Tag Archives: move forward

-SOUP- sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice……

 

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 This post is dedicated to my daughter, Blake………..

January is upon us. I am thinking of the promises I have made to myself, I am working on them, keeping my promises to myself……What I am thinking about is soup. Soup, soup and more soup. Soup is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. It is my favorite thing to cook. It is my favorite thing to make for others. Soup recipes are my favorite ones to share. Teaching people to make soup is one of my favorite things to do. I have a connection to my daughter with soup.  She is making it professionally as I once did, I enjoy nothing more than hearing what kind of soup she is making and how she is making it. My hat is off to the chef! Soup, certainly one of life’s greatest meals. It is meant for sharing. It is meant to comfort, it is a culinary healer.  I see January as a vast sea of calm. It is a quiet month. It is the month I re-group.  It is the month I read new books.  I save books to begin reading in January.  The read always seem better in January.  It is the month I dream of spring. It is the month I make soup, a lot of soup. I collect recipes all year.  I make soup all year-long.  I discover new recipes and I set them aside for The January Soup Festival.  You know, there’s Woman’s History Month and Black History Month, well in our house, we have Soup Month.  I love to cook. I did it for a long time professionally, I worked as a chef. I am a good cook. I enjoy it, I am completely passionate about it.  My great cooking skills have enhanced my marriage.  I have a great guy to cook for.  He is grateful for my cooking, he loves my cooking. There is only one thing I have made for John that he did not care for, Cuban Pork Roast.  Let’s just say I have a captive audience.

Soup is my greatest culinary pleasure. If you make a great soup, chances are you are a great cook.  I have gotten my recipes out in preparation for Soup Month.  We will take down the Christmas tree and Soup Month will commence.  We look forward to it. I love the process, the recipes, the grocery lists, the marketing, making the stock, prepping the soup, making the soup, and drum roll, eating the soup.  Soup is mom and apple pie to me, it is comfort, it is home and it feeds my soul.

During my illustrious career as a cook, I was the head chef at a small eat-in, take-out shop in Vermont. I am very proud of my work there, I learned many of things there that fine turned my skills.  We procured delicious fresh raw ingredients to prepare amazing, delicious fresh food. We had a wonderful lunch crowd, a line out the door crowd. We were steadily busy usually for two hours. This is where my love affair with soup began, I had some incredible teachers.  We offered three soups each day. We had a chowder, a vegetarian soup and one other like Beef Barley. We sold 1/2 pints and pints. Our baker made delicious fresh rolls, sourdough, rye, and whole wheat. Folks ordered soup with a roll. We spilt the rolls and slathered them with butter. Off the folks would go, certain to be delighted.  We had big soup fan club, it was a delight to me. We had an open kitchen, long before it was hip. I could see the front door. I loved the open kitchen. I would spend the lunch rush out working the counter, I enjoyed the contact with the customers.  I took their words seriously.

One day a regular customer, a man, a quiet man, he came in alone, after the rush. He never said much. He always took his food to go. There was an old mill near-by that had been renovated in to artist studios.  I knew he was a sculptor, his studio was in that building. He came in every day during the week for lunch.  He always had a pint of soup and a roll.  This particular day, he gently waved me out front. I naturally assumed something was wrong.  I had no idea I was about to receive my favorite (to this day) compliment ever. I greeted him, his name was Bill. He said, “you can go anywhere in the world and all you would ever need to do is make soup”. Whoa! I thanked him profusely, and he was gone.  It was like a dream.  I have had the best visual fantasies about traveling the globe and making soup.  I have thought about different cultures and countries and the cuisines of those people and places.  I would travel place to place, making soup, and soup and more soup. It sounds like the perfect journey to me. I offer my thanks to Bill, this man, the soup loving sculptor for his compliment he uttered so long ago.

Each January when I launch soup month, it actually began early this year. We had ham for Christmas dinner. Timing is everything, I had the ham, split pea soup it was and it was Yumbo (delicious).  I will keep you in the loop as we move through the wonderful month of January.  I will let you know every time I make soup.  It’s Soup Month, we are off and ready to create.

What do you have planned to launch in the new year.  January – full of possibilities.  How will you use your talents in January?  How will you sashay into your new year? I always sashay in, as I always wrap up the year with a flourish, whether I am in my favorite flannel pajamas or a ball gown. It does not matter what you wear, what is key is that you show up.  A very wise woman told me a long time ago, “God doesn’t care what you wear to church, he only cares that you show up”.  I have believed it ever since across the board.  I believe that God cares that you show up in your life.  Show up in your life, see yourself in your life.  We can design the set, we can’t stop there, we must show up and “get on set”.  So all I have to say is, What is your “soup”?

