Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm smiling ...

I'm smilin BIG ...
for a few reasons.
I'll bet you'd like to know why.


The only one I'm going to
tell you about
is the Poladroid Project

you gotta try it.
it's so cool.
and cool things must be shared.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Wish ...

At some point, between the opening of presents,
spending time with your loved ones
in the warmth of your house or a restaurant, or a parents house
as you sit down to eat the food on your table this holiday
in celebration of this season of giving ...

Please take a moment to remember,
there are people who have no one, no job, no money, no home, no food.
Perhaps in the joy of the season you might reach
out to someone you know, or don't know,
who finds themselves in need ...
and do something to help.

Make a difference.
Something tangible.
There is no such thing as a small act of kindness.
Every act of kindness counts equally.

My friend Shawn wrote this piece for me.
I am honored to post his words.
I am humbled by them.
I'll let them move you, they certainly moved me.


I sleep in this wreck strewn alley,
much unlike the one in An Khe where my journey down started. 
Where I lost, not only my soldiers, but my mind as well.


I am the Nurse you drew comfort from when you were sick or hurt; 
never showing the pain I was feeding with my drug addiction. 
I lost my calling when they found out.


I'm a runaway. 
I left my parents and my home when I was but a teen for I thought I had it bad. 
At least I had a bed, clothes, food, and a roof. 
My bed now is wherever I find a spot out of the wind, rain, and eyesight of others. 
I wish I could go back home.

I am the father whose wife and kids were killed by a drunk driver. 
I walked away from it all when I buried them;
never to return to the hurt that I hate so much. 
The cold and hungry feeling drowning out my true suffering.


I lost my job. I was the perfect employee. 
Management decided to cut costs to increase their profit margin 
in exchange for a better End-of-Year bonus. 
My family and I are now living from shelter to shelter. 
My sense of pride is as gone as our life savings and I look at my family, 
with whom I swore to provide for at all costs with a sense of helplessness.

You see, I am one of the millions of American's who were once full of life,
pride, and responsibility. I had a job, a home, and a purpose; 
all now stripped from me unceremoniously due to greed, 
mistakes, bad decisions...whatever the reason.
Now cast adrift on the sea of uncertainty 
I cannot tell you where I will be in 5 years but it doesn't look good. 
The longer I am out here walking among you, the people, 
I become dirtier and more unattractive.
Who will hire me? Who will give me back my life?


Your days are spent living life, as it should be, 
as mine are spent wandering around
like an animal foresting for food and shelter; 
my primal needs being the focus of my life. 
While you wonder where you are going to get the best deals 
on Timmy's Christmas list or finding the bottle of Champagne for New Year's Eve, 
I am wondering if I will survive the night in this cold.


I am too numb, too tired to cry. 
I think back on the life I had and the empty void of longing envelopes me like a cursed shroud. 
I long to go back to the days where I could run in the sun, 
feel the texture of the money I worked hard for, sleep in my own bed. 
My life was full of laughter, fun, and work. 
The thought of paying bills, providing for my family and myself, 
comforted me for I knew I had something to show for it.


In this rat race I fall behind as my shoes are tied together with the bindings of fate and misfortune. 
I walk by Social Services and wonder what makes those people 
so special that they get a handout for the rest of their life 
whereas I cannot get a helping hand. I have fallen in a pit and just need help out. 
Help me out of this hole that fate has dug for me. Help me for I want to help myself. 
I need a chance; I need to prove to you, and myself, that I can go forward just as you have. 
The only way for me now is down but you can help.


I am the Invisible; those you refuse to look at or think about. 
You either can't see me or won't but I am still here....

Written by
Shawn Randleman

If we have the opportunity, we have the responsibility.
I believe this with every fiber of my being.
I've been all over the world
photographing the homeless,
no matter where I am,
The face of homelessness
looks the same to me.

Will you ...
Be the change you want to see in this world?

It is my Christmas wish ...
that your answer will be an action that speaks Yes. 

One Love. One Peace.Always and all ways. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brother Joshy and Hannah

Some stories don't need words ...







Hannah doesn't cuddle up to just anyone, not on her own,
and not with a smile  like this one.

Sometimes the best Christmas gifts are the ones not under the tree. 

Merry Christmas Joshy,



One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Friday, December 17, 2010

La Creme de Soupe de Champignon Redux


When I think of comfort food,
I want something soothing,
something creamy,
something that warms me
from the inside out.
Soup does it for me every time.

Don't cringe when you hear me say
Campbell's cream of mushroom soup,
made with milk heavy cream and a
tin of canned mushrooms added to it is what I go to.
I can do better than that and I know it.

I love James Beard. 
He's one of my absolute favorite chefs.

I have over 500 cookbooks.
His book American Cookery, is one I reach for time and again .
Don't think I have a big head about my collection.
I know there are people out there with thousands.
And my mom keeps me humble by
reminding me with a couple of credit cards
she could outdo my collection in a matter of minutes.

This was the one book I got from my Granny.

Until today,  I hadn't noticed her handwriting there on the page.
She is one of my favorite "comforts"
Makes me smile and remember.
I love her script.
Sharon is her daughter and my mother.
My mother is another favorite "comfort"
: )

On with the food yes?


Cream of Mushroom Soup

black and white mushrooms


1 pound mushrooms
1 quart chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sherry or Cognac (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco (I say optional)

I also added:

and a dash of nutmeg


Mushrooms. I used white button.That's what I had in the frig.
Note that this is only a base recipe, use any and all mushrooms you like.
More mushrooms the better, a variety of shrooms
will add depth to the flavor of your soup and different textures are a good thing.

It's recommended 
you clean your mushrooms 
with a dry towel, 
or a mushroom brush.

Remove the stems, set those aside.
As for the mushrooms,
mince them. slice them...

Mr. Beard wants you to melt equal parts butter, and or olive oil
and flour, add mushrooms saute, add broth, cream and season.

I say,
instead of the roux,
(yes I dare to disagree with the master of all things culinary)
do the butter/olive oil.
lightly saute the shallots and garlic,
 deglaze with sherry.

Toss in the mushrooms,
add pinch of salt,
cook until they are softened.
set aside.

oh hey those mushroom stems?
Add those to your chicken stock. I use what two or three cups if that?
You want to steep these in the broth, until the mushroom flavor is imparted.
40 minutes or so.

Strain the mushrooms using cheesecloth.
Pour the strained liquid into the stock.

Grab your mushrooms....
Into the stock they go...
Add your cream...
*if you choose to skip the roux,
use enough stock to barely cover the mushrooms,
then add the cream.

Let it sit on low for a bit. 
Garnish with parsley, pinch of nutmeg. salt. pepper.

On a cold wintry Sunday afternoon, there's nothing more comforting for me ...

Note from the Cook:
Do your sauteing and deglazing in a heavy bottomed dutch oven/soup pot. I love and use Le Creuset
Then all you have to do is add your home made chicken stock and cream to the cooked mushrooms,
 with no major clean up, it can all be done in one pot.

While you're at it ...

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Present ...


Best Christmas present ever ...
happened today.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kathy's Rosemary Roast Chicken


I don't know what's more comforting than roast chicken.
After spending the afternoon,
outside in sub zero temps
getting hit by 30 mile an hour wind gusts, 
while I photographed waves
pounding the shoreline of Lake Superior,
I wanted something hearty and satisfying.
My dearest friend Kathy made this for us.
It fit the bill.  
And it's so easy ...


1 Whole Chicken


Preheat oven to 350.
Rinse chicken.
Pat Dry.

Salt and Pepper the inside.
Season  half a stick of butter with salt, pepper, and a little rosemary.
Put a healthy pad of seasoned butter underneath the skin of each breast.
Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour over chicken.
Salt, pepper and rosemary the skin.

Bake until chicken is done. 
Internal temp of 160 in the breast,
and or until the juices run clear.

To quote Ina Garten;

"How easy was that?"

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Monday, December 13, 2010

One Hundred Things ...

I started this project back in 2007.
I blew some life back into it this past week.

I learn so much from people.

