“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

February, the month of love, the month that the sun begins to reappear, the shortest month technically, though it often seems to go on forever. Welcome to February. We have survived two blizzards since last week’s newsletter. At last, we are getting what seems more like a Maine winter. I have done a lot of work at my desk, a bunch of cooking, and not much going outside due to the conditions. But the sun is moving relentlessly across the field, its arc ever higher in the sky and the daylight lasts at least an hour longer. There is much to be grateful for. I am particularly grateful for all the friends I have found through my writing projects. Even though I may never get to touch you, our relationships are blossoming online.

In Cooking This Week

Recipe of the Week: Blizzard Chili

I invented this variation of chili one time during a blizzard and think it is fun to have special blizzard food when a storm is raging outside and you are stuck inside making the best of it. Last Saturday, expecting 12-18 inches, I got right into blizzard party mode and made blizzard pancakes for breakfast ( with blueberries and grated apple, nutmeg, and cinnamon) and blizzard chili with cornbread and coleslaw for supper. Sometimes the power goes out during these weather events in Maine and it is nice to have these things made early in the day and ready to heat up. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the recipe so I am filling it in with a different photo.

The chili is special because it has both ground and cubed beef, as well as spices that included everything I could imagine might go into it. Sometimes I add frozen corn. Sometimes we have it with nachos. This recipe is like that. I hope you approve of the new way I am attaching the recipe. Now you can download it by itself if you want or print it if you like paper recipes. I hope you enjoy it and have fun experimenting. Happy Blizzards.

Dear Milly: a love story til the end of time

Dear Milly is my first book, a memoir I wrote for my mother when she was in her nineties. It tells the love story that began her relationship with my father, included lots of background stories and the tale of how our little family grew, with its ups and downs. The book was hurried and not well-formatted because I was working against a deadline. I wanted her to be able to enjoy it. And I’m so glad I did because she read the book herself and with many different people numerous times before she died this year, and it served as a reminder of all the parts of her life with many pictures of the people in it. Someday I will revise it and fix all the neglected parts. Until then, it remains Milly’s story.

My Aging Problem at This Moment is Not About Forgetting But Remembering Too Much

At two a.m. this Seventyish Woman has wisdom to spare

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. Some people are having trouble remembering their children’s names or how they came to be in the home where they’ve been living for decades. I’m not at that stage yet. But I am beginning to feel the weight of all the things I’ve learned, experienced and read in my 72 years. All this accumulated wisdom is beginning to weigh me down. It makes it hard to sleep.

January Departs With A Bang: A Blizzard Fit to Tell Tales About

There’s nothing I like better than a disaster that isn’t too disastrous. This blizzard is setting up to be like that. Plenty of snow and cold and wind and whiteout conditions. All the factors that provide an excuse for lounging around the house in sweat pants, making comforting foods, reading, and occasionally standing up to look out the window and admire the intensity of the wind and the big piles of snow. 

a whiteout

Published by Jean Anne Feldeisen

I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, raised in Galloway Township, and graduated from Oakcrest High School in southern New Jersey.I attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and graduated from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy, English Literature, and (almost) music. After that, I taught piano to local children and adults in the 70s and 80s, had a catering business "Jean's in the Kitchen" from 1980 to 1992, then went to graduate school at Rutgers Camden to obtain my Masters's Degree in Social Work. Since 1996 I have worked as a therapist and counselor first in New Jersey for five years and then, when our family moved to Maine, in Augusta, Maine for five years. For the past 17 years, I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Gardiner, Maine, During the pandemic, I packed up and moved my office home to Washington, Maine. In the year of my seventieth birthday, I decided to write and self-publish a memoir about our parents' World War II romance, Dear Milly. I began blogging on Medium in earnest in 2020 and have posted more than 240 stories including a block of stories about my catering career which I hope to turn into a book in the next year. I have been writing and collecting poetry since childhood but never showed it to anyone. Recently, I learned how valuable it could be to join a group for feedback and support for my writing. I have taken several courses and written many poems and recently had my first poem accepted for publication. Off in a new direction, again.

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