Lemon Potato Kale

You shouldn't take the fact that I'm now writing about food as meaning that all of the upheaval of the last few months is settled. It just means I'm tired of writing about it, or not writing because the only things I have to say I'm not willing to publish. So I'm writing, about something else that helps to ground me - food.

I love greens. Don't know if it's my Irish genes, but aside from mustard greens, I love them all. I also love potatoes. Again, probably the Irish ancestors. But here's a kale and potato recipe that I just made up today that I found so lip-smacking good I'm writing about it.

Dice up about 1.5 pounds of red potatoes into smallish (less that an inch) cubes, toss with thinly sliced lemon (cut the thin wheels into fourths) and olive oil and roast in a shallow dish in a 425 oven until the potaoes are getting crispy and the lemons are carmelizing. Take them out and let it cool.

Meanwhile, wash and trim some kale and steam it to cooked but still with some body in the leaves. Remove to a bowl lined with a towel and allow to cool and dry off. When everything's cool and dry, combine the kale and potatoes in a bowl, add 3 - 4 tablespoons of basil pesto, juice of half a lemon, maybe some zest if you're feeling punchy, and a little more olive oil. If you have a little roasted garlic on hand, throw some of that in too. Toss together and try to save some for everyone else in the house.

Ahhh. Peace and comfort in a bowl.


Single Parenting

Lots of men and women do this, and have done this, for millenia. Who am I to whine and whinge? Seriously.

I have learned that I can't do this alone. I have learned to ask for help. A lot. At least by my standards. I have learned that my family is more supportive that I ever would have guessed had I not needed them so much these last months.

I have learned that kids grieve on their own schedules, in their own ways, in ways that we may not recognize as grieving. I am learning to worry less, to be more forgiving of them and myself.

I have learned that rejection from some people is a blessing. I have become very, very private. I have given up being the "fixer" for the world, making things okay for the people around me. I can't. They'll have to sort out things for themselves. That doesn't make me a terrible person, or a "bottom feeder" as one person put it.

A few months ago I asked my brother to drive me out to Pedernales Falls state park, so I could walk in solitude along the trails and find a private place to cry and fall apart, where I could feel the love and support of the planet holding me. Many things came to me, sitting on a rock in the sunshine listening to the wind whip the cedar and juniper around me. I felt overwhelmed by everything ahead. So, so much to do, and then the stress of being the sole parent for my children - their sole emotional anchor, financial provider, guidance counselor, guide to life and the world and adulthood and the way to their own individual paths.

A thought entered my mind as I finally rose to leave:

"There is nothing to do but love everyone."

I hold onto this when the overwhelmed feeling comes back. Which it does, in cycles. But I have also learned that it runs itself out and I'm back to feeling my old intrepid self again.

There is nothing to do but love everyone.


Tried to talk about it; can't.

I've written a post about what happened and where the kids and I are at now, and I even published it for just a moment, but when I saw the words up on the page, on the internet, I couldn't take it. I deleted it.

It's too personal, too private, too painful.

But there's nothing else that I want to write about now. So my public voice is stuck mute for awhile. Maybe for months. Maybe longer.

The kind and encouraging comments to the previous post are appreciated. I realize that I hadn't posted about our separation. Again, too personal, too private, too painful. And talking about how the kids are coping, what I've learned to help them, how one lives through something like this, requires telling what "this" is. And I just can't do it. It seems disrespectful to him. His story is his own. The things that I know about him, what happened to us, between us, is between him and me and no one else.