“I’m a monster! Rawr!!!”

Thanks to our friend Olesh for sharing the love!!! This is too freakin’ funny!!!! (For my non-geek friends and family–D&D, aka Dungeons and Dragons, has just come out with its 4th edition.)

And because I’m such a geek–there’s MORE!!!


June has not Won–Yet!

Thus far, I’ve managed to avoid being swallowed whole by the month of June.  Thus far.  The month is not yet over–and experience has taught me that June has a strong reach!

In spite of June, life goes on.  As it must.  Dishes need scrubbing.  Laundry needs washing and folding–and to be put away!  Sheets must be changed.  Floors want vacuumed.  Sinks and toilets want sanitized.  The cat and people must be fed.

To which today, I am making marinara sauce from scratch.  Not for the cat–for the people.

I learned how to make it back in Junior High.  When my folks would make it–you could count on it never tasting the same way twice.  They’d use what was on hand–didn’t have a set recipe.  Mine is more consistent in the taste–probably cause I’m more consistent in how I make it.  Although, like them I don’t use a written recipe–and I don’t know how to make a small amount of sauce.  The sauce is extremely healthy and chockful of vegetables.  (For those of you who know me and/or Chris well–you’re probably wondering how that will go over.  Here’s the trick–a food processor!  There’s no vegetable chunks in the sauce, they’re all pureéd.)

Hannah Rose enjoyed the helping, which is great!  We like her to be helpful!!!  She thought the oregano in the food processor looked like “people walking.”

Days have been busy–and as I sometimes do, or technically–don’t, I’ve not written much lately.

Have to run for now–that whole life thing, and things must be done thing–not to mention a five year old running around the house, and enough sauce to feed a small army cooking on the stove all demand my attention!

Quote of the Day

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

~Plutarch, 46-120 (Greek Philosopher)

What’s in YOUR Food?

Thinking of the wacky world of food allergies–thought I would start a conversation about wacky food combinations–you know the HUH?!?! you experience when you find out that whatever it is you (or your child) is allergic to is in something you NEVER expected it to be in–be it egg, milk, soy, peanuts, gluten, wheat, whatever…

Topping my list at the moment is the whole MILK in McDonald’s Fries thing.

I’ve also heard (though been unable to substantiate) that Big Boy Restaurants put pancake mix in scrambled eggs.

Could also be fun to do the opposite–for instance, did you know there is NO milk or eggs in Oreo Cookies?!  Hannah Rose was happy to find that one out!!!

Ingredients Lists for Food Allergens

The following pics are a couple examples of cut and carry sheets that you can get at Kids Health

They have a lot of good information on food allergies–including these great cut and carry sheets that help you interpret food ingredient labels more effectively.  It’s crazy–but “egg” isn’t always written as egg on ingredient lists.  It’s part of the fun here in the wacky world of food allergies!

Something we’re learning to do is to always read food labels.  Obviously.  And by always–that’s even on packages of food that we’ve read the ingredients on before and determined them to be “safe.”  Manufacturers sometimes change ingredients up.

Here I’ve pictured the cut and carry sheets for milk and egg, but they have them for others!

Hope some of you with food allergies (or kids with food allergies) find these useful.  I know we are!!!

Quote of the Day

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

~Washington Irving, 1783-1859 (American Writer)


I wrote this poem right after my mom’s death. I wish I could say that over time it’s gotten easier–her being gone. The truth is, I miss her more now than ever. She died nine years ago today. It breaks my heart that I wasn’t able to be there with her. Hell, it breaks my heart that she had to die at all!!!


For Judy Ann Strehle
June 25, 1950 – June 9, 1999

Your life was a song sung in a minor key.
But now your song will be sung by me.
A song of hope and sweet forgiveness.
A song of love, of perseverance.
A song of joy and peace eternally.
Jesus has set you free.

And fly! High above the pain.
Fly! High above the strain.
On His wings of love soar wild and free.
In His peace you live eternally.

I close my eyes and like a dream I see
All that you have meant to me.
Your suffering was so long,
But in your weakness He was strong.
I miss you, but you’re not gone.
In Heaven, you live on.

And fly! High above the pain.
Fly! High above the strain.
On His wings of love soar wild and free.
In His peace you live eternally.

The gift you gave
Lives beyond the grave.
A gift you offer still.
Come to Jesus I hear you say,
Come to Jesus I know you pray.
For He’s the only one.

And one day soon I will again know your embrace
As we live in the depths of His grace.
His love and mercy abound.
In Him all can be found.
He is the reason I sing this song.
He is the reason you live on.

And fly! High above the pain.
Fly! High above the strain.
On His wings of love soar wild and free.
In His peace you live eternally.

Quote of the Day

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”

~Francis Bacon, 1561-1626 (English Philosopher )

Welcome to the Wacky World of Food Allergies

Hannah Rose was recently diagnosed with milk and egg allergies. So we’ve embarked on quite the new journey.

We’ve replaced milk with Soy Milk. (Silk makes a very vanilla and a chocolate flavour that enriched for kids). In fact, we’re buying a number of soy “replacement” products: soy cheese, soy butter, soy yogurt–you get the idea. We’re also looking for alternative sources of calcium (like calcium enriched OJ, and the aforementioned enriched soy milk, along with foods naturally containing calcium).

We’re also reading labels like never before. Which is how we found the soy cheese that contains milk proteins. (No we didn’t buy that brand of soy cheese!) We’ve managed to find bread that doesn’t contain any milk or egg. (Thank you Whole Foods )

I’ve gotten a new cookbook:  Allergy-Free Cookbook by Alice Sherwood which contains recipes for avoiding eggs, dairy, nuts, and gluten.  (Although not always all 4 ingredients at once!)  I’ve also been researching on how to adjust current recipes with replacements for milk (and milk products) as well as egg.  It seems as if there are quite a number of options out there–it’s just a matter of trying out these “experiments” and finding the ones our family likes best!

We’ve been thinking, talking, and doing research into this whole thing.  Did I mention it’s still very new to us?  While Hannah Rose’s allergies are on the milder side, we still want to avoid them completely.

She likes to go to McDonald’s occasionally.  OK, so probably more often than occasionally–but like most of us, she doesn’t always get what she wants as often as she likes.  I decided to look up McDonald’s Nutritional Information.  I wasn’t too surprised to find out that the Chicken McNuggets have milk.  Most breaded items will have either milk or egg.  I was pleased to find out their hamburgers (including buns) have no milk or egg.  However, I found it oddly strange that their French Fries have milk.  Apparently hydrolyzed milk is a starting point for their beef flavouring.

I’m finding some good resources on-line in regards to food allergies–one being The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Like I said, this is the beginning of a new journey–and I’m sure I’ll have much more to write on this subject as we travel down this road!


This past weekend we took Hannah Rose to see the Broadway Musical, Oliver! Of course, it wasn’t on Broadway…it was a bit off off off off Broadway. Give or take an off or several.

It was put on by the Motor City Youth Theatre and Grantland Street Players in Livonia. (You can check out their website here )

We really enjoyed the show.  It had been far too long since I had been to the theatre–any sort, really.  Hannah Rose seemed to enjoy it–she said her favourite parts were when “the man’s foot got stepped on.”  She also liked it when Oliver pulled out a very long stream of hankies from Fagin’s pocket, and then fell on his bum.  She was incredibly well behaved during the show.

The director did a great job with the cast.  Working with kids is not always easy–but when it’s done well, it’s a pleasure for everyone!  As far as the cast went–the young girl who played Dodger stood out by leaps and bounds.

Even Chris–who hates musicals and isn’t that much of a live theatre fan (yet! ~wink, wink~) enjoyed the production.  Which, if you know him, is saying more than A LOT!

The theatre space was small and intimate.  The cast was almost as large as the audience!  It looked like the building had at one time been perhaps a small church.  I liked the set, and the costumes were great.  I was a little surprised to see actors doing double duty as stage-hands, but I know that’s not unheard of.

The story–it’s a great story, as long as you’re not reading Charles Dickens’ version thereof.  I was going to say I can’t think of any adaptation of a Charles Dickens’ novel that I haven’t enjoyed–but then I remembered that Great Expectations movie we were forced to watch back in high school.  I didn’t care much for that.  With that exception, I think his stories are great.  I just hate the way he tells them.  I know there are a lot of Charles Dickens fans out there–and I may get yelled at for saying so, but I don’t think he was a good writer.  OK, OK, to say I don’t think he was a good writer is putting it mildly to say the least.  And it’s probably a little silly how passionately I dislike the man’s writing.  But there you have it folks–my honest opinion:  Charles Dickens’ stories are great, the way he tells them not so great!

Driving after the theatre, Hannah Rose yawns loudly and declares, “I’m not tired.”  Chris laughed so hard at that, she did it several more times before arriving home.  She likes laughing and making other people laugh every bit as much as he does!

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