Back On The Shelf

April 24th, 2012 Posted in My Writing | No Comments »

Back On The Shelf by Betty Leigh Verbeke


I’d apologize,

But I’m not sorry.

You just weren’t what I was looking for.

Yes, I know,

I picked you up.

Out of a row of many books,

I chose you.

But the choice was based purely on your title,

Your author’s name,

And your intriguing color.

Yes, I handled you with care.

You felt the support of my palm on your spine,

And the strength of my hand holding you.

I appreciated your cover.

I read your back,

Getting a little preview of what you were all about.

I even read your reviews;

They were great.

While I lightly skimmed your story,

Your edges felt my fingertips.

The smell of my perfume hovered around us.

You felt my warm breath soak through your thin papers,

Beyond the ink printed on the surface.

I read a few lines from page 52,

Then some on page 127,

And part of your last chapter on page 386.

I absorbed your words,

And made an assessment.

I quietly closed you,

And put you in my basket.

I carried you around while I shopped for other books.

I leafed through your companions;

Some of them joined you in my basket.

You saw that I treat all books the same,

With honest care and consideration.

But before I went to the check-out,

I made a second evaluation of my choices.

I picked you up again,

And re-read your back.

Again you felt my hand holding you,

My palm supporting your spine.

Yes, I walked with you,

Pressed between my arm and chest,

A firm grip kept you safe from falling to the floor.

But instead of buying you,

I put you back on the shelf,

In the same place I found you.

Thank you so much for sharing yourself with me,

But you just weren’t what I was looking for.



April 22nd, 2012 Posted in Photos Of Me | No Comments »


Black & White <3

Recent Meals

April 17th, 2012 Posted in Food I've Made | No Comments »


Meal One:  broccoli, carrots, crimini mushrooms, snap peas, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds, sauteed in Cardini’s Roasted Asian Sesame Dressing, seasoned with cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper.


Meal Two:  organic five-grain oatmeal mixed with organic peanut butter and agave syrup, paired with Yerba Mate tea.


Meal Three:  smoothie made with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, banana, orange juice, and flax seeds.


Meal Four:  baby spinach, baby arugula, dill, parsley, cilantro, avocado, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, cracked sea salt, cracked black pepper, and Annie’s Naturals Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Dressing.


Meal Five:  organic peanut butter mixed with agave syrup and flax seeds, eaten with a gala apple.


Meal Six:  organic five-grain oatmeal, agave syrup, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.


Meal Seven:  broccoli, yellow onion, and garlic, sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, Central Market’s Israeli hummus, and Louisiana Hot Sauce, seasoned with cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper.


Meal Eight:  mung bean noodles, crimini mushrooms, yellow onion, garlic, and beets, seasoned with cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper, sauteed in Cardini’s Roasted Asian Sesame Dressing.


Meal Nine:  cracker biscuits made with wheat flour, white flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cracked sea salt, cracked black pepper, flax seeds, water, and extra virgin olive oil.


Meal Ten:  baby spinach, baby arugula, dill, parsley, cilantro, carrots, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, cracked sea salt, cracked black pepper, and Annie’s Naturals Organic Asian Sesame Dressing.

Unspoken Words

April 8th, 2012 Posted in My Writing | No Comments »

Unspoken Words by Betty Leigh Verbeke


I am your reflection

And you are mine

While we enjoy this moment

Basking in our beauty

Our unspoken words

Cast shadows on the ground

They dance in silence

Sharing secrets long forgotten

And future moments ready to unfold



Jobs & Other Superb News

April 6th, 2012 Posted in Thoughts & Thanks | 4 Comments »

Hello!  Everything in my life is so unbelievably perfect right meow; it blows my mind every single moment!  Seriously, I am the happiest I have ever been & on the verge of happy tears all the time.. like I have so much joy and love inside it wants to spill over through tear drops.  Corny?  Possibly.  But true.  I don’t even have to think about if I am happy anymore.  I just am.  And that is fabulous.  So what am I so pumped about?  Here is the update:

This semester is almost over!  [What?!]  And I’m keeping up my straight-A status while balancing two jobs!  That’s boss.  My classes are awesome & I am so grateful for my assorted professors this semester.

I’m going on 8ish months of being Vegan!  Woo!  And have lost about 35 pounds since I started!  (It helps that I have been doing pilates, yoga, and cardio a few days a week too.)  I feel so healthy and so connected to my body with the things I eat.  I love getting creative with vegan recipes and learning new ones.  Plus, there is such a thing as vegan junk food, and that rules.  Also, in the last few weeks I have phased out coffee and phased in way more tea into my life & I’m loving it so hard.  It’s tea-riffic!

My family and friends are all doing well and my roommates are still great!  I love all the people in my life & I’m so grateful for every single one of them.  So many beautiful reflections.  (:

My jobs are out-of-control marvelous!  Seriously.  Ok, so, here’s the earth.  Haha, just kidding, but you should watch that so you know what reference I’m making.. just Google it.  Now back to the jobs update:

The first job is working with Central Texas Legal Services as an administrative assistant.  I work one or two days a week doing various paperwork for a paralegal.  It mostly consists of entering billing into the computer, editing documents, sending faxes, setting up new clients files, etc.  It is a super easy and relaxing job.  I love my boss, Dinah.  She is a sweet and smart single mom.  We work together out of her home.  Our office is in her kitchenette area with a large bay window that overlooks her back yard where we see lots of little birds visiting her feeders.  This job is such a great contrast from my other job and classes.  I love the simplicity and the one-on-one interaction.  (:

My second job is working as a community organizer with Texas Campaign for the Environment!  We are a radical local nonprofit organization looking to make/keep Texas a healthy & beautiful place.  We have been open since 1991 and haven’t lost a campaign!  We have offices in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.  We are a branch of a nation-wide organization, so we have different campaigns going on all over the US.  Currently in Austin, we are working on e-waste recycling.  In the last few years, we passed the TV and Computer take-back bills where manufacturers are required to take back their TVs & computers to be recycled responsibly, but because it is inconvenient for Texans to recycle their electronics (only a few stores like Best Buy & Goodwill do it), a large number of them end up in our landfills or dumped overseas into developing nations.  Electronics are full of toxins, so that’s not cool that they are polluting our planet and poisoning people by not being recycled.  So, to help battle this issue, we are urging Walmart to become a free drop-off so it is more convenient for Texas to recycle their electronics.  They would be the bridge between consumer and manufacturer.  This is a pretty huge deal.  When Walmart agrees to this, it will help out immensely.  Walmart is a gargantuan corporation and located about every three miles, so it would be very easy for people to recycle their electronics.  We win our campaigns through contributions and letter writing.  We are a community-funded non-profit, so we canvass neighborhoods all year long finding local supporters to write letters to the law makers to get their voices heard on these non-voting issues and also to provide a contribution & become a member.  The more members we have, the more muscle we have behind our campaigns.  I love going out into neighborhoods and meeting supporters; people who are passionate about these issues too.  People who are willing to take a few minutes out of their day to make a difference.  And it starts when I randomly knock on their front door.  Every door is like a portal into a new little world.  It is so weird and fantastic.  Anyway, I recommend going to our site that I linked at the top of this paragraph and look into our campaigns, become a member, & write some letters!  Our basic membership is only $15 for the year!  Make sure you add that you became a member through Betty when you do.  (:  With these tactics, we have won so many campaigns, including the Bag-Ban in Austin that passed just a few weeks ago.  Starting March 2013, there will be no more single-use bags in stores (not including the ones by the produce, just the ones at the check-out)!  This saves tons & tons of waste, and since those plastic bags are not recyclable & easily float around, they frequently get caught in our beautiful nature, but now things are changing!  I love this job not only because we are making the world a better place one door at a time, but also because of the people I work with.  We are such a great group.  We are all passionate & positive people, knowing the only way to get things done and to be happy is to do it with a smile & have a positive mindset.  Plus, on Thursdays we have “staff night” where we all go out after canvassing and get to know each other a little better outside the workplace (mostly at bars or similar establishments).  Hanging out with this group is like hanging out with some of my best friends.  I love them all.  <3

So, yeah, that’s the update, the scoop, the lowdown, the 411.  You get the picture.  (: