Sunday, May 31, 2015

Butterfinger milkshake

Courtesy of Carmella from The Food Duo.
You read the title correct. This is a quick note to you about the Butterfinger milkshake I had last night at Sweet Ritual in Austin.

I'm in Austin for Vida Vegan Con and will definitely write about my adventures here at a later time. But I just had to let you know that last night I had one of the most delicious desserts ever, Sweet Ritual's  Butterfinger milkshake.

Oh my.

If you ever have the chance, go to Sweet Ritual and order this shake.

They have a lot of other options and their staff is incredibly friendly.

For more information about Sweet Ritual, click here.

Did I say their entire line of ice cream is vegan?!?!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Random acts of kindness

I know that I don't need to tell anyone who reads this blog about suffering. Whether human suffering or animal suffering, most folks who connect with us actively work to end suffering in the world.

As you know, I am in Austin, Texas for the third Vida Vegan Con and I am super stoked.

Yet if one watches any news here, there is a huge reminder that due to floods and storms, hundreds are suffering. Over a dozen have been killed in Texas and the flood devastation is mind blowing.

As I get ready to go for a run I am thinking of what kind act or acts I can do today.

And I wanted to see if we could make this a group effort.

Together we are so much stronger.

How about it? Will you join me and practice a random act (or acts!) of kindness today? 

I will let you know what I decide to do. Please let me know what you decide.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for doing what you do to make the world a better place for all living beings.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Time in Austin. Texas.

I am in Austin, Texas for the third Vida Vegan Con vegan bloggers conference! Yes, a gay vegan in Texas! And by Friday there will be many of us! A whole group of gay vegans. I must come up with a term for that!

The road trip here was filled with excitement: speeding ticket in New Mexico, tornado warnings around Abilene and the loudest, longest thunder storm I have experienced about two hours north of Austin.

I am super excited to be at another Vida Vegan Con. Last time, two years ago, I learned so much about blogging and becoming a better blogger, plus I met so many people who are making the world  a better place for all living beings.

I will be taking photos and sharing experiences throughout the next five days mainly on Instagram and Twitter where I am @thegayvgeans on both.

So far the humidity is already hitting me hard!

If you have a favorite in Austin please let me know.

More to come.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kindness, decency, family. Ireland said yes!

The referendum on civil marriage in Ireland is done.

Votes are being counted. The numbers coming out remind me of the percentage numbers while watching states in the U.S. vote against marriage equality, yet reversed.

In some areas over 70% voted yes to support equality.

I have followed this story for some time. I've watched both campaigns closely and yesterday morning I could barely contain myself as people went to vote.

They went to vote with their families, with their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, their rugby clubs. They traveled from all over the world to, as one man put it, "mark a box". One photo I saw was of three generations of a family after they had all gone to the poll to vote yes.

One thing that I noticed while watching all of this was the huge amount of conversation around kindness. And decency. And family.

Meaning, a yes vote was the kind thing to do. The decent thing to do. After all, we are talking about rights for our family.

Young people rocked it. They campaigned and they voted. Imagine what our equality laws would look like if young people in the U.S. did the same.

As Ireland's Minister of Health, Leo Varadkar said, "I wanted to be an equal citizen in my own country and today I am".

I am ecstatic.

I guess I should also add here, in case this is the first of my blog posts you have read, that I am Irish. In the 1920's my grandfather left County Mayo for the U.S. He settled in Detroit, married my grandmother, became a U.S. citizen and was a dad to my dad and his six siblings.

Thanks for reading.  Éirinn go Brách!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A huge day in Ireland!

I made a quick video to share my thoughts on today's vote in Ireland that could bring marriage equality to the land of my ancestors.

Huge day for Ireland!

I have been emotional all week. I have many times thought that the Irish blood that runs through my veins is part of why I am an activist and one who fights to make the world a better and safer place for all living beings.

The Vote Yes campaign has been incredible. Lots of families talking about supporting a son or dad or nephew or neighbor. Lots of people talking about kindness. And love. And liberty.

And today is the day!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Living your dream

Our move to the Los Angeles area is realizing a dream we have had for years to live in southern California. I want to live there to be closer to the beach, where I can surf, kayak and just relax while reading a good book. The weather, food, diversity and awesome farmers markets are a bonus.

I look forward to so much. Yes, there are down sides. For instance, I constantly hear horror stories about the traffic and just getting from A to B. We will definitely have to get used to all that. But for us our dream will be coming true.

