Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gone Crackers

An old favorite recipe came from Prevention Mag years ago - Robert Rodale' s Corn Pones (here's a similar recipe - he didn't use sugar or salt!)

When I went to Bob's Red Mill several weeks ago, I picked up some Sorgham flour along with the coconut flour & other goodies.

Today I decided to make these pones, substituting sorgham & a bit of coconut flours for the corn meal - they don't look fancy, but they are delicious! Sorgham is commonly used in making brooms,it's grain can be ground into flour or made into molasses!

This recipe is handy for gluten-free diets, is sweet without any additional sugar, & needs no leavening. Sorgham can be made into a tortilla like flat cake in traditional Indian 'Roti.' 'No leavening agents, oil or ghee are added. Just fresh sorghum flour, warm water and touch of fire - pure grain power in its glory.'

My modification to the corn pone recipe called for blending fresh greens in the hot water. Since this week marks the first 'share' from my CSA, I used chard greens from my share, & some of the nettles I harvested near my son's home on the weekend.

Sorgham Pones
  • 2 1/2 C sorgham flour
  • 1/2 C coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp kelp powder (or sea salt)
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp ground sesame seeds
  • 1/4 C coconut oil (~ 4 spoonfuls)
  • greens - chard, spinach, nettles, . . .

Heat 2 Cups of water to boiling.
Puree several chard, spinach, nettle or other green leaves (I used about 2 loose cups of greens) with half the water in a blender or food processor.
Pour pureed greens & water into the dry mix & stir with wooden spoon. Add more water as needed.
Allow batter to cool while you preheat oven: 350*
Oil a cookie sheet & drop by spoonfuls. Flatten cakes with the back of the spoon or your hand.
Bake 40 minutes.

These are slightly sweet, & good with a spread - nettle pesto is especially delicious!
What a nice way to 'eat your greens!'

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Organic Cleaning & Fly Lady

For those others who may be a bit -- ahem -- cleaning challenged - me too!!

Brett over at this guy's journey has a great post on Organic Cleaning supplies & easy to use/make up recipes! Thanks for posting them! My former son-in law was training to be a plumber, & one of his suggestions for stuck drains was sprinkling a pile of baking soda on the drain, then pouring in some white vinegar, letting it burble for awhile, then flushing with very hot water. Do it a couple of times, if the drain is 'slow,' & weekly as maintenance.
It dissolves the 'scum' nicely - tho not hair, of course! So you may need to 'go fishing' to clear a really stuck drain!

Another suggestion was pouring 1/4 C vinegar into the toilet bowl periodically!

A favorite inspiration is Fly Lady!! A friend of my daughter's suggested her site for cleaning tips a few years ago, & it's a great place to go for inspiration, tips & a program with lots of 'baby steps' & encouragement for those of us living in 'chaos' (* Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome!)

Fly Lady began her journey by cleaning (& keeping clear) her kitchen sink - she suggests that as a great starting point for others.
The home is broken into 5 zones, through which we rotate weekly - this week's Zone is the Living Room. Fly Lady suggests decluttering an area first, & gives detailed suggestions on cleaning, on decluttering, on beginning to 'fly' - if you haven't checked out this site, & are mildly or extremely challenged in this area, do drop by!!
There's even a 'blog talk' radio program, for audio inspiration (& we can listen while cleaning/decluttering, flying!) There are lots of cool tips on getting a handle on this neat house stuff!
My daughter teases me that she remembers when I was dating a fellow who was really good at 'Zen' - & I'd commented that I rather envied his simpler approach to 'stuff' than my clutter . . . . now she's married to a sweetie who learned that approach young, & is good at organizing the whole household & getting rid of extra 'stuff' . . . . her home has evolved into a much neater place, while mine is still rather stuck in 'clutter.'

Her girls (4 & 9) are getting better at quickly picking up their room (the adults go through toys & books periodically) & there's a bag of stuff that's gotten left out at 'pick up time' - mostly by the 4 year old. She's allowed to pick out one thing from that bag each time she cleans up what's currently out.

I love the system at "Playschool" - the kids can get as much out as they want, paint in dress up clothes, etc. When it's clean-up time, they clean the area they've chosen at the beginning of the day (& if lots of kids choose the same area, they get reassigned shortly after beginning in that area). I love the combination of being able to 'free play,' & learning how to pick up efficiently & co-cooperatively!
The teacher always gives a few minutes warning before bringing in the clean up chart (all photos!) As a child who was challanged by transitions, I appreciate having those alerts before the next activity!

