Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tracie's Gone Shopping

Where? Target. Need I say more?

Target has upped its clothing and accessories department in the last couple of years. Their focus now is on the "Frugal-ista." A "Frugalista" are those ladies, like me, who love fashion but don't want to spend big bucks on it. In the midst of the recession, this is such an exciting offer mouth watering pieces at bargain prices.

If you haven't been in the jewelry department lately, take an extra 10 or 15 minutes to take a turn through. The Target around here moved everything out of its cases and put them on top on easy to see and reach stands. My latest purchase was a wonderful cuff bracelet. See it left. It is a nice shiny gold toe and adorned with luscious glass "crystals". It is solid construction and looks to cost much, much more than it does. It retails for $24 but I got it on sale for $20. When I wear it, I get compliments left and right from people I don't even know. I was at a bar the other night with my husband and this lady next to me literally coveted my Target find. I think I could've sold it to her and made a profit and I wanted to let it go. But as long as it lasts, it is a main stay in my bracelet collection.

On the same day, I took a bit of a turn through the clothing department. In the past, Target has leaned more towards the Junior set. Since I turned 40, I've decided that I need to choose clothing a bit more carefully. Focus on quality and style rather than what it "in" right now. Imagine my thrill when I saw this gorgeous dress pictured left. It is a glorious swirl of green, blue, yellow & white watercolor-esque pattern. The design is a fresh twist on a traditional look. it has a hidden zipper and is fully line...and it only cost $39. Better yet, it look fabulous with the bracelet just picked up in the jewelry department!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Taste of Summer Brings Comfort

When I am sick, or tired, or both, I tend to eat random foods for meals. Sure, I do the usual soup or grilled cheese or hot tea, but there are some items that I crave that not only offer comfort but some sort of satisfaction. When I've had an upset stomach and am feeling better, the first thing I want to eat is a Wendy's 1/4 pounder with cheese only. This is what I ate as a kid before discovering the magic onions and pickles add to a cheeseburger, so in essence, I sooth my tummy and relive a tasty childhood memory.
With this bout of illness this year, I've turned to another old favorite: biscuits and jam. I'll eat it for any meal any day. Last night I had it for dinner with a glass of cold milk. Yum! I've tried several brands and recipes and I've settled on one combination that is reminiscent of a summer's home baked cherry pie.
First, start with a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuit. My newest favorite is from the Immaculate Baking Company. ( In less than 20 minutes, these 8 biscuits come out fluffy, light and flaky...not to mention delicious.
Before they cool off, slice one open and slather on your most favorite butter. My spread of choice is Land O' Lakes spreadable butter with Olive Oil ( It is smooth and creamy and melts into a luscious puddle on top of the biscuit.
Then top off your biscuits with a healthy scoop of Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves ( Once the warm biscuit melts the butter which then mixes with the jam, this is where the summer shines through. These preserves tastes just like a luscious cherry pie---a lovely marriage of whole cherries resting in a glossy sweet/tart jam. So good, I even eat them with a spoon straight out of the fridge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Back....Sort Of

I don't really remember the last time I posted and right now I am too lazy to look. Does it really matter? I'm back, aren't I? I picked up the proverbial pen and began writing again regardless of how half-assed it really feels.
This year has sucked. I've had several illnesses and ailments. My dog died. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with skin cancer. And my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. These are just the highlights not in any certain order. There is actually more between the lines and creases of my days.
I normally hate to complain. I usually try to focus on my gratitude and my blessings. When problems arise, I am more of the proactive, take it head on, type. But as I lie here in bed with my second bought of mono for the year, I feel defeated: physically, emotionally, spiritually. Sure I've been praying. I've tried to exercise when I haven't been injured or sick. I eat my veggies and drink my soy. But right now it all seems in vain.
My husband posed a question the other day watching college football. One of the guys made an amazing play and in the midst of his celebration, he pointed to the sky and clasped his hands as if in prayer. Jonas asked: "So, why do they thank God when they make a good play but they say nothing of Him when they fail or lose?" I couldn't answer him without sounding cynical or heretical. Most people ask "Where is God" during the bad included. I've been taught that God doesn't cause bad things to happen: He allows free will and the free course of consequences in the world. IF something bad does happen, God is there with you every step. I'm just feeling a little lonely right now.
Then today I visited with Mom on my Windows Messenger video chat. There she was with her shiny bald head, looking strangely beautiful and serene. She has amazed me beyond comprehension with her unfailing devotion to her Faith through this journey called "Cancer." Sure, she has cried and she has asked "why?" Who wouldn't? But in contrast to those failing football players (and a good portion of the human population),she doesn't question God; she clings to him as a small child to its mother. She doesn't blame God; she welcomes the wisdom to come from her experience. She doesn't wallow in her loneliness; she cuddles in His constant embrace in her life. Mom doesn't look for the reason but knows that reason will present itself in due time and to her, it will be worth it all to help just one other person.
Little does she know, but my bald headed Momma with cancer is the one giving me the strength to make it through the rest this awful year has to offer. Her steadfast faith gives me hope that maybe God does hear me during my middle of the night pleas. Because of her, I can put one foot in front of the other with my slow steady progress towards accepting what is now will eventually pass and allowing myself to let a "reason" become enough.