It doesn’t matter…..

I loved The Munsters when I was a child. When asked to write an “artist’s statement” in graduate school – I actually said I wanted to be kicking around in the leaf-blown yard of Munster-like house.

I came across this lovely little clip recently. True wisdom for our age – for any age.

Love each other because you’re human. Understand that we all follow different paths and respect one another.

 

 

What does matter is the size of your heart and the strength of your character….

Posted in Adventures in Los Angeles, family, Random, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Bananas Saved the World…

6 Good Reasons to Eat a Banana Today

Just Kidding.

But Bananas are considered the world’s perfect fruit because only 2% of people are allergic to them. However, sometimes, bananas can fool an allergy filled system. When my system is filled with allergens from other foods, bananas can make them momentarily worse. There’s been research on this – btw – not just making this up. It falls under a “cross reactive food.”

My daughter happens to be one of the people who are allergic to bananas, so I’ve accidentally poisoned her a number of times. (Wow, did I just admit child endangerment in public? She’s over 18, child services won’t do anything.) Don’t worry, she doesn’t go into anaphylactic shock or anything; she just gets a little itchy. We actually didn’t learn this until she was over 18. I’ve made recipes and added bananas, then didn’t think to warn her when she picked up the carrot cake or the brownies.

Other benefits of bananas include:

  • Vitamin B6 – .5 mg
  • Manganese – .3 mg
  • Vitamin C – 9 mg
  • Potassium – 450 mg
  • Dietary Fiber – 3g
  • Protein – 1 g
  • Magnesium – 34 mg
  • Folate – 25.0 mcg
  • Riboflavin – .1 mg
  • Niacin – .8 mg
  • Vitamin A – 81 IU
  • Iron – .3 mg

Helps with: digestion problems, heart disease (cause it’s high in fiber), and anemia.

Okay, so we’re actually getting to the real reason for this post. I made banana bread/muffins today and they were sooooo good, I had to share.

I’m an average cook. I’m pretty damn good at throwing things together and coming up with something pretty wonderful. (It runs in the family – you should try my mother’s cream-of-nothin’-soup) Therefore, measurements are approximate. I learned from my grandmother, who sometimes made the world’s best fudge; she believed you had to feel the recipe. Measuring cups are for suckas. (Hence, the “sometimes” in the world’s best fudge).

Okay, recipe with running commentary, and in relative order. (Don’t you hate that recipes list the ingredients in random ways?)

 

Banana Bread/Muffins

 

2 Eggs (that’s exact, but I didn’t say small, medium, or large; mine were medium brown).

A little more than 1/3 and less than a 1/2 cup of oil – the type of oil is important. Do NOT use vegetable oil! If you have that shit in your cabinet, toss it in the garbage now. The only thing crisco is good for is slipping off a too-tight ring. Do not put that crap in your in your baked goods. It’s not good for your body. If you’re trying to be healthy, why is that in your cabinet? I used about half coconut oil, half olive oil. And make sure that’s the real stuff too. Legally (?), they can sell oils that are actually mixed and label it as “pure.” Who passes these freaking laws? I know there’s a lot of information online about the good and bad of coconut oil, but here’s why I think it’s more good than bad.  Number one rule of health is to know what you’re putting into your body, folks!

1/3 ish a cup of Greek yogurt. Make sure it’s as close to Greek as possible. It’s not sweetened, it does not have cane sugar, fructose, etc. If you have problems with dairy, you could probably use coconut yogurt, but I’ve only ever seen that with added sugars; not sure how that will work. I used Fage brand because I like their ingredients above most of the things available on the American market.

1 tsp-ish of vanilla extract. (Although I prefer vanilla paste, I just haven’t found it lately. If you haven’t tried vanilla paste – it’s fabulous. So much better than the extract with alcohol, and you can use it straight in the greek yogurt, no alcohol taste!)

1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey.  Again – watch the honey. Do not buy that stuff in the bear jar. Legally (again with that ?), honey companies can add high fructose corn syrup and not list it on the label. Buy the stuff that’s real, do some research.

3 large ripe bananas.  Mmmmm….

Mix all those things up in a bowl. I, personally, like the bananas a little chunky.

Add the rest straight to this bowl. (Screw that whole whole bowl for wet, bowl for dry, bowl for spices. Please, who wants to do all those dishes?!)

Cinnamon. How much do you like cinnamon? I added like three or four healthy shakes from the container. I’m going to assume it was more than a half a tablespoon, probably less than a whole… but, when all was said and done, I felt it needed more anyway.

2 dashes of nutmeg and cloves (then I added an extra dash of cloves). Again, these are shakes from the container. I got all nostalgic for pumpkin pie. Mmmm.  I taste tested then because, well, because. And from there, it almost went no further. I really wanted to sit down with the bowl then and there.

Baking soda. Don’t add too much! That sucks. I did a dash and a half. Most people would do a half or full tsp. Do not do more than that.

1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 cup of Flour – I used Almond Flour. Do not use that bleached white flour crap. Again, that goes into trash with the vegetable oil, and you better not have any of that white sugar in your cabinet either. Throw it away, throw it away now! White flour and white sugar products are poison to your system. As is that high fructose corn syrup. Don’t do that to your body. It better not even be out on your counter – if you’re one of those people who get all the ingredients out – how cute you are – but if you took that out, get rid of it now. Don’t let it near these muffins. Back to the flour now. Coconut flour is too sweet for this recipe. You can use oat flour. The almond flour will help this come out yummy and moist. Oat flour will be a little drier, but not too much so.

Walnuts. We know the rules by now, right? No salt, no sugar, just all natural, unmolested walnuts. Check the label. I used about a handful or more of the walnuts (Hey, I’m not cooking for anyone else, it’s okay if I put my hands in this stuff). Because I used almond flour, I didn’t want to use too many walnuts.  People with nut allergies are obviously going to use the oat flour and skip the walnuts, right?!

Raisins. Weird? I guess I was thinking breakfast cereal. Right?! We got cinnamon, nuts, raisins. I got crazy. And it was yummy.  Okay, so 2 handfuls of raisins.

Cook between 15-20 minutes for muffins and 30-40 minutes for bread at 325. Keep watch. Do not let them get too brown on top.

 

 

So, end results:  I decided against the bread and made muffins. As I said, I wish I’d added more cinnamon. But they were very moist and delicious. These will not last on your counter. If you’re going to have them for more than a day or two, put them in the fridge.

There you go: no butter, no sugar, no poison to your system. Tasty, healthy, nutritious muffins for breakfast or snacks.

Consider the ingredients in this – even the honey has nutritional benefits for your body sugar does not. Almonds have nutritional benefits, as does oat flour. All of these far outweigh anything white sugar or white flour can offer. White flour is like sugar to your system. So – the basic chocolate chip cookie – poison: white flour – sugar. white sugar – sugar. milk chocolate – sugar and fat. But, hey, the egg is good for you.

Much love and let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Nutrition and Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delphinium – with care, blooms twice

Sticking to their word, Delphinium blooms again. The lovely editors at REaDLips have promised to give some of the proceeds of Delphinium’s Summer Issue 2017 (and going into the future) to literacy programs.  I’m beginning to appreciate Delphinium and those at REaDLips more than ever. They are showing themselves to have a heart, to care about our society. I am more than proud to be affiliated with this journal, proud to be published a long side amazing award winning authors as well as my own students. That’s right! Lynn Johnson was a student in my African – American Literature class. Her poem, published in Delphinium, was one she wrote in response to one of our readings and shared in class as part of her creative project.

I hope you’ll give Delphinium a read, and not because I’m published in it (well, not JUST because), the journal features authors and artists of diverse cultures and it will benefit art and literacy programs.

delphin cover3

Posted in Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Namas-Cray

My friend Laura LaBrie from Lovely Lattitudes, first said this word to me.  It describes life, don’t you think?  My new book was all set to go, it just needed a title.  I felt like this word, “Namas- Cray” accurately described the stories involved.

In everyone of these stories, the characters are, shall we say, a little off. One woman is planning her “Perfect Day,” when she’s interrupted by a young couple about to rob her. Did  I mention her perfect day involves suicide?

In “Harvey Levin Can’t Die,” the narrator is just going about her life, working at a coffee shop down on Ventura Blvd, when the whole world seems to get serious. Her b/f leaves her to go back to college. Customers want to talk about serious stuff, not reality tv. WTH? But she finds the underground – and accidentally – I mean, it was probably an accident – mows down Harvey Levin with her car.  She tried to report it! The police didn’t want to hear it!

Talk about having a cray day –

So this title fit PERFECTLY.  I think whether you are an avid reader or someone who picks up a book to make it look like you’re an avid reader, you will love this book.  (Humble, right?)namascraycoverwithfilter

You can win a copy on GoodReads!

 

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dark Times and Edgar Allan Poe – What more can a girl ask for?

darktimes

Was asked by the lovely crew from SuperNews Live to come down and have a chat about Edgar Allan Poe on their show Dark Times!

You can see the whole interview here.

 

Enjoy!

Posted in Poe, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving away Hope

Happy June, Beautiful People. May your summer be as pleasant as you are.
 
 
Described by one reader as:
Much like a series of prose poems, Ms. Lace renders her characters’ stories in short, fragmented spurts that reflect the movement of the lives she depicts. Both moving and entertaining, The Life of Clouds is a pleasant afternoon read
 
Three little girls are left by their father. Their strict, yet ill grandma moves in with them. The loss and change leave the girls fragmented and confused. They grow up experiencing OCD, Anxiety, and drug addiction.
Chloe doesn’t leave the house
Ashley doesn’t come home
The narrator.. you’ll have to judge.
They’re looking for hope while remembering their father’s songs of clouds.
 
Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Literature Matters …..

open old book, a rose in a vase and a feather

 

This is a repost of an article that appeared in the New York Times in 1985.  In 1965 Congress passed The National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act to protect and support the arts.  A nation is historicized  by the art and literature produced by ALL LEVELS AND CLASSES of our society.

Read it – see how apropos it is today:

The Arts’ Key Role in Our Society

By ARTHUR SCHLESINGER JR.    Sept 20, 1985

This is a year curiously dotted by anniversaries; and one must hope that, as we salute the bitter memories of war, a less dramatic anniversary will not slip by unnoticed.

Twenty years ago this week, the Congress passed the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities Act. The act’s preamble declared that support of the arts and humanities, ”while primarily a matter for private and local initiative, is also an appropriate matter of concern to the Federal Government.” In enacting this law, which led to the establishment of the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities, Congress affirmed a conviction that the arts and humanities are vital to the health and glory of the Republic.

This was not a novel idea. In his first annual message, President George Washington told Congress he was ”persuaded that you will agree with me in opinion that there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature.” A third of a century later, President John Quincy Adams called for laws promoting ”the cultivation and encouragement of the mechanic and of the elegant arts, the advancement of literature, and the progress of the sciences.” In the third year of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln ordered that construction of the Capitol dome be completed. When critics objected to the diversion of labor and money from the prosecution of the war, President Lincoln said, ”If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign that we intend this Union shall go on.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt recalled this story in 1941 when, in a world ablaze with war, he dedicated the National Gallery of Art in Washington. And President John F. Kennedy recalled both these stories when he urged public support for the arts in 1962. Both Lincoln and Roosevelt, Kennedy said, ”understood that the life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.” The policy of Federal support is an expression of the value the Republic places on the arts, a symbol of the role assigned to the arts in our national life. And Congress today remains steadfast in its belief in the centrality of arts to a civilized society. It has shown no disposition to repeal the act of 1965 and has steadily resisted Presidential attempts to cut National Endowments budgets.

Yet the idea of public support, and with it the idea that the state of the arts is a matter of national concern, are under increasing challenge -ironically not from Congress but from renegade parts of the intellectual community itself. We live in a decade that likes to disparage government and to exalt the market. We are told that, if a cultural institution cannot pay its way, then it has no economic justification and, if no economic justification, no social justification. Art, we are given to understand, must stand or fall by the box-office test, and the devil take the hindmost.

To deny the arts a public role is the real trahison des clercs. For painters, composers, writers, film-makers, sculptors, architects, orchestras, museums, libraries, concert halls, opera houses contribute indispensably to the pride and glory of the nation. They are crucial to the forming of national traditions and to the preservation of civic cohesion. George Washington wrote: ”The Arts and Sciences essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament and happiness of human life have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his Country and mankind.” The arts and humanities serve us all. They are surely as worthy as banks, corporations and other agencies of private profit to be objects of Federal concern, subsidy and even bail-out.

If history tells us anything, it tells us that the United States, like all other nations, will be measured in the eyes of posterity less by the size of its gross national product and the menace of its military arsenal than by its character and achievement as a civilization. Government cannot create civilization. Its action can at best be marginal to the adventure and mystery of art. But public support reinvigorates the understanding of art as a common participation, a common possession and a common heritage.

”Great nations,” said John Ruskin, ”write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three the only quite trustworthy one is the last. The acts of a nation may be triumphant by its good fortune; and its words mighty by the genius of a few of its children; but its art only by the general gifts and common sympathies of the race.”

 

 

Posted in Essay, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment