A summer’s end cold

It’s the last day of August, 2015. It took me quite a while to set up my blog site, to write my bio and first entry. The second entry actually came quickly. I was on a roll. Then … though I thought I was armored up, I got hit over the head with DOUBT and let the whole thing drop. It was easy enough: the glorious summertime arrived, with stupendous weather and the corn and tomatoes and summer veggies I had been waiting for all year, not to mention loads of family and friends visiting. It was a great distraction. But what happened to wanting to make a difference? To being bold and speaking out against abuse? It was easier to let it drop and go to the beach.

But an adorable five year old nephew was here a couple weeks ago with his family. I just had to hold and kiss him, even while he coughed into his sleeve. He had some little cold but I was buff and strong and fueled with the powerful vitamins and nutrients of the local bounty. It wouldn’t get to me. Ha. The germs eventually found me. And so here I sit, nursing a sore throat with mint tea and lemon, determined more than ever to get back to good health and help others do the same.

The writing lapse time forced me to realize that everything we do is as much psychological as anything else. The kids going off to school for the first time – or tenth or seventieth – have to be strong and get past their home comfort zones. I will tell you right here and now that I am a Hillary supporter and we all are watching the attacks she is facing. Yet she goes on. I could add a hundred other examples. You supply your own. The bottom line is this is who I am and I have this one, short life to live. Anyone who doesn’t like reading my blog, doesn’t have to read it. That’s the beauty of a blog. Writers share their passion, their knowledge, their experience and opinions with those who subscribe to the same interests and who hope to gain some new insight, fact or validation. I get it now. That’s all it is. I am not THE answer (nor is this THE question), I am just me.

And so I will pass on twice a month, the things I want to share. I hope it enriches your world. I know each day what I learn changes mine. As always, I welcome your comments.

Hello, World

My friend, Diane, turned to me last Saturday night, and pointed down at the chocolate dessert that had just been placed in front of her. It had a fluff of whipped cream on top and a slice of white chocolate on the edge. “See that, Jackie,” she said, “that’s why I could never be vegan.” I looked over at her and smiled, but didn’t say anything. I went back to my fruit plate, perfectly content.

I felt so great that evening, dessert really wasn’t an issue.  I was sitting at a table with my wife and ten wonderful friends. I had even bought a black, ruffly top to wear on top of my pants, pants that had once been too tight. We were attending the 24th annual Women’s Dinner Party to raise money (and have a good time) for Boston’s Fenway Health. I turned back toward the stage, reveling being in the midst of fellow activists, luxuriating in my good health and grateful to the max for my good genes. For three years now I’ve been a vegan and working hard to stay fit. It was all paying off.

What we eat every day makes a difference. It makes a difference in how we feel, how we feel about ourselves, and certainly in our health. I’ve stayed a vegan because I know how the growing of food affects our environment – for its detriment or for its continued evolution. I also stopped eating meat to protest the sickening abuse of animals in factory farming. Eating is a political act as well.

I think about food all the time: what to eat for my next meal, do I need to shop, who’s growing the food, where is it from, what’s in it? I read vegan recipes like they are treasured works of art. What else am I passionate about? Women, strong women who dare to make a difference. It’s always hard to challenge the status quo, to do things differently. I adore good wine. The combination of a great meal with a perfectly paired wine is heaven. I love to read, especially novels. And now I, too, am working on my first novel. I use to think running marathons was tough. Writing is definitely more challenging. But oh, those moments when a great idea for the story comes to me, when I find the exact work I was searching for or finish a pivotal scene … that’s pure writing bliss.

This morning I was looking through a cookbook, Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas, to find something I could do with the collard greens I had just bought. I found a recipe for a “Green Velvet Smoothie with Banana & Avocado.” Now that made my “greens” fun and filling! Before I returned to my computer, I flipped open to the middle section of the book, the part with all the photos. “Curried  Sweet Potatoes with Chard and Chickpeas” caught my eye. I am always looking for new recipes that are tasty, yes, but also rich in vitamins, antioxidants, ingredients that are good for me.  I am not the most inventive in the kitchen but cookbooks, blogs and finding delicious food out at restaurants keeps me going.  With my weight where I want it to be, my stomach flat, I can do anything! Silly, isn’t it? But true. I feel strong. Invincible.

I’ll find that perfect vegan chocolate dessert for Diane. Meanwhile I have so many recipes, blog sites, books, facts and, hopefully, wisdom to share. Please join me. I’d love the feedback.