Sunday, April 22, 2018

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies


I made these based on Chocolate Sprinkle Crinkle Cookes from Joy the Baker.  I don't like sprinkles much so I was going to skip the step of rolling the cookies in them anyway, and when I pulled my box of baking supplies off the shelf to grab the chocolate chips I found a bag of peanut butter chips too and that sounded fun.

These cookies were easy to make and I liked that they used oil instead of butter especially since I didn't have butter that day.

I really need to get myself a cookie scoop or two.  Gotta have the right tools, you know?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Snapshot - Canucks Flyer



My Dad unearthed this from a box of treasures in the basement.
Ticket prices have slightly changed over the years.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This is a thing that I have, and also, book sale!

I recently read about tsundoku and laughed.  
Finally I can put a name to what I have been doing for years!  

I have been trying to get back to reading more but lately I've struggled with some of my 
choices and slowed right down, while at the same time receiving and using gift cards 
to the book store and moving books from the bookshelf in the basement to my room to read "soon" and this is what it looks like.


In related news, the Kamloops Symphony held their Spring Book Sale and we went.  Everyone got some books, and the Symphony got some of our money.
I got 5 books; a Thai cookbook, a novel and 3 memoirs.  
I tried to read Eat Pray Love years ago when it came out and I didn't like it and didn't finish it, but now that I'm old(er) I thought I would try again.  
I have had Pema Chodron's name on my list of authors to read for a couple of years, so I was excited to see one of her books.


I am currently struggling through a non fiction book that is interesting but a tough read, and a fiction book that I really don't like much.  I can't give up on either one, so I've got to just find some time and get them done so I can move on. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kids Book Club - Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren


This came in a set of "Classics for kids" that we ordered from Scholastic.
The Girl and I read this, when I asked her what her favorite part was, she said "Pippi!"
I remember loving Pippi Longstocking when I was a kid but frankly I found her annoying as we read this book.  I am a tired mom.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sunday Dinner - Irish Beef Stew

For St. Patrick's Day weekend I wanted to make a stew for Sunday dinner and I tried a new recipe - Irish Beef and Guinness Stew.
I try to avoid cooking with alcohol, so I subbed out the Guiness in the recipe with beef and mushroom broth.  It was a very very delicious stew.

I served the stew with mashed potatos and Ciabatta bread, perfect for dunking.




Sunday, April 08, 2018

easy ciabatta bread

I dusted off my copy of Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads a couple of weekends ago.  I feel like I always say the same thing, but this book is so great!


I wanted to make bread on a Sunday but I'd started late and didn't have a lot of time, so the Ciabatta bread was a perfect recipe to make to go with dinner that night - less than 2 hours of rising and baking time!

It made 4 beautiful little loaves that not only went well with our stew, but also made delicious sandwiches.

The recipe on the Paul Hollywood website differs slightly than the book; longer rising times, less yeast, but I am sure both will make delicious bread.


So far I have made 11 recipes from the book -
Crusty Cob
Cheese and Onion Soda Bread
Batch Bread
Cottage Loaf
Pain de Campagne
The Ciabatta dough, which we used the pizza dough
Ciabatta
Onion Fougasse
Mince Pies
Farl 
Mixed Rolls

I won't make all of the recipes in the book but there are so many more I want to try.  And I found a list tucked into the book from my dad - recipes he wants me to make for him.  So I better get cracking!
  

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Something I like - what i'm watching


For a few years I didn't watch much TV other than kids shows and the occasional movie if I could stay up long enough after the kids went to bed on a Saturday night.

Now that The Girl sleeps a little better I am getting back to some tv watching (not sure that is a good thing) at night and when I am attempting to work out in the mornings.

Here's what I'm watching in no particular order -

On "regular" TV

Last Man on Earth - this show is so weird and I love it.  We laugh every episode.

Full Frontal- I am super behind in this one but this one is hard to binge watch because it gets too depressing.  Samantha Bee is the best.

Will and Grace- I would watch Jack and Karen forever.

Over on Netflix

Riverdale - I started watching this at nights on my phone when I couldn't sleep when my mom died.  Sure I roll my eyes now and then, but I like it.  Bughead forever.

