Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OOooookay, so I lied.

I have decided that writing under deadlines and pressure bothers me.

I like to take my time with my characters and write and edit at my own pace; sometimes I work all night, sometimes I work a couple hours, sometimes I read what I've written and mull it over in my mind.

SO, I have decided that NaNoWriMo is not for me.

I had some fun with my beginning idea, and I may go back and add to the the 20 or so pages I've been working on, but frankly... for me it's about quality not quantity.

There is something about being required to post daily word counts and the graph of measurement that NaNoWriMo uses to track "progress," that bothers me.

I spoke to an incredible author about my feelings concerning this irritation and he agreed with me.

Yes my friends. T.A. Barron thought that I should simply allow my fingers to follow my heart.

So, poems I can flit about and write quickly on command; long ones even.

Novels and books? No.

I may work more on the NaNoWriMo piece I started. I like the idea. It's fun.

However, I am not going to feel guilty and coerced into putting crapola on the page just so I can update a meaningless "word count," and "win," at the end of the month because I met a goal set by someone else.

Don't get me wrong, I have a SUPER AWESOME FRIEND who participated in NaNoWriMo last year, and she's doing it again this year and loving it.

To Leauxra, I say: BRAVO my dear! YOU ROCK MY SOCKS and I hope to read your November novel.

For me though, I feel pressure, and so if I finish according to their timeline: Great. If not, well, that's great too.

So now I leave you with a poem that I wrote and posted on Soul Pancake about an amazing picture prompt (that you can see here from this SoulPancaker's Blog:)

If I could bottle comfort, I'd give it to you so that when I am gone, you'd have it.

If I could put my voice in too, I would, so when I am gone, you'd hear it.

For you my Dear, I'd trap the smells of pumpkin pie, and sunshine on dirt, and salt water on skin, and clean baby hair and fresh strawberries; all in the bottle for you to breathe in when you wish.

I'd trap the feel of warm sweet kisses and tight full hugs, and the taste of toffee melting on your tongue.

I'd coax in to that bottle the tingling of a warm moonlit breeze across your bare skin; that would go in.

I'd slip in words and whisper "I love you," so that every time you tilted the glass, my heart would make the edges glint and glisten emotion within.

I'd put all my comforts in the bottle for you; this I would do.


Oh, and I had an awesome birthday. WOOT! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today Something Begins...

I am going to try something exciting and new.

I am going to attempt to participate in National Write A Novel Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo).

This means that I will cease editing my other two not-quite-finished books, and begin writing a new one--- just for this month of November.

It's going to be my birthday present to myself as my birthday lies exactly a week from Halloween.

Today is the FIRST day.

This November Novella is going to be a fairy-tale: DOUBLE the FUN!

As I said before, my fantastical adventure story (book one) and my basic food novel (book two) will both be on hold for this month... unless I get really stuck and need to work on another project to rejuvenate myself... which is why I began the second book in the first place... that, and food pornography (for lack of a better term) is REALLY fun to write...

Additionally, I am going to attempt the incredible for me: As I finish each chapter of the November Novella, I'm going to post it here.

For people to read. People such as yourself. ;-)

That's right... I'm going to display things IN THE WORKS here on MWMWL as I go.

Mind you, they'll be edited chapters. This will be in addition to my morning walk musings; quite the endeavor!

However, I'm going to attempt to document myself with updates here as well as on the word count NaNoWriMo site-- baring my soul for anyone who cares to see.


Let's hope that all this is possible.

 This weekend I have a musical performance at a well known hotel and I'll be gone Friday through Sunday afternoon.

Two days later my birthday happens.

A day later, my mum arrives for a visit.

A few days after that I head to OK for a wedding shower.

Then it's Thanksgiving.

Then the month is OVER and the novel MUST BE FINISHED!

Now, perhaps you are wondering: Why a fairy-tale?

Well, because they're such delightful fun.

Villains are really delicious characters to write; besides, I'm tired of all the rescuing being done by romantic interests in the story... it's time to re-establish the kind of character who has their own passion and adventure in their own tale.

Plus, it's funnier if characters are more independent versus codependent.

Besides, funny things happen with stories that begin with, "Once upon a time..." and it's going to be quite an experience to take control of such a classic genre for myself.

Also, I want to invite you all to feel free to provide feedback and/or constructive criticism via the comments here as the November Novel progresses along.

Wish me luck, because this feels as if it's a HUGE DEAL!



Sunday, October 28, 2012

THREE: Halloween

Orange and Black.
Candy corn.
Popcorn balls.
Chocolate coins.
Fun sized sweets.
The smell of rubber, duct tape, plastic and sugar.
Adults smelling of perfume and sweat beneath heavy costumes.
Things that flash and glow.
Pumpkin shaped everything.
Cheesy music.
Skeletons, black cats, witches, ghosts and monsters.

The excitement and smell of crisp air, musty leaves and lobotomized pumpkins.
The way you feel when you put on the make-up, mask, hood or hat that transforms you into... someTHING or someONE else.

The mystery and fun of ghouls, goblins, witches, cutesies, scaries and unidentifiable children and adults in costumes roaming the streets.

When I was a kid, Halloween was my FAVORITE holiday. It's the day and night where the whole world plays pretend and has to activate imagination.

The world seemed magical on Halloween: the past could come alive, ghosts could walk the earth and come back, midnight truly was the witching hour on this day more than any other.

It was exactly a week before my birthday, so it was sort of.... the beginning of fun in fall.

As an adult, I dress up and decorate and still LOVE Halloween, but the disappointment that occasionally happened as a kid feels magnified when I go through the effort of Halloweening the house and no trick-or-treaters come to my door.

When I was a kid, I can remember a few Halloweens where I had costume disasters, adventures cancelled due to weather conditions, and plain' ole differences in celebration.

Vermont kids don't really trick or treat unless they live 'in-town,' because you'd need a car to get from one house to the other, and it's REALLY, REALLY cold in October, so you have to wear a coat over your costume; which is no fun at all.

Also, nothing is worse than people not knowing what your costume is.

"What are you supposed to be Sweetie?"

"I'm a zombie football player from Beetlejuice. Duh."

"Oh... well, that's nice."

Or the year that I was Ariel from The Little Mermaid.... and I couldn't walk in my costume --- UGH.

A few years ago I dressed up as Rogue from The X-Men for a Halloween party. I had no posse of Wolverine, Storm, etc.

No one knew who I was.


The year before last, I bought lots of candy, decorated the house and gate, dressed up and waited patiently by the door, exited for it to ring and to see all the kiddies dressed up and looking cute.

No one came.
Not a single kiddo.

We called J's (and soon to be my) nieces and nephews over and gave them practically a bag of candy each. J juggled for them and they had to pick what they wanted out of his pattern in the air.

Last year, J and I dressed up as Waldo and Wanda (we looked GOOD) and waited again with candy. Again, no kids showed.

I learned that people here take their kids to the MALL to gather candy.

Let me just say that I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with that practice.

Part of the fun of Halloween is visiting your neighborhood and then driving to family's houses to continue the candy collecting (or in some cases-- VERMONT--- driving into town to walk the main  neighborhood streets).

