Saturday, April 13, 2019

Chocolate Cookies From Fudge Brownie Mix

Posted on Facebook June 2010.  

Chocolate Cookies From Fudge Brownie Mix

1 pkg. (19.8 oz.) fudge brownie mix
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. soften margarine
3 tbsp. water
2 eggs
1 cup confectionery sugar - DO NOT MIX THIS IN.
This sugar is for cookies to be rolled into
before baking.

350 oven for 10 minutes.

2 sheets of parchment paper


In a separate bowl soften margarine up
just a little in microwave. Don't make it so it's to thin
or hot. Micro on level 3 for about a minute. Mix
margarine with a fork to blend smooth.

In a large bowl, add mix, flour, water, eggs, granulated
sugar, and margarine. Mix by hand with spoon
or fork. Batter will be stiff.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper

Add 1 cup confectionery sugar to a separate bowl.

Roll about a tablespoon of batter into a ball.
Drop ball into confectionery sugar to coat all sides.

Bake approx 10 minutes. Cookies may appear soft
but will set up when cooled.

I bake one tray of cookies at a time. When 1 tray is done,
I remove tray to cooling rack. Let sit on tray for about 3
minutes. Pick up entire sheet of parchment with cookies still
on them and set on newspaper.

Have a sheet of wax paper or several paper towels folded up
to transfer cookies to finish cooling. The cookies will come
right up with a spatula. NO STICKING AT ALL.

Shake off parchment paper and reuse for the next batch.

I doubled this recipe, and it made approximately 75 cookies
that are 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

This was the 1st time I ever made cookies from a brownie
mix and they came out GREAT. Chewy and delicious.
I added the weight of the brownie mix to give an idea
of what weight to use. If it was between 19 and 22 some
ounces, the recipe should not need adjusting.
I used a generic type mix.

I am IN LOVE with parchment paper. I would never bake
cookies without it. I only started using it last year.
It makes clean up a breeze and NO cookies stick to the paper. 

My son was serving in the Air Force in South Korea in early 2010  
I sent him a batch....

Here was a reply message from him....

Hey ma,

Ohhhh ok. Well these were amazing.. I was giving them to anyone who came in the office and they're all like what in the hell are these things!?!? They're amazing!!! I was like i dunno... mom made them.. lol. To say they were a hit would be an understatement.. ;) Thanks again! love ya

Love V

Friday, April 5, 2019

Scattering CJ - The Loss of One Becomes The Journey of Many

The following statement was shared by Hallie Twomey
on April 5, 2019 on her Facebook page

"I feel like I should stand on the rooftop and yell, “WE INTERRUPT THIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE.”

Just received the SCATTERING CJ film poster.

I knew it was close to being finished but it still took my breath away.

It’s awesome.

Makes me smile and want to cry.

I love that they used a search engine format for the title.

Without the ability to reach and connect with people online, SCATTERING CJ wouldn’t be what it is today.

Feeling so many feels that it’s hard to stay still.

What a journey this has been. (And continues to be).

Don’t forget to check out the film website and share it far and wide.

Something positive needs to come from this film. Even one less person following in CJ’s footsteps is a victory."

When seemingly happy, travel-infatuated CJ Twomey violently ended his own life at age 20, 
his family was plunged into unrelenting grief and guilt. In a moment of desperate inspiration, 
his mother Hallie put out an open call on Facebook, looking only for a handful of travelers 
who might help fulfill her son's wish to see the world by scattering some of his ashes in 
a place of beauty or special meaning.

Twenty-one thousand strangers liked the Facebook page, and one thousand volunteers 
have since taken CJ to over one hundred countries. While crisscrossing the globe, 
his ashes and his family’s story have given rise to a social media phenomenon — 
a worldwide community — that has congregated in solidarity and empathy in dealing 
with a still heavily stigmatized and misunderstood form of mental illness.

Aggregating hundreds of clips chronicling personal ash-scattering pilgrimages worldwide, 
combined with intimate interviews and vérité filmmaking, Hallie’s story — one that 
has cross-pollinated and traveled so organically, resonantly, inspirationally — shows us 
that social media can act as a connector and a vehicle for empathy, as opposed to 
the more toxic aspects of social media interaction we're currently witnessing. 
Her story further illustrates how there can be positive action grown from suicide, 
and that even if it isn't reliably predictable, it just may in some cases be preventable.
Scattering CJ is scheduled for release in 2019.


~*~ CJ Twomey ~*~

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Answers will never be at the 
bottom of an empty bottle. 
As the child of 2 recovered alcoholic parents, 
I know this all too well.


Saturday, March 9, 2019


I'm not certain when I first joined Pinterest, back in the day I do know it was by invite only.  :)

I ADORE Pinterest.   "Visual Candy" I recall someone
once saying.  That is certainly is.

