Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 24: No Rice Day

I have a confession.  I did NOT eat rice yesterday.  But I had a good reason.

In 2008, I passed out on the subway.  It totally sucked.  I ended up going to the hospital because I didn't know what was going on (my vision had gone white and it had never happened to me before and I was alone).  I've gone to a couple different doctors.  Blah blah blah (this part is boring), but I eventually got to a new cardiologist who ordered a tilt table test.

What is a tilt table test, you may ask?'s kind of like it sounds.  I got hooked up to an EKG or whatever and they monitored my blood pressure for awhile while I watched Judge Mathis.  Then they take you to a room, strap you to a table and then put that table at a 75 degrees angle and pretty much stare at you for 20 minutes.  The goal is to get you to pass out.

Oh yes.  And, if I didn't pass out the first time, I would have had to do it again with a pill that would help me pass out.  The goal is to see what's causing me to pass out.

The room was cold and they wrapped me up in warm blankets, which was great at first, but I get overheated really quickly.  I didn't fully pass out, but I came as close to it as I've been since 2008.  And it was 10x worse then what I did before!  Plus, I had to fast all day (my test was at 3:15pm by the time they figured it all out) so that didn't help.

By the time I got out of the hospital, I went back to work (boo!!) and wasn't feeling that great and I ended up getting Chipotle for dinner.

Long story short, I'm justifying why I didn't eat my rice.  I should have!  Forgive me.  And I'll be back on track tonight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"To Act Justly"

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.
-Micah 6:8
What is justice?

This is a question I've been mulling over.

There is a woman at our church who traveled to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to interview Iraqi refugees.  Often, since Iraqis are obviously not citizens of these countries, they often cannot find jobs.  They cling to television sets that they once had in Iraq to prove to people visiting that they did not always live in such desperate poverty.  They cannot feed their children, they cannot pay rent, but they fear that they will be murdered if they go back home.  The woman came back to the US and wrote a play called No Place Called Home.  My husband and I went to see her perform it and it was amazing.  Through the stories she told us, the Iraqis often did not sound bitter at America for the war, but many of them were waiting for America to help them go back to the homes they had lost.  And many just asked one question: "Why?"

She suggested checking out the Collateral Repair Project.  The Collateral Repair Project helps Iraqi refugees with a number of things from helping pay utilities, rent and for food when they can't get funding from UNCHR (The UN Refugee Agency), coats for children, teaching women trades so that they can support their family, English classes in case the family is given refugee status and can move as well as a number of other things. 

This person suggested liking the Collateral Repair Project on Facebook.

This image was posted by the Collateral Repair Project on Facebook with this comment:
These children (above) were so hungry that they gobbled up the small bags of candy that were in the gift bags we gave them -- and then proceeded to eat the crayons and water colors that were also in the bags.
My heart broke when I read this.  They ate paints because they were so hungry?
Some would say that our country is at war with theirs, that their countrymen has killed so many of our good sons and daughters.  But should we punish these children for the sins of their fathers?  Others would say, why should we feed and grow terrorists?  Why should we care for those who will eventually kill us?  But could changing their situation change the course of their lives and take away the reach of those extremists?  

Do we have room for mercy in our justice?  Is it justice for our when there are children who are suffering like this?  

I find that I just keep bringing up more questions than answers.  Maybe that's part of being human.  I just know that no child should have to eat crayons to survive.


If you would like to visit the Collateral Repair Project, you can visit HERE.
If you would like to visit their blog (which has more information at the moment), you can visit HERE.
World Orphans is building a community center in Iraq.  For more information, visit HERE.
If you would like to see No Place Called Home or learn more about the play, visit HERE.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 21: Cheating Rice

Yeah, I did it.  I TOTALLY did it.  I ate my rice dinner, but afterwards, I sat with my husband and we ate some ice cream together.  I don't see my husband often this time of year and it seemed like a good idea.  It was a really GOOD idea.  I hope that you'll forgive my indiscretion.


I think a lot of people know World Vision.  Here's something about me: I love gift catalogs.  Not like Sears, but I love catalogs where you can buy a lamb or buy an education.  Save the Children has it.  Mercy Corps has it.  And World Vision has it to.

The image for the Horn of Africa food crisis, under the Hunger subject on their catalog really caught my attention.

Here's the video of World Vision's workers discussing the Horn of Africa food crisis:

Here's what the website says:
A severe drought and food crisis is threatening the lives of more than 7 million people — especially young children — in the Horn of Africa. Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia are the worst affected. World Vision is responding, and any donation you give today will multiply 6 times to provide emergency food and health care, and meet other urgent needs for children and families in the Horn of Africa.

6 times?!  If you donate $10, you're giving $60 worth of food.  I think that's amazing and it's very much needed.

If you would like to donate to help the Horn of Africa food crisis, please feel free to click HERE.

You can also give gifts where most needed and you can get some pretty cool stuff in the process.  Here's what I'd like to do/get/give:
The Poverty & Justice Bible.  It highlights over 2,000 verses in the Bible that are about poverty and justice.  And here's what the website says:
With more than 2,000 verses on poverty and justice highlighted, this Bible enables its reader to more deeply understand God's heart toward the poor and marginalized.
If you would like to donate to where it's needed most and possibly get The Poverty & Justice Bible or something else like that, please click HERE.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 20: Creepy Rice

I couldn't figure out the camera this morning and this is what I ended up with.  My husband was playing with the camera and I didn't realize it.

I'm gonna be honest.  I think about just eating rice and get a little bit sad.  And I have had much, MUCH less energy because of it.  Just because a kid has far more energy then I do doesn't mean that a kid doesn't need more than a bowl of rice.

I've also been having a hard time fighting off a cold I have.  I've been noticing cravings too.  Intense cravings.  I was told once that when you have cravings, it normally means your body needs something.  And I'm not talking like, chocolate cravings.  I'm talking cravings of meat and seafood and things like that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dreaming of Rice

Aspire not to have more but to be more.
~Bishop Oscar Romero

I promise that I'm still eating my rice dinners.  But last night...was the first time...that I forgot to take a picture.  Well, I shouldn't say forgot.  I should say that I was feeling slightly neurotic about my cake and just shoveled the food into my mouth.  Not my shining hour.

I will admit, that I was trying to trust God last night, as my husband pulled out of the parking lot to take the cake to our church.  I had to just let it go and I said, "Into your hands, O Lord, I commend this cake."   Made it there safely and in one piece :)

I don't think I'll have a rice picture tonight either.  I forgot that we're going to see Anything Goes.  I just want to go home and crawl in bed!  It'll be good though.  I was in the musical when I was in high school and it'll be good to see it.

Last thing!
Anyone here live in NYC?  Or Brooklyn?  Or just want to visit the Brooklyn Flea?

I'm going to be contributing some Easter Bonnet shortbreads.  I'm so excited!  If you would like to donate to the effort in Japan, but can't buy a baked good, feel free to donate HERE.  100% of the funds will go to Peace Winds Japan, who is also the partner for Mercy Corps.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 15: Kitteh Rice

This is our cat Vindaloo.  She decided to help me with my rice picture.

As soon as I ate my rice today, I was hungry again.  Vindaloo did not care for my rice.  Though when Steve was eating his cheese and crackers, she was ALL over that.

I'm sorry this is quick.  I was making fondant tonight and I'm a bit tired.  I hope you're having a great evening!

Oh and please check out the post right below this one :)

Okay, I'm feeling a little bit I'm getting back on the ball.

Since I've been doing so many bake sales and such (and staring at my sugar sacks), I found out about the Great American Bake Sale.

The Great American Bake Sale happens around the country and normally happens between March and October.  The money you raise goes to Share Our Strength (you may remember them from the Kauzbots post!)

If you would like more information on how to host a bake sale, please visit HERE.

The Block Family

I know so many Block families!  This one is down in Texas and is headed to Guatemala to minister to orphans.

Would you please consider partnering with this family as they partner with the Lord caring for the least of these?

Tax deductable giving can be made at:
Commission To Every Nation
Todd and Amy Block
P.O. Box 291307
Kerrville, TX 78029-1307

Online giving at :

Follow their story at  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 14: Dirty Rice

Very dirty.  I'm baking cake right now and those are most of my dirty dishes.  MOST.  Amazing, right?

Sorry about this weekend.  I've been feeling a little gross lately.  I'm feeling a bit better today, but I'm also a bit down.  This is about the time of tax season where I start to get really tired of it.  I know that we can plow through it and it will be okay.

Here are my pictures from this weekend:

How are you guys doing?

Rice Weekend

I promise you that I did eat my rice this weekend and did take pictures, but there was some craziness and I haven't had a chance to post them.  I'll try and post them tonight while I make some cake.  :)

But I have a question for you.  What would you do in these situations? 

1) You're in the subway.  There's a man sliding along the floor in front of a small convenience stand.  He appears to grab something, but you can't see what.  The man appears to be homeless.


2) You are waiting to cross the street when you actually see a bicyclist hit a young woman.  They both fall over.  He picks up his bike and keeps going, pretending that it didn't happen.  People start yelling at him, grab his bike and refuse to let him go until he goes to apologize to the girl since he didn't even help her up.  He yells at the people holding him, telling them that they're hurting him and that he's going to be late to work.  He finally goes back, but barely says anything to the girl he hit who has a split lip and scraped hands.  Then, the mob mentality that has already taken over continues and people start yelling obscenities at him and tell him that they hop he gets hit by a car and dies.

On a lighter note: I'm hoping to be baking for the Bakesale for Japan that will be taking place across the country!

I'm hoping to make something like this:
 (Credit: Bakerella)
Shortbread Easter bonnets!!  That's my hope.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bake Sale for Japan On April 2nd

I stumbled across this because of Bake It Pretty and partly because of my sister-in-law.  Here's the original blog post if you'd like to get involved and it's nation-wide!   All money will be donated to Peace Winds Japan, also the partner in Japan of Mercy Corps.

Where: Oakland--Pizzaiolo (5008 Telegraph Ave.)
                  Berkeley--Gioia Pizzeria (1586 Hopkins St.)
                  San Francisco (Mission)--Bi-Rite Market (3639 18th St.)
                  San Francisco (Fillmore)--SPQR (1911 Fillmore St.)
                  San Jose--Roy's Station (197 Jackson St.)
                  Marin--coming soon
                  Peninsula--coming soon
                  Napa/Sonoma--coming soon (email
                  Santa Cruz--Lulu's at the Octagon (at the Museum of Art and History--118 Cooper St.; email
                  Los Angeles--Black Cat Bakery (519 S. Fairfax Ave.; email
                  Portland, OR--coming soon
                  Boston, MA--coming soon (email
                  Philadelphia, PA--South Street Philly Bagel (613 S. 3rd St.)
                  Seattle, WA--CakeSpy Shop (415 E. Pine St.)
                  NYC--coming soon (email
                  Austin, TX--AustinBakes
                  Salt Lake City, UT--coming soon
                  Maui, HI--coming soon
                  Sacramento, CA--coming soon

Sister bakesales: Akron Vegan Bakesale for Japan (Akron, OH) 
                                         Toronto Bakes for Japan (Toronto, ON) 

When: Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-2pm  
Who:  Professional and amateur bakers, cooks, artists, artisans, and musicians coming together around food to make something BIG happen.
How: Want to help?  We'll need bakers, artists, volunteers, and lots and lots of customers.  Please send offers of help to
Why: So we can donate BIG BUCKS to Peace Winds Japan and help our brothers and sisters over there in the best way we can.  Stay tuned for details.

We will be folding 1,000 paper cranes to send to friends in Japan.  Do you have origami paper to donate?  Can you teach others how to fold cranes on the day of the sale?  If so, send me an email.

Our long list of accomplished collaborators includes folks from: 
  • Pizzaiolo
  • BiRite Market & Creamery
  • Gioia Pizzeria
  • A16 & SPQR
  • Chez Panisse
  • Peko-Peko
  • ClaireSquares
  • Tartine Bakery
  • Summer Kitchen Bakeshop
  • Starter Bakery
  • Bakers Dozen
  • Viola 
  • Blossom Bluff Orchards
  • Tell Tale Preserve Company

...and so many more that I haven't had time to list.  I will keep adding to this list later in the week!

Last year, we raised $23,000 at our Bakesale for Haiti.  Can we double, triple, or quadruple that number this time?

If you'd like to offer a corporate sponsorship, match, or involve your organization, please email me

Don't live in the Bay Area?  Host your own Bakesale for Japan on April 2nd!  Let's band together and take this thing national.  Email me and I will get you set up.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 11: Leftover Rice

I've really been slacking in the creativity department.  Please have mercy on me.  I'm taking a turn for the worse today.

So here's what I'm going to talk about today:

One of my Lenten studies is a calendar from ELCA World Hunger and it's 40 days of thinking, praying and doing.  I really like it.  Today was a "tell" day.

ELCA Global Barnyard is like Heifer International in that a certain donation can buy a certain farm animal to help a family in need.  $10 buys 10 chicks that will help a family survive.

So the question today was:

What can you buy with $10?

I was thinking about it and I found a few thing online too.

I can buy a bottle of wine for $10.

Raspberries at my grocery store, at the moment are $3.99 a pint.  I could buy 2 pints and have a few cents left over.

I love mangoes.  Mangoes are 99 cents at our grocery store right now.  I could buy 9 mangoes and still have money left over.
I could even buy a pair of shoes!  And in this case, I could buy TWO pairs!
But then here's what else I could buy with $10.

$10 could feed 40 children.
$10 could ship quilts or health kits to a family of five who lost everything in an earthquake or flood.
$10 could provide a small grove of trees to protect the soil from erosion in Zambia.
$10 could provide enough maize, bean, and groundnut seeds for a Mozambiquan family to replant after floods.

I really enjoyed the reading for today too - 2 Corinthians 9:6-15:
Generosity Encouraged
 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:    “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
   their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


I got an e-mail in my inbox today that said:

Dine at Thalassa & Fight Hunger

10% of your bill will be donated to the NYC Food Bank!

Anyone here live in or around NYC?  If so, here's where it is:  179 Franklin Street in Tribeca
And then here's the website:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 10: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!   My picture looks cute, right?  Well, I need to come clean with you guys.  So that's cilantro that is sprinkled on the clover and I went to eat it and almost threw up.  It tasted like dirt.  I tried to mix in some dressing and gagged again.  I threw it out.  I couldn't do it.  So my husband and I went out and bought some Minute rice in the hopes that I can keep that down.  I mixed most of the pre-made rice I had with some chicken and broccoli and figured that I can eat that for lunch.

What if I did have to eat it, even if it tasted like dirt?  What if it WAS dirt that was mixed in there?  Just a few of the questions that have been in my head today.

Have you ever heard of Homeboy Industries?  I loved the book Tattoos on the Heart and got a chance to eat at tacos at their Homegirl Cafe.  They share a thought of the day daily (duh) and I liked the one for today.  So here you go:
Thought of the Day, from Mary Ellen Burton: Tipping her hat to the Irish legend of St. Patrick, even though there aren't a lot of Irish here Homeboy Industries! She asked us to think about the contradiction in St. Patrick's analogy of the shamrock; every person is incredibly unique, and yet there is a universal togetherness. We are all our very singular leaves, yet we belong together as one shamrock.

She also shared a quote by her friend, Sister Peg Dolan: "Each person alive is a word spoken by God only once." This, Mary Ellen said, is true, we are all a stamp of our own upon the earth, but inside of each of us is the same tangle of beauty and fear and wonderful things, and we would do well to remember that as much as we are unique, we are all made of the same stuff.


I know I said no more about food waste, but I thought this was awesome.  I'm part of the Lutheran church and have been doing a Lenten study entitled "God's Math Doesn't Just Add Up, It Multiplies."  It often has me looking at the ELCA World Hunger organization and what they're doing in the U.S. and around the world.  Here's a story from their website in the Domestic Hunger Grants Section:

Senior Gleaners of San Diego County
Gleaners Relief

Ann Evans (left) and Denyse Haney, volunteers at Senior Gleaners“I put in a lot of heavy hours, so some days I can hardly walk,” says Ann Evans (pictured left, wearing a hat), a retired Associate in Ministry who volunteers at Senior Gleaners of San Diego County. “But I forget about my pain when I see the excitement of the volunteers and the people [we] help.”
Senior Gleaners of San Diego County was organized in 1992 to tap into the skills of senior volunteers (age 55 and over) in gleaning excess food that would otherwise be destroyed—food found in area fields, grocery stores, and packing sheds. The collected food is then distributed to 45 food-giving agencies in San Diego County, which in turn make the food and fresh produce available to people living in poverty.
Ann, a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in San Diego, is a volunteer coordinator for the South County portion of Senior Gleaners. She supervises 55 volunteers on a daily basis and has been involved in the program since its beginning. Most Gleaners work once a week for about four hours, but Ann is the exception, usually putting in a seven-day week despite arthritis. “My doctor says I should quit,” Ann confesses, “but God lets me do it!”
In 2006, more than 5,500 clients (from babies to senior citizens) were served by Senior Gleaners. The 65 senior volunteers worked for 10,000 hours to collect and distribute nearly 500,000 pounds of food.
ELCA World Hunger—through the domestic hunger grants program—recently awarded a grant to Senior Gleaners to fight hunger in the United States. The domestic hunger grants program is one primary way your gifts impact people who are hungry in the United States.
—Material for this story was contributed by M. Laurel Gray,
President of Senior Gleaners of San Diego County

If you would like to read the story on the website, you can just click HERE.
If you would like to donate to the ELCA to help fight hunger in the US and around the world, please feel free to visit HERE.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 9: Lazy Rice

Faces like this are why my husband married me.

I'm feeling lazy today.  And uncreative.  So you get the picture above.  I'll try and be more creative soon...maybe.

I was watching TV yesterday when I was home sick and I noticed that there were more than 2 more commercials used the word "deserved."  And they used it in a very specific way: "get what you deserve."  And they weren't just those lawyer commercials either.  Where you've already won your settlement and you deserve your money right now.  It was also a life insurance commercial and I'm pretty sure a car commercial.

So I looked up the definition at


  [dih-zurv]  Show IPAverb, -served, -serv·ing.
–verb (used with object)
to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward,assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities,or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; atheory that deserves consideration.
–verb (used without object)
to be worthy of, qualified for, or have a claim to reward,punishment, recompense, etc.: to reward him as hedeserves; an idea deserving of study.

Here's what I find interesting - the origin:
1250–1300; Middle English deserven  < Anglo-French, Old Frenchdeservir, Latin dēservīre  to devote oneself to the service of,equivalent to dē- de-  + servīre  to serve

But when I hear the word "deserve" now, it sounds greedy.  It's not always, but to me, it sounds greedy. But it used to mean to serve!  To devote oneself!  How interesting.  When did the origin of the word change?

All right.  You didn't come here for lesson in words and word meanings.  Also, there was no moral to that story, was there?  Oh well.

It's day 9 and I'm just realizing how bland rice is.  I dump salt on this stuff, but it is still so bland.  Is it bad that all I want right now is a big steak?

Here's possibly one of my last things on food waste, this one specifically about lunchrooms:

An article from the Chicago Tribune commented on food waste in elementary schools, where one Chicago school threw away "334 pounds of uneaten whole food in a single day."

Seven Generations Ahead, an organization that is doing audits of waste in school lunch rooms and helping give solutions, gave reports:
The Tribune obtained the detailed results of another recent audit that tallied nearly 60 pounds of unopened discarded food. That included 66 oranges, 49 bananas, 21 cartons of milk, 25 unopened juices, 25 boxes of corn flakes, 34 containers of peas and carrots, 15 plastic-covered containers of ravioli and more. The slices of whole-wheat bread handed out with lunch turned into a whopping 26 pounds of wasted food.
Many of the things that are thrown out are perfectly usable, but the public schools worry mainly about the liability issue.

If you would like to visit Seven Generations Ahead, feel free to click HERE.
If you would like to read the full article from the Chicago Tribune, please click HERE.