Thursday, March 22, 2018

Make This!!

Make This: Cauliflower Couscous Salad

I absolutely positively love the recipe site, The Kitchn. So many great recipes on there. This salad is one of them. My changes are in red.

To minimize mess and save time, purchase a bag of cauliflower rice from Costco. I bought the bag of florets, but making the couscous made such a mess.

I also doubled the dressing as it didn't make enough the first time and lacked the punch I was looking for. Adding the cumin and cayenne pepper did just the trick! Make this salad. It's delicious! 

Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous Salad Adapted slightly via The Kitchn 

Serves 4 to 6
  • For the chickpeas:
  • 1 cups
    (15-ounce) can chickpeas (1 1/2 cups), drained, rinsed, and patted completely dry I used two cans.
  • 1 tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    ground cumin double
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/8 teaspoon
    cayenne pepper double
  • For the dressing: I doubled the dressing & added cumin and cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons
    freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1
    clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon
    Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 1
    large head cauliflower, cut into florets I used one bag of Costco Cauliflower florets. The best bet would be to purchase cauliflower rice
  • 1 1/2 cups
    cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2
    medium red onion, diced
  • 1
    English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 cup
    fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • I left out the pine nuts (1/3 cup) and the Kalamata olives (1/3 cup)
  • Salt and pepper

Roast the chickpeas: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Place all the chickpea ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a rimmed parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast until slightly browned and crisp, stirring halfway through, 35 to 40 minutes total.

Make the dressing: Place the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking continuously. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed; set aside.

Make the salad: Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment (work in batches if needed). Pulse until the cauliflower reaches a fine, crumbled consistency. Be careful not to over process; you don't want to purée the cauliflower at all. 

Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with the roasted chickpeas and serve.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Soul Burst!

About a year and a half ago, I was watching Oregon Art Beat and saw a feature on Soul Burst cremation art located in Bend, OR.  I filed the information away as I wanted to definitely do something with Remy's ashes after he passed away.

While Remy is still alive and doing very well, I decided that I wanted to send my dad's ashes in.
I chose the pendant with the Caribbean color scheme. I plan to hang it from my rear view mirror.

I received a notification that the Soul Burst would be arriving today.  While I was at the groomer's with Remy, it arrived. Omid was home and took this photo and sent it to me. The Soul Burst arrived at 11:11 a.m.

 If that isn't a sign, I don't know what is!!  I also found this quote on Twitter this morning via Zen Moments:  A coincidence is when God performs a miracle and decides to remain anonymous. ~ Anonymous

Insert with my order

Here is my Soul Burst that I ordered.  I love the blue/green. You can see my dad's ashes spiraled inside.
I absolutely love it and am so happy I ordered one.

Check out

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me! Goat Edition

Monday I turned 49. I was a little blue  with it being the first birthday without my dad.
Leave it to Omid to cheer me up. He found out about "Goat Grams" and ordered me a goat telegram for my birthday at work. Omid actually ordered the goat gram way back in August and kept it a secret until Monday! Omid let my coworker know of course, so I wouldn't leave the office when the goats arrived.
If you can't tell from the look on my face, I was soooooo surprised!!!!!!!!

The goat handler told me that Omid was in fact their very first customer! They were featured on KPTV and before the segment was over, Omid had called and placed an order!

Goats make me happy!!!
 The goat gram was the perfect birthday gift for me. I am still thinking about it days later! Word spread around campus and I had several people contact me asking about how they too can order a goat gram.
Nibbles and Om Nom

 Omid gets the Husband of the Year award for sure!!!!!

After the goats had left and I had to get back to work, I mentioned to Sandy that I hoped to receive some kind of sign from my dad. The very next second, Pearl Jam's Just Breathe came on the radio. I knew that was a sign. That song has so much meaning for me. It was one of the songs I chose to be played at my dad's memorial service and comes on the radio/Pandora/iTunes lots of times I think about my dad. Sandy couldn't believe it and we both in happy tears!

Fun gift from my friend Patty
 After work, we collected Lin, Ward, Jeff and Tammie and headed to Ilani casino for dinner and gambling. Lin won $352 at the slots and everyone else lost. I played roulette for the first time & lost my money the first round. I stuck to slots and lost there too!  Omid came out even at 21.
It was a wonderful birthday with so much happiness!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Signs II

My Aunt, Dodie, passed away on August 19 of this year, just six weeks after my dad died.
Catching up & saying goodbye at the same time.
Dodie's celebration of life was on September 17th.  A few nights before Dodie's service, I dreamt about it. My dad was present, along with Dodie and my Grandma. My dad was sitting in the very back row of the church. I was eager to go to Dodie's service to see and catch up with my cousins, but also to actually look for my dad in the back row!

The 17th came, and while I didn't see a vision of my dad sitting in the back row of the church, I did see his presence in the back of every pew!
Lo and behold: next to the hymnals in each pew was a bookmark with my dad's name on it: STEPHEN!
So happy to have a sign from my dad!♥

All the cousins at Dodie's celebration of life!
A very happy ending after a sad day.

Last weekend, we hiked Beacon Rock with some friends. I was remembering the last time my dad came along with us. Wouldn't you know, a tiny Monarch butterfly flew around me. ☺
For the last three days, each time I've turned my computer on, my dad's celebration of life bulletin has popped up without me even opening Word. I kept wondering why it was already open on the computer when no one had opened the document. This morning it dawned on me: my dad was saying hello!! I immediately said, "Hi Dad!"

I told my sisters and Brenda had a story of her own! Her husband Tom was driving through town the other day. The license plate cover of the car in front of him read:
Steve Bailey Chevrolet - Oklahoma!!
Wow! Still waiting for B to send me that photo!
Dad- we are LOVING these signs! Please don't ever stop communicating!!♥
UPDATE: Yesterday, we went crabbing in Ilwaco with friends. As we drove over the Megler bridge, I looked over near the Shipwreck where we fished for many years with my dad. I looked down at my phone to glance at my dad's photo on my screen, and saw the time was exactly 11:11 a.m. I told Omid, "Look at the time!!!" He couldn't believe it! Right when we were looking at our fishing spot. Wow!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

11:11 Again!

Naseem flew in to visit for a few days last week. My mom sold her house, so we drove up to Olympia so Nas could see the house a final time.  I asked my mom if we could separate my dad's ashes at the same visit. 

Something very cool happened when I brought the ashes into the kitchen to separate.
I took a photo of the label on the urn and then looked up at the clock on the microwave.

I know my dad was there with me at that time. 11:11 has become a very special number for me now.
Before Nas and I left to come back home, I cut some of the snapdragons my dad planted & loved. I dried them this week and they still look beautiful! I am just sad that his 'peekaboo' daisies were all spent and I was unable to get any of them.
Omid and Matty were just fishing on Tuesday of this past week. When they caught their limit and packed up to go, Omid looked at his watch: 11:11!  This was the first fishing trip since Matty was small that my dad didn't go on (physically). 11:11 for sure seals the deal for me that he was present spiritually.  
On Wednesday, I had a dream that I have to write down as I don't ever want to forget it. I dreamt that I walked into my kitchen and saw my dad sitting at the bar, talking with Omid and Matty. I knew that my dad had passed, but wanted to try and hug him anyway. I knew that my hug might go right through him as he was just an apparition. I tried it anyway and to my surprise, he was solid and physically there! I said, "Dad! You are really here!" He said, "I am really here!" He was wearing his usual Hawks Prairie Golf Course cap and a light blue 1/4 zip pullover I'd never seen before.  I told him all about Omid and Matty's fishing trip the day before. He replied, "I know! I was there."  It was such a gift to be able to touch him and talk with him. Even though I knew he had passed and in heaven in my dream...I woke up and was so grateful for the gift. I know in my heart my dad was communicating to let me know that he was indeed present for the fishing trip that has been a tradition for so many years. The last dream I had a few weeks ago, he was in my dream and had a cell phone but was unable to communicate.
Thanks for the visit dad! ♥ It meant so much!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Gone From My Sight by Barbara Karnes RN

My wonderful friend Katie volunteers for Hospice. She has listened to my dad's story countless times. Katie suggested I read some books written by Hospice nurses.

I found a few at the University library written by Barbara Karnes RN. The first one I picked up was really a pamphlet on 'End of Life' called "Gone from my Sight." Wow. That little pamphlet I wish I had read before my dad passed, and I wish my mom and sister's had read it as well.

It explains what to look for in the months, weeks, days and hours before a life passes.  Good information. At the end of the pamphlet is this beautiful poem about death. It's so powerful.

From Gone from my Sight by Barbara Karnes.

I just found out that Barbara Karnes has a blog! Check it out!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


In 1994, my Grandmother died in Seattle, Washington. At that very same time in Vancouver, Washington, I was napping with my baby and had a bad dream. When I woke, my teeth were hurting a lot. I had been gnashing my teeth in my sleep. My dad called a few minutes later to tell me my Grandmother had passed. A short time later, my cousin Mildred passed away. I experienced the same phenomenon as her passing too - a not so pleasant dream and the sore teeth. I've since read that pain the teeth during a dream means someone will die or has died.

The day after my dad died, my sister asked me if I had experienced the same thing with my dad (the tooth pain). I told her I did not. In fact, I had no idea at all that my dad was about to pass until my sister called and said we had to say goodbye at that moment. I was sad that I didn't experience the same sign as with my grandma and cousin. I was much closer to my dad so why didn't I?  Thinking about it, I have had many signs and they are much more happier than bad dreams and teeth gnashing.

In the weeks before my dad died, I encountered many, many butterflies. Sometimes 20 or more in a day. They would fly all around me (even dive bomb at my head). Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I  happened to mention it to Naseem who Googled it and found that if you are seeing a lot of butterflies in your life, it signifies that change is about to happen.

The Thursday before my dad died, I called to check in with him. He told me he'd had a visit from his brother-in-law he hadn't seen in over 20 years. He said, "Cliff is two years older than me and looks so much better. I am all skin and bones and feel like I don't have much time left." I told him of course he had time and that Cliff didn't have the same ailments, etc. That would be the last time I spoke with my dad save for the evening he passed (while I was patched in via cell phone).

The Sunday that my dad passed away, Omid and I drove to Olympia to be with my family. Omid said he could feel my dad's presence in the room. Omid said he wanted to toast my dad. We were about to toast when I happened to look at the clock on the microwave. It read 11:11 p.m. I couldn't believe it and had to take a photo.  If you see 11:11 on a clock, it means angels are trying to get your attention. They certainly had ours!

The next morning, I was up early and spent time in the backyard with Remy. I saw numerous butterflies and took that as a sign from Heaven. Matty told me that he noted tons of dragonflies at work that Monday. My niece Sam said while walking to her car, a butterfly followed her and danced all around her. That same afternoon, as we were all sitting in my parents backyard, a Western Tanager flew into the yard. I  have lived in WA my entire life and have never seen this bird before. We all watched as it hopped around, then flew away.

Omid and I headed back to Olympia and went shooting (grief therapy). One of the things my dad was going to do when he got better was to go shooting with Omid and I. Sadly, he never got that chance. While shooting last week, I imagined I was killing cancer and did pretty well. I noticed there was an insect flying around the chamber, which I thought was strange, as this is a state of the art facility with no access for insects to get in (via air ducts) unless they hitch a ride on a patron. After I'd finished shooting, I brought the target to the home position and showed Omid. We both saw that right next to my shoulder, was a baby dragon fly. The dragon fly had been watching me shoot! Omid said, "That's your dad!" He got to go shooting with us after all!☺

The morning of my dad's memorial service, I told Omid that I felt it was the final goodbye and I was having a hard time with that. Omid said, "Look all around you. Your dad is here." At that same moment, I looked at the sky and saw a tiny cloud with a very short rainbow coming out of it. I asked Omid if he saw it and he did. Then, just like that, the rainbow was gone. There was no rain that morning. I told my sister about it and she said it was a fire cloud. I recently Googled fire clouds and this cloud looked nothing like the images I found online. This, I know, was a direct communication from Heaven.

Also of note, that same evening on our way home, there was a significant cloud formation in the sky that looked like a giant angel. The next morning while I was on Facebook, on the 11:11 page, there were tons of photos people had uploaded from around the world as they had also seen angel clouds.  It was an amazing sight. Thursday of last week, I awoke to probably 30 angel clouds in the sky. I grabbed my phone to take a shot, as I was so sad I didn't capture the image on Sunday.

The most recent sign since my dad passed just happened this past Monday. My sister said her husband had purchased a Coke from a vending machine. It was one of those bottles with names on it. The bottle he got said STEVE.

The same exact time that my sister sent that text, Omid and I were sitting in a restaurant. The table next to us was celebrating a family birthday. One man's name at the table was Papa (what the grandkids called him) and another man's name was Steve. I couldn't believe it and burst into tears (happy & sad).

What have I learned from all this? I know that my dad's energy is present and I know that he is using these signs as a way to comfort us and let us know he's okay.♥

I love and miss you, Dad! Please don't ever stop sharing your energy with us!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Healed at Last

The bottom line is that my dad succumbed to his bout with cancer. The good news is he did not go down without a fight. My dad's loss is huge. He was the most wonderful man. He had no time for drama. He lived his life simple and straight forward. He did great and expected great. He loved his family something fierce. We are all feeling his void, but also know that he is in a wonderful place.

I have been seeing butterflies constantly the last few weeks. I mentioned it to Nas who Googled it and it means a change or transition is coming. While I was in my parents back yard yesterday, I saw three butterflies within a few minutes. Matty said he saw a ton of dragonflies yesterday too. We both took comfort in these sightings.

The outpouring of love we have received from family and friends is definitely helping. Thanks to everyone for the phone calls, text & Facebook messages and emails. You will never know how much your words have comforted us.

Erin ♥

The following is from my dad's CaringBridge site.

Dear friends and family,
We have bittersweet news to share. Our dad passed away last night at 8:00 p.m. with my mom, Brenda and Cynthia by his side, while Erin was patched in via cell phone in Vancouver. His death came suddenly and unexpected. While we are heartbroken that our dad is gone from this world, we are so happy that he is no longer suffering and in pain and is now in Heaven with his Lord and Savior. Thank you so much for all the prayers and well wishes. We are especially thankful for all the friends and family who made it down to visit with our dad the last two weeks. He enjoyed every moment!!
Again, thanks so very much for all the love. 
Audrey, Cynthia, Mike, Caleb, Sammee, Erin, Omid, Naseem, Matty, Remy, Brenda, Tom, Cayden, Kohl, Conner & Barley.
John 14:1-2  
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.