Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I talk about food a lot.

I realize this. Many of my posts from the road are about food and restaurants. It's my little way of promoting good places that are vegan or are kindly to vegans.

There are a lot of them!

Every now and again, I come across an establishment that is quite hostile to the non-traditional western dieter. A Bob Evans experience my good friend had shortly after going vegan where they told her to "go someplace else," comes to mind.

I don't really fault these people. We live in a society that is wary of anyone different than ourselves. Many folks are raised to believe that different equals wrong.

That doesn't change overnight.

Also, every establishment has the right to serve whatever it wants. Though I would love to see every restaurant have a viable veggie option, each place has their own market, niche, and clientele.

This is why I never visit a steakhouse or a seafood place, etc.

What does confuse me though are when asked about their options, a place turns hostile.

Usually, when someone is rude, there are a whole host of things involved in bringing about that side of someone.

But can we change that behavior? Should we?

When rudeness dwels from a place of ignorance or lack of information, is it our place to educate someone?

Sadly, we can't send the ghost of Christmas past, present & future after ever act of rudeness... can we?

No, probably not.

My advice for rudeness is typically to look past it, and to send prayers of compassion to that person. We all need more understanding. We all need more compassion.

So, I ask you to send some thoughts of compassion to the manager at the Courtyard in Brecksville.

I have to admit, that the rudeness I experienced there (including "is this just some lifestyle thing? no, we dont accomodate special needs.") riled me up a bit. I wanted to tell everyone I knew to go out and either vocally boycott the place or that everyone go in asking for vegan options.

But then I thought, what would that accomplish? It would satisfy my wounded ego, but would it be a constructive way to bring about change?  Would this man be helped along to a place of greater understanding?


So I am sharing my experience. Do with it as you wish. And please send this man, and the countless more out there, the seeds of compassion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I breathe.

This breath hangs in the still cold air like a bird hovering in an air current before finally fading out into the patches of falling snow.

And I breathe in.

I breathe in calmness, and a warmth, despite the frost on the air. I breathe in the songs of the crows, and the songs of the trees. Their stories fill the forest like story time when we were in 2nd grade.

To many, there is only silence. The occasional wind-whipping through the pines. But to me, a tale older than any of us is unwinding, with all the vividity of any poet or campfire teller.

It says, “Come listen to my story.”

And so I walk on, snow shoes digging into the deep snow. The forest is already surrounding, and the mountains loom above, though today, the snow clouds are low, and the mountains can freely hide behind their curtain.

The powdery snow reaches up to my knees. No one has been here yet, since the last snowfall. I am breaking ground, blazing a trail into the forest. The tracks of a coyote dash out from behind a near tree, and cross my path, disappearing behind the brush on my left. The scene still playing like a ghost. It is a playful moment for the canine, mouth open in a near-smile, looking for a good time, and perhaps a chizzler. So it heads into the brush, it’s fluffy tail healthy and tinted with a rusty orange flare.

I can almost hear him yip in the distance.

All of the air has stilled now. Too cold for even the wind to be out.

But the mountains are peeking through the clouds, as though the clouds were a tattered old pair of blue jeans.

The sun is even spreading through the cracks in the sky. It throws shadows in every direction, and spots the air with colour.

“Reminds me of a day many years ago,” says a near pine. “The river froze early that year. Bison still wintered by here. Their snorting was a kindly lullaby. We would all close our eyes and just sway to the rhythm.”

The pine stretched into the sky, poking through a cloud. Its branches were full and green, even under the fuzzy sweater of snow.

A swan flew by out of the corner of my eye.

Another deep breath. My feet began rising and falling again, and soon I could see the bend in the river.

It was not frozen though. True, the sides of the river were frozen, but a good-sized channel dashed through. It roared softly as it passed.

A duck of some sort swam lightly by the opposite bank. It didn’t look cold, but I would have traded places.

The mountains were now mostly in view. The river came from that direction. There was a large field between us. In the summer, it would be full or bright yellow flowers and Indian paintbrush. And sagebrush. And the more than occasional grizzly bear.

But right now, 10 feet of snow lay of all of that.

The nearest pine extended its limbs and with a generous embrace, whispered, “Welcome home.”

Valentine's Specials!!

Want to get the perfect special Valentine's gift for your special someone?
Look no further!
You could have me come to your house and sing some songs for the 2 of you!

It's a Z-Valentine!

This is a special offer to all my wonderful Facebook blog readers!

Here are some options, suggestions:
1. I play a 35 min set of songs for you, and you get a copy of my newest record, Mountains & Meadows! ($75)

2. I play an hour set of songs for you, you get a copy of my new CD Mountains & Meadows, and I bring you some vegan chocolate & flowers! ($150)

3. I play a 90 min set of songs for you, you get a copy of my new CD Mountains & Meadows, and I bring you some vegan chocolate & flowers! ($250)

4. I play an hour set of songs for you, you get a copy of my new CD Mountains & Meadows, I bring you some vegan chocolate and flowers, AND i prepare a dinner for you! ($350)

4. For $1,000, I'll play all night for you!

(Prices are subject to negotiation)
Email me at or facebook message me. Dates and times are filling up, so reserve your spot today!