You meet your school friends and your neighbors. You sing-song "TRiCK or TrEat!" at each doorbell knock or ring. You see that elderly neighbor who demands that you perform a dance, poem or talent to receive your sweet. You get EXERCISE and EARN your candy so that when you get home you're tired.

THAT is part of Halloween.

Not wandering around a climate controlled mall where you just grab candy and stare at people.

Also, about the whole x-ray the candy thing....

Sheesh, if you're going to houses of folks you know (a.k.a. your neighbors, friends and family) then you shouldn't have to throw away the homemade candy apples, popcorn-balls or seven-layer bars because there's no danger.

Also, last I knew, most kids go out with an older relative or an adult--- SAFETY.

I think that it's outside the neighborhood say, at a mall.... *ahem* where it would be MUCH easier for a stranger to contaminate candy.

Anyway, ranting aside, I still love Halloween and I'm still dressing up this year.

Even if NO ONE comes to my door I will have candy ready, because that's the spirit of excitement.

The history of Halloween may be about the dead walking the earth, but until I'm a ghost I can provide candy.

If no one shows up, I'll just read Edgar Allen Poe aloud and watch a cutesy spooky (not horror) movie-- like Hocus Pocus, The Boogie Man or The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Then I'll read some more poetry and tell a ghost story or two.

Oh, and when J and I have kids, they won't be going to the mall.
They'll be hiking around to family and friends earning their sugar old-school-style.


TWO: Love


It snowed Thursday and Friday last week.

The days were delightfully gray and cold; wet and sloppy and most definitely weather for jackets, hats and scarves.

Thursday morning I attended a memorial service for J's father, who passed away three years ago this Halloween.

I was honored to be included and reminded of how short life truly is... at any moment it could be taken away.

I am of the opinion that this does not mean that one should live in fear of death or heart failure or freak bus accidents, but rather that you should tell the ones you love that they matter immensely every chance you get.

I make a practice of telling my friends that I love and care about them too.
The snow coated everything in the hush of heavy white; the muddy drive leading into the cemetery was a dull brownish gray; mixing to a tan where the snow had melted and then covered again.

We were the last car to arrive.

Everyone was standing around the plaque of the gravesite. Sitting in a line of green wood and canvas chairs in front of the astro-turf pedestal upon which a folded up American flag, a small leather book and a reddish metal canister were displayed. 

A basket full of paper cups, lids and a thermos coffee pot was propped on a chair in the second row. 

We walked up to the group; steaming cups in their hands from which wafted the smell of artificial hazelnut or caramel coffee. 

Each person standing had a somewhat different look on their face: awkward, complacent, antsy, relaxed, cold, staid but cheerful, smiling simply and still.

Music was blaring muzzily out of J's step-mom's (B's) pocket: her phone set to Pandora mobile I suppose.... she began speaking. 

"Thank you all for coming. It's been three years and it's finally time..." she stated somewhat cheerfully, but warmly.

Her pocket renewed it's loud blaring and then switched to some sort of commercial.

"I'm not sure if you all know this, but T prayed each and every morning. He prayed for you kids..."

-------'Are you prepared for...' some actor's voice interrupted her, blabbing on scratchily about life-insurance... she continued on.

"So I would like to read from my list of..."

-----------'Be prepared today!' the commercial ended with buzzing chimes which faded into a Christian Rock song...

I noticed that at one end of the circle, G, E, H and J had begun to link arms; H grinning at me sweetly across the circle.  I shuffled closer to L and linked her arm; she slipped hers into C's. Halfway through the speech, he linked his into J's.

Suddenly, the gathering was put on the spot. 

"Now, let's everybody say something nice you remember about T," B commanded.

Little by little, each member began to speak... at some point, E stepped over and grabbed B's blaring cell-phone and shut it off.

"I remember how we'd be in the car with him, and he was really a quiet guy otherwise, but when we were driving and someone almost had and accident or made a mistake or whatever, he would yell 'CRASH!' really loudly and it always scared me and made me giggle at the same time..."

"He never did that with us in the car," J began, "but I remember when I totaled the truck---"

"Yes, are there any of his kids here who didn't wreck one of his cars?" 

"He was always calm and caring about it. He cared more about people being safe than the vehicle---"

"Yes, he would say, 'Cars can be replaced; people can't."

"He paid for my school in New York--"

"Yeah! He was always supportive. For example, when I wanted to go live in Paris, he was all for it. He was the parent whom you went to when you wanted the other parent to agree with you.."

"I only met him once, but my first impression of him was the same as what you all call him all the time--- teddybear. Tall and round and bearded and warm." I said. 

Everyone rambled on for a while remembering T.

Apples and peanut butter.
Orange slices.
The Beatles.
Working on electronics and computer parts with him.
Building bookshelves.
Cinnamon coffee.
E-mails about selling cookies.
Being supportive.

Some slight disagreements flowed briefly in and out of the conversation. A suggestion to sing was accepted and then refused. Finally the remembrance was over-- I brought my end of the arm links around and linked with J's step-mom so we could have a circle hug.

We all trudged back to our cars. 

"H and J, do you have class?" B asked.

"Yeah, but I'm thinking I'll skip it today," J responded.

"Mine's not until later," H said.

"Let's all go to breakfast at the diner," I said.

"Great!" beamed B.

We piled into our cars and headed out; J and I stopping for H to leave her car at our house so we could carpool to the diner-- which had less than desirable parking options.


That morning we remembered, we ate, we laughed, we reminisced and caught up. A family with sets of blood relations and mostly step or half relations, but all one family. 

People who had come together to remember a man who touched their lives. 
A man who loved greatly and was loved by many.
He is missed, and he will be missed forever.

So, take the time and tell the people you love about the way they've touched you.

There's no time like the present. 

ONE: Today is a Triplentry Day.... Yes, I just made up that word. ;-)


The air was crisp and pink this morning as I stepped outside. Sidewalks were littered with tiny gold-yellow leaves; like a frozen runner along the cement.

Through the haze of the sunrise, I could make out the shadowy and darkened outlines of the trees; backlit against the pastel-coral colored sky.

Breathing in it smelled like... fresh pumpkins.

 Indeed, with my eyes closed, I could've sworn that the earthy, sweet, dusty and clean aroma was emanating from jack-o-lanterns that lined every doorstep in my imagination.

Then a small gust of wind blew my hair from my face and pricked my cheeks.

Fall will soon be over, and the snows shall return.

I decided to call my mum on this walk because she and Dad had just returned from a trip overseas.

We talked pleasantly about museums, cousins, opera, old friends, food, wine and music.

I was reminded how lucky I am to have such parents and people in my life.

My mum also reminded me to vote: which I've already done (mail-in ballot) but not put in the post.

So: Go for walks, revel in delightful people and VOTE!


Triplentry (Yes, Triple + Entry = Triplentry) Prologues:


It snowed Thursday and Friday last week.

The days were delightfully gray and cold; wet and sloppy and most definitely weather for jackets, hats and scarves.

