Just when I said I wasn’t going to eat more sweets, I found a Facebook page of two, older ladies that bake all kinds of yummy food. Their page is Pinky Ma’s Cakes, Cookies and Candies. They are the cutest sisters that remind me so much of my late grandmother on my mother’s side.
They talk about their life and even share an unbelievable story about their childhood. I don’t want to share what went on so you’ll be sure to check them out for yourselves and hear just what happened, but their love for each other and service to others is so evident. They’re fun to watch.
Anyhow, they showed these dumplings the other day and I tried to make both the peach and apple. I even made my own concoction of strawberries and blueberries. Oh my gosh, were they delicious and so easy to make. My husband loved them and so much so we’re packing the leftovers in our suitcase to take on out flight ha.
We’re taking one last trip before we fear all will be shut down again this winter, and we’ve finally reached a point where we can try and get away. (We also had airline miles to use before January.)
Out last trip was out west to Yellowstone and the Tetons last year around this time. Yet, like many of you we’ve had a tragic year, and I’m not quite ready to write about it all yet, but let’s just say “when it rains it pours.” And probably why I’ve been eating more sweets this year than my entire life!😜 So, we hope to rest our hearts and minds if at all possible.
Recipe is on the sisters’ Facebook page mentioned above.
This past weekend I met my mom, at a halfway point for both of us, in the small town of Greencastle for lunch.
Greencastle is located about 49 miles slightly SW of Indianapolis, 23 min (19.5 mi) via I-70 W and US-231 N, and is home to DePauw University.
Growing up nearby, Greencastle seemed to be more of a farming town and less “chic”, but my the times have changed.
Ancient buildings have been remodeled and now cater to the college population and their visitors. Greencastle now offers boutiques and multiple restaurants both on the square and across town. (It seems all Indiana towns have a “town square” with the courthouse located directly in the middle.)
We decided to eat at the quaint, little restaurant Almost Home, also located on the town square. It had quite the old charm with its exposed old brick, stained glass and painted tin ceilings (shown below).
This is the perfect restaurant for all you HGTV fans.;)
Once inside, the atmosphere was relaxing, with low lighting and white linen covered tables. It seems more upscale; however, I found the wooden seats to be a little uncomfortable.
Prices were reasonable, and we decided on the lunch special, a black and blue hamburger because I love me some bleu cheese and was tired of eating one more salad. (Though, they had some good choices, as well.)
And the side of rosemary french fries…to die for!
Mom and I hadn’t seen each other in a long while, so we were steeped in conversation and somehow I missed getting a picture of our food. So Sorry. 😦
In the end, we were pretty full, so we didn’t partake in any of the truffles this time, but they are just as delightful if you want to stop in to purchase a chocolatey treat or flavored coffee.
I hope to later share some pictures of the university as well as some of the beautiful trails leading through DePauw’s Nature Park. If you like to hike or cycle, it’s a fun place to go. And the old quarry area looks like something out of a movie. You won’t expect these views!
Here’s a little tidbit: It’s also the college town of Bret Baier and Stephen Hayes (from Fox News) where they were roommates. 😉
Only home a second day from Panama City Beach, and I’m already thinking about how to move to the south, sooner!
I have a countdown going on in my head.
See, Hubby can retire in three years, and my grandkids are sure to arrive in the next few years. There might be a slight problem in that my son just got married and lives here, in Indiana, but my daughter is in Georgia and was married in 2015.
I guess it’s a race to see who has their kids first. 😉
If you’re at all interested in my fam…here’s my daughter’s wedding video. And a post about the wedding day: HERE
Regardless, I just can’t handle winters, anywhere, anymore! Even if my kids didn’t live in the south, I would eventually have to move there, for sure.
I LOVED Hawaii. It was like the Garden of Eden.
I’m still trying to talk my husband into retiring there, as well. 😉
Okay, so a loaf of bread costs $5.oo.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the change of seasons and the area where we live is known for its vivid, fall colors.
As for winter, I actually love the snow and don’t mind the cold here.
It IS pretty and it does make it feel more like the holiday season has arrived.
