Monthly Archives: May 2016

A Signature Smoothie

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

The Art of Slow Cooking

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The day my father retired he threw away every suit he owned save one basic blue.

He also shifted into low, easy gear. A sort of simmering Crock-Pot sense of being.

He walked no farther than the mailbox or the perimeter of his one-acre suburban ranch of weed-less green lawn.

He leisurely patrolled his tiny fiefdom in a new uniform:

  • a mesh baseball cap
  • polo shirt
  • high-waisted, flat-butt jeans
  • a pair of Thom McAn loafers .  .  . with ruptured toe boxes where bunion bouquets emerged.

His days were largely spent on the back porch in the rubber band rocking chair. Reading the local newspaper. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking cans of Old Milwaukee.

By afternoon, he was finished with printed words.

His eyes slightly glazed and dreamy, he’d sink into contemplative silence.

Thoughts simmering like a thin stew.

His body beginning to look like a portly little pot.

And after 8 to 10 hours of back-porch marinating, he’s be ready to uncork a vat of ancient memories and freshly-poached wisdom.

Dad spinning a yarn to my brother.

 

From him, I learned there are two forms of retirement:

  • The Outer: the pride of possessions earned and achievements polished for posterity.
  • The Inner: the reflective retiring.

This last one fascinated me.

Those methodically lazy days. The slow-cookery living. My dad perfected them and gifted them to me as the legacy for his firstborn.

The stride meant for my adoption .  .  . a bit like a monk with an imaginary monastery.

But honestly, I feel rather lost and lonely trying to step in his footprints. I long for the days of his endless stories and jokes, no matter how stale. They gave me a steady sense of place.

 

 

Bully Boy

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Somebody must have treated you real mean before you became a man.

You must’ve painted your pain into the portrait of a man big and brawny with a voice that speaks like a dirty carburetor and tosses its fumes with the fury of a vintage V8. Fast and far your reckless words can be flung.

 

This imaginary man grew up inside his gilt-framed self portrait and inspired you to adopt your dead image of an adult in a future that hasn’t existed yet.

You were dead before you lived in the world of adults.

But you didn’t know you were a frozen corpse of pain and fear.

You just kept on firing your words like bullets – to sting, to injure, to kill the spirit of each person who looked like your enemy.

And enemies were aplenty because nearly every face wore the mask of your childhood tormentor.

Somebody hurt you bad – and – all you know now is hurt-back.

If only you knew how invisible you are.

How your circulatory system of pain is X-rayed and transmitted to those who can see.

And those who can see, do not fear you. For that, you hate them most of all.

You slander and libel those with wisdom, because you fear their power.

You know their power is quiet and invisible and that it will win – always – because it touches eternity.

And you .  .  . you will only die in loud, writhing pain.

While a multitude of your admirers – your dark disciples – will carry on your gospel of hidden pain.

They will spread your disease until one day when one person wakes up and says: “I see inside my skin. I name my pain. I raise my white flag and walk away.”

The husk of a man is then seen crossing the khaki desert. As his bully-boy viscera crumbles into a pile of dry dust.

And so .  .  . one-by-one, the soldiers of hurt fall.