Tuesday, August 15, 2017

belated summer cooking -Tupperware

So totally annoyed with my blog app....my issue is that I upload multiple pics to from my phone, then I go to app or blogger to uncover draft but I can't see the pics.  For me that part is the worst about blogging.  I need keypad and free fingers to write but I need also to upload my photos journals.  Am I whining?  Perhaps... :).   I don't like this typing on the phone thing... ha ha how do people type on phones.... ;) kidding, I just did it. 

Ok so last year, in efforts to cook chicken in the 100 degree temps, I  decided to get some microwave cookware.  Yes.. I went to a real Tupperware  party.  I got mini tupperware prizes too. That party was a freaking blast... women, food and wine.. what more to say.  Fun for days!!!

I bought a cookware set on sale.. with free cookbook.  I never got around to doing much with it.... so this year... epic hot summer... I got a 7 dollar whole chicken.. rubbed it down with chili powder, salt and pepper and stuffed with celery.  
Bad blog notes..because I can't remember how many minutes per pound.... I cooked it for 37 minutes.  
There was a how many mins per ...pound instructions but I can't remember.  Text me and I can find out.  Also.. add a cup of water or broth. 

It turned out fantastic.  No oven.  A chicken is a lot of meat, so I make chicken tacos and soup meat.  Check out the skin and doneness of it .. wow!!

I know some think this is undercooked... it just needs to sit longer. It was perfect.  I checked with thermometer.
Those wings..

 For the Tacos..
The top pile was for tacos the middle pile was for soup with the chopped celery.... deboned and de-skinned...(boooo.. but I have fat to loose on my own human be-ing that I carry around..soooo..so I have rules..)

 Soup mix in fridge. For the next day. 

Taco meat for tacos...


Next evening soup was yummy.

Easy summer time cooking.  I am sorry my post is so casual.... need to flow better with a keyboard. That's how I blog... free flow.

For my food buds.. I have a cheesecake that was grand to post.  I recommend cheesecake to the world.  It was delicious. Pics coming.

Happy cooking... do your best for heathy, clean..kind, food. Doing the best with what you have is a win!  

Cook and be happy.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

August Read - South of Broad

It is early August here in Northern California.  It is about the time of year when people have quit complaining about the heat and have finally committed to the heat and warm sunny skies.  The yard is starting late summer shriveling from long sunny days and having never quite recovered from the previous drought years.  The side lawn was completely forgotten this summer and remains a wasteland, even the weeds jumped ship to the main lawn of crab grass and everything that survives in a front yard that isn't grass.  The summer makes me feel lazy at times, especially on the days where it is just too hot to run or do anything.  At least on some days that is my excuse.  Today being one of those days.  One of those days where I am not training for a 1/2 marathon and seriously the guilt of not doing so has vanquished for the rest of this day at least. 

Late breakfast, naps, no chores... and while I should be dusting and getting the house ready for the week, I decided to blog.   

What am I reading these days?  I can't seem to finish books unless I have a review or blog tour. Which is partially the reason that I like to do them. Accountability... I mean one can't just give up reading????    I am reading a book called Crash and Burn, Lisa Gardner.  It is good, just a bit scary, so I don't read it before bedtime.  I am also making my way through a book called Self Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child...by Jay Early.  It's a self help book, so I am making my way through it, and I say that step by step is the way to make it through the book.  

I have stacks of to-be-read books all around me. I think that comes from a time when I didn't think I'd feel complete if I didn't have books near by with all kinds of choices.  It is amusing as I recollect about that time as I would have NEVER read two-three books at a time.  The days of grieving over a finishe book have been long gone.    Now I can sit and read morsels of different books and I am not so driven to even know what is happening next.  It is kind of  like the tv, I will put it on and get episode 2 when I feel like it.  That doesn't bode well for actually finishing books that I start.  Commit Toni Commit!

This afternoon I pulled a book from my bedside table.  South of Broad by Pat Conroy.   I know many of my book blogger friends and associates have read this.    I don't even know what it is about, but I opened the book and started reading and it was like a gourmet reading treat. And I could only wish that Nick Nolte was reading it...to me as he narrated Conroy's other book in movie form. So in my mind he is reading it to me.    It stimulated my mind and I can't wait to get back to it and I suppose that is why I decided to come here to talk about books this Sunday.   

Would anyone care to read with me? Let's check back next month and chat about it. Pretty please.


Pat Conroy is the author of eight previous books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, and The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina. Photo copyright: David G. Spielman

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A big sweeping novel of friendship and marriage” (The Washington Post) by the celebrated author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini

From Publishers Weekly:
Charleston, S.C., gossip columnist Leopold Bloom King narrates a paean to his hometown and friends in Conroy's first novel in 14 years. In the late '60s and after his brother commits suicide, then 18-year-old Leo befriends a cross-section of the city's inhabitants: scions of Charleston aristocracy; Appalachian orphans; a black football coach's son; and an astonishingly beautiful pair of twins, Sheba and Trevor Poe, who are evading their psychotic father. The story alternates between 1969, the glorious year Leo's coterie stormed Charleston's social, sexual and racial barricades, and 1989, when Sheba, now a movie star, enlists them to find her missing gay brother in AIDS-ravaged San Francisco. Too often the not-so-witty repartee and the narrator's awed voice (he is very fond of superlatives) overwhelm the stories surrounding the group's love affairs and their struggles to protect one another from dangerous pasts. Some characters are tragically lost to the riptides of love and obsession, while others emerge from the frothy waters of sentimentality and nostalgia as exhausted as most readers are likely to be. Fans of Conroy's florid prose and earnest melodramas are in for a treat. (Aug.) 

How can you resist that editorial?

Happy August!  Have a great week of peace and love.  #nevergiveup

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar

 A review by Toni:

My book reviews tend to be simple, this I know is true.   I will do my best to describe my journey in reading this collection.    I did not read it in one sitting.  I believe it was about four or five settings.   I found all sorts of nuggets of truth, pain and beauty in the collection.  My journey with the collection/story was filled and rewarded with morsels of wisdom and bits to ponder upon later.   I feel I traveled a road of pain, recovery, faith and spiritual healing with this collection.   Many parts were very "familiar" to me and it rang true to my soul.  It is sweet prose grounded with a gentle straightforward way of "speaking."

The Mother's Day piece:  It really socked me in the gut.... for what I may have lost with my own mother and for what I DO  have with my own daughter / grand daughter.  The reminder of  the blessing and gift of having a daughter, and grand daughter brought tears to my eyes.   I have every intention of sharing this piece with my girls.

As a former runner struggling to get back my faith and strength back, I completely connected to the piece called Don't Give Up. My motto is #nevergiveup.  I feel empowered by the words; "The sun always shines after it has been gone awhile."

Although I shudder at the thought of giving any attention to a molester, I was drawn to read the piece Portrait of a Molester.  I won't say too much about that, but I thought differently about it after reading.  I think of survivors needing a voice and  of victims that need words.  This is a piece that will help the ones lost for words find some words, or  structure. Or perhaps it is a place for people to gather and let go and  slay our demons collectively.   And in turn, perhaps help one another on the journey to healing and spirituality.

The affirmations throughout the book are wonderfully inspiring.   There is much to be shared, gained and experienced with this collection.  My thanks to Diamante Lavendar  for writing this lovely nurturing book of truth, pain, inspiration and God.

Thank you Serena and Poetic Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour.

Tour Schedule:
July 11: Impressions in Ink, and here and here. (Review)
July 13: Wall-to-Wall Books (Review)
July 13: Reading Writings (Book Spotlight)
July 19: Reading Writings (Review)
July 20: Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf (Review)
July 25: Mia Sutton (Review)
July 26: Readers Handbook (Book Spotlight)
July 27: Soapy Violinist (Review)
July 31: Katherine & Books (Interview)
Aug. 2: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Aug. 9: The Book Connection (Review)
Aug. 15: the bookworm (Guest Post)

Book information and praise:
From Award-winning author of Breaking the Silence, Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry by Diamante Lavendar
A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry
A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults.
In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.
Advance Praise:
Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar’s daughter. Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion. I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth.”
-Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee’s Game Of Death.
“Tragedy turned triumph. Poetry and Ponderings beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing. A must read for survivors and those who love them.”
-Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
“Diamante’s Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening. She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance; we are the creation of God’s breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness … ‘Writing is her way of leaving her mark: one poem, one story at a time.’ This book achieves this endeavor.”
-Sam Eastwood, International Poet
About the Poet:
Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Love Each Other

Just because we know how to get up after a fall, or what needs to be done,  sometimes we just need a leg up .. a little help.. that's why God made Eve and mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, and tribes. Help each other people.  Love each other.  Happiness is love.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Friday - Summer Foods - Protein (recipe)

7/1/2017 - post edit.  Sorry the original post didn't have the pictures. Something went haywire. :)

Some Friday nights... it's just steak and salad.   This was a few weeks ago.  Tri-tip cooked with tips from


And simple protein trail refuel.

