Cheat on Your Husband Book Cheaper than Lingerie & Better!

Hubs sent this to me when he was traveling for work! (Our first date was for coffee.)
Earlier this week I woke up at 5:00am in order to be productive.  I decided to get  up and write a little.  My husband also woke up at 5:00 am in order to "be productive" although he wasn't thinking of writing.  We were downstairs on the couch "drinking coffee" when our three year old daughter also decided to get up at 5:00am, for neither coffee nor writing and we were not delighted to see her cherubic face. At. All.  

You see, as married parents of two little people under the age of four years old,  it might have been awhile since we drank coffee together, and we might have been feeling irritable enough about it to just chug some down.  But not around our children. We turned on My Little Pony (at 5 o'clock in the morning!!!!) and went back upstairs to bed.  To drink our coffee.

So it's like that.  (If you are laughing it's because you drink the same coffee, I'm willing to bet.)

Marriage to even the best of mates ebbs and flows in its wonder and challenges.  I jumped at the chance (actually requested) this book Cheat on Your Husband(with Your Husband): How to date Your Husband  By Andrea Sytash to review it.  I have no desire to cheat on my husband, but as a formerly wanton woman in my younger days, I would like to recapture some of that and bring it along into my marriage.  Being a mother is so great and so draining at the same time.  Some days I go to bed at eight o'clock when the kids do because I cannot face the sink of dirty dishes, or the toys on the floor, or the thought of walking not only down the stairs, but back up them again. 

I already take time for myself.  I get out of the house and color my hair and buy myself little things here and there, but still.  It is hard to feel like a sexual woman when I've been whined at and cuddled and needed and yelling and taking deep breaths and cleaning the same messes up all day.  So.  This book.

I thought it would be full of sexy games or tips to basically be someone else...but truly it was more educational about how to be more of myself!  Andrea Sytash really filled Cheat on Your Husband(with Your Husband)  with different approaches for any woman to see herself in and apply to her marriage. She said,

     "Every day single women approach me for advice about how to keep the men they're dating intrigued and interested and how to stay interesting themselves.  I recently realized how few of us in long term relationships ask ourselves these questions..."

I know I try to remind myself to pay attention to my husband with the same engagement and zeal I did when we were dating.  I find him quite interesting so usually this is simple, but some days, if I have something I want to say or do I remind myself to stop and pay attention like we were dating.  I also know men like to pursue, so I try to offer him that too!

I know from watching other couples that another gem form the book 
"Your perspective influences you every day."  Is true.  She asks, 
     "What's one of the negative perspectives you have about your husband?...Is there a more positive perspective you can focus on?"  I swore from the beginning to only talk my husband 'up' to my friends.   I only share serious issues with one or two close friends.  I've witnessed wives complaining about their husbands so much that my only impression of the husband is negative...and after talking about them so badly, so often how could the wives feel  positive about them either?  It can be tricky, but I follow Sytash's advice and focus on something positive instead.  (Honestly, I did win a husband lottery...praying to God for my husband meant I got a MUCH better deal than I deserved.)  But.  He actually has a few flaws.  I am able to step back and be aware that they are tiny, they are not character flaws, and I focus on something better instead of getting weighed down in petty things. I believe this is part of why our marriage is so good.  Seriously.

In the chapter "This is not your Mother's Marriage" Sytash talks about all the varieties of challenge we as modern women may face in our marriages.   One topic that hit home for me was screen time. When I was single, I didn't even own a TV for over a year.  When I did, I certainly didn't eat in front of it.  Then when I got married, even though I adore my man and we have a strong marriage, I would honestly rather plop on the couch after the girls are in bed and stare at that screen, with John at the other end of the couch, of course.  And one of us will have the lap top out checking football scores, Facebook or Pinterest.  Quality Time?  Rest? UGH.

After reading this section, I proposed a tete a tete each night after the girls go to bed.  We would go sit away from the TV in the sunroom.  On the couch looking at each other for half an hour or something.  My Hubs was game, we tried it and it was WONDERFUL.  Embarrassingly wonderful to sit and LOOK at each other and have simple uninterrupted conversation.  We felt connected and THEN we did go watch TV together, but taking that time beforehand really made a difference.  It made me remember my friend Luanne and her husband Michael who had a fairly unbreakable 10:00 am coffee date on  their couch on weekend mornings.  I haven't talked to her in over a year, but I still remember that little thing they did to spark up their marriage. ( And no, I do not think they were "Drinking Coffee", either.) 

Later in the book Sytash offers some things to think about like finding that thing called BALANCE.  She encourages us to look at the "pie chart of our life" and consider what might be out of balance.  She asks good questions about our Career, Health, Significant Other, Money, Friends and Family, Personal Growth and Physical Environment.  I have know for A VERY LONG TIME the only person I can control is me, so I loved seeing this "Turn Me On" chapter.  I've often said we as women CAN NOT look to our men for our only validation.  We MUST give that to ourselves first.  Just this weekend on the way to a wedding I complained to my hubs he hadn't told me how gorgeous I was.  (I'd just colored my hair super flame red and rocking a beehive hairstyle, velvet jacket and tightish jeans.  I was darling.) My precious man replied, "Between getting the girls, all three of you, out of the car, packing the car getting myself ready and heading out, when have I had the chance???" He was right and I knew it.  UGH.  Good thing I'd already complimented myself!

The chapter of Cheat on Your Husband(with Your Husband) I actually read first was "Take a Time Out: Cheat on Your Kids" it was great at addressing the mama challenges I have already lamented and it also explained why date nights seem to be so elusive for parents.  I was inspired to take that tete a tete I mentioned earlier from her 15 Minutes a Day section in this chapter. Sytash reassures parents that kids like date night. She said that kids who witness a healthy, loving relationship with kissing and hugging(don't eat each others face off or anything, that is gross no matter who is watching) feel more secure in their daily lives and go on to have more satisfying marriages themselves.  

Sooo, date night?  Not too inspired?  Too much money to hire a sitter?  Swap childcare with another couple.  Take a day date or morning date and use a younger sitter than my might if they had to put your kiddos to bed.  Feel too guilty leaving a crying child?  I say picture yourself as a crying mama who needs to feel gorgeous and valuable and pursuable....just GO.  Your kids need a break from you even if you (and they) do not realize it.  GO. 

In the book Sytash offers several clever ideas for cheap or free dates.  She also gives ideas for date nights in, including making a romantic dinner together after the kids are in bed.   We  tried that too.  I put on world music, lit candles on the floor(no kids to mess with them!) and got carryout from fabulous Meditrina Cafe.  We sat on the floor,  ate with our fingers and talked. Experiencing such a  change in our daily life was quite novel.  Since we eat together as a family every night, any time it is just John and I we head to the couch.  Sitting on the couch to eat feels indulgent and wonderfully lazy, but we don't look at each other, we look at the TV and the sense of intimacy and romance is sooooo not there.  Now we try to eat at the table sometimes.  Or the floor.  Or the front porch.  Conversation is never a problem, and just taking that small pause to look at each other really increases our intimacy outside of the boudoir....which usually gets us closer to it!  

Speaking of the boudoir, when you read the book Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband) by Andrea Sytash some of the most interesting chapters are towards the  back. You will learn what a GFE is and why men (and probably women) would pay money for it.  You can learn how to be more grateful in your realtionship.  You can learn about King/Queen for a Day and how that could work for you.  You will see the small stuff you WILL want to sweat, and what you shouldn't worry about.  You might decide to take a Me-Cation. (LOVE!)  There are tips for handling a crush you might have and so much more.  

Andrea Sytash is a dating and relationship expert , on air personality and advice columnist. She has contributed to over a dozen relationship advice books and has appeared in NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, USA Today and others. Tweet Andrea or check out her website here.   Cheat on Your Husband (with Your Husband) by Andrea Sytash is a solid, entertaining, educational and worthwhile read for every married couple's library.  Pour a good cup of hot coffee and turn some pages. Take time for yourself and take time together as a couple.  You might develop an even better and more satisfying marriage than you already have.  (THANKS Andrea!!!)

My tickled coffee drinking thanks to Rodale Publishers and author Andrea Sytash for sending me a free copy of this book for review.  I was THRILLED with it.  You will be too. Buy it here, it is cheaper than a new top and more effective than lingerie!

Also, found a fantastic interview with Andrea Sytash on the website HITCHED, read that here.

Two Rules for Centerpieces

My simple Fall Decor
I love a well decorated home.  Mine however, is not one of them.  For starters, we just do not spend our money on much, especially amazing decorative things. For finishers...ummm...I really do not know how.  Our 1920's Craftsman home is beautiful with its woodwork, vintage windows, built-ins and hardwood floors.  The wall colors painted two owners ago work wonderfully with our furniture and our tastes: BONUS.  As it is a small house, we do not have a lot of space to add things, yet I long for a more 'finished' feel.  For cheap.  Without looking cheap or fresh out of a boxed set.
Trisha's Table Display
When I was single my style was typical "Wild Woman Eclectic" AKA  Shabby Chic: Anything I loved and could afford plus an old place with hardwood floors.  When I got married and moved into my hubby's nicer newer modern style home with wall to wall stuff didn't look chic, it looked shabby.  So the difficulties began.  

Now we are back to a vintage home and hardwood floors, but we live in an area where lots of folks have moolah.  Big houses, new cars...while we chose to downsize our house to save a bunch each month for our future and avoid credit debt.  My "new" car is eight years old and we JUST bought it a month ago, LOL! But I walk into other people's homes (or the Target decorating aisle!) and I swoon a little.  (And I might bring a REALLY big purse to start swiping borrowing decorative items for a bit.)  Sometimes the homeowners are just as thrifty as I am and collect over time;  sometimes they buy sets of beautiful things all at once.  I envy their taste, their budget, their savvy.  Envy isn't pretty, either.  

My things start looking dull and unworthy.  I hate feeling the desire for unnecessary things in my life creep up with such passion.  I don't get a lot of catalogues because it fuels my wanting.  I don't window shop often because it makes me want to just buy the things we want NOW instead of thinking about how we want to live and what shopping for fun really costs.  It is a struggle for me, one that I am glad to entertain because at least I am more fully engaged in my purchases.

As I sat admiring my simple centerpiece for Halloween, I realized I kind of know what I am doing with decorating, as far as simple, non crafty and cheap centerpieces go.  If your current centerpiece is more likely to be a pile of unread magazines or a kid's toy than something pretty, here are some stylish ways to bring joy to your heart without paying a lot for it.
See how lonely this looks, floating?
Ditto this trio, needs an ANCHOR!

There are two simple rules I discovered when doing a centerpiece.  First, have a single focus point of one item or several items in an odd number (3,5,7).  

Second, have an them on something to root them in the space.  This makes it look more "finished" than just setting something down on a table. (For you fashionistas, this is like your pants, shirt and jacket.  If you want to add "jewelry" or other accessories, you certainly can but I cannot advise you there, Babe!)  These two simple rules can make almost anything work as a centerpiece.  I would LOVE to hear your thougths and see your before & after pictures.

Maybe too busy, but colorful & fun! 
The lantern and placemat were each $2.50 at Target
Not the best anchor, but better.

If you want to add an extra element, knock yourself out, but these two things simplify the whole process and I realize I have been doing this for a while now.  When I want a centerpiece...or to decorate our dining table.  Here are some fun things my friend Trisha did in her house....note how she has the anchor and the focal point too?
Trisha's Pinterest Table Runner as Anchor!

DECORATING WITH SMALL KIDS:  Centerpiece + tablecloth = STUPIDITY  
Have you ever seen the magician pull a table cloth out from underneath a table setting?  If your child is under the age of 46 it is unlikely they will be so slick.  Make your centerpeice child proof and use a placemat or smaller item to root the display.  Remember that anything you find visually interesting, kids will also find visually interesting.  And they often have peanut butter on their fingers, knowhatImean?

A little busier?  Good?
I would love to see your centerpieces, or hear your other easy peasy decorating rules.  Or disasters....I like to hear about the disasters too!

Random Things # 5 "A Few Purple Hatted Friends"

I loved these signs in a garden shop, and this one ...for some reason...resonated for me.  I get a lot more joy out of my life by being WONDERFULLY QUIRKY!  It reminds me of the Old Woman in Purple poem about enjoying your craziness now instead of later.  

We could all do more of that.  

How bout you live out loud in some kind of purple way this week? 

This is my Super Happy Cardigan sweater ($12) I crocheted as a practice for the grey wool one($50) I just finished. (aka my "Broken Foot Sweater")  I am terrible at crocheting so I bought the cheapest, happiest acrylic to make a 'practice' sweater first.  It was AWESOME!  My best friend in the whole world Jenny JOY Galloy Arndt might be wearing it someday soon.  She can pull it off like no one else can.  I still remember eleven years ago when I first began crocheting I made one of my first items for  her.  It was a LOUD rainbow scarf and the joyful colors just scream "YaYa Jenny" to me!

A Happy Birthday YARN BOMB for Awesome Whitney's house.  All the little bombs I'd made in one place to make her smile.  Oh Whitney, you complete (Valpo) Me!  *hugs*

Jean DeWinter NEEDS this candle. She has been my bread girl and taught me the finer points of consuming an entire loaf of french bread anywhere.  (Tip: No knives, just tear it with your hands!) I sent her this picture as I stood in Bath & Body Works store smelling it...TRULY....smells like baked bread.  

Libby brought this doll outfit to me, and when I asked her to bring me the doll it goes to, this is the HUGE babydoll she brought me.

Amber, beautiful Mama of three, including 8 week old TWIN BOYS!  I'm proud of her and mortified at the same time that she gets anything done at all.  Hang in there, Lovely. I bet it will be better in six months, LOL.  PS. I guess Jack really likes UNREAL Candy! 

What is YOUR purple hat for the week?

Run from Zombies and Raise Toddlers with a Broken Foot (A How To)

Always a good time. 
Being naturally graceful, no one is surprised when I fell down last week.  Again.  I was surprised at the pain and less than delighted to hear my foot was broken.  Crutches for a bit, a bootie for a month.

The urgent care folks were less than helpful when I asked about who would be coming home with me to take care of our two toddlers.  Geez, it is tough to get good customer service around here.  My nurse was a very pretty honest to for reals ballerina, so that was cool.  I had my sense of humor with me at first.  Maybe because my pal Liz had my children.  Does anyone else seem to misplace their humor when the littles are about?

Outside bone below joint...see it?
 The big bummer for me was the Run From The Infected! Zombie 5K I had planned to run.  The next day.  UGH. The funny run that Whitney found to get us off the couch and running to train for it for the past two months.  The training that led me to run a GREAT two miler the day before the break. The kind of run where you don't hate it for the first mile, where running three times a week pays off and you start to feel like a real runner!  Until you break your foot and all bets are off. 

I went to the Zombie Run anyway.  Dad came and we jsut brought all the kiddos he was going to watch.  It was great use of our new Pilot.  I didn't want to miss the fun, the live music, the camaraderie of Whitney and John running from zombies.

Corinna, Libby and Portia with Gimpy Me
For $50 you do this zombie chasing 5K and there is an all day music festival.  Cool right?  You could also buy a beer pass for unlimited beer for $25 but we aren't that serious about our beer so we didn't do that.  It sounded like such a cool event and I didn't want to miss out even if I wasn't running.  It turns out if I hadn't gone, I wouldn't have missed out on much. 

John & Whitney with Zombies...and no crowd.  NICE.
The field was pretty thin, it was cold, and the snack table had....wait for it.....bottled water and a few dozen Walmart trail bars on it.  THAT. WAS. IT.  According to Whitney & John, all the zombies were at the beginning of the run, and they all ran instead of some walking, crawling and running.  It wasn't well organized at all and for the price it just fell apart.  The first band was good but we left partway through their set.  Too cold, no crowd and no food.  For what we paid, even T-shirts were not included!  I have never done a run that cost more than $30, and every run I have done, about ten of them, there was TONS of food, festivities, and you always got a T-shirt.  It was a memory maker, and it was an experience, but I will ACTUALLY run from the infected run next time.  I'd like to look for a more accomplished zombie run nearby next year. 

Whitney was SO DEAD!
So then I am back home, really hurting more from using crutches than my broken foot.  I had precious friends Liz, Carrie, Whitney and my neighbors' daughter Carrie helping me every day.  Seriously, someone came in the morning when it was really rough: My girls smelled blood in the water and acted like coked up circus monkeys since I was fairly immobile. Even my patient and helpful hubs raised his voice daily to corral the madness while I sat on the couch crocheting what will be known as my Broken Foot Sweater.  I couldn't crutch about and carry anything, including a baby up for her nap, so I had someone come to help with lunch and naps. My friend Liz's son Xavier vacummed for me and played with the girls one afternoon. I called my neighbor Carrie and paid her to come every afternoon to get Libby out of her crib and do some dishes or light housework. Whitney took the girls to the park to run off their less than charming "our world is not right here" energy several times.  

Dad and Big Libby...and Big Hat!
I tried to remember it was hard for the little girls too.  Their house was a mess, I was crabby, John was crabby.  They were eating wonderful meals brought by Whitney or  microwavable food we rarely ate before.  They missed seeing me doing whatever it is I do all day everyday.  They knew all these folks coming and going signaled that all might not be well in our castle.  And Mama sure yelled a lot.

Sitting on the couch was nice for one day.  Sitting on the couch for  four days is a pain.  I tried to remember how grateful I was to have only a little injury.  To have generous friends.  Even my friend Amber who JUST HAD TWINS kept checking in and offering to come help (or bring baked goods!).  Lori offered to bring us all to playgroup since driving and crutching with two littles was NOT happening.  We didn't go, it would be too much at the time, but how kind!

Xavier, vacum for hire!
My Dad came on Wednesday and I planned to escape the house to Target.  I knew they had fat lady/broken foot scooters and I was going to be all about that.  I rode one when I was pregnant and on bed rest.  BEST. Thing. Ever.  It was a rough day and I finally hobbled out to the car to go and.......

My car battery was dead.  I'm pretty sure the language I used offended my Lord, and the volume I used probably offended the neighborhood. I think I even called my adored Honda Pilot an "Effing Import!"  Yep.  That bad.  Then once the car was jumped the car alarm went off without any clue in the manual as to why or how to shut it off.  The neighbors probably liked that better than my embarrassingly irate foul language.

Target Scooter Heaven
Eventually I got to Target.  I was very happy even though the scooter truly needs a turbo button.  I mean, I could practically hear the elevator music humming as I meandered through the store.  I bought random things we needed and didn't need.  I headed home for a nap.

Today I have not really used the crutches.  I have put on makeup, styled my hair, etc.  I had Carrie bring Portia form preschool and Amber brought donuts and i made them lunch!  I stood in my kitchen for the first time in almost a week and it was delightful.  Especially when Amber did the dishes for me!  Now it is nap time, and I am resting.  Well in a minute here I will be.

So that is how you do it; with  ALOT of help from your friends.  Ask fearlessly.  Spread out the work, pay someone to do the yucky stuff so you don't feel guilty. I do not know what I would have done without all these wonderful friends helping me out.  Thanks y'all, you helped me rest and heal up fast and I feel very loved and cared for.  THANK YOU!!! Now I figure if I do a little here,  rest a lot there, I might not pick up those crutches again.  But I do need to finish up this sweater.  You know, before I'm all out of helpers or the zombies come.

Random Things 4 : Orville carried a sparkly purse too, Lindsay!

I passed this "Fishing Lure Yard Sale" on the way to a speaking gig.  It was SO HILARIOUS to me.

QUIZ:  Who is this weirdo?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Scripture Stones made a beautiful centerpiece at Faith Church, Dyer's MOPS group.

I LOVE churches with a sense of humor.  And a talent for defacing public property! 

This sparkly purse is on the arm of my 5:30am spin partner Lindsay.   I made fun of her, then made her pose with it for the blog.   I'm that kind of friend.

THIS is the bounty from our sorry little patch of compost enriched dirt.  FERGGEDIBOUTIT.

My Mom Died and All I Got Was This Clunky Recipe Box

My Mom died of brain cancer suddenly when I was thirteen years old.  I had just left her in Colorado to come spend the summer with my Dad in Indiana.  In typical Teenage Girl vs. The Mother fashion, I couldn't wait to get away from her.  I remember boarding the plane with a smile and a light heart even though I saw tears in her eyes at the gate.  She had been forced to face her alcoholism and gotten sober that past year.  She had also slimmed down to a healthier weight and started taking better care of herself. I'd managed to throw her a surprise party for her 46th birthday and life was getting good. I was proud of her and relieved to see such positive changes but...I was still a kid, and she was still my Mother.  I was glad to go away for the summer to my Dad's.  

Then we got the call.  We got a series of calls over a few weeks.  I had only a few talks with my Mom on the phone, none of them THE TALK ONE SHOULD HAVE before someone dies.   No one expected her to die for another six months, maybe a year.  We thought there was time and my choices were made for me including not rushing out to see her when she got sick.  I never saw her alive again.  I carry the hurt of her tear filled eyes being my last view of her.  It is one of my few regrets in life.  I know I was a kid and I don't blame myself, but...I regret.

Wow. Kind of hard to type through tears.  I just meant to post about the recipe box, but this wants to be written, so...

My Mom, Katherine Teller Lutes Curlee, was an AWESOME COOK!  She could throw pretty much anything together, just like I do.  She made lots of homemade pizza, steaks, casseroles and nasty liver and onions.  Her beef stew....OH!  I know I am a lot like her.  She gave me the freedom as a child to bake, make candy, cookies, create.  I think I absorbed the delight of food and kitchen adventures through both of my parents, but my Mom  and I are, I think, quite alike in the randomness of our culinary stylings.

My Dad made her a simple wooden box to store her recipe cards.  You know, those index cards people used before there was the Internet,,,  The recipe box is ugly.  The cards are jumbled and scribbled on in her very personal hand.  I rarely use it.  I think I used a donut recipe and my favorite sugar cookie recipe(the secret is POWDERED SUGAR instead of granulated!) But that is about it.

