Tag Archive | family

The Mac & Cheese my mom made.

This is my favourite recipe for Macaroni and Cheese, it’s from a 1958 Good Housekeeping pamphlet and the one my mom always made.

Susan’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese

1 TBSP of salt

½ lb of macaroni in 2 ½ inch pieces or elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)

(Mom used the big elbow macaroni not the tiny ones like ones in Kraft mac & cheese

1 small onion

2 TBSP of butter or margarine

1 TBSP of flour

¼ tsp of dry mustard

¾ tsp salt

Speck of pepper

2 cups of milk

½ l of Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)


¾ cup fresh bread crumbs (I leave these out because I don’t like them)

4 tsp of butter or margarine

  1. In a large kettle bring to boil 3 qts of water with 1TBSP of salt.

Start heating oven to 400 degrees. Grease 1 ½ qt casserole

  1. Drop macaroni into boiling water; boil, uncovered, stirring often with fork, about 9 minutes

Or until piece rubbed between fingers parts fairly easily.

  1. Meanwhile, mince onion, (about 4 tsps) put in double boiler with 2 TBSP of butter. When butter is melting, stir in flour, mustard, salt and pepper; cook until smooth and hot, stirring often.
  2. Slice about 3/4 s of the cheese right into the sauce; stir until the cheese is melted. ( if preferred, slice or grate cheese ahead, using medium grater)
  3. When the macaroni is tender, drain into colander; turn into casserole. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, tossing lightly with fork so that all the macaroni gets nicely coated. Top with rest of cheese.
  4. Toss bread crumbs with 4 tsp of melted butter. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered; 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings as a main dish and 6 when served instead of potatoes.

For 2 servings:

Use the following ingredients: 1/3 lb of cheese, 1 1/3 cups raw macaroni, 1 TBSP of minced onion, 4 tsps of butter, 2 tsps of flour, ¼ tsp of dry mustard, ½ tsp of salt, speck pepper, 1 1/3 cups of milk. ½ cup fresh bread crumbs, and 1 TBSP butter. Bake in 1 qt casserole at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Thank you

For those who are new to this blog, one of the people I love best in the world has ALS. Her ALS has progressed to the point where she cannot breathe on her own and is on a ventilator. She can’t cough or blow her own nose any longer. This puts her in great danger if someone exposes her to cold germs or other viruses because she no longer has those bodily defenses and defenses they are since they are the main processes the body has to rid itself of toxins that enter the respiratory systems. And it appears she developed bronchitis because someone had a cold and was near her. So there was a trip to Emergency yesterday because she had difficulty breathing even on the ventilator.

She is dependent on modern medicine and while herbs and homeopathics are excellent in theory in pagan practice. They aren’t great for someone who can’t verbally indicate clearly to her caregivers what exactly is wrong. ALS patients eventually lose the capacity for speech because of the neuromuscular changes to the diaphragm, lungs, mouth and esophagus. No muscles, no speech eventually. I suspect evenly scented candles are out now since even a fire in fireplace can irritate someone who can’t cough.

So thank you if you sent energy yesterday, it was much appreciated by M and all of us who love her dearly. Hopefully, you never know anyone with ALS. It’s a terrible disease and a robber and a thief as you are very mentally aware as your own body becomes your prison.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

Back home again from Laurelwood after a too short visit of 5 days. I was hoping for snow (brought all my gear) but we got rain and as a native Southern Californian that is never bad. I’m a pluviophile so if I have the gear I’ll go out in it as you can see from some of the photos I’ve posted.

Friday was lovely and misty with the rain as the cloud had settled in over the mountain they live on. I arrived fairly early because this time I had the direct flight. We’ve been flying Southwest and having to transfer planes but this time I went Alaska and it was only a 2 hour and 15 minute flight instead of a 4+ hour ordeal. Plus Alaska has better snacks. It was a tiny plane and wasn’t full but didn’t have wifi like Southwest does but they need it for their slower flights with stops.

