DESIDERATA

Happy Spring every one! Although, I’m writing from South Dakota where the AM news station informed me that today’s temperature is in the top 10 for historically COLDEST days of Spring. Yay us.

In an attempt to stave off the chill and focus on rebirth, inspiration, purpose, etc., I’m posting Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata.” This is bar none my favorite poem. It’s also kinda’ cool that Max Ehrmann was a lawyer back in the day. See? We’re not all bad! Enjoy:

DESIDERATA

“Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.”

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Mommy musings

Part of my job as a lawyer is handling abuse and neglect cases (sometimes I have the children, sometimes the parents). It’s all highly confidential so I won’t ever discuss details here; however, as I sat through around 3 hours of A&N proceedings this morning (typical Monday), I couldn’t help but marvel in how much I love my own daughter, how much I want to protect her, love her, bring her joy, etc. As I listened to a case I was not involved in, I found myself writing a short manifesto of sorts centered around my beautiful child:

“I love my daughter so much it is hard to describe. She deserves a clean, organized house. She deserves a mother who cares about her own health and takes care of herself for the sake of being a better mother. My daughter deserves a mother who has a good relationship with God so that I can in turn foster my daughter’s relationship with God. My child deserves to have a mom that works on having a healthy, loving relationship with her dad (my husband). My daughter deserves a happy childhood; she deserves to have a solid, healthy, loving, positive role model. My daughter deserves my attention, my time, my regard, my love.”

Keep in mind this was written quickly and from the heart – “Deserve” isn’t really the right word to use because it implies there could ever be a way my daughter “didn’t deserve” these things; but, it’s the word that came to me on the fly. I believe all of these things are my daughter’s right as a child of this world. There is nothing she could ever do that would render this manifesto null and void. As I’m sure most moms do, I worry that I’m not doing things as right or as well as I should. I just hope and pray every day that I am able to live up to the honor of being her mother.

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Bora Bora Fireballs (Paleo)

Just had some amazing meatballs for lunch. A thought just came to me: you know how some people in the online world use “amazeballs” to describe something awesome? Well, I just actually made AMAZEBALLS the noun, not the adjective! Made them last night but held off on eating them until today because the recipe creator said they’d be even better. She was right! These were amazing and fun to make!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. + 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 c. crushed pineapple (no sugar added, in its own juice)
2 TB coconut aminos
1 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
3 cloves garlic (about 1 TB minced)
3-4 scallions, white and green, very thinly sliced
1/2 fresh jalepeno, no seeds, thinly minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 lbs ground pork

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Cover large baking sheet w/ partchment paper or foil. Heat large non-stick skillet, add coconut. Toast, stirring often with wooden spoon until golden brown. Remove from heat, add 1/2 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp cayenne, combine, set aside to cool.

2. Drain the pineapple over a bowl in a strainer to catch the juice. Press pulp with wooden spoon to extract excess moisture. Place pineapple in large mixing bowl, save juice for later.

3. To the pineapple, add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cayenne, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, scallions, jalepeno, and eggs. Combine with spoon. Crumble pork into hte bowl and knead with your hands until incorporated.

4. Set up a station: pork mixture, pineapple juice, spiced coconut. Make a medium-sized meatball, dip in juice, roll in coconut, place on tray. Repeat 🙂

5. Bake 25-30 minutes (I did 30) until sizzling and goldenbrown. ENJOY! (Remember, they’re even better the next day!)

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Paleo “fast food”

My 10:30 AM court hearing went well past the noon hour and I didn’t get done until around 12:40; as such, I didn’t have time to run home to make a healthy lunch as I’d planned. Enter in another paleo fast food fix. In South Dakota, we have Taco John’s (similar to Taco Bell, but loads tastier in my opinion). I ordered the ground beef taco salad, no cheese, no black olives (’cause I’m as picky as a 4 year old) and no dressing. Essentially, my salad was lettuce, tomatoes, extra meat, and I used salsa for my dressing. I won’t eat the taco shell bowl (now that I think about it, I should have just ordered it without the shell, duh!). Overall, it’s a delicious, fast lunch – despite the meat not being grass-fed. To be successfully paleo for me, means it needs to be practical. Of course it would have been “better” if I’d been prepared with a homemade lunch or if court hadn’t run long, but life is what it is. I’m happy with my choice! Another great “fast food” paleo lunch BTW is ordering the naked burrito from Chipotle or Qdoba – no beans, no rice, choice of meat, lettuce, vegetables, guac….YUM.

