The Lonely Hunter.

Hammershoi 1

 

“I want – I want – I want – was all that she could think about – but just what this real want was she did not know.”
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

I used to lie on my bedroom floor, maybe 10 years old, flat out like a starfish, wondering if there was anyone who could see me. The rough brown shag, the stale remnants of the vacuumed carpet, below my straggly blonde hair, was somewhat of a comfort. Perhaps knowing there was another 10 year old girl flat out like a starfish on her bedroom floor wondering the same thing, somewhere in the world, was a bit of a comfort,  it was something tangible to not feel alone.

To be seen. It was something I craved. It was something I desired, but like an oxymoron, my innermost thoughts would be juxtaposed with my outward behaviors. These were the two contrasting realities inside of me trying to fight to be one. Shyness was a beast and it wrapped its slimy hands around my mouth and my heart. The squeezing effect of the uninterrupted pressures, caused only for the feelings of defeat and vulnerabilities to manifest in me for a great need to escape. I wanted to be seen, but not, kind of like the needing to know and be known, but not wanting to be at the same time. To me, this escape would be the only freedom I would come to learn. I was the pale moth trapped in the world of the spider’s intricate sticky web, struggling, wrestling, fighting, and surviving.

I was in no prison camp, only the camp that imprisoned me. To be young, ah, no, I wouldn’t want to be again! Every year presented itself with possibility and every possibility an opportunity to pursue or present, but with a grace not within my reach. I was awkward. I was scared. Would this be the reason of the lack of risk or adventure? I would grow up having friends seeking one thrill after the next. Loving the intense flooding of adrenaline rushing through every morsel of their bodies, but me? No thank you. I clumsily grasped hold of the rail and walked the path in obedience and assurance of a promise if I follow the rules, I would not get hurt. But one can’t be protected no matter how preserved they may try to be. The heart has no out of bounds signs hammered around it. If it does, it is because it has been there because of a hurt, lashed against when the boundaries were still obsolete, unearthed, and untold. The heart is a muscle of strength and agility and with a mind of its own. I doubt it can ever be restrained, maimed, yes, but tamed to a place in which passions find no residency, impossible. It is in these deep places, the unlocking of the heart, the releasing of authentic life can still find a pulse, faint, maybe, but there is a time in which the heart does not follow nor does it keep. Master of its own, keeper of its kind, the heart leads only to where life can be breathed and truth uncovered.

 

Image Credit: Hammershoi

 

 

Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

Shake

We are a shake family. I drink a shake for breakfast every morning; the kids have a shake after school to quench that limitless appetite, and periodically Sean will make a shake for himself, too. Tonight Sean and Nola joined brain like forces and created their chef-d’oeuvre. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila, their masterpiece! It tastes a bit like Booster Juice’s Orangesicle, mixed with a bit of Orange Julius, but it’s not, welcome the Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie.

Fancy Tangerine Coconut Smoothie

By Sean and Nola

Ingredients:
5 Tangerines, peeled (or mandarins)
½ cup Coconut Ice Milk
½ cup pure orange juice
16 ice cubes

How To Play:
Mix in a blender and share with a friend.

 

Enjoy!

Lake of Black Things.

The_Song_of_the_Lark
If betrayal was a compass, leading me to a place in which freedom of heartbreak would greet me, I would walk through knee high deep snows, rugged steep- life threatening- mountains, sloshy gripping mud, and cross the most rapid of streams to get to that place. However, I am in need of solitude. I am in need of a security that can only be brought by the divine. I have rested in the arms of man, but they are not the arms of the absolute. They are the arms of the maybe’s. They are the arms of the could be’s and the think so’s. To rest in and assurance, obedience, and omnipotence. It is beyond my control. Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets covering me like a parcel to be shipped away with a no return address, to be lost forever. To be missed by no one. Is this my fate, my date, my undesirable actuality? No, it is the average life of the average woman, living in the average time of a broken world. Is there a hope? Of course there is. There always is. Truth must rise from the ashes and bring the darkness down into the lake of black things, like hatred, loneliness, shame, bitterness, and death.

Image Credit: The song of the Lark, by Jules Breton

Elvis.

I remember when the movie made for TV, Elvis and Me aired in 1988. I was nine and my life was forever changed. So were my parents. Everything was Elvis; cassette tapes, cd’s, records, posters, books, magazines, pens, porcelain faces, shirts, collector plates,cup holders, newspaper articles, collector cards, playing cards, stamps! Believe me, trying to collect Elvis memorabilia was not a piece of cake in the 1980’s and 90’s. We had one area in our basement growing up called the Elvis room, where we had to store all my Elvis things. Unfortunately, most of those things are in my parent’s attic now, but my heart is still warmed by his dreamy voice. Elvis! Elvis!

Moroccan Couscous with Saffron.

I was so excited when my sister bought me Alicia’s Silverstone’s The Kind Diet recipe book. It was for my birthday and I was just beginning to end nursing my second child, completing my degree at University, and desiring to shed the last few pounds I had gained with my son. I remember during that summer, five years ago, I was cooking up a mighty storm. If we had new comers move into our complex, guaranteed they were going to have me knocking on their door with a vegan dessert of some sort. It was incredibly fun having a resource I could go to and know whether it be a meal, a snack, or a dessert, The Kind Diet would provide a smooth sailing for a great dish.  I love cook books and being able to fold, highlight, and scribble my own thoughts on the pages. I am not a technical person, far from it. I like to be able to take my books with me and sift through countless recipes and take notes on loose pieces of paper of the next meal I will embark upon. This particular recipe is a cozy go to. It makes quite a bit, so I tend to eat it for dinner and for lunch a couple of times in a row, as well as take it to work in hopes someone will enjoy it too.

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Moroccan Couscous with Saffron

Inspired by: The Kind Diet

Ingredients:

2 cups peeled butternut squash cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

2 cups yellow onion, large dice

1 ½ cups carrots, cut into ¼ or ½ inch cubes

1 ½ cups zucchini, cut into ¾ inch cubes

2 TBSP avocado oil

Fine Sea Salt

1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ cups vegetable broth

2 TBSP Earth Balance butter

¼ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp saffron threads

1 ½ cups whole wheat couscous

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

How To Play:

Preheat the oven to 375. Place the squash, onion, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

While vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, remaining ½ tsp pepper, cumin, saffron, and salt to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl (I used a large saucepan), and add the couscous. Bring the broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork and serve.

 

Enjoy.

 

Hot Turkey Sandwich.

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Sundays after church is anything but relaxing. It is a house full of five starving people and while everyone is expressing how hungry they are, I get in the zone of sandwiches, cheesy noodles and chopping vegetables…It is basically whatever I can find to keep the chaos controlled. The thing is, though, while I am eloquently preparing in a fast forward sort of way, I am questioning in the back of my mind just what am I going to eat? I don’t eat beef or ham, so Sean’s simple salami and cheese sandwich is not in the least appealing to me. I do not fancy peanut butter, so 2’s sandwich, is not an option…ever, while 1 & 3 enjoy the cheesy noodles and chopped veggies, my mind is elsewhere. Calgary elsewhere at that. A friend once took me to a great little restaurant called Farm. I had an insanely good chicken sandwich, oh my. This recipe is one that was completely inspired by the one I had at Farm.

Ingredients:
Cooked Turkey
Provolone Cheese, or preference
Garlic Aioli
Cole Slaw
Coconut oil
2 pieces of sour dough

How To Play:
Heat turkey in a skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese, remove from heat, and place lid on skillet to melt the cheese. Toast 2 slices of sour dough bread. Spread toast with coconut oil, garlic aioli. Add a scoop of coleslaw to one slice and scoop the heated, melted cheese turkey to the other slice. Serve with a pickle.

Creamy Coleslaw Recipe:

Ingredients:
1/4 cup veganaise
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 tsp coconut sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1- 1/2 cups Red Cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. May need to add more salt if you fancy salt.

For a Garlic Aioli, I roast a garlic bulb, then blend it with a 1/4 cup or more of veganaise, a tsp or so of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy.