Walkin’ Across (Disney) World 


Like I said earlier,  we’re going to Disney World pretty soon. 

In addition to finding vegan food options,  the big question plaguing me is, “Hey,  I work a desk job.  How am I going to walk all over Disney for six days without calling apart? ”

I’m going to have to find a really good pair of size 15 walking shoes,  the kind that are good for very heavy men, and then I’m going to have to start walking everyday. 

I’ll need to start small,  and build up from there. Perhaps start with half a kilometer/a quarter mile. 

Then I’ll work up by maybe one-tenth mile per day until I’m walking a mile every outing. 

I’ll also need to spend more time on my feet, stand as much as I can,  and walk multiple times each day. That may be more important that how far I walk in one outing. 

As to how I’m going to do this alongside everything else I need and want to get done, well, that’s the hard part. 

Beat Bugs Is My New Favorite Cartoon

​https://youtu.be/K_Ev_Es7onw

What do you get when you take a colorful, beautifully animated cartoon with an endearing cast of genuinely sweet characters, completely appropriate for preschoolers … where each episode is built around a Beatles song?

Best. Cartoon. Ever.

Seriously, if you have a “littlie”, this is totally worth getting Netflix for. 

Oh,  did I mention that “All You Need Is Love” is the theme song?

Rebuilding My Fiction Muscles by Starting Small

I often have trouble getting started on projects. I think it’s because I know just how long writing a novel takes,  just how much can go wrong in the process.

I know from experience just how easy it is to either not finish, or have to drag myself across the finish line by sheer force of will, spite-writing something I’ve grown to abhor. 

I’m not really art a place, personally our emotionally, where I can spend that kind off time writing something I don’t enjoy. 

And I can’t really face the thought of putting hours and hours into something without finishing it, ending up with nothing to show for it. 

I remember feeling like this year’s ago, and I’m going to do what I did then: I’m going to write shorter things, things I can finish in a day or two, even at my current limited time and energy budget. 

These may be short stories, even flash fiction. They may just be scenes. They may never be a part of any larger work. 

But they will be short-term, achievable objectives, things I can pan ahead of time and then do. 

I know I said I was going to do something like that at the beginning of the summer,  but the difference was that those had to be complete sorry stories,  Asics I got jammed up trying to think of plots and premises for them all. 

Now, it just has to be short,  achievable. 

I hope to rebuild my fiction writing muscles to the point that I can duo NaNoWriMo in November,  and carve out enough time early in the morning that I won’t inconvenience my family while I’m doing so. 

Nothing helps you sided like confidence and practice.  Nothing builds you’re confidence and motivates you to practice like success. So let’s build some small successes. 

Pray for Louisiana. Help if You Can.

​https://youtu.be/UPCc35uUIqY

Louisiana is facing some of its worst flooding since hurricane Katrina. 13 are dead, and thousands are homeless

Though some are beginning to return to their homes,  the damage it’s widespread and profound. 

I don’t live in Louisiana any more,  but I have friends and family that do. They’re safe, but many more are not. 

If you can,  please donate. I’ve linked to a couple of reputable ones below.

Lutheran Church Charities

Red Cross of Louisiana

Meat-Free Monday: Round Two Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers

Katherine made these yummy burgers from leftover quinoa,  and I can’t wait until we have them again. 

Ingredients: 

  • Canned black beans, rinsed
  • Slightly less quinoa than beans (3/4th the amount, roughly)
  • Teriyaki, for consistency and flavor.

Smoosh the beans and quinoa together thoroughly, adding teriyaki as needed.

Form into BIG patties and cook in a pan coated lightly in olive oil. Cook about 10 minutes on medium heat, flipping about halfway through.

These have a moist, soft consistency, a subtle quinoa flavor, and lot of heft. As big and hungry as I am, I could never eat more than one at a meal.

They taste great with flavorful sauces, sweet and spicy pickles, crisp lettuce and onion, ore whatever you like on your burger. 

Planning a Disney Trip: Vegan Options


So we’re planning a trip to Disney World in Florida, one my wife has almost entirely paid for via clever use of credit card reward points programs.

So in addition to buying  new walking shoes and training for the many miles we will walk each day,  we’ve been researching just how I’m going to find something to eat. 

Fortunately, “The happiest place on earth” generally knows how to take care of vegans (And anyone with dietary restrictions,  whether they’re religious, allergies,  our whatever).

I’ll go through park by park in a later post, but today I’ll start with a few universals.

Disclaimer:  I’m still planning my trip,  so all this info is second-hand. 

  • popcorn (it’s not real butter) 
  • pretzels 
  • Anything made with Gardien Chick’n
  • Sorbets
  • Dole pineapple whips
  • Most of the quick serve places have at least something you can eat
  • Use the Disney app to check the menus ahead of time

Any nice sit down restaurant or buffet IF you tell them when you make your reservations and again when you get there

Basically, any place that takes reservations will take care of you if you ask. You should ask in advance if you can,  but I’ve read several accounts of vegans having good experiences even without calling ahead. 

Sources:

The Disney World app. Seriously. 

PETA has a good info page on Disney vegan options. (regardless of some of their questionable actions over the years).

The Vegan Disney World blog is also great. 

Love versus Fear: Lessons from The Boss and Frozen


 “On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on the left hand the word fear, and in which hand he held his fate was never very clear.” – Bruce Springsteen, Cautious Man.

Love and hate are enemies, true, but love has another,  much more insidious enemy: fear.

We’ve all felt it. We’ve all struggled to find the words our the strength to say them… The strength to say anything at all. 

One of the best popular illustrations of this is the movie Frozen. We watched it as a family tonight (my daughter’s first Disney feature), and I was struck with the battle between love and fear. 

Elsa is dominated by fear from the first incident in the film, when she accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her ice power. 

But it’s clear from their parents’ reactions that they’d been ruled by fear much longer,  probably since Elsa’s power first appeared. 

In all their family, Anna alone is ruled by love.  Granted,  her naive approach does get her into some trouble, but ultimately,  her selfless act of love:

  •  defeats Hans’s  devious,  power-hungry plan
  • saves her from the freezing curse Elsa accidentally placed on her
  • frees Elsa from her overwhelming fear and shows get how to break the curse of eternal winter
  • Reunites their family and heals the rift their parents created when they decided to isolate Elsa. 

    It’s a perfect illustration of what John wrote to the eally church almost 2,000 years ago: 

    “There is no fear in love.  For perfect love casts out fear…” 1 John 4:18

    And that’s how I want to live my life,  more an Anna than an Elsa.

    By temperament, I’m much more off an Elsa,  much more a cautious man. But I love, and am loved, and if I’m willing to let it,  that love can cast out my fear. 

     One more song about live and fear, one of my favorite tracks from Sarah McLachlan (if you want to hear “Let it Go,” you can YouTube it yourself🙂