Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dresses and Dances

Been a fairly normal week. Possibly the most profound words I can type these days! I went back to work. The girls went back to school. Routine looked a lot like....routine.

Besides the job, I also worked some more in the salt mine. The birth family food fund was completely drained with the extra holiday deliveries of food and gifts so I need to get the Etsy shop stocked!!

Have five more in various stages of completion (-:

The week ended with a new experience for us. Very happy to have 'survived' as I'm sure this experience will be an oft repeated one in the next few years!!!

It involved a group of teenaged girls crowded in a bedroom wall papered in Justin Bieber posters.

It involved a BUNCH of electric hair appliances trying to turn a 
certain Maya mane into a fancy hair do.

There was pizza and salads...and chocolate rice krispie treats to steel the nerves!

Because Friday night was the 8th grade dance!! 
When I look at this picture all I see are the
Homecoming and Proms racing our way 
on the high school horizon that is quickly coming our way.
This trial run went pretty darn well (-;

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Salt Cure

Well another good sign of our journey back to life is that I felt enough energy to get back into the sewing room!!
[aka salt mine as named by the hubby]

Made this for a little friend heading off to Disney World this weekend. I am thinking of doing up another couple in the other princesses to put in my Etsy shop since the fund for the birth family's food basket deliveries was depleted at Christmas!! The only problem is finding a fair price. It did charge my batteries back some...I have Mardi Gras outfits swirling in my head that are begging to be made....maybe there is something to that 'salt cure' of old after all! (-:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking food, what else???

One of my reasons for being a bit unsure of just where we are on the spectrum of healing is this peculiar problem of food!! Yes, we are ALL happily self-medicating our emotions with food. Our waistlines are suffering mightily...but in my new 'Amsterdam perspective' I'd rather fight fat that some of the other self-destructive behaviors that are out there! I used to think I would cook when I was content and happy. You know, the nurturer doing her thing?!?! Lately I've been cooking...A LOT...because it is safe. It is something that takes my mind to someplace familiar. I know what I'm doing when I'm in the kitchen. I know where the cooking process is taking me. Eating together has been one of our safety nets.

So lately, and thanks to a new internet addiction to the Pinterest site, I've been itching to try out a few new recipes. I take this as a sign that the fog is lifting and I'm regaining an interest in the 'nurturing' side of cooking rather than the 'routine' of least that is what I'd like the believe! So today I came across a recipe that just SCREAMED to be made...and I had all the ingredients on hand...and a bit of comfort wouldn't be such a bad thing?

Sopapilla Cheesecake [a la Mahoney]

Upfront confession time- the 'a la Mahoney' means that AS USUAL I tinkered with the original recipe. I do that. ALL THE TIME. My family will happily regale you with the many flops that have occurred as a result of my stubborn need to make a recipe 'my own' but this was one of the many that worked. Quite well if I do say so myself! But it still needs a tweak...

...and a more experienced baker will look at this picture and know exactly what I'm about to say!! You see the original recipe calls for you to unroll a can of crescent rolls into a greased 9 X 13 pan and then add the filling. But we LOVE cinnamon sugar so I had to sprinkle a bit to up the flavor quotient. I will do that again next time too!! There was also this handful of strawberries left over from the weekend that were reaching their prime so, what the heck, I chopped them up and sprinkled them over the crust. There in lies the problem!!!

The next step involved spreading a mixture that was 2 blocks of cream cheese, a cup of sugar, and a teaspoonful of vanilla. A rather thick mixture. Over loose and soft strawberries?!?! Next time I spread the cream cheese mixture FIRST and then sprinkle the strawberries.

Then you unroll a second can of crescent rolls over the top and pinch the seams closed. Pour a 1/2 cup of melted butter {I would use less next time...yes, the butter addicted family would reduce the butter?!?!?} over the top and sprinkle a 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar over that and
bake at 350 for twenty minutes.

Can you say simple AND scrumptious?!?!??

The official baked goods taste tester added a bit of whipped cream...because it wasn't fattening enough as is I guess? He was so unsure of the quality rating that he had a second piece just to make sure it was safe to serve the girls...who also had two pieces...just because it was so warm and scrumptious.....and comforting!

It's a New Year....?

We walked our way through the holidays. Not sure anyone but Julia really ever 'felt' the holiday. Not that there weren't plenty of feelings...just not that special awe inspiring emotion usually found around this magical time of the year. We made it mostly because we could all see that the darkest part of the journey we have been on of late is beginning to look a bit brighter.

We finally decorated the tree. Okay, Auntie Peggy finally finished our tree but it was while I was busy cooking a for a family dinner night. All the 'right' gifts were bought and wrapped and duly delivered. 

All the family visited...we even hosted my Dad this year as our ranch style home was better suited to his ever increasing frailty.

I made and served two Thanksgiving dinners as well as Christmas and New Years. We changed up the Christmas 'tradition' a bit now that there are no more Santa believers.

Midnight mass followed by the gift opening marked the beginning of a new tradition.

 ....and we did all of this when what we really wanted to be doing was laying curled in our beds with the covers over our heads and hoping the phones would stop ringing. Depression, grief, anxiety, PTSD, SAD, menopause, and adolescence all ganged up on us at once and it sucked every last ounce of strength from us that it could. But we have been blessed with a loving family who came and propped us up and jobs that provide the benefits and income for us to seek the care and intervention of specialists. Together those helped us find the strength to get up and walk our way through the holidays!

We are walking a little stronger each day.

The dark is not quite so black. Not sure if we are just in a clearing or if we are on our way into the light? I suspect the first, especially since there is another adolescence racing towards us at a VERY high rate of speed.

But the family is still close and the specialists are on speed dial so I have to hope we will make the trek out into the valley on the other side of this mountain before long. Now to find the strength to take the tree down...sometime before Valentine's Day!!!!

Happy New Year!