All the submissions have been fantastic.
But there is one who inspires me in ways she will never know,
her words echo things for me in ways I cannot explain.
Well I could, but I don't think I need to.
Messenger of the Universe you are girl.

You read her bio a week or so ago.
Her two lists of 100 are phenomenal,
then again so is she.

I have known her since she was a little girl.
I am so proud of the young woman she has become.

I hope you'll take the time to read her.
Browse thru the lists, but make sure you read both of Savanna's.
You will be glad you did.

Click the link below.

One Hundred Things ...

A collection of lists. Take the challenge. 100 things about yourself. 
Streaming flow of consciousness, as personal or as general as you care to make it...but make it count. 
You might learn something about yourself and I promise it's better than 20 questions!

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Friday, December 10, 2010

On the Subject of Intuition

"The truth about life and lie about life
is not measured by others 
but by your intuition, 
which never lies."

 Santosh Kalwar


It never lies.
Hear me when I say this.

 Listen to it ...

Trust it.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the Subject of Happiness


The amount of happiness that you have 
depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.

 Thich Nhat Hanh 

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On the Subject of Love ...


I have never felt that love was a possession.
I watch people hold on to it as if it is.
When they do ...
they imprison themselves and hold hostage
the person
they say they love.
That isn't love.

Love cannot be forced.

You can be Love,
you can give love,
you can receive love,
you cannot own love. 

The heart feels what the heart feels ...
or does not, 
an unwillingness to accept that 
is an exercise in futility.

We all dream of happily ever after.
That happily ever after begins within.
That happily ever after isn't dependent upon someone else. 

Blessed are those who find
someone with whom to share that happiness.

I'm blessed in many ways.
We all are. 

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Room With a View ...

Bluefin on Lake Superior delivers.

The Grand Superior One Bedroom Condo
with fireplace, jacuzzi, full kitchen, dining room, living room
filled with windows and a beautiful balcony ... delivers.
The service, you know those little touches like Champagne
and extra pillows like I like ... yeh the service delivers.







 Joshy ... while I am writing this,
your mom says to me;
tell your brother,
to give his father the number up here.
I'm laughing.
You've been told. 

Tomorrow I'll be chasing waterfalls,
wandering through forests, hiking the shoreline,
photographing ice and rocks, 
coming back to a roaring fire 
 and a good meal.

Wish you were here?

I know.
I do too.

: )

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One the Subject of Presence ...





Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 




"Pooh?" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"

Prairie Lake, Becca, Joshy 2 627a

"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand.
"I just wanted to be sure of you."

~A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh) ~

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thank you ...


Every single day,
you let me 
know you are 
here with me.
Every single day
I am reminded by you 
that I am not alone in this. 
Every single day you offer support
in one way or another. 

Even when I am quiet,
you never let up,
or give up.
You pull me back
from myself
and surround me with
comfort, laughter, 
whatever it is that I need. 

That at any
given moment I can call you,
no matter the time of day,
knowing you'll answer,
 means more to me
than you'll ever know.

Every single day I am thankful for you.
that you is plural.
you know who you are.
I am so blessed to have
the friends I do.

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

On the Subject of Self ...


Promise yourself 
to be so strong    
    that nothing can     
disturb your           
peace of mind.          
     To talk health, happiness   
and prosperity                  
to every person you meet.          
To make all your friends                    
feel that there is something in them.             
To look at the sunny side of everything                     
and make your optimism come true.                                
    To think only of the best, to work only for the best                
   and expect only the best.                                   
To be enthusiastic about the success of others                     
  as you are about your own.                                           
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to   
greater achievements of the future.                   
    To wear a cheerful countenance at all times      
       and give every living creature you meet a smile. 
                 To give so much time to the improvement of yourself 
             that you have no time to criticize others.              
    To be too large for worry, too noble for anger,   
too strong for fear and too happy                     
to permit the presence of trouble.                                

Christian D Larson

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On the Subject of Grief ...

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, 
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
Kahlil Gibran


What is most difficult, I think, 
is time
 that was wasted, 
it's gone and you can't get it back,
and you can't get more than what you have now. 

and you can't slow the clock down. 

One Love. One Peace. Always and all ways.

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