Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Clicker

HLast year, a friend of mine told me about a you tube video I had to watch. It was from Hilary Weeks, who is best known as a Mormon singer. I said I wasn't interested, but she was insistent. I had to watch this video.

So I did.

It was profound.

The concept behind the clicker is pretty simple. You click it whenever you have a happy thought. It's a little awkward at first. 

I didn't realize how much stinking thinking I really was doing. I thought I had happy, positive thoughts. And I do, but not as much as the negative ones. One the basic precepts of manifesting is to think positive, and to always phrase your intentions in a positive light. You attract what you think, so if you have a negative mindset, you are going to attract negativity.

As I began to click I did notice a subtle shift. The little things weren't getting to me as much. I smiled more. I was more patient. I began to look for the bright side. 
I had returned to my natural state.

I had always been a positive person, and always looked on the bright side of life. I have been called Pollyanna, because I tried to see the good in everything and everyone. It worked for me for most of my life, but then I had a run for the last 5 or so years that have challenged me on so many levels. I lost some of my positivity and felt my light get dim. The unfortunate part is, once you open the door to negativity (you know, if you give the devil a foothold) it just multiplies. 

Being happy is hard work. It's so easy to complain. It's easy to be rude, mean, nasty, etc. being happy takes a conscious effort each and every day.

Clicking is a physical reminder that I am choosing joy over negativity. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Broccoli rabe

One of my favorite vegetables is broccoli rabe.

 In New Jersey, you can find it everywhere. South Dakota, not so much.

It's like broccoli, only less flowery. It's got a slightly bitter taste, like chard. I don't think it could be eaten raw (it wouldn't taste good anyway). 

I blanch mine first, then the magic begins. 

Next I sauté it in olive oil with garlic, then I serve it with either polenta or pasta. Or plain.

I added roasted tomatoes & red peppers, over polenta.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Naked Burrito

I love burritos. The love affair started at Bonneville Junior High, in Salt Lake City in the early 1980's. Sometimes, I'd get off my bus with my friend who lived at the other end of 6400 South, near 11th East. There was a 7-11 on the corner, and I had my first taste of a burrito.

It was love at first bite.
I still love them, even though they aren't the healthiest thing for me.
I've tried to find a way to make them healthier, but I hadn't had much luck.
Until now.
We've had some crazy weeks lately, between the Big Man being back in the hospital earlier this month,
Pinewood Derby 
and piano recitals
and competitions.
Then I got sick, causing an asthma flare.
As a result, lots of takeout and junk, which means feeling bloated and just plain yucky. In addition, grocery shopping was on the back burner, so cupboards were lacking the good stuff.

was throwing together a quick dinner the other night, and didn't have anything jump out and scream cook me. It was like an episode of Chopped.  I had a sweet potato, some cooked kidney beans, a can of Rotel tomatoes, green onions, cashew cream, avocado, and some daiya shreds. 

Challenge accepted.
Time to make a naked burrito bowl.
What makes it naked is no tortilla. 
I cooked the sweet potato, then sliced it. I sprinkled some chili powder on it.
I reheated the beans with the tomatoes. Diced some green onions, added them. Heated them through. 
Diced some avocado and topped it all with cashew cream.
It was so good. 

more snow!

