Category Archives: Mondays with Mom

Mondays with Mom


Mom isn’t going to let you down.  I may be a little late but I am here.

I had a very busy weekend with both girls in town for Stevie’s Bridal Shower.  It was a beautiful day outside and in.  If Stevie ever doubted that she was loved she should remember that day.  And yes, I do know Stevie.  She is my best friend.


This time you are really going to get Motherly advice.  I know, I tried not to be that way, but I can’t help it.  Today I’d like to talk about rolling with the punches.  Doesn’t it seem like life’s little mishaps seem to come in great big piles?  I am not perfect by any means and I would give a million bucks to be better at rolling with the punches.  But I have met people who are really good at it, and I have met people who are not.  Those who have mastered the art of “rolling” have a much better outlook on life and are continually content with what they have.

It easy to be bitter and its easy to argue with people who cross your path.  Of course you want to be heard, and of course you have important things to say.  But have you ever tried “rolling” with people?  When I started to learn that “rolling” was making my life  much easier, it was hard to do.  I had to actively remind myself that I need to keep my mouth shut.  Take a step back.  Get a good look.  Will the issue wait until I’ve had a chance to get a good night’s sleep?

What I found was that my ability to work with the issue was much clearer and I was more effective.  And other times, I have to tell myself to take it head on so that it is over with.  Its like a dinner plate.  You know when it is too full.  Sometimes you just have to get through.

Helen Keller said …”the only way to the other side is through.”  She knew what it was like to get through life with hardships and handicaps.   

Maybe it comes down to worry.  There is so little we can change by worrying about it.  And we can plan and anticipate all we want about what might happen but when it comes right down to it, our worry and planning did no good.

I know that this approach sounds all rose colored glasses, and perhaps it is.  But if you take a little extra time to figure out life’s mishaps when they come to you, you will find that they come much easier.


Mondays With Mom!


Hi All,

Mom is feeling a bit somber today.  After waiting for what seems like a lifetime for some spring weather we finally got some for the past two days.  Today was supposed to be nice most of the day but it was gloomy from the get go.  And it only got worse.  It rained like crazy.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and boy has it changed for me since the children were little.  We used to have so much fun making and decorating our eggs.  And then none of the kids would ever eat them.  They hated hard boiled eggs.


We did the traditional egg hunt first thing in the morning.  Stevie said to Taylor today that she always loved that egg hunt and how they could never find the last one which was always tucked away on top of the thermostat.  She said it happened every year.


There was always some marshmallow peeps, jelly beans (my favorite) and usually a small gift or two.  The bunny was as generous as he could be back in those lean times.  And of course, there was always those special Easter outfits and church.  We didn’t forget the real meaning of the holiday.

Flash forward to today…I mail the girls an iPhone wristlet and an iTunes gift card.  I purchased an online game for my son.  Saturday evening I sat and colored the eggs all by myself.  I don’t say that for pity, I would have been making hard boiled eggs for lunches in the week ahead anyway.  Everyone here eats them.


This Easter has not been without its blessings.  Stevie was here and that is always fun.  Fun rhymes with shopping, right?  My future son-in-law had a birthday on Easter, and by next year he will be my son-in-law.  Next weekend is the bridal shower and I am so excited for my dear daughter.

I hope all of you had a blessed day.  Even with all the rain, I know I did.


Mom xxxooo

Tuesday with Mom


Hello All,
Thank you for your understanding about Mondays With Mom being on Tuesday this week. I enjoyed a long weekend with my dear husband. Everyone should do that every now and then!

image (13)

This past week my son turned 18. Ask anyone and they will tell you that my son has been the love of my life, the baby, the only son. I have always had high hopes and dreams for all my children but with him, it was different. I dreamed of instilling a confidence and knowledge of the world around him. I envisioned a young man who was kind to women and proud to be his own true self. I can’t say that these things did not come true but what I can say is that he did it in his own way. He has all of these traits, just uniquely doing it HIS way and not how I envisioned him to be. I shouldn’t be so surprised since that is exactly what his two older sisters did too. I have learned that my hopes and dreams are insightful, and my children have not let me down, but they have all done it their own way.