Always dazzle, Karen

Photo credit: Maurice Sendak – Chicken Soup with Rice

Hey, I had a GOOD Day

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If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
Cavett Robert

I have said many times over the past few months, “this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing right now”. Well I am saying that again now. I planned and wrote a different post. But wait, today was a very good day. I feel compelled to share it. It seemed like any other day of recent memory. I awoke at 4:30 AM, yes I know very early, but it is when I begin my day. You can say, I am a morning person. More importantly it is something I can do and I am focused on what I can do these days, not what I can’t. I like to have breakfast with my sweet husband, John. It is a good way to start our day. I make him a hot breakfast each morning and I make his lunch. Making him breakfast is a lovely tradition in our house. Some of his friends (men) promised him when we were dating once we married that hot breakfast was history. Not at all to prove them wrong (well, maybe a little bit), I enjoy it. A healthy lunch he enjoys is also important.  I love seeing him off to work. After he left I rode my bike, I have worked up to 15 minutes twice a day. The bike is so good for my overall well-being and healing. I am exercising my muscles that can’t work themselves, and are atrophied due to the nerve damage. The does not require that I can lift my foot, which is a joy, because I can’t lift my foot. I have been so inactive with my precautions with my PT when I get off the bike and I have those little tingling sensations in my butt and legs, like I once experienced after a long walk, it feel so good and it lifts me up. I think the endorphins are good, and it is improving the quality of my appetite and sleep.

My physical therapist, Ellen came for a session She was here for me through my hip surgery four years ago, she has been with me through my two hip revisions this summer. She is fantastic. She is kind and patient. Her encouragement is priceless. We have become friendly and I am a bit sad that Thursday will be our last session. The good news, she believes I am ready. I really like seeing her, she has brightened many a day. I know how to do my PT and I will do it religiously.  I am honored to do the work that works toward my recovery. I made her some of my fabulous granola, a small parting gift. It is perfect, she loves cereal. We are certain to be in touch as we have a bond.

I had a couple of unexpected phone calls, from two of my favorite people. I found myself being very engaged, less flat and very much interested in our conversations. Was I feeling more like myself, I think I was. Both of my friends noticed. I noticed too.

The day continued. I did some work in my Etsy shop. I have a vintage jewelry shop. I had re-opened my shop on Labor Day, quite fitting I thought. It had been closed for three months as I was unable to work.  The shop re-opened to a flurry of activity and seven orders right from the smash. I was thrilled, and encouraged as well. Thing then went totally flat. I can happily report that I usually have orders each day, or one or two days between orders. The initial flurry died down and nine days went by with not a single order. Something was not right. I chalked it up to being closed and needing to get back up on the search engines. One day last week I went downstairs to do some laundry, I walk through my studio to get to the laundry room. I stopped in the studio and turned on the light. What I saw, for the first time, horrified me. My studio was lifeless, I had no custom work, my bench look lonely. It was dusty, I saw a few cobwebs, the chi was perfectly awful. It looked like a place where something wonderful had happened there and then for some reason it stopped. I wasn’t happening at all. This was a revelation, I set about making the necessary changes. Simple things like cleaning, I felt myself coming alive, invigorated about my work, my studio and my shop. I also realized that I had not been very engaging with my customers since reopening. I wasn’t in touch with other shop keeps I was friendly with. I wasn’t connecting on social media. I was flat, the shop was flat, but I knew how to change that. I have worked so hard. I learned so much building my business, I experienced success. Okay, we are on our way back! I wanted to contribute to the household, and I wanted my income stream back. That afternoon I engaged like I knew how. I was even a bit animated. I was still in here. That evening I had two sales and sales are increasing. Things are looking up and feels great. Keep doing the things you can, and for goodness sakes do them well.

I had some lunch, focusing on my protein intake. I am what I eat. I set about making that yummy granola and baked two loaves of pumpkin bread with craisins and toasted pecans. The house smelled wonderful. I put some music on. I love music, where had the music been? One loaf of pumpkin bread for my husbands lunch and a loaf for my friend I was getting together with tomorrow night.

Yes, I have plans out in the world with a dear friend. I will be driving, driving at night which I have not done since the spring….baby steps. Fantastic! I had a call from her, we firmed up our plan and gosh, it just felt great. I did another fifteen minutes on my precious bike, a ride to well-being. I worked on my planned post and thought I am having a good day. I must write about that. This may on the surface seem pretty mundane, my day, it was. But not to me. It had a sparkle to it. I was seeing and thinking about things just a little bit differently. Dare I say, feeling like myself. That my darlings is miles from mundane…..

So really, truly, no crosses count, hands down, one good day. I haven’t thought about a day being good in a very long while. Am I back on track? I pray it will grow and continue in that direction. I am sure the Prozac is helping, I know the iron supplements are, I am sleeping and most of all I remain hopeful, prayerful and grateful. This day added up to good and I say bring ’em on……..

Hoping this finds you in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen