Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Overnight Oatmeal

1 cup STEEL CUT Oats (Do not use instant or quick oats)
1 cup dried fruit (Craisins,Raisins,Figs-chopped,Apricots-chopped)
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored & chopped (Granny Smith holds up better than some other types. Can also use pears.)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Half & Half or Light Cream

You can customize this with whatever you do or don't want in it. The liquid amounts remain the same. I can't wait to make it with Pumpkin & the pumpkin pie spice! (You use 1 cup canned pumpkin & omit the apple & craisins.)

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot/slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours. I set it up before I go to bed.

My slow cooker has a timer that stops the cooking at the end & puts it on warm for an hour then turns off. Some crock pots are higher heat even on low and can cause the oatmeal to brown around the edges & stick to the crock pot. A sure fire solution to that is to set it up in a water bath. I use a multi bowl crockpot that has 3 different sized bowls. I use the largest, 6 Quart bowl, fill it with 2/3 water, then put all the ingredients in the smallest, 2 quart bowl and set it inside the larger bowl. Check to be sure the water comes up the sides of the smaller bowl about 1/2 way. You may have to add a little more water or take some out so it doesn't over flow. Cook on the 6 quart setting on low for 8 hours and you have perfect oatmeal.

If you do not have that kind of crock pot you can use a ceramic casserole dish or bowl to put all the ingredients in and put it down inside your crock pot with enough water to come up the side about 1/2-3/4 of the smaller bowl. Cooking time is still about 8 hours on low.

Enjoy! MJS 10/16/13

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why Bother

Perhaps you have been lucky enough to never experience the pain of abuse. The pain of someone you love hurting you. Perhaps you have never felt the pangs of hunger when you have had no food to eat or anything to drink. I have experienced both. Abused children & abused animals are similar in the way they will cling to their abusers. The way they will submit to whatever is dealt to them because they don't know any other way of being treated. If someone had not reached out to help me I am not sure I would be here today.

So why do I bother saving & helping these animals.. because they did not ask to be abused, neglected, abandoned, or thrown away. Any more than I did. So if reaching out & showing some love to these animals can in some way repair the damage done to them, then it is so worth my time to do it. It is so worth anything I can do to find them the best possible homes. Because hope is priceless. Because love doesn't cost a thing. Because I know how it feels to be hurt & afraid. I know how hard it is to look in their eyes & see myself reflected in them, to know how much it costs them to trust us, to give us just one more piece of themselves, hoping beyond hope this time will be different.

So why bother?? Because it would bother me more to do nothing.

MJ Shore 9/16/11

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hunter the Homeboy!

Hunter the Homeboy! by mommanana
Hunter the Homeboy!, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

March 22, 06

Brianne's Wedding 06-04-05

Brianne's Wedding 06-04-05 by mommanana
Brianne's Wedding 06-04-05, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

Hunter with Kierra

Tristan 5.2.08

Tristan 5.2.08 by mommanana
Tristan 5.2.08, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

Alexa 5.2.08

Alexa 5.2.08 by mommanana
Alexa 5.2.08, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

Feb 4 2008

Feb 4 2008 by mommanana
Feb 4 2008, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

Favorite of Tristan!

Alexa Feb 2 07

Alexa Feb 2 07 by mommanana
Alexa Feb 2 07, a photo by mommanana on Flickr.

one of my favorite pix!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not blogging much..

I have not blogged here in months.. several months. I started this blog to not only help myself, but to help others keep in tune with what was going on. No one in my everyday life really needs the blog to know how we are & what is going on in our lives. If this blog is the only way you are keeping up with us, I am sorry. Sorry you don't keep up with us by being part of our lives.
There are people who swore to always be there, always be part of the twin's lives.. & they aren't. There are people who have chosen, by their words and/or actions, to not be part of our lives. I do not feel I owe them any explanation of our lives.
so I may post now & then, I may not. If you want to know how we are or how I am.. ask. if I want you to know.. I will tell you.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Photographs & Memories

