Recent Posts

Yes, I Have A BasketBall Hoop In My Living Room. . .

Yes, I Have A BasketBall Hoop In My Living Room. . .

I have always had a lot of men in life.  Not like you’d think. I’m talking about brothers, sons and male-coworkers.  I’ve gotten pretty good at understanding how they think and believe me, it’s not like women think. Not even close. I realized this (yet […]

There are Few Things In Life As Wonderful. . . . . . . ❤️

There are Few Things In Life As Wonderful. . . . . . . ❤️

There are few things in life as wonderful as a family wedding. My friends have heard me say this many times because I believe it with my whole heart and soul. What can possibly compare to committing to share love and life, attended by all your […]

10 Little White Lies I Tell Myself

10 Little White Lies I Tell Myself

I like who I am. I mean I like myself most of the time. I don’t like everything about myself, but I’ve come to terms with my good traits and my not-so-good traits. I have a few gifts that I’m appreciative of, some things I’m working on, and some bad habits that are just here to stay. I am able to live with myself because I blatantly tell myself lies. Yup, flat-out lies. And sometimes I believe them.

What lies? Most are small, white lies – you know. . . . the kind you tell people so you don’t hurt their feelings. Well, I don’t want my feelings hurt either and I’m my biggest critic. So what are these lies?

I still feel like I did when I was 20. I still have some of the same thoughts. After all, I’m still the same person. But 20-year-old me didn’t have knees that creaked or an arthritic ankle reconstructed with titanium. She didn’t know the joys of motherhood or understand how grief can break your heart. She was more trusting and naïve, less traveled and certainly less cynical. She was kind of cute and definitely in better shape. I probably tell myself this lie because I miss her. She was fun. Sometimes I’m sorry my children didn’t get to know her. Other times I’m thankful.

I’m going on a strict diet tomorrow.  I’ve always been a little fluffy and am forever trying to lose weight. A large part of this lie includes having a “last meal”.  It is usually calorie-laden with favorite foods and is typically “fun” food. (Don’t tell me you don’t know what that is?!?)   I can’t tell you how many “last meals” I’ve had.  Dozens?  Hundreds? It’s almost always a lie to myself to rationalize that fun and fabulous “last” meal. Somewhere in this little lie though, there is the realization that mindful eating is a part of life. Eventually it happens.

 

I’m getting up early tomorrow morning to walk/exercise.  I can count the times on one hand when I have actually done this.  Who am I trying to fool?  I am not a morning person.  Before I retired, this lie meant getting up at least an hour earlier to fit in a walk.  The few times I actually did this I enjoyed it. Kind of. Still, it rarely happened two days in a row.  Big, fat lie.  I might walk in the morning, but I’m not getting up early to do it.

I’ll just have one.  One cookie.  One spoonful of ice cream.  One candy.  I love sweets.  A lot.  I rarely stop at one.  Sometimes.  Nah, just kidding.  Never.  That was another lie.  And then there’s the just one glass of wine. . . one more chapter in my book before I turn off my light and go to sleep. . . . you get the picture. (If you’re worried about my obsessive behavior, I do have some control.  When I choose to have control.  If I choose to have control. . . . !)

I don’t look my age.  Of course I do.  This is exactly what my age looks like.  I just need a little time to get used to it.  This little lie buys me a little time.  No harm done here.  I tell certain friends that they don’t look their age.  What I really mean is that they look good for their age.  Somehow though that doesn’t sound like a compliment.

That’s just highlights, not gray. It’s just hair.  I plan to continue getting highlights.  It’s camouflaged so I guess I’m fooling myself twice.  First of all, it’s been years since I was blond and secondly I have some gray hair.  Most days I believe this little fib.  Again, it’s just hair.

I’m going to bed early tonight.  I can’t seem to do it.  I see the value in going to bed before midnight (!) but I like being up late. The sacrifice is losing early morning hours since I need my 8 hours of sleep.  Oh well. Remember what I said about not being a morning person?  I see a direct link between my lies.

If I lose 10 pounds, I will probably live forever.  I am lucky not to have any serious health problems.  I am not-so-lucky in that my three brothers all died young in tragic circumstances.  Serious reality check.  I will not live forever, even if it feels like it.  I’ve stopped telling myself this lie. I usually meant it as a joke anyway.  Okay, maybe it’s not one of my better jokes. Its purpose was only to remind me to remember to LIVE my life!

 

I’m trying my best.  Sometimes.  Sometimes not.  I tell myself this lie for two reasons.  One is to make an excuse when I’m not giving it my all.  It’s usually expressed in exasperation. After all, it’s exhausting. The other reason is more important.  It reminds me that I need to try my best.  I am better.  Do I always have to give everything my best?  I guess that’s what each of us has to decide.

I don’t care what people think.  Actually, I do.  Just not constantly and not obsessively. As I get older, my skin seems to get a little thicker. A lot of things don’t bother me. I tell myself this lie because I don’t want to feel bothered or hurt if you don’t like me, my choices, my blog, Facebook page . . .  you get the picture.  Nobody likes rejection!  The truth is, we all want acceptance.  We all want people to like us. We want to be appreciated.  I hope you enjoyed reading this. I hope you “like” my Facebook page.  I hope you check back often to see what’s going on.

And that’s not a lie.

 

 

We Dodged Irma and Learned Something. . . . .

We Dodged Irma and Learned Something. . . . .

Everyone tells you what to do to prepare for a hurricane. Buy water. Buy food. Put up your shutters. Be prepared! No one tells you what really happens inside your house and within your community.  Yes, it is stressful. You are afraid. Sometimes really afraid. […]

Think You Might Be Ready to Retire?    Take this Quiz.

Think You Might Be Ready to Retire? Take this Quiz.

Do you want to know if you’re ready to retire?  Of course you do.  Do you want to spend the time figuring it out?   Probably not.  It’s hard, right?   I might think “there’s your sign. . . . ” but instead I’m going […]

Read This Before You Move Your Son To College

Read This Before You Move Your Son To College

We have had at least one son in college for the past ten years.  All three of our sons went to the same university. It’s been fun – living college life vicariously – and it’s been worrisome and even frightening sometimes.  We survived and thankfully they did too.  Our job is to raise our sons and prepare them for a life on their own. College has always been part of that plan.  We aren’t done. (Like you’re ever really done raising your children?!?). Our youngest starts law school this month so technically we’ve still got three years to go.

We are those parents who always move their kids to and from school.  We have friends whose children magically move themselves in and out of apartments and houses.  By themselves. Not us. We are now preparing for this last college move.  Since my son is moving to Boston from Florida, this is a BIG move. We’re using our experience and being smart about this (if we can claim such a thing – after all, WE are still moving them!)  Seriously, we are happy to help and happy being a part of their lives. Excitement and anticipation are part of the moves.  We’ve even learned a few things along the way. . .

Give them YOUR old towels and sheets.  Why should my sons get the new, good stuff?  Why buy new towels for them when they will probably be used to wipe up who-knows-what and then thrown away because they are too gross to keep or even wash.  I should have new towels and sheets – YOU should have new towels and sheets!  (Insert Oprah saying EVERYONE gets new towels and sheets!) Give them your old ones from home.  They will have that nice, homey feel and you get to go out and buy new for your home. If your son is in the dorm, you will have to get sheets for those crazy extra-long single beds.  Other than maybe prisons, I think that dorms are the only place in the world where that size bed appears.  Keep those sheets for the next child.  Or give them to a friend who has a child moving to a dorm.  They’re worthless (as bed sheets, anyway) once dorm living is over.

Believe your son.  When he tells you he is never, ever going to iron anything, don’t pack an iron and ironing board so he will have it if he needs it. He really isn’t going to use it.  Believe it.

Be realistic.  Your son has a meal plan and you’ve discussed that he needs plates, bowls and silverware because he’s eating breakfast and snacks in his room. Okay.  That’s good communication and it’s great to plan. Do not pack four place settings for him.  Buy paper plates and disposable silverware.  No one wants to wash dishes  – especially in a dorm room’s bathroom sink.  Let’s just hope he empties his garbage once in a while.

Less is more.  Remember, we aren’t talking about girls. We are talking about boys.  Boys are not decorating and coordinating fabrics.  Boys aren’t coordinating much of anything – you will be lucky if he asks his roommate if he’s bringing any items to share (microwave, tv, video games).  Keep the throw pillows and curtains at home. If they need a window covered, they proudly will tack up a college-themed blanket. There will be bar and sports accessories appearing later.  They will become prized possessions.  My oldest son still has his Monster cooler from college.  He says he’s trying to get rid of it. I’m not so sure about that.

Don’t send anything from home that you want back.  It just might not make it.  Now if it’s your son’s possession and important to him. . . . that’s a different story. He will watch out for that and make sure it’s taken care of.  Your blender? If it’s still around at the end of the school year, you probably don’t want it back.  Trust me on this one.  This also applies to most furniture and rugs used in dorms or apartments. Give them your old stuff.  Think of it as one step above donating it to Goodwill.

Make a grocery or Costco run.  Be considerate of limited space and roommates, but get him some drinks and snacks.  It’s such a pain to haul heavy drinks from the grocery to the dorm. And everyone likes snacks. I made cookies to send with sons #1 and 2.  I was thinking they would make friends easily with cookies to share.  They did.  Well, they made friends anyway.  Who knows what really happened to those cookies.  Son #3 wasn’t interested in having cookies around.  He still made friends.  Okay, so making cookies helped me  take them to college.  Don’t judge me.

