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Monday, June 24, 2013

Dawn



I fear your dawn is different than mine.
Eyes wide open, pupils retract.
Flooding with light in the middle of the night.
When black is so deep that your hands force to feel.
Metal..steel.

Cold. Hard. Truth.

An awakening...toes guiding steps...
You embark. Daybreak after dark.
Forcing yourself to inhale for the first time.

Together we gasped.

And, with a roar we threw our backs out
tossing off the demons that ride.
Together we cried.

Wine and song and I said "nobody will understand."
You said "stay strong."
An insurmountable task at night.
An exhausting victory in the light.
And we'd fight.
Sisters chasing the same right.
I'd love you with all that I had. I always will.. I'll rewind.
Turn back the racing time.
Erase the wasted rhyme.

Yet I fear your dawn is different than mine.

Truth in waves of sound.
I could see how it would be overwhelming.
Crashing in on you, with relentless appeal.
Voices. Music. Static.
This joy will erase the pain
Love in black and white
Love in wrong and right.
Pushing through the night.
Night precedes the light.

We're both right.
Fight the fight.
Count the time.

But, I fear your fight is different than mine.

You said you didn't believe.
You said you would try to prove it.
Pull from your heart, cut the strings, detangle, wrangle...
Twine tied up in layers of doubt, thrashing about.
It's not too late, love.

I didn't blame you. I never would.
I didn't shame you. I never could.
Natural affection, just misdirection.
Standing the test of time and rejection.

I didn't think you'd be gone.
I never worried you'd be a pawn.
A small piece in his game of right...and wrong.
It's always darkest before the dawn.
But, where do you draw the line?

I fear your dawn is different than mine.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Don't mind me...Monday poetry.

Lovely Little Liar

This is not a tale of defeat.
Head vs. heart.
Just finish what you start
Let it settle somewhere between
what should have been
what could have been
what could never be
No regrets

Where to hide...and abide...

Meet the mysterious traitor beating inside
like a roller coaster, blasting with the bass of a drum
A distant hum

Ba dum bum
Ba dum bum
Bad
Dumb
Bum

Back and forth with a fury 
Fuel the fire
Fear, dread, a fight in your head 
A fist to the face 
A twist to the fate
Suppress it.
Caress it. 
Tear it 
Beware, it's 
stronger than you. 

With flailing arms fighting back
internal attack
All the while, momentum...
This lovely little liar gains legs
sinewy, twirling, curling
strong, with a mischeivious grin
Growing its way through muscle and bone

I couldn't save it
Or try to behave it
So I drowned it
Pulled back
Retract. 
The mind says unearth it
It's worth it. 
Pull from the root
Soil and dust
Sweat if you must. 
No attack
Power back. 

Ba dum bum, ba dum bum
ba dum bum
















Thursday, March 7, 2013

Award Winning Turkey Meatloaf!


At times I dream of being on Top Chef. I just imagine the feeling of nervous and delicious energy in the room as an awkwardly dressed Padma (Seriously, who wears silk and chiffon in a kitchen...?) sashays in and starts the clock racing on a challenge that confounds, dazzles, and delights contestants and viewers alike. I'd knock the competition out one by one, to the approving grin of Tom Colicchio (secret crush...not secret anymore...) and in the end, with a heart-stopping pause the decision would be read " Lisa! You are Top Chef!"

The following recipe would not win me that competition. Most of the ingredients could be found in your local Winn Dixie, Food Barn, Piggly Wiggly or whatever other Small Town, USA grocery story you can think up. But, there's something to be said for simplicity. This meal is simple comfort that you don't need to feel too guilty about it. And what does Chef Gusteau (of my favorite Disney movie of all time, Ratatouille) say? Anyone can cook. Seriously, anyone can cook this meal and feel like a champ. And, while you may not win $150,000 furnished by the makers of Healthy Choice, you know what you will win? Praise, accolades, and applause from the most important audience of all...your family and friends. :)

Now, I've tried many meatloaf recipes in the past. I've substituted everything from organic, fire roasted tomatoes, to steak sauce, to an apple bbq glaze for ketchup. And, while those are good, this one is my favorite. And it uses the least pretentious ingredient in your kitchen...good ol' ketchup. I hope you'll try it! And leave me a comment here if you do...let me know what you think!

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
4 cloves minced garlic
1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
handful of fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in your skillet and drop in the chopped onions, carrots, and garlic for 5 minutes or so until they're nice and bubbly, and the onions are translucent. The kitchen smells amazing already.




Remove this mixture from the skillet and set aside in a bowl to cool for a few minutes. Once it's cooled, add to the mixture the turkey, bread crumbs (I happened to make a nice loaf of herbed garlic bread a few days ago and zipped that up in my food processor for bread crumbs. Fresh is always better!) half of the ketchup, half of the Worcestershire, salt, pepper, thyme (little tip, roll dried thyme between your palms before adding to warm it up release the flavor), and parsley. 




The key here is not to over-mix it! I've used this tried and true method with my meatballs and burgers. Mix it with a fork! It incorporates everything together in a lovely lump of deliciousness while not overworking the meat so that it becomes tough and dry when you cook it. Once it's all mixed together thoroughly, press it into 8x4" loaf pan and brush the remaining ketchup mixed with Worcestershire sauce on the top. (It will be a thick coating. That's a-ok! Thats what you want, in fact!)


Pop that sucker in the oven at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. This gives the humble ketchup time to work its magic. The sugars caramelize and get crispy to make the most delicious crust. That crust (not only tastes  deee-licious but) seals in all the flavor underneath. It should come out looking a little something like this! 


Let her cool for about 5 minutes before cutting. In the meantime I suggest whipping up a special sauce to drizzle over the top. Who needs gravy when you have this melange of merriment!?

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Sriracha (or more...if you're like us!)
salt
fresh ground pepper
garlic powder
dried thyme. 
Mix that all together in a bowl, until smooth, adding more Worcestershire till you can drizzle it. 


Slice up your meatloaf, top with fresh, chopped parsley, and drizzle your special sauce on top and around the plate, Top Chef presentation style! I served this with a simple garlic, mashed potato, and an arugula parsley salad with lemon/garlic/olive oil dressing. The peppery arugula and citrus dressing is a perfect complement and really cuts through the richness of the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. 


Try this! You will not be disappointed. You can have a hearty portion (about 1/5 of the whole thing) for right around 300 calories. Also: Cows everywhere will thank you. 

Awards and Accolades:
"I can't lift my head up off the table cause I ate so much Award"- Ryan
"I can smoosh this meatloaf into these potatoes and make a face Award"- Lana
"The meatloaf you dropped on the floor is mighty tasty, now let me lick your face Award"- Sea Salt
"I will be packing my knives for the night but I'm not going anywhere Award"- Yours truly...until the next meal...

 














Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A wittle bit country...

This three year old has a love of country that I haven't seen in many children. He not only enjoys the pleasing twang of a southern tune, he has fully embraced the "lifestyle". Tractors, farms, and good 'ol fashioned values. I love this kid.

Without further ado I present to you my nephew, Hauk's rendition of Tim McGraw's "Where the Green Grass Grows"



Perhaps he'll convert me to a country fan? Nah, but I am a fan of super adorable kids singing whatever they want. So he still wins.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Art Asylum!


There are people who enter your life and leave in the blink of an eye. And then there are those who linger in every sense of the word. They enter your soul and play ping pong in there, then grab a blanket, snuggle up, and embed themselves into every fiber of your very being as if to say "I'm here. This is fun. I'm not going anywhere. You're welcome."

This past year has been a year of discoveries and awakening. As a mom who happens to also dabble in the arts, I'm forever conflicted. The time and attention that it takes to truly "do art" just doesn't quite lay itself out in front of me...and if it does I can't find it under the piles and piles (and piles) of laundry. Be that as it may, I've found simple ways to fill this void. If Lana needs to bring cupcakes to a party I'm going to make sure they're perfectly topped and plated and basically way too weird to eat. (What? Kids don't like Wasabi white chocolate cupcakes with plum sake filling? My bad.) And I've gotten packing a lunch bag down to an art. Juice box, raisins, carrots, bagel, note from mom stacked effortlessly in a puzzle-like fashion. Picasso much?

But every once in a while one of those friends who subconsciously always knows what you need comes along...and makes everything better. So, thank you Misty, my love. For giving several of us an excuse to create, an inspiring space to do so, and a bottomless glass of mimosa. This photo diary of our most recent "Art & Soul" party is dedicated to you....and the lovely ladies who continually inspire me. Call it a creative awakening.  /End sap.

Just one half of Misty's amazing space

Laurel looks for inspiration...

...as does Chrissy

Birch forest by Jax

Jen finds that dripping is her forte.

Tools of the trade

Quite amazing to watch a beginning painter come up with something like this! Even if we had to nudge her quite a bit! **slanty eyes** Bethanee! ;)


This is part three in a series I'm entitling "Earth on Plywood"
Can't help but smile when I look at Nicole's creation

Misty experiments. Painting with wine and brandy. Gorgeous....also yum.
Alcohol ink tiles

 

Laurel is inspired. Pen and ink on painted canvas.


A tree grows in PA...Christina's amazing work


"The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. desirous of everything at the same time. The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..." - Jack Kerouac


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lana's Greatest Hits 2012

It's that time of year again!
"What time?" you ask, "The time for hot chocolate and sledding and mittens and scarves, and the reflection of lights on snow, and laughter and cheer?"
To which I'll respond, "No. But knock yourself out with all of that if that's what you're into. Also, that was a run-on sentence."

