a spinning blur in a sunlit room

dancing with daddy

This morning, I came downstairs to find a swirl of pink skirts on the television and Lu in her pink leotard, spinning too. Every morning now, she asks for Shipoopi, the lovely wonderful silly dance number from The Music Man that has taken over her brain. This week, she has the first dance performance in what I imagine will be years of rooms crowded with girls in pink skirts and boys in black pants and ballet shoes for this girl of ours. She loves to dance. She twirls, arms out, her body a blur in the sunlit room.

And so she dances to this song I thought was hilarious when I was a teenager, in a movie I loved so well, but much more so now. Lucy studies. She watches and listens and sits still long enough to hold her eyes on the screen for the entire song. And after asking “Again!” 4 or 5 times, she stands up and matches the choreography exactly. Her feet seem to memorize through her eyes. And she dances, arms out, skirt twirling, grin wide.

This morning, she asked for Danny to dance with her. He did, again and again, knowing he wouldn’t see her until tomorrow morning, missing her already. They twirled and stomped. They stopped in places — Lu has her rules each time about which dancer she is following — and then flung themselves into the air again.

I sat on the couch, curling my hand around a hot cup of coffee, laughing and laughing.

Last night, I answered the phone to hear a woman from the Eugene police department say, “Ms. Ahern? We’ve found  your car.” Startled, I jumped up to yell to Danny outside. He turned off the riding lawnmower after riding circles in the vast expanse of overgrown green and ran to me. “They found our car!”

We just stared at each other. Both of us had let go of the possibility of ever seeing it again. The only real frustration and fear of the past 10 days has been in trying to find a car to replace it before our rental car had to go back. It’s a 1994 Honda, dented and worn. But it’s a great car, which we’ve maintained with a mechanic we trust. It has another 4 or 5 years in it. But trying to find a car that reliable? It was going to cost us three times the amount the car insurance company was going to give us for our car. We’ve been worried. Being freelancers always means that money is going to rise up in our mind, mostly in the middle of the night. The fact that they found our car is like someone handing us money, unexpectedly.

There have been so many graces lately.

The camera and computer and my Kindle are gone, of course. But the car? It’s fine. Nothing changed. The policeman on the scene talked to me as he looked into it and the trunk. The cooler and the bag full of library books and even the stereo are all still there. The hand-knit blue blanket in which we bundled up 2-week-old Lu and carried her home from the hospital. The blanket we’re hoping someday will carry kid #2 as well? In the back seat. Even the ferry passes are there.

The car was parked two blocks from where it had been stolen. “Sometimes people steal cars like this to commit another crime and then they just dump the car. They swipe anything valuable and then they walk away,” the policeman told me. (Also, early 90s Hondas are the most-stolen car in the US. “Any Honda key works in them,” the two truck told me. I never thought I’d do this, but we’re getting a club for the car now.)

I’ve been thinking, for days, about a piece I read on one of my favorite websites, Zen Habits. It’s specifically about dealing with the stresses of parenting but it’s also about anything that happens in life. Here’s the part that has been repeating in my head:

“Imagine you’re rowing a boat on a foggy lake, and out of the fog comes another boat that crashes into you! At first you’re angry at the fool who crashed into you — what was he thinking! You just painted the boat. But then you notice the boat is empty, and the anger leaves … you’ll have to repaint the boat, that’s all, and you just row around the empty boat. But if there were a person steering the boat, we’d be angry!

Here’s the thing: the boat is always empty. Whenever we interact with other people who might “do something to us” (be rude, ignore us, be too demanding, break our favorite coffee cup, etc.), we’re bumping into an empty boat. We just think there’s some fool in that boat who should have known better, but really it’s just a boat bumping into us, no harm intended by the boat.

That’s a hard lesson to learn, because we tend to imbue the actions of others with a story of their intentions, and how they should have acted instead. We think they’re out to get us, or they should base their lives around being considerate to us and not offending us. But really they’re just doing their thing, without bad intent, and the boat just happens to bump into us.”

Danny and I are both happy that we stayed so calm for Lu the day our car was stolen. Other than the money worries of having to buy a new car and all our belongings again before insurance kicks in, we’ve stayed pretty calm. And now, I just think: that was an empty boat.

So you think I’d be having a great day today. A morning that started with sunlight and a small child dancing. A car returned. A husband wonderful enough to drive 5 hours to return the truck, pick up the car, and drive it home in one day. A house to myself to work. 70 degrees. Work I love. Life, this amazing life we have. A cookbook coming out next week.

Ah, but that’s where you’d be wrong.

deer on the walk

As soon as Danny drove away, I put up this post on all the necessary social media sites to promote it. And my head started whirling and my heart started hurting. In spite of my best intentions, I was anxious.

What if people don’t participate? what if the book doesn’t sell well? Aren’t all the gluten-free people going to buy Gwenyth Paltrow’s book instead? That’s the best seller. What if we don’t sell enough copies? What is enough copies? Have I done enough? Oh god, I hate promotion. 

You see, I adore the work of creating and writing recipes. I love writing pieces here, including this rambly monologue. But the jazz hands that are expected with the work of selling books? It’s a very different work.

Danny and I are both so excited about coming out to meet you soon. We have events in Seattle, Portland, and New York in the next few weeks. We have another big campaign we’re launching next week that might bring us to see more of you. And we truly love this cookbook. It is the best work I’ve ever done, this work.

But to be honest, there’s a part of me that would truly love to crawl into a hole and come out three months from now.

There’s the work. And then there’s the expectation of that work. Expectations are premature disappointments.

There’s a story that my parents told me about myself many times when I was growing up. When I was three, my dad came into the room and saw me holding my head. Startled, he asked what was wrong. I looked up and said, “Does it ever stop? Does my brain ever stop?”

I still wonder that sometimes. Having to be so public — since when did writers have to worry about their wardrobes and how they look in every photo for Instagram? — and on for the next few months? It’s a little overwhelming. I was a little overwhelmed this morning.

blackberry bushes

And then, procrastinating, I started reading my friends’ stories on Facebook. That’s when I remembered: two years ago today, our friend Kim Ricketts died. Kim, that enormous force of life who moved so many of us into laughter and embracing our own imperfect lives, who slipped poems into her children’s lunchboxes every day and threw away plans to have spontaneous picnics at the first sight of sun. Dear, wonderful Kim. Many of us who knew her still ask ourselves: What Would Kim Ricketts Do?

(Oh, please go read my friend Tara’s gorgeous piece about Kim and planting sunflowers in her honor. I don’t even know why I’m writing. She said it so much better.)

We were working on this book when she died and now it’s out on Monday. I just so wish I could put a copy in her hands.

I read again a note that Kim sent me before she died: “I need to worry less about the next horrible thing that may happen and instead, be happy on a Friday night and go to the movie with my daughter and just be with her while I can.…I have to find a way to remind myself that it is in the sitting down together at dinner and the walking the neighbor’s dog with her, etc that life is lived–not in the plans and worrying and trying so hard–it won’t save you anyway.”

I started crying. And then I started laughing, because Kim would throw her arms in the air and say, “Get up! Go for a walk! Stop sitting there fretting, nattering away. Get that head of yours into the sunshine!”

So I did. Thank you, Kim.

beautiful blue sky

I listened to Pema Chodron as I walked, my legs feeling stronger, my thoughts growing calmer. Sunlight helps. And then I heard this and stopped:

“I’m glad to be alive. I’m glad to be alive to agreeable, I’m glad to be alive to disagreeable. And I’m glad to be alive to sour and sweet and tingly and itchy, and refreshing and cold and hot and the whole thing. And it doesn’t matter that there is this voice that says I don’t like this, or I do like this, that’s fine, you know, that’s also fine, but somehow open and at home, with your body, your mind, and your world, and meditation is actually the means or, the tools that we need… It actually is that the present moment is the doorway to liberation, vastness, unobstructed quality of our mind. And we could experience the world that way.”