I dragged that box, unused, from our apartment storage unit to my first apartment on Pleasant Street.  To my second, third, fourth apartments.  To the big city of Chicago on LaSalle Street.  Then to Armitage Street, then Wilson Street apartment also in Chicago.  To Denver, Colorado on Pearl Street and back to South Bend, Indiana and my Dad's house on Sampson.  From another apartment on 8th street into the home on Altgeld I bought on my own just before I turned thirty.  Then to my new husband's house on McArthur Court.  Then here to Elmhurst Street in Valparaiso, Indiana. My mom's unused recipe box moved everywhere with me.

My growing girls dragged the box, the recipe cards out more than I ever did.  One day I was so annoyed and frustrated by kitchen stress and the box broke as I tried to replace it tucked away into a cupboard. The cards were everywhere from little girls playing with them and I handed the whole broken mess to my husband John and told him to just throw it away.  I said I was clinging to the sentiment of it, it was neither beautiful nor useful and it couldn't replace my Mother.

Those of you who know about my husband know he is far too wise than to listen to a crazed domestic rant and follow that order.  He saved the box.  He saved it!  The next day he gently suggested I buy a new box for he cards, organize them and keep them.  I realized they could be precious for my little girls to have one day in their kitchens as they make their cooking adventures happen.

We went to Michael's crafts.  We bought a gorgeous box.  I spent a morning puttering laughing crying through the cards.  The memories.  The recipes I have made:  Sugar Cookies, Yeast Donuts. Things I want to make: pretzels!  And the ones I would never make: Cornmeal Coated Franks, Grape Aspic with Melon Balls.  The one I'd never seen before, and made that morning:  Bacon & Peanut Butter Muffins.(Recipe Below) Others I feel nostalgic about simply because no one cooks that sort of thing anymore.  Then there is the letter from her to my Dad, when he was away in the army. Not only was it filled with "My Darlings" and "I Love Yous", but she had sketched patterns she was sewing to wear for him when he returned and included small fabric swatches too.  Precious.  A view of their early love before they both chose to divorce when I was eight.  

I'm used to not having my Mom around, but there are certain markers in life where the loss of her laughter and counsel really aches.  Graduations.  Coming of age (Thanks Dad, but...uhhh you are still a GUY!) Finding a boyfriend, losing a boyfriend.  Getting a great job.  Loosing a great job.  Buying my own house.  Buying my own diamonds. Getting engaged, married, and then of course pregnant.  Loosing a baby.  Getting pregnant again. Having two precious girls, one with my moms name as her middle name.  Writing and reading in a "Listen to Your Mother" show. Going through the recipe box at my dining room table as a forty year old woman who is grateful to God for her life and it's joys, but a bit undone from time to time without my Mother.

I'm grateful for the way I turned out despite being a motherless child.  And there have been plenty of mothers that have come alongside me to love, nurture and raise me.  Peg Carmen, Sandra Winicur. Peggy Weissert.  Jennifer Arndt.  Jean DeWinter.  Margaret Lutes.  Laura Wiseman.  Monte Novak.  Pam Curlee.  Jim Curlee.  Beth Parvu.  Tracy Stefaniak. Lori Page.  Whitney Hibbits.  So much love.  So many mothers.  Many my own age, teaching me through our friendship, our time together, how valuable I am even if the dinner burns.  Even when I set the toast on fire. More than once. Even when I just do not make dinner and we eat eggs or carryout.  Again. 

I have found my Mother in many places, and I remain grateful for this.  And I am glad to have her recipes, her handwriting and her presence in my life today.  Would you do something for me?  Please call your Mothers, if you can.  People need to know they matter and that they impact another person's life for good.  Life is to be enjoyed fully, and perhaps fleetingly.  Whether the person is your mother mother or someone who mothers you well, make sure they know their love is a needed ingredient in your life today. Maybe bake them some bacon peanut butter muffins.  I'm just sayin'.

Bacon Peanut Butter Muffins
2 C Flour
1T baking powder
2T sugar
1 t salt
2T melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 C milk
3 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
about 1/4 C Peanut Butter *
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  (In separate bowl) Blend melted butter, beaten egg, milk and bacon.  Stir into flour mix just to moisten.  Pour a dab into bottom of tin, add a small dollop of peanut butter, then pour batter to fill muffin tin 2/3 full.  Bake 400 Degrees 20-25 minutes.
*we used almond butter & cooked bacon, still awesome.