My Sweet Marie

Archive for September 2011

Fudgy Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter or marg.
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. walnuts chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8 pan.
  2. In a med. saucepan melt butter, add cocoa and stir. Remove from heat
  3. Add sugar, blend well.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  5. Stir in vanilla,flour and salt. do not overbeat or they will be tough.
  6. Fold in the nuts.
  7. Fold into your pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

When I was a little girl, I had a friend named Julie. Her family had a cottage at the lake, in the town I grew up in. One summer she joined the baseball league I was in and we became friends. We hung out together as often as possible, I’m sure her mother was tired of me by end of summer! We would play together all summer then come fall we were pen pals, the old-fashioned way using an envelope and a stamp! There was no e-mail or Facebook back then! Keeping in touch meant actually using your hands to write a letter.

Well, come June I would be itching for Julie to come back in town and sure enough, the station wagon would pull up at the end of June every year , with Blair,Julie, Shawneen and Helen(Mrs. McArthur). Dad(Leo) would follow later as he was definitely a working man! And every year Mrs. M would go on about how I grew and what is new with Denis or Monique or someone. She was very good with names that one!

Well, we grew up and Julie didn’t come down as often or when she did, I was working and eventually I got married and moved to Toronto and eventually London. Sadly, I regret to tell you that I was not very good at keeping up with the relationship and lost touch with Julie.

On Sunday, I decided to try to track her down on Facebook. I tried a few years ago and had no luck, but I was determined this time and I wasn’t going to stop! Now I know why I didn’t find her.  I searched Facebook to no avail and then I thought Google, you can find anything or anyone there!

Sadly, when I went to Google and plugged in her name, I found a tribute at www.millergroup.ca  A tribute in Julie’s name, and her photo as if she still lived. I was dumb-struck, I sat there with tears streaming down my  cheeks with my heart in my throat. Julie has passed away on October 25th, 2007, in her sleep. Unbeknownst to her, she had an arrhythmia condition, a genetic issue and it took her life. Because of Julie’s death, both Shawneen and Blair were tested for this issue and now Shawneen has a pacemaker. In essence, she saved their lives. I’m sure they both would rather have her here.

I have the best memories of Julie, us playing in the water, riding that little dinghy of hers, riding our bikes and just being girls giggling about boys. I remember one year, we flew to Toronto from the Windsor airport to go to a concert, KC and the Sunshine band! This was a huge deal to me as I had never flown then, she was a pro and lead me through Pearson like we were at the corner store. She knew what to do!

I carry my memories with me, hold them even dearer now and remind myself to call upon all my friends to keep in touch. I hope you will call a friend today or find them on Facebook and catch up! You won’t regret it, I promise you that.

To the McArthur family, my love,thoughts and prayers are all with you. I will remember Julie always with a smile upon my face.

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie

On Tuesday my mother will turn 76, I am working that day so won’t be around to celebrate with her though 😦 . Lucky for her, she has 8 kids and about a million extended family members and half million friends to give her some much deserved TLC. I hear she’s going out for lunch on Wednesday with her sisters, which I hear is always fun, I know they’ll take good care of. I am sure one of my siblings will have her over for dinner, likely Marg or Marc, or maybe Monique…or could be Marc or Andre, then again…Phil and Denis are good cooks too, we will just have to wait and see. I’m thinking it won’t be Colette as she lives in Michigan but surely she’s a great cook too.

I struggle every year with, do I buy a gift or not? Do you have this struggle? Actually it’s not do I buy a gift, but how do you buy a gift for a woman who would turn the world upside down for you if you needed her to? What could I possibly buy her that a) she doesn’t already have or b)that she wants? She is 76, really does she want another trinket to dust? Does she need another coffee mug? Something to ponder for sure. I’ve got 2 days to get it done too!

In years past, I have written her poems and tucked them in a store-bought card, I have gotten her those little books with all the Mom poems in it, but in that little book, for each poem I made a side note to tell her how that poem was about her. For example there was a poem about Mom being funny, well there is nothing funnier than the time she camped with us! Let me tell you that story.

One summer, a few of my siblings were going camping. We had a camper at the time so we talked Mom into joining us. On the first morning there, she headed to the washroom for her morning routine. She had taken Melanie along with her and not 5 minutes after they left we could hear the laughter coming from the bathrooms. I mean the place was full of women getting ready for morning and there is my Mother heading back to camp laughing her butt off! She was practically crying, Melanie was laughing too, she was about 6 at the time. So apparently, Mom got out her toothbrush, put some paste on it and lifted the brush to her mouth, only to find it empty! She had left her teeth in the camper! Well once Mom starts laughing, there is no stopping it as she keeps reliving it in her head…too funny. I still smile when I think of it!

