Hello Springtime, my old friend…

so nice to see you again. Now stay out of my nose please.  Enough already!

When you live where I do, Spring seems to slip up on you around mid February for a few days, run away again and then is back with it’s own brand of vengeance around mid March.  Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE the Spring blooms and buds and leaves.  It’s the necessary evil called pollen that I don’t get excited over.  Unless you count that feeling of my scalp moving and skin crawling that the decongestants and antihistamines give me :/

I figured it was as good a time as any to start blogging again.  I took a bit of a break and of course my ego hopes you noticed.  Writer’s block was an understatement.  I had absolutely nothing pleasant to say.  I was worried and blue and cranky over the fact that my husband was in and out of Tunisia like he got paid to be.  Oh.  Right.  He does get paid to be there.  But that fact has nothing to do with making it easier on my feelings.  What would it say about me if it did?  He is scheduled to go back a week from today so this week will be spent in the garden, doctor appointments, tidying up chores and projects and getting corn and beans planted.

Lots of things have changed in our lives since I started this blog in December 2006.  I have had some really high highs and some really low lows.  Just like every other person and the world.  And my lows certainly don’t compare in the big scheme of things for the most part.  Losing people has taken it’s toll on me for sure.  I am a different person now than I was 4 years ago.  Some parts of me are better, some are not.  I don’t think people, especially women, who still have their mothers, no matter the relationship or lack thereof, can understand what it is like to no longer have her.  Just as those who have lost a sibling can understand that loss much better than those who either do not have siblings or still have them.  Again, no matter how strained the relationship might be, as long as their is a breath left in both of them, nothing is impossible.  But once that possibility is gone forever, it is a hole that can never be filled again.  And a bitter pill to swallow.  Especially for a person who deep down believes they can do or be or make or fix anything.

I have at times done my best to stay on track and give you something to read if you pass this way.  Other times, I just couldn’t.  Nothing came to me.  I was stagnant and not doing anything worth sharing.  I have tried to give myself deadlines and daily writing assignments but always somehow found a way to let myself off the hook.  I am lenient that way 🙂 I have started and stopped book clubs and reviews, movie reviews, cooking projects, craft projects and like everyone else hopes a new season,  Spring 2011 will somehow be the time for me to stay on course.  Keep my nose to the grindstone and contribute to the blog world.  If for no other reason than I love visiting other people’s blogs and know from your emails and comments, some of you like visiting mine.  It’s almost like I invite you over for coffee and either left before you arrived or made a pot of joe, fixed your cup and then sat across the table from you staring through you like you weren’t there.  Not friendly or friend like.  And certainly not very hospitable considering your time is at least as valuable as mine.

Food for one thing is looked at in a completely different light.  Being born and raised in the South, everything we did, planned, hoped, bought, every party, celebration, gathering started with a menu.  From birth to death, meals were the center of attention.  Well, combine my list of food allergies and now gluten intolerance and wow, talk about being put in the back seat.  How about just go ahead and put the subject the trunk?  NOW, Jerry is trying his hardest to be diabetic.  Just kidding. He’s really trying hard not to be.  And it makes menu planning a whole new ballgame.  Those sugar heavy, gluten saturated baked goods are few and far between.  But we are learning.  He is much better about accepting the difference in the taste and more over, the texture of food than I am.   I mean come on, with catering for half my adult life, and loving to bake for my family, baked goods ranked real high of my list of Earthly pleasures.  But I am learning.  Not only to accept the differences but adapt our favorite recipes into things we can partake of.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I made gluten free,  “much reduced sugar” Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were not terrible.  Jerry said they were good.  I think he was just so hungry for something sweet his taste buds were off.  But they were edible and I have to realize gluten free and sugar free will never compete with the real things.  Ever.  But with proper quality  ingredients and a little will and skill, they can be pretty tasty.  And fill a void left by the real things.

So…what’s a gluten intolerant cookbook reviewer to do?  I tell you what.  Improvise.  Meet the challenge.  Walk in to the kitchen with a renewed attitude and make something great.  Over half our family is still happily eating like normal people so this means they shouldn’t be subjected to our restrictions.  Their villi and pancreas haven’t turned on them.  So, reviewing a brand new and amazing cookbook from Gooseberry Patch affords me the opportunity to not only cook something amazingly delicious for the majority of the household but develop something the other 2/5ths can eat and it also gives me the pleasure of sharing my adaptations with so many others who suffer with these restrictions as well.  I did a little of that adapting here and here.  And plan on doing all my reviews and trial recipes this way.  New challenges, new ideas…hey it’s Spring – start anew, right?  Yes, there will be more Gooseberry Patch news soon.  VERY soon and you don’t want to miss that.

Thanks for continuing to come here, even in my absences.

Happy First Monday of Spring 2011 Everyone.


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Ya hoo! You made my day…… wrote on your blog!

Love it and you!

Hugs in Houston


So good to see a post from you today. I’m sorry for all your trials and tribulations and compeletely understand how all can become overwhelming. It’s okay to be lenient with yourself, I understand. I’m just thrilled you wrote today.

Thanks to my two Victorias! I appreciate your support. Honest.


So enjoyed your post. I think all of us completely understand why you may not have blogged quite so regularly as before. Life just happens. It is such a treat when you do feel like sharing with us. I love reading your thoughts, musings; looking at your beautiful photos.

I have missed you Susan. I have long been a follower of your ups and downs and had many of my own. I have always enjoyed every word you’ve written, and been able to commiserate on quite a few and empathise too. I guess what I am saying is that I just love you and all that you do. You are human and it shows. That is a good thing. There are too many out there that don’t. Your posts always seem like I am sitting down and visiting with an old friend. Love you loads. xxoo

Jennifer Hester

So good to see you here again! I do stop by often and have missed your posts.
Happy Spring

Glad to see you writing again. Enjoy your week and remember many of us hold you, Jerry and your family in our prayers and hearts!


So glad to see you back in the swing of things…I have missed you musings…Happy Spring!!!!