Thursday morning I attended a memorial service for J's father, who passed away three years ago this Halloween.

I was honored to be included and reminded of how short life truly is... at any moment it could be taken away.

I am of the opinion that this does not mean that one should live in fear of death or heart failure or freak bus accidents; but rather that you should tell the ones you love every chance you get, that they matter immensely.



How do YOU celebrate Halloween, and what does it mean to you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spreading the Love with Food...

Sccccrrraaaaaape... scratch, scratch, PLOP! ScrrrrrAAAAAPE-scrape-scrape, PLOP!

Her eyes popped open wide. She instantly held her breath as she tried to identify the noise that had woken her.

Straining, she could hear the faint sounds of wood scraping against metal... the barely-there ring in the air... singing in her ears.

The room was purpley-black, the sheets smelling delicately of downy.

Slowly and carefully the girl twisted and slid her feet from the warm, silky-soft cotton sheets and toward the thickly carpeted floor.

Olive green shag carpet, to be exact.

Emma's little back arched, reaching down the side of the bed. When her toes found the fuzzy warmth, she grabbed gropingly for her red plastic frames on the bedside table.

Glasses on her nose, she tip-toed to the doorway and leaned against the frame. Her knobby, freckled knees peeked out from the oversized t-shirt she slept in; a large, gray, much worn and washed affair stolen from an older male cousin or brother.

Pressing her side into the doorway, she hugged the frame tightly, willing herself not to be afraid.  Her knuckles were white as she gripped the wood, tracing the grooves absent-mindedly with a thumb.

Why are old houses so creepy at night? She whispered silently to her eleven year old self. It doesn't help that I've had the monster dream again, where my family all turn into werewolves, vampires and ghouls... she swallowed.

The hallway was deep and murky; paneled in dark walnut it made a sharp contrast to the light blue pastel walls of the bedroom she was in.

Squeezing her eyes shut as the scary scraping sound began again, she quickly counted to eleven in her head (one year for each in her age). Her breath tight in her chest, she exhaled silently and slowly, feeling goosebumps trickle down her arms and legs, her hair standing on end and sending her into a shiver.

Heart thudding her pulse against her throat, she peered right, then left.

Her bedroom was the front room, on the left side of the corner of the hallway.  She could see that the middle bedroom door on the right, part way down the hall, was open; her grandmother must be awake too.

Looking further down, she could see the blackness of the back bedroom, its door slightly ajar.

She stepped out into the hall and spun around, pinning her shoulders against the wall and freezing motionless for a moment. When nothing grabbed her, she began inching toward the dark of bathroom doorway.

There was a light on in the kitchen; the glow was leaking out into the hall.

Her hair had flopped thickly into her eyes. She roughly shoved the curls away so she could see, then padded silently toward the kitchen door, hugging the opposite wall with her back just in case something decided to jump out at her.

Then, the scraping stopped completely.

She was perhaps a foot from the door, splayed tightly against the wall.

Suddenly, a round figure burst through the swinging dutch doors of the kitchen, blocking the glow.

"What in the world are you doin' out here pressed against the wall Kid?" Her grandmother asked her sternly, frowning down at the child over her apron.

The woman wasn't tall, just under five feet, with ample curves above and below her tiny waist. Her bunny-slipper covered feet were spread shoulder-width apart; a linebacker couldn't have knocked her off balance.

She had one hand propped on her hip, and the other waggling a wooden spoon covered in cookie dough at the girl's nose. Her curly silver hair was coiffed perfectly; framing her ruddy cheeks and head like an electric halo.

"Well, I heard a noise and---"

"Fair enough. You wanna' help? Lordy! You 'bout  scared the bejeezus outta' me like that.  I oughta' make you warsh' dishes, you little TURKEY!" she finished with emphasis, grabbing Emma by the back of her t-shirt and hustling her into the kitchen.

The yellow, orange, white and green plaid linoleum gleamed brightly in the stove light. The shades were drawn, but the first light of sunrise was shining pinkly through their translucent cotton eyelets. The cream coloured walls with  50's style stripes and daisies began to lighten as the sun came up.

"Wash your hands and bring that stool over t'me," the old woman bellowed, tossing the spoon back into an enormous metal bowl and scraping the dough into a  large ball in the middle.

Well, that explains the scary sound, thought Emma as she smiled to herself.

Cookie pans were greased and ready on top of the gas stove, as she brought the stool to the counter beside her grandmother.

Winking and staring sternly down into her granddaughter's brown eyes, magnified by their red frames, she thrust two teaspoons in to her little hands.

"Scoop 'em and ball 'em and put 'em not more nor less'n 2 inches apart on those sheets, y'hear?"

"Yes Ma'am," came the proud reply.

Leave it to her grandmother to make cookies at 4:30 AM the morning of Halloween.


I love food. I also love cooking.

I have been known to bake things "simply because," and lately my culinary creations have revolved around chocolate.

I bake every week for my choir companions (we rehearse fairly late in the evening) so this week it was double chocolate pecan cake and petit fours.

Fairly easy.

First take your favorite chocolate cake recipe (mine is gluten-free, vegan and has a bit of pumpkin and coconut oil in it) and add chocolate chunks/chips and pecans. Bake per usual.

Easy, huh? :-D

The petit fours I made were mocha cake with cinnamon coconut cream as the filling, and covered in dark chocolate-- again, all gf and v.

Having never made petit fours before, I owe my success to a petit-four pan-- I didn't have to fuss with baking sheet cake,  freezing it and then carving or cutting out the little shapes with cookie cutters.

 BAH to that I say! Not when there are pans with teensy little cake shapes that waste none of the precious batter! :-D

Anyway, I say the way to people's hearts is most definitely through their stomachs.

So, go show someone you love them.

Bake, cook, toss or just offer somebody a bite.

They'll love you for it. :-D

Sunday, October 7, 2012



My head felt like a black, ink-filled, fuzzy mess this morning as I awoke to the blaring of the alarm clock.

Trying to focus  my bleary eyes, I realized that I didn't feel quite like my usual chipper self as I flipped out of bed. My feet were cool on the smooth wood floor of our bedroom.

 Maybe it's because the heater is on now, and there's that strange musty, burning dust smell that always wafts out the first few days... I thought to myself.

 The temperature has been hovering around freezing lately, and I would go so far as to say that "groggy," has become the word of the day.

Failing to suppress the shiver wriggling lightly over my shoulders and down my spine, I noticed that J had beat me to the bathroom by a few seconds.

Blast. I really had to go. Why is it that bodily functions feel so much more urgent when a body's cold?

As I hopped from toe to toe in an attempt at keeping warm and my mind off my necessaries, I practically burst through the bathroom door when I heard the slow creeeeeak of  his exit.


Relieved, I waited for the tap to warm up before plunging my hands beneath it's steamy gushing; hoping to rush some heat back into my fingertips; noticing that my feet were warm in the designated spots where he'd stood moments before on the frigid tiles.

I quickly slipped into jeans and a heavy, oversized sweatshirt; feeling the cool fabric whoosh away my accumulated body heat. Again, a shiver crept over me; up my spine this time, so that I could feel the tickling, tingling hairs on my neck and head rising.

Stepping into the warmth of the kitchen just as J pressed down on the coffee grinder, I waited for its growl to subside before I said, stating the obvious:

"Jeebus it's cold this morning," with my teeth chattering slightly.

He grinned at me from the end of the counter, tapping the fresh coffee grounds into the brown of the recycled paper filter.

With a quick kiss on my forehead and a hasty hug, he started the percolator and zoomed about the house gathering his work things. As soon as the hissing coffee maker announced that it was possible to fill his mug, J was off with another kiss and quick squeeze.

"Have a nice day J," I called after his long-legged form as he stepped off the back porch in one and a half strides.

"You too Darlin," he said beaming up at me, his eyes twinkling beneath his knit cap, all wicked and sparkly in the frost of his warm breath in the cold, cold air.

Closing the door behind him, I felt the rush of warmth return. The kitchen seemed glowing and golden around me even though the sun wasn't bright and fully shining as of yet.

I filled my own mug with hot steaming coffee and donning a down vest and mittens, I pulled on my snow sneakers and went to the front door. Thinking better of it, I attempted to trap my curls under a cotton-fleece hat, but my hair was having none of it, so with a sigh I grabbed a less warm, baseball cap.

I slipped my keys into my pocket and stepped out onto the front porch to begin my walk.

A curtain of icy air enveloped me as I turned to lock the front door.

I was instantly reminded of those aching, chilly and burningly cold mornings I spent as a child, waiting for the school bus.

Briskly walking down the steps and through the front gate, I felt my lungs protesting as the cold flowed in; my eyes pricking with tears as my nose went numb.

This feels just like Vermont,  my brain said cheerfully and I began my round of the neighborhood.


There's something about the gray, icy cold that makes me want the smoky comfort of a wood burning fireplace or stove. The way that the warmth sizzles and dances as it rises and rushes to meet the cold air outside the flames.

Fire is magical in that manner. The basic need for our bodies to remain a comfortable temperature is a fundamental need. To be too cold or hot is to be instantly cranky and uncomfortable in one's own skin.

Occasionally I wake up expecting to see the forest out my bedroom window, or the rocky shore of the New England Sea.

I miss the ocean a lot. I also miss the smell of the snow on the maples and pines; the way your boots CRRRRRACK, CRUNCH, SHHHH, as you break through the glazed over blanket of white covering everything; the glinting of iced over budded branches after a sleet storm-- the silver reflecting off their sparkling skeletons of wood.

Winter is a time of mystery, enchantment and simple calculation. I always reach for Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, the Bronte sisters, Shakespeare's Tragedies...  those words hit me when it's cold; when the harsh finality of winter creeps in, like a delightful melancholy that I can revel in.

I love the sense of Gothic Romance that I recapture every year, as autumn trips delicately and is caught in winter's icy grasp.

Fall is beautiful; like the last dance of the earth's beauty before she slips into the graceful, darkened, sleeping death that is winter.

The fall and snowy holidays have always been my favorite; perhaps because cheerfulness and fun are made more exciting by the dichotomy of the bleakness in which they reside.

Winter is beautiful and dangerous... some might say, like the wrong kind of partner. ;-)

Oh, how many of us have fallen for that mysterious, moody, sexy and seemingly 'wrong,' person? Love affairs are like the seasons; they change.  Hopefully we find another person who has enough range (like the weather) to keep us interested, excited and appreciative.

We move through phases of attraction just as the earth moves through her wardrobe of color and thermostat--- if a person is lucky enough to meet up with someone who loves them back, however brief or lengthy the time; life is worth it.

Hopefully we learn from all our mistakes and follies...  enjoy each season as it happens, passes and shifts... knowing that it will come again, whether we desire it or not, and that we must eventually prepare or be overtaken by the transition.

It is this changing of the seasons that acts as the anchor, the constant; the chapter headings in the book of being alive.

I am of the opinion that partners should be able to dance through the seasons; change with the tides and times; grow into and around each other and flex with the wind, rains, suns and snows.

Love should change and develop with the seasons; no autumn, summer, spring or winter is the same as the last--- so should love be different, dynamic and newly familiar each time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Smell of Snow!

A purple glow invaded my consciousness as I opened my eyes. My nose felt cold... in fact, my whole face felt cold above the warm cloud of comforter. Slowly twisting to glance at the clock, it read 5:50 AM.

Strangely, this did not elicit groaning from my sleepy brain. 

I felt my system rapidly buzzing, my whole body was waking up very quickly.  I knew that any attempt at sleeping further would be entirely futile.The realization that my cheeks and skin were flushing in the cold early morning air was certainly strange though... isn't our bedroom still inside the house? 

 Carefully and gently, I extricated myself from the steaming warmth of the blankets and padded into the bathroom.

The tiles felt freezing.

I grabbed my robe and tip-toed into the kitchen. Opening the side door I peeked out into the blue gray air. Frost had covered the grass and trees like a transparent white glaze; mist was floating and rolling around the yard. 

I took a deep breath in and sensed something else in the fresh air... something besides the crisp early morning dew, besides the musty smell of dry leaves and earth and beyond the clean smell of the night's rainfall. 

I was inhaling the scent of snow.

Today was going to be an exciting day. 


There's something magical about the smell of the sky when snow is building inside the fluffy, silver depths of the clouds.

That smell makes me long for fall in Vermont.

 I want to see the cascading flush of crimson, gold, orange, yellow and brown leaves again, hear the morning silence as the fog falls in billows down to the meadow, chased away by the pink and glowing gold of dawn.

I want to breathe in the fragrance of maple syrup warming on the stove as it mingles with the scent of freshly ground coffee and biscuits; spreading out from the kitchen like buttery fingers wafting through the entire house, both upstairs and down.

I want to see the frost on the trees and the first large flakes that fall in slow-motion; fat and outlined against the street-light lit blue evening.

I can almost feel the first, gentle winter winds pricking my cheeks and tickling my eyes with tears as my  scarf is blown about.


Winter is coming and I know because this morning, I scented snow. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Updates, Cupcakes, Sleeping Lates and Syncopates...

I've been absent a while.  I've been making things like pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes, applesauce cookies, chocolate oatmeal blueberry plumb crumble bread, and pumpkin pie bites. J and I have also been sleeping in as much as we can because of his crazy work/school schedule.

Sorry about that. I didn't intend to neglect my blog, I promise.

I've been baking every week for my choir: they're perhaps not aware that they've been eating vegan, gluten-free, entirely organic, low-sweetner treats for the past few weeks.


However, today I am going to make chocolate chip cookies: Gf flour, dark chocolate chunks, bananas, cinnamon, brown sugar, raw sugar, baking soda, a pinch of sea salt, coconut oil and LOVE.

I may even put some oatmeal and molasses in; just for something new.

Baking and cooking (I've been IN LOVE with casseroles.. more on that later) this past month has been very important to me.

I've been editing, writing letters of recommendation, and finding MORE and MORE things that need to be done.  Such as thank you notes and wedding preparation.