Life is short. I say many times that I was 28 and then one day I woke up and I was 49. Just like that.

Life is such a gift. Every day is precious, and not guaranteed.

Live your dream.

Take that cooking class.

Ask that man or woman on a date.

Organize that protest.

Take that trip.

Don't wait for tomorrow.

You are totally worth it!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Making a big move

If you have been connected with us for even a little while, you might know that for a long time we have been spending a lot of time in southern California. For me, my sweet spaces are the beaches in and north of San Diego. I have wanted to move there for several years.

Mike, not so much. Yet over the past couple of years he has gotten closer to wanting to move and last summer when we were there he said that he was ready.

Since last summer we have thought about a move a lot. I have applied for a couple of jobs but nothing in the San Diego area looked promising. I expanded my search to the Los Angeles area and had better luck getting calls for interviews from non-profits there. Mike joined me in the search and last week got the call.

We are moving.

To Los Angeles. The east side, like between downtown LA and the Inland Empire.

It looks like we'll move in July.

We still have to sell the house, find at least temporary housing there, and I need to find a job.

But we are doing it. My dream of living in southern California. And although we won't be as far south as we would like, we're still only 1 1/2 hours from one of our favorite beaches, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, and Torrey Pines in San Diego.

It's been very emotional since starting to tell our co-workers, neighbors and friends. Seeing the For Sale sign in front of our house almost crushed me. We certainly have a lot to be grateful here and will totally miss our family of friends.

Life is truly so short. It's time to go for our dreams.

If you live in the southern California area please connect with us!

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The darkness subsides

I have many times told a story about when I was in the Navy. I spent many hours on ships standing on an outside part looking out to the vast ocean. I remember looking at the beauty and feeling peaceful.

Then I would start to think. And within several minutes my peace had been turned upside down. By me.

These days I tell another story, which has a lot to do with that. The story is that I can be doing awesome, feeling really good, loving life. Then let me sit and start thinking and boy does that change.

I am amazed sometimes at how quickly I can get absorbed by darkness. Sometimes it takes me by surprise. Most times the reality of my life is that all is really well. I actually have to think of negative things or think of fears or mistakes or people I am having issues with to feel in that dark place.

I know what to do and what not to do to stay out of the darkness.

Tell my husband. Call a friend. Pray and/or meditate. Stop my mental masturbation. Help someone. Get out of myself. Write a gratitude list.

And sometimes I just allow myself to be in that dark place. I try to be the most positive person I can. I try to let go, to live and let live, and to love. Doing this 100% of the time is just not possible for me.

The days of shaming myself for getting into a dark place are over. I actually honor the darkness, or I guess a better way to say what I am feeling about that is to say that I acknowledge it but do not live in it. Like a heard in a meeting once "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I don't have to set up camp there"!

For me the darkness does indeed subside. My dark moments are much less than they were growing up and into my twenties. My family and inner circle have a lot to do with that. Being loved and being able to love certainly helps.

I wanted to share this blog post because I know others get into darkness at times. Social media is filled with happy people. People who are always fine. I wanted to remind folks that even though life is really awesome, sometimes the darkness comes.

And it's OK.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Go for it!

Right now.

Don't wait.

Life is way too short.

Write that editorial. Call a friend you haven't checked in with for months. Make an amends. Say you're sorry. Forgive. Go on that blind date or make a date night with your love.

Plan a vegan potluck. Plan a protest.

Take a trip. Vietnam? Ireland? Colombia? The mountains. A beach. A back country trip.

We all work so hard. We all are so busy. We can't forget to live.

And live well.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Your favorite vegan meal

Many times I have thought about asking the readers of The Gay Vegans to let us know what their favorite vegan meal is. Specifically, the best meal they have had in a restaurant.

The Gay Vegans is not a food blog but every once in a while I do a restaurant review. I also like promoting restaurants in the Denver area where one can get a delicious vegan meal. Most of the restaurants I write about are not exclusively vegan, yet have incredible vegan food to offer.

So this is the time. I would love to know what is your favorite meal that you have had at a restaurant.

It can be an appetizer, a main dish or a dessert.

I know vegan food is exploding around the country, and the world, and I look forward to hearing from you. Undoubtedly Mike and I will need to plan some food trips.

My favorite meal these days is the Mac n Shews at Modern Love in Omaha, Nebraska.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to hearing from you!