350 degrees for 25 minutes

Cheesy Mushroom Dip

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a greased casserole dish for 25 minutes until golden and bubbly.

I’ve posted this before. It’s simple and delicious.  The rainy weather triggered this memory.  Looking forward to 5:30 today when I can throw this together with a great glass of wine.  Barbera d’asti sounds like a good choice.  (lively, earthy flavors)

Blue, White & Red Waffles

Blue, White & Red Waffles
Blue, White & Red Waffles

My heart aches for Paris. I’m consoling my family with an indulgent brunch. I will say grace with more reverence today. #PRAYFORPARIS

Ingredients for Blackberry Whiskey Sauce

3 tbsp. Butter
1/3 cup Blackberry Whiskey (Bird Dog)
10-12 fresh Blackberries
8 oz. Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest

In a medium sauce pan melt 2 tbsp. of butter. Reserve the last tbsp. for the very end to finish sauce. Add whiskey and bring to a boil. (you are reducing and cooking off the alcohol) This will take about 10 minutes. Stir often. Add blackberries and syrup to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add last tbsp. of butter and lemon zest-stir and cover. Turn off heat.

Ingredients for Regular Waffles

2 Cups Bisquick
1 tbsp. Sour Cream
1 Egg
1 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Half & Half
2 tbsp. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest

Stir together gently all ingredients. Blend well, but try not to over stir mix. Pour into a well greased waffle maker and cook for approximately 5 minutes until it stops steaming. If you have one that you can flip, turn over at 2-3 minutes.

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Waffles

1 1/3 Gluten-Free Bisquick
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Half & Half
1 tbsp. Sour Cream
1 Egg
3 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest

Stir together gently all ingredients. Blend well, but try not to over stir mix. Pour into a well greased waffle maker and cook for approximately 5 minutes until it stops steaming. If you have one that you can flip, turn over at 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately. Add a pat of butter on top of your waffle and spoon blackberry sauce on top. I added a little fresh whipped cream to make it just a little more over the top. Enjoy!

I added a side of scrambled eggs and ham. 🙂

104 Days

That’s how long it has been since my sweet, wonderful daddy passed away. My brain still has trouble wrapping itself around that fact. I feel a little bit more like my “old self” these days, but I still have a multitude of moments where the loss hits me so hard that I feel like I can’t breathe.
My sister and I have worked really hard to take care of our mom, his business, his employees…his stuff. I can honestly say that having so much on our plates has helped me get up every day. The day after his funeral we were hard at work taking care of these things.
As a testament to his character; we’ve been taken aback by the ease of which dad’s customers have worked with us to close out their accounts. We’ve tried our best to direct them to new suppliers and I’ve hugged each and every one of them. Dad was loved by his customers. The process of talking to his customers has been very cathartic for both my sister and myself.
Our dad never meant for his girls to work in the sawmill industry and so we never learned much about it. We can’t help but laugh when we imagine dad looking down on us and giggling at our facial expressions each time someone asks for a chipper or debarker part. A huge part of me is grateful for this learning experience. I can actually say that I’ve walked many days in my father’s shoes now. I didn’t think it was possible to respect my dad more than I already did, but I do. He was more of a magician than I gave him credit.
But I do have one gripe, “Why is it so flipping hard to close a deceased person’s account”? I won’t say who the difficult provider was, but I’ll say it was something like BG&G. Three Months! Three months straight I’ve talked with every poor soul that bothered to pick up the customer service line there. I’ve explained countless times that my dad passed away unexpectedly and that he no longer needs internet service. I’ve explained this to so many people. I’ve been transferred over and over again. Each one has the same response, “What’s the passcode”? Ummmmm, really????? I’ve guessed at the pass code many times. I’ve cried. I’m not proud to admit it, but I’ve raised my voice. If you have a copy of someones death certificate…why is this not enough?
My sister offered to drive to the local store and take over after I admitted to her that I had pretty much screamed at a stranger there. I’m not proud. Anyway, she took off yesterday with her certified copy of the death certificate and the bill. She was ready to help out her big sister. (thanks little stink) She confidently strode over to the manager, who surprisingly was not falling all over himself to help her out. She explained how we had tried for three months over the phone to cancel the service to no avail, and you know what he said to her? “Ma’am, you’ll still have to call, but you can sit here to do it” OMG. She sat down, with only a few ruffled feathers poking out of her coat. She made the call. When she repeatedly told the service rep that she didn’t have the pass code, the manager sitting across from her took pity on her and got on the phone. He explained that she was in the store with a certified death certificate. He now had a vested interest in our plight. Three store managers got involved. No one could cancel the service. My sister inhaled deeply and got back on the phone. They finally gave her a hint to what the pass code might be and it came to her. Yep. Just like that, she had figured out his pass code and they were able to cancel the service. We will be getting a final bill in the mail soon. Wow. It only took 104 days.

men laughing

I Could Drink a Case of This

Coffee and the River
Coffee and the River

I don’t mean the coffee; I mean the view and the peace I feel when I’m at the river.
Many years ago I was driving home from college when it started to gently snow. At the same time Joni Mitchell’s I Could Drink a Case of You, (the rock version) started playing on the radio. My dog, a rescued Chinese Shar pei sat beside me and I was overwhelmed by the calm and love that inundated my being.
The sounds of nature bring me immense joy. Sometimes it’s intensified by music, like on that trip home. I have a propensity towards solitude. People who know me closely understand this about me. I’m blessed to have a partner who understands my need for alone time. It heals and balances me.
As many of my friends and family know, I’ve been balancing more on my plate than I’m used to balancing. Let me also say that I’m intensely aware that many others experience or are experiencing many more difficult hardships. I’m aware and I pray for them.
Over the weekend, the hubs and I were able to knock out some projects that were weighing on us. Due to the hurricane last month, we lost the end of the pier at the family cottage. When the pier went, so did the electrical that went to the boat house that housed my dad’s boat. Winter is approaching and we feared we were running out of time to retrieve dad’s boat from the water safely and winterize it.
Saturday morning we both woke up with a combination of fear and drive. I kept hearing my sister’s voice in my head saying,”We’ve got this” And so we did. We loaded the first trailer of storm debris and hauled it away and then purchased and loaded wood to rebuild the end of the pier. Each time we knocked something out, I smiled and thanked God and Daddy for looking down on us with favor. (my journey; my thoughts) Next up we were back at the cottage and in no time:

From the lone board that was left to repaired!
From the lone board that was left to repaired!

My husband repaired the electrical and we hoped and prayed individually that the motor on the boat lift would still work. It did! We lowered the boat and silently prayed again that the motor on the boat would start. The tide is high this time of year and the water was rough. I watched him set off and couldn’t help but tear up as I wondered if this might be the last time I would see dad’s boat in the water.

Jerry's Dream
Jerry’s Dream

This boat holds 30 plus years of memories. My sister and I took countless fishing trips with dad on this boat. I learned to slolem ski behind this boat and hydroslide and trick ski. I attempted a lot of cool, fun things behind this boat. Dad loved boating, skiing and fishing. He made my sister and I love the water. I think we’re both drawn to it.

Daddy with his girls
Daddy with his girls

I’m beyond thankful for the life my father gave me. I look back on my childhood and I can’t think of anything I needed. (Wanted…yes, but never a need that he didn’t meet) I’m thankful for the forty plus years he graced my life. I’m thankful for the view of the river that serves as a reminder of what hard work and dreams can give you. I’m saddened by the truth that he will not retire here as he wished. When I look out on the river I think, “I could drink a case of this.”

Mr. Sugarbears and his best friend Chubs
Mr. Sugarbears and his best friend Chubs