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Old 08-29-2015, 11:23 AM   #701
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The luscious Michigan peaches traveled home very nicely, with only a few bruises needing excised when I got into them this morning.

I made a double batch of this jam this morning, using up enough peaches that a cobbler tomorrow and some left for eating will take care of them.

Yum.


Peach Cobbler Freezer Jam

3 cups peeled, cubed and crushed peaches (about 8)...I use a potato masher
5-1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2, 3-oz pouches Liquid Pectin
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6, 8 oz jars with lids, or equivalent in whatever size you prefer

Mix prepared fruit with sugars and spices in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes.

Add liquid pectin pouches, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir constantly for 3 minutes.

Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Cap tightly and let stand in frig 24 hours to set. Serve or freeze.


Maggie
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #702
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I doubled this recipe for dinner tonight, as we have extras coming.....after looking at a favorite cobbler recipe that began with a stick of melted butter in the bottom of a 13x9 pan , I went with this one.

I substituted 1/2 cup wheat flour in the doubled recipe...just to add a little nutritive value.

A favorite dessert of my children's, also very inexpensive, was a chocolate pudding cake, that had batter on the bottom, liquids poured on top, becoming a cake-ish dessert with a gooey bottom. Always a hit, and this has a similar principal.

A lot of sugar in this recipe.....you could cut that by substituting some Splenda granulated.... but almost no fat.....and, lots of peaches.


Tennessee Peach Pudding

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1/2 cup milk
3 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches

Mix dry ingredients, add milk and mix well, then peaches. Spread into greased 8-9" baking dish.


Mix the following in a saucepan, stir and bring to boil to dissolve the sugars, then pour carefully over the peaches/batter.

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with cream. 8 servings.


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Old 08-30-2015, 12:41 PM   #703
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Something I have noticed this past year or so, and again just recently.....the periodic realization that, altho I am going, doing, and striving for some semblance of a new-normal life as a widow....a part of me and my life feels very much "on hold", as if I am waiting for my husband to return to re-create the structure and purpose I had before.....as his wife, best friend, traveling companion, chief cook, planner, organizer, etc.

I liked that role, and all of those things. I did them for work, then for us.

I think it is expected and predictable that this would be a hurdle for me, especially after my pell mel work life, then our 6 1/2 years of joined-at-the-hip retirement life.....Doug often said we were "a matched pair", and we were. Most of what we did, we did together.....he caring for me, me caring for him....the pieces and parts of life together.

I just don't have the same things to do, or near as much of them, as I did when we were two. I struggle with this whether I am home or away, unless at rallies. . Maybe more rallies.

I need to turn the "pause" button off, and find something to do that creates some purpose and meaning in my life.....clearly, beyond what I am doing to this point. There is still this drive in me, this skill set honed over a lifetime, that just doesn't have a sufficient outlet.

I have added this to my to-do list, and will actively search.....if it is meant to be, something that fills this need will come along.


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Old 08-31-2015, 07:15 AM   #704
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I have some really good stories.


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Old 08-31-2015, 10:34 AM   #705
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oh, that's a good one...good morning Maggie... keep at it, something will appear...always does... Hugs and love from here... gail
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:40 PM   #706
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Thanks, Gail, and good morning to you, as well.

The Peach Pudding was outstanding, and enjoyed by all. . Cake like top, gooey and peachy beneath. It really didn't need ice cream, or whipped cream, but I took a can of Readi Whip for a little dollop on top. The grands love those cans of whipped cream.


You know, the realization that I am....somewhere inside me...waiting for my life to return to what it once was.... but will never be again....is part of the leveling out and settling in process that is the path grieving seems to take, I'm thinking.

We don't do it all at once, we do it in pieces. Just when you think you have got it under control, something new hits you....like the burst of tears last month, which seemed to come out of nowhere.

There is probably a self preservation element to that, which protects your inner core and prevents your psyche from being overloaded.

We don't any of us like to fall apart, so our minds let us have and deal with some things in pieces, rather than all at once. A good thing.

A process, not an event, as we say in the business.


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Old 08-31-2015, 01:30 PM   #707
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And, altho the career social worker in me knows that behavioral change and feelings change are not one and the same, nor do they go hand in hand on the same timeframe........knowing that on an intellectual level, and consciously applying that knowledge to myself, are two different things.

I have changed a lot of behaviors in the past year....because, what else am I going to do ......but the feelings change is coming much more slowly, and is what jumps out and grabs me every once in awhile.

So, I am still a work in progress, and that is okay.

I am grateful every day for the years and the life Doug and I had together, and I tell him that.

He listens, too....I am sure of it.


