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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bakery Rebellion

Are you on the Ketogenic diet?
The gluten free diet?
Going Vegan?
Vegetarian not Vegan. (Learn the difference or you will be embarrassed.)
Low Carb?
Low fat?
High Protein?
Raw Food?
South Beach?
Grapefruit diet?
Cabbage Soup?
Carnivore diet?
Eggs and wine diet?
Apple Cider Vinegar diet?
Cake cleanse?
Smoothie detox?
No, and no.
Eating is harder to figure out then gender identity. But my new trans-
ition lenses help me see things clearer.
With over one hundred newly recognized genders this year, there will be people celebrating.
Hooray! They will probably have cake!
I made this delicious walnut cake last week.
Walnuts are very good for you. 😋
 Maybe I'll post a recipe soon.
Anyway, dieting is something I’m supposed to be doing. (Seriously, I replaced white bread with croissants.)😍
The more I read about the dangerous, long term consequences of dieting, the more I rebel.  
"Let me eat cake," is up there with Russian Roulette and cliff diving in Mazatlan. These are perilous times folks. I'm saying folks to be inclusive to everyone.

Husband can cut out one soda and lose twenty pounds! Just like that! Poof! He misses one meal and looks like a haggard, homeless man. 
Men. Yeah, it’s a gender thing and I’m not too keen on the way they can brag about having great metabolisms.  
Meanwhile, I’m swimming my heart out and walking our lazy pooches all over the place. Apparently, I'd have to walk to the moon and back to burn all my calories.

They should have the Exhausted but I Can't Give Up Cake Diet. It could consist of three hundred calories of anything delicious three times a day. Maybe three generous slices of chocolate cake and a few carrot sticks to equal things out? Hmm.
I didn't think so. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Butterfly Shadows

I stopped under a moving shadow of a Monarch butterfly.
She fluttered around a tree and flit above a house.
My eyes darted left and right hoping to catch a glimpse of orange.
Her fire
a smudged blur in my memory.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Take a Gamble on My New Romantic Adventure!

It’s finally here!! My second book about Penny, and though it’s a standalone sequel, Penniless Souls is the second half of a two-part journey called the Lost Compass Love Series. Follow Penny and John through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas, Nevada where old dreams and dark nightmares intertwine, colliding with the bitter truth. Is Penny up to the challenge? Is she willing to bet her last cent? 
Here’s a snippet from Chapter One:

 “Can you trust me?”
Quietly, she nodded and placed her head back on his shoulder.  “I
have so far,” she mumbled without conviction.
It felt like a white flag of surrender.  The type of submission that reminded her of submissive
women in advertising campaigns of the fifties.  Without a job or money,
she had only one thing left.  Fortunately, it was something valuable, some-
thing called love. 

 Buy it by clicking here and don't forget to write a short review! 

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Plethora of Roosters or a Peep of Chickens?

Not a flight of swallows or a murder of crows--not a siege of herons or a gaggle of geese....
Nor an exaltation of larks or a dole of doves but perhaps a plethora of roosters....

A month ago, we had a few roosters decorating our kitchen. I have this idea that the rooster is an image of forgiveness. So much so, that I wrote a short book about it, called The Fifth Commandment. In my short novella, rooster symbolism abounds. If you haven’t read it, then please click here.

Originally, we had one big rooster on the top shelf that my husband painted, and two old ones on the second shelf.  Both of the smaller ones were gifts. Then, at the end of July, my artistic friend Melodie gave me a gray, wooden hen. She painted it with, what now I believe, are alluring red flowers. Guess these roosters saw her coming, because a few days later my kitchen underwent a transformation.
See that gray hen on the right?

Within a couple of days--as if they spent every night awake--they reproduced! (Another friend brought us a box teeming with feathered fowl.) Now, I have an entire farm of roosters and every time I glance up at that shelf, I wonder.
What just happened? 
Does this mean I'm forgiven? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Still Grinning About July

The month of July began with a bang. We had the absolute cutest family members visit us during the week of the Fourth of July. They chased Pinky and Fiona and then jumped in the pool. It was non-stop fun and laughter. We even went hiking in the Santa Rosas, played Jenga and took the dogs for walks. One day, we visited an antique shop and a French soap maker in Old Town Temecula. This was immediately followed with unlimited supplies of soft-serve with toppings.
Pinky and me. I laughed my head off!

Chalk drawings on pavement, chess championships and a colossal number of crayons kept everyone entertained. Pinky and Fiona received extra belly rubs and forbidden, under the table snacks. Seems everyone did fine without computer games, phones and hours of television. 

Food was plentiful and dessert went on forever: juicy watermelon slices, scoops of ice-cream and apple pie. Not to mention oodles of hugs and kisses.

Then, after massive amounts of giggling…goodbye.
The day my cousins left you could hear a pin drop in Nebraska. Silence.
Fiona wants to know,"Where did everyone go?"
How’s your summer, so far?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Love and My Fear of Cooking

My people show how much they love you by serving massive amounts of food. Then, if you don’t eat several portions, they feel that you don’t love them back. It’s a common disorder and painfully difficult to navigate. Let’s say I invite family from far away. If we’re not going to a restaurant and the kitchen is available, they will make themselves at home and prepare some delicious comfort food. Gigantic vats of the stuff. During the meal they’ll keep checking my eyes to make sure I love their creation. If I try and act cool, they will ask, “Do you like it?”

“Of course, of course. It’s delicious,” I answer, knowing how hard it is to make a great dinner. Plus, they came from far away and deep inside, I know, I should have cooked. Of course, I thankfully slurp up every morsel of the meal, mainly because I’m pretty easy to please, but subconsciously, I’m looking for a good reason to overeat. How can I argue with home-cooked and mouthwatering? Forgetting my doctor’s warnings about portion control, I inhale every fattening, delicious calorie. I take seconds to prove my love.

The reason I didn’t cook is, I’m not sure they’d like it. I guess it’s called experience. Everyone has varied tastes these days. Honey and nut allergies, milk sensitivities, etc. Few things can be as unsettling as rumors about how your fancy dinner caused a family member to go into anaphylactic shock. Ever since, I have cooking trepidation—there’s really a phobia—Mageirocophobia. (The fear of cooking). Fortunately, it’s not a severe case and I don’t need treatment. When it comes to love, I’m not a quitter.

The younger relations wash sugar-free and fat-free down with copious amounts of craft beer. Moments later, they begin a lecture about a new workout, while smoking. The older ones prefer bland over spicy. Teenage girls are in a vegan phase, which is a good thing but this usually lasts until they taste a brew-house burger. The boys like barbecue, but they haven’t yet studied carcinogens in school.

There's also the internet educational system. It’s enough to make you choke. Suddenly, everyone is a chef. Do I used grass-fed meat and range-free chickens? No, I use what looks  best at the supermarket and just like grandma, I rinse everything. Still, the dinner conversation can turn ugly. I must be out of touch or cruel if I don’t watch those movie documentaries about the truth behind our food. Don’t I know about the unethical treatment of animals? The crowded chicken coops? The thrashed wheat? 

Salad ingredients seem to be controversial too. Especially the dressing. Too sweet—too cheesy—too oily—too tart. Some don't like arugula, others hate cilantro. There's a romaine lettuce recall. Have I heard about it? Yup, I'm not serving it, am I? Help. And why do people pick fruit out of their salad?  I’m back to casseroles. They seem safe enough and contain a fair amount of vegetables.

PicJumbo picture by Viktor Hanacek
And don’t get me started talking about dessert. Let’s say, I spent hours baking, frosting and decorating something amazing.But instead of appreciation, tell me why I'm being quizzed about ingredients? Did I use flour? Did I use sugar? If I pull something ready made from the freezer, “does it have artificial ingredients? Food coloring?” They look at me as if I want to poison their children. “Yes, it has sugar. It’s called dessert.”

But sadly, I’m back at that casserole. I still worry when placing the big dish in the center of the table. After all, I put my heart into it.
Speaking of hearts, it's aflutter. I search their eyes while perspiration breaks from my temples. If they don’t immediately look impressed, I’m all worried they won’t like it. If they don’t take seconds, my day might be ruined. Scooping almost full plates of food into the garbage pail, makes me want to cry.

You see, it’s a vicious cycle, fighting a nation of fast food.  But a cycle of love. Someday, as my family DNA dissipates into the ether, there will be other, worse issues than this one. I imagine my future descendants screaming at each other about carbs, gluten and the Keto diet, which is also called the Caveman diet. The cycle has progressed to the point that the Stone Age has returned. Clubs have been replaced with modern weapons and hunting for the exact taste, the perfect morsel of food to satiate immediate desire, is only one freeway ramp away. And love.....Humans will have to find new ways to express their feelings. 

As for my house, there’s this persistent issue connecting food with love. The slow cooker is simmering and the aroma is floating throughout the house. My husband is a great cook and whether I like his masterful concoction or not, I’ll be taking seconds.
Good excuse, huh?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

One Piece At a Time!

Sorry to drag you along on my walks, but it seems walking gives me hints for writing. Clues to the universal order or disarray of things. Walking makes me question nature and makes me think about the status quo. I walk—therefore—I am. Deep, huh? It’s supposed to say think and it was said by philosopher Rene Descartes. In fact, he said it in Latin: Cogito ergo sum. And walking, which is supposed to make me healthy, at least lets me philosophize.

So, here’s the scoop:
Crossing the road one morning, I found a puzzle piece directly in the middle of the road. I racked my mind. What could this mean? My inference radar thought of many different scenarios. Have you ever put together a puzzle and found there’s one last piece missing? So frustrating. I’ve been there.

But what message was the galaxy sending me? Was there something missing from my life? For days  I tried searching for answers. I tried being introspective. Mindful. I hugged my husband. I read and review books. I give, I volunteer. I assist when necessary.  I looked at my improved diet and my relationship with God. Wow, there’s always room for improvement, but after days of reflection, I still couldn’t pin it down.

So, I took myself out of the picture and then it hit me. The day. The piece. I was looking at it all wrong.

I found this puzzle piece the week of June 12, 2018. The day of a famous summit in Singapore. A meeting about disarmament of nuclear weapons.

The universe communicated with a tangible form of an important word.  Without spell check but maybe using autocorrect, this solitary puzzle piece appeared before me. Maybe the rest of the pieces are on other streets, all over the globe, sending a strong international message.
Say it. Say piece.
Let’s not lose an important piece of our puzzling world.