Monday, December 26, 2011

Lemony Pesto Hummus

I love hummus. I like trying it in any form, it's delicious. I've never made it myself. But, I know I'll be making it more in the future. The possibilities are truly endless. I'll be trying more and more. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is how many calories there are in one 1/4 cup serving, about 280! It's just so high. Also for me as a diabetic the carbs are high as well. So, I'll be seeking more vegetarian foods that are lowere in carbs.

Lemony Pesto Hummus
Delicious and quick snack that's nuturious and yummy.                     
Number of Servings: 4
Serve with chips, tortilla chips, celery, slices of peppers - the ideas are endless. Just enjoy. It's full of potassium and vitamin B6

1 Can Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (about 2 cups)
Juce of 1 Lemon about 1/4 Cup
Truffle Oil 1/4 cup
2 Tablespoons Garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Pesto seasoning
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt

No cooking! :D
Open the can of chickpeas. Rinse them. Pour them into a blender, (or if you're lucky enough a food processor).
Cut lemon in half & squeeze the juice into the blender.
1/4 Cup of truffle oil over the chickpeas and lemon in the blender.
Add in garlic powder, pesto seasoning, and sea salt.
Blend until it's pasty looking.
Spoon out into a bowl & enjoy with your friends or family.

Hummus is great to enjoy, and it's so versatile.

Serving Size: Makes about 1/4 Cup Serving Sizes
Number of Servings: 4

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Snickerdoodles Like Mom Used to Make

 Snickerdoodles - the one cookie that reminds me of home. I smell them, I see photos of them, or if a friend makes them I miss my Mom within a milisecond. My Mom made the best Snickerdoodles in all the Universe. No, seriously! She really did. I know she used the recipe from her grandma, and I'm pretty sure it was the same I found today because they taste EXACTLY the same. I was so happy to open my cookbook and see the recipe that we had used when I was a kid. I remember being in the kitchen with Mom during the holidays and baking Snickerdoodles. They were amazing straight from the oven, and even better a day or two (if they made it that long) later.

So, since I'm so far from my Mom I had to bring some home into our home this Christmas. So, I did. I put as much love into mine, as she did her's. The only thing missing were my Mom & Dad to enjoy them with. But, I got to take some out of the oven while I was on the phone with them and bite into it. Flashing back to my childhood and giggling with my family during the holidays.

I miss you Mom & Dad. I try to recreate all the love and togetherness we had growing up. I hope you'll get to visit sometime. Until then, I'll bring you into our lives in the things we do.

Here's the recipe I used to make the delicious cookies from Betty Crocker's cookbook.


Heat oven to 400ºF.

Makes about four dozen

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Used for the dough to be rolled in:
1/4 cup sugar (4 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cooking pan.

Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until set

I set the timer for eight minutes, then watch them very closely. The ovens here in Germany do not cook the same as they did back home in America. So, watch for the cookies just begin to form cracks and thier color is a light brown, and remove them. Cool them on the cookie sheet about 2 minutes then remove to rack to cool completely. Then eat & enjoy. Grab a cold glass of milk and eat!

There are a ton of recipes for Snickerdoodle's online, but trust me - this one is the real one. These are just like the ones I had from 1970-something until I left Texas in 2010.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

List of delicious love

They seem to be everywhere of late. I am fascinated by them. I’m doing them more often, and having fun. I make them mentally, or do a more artistic journal rendition of them. Any way I’m doing them, and I’m loving it.

So, my lists of foods I’ve discovered and love is as follows:

Acorn squash! Oh, the things you can make with this delicious beautiful squash.

Butternut squash! There are so many things to can make with this fantastic fun shaped squash, or even better roast it, grab a spoon and just dig in as is. OMG! *drooling*

Black beans! Yes, you fantastic little legume I do love you so. You are full of deliciousness, and protein. You allow me to enjoy my life and not miss meat so much. Oh, the affair shall last forever. I eat you whole or can mash you up into a wonderful little dip. I know we met a few years ago, but you are back in my life to stay now.

Amy’s vegetarian frozen meals! Okay, I’d rather cook my own food, but when I’m beat, or my FMS has me beat, I can run to the store and grab one of the delectable little meals and just pop it into the microwave and enjoy the wonderful meal without the guilt of running out and buying meat. Amy dear Amy, you have made me realize that it’s not about meat or vegetarian meals. No! It’s about the flavor you can put into your meals. Thank you Amy! Thank you!

There are so many more vegetables and fruits I’ve discovered lately. I am excited about this new, rebirth, of this lifestyle for me. But I believe my last food to list for now has to be. . .

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans! Oh, like the black bean you are fan-freaking-tastic so many ways. I can sit down with a sliced veggie and just go to town. I’m so happy. I do love you. I love you with garlic. I love you with a bit of thyme and olive oil. Oh, I love you just about any way you can imagine.

I used to dread the idea of not being able to eat meat. Not so any longer.

I find so many wonderful recipes and come up with so many things to make. I have to be honest here though. I woke up today thinking about my family’s chicken & dumpling recipe. I began to fret. I mean – HELLO! It has chicken in it, and I do NOT eat that any longer. BLECH! So, I thought – okay, I can have some vegetarian chicken formed thing. Then, I began to gag – NO! So, I thought well, make it just without the meat, just have dumplings. HAHAHAHA No. That’s not healthy either. So, I figured I’ll just find something to create, something that will still be the ladies in my family, but me as well. So, my new quest is to create a vegetarian meal like chicken and dumplings, something that even my grandchildren will love. (When I have them – I’m in NO rush!)

Life is all about change. At least for this lady it is. I embrace change. I probably welcome it more than some do. I can’t seem to stay in one place for more than three years at a time before I begin to get itchy feet…but this is for another blog. Today, it’s all about the fun of lists and the wonderful foods I’m rediscovering.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dee's Potato, Leek and Cilantro Soup

Life for me is better being meat free. Again, I'm not doing this for any political reasons, or anything other than my body cannot handle the meat any longer. I just don't feel good, physically, after I eat meat anymore.

So, I have meat behind. I feel so much better. My body is thanking me by making my moods elevate again. It's been so long since I've been happy & I was truly dreading winter with the lack of sun. However, it's been a complete turn of attitude and mood & I am thrilled! I am happy again for the first time in almost nine months!

So, I made this yummy soup. I know it look super greasy, but it's really not. It only has two tablespoons of truffle oil.

Delicious, flavorful soup that is super simple to make for two or more. Great to make ahead and have leftovers during the week for lunch or dinner for the busy single, or couple.

I hope you'll try my soup. It's simple and delicious. I LOVE soup! I told my daughter a while back, if I ever opened a restaurant I'd open a soup place. I found one in Luxembourg, that I will be going back to try too.

Dee's Potato, Leek & Cilantro Soup

Six 1-Cup Servings


1 Leek, chopped

2 Potatoes

1 Bunch of Cilantro

3 Cloves of Garlic (Yes! I LOVE garlic.)

2 Tablespoons EVOO or Truffle Oil (which is what I used)

16 Oz of Vegetable broth

1 Can of Coconut Milk

2 Cans of Water

Exact amounts:
Leeks, 1 cup
Potato, raw, 2 medium (2-1/4" to 3-1/4" dia.)
Garlic, 3 clove
Cilantro, raw, 3 tbsp
Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
Coconut Milk, 1.25 cup
Vegetable Broth, 2 cup
Water, tap, 26 fl oz

Slice up the leek. Chop the potatoes into chunks. I made mine bite size. Dice up the cilantro and two cloves of garlic.

Put one table spoon of oil into a pot. (I like to cook my food in the pot I'm going to make the soup in, it's just less mess!) Put in the sliced leeks, and chopped potatoes and cilantro and two cloves of garlic.

In a saute pan put the other tablespoon of oil and the remaining diced garlic clove. (I used the largest clove of garlic I had for this piece.) Sauté for about five minutes, or less depending on your taste. Stir occasionally.

While your clove of garlic is sautéing, begin to prepare the soup by adding your vegetable broth, coconut milk, and two cans of water to the pot with your leeks, potatoes, and cilantro. Cook on low-medium heat for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add more veggies if you'd like it chunkier. I just love creating recipes, and I'd love to hear other's additions and changes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Family of Friends

This little odd montage of trees are some I photographed on the way back from Amsterdam. You know what a tree hugger I am. (Yes, literally in many cases.)
I know I'm odd. I admit it. This is proof. This is how my odd little mind works.
See, I was completely taken by these three trees. So, I photographed them individually, knowing I was going to do this with them. I just loved them. They were each unique and beautiful, but I wanted them together to show their different unique style. Kind of like the people in my life. You are all together in my heart, but very unique & different & that's what I love about you all.
I love my family of friends.
Just like things that grow on the earth some things are planted by things that float into the area. Well, each of you in my life are here and are incredibly beautiful, unique and planted for a purpose.
Sometimes one needs more than the other, and that's what I value in relationships. Thank you for being a part of my life.
I love you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dee's Lemon Garlic & Paprika Peppered Pasta

Dee's Lemon Garlic and Paprika Peppered Pasta

8 oz of Angel Hair Pasta
1 Lemon
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbsp Oil (I used black truffle oil)
2 tsp Paprika
3 tsp Lemon Garlic Pepper
Few "spritzes" of butter/margarine spray
Cook Angel Hair pasta according to the packaging. Drain & set aside, spritz a few times with butter/margarine spray & toss.

Smash your garlic clove(s), (I LOVE garlic, so I actually used two very large cloves), and dice into small pieces.

Put two tablespoons of oil, (I used black truffle oil), into skillet and mix in the diced garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until the garlic is thoroughly integrated into the oil. I cooked mine until the garlic was a light brown consistency.

Place pasta into a bowl, pour oil & garlic mixture over the top and mix thoroughly. Take your lemon cut in half and squeeze generously over your pasta. Sprinkle your paprika and lemon garlic pepper over the mixed pasta and stir/mix again.

Makes probably four portions, but I think it was two healthy portions. You could easily serve it with a salad and veggies and have the four serving sizes.

It's a light delicious meal, with a different flavor. I get sick of the same ole tomato flavor, or super creamy pasta meal. I like the light flavor of this meal.

This meal was inspired from my food board. Follow me, I'm Nikongoddess on

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Do you realize it’s all a lie?
Do you know it has all gone by?
Do you even know that I can go?
For tomorrow I just don’t know.
Today is a thing of the past.
I know tomorrow won’t last.
The future is just so slow.
Hope is all I know.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My geekier side of life

I can't express enough how much I do love the geeky side of life. I enjoy finding new techie (or is it techy?) stuff they've come up with, and things you can do with said new things. I want to run out and buy the stuff and try it - RIGHT THEN. Reality, I can't alwas afford it, nor can I competely grasp the stuff. So, I merely sit back and watch my Geek friends and family go all goo-goo-ga-ga over the stuff. I admire their knowledge and comprehension of how things work. I wonder when I stopped trying to TRY new things. I sit back and ponder. Then, I snap out of it, grab the new fandangled thing and give it a go.

This past Friday, I was one of the first 1 million people to get the new iPhone 4S. I had my 3G for almost two years. I held out. I wanted the new "5." Well, that's not what came out. What came out was a ramped up verision of the iPhone 4. What sucked is that everyone with that phone could now upgrade theirs to basically be the same. Okay, yes - the new 4S has a newer & more powerful processor, better antenna's, and the camera rocks my world - and that they canNOT get unless they too upgrade. But, is it worth it? YES! YES IT IS! *giggle* I LOVE my new phone. I waited and waited for it. I deserve it. I work hard, and I love my job. So, to have the new little thing makes me squee with delight. Did I talk with Siri? Yes, yes we had a conversation. She doesn't know as much as she claims in the commercials, but she's learning. The main thing I dislike about her is her lack of knowledge of Europe. It's frustrating. Okay, Apple - you're willing to sell the phone here - for the same price, or MORE than what it costs back in the good 'ole US of A, but you don't load maps of Europe on? Are you ignorant? Take a small gander at the internet usage of the world - yes the US of A is #2, BUT the rest of the world (must larger than the US, in case you were unaware) uses the internet too. I don't necessarily want or need suggestions of places to eat, but I would like to access my maps. Thank goodness for Google!

Other geek stuff - I LOVE vinyl toys. I'm not talking about those you have "intimate" knowledge of. I'm talking about toys, the little plastic things you play with or just sit on the shelf, as in my case. I have loads of them, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I see new ones I want all the time. This is sort of where my geek and my Disney freak combine. I really enjoy my Mickey vinyl toys. They come in all sorts and sizes. I also have an unhealthy obesssion with Treeson's and Monskey's. I have more Monskey's than Treeson's but I need...okay, I want more. I also combine my kitchen witchery with my geek side. I love new kitchen gadgets. I can't get enough of them. I swoon over the newest design of one thing or another. However, the fact that the kitchen is not the biggest room in the house, I am choosy on what I buy. Oh, but that does not stop me on swooning! The fact is my geek side influences my other sides often. My photographer fights to win most battles, but when the geek world clashes with my photographer world - photographer world wins everytime. It does welcome the geek side though. It's sort of the dark side of my photography side.

I want more and more of the nerdy geeky stuff to use and shoot with - lately it's been the simpler side. After all isn't that what being a geek is all about - making things simpler?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shut UP

Yes! I said it. Shut the hell up! I'm going to piss of a whole bunch of people with this posting, but I'm so sick of this I have to say something. So, here goes. As you know I'm an American stationed in Germany as a Civilian. I live next door, in row houses, to another Ami (this is how the German's "lovingly" refer to us). Well, this Ami (because they truly FIT this derogatory term), is a typical Ami! He's LOUD, obnoxious, rude and just all around BLECH! Here's the main thing though - he married a woman that had a kid. Okay, that's not bad & I'm not knocking that, what I am knocking is her pathetic excuse at parenting. Their form of dispiline is SCREAMING at this little brat. Here's the thing - Germany is quiet. I mean really wonderfully quiet and peaceful. I LOVE it here because of that. I have a bit of an issue with loud noises. So, Germany suits my soul. Back to the Ami's - Well, I was sitting outside with my puppies and German Shepherd watching them play for a bit when out walks the sergeant all lound and singing "Rehab" at the top of his voice and loudly announcing someone named Tyler, over and over. Well, I scoop up the puppies and call Logan (the German Shepherd) into the house. As I do not like these people and I do not want to be associated with them and their loud behavior - because it is ALWAYS LOUD! Here's the thing - their little "darlin'" shreaks at the top of her lungs for as long as she can if she is told NO by step-daddy. It is a miracle in itself if mommy ever says anything, but when she does it's screaming and yelling, normally started off with "NO!" So, this starts the kid screaming again. Well, apparently the little friend "Tyler" is about the other child's age. Oh, joy two three year olds in the back yard (very tiny back yard) in a set of row houses, and now they are shreaking and screaming as loud as they can. No laughter, just screaming. Why is this considered cute? Why is this okay? Not just here, but in life? Why don't some people NOT have children? Oh, wait - step daddy just came outside and told her no about something, not sure what - maybe they weren't sharing something properly - all I know is there was suddenly a piercing sonic scream that lasted a full 45 seconds. YES! I timed it. OMG I want to throttle this child. No, wait I want to throttle the parent and the step-parent. People, your child is NOT cute when it is screaming or shouting. Teach your children to use a normal level voice at all times. I KNOW it has everything to do with how the parent(s) talk/scream at the child. I mean they are nothing but little tiny sponges that soak up all the behavior we put in front of them - right? RIGHT! Well, my suggestion - take child development classes. LEARN how your child, and everybody elses child, will be developing in life. I did this because I wanted to raise my daughter right. Okay, sure you're asking if my daughter EVER screamed or shreaked when she was little. I can tell you with 100% honesty - NO! Not only NO, but HELL NO! Again, I have a bit of an issue with loud noises. So, my daughter did not shreak. She giggled, she laughed, she even gafawed, but she did not have any reason to shreak or scream at the top of her lungs. Wait, this may be wrong - there was this one time when we were listening to 99.5 KISS FM back in San Antonio, and she was in the third grade on the way to her christian school (another whole joke and story for another time), but they used to have what was called the "primal scream" in the morning. You know to get out all your frustrations and make sure you start the day off right. Well, for the fun of it we did it one time - here's the thing though - we were inside my car with the windows rolled up and the AC on, driving down the highway. (We lived in Texas, of course the windows were rolled up and the AC was on!) But, that is the ONLY time I remember Ashlee EVER being allowed to scream. It was fun. We ran out of breath and laughed. This child next door - she's just as obnoxious as her loud obnoxious step-father and mother. It is truly tacky to allow your children to scream or throw tantrums. Sure, tantrums are a part of life, but do you have to allow them to go on & on? People, try to remember who the parent is, and who the one RAISING the child is. The one that is supposed to set an example. Yes, that would be the one that gave birth and is raising them, putting clothing on them and food in their bodies. Stop raising little clods. Keep your child at a normal level. I am NOT saying that children should not be heard - my favorite sound in this universe is the sound of a child laughing, but not screaming. So, if you're offended by this - maybe your child is too loud. Have people ever given you "that" look because your kid is acting up? Then do something about it now, while they are young. Wait until they are teens and try to control them - good luck. They've already learned they can push your buttons over & over to get what they want and they win. Be a parent and do what's right. And if you live in Germany - be polite and accept the social rules and refrain from loud noises. Stop making the Germans believe we are truly an uncultured society that doesn't care about anyone but ourselves. Think of others. OMG that felt good to get out. If it offended you - I'm not apologizing. I hate loud, obnoxious, little brats. People that put boundries on their children have the best children. I'm NOT talking about abuse, I'm talking about saying NO and sticking to it. Try it - your children will appreciate it later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

I've recently discovered that I'm growing up. Yes, at 45 I am finally growing up. It's tough. No matter the age. Some, okay most, grow up around 17-21 when they leave home for the first time. Yes, I left home about the same time - sort of. I lived in the same town/city as my folks/family. So, growing up and leaving didn't really happen until 2008, but after two months away the Universe decided I needed to go back to my hometown. So, I did until January 2010. It was then I came back to the one place I wanted to be since 1982. I've been quite happy here. I feel like I'm "home" so to speak. That is until about four months ago when I hit that major depression. Which was a very dark and scary time. I'm not there anymore, but I realized then it was because I was truly growing up. I'm on my own, and learning to really grow up. I'm making serious decisions in life. I'm learning to fly.
I went to Ireland last year. I fell in love with the country, and the people. It wasn't that vacation kind of love - I felt as if I belonged. My friend even commented that she's never met anyone take to Ireland like I had. Well, that still sits in my soul. About four months after we went to Ireland we went to England. I felt very much like I did in Ireland, but not quite the same.
My decisions are weighing on my heart and soul. I believe I know where I belong. Now, how do I get a job in one of the two locations to live out my life? How to I leave my parents behind? I've never had a man that wanted me to be his wife (legally). So, I have nothing else holding me to one place.
Of course I do miss my family & friends back home. But, I only have my parents as far as family is concerned. I know I have a brother, but when he left at 18 he never came back into my life. He's stayed far away and doesn't even know me or my daughter, as I don't know his family either. Mutual seperation I suppose.
The question eats at me. I miss my parents horribly, and my friends as well. All I can say is I believe I know where I belong. I have to try, right? I owe it to me to grow up. Right?
This is scary shit. It's time to grow up. I'm taking the steps to learn how to do it; to learn what I need to do to get where I need to go.
Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts. Prayers, lit candles and positive thoughts/vibes towards me growing up is VERY appreciated. HUGS!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stop It

I have a few friends that have identified with the dark place of depression. It appears quite a few friends found themselves in this same dark neighborhood. We tend to beat ourselves up when we are in it. It has a lot to do with the depression and the self hatred - I think it is ugly and horrible vicious cycle of nastiness. That's what I think anyway. I'm no shrink - I just know my own world - VERY WELL.

I'm happy to say that since I told my self to let it go and to learn to love me I've been staying in the light, or light gray part of my world. I know the dark is there - I mean RIGHT there, but I can also see that I can stay in the light and just wave to the dark. I guess you can say flirt with the darkness, or it flirts with me.

I have noticed that we tend to tell ourselves that we are wallowing or rolling around in self pity or self hatred, which of the two I would agree with the later. However, I do not agree with self pity. I'll tell you why. If any one of our friends or loved ones was depressed we would not tell them to "stop feeling sorry for themselves." No, we would comfort them and be there for them. Be a friend, a loved one, or even a lover. We would not be ugly and tell them to "STOP, their stupid whining..."; "Get out and quit feeling sorry for themselves..." No, we would not be so mean, or ugly to them.

So, why are we to ourselves? Who do we think we are to be so cruel to our number one. The one we came into the world as, and the only one that will be with us when the lights go out permantely? No, what we need to do is tell ourselves just exactly what we'd tell someone else - "I LOVE YOU" "I'm here for you" "I won't leave you, talk as long as you need." Create a journal, and allow us to love ourselves. Why is it wrong? Who is the first one to tell us that it is wrong to care about ourselves? Why is it? It's not selfish - it is necessary for us to live, breathe, and function in this world.