Queer Eye - Heart emoji, crying emoji.  I was a big fan of the original show and I love this one too.   Espech Johnathan and Tan. Cried through most of the episodes.  My only quibble  - and I know I am sounding like an old mom - is that I wish it was a bit more PG rated with the language so I could have watched it with my kids.  I would love for them to see this show and the love and friendship and acceptance. 


My Next Guest Needs No Introduction - I have always liked David Letterman and I really like this new show.  The Barack Obama episode made me cry and buy one of his books. 

Somebody Feed Phil - Stumbled across this one while looking for a background show while the kids were still up.  This is a fun show.  This is a happy show.  This is a show that makes me wish I had money to travel

Love Your Garden - another good one to watch with the kids.  People helping people, beautiful gardens and me fretting about if everyone can keep all those plants alive.  Netflix, please release more seasons asap!


Monday, April 02, 2018

Book Club - Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by Judy Fong Bates



"But with it there is my mother's fierce defense of me and the soft weight of her arm across my shoulders: one of the last moments in my childhood when my mother made everything right." 

 "She looked at me, her expression a mixture of wonder and horror. "The Gods have overlooked you."

 "I might have thrown our secret in the open, but nothing had changed. We returned to living in silence."
 _____________________________________________________________ 

This is another one from the book swap at my work. I had picked it out for my Mom to read in the hospital, but she didn't.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sunday DInner and Thursday Dinner

A while back my Dad and I went through some of my mom's recipes and I brought some home, including her lasagna, cheesecake and caramel corn. I made the lasagna for Sunday dinner, along with some salad and cheese buns. 

Her lasagna is ridiculously delicious and quite simple.  We love it.


For dessert I made a recipe I ripped out of a Bon Appetit magazine more than a decade ago - Eva Marie Saint's Apple Pie.  This is easy and super delicious.  My Mother In Law requested a copy of the recipe to take home and to my knowledge, she is not a regular baker.


The following Thursday I made Asian Style Chicken Bunwiches with Ginger Sauce from The Great Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook.  They were super good and the ginger sauce was amazing.


We had raw veggies and fries and saved some room for a delicious dessert - Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Spice Cake.  It was a big hit, especially with my Dad, who would have taken the whole cake home if I'd let him.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Book Club - Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan



"Welcome to Singapore, Rachael - where arguing about food is the national pastime"

"This isn't a palace.  It's just a big house."

"They sailed past Lantau Island, Charlie bowing respectfully to the giant Buddha at its peak, and skirted past tiny picturesque islands like Aizhou and Sanmen,with their rugged outcroppings and hiddlen inlets."

_________________________________

Why - I saw this on a list of books to read before the movie comes out.  There are 2 sequels and I am looking forward to seeing the movie. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

2 Hour Buns

I have been getting back into bread baking.  Had some triumphs and also some....not failures, but not triumphs either.   These buns are definitely a winner. I found the recipe over at Dinner with Julie, and it made me think of a recipe from an old friend that I need to see if it survived my recipe purge  but I do not know where my stack of saved recipes currently is.

So these are easy,  and you get really nice buns in......2 hours......as promised in the title of the recipe.
 

Fresh baked bread is pretty much the only thing I can count on my Fam to inhale when I make it.  The aren't always enthused about my cookies and squares (weirdos) but they do love homemade bread.  These disappear fast in our house.
I've been marking up some new recipes to try - a soda bread, a no knead bread, potato bread, maybe some savory doughnuts or hush puppies - or both!  The Fam will be pleased.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Journalling - take 3 (or 74)

I am trying journalling again to keep organized, and well, it's sort of working? A little? Mostly, I just get more anxious that I am not getting anything I have listed down actually done. So that's fun.

I am using a (new since last time) dollar store notebook, and doing  a calendar page for each month to note things happening, a to-do page for each month, where nothing gets crossed off....and then pages for lists I need in the month.  Like this list for a potluck in December.

Each month I start a new set of calendar pages and a new to do list, and transfer all the undone to do's to the new list.  And then close the book and run away.


I also have some pages set aside for books I want to read, things to research, recipes to try.  I tried menu planning in the notebook as well, but that didn't work for me.

I fell off the wagon the past couple of months, but am trying to get back to it.  It is pretty satisfying to cross things off the to-do list page, I must say.
Another wagon I fell off of hard is the fitness/healthy weight wagon, and that one has been verrrrrry difficult to get back on track.  (Spoiler alert - I am not back on track.)  I wondered if some sort of exercise/healthy habit tracking page might help?
I found a recent layout for tracking health/mental health that I have just started to try.
It's too early to say if it's having a positive impact, but we'll see. 
Anyone out there  got some good inspiration for health tracker layouts for journals - or any inspiration at all - let me know!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Last weeks menu plan - what we ate

 Still lots of snow up in Aberdeen on the Highlands Trail!  

Sunday - I made my mom's lasagna recipe which is THE BEST.  Salad and bread too.  Apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
Monday - my sweet, sweet Boo made us a batch of Brown Stew Chicken, a Jamaican dish that is totally amazing.
Tuesday - Met The Fam at Costco after work.  Hot dogs and fries after shopping.
Wednesday -  Leftover night.  The Fam ate the last of the lasagne, I had old pizza.
Thursday -  The Grandfather came over for dinner and I made chicken sandwiches and more cake. 
Friday - We had to go shoe shopping so we hit the mall after work.  Got each kid a new pair of shoes, used my last book store gift card to buy everyone a book, and ate at the food court.  The kids shared a plate from the chinese food place, the parents had Opa.
Saturday -Tried a new casserole recipe - Ham and Cheese Hashbrown Casserole to use up some ham and browns in the freezer.  I didn't have as much potato as called for in the recipe, so I cut back on the amount of soup, and I don't think it was as creamy as the original, but it was tasty.  The kids were pretty meh on it, which is and isn't a surprise, as they do love ham and cheese and hash browns, but they also pretty much dislike anything we make them and how annoying is that.  The Mister loved it - LOVED IT - and stood in the kitchen picking at the (big) dish of leftovers, saying "I can't stop eating this." which is good because he will be eating it all week for lunch.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Grocery Shop March 17

Pizza Goldfish crackers (blech), ketchup, canned tomatos, corn, cream of mushroom soup, cream of potato soup (makin casseroles!), tomato paste, rice vinegar, sour cream, tater tots, eggos, grapes, thyme, cucumbers, asparagus, brussel sprouts, stew meat, ground beef, taco seasoning, clamato, ice tea

$96

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Book Club - Artemis by Andy Weir



"That's the thing about crying yourself to sleep.  When you wake up, the problems are still there."

"The sky is not the limit."

"I forgive you, buddy.  For everything.  Goodbye."

_______________________________________

I bought this one because I really liked The Martian.  I liked this one too, but man, he goes heavy on the technical details. That is not a criticism though.  He puts a lot into his books.
I gave this one to my dad when I was done, but no work on if he's read it yet.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Meatball Bake

I think this one might have been a Buzzfeed recipe too (the chances are good) - meatballs tossed with sauce and cut pieces of baguette, covered with cheese and baked.  I fancy-pantsed it a little by tossing the bread cubes with melted butter and garlic and toasting them before mixing them with the rest of the ingredients and baking.


Can't go wrong with garlic bread in any form, am I right?


Ingredients-
Meatballs - already cooked, thawed if frozen
Pasta sauce
Baguette
Butter
Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Cheese - mozza or parm or both

Heat your oven to broil and mix some melted butter and chopped garlic with a bit of S&P.  Toss the chunked baguette with the butter, spread out on a pan and broil until toasted, turning once or twice.
Remove the garlic toast chunks from the oven and lower the heat to 400'.
In a large bowl mix the meatballs and sauce together, add in the bread.  Make it as saucy as you like.
Pour into a baking dish, arrange balls and bread to get a good ratio all over the pan if necessary.
Top with shredded cheese, and bake until heated through and the cheese is melty and lovely.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Gratitude more often


A few years back at a rough time in my life my Boo gave me a Gratitude jar - slips of paper to write things I am grateful for on, with a pen (to write with!) and a pretty glass jar to keep the notes in.  It was hard some days, to think of something to be grateful for.  But if you think about it, there is always something.

It can be hard to look past the big things (losing my mom ) that there is nothing grateful in, and the not so big things that seem big (will this freaking winter never ever end????) that there is nothing grateful in, but I found some stuff this week.

I am always grateful for The Mister, and our babies, and my dad.
I am grateful that The Mother In Law came out for a visit - the kids were wild to see her.
I am grateful to have My Boo - a truly wonderful friend is a real gift.
I am grateful that I reconnected with some family members.  Our family is cuckoo sometimes (whose isn't?) but family is family and life is short and if you keep putting things off there is a good chance they won't happen.
I am grateful for the blue skies that appeared this past weekend.  I feel like a little bit of stress and sadness has lifted along with the clouds.
I am grateful for the work we've done the past few months cleaning junk out of our house.  We've taken countess loads of stuff to various thrift shops and donation centers, and broken stuff to the dump.  The house looks infinitely better, and we've still got some work to do.
I am grateful for all the people who tell me I look like my mom.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Book Club - One Kick by Chelsea Cain



"Smile and wave."
________________________________________________

I picked this one from the book exchange at my work.  
Not my usual genre, I don't enjoy crime/detective books very much.  
 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Easy Dinner - Burrito Bowl


I am sure I have mentioned it many MANY times, but my kids are suuuuuper picky eaters right now (for years).
There is no rhyme or reason, no consistency (except for The Boy's hatred of mushrooms and tomatos) to their madness. A food that is loved and readily eaten for days, weeks, or months suddenly becomes the most hated terrible food ever in the blink of an eye.  Whyyyyyyyyyyyy.

This was a fast weeknight meal that had components that each kid would eat that day- rice  (this was a Mexican infused one- Uncle Bens?), refried beans, leftover chicken that I heated up in some chicken broth to make it nice and flavorful, and cheese, sour cream, guac and salsa.  The kids picked their way though a bit while The Mister and I inhaled ours.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Ugly dinner - bundt pan lasagna

So this isn't a happy memory for me, but frankly the photos are too hilarious not to post. 
Last Fall some time I saw  this Buzzfeed video for lasagna party ring.  I thought it looked like a fun twist on lasagna - something we like- and decided to make it for Christmas Eve dinner, and I could take some to my Mom and Dad in  the hospital for their dinner.  
Then life went rotten and by the time Christmas came, we were spending our last days with my Mom before she passed away.  But when you have small kids you have to try to keep some normalcy about their lives, so I continued with our plans as best I could.

So!  This lasagne is made in a bundt pan.  
I watched the video multiple times and thought - how hard could it be?

ahem.

You boil up your noodles, grease up you bundt, and start laying the noodles down in the pan with the edges hanging over the sides so you can cover the bottom layer with the edge noodles.  
This nearly did me in, seriously.  My noodles would NOT stay in place, they kept slithering down in the pan.  And it seemed so bulky, so much noodle - where would the sauce and cheese go?  I whispered-screamed while I fought with those effing noodles and tried not to cry.
Here's my end result. 


I know.  I KNOW.
Before I started battling with the noodles, I made the very delicious meat sauce, and then carefully layered cheese, noodles and sauce into the dish.
I felt a little better - it didn't look so bad now!


Yikes.  Well, at least that is the bottom.....


Heyyyyyy - looking good! 


It had some time to cool, and the I popped it out of the pan, and ....... ummmmmm.


Is that not hideous looking?  It looks like a raw sweaty chicken.
And when I cut a piece to take to my dad, it slowly started to collapse.


Not my best result in the kitchen, to be sure.  The Mister and the kids said it tasted fine, but it sure won't be making a repeat performance at our house.  
Filed under: kitchen disasters

Friday, March 02, 2018

Book Club - Beartown by Fredrik Backman



"Bobo is the biggest of them, as wide as a barn door and ugly enough to make rats move house."

"But what the hell is life, Peter, apart from moments?"

____________________________________________

I bought this one with a gift card, I was wanting a new fiction book to read but nothing was jumping out at me, so I got this one based on the reviews and the fact that my mom liked his book A Man Called Ove.  I read this after my mom had passed away, and it was hard to concentrate so I had trouble keeping some of the characters straight, but it was good.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Recipes I've made - no photos

I am always on the lookout for new pancake recipes and this one was a real winner. Light and fluffy and a hit with the kids. I froze the leftovers and they reheated quite nicely. Pete's Scratch Pancakes

I made these ham quiche cups for a Sunday dinner and they were easy and tasty.  The leftovers were delicious for breakfast.

