Butterfly and Grandma in the Mystery of the Dirty Kitchen.


Some mysteries require no words.


Weight Loss

Summer and Fall 2013 179
The writer and butterfly.

I use to be who I am now

Fat and covered in cellulite

Always hiding sloppy me

I didn’t the match the girl inside

And as I prayed and struggled on

Appeared, one day, just what to do

A friend I’d make

The one I hate

And over time

The change it came

Inch by inch


Size by size

I finally matched the girl inside

The years went by

most all was well

And then a cancer came to tare

And ripped the breast from off my chest

And choked my trust

And froze my bounce

And once again the hiding came

I didn’t match the girl inside

And still I prayed and struggled on

Appeared one day just what to do

A friend I’d make

The one I hate

And over time

The change it came

I grew to love

the one breast me

18 months of

all is well

And then a cancer came again

This time to claim

my thyroid gland

And spill around throughout my nodes

And throw my body balance off

I use to be who I am now

Fat and covered in cellulite

And now I know just what to do

A friend I’ll make

The one I hate

And over time

The change it comes

I grow to love

the one breast girl

fat and covered in cellulite

And as I friend away the shame

The outside me

it starts to


the girl I’ve always been

Charred Noodles with Cheese

I Kiss Better THAN I COOK

I’m jarred into the moment with a shrillness of a blaring fire alarm.  Holding my ears, I rush through the kitchen, switch the burner off, grab billowing pan off stove, rush toward the back door to the deck.  This is not a rare event.  It’s at least a weekly one.  I can’t say I hate cooking.  I just like to cook occasionally.  I won’t say I’m a pyromaniac, no that’s not it.  I’d rather say I love to learn and think and write, and kids and husbands have to eat so often.  If I’m ever to think deeply, put something down in writing, struggle over an idea, it will get in the way of cooking.  So when I found this sign, I decided to proudly post the truth:)  The sign is me, not only because I can be forgetful about meals themselves, but because I’m lacking nothing in the way of hugs and kisses to whatever kid or husband will take them!  For the record, our fridge is always stocked with pre-made salad I put together, a pot of chili, home made bread (that’s Adored Husbands nightly ritual), nut and crasin packs, pre-boiled eggs, often a pot of soup.  The freezer almost always has pre-made smoothies, corn dogs… you get the idea.  It’s not that the family goes hungry.  It’s just that spending 10 hours a day in the kitchen gets on my nerves.

There are ideas that float around Christian Circles  -opinions sent through the “A Goldy Christian Woman would …” grid.  Ideas that sometimes stand my hair on end, because they are ideas, not God Speak, and dump a whole lot of guilt on people for no good reason.  Ideas such as a Godly Women will set aside who she for what the family needs “for a season”  until kids leave the home, because time flies by.  That particular idea is partially true for families who have 2 children, two years apart.  However the idea lacks any validity at all for families who have many children, or families whose children are spaced out! – And anyone who knows are kids will agree we have spaced out kids:)… (OK, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the trees – plural.)  We had our first (College Boy) when I was 26.  I will be 60 when Butterfly heads off to college.  Thirty-four years to be exact.  That’s not a season, it’s one year short of 3 and a half decades – and during my prime.  I don’t ever think it’s Godly to be selfish and so centered on what I enjoy that I ignore or neglect my kids and husband, however there is a fine line between caring for my family and loosing myself.  If I don’t at times write, sing, climb a mountain, think a deep thought and express it, take a photo, write some more, I’m just a walking shell – a robot Mother, not myself.  I’ve tried putting me on hold for years at a time, wondering why I’d eat for pleasure rather than fuel, struggle with a sense of meaninglessness, and experience frustration at the feeling of being a failure when it comes to being a mother.   To be honest, I have never been able to come close to competing when it comes to birthday party events, volunteering at school, even keeping the house straight with the world all day every day.  Age has given me the gift of easy does it…,  it’s becoming clear that Mom’s come in all forms – even somewhat intellectual and bookish at times.  Some Moms thrive on casseroles and wrapping gifts perfectly.  Some can make casseroles and wrap gifts, but the tasks drain them rather than give them a sense of accomplishment.  Just as some Dads will coach their kids sports, others may teach their child how to trade stock, how to pull an engine or how to think about Western Civilization.  People are unique… that’s Mothers, too.  When I embrace who I am, my children start to embrace who they are, their sense of value further develops, they become better servants, care for others on a deeper level by the development of their own esteem.  Okay, I shouldn’t be burning up dinner once a week.  This is true.  The important thing is that no matter what has me deep in thought, I’ll not run out of hugs and kisses – well, not permanently, anyway:)  My family might survive on peanut butter and jelly a long time, but wouldn’t last long without love.


Family Food

My sister has a borscht recipe from an amazing Russian cook that she passed to me. Our grandma was Russian Jew (what is now Odessa, Ukraine).  As kids, we use to eat soup with Cottage Cheese in it because that’s that way my Dad ate it.  I remember our friends asking us how in the world we ever thought of eating cottage cheese in soup…. and now I know how we thought of it.

In Ukraine where Grandma was from, Borscht is eaten with sour cream – and is sometimes served with Syrnyky which are cottage cheese fritters. Grandma was a young child when she was orphaned, but her taste buds must have remembered good food:)  She did have some relatives she would visit later from the same place who most likely cooked this way as well.  It’s amazing how much of what we eat follows the family line.  The borscht I made has an amazing lot of vegetables in it for kids to enjoy, but our kids LOVE it and want me to make another pot today.  Here’s a picture of my Grandma  with my Grandpa.

0091-Joseph P Boyl & Naomi Boyl (Devorsef )-Probably Just Married in New York NY- About 1918

Here is the recipe.  Thank you Sis, for sharing it!!


Get out any food processor you might have, and your Bullet if you use one.. and lots of pans.  Make a giant vegi-mess and have fun!  You will be rewarded:)

Potatoes (should fill up a 1/3 of the pot with potatoes) pealed and chopped

Cabbage (red) – 1 head – grate

Celery – 1 bunch – chop fine

Tomatoes – 2-4 – peel and chop

1 large can pealed, chopped tomatoes

Carrots – 3-4 large – grate or finely chop

Beet – 1-3 – grate

Green, Red or Yellow Pepper  1-3 – chop fine

Onion 1-2 – chop fine or grate

Green Onion- 1 bunch – chop

Dill- Fresh or dried – LOTS – chop fine

Italian Parsley -The entire bunch – chop fine

Garlic – 2-4 cloves – chop fine or whiz (I use my Bullet)

Bay Leaves – whole

Zergut Mild Ajvar – 1 TBS or so (is not required, I did not use, but is sold in Russian Market if you want to try it.)

Olive Oil for Sauteing


Peel, chop and cover with very salty water the potatoes in separate pan.  Cook on low – do not get to boil, and leave cooking until ready to add

Part of onion and all of beet saute in small fry pan with olive oil

Saute remaining onions in large fry pan with olive oil

When golden, add carrots, peppers and celery

After sauting awhile, add garlic, then fresh tomatoes and saute

Add already cooked beets/onions, the can of tomatoes. Saute

Then add cabbage and saute

Pour all (including potatoes) to large (I mean giant) soup pan

Add bay leaves, dill, Italian parsley and green onions.  Boil for 2 to 3 more min.s

(If you choose to add Zergut Mild Ajvar – do so)

Salt to taste.

Serve with sour cream – or cottage cheese:)  And heavy bread.. especially dark rye.