2 Great Book Reviews

Have you had a chance to check out the two great book reviews we have in our East edition? If not, here’s your chance!

doreenConstantly Running
By Doreen S. Dunn-Berts

Were you ever bullied as a child or young adult? Do you know a child who is being bullied? Buy this book – read this book – then pass it on to someone who is being bullied. Constantly Running is a true story about a ninth grade girl, Constance, who was being bullied by Medusa and her girl friends in high school.

Constance was too afraid to tell her mother or her sister about the bullying. Her solution was to “run” home from school as fast as she could. That only delayed the bullying. Medusa and her friends would steal her supplies during class. Medusa even took her completed homework and turned it in as her own. The teacher seemed to be oblivious about what was happening and Constance was afraid to tell the teacher for fear that punishment of Medusa would lead to even more bullying.

Constance cried a lot. Her life was miserable, yet she held it inside and told no one. She didn’t want to fight back because her mother always said, “Violence is not the path to corrections.” So she took it day after day, feeling helpless. Then Ross moved into her neighborhood and they became friends. Ross had been a bully until he realized how his actions were negatively affecting others. Ross was a bully because he was unhappy with his own life. When he found out what was happening to Constance, he asked her, “Aren’t you tired of running?”

Ross confronted Medusa and her friends and they backed down. He suggested a school project where everyone determines what they liked and disliked about themselves and tells the class. When Medusa spoke, she revealed that both of her parents were sick and she was responsible for their care. She was angry and jealous and this was why she was a bully. Every bully has a story. Perhaps this book will help not only the person being bullied, but also the bully.

book1Constantly Running can be purchased at www.doreenberts.com, on Amazon (book or Kindle), or by phone 216.916.9410 Ext. 2212.





mellisaThe Naughtea Housewife
By Melissa Gallitto

This “Culinary Guide for the Modern Day Seductress” is so much fun to read! It is a helpful cookbook using foods and spices that claim to have aphrodisiac effects. As someone who has been married 21 years, I’ll gladly try something to “spice up” my relationship with my husband! Although there is no medical evidence to prove that certain foods increase sexual desire or performance, we all love to eat so why not experiment and cook a great meal at the same time.

The Naughtea Housewife is a culinary lifestyle for the contemporary woman who can learn to put a seductive spin on their boring old recipes. Naughtea is an attitude—mischievous with a passion for life. If you love your man (or men), this book will help you find “the way to a man’s heart through his stomach.” Aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty. Whether they’re mythological or magical, several foods purport to have aphrodisiac effects: Fruits: Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Cherries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Dates, Figs, Mangos, Papayas, Peach, Pineapples, and Tomatoes. Vegetables: Arugula, Artichokes, Asparagus, Carrots, Celery, Chili Peppers, Cucumbers, Spinach, Squash and Sweet Potatoes. Seafood: Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Scallops, and Shrimp. Then there is a list of Alcohol, Aromatics, Herbs, Nuts, Spices, and Miscellaneous. “These vibrant and diverse ingredients have been adding flavor and temptation since the beginning of time.”

There are wonderful recipes from drinks to desserts with easy to follow instructions. These “Recipes for Love” aren’t just about the food, it’s also about how you serve them, the smell coming from the kitchen, the taste, and your conversations as you enjoy them. Melissa’s final thought, “Where there is love, there is life. Being loves gives you strength, and loving unconditionally gives you courage. Plan a date with the person you love, prepare an amazing dinner, and see where the night takes you…”

book2The Naughtea Housewife can be purchased through Barns & Noble, Amazon, or visit her fun website: www.thenaughteahousewife.com and put in code XP4DJK3V for a $5 discount.

Main Street Medina – Dine & bring Wine Events

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Dine&Wine1We had a great time at the first Dine & (bring) Wine of 2015!  Nate the Chef from P.J. Marley’s treated guests to fresh side salads, awesome beet sliders, Buckeye Buck burgers, cheesy mac & cheese and rich decadent Grandma Leto’s Chocolate Cake.  Nate early on told us P.J. Marley’s was a from scratch restaurant. Impressive those beets are roasted every day to create the one of a kind beet sliders.  The multi-course dinner was prepared in front of 15 guests.  Many of the diners were first timers to Dine & Bring Wine.  The small intimate group of food enthusiasts made for lively discussions on a variety of topics mostly focused on food and guessing whose pictures are on the wall inside of the Cool Beans Cafe kitchen.

P. J Marley’s:  Hamburgers will always be our specialty according to Joh Stahl co-owner of P.J. Marley’s. The Stahl’s work with T.L. Keller Meats in Litchfield to source top-quality beef from Medina and Lorain county farms.  It shows in the up-scale hamburgers on the menu and the especially the Buckeye Buck burger with homemade bourbon sauce, bacon, white cheddar and fresh onion on a grilled bun featured at the Dine event.  45 bottled beers and a shelf of Ohio-made whiskeys, bourbons and vodkas showcase the bar. For kids, Frost Top Root Beer is on tap.  Breakfast is being served daily.

Main Street Medina Dine & (bring) Wine Events

Cool Beans Café owner Laura Parnell and host for the events asks local chefs to prepare a four-course meal right in front of the diners!  All proceeds benefit Main Street Medina.

Bring a bottle of your favorite wine to enjoy.
Menu and chefs to be determined, check out Main Street Medina’s Facebook page or website at www.mainstreetmedina.com for more information. Tickets on sale 1 month before the event date.

Limited to 16 per seating $27 per person 
Event hosted by Cool Beans to benefit Main Street Medina.

Future Dates

May 14
August 20
October 15
2 seating’s available.                6-7:30 or 8-9:30pm




The Great Breakfast Debate: Waffles versus Pancakes

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's JournalI am a waffle girl all the way. Shoe WafflesI would buy these shoes if I could find them.  Waffles are a world-wide taste sensation so much so they warrant two days on the calendar to celebrate their versatility.  

International Waffle Day began in Sweden as Vaffeldagen on March 25th. This holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation.  This day was also considered the start of Spring in Sweden and Europe.  It became a tradition for Swedish families to celebrate the two events by making waffles on this day.   National Waffle Day celebrates the patent of the waffle iron by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York on August 24th.   The Waffle kitchen tool originated in the 1300’s in Greece.  Greeks cooked flat cakes between two metal pans.  At the time they topped it with cheeses and herbs.  Syrup wasn’t around in the 1300’s.

I recently bought the waffle plates for the Cusinart Griddler. I’m having fun using my waffler to make panini’s, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, and hash browns-tater tots but most of all waffles. The possibilities are endless; fried chicken on waffles smothered in gravy or hot sauce or stacked and drenched in syrup, butter and blueberry compote. Waffles can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert.  Below is one of my favorite waffle recipes.  Prep time is a little longer due to beating the egg whites but well worth the effort.

Waffle Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. of salt

2 tsp. of sugar

1 stick of butter melted

2 eggs brought to room temperature

1 ¾ cups of milk room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions: Pre-heat waffle iron.  In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients.  Separate the eggs adding the yolks to the dry ingredient mixture.  Place the egg whites in a small mixing bowl.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.  Add the milk and butter to the dry ingredient mixture and blend.  Fold the egg whites into the mixture until blended.  Spoon waffle mixture onto a hot waffle iron.  Enjoy!

Let me know your preference pancakes or waffles.


The Health Benefits of Restoring Your Hormones to the Proper Levels

Hormone levels can be affected by many factors. These may include stress, age, lifestyle and nutrition. Hormones can also change due to a thyroid conditions, ovulation problems, premature menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or glandular issues. Hormones and hormone replacement therapy is an important topic and there is a lot of confusing, misinformation.

How do you know if you are ƒsuffering from a hormonal imbalance?

Signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance may include dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, depression, headache, acne, weight gain, bloating, decreased sex drive and changes in menstruation.

What is the best way to test for an imbalance?

Scientific studies have shown a strong correlation between steroid hormone levels in saliva and the amount of active hormone in the blood. Saliva testing can be done anywhere anytime. Testing that relies on blood drawn in the doctor’s office makes it harder to obtain samples at a specific times (such as early in the morning) or multiple times during the day. In addition, hormones in the saliva are exceptionally stable and can be stored at room temperature for up to a week without affecting the accuracy of the result. This offers maximum flexibility in sample collection and shipment.

saliva testClinical Apothecaries offers Saliva Testing. It is an accurate, painless and convenient way to detect an imbalance. If there is an imbalance, we will meet with the client and work with their doctor to develop a personalized plan.

Having a healthy balance can provide many benefits for both men and women including:


• Easier time with weight loss and dieting
• Healthier feeling and looking hair and nails
• Smoother and younger looking skin
• Decreased risk of some disease, such as osteoporosis
• Decreased depression, anxiety and stress (bio-identical therapy.org)

clinical apothecaries

How do you know you’re Irish?

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

How do you know you’re Irish?

. . .During your youth much of your food was boiled in like potatoes

. . .Your mother’s maiden name was Marshall

. . .Her grandfather’s name was Meyers

. . .By age five you could repeat the history of the Irish Potato Famine

And your first grandchild was born on St. Patrick’s Day and she will be fourteen on Tuesday. 

Many of dishes prepared by my grandmother featured potatoes; Shepard’s Pie, Colcannon, Boxty and Donegal Pie all made with mashed potatoes.

The dish that has stood the test of time and tradition in our family is the Donegal Pie.  At Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other family celebration my Donegal Pie is on the must have list.


Donegal Pie I use to make Donegal Pie (center picture) from scratch; pie dough made with lard, homemade mashed potatoes and diced fried bacon.  Nothing low cal about my Nana’s Donegal Pie.

 Ingredients: two pie crusts, 24 oz. of mashed potatoes, 3-4 hard-boiled eggs, 3/4 lb. of bacon, one stick of butter.

Instructions:  Now with all the conveniences of store bought pie crusts, mashed potatoes and cooked ready to use bacon the making of a Donegal Pie is easy! Truly, it’s so easy.  Line a 9” pie pan with  pie crust, a layer of mashed potatoes.(your favorite store bought mashed potatoes or leftover work just fine), 3-4 grated hard-boiled eggs, a layer of diced cooked bacon(so you can’t see the egg or potatoes.  Melt a stick of butter and pour over the ingredients.  Top with a second pie crust and crimp the edges.  Four or five fork pricks on top.  

Use a cream or egg wash if you feel so inclined. Bake at around 350 degrees until golden brown for around 45 minutes. I know you will want to cut into the pie immediately but it needs to rest for 5-8 minutes.  

Potato history: Potatoes are one the world’s most popular foods. Agriculturists in 17th century Europe found potatoes were easier to grow and sustain than many other crops and, when coupled with their nutritional value, potatoes gained popularity, particularly among the working class in Ireland.

Potatoes may be indelibly linked to Irish culture because of the widespread potato famine in the 19th Century that forced many people to emigrate from Ireland. But there is more to the modest potato than many people may know.

Potatoes are an important addition to any diet, as they are a starchy root food that contains plenty of carbohydrates, which makes them closer to grains than other vegetables. Potatoes were first cultivated by the Incas in Peru around 8,000 B.C. The word “potato” comes from the Spanish patata. When Spanish conquistadors traveled to Peru, they discovered potatoes and brought them back to Europe.

Potatoes did not reach North America until 1621, when the governor of Bermuda included potatoes in a care package sent to Governor Wyatt of Virginia in Jamestown. By the 1700s, permanent potato patches had been established.

Miscellaneous facts about potatoes: While there are thousands of varieties of potatoes, most of them are not commercially produced. Potatoes have been served hot, cold, sliced, pickled, and even as a dessert. Benjamin Franklin once attended a banquet where the food was nothing but potatoes served in 20 different ways.

Potato chips and French fries are favorite snack foods. Thomas Jefferson is credited for introducing Americans to French fries. The popularity of fries has skyrocketed, and millions are consumed each and every year.

Some believe that potatoes are an aphrodisiac, while others feel they have medicinal properties, including curing warts. The Incas used to place slices of potatoes on broken bones to promote healing. Some people believe you can ease a sore throat and alleviate aches and pains with potatoes.

Potatoes have been enjoyed for thousands of years and provide a wealth of nutrition. While potatoes may be most associated with the Irish, these beloved starchy plants are truly a worldwide favorite whether mashed, fried, or baked.

Harsh Winter Weather — Tips To Restore

The seasons can be harsh on homes, and perhaps no season is more taxing on a home’s exterior than winter. Harsh winter weather can take a toll on roofs, gutters, landscaping, and just about any other part of the home that must face the cold head-on. The following are a few areas of your home that might need some help rebounding from winter now that spring is right around the corner.

Heavy snowfall or significant accumulation of ice over the winter can result in cracked or damaged walkways, driveways and porches. Cracks can be safety hazards or may prove to be entry points into your home for water or critters.

Winter storms may damage trees, which can put a home right in the line of falling limbs or worse. Walk around your property to inspect for tree damage, removing any fallen limbs or cutting down any limbs that appear dead or that might eventually prove a safety hazard. In addition, check the grass for any dead spots that might have fallen victim to winter

Start planning now for late winter or early spring, as it is a great time to get a head start on the gardening season. The following projects can ensure your garden gets off on the right foot to enhance your landscape.

Left to the elements, yards and gardens are often filled with debris once spring arrives. Dead leaves, fallen branches, rocks that surfaced during the winter frost and even garbage that might have blown about in winter winds can all pile up in your yard. Clearing debris is a great first step toward restoring landscape and gardens before the time comes to plant your beautiful, fragrant, colorful plants.

Edge plant and flower beds, but be sure to use a spade with a flat blade or an edger designed to edge flower beds. Such tools will cut deep enough so grass roots that may eventually grow into the flower bed are severed.

Though weeds likely have not survived the winter that does not mean they won’t return once the weather starts to heat up. But as inevitable as weeds may seem, homeowners can take steps to prevent them from turning beautiful gardens into battlegrounds where plants, flowers and vegetables are pitted against unsightly and potentially harmful weeds.
Spring is a good time to apply a pre-emergent weed preventer, which can stop weeds before they grow.

Of course if time is an issue, Greenskeepers is always available to help with your landscaping projects.

greenkeeper ideas

Greenkeepers Lawn Service and Landscaping Inc. has been providing outdoor maintenace and living enhancements since 1999. We offer unique ideas, custom designs and a variety of services to enhance your outdoor living. Quality, professionalism and experience is never compromised at Greenkeepers, no matter how big or small the job. Call 330.721.0059 today to speak with one of our designers to see how we can make your outdoor dreams a reality.

greenkeepers ad

Ulele – Traveling Fork Restaurant Review

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

My favorite food is a Burger.  I know hard to believe.  Burgers are comfort food to me.  I have been known to travel in search of the Best Burger Ever.  And there is a Burger at a restaurant in Tampa called the Ulele Burger that I have dreamed about since first tasting.  But in my quest for the Best Ever Burger I ate my first oyster.   And I had to travel to Florida to savor this first ever oyster.  The Oyster was Barbacoa-grilled, with a delectable crust of garlic butter, grated Parmesan, Romano cheeses and slices of fresh baked bread for sopping up the sauce.  The oyster was incredible!  But back to the Best Ever Burger.

Last November being newly retired I was able to spend a week with my son, his wife and my grandchildren in Tampa.  My son a food enthusiast (son like mother) raved about a new restaurant on the Tampa Riverwalk called Ulele that had opened in August.  Ulele (pronounced you-lay-lee) celebrates the vibrant fusion of UleleCollageingredients from the Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including a legendary young princess called princess Ulele.  As the story goes in the year 1528 the daughter of local Tocabaga chief Hirrihigua, pleaded and threw herself over 17-year-old Juan Ortiz as he was about to be roasted alive in revenge for the tribe’s previous hostile encounters with explorers. Ortiz, a member of the Spanish Narvaez expedition was spared. Whether love or pity prompted Ulele’s actions we will never know. But we prefer to believe it was love – just as we prefer to believe that the all-too-similar Pocahontas-John Smith story 80 years later is based on this one.

The menu features intricately flavored, visually appealing dishes prepared on a 10′ round Barbacoa grill.  Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term “barbecue” derives.  Of course I had to go, how could I resist?  It was a beautiful sunny blue sky day so we sat outside with a spectacular view of the Hillsborough River next to the Ulele Springs which flows to the river within feet of our table.  It wasn’t until my second visit though that I saw the exquisite interior of Ulele.  Soaring ceilings with an incredible expanse of windows cast light onto the eclectic antiques and artwork painted to highlight special Ulele drinks.

The menu offers a wide array of native inspired seafood. However, the Ulele Burger had caught my attention.  The Burger combines char-grilled ground short rib, brisket and a chuck blend.  The Burger is adorned with Wisconsin sharp cheddar, portabello mushrooms, fire-roasted red peppers and fried leeks served on a grilled brioche bun. Ulele was switching over from lunch to the dinner menu and for a moment I thought I wouldn’t be able to order The Burger. Our wonderful wait staff was able to convince someone in the kitchen to prepare The Ulele Burger for me.  The customer service is genuine and most accommodating.  I’m sure there are appropriate words to describe The Burger but calling it a burger hardly does this glorious sandwich justice.  The combination of gourmet meats is what makes this Burger incredibly delicious.

My son decided to try the Deconstructed Seafood Pot Pie with gulf seafood chowder, shrimp, pulpo, grouper, smoked oysters, vegetables, and white wine cream with a side of rice and asparagus.  I almost regretted ordering the Ulele burger.  Almost!  The seafood was prepared with a light touch and was buttery delicious with billows of puff pastry to accent the creamy pot pie.  As if this meal wasn’t enough my son ordered the Ulele signature dessert dish titled ‘Candied Duck Bacon Maple Fried Bacon Ice Cream.’ They had me at bacon. This dessert won third place in the 2014 Chef Recipe Contest.

Many thanks to Ulele for accommodating our last minute request for a table and for the rain that forced us inside this most unique and charming restaurant.  And not that I needed anyone’s else’s recommendation other than my son’s to eat at Ulele; Emeril featured Ulele on his Cooking Channel TV show; Emeril’s Florida.

If you are ever in Tampa, Ulele is a must do experience.  Ulele earns Three Forks!


Ulele is located at 1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602  (813) 999-4952  Price range: $$-$$$ www.ulele.com

One Fork – good but could be better

Two Forks – average, almost there

Three Forks – over the top experience 





The Women’s Orchestra of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

The Formation
Maria Mandel was the SS commander of the women’s camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was known for her fanatical admiration of beauty and love of music, but she was also known for her brutality. Her desire to further her own career was the motive behind forming a women’s orchestra. However, forming an orchestra demanded a large organizational effort. One had to obtain sheet music, instruments, and other such equipment. Auschwitz proved to be a convenient place to obtain such items.

“They agreed to supply us violins and all the necessary instruments in abundance. They had their own, and there were thousands of instruments from all over Europe from deportees who had been encouraged to bring along their most precious movable possessions, unaware that upon arrival everything would be taken away from them. Even the sheet music they brought with them was used by the camp orchestras. Auschwitz by this time was the Fort Knox of Europe, with all the possessions taken from people in the countless transports that arrived at the camps” – Sofi a Tchaikowska.

In the spring of 1943, Mandel broached the subject with the staff of the camp office. A survey of the office card files showed that a number of Polish women had some knowledge of music and played instruments. In most central European schools, teachers were required to have musical training, therefore former teachers were good prospects for a women’s orchestra. Camp authorities decided to proceed with recruitment. Orders posted in various blocks within the women’s camp requested prisoners with musical experience to come forward. They sought out new transports, but most of the time the inmates were found by word of mouth. Fortunately, some inmates had stated they were professional musicians upon arrival. The recruitment process was often haphazard and many were discovered only through chance conversations with SS officers or functionaries.

The women’s orchestra was formed in April 1943 under the leadership of the Polish prisoner Sofia Tchaikowska, a violinist who recruited other players from different barracks and new arrivals in the Quarantine Block. Her effort resulted in an ensemble of 15 by May 1943.

Early Stages
By the end of June 1943, there were approximately 20 members in the orchestra. Most of the women were non-Jews from Poland like Tchaikowska. Tchaikowska played from memory and arranged pieces from sheet music for different instruments. She was forced to recruit several copyists to orchestrate music and transpose parts for a combination of instruments. The copyists were forced to use a special kind of orchestration that designed pieces to be played by any combination of musicians. Most of the time, copyists arranged music from piano scores or from memory. In addition, they were required to harmonize and arrange melodies chosen by the SS officers.

With Tchaikowska as conductor, the orchestra was not important at first. However, in June 1943, the orchestra began to play a larger role within the camp. In the beginning, the repertoire was modest and consisted of a few German melodies. Then, the orchestra started to play in the hospital blocks. Eventually, they were ordered to play marches for the morning and evening parades of workers leaving for work and returning to camp for the evening roll call.

To read the rest of this article click on this link to page 14 of our digital WJ East Edition.

Auschwitz Photo3

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Here, Near & Dear to Medina Square

Local Flavors

Anytime of year is a great time to dine locally with an added bonus of strolling along Medina’s Historic Square with its unique shops and Festivals.  Dining out is a different experience when you select independent restaurants over national chains. Chefs at independently owned restaurants have a greater say over ingredients and menu choices than those at franchise establishments, and you may be introduced to foods you had never before dreamed of trying. Restaurants that team up with local food suppliers offer even a bigger bang for your buck and fresher ingredients. If you’re new to the area check out the Medina Visitors & Convention Center, Main Street Medina and the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce. . .

A Cupcake a Day (Closed Mondays) 115 W. Liberty St.

330-389-1247 www.acupcakeaday.com

Cool Beans Café (Open 7 Days) 103 W. Liberty St. 330-723-7174


Corkscrew Saloon (closed Monday’s) 811 W. Liberty St. 330-725-0020


Dan’s Dogs (Closed Sunday’s) 111 W. Liberty St. 330-723-3647

Dominic’s Italian Restaurant/Jo-Jo’s Sports Bar(Open 7 Days) 221 S. Jefferson St.

330-725-8424 www.dominicspizzamedina.com

East of Chicago Pizza 307 S. Court St. 330-723-0510


Eli’s Kitchen (Open 7 days) 115 Public Square 330-722-0511

H2 Wine Bar/ Huth & Harris Wine Merchants (open 7 days) 221 S. Court St.

330-815-4959 www.h2winemerchants.com

House of Hunan (Open 7 days) 18 Public Square 330-722-1899


Lager & Vine Gastro Pub & Wine Bar (Closed Sunday’s) 108 Public Square

330-722-1899 www.lagerandvine.com

Lager Heads Brewery 325 W. Smith Rd. 330-725-1997

Lemonberry Frozen Yogurt (Open 7 days) 201 S. Court St.

330-721-0793  www.lemonberryfrozenyogurt.com

Main Street Café (Open 7 days) 17 Public Square 330-722-2729


Marie’s Café (Closed Sunday’s) 117 Public Square

330-725-3322  www.mariescafe.net

Miss Molly’s Tea Room (Open 7 days) 140 W. Washington St.

330-725-6830 www.missmollys.net

P.J.  Marley’s (Open 7 days) 119 Public Square


Something’s Popping 47 Public Square 330-722-3088

Sully’s Irish Pub (Open 7 Days) 117 W. Liberty St. 330-764-3333


The Bakery Shoppe (Closed Sunday’s) 23 Public Square 330-725-0912

Thyme2 (Closed Sunday’s) 113 W. Smith Rd 330-722-1919








Making room for my grandsons??

Caught with my hand in the cookie jar!

Some grandmas have limousines

and the biggest homes you have seen,

but my grandma is best by far, for she

has got a cookie jar!                              

I have always wanted to be a grandmother. I dreamed about it, I fantasized about it, I felt it.  But when I dreamed, it was in pink in visions of tea parties and Tinkerbell.  For nearly four years, my life had been consumed with Cinderella, Dora the Explorer, Princess stories, American Girl dolls, ballet and play kitchens.  Girl Things! Sugar & spice and everything nice.

I love my grandsons but I had been at a loss as to how I would relate to them.  I don’t like sports, dirt and trucks.  And I especially don’t like football.  For months I had let the question of ‘What would we have in common?’ interfere with getting to know my grandsons.  Fortunately, for me my grandsons have forgiven me for my lapse of judgment.  How do I know?  Because we have become enchanted with one another. The question still exists but I have time to find the answers.   Their papa has told me the way to a man’s heart or a little boy’s is a cookie jar.  Preferably with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.


1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar

1 cup of butter softened

1 tsp. of vanilla

1 egg

2 cups of quick cooking oats

1 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup of chopped nuts

Directions: heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended.  Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.  Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Use a ice cream scoop and drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.