I wasn’t raised this way….

I miss me....

I wasn’t raised this way.  In fact, I was raised to doubt myself.  I was raised to believe that I wasn’t smart enough, good enough, loving enough, pretty enough, frugal enough, ambitious enough or talented enough.  At the hands of 2 abusive parents, one of them DEADLY when dealing out physical abuse and the other (the worst IMO) DEADLY when dealing out her emotional abuse (with a whole lot of physical abuse thrown in from her too), I managed to survive.  To kill a child’s spirit is the worst sin of all.  She tried, she couldn’t do it.  I grew up with an amazing ability to disassociate from my surroundings and I always had HOPE that one day I would leave that place and do amazing things!  I always just KNEW that God had a reason for me to be born, and to live.  I knew I had a job to do in this world and I had dreams.  I knew that if I could just stay alive, I’d see these dreams come true one day.

Survival became my only job.  I put all my time and energy into learning how to survive and teaching my brothers how to survive.  Sadly, I didn’t do my job well enough.  One of my brothers died at the age of 18, just 2 days before his high school graduation.  I was the oldest and I felt like more of a mother to him than I did his sister.  SOMEONE needed to be his mother!  I called him my “twin”.  He wasn’t though, not really.  I was born on April 10, 1966 at the 3 o’clock hour and my precious brother was born on April 10, 1967 at the 3 o’clock hour.  Weird huh?  It was like he forgot to be born on the same year.  We shared a baby bed.  We shared our life.  We communicated without words.  When he died on Memorial Day, 1985, half of my soul died with him and I’ve never been the same.  It’s not like I didn’t WANT to live.  I did.  I just didn’t know HOW to live without him.  I didn’t know how to BREATHE without him.  He was my other half and we were each other’s protectors.  I’ve become numb to the grief of his passing, for the most part.

Which brings me to present time…I’ve been reading a lot about a particular woman, Lesley, lately.  She’s making her dreams come true and she’s doing it the hard way.  She wasn’t born into money.  In fact, she doesn’t have a lot of money now but she won’t take no for an answer and she ALWAYS finds a way to get what she wants.  I WAS Lesley. What I mean is everything she writes about doing or wanting to do is something I’ve always felt I would do one day.  It’s kind of like God meant for me to find her blog.  I think he wanted me to remember the reason I was born.  All the adventures I’d go on one day and all the lives I knew I would touch.   I lost sight of my dreams in the midst of just trying to survive.

I’m determined, more than ever now to get that little girl back.  It’s time.  There’s a life out there waiting to be lived and it would be just as much of a sin to NOT live the life God had planned for me as it was a sin for my parents to try and destroy me.

If anyone’s reading, if you get nothing else out of this, please take away with you the power you have in your hands.  If any of you are parents, tell your children that they can do great things.  Try not to criticize and belittle.  It can destroy their spirit.  Build them up… don’t break them, sometimes they can’t be put back together.  You have the power to lead by example.  You, go out and pursue YOUR dreams… the rest will follow.

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Salty Caramel and Pecan and Oatmeal Cookies (OR, When you come to my door, bring cookies!)

I had a nice little surprise visit from my mother a few minutes ago.  Truthfully, her visits can be a little stressful for me due to her constant judgement of whatever it is that I’m doing at the moment BUT NOT this time!  THIS time, she brought cookies!  VERY tasty cookies.  Mom got the recipe from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salty-caramel-and-pecan-oatmeal-cookies/ but made a few of her own adjustments.  These are too good not to share so without further ado, I bring you my mother’s oatmeal cookies!  Probably the best oatmeal cookies I’ve ever tasted and I’ve tasted PLENTY.

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies 

 

ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 11 – ounce package caramel baking bits
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsley chopped (she used chopped almonds cause that’s what she had on hand)
  • Coarse sea salt (She completely omitted the sea salt because she thought it would be too salty – I personally think it would be better with it but clearly, they were still delicious without!)

directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, the baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. Stir in oats, caramel baking bits and pecans.
  2. Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 1 1/2-inch mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  3. Bake in a 350 oven for 11 to 12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. (Centers will look undercooked.) Cool on cookie sheets for 3 to 4 minutes or until cookies can be easily removed. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

nutrition facts

(Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies)

Mark as Free Exchange () 0, Potassium (mg) 49, sodium (mg) 421, carb. (g) 21, iron (mg) 1, pro. (g) 2, cal. (kcal) 145, vit. A (IU) 146, Thiamin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 0, sugar (g) 14, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Folate (µg) 12, fiber (g) 1, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, calcium (mg) 20, Monosaturated fat (g) 2, sat. fat (g) 3, chol. (mg) 18, Fat, total (g)

Now here’s a little tip from me…  ALL cookies stay soft and chewy when stored with a slice of bread in the container!  For real.  You should try it!  The bread soaks up the moisture that would otherwise make the cookies hard!
Enjoy!

So this is blogging?

Hello world!  Can you hear me?

One of my new years resolutions is to make a real live blog.  After all, I have SO much to say and it would be remiss if the world didn’t have an opportunity to know my every waking thought!  My other two resolutions were to resume taking piano lessons (check) and start taking photography lessons (another check).  If I can figure out how to BLOG, life will be good for me!  I’ll feel complete:-)

BTW….  Just in case my adoring audience is interested, here’s a picture of my smiling face (the cute kid happens to be my first born granddaughter… yes, I’m EXTREMELY proud:-)Image