Tag Archives: women who blog

I Talked to My Mother This Week

It has been a while since our readers have heard anything from us!  Sorry!  We hope to do better in 2016. First -time grandmotherhood for Jane and a job change for Annice made things a little crazy!I  But, here we go again!  Welcome back to Oops50, which should really be called Oops60 at this point, but we are fond of the original name!  Here’s Jane’s first post for the new year.  And, please, send us your posts!


I talked to my mother the other day.  The only reason that is worth mentioning is that my mother is dead. Here is how it happened.  I was driving by myself on a fairly long road trip—the perfect circumstance for me to think too much about things that are worrying me—and I realized that I was feeling overwhelmingly sad.  I just had one of those awful, down-to-your-toes sadnesses, and the first thought that came in my head was “I wish I could talk to Mama right now.”  That thought made me even sadder because one thing I miss more than anything since her death is the ability to pick up the phone and talk to her about things—bad and good—that happen in my life.  But then, I had this thought:  ‘why not just talk to her now?’  And then I entered this very strange place where I imagined myself dialing her number (since most of my conversations with her happened over our land line and not by cell phone!), and then I had a conversation with her.

First, I apologized for not calling in so long, and then I launched right in to telling her about everything that was on my mind. And, the next thing you know, I was crying—just like the old days.  I talked and talked and cried and cried, about every last little thing that was bothering me, and as I talked and cried, I felt the muscles around my heart start to loosen up, and I could feel myself start to breathe a little easier, and I realized how much tension and worry I had been holding in.  And then—and this is the really remarkable thing about it—I felt that tremendous sense of release and relief that I used to feel when Mama would say something as basic as “I hate for you to be feeling this way, darling” or, her standard, “Get some rest, and I know you will feel better.”  It was as if Mama, from across the miles and years and clouds or whatever is between us had said, “Everything is going to be all right,” and, wonder of wonders, I believed her.  And, for the rest of the day—and even now, a few days later, I’m still feeling the effect. 

My family of origin!  Mama's in the middle, with me to her left.
My family of origin! Mama’s in the middle, with me to the left, back row.

I have to say:  I’m glad I was on a road trip when this happened and not driving down a street of my town.  No one could see me or overhear me, so they couldn’t accuse me of losing my mind and hanging out with ghosts.  But I had this urge to share this experience on the blog because I highly recommend it to those of you have a mother who has moved on to her reward:  give her a call sometime!

Oops50: Sadhvi’s Apple Charlotka


After realizing that I only spent 3 minutes, 10 times a day on FB, I decided to try and see how many “real” hours a day I was spending on the computer.  It turns out I average around 5 hours.  By stopping FB, I had only managed to cut out 3.5 hours per week.  Hmmm.

I thought it would be interesting to find out how I compared with my friends, and found out that working and retired people alike spend about the same amount of time, an average of 8.5 hours a day…reading books, watching YouTube, texting, answering emails, being in chat rooms, playing games, working…whatever.  Some were on for around 16 hours per day, while others were just on it an hour.

I am not trying to turn back the hands of time here.  I do realize this is the norm now, this being on the computer for hours and hours and hours.  I just realized that being on the computer has replaced and surpassed the amount of time spent watching TV.  I went to get my eyes examined the other day, and my eye Dr. told me that I should get a pair of glasses that I use just for the computer, to avoid eye strain, which I do have.

So since I can’t cut down much more, I can take breaks: baking, gardening, painting.

Apple Charlotka

Here’s a recipe from the Smitten site (one of the few food blogs that I like) that I have modified to make gluten-free.  I’ve also cut back the sugar a bit, and sprinkle some of it on top to get a bit of caramelized glaze on top.  You’ll see.  It’s easy, not too sweet, and very yummy. The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour, by the way, which of course you can use.

Sadhvi’s Apple Charlotka

Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing the pan

  • 6 large tart Apples, like a Granny Smith
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • …and another 1/4 cup Sugar to sprinkle on top towards the end of the baking time in the oven
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix (this replaces the flour, it is gluten-free, and, it tastes good!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Butter the paper and the sides of the pan.

Peel, halve and core apples, then chop them into medium-sized chunks.

Put the cut apples directly in the prepared pan.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, and beat eggs with sugar until thick.

Beat in vanilla, then add the cinnamon.

Now stir in Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix with a spoon until just combined. (The batter will be very thick.)

Pour batter over apples in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed apples. (i.e. spread the batter and press it down into the apple pile. The top of the batter should end up level with the top of the apples.)

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or so.

Then sprinkle that reserved 1/4 cup of sugar on top.

Bake another 5 minutes or so.

Now move the pan up a rack, and put on Broil.  (At this point, watch the cake to make sure it does not burn!)

When done, cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter.

Eat plain, warm or at room temperature, with some whipped cream or sour cream on top to get fancy, if desired.


It's Good!