“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” By Thomas Campbell

My daughter, mom, and dad.
My daughter, mom, and dad.

My daughter, mom, and dad.

It has been a busy, stressful, and heartbreaking past 6 months for me. We moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Bend, Oregon on June 1, 2012. We were all so excited about our move back to the Northwest, and especially, the beauty and possibilities of Bend. It really is such a beautiful, laid back kind of place.

My parent’s were awesome and met with the property manager for our rental house, and when our movers fell through (that is a long, angry story that I won’t elaborate on) even helped us move in.

All was looking good, my parent’s and my in-laws came to our house for Father’s Day, I made a vegan spread with appetizers through dessert and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. My Dad was having problems with his hip and was using his walking stick, but, we all thought he had maybe just pulled a muscle or something not too serious.

On Wednesday, June 20th, my life shattered. My Mom called from the hospital, she had taken my Dad to the emergency room for excruciating neck pain, and they diagnosed him with stage 4, bone cancer. They said he would only live 6 months without treatment.

The doctor’s immediately started radiation, he had to wear a neck brace and could barely move his head. I will not expound on all the details, but, along with bone cancer in his neck, he was also diagnosed with lung cancer, and a fractured hip, which they could not operate on. Our postive thoughts were dashed in October when the doctor’s indicated that the cancer had spread and there was nothing else they could do.

Hospice took over his care, and in the beginning things, weren’t too bad, he could get around with a walker, he was in pain but, still able to to sit in his recliner and visit with everyone.

Things went from good to bad rather quickly. I have never known anyone with cancer. It is a cruel, horrific illness. My strong, capable Dad who never sat still and was constantly working on a home improvement project or planning his next outdoor trip with my Mom became a shell of himself. This was the hardest thing I have ever witnessed. The insurmountable pain he had to endure was awful. I, in my guarded life, did not realize the progressive way cancer can spread, to tumors on the outside of his body to losing his sight.

My Dad passed away at home on December 28. He was 64 years old.

His pain and suffering have been at the forefront of my mind for the last 6 months. I haven’t felt like doing much of anything. Christmas was hard. I didn’t feel like working on the website even though I have so many different ideas floating around in my head.

It seemed disingenuine to ignore the reality of what was going on. “You don’t get over it, you just get through it. You don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better'; it just gets different. Everyday… Grief puts on a new face….” By Wendy Feireisen

Vegan Food Swap – September 2012

Vegan Food Swap - September 2012

I received this month’s food swap from Melissa at Vegan Fling who lives in Denver, Colorado; www.veganflingblogspot.com. Thanks, Melissa for the awesome haul, some I have tried before, and some new vegan treats, yeah!

Vegan Food Swap - September 2012


I got some great things this month;

1) Keen One Quinoa – quick fix quinoa with vegetables. Looking forward to trying this. I looove quinoa, it is my favorite grain.
2) Snapped Crisps – baked pea pods, I love anything crispy and these are one of my favorites.
3) Banana Chips – see above, I love anything crispy!
4) Colorado Green Chili Salsa – yum, along with loving anything crispy, I love spicy, and I love that this is a local product produced in Colorado.
5) Twilight Bar – ok, I love the name, really is it bad that I immediately thought of sparkly vampires? I haven’t tried this yet, and I am sure Mike who loves all sweet and chocolately things will pull this from the pantry soon, need to remind him to share with me!


Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

OMG! Deliciously Decadent Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars – these are the bomb, incredibly rich and delish, if you love chocolate and peanut butter, make these! Calista actually made these with my mother-in-law for Mike’s bday – he is a peanut butter and chocolate addict and loved them! High praise indeed.

Adapted from WikiHow “How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

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