love light loss and pinterest

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

Tag: simple

Void

Recently, some amazing friends told me they were sad I had not written for a while.  I gave what I thought to be an explanation.  Luckily for me they called me on it…it was actually an excuse.   They told me to just get it all out there.  They told me to tell the world (blog world that is) what I had just told them.  Of course that is easier said than done.  I had spoken the words to them in the comfort and safety of my own home.  But, they were right, I have been hiding from my own feelings by not putting them out there.

The truth is I have 4 drafts with titles only just sitting waiting to be molded into something fabulous.  Something that someone would want to read.  Something if not inspirational at least coherent.  But, I just haven’t been able to put words to my feelings.  I know exactly what I want to write but I try and it all just comes out a jumbled mess (metaphor for life much?).  I have tried multiple attack plans: writing snuggled under soft warm blanket, sitting up right focused at a desk, even outside in my rocking chair in the beautiful weather.  Nothing seemed to work.  Even this post was originally hand written at the airport the only inspiration being the void of anything else to do and the music of Waitress Musical.  Seriously, if you haven’t listened just do it…talk about heartstrings.  Just read these lyrics of my new heart song (thank you Sara Bareilles).

A Soft Place to Land

“Sugar, butter, flour
Sometimes I still see her
My mother the dreamer
She’d say, ‘Nothing’s impossible child’

A dream needs believing
To taste like the real thing
Like some stranger you recognize
So pure, so pure, so electric
So sure, so sure, so connected
To those little believers inside
May we all be so lucky

But dreams are elusive
The kind we’ve gotten used to
Is nothing I can feel
Nothing I can hold
Nothing I can have
Nothing that I know
Dreams come and they go

But hold them and keep them
And know that you need them
When your breaking point’s all that you have
A dream is a soft place to land
May we all be so lucky
Sugar, butter, flour”

Slayed. Sobbing. Sitting in a puddle of tears at the airport terminal gate.

How can one song speak so loudly to what I am feeling? How can I use this to explain how I feel? How do I take these feelings and use them to better myself and my world?

I feel like this song perfectly explains everything I am trying to accomplish with this project.  Stay connected to my sweet Mom, keep her dreams alive, work my way through her pins.  Which I have actually been doing, I just get to the writing part and get STUCK.

I have heard writer’s block (seems funny to type because I don’t consider myself a writer) described as a void of ideas, a blank brain if you will.  My experience is the opposite really,  I start to write and everything starts spinning.  I have not one idea but 400 and no direction or guidance (this is when I would normally turn to Mom).  And, there it is.  My void.  It all comes back to me wanting a different reality.  I want what I can never have back. This is the point when I go back and read the list of all the amazing things I do have and, I am thankful.  But, it doesn’t change the way my heart aches.  It does not fill the void.

We travel tomorrow to spread Mom’s ashes “on the sea somewhere fabulous” (her exact words in her will).  It is bound to be a bitter sweet journey.  I am excited to get away, but I know it will not be an escape from my feelings.  I will continue to write even if it is just jumbled mess. I will cool it with the excuses and let you all back in.

I am honored to have all of you on this journey with me.

“May we all be so lucky”

 

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.

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

Text From Mom

Legacy in a Cyber Age

We live in a pretty remarkable time, a time where full conversations are held over computers and phones.  Say what you will about technology replacing true connection, I say that does not have to be the case.  I am a connection person.  I feel all the feels and they tend to come oozing out of me if I want them to or not(Hufflepuff much?).   Continue reading

Misleading Title

Has anyone ever felt like some titles are misleading? Like, how many of you wanted the musical Gypsy to actually be about gypsies? Or thought Meryl Streep was going to make one bad-ass woman superhero in Iron Lady (instead of the terrifying Thatcher)? Both great works of art…but with somewhat misleading titles. That is how I felt about this first pin. Continue reading