My 2 Cents

I have had lots of comments and questions about my hair lately.  Justto make it perfectly clear, just because I don’t use shampoo doesn’t mean I have turned into a dirty hippie. Not that there is angthing wrong with that if it’s your style.  Even though I’m not using shampoo, I still wash my hair on a regular basis.


20110820-070613.jpgThis is yet another Whole Foods recipe.  We had it for dinner earlier this week.  It was quick and easy, and really good with a side salad.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Kids love this dish and thankfully it’s easy to customize to their tastes. Start with the basic recipe then add cooked sausage, pepperoni or black olives, if you like. Little hands can spread the cheese or sauce, sprinkle the fillings or roll up the pasta.


1/2 pound (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella


Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean work surface.

Grease a small roasting pan or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the marinara then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up noodle snugly then arrange in pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough together to hold each other closed. Pour remaining marinara over assembled rolls then sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.


Per serving (about 7oz/189g-wt.): 350 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium, 47g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 16g protein



This is definitely not one of my healthiest recipes, but it is SOOOOO good!  It’s for meat eaters or veggies, so everyone can enjoy it.  It’s also good made stove top, or in a slow cooker. It tastes good left over or after reheated from frozen too.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4-6


1 package Morningstar Griller’s Crumbles (or 1lb. ground beef or turkey)

1 can chili beans (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced tomatoes (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced green chilies (4 ounces)

1 can yellow corn (8.75 ounces)

1 package chili seasoning (McCormick or other brand, I use the hot style)

1 package Fritos chips

sour cream

shredded cheddar


Brown crumbles or meat in a 4-6 quart pot on meduim-high heat.  Add chili seasoning, tomatoes, beans, green chilies, and corn.  Stir to mix evenly.  Turn heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Or put browned crumbles/meat in slow cooker, and mix with other ingredients.  Then let chili cook on low for up to 4 hours.)  Serve over Fritos in a bowl, and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

I stopped using shampoo over a month ago now.  Even my husband, who is not very observant when it comes to things like hair or make-up, has made comments about how shiny it is and how soft my hair feels.  I’m never going back!

Grilled Teriyaki Tofu



This is yet another recipe from my Whole Foods app.  I’m not typically a huge tofu fan, when it’s by itself, but this was super good!  I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, and served it over snow peas and rice.  I didn’t grill it though, I used the broiling option because it took a bit less time.  I would definitely recommend it, it was yummy and easy!

Serves 4

Use in sandwiches or wraps, or serve on a bed of sautéed veggies like spinach, carrots, bok choy or bell peppers.


1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
Olive oil cooking spray
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut crosswise into 8 slices


In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic. Add tofu, turn to coat all over, cover and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Pat tofu dry, then oil lightly with cooking spray. Grill over medium-high heat or broil on a foil-lined baking sheet until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes on each side.


Per serving (about 4oz/106g-wt.): 80 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 4g total carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 7g protein



I haven’t posted in a few days, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about what to write.  I actually think about this blog way more than I ever thought I would.  I have soooo many ideas, but I just don’t know where to start!  It’s not that I lack the topics to write about, but I am struggling with how to execute them.

It’s funny because I’m sitting on the couch with my other half, and he just asked me what I’m writing about.  “I’m writing about not knowing what to write about,” I said.  He just looked at me and laughed.

Bloggers:  Do you ever get stuck?  What helps you organize your thoughts?  HELP!

A note about the following post:  Everything here is copied verbatim from a letter I received and a copy of a letter that I wrote back in return.  I have changed some names or substituted the person’s relationship to me in parenthesis for privacy purposes.  I am open about this subject, and welcome comments/questions.  Discussing it helps me understand it better.


I received the following letter on a Saturday in November 2009.  I was 27 at the time.


You have turned out to be a beautiful young woman.  You have accomplished your goals.  It’s lucky you have (your stepfather) to thank because without him you would have never been able to attend college as you did.  I never thought you would ever speak to me in the manner you did in July.  Melinda you are only going on what you mother says and she is not always truthful to you or anyone else.  No one ever wants to think of their parent in a poor way, but you have many a time.  I recall all the phone calls when you were in college because you mother was drunk and wouldn’t stop calling your dorm.  I recall your mother punching you in the face on Christmas giving you a black eye and you going to your dads and having to lie for your mother.  I recall since I have lived in Maryland your calls as to your mothers wereabouts when she was drunk and refused to answer your calls.  So many times I can think of that I have been there for you.  My only concern is the continual lying your mother has and still does with you.  In 2002 after your mother left your dad for (your stepfather) you received a phone call from an unknown person stating that you were adopted and (your brother) was not.  This phone call was the truth.  Your mother has made your father lie to you all these years and it has been something that has bothered me forever.  What right does your mother have to withold information from you.  She wants to always look like the angel from heaven which she is far from.  Has she ever sat down with you and (your brother) and told you about the son she had and gave up for adoption befor she meat your father.  No caues your mother chooses to not think of the things she has done.  If you would like to know about your birth parents only I can give you this information because it was (?) and I that took care of your birth mothers transportation to Phila. for your birth.  Your mother even had the balls to call me and say if anything is wrong with this baby I don’t want it and your father stood ground and told her it was no different that had she given birth and what ever condition you arrived in you would be accepted as their own.  Only I know if you have other brothers and sisters, but you’ll have to ask for the information.  Even (your stepfather) told your mother it was time to stop lying to you and she still wont.  Your mother has played the game of being and innocent victim when in fact she is the one despensing all the heart ache.  She keeps and has kept everything a mistery about (your grandmother).  She feels that she is the only one that is owed anything.  I don’t want any of (your grandmother’s) belongings because its only material and (your mother) wished to invision herself as having so much money.  (Your mother) would have nothing if it weren’t for (your stepfather).  She has turned him into a scorned man just the same as (your grandmother) did to (your grandfather).  (Your stepfather) can’t even speak without first approval from your mother.  She may think she is gods gift to the world but I’ll tell you something she is a worthless piece of shit.  You go on and believe the crap she dishes out to you.  Your father, his mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncles, (grandmother), my daughter, everyone except you knows your adopted.  (Your grandmother) will play her supid game of I don’t know anything like she has all these years with our entire family.  If you ever wish to know about your birth family I am willing to tell you.

