In the thick of hand-me-down Hell…

In the thick of hand-me-down Hell...

I worked last night and did not put the kids to bed. There was a sitter at the house, but I had to guess Mackenzie was instrumental in putting Bray down for the night. The telling signs were that I first had to hurdle over stuffed animals and babies that had been “tucked in” and scattered about  the room when I went in to check on him when I got home. Second, was his attire when I got him out of his crib this morning. Thankfully, he didn’t escape the house in his “Big Sister” shirt, but it sure put a smile on my face and gave me a few chuckles throughout the morning.

I’m sure he’ll get her back someday…especially after he discovers the pictures of himself in the make-up and tiara we have hidden away!

I have distinct memories of having to wear multi-colored striped bell bottoms lovingly handed down through three sisters of mine and then on to me.  They were very stylish when my sisters wore them…in the 70’s.  By the time I got them it was the 80’s.  The time of Jordache and Sasson. Not striped bell bottoms.  Anyone out there have any similar clothing calamity or other hand-me-down horror stories?


“It’s all about…

“It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” ~ Eartha Kitt

As this “List things people don’t know about you” game is circulating around Facebook, I have been fascinated at not only what people are writing about themselves, but writing about myself as well!!  I started thinking, “Am I that self-indulgent” that I loved taking on the task so much and I am actually itching to do it again with a whole new set personal stats??!!

I came across this quote and it dawned on me.  I have spent the last two years restoring my love for myself.  Restoring my self-worth.  Up until then I had become someone who second guessed every action and every word that came out of my mouth…the inevitable side effects of living with a partner that has an addiction for many years.  Being questioned and doubted and inadequately treated for quite some time takes its toll and eventually you start to do the same thing to yourself.

I am happy to say that taking this time to focus on myself (and obviously my children) I am restoring that self confidence and self-worth and have taken the time to fall in love with myself for the first time.  Not in a selfish or narcissistic way, but a respectful love in knowing that there are positives and negatives about me.  It’s what makes me…me!  I think that’s where this list comes into play…I love looking at my good, my bad, my uniqueness, my shortcomings.  And I adore reading about others’ admissions of themselves.

So all this time by myself without a partner, the self love deficit is being satisfied.  Work in progress…but definitely in the right direction.

Now, can we get back to my next list???

Chicken soup for MY Soul…

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” 
― A.A. Milne

I have to say, I am so very blessed to have so many friends and family in my life that build me up, create a confidence in me when I am beginning to waiver and have me believing in myself when there seems no reason to.  When I feel like I am about to give up, unknowingly they come along and pat me on the back giving me praise to keep me going.  Sometimes it’s just a few words to put a smile on my face.  Sometimes it’s literally “lifting me up”! I have to thank God for placing them there for me at those very moments.

 I’ve had more than one person say to me recently that they felt so terrible that bad things keep on happening to me.  I was taken back because that’s not how I feel at all.  This world is filled with bad and good.  They both touch us all at times.  All of us.  No matter what has been going on around me there has never been once that I haven’t felt taken care of, loved on or lifted up. 

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve the showering of blessings that rain on me, but I pray for it to continue.



Ditchin’ the Bitchin’

We all have that friend (I may be using that term loosely) that complains about everything, right? I know I have a few.  And since the introduction of Facebook, we get to be exposed to it even more.  Thankfully there is a “block” and “unfriend” button for those that go overboard.  I am pleased to say that I am not that person, or so I thought.  We all complain from time to time, things suck sometimes and for us chatty people, we are going to share it with you.  I always like to think of myself as a positive person.  I see the upside of things and like to compliment people regularly.  That’s why I was so shocked that when I did this exercise at just how much I do still whine and complain.  It was a while ago that I was first introduced to this lesson, but felt that after my ride to work this morning and all the profanities that were flying out of my mouth, it was time to re-visit.  

The rule is you cannot complain about anything or anyone for 24 hours.  Nothing.  Not the jerk who cut you off, not the kid who will not stop whining, not the teenager who bagged the milk with your now squashed bread.  I’d love to hear your feedback…even after the first hour.  It’s not as easy as you think.

On your mark, get set, go! 

“No one who coo…

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
― Laurie Colwin

Wow, is that true or what??!!  Funny, in my “about me” section, I never once mentioned that I love to cook and that it is a passion of mine.  I think it’s just such a part of me that it’s the same as me not saying that I breathe air or that I have arms.  But, anyone who knows me…or is a facebook friend of mine…knows I LOVE food and I LOVE to cook.  (Yes, and I love to take pictures of it almost as much as I love to eat it!  Don’t hate.)

There are many different reasons for my love of cooking and many different ways I like to cook.  Some days it’s experimenting skinnying up a traditional dish and others it’s cooking for comfort with savory, rich sauces.  No matter what, though, the way I feel when slipping off my shoes, throwing my hair up, having a great soundtrack in the background and a glass of wine going while mixing it up in the kitchen is completely at peace…no matter what life is throwing at me.

…Someone toss me an apron, would ya?

Easy and Fast (and cheap!) Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Super filling, I couldn’t even finish my portion!   DJ also loved them!  A take off of the deep fried version of taquitos.  One serving works out to be 350 calories, 40 carbs, 11g fat, 16g calcium, 16g protein and 1247 sodium.

At less than $2 a serving, less than 30 minutes from beginning to end and less than 350 calories…this is a favorite of mine!!


1Tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed, slightly mashed

2 Tbsp real bacon bits (packaged or home made)

1 cup low sodium salsa

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 package (10 count) whole wheat tortillas

8 ounces reduced fat shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack (or a combination)

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Extra Salsa and sour cream for serving (2 Tbsp of each were figured for nutrition information)

1.  Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and green pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add bacon and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.  Stir in beans, salsa and chili powder.  Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium high heat.  Prepare one tortilla by spreading 1/5 of the bean mixture over tortilla, about 1/3 cup of the cheese and sprinkle some of the cilantro on top.  Place in skillet and cover with another tortilla.  Cook for about one minute, press with spatula to secure ingredients and flip.  Cook for about another minute until browned.

3.  Place quesadilla on baking sheet and keep warm in a 200F oven (or just start feeding the kids, that’s what I do!!).  Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 4 additional quesadillas.  Allow skillet to cool if it becomes too heated.  Spay with cooking spray between each quesadilla.

4.  To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters.  Serve 3 quarters and pass with additional sour cream and salsa.


Tears, Beers and Fears…



That’s how I am getting through.  How WE are getting through.  She is likely to be drinking the beer and me a glass of wine, but we share the same tears and a lot of the same fears as we clink our glasses.


“She” is my sister Robin.  “She” just lost her husband. “She” is now a widow.


I don’t get that title…as I wasn’t married.  And I also was separated at the time.  “I lost my kids’ father”, I am not a widow.  What I do get is what she is and will be going through.  Our living situations were different, our relationships were different, the family dynamic different.  I believe our pain will be the same. 


It just breaks me to know what’s in store for her.  I am planning on blogging much more on this…but that’s it for now.  I’m raising my glass while wiping our tears.