Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just Eat the Kit Kat!

A low-key Halloween. Wanted to do more decorating and crafts but should be grateful that it was an improvement from last year, where I did nothing. At least there was a wee bit of evidence of the celebration around and all fall I have been doing a fair share of baking seasonal treats which was nil last year.

Most recent recipe - just take a small can of pumpkin puree and mix it with a box of Devil's Food or chocolate cake mix. Don't add anything else like eggs or oil. Batter will be stiff. Spoon into 12 greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes at 400. These come out very thick and moist. The taste of the pumpkin is not overpowering. Calories = 180 per muffin but I also added one cup of chocolate chips, which I add to pretty much everything I bake. I have seen this recipe on the internet and magazines, it is from the Hungry Girl cookbook. Didn't believe these would turn out but they were great and stayed moist for days!

The boys have told me I've baked enough pumpkin recipes for the season. Today, in honor of Halloween it is traditional to eat donuts, which used to be a mainstay at Halloween parties in the 1930s and 40s. So this morning we had chocolate and apple cider doughnut holes. I make a point of serving donuts on Halloween. The apple cider ones were especially tasty!

The day was sunny but brisk. Took my nature walk and could smell that pungent, spicy odor of burning leaves. Sprayed pumpkin body spray from Bath & Body Works for the full seasonal experience. Apparently they didn't sell this fragrance this year or the apple one they had a few years back so I'm glad I still have some left.

Last night my youngest slept over at a friend's but my oldest and I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. watching one of the "Chucky" doll horror movies - I'd never seen it but my sons both have. It was fun and out of the ordinary.

Part of my mind keeps dwelling on everything I didn't get done that I wanted to. But then I look at this entry and see that it wasn't so bad. The boys created decent costumes and went trick or treating and to parties with their friends. We had some treats. My oldest son's girlfriend is wearing the warm scarf I knit for her out tonight and it is warding off the chill. This is not the same Halloween we would have had living in our home or if my husband were still alive. But it was something. Low-key.

Tomorrow is a new day and a new month. I think I better start planning immediately for Christmas!

Final comment - Just eat the Kit Kat bar. All week I have seen, heard and read healthy substitutions to make for your favorite candy. It's Halloween that comes once a year. Enjoy and eat whatever your favorite is and don't give it another guilty thought!


  1. Sorry I missed your post. My husband went on the vent on October 29th for 28 days then came off for three days. We thought we had won then he began to fail couldn't breathe had to go back on the vent and 20 days later we were advised nothing more could be done, his organs were failing. We took him off and lost the battle Dec. 10th, 10 days before my birthday, right before Christmas.

    All I can see right now are those days, our Thanksgiving dinner was on hospital trays in his room watching the vent, watching his sat. levels. Praying for them to come and lower the settings any improvement.

    I reaaly wish I could just go to bed and sleep till Jan. 2nd

  2. Yum!

    Prefacing this with "what do I know?", I just wanted to tell you that I've been following your blog for a while, and I have to say, the last few weeks you've been sounding really good. From my very limited, outside perspective, the steps you are taking seem to be helping with your mood and attitude. If my observations are sort of on target, I'm so glad for you!

    (I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all. I just thought that sometimes it is good to get that limited, outside perspective to see the forest through the when people who haven't seen your kids in a while alert you to the fact they've grown. So....for what it is worth -- hooray for you!)


  3. A - Thank you for recounting the time line of your husband's final days. Oh my gosh! You went through a great deal. My husband too, had a similar experience where we thought we had "lost" him but then he came out of it only to slowly progress downward to his final coma. What a journey for you to have to get through at this time of year. Your mind is naturally going to recall the details of the events this year as they come up. When my husband was in his coma, I'd go into the hospital and sit with him the entire day and just cry (7 hours straight). Then as soon as I left the hospital, I stopped. At his funeral and memorial services I wasn't able to cry. Yet, during those weeks, I couldn't believe the human body had the capacity to produce so many tears! That is one of my memories.

    I wish there were a magic pill I could give you and I too, wished I could just hibernate from that period - sleep through all those tough days and wake up after the holidays.

    I think we need to honor our memories (even the painful and hard ones) and to treat ourselves as gently as possible - to not expect a great deal of ourselves and to cut ourselves some slack during this time. It is hard to do that when the world is buzzing around us and everyone is so cheery and bright because of the holidays. Take quiet time for yourself for reflection and escape some of the madness. I believe retreating from the rat race is okay but that it is still fine to observe activities that will bring you happiness and lift up your mood - a good movie, book, dinner out with friends, church service, lecture and so on. It has been said that getting caught up in a new project helps divert one's attention from dwelling too much on the painful be it planning a nice memorial event for your husband or engaging in a hobby (or learning a new one).

    Please feel free to contact me any time here or at if you want to get in touch. I'm sending you a big hug and will continue to think of you.

  4. ARB - Thanks for your observations. When you are living through whatever, it is hard to be an honest observer. I haven't considered myself to be doing that great these past few weeks - just trying to live on as best I can. In fact, I was chiding myself last night for not being more positive! I'm still finding the day-to-day, nitty gritty of life pretty hard right now!

  5. Halloween brings both good and bad memories for me. The good ones are when the children were little, and we had fun making costumes, and going trick or treating. Bad memories surface because my husband wasn't the easiest to be around at these times, and we weren't able to give out candy when he was around. He also had a way of putting a damper on our celebration if we let him. So why do I miss him, you may ask? I guess it is because he was my husband, and he was with me for 35 years. We had been together since we were 17 years old, and through those years, we had good times and bad times.
    This Halloween, the kids and I gave out candy, and enjoy the quietness in the household. I have to be honest, and say I felt guilty for the little pleasures we had. It is like if we have a good time, and admit it, we are speaking bad about our life before he died. Does any of this make sense to you???
    November is the month he died, and so many memories are surfacing right now. I too wish to have a pill, and sleep until January 2nd. Do you think they sell them "economy-sized" for us???? But I will hang in there, and deal with this month, and get through it. What choice do I have?
    Thanks for listening, and being there for me. God bless all of you!!!!

  6. Jeanne - Yes, I understand what you mean about "speaking bad" about life before the death. I think we all need to be grateful for whatever small pleasures come our way. So many of us are suffering because of loss and the economy right now.

    My marriage had its rough spots too - we take the good with the bad just as we still have to do as we go on living.

    I have been finding that my daily half hour nature walks are helping me greatly get through this season of sadness. I use the time to reflect on my husband, our life together and my life since his death. When I walk I feel as though I am making the choice to keep on walking forward into life.

    I'm thinking of you - keep on hanging on!