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Old 08-31-2015, 08:56 PM   #708
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Thank you for sharing your stories here Maggie! I love your writing, and its inspiring to see someone so committed to healing and making a life for themselves after tragedy. Have you ever considered writing a book? Could that be something that would tap into your organizational and support skills? You may have addressed this before (I haven't read ALL of your posts, though I did get lost just now for about an hour looking through them) but I felt like it might be nice to throw out there..

Take care

Shannon
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:09 PM   #709
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Thank you, Shannon, and for the kind words.

I think most everyone wants to heal after a trauma and/or tragedy. I just happened to be part of this community before, wrote about the event, and am fortunate to now have this place to come to and share life as I now know it. Very good people here.

I see you're from NOLA.....a beloved place of ours, but I haven't been back there, yet. Spent our honeymoon there in 1992 and we were back probably 20 times since then. I'll get back one day.

I have thought about writing a book, but it wouldn't be about grieving, and would have to be presented as fiction because most would have trouble believing the content was true.

But....I don't want to write it, to then re-live it, so that's out.

I did just sign up online for some local volunteer work....with non-profits that need help with grant writing, correspondence, office and organizational types of things that I am very, very good at.

We'll see what comes out of that. There is definitely a void I need to fill.


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Old 09-01-2015, 06:56 AM   #710
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Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.
~Henry David Thoreau
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:43 AM   #711
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Maggie, I agree with the above post, (re: you writing a book). In a way, you are doing that in this forum. I had never been a writer before my daughter, Lynn died of breast cancer. I found myself pouring out my grief....writing Lynn's story...my story with her....almost obsessive at times. The act of putting it all on paper somehow made the grief manageable for me.

I wrote through the heart ache and the torrent of tears at times...till I went to sleep on the papers. I wrote in story form, in prose, even in poetry. Eventually, I typed it into book form...all of it. I placed it in a notebook....but, never had it published, though some friends who read it urged me to do so. It was too painful...too personal. Perhaps it may have had some value for others...but, I produced it from my grieving Mother's heart...that is where it stays to this day. Over the years, I've taken it out....read parts of it...look through the photo album of Lynn...as a little sweet girl, a rebellious teenager, a loving daughter, grown into a beautiful woman, a wife, a Mother of her two little girls.....remember those special times....those precious memories....and the pain eases once again.

The writing of the book...the organizing of Lynn's photo album...were cathartic and healing. I had paintings done from photos...they hang on the walls...a special remembrance of a wonderful part of my life. Twenty five years later....she is still very much a part of my life. The book, album, paintings...I am so glad to have them. Their value is immeasurable! God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:30 AM   #712
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Hi Evelyn.

I cannot imagine what you have been thru, and it makes me hurt for you to read of it. I'm so sorry for that terrible loss.

It is the expression of the grief that is the catharsis and helps us move thru it, I agree....however we do that. The writing has been so very important for me, I just cannot emphasize how much.

That the sharing makes us "lighthouses for those who will hit the same rocks" is so on point.. I loved that, and took it into my core being to nurture and coddle a bit, so as to keep me writing and sharing.....the mundane and ordinary, as well as the soul-speak and healing.

I have been fortunate to have learned to write well, and it has been a critical skill for me over the years, in many ways. I believe it stemmed from my omnivorous reading as a child and young person.

The thought of re-reading my posts, especially from those early months after Doug died, is just something I cannot stomach the thought of, though. I will leave it to others who need, and want to, to do that.

I am glad you find comfort in going back thru your writings, Evelyn. It keeps her there with you.

I have on the wall in the back bedroom...Doug's man-cave..... the framed photo of him from the funeral....in his tux, looking extraordinarily handsome, at my daughter's wedding the year before he died. I smile at it, talk to it, and blow it kisses.

We had a sketch done of ourselves by a Jackson Square artist in NOLA in 1996, and that still hangs in our bedroom, along with other photos of us over the years.

I don't expect to ever remove them. They comfort me.

XO

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Old 09-01-2015, 12:11 PM   #713
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I have been running errands all morning, completing the last one with a stop at the local soft-serve frozen yogurt place.

Yum, and I always get a small bit of the fat free vanilla for Lily....she is a happy girl.

It is unusually hot for this time of the year, per the local weather girl, and that is going to persist through the holiday weekend.

That is okay, as I am making a run to Iowa and meeting friends at the Amana's next week, also am on the downhill slide to my trip to Greece in a mere 4 weeks....so I have plenty inside to do.

I am starting to get excited.


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Old 09-01-2015, 12:44 PM   #714
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Good for. You, Maggie! Immerse yourself in the planning and joy of that journey...that which, Doug will most suredly accompany you, in spirit! You need this! God bless. Evelyn.
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