My Wish for My Son — I Love You

October 29, 2011 at 11:03 am (Musings...)

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Redefining “Melodye Joy Olsavsky”

October 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm (Musings...)

I usually blog about happy things, my art, my jewelry… It can make me feel vulnerable when I post something so personal on such a public forum. But I am going to speak my truth today.

Who am I??

I am a wife of a fabulous husband and the mother of two darling children. I am 52 years old and have many interests, mostly in the arts: sewing, painting, designing jewelry, singing and playing the piano. I have a chronic illness, multiple sclerosis and struggle with trigimenal neuralgia, a very painful nerve condition that causes excruciating pain on the right side of my face. It is very painful to get out of bed in the morning, sometimes nearly impossible. My hair is nearly all white — only my wonderful hairdresser, Lindsay knows for sure 🙂

I am by nature a hermit. I draw energy from completing an art project and surrounded with the things I love in my home. I can function in social situations, but I prefer to be by myself. Give me a good snowstorm any day! I love NASCAR and college and pro football. I like to read a good book and leaf through magazines for new recipes. I really don’t like to cook, but I am very good at it 🙂 I have a recipe I am looking forward to trying this weekend — tiramisu cupcakes. I enjoy surfing the net and posting pictures on “Pinterest.” Fabulous shoes are, well… fabulous!

Why do I feel invisible?

The world focuses mostly on being young — I am fully aware that I am no longer the “voice du jour,” the “beauty du jour,” the “person du jour.” I cannot sing as well as I used to. I have wrinkles. Circumstances caused me to give up something I love to do, rehearsing a choir. Some medicines I am on have weight gain as a side effect — and I’ve gained 20 pounds. I am in the habit of going to the store and bank in an old pair of sweatpants with an even older coat thrown on — my hair raked back in a bobby pin. Who cares? Why does it matter? I have become someone who I vowed I would never become… I think if pink curlers were still in vogue, I would be wearing them in public! I do shower on a regular basis and brush my teeth 🙂 More than that, I just don’t care.

I get it that I am a child of God and am worthy to feel validated simply because of that fact. My head knows that, but my heart is trying to figure it out.

My daughter, Amanda, challenged me yesterday to “put on some makeup and a hat” when I ran some errands. I did!

Me - Yesterday

Today I had more errands to run…

Me - Today

I must take baby steps to redefine who I am. Some of it is merely taking care of myself and focusing on looking my best. I am reading a book a friend gifted me with — Hinds’ Feet On High Places. I am doing the accompanying Bible study. I identify with “Much Afraid” as she moves toward a place she has never been before. She has to let go of things that bind and hold her back. I am Much Afraid. I am being still and listening. I am mourning the fact that some things I love to do are finished. I am closing chapters, struggling with feelings of despair and unworthiness.

I am going to open new chapters. I am going to (even reluctantly) put on makeup and a hat when I venture into the world. (I did buy some mascara that comes off easily with water — I hate to remove makeup!).

It will be “otay.” It will be “otay.”

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Stuffed Shells

October 16, 2011 at 11:24 am (Recipes)

I have made this recipe time and time again. It is perfect with a salad and some warm bread. I didn’t take any pictures, but they are stuffed shells… 🙂

Stuffed Shells
• 1 (12 ounce) package jumbo shells
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
• 1 pound (4 cups) mozzarella cheese, divided
• 8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 (28 ounce) jar pasta sauce
• 1 large can of mushrooms, drained

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, half the mozarella, half the parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta mixture and place in 9X13 inch baking dish.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together pasta sauce, mushrooms and reserved mozzarella and parmesan. Pour over stuffed shells
5. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes until edges are bubble and shells are slightly set

**The filling will taste salty before it is cooked, but the shells absorb the salt and the flavor is perfect when fully cooked. The mixture you pour over the shells will be thick, because of the cheeses, but it cooks up perfectly.

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