Alexa reminded me this week that there are things I cannot give them. True memories are something you have, not something someone can tell you. They know what we have told them of their mother. I don't have any way of knowing what they can truly remember of her themselves.
Alexa was Prom Queen at camp on Friday. They had a prom type dance & she brought a fancy dress to wear to it. When I picked her up she said she was the Prom Queen because she had the prettiest dress & everyone loved her.. just like Mommy Kierra. She loves looking at photos of her mother. She especially likes the ones from Brianne's wedding & Kie's prom pix from high school. I see so much of her in them. I try to give them my memories. I tell them about her childhood & how much she loved them. It is like telling them a story, a fairy tale. Sometimes it seems that way to me too. But mine always turns into a horror story. One with a very unhappy ending. I so want to shield them from that. From the grief of her death. I worry how they will comprehend that loss as they get older. I worry so much for their happiness. I will make every effort to bring her joy into their lives. To bring her laughter into my memories & stories of her. Her life was so much greater than her death. It is hard sometimes to remember that, to over ride the grief with the good memories we have. After almost 6 years of having her gone, the 24 years she was here seems to fade sometimes. I want it to burn bright, to shine above the rest. I know I will never foget her. I just don't always know how to help her children remember...

Monday, July 25, 2011

That is enough for me!

I was talking to someone tonight about why I am the person I am. That is such a huge thing to summarize in words. Everything & Everyone in my entire life prior to this moment made me who I am at this moment. Good, bad & indifferent. Who I am now includes lists of pros & cons. But that's a whole other blog post to think about! The main subject of tonight's conversation was why I help people/animals/organizations.. what's in it for me?
I tried to step back & really think about it. The first reactive response is "because it is the right thing to do". Well, duh! But what gave me the gauge to measure it by? How did I come to feel the need to help anyone/anything beyond my immediate family & friends? I have helped complete strangers on the street because I saw a need. I have saved difficult to deal with animals because I felt they needed to be saved. Why? Why bother?
The answer that my heart gave me was "because my Grammy would be proud of me". Because my Grammy did more than just tell me how to behave & the right things to do. She showed me with her generous heart & giving nature. She showed me with her actions what values & morals were. I have not always lived up to her expectations, but she loved me anyway. So I don't do things for repayment or even acknowledgement. I do them because I know it would make my Grammy proud.
My love for animals wasn't shared by my Grammy. She would tolerate them in our lives, but rarely in her house! My Nana was the spoiler of her pets. She would take in & feed anything & everything. And I brought plenty of things home when I spent summers & weekends at her house! Her friends had animals they spoiled too & I always felt all animals deserved to be loved & cared for like that. So the rescuer part of me likes to think my Nana is proud of me too!
I enjoyed thinking of both my grandmother's tonight. I love them dearly & miss them more than words can say. I hope I am living a life that would make them proud. I know they loved me no matter what.. & that is enough for me!

Friday, July 08, 2011

It's 3 am

It's 3am, do you know where your children are?

I wonder about Kierra & the whole "Heaven" thing. I obviously still have some faith left or I wouldn't bother to capitalize the word! She has seemed more "present" to me lately. I know part of that is because Brian & I were married 28 years ago on July 1st. I typed celebrated, then changed it. It still is not possible to celebrate a day that included her so completely that her absence now makes it painful to even think about. I love Brian. It was one of the most wonderful days of my life. I will cherish it always. I can not remember the joy of that day with him & Kierra without the grief stealing it away & replacing it with the pain of her death. I have tried all the well intentioned suggestions to remember the good.. & I do. I can not control that pain, I can not prevent it or I would. It is like a lightening strike. I know the storm is coming, but can't find shelter from the rain...

Brianne is home with her husband & infant son, Daniel. He will be 4 months old on the 9th. What a precious gift he is! Such a good natured boy.. most of the time! Brianne has been back to work for several weeks now & I have been watching Daniel. She came over tonight to help me with a project. She has grown into an awesome woman & such a good mommy. I am beyond proud of her! I wish for an easier life for her. I wish her the peace of good health & a happier life. I see a light in her eyes with Daniel that has been missing..

Chad is in Afghanistan. It is almost mid day for him while it is the middle of the night for me. We have communicated more since he deployed than we have in the entire year prior. I am grateful for that. I send him boxes of anything I can think of that he may want or need. At least the things I can fit in a box. Other things I can not give him & worry he will not have the peace of mind he needs to do his job safely there. I guess it is my job as his mother to worry..

Hunter will be getting up in a few hours for his last day of surf camp. I am going to watch him in the afternoon. I have missed him this week. I want him to have as many good memories as possible to balance out all the loss he has suffered in his 10 years & all the struggles he has ahead of him. I hope he is having sweet dreams..

Tristan & Alexa are all snug in their beds. They will be up early for day camp. I wonder constantly what Kierra would want for them. I see so much of her in them, yet they have such distinct personalities all their own. I could not have imagined 5 years ago what they would be like today. I can't think 5 years ahead to who they will be then..