Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Food and recipes have always been a crucial part of our family. Sophie was my great-grandmother, the person who I was named after. She had passed away before I was born. She came here to America from Lithuania with my great-grandfather Jacob, probably around the late 1880's. Along with her came these delicious recipes, one being creamed mushrooms on toast.

I follow this recipe exactly as written even if I think I could skip a step because I am afraid that it might not taste the same. One time my cousin tried to jazz it up with spices - WRONG! big mistake. These are the most scrumptious creamed mushrooms you will ever have.

5 lbs white button mushrooms

2-1/2 lbs eastern potatoes

1 whole onion left whole

1/2 lb(2 sticks) Breakstone sweet butter - NO SUBSTITITUTES

3 pints heavy cream or enough to cover mushrooms & potatoes in the pot

cut mushrooms into pieces about 1 inch sq. and clean with water put in pot-cover with water and bring to a boil - strain out water

put mushrooms back in pot with whole onion-cover with water-bring to a boil-strain water and take out onion. Add the potatoes

While the mushrooms are being boiled to oblivion and these are the steps that you THINK you can skip(but DON'T) peel and dice the potatoes raw.

So, in the pot you now have the mushrooms and the raw diced potatoes, add the heavy cream to cover them and put in the 2 sticks of butter.

I never said that this recipe was for the feint of heart or dietetic!

keep on a low light and allow to simmer. The butter will melt. You can add salt and pepper to taste. while this is simmering, gently squash SOME of the potatoes - up against the side of the pot to thicken the cream. We really can't say exactly how long this will take but I have been known to have this simmering on a low light for a few hours. STIR every so often because you don't want the bottom to burn! The following day you can add a little milk to loosen them up for re-warming, if you want to.

serve over toast. YUMMY!

This is a dish that we have always saved for special occasions but my family wishes we could have it a lot more often.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back then we did not have computers or video games. An interaction with the TV - if you had one - was sending away for a plastic sheet to put over the TV screen and a magic crayon. The show was WinkyDink and You. Singing along with the Merry Mailman, waiting in gleeful anticipation for Howdy Doody or drawing along with John Gnagy with charcoals that were also a mail purchase.
I love purchasing things that come in the mail even now, even for my grandsons because they wait with such excitment for the item to arrive.
On rainy days, I got to stay in the apartment with my mom and make yarn dolls. That was so much fun. My brother played with his boy toys such as his Davy Crocket everything collection. We even had leather jackets with fringes. Weren't we the envy of the neighborhood. Boys ran around with their coon skin hats and coon tails.
Roller skating meant putting them on your shoes with a skate key to tighten them. Then roller skating on the cement sidewalk. I can still feel the vibration. What fun!
But the best fun of all for me was when I got my Ginny Doll. Every week my mom took me to the "Hobby Store" which a toy store was called back then and bought me a new outfit for Ginny. She was the Barbie of the 50's and I loved to dress her up. Her clothes were so pretty. I still have her. She is cherished.
So today there are computers and video games for my grandsons and Noah has his portable Nintendo DS. I know that we have to be careful about what games to get for him, not too violent. Davy Crocket carried around a rifle but that was to kill a bear, not a person.
I love that Noah has his action figures to play with and uses his imagination. Back in the 50's we used a card table covered in a blanket to make a play house. I have made that suggestion to Noah and much to my excitment he loved the idea.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Has a little voice in your head stopped you from being in harms way??

I have my angel encounters that I wish to share with everyone.

I am sure that there have been many but 3 stand out in my head.

I have to go back to 1969 when my sister-in-law Jean and I were driving on Route 17 in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. She was 8 months pregnant and she was driving. At that time there were many traffic lights on this highway and the light changed just before we got there. She slammed on the brakes in order to stop. We heard screaching brakes behind us and when we looked - there was an 18 wheeler there with not even an inch to spare. He jumped out of the cab - with a wild look in his eyes. He said that "something" told him to put his brakes on because he was just cruising along. If he had not, his truck would have crushed us.
The next encounter was also vehicle related. I was driving on Route 80 and veered off to the right to go down the ramp to the exit for Route 17. There is no stop sign so you just merge. Coming down the ramp at a good clip, "something" told me to stop. Just at that moment a truck came flying by. If I had merged without stopping, I would have been hit.

In 1998, I had a bilateral mastectomy. Having had numerous surgeries before that, I have always been afraid of the anesthesia. When they wheeled me into the surgery room, I prayed to God that He would send His angels to be with me during the surgery. When I woke up in the recovery room, there was a fleeting moment that I felt that I was in the presence of angels. It was the most amazing and calming feeling. I even had a vision of what they looked like. You can believe this or not, but I found pictures of what they looked like to me. I am posting one here. I did ask the creator of this sculpture if this was intentional and she said that she had a vision of what angels looked like to her.
There are angels among us.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I believe that we all live with our priorities but have we ever really wondered if they are messed up?
I have not seen my mother for months now. She lives in a garden apartment which has 4 flights of stairs. Having degenerative arthritis I cannot climb those stairs.

She will not come to our home to visit because she does not approve of our way of keeping the house clean. It is a bit cluttered and she refuses to see past the clutter in order to come see me. The only way that I can see her is to meet at a restaurant somewhere but life is always getting in the way so we can never seem to agree on the day or time.

I can remember so many times when something interfered with getting my mother's full attention because other things were always taking priority. Yes, I know that this might sound a little self-centered on my part but I can't help but wonder if HER priorities are just a bit messed up.

I remember back when I was 35 and decided to get a teeny tiny tattoo on my wrist - it was about 1/2" round. The family went to my mom's for the Jewish Holiday meal that particular weekend and when she noticed it, she just closed down and everyone suffered because she could no longer function. I had to leave in order for her to serve the meal.

When my mom's best friend's husband passed away, we were all waiting for my mom to get there so they could continue on with the funeral. She had a little fender bender on the way, so when she did get there, she was taking all the attention because she had a dent in her car, never mind that Estelle, her friend for 50 years at that point, was burying her husband.

So, my mom is now 86, and not seeing her for 5 months is a long time.

Should clutter and a little dust keep you from your loved ones?
I am including some pictures that we took of the kitchen which is wide open to the living area. Comments are welcome.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Burdens Are So Much Lighter

Romans 12:21 NIV
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

A friend of mine posted about this in her blog this morning and I was just thinking last night how much better I feel that I am not angry all the time. It used to be a way of life for me.
Angry at the man in the deli for not wearing gloves, angry at my kids for not picking up their rooms, angry at my husband for not meeting my expectations, angry at my now adult children for remembering what a crappy mother I was, when I thought I was a good mother, angry at my friend for flirting with my husband and luring him away, angry at my mother for not meeting my expectations.

That is a lot of anger and I am sure there is more to add if I think about it more BUT........
The Lord's words are in my mind and my heart now and the anger has turned to forgiveness and my load of burdens have lightened and it feels really good.
Someone said to me that just because you forgive, does not mean that you have to intelligently forget how you were hurt but when you forgive, it just becomes a faint memory stored back there in your brain.
Like my friend blogged, when someone hurts you, give them a kiss on the cheek and tell them you love them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Colors inspire me so I am typing in the color of the desert to speak about my friend, Barbara. We have been friends for many years and 3 years ago she moved out to New Mexico to live in the desert! Not isolated in the desert but desert just the same: tarantulas, rattle snakes, scorpions - you get the picture.

If I decided to visit it would have to be in the winter because all of the creepy crawlies are hybernating - HOPEFULLY.

To me it takes a brave woman to just pack everything up and just move to another State, leaving behind a great job, friends and a brother. Not with the intent of NEVER seeing them again but not quite as often as before.

She did have her beloved horse, Gato, brought out there with her and was able to spend some wonderful quality time with him because he could now live on the same land as her home. She got to ride him more often and see him every day, whereas here in NJ he had to board at a horse ranch.

Gato was old and unfortunately passed away but now Barbara has 2 more horses name Chibella and Salvadore. She also has 2 doggies named Sabado and Domingo (for those of you who do not speak Spanish that translates to saturday and sunday).

I am posting pictures of Barbara's family as well as of Barbara.

I am very happy to have her as a friend.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I want to speak about my Beauty doggie. She left us in February 2009 and I miss her still.

It had to be sometime in 1998 that we brought her home. About 3 months before that my friend's brother brought her to his house in Paterson,NJ and said that he found her. I believe she was about 6 months old at that time and he thought she was a full pitbull. She actually turned out to be a mix of pit and black lab. He was not very nice to her and I started thinking about asking to take her home with me. God must have intervened because my friend's brother left and Beauty was left with his mother. About a week later, I came to visit and there was Beauty, running around loose in the street. I rescued her and drove straight home with Beauty's head on my lap. We bonded at that moment and we have been bonded ever since.

In Beauty's lifetime, she survived being hit by a car two times and surviving Cushing's Disease. I know that each time she was hit, nothing was broken but the impact caused her pain later in life. The Cushings was horrific but I prayed to our Lord to give us a few more years together and He did. Then she began to go downhill, slowly but surely. It seemed that this time no amount of prayer helped so I knew that she would be leaving me. I delayed it as long as I could but eventually had to call the vet and ask him if he could come to our home to do the task. He did and Beauty was able to leave with her dignity in tack and in the comfort of my arms. I miss her every day and tell her I love her every night in my prayers.

We had a private cremation for her so we know that the ashes we have are hers. I want to be with her forever so when I leave, my ashes with be combined with hers. I only pray that I will be able to meet with her again at that Rainbow Bridge.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


For some reason the ritual of the ancient eskimos keeps coming to mind these past few days. They used to put their "aged" on a slab of ice and float them out to sea, never to be seen again.

I am not much of a political person but the new ideas are scaring me because it will come down to this: if you are a 70 year old in need of a hip replacement, the new medicare may not want to pay for it because they won't want to spend the money on you because you are too old.

Everything that we have accomplished in our lifetime will come down to a decision made by our government as to whether we can continue our lives with dignity or not. Frightening.

When I was a youngster, and I keep going back to that these days, I was taught respect for elders. I spent a lot of time with my grandma and my great-great aunt Ida. She lived alone in the Bronx, never marrying but I loved to sit at her kitchen table and listen to her stories and eat her delicious food. When my mom said that we were going to visit an older relative, I was always excited.

It seems that in today's world, that privilege is gone and will be permanently gone if we are placed on a piece of ice and sent out to sea.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Do you remember where you were when your heard that a plane crashed into the Twin Tower in New York City? I am using the word plane as singular because I heard it before the second plane hit.

I was sitting in my car, waiting for Jenifer to come out of the eyeglass store. I was holding Noah, who was only 3 months old at the time. Jenifer came out of the shop, leaned in the window and said that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. My initial reaction was one of disbelief and almost thought she had to be mistaken. I turned on the radio and someone was saying that a second plane hit the other tower and there were rumors of other planes that were going to attack. Then the Pentagon was hit and the other plane crashed into a field. Then they said that they believed that the White House was a target.

I was in shock, as I am sure, everyone else was. I was worried about Cole being in school. We live in New Jersey and being so close to NYC, I was frightened. We went home and felt okay at that point about Cole but the day and the days after were horrific. I am not going to get into the whys, and wherefores, but I do know that we all felt that America was immune to attacks, especially after Pearl Harbor. We all thought we were protected.

My opinion is that only God can protect us and if it is in His plan, there is nothing we can do. If God wanted us to know about it and stop those planes then He would have done that.

My heart prays for the families of the victims of 9/11 who will live this pain over and over again. While it is important for us as a nation to remember, how hard it must be for these families to be reminded every year. I know that while I am sitting here typing, there are 100's, if not 1,000's of people standing in the rain at the site of the Twin Towers, giving honor to those who died that day.

God save us all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


In New York City you have to capture Autumn wherever you can. Unless you are walking through Central Park, trees are hard to come by. We had more trees up in the Bronx when I was a kid and we had an actual park near our apartment building called The Oval. It was a huge circular park with all of the amenities. I don't think I noticed much about Autumn back then except liking when there was a nip in the air. There is a crispness in the air that is not really there any other time of year.

That is why, when my girls were little, I always pointed out how beautiful the trees look, the beautiful colors. We live in the mountains in Northern New Jersey so we are living inside a colorful painting of what Autumn is supposed to look like, at least in our dreams.

The picture above was taken in New York City. I am glad that God decided to put some beautiful trees there so New Yorkers can appreciate His glory.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


September is a very significant month and it means different things to different people of different age groups.

I have to start when I was a little girl and September was when school started again for the year. I was always so excited and I got to wear a brand new dress. I began kindergarten when I was only 4 but in the Bronx, NY it was a full day but we got to go home for lunch. My mom was always waiting outside the school for me and we walked the few city blocks home to eat lunch together. Of course, my brother, Stefan was there but he was only 3 and not in school yet! That was always a fun time.

As the years passed, and I got older, I was still excited for the school year to begin, because it meant new clothes and brand new notebooks. I always had good intentions. This would be a straight A year! Suffice it to say, I love learning more now than I ever did in school.

Of course, September meant that Autumn was coming, my favorite time of year. God's glory shining in the trees with all the beautiful colors.

Orange, yellow, gold, rust; more color hues than you could ever imagine.

I always wondered how people felt who lived in areas that did not have season changes. Autumn without the leaves changing? Winter without snow? I can see why so many people travel to the North-Eastern States to see the Autumn folliage.

September means the coming of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. That would be another blog. I used to say," Oh, I can't wait" but I am content now to take each day and live it and pray that it goes very slowly.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

5:43 AM on a Satuday morning in September




I know for some this might be a normal time to be awake but for me, not anymore. Of course, during the days when my children were babies or when I working full time out of the house, this was wake up time but for me those days are gone.

I could make some good use of this time, like crochet, play scrabble with my real live online scrabble friends (someone is always around since they live all over the world), clean (like that is going to happen this early), watch TV (nah, that wouldn't be making good use of the time).

I could pray which I do all day. Oh, I could eat a cookie.

My mom bakes the best toll house cookies ever. Now, if you like soft and mushy than you won't like hers since my mom bakes them nice and crispy and when they are hot, the chocolate is melted. She used to bake apple pie and because ready-made crust was a non entity back then, she had to make her own crust which was delicious but never a labor of love. I suppose she found it frustrating but Oh, the end result. There was always that big pie and a little one, just for me.

Now she mostly just bakes cookies for Christmas and relies on her husband, my step-dad, Vito, to cook all their meals. I always thought that my mother and grandma were the best cooks in the world. No-one roasted a chicken like them. Grandma made the best homemade steak fries.

Now the star of the family is Vito and his amazing meatballs and spaghetti.

I am sure that every family has a star cook and a family favorite recipe but try as we might, no one can duplicate Vito's meatballs and sauce. No secret ingredients, no difference in measuring, must be Vito's hands but that is another blog.

This blogging is more fun than I thought so see you next time. ♥

Friday, September 4, 2009

And so------being new to blogging

How could I not include my sweet doggie, ChiChi

Meet the family




Noah and Inky

Noah and Cole

My First Ever Blog

Today I am writing my first ever blog. A few years ago I did not even know that the word blog existed or what it was about. When I was a kid, we had diaries with tiny locks on them to put our very most intimate thoughts into. Now we have blogs on the worldwide internet.

To start with, the Lord comes first in my life before anything else because without Him, nothing falls into place. The reason I named my blog - My Heart and Welcome to it - is because the Lord can and will do anything He wants with my heart and He resides there. When my heart stops beating, I will take His hand and join Him.

My next favorite subject are my two grandsons, Cole age 16 and Noah age 8. There is nothing in this world more dear than grandchildren. The first time I saw my daughter Jenifer's face and 17 months later, my daughter Jodi's face, I did not believe that love could be greater until I saw my grandsons. We are all a part of one.

Which brings me to my belief that we are all related in the Lord.

I walk in complete faith of our Lord, blindly and happily.