This is what happens when you’re stuck in the house and you’ve discovered imperfect foods, Fresh, and Wholefoods and you own gadgets. Voila! The imperfect meal creation of things you wouldn’t buy like a rutabaga, because your mom never bought them and you don’t’ know how to cook them. But, you paid for them, their in your imperfect “surprise” box. So, in the spirit of “we don’t waste….” going to push myself to make meals with these vegetables.

Just so my sister doesn’t miss getting credit, she is the one who told me about the I admit in writing, I’d never heard of it, but this self isolation is revealing a different me to myself. A few days ago, I decided the taco meat would turn into chili, and then the imperfect potatoes would turn into fried potatoes and then I put it all together. So, what is it called now…..well, here is the birth of the imperfect meals.

Before that, I used Popeyes Chicken for three days of chicken salads over broccoli and cauliflower with homemade cheese sauce. I will try to incorporate this into the future, because it doesn’t take a lot of time. But going into this, I was all over the place, one minute, I was sweeping, then the next minute I was checking my work email. Then my sister was calling or texting with a pattern to make my own masks. (Yes, I didn’t know how to do that either.) Because, my mind was frozen with the kindergarten zoom class at 10:30 and the all call at 4:00pm and lunch, exercise and “I look a mess.” All of that equates to being overwhelmed with the fact that I now have to do what the children’s learning coach did last year. Wooooosah!

There is now an sense of anxiety as I wait for my third box today and the very nice vegetables I would never buy because I couldn’t envision a recipe quick enough, so I dance pass the very fresh, straight, undented, unbruised vegetables in Harris Teeter. My best critics remain the judges of what really matters, does it taste good. The correlation between the beauty of being imperfect so reminds me of the song about, the potter that wants to put you back together again.”

My box………
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The Stay-at-Home Order of Thought

The quest to understand the meaning of the “Stay-at-Home order has undauntingly not transferred without the threat of a fine or jailtime, unless of course you are originally from another country where you have experienced political or civil unrest or the Ebola virus. Before someone chimes in, and the lack of electricity, water, and fuel for your generator if you’re so fortunate. If not, hopefully, some ladies will pass by in the morning singing their song of their morning produce sale.

Photo by Rigged Photography on

here is a normal practice of thankfulness when walking and greeting, simply because God chose to wake you up for a new day and you didn’t wake up in the same house. Something I noticed since returning to the United States, greetings without suspicion is now a thing of the past in the United States because we don’t know each other anymore. So, I ponder on the thoughts of what we will have learned when the corona-virus pandemic subsides. Will we make an attempt to live a different kind of life? Will we care for each other more than we did before the “CV19,” or will we return to self centeredness, channeling our disdain for our circumstances.

Through the years of living overseas, I came to appreciate the time someone took to mourn with a family on the same street, whom they had never really known anymore than to say Good Morning. This sense of community didn’t take a virus to make people believe, “we are all in the same boat, and no amount of money could change the fact that when unrest unveiled itself in any form, no one was left out.”

So, today I wonder, “is God trying to tell us something about the day-to-day anger we have towards one another, whether it is racism, sexism, or anything else that keeps us from being good to one another.” Whatever it is, we will forever feel the affects of this virus, hopefully it is a lesson in how we should move forward. “We can do better.”

“We can do better.”

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Standing my Ground; The Insured!

Are you like me? A person that thought having medical insurance would make it easy to get medical service? Well, it is easy, but what is not easy is trusting the billing departments, quasi office policies, or office robotics.

There is a new kind of “taking of advantage” on the insured through billing and the clarity in the service provided by the provider to the insurance and the patient. You either have to know the codes that match the service or carry your insurance phone number on speed dial to quell the issue of the estimated co-pays. I assume most people would say this is quite alright until you see an agreement so extensive, you have to wonder if you should send it to your lawyer first. But I haven’t even mentioned the estimated co-pay and how it differed from the real allowable co-pay.

For most people whether they can afford it or not, there is a huge difference from an allowable of $29 as stated by the insurance representative as opposed to the “estimated $200.00 written in the blank space of an dental provider’s agreement, where the font is so small, no normal person could have time to read at an appointment.

Next, doctors are starting to ask for a credit card to be on file “suggested” they say, but the truth is they have hired people that know very little about the codes to bill the insurance and therefore they are challenged with matching the services like a nurses visit and an vaccination and managing there offices. One doctor said, “Madame, the office is separate from the doctor’s office. I thought this was strange, but I listened. She explained, we charge for the forms because it takes time to fill them out.” I replied, how else will I get the form, are you suggesting I select that it be sent to my email or bring a pack of paper? The doctor said, each form is $10, which is not billable to your insurance.

I feel like calling my next experience, the battle of the breasts. Have you ever known a surcharge, or estimate or office policy to charge $65 upfront for a 3D Breast exam from an insured person, when the exam has been ordered by the doctor, the office has been provided a handout indicating what is covered? The attendant kept saying, this is office policy and its in our contract with your insurance. I asked if it would be deducted from my co-pay and she said I would have to call billing for the answer. Nevertheless, after calling and writing the insurance company, these actions called for the provider to finally read their own contract. I felt like my breasts were being held hostage, not because I didn’t have the money, but because I earned my medical insurance through my retirement. I decided to go else where, but someone decided to read the contract so I finished at the same place. They could have called the insurance company before my appointment, get clarity on the allowable co-pay if they knew the exam that has been ordered. However, I am cancer free!

In short, I admit, I have returned to the United States after an extended time of working overseas, however, I find this behavior quite unacceptable, insensitive and unprofessional. So, for these kinds of practices, I say to the patient, you have the power to move on! (This article are my experiences and my opinions)

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West African foods offer delicious variety and flavor to plant-based eaters — City Women & co

January 11, 2020 at 08:00PM by CWC Given that the U.S. has long been a melting pot of cultures, other countries’ traditions have always been a big part of what’s considered to be “American” cuisine. If you’re an adventurous eater, you likely already have Indian, Thai, and sushi on a regular basis and are on […]

West African foods offer delicious variety and flavor to plant-based eaters — City Women & co
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Welcome to stories from the Baobab Tree

Enjoy everything from stories, food recipes, fashion, and travel.

This exuberant blog will connect you to places and experiences you’ve never thought about before reading stories published by E.J. Ruell Media.

Why do this? Because sharing these stories helps to make the world a smaller place where people are trying to understand each other.

What are you about? Sharing stories about women, children, and their strength to be triumphant in times of challenge. Why should they read your blog? Often the world and the news seems like we’re different, but we’re not.

I blog to share over 43 years of experience and travel. I will write about everything from faith, travel, love, food, weight loss, fiction, perspectives, etc.

I hope my blog and my books make the world a little smaller and loving through the exchange of stories.I hope my blog will introduce some of the African culture to some, embrace those who might identify with a character, a place, an event or courage or empowerment.

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