Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It is not easy to be a vegan. IT IS SO FREAKING HARD. It is difficult to eat out because most restaurants don't cater to vegans ( I lost 5 lbs on vacation because the local area was meat obsessed). It is time consuming preparing foods. It can get expensive. It is mentally exhausting dealing with ignorant close minded individuals who just want to instigate an argument.

Lucky for me I never had to deal with the latter. I have family and friends that are very accommodating. I have a good rhythm and flow going as I maneuver my way through my kitchen making my own beans, veg based meals, and perfectly delicious baked goods made with flax meal, coconut oil, and coconut milk. I keep my pantry stocked and buy certain items on a regular habitual basis. I cut up my veggies I need early in the week and toss what is left into a crock-pot soup on food shopping days. As long as I cook and eat in this little cocoon (it is a small kitchen!!) I am OK.

Unexpected disasters make it even harder.  Last year I was displaced by Super Storm Sandy and had to eat out EVERY DAY EVERY MEAL. Finding a motel was hard enough no less a hotel room with a kitchen. It was impossible to stay completely vegan. There was a wonderful outpouring of volunteers and donations of people doling out hot meals to families in the neighborhood who's homes were damaged or destroyed but they were not vegan, they were barely even vegetarian. I was in one motel during Thanksgiving and I think it was a church that donated hot holiday meals to everyone who was staying there. Not Vegan, not even vegetarian. The charity and generousness was there in droves but it was one sided, blind, and presumptuous. I hope to start up a vegan disaster relief to aid vegans in need of a hot meal  but that will take much work and funding. If I thought there would be support both financial and encouraging from the vegan community I would look into it now.

Most institutions like hospitals, nursing homes, and schools (except a rare awesome few) are barely able or willing to serve vegetarian meals no less vegan ones. I have a relative who was hospitalized for an extended stay who was being fed the only vegetarian option they had, a salad with a side of salad. These so called salads consisted of mainly just iceberg lettuce.

It is hard being a vegan. So very hard. That is because our money budgeting convenience based society makes it so (at least here in the USA where I from).

Hopefully one day this will not be the case. Wishfully veganism will be the norm and getting one's hands on a hamburger will be difficult.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day Two Of My Super Storm Sandy Chronicles

 The first video is part one of two videos I took this day.

This is our first day back outside and I am driving in my car with two of my nieces trying to navigate my sister's neighborhood. There are downed trees all over blocking our path. Will we ever make it to our destination? Will we ever make it to Donna's?

Please note that for the protection and privacy of my young nieces I deleted out certain portions of this production. It kind of loses a special quality that I enjoyed in the version I preserved for the eyes of my extended family. However, this video does give you the gist of how outrageous it was trying to navigate the streets the day after this powerful storm.


The second video (which I will post later) captures our attempt to get to my house. This proved to be more of a challenge as the damage in my town was way more devastating. In fact the national Guard was called in to protect our homes. The entire South side of my neighborhood, which is over by the canals, was ravaged, and in some sections swallowed up, by ocean flood waters.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Today is the day before the anniversary of when my life was plunged into a watery nightmare: MY SUPER STORM SANDY CHRONICLES

Tomorrow marks the first year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy.

I had been video chronicling my journey since the storm hit. It has been a long road. It has been scary (being displaced and not knowing where we would sleep, running out of gas, then a snow storm hits), emotional (half my belongings including clothing, photos, my kids' artwork ETC, were destroyed by a water surge of up to four feet in the house), exhausting (clean up, documenting damaged items, going from motel to motel) and devastating to my health (We ate out EVERY MEAL, EVERY DAY!!).

My family and I are back in the house but this too is a temporary arrangement. I had planned on taking a solo bike tour from NY to MA and back to commemorate my survival of this challenging year but opted instead to get myself off a medication I had become dependent on (more on that later). I had also failed to replace my beloved bike as of yet, which was also destroyed in the storm.

I had planned on completing the editing of my post Super Storm Sandy year. This too had not come to fruition, however instead I will share with the world my experience on the anniversary of each day I video taped. Throughout this year I will share my video clips of the storm, the cleanup, the emotional, the frustration, community pulling together, neighbors helping each other outs, and some very happy moments.

I will also be preparing meals from recipes that were soaked, savaged, and scanned from years of recipes I had collected and never got to try. I will share with you the outrageous story of how I managed to salvage them and the emotional reason why I went through such ridiculous lengths to do so.

I am still healing from this devastating blow to my life and that of my family. However, we are one of the lucky ones as there are still people struggling to get back into their homes and back to some normalcy in their lives. For them my heart still breaks.

... STAY TUNED!!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I have been a Meetup organizer for several years now. I really love but being an organizer is so much work. However, the friendships that are forged via this venue are so worth the effort. People that you may not have met in any other circumstance are now available to share their beauty with you.

Today I finally created a Vegan Meetup, but in order to do so I had to eliminate one that I already ran. You see with Meetups you can have up to 3 groups per paid subscription. So I also run Free Spirits in a Suburban Bubble. It is a women's only group that embraces the Urban in our Suburban lives. And  ~ CrEaTiveLy iNsPiRed by FlambOyant-dOTTEd moMenTs ~  which is my creativity infused group (co-ed). The third is... well, was, a craft group for kids and parents. I had to let that one go. My youngest is now in high school.

But on to bigger and better things. I am so excited about my Vegan Meetup group, for which I also named "i Veg 2 Differ".  BTW, all my groups are based on Long Island. That is until I start my RV life on the road, and then my circle of Vegan friends will rapidly grow!!!! ... but that is not for another few years yet.