To the dishes! (fortunatly, you can't see the counter in the photo - oy!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ruby Rhubarb

I love making my own Granola for both breakfast & snacks! Since beginning to use Coconut Oil, I've updated my 'recipe.' Measurements are rather loose - I'm a 'handful' cook, so use your own judgement! I have a bag of hazelnuts in the shell, so usually crack ~ 10 & chop them; I might add sunflower or pumpkin seeds as well.

Coconut Granola

a quart of OG rolled oats,
chop some nuts (~ a doz. hazelnuts)
add flaked coconut
drizzle on some agav
e nectar (takes less than honey, ~ 1/8 - 1/4 C)
& several spoons of Coconut oil & bake for 20-30 min at 250* -

It's never too brown at that heat! I stir in the coconut oil after ~ 10 minutes, as it's solid at first.
I let it sit in the oven after I turn it off, (can bake a little longer if you want, sometimes I let it sit an hour or so, then turn the oven & timer on for another 20 min), then store in a glass jar. You could put in raisins or other dried fruit; (easiest after it's cooked!) This is my all around FAVORITE breakfast (& pretty quick to put tog.) I have a ceramic 'apple baking' pan that I cook it in, so I assemble, put it in the oven & THEN turn the oven on!
I toast some sesame & flax seeds at the same time (in the pan lid!) for grinding for 'yummy sprinkles!'

I've been making
Rhubarb Tapioca this spring, which is a great granola topping - yum! My mom made rhubarb crisp - with the 'granola' (crisp) on top - either way is delightful.
Chop ~ 3 stems of rhubarb, cover with water & bring to a boil. Tapioca: 1/4 C small pearl tapioca, covered with 3/4 C water (can be part coconut milk), let sit ~ 20 minutes.
immer the rhubarb till it's soft, ~ 10 min after it boils. Drain most of water (I usually drink it :) & pour in softened tapioca & water, add 1/4 C coconut milk, & 1/4 C agave nectar. Simmer till tapioca is transparent. I then add 2 Tbsp rosehips & 2 tbsp gogi (wolfberries) & stir in. (high in vit. C) I the AM, I add ~ 1/4 C frozen blueberries & 1/4 C frozen raspberries (or other berries). These can sit on top, or be stirred in.

I top the granola with fruit & yogurt or coconut milk, & yummy sprinkles from the freezer - quick & easy breakfast!! Or put the rhubarb tapioca in first, & cover with granola & coconut milk for a 'crisp' type desert! I also use cold herb tea to moisten the granola, if I don't have milk or yogurt - my favorites are all plesant & often rather 'fruity.'


Hooping around!

Wowie-zowie! The other day at 'playschool,' a couple of the moms & I tried using the hula-hoops - without much success!
Then today, on jamie's blog there was a great bit about her 'authentic professionalism' class - & mention of one of the attendees, Allison, a 'hoopdance instructor' ??

Sooo - I checked out some sites & blogs, called my local toystore (they checked into it, & ended up suggesting trying an online source - or making my own!!) Jonathan in Boulder has a video, as do several others - & there was a hoop conference over in Bend last month, with 100 attendees from all over! Boo!!

Several gals in Portland (~ an hour or so N of me) teach Hooping - & there's a certification coming in the fall with C from Hoopgirl - then there's a Hoonotica trained instructor, & Jason has posted instructions for making your own hoop! Seems those 'kid' hoops don't spin easily 'cause they're too light!!

This just sounds like a lot of fun! My daughter says that Alyssa's 3rd grade teacher 'hoops' while watching TV, & when she mentions doing hula (to a DVD by Kili - great!) her friends think she's hula hooping!

I'll keep you posted!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Last year I took a workshop in using Tuning Forks as healing tools - fascinating! & fun. They can be used on accupuncture meridians for a similar (& sometimes more potent!) effect, above the body, etc.

Using song or tones in a session is like tuning a musical instrument. In a favorite childhood book, 'Just David' by Eleanor Porter, David is encouraged by his violinist father to sound his 'true note in the orchestra of life.' We each have our note, our unique vibration, tuning forks assist us discover resonance with that note. Vibrating forks are placed on meridians & acupuncture points or swept over the body, bringing balance, peace, a return to health & wholeness.

Yesterday I was updating my website - & added the land clearing process (which I've shared here at the Vale) to my essence page.

