Wednesday, March 27, 2013

my girl carrie

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day...when it's cold outside I got the month of May...I guess you'd say, what can make me feel this way?  My girl"  Carrie Coodles as Wayne-O refers to her has been my ray of sunshine for 30 years.  I thank God the day my brother John married her so she could be part of our lives.  Together we have endured so many obstacles, disappointments and life struggles, yet because of our unique bond, we have overcome so much because of our connection.  I don't know how to define it, for she is so much more than a friend or sister, so she is my girl, my go-to buddy.
I look forward to our Wednesday morning catch up chats.  We just shoot the breeze about our everyday events and lately we have been reflecting on our childhoods and such.  I learned  many things about her early days that she never shared before, which keeps me in awe of her.  She never ceases to amaze me with her strength and optimism.  We are on a journey together and share so much in common. 
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break." ~ Chinese Proverb
We both had three kids and our firstborn entered our lives the same year.  Mike and Melissa bought their first homes at the same time and we shared the nerves and excitement with that experience.  Our boys got married the same year and once again we shared that joy.  With two of our three children on their own, we find ourselves enjoying our baby boys and appreciating our last fling as parents before they leave our nests.  We lost our moms the same year and both still have our dads.  We both grew up with a houseful of estrogen and love to dance. Once that beat gets going, there is no stopping us.  We share the philosophy that life is too short to live it with regret or hold a grudge and while we have learned some pretty hard lessons along the way, we realize letting go is sometimes the most healthy road for our souls.  That is a very tough call to make, and we support each other if we get to wavering about it.  Letting our kids make their own mistakes is another doozy of a call that warrants support from each other and we have had a thousand conversations about it.   We shared the Equinox adventure and added that to our profile together.  We know how to boost each other up and have never argued.  Even when we disagree, we hold such high respect for each other that we move forward on our paths and always share a happy story to make us chuckle.  No matter what befalls us, Carrie has always been there for me and I hold a ton of comfort knowing she has my back ~  I will always have hers.  I wholeheartedly believe it's basically all about taking turns listening and  being able to let loose of our feelings, concerns, vent once and again without worrying about any repercussions or misunderstanding.  She gets and accepts me and it is reciprocated.  We get the benefit of the doubt.  That is a beautiful thing.
Carrie and John raised  Melissa, Jason and Robert at a tender age and their family values are to be admired for they have grown so beautifully and continue the Mielzynski lineage as they have Vanessa and Joe with them. They know the secret to life is in compassion and their hearts are growing as big as their mom's.  You can see the pride in her eyes as she shares their accomplishments.  John is devoted to her.  She recently turned me on to Duck Dynasty hence we giggle about their escapades yet find the cohesiveness of their lives refreshing especially the ending sit down dinners with the clan.  It reminds us of our Thanksgiving dinners that we shared the last six years.  No matter how busy our personal family life gets, we always have that day to reconnect as one unit.
Her birthday is on Easter this year.  I heard a story about how a white tulip symbolized forgiveness and there is no one on this earth that knows how to forgive than Carrie.  Like the old adage, "be like a duck and let it roll off your back", she constantly inspires me to practice her profound wisdom. She may be much younger than me, but I tell you, Carrie really knows about life from living it. Her resources have helped me in numerous situations to assist others such as the senior exemptions for Uncle Steve and tax and insurance stuff for Dad and my sons.  She can easily start up her own business and now that she is taking time away from all the turmoil in the city and enjoying a more relaxing way of life, perhaps that is just what she will do.  All I know is that I am grateful to have her in my life. 
 happy happy happy birthday Carrie xo 
quack quack 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"where nana?"

