My Sweet Marie

Archive for January 2012

Ambivalence…do you ever have words just come in your head? This one has been plaguing me for three weeks! The thing is, I know why! I am feeling very ambivalent about our upcoming trip! I am very excited to be getting away from winter for a short time and get some sun, heat and to rejuvenate! I also am very sad about leaving my daughter in the hospital, hence the ambivalent feelings!

Logically, I know she is a grown woman who has a husband that takes very good care of her and that she is in the best medical facility in Ontario for her predicament!   Holly is well-being cared for by her other grand-parents who adore her and she adores right back! So what’s the issue then?

The issue is that your maternal instincts, or at least mine, don’t shut off the minute your daughter turns 18! I still feel the need to feed her, to care for her and to make sure she is happy! I also know that there are times that you just want your Mom and I hope that won’t happen while I am away!

She is 25 but she still is my daughter and her sister is 31 but still they need me and believe me, I need them! I heard a woman recently say that she couldn’t wait for her daughter to be 18 so she could relax on the parenting…huh is all I thought to myself!

You never stop worrying, perhaps the worries change or the issues are different but still they need you. We may not be telling them what time to get to bed but they may ask parenting advice or did ever…? I’m getting off topic some here so I’ll back up!

So to put my ambivalent feelings to rest, I have promised to call often from Mexico, actually I told her everyday and she told me not to! I have also arranged for a few treats to be delivered to her while I am away, hence the feeding issue! I don’t want her to be lonely so I am hoping the local family will step up and visit her a bit more to keep her company as well!

Melanie is now 34 weeks and could have this baby anytime or she could go the distance and deliver at 37 weeks as the doctors hope. If she does go the distance then we’d be home, if not, then we’d be away for the baby’s delivery. I’ll let baby decide if he/she wants us around for the delivery!

I think I have everything covered so maybe I can go back to feeling excited about this trip again?

Cheers folks!

Sweet Marie




I think I will bake this recipe up and bring it in to Melanie in hospital! This will brighten her day. It’s not Cinnabon but at least it’ll smell like it! It’s sweet and cinnamom-y! Hope you like it too!


  • 2 cups G.F. flour
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  •  2 tsp guar or xantham gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg


  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl
  2. Beat together the sour milk, vegetable oil and egg
  3. Add  to dry ingredients
  4. For the topping, combine the cinnamon and sugar
  5. Layer 1/2 of the batter in prepared loaf tin, then 1/2 topping, then balance of batter, then balance of topping
  6. Swirl knife through batter
  7. Bake at 350*F for 35 minutes
  8. Cool, wrap in plastic wrap
  9. Keeps well in refrigerator
  10. Variation: Add apple, nuts.

This recipe comes from a very good friend of mine. Anita always bakes up something yummy so when she told me about these, I had to pass the recipe on! Enjoy!


  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  •  2 cups ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8″ square pan with parchment letting it hang over the sides of the pan

Whisk sugar with almonds, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites and vanilla. Batter will be thick. Scrape into prepared pan. Smooth top.

Bake in centre of over until top of brownie is shiny and crispy and a cake tester inserted in centre comes out almost clean, 40 to 45 min. Run a knife around sides of the pan. Use parchment to lift brownie out and let cool completely on a rack.

If you’ve been hiding under a rock you may not know that my daughter Melanie has been in hospital for 17 days now! She’s 33 weeks pregnant and her water broke at 31 weeks. She has done a remarkable job of keeping baby in and plans to do so for another couple of weeks. The doctors will let her go till week 37 which is three weeks away, for the baby that would be best! Her little one Holly stayed with us this past week and has taught us a few important life lessons. Here they are:

  1. Start your day with a nice healthy soak in the tub. Holly starts each morning with a bath, bubble if she’s feeling up to it and while she plays with the rubber duckies she sips her greens! That’s right, Princess Holly starts the day with a cuppa greens!
  2. Enjoy a little laughter in your morning. Holly likes to watch a bit of Curious George while eating her G.F. toast with peanut butter! She laughs at all the right times and gasps when he misbehaves and looks to see if I’ve noticed his naughtiness, how does she know to do this?
  3. Pay attention when talking to your mother on the phone. Melanie phones Holly every morning to wish her good-morning and like the Christmas tree on Xmas morning, Holly lights up the moment she hears Mommy’s voice. She listens with rapt attention to every word then when she’s done hands me the phone!
  4. Terms of endearment are always welcome! I didn’t realize how much I use terms of endearment until Holly walked in on her mother in the washroom and said “Good job sweetheart! I am so proud of you!” I guess she is listening!
  5. Don’t waste a second of precious time. Holly only gets a couple of hours a day with her Mommy and she uses every second to be near her, sing with her or read with her. Don’t waste your time, be with the ones you love.
  6. Stand your ground! Holly holds her ground, no matter what she wants! She will stand there with her arms crossed and look you in the eye as if to say, go ahead make my day! To get Holly to leave her Mommy, she must leave in style. She gets wheeled out in a wheel chair and that’s all there is to it! Hold your ground people, demand for what you want in life! Settle for nothing less.
  7. Eat what you love! Holly really doesn’t eat a lot but when she likes something, she can eat like a man! she’s as healthy as any child but when it comes to pasta, load her up! So be healthy but once in a while, splurge and eat what you love!
  8. End your day with hugs, love and sweet good-nights! Melanie calls every night to say good-night to Holly and wish her a good sleep. Every night Holly tells her she loves her and to stay healthy. It is very sweet and we should all learn to say good-night the way a child does.

