Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who Are You???

Inquiring minds want to know!!!  I love how I can check to see how many people read my blog each day and what countries they are from.  I average between 20 - 25 views a day, have 11 "official followers," and am read in multiple countries, which was a HUGE shocker to me!  The countries that really surprised the heck out of me the most were the Ukraine and Russia!!!  I don't know anyone from either of those countries, so it really peaked my curiosity on how they and all the others have found me and my little 'ol blog :-)  Also makes me wonder if I'd have an even larger audience if I tweeted, as well.  I never quite understood Twitter, hashtags, and all that other stuff related to tweeting, but maybe I should look into it.  What do y'all think?

So, I'm going to ask for a little bit of audience participation with this post :-)  If you'd be so kind, can you leave me a comment on here (be it a public one or a private one or done anonymously) or send me a message on Facebook if you know me over there.  I'd love to hear about who all is reading this, where you're from, and how you heard about the blog.  I'm pretty sure at least 95% of you find my new posts via my Facebook updates, but I'm curious about ALL of you - so speak up!!!!  Inquiring minds want to know!!!  Well, at least my overly inquisitive and nosy mind does - LOL!!!

I just got a new, fancy-schmancy Droid this evening, so time for me to go play with it for a while before heading to bed.  I hope everyone's have a fantastic night/morning!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,

Kristyn W

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Saying AMEN" Sunday!!! - E

Yep, it's that time of the week, everyone!!!  Time for my weekly appreciation/thankfulness blog post :-)

E  - I’m saying AMEN for EGGS!!!! Yes, the incredible, edible egg :-)  I don't give a rat's behind which came first in the huge battle of who came first - the chicken or the egg.  And, besides, who said it had to be a dang chicken in this debate anyway?  It could have been a duck, or a goose, or an ostrich, or one of many other egg-laying creatures.  All I know is that I'm very appreciative of this oval-shaped, chameleon-like, wonder food!!  

Sausage omelette, bacon, and red peppers.  All ingredients other than peppers are from area farms!!!

Funny thing is, I was never a huge fan of eating eggs until this past month when while doing my 21-Day Sugar Detox.  Before, I'd eat them on occasion, but not a big deal.  I could take them or leave them.  However, this month my eyes have been opened up more to them.  They are ever so versatile and accepting of a multitude of flavors and textures.  Bend them to your will and desires!!!  You can eat them plain, you can eat them savory, or you can even eat them sweet.  Oh my goodness, that so makes me want a dish of my mom's homemade rice pudding right now.  Super duper uber comfort food right there for me!!!  It also happens to be my grandma's favorite dessert, too :-)

4 eggs used as an ingredient in a Paleo-friendly banana nut bread - DELISH!!!

Yes, I'm aware of the whole health hoopla about how eggs are bad for you/your cholesterol, blah blah blah...but I don't believe that hype.  I  fully believe, based on my nutritional readings/research, that eating healthy foods/healthy fats containing cholesterol is not bad for your body at all.  It's other factors in your diet that are the evil enemy to cholesterol and poor health. 

Eggs over medium w/red and yellow tomatoes...This plate looks ever so cheery w/all that happy yellow :-)

As you can see from my photos, I use a lot of eggs and am damn proud of it - LOL!!!  Plus, now that I only buy fresh eggs from my local farmers markets, I'm supporting my local farms, businesses, and community as well.  Even better in my book if you ask me!!!

Denver egg muffins - Ham, peppers, and onions.  An easy, quick, and HEALTHY breakfast on the go!!!

So, for those of you reading this entry and actually know me personally/see me regularly, if I start sprouting feathers or start clucking every once in a while, don't be alarmed...you'll know why :-)  LOL!!!

This would probably be EJ's reaction if I were to transform into a chicken - LOL!!!!  Oh, btw, he hates eggs - UGH!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Suck it up, Buttercup!!!

Yes, that title is directed straight at me.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!  Today I signed my son up for swim lessons given through our local school district.  He is definitely excited about it and kept wanting to go see the pool while we were there waiting.  At EJ's age, he doesn't realize that he's still got to wait another month or so before they begin and that the pool wasn't even at the location where registration was this morning.  But, yes, he's most certainly looking forward to his upcoming swimming lessons, of which it was agreed between me and his father, that his father would do his best to be the one to take him on the nights of the lessons.

EJ - Summer of 2010 - Such a ham!!!

