One More Christmas After This

get-attachment.aspxShared from Carly G.’s Rebound Dogs blog.

Last Christmas was the first one I shared with Ryan. We didn’t experience it in person, as we only met in real life December 6th, and two trips across the country in a month wasn’t a possibility. We opened our presents together over the phone. He picked all wonderful gifts which showed even in the few months we’d gotten to know each other, that he truly understood me. We knew then it would be the last holiday we’d spend apart.

But this Christmas is in two days and there’s no chance of us being together. The reality of the cost of flying back and forth and of limited vacation time factors in. We saw each other in November and now have a long stretch until February. So like last year I’ve got a bunch of presents from him that are sitting on my table waiting until Christmas Eve to be unwrapped. And he’s got some that I sent with much love.

It’s true we’ve spent more time apart than together in 2011 and 2012 but we’re still just as emotionally connected as ever. Sometimes I get busy at work and don’t think much about the relationship. Then suddenly I’ll remember that there’s someone out there whose presence has changed my life.

get-attachment.aspxI am reminded that just one more Christmas after this and the week-long stretches of gray rainy days and damp air will  give way to sunshine and palm trees and a whole different ocean. I am reminded that in less two years I won’t be a single parent anymore and someone will be there to watch over me, to literally (not virtually) stand by my side and help me in life.

I sit alone tonight thinking that just one more Christmas after this one and Ryan and I really will spend all the holidays together. I’ve baked all afternoon for family gatherings. All my gifts for everyone are wrapped. Ivy is out with friends. The tree is lit, and now it’s time to just sit and wait.

My life has become a continual emotional conflict. On the one hand, I can’t wait to start my life with Ryan, to move to California. They say you can’t run away from things, and that’s true. But you can leave towns and areas where baggage is piled up all around you like rotted trash. You can dream of living in a place where nothing is familiar, where nothing is cursed, and you don’t have to worry about running into someone  you never ever wanted to see again.

get-attachment.aspxOn the flip side, once Ivy graduates from high school, this part of our lives is over. I’ll still be her mother of course, but the 0-18 years part of her life will have passed. She’ll be well on her way to adulthood, and long gone will be the days when she sat on my feet when I walked, or held my hand, or trusted I had the answers to everything.

One more Christmas after this and it won’t just be Ivy and me anymore, sitting here with the pets watching our favorite movies over and over again. She’ll be at college and gradually starting a life of her own. And there will be another person in our family. Well one more person and his turtle. Can’t forget Tortuga.

It’s been a long hard year. And of all the years since Ivy was born, since it’s been just the two of us, none drove home testing the difficulties of raising a child alone like this one has. If Ryan hadn’t entered my life, even if it is mostly virtual, I don’t know how well I would have fared. There’s a limit to everyone’s strength and mine was tested.

get-attachment.aspxSo on this eve of Christmas eve, I am relieved that it’s just one more Christmas after this until the next stage of all our lives start.

I wish everyone a happy holiday and a new year filled with hope and celebration for good things to come.

-Carly G.

Low Carb Pumpkin Pudding

After many years of yo yo dieting, I’ve some to accept that low carb is really the only thing that will ever work for me. What I can’t seem to handle long term though is total Atkins, meaning very low carb or none at all. That works for a week or two for me. I lose a bunch of weight, feel motivated…then I get so sick of hunks of meat and eggs and cheese I run screaming back to Snickers and mac and cheese.

So I decided a modified low carb might work best for me. I’ll stay away from bread and pasta and rice and the big sugar triggers but I’m going to add in more fruits and vegetables.

get-attachment.aspxTonight’s recipe tastes a lot like the inside of a pumpkin pie. I find it makes 4 large servings at 7.5 carbs each. It takes a few hours as you cook it in a crock pot, but it’s super easy with just a few ingredients.

-1 can pumpkin. NOT pumpkin mix

-3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cinnamon


1 egg

4 packets Splenda to taste. For me 4 was just enough.


Mix everything in a food processor until smooth.

Pour into a crock pot on high for 3 hours. I used crock pot liners to make clean up easier. In three-four hours, it will be golden brown and steaming hot. I eat it as a dessert with a squirt of whipped cream or as a side dish for dinner.


I’m estimating on the carb count but I’d say 21 carbs for the pumpkin 4 for the Splenda, 1 for the egg, 4 for the cream. Total carbs for full batch 30. That’s 7.5 for a large serving,


Or divide accordingly.

Here’s what I had for dinner tonight. Chicken salad (baked breasts in a food processor with mayo) wrapped in lettuce, pumpkin and a cheese stick, divided.I don’t know how many carbs were in the total meal but I know it’s a heck of a lot less than a bowl of spaghetti and a bunch of garlic bread. Baby steps…


Check back for more recipes and be sure to visit my AMAZON PAGE for a wide array of fiction.

United States Post Office Rant

poI ordered a Christmas gift for someone on November 19th. I was proud of myself for ordering early. On 11-20 it was shipped. Yay, good for me.

I hadn’t thought much of it but this weekend realized it had been awhile. I had opted for their free shipping option. I’ve ordered from them in the past and had no issues.

Last night I clicked on the UPS link they’d provided. With economy it seems, they deliver all the way from their warehouse in OH but then drop it off at a local post office for delivery. Okay, so that’s still fine. It was delivered to my local post office on 11-26-12 at 9:31am. Today, 12-3 it still wasn’t here.

The shipper included not only the UPS tracking number, but also one for the USPS. Very efficient. I went to the USPS website and copy and pasted the number in. It arrived today, final destination in Wichita, KS. What?

I called USPS and she said cheerily, “You’re all set. It arrived today in Wichita.” I barked at her that it was RIGHT IN Boston, right near my office and yet instead of carrying it down the street they sent it to some random address in KS? She said calmly, “I can understand your frustration.” She has no idea. She took all my info and my number and someone will get back to me within 24 hours.

So I called the company I ordered it from. They were very nice and said once the person who got it in Kansas ships it back to me or to them, they’ll refund me and if I’m deadset on ordering it again I can order a new one. I remarked I didn’t know what kind of condition it would be in. Not sure why he said deadset, as if I’m stubborn for wanting my package.

Hung up with him feeling slightly relieved that it’s still early for present time and this will sort out in time one way or the other, probably. Then I clicked on the details from the USPS site.

Here’s what it said, all dated 12-3-12. Note the times and the impossibility of this happening the way it’s documented. Read from the bottom up.

Delivered December 03, 2012, 9:19 am WICHITA, KS 67210 Delivery Confirmation

Notice Left December 03, 2012, 8:53 am HEBER CITY, UT 84032

Processed through

USPS Sort Facility

December 03, 2012, 8:37 am WARRENDALE, PA 15095

Sorting Complete December 03, 2012, 8:35 am WASHINGTON, DC 20032

Processed through

USPS Sort Facility

December 03, 2012, 8:19 am BELL


Forwarded December 03, 2012, 6:41 am HAUPPAUGE, NY

Processed through

USPS Sort Facility

December 03, 2012, 6:32 am SAINT PAUL, MN 55121

Missent December 03, 2012, 6:26 am

Arrival at Post Office December 03, 2012, 3:23 am CUPERTINO, CA 95014

Depart USPS Sort


December 03, 2012 SAINT PAUL, MN 55121

Processed through

USPS Sort Facility

December 03, 2012, 2:37 am SAINT PAUL, MN 55121

On 11-26 it arrived in Boston at the local post office and then was sent to all these places, with no rhyme or reason anyone can figure out.

Can you say flawed system?

I’ll update this entry as I get resolution but today I am not happy with the postmen who messed this up, about 10 times.


As of Dec 6th, there is still no resolution from the post office. They said they’d call me back by Monday the 10th but according to consumer Affairs, “Well there’s clearly something wrong with that tracking number.” Ya think? On the upside, the vendor refunded all my money. I gave them my word that if it ever shows up I’ll ship it back.

Bacon Fudge Recipe

DownloadedFileI made this for a friend who is bacon obsessed, and he and all our friends loved it. I hope it makes a great new Christmas tradition! The fudge recipe is one I snagged from the back of a Nestle’s Semisweet chocolate package years ago. The only variation is the bacon.

Step one: make bacon and set aside. I used precooked microwavable bacon as you need it crisp and brittle. Cook 6 slices or more to taste. Cook it until it’s very crispy but not burnt. You don’t want greasy  fudge so blot till it’s dry and crumbly. Do not use bacon bits from a jar! The idea of it-ick-way too salty and hard.

DownloadedFileLine a 9X9 inch pan with tin foil. If you don’t line it with foil it’s tough to get out of the pan. You can also use mini loaf pans in which case this makes 3 small batches.

For the fudge:


2 tbl butter

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups mini marshmallows

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Combine butter, milk, and sugar in a pan and cook on medium heat until boiling. Take off heat and stir in marshmallows, chips, and vanilla. Stir vigorously until it’s blended, uniform color, and shiny.

Drop in bacon and stir till distributed.

Pour into prepared pans then chill in fridge until it’s set and hardened. A few hours is usually enough.


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