If you read through my board topics you will see
exactly how varied my interests are. 

YEP.... right below is DEB in a NUT SHELL.   LOL.
The only one thing about Pinterest, it's not very social.
I mean you can have group boards, but I really have no clue about the folks who follow my boards.
IF you would care to connect...  Please feel free
to message me in the comments.

Sincerely....   Deb


My Pinterest Boards ......

Calling All Angels
For Nakeeta
Star Trek Fan Since the 60's
Snail Mail ~ Just DO IT
Snow – LOVE IT !!
Snapbean Photography
Suicide Prevention
10 Relationship truths by Andrew
9-11-2001 Memorial
Acrylic Painting Small size
Anita Moorjani – Author
­Appetizer Ideas
Around the Yard – In My Dreams
Art by Joe Kopler
Art of Si Lewen
Back in the Olden Days
Beach Art
Bipolar – Mood Disorder – In-law
Bone Sigh Arts – Terri St. Cloud
Brown Paper packages Tied Up With Strings
Church Religious Art
Claude Monet 11/14/1840 – 12/5/1926
Clever Ideas
Cloud CRAZY Me
Clydesdale Horses
Color .. That HITS Me
Cool Web Destinations
Crock pot Slow Cooker Recipes
Cyrus Webb – Author
Desiderata by Max Ehermann
Dessert Looks Yummy
Down Home Country
Dream Catchers
Embroidery – Reminds me of my Mom
Empath – Clairvoyance – Clairaudience – Clairsentience – Psychic Medium
Flowers & Trees
Fractals by Vitor
Frank Lloyd Wright
Free Printables
Fun and Useful Facts
Furry Creatures
Garden ECT
Geek – Cool
Get Away Place
Gift Ideas
Gluten Free
Gold Star Mothers – Gold Star Families
Grammy's Kid Board
Graphic Design
Graphics by Me
Graphics to share - Make Your Own Greeting Cards
Green – YES – The more the better
Grief – Sympathy
Grow a Kindness Gardsn
Halloween – BOO
Health – Medical
Home Stuff
Hummingbirds – Magic With Wings
I'm Tired of Miss Clariol
Inspiration for Painting
John Taylor-Lehman – Artist
Just Fog
Kid Stuff- Art – Toys – ECT
Leonid Afremov – Artist
Living Life Fully – Tom Walsh
Magic Wands
Marbles – LOVE EM
Meet My Mississippi for State Poem
Memorial Board – Colorado
Memory Board
Michael Douglas Jones – Artist
Mixed Media Art
Model Builder Extraordinaire – Dave Roehrle
My Cloud Photos
My Paintings
Nicole Miyuki Santo Designer
Night Time
Oceans, Seas, Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, Streams ECT
Our Circle of Love – Tom Zuba
Paintings – Art by others
Patricia Neely-Dorsey Author
Pencil Drawings
Personal Historian
Photography – Moments Captured
Plastic Canvas
Polymer Clay
Positive Affirmations
Pretty in Pink
Printing & Stamping
Quotes – Words to Share
Random Photos by me
Recycled Cool
Relationship 101
Re-pins I love
Rolf Hicker Nature & Travel Photographer
RonWear Port-able clothing for chemo and dialysis patients
S&K Crafty Creations
Sacred Poems Inspirational
Science is COOL
Sit Awhile
Sizzex Texture Boutique machine
Special songs
Spring Flowers
St Therese of Lisieux
Tell Me The Time
Thanksgiving Autumn
The Must Swan By Debra Classen
There ARE Blessings in Problems
USA United States Air Force
USA History
USA Navy
USA Military
Unique Art
USA Military Holiday
Watercolor Journal
Watercolor Painting
Wizard of OZ
Wood Burning Art
Words to LIVE By

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Everyone is going through something that we can’t see

On November 5th, right after halftime against the Hawks, I had a panic attack.
It came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real. But it was real — as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle. Since that day, almost everything about the way I think about my mental health has changed.

I’ve never been comfortable sharing much about myself. I turned 29 in September and for pretty much 29 years of my life I have been protective about anything and everything in my inner life. I was comfortable talking about basketball — but that came natural. It was much harder to share personal stuff, and looking back now I know I could have really benefited from having someone to talk to over the years. But I didn’t share — not to my family, not to my best friends, not in public. Today, I’ve realized I need to change that. I want to share some of my thoughts about my panic attack and what’s happened since. If you’re suffering silently like I was, then you know how it can feel like nobody really gets it. Partly, I want to do it for me, but mostly, I want to do it because people don’t talk about mental health enough. And men and boys are probably the farthest behind. 
I know it from experience. Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to “be a man.” It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own. So for 29 years of my life, I followed that playbook. And look, I’m probably not telling you anything new here. These values about men and toughness are so ordinary that they’re everywhere … and invisible at the same time, surrounding us like air or water. They’re a lot like depression or anxiety in that way.

