love light loss and pinterest

A journey into my messy life, mind, and kitchen.

Tag: Pinterest

The Unimaginable

“There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable”

-It’s Quiet Uptown, Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Following the last post was difficult for me.  I re-read and re-read the amazing words people had written about Mom’s lifetime of incredible work.  It left me in awe.  It left me angry.  It left me heart-broken.  It left me searching.

I finally found some inspiration in, of all places, the grocery store.  A place that I could not even enter a few months ago with out a panic attack (read Grocery Store Dilemma).  As I walked the aisles by myself I thought back on the last few weeks.  What has changed? What will never be the same?  Although, my whole world has been turned upside down it all still continues to spin.

As I was having my grocery store meditation I spotted something that I knew I had to cook and write about.  A beautiful corned beef roast.  Not, something I had ever made before.  But, something that immediately flooded me with memories.  Any time we saw a corned beef hash on a menu Mom and I were both drawn to it.  We had a system.  One of us would order the corned beef hash and one would order something sweeter like pancakes (breakfast dessert is a totally legit thing).   We would share, what a great team we were.

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Just Breathe

 

Inspiration

I find inspiration everywhere; in the beautiful flowers that are in bloom in my front yard, in the warm cup of coffee I hold every morning, in the ridiculous grin on my precious pup’s face.  The problem is that motivation does not come as easily.  I find myself feeling more tired than I have ever felt.  I feel like I am searching for something but I don’t know what it is. I have to frequently remind myself that this is all still new, that I should not expect to feel better right away.

In searching Mom’s Pinterest page a few weeks ago I found board entitled “inspiration” it was created last August and only had one pin…this one.

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Birthday Hash

Sausage Hash that is.

Thomas and I were both extremely lucky to have mothers that LOVED celebrating birthdays…their children’s birthdays at least.

Thomas’ Mom would fill up baskets and boxes full of little things that reminded her of you. Seriously, the most amazing random finds: books, scarves, hats, silly t-shirts, cooking utensils, perfect smalls, and always something for the dog as well.  I still remember my first birthday with Cissy, and somehow she already had me figured out. She got me: chocolate, craft stuff (including STICKERS!!), a pair of sandals, a Pyrex bowl, and a summer scarf. Honestly, with me it does not get much better. I am not sure how I will ever be able to fill this void for Thomas. Although, thankfully, I did have Cissy teach me some of her shopping tricks.

My Mom would talk about upcoming birthdays for months before it actually happened.  Two months before my birthday she would buy me shoes, or a dress (that “looked just like me”) and then say, “this is for your birthday”.  And, without fail, 2 months later she would completely forget (although I am not sure she ever actually forgot) and buy another gift. They were always so well thought out, personal, and fun.   She somehow managed to get something that was both slightly frivolous and yet still practical.

Birthday food was very important to both of them.  Whether it was cooking your favorite meal or taking you out for delicious yums, they both made sure that you ate well on your birthday. They both believed in celebrating moments.  So, I tried to make that happen for Thomas’ Birthday last week…with this pin.  It totally ROCKED and will for sure be repeated in our house.

Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash

Ingredients

1 (14 ounce) package kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch rounds (the pin calls for turkey I used pork because we are able to get good quality)

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic (not in the original recipe but, I felt it was necessary)

3 small or 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

olive oil (use as needed, I did not need much because I used the grease from the sausage)

salt and pepper

 

Instructions

In a heavy bottomed skillet (I like to use my cast iron) brown the sliced kielbasa for around 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.  Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside (I put on a paper grocery bag to soak up extra grease). Then add the potatoes and onions to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, around 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even browning.

Add the peppers to the skillet and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Add kielbasa to the skillet with the onions and peppers and mix everything together.  Serve nice and hot! We added some hot sauce to send the flavors over the edge.

Your favorite…Picture Time:

peppers

Love the color and flavor peppers add

hash

The official “Birthday Hash”

I followed dinner with my first ever pound cake.  Wasn’t quite “Beth’s Famous Pound Cake” but the birthday boy was into it.

yum yum yum

It was still warm

My goal for now is to let these two incredible women inspire me to make the most of all the time I have.  To live and love with all that I have.  Not just to be in the moment, to CELEBRATE it.

Recipe for Disaster

Okay, so not really disaster… I was just feeling dramatic.  Shocking, I know.

 

“I look placid, you see, that’s why people think I’m fine. Inside I worry a lot.”

Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

1 month and 3 days ago my world stopped spinning. Except it didn’t.  I sat in a living room with the best people in the world and we said goodbye.  The most peaceful and compassionate goodbye I have ever seen.  I say seen because when I look back on it now it is like I am a fly on the wall, I see the events unfolding I see us all holding hands and silently sobbing, but I don’t see through my own eyes.  I wonder if this is a survival thing? if I disconnect just enough to be able to look back and see the positive, the love, the beauty. Then I will be okay.  I work every day to see these things, and I do see them.  I am surrounded by positivity, love, and beauty.  But, in some moments I give in and only see the negativity, the loss, and the dark clouds.  Before anyone gets too worried about me please know I am sharing this because I need to write it, to put it out there, to be honest with myself and those I love.  I am searching for tools to cope every day.  Writing is one of those ways.  I have been cooking some really awesome food from Mom’s Pinterest page…but lack motivation to write about it.  I will, I promise.

Yesterday I had an awakening moment, a moment I desperately needed. Thomas and I found ourselves at the library just in time for the annual book sale.  Thousands of books new and old alike priced cheap and ready for the picking.  I was immediately transported back to my childhood. As a family we spent hours and hours at used book stores and libraries.  Mom would go off in pursuit of authors she loved or resource material for upcoming shows, Bob would hunt for adventure inspiration in the non-fiction section, Rob and I would find our way to the kids, young adult, and history (I had a strange obsession with Mary Todd Lincoln) sections.  At some point we would come up for air, pick up our pile of books and go in search of each other.  I remember vividly making an argument for a copy of Charlotte’s Web (which I already owned and had read numerous times) because this copy felt better in my hands.  It was truly one of those perfect family outings…something for everyone.

This flooding of childhood memories, for the first time since Mom’s death, was not painful.  Not that I haven’t felt pain since, trust me I have. It was just this one moment. It was just good…not good with a side of heartache…just good.  I think I have figured out why. For the first time in a long time I was able to remember a Mom who wasn’t sick, who wasn’t dying, who was just my Mom. I desperately needed this.  I am adding this to my list of personal mantras, “Mom was not her illness”.  It may seem so obvious to many of you but to me it was lost in the day to day. She was so many things but, even in the worst of times she never let the cancer take over her identity.  I had 27 years with a Mom who wasn’t sick, and 1 year with a Mom who refused to let cancer dictate her life.  Of course, I want more time.  But, man, I am grateful for the amazing moments and memories I have.

Just a few

Just a few

Everything’s Gravy

So today, 31 years ago, my lovely husband was born.  I could go on and on about what he means to me but, it would embarrass him. So, I will just say he is amazing and I am beyond grateful of his existence.  I will be forever in the debt to his Mom.  Happy Birthday Thomas!

His Mom, like mine, was an amazing home chef.  Their cooking styles were very different but both amazing.  Cissy, Thomas’ Mom, was a true soul food loving, add some sugar, and use that pork fat, South Carolina girl.  Mine was more: start every meal with olive oil, garlic, and mirepoix (celery, onions, carrots). They shared one key foodie thing they could both rock a gravy.  I mean seriously, they both understood the power of a strong roux.   Continue reading

No Pressure

Finding the words is tricky, life is tricky. Actually tricky doesn’t even begin to cover it.  The past two years have been the hardest of my life, I am not actually sure I am ready to dive into the details. But, with that being said they might just come flowing out.  I have always been very in control of things that occur in my life.  In the last two years that went out the window…or at least it felt like it did.  As my very wise sister Beth says, “life is lifey”.  I have never felt like this before, so much is out of my hands, so much is out of my control.  Almost to date two years ago my mother in law was diagnosed with cancer, a little over a year ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. They both, along with two of my grandparents died in the last four months.  I wish I could write the words they all deserve, I can’t.  I wouldn’t even know where to start and that is not what I am doing here. 
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