A Prayer

This is Laurie’s husband. I am writing this because Laurie is in the hospital and will be having brain surgery tomorrow (Thursday July 14th). On Monday a CT found a 3 cm mass on the left side of her brain. Over the last 2 weeks it has been affecting her speech, ability to text, write, type, and spell. It is considered an aggressive tumor because of how fast the symptoms have progressed. Yesterday weakness on the right side of her mouth showed up and has moved to her arm today.

She is a talented writer and this is devastating for her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We don’t know yet what type of tumor it is or what other treatments will be needed. We won’t know this until the tumor is biopsied tomorrow.

I will update this when I know more.

Thank you everyone

Alex Jackson (Laurie’s husband)

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE SQUARES

1 package Fleischmann’s active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115)

2 to 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

2 packages (8 ounces each) plus 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Coconut-Pecan Topping (below)

Dissolve yeast warm water in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour, 1/4 sugar, the salt, 1 egg and the margarine vigorously until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 20 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch. Press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.Beat cream cheese in large bowl on medium speed. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set, about 25 minutes, cool. Spread with Coconut-Pecan Topping. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour. Cut into about 2 inch squares. Refrigerate any remaining squares.

3 dozen squares.

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

COCONUT-PECAN TOPPING

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup margarine or butter

2/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat sugar, egg, milk and margarine in 1 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Things Your Mama Never Told You

You made her cry…a lot.

She cried in private. She didn’t want you to see her tears.

She wanted that last piece of pie.

Instead, she gave it to you. 

It hurt.

You hurt her feelings. A lot

She was always afraid.

She didn’t show it though. She was afraid for well-being. She worried all time. Mothers worried. That’s what they do.

She knows that she’s not perfect.

She did the best that she could. She knows she made a lot of mistakes. Raising kids was no easy task. She’d hope you would have forgave her. 

She watched you as you slept.

 She was amazed that she had created such beautiful child. 

She carried you a lot longer than nine months.

She would love you until the end of time.

It broke her heart every time you cried.

Not just each time you stumbled and fell. 

She put you first.

She made sacrifices so that you could have the best.

She would do it all again.

In a heartbeat. 

I was truly blessed with raising five healthy amazing kids—four boys and one daughter. They each had their own personality. They were as different as the day was long.

Motherhood was a tough job. I would not have missed it for anything. I’d do all again in a heartbeat.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Fudge Pillows

FUDGE PILLOWS

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Fudge-Cream Cheese Filling (below)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut margarine into flour and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vanilla, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and dough cleans side of bowl. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half into rectangle, 12 x 8″ on cloth-covered board generously sprinkled with sugar. Cut each lengthwise into four 2-inch strips. Prepare Fudge-Cream Cheese Filling. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into 6 mounds, 1 inch apart, onto 1 strip; top with another strip. Cut into six 2-inch squares; seal edges securely. Place squares about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining strips and filling. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; cool.

2 dozen cookies

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt.

Note; Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

FUDGE-CREAM CHEESE FILLING

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa

2 teaspoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package (3ounces) cream cheese, softened

Mix all ingredients in small bowl until smooth.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen —Peanut Butter Squares

PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter

1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup regular oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting

3 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa

1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease rectangular pan 13x9x2 inches. Mix sugars, egg, margarine and peanut butter in large bowl. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Spread in pan. Bake until golden brown, 17 to 22 minutes, cool. Prepare Peanut Butter Frosting; reserve 1/3 cup. Stir cocoa and milk into remaining frosting until smooth. If necessary, stir in additional milk until of spreading consistency. Frost squares with cocoa frosting. Drop Peanut Butter Frosting by teaspoonfuls onto cocoa frosting; swirl for marbled effect. Cut into 1 1/2″ squares.

About 4 dozen cookies.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in the recipe.

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:

Mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until of spreading consistency.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER-FILLED CHOCOLATE PRETZELS

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Peanut Butter Filling (below)

Cocoa Glaze (below)

Mix powdered sugar and margarine in large bowl; stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking soda and cream of tartar. Refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into halves. Roll each into rectangle, about 13 1/2 x 9″, on well floured cloth covered board. Cut each crosswise into nine 1 1/2″ strips. Prepare Peanut Butter Filling. Shape into eighteen 1 1/4″ balls. Roll each ball into rope, nine inches long, on floured surface. Place ropes on centers of chocolate strips. Bring long edges of each strip up over filling; seal well. Shape into pretzel on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes; cool. Spread with Cocoa Glaze; sprinkle with chopped peanuts if desired.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING: Mix 3/4 cup Skippy creamy peanut butter and 3 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened, in medium bowl. Gradually stir in 1 cup powdered sugar.

COCOA GLAZE: Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa in small bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk until smooth. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until of desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Sing That Song

I love to sing. I’ve been singing probably since the age of 6.

It was Christmas time and in order to open our gifts, Grandpa wanted to hear us sing first. I remember standing on a bench in the garage. (That’s where our tree was at the time.)

I was in junior choir, youth choir and the adult choir. While me and my siblings were in youth choir, the group toured to different churches to sing. We wore blue long sleeve shirts and blue jeans. It was so much fun.

I sang in the adult choir for many years. Then, I started getting nervous and I could feel my face get super red. A few times I really thought I’d pass out.

On occasion, my siblings and I get together and sing in church for Mom. She is proud of us for our singing talent. We don’t want to sing professionally. We do it because we enjoy it. My brothers sing bass and tenor. Two of my sisters sing alto and the rest of us sing soprano. (There are seven of us.)

The Christmas before my Grandma Helen passed, my siblings and I sang for her at Mom’s home. We sang a cappella. I glanced at Grandma during the hymn…that was a mistake. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. I could feel my eyes water. By the time we finished singing, I believe we were all in tears.

I enjoy singing to the radio. I’d like to think I have a good voice. It’s just that it cracks and shakes when I get nervous. I used to sing while driving to work. The radio was cranked up and I sang my heart out. Even with depression, I enjoy to sing. Singing brings me out of my funk.

If you feel like singing, do it! Who cares who’s watching or listening. Sing and be happy!

Have a blessed evening!

Laurie Jackson

 

Oh Miss Elle!

Who is Elle? One of our fur babies and we love her to pieces.

She is 3 years old and is a Yorkshire Terrier. When we picked her out of the litter, the owner said we had picked the most sociable puppy. Boy, was he right.

Each morning, she acts like she hasn’t seen Alex or I in days instead of hours. She is all over us and won’t calm down until she has her time with us. She’s cute, adorable, lovable and a pain in the butt. She barks at everything and everyone. She lets us know that the neighbors are home. She lets us know when a leaf is blowing across the yard.

When someone comes to visit, she has to greet them with kisses. She won’t let you alone until you pick her up and pet her. She loves people.

We also have a yellow tabby named Charlie. He instigates Elle to start trouble. He’ll be casually lying there when suddenly his paw flies up and whacks Elle on the nose. The chase is on after that.

Okay, I hate to admit it but…life would be pretty dull without them around.

Have a great day!

Laurie Jackson

 

Mountain

There’s a mountain that I have to climb every day. I tell myself that I get to the top of that mountain. I believe in myself enough to know that one day I will overcome that mountain. It sits there staring at me, just daring me to climb it. So, I tell it to bring. it. on!!

I suffer from chronic severe depression and social anxiety.  I know I am not alone in suffering with depression. We must fight together to get through this. Maybe one day there will be a cure for depression.

I also have a bum foot, so I can’t work. I’m on disability. I hate being on disability! I would much rather be working. People do not understand. They think that since Alex and I are on disability, that our life is so easy and that we have endless amounts of money. Haha! That’s a joke! I fought for long 7 years to get my disability. I did not receive that much back pay. If you have the ability to work, for your sake, WORK!!! Trust me when I say, it will be better in the long run.

So, when that voice, aka mountain dares me to give up, I tell myself no way. I will not give in! I will not give up!! I believe in myself that I will get to the top of that mountain. I will overcome depression. I refuse to let it take over my life.

Stay strong! Stay positive! We’ve got this!

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

Dear Office, Chair, Etc…

Dear Office, Chair, Desk and Laptop,

Have you missed me? I’ve missed you! Where have I been? I’ve been laid up for the last month.

I had foot surgery May 3. Since then, I have not felt like doing diddly! I have tried to write a couple of times but it wore me out. I’ve been sitting in the recliner with my foot up. Unfortunately, I’ve let myself sink into a mood that I do not like. It’s like there is a voice telling me that it’s easier just to be down and blue than it is to be happy. I know that’s not true. I’ve had bits of crying spells. I only cry long enough to get it out of my system. Afterwards, I’m better.

I should realize by now that it always takes me awhile to get back to my old self after any surgery. I had a doctor appointment yesterday. He said my foot is healing nicely. He also said that I can start wearing my shoe again, at least around the house. I tried it this morning and it felt weird having it on again. Being able to wear my shoe will help so much. I’ll once again feel like getting out of the house.

To my office, chair and laptop, I promise to try to get back into writing. I’ll try not to ignore you anymore. Writing keeps me sane. It also gives me something to do. I haven’t abandoned you, I promise. I just haven’t been able to walk. I’ve been riding in a wheelchair. Each morning, it’s been the same thing over and over. Get out of bed, go to the recliner, and just sit. Eat breakfast and shower. By the time I get back to the recliner, I’m worn out. I don’t feel like doing anything. Hence, the sadness sets in.

I went to talk with Sara. She is fantastic!  I always feel better and more positive after chatting with her. She gave me a link that I can go on for my own personal support. It’s wonderful. It’s helpful, as well, since I suffer from chronic depression.

The sun is shining today! It always makes me feel better to see the sun!

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson