Comfort Food

Bread PuddingFebruary is a hard month for me. Five years ago, I spent eight months taking care of my mother as she died. She spent thirty days in ICU and the step down unit. I didn’t realize she was dying. I figured it out on the twelfth, took her home on Valentine’s Day, and she passed early in the morning of the sixteenth.

Normally, if I have Peps* and chocolate, I am good. This time of year, Peps* and chocolate are not enough. Today I made my mother’s bread pudding. It was what I needed.

I would love to share the recipe with you, but this pudding never had a recipe. I do not think it was ever made the same way twice. My mother would make it for breakfast on shopping days. What was in it depended on what was in the house before she went shopping. She started with eggs. She used all the eggs, up to six, she had left. They were beaten with a whisk. Up to a half cup of butter, softened,was beaten in, She added up to a three quarters of a cup of white or brown sugar. Some days it was a combination of brown and white, and often less than half a cup. She used up to three cups of raw milk, cow and/or goat milk. I have no place to get raw milk, so I replace a half cup of the milk with heavy cream. Cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract were added. Sometimes, she would throw in raisins or currants. Whatever bread was left was ripped into small pieces and placed in a butter casserole dish. The egg mixture was poured over the bread pieces and a fork used to make sure all of the bread absorbed the liquid.

My mother put it into a 350 degree oven and baked it until it was done, forty-five to sixty minutes. She served it with milk, cinnamon sugar, jam, or syrup depending on what she had left. Once in a great while, she would make a bit of whip cream.

I am sitting watching the snow, eating a bowl of bread pudding. My kitchen smells like my mother’s kitchen did and, for this moment, I have peace.



Our Rainy Snow Day

We had our first snow day of the year today. It was more rain than snow so we needed inside activities. We broke out the craft kits and everybody was involved in their own way. MK and Mali were process oriented in making their dinosaur. GB was result based, wanting flowers for her “new” just her room. Hope spent a lot of time picking out her starting color (blue) and not much time painting. I was the designated photographer.

Hope has not raged today. There are still problems with sneakiness and manipulation, but it is noticeably better then it has been. Both girls are enjoying having their own room. I hope the door alarm shows up today!


Easter Pictures in Michigan

 Easter in Michigan is different than Easter in New York, North Carolina, or Myrtle Beach. My grandkids had a snow day today, so after J was done  plowing his customers, he took the little ones outside sledding. The kids and GB’s dog, Ellie, had a blast. When they came in, J made hot chocolate, and my 10 year old granddaughter made everybody lunch. The afternoon consisted of the littles getting their nails painted (including X) and watching HD movies.

One Minute…

I have been holding it together, one minute at a time, for 464 minutes. I have given up on actually doing anything today. Hope is in my bed, quiet for the moment. GB is sitting on a floor pillow next to me. They are watching PBS. Snow today, school tomorrow. It is today’s lifeline.

The Ice Day Cometh

Just like expected, I woke up to the musical sound of ice hitting our roof and windows. They announced  schools were closed before 5 am. I did get my dishwasher yesterday- my appliance guy, Rich, is local and had 4 wheel drive. Not as lucky with the plumber guy; He is not local so everyone is still using the master bath, my sinks are still leaking, and the garbage disposal being on the fritz is slowing down our evening routine- everybody getting in everybody’s way.

Today, I will would like to finish up testing Hope. I need to line up my ducks, and I never write anything useful on snow/ice days.

We have taken advantage of all our inside time together to pull everything of the girls shelves and bins. So far, we have filled two large trash bags with junk and garbage. Mind you we already did this before AND after Christmas. GB has always been a hoarder- everything is a treasure, especially little bits of paper. Hope is a little trickier. I don’t know if she is hoarding because with her first adoptive family she had nothing to hoard or because she still thinks and does everything GB does. Both are true. They need lots of practice on placing relative value on their possessions.

Therapy for the girls was canceled last evening because of weather. So the Therapist was moved to next weeks list.

A School Day!

The girls had school today! Of course, there is a winter storm warning in effect for tonight and tomorrow, but I refuse to think about it. Our school district’s schedule allows for 7 snow days for the year. Tomorrow will be snow day number 5. There is still over a week of January left…

Hopefully, School Tomorrow

GB on the Bars

Today is the FIFTH day of no school. Friday was a snow day, followed by a three day weekend, followed by today, yet another snow day.

It hasn’t been all bad. On Saturday, GB enjoyed  swimming, last night was her gymnastic performance. She thought her outfit was perfect and I smiled and said I thought so too. She was not dressed like the rest of the girls, but fortunately, she didn’t notice and none of the girls chose to tease her yesterday. They were busy enough worrying about how they looked. GB enjoyed performing and even out in La-La land, she held her own.

We usually go out to eat with friends after these performances, but GB was borderline and Hope was definitely on overload. We chose to go home.

This morning they announced school was closed before 5 AM. Today has been a difficult day. My patience is minimal and so is the girls self control. As a result, they have spent much of the day, sitting on either side of me, unhappily engaged in quiet activities. Hope has done some screaming, so has spent some of her day in time out. I told them if they didn’t stop bouncing, I would know they were overstimulated and would put up the kitchen stuff and the dress up box so that it would be easier for them to hold it together. They are now trying to clean up the playroom, without screaming or touching each other. Since Hope still needs to be in line of sight, I am on the floor, blogging and making sure nothing inappropriate is happening. If tomorrow is another snow day ( which, since it is currently drizzling and the temperature is falling, is a real possibility), someone or something won’t survive.

I spent today telling myself that I could survive do anything for one day. I am not sure that will be true tomorrow.

Hope joins in at the end.