Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition 2



Behind the morning blush of rose,

I’ll steal a kiss, my dear.

For time stands still and worlds collide

When I feel you near.

But my love is met with icy gaze,

Nightfall finds me alone.

I should have seen the signs, my dear,

Your heart is made of stone.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition 1




While visiting the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, we came upon this unusual sculpture on the grounds of the waterfront mansion, Ca d’Zan. Named “Fat Boy”, it was tucked into a grove of trees along the southern border. It depicts an Italian putto, the chubby and sometimes winged infant boys popular in art from the ancient classical world through the Renaissance era. The mirrored window in the boy’s forehead is said to reflect the sunset touching down on Sarasota Bay. We’ll have to go back and witness this for ourselves one day.

Sun, Sand, and No Squishy Frogs

I haven’t posted for several days, but I have a pretty good excuse. My daughter and I are “wintering in Florida”. Well, not exactly wintering, more like “thawing out” for a week or so. We are on the Gulf coast in Sarasota, 10 minutes from what has been voted most beautiful beach in the United States, Siesta Key.

I am from Miami originally, and when I was growing up I couldn’t wait to leave Florida and see the seasons. The heat was oppressive in the summertime, much like stepping into a giant sauna with B52 bomber-size roaches. And amphibians of every size and shape. I remember sneaking in after curfew one night and tiptoeing ever so stealthily down the hall in stocking feet. I almost made it to my bedroom….when I stepped square on a baby tree frog In the darkness. It took everything I had not to lose it right there. Instead, I made horrible faces and exhaled silent screams as I raced to the bathroom to wash my foot.

Fast forward to today. Oh what a difference 30 years makes. Slap me with a shuffleboard stick and call me granny, but I hate, hate, hate being cold. I get chilled to the bone sometimes, and I actually have to get in a hot shower to warm up. And it has been a nasty winter in Asheville so far. There hasn’t been much snow, but the “polar vortex” has a firm grip. Next week the forecast low is 3 degrees one morning. Really? 3? Can’t wait to get back!

Meanwhile, we have enjoyed beautiful sunshine and average temperatures near 70 for most of our stay In Florida. Yesterday we walked along the beach and collected shells. I could get used to this. Tomorrow, it’s off to the Ringling Museum, which is supposed to be fantastic.

And so far….not a roach or a tree frog in sight. I’m keeping my shoes on, just in case.

Easy Ways To Get More Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet

I have a new toy. I don’t often buy things for myself, and when I do, I get immediate buyer’s remorse and contemplate taking them back to the store for weeks, wondering if I made the right decision. You should have seen me when I bought my IPad. I dragged my whole family around one night, going feverishly from store to store, comparing various tablets and trying to talk myself into settling for something cheaper.

At $499, the IPad left a gnawing pain in the pit of my stomach. Of course, after hours of agonizing, I ended up going back to the original store and buying that shiny Apple that first caught my eye. But was I content and excited with my purchase? No. I kept the receipt and all the original packaging “just in case” until the last possible minute I could have returned it. Only after that deadline passed did I begin to relax and fall in love with my tablet.

But, I digress. Somehow this post has taken a nasty turn from talking about my new toy to exploring the dark places in my brain where decisions are made (or more accurately, delayed). And no one really wants to go there. It’s kind of like those scare-tactic films you once saw in health class about drugs. You know the ones..the kid tries LSD one time and never comes back from his trip. Well, I’m going to let you escape, this time.

My new toy is mostly plastic, but it has a powerful motor and razor-sharp blades that tear through skin like nobody’s business. You’re scared now, aren’t you? No, I haven’t totally lost my mind from lack of hormones and started killing random people in fast food joints…yet. I bought myself a Ninja:

Photo Jan 15, 3 53 43 PM

This baby was $49.99 at Target and I got A $5 Target gift card. (No. I didn’t use my credit card) It includes a 48 oz blender pitcher and a 16 oz food processor bowl. Each unit has separate blades. The motor is shown on top of the blender in the picture. It can be moved from unit to unit as needed. And clean up is a breeze. The blades come out completely so you can wash the bowl and pitcher from top to bottom.

So far, I have used the Ninja every day since I bought it. I’m trying to eat more veggies and fruit to keep breast cancer at bay, but it’s been very hard to work, take care of kids, and prepare a healthy meal every night. My hat is off to those who work full time and still find time to juice daily and prepare vegan meals from scratch, like my blog pal at lightscanceraction.wordpress.com.

Well, this kitchen tool has made a huge difference in prep time. Dicing vegetables takes literally less than 30 seconds thanks to the “pulsing” action. I’ve made homemade butternut squash soup and fresh salsa. And tonight features vegan split pea soup with carrots, onions, garlic and spices. I’ve even added a daily green smoothie to my diet. This morning, I used the following:

1 Cup Almond/Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup frozen mango

1/2 Cup frozen pineapple

Handful Organic Baby Spinach Leaves

Pinch of Shredded Coconut

Add Water to Get Desired Consistency (about 1/2 cup)

It looked something like this picture from Somer’s awesome “Vedged Out” blog:

green smoothie


Head over to her page for some more great smoothie recipes. I promise, you can’t taste the spinach. It just tastes fresh and delicious.

I think I may learn to love this new Ninja even more than my IPad. Ok, maybe not, but it has given me a whole new appreciation for cooking from scratch. I saved the box and the receipt…..just in case.


Anti-Cancer Diet: Which Foods Target Cancer Stem Cells?

Today I am re-posting a link to a subject that is near and dear to my heart, cancer nutrition. The author, Harriet Sugar Miller, has been a cancer survivor for two decades and, according to her blog, is preparing to launch a digital book about cancer-fighting foods and recipes.

This article is very pertinent to those of us who have been through conventional cancer treatments. In reviewing the research, I have learned that not only do conventional treatments often fail to kill cancer stem cells, but they can make any remaining cells more aggressive. Therefore, it’s imperative for us to find alternative ways of targeting these cells with food and supplements. This article provides some guidance.

Anti-Cancer Diet: Which Foods Target Cancer Stem Cells?.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning


Just a typical Sunday afternoon in my house. I was busy looking up recipes and trying to come up with a healthy grocery list with constant interruptions from my 5 year-old daughter. Like most young children, she was jumping around like a flea doing various “tricks” to get me to abandon what I was trying to focus on and give her my undivided attention.

When she asked me for the umpteenth time to watch her dance routine, I got a little irritated and told her that I was busy and would watch after dinner. “Go play with your toys”, I pleaded. She disappeared and was quiet for about twenty minutes. Just as I finished my grocery list, she called from upstairs.

“Mom. I need to show you something in my room.” Now, usually this is not a good sign, so I didn’t hesitate running up the stairs. “What is it?” I asked. She motioned over to her bed. “Sit down, Mommy.” I sat, curious about her odd behavior.  She pointed to the careful arrangement of stuffed animals shown in the picture above.

“Does this look like a sad person?” she quizzed.  I looked carefully and was impressed with her creativity. “Yes, it really does, honey.”

She sat down on the bed and turned to me with her best Oscar-winning expression of disappointment. “That’s how I feel, Mommy.”

I instantly felt a tug at my heart strings as I wondered what could have possibly prompted such a display. “Why on earth are you sad, baby?”

“Well, I really wanted to show you my dance performance, but you told me I had to wait until after dinner. That made me sad.”

Needless to say, we had a dance recital right then and there, accompanied by lots of hugs and praise.

This is either the beginning of a long, successful acting career for my girl or a long, arduous journey into being manipulated for me. I’m guessing it will be more of the latter.