You see, I kind of can't take EJ to his swimming lessons since at the age of 41 (knocking on 42's door in another 6 weeks or so - yikes!), I never learned how to swim.  Nope, not even a doggie paddle.  Sad and scarey, I know.  It's not that I have an extreme fear of water itself or anything, since I love being at the beach, the lake, poolside, wherever there is water.  It calms me and relaxes me like nothing else in the world.  I even enjoy going on bigger-sized boats.  So, it's not the actual water itself that I fear, but the EXTREME fear and feeling of claustrophobia, of being COMPLETELY SURROUNDED by water and the thought of being underwater and not being able to breathe.  And my claustrophia is not just limited to water, it goes to any tight, enclosed, and/or cramped area.  I have to have MRIs done of my brain for my MS.  Thank heaven I've always had VERY understanding MRI techs do my scans.  I'm so bad that I need to be drugged up on valium or something stronger, plus have someone in the MRI room with me holding my hand the entire time, all while trying to relax to the music of Andrea Bocelli via my headphones.  Even then, I'm still as tense as a whore at Sunday church service - LOL!!!  Yes, I do suffer from an extreme case of claustrophia and I know it.  It truly does suck to put it bluntly and has stopped me from doing certain things in my life.  So, anyway, back to my not swimming.  EJ's dad agreed to take him to the classes as I don't want to pass on my fear of swimming to him.  Even if I plaster the biggest smile on my face, EJ will see it in my body language and feel the scared energy flowing from every ounce of my being. 

About as far as I'll comfortably go now in the water.

Even before I was pregnant with EJ, I always said "God, if you bless me with a child, I swear I'll take swimming lessons.  I promise."  Well, the good Lord, did bless me with the most amazing son in the world; yet I still haven't lived up to my end of the bargain.  Now's the time to "put up or shut up" as the saying goes.  I've started looking into it a few times, and I know that the local YMCA does have adult swim classes for beginners, but now it's time to actually CALL them and find out more about signing up and what not.  I'd do anything in the world for my son and his well-being, health, and safety, so I HAVE to do this to be the best mom I can be for him.  If it means facing one of my BIGGEST fears in the world, so be it.  It's got to be done.  Heck, even typing this I'm shaking a bit and having some shallow breathing going on.  I'm that freaked out about it.  But, as this post states "Suck it up, Buttercup!!!"  And, yes, that's exactly what I'm going to have to do before summer starts.  Wish me luck everyone, as I'm going to need LOTS and LOTS of it!!!!  A few prayers and positive vibes wouldn't hurt any, either :-)  I'll take what I can get.  I'm not picky like that - LOL!!!!!

At least one other good thing will come from this experience.  Learning to swim will be something I can actually accomplish and cross off my Bucket List :-)  Gooooooooo me!!!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Friday, January 27, 2012

It's actually working....

When Vince and I separated, we 100% agreed on one important and crucial matter.  No matter our differences and our issues with each other, we'd always do what's best for our son.  Well, yesterday was a testament to how we can actually work together in an emergency-type situation regarding EJ. 

EJ'd been sounding sick the past few days, so I made an appointment for him to see the doctor yesterday afternoon.  Great, no problem.  However, when I went to get my car out of the garage, it was dead as a doornail.  Totally my fault, as I've lost track of time these past couple of weeks.  Hadn't realized that my car  had been sitting in the garage for almost a week during the snow and freezing weather; and gee, I never went out to start it the entire time.  DUH!!!  No wonder B.B. (that's what I call my car) didn't want to cooperate with me.  Luckily, it was the time Vince was coming home from work, so I was able to get ahold of him and ask him to swing by and take EJ to the doctor.  Like a good, cooperative, concerned parent he agreed.  When he came by, I asked if he minded if I tagged along, and he said no problem.  So, the three of us headed out to the doctor to have EJ looked at.  We had about an hour wait to see the doctor (At least that gave Vince time to go home and change out of his clunky corrections uniform and get back to the doctors' office.), but since we were already late to EJ's appointment by almost a half hour to begin with, I really couldn't witch about the long wait time.  Of course, dummy me forgets to bring along one of EJ's Leapsters or even my Kindle for entertainment.  However, EJ amused himself with the 10-month old girl in the waiting room, plus another brother/sister pair who came in a bit later.  He really was well behaved, and I was so proud of him :-)  So, anyway, after we left there, we went to CVS to drop off the script.  Well, Vince then offered to take me to Chester to the tractor supply place so I could get a jumper/charger box for my car, plus we were both hungry so we'd grab something quick to eat, which ended up being Wendy's.  Thank goodness they have salads there or I would have been hungry and screwed.  LOL.  But, Vince didn't have to offer to do drive us all the way over there at that hour of the evening.  We could have just waited for the script then he could have dropped EJ and I off, gone on his merry way, end of story; and I'd have to figure out how to get my car going again at that hour of the evening.  Probably a call to AAA would have been in that future.  Instead, he stepped up to the plate so that the car battery could get charged; and EJ and I could be on our way for his class at Kids Club House today.  For that I am quite appreciative. 

I've heard so many stories of separated/divorced spouses and all the fighting and nastiness that goes on.  However, Vince and I agreed early on not to do that with each other so as not to negatively affect EJ; and yesterday proved that we could work together for the good of our son.  It was nice to have that civility, cooperation, and focus shine through.

What's gonna work?  Teamwork!!

Well, I'm exhausted.  Think I'm coming down with something, and I've got dishes still to wash in my sink, then scoop the poop (cat litter box - biggest YUCK in the world...Anyone want 2 indoor cats...free to a good home!!!  I'm stuck with them due to our separation agreement.  It's just about the worst part of the whole separation and my biggest source of stress.), do my exerercises, and then to bed with my head.  Hoping it all goes smooth and quick now, as I'm already falling asleep while typing this.  So, if it's a bit incoherent, I hope you understand :-)

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Saying AMEN" Sunday!!! - D

Time for this week's "Saying Amen" item on what I'm most grateful for!!!  This, by far, has been my most favorite to write about and the one that has meant the most to me by a long shot!!!  My "D" AMEN is by far my heart and soul :-)

- I’m saying AMEN for DENICKS!!!!  Two Denicks in particular, George and Charlotte Denick.  Otherwise known as my grandparents and the most incredible and amazing human beings I know!!!  There is no way I can ever express how much they mean to me.  To me, they are the epitome of love.  This June will mark 71 years of marriage for them.  What a beautiful accomplishment and milestone and they are still so cute together and still deeply in love with each other :-)  Grandma turned 92 a couple weeks ago; and God willing, Grandpa turns 94 this coming March.  I have been blessed in so many ways in having them in my life for as long as I have.  OK, getting teary-eyed over here...That always happens when I think about them and reflect on all that they've taught me and all the love they have shown me.  They've never once judged me or tried to change me in any way, shape, or form.  They've let me be me and have accepted me and loved me through it all.

Their wedding photo!!!  June marks 71 years :-)
It is through my grandfather that I get my love of cooking.  He was a great teacher and full of so much food knowledge!  It's funny, for all the family gatherings and parties our family has had, whenever they've been at my place, he's never once come into my kitchen to try and take over any cooking or offer his usual "help" or "suggestions," which was his usual "habit" with all the other family members when he was more mobile and able to stand and cook.  I consider that one of the greatest compliments he could ever bestow on me :-)  Plus, he's sincerely complimented some of my dishes in the past, which is huge for me, too!!!

Probably around 1978 or so at my parents' former cabin.

Now grandma...that lady is a pip!!!  No one like her in this world!!!  She's the sweetest woman you will ever meet.  Not a bad word for anyone and has a prayer for everyone and anyone.  Also, no matter where she goes or what she does, even just hanging out around their place, she is always dressed up nicely with hair and makeup all done.  Plus, no matter when you go visit, her house is spotless.  She's still doing it all herself, even at 92 years old.  Said she'd never consider having a cleaning person come in or having someone do the laundry, nothing like that.  She also LOVES her beer and chocolate - LOL!!!!  Has chocolate every day plus a couple of lite beers at dinner, more if she's at a family gathering or party.  Make sure to have a 12-pack cold, ready, and waiting!!!  It must be working for her, though, because look at her age, plus she has hardly ever been sick with anything more than a cold (although she did have pneumonia a couple years ago, but at her age, that's not too surprising).  Oh, and the things that come out of her mouth when she's drinking...Lord have mercy!!!  She can make you blush!!!  I still remember one time years back the family was around the table one Sunday afternoon.  I don't remember what exactly we were talking about, but my cousin asked her "Is that all you ever think about?" and she starts pounding her fists on the dining room table going "Sex!  Sex! Sex!"  She's come out with many other doozies since that, but that one just sticks in my mind.  Hmmm..that must be where I get that part of my personality from ;-)

Probably late 1990s/early 2000s.

Well, this could turn into a huge, huge, huge post as there is so much I could write about them and their lives, but I'll keep it at this.  They absolutely mean the world to me.  I love you Grandma and Grandpa with every ounce of my being!!!

Christmas 2010

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


It's all about to end.....

Now, now, now..don't go getting your undies all in a wad here.  I'm not referring to ending this blog.  Are you serious...I've only just begun with this :-)  Granted, I've been MIA/pre-occupied the past few days/nights, so I haven't been able to blog.  But, I'm back tonight!!!  Hope you missed me lots and lots while I was gone ;-)

Look at all those colors in that salad!!!

Tomorrow is Day 21 of The 21-Day Sugar Detox program that I've been following since January 2nd.  To be perfectly honest, the first week was rough.  I had never craved chocolate and sugar so much in my life.  Now, I may see something that I would have been all over like white on rice before the detox, but now I look at it and think to myself how awful I felt while consuming those items in the past.  Granted, I'm sure I may accidentally slip up here and there or maybe even  intentionally eat something too sugary/glutenous/grainy (I'm definitely thinking birthday/party cupcakes for the sugar/gluten party), but I will just have to pay the consequences for my actions.  Believe me, that always has the potential to turn into one ugly sight - LOL!!! 
Kale chips - Crunchy, Salty, and HEALTHY!!!! 

