Tuesday, September 6, 2011


It's been six months, six long, slow, heavy months since my sister, friend, confidant, rock, comrade-in-arms, died.  Six months when every little thing takes twice the energy it used to.  Six months when sometimes I catch myself laughing, and I wonder why and how.  Six months when sadness is my constant companion.

But it has also been six months when my relationship with her children has blossomed - I love those kids with all my heart.  Their successes are mine too, they make me so proud, they are beyond wonderful.

It has also been six months of getting to know my sister's dear friends,  they say that you get the friends you deserve, and in my sister's case this is certainly true.  Her friends are wonderful, kind and good people (and great craic too!!).  Sadly Pauline has had to head back to the States, we miss her kind and strong presence, her stories of my sister when she lived in New York, her companionship and understanding, her cooking!!  Clare has been my rock, she has helped from the very beginning in the most practical ways, she sees something that needs to be done, and just does it - no questions asked, no praise looked for. And finally Fiona who gave my sister such joy, (she would return from coffee with Fiona and regale me with all the funny anecdotes - for hours!!!).  Fiona brings a wave of good will with her wherever she goes, she is a powerhouse of enthusiasm and kindness, she has enveloped my niece and nephews in her warmth and love, she has brought my sister's fun side back into their lives.

The  Random Bakes Of Kindness from my last post reminded me of all the people to whom I owe so much gratitude.  I want to take this opportunity to say thanks a million to you all, and particularly to Clare and Fiona.

To Fiona, thank you, thank you for giving them a wonderful holiday, a fun filled time when they were too busy to be sad.  Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter, giving my precious Princess a much needed older sister.  Thank you for cheering us up, time and time again.  Thank you for showering the Princess with kindness (!).  Thank you for seeing each child's individual strengths and fostering them.  Thank you for your time, for M's time and for bringing C into my life.  Thank you for the coffee mornings - our chance to regroup, to reminisce, to chat, to organise.  Thank you for being there - always.

To Clare, thank you for your support, your hugs (you give the best hugs!), your understanding, your always being on my side.  Thank you for all your hospitality to the kids - they always return from your home snuggled in your love and caring - and that bit happier.  Thank you for your generosity in everything you do.  Thank you for washing away our anguish (!).  Thank you for sharing your (gorgeous) family, your energy, your enthusiasm, your hard work, your warmth.  Thank you too for our coffee mornings - you know how much they mean to both myself and Mum.

These women deserve so much more than cake - but it's a start!!! 

We are meeting to reminisce and cry and laugh today, and I am bringing some muffins along.  September is not just back to school time, but also back to some sort of eating properly time - slimming clubs have more start-ups in September than in January.  With this in mind I borrowed Rits's Applesauce Muffin Recipe, (made a few very small changes) cooked up a batch, and am bringing them along.  Some guilt free treats for some people who need cheering up.

Rita's Applesauce Oat Muffins

1 cup                   oats
1 cup                   skimmed milk
1 cup                   whole wheat flour
1/2 cup                brown sugar*
1/2 cup                applesauce (I made this with 3 small apples a tsp cinnamon and a tiny amount of water)
2                          egg whites
2 tsp                    baking powder
1/2 tsp                 bread (bicarbonate of) soda
1/2 tsp                 salt
1                         curly wurly bar (similar to heath bar)
2 tsp                   cinnamon
1 tsp                   sugar

Makes 12 muffins

Soak oats in the milk for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180 C
Line muffin tins
Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites and mix.
In a seperate bowl measure out the dry ingredients (including 1 tsp cinnamon) and mix.
Chop up the curly wurly bar and add to the bowl.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine - without mixing too much to avoide tough muffins.
Spoon into the prepared muffin cases.

Combine one spoon of sugar with a spoon of cinnamon and scatter ofver the muffins before you pop them into the oven (I forgot this part - but won't next time!)

Bake the muffins for 17 - 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the pan and cool.

*To make these even more healthy - next time I think I'll add a super ripe banana instead of the sugar.

