Friday, September 11, 2015

Nine Eleven

All of us are remembering where we were 9-11-2001. Fourteen years have passed, but in my heart it feels like yesterday. Our life at the time was a flurry of family turmoils; our youngest daughter had moved back home to escape an abusive relationship, my Mother was on a downhill slide with her dementia and my brother was facing his last year with terminal heart disease.

That morning I was on my way to Mom’s farm 100 miles away to take her to a doctor’s appointment. I had an oil change scheduled early at the dealership and was in the waiting room watching TV when I saw the first reports of the plane crashing into the Trade Center. By the time they had the car ready and I was on the road to Mom’s, the second plane went down. The radio announcers reported the news in a panicked state and I remember feeling so vulnerable in a world I’d never known. I turned the car around, called Mom and told her to turn the TV on and to stay inside close to the phone. As I drove home I saw long lines at gas stations, really long…out on the highway, backed up to refuel in this state of emergency. My head spun with what to do first, call my husband…he had left that morning on a business trip and was on the road too. He too was in shock, turned the car around and headed home. We both realized our lives had changed forever. In the days that followed we watched in horror the coverage on TV. I remember thinking how worried I was about Mom’s declining health and Amy’s broken heart. Now those problems seemed so small compared to the grief so many were facing with the loss of their loved ones.

A lot has happened in fourteen years. Life has a way of going on. Regardless of what happened yesterday, one thing is certain about life…the fact that it’s uncertain. But that makes the sun coming up each morning so special.

Our gratitude to the many who sacrificed countless hours and months in all capacities to rebuild our country. Today I honor those who lost their lives, our thoughts and prayers are with the many loved ones left behind.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

Pumpkin. Spice. Doughnuts. 

Those three words are dangerous all by themselves, but put them together and I have a "situation." I found this recipe on Pinterest last year and couldn't stop making it! It takes roughly 10 minutes to make them and 12 to bake. They were delicious and tasted very much like that famous place with the sign that says "HOT DONUTS"... you know the one! Keep this recipe handy for the next time you are jonesing for KK, it'll save you a drive across town!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a separate bowl, combine oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk.  Mix well. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir until just combined.  Fill muffin cups about 2/3 of the way full with your cookie scoop. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick. Mine were perfect in 12 minutes.

Melt butter in a small bowl.  In a different small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.  After donuts are done and have cooled enough to handle, dip them in the butter and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pope Francis

Pope Francis' words this week reached so many people, a nation and a whole world that has lost hope, direction. Last night, millions were tuned in to watch the interview by World News Tonight anchor David Muir on 20/20. Never before have we had a Pope so public, his actions always precede his papal title. From the moment he arrived for the interview, he acknowledged everyone in the room shaking hands, blessing them. 

The virtual audience from chosen locations gave a hurting nation the encouragement we were needing. He spoke first to a teenager who had suffered bullying at school because of her skin condition. As she told of her feelings of embarrassment and lack of confidence, tears streamed down her face. Pope Francis asked her to sing for him and she could barely bring herself to do it. He told her, "Be courageous!" Another stunning moment when a mother and her two daughters stood up and she confessed she felt as if she had failed being the best Mom. Pope Francis' words, "I'm proud of you for being courageous and not having an abortion!" She was stunned that he called her courageous! Another young man wept as he told of losing his father at an early age and he now is the family breadwinner, his dreams of college are gone because he's the child of undocumented citizens.  

All the problems that we are facing right now are being addressed by this Pope. With public appearance, interviews and interaction he is healing us. His compassion and love is reaching out to those who need hope, those who have all but given up on society. 

I've added the Pope on my Twitter feed, my daily dose of inspiration... you can do that too!

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