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In conclusion

15 Apr

Consciousness is a bitch. No two ways about it.

When the grass I thought looked greener fades in comparison to the side I just came from, well, I’m smart enough to turn the hell around and haul ass back. First he’ll take me in his big bear arms, then I’ll remember the day on the Pier, and after that it’s always okay.

This time I think that now is better even, because there are more rooms in the house with long warm limbs and tousled hair that smells like puppies. Four of us in all that make this place the home I always call plenty, enough, and mine.

I promise him that’s not what I was running from. He knows. That itch, it moves me, sometimes to wild places. He loves me for it, and I can’t live without it.

Mostly I find more good. More life. More to love.

Other days I find the green dream I’ve been combing my fingers through has turned brittle in my hands, weightless and vacant. Washed out in contrast to the cool floorboards that creak under the weight of my feet in the morning, at midnight, and every splendid hour in this place. The space that’s ours, that’s safe and home and only for us.

This last shit storm, if I’m being honest, was partly okay. The other part, well, you’ve gotta’ know what you don’t want to know what you want. No two ways about that. The thing about me – I always think I know.

But there are times when I can feel my youth. When I have to turn the hell around and head back to where I came from. When what I thought I wanted turns dry and dangerous under the sharp light of day, and the instinct pinching at the back of my arm makes me snap, fast, back to myself, then fall into him, and snuggle down with the others who make it all okay.

Still, in the back of my mind I hold tight to the thrill, the energy, even the hurt. Maybe I’d take it all on again, someday. A wiser me would do well there, I think. Grace, poise, valor. Maybe it’s in the cards for me. We’ll see.

But that’s not the point here. Not now, or even ever, I might say someday when I’m old and what’s done is done.

The point today is all chickens and fresh baked bread. All bare feet and laughter. All here and now and ours to live, as long as we choose to notice it.

What exactly is it about absence that makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe it’s consciousness.

That sneaky little bitch.

Anjale signature WEB

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Slammin’ spinach salad

26 Feb

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Printable recipe: FreeTheMom-Spinach-Salad-Recipe

Thanks to Popeye we’ve all grown up well aware of the fact that spinach gives us super-strength and should be eaten daily out of a can. I, however, prefer my spinach fresh, and love it steamed, sauteed, or raw in a crisp salad.

This recipe holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first that I added to my arsenal about 10 years ago when my husband and I bought our first house as wee twenty-somethings. Along with the house came a quaint little kitchen (imagine that!) complete with an original 1950’s white enamel stove. At any one time we’d have at least a friend or ten crashing on the couch, which meant that it was time for mama bird to learn how to cook. I bought a vintage apron and a subscription to Martha Stewart and began setting off the fire alarm around 6pm each night. Continue reading

Asian salad dressing

15 Feb

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Printable recipe: FreeTheMom-Asian-Dressing-Recipe

After posting my all time fave kale salad recipe last week I realized that I neglected to share with you a variation that is equally as delicious and healthy. By simply varying the dressing, you can create a completely different flavor profile that is so crazy yummy you’ll want to scream. I call this the healthy Chinese chicken salad dressing because it uses very little oil yet still tastes like the OG totally fatty restaurant version. You’ll be amazed how delicious it is when all of the ingredients are fresh! Continue reading

Succulent garden painting: behind the scenes

11 Feb

Did you know I’m a painter? I am. It’s one of the things I love most in the world, despite the fact that I only get to produce a few a year. The last oil painting that I did was commissioned for a friend’s living room, which was being remodeled in a glamorous yet relaxed coastal style. Scrumptious!

succulent-painting Continue reading

The best kale salad ever, ever, ever!

8 Feb

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Printable recipe: FreeTheMom-Kale-Salad-Recipe

Being raised mostly vegetarian, I can honestly say salad is my favorite food. Totally not lying.

Watching my dad whisk together a hundred varieties of vinaigrette using whatever happened to be in the fridge also served me well because, to be honest, most of the reason I eat salad is to get the dressing into my body. This means that I am also a salad snob. I don’t do bottled dressings, and get super moody when restaurant dressing isn’t homemade. The good news is that using a very basic vinaigrette recipe a whole world of variations can be thrown together in no time. Once you learn how you’ll never turn back, promise. If you don’t believe me come on over and we’ll have a salad buffet to prove it. Mmmmmmm. Continue reading