Oil of Olay is the Secret to Beautiful Skin

Written by Lee

At least that’s what my grandma would tell me. Her skin was awesome. Sure it looked kinda like it had been around for a while. Hell, she was 90 but I’ll tell you, her skin was sooooo soft and really? Had minimal wrinkles.

I always told her that I hoped I looked as good as she did when I was 90. But I guess to look that good, I need to start using Oil of Olay. And I haven’t. What’s my problem?

Two years ago today, my grandma Anne, less than two months shy of 91, slipped away from us and headed to the next world. She was so strong, so vibrant, so happy, I guess I just assumed we would have her until at least 100.

I miss her.

When someone lives for 90 years on the planet, you just expect that the time they spent living and the impression they made in the clay of the earth would be so indelible and lasting that I could look around me and catch glimpses of my Grandma in the air.

But two years later I feel that her presence is not as available to me as I want it to be. When she first passed, I felt her. I knew she was just a reach away into the sky – her soul still lingering for all of her loved ones to feel. She didn’t speak to me then – at least not her voice – but her soul spoke to mine and I knew she was still with us.

I wonder as time passes if the souls of the departed drift further to their place in the after-world making it harder to get in touch with them. I still have moments when I feel my grandmother’s presence – but it’s only when I am very very still. Which is rare.

So I am left with memories and stories and cookbooks to infuse my living life with her deceased one. And I want to do all that I can to feel her. The her that was living and such a precious soul in my life.

My grandma loved to bake and she gave me a Kitchen Aid mixer as my wedding gift. Whenever I bake, I think of her. I stand at my mixer watching the dough swirl remembering the cookies, cookie bars, 7-layer cookies, holiday cookies, Polish “kolaches”, rum cakes, pound cakes, coffee cakes, birthday cakes and all of the smiles plastered on our faces after eating some of her yummy treats.

She was baking almost until the day she died. It was her gift.

I have some of her cookbooks now filled with notations in the pages marking what recipes she liked and the dates she baked it. From one of her cake books, I have learned that on 11-15-05 (my birthday) she made Ambrosia cupcakes and she decided they were “very good.” And on 8-13-05, she baked a pineapple inside-out cake and deemed it “crumbly.”

In the chaos of my life as a mama to three young kids, I must remember to find the time in between the hustle and bustle to slow down and honor my grandma’s rich and storied life. And with three kids ready to bake anytime I am ready, I realize this is a perfect way to keep her soul close to us in a tangible way.

To me, she was “Grams” or “Gramma” and to my kids she was “GG Anne.”

I miss you Gramma.

Now I must bake.

A recipe from GG Anne’s kitchen:

GG Anne’s Filled Coffee Cake

2 sticks margarine or butter
4 eggs
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups sifted flour
I can pie filling
1 t vanilla

1/4 lb. butter
7-8 oz. cream cheese
2 T vanilla
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Cream margarine or sugar well. (My grandma preferred Imperial Margarine for all of her baking.) Add whole eggs one at a time. Add sifted dry ingredients, then add vanilla.
Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 pan. Pour all dough but one cup. Place your favorite flavor pie filling on poured dough then spoon rest of dough on top. (Cherry Pie filling works excpetionally well with this recipe.) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Frosting: Mix above ingredients and spread generously over top of coffee cake. Or if you don’t want this heavier frosing, sprinkling some powdered sugar on top instead works just as well.

Enjoy this yummy cake with those you love.

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