heavy heart

yesterday 26 families lost someone precious and dear to them in Newtown, Conneticut

20 of them were children.

and this makes my heart heavy with sadness.

i dont want to pontificate about gun laws or anything really I just got to get some stuff out there.

i dont have any children, nor do i plan on it any time soon. but i do have many friends with children, some of whom  i have grown close, and i will say with absolute certainty that there is nothing on this earth that would stop me from protecting those kids (or any child in the way of danger really).

i cannot even begin to fathom how those parents are feeling, its not right, parents arent supposed to bury their children, thats not the way it goes. its not the way its supposed to be.

8 years ago I was asked to attended ‘Goals for Lily’ a charity event for a young girl who was fighting a very long and courageous battle with a malignant brain tumour. This little girl had touched the hearts of so many people by telling her story,  sadly,  she passed away before the event. She was 4 years old.

At the game her mother and father spoke, and her mom said something that gave me chills then and has been on the back of my mind ever since, “Go home, and hug your kids” . I realized that that Mom would never get to hug her daughter ever again, never. That broke my heart.

My family is not shy about love, I when I call my parents and brothers i NEVER hang up with out telling them I love them, even if I’m hanging up angry.  I text my brothers usually once a week to tell them I love them. They are the 4 people I love the most in the entire world and i would do anything for them.

Those parents in Newtown have had their children stolen from them, had a life time of ‘I love yous’ taken from them for no reason, no reason at all. And it makes me so sad, so very sad.  Yesterday at work i was complaining about my  mild concussion that I got curling (yeah I’m Canadian, I curl) earlier this week, after i saw the news i felt bad about complaining. I hit my head, and CNN was showing photos of families being shattered because of one persons deplorable actions, my concussion seemed so very petty and un important next to the families of the Newtown tragedy.

so i guess the point of this is not dissimilar to my post ‘The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get’, enjoy the moment your in, because it might be the last one you get here, and hug the people in your world that matter to you.

Newtownthis was posted on Twitter yesterday and sums up how I feel

until next time.

– be a river with me

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‘Dude Approved’ Kinda Healthy Peanut Butter Brownies

so i was craving chocolate the other night and have no stores open near me, so I went on a little chocolate expedition around the house. Seeing as how I now live with 5 guys all of whom are fairly health conscience, we don’t have a lot of chocolate around. But I found some in the freezer, a bag of truffles my mom sent me awhile back.

After eating one, i remembered that i don’t actually enjoy truffles. So I headed to the kitchen, looked in the pantry and thought- CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS. The ‘chef-ista’ in me was like “I should get a double boiler going and melt the chocolate properly” but the fat kid in me (which is WAY louder then the ‘chef-ista’) was like “Homemade Chocolate Sauce”. So I made some chocolate sauce… step one

15 dark chocolate truffles 

2 cups Fat Free Soy Milk

1/2 cup Butter 

STEP 1-  melt the three together on low heat, stirring CONSTANTLY!! Burnt chocolate is a waste of time and money.

STEP 2- When its all combined and smooth, add the following:

1/2 cup Chunky Peanut Butter 

1/8 cup Sugar In the Raw 

STEP 3- keep on stirring, once everything is combined pour into a GREASED SHALLOW PAN.. size and shape really doesn’t matter, it just cant be deeper then one inch.

***This is the time to set some aside for chocolate covered treats, suggestions- pretzels, assorted nuts, apple slices, sugar cookies, marshmallows, ICE CREAM!! the list can go on….and on….and on.

STEP 4- Cover the pan with plastic wrap, make sure to leave whole so the mixture doesn’t go bitter (thats what happens when you cover hot stuff with plastic wrap.)

STEP 5- Put in fridge for an hour… then re-wrap it, this time leaving no air holes.

STEP 6- Put back in the fridge for at least 6 HOURS! This sucks I know, but its worth it i PROMISE

STEP 7-  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well

1/2 cup honey 

2 eggs

1 cup whole wheat flour

STEP 8- Pop the mix in a new GREASED pan…i like a metal pan for this but you can use what ever tickles your fancy.

STEP 9- 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, check done-ness by piercing the middle with a fork and when it comes out clean, its done

STEP 10- Take out of oven, flip upside down onto a plate

STEP 11-  This is where you can enjoy it as it is. or JACK IT UP!!

Jacking Suggestions: Icing, warm jelly (raspberry is a favorite), some of that extra chocolate mix, shredded coconut, whipped cream, caramelized bananas (mmmmmmm cooked naners), peanut butter, FLUFF…. again the list goes ON AND ON.

So there it is…Kinda Healthy (theres Soy Milk and Whole Wheat Flour…and DARK Chocolate) Peanut Butter Brownies. Which have been “Dude Approved” by the roommates

For the healthier amongst us, heres some alternatives for some of the ingredients:

Butter- Vegan Margarine (I like Becel’s version)

Peanut Butter- Organic Peanut Butter, or any All Natural Nut Butter… (I really want to try Cashew Butter)

Honey- Agave Syrup is a great Vegan alternative 

Flour- Go G-Free with some G-Free flour (Nutter’s here in Canada or Whole Foods in the US have great flour selections) 

There it is.

until next time.

– be a river with me