Sunday, December 27, 2009


GOOD MORNING DEAR READERS! I hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful. I hope Santa brought you lots of nice presents. I hope you had peace and joy and love during your holiday. And now I hope you are on the road to recovery from the stress of your holiday. I know I am. We had a wonderful day with my family. Just the six of us. My husband Randy, daughter Danielle, niece Diana, nephew Brandon and niece Francesca. And of course the 5 little furry children. Who, by the way, became totally stoned on their Christmas present of catnip. They were so funny! Francesca aka Chessie was so enthralled with presents! She is an absolute angel. For those of you who do not know, Chessie was born with Trisomy 21 aka Down's syndrome. She is an adorable child and so bright and smart. But the trisomy has its physical problems which keep these kids a bit behind "normal" kids. They have physical developmental delays. She is a tiny child, about the size of a two year old. She was 4 on December 15. She weighs 30 pounds and is 36 inches tall. She does have issues with eating and drinking which can be a challenge to her Mom. She will not drink fluids from a glass and will only drink water in sips or her prescription formula from a bottle. She is still our baby! She is also not potty trained in spite of numerous attempts to do so. Chessie is very strong willed and will only do what she wants to do. And that does not include going potty on the big girl potty! Her speech is delayed and she tends to use only the first syllable of words. So it is pretty much her own language but we do understand her and she has no problems with understanding what we say to her. And she has a terrific memory. She just loves opening presents. She would sit in her little Elmo armchair and say "More!" When the presents were all opened she proceeded to help open any other persons presents and would oooh and aaahhhh over each gift. She was just too precious. She loves to be at our home because she pretty much can do anything she wants to do without restrictions. Of course she is spoiled. Spoiled with love!!! She is our gift from heaven above. God blessed all our lives with wonder when he sent us this child. No other child could be more loved. She just loves when I crochet things for her. And she will get up into my chair and take a crochet hook and yarn and try to crochet. She is still too young to learn yet but I have tried and will keep on trying to teach her until I succeed. It is such a joy to teach her. She is very bright and catches on quickly. Brandon Michael, her big brother is also mentally challenged. He has moderate mental impairment, Autism, Tourette's syndrome, multiple food allergies and ADHD. He can have behavioral issues at times. Medications do not work for him. We are able to diffuse a difficult behavior situation when it begins. He is a very very loving sweet boy. He will be 24 on January 26 but his mental age is about 6. He adores his sister and is very gentle with her. He lives at a group home during the week and has a job (with one on one supervision only) and comes home on Friday afternoon and returns on Monday morning. We call it school. He loves all things that are boy like monster trucks, guns (Nerf), tools etc. He is also very attached to any type of keyring, old keys, flashlights, and walkie-talkies. Or anything small and electronic whether or not he can work it. He also loves Cd's and dvd's. He carries around a stack of dvds everywhere he goes sort of like a security blanket for him. He loves to listen to his music on a portable cd player. He likes just about any kind of music and can tell you the name of the song and the artist at any time. If any of you dear readers have any old keys or keyrings and would like to give them to him I will be happy to pay for postage so email me if you do. I always look for these items at yard sales and thrift shops. He is very attached to me and I am his Godmother. He calls me "Auntie". He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. We have a great time together. I have a special ability to "defuse" him when he gets upset. I think one of the best presents I gave him was a keyring that burps. It burps in 2 or 3 modes and burps the alphabet! He just loves it. He is such a goof!! He does not have contact with his bio-dad. He calls my Husband "Daddy" because he is like a father to him. He does understand that Randy is really his uncle but likes to call him Dad. Also, the baby calls him Daddy. She has never known the bio-dad because he wanted nothing to do with the child since she was born. So Randy is the only daddy she has known and does he adore her! He loves her as much as he loves our daughter. He is truly a wonderful man, kind and loving. I am a blessed woman! Well, dear readers, you have now learned a lot more about my family. I would love to learn about you and your family so if you have a blog please send me a line or just send me an email about yourself. There are no such things as strangers, just friends you have not met yet. God bless and have a wonderful day! Hugs, Annette

Thursday, December 24, 2009


HELLO TO ALL MY DEAR READERS! MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that said, just give me a bed and let me die in peace! I am exhausted! I get this way every year. Why? you ask? Because I am a nut case! I HAVE to do this and I HAVE to do that. It must be done today or it cannot wait until tomorrow. I HAVE to find that last little gift. I CAN'T SAY NO! I have nophobia. I am unable to say no to anything when it comes to my family. I can do it. It won't take long. Are these words familiar to you? Do you suffer from the same disease? Are you overcome with feelings of guilt if you don't do it? Will the world come to a flaming end if it doesn't get done? Will hell freeze over. Does a chicken have lips? Was the pope polish? Does a bear poop in the woods? The answer is YES YES YES YES YES AND YES!!!! I can't stop. I must do it. It has to get done! I am crazy, just all out blooming crazy! You think I would learn my lesson. But NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not me. Every year it is the same thing. Total exhaustion and it's my own fault! Now take today for example. My daughter wants a leopard or zebra snuggie. You know those things they advertise on tv - the blanket with arms. Cute little idea. Last week I saw a bajillion of them in every store I went to. Did I buy it??? Nooooooooooo, of course not! Oh, they will have them everywhere. Well guess what? Those stupid little blanket things that are destined to make their creator a bloody millionaire are completely sold out! Just like the Cabbage Patch dolls of the 70's and 80's. My husband and I went to 8 different stores today. Yep, that's right. This idiot went to 8 different stores in search of the elusive snuggie. One store had 5 kids sizes and one had 3 dog snuggies (how the hell do you put a snuggie on a dog?). But not one stinking snuggie for adults. Not a one. Everywhere you go the damn things are sold out. There is going to be a whole bunch of people with snuggies whether or not they wanted one. They are definitely going to be gifted with a snuggie. But guess what? MY DAUGHTER IS NOT GOING TO BE ONE OF THEM CAUSE I CAN'T FIND A SNUGGIE ANYWHERE!!! Am I having a nervous breakdown over it??? You betcha I am. In the words of Fred Sanford - "get ready Elizabeth - I'm coming - this is the big one). Will she get over this? Of course not. She wanted a snuggie for Christmas and the princess of more than enough will not be getting a snuggie this year! Will she pout for the rest of the day? You betcha she will! And I guarantee you that she will never let me forget it either! Here comes another 3 years of therapy for me! I can hear it now. We will be gathered together in the future with my 6 grand-kids (that's how many she says she wants) and she will be telling her kids - "Did I ever tell you of the Christmas that I wanted a snuggie and never got one???"........... Now I also had to go to the grocery store to pick up the seafood for tonight's dinner. We are having the usual fish dinner for Christmas eve. Baked stuffed shrimp with seafood stuffing, Scrod, Scallops wrapped in bacon and spaghetti with clam sauce. Oh and fresh green beans and tossed salad and shrimp cocktail. Then for dessert there is pumpkin pie, pecan pie and 32 different varieties of Christmas cookies all hand made by me. Thats right! You did not read it wrong. I made 32 different cookies for Christmas. 28 regular varieties and 4 gluten free kinds for my daughter and nephew. Oh and 2 pies are regular and 2 are gluten- fee. Do you know how many different cookies there are in 32 varieties???? Too damn many. We give cookies to everyone! No one is spared! People line up at my door with their hands out begging for a cookie, just one little cookie. I am famous. So why aren't I rich????? My daughter says the gluten free ones I made are so delicious that I should set up a web site and start selling them. The cost of gluten free baked good are astronomical! Just the mixes alone are 5 to 8 dollars a box. I have come up with my own personal gluten free baking mix and it works well. She thinks that I will be the next Martha Stewart??? Oh and did I mention that I only use 100% pure butter in all my baking? Anything less than real butter should be outlawed when it comes to cookie baking. There are just no substitutes for real butter! Ok dairy men - where is my kickback for that?? And did I mention the nuts? Pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts! They cost more than 14K gold! And I use tons of them. Pounds and pounds and pounds. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts then I use 2 cups. I like to taste the nuts in my cookies. Yesterday my husband and I were shopping for gifts in our local Kohls. We were in the housewares dept. and there was this cute young man shopping for his wife. He seemed to be in a quandry so I asked him if he needed help. He showed me a list as long as his arm and said "she wants cookie sheets" Sooooooo........I proceeded to educate him on the virtues of cookie sheets and showed him examples of good ones and bad ones and that price was an important factor in choosing a good cookie sheet and that double walled ones will never burn her cookies but if he bought the thin ones then I guaranteed him that his cookies would be black and he would be buying new cookie sheets next year. He responded with tears in his eyes - yea, our sheets are kind of lumpy and twisted. I proudly proclaimed that I was the QUEEN of cookie baking and just last week I made 32 different kinds for Christmas. Then he really started to cry and grabbed my arm begging me to adopt him. I hate to see a grown man cry. But I reassured him that if he bought his wife the right cookie sheets then she too could become a cookie queen or at least a cookie princess and that he would have many years of wedded bliss and eat glorious cookies to boot. He was profusely thanking me and kissing my hand as my husband was dragging me by the arm to the cash registers. He can be soooo touchy at times. And did I tell you that on Monday evening my daughter volunteered to have their work Christmas party at our house? Yes, 25 lovely women to feed and entertain. She told them to BYOB but failed to tell them to bring food! Oh no, not necessary - my Mom is a great cook and will make stuff! And of course, Supermom did just that! There was enough food for 50 lovely ladies to eat and plenty of leftovers. I have to admit, the compliments were wonderful. Nothing like being told that your food is great! Makes it all worth while. I felt that I owed it to my daughter to have a great party. After all, she has not been able to entertain for the last 3 1/2 years while my niece was living in my living room with her two kids. Last year we did'nt even have a tree cause the only place for one was to hang it from the ceiling. So this year we have 6 Christmas trees. One big one and 5 small ones of various sizes and decor. You might say that we are making up for lost time. And I guess we are. I even managed to get in a little crocheting during all this work. I finished a dishcloth for my January partner in a dishcloth exchange and finished a scarf for my niece Francesca. Never did finish the afghan for Danielle. She might think it was a substitute for that damn snuggie!!! Oh well, Valentine's Day is coming. And I heard her exclaim as she drove out of sight, Merry Christmas to all and does anyone want a cookie??? Please??? Peace and Joy to you all. Hugs, Annette