Plan to leave a little cash.  We never left campus without leaving a little spending money.  It’s nice to have cash and what child is going to refuse money from mom and dad?  We always make sure that our sons have a $100 bill for emergencies tucked away in their wallet.  It’s not for fun and it’s certainly not for a beer run.  It’s for emergencies. Uber and most electronic payments (venmo, paypal) weren’t around when we started sending our sons to college and so this was cab fare when driving wasn’t a good idea. The most recent emergency?  My youngest wanted to drive home after a hurricane knocked out the power at his apartment.  Of course he had no cash, no gas and no food.  One gas station still was pumping gas and accepted cash only.  He used his emergency $100 bill and was able to leave school and wait out the storm’s recovery aftermath at home.  I recently started carrying an emergency bill in my pocketbook. So did my husband.  He had to use it for gas money recently when all the card machines were down.  I rarely have to replenish it.  When I do it’s usually to replace one for my sons.

Don’t hang around.  Unpack him, feed him (and his roommate if he’s around) and leave.  It’s time.  You’ve done your job and he’s ready for whatever college holds for him.  He doesn’t want you to hang around and nobody wants strung-out goodbyes.  It’s okay if you cry when you leave.  That doesn’t mean you want him to get back in the car.  We communicate with our kids like no other generation before us.  You will probably text each other before you get home.  It’s also okay if you cheer and high-five your spouse once you hit the highway.  After all, that was the plan. ❤️

 

 

Sleep Late!  And Still Serve The Best Breakfast Ever!

Sleep Late! And Still Serve The Best Breakfast Ever!

I’m not a morning person.  I recognize that I’m missing out on beautiful sunrises and jump-starting my day.  I appreciate both, but  I guess I’m willing to give that up for a little more shut-eye.  I only see the sun rise if I’m awake to drive someone to the airport or to help the guys get ready to go fishing.  I’m more of a sunset girl.

Knowing that about myself, I’m all over any breakfast or brunch foods prepared ahead of time and that still taste like you’ve worked in the kitchen since the crack of dawn.  I love having this overnight egg bake because I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to cook. It’s delicious and it gives me even more time to sleep since I put it together the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator until an hour before we want to eat.  It’s also perfect because I can switch up the ingredients to take advantage of personal likes and dislikes or what I have on hand in my refrigerator.

Here are a few ideas. . . . .

Choose your favorite meat.  I love sausage, but have used sausage, ham and bacon – sometimes together.  (Use cooked sausage and bacon).

Choose your favorite cheese.  I love the Swiss and Guyere shredded combo that Trader Joe’s sells.  Mild cheddar is also good.  Or use them all!  (I love cheese!)

Vegetarian?  Leave out the meat and have a meatless entree.

Add your favorite veggies – spinach, mushrooms, peppers, and onions are just a few possibilities.  You can layer them raw, but I liked the flavor boost when sautéed alone or with the meat.

This recipe has been a favorite of family, friends and co-workers.   Once in a while we have leftovers and it warms beautifully in the oven or microwave.

Ingredients:  

8 slices Cheese – (I usually use American but you could switch it up!)

1 package shredded hash brown potatoes

1 pound ham, sausage, and/or bacon

15 eggs

1 1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups shredded cheese

Bacon Pieces

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Layer the cheese slices on the bottom on the dish.

Layer the shredded hash brown potatoes on top of the cheese.  Potato layer is about an inch thick.  This uses all or most of the frozen package.

Layer sausage, ham or bacon (or a combination) on top of the potatoes.

Pouring the egg mixture over the layers. . .

Combine eggs, milk, white pepper and mustard until blended well.  Pour this egg mixture over layers.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bacon pieces.

Refrigerate egg bake overnight and it’s ready for the oven when you wake the next morning.

Pop this in a preheated 350 degree an hour before you are ready to eat. Bake 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve warm with all of your favorite brunch foods!  We recently enjoyed this with fresh fruit and corn mini-muffins.  Recipe at:  Corn Mini-Muffins.   Delicious!

Ready to eat!
Mini Corn Muffins

 

 

The Original – Birthday – Key Lime Pie

The Original – Birthday – Key Lime Pie

My husband and middle son recently informed me that they liked the “old key lime pie” better than the one I’ve made recently  (and that I included on a blog – https://www.tropicallifefoodandfun.com/key-lime-pie-a-sliver-or-a-slice/.  Since we always have a key lime pie for my husband’s birthday celebration, I […]


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