I’m Ready, with a lot of help from my friends!

One of those friends is a brilliant biblical scholar and theologian named Walter Brueggemann who wrote, among a whole bunch of other things, a book called Finally Comes the Poet. I can’t actually find the book right now as our library sorting system is in the midst of considerable revision.

Trust me, though, when I tell you that he was saying something very close to the truth of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes who said:

My friends, do not lose heart. We were born for these times.

And the amazing writer, Anne Lamott, claims that we are chosen, safe, and loved. (Well, she was actually talking about Sunday School kids but I suspect she’d count us in!)

And I, much to my amazement, claimed yesterday, in a meeting with one of my teachers, that I am ready.

I didn’t get here on my own. Wise friends like these have helped immeasurably along the way. In fact, this feels a bit like the bibliography of my life.

Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud, along with all the Intentional Creativity® gang.

Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, aka SARK, who made space for me to learn and opened the door to what came next.

Julie Steelman and Sam Bennett. Veronica Guzzardi, possibly the most patient tech teacher I have ever known.

Robby and Les and Henry and Ron. Phil and Gary and David and Dana and an 8 year old boy in Hungary whose name I never learned to pronounce or spell.

Kathy and Peggy and Jean who put up with me when I was still a teenager.

And, in a round about way, Dave and Kelly and Kenzie and Taylor. And the Newf Rescue kids. All of them.

I am, I guess, a charter member of the Life is for Learning club.

I suspect that you suspected all that. You may, however, be wondering what it was that caused me to proclaim that I am ready.

Good question!

Well, I’m ready to be seen. In Zoom land, even. Growing edges and pandemic hair and all. Even encouraging others to try some of the things I’ve learned. It’s worth letting go of the camera phobia!

You see, there’s just no way for me to be me and not try to make a difference in the world because it is such a time. We need the poets, and artists, and musicians.

And I need a nap.

I seem to have spent today’s early hours sorting mental index cards. My Muse insisted. (It might really be time to think about getting her a room of her own!)

Then I cranked up the heat a smidge and sent an email that adds action to yesterday’s proclamation that I am ready. I’ll fill you in as we go along. Let’s just say that empowered images will surely be involved!

We also need the real science scientists, which is just going to have to be somebody else’s job.

We need those who know that imagination and the rule of law are both required for leadership and that they’re not interchangeable.

All of which is way more than I can fix on my own. So, while I’m writing postcards to Georgia voters, I’m also finalizing plans for two webinars and the workshops to follow. From materials lists, which I do understand, to prayer dots, which I depend on, to electronic carts, which I don’t understand in the least (but have friends who do!) I’m ready.

I so hope you’re ready, too!

And don’t forget to ask me what I learned from Meryl Streep Monday night…

ps… the artwork is a glimpse from my Legend-in-Progress painting. For those who are new around here, one of the best things I learned in seminary is that the same Hebrew word means both hand and power!

Questions that make all the difference…

For a long time now, I’ve had challenges around answers in general and labels in particular. In fact, when we moved back to Atlanta in 1999, and I was beginning my work at the Atlanta Center for Counseling and Development, I needed a business card.

It was hard! My name was complex enough because it was still legally hyphenated in those days. (Talk about a pain!) Then, I needed a title. None of the choices seemed big enough.

Finally, with some help from a talented friend, I just listed a whole bunch of things I did, with variations in font and saturation to break things up. Oh, and a phone number!

One of the things in that list – in fact it may have been the first one – was Questions that make all the difference.

Here they are again! In fact, the one on my mind at the moment was borrowed from Stephen Colbert on Friday night, after a long day in virtual school.

The guest was a guy named Common, of whom I had never heard, probably because they introduced him as a rapper. The conversation with Colbert wandered a bit through a variety of intriguing experiences and awards.

Finally, my new friend was telling a story from his own journey when he asked all of us who were watching about the first song that touched our souls.

