Saturday, November 3, 2012

Personal News Update, A New Family Member - Mowr!,Vegan Picnic, And One Lovely Blog Award

Hello, Everyone!  I first wanted to assure you all that I have not abandoned my blog.  There have been some extenuating circumstances since I last posted that have kept my attention elsewhere.  I will try and encapsulate as briefly as possible what has been going on.  Since my last post, we have endured three deaths.  Unfortunately, there is a fourth one that is imminent, and when that comes to pass, I may be off again for a couple weeks.  That one is sadly related to another death that happened last year, which I didn't mention at the time.  I am trying to stay matter-of-fact, but this has been a very emotionally draining time for my family.  One of the three deaths resulted in many consequences: somebody came to live on our couch for about a month; that person also had a psychotic break while I was at home with my children, schooling them; we had to have that person removed for a short time for an emergency psychiatric evaluation, and thankfully, they are someplace safe now.  G has been running himself ragged due to all of this, and basically collapsed on the couch.  The doctor diagnosed him with medical exhaustion, and to top it off, he has a gall stone, which is causing him constant nausea.  I have been trying to be the comforter of my family, and we've been spending a lot of time in prayer.  School kind of took a back seat during some of this - my children were learning life lessons, instead.  It's been a lot to handle to say the least.  So, just to let you know, if some of you thought that I had up and left my blog without saying anything, I would never do that.  If I am off for a time, it could be any number of things: I'm sick, I'm focused on educating my Blessings, I'm having crazy computer problems, or sadly, it could be something more tragic like these events.  If I never come back on, then you can assume something's happened to me.  In any case, if I ever decide to stop posting on my blog, I will put up a post saying so; I will not just leave without a word.

That all said, one good thing came out of all of this.  One of the deceased hoarded cats and birds, among other things.  She had over a dozen birds and nineteen cats.  One of the cats is missing one eye, and needed to be adopted by a family that could keep her inside.  G and GR both have cat allergies, so I didn't give it a thought.  But, G kept bringing her up - she's such a darn friendly cat!  So, we decided to take her in on October 1st.  She's five and half years old, and so far G and GR seem to be doing fine with her in the house.  Mindy and Abby, our doggies, love her, and she is tolerating them.  Sparkly and Charlene, our two old lady kitties, are also making their way inside more and more because of their age and cold weather, so we have quite a zoo on our hands now.  The new kitty was originally named KC, but when her eye was removed at five months, her name was changed to Karma.  I didn't like that: one, I don't believe in karma, and two, I don't think a kitten did anything to deserve her eye removed, so karma wouldn't apply here.  I wanted a beautiful name for her, so I thought of how cats are revered in Egypt, and I named her Cleopatra.  She's beautiful.

This is Cleopatra (Cleo, Patty) in her new bed, which sits right on my desk.  She's resting next to me now.  Her right eye was removed when she was a kitten, but it doesn't seem to hinder her.  She's our newest spoiled kitty.

Amazingly, during all this chaos, we went to the first annual Vegan Community Picnic in Sacramento organized by a group whose name escapes me right now, sorry.  It was great.  There were several food vendors there and informational booths.  My mom joined my family and we pigged out.  I signed up to be a volunteer for next year.  JK dressed as Larry the Cucumber and joined in the Veggie Parade!

 There's JK in the center as Larry the Cucumber after the parade.  The corn was the leader.  There were about twenty parading vegetables marching around.  You've got to make this photo go full screen to see how much fun JK is having.


Ah, a few months ago, Alessandra at Vegan Recipes, awarded me and ten other bloggers with the One Lovely Blog Award.  This is my first chance in passing it on.  Thank you, Alessandra, for thinking of me!  The rules state that I list seven facts about myself and pass this on to fifteen other bloggers. 

*I will try and list seven new facts about myself that I haven't listed before.*

1.  I love playing Internet backgammon, hearts and spades.  If you see an English-speaking expert playing, it could be me...  Watch out, though, I'm good!  :-)

2.  I am thinking of starting a YouTube Channel on cooking up my recipes from my blog and/or promoting vegan cosmetics, skin care, etc.  What do you think?

3.  I'm a fledgling writer.  I've submitted four manuscripts so far, two children's books, and two non-fiction Christian books.  One was with the publisher for a year but didn't make the final cut.  I'm finishing up my first novel, women's fiction, and will be sending it to agents later this year.

4.  I've run a half-marathon, but I can't run anymore because...

5.  ...I tore my meniscus, which has led to early arthritis in my right knee.  So sad!  Won't be doing my dream of running a marathon.

