CHANGES

My life has changed so much in the past year it is amazing.  I am healthier than I have been in years and happier too!

May 1st is when I started my initial diet, June 1st I found Dr. Meyer and really changed my life.  This week I officially started the maintenance program.  I have lost 80 pounds and pray I do not ever have to go through this journey again!  I wish to stay put and live the lessons I have learned.  I cannot find my pleasure in food anymore.  I am most grateful for the love and support I have been given on this journey.

We moved in February and I LOVE our new home.  It is a wonderful peaceful 55+ community in Zellwood (www.zellwoodstation.com) and hands down the best thing John and I have done.  When I drive through the gate after work I leave everything behind and just sigh the most pleasant sigh ever!

Now I am working on beginning a new chapter in my life.  I have no idea how this chapter will end but I am willing to go where I am led and see what new roads I get to travel.  More will come on this as it develops.

My blog is going to change now too and I am asking for your help.  Each week I will post a topic and share my experience with the topic and ask you all to participate.  PLEASE feel free to pass this along to your friends, the more the merrier!  All the topics should be easy and I will have already done what I am asking you to do.  It is an experiment I am pursuing and I hope it will be fun and interesting for all of us.

Let me begin!

Today I went blueberry picking with my sister and her friend Mary.  It was a wonderful sunny day and the berries were perfect.  I came home and made a pie for John and another one for a friend of ours;  I always make Ron a pie for his birthday.

Then I made blueberry crisp in those small individual pie tins and shared them with some of my neighbors.  They were all surprised and hopefully will enjoy their treat.  It made me feel good to do something kind for someone else.  No strings attached.  Since we are new in the neighborhood I don’t know people well and this was a good way for me to just say hello.

SO – here goes.  ONE day this week simply be neighborly.  You get to define what that means to you. The sky is the limit.

Please respond back to me on the blog and tell me your experience (good, bad or indifferent) I would really appreciate it.  I hope this will bring something fun and positive into all of our lives.  If you do not want me to post your response just tell me to keep it private and I will.

I hope you have a terrific week!

MEMORIES FROM 3 SISTERS AND MAYBE YOU TOO!

I haven’t blogged on this blog for quite a while, I am not sure why, but I am working to get back into the routine and share my thoughts again.  You have all had a break from my random thoughts!

Easter Sunday I was talking with my sisters and discussing that I haven’t had much to write about for a long time and didn’t know why.  Patti suggested that we each write a segment about a topic so that is what we have done.  Amazingly, we chose a food topic, how funny is that?!  The topic ended up being our favorite meal(s) growing up but we could spin the topic any way we wanted.  No restrictions here except it be family oriented.  So you will read from all three sisters and see how very similar and different we are.

My favorite meal growing up was mom’s lasagna.  Whenever I had a choice as to what dinner would be, that was always my pick.  Today I realize that I had no idea how expensive it was to make but I don’t remember ever not having it when it was requested.

Mom always made two huge pans of it.  The sauce was always from scratch, I’m not sure in those days if Ragu or Prego existed!  I remember the huge pans sitting on the dining room table and how much four hungry kids ate.  I still love lasagna although I haven’t eaten it in a very long time.

When we were older and had homes of our own, mom would make lasagna in smaller casseroles and we would bake it ourselves.  The first time she did this for me, I went home and threw it in the over to bake.  When I took the foil off, I found out that she covered it with plastic wrap first and then foil.  I baked the plastic wrap too!   It apparently wasn’t poisonous because I am still here!  Of course we ate the lasagna anyway!

Another favorite dish mom used to make was “city chicken” and I still love it.  She used to take chicken, pork and beef and skewer it and bake it with gravy.  I would love to tell you how to make it, and she even tried to teach me but for the life of me I do not remember.  I just love to eat it.

Mom always worked hard to cook good meals and it was impossible to please 4 picky kids.  She always cooked a meal and we always sat at the table as a family, 5 PM, always.  There was never a pot on the table; everything was in serving bowls, no paper plates.  She was and still is very particular about how her table was set.  That is one of those things that you don’t understand as a kid but as an adult looking back, it was really nice.  Thanks Mom.

FROM BARBARA

My Favorite Food?

Not long ago my sisters and I were discussing favorites – everything and anything goes when we start talking.  Marilyn is the family blogger; Patti is the reader and I’m the family historian so there are a variety of interests to discuss.  Somehow, at Easter dinner, we were discussing Marilyn’s blogging and why she wasn’t posting the way she did a while back.  Thus, the suggestion that we each participate and share on a topic was made and that’s how food became the topic.

I don’t remember having a favorite food while we were growing up; only the foods that I hated and that caused a commotion every time they were served.  I know I loved lobster, clams, and crabs when we went out but nothing seems to pop into my head for dinner at home except that I HATED peas, lima beans, liver, and pot pies most of all.  Thus, the mealtime chaos ensued.  It took bottles of ketchup, gagging, mushrooms (they were hidden in food), and going to bed early – and sometimes hungry – because Daddy and I fought tooth and nail over my dislikes.   The odd thing is that I love the vegetables that everyone else hates, including Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.

As an adult, I still hate the foods I did as a child and, unfortunately, am allergic to iodine so lobster, clams, and crabs are forbidden foods.  Now, there are the foods I’ve discovered and the preparation of meals that makes life interesting.  I love to grill when the weather permits and have several other foods that only I make.  Raising children (and now grandsons) makes it a challenge to make comments about foods at a meal.  My kids understand my dislikes and each has developed a different like of foods too.  My daughter loves peas and a lot of others but my son hates most vegetables. Now it’s their turn to pass on the food legacy.  Sorry kids and – Good Luck!

AND HERE’S PATTI!

When I was about 10 years old my mom and I went out to lunch together.  Just the two of us.  We had never done that before and never did it after that time.  We went to a place I believe was called the Longwood Hotel.  It was a very old traditional Florida building.  It was two-story, built from wood and painted white…or maybe grey.  There were beautiful old oak shade trees around it.  I don’t remember, but I’ll bet there was Spanish moss hanging from them.  We got dressed up, we wore dresses and mom wore high healed shoes.  We never went out to eat, so to go out to such a nice place, just the girls…I thought it was just the most special thing in the world to do.  There are only two things I remember about the meal.  One was that they brought us a finger bowl, a bowl of water with rose petals in it and a dry cloth to wash our hands after the meal and before dessert.  How elegant is that?  The other thing I remember is that they served the most delicious little tiny peas.  They were the best things.  Years later I had those peas again…they came in a little silver can.  Who knew?  I still love those peas.  And every time I make them I think of that lunch.  Paula Deen has a recipe in her book called Paula Deen Celebrates!  It calls for two 14.5 oz cans of LeSueur peas well-drained, 4 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper.  She says “Don’t laugh, My family loves these as much as anything fresh I make”.  Maybe it’s a Southern thing.

Thanks Barb and Patti for sharing your stories.  Now it’s YOUR turn to share.  Send a comment, as long as you like, and share a favorite food related memory from your past.  Like it or not, food is a memory maker!  I’d love to hear about your memories.  Don’t be afraid.  Memories are hugs when you share them!