The Poetry of Transformation

Tracy Lee Karner

Girl Scouting lesson applies to writing, to everything

By Tracy Rittmueller | August 17, 2012

The first Girl-Scouting Lesson I learned goes like this: Make new friends, but keep the old.  Some are silver and others are gold.  I’ve been asking my blogging friends questions all week: “Why am I blogging?” Now I know that answer–to connect with people. I can’t imagine remaining motivated or inspired (to write or to live) without my relationships, old and new because  Everything I know I’ve learned from someone else.  A new connection happened this week. I blogged (thinking aloud) “And what should I blog?” The really neat thing about blogging is, it turns friendly eavesdropping readers into people …

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Wikimedia Commons photo

Disclosure: This is almost a recipe for cherry-berry pie filling

By Tracy Rittmueller | August 16, 2012

Here’s another disclosure for you.  I love to cook but I hate taking pictures of food and I hate writing detailed recipes with measurements. Cooking is the way I relax when I’m not writing or taking care of my persnickety health. My blog started to turn cooking into work and I didn’t like that so I was going to stop blogging about food. But my food posts get the most attention. Do you have any suggestions for what I should do about this conundrum?  Here’s my last fess-up for the day: I’ve been pretending to be a different kind of …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Is blogging just another cherry-berry pie-in-the-sky?

By Tracy Rittmueller | August 14, 2012

I’m starting a whole new blogging chapter. Let me start by saying that I cook WAY more often, and make a lot more variety of foods than I’ve been posting on my blog. Yesterday for example, I baked a vegetable pie with whole-wheat crust, stuffed with grated onion, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, mozzarella, romano & italian herbs. I had mixed up an extra crust to keep in the fridge to use later in the week. Then the crust when we tasted the vegetable pie was sooo delectable that listening to me talk about making a fruit pie out of it made …

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Tracy Lee Karner recipes

Sauerkraut–serve it with a French accent and they’ll eat it

By Tracy Rittmueller | July 12, 2012

If you want them to eat it, don’t call it sauerkraut. When it’s prepared the way it’s supposed to be (as in Germany and France, and not just served American-style, cold out of the can on top of a mushy hot dog), it isn’t sour. Call it Choucroute Garni, its French name because everything French seems sophisticated. If you sing out, in your best imitation of Julia Child, “Today, mes amis, we are having Choucroute Garni! ” they’ll float into the room dreaming of picturesque half-timbered houses with window boxes full of red geraniums, and beautiful girls with beautiful names like Delphine. After …

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Photo by Ken Gallager

If Chronic Pain is a Journey, then Hope must be North

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 28, 2012

The Appalachian Trail, a hiking path from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, over two-thousand miles long, is like chronic pain. They both go on and on until they become grueling. Strangely, oodles of people have chosen, of their own free will, to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Their stories inspire thousands more, every year, to attempt the journey. People willingly undertake this hardship because it is well-known that long and difficult journeys lead to transformation. There’s no doubt that going through life with chronic pain is arduous. That we didn’t choose to take this path, makes …

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photo by Tracy Lee Karner

How I lost 44 pounds and kept it off–7 habits

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 20, 2012

People want to know how I shed nearly 25% of my body weight and kept it off. It took some thoughtful effort and almost 10 months.  But, I didn’t go on a “diet.” Instead, I changed my habits, for good and forever. I decided to change my lifestyle, to spend the rest of my days making consciously healthy choices about food, priorities and activities, because plenty of research shows that diets don’t work; lifestyle changes are the only effective way to manage weight, long-term. Note: I didn’t develop these habits overnight, or all at the same time. And please, let …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Mudbugs and Orange-Cornbread Pudding, Bro's Cajun Cuisine

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 17, 2012

I ate, and actually liked, mudbugs at Bro’s Cajun Cuisine in Nashville (mudbugs, by the way, are crawfish). Bro’s food is authentic and tasty–gumbo, etoufee, jambalaya, red beans & rice, shrimp creole. Chef/Owner Darrell Breaux (featured on Guy Fierri’s Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives) also makes his own smoked sausage in his own smokehouse (out back behind the restaurant). In addition to leaving well-fed and happy, we enjoyed the feeling of having taken a quick, relaxing and inexpensive trip to the Louisiana Bayou, without leaving Nashville. After we ate all we could, I wrapped one slice of leftover cornbread in a …

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photo by Tracy Lee Karner

I'm color blind, and 9 other random things about me

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 13, 2012

I adore a gentle breeze, a nice little hair-ruffling tickle, especially on a warm day, with butterflies flitting around in the wild flowers. The audiologist who tested me said I hear like superwoman. Don’t whisper if I’m in the same auditorium–I just might understand every word. My preferences are wide-ranging and quirky. I (and two other people in the world that I know of) enjoyed reading the long, droll Education of Henry Adams. I also (along with multi-millions) love listening to Willy Nelson. I’m fluent in German, and every day I spend an hour or two reading German, skyping friends …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Smiles–when you can't muster them, make them!

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 10, 2012

There are days when the absolute last thing I want to hear from a perky person is, “Cheer up.” When I don’t feel like smiling, I really don’t feel like smiling.When life is going the wrong way (meaning it’s going a different direction or a different speed from the way I want it to go) I don’t want to think positive; I want to feel sorry for myself. But, that “positive thinking” yadda-yadda actually works. Just smile because it helps everyone feels better when we can smile; and it makes the smiler feel better, too. Sometimes, no matter how “good” …

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Granny D by Sieglinde Shattuck

Sieglinde Shattuck–Fine Art and Zwetchkenknödel

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 6, 2012

Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It’s what everything else isn’t. Theodore Roethke When I discovered Sieglinde (Sissi) Shattuck’s art, I found a place of quiet attentiveness, leisurely breathing space, respite from a hasty, noisy world. Because her paintings moved me so deeply, they made me curious about who she is. One thing leads to another, our shared passions for art, music and inspired living led to friendship and shared meals. Recently, Sissi introduced me to a work of art in cuisine, the traditional Austrian dish, Zwetschkenknödel (Plum Dumplings). Viewing art is inseparable from my knowledge that …

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