We spent Saturday making a 3 1/2 hour trip to Punxsutawny Pennsylvania. Yes, the same town where Mr. Groundhog predicts the arrival of spring.


image (12)image (11)

It is also the location of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts where my son hopes to attend post high school graduation. I do not fear him living this far away, I do not fear he will cut his hand off ( Ok, yes I kind of do), I don’t even fear he won’t make new friends and love the life he envisions for himself. I fear he won’t make it into the school in the first place. He has never had a girl break his heart, he has the best girlfriend in the world and has been with her the last three years. I fear I won’t know how to help him with the heartbreak if it should happen. I wish he would have planned ahead a little better.

image (14)

Everyone needs to practice planning ahead. I have all my lunches made and ready to go at the beginning of each week.That way I know I am getting a nutritious meal and saving money at the same time. It takes effort. most weekends are spent meal planning, shopping and preparing food. This isn’t the first time you have heard me say this, is it?

image (15)

I think I know what you are thinking. What about living life on the fly, taking risks and throwing caution out the window? You are correct that we cannot always plan ahead. One of my dearest friends woke up one morning, kissed her husband good bye and an hour later the police were at her door telling her he had been killed in a horrible accident. At that very moment her only son was serving in Iraq. Later that year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the treatment would end up damaging her heart. If you asked her how she could have planned ahead for that she would tell you where to stick it.


Today she is one of the most generous and kind people I have ever met. And she does it without wanting an award or even to be mentioned. She would tell you that if tragedy strikes, the only thing you can do to plan ahead is to live the rest of your life to the best of your ability. Be kind to others. Volunteer.

This Mom wants her children to know this: Plan ahead. Be Kind. And know that your mother loves you more than anyone ever will.

Mom xxxooo

Mondays With Mom

What do most people think of when they think of Mom?
I’d like to think that my Mom was the role model for the person I was to become.  By watching and learning from her I could decide who I  wanted to be.  My Mom taught me many things but working in the kitchen was not one of them.  It has, however, come to be one of my favorite things.  Because I work full time and still have one child still in high school, (A senior…woohoo!…its almost over!) did anyone hear cheering?  Finding time to make healthy meals and maintain semblance in the main room where we gather can be a real challenge.
One of the best tips that has worked out for me is to purchase as many of the “staples” I will need for the upcoming week on Friday evening or Saturday morning.  This includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Then I spend Saturday night or Sunday afternoon preparing them so that I can use them to pack our lunches all week.  This has worked very well for us and allows us to not only save money by packing our lunches, we are enjoying healthy lunches at the same time.  Our main course is prepared each evening with enough enjoy at the next days lunch.
This weekend for example, we purchased apples, pears, a papaya, oranges, etc…We also got  brussel sprouts, cauliflower, salad makings, and a few extra things I needed for recipes I wanted to try.  One good way to prepare vegetables in a large quantity is to roast them.  Tonight we roasted the brussels and cauliflower.  We sprinkled them with some balsamic vinegar (or you can use any oil based salad dressing) and popped them in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes.  YUMMY.  Make sure your fork goes into the largest sprout easily to make sure everything else is done.  The cauliflower will actually be done before the sprouts but it can stay in with them.  They can be used as a side dish all week long!
This week I also tried a low calorie healthy casserole, and it came out Deeeelicious!

            Beef and Vegetable Cheese Casserole

             2 medium tomatos sliced

              2 medium zucchini sliced

                12 oz uncooked lean ground beef

                1 large onion finely chopped

                2 medium cloves garlic minced

                1 cup canned tomato sauce

                2 cup fat free cottage cheese

                1 large uncooked egg yolk

                ½ cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

                1TBSP parsley, oregano, or rosemary chopped( I combined all 3) 

                1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and spread tomato and zuchini  over sheet.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes only.  Saute beef in garlic and onion, stir in tomato sauce and simmer.  Spread beef mixture in 9×13 dish and top with veggies.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk cottage cheese, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, and herbs in a bowl.  Spoon over veggies and smoothe.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve immediately.  Cut into 6 pieces to equal weight watchers 5 points. 


Tomorrow night we will grill chicken breasts, enjoy them and have enough left to use for the remaining week.  Planning ahead can be such a time saver and allow you to eat healthy.  One last thing, clean your space while you go.  No one wants to enjoy a great meal only to have to get up and wash dishes and clean the kitchen.  Of course there will always be some of that left to do but if you keep ahead of it while you go, the task is far less daunting.

Mondays With Mom!


Here we are and its Monday again?

Today I’d like to talk about my Mother and then my daughter.  A little over a year ago, I lost both of my parents.  My Father had been very ill, so losing him felt a bit like he was finally released from the hell his body and mind had been put through.  But my Mother was a different story.  She had health issues but we never thought we would lose her only seven weeks to the day after we lost my father.   I’d like to say we were unprepared but really we had discussions on things she wanted when choosing those for my Father.  Extended family and friends had all just seen her at my Father’s funeral.  To tell the truth, these are only small blessings I have seen with the passing of time.  Not a day goes by I don’t think of my Mom and miss our relationship.


My Mother, (Grammy,  to Stevie the rest of the grandkids,) was this amazing woman who could master any skill she wanted to.  She had a brilliant mind and we looked to her for advice and help when we needed it.  I was always amazed at how when my children would be mad at me for one thing or another, they could call her and she could calm them – all while taking my side.  I remember one particularly difficult encounter she had with a pre-teen Stevie where she got right in her face and said….“you may be mad at her but she is still MY DAUGHTER and I won’t tolerate you talking to her that way” 

When my Mother was growing up, they had very little.  her own mother passed away when she was only 12 years old.  They had a fire in their home when she was a child and they lost almost everything.  Any trinkets or photos from my Mothers childhood were precious to her, as you can imagine.

One of the things my Mom was so proud of was what she called the “Wedding hanky”  it was this very old handkerchief that had been carried by all the brides in her family since about 1870.  She carried it, I carried it, my sister, my brother’s wife, and finally my niece.  For me, as I held it on that day I thought of all the generations past who walked with this beautiful “something old” and how they embarked on the institution of marriage with all the hopes and dreams young brides do.  My parents were married 51 years when they passed away, how amazing for only being 72 themselves. IMG_2944

We are still cleaning out my Mother’s house, hoping for it to sell soon and we can all move forward.  The one thing we have not found is this wedding hanky.  My niece, the last one to use it, said she had given it back to Grammy.  We found the little pouch my Mom always kept it in but we never found the hanky itself.  This weekend, over 500 days since she left us, my sister found the hanky.  It was buried inside a piece of furniture that she usually kept her knitting in.  OK it was just one of the sixty five places she kept yarn and knitting and crocheting supplies.  My sister was emptying it to take back to her home when she found it about half way down amongst the yarn.  IMG_2943

What a blessing.  It is just like my Mom to make us all wonder and wait to see if the hanky would ever reappear.  Generations to come will still be able to hear the story of this amazing woman.

On to Stevie…when Terry asked me for her hand in marriage, he made me promise not to tell anyone.  During my Mom’s last few hours I woke her and told her my secret.  Terry had bought a ring and he and Stevie were going to get married.  She could only grin, but I could see in her eyes the joy she was feeling.  She loved her first grandchild so very much.  About a month later, Stevie called to tell me she was engaged ( a story she will have to post one day) and after all the excitement and congrats, I finally was able to tell her.  She knew.  Grammy knew she was going to be married, and we all loved Terry.  At first Stevie didn’t understand but when I explained it to her she cried and cried.  Perhaps she can tell you the emotions that welled up, but that will be up to her.


 I think you, the readers are feeling it right now.  If you still have your Mom, call her right now and tell her how much she means to you and how much you love her.  You will never ever regret it.

Love, Mom xxxooo