BloggingwithSeizureGirl

Jesus is my strength

It's finally cooling off!

Happy All Saints Day to you. Yesterday was a blustery, cold day and the first day that really Feels like Autumn! I'm definitely getting into my happy place.

As y'all know I'm an Epilepsy Warrior, and extreme temperature changes are really hard on me but I'm pushing through with just a slight migraine and aura. Well, I can't have it all and I will take what I can get, and as always  Praise and Glory to God for the opportunities He blesses me with. 

Now that November is arrived, I feel justified in getting excited for the holidays just around the corner. In fact, my oldest child not only has a birthday in two weeks but a daughter due to be born on his birthday. So exciting. Especially as he was born on My father's birthday!  So yes, that kicks off the holiday season for me. 

Family is Everything to me and another baby has us all excited. I can't wait to include her in our family traditions.

Traditions that I'm going to be sharing with you! Some go back to my great grandmother, and I have kept them alive for the connection to our past and a bridge to our future.

 


Our blessing has arrived!

My life, love and food

Hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Misch and I'm an Epilepsy Warrior, mother of 3, grandmother of 7 and that's just the beginning! I want to share my thoughts on life with epilepsy, the difference of life in the country, our family traditions and foods. I really hope you will enjoy my blog and feel free to respond to anything I write about!

First of all, I want to say that having poorly controlled seizures has effected my life and that of my family in many ways. I'm unable to drive anymore and have to rely on others but it also means I have had to put all of my faith in God. 

I moved to the country 4 years ago and Really noticed the difference. I thought it would be an easier life but I find myself missing the city a lot more than I expected to. This really is culture shock! No stores close, no pizza delivery, maybe hardest of all (other than being an hour away from family) is NO taco truck!! No food trucks at all in fact, which has forced me to improvise when I have cravings for street food. I'll share some of those improvisations along the way.

Now let me tell you some of the Good things I've discovered living here. Fresh eggs! YES! My neighbor has chickens and I never knew how good a fresh egg tastes, being raised on grocery store eggs. Making ricotta cheese from fresh milk from another neighbor who has milk cows. The milk is also delicious for making homemade hot cocoa to drink by the bonfire. 

I have had a vegetable garden for the first time in my life and I am amazed at how much better produce tastes straight from garden to table. Or the experience of biting into a warm, ripe tomato, straight off the plant. Sublime to say the least. Picture the warm sunshine, sweet tomato juice squirting down your chin, sitting on the soft grass. Simply amazing and I'm incredibly grateful to experience it. Not to mention fresh corn on the cob, Yum. Especially with fresh butter made the same day.

I have to be honest though, Autumn is my favorite time of year and has been since I can remember. Autumn in the country is a whole different experience, and it is amazing! The smell of wood smoke, leaves burning, everything is so much.. better? No, More. It's more intoxicating out here where there is no car exhaust to cover the scents. Bon fires, marshmallows, hot cocoa..I can't wait to open my windows in the morning.

I have so much to share with you! 

 

 

Friday, November 8, 2019. It's the day we welcomed the newest member of our family! 

Baby MaddeLynn made her appearance as a hush fell over the state of Louisiana..ok not really but We were so excited! Ok, maybe I was a little more excited than some but it's not every day that one's family expands with the addition of a new granddaughter. 

I'm incredibly blessed that the little family will be spending a few weeks with us. November is definitely a time for giving thanks for our blessings, and having this little sweetie at the table on Thanksgiving is just about as good as it gets!


Our newest addition, MaddeLynn Lee


18 eggs!!!


Good morning! I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is next Thursday all ready!! I would normally put my turkey in the fridge to defrost on Monday but I stuck it in there on the 20th. The reason is something I saw on The Kitchen. I love that show, and no I don't receive any monetary compensation for mentioning them. Pretty much anything I talk about is because of my personal preferences (but I would be open to pay lol).

Anyway..I am thinking about removing the turkey Wednesday and dry brining it, then refrigerating uncovered over night. The reasons are 2. First, the flavor permeates the meat but Second it's supposed to produce crispy, yummy skin. And that crackle when you slice it my friends is the difference between a good turkey and a spectacular turkey. In my family at least.

I'm also considering trying my hand at Homemade cranberry sauce. I grew up on the canned stuff and I love it but I want to try something new. And YES, I'm aware that a new dish on a traditional table is risky so I'll serve the jelly one also.

Having a baby in the house,it makes everything exciting! Maddie's first Thanksgiving, her first Christmas...I'm so freaking excited and bursting with happiness!

My other grandchildren are getting older and I don't get to see them as much as I would love to. I moved about 90 minutes away 4 years ago and went from a nearly daily fix of grandbabies to a few times a year and let me tell you, I miss them crazy. I guess you're thinking, 90 minutes?? But remember, you're BloggingwithSeizureGirl. I am medically unable to drive so I have to wait for my daughters to be able to make the drive. At least I get my Tayers every summer for a few weeks-she's 9 and up for country life lol

I digress though. Or do I? It's all part and parcel, my family is the most important thing in my life. I thank God for them and my best friend every day.

So I suppose this blog will be about a lot of things but right now it's about new babies, first holidays, family tradition and food. Oh wait! That's what I promised the first day. See? I keep my promises.


Good morning! It's chilly here in the country this morning. I can hear the neighbor's chickens laying so I believe it's going to be a good egg day. That's good news for everyone because I won't have to use grocery store eggs. Which I have nothing against but I Know these chickens and I call them by their names.

Next, I cook down chopped celery and onion in a stick of butter. Let it go slowly until vegetables are softened but not mushy.

Then I let it cool and mix into the bread crumbs along with the eggs and chicken broth. Check it out lol I had a double yolk egg!

Ok so, that's in the fridge until morning. Next up is my ham. I trimmed the excess fat, scored it and covered with brown sugar. Toothpicks complete the pineapple slices and marachino cherry placement, then I poured cherry juice and coca cola over the top. Into the slow cooker on low.

Pies are next but I gotta take a break. I'm not going to push myself and get worked up into a seizure. Self care is extremely important, not just for me but for everyone.

Apple pie, done. I start with 6 large Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and sliced pretty thin. My son remembered  that I always sat and watched TV with him and sliced the apples, telling him some were Supposed to be thicker than others lol. Truth told, I was probably exhausted being a young mommy, and couldn't put forth the effort to make uniform slices lol

I add white sugar, quarter to half cup, depending on the tartness of the apples. We like cinnamon so I add 2 - 3 tps, 2 tbls of corn starch (I prefer tapioca but I'm out), and a pinch of salt.

Pour into an unbaked, 9" glass pie plate and bake at 450°F for 60 minutes.  I recommend covering the top with foil to prevent burning the crust. Remove foil and let the top crust get some color during the last 15-20 minutes. 

Remove directly to a raised wire cooling rack and Loosely lay the foil across the top of you feel the apples aren't tender enough. I test by piercing with a fork. The filling should be bubbling and boiling, so it will continue to cook a tiny bit with the foil. Just Do Not cover tightly or the crust will retain the moisture and be soggy instead of flakey.

 

Thanksgiving was crazy and I didn't get to take pictures of the turkey out of the oven. Here's what I have, and a picture of my centerpiece. I do have pictures of the turkey before it went in the oven and my table. I whipped up the centerpiece, as I had no flowers.

Aside from the food, let me say that this ran a close race in so far as best Thanksgivings! My oldest grandson whom I rarely get to see came over and fell in love with his baby sister ♥️. It was the first time I got to spend a holiday with him.

Such a beautiful, thankful day.

 


My great-grandmother's rolling pin is a part of every big celebration

A Blessed first Sunday in Advent to you

I love the Advent season

 The world is holding it's breath, preparing for the birth of Christ the King.

For me, it's a time of reflection. I think back on how many times the Lord has brought me through the impossible times.

Of how Mary must have felt, young pregnant, knowing what the Angel had told her. It's hard enough to be pregnant without knowing that you are carrying the Hope of All Mankind.

I like to bring out my angels and Nativities first, before anything else. Mainly, I enjoy the quiet time of knowing the true meaning of the season, before secular Christmas invades with it's mall Santas, bright lights, overspending on gifts etc.

I love all of those trappings but I don't allow them to confuse for me the true meaning of Christ's Mass, or Christmas. 

 

This is not my artwork, it just brings back memories of my childhood

Christmas in Westville 1960s-70s

I loved Christmas as a child. Not just the day but everything leading up to it.

A week before Thanksgiving mom would trade the Venetian blinds for the sheer, white panels in the dining room and living room. So many curtains! Sooo exciting for a little girl who Knew what it meant! Next came the polishing of the brass, the laundering of the holiday linens. The excitement mounted.

The baking and busteling! Oh my it was magical. She would get down the old scale for weighing homemade cookies while I played with the weights.

Next came the electric candles for every window. From outside our house looked like a fairy tale castle to me. Fun! The masking tape that held them to the windowsills was yellowed and I never wondered why it wasn't replaced.. I still don't. That's just the way it was.

The house would be so warm from the radiators under the windows and the oven running practically nonstop. The scents of butter, sugar, anise and nutmeg permeated everything.

And the Snow! Oh it was glorious. I would climb up on to the kitchen counter in the evenings, with the lights off and watch it falling for hours. Or at least until I decided to go into the dining room. Now THAT was magic! To watch the snowflakes drifting and swirling in the light of the street lamps, see it accumulate on the boughs of the pine trees across the street.

Thinking about sliding in the snowy street the next day with my big brother Jake holding my hand, or my grandfather when he wasn't so sick that the icy air stole his breath.

Everyone in town waited for the police to take the boat onto the pond and measure the thickness of the ice until .. YES! It was thick enough to ice skate and play on. The flag would go up proclaiming it safe for the stream of children waiting breathlessly with skates over shoulders and big round eyes.

Now the Big Kids would come out. I would watch them from the window. How many would cross the street and climb the stairs to sit in our kitchen and warm up with cups of hot cocoa? And this was not the kind that comes in packets, that children know today Oh No. This was real, honest to goodness Cocoa, made by the gallons by mom, for any kid who wanted some. Everyone was welcome in our home, I would think with pride.

Then came Christmas tree buying! Walking between the trees on the lot, breathing in the smell of pine on the frosty, biting cold air until we found just the right one. Exciting!!

Then came the wait. The tree went into the garage for a few days to acclimate to the warmer temperature. (I didn't understand as a child but now I know if we had brought it straight inside, all of the needles would have dropped)

And then...mom getting the ladder from the wall and opening the attic! Every Christmas decoration ever used in our family was up there. It was Scary exciting!! I wasn't supposed to climb up inside but what child could resist? Not me, that's for sure. There were boards to step on and once-pink insulation in between. Watch your step! Don't dare fall through, you might end up on the floor. And there, in the shadowy light the stuff of nightmares. It was an antique bassinet under the window but it scared me every time.

Finally the tree came inside. The boxes of decorations came down. Mom put the lights on because she was the only one who could do it right. Then the fragile glass ornaments, some so old the paint was fading. A bird with one feather left in its tail. Every ornament had a story and the retelling was part of the magic. And the tinsel! One strand at a time, precisely placed, no tossing on the tree or mom would take it off and put it back herself.

It was finished! The most magnificent Christmas tree ever seen and it was in Our Living Room! It was simply amazing that every year we managed to find the perfect tree.

And all through the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas the hymns were sung. The house abounded with joy.

And the friends and family would stop by for cookies and conversation. Aunt Jayne always bought cookies and the wine cookies were always on her list. They would stick and burn if Mom didn't watch them carefully, so I knew better than to pester her when those were in the oven.

Christmas Eve and it's time to set the Dutch cake. Mom would cover the loaf pans with tea towels and pull them right up to the radiator to rise.

The antique cradle that, by morning would hold the Baby Jesus was put by the tree.

Then the magic of Christmas morning. Running in to the living room and seeing the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree, eating Dutch cake for breakfast with sips of my grandfather's coffee.

Christmas was about Jesus and beautiful lights and endless cookies and Love. The gifts were lagniappe, giving them just as much fun as receiving. And always the knowledge that we were celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.

The peace and sense of anticipation during the Advent season was, and still is one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

I will never forget these memories and I hope that by carrying on generations old, family traditions that I have given my own children something just as magical to keep in Their hearts.

 

 

 

 

Michele Munson Helton

** I should say that none of the drawings used belongs to me. The images from Advent were sent to me by a novena group, with encouragement to share them. Any other artwork that isn't my  own property is from Facebook or will be properly credited **



The first picture I took, when I noticed the rose and pink

A Blessed second Sunday in Advent

A few minutes later

Beautiful drawing courtesy of Ascentian

TaDa! Stained glass. I took the pictures through the same stand of trees to emphasize the darkening, and deepening of the colors.

God is amazing and He uses the sky as His canvas a lot. Tonight was one of those times. I was astounded by the beauty of the sky, and also by the colors of Advent were so clearly displayed. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took. The last looks like a stained glass window, and even as I was snapping a second picture, the sky was turning dark.

From first to last, the 3 best pictures I took tonight.


I PRAY EVERYONE IS HAVING A BLESSED ADVENT

I'm so excited!!! I can hardly believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve already! I've been baking cookies most of the day. I should have taken more breaks though because I Did wind up having a few pretty bad seizures. 

I let myself get too busy and forgot about taking care of myself. I got overheated from the oven and dehydrated and just a little bit too tired. That's how it is though, I have to remember to take time out for me because even good stress is still stress, and stress is one of my triggers.

ANYway, I'm laying down now thinking about tomorrow and relaxing. I wanted to watch A Christmas Story but I can't find it in the guide channel. 

I've had a nice few days, several people I hadn't heard from in years called and we had such nice conversations. Oh! I talked to an old friend who tracked down some of the marble top furniture from the house I grew up in. Hopefully I'll be able to retrieve it next year. That would really be wonderful. I would love to have it to pass down to my children. Christmas truly is the time for miracles.

Of course this is Misch though, so you know not everything could be perfect lol I can't find an entire box of Christmas things. Unfortunately, that includes the Nativity I put under the tree and the tree skirt. I have two other Nativities out but I like that particular one for next to the train. It was a gift from my MaddeLynn's mommy and very special to me.

But it's not about things is it? It's about the birth of Jesus, my Lord and Savior. And that's what I hold on to when things get too materialistic this time of year. So y'all have a great night and I will be back tomorrow. Pictures will be taken and you will be duly impressed I'm sure !!


Good Morning on a rainy last day of January!

 Oh my gosh, can you believe it's 2020?! Where does the time go...my mom always said that and I laughed at her. Now this new year brought me to 56 years of..ahem.. Experience, and I see what she meant. It feels like every year races by now.

 Living in the Deep South, it's beginning to look a little like spring already. While the rest of the country is in a deep freeze I'm plotting out my spring/summer garden! Potatoes go in the ground in a month and I can hardly wait. There's nothing better than homemade mashed potatoes the same night you dig them up. Just yummy, hot, gluey, pillowy perfection. Really a meal in itself 😋

 But I get carried away. First things first. My tree that I Thought was a peach broke out in bloom last week and it looks like it may be a Japanese plum instead! Equally good. My daffodils are breaking through and I already had the first hyacinth. Stumpy little thing, it bloomed to a height of 2 inches before the  next cold snap

Japanese Plum!!!


Happy Valentine's Day !!

 

I hope you all have a day filled with love and happiness ❤️

My Sweetie got me roses and chocolates 💞. I'm cooking him a special dinner. Or let's say,  I hope it's going to be I'm a Good special. Shrimp fried rice and beef and broccoli. 

SUCCESS

Oh my gosh. If I say dinner was a hit, I'm underselling it! My Love was so impressed and I'm kinda proud of myself, especially since I had 2 gran mal seizures this afternoon. Yes it took me 10 times longer than a normal person but oh well it was well worth the effort!

I always try to assemble all the ingredients I can. That's grated fresh ginger and garlic in the little bowl.

Shrimp fried rice!

Sauteed Shrimp

Ta-Da! I had some extra shrimp so I sauteed them in olive oil and red pepper flakes. And don't jump in me for the paper plates on Valentine's Day lol I'm not cooking And washing dishes 😜

Beef and Broccoli


Good Morning! May you have a blessed, sunshiny day!


How Is Everybody?

  I know this is a difficult and frightening time for so many of us. Jobs closing, children home, quarentine..most of us have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime. As confusing as it is for us adults, it must be so much worse for our children. We need to make sure to comfort those who are having such a hard time right now.

 So let's try to keep things as normal as possible but have fun with it too! I know the thing these days is Netflix but  why don't we try something more hands on? Try a new recipe you've been wanting to make. Make playdough with your kids and get on the floor and play with them. Get your children involved in the kitchen. I learned how to cook by staying in the kitchen with my grandmother and I love it. 

 But guess what? Outside still exists! Spring is sprung 💜 It's not necessary to go somewhere public, go out and observe your own yard. What's growing? How many shades of green can you pick out? The world has neither ended nor stopped. Take comfort in the normalcy in these strange times. God is still in His heaven. Jesus is still sitting at His right hand. Pray for peace in your hearts, for your families, for our country to put God first again..where He always belongs. Then take a breath and resolve to make the most of this time.

 I took a walk in my yard and I'm going to share with you the beauty that I found.

 

Honeysuckle

Aren't they pretty?


How Are You?

Hi! Sorry I haven't been keeping up with things, I got a laptop (first time) and I'm still learning how to use it. I had been using my phone but thought it was about time to join the 21st century! 

So how are you all dealing with our current situation? For clarification, today is April 25, 2020.  We've been in lockdown over a month... I've watched so much Netflix I see the menu in my sleep lol Now the weather is warmer though and outdoor activities have become more enjoyable than watching the boob tube. This virus has made us change so many basic ideas we had about life. I took it for granted that as sure as April rolled around I would have someone to plow my garden. Psych. I have had to change my entire thoughts on what a vegetable garden should be. Now I have tomatoes and bell peppers planted in 5 gallon buckets, and green bean, purple hull peas, and cucumber seeds planted along a length of fence. I'll show you one day soon, after I figure out how to add photos ...

I've been doing pretty well, it isn't that much of a difference for me in many ways. I can't drive because of the seizures so I'm a homebody anyway.  I think what makes it worse is having the option taken away. And so I try to stay anchored. By cooking, by gardening, with my family, but first and foremost by my faith in God. I would love to hear from y'all, and learn how your're coping with our changing way of life! 

It's November Again!

First of all, let me apologize for not keeping up with this. 2020 has been a challenging year to say the least and like so many people I've had my bouts of depression. Found out I have a  type of epilepsy called Migralepsy. It's seizures triggered by migraines and vice versa. While it's a relief to have a name to put with it, nothing has really changed.  I still have seizures, I still have migraines. I feel isolated on top of it all and have taken to telling people in stores that I'm smiling at them, they just can't see because of the mask. Masks..I hate them. They make us anonymous as well as bring on panic attacks and then seizures. I can't wait until this is over. But there are still good things. I have to remind myself that everything isn't awful.. Our bundle of joy turned 1 year old a few days ago, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and then Advent. I'm looking forward to getting back into my blog and showing you my life! I have some pictures I hope you will enjoy. Oh! I began doing some tincturing - very much a newb lol - and I'll share that journey with you


Fire Cider!

vanilla extract and cranberry tincture

November 24 2020

As you can see, saying I'm a newb wasn't an exaggeration! But I also am infusing oil with peppermint for my daughter and making a headache relief oil. And guess what? You're going to see it! I'll take pictures and post them with the explanation, specific recipes will be attributed to the person who supplied them. I'm even thinking of doing a rosemary oil infusion to cook with. I have an abundance since trimming my rosemary bush. Which reminds me, I have to report it or finally plant it. I got all of my pineapple plants in small pots yesterday, I start the tops in water until I get a nice rootball,then pot them. Hopefully in 3-4 short years I'll have a pineapple!! I also have a bucket garden of turnips, carrots, beets and cabbage. Oregano, peppermint, garlic. Plus lavender and a beautiful pot of succulents which are now even rooting themselves around the pot. Autumn is life, just another stage of it 😊

My favourite view

My neighbor gave me a small slip a few years ago, now my pot runneth over!

My oregano has never lasted this long! Thanks be to God

Rosemary badly in need of a transplant!

See what I mean about my succulents lol the leaves fell that way naturally. Maybe it's the new Easter Island !

Four pineapple plants all ready to be brought inside for winter.

Peppermint is making new growth along the bottom of the pot 🥰

It's beautifully Autumn in the yard

Now I'm going to take you on a tour of my yard to see the trees in their autumn clothing!