Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Winter ~ Random Observations

Winter Berry

Winter in North Carolina has been strange this year.  The days have been mostly warm.  A few recent cold snaps are a reminder of the season and we even had a bit of snow.  I like snow. 

People in the south say it’s bad for your health when weather is funny like it is; one day like springtime and the next biting cold.  I didn’t believe this as a child or even in early adulthood, but the older I get, the more truth and wisdom I find in the things my parents and grandparents said.

Graveside Memorial

In Memory of Tiny

Our first snow of the season came only a day after our beloved dog, our friend and companion, passed on. 

I was glad when the snow started to fall.  I wanted the ground where the grave-site is to harden.  I wanted it safe from predators. 

I had also been wishing for snow, as I do every Winter. 

I called it Tiny’s snow.  I immediately felt a connection to his spirit.

Perhaps it was the closeness I felt that prompted me to take part in the bread-buying ritual that happens in the south when we get, “weather.”  I’m not much on shopping, but I found myself enjoying the anticipation and excitement going on at the local grocery store. 

For some reason, I wanted and even felt that I needed, an onion.  I didn’t have plans as to how I would use it, but I sure wanted one.  Plus, bread is never on the top of my list of things I need in snow.  Wood for a fire is usually a first thought.

Onions are normally abundant at the grocery store, but strangely, there were only a few onions in the bin and they were larger than the size I wanted.  I walked to the other bins.  A woman was rapidly filling her bag with the smaller ones.  I felt sure she intended on taking every single onion.

“Pardon me,” I said politely as I approached the bin.  The woman was friendly.

“What is it with onions?” she remarked with curiosity.  “There’s only a few left.  Everyone is buying onions.”

Her remark made me sure that I needed an onion.

“Happy is said to be the family which can eat onions together. They are, for the time being, separate, from the world, and have a harmony of aspiration.”
Charles Dudley Warner, ‘My Summer in a Garden’ (1871)

“Well, more weather is on the way,” my mother called to report several days after the first snow.  She’s my personal Weatherwoman.

“Sometimes,” she continued, “They (weather reporters) know about as much as we do.  I remember when they said we might get five or six inches and we got (she always emphasizes the  inches), twenty-four!”


I knew what she was going to say next, which comforted me in a way.

She started talking about the time she and my late grandmother, along with my aunt and uncle, huddled together for more than a week without power. 

Twenty-four inches really is a lot of snow for the southeastern United States. 

Mother tells about the soup they warmed over a burning candle and how they all went to bed, “with the chickens,” since they didn’t have lights to turn on.


There’s something about the way it feels when she recalls the little things that happened that week, and she remembers them in great detail.  I feel a bond of belonging and togetherness in her story.  They needed each other and I think, they must have surely experienced their likenesses above and beyond any differences.

There was something about having one of the wanted onions that sparked in me a sense of belonging.  I wondered what other people might be cooking with their onion.

The next day my son sautéed the onion to go with eggs.  Our home was warmed by the sweet smell.

Later that evening, I heard the roar of Thunder Beings.  How odd, I thought, to hear thunder just before snow.  I called my Weatherwoman. 

“They say it’s Thundersnow,” she reported.  “It’s very rare.”

Illuminating Blogger Award

My enthusiastic thanks to CJ, at Food Stories, for giving Dogkisses’s blog the Illuminating Blogger Award! Thank you CJ! 

Blogger Award

“A fabulous award that anyone can bestow on their fellow bloggers for illuminating, informative blog content.”  CJ

Visit Food Stories via above link.  CJ is a nurse, with type-11 diabetes, offering interesting food facts and education, along with ‘illuminating’ tasty recipes! 

Below are the five blogs I’ve chosen for this award:

Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

IconDoIt, the blog!  (Deb also has a nature blog)

Learning From Dogs

The Soulsby Farm

I enjoy many blogs when I have time to read.  It’s hard not to choose more bloggers.  In the interest of time, I can only offer five.  The ones I chose have particularly ‘illuminating content’ via images and of course, each of them are also informative and interesting.

Again, thanks to CJ at Food Stories for the award and creating the Food Stories blogroll/nominee page.

Thanks also to the blogging community for offering interesting and illuminating content 🙂

Accepting the Award (See below)

Just follow the steps below:

The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.

Include a courtesy link back to the official award site ( in your blog post.

Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.

Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.

Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (

I hope you have fun!

Oh yeah, one random thing about myself…

I like good thrift shop finds!  Today I bought a nice mirror for my son framed in thick strong Bamboo.  It’s pretty, matches his furniture and I saved about 150 US Dollars!  Only spent 8.  Pretty good 🙂

For the sake of illuminating content, I’d like to share a photo from the horticulture gardens where my son and I are volunteering and having many ‘Green Healing‘ Days!

Image of Merlot sweet peppers

Green Healing Merlot Peppers

Please see Terms of Use for copyright information on images and text in this blog, by Michelle, ‘dogkisses’ and/or Dogkisses’s blog.  Thank you for respecting this license.

Green Healing ~ Plant People and a Bucket of Beets

“That’s a picture right there,” a staff member remarked today when she saw the red bucket of beets. 

Beets in a Bucket!

Green Healing Happening!

She was right and it’s a wonderful image, but the best part is that we each took home a beet or two.  I’ve already eaten a little orange one.  I’ve never seen one that color and wanted to try it right away.  It was great!

We also ate our first carrot today. Yum!  Fresh vegetables taste better than ones that traveled thousands of miles, and it sure feels good to eat food that I helped grow.  It also feels good to see and experience the gift of life from nature.

It seems like most days I meet a garden friend.  I saw a few butterflies and many bees today.  My friend and co-volunteer touches bees and said she once kissed a bee! 

Bee Kisser and Milkweed

She kisses Bees!

The creatures of the gardens always captures the heart of Plant People.  I met the little green guy, pictured below, in a garden behind a restaurant where I had lunch with two friends after group today. 

Garden Friends in Nature

A Green Healing Garden Friend

Today was another good Green Healing day in the Horticulture Therapy gardens.  We were blessed with good food, each of us had something to offer and as always, we shared a mutual kindness and empathy that soothes my spirit and makes me feel a little lighter. 

We ended our day with hope that the newly planted sunflowers will grow big and tall, which will bring smiles to many different faces.  We also planted Loofah seeds!  Isn’t that exciting? 

Thanks for visiting!  Please feel free to share your thoughts.

All Images and Text on this page and in this blog, including links, are subject to copyrights.  Please see Terms of Use for more information.  Thank you for respecting this license.



Food, Sharing and Connection

Sharing meals is good for the body and soul

Shared Meal

Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr


I’ve developed a relationship with raw beets.  I’m not in love, at least not yet, but who knows?  Almost anything is possible.  I never imagined myself regularly eating beets, but I am. 

The goal is to eat one beet a day, raw, which I wrote about in an earlier post.

It’s not as hard to eat beets, as it is to take the time to prepare food and eat it.  I forget, but I’m getting better at remembering.  Having an appetite helps.

I baked a chicken yesterday.  I used coconut oil, which is another new addition to my diet, added some onions and garlic, along with a bit of sage that a friend gave me just the other day.   The whole day smelled of good food.  It was calming and reassuring. 

Later in the evening, I realized how little I had actually eaten earlier. Hunger struck me.  I was tired.  My son however was up.  He quickly made me a sandwich.  I think he enjoys the act of handing me a plate of food.  It is rather like a sacred moment when the plate passes from his hands to mine.

There was more to that sandwich than the physical nutrition.  I could feel the energy when I took the first bite.  It made me feel alive.  The images of my having prepared it flooded my mind, along with the way I had felt in the process.   Knowing I had helped prepare the food that was waiting for my son to make me that sandwich was pretty cool too.  There was love in that chicken!

My relationship with food has been difficult for a long time.  Eating has been a challenge.  It hasn’t always been that way.  I used to love food and eating it too.

In my thirties, I experienced a personal interruption in this essential part of living.  At first, I found myself not eating at particular meal times, with a particular person.  Eventually, I realized after losing weight without trying, along with parting ways with the person who bothered me so much that I couldn’t eat around him, that the reasons behind my abstinence from food ran deeper than my feelings about that relationship.

Memories of my grandmother’s modest but lovely dinner table started to frequently occupy my thoughts.  I remembered the good feeling of coming together for meals.  No matter what was going on, we sat down to eat at the same time every day.   I deeply desired that sense of connection to family and I guess, in a more expansive way, to community and our planet. 

I’ve talked to psychologists from time to time about the problem of not always being able to eat.   They basically each said the same thing, which was that they had never known anyone with the same reasons as I had for not eating. 

The most interesting approach to solve the problem was to write the benefits of eating.  I was seeing a fourth year resident at the medical school.  He was very bright and open-minded.

The best benefit of eating that I could come up with was that food would give me energy to walk my dogs.  In a daily journal, I recorded meals and checked off subsequent dog walks.  This helped for a while, but my problem didn’t go away.

When you lose the desire to eat and don’t get it back, something is wrong.  I learned in therapy why I chose not to eat at particular times, but a later tick borne illness added a new dimension to my relationship with food.  Nausea and other symptoms of post-infectious disease syndrome causes a loss of appetite.

I eventually met a therapist who had also studied anthropology.  She helped me understand an important part of my dilemma, which seemed simply about being human.

With time, especially as my son grew older and later moved out, I learned that I really don’t like eating alone.  I need a connection at mealtime.  I need other people. 

Having my son around to share meals with is a blessing.  I think I’m getting stronger too.  I hope he is.  He’s learned a lot about cooking.  

We need a cow bell, but for now, the wonderful aromas coming from my kitchen will do.

Thank you for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.

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