Great Quotes

“The pain never goes away, you just learn to make room for it.” ~ Andrea on the Walking Dead

This series is great!  Last week there was this one moment when the character Lori is talking to her husband, Rick about the other character Shane and how Rick needs to intervene before Shane does something dangerous and it is so Shakespearean.  I also loved the scene where Daryl is yelling at Carol and it is literally like he is just saying out loud everything she has already said to herself, I absolutely love that.  

I want to write so much more, but I have this filter on right now, I just don’t want any more drama in my life.  I don’t want to write about shit that I have been writing about, I don’t want to get negative feedback from anonymous strangers that just makes my stress level climb I just want to write because it helps me, it helps me to heal from my own pain.  I am tired and for a while I am going to keep the writing light.  Good quote above, struck me as I heard it because it is so true, like a dream where you are living in a house where you lived before but suddenly there are unexpected rooms, and ghosts hiding in them.  That is where the pain lives, you can shut the door, you can put up wards, but it never really leaves you.  

What makes it nice is that you find yourself making relationships with new people and new rooms are added, that help you to forget the ghosts living in those other places inside of you.  This is exactly what is happening the show, new relationships are formed out of the necessity of survival, and people continue on, because they have to.

The room I am looking for, the room I have always wanted, is a cozy warm single room house, with a fire, and a warm thick colorfully draped bed, soup cooking on the fire and the smell of fresh bread in the air.  Preferably without Zombies.  


Cooking · Healthy Eating · Music · Recipes

John Brown’s Body

The Westcott Theater is a small local venue for live music.  It has a wide open floor plan a bar on one side in the back, a place to sell shirts and CD’s on the other side of the theater, a sound booth in the middle and a small stage in front.  It was once a movie theater so the floor is at an angle which makes it good for viewing the stage, but not great for standing all night.  Last night the pirate and I went to see the band John Brown’s Body.

John Brown's Body Lead Singer at the Westcott Theater


Awesome horn section from the band John Brown's Body



It was a great show, two other bands played before they did, one of them was called Doc Apple a fun danceable hip hop band from Rochester NY.  The other was a guy called Derrick Hart, after the show ended he was walking around with CD’s and he gave both of us a CD of a compilation of his music and some other folks.  He came on stage all rumpled and looking kind of geeky but then he opened his mouth and he had a great show tunes voice which he proceeded to sing an a capella show tune style song with lots of F…words mixed in in a unique and surprising way.  It was pretty terrific and getting the CD was an added bonus.

A not so lazy Sunday, after being up dancing half the night, I had breakfast with the pirate’s family, cleaned my house, and walked the dog in the brilliant sunshine.  He was so happy, I swear he looked at me and smiled at least twice.  Now as I continue to prepare artwork to send to an unpaid commission, the new clay Jizo sitting on my table by my side, I have a mincemeat pie in the oven and a pot of one of my long time favorite soups on the stove as I listen to the CD given to me by Derrick Hart.

Vegan Lentil Soup

a cup of lentils
and about 6 cups water simmer for 45 minutes on low

meanwhile in a saute pan, caramelize a diced vidalia onion with three cloves of garlic, browning the onion adds loads of extra flavor pour a little water in and get all the browny goodness out of the pan before you add this to the simmering lentils.

chop three carrots and three medium potatoes and add.

Simmer until lentils are tender about another half hour or so.

add a half a bottle of tamari sauce (5oz altogether) and three sprigs of fresh thyme,

or a tsp of dried thyme leaves, or if you don’t have thyme, herbs de provence work too.

freshly ground pepper

add two large handfuls of mushrooms sliced

simmer another half hour

and a medium sized broccoli crown cook until broccoli is soft

cook until the broccoli is tender.



Changing Seasons · Climate Change · Flowers · Nature

First Sign of Spring

Aconite the earliest I have ever seen it.
The Old Maple, Adirondacks
Adam turned off the CAT and hopped off, giving me a firm handshake and exclaiming about what a beautiful day it was, but he wished it had snowed another foot. He then drove off grooming the very icy road, with just a couple inches of snow on it. It was bare in some spots. I hate to tell him, but it is getting mighty late in the season for X Country Skiing


Above all, do not lose your desire to walk.  Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.  I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

Musings · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure

more on mindless platitudes


when life hands you lemons, throw them at the person telling you to make lemonade!

you choose your own happiness?  Put big yellow smiley faces all over the outside of, and paint the moon and stars all over the inside of, and fill it with flowers, call it your happiness palace, but it still smells like shit and its still an outhouse.

the very definition of platitude is a trite and meaningless statement

and yet when people are going through the most profound and deep moments of their lives, we want to plaster happy face stickers on their pain, like big yellow bandaids.  Put this on it won’t hurt any more.

