Monday, May 18, 2015

Deep Thoughts By Jen Hodder

Running shakes and sifts. What's left? A whole lot of deep and not so deep thoughts.

Am I the only one who, more often than I care to admit, parks and gets halfway out of my car while it's still running? What does this mean? Have I not come as far as I thought in the patience department? Should I have kept this one to myself?

About a year and a half ago, I slowly weaned from half my headache medication. Although the medication helps, it hurts my thought process, writing, baking, studying, my inner and outer health, and more. I'm wondering when I'll be ready to taper the rest? Last time I had horrible daily headaches and nightmares, so I'm not looking forward to starting again. But my gosh, do I want off.

Some moments I'm this and this, but majority of the time I'm this. I never listened to the last song, or the radio, but soon after Aviana died, she sent this along at a time when I needed it the most. 

I've had a hard time staying focused since Aviana's been gone. I tend to bounce from one to the next. There are a couple things that hold my attention. One is PIE! I want to frame the word and place it in sparkly lights.

 Oh pie,
 Let me count the ways I love you...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream

She Wore a Raspberry Beret

One of Dave's all time favorites.
Cookie crust, a layer of chocolate, raspberry filling, topped with cream cheese.

Amy, Dave, and I made this one in the very beginning of our pie making days. I pulled the picture to check it out and laughed! We thought we'd made ourselves a masterpiece.

Dave wanted this again so we made it two months later. Better crust for two months time.

I now put the chocolate on the bottom so when we cut it, the chocolate doesn't crushes into the pie.

Live and learn... 

Sour Cream Lemon

Banana Cream

It was dark when it came time to take pictures of this baby. Too funny, my cousin and Dave were shining light down from their phones as I took the picture.

Triple Coconut Cream

in an almond cookie crust. 

It was my uncle's birthday. He and my aunt had been eating really well, so she didn't think he'd want any dessert. She decided to check, just in case. My uncle said, "I'll have one of her pies!"

He said any pie, but his first request was cherry. There wasn't one single fresh (or even frozen) cherry in the Tahoe area, and I'd just gotten back from Reno when I found out. So Coconut Cream it was. But since I couldn't make cherry, I had to think of a way to kick this up a notch. After all, this is my Uncle Roger

This was hands down probably one of the best pies we've ever made. Let's just say it was a no leftovers for the neighbors, pie for dessert and breakfast, kind of pie.

I suddenly feel like baking again!

Straight Rhubarb Pie

Our Copper friend, Todd, created a Rhubarb monster out of us! We're kindred spirits, he and I. I wait all year and when I see those long celery looking stalks, I calmly on the outside, but clawing on the inside cross the store and bag those beet red babes. 

Dave had a lapse of judgment. He asked, "Are we going to add strawberries?" I almost choked on my words I was trying to get them out so fast, "What? Why? And mess up a good thing? Why would we taint such a perfect pie?"

I mean maybe some other day, maybe when we're experimenting, maybe when we're making two see what this strawberry is all about
but not today.

I told my dad I was going to drop a piece by for him. He said, "I don't think I want that." I told him I was bringing it anyway. He took a one bite and said, "That's really good! I'd like a whole pie of that one."

Rhubarb, the most misunderstood pie... at first.
We were kind of leery too. 

- - -

 In the past, a couple people asked why I don't include recipes when I post pictures of pie. It's because I post so many at one time and wasn't sure if anyone wanted the recipes since this is another kind of blog. If ever there's a pie you want the recipe for, I'd be happy to come up with it and post it on here. 

- - -

Speaking of focus, I've finally kind of narrowed in. Amongst other things, I'm going to substitute teach. That is, once I pass the cbest. I failed it a couple months ago. From the beginning, my friend Sara suggested I split it up. I didn't get the full meaning of what she was saying. I finally got it. So I took the math last week, and passed. I have the reading and writing sections on Thursday. 

My friend Jen got me hooked on essential oils! I'm in the beginning stages, but can't stop! Dave had a sore throat, so I grabbed all my little bottles out, "Inhale this, gargle this, roll this here, done! Do you feel better?" I walk around smelling like some made up concoction of something, for something. Are they working? I'm not really sure yet. I've been making sugar/salt scrubs and bath salts with them too. And when it's time for bed, there's always something diffusing the night away. Do you use them? What are your favorites? Can you tell if they're working?

Out of nowhere, these books popped into my head on my run. 