Another Sunday dinner was this very very delicious slow cooker creamy beef stroganoff which was amazing!  Of course the kids didn't like it, but the adults did.

For dessert one night I made these peanut butter and jelly bars which were good but very very rich.  But good.

I have made this Asian peanut butter pork three times since finding the recipe.  Delicious tender pork with a killer sauce.

My end result looked nothing like the photo in the recipe- I either over cooked  my squash or over mixed it, so it lost the  individual strands, but the flavor of this yakisoba spaghetti squash was really great.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Book Club - Calm by Dr. Arlene K. Unger



"We cannot be calm if we are always rushing from one thing to the next."

"Keeping our surroundings free from clutter can help us to stay calm."

"Holding a grudge is like being a prisoner to your anger."

______________________________________________

I picked this up at the bookstore from the clearance table, 
Those last 2 above - love them, and so accurate for me.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Update on the yellow room

We finally got the touch up painting done in The Girl's room.
With the insomnia I was having at the time my mom was passing, it was easy to get it done early in the mornings  before the kids were up to "help".

Lordy, it's a yellow room.  You will probably be able to see it from space on a sunny summer day.
I like it though.
Both kids have a little window seat in their room, and my mom had made a cushion for The Boy's seat when he was about 3.  I planned on making one for The Girl, but I sort of like it without for now.
That brown stuffy in the middle is a handmade Kanga, from Winnie the Pooh, that an extended family member made me when I was little. It's old.

The picture is a pastel that The Mister's Grandmother did years ago. She was a very talented artist. We have at least 5 more pieces of her work up around the house.
The lamp is sitting on an old wooden laundry hamper I bought years ago at a thrift shop.
I bought some pink spray paint for it; just need some good weather so it can sit outside to dry.


There is a lot of wall in this room- we definitely need some more decorations.  But what?  I was thinking maybe some wall  decals.  Or posters? 


We still haven't started on the prep for painting The Boy's room yet.  He doesn't seem to mind, and I'm relieved because his room is going to be more work - some hole filling and patching and priming to do, not to mention hauling 11,000 pounds of lego out before we can start....

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bread Baking Babes 10th Anniversary - Royal Crown Tortano


From 2008 to 2012 I baked with a group of superstars called The Bread Baking Babes and it was super crazy that they included me  - this group was and is full of very talented bread wizards who make the most beautiful doughy creations.

I learned about shaping and fermenting and slashing.  Hydration and fillings and toppings and flours.

I had some interesting experiences and some flops, but I always had fun. I made breads and tried techniques that I know I never would have tried otherwise.

Dan's Garlic Bread was one of my favorites, and the Brunkans Langa is amazing.  The Injera was so much fun to make and eat.  This Challah made me very proud of myself.  And our first bread, Royal Crown Tortano, was so exciting for me.  That really cool looking bread?  I made that!

The group has been baking monthly breads for 10 years now, and Tanna very graciously invited me to bake with the group to celebrate.  The Babes chose to revisit the first bread, the Royal Crown Tortano.

This dough takes a long time - there is a preferment that you have to start the night before, and then the next day there is kneading and rising and turning and folding and on and on.  You need some time, I'm telling you.

But it is worth it.  So worth it.  The Tortano is huge and gorgeous and filled with air pockets and flavor.  

My slashing didn't turn out at all, and I missed the step about turning the dough, so my top isn't floured, but no cares here.  This bread is wonderful.





 A big, floury THANK YOU to the Bread Baking Babes for letting me join in celebrating the 10th (10!) Anniversary of the BBB.  Happy baking.  May your yeast always be fresh and your dough always rise.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Princess cake

Both kids have birthdays at the end of the year - November and December, about a month apart - and once The Girl got to help decorate her brother's birthday cake for his party, she became quite interested in her own upcoming cake.

"A BIG cake!  A THOMAS cake!"  She announced, and struck fear into my soul because I am in no way artistic or creative please see pretty much any of the posts here if you don't believe me.

Now, she doesn't even really like Thomas much anymore, so I think it was just the first thing that popped into her head.  I panicked, and replied with the first thing that popped into my head - wouldn't you rather have a princess cake?  YES!  She replied enthusiastically,  and then talked non stop about it for the next month. 