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Good morning!  I would like to share some of the poems that I have written with all of you dear readers.  I hope that you enjoy them.  I would love any feedback you may have about them.

My wish for you  by Annette McKitrick

How bright the sun up in the sky

The wispy clouds that drift on by
How sweet the song birds fill the air
How gentle the breeze that lifts your hair
How warm the sunshine on your skin
How joyfull your heart beats deep within

I wish beauty and peace to fill your days
Joy and love to send your way
Your desires and dreams may soon be fulfilled
And love keep your heart quiet and still

May your troubles be tiny, may sorrows be few
May you always have springtime inside of you
To know only kindness and love so true
These are the things I wish for you

Christmas Wishes for Our Armed Forces
by Annette McKitrick

You won't be home for Christmas
on this very special day
My heart is sad this Christmas
while you are far away

Duty to our country
took you across the seas
But in my heart this Christmas
you will be close to me

The call to protect our freedom
is  your gift to the USA
So Christmas here without you
will be a lonely day

Without you here our family
is lost and incomplete
You fight to protect our country
with victory over defeat

You won't be home this Christmas
But that's OK with me
My angels are there with you
And will return you safe to me.


A baby girl was sent to us
One cold and wintry day
Her birth was a very difficult one
And her mother began to pray

She call upon her God above
To help her little one
And the angels came to comfort her
They filled her heart with love.

Rest easy sweet laboring mom
There is ought for you to fear
God’s angels have all gathered round
His love for you is near.

The babe was brought into this world
As the doctors did their part
 Looks of sadness upon their faces
Struck terror in the mothers heart

I have bad new to tell about
This sweet little babe newborn
She is not like all other babes
Said the doctor all forlorn.

What’s wrong with her please tell me now
The mother shouted out
Your baby has Down’s syndrome
The doctor’s voice rang out.

The mother took her baby home
And she began to grow
Each day that passed was special
Her mother’s heart did know.

As pretty as a sunrise
All golden, pink and light
Her auburn curls gleamed softly
To brighten up the night.

Her skin as soft as roses
Her eyes as blue as the sky
A prettier child you’ll never see
A truth you can’t deny

Each day she fills our hearts with love
She’s as smart as smart can be
And makes us laugh at her antics
She fills our lives with glee!

And the love she gives to everyone
That meets this little one
Brightens up their faces
To shine like light from the sun

Some people say she’s handicapped
They pity her family
Not one of us who love her
Would never ever agree

She’s a beautiful gift from God above
No more blessed could we be
She fills our empty hearts with love
For all the world to see.

Eternity  by Annette McKitrick

I remember when first I saw your face
It intrigued me. Your eyes full of passion and grace
Nothing remarkable – just a spark in my soul.
Wanting to know more but wondering why?.

We did not speak each others language
But the spark gave way to flames.
Talk is not important when
speaking the words of the soul

My trembling heart remembers
From many life-times past
You were my love for eternity
No world could keep us apart.

And yet these moments of passion
Were fleeting in our lifetime
We both knew that we would have to wait
Until our souls come again..

MY BELOVED    by Annette McKitrick

M any times you told me you love me
Y our eyes so blue mirror the beauty of your soul

B eing with you is all I ever wanted
E cstacy is yours and mine alone
L oving you more and more each day
O nly you can play the music that I dance to
V ibrant is how I feel when I’m with you
E very day with you is a gift from God
D evoted to you I shall always be

The Journey    by Annette McKitrick

I chose to go on a journey
The most important one in my life
It started out in a hospital
But was not with stress and strife

I began with much thought and soul searching
It was not so easy to do
I entered into it joyfully
With positive thoughts thru and thru.

It took me down long winding pathways
Places I’ve  never been to before               
But entered with great expectations
And I knew that I want to learn more.

My life had been full of trials,
Prejudices and grief
It was time to turn the tides of disapproval
And to swim towards the shores of relief.

This journey was not going to be easy,
 No magic bullet that would make everything right.
It takes a great deal of planning,
 Support and positive insight

Everything that I ever had lived with,
Would have to be changed overnight
The  newness at times overwhelmed me
But I kept my eyes on the light

The days passed by ever slowly
And I wanted results right away
But anything worth having takes time
And Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I didn’t embark on this adventure
For anyone other than me
This trip was granted by heaven
The results are for all to see.

Some days brought joy and contentment
Some days were filled with fright
When ever I consumed the right item
It filled my soul with delight

So on and on I traveled
But no road weary person was I
I adored hearing the compliments
That lifted my soul ever high

Now whatever road my life seems to travel
Where ever I choose to be
I stand tall and slender
From this gift that was granted to me.

.        .


By Annette McKitrick

Alone, why do I feel so all alone?
An island floating in a dark stormy sea
Where is the love I once knew?
Where is the caring?

Alone, why do I feel so alone?
My heart is heavy, fearing it will never
Feel the warmth of the sun again.
The cold murky waters lap at my soul.

The Darkness oppresses me
As I feel my way around this box
That has enclosed me.
Alone, why do I feel so all alone?

I long to feel joy again, I long to have
A reason to be happy.
But how can I feel these emotions
When my life has lost its purpose.

Searching for so long to feel whole again
Knowing that you have closed your heart to me
Wanting it to open up and enfold me once more
This is the wanting in my soul.

Alone, why do I feel so all alone?

And last but not least is the first poem I wrote.  I should say the first serious poem.
I wrote it 3 days after 9/11 and the pain was still a raw wound in our nations hearts.
It was published by the Branford Review, our hometown newspaper.  It was given a full page spread with photos of 911 surounding the poem.  I was quite honored.  I know that it has been emailed half way around the world.  I hope that you enjoy it.

The Day America Cried   by Annette McKitrick

The sun shone brightly that morning There was not a cloud in the sky
Life went on just as always The day America cried.
We were not thinking of evil
The tragedy was not forseen
Our country changed in a heartbeat
By the sounds of thousands of screams.

Can you remember what you were doing?
The day America cried
Can you remember your shock and your sorrow?
When you learned how many had died.

Our Country so strong and so vibrant
Was quickly brought to its knees
The work of a madman's desires
Who lives far away across the seas?

An act of terror so heinous
Our minds cannot comprehend
The lives of thousands of heroes
Abruptly would come to their end.

The pain in my heart consumes me
My grief remains ever strong
I cannot forget this sorrow
It clings to me all the daylong.

Our hearts are crying for answers
We long to understand why
For families who lost loved ones
The day America cried.

Our faith and our spirits were tested
But God was guiding our land
The tide of adversity strengthens us
And together united we stand.

The many brave men and brave women
In our hearts forever will stay
By actions and deeds made immortal
Heroes were born on that day.

So what gained you out of your evil?
For you there is no place to hide
America is stronger than ever
We stand as one nation with pride

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Time Lament of the Over Stressed!