So, go out - but first stop by the mirror and tell that amazing person looking back at you that you LOVE that person - and MEAN it!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Something Positve

I've been in a very dark place for the last few months. Very dark and dreary and very lonely. I've not talked about it here, and I'm not going to start. Instead I want to encourage myself, and you to find one thing positive every day, every single day, and write it down in a journal or in your blog. If you do this please post a message to me with your blog link. I promise I will return the favor and read your note. It can be as simple as a line, a photo, a joke you found quite funny, a poem that touched your heart, or something nice someone said or shared with you.

But, part of being happy are the choices we make to be happy. For me it is a daily choice. I made the choice to let go of my dark mood this past Saturday, 1 June 2011. I looked in the mirror and I told myself it was time to let it go. Oh, trust me I have serious things I will be focusing on. For instance I am going to the doctor to see if there is anything medically they can do to help me not fall back down into the darkness. It's scary down there. So, I don't want to go back. I want to deal with the mother load of bullshit I have on my doorstep and move onto a happy life - once and for all.

So, my positive today is this - It's okay to be afraid of change, as long as you're willing to look at it head on and work towards getting through it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

One more reason to love my life NOW.

Have you ever had one of those *OHHHH!* moments of epiphany? I’m sure you have. While reading an article on weight loss I had one of those moments.

In the article she talks about sleeping better because her body was getting rid of toxins. Well, I don’t eat fast food anymore, primarily because they don’t really have it here in Europe. THANKFULLY! So, my body is finally rid of all that crap I used to eat. Sure they have McDonalds and other places, but I don’t eat there except on a SUPER rare occasion. Mostly – because I just don’t like the food. I do like the McCafe’s they have, that’s because of the coffee. In Germany they do not understand the meaning of “sweets” as the rest of the planet does. Their idea of a sweet is a dry cake or piece of bread. I’m sorry Germany – I LOVE your food, most of the time, but you do not know how to do dessert. So, again, thankfully for this I don’t have that junk in my diet anymore. Yes, I’ve talked about eating better and changing my lifestyle. Well, it all has to do with living a better life here in Europe.

When I read that paragraph in the article I realized that I do in fact sleep better, and it began about seven months into living here. I mean, I, actually, this will shock some, sleep in. Yes, me! I sleep in now. Granted it’s only until 0800, but OMG!!! This HUGE for me, I’ve even been known to sleep in until 0930 on a super rare occasion. It is fantastic. I see what all the rage of sleeping in is all about. So, this is what I’ve been missing ALL of my life. So that light bulb lighting up moment for me was the toxins leaving my body, me sleeping more, me sleeping soundly – I realize it’s because I don’t eat the junk anymore. Sure, I’ve seen “Super Size Me.” I watched it in 2009 and it made me realize I was literally poisoning myself with that junk. Did I stop eating it? No! It was easy, convenient and simple food. I didn’t have to think when I bought it or eat it. Why? Because it sucks away your brain cells – LOL I’m kidding, but it seems like it does. Well, like I said living in Europe has been the best thing for my health. I’m glad I’m here.

My moment of “OOOOHHHHHH!” came while reading an article of the simple truth; I look forward to many more of these while living my life here in Europe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

When it gets tough...make scones

It's been a tough few days.

Thursday night I had a really painful bout of Fibromyalgia start up. By the time I got home from watching a movie, (we had free passes - YAY!), I was almost in tears. It's a five to seven mile drive home. My hands hurt so bad I could barely move them, the pain was beginning to circle it's way up my legs and into my back and trunk. I hurt. I knew by the time I went to bed that night that Friday's work was out of the question.

Being a photographer is the one thing in life that makes me happier than almost everything, outside of my daughter. I knwe that I would be completely unable to hold a camera, much less try to push the button to take a photo. I couldn't hold a pen, pencil or even type on Friday. By the time I called my boss to tell him I wasn't coming in I was in tears again - but as usual he didn't answer his phone. ARGH So, I had to send him an email. You can guess by the end of the email the pain I was in. I got up, took the medications I have for my Fibromyalgia. I don't like to take them every day due to the woozy feeling I get. Howevr, when I have a flare up like I did I have to. So, I sat on the sofa Friday in a drugged stupor. I watched the fairytale wedding progress through the day - it was beautiful and I loved every moment of it. Then I went to bed in pain - still.

Saturday came and we had more disappointment happen. I wasn't in pain as much. So, we ventured out. I decided when I got home I was going to make something special for breakfast on Sunday because of Thursday through Saturday.

I woke up on Sunday and proceeded to make what were supposed to be Oatmeal Maple Scones. They ended up being Oatmeal Blueberry Almond and Chocolate Scones

Here's the recipe I used, but I changed a few things:

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used Blueberry Maple syrup)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (I omitted this item entirely as I don't keep it on hand.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger (Omitted)
1/3 cup currants (optional) (I used "Cranraisin" Blueberries)
1/3 cup raisins (I used mini chocolate chips)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped (I used almond slices)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine dry ingredients (except nuts, raisins, and currants) in mixer bowl and mix thoroughly. Cut in butter until walnut sized chunks remain.
Add buttermilk, maple syrup and egg and mix briefly until dough comes together. Add pecans, currants and raisins and mix a few seconds more.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured board and pat into a circle 3/4 inch thick. Cut into wedge pie-shaped pieces.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Live is all about learning, growing, changing, and of course loving.

I have so much I want to say about changing and learning to live. I'll just tell you this - it's time for me to live my life. I'm going to start after 45 years.

I have had some incredible days lately. I am so thankful for those in my life, especially my daughter Ashlee. She means the world to me. She is the ONE person on this earth that truly worries about how I feel. I know she won't be in my house much longer, so I treasure the time we have now.

Life will continue to change, grow, and some will be left out or left behind. I am happy they were in my life for the time they were there. Some of these people are even family, the blood kind. However, when it's toxic - some of it must be dumped forever. So, that's a choice I've made recently - I'm getting rid of the toxic and only keeping the good around me. I can't take the hurt and meanness any longer. So, good bye to the hurtful ones.

I'm happy. I'm finally allowing myself to receive love, and to love myself. So, thank you for being part of my life.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Healthy Lifestyle

When someone goes on a DIET they start to get depressed, or hate that they can't have something to eat. Well, I took that four letter word out of my vocabularly years ago. I swore I'd never go on a diet. I never have, and don't ever want to. However, I have recently made a major lifestyle change.

I've began exercising, and *GASP* I actually enjoy it. I played catch and soccer with friends this past weekend, and this coming weekend I'm going to a festival (i.e. lots of walking) with some other friends. I love how I'm feeling, am looking forward to continuing this feeling, and the best part is I'm exploring cookbooks and websites to make new things. Ashlee has been wonderful about helping me stay on track. My friend at work has also changed her lifestyle and is eating healthy, and exercising as well. The two of them have really been helping me stay on track, want to work out, and eat healthier. My friend, Livy, just moved to Germany in January - she has been the biggest support and reason I've gone back to vegetarianism, and a much healthy lifestyle. She's encouraged me with her various and delicious food endeavors since she's moved here. Her passion for life goes into her food, and all that she touches. Ashlee and I went to visit her and her family last month. While there she made us dinner, it was magnificent and simple. Right then I realized that great food does not have to be such a pain in the ass to make.

I, now, realize I have choices when I eat and I encourage myself find recipes with lots of veggies. The main choice I've made is to go back to my vegetarian lifesytle. I truly enjoyed it, minus the lack of pork. (I'm sorry, I love pork!) HAHA

I have enjoyed being in Germany and getting to discover new vegetables. So much here is healthy. One of my favorite things on Saturday is to go to the markets and get fresh veggies for the week. I get them home and chop them up, put them in the fridge and freezer to use. I've also discovered a few new cheeses, and lots of wonderful places to explore.

The photo here was our dinner that I made from a cookbook from my friend at work. Her daughter was going through it and told her there were many recipes I'd really enjoy, she was right! It's the Cooking Light Five Star Recipes cookbook that they invited me to look through. This is where found the delicious dinner pictured here.

It's Tortellini with Cherry Tomatoes and Corn. Now, I made some changes to the recipe for me. I like lots of veggies, but especially peppers and I love to put my own twist on things I discover.

If you'd like to try the recipe here it is right from the book. I'll add my additions/substitution on the bottom.

Tortellini with Cherry Tomatoes and Corn

(Quick and easy - great for a dinner if your short on time, but want something filling and low on calories.)

1 - 9 oz package fresh cheese tortellini, uncooked (see my changes)

1 - 10oz package frozen whole kernel corn

1 clove garlic, halved

2 Cups quartered cherry tomatoes (see my changes)

1/4 C sliced green onions

1/4 C chopped fresh basil (see my changes)

2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (see my changes)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook tortellini in boiling water 3 minutes, omitting salt and fat requested to cook with on the package. (Thankfully my tortellini was in German so I didn't know I needed to add that...hahaha) Add corn, and cook 3 minutes, drain well.

Rub the inside of a large serving bowl with garlet halves, and discard garlic halves. Add tortellini mixture, tomato quarters, and remaining ingredients, tossing gently to coat.

Serve warm. Yield: 6 servings, 1 cup sized servings.

When I made mine it only came out to 4 - 1 cup servings. I had smaller packages of food to start.

I used a ham and cheese tortellini, half a bag of frozen corn, instead of basil (which I detest) I used cilantro (which I LOVE - maybe it's my Texan heritage). I used a hard cheese I had on hand instead of the Parmesan cheese; I used both yellow and red cherry tomatoes. I also added an orange pepper for color and flavor.

I hope you'll give this great delicious simple recipe a try soon. It's delicious! My dinner included some freshly steamed broccolli and a glass of water. Now, I stated that you shouldn't deny yourself anything when making lifestyle changes - so, I didn't. I made a fresh batch of delicious brownies for dessert - and enjoyed one. It's all about limiting what I used to eat. For two weeks I have been craving and denying myself a brownie, but tonight I made someand enjoyed one.

I look forward to the rest of my life - a healthier, happier and more energetic life.

I wonder if I would have made these changes if I were still back home?

Blessings of healthy eating and much love to you and yours.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Bicycles outside the Berkeley Library in Dublin, Ireland (August 2010)

"Bicycle there!" That's what she said to me when I said "I'm in Europe, maybe going on furlough; how am I supposed to travel?" I laughed. Then, I seriously thought about it, and I began to wonder how long would it take to walk to Italy? LOL From Germany to Italy? I'm sure people have done it way before my time. I mean they had no choice, right? They didn't have the luxuries of a bicycle, much less a car. Could I do it? No! Not in the shape I'm in, there's no way. However, does that mean I'll never do it - probably, but that does not mean it's because I won't always be in shape. I'm getting into shape. I'll be riding my bicycle this weekend with my daughter. We're very excited about it all.

Gas prices are high, the dollar is very low in this European economy, and quite frankly I can't afford to go anywhere if the ignorant government back home can't figure out how to play nice with one another and find a fix for the mess Bush got us into. So, as Congress decides whether they want to screw the Troops and all the Federal employees even more, I await their fix for the huge budget problems we face back home in America. If they decide to put the government on hold, I'll be at home, creating up a storm by painting, gluing and making lots of stuff. I'll be working on my HUGE photography drive and maybe even sell some work. Who knows? Maybe this fix the government is in will help me become self sufficient and self employed with the one bit of "work" I truly love - photography.

So, my co-worker was right - I'll bicycle there, and there and oh maybe over there as well. Life is about choices and decisions - I choose happiness, and my decision will be to do the best I can do.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Peace, Zen, Tranquility, Happiness

(This little guy to the left is a two toed sloth from the Heidelberg Zoo. He helped me find my happiness again.)

Call it what you may, even call it slothness - bottom line in life we must be happy with who we are, be happy in our own skin so to speak. After all we are with ourselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, every year of our lives. We need - NO we MUST be happy with ourselves. So, darn it let's sit down with ourselves everyday and work on it.

I went to the zoo yesterday. It was the first time I went to the zoo in about three years. The last time I went was back home in Texas. I loved that zoo there, but the zoo here was so peaceful. I know all zoos are meant to be peaceful, but this one has it right.

As I walked around and looked at the birds, big cats, bears, primates in their eyes, the more I realized that I put myself into restrictive areas in life. With each animal I spent time looking into their eyes. It was weird that you can actually do that here. I got right next to a chimpanzee, and a two toed sloth climbed above my head. Literally above my head. If I had inched up even a bit I would have touched it. However, I realized that I can take myself out of those areas on my own as well. It's my choice.

I will tell you that close to one of my all time favorite animals completely made my day. I can not tell you how happy it made me, but I can tell you I literally "SQUEED" when I saw the two of them. One was quite active, the other was - well a sloth. LOL This made me realize that you can be a "sloth" and still be happy - as long as you're being true to you, and to who you are. This wonderful creature is considered by the christian faith to be one that is lazy. I watched this creature take it's time going around it's area. The entire time looking carefully for what I was searching. It was not lazy at all. It was inquisitive, clear in it's endeavor and sought out what I wanted. It was one more christian story I can put out of my memory. Sometimes we're taught wrong. It's up to us to clear it up and re-educate ourselves and learn from life. Well, this sloth taught me that, it taught me to be clear on what I want when I go out searching.

So, as I embark on a whole new week I will do my best to remember that it's up to me to be happy, and that I deserve to be happy. I hope you have a great week too. Do something each day that will make you happy. Wear that scent you love so much; go have that lunch you really enjoy; call the person that makes you giggle like you did when you were nine; go hug someone and make their day - sometimes making someone else happy is what makes us the happiest.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fool's Day

Happy April first all!

Today seems to be a day where I get to meet all of the fool's, or am I the fool?

It appears all I come into contact with today have been nothing but arrogant or rude to me.

It began with a co-worker coming into my office and stating he was surprised to see me today, as he "thought you [me] would be off committing suicide." I looked at him, refraining from wanting to get up and punch the shit out of him. I looked at him and stated:"You are aware my husband committed suicide, right?" Without blinking he said "I didn't know you were ever married." My come back was: "Well, he was only my common-law husband, but I did consider him my husband." His reply: "Oh, yeah. I forgot you Texas people, (um, that would be 'Texans'), do that - you have 'common-law' spouses."

I felt like saying's kind of like a trial marriage this way we don't HAVE to get a divorce. (In reality I KNOW you do...but as long as you don't have any accounts or things you've purchased you can just walk away.) Unlike this complete jackass who has been married, I believe I've been told, four times. WOW! Really? No, I was committed to only one man. He died. I've not dated since. I miss him every day of my life. However, being around men like this jackass makes me remember why I do not want a man in my life. He, along with men in my own family cause me feel as if I do not want men in my life. They tend to be ugly to me, and hurt me, treat me as if I'm below them, or I'm unworthy of respect. I don't need that shit.

So, this is how my day began at work. I can tell you that it only went downhill from here - right into the sewage pipe - where I seem to be stuck.

NOW - stating that, I will also state that it is up to ME whether I get over this crappy day, or stay stuck in the pipe of crap. Maybe, this is Karma's way of pulling a really BAD April Fool's Day joke on me and my life.

Well, it can only get better from here on out, because I choose not to allow this ruin the evening I'll have with my best friend.

I choose to ignore the ignorance.
I choose to reflect the ugliness that has been dished upon me - back onto those that dish it out.
I choose to be happy.
I choose to be positive.
I choose to be loving.
I choose ME, because I deserve to be happy, loved and positive.

So, I hope your April first is a GREAT day and free of ignorance.

Thank you for reading today. I promise I'll get back to my crafts and being upbeat and positive.

Please, continue with your regularly scheduled broadcast.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How will you be remembered?

Have you ever asked a friend or love one to describe you – honestly? I did yesterday. I like to know how others see me. I want to be sure I’m being kind and loving, honest and real with not only my friends and family, but with the rest of the world too.

Growing up I remember my Mom telling us stories of how her father would get out of the car after yelling and screaming at her Mom, her and her sister. He would then walk up to a stranger, greet them friendly and smiling. She told me that rocked her to her core every single time he did it, which was often. My Mom grew up with a physically, verbally and emotionally abusive father. That is a person I didn’t want to become – ever.

I know my path in life is a lesson of love. It’s that simple – LOVE. Teach it to the world. So, I try to be kind, funny, silly at times, but always loving to everyone. Yes, I do get stepped on often, but that’s not going to change who I am. I want to personify love. It’s important to me, very important.

I have had some horrendous things happen to me in my life. Recently, I had to tell my superiors at work about one of them. My immediate supervisor told me that he was quite shocked that happened to me in life because of how I am. (He gestured at all of me. LOL!) I smiled at him and told him, “The things that have happened in my life have made me who I am. They have allowed me to see people where they are, not where I expect them to be.”

The photo to the right here was painted in 1959, and is in the medical facility in Heidelberg. I wonder if it was painted by a soldier, civilian, or a hired artist. I wonder what the person was really like in life. His painting is beautiful. It’s chipped and peeling on the bottom, but the painting is beautiful over all. I stood in front of it and wondered about the person that painted. Who was he? What was he like? Did he like doing this, or was it just a job? How do his friends and family remember him? This led me to think about how others see me again.

Well, the other day I asked my daughter to describe me in a completely honest way. I was prepared for the worst. My daughter is very honest – it’s what I truly love about her. She’s an incredibly quiet and passionate woman, who is not afraid to tell it like it is. Well, the first word out of her mouth was “quirky.” Can I tell you how much I LOVE that word?!?! She went on to say”, …kind, funny, loving, always willing to help others, you always tell people the truth, while not ever meaning to hurt them – you tell them the truth none the less. You’re silly, funny, creative and fun.” This was so refreshing to hear. I asked her – “Am I mean, hurtful, selfish or unkind?” She came back with “No.”

It’s odd how we see ourselves at times. I see myself as selfish, mean and sometimes unkind. Apparently, self is much harder on us than truth, reality and how others see us. This really did surprise me. I’m happy with how I’m perceived, but now I have to learn to see me that way as well. All the while continuing to be how they see me, and of course to keep on LOVING the world.

How do you want to be remembered? If you’re not living as you should – change it. It only takes 21 days to make a behavior a habit. You can do it. 21 days is such a short amount of time in a lifetime.

Love passionately!
Love without regret.
Love where THEY are, not where you want them to be.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Time to Listen

Lately, I've been very quiet, at home, work, in the car, while traveling, just silent. Listening to the world instead of cluttering it up with my sounds. I like it, I like it a lot.

Every now and then we need to remember to be still and give back.
It's funny, I actually have the urge to lay down on the earth and hug her. Thank her for all she's given to me and my family. The only thing holding me back is the mud. I just do not like mud. *shiver*
I know there is a reason for all the contemplative silence, but I know I really like it. I'm doing a lot of traveling while I'm here. I'm considering just staying within Ireland, Scotland and England for the remainder of my trips. I want to go to Greece, Spain and Italy, but the Queen's land is where my heart lies.
I'm going to Scotland in a few weeks. It is something I've wanted to do since I can remember. I've been to Ireland where one Grandpa was from, now I'm going to the land where my name is from, this is such a special trip to me. I have secret hopes and dreams, but I know that I'll be happy no matter what happens.

I hope to go back and just sit on a hill in the Highlands and listen. Spend a day with my ancestors, listening to them - maybe that's what I'm doing - preparing my soul. For now, I'll enjoy Edinburgh for this short trip. Next time it's time it's to see the rest!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Looking into the Secret Garden

On the morning of December 26th 2010 I went for a walk. A bit of reflection on my 44th year of life. Since I was about to become 45 I just wanted to see the world, and think about where I've come in life.
For 28 years I wanted nothing more than to come back to Germany. When I got her on 17 January 2010 I was in heaven. I came to realize that Heidelberg is one of the most unfriendly cities in Germany. I found this out on my own, but also from talking with many Germans that also stated Heidelberg was very cold, snobby and conservative. Now, know that I have found some very kind and wonderful people here as well, but they are not from here.
So, on the 26th I took a reflective walk. I gave thanks to getting me back to the land I so longed to be in again, dispite the changes it's under gone. (Good grief after 28 years I would hope it changed a bit.) I gave thanks for my health, and my daughters. I gave thanks for the wonderful man that my daughter has met. I gave thanks for my job - I have the best job in the world - for me!
That's when I walked up to this little garden spot. I looked in through the hedges and saw the tire swing. I quickly thought of my beautiful home in Texas and remembered my parents and all they've done for me. All of the good years I've had in life. I remembered what a blessed childhood I had, and how grateful I am to still have both of my parents in my life. I stopped for a moment and gave thanks for them, and ask for their continued good health and safe being.
I looked around and realized what a beautiful spot on earth I was standing in. I smiled, raised my camera to my eye, and captured a moment in a very magical moment for me.
I had two days before I became 45 years old, and I knew it was going to be my best year yet.
I give thanks to the Gods and Goddesses for my life, without one, I do not have the other. Blessed be!