Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bad Blogger, Bad Bad Blogger

Ah, shame on me. I've been a bad blogger, a bad bad blogger. Cut me some slack. I need it, some slack that is. Slammed for days in the kitchen with baking orders, some for charity, some for friends, some for special orders, I've been sifting, stirring, measuring, spilling, wiping, and sweating. I had a crush of baking to do, its hard to believe, but it all happened at once. Sure, I love the baking, I really do, but there were some days when I collapsed in bed at the end of the day with my legs throbbing from standing on the hard tile floors for double digit hours each day. That being said, I know I owe you a post about Mr. Happy Vegan's experience on the roof, and I promise you that will be the next post without fail. It will. However, I just want to catch you up on the goings on down here, so this will be relatively brief.

I am, once again, pressed for time. Today is Tuesday, which means Pop is up at his club running his twice weekly golf game. Translation is that Jen drives up and back, twice a week, twice each of those days, to drop him off in the morning, and pick him up in the late afternoon. That is what is pressing right now, the time is almost here for me to begin the trek back over the dreaded giant bridge. Speaking of Pop, let me tell you that he turned 102 yesterday. Pop was born into an entirely different world than I was, literally and figuratively. I've got a picture to post, and I will share that soon, along with another tribute to one of my coolest and best friends ever. But, its certainly worth mentioning that Pop cracked the ceiling on another milestone birthday, and both myself and Mr. Happy Vegan were among the many friends and family to celebrate (and eat lots of cake.... chocolate, of course, baked by yours truly).

Other happenings down here worth mentioning include the fact that we have had close to 2 weeks now with temps over 80, yesterday approached 90. Its fantastic, yes, it is. For a few reasons, I had some days where I was exceptionally cranky (shocking, isn't it?!) but I think part of it was the fact that I was not acknowledging it was solidly in the 80s here, and I was baking like a fiend for hours every day.... without air conditioning. It actually wasn't until yesterday when I realized "hm, maybe some AC would help the situation." And, it did.

Still running regularly, but am about to ditch the Vibrams. I haven't encountered anyone else who has the problem that is plaguing me, numbness. I can do about 2.5 miles before I find myself struggling with numbness in a couple toes, which doesn't sound much, but when you're pounding out a few miles for time, its awful. I still stand by my statement that my stride is longer and better, but the comfort level is not what I hoped for at this point. That being said, I did my very first barefoot asphalt run, which I hope to never do again. I came home with a blister, and pain from those itty bitty pea rock pebbles which somehow seem to find their way into the street, in exactly the spot where I will be running, no matter how hard I try to avoid them.

As a final note, the horrible trauma in Japan is at the forefront of my concerns. Some of my stress is very much directly a result of the environmental crisis unfolding from the nuke plant in Japan, and sorrow for the people who first lived through an earthquake, then tsunami, and now a nuclear disaster. No matter how we slice it, we reap as we sow. This is my blog, so I will say that I believe more nuclear plants are not what we should be building. The human race has been arrogant and ignorant, many scientists, environmentalists and other experts warnings have been ignored for decades. Now its coming home to roost. Please do anything you can to support the workers trying to halt the nuclear disaster from become worse than it already is (radiation is in the ocean, you'd think it couldn't get any worse, but, it can; it can get much, much worse). Good thoughts, energy, prayers, whatever you subscribe to, do it. And, any other way you can find to assist those who have been stricken would be a nice idea too. A very nice idea.

For now, that's it from Big Pine Key. I'm off to pick up Pop, and then hit the road for a sunset run. I promise, I'll be a better blogger, and will tell you the story I've promised. Now, hopefully the story was worth the wait!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oops! A Keys Tomorrow

Well, I guess you can say we've all learned what a "Keys tomorrow" means. It means, "relax mon, it will get done when its ready."

This is not Part 2 of my last post, I'm not ready for that, don't have quite the time yet. But, I've got to let you know that tonight, Food Network is having Throwdown with Bobby Flay, who has chosen our friends, Alison & Jim, of the Key West Key Lime Pie Co. (right here on Big Pine Key) for his latest challenge.

The episode is airing tonight, 8:30pm on Food Network Television. We don't know the outcome, but we certainly are rooting for our friends, Alison & Jim. When my dad was alive, he used to tell me all the time their Key Lime pie was the best pie he ever had, in his entire life. I wish dad were around to watch Throwdown with his favorite pie.

The Key West Key Lime Pie Company has a web site at where you can order your pies online. Shipping is pricey, but they're not making any money on the shipping (not like those "as seen on TV" offers who make more money on shipping and "handling" than the actual product, big frown), they ship for the actual cost only, pies are shipped within insulated coolers, on dry ice. I can attest that the pies arrive in tact, having ordered them for dad, and other friends & family.

So, I'm just checking in super quick to tell you watch Food Network tonight at 8:30pm if you can, let's all root for our friends Alison & Jim. No matter who wins the Throwdown, we know Bobby only picks the best of the best to challenge, so we give major kudos & cheers to the Key West Key Lime Pie Co.

I promise to be back soon with Part 2 of the story from last post, Mr. Happy Vegan was mortified when I told him his story was going on line, he's shy that way. Me? I'm just glad to finally get a laugh which is not at my very own expense.

Good luck tonight Alison & Jim!!! Pie on!

Friday, March 18, 2011

They Shoot Innkeepers, Don't They? Part 1

Are you enjoying the new view on the cam? Its a sunset view. Yeah, yeah, we're getting the pan/zoom, but these things do take time. We had the cam on sunrise viewing, but the Earth does rotate, so we've now lost the best sunrise viewing cam-wise. Mr. Happy Vegan decided to move the cam to capture the sunsets, this time of year it will capture better sunsets than sunrises (not true for actual in-person viewing here though). There's a story behind the cam moving, which unless I dropped a fresh baked loaf of bread (which I needed for the next morning's french toast breakfast) into my cleaning bucket tonight, I never would have known. Allow me to explain.

Another postcard perfect day on Big Pine Key. Not a cloud in the sky, not even a puffy one. Blue skies everywhere. Sunshine streaming down. Birds soaring. Boats dotting the horizon, kayakers out padding the ocean, and Peri patrolling the beach. Me? Inside, baking and cooking for an extended session. I had a couple new recipes to try today, extra baking to do for some side jobs, and of course endless cleaning. In addition to all this, I have the annoying "extra" of back pain. I was doing literally nothing, except walking and breathing, recently when I felt a searing stabbing pain in my iliosacral joint (I'm a massage therapist, so I'll use the proper term here instead of "low back pain" whoop-te-do). I find its better if I keep moving. When I stop to work on the computer, drive or sleep, things go from bad to worse. So, I'm moving. A lot. Before I realized it, I was 30 minutes away from driving to boot camp class. I worked all day, finished all my chores, all my prep for tomorrow, almost every single thing on my "to do" list was accomplished, including baking that bread for tomorrow's french toast. All I had left was wash the floor. That, and re-write the list from "to do" to "to do," "un do" and "re do." Sigh.

My bucket of clean water was prepped with soap, white vinegar and essential oils. It sat on the floor, waiting for me with warm, soapy love. At 5pm, I slid the bread out of the oven onto my counter. I pulled out a cooling rack, and slid the loaves onto the wires. As I turned around, still with the potholder in my hand, I grabbed the large baking tray to move aside. It caught the foot of the wire cooling rack. The just baked (very hot) loaves began to slide off the rack. I dropped the large (and still very hot) tray, hoping to catch the (still very hot) bread. I caught one, but the other slid directly into the bucket of soapy love with a "sploik." Just like that, my evening was shot.

