Everything isn’t dark all of the time. There are great breaks of light that scream through the epidermal layer of thickness that we carry around. I shouldn’t dwell on the darkness, but as with most “TRAGIC” occurrences they tend to take the brilliance of the light and drag it through an assortment of everything gray. I am NOT talking about that.
NOT this time.
For there is much light and beauty to be overwhelmed with to dwell on such matters (today). My excitement for the COLOR of today is overflowing, sort of.
I have been breathing/moving/living for many, many years and every year that passes there is the day of MEMORY. Memorial Day has never been one that I have given two thoughts about (in the past), but this year it felt different. There have been deaths, (there is always death) but there have been LIVES. And it is the LIVING that I felt most akin to this last Memorial Day. It’s a “MEMORY” that I want to create. This is not to say that we don’t honor the dead. OH NO! ON THE CONTRARY! We celebrate their LIVING, their LIVES, their JOYS, and their MEMORIES! And by creating more (memories) we give those beams of light a brighter day. The dead may lay, but we, my friends, WE ARE ALIVE. And the Memorial DAY we had was one for those that may think of us when we die.
It was a beautiful morning, brisker than I think any one of us three thought it might be. We fed the goats, the chickens, the dogs, the cats and had blueberry pancakes for breakfast (the ladies favorite). Ollie seemed excited about his first race, it isn’t every day that you are able to feel the wind on your face for 10 whole kilometers. The race was to begin at 8am. We arrived at 7:58. Emma had made it official; she signed us up for the 10k (for Ollie and I) and the 5k (for her). American Fork city seems to do the race every Memorial Day and we were not about to miss it this year. The gun went off and Ollie and I started in. I had never ran a race with a small human in a rolling cart before and had all the confidence that we would be able to make it, for I am not RUNNER. During the race Ollie would look back through the transparent window that came equipped on his “Schwinn Turismo Signature Running Stroller”, as if to give me a nod of approval.
“Good job, Pops…” I would imagine him saying.
I felt the connection between us as we ran along the streets of American Fork city; we finished the race at a little under 48 minutes. Sure, it’s nothing to write the mayor about but Ollie seemed to really enjoy himself.
Before the Race was RUN.
Ollie n Pops.
After getting back from the race we spent most of the day in the yard, fixing fences and weeding the garden with the little man watching over our sun burnt shoulders. The yard is a never-ending process of moving/shifting/picking/painting/pulling/placing/paving/and saving. As we fixed the front gate the notion of a pathway from the sidewalk to our front gate enticed me to the point of finding 4 MASSIVE tons of flagstone to really “drive the point home”.
I immediately regretted this.
Since the “inspiration” of paving a path to my gate came to me with brutal force I have found myself waking up every morning with a pain in my back that doesn’t let up with anything less than a VERY heavy sedative (this is not REAL). But, every day I find myself digging and scooping/barreling and burrowing, shovel after shovel. But alas, it is the lot I have chosen and I cannot relent until every stone has been laid.
Pathway to Heaven/Hell/Willamette MTN.
“Chickens DEMAND their flagstone”
And so after our long day of running/stone buying/weeding/gardening/fixing/cursing we found ourselves in the latter hours of the quickly fading day of memory, AND as the American tradition seems to go we ended the celebratory occasion with a GRILLING fiesta. I wanted to try something a bit different this time for the “grill” and decided that HOT DOGS might just have to be the difference that I was hoping for. I have had many a year of no flesh passing through my intestinal tract and I had no plans of returning to the land of eating other critters and so…like any plant based human might do I tried to find an alternative to the over processed and highly questionable creation of “ THE HOT DOG”. And what I stumbled upon is something that MUST be a part of every grilling occasion from here on out.
BEHOLD, the carrot dog.
I did a bit of research online about it and found this recipe to be absolutely stunning. DO IT! LIVE AND LET LIVE!
GRIZZLIN 2. Carrot Dogs.
All Natural Carrot Dogs
serves 4 but can be easily doubled
- 4 carrots (cut into bun lengths)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (Optional – I used bean liquid)
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (can sub soy sauce but use unseasoned vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/2 clove garlic minced)
- a dash or two liquid smoke
- pepper to taste
- Ezekiel sprouted hot dog buns (this is a MUST!)
Fill a pot about half-way full of water, heat it on high until it boils. Turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook until you can just pierce it through with a fork. You want it to still have a snap when you eat it. Run cold water over them to stop them from cooking more.
Combine the other ingredients to make the marinade. Use a container that has a tight lid so you can easily shake it without spraying it all over your kitchen. Marinate at least 3 to 4 hours, though they are fine for almost 2 days.
Put the carrots in the container and marinade for a few hours to up to a few days. If you marinate them longer they take on more of the vinegar flavor. If the carrots are very skinny I would not marinade them for more than 1 1/2 days so they don’t taste too sour.
To serve heat the carrots in a 350 degree oven or on in a grill pan on a hot grill until heated through. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve in a toasted hot dog bun with your favorite toppings.
NOW, as everyone knows, there is no proper grilling without a proper cookie (or so the old riddle goes) and my lady made the most delightful peanut butter cookies I have had the pleasure of tasting. Try these out and have a ball. (two recipes might be over kill but ALAS)
MEGA HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
- ½ cup solidified coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey (you can add a little more if you prefer them sweeter)
- ½ cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons oat bran
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- ½ cup peanut butter or chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream the solidified coconut oil, honey and peanut butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the wheat germ, oat bran, and flax seeds.
- Gently stir the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture, stirring just until combined. If using, stir in the peanut butter or chocolate chips.
- Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Press down on each ball with a fork to create a criss-cross pattern.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
LOVE Cookies! (emma says)
There is much to see/think/feel/do.
And so we go!