Tea time

Things are a bit more expensive in Hawaii, maybe a buck or two, so Farmer's Markets are the place to get your fresh veggies and fruit.

Luckily, there are 2 busy markets close to me. After going to markets in Hollywood and Burbank, Kailua markets were a whole new world.  Vendors selling poi, taro and coolers filled with poke (my new favorite meal), along with the usual vegetables, potatoes, onions, carrots and tomatoes filled the second story of the local mall, the other 2 parking lots.

My most exciting find was Turmeric.  Turmeric's active ingredient curcumin is one of nature's most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs. Because of a recent eating plan, turmeric was a major part of my seasoning.  But instead of using actual Turmeric, I used Curry Powder (which contains Turmeric) because I had an over abundance of it.  But to see the actual root was intriguing and for under $1, I couldn't go wrong.  But what do you do with fresh Turmeric and how do you use it?

I tried my hand at making some tea.  Not the golden milk kind (turmeric powder and coconut milk), but just the root.

Add some grated turmeric to a few cups of water.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for a half hour, then cover with a lid and let sit over night.  When you're ready for a cup, warm up your infusion and add your choice of sweetness to taste (honey, sugar, whatever makes your teeth hurt).

NOTE: Turmeric stains.  The vendor I bought it from said to use gloves when you cut it.  I thought of this AFTER I was done cutting it a small chunk and there was a huge yellow stain on my white counter. 

Stay Thirsty my Friend!

I don't even like coffee

During moving from one state to another, as well as having to live as a nomad for a bit, I can't tote around my french press (though I may still try)
much less a coffee maker. Instead I have decided to try cold brewed coffee (not to be confused with iced coffee). I've read that it is supposed to be less bitter than regular coffee and you add a lot of milk and sugar. My kinda coffee!  

The idea behind cold brew is that you not only serve it cold, you brew it cold—or rather, at room temperature. So instead of using heat to extract the coffee into drinkable goodness, you need to have some patience so the "mud" can brew.

You'll end up with Cold Brew coffee concentrate. 4 cups of concentrate will make about 8 cups of iced coffee. This will last up to a week in the fridge.

There are many ways to brew the coffee, I'm partial to using my coffee press.  Clean up is a little messy though.  When I start travelling again, I'm going to try and use Nut Milk Bag.

1 cup coarsely-ground coffee beans
4 cups cold water

Add coffee grounds and water to your chosen receptacle.
Be sure the grounds are saturated.
Stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
If you're using a coffee press, now is the time to press the plunger.
If you're using a large bowl, place a strainer covered with cheesecloth over another bowl.
Pour the coffee mixture slowly over the strainer as the liquid filters.
Once all the goodness has filtered through, congratulations, you now have concentrated cold brew! Don't forget to dilute it.

I'm not a person who drinks coffee for the caffeine, so you'll want to dilute your concentrate before your drink it.  Start with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part concentrate, then work from there.
Refrigerate the remaining coffee concentrate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Stay Thirsty my friend!

Hiking Oahu


After a butt-kicking hike up Koko Head (and a day for my glutes to recover) Diamond Head was a cake walk.  Still a bit rocky in part, a great view and piece of history when you reach the top.  There is parking onsite for a small fee, or there are also parking lots around the base of the crater if you want more of a walk.

Be sure to bring water with you and some good shoes (no slippahs).    When you're almost at the top, you'll reach a fork in the trail.  To your right will be a set of concrete stairs, to your left will be some benches and another set of stairs.  We chose left, because I needed a break.  This brings you to the back side of the summit and the top of the pillboxes.

Hold on

Taking in the views.  Almost at the top of Diamond Head.

View from the Pillboxes atop Diamond Head
 Happy Hiking!

Writing for real life

As I continue on my journey to be a playwright, I try to surround myself with like minded people, so I can ask questions and pick their brains.  I started writing my first play by accident.  I was trying to work some stuff out and would write random thoughts, collecting stories, and poof a play. Ok, not exactly poof, more like a volcano that has blown and the lava is slowly inching its way to the sea, and when it hits the salt water a cloud of volcanic yuck fills the airs with a sizzle.  That's where I'm at.  Volcanic yuck.  My first play completed, workshopped and performed but no idea what to do next.  The sequel that I had started hangs over me like ashfall, with no end in sight.  I have been again collecting bits and pieces of writing as I try to figure out this next show.  Trying to write for a specific topic to be performed in a specific venue.  So many options for stories to be told, where do you start?  Sitting alone at my computer doing endless research, I am no further along, with the exception of a few dozen avenues to explore.  My goal is to find a writers group to just sit with and write.  I don't have to share with anyone, I just need to feel the pressure of others actually writing and I think it would work.  

Sundays at Starbucks

It's hard to imagine that I have been have #CreativeConversations every week since 2011.  At first our meetings were in person and they weren't necessarily weekly, but we did meet and when we did it was usually for more than an hour, but we got stuff done.  We wrote.  We chatted about writing.  It was glorious.  Then my "writing partner" (I love saying that, it makes me sound like a real writer) moved, yet we still met, thank goodness for the age of the internet and Skype.  We kept to our weekly schedule, only diverging from it when one of us was travelling or had a gig.  We were awesome. Although I don't think I've ever actually finished a piece of writing, I was writing for at lease 20 minutes on Sundays.  Which, when you think of it is kinda weird.  

We would start our calls with catching up on our week's and seeing what the other had accomplished (writing or not) and then do some sort of writing exercise that I had found or we would talk through any problems that came up for us, then we would write.  Skype windows open, each writing silently (or sometimes not depending what was on iTunes).  I would set my timer for 20 minutes and we would go.  I would usually distract myself with something else, saying I was doing research on the internet and then get caught up in the minute details, of say a name and it's origin, and before you knew it the timer would be going off.  Most days we agreed to go for another 15 minutes because "I just need to finish this brilliant thought", then the timer would ring again.  We would stop, feeling inspired and accomplished and read our latest masterpiece to each other.  No judgments or suggestions, just questions of what drew me in and what I wanted to know or about. 

Throughout the years, we have made moves and travelled, yet still met.  Our priorities have changed, yet I still revel in my now Sunday morning meetings that are set in my Google calendar with no ending date.  We don't write anymore, because some of our priorities have become clearer thanks to these meetings, but we meet none the less.  We celebrate each other's weekly accomplishments and keep fingers crossed for each other's amazing opportunities that are occuring that week.  

I found myself thinking deeply about this friendship this week and how fortunate I am.  I was thinking of friendships past and present and how they evolve.  How does one define a best friend and why?  I still consider my roommate from college my best friend, yet I haven't spoken to her in a year, except for the odd "LIKE" on Facebook and brief Messenger conversations.  I have to stop myself from sending buying those break-apart "best friend" novelty items, because I don't know our "BFF Status".  That was Best Friends Forever, wasn't it? 

Does that still make her my best friend?  I also still consider a friend from high school a very close friend, yet our relationship is even less than my best friend's.  Yet, I love my writing partner and have never thought of it as a best friendship, yet by my teen definition she would be. 

As an adult woman do you still have a bestie?  Let me know in the comments below.

'til next time

Morning Wogs

Another day, another run. 2 days in a row, I have left the house for a wog (walk/jog, since my toes are sprained and all this exercise causes my back to seize), audio book in my ears and my mind slowing churning up ideas.  This week's book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  

As I wog, ideas and thoughts come in and float out of my head as I try to figure out how to hold on to them until I get home.  

Usually when I leave the house, I debate whether to bring a notebook or not, since by my Paul Frank Crying Tiger notebook won't fit in my pocket.  I bought the notebooks years ago in an attempt to always carry one with me to never miss those glimmers of inspirations.  I say notebooks, because after working for a Young Playwrights Workshop one summer and sitting in with the kids as they listened to successful writers I knew I needed to do this.  The playwright, Larissa Fasthorse, was telling the kids that the she carries a particular style of notebook with her at all times, me, and when she finishes one, she can keep them all neat and tidy.  I loved this!  I'm all about neat and tidy, so when I found a cool looking notebook, on sale, I bought 4 of them.  I blame my inner thrifty hoarder for this purchase. Thinking I could easily fill these little bricks in no time.  I am currently on book 2 of 4, with 2/3 of the pages filled and a whole lotta year left to go.  I thought each book would be filled within months, but book 2 was started in 2014.  I rarely look back at the notes, but when I do, it makes me smile to think of the brilliance that I can spout and it makes me want to write more.  But back to my wog.

I don't bring a notebook because my pockets are already filled.  I carry my iPhone 6plus so I can take pictures for my daily Instagram, my 5th generation ipod that is filled with all my audio books, keys and some cash so I can pick up a coffee on my way home.  My pockets bulge with tech.  I tried to bring my iPhone 4 yesterday since it's smaller, but heavy and the pictures weren't as awesome as I wanted.  I also have an Apple Shuffle, that would replace my ipod, thats I want to try next but I 'm not sure it will help.

So every morning I wrestle with this problem. Too much tech. I remember the days when I would just head out the door in shorts and a tshirt and run.  Now I have my Garmin pedometer on my wrist, a Dryfit visor to keep the sun off my face, sunglasses, a baby fanny pack to hold my keys and money and if I'm lucky some type of media player, and my phone that I carry in my hand, because, well it ginormous.   And now that I am a couch surfing nomad, I am trying to reduce my tech footprint even more.  Not because I don't love it, but because it gets heavy carrying that crap around and trying to get through security all the time, forget about all the different cables and wires I need for each piece and all the electricity I need to run it.  The environmentalist in me, that I thought died long ago, pops his head in and reminds me again of simpler times.

