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Showing posts from January, 2014

True Brave

True Brave
Abandoned. One mission. Protect the younger sib. Too young. Too large a burden. Impossible to live. Authorities only frighten. The next place may be worse. She comes home needing comfort. Total role reverse.
Pain. Hunger. Nausea. Confusion. Injections which only cause rapid delusion. Fear and Exhaustion fight Responsibility and Will. The clock on the wall just keeps standing still.
Honor. Terror. Duty. Tradition. Senseless tragedy, misguided mission. Worry and wait. Time is unending. Questioning purpose. Selfless defending.
Existence in dependence…wherever they go. Until they become this…they never will know. One heart separated and carried away. It’s beating reliant on hosts every day.
True Brave. True Courage. True will to survive. Sometimes through hell. Still somehow alive.

Birthday Chili

Birthday Chili


One of my most popular dishes is my chili, and I make it differently almost every time. This chili serves a large number of people and is great to have ready to go if you are hosting a party or an event. The recipe serves twenty to thirty people.


1 c. bacon grease 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1 medium red onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 c. mushrooms, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 5 cloves garlic, minced 2 c. chopped carrots 2 c. chopped celery 2 lbs. ground beef 2 lbs. ground pork 1 lb. salami, thinly sliced 1 lb. cooked ham, thinly sliced or cubed 1 c. red wine 4 c. chicken broth 1 46 oz. container vegetable juice 1 gallon water 2 c. frozen corn 6 cans of beans: kidney, red, black, navy, or any combination, rinsed and drained ¼ c. chili powder ¼ c. Worcestershire 1 tbsp. saracha 1 tbsp. oregano 1 tbsp. coriander 1 tbsp. black pepper salt to taste chili toppings


In an extra large pot (I used a lobster pot), sauté the vegetables …

Let The Sun Shine In

Let The Sun Shine In
When I was in junior high school I had the entire score to the musical Hair memorized. Not too common for a fourteen-year-old. I can still sing most of the songs today. I believe that I also did a report on the Democratic National convention in 1968 by interviewing my father, because he was there. I was born in southern California in 1977, with no siblings; I was surrounded and adored by my parents’ liberal friends. The groundwork was laid. Needless to say, I consider myself a born hippie. I don’t like stories with sad endings. I abhor horror movies. I’m not terribly competitive. I actually won first place in a local public speaking contest hosted by the Optimist’s club when I was in high school. I didn’t place in the state competition; the judges’ reasoning being that my speech was too poetic.
Even though we don’t dress the part, my husband and I typically get labeled as hippies by most of our friends, once they get to know us. It’s not because we are off the gr…

Accepting Advice

Accepting Advice
I have always been challenged with listening to advice. When I was younger, I simply remained stubborn and probably fought to do the exact opposite of what anyone told me to do...with complete disregard to how well intentioned the suggestions may have been. Now, I am getting better to listening to my friends when I know that they know what they are talking about. Not just listening, but listening and acting on what they have to teach me. It takes me some time to marinate on what I could change in my life to benefit myself, but lately, I have noticed that I am getting around to accepting good advice.
I have always had horrible battles with running. There are a lot of reasons why, but basically, I never believed that I was cut out for it. I could always walk for miles and miles and miles, but for me running was practically impossible. About a year ago, I started running and walking, and I was doing okay, baby steps style. Then after one run, I threw my sciatic out…so a…

Murder my TV?

Murder my TV?
The other day we finally cut the television for the kids. We took it down to one hour per day and we let them know that we may end up limiting it to a half an hour. I couldn’t handle them watching as much as they do anymore. I am getting very concerned about the television because I have been reading studies about how the act of watching the television makes the brain more malleable. It literally renders the watcher more willing to accept suggestion without question. Since that is the last thing in the world that I want for my children to be…we have got to limit the TV. I have high hopes that they will develop enough other interests that they will become bored with television altogether, like their father and I have. We still have a family movie night every now and then, and my husband and I will watch a show on the computer from time to time. But for or the most part, we just aren’t interested.
I was talking about this with my mother and remembering how much television…

In Retrospect

In Retrospect
There are guilty pleasures that we all enjoy every day. I am talking about the plain blunt negativity that seems to soothe us somehow. Even though I am an individual who is basically in constant pursuit of positivity, I still adore well-timed, mean, angry, sarcasm. Maybe specifically people that are positive in general find negativity really funny. My sister bought us a brilliant card game for Christmas this year that is absolutely nothing but evil and wrong, and we have had more fun, and laughed harder playing it than we have ever had with any game before. One of my kindest friends seriously almost laughed himself sick playing it. For whatever reason, sometimes the truly deeply wrong amuses us. And sometimes, it becomes such a regular wrongness that we forget it is wrong.
I am going to pick on Seinfeld today, but don’t get me wrong, there are gobs and gobs of sitcoms that are highly comparable in their awfulness. I have probably seen every episode of the sitcom at leas…

Italian Melt

Italian Melt


Be careful, this dish is kind of addictive. There are many possibilities for how to serve it. It goes great over pasta, or on a bun, or in a taco shell. If you eliminate the sausage from the recipe, it also makes a great vegetarian dish.


2 tbsp. olive oil 1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces 1 red onion, sliced 1 yellow onion, sliced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 1 large tomato, sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 3 oz. mozzarella cheese, sliced 3 oz. cheddar cheese, sliced 1 tsp. black pepper salt to taste


In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the sausage in the olive oil until it is lightly browned. Add the vegetables to the pan and continue cooking them for fifteen to twenty minutes, stirring often. Add the cheese and turn off the heat, but leave the skillet on the burner. Continue stirring the mixture until the cheese is melted. Add the pepper and salt to taste, and serve this dish quickly, while the cheese is still melted. Enjoy 

Bringing Abuse out of the Closet

Bringing Abuse out of the Closet
It is still in there because of the word honor. I was listening to some friends talk about the concept of honor the other night and it got me thinking. Most of us still come from families where our parents and grandparents expect us to contribute to the task of guarding the family’s honor. We aren’t supposed to do anything to hurt the family name, or to disgrace our elders. When I thought about it for a minute I figured out how truly sick that concept is, and yet most of us accept it without question, because that is how it has been since the day that we were born.
We sacrifice ourselves to this so-called myth of family honor. Behind this guise, we hide ugly divorces, alcoholism and drug abuse, bastard children, our relatives who happen to love within the same gender, and yes; abuse...lots and lots of abuse. For the sake of this utopic idea of a perfect family with the perfect reputation, we often pretend to be individuals that we are not, hide our ow…

The Television Media Has Joined the Dark Side

The Television Media Has Joined the Dark Side
As if anyone hadn’t noticed. Well, at least anyone who reads and attempts to keep up with actual current events. I have quit watching television as of about a year now. I used to have the nightly news on a few nights a week and listen to it from the other room, but I argued with the crap that they were reporting on so often that I threw in the towel and gave up on the whole thing. I was one of those people who was actually comforted and lulled into a sense of safety by hearing the same kind anchorman’s voice every evening.
I saw a blip from one of the news channels yesterday, where a reporter actually cut off a politician in the middle of an interview with the breaking “news” that Justin Bieber had been arrested. I was not surprised. There are not enough words in the English language for me to express my deep and utter loathing for the television news. It is way up there on my list.
I grew up in the first generation that had television i…

Ten Signs That You Are A Grown-Up

Ten Signs That You Are A Grown-Up
This was a Facebook post that I wrote today:
Do you ever stop and think: "Why am I behaving like such a grown-up? Isn't somebody else still taking care of all of this crap?"
It happens to us gradually, and there is no telling when all of the cogs are going to fit into place. Completely regardless of age, relationship status, job status, or whether or not we have children. Here are some of the components that go into being an actual grown-up:
1.We admit our mistakes. If you ever watch the news, you know that there are a lot of politicians of embarrassing age, who have yet to grow up. Maybe that is one of the biggest problems in our country right now; the people who are leading us are immature children. How childish is it to try and pass blame off to the next guy. I actually take pride in my ability to admit my mistakes to others. 2.We do things that we don’t want to do without complaining about it. Ideally, our adult lives are about workin…

Gluten Free Almond Butterscotch Cookies

Gluten Free Almond Butterscotch Cookies


I have discovered that nut flours make for absolutely delicious cookies and pies. I will have to try them out on cakes next. This recipe uses almond flour and the cookies are absolutely delicious.


2 c. gluten free flour 1 ½ c. finely ground almonds 2 eggs 1/8 tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder 1 stick butter, melted 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. almond extract 2 c. butterscotch chips


Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl by hand or with a mixer. When the dough is well combined, place it by the teaspoon, evenly spaced, on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for twelve minutes at three hundred and fifty degrees. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing them from the foil. Enjoy!

The Happiness Smasher

The Happiness Smasher
Everyone has this sort of person in their life somewhere. It goes beyond just pessimism. I researched it for a bit, but I could not find a name for the psychological condition that urges an individual to be adverse or raise an argument with absolutely every single thing that they hear. I would not be surprised if there were a name for the behavior however, because not only do I have one of these people in my life, I actually have a few. The best way that I could come up with to describe this sort of personality is by calling this person The Happiness Smasher.
This guy can make me absolutely nuts if I let him. He is the guy who never fails to jump in and throw around depressing factoids, when he notices that you have gotten excited about something. He is always ready to feed you large spoons full of negativity when you take the risk to share your own happiness with the people around you. This guy is usually super intelligent. When I was thinking about his persona…

Timing

Timing
My grandmother visited with us shortly after our third child was born. She was born when our twins were a year and a half old. My grandmother made a point of sitting me down and telling me that I would be glad that I had them all together at twenty-seven. She said that she knew how hard it was, but she promised that I would not regret it, because they would all be grown and going on their way by the time that I was forty five. This is the woman who had three children, each nine months apart. She lived in a home with no hot water, and had to get it from the pump and boil water on the stove to wash three sets of diapers before hanging them out on the line to dry. She did this in Indiana in the summertime, in ninety-degree temperatures with high humidity, and in the winter, with freezing temperatures and a couple feet of snow. I find her awe inspiring.
I am not going to lie and say that those first five years were easy (or that I remember much what happened, due to the sleep depr…

Frito Pie

Frito Pie


I am not positive if I made this the same way that my friend’s mother did when we were kids, but that is where I got the idea. It’s not like a pie in any way really, but it is cheesy and delicious, and my kids just gobble it down.


1 package Fritos corn chips
2 tbsp. olive oil 1 lb. ground pork ½ medium yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ green bell pepper, diced 2 cans kidney beans, raised and drained 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 c. frozen corn 1 c. carrots, peeled and diced 2 cans tomato sauce 1 tbsp. Worcestershire 1 tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. coriander 1 tsp. saracha salt to taste
2 c. grated cheddar cheese


Spread the corn chips in the bottom of a large oven-safe baking dish. In a large saucepan sauté the onion, garlic, green pepper, and carrot in the olive oil for five minutes. Add the pork and continue to sauté the mixture, stirring often, for seven more minutes. Add the tomato sauce, beans, corn, Worcestershire, s…