I had two immediate answers. Let me say, first, that I know there were other songs in my world before these two, but these are the ones that leaped at the question…

From the time I was 4 or 5, hanging out in a sort of pre-school program in a land without public kindergarten… Puff, the Magic Dragon. Really!

I vividly remember sitting in a circle in a basement-like room with all the lights off while our teacher played a 45 on one of those record players that looked like a typewriter case.

Wow, do I feel old!

We all sang along and I still know all the words!

The second one came from about a year later in an old-fashioned Sunday School assembly, where everybody sang together before going off to individual classes. We were visiting in that church and I didn’t know anybody and had been utterly convinced that I couldn’t/shouldn’t sing.

Then it started. All Things Bright and Beautiful. I sang. And cried. And cried. And sang. And, yes, I still know all the words.

Those songs still touch my soul. And I’d love to know your answers, too!

The surprise in this story, though, is not the songs or my singing. It’s the question, itself.

You see, I’ve been planning a workshop which will start in just a few weeks. And a big part of the process is a similar question about what matters to our souls. And what difference it makes to know. To claim it.

It will be, of course, a virtual workshop that anybody could do from anywhere and you can do from where you are. And there are lots of details to follow.


For today, let’s all ponder a dragon named Puff, and open our hearts to the radical notion that our souls are already whispering about what touches them.

We just need to listen! And having some folks to listen with often helps!

Who knows? A dragon just might appear in my Legend painting!

ps… The lovely lady gazing at you today is a bit of What the World Needs Now. And, yes, she’s there for a reason!

pps… If you’d like to be on the first-to-know list for the upcoming workshop and for a whole lot of others jumping up and down in my head, just click on the big photo at the top of the blog and scroll down to leave a comment. Or email me: suesvoice@gmail.com

Many kinds of healing…

This is a week for healing in my world! The art kind. The energy kind. And, of course, the food kind!

Specifically, bone broth.

I’m feeling a bit generationally confused. The art feels both new and ancient. The energy, feels utterly new because it’s happening in the universe of Zoom and I’ve never done exactly this before.

I do know lots of old, old stories with hints of energy healing between the lines.

I also know that I’m good at learning new things. Well, most of them. I’m still working on the whole tech adventure! And I’ve done Qigong!

At this moment, I know just enough about what’s ahead to realize I’ll need to prepare. And part of that preparation involves – you guessed it – soup! Lots of soup.

It’s good. It’s easy. It’s comforting. It’s legendary, which fits in nicely with my painting-in-progress. And there are, conveniently, a whole bunch of turkey bones at my house, looking for a purpose. Here you go!

There ain’t a body – be it a mouse or a man – that ain’t made better by a little soup.                                          

 – Kate DiCamillo                

Turkey Broth…the actual magic, right here!

Makes: 6 – 8 quarts in a 10 – 12 quart stockpot.

Notes: Consider making a big pot of turkey broth as part of a holiday tradition. It’s a great way to teach the next generations and it smells heavenly.

I like a very clear turkey broth with a lot of depth that can be used in any number of recipes, so this is what I do. If you have a specific flavor profile in mind, feel free to adjust the herbs and veg as you like. Please resist the temptation to toss all the wilted stuff in your fridge into the pot!

Ingredients: The best stock contains a mixture of roasted and raw bones. Choose yours from the list below.

  • Carcass from ½ a roasted turkey, including some ribs and a wing, with some meat still attached. A leg is also useful if you have one left. Smoked turkey bones will work, too! If you just roasted a turkey breast, use those bones and add bones from a couple of roasted chickens.
  • Any necks, hearts, or gizzards you’ve saved. (Freeze livers separately for dirty rice, etc.)
  • Additional raw bones, about 1-2 lb. necks, backs, wings, etc. (You can use chicken bones, too, if you like.) I particularly like necks for this because they have lots of healing cartilage. Check your local farmer or an international market near you.
  • 3 Tbsp. acidic liquid. I use Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar “with the mother.” White wine or fresh lemon juice will work, too.
  • 3-4 med or large yellow onions, halved, with skins on. (Really!)
  • 3-4 whole garlic bulbs, halved, with paper on.
  • 3-4 fresh bay leaves or 2-3 dried ones.
  • Fresh thyme sprigs. The more the merrier! I use a bundle about the diameter of a quarter, tied with white cotton kitchen string. Add a 4-6 inch sprig of fresh rosemary if you like.
  • Fresh parsley stems, if you happen to have some around. Tie them with the thyme sprigs.

Place raw bones with any gizzards or hearts into stockpot. Add cold water to cover by 2-3 inches. Add cider vinegar, white wine, or lemon juice. Cover and allow to sit, off the heat, for about 45 min. This helps pull the minerals and other goodies out of the bones and into the stock.

After you’ve soaked the raw bones, add the roasted bones to the stockpot.

Add additional cold water, leaving room at the top to add your veg and herbs. Place pot over med. high heat and bring to a very gentle boil.

After pot begins to boil gently, adjust temp to keep it from reaching a full, rolling boil. Skim whatever foam or bits of grey-ish stuff float to the surface and discard. You’ll need to skim every few minutes until it quits creating stuff to skim! (About 10-15 min. total.) This step is important! Skimming helps create a beautiful clear broth and prevents the development of any bitter taste.

While you’re skimming every few minutes, prep your veg and herbs as described above. Leaving the skin/paper on onions and garlic adds to the flavor and color of the broth. (Wipe any dirt from onion skins.) This is one reason I like organic! Try not to do this too far ahead. Onions are best used when they’ve just been cut!

Add your prepped veg and herbs gently so as not to splash yourself.

Turn the heat down to med-low. You want your broth to just simmer gently. No more boiling. It will take some practice with your particular stove to find out what works. Fiddle with it and check frequently. You want itty bitty bubbles just breaking the surface.

Cook for at least 8 hours, and not more than 16, for a clean flavor with all the nutrients pulled out into the broth. Try not to stir while it cooks. (That can cloud your broth.) You can put on a lid, partially covering the pot, for part of the cooking time to lessen the amount of water that cooks off, making the broth somewhat less concentrated, or leave the lid off and allow it to reduce more, concentrating the flavors. If you put the lid on, you’ll need the turn the heat down to keep it from coming to a boil. Turn the heat up a bit if you take the lid off. We’re still after those itty bitty bubbles!

If you wish to add additional water during cooking to increase the amount of broth, you must use very hot water, about 180-190 F.

Now is the time when you get to inhale the magic while you throw in a load of laundry and go back to your writing, pick up a paint brush, or teach your kids to play Cribbage… (also known as math!).

When you’re happy with the color and flavor of the broth, remove from the heat and allow your marvelous creation to cool an hour or two. Scoop all bones and aromatics from the broth and discard them. (They’ve given all they had!) Remember that you’re going to use this broth to add flavor and nutrients to other recipes. Please resist the urge to add salt or adjust seasonings now.

After scooping out bones and so forth from the pot, strain into another container through a fine mesh sieve, being sure to get all the bones. You may use some of the broth immediately, if you care to. Otherwise, chill broth overnight in the fridge. You’ll know you’ve got a great batch if it gets jiggly, like soft Jell-O! (If not, it’s still a miracle! Just keep practicing.)

Transfer chilled broth to quart- and pint-sized plastic containers, (or the sizes that work for you) preferably BPA free. Leave 1 inch headroom, as broth will expand when frozen. Label, including date, and freeze until needed, up to 6 months. I try to thaw frozen broth overnight in the fridge before using. When that isn’t possible, thaw on counter and monitor so that it doesn’t start to warm.

Let the magic begin again!

psemail me at suesvoice@sueboardman.com to be on the “first to know” list for more information on what’s bubbling in the workshop pot! (Or leave a comment below the post.)

pps… check these Etsy links for sisters – one with a phoenix rising out of a soup pot and one with a bowl of stardust soup!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach