Wandering

Not like my Jewish ancestors wandering for forty days and forty nights in the desert but that’s what it feels like when I can’t find my car in the parking lot.

Photo by Kelly on Pexels.com

Others seem to be in the same predicament; we are all wanderers in the concrete jungle.

I guess my mind was on other things and I didn’t MINDFULLY pay attention to where I parked, but this time I almost thought that my car had been stolen, but it hadn’t been…it was in the stall exactIy where I had parked it and then I must have completely lost my train of thought as my brain was on to the next thing.

Part of the problem is that when I initially pulled into the spot, the lot was fairly empty, but when I came out of the store, it had gotten full and things looked a bit different and that was slightly disconcerting.

Anyway, it all turned out fine, the car was located, I laughed at myself and drove home.

Has that ever happened to you?

Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies

Even if you’re not #vegan, don’t skip this recipe. I bet you’ll find it’s worth a try, especially if you love chocolate as much as I do.

It was so good, I’ve made it twice. The first time I used only five ingredients:

*Sweet potato, one cup cooked and mashed
*Nut butter (I used almond), 1/2 cup
*Maple syrup, 1/3 cup
*Vanilla, one teaspoon
*Cocoa, 1/3 cup

Blend all ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Spread in a pie plate or small square baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Let sit until completely cool. If you have the time, the flavors get even better if it’s refrigerated or even frozen. I cut them into bite-sized pieces ‘cos it’s really rich.

You don’t actually NEED frosting, but who ever said no to more chocolate? Here’s my best baking hack for that…https://enchantedseashells.com/2014/09/17/best-baking-hack-ever/

The results were a bit dense, so the next time, I added 1/2 cup flour, and that made all the difference. I used regular white flour, but it would be so easy to blend some oats for oat flour, so that’s definitely an option.

YUM. Delicious AND healthy!

P.S. This recipe isn’t overly sweet, so if you want to add more maple syrup or even a LITTLE sugar, go ahead. I thought it was perfect without any additional sweetener, but I’m a choco-holic.

Dragonfly To My Heart

I’m not sure why, because there’s not any water in my pond right now, but the garden was full of little dragonflies today, which made me extraordinarily happy.

The temps are up again, nearly ninety degrees, so hot it dried the sheets on the line in about half an hour, but the humidity is low with these Santa Ana winds. It’s way more pleasant than the heat/humidity wave we experienced a few weeks ago, and the nights are blissfully cool.

“I heard the wind whisper and the earth sigh, it made my soul smile as I walked by.”
Michelle Schaper

Beachy Walkabout

A few sprinkles of welcome rain over the weekend made perfect timing for a beach walk.

Look at this GIGANTIC skeleton for Halloween. Not too scary, right?

Then I saw some literal beach bunnies on the upper sidewalk.

Beautifully overcast, no whales or dolphin, but the ubiquitous surfer reigns supreme.

Don’t Miss This! San Diego International Film Festival October 19-23

As I slowly emerge from the last two years, in my more melodramatic moments, I feel it’s akin to crawling out of a cave, eyes blinkblinkblinking against the light after being stuck for months in the dark.

The vagaries of life are such that one day I’m reseeding my lawn completely demolished by my wild bunnies (most likely a futile exercise); the next day I’m interviewing Tonya Mantooth, CEO of the San Diego International Film Festival.

Does the name Tonya Mantooth ring a bell for you? It did for me, and I followed a twisty windy Google research path to satisfy my curiosity.

A while back I wrote a post about my journey through the side effects of my Covid vaccine which included being enamored once again with the TV show Emergency! and its lovely cast, including Julie London, Bobby Troup, Kevin Tighe, AND Randolph Mantooth. Could it have been a coincidence with that unusual name? Well, it wasn’t. Tonya is his sister!

Long ago when I had visions of being somehow involved in the film biz, I used to write for the Theater Arts Guild newsletter and knew all of the talent agents in town. In that other lifetime I acted in a few things and was a production coordinator for a while, too…

Back to present day reality…

-The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival includes the return of in-person Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more parties. Looking for something memorable to do in San Diego? This is IT, a definite must attend event and there are plenty of films for every cinephile. Check out their website: https://sdfilmfest.com/

Honestly, where else can you meet meet filmmakers and actors, participate in dialogues and ask questions?

-I learned that not only will there be a screening of (MGK) Machine Gun Kelly’s film, Taurus, but he will be there IN PERSON to accept an award from CEO Mantooth. (I confess that I didn’t really know who he was, but a few of my younger demographic friends asked about him and were extremely thrilled to learn they could see him up close and personal.)

As we chatted, Tonya was excited to share with me the addition She Said, the film adaptation of New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s 2019 book on their investigation into Harvey Weinstein. This is the story that helped launch the #MeToo movement and shattered decades of silence around the subject of sexual assault in Hollywood. Produced with Brad Pitt, it stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan.

I’ve become fascinated by women who follow their passion — like Tonya Mantooth. It’s inspiring and empowering, don’t you agree? I plan to interview her more fully after the festival, but for now, I encourage you to attend this amazing San Diego International Film Festival.

According to Tonya Mantooth, attending the SDFF is an opportunity to participate in shared humanity, to bridge the divide, not increase the divide.” Viewing a foreign film “offers a glimpse into other cultures” as well as how important it is to “connect with community” and “explore fresh perspectives.”

Here’s a brief bio of the Festival’s CEO, Tonya Mantooth:

A ten-time Regional Emmy award winner with over 60 International Telly and ADDY awards,Tonya began her career as an Executive Producer when she became Director of Acquistions for CRM Films.Tonya co-founded and was President of The Dakota Group, a highly regarded film and post-production company in Southern California.Tonya has produced National TV campaigns and award-winning documentaries for Fortune 500 companies.Tonya launched Mantooth Studios and expanded her production scope to Entertainment Projects. Under Mantooth Films, Tonya Executive Produced four feature films, including GRAVE SECRETS, which became the pilot for a Nickelodeon Series. In 2012, Tonya took over the San Diego International Film Festival with a vision to bring international cinema to San Diego and grow the San Diego International Film Festival into a significant contributor to San Diego’s economy. Today the San Diego International Film Festival has grown over 500%.The spectacular six-day Festival features 120+ film screenings, panels and a red carpet Celebrity Tribute honoring actors such as Annette Bening, Adrian Brody, Geena Davis, Lawrence Fishburne, Sir Patrick Stewart and countless others.Tonya is steadfast in her belief that the experience of film allows us explore issues of global impact, to create dialog, and ultimately to develop empathy and understanding in an increasingly diverse and complex world.(From the SDFF website)

Hopscotch | Life Lessons

How awesome is this new twist on an old game to encourage confident selftalk along with subliminal positive affirmations?

Veggie Tomato-y Tofu Soup #Vegan

Perfect for this cooler autumn weather…

Last weekend was my monthly refrigerator cleaning project and I thought I’d toss everything I could into a pot and create some sort of soup.

The good news is I have a scrumptious pot of healthy soup to last a few days; the bad news is that now empty refrigerator and a need to hit the grocery store.

Here’s what I found to work with:
-Mushrooms
-Red Pepper
-Carrots
-Celery
-Onion
-Broccoli
-Fresh chard and garden herbs
-Tofu

I first cubed and marinated the tofu in a little olive oil and Italian herbs with spicy dried red peppers.

I didn’t have any Better Than Bouillon  (vegan) which is too bad as it’s amazing, and I didn’t have homemade stock, so I pan roasted the veggies in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for a long time to develop fond on the bottom of the pan.

FYI: Fond are the brown particles found at the bottom of pans after browning vegetables. It adds flavor and moisture to a dish.

When I saw all those yummy little brown bits, I added a bit of water to make it easy to scrape up, then I added the marinated tofu, along with one large can of San Marzano tomatoes and one can of water.

FYI: I like to use the best Italian tomatoes because I think it really makes a flavor difference, especially when they’re the star of the show.

I added one scant teaspoon sugar and sea salt/pepper to taste along with these garden herbs:

Thyme, bay leaves, sage, oregano, and a lot of basil, saving some to sprinkle on just before serving.

Such vibrant colors! Simmered for about 45 minutes, pulled out the stems of the herbs as the leaves had fallen away as it cooked.

Before serving, I used my immersion blender to make the texture velvety and creamy.

YUM!

Options: Add cooked beans, lentils, pasta. croutons

Serve with fresh basil and vegan parmesan shreds.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

This year, October 10 is known as Columbus Day. Some states have proposed legislation to legally replace the holiday, but as of today, none have passed.

I don’t acknowledge Columbus Day because it’s more of the same; entitled males making unilateral decisions without regard for anything but their own selfishness.

They continually attempt to push candidates and legislation that will eventually completely strip women of any right to autonomy over our own body.

Even the grandkids know what this day really is all about: good for my son/DIL talking TRUTH.

happy indigenous people day meme - - Yahoo Image Search Results

Moon Shadow Glow

From selenite to moon glow to reflecting on ways to become improved humans, we can’t forget our shadow side as well as our bright lovelight.

Carl Jung believed that we needed to see, understand, embrace, and accept our shadow side to become a fully integrated and fully functional human.

As much work as that seems to be to self reflect, with the full moon in a few days, I think it might be time to bring home another piece of selenite, don’t you?

For me, a little retail therapy is a bit more enlightening and illuminating than wallowing in sadness and guilt. At least, it’s less painful…

Remember this song by Cat Stevens?
“Moon Shadow”