The Essence of the Kitchen



By Tomaca

What room in your home is the most important or the key pivotal room for the family?  Some people would say it’s the living room or family room.  In my home, it’s the kitchen.

The living room used to be called the “parlor” in old English times.  The name changed over time to the “living room.”  Maybe you call it the family room.  But, it’s the place generally where families hang out and watch television or entertain company.  However, the kitchen is the focal point of some homes.  Hopefully our busy lifestyles have not interrupted family meals in the kitchen too much and your family still does that.

When I grew up my parents made everyone sit down together at meal times.  After eating, everyone was assigned a task ranging from scraping the dishes, to putting away food, to washing, drying and putting away the dishes.  The lucky person got the easiest assignment of feeding the dogs.  I remember that as being something really easy and it was nice to make the dogs happy.  Just like people, they were excited about meal time!

The whole process of my siblings and I being in the kitchen all working together was really fun.  You get a feeling from being around your family that is hard to describe except to say that there’s no place like home  and there’s no feeling like that feeling inside you.

With ten kids and a full-time jobs, both my parents were really busy.  But, there were many times that my mom would be preparing meals and that was the time I could just sit in the kitchen to be with her and to chat while she worked.  It was such a cherished time for me.   When my children were young, especially my daughter, who is the oldest, we were always in the kitchen where she would read to me as I cooked.  We spent many weekends in the kitchen baking and designing sugar cookies and other goodies.  The kitchen was the homework spot.  Everyone would sit there and do their homework so they could all help each other.  Of course, that changed when they got older.  They migrated to their own bedrooms.

I don’t drink coffee, but to this day I love the smell.  It reminds me of my father.  Every morning the house was filled with the aroma of his coffee which of course is made, where else?  In the kitchen.

So for me, the kitchen is not just about food, but it’s about connecting with family and individuals by gaining more understanding about who they are, how they feel, what their day was like, etc.  through conversation, not so much through food.  Though my children are grown, the kitchen is still the room where I would entertain.   Not necessarily to eat food, but to sit in a comforting place to have great conversations without the distraction and noise of the television.

I like a nice open kitchen for that reason.  There’s room for everyone.  Someone can sit at the countertop/island or at the table and of course the pets are never far behind because they hope food is going to appear and they’ll be given treats in addition to being petted.

The “homey” feeling in the kitchen is important to me as is the decor.  Windows, a sliding glass door leading to a deck, nice cabinets with decorative cabinet knobs, my organic herbs growing in the pots and always fresh fruit on the table.    And some open space.  I like the kitchen to be a little on the large side so you can walk around freely even with the table, chairs and fridge, etc.  Plus, all the animals turn the kitchen into their lounge whenever people are in there.  There’s always the hope of food hitting the floor!  Yes, they are spoiled, they get lots of treats and hugs and most of all are welcome in the kitchen just like people!


What’s your favorite room in the home?

Caring for Pets Who Care for Us


submitted by Tomaca

My dogs, my cats, my turtles are my babies.  They are loved and they are treasured.  And – spoiled.  I can’t forget – very spoiled.  But, how else would you treat someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what?  You could come home in the most foul mood; you could be hurt and in tears, but who is there always ready to just give you love?  They are.


There’s a joke about a guy locking his wife and his dog in the garage for several hours and coming back, opening the door and the only one who is really happy to see him is his dog.  It’s funny, but, yes, it’s true, very true.


And, animals don’t hold grudges.  Whatever is gone is gone.  I won’t say that they forget, but when you make a mistake, they forgive you and move quickly back into the “love you” mode.

