The Free Spirited Woman

The Free Spirited Woman

Adventures and Passions of a Free Spirited Woman

Recent Posts

Spanish Seafood Paella

Spanish Seafood Paella

For good reason, paella is a summer favorite in Spain, it’s the season that walks hand-in-hand with fresh fish and seafood.  There are a kazillion recipes online for paella so this one is really a combination of many.  Traditional paella dishes typically consist of chicken, […]

Time to Shift

Time to Shift

Whoa….you must be saying, did Lynn’s blog get hacked, there’s a new post!  I know, right?  Yes, it’s been awhile and oh, how I’ve missed writing. There were so many signals that kept luring me back to blogging that I couldn’t possibly ignore any longer. […]

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Like many pasta sauces there are many that are native to a particular region, such as Bolognese, a traditional Italian sauce originating in Bologna, Italy.  The meat is the focal point along with a variety of other ingredients such as onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, olive oil, and white wine. It is also common to add milk to the ingredients which provides a richer flavor to the sauce.  For variety you can also mix meats by using 1 part each of beef, veal and pork.  Now there are a million recipes for Bolognese on the internet be beware of any one of them described as “quick” or “ready in 10 Minutes”.  There is 1 hour of dicing before your lovely vegetables even hit the pan and then plan on another 30 minutes before you reach the aromatic 4 hour simmer.  So my point is, don’t even think of whipping up this recipe if you don’t have at least 5 hours of free time!  Let’s get started…

Chipotle Chicken Burrito

Chipotle Chicken Burrito

I came upon the concept of this recipe while on vacation in Montana recently.  It was one of those kind of Sundays when once you shower, you climb back into your comfy clothes and just hang out all day, which is exactly what I did. […]

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

You don’t have to be a foodie to worship French food, you just have to enjoy one bite and you’ll be as hooked as I am.  Tonight’s meal was so delicious it had me fantasizing I was in Provence being served by my deliciously handsome […]

Beef and Butternut Squash Tagine

Beef and Butternut Squash Tagine

Hello my friends, here it is already the second month of 2017 and I’m sharing a recipe for the first time in eight months.  Yikes!  Now that was a painful admission.  But now that I’ve confessed my sins, let’s get on to more important things, like cooking and eating!

After a long stretch on the road and eating the ordinaryist of ordinary food, I’ve had my inner sultry burning for some totally not so ordinary cuisine.  After little thought my palate landed in a tiny country at the northwestern most area of Africa…Morocco!

You’ve probably figured out by now that Moroccan cooking inspires me.  My cooking preference is one pot dishes and Moroccan fare is a simple solution for a one pot meal.

Not lacking in cooking equipment, I grabbed my beloved Le Creuset Tagine to slow cook my creation.  Now if you don’t have a tagine don’t fret, any dutch oven will do but a tagine certainly adds to the WOW factor.  Either way your dish will have roaringly rich flavor that will make your tummy happier than happy!

Avocado Alfredo

Avocado Alfredo

Oh my goodness, this was so sinful I had to stop everything and post this super duper, simple recipe immediately.  The vision of this lovely avocado alfredo sauce began when I realized I had a couple of items I needed to eat up before heading […]

Black, White and In-Between

Black, White and In-Between

I took her for granted, I thought mom would always be here. Life.  It’s black, white and somewhere in-between.  It’s the in-between we take for granted.  White is youthful, full of life and longevity.  In-between is aging, getting up there in years, growing old gracefully […]

Living Life on Pause

Living Life on Pause

Hello blog followers, are you still with me?  No excuses, life is just crazy and I’ve pretty much put life on pause.  Intentional pause.  Pause for good reason.

Many times bloggers spill their personal lives on social media.  And then there are the rest of us who retract from social media when life becomes difficult.   I used to think of myself as an open book, I had nothing to hide, and then life caught me doing a tightrope walk between privacy, fear and self-protection.  I’ve mastered the art of funambulism.

You learn a lot about yourself when you’re on the highwire.  At times almost an out-of-body experience looking down at your own life.  Laughable, painful, and surreal.

There’s no preparation that can ever ready you for cancer.  In 2014 my cousin Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Last year I lost my dear auntie to lung cancer.  2016 arrived and cancer didn’t waste any time finding another victim.  My mom.   Tongue cancer.  Mom is 83 years old and suffers from dementia, how do you explain to someone already confused that on top of their normal confusion, they’re going to be experiencing extreme pain?

As I look down from my view on the highwire I see myself sitting and listening to mom breathe as she naps, my heart aching as I feel her pain, wishing I could make it better.  If only I could see her bright blue eyes again full of happiness when she sees me walk in the door.

And then the announcement that she’s a candidate for hospice, how can this be?

I find myself hiding, if I don’t talk about it maybe it will go away.  I mask these feelings by justifying that I need privacy.  So if you’re my friend and you’re learning this for the first time I’m sorry, I honestly couldn’t talk about it.  I’m really good at supporting you but I learned I’m not a master at asking for support of my own needs.

And then there’s the overwhelming fear.   Fear to fall asleep because I might not hear the phone ring to hear that mom’s condition has changed and I need to get there asap.  Fear that she awakes at night and feels alone.  Fear that she can’t remember to dial *0 if she does needs help.

Many days feel surreal.  Is this really my life?  Am I really living between two tension points on a highwire balancing between sunrise and sunset?

Sunrise brings such optimism as I balance myself, leaning toward the light.  I see darkness in the distance of sunset, my grief and another goodbye likely to come sooner than later.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy good memories of our adventures along the way.[shareprints gallery_id=”5065″ gallery_type=”slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]
And amidst her confusion, our funny conversations, like when she told me how much she’s going to miss me when I die.  I’ll miss you too mom.

Lynn

 

“Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on”.

~ Joni Mitchell

 

Taking down the decorations…

Taking down the decorations…

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and enjoyed ringing in the New Year!  The weeks leading up to each holiday were wonderful.  I had friends come to visit, a canine guest, spent treasured time with my little family and enjoyed quality time with […]


My Diary

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For good reason, paella is a summer favorite in Spain, it’s the season that walks hand-in-hand with fresh fish and seafood.  There are a kazillion recipes online for paella so this one is really a combination of many.  Traditional paella dishes typically consist of chicken, rabbit, sausage, snails and some kind of fresh beans.  But paella has evolved over the years depending on local traditions and ingredients available so it really is a dish that allows you to be creative based on what ingredients you have available.  I had peas, mini-peppers, shrimp and mussels so really, enough key ingredients to put something together.  You can certainly use Spanish chorizo, chicken or pork or a combination thereof.

Another Spanish tradition when it comes to paella is the pan it’s prepared in.  Even though I happen to own 3 paella pans, a nice sized skillet will do the job.  Anything type of pan that will aid in a brown, crusty bottom.  That being said, I would avoid a non-stick skillet if you want caramelized grains of rice at the bottom.

Let’s get cookin’!