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

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

Red-Tailed Hawk Visit

Red-Tailed Hawk Visit

Had this beautiful juvenile Red Tailed Hawk hang out on my deck for a half an hour. He seemed he was drying his feathers. I say "he," but after some investigation, there doesn't seem to be a way to distinguish male from female when flying solo. He could very well be a she. Either way, our hawk seemed to enjoy being watched and did a little strutting for our benefit. As soon as we walked away from the window he flew away. 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

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

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

Infusion of Energy

Infusion of Energy

Seems like i just got home from New Orleans and I was heading out to Phoenix Arizona for the Infusionsoft Conference, affectionately called InfusionCon. I won the airfare, hotel, and conference fees as part of Bloggers in Motion, a contest sponsored by the software company, Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft is an all-in-one small business automation solution for CRM, marketing and e-commerce. While there I tweeted and blogged on Infusionsoft's blog, I met some fabulous people and learned loads Continue reading

Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street

Fat Tuesday on Bourbon Street

Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You've heard about it, and since I keep getting asked how many beads I acquired, I assume many of you are missing a big part of what really happens during Mardi Gras. It's actually a very family oriented event! The activities you've heard most about, only happen within a few short blocks on Bourbon Street, whereas the family friendly Mardi Gras festivities stretch the length of St. Charles Avenue and beyond. For those of you curious about a stroll down Continue reading

Life is a Parade!

Life is a Parade!

“Life is like a parade, and it’s one that most people watch go by. And then there are some that get in that parade." ~ Jonathan Goldsmith If you know me at all, you'll understand that I live for road trips. I feel most alive when exploring something I've never seen before. A decade ago, our family took a road trip from Columbus, Ohio to New Orleans that included stops in Nashville and Memphis. This year, I planned to meet a friend in Nashville and based on the weather, travel somewhere 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

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

Traverse City

Traverse City

Traverse City is a beautiful city wrapped around the base of Grand Traverse Bay. We checked into the first hotel we saw because it had an amazing view of the bay and sunset. The hot tub in the room was a bonus. We headed out to the Apache Trout Grill for dinner. The wait was appreciated because it allowed us to sit by the water with a drink and enjoy the view. The food was delicious, particularly my taste of the crab and lobster bisque. I kept my meal simple with Grilled Ahi Tuna Continue reading

Old Mission Peninsula

Old Mission Peninsula

Old Mission Peninsula is a long jut of land that divides Grand Traverse Bay in half, giving it the shape - with creative license - of a molar and its roots. It was an easy 17 mile drive to the Old Mission Point Lighthouse, at end of the road. While there I discovered I was near the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the North Pole. I knew I had to record the momentous occasion. Instead of building a cairn, I checked in on Foursquare. It was while checking in I discovered Continue reading

Let Sleeping Bears Lie

Let Sleeping Bears Lie

Legend tells of a mother bear and her two cubs taking to the water to escape a raging fire in what is now, Wisconsin. They swam for miles and after tiring the cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the opposite shore, she climbed atop a hill to watch for her babies, but the cubs drowned and became what is now the two Manitou Islands. "Sleeping Bear" is the single dune near the point that marks the spot where mother bear waited. It is slowly eroding and changing with water, wind and Continue reading

Roadside Views – Summer Roadtrip

Roadside Views – Summer Roadtrip

We headed north from Ludington after the hike, counted our blessings when we discovered The Bungalow Inn still serving dinner at 10 pm. After checking several Manistee hotels late into the night, we finally found one that was not booked full with fishermen hoping to win the local derby. I awoke to another beautiful blue sky, fluffy cloud day and began the drive towards Sleeping Bear Dunes. The first awe inspiring roadside stop was the Arcadia Scenic Lookout which is also aptly named Continue reading

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Two years ago traveled to Shanty Creek and did a drive by tour through Charlevois & Petoskey on my way to Mackinac Island. I liked what I saw and wanted to tour the little finger portion of the Michigan mitten. The first Lake Michigan view was supposed to happen around Saugatuck, but a missed sign resulted in a tour of Holland instead. I hit the highway and didn't stop again until I reached Ludington. We drove out to the Ludington State Park to have a look around. After investigating the Continue reading

Powering Up & Skating Off

Powering Up & Skating Off

I was back on roller skates again for the first time in too many years, thanks to an invitation to P.O.W.E.R Organization's fundraising event hosted by Latoniya Jones. Her organization helps children aged 7-16 increase their confidence, competency, and proficiency with math. In my head, I was movin' and groovin' to the sounds of the seventies, but the reality was much different. They didn't play Disco Duck or Sometimes When We Touch, and I found my body was unable move the way it used to. Continue reading

Visiting Chicago’s Suburbs

Visiting Chicago’s Suburbs

I had the good fortune of segueing a Chicago area conference into a vacation up the coast of Lake Michigan. I loved the coast from Ludington to Traverse City and hope to take my boys back next summer. The trip began at the Infusionsoft Customer Tour in Lombard, Illinois. Infusionsoft has put together a knowledgeable team to help small businesses automate their marketing. If I had a do over I'd sit in on their advanced sessions, but it was my first workshop with them and I wanted to make Continue reading