Tag Archives: Jefferson Public Radio

A Work of Love

30 Apr

Early this month Emile and I made a brief trip to San Diego for a National Cooperative Grocers conference.  Emile went to the NCG meetings while I explored San Diego – walking the beaches, watching the elephants at the zoo, and discovering the beautiful flowers at the Botanical Garden in Balboa Park.  On our last day there we toured the Naval ship USS Midway. I’d never been on an aircraft carrier before and have a newfound appreciation for how my nephew, Wayne, lived for several years while serving in the Navy.  He’s a terrific young man and I’m so very proud of him!

san diego zoo tix

elephant at SD Zooorchid balboa park one

orchid twoThe Midway

Shortly after we returned home, we said goodbye to our “almost” son, Taylor, who left to go to boot camp for the National Guard.  We’ve known Taylor since he was in the fifth grade with our son, Coco.  It was wonderful to see him and spend some time talking together.  We feel so lucky that we are still a part of his life all these years later!

Taylor and Emile

Then there were the pies that were made… such as this Kickass Apple Pie created for a dear friend…

kickass apple pie

… and this Spinach and Pepper Quiche I brought to Leigh, who runs the Ashland Community Resource Center.  He’s able to help so many of those in need… and I am very grateful for his work.

quiche for leigh

There was the Apple Crumb Pie I brought to Opus Radio to honor their longtime DJ, R Charles Snyder, who passed away suddenly. He was a legend here in the Rogue Valley and it’s very hard to believe that he isn’t still with us.  My heart goes out to his family and coworkers… he will be missed.

apple crumb pie

And then there was the pie I made for National Blueberry Pie Day (April 28 – strange since blueberries aren’t usually in season until June!)  This pie was given to a friend who is experiencing a pretty challenging time at work and I want her to know we’re on her side.

blueberry pie

The last pie of the month… another Apple Crumb… was a gift for our friend Alex Palowski.  He is getting ready to retire and this was just a small token to thank him for all that he has done over the years

Looking back over the month,  I am extremely grateful for the many opportunities that I’ve had to show my friends that I care about them.  The gift I’ve given them may look like a pastry… but really it’s much more than that. It’s a work of love.

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.  Jean Anouilh

Not such Random Acts of “Pie”ness

31 Aug

These last few weeks have been pretty busy with doctors appointments (for my Dad) and a few catering jobs for me.  When Monday rolled around I felt I needed to stay home and dig out from what felt like months of paperwork.  I was able to toss a bunch of things (doesn’t that always feel good?) and organize the pile that I kept.  For the first time in months I was able to see the top of my desk!  Woohoo!

After that amazing (for me) accomplishment, I needed to celebrate by baking a pie.  Fortunately, my friend Sue had a birthday this week and that gave me the perfect opportunity to try out a recipe I was given by our mutual friend, Bajr.   The recipe was for a Rhubarb Custard Pie… and luckily I had  the right amount of rhubarb in my fridge (from my neighbor Deb) and just a handful of raspberries to toss in for color.    This is what it looked like when it went into the oven.

Bajr's Rhubarb Custard Pie

Bajr’s Rhubarb Custard Pie

When the pie emerged from the oven an hour or so later, it looked pretty much the same… and it smelled delicious!  When it was cool enough to pick up, I  drove it over to Sue’s house, but unfortunately she was not at home.  I left the pie in a safe space by her door and sent her a text letting her know that it was home waiting for her.  Later, we talked and she told me that she shared the pie with herJefferson Public Radio  co-workers and she was delighted to have the original recipe from Bajr.

Then yesterday I finally got around to making a pie for a couple who I’d been thinking of for some time.  I’ve known Alma and Bill for years and have admired them for many reasons and once had even brought a pie to church for them!  That particular day, Alma and Bill were not at church and so instead I went with my intuition and gave the pie to another.  That would not happen this time!  I chose to make them a Raspberry Peach Pie…  because the peaches were so fragrant and the berries bright and beautiful.  Here is the before baking photo…. lovely isn’t it?

Raspberry Peach Pie

Raspeberry Peach Pie

After the pie was done (and you can tell it is done when the fruit juices are bubbling through the crust like this)

Raspberry Peach Closeup

Then, I drove the pie to Alma and Bill’s house.  As was the case with Sue, they were not at home.  I tucked my name into the saran wrap covering the pie and left it on their doorstep.  A short while later, I received a lovely call from Alma thanking me for the pie.  As I listened to her words I thought, “How lucky I am to be able to make people happy by doing something that I love.”  I wish that everyone could discover how good that feels!

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”  Ella Fitzgerald

November Musings: Loss, Limitations, Public Radio, and Birthdays

1 Nov

Last week I catered the annual memorial celebration for Ashland Community Hospital Hospice at the Ashland Community Center.  The room was decorated with twinkling lights, soft music played, and candles glowed inside paper bags with butterfly cutouts – each with the name of a loved one lost.   It was a beautiful way to honor those who have died in the last year and I was thankful to be a part of it.

After the celebration, I packed up the few leftovers and headed home.  As I approached the plaza area I noticed a group of young people sitting together – one of them holding a sign that read “Looking for a Helping Hand.”  As soon as I could, I pulled my car over and gathered up cookies, a pitcher of hot cider, a few paper cups, and walked over to the group.

As I approached the group, I was a tiny bit fearful of how my gesture would  be received because these kids have been living on the streets and perhaps have become jaded.  I shouldn’t have worried because as I gave out the cookies and cider I was met with grateful smiles and sweet comments.  When I reached the young man who had been holding the sign, I saw that he was missing a hand and also noticed his beautiful, clear blue eyes.

After I left the young people, I drove home thinking about that young man.   I often ponder what life events lead a person to choosing to live on the streets.  Did he learn that he was “less than perfect” from his family of origin?  Or was it something he decided on his own.  Will he ever find his true potential or has he given up forever?

I’ve been haunted (no seasonal pun intended) by that young man all week and then yesterday I was sent this link and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (like I must have been) you probably have already seen it.  It is the audition of a young man named Emmanuel for the show The X Factor.  This young man and his brother were born in a war zone in Iraq and left at an orphanage as toddlers.  And fortunately they were lucky to be adopted by a family who helped them see a world of possibilities instead of limitations.

We all face roadblocks or limitations in our lives, and many of them are self-imposed.  Perhaps we hear voices from the past telling us we are not good enough… or that we will never make it… or that we are unlovable.   Many of us have supportive friends and family who help us move past these stumbling blocks, while others  do not.  And still I am wondering, what can we do to reach out and help?  I don’t have the answer… but would love to work with others towards one.  I’ve been lucky… and want to pay that forward as best I can.

Apple Almond Pie for Jefferson Public Radio

Oh.  This blog is supposed to be about pies… Well, I did manage to give away a pie last week as well.  During the pledge drive,  I delivered an Apple Almond Pie to the folks at Jefferson Public Radio.  I am so grateful for the on-air staff (Maria Kelly, Brad Ranger, Eric Teel) and the behind the scenes folks (especially Sue Jaffe) who work tirelessly to bring us the news, information and music we enjoy.  You guys are awesome!

Finally, I want to send heavenly birthday wishes on this day to my dear friend Irene Orselli and to my Grandpa Powell… and chocolatey birthday wishes to Bob Edwards!

I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.  ~Mother Teresa


Life’s gifts are where you find them

16 Aug

How can it be that I bake almost every day and have not taken the time to write a post in weeks?  I can’t explain it except to say that I can think up many reasons to bake something – but by day’s end, it’s hard to find the energy to write a single word!  Yet I can’t begin to imagine going for weeks without baking.

Chocolate Cream Pie topped with chunks of Cary’s Toffee

It seems I am always finding a reason to bake.  Recently, I baked a chocolate cream pie for my friend Judi who was leaving her job after 28 years.  She is looking forward to what the future holds for her – and to spending more time with her seven grandchildren (who I hoped would be able to help her with all of that chocolate!)

And then last weekend was the first anniversary for the Medford Food Co-op and I was asked to make some cakes for the celebration.  I made three cakes – two of which were chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sour cream frosting.  The third cake was also chocolate and had a chocolate frosting but with raspberry filling –  and this one was gluten-free and dairy free as well!  That made a lot of people happy… and I was tickled to provide a cake that worked within those dietary restrictions.

Lest you think I have forgotten, there was a “pie recipient” in the mix.  I’d been listening  to Jefferson Public Radio on Saturday night not long ago, and the program that was on is one of our favorites.  It is called American Rhythm.  The host of this program is a man named Craig Faulkner and this is what is said about Craig’s program on the JPR website: Craig Faulkner uses his extensive archive of classic R&B, Swing, Jazz, Blues, and the popular music of a time gone by to honor and celebrate the Golden Era of American Music.

As I was preparing dinner and listening to his show that night I thought, I should make this man a pie!  You see, we’ve listened to his show for many years and I realized, he doesn’t know how much we enjoy this music.  I wanted to bake him a pie to say “Thank you for bringing us this lovely gift each week!”  However, this was a little bit of a challenge because I didn’t know Craig Faulkner at the time.  But after a few emails and a few phone calls, we became acquainted… and I was able to meet him and give him a berry pie (his wife had said he’d like that).

Fresh Blackberry and Raspberry Pie

You see, I think it is important to take the time to let people know when they’ve made a positive impact on our lives.   Even if all we offer is a simple “Thank you” to the person who has changed our lives for the better, we will have acknowledged their efforts – and that is the least we can do.

Oh –  I forgot to mention that we are hosting two lovely Japanese students for a few weeks.  Their names are Hitomi and Saya and they are here to participate in an intensive English program at Southern Oregon University.  Each day we talk, ask questions, and laugh at the differences in our languages… and each day their English gets a little bit better.  It’s been quite an amazing process to witness!

Saya and Hitomi

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
―    Marcel Proust

Day 84: Joanie

29 Jun

If you’ve lived in Ashland a while, you probably knew Joanie. When I came to Ashland in the fall of 1986, I began hearing about her from her friends and co-workers at a restaurant called Geppetto’s. Joanie had painted a mural and her artwork was on the menu and the awning. It was easy to sense her presence even though she was not around. And it was hard not to be impressed and a bit in awe of her.

Joanie and I didn’t share a lot of history – I arrived in Ashland after she had moved away and was amazed at the wake that she had left behind. When I finally did meet Joanie, I was a little bit intimidated, but I loved how she was not afraid to speak her mind. That is not something I was encouraged to do.

The biggest bond Joanie and I shared was my daughter, Alexandra. They shared a kindred spirit and a fearlessness that I cannot fathom. When we attended Joanie’s wedding in Seattle, my daughter (who was 2 1/2 at the time) was restless in the pew and fought to be set down. I gave in and put her down and turned my back for a moment and when I looked again, she was gone from my sight. I didn’t know what to do or where to look for her and then I heard laughter. My daughter had left me and gone up to the alter where Joanie and Tucker were, and she was picking up rose petals, oblivious to the audience that was there.

Today is Joanie’s birthday and this morning I brought an apple crumb crust pie to the Jefferson Public Radio studio at Southern Oregon University to honor her memory. May she forever live on in our hearts.