A Fall Recipe Straight From Indiana Apple Orchards




1 cup pure apple cider

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped



20-24 ounces mixed greens, hearts of romaine and spinach or any combination

1 small green apple, cored and very thinly sliced

1 small red apple, cored and very thinly sliced

1 small red or green pear, cored and very thinly sliced

5 ounces dried cranberries

1 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled



In a medium bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate until serving time.

In a large bowl, toss mixed greens with apples, pear, cranberries and red onion. Sprinkle with walnuts and crumbled goat cheese right before serving. Enjoy with apple cider vinaigrette.

Makes 8 large salad servings with vinaigrette to taste. Store any left over dressing in fridge in an airtight container.



Goodbye, I Will Always Remember You; A Tribute to My Brother, Alvin

I packed some more things today and then the phone rang. The voice sounded familiar as we talked. He said it was finished and I said thank-you and goodbye. My stomach started churning. I thought sure I was going to vomit. Everything from the past five months came flooding back to the front of my mind.

I finished what I was doing. I changed my clothes. I grabbed my purse and my camera. As I started the car quiet tears began to fall. I knew I had to keep it together or I would not be able to drive.

I drove the ten minutes and turned the car in between the gates. I drove slowly taking in the atmosphere as if I had entered a different realm beyond this earth. I stopped the car and turned the keys.

Silence came over me. I grabbed my camera and did what I knew I needed to do. Taking the photos and being satisfied with my work I walked back to the car, got in and began to sob.

Everything I had been holding back since March 24th at 8:30am came flooding down my cheeks. I cried like I have never cried.  I explained to my brother that I was leaving. I told him how I would never forget him but I must move forward in order to heal. I told my parents hello and I knew that mom especially, was so glad I could pay a visit.

I asked Al to keep his promise to save a spot for me and I almost felt his smile as I gazed down at his new headstone that was completed only hours ago. I knelt by Al and I touched the cold cement, but I knew my heart was warm as I felt the closest to Al I had since his passing.

I promised him I would come back and visit. I promised him that my daughter and son-in-law would look after me as well as he did. I promised him I would laugh one day again.

My job is complete. I cared for my brother with everything I had in me. I made sure he had as good of life and lots of laughter and fun as possible. I kept my promise to myself that he would have a nice funeral. I promised that somehow I would come up with the money for his headstone.

It was never a true job, but it had its ups and downs. I didn’t punch in and out on a time clock as his care never was less than 24/7. It was a job that tested my mental alertness, my devotions, my faith in God. It taught me more about compassion than any other job I have ever held.

As I walked up to my front door I turned around and looked at what I would soon be leaving. I swear I felt God’s arms around me. I know I felt Al’s smile. I love you buddy forever and ever.

Photos are:

Alvin’s new headstone with the coca-cola bottle and red cap

My parents headstone which rest beside Alvin

The clouds that I saw when I turned from my door and looked up.









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Digging Up Your Digs/ The Daily Post



500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long-buried underground. What will she learn about early 21st century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

I have never pondered on what an archaeologist would think and discover about my ruins. I have always connected my future with my children. When I look around my house right now, the future would think, now there lived an empty soul. Someone who obviously never made anything of themselves. The main thing I see in the remains are pieces of nasty, old and shredded boxes.

With moving my home is what I would call cluttered. Nothing is in its place. I now have a path to walk through. The one who discovers my personal remains will have to think outside the box(es) so to speak and see if anything is recognizable inside these worn concoctions.

One thing they would notice is I may have been a homeless creature in their eyes, but they will know that I lived among many good scents. There will be pleasant odors drifting into their nostrils of vanilla, musk, and other various flavors. They will stop for a moment and suck in the heavenly air and it will make them wish they knew who that person was.

They will find remnants of old wood, and odd-looking drawer pulls, maybe some strange claw feet attached to legs of tables. They will begin to notice that something is not quite as they thought, as they see the remains of the two melted and ash covered televisions.

They will scratch their heads and rub their chins pondering on whether to think new ideas  about this person being homeless. Maybe they will think I  had a fetish with paper boxes!

They will see rotten vegetables in a white, tall box. Taking the lid off of the plastic white jug they will get a whiff of curdled milk. They will take a sit-down break and try to figure out what that white box did. They will see zero, built-in compartments, divided by glass windows with buttons on each section. All they do is push the selection and the powder-coated pill named, vegetable or meat, and maybe dessert will slide down the wide mouth at the bottom.

They will see old pieces of colored glass from my dishes and glasses. They will try to piece them together to see what form they take. In 500 years from now they will not use  washable plates, glasses and silverware. All of these will be replaced by plastic that comes served with their choice of buttons they selected, and then they will throw them away.

In one of the rooms they will discover a rectangle object. It will have a wooden headboard. Feather-stuffed pillows, and blankets and large pieces of cotton will remain. They have seen these items in history books. They recognize them as beds. In their time frame they have learned how to live forever. They take a pill and require no sleep. They are much more active than our time and have too much to do to waste time on a thing called rest.

Walking through another room they will discover a bunch of wires. These wires are connected to a main box which has some kind of screen. Rubbing the dirt off they notice that there is nothing but darkness.

They push the big silver button and the machine makes some noise and seems to come alive. They see a beautiful butterfly that takes up the entire screen. They make the little gadget move on the smooth board and it makes magic.

They start clicking on different icons and discover this was not a homeless person at all. In fact, they learn that it was a female that lived here. They pulled up their folding chairs and sat down and clicked everything open.

They had tears in their eyes and wished they had lived 500 years earlier so they could meet this girl in person. They read about how this woman was getting ready to move because she was hurting from losing a dear brother she loved so much. They discovered two books this lady had written and that she enjoyed writing poetry.

They looked through each photo and saw the wonderful friends and family she had  throughout her life. They learned of how deep she felt about her children; but couldn’t figure out how she got by the law of having more than one child. She must have been a very smart person they agreed upon.

As they picked out what they thought was worthy of taking back with them, they smiled at each other, knowing without a doubt, this was one, strong woman. They both said out loud at the same time, too bad she had to leave, I bet she had much more to accomplish.