Gorgeous and Moroccan

I love the sound of Moroccan and love the food even more. A few dishes I made this past weekend and I think the recipes are worth sharing – just in time for grilling weather.

Grilled Moroccan Chicken

Servings: 4


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped scallion (white part only)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts


  • Combine olive oil, scallions, parsley, cilantro, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper in the container of a food processor.
  • Process until smooth
  • Rub the mixture on both sides of the chicken breast and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to medium hot and grill chicken breasts 5 – 7 minutes on each side, or until done.
  • Recipe taken from food.com/moroccan chicken

Serve the chicken with:

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

Makes 10 Servings


1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2(15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
salt and pepper


  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart or larger sauce pan and stir in couscous.
  • Cover the pot and remove from the heat
  • Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar and cumin.
  • Add green onions, red pepper, cilantro, corn, beans and toss to coat
  • Fluff the couscous well breaking up any chunks.
  • Add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from food.com/black bean couscous salad


Sitting on the concrete stairs, sipping coffee and smoking a cigarette, he said, “I hope you never come to understand that kind of hate.”

As I grew to become a young woman and now a wife and mother, I’ve come to understand just how much my relationship with my father has shaped me into the woman I am today. My father was always somewhat mysterious to me and I learned to accept that mysterious quality as a part of him and a part of our relationship. He left our family when I was a young girl and I wrote about that period of my life in “sins of thy father”.  It was a confusing time for both my father and I, but somehow we were able to salvage what little time we had and spent quality time during the remaining years of my father’s life.  My hometown was Montreal, Quebec where my father resided until his death, and I had moved across the country to British Columbia living with my mother as we journeyed through our new family life that she created. We moved to BC when I was fifteen and every year my brother and I would hop on a plane and visit my father for a minimum of two weeks.  My favourite memories of my father was our time sitting on the concrete stairs at the front of the house.  I would get up early in the morning, grab my smokes, my coffee and join him on the concrete steps to steal some alone time as we talked about anything and everything(memories).

My father served in the Canadian Navy during the second world war.  Growing up I understood that his time in the war was a major part of his life, but not something I really thought about until I learned of the atrocities during the second world war in school.  At the age of seventeen my father was itching to go to Europe and offer his services to combat the evil that was growing overseas. My grandparents gave my father their blessings and off to war he went.  He was part of the Canadian Navy convoy that protected allied supply ships going to Europe that held men, equipment, weapons, food, medical supplies, and so much more, to the front lines.  He saw many things and the vintage pictures he had in his possession, depicted his naval life and the men he served with in various European locations, had an eery silence to them and my father added to that mystery and silence by never talking about the war.

I found out by eavesdropping on my father’s conversations that he did talk about the war to certain people, but never to his daughter.  Once a friend of ours dropped by to visit and while sitting over coffee in the kitchen, my father and his friend suddenly started conversing in french. I was not completely versed in the french language and I think my father figured I would not be able to understand what the two men were talking about.  I knew enough french to understand that they were talking about my father’s time during the war.  The story I picked up was about the men he served with when a German ship was blown out of the water and what happened when the ship he was on picked up the survivors.  I’d rather not share the story, but I was shocked because I always thought that the Canadians were the good guys. Listening to his story, I immediately realized that there were some things that I could not possibly understand.

The next day during our morning coffee, smoke and concrete stair routine, I asked my father if I understood the story correctly.  He was surprised that I understood that much and told me that essentially I had the story correct.  I shared my disgust for the story and he said to me, “honey, there are things you don’t understand and war is one of them.”  “What do you think would happen right now if your whole family was blown to bits, how do you think that would change you?”  I told him, I couldn’t imagine that happening in this country and told him that I thought the Canadians were the good guys.  “The war did terrible things and watching ships blown out of the water by the enemy, knowing our brothers were on those ships brings hate to good men and makes men do and think things that they thought they would never do.”  “I hope you never come to understand that kind of hate and I hope your children’s children never understand that kind of hate either.”

Sitting on those stairs that morning, I came to understand my father’s mysterious ways and why he was the way he was.  A good friend of his once told me that he loved my father because he was a loyal friend and would give you the shirt off his back, but God help you, he said, if you crossed him. A trait of my father’s I’ve learned to curb over the years. I’ve learned the hard way that not all friends or family have your back and some go out of their way to betray. I’ve learned to forgive and move on, but true to my father, I never forget. My father was the first man I trusted to bare my soul to and I could tell him the good, the bad and the ugly.  He always listened, never judged and all these years after his death, some of those conversations still come back to me. As I age, I realize that the short time my father was on this earth and in my life, shaped me into the type of woman I am today. I crave for more time on the concrete steps to reconnect with my father who truly understood me.



As she pressed through the ancient wooden door,

she wondered if he was there,

often she drops by and sits alone in his house,

and wonders if he hears her,

she needed him to be there this time,

surrounded by his ancient walls,

she could only hear the crickety sound

of his floorboards,

the smell of dust and ancient wood filled her nostrils,

as she sat down in his chair and stared out his window,

closing her eyes, she tried to imagine what he would

be like if he was there,

would he be warm, would he make fun of her or

would he rebuke her,

after some time and deep into thought,

the candles to the right of her suddenly lit,

she felt the warmth of him stirring from deep


as he sat down beside her,

and guided her to feel complete and whole,

giving her the strength to face her fears

and embrace her worries,

letting her know that he is there,

for her,

in this world and beyond



“It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all of your life.”  Elizabeth Kenny


I took this picture of my youngest son a few years ago.  He came home from school one day and announced he wanted a mohawk haircut.  He was playing box lacrosse and several of the kids on the team decided that intimidating haircuts would suit their lacrosse style.  Why, I don’t know because they wear helmets, it’s not like any of the opposing team saw their hair.   However, if you feel like a lion then you roar like a lion.  I didn’t mind the haircut, I like mohawks and the haircut suited my son.  The problem was that the school he was going to had a rule against mohawk haircuts. The rule went against my grain as I believe you have to let children be themselves and not make a big deal of things that don’t matter – like hair, clothes and style.  At the same time I do teach my children to follow rules, but it was June and there were only a few weeks left of school, so my husband and I decided to let  Matt cut his hair in mohawk style so he could join the ranks of his team.  We warned him when he went to school the principal would have something to say.  We coached him to be respectful but to stand up for himself and tell her why his hair was cut that way.  His first day at school with his new style, the principal approached him and he told her it was for his team.  Didn’t impress her much and she met my husband at his car when he pulled in after school to pick up the boys.  My husband told her that we decided let him cut his hair in mohawk style knowing the school rules.  The principal decided to compromise – he didn’t wear his hair in mohawk style while at school.  I thought the compromise was ironic because a mohawk style not worn in mohawk style looks terrible.   Not one other child at his school had a mohawk and every day he proudly went to school showing off his haircut.  There comes a time in everyone’s life where  you just gotta break the rules, face the consequences and stand up for yourself..


“The thing about hearing loss is that no one can see it. You simply can’t look at a person and tell if they have a loss. Most people are so impatient and they just assume that the person with hearing loss is being rude, or they may even think that the person is slow-witted, when in fact they simply can’t hear.” Marion Ross

My hearing loss has been part of me since I was a small child. I’ve learned to adapt over the years. I watch lips, body language, facial expressions and hands. It is amazing what you can learn about someone just by watching. Sometimes things are revealed to me without the person knowing. When someone tells me something, I quite often pick up undercurrents from the conversation just by watching their lips, their eyes and their body movement. I ask pointed questions and quite often get surprised responses. Several years ago my hearing deteriorated making hearing more difficult than ever before. People think that amplification is the answer to my hearing loss, but amplification does not help. When sound is amplified, I just hear noise and if the noise is too loud my brain becomes confused making lip-reading difficult as well. Feeling deflated when I realized my hearing had deteriorated, I decided I only had one choice and that choice was to adapt and overcome. I make sure I tell people I’m severely hearing impaired so they know that I’m not ignoring them. At work phones became a problem for me, so I signed on to Telus’ IP relay service and now use this service for my phone communication. I’m sure some of the people I’m dealing with on the phone find it annoying but my overall experience has been positive because I think people admire that I’m still willing to try to communicate even though it’s difficult.