As Dillan turns 21 months we are amazed at how he is mastering his language skills.  We saw it coming, but now that he clearly understands the world around him, it gets more exciting than ever.  He lets us know what he wants and does not want, which makes things easier around here.  He refers to bunnies as Doo Bee Doo because of a cute little song we found.  Even the box of Trix cereal is doo bee doo.  LOL.  He eats by himself and often likes to feed me, too.  We discovered this adorable site called Shawn the Train that is great at teaching all sorts of things such as colors, shapes, sounds and Baby Einstein is wonderful for teaching music and numbers.  Anything with music is a winner.  When Papi comes home from work they always look out for the moonie. 
Busy busy busy.  We play all day during our Dillan Days and he can build high towers of blocks with ease.  He mimics every sound he can especially cars, airplanes, firetrucks, birds, doggies and we have a little game going with snakes and lions.  He loves to get me to react to all sorts of stuff, and it works.  He shoots out belly laughs when he does.  Peek a boo is still the favorite.  He is beginning to draw and make googles all over paper and is ever so gentle with the Ponti and Thumper.  He pulls out the broom and has me sweep the floor with him.  When I pull out the windex, he is thrilled to perform the task of cleaning windows.  His all time favorite is watching himself in the videos I make of him.  Next week I will pull out videos of his daddy when he was a wee one. 
We are waiting for warm weather so we can resume our daily walks.  Meantime, he listens for the airplanes and birds and geese and mimics their sounds constantly. The cutest story is recently one Saturday morning he woke up and went up to his daddy saying Nana, so Mike asked if he wants a banana and he shook his head no, grabbed his coat and went to the door.  Mama asked him in Lithuanian if he wants to go by Nana and he said yes.  My heart was beaming for a week!  Now he asks where's Papi, Daddy, Mama.  He says Uncle T at cool (school) and calls a cookie ~ keekoo. 
Soon he will have his first haircut and we will miss the little curly Q.  He still plays with puzzles but his latest joy is playing with the plethora of cars and trains.  Mike taught him all the sounds and he makes them as he plays.  There are so many little moments when toddlers come into their own and the best part is being able to understand.  I like when they make their own version of words and am amazed at how quickly they catch on as if they are little parrots.  He waits for his Papi to come home during lunchtime and enjoys every second showing off what he learned.  Like clockwork, he settles down for his nap at 1.  We spend lots of time just looking out the window, snuggling and watching the snow fall, the geese gather in our garden and just telling him stories of when his daddy was little and how his uncles played and all the stuff they did growing up.  Soon we will visit the parks and discover so much more together.  I give him smooches all day for he is filled with lots of love and laughter. 
Our little choo choo, yai ya
doo bee doo bee doo, you are my sunshine xo

Saturday, February 16, 2013

don't let others get the best of you

Some people will do things, just to get a rise out of you, to trip you up and bring you down ~ because they are threatened by your power or they want to have power over you.  Light often attracts attack ~ but light also deflects it if one chooses to have a strong boundary.
It is quite selfish to disturb someone else's peace and then blame them for being too sensitive.
Some egos might never grow or align with higher self, but that is their problem.  Don't let others get the best of you ~ let it bounce back into them by maintaining stability and neutrality, because they desperately need the wake up call.
Don't feed them or give them the satisfaction of hurting you.  To end its ruler-ship don't allow it in and don't allow it to make you a victim and don't become it.
In the face of it, let it empower your Spirit, because in that moment you are reminded of the goodness you are made of.  No need to sink into despair or the pain because you have to deal with those who don't hold Love and Harmony as Sacred...
If you hold it as Sacred, then you will enjoy the benefits and you will assist in reminding others of how beautiful life can be when you have respect for the most important qualities of life.
~ Maritza "Journey to Balance"
Amen. xo

Friday, February 8, 2013

little love bug


Little guy is such a useful one.  He enjoys helping me dust and sweep, feed the birdies and gives the doggies treats and even offers to share his beloved dee dee.

Dillan has a healthy appetite and delights in my cooking.  Now he revels in the fact that he can feed himself most times. He enjoys oatmeal, rice pudding, soups, pasta, apples, avocado, yogurt, bagels and sausage the most. I made a batch of pickles to satisfy his palate.  When he has his fill he shakes his head and says no.
We finally got some snow in these here parts and he could not wait to go out and walk around, chasing the geese, looking for the deer that hover in our backyard and I gave him a ride on the sled for the first time.  He had to get all bundled up and could hardly move. LOL 
His mom and dad will be on honeymoon in a few days and we can't wait to have him and Ozis stay with us.  Party time.  I bought some of his favorite things to eat and a few new toys to keep him busy.  He loves puzzles and trains and cars but mostly songs he could dance to.  I make forts and we play peekaboo constantly.  Giggles galore with the little fella. 
He is on the verge of talking up a storm and babbles all day about things and we have conversations using inflection as if we understand each other.  Right now his favorites are listening to the Gummibear Bubble Up song while he chases bubbles and Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo and Twinkle Star.  We sit on the sofa with the doggies at times and quietly browse through books while he is nestled in his Tigger blankie and holds his ba ba.  These moments take my breath away.  xo

Thursday, February 7, 2013

comfort food for the soul

  One of my favorite things to do these days is prepare meals.  I have been digging up new recipes to add variety to our menu with much success.  Lately the raves have been for breakfast casseroles and pies.  Here is a new one I discovered from an Aldi flyer.
 Sunnyside Breakfast Casserole
dozen frozen hash brown patties
1 pkg. sausage patties
dozen large eggs
leaf spinach
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup half and half
fresh parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat 13 x 9 pan with olive oil.  Pan fry the hash brown patties in a skillet.  Crumble the patties and evenly spread them into the baking pan.  Brown the sausage patties on a grill or in a skillet. Crumble sausage.  Evenly top the hash browns with spinach, follow with sausage and 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt and pepper.  Pour over the casserole mix and pat down the mixture with a flat spatula.  You can top with sliced tomatoes or just sprinkle remaining cheese and parsley.  Bake 45 minutes. 
To take the edge off the extreme weather, I decided to make good old fashioned homemade chicken soup.  The house smells so warm and cozy with the aroma.
Chicken Soup
3 chicken legs
10 yukon gold potatoes
3 celery stalks
6 carrots
1 onion
fresh parsley
chicken boullion
salt and pepper
kluski noodles
Peel potatoes and carrots.  I save the scraps and mulch for the finches.  Chop onion, celery, potatoes and carrots and set aside.  Cook chicken breasts in stove or crockpot filling water to the top.  Add boullion, allspice, vegeta, salt and pepper to your taste.  Add chopped veggies and parsley to soup mix and cook for hours until chicken falls off bone.  Remove chicken and add some to soup if you prefer.  Serve with Kluski noodles.  Your soul will soar.
Since the kids are going to Cancun, I decided to take a stab at making Chicken Enchiladas.  I found a couple recipes and will attempt to conjour up my own based on them.
Chicken Enchiladas
8 chicken breasts
1 large can stewed tomatoes
1 onion
1 poblano pepper
1 can enchilada sauce
2 packets enchilada sauce mix
1 can tomato paste
cumin, cayenne and chili powder
cheddar cheese
fresco cheese
whole wheat tortillas
fresh cilantro and parsley
spanish rice as a side
Parboil the chicken breasts for 4 hours.  Remove from broth but save broth for the chicken soup above.  Chop onion and pepper and shred the chicken.  Mix in bowl with 2 cups broth and cumin, cayenne and chili powder.  Keep in fridge overnight. 
In skillet, saute mixture in olive oil for a few minutes.  Meantime, combine processed stewed tomatoes, enchilada sauce, tomato paste and 1 cup broth.  Cook on stovetop until well blended.  Add a little to chicken mixture and cook a few minutes.
Wrap tortillas in foil and bake in oven for 5 minutes to tenderize. Coat bottom of lasagne pan with enchilada sauce.  Dip each tortilla in same sauce then fill with chicken mixture, roll and line in pan with seam face down.  Add more enchilada sauce on top.  Finalize with cheddar and fresco cheese on top.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.  Garnish with cilantro, parsley, scallion, sour cream if you like and serve with Spanish rice and beans.  Ole.
Stay warm and snuggle with the ones you love. xo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

to be nana

we see eye to eye
and huggies
life is beautiful xo

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

yoga for the soul

Fear can only grow in darkness.  Once you face fear with light, you win.  Steve Maraboli
My soul has been yearning for an outlet to embrace gratitude and serenity, and once again, I found the place that provides me with same.  Last week Darcy and I attended my sister's yoga class and our souls sang with glee.  Kiki has been instructing yoga for a decade and one of her locations is at the St. Joseph home in LaGrange.  The beauty of this place is in the multitude of artwork by Sr. Mary and the peaceful ambiance of the chapel.  It's amazing what happens in a mere 90 minutes. This week Steve joined me and he fell in love with the whole experience.  His comment was "this is exactly what I need." 
Thanks to my sister, Kiki, for providing this opportunity to keep in touch with my essence.  My love for you holds no bounds.  Our mantra: we shall overcome!
I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then... Lewis Carroll
but today, I can find joy in the moments that take my breath away. xo