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Showing posts from May, 2014

Remembering Compassion Always

I have a lot of trouble with the term “haters”. Not for the fact that these people do not exist, but I run a household where my children are not even allowed to use the word hate and I abstain from using it myself, so understandably calling people haters should rub me the wrong way. And yes, in some ways these people may be very much absorbed with hating rather than loving, but this is all cased by fear and we know it. We know it because we have all been there before. We had to at one point be there to finally find our way here. We were afraid of thinking along new lines once, we were afraid to open our eyes because we knew how overwhelming the reality would be, and we were afraid to try because we knew how much failure can hurt. It is not right for us to belittle people who are afraid and lash out in fear by calling them haters. We have come a long way, and accepting them graciously is a good exercise.
Yesterday I got virtually (as in via the virtual world) yelled at because I point…

The Costco Effect

I love Costco. Even after moving back to the Orlando area and finding that I have to drive at least thirty minutes to get to any of their stores in the area, I still keep my membership and drive the thirty minutes. They are one of the most reputable companies in the country, because of the way that they treat their employees. They have actually been criticized by business experts for cheating their shareholders by treating their employees so well. They also carry a huge variety of organic, and non-GMO products that are difficult to find at such a low price anywhere else. I am checked out year after year by the same pleasant and up-beat individuals every time that I visit the same store. It makes me feel good to shop there.
There is another side to this story. I have yet to understand how or why it happens, but to be honest it truly, deeply frightens me. I know that people have joked about Costco’s abundance of samples for years, and I do believe that the samples may be one of the thi…

Vegan Super Veggie Soup

I managed to get a lot of vegetables into this one pot of soup. It can serve up to ten, or serve a smaller family for a couple of nights. I nixed the potatoes in this soup because they really aren’t all that nutritious and I added beans instead. The result was wonderfully comforting and healthy as well.

¼ c. olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium sweet onion, diced 10 mini sweet bell peppers, sliced 2 stalks celery, sliced 1 c. red wine 1 qt. carrot juice 2 small cans diced tomatoes 2 tbsp. mushroom stock concentrate 2 qt. water 1 can red beans, rinsed and drained 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 2 c. frozen mixed vegetables 2 c. sliced red cabbage 1 tsp. coriander 1 tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. oregano ½ tsp. cayenne pepper salt to taste

In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, peppers, and celery in the olive oil, for five minutes, over medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt and continue cooking over medium h…

What’s For Dinner?

I have trouble imagining what it feels like to dread these words. Even when I had three children under three and my life was in complete and total chaos, making dinner was still the bright spot in my day. Cooking puts me in my zone. It is an outlet for my creativity, and it gives me the ultimate reward because I always get to enjoy eating my own creations. The only ting that is going to save the health of America is if we can get people cooking their own meals in their own homes. I have decided that it is a mission of mine to do just that. I have started with children by leading a cooking club through the 4H organization and I am inspired to do more by focusing on adults as well.
I believe that time constraints are the biggest roadblock when it comes to families preparing their own home cooked meals. By the time that people work an eight-hour day, or even longer, then pick up the kids, and take them to their afterschool activities they just don’t feel that they have the energy to spe…

Happy Derby Day

To preface, this will be a bunch of first hand knowledge, coming from a complete laymen in the industry. I am simply a constant observer with an opinion…and I like animals, but enjoy making animal rights organizations look ridiculous because I believe that for the majority they are poorly organized and totally corrupt. My family farm is in Indiana just across the river from Louisville Kentucky. My grandfather bred and ran racehorses as my uncle does now, many of them at The Downs. I have wandered the horse barns there, and braved the cigar smoke in the trainer’s room as a child.
Horse racing is a horrible industry as is any industry that involves animals and gambling. Animals constantly get hurt because of people’s greed. Horses legs get iced so that it will numb the pain, and this makes them more likely to stumble on the track and suffer sever injury. In the history of horse racing, horses have been poisoned and killed, and barns of thoroughbreds have been purposely set on fire. I h…

Optimistic Reality

It took me a long time to learn how to function socially…a really long time. Well into my twenties, I was still incredibly nervous to be around groups of strangers. I was so traumatized by my awkward childhood and my constant social rejection, that I was afraid to approach people in an attempt to make friends. I was actually that girl, who when invited to a party, would run around cleaning up to help out the hostess rather than socializing with the people there. The root of all of this, of course, is that I knew no one there was interested in anything that I had to say. I like to discuss things with people that are important, and globally relevant, and to be honest; those sorts of subjects really piss people off, and I am intelligent enough to understand that I am unwelcome in interrupting their blissful ignorance.
So through maturity, I learned to hang out with the party people by hiding my true self. It amazes me that we live in a society that so adores its ignorant happiness, that…

Avocado And Blue Cheese Pizza

This pizza uses a unique white sauce with fresh parsley avocado and blue cheese. The sauce goes great with gluten free crust and sets off the flavors of the vegetables and spices that I used as toppings. This recipe is gluten and refined sugar free, as well as vegetarian.

For the sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp. black pepper ½ c. fresh parsley, cleaned and chopped 1 avocado, peeled and pitted 1 tsp. salt 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles 1 tsp. coriander ½ c. olive oil 1 c. heavy cream
In a blender or a food processor combine all of the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for one hour before using.

For the Pizza:
Prepare the gluten free pizza crust according to its directions. My favorite is Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Crust. After you have put the crust (I use two regular cake pans instead of a large pizza pan) in the oven for their preliminary bake, allow them to cool and then top them with the avocado sauce. I suggest that you add these topp…

A Dog In Every Port

I had this fantastic idea for a book a long time ago, when I was working on a cruise ship line. Somewhere along the way, I decided that pictures of all of the mangy mutts that I encountered in all of the different ports where we docked, paired with stories of the immature men that my friends and I had dated in the past would make for an awesome read. Alas, I came up with this idea half way through my contract, and at that point didn’t carry a camera with me all of the time. Now however, when everyone has their I-phone on them all of the time, the idea is definitely up for grabs.
We only see what we are looking for and what we are willing to accept. Even though passengers usually disembark the ship on a higher gangplank that the staff does, and even though they head straight off for their excursions, whereas I preferred to explore the port towns for miles and miles on foot; we were still in the same place. And yet, in all of the twelve years since I worked on the ships, I have never o…