I've been writing a lot in my head, going over and over my novels and making changes and adjustments---- something I've got to do on the page very soon.

For today, I'll leave you with a casserole recipe. I vary it a lot, but here's what I usually do. It's completely organic, vegan and EASY. It tastes cheesy and warm and gooey delicious.

1) Mise en Place:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees; you may want it slightly warmer if you live at altitude (as I do).

1 casserole dish,

1 sautee pan,

1 bag frozen vegetables of your choice (I've been using half spinach and half broccoli),

1 quarter grated squash (been using 1/4 acorn squash or 1/2 to 1 zucchini),

a pinch of salt; pepper; cajun spices or chili powder,

2 tablespoons flour (I use gf oat or bob's red mill)

3 tablespoons (or a bit more) fat (I use coconut oil, but butter would work too)

Approximately 3/4 to 1 Cup liquid (I use almond milk, but any dairy or unsweetened/flavored milk substitute would work)

1 can pumpkin (NOT pie mix please),

1 fork,

1 wooden spoon,

1 handful slivered almonds and sunflower seeds, OR the savory breadcrumb topping of your choice (heck, use fried onions if you want, I don't care).

2) Dump frozen veggies and shredded squash/zuchinni in casserole (you can grease or NOT grease the casserole dish with fat, it doesn't really matter). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper and chili spices. Set aside.

3) Place the sautee pan on the stove on medium low. Add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil/butter. When melted, add the 2 table spoons of flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon so that it does not burn. This is called making a rue. You want to cook the flour until it smells nutty and darkens in color (it should smell buttery, like rolls baking in the oven) -- my grandmother would say at LEAST 3 to 5 minutes. If the mixture in the pan is more watery than gooey, add a bit more flour and cook another few minutes.

4) Then, gently season the rue with salt, pepper, chili powder, and slowly add your almond milk (or other liquid dairy/milk substitute). KEEP stirring and turn the heat to medium. The mixture should hiss a bit when you add the liquid, and begin to form blobs. It will keep thickening to the consistency of gravy! This was our GOAL! :-D You may want to add more liquid if it's too thick. If it's too runny, don't worry, this next step will solve that. When the gravy has reached the desired thickness, turn the heat back to low.

5) Open the can of pumpkin and stir it up inside the can with a fork. You want it to look whipped, not chunky. Add by the forkful to the gravy in the pan a little at a time, stirring with the fork to prevent lumps and incorporate the pumpkin smoothly into the sauce.

6) When the pumpkin is all mixed into the gravy, it should be a nice brown orange color. Taste it (carefully, it's HOT) and adjust seasoning-- you can add herbs or a little worcestershire sauce if you like to make it less pumpkiny and more cheesy. MMMM.....

7) Turn off burner. Pour gravy over veggies in casserole dish and carefully stir. Or don't. It doesn't really matter, but it will cook more quickly if you stir because remember, we used some frozen veggies.

8) Sprinkle with the almond/sunflower seed mix OR your breadcrumb mix.

9) Place in oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until an inserted fork comes out warm all the way down the tines, and the top of the casserole is brown and crunchy.

10) A good way to know if it's done is if you can smell the DELICIOUSNESS from the living room/throughout the rest of the house.

11) Remove casserole from the oven and set to cool for 10 minutes. Then EAT. I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of mine because it adds to the cheesy flavor.


More narrative later. I just felt like sharing some COOKING with you today.


Fall is my FAVORITE!



Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Air is Changing...

The air is changing most certainly now.
I'm quite sure my heart can hear words.
I think that the breezes that slip through the boughs are whispering softly in thirds.

There's a shift on the wind, in the trees and the sea,
All the plants and the earth changing too.
It's a soft storm that grows with the dance of the leaves; if you listen you may hear it too.

It's the season, the time for the reason and rhyme,
All the planets align for the fall.
Soon the birds and the bees and the creatures shall sleep, and the sky; she shall weep for it all.

Slowly curling in swirls fall the leaves as they whorl,
To the ground is the end of their trip.
With the red and the gold, orange autumn takes hold and the warmth of the world slips a shift.

It's a moving transition. Quiet now, sit and listen.
All the music of seasons will sing.
There's no trick to the measure; time signature's pleasure. Undertake to endeavor this thing.

Chill and cold on the cusp; warmth and fire burn lust,
Winter creeps in the dust of the end.
 Soon the grey-white rolls in on the tails of the wind; a new time will begin at the bend.

Bring your heart to the hearth; sip the cool of the dark,
Breathe the air with a spark bittersweet.
All the lives lay to rest with the beat in your chest, snow will silence the rest until spring.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Speaking of Souls Lately...

Today I Haiku for You:

Poems represent
Inner depths inside ourselves
Exposed to the world.

Hug someone today.
Share your spirit freely now
Take the time to give.

Sing my soul, and dance
Twirl, dip, leap, arc, die and fall
Partnering the silent cry.

Hold my hand right now.
Kiss me softly on the lips.
Love can rule the world.

Change the way you think
Alter your perceptions stilled
Step back from the brink.

 Autumn leaves deep hues
Cascading cold window panes
Brisk air breathes us too.

February waits.
Valentines entwine heart lines.
We have set our date.

In Other News:

I recently discovered something amazing...

It's called SoulPancake.

It's a website.

Rainn Wilson helped create it.

Normally I am skeptical of joiney-uppey-websites.

 I'm only on facebook to make my friends and family happy...



It's mind-opening, heart-opening, discussion-oriented, question-asking AWESOME.

You should check it out: Soul Pancake

Love, Hugs and PUMPKINS!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How Old Are You?

The air was crisp this morning.

Not crisp like a packet of crisps, but bright, cold, clear and fresh.

There's just something about fall that makes it my favorite. The spicy smells, the wind, the rain, the gray skies and growing early darkness in the evenings... the early morning sun.

Fall is like spring, but reverse.
You start with the lovely earthy, fresh smells and progress through the sun warming the chilled frost on the blades of grass and the bark of trees, to the dry peppery smell of crunching leaves which cascade into winter.

I need a scarf, I thought to myself as I sprinted through open front door.

Seuss had escaped to the front yard by pawing the door open and it was only because I heard the screen gently bang shut behind him that I knew he'd gotten out.

He was rolling delightedly on the pavement, and then, at my approach, he strolled daintily (if you can call a giant black Maine Coon Tabby dainty) around to the car, winking at me and rubbing his chin and body against the yellow paint of our vehicle.

Sighing to myself and smiling at him, I calmly walked behind until he looked over his shoulder up at me, and sat down.

I scooped the large cat up and his fur was cool, then warm in my arms. He immediately began to purr fiercely, his eyes widening and then closing to satisfied green slits.

He was covered in twigs, leaves and dirt from his little roll.

Why the pavement feels so good to him, I'll never know!

Humming to myself, we strode back into the house.

Plopping him down, I grabbed a light and soft scarf and wrapped it loosely around my neck.  My black cap was slipped onto my crazy hair and coffee in hand, I slipped out the door for a second time, turning the lock behind me.