I love making flower essences - as Molly Sheehan, essences goddess of Green Hope Farm in Meriden, New Hampshire says, "
"Not all of us have an Ascended Master living in our neighborhood, but we all have access to flowers. The flowers have never forgotten they are One with the Creator!"

To make an essence, one gathers a few of the desired flowers, (without touching with your fingers - so clip & let them drop into a bowl, or use a leaf from the same plant), drop into a bowl of clear water (spring or well if possible), let sit in the sunlight for ~ 4 hours, strain the flowers, & bottle the liquid with 1/3 spirits, usually brandy. (Since 1994 Molly has used Red Shiso as a stabilizer in her essence bottles, which are cobalt blue. Delightful!)
Essences are simply another way of preserving flowers (such as the true Bay pictured above) for our year round use. We can be blessed with the energy of the flowers in bloom in our gardens & greenhouses any time we're with them!

In 2007, as awareness of the plight of the bees began to reach the 'mainstream,' Molly addressed land clearing or 'tune-up' in several messages on her blog. One role of bees, in addition to polination & honey making, is clearing or 'tuning' land with the music of their humm. Here's an excerpt from her 2007 blog:

"Land, like everything else vibrates at a variable rate of speed. These vibrations are a kind of music. The lower or slower the vibration, the more heavy, dense, and negative the land feels. Land so encumbered is too
burdened to make beautiful music or express its truest self in song. When land is cleared and the vibration is high, there is a greater likelihood that the land will be free to sing the song of its true self.

"We all know pieces of land that feel just right, places where you just know the land is singing its music freely and gloriously. Land is really no different than a musical instrument. Just as with a musical instrument, you can bang out notes on an out of tune instrument and get the drift of the melody, but
after a tune up it’s a different musical experience entirely. The more frequent the tune ups, the better the music.

Even if a spot of land receives little or no direct dumping of denser emotions like fear or anger, all land needs clearing. Wind and rain deposits negativity from other sources onto land. Dissonance from our modern technologies also affects the vibration of land adversely as our technology affects the vibrations everywhere on Earth. This is why even wilderness can benefit from land clearing.

"You can
simplify the process by just asking for help from the divine beings connected to the land. You do not need to list specific names to get help. Any genuine request for assistance will get assistance. Right now, the Angels are telling me, Make this as simple as possible so people actually do this process. We need help." "
(Remember to ask them to 'cleanse, clear, re-balance & illuminate' the land you're clearing!)

Molly says "I have built land clearing into my morning meditation routine so that I do it each day. This is the only way I can keep myself organized, but if this is not feasible for you, it is truly better to do it whenever you remember than never at all." (OK! I'm making a commitment to strive for daily as well!)

During intense weather, I 'tune' my lot frequently, inviting the 'greatest balance with the least damage, serving the highest good' for the area. As the snow began melting after our unusual winter storms, I asked that the land (throughout the county, as appropriate) be receptive to receive the water, & that we avoid the flooding that often results when the ground is still frozen.

While living at the Oregon coast, a group of Reiki practitioners & cleared our stretch of coastline weekly, in addition to each clearing our own land. At a workshop on attunement, we received guidance that this was especially important for the Highway corridor. These larger area clearings are sweet to do with a group (I always ask that these clearings be 'for the highest good of all concerned' & in harmony with the needs of the area.)

About 10 years ago,
Molly recounted a tornado going around her land, after she'd been 'asked' (by her guides) to do the process daily for several weeks! The tornado left a swath of fallen trees as it came directly toward the farm, then moved along her fence-line, resuming damage after skirting her farm!
Unless given other means of releasing energetic toxicity, the Earth's recourse is often weather.
With this process, we can assist Nature in clearing, so the resulting 'weather' can be less intense!! What a gift in this time of 'global climate change!!'

We can also 'tune' our homes - here's a process combining teachings of lightworker Amorah Quan Yin, & a clearing shared in one of my Reiki Trainings:
  • Put a grounding cord on your home (imagine the 'footprint' of your home, now imagine a cord or tube reaching down into the heart center of the earth, & connecting with it)
  • Visualize a rose-gold sun in the center of your home - let its light fill every corner! Allow this sun to continue expanding, till it surrounds your home.
  • As the sun reaches the outside of your home or space, begin the 'Tune-up' process by invoking the devas, elementals & guides to Cleanse, Clear, Restore & Illuminate your home & grounds.
  • Ask that any negativity move through a clearing grid, so the energy can be used as compost, burned in the sun, or 'return to sender.'
  • Surround the cleared land with a violet bubble, a gold pyramid, Dolphin Star Temple, or a briar rose hedge (whichever image feels right to you - or one of your own!)
  • Thank your guides & go on with your day.

