Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It's been all cloudy and gloomy out for the past couple of days.  Thunder, lightening, dark broody clouds...this is what I see when I peek out of the windows at work, through my car window, and as I sit on my sofa looking through my window wall.  Darkness. Rain. Blah.

But there have been a few bright spots.  I've learned to look for them, to bring a bit of sunshine into my life.  There are the daffodils growing at the front door of my church.  Then there was seeing my friend Bev home from Florida.  An unexpected gift from my daughter....  A beautiful piano concerto playing on 90.1 on the way home from work....  kind words from a friend.

Ok. So. That's it.  I'm off to sleep...and try to dream up a few daffodils.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Random Bits

It's a cold, blustery day, and the sun has gone down.  It's been an intense couple of weeks.  Seems like my lists are growing more complex and unrealistic.  But there have been some serious bright spots.  Like tonight...here I sit in at an antique secretary desk from my childhood, with the sweet scent of banana walnut muffins filling my wonderful apartment with anticipation.  I'll  have a great breakfast to go with my morning tea tomorrow. 

Speaking of my beautiful apartment...I can sit here, without worrying that the rain that is pounding down will spring a leak in my roof, or cause plumbing problems.  I love it...if there's a problem, I call maintenance!  I've even learned to like having a dishwasher.  (ok, deep breaths..the world is NOT coming to an end)

I feel like my life is just beginning...anew.  The world feels full of possibilities.  Now if I could just find the Time and Energy to attack those possibilities!  I've been so tired lately...so tonight I'm moving up my bedtime to an early one.  I've even got my bedside book ready.

What?  Oh, the bedside book?  I am currently reading about 4 or 5 books.  My sofa book is Living Oprah (a woman who tried following all Oprahs suggestions for a year, blogged about it and got a book deal too).  My living room chair book is "Vinyl Cafe Diaries" (love it!).  My table book is Kindred in Death.  And I feel I should duck and hide, but my bedtime, put me to sleep after I do my nightly Bible reading (we are on Ecclesiastes), is Twilight.  (quick throwing things).  Whenever I finish any of these, I have two bread baking books, one vegan cookbook, a sci-fi novel called Downsiders, and a new Writer's Digest waiting.  That doesn't even count the books I've waiting for me at the library.  I seriously love reading. 

It's late, I'm tired, and out of random bits.  Time to go curl up with my bedtime book. Night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My daughter, Melody Catherine

Twenty-one years ago, at 4:12pm, I gave birth to a little girl.  She was born with a dark brown mohawk. I'm not kidding.  I full inch of hair on top of her head, and none on the sides.  Her grandmother, upon hearing that I was in labor, immediately hopped in her car, and drove the 4+ hours from Michigan to Indiana, and walked in when she was 15 minutes old. 

She spent most of her childhood under the belief that she was the same age as her twin older brothers-a full 22 months older.  I have little memory of her crawling. As soon as she figured out how, she was running after her brothers.  At 18 months old, she said her first sentence...and I remember it to this day.  "Benny is burrowing my pi-yo."  Though she had trouble with the words 'borrowing' and 'pillow', I was amazed.  And sure enough, there was Ben, fast asleep with his head on HER toddler pillow.  Such an amazing girl!

Then came the day when her brothers went off on the big yellow bus to preschool.  She was mad!  This was the day when she figured out she wasn't one of triplets.  She stomped around all afternoon, until they came home.  Then with a huff, she exclaimed that she was glad that was over.  Oh, her face when she learned they'd be going back the next day!

Then there was the day she was in the doctor's office, when she was maybe 4.  Her father pointed to a poster of a skeleton, and informed her that was inside of her.  She said, "No.  I have an Indian inside of me!"  (her take on my explaining that there was Cherokee blood in our family).

There was the Christmas, where she and her brother Bob abandoned their new toys, and spent most of the day fashioning a two story treehouse out of cardboard boxes (for her Stacy dolls).  It was fun to watch them working together, and going through a LOT of tape!

I've seen this girl grow from a young kid playing with Barbies, to a young lady playing a video game involving racing cars.  She's gone from refusing to wear anything but dresses, to an over sized 'attitude' t-shirt style, to a fashion sense that involved kitty ears and a tail.  (okay for youth group, but she always respectfully removed them before entering the sanctuary).  Her style is ever evolving, but is always uniquely her. 

She is an accomplished artist, in pencil, paint (you should see the paintings hanging in my house!), and on the computer.  She is obsessed with all things Japanese, from the language, to the food (and now I love soba noodles because of her), to the toys (hello kitty, ball jointed dolls, etc).  She is eccentric, has a wicked sense of humor, and a kind heart. 

She is a beautiful soul, and I'm proud to have her as a daughter.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Here I sit, trying to figure out what to write about on my blog today.  And my mind is a drifting.  After a long dark winter that seemed like it was never going to end...today I really truly believe spring is here.  I'm sitting at my writing desk, in a sun filled bedroom, with the window open to my left, and birdsong drifting in.  Beautiful day!  I picked my daughter up from work (it gives me so much happiness to say that!) today, and everywhere I looked there were signs of spring.  And I drove with my windows down (hillbilly air conditioning: roll windows down, & drive fast!), while wearing a tank top I dug out of my summer clothes drawer.

I've distracted by happiness.  It's no longer so dark each day.  My daughter is employed, and feeling positive about life.  My one son is married, and working a great job.  My other son is working, draws a wonderful comic (http://www.bobcomic.com/), just volunteered (again) at the Give Camp (web design for non profits), and I'm so proud of him for that!  Spring is here.  I get to spend part of each day either sewing or writing or both!  I've an entire series of books waiting of which I've only read the first two, and years ago.  OOO.... (oh, sorry... Magic Kingdom for Sale by Terry Brooks). 

I have a job I enjoy, and feel competent at, and work for a great boss.  I am part of a vital, vibrant, active church. I get to spend a weekend a month volunteering at a cool racetrack (from April-September), and be up close to watch the races (and harass the drivers).  I have a best friend that I have known longer than either of us care to think about.  I have other friends, here in the area, who I can call up if I have a bad day, a good day, or just 'feel like some Mexican'. 

I'm getting more at ease with cooking and living vegetarian.  Today I made some baked burritos for dinner (and my lunch tomorrow).  Wrapped in whole wheat tortillas were refried beans (vegetarian, of course), taco sauce, brown rice, orange pepper, black beans and corn).  They were terrific, and filled with goodness. 

All in all, I'm fairly happy.  So, what on earth or in heaven can I write about today? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Journey, thus far

It has almost been an entire year since I went vegetarian.  I still feel like a V.I.T. (vegetarian in training).  There have been some bumps along the way.  The hardest has been having to explain over and over again why I made this choice.  I just don't like the taste nor texture of meat.  It's as simple as that. That's why you won't see me eating any veggie burgers or veggie sausage...still tastes like meat. Ick. 

Other bumps have been attending various functions....walking into a typical summer gathering, I find that most are meat fests.  So there I sit, holding a plate of potato salad and fruit salad.  That's about the only non-meat dishes I can find.  Or I walk into potlucks, and find there are no non-meat protein sources. It finally hit me at the last one at church, that it's okay for me to bring a main dish that is non-meat!  I make a great vegetarian lasagna...and mac & cheese...and I'm experimenting with my mother's recipe for baked beans, working on a tasty vegan version.  I'll be prepared next time!

Then there is the taco filling I attempted to make out of black beans, corn, zucchini and salsa.  It was tasty, but kept falling out of the taco shell!  I'd take one bite, and wham...there would be an empty taco shell, and a pile of filling on the plate.  (turns out it's a tasty burrito filling!).

However, there have been successes.  I have discovered that I love tostadas topped with refried beans (vegetarian kind), topped with diced red pepper and sauteed corn & onion.  Yum!  And I love red pepper and pineapple pizza.  And black eyed peas are still tasty on top of crumbled cornbread.... 

So I'm still learning, but I'm enjoying my new way of life.  I feel healthier and happier.  The adventure continues on....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Hope & Interesting Possiblities

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours in Barnes & Noble, my favorite bookstore. I enjoy just hanging out there, reading magazines, checking out books, and sipping my favorite hot cocoa.  I often have interesting conversations with complete strangers.

But yesterday afternoon, as I wandered about the store, I didn't feel like gabbing.  I found myself in the cooking aisle, looking for a bread baking book called Bread Alone.  While I didn't find it, I found an entire section on Vegetarian & Vegan cooking.  Armed with an armload, I curled up at a table and spent about 2 hours perusing them.  I found a recipe for homemade vegetable broth, something I have been looking for.  I found recipes for Scotch broth & Minestrone (both meatless). 

In the course of my time there, I read three Vegan cookbooks, and got some ideas of how to incorporate more variety into my diet.  See, I've been struggling lately, with coming up with balanced and tasty meals.  I gave up cheese (& ice cream) for Lent, so suddenly I've had to be more creative with my cooking.  Can't just dump cheese on it and call it good.  In reading those cookbooks, I received new hope that this lifestyle, living vegetarian, is not only possible, but enjoyable. 

I now have a renewed hope, and my menu plans are full of interesting possibilities.  Now if I could just stop craving pizza..... (mm...red pepper & pineapple).