10/20/14
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You Are Terrifying and Strange…

warsan_shire_quote1It took me a long time to understand that not everyone will know how to love me. That’s okay. But it’s also okay to insist on the kind of love you deserve. It might mean that it takes longer to find the right people. It might mean there are fewer of them. But in the end, the people who know how to love you — just as you are — are the people you need in your life. As for the others; send them light and love and let them go. In the meantime, learn to love yourself like the most gentle of friends, the most passionate of lovers, the kindest and wisest of mentors. Because the most important thing of all is that you know how to love you.

Have a wonderful week, sweet friends.

10/14/14
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Vegetarian Sausage and Biscuits

sausage_biscuitsIt’s been surprising to realize how little I miss from my meat-eating days. I’m going on three years being vegetarian, and the truth is, I rarely crave anything with meat these days. Part of that is because there are so many vegetarian substitutes for meat products, and we’re lucky enough to live in an era where most of them are really very good. The other part of it is that my taste buds have changed. I mostly crave “live” food (vegetables and fruit), and if I go too long eating a lot of pasta or bread or rice, it’s salads and fresh fruit that I really want.

That said, every now and then you hear the call of some forgotten food, often with associations of comfort or childhood. Sausage and biscuits has been on my list for the last few weeks, so I finally decided to try and make it veggie. And you know what? It rocked. Really, it was almost indistinguishable from the meat version. Even the kids said it was the best sausage gravy EVER. Plus it was super easy and took about twenty minutes.

Hope you enjoy it!

Biscuits and Vegetarian Sausage Gravy

14 oz. vegetarian sausage (I used Good Life’s non-GMO version in a tube)

4 cups vegetable broth (I made my own with 4 cups of water and 4 tsp of Better Than Bouillon vegetable paste)

4 tablespoons corn starch

1 cup Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the vegetarian sausage in a little oil (I use grapeseed oil), breaking apart with a spatula or wooden spoon while it cooks. While the sausage is browning, whisk together the broth and corn starch.

Once the sausage is brown and a little crispy, add the broth and corn starch mixture. Whisk on and off for about two minutes or until the gravy is thickened.

Turn off heat and whisk in yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste (liberal pepper adds a nice Southern flavor to the gravy).

Pour over your favorite biscuits. Or rice. Or potatoes. Or basically anything.

Enjoy!

:)

 

10/8/14
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Beautiful Girl

Beautiful_Girl_Hard_ThingsAnd I’m rooting for you. <3

10/2/14
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Reality is Overrated

Humankind_TS_EliotWhich is why we need fiction.

<3

09/25/14
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Go Out Into the World and Do Good

Go_Into_the_WorldSometimes you just need a reminder of why we’re really here. <3

09/22/14
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Let It Breathe

hafiz_quoteFor years now I’ve had a recurring dream. The details are never exactly the same, but I’m always lost someplace, trying desperately to get out because I MUST be somewhere else immediately. When my children were younger, it was usually that I was supposed to pick them up, and I knew they were waiting for me on the other side of a mall or city or office building that I couldn’t seem to navigate. Floors changed from gymnasiums to hospitals, hallways turned into mazes from which there was no escape, and city blocks seemed to morph before my eyes into an unrecognizable landscape. I’d end up wandering around, thinking, “But that corner was RIGHT HERE.”

Saturday night I dreamed that I was in a strange kind of dorm with my daughter. We were supposed to man a booth for charity at a flea market, but we’d both woken up late. She wanted to throw clothes on and go, but I preferred to take a quick shower first so I wasn’t so out of it. We were still negotiating when she decided to leave without me. So I tried to find my way there, but the harder I tried to escape the dorm building, the more lost I became. Eventually I decided to go to the first floor, reasoning there would at least be access to an exit, but when I got there it was a hospital with sick people in every room and no exits I could find. When I went back up to the second floor, it had become a sports arena, and in my dream, I wasn’t even sure I’d been on the second floor of the dorm to begin with.

And all the while, the minutes ticked by. I kept checking clocks on the walls only to find that it had become so late in the afternoon that there was hardly a point trying to get to the flea market at all. I woke up panicked, with a familiar knot of anxiety in my chest that told me how wound up I’d been even in my sleep.

After that, I thought a lot about why I keep having these dreams, and why they make me so anxious, and I realized it’s never the being LOST that freaks me out; it’s always the fact that I’M SUPPOSED TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE. It’s that ticking clock telling me I’m late, that itinerary telling me I have somehow failed my responsibilities. Such an obvious connection to real life that “metaphor” hardly applies!

It seems there’s always someplace else I’m supposed to be, something else I should have done by now. I’m never where I believe I SHOULD be. Shouldn’t I be on some bestseller list somewhere by now? Shouldn’t I have won some kind of award? Shouldn’t there be a movie or TV show about ONE of my books? Shouldn’t I have more financial security? And this isn’t an entitlement thing. It’s a “what the hell have I been doing with myself?” thing.

But the answer is simple. I’m on the road. I’m working and raising kids and learning and growing and experimenting (when I have the luxury), and yes, making mistakes, too. I’m here because I need to be here, and because there is some purpose to this particular hallway, this particular floor. There is something important I haven’t yet seen or done on this city block, and I think I will be better off if I just stop looking at the clock and instead take a deep breath and look around.

<3

09/12/14
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Begin Again

Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight

After seeing Boyhood, we decided we HAD to watch the rest of Richard Linklater’s films. We were not disappointed with this trilogy of films about two strangers who spend one night walking around Austria, just talking and getting to know each other, followed by their interaction at two later dates. Simple and sweet. Streamed two of the movies from Amazon and rented one of them from Redbox.

 

Begin Again

We were super lucky a couple of weeks ago to get free passes to two different movies through AMC and their Stubs reward program. Begin Again was one of them, and I was totally blown away by how much I loved this movie. Witty and smart, it’s definitely one of the year’s best Indie dramas. If you’re looking to be uplifted in that authentic life-is-difficult-but-it-will-all-be-okay kind of way, this is your movie. Saw at AMC, courtesy of free passes from the AMC Independent Facebook page.

 

As Above/So Below

This was our other free movie from AMC, and as horror movie aficionados, we were super excited to see it. I wouldn’t say it was groundbreaking, but it was a fun ride, and the Paris catacombs as a setting was a nice touch. Saw at AMC courtesy of AMC Stubs and Fandango.

 

A Night in the Woods

Speaking of horror movies, we’re always on the lookout for good ones that flew under the radar. The Tribeca designation has begun to symbolize smart, innovative filmmaking in the genre, so we were anxious to give this one a try. It didn’t quite hold up to The Resolution, but it was a quality film that definitely gave us the creeps. The English moor setting was unique, and I think you’ll like this one if you’re a fan of movies like The Blair Witch. Streamed from Amazon.

 

09/9/14
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Why Are We Here Again?

We_are_here_to_healI love this quote so much. I think from now on, if I have a quandary, I’ll just look at this and ask myself; what will bring healing? What will bring love? What will allow me to create something beautiful? Or alternately, will this action or these words harm anyone? Will they destroy?

It’s a very human response to think about how our decisions will affect us. Will this contribute to my personal gain? Will it make me look good? But what if we put those concerns aside and thought only about this? What a relief!

And it kind of makes every decision seem simple, doesn’t it?

Sending you healing, love and creation, Sweet Friends!

<3

09/5/14
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Courage, Writers. Courage.

Writing-What-Hurts-Hemingway-Quote

09/2/14
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Happy New Week!

charles-bukowski-quotes-drink-from-the-wellOne of the most amazing things about this beautiful, wonderful, crazy life is that there is no limit to the number of times you can begin again.

<3