Monday, March 26, 2012


I made this delicious Vegetarian Paella today from a book my Mom gave me years before I even considered becoming vegan. The cookbook is Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. This paella, and in fact most of the recipes in the book, are actually vegan. This was  sooooo delicious, and putting it all in the crock pot early for a dinnertime of comings and goings was convenient. Vegans and omnis, alike, enjoyed it. I will definitely be making this again. The cookbook is a treasure.

Today in my grief process, I'm feeling regretful for everything my Mom gave me which I'd not yet taken the time to appreciate.  To this, my sweet daughter answered practically, "Well, Mom, she gave you so much -- you couldn't have possibly used everything," What a wonderful child! She's a treasure too. I sure hope my Mom knows now how much I appreciate all her thoughtful gifts. I am confident that she always knew how much I loved her, which is a comfort.

When we were all still at my Mom's and Dad's house, my Dad offered each of us items that had been my Mom's. He had found a thick paperback Sodoku book on top of a pile of bookmarked magazines in the Master bathroom and offered it to my brother, Britton, who accepted it at first. A little later he pulled me aside and said that he couldn't possibly fit it into his China-bound luggage (he and his wife are both teachers there). He asked if I would take it. I was thrilled. I LOVE Sodoku, and it would be nice to have a book my Mom had also enjoyed. As I accepted it, I said to my brother, "But I want you to have something for remembrance too,"

My brother pointed to an ancient, pewter pitcher above the kitchen cabinet, and said, "The only thing I want is that pitcher. It's horcrux worthy!" Yes, that's what he said! Who's cooler than Brit? He's a treasure.

Back home again and having a down day on Sunday, missing my Mom, I decided to pull out the Sodoku book and soothe my nerves with a puzzle. Look at what I found:

Yes, that's my sweet Mom's handwriting, notes she had made presumably for only herself, since the book was found in her sanctuary, the only place she was ever alone -- her bathroom. Here she has written, "came together beautifully!!" "easy!!" and "delightful!!" My Mom had commented on each puzzle she had done or attempted -- half of the book. Other comments included: "a bear!! I worked it out though!" and "Trouble!" Seeing her words, I can hear the way she would have spoken them. She was so effusive and genuinely enthusiastic. Her joy was infectious. This book is a treasure.

The last puzzle my Mom had worked was not finished. Here it is:

That's my handwriting. Her numbers are in blue, and mine, in black. This puzzle was effortless for me, as if I had help. Puzzling with my Mom was a treasure, one I hope will continue as I do more of them.


  1. I'm new to your blog, which I really enjoy, and just wanted to share my sympathy over the loss of your mom. This date, 3/26, is my father's birthday, whom I lost over 13 years ago, so I understand what you are going through.

    The story of finishing her Sodoku puzzle was very touching! ((HUGS)) to you!

  2. Thank you Christine! My condolences on the loss of your father.

  3. This post makes me happy and sad at the same time... I totally get it... Hugs...

  4. This is so utterly touching Cheryl.