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Never have I been so happy to flip a calendar page!  Welcome, APRIL!!  March, well, you were great for the first five or six days, then you pretty much blew chunks.  Better luck next year.

You know what’s great about blogging?  The power of the written word never ceases to amaze me. I’ve had a fair amount of feedback on my March posts, for example…from empathy and support all the way to ‘get over it…for fuck’s sake stop blogging about it.’  Hmm.  Us Taureans are masters at digging in our heels…we’ll do whatever we want to, when we want to.  And I’m extremely flattered that people read my writing.  It’s from me all the way down to my toes.  You might not always like what you read in here.  Some of my posts I’m very proud of, while others might be mediocre or clunkers. But you can be assured it’s all Me.

After about a year and a half blogging (this is my 110th post – wow) I smile and laugh at the variety of topics in here.  Maps. Makeup. Childhood memories. Food. The almighty Job Hunt.  Whatever it is, I’ve stayed true to my self-imposed ‘rules’ in here:  no names – initials only. It’s OK to call out locations (cities, restaurants, shops) by name but not people.  Stay away from political or religious-themed posts.  Too polarizing.  And the biggest rule of all? 

No apologies and no regrets. 

When you know you want to start a blog but have zero idea what it’s going to be about – well, you need a LITTLE structure, right?  I know damn well that once something’s out here I can’t take it back.  Sure, I can remove posts but it really can’t be undone.  I am human and gloriously flawed as we all are.  Some stuff in here may later be cringe-worthy once more time has passed, but it’s documented, out there and I can’t (and don’t want to) do anything about that.  

I made one of my favorite dishes last night – Moroccan style chicken with olives.  The spice combination is incredible:  cumin, ground ginger, cinnamon, paprika and a little cayenne pepper.  Combine that with garlic, sauteed chicken in olive oil, kalamata olives, a couple bay leafs, white wine and chicken stock…the aroma is heavenly.  Therapeutic even.  I threw in a can of diced tomatoes when I discovered that my newest cookbook also has a version of this recipe too.

Still battling through this second cold/sore throat – whatever it’s going to evolve into.  I volunteered last week with a few co-workers at a middle school where they were conducting police training.  They needed actors to simulate various scenarios in a school shooting, such as people running down the hallways screaming, or being hostages held up in a classroom with the shooter.  It’s a really great experience and the police are so very appreciative of our time so they can train on how to handle what’s become a sad fact of reality in our schools – and workplaces too.  We wore multiple layers of clothing plus protective headgear as the ammo they use in the training is like paintball on steroids.  The headgear is a little like Darth Vader meets Miner’s Helmet. Hard to breathe. I got overheated and maybe somehow that made me vulnerable to getting sick again.  All I know is I wasn’t feeling very good once we were finished, like a bad wave washing over me.  But I will definitely volunteer again!  

I was chatting with my good friend T today and she reminded me that emotional stress has probably affected my health too.  I think she’s right.  She also recommended saging my house.  Gets rid of negative energy.  Bad juju.  Now, I’m pretty open-minded about stuff but I have always kind of pooh-pooh’d saging. Plus, I don’t want my house smelling like I had a million friends over smoking pot all weekend.

But, I jumped in my car and headed down to the PCC – a food co-op and organic grocery store chain here in the Seattle area.  I knew that if I wanted sage, that was the closest, most convenient place to find it.  And how wonderful to re-discover this store.  I used to frequent it far more often when my work commute took me right by it on the way home a couple of years ago.  And when I delved into raw food “cooking” and vegan cooking it was one of the best places to find specialty ingredients.  With super nice, helpful staff.  We are so fortunate here to have such an amazing variety of higher-end, specialty grocery stores. 

Is it expensive?  Sure.  But, after reading The Primal Blueprint I totally get and agree with the author’s argument that doing away with processed foods, energy drinks, energy bars, whole grains, dairy, etc means more $$ to devote to what’s truly good and healthy for our bodies.  Pick up the book if you can – it’s a great read and Mark Sisson says it far better than I can here.

So, off I went to purchase some sage. I also stumbled upon some fish oil capsules (I haven’t tried these either but they are highly recommended).  And I found my favorite gluten-free crackers.  I’ve had a hard time battling my weight gain, which was very gradual over the past 7 or 8 years (after losing about 30 lbs walking a few miles a day for a few months).  And I have a weakness for late-night snacking.  Things like chips with super hot chipotle salsa and a blob of sour cream.  I need to think more about what I’m putting in my body and try staying away from too many carbs, gluten and such.  Plus, cutting back on dairy. Now, I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like, and that’s a hard one to give up, honestly.  Just a tiny wedge of delicious brie at breakfast can keep me content all the way till lunch.  Sounds a little weird I know.

I’m going to try this healthier eating discipline and see where it takes me.  Snacking on a handful of (unsalted) nuts.  Or gluten free pretzles.  Flax seed chips.  Holding off on the cheese.  Trying rice pasta whenever possible, or running steamed cauliflower through the food processor as a substitute for rice. Can I do this?  And wave the smoldering sage around my house, once it’s nice enough weather to open the windows?  You bet.

And I just found this treat on a friend’s Facebook page.  Love it.

“This morning at 7:33 AM (Pacific), the Moon renewed itself in Aries… New Moons are always opportunities for setting intentions, for starting, for letting go of what was… Well, what’s going on is that it’s time to be getting on. Time to get on with what needs to be done. Time for all the ways you’ve thought about it to become reasons for how you are doing it. — Jon Waldrup, Sense of Vision Astrology”

Now, when’s it supposed to warm up around here anyway?

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