For christmas my boyfriend’s sister gave me a cookbook by Gwyneth Paltrow called my father’s daughter : Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness.
I enjoy this book because she is thoughtful of having interchangeable recipes to suit vegetarians and vegans. Although I am neither of those, I do enjoy having most of my meals meat free and dairy free (or very little dairy).
For the tomato soup, I used version one of her recipe which has no added milk. The recipes calls for olive oil, garlic, basil and 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes and their juices. That simmers for for 40 minutes and at the end I added the slow roasted tomatoes, salt and pepper. I usually use no or very little salt. I did blend about 3/4 quarters of the soup in a blender to thicken it up with 1/4 quarter of the soup left behind to add texture (not called for in version one of the recipe)
I also paired the soup with Ina Garten’s Grilled Cheese Croutons (not pictured) to make it a full meal. She calls for gruyere cheese to be melted between two pieces of country white bread on a skillet and then diced. Gruyere is full of flavor and a little goes a long way.
Let’s all agree that this is quite simply the coolest camper/trailer ever created. Not only does The Sealander look sleek as a regular camper, but it actually has an outboard engine for water travel. Plus, in such a tiny package, it still manages to contain kitchen and bathroom facilities. I very much want one.
Check it out here.
This is amazing!!!
Source: Laughing Squid
In the last two weeks, I have heard Amazing Grace being played and each time, it brought tears to my eyes. When my mother passed away at home, a hospice nurse came to declare her deceased and my sister and her helped changed her clothes. I did not want to be in the room after she died. I did not want to remember my mother’s body as life-less. I went into the room with my eyes clothes while family members held my hand as everybody was singing Amazing Grace. I didn’t sing along because I was crying so hard, I could barely breath. I did open my eyes briefly and saw her foot with some socks on, and her arm; then finally her face. I quickly closed my eyes and prayed so hard for my living soul.
This past Thanksgiving, I felt I never went home. I visited family and friends however its just not the same. My sole home is now Austin, inside my cozy apartment. Though its hard to believe that and feel it, I do enjoy my place and happy to be here, but never replaces the home where my mom lived.
So these past few weeks triggered so much sadness and my grief hit me hard. There was a long pause between the last grief wave that swished around me. But I cried when I needed too and laughed when I could.
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Today’s sermon at my Unity Church, the Reverend talked about transition in regards to mourning and grief I started to cry during her sermon because I knew I was at the right place. This past week was difficult processing the recent events in my life and her words comforted me. I do not attend church every Sunday and was so pleased to be there today. This was very helpful to learn about these bills of rights and felt relieved to know that I am not crazy for suddenly cry. Here are the Bills of Rights she mention:
Though you should reach out to others as you do the work of mourning, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive from some people. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain “rights” no one should try to take away from you.
The following list is intended both to empower you to heal and to decide how others can and cannot help. This is not to discourage you from reaching out to others for help, but rather to assist you in distinguishing useful responses from hurtful ones.
No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. So, when you turn to others for help, don’t allow them to tell what you should or should not be feeling.
Talking about your grief will help you heal. Seek out others who will allow you to talk as much as you want, as often as you want, about your grief. If at times you don’t feel like talking, you also have the right to be silent.
Confusion, disorientation, fear, guilt and relief are just a few of the emotions you might feel as part of your grief journey. Others may try to tell you that feeling angry, for example, is wrong. Don’t take these judgmental responses to heart. Instead, find listeners who will accept your feelings without condition.
Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably leave you feeling fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals. And don’t allow others to push you into doing things you don’t feel ready to do.
Sometimes, out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This can be frightening, but is normal and natural. Find someone who understands and will let you talk it out.
The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. It helps provide you with the support of caring people. More importantly, the funeral is a way for you to mourn. If others tell you the funeral or other healing rituals such as these are silly or unnecessary, don’t listen.
If faith is a part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around people who understand and support your religious beliefs. If you feel angry at God, find someone to talk with who won’t be critical of your feelings of hurt and abandonment.
You may find yourself asking, “Why did he or she die? Why this way? Why now?” Some of your questions may have answers, but some may not. And watch out for the clichéd responses some people may give you. Comments like, “It was God’s will” or “Think of what you have to be thankful for” are not helpful and you do not have to accept them.
Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after the death of someone loved. You will always remember. Instead of ignoring your memories, find others with whom you can share them.
Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself and avoid people who are impatient and intolerant with you. Neither you nor those around you must forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever
March was full of events! Quick break down:
I will be going on my monthly visit to see my mother in San Antonio this weekend. I honestly do not want to go. Last week she started her new chemotherapy and my sister told me she did not handle the first dose too well. I am afraid I might see any struggles that might happen. There is nothing I can do except spend time and love her. This feeling of powerlessness hurts though.
Her last CAT scan showed a lesion on her liver opening and enlarging. I believe her tumor on her colon remains the same. I found this out when I was in Austin for SXSW and just saw a duo called Disclosure play live house music. Then I got a phone call from my sister regarding her CAT scan results. I was in the middle of the crowd infested streets of party-goers and I wanted to scream. I was so angry. I put on my sunglasses and cried and walked through the roaring crowd towards the car. I just want to live to live my life, go places and not have to visit my mom based on her cancer!
I find it difficult to see her fight this cancer. She does have many good days; she laughs and catches me up on her latest events but I can sense worry in her voice.
On August 11th, 2013, I lost my mother to metastatic colon cancer. I couldn’t believe only a year after her diagnosis, she was gone. I miss her so much, I can’t even explain it.
I lost my dad 11 years prior to heart/kidney problems, but losing my mother was my worse fear. I knew my dad was not doing too well due to some unhealthy life choices he made. He had a heart attack and died four days later. I was 18 at the time and was closer to my mom.
My mom struggled with chemotherapy side effects mostly during her last year. Cancer complications came mostly at the end when the tumors took over her liver and started to retain fluid in her stomach.
I am so angry with the universe for taking away my mom! I was in denial, and actually had hope she was going to make it. Any sliver of improvement, I thought everything was going to be okay.
GRIEVING is difficult and complicated process but I know its part of my journey I must take in order to heal.
I had to write this as I was crying and wanted to let it out. I am so angry that my mom lost this battle to cancer. Never in my life I would’ve thought that my mom would die from cancer.
I have to thank my supportive boyfriend and friends for helping me through this journey. Just for an ear to listen, or a random chat always helps and I’m grateful for the people I have in my life.
Goodnight and <3
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