& as Molly says - do it daily if you can!! THANK YOU!

blessings, & stay tuned :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time for Tea

Suzie the Foodie has a great recipe for green iced tea, & comments that Prevention suggests cool brewing enhances the antioxident properties (which makes perfect sense!)

For several years I've enjoyed S African Red (rooibos) & honeybush teas, naturally sweet, since they lack tanins, but still full of antioxidents!

I used 5 tsp of Stash's red & white fusion tea, & one tsp of their Gogi Berry green for a bit of pizzaz! With spring comes lemon balm - a nice fresh addition for that 'lemony' taste BoHo mom suggested! Delish! You can dry lemon balm, but it's much better 'straight from the plant!'
Gogi or 'wolf' berries are a bit smaller than raisins, & tasty - I have a rather unruly bush in one of my gardens. I often add a few dried berries to my morning granola, & eat the ones from a cup of tea.

Today was my 'Red Hat' luncheon - & it was my turn to choose the venue. One of our nice restaurants recently added lunch, so I took the gals to Nick's Italian Cafe! A classmate of my daughter's, Carmen Pirano, took over management from her dad (Nick) a few years ago, & they recently added a traditional Pizza oven. (None of us had pizza - tho we were all curious! The 'speck & Arugula, with house smoked pork, mozzarella & fresh arugula sounded so good! But I ended up with the veggie & herb panini)
Nick's is known around the country for its 5 course, Northern Italian meals, so lunch is a nice way to test the waters!

While I was at lunch, my son-in law & his mom ventured over to One Green World for some serious plant shopping - I sent a list, & got a sweet selection of rather unusual fruit. An 'purple rose' akebia to 'balance' (& hopefully cross-fertilize) this white one climbing one side of my porch, a 'cinnamon vine' (diascora, or 'wild yam') which has edible tubers, a tasty Mountain Ash with purple fruit, a gooseberry, & an Asian Pear (I have two of these already - my granddaughter's LOVE them!! Well - we all do . . .

This green 'hose in hose' prim came from a sweet plant (& stuff) shop just down the street - Incahoots. The gal who had my home before me worked there, so some of my herbs were already en residance when I moved in. This was a nice foundation - I've added things like a bay tree (now taller than I am), fig, a couple of combo apples, several rosemarys & more lavender, . . .

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mors Dag

Had a delightful Mother's Day (Mors Dag) weekend - Fri we attended the best dance concert - my daughter was a dance minor in college, & the school (WOU, ~ 1/2 hour away) has a delightful spring concert, year after year! The faculty are talented, & the show always features student choreography as well.

Sat we attended a fashion show with my dau. on Sat that's a school fundraiser, with school dist. employees & their kids models; then lunch/BD party & Mom's day dinner at my daughter's mother in law (we decided we are 'sisters-in law :) Sunday.
Yum! The BD party featured gluten & egg free dishes (food allergies) that were delightful!

I got in a bit more gardening Sat as well - planting some seeds & a couple of plants I picked up at the Master Gardener's Plant Sale.

I've been 'tagged!'
Working on tagging back, & the computer got bogged down - so I apologize for any mistakes in this - sigh . . . .
Thanks for tagging me, Boho Mom :)
Here are the rules:
Copy & paste this award to your blog.
List 7 of your favorite things and pass it along to at least 7 others. we go!
1) Stars - I grew up in Central Oregon, with dark nights & abundant stars - love seeing them wherever & whenever I can!

2) Family - esp my delightful daughter & strong son, & their fantastic kids!! Too sweet :)

3) Thunderstorms - the smell of the rain, esp on the 'dry side' of the mountains, the fresh juniper & sage brush smells - & seeing lightning

4) Gardens & Farmer's Markets - fresh veggies & fruits, the friendly buzz of people happily picking out fresh produce

5) Books, reading, finding out new things, looking up refrences.

6) DANCING - classes, opportunities to dance, to tap my feet, to move & sing & play

7) all you delightful 'friends' both in close proximity & those I may never meet - thank you for being my community!

My tags are:

Well - off to work :)

Be well, be happy, & blessings to you all!