my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

Father’s Day — June 18, 2017

Father’s Day

My Dad loved me, the only person in my entire extended family who did.
Love is a verb, therefore action is necessary to activate the love. Remeber the game Twister? Remember the floor board that came with the game? There was a plastic mat with large different coloured circles on them. I imagine my Dad standing on a large red circle. This circle represented the love he felt for me.
Unfortunately he couldn’t make it over to the green circle which is where he would have activated his love, because he got stuck on the yellow circle in the middle. That yellow circle represented all his baggage. He had a trio of matching pieces from Samsonite, one holding shame, one holding rage and the last holding his emasculated power.
I have often imagined what my life would have looked like had my Dad been able to have unpacked those three pieces of luggage, and had been free to be his organic unemcumbered self.
I am working daily to unpack my own set of LV bags, but that darn zipper is stuck in the bag that holds my unlovablitity. I’m walking over to Canadian Tire to get some WD-40 as soon as I finish this piece, so that I might be able to feel what my Dad never felt; a sense, a knowing that I am deserving of love, just because I exist in this world.
We did find interesectionality in humour. We both shared a fondness for long convoluted stories with great punch lines. This is my favourite joke and I send it out and up to my Dad, wherever he now resides. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
Here is the joke:
A woman went to the only hairdresser in town to get her hair styled for a vacation trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who was of Italian descent. “Rome? Why you go there? He responded.” It’s crowded and dirty. Full of tourists. So, how are you getting there?”
“We’re flying US Airways,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!”
“US Airways!” exclaimed the hairdresser. “Too bad. That’s the worst airline. Always late. You should have asked me first. I’m always flying to Italy. So where are you staying in Rome?”
“We’ll be at this little place over on the Tiber River called Teste.”
“Oh, I know that place. Everybody thinks it’s going to be something special and exclusive, but it’s really a dump.” You should not stay in Rome, and you should not visit the touristy things there.”
“But we want to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope!” Exclaimed the woman
“You and and thousands of other people. He’ll look the size of an ant. Watch out you don’t get your pocket picked in the crowd.” Said the hairdresser
A month later, the woman comes back to the beauty parlor. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome. “It was wonderful,” explained the woman “not only were we on time in one of US Airways brand new planes, but the tourist class was overbooked, so they put us in first class. And the hotel was great! They too were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us a suite for the price of a room!” “Well” muttered the hairdresser “I’m happy for your good luck, but I was right it was a waste of time to try to see the Pope, wasn’t it?”
“Actually, we had a wonderful experience at the Vatican, too. A Swiss Guard tapped my husband on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet visitors, and if we’d like to step into anteroom of his quarters and wait, we would get a brief audience with the Pope. We did and five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and blessed us! He even talked to us a little.”
“Oh, really! What’d he say?”
He said, “Who fucked up your hair?”
Artemis and Me — June 14, 2017

Artemis and Me






Artemis and Me



He slipped into the booth

adjacent to mine

this morning

at the coffee shop

down the street from

my mother’s apartment.


He told me his name was Hugh,

when I asked  if Louie and Dewey

were coming to join him,

he did not appear to be amused.

Perhaps he was averse to ducks –

or me.


Hugh was lit from the inside

he seemed both

birthday candles

and birthday cake.


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.


Hugh was wearing a large

beaded tiger’s eye bracelet

on his left wrist

that immediately grabbed

my attention.


I had to have one

just like his,

even though

I had long ago

given up jewelry-

even though

I had long ago

given up men.


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.


I lusted after his bracelet

knowing if I owned one

just like Hugh’s,

his super powers

would flow from his

bracelet to mine.


Hugh told me about Jasmine,

creator of the bracelet,

who sold her jewelry

from her home

across from his yoga studio.


Of course

he practiced yoga,

I’m sure he brought

his own mat

made out of

organically grown hemp.


After some gentle prodding,

Hugh gave me Jasmine’s number.

I could feel myself inching closer

to the magic.


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.



I sent Jasmine a text and

she replied instantly.

“Come over right away!

I live in St Henri.”

Which meant nothing to me

since I am

directionally challenged

on the best of days.


“Is that far?” I asked

“I don’t have a car and I will be

walking with my dog.”

“It’s not far at all” said Jasmine

“Just walk down Greene Street,

then turn left

onto St. Jacques.

It should take you less

than twenty minutes.”


So off we go

my puppy Lucille and me,

intrepid journeywoman

and her trusty canine companion.


Except that it doesn’t take us

twenty minutes

or thirty minutes

or even forty,

but I tell

myself I don’t care

because it’s all downhill,

because it’s a sunny day,

because Lucille is happy,

because the eye of the tiger

is calling me home.


I reach my destination

and knock boldly on her

crimson coloured door.

A full bodied woman

wearing a vintage

Japanese kimono

opens the door and says

“Welcome, I’m Jasmine!”


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.


“I have been walking on my knees

for a hundred miles through

the desert repenting.” I said

“Well then you must be thirsty”

said she.


She offered Lucille and I

water from her well.

I had never tasted water

so pure and so sweet.


Jasmine brought out

her baubles for me

to admire.

She had bracelets made

of amethyst and garnet,

lapis and hematite.

She had bracelets made

of silver and gold,

copper and pewter,

but no tiger’s eye in sight.


I asked Jasmine if she could make me

the same tiger’s eye

bracelet that she made

for Hugh.


“I’m so sorry” said Jasmine

“Hugh is divine incarnate,  I made

that bracelet only for him”


And just like that,

with one little snap,

I was banished from the island

where hope and hearth and family

reside and I

most definitely,

now never will.


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.


I couldn’t help myself,

my eyes immediately

filled with



Jasmine offered me a consolation

prize, a bracelet made of hawk’s eye.


Hawk’s eye?

I was not a graceful loser,

always mortified to come in second.

Most often when the going got tough,

I left the race, easier to escape

than deal with the shame of defeat.


So there I was

my tears staining

her cherry wood

table, when Jasmine gently

took my hand and placed

the bracelet on my wrist.


“Look Katharine, I think

Hawk’s Eye suits your

skin tone even better.”


“Tiger’s  eye is the sun, but

hawk’s eye is the moon, and didn’t

you just tell me that your

favourite colour was grey?”


I did and it is and I keep

a portrait of Artemis

Goddess of the Hunt

and the Moon, on my bedside table.


I know my hunger –

my wanting,

will never be sated by

donuts and Dim Sum,

baubles and bling,

winning medals of

honour or any shiny thing.


I get that-

I truly do

but the wanting,

my wanting,

is the closest I’ve gotten to

feeling tethered

to something tangible.


So for a moment,

for that one brief wanting moment,

I can stop feeling

that I’m here dangling

all alone on

the edge of the earth.


My heartbeat.

The hunger.

I want it.

I want it.




Facing My Fears: The Big Black Dog — June 5, 2017

Facing My Fears: The Big Black Dog


                                    “It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.”
So said Mister Rogers from the iconic children’s show Mister Roger’s Neighbourhood, and I. We have been deluged by rain all week here in Hogtown. Today the sun was finally shining, making this day perfect for a walk with my puppy Lucille in the Rosedale Ravine that lies kitty-corner to my apartment. This particular ravine reminds me of a 19th century castle nestled in the Scottish country side, complete with crumbling stone walls and a tumbling creek.

We were about to make our way down the usual route to the creek when something caught my eye. I saw in the distance a very large black dog unleashed, the dog’s owner busy on her cellphone.

Here is where I make my confession; I have an enormous fear of large dogs.  I am terrified that they will jump up on me and their largess will make me lose my balance, and just like Humpty before me, I shall tumble down.

Ten years I ago I was working as a Reiki Therapist.  One day while carrying my massage table to my car, I felt something pop in my groin. I knew something had gone awry in my body and it turned out I had now earned myself an inguinal hernia. I had surgery to correct the issue, but the surgeon told me it would be best from now on if I didn’t lift anything heavier than fifteen pounds. In my mind lifting felt synonymous with large loping lumbering dogs jumping on top of me.

Because I am a self proclaimed control freak, I fear the unknown. The seconds before a dog approaches me is always when my fear reaches its apex, not knowing if said dog will be friend or foe. My motto has always been:

When you see a big dog, run!run!run!

I decided to take the path less traveled, away from the black dog down to the St. Claire reservoir. I felt proud of my proactive decision. I kept reminding myself that I was safe,   keeping my breathing steady and my focus on my feet, working hard not to think about being Devoured by Dog.

The terrain here was much rougher, but equally compelling. I turned up the volume on my IPod, using music to help me focus on the narrow path. Suddenly I felt something  rush by me. It was the big black dog on the loose! She/he was running up and down the narrow path looking for it’s owner. Even in my panicked state I could tell it wasn’t interested in Lucille nor myself, the poor dog had just lost track of their owner and was frantic in their attempt to find her.

“Katharine, you can never escape the big black dog.”  I said to myself ruefully. Winston Churchill coined the expression black dog when talking about his depression. It stands to reason that this particular black dog represented my own personal demons.

I am both the hunted and the hunter. I am both the big black dog and my fear.

After decades of feeding my fear with food, I am finally free of my addiction, ready to deal directly with my terror, which has manifested itself today in the shape of a big black dog.

I  must face my fear of being lost as well as facing my fear of feeling fearful. I must face my pre-verbal fear of being devoured by my mother. I am a trauma survivor who now is working hard to transform myself from Survivor to Thriver.

An acronym for fear is False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.  I had nothing to fear from this particular black dog, so I did the only thing I could do. I just kept on walking, one step at a time.

Popsicle Toes — June 1, 2017

Popsicle Toes

“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

There is no growth without risk, or so the saying goes. Yesterday I tried to do something incredibly difficult. A friend of mine was celebrating her fiftieth birthday by throwing herself an afternoon tea party.

I really wanted to go;  my friend is a therapist and a lesbian to boot, so I knew I would be meeting people at the party who were my kind of people. Since I want more than anything to find a partner, this would be an ideal venue to meet my beloved. 

I drove to her home and found parking right in front of her house yet I couldn’t make myself get out of the car. I  drove around the block and tried a second time, still frozen with fear, unable to do the hard scary thing I desperately wanted to do.

 For my third try, just like the game show where you can phone a friend for help with the answer, I phoned my friend Bobbi who agreed to be my wing- woman. However, by the time I picked her up and returned to the party it was approaching dusk, and it felt too late.

 I came home feeling incredibly discouraged. As I soaked in my Epsom Salted bath, I reviewed my afternoon and said to myself ‘Face your fear, baby. It will grow you up’ .

Clearly I isn’t growed up yet. There is still a part of me frozen in time, clinging desperately to my mother’s non existent apron strings begging her not to leave me here, all alone and without agency.

I am going to spend the rest of my days here on earth, trying my best to be present for my tiny frozen in time little girl, reminding her that she is safe here, with me.  I am hopeful the warmth of my gaze will defrost her frozen bones and she will finally after 58 years be free to get ‘All growed up’ .


 May this be true for all of your popsicle little children waiting inside of you to be growed up by the one person, the only person that is best suited for this most challenging of tasks.  Let’s take the greatest risk of all, together. Let us believe deep down in our core that we are lovable and worthy of rescue.

Let’s get out our comfiest towel, warm it in the microwave and place it on our hearts  imagining our little frozen child inside of us slowly, slowly, warming.

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