Its been a horrible winter on the plains, and I think that

We have a gentle snow falling here on the plains. The Little Man is currently playing Lego Star Wars on X Box and the Big Man is playing against him. I'm up in the living room with the puppy dog, watching Nat Geo
all about Mary Magdalene. My day has been consumed with the fact that my sister has decided to drive from New Jersey to West Virginia in a blizzard. So somehow I've been entrusted with managing her trip...don't know why its up to me, being 1300 miles away from all that, but it is. So I've been getting phone calls & having to look at traffic cams, and dealing with verbal abuse. Basically, if she doesn't pull off the highway soon, it can be life or death but she doesn't see it like that at all. Nor does she understand what she's doing to our mother and how upset she is by this little sojourn. I mean, common sense its a blizzard you don't drive if you don't have to let alone go 900 miles in it. But thats not for me to decide. And getting yelled at by a 20 year old is not my idea of fun.
Basically my plan for today was to take a nice, cuddly nap under a warm fuzzy blanket and maybe bake. Instead my blood pressure has been sky high all day because of my sister's trip and I can't relax. Believe me, I've tried to just let it go and be done with it, but that's not happening. Everytime I've tried to lay down, the phone has rung and I've been stressed out even more. Frustrating, yes. Everyone has their role in their family and mine is to be the fixer. Its my job to make everything better and make things right for all. I am the caregiver and caretaker. My role has its perks sometimes, but for the most part its a pretty heavy burden. I just want to enjoy life but there's always some sort of drama that needs to be fixed.
I don't know if a lot of other people have the same issues in their families (feedback anyone?) but I would love to be the wallflower for a change. I just want to be the wife and mom for a little bit and not have to deal with all the auxiliary stuff that seems to land in my lap.
I wonder if this is why I feel so drained and tired all the time. I think it might have a lot to do with it-I'm carrying the load for so many other people.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Chains are Gone (Amazing Grace)

I did not grow up "churched". My family had a cursory affiliation with religion. My great grandparents were a mix of Lutheran & Catholic, and not active in either. It was a trickle down effect to me; the less they needed Him, the more I did. My journey of faith has been a crooked path. There were moments, similar to where

“I talk to God but the sky is empty.”
― Sylvia Plath

The older I get, the more I realize I wasn't being ignored. Rather, I was ignoring the still small voice. I was trying to do it on my own. Don't worry God, I've got this. I was more concerned about me, me, ME and not listening to anyone else.

Church has always been about belonging. I have longed to belong. I have longed to be a part of something. I did and volunteered because I needed to be wanted. After a while, it is almost expected that Dee will do it...and it was a given. I would grow resentful, and pull back. Its not that I didn't want God, I just wanted Him and not the other stuff that goes along with being part of Him. I would run again, away quickly from His people.

I tell myself over and over that I won't fall prey to that doing trap.

I am not always successful.

As time has gone on, I have begun to look for God outside of the church. I have seen Him in the birds soaring overhead. I have heard him in the crickets at dusk. I have felt Him with my hands in the dirt. I have tasted Him in fresh fruit and clean water. I have smelled Him after a spring rain. I have found Him where I least expected it, and it caused my heart to sing. I didn't need the four walls and nave and all the pomp and circumstance to find God.

I felt my chains being broken away, link by link.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Caught in the Act

Acts 1:1-11

1:1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning

1:2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

1:3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

1:4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me;

1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"

1:7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.

1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

1:9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

1:10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.

1:11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

Theme: ascension

Act out the story with stuffed animals

Activity: bubble blowing

Snack: white cupcakes


White cake mix & ingredients to make cake

White frosting

Cake sugar

Cake decorating supplies

Cupcake liners

Bake cupcakes according to mix directions. Let cool. Add frosting to cake decorator, swirl around top of cupcake & shake sugar over it.

Craft: cloud picture

Supplies needed:

blue construction paper

cotton balls


Easter grass

Glue cotton balls to top of construction paper.

Glue grass to bottom of paper

Decorate with pictures of trees, etc.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

bad love


Collapsing down the storm damaged wall

Into a crumpled heap

50 feet below

The precipice of my heart

Watching my tears erode my cheekbones

Like ancient rivers

Cutting into the canyons that are my soul

I observe my breath

In and out in and out in and out

In deep wailing staccato bursts

I dream of the Cape and sand mountains

That you and I climbed with golden

Slivers shining on us

As summer turned to fall and the waves

Began to crash with a churning burning


When you pledged eternity amongst the sea grass

Time did not stop

And here I sit, heaving