Poetry. Benedictine Spirituality. Love.

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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Tracy Lee Karner

Turnip Greens are Packed with Nutrients

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 2, 2012

Vitamin A, Calcium, Vitamin C and Iron, antioxidants, even a healthy dose of protein. This little leaf is a powerhouse of nutrition. If you can’t get to the Kleer-vu Lunchroom in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to sample the best turnip greens in town, you can easily cook up a pot at home. I love the taste of them when they’re done this way– Ingredients for 1 pound of turnip greens (makes 2-3 servings). For every pound, I use 1 teaspoon bacon fat, or good pork lard ** 1 clove minced garlic 1 tablespoon malt vinegar 1/2 teaspoon molasses 3/4 teaspoon chicken base (a …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Kleer-vu Lunchroom Makes Soul Food as Good as it Gets

By Tracy Rittmueller | June 1, 2012

The greens, and all the food at Kleer-vu Lunchroom in Murfreesboro, TN are so delicious, that, although I don’t know the cooks, I know they’ve got a whole lot of love in their hearts, because you can’t make food that’s consistently this great, without love. I didn’t know I loved turnip greens until I tried them at Murfreesboro’s hidden little gem. This place makes the best turnip greens  and the best soul food I’ve ever had, anywhere. When greens are not made with a loving touch and a little fat, they’re bitter (the same thing happens to people who suffer from …

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Tracy Lee Karner

A Cure for Fibromyalgia?

By Tracy Rittmueller | May 26, 2012

On the world wide web, Fibrocenter offers reliable, evidence-based information about fibromyalgia. Be aware that it is sponsored by Pfizer, manufacturer of the drug Lyrica, which was approved by the FDA in 2007 for the treatment of Fibromyalgia. Good websites with coherent, logical design, search engine optimization (so you can find them), links that work, and viewer-friendly audio-video technology cost substantial money (tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars) to set up and maintain. I assume Pfizer will profit from their hefty investment in consumer education. Their website, however, is easy to navigate. It gives reliable, medically sound …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

By Tracy Rittmueller | May 22, 2012

This tastes like Tzatziki, but it’s made with American supermarket yogurt (instead of strained Greek yogurt). I threw it together in less than 10 minutes (I wasn’t timing myself, now that I think about whether I’m stretching it, I’d say it’s likely I might have tossed it all up in less than five minutes). You’ll need: Plain Yogurt Cucumber Onion Lemon Garlic Salt As much of everything as you like–for as many people as you’re serving. I made a small bowl, about 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup grated cucumber and 1/2 clove garlic. Okay, so it’s not …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Greek-seasoned Ground Meat Patties

By Tracy Rittmueller | May 22, 2012

Greek-seasoned Ground-meat Patties taste like Gyros. These want Cucumber-yogurt Sauce. For that recipe click here. And for our home-baked Pita recipe to stuff it all into, click here. To make the seasoning mix, which you will then sprinkle on the ground meat ( lamb, beef, pork, or any combination you like–or use eggs, or make a scramble out of tofu), stir together: 1 tablespoon salt (not Kosher, you want fine table salt when you’re blending up a seasoning mix) 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic**(see footnote) 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Grind in a mortar or with a spice grinder: 1 …

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Tracy Lee Karner

Lifestyle Principles for Managing Fribromyalgia and Chronic Pain

By Tracy Rittmueller | May 21, 2012

Less is more. A few words explain everything I really need to know about putting my life in order so that I can live well, in spite of everything. Under-commit. Under-satisfy cravings. Underspend. Downsize expectations. Don’t try to please everyone. Be gentle. Seek quiet. Be grateful.  

Tracy Lee Karner

10 Steps to Success for Ordinary People

By Tracy Rittmueller | May 16, 2012

Don’t have a genius IQ?  Weren’t born into wealth and status? Don’t have a degree from one of the top-10 Colleges/Universities? Too bad, because you’re not likely going to be able to change any of the factors which are assumed to determine a person’s likelihood for success… But the assumptions, as usual, turn out to be wrong. Research shows that inherited intelligence, upper-class wealth and degrees from impressive institutions don’t contribute all that much to success. “A person with less education who has fully developed their EQ, MQ, and BQ (read on to find out what those are) can be far …

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