Now go call your mother so she can fucking lie to you again.  I’d call your gather first because I know he hasn’t been the one to hole this secret.  He only does so thru threats by your mother.  She even has the balls to tell everyone that if it weren’t for her your father won’t have a place to live.  She slaims she pays for the house not your father.

I’m sorry you have to learn this way, but you have choosen to follow your mother in her game of life that now there is no other way to tell you.  I’m sorry you missed out all these years of knowing the truth.

Aunt Deirdre

(my mother’s sister)


The following is what I wrote in response about 5 days later.


I have had a few days to digest the information that was in the letter I received from you last Saturday.  There are many thoughts that have run through my mind.  I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions as well.  I have also had time to think about a lot of things.

First, let me say thank you for helping my parents with my adoption.  I truly am grateful for being given the opportunity to be raised by them.  While neither of them are perfect, they have both been great parents.

In addition, thank you for the times you’ve been there when I needed someone to talk to.  I know that I could call you and vent.  My fear is that you took much of my “venting” and temporary anger very literally.  Mom and I have had our differences; however I love her, and that will never change.  This isn’t about her though; it’s about what you did to me.

During our phone conversation on Saturday afternoon, you said that you never meant to hurt me, and that you had my best interests in mind.  But, you felt I had the right to know I was adopted.

I have really spent a great deal of time the last few days thinking, analyzing, and re-thinking this whole situation.  After a great deal of thought, I have come to the following conclusions:

1. You may not have meant to hurt me, but you knew you would.  Anyone with any sense could have figured that out.  Therefore, your main goal must have been something else.  I don’t know what, but judging from the comments in the letter it must be to get back @ mom.

2. As far as my phone number being changed, it’s been the same for over a year and a half now.  You had the number when you called me in July – remember?!  So, your claim of trying to contact me in other ways is a flat out lie as far as I am concerned.  My e-mail settings haven’t changed either.

3. I have been a “pawn” in the came of chess that you have been playing.  You even said on Saturday that giving my mother the “gift” of love and of a child may have made things better between you two.  So even in 1982, I was just an object to you-a peace offering if you will.

4. If you really did care about me, have my feelings in mind, or think about how this kind of news would have affected me, you wouldn’t have delivered it this way.  If you had any respect at all for me, and my knowledge of being adopted was the first thing on your agenda, then I wouldn’t have received a letter full of misspelled words, grammatical errors, and trashy language.  In fact, you would have left the decision to my parents.

5. The news, no matter how much you were involved in the adoption, was NOT yours to tell.  It wasn’t even your place to determine whether or not it should be told.

When it comes down to it, I have no Idea what your true intentions were.  All I know is what you did was malicious and cruel.  Not because being adopted is a horrible thing to find out, but the way you went about telling me was disrespectful and down-right mean.  As the parent of adopted children, you should have respected my parents decisions whether you agreed or not.

Finally, I’m fine with being adopted.  As of right now, I have no idea if I want to meet my birth mother.  She hasn’t tried to find me, so I don’t really see why I should look for her.  Plus, I love my parents and their flaws – probably even more now than I did before.

I have no desire to keep in contact with you.  I am tired of being a game piece.



Most of what my Aunt said in the letter was true, but there were some complete fabrications.  I continue to feel pretty much the same way I did in my response letter.  I am still not sure whether I would like to meet my birth parents.  Although, it would be cool to see if my little one has any of my family’s features.  I still don’t speak to my aunt, nor does anyone else in my family.  Even almost two years later, some days it just hits me like a brick that I am adopted.  I guess that’s just what makes me who I am though.


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  • currans2cents: The original blog that sparked all of your angst was written purely as an OPINION piece. As you stated, we are entitled to have them. I truly am int
  • Mychal B.: It doesn't "seem" like you are only picking on JoePa, you ARE only picking on JoePa. Mike McQueary has received no disciplinary actions against him fo
  • Mychal B.: Um, I never claimed to understand anything about the war. I wasn't aware that the war had anything to do with this case. I also never said that becaus