Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time does not heal all wounds - If you don't want to know this, please look away.

Feeling very hopeless/helpless.  Missing my baby so much.  It has been two years since her relapse (after only 6 months of being off treatment).  How can it have been two years, when I am still in so much pain.  It seems to be getting worse.  How long has it been since I heard her voice?  Held her in my arms? How long have I held this panic in my chest?  A mother's panic when there is something going wrong for her child? When your child is without you, when you are powerless to help her?

Time does not heal these wounds.  As time ticks on, it stretches the pain out longer and longer.  Until it becomes a growing percentage of my life.  Today it is a small fraction of my life that I have spent grieving in pain.  Tomorrow, it will be more.  As I continue living it will someday be a quarter of my life, then one day most of my life.

I can quickly dismiss anyone's assertion that there will be a time when it is better.  Have you been there?  If you tell me you have, and it gets better, I will say, "You are delusional."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Snow Day is a Great Day for Peppermint Bark

After sampling the delicious peppermint bark at Williams-Sonoma and Costco (two very different retailers, I know) I decided to try making it myself.  My daughter was home from school on a snow day, so this would be a nice activity for us to do together.  Here's what we used:

 First, crush your candy. We used a whole box of candy canes and my husband's ball-peen hammer wrapped in aluminum foil to crush the candy.  It worked well without much effort and made for a fun kitchen task.
 Line your dish with aluminum foil.
 Melt your dark chocolate.  I love the Ghirardelli 60% cocoa chocolate, but it can be a bit strong for my daughter, so we used 3 oz of semisweet, and 3 oz of the 60% cocoa chocolate.  I don't have a double-boiler, but I find a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water works well.  You just have to be careful as the bowl doesn't have a handle and it will get hot.
 Pour melted chocolate into your dish, tilt the dish to spread it evenly on the bottom and put it right into the freezer.
 Melt your white chocolate the same way.  I used Bakers, because it was easy to find and did contain the cocoa butter that was necessary according the the recipe.
 Pour the white chocolate over the now firm dark chocolate.
 Spread it evenly over the dark by tilting the dish.
 Spread the crushed candy over top and pop it in the freezer.
 After 20 minutes or so, remove from the freezer.  Pull the candy from the foil.
 Break it into smaller pieces.
It was very tasty.  We used this recipe, which uses a teaspoon of vegetable oil in the chocolate instead of tempering to keep it shiny.  The downside to this is that the pieces would begin to melt in your hand if they weren't recently in the refrigerator.  Next batch I make, I am going to try it without the oil (though it may be dull looking - the dark side is at the bottom) and I'm going to try adding the crushed candy canes to the melted white chocolate and stir it up before coating the dark chocolate.  When we were breaking up the pieces, the broken candy was hard on the hands and many pieces broke loose. I would also like to change the ratio of dark to white chocolate.  Instead of 1 to 1, I will try 2 dark to 1 white.  Afterall, the dark chocolate is my chocolate of choice!  Below is my backyard the reason we were able to have a nice day at home.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Throwing Clay

Attempted to work off some stress today on the pottery wheel.  I haven't done this in a long time.  Fortunately, my son picked up some great skills last summer at a one week pottery class and he helped me out.  I really value sharing time together, working on our projects.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Women In Art

Isn't this beautiful? Can you see yourself? Your mother? sister? aunt? friend? daughter? I've long been a fan of Yo-Yo Ma and the Bach cello suites, and this beautiful video means that I could watch and listen over and over.

There is the potential for such art and beauty in all of our lives, but many children are never given the opportunity to see that beauty.  On Facebook this weekend, many members are changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters to spread awareness and campaign against child abuse.  It is fun to pretend to be a cartoon character for the weekend, and see who has the most obscure or comical pictures, but please don't forget the real purpose and message.  Child abuse is a horrible crime against us all.  If you see it, or suspect it, report it and find help for that child.  A great organization is Childhelp.   In the US, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD.