this is … not goodbye!

by jani on April 8, 2013

I love blogging – it has introduced me to a whole new world of friends and interests… and for that I’m grateful. I have decided, for very personal reasons, to take a break from the blogosphere. I love you all and want you to know that this is not goodbye!

lilacs goodbye 2

My wish to all of my readers is:   Enjoy the precious moments with your loved ones and give of yourself in any way you can. Years ago, I taught an early morning religion class. Once a week we had “Called To Serve Tuesday”.  I asked my students to serve in even a small way on that day… if only so much as a smile to a lonely student passing them by.

Have a great week and I hope to return soon!

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Bright stripes and polka dots are just a cool look  this 2013 spring/summer season. I love stripes, never tire of them. Here’s a fun spring or summer look in bright pink.

 

Pink!

H M striped top
$20 - hm.com

Scotch soda
$82 - scotch-soda.com

Tom ford sunglasses
$385 - eluxe.ca

A Wear western wear belt
$3.03 - awear.com

 

How about accessorizing your outfit with a striped scarf and a polka dot Brahmin bag? Add a  blazer and this outfit becomes a versatile set. You can always dress it up with a nice pair of trousers. I’m comfortable going almost anywhere in jeans!

Apricot

Ponte jacket
topshop.com

Fantasy Jewelry Box 14k ring
fantasyjewelrybox.com

Striped scarve
walmart.com

Chrome hearts sunglasses
$1,240 - jades24.com

 

Have you started adding  color to your wardrobe? When I add a splash of bright, even on a chilly spring day, it just brightens (pun intended) my mood!

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I’m a statistic…  I’m a victim of sexual child abuse. This statement somehow sounds so cold. My abuser was a neighbor… no one suspected him. I don’t know how many children he abused. Back in the early fifties, there was really no accurate count of the number of pedophiles in our country. It was really taboo to speak of such things.

At least now, sexual abuse is a  much more acceptable subject and is even an encouraged discussion among parents to children. But we have so much more work to do, if we wish to eradicate all child abuse and sex trafficking in our country. I believe that there is hope – but we need to get parents, educators and legislators all on board to improve the statistics. That’s right… it happens, most often right under our noses. And Utah (where I currently live) ranks a D when it comes to stopping sex trafficking of minors. No young, innocent girl wakes up one morning and says, “Gee, I think I’ll be a prostitute when I grow up.”

Most young girls, who are, are being forced into this profession ( I don’t like using that word) Rather than prostitute, let’s use the term “sex slave” – since many of these young girls are the product of kidnapping and methodical grooming. They are often treated worse than animals.

People, this just has to stop! Recently an observant Delta flight attendant noticed a peculiar and uncomfortable situation on her plane. Before landing, she contacted the authorities and a man who had been on her plane was arrested for kidnapping the three young people traveling with him… IT CAN BE STOPPED!

I have struggled with image my entire life… never really feeling pretty. It’s been a constant inner battle. The evening that I was asked to share my abuse story publicly –  the first time in my 64 years… I found myself asking HB for affirmation to try to dispell my negatives: “Honey, does my hair look okay? And what about my eyes… do thy look really bad… all puffy and gross?” It was in those moments that I stopped and connected the dots. This goes back to years of my feelings of worthlessness and guilt. I felt like I was being abused all over again by this neighbor.

I copied a photo to show this high school group… it was taken shortly after the abuse began. “It’s our secret… just between us. Remember, don’t tell anyone!” Les would say. So for 38 years I was silent. I did begin to avoid him whenever he came to our home after I reached age nine or 10. But I can still smell the cigarettes on his hands and see his yellow crooked teeth in my mind….

It’s so different looking at my young me and realizing how innocent I truly was.

me 2

I look back at photos of me when I graduated from Denver University. I wasn’t ugly – and yet I felt ugly, dirty and guilty.

me 3

It’s easy to hide behind a mask when you’ve been sexually wounded- physically, emotionally and psychologically. I spent much of my adult life doing just that. It wasn’t until I met  HB, my best friend… the person I finally felt completely safe with, whom I could finally share my abuse story with. He held me close and let me sob. I’m not sure how long. But I do know he was there for me. It’s very difficult to allow people into this ugly world. But once I did, I was able to begin my healing and forgiving process. Therapy definitely helped.

As I said earlier, I finally, after all these years, shared my story publicly for the first time. It was another cathartic moment. The tears flowed freely, but once I was finished, I felt some more of my burden lifted.

You may ask, how can I help? If you’re a Utah resident here is a link: Raise The Grade

We each have a voice. I would suggest we use it – for it can be a powerful tool against this evil! As always, I welcome any comments.

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toasted pine nuts

by jani on April 1, 2013

HB and I love pine nuts. If you  follow my blog, you will know that we add them to as many recipes as we can.  One of my favorite snacks is a handful of these wonderfully tasting toasted nuts. Toasting brings out the savory flavors found within these delicious morsels.

toasted pine nuts 3We usually buy our raw shelled pine nuts in a 1.5 lb bag from Costco. Spread them out on a cookie sheet. Place in a preheated 325 F oven and toast for 12-13 minutes or until they are golden brown.

toasted pine nuts 1Place cooled pine nuts in a freezer bag and they should stay fresh for about 6 months (we always run out of them before six months is up!)

toasted pine nuts 2Here are a few of our favorite pine nut recipes:

blue corn blueberry piñon waffles

best ever chocolate chip cookies

cherry pine nut cookies

le creuset  mini cocottes – sausage-pine nut dressing

There are so many ways to experiment with pine nuts. We add them to our egg scramble and grilled cheese sandwiches… pretty much everything is better with pine nuts! And an added bonus… they’re super nutritious! How do you use your pine nuts other than in pesto? As always, I welcome your comments! 

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