Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Home is where the poetry is

Hello hello hello!

 Hubby and I are doing everything we can to raise money for a down payment on a house (we need around $3,000). We are determined to use our art to help raise that money. That's where you come in.

If you're willing, please please please forward the link at the bottom of this post to everyone you know. The link takes you to a donation page. Submit a donation of ANY amount and I will send a link where you can download my chapbook of short stories and poems, as well as several of Hubby 's chapbooks, audio tracks and high-resolution photographs.

Any donation over $0.01! Whatever you are able.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors.

Our Goal: Raise the necessary funds for a down payment on a home loan before July 1st


Why should you donate?
My husband and I have never really had a home. In the four years we’ve lived together, we have rented eleven different properties. To put it simply, we need a home. Not an apartment or house, but a place to make ours – a place where we can raise a family.
In three months, a law will go into effect which prevents us from qualifying for a home loan. Since we’re both in education, loans are pretty much our only hope for purchasing a home, so we need to get under contract before this law takes effect. To do that, we need to raise $3,000 for a down payment as quickly as possible. Everything donated here will go directly to that down payment, and ultimately all donations will help us create a home for us and our (future) family.
All donors will receive a link where they may download ebook versions of our recent chapbooks, audio recordings of hubby's poems and flash fiction, and high-resolution photographs taken by hubs and me!

Thank you! You're the bestest!

http://ronniekstephens.wordpress.com/donate/

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cleanse, Day 4 nearly killed me

This cleanse has been such a whirlwind already. From trying to pack our lunches in the morning to figuring out what to eat for dinner, it has been rather exhausting. I am so lucky to be a part of Cleanse America and to be able to rely on everyone involved for strength.

I remember why I am doing this.

I am too young to be as sick as I am all the time. Heart burn, digestive issues, fatigue, weight gain. I am stronger than this. I have the choice to be healthier or to eat bad foods.

I have a choice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cleanse, Day 3 in review

Good morning! It is now day 4 of the Cleanse America raw food cleanse. Yesterday was excellent. And by excellent, I mean challenging. Someone was cruel enough to bring churros in to work. If you don't know what a churro is, it's a cinnamon-sugar covered, deep-fried donut stick... equaling heaven.

At first, all I could think is, "I can't have that!" Then I realized that this was an opportunity, not a loss. It's not that I can't eat the churro, I told myself. I absolutely could pick it up and eat it, no problem. Only, I have the opportunity to choose not to. This week, I am doing raw food. That is a choice. Next week if I want a churro, I can go get one.

By acknowledging that power in myself, that every time I am presented with a situation -large or small- I can choose how to respond, I immediately felt so lightened, so strong. I, of course, promptly ate a raw macaroon instead, but STILL! I beat the churro! Go me!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cleanse - Day 2

Well yesterday was great. I had plenty of delicious raw food to keep my tummy full all day.

My very full fridge!

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cup frozen banana
3-4 tablespoons almond milk
Mix in Vitamix!

Tomato Zucchini Soup, topped with avocado and flax seed crackers

Mango Salsa

Romaine Lettuce, Mango Salsa and Mung Bean Sprout "taco"

Anybody else think sprouts look like sperm? I suppose that makes sense...

Sometimes I make ugly food. Spinach, tomato basil sauce with zucchini noodles.


Amazing Green Smoothie!

1 large handful Spinach
1 handful chopped Collard Greens
1 large Banana
2 cups pineapple or other frozen fruit
3-4 cups Water


Here is today's vlog!





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cleanse America - Day 1

My first video blog!

I am doing Cleanse America! 10 days of raw food.

It's not too late for you to join, too!





Monday, April 9, 2012

Fail Better

I adore Samuel Beckett. Just sayin'.

Here is a free printable of my favorite quote, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Click here for the pdf. Have a super day!



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indian Pot Pies!

This weekend has been a tiny bit blah. Quilt making was a bust. How does anyone manage to line up all the layers??!! We didn't get much cleaning done. We did get our fridge stocked and ready for the 10-day cleanse we are starting tomorrow! I will be updating frequently about that, so keep watch.

But for today, we needed to clean out a few things that might tempt us next week. This recipe was so easy, you won't even believe it! I feel like a big cheater, actually, because it only took TWO ingredients to make it. I feel like one of those moms in the 70's who's discovered microwave cooking!
Hubs and I bought some little baking pans at a restaurant going-out-of-business sale. Hooray for small foods!



Makes 4 pot pies

Ingredients
1 pouch TastyBites Jaipur Vegetables
1 package Big and Flaky Crescent Rolls (6 count)

That's all you need!

Spray baking dishes with Pam.
Take one crescent roll, lay it in the bottom of the pan, rolling it in such a way that it forms a pie-crust type situation... (uses 4 rolls)
Then! Cut the corner off the vegetable pouch. Pour a quarter of the pouch into each pie-crust.
Take the remaining rolls, tear them in half and lay one piece on top of each pie to form the top crust.
You should have this:

Put your little pans onto a small cookie sheet for easy maneuvering.
Bake at 375 degree for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cover with tin foil. Bake an additional 8 minutes.
All done!
These should pop right out of the pans. (This is why it's so important to spray!)
Enjoy!




Friday, April 6, 2012

One Thought Creates the Whole World


Earlier this week, I attended a short lecture on Chan Buddhism. One thing the lecturer said has been resonating within me since. He was quoting someone else (I'm not sure who) when he said, "A single thought created the whole universe." At first I was pretty confused. Then he explained. While the person who originally said this may have been referring to an actual theory on the creation of the universe, this lecturer was referring to something more internal: a single thought creates your universe.

Wow. So true.

Every day, I try to be positive. I try to make the choice to be happy and to see things in a way that is beneficial and good. But to think about it in terms of actually creating the universe around me with the thoughts I choose to manifest is so powerful.

Just as an example, I was in a terrible mood the other day. One tiny bad thing brought me down and for the rest of the day, everything was horrible. I let that happen. If I had just concentrated on letting go of that one thing, instead of choosing to be down, I'm sure it would have been a lovely day. When one bad thing happens, we create a thought: this sucks; I suck; the world is against me; nothing is going right. Once we do that, we have created that universe for ourselves.

Our thoughts and feelings create a veil, a lense, between us and the world. Everything we perceive has to travel through that barrier. If we can choose how that barrier filters our perceptions, we can have happiness and fulfillment any time, any where.

Yay!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Even the moon loves her

This month, most the people I know will be writing a poem every day for NAPOWRIMO (National Poetry Writing Month). I will not be participating this year, but I will take this opportunity to share with you a poem I wrote several years ago. Enjoy.

Even the moon loves her

she scoops her soup away
and never slurps,

braids her hair the way her mother
taught her. she wears

hiking boots
and 50's dresses,

sees the theatre every thursday
and sings gospel to the moon.

she wants to live off the land
or be a dancer.

she has branded cattle
and climbed a mountain in south africa.

she drinks tea in the morning and eats nutella
off her finger at midnight.

she blows a kiss to god every evening
but will never tell that boy

that when she sends postcards,
she sends her heart.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oooooklahoma!

Hubs and I have debated a lot lately about where we are going to call home in the future. There are a lot of things we love about Tulsa, but as far as education goes... it is lacking in so many ways. And considering the fact that education is the thing we are both dedicating our lives to, that's a big deal!

But for today, Tulsa is lovely, rain and all.

Check out this Oklahoma-inspired treasury I created on Etsy!

I can read good

I found the following note from August, 2010 on my facebook.

I'm doing the 25 book challenge. In the next year, I want to read 25 books, to include many of the "high school" books I never read. 

(And which of these books have I actually read since then?)


1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Siddhartha, Hermen Hesse
3. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
5. Catcher in the Rye
6. Scarlett Letter
7. One flew over the cuckoo's nest
8. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
10. Night, Elie Wiesel
11. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zorah Neale Hurston
12. 1984
13. Catch 22
14. Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
15. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
16. Paradise Lost, Milton
17. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
18. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
19.Dante's Inferno

 Wow. 3 1/2 books (haven't finished 1984 yet!) in 2 years. Fail.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Books that Rock

Today I want to share a few books that I think everyone should read. Well, maybe not everyone. But reading them will make me think you are very "with it."


Changed my life. Changed the way I look at the human condition. If there is no other book from this list you care about, read this one.

Ishmael
Daniel Quinn


I can't even explain what this book is about or why I love it. I just do. And if you like excellently weird stories, you will too.

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Tom Robbins


I generally do not like romantic things. But this classic is GOOD! I found myself shouting into the pages, "Just tell Mr. Rochester you love him!!!"


Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë


This book of poetry is outstanding, strange and strangely inspiring. A weird guy loaned me a copy once. I promptly married him.

Born in the Year of the Butterfly Knife 
(click title to view publisher's webpage)
Derrick C. Brown


Best contemporary collection of love poems out there. No joke. I read from this book at my own wedding.

Last American Valentine
(click title to view publisher's webpage)
Ed. Derrick C. Brown


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wake Me Up Smoothie

Ran out of spinach yesterday, so today's smoothie is a very pretty peach color!









3 cups water
2 cups frozen fruit mix (pineapple, mango, strawberry, peach)
1 frozen banana
1 apple
2 large carrots
1/2 lime
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder

I did not peel the apple or carrots, just cut them into manageable pieces. I did peel the lime!
Blend blend blend.
Yum.


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