Today Holly will go home to be with Dad, Jim, who’s been away all week. I expect he’ll get a huge welcoming hug from Holly as she’s been asking for him. They’ll have a great time and make the most of their short weekend. Soon, life will be back to normal, they’ll have a new baby and they’ll create a new normal for their family. Life is a never-ending of shift in our normal, isn’t it?

Warmest Greetings to you all!

Sweet Marie

No news is good news when it comes to Melanie these days. Nothing much to report about her condition other than she is comfortable and resting nicely! She had yet another ultra-sound and all is well with baby, he/she is content in the nice warm tummy and plans on staying for a while apparently!

Melanie is getting tired of the hospital food though! On Friday Denis brought her in a baked potato and chilli from Wendy’s and that went over really well! She’s on the gluten-free meal plan and the variety is not so special! She hinted today that Swiss Chalet’s chicken is gluten-free and that she’d really go for that if we’re in the neighborhood of a Swiss Chalet on our next visit! Hint,hint! I can take a hint!

Holly is doing well, getting used to the program and working it for every cookie she can get! That kid is no dumb toot! She won’t leave the hospital unless you put her in a wheel chair and wheel her out now…. ok we can do this…what a kid! Anything for a free ride! Won’t be long and she’ll be wanting to ride a motorcycle!

Jim is trying to keep up with the madness, working out-of-town all week, and splitting his weekend time between Mel and Holly! Somewhere in there he has to do his laundry and plan his meals and packing for the next week! I’m thinking he has a good idea what the hamsters life is like! I get the feeling he might be missing his wife right about now!

I still haven’t been to the hospital since last Friday because of my cold but am hoping I’ll be good to go tomorrow! I miss my Mel! We’ll see…maybe we’ll take the scenic route and drive thru Swiss chalet!

All I know for sure today is…no news is good news!

Warmest greetings,

Sweet Marie


The trick with this recipe is to not roll them too thin or simply drop them, might be easier! Also, you cannot work the dough too much…it gets tough! otherwise fairly straight foward!


  • 2 c. rice flour
  • 1/2c. tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ c. virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4c. soy or hemp milk


  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Add the fat, mix with fingers till crumbly.
  3. Slowly add milk; gently knead the dough with hands until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Roll out ½” thick and cut with a circle cutter/cup or knife.
  5. May be dropped by spoon as well as drop biscuits.
  6. Bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Great with butter, jam or coconut butter!

It’s countdown time for this year’s winter holiday! It is bittersweet for us this time as we are in limbo with Melanie in hospital and no baby yet! We could technically have a new grand-child before we leave but we know it’s best for the baby to just stay where it’s at for as long as possible! I think Feb.11th would be a good day for that baby to be born, don’t you? What a 50th birthday gift that would be! Hope I am at the condo when the call comes in!

We will head once again to Playa Del Carmen and stay in the fabulous condo that we rented last time! I cannot wait! We are condo type travellers. We like that you can have a place of your own, shop locally for groceries and sundries and just enjoy the Mexican people. We wander and roam all about and some days we name beach days where we’ll pack a small snack and head to the beach! I hope we have lots of those this time!

The other great thing about this type of travel as you really get to see the real Mexican life! We will be living right across the street from this school and it’s awesome to hear the kids singing their alphabets or older kids playing tag in the playground, really we love this as we wake in the morning and sip our coffee or tea!

We will do a little of touring, we plan to go to a few places and see some more pyramids and there’s a town called Valladolid that we plan to spend a day or two as well! Fun times. I’ll try to blog while there and give you more details!

For anyone worried about criminals creeping my blog, we have someone staying here during our vacation AND we have an alarm! Not to worry, we’re like the boy scouts, prepared!

To view the condo we’ve rented, go to and look for unit#340841 . You’ll see why we are going back! If you can find an opening, I suggest you book it! It’s plenty big enough for 2 couples!

Sweet travels,

Sweet Marie