Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home

In the days following my cancer diagnosis I recall a conversation with my husband. “Breast cancer just isn’t my cause,” I told him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it worthy – of course it was. I’d sponsored friends in the famous 3-day walk, made contributions to Komen and supported a close friend who founded the Arizona Institute for Breast Health. I wore pink bows to honor my best friend, my coworkers, and others but my community involvement leaned in other directions and I wasn’t ready to abandon those due to an unwanted illness. I’m terribly thankful for the thousands who do crusade on behalf of the cure and I’ve enjoyed helping the Wellness Community of Arizona, an organization that was very helpful to me, but whatever the activity, I work hard to make certain that it is well aligned with me and my values.

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Snowy with a Chance of Kohlrabi

I count myself among the incredibly fortunate who are wealthy in friendships. For the past 19 years, I’ve met up with 11 amazing school friends together with their families for an annual ski trip. One year, there were more than 40 of us! This year, we total 25. We’ve explored many of the great ski resorts in the Western U.S. yet we often return to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In Steamboat we always rent the same house which makes it tradition for all 24 kids that have been born to us during this time frame – ages ranging from 1 to 19.

Steamboat 2010 - Great Friends

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A Food Ministry

“I’ve been feeling sluggish and have little energy,” a friend shares. My mind races ahead, “get gluten out of your diet.” Another friend, battling cancer, tearfully explains her last doctor visit. Again, I think, “add turmeric to your daily supplements.” I don’t say either of these comments aloud for I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician but inevitably wherever I am, my conversations to turn food. Am I being called to a Food Ministry?

Jamie Oliver; Chef and Activist

I was contemplating this question when KateBart posted a recent TED talk featuring Jamie Oliver on her facebook page. I’d seen the Naked Chef before but when I watched his passion and heard his message, my heart was pounding.  Jamie’s TED talk is 20 minutes long, but if you haven’t seen it, please schedule some time to watch.

Jamie is clearly living a food ministry. If you are not inspired by his message, I believe you will at least admire his determination.  I’m certain that part of this calling is what attracted me to CSA initially. What are you being called to do?

The Green Deluge on St. Patrick’s Day

There are times when I can’t stand the thought of one more batch of sauteed swiss chard. Arizona winters produce an abundance of leafy greens; kale, chard, spinach, arugula, mustard, mizuna, collards, and the green tops of kohlrabi, beets, and turnips.

I do enjoy them and the fact that they’re an immense reservoir of calcium and vitamin C places them high on my personal consumption list. I sneak them into lasagna, roll them into tortillas, mash them into potatoes, use them as wraps for interesting appetizers and seek out other family-friendly recipes. Regardless of my own preference, week after week of greens is challenging for me and for other CSA participants. (more…)

Rain, Refresh, Renewal

I’m sure there has been another Arizona winter with this much rain but I don’t remember it.  Our ski resorts are boasting more than 300 inches of snow. The desert is green as I drive through the mountainous area known as the Dreamy Draw. My ocotillo are blooming or doing the rain dance as coined by one Southwestern artist. And I find that it affects me as well. I sleep better. I walk outdoors and smell the creosote fragrance and quickly remember what we love about the desert.

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On the Beeten Path

They say opposites attract and when I consider the relationships in my circle, it seems true.  Not for me however. My beloved and I are “two peas in a pod” sharing common interests like a love for the outdoors, good design elements, independent film and a love of food.  His comes from a mother with extreme kitchen talent.  I, on the other hand, find solace in dishes with deep spices that feed my love of travel even when I’m at home. And, we have common dislikes; poverty, mean people, lost baggage and beets.

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Lives of Service depend upon Lives of Support

Although I’m somewhat of a spiritual seeker, this blog is not about religion or religious viewpoints. But I confess that I was both incredulous and angry last week when a popular Christian tele-evangelist said that Haiti got what was coming to them.  They made a deal with the Mephistopheles?  I had to look the word up. Really Pat?  You believe that?  And you work to bring others around to that point of view? (more…)

The Beginning

I’ve been taking writing classes for several years now and the reason I do it? Certainly not to add to an already abundant schedule. I take writing classes in order to write. The presence of a syllabus and an instructor create discipline for me. It requires me to spill thoughts and ideas onto paper or into Google docs. The assignments offer a framework for me to operate within and being one who needs to understand the rules, I find freedom within the structure.

Another place that a structured framework works well for me
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