This is the kitchen where we talk about food, life, and recovery—a spiritual path to healing and peace.

You are invited to keep coming back to A Cup of Kindness to share your experience, strength and hope; fears, doubts and insecurities; and to pick up information, inspiration … and have a little fun!

My story
In January 2007, at the age of 51, I joined a 12-step program and began my recovery from food addiction, losing 75 pounds in the process. Read more…

In January 2011, at the age of 55, I began my recovery from a multi-trauma accident, 36 fractures, damaged lungs, and post traumatic stress. Read more…

I am deeply grateful for all the kindnesses, large and small, offered to me in recovery. Here I am... alive… still making progress … still not perfect … finding a new way forward in a growing community of women and men who share a lot in common around food and life.

I hope you'll join me in this kitchen and let me know what's cooking with you.

A Cup of Kindness

Open Heart Project


Gratefully received


This morning, Miranda the labradoodle woke me before dawn. I heard the rain and said, “Zafu.” That means, “Return to your meditation cushion and go back to sleep.” Five minutes later she came back and nose bumped my arm. I got up and we went for our walk.

The rain stopped. It was misty. The birds were beginning their orchestra of sound.

Down by the creek we stopped to listen to the frogs singing. What a beautiful noise. I haven’t heard them for a long time. Welcome back.

By the time we got home, we could hear the bees buzzing in the cherry trees and under the eaves of the house.

I fed Miranda.

Next, I made myself a cup of fair trade Italian Roast coffee.



Then I fixed a truly delicious breakfast — 8 oz homemade yogurt, 6 oz Cascadian Farm (frozen) organic sweet cherries, 2 oz Ezekiel cereal, and 1 oz organic walnut pieces.

I looked at this bounty and wondered. Where does it all come from?

Well, Valerie, it comes from the sun, the rain, the earth, the bees, the birds, the farmer, the truck driver, the purveyor, the market.



We are so lucky. Mother Nature continues to provide.

However, we all know She’s hurting and She needs Recovery, too.

I have friends who have chosen Nature as their lives’ work.

I want to do what I can to help. There are two groups I know of through Dominique Browning’s blog Slow Love Life — the Environmental Defense Fund and especially the new organization that Dominique started called Mom’s Clean Air Force.

So, I’ll make my donations and look for other opportunities to give back at least a little of what I have so gratefully received.

Love & Light,


15 Comments to Gratefully received

  1. Myra Tate's Gravatar Myra Tate
    March 24, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    What a lovely message to wake up to this misty morning. Miranda the Labradoodle takes you out into the waking world. Wise doggie.

  2. Joan Earle's Gravatar Joan Earle
    March 24, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    What a great start for the day!! Love the sounds of nature.

  3. Joan Liversidge's Gravatar Joan Liversidge
    March 24, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    There are times when I miss having a dog to spur me out into the world no matter what the climate! So I am off by my self before the rain gets worse. Love your pictures – so inviting.

  4. Meribeth's Gravatar Meribeth
    March 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Valerie … I have just arrived at your blog via Dominique’s. It is with great humility that I write this … after having read of your tribulations. I am still in a spin. I will probably think of you everyday going forward. Know that …

  5. Roberta's Gravatar Roberta
    March 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    That breakfast sounds deeeeelicious!

  6. Francesca Gianaris's Gravatar Francesca Gianaris
    March 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Valerie,
    Beautiful entry my dear and such lovely photos. I awoke early as Parker Puppy Dog needed to head out as well. Our pups don’t mind the weather … and I’m reminded not to either! 🙂
    Bright Blessings…

  7. nicola's Gravatar nicola
    March 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    with that I end my day –
    in a meaningful way.

    Flowing out gently
    promising reentry
    of a beautious new day,

    Back in the US
    to you and yours
    from Nicola

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