Walking through the neighborhood, I ran into a fellow and his dog, whom I'd met before on my morning excursions.

We smiled and exchanged pleasantries. I was struck by the briskness of the morning air; noticing he was wearing only a t-shirt and shorts.

Walking down the block and across, I paused by the corner to admire my favorite big old house with the mature trees and wrap around porch. Inhaling deeply I felt the minty, cleansing, frigid air whoosh in and out of my lungs.

I continued on.

Down the sidewalk path, past the old trucks lining the street, across to the big white house with the placard, onto my favorite street.

The one where all the houses seem bright and cheerful; somehow reminding me simultaneously of the old ranch style stone places from my early childhood, as well as the New England victorians. All brightly colored and muted too; beautiful gardens, sunshine filtering through the trees.... I love this street.

As I walked through the cool, I thought... I wonder why I feel old sometimes.

You see, I'm not talking about stiff joints and muscles old (though that happens too); I'm talking about my soul.

My soul feels old.

I don't mean simply the familiar fact that it's been inhabiting my living, eating, breathing cells for almost 29 years now; I'm stating the fact that my SOUL is OLDER than my body.

It just has to be; I can feel it.

Things aren't surprising to my soul.

The way it feels when music of any kind is playing; it likes to vibrate and swell and respond.

The way it feels when I dance or sing.

My soul lives in the center of my being, but sometimes it creeps itself up into my heart and like a warm and furry critter curling up, circling around before bed, it snuggles and wraps around.

This is why I cannot deny my heart anything. Believe me, I've tried.

Any time I attempt to ignore how my heart feels, it completely bites me in the behind -- every, single, time.

My brain occasionally thinks that it can override my heart; that in fact, it is logically in control-- NOT so.

When I think I must go against my heart, I learn the HARD way that it is futile to resist; the heart knows better than the brain speculates.

My heart is willing to entertain ideas from my brain, but never, NEVER will my heart relinquish control.

The heart has more power, you see.

The brain is simply an extension of the heart at the center.

Ever heard of those wild stories about transplant patients? I remember reading one about a fella' who had a heart transplant. Before the procedure, he eschewed red meat and certain types of music, and several other things. After the surgery, he found himself using phrases that he never used to use, craving steak, and liking genres he'd never thought possible.

One of the phrases he used was, "We're copasetic," and I think he said it to the wife of the heart donor, or something, and she gasped, because that was a sentence used by her heart-donor-late-husband.

Muscle memory indeed.
SOUL memory.

Ok, here, I found the story about the  Heart Transplant fellow.

Anywho, I'm not sure why that popped into my head just now, but it makes PERFECT sense to me.

Echoes are real --- energy echoes --- traces of everything that's happened; past, present and future.

Circles are profound for a reason.

Ok, I'm waxing ridiculous here.... but I mean it.

Music, words, touches, smells, tastes, memories, deja-vu, intuition, dreams, reminders, feelings... all of it has meaning when it needs to, and sometimes when it doesn't.

I know because my soul tingles inside my cells every day; and it's OLD.

It's compassionate and it has lived through more than my body has--- it identifies with things that I have never experienced, but which feel true as though I had.

It's one of the reasons I love people of all ages; they're funny, familiar, interesting and my heart reaches out to them of it's own volition --- my body must follow.

My soul is very old, and I'm quite glad it's retained some of the wisdom it had before settling into my body.

Physically I'm pretty young: 29 this November.

However, as my body grows in age, my soul begins to delight because it is OLD, though I am not... yet.

My red-hair has some bright white unicorn strands in it's coppery blend;
my hyper-mobile joints give me more grief than they used to after hyper-extension;
my system wants more raw veggies, fruit and nuts-- less alcohol, sugar and grease;
my stomach argues against caffeine and processed foods;
my system longs for the ocean --- not the pool;
my skin must have it's moisturizer and goodly doses of water all the time;
my muscles must work and stretch-- they have to move to stay toned as they used to have time before-- now they do not;
my elimination system cannot wait or be ignored for long;
my allergies are both worse and better;
and yet....

I am excited to be growing older-- this is a journey that everyone must make, no matter what else they'd like to do.

I want to be the kind of Grandma who has a nickname that isn't Gramma' or Grandmother or Grandma, but more along the lines of Mimi, Gran, Baba or some other hybrid cute old lady label.

Next time, I'll post about the midnight cookies. Halloween is coming up, so it'll be perfect.

For now, I simply know that my body is slowly, but surely catching up to my soul. Certainly my soul will outlive my cells; it's already far older than I think I will ever live to be.

I think there's a joy in life that apexes; I try to live each moment as though it were the time of my life, the continuous and flowing BEST moment of my life.

Sometimes it is and sometimes not.

All I know is that I'm not scared of being old; I'm looking forward to it.

I'm in no hurry of course.  It's about the journey, not the destination, but the age of my soul gives me glimpses of what is to be.

I hope it happens.

My soul is old, and I'm sure it has more wisdom than the youth of my body.

My soul is old; and I am thankful.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Been So Long....

It's been so long since last I wrote; quite busy has been life.
My novel's length has moved along, but blogging-- dull the knife.

J's schedule changed, and rearranged our lives seem now to be.
I hope that next semester switches back for him and me.

The good news: in Vermont we stayed and had a lovely time.
With fresh food, rain and laughter all; twixt parents that were mine.

Soon fall shall sweep into the air; crisp leaves and pumpkin things.
The spicy smells, the scarves and bells to toll in winter brings.

My food woes lift and sink again; it's difficult to bear.
Now salads reign; inflam-X shakes and vegan most my fare.

This summer past, not first nor last my choice of happenings is.
To those I saw, or did not see: my love for you I give.

Shakespeare would say, "You'll rue the day!" of shattered timing shift.
Our wedding plans with reprimands, has February slipped.

On Valentine's, my heart be mine, my fellow soon I'll wed.
To think that three short years have past; time happily spent-- fled.

Some troubled thing my mind doth bring up to the forefront now.
Explain in vain and hopeful must I be until that vow.

Oh creatures here, and reading there please know we'll make it through.
There's not that places lesser deeds before the ones ring true.

With this I leave my blog bereaved but with some stronger hope.
Next time I post; it won't be long, I'll use a faster stroke.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rain Rhymes with Pain, but Please Don't Use It.

