Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 15: A Walk in the Park

A friend that works for the State of Florida offered to escort me through a tour of Bahia Honda State Park post Irma. I jumped at the chance as the Park remains closed since the storm. It's funny how sometimes I think I know how I'm going to feel during certain experiences, but since I never experienced whatever the "it" is I shouldn't have expectations, right? That's how it was for me today... my feelings were very different than I expected them to be. I wasn't allowed to shoot video or photographs, but I can tell you what I saw. ❤️🌴

My friend's friend said it best... Bahia Honda has taken herself back from us. What will we learn as we move forward... will we hear her cries and heed the message?
Vegan love to you and yours. ⛱

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Touring a Debris Pile

Today my first video explains how I spent the day. Fasten your seat belt for the second video. We scope out a debris pile. And since it is Vegan Month of Food but I forgot to talk about food, my tip is save all those odd peels, bits and ends of your veggies, not a morsel of that goes into my compost. I freeze it all and when I have enough I throw it all into a pot, cover it with water, add whatever herbs I have around and make my own stock. No measurements, no fuss. I strain it and freeze in muffin tins then pop them out and store them frozen to roast your veggies, make your vegan frittatas and do all sorts of magic.  My great stash of stock was lost to Irma but once we get a freezer again, I'll be back on the mission. Now videos!

And here we go...

😪 indeed.

Til next time. xo

Friday, October 13, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 13: An Update and A Recipe

Whew, today was busy! I got a video up for you just after sunset offering an update on what's really going on with our business. Also, we have cake. Sort of. This is what I made so many weeks ago, pre-Irma, for my birthday. It's a mostly raw chocolate peanut butter swirl cake. If you've never had a good raw dessert you're missing out.... they can be unbelievably decadent. My peanut butter was not raw and the nuts were pasteurized so not truly raw. Who cares, the recipe sounded good... I was right! Almost 6 weeks bouncing from freezer to freezer and it still tasted spectacular. I made a few tweaks based on what I had on hand but stuck close to the recipe also because that site is one of my favorites for raw. Since Irma I couldn't be any further from raw, but I'll always be vegan. We are simply blessed to even have food in our life during times of strife, hardship or disaster (or a combo of all 3...) the link to the recipe is after the video. Today is actually the other happy vegan's birthday. I went all out and got him a pint of his favorite almond milk ice cream, and he even had some of the raw ice cream cake too. Mr. Happy Camper! Lol.

And here's the link to the cake recipe. Feel free to post any questions you have, now go be your rawsome vegan self!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 12: Why Stay

Not a morsel of food today. I was doing fairly well through the morning then without warning a headache flattened me. I tried to rest but couldn't find the off switch for the brain. Been thinking and thinking about so much. One question so many of us wrestle with in any relationship when the going gets tough is "Why Stay?" Anyone living here among us has a relationship with the Keys. This is not like most other places. It's raw and at times angry. Sometimes it's bliss and literal rainbows and sunshine. But we all can't be faulted for wanting to bail when the going gets this tough, can we?

I admit when I first saw things post storm my reaction was nope, no way, no how, I'm outta here... done. I said it to the other happy vegan. "But where?" Was his response. I said Oregon and a camper sounds good. We had a plan anyway. Before this all happened. Had our little house by the sea waiting for a gentle renovation after this place was finally in the loving arms of the next good and deserving stewards but first thing we wanted to do was rent a camper, pile all the animals in and drive for a month or two. Princess wanted Oregon, once we explained what Oregon is. We told her many stories about the trip. Then she died. And Irma came. So I decided that's it I actually can break so I was broken. Every day was pain every day a struggle. Slowly "it" began...after about the first 2 weeks I realized maybe things might actually get better... so many resources were deployed here and so many individuals began helping us with relief, concern, genuine affection. About that time I took my first true walk on the beach. Oh no... do not suck me back in... more days passed and the sky enveloped us with crazy colors every night along with so many rainbows during the day. No no please let me go... but everyday brings something fresh (ironic under the circumstances where things seem so far from fresh), nature splashes the sky with stars, a new feral shows up at the store where the others used to be (of which only 1 remains) and now this tonight. As I sit here alone doing laundry at a friend's place pecking out letters on the tiniest phone known to humankind the walls rattle with thunder, the room explodes with lightning:

Keys life is not for everyone, I get that. But so far she won't let me go without a fight. 🌴❤️

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 11: Happy Irmaversary

I hate to let you down but I have no video for you today and I'm not hitting the prompt either (kitchen tour).  Yesterday was one month since Irma blew through and changed so many lives. I know about the wildfires in California and it's weighing so heavily on me right now, you likely feel similar. I'm listening to sound bytes on the radio "it all happened so fast, so fast" "it's gone, all gone" "this is the price we pay to live in such a beautiful area" it's like flashbacks, same words uttered by so many of us in the Keys exactly 1 month ago.  Looking back and reflecting, we have made huge amounts of progress. Sometimes I forget that fact when so much is left to do. But I do have water, electric and communication to a good degree. The road is getting a temporary fix. I'm not scared that people think I died in the storm, and I can call my family and friends at will. C130s and military choppers are not the only thing in the sky, in fact I've even begun to notice the stars again. Some people think books should be written about this whole mess in fact we all know that will happen. Not by me. I don't want to remember. I grabbed a notebook a day or two after the storm to write things down so I'd remember. Just as quickly I realized I just want this over. Remembering the palm trees completely bent sideways at the shelter accompanied by near white out conditions... driving back to Big Pine on the tail end of the storm, seeing the higheay littered with boats, dumpsters, huge trees and wreckage flying around like tinker toys... turning  onto Long Beach during the receding surge and feeling nothing but sheer terror the truck was going to start to float and we were going to die by drowning (more fuel for my water terror)...Living at a friend's formerly beautiful home now in ruins plucking land crabs and iguanas off walls and from behind moldy furniture day and night... no sanitation at all... finally getting a shower after too many days to count, using bottled water... military military military absolutely everywhere providing aid and protecting us. Sitting on line for Fuel Relief Fund gasoline when no place in the Keys had a drop of fuel, besides even if they did they couldn't sell it since there was no power and the stations themselves were destroyed. The first glimpse of where my house was... then finally getting my first glimpse of Deer Run, gut punch after gut punch. Standing in the middle of Grimal Grove and literally having no idea where I was. All of this barely scratches the surface. I guess when I allow myself the luxury to think about this, just one month in, yeah it's been pretty traumatic. The wildfires are making me ache for all those effected. I know a bit of what they are in for during recovery and compared to them I've got it easy. Not to mention having to deal with FEMA, SBA and disaster assistance and at times feeling so ashamed to need help after working my entire life having my first job at 13. The fire survivors will be subjected to, and will have to endure that final humiliation as well.

I cannot even post a picture of the first brewed cup of coffee I had weeks after the storm. It was from Tom Thumb and even though it came in a shitty foam cup I savored it. But we still do not have a computer or internet it makes everything that much more challenging, thank goodness for this vintage phone. One thing I've not yet discussed either is the trauma of watching the post storm ecological disaster unfold in real time as well. It's a lot to take in seeing the trash piles, looking at the plastic everywhere and being an active participant in that aspect by drinking bottled water, having everything including food come in plastic and seeing the stuff in the water and on the trees that we will have to help cleanup.  How did 1 cup of coffee turn into this? I'll be back tomorrow with a video. FYI the prompt today was kitchen tour. The good news is that once I got through all the stuff that swirled into the kitchen it looks like we will be in pretty good shape that way when it gets a monumental scrub down. Have tested most, but not all, the appliances. So far so good. Hope springs eternal is all I know.

When you wake up tomorrow, make sure you breathe deeply when you pour your coffee. I hope you have a roof over your head to give thanks for, and a job or purpose that, no matter how crummy or great you think it is, you give thanks for that as well.

Hang tough my kindred Keys and beyond spirits. We will get there.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 10: Death Cleaning, WTF?!

Today is about keeping and purging. Not decluttering, this is different. Oh and PS... nooch is life, haha. 🌈


Monday, October 9, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 9: A Hurricane Story & A Gadget

Every word of this story is true. The days immediately after the storm were some of the most anxiety riddled of my life mostly because there were actual moments when I believed no one would know what happened to us down here. Completely cut off from the rest of the world those first days were surreal. Sometimes at night I lay awake reliving the scariest, weirdest or strangest moments. I love animals but damn it was unbelievable the stuff that was going on at times.... come listen.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 8: A Cat and A Salad

I worked in what remains of the attic sweeping out the glass from broken objects that Irma tore from boxes and bins. Also pulled out more attic insulation and swept that out all in preparation for renovations. Reapplied the anti mold spray since that came back with yesterday's final downpour as the fearless persons from the Blue Tarp Project were working. Hot sweaty filthy work today no way to salvage this spirit for a front of camera video, instead I've got something far better.... a cat video.

I could watch this all day... those jumps are so fabulous.

As today's prompt was winning friends with salad, I made one post-hurricane style for you and the other happy vegan. There's a photo on the Facebook page since I'm still having technical difficulties. In fact I'm sitting in my car again to do this. All from donations, I used a pack of precooked pasta, half a can each of carrots, corn and black beans, an avocado (fresh!!! Brought up with other fresh vegan food by the ever lovely Charlie herself of Date and Thyme) and 2 pieces of Chao that sort of survived Irmageddon being housed in a cooler before making it to a generator powered fridge. I also used Bragg's dressing and balsamic in the pantry from pre storm. A little salt, a little pepper with the magic ingredient a pack of bruschetta also donated. Ir may not look like much but damn it's good and I know the other happy vegan will be all over it any minute now. 

I'm going to try to purge my skin of these insulation fibers and with that I wish you a beautiful vegany evening. Hugs to you my friends. 🥑❤️🐾

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 7: Look What Happened Today!!!

Woah today was epic!

I've come to realize there is a glitch uploading photos from this antique to the blog, I'll see if I can get someone smart to troubleshoot in the next few days. I put a picture of my little food creation in the comments on Facebook for you. Vegan for the win. ❤️🌈


Friday, October 6, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 6: On the Street

Getting a good hard look around. Oh a brief mention of a cake  recipe soon coming your way. ❤️💔

Next time we meet I shall be free from my shop vac purgatory! Woot!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 5 (6?): More rain. King Tides. Food.

Sitting in my car to publish this. Bear with me. Rain last night, today, tonight and tomorrow we are being subjected to a tropical depression along with crazy ass King Tides.  Some may be debating on things like outfits public persona are wearing, the NFL and other topics foreign to me, here I along with so many others are simply seeking a dry place of refuge as we all work together to restore our lives.  It's been a frustrating day with flood after flood, but we are in this together, plus I'm remaining upbeat and optimistic because I have so much love in my life whereas others are struggling with that as well. Depression and other hard things are beginning to creep into the lives of so many right now, our goal is to get our s*** together asap and then do more than currently able to help the rest, this is a protracted recovery in our area. Scroll down past the video for a few shots of King Tides on my road.... everything you see is ocean water not standing rain no matter the color.

Here's the photos I promised:

Crap none of the photos will upload at this moment I'll get some help and to a better spot to work and load them for you then, thanks I know under the circumstances you all understand.

Hugs til tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Vegan Mofo 2017 Day 4: Post Hurricane Wildlife

So much more to say, but you lucked out... the rain came yet again and shut me up. May do another video later this month again discussing the wildlife. As the rain pours in all I can do is remember how good this is for nature. Sigh.

Vegan love to you!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 3: Your First Look at the Beach

I'd say grab a drink (if that's your thing, I stick with kombucha) and some tissues, but that would imply things won't get better. In fact it's quite the opposite, we've already done a huge amount of debris removal to allow the beach and dune restoration to commence as you will see. I'm working with a really old iPhone so I couldn't flip the view back and forth from me to the Beach and back; instead I offer up 3 short videos for you. This is the first video that I'm offering you of our property, remember I said we are doing this in steps, that's for a reason as there's a lot to digest. Here's the videos in 3 parts:

Part 1 (the intro)

Part 2 (the nitty gritty)

Part 3 (the wrap up)

We will see you lovelies tomorrow! Sending vegany love now and always. ❤️

Monday, October 2, 2017

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 2: Seeking Comfort

A shooting, a storm story and vegan macaroni and cheese, they connect. Today's video; there's a steaming pile of crazy going on 💔 I'm so glad to be surrounded by such love and support near and far.

Til tomorrow. x

Sunday, October 1, 2017

MoFo 2017 Day 1 ... intro to Irma

Yay, it's really here! Day One of Vegan Month of Food!!  We've got a video to share if you'd like to see how things will go this month. This annual international blogging event is celebrating vegan food, however this year we will be coloring outside the lines as a result of our having an uninvited guest named Irma. What can I say ... you win some, you lose some, we don't draw our own cards necessarily. We think this month's event is a good way to explain what's going on in our neck of the world, and yes there WILL be food!!! Oh. FYI this video is probably the longest one you'll find all month, I like to keep them short, however today we needed a bit more time for the intro. Let's roll the video!

Big vegan love to you all, see you tomorrow! ❤️