The time seems to be flying by as the holidays come closer. It’s been six months now since Russell died and I can’t believe it most days. At the time I was sure I couldn’t live six weeks without him and now it is months. This picture was taken a few weeks before he left us and it is one of my favorites. We were at a car show and he had a wonderful time.
I am working on expanding my recipe collection to include some new things. You know I am not a fan of left overs, but my friend Jean had a good suggestion. Freeze what you don’t eat, pop it in the freezer and have it three weeks or so. It’s a new meal and not a “next night” left over.
I did that this week with two things. I found a macaroni and hamburger recipe that said it would feed 5 so I made the entire recipe. I think it would feed 55 but I packaged up more than one freezer “new meal” and will try it in a week or two.
The other one was short ribs in my new smaller crock pot. This included onions, garlic, pineapple and a yummy sauce to put on rice. I will try that later. One can’t live on Stauffer’s alone. Now I do make exceptions on next night left overs. I make a wonderful potato and onion soup that I could eat for days. Russ loved it and I would use my “boat motor” immersion blender to puree his a bit. For me, I like the pieces of onion and potato. I also will eat homemade chili more than one night. It’s generally better the next night.
Another source of ideas are those ads I’ve seen for 100 years for ways to use Campbell’s soups. I tried onion burger this week with hamburger patty and canned soup and cheese on a toasted bun. Pretty good with some fresh peas. Who knew to read those ads? They are everywhere.
I am still enjoying the gym. I did some hand exercises this past week designed to strengthen thumbs and hands. I liked that and will do more of that. I often can’t get lids off so I use a nut cracker on smaller ones. Larger ones sometimes are work for my neighbor. Jason. It helps to be young and have strong hands.
I spoke to a group of parents yesterday at the OCC-GATE annual conference. The annual conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn so much. I especially enjoyed Sandra Kaplan and Jessica Manzone Cole talking about identifying gifted youngsters in Pre K-2 grades. They are both of SC and are at the heart of teacher training.
When Russell was ill, I didn’t do much of this speaking because I was reluctant to leave him. I was concerned that I would be rusty and out of my speaking rhythm but it went well. I enjoyed hearing other speakers and seeing old friends. Most of these dear people knew that Russell had passed away but two or three didn’t. It was not easy to tell them when they asked about him.
I had dinner with Chuck and Lorraine last night. This is Chuck and Lorraine and Allison, my niece and their daughter-in-law. We had coupons for Black Angus and Lorraine and I are big fans of coupons. We had good food and good company and good conversation. My brother Chuck has been there to support me always and especially since Russell passed away. His wife, Lorraine is like a sister to me.
We had a long discussion about my feeling that I should be giving back in some way for all the goodness and kindness Russ and I received through this last 18 months. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to work with children just now if ever. Sounds strange I know. I am not sure I’m strong enough to help with hospice and sick people. I’m not interested in working with animals though I love almost every dog I’ve ever met. Maybe I’m not ready to do anything since I’m so scattered about it.
I need to remember to turn the sprinklers off tomorrow for Halloween and the Trick or Treat crew we will get. It changes every year in amount but I am always ready. Our two young neighbors, Kyle and Kaitlyn always dress up in some creative way. They always visit and let me see the year’s new costume.
My grown up grandchildren go to parties and Katy is especially creative with her costume. When I was a principal this was not my favorite holiday. Sugared up kids weren’t always easy to teach. The dentists in our area are offering books and games if children will bring in their bags of candy. Now where is the fun in that?
I will be thinking of you all as I venture out into the world for the first big trip without Russell. I am going to New Orleans for NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children. Mary will come in from Atlanta to spend the time with me and frankly to give me what support I may need.
Many friends will be there from all over the country and beyond. I am not speaking, I am only attending and enjoying…..no pressure. Mary has never been there so we will for sure take a tour of the city. Russell and I loved New Orleans. A daily stop at Cafe’ Dumond is a must. Chicory coffee and hot sugary beignets are a treat.