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I need to stop f***ing swearing so much!

Being a Lady

It is the truth universally recognized (or just recognized by me…close enough) that when you go to law school – no matter your Midwestern good girl background – you are guaranteed to leave school swearing like a sailor. And not a well-versed cursing sailor either; no, the word most likely to escape your lips in virtually any sentence is the infamous F-Bomb. I’m not sure I could throw out an educated guess as to the number of times I throw out F-Bombs in a given day. I’m including all versions of the F-Bomb – even the now socially acceptable “WTF?” expression. As a lawyer, I’m adept at avoiding inappropriate language in court, with clients, etc. But it’s almost as if penting up my inner sailor intermittently throughout the day results in a Tourette’s-esq explosion the rest of the time.

I know I need to stop swearing. Well, “need” is too strong a word. I know could get through life with the rest of the Void, swearing without a care and it wouldn’t destroy my life. It’s more an innate desire to stop swearing because I know I can be better. I read once that a lawyer successfully reduced his usage of the F-Bomb by writing it on an index card in big, black, block letters with a giant “X” through the word and taped it to his bathroom mirror. It didn’t take much effort on his part because his subconscious would remember the forbidden “X” through the word and he naturally began saying it less and less. Since I stare at my computer screen much of the work day, I’m going to do this right now with a post-it and permanent marker. I’ll let you know if I notice a difference!

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Calypso Confetti Cauliflower

How’s that for snazzy alliteration? i can’t take the credit, the recipe I’m preparing to completely RAVE ABOUT is from The Clothes Make the Girl blog. As I mentioned earlier today, I haven’t had time this week to prepare meals. At lunch, I ran home (after stopping at my local grocery store) and made Calypso Confetti Cauliflower with some easy grilled chicken breast. Holy smokes. I am the first to admit that I don’t really like Cauliflower all that much (I don’t know why I feel the need to continue capitalizing that word, but it’s happening) – truth be told, I think it smells a little like feet that need to be washed. YUM! However, I’ve learned through the paleo lifestyle that experimentation, bravery and open-mindedness are important. So, I’ve made Cauliflower rice in the past using different ingredients, but nothing, NOTHING I TELL YOU, has come out as tasty as this dish:

Ingredients:

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (original recipe said 1/2 cup of onion)

1 green pepper, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

1 carrot grated

1 head of cauliflower grated/processed so it looks similar to rice (original recipe said 2-3 cups)

Directions:

1. Throw some coconut oil into the pan (I used around 1.5 TB); add onions, peppers and carrots. Cook until tender and starting to brown (the onions should be translucent).

2. Add some more coconut oil to the pan (I added another TB); toss in the cauliflower rice and a pretty good sprinkle of sea salt; stir-fry the whole colorful mess until slight browned.

 

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AM Improv

Okay, so jumping into Paleo again completely unprepared is not the best recipe for success. When I say “unprepared” I simply mean I didn’t have a chance to go to the store last night and bulk up on healthy stuff. My little peanut, or DD (“darling daughter”), has been home sick from daycare with Gunk in the Lungs (I’m pretty sure that’s the proper medical terminology). Because she was a micro-preemie (born weighing 1 pound at 25 weeks!!), her lungs are a little jacked up compared to your average toddler. We had to give her nebs through the night while alternating baby ibuprofen and tylenol. She’s staying home today with DH (“darling husband”).

Anyhoo! Didn’t get to the grocery store last night. So, on my way to work this morning I improvised my paleo breakfast by stopping at the Burger King drive-thru. I ordered a side of eggs and a side of sausage with black coffee. The meal cost around $3 (which I think is cheaper than any of the their regular meals) and it was as paleo as I could get in a pinch! I’m sure the oil used to cook the eggs and sausage isn’t paleo, nor are the eggs and meat grassfed; BUT the important thing is that I had a meal as paleo as possible under the circumstances.

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