Do you remember them? It's crazy how our brains store and randomly pull information.

In a way, I shut down after coming to Tahoe. Creating a life has taken more time and energy than I imagined. I've mostly kept to myself, because I haven't had enough to give. I was feeling kind of bad because all our friends and family have been really supportive. While trying to maintain, I definitely slipped, but the great thing about people who care about you is—they don't mind, they love you no matter. I had a head change on a recent trip to Costa Rica though. Although I'm still trying to figure things out, I feel better about the direction I'm heading. 

So much has been on hold because of these tests! I can't wait to see Pitch Perfect 2 and Aloha. Since moving back, my dad and I go to the movies together. To see a movie we go to Reno, which is about 45 minutes away. My dad hadn't been to a movie in years! It's fun to watch him gather his popcorn, drink, and talk to everyone about how much it used to cost to see a movie and how they were an all day event (of which he and his friends never made it through because they'd get kicked out). So when this is over, I'm going to grab him and catch up!

What are your deep and not so deep thoughts?


  1. Hey there! We use some essential oils...and those we use I feel like they work. Lavender is relaxing for diffusing, or in a small pillow when we sleep, but we use a mixture of lavender oil and safflower oil for cuts, bug bites, blisters etc. It heals AMAZINGLY. We also use peppermint. I mixed it with safflower oil too as it stings if you use it straight and it gets on your skin. I smell it when I feel a headache coming on. It is also good to just wake you up a little. We use lemongrass oil to repel bugs. Again, mixed with safflower oil so it isn't straight (it too stings if on the skin straight). We rub on our wrists, ankles and neck to repel mosquitos. Finally, we use Thieves. It smells really like oregano...but we put a small dab on the bottoms of our feet all winter during "sick" season. It is supposed to help immunity. It is the combination of herbs that the thieves who robbed plague victims used to not get sick. This is a tough one to know if its working because it prevents who knows if we get sick less because of the oil or just because...but it can't hurt. Lavender is BY FAR our favorite and most frequently used. My daughter thinks it can cure ANYTHING! Have fun learning about oils.

    1. Hi Heather! Thank you for your comment! I'll have to keep the lavender in mind for cuts, bug bites, and blisters! I have a question though? I've been diffusing lavender every other night for a little over a week and finally stopped because I noticed every morning I did, I'd wake with a scratchy throat and slightly congested. I only put two drops in 350ml...unless one or two more accidentally fell out. I do shut the doors that go to our bathroom to make the space smaller too, but wonder if it just doesn't work for me? Hoping another will work better, I bought one called Balance.

      I'm a mosquito magnet, in fact, Dave's calls me his repellent. He used to say I was his first line of defense and Aviana his second. If we both weren't around, he was in trouble! I'll definitely have to order some lemongrass!

      I love your daughter's comment, for many reasons, because it's adorable and because she's growing up knowing how to cure without chemicals! How great is that! I think about when I grew up. I was a walking aerosol can of hairspray, mosquito repellent, and much more ; )

  2. Love this post for many reasons....I get out of my car without turning it off at least 2 times per week. I have "lost" things for the first time in my life (read, hide it from myself REALLY well).
    I too started using essential oils and come to work BATHED in eucalyptus and lavender. I felt like it kept me more level at work as the work world didn't offer me time to manage what I was dealing with. I wear them behind my ears for work and on my pillow at night and I do swear that eucalyptus (with mint or lavender) does help me sleep more soundly and keep me from losing my mind at work. This year, both my Mom and I made sugar scrubs. Eucalyptus mint and vanilla lavender are def my favorites.
    I suspect my signing up for way too many running races is the equivalent of your baking, but I did have someone ask me lately about my running.....what are you running from?

    1. Hi Erin ~

      Ahhh, the car! Thank God I'm not the only one! I like the "hide it from myself." As if we're playing a game, right? Because that's what we need, a little extra FUN in our lives!

      I'm happy the oils are helping you sleep better and feel more balanced at work. Thank God for the little things, which can be so big! Eucalyptus is one of my all time favorites. It reminds me of my grandma. I LOVE your combinations! I'm about to become a rip off artist, (hope you don't mind. What do they say, imitation is the best form of flattery?) especially the eucalyptus/mint scrub! I'm in love! Thank you <3

      When I read the million dollar question, I had a question of my own? I'm wondering if the person who asked, runs? I can see where they're coming from, but for me, every time I run (which is 1 one millionth the amount you do) I gain perspective on difficult or troubling thoughts. Maybe something I was stuck on, or that was bothering me, or that I couldn't quite wrap my head around throughout the day or week... all the pieces come together.

      Running has always held an important role in your life. It's obviously serving an especially vital one now. I say if it feels GOOD and it's not hurting, JUST DO IT! ; ) ; ) ; )

      I love you girl!


  3. I'll have that buttermilk pie that I had at your house so many years (or so it seems) ago. I always love looking at your pies.

    Love you!!

    1. Oh how nice it was to see your name : ) Whenever I make that one again, I won't post a picture on here ; ) It will have to be when I get you up here, or I come down there.

      I miss and love you. I hope you are stellar.

  4. I'm a PIE girl!! The heck with cakes ;) Your pie pictures literally kill me. Why? Because I cant even get a bite :( Oh, how I wish I could just get one , or two or.....!! I CAN and WILL eat a whole pie by myself!! Maybe someday (I can dream) I'll get to eat one of your pies, who knows, right? RIGHT!!
    I'm jealous of those that get to eat them, and then you always manage to put the pie pictures up ,when I check on your blog late at night when I'm up to no good, like looking for something chocolaty and gooey :)
    How does it go? If you're happy and you know it, bake a pie :)
    You're just an amazing girl, that manages to pull herself through, how tough that must be. Take your time and handle yourself with care, your tough yet fragile, go slow, yet stand proud of how you cared for that little angel, Aviana.
    Lots of hugs,XOXO
    cindy in nc

  5. Hi Pie!

    I'd so love to make pie for you! That would be great! Yeah, that's not good to see these in the dead of the night. Ouch.

    I like the toon. That's exactly as I remember it too : )

    Thank you for all the love!


    I'm happy I got your email! I guess I was typing a wee bit too fast. Ha Ha!!

  6. Sure soon you will have your "test" passed with flying colors. Love all of your pie pictures an awesome job know they are so delicious. Love the descriptions you use in your writings! Keep enjoying Tahoe sure things will continue to go well for you-Dave.


    1. Thank you Denise : )

      I told Dave I wanted to road trip to Maine, definitely passing through Savannah and I think the other place I added in Georgia was Charleston. His back screams, especially while driving. We drove from California to Oregon in February and both had a hard time sitting still ; ) Our Maine trip dreams went out the window, but I'm still thinking someday.

      I bet they have some great pie there!



  7. COSTA RICA!?!? ✈️✈️ I hope my airplane emoji come through. And TEACHING!?!? I must talk to you. I feel bad because I haven't talked to you in forever and here you've gone through all of these life changing, well, changes! I can't wait to hear more about it! I love you and I'm loving the pie parts!

    1. Costa Rica! Yes, da planes came through! It's been way too long since we've talked, but I did get your Stripy Jen text last night : ) : )

      I love you too, and would love to see some of your Caneo parts!

  8. I have been gone from the computer since it is wildlife baby season, so waiting on formula to heat I decided to turn on the computer and check up on you. OMG those pies - I am so happy that you are baking again. You will be such a great teacher and with all of your ideas!! Miss and Love y'all! Julie in Texas

    1. Baby season! I wish I could see : ) Thank you for the pie love. Yes... I can never stop with the baking. I love it sooooo.....

      A substitute teacher, who would have thought! Thank you so much ❤️ I miss and love you too Julie! It's always so nice to see your name : ) : )

  9. You will be an amazing teacher!! You are a natural. I know because I spent 34 years teaching/counseling in public schools! Some folks are just made to meet the needs of others. I birthed a son and a daughter who are both teachers; they are amazing too. Keep us posted on how that goes. I think it will be wonderful therapy for you. And your pies!!!! Oh my goodness. They look perfect! I think of you often because you know two of our granddaughters are adopted from Guatemala. I think of your mom too!!! God bless you, dear Jen. My daugher is Jen also!!! Vicki from Memphis area

    1. Awww Vicki... thank you, for so much. I appreciate your love and support. You are too kind. I passed the cbest this last time and am in process of having my fingerprints completed so I can turn all my paperwork in : ) I can't wait to get started! I think this will be a great fit.

      Thank you for thinking of my mom as well. You are so sweet.

      I remember your daughter being a Jen too! That's funny!

      Love to you!