Now, before anyone rolls their eyes at me, trust me that this was not a sexist Girl can't have a Thomas cake thing.  It was a I remember my Boo (aka BFF) made a princess cake for one of her daughters a few years back and she said it was so easy that even I could do it thing.

The Big Day came, and my Boo came over to get me started.

The night before I had made the cakes- 2 - one in round pans, and one in a large measuring cup my Boo had lent me.


I wrapped the dolls legs in plastic wrap and we hacked one of the round cakes up to make a bottom and a top to go around the measuring cup cake.
I used this buttercream frosting and we dyed it pink.


My Boo got the decorating started, and then turned the reins over to me.  The kitchen and the icing got warmer, the kids were all amped up, and my little frosting blobs were not turning out as neat as hers. But hey, 3 year olds don't have super high standards.


I was starting to get fatigued by the time I got to the lower part of the dress, so I added some purple food coloring to the pink frosting and tried my hand at a big swirly design to hurry it along.  
If you stand back and squint a lot, it doesn't look too bad.


What matters most is the The Girl loved it - a lot - so that made my day.
And I'm in the clear on kids birthday cakes for 9 more months!

Friday, February 09, 2018

Book Club - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey





"The wind whispers through the grass.  A shadow flits between the trees. And up speaks the little voice that goes, Shhhhh.  It's close now.  Close."

"Cruelty isn't a personality trait.  Cruelty is a habit."

_____________________________________________

Back into Book Club too. I have done a lot of reading instead of sleeping the past while, so I've got a bunch.  I'm also going to add why I chose the book, or where it came from.

This one came from a book swap at work, and when I started it I realized that I tried to read this a few years ago, but never finished it. This time I did, then took it back and swapped it for something else.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

My Mom's Tetrazzini

I don't know how to start here after my last post, so talking about one of my mom's recipes feels like the thing to do.
My mom's tetrazzini has always been a favorite of mine - I used to think it was so classy
Noodles and cream of mushroom soup!  What could be better?
Some days, not much.


I made this one not long after she passed away, with some leftover rotisserie chicken. It felt good to make this meal for the kids, even though both are so picky - The Girl will eat some of the noodles, but not the chicken, and The Boy will scrape off the cheese and eat the chicken but isn't so much a fan of pasta.  I like it all.
I am thinking about going through my posts and starting a new label, maybe family recipes?  to note all the good stuff my mom shared with us.  There's a lot.  Also check out my Sunday Dinner label - most of the Sunday dinners I cooked for my mom and dad are posted too.  And I also have a family label, for  memories.  I am slowly searching key words on the blog to look for untagged posts that I want to add to the categories.  The Sunday Dinner label will return - we are back to having Sunday dinners with my Dad, and as soon as I get organized (ha!) the posts will start again.
Sadly, some of my older posts won't update with new labels, so I will have to start remaking some of this delicious stuff and posting so it can be labelled.  The things I must do....

Friday, February 02, 2018

someday

In the elevators of the hospital here, they have posters explaining that if you see a butterfly on the door of a room in the hospital, it means that a patient is close to passing, or has already passed, so that those entering the room are aware of the circumstances.
When I got to my moms hospital room on the morning of December 21, there was a blue butterfly on her door. 
The meaning of the butterfly wasn't a shock - my Dad and I had received the devastating news the afternoon before; but it still slammed me in the heart.  This was really happening.

In November I read over and over again a few posts and Instagrams of Tracy at Shutterbean.  Her mom passed away suddenly right before American Thanksgiving.   I was beginning to wonder if the same was  going to happen to us.

My Mom had been in the hospital for a  while.  She endured countless cycles  of improvements and setbacks.  She fought as hard as she could.  She suffered.

A handful of days later.  A different door. A different butterfly. My Mom is gone.

Of her son, Tracy wrote 
"He doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t understand how this will change him.

It makes me feel so lucky that I had my grandparents for as long as I did.

He doesn’t understand how this will change me."

My Mom loved her grandkids a lot.  One of my biggest regrets is that they will move forward without her in their lives.  It was too soon. 

It's been more than a month since we lost her now. Some days are good.  Some are pretty bad.  
We are moving forward and trying to figure out this new life without her.
It will come.





Photos from our 2016 family trip to Vancouver Island, one of our last trips.


"...the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take."
J.R.R. Tolkien