fat free celebrations

It has been that time of year when every activity for every child demands an end of year banquet and awards night.  Tables of grilled hot dogs,  hamburgers, and chicken have made a fat free lifestyle interesting.  The secret is eat before you go.  If it is a carry-in or pot-luck (depending on where you are from) bring something you know you can eat.  Saturday, I volunteered to bring fruit skewers and fat free fruit dip to a wedding.  At least I knew there would be something there I could eat.

fruit dip 2

I could credit this recipe to several people.  I’m not sure who the original amazing person was who figured this out, but I love him or her.  So, to all those who shared this recipe, I’m passing on your amazing fat free summer treat.


1 jar of marshmallow fluff

1 package of fat free cream cheese


Mix the two ingredients together with an electric beater (mine broke about 10 minutes before I was to leave for the wedding and a mixing spoon worked just fine.  I think my Grandpa called that elbow grease.)

Go ahead.  You know you want to dip your finger in and taste.  Yum!



ImageI had planned a lovely evening of planting trees, watching the video my students made about the environment, and eating blue and green tie-dyed cupcakes.  Hey, they were supposed to be little earths. What can I say?

Sadly, our dear friend, Bogart (Bo) our blind Palomino Appaloosa horse, had other plans.   He decided to celebrate Earth Day by leaving it.  So this evening, we bid farewell to one of the most amazing horses whose only trophies and awards are the hearts of all those he won over.

ImageI’m going to be painfully honest here.  I’ve been accused by some of my animal loving family as being…deep breath…an animal hater.  That is not true.  Animals are like music to me.  I have to find the right melody at the right moment, and then it touches me so profoundly and deeply that I’m willing to write an entire novel based on that thirty seconds of emotion.

My love of animals is very much the same.  When the right animal walks into my life at the right moment, my love is so deep that I’m willing to stop mowing the lawn, pick up the tennis ball and toss it again and again and again to my Bowser, or stand in the wind and freezing rain to feed carrots to my Bo.

My love for this horse was different, though.  It wasn’t my love for Bo that motivated me to carry heavy bags of grain home from Tractor Supply when no one was with me to help or to break the ice in the water trough in winter.  It was much more profound than a gratifying love that always comes as the result of service.  When I looked into the sweet face of that guy I saw his love for my children and their love for him.  I loved Bo because of my motherhood and for no other reason than that.  I didn’t really understand that until I was talking to my mom on the phone and listened to what Bo meant to her because of the joy he gave her grandkids.  I heard a new chord and soft underlying tone to my love for that “horse who thought he was a dog”, as my husband says that I had never realized was there.And to date, Bo, and our dog Lilly are the only two animals who can dance in my heart to the rhythm and melody of my motherhood and my absolute love for my children.Image

Where has Spring Gone?

In Virginia, the calendar says it is spring.  Five  days in to be exact.  And yet, Old Man Winter, unlike Custard, won his last stand.  At least I hope it is his last this season.  School was cancelled today.  As as school teacher, I think I do the happy dance as often as my children under such conditions.

However, I’m rather done with winter and would really like to start on the garden. I suggested to my youngest girls that their Dad and I take the carton of eggs out of the fridge and hide them in the snow.  I told them they did so well last year finding all the eggs, we were going to level up the difficulty a bit.  My nine year old smashed my plans by pointing out, “Then we will step on them and break all our eggs.”

So here I was with a snow day in spring and no hopes of an Easter egg hunt.  I peaked out the window at my garden spot that looks exactly like it did in December and decided there was nothing left to do.  Snow ball fall fight and sledding it was.  Sledding didn’t work out so well, so we even made mini snow people.

I suppose we all have our “druthers” from time to time.  We’d rather be planting seeds than reaping snow.  But aren’t the memories so much better when we just  slip on our mittens and let the snowballs fly?

flowers in the snow

flowers in the snow (Photo credit: elpostito)