New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day Foodie Traditions .. Or Not...

Dec 30, 2011 by

Foodie Friday has turned into one of All The Single Girlfriends’ most popular series.  It’s one of my favorites too. During the past year our Gf Authors have opened their recipe boxes to share family treasures and opened their hearts to share foodie memories. We can dish and dish it up with the best! We  ♥ to eat healthy but only if it’s delish like Kelley Conner’s veggie chili. But Girlfriends, we ♥ our desserts! Check out  Marianne Richmond’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie  so yum! Rebecca Crichton’s posts are often a trip into the exotic .. like how she celebrates the holidays by combining  Chinese garlands, a Greek main dish, Easter European latkes and lots of love and laughter. Speaking of recipes from afar .. New Zealander Jilly Martin’s authentic Pavola is a not to...

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Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends...

Dec 28, 2011 by

Girlfriends Helping Girlfriends is an All The Singles Girlfriend series that shines a virtual spotlight on amazing women who have been supporting women and girls over a period of time. Elisa Camahort Page is the co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc. Founded in 2005, BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog. Interviewing Elisa and highlighting BlogHer is extra special for me. I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with BlogHer, as a contributing writer and conference speaker, beginning at the first BlogHer conference.  It is with great pleasure that I introduce Elisa Camahort Page to you! atsGf/Toby:  What is your favorite quote: Elisa Camahort Page: My favorite quotes tend to be from movies, such as: “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” – Princess Bride or “I gave her my heart, she...

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That Gratitude List: Item #1 is becoming a writer...

Dec 26, 2011 by

Here it is the holiday season. And no one over-40 gets through it without work, the emotional kind, I mean.  Ministers, spiritual coaches, and therapists worth their salt all tell us that work goes a lot easier if we start with a gratitude list.  Yeah, really. Well, that gratiude list really does trigger an internal paradigm shift – going from poor-me to lucky-me.  At the top of the list I put something that I have been wrestling with since 1975.  That’s my decision to become a writer. Had I not made that decision I might have become a rich, powerful woman.  After all I had the intelligence, stomach for risk-taking, and drive to take that great leap forward into investment banking or even being a security analyst. But, it dawns on me more and...

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All-Purpose Celebratory: Festive without Symbols...

Dec 23, 2011 by

Growing up Jewish I never had a Christmas tree and did my share of  begging for the beautiful ornaments and sparkly lights. My parents rigorously opposed the ‘Chanukah Bush’ concept, countering my insistence that I would have one of my own when I left home with smug assurance that I wouldn’t do that.  They were wrong for decades: I spent the fall semester of my senior year in college making hand-beaded ornaments to hang on the tree in my boyfriend’s apartment. We still lit Chanukah candles, and I justified it because his roommates weren’t Jewish. Half a decade later, when I lived in San Diego, I had a tree of my own with ornaments collected from trips to Mexico. I continued collecting and amassed a beautiful international array of ornaments. And then, right around...

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The Latkes Debate: Blender or Shredded...

Dec 23, 2011 by

We’ve all got cherished family recipes, don’t we? Chanukah, a Jewish holiday celebrated with food fried in oil, begins on December 20th this year.  The oil reminds us of a miracle in which an eternal light burned for 8 days even though it only had enough oil for one day. Everyone likes a good ancient miracle, but in my opinion the real miracle is how incredibly delicious fried potato pancakes taste on the one occasion per year that I make them. “Omigosh!”, I say to myself.  “I forgot how good these are!”  It’s the same way I feel about M&Ms. I’ll share the family recipe for potato latkes below, but in typical familial fashion, my mother and I have something of a disagreement about how to prepare them. She feels the potatoes should be...

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A Good Goodbye (or How To Die Well) By Gail Rubin...

Dec 20, 2011 by

Gail Rubin decided to write a book.  And, it wasn’t just any book.  It was about death.  How to plan for it, deal with it, and – most importantly – think about it.  When we met for coffee, she started by saying, “Talking (thinking) about death won’t kill you, just as talking about sex won’t make your pregnant.”  Hey, I like this woman.  Smart and a touch irreverent! Gail is also a breast cancer survivor, so she’s been up close and personal with her own mortality.  As she notes in the book’s introduction, “Facing the thought of our death can help to better appreciate the reality of life.” Her book, A Good Goodbye, Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, is a well-written, common sense guide to how to deal with death,...

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Gluten-Free Dog Treats

Dec 16, 2011 by

Last week, I shared a yummy recipe for homemade Bacon Doggie Biscuits. Since “gluten-free” is becoming popular as people adopt healthier eating habits, I wanted to also share a low-fat, gluten-free alternative for people who want their dogs to eat healthy, too! I must warn you, however, that dogs are no different than the rest of us. They have a taste for treats that are a bit more decadent than this one, so if you offer them one of these “good-for-you” snacks, they just might look up at you as if to say, “Where’s the Beef?” One little dog named Spencer, who’s a rather finicky eater, was clearly not interested in these new-fangled dog bones. His owner, a journalist from an area newspaper who had written an article on my dog-biscuit endeavors, told me...

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That Second Half of Life: No one said it was going to be this way...

Dec 14, 2011 by

This is awful.  That’s what I thought to myself every few years, after I was over-50.  Now, I find out that I am not alone. “Necessary suffering” is what Richard Rohr calls much of what goes on in the second half of life.  A Roman Catholic priest, Rohr recently published “Falling Upward.” Yes, suffering is a predicable a phase in life as we age as was adolescence after childhood. During the first part of life, explains Rohr, we humans in theU.S.are preoccupied with getting ahead in a career, building the nest and a nest egg, and struggling with an identity.  Then comes the time of reflection about all that, plus, as the cliché goes, life intervenes. We may find that we indeed get ahead in our professional life.  However, we -also realize that the ladder...

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Are You Authentic … Or Lost In (Following) The Crowd?...

Dec 12, 2011 by

I love old, retro authentic “stuff.” Rusted boxes? Ancient baskets? Yep, love ‘em (in moderation, I should note). One of my favorite garage sale finds wass a circuit breaker box with a fine “patina” (read rust) – polished up beautifully.  A friend found my truly vintage (company has been defunct for decades) steel and brass file cabinet on a street corner; it polished up nicely too. A small chair my uncle made some 70-odd years ago in shop sits next to my sofa, holding books. (I remember it sitting in my grandmother’s bathroom [? Go figure] for years). My solid wood swivel desk armchair (In which I’m sitting as a I type this on my slick-lookin’ iMac) was a $12 steal at Salvation Army. I hang framed postcards next to expensive art. I collect...

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Tail-Waggin’ Doggie Bones...

Dec 9, 2011 by

I’m starting a new revolution. From now on, instead of buying “stuff” for friends and family at Christmas, I’m giving gifts to their animals instead. Actually, I rarely buy “stuff” for Christmas gifts. I’m not a shopper by nature, and since I’m a professional artist, I usually offer my sculptural artwork as unique, one-of-a-kind gifts. But after a number of years, I realized my friends and family had only so much room in their homes for all of my art! So two years ago, I started considering gift-giving alternatives without jumping on the Black Friday consumer bandwagon. What could I make that would be useful, as well as thoughtful and fun? Scanning the internet for ideas, I came across a site that offered recipes for homemade dog treats, which sparked an inspiration. People have...

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Holiday Food Challenge Reduex

Dec 9, 2011 by

This being Foodie Friday on atsGf’s I decided to write about the one food challenge I’m facing with the step to gain back my life through bariatric surgery.  …. pureed food. I’m supposed to start incorporating at least one protein shake a day into my diet.  The reason for this is that for 6 weeks after the surgery, I’ll be on a liquid and pureed food diet. Part of the process for this surgery is 6 months working with a team to prepare you for life during and after the surgery.  Today I met with the psychologist I’ll be seeing every month.  There were a lot of question dealing with my emotional history.  Everything from, “were you raised by a mother and a father? to were you ever abused (physically, emotionally)?”  We talked about all my...

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Happy and Sad All at the Same Time...

Dec 5, 2011 by

Recently a friend posted this on her Facebook status: “this week has been incredible so far as ups and downs emotionally. tonight, my husband took me to Lancaster for an incredible dinner and conversation. it was marvelous. on the way home, we witnesed a dog being hit by a car. I got to stop and hold the baby until she died a few minutes later. my heart is heavy now. she was beautiful in spirit and I got to take in her spirit as she passed. what does it mean? does anyone know? happy and sad all at the same time.” My response – “Sounds like you live a spiritually aware life.” If you’re not sad, depressed or scared (sometimes all three at the same time) on occasion, you’re missing something.  You’ve got to...

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