Hello my friends!  Please forgive me but I am rapidly falling into the "Christmas Panic Mode" of life.  You know that one - too much to do, too little time and no money!  We are all suffering from this.  I have been diligently baking a jillion christmas cookies.  So far, I have made 10 different kinds.  I usually make at least 20 varities but this year it will be more.  My daughter has a gluten intolerance and cannot eat wheat flour.  I have been adapting my recipes to be gluten free.  This is a whole new chapter in baking.  I have finally found a GF flour recipe that seems to work well.  Also, she can have a certain amount to spelt flour.
She is not Celiac disease but we think it is a gluten allergy.  We have so many allergies in our family and her cousin Brandon also has the allergy.  People with celiacs disease cannot have spelt flour because it is related to wheat and has a certain amount of gluten in it.
Dani can eat the spelt bread from Trader Joe's.  Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I made her spelt dinner rolls with potatoes in the recipe.  I just substituted the spelt for the wheat flour and made them as usual.  They were absolutely delicious and she kind of went crazy with them.  She probably ate 5 or 6 of them in one day and she did get sick.
She never ate that much spelt before and it did react with her.  She gets terrible pains in her stomach and then vomits.  Sooooo - she now knows that she cannot over do it with spelt.  I find if I use half spelt and half GF flour it works well.  The cakes are the best with a velvet crumb and smooth texture.  They are slightly heavier than wheat flour products but most people cannot taste the difference.  I have found some great recipes for cookies on the web.  The cut out sugar cookies were superb.  I could not tell the difference from my regular sugar cookies.  The only difference is that the GF mixture could not roll out as thin but not too much difference.  Still very crisp and highly enjoyable.  If any of you are GF diet and would like the recipes, leave me a comment and I will post them.

My husband just adores cookies. I call him the cookie monster.  Would be happy to eat them for every meal.  We give a lot of cookies as gifts and he always brings a huge tray of cookies into work on Christmas Eve day.  He has gotten quite good at helping me make the cookies but has so little time off.  He has been working 12 to 14 hour days and will only have one day off until Christmas.  Many of those hours are evening.  Today he is working from 8 am to 11 pm.  Well, thats the retail bussiness for you!  We are just so glad that he has a job!  No complaining here.

Have you gotten all your shopping done yet?  I am not even close.  I try to order things online but I am starting so late this year.  Went to Victoria's Secret site last night to order some items from my Dani's wish list.  Not one thing is available.  They have items in the stores but it is so hard for me to go to the mall.  They do not have power scooters to use and there is too much walking for me to do.  But I am going to have to hit some of the shopping center stores for gifts.  I hate to think about it.

Sunday was Francesca's 4th birthday and we had her party at our house.  What a little angel she is!!  Children with trisomy 21 (Down's Syndrome) are so special.  They are truly angels and God's gift to us.  She was so happy and excited over opening her presents.
After we had birthday cake and all the presents were opened, she came and got me out of the kitchen, pulled me by the hand, and brought me into the living room  She sat down on her little Elmo chair and then looked at me and said "Auntie, more!"  Bless her little heart, she wanted more birthday presents!!!  And of course I wanted to buy the world and give it to her in that moment!  Dani gave her her first tricycle.  A Barbie one that is like a big wheels, but pink and white.  She cannot quite reach the petals but was scooting all around the house.  It was obviously a big hit!  I just love to spoil her.  I am always finding little presents for her and she gets so excited when I tell her that  "auntie has a present for you".  She has blessed our hearts and our lives with so much joy.  We are all crazy in love with her.  Her nickname is Chessie and we call her Chessie Lou Who after the little girl in the Seuss book.  She is so tiny for her age.  Still wears a size 2 or 3.

I have been crocheting only at night lately and not that much either.  Last night I made 2 bookmarks and am working on a hat for Chessie for christmas.  She loves to watch me crochet and likes when I make things for her.  I had to try on a pink hat I am making for her and it was good that I did.  It was too big and too long so I had to rip out a few rows and make some decreases at the rim to fit her properly.  She loves the bright pink color of the yarn.  Its going to have Mickey Mouse ears on it too.  Very cute.  I am putting ties on it so it will stay on her head for more than one minute.

Well dear readers, I hope you have enjoyed this posting.  I now must go and put color in my hair.  I am looking like a skunk!  You know, white stripe down the middle!  I am pure white in hair color and have been since I was in my forties.  Runs in my Dad's family. I never remember him without grey hair.  I won't let it go natural cause I will look like an old lady and I am never going to be an old lady.  Never, never, never!  I only feel like I am 35. Mentally that is.  Physically is another story.  Enjoy your week.  Hugs to you all.