Welcome to my blog. My blogging journey began about in August 2009 as a photo-a-day blog which has since transitioned to combine my love of good food and photography. Today, using as many local and fresh ingredients as we can, my boyfriend and myself spend time researching recipes, making our own adaptations, cooking, taking photos, eating, and finally reflecting on all or part of the above listed process here. I hope you take the time to not only read and look at our photos, but please cook some of the recipes yourself. You are invited and encourage to leave feedback as we continue our culinary journey!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Retirement Party

Today, I was truly moved. At 1 pm this afternoon, my place of employment had a retirement party for an employee who had worked there for 27 years. She is 79 years old.

I had worked with this woman for the past year since I had been there. Every day, she comes in with a smile on her face. Sometimes she is a bit talkative, which I admit was a true challenge for me---since when I am on task I am not the one who likes to put things on hold and have a conversation with another person. This is a flaw within myself. But with her, it didn't seem to matter-I knew I needed to be patient because I had so much to learn.

The amazing thing is that this woman was not retiring at 79 because she wanted to. She retired at 79 because she had to-her MS has progressed to a point that made it difficult for her to come to work everyday. She had promised herself that she would make it to 83 before retiring.

I can only hope that in my own life I am that active, and that caring. For 30 years this woman worked as a public school teacher---and for 30 more at the MS Society--all the while developing curriculum and helping people with MS meet their basic needs.

This woman has a true circle of friends. Her neighbors drive her places, help her clean her home, care for her pets. I guess the saying holds true here---what goes around comes around.

I don't feel like I can explain my own emotion around this event in a just fashion---I was truly moved to the point of tears when she was walking out of the office. Everyone lined up in a processional style to say goodbye. We all hugged. We said goodbye.

But thankfully, she will be back...but unfortunately, she will no longer grace us with her presence everyday. I will miss the stories of how things used to be...her wisdom, her grace, her smile. But, her commitment to helping others lives on through all of us, and so we will continue to do the best we can.

Ghost Tour

Saturday, October 24, 2009. A ghost tour in Old Town Alexandra with a wonderful mix of good friends. It wasn't really scary---but I can't say I didn't learn anything.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Leaves and Lazy Cat

Washington DC is full of fall flavors---squash, apples, cool weather, and colorful leaves. Because of the rain, most of the leaves turned brown quickly...but yesterday I found a rare treasure, a tree full of red and yellow leaves. How beautiful!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I feel like I need to make better use of my creativity, but how?...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Last night, I went to a Community Yoga Class. Once a week a nearby Yoga Studio hosts a free course. It's fantastic, especially for those of us who are on a limited income.

A little over halfway through the course, the power went out, so we practiced yoga in the dark and silence. I have to admit that it was pretty strange to be in a room filled with 30 people with no electricity, exercising in complete silence.

We were near the end of our practice anyway, so the teacher turned a portion of the course into more of a medititation. She told a few stories of her class (she works at a school during the day) and listed a few Dalai Lama quotes. One quote she read off I really liked. I couldn't seem to find it as I searched today---but it was something about ourselves being our biggest setback, not other people.

I did however, in my search find another Dalai Lama quote that I enjoy. I've been working a lot lately, and I've been losing a lot of my patience and compassion. So, I do feel like this quote is a good one to live by.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Nintendo Wii evening

My Housewarming party, a fun evening with good friends.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Lifetime of Updates

Lately, I've felt inspired to take on each and every challenge that comes my way. I feel strongly that life is about experience, and its these experiences and challenges that keep me striving to be a better person. I don't like to own "things." I moved about a month ago with about two suitcases full of clothes, five boxes, a guitar, a bike, and a dresser. I find that refreshing--to not own much but be able to pick up at any moment and change my lifestyle.

I've had some moments in these past few weeks where I love my job. And I've had some moments where I hate it. Yesterday, I went to an FDA hearing for Fampradine---a symptomatic treatment for MS which assists with walking difficulties. The drug was approved by the FDA. I had two clients that testified in hopes that this drug would help them and improve their lives. One who wants to play ball with his son, the other who needs to care for her mother and has difficulties doing it because of her walking disability. The other eight testimonies were equally moving; some of the testifiers had even been on the clinical trial for this drug with successful results. As I sat there, listening to each individual share their life story in 4 minutes or less, I felt truly blessed for my job and encouraged by what I do. I was moved to tears.

Yesterday was not the only time I've been moved to tears in these past few weeks--it seems to be happening more and more often. Maybe its because as I get older, and I see that things never seem to change, it makes me sad and angry. When I see someone homeless on the streets, obviously hungry and cold---this brings me to tears. There is nothing I can do; the amount of money I could offer is not enough to change this individual's life. And even if I could or I did give money, this is only a band-aid to an ongoing problem. Especially when I read Thomas Pogge (philosopher) and he notes multiple times that only 1% of the developed countries wealth could eliminate world poverty----I begin to feel hopeless.

So I've started to do things for myself, to better my own life, to reach my own goals. Next year, I will run the Chicago marathon. There, I've said it in a public forum so I better actually do it. Eventually, I will move back to Chicago so I can be with my beau, instead of flying back and forth. I will travel, at some point in the next year, to a foreign country that is new and unexplored by me. I will join a gym, taking dancing lessons, and possibly continue yoga/pilates. Okay, so these things aren't particularly adventurous, but I enjoy them and thats all that matters.

First they Hugged...and then they fought

More kittens.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Last 10 Days in Photos


I've been a bit slow with the photos, I admit. The reason for that is because since my camera broke, it makes me angry to use it. I'll update when possible but am trying to avoid the camera at the moment. Hopefully soon I'll have a new one---I'm thinking an SLR this time! Ooooh!

The last 10 days have included: honoring Senator Puller (VA State Senator) as MS Legislative Ambassador of the Year, advocating on Capital Hill to ensure that the CLASS Act is included in the final Health Care Reform legislation, and a trip to Chicago for Columbus Day. Over Columbus Day weekend I visited Daniele, Mary hosted a bonfire, and my friends and I had lunch at Medici. What can I say, nothing but fantastic. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday October 4, 2009

A beautiful fall day including a bike ride and brunch with Laura W.

I've been busy lately, as you can see, but things are great overall. I've been enjoying the beautiful fall weather and the changing colors of the leaves here in DC.

Saturday October 3 2009

Working the overnight site at the 50 K MS Challenge Walk. Critters for a Cause play games with the participants as they finish.

Friday October 2, 2009

Melissa has a potluck and makes spiked Apple Cider and Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. Perfect for the fall weather.

Thursday October 1, 2009

The day my digital camera broke. That's right. I pulled it out of my purse and turned it on---much to my surprise the screen no longer was showing any photos and had a large crack on one side. So, actually, my camera does work I just can't see the photos after I shoot them. Very disappointing. I guess its time to start thinking about getting a new camera. I guess thats what I get for not using the case...

Thursday October 1st a few friends and I headed to Qdoba and then to the Latin American Film Festival to watch "Lonely Loneliness" an Argentinian film. It was a bit quirky, but I think we all really enjoyed it.