These muffins - while not the prettiest to come out of my oven are really tasty and well worth a go.  Thanks Rita at Sage Cuisine.


Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

What a lovely post BVG. I'll bet it makes a few people cry. The muffins look wonderful and, certainly, you all deserve them.

Anna's kitchen table said...

What a beautiful post.
Hugs ((()))

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

What a beautiful post written from the depths of a grateful heart. I bet the muffins will be a big hit.

Rita said...

What a heartfelt post; you have been through a rough time and you really express it well. Thank you for featuring my muffins with your new friends; I am honoured.

Manu said...

Lovely and beautiful post! LOL

Karen S Booth said...

Beautifully written and so poignant.......what can I say after you have so eloquently said it all.....that is why I am also participating in the RBOK too.....LOVELY post.

Miz Helen said...

This is a beautiful post and expression of Gratitude and Love. God Bless you and your family.
Miz Helen

Victory Rolls & Mixing Bowls said...

Stunning post written beautiful x

Flavia Galasso said...

...and I thank you for you words...for your gratitude for some important people...hugs, Flavia

Danielle said...

What a beautiful post. Gratitude is such a powerful emotion!

This is a bizarre question, but is the Pauline you refer to Pauline Mac Neill?? Again, weird, I know. :)

Unknown said...

i'm so emotional today, for no reason other than I am... and of course now I am weeping... you're a beautiful person BVG... may your brownies always be perfection x

teresa said...

what a sweet tribute post to your sister, just lovely.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

What a lovely post, my eyes just welled up when I read your comments about your lovely sister, her children and her friends. I'm sure she knew how loved she was. Enjoy your time as your reminisce your sister over your delicious baked goods.

Anonymous said...

BVG - what a beautiful, heartfelt post. I'm sure that you have contributed to Clare and Fiona's healing during this time, just as they have to yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

aoife said...

Hi Elenor ! Its Aoife I joined Your Blog it looks really cool and yummy ! :) Just want to say thanks a million for saying that about my mam and me. I love to make gwen and tommy smile it makes me smile hope to c you all soon,
Lots of love Aoife :) x

Unknown said...

BVG, this is a lovely post. I'm so sorry for your loss - I hope someone is making you muffins to cheer you up and thank you for being such a good sister, aunt and friend.

Julie said...

This post brought me a little bit to tears. Those kids are so lucky and blessed to have you. And I'm so glad you are surrounded by people who are able to support you so well.

Chele said...

What a lovely post!! And I have to admit my eyes are prickling just a little bit too! Sending you loads of love and may the next 6 months bring you more peace and comfort.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

It sounds like you have some good friends there and that they deserve these lovely muffins. I can't even imagine how hard it has been for you. Hugs from me x

The Ordinary Cook said...

You are a wonderful woman BVG x

Choclette said...

Lovely post BVG and I'm with Kath, you are a wonderful woman. Have been thinking about you over the last few months so it's good to hear you are being well supported. And cake is a very good start!

Sashquatch said...

Im so grateful you commented me so i could find you and this absolutely touching post. By coincidence my dad passed away 6 months ago also, and the strength with which you write about this time is really inspiring. I cant imagine how tough it must have been to lose a sister though, but as you say at least you have found these lovely women as support structures out of this terrible time. Wonderful post, and im sure these muffins will be very gratefully received by all indeed :)

Susan Lindquist said...

So glad to read this post, as it confirms my hope that you'd be lifted up by friends, family, and your spirit during this loss of yours! You ARE a wonderful woman with wonderful friends! And these applesauce muffins look perfect for a kaffeeklatch! Enjoy!

Unknown said...

What an emotional post, and yet what a wonderful support network you have had and what a wonderful person you are. I wish you all the best and the muffins look delicious xxx

Gloria Baker said...

This a really lovely post dear Brownie girl and what wonderful person you are, Im sure your sister is so close to you!! I whish you all the best and the muffins are amazing! LOL gloria

Anonymous said...

this is such a moving post...*hugs*