A Winner!

All day (March 13), I waited and waited for a new book to arrive. It wasn’t just new to me, it was new to the world. I wrote about it on March 14.

I also got an email newsletter on March 13 from Colby Sharp announcing his book to the world. The subject line was – Holy Smokes! I have a book in the world. What an awesome feeling that must have been to be able to create that subject line. At the bottom of the newsletter there was an announcement:


I’m giving away a copy of The Creativity Project. Just reply to this email and tell me something about a teacher that had an impact on your life. I’ll draw one random winner, and ship them a brand spanking new copy of the book.

Even though I had a book coming, I replied to his email with the name of my French teacher from high school as a teacher who had an impact on my life. I sent the email because that’s what I do if someone offers a book. I had no expectations of winning.

On March 19, I saw another email with the same subject. That’s odd, I thought. I almost deleted it because I thought it was the original, but I didn’t delete it. I opened it and couldn’t believe my eyes when I read:

You won a copy of The Creativity Project. Just let me know where you’d like me to send it. 

Holy smokes, I won! Of course, I immediately sent him my address information. I’m so excited to have this book to gift to someone. Now I just have to decide who to give it too.



Cardinal Conversation

Tap, tap

She: Is anyone home? I see red. Heelllooo!

Tap, tap

She: No one answered.  I know someone is home.


Come closer! Take a look! Someone is brighter than you!

He: I don’t think it’s safe to be that close. I like it out here.

She: Take a chance, I’ll meet you on the arm of this chair.

He: That’s as far as I’m going!

She: See, there’s nothing to be afraid of here. You need to take a chance and explore the world a little more. Who knows what’s out there waiting to be discovered.

He: You are right, look over there. Is that a bird feeder I spot? Let’s check it out.

They flew away that day, but she continues to tap at various windows. He, however, stays back and has not come closer again.




Can Do

Taking stock of the refrigerator contents, I determine that we will have the creamy spinach enchilada leftovers for dinner, but I need something else to add to the plate. Previously, we’d had steamed broccoli to accompany the enchiladas. There was no broccoli in the fridge, plus I like to change things up on the second go-round of a meal.

A cauliflower was waiting its turn to grace our table in the veggie drawer. Mexican riced cauliflower would be the perfect side for this Mexican inspired meal. Plan made, recipe retrieved, ingredients gathered.

I knew something was not right the second I clamped the can opener onto my can. The clear liquid that oozed over the edge would not be found in a can of black beans. This was a can of garbanzo beans! The labels of the two cans were identical except for the name.

See what I mean? I know I should have looked more carefully, but this time I just reached and grabbed. Won’t happen again.

“I guess you will be having garbanzos added to your salad,” I inform my husband, and I explain why.

“Good!” he replies. “I like garbanzos.”

But the next day, I am flipping through pages of recipes, I discover a Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup recipe that I’ve not yet tried. I don’t remember printing this, but I have all the ingredients needed. Sorry, no more chickpeas on the salad. They are going into the soup.

When did chickpeas and cauliflower become a pair? Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, Chickpea Cauliflower Chowder, and now this soup. They’ve all been good, but I am a bit surprised at the combination appearing in recipe after recipe. I will have to see what other recipes are out there with these two ingredients.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup. The soup was supposed to be pureed, but someone in my house doesn’t like food pre-chewed, so no pureeing here.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Sometimes I must leave home in the dark, before the sun thinks about coming out for the day. I may have been grumbling to myself about the early hour as I turned out of my subdivision street.

Something moving caught my attention, just beyond the light provided by the headlights of my car. I slowed down. Is that a dog? If it was a dog, it would be a really big dog, perhaps a Great Dane. But I don’t think we have a Great Dane around us. Maybe it’s a wolf. Do wolves live here? I don’t know. We do have foxes, but this animal was too big for a fox. As these thoughts fire through my mind, my car gets closer.

Oh my, it’s not just one! There are three! Three young deer crossed the road in front of me. I stop the car to watch. They stop to watch the car. We make eye contact. Two run ahead, but one paused to stare me down. I think the look I got was, “What are you doing out here? This is our place!” As soon as the deer sent that eye-message, it scampered off into the dark to join its friends.

Slowly I accelerated while thinking about the encounter. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper was playing on the radio. How appropriate, I thought. Those deer just want to have fun before the world wakes up.

Hello, Bike

Hello, bike. It’s been a while since I’ve visited.

No, it’s not really you. I still like you, but I’ve been busy. Yes, I know that we make time for what we value. Ever since I returned from the river trip to Bordeaux, my energy for our daily meetings evaporated. I had a lot of days in schools scheduled and I needed time to prepare.

Today I woke up and knew we needed to become friends again. I have completed my days in schools. I have time for you every day. My timer is set for thirty minutes of nonstop peddling.

Thankfully I have a distraction in front of me as the rhythm of pedals and hum of wheels spin around and around.

Time on the couch reading flies by. Time working in my office passes quickly. Time on the bike s-l–o–w-s d-o-w-n, did it stop?


Don’t look at the timer, just pedal. Pedal faster and faster. Concentrate on the story being told on the TV. Surely, the time is almost over! Sneak a quick peek. Half way!

Another quick peek. Yes! I can do this! Make these last two minutes count!

The barking dog brings the pedals to a stop. I am breathing harder. I am sweaty. I am finished!

The cycle begins again, tomorrow. Yes, bike I will be back.

A Dutch Restaurant?

A new restaurant opened last week.

There is no sign on the building, but there is a clue in the window.

Welcome to Van Gogh’s Eeterie!

Come in, sit down, and have a look around.

The cuisine is not like any other in town. Perhaps you would like a taste of

Dutch dishes:

  • Sweet or savory pannenkoek (Dutch pancake)
  • Broodjes (sandwiches)
  • Stampots (potatoes mashed with additional vegetables)

Not to your taste?  Then try some Indonesian-Dutch cuisine:

  • Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice)
  • Sate Platter (chicken skewers with peanut sauce)
  • Laap pa (fish salad)

Or would you rather sample something from each type of cuisine?

What ever you decide, you will find Van Gogh waiting.



Noodles or Zoodles?

I want them.
I need them.
I love them.
I’ve got to have them.

Noodles, tasty noodles:





Angel hair.

They say they are carbs,

They say you shouldn’t eat them.

But . . .
I want them.
I need them.
I love them.
I’ve got to have them.

Zoodles to the rescue!

Zucchinis spiralized

Creates a healthier alternative.

Zoodles, tasty zoodles.
I want them.
I need them.
I love them.
I’ve got to have them.
And no guilt attached!

Earrings! by Judith Viorst inspired the format for this poem.