Simply Today

One of my housemates and I decided to make spaghetti last night, but I wanted to incorporate some protein into it. As the house meals are all vegetarian, putting meat in the sauce was out. However, I had recalled another housemate making TVP meatballs, and so decided to look for him. Thwarted. Not home.

But I found a different housemate in the meantime. In asking him if he’d ever made TVP meatballs, he said nope, and that it seemed like a really hard thing to get just right, especially flavor-wise, so maybe I just shouldn’t try. Well he didn’t have to eat them, but I wasn’t going to give up.

So to the internets I went. And I found a highly praised (by the creator) recipe for the TVP meatballs, which called for Paprika, thyme, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce (either they accidentally included the ‘a’ or they are slight food snobs, because soya is just another way of saying soy), ketchup, of course TVP, flour, cornmeal, ground flaxseed, water, bullion, and breadcrumbs (though mine were more the size of croutons…the bread was sooo hard, maybe I should have used the grater). 

Well, I mixed up all the wet ingredients (except for the ketchup which I forgot!) with the TVP, then the dry ingredients in another bowl, and a small bowl for the ground flaxseed and water. What that did to the recipe, I don’t know, but I borrowed flaxmeal from Homemadetoast in order to do it…Then I mixed it all together, greased a pan and baked them for about 20 minutes.

Because of the chunks of bread they did not turn out alltogether spherical, but they did stay together, so I was happy about that. As for the taste, a bit intense for me, at least eating it on its own, but with the spaghetti and sauce, it worked pretty well. And I think it went over alright with the housemates too. Here’s a link, if you ever want to try it.

And that’s all I have for you this Thursday.




Hm. So I thought this had been a more modest month for spending on clothing and accessories, but lo and behold, there isn’t one or two items, but 6. It might have been cut in half if I hadn’t had to go to TTV and ATLoft, because I don’t tend to be a big online shopper. Once I’m in a store that I like though, it’s much harder to walk away empty handed. Most people know this, but it feels better to just put it out there.

For starters, I spend between 4 and 8 hours a month at TTV. Even when I’m helping customers on the floor, ringing up their purchases or keeping the music going, I can’t help but notice all the wonderful things in the store. Enter more TTV purchases made in the last year than probably all previous years put together (which in all fairness hadn’t been that much). So this month I bought a pair of black horn earrings, and a laptop bag (which I did need- I didn’t own any type of case for it).

Then, as I had written in my January entry on purchases, I decided to return two of my tops, which meant, good people, that I had to go back into ATLoft’s store…And this time the sale % was even higher. That is how the cardigan and blazer were added to my wardrobe (I don’t regret buying them per-say, they have interesting details and they are interesting colors, good fits, and well priced).

Also mentioned in the January post was that I had a brown pair of flats that had went to meet their maker (well, in the case of shoes, not literally of course;). But then I was left without any sensible brown shoes. So a couple Fridays ago, while it was snowing profusely and so cold, I got dropped off at Marshalls. Afterwords, I realized it may not have been the best time to go shopping, as the bus I was going to take home no longer ran…

As for the watchband, well, sometime this month I decided, as fun as my Curious George watch was, it was just too darn hard to read, so I found my old watch and took it to the local jeweler’s. After he had replaced the battery and I went to put it on, I realized the old band would just not do. It was uncomfortable and cracked on the underside from countless unbuckling and re-buckling. And though, if I’d had the choice between alligator vs. non-alligator print I would not have chosen the chomper, I still like the look of the watch + watch band combo pretty well. And I love being able to read the time so much more easily.

Okay, the list.


~Black horn earrings -TTV $26

~Purple obi belt- Church attic (During the epic cleaning on Saturday, it was going to get tossed!)

~Sky blue alligator-print leather watch band- Virag Jewelers $20


~Olive green Wool cardigan with zipper and ruffle detailing -ATLoft $20

~Greenish teal velvet blazer- ATLoft $20


B.O.C Peggy Leather clogs -Marshalls $40

Top pick: clogs- I have worn them to work a number of times already, as well as on the weekends. And they are simple enough to work with most of my outfits but not boring.

“Could have lived without it” pick: Maybe the wool cardigan. I just can’t quite make up my mind about it.

So I’ve been thinking about Lent, as we are now in the season. What happened during previous Lents, what I gave up, and whether or not my faith was deepened during that time in particular.

Well, about the time the liturgical season of Lent hits, the Midwest has had it’s fair share of gray skies, smokey breath and dripping noses, stiff joints, glistening sidewalks and icebox cars. Needless to say, it is not the high-point of my year. And I’m not usually in the mood to challenge myself. Pamper myself yes, think about Spring Break, most definitely, give up something? Eh. But still Lent comes.

But I have given up things for Lent, the most recent (that I can remember) being sweets one year and movies with romantic story-lines, another. But apart from having a healthier diet, or less of a sense of being a ‘waiting half ‘ instead of a ‘satisfied whole,’ I didn’t see a difference in my spiritual walk. Perhaps I* was missing the chance to add something in place of what I had taken away, but how to connect them? Peanut butter may go with jelly (or if you’re Cheesetoast, Chocolate), but a banishment of sweets and more committed spiritual practices?

So this year, sitting in the Ash Wednesday service I was grateful when, in the midst of singing hymns lead by cello, praying, and hearing a sermon challenging us to think of ourselves as dust, it was given to me. It was simple. There is nothing grand about it. Put aside books I would normally pick up in favor of not only the Bible (more frequently) but other supportive writings during the season of Lent. And I am slightly ashamed to say that this movement does not require a trip to the library or bookstore. There are books, some borrowed, some I already owned that have gone unread for too long. I am eager to include The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd, Real Live Preacher by Gordon Atkinson (thanks Cheesetoast!), excerpts from Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality co-edited by Judith Plaskow and Carol P. Christ and A Time to Dance by Barbara Knoll (borrowed from a dance ministry member), which I’ve already started, to my reading list for Lent.

What are your thoughts on this season?

*This post merely brings up my thoughts and struggles. Another person may not struggle with their spiritual practices as I do. And as we are each unique, I do not suggest that the answer for me should be the answer for you.

It’s mid-February. I find myself waiting, passively by. Waiting for something extraordinary to happen, for it to appear, fall in my lap, jump onto the page, show up on my door step. My days are predictable. And there is a security in that, but what if these last two years resemble too closely my next two years?…

I check my e-mail constantly (well, I don’t have a data plan, so not constantly), wondering what fun will surface for the weekend (sometimes I am the initiator of these), what will come up regarding dance that I have to respond to, what unexpected goodness will magically come my way (which it rarely does).

Enough. Something inside of me is not being reached. Something that won’t be reached by watching “Midnight in Paris,” Friday night with co-workers, going dance-wear shopping on Saturday morning, grocery shopping at the local co-op, cleaning the bathroom, and reading poetry with wine glass in hand, surrounded by lady friends.

Perhaps if I move sideways one step and then forward, that will be enough of a shift to change my daily movement. What will the sideways step consist of? What will be extraordinary about it?

What would yours be? Or are you already doing it?

You would have received a nice postcard in reply to the one you sent me if I hadn’t written the note, put a stamp on it and neglected to write your address below your name, before dropping it in the mailbox. I may have been trying to do too many things just then. Will look over postcard/letter more thoroughly next time. And the card had been purchased from an art museum in Germany. Bummer.

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