Monday, August 8, 2011

Let Your Bookcase Be the Boss

A "Sign" from the Bookshelf - photo by Carol Newman

I can't imagine how it happened, but I was just sitting here at the computer and a book fell out of my bookcase. Well, maybe I was talking on the phone and browsing through the books and a book jumped into my hand. Yeah, that's what happened.

When the book, a favorite of mine, Kitchen Table Wisdom 10th Anniversary by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. a counselor for those with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses, fell open to the Introduction, here is what I read: All stories are full of bias and uniqueness; they mix fact with meaning. This is the root of their power. Stories allow us to see something familiar through new eyes. We become in that moment a guest to someone else's life, and together with them sit at the feet of their teacher. The meaning we may draw from someone's story may be different from the meaning they themselves have drawn. No matter. Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead us to wisdom. (my emphasis)

Gentleman Friend has recently taken up a genealogical search for his mother's mother's Native American side of the family. Many of the facts have been surprisingly easy to find; however, those facts are not enough. It is the stories he wants, he says. The stories that are, most likely, gone.


Full of bias - Know someone who is full of bias? Has that someone ever been you? Is it good to be biased? What the heck is bias anyway? Do you sew? What is that kind of bias? Can you find any wisdom in it?

CHOCOLATE INKWELL - This is another from Family Cookbook Friend. When the email with the recipe arrived, all the subject line showed was "Chocolate Mayonnaise." Now, you know how much I love chocolate, but chocolate mayonnaise was not sounding good. So glad I opened the email and saw the word "cake." I, too,  remember this recipe from back in the day.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake


2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2 t. soda
1 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 c. boiling water
1 t. vanilla

Directions: Mix salad dressing, boiling water, & vanilla. Beat 2 min. Then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased 8" layer pans. Bake at 325º -350º for 45 min. Frost as desired. Note from Family Cookbook Friend: An old, old recipe that is extremely moist. Let people guess the secret ingredient.

Don't let your stories be lost to future generations. Use  Write Your Life Story in Eight Weeks Workbook - Second Edition to write your stories. Make'm as biased as you want. You will find the workbook at:

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