6.  I'm a birth doula with no clients, sigh.

7.  I'm very romantic.  I love Love.  Passionate with a capital P.  TMI???

*The 15 Bloggers who will get this award?  If I've messed up on a link, please let me know.*

1.  My "old" friend, Andrea at Andrea's easy vegan cooking .  One day I hope to meet my Seattle buddy.

2.  Has to be SV at The Shenandoah Vegan .  She always sticks with me, even when I'm gone for weeks at a time.  I usually get a scolding, though.

3.  How about Joey at Flicking the Vs .

4.   For a wonderful outlook on life and beautiful food, there's Gluten Free Happy Tummy .

5. Someone I would like to get to know more is Ingrid at Ingrid Improves .

6.  Someone else I'm still getting to know: Rachel at Miss Rachel .

7.   Millie always cares about me over at  Nuestra Cena-American & Latin Vegan Cuisine .

8.   Let's hear it for a male vegan blogger!  Monkey Man at Simply Vegetarian .

More than halfway there, whew!

9.  Enjoying her journey, is Vivacious Vegan over at Adventures in Veganism in Midwestern America .

10.  Of course, I have to add Food Feud .

11.  Give Claire a try at Almost Skinny Vegan Food .

12.  Another homeschooling mom deserves this award - Jenny at Vegan and so Forth .

13. Why not a singing vegan?  Look at An Opera Singer in the Kitchen .

14.  A not-so-chubby vegan at Chubby Vegan Mom .

And last but not least...

15.   For a rundown on nutrition, food and homeless animals, check out, Get Skinny, Go Vegan .

Thank you all for reading this far down.  It will take me a few days to catch up on all the blogs, and even to notify the winners of this blog award.  I hope to be posting regularly again.  I've got recipes lined up in the queue to share with you all.

Take Care!!


  1. You are a kind and wonderful person. I hope things calm down for you and your family and I hope your ailing loved ones find peace.
    The cat sounds like a sweetheart.

  2. It was nice to see your blog pop up in my reader. I've been wondering where you disappeared to and was hoping you'd return. Sorry to hear all the sad things that have been happening, and hope life settles down soon for you and G. Cleo sounds like the perfect addition to your family. Thanks for the award!

  3. Hey, thanks for the award! You know, honestly, I feel badly that I didn't notice you were gone so now I'm going to look back and see how long it has been. That is probably because I'm so absent myself. But I consider this a special season in life and know that I will be able to blog more in the future. If anyone understands the busy part of your life, it's me! But, wow, add all of the extra events in that you've been dealing with, and I can't even imagine. I wish I could do something for you!!!

    Fun that you got to attend a light-hearted veggie event. And wonderful that things are working out with your new addition.

    I had no idea about #3! Cool! And we would watch your youtube channel. It would be great for everyone to get to know you on that extra level.

  4. Wow, those are some major life events you've been going through! I used to live with someone who had a psychotic break (twice!) while we shared an apartment. They were probably the worst things I ever went through. That's some scary stuff! I'm glad you made it through and were able to enjoy the new kitty and the veggie parade! Here's hoping things smooth out for you soon. Thanks for the award!

  5. you are in my thoughts and prayers for good thing to settle in your life. congrats on the fabulous award. i believe you to be a very kind person and a terrific cook.

    thanks for sharing the cooking blogs. i am still not a committed vegan or vegetarian but I have not given up.

    take care of you.

  6. Oh my goodness, Blessed Mama! My condolences on your several losses, and the burden of an ill family member. My thoughts also go out to G, I hope he has been able to rest and recover as best as possible. I hope you are taking good care of yourself, too! Big hug to you and all of the Blessings!

    I'm glad to hear no one's allergies are reacting to Cleopatra's entrance into the family. Animals can be very therapeutic.

    I hope peace and calm return to your life soon!

    Thank you so much for thinking of me, and honoring me with the One Lovely Blog Award. :)

  7. Appreciate the update. I hate when bloggers just abandon their blogs and you don't know if you should contact them or delete the link.

    So is G feeling worse than when he ran over his big toe with the lawn mower?

    I like Cleo's little hut. I think she will bring you good luck even if you don't believe in it.

    Thanks for the award, but I guess you were too busy to notice that Alessandra gave me that award at the same time she gave it to you. So thanks again and Congratulations.

    Now how about a recipe!

  8. I don't really know what to write here - I'm so glad to see you're back writing, but such a shame that this post and the circumstances behind it are so sad.

    Thanks for the award - it really is appreciated. Hope things are on the up before too long- and that gorgeous, gorgeous kitty is just the start of better times xx

  9. FF, Thank you for your kind wishes. Cleopatra IS a sweetheart. We love her so much already.

    Andrea, You're welcome! Yes, things have not been ordinary around here. Cleopatra is a good thing that has come of it, though.

    Jenny, didn't miss me?! Aw, man! :-) The vegan picnic was such a nice distraction from all that has been going on. I'll let you know if I get published, and I'm glad you'll watch my channel if I ever make one.

    Miss Rachel, You're welcome! Sorry to hear that you had to go through something similar with someone else. It's no fun. The picnic/parade was great. And, we love Cleopatra!

    WM, Thank you for your kind words. It's okay if you're not all the way to a plant-based diet. Just keep coming here for some tasty recipes, and you'll convert yet! :-)

    Ingrid, You're welcome! Thanks for the kind well-wishes. The allergies seem to be under control, thankfully. We are already so attached to her, it would be terrible to have to find her a new home.

    SV, yeah, part of what I said was directed at you. I've read your comments about other bloggers when they've abandoned their blogs. You are not a happy camper. Rest assured, I won't do that to. You have my e-mail, though, if you are ever overly concerned, ahem. As far as G, I don't know if you can compare a gall stone to a mangled toe - they are both terrible. He also had Shingles last year, so he's due for a break from physical pain. Cleo looks so fab in her "hut." She's spoiled already. And, yes, I saw that Alessandra awarded you, but you are so Lovely, you deserve it twice. Recipe's comin' up!

    Joey, You're welcome! I understand about the loss of words, don't worry. And, I do too think that our beautiful new kitty is the sign of a new beginning. :-)

  10. Shingles?! G is a mess! On the plus side, you'll totally be accustomed to house guests having psychotic breaks when we come stay with you next month;-)

  11. Oh my goodness- I'm so sorry to hear life has been so hectic and challenging for you and your family recently. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope this brings your family closer & I'm sure your children are learning some vital life lessons.
    Thank you so much for the award! :) I hope things look up for you soon xxx

  12. Oh BM you've had some traumatic moments lately. Know that you are in my prayers.I feel your pain...I know how it feels. Let me share with you something I experienced a few years back.

    In 1987 my baby boy was 12 yrs. old then, he was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymhoma (cancer of the Lymph Nodes), 5 months later while battling
    his illness I had a severe seizure at home and I was rushed to the hospital. After an MRI was done I was told that I had the large vein that circulates the blood flow from the brain to the heart was ready to explode. The next day while in the hospital I received a phone call from the hospital in the next town from us telling me that I needed to go there and sign papers so they could do emergency surgery on my oldest son who had shattered his elbow playing football with his school team....I am in one hospital, my baby boy is in University hospital in Cleveland and my oldest son is in another hospital getting ready for surgery. Back then there were no cell phones and the only person I could find at home was a friend of mine so I called the hospital and gave her permission to transfer my son to the hospital I was in. She brought him over and he had his surgery. After this I went in to have my brain surgery which was 16 hours long, 9 days later I fell in a coma (internal brain again...(17 hours long), then 24 hours later I was taken back into surgery for another 7 hours (a blood clot in the brain). I have no memory of those 6 months after surgery and I gained 100 pounds in 2 months. I recuperated but 9 months after all this occurred my husband filed for divorce and I lost our home. I ended up in an apt. with my 2 boys. I lost my son 2 months later. All this occurred in 18 months. When it rains it pours but God is good...He never lets you fall apart. I stayed faithful to the covenants I made with Him, I prayed a lot and I still do, I read my scriptures everyday and I rely in HIM for everything. He give me strength and I am at peace. Stay strong my dear friend, I will pray for you and your family.

  13. BM for some reason I am unable to copy the award photo. Can you copy it and send it to me via email, thanks. Also thank you for awarding me this beautiful award. I will pass it on...thank you.

  14. SV, oh, great, another repeat of last year where you and Mr. SV drank all the apple cider and tore into the children's stockings! What to do, what to do?!

    Claire, You're welcome! I'm sure things will only get better.

    Millie, I know part of your sad story from blips you've mentioned on your blog. You are a strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story here, and I pray God comforts you during the hard times. I'll try and e-mail you the photo now.

  15. Cool for putting up the award, and good luck with writing (although I don't understand a birth doula is...). The cat Cleopatra is super cute!


  16. Alessandra, a birth doula is a woman who helps a woman in labor with natural pain control. :-)

  17. Well Thank you so much for the award! I am so proud you thought of me, that means so much to me!
    I am so sorry to hear about your troubles and that you have been enduring such heartaches. But we all know that when one window closes another opens and Cleopatra is the proof, not only did you get a beautiful new baby to love, but she in turn has a wonderful safe loving home! I truly hope that you have some respite in the coming months and that your life slows down through the holiday season. Much love and warm thoughts sent for you and yours.

  18. So sorry about all the losses in your family recently. That must be so difficult and emotionally draining.

    The kitty is so sweet! We have a new puppy and we are working on training the puppy to respect our cat's personal space.

  19. VV, you're welcome! Cleopatra is a light that is shining for us right now. Thanks for the well wishes.

    Diane, thank you. Good luck with puppy training. I know how that is!