Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Secret family recipes

Not sure why I was thinking about this today, but I was thinking about all of those secret recipes that people keep locked away in the caverns of their mind never to share with anybody, but just to keep everyone guessing what it could possibly be that makes that dish so special and then I got to thinking about how incredibly narcissistic and selfish that is, I mean really, do people really think the only thing they will be remembered for is their cake ? I guess if you are Mr Cocoa Cola then it makes sense but to the everyday Joe... HELLO !!
My 'good' Grandmother was one of those women, she made an awesome fruit cake, but it tasted totally different from any other fruit cake I'd ever eaten, at church bake sales her cakes were always the first to sell, she was famous for them, but when she died her recipe went with her, never again will "Grandma's Fruitcake " be replicated, never again will one of her Grandchildren or Great Grandchildren ever eat such a moreish delight, I find that quite sad.

Marc's Grandma on the other hand was more than happy to share her recipes with me and for that I am very grateful, especially when Marc's Birthday comes around and all he wants is "Grandma's Black cake" and Pinuche icing.
I have carried on the tradition for Marc and bake him his favorite cake every year, this year Reagan decided that she wanted to bake it for him and I let her, she did an awesome job.
This cake is so good and so moist that I'm going to share it with you, so without further ado.... GRANDMA'S BLACK CAKE (As written by Grandma)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt together 4Tbs butter and 2 squares bitter chocolate. Let cool

Beat 1 egg, add 1 cup of sugar and beat together

Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk you can mix together a little under 1/2 Cup of milk together with 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar and let sit for 5 mins)

Add buttermilk mix to the butter and chocolate and mix together

Set aside

In a separate bowl mix together 1 Cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp of baking powder

Add gradually to the buttermilk and chocolate mix.

Lastly add 1/2 Cup boiling water to mixture and stir together

Bake in 8" square pan for 25 - 30 mins (I baked Marcs this year in a round pan and then sliced it in 1/2 to make a layered cake, it worked just as well)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I need some help from you crafty bloggers

I was Blog surfing and came across a tutorial for making a tote bag from fabric that a child had drawn on with crayons, the mother did something w/ the fabric, newspaper and an iron to 'set' the design and made a cute tote bag for the childs Grandmother.
Reagan wants to make one like it for her G'ma and Aunts for Christmas and I'm darned if I can find that post.
Anybody out there know where that Tutorial is ?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sticks and stones

May break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

We've all heard that 'nursery' rhyme, we've all had it quoted to us at least once in our lifetime when a playground bully has let loose his tongue lashing and we've had our feelings hurt and gone to a grown up for comfort.

Have you ever sat back and thought about those words and come to realise what total nonsense that is ?

Words do hurt, sometimes hurtful words stay with us a lot longer than the bumps and bruises that would have been caused by those sticks and stones.

As a child I grew up in a household w/ a verbally abusive Grandmother, time after time she would tell me to shut up because nobody wanted to hear what I had to say, my parents never came to my defense and so I thought she was right, nobody was telling me any different, so as a child I became painfully shy, as a teen I was more reserved, as an adult even when I have strong feelings about something I am often very wary as to who I say those things around for fear of dealing with their verbal onslaught, as I get older it is getting easier but I still hear that voice in my head telling me that nobody wants to hear what I have to say.

I was told that I was unworthy of love,that I was Devils spawn, my parents never told me they loved me as a child, I was 23 when I heard those words come from my mother's mouth, by then I'd already moved 3,000 miles away from my family, what I would have given to have heard those words come from her face to face and not down the telephone line.
My father died almost 5 years ago, never did I hear those words uttered from his mouth, I would tell him "Dad I love you" In response I'd get "Uh huh" Deep down I know he loved me. After the 9/11 attacks all phonelines in the U.S were tied up for days, my father in the UK spent 3 days trying to contact me, on the 4th day when he finally did, he broke down with relief at the sound of my voice, that's when I knew he loved me, but up until then I'd always wondered.

Words can be used to make a person feel loved and respected, they can also tear a person down and rip them of any self love and respect that they may have.

Verbal abuse can be every bit as hurtful, sometimes moreso than physical abuse.
Words used to hurt another person in any way shape or form is a form of violence. Often verbal abuse can be a precursor to physical abuse, my Grandmother started off with words and then went to using me as target practice with her walking cane, I would walk by and she would either trip me with it or come up behind me and hit me in the back with it, once coming up behind me at the top of the stairs and hitting me so hard that I fell down the stairs hitting my back. I now have disc damage because of that.
If you are in a relationship where you are constantly being put down, and hurt by somebody elses words please seek help and try to find a way out.
You are worthy of love and respect and totally non deserving of somebody elses abusive verbage despite what they may be telling you... It's NOT your fault.

There are crisis lines out there equipped w/ counsellors who can give you the help you need to break away from it, one of which is Life Crisis Center, they have a 24 hr Hotline, 1-800-422-0009
If you or a loved one is going through any form of abuse be it verbal or physical please make that call today and change your life around. You are worthy of so much more.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New in the shop

Newly listed items in the shop to benefit Domestic Violence


Reagan: I know how to spell energy

Me: You do, how ?

Reagan: N.O.G... Energy, (pronounced Enogy in Reaganesque)

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ben had his party on Saturday,never in a million years did I believe a party full of boys could be so chaotic and so different than a party for girls.
Those boys were CRAZY !!
Check out the gross eye cake. It didn't turn out as expected but Ben's face makes me laugh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The month for detours

Forgive me, I apparently have Blog ADD, and can't stay focused on one thing for more than a couple of days.
What has distracted me today, you may wonder. Well this post on my friend Bean's blog has.

As someone who hates the cold, I can't even begin to imagine being left homeless out on the streets with nothing to keep me warm.
As you'll see in that post the men are in dire need for gloves and mittens. If you or if you know of someone that knits or crochets, please think about making a pair or 2 to donate to this worthy cause or maybe check out your local homeless shelter and find out what the homeless people in your area are in need of.

Remember, many people are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Do you know what those 4 little words mean ? Responde S'il Vous Plait, in English, PLEASE RESPOND. It's what you do when you are invited to a party, if the Invitee has a contact number along with R.S.V.P it means s/he would like a response as to whether or not you will be attending their shin dig. They need a response in order to plan minor details such as FOOD and DRINK,if it's a kids Birthday we need to know how many of the dreaded Goodie Bags we need to make up.
If your kid has been to my kids party the last 2 years and is invited again this year, despite what you may think it's not going to be assumed that s/he is going to be able to attend this year, things come up, we may have planned that party on a day you have plans, remember that saying "Assume makes an ass of U and ME" ?

As you may be able to tell I am throwing a party. It's tomorrow and it's a party for Ben. 23 individuals were invited out of those 23, 10 have responded to tell me they will be here, 1 is a no, 4 are maybes and the other 8 ? Who knows.
Soooo do I plan for 10, 14 or 22.
Do you see the dilemma ? I don't want to be left with a ton of food and a ton of kids goodie bags, but I don't want to have not enough food and not enough goodie bags.

Guess we could eat Monster Crunch, Mummy fingers, and mud pie washed down with Ghoulish Punch for the next week too. As for the Goodie bags... What goodie bags ?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taking a small detour

To wish my favorite boy a very Happy Birthday. It's a day late in coming because yesterday was full of celebration, just the way it should be.

Happy 11th Birthday Ben !!! I'm so glad you had such an awesome day and that it was everything you envisioned and more, you are so deserving of it.

For those of you that don't know Ben or know him but have never heard his "Story" I would like to take a few minutes and share it with you, it's a very uplifting story about faith, love and perseverance.

In July 1992, we had one child, Victoria, she was 5 months old, her Dad and I dreamt of having a house full of kids and wanted them all close together, so we started trying for #2 thinking that it would be a piece of cake, the other 2 times (1 ended in M/C) Marc only had to look at me and I got pregnant, this time was not meant to be that easy, after 6 months I went to my OBGYN and voiced concerns, he had us doing the temping thing and everything seemed 0k, after 3 months of that and no luck he had a lot of bloodwork drawn and my levels came back so so, he diagnosed me with PCOS, though reading about it and knowing people who have it, I have to question that diagnosis. I was given meds to take and given another 3 months, again nothing, after 1 year of absolutely no luck we were referred to a Fertility specialist, he couldn't find any reason whatsoever as to why I wasn't conceiving, I was young, healthy and prime baby making material but it just wasn't happening. We then spent the next 3 1/2 years doing one fertility treatment after another, all with the same outcome, one time I did get pregnant but again that ended in M/C, it just didn't seem like we were supposed to have more.
During this time we had become best friends with some neighbors, they became Foster parents and their first Foster child won our hearts quickly, we spent many, many hours with them all, after several failed attempts of that little girl being adopted out, Marc and I started talking about it and decided that we wanted her to be a part of our family. We started the ball rolling and were extremely excited at the prospect of having 2 girls, things were going well and then suddenly out of the blue in January 1997 I started to feel not so good and realised my AF was late, I knew I couldn't be pregnant, but figured what the heck and took a pregnancy test anyway. That test turned from a - to a + within seconds, I was in total shock.
I made all the phone calls and then had to call the adoption agency, we told them we still wanted Alyssa, but they wouldn't let us continue the process, we were heartbroken, yet at the same time celebrating the fact that we would be having another child. A couple of days after that + test I started bleeding, it scared me to death, I went to my OB, he told me things were too early to do anything about and basically sent me on my way, telling me to come back the next week and they would check for a heart beat. The following week I went back and sure enough there was no heartbeat, I tried to tell the OB that I wasn't as far along as he kept saying and all he told me was "Mrs S, we will give it one more week, if there is no heartbeat we will go ahead and do a D&C." I was totally horrified and told him no way and all he told me was "If there is no heartbeat next week, we will know that it is a non viable fetus." I looked at him square in the eye told him he was wrong and that I would not allow him to abort my baby. As scared as I was I knew that I hadn't come this far only for God to take that baby from me again. I knew that Dr was wrong and made an appt to see another Dr at a totally different practice. We went the following week and sure enough no heartbeat, and why ? Because it was too early, I was told to wait one more week, we should probably see something then, and sure enough we did. Thank God I went with my gut and changed Drs.
The following 5 months were full of all day morning sickness, it was wretched but knowing the final outcome made it all worth it.
On October 8th, 12:33pm he was born. It wasn't the easiest labor that ever was, he got stuck and they had to vacuum him out, he had a bowel movement on the way down the birth canal and swallowed some meconium, it was touch and go for a while and he had to spend some time in the NICU but after 3 days he was ok to come home.
For some reason that first night home I decided that I would sleep in the nursery with him and thank God I did, in the early hours of the morning I was awoken to a horrible gurgly gasping sound coming from the bassinet, when I turned the light on and got to him he had already turned blue, and had foam coming from his mouth, I smacked him between his shoulder blades and he let out an almighty wail, pinked right up and nursed like nothing had ever happened. The following day I took him to the Ped and sure enough he had some fluid in his lungs.
After that set back things went on as normal for the next 11 months, things seemed normal, we went about our days like any other family, Ben was doing great, other than he couldn't pull himself up, standing seemed to hurt his legs and he'd crumple to the floor, he couldn't get himself from a lying to a sitting position and wasn't even attempting to crawl. The day after his first Birthday he was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia... A form of Cerebral Palsey. We were told that best case scenario he would have to have extensive PT the first 5 years of his life and walk with leg braces, the worst case scenario was that he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
As in typical Ben fashion 1 week after this diagnosis he pulled himself up on his walker and took off like a champ. I called the Ped who called the Neurologist and they were both completely shocked and couldn't believe it.
At 2 1/2 years old we were referred to a speech therapist as he wasn't making any intelligible sounds, we had him checked for hearing problems etc and everything came back normal, he just had a speech delay and so he started Speech Therapy. Things just plodded along as normal, we noted that he was always the slowest in his class when it came to running and his gross motor skills just seemed off. By this time we had moved to a town in the middle of nowhere, the Ped there was horrible and treated me as some neurotic mother.
It wasn't until his Kindergarten graduation concert that I noticed when the kids were singing that Ben didn't move his mouth the same way other kids did, it was the wildest thing to see.
I reported this to his Speech Therapist the following day, after several sessions with her, she told me that he needed another complete neuro and OT assessment as something was definitely off. He had also started falling for no apparent reason and his speech was slurred. The fear was that he had had a minor stroke and it had gone undiagnosed. CAT scans came back negative for that thankgoodness, but she did note a very very small area in the brain indicitive of CP, again we were looking at this, finally it was put down in his charts that he does have CP and it's about as minor as you can get it.
He will never be the fastest kid on the block, he will never be the most co ordinated but that's ok the fact remains that he is an amazing kid who has a love for life, he shrugs off most things that most people would fall apart at, I think because of what he has dealt with it has made him a lot more compassionate for others. He's a true humanitarian and I am so proud of him.
Last week when I asked him where he thought he would be in 20 years he looked at me like I was crazy and then said "I'm just a kid Mom, I don't need to worry about that yet." But we did go on to talk about life and his dreams, he wants to be a pro skateboarder, LOL, he knows the reality of that happening, but he can dream, I asked if ever thought he would want kids and his face just crumpled, he's always loved little kids, he just melts when he's in their presence and he said "Yes, I want lots of kids." He then went on to tell me he wants to work with young children, probably those with special needs. Really it didn't suprise me, I've always said when Ben gets married it'll have to be to someone that wants a whole slew of kids, one or two won't be enough for him.

Ben, Im so very proud of you, I love you so much it almost hurts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Need some more inspiration ?

I love, love love this purse, if I had the extra $s I'd be purchasing it for myself

This is just flat out pretty

Cute and pretty ear rings

Want to throw something ? Go right ahead

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Want to go shopping ?

I was browsing Etsy today and found some shops selling items for either B.C.A or D.V.A, these in particular caught my eye

The Booby Benefit Bot, from IttyBittiesForYou
How cute is she, the perfect little companion to sit upon your monitor and keep you company

This T shirt made me giggle, nice to have a little comic relief about something so serious, you can find it here at CarmelTurtle

Well, there's just a small taste of what I found, I have some others that really caught my eye, but the family is yelling at me to get ready for dinner, so I'll post those tomorrow.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do this for you

A self breast exam is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Not sure how to do it ? Here's both a video and a pamphlet showing you how.

Self Breast Exam - video powered by Metacafe

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Going pink and purple

For the month of October things will be little different around here.
October is both National Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month and this blog for one month will be dedicated to both.
I want to take this time to raise awareness for both issues, you will read personal testimonies from women who have dealt with one or both of these issues, there will be invaluable information posted about each cause, along with ways in which you can help as well as be helped.
On October 31st I will be posting a tribute page to all of those who have battled the wars of both these diseases, yes I believe Domestic Violence is also a disease, it is a disease of our society and one that needs to be eradicated.
If you have loved ones that you would like to pay tribute to that day then please over the month post their names in the comment boxes and I will compile a list. For privacy or the security of some an alias will be just fine, you know who it is you are honoring and that's what counts.

My Etsy store is also going Pink and Purple for the month of October.
This month 20% of all proceeds from items sold in the "Pink" section will go to the Susan G Komen Foundation.
20% of all proceeds from items sold in the "Purple" section will go to an Art Therapy programme for recovering women and children of Domestic violence

All U.S residents will receive free shipping on these items, international buyers will receive shipping discounts as already noted in the shipping price.

Together we can help make a difference.

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