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Dear Shaina,

I never intended you to feel responsible for my worry. In turn, I don’t want to take responsibility for your annoyance or have to censor my feelings. I remind myself daily that it is not my job to make your life OK. You are very capable of doing that yourself. That doesn’t stop me from feeling your angst or wanting to hear about it. A final note on worry and then I hope we can move on…a Bubbe quote…The bigger the child, the bigger the worries. That’s just the way it is!

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I am sitting on my chaise lounge in our newly redone bedroom. The same chaise lounge that has been with me since my early adulthood in Cleveland. It was the first real piece of furniture I ever bought and was a major splurge at the time. It has lived in all my homes, has been transformed by new upholstery and has traveled from living room to bedroom to basement den and now to its new place in our bedroom. I think it has finally found its home…after 30 + years. I am sitting on it, beside a window with my computer and a mug of coffee on a side table. I am also finally at home in this room.

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It think finding home takes longer than we think. It’s not that I wasn’t at home in this house that we have lived in for thirty years. It’s just that the gradual tweaking and adjusting evolves over time. Kind of like getting into bed at night…you plop down and then you adjust your pillow because it doesn’t feel like its in exactly the right spot and you move your body around until you get into a comfortable position and you’re still not done. The process continues as you adjust your environment, almost unconsciously, in response to the cues your body is sending…that is, if you’re listening. The knowing and blending and balancing of the internal and external is forever.

Dad's work!

Dad’s work!

You have the gift of both listening and responding to your comfort cues. Berkeley may not be the perfect home for you forever, but I know you will tweak all that can be tweaked to make it as much home for you as possible for now.

We will be there in a week and I have already started gathering your stuff to bring to you. I am looking forward to seeing you and doing my part to help you settle in.

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I have been doing some baking for the upcoming weddings and decided to make Naomi’s Chocolate Streusel Bars. As always, they turned out great and everybody loves them. I am sharing the recipe here because people keep asking for it. I won’t have room to bring them to you, but we can always make some in your kitchen.

I am so looking forward to being with you in a week!

Love,
Mom
xoooxoxoxoxxoxo

Naomi’s Chocolate Streusel Bars

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  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can(14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • 2 cups(12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

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1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
2. Stir together flour, sugar and cocoa in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg; mix well. Set aside 1-1/2 cups mixture. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.
3. Bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in medium microwave-safe bowl, place sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup chocolate chips; stir. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; pour over crust. Add nuts and remaining chips to reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over top.
4. Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

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