I do have to pat myself on the back, here, though.  I'm EXTREMELY proud of myself for how well I've done.  I honestly had some serious doubts before I started.  However, I overcame those doubts, sucked it up, and took the chance.  It most certainly has paid dividends in regards to my health.  Although this was not a weight loss plan/journey, I was down 9 pounds this morning.  We'll see what the "official" number is tomorrow, though.  Which, in turn, means my clothes are fitting better and much more comfortably these days.  My Multiple Sclerosis is doing pretty well, too.  Heck, I was even jumping on a big, bouncy air mat for the first time in lord know how many years!!!  Granted, I'm still struggling with the MS fatigue issue that I've had for over 10 years, which is a pain-in-the-arse.  Also, there's still some mental "fogginess" going on, but that could also be related to the fatigue issue as well.  But, overall, I'm incredibly glad I did this.

Chicken and veggie soup made with homemade stock & side salad

After tomorrow, I'm "on my own," so to speak.  It's now up to me to decide what I still want to keep out of my daily diet or what I want to add back into it; and to what extent.  This will be a work in progress, no doubt.  The one biggie I want to accomplish, though, is to remain gluten free and preferably grain free.  To not have that constant bloated feeling is a joy.  Plus, to have my blood sugar levels working at a pretty even keel without the constant sugar/carb highs and lows is rather quite refreshing :-)

Farm-fresh eggs over hard cooked in coconut oil and organic, grass-fed butter with a side of grape tomatoes

So, I'm sure I'll blog about my food struggles along the way after tomorrow.  But, I can definitely check off one of the mini goals that I set out to do in the new year of 2012, which is to improve my overall health and well being.  This is just one step in a longer journey.  I have recently taken a few tiny steps on the next mini goal, but I'm still not quite comfortable blogging about it yet.  When I have more to share, don't you worry...I will - LOL!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In a Conundrum

I've been going back and forth with this new situation/inner turmoil that I'm being faced with and honestly don't know what to do about it. 

As many of you know, I'm doing The 21-Day Sugar Detox program by Balanced Bites, which will be ending on the 22nd of January.  I've been sugar and gluten/grain free since January 2nd.  An amazing accomplishment for me - the queen of sugar addiction - LOL.  For the past week, now that the initial negative detoxing effects have subsided, I've felt beyond amazing, as I posted about the other day, and my health and well-being have certainly improved.  I honestly am going to do my damndest to follow this plan, but with more Paleo foods added to it now that I've gotten through the toughest part - removing the sugar/gluten/grain from my system.  Now, although I'm sure it will be a bit of a struggle, especially in the beginning, I feel like I can face and get through most "outside" situations, such as dinners/meals with friends, playdates that my son goes to, and other social situations.  I may have an accidental slip here and there, but certainly not an intentional one.

Mini vanilla/vanilla cupcakes for a friend's baby shower.
My conundrum is that I'm known as "the dessert person," especially for my cupcakes.  How do I go around talking about a healthy lifestyle full of whole foods, gluten/grain free, and no sugar other than the occasional honey or maple syrup I'll use for sweetening certain items when I'm then baking/feeding others this crap?  Granted I can stick strictly to scratch recipes for some items, but others I can't.  I feel like I'm being a hypocrite, but everyone is free to make their own food choices so if they want the cupcakes or other dessert items, who am I to deny them what they'd like for their event?  Make sense?  Do I just sit back and watch them eat this stuff that isn't great for their health and bodies while I abstain and try to encourage my 3-year old son to abstain from it also?  Yes, I can provide gluten-free and/or Paleo-ish treats, but how would that go over?  Granted, if I'm getting a "special request" for my baking services, I'd do what the person specifically requested, but still.  Then, with having that temptation right there in front of me, at my fingertips, experiencing the scents of it while it wafts through the air as bakes, would I be able to fully abstain?

Halloween Whoopie Pies

Plus, for me, baking is my "calm place" and complete stress relief for me.  It just puts me in a zone that nothing else can (other than relaxing while sitting by the ocean, a lake, or any other body of water.  Must be the Pisces in me - LOL).  I feel like I'd be losing a part of me, almost like a body limb, if I gave it up.  Seriously.  There's just something incredibly comforting to me about squeezing a decorating bag full of freshly-made buttercream icing.  Nothing like it at all.

The ocean.  My other "inner calm" place.

So, this is my conundrum that I must resolve for myself on a very inner, emotional level.  It may sound crazy, but that's just me.  Wish me luck and peace of mind, please.  I could use it :-)

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Monday, January 16, 2012

An Unexpected Victory!!!

Let me start out by saying I feel AMAZING!!!  Secondly, this may turn out to be a bit of a lengthy post.  As some of you already know, on January 2nd, I started The 21-Day Sugar Detox program by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.  This is not something I’m doing to lose weight but to detox my body from all the processed sugar and carbs that I’d eaten over the holidays from Halloween to New Year’s Day.  I have a serious sugar addiction, not to mention a love of delicious crusty, bakery bread; so this really needed to be done because I was feeling like crap due to eating so much sugar and glutenous carbs while in celebration overload.  The first few days on the detox were incredibly hard while going through detox symptoms of headaches, extra fatigue (as in more than I usually get with my MS), mega crankiness/bitchiness, and over-the-top cravings.  I literally felt like a junkie trying to score my next hit, but my drug of choice was sugar.  To give you an idea, with this program I had to forego all forms of sugar (both processed and natural), gluten, all grains, and basically all fruit.  Do you have any idea how hard that was to do?  For the most part, I thought it would be impossible for me to succeed.  But nothing’s impossible if you really want it to work, which is what I’ve learned firsthand.
 Stepping on the scale yesterday, I’ve lost 7.8 pounds.  I knew there’d be some weight loss, but it’s not my primary goal here.  I’m trying to relearn how to eat properly; as in whole, natural foods; nothing processed; minimal natural sugar; no gluten or grains; no legumes; plenty of lean proteins and veggies, minimal fruit, along with healthy fats.  Low fat and no fat foods will kill you!  Did you ever sit down and read the ingredients list on one of those things?!?!!  The more I’ve learned about nutrition in the past 9 months, the more I think to myself “What the hell was I thinking???” when I tried dieting in the past and filling my body with all this processed, “fake” crap that passes for food in our society.  Talk about eye-opening!!!  Yes, I did lose weight and even hit Lifetime Membership status with Weight Watchers, of which I gained 18 pounds back over the course of 18 months; but I was filling my body full of toxins.  Our bodies were not created to consume all those chemicals and processed foods.  Think about it.  While doing Weight Watchers I never learned how to properly FUEL my body.  Yes, I could feed it, but it really needs to be fueled.  Think about it this way, some cars we can put regular unleaded gas in; but a higher-functioning engine needs the premium stuff to get the best performance out of it.  Our bodies are the same way.
 So, with doing this detox for the past 15 days, I have seen many significant changes and improvements in my physical and emotional well being.  Not only has losing the weight been great for my overall health and my clothes are fitting better, but my hair is shinier; I’ve greatly minimized the redness in the cheek area on my face; I sleep like a rock; I feel much, much happier; my "normal" mood swings are pretty much gone;  and I know this one will DEFINITELY be TMI for some of you, but oh well – suck it up and deal with it LOL – the hemroids that I’d get off and on before I got pregnant with EJ and that just went WAY OUT OF CONTROL from the moment I was in my second trimester with EJ, which then never went from that point forward to starting the detox process; well guess what…hemroids are GONE!!!!!!  Can I get an AMEN and HALLELUJAH  for that!!!!!  See, told you TMI, but we’re all adults here, I think you can deal with it and maybe that bit of info can even help out someone else reading this if they’re looking for a solution to their pain-in-the-butt problem. :-)

Biggest breakthrough and my unexpected victory came this morning, though.  It was the usual Monday morning where EJ and I go to his weekly tumble class.  Towards the end of each class the instructor sets up this huge air-filled bouncy mat that the kids and even the parents can jump on.  Well, with having MS and the neuropathy and mobility issues I deal with on a daily basis, my body from the hips down basically feels like it has lead weights attached to it.  There’s no jumping up and down going on here.  I haven’t been able to do that and get both my feet at once even a teensy-tinesy  bit airborne for many years now.  I physically could not do it no matter how much I tried; yet I’d still get on the bouncy air mat to play with EJ and help him improve his balancing and jumping skills while I just stood and/or gingerly walked on the mat.  Well, you guessed it…that’s right!!!  Today I was BOUNCING UP AND DOWN!!!!!  Both feet up and airborne together off the mat !!!  You have no idea how HUGE of an accomplishment that was for me or how emotional it was.  If I can do that after 15 days of being on this detox, I can’t imagine what I’ll be able to do after my 21 days are over and switch on over to a more Paleo-ish way of eating, which is quite similar to what I’m doing now with only a few tweaks here and there.  I am SO EXCITED to see what my future holds!!!!!!!
If you’ve made it this far through the post, thank you for your time and interest in my life’s new journey.  I truly appreciated it!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Saying AMEN" Sunday!!! - C

Time for this week's "Saying Amen" item on what I'm most grateful for!!!

C  - I’m saying AMEN to CUDDLES!!!! Now who doesn't LOVE cuddles...seriously?!?!!!  They can bring a smile to your face and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside; or they can comfort you in a time of sorrow.  Or, even better yet, they can be for no other reason than to let that special someone know that you love and cherish them.  Any way you look at it, nothing beats some serious cuddle time!!! 

If EJ and I don't have to get up early for his preschool classes, playdates, or any other appointments/visits we may have scheduled for the day, he'll come into my room for some early morning cuddle time.  No better way to start my morning these days!!!  Brings the biggest smile to my face and gives me the energy I need to start the day.  And, yes, I admit it, unless I have to get up to an alarm clock for some reason, my 3-year old is up before me 9 out of 10 mornings. Bad mommy - lol.  I'm definitely more of a night owl, that's for certain.  Always have been.  You could probably tell that about me already since my usual blog posts don't go up until almost midnight - LOL!!!  Plus, each night before bed EJ and I read books and then have a few minutes of cuddle time while we talk about the day and then it's lights out.  Despite all the craziness that may have gone on in the day, those cuddles are what brings me back to center within myself.  Can't ask for anything more at that moment in time :-)

Romantic cuddles are super amazing and infinitely special as well, and I'm very thankful for those that I have been blessed with in the past.  It's been many many years since I've had that kind of loving, romantic, snuggly cuddle time with anyone special to me in that way.  A long, slow deterioration of a marriage will do that to you and your life.  However, being the optimistic and positive person that I am, now that I'm open to accepting the possibility a new, romantic, loving man in my life, whoever that may end of being; I've no doubt that there will be plenty of cuddles in my future one day :-)  There better be or that person will definitely NOT be my type.  No cold fish for me - LOL!!!!!!!!!!

So, get off your computer and go cuddle with someone you love and cherish.  And if you don't have a special someone or a child, go cuddle your pet if you've got one of those.  They'll certainly appreciate it :-)  No matter who or what you cuddle, it's still one moment you'll never ever regret!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Friday, January 13, 2012

Reflection and a flicker...

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  Yeah, this will barely make it up in time for it to still be Friday, but it's been a busy day.  The little guy was with his dad the past two days, so I try and take advantage of the time when he's not under foot making a mess for every mess I clean up.  I'm sure there are many of you who can relate to that scenario.  LOL!!!  Hence, this will be a somewhat short post for me, with probably no photos...Boring, I know...Sorry!

Can't even begin to describe how much laundry I did and all the crap that got put away.  A productive day.  Plus, I just got the Osso Buco in the crock pot so it can cook low and slow overnight so EJ and I can have some AMAZING food for our Saturday :-)  I know you're jealous!!!

The reflection part of my day came with the fact that it was Friday the 13th and the 10 1/2 year mark from when I got my "official" diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Just spent part of my day thinking about all that's gone on in my life and what's happened in that time.  Both in life events and the actual physical and cognitive changes in me due to the MS.   There were definitely some strong emotions bubbling up inside me and spilling over in the form of tears.  All I'll say is I've certainly beaten the predictions some of my former neurologists have given me.  Back when I was around 35 my MS was in a bad way and the doctor I was seeing then predicted that there was a very strong possibility that I'd be in a wheelchair by the age of 40.  Well, I'll be 42 in March and I'm still walking along!!!  Granted with one of my many fashionable canes, but still hobbling along nicely :-)  Plus, despite the ups and downs, I try my best to keep an optimistic and positive attitude.  Really, what's the alternative?!?!!

I did some chatting online today with one of my Facebook friends and the conversation kind of sparked a part of the "old me" that had been missing for a long time.  It was nice to let my hair down and share that part of who I am.  At least I know that part of my personality is still in there - alive and well!!!

Alright, time to clean up the mess from preparing the osso buco, get changed, and go to bed.  Very long day but nice day today!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

From dreams to reality...

I'm always saying "I want to do this" or "I'd really love to go there some day" or "I should put that on my Bucket List."  Well, guess what, I've never actually written down an "official" Bucket List.  Have you?  Now is the time to start one if you haven't!!  I'm about to turn 42 in two months, and I need to get cracking on this list :-)  If I put them down on a list and am able to see them and re-read them as a reminder, maybe I can start figuring out how to make my wishes and dreams become reality.  Not sure I'd be able to do all of them due to financial constraints and maybe even constraints due to my disability, but I truly hope and believe that I'll get some of them taken care of.  So, in no particular order, here are ten of the crazy and not-so-crazy things I want to do in my lifetime:

1.  Ziplining!!!  Although I'm extremely afraid of heights, I want to know what it feels like to fly through the air :-)  For me, I think it's as close to feeling "free" as I can get on my own :-)

 2.  Tandem skydive - Now, this opportunity has presented itself to me a few times before by my former boss, Pia, who's been solo skydiving for years.  Heck, she even offered to pay for my jump and the video of it, which is a nice chunk of change.  A very generous offer indeed.  But, no, scaredy-cat me chickened out many times.  Not 100% sure of what's holding me back, but I need to overcome whatever it is.
3.  Visit the Netherlands - The Dutch are certainly not known for their food, way too blah and bland for me, so that's not the motivation behind this trip.  A lot of places I want to visit are because of its foods, but this isn't one of them.  The "coffee" shops and Red-Light District aren't the draw for me either.  This, Breskens in particular, is where my paternal grandfather was born and lived as a child before coming to the US with his family.  From my understanding, his family consisted of bakers.  No wonder where I get my love of baking from :-)  I honestly don't know what it is, but I feel such a longing and need to go there and see where he grew up.  Plus, as a bonus, I do love tulips so it'll have to be a spring time trip for sure :-)  I certainly want to visit the gardens of Keukenhof while I'm there, which is pictured above

4.  Vegas - 'Nuff said - LOL!!!  I do need to get over my fear of flying, though, before I can take any of these trips.  There's that damn fear holding me back again :-)

5.  Road trip across the United States - This would take a good amount of time to do, not to mention money and a travel companion; but I love road trips!!!  Although I've been up and down the eastern seaboard, the furthest west I've ever gone is Beavercreek, Ohio when my brother got married 20 or so years ago.  I want to explore this amazing country of ours!!!  So, so, soooo much to discover out there.

6.  Trip to the Napa Valley - Again, 'nuff said on that one.  I can certainly see myself relaxing with some amazing wine and enjoying the warmth of the California sun and a delicious meal; preferably with a sexy male companion, of course ;-)  Just no earthquakes, mud slides, or wild fires while I'm there, please!!!

7.  Take a vacation on my own - Not sure where, but I've never gone on a vacation all by myself.  I've traveled alone to a destination to then meet up with a friend, but I've never gone absolutely on my own to explore and do entirely what I want to do when I want to do it.  Maybe when my son is visiting his dad and having one of their week-long vacations, I should look into going somewhere.  It'd certainly help in getting my mind off of missing my little guy :-(

8.  Be taken on a super romantic date in a stretch limo.  Again, almost 42 years old and have never been in the back of a stretch limo before.  I feel like I'm missing out on something.  Oh, and I can't believe I'm about to divulge this little tidbit, but while on that amazing date where I'm getting spoiled as all heck by an awesome, generous, and loving man (not that I've got one of them in my life nowadays), I do want to  have sex in the back of that limo...Dessert, anyone?!?!  LOL!!!!!  Hey, it's called HONESTY, people!!!!

9.  In going with the limo theme, I'd also like to have a girls night out.  Rent a limo to drive us wherever and party like crazy in the back of that limo on the way to and from our destination(s)...All fun & no worries!!!!  Kind of like a bachelorette party, which I never got to have.  Oh, and like I said ladies - no worries...I don't expect to have sex in the back of the limo on that night - LOL!!!!!!!!

10.  OK, I'll end on this one - Own a pink convertible!!!  Yep, a definite Bucket List item for me :-)  Pink is one of my favorite colors, and I love riding in a convertible...Perfect combination for me!

Not sure if you've gained any insight into me, but it has helped ME to "rediscover" a small part of who I am that gets lost in the everyday here-and-now of being a single mom.  It goes back to that "label" issue I discussed in my first post on this blog.  These are the things I want for "me" because "I" want them, not because someone else wants me to do them or wants it for them.  They are significant to me for my own reasons, no one elses.  Does that make sense? 

So, what's on your Bucket List?!?!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An "almost" oh crap my pants moment....

Started my day by getting up early (A pre-prechool day for my son, and I'm soooo not a morning person.) and taking my very hot shower all before the little guy stirred.  Loving those few bits of quiet time I can get...Parents certainly understand that one!  I then go and start my usual routine of turning on my computer to get it ready to log in while I'm making my son's breakfast...Well, I come back into the dining room to sign on and I got "THE BLACK SCREEN."  Oh CRAP this is NOT good.  I have waaaaaaaay too many photos and music on here.  So, I quickly turned my laptop off.  You know, if I can't see it, then it can't be true, right? I waited a couple minutes, turned it back on, then got another disturbing "Black Screen" but this time it was taunting me with a message about how it cannot load up or some sort of mumbo-jumbo like that...BTW, I strongly dislike anything techie related.  Not working in an office environment anymore or having a computer guru at my beck and call, I try to avoid technology as best as I can.  So I hit some button like it asked me to, it did its thing and the incompetent computer reports that it couldn't find the problem, let alone fix it.  So, I do what any other panicked person in denial would do and turned it off yet again, all the while trying to put out as much positive energy and vibes as I could possibly muster up - all without any coffee or tea in me at this moment in time.  Not a pretty picture!  As the old saying goes, "Third time's the charm."  Being the persistent (some would say stubborn) and positive person that I am, I waited a few minutes and turned it back on.  Luckily I was able to get in as if nothing had happened.  Although I have a backup external drive which I happened to have run not too long ago, it's old (at least for technology's sake) and would have no freakin' clue how to use it to fix what went wrong anyway.  Luckily, last week I ordered a newfangled one from QVC (oh, don't EVEN get me started on that addiction - LOL!!!) that will not only backup my computer, but if I do get the dreaded "Black Screen" all I have to do is plug this baby in and it will not only detect the virus, but clean the stinking virus our, and then load everything back in.  Fool proof..Just what I need :-)  Hopefully I won't ever have to use those features, but one can never be too safe in this day and age :-)  Thankfully it was delivered on Saturday, but of course, as usual, I procrastinated and never ran it.  Oopsy!  Bet you all know what I'll be doing in a few minutes once this post is up - LOL.  I've even come up with a name for this new portable hard drive - "My C.C."  So, are you curious?  Do you want to know what it stands for?  Aww, come on, you know you do!!!  Well, you'll just have to leave me a comment on here or on my Facebook page letting me know you read this; and if I get at least 10 comments here or on my Facebook page, I'll spill the beans :-)  Buah ha ha!!!!

Isn't "My C.C." real nice lookin'?!?!!!  Feeding time in a few minutes :-)

Time for me to go now and feed My C.C. with lots and lots of important info, gorgeous photos, awesome music, and whatever the hell else is on my laptop!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Soup For My Soul :-)

One thing I "rediscovered" about myself is how much I enjoy making soup on cold, winter days :-)  Here's today's creation, although I did start the chicken stock part last night in the crock pot.  Love waking up to the smell of food already cooking in the morning!!!  As I'm not in a very chatty kind of mood tonight (just one of those "off" days, if you know what I mean), I'll leave the rest of my post to the photos.

The veggies for the stock.

The chicken carcass after I picked it pretty much clean & ripped it apart :-)

Water and seasonings now added.

Chicken stock after it's been cooking for 11 or so hours.  Gorgeous!!!

Sauteeing up freshly diced veggies for the soup.

Adding in the chicken I picked off the carcass last night.

Everything combined and seasoned to start cooking all together and melding its flavors together.

Stock now added and coming to boil then back down to a simmer.
Ahhh!!!  A delicious, comforting, and healthy bowl of homemade chicken soup!!!!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,


Sunday, January 8, 2012

"Saying AMEN" Sunday!!! - A & B

I was thinking last night (yeah, yeah, I can hear you all groaning now, a scary concept my thinking – LOL!!!),  and I thought it’d be kind of appropriate to have a weekly “people/things I’m grateful for” post on Sundays.  Plus, I even took my thinking a step further (doubly ambitious of me, no doubt!) and decided to go through the alphabet – each week a new letter.  Because if you think about it, there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in a year.  Oh, crap, there's 54 weeks in a year, isn't there...Dang, almost worked...Oh, that's right, I get 2 weeks vacation, don't I?!?!!  Anyways, I can go through the alphabet once to the half-way mark of 2012 and then start all the way back at the top again, not repeating anything I’d already said I was thankful for.   Now that’s a lot to be grateful for!!!   Sure, some of the posts will be all nicey-nice/touchy-feely , but others are just straight out things I’m uber thankful for.  Since it’s already the second Sunday of January, I figured I’d start out by posting for both the letters A and B….Here goes :-)

A - I’m saying AMEN to ANIMALS!!!!  No way in hell I could ever possibly be a vegetarian – LOL!!!!  I love my animals,  how good they taste, and all that they produce for us to live healthy lives.  I LOVE me some cow and pig, that’s for sure!!!!  I just realized all the exclamation points I’ve used so far...Can you tell I’m excited about this one?!?!!!  So, thank you to the animals who have sacrificed their lives so that I can eat some yummylicious meals and also for the meat they provide and the other products they produce, such as milk and eggs :-)  Oh, and just so you all know, I’d say about 90% of what I now buy in regards to protein-related products is grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild caught, free range, and/or cage free.  If you haven’t done a comparison in the taste differences, you definitely should…AMAZING!!!  As a side note, go watch the movie FOOD, INC. and you’ll REALLY, REALLY understand where I’m coming from on some of this.
Farm-fresh chicken eggs, whole milk from grass-grazed cows, and Taylor Ham from the pigs!!!  Today's breakfast!!!

B – I’m saying AMEN to BACON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   For anyone who really knows me, this one is most certainly NOT a surprise by ANY stretch of the imagination - LOL!!!  As I stated above, I love the pig; but bacon, by far, is the ULTIMATE in taste pleasure.  There is absolutely no more I could possibly say in regards to this wonderful bit of bliss to do it any more justice.  I LOVE YOU BACON!!!!!!!!!!  Bacon, you're not just a piece of salty meat...you're my...you're my friend :-)  [And kudos to those who get that last reference - You rock!!!]

And on that note, we’ll see what next Sunday brings for the letter C.  Enjoy your week and remember to wake up in gratitude each day :-)  Life should be about all we already have and are thankful for, not about what we wish we had!

Wishing you peace, love, and happiness,

Kristyn W