am I the only one who craves truth?  am I the only one who thinks being real is more important than smiling in the face of your own heartbreak?

in the face of death?  in the face of pain?

why do we want to tell people, pull yourself up by your boots straps when the problem is that the boots straps just snapped off and you are standing in quicksand, it isn’t always as easy as your little platitude.

glad i went through it, hard for everyone around me but so glad that i trudged along on my own, snotty tear stained and red faced for a whole year.  glad i did, stumbling fumbling trying to remake my life for another year.  glad i did.  and then building brick by brick a new life, glad i did.  i didn’t make lemonade i built the fooking pyramids of egypt.  so take your lemons and make your own damn unsweetened drink.

i tell him, you know, the truth is, that he wasn’t such a bad guy, he was smart, and sometimes he was nice, but the truth is, i was just married to the wrong person, he wasn’t right for me, at all.

he says, because you were dumb, when you married him, you just were not thinking.

yeah i know i say.

he kisses the top of my head as he waters the great big healthy plants behind me, reaching over me.

knowing you makes me realize it, i say, realize what kind of man is right for me.

you are such a dork, he says.

i know i say.


you know everything happens for a reason….

just dont forget that shit is still shit.

and sunshine is still sunshine

and the moon, is made of cheese.


Musings · Rants · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure


“Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn’t do it better. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition.”  ~Florida Scott-Maxwell.

and how has this life accommodated me? i think, well perhaps in some ways, but perhaps not at all.  i start to tell the pirate  “my heart says one thing but…” and before i can finish my sentence, he says, you can’t trust your heart, its been shattered in a million pieces, it is completely broken.  i open my mouth, i close it again.  how can he understand this when i have never told him?  i think he secretly reads my blog, or maybe that he loves me more than he is letting on, or maybe its just brutally obvious no matter how deep down i push it.  i tell him about the guy i dated once who informed me in a sanctimonious tone that he was so terribly peaceful that should someone ever try to rape me, and he observed it, he would feel hard pressed to intervene, the pirate says, if that happened i would go to jail because i would just shoot the guy, i would kill him.  i look at him, he looks at me, and neither of us say anything.

how has life accommodated me? someone posts a picture of my daughter’s father, as i once knew him, young, thin, smiling hippy.  who is that she asks me, it’s your father, i say.  no it isn’t.  yes it is.  no, it isn’t, yes it is.  the ensuing conversation comes around to, if i knew then what i know now, i wouldn’t change a thing because she is the most precious gift in my life.  it has not been easy.

i sometimes fight with people i care about alot, i have a right to my feelings, and my perceptions, and how i choose to express myself.  but it is not always easy to be a creative person in the social media world.  if i paint a picture and you see what you see, and it isn’t what i intended, should i repaint it?  the perceiver perceives, but does that mean the artist must work the canvas,or the page until it matches the insides and the out of all who read it?  should i just stop speaking?  put my foot in my mouth and turn myself inside out, creating a black hole of myself?  are my feelings and my perceptions so inconsequential that all others should supersede me?  isn’t this just the way our traditional culture wants its women, silent, uncomplaining, respectful and submissive?  are men and our fathers so weak that they cannot stand up to the brunt of a woman’s fierceness?  should we keep our fierceness, our poverty of spirit, our joy, our light, our fears, our tragedies, our trials hidden under a basket, so no one can see it?  does this make someone happy other than ourselves?  because when you hide it under the steel shell, and all it does is echo like a bell, you become shell shocked as the sound hits your brain and it reverberates inside of you.  what did i do?  what did i say?  should i have kept quiet?  i lift that steel casing off me and run naked and gleeful on the battlefield.  i am already shattered, you will not hold me down.

he texts me and tells me maybe we will see each other, he isn’t sure.  i text him back, now frustrated, thinking of my failed marriage. listen if you aren’t absolutely thrilled to spend time with me that is fine with me, call me when you cannot wait to see me.  an hour later, the phone rings.  see, little urchin, what happens when you stand up and throw off that shield and say, take me as i am, even when you don’t like it much or conversely, fuck off.  confidence is my only cloak.  it is brand new.  and it is sumptuous, have no worries, i know my life, it will not accommodate me, hubris is hiding in the shadows and it will surely reach out and trip me.  it always does.  but put me back under that bushel basket?  i think not.  try to blow out my light?  it may waver and sputter, but it won’t go out until god takes me.

Eating Locally · Healthy Eating · Recipes · Uncategorized

Remembering Vegetarianism


The following is an addendum to the original post.  I moved in with my parents after my daughter was born out of financial necessity.  My family ate a typical American diet, meat and potatoes, milk and eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and refined sugars and white bread.  It was not unhealthy and was well balanced but I found myself preferring to eat differently.  The kind of diet I ate when I was at college and the years following was whole grains, honey and maple syrup, nuts, falafel, fresh fruits and vegetables.  When I returned to live with them I had to give up this whole diet because there were no stores in our rural region that supported this kind of diet easily and my family due to habits, and preferences was unable to eat this way.  It is not a judgment on their behalf, rather it is meant as a reflection of the choices I made, and then how they have now come full circle.

Now back to the original post:

For a few years when I was younger I was a vegetarian, when I was pregnant, I craved sausage, kielbasa, hot sausage, breakfast sausage and pepperoni, I didn’t care, if it was spiced ground meat in a casing, I wanted it.  After I gave birth I lived with my parents for a couple years, and lets just say being a vegetarian was basically impossible in that household.  Impossible.  Then once I started living on my own, my daughter had already developed the taste for meat and sugar, which she has never really gotten over the latter.  I really do wish my family had supported me at least on that, not giving her sugar, but anyway, its too late now and she is a fiend for sugar.  It was hard to cook for her, because she never wanted vegetarian food.  I eventually gave up, buying and fixing meat meals to satisfy others, foregoing the brown rice, and whole grains to satisfy others and out of laziness.

My diet has changed tremendously in the last three and a half years.  I rarely eat out, and when I do it is almost exclusively vegetarian Asian food.  I have eliminated dairy almost completely from my diet, I still have cheese a half dozen times a month.  I no longer buy white rice.   And I have had to, recently cut out added sodium in my diet, ultimately due to high blood pressure, which is because that is what adding hormones does to my body.   Then the other day I started watching this movie called Forks Over Knives.  It talked about how the meat and dairy industry has this agenda of pushing us to eat large quantities of protein and dairy, a truth confirmed by my daughter the nutrition major, and her Diatetics magazine, and it talked about how it is important to eat whole foods, and a plant based diet.  I have been trying so hard to lose weight and I thought about how, at my thinnest I ate a whole food, plant based diet and I am considering changing my diet even further.  I thought too about the pirate, and how he eats kind of a crappy diet sometimes, and thought it would help him if I cooked vegetarian, even if it meant one or two meals a week and a lunch here and there, at least it would be cutting back on the high fat, high salt, high meat based diet he eats.

Today I made Cashew Chili.  I don’t even know where this recipe came from and I feel uncomfortable repeating it, because I am certain it came originally from a cook book.  But it is basically, onions, peppers and garlic sauteed in olive oil until soft, chopped unsalted cashews sauted lightly.  Two quarts of canned tomatoes crushed and then simmer on low for about an hour.  Add a lot of chili powder and cumin and a dash of oregano and salt, and some cayenne pepper and or chipotle pepper powder and two cans of drained dark red kidney beans.  Simmer another forty five minutes or so.  And serve.  The pirate added a bunch of shredded cheddar.  I ate mine plain.  He is a willing healthy food eater, because he called me from the bakery to ask if he should get bread, and I said something healthy and he said, not white then right?  Good guy, got a nice whole wheat bread to have with the chili.

I don’t know how far this will go or whether or not it will be too time consuming and if I will give it up or not.  But I don’t think I will.  Today I thought of several recipes that are time tested favorites, the chili, my lentil soup, my marinated baked tofu, black beans and brown rice, curried chickpeas, dal and split pea soup, all vegetarian options for the winter months, black bean salad, jicama salad, black bean spread on tortillas for summer.  I realize now that summer will be tough, I will have to find some nice cold summer salad recipes that are easy to make!  I am not sure I will cut out meat completely, probably not, I have too much venison in my freezer, but at least for a while I will try to eat vegetarian more often.  Today two people said I look thinner, and a couple days ago two other people did also.  I am at the lowest weight I have been in several years.

I will continue on this path.  I actually feel really good about it.

Buddhism · Musings · Zen Buddhism

Learn to Speak Peacefully, Learn How to Be Silent.

Woman Crying by Fernando Botero

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”– Ambrose Redmoon

“There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”– Frankl

It has been a pretty long and difficult week for me.  Mostly of my own making.  I struggle sometimes with this small problem of having a big mouth.   Two stories of saying too much when I should have kept my mouth shut.  One where I think I didn’t say enough is yet another story, let me start there.

Several years ago, my daughter had a problem at school, she and several other high school students got into quite a bit of trouble for “stirring up malicious rumors”  when one of the group reported that a teacher in the school propositioned him, and a second had a hard copy of an online conversation in which the same teacher spoke inappropriately to an underage young man.  The kids were disciplined, the teacher continued to work for at least one more year.  A year later, my former husband was talking to “someone” who worked at the district who was aware of this situation, and even though he was not her legal guardian, had a conversation with him about my daughter, about this incident, he called her, refusing to give me any details and threatening her if she ever told me any of the details.  In retrospect, I suspect it was his new love, the woman he left me for who just happened to be a person whose job very easily could have made her privy to this information.  He believed her rather than my daughter, well because his male parts were pointing at his new love and his heart was no longer in our corner.  Of course this speaks volumes on the height of her manipulative nature, which I have experienced first hand.   So that was then, this week that same teacher was arrested for soliciting an underage prostitute, and for endangering the welfare of a child (sexual in nature).  The thing that I want to do more than anything else is contact the powers that be and make sure this man never teaches again, but it doesn’t look great for the district, and I don’t really know what to do.  At best my daughter’s evidence is four years old.  And I am surely very personally involved in ways that make it quite difficult to extract my hostility and anger from the greater issue of child abuse which also makes me feel really angry.  At any rate, my daughter and her friends feel vindicated because they were called liars and trouble makers, my daughter has expressed wanting to email the ex husband a copy of the newspaper article too, not sure what good it will do there, he has made his choice.

Then I got into it with my mom’s cousin who is ignorant and intolerant for sure.  Her people pulled the right wing tactic of verbally attacking people they disagree with, and I am such a freaking wimp I started crying.    I run my mouth until someone says boo and then I back into my corner and shut the hell up.   Like my cousin said, I am a little girl.  But I was admittedly kind of in her face about it, and I guess that is what started the trouble.

a portion of this blog has been deleted because I feel a need to keep silent

Anyone who has read my blog for any extended period of time knows that I love my students, that I am a good teacher, that I am a kind and caring person, that I strive to be peaceful, and I want to be a good Buddhist, but I seemed this week to fail miserably at just a few of those things.  I need to begin to recognize when my urge to speak arises, and let it pass.  I need to learn to speak when I should too, but appropriately, and peacefully.

So after a month of nothing, here is my New Years Resolution:  Learn to Speak Peacefully, Learn How to Be Silent.

Coffee With Hallelujah  The following painting is from this blog:

Blue Burka Hallelujah Truth
All things melancholy · Buddhism · Musings · Poetry · Zen Buddhism


Untitled Painting by German artist Anselm Kiefer

Even if the brilliant sparkling sunshine streaming through crystal clear morning windows
a cat’s paradise, even if the body wakes wide open just before the alarm, ready to seize the whole entire day with cheerful good nature, should the clouds pass over the sun and cast a long shadow in the heat of noon, goosebumps erupting on naked flesh, the spine reacting tail to medulla oblongata, there is always the oily viscous force of the melancholy, always a chasm like vacuum waiting to suck all the light away.

The tar pitch shadow clings so, and like a meadow sweet rabbit nibbling unaware on the purple bouncing heads and three leaves of clover, when the shadow passes, it is thoughtless, reactionary, defensive never asking “is it cloud or is it predator?”

This is how it is.

The lake, may be on the granite mountain top, flitting insects buzzing joyfully about their short day, they fight amongst each other stating boldly with no thought, “this is my territory.”  Still the ancient water dragon, long thought to be a myth, emerges, like a snatching crocodile.  Whose territory is it when demons willfully rend your daydreams?

And later as the serpentine body suns itself, fresh from the kill, on the afternoon rocks, lazy and somnolent, there can be no cooling splash of skinny dip water to ease the heat of all the heart that burns.  It is this burning which throws the greatest shadow, from the inside, some blistering iron shield, burning with its brutal unrelenting light.  It cannot be borne, and the attempt to throw it off seers deeper on raw flesh.

Let the sun set on another empty day.  The smoking Tiki lit party peopled by things that only emerge late in the tintinnabulant evening.  Vampyres, sycophants, inside-outers and the like, all gayly masked shunners of light.  That self absorbed one, over here on the outskirts? Drawing unwanted attention to herself, through inexpert attempts, and angry outbursts at all the blood sucking, soul eating, and bucking bronco beauty ridden to exhaustion by popular opinion, and the sullied imperfection of a rotten culture.

Later she takes to her fetal eggless nest.  Sightless, she prays for eyes long after she prays for the dreams to bring a vision, but still either way she is blind, her sockets empty, she begs for love too, but rejects herself.  Either way she knows her nightmares and moonlit unfenced borders will steal away any hope of peaceful slumber.

Why does she keep waiting for tomorrow it is an old cliche that will never come.

She digs in waiting and wanting anyway.