Resolving to Have FUN!

Resolving to Have FUN!

Sue came to visit me a couple of days after my boys went back to Michigan. We planned to spend the rest of the holidays on the beach and celebrate the incoming New Year together. For those of you who don't know Sue, she gifted Caesar to us, and I learned how smart and manipulative standard poodles can be! I wish he was still around to travel with me. Unfortunately, the weather stopped cooperating that week and the temperatures were not conducive to sunscreen and swimwear, but we found other Continue reading

The Beach at Panama City Beach

The Beach at Panama City Beach

When I first arrived in Panama City Beach I knew I would have lots of time on my hands to walk the beach, write, and relax…. after my daily allotment of work. In my mind, I'd already put myself on the beach with my computer working from my sandy, sunny office location. Think about that… sand and sun… known by their more realistic names: grit and glare. It was a nice dream. I worked on the beach all of twice, and instead took my breaks there. I'd walk from my campsite across the road and Continue reading

The Front Porch

The Front Porch

Occasionally, I'd take myself out for dinner, usually after a long workday. One place I returned to several times, was recommended by a local. The food was good, and on nights they had live music, that was good too. I wasn't uncomfortable dining or having a drink solo, because the staff actually talked to me when I pulled up a barstool. I took my kids for burgers while they were in town and when Sue came to visit we spent New Year's Eve there. She got to watch her football game which Continue reading

I’m Dreaming of an Expectation Free Christmas

I’m Dreaming of an Expectation Free Christmas

When you grow up in an area with four seasons, as I did, there are things you expect to do at certain times of the year.  When I was a child, summers meant a couple of weeks camping in Northern Ontario among the lush forests and Canadian Shield rocks and lakes. All our Halloween costumes were loose in case it was cold the night we went Trick or Treating, and the Easter bunny always brought us chocolate, which we promptly ate for breakfast.  My brothers and I expected these things.  It was a Continue reading

Crazy

Crazy

I hadn’t decided if I’d lost my mind. I needed time to determine that and so far, there hadn’t been any. I left Richmond, Virginia, on Thanksgiving and was officially addressless. And single. At 51. Now I was driving south to the Florida Panhandle with visions of sitting on the beach trying to establish my current state of mind. I made two stops on the way down to visit relocated friends from a time that seemed forever ago when I think back to being married, while simultaneously feeling Continue reading

Traveling Leaves You Speechless…

Traveling Leaves You Speechless…

...Then turns you into a storyteller. Continue reading

Why I’m At Home on the Road

Why I’m At Home on the Road

In the past year: I sold my house on the river and moved into an apartment 1/4 it's size. Sold almost everything I owned, except the basics that would fit in said apartment. Saw my youngest through his first year of university. Said a sad goodbye to my 13 year old, four legged friend, Caesar. It was definitely a year of changes, although it's always sad to let all these things go, I've chosen to focus on the gratitude & celebrate the success of my experiences. I kept our family Continue reading

Gluten Free Stuffing for Turkey or Chicken

Gluten Free Stuffing for Turkey or Chicken

This stuffing based on an old family recipe passed down from my Great Grandmother. We grew up calling it "dressing" instead of "stuffing". I've also changed the recipe slightly over the years by including apple and cranberries. Recently I've begun to make it gluten free and it tastes just as good as the regular version. The recipe has been taste-approved by my two non-gluten-free kids. Ingredients 1 Loaf EnerG White Rice Loaf (Gluten free) 1 tbsp olive oil, dairy free butter or butter. Continue reading

Whoooooshhhhh!!!!

Whoooooshhhhh!!!!

Whoooooshhhhh!!!! Did you feel that? Nearly a year just went by with all the adrenaline, expectation, hair flying, air displacement and let-down of a subway train going straight past my platform. This was a year, in which there were many endings, a few beginnings, some ups... and multitude of downs. At times it felt as though I was hanging onto a rocket by my bloodied finger nails, terrified I would spiral off in mid-air. Things have finally come to a stop and like a child who can never Continue reading

Chocolate Banana Pie – Gluten Free & Dairy Free

Chocolate Banana Pie – Gluten Free & Dairy Free

This is the second dessert I've found since changing my food to gluten & dairy free. This pie is easy to make, delicious, and you will not be disappointed! I found this recipe at www.SimplyGluten-Free.com but made a few quantity changes to accommodate my 12" disposable pie plate. Ingredients Crust 2 cups blanched almond flour 7 large medjool dates, pits removed, chopped finely (found them in the produce section of my grocery store) 1/8 tsp sea salt 3 tablespoons coconut oil (more if Continue reading

Chocolate Sprinkled Coconut Macaroons – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Chocolate Sprinkled Coconut Macaroons – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free

Since going gluten, egg and dairy free I haven't had any obvious choices for dessert - which is probably a good thing! Now that it's Christmas I'm missing cookies and I want dessert with my Christmas dinner! I don't like to spend a lot of time grocery shopping or preparing, so the following recipe is one that was adapted from several and is based on what was already in my kitchen. Ingredients 4 cups of coconut (I had two types flaked & desiccated, used all of it) 1/2 cup of almond flour Continue reading

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Sometimes it's necessary to put the cart before the horse. Sometimes you need to know how much cart you're going to require before buying your horse. Once you know how big the wagon and heavy the load, only then can you determine if you'll need a Clydesdale or a colt. I've been struggling in my mind with a cart and horse issue. Or more accurately a vehicle and RV issue. I want an RV but I don't know what style I want. There are so many! Motor homes, converted buses, converted vans, towables Continue reading

Coming to Terms with Body Image

Coming to Terms with Body Image

Those little cells that hold the fat in our bodies have been the bane of my existence since high school. I look back on how I felt about my body from the time I was a teenager and realize I've never been happy with it. There were always a few pounds I had to lose and I tried to manage it with some very extreme diets. In my early 20's I quit smoking and gained a few more pounds, then I had children and gained a lot more, while raising children, even more crept on. I've always been active Continue reading

Backyard Rainy Days

Backyard Rainy Days

I love the sunshine but can't deny that my backyard is most beautiful on overcast, drizzly days like today. The wildlife comes out and even buds beginning to burst make the landscape look green and vibrant. While I was waiting for my tea to steep, I decided to try to capture the robin and babies who are nesting under my deck. I wasn't so successful with capturing the skittish mom in a clear shot with her babies, but I did capture a few other things... Continue reading

Downsizing to a Shed

Downsizing to a Shed

"The tiny house movement is not a fad, the McMansion was a fad." Michael Janzen Tiny House Design Blog Currently, I own a 3000 square foot home and between working to pay for it, cleaning & maintaining the it, I have no free time. I'm imprisoned by the house and the size has lost it's appeal. I understand why a person would choose to live in a shed-sized tiny house. It offers freedom from the very things that keep me imprisoned. It offers better cash flow and allows owners to Continue reading

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Ghosts of Christmas Past

It's just after noon on Christmas Eve and so far I've sent a newsletter out, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned a bathroom, snaked the shower drain, and begun preparations for tonight's fondue dinner with the kids. Christmas has changed so much since my children were replaced with mature teenagers. It's easier, but lonelier. My childhood Christmases were spent at my grandparents. They're both long gone, but I clearly remember traveling through some very scary weather to get their house. Although I Continue reading

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I found the above picture while looking for my favorite Jack O' Lanterns on Flickr. This is one of the most adorable pictures I've seen. It was taken by KoKo Crispy. While little Jocelyn is just beginning, my children are past the Trick or Treating age. Although I am somewhat happy to not have the mad rush of Halloween parties and costume creation, I'm also a wee bit sad for the same reasons. Thank goodness I still get to deliver candy to the neighborhood little ones, they're always so much Continue reading

Best Apple Crisp Ever

Best Apple Crisp Ever

I began making this apple crisp while living in Toronto. The basic recipe came straight out of an old Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1987, which is likely the year I began enjoying the dessert. While I was working as a counsellor at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, I would get together for dinner with a couple of fellow employees who happened to be married. They made the best apple crisp I'd ever tasted and they shared their secret ingredient with me. For the record, I usually double Continue reading

The Meaning of Home

The Meaning of Home

At first look, it appears obvious that we can see what is happening in our current housing market. People are losing or selling their homes and moving onto other abodes. Whether it's by choice or necessity, homeowners are adapting because they have to. What's not apparent is the hidden tsunami of emotion that hits us as we come face to face with redefining what home means. In my grandparent's life, they expected to save and purchase a home they would stay in for years. They'd raise their Continue reading

Dangerous Regression

Dangerous Regression

As I sat working in the Family Room today, the two story room was filled with echoes of mischievous giggles and footsteps running up and downstairs, slamming doors, followed by hollers between cohorts. I was immediately transported back to having two active boys and my mother's instincts kicked in. I knew I had to go check on these two, only instead of two elementary school boys, I was dealing with my 17 year old son and his 19 year old friend. What were they up to? They'd pulled the old Continue reading