Simple quick chili by Toni

1 .5 lbs ground beef
1 chopped onion
7 cloves garlic
2 tbls parsley - fresh is best
Two celery stalks choppped
1 can organic crushed tomatoes
1 can organic tomatoe sauce
1cup water
Chili powder - 2-3 tablespoons.
1/2 pack taco seasoning
1 packet chili seasoning
1 can dark kidney beans
1 can pinto beans

I put the pan on high.. put the ground beef in and chopped it to large chunks and started adding ingredients.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Self Care and Love

Meeting one's SELF.  Who is that?   The real you, that warm, non affected by this life person that resides inside you  just beautifully "being."  The true soul of the core that is watching and waiting.  The soul that is patience, beautiful and joyful.  That beautiful being, the inner priestess voice otherwise known as "me" or "you" or Self. 

That presence inside is the presence of reason, love and all beautiful things waiting to flow out and spread through the body.  It doesn't judge, but it sends rays of love and understanding within and to the universe.  Finding and connecting with that love is truly the greatest love of all.  Knowing about "it" isn't quite enough.  Knowing and not really connecting just leaves one in want of the seemingly allusive present moment and all good gifts from within.   Knowing about it and not being able to reach .... but then.... finally....

Connecting to it is everything.

A little Self Prayer

Internal priestess
To meet you is lovely.
I have known you forever
How wonderful to let you
reign free in peace.

Internal priestess
To hear you is lovely
To hear through your ears.
How wonderful to hear
your silent gentle vibes.

Internal priestess
To feel you is lovely
I have felt you forever.
How wonderful to feel
compassion through you.

Internal priestess.
To heal with you is lovely.
Your warmth surrounds.
How wonderful to heal
with radiant heat.

Internal priestess
How lovely to love you.
I have loved you forever.
How wonderful to love
through your grace.

Internal priestess
How lovely to connect
through breath and light.
How wonderful that I
completely love and accept you.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Beat the Heat - Trails - Donner Pass - Pacific Crest Trail

June 2017 brought a weeks worth or more of triple digits.  It was a heat wave, it seemed as the concrete didn't ever cool off.  The options for trail running in Auburn were a bit bleak, and I checked the temperatures for the cooler SF Bay area to run and  it was hot there as well in the Marin Hills. All beach trails within driving distance were hot.  The difference was only 10 degrees.  So 106 or 96.. in the sun it just felt hot.  So I went to my weather guide to find the cool spots in California.  Donner Pass in the Sierras was reporting 80 degrees. SOLD.

It is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes away.  So that is where the adventure began.  I set out to hit the Pacific Crest Trail towards Squaw Valley for a bit of out and back trekking/running.  However when I got there, the trail was snowed in.  A few experienced hard core looking hikers with gear and proper hiking boots reported that there was no one yet able to navigate that section of the trail.

So a bit up the road there was a trail and a hiking routes toward Donner Lake.  It wasn't much of a trail for "running" but it worked out for a nice adventure.  The trails were rocks and sometimes just mountain rock.

The altitude was high and the sun was pretty bright.  But not more than 20 minutes into the hike, a gigantic cloud cover appeared over the mountain and the weather dropped to a blissful 74 degrees.  I set off with phone and water bottle.  There were a few places that were rock that I lost my nerve and confidence in my trail shoes and my own legs so I turned back and did some intervals.  I was able to run ok at that altitude whenever I could find a suitable trail.

I was able to hike on my own for a quite awhile and it felt amazing to have confidence. When I got far away and things seemed a little uncomfortable, I hiked back to what I was calling "base" at the time.

Picture time.... Right???  First off ...me peeking at you!
This is Lake Mary.  The property around it was marked private,
I so wanted to see it.
The rocky trail

I kept going back to look up to those green rocks, so 
Much energy swirling around the mountain. The energy
of survivors, and hikers.  It was very big and beyond
words to describe the beauty.

Donner Lake, the view before the cloud cover.

Beautiful snow melt ponds... crystal clear. Very quiet and

I took off out on the snow, but it was too hard and slippery.
The cloud on its way to provide sunscreen from heaven.

So I went the other direction... I got a feeling I would encounter 
A bear and there were no travelers in this direction so I turned back.
(If I was a bear, I would be hanging out there....)

 My journey on gps.

Spring in June in the Foothills... one of my favorite pictures of the day.

I will make it out to Donner Lake soon.  There is a road around the lake that goes for about Seven miles. I need to "street" and distance train for a 1/2 marathon.   I keep flaking out and going to the hills and mountain trails, can you blame me.  There is so much beauty and the elevations and up hills are making me so strong.

Have a blissful week. Let the sun, moon and beautiful sky remind you of nature's love.
Be well and be joyful.