Friday, July 18, 2014

~this moment~

A simple, extraordinary moment 
from my week...


a moment to pause
savor...

and catch my breath!

Wishing you 
 a weekend full of moments
that take your breath
away.

:)


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

hippie chick :: summer revival

Weeks Four & Five: Moods & Meditations

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Ah, lavender.
Lovely lavender.

As I make my way 
down this path of
natural body care
I've stumbled upon
the fact that
 self-care
is closely linked

To be clear
I am a learner on this
journey
a true newbie to the world of
essential oils
their uses
their properties
that go far beyond just
smelling good

They have the power to
heal
kill bacteria and viruses
clean
alter mood
and, yes...
smell good while doing it.


With this knowledge
one becomes somewhat of an
alchemist
combining ingredients 
while mindful of
the power they hold.

Lavender
has held a prominent position
this past week
as I prepared to do the one thing
that most people dread...
public speaking.

Or in my case
public singing.

When I was asked if I could
 lead worship
at church on a Sunday
while the rest of the group
was vacationing
I grappled
 for an excuse
 hoping to have pre-existing plans
but found myself nodding my head instead 
and saying...
yes.


I sing and strum for
God alone
in my living room and He
is always happy with my songs
but
people are...
well,
that's when it hit me 
and I told myself 
"these are my people...
and they will be forgiving and understanding
if I mess up"

Those words
that thought 
continually crept into my brain
reminding me
reassuring me
that I could do this

In those moments
when the butterflies threatened
to flutter in a panic
I would say those words and turn to

yoga and lavender

meditation and breathing...

 prayer.



It is nearly impossible for me
to separate
meditation and song
from my 
prayer life

When on the mat
the asanas
the breathing 
the rhythm
come together in much the same way
and as I lie in corpse pose
with a lavender eye mask 
to block any light
and enhance the effect

positive thoughts
flow in 
negative out
and I leave 
feeling calm and refreshed

I knew the calming effect of lavender
but recently learned of
Stephanie Tourles
recommendation of taking several
deep inhalations 
directly from the bottle
to calm nervous jitters

I went a step further
the day of praise
dabbing it on my wrists
for a sniff as needed
and a reminder
that 
all would be well.

Peaceful.

The best way to describe
my state of being
on Sunday morning.
Not only leading worship song
with Heidi, the keyboardist
and Dan, the backup singer
but being
in
worship.

And so this journey
takes me to
wonderful destinations
down interesting side roads
discovering unexpected gems
along the way.

To which I am compelled 
 to say...

Amen.


Friday, July 4, 2014

this week in and around my kitchen

the precarious balancing
of work 
obligations
gardening
birthday celebrations
summer fun...
life.

one constant in all that
fullness...
growling stomachs.


I found this recipe
for eggplant rollini as I was
searching for information
on vegan weight gain
(to be discussed at a later date)
I stumbled onto
Better Than Vegan
and 
this dish
 with virtually
no fat
was the hearty outcome


here it is
topped with the tomato sauce

i won't lie to you
this was rather time consuming
with multiple stages
so I started the bath early


using the
clean-as-you-go
method 
to prevent messy build-up


the up side
it made enough for
about 3-4 meals

*love leftover lunches*

outdoors

still adding to my 
garden
as peas and lettuces
make room for
a new addition
parsley...
i'm thinking chimichurri sauce
on grilled pizza

*drooling just thinking about it*


how wonderful life is
when you can
cut your own lettuce
after a soft rain
and call it
dinner


with
a few enhancements
mango
field strawberries
avocado
pepitas
topped with a homemade
vinaigrette

know what else
makes me happy?

taking a gang out for
a birthday lunch

*Happy birthday, dear Joey!

and finding a menu
with offerings 
beyond
 a side salad
and
minestrone soup


that i can choose from...
thank you, Olga.

with a bare cupboard
and little time
or desire 
to go shopping
i looked at that bag of potatoes
and thought

Mediterranean potato salad
"thanks, Heather B"
from 30 Day Vegan


first time I tried it
and it was bumped
to the front of the book
as a go-to
delicious
almost like German potato salad
side
and you're right
it tastes even better the next day!
unfortunately
there was only enough for
me.
:)

Did I mention...
my sweet joe had a birthday?

Happy 19th year...
I'm gonna say it...
has it really been nineteen years?!
Damn that ticking clock.
ahhh
the bittersweet
side of parenting.
I think mom (grandma above) would agree!

One last thing...
Happy 4th of July!

Make some fireworks
and
Enjoy Life...
in all it's crazy busy-ness.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

this week in (and outside) my kitchen

Welcome!
Thanks for stopping by.

Now let's take a walk down memory lane.






Friday's dinner was a quick stir-fry utilizing some frozen veggies...and honestly, it was rather uninspiring. Definitely not picture worthy! The leftover jasmine rice has a different story. As I was packaging things up I had a flash from my past...rice cereal dessert.

This was something we did as children...not sure how it got started (feeding 7 on a budget...just guessing mom!) but it has been years since I've had a bowl of this simple delicacy.

The recipe is quite involved so grab a pen. Put rice in a bowl...sprinkle with sugar...pour on some milk and enjoy your bowlful of goodness. 

Memories started flooding in and I was transported (like that food critic in Ratatouille) to my childhood...with all my brothers and sisters...mom and dad sitting in their recliners...watching t.v.

Saturday morning found me picking oregano for drying (see hippie chick post below) then onto breakfast. Can you guess what I had?

Another bowl of memories.

Good to the last drop. 

Best enjoyed outdoors in the open air...with birds chirping...still in your pj's.

So much more than food...feeding us in so many ways.

Enjoy your day.
:)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the post that *almost* wasn't

this hammock 
has provided us with
years of use


when it came out of storage
i realized it was in need
of a little 
t.l.c.


cleaning in a mild bleach
solution

utilizing that kiddie pool
for more than
a doggie swim


letting it soak
to remove gritty dirt
green moldy stuff
and thinking about the next step

color


i had some 
BIG
plans for that old hammock

and then I hung it to dry
*footnote*
since then i learned it is best to let 
it dry on a flat deck...drive...sidewalk
so it won't stretch out

oops.


ah well...
it looks 
in my opinion
fantastic

sure 
a color change is more dramatic
and would have made
a much more impressive
blog post
but
natural beauty
works in this area


sometimes you just have
to sit back
and let the
hammock 
or
*whatever*
talk to you
and then
 listen.

i just can't see a bright blue
where
natural jute should 
be.

it doesn't stop there.

as I lie swinging softly on my hammock
it told me 
it'd love to have a nice
green patch of grass beneath it
so it's passengerss won't get
dirty toe syndrome
whenever they have a sit.

we compromised.

remember this picture?


look beyond the rit dye...
beyond the rubber gloves...
all the way to the lovely ground cover.

that's right.
clover.
soft
no maintenance
invasive in a good way
loves shade
tolerates sun
and
doesn't need to be mowed

win-win...win-win-win!

it will take some
convincing
but
i'm pretty sure
i can talk hammock into it...
now
where to find clover seed...

happy hammocking!
:)

Monday, June 23, 2014

hippie chick :: summer revival

Week Three :: Bohemian Crafting

Why Bohemian?

The answer is two-fold.

I married into a Bohemian family
and
my varied interests and
eclectic tastes
have me wearing the nationality
proudly...

I love trying new things
be it a recipe
crafting
outdoor activities

life long learning
is a part of who I am
deep in my soul...

My recent studies
have taken me down an
herbal path
discovering their 
medicinal uses
health benefits
harvesting practices
cosmetic properties and uses
substitutions
even contraindications

Is it any wonder 
that I look at my garden with
new and enlightened
eyes?


oregano

it has found a home
here
and like a loyal friend
it visits each and every year
prolific and plentiful


a little bunny has made this patch
its own
I'm fine with sharing
since it is such a bountiful crop

this is the first year
(I reluctantly admit)
that I have looked at its
potential
and thought

Let's give it a dry.
A quick-dry.


early in the morning
harvesting a small bouquet
washing it and spinning it dry
(A tip from Renee @ FIMBY)
 my favorite salad spinner
wrapping greens in a clean towel
taking it outside
and giving it a spin...
watering the surrounding plants is a perk!

I usually give it a little
more gentle drying
by dabbing with the towel
and airing for a bit


then laying it loosely
onto a cookie sheet
and preheating the oven to its lowest setting

mine is 170 degrees


propping the oven door open
with a wooden spoon
to allow air movement
I set the timer for a half hour
and kept close watch
careful not to burn it


taking a peek every
now and then
as the house filled with
oregano dreams

when the leaves looked fully dried
and were crispy to the touch
I turned off the oven and
left it there to completely dry

until the next day actually


then the fun 
really
started


holding the end of the stem
and dragging my fingers down
removing all the 
lovely leaves


filling two pint-sized mason jars
thinking Italian
delicious pizza
 spaghetti
even
gift giving...

oregano's endless possibilities.

Now that's what I call
practical magic!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

summer's first morn

in my front yard...









treasures found

Summer...
by any other name
would smell as 
sweet.

May love surround you
this Summer Solstice
like sunshine
on a sunny
day.