Category Archives: challenge

I am

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I am comfortable.

I am sheltered.

I am warm.

I am fed.

I am clothed.

I am loved.

I am cherished.

I.am.free.

These are all reasons why I #dressember.  I know that I have so many privileges in my life that others cannot even perceive.  I am going to try, over the next month, to use the privilege to bring a voice to the voiceless.

Two years ago I decided to go on a journey.  That journey has brought me here.  I am a better consumer by being a less consumer.  I am more aware of people around me by actually seeing people in need.

But the more I think about that the more I realize that it is not about what I have become but more about what I am unbecoming and how I am changing the focus from me to others.  I am trying to take the I out of my life.  That is super hard, trust me and I am not good at it, AT ALL!

So stepping back and thinking (without using “I statements”) about how this venture of dresswearing will change the world one may become more self centered OR not depending on how they view the cause.  Choosing to view the cause as opposed to yourself can turn dresswearing into #unselfies and #advocation.

It is a work in progress so we shall see what happens as the month progresses.  Keep watching and reading to see where it lands.

In the mean time check out https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/isaiah-61-1-3 and give what you can or pass on the link to a friend if they are able to donate.

 

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#Linkinprofile

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I have always wanted to say that in my posts on social media without sounding like I am begging for people to come to my blog and read what I have written.  I have never been one to seek attention, good, bad, or otherwise.  (Wait, what would otherwise be??) Then I made the most delicious dinner the other night and took a picture of the post deliciousness and #checkmyblogfordetails & #inprofile happened.  Now, I have to make good on my promise to the 10 people who liked or commented on the picture and post the recipe OR maybe just the experience of creating the recipe. I don’t really know yet, you’ll just have to keep reading to see what transpires here. So a while ago I wrote a blog that was about dinner and how frustrating it is sometimes to figure out what to cook and how unhelpful my family can be.

Last night I didn’t know what to cook.  I had chicken and some homemade curry sauce in the freezer.  I also had some peppers and onions that needed to be cooked.  I decided to start with the peppers and onions and really I wasn’t sure where it would go from there.  I cut them up bite size (my bite size is usually to big for most people) and sautéed them with olive oil, salt, & pepper. From there I decided I wanted to cook the chicken and, wait, what is that?? Lo Mein noodles from Wegmans in the freezer? MMMMM

So then the magic started to happen.

I don’t know how to explain this magic as it has happened so infrequently in the last 5 years, since my sister’s death.  But when it does, I love it.

I love the end result when my husband says, “Did you write this down so you can make it again?”

And I say, “No.”

Then quickly pull out my phone to start writing the bones of the recipe down so I don’t forget that I magically created.

I know I will never be able to recreate it.  It is an impossibility to truly recreate a magic trick.

Often times that is what making dinner feels like, a magic trick.  One that, even I do not understand.

So here is my attempt to give you the recipe that was magical:

  • 1 yellow pepper chopped however you like it but small enough to cook all the way
  • 1 small red onion diced but not to finely
  • 2 average cloves of garlic (FRESH is best) cut up however you like
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
    • saute and set aside
  • Cook lomein noodles, rinse and set aside
  • cube chicken of your choice (3/4 of a pound or so) I used chicken thighs (5 of them)
  • cook in batches in sesame oil and olive oil with a little s & p to taste
  • the second batch of chicken add in 2 TBPS of soy sauce
  • when all the chicken is cooked toss it together with the soy sauce and let it steam for 5 or so minutes
  • toss the pepper and onions in with the chicken to coat with the soy sauce
  • SERVE over the lomein noodles

No pictures. I really, honestly, didn’t think it would be good so I didn’t take any pictures. While we were eating and my family was reflecting on how they really liked it and how I should make it again, I thought, “Well Gee!  I should have taken a photo for insta.”

And thus this post was born.

Maybe I will post about my cooking block that has last for 5 years.  Maybe I won’t, it is a hard subject to discuss because I really do love to cook.  No, really, I DO! I also love to do grocery shopping, but that is a post for another day.

Pain of millions

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The pain of millions

benefits the billions

our joy riding on the backs

of those who cannot choose

when they wake

which way the look

where they go

how they love

who they love

if they love

#enditmovement

#endit

#slaverystinks

How many of us enjoy getting roses on Valentines (or any time for that matter)?

I worked in the grocery industry for 13 years and never knew about how roses and slavery were connected.  I am not sure if it was because I was “blind” to the idea that slavery still existed or if it was because the company I worked for prided (and still does) itself for humanely sourcing everything it sold.

So here you go…

Four boys rescued from a rose farm

Roses: symbols of love or symbols of suffering

I realize the second source is quite a bit older but that lends to the longevity of the problem.

Many years ago I told my husband that I didn’t like roses.  The thorns were not worth the beauty of the flower that was so fleeting.  Also, I had worked so many hours and so many Valentines with the wretched flowers I didn’t want to have to deal with them at all! I asked that when he wanted to buy flowers for me he purchase potted plants instead.  He complied with my request and I got plants for quite a number of years.

Later in our marriage he began to purchase roses again and I found myself oddly happy at the sight of the flowers.  I think that there is a push, a need to be alike others and to compare our lives so we feel the same and accepted.  I took pictures of the roses and posted them, so proud of my gift.  It was bought in love and it did make me happy.  Often the roses lasted “longer than they ever have!” and we enjoyed them for 7-10 days.

Now that I know that roses are often carried on the backs of small children I cannot, anymore, enjoy them unless they are in my garden.

I wish I had a solution to the roses problem.  I know there are farms that grow roses with kindness to the environment AND humans.  I just have to locate them.

Dressember in April

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So I told you that you would hear about this whole “slavery” thing again and that it would likely be a recurring theme across my blog from time to time.  Well, here it is popping across your feed again.  Recently it came to my attention that IJM was doing another awareness campaign.  They have called it #stand4freedom & it is a 5 day campaign to let people know that slavery in the modern age needs to end.

I have decided to take this campaign and do a #dressemberinapril campaign since I cannot stand for the whole 5 day campaign.  I have to work. While I do stand a lot when I work I do not stand for the whole time.  So, in lieu of standing all day I will be wearing dresses and writing every day this week.

Here is my epiphany from the last two days…

Christ died.

Christ has risen.

Christ will come again.

He came for ALL of us, not just the few elect and prestigious.

But he also asks what have we done for the least of these.

What have we done for the hurt and the sick.

That what we have done for the least of these we have done for him.

I am still trying to figure out how I can really, actually make a change in the world where slavery is concerned.   I know awareness is a very tangible way to bring about change.  How can you change something if you do not know about it?  So I am making my small step toward making my little part of the world aware of slavery and it’s impact on our world.

This week my classroom of students begin to wade its way into the research project that I have decided needs to be a social justice project.  My students & co-workers will see me AGAIN wearing dresses.  They will again hear me talking about slavery.  They will hear me talk about ways to combat slavery right here in our own town.  I’ll fill you in on that as it progresses. (it will last till the end of May so bear with me).

When I was posting in December the number of slavers was estimated at 27 million.  It is now estimated at 36 million.

I have learned that one of the best and EASIEST ways to combat slavery is to buy from the thrift store.  No money goes back into the store you bought it from or subsequently to the plantation that grew the cotton. AND many thrift stores are local and help around your neighborhood.

BONUS!!

PS if you want to see my pictures from this week you have to head over to my instagram (imacurlygirl), twitter(syndlazo), or facebook profiles.

Where am I

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So I am embarking on a journey.

I want to be a writer.

I feel called to write.

I will write.

I AM A WRITER!

My daughter is my accountability partner as she is a writer as well.  An amazing one that that.

She is in an out patient treatment facility and has asked that as practice and exposure I write for her blog for the next few weeks.

I have practice writing every day (remember Dressember??) but that was super-hyper focused writing and had a concentrated purpose.  Now I am kinda flailing and not writing because I am not sure what to write, how to write, grrrrrr.

So frustrating.

ANYWAY, everyday is a new day and a chance at renewal.  So you can check me out blogging at cathyterranova.com

cooperation

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This word.  It is a hard word to understand.  It is a hard word to emulate.  It is a hard word to spell! (how many double letters are in that word anyway???)

(PS I am not a good speller due to the fact that I have been word processing since I was 12 and have had spell check to support this challenge)

Relationships can not work without cooperation and yet so many survive albeit, barely.  My marriage hasn’t always been the most cooperative.  It has taken hard work and effort on both our parts to try to work together and put our ego aside for the betterment of our life together.  I have realized, over the course of 18 years, that we are an amazing project couple.  I dream big and talk big. He brings me down to earth and helps me be realistic. Somehow he always manages to make whatever I dreamed up happen.  Sometimes it takes years (decades?) of talking and dreaming out loud.  Sometimes they seem like pipe dreams but I still speak them because I trust him.  Yes, he sometimes gives me a hard time (I want to make a green house out of wine bottles and I am saving empty wine bottles for this venture) but usually he listens and ponders and eventually figures out a way because he know I am a cooperative, flexible dreamer and really only want what is best for those around me.

Now, don’t get me wrong my husband isn’t perfect (although pretty darn close in my eyes) but he is a wonderful person.

He is a person who tries hard to please others.  Funny thing, so am I.  We both want those around us to be happy and to be well cared for in the circumstances that we can control. We can control how we make the other person feels. He can make me angry but on the flip side of that coin I can control how I react to his “issues” (and trust me vice versa). He can also make me happy (and 99.7% of the time this is what he does) and I can control how I react to that as well.

This type of cooperation has been what makes our marriage work, but not just our marriage, our relationship.  We choose on a regular basis not to be snippy with each other and to cooperate as best we can.  Does it always work?  Well, no but if we step back from the situation and look at it differently we are usually OK. And if I am honest, sometimes it takes me leaving the situation and coming back to it later to help with the cooperation.

OK STORY TIME!!!

I am getting a fire place!  A gas fireplace.  We are building the hearth and mantel.  He built the bones and I helped out along the way.  We decided on tile facade together and I set the pattern for it.  He had some ideas of his own and I started to get frustrated.  I felt myself start to fume.  So I chose to step back.  I chose to let things happen and let him do his thing.  Guess what….because I chose to step back and not get all irritated it all worked out ok.  We aren’t quite done (and no he won’t let me post pics) but already it looks better than I could have ever imagined.  AND we were able to cooperate and not fight over something so small.

Let it wash off your back like a duck.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Sleep on it.  All good cliches.

Trust me.  My marriage isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!!