Parties, or any event where there are lots of people in a room, is a nightmare for my senses. It can be overwhelming and I have to breathe in very deep and focus on the person I’m talking to. My concentration has to be incredibly focused because of the volume of noise around me. With that much noise around me, it is hard to zero in on the person and read their lips as their voice blends in with the rest of the noise and the sound of their voice is no longer directed my way, overwhelming my senses and confusing my brain. This is where my years of adaptability comes in to play, as I will lean into the person and watch their lips and their eyes and focus as if that person was the only person in the room. Somehow I manage to read their lips and carry on a conversation, something a hearing person has no idea how difficult this simple action is to master. Unfortunately, in this world today people are so impatient and the lack of empathy in today’s society can make my hearing situation very uncomfortable in social situations. The fact that I have to stare at someone so intensely can be un-nerving for some people and it’s interesting to watch people’s reaction to that intensity. Ironically, most people would help a blind man across the street but people, in general, display impatience for the deaf and hearing impaired community. The older I get the less I care what people think about me or my deafness. Some of the rumours about me have come my way; I’m a snob, I’m a bitch and the one that hurts the most, that I’m not smart! I have to admit, the not smart one bothers me because the amount of brain power I have to use every single day just to hear one word that the hearing world takes for granted is significantly greater than most people.

I went through a range of in-depth hearing tests several years ago. Eight hours in a room listening to various sounds and tones to reveal what I knew, my hearing deteriorated to the point that my hearing aids no longer aid my hearing loss as much as they used to. I am a candidate for cochlear implants, the audiologist also suggested that I put myself on a list for a hearing dog. Her reasoning for the dog is that my hearing has deteriorated to the point that I would not be able to hear our smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector should something happen. So far I haven’t signed on for the dog but my youngest son is pushing me to put my name on that list. The audiologist also told me that my ability to lip read is fairly accurate as well as my ability to piece conversations together like a jigsaw puzzle giving me a very high intuition level, higher than the average person.

My youngest son, Matthew, especially takes advantage of my lip-reading ability. He often forgets his water bottle for hockey and in the middle of his hockey game, he will skate by where I’m sitting in the rink and lip to me “I forgot my water bottle.” The boys went to a Catholic elementary school and every now and then I would join their class for their monthly masses, I usually sat several pews back and Matt would turn to find me, catch my eyes and lip “get me out of here.” However, he tells me that it is rude to drop in on conversations when people don’t know I’m reading their lips, a habit I try to curb especially when Matt is around. The lip-reading thing can be interesting as I see and observe things that most people don’t see. The other day I was working out in the gym and a group of six fifteen year old boys crowded the area, so much so that I couldn’t complete my lunges. I left my water bottle on one of the benches as I was planning to work out my arms next, and took my barbell and moved to the other side of the room. As I dropped into a lunge, I noticed one of the young boys was moving toward my water bottle and I read his lips as he was saying to his buddy, “What is this fucking chick doing, she’s hogging this bench and she’s not here.” I walked over to him with my barbell over my head and I said “hey, that fucking bench is mine, don’t even think about taking it.” The look on his face was priceless and as I turned around to go back to my area I smiled and thought “the kid doesn’t know it but I”m just happy he called me a chick and not an old lady.”

This morning while at yoga and doing balancing exercises, my instructor said “you have to find your foundation in order to get to your core.” The core of my being is my hearing loss as it affects every facet of my life. My foundation is my soul as I remain grounded and true to myself giving me the strength to deal with the many different aspects of hearing loss while leaning on the pillars of life.