Saturday, November 22, 2008

Etsy shop time!

Holy moly, it has been over a year since I last posted. Wow. That totally sucks.

In any event, I will try to ignore that it has been that long, and get right to the point of this post. My sister and I have set up an etsy shop in honor of my Mom. My Mom was a big crafter who loved anything and everything sparkly and colorful. Not too long ago, we all gathered together and started to sort through all of my Mom's belongings, and we came upon a HUGE amount of arts and crafts that she had stored away in her craft room. So many things....beaded jewelry, keychains, drawings, portraits, watercolor paintings, ornaments, decorations, surplus craft suppy....the list goes on and on. We decided that the best way to deal with all of her crafts was to create a shop where we could sell her beautiful and unique items and then donate the proceeds to charities that we think our Mom would be proud of. So here is the shop:

Sistersunited on Etsy

We would love to be able to sell all of our Mom's crafts. More will be added daily and there will be different types of her arts and crafts listed, not just Christmas items. Please check the shop often! Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good finds

I have been trying to get back into cooking and baking lately after taking a sabbatical of sorts. I think I am the only vegan blogger left to not have the two latest cookbooks, Veganomicon and Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. They are next on my list of purchases, though, darnit!

But here is one of my favorite prepackaged comfort foods: New England Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup. I think the last time I made it I ate it for every meal. It's not fancy or anything, but just good and warming. I jazzed it up with one of the suggestions on the back and made a Thai Curry version (coconut milk, curry powder and basil), and next I want to make the Mediterranean version with pesto and white beans. I actually have a pot simmering away on the stove right now. Once again, sorry for the lack of pictures. Camera is still sick.

And I found this new cookie at the store yesterday, and felt the need to reward myself with these for my hard work in school: Vanilla Bean with Green Tea Cookies! These are nice and mellow, not anything wacky husband gave me the raised eyebrow look when I offered him one ("green tea? why?? in a cookie?") but gave me the double thumbs-up after partaking in it. Definitely a go-to sandwich cookie when in desperate cookie withdrawal. Or even when not!

Three months ago yesterday my Mom died. I am adjusting to the reality of it all, slowly, and I know that the holidays are going to be difficult this year. My Dad and sister and her husband are coming here for Christmas, and I imagine it will be wonderful and sad and all those different emotions jammed into one week. My Dad attended a seminar sponsored by Hospice on how to handle the holidays after the death of a loved one, and he sent me a copy of the power point presentation. I got some good ideas, but was wondering if any of you have experienced the holidays together with your family after a tragedy like this, and what you did to get through it. How do you celebrate?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It'll be an Etsy Christmas this year!

I love Etsy. I've noticed another awesomely cool blogger loves Etsy too. Well, if you haven't checked out Etsy yet, you need to go there now and buy something immediately. Go. Now.

Buy whimsical. Buy handmade. Support artists. Spend some hard earned money.

You can check out what I like from Etsy on my sidebar. I have unusual tastes.

(my camera is still being flaky, so no new pictures of food, but I felt the need to post something relatively happy for a change. It feels good.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm still hanging around.

I lied. I am still going to write about my Mom, and all that has been going on with my family since August.

It's been a weird, wild, emotional, traumatic, intense couple of months here lately. Losing my Mom in August put my life into a strange tailspin of bereavement, especially when I am in the middle of school. It's amazing how hard it is to try to focus on studying when your mind strays all of the time. I also found that when I came back to school after spending some time in Florida for my Mom's funeral and to be with my Dad, I had an aversion to touching people's bodies, which for a massage therapist isn't exactly a beneficial thing. I just felt really disconnected with my touch. I imagine that is totally normal for anyone that has gone through trauma.

The past six or so months were terrible for my Mom. I won't go into the all that she was going through, but she suffered so much. None of us knew she would pass on so soon, none of us were remotely prepared for it (are you truly ever?), and none of us knew what to do with ourselves when her death happened. Seeing your Mom laying in a casket, feeling her cold, cold hands heavy with makeup to cover her IV bruises, waiting to see if she ever takes another breath, having to get up in front of 300 people and tell your most beloved memory with her without passing out, seeing her grave covered with wilting flowers on the day you must fly back home....can my heart break any more?

And you know, it seems that when things get bad, they get REALLY BAD. Not too long after my Mom died, one of our beloved dogs, Zeppelin, started to get really sick. He got extremely swollen in his belly and lost all ability to get up and use his muscles. He couldn't walk anymore, and we had to carry him outside and hold him upright so he could go to the bathroom. After a few trips to the vet, we found out that he diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. Terminal. He was bleeding internally, oxygen was not getting to his muscles, he was anemic, and was dying quickly in front of our eyes. We had to make that horrible decision on whether or not to let him die naturally (which probably meant watching him suffocate as the internal bleeding moved into his lungs) or to facilitate his death so that is was "easier" (it's never easy) on all of us, and peaceful for him. After my husband and I talked about euthanasia, I laid down next to Zepp, put my hand on his paw and asked him if he was ready to go, in between my sobs of heartbreak. Now, I don't normally walk around thinking I can talk to animals, but damnit, I swear he lifted his head up and look me straight in the eyes and in my heart I felt he told me his was ready...ready to move on. Now I know that many people believe that facilitated death does not permit animals to move on to the Rainbow Bridge, but we honestly feel so secure in our decision to let him go. It was a gentle death for him, but one full of pain and hurt for us. We held him as he left us, our eyes clouded by the downpour of tears, and we said goodbye.

But no, the pain didn't end there. Once my semester ended, I had a 10 day break from school so I flew back to Florida to be with my Dad. I felt that I really needed to start to heal, and being with my Dad when he needed it the most was the right thing to do. Well, on my second day there, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Less than two months after losing his wife to cancer. Life sure does try and take a swipe at ya, doesn't it. He doesn't know all the details yet and needs to have more tests to define his diagnosis, but I feel very strongly that he will kick this cancer in the ass, and live a long, healthy life. But don't let me fool you....I am still scared. Still reeling. Still waiting to see what else life can throw my way, our way. I've tried to be as positive as I can be, but that ain't easy, folks.

In addition to it all, I have fallen off of the vegan wagon. No, I am not eating meat, but I did start to eat cheese and hell if it isn't difficult to stop. I just don't have the fight in me to worry about too much right now. I am still cooking and baking, and reading every one's blogs, but that occasional cheese pizza sneaks into my shopping cart no matter how hard I try to refuse.

On that note, I do want to get back into posting actual vegan food. My camera went wonky again, so I don't have any pictures, but I have made some fantastic food lately. While in FL, I made this dreamy dessert that DGMGV blogged about....holy goodness it was good. And now I am going to make these easy cookies with my kids, for some good kitchen bonding. And I have inundated Food Fight Grocery with my orders for these items, which may be the best substitute for fake meaty things in my good when you lightly fry them up and then smother then in a spicy buffalo sauce. I just started to drool.

Next time: more food, less pity party. :-)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Thank you

I have been meaning to write a "thank-you" post to all of you for a few days now, but it seems time has become funky around here and I have lost track of days, and even hours....I guess the passage of time during grief isn't meant to be normal or easy. But nonetheless, I need to send out a hefty thank you to all of you that have sent me their condolences and warm energy. It's amazing to get love from all corners of the world. It truly helps.

I won't blog more about my mom beyond this post. I know people don't come to these types of blogs to read about sadness. We all have it in our own lives on a daily basis, and I don't want to burden my readers with my own sadness. This is meant to be a fun vegan inspired blog, and I will keep it that way after this.

My Mom died Aug. 15, the same day we learned about her having brain cancer. This summer had been a true struggle for her, with so much suffering and pain. My family has been on guard for the last few months because of her illnesses, but we never suspected her life would end like it did, and as quickly as it did. Reality has slammed me up against a wall.

I'll be back.

In happier times, with the grandkids, 2005

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rest in Peace


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Send good energy my way please....

My mom is very, very sick. I can't wrap my head around much else these days, so I don't expect to blog much in the near future. I really wanted to write about my trip to the Grand Canyon, but I don't have the attention span to go through the 100+ pictures to find the right ones to post, and I have too much emotion coursing through my brain to sit down and write more than a small paragraph. Maybe one day soon I will find it cathartic to blog, but not today.

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