason I am the person that I am today. Wether you want to admit it or not the person that raised you formed most of your early ideals. My Mom and I were very close, oh yes she was crazy, funny, annoying, all those things a mother can be! Of course we had our ups and downs, we all do. I always thought of myself as an independent soul, setting out on new paths and unchartered territories, I thought I was so different and innovative.  But as I get older I am finding out to my great surprise that I am from a long line of very interesting women, my tribe! Unfortunetly there is no one left on my Moms side of the family. I wish I had understood these things earlier, but I guess everything has its own time to reveal itself.

I have recently found out that my Great Grandma, Viola Sherlock, was an amazing women. This was my Moms fathers mother. Now I knew her, but I was very young and she was very old. She and her three sisters were in show business, they used to dance and perform in The Follies. I have found amazing pictures of them in their costumes and one of the sisters had a beautiful white horse that also performed. I found out one of the sisters was an artist and have some of her amazing sketches. Check out the artwork on the menus. Viola was one of the first women to have played tennis at Wimbledon. They used to talk about this little place they had called The Pepper Pot, in Greenwich Village. Well I have come to find out this was quite the place, Viola and her husband Doc owned and ran it. Apparently it was one of the only places at the time, 1929, that got away, most of the time, with selling alcohol during the prohibition. This was a crazy place, it was a jazz dance hall, a party house. Attracting lots of celebrities and sport stars apparently a place to see and be seen! A true center of the bohemian lifestyle of the village back in the day. I have found numerous articles of them being hauled off to jail! For disturbing the peace and what not! The menu was amazing and pretty pricey for the day.

This all is so amazing to me because I am a bit of all of these things, a chef, an artist, a horse trainer! A free spirit! My tribe, my blood! WOW\MOM

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New!

The beginning of a new year. Here to offer us the opportunity to start over, it offers us the chance to reevaluate our lives, to improve and be better than we were last year. So much work! Eat right, workout everyday, no more sugar, be productive, be kind, finish that project! Seems like a lot of pressure! No wonder we all give up by February! I decided a few years back not to make those New Years resolutions, it just seems to set me up for failure! So what if we just made a little shift, a slight wobble in our lives? Something so little we hardly even notice. How about just being mindful of what we are doing, what we are eating, smiling more? What if we noticed how wonderful we feel when we take a little stroll out in nature? What if we tried, just tried, to appreciate what we already have a little more? The next thing you know you are eating better, moving more, generally happier. I find that when you are happier you treat others better! You see sometimes, well I think most of the time, it is the small things that matter the most. So “CHEERS”to the New Year! And I hope you find all the LITTLE things that warm your soul and make you happy.image

Is it just me or…

Ok I certainly don’t want to rain on anybodies parade and I’m sure this has probably been someone’s best Christmas ever but for me I’m not so sure.

Now mind you my daughter is all grown up, I don’t have any children in my life right now. Christmas with children is always magical. I know Christmas is a wonderful celebration, a special time of year. But for some reason this year seemed flat. I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s the advertising and commercialism of the whole thing that seemed to start way back in October. By the time Christmas finally got here maybe we were sick of it. Maybe I got hit with the grinch stick, I don’t know? I tried to get into it, I tried to look forward to it. I usually enjoy the season, cozying up and drinking hot chocolate, sitting outside on a brisk night by the fire. But this year in Florida it has been 85 degrees, wearing tank tops and flip flops doesn’t put me in the caroling mood.

We did have family and friends come to visit and plenty of delicious lovingly prepared food. But for some reason I couldn’t help feel that it was all a lot of extra work. Maybe my mind was elsewhere, on things I had to put on hold for the holiday. Maybe it was the fact that we tried to not buy into all the hype. We are all grown ups and pretty much get the things we want and need. Every year  we rack our brains and fight the crowds to try to get everyone something thoughtful and unique. We run around spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need! Enough! We wanted to get back to the spirit of the holiday to enjoy each other’s company and share a nice meal.  It was nice not having the extra pressure of the perfect gift, but not everyone was on board. That made for some uncomfortable moments! Not to mention my 88 year old father trying to start up inappropriate conversations, that’s one way to quiet down a room, total silence! Lol But I guess that’s part of the getting together with family thing! As for not spending a bunch of money you don’t have at the holidays, that nice meal along with all the extras of feeding family and friends for days cost at least $500!  Not to mention days of shopping, cleaning, and preparation! I did pare it back as much as I could. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the cooking and baking we had a lot of laughs, the time in the kitchen was fun. We made some amazing breakfasts, and shared some delicious new foods with everyone, persimmons grown from my tree, a wonderful new bacon we found, eggs from our free range chickens, and turning people on to a fruitcake they could love! Scott made an entire turkey with all the fixins one day, Jerry and I made sauce and meatballs and lasagna, our traditional Christmas dinner. I also baked my famous fruitcakes and some blondies.

All things considered, I guess it was good. Even though we tried to cut back and make the holiday less stressful there always seems to be that rush, a flurry of craziness at the holidays. Maybe that’s what it’s all about? Maybe I will get it right next year. 🙂