Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#TastyTuesday - Double Chocolate Cookie Bars

We all have days when we need a little pick-me-up.  Chocolate is a great indulgence for an emotional lift.  This is a delightful treat.... try it on your next blue day.

2c finely crushed Oreos (approx 24 cookies)                 
1/4 c margarine or butter, melted
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (12oz)
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1tsp vanilla
1 c chooped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350'.  Combine crumbs and margarine; press firmly on bottom of 13x9 inch baking pan.  In medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1 cup chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Pour evenly over prepared crust; top with nuts and remaining chips.  Bake 20 minutes or until set.  Cool.  Chill if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store tightly covered at room temperature.  Makes 24-36 bars.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Personal Note - "You Don't Look Sick"

I’m not one to put my personal laundry out there,
but today I feel the need to rant a bit.

I have Lupus, a “sub-category” of Connective Tissue Disease and at times my body is racked with pain to the point of sitting and doing nothing hurts even more. Most people don’t know I have it, and many that do know don’t understand what it is.... because I don’t look sick.

"My immune system attacks itself. What does yours do?"

What is Connective Tissue Disease?
Connective tissues are groups of fibers and cells that “connect” the framework of the body and literally hold it together. Their functions include cushioning, protecting, supporting, insulating and strengthening the body’s tissues and organs. Examples of connective tissue are tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood, bone, and the dermis of the skin. Because connective tissues exist in so many structures of the body, disorders of these tissues may involve a variety of symptoms, including pain and dysfunction in different areas of the body.
Overall, treatment should include a lifestyle plan to optimize health and reduce symptoms. A well-balanced nutritional plan, regular physical activity, plenty of rest, and routine testing to monitor the progress of disease will aid in controlling this disease.

Complications of connective tissue disease include:
■Difficulty performing daily tasks (uh... like opening the lid to the pancake syrup or snapping my jeans.)

■Increased pain and dysfunction (hurts to walk, move, breathe)

■Joint deformity and destruction (don’t even want to think about it)

■Severe discomfort or pain (due to side effects from pain killers, secondary medications may be needed to treat those)

Basically, there is no cure... the pain will only get worse. One may have to fight depression if the thought becomes to consuming. Suicide rate is high; I guess you could say lack of relief from pain and lack of compassion can make a person literally go crazy.  "Brain Fog" is hard to explain when others get upset with your lack of attention and forgetfulness.
A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. May cause depression, fatigue, hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight and changes in weight.
May cause optimism, excuse to stay in bed, experimentation with new hair styles, getting to flaunt your Derby Hat all year round and more shopping sprees.

A positive goal is to live a life of some kind of remission and have a strong network of people who will be there when things get tough, even though you don’t look sick - they know when your body and heart hurt.
I hope this helps and if you know of someone with CTD, please share this with others. Sometimes the pain is so bad I want to cry, but even crying hurts. However, what wounds the most is when I’m in pain and others look at me as if I’m lying and say, “You don’t look sick.”




Saturday, April 21, 2018

Graduation Day!

My first baby graduates from college today. 

To say I'm proud is an understatement. Son #1 decided a long time ago to attend the same college I did many years before.

He has been referred to as a Legacy Student.

Trading in high school football pads for college

Senior year - Pres of the Frat
 Once the dust settles from this exciting event, he plans to continue to graduate school with hopes to be the first "Doctor" in the family.
He's kind, caring and witty as well as a wonderful son and role model for his younger brothers.

It seems like it was yesterday I watched him board the bus for the first day of kindergarten.

Time flies.

Where's that box of tissues?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday Food Romance

Okay... so you want to plan a sexy dinner with your honey for tomorrow night.  You purchased sexy lingerie and hooker heels.  Here it is Friday and it's time to work on the menu.  After all... the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  The lingerie and hooker heels will be part of the desert.

So let's focus on food and wine.

Have you ever eaten a meal where the wine and food were so good that you could not forget about it? Then, did you later have that same wine with a different dish or the same dish with a different wine only to be disappointed?

Count yourself fortunate to have experienced the perfect marriage of wine and food. When the wine balances with the food in flavor, texture and taste, both food and wine enhance each other.

These area few hints to consider that will make food and wine pairing simple. But remember that if you like a certain wine with a particular food that is all that matters.

1. Use the same wine in the recipe as you will be serving with the meal.

2. Mask salty dishes with slightly sweet wines.

3. Serve cool, sweet, low alcohol wines with hot, spicy foods. Higher alcohol accentuates heat.

4. Balance acidic foods with sweet wines or round, dry, low acid wines.

5. Combine sweet wines with desserts. Make sure the wine is always sweeter than the dessert.

Combos for Beef

Beef roast, steak, hamburgers
Classic Red
Classic Blush
2 Cab/Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon

Wild mushroom sauce
2 Cab/Merlot
Cabernet Sauvignon

Red wine sauces, stew, short ribs, beef stroganoff
Cabernet Sauvignon
2 Cab/Merlot

Stir fry, chili
Pinot Noir
Classic Red

Brisket, meatloaf
Classic Red

Beef Wellington
Classic Blush
2 Cab/Merlot

Beef Bourguignon
Cabernet Sauvignon
2 Cab/Merlot

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

#TuesdayTeaser Crow Magic

Legend of the Spirit, Book 1

Lucy Richards is tired of being timid around men. Hoping to overcome her fears and feel like a real woman, she turns to Madame Eve to find a man who will fulfill that goal. Eve arranges a one-night stand with a handsome Shawnee shaman who will teach Lucy to use her womanly power and take her to unimaginable heights.

Shape shifter Seth Crowe is a Keeper of the Spiritual Law who carries souls from darkness to light, and enjoys using his body to accomplish his magic.
Tucked away in the Castillo Poconos Resort, Seth helps Lucy find spiritual and sexual freedom, never dreaming he might find his own mate in the bargain.

“I am a man who is yours tonight, Lucy.” He walked toward her with arms out from his sides, exposing his nudity. “Draw on the power within you. Look at me. Overcome your apprehension of men. Have I not shown you gentleness?”
She nodded and approached him while tugging the strap of her sundress.
“Keep your dress on. Take it off when you are ready. This night is about you. Explore my body, learn from it, and take whatever you want. You are in control.”
He led her to the center of the blanket and faced her. She stood still with her fingertips resting on his waist. Cupping her face, he lost himself in her eyes.
“I am your instrument to use tonight. Open yourself up and delve into this opportunity I offer. I am yours to command. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“I think so.” She considered his offer. “What do I do?”
“Follow your feminine intuition.” He couldn’t hold back a chuckle. “Touch me, tickle me, beat me, kiss me, bite me, lick me, suck me…whatever you want. Take whatever you need from me to strengthen you.”
In the moonlight, an endearing, innocent blush spread across her face. Amazing how a woman who lived her life in fear caused by abuse could be so naïve of her own sensual power. If she knew her potential, she could bring him to his knees.
Please, bring me to my knees

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