So for 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. Sure, I knew on some level that some people benefited from asking for help or opening up. I just never thought it was for me. To me, it was form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different.
Then came the panic attack.
It happened during a game. 
It was November 5th, two months and three days after I turned 29. We were at home against the Hawks — 10th game of the season. A perfect storm of things was about to collide. I was stressed about issues I’d been having with my family. I wasn’t sleeping well. On the court, I think the expectations for the season, combined with our 4–5 start, were weighing on me.

I knew something was wrong almost right after tip-off.
I was winded within the first few possessions. That was strange. And my game was just off. I played 15 minutes of the first half and made one basket and two free throws.
After halftime, it all hit the fan. Coach Lue called a timeout in the third quarter. When I got to the bench, I felt my heart racing faster than usual. Then I was having trouble catching my breath. It’s hard to describe, but everything was spinning, like my brain was trying to climb out of my head. The air felt thick and heavy. My mouth was like chalk. I remember our assistant coach yelling something about a defensive set. I nodded, but I didn’t hear much of what he said. By that point, I was freaking out. When I got up to walk out of the huddle, I knew I couldn’t reenter the game — like, literally couldn’t do it physically.
Coach Lue came up to me. I think he could sense something was wrong. I blurted something like, “I’ll be right back,” and I ran back to the locker room. I was running from room to room, like I was looking for something I couldn’t find. Really I was just hoping my heart would stop racing. It was like my body was trying to say to me, You’re about to die. I ended up on the floor in the training room, lying on my back, trying to get enough air to breathe. 
The next part was a blur. Someone from the Cavs accompanied me to the Cleveland Clinic. They ran a bunch of tests. Everything seemed to check out, which was a relief. But I remember leaving the hospital thinking, Wait … then what the hell just happened?

I was back for our next game against the Bucks two days later. We won, and I had 32. I remember how relieved I was to be back on the court and feeling more like myself. But I distinctly remember being more relieved than anything that nobody had found out why I had left the game against Atlanta. A few people in the organization knew, sure, but most people didn’t and no one had written about it.
A few more days passed. Things were going great on the court, but something was weighing on me. 
Why was I so concerned with people finding out?

It was a wake-up call, that moment. I’d thought the hardest part was over after I had the panic attack. It was the opposite. Now I was left wondering why it happened — and why I didn’t want to talk about it.
Call it a stigma or call it fear or insecurity — you can call it a number of things — but what I was worried about wasn’t just my own inner struggles but how difficult it was to talk about them. I didn’t want people to perceive me as somehow less reliable as a teammate, and it all went back to the playbook I’d learned growing up.
This was new territory for me, and it was pretty confusing. But I was certain about one thing: I couldn’t bury what had happened and try to move forward. As much as part of me wanted to, I couldn’t allow myself to dismiss the panic attack and everything underneath it. I didn’t want to have to deal with everything sometime in the future, when it might be worse. I knew that much.

So I did one seemingly little thing that turned out to be a big thing. The Cavs helped me find a therapist, and I set up an appointment. I gotta stop right here and just say: I’m the last person who’d have thought I’d be seeing a therapist. I remember when I was two or three years into the league, a friend asked me why NBA players didn’t see therapists. I scoffed at the idea. No way any of us is gonna talk to someone. I was 20 or 21 years old, and I’d grown up around basketball. And on basketball teams? Nobody talked about what they were struggling with on the inside. I remember thinking, What are my problems? I’m healthy. I play basketball for a living. What do I have to worry about? I’d never heard of any pro athlete talking about mental health, and I didn’t want to be the only one. I didn’t want to look weak. Honestly, I just didn’t think I needed it. It’s like the playbook said — figure it out on your own, like everyone else around me always had.

But it’s kind of strange when you think about it. In the NBA, you have trained professionals to fine-tune your life in so many areas. Coaches, trainers and nutritionists have had a presence in my life for years. But none of those people could help me in the way I needed when I was lying on the floor struggling to breathe.
Still, I went to my first appointment with the therapist with some skepticism. I had one foot out the door. But he surprised me. For one thing, basketball wasn’t the main focus. He had a sense that the NBA wasn’t the main reason I was there that day, which turned out to be refreshing. Instead, we talked about a range of non-basketball things, and I realized how many issues come from places that you may not realize until you really look into them. I think it’s easy to assume we know ourselves, but once you peel back the layers it’s amazing how much there is to still discover.
Since then, we’ve met up whenever I was back in town, probably a few times each month. One of the biggest breakthroughs happened one day in December when we got to talking about my Grandma Carol.

She was the pillar of our family. Growing up, she lived with us, and in a lot of ways she was like another parent to me and my brother and sister. She was the woman who had a shrine to each of her grandkids in her room — pictures, awards, letters pinned up on the wall. And she was someone with simple values that I admired. It was funny, I once gave her a random pair of new Nikes, and she was so blown away that she called me to say thank you a handful of times over the year that followed.
When I made the NBA, she was getting older, and I didn’t see her as often as I used to. During my sixth year with the T-Wolves, Grandma Carol made plans to visit me in Minnesota for Thanksgiving. Then right before the trip, she was hospitalized for an issue with her arteries. She had to cancel her trip. Then her condition got worse quickly, and she fell into a coma. A few days later, she was gone.
I was devastated for a long time. But I hadn’t really ever talked about it. Telling a stranger about my grandma made me see how much pain it was still causing me. Digging into it, I realized that what hurt most was not being able to say a proper goodbye. I’d never had a chance to really grieve, and I felt terrible that I hadn’t been in better touch with her in her last years. But I had buried those emotions since her passing and said to myself, I have to focus on basketball. I’ll deal with it later. Be a man.

The reason I’m telling you about my grandma isn’t really even about her. I still miss her a ton and I’m probably still grieving in a way, but I wanted to share that story because of how eye-opening it was to talk about it. In the short time I’ve been meeting with the therapist, I’ve seen the power of saying things out loud in a setting like that. And it’s not some magical process. It’s terrifying and awkward and hard, at least in my experience so far. I know you don’t just get rid of problems by talking about them, but I’ve learned that over time maybe you can better understand them and make them more manageable. Look, I’m not saying, Everyone go see a therapist. The biggest lesson for me since November wasn’t about a therapist — it was about confronting the fact that I needed help.

One of the reasons I wanted to write this comes from reading DeMar’s comments last week about depression. I’ve played against DeMar for years, but I never could’ve guessed that he was struggling with anything. It really makes you think about how we are all walking around with experiences and struggles — all kinds of things — and we sometimes think we’re the only ones going through them. The reality is that we probably have a lot in common with what our friends and colleagues and neighbors are dealing with. So I’m not saying everyone should share all their deepest secrets — not everything should be public and it’s every person’s choice. But creating a better environment for talking about mental health … that’s where we need to get to.
Because just by sharing what he shared, DeMar probably helped some people — and maybe a lot more people than we know — feel like they aren’t crazy or weird to be struggling with depression. His comments helped take some power away from that stigma, and I think that’s where the hope is. 
I want to make it clear that I don’t have things figured out about all of this. I’m just starting to do the hard work of getting to know myself. For 29 years, I avoided that. Now, I’m trying to be truthful with myself. I’m trying to be good to the people in my life. I’m trying to face the uncomfortable stuff in life while also enjoying, and being grateful for, the good stuff. I’m trying to embrace it all, the good, bad and ugly.
I want to end with something I’m trying to remind myself about these days: 

Everyone is going through something that we can’t see. 
I want to write that again: Everyone is going through something that we can’t see.
The thing is, because we can’t see it, we don’t know who’s going through what and we don’t know when and we don’t always know why. Mental health is an invisible thing, but it touches all of us at some point or another. It’s part of life. Like DeMar said, “You never know what that person is going through.
Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside. Not talking about our inner lives robs us of really getting to know ourselves and robs us of the chance to reach out to others in need. So if you’re reading this and you’re having a hard time, no matter how big or small it seems to you, I want to remind you that you’re not weird or different for sharing what you’re going through. 
Just the opposite. It could be the most important thing you do. It was for me.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Noodle Balls by Grandma Laura Rothacker

My paternal Grandmother Laura Rothacker (Cowles) lived from
1903-1962.  She was well known for her baking, AND this family
recipe.  Only thing ... she never wrote out a recipe.  
Sometime prior to 2008, my dad Gil's older brother Rollin Rothacker requested
recipes for a family recipe book he was compiling.  My dad contacted me asking
IF I could put together a recipe for the noodle balls.  YIKS !!!!
This entailed MAKING a batch.  I had done it for many years, so making it
was no trouble.  The trouble came in making a recipe for this beloved family
favorite.   I'm happy to have done it then, because I have a recipe to share now. 

*GRAVY MASTER SEASONING apparently is not found here in the state of
Illinois.   It is available in OHIO in the gravy area.  If you do not have access to 
"Gravy Master"  you can substitute with Soy Sauce, as that is one of the ingredients 
of Gravy Master.  DO NOT substitute any other browning sauce as the flavor 
might change.