Cookie Dough Cobbler

Cookie Dough (Cherry) Cobbler:
This cobbler can be made with any fruit-pie filling. Continue reading


Silence isn’t Golden: A Public Service Announcement about Suicide from A Friend “Left Behind”

This post is very difficult to write.  In fact, I’m not sure that I should even be posting it.  Unfortunately, the message behind it is one that is too important and must be shared.

I have struggled with depression in my lifetime.  My life has been a series of roller coaster rides.  I’ve had depression that lasted for months on end, but things always managed to get better and I moved on.  This month, however, has been a particularly difficult one for me.  I lost two friends to suicide in a matter of just a few weeks.

She was helping me to improve my quality of life.

I found out about the first death on Facebook in the week following Thanksgiving after she hadn’t returned any of my calls or texts.  She was more than just a friend to me; she was also my neighbor and personal trainer. She was helping me to improve my quality of life.  So when I tried to find out why she wasn’t returning my calls and texts and missed our appointment, I completely fell apart.

The next few weeks were not easy.  I met with my health professionals and was only starting to heal when I got a call earlier this week at about 2:30 in the morning: another friend had passed away.

Suicide isn’t an easy topic to me to discuss.  This may be because it has never affected me personally before.  I knew it existed.  I knew people who knew people who had done it.  I even had a neighbor in my previous residence who had done it, but I have never been the one who was “left behind” before.  Now that it has and now that I am, I feel the need to share my experience and reach out to others.

Suicide, or the act of intentionally taking one’s own life, is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.  The symptoms my friends displayed included difficulty with interpersonal relationships, unbearable physical pain, and withdrawing from family and friends.  Unfortunately, these are also symptoms of other difficulties, so it would have been difficult to know what they were thinking.  In hindsight, all of the signs were there, all over the first friend’s Facebook page.  The goodbyes, the unbearable pain; it was all there, and I can’t help but think that had I seen it sooner, I would have run over to her place and stopped her.


One of my best friends often tells me that she frequently calls a suicide prevention hotline.  She has been calling this particular number for years.  She is not suicidal and has told me that she would never even consider it for herself, but she calls the number when she needs someone to talk to.  Sometimes we all just need an unbiased ear to vent to; someone who is not our mother, doctor or friend to unload on who will listen and advise without taking a side.

I am ending this post, since I am at a loss for words. I wish that there was something I could have done, but I know that their deaths are not my fault.  Now I can only hope for comfort and strength for the families who are affected by their losses.  I can educate, advocate and help others in the future.


If You Know Someone in Crisis
“Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.  Learn more on the NSPL’s website.” The National Institute of Mental Health


MedlinePlus (December, 2017). Suicide. Retrieved December 22, 2017 from

CDC/National Center for Health Statistics (March, 2017). Leading Causes of Death. Retrieved December 22, 2017 from

The National Institute of Mental Health (March 2017). Suicide Prevention. Retrieved December 22, 2017 from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (May, 2017). 10 Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, United States – 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2017 from

Further Reading and Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


Veterans Crisis Line:


Whipped and Chunky Mashed Potatoes


• 1 lb Baby red potatoes

• Almond milk

• Sea salt

• Garlic powder

• 4 blend shredded cheese (optional)

• Butter/margarine


  1. Boil potatoes until soft

  2. Strain and run under cool tap

  3. Let stand until completely cooled

  4. Blend potatoes skin on, milk, and seasonings in blender, manual stop and star button

  5. Pour mixture back into pot, heat and add cheese, butter and add milk as needed to keep from burning

  6. Stir until desired temperature is reached

  7. Serve

Thousand Island Salmon

thousand island marinade


  • avocado oil mayo
  • ketchup
  • Sweet Relish: sweet and tangy – no sugar added
  • Kikkoman Less Sodium Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce
  • Goya Adobo Light: without pepper

Mix together. Can be chilled and used in salads.


  1. Rinse fish in tap
  2. Marinate in Ziplock for at least two hours.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes


• Trader Joe’s microwaveable jasmin rice

• Leftover or freshly cooked cooked veggies.

What can we do to defend equality?

It may not be June anymore, but I saw a civil rights related post today on Facebook that got me asking myself, “What are we doing to defend equality amongst people?”

You might be watching the news to find out about more hate crimes around the world. Religious hate, racial hate, gender hate, and even hatred of nationalities are only a few of them. But what is also a “crime?” Intolerance and discrimination are two things that can turn into hate crimes if they are not stopped in advance.

The devastation that a single hate crime, intolerance or stereotype can create is too much for many to bear. A physically or mentally disabled person is bypassed for a job when his skills and education are matched with other applicants’. It may be illegal for an employer to do this, but it happens.

A Jewish person is considered stingy and rich, even in jest, when they are, in fact, the exact opposite.

A Hispanic teenager is told in the public high school cafeteria that “Hispanics are only there to clean up white people’s trash.” The result is a fight between the kids. (I heard about this after it happened at my school.) Even if the other boy was just angry at his peer, this is not okay. Immediate action was taken that day.

And then there is this one. The following photo depicts a conversation I had with a friend of mine more than a decade ago, though I can still remember how it went as if it were just yesterday:

So the question remains, what are we doing to defend equality amongst people in this country and everywhere around the world?

If we could just stop a person mid-joke or mid-comment and say, “I don’t want to hear this,” then that would be a start. I’m not saying that you should become an activist, or a picketer. What I’m saying is that if you can change something as simple as an uncomfortable topic of conversation, then you can channel that ability into so much more.

The power of speech is an amazing thing and here in the United States, we are free to use it. Guess what? It’s so simple! It all starts with a word. Just one.


On This Day in History: Sliced Bread

“It’s the best thing since sliced bread!” is a modern saying.  But where does it come from?

“Otto Frederick Rohwedder was an American inventor and engineer who created the first automatic bread-slicing machine for commercial use. It was first used by the Chillicothe Baking Company.”


Since then, we have seen pre-sliced bread in so many recipes and favorite meals.

I love grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches.  What about you?

Go ahead and ruin your appetite by eating a spoonful of peanut butter 20 minutes before dinner.

I stand with peanut butter. Here’s why:

Go ahead and ruin your appetite by eating a spoonful of peanut butter 20 minutes before dinner. –

Strawberry, Banana, Yogurt Smoothie

Strawberry, Banana, Yogurt Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 cup plain Greek nonfat yogurt

3/4 cup Trader Joe’s organic strawberries (frozen)

1 banana (frozen)

1 cup fat free (skim) milk

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. Trader Joe’s Organic Chia Seed


Skinnygirl by BELLA Personal Blender



Blend together until desired consistency is reached.