Monday, January 29, 2007

Jim's Farewell

Saturday, Donita and family honored Jim's memory with a party celebrating his life. Yeah, that's the way to do it. No church. No ceremony. No formality. Just opportunities for everyone to honor Jim in their way. Jim and Donita come from musical families, so there was lots of music.

Jim's bro and cousin ran things, along with Donita of course.

They encouraged people to tell Jim stories. Those of us who played instruments performed. Jim loved progressive rock, so I played "I've Seen All Good People/Your Move" by Yes on my uke (minus the "I've Seen All Good People" part. The afternoon was chilly and I had a hard time getting my fingers to move, but I got through it. Soon after, the Canaries joined me on stage and we did our Dylan repertoire, with Blowhard Canary on vocal and Billy C and I on ukes and harmonies. The youngster's voice is really becoming more confident. I think he will shape up to be a fine singer. I think he can hit lower low notes than his father.

Many other people sang and played including both sides of the family: with both TV's Kyle and the Jimmy Jammers (Jim's band with Do, daughter, and Daughter's boyfriend), Casual Sunday (Jim's band with Bro and Do), and various other musicians and singers Jim has performed with.

Jim's keyboard was missed in every sense of the word. But he would be so proud of his family. He was a guy for whom music was life.

Do and a friend sang this sea shanty that Jim used to play with them. It was beautiful and and brought tears to everyone's eyes. Wish I could remember the title. I know it was written in the early 20th century in the traditional way.

A lot of people I had known once as teenagers were there, looking to me more like their own parents.

People mingled. Some found their own corners to sit and mourn.

Jim, you were a much-loved man.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

To Honor Jim

I browsed my blog last night, looking for comments from Jim. One of his last comments was a request that I post the recipe for my semi-healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, Jim, this is for you.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups lightly-packed brown sugar
2 to three egg whites, beaten stiff
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup or more (preferably more) chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped peanuts
1 cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg whites, vanilla, milk and beat until fluffy. Stir together flour and baking soda. Add wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips, peanuts, and seeds. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and bake until browned, 10 to 15 minutes.


I'm not sure why, but these cookies often have little green flecks in them after baking. I think this is from the flour. But I haven't died from eating these yet, so it's not anything poisonous.

To maximize sweetness, use salt-free ingredients whenever possible.

Instead of brown sugar, try date sugar. You can find this in most health food stores. It makes the cookies sweeter and is better for you if you are diabetic.

Instead of wheat flour, try brown rice or amarinth flour.

I call these semi-healthy because the combination of nuts, seeds, and flower makes a complete protein. Also, I recently read where dark chocolate has some sort of health benefits.

Also, I don't always go to the trouble of beating the egg whites until stiff, but the cookies still come out fine.

These cookies are not as sweet as regular chocolate chip cookies. They have a unique, mild flavor. Anyone who has ever tried them, regardless of their eating habits, has loved them. In fact, when I take them to potlucks and put them with the desserts, theirs is the first plate to empty.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Donita's Blog isn't up to date as of this posting, but you can go there to get the details of what happened. Her husband, Jim, had a bad stroke Sunday night and it looks like he won't make it.

This is one of those times where you search for the words that make sense. The wise realize that there are no words.

Donita called me with the update, after a more positive call on Monday.

Jim is one of those people who has this sweet nature and you just wouldn't want anything for him but a long, happy life. He is one of those rare individuals who is possessed by his music. When he plays his keyboard, he becomes the music and he seems to be able to fill in on anything you throw at him. He and Donita are two people who together are a vortex of creative passion.

I love them both and, as is my nature, I hold on to hope, but it looks very bad right now.

Just love your life people. Love your life. Each day is a gift.