Thursday, May 9, 2013
My dear Mom has been in heaven a year now. Part of me feels like it was yesterday...and part of me feels like she's been gone for eeons. I miss her. All the time.
It's funny that I miss her so much because with the severity of her dementia she really was gone for years before she died. But I miss her. Especially when I'm not feeling well. I burst into tears for no apparent reason. I want my Mom. Now. Here.
I know that faith tells me she is in a better place. But I find myself looking heavenward and screaming at the top of my lungs, "MOM...PLEASE tell me you're okay. PLEASE. Send me a sign that you see how much you're missed. PLEASE".
I went to church and knelt in front of the Blessed Sacrament to pray for her soul. The tears streamed down my face. I couldn't think let alone pray. I know she was right there. Watching me.
So for now, I will miss her. I will remember how she loved the forget-me-nots. As little girls (and even now as adults) my sister and I love picking little bouquets of them. They always remind me of my Mom. I remember her standing at the kitchen sink in her apron, peeling carrots when we came home from school. I remember the clothes she made me when we didn't have much money. Beautiful clothes. I remember that when she went grocery-shopping there was enough money to buy 1 piece of fruit for each of us three children. I remember the sweet, juicy peaches. And how I just knew when I ate them that heaven must taste like that. Mom....I remember. I remember all the sacrifices you made for us. Sewing and altering clothes for other people so we'd have money for ballet lessons....piano lessons....for college. I remember what a good mother you were. I miss you so much.
I love you, Mom. To heaven and back. Until we meet again~
Posted by Carol Buehner at 3:21 PM
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I can't believe it's Easter Week again. Seems like it was just this time last year. We're busy filling Mother's Day orders in the studio, starting very early in the morning, and stamping away til late at nite. My "amish angels" came yesterday. Fannie cleaned the house from top-to-bottom...and Katie and I worked in the studio finishing up bins of orders that went to the post office early this morning. I've known Katie now for 18 years. She's one of my dearest friends. I don't know what I would do without her!
Today I spent some time in the kitchen making the Italian Easter Braids that my grandmother (Nonna), and then my mother, baked at Eastertime. Mom passed away this past May. I'm determined to keep this tradition alive.
Here is the recipe I use.....but please note, you can also use Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough...or their Sweet Bread Dough and get similar results~
Nonna's Italian Easter Braids
1 package Rapid Rise (instant) yeast (about 2-1/4 teaspoons)
1.25 cups milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3.5 cups flour (approximate)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
6 dyed Easter eggs
sprinkles or pearlized sugar
tip: the Easter eggs do not need to be hard boiled. They cook when the bread bakes. I usually just dye the eggs raw without hardboiling them. Saves time. Just be careful they don't crack!
In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter together, just till butter melts. In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, salt, eggs and sugar. Add the warm (not hot - it will kill the yeast) milk and butter. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook. Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Don't worry about how much flour it ends up being, just keep adding until the dough is not sticky anymore. Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid", pinching the ends, and loop into a circle.
Place on two baking sheets sprayed with Pam. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again. Brush each bread with beaten egg wash. Put on the sprinkles. In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden - about 20 minutes. Cool on rack.
You can eat the eggs, but remember to refrigerate the breads to keep the eggs safe to eat~
Posted by Carol Buehner at 4:54 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
The day I fell was just 'an ordinary day.' Six weeks later, I can finally walk in the house without a cane. Taking steps is still painful....but its a small price to pay for being able to get a cup of coffee or a tissue without having to ask. God indeed slowed me down but good on that 'ordinary day'.He allowed me to recognize the people in my life who really love and care for me. The ones who call to check on me. The ones who send cards, food, flowers. He taught me to see the value of good friends: great to have around during the fun times...but so comforting in the hard times. He made me grateful for the blessing of 'an ordinary day'.
This morning a friend commented that she saw Jim in church over the weekend...but that he didn't even see her. I'm not surprised: he's exhausted. He puts in his 10 hrs. at work, then comes home to pick up the slack...doing all the things I can't: the cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands. This is one of those times when the part of the marriage vow, "......or worse" comes into play. It breaks my heart to see his fatigue. And yet, there is nothing I can do about it.
I've had lots of studio time to fill Valentine's Day orders during these January days. Time to create new designs. The studio has always been my 'safe haven'. My happy place. And in these weeks, I'm realizing that it is not only good for my mind....but good for my soul: I can be productive even without the ability to leave the house. For that, I am grateful for these 'ordinary days'.
With every New Year, we wonder what lies ahead, hoping the year will be a good one. Better than the last. Praying loved ones stay healthy. And happy. Remembering that life can change in a second, on any 'ordinary day'.
Rosie and I are in studio already...joined by my sister, Kathy's, puppy Poppy. She and her hubby are soaking up lots of Florida sunshine...hopefully bringing some back here to Ohio when they return.~ xoxoxox
Posted by Carol Buehner at 7:32 AM
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I had shipped all my orders by Dec. 20th. Did a Power-Day of Christmas Shopping....came home to finish baking cookies.....and ran to see the decorations Jim was putting outside the front door. I slipped my stocking-feet into rubber clogs because he said it was wet outside. As I hurried towards the front door, the clogs caught on the edge of the backhall rug....and I was thrown up into the air.
Time seemed suspended as I saw my cornflower-blue-clogged feet up in the air in front of me. Knowing I was about to crash to the floor, landing on my left hip...some little angel whispered, "Don't try to buffer the fall with your left arm. It won't work...and you'll break it ALONG with your hip". I listened. Trying not to pass out from the pain, I screamed to Jim, sounding like that commercial on TV for the Life Alert pendant. Thankfully he heard me before I passed out.
The result: No broken bones. A torn adductor muscle, internal damage to the tissues, ligaments, etc. I couldn't put any weight on the left leg. Started out on a walker...and have now graduated to a pink cane.(yup...that's what you get when you send your husband to buy it) I'm totally housebound as I don't dare to slip on the treacherous ice and snow. As my PT said, "Time is your friend".
So....God got my attention. He knew I had NO intention of slowing down. So He did it for me. You'd think I'd learn and listen to Him from the get-go. I'm trying, God, I'm trying. The stubborn Italian gene just isn't making it easy!!
Now I've slowed down, forced to rest....getting a chance to read the stack of books and magazines I've longingly glanced at the past few months. I thank all my beloved family and friends who have continued to check on me, bring food, flowers, and lots of love: to Jim, who has done everything from cooking, to cleaning, to bringing me Communion, catering to my every whim. sigh. LOVE him to death: to Rosie Girl, who doesn't leave my side, and sweetly, patiently lets me hobble in front of her from place-to-place: and especially to two little Amish girls who have dedicated themselves to helping me get back on my feet...and back to the studio....with love and much laughter~ xoxoxox
PS: Received this email from my cousin, Debbie M, who always knows how to make me laugh: "Hey Carol ahem could you um at least spice up the story a bit? Falling in the kitchen is not glamorous. Try this: I was wrestling bears on the icy slopes of the Himalayan Mountains when an avalanche broke free and knocked us all in a tumbling heap to the raging river below as a sailboat came by and knocked me up onto a boulder ....you get the picture. No more of this "I fell in the kitchen". Weak."
Thank you, Debbie! I needed that! xo
Posted by Carol Buehner at 8:19 AM