{December 27, 2011}   Slackity Slack Slack

Well, I’ve been tweeting (follow me!) up a storm and obsessively posting shoes on Pinterest (follow me!), but I’ve been kind of quiet on here lately. I’ll be honest, a significant portion of my energy has been put into my private (read unofficial) counseling practice lately. I’ve had a handful of friends dealing with a myriad of issues and I’ve been a bit preoccupied helping them navigate some surprisingly rough waters (not to mention plowing through my own tiny bits of turbulence). Exhausting, yes, but also EXTREMELY gratifying.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming of random thoughts and recipes and whatever else passes through my brain and stays long enough to be written. You could also call this, “What else I’ve been up to this month.”

  • I got a machete for Christmas. I’ve wanted one for a long time and now she’s mine all mine. Isn’t she pretty? (see below) I’d like to see someone try and car-jack me now.
  • I’ve also been reading some great books. 11.22.63 by Stephen King was so rich and detailed and captivating and suspenseful and beautiful. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed him. Then I read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender yesterday. As in, I read the whole thing yesterday. I couldn’t put it down. It was weird and lovely and weird and bittersweet.
  • I tried (unsuccessfully) to stalk Vince Vaughn this past month. It didn’t work out, but I did find a cool bar: Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium. The vibe was awesome, the mix of people was highly entertaining and the drinks were cheap. What more could one want? I mean, besides Vince Vaughn. And really, I only want him out of nostalgia, not out of any actual desire. Well, maybe a little. Or more than a little, but whatever.
  • I briefly thought my three-legged cat was dying of some rare parasite, but it turned out his anal glands just needed expressing. I could go my entire life without ever hearing that phrase again. Gross. SO glad I’m not a vet.

It’s good to be back, kids. Happy early new year to all of you.

{November 23, 2011}   Sweet and Sour Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving, the time of year when we come together to celebrate the story of two cultures welcoming one another at the same table. We could learn a lot from that these days. Our differences make our world richer, deeper and we should embrace them.

One culture taught the other how to survive in the new world and were later repaid with small pox blankets, war and near annihilation. We can all identify with this, no? Who hasn’t welcomed someone into their life, only to be met with betrayal? We have to learn from it, pick ourselves up from the ashes, and move on. (Oh, and hope that they die in a fire)

In modern culture we’re taught that this is the time of year in which we give thanks for that which we are grateful. In these rough economic times that have so many people struggling, it’s good to take a moment, a breath, and realize what’s good in our lives.

What made your list this year?

Well, folks, I’m back in the kitchen. This may or may not be directly related to the fact that I have put an end to exercise-less food free for all that has been the last five months. I’m back on the treadmill in the mornings and have hopped back on the healthy food train. What this means to you is more fun food recipes!!

Let’s take this week for example. On Monday, I made Chicken and Dumplings and Brussels Sprout Salad (both recipes available on in this very blog) and last night I made up something new. Let’s call it Grits ‘n Greens with Sausage.


For Grits:
3 cups water
1 cup grits
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded or chunked
1 tablespoon butter

For Greens:
4-6 cups turnip greens (or greens of your choice like collard, kale, mustard, etc.)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For Sausage:
1 package turkey polska keilbasa, sliced


1) Cook grits according to package directions.
2) While the grits are cooking, saute or grill sausage (get a good sear mark/brown), set aside
3) Saute greens in sausage pan (with leftover juices) with cider vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
4) When grits are cooked, stir in cheese and butter, to melt. Salt and pepper to taste.
5) Pile grits in a shallow bowl. Top with greens. Top with sausage.

Makes four servings. You’ll probably want hot sauce. G did. I didn’t. I’m allergic.

Now, let me tell you about Spark People. It’s a food/exercise/health tracker and I am IN LOVE. I signed up for the website and then downloaded the iPhone app. It’s the awesome. I can track pretty much everything and through their sister site Spark Recipes, you can find out the nutritional information of recipes you make up yourself!! The app syncs to the website and vice versa, so I always know where I stand on a given day. Sweet!!!

{October 4, 2011}   Confessions of an Addict

Nine months. I went nine months this time. Last time I only made it seven. I started back this time for the exact same reason as last time. It got cold. You called. I answered. DAMN YOU CARAMEL MACCIATO!!!!!

I don’t know what it is about a caramel macciato and 45 degree weather that are so irresistible to me, but it gets me every time. So, I’m back on the sauce. The coffee sauce. Alas.

And speaking of being on the sauce, I had the most interesting and effed up dream last night – shamans and blood feuds and vengeance through the ages. I’m hoping to turn it into a short story. I’ll keep you posted.

I have always been against the death penalty. I know that may sound strange coming from someone who lives with a slightly homicidal chicken (who has been MIA lately, because she ran off on an adventure with Mr. Pink and refused to take a cell phone or camera). P and I both agree that it’s not the death penalty that deters us from committing crimes. It’s the all-but-unchecked rape, violence and other atrocities that occur in prison that keep us from crossing any lines.

As an American, but specifically as a Georgian, my heart hurts today. Outside of my general disagreement with capital punishment, I am appalled that the place I call home put someone to death last night when there was quite clearly so much reasonable doubt. Appalled doesn’t really even describe it. There is no one word to describe the disappointment, sadness, anger, shock and sheer disbelief that I am feeling today.

I mean this in no way to dismiss the suffering of the MacPhail family. I cannot even begin to imagine what they have been going through. What happened to Mark MacPhail is a terrible tragedy – one seen all to often in our society – and the perpetrator should absolutely be punished, but this case so strongly highlights an inherently flawed system. Here, in the quiet hours of the morning, following a night of high emotion on both sides of the issue, we are left to ask, “How can we fix it?” I don’t know, but I hope that we will continue to ask ourselves and our governmental leaders this question until we get a satisfactory answer.

A few months ago I ran across The Last Meals Project online. I found it fascinating, thought provoking and finally, deeply troubling. I didn’t share it at the time, because I really didn’t know what to say. I still don’t, but I hope you will visit their website and, whichever side of the issue you are on, I hope it will make you think. We should always think long and hard when life and death are on the line.

{September 5, 2011}   P’s Best. Day. Ever.

Yesterday Persephone, RouxBarb and I went to Karin Slaughter‘s author talk at the Decatur Book Festival. It was awesome. She talked about her Save the Libraries Project, her book series, growing up in Georgia and life as a writer. As always, she was hysterical. After the talk she had a brief book signing and even consented to sign my Kindle.

You guys already know from previous posts that I am a HUGE Karin Slaughter fan, as is Persephone. If you haven’t read her yet, DO IT. For serious. You won’t regret it. In addition to being a captivating murder mystery/thriller writer, she’s also just about the coolest person I’ve ever met. She’s smart, funny, caring AND she has her very own 5 foot tall metal chicken. That’s right. SHE HAS HER OWN CHICKEN!!! Not only that, but she had it before The Bloggess and her Beyonce made having chickens cool.

We had a brief chat at the book signing, during which I was a complete bumbling idiot. I think I may have damaged my quest to be her new BFF. In my line of work I meet quite a few celebrities and have learned to take it in stride, but not yesterday. I was in total sweating-bullets-nervous-fan mode aka bumbling idiot. She was still super cool to us, though.

So, thank you, Karin Slaugher — for writing your books, for your support of libraries, for being such an engaging speaker, and for being such a cool human being. You made our days!

Well, it turns out that the employees of Turner Field LOVE them some chickens. P strolled right through the gates after being wished an enjoyable game by the ticket attendant, had another employee clear the path so that she could have her photo made with a giant Braves’ ball, was stopped by the Fan Photo guy to have a family portrait made, and partied her little heart out in the Golden Moon Casino suite.

Next up, meeting Karin Slaughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Persephone was a bit worn out after her fun-filled vacation, but now she’s back in action. This past week she whipped up a batch of Watermelon Margaritas and some Asparagus Salad for my book club friends and then continued to get her fruity drink on while watching Project Runway. On Sunday, she took a day trip out to the Davis family farm for some fun in the sun with old friends from Athens. One of them even brought her a playmate.

P also came with me to work today. Right now she’s proofreading a few emails. Hopefully she won’t cause a ruckus. Right after work I’m taking P to her first Atlanta Braves game. Hopefully they won’t discriminate and will let her in the gates! Tune in tomorrow to find out!

P’s Watermelon Margarita Recipe

1 seedless watermelon, cubed
1/2 bottle white tequila
4 limes, juiced (reserve limes post-juicing)
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 liter sparkle water

Puree the first four ingredients in a blender. Pour into a pitcher and stir in sparkle water. Drop in the reserved limes. Serve over ice and enjoy!

P’s found the Asparagus Salad recipe in Cooking Light (I’ve shared my obsession with her) and it was SO good that she wanted to share it with you.

Also, P is ridiculously excited to meet Karin Slaughter this weekend at the Decatur Book Festival!

Persephone’s last day of vacation was pretty run of the mill — some new ink, a run in with the cops, a few new friends and what may or may not be a threat from Mr. Pink.

What will P get into next? Stay tuned…

Persephone had a big day today filled with a lot of firsts. She tried everything from Waffle House to rum drinks to mini golf. Overall she was genuinely admired and even got a few strokes from strangers. Honestly, she’s a little sad that we only have one more day of vacation, but she’s been having a great time!

et cetera