Mr. Happy Vegan heard my exclamations, and came running to investigate. What he saw was me fishing a large loaf of bread out of a soapy bucket, cursing. I was tossing the hot bread back and forth from hand to hand. It was burning me. "Wash it off!" "Wash it off!" he shouted. Yeah, right. You know what? I did exactly that. I don't know why I did it, mostly I guess because he just kept saying "wash it off" "wash it off" over and over. My beautiful loaf of bread was now a minty smelling flour sponge. There was NO humor involved in this experience. None. I went from being ahead of schedule, minutes away from boot camp, to being hours behind. I was convinced things like this only happen to me. Mr. Happy Vegan wanted to know what happened. I guess the soapy, dripping loaf was not obvious enough. Being that I was NOT a happy vegan at that moment, I shot back some sarcastic remarks, to which he wisely left me alone with my misery.

So, what does all this have to do with our cam? Read on.

A few minutes later, he returned. Doing his best to keep from laughing, but failing. It was a little contagious, I admit. I began to snicker. Then I whined about how the "to do" "un do" "re do" experiences seem to only happen to me, and I was pretty darn sick of it. He began to laugh harder. He then made a confession, and told a story. He promised me that things like the bread incident are not limited to only me. Here is the story he told.

To be continued, tomorrow.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Girl Luciana

Meet my girl Luciana Luna Bean. She has been with us going on 4 years (I think). We lose track of time here, that's no secret. Has she been our companion for 3 years, or perhaps 4? As I type this, I cannot answer for sure. Luciana arrived at Deer Run sort of planned, or as planned as the arrival of any "throw away" animal can be.

In the course of only a few short months, 3 of our companion animals crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Luciana arrived shortly before two of my best cats (Amethyst and Mozart) died. Am & Mo were 2 peas in a pod. They weren't related, but they entered my life just a few short weeks apart as kittens, and they alos left me within 3 weeks of each other. They had a love-hate relationship over the years, but without a doubt Mozart's presence was the stabilizing force in the household as far as a feline pecking order. Once he was gone, all hell broke loose. Luciana arrived in the midst of all this turmoil. Am & Mo had both been sick for a very long time, coping with the needs of infirm elderly animals is not easy. I cannot remember the exact circumstances of Luciana's arrival, but I do remember where she was adopted from (local shelter) and her given name (Holly, because she was born around Christmas).

Once Luciana was named properly, she settled into life here quickly. As she realized this home was permanent, her personality blossomed. She enjoyed everything there was to see, and everything there was to do. Everything was a toy, everything was an adventure, everything was created just for her. She's a curious girl, and that occasionally gets her into trouble. She also was one of the sweetest and most affectionate cats I'd ever known, constantly wanting to be held, carried, petted and doted on. She purred constantly, and was simply a joy.

Once we lost Amethyst & Mozart, we were left with Lemon and Luciana. Having a 2 cat household after having 4 (and even 5 at one point) made the house seem almost empty. Sure, Luciana kept Lemon on his toes (Lemon has a mean streak in him and can turn into Mr. Hyde at the drop of a dime), but somehow the general consensus was that eventually we'd get another cat (we did, Pink Moon).

We had Luciana about a year before Pink Moon arrived. During that year, LuLu followed me around anywhere I went, sat on my lap any chance she could, and meowed words of love constantly. She actually was, dare I even use this word... enchanting. She tricked us.

Once Pink Moon arrived, everything changed with Luciana. She no longer was our sweet snuggly girl. She seemed miffed that we brought more estrogen into the house, no matter how much attention we paid to LuLu, it wasn't enough to win her affection back. Instead, she began to gravitate towards Pink Moon. As you know, Pink was exceptionally small, and very scared. Lu began to mother her. She would try and pick her up by the scruff, but never really accomplished that properly. Instead, she'd kind of drag Pink around the floor. Pink didn't seem to care at all, she quickly got used to being Lu's dust mop. Afterwards, Lu would set to groom Pink for hours, always chewing off Pink's whiskers. We thought she'd outgrow the behavior, but she hasn't. Pink never fights back, she simply sits & accepts.

As a chronic insomniac, I'm up a lot every night. Most times I will find Lu snuggled in with Pink, one paw thrown over a shoulder, the other stretched out in the other direction. Purring. Content. The two of them get along very well, kind of leaving Lemon out in the cold. Lemon has a bad habit (ok, he has many bad habits) of stalking & beating up Lu. She tries to fight back, but she is on the losing end of the stick always. We have to intervene. Luciana resents Lemon's aggression, so she batters the next down the line.... Aggie. We have to intervene. I dream of peaceful co-existence in the world, but sadly cannot even seem to attain that within my own home.

Luciana is a very sweet kitty, so long as she is the center of attention. I've come to accept that long ago, and the way things are is the way things will be. She pals around with her best bud, Pink, plays with her toys, spends hours in the sun, and still finds her comfy spot on the bed. She's a good one, for sure. Now you know a little about another one of our Deer Run family. I hope you enjoyed meeting my girl Luciana.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Purge Continues

When I woke up, I had a general idea of how my day would go, and what I wanted to accomplish. I had some paperwork to do, which I expected would take me maybe 15 minutes. I never got past the paperwork; it swallowed my day.

Once I got the morning chores done, I set out to find some particular paperwork. Although I'm disorganized in many facets of my life, when it comes to paper I am surprisingly organized. My filing is relatively up to date, files are labeled and lined up neatly in my filing cabinets. The particular documents I needed to retrieve had not been accessed by me in a while, yet I knew exactly how I had filed them, the envelope they were contained within, and where they should be. Key words: "should be." They were not where they belonged.

I searched high and low for my missing file. I tore through basically every single file and filing cabinet within the house. No where to be found. I was getting ready actually to call the State of Florida for some information I needed off these documents, which I knew they would have, when I realized I had overlooked one file drawer. Immediately upon opening that drawer, there was the file. My documents were in the envelope I expected them in, in the folder labeled as they should be. Fifteen minutes of expected work turned into over a 1 hour tear.

After that paperwork tear, I realized I still have too many old papers than I need, many of which were no longer useful. I have paperwork from transactions almost 30 years old, histories of defunct businesses, and just a huge volume of useless paper. Shameful.

I purged the papers. I systematically dismantled the corporate history of 2 prior businesses, and decades of old personal and work information. I have to be very careful at times like this, going through this type of paperwork brings back floods of memories, which I can get wrapped up in. Its not good. In order to accomplish a task like this (which I had absolutely no plans on doing today) I must be focused, unemotional, and ruthless. I was all 3 of those things for several hours as I tackled mountains of papers, all of which I will never need, yet much of it so difficult to pour through.

After I sorted for hours, I looked at the photos from after the fire, and then went back to the remaining paperwork, and sorted out even more. Ruthless.

I am now down to the "nitty gritty" getting rid of things. What remains is the hardest to go through. I have pared down so much, with each purge I see certain things over and over that I think "I will deal with that later" because some of it is so hard to face. But, later is now. I have more to donate, more to sort, but its difficult, very difficult. Yup, its "just paperwork," and "just things," but attached to every single item is a memory.

I'm glad today's purge is over. It exhausted me. To cheer myself up, I made a batch of homemade (vegan! organic! fair trade!) peanut butter cups. One for me, one for Mr. Happy Vegan, and the rest going out the door to my friends. It was comforting being back in my familiar kitchen territory. Venturing out into the "memory zone"... not as easy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rocketman's Triumphant Return!

In the midst of worldwide turmoil, there has been a small return to normalcy, thank goodness. Rocketman the Pirate has returned to the stage. He's back. He's awesome.

Rocketman is a Keys-fixture. I've written about him before, we are fans. My plate of beans & rice always tastes better when enjoyed to the laid back sounds of Rocketman's style of island music. My visits are planned around his gigs, so I haven't been out for beans & rice since Rocketman fell seriously ill months ago.

We were all worried about him. He's part of the community, and quite loved.

We knew Rocketman would be returning with 2 gigs this weekend, Friday night was solo, last night was duo. We planned on heading up on Friday night, in fact Mr. Happy Vegan has his best aloha wear on with his Sea Shepherd hat, ready to roll out the door. Me? That's another story. I was cold. The winds shifted on Friday and they came from the north. The temps cooled off quite a bit, and here I was with no shoes suitable for socks, yet needing socks if I were going to be sitting in an open air, on the water, Keys place. It's all my fault we didn't go on Friday, I wussed out due to it not being hot enough. I knew Rocketman would be there again on Saturday, so alternate plans were made.

I baked heart shaped cookies for Rocketman, and we headed up Saturday night. The place was packed when we arrived, and there he was on stage, singing, and banging the congas. I breathed a sigh of relief. Just seeing him made me happy.

As soon as he broke the set, we headed up to say hi. He was beaming with all the love the crowd was sending. We gave him a couple of great big hugs, and welcomed him back. Told him how much we missed him, and how happy we are to see him.

Rocketman navigated the crowd a little slower than before, but its all good. He told us about all the different therapy he's continuing to do, and commitment to his physical recovery. Its been a long road for our Florida Keys Rocketman. I think the last step of his road to wellness is actually being back on the stage, able to perform, in one of his favorite places. Right where he belongs, nurtured and supported by anyone local or visiting who appreciates the Florida Keys. Rocketman at Porky's is like peanut butter & jelly... they just belong together.

Welcome back Rocketman! We missed you! We love you! See you again real soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

RIP - Big Daddy

The title says it all. Big Daddy, beloved alpha male in our Key deer herd, has died.

This didn't have to happen, it was another senseless death. Big Daddy was struck by a vehicle, and left to die.

99.9% of the guests who have stayed here had the privilege of meeting Big Daddy. He was the alpha male in the herd, and quite sociable. He was smart, curious, and at times very stubborn. Big Daddy was a gorgeously handsome big buck, with 14 points on his rack. He was quite large by Key deer standards. He loved the ladies, and has left a good number of babies as his legacy. Sadly he won't be around to see his own fawns this year. Big Daddy was curious. He was interested in people, and what they were doing. Perhaps this was his undoing?

Big Daddy was a favorite. He was smart, and had a special personality. You could tell by the look in his eyes his determination when he wanted something, mostly food. So many mornings I would look out at the ocean and see Big Daddy standing on his 2 hind legs reaching for the mangrove leaves on our tree that grows on our flats.

The Key deer are an endangered species. Exact numbers vary, but we can pretty much all agree there's not more than 900-1000 of them in the world, and they are all located on Big Pine and a couple surrounding Keys. The vast majority of them are on Big Pine. One of the reasons I moved here was the Key deer. I love them so much, and find great comfort in watching them live their lives. They are beautiful, sensitive, curious, souls who care about each other. They spend many hours grooming each other, and even play together (its very true, I have seen them play!)

Most unfortunately, many people drive down my street looking for Key deer. They actually lure them to their cars with promise of junk food or bread, and even trick the deer by reaching with outstretched hands holding rocks pretending its food. Honestly, I have seen this happen too many times to count. People sitting in their cars, windows down, camera in one hand, food in the other. Stopped in the middle of the street. Its outrageous. Often this sickening behavior occurs RIGHT NEXT TO signs on the street warning of the illegality of feeding the deer. Yet, people are selfish, they just don't care. All they want is the photo. The endangered Key deer are regarded by these people as zoo animals. So, here are these morons wanting a picture, luring the gentle Key deer into the street. Then, next time a car comes down the street not stopping, the Key deer are still looking for a handout. The Key deer have been exposed to handout feeding so often, that they just stroll into the street, and will not get out of the way.

People on my street speed too often. I have been cursed at, screamed at, and disrespected by people I stop and warn about feeding the deer or driving too fast. I try to be nice when I see someone stopped. I make my best effort to explain the dangers. I tell them about the spotted fawn I had to cover with a bath towel 2 seasons ago, struck & killed near my home. I still cry over that. But, the handouts continue, and at times I am treated like an enemy by the violator. In reality, I should simply take a picture and give it to the Refuge for them to mail out a ticket.

I understand that there are many people out there, however, who DO understand the treasure that the Key deer are. People who devote their lives to protecting them, and assist in protecting their habitat. It is important that anyone who sees illegal feeding of Key deer not be afraid to become involved. Stop & pull over. As nice as you can be, explain why what they are doing is so terrible. Explain that by stopping their illegal activity, they may help break a cycle that is causing the majority of Key deer deaths. The Key deer are beloved, endangered, and need a helping hand, not a hand out.

We're absolutely heartbroken over the loss of Big Daddy. He was taken before his time, he had a lot of good years left in him which he would have enjoyed thoroughly. But, now that's not going to happen. Because hand feeding over time taught him not to fear cars. Struck by a cowardly driver who didn't stop. They left him there alone, left him there to die. Whoever they are, they know it, and they have blood on their hands.

Karma will settle the score for the driver who didn't stop. That just doesn't matter though for Big Daddy.

Big Daddy, we loved you and will miss you. I will never forget you. Thank you for your frequent visits, and for your countless hours of wonderment for so many. May you rest in peace.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Save Our Leatherbacks Operation (SOLO)

We are going to our monthly Save-A-Turtle of the Florida Keys ( meeting. For those who don't already know, Mr. Happy Vegan is a volunteer Board member for SAT. Both of us volunteer as well for SAT as beach surveyors for nesting turtles. Meetings are held monthly at the Turtle Hospital ( Every month there is a guest speaker at the meetings. Tonight, Mr. Larry McKenna, Founding Director of Save our Leatherbacks Operation (SOLO) is the speaker.

Leatherbacks are the largest sea turtle in the world, and can grow in weight to close to 2000 pounds (900kg). Leatherbacks do not nest in the Florida Keys, but they can nest on mainland Florida. About 3 months ago, an adult female leatherback was discovered entangled in lobster trap lines near Bahia Honda State Park, about 3 miles from our bed & breakfast. The Turtle Hospital responded for the rescue, untangling her. She was assessed, and set free, as she was basically unharmed from that near disaster.

I don't know much about Mr. McKenna's organization beyond what is on his web site ( but what I have read is of grave concern. Leatherbacks are a critically endangered species. From what I read on line, due to poaching, climate crisis and other issues, currently there is a NEGATIVE HATCH RATE for this species. Extinction is certain without intervention such as that of SOLO, in fact, this situation is referred to by SOLO as an extinction spiral. Mr. McKenna's organization frantically works in Indonesia to save the leatherbacks and their nesting sites. Mr. McKenna and those associated with SOLO are dedicated environmentalists. I hope they are able to effect the change they're working so hard for.

Mr. Happy Vegan and I are certainly looking forward to the presentation. We hope there is a good turnout. We want to learn how we can help save the leatherback species, and want to spread the word too. I promise to post more after the meeting to share the information with you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Taking My Own Advice

I'm no different than anybody else. I'm not going to sit here and say how special I am like some celebrities are spouting in media rants. No, I'm the same in that I'm human, subject to the same pitfalls and traps we all can fall into. I'm one of "those people" who likes to save special things for special occasions. Special china & crystal for holidays. Special clothes for special events. Special food for special recipes. I've worked hard over the last couple years to change that philosophy and not "save" things, instead celebrating the specialness of today. But, of course I succumb to the old habits from time to time. This was the case with some special food I bought.

A pet peeve of mine is wasting food. With so many people starving in the world, its very hard for me to accept wasted food as part of life. Food is not meant to end up in landfills. As a last resort, we can compost to avoid the landfill too. Over the Christmas holidays, many companies come out with special food & drinks for the season. I bought something special like that and stashed it in my fridge. I looked at it every day, happy it was in there, waiting for a special moment to enjoy it. Today I went for it. Immediately I saw the date stamp had expired. I opened the container, and was crestfallen to see it had spoiled. I wait all year for this special food. I saved it for something special. Why did I want it today, I'm not sure. There is nothing inherently special about today, I was just feeling happy and wanted to enjoy that food. I wasted it.

I read a story a long time ago, probably in an Ann Lander's column, or the equivalent thereof. The story was about a woman who received a very special article of clothing as a gift. She loved it and cherished it. She kept it wrapped in tissue paper in a box in her dresser. She'd take it out from time to time to admire it, waiting for just the right occasion to wear it. Much time passed, and the woman died. As her children were going through her clothing, they came upon the treasured blouse. They buried their mother in that special blouse. Whether this story is true or not doesn't really matter, although I believe it's all too true, and all too common.

So, here I sit feeling pretty badly about wasting food when there's such hardship in the world, as well as feeling badly because I wait all year for this item and now I won't get to enjoy it either. Its a small thing, but a big reminder. I write a lot about "Carpe Diem" but I too am only human, and can fail to seize the day, live in this moment, and make the most out of life's every moment. Every moment is special. It's also the only guaranteed moment we have.

Maybe you've been saving something special too. If so, won't you consider pulling it out of the closet, out of the pantry, or out of wherever you keep it safe & protected. Enjoy it. Use it. Wear it. Drive it. Whatever "it" is, today is special enough for "it" to be used and appreciated.

Friday, March 4, 2011

For the Love of Cookies

Once again I find myself in "baking mode." Over the last few weeks, I have experimented with several new recipes, some successes, and some absolute failures. Being that I ran out of chocolate (unbelievable, isn't it?), I have been working with everything but chocolate. Admittedly, I'm out of my element, but have made a lot of progress... necessity being the mother of invention. Scanning for recipes, I found one that looked interesting with vegan white chocolate chip and macadamia nuts. After a couple attempts fiddling with leavening and tweaking the ingredients, I hit the right combo for my baking challenged weather and ended up with a whole vanilla bean cookie dough base. I'm in love, oh yes, love love love.

For the majority of my life, I did not understand people who made cooking their passion, and even crafted a living out of it. Now, I'm dialed in, I get it. I watch cooking shows like crazy, read blogs on line, listen to on line cooking & baking shows, and blah blah blah. Cannot get enough. I wonder is this a phase, or more of a turning point. I'm not sure. Whatever it is, I'm rolling with it, and in the meantime producing some unbelievably wonderful vegan goodies. Thankfully, my order of vegan white chocolate chips arrived today, just as I finished wrapping up an order of my whole vanilla bean fruit & nut oatmeal cookies. Yeah baby, life is better with cookies.

I'm in the kitchen for a few hours today, having lunch with a friend (at the Good Food Conspiracy, hooray!), ordering some supplies, then working out and going for a run. In those funny looking Vibrams. With a tiara. Without a cowbell (so sad). The whole time, I will be thinking of cookies, cupcakes, and wonderful treats. Bon Appetit vegan-style!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More Cowbell

Its been a rough few days here. At first, I thought time management was the root of all my problems, but then I realized it has been almost exactly 2 weeks for me without running. When did I turn into this person who, as much as I despise running, feels worse when I don't run. Hurt ankle (remember the faceplant on the missed step up?), big fire (I swear, I ran so fast that night amped on adrenaline I felt NOTHING on that ankle, it was like I was flying.... until the adrenaline rush was over, insert BIG frown here), errands, and blah, blah, blah.

Today I put on running gear, and off I went. Ok, I didn't manage a full run, but I came very close to one, and I ran the entire time, no slacking. Then I thought more, and concluded my problems weren't just about not running, but rather about not running with my tiara. Then I thought even more, and realized that it wasn't just not running, and not without my tiara, but I need a stick and a cowbell too. This way, I can play along with all the new stuff on my iPod. Yes, my problems are three fold; not running, not running with a tiara, and not running with said cowbell (ooo, that sounds so bad, hold your jokes on the cowbell issue, PLEASE!)

Next time you're on Big Pine, if you happen to see some girl running down the street wearing those ridiculous (but very effective) Vibrams, slamming a cowbell while wearing a tiara, don't stop and say hi. Just drive on like this is a normal everyday occurrence. I'll feel much better about myself, truly. I have obviously crossed any last line there was worrying about "what will people think" when they see me.

Fingers crossed that I never, ever lose my iPod. No iPod, no cowbell. I'm filing all this under Carpe Diem. Absolutely.