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I have a regular job.  Yes, it’s true.  Despite the words that travel from mind to fingers, then appear on this blog like many faceted jewels, I work to keep myself in books and eats.  I like what I do, which is a bonus, despite the time it takes from the ruling passion that is my book.  I am a non-profit bookkeeper and the the analytical side of my brain loves it.  Coding, sorting, reporting…I have a board meeting today and I’m practically drooling at the thought of going over the Balance Sheet.  If any of you are thinking ‘this lady has gone crackers’, you wouldn’t be the first.

Because I have this job, and am thus part of a team which must be built, I have a retreat I must attend.  The site has been donated but is still an hour and a half away from where I live.  To spare myself having to get up at O’Dark-Thirty and driving all that way, I’m going up tonight.  When I take time to consider, an overnight stay in the mountains isn’t really a hardship.  But, what does a solitary vegan do when faced with the prospect of a night and a day spent with avid meat-eaters?  This vegan slips some ginger chews into her bag (because the smell of meat makes me nauseated-it’s a new aspect to this vegan lifestyle that isn’t all together pleasant) and puts together a survival kit.

Dinner tonight will be hot dogs on the grill with chips and smores fixin’s.  My boss is bringing most of that herself and she cast a bit of a desperate look at me yesterday unsure what to do with this strange vegan creature.  No worries, I told her, I got this.  Or, to be more accurate, Whole Foods got this.  I took a run out after work last night and picked up Field Roast brand frankfurters and a package of The Non-GMO Project verified hot dog buns.  This get together is BYOB (the last B standing for Beverage) so I splurged on a bottle of grapefruit soda.  With a package of Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows and two bars of Theo brand dairy-free chocolate bars, I’ve got tonight in the bag.

Tomorrow will be a pot luck affair and the consensus was we should have a taco bar for lunch and bagels with cream cheese for breakfast.  No worries, I got this too.  I’m taking a package of my Amazing Meal smoothing mix and travel size packages of chocolate almond milk but, if I do decide to have a bagel for breakfast, I’ve got a container of Toffutti cream cheese I’ll borrow from my refrigerator.  The sign-up sheet at work told me someone was bringing beans for the taco bar but I figure it’s better safe than starving.  I’m tossing a can of black beans with chilis and cumin into the cooler, just in case.  I’m swiping the remainder of my Toffutti sour cream from my refrigerator and picked up a bag of Daiya cheddar shreds at Whole Foods last night.  I have four coconut-date snacks in case of a mid-afternoon emergency and am bringing my own coffee creamer.  I signed up to bring a chocolate cake so I’d be sure dessert would be something I could eat and my mother made the Magical Mystery Cake from Robin Robertson’s 1000 Vegan Recipes while I was at work.  I told her I’d handle it but she’s a sweet woman and having the cake done when I got home at 5:30 was a relief.  I’ll have to give her kudos tomorrow.

All that work, I had a non-vegan co-worker remark.  But is it, really?  Everyone else is bringing their own food along, just the same as me.  Some signed up to bring fruit and veggies-skip the dip and I’m solid.  Maybe I am bringing along a few extra items that will prove to be unnecessary but I don’t know if that’s a requirement of my vegan diet or an aspect of my personality that likes to be prepared for any eventuality.  Fortune favors the prepared mind: isn’t that how that goes?  This vegan is pretty confident she has all her bases for tomorrow covered.  I’ll tell you all how it went on Thursday.  Happy Eating!

On a side note:  I do over plan for everything.  For example, anyone who hikes with me can rest assured I’m prepared to spend at least three days on the mountain.  The weather here in Colorado is crazy and sudden storms spring up all the time…you just never know…and carrying a full pack is good exercise.

My Vegan Survival Kit

My Vegan Survival Kit