How do I solve this problem?   Endless hours are lost online, searching for the perfect solution for me. Distracting me from the real issue. Figuring out what this new life of mine is supposed to be. Figuring out what to do next in life.  After listening to all these audio books, it has helped me realize that this is a new opportunity and I should embrace it, not fight it.  It is life helping figure this shtuff out. Finally a sign from the universe.  I don't know where my head is right now.  It is filled with constant noise and chatter.  Being a nomad means sometimes being alone, so I have a lot of conversations with myself.  Sometimes you have to be still and listen and trust.  Something I have a hard time doing and all these conversations with myself is helping me figure out why.

So these daily wogs are helping clear my brain as well as making me want to write it all out.  Blog about it.  Because in all my online queries, I am always hoping I find a kindred spirit that has gone through this before.  But people don't seem to want to share their struggle, because it's not pretty. I like the ugly.  No one ever wants to see it or talk about.  I'm not meaning to be a downer.  This is the shtuff, this is real life, and yes it can be happy.

'til next time

Caramel in the crockpot

If you're a reader of my blog, you know I like me some caramel. I am finally going to try this recipe. I've read that people stopped posting a similar recipe because of the danger of the can exploding. But I remember making this in home-ec, and everyone survived. So fingers crossed, know that there is potential danger lurking in this recipe.

I'm making this recipe for my "Last Supper" party, where each person brings what they would want as their last meal. The last time I attended such a party, I brought triple chocolate brownie.& They turned out gooey, and you definitely needed a tall glass of milk to accompany it. For my party, I'm going to make frybread, and offer a selection of homemade jam but also the option of powdered sugar and caramel.

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Place the can of sweetened condensed milk in your crockpot and cover it with water. Be sure there is about 1 inch of water over the can.
Cook on high for 4 hours.
Turn off the crockpot after 4 hours and allow the can to cool completely.
Open and serve!!

Stay hungry my friend!

Packing and unpacking

On the beach by Chinaman's Hat

Well, it's four months into the move, my move. Or should I say four months after I have returned to the mainland after my sojourn in Hawaii.  

I am at a loss of where to call home and what my permanent address is.  Life as a nomad is a confusing one.  Working here in L.A. and returning "home" has been an adventure.  The first quarter zoomed by and I am once again preparing to hit the road.  This time I will be on tour, so I have to learn how to not pack everything.  Granted, every time I open my closet, I judge a random piece of clothing and it's purpose to me, so my wardrobe is shrinking.  Luckily it's spring here in L.A. and I have no qualms about getting rid of long sleeved shirts.  I have already culled down my once extensive tshirt collection and really I'm just being nitpicky, thinking I have to get rid of more.  

My latest obsession is about packing.  Trying to bring as much clothing with me as possible, taking up the least amount of room, while being able to stay organized in my luggage.  I'm not asking for much am I?  So as what usually happens, I have gone down the Pinterest rabbit hole once again, I have spent hours looking at packing cubes, reading blogs, searching websites for just one size of cube, adding countless different styles and colours of cubes to my Amazon wishlist.  I then resorted to visiting every Ross Dress for Less and T.J. Maxx within 20 miles in the hopes of solving my problem.  To actually buy packing cubes, a quart-sized travel bag, for those carry-on only occasions, and I don't know, something that will help me travel.  I returned home after lunch, with nothing more than Taco Bell.  While at the store, they had compression bags. Of course!  We had bought several sizes when P2 initially left, and I even brought some back with me in preparation for this moment.  

So what is this post about?  I don't know.  I am still trying to figure out this life I am living and the constant change and uncertainty that comes along with it.  On my long drives I contemplate why I should move, why I should be damn happy to move and talk myself into circles about it all.  

I'll be hitting the road in a few weeks and hopefully I'll have some of it figured out by then.  

Which one to choose?

Compression or packing cubes

Under Pressure - Poached Chicken

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Finally on the island and getting the house in order.  It's taken me a while, as I don't think I want it to be a reality.  After 4 months of ridding our Hollywood home of 15 years of "stuff" that has accumulated, it's difficult to want to buy more "stuff". 

One purchase was a pressure cooker.  They are the rage here since electricity is so expensive and using it decreases your cooking time.  But they freak me out.   When I was little, a teacher at school suffered first degree burns after using a pressure cooker.  Ok, this was years ago, things have changed a bit, but I'm still a little gun shy.  Baby steps.

Since it's the new year, it's time to start eating right.  So chicken it is.

Poached Chicken 
4 chicken thighs 
4 cups of chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
4 tbsp of sriracha

Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes.
Every pressure cooker is different, so follow the directions for your specific cooker.  
With ours, we didn't have a timer, so we improvised and chose a setting that allowed for a 10 minute cook time.
When the timer dings, release the pressure per your cooker instructions.
Remove the chicken and keep liquid to make soup or freeze for later.

Serve up with some rice and broccoli and your in good keeping with your resolutions.  I add some more sriracha for heat.

Stay hungry my friend!