Posted in Self

A Sad Realization

Today I am happy.  Generally for the most part satisfied, content and happy with my life.  Sure I could win the lottery or my kids could be handed full scholarships to Purdue or Notre Dame or I could lose this damn 20 lbs. I’m STILL struggling with or, I could just decide to be happy with my life.

I am choosing the latter.  I’m tired of being stressed and worrying about things that are completely beyond my control.  It is not MY struggle.  The sad realization is, is that I can’t fix people who do not want to be fixed.  I can’t fix someone that is mentally ill, I can not fix someone that finds reason to be incapable.  It is not my struggle.  Why is it that some people do not want (or can’t) be better, they don’t even want to try.  Back in the day I watched Dr. Phil – a lot!  And he used to say, “what’s the payoff?”  Using that logic and looking at it objectively, I still do not see any payoff to becoming dependent and a victim.

Truth be known, I had a rough childhood, I’ve lived with all types of different abusers and abuse and I’ve been through things I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  But I am not a victim.  As a grown woman heading towards 50, I am the controller of my destiny and no matter what type of relationship I came from, I had and still have a choice.  My choice is to stop the victimization and the co-dependancy and to accept the fact that I control only myself.  It is not my job to try to control those that continue to make themselves victims.  Life is a one man show…be your biggest fan!


Posted in Family, News, Travel

Show Me the Mickey!

Well – I’m doin’ it.  I’ve been in a rut long enough now.  Time to shake things up and git to gettin’ happy!

(First, I have to admit – I absolutely freaked out a little while ago.  My blood pressure went up, I started to shake and I felt like I was going to pass out, all because I updated the OS on my mac!  I started thinking about all the stuff I don’t have backed up!  Does anyone else do that?!?  Good Lord, I thought I would jump out of my skin waiting for this thing to update.  Thankfully, it’s all still here!  UGH!  Can you say heart attack!?!?  Yeah, not a good way to go out for sure!  Anyway…here’s my happy!)

The last couple nights, while lying in bed NOT being able to sleep, the gears were a-grindin’.  ‘What sounds good, fun, exciting!?’  I’ve been toying with the idea of a cruise for a while now.  It’s been FOREVER since I’ve been on one.  Just few months ago, I posed the question on my personal FB page, ‘what cruise line do you recommend?’ and after a few posts, I started my research there.  Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity were all mentioned – even Carnival, but I know better than that!  I started looking and pretty quickly thought I’d made a decision.  Then – somehow for some reason – Disney came to mind.

Now let me give a brief background here about my relationship with Disney.  I have a long term love affair with WDW that started when I was about 2.  I have always loved Disney, suffice it to say – a lot, whole bunches with my heart and soul.  I won’t go into too many details because I’ll start to get emotional and probably won’t be able to finish this post.  Over the last few years I allowed my love affair with Disney to die a peaceful death when my ex started going on a regular basis with his current wife.

There’s a LOT of sadness and a LOT of baggage there.  I mean, it was my most favorite vacation destination EVER!  But in the last 10+ years, I’ve been only once, for an afternoon, with my girls.  My youngest daughter’s face in the photo below tells you exactly how I felt about being there at the time.

But now, I’ve come to the realization that I’m tired of allowing the old to disturb the new, I’m sick of missing out on the fun and the good times, all because of something I can’t and couldn’t control.  I miss Disney, I miss the fun, the colors, the movies, the rides, the attachment to a place that was always so good to me, I miss the resorts, the food, the monorail, I miss the anticipation and excitement of planning, I miss the hospitality and I miss the awesome, personalized customer service!  Screw it, I’m not missing any more!  I started reading the cruise reviews and all of them are exactly like I left them 10 years ago – Top Drawer – without question – they are – the Premier in Pampering!  And by God, I am so ready to be pampered!!  My decision was made…but first I had to clear it with the gang.

I was a bit hesitant about approaching the 15 year old, as ya just never know.  It’s hit or miss during the teen years.  I was surprised when it was my 14 year old that was like, “eh, I don’t know Mom, that sounds kinda babyish”.  But then I hit her with the Teen Club thing and she was in.  As of this morning, I have everyone I need on board!  I’m in this and I’m so totally excited!!  My 15 year old said, “and you can get married on the ship!”  Say what did you say?!  Hey…yeah…we could do that!!  Because Disney’s all about making Fairy Tales come true!



Posted in Food

Brownie Brittle

What a day yesterday!  My mother couldn’t figure out what to buy me for Christmas, so I told her she could pay for a maid service to come in and clean the house.  I used to have a service that came every month but when I was trying to cut costs, they were the first to go.

For some asinine reason, I decided I would try out an individual, instead of using the company, I figured it may be cheaper.  Well, let me just say, big mistake – huge.  And it wasn’t cheaper.

I’ve said more than once that I’m a little OCD – or anal, if you will, about cleanliness.  But using someone for the first time, I don’t expect too, too much considering it’s new to them, but wow.  My 14 & 15 year olds do a better, more thorough job.  I really am not sure what happened, but…it won’t happen again.

It’s definitely too much money to have to go behind them and do what they should have done.  Of course, I was pissed when everyone came home since I’d been cleaning for an hour and a half and the worst part – she didn’t even empty the wastebaskets.  WTH?

Anyway…no point in crying over spilled milk (or wasted money), it’s done and over.  Onto the better stuff!

I was able to start on the non-edible Valentine’s gifts for the girls and I did a couple easy little artsy-craftsy things, so the day wasn’t a total loss.

My new food challenge today will be Brownie Brittle!  The better half bought a bag of Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle the other day and went bezerk over it.  He took it to work and the guys tried it and they really liked it.  So I’ve been nominated to give it a go!  I did find a couple recipes online so I’ll be giving it a shot today and hopefully it turns out.

Here’s the recipe (adapted from

1 18 oz. brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Dark Brown Brownie mix, but I will use a different one next time as the Better Half doesn’t like the extra chocolate chips, so I picked them out)

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. water

1 large egg

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325* and line a large baking sheet (mine is 13 x 18) with parchment paper.  Mix all ingredients together except walnuts and smooth batter onto baking sheet as thin as possible.  Sprinkle walnuts on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and start checking to make sure the sides and corners don’t burn.  Cook up to another 10 minutes to make sure the centers done, but don’t burn.  Remove from oven and place a piece of parchment paper or tinfoil and a clean kitchen towel over the brownies, smooth out brownies.  This helps them crisp.  Once you have smoothed them out, score or cut into pieces.

This turned out REALLY well!!  And it made a lot!  If you like brownie brittle, I suggest trying this recipe!



Posted in Family, Holidays & Birthday, Home

The SLow Down

Ah, February – the month of Love!  January did a fly by on my radar.  It was a busy month, full of emotionally charged days that I’m glad are past me.  I ate my way through the month and I’m currently trying to come down off the high of feeding my stress.  As I sit here typing this, I’m wishing I had on my pajama pants since my jeans have become less like clothing and more like a torture device.

My mother had her aortic aneurysm surgery in the middle of January and she did very well.   I can now say with certainty for a fact, I am not capable of taking care of her in any way, shape or form.  And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  The facts are as follows:

#1. She wants things the way she wants things and I am too much of a controlling person to be ok with that.

#2.  She’s not willing to help herself and I cannot feel responsible for that.

#3.  She does not trust me, never has, never will.

We are oil and water and a life and/or death situation does not change that fact. Those reasons are enough to fuel the fact that this type scenario will not – can not – take place again.

However, every rain cloud has a silver lining.  About 7 years ago when we moved to Indiana, we (I) gave away our dachshund and I’ve never really gotten over wanting another one (or feeling guilty that I gave him up).  Knowing this, the Better Half decided to buy me a new dachshund puppy as a late Christmas gift.  She is an absolute joy!  She’s adorable and so, so sweet!  My youngest daughter named her “Gretchen Wieners” but to simplify things a little bit, we call her ‘Indy’.  She, like most doxies, is a cuddle bunny, her favorite thing is to be held and snuggled.  She bunks with the oldest as she doesn’t have a “pet” other than her Betta fish, Bae and he’s too hard to snuggle with.

It’s been chaotic trying to potty train her and to keep up with everything else, but I have no doubt as things calm down and I can focus more attention on her she’ll have it in no time!  As they say, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners and I don’t want to be a bad owner!

It’s only the 1st, but I’ve already started working towards Valentine’s Day!  It’s one of my favorite days of the year. Here are some of the ideas I’m tacking for this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine Pretzel Buttons

Seven Days of Love, for both the Better Half & the girls

and because they know I love to make them, the girls requested my cut out sugar cookies, which I’m happy to do because really, who doesn’t love ❤️s?!

Yesterday I jumped in feet first and decided to experiment with my new silicone heart molds, I melted some Ghirardelli dark chocolate wafers and some Ghirardelli white chocolate wafers.  I put in the heart molds, pistachios, craisins, dates, toffee chips, mallow bits, rainbow & crystalized sugar sprinkles and then piped in my melted chocolate.  Placed them in the fridge for abut 30 minutes and boom!  Instant “homemade” chocolates!  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!  You can see it here at No.2 Pencil!

I do hope you all have a beautiful and love filled February!  I hope to see more of the blog this month!!  (I’m saying that a lot these days, aren’t I?!)

Do what makes your heart happy!