Family · Home

My Favorite Things … What’s Keeping Me Sane

Living through a Pandemic was certain not on my wish list but here we are. While I try to keep an upbeat attitude, my first inclination is go dark but I’ve learned that doesn’t accomplish a thing.

Keeping busy with things that interest me is key. I have a long list of ‘to-dos’ that I have been ignoring so … get on it, Cathy! There is yardwork and garden preparation, closets to be cleaned, Shutterfly books to finish, genealogy research to be done, etc. I try to accomplish a little of this each day but self-care and personal connection is most important.

This is day 13 of self isolation except for a very protected trip to get my allergy shot (extreme tree pollen allergies) and porch delivery of my Mom’s chicken and noodles to my girls and their families.

Each day the weather cooperates, I try to go on a long walk. Seeing neighbors outside playing with their children, sitting on their front porch or simply waving to neighbors warms my heart.  The two best experiences while walking were 1) encountering a family of dinosaurs with Mom and little daughter in full dinosaur costumes and Dad in a mask; 2) completing a chalk lava field drawn by a child on their sidewalk.  I love to see such creativity!

Talking with my girls and my grandchildren is saving me, too.  My grandchildren are ages 6, 4, 3 and 1.  The opportunity to read books, have dance parties, and just play via video chat is a wonderful capability that we all can enjoy.  Talking with friends, Virtual yoga with my Hot Flash yoga pals, virtual happy hour with our local winery, and family Zoom sessions also help to keep me connected.

I’ve not been to the store since Friday, March 13 but I have plenty to eat.  My Mother taught us to always have a full pantry and freezer and now is the time to use it!  To conserve on eggs, I’ve shifted my daily egg to a breakfast cake I’m loving with a dollop or yogurt!



BREAKFAST CAKE


2 mashed bananas
1.4 cups oatmeal
2 beaten eggs
3 cups berries (fresh, frozen or canned/drained–even less works just fine)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

  • Mix together and placed in greased pan (about 8×10″) and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut in squares.
  • I heat a square of breakfast cake in the microwave for 20 seconds and then add a dollop of Greek Yogurt. So yummy!

This experience causes me to think back to the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and the hardship of those times.  What did our ancestors do in quarantine, usually with a multitude of children and no chance of grocery delivery or the care of today’s modern medicine.  My Grandma Susie would be slaving over a hot wood cookestove in a very tiny house, with 4 little kids running underfoot.  To my knowledge, no one in our family died during that time but I do not know who may have contracted the disease, either.  

A friend shared with me that her Grandmother had written a journal during the time of the Spanish Flu and she has been reading it.  It prompted her to start a journal for her grandchildren.  What a great idea! I am not a journal kind of person, but this is such a unique time in our lives, that I think it is important to document what this experience has been like.  Perhaps we can actually learn from our mistakes in the future.

In closing let me thank everyone who is sacrificing their own safety to care for the people of the United States. You are our true heroes!

God Bless and Stay Well!

 

Family · Family Favorites

Banana Bread with Banana Jam…double the flavor!

Banana Bread is an old time favorite that my Mother and the women before her made for their families. I like it plain, with a little butter, but always shared with family and friends.

This time I decided to try it with the Banana Jam we drooled over in Nicaragua and I wasn’t disappointed.  This combination is great for breakfast, coffee, or dessert. Just say BANANA!

BANANA BREAD

2 cups sifted all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Cream together shortening and sugar.
  • Blend in eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas, mixing just until blended.
  • Combine pecans and 1 tsp. flour; stir into batter. Pour into greased 9″ tube pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Rheumatoid Arthritis · Yoga

Yoga, health and a mental health break!

2008 was one of those years…after a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sleep Apnea, it was time to take action over my health.  A friend of mine had just finished yoga training and was putting together a group to meet weekly to practice yoga. All of my life, I’ve wanted to try yoga, but the thought of trying it alone was too overwhelming. This intimate setting offered a safe place to begin and it has been a life-saver.

