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November 2016


99 Luftballons

Sorry for the late post.  For the second time in as many weeks, someone committed suicide on my train line.  Last night the train stopped indefinitely 20 miles from my stop.  Luckily Hannah was just finishing up work and drove the 40 mile round trip to picked me up.  It was right around the time Jacob got off of school so we did an impromptu dinner out.  By the time I got home it was 10:00, I stayed up late enough to watch The Voice on the DVR and hit the hay.

THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments, Facebook messages and texts and virtual hugs from yesterdays post.  It means more to me than you’ll ever know and I will be forever grateful and know I will look back on them in the days, weeks and months to come.  And I am sorry if I scared some of you with the blog post title that I may be giving up blogging – nope, you are stuck with me until who knows when?! 😀

My step-son just sent me this video, that I totally forgot I had on my YouTube channel.   This actually made me smile and laugh when I saw it – it was taken in March of 2011.

Hope you enjoy!  I know that Tony and our dog Ed are happy to be together again.  Make it a great day!


The Last Post

The last post that I wrote before Tony passed away was a mere seven days before he died.  I ended that post with this:

“I just wish Tony was home where he belongs, yelling at me from the living room “what smells like ass?!” when I cook Indian food in the kitchen while he’s watching Sunday football.  I want my life back.  I know it will get there, but I know we have a long road ahead of us.  I know Tony will appreciate all the comment on here and on Instagram when he can read them, so thank you to the moon and back for the support these last few weeks.”

When I read that paragraph, the one sentence that jumps out at me is “I want my life back.”  As much as used to internally complain about just sitting at home watching t.v. while Tony fell asleep at 7:30 p.m., I would literally go back to that life in a second.  I guess the saying is true, you don’t truly know what you miss until it’s gone.

I am really writing this post for me.  I’ve been reading my posts from November 2014, mainly because I don’t really remember all the details of that time.   In November 2018 I want to look back at November 2016 and remember what I was feeling two years after Tony died, and not that I just ate a flat bread breakfast sandwich.   I have to stop thinking about the what ifs, if I should have made different decisions about Tony’s care.

And while I know that life goes on, it feels as if I’ve had one foot permanently in the past like it’s in quicksand and one of these days I need to realize that it’s okay to leave the shoe in the quicksand and pull my foot out and keep walking.

“Until you heal the wounds of your past, you are going to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.  You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside and pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and then make peace with them.”  Iyanla Vanzant


Dessert/ The Chopping Block Recipe

Braided Apple Pie

apple pie

It was nice to have a semi-long weekend.  While I had Thursday and Friday off, I worked Saturday and Sunday at The Chopping Block.   We had a nice Thanksgiving, having my Mom and Jacob’s family over – I think it’s the first time in a very long time that he’s had his Dad and his brother at the same dinner table, regardless of it being Thanksgiving.  Jacob’s grandparents came too, bringing deviled eggs and stuffing, and his Mom joined us later for dessert.

Hannah did the side dishes, I grilled up turkey breasts, wings and legs, and I made an apple pie.   I actually decided to switch up my usual apple pie.  Whenever I think about apple pie, it reminds me of when Tony decided to dress up my apple pie before going into the oven several Thanksgivings ago:

apple-pie penis

This will be a tough week for me as we are nearing the two year anniversary of his death.  I miss how he made me laugh, his hugs and his kiss.   How can it be two years already?!

So as not to start crying, let’s get back to the pie.  I watched several youtube videos on my train ride home last Wednesday night.   I’ve seen braided pies before and thought “could it be that difficult?!”  Well, the answer is yes and no.  Braiding on a table is a lot different from braiding hair, but after a couple tries I got the hang of it.  I also cheated and used refrigerated pie dough.

This is where I got my inspiration from, and this was the look I was going for:

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I rolled out one of the pie crusts and just used my pizza cutter to cut cut it into strips.

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I did not use the outer pieces of the dough because they were too short.  And I added several braids together to do the outer layer around the pie.  I tried to do a lattice top, but by then my dough was starting to get soft, and I figured I should just quit while I was ahead.  Here is how mine turned out.  I actually like how rustic it looks!

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For serving, I added a scoop of Talenti caramel cookie crunch and drizzled with jarred caramel sauce.  Holy balls was this insulin worthy!   The apple pie filling is from The Chopping Block.

Braided Apple Pie
Serves 8
A delicious and different way to make apple pie - try doing the braided dough - it's easier than it looks!
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
456 calories
68 g
11 g
20 g
4 g
7 g
245 g
394 g
36 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456
Calories from Fat 181
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 11mg
Sodium 394mg
Total Carbohydrates 68g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 36g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 refrigerated pie crusts
  2. 3 pounds Granny Smith Apples*
  3. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  7. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/2 inch wedges.  Toss apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix well.  Let sit while rolling out the dough.
  2. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll one dish of dough into a 1/8 inch circle.  Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and place it into a pie dish (I sprayed with Pam), allowing the excess to hang over the edge.  Add pie filling to the pie and sprinkle the small pieces of butter on top of the filling.
  3. At this point, I put the pie in the fridge while I rolled out the top dough and made my braids.  I did a egg yolk/water mixture and brushed that around the edge of my pie so the braids would stick.  You can alternatively put the second pie layer on top and insert a knife in several places to create vents.  Then using your gingers or a fork, crimp the edges.  Brush the top of the pie with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Place the pie on a parchment-lined sheet tray, and bake until the filling is bubbly in the center, the apples are tender and the top crust is golden brown, about 45-60 minutes.
  4. Let pie cool before cutting.
  1. I used 1.5 pounds of Granny Smith apples, and 1.5 pounds of Fuji apples.
Adapted from The Chopping Block
Adapted from The Chopping Block
My Bizzy Kitchen
The other highlight of my weekend was spending Friday night with my step-son Joe, his wife Lizz and Hannah and Jacob.  Joe and Hannah were so tiny when I met Tony, only 8 and 10 years old and it’s weird to see them all grown up.  I am so very proud of all of them.

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And with a blink of an eye, the weekend came to a close.  I’ll be working at The Chopping Block at least the whole month of December, and truth be told, even though I am working 7 days a week, working at The Chopping Block doesn’t feel like work. 

I got home late Saturday night, nearly midnight, and Hannah was waiting up for me because she started our holiday decorating!  She and Jacob put up the tree, and she started putting my snowmen around and hung lighted garland around the front windows – I’ll take better pictures later, but it was such a sweet gesture – thanks Hannah!

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How was your long weekend?  What was your highlight?   Here’s to a new week – make it a great day!