Tag Archives: family


It’s been less than two weeks since the fire, but it feels much longer. Our days are spent trying to take care of the most important tasks, like replacing our identification documents, purchasing the essentials, and coordinating with our insurance agent and the State Farm adjuster so that we can continue moving forward. They gave us a few addresses to check out, places we could move into for the 10-12 months it might take to rebuild our house. Continue reading Thankful


This is a post about loss and riches. About tears despite immense gratitude. And about the kind of love for neighbor that binds us all together.

But first, let me tell you a story of how four little girls made a grown woman cry. It was two days after the fire, and Tom and I were on the way to the house—or what’s left of our house—to pick up our mail. On our way there, we passed our neighbor’s house, and his daughters had a cute little lemonade stand in front of their house. Continue reading Family

In an instant

Last night, my head was preoccupied with last-minute work on a special project and putting the finishing touches on a post. My husband Tom and I had also been discussing the logistics of possibly attending BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco. These were the things that weighed on my mind.

A mere hour or so later—an instant, really—we were outside, in our shirts and shorts, watching our house crumble as it was engulfed in flames. I’ll never forget that hissing and crackling noise as my husband’s home of almost 30 years practically disintegrated before our eyes. Continue reading In an instant

The Circle Of Lamb

Two months ago, I was at my local library borrowing Pam Anderson’s “How to Cook Without A Book” and quickly going through my new stack of post-its to mark the pages. How I got from there to having the amazing trio of Pam, Maggy and Sharon of Three Many Cooks guest post in my blog is still a bit of a mystery to me. But I do know that I’m incredibly fortunate to have gotten to know them, especially Maggy, who already feels like an old friend. Pam and her daughters are just about the warmest, most giving, and absolutely genuine people I’ve never met in person. That “never met in person” part will change soon, but I’ll save that for a future post. Continue reading The Circle Of Lamb

How I relax

It’s Friday! Time to get ready to bid the work week goodbye. (Haha. “Work week.” It almost sounds like I have a normal life, doesn’t it?)

In case you’ve had a hectic week (like I have), and need a bit of help unwinding (like I do), here’s what usually works for me:

First, I close my eyes, grab a nice refreshing glass of iced tea or lemonade, and then imagine that I’m in a place like—actually, wait. I should grab the nice refreshing drink first before closing my eyes. I’m clumsy enough as it is, without attempting to handle breakables with my eyes shut.

Let’s try this again.

Okay, now I’m just going to grab a beer (notice how I tried to slip that change in all nice and subtle-like), take a few sips, then set it on the nightstand for later. Then I lie down and close my eyes, take a few deep, relaxing breaths, and imagine that I’m in a place like this:


Resting in one of these:


Doing nothing but relaxing, until someone brings me this:



Is it working yet? Can you feel all that stress melt away? Is your mouth feeling a bit parched for a cold drink? Are you suddenly remembering the familiar scent of Tropicana suntan lotion?

Sometimes though, reminiscing about tropical vacations just isn’t enough. Some weeks are just that crazy. When that happens, I bring out the iPod and my headphones and pull out the ace up my sleeve that always ALWAYS works. No, it’s not a soothing classical piece, and it isn’t even one of those rock songs that can usually get me going. The ace up my sleeve is a 26-second recording of my niece Bianca when she a baby.


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I’m telling you. For all the years I’ve been listening and re-listening to this, it never ever fails to put a smile on my face and start me giggling.

Which sometimes gets me into trouble, although frankly, it’s completely understandable. Because if I walked in on someone laying in bed with her eyes closed, headphones on, smiling and giggling like crazy, and then spotted the drink on the nightstand? I’d be asking for an explanation, too.


Recipes you won’t see anywhere

At least, not anywhere outside the crazy funny world inside my son’s head.

One day, while I wasn’t looking, my son Tim took over the little scratch notebook where I write all things and ideas food-related. And on the same page where I was writing down some titles of recipes I wanted to try, he proceeded to fill just about every empty line with his own hair-brained ideas.

It was at least an hour or two before I discovered it, and after a good thirty minutes of laughing that left me almost doubled up in pain, I wiped the tears from my eyes and reflected on how fortunate I am to have such a goofball around the house whose humor I totally get. And totally share.
Continue reading Recipes you won’t see anywhere