Anyhow, Mom if you’re reading this, I want you to know that everyday I thank God for choosing me as one of your kids. I am grateful for every single thing you do, have done and likely still will do for me. My childhood would have been a whole lot different without you. You are the reason I am who I am today. Thank you. May your day be filled with love, laughter and joy as you ooze all that on us on a daily basis.

love you lots,

Sweet Marie

On my quest for health and nutrition I have created a few new ways to have beans! Here’s my new fave! You’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 big tomato diced small or 2 med.
  • 1 can cannelli beans, drain and rinse
  • 1 can black beans, drain ad rinse
  • 1 can chick peas, drain and rinse
  • 5 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro fresh chopped

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together in a big bowl. let sit for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Serve with nachos, crackers, pitas or melba toast if counting calories!
  3. Enjoy!

The possibility for rich relationships exists all around you—you simply have to open your eyes, open your mouth and most importantly, open your heart.”

Cheryl Richardson

I woke up this morning with a funny feeling in my belly. It wasn’t pain really,nor was it a twinge, it was more of a pang. I was explaining it to my daughter when she said “Mom, that’s what we call a hunger pang!” I thought “Wow, so this is what hungry feels like!”

It’s sad but true, I don’t often let myself get hungry and you might wonder why? I sure do wonder!  I didn’t starve as a child, that’s for darn sure, I ate real well! I am not poor but have had droughts for sure! But I can tell you whenever I plan things, appointments and such, my first thought is usually ok so when will I have lunch/dinner etc. Interesting at the very least, this has been a revelation for me, not sure what to do with it but revelation none the less!

I’m not sure where all this willpower is coming from but I am gung-ho about sticking to my plan and have been doing well this week. I am eating healthy, keeping a log and counting every little bite that goes in! This week the no calorie soup is saving me, I am filling up big time on that! I usually have it with rusks and bruschetta. Rusks are like melba toast but airier and with the bruschetta on top, de-lite-ful!(get it-lite?)

My exercise plan is taking a bit of a side step as my back is acting up as it usually does when I try to step it up! None the less, I am moving forward and will do whatever I can do to keep moving, back or no back. perseverance is definitely one of my attributes!

Keeping busy with the new job is a big help too as I don’t have cupboards with treats nearby, only what I packed! Also, while I am working, i am getting my water in, I have it sitting there so that I can sip it anytime!

so here’s to hunger pangs, I hope to experience them more often and am glad to know that I survived it! Silly old, I mean young, me!

 

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie

It’s that time of year already! Today we went apple picking with Melissa and her gang. the apple orchard is actually a two-minute car ride from our house. It’s the Dwarf  Tree Orchard, you can get their info at www.harvestontario.com . It’s great as even Blake who is not even two can reach the apples. Of course he just ate apples while we picked!

Heidi decided to come home with us and let Melissa,Dan and Blake go on their way. So, we took her for a walk in Warbler Woods which is always interesting as there’s all kinds of plants, birds,bugs and even the odd animal to spot! There are deer in these woods but I don’t think we’re quiet enough with Heidi to ever see one! In the winter, we spot lots of them but then again, it’s usually just Denis and I and we’re fairly quiet, unless a snake or something decides to appear.Then all Hell breaks loose!

By the time we made our way home, it was lunch time and Heidi put in an order of bagel toasted with melted cheese! Meme was more than happy to oblige. She,of course, had to have pickles on the side, she is a pickle lover this one! Add in some cantaloupe and a juice box and we’ll call that lunch! let’s not forget a side of fudge to go along with that. she found it in the freezer, it was a treat from Lise this summer, and I had frozen it to save for another day! I guess today was the day and I passed as I am trying to watch my waist. (It gets easier to watch everyday!)

So now Pepe has settled down to watch his famous Raiders and Heidi and I are about to go make some applesauce with all these apples we picked! This ought to be good, I will let you know how we make out. luckily I have one of those apple peelers that you stick the apple on and turn the handle, it goes fairly quickly! Heidi likes to eat the peels as they come off the apple, I figure it can’t be that bad for her! A little roughage never hurt anyone!

If this is what Fall looks like, then I am all for it!

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie