Milky Chance


Okay, is it just me, or is this really not the coolest song ever? Growing up in Germany, I listened to (sometimes not by choice) Die Fantastischen Vier, Lucilectric, and Mattihas Reim.
So maybe it is just because Milky Chance is from Germany, there may be a bit of a bias on my part, or that the old school music from what was on the radio during my years in Bonn have changed dramatically. All I can say for now is Super Spitze!

Winter’s Embrace.

JF Millet
I step from the warmth of the vehicle into the dampness of this winter’s day, recognizing this cruel morning, bitter sunshine, and tempered frost as a reflection of my weathered heart. A new phase have I entered into in my 34th year? A new dimension, dynamic, or decision? I feel trouble. I feel hurt. I feel concern. I stare at my faded reflection in the tinted glass doors. I face seriousness staring me coldly in the eye with limited emotion. Am I changing? Evolving? Perhaps I am dissolving into an irreversible torrent of a tempered mess. Is there any room inside of me for more weightiness? Do I have the strength to carry it? Do I really want it? What I want is to shout at my stoic face, scream at my peeling heart, and stomp on my fading frame. Wake up! The sirens in my head have sounded the alarms; they have revealed the danger, a slipping back, a small defeat, but an easy friend. The trouble, the hurt, and the concern have anchored me down before in their sorrowful waters. They once had me to be found reliably in their distant memory, a grave forest, a place I was forced to call my home. I can’t go back. I break the reflection staring back at me in the tinted door windows with the rocks and pebbles of all shapes and colors I can manage to clumsily collect in urgency. Is it finished? Not quite, for the broken pieces of glass shards remain faithful to me, embracing, and not letting go. There must be relief for me somewhere. There has to be.

Image Credit:Jean Francois Millet: Shepherdess seated in the forest

Cease Striving…

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April 23

Today I found out Steve has stage 4 cancer. Leukaemia. How and why? No one knows, but we all puzzle over the inevitable. He is a young husband and dad. I know him not well, though we did spend a year together in a special internship in which he would tell me at the year’s completion, that ‘I wasn’t so bad after all, and that I could actually be nice and fun to be around’. It may have come across to some as an insult, but I laughed. I still laugh today, thinking about it. The poor group of young adults, some fresh out of high-school, and there was I, a twenty three year old prideful know-it- all, barging through the small classroom’s door of conservative likeness and shake things up with my impatient aggressions and authoritative repulsiveness. Steve I really fancied, though. Not romantically, but respectfully. Young, apprehensive, honest, and genuine, he wanted God in a real, non-churchy kind of way. I remember the compassion he portrayed to his siblings, both old and young. His family was large and loved largely. I pray Jesus you rescue this young man and uphold his wife and young daughter. You give and take away. I pray you give and take away. Give life, health,love, joy, peace, comfort, direction, wisdom, and focus. Take away hopelessness, fear, pain, despair, loneliness, destruction, torment, and all doubts of Your power and glory in this mirror shattering invasion.

Image Credit: Jean Francois Millet

Favorite Turkey Burgers

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Last night felt like summer. The warm gentle breeze, the excitement of the BBQ being turned on, and laughter coming from the nearby houses around us, because it is that time of year again! The sun is out, the windows are open, and our worries about yesterday are not evening trespassing in our current thoughts. I love sharing meals as much as I love sharing recipes. I remember seeing this episode of Oprah when 1 was only learning to walk. I happened to glance at the special guest chef on her show and wrote this recipe down in tyrant speed. I am so grateful recipes can be shared through cyber space, because once the show was done, I had no idea how to make sure I wrote everything down right, until….ding the brilliant idea of looking on the internet sprung forth into my mid-19th century brain. I have made a couple of alterations, but needless to say, this is a no fail burger.

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My Favorite Turkey Burgers

Inspired by Oprah’s Favorite Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:
1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1-2 organic granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup coconut oil
2 lbs ground turkey breast
1 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons Hot Sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey chutney, pureed

How To Play:

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the coconut oil until tender. Let cool. Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Dress and serve with:

Garlic Aioli, cut up avocado, chopped cherry tomatoes, a slice of Provolone, fresh spinach, sliced pickles, and sautéed onions on a fresh open faced Kaiser bun. Nothing goes better with a burger than seasoned potato wedges and Caesar Salad. This summer time dinner is a favorite, and what goes great with a good meal? Great company.

Enjoy.

WHY?!?! 30 Day Challenge: Day 28

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I am almost feeling like doing away with a cheat day. Perhaps this will be a new challenge within itself. NO BINGE EATING WHEN IT IS OK TO CHEAT! Ugh. I feel gross and horrible this morning, but last night was so much fun. With great weather, food, and company, how is one not to get overly engrossed with the beauty of sharing a meal? Maybe I am too extreme, but today is a new day, and my challenge is nearing completion. I have experienced definite change in my clothes, which is a huge positive. I am pretty much back to where I am supposed to be, in my terms, no one else’s, and I am excited for the next ventures of another 30 Day Challenge, I am just not sure what it it yet.
Image Credit: Vintage 7Up Poster

When does it end?

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A dear lady I know shared with me something personal in which has left me standing still amidst the crisis of our society. She is nearing fifty and has been asking the question when is it going to stop? She gains 4 pounds, loses 4 pounds, but when is it ever going to be okay to be the weight she is? Four pounds, doesn’t seem like much at all, right? However, the dire need, the compulsion, and the programmed intuition, forbids us to be satisfied, happy, content with the size we are. We believe we can be prettier, skinnier, younger looking, however to know that we can become uglier, fatter, or even older looking is a distasteful tragedy, an abhorrence. I don’t want to be that way. I am in constant turmoil. A wrestle within myself and to think this wrestle can filter down to my children, is frightening. I have been running more than half my age. At 14, running to lose weight, counting calories, and weighing myself continually. Now twenty one years later, I am still running, but not counting or weighing, but I am checking and grabbing, flexing and tucking, to see what has changed or what needs to change. When will this end, at fifty, sixty, or eighty?  It is going to be my birthday next week and I am going to be another year older. I can’t stop time, just like I can’t stop age. I am aging. I am a product of the seventies, influenced by the nineties, and rage against the machine was a major milestone in my developmental days, however, rage against this age is the symphony I am rehearsing. I have bought into a lie. I have given my self-worth over to a make believe industry that focuses on fairy tales and happy endings. DISNEY. I am not living my life as a Disney movie, but as a realist desiring to to make a difference. Perhaps it is not so much the image of the mirror, but the image of the heart. Our appearance goes deep, deeper than glass, deeper than sand, deeper than fire. Perhaps we really are the image of our hearts. What image embraces your heart?

I am impacted by this lady.

 

Image Credit: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

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I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

Big Brother Is Watching.

This song reminds me of my late teenage angst that would manifest itself by running for miles. A close friend of mine and I would philosophy and reason, desiring some hope and understanding to the movement of the technological revolution. We had no answers as we sat on the unkept grass underneath the towering power lines. We only had each other and our likeness of mind. Refusing to conform while quoting Thoreau, as if he could hear us, somehow hoping to make him proud, that there were still some in this tiring age, who longed for a sincere simplicity, an old, but new way of life.

Dangerous by Big Data