Some of my favorite times are going out to take pictures at night when the snow has fallen. It’s SO peaceful.
⌈The neighbor’s house.⌋
Heck, I’ve even been known to run errands without a coat during 37º days…menopause or no menopause.
And when this little, Cali girl visited grandparents one midwestern winter, she was totally obsessed with seeing snow, playing in the snow, laying in the snow…not coming in from the snow, period.
I even have fond memories, while living in southern California, of my dad driving us up to the mountains of Big Bear. We’d drive around for hours listening to Christmas carols hoping to see even one flake of falling snow.
We were thrilled to find on one particular visit there was enough snow for snowball fights and sledding. Sledding down steep mountainsides ladened with huge, snow drifts jumping a foot or two in the air and then careening down onto curvy mountain roadways. (My brother actually hit a parked, car’s wheel that trip. That wheel kept him from going under the car and over the mountain cliff. TRUE STORY.)
So the past winters have been fun, but not anymore… they are really taking a toll on me now!
PRAYING/FIGHTING for HOPE
Sadly, my body has developed worsening health “issues” where the winter just really does a number on my eyes and skin, (diseases) and it’s getting worse each year. Truly, these last eight years have been a literal HELL for me, with the last three almost unbearable. The pain has been torturous. Pure. Torture.
Yep, my hope has waned, many times.
I have continually prayed for God to restore my hope especially when the pain didn’t let up for months on end. And prayed he would protect my sanity. (Those with chronic illness/disease or chronic pain will get this.)
And I have to continually fight my mind about looking too far into the future because my 40s & 50s have been the toughest years of my life. I have to tell myself to refocus and just live out today. Many times it’s been a refocusing minute by minute, quite literally.
I have to determine to lean into God hard, TODAY, and praise Him for what I can find that’s good, TODAY.
It’s not easy, I assure you.
HEALING in the SUN
So, hubby suggested a break from winter.
My eyes and skin started feeling better within a couple of days and thankfully, I didn’t have any major reactions like my last trip- uh, YAY!
Just not having that forced heat hit me all day, brought much relief and healing. And leaving the bleak, cold, overcast days just felt GOOD for the soul.
It wasn’t an easy drive for me, with this continual back pain, (It’s been a year now.) but I was sick of so many gloomy days I finally said, “I’ll chance the drive; let’s get outta here!”
I was glad in the end that we made that L O N G, 11.5 hr., drive. (I would’ve rather flown but it allowed me to use all my heating pads, medical devices, etc.. Boy, I sound OLD! (I’m a walking medical lab, now. ha.)
And luckily, my daughter and her husband were able to drive over from GA, joining us for two days. So, it was great to see them, too.
Playing with the sand, feeling the warmth of the sun soaking in, and just having face-to-face conversations with my daughter, just the two of us, as we waded in the water was just what the doctor ordered.
I also realized this was the FIRST time, in YEARS, I could go on a vacation and not fear the sun due to getting off my immune suppressing drug. YAY!!!!! (*Sun exposure is not allowed due to skin cancer risks.)
That alone makes a vaca a VACA! 🙂
Digression: I bought this bracelet one night at a restaurant and earlier that morning found this cute, little shell… had to dig down into the water to grab it before I got knocked over by a wave. My daughter was right by my side when I spotted it. 🙂
Didn’t find any more shells quite this perfect. 😉
Now we’re back.
And the heat is blowing.
And my sweats and socks are back on. 😦
(going from shorts to sweats=just not cool)
I’m physically suffering again. UGGH.
Yeah, I might have (or might not have) told my husband I may be moving ahead of him.
I leave you with the sights and sounds of the beach. ENJOY!
After leaving frigid temps in Indiana, last week, I kind of felt like this little weenie dog when I saw the beach here in Panama City. To finally see the sun and feel the warmth of the day, also made me feel like jumping for joy! (I could barely see the dog from my balcony, but upon editing, I realized I caught him mid-air, ears a flappin’…love it!)
So, we’re now packing up to return home tomorrow, and I had hope when I heard Indiana had a 70-degree day. But alas, within 24 hours it went down to 30. HO HUM.