It's the time of year when I compile the best of the completely insane things that my child has said over the past 365 days and wrap them up in a pretty little package to gift to you for your delight. Just because. You're welcome.
In case you forgot, this is my 2011 edition.

I've been avoiding typing this out because last year's is going to be hard to top, but I'll give it a go! Why do I have to "top" anything, anyway? Let's just share a moment of hearty laughter together, deal? Hooray! Lana is as weird (cute) as ever...I'm pretty sure that's never going to change. And I really don't want it to! In fact, could we please just place a gigantic pause button on that crack in time and space and just keep her 7 forever? (Can you tell Ryan and I have been watching Dr. Who lately?). I'd be much obliged. And, in case you forgot who her father was, this riveting conversation I had with him the other day should jog your memory:

Me: Ry, could you get me more food?
Ry: Lana can do it. I'm decapitated.
Me: Your head got cut off? Or do you mean incapacitated?
Ry: That too.

So, in light of the impeccable genealogy from which she springs, it's no surprise she would come out with a few doozies. Enjoy!

-----

Lana: I feel like you're the big compartment building and Dad is just a building.
Me: What do you mean?
Lana: I honestly have no idea

------

"Well, now that I see this pinkeye I don't like it at all. It looks like a crusty jungle in there."

------

"I really don't like jazz. It's too 'hand-y' and 'finger-y' and makes me all **dramatic shudder**"- Lana, while trying to choose which dance class to take

------

Lana: This guy on TV must be rich. He has everything I've ever wanted.
Me: Like what?
Lana: He has stairs in his house

------

Me: So, do you want to save up for the Spanish "American Girl" doll?
Lana: Yeah, I mean I do, but how can I communicate with her?! I don't even speak Spanish. I speak Italian.
(Nope.)

-----

"I like baby cups. Don't judge me." - Lana, after requesting her juice a baby cup

-----

"It's raining clams and sea urchins out there"- Lana, during a storm

------

"Hey, tomato face"- Lana, greeting me after my run

------

"I'm on team chocolate"- Lana, siding with our African American friend during a football game.

------


"God is like a big satellite dish and Satan is like a paper cut"
(I've spent a lot of time trying to figure this one out and I'm coming up empty, but for some reason it kind of makes sense)

------


Fortune cookies are always a family favorite. Side bar- do you notice how they're not even fortunes AT ALL lately? They're just odd sayings, strange truths, and little life nuggets to sustain you while you're chowing down on some "not quite sweet enough" stale confection that you wind up regretting eating cause it wasn't worth the calories. Well I've noticed. And I don't know if I'm ok with it.

Me, reading my fortune cookie: "'Don't forget you are always on our minds"...haha..weird. Who's mind?
Lana: Probably the Chinese people



This would have been Lana's first choice for "first day of first grade" outfit. But, I managed to sway her in a slightly less "weirdest kid in the class" direction...consisting of just a few less fedoras. Although she does look fedorable in this look (see what I did there?)

I have to say though, my favorite of this year has got to be this little gem which, oddly enough, I'll take as a compliment:

-----

Me: I guess I should put some makeup on so I don't scare people.
Lana: You scare people when you put makeup on. You look like Darth Vader's wife or something.

-----
Oh, my little one. Don't ever change.
(and by 'don't ever change' I mean 'maybe modify the quirkiness slightly cause I'm not sure if the public is ready for TWO fedoras at once')





PS: Yes, for the 7 of you that viewed this right away, I initially titled it "Lana's Greatest Hits 2013"....so sue me. It's late and it's snowing out and blah blah blah....I do know it's 2012. I just asked a Mayan. Ok, thanks bye. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

A tribute

Everything is different now

I'm trying not to let myself feel
Fighting the fibers of fear
Still, it's forcing its way...
From toes to fingertips to shoulders to temples
It ripples through tendrils and shouts with my steps

Fear of unknown keeps a girl up at night
Fear of what's known is a much deeper fright

Darling children, I remember you laughing 
And I will never forget. 
Life will move in patterns and waves 
Circle around us in shapes and songs
In the curve of the trees
in the fiery sunsets 
On the sandy shores, breezes swirling 
Shifting tides
The world will move on
And with turning of seasons I promise I will never forget. 
Normal is nonexistent,
Pain takes the place of sane, inexplicably senseless, never the same.
Struggling for words. I will never forget.

I have a hope.
 A pinhole of light in a day filled with night
It's hard to remember when the world is in shadows
Still, it's forcing its way...
From toes to fingertips to shoulders to temples
It ripples through tendrils and shouts with my steps

A hope that is bright
Helps a girl sleep at night. 


Dedicated to all of those who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting.
And those of us who are still struggling with it all.
Ps. 147:3