In the beginning I had no flexibility and that darn muffin-top of mine was always in the way.  Five years later, my flexibility has DRAMATICALLY improved and I look forward to our weekly class together.  We share a love for each other as well as a love of yoga (despite the occasional moaning and groaning).  None of us take it too seriously, complimenting our practice with a good hearty laugh or two each week. Thank God for our teacher Diane and for alternate teacher and host, Chris.  And who doesn’t love wearing yoga pants!

yoga flexibility cartoon

In a few days our ‘hot flash yoga’ team (never to be confused with HOT Yoga) will head to Shoshoni, in Nederland, Colorado for a yoga retreat.  The fresh air, mountain views on top of two days of yoga and meditation is just what I need!

bird yoga cartoon

After almost two years of posting faithfully 2x a week, I’ve decided to take a break from posting but will be back soon, so stay tuned.

English: Prônam Mudrá Português: Prônam Mudrá

Namaste!

 

 

Holidays · New Favorite

Cranberry Coffee Cake for brunch, lunch, anytime!

Cranberry Coffee Cake is a new recipe that my sister-in-law, Donna, shared with me several weeks ago.  The Mother’s Day weekend coffee/tea was a great time to try it. The cake is so moist and the extra treat of cranberry is so good.  I chose to go without nuts this time but the glaze was a wonderful touch.

This coffee cake is wonderful anytime of year but could be a wonderful addition to your holiday go-to-recipes.

CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

GLAZE:

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 teaspoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs; mix well.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream.  Add extract.
  • Spoon a third of the batter into a tube or bundt pan.  Top with a third of the cranberry sauce.
  • Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with walnuts (optional).
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted hear the center comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool and transfer to serving plate.
  • Optional:  Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake.

Family · Holidays

Mother’s Day 2013…Daughter, Mother, Grandmother, Friend

Mother’s Day 2013 will be a weekend of celebration starting with my annual Mother’s Day Coffee/Tea on Saturday.  There will be much laughter, hugging, catching up and, of course, delicious treats.  This year our friend Barbara has designed T-shirts to celebrate our annual event.

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Sunday, our family will share a meal celebrating daughter Sarah as a Mother and now adding Grandma to my title.   We are blessed.

As I reflect on Mother’s Day, I think about my Mother who passed away in 2001.  I miss her every day.  How many times have I wished that I could pick up the phone and talk to her!

Our journey as Daughters and then Mothers (and now Grandmothers) takes many twists and turns.  I recently read this poem which reminds me of my Mother being there to support me and my own journey as a Mother.  And the journey continues with my daughters.

Love you, Mom.  Love you girls!

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Baby Evan with Grandma, Mommie and Aunt Megan

A Mother…

When you’re a child she walks before you,
To set an example.
When you’re a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.
When you’re an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together..
Author Unknown
New Traditions

Mother’s Day Coffee…a new tradition

Two years ago I hosted a morning coffee for the wonderful Mothers and friends that shared many of the same life experiences.  Mothers everywhere are hustling and bustling 24×7, seldom taking time for themselves.  This annual coffee is now tradition, honoring these wonderful women, our friendships, and…our love of good food!

The past two years, the coffee has been held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Somehow, this year, I ASSUMED that would be the first Saturday in May.  You know what happens when you ASSUME!  This year it’s a week early but what the heck!

My friend, Barbara, is the official photographer for all of my gal pal gatherings, commonly referred to as ‘hot flash___’ (just fill in the blank for the actual event of book club, cards, yoga, etc.).  She did a wonderful collage last year capturing the great food we all shared that wonderful morning.

Mother’s Day Coffee 2011

The past year has brought many joys for myself and friends and many sorrows.  We support each other through thick and thin.  I have a sign in my house that sums it up best:

good friends will laugh with you in the sun
great friends will be with you in the shade