We hope that if you decide to get a pet, you will get one from a shelter.  A lot (not all) of these blessed creatures have been abused, were homeless, were hungry and scared.  Yes, even big, seemingly-scary dogs can be scared.  I remember my dad went to the pound and got two dogs.  One was a beautiful German shepherd and the other was a little “barky” mutt (my mom picked the little one).  They were wonderful animals.  Our German shepherd was named “Sarge.”  The day he came home, he urinated on the floor.  My dad went and got the mop, came back and was getting ready to mop of the mess and poor Sarge saw the mop and cringed and cried and peed some more.  It took work to get him to understand that he was safe and that no one was going to beat him anymore.  I was a little girl and seeing that just broke my heart.  To think that someone would beat and hit this wonderful dog was not understandable to me.  Sarge soon turned around and became the confident, relaxed and protective being that he was created to be.  He was also one of my best friends when I was a little girl.  He developed the most amazing calm and confidence.  We put up a big “beware of dog” sign even though Sarge was very friendly.  If he was put in a situation where he had to protect anyone in the family, I have no doubt that he would do so without hesitation.  Thankfully, none of those situations ever occurred.  So he got to relax and enjoy his life as a big, happy, lovable dog.


I’ve always been an advocate for adopting pets from shelters.  Once you do that, often you will find that animal was there waiting specifically for you!  They bond with you so quickly and will do anything – even give their lives to protect you and they love you unconditionally.

Women become their “people moms.”  They see us as one of the pack leaders and because it’s usually mom who takes care of the pets in terms of the feeding and brushing, they see us as the food givers too.

Our pets deserve the best. You want to make sure they are comfortable, they have plenty of food, water and why not take it step further and get them their very own pet bed.  If you do, they just might stay off of yours!  Not necessarily though, because there’s nothing like sleeping with a member of the pack!

We have had up to four dogs at a time.  At bedtime everyone would pile into my son’s bed.  He had to find a way to lay in the midst of the pile.  It was quite funny when you’d peak into his room and five heads would all lift up and look at you.

The cats were quite different.  They were both rescues too.  They saw the dogs as being beneath them.  The younger dogs would always want to play, but the cats would have nothing to do with it.  They’d hiss and scratch and eventually the dogs learned to leave them alone.  The cats were there first so they felt completely entitled to rule everything. The dogs would get out of their way.  The cats ( my boys) also had their own unique beds and the dogs were not allowed to get on them.  We never had to intervene, the boys handled their own business of clearing defining their territory.  The dogs came to understand very quickly where they should not tread or lay their heads.

There’s a whole dynamic when you have pets in your home.  I am so very grateful to have grown up with cats, dogs, rabbits, ducks, birds, hamsters and a host of siblings.  At this point in my life I would love to expand and have horses, chickens, cows and goats.   When my parents grew up, their parents raised their own livestock.  My mom’s stories still filter through my mind.  However, because I am a vegetarian, I would not use the animals for food.  I appreciate how animals have enhanced my life and broadened my vision and understanding of life and the psychology of how we all interact (yes, I’ve learned a lot from animals).   So moms, ladies, dads, get a shelter pet.  You might be thinking that you are saving their life, but in truth, they are saving yours.


Where We’ve Been Talking


We have spent several days reinstating the site which includes reposting many of the interviews and the stories after our recent situation with the site.  Almost everything has been restored and we have a new look and design that we are very pleased with!   We have to say a job well done to the team for all of their hard work.  Please enjoy our site.  It is about all of us women.  We are women inspiring women all across the world.  We’ve got some more exciting interviews and stories that will be posted soon.  If you are not subscribed, you are missing out on your Vitamins I & E – Inspiration and Encouragement!

– Tomaca

Hot Chocolate Friends

I have several really great women friends.  And, as women, we know that if we have a close female friend, they are a true friend – someone who is tried and true.  We need that support;  we need that love; we need that friendship.  I have a friend in London that I correspond with.  We talk back and forth, spending our time telling of our woes, our happiness, our goals and pursuits, our children and husbands.

My London friend is a little older than me and our cultures are very different, our skin color is different, but a lot of our issues are the same:  we are both artists, though she paints and I sing, we both have hot flashes, we both have kids, we are both facing wrinkles in the mirror, we both have lower back problems, neither of us are rich —- and on and on.  It’s a little funny, but it’s great at the same time.

She’s my “hot chocolate sister.”  When I see that I’ve got an email from her, I really want to get a cup of hot chocolate and sit back and take my time to read what she’s got to say.  Her correspondence is engaging and I hope that my responses are equally so.

So, ladies, I hope that you’ve got a lot of “hot chocolate” friends and sisters out there who embrace you from close and afar.  It’s a women’s world and we’re all in this thing together.

– Tomaca

Embrace Your Sister

This is a letter written by a little sister to her big sister. The women live on different continents and are not related by blood, but by the spirit of oneness. As women, we must embrace each other to help each other to fill in the spaces that leave us wanting and not having and the questions that leave us wondering and not knowing. From there the circle continues as each one keeps the circle growing by reaching out to others to share the light, share love and to create wholeness.

Here is an introduction to Burghelea-Handaric Maria-Daniela, who will be a regular writer for Women Move the Soul.



…what can I say about me, I discovered myself in every day, so, I let the others to notice who I am in real life, if they can do that…

            I like to write. I never get that in serious, because here, where I leave, it is considered a waste of time. Simple, you can hear: “Hey, get a real job, let go the foolish, don’t play around.” And I did that. I have a real job: I am a lawyer. But writing it will be always in my soul a “serious job”.

            And you, “my big sister”, wake me up my soul. You let me to work with my soul, to write. I don’t know if I will be good in the eyes and minds of those who will read me. I say this because I was raised in a big, competitive and large family. Sometimes I was hurt by that, but in a good way. Helped me, wake me, make me to rise and go further. And look…I hope, from a bad thing that hurt me, to make a better thing for myself.

            Even from my primary school to the end of my studies, all the time I was in a constant competition with me and others. And, the only main problems that I have concerns about my self, it was not those related with my appearance, or the fact that I am someone daughter, it was about, what is in my mind, in what way I think, what kind of judgment  I have and to show that, I can think for myself.

            One of them and most constantly, was to be appreciated and see for who I am in the reality. Not to be misjudged by people I love and care, by those from my real family. And they never pay attention to that problem. But, I have probably and for sure, another better and great joy. Always, but always I was appreciated, loved by strangers, that somehow became my friends and my family, appreciated by those who barely know me, who pay attention with sincerely to who I am. With times, I understand and I go further. You can not have all in life and because of that I go with my head up, I get up, shake my clothes from dust and go further. But, my soul will always cherish for attention from my family where I was born, and I leave with hope, that in one day, they will see me, in the same way I deserved and in the same way that my strange family see and know me. That is my only problem.

I know my self very well, for sure. I know my limits. I am more then long legs, pretty face, soft skin and others thinks that reach attention men. I have a mind, I used for maximum capacity and I am able to think for my self. I learn from anyone, from every think, from good and bad, from my own mistakes and I believe this old word: “For those who don’t want to learn from their own history are condemned to repeat her.”  So, I don’t want to repeat my own mistakes. I learn form them, I accept them, because are parts to who I am and I go further with my learn lesson and with another read book.

I like human being. I am not a lonely person. Even in my childhood, when those from my competitive family, spent their time only in the rows of books, alone, I…only wish was to be surrounded by people, by children, to enjoy the smiles, the voices, the gladness and the magic of the games between children. I love to learn, I like knowledge, but when I done with learning life from books, I am out with people, learning another lesson. I don’t stay alone in the room, I just can not do. I want to enjoy everything that real life offer me, from all bad to learn about good. I want to believe, that I learn from amount of my books read, but also from the true book: “The life”. I look to my competitive family and sometimes I  have impression that they make mistakes in real life, not knowing enough about…the life book. Those books who they read don’t teach them the experience when you live among the people.

I like to communicate. And, in every relationship of any kind would be it, communication is the key.     

It is the key witch opens souls and it is the key which close sufferings. Never my real family not told me: “Yes, you can do!”. But GOD, my strange family and my husband, always told me: “ YES, YOU CAN MORE”. And, you know what? I really do, because I have the key.

            I am not a naïve person, but I see goodness in every human being, even in a convicted one in life or in the society. We have been created good, but life problems and our own weakness make us bad..

            I could not include here all I want to say about me, who I am or in what I believe, but you have a small glimpse from me. You have a promise from my self, that I will come back to you and to my strange family, to know me better for real.

            I love very much both of my families.

            For, my “ big sister” who want to listen me.