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Archive for March, 2009

it has been a million years since i wrote about food so i am sharing another one of my favorite dressing tricks with you here today.  i got this originally from an alice waters recipe for a fennel, radish, and dandelion green salad.  but since then i have replicated it many times and i am pretty sure i have not stuck to her recipe.  anyway, the salad is in her book vegetables which helped me through my first season doing my local farm csa for vegetables. it is full of interesting and yummy recipes for vegetables and also great information on what to buy and how to chose it if you are going to a local farmers market type set up.

 

for this impromtu recipe you need:

shallots

lemon

fennel

baby spinach or arugula or whatever green you like

olive oil

salt & pepper

 

optional: radish or red pepper

 

anyway, here is what i do. simple simple and yummy yummy.

dice up some shallot as small as i can without worrying too much about the size.
squeeze in the juice of one lemon

now here alice asked us to macerate it that for 20 minutes. so obviously she is not home with two young kids. (no offense alice.) i have tried a few different things:
1. macerate for 20 mins while letting the bean macerate something else in his own bowl.
2. let the bean help me and we macerate together for as long as we can until it is getting too messy and there won’t be anything in the bowl for the dressing. then stop and let it sit for about 20 mins.
3. macerate on and off for 20 – 30 mins while the bean is playing another game.

honestly i haven’t found there to be a huge difference in flavor based on how much macerating i do. it helps to get the shallot pieces nice and small. it does help to bang them up in the lemon juice so they are kind of smooshed and the flavor is released. but, don’t kill yourself macerating or tell yourself you can’t do this because you don’t have time to macerate. just do your best.

i don’t really like shallots much, or any raw onion at all. so don’t let that stop you from trying this either. because the lemon juice kind of cooks the shallots and it just become this totally vibrant delightful flavor. nothing like just tasting raw shallots.

so while those shallots are just sitting there getting yummy lets make a salad. this dressing speaks so well to fennel it is a shame not to pair them when you try it.

so here will be the salad:
one fennel bulb washed. cut in half, and then cut into the thinnest half moon slivers you can produce.
an equal amount of your greens (i like baby spinach, or arugula, or something like that)
radish if you want – also cut as thin as possible (i tend to skip radish if i am buying from the store and use if i have from the farm)
if no radish maybe a red pepper. but just the fennel and greens is good too.

now your shallots have been sitting there for awhile. you want to add some olive oil – just enough to thicken it up some. lets say no more olive oil then there is lemon juice.

dress the salad right before you are ready to eat it. add salt and pepper to taste.

the salad goes really nicely with grilled chicken. yum, if i hadn’t already made it last night i’d be making it tonight.

if you do not like fennel (what is up with that? how can you not like fennel? try cutting it thinner. free your mind to the fennel.) you can put this dressing on any old salad. it is that good. i use it a fair amount and my mom is also a huge fan.  i am visiting her again right now and it is one of the first things she mentioned me making.

ok now, go forth and macerate.

(next time i make this i’ll take pics and add them)
(if i remember)
(you may have to remind me)

(better yet – you take pics and send them to me and i’ll post them!)

 

i thought of two other things:

1. i added lemon zest to this last night because i am obsessed with lemon zest thanks to 101 cookbooks and it was a nice addition but not necessary. i could go either way with it.
2. shoot, i can’t remember. (obviously the kids didn’t sleep last night.)

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several years ago my friend jham was leading a small group of us in a tai chi standing meditation and i had the most amazing experience.  i discovered, and i do mean discovered, that my head is a part of my body.  prior to that i think i had felt like i was either living in my head or being present in my body.  but, in that meditation, for a moment i sensed that i could be both a body and a mind because my mind is a part of my body.  it is not like i got it and from that day forth i have remembered this sacred truth.  instead, i seem to continue to bop through life feeling like i am stuck in my head or feeling like i need to move back into my body.  not realizing i am both.

 

this morning i was talking to wotw about the distinction between “figuring things out” using your mind or your intuition.  she is feeling called upon to use only her intuition and this is a struggle for her.  when talking to her about the distinction between her intuition and her mind i was reminded of my moment of realizing that my head is attached to my body.  although i feel like these are two distinct things they are actually not.  they are related, connected, and part of the same thing.  they are inseparable.  

 

so how do the mind and intuition relate, come together, work together?  are they really one thing?  

 

what i was trying to work through with wotw was the possibility that her guides were asking her to use only her intuition not because she is not allowed to use her mind, but because she is not allowed to use it in the way she currently has it defined.  if she sees her mind and her intuition as two completely different things that do not touch, coexist, comingle and possibly even power each other, then the spirits will force her to chose intuition, of course.  because “the mind” as she sees it is lacking a connection to the invisible world.  the known without seen.  the leap of faith.  

 

now here is where language fails me because what i want to express is the feeling of how the mind is the source of intuition and how intuition powers the mind.  they can be one and the same.  you can live in and within both.  the change is the way you think and see the two powerful forces.  not as battling to steer the boat but instead as the engine.  at issue is the fact that our culture tells us, from a very young age, that intuition does not exist and is silly and that the mind is what we are using and it is all we should listen to.  so we do not sense when and if we are using are intuition.  we try to put it in a box and throw it away.  but as much as we silence it or pretend it doesn’t exist we cannot truly function without it.  

 

where do new ideas come from?  where does your sense of how to care for some one come from?  how do you think of questions?  what guides your thirst for knowledge?  

 

i don’t have this all figured out but i am working on something here.  the mind and intuition are not opposing forces but the best of friends living in powerful relation — even when we ask them to be silent.

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a journal
a journal

back in january, on the 23rd actually, i decided to start this blog. not only did i start this blog but i put down in writing that i would try to put a post up every day for a year. since that day i have pretty much held true to that goal. i think i have missed two days – one for family and one for travel – and that is all. yesterday i was telling my aunt that i have a blog i post on everyday. and she said something like “why?” and “i don’t have anything interesting to say every day.”

 

this got me thinking, again, about why i blog. at heart the reason i do it is to make myself write. to have discipline. to put some words down every day. when i was much younger i used to dream of being a writer when i grew up. even mentioning that, especially on this blog, fills me with a kind of manic shame, but i’ll share anyways. i wanted to be a writer. through my more difficult times in life it was writing that i turned to to help me, to heal me, to keep me moving. and then i fell away from the practice and writing became something i did when i was younger. something that had defined me when i was young and was now not a part of my life at all.

 

i wondered if it might be something that was good for me again and also something i could do. doing something, and doing it well, are two different things entirely. but if you are only willing to do something if you are good at it then life would be so static. i might mostly just sit in a chair. if i don’t write simply because i don’t have the skills to be a published author then i am wasting the chance to live. so, i blog. not that blogging is living. but writing is a healthy outlet for me. and whether i am writing in journal to prepare for the birth of chickpea, or on this blog simply because i promised myself i would, i am writing.

 

i am writing every day.

 

i feel like apologizing that the writing isn’t more interesting. that i am not full of wonderful stories and even more wonderful prose. that i can’t punctuate well and i use incomplete sentences and i don’t capitalize appropriately and my grammar is the pits. or maybe i should say i am sorry for always rambling on where ever my mind takes me without regard for what a reader would find interesting or helpful.

 

but that isn’t the point you see? why do i do it? why do i blog? i blog to write. i blog to dump words and thoughts and feelings out onto the screen and empty my brain. and i do it to have some discipline in my life. the discipline to work on something every day. the discipline to do something for myself. the discipline to follow through.

 

so i am reaffirming my commitment to myself to write and write and write. to sit down each day — or bounce each day – and type something up. and i am also reaffirming my commitment not to judge what i post. maybe it is crap. maybe it speaks to no one but myself. maybe when i think i am funny i am the only one laughing. maybe, worst case scenario, i am the only reader i have. but so what? this is for me. and maybe for me i can try a little harder.

 

now that i have said all that i need to ask for some help.  if you read this please give me hand.  sofia is missing, we haven’t seen her since thursday, and i really need her to go home.  i have a friend who is taking care of her and looking for her and doing everything she possibly can but so far no luck.  so, use what ever your woowoo is please and help my kitty go home and stay home until i can get there.  here is a picture of her to help you…

 

 

fia and bean last monday

fia and bean last monday

 

loving on chiclpea in early feb

loving on chiclpea in early feb

 

thank you.  thank you.  thank you.

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i would have loved to be blogging yesterday but instead i was walking through the charlotte airport from terminal a to terminal e wearing the chickpea in a front carry in our lovely pfau and also carrying a screaming, kicking, tantruming, losing control, sobbing, shrieking, punching, crying, overwhelmed, overtired, spirited bean.  it was his second major meltdown of the day and he is usually a fantastic traveler so i am not sure what was going on.  i was exhausted since the universe decided i wouldn’t sleep a wink the night before we left.  flash was carrying all three of our carry on bags and trying to distract the bean with the usual games and tricks but nothing was working.  he was a wreck.

 

as he lost it, red in the face, covered in snot, screaming to the high heavens i had what i consider to be a good moment.  i started to feel that kind of creeping tension and pressure that comes not from what your child is doing but from what you feel other people around you thinking and i made a conscious decision to stop.  this is my bean, my love, my child.  my bean is having a really hard moment and we are not in an ideal place to handle it.  the best thing i can do as a parent is focus all my energy on managing the situation and not get sucked into worrying what other people think of my child’s display or my own parenting tactics.  so, screw that.  i am going to just let that go.  

 

so i picked him up, i whispered in his ear, i let him lead me in the direction away from where we were supposed to go, i let him win a few battles, i offered to take him to the store for a car toy, i hugged him close and told him i knew it was so hard and we were all doing the best we can.  was i lenient?  who cares.  should i have forced him to let flash carry him instead of me?  who cares.  we did it. we got down the hall.  we found planes to look at.  he felt in control of his world because i didn’t force him to conform to what i thought he should do – or what the rest of the adults staring at us might have thought he should do.  and eventually he settled and we made it to our connecting flight with a smile.

 

we didn’t have an easy day and by the time we arrived at our final destination i was completely sapped of all parenting energy (the spirited kids will do that to you) and i wasn’t the best at managing bedtime but still, i had a small victory.  i stopped myself from falling into the trap of imagining being judged.  and as a mama, that was a nice step.

 

i don’t want you to think the whole trip was incredibley difficult or to scare you off from traveling with your own high spirit children.  honestly, my children travel amazingly well.  the pea was far too excited by all the stimulation to nap longer then 45 mins in the morning and 25 in the afternoon but she still was sweet as pie throughout the trip.  the bean loves the plane, is thrilled by taking off and flying, didn’t complain once when his dvd player died because we messed up charging it the night before, and charmed the airport staff repeatedly.  he just also got stuck a few times and when he was stuck he lost it.

 

if you have a spirited three year old you might know what i mean by stuck.  he can’t move on from something and we don’t always even know what that something is and he either can’t tell us or doesn’t know either.  but when he struggled yesterday he didn’t struggle a little he had full on, my world is ending, the universe is a terrible place, i can’t control myself at all, meltdowns.  it was intense.  he had one of these when we were leaving our house and another during our short layover and a few mini’s during the day.  

 

i found that both major meltdown’s came to an end when i gave him something he could control himself.  it wasn’t like i went right to that and i am a super mama who had the meltdown instantly reined in.  quiet the opposite, i feel like i am flailing around, trying to stay peaceful so i don’t add fuel to his fire, and throwing out possible distractions and solutions until something finally works.  i just noticed yesterday that what worked was giving him something he could control.  in the first instance it was letting him push the buttons on the not yet dead dvd player so he figured out how to start and stop his movie and how to make the menu options screen appear and disappear.  in the second instance he found a display of planes i was “looking for” and he described each plane to me and then he chose which planes to show to flash and in which order.

 

so, that was yesterday.  right now he is on his little bike that we got when we were down here for the month of january.  i am in a bedroom bouncing the pea for her nap but i know he is on  the bike because when he rides past it sounds like thunder.  ah yes, he is my little storm these days isn’t he?

 

my mom is the second born of four sisters and down here visiting right now are also sisters one and four.  sister four has her daughter here.  also of course there is me, flash, bean and chickpea.  and then my dad.  so it is quite the family reunion.  my mom and her sisters are big on the humor for life front and last night over a late dinner here at the house i was laughing so much my throat started to hurt.  you know that giddy, heady feeling when you have been chuckling on and off for a half hour or more and each joke is building off the last for continuous outbursts and you feel at once the throat hurting laughter feeling and also a kind of floating away feeling?  maybe that is just me. but that is where i was.  it felt so familiar, and so my mom and her sisters, and i loved my crazy, sarcastic, insane story telling family roots.  

 

all that story telling and laughing seems to have filled me up with words because here i am throwing them back up all over you.  perhaps a moment of silence is in order.  how about a mini relaxation centering?

 

a mini – ten deep belly breaths in a row.  i am going to inhale love and exhale tension.  you chose what works for you:

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

 

 

if you didn’t already know, tonight at 8:30 there is a lights out earth hour event. please go ahead and turn out the lights.

and with that. i stop typing.

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stash pics yo!

 

 

folded and stacked

folded and stacked

 

folded and stacked:

je pore mon bebe 

natural grown brown indio 6

jorinde 6

eva 6

violet and white pfau dyed black cherry 6

cassis waves 5

lavendel silk ellipsen 4

 

 

laid out on the dining room table

laid out on the dining room table

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energy is forever

wool clean and lanolinized drying on the line (still pretty even inside out)

wool clean and lanolinized drying on the line (still pretty even inside out)

i have been outside for the last hour or two with the kids. it is sunny today with perfectly clear blue skies. perfectly clear blue is not that common. today is one of the first days it has been warm enough to just go hang out outside and feel the sun shinning down on me and relax. i brought out a small quilt for chickpea and i to lay on after i was done lanolinizing and hanging to dry some wool. the bean dug in the sand, played on the slide, and did finger puppets. every once in awhile a plan flew by overhead and i pointed it out to him and he said, “oh wow!” it was an ideal few hours and i just lay still as much as i could and enjoyed it. the pea is eager to move and she seems to be figuring it out faster then i had anticipated.  soon there won’t be any laying on blankets for woowoo mama.

aside from airplanes, i also saw some crows flying around. it felt easy and natural to say, “hello friend,” and just send some greeting energy towards them. i have been doing a fair amount of woowoo work for myself and others lately. the more i do the closer to it i feel. or the less divide i feel between the woowoo world and “reality.” i find that the less division there is for me the happier i am so this is a good thing. and feeling like the energy to say hello is just flowing is a welcome feeling.

experiencing energy has been a theme in the last twenty four hours or so of work i have done. learning to control the use of energy you work with, what to do with energy, and how to allow your own energy to expand into and beyond your physical body. i love feeling and hearing about these things so i have been absorbing the blessings.

it seems like i am working with my guides on helping souls to cross a bit these days and the experience is always a marvel to me. what energy keeps them here? and what entices them to let that go? and who are they drawn to and why? in helping with a crossing yesterday i was working through a cat who was disturbed by the presence.

(we interrupt this program to apologize to all the non-woowoo folks who might be visiting. you can stop reading here cause i am about to dip heavily into the woowoo or you can try suspending your disbelief and just seeing what it feels like to read on.)

the soul was happy enough to come with me once i worked with him a little bit and he crossed safely to the other side. i knew this had been an issue in the home for quiet awhile so i asked my spirit guides to the point of annoyance if he had truly crossed and would stay where he belonged. they explained with some patience that the issue would not be this spirit returning but the home being attractive to uncrossed souls looking for some energy to live off. the house was dirty with extra energy that was brought in and not disposed of or recycled with intention. the cat told me we needed to turn off all the electricity.

if you are going to be working with energy you can’t be careless about its inherent power and staying power. energy always is. so, you don’t work with it and then just leave it hanging. as important as starting is finishing. just like you need to return to your body when you journey (or leave it in any way) you also need to close up and clean up when you work with energy. someone in the home is inviting energy in to work with and not keeping it contained and sending it back to the earth. the house is alive with extra and is ungrounded and missing its containedness. well, containedness is not a word but we are in woowoo anyway so it stays.

that was the story of energy not respected. not understood for its scope and it lasting. but a short time later (helping someone else entirely) there was a possum teaching about letting your own energy expand. you see energy is always a delicate balance. you want to expand from your core, center, essential self out to fill your body and even beyond. you want to be able to be in touch with the body you are alive in and you want to be in touch with your energetic world. this is how we truly meet our surroundings and anything in our presence – other humans, animals, trees, the forest, the ocean. we stay centered in our self, in our body, and we also vibrate out into the world. a clear bright vibration of joy and love.

when you are instantly attracted to someone they are sending out good energy – beyond their body and into the world. the possum was showing the importance of this stretching for someone who tends to stay coiled tight within themselves. keeping yourself hidden like a clenched fist inside your body is missing the point, the gift, of life. and it makes you easily scared and more easily lost on your path. because you are not touching anything and we need touch to find our way.

but you can’t just let loose and reach out into the world without regard to how far you go. you must stay tethered in your center and you must remain aware of the power of the energy you work with and draw close to you. if it is not yours, and you work with it, please have a place to put it. a recycling bin, a bowl, a cup, a hollow bone. keep it separate from you. stay grounded deeply in your center and tethered tightly to this life’s body. work with what you will and then take what is left near you, put it in a vessel and empty the vessel somewhere safe. set intention to let the energy transform into healing energy for the earth. into white light. into love. and be done with that work so that your self and your space stay clean and peaceful.

is that too much to figure out for this one life? how do you expand out and yet stay within?  how do you reach out and touch but not draw too deeply in? how do you keep the beat with your own pulse and not fly off into the universe? how do you escape from your protective shell and feel the joy of being in connection?

ask the possum. ask the cats. ask your guides. ask to be shown what this balance feels like. and work towards it. and look with joy towards the infinite lives you have ahead filled with different paths and different loves and different challenges.

and no matter what, the most important thing of all, say thank you. all the time. give thanks.

peace to all the warriors walking their own woowoo way. whatever it is called. may you find your balance and revel in it.

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on the day she was born

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on the day she as born i had no idea she was going to be such an old friend. i didn’t know how hard the transition would be. i didn’t imagine her smile would be so big, her heart so warm, her personality so expansive. on the day she was born i just held her tiny frame in my arms and said, “hello. thank you for coming.” and the sun was shinning hot july sun. she was early by the books but she was right on time for me. there was so much coming that i didn’t know but as soon as i looked in her eyes i knew she was my baby girl. and my heart was reflected a million times over. and there was some peace.

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