New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake Warms Us Up North

I opened the door yesterday to find a box bearing a Mardi Gras logo. My first thought was...King Cake? Which in fact was what it was. Compliments of our daughter and son-in-law down south.

Our family is solidly Michigan. Our daughter and SIL moved to Broussard, La., several years ago. They have been slowly infusing our northern midwest culture with Cajun-Creole traditions.  Here's more on the Epiphay-Lent King Cake tradition. New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake Warms Us Up North

Grand Rapids IWW Cooperative Vegan Bartertown Diner

 I'm a rebel girl. Not the pink camo jeep kind. My husband and I are labor activists. We're Wobblies (IWW Industrial Workers of the World). So we were happy to support via Kickstarter, our Grand Rapids GMB's creation of a worker-run cooperative restaurant, Bartertown Diner.

It's organic, vegan, green, collaborative sustainable--there are no bosses and every worker earns the same wage. It's equipped with recycled and reclaimed materials--from mismatched, secondhand dishes to a counter cum work of art comprised of scrap. Murals of IWW fists of asparagus, Che Guevara and Chairman Mao in chef hats decorate the walls. And the food? Manna from heaven.  Husband Approves Grand Rapids IWW Cooperative Vegan Bartertown Diner

Easy Food Swaps to Cut Calories, Fat

I've lost about 93 pounds and have been sharing tips on how I did that. Yesterday, I made baked chicken with cornbread muffins, squash and salad for dinner. Here are food swaps and substitutes to cut nearly two-thirds of the calories and fat and lost none of the taste. Seriously--the picky Mr. "I love fat, fat is our friend" didn't even notice!  Easy Food Swaps to Cut Calories, Fat 

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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