Wednesday, September 2, 2015

For Carol Wahlheim ~ As you bring your light forward

Dear Carol ~

Your musings, your creativity and, above all, your light are what I will remember most. Oceans of love to you, my friend ...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Memories, with Soup ~

This evening, I’m making Tom Kha Gai for dinner ~ Thai chicken coconut soup. A delicious perfume fills the air while it simmers … as exotic as it is comforting. It’s particularly so for me because whenever I make it, I am filled with memories of Alma, my “second mom” and dear friend. 
She nourished my soul and my stomach in countless ways over the years that my husband and I lived in Seattle, and perhaps even more-so when we moved two hours away. Her home and her hugs were a solace and anytime was a good time, unless it wasn’t, and she’d tell you straight up. Then she’d make up for it, in spades, with delicious food accompanied by her raucous and gravelly laugh, fresh flowers from her garden - in any old jar - on the battered kitchen table and plenty of wisdom and opinion.
The first time I tasted this soup was at 3 a.m. after a wild night out with my gay friend, dancing until I couldn’t anymore. He found some friends and headed off, while I made my way to Alma’s. She knew I was in town for a getaway and she was a night owl, like me. I arrived, disheveled and barefoot. I’d tossed the heels in the back seat already. I knocked and, when she answered the door, she said, “Jeezus! Do you need wine or coffee?” I said, “Wine. And I’m starved.” “Good. I just finished making tom kha gai. Sit down.” She poured us some plonk, ladled the silky, white liquid into bowls and lit a cigarette.
The citrusy-floral, fishy but not, tropical, spicy-heat scent of it filled my senses as I hungrily spooned it down and asked for more. I didn’t have a hangover, but it seemed like it would be an excellent antidote for one. Through blue smoke and the scent of soup, we talked about life until almost daybreak. Love you and miss you, Alma.

TOM KAH GAI ~ Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Serves 6

2 T. peanut oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stems lemongrass, outer leaves removed, stem smashed and cut in 3 inch lengths
12 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 5-inch piece galangal root (or use peeled fresh ginger), cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Serrano chile, seeded and diced
1-2 t. Sambal Oelek (red chili paste)
¼ t. ground white or black pepper
3 T. fish sauce
6 c. chicken stock
2 14 oz. cans coconut milk
1 c. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced OR 2 oz. dried shiitakes, soaked in hot water and drained
3 t. white sugar
2 chicken breasts, cubed into bite-sized pieces
3 sprigs Thai basil, torn
Juice of one lime
¼ c. cilantro, chopped roughly

Add the peanut oil to a large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot and shimmering, add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring. Add lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal or ginger, Serrano chile, chili paste and pepper. Sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add fish sauce, chicken stock, coconut milk and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes to bring out the flavor of the aromatics and soften the mushrooms. Add chicken and simmer another 10 minutes. Add Thai basil and lime juice and simmer 2 more minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle top with fresh cilantro and serve.

** You can put a scoop of cooked jasmine rice into the bowl before adding the soup, if desired.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Bleating sheep call out
The closing of day
As the sun turns down the covers
Of its sky.
Lengthening light turns
Mellow, glowing the grass golden,
And shadows settle in the branches
Of trees.
Leaves cradling night’s head
Like a pillow.
gnb 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Cousin, Cameron's, New Music Release

Some of you may remember a post I had on Multiply about my cousin. He had just put out his first music video and was working on a cd. Since then, he's been featured as an artist at the Sundance Film Festival, his music is played on Pandora mixes, the new songs will be available on iTunes on Feb. 13th and he's ready to launch the new cd. He has done this all with his own money and hard work and he's set to take off. He's GOOD! 
He just released the first song - "Broken Door" - three days ago, on YouTube. If he gets one million hits by July, he'll be awarded a recording contract. Go check him out and, if you like his music, please tell your contacts and friends so he can get his career going. He's a great guy - quiet and kind, huge smile, not a conceited bone in his body. It's weird to watch him now on YouTube. I think he was around 12 years old the last time I saw him at a family Christmas in Utah, but he's written some comments back to me on YouTube and I hear of him often through his Mom. 
Here is the link to the new song -
Here is his channel on YouTube, with all the songs and videos released- 
Other links:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Final Post ~ Picture Perfect

I can barely see as I post this ... I think it took until now, coming to post these last four photos, for me to really let the sadness of Multiply's end overtake me.

Each of you has had an impact on my life in some way. I can't even begin to describe how much I appreciate all the ways I've been touched by your words and your photos. I'm glad it isn't really ending for Picture Perfect, or I couldn't stand it.

My four photos chronicle my trajectory here, on Multiply and PP. The honey jars is the first photo I ever posted on PP, during competition time, and I won. I couldn't believe it. I didn't even know it wasn't always a competition, or how it all worked. From that to where I am now, as a person and as a photographer have so much to do with the group and with Heather's friendship. Now, as an admin, Gary and Cherie have taken me in warmly. Who knew where it would all go from that first post?

May we all meet again, online or in life. I thank you, every one, for what you've shown and taught me.
Blessings on the road ahead,

Honey Jars - Pike Place Market

A Frosty Sequoia ~ first trip to meet Heather

My first guest host shot for PP - Lady Washington in Fog

The way I feel about Mulitply, Picture Perfect and ... Life ...

Be Well...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

REGARDING: Ugliness Online

I write this after a day spent defending a dear friend against hostility online. Not that she can't very competently handle it herself, but when someone throws out a prejudiced, racist, vile and utterly misplaced insult to someone I love, I am going in, CLAWS OUT.
To be clear, this didn't occur on Blogspot, but on another, similar site. I have ZERO tolerance for this kind of Neanderthal thinking. It makes me almost physically ill to come into any contact with a person like him. One could ask what drives some people to unleash hatred and vitriol against someone they barely know. Or wonder at what twisted upbringing led to thinking that such behavior is acceptable on any level in any relationship. But, ultimately, only the reasonable and rational among us have the capacity to even ask those questions and the answers won't lead us to a solution.
For me, the only solution to it is to fight it at every turn. Speak out when you hear or see it. I don't befriend people of this sort either online or in my day to day life. If I find I've made a mistake and true colors come out which show someone to be ugly inside ... they're GONE. I do not expect everyone in my circles to believe what I do or think the same way I do. I demand decency, open-mindedness, manners, kindness and mature behavior.
And ... that dog above is a beautiful sweetheart, compared to the man I'm speaking about. In my eyes, every animal is beautiful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012