I feel much better now.

Look, I’m lousy at selling books. Standard wisdom says I should be writing pithy posts right now (I can’t write brief to save my life, not when I’m writing something that matters to me). I should be showing you photos of the book and trying to make you hungry. I should be poised and calm and not blathering away about my own anxieties.

But here’s the deal. I love the gathering that comes around food. I love the conversation that happens here. I love the chance to write these words and calm my heart with the clattering of the keys. I’ve never done anything in the typical way of my life. But what I want is life.

We hope that some of you buy our cookbook. We hope that some of you like it. Some of you won’t like the book and you’ll state so clearly on Amazon and other places. Okay. (Empty boat.) But really, this cookbook is our offering. It’s the culmination of many gatherings with friends, time with Lucy at the stove, conversations between me and Danny, late nights of writing and much, much laughter. Our greatest hope is not a bunch of sales. Our greatest hope for this book is something we won’t know for months: we hope that this cookbook inspires you to cook and to spend time at the table with people you love.

Thanks for reading. I’m ready to start dancing now.

65 comments on “a spinning blur in a sunlit room

  1. Stephanie

    For what it’s worth, if I wasn’t already a huge fan and admirer of your work and words, I am now after this post. Beautifully written, honest, and heartwarming. I, too, have been learning and re-learning how to live more and not waste the precious gift of time by worrying. I think about a hamster running furiously on his wheel, and I feel like that much of the time. So thank you for yet another reminder to pause. Stare at my daughter. Eat something delicious. Get out in the sunshine. So excited for your book and thanks for doing what you do!

  2. Missy

    I heart you.
    Also, I’m self-employed and I understand as well as a non-writer but self-employed person can. And I don’t care about Paltrow — you are my gluten free girl.
    Thank you for sharing and being awesomely real. :)

  3. Gardencat

    I’ve already ordered your book and I’m not alone. I have your other two and hope you keep writing and cooking and sharing. Hugs and much sunshine!

  4. mary fran | frannycakes

    So beautifully written, as usual. You managed to tug at the corners of my heart with your call to pause. To take a walk. To enjoy the moment. I love the empty boat metaphor — it is the kind of thing I often need to be reminded of.

    Your ability to find and write about serenity and love will never cease to impress or affect me. It brings me comfort to read your stories of real days. I love seeing you being you. Please don’t ever let anything as silly as wardrobe keep you hidden. Thank you for being so public.

    Congrats on the new book, I can’t wait for my copy to arrive :)

  5. Netty

    Be You! (Everyone else is taken.)

    That’s what’s on my acupuncturist’s bathroom mirror. :) People love your blog and recipes and your book will sell! I’m buying it asap! :) Good luck!!!!

  6. Kristy

    Your writing is so amazing, open, honest and truthful — it is a gift to us that read it.

    keep doing what feels true to you not what you are “suppose” to do

  7. Letty

    I got hit by an empty boat this week. Thanks for reminding me that it’s empty :).

    I have already pre-ordered your book, and the first thing I’m going to make is naan, which I will then share with my almost 1 year old daughter, who is also gluten free. Thank you.

  8. Elizabeth

    Thank you for writing. So glad your car was found with Lucy’s invaluable blanket and the library books. Sorry that you lost your camera, computer and kindle. I have never had anything stolen, but it ever happens, I hope I can stay as calm as you all did.

  9. Debs

    You do realize that we can’t tell you how much we love your book until we actually receive it? How about you go out and play and have fun until Monday, when you can come back and read about how wonderful we all think the book is. Spinning is fun. Just don’t hurt yourself if you fall down dizzy.

  10. Joy Sacalis

    So, you go about selling your book in your own way. Frankly, I’d rather read something that comes from the heart, as does this post. This is beautifully written and a breath of fresh honesty. I can’t wait to see the book, which, am sure I will buy. Congratulations and breathe easy knowing you have done your very best! You go girl!

  11. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen

    Maybe Gwenyth Paltrow’s book will be a bestseller. But can any of us really relate to her? Your book will sell to the people who matter to you and the people who connect with you on a personal level, through your writing and your recipes. There are many food blogs that I “read” (skim through to get to the recipe) because I can’t connect with the writing. Your writing is captivating and even when I know I don’t have time I find myself still scrolling and scrolling because I want more. Good luck in the next coming weeks!

    1. shauna

      Thank you so much for this kind note. Truly. I have to say, I wasn’t meaning to slag off on Gwenyth. I don’t have her new book but we truly enjoyed her first book and it’s still on our shelves. It was more a reference to the way that celebrity books always sell big!

    2. Anne Marie

      I so agree, I follow many GF bloggers as I am so grateful for the wonderful insight and recipes posted, but Shauna your writing is always a treat to read.…and your recipes the best. I’ll be picking up my copy as soon as I can.

  12. Tara

    I am SO buying your new cookbook! The honesty and joy within your little family will show through, just as it does in your blog, and that is what will set your cookbook apart from others. I love the fact that you don’t create crappy gluten free food and try to pass it off as edible, and for that alone, it is worth the purchase for anyone considering or needing to be gluten free. Congratulations on getting your car back! Zen Habits is one of my favourites too, and I loved the post you refer to. Good timing on that one! Enjoy. :)

    1. shauna

      Thank you. Isn’t Zen Habits such a gift? If I’m stuck, I go back and read something he has so graciously given us.

  13. Megan

    I’m so glad that your car was found, with library books, to boot! (We’ve had to replace a few of those lately, and boy are they spendy!). Loving the family posts these days.

    1. shauna

      Our library (part of the King County library system) already told us they wouldn’t charge us for the (ahem) 30 or so books Lucy had checked out and insisted on bringing with her on the trip. They have an insurance fund for emergency situations. We’ll be so happy to return them and let the insurance be used for someone else.

  14. Ada

    When I buy your book, it won’t be because you put on a slick promotional campaign or because I’m out of ideas of what to cook or because I need gluten-free baking recipes. It’ll be because I love reading your blog. When you write about your personal journey through life’s struggles, I feel like I know you better even though we’ve never met. So, when I go to buy the book, it’ll be because I “know” the person writing it and it’s something I genuinely want to read. In all honesty, if you had written some sort of promo post, I probably wouldn’t have read it because I don’t care for advertising. Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re doing a damn good job, and don’t worry about the rest!

  15. Kario

    There is so much love and light and vulnerability packed into this post that I don’t know where to begin. I love your authentic voice, your willingness to be who you are, call it out, and live it and I hope you know that it offers redemption and permission to all who read your words to be the same. That said, 1. I love that you will get your car back and I am certain it is because of the way you handled it being taken. 2. Your musings about selling your book both terrify and comfort me, given that I am soon to publish my first book and I hate, hate, hate marketing. It’s nice to know there are other writers who just want to write, too. 3. I can’t wait until you all come to the Book Larder next week and I get to buy your book IN PERSON! Thank you for being who you are.

  16. Pam

    “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
    Love like you’ll never be hurt,
    Sing like there’s nobody listening,
    And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
    ? William W. Purkey

    You always express your appreciation, you share your love story, and you delight in watching life through your child’s eyes. Thank goodness your car was found — and you’ll begin to carry an external mini hard drive to back up your computer and camera, right? Not to worry about your wardrobe — and those pithy posts you’re gonna write will give us tidbits into why you included whatever recipes into your new book and we’ll all buy one and tell our friends! Have someone videotape one of your signings or talks for those of us planted in the middle of the country to watch on Youtube. Hugs!

  17. Chelsea

    Shauna,
    Your book is on my list of those to buy a few paychecks from now (being an adjunct instructor can, I suspect, involve some of the same anxieties and restrictions as being a freelancer!). And I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. I will buy it for your storyteller’s words.
    Thanks, too, for the “empty boat” excerpt. I am finishing up a school term this week, which means grading and commenting and lots of emails, and it’s nice to have the reminder that those little virtual boats are empty (for what it’s worth, I also keep coming back to your “be disliked” revelation from months — or maybe years — ago. It’s so valuable for me to remember that it’s okay to not be someone’s favorite-in-the-whole-world, as long as I’m doing my best for them and myself).
    Thanks for being you!

  18. Melissa

    Just so you know, I rarely comment (very short on time here) and usually end up at the library (tight budget), but I just pre-ordered your book. I really appreciate what you do here, and love your writing style and kitchen sense. I feel like we’d be friends if given the opportuntity! Blessings to you and your sweet family.

  19. Laurie Barrie

    Thank you for being real. In my 50 years on this earth I have worried plenty, mostly for my children who now are grown and live happy lives. I have learned you cannot add a day to your life through worrying, but I’m pretty confident through worry you can subtract days. I hope your days are always filled with dancing.

  20. Manoli Garcia

    We are buying the book. Of course we are buying the book. Hacing a small bussiness in Spain is so tough at the noment, and I have to wait a couple of weeks for cash, but your book is coming home.

  21. Catherine

    My 10 year old niece loves to cook. Like me (and her mother and grandfather) she’s gluten-intolerant. I’ve pre-ordered two copies, one for me, and one for her. I love that she will have a cookbook, of her own, from which she can cook absolutely anything without asking “is it gluten free.” She’s adventurous, and I trust that she’ll find recipes that she loves. Thanks for doing what you do.

  22. Manoli garcia

    And do you kmow what else, Shauna? It might be true that posts should be short, that all of us surfing the net don’t stay in one page more than a few seconds, that patience and time and internet don’t seem to go together. I certainly don’t have a lot of time to do so. I own a little gluten free bakery and my day is work, work, work. And the kitchen is no place for computers, and my hands are always full of dough and it makes it impossible for me to stay very connected. But I read all of your posts, from beginning to end, and I love them. If I don’t have time during the day, I do so before going to bed, or first thing in the morning. Your work is so good: your writting, your cooking, your generosity. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Trust it.

    1. shauna

      thank you so much, Manoli. Someday, I will visit your little gluten-free bakery in Spain. I can’t wait.

  23. Esther

    As soon as I see a new picture popping up on your site in the bookmark menu I click on the link eager to read what you had to share. I trawl many a blog when I am after a recipe, but only a few that I follow because of the stories and the writing, and yours is definitely among my favourites, especially the long posts! Thank you for opening up your life to me and good luck with the book!

  24. gal

    I keep coming back here so you definitely have something that draws people. Food is one of the glues of life.

  25. Shanna

    I don’t know. This kind of non-promoting promoting is the kind that works on me. I love your voice of grace. I’ve never wanted your book more.

  26. Kelly

    Shauna, I am pretty new to your blog and new to the gluten free life (7 months since I have had a truly amazing slice of pizza) but your blog has quickly become one of the those that I most look forward to. I can’t wait to get a copy of the new book. You do amazing work and you really reach people with your honest writing. Stay wonderful! And congrats on getting the car back!!

  27. Jen

    I found your blog by accident while nursing my then-newborn son I the early morning hours nearly two years ago today. I was so inspired that I bought your cookbook and have been greedily absorbing your posts since then. Now, two years later, as I nurse our newest family addition, I’m ordering another of your cookbooks. I’ve loved cooking your food for our oldest child and can’t wait to share your recipes with the youngest. Thank you for the constant inspiration.

  28. Sharon

    Thank you for this, especially for the empty boat analogy. I will not forget it. So glad your car is back and good luck with the book!

  29. annemarie

    I ordered your new book last week and can’t wait to try your new recipes. I love your previous book but don’t always have time to cook that way. Relax and try to have fun with the tour.

  30. Kay

    We’re going to love the book as much as we love the blog and we’re going to buy it!!! We are vacationing in Seattle in June (from Pennsylvania) and it would be great if there’s a signing event while we’re there. I pre-ordered my cookbook from Amazon many months ago and I can hardly wait. I read your first book cover to cover. I even looked up Vashon Island on the web to see what there is to do there. How do I explain to my husband that I want to visit the island because a favorite gluten free author lives there? That is the dilemma!!! Best wishes!

  31. Stephanie Pampel

    Your current life “roadblocks” and revelations on how to overcome them couldn’t have come at a better time. Mere days before you posted about your car being stolen, my wallet was stolen by one of my middle school students. As a young, single teacher, that was devastating. No cash, no cards to access my account, no driver’s license, and my favorite wallet that I bought in Cordoba, Spain last year now gone. I was incredibly angry and frustrated for days, until I saw your story about the California trip. I have long doubted if teaching is for me and would much rather immerse myself in foreign language studies and playing with gluten free recipes in the kitchen (all day if I had the choice). Reading about your experiences at Mariposa and Zest bakeries and lunch with the girl from Crave made me want to be a part of that world even more. And then there was the realization that my situation really wasn’t all that bad, just an empty boat. They still haven’t found my wallet, and I have no hope of it turning up. Now my biggest frustration is not being able to order your book because my new debit card has yet to arrive. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  32. Molly

    Me and *my* almost-3-year-old Lucy will dance together and delight in making recipes from your cookbook. I almost never post comments and rarely pre-order books…but this post moved me. Thank you.

  33. Joan

    So glad your car was found. Do you have a date/time/place for your Seattle appearance? WE moved to Seattle and I would love to attend.

  34. Ginny

    Shauna,
    I’ve been lured into buying some highly-touted books, and they get read occasionally and used even less frequently. I have your first two books and am expecting your newest one from Amazon any day, and they are well worn. You and Danny have changed many lives just by being yourselves
    and sharing it with us.

  35. Tara Jenkins

    Shauna
    Three years ago I came to your blog for food advice. I was compleatly befuddled by GF and needed help. I came for the food and stayed for the stories. I love your new site, I love that your writting again telling stories. I am in Michigan cheering you on. I hope one day you’ll find your way to this corner of the world. Feel energized set the worries down and spin.

  36. Kimberly

    Thanks for this post and your perspective.
    I would like to add a slightly different perspective, if that is okay. It is pretty rare that people excel at every aspect of their job. In my experience, if they do, then some other aspect of their life is slipping or being ignored. So it only makes sense that self-promotion might not be your forte, but thankfully you have so many other talents. That’s okay. It’s normal. Nobody is good at everything.
    Secondly, I don’t think all the negative or 1 starred comments on Amazon are intended to be hurtful or personal. I know you have handled some pretty harsh criticism in the past that was very personal and I think that criticism is grossly unfair. But that does not mean *all* criticism is person and it does not mean it should all be ignored.

    1. shauna

      That’s an interesting comment. I certainly don’t believe that all criticism is personal. How can you be a person alive to the world and not listen to constructive criticism? What I meant is that, in the past, there have been a spate of reviews on Amazon directed at me personally, written with great vituperation. There will be again, probably on Tuesday. Then again, you can find one-star reviews of every book, even some of the greatest pieces of literature. No book is for everyone. I know that better now with my third book.

  37. kim

    i discovered you several years ago when my now-ex-boyfriend became gluten-free. he is no longer a part of my life, and i no longer cook exclusively gluten free, but your amazing writing is! i love your writing and your life of integrity, wonder, laughter and food. keep doing what you are doing, you are a treasure! it seems you do what emile zola said he did–“if you ask me what i came to this life to do, i will tell you: i came to live out loud!”

  38. Barbara

    I’ve never written a comment in a blog and only recently have even read any blogs. But I agree with everyone else here: Your words bring tears to my eyes and remind me that there are a lot of things in life that I am forgetting about that are really important. My children are grown and off on their own; my best friend died suddenly over 21 years ago, and I still miss her; and I am battling health issues. But there is so much more to life than feeling lonely and sick! We have so much to be thankful for! When I am able, I definitely want to buy your book, not only for the recipes and gluten-free support, but because you are so fun to “listen to” as I read your writings. Keep inspiring all of us!

  39. cindy

    I want you to know I am new to this gf stuff and still learning my way. I go on a lot of sites, and have read a few cookbooks and the easier right now the better. I for one will buy your book, and always read your blog, I didn’t always realize I could comment as I read it from my email but today thought there has to be a way to comment. HUGS and your life on Vachon sounds so wonderful warts and all, serenity.….…… and your sweet daughter, cherish as time flies. HUGS

  40. Charlotte

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for years and since I work with children I am delighting in watching saucy little Lucy grow, but you really stole my librarians heart when you said she had taken thirty (30!) library books on vacation. Wow, that is so cool. You guys rock! And, yes, I would waive your fines too :)

  41. Judy Johnson

    Dear Shauna,
    I empathize deeply with the concerns about promoting your book; I, too, wasn’t eager to do anything except write. I know–and so do you–that you can and will do this, that whatever comes of it will be enough. Come to Dayton, Ohio, to Books and Company. There’s a strong cancer support group for women here, and many of us are gf. Come and inspire us beyond brown rice.
    j
    p.s. so glad your car has been found!

  42. Julie melin

    Dear ones I think of you often and read every post as a letter from a friend. I am so looking forward to the new book and will do my best to share the news and to go tomAmazon and give a thumbs up and good report. I have learned many life and food and joy things from all three of you. Thank you for giving me the gift you have and will continue to share with all of us. If you ever get to Minnesota you have friends waiting to mee you!

  43. Sara Puharich

    Thank you for this post. It brought tears to my eyes, the tears of recognition that “we can make music, like we can make do.” Ani DiFranco. I too have been reflecting on how I receive the challenges that come my way. And your vulnerability, honesty and self-reflection inspire me to draw power from my own, like compost tea for kale.

  44. Jet Harrington

    Gwyneth Paltrow has a cookbook? The most I “know” about her is that she has a daughter named Apple (right?) and she’s in Iron Man. You, dear lady, have spilled your heart and your flours and your tears and hopes and dreams on these pages for years. Thank you for that. Thank you also for showing what it means to build community in the modern web-based world. All the marketing buzz points to community as the way to sell. You created community as a way to share. Keep on keepin’ on.

  45. ldominguez

    Come on now.

    Enough is enough.

    Of course you want your book to sell!…or you wouldn’t have written it. Oh, and nothing wrong with wanting it to sell.

  46. Joanne Armenio

    I pre-ordered your cookbook already and can’t wait to get it. I have your other two cookbooks too. I received your first book several years ago as a gift and have been following you ever since — your writing jerps me coming back to your site. Thank you for sharing so much of your life! Hope to meet you one of these days when you come to Chicago!!

  47. michelle

    Thank you dear Shauna for reminding us all what really matters. And for inspiring us to be who we are. Thank you for your writing and your honesty.

  48. Kami

    I just received my Amazon email update saying my copy was shipped! I am beyond excited and cannot wait!!

  49. Anna

    People have been reading your blog for years. Have confidence in selling your product to your fans/followers/fellow food-lovers. It took a long time for me to learn those skills, but there is no shame in promoting a quality product.

  50. Maddison

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and brilliant design and style.