Tuesday Tunes – “My Immortal”

My Immortal 1.

Several years ago, my kids said, “Mom, you have to listen to this song – you’ll really like it” – and my goodness gracious, were they ever right….

The song is “My Immortal“, and the band is Evanescence. This song was featured on their debut album, and it is one of their most well-known (and best-selling) songs:

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Just Like Her Dear Old Dad….

Reading on the Toilet 22 - Cropped and Retouched


Rebecca has taken to sitting in her own booth at our Friday night pizza hangout – she can’t be bothered with us boring grown-ups. She always brings along a few toys to keep herself entertained.

So last night, I notice her breezing by our table with an open book in her hand.

On her way to the bathroom.

I almost fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard.

(And yes, she WAS in there a while…)

Reading on the Toilet 13.

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Want To Make Some Kids (and Adults, too) Really Happy?

Class Picture 09-12 - Cropped - 620 x395

Rebecca’s GOS Class Picture, 2012-13

Dear Friends and Family,

I know you are frequently asked for donations or to buy something for a fundraiser. We all know there are LOTS of really good causes. Because I know many of you already give to many community programs, it is likely you do not feel like giving even more to an unfamiliar or distant non-profit. However, I would like you to please just consider my request of you today. For some this request will seem small, while for others this is no small amount.

Green Oaks School and Green Oaks Adult Learning are very specialized, unique programs for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Those of you who know us are already aware of what a ray of sunshine Rebecca has been in our lives.

Thirteen years ago, when Paul and I were still trying to wrap our heads around our “new normal”, one of the first things that we worried about (after her health, of course) was whether or not she would ever be able to learn. We also wondered if she would have friends as she got older.

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Tuesday Tunes – “Hallelujah” – k.d. lang

There are so many wonderful versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” out there – originally covered by John Cale, the version performed by the late Jeff Buckley is perhaps the most well-known of them all (the song has also been covered by Bon Jovi).

I think the first time that I heard this song was on the movie “Shrek” (sung by Rufus Wainwright). There is an amazing 4-part arrangement out there by the Norwegian quartet Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes, and Holm.  Heck, it even sounds good in Italian when performed by Il Divo.

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A Somber Remembrance – Thoughts on the Anniversary of 9/11

I suppose every generation has its share of “Where were you when….?” moments – those “somethings” that happen that are so big, so life-altering, and which affect so many people that the vast majority of them have a memory etched into their mind of where they were when they heard the news, how they felt when they heard the news, and how it changed their life forever.

I can still remember that morning – it started off like any other morning. Rachel had gotten up early and was already dressed and on her way to high school with her friends, Michelle and Sarah were getting ready for school, and Paul was getting ready for work. I was resting in bed, waiting for Rebecca – who had turned 2 months old the day before – to wake up for her morning bottle.

Paul came into the bedroom and said he had just heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and it was on fire.

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For Bev – “Again Someday”

(l to r) Bev and Me, 1964

(l to r) Me and Bev, 2004

Today would have been my little sister’s 52nd birthday.
Miss you like heck, Sis….

(“Again Someday” by Blackmore’s Night – available on CD or MP3)

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Foodie Friday – Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies 4
With football season starting, I thought I would highlight finger foods, party foods, and appetizers this month. It’s always easy to just toss together some chips and dip, but every once in a while, I like to take something that will really please a crowd.

This is a quick and easy appetizer recipe that is sure to be a hit at any party – some folks call this “Pig Candy” :P

There are lots of variations of this recipe out there (some with cola, rum and/or bourbon added); this is the basic one that most people build on:

Bacon-Wrapped Little Smokies

1 package (1 lb) of Little Smokies sausage
1 lb of bacon
1 cup of brown sugar (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut bacon in thirds and wrap each piece around a sausage (can secure each one with a toothpick, if desired). Arrange on a baking sheet; sprinkle liberally with brown sugar.

3. Bake about 30 minutes, or until sugar is melted and bacon is crispy. Serve on platter or  in slow cooker turned to warm (or the lowest setting).

***For an extra-decadent treat, arrange smokies in a baking dish, mix together 1 stick of butter (melted) and 1 cup of brown sugar, then pour over smokies.  Sprinkle everything with additional cup of brown sugar. Bake at 375F for about 15-20 minutes, then turn the heat up to 400F for 5-10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies 6


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