I long to feel the rain pour,
My body aches with muscles shorn,
Can't bear to see you any more: Leave well enough alone.
I must needs taste the wet come down,
The water running, swirling round'
Soft, swallow up my heart and drown this hole beneath my breast.
Ears strain to whispers-- thunder start,
Rumbling, rolling deep, to thwart
The thoughts that spaced too far apart make me forget myself.
Commence with the storm,
Weather no surprise,
Raining, drenching cold,
Blood beats warm inside.
Lightening quicken air,
Water take me where,
Cleansing downpour falls,
Crashes over walls.
Heavy liquid lands,
Flows up every space,
Swirls the muddy ground
Floods into this place.
Black and inky torrent,
Drips on every surface,
Maddening the torment,
Quelching in its purpose.
Soak my skin and bones,
Slick me like the stones,
 Fly through night, mine-own; I shall lift my light.
Climb atop the bridge,
Stance upon the ridge,
Toes sink in the pitch; Worlds shine bright below.
Wingspan stretch- full spout,
Fingers spread fanned-out,
Open armed about; Laughter burbling up.
Liquid strip my clothes,
Beat upon my flesh,
Wash away my woes,
Help clean up this mess.
Pitter, patter, pound,
Leaping from the sky,
Raindrops make the sound,
Waves crash by and by.
Seek my soul sustained,
Drench me to the core,
Hope interred remains.
Rivulets keep score.
Deafening the sheets,
Fill me to the brim.
If this love repeats,
Take my heart from him.
Wrap me in the rain,
Steep my soul that's stained,
Fill me up again; Stars mix with the rest.
Slap the streets so black,
Rivers, streams attack,
There's no looking back on this broken bit.
Slicing through the air of night,
Trees sway forth and into sight,
Winds that whip with all their might; Silence is the rest.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Yesterday, and Today.

Thank You Neighborhood

Walking through the neighborhood, see the ground upon I stood.... warm.

Drifting through the open air, a garden here a garden there... fragrant.

Temperature is most delicious, cool, clean and quite nutricious... breath. 

Stepping through the sunlight falling, cascades on the pavement calling... wet.

Shadows dancing through the sun, trees that sway and rooted ton... weight.

Glancing all around my body, morning walks are sure a hobby... fresh.

Memories-- things oft and late, flitting through mine peaceful state... soft.

Time is tender in this place, far away from running race... joy.

Feet tread lightly on this walk, see a person stop to talk... meet.

In this purpose hallowed be, blessing rock and plant and breeze... honest.

Opening my door I find, I leave mind distraught behind... free.

Have a care and blessed be, namaste and love to thee... heart.

Religion's not of what I speak, I say nature, take a peek... open.

Breathe in light and sun and air, take your time and have a care... be.

Tend your life as garden weed, pull the strife and feed the seed... trust.

 What you seek you'll surely find, leave the pain and fear behind... see.

On this walk I do declare, fancy is this morning air... here.

Beat my heart and flow my blood, feel the life that through me thuds... strength.

Close my eyes and feel my skin, tickled by the lightened wind... true.

My world is what I make it, aye, life is choosing living by... thought.

Returning home I feel sensated, relaxed, renewed and hurt abated... I shall walk again.


Warm fragrant breath-- wet weight.
 Fresh soft joy? Meet honest free heart! 
Open be. 
See here: strength-- true thought. 
I shall walk again.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Some Weekends are More Difficult than Others.

Some Weekends...

Alarm doesn't sing, it shouts. 
The time isn't in, it's out.

The plan isn't good, it's poor.
Our feet can't get out the door.

Forgotten is traveling alone.
Mindless a body-like drone.

Too many things left behind.
Strange that we look, but can't find.

Run to the car, scramble in.
The gas light's on E again.

The doctor is waiting for us.
We're trapped behind a great big bus.

No coffee has J had this morn.
I have; he's grumpy with scorn.

We're en route to knife and pain.
Wisdom Teeth removed from main. 

First the nitrous, then the drip.
Into the IV it slips.

J goes out, he seems at peace.
I am ushered to my feet.

Reading in the waiting room.
I feel worried, gloom and doom.

He'll be fine-- I tell myself.
If he's not they'll call for help.

Soon they bring me back to him.
Brightly lit; the room's not dim.

J is groggy, cannot see.
Reaches for my hand, "It's me."

Doc says everything went well.
J can leave and soon will swell.

Lots of rest but please eat food.
Give him drugs to improve his mood.

In a week we shall return.
Follow up exam to learn.

Now must get J to the car.
Weaving, bobbing, it's not far.

Driving home he's feeling sick.
Stomach churning, pain that pricks.

Soon we're home and he's in bed.
Resting softly, propped up head.

Ice packs, pain pills, mushed up food.
Drugs that make him float un-glued.

Swelling cheeks and headache hot.
Rub his feet and soothe his lot.

Cranky, cooped-up, tired and sore.
Advil helps, but not full-score.

Still no sleeping, sweating sick.
Dial up the doctor, quick!

Says it's normal, but if not.
He'll see us; tomorrow sought.

This is how our weekend went:
Difficult, but finally spent.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ah, Memories... Do You Remember, Recall, Review?

I Remember.

I remember when the days were full of sunshine, green grass and tree hugs.
When the light smelled of rain; the sun of dust on the flagstones.
When I was little and the trees, cars and buildings were... not.

I remember my sneakers slapping on the hot, smooth concrete, worn down by tire treads and bicycles.
The haze of heat, wafting and hovering just above the ground and along the skyline. 
Tasting lemonade, sweet tea, and the dark delicious shiver of AC as you step indoors... from out.

I remember soft, wet earth, the smell of dirt off the garden hose, the wet grass sparkling in the sun.
Round fresh tomatoes, warm from the afternoon, glowing in the evening on their spicy vines.
The sigh and whisper of the cool breeze through the trees, outstretched and reaching against the sky.

I remember being called in for lunch, for supper, and to get ready to go somewhere... respectable.
The skinned knees of summer, spring and fall; concrete changes temperature but never texture.
Popping over to neighbor's houses, to talk and learn and explore their lives too.

I remember the soft, firm hands of my mother; her skin like... satin.
The rough, square handsome hands of my father; dirt from the gardens beneath his nails.
The lazy creak of the porch swing as we sat and shivered from the warm rain in the heavy night.

I remember lightening, thunder and staring wonder-struck at the storm.
The buttery, toasty, sweet smell of baking pies, cookies and cakes.
The salty, rich, fragrance of soups, sauces, roasts and stew.

I remember the cool, crisp raw growing things; picked and eaten happily on the ground...by the vine.
The singing smell of pumpkin bread and melting butter; filling the house with it's spicy, deep warmth.
The fall leaves changing colors and the air itself growing crisp and peppery.

I remember warm, sweet smelling sweat glistening on... skin.
The fresh, clean smell of open water; gleaming like molten glass on the surface.
The fantastic mid-weight of a warm quilt- fresh from the dryer, wrapped around oneself.

I remember voices laughing on the wind, leaves twisting and flipping their underbellies upward.
The squelch of cold, cold mud under bare feet; thick like peanut butter left in the icebox.
The taste of candy; gooey and melted from sitting in a pocket too long.

I remember music floating through the neighborhood, oldies and contemporary, classical and jazz.
The stale smell of wood-polish, varnish and leather in the murmuring carpeted quiet of church.
The scolding for tearing my Sunday tights and muddying my dress; climbing trees... to avoid attending.

I remember singing with my family to my father playing the piano. 
My mother perched on the couch arm beside him, her body turned toward the sound.
The still of the night and of the early morning before everything ends... and begins again.

I remember soft lies, kind eyes, lullabies and awkward sighs. 
Not knowing what to say to someone new, interesting and different smelling.
Suddenly shy; sneakers make circles in the dust, or across the grass.

I remember all of my senses alive; taking in; wishing I was older and younger at the same time.
I remember the adventures I had with the people, animals, trees and world I knew.
I remember... and I hope I never forget.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

When It Rains, It Pours...

FINALLY! It's thunder storming... my absolutely favorite weather.

Is it odd that rain cheers me up? Aside from the fact that our state has been on fire; I think not.

I'm always able to think more clearly when it rains.

Yesterday I made cookies with the following (all organic or all natural) ingredients: Irish butter, salt, raw sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, almond milk, coconut flour, brown rice flour, oatmeal, raw pecans, dark chocolate chips and loving, kindly intentions.

They came out very well, though I have to say I like "The Good Life," brand of vegan dark chocolate chunks the best for baking.

Tonight, my plan is  to make veggie soup with (again all organic and all natural) sweet vidalia onions (my favorite onion), salt, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, red wine, vegetable broth and mushrooms. I will begin with coconut oil for my simmering fat, but I may add butter.

I go back and forth about butter-- but one thing's for sure, Irish butter is my FAVORITE-- to cook with, spread on biscuits, you name it.

We'll see what happens.

I've been feeling rather blue lately, and I'm not entirely sure why. Most likely, it's because I've been shirking my writing projects; thus I feel the need to mentally flagellate myself, which I know is in and of itself counterproductive.

However, I am only human.

I keep mulling and spinning all these ideas in my head. I owe you an entry on "The Type of Grandmother I Hope to Be," very soon.

I also owe you the first few pages of my second book writing project.
I'm still nit-picking through my edit phase of the previous novel (the first few pages of which I posted here).

I am currently attempting to get back to basics.  I henceforth dub myself a writer, and I will treat my projects with the respect that I owe them; that is to say that I will dutifully work on them as though I were getting paid for my services--- because, in fact, I am.

The amount of pleasure I gain every single time I work on them is HUGE.

Why then, have I not touched them in two weeks, you ask?
The answer is because I am afraid of the dual nature of both failing and succeeding.

For now, it is time to make soup, write, drink tea, and eat lots of vegetables, nuts and fruits to feed my soul and nourish my brain.

Speaking of amazing food finds, "Outside the Bread Box," is a CO brand that has made the most delicious toasting and sandwich bread I've ever had in my life -- Vegan, Gluten-Free Oatmeal Bread. It has no egg-replacer, no crappy canola oil. It is made with identifiable ingredients and olive oil.

Be still my blessed, beating, gluten-free heart --- I can have SANDWICHES and TOAST again!

Thank goodness for small favors... and awesome people.  I actually called the bakery the first day J and I tasted this bread. I rang them up and thanked them profusely. A sweet, indulgent lady with a lovely warm laugh told me to pop by the bakery the next time I was in Colorado Springs.

You can bet your BUTTONS I will.

I hope everyone has been well, and that there are still folks out there reading! :-)

Love, Hugs and RAIN to you all!
May your puddles be jump-worthy, your rain barrels be splashing full, and your summer nights full of stars that remind you of years gone by, and years to come.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Am I that which I am in Dreams?

For as long as I have living memory, I have had dreams.

Day-dreams; blissfully poetic and fantastical, yet sometimes completely ordinary. These are passing fancies of fantasies that swirl and shift and gleam.

Night-dreams that are always vivid, intricately detailed with plots, scenes, settings, motifs and intense feelings and emotions. These are the dreams that inspire me, that leave me with a distinct feeling all day long, sometimes all week long.

Night-terrors/Nightmares that are absolutely terrifyingly real and serious. These are the gory, fear-ridden, beyond waking up and feeling "okay," experiences, and these are the reason I didn't want to fall asleep as a child, and occasionally, as an adult.

I almost always remember my dreams.

Apparently, this isn't the case for a lot of people.

Everyone has had the experience of waking up with a fleeting feeling of their dream; the wispy threads that float before their eyes beckoning to them to listen, recall and remember.

Most of the time... in fact, I would venture to say 99% of the time, I can always vividly recall my dreams.

I remember dreams I had when I was an imaginative and energetic child; an awkward and delicate pre-teen; an angsty and joyful teenager; an excited and intense 20-something.... these are the years I'm finishing up.

Soon enough I'll be dreaming my way into my 30's, and I have a feeling that it's going to be the same and different; I'll be having dreams I've never begun to imagine before.

Though I'm a full-fledged adult (and I beg to differ by the way that most folks, despite the fact that they've survived 18 years, are by no means at all ready or fit to claim the title) I often wonder what happened to the earlier me?

My sense of self has often shifted with my dreams.

I also have warning dreams -- some would call them premonitions, but really, I just think of them as the 'deja' before the 'vu'. In these instances, my waking life intersects with my dreams; what I've seen, heard, felt and witnessed before.... all very true visceral and intellectual reactions--- all entirely familiar.

Sometimes my grandmother talks to me in my dreams. Sometimes I dream of danger, and I awake with an urgent feeling to check in on a friend and loved one. Most of the time this happens, I don't necessarily tell them about my dream, I simply send them love and well wishes.

Whatever the reason for my dreams, I am eternally grateful and thankful that I have them.

I do not know who I would be, or how I would have developed without the stirrings of my subconscious.

Dreams have helped me survive through my past formative years and into my present ones.

I have no doubt whatsoever that they'll be an immensely important role in my future formatives.

No matter what anyone says, dreams that a person remembers serve a purpose.  They are often a mark of time, emotion, transition, transformance or simply part of a process.

Never let anyone dash them, criticize them, squash, squelch or suffocate them.

In fact, I think that most dreams who have been ill-treated come back louder later. ;-)

Remember, "We are such stuff that dreams are made on," -- Prospero. "The Tempest," IV.I. L156-7.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


My vocal chords are not vibrating,

No worthy sound escapes their shaking,

For in the mountains I did find,

That which I wish I'd left behind,

For coughing, wheezing, gunked up hacking,

In-between my cough-drop snacking,

Is all I have to post of now,

It's simply not enough somehow,

Today I'm writing, clacking keys,

My laptop warming both my knees,

I caught up clients, e-mails too,

Phone-calls, messages old and new,

I'm editing my novel's pages,

Hoping to complete in stages,

That which I have not attempted,

A draft that once my voice has mended,

I shall read aloud to hear,

Every part to change and clear,

All the words that issue forth,

Weighted with a worsted worth,

Woven tightly, as a cloth?

Or loose and holey as a moth-

-eaten fabric; needs repair,

Who will read and enter there?

Can I do it? Will I see?

A writer I'm supposed to be?

Is this project fancy-mine,

Something worth the loving time,

Will it be a well-read book?

With the effort that it took?

I won't know until I'm done.

I must finish all this fun.

I have pages, newly written,

They can sting as though I'd bitten,

Into a lime with salted skin,

Dancing through the light within,

My progress slows, will it lift?

Back to quick, and fast and thrift?

Is the story too far-fetched?

Time and space are aptly stretched.

Readers, if you're in the ether,

Shall I post another chapter?

A novel for adults this is,

But also for some teenaged kids,

I don't know what happens next,

Now I must return to text.