Flower Petals

My journal entry from April 2017:

As a family we have been on a journey with my Dad that brought us to the Mayo clinic for further testing and confirmation. My dear Dad is just 64 years old and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I cannot tell you in mere words how difficult it is for me to even type that sentence. That particular set of words strung together in the same sentence. Unfathomable. It is devastating. It is heartbreaking. It is unthinkable. But, yet it is. Most difficult to bear is there is nothing we can do. We can’t stop it. We can’t make it go away. We can only try to fight it with herbs and foods and vitamins and prayers.

He can’t remember his own birthday. This from the man who could rattle off the make and model of old hot rod vehicles as they drove down the road in a matter of seconds. He knew exactly what year we traveled to Washington D.C or Phoenix or California. He was great with numbers, dates, names, places, people. Now, conversations are difficult. He struggles to find words. He is losing those dear people he knew to exist in his outer perimeter. When we are out in public, they come up to talk with him. After he does his best to engage in polite conversation, they walk away and he doesn’t know who they are. It makes my heart hurt to see him struggle so. He loves people and loves to talk.

It is as if my Dad is made of flower petals, and there is a quiet breeze blowing each petal off of him, one by one.  Until he will be stripped of all of his colorful, soft, beautiful petals. Each petal represents a connection, a memory, a word. Sometimes, it is as if we can see the stripping of each velvet petal right before our eyes. Others may drift off in the night. Inside our own heads, we cry out and scream! NO! We want to tape, to sew, to glue each one back on. But it is not possible. Impossible. No cure. No treatment. No next steps.

We just pray that what petals are left will hold tightly. That he will stay just like this for as long as he can. For the most excruciating pain lies ahead for each of us, lies in the petal that represents us. Me. I am a petal. And someday he will lose me too. The memory of me, of who I am to him, will vanish.

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Greek Yogurt with Honey and Walnuts

Going Greek!

So, I’ve been doing some research and have decided to go Greek. Well, more Mediterranean at least. For the most part (for me), this means adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts and all of the things I’ve been missing in my daily diet.

I wanted to share one of the delicious discoveries I recently made. It is simple, easy and flavorful – Greek Yogurt with Honey & Walnuts. Seriously. It’s so good! Simply take some non-fat greek yogurt and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with walnuts. That’s it! If you have never tried it, I highly encourage you to do so. And if you have already been eating this, nice work!

It’s a trifecta of healthy goodness:

Greek Yogurt: rich in protein, packed with probiotics, high in calcium & B12

Honey: contains flavonoids (antioxidants), anti-bacterial and anti-fungal

Walnuts: plant based omega 3 fats, antioxidants, contains amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease. (This girl will take all the heart help she can get!)

Also, my little mini-me Eva gave it her blessing – two thumbs up! So, it’s kid tested and mom approved.

How do you do Greek yogurt? Leave a note in the comments!

Fruit Pastries

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Alright, I have to admit that Saturday mornings are by far my very most favorite morning of the entire week. Especially when we do not have to be anywhere. It’s just our little family of four, sleeping in and then enjoying a delightful breakfast. Slow. Leisurely. Relaxing. Totally enjoyable. Totally delightful. The best mornings EVER! This is mostly because we are together. All of us. No one is rushing off to work or school. And we have the morning completly at our leisure. To sip coffee. Shop online. Visit with each other. (With kids in activities, a free Saturday morning is a rarity – especially in the winter with two hockey players! We cherish DEEPLY.)

It is on these mornings that I like to make something special for breakfast. It could be pancakes or french toast. Or it could be something a bit more exquisite. These chocolate pastries come to mind, using our dear friend puff pastry. (puff pastry = easy and yummy) But I have also made these delectable pastries with fruit filling, rather than Nutella, and they are (almost) equally as thrilling. My son would disagree because he is a Nutella Lover with capital letters. It’s his most favorite food that comes in a jar. I am pretty sure he would eat it for all of his meals if he could. Sadly (for him), his mother would not let that happen. Never. Ever. She can be a bit of a nazi with food and sleep but also highly believes in everything in moderation and Leisurely Saturday Morning Breakfasts are at the top of her list of high priority items.

So, here is the deal, you make these but you just substitute your favorite fruit pie filling in place of the Nutella. I’m hoping I had most of you at “puff pastry”. After all, you are my people! 🙂

And if you are feeling like chocolate, well, by all means use the chocolate recipe! It will rock your Saturday too.

I also feel the need to provide photos for those visual folks {like me}

Sweet fruit pastries straight out of the oven – before being decorated with gorgeous glaze.

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and here they are with some lovely glaze drizzled across them…

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There is some seriously flakiness going on here! (are you salivating yet?)

and here is a sneak peek inside the scrumptious fruit pastry…

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Now, go and make these for your clan! They will love you for it.

Even more than they already do! Here is the recipe for Fruit Pastries. Cheers to Saturday mornings!!

Also…it’s like the 10th month of winter over here in good old Minnesota. And it’s only Tuesday. But I’m already wishing it were Saturday. {sigh}

I also wanted to give you time to get the ingredients that you’ll need for your Leisurely Saturday Morning Breakfast! 😉