It rained Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It rained hardest on Saturday so we hung out around the house and enjoyed each other’s company. They had a new caregiver to train on Saturday so I tried to stay out of the way and I did a little cooking so D didn’t have to worry about food. M no longer eats by mouth. She uses a feeding tube except for sips of Chai. I got to roam around the property and the shrubberies taking wet pictures. Monday it was raining so we went to the Jackson Bottoms Wetlands after D and I went out to breakfast and went to the store. It was still a bit chilly and damp and three different trails we tried to use were blocked by ponds that the rain had left behind. The Tualitin River was really muddy and high. Not many birds were out and the geese were flying over head. They landed for the night in an area we couldn’t get to due to the wet. It was still beautiful with lots of subtle colour. Plenty of hawthorn berries and rose hips were still there for the birds.

And Tuesday it was off on the plane again. This time Southwest because they gave us vouchers for screwing up our flight home last time and then lying to our face about it. Amazing what happens if you raise a stink about customer service on Twitter. Companies really don’t like looking bad on Twitter. For once everything was on time coming home even with the plane switch. I switched the car pickup from Primetime to Super Shuttle and they texted me as the plane landed that they were there and what my shuttle’s number was. Way better than Primetime who left us sitting for an hour because the driver decided right before we got there to take someone who had a higher fare because they wanted to drive from Burbank to Disneyland at rush hour. Not cool!

So it was a low key winter visit. M has lost a lot more function since the last visit but they have more caregivers to help out. The downside is that there is a whole lot less privacy for D and any guests. M is totally dependent on the ventilator and almost no range of motion now. She can speak but it is obviously difficult for her and since I’m losing my hearing I have some difficulty too. I got to help a little moving her when it came time for bed Sunday night. M has to be moved to a sling to be moved to the bed and it takes two people to do. I was so worried I was going to hurt her but it was accomplished and M tucked in for the night since they were short a caregiver that night. They need at least one more.

I love visiting up there. It’s so beautiful and I love them so much. I was delighted to be able to write my first Littlest Druid story in a long time to the accompaniment of the rain on the skylights early in the morning. It really sparks my creativity up there. I was afraid she had stopped talking to me. My body behaved all weekend which was a nice change and when I sleep up there I sleep deeply and I dream which I don’t at home. It’s a magical place to be no matter what season. I think we are going back at the end of March so we will get to see early spring this time. This was my 4th visit since last May and I’m getting to feel a little too at home in PDX airport. Now I just have to go to the store and do a load of laundry.

Dree yer ain Weird – a thought for a January morning of beginnings

Something most Scots have heard if their family still keeps its culture. To “Dree yer ain weird is to follow, practice, suffer your own destiny.

The underlying theme of growing up is to find out what you are meant to do and do it. But how many of us actually do, do it? Sometimes it’s easier to go with the flow or what our parent’s ideas of what we should grow up to be.

Oddly enough it goes handily with the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian view of predestination and the belief in free will that I was raised with at church and that doesn’t change with my paganism. I do think we choose our own individual destiny even if it’s in not choosing and going with the flow. It’s still a choice and you still exercised free will to not make a choice.

And in a weird way, coming out as a lesbian helped me make choices other than what my parents had in mind because once I had decided to throw out the conditioning to be straight and settle down and provide grandchildren, I was free to decide what I did want to do. I could decide who I lived with or if I lived with any one at all. I was free to choose my dreams. I’m free to write anything I get an idea to write about and thanks to technology be a published author.

It freed me to take the next step and follow what my grandmother had been teaching me and expand into a pagan life. It freed me to determine my own spiritual beliefs and ethics and not to blindly do what I was told without thinking about it. From what I read on Facebook, a lot of my high school contemporaries are still living their lives the way their parents did. The ones I find interesting are the ones who by some circumstance have made their own choices and are not the people they were in high school. Sometimes, not always the best choices but they made choices outside of what would have been pre-determined by their parents. I just found out a friend in high school who I really liked a lot and admired his creativity died of AIDS 10 years ago. He made his own choices to not grow up in Glendale and get married to a nice girl but to be a creative human being and from what I know of him in high school, come out, and I wonder if he regrets those choices or loved the time he had after making those choices.

I think we choose lessons to learn before we return to earth. Each time we return we choose new lessons. We choose the people we have those lessons with. Sometimes it’s learning that certain people are toxic and are working their own set of lessons.

The choices we make after we are born put us in circumstances to learn those lessons. And if we don’t complete the lesson then we get another chance if we would like in the next life. I hope I always choose lessons of love and creativity.

So do ye choose ta dree yer ain weird or are ye dreeing someone else’s?