my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

The Lesbian Chronicles — February 13, 2019

The Lesbian Chronicles

I’m lying on my couch with a bag of frozen beans (organic, of course) placed strategically on top of my right knee and wondering why , on this perfect Valentine’s Day eve that I am without my Beloved, still.


Like really? After all this time and all the therapy (hours of talking, Rolfing, and sobbing) all the wishing (on four leaf clovers, on falling stars, and on the magic 8 ball) and still — she is not here.

 Perhaps it’s that I cheated with the four leaf clover, it was really a three leaf clover that I superglued with a separate clover. (My fingers as well, Renaissance woman I am not!)

 Now what about this folklore of when you are least expecting, or not looking love will appear?  Well my friends, I take umbrage with that particular tale because:

1. I am a Libra and we Libra chickies are never quite happy unless we are in love.
2. I am a romantic. (Perhaps 2 should be an addendum to 1.)
3. I am desperate (see 1) but also extremely picky and picky trumps desperate every time.

 Which brings me back to this morning and why I have a bag of frozen veggies on my knee. Lucille, my spritely puppy and I were in the park today for a long long time. She is new-ish, and I Jew-ish, but we both love being in nature and both went a little overboard today. (She is lying next to me as I write this blog, conked out.)

 So I guess I will take a lavender and Epsom salt bath, and listen to some old slow jazz and just be grateful for what I do have: my daughter, my puppy, my friends who love me even so, and send my wish for love up to the stars.

The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow. — November 28, 2017

The Lesbian Chronicles: You Reap What You Sow.

I am co-habiting here in Montréal with my Mother due to a confluence of events much too complex to write about today, better saved for that proverbial rainy day blog.

Here is my mini version:

Years ago in a different time and place I was a practicing Buddhist. When the day arrived for my naming ceremony I felt quite hopeful, as I was attempting to rename myself from my given name of Rhona and my adopted name of Katharine to something else altogether.

I entered the temple and waited patiently for my turn, and hoped the Buddhist Name Goddess would be kind. My teacher gave me a blessing and named me ‘Sawjack’. I asked my teacher what my name meant and was told ‘You reap what you sow’. (This is where you insert that creepy music from the movie ‘It’ when the clown is about to do something very very bad.) At that time I didn’t understand the ramifications of reaping what you sow, today I most definitely do.

I have up until recently chosen only powerful but cruel women. Truth be told, their cruelty turned me on, but only in limited quantities. When they acted according to their character, I demanded that they treat me with kindness instead of cruelty.

“How did that work for you?” You might ask. “Not so well!” I answer. So here I am, living in Montreal with my cruel and powerful mother and certainly reaping what I have sowed which to be honest, is mostly manure.

C’est la vie! I have learned a lot and continue to do so. I am one of those irritatingly optimistic people who believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

‘Till next time,


Shadows And Light — April 15, 2017

Shadows And Light

Recently  I made a video of myself reading one of my stories and frankly I was quite dismayed. I wasn’t sure who I was looking at, certainly this person on the video did not match up with the image I have of myself.

This was the first time that I had ever seen myself on video and frankly I was more than a little disturbed.  I did not like at all how I looked, or more specifically how I spoke. In still photography I look fine, because I can smile like everyone else, I’m just not able to smile with my teeth showing. On video however, I can see that when I speak I certainly do not speak as most people do.

I have Moebius Syndrome, or Moebius has me. Regardless of the how or by whom, having Moebius means that some muscles in my tongue do not function, forcing me to speak differently than the norm.

In my community which includes healers and therapists; there is a movement to look toward the light, believing that if you are in the vortex of positivity you will be rewarded with all the riches, healing and love that you have been longing for.

I have toyed with these concepts for a while and find them lacking. Here is why –

If I can’t make peace with my flawed mouth then I will have failed and the kingdom of heaven will then be permanently closed.

In my opinion however, this concept of praying away the shadow only forces the shadow deeper underground. I  am a perfectionist. I can never not be one, perfectionism is written in code into my DNA.

Now how can I make peace with not looking perfect?  I can’t. What I can do is this. I can finally make peace with never being normal and make peace with not looking nor sounding like Joni Mitchell (my heroine). Then paradoxically I can relax into me, because I just gave myself permission to love and accept my unyielding perfectionist self.

So I am loving the hater part of me instead of shaming the hater part of me into submission and into the shadows where she has lain waiting, always waiting to find another opportunity for self abasement.

Accepting the all of me just as I am: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Forgiveness — September 12, 2016



Definition of Forgive

1: to give up resentment

2: to grant relief from payment

3: to cease to feel resentment

I have had such difficulty writing this piece. I wanted to give all of you something perfect and shiny and bright. I wanted to wrap up my story with silver ribbon and a blue box from Tiffany’s.

Instead you are getting my truth which is not wrapped with a bow but in yesterday’s newspaper, and I didn’t even use the cartoon section for the wrapping, but the obits.

The greatest sorrow of my life has been my relationship with my mother. My first days of life were spent in an incubator in the ICU department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal, where my mother abandoned me for a business trip with my father to Québec City –

” Why would I have stayed with you in the hospital? said my mother
The nurses were there!”

Late this summer when I told my mother I needed to stay with her for two months due to my untimely exit from the apartment I had shared with my now ex – partner Lorraine, her response was less than enthusiastic. I ignored her non response, and proceeded to annihilate what was left of my fantasy mother by asking her to come back with me to Toronto so that she could help me deal with the unpleasantness brought on by my exit from my aforementioned apartment.

“You know I’m not good with that stuff!” said my mom.
“Mommy!!! I need you!! I need you now!!!!” said desperate me

“I need you mommy!” was now looped through my brain and played non stop throughout my day, like an itchy ear worm.

I couldn’t stop myself. I understood intellectually that I did not win the good mother lottery prize but emotionally I was still just four years old, begging my mommy to come to my tea party. She never came and my Barbie’s had to drink their tea with just Ken and me for company.

In my desperation I called a psychic I saw advertised on my Facebook feed. Rachel told me I needed to forgive my mother before I can move forward. Really? This is what I paid five dollars for? ( It was a special offer.)

How do I forgive? According to the Miriam Webster – I need to stop feeling anger toward the person who wronged me.

I have tried repeatedly to do just that. I really have. I have gone to therapy for years with hopes that I could come to some type of peace with my mother. I have talked incessantly about my situation with Jodee, my long time therapist. I thought I was making slow but steady progress, but in Montréal all healing went to hell in a hand basket. I felt unhinged, as if I literally was coming apart. I was desperate for my mother to take my face in her hands and say –

” Don’t worry Katharine, I got you”

I so wanted my mother to create a safe space for me in Montréal, even though that had never happened on the thousand trips I had made to Montréal previously. I didn’t think I was asking for much, just a drawer to put my clothes in, and an acknowledgment that this was indeed a scary and difficult time for me.

As a child, I did not enjoy Halloween, as dressing up in costume made me anxious. I lived with parents that put on masks every day when they went outside our home. Just like the parents who caution their children to use their inside voices during school and synagogue; my parents used their inside face with me, and their outside face with others. The mask they showed to others was so radically different than the one they showed to me at home, that I am still disturbed by masks of any kind, knowing what danger can lurk beneath.

I tried this time, I really tried to make believe that I could calm this frightened fragmented inner child of mine, but I, like my mother before me, threw baby Katharine out to the wolves. I could not console her and I let her rage at being abandoned take me over.

I so wanted my mother to come to my rescue, just this once.

I kept on repeating:

” Mom, you can redeem yourself for all the damage that you have done before, all I ask is that you create a safe place here for me to rest and recoup until my new apartment becomes available in November.”

And each time I begged and each time I pleaded, I lost a little bit of my soul and a lot of my dignity but I could not help myself, so desperate was I to be seen. To make matters worse, as a retired psychotherapist, I understood intellectually that my mother was not ever going to give me what I needed, and in fact took pleasure in seeing her former jappy princess daughter reduced to sleeping on her not so comfy couch, but I was not able to make my brain meet my heart.

Weeks passed in this way, and then my birthday happened, or didn’t happen, to be more accurate.

I had spent the weekend before my birthday celebrating with my close friend Marcus and his family. Before meeting Marcus I had an idea of what familial love should feel like, but did not have a body memory to go with it. Thanks to Marcus and his family, I have experienced love as a felt sense. To celebrate my birthday, they surprised me with a weekend at the splendid Hovey Manor, located in the Eastern Townships.

When I came back I made the mistake of sharing my joy with my mother. If any of you here tonight are familiar with the reality TV show Survivor, whenever the winner of a reward challenge gloats about her reward, the people left behind become angry. I came home so happy, I forget my own rule about keeping my joy contained so as not to risk my mother’s wrath.

Too late.

Now I was to be punished, and since the punishment level was in line with my joy, the punishment was extreme. My mother decided to banish me from her kingdom which meant that my birthday would not be acknowledged.

No birthday cake. No birthday card.

” But I’m sixty, Mommy!! See me! Celebrate me!”

And my shame at my bottomless need to be seen by her, obfuscated my otherwise sound judgment.

And still.. and still.

I’m now back in Toronto, safely ensconced in my new cozy apartment. Every morning before I get out of bed, and every night before I go to sleep, this agnostic Jew prays to the Divine Mother and my Guardian Angels and anyone else I can think of, saying my prayers out loud because I don’t want to take any chances on any unseen helpers not hearing my forgiveness plea.

“I release you mother, and the hold you have on my heart. I am going to do my best to stop blaming you for not being the mother I so desperately wanted, and to try my best to live a life unencumbered by my old friends shame and blame. Please dear Mother God send me your love and healing and if you’re feeling really generous, please send me my Beloved. I am ready to receive her now!”

Hopefully these prayers will help me this month when Chanukah comes around, so that when I light my Chanukah candles sans Maman, I can take comfort in knowing that like the Maccabees before me, I have won the battle even though I have lost the war.

Moebius Syndrome and Me: Healing My Core Wound — March 26, 2019
Just Do It. — March 23, 2019

Just Do It.

There are so many things wrong in our world, but here on my blog right this minute is a photo of my blueberry pie and vegan whipped cream that I made from scratch. Me, who just a few scant years ago, could only make reservations, now makes pie. I just want to send out this piece of pie perfection to the world with the hope of inspiring someone else to try something a little bit daunting, something that you’ve been wanting to do but have postponed because you thought you could not do it or you would do it badly or just the thought of failure was enough to send you scurrying back to bed. Get out of bed.

Like the slogan says ‘Just Do It.’

It doesn’t have to be pie or cooking for that matter. It could be writing that poem or screenplay that you started years ago but never finished. Finish it now.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to volunteer at your local shelter or you are thinking of calling a friend you had a fight with years ago whom you miss terribly but are afraid of being the first one to reach out. Be the first. Reach out. Let’s try to lift each other up, one baby step at a time. Let us be the beauty that we have been longing for.


Lesson #6079 — March 22, 2019

Lesson #6079

Lesson #6079
Even if I feel that I am alone in this world and that no one loves me, and even if there really is no one asking about my day, or bringing me tea, I must still love me, and not abandon me as I have been abandoned. I must stay the course with me. I must be my own cheerleader, my own best friend, my own constant companion.

Late Fragment — March 21, 2019
Vegetable Soup For My Soul — March 20, 2019
Love Love Love —

Love Love Love

I purposely made this shot off centre because love is not always a straight road nor an easy journey. Sometimes love will show up not looking like love at all but it will feel better than anything you’ve ever felt before. Let love take you by surprise. Let love take you on a cruise even though you get seasick and you are majorly claustrophobic and you can’t swim. Let your crooked heart love imperfectly but love, love, love.

Yes She Can! — March 18, 2019

Yes She Can!

This was my first attempt at pie making. Clearly the resulting pie was less than stellar, but that’s okay. This was just my beginning. I’ve always wanted to be the person that could make a pie from scratch, but until today, I could never seem to actualize my wish, because the thought of all those steps necessary to create the perfect pie created too much inner anxiety, so I  had to shut down my dream.
Until today, pie making seemed too complex and out of my reach. My fear of not making a perfect pie stopping me before I even began, for perfection was the enemy of my good.

Today though felt different, I had done all this personal growth work in the last few years, and I knew I was ready. Unfortunately I realized too late that to make a proper crust one needs a rolling pin for the dough and a brush for the egg wash. Oops!! Again, that’s okay. Tomorrow I’ll go to the Dollar Store and get my needed supplies and will try again. One of my favourite movies is Henry Jaglom’s ‘Can She Bake A Cherry Pie’. Now I can answer “Yes, She Can!”


Moebius Syndrome: Loving All Of Me — March 12, 2019
what love is: a poem in three parts — March 10, 2019

what love is: a poem in three parts

what love is: a poem in three parts

part one

it’s 2:30 in the morning

and once more
i’m in the bathtub
trying to unwind,
hoping the heat might loosen

 my  way too wired body  

so that perchance i might

fall back to sleep
when suddenly i realize
how parched i am but

i just can’t

bring myself to leave
my now perfectly
warmed rose scented bath.

part two

i lay in my bath as

my longing intensifies,

how i wish there was
a partner to whom i
could whisper softly
through the open door –
“darling, darling, wake up!

can you please bring me

a tall glass of cool water
along with those

juicy looking figs
that we picked up

this evening from the
st. lawrence market?”


part three

for if i had a partner,

i would hope that

she would bring

me an icy cool

glass of water because

i believe that’s

what a love that

is true would do.

for love is not a verb,

love is not kissing

your wife’s picture


extolling her virtues.


love is getting out

of your comfy

cozy bed at 2:30

in the morning

because you hear

love’s voice

in the guise of your wife

breaking through

your slumber,

imploring you to

please bring a tall

icy glass of water

with some figs

to the bathroom

for your beloved.



Fat Jewess No Longer — March 8, 2019

Fat Jewess No Longer

img_8467-1Two years and fifty pounds ago. So much happier and healthier in both mind and body. These past two years have been the hardest but most rewarding two years of my life. My dad had quadruple bypass surgery at 62 (my age now) because he was fifty pounds overweight and had not exercised ever in his life. He was brilliant and charismatic but so filled with self – hatred and here comes his mini me, along with the same self – loathing.

My poor dad suffered a major stroke during his  heart surgery and subsequently struggled for the next seven years until he passed away at 69. I decided two years ago that I needed to change my life or my life might echo my dad’s. I stopped bingeing and started to make amends to all I had harmed (still doing that, will always be doing that) started exercising and began cooking for the first time in my life.

I’m doing this for myself of course, but also for my dad, to honour all the best of him, and knowing that he is watching in spirit somewhere close by. We all deserve second chances, and third and fourth. It’s never too late to begin.

%d bloggers like this: