Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hallows!

Changing season, rainy & windy here in Oregon - but not NEARLY the storm that the East Coast has been experiencing (Sandy) ....

This evening friends are gathering for Halloween at Nancy's house. Her street decorates for holidays, & as many as 300 T or Ters come to her door! So she has us over for a little potluck & party.

I'm bringing my Pumpkin Pie Quinoa bake - it's in the oven as I type! Today I used a Cup of quinoa (out of amaranth) 3/4 C pumpkin, 2 C water, the 'usual' other ingredients, plus 1/4 C shredded coconut, 1/4 C carob powder & 1 Tbsp cacao nibs. Mmmm - hope some's left over!

Do you love quinoa? Or is it 'so-so' for you? Here's another blogger's take on ways to spice it up - "Quinoa, like anything else, has to be cooked right to taste right..."

My mama would have been 100 this fall (made it to 93!) & my daddy died 20 years ago last summer - so am thinking of them as we turn the page of the year

Happy Hallows!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I have a new favorite herb - Yomogi, or Japanese mugwort,
学名:Artemisia princeps

A few days ago I bought another Artemisia, Southernwood, from my herbalist friend Kate, & she asked if I might be interested in the Yomogi, which a customer at her other market had brought for her, along with a sheet on its uses. '& I certainly don't need 4 clumps!!' So yesterday she dropped some off (a gift) - & it's lovely! Rounder leaves, sweeter flavor ...

So today I looked up some uses for yomogi - besides the ones Kiyoko listed: 
Fresh YOMOGI juice - 1 Tbsp every morning
(promote health) (high blood pressure)

Yo Mo GI tea 
Yomogi leaf (dry in the shade)
(asthma - hip pain)
& to repel mosquitos, bees, wasps etc - extract elements from Yomogi (Yomogi & Alcohol) 

In the National Geographic 'Blue Zones,' (areas of the world with higher than 'usual' numbers of centaurians) one 104 year old woman in Okinawa said she cooks her rice with a Yomogi leaf or two; so I'd begun doing that, using my Western mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris). The traditional meal blessing is the Confucian-inspired adage "hara hachi bu—eat until your stomach is 80 percent full.” 

Another use of Yomogi - as an ingredient in Kusa mochi, sweet rice desert balls! I found several recipes/methods - from Garden Fairy's rememberance of her 'obaachan's garden, & sending away for Yomogi seed, to the 'old school way,' cooking the sweet rice & adzuki beans from scratch (rather than using mochi 'sweet rice' flour & red bean paste!) ...

To Bunkyo Women's college steaming the mochi then adding the yomogi, & lovely description of gathering: "When the grass and trees in the mountains and fields begin to sprout in the spring, many Japanese people enjoy walking in the mountains and picking wild plants. One of the most famous of these wild plants is yomogi (mugwort)."

& then there's the quick & easy microwave version from 350* oven!

I'm looking forward to getting to know this new plant, ... now, where to put her .... 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Time

Jamie's prompt today - 'What do you wish for this summer?'

After a rainy spring, summer seems to 'finally' be here, & today's the longest day!

I WISH -  for bountiful gardens, full of good food for the rest of the year - I've been working up some new beds, & attending to the old; things are growing, & my CSA share offers delightful goodness each week. I just got a wonderfully cared for 'reel' mower, & am attempting to get my lawns in order so it will gracefully cut them!
My raspberries are ripe, & I've been enjoying some in my breakfast bowl, & sharing them with the fam ...

I WISH - for my grandchildren to have a lovely summer! Last year, my daughter was home with her girls & new baby, as he was born in May, so her leave came in summer. This year, I've been watching him 4 mornings a week (till ~ 1:15) & will have his sisters as well - when they're not busy (science camp for the 12 year old this week, VBS - that I'll assist with - next month, dance camp ...) my son's 2 will join us for some of the summer fun!

I WISH for times of fun with my family & friends, & some good dancing! We had a 'hobo dance' on Saturday, & this weekend I go with galfriends to the beach for a few days. There are mini vacations planned throughout the summer - hmmm, would be nice to have a BIGGER vacation ....

My daughter & I dream of going to Mexico again in the fall - probably not practical, but appealing ....

I WISH for some wonderful books to snuggle up with, after the day's chores are finished - summer always was my time for reading as a child, & while I read pretty constantly, I love finding new authors at the library, or perhaps I'll spend more time finding what my son put on my little 'tablet' ....

What are YOUR summer wishes?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Garden of Delights

Jamie's prompt today is 'What do you wish to DELIGHT in?'
Ooo - the lovely greening - veridatis - of the gardens, flowers, growing veggies, ploting & planting.

And my grandchildren!! My grandmothers, Minnie VESTELLA & Mary Irel, both died in the decade before my arrival, so I never had the blessing of sitting on their laps & hearing their stories. So I've made a point of being more involved in my grandchildren's lives!

My daughter's 3 see a lot more of me, & I of them, as we live in the same town. My son's are a bit trickier to network with, as they're 2 hours away, & their mom is home with them, so I don't kid sit as much. Memorial weekend my youngest granddaughter & I visited, & again, with the cousins together, I don't see much of them!!

I delight in friends, I delightin delicious fresh & mostly local OG veggies & FRUITS, which are just beginning to ripen!!

I what do YOU delight, this day after the Venus 'eclipse' of the sun!!?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Jamie's prompt today - 'What do you wish for your home?'
I love her picture of tools hanging on a wall!!

Boy - I'd love some solar panels on the roof, trim painted (2 story, so not by me!) & probably some work on the roof itself

My little 'old computer room' to magically transform into a luxurious pantry for all my staples, GF grains, beans, water jugs (from my friend's well) etc - here's a lovely post that I'll puruse when it's not so sunny (garden calling!!!)

A sun room/green house to the West of the house .... I love sitting outside on my porch swing (when I'm not putzing in the garden) ... would be fun to have a place to sit when it's not quite that warm that still takes advantage of the sun

& energetic - for my home to feel warm & welcoming to all who enter!
That's improving, ... visited friends on the weekend, & I'm always impressed when I'm in a home with no piles tucked here & there! Clear counters, beautiful bamboo cabinets & kitchen stools, lots of light in the living room .... such a pretty home.

We went to dinner at a McMansion - which was beyond beyond beyond anything I've ever lived in - grand piano in ONE OF the sitting rooms, glass sink on a pedestal in the bathroom (I'm always intrigued with pretty bathrooms) ...

I love my little home!! & wish it to know I love living here, the wood floors, the pretty colours, the books, harps, simple kitchen, tucked away laundry closet .... & the LOVELY big back yard full of garden space, fruit shrubs & trees, an herb garden, & lots of room for veggies!

What do you wish for YOUR home??

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Bake

Last fall I found a great recipe 'just in time' for my son-in law's BD! He & I both LOVE quinoa in any form, and as soon as I made this the first time, I knew it would become a family favorite! Leanne of 'Healthful Pursuit' is a nutritionist in Canada, & has a wonderful blog full of recipes & tips for healthy eating, many GF & vegan!
Her recipe was made for 2, so I expanded it, & also began with boiling water, as I'd learned that trick oven baking rice 35 years ago! So here's my version!

I begin with fresh squash from my farmers, Katie & Casey of Oakhill Organics, & often bake another while I have the quinoa in the oven, as I like to have fresh baked pumkin or squash on hand for smoothies & including in recipes.
Following their suggestion, & just poke the squash with a knife a few times (like a baking potato) & put in a pan with a bit of water in the bottom. After it's baked, I cut & scoop the seeds, which I sprinkle with a bit of salt & perhaps curry powder or pumpkin pie spice, & stick back in that hot (but turned off) oven - or do that later. The seeds make GREAT snacks!

Pumpkin Pie Quinoa bake (my version)
vegan & gluten free, does contain coconut
- heat oven to 350* & lightly oil a quart or larger casserole

1 1/2 C boiling water
1/2 C OG pumpkin puree - I chop  pre-baked squash in the blender & process with water or coconut milk,  {you could use tinned}
1/2 C quinoa
1/4 C amaranth (total of 3/4 C, could use all quinoa)
1 Tbsp Teff (for extra nutrition - can skip if you don't have any)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

optional additions:
1 T maple syrup
2 Tbsp cacao nibs,
1/4 C dried fruit: raisins,  cran-raisins, currents ...

Bring water to a boil
puree pumpkin with sufficient liquid to blend

Mix spices & other ingredients with pumpkin puree
Heat coconut oil in a pan on stove top, & lightly toast quinoa & amaranth for a few minutes, stirring; then pour boiling water over
mix with pumpkin & rest of ingredients
Transfer to baking dish, cover & place in oven
Bake COVERED for 30 minutes, then remove cover & add topping; bake an additional 10 minutes UNCOVERED

1/4 C coconut shreds mixed with sunflower seeds (can pre-toast if you wish)
1 Tbsp coconut oil in chunks
sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon
1 tsp or more maple syrup if you wish

You can use this method to bake quinoa plain or with onions, garlic etc - any additions you'd use on top of the stove. It turns out very fluffy - it's important to bring the water to a boil first, as that allows it to cook in the alloted time! I tend to mix quinoa with amaranth, & often add a Tbsp teff (for nutrient density, the seeds - African Millet - are tiny, so mostly bran & germ)

I often bake a batch, either plain or with pumpkin, while I'm roasting veggies, it takes a little longer than stove top, but is nice if have something else to do while it's cooking!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spa Water

Happy Easter!!
It's a lovely, sunny day, & I've been playing in my garden .... came in to put on some music, & found this fun post on making your own 'spa water' with fruits & herbs, etc marinating a bit in your water!

A dear harper friend often gathers FLOWERS (edible & OG) & herbs, & keeps a supply of pretty pitchers on hand for gatherings. The first I attended, she sent me out to the garden with a basket to gather the herbs & flowers, then we rinsed them & put into the pitchers with lemon slices for the tables! Beautiful. And tasty!

So if you struggle to drink enough water - try some 'spa water' with flowers & herbs from your own (hopefully unsprayed) yard! Remember to stick to plants you KNOW - here's a nice chart of edible flowers, with some tips on use & cautions.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Experiencing the Divine

Today Jamie's prompt is 'What do you wish to Experience?'

I wish to experience the Divine in each moment! To experience life in the present, not caught in the 'story' of the past or anticipation of the future! And to share my light, my Chi with others! Certainly to enjoy thinking of what has happened, or what's coming up, but coming back to THIS breath, THIS step, THIS heartbeat!

On the weekend, my daughter's little family & I headed to the mountains - Breitenbush Hot Springs 35th Anniversary & "Tribal Reunion" .... old friends, familiar grounds, for many of us 'chosen to be some of the 50-60 who live on the land at one time,' even when we've been 'in the world' again for years, THIS land is home!

We walked to the gravesite of a lovely woman who preceeded me on the land, led by her 20something daughter, & surrounded by other friends. There was snow on the ground, a sweet fairy/angel on the grave, & the sun came out for us! {I'm in the middle, in my long dark robe}

The girls who knew her as mom or 'auntie' spoke of her braiding hair, checking in. Others who knew her bespoke of her JOY, even when she was ill (cancer) & in the process. One of our brothers who had a run with kidney disease spoke of seeing her in a hospital corridor, & again, her beauty, smile, JOY & light!

That light, that Joy in the moment - ah, bliss! A truly happy person is filled with chi. When someone is ‘bubbling over’ with joy, they are overflowing with positive chi. That’s why we love to be around happy people; they are virtual fountains of chi, replenishing others wherever they go.” {David Daniel Kennedy}

Debra embodied this during her lifetime, bubbling over with Joy, even in illness!

My daughter, 11 year old granddaughter & I took yoga Sunday AM, & were reminded of coming back to the breath, out of the story, into the moment. May we all be so blessed!

What do YOU wish to experience?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Springing forward

Today Jamie asks: "What do you wish would SPRING into your life?"

Tee hee - I immediately thought of the Spring Forest Qigong 'spring intensive' I participated in - on-line, with about 50,000 other folks around the globe! What a SWEET week it was! Each day there were a couple of audio sessions to listen to at your own pace, & there were videos of the active forms. (there are a couple of 'moving pictures' on this practitioner's page, & some of the testimonials that we watched during the course) There is also a FB page for interaction with members of the community. You could purchase the instructional materials at any time, or just use the free version while available.

I pulled out a notebook & took notes, watched the active video a couple of times (going back to the more complicated part), and after the class was over, decided to take the 100 day practice 'challenge' & do the form for 100 days! I have been doing Soaring Crane & several other forms 2-4x a week for awhile, & and took my first Tai Chi/qigong classes 29 years ago, when I was studying massage.

I also have begun integrating the healing method into my massage & Reiki practice, it dovetails with other methods.
While the healing stories in the Testimonials sound fantastic, the teacher who brought Soaring Crane to the West is now in her 70s, & was 'terminally ill' with Breast Cancer at 48, after adding Qigong to her routine. Professor Chen already had surgery & was undergoing radiation when she told her 'sad story' to a fellow in the waiting room ... his 'sad story' - lung cancer, he'd also been told to 'go home & rest' .... & went out & discovered Qigong instead! After several months, he returned to the clinic, & they told him 'cancer very small, we can do radiation after all ...'

So I'm 'springing' into spring with qigong!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dreaming into the Future

Jamie's prompt this week - what is your wish for the future?

Last weekend I attended (spontaneously, after a client mentioned she was attending the intro that evening) a wonderful workshop on accessing the Akashic Records, the 'www for the earth' or 'sky library,' where we can tap into information pertaining to our lives, past, present & future.

Facilitator Bill Foss shared practices - breathwork, mindful movement, for clearing the internal conflict, to allow this to happen more easily & clearly. We practiced healing, & participated in a healing circle, where we each took a time in the center, inviting healing for friends or family members who we knew to be in need & receptive. At the end of the circle, Bill shared impressions of who had aided the healings - & I am still integrating his sense that Christ & Babaji had been present with me!

My daughter reminded me that I never 'lost my faith' - though my sense of the Universal oneness has expanded over the years. Raised in a Christian family with a strong emphasis on 'walk your talk' & don't worry about other folks, focus on your OWN actions & intentions, but just remembered bits about Babaji, the ageless, timeless master in India - he shares a strong resonance with Christ, & many feel they work together to uplift & inspire humankind to live more consciously & kindly.
* Babaji urged the people to "follow the religion that is in your heart." He said "every religion leads to the same divine goal" and that he had come to revive the eternal and ageless religion, the Sanatan Dharma; the three basic principles: Truth, Simplicity, and Love. He emphasized constant repetition of the ancient Sanskrit maha mantra
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA -- "Lord, Thy Will be Done" and to live in harmony along with selfless service to humanity. *

The main message that I received this weekend: to teach from the HEART, not from the mind! I have been wanting to teach more Tai Chi, etc, & wondering about how to best manifest that. No worries, it will come!

So my wish for the future - to live more from my heart, with truth, simplicity, love! So mote it be!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spirit Dreams

Jamie's prompt this week: What does your Spirit wish for?

I love Karina's post - soaring like an Eagle

& I am transported to a circle of sisters & brothers, dancing this Ghost Dance

May we all fly like Eagles
Flying so High
Circling the Universe
On wings of pure light

O Wichy kai oh
O way ai-o
O Wichy kai oh
O way ai-o

My spirit wishes also to soar, to sing, to dance with brothers, sisters, grandparents, children. To be free & expansive, circling the universe, & playing at home.

so mote it be

Thursday, March 1, 2012


The other day I was checking the ingredients on my pup's Grain Free dog food (great for both of us, no gluten contamination for me, better to be grain free for dogs) & noticed Chicory listed as a prebiotic .... hmm

As I posted last week, I have been enjoying the gift of Reishi mushroom, & making some lovely chai. Reishi or Ling Zhi, (spirit plant) has a number of health enhancing properties, hence it's title 'Mushroom of Kings (or Emperors)' Reishi is reputed to "keep the body light and young and to lengthen life."

Dr Josh Axe writes: "Their beta-glucans increase T-cell levels in the immune system which can help people suffering from immune disorders, & can help reduce cancer cell growth and the spread of tumors. They contain ganoderic acids that lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots and even help to correct arrhythmia, & lanostan, a natural antihistamine that can treat arthritis and muscle aches."

BPC suggests simmering a tsp or two of the powdered mushroom for 15-20 minutes, so I pulled out Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal, & looked up the Longevity Chai recipe, which I'd made before. I also pulled out some OG roasted chicory root, to use in place of tea (which I usually steep rather than simmering!)

I had some roasted & ground chicory root in my cupboard, & decided that would be a nice addition to the Rooibos/Reishi (etc) Chai I'd been brewing. Often combined with coffee, chicory adds a a similar taste without the caffeine. If you've ever had coffee in New Orleans, it probably was mixed with chicory. Postem & other coffee substitutes also contain chicory, but often mixed with barley malt (a GF no-no!)

A few days later, I stumbled on the prebiotic info.

So what are prebiotics? Tamara writes: "Prebiotics are simply a specific type of soluble fiber that people cannot digest, but the friendly bacteria in our guts can! In other words, prebiotics are food for “probiotics,” or the health-promoting bacteria that live in our intestines and help protect us from pathogenic bacteria." Now, how cool is that??

She goes on to warn that as that digestive process is going on, gas is a bi-product, hence 'go easy at first' .... this fills in the blank on Jerusalem Artichokes, which some folks don't like, as eating them can trigger excess gas! (they are another source of inulin, this prebiotic fiber)

So what about other root veggies, that can be eaten or steeped? Burdock (Gobo) "In Japan and some parts of Europe, is eaten as vegetable. Burdock contains inulin, a natural dietary fiber, and has also been used traditionally to improve digestion. In fact, recent studies confirm that burdock has prebiotic properties that could improve health."

Burdock is one of Susun Weed's favorite 'tonic' herbs, ones which can be used daily for health & general tonification. Read her bit on 'dirty roots'- burdock & dandelion here! She suggests: "Bring dried root (three teaspoons per cup of water or more to your taste) and water to boil in a covered pan; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least twenty minutes. You can strain the roots and use them a second time." It could easily be added to the Chai!

Rosemary Gladstar writes in Family Herbal: "Burdock is a superior tonic herb, rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, silicon & thiamine, as well as a host of otehr vitamins & minerals It is simply the best herb for the skin." Young burdock can be grated & sauted with carrots & other roots, or added to soups & stews.

Inulin-and other inulin-type fructans-can also be found in many root vegetables, including onion, jicama root, dandelion root, burdock root, leeks, and asparagus. (George Mateljan Foundation)

Longevity Chai with prebiotic roots

* 2 Tbsp rooibos }

* 2 Tbsp chicory root } - {Rosemary uses 5 Tbsp black tea, which you can certainly do!

* 6 slices fresh ginger root, grated (~ 1/2 "

* a stick of cinnamon, broken into pieces

* 1 Tbsp sliced fo-ti (Chinese longevity tonic herb, longevity & vitality

* 1 Tbsp ginseng root (I get smaller rootlets

* 1 Tbsp licorice root

* 1 cardamom pod, slightly crushed

* 6 peppercorns (I use mixed colours

* 2-4 whole cloves

* simmered in 4-6 Cups hot water 15-20 minutes

I 'give or take' on these, & add other herbs as desired (& what I have on hand!)

* 1 Tbsp dried burdock (or 1/2" fresh

* 1 Tbsp dried dandelion root (or chop some fresh from your garden *

* 8 hawthorne berries (heart health

* 1 Tbsp astragalus (another Chinese tonic herb

* 1 Tbsp shizandra berries (ditto

* 1 tsp fennel seeds

* 1 Tbsp OG carob or unsweetened chocolate powder

I simmer it, then pour some into my little French Press or the basket of my teapot, & from there into my cup. I usually pour the 'dregs' back in the pot, & simmer several more times, adding a bit more chicory & Reishi to successive brews.

Add a bit of coconut milk & honey if you wish.

** Remember, if you increase your use of prebiotics, be sure to get more probiotics to digest them - live culture kefir or yogurt, and/or probiotic powder or capsules.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time Matters!

Today Jamie's prompt is "How do you wish to spend your time?"

Yesterday I spent the morning with my 9 month old grandson (so adorable!) & received a massage from a co-worker in the afternoon. Later I gave another friend a massage (GC from her hubby)
I had lunch with my daughter, & treated a friend to my new Reishi Mushroom Tea* in the afternoon ... all nice ways to spend my time!

I do like 'adventures,' I'd enjoy spending some time in the mountains again, & some at the ocean. Mostly, the ways I do spend my time match what I like to do.

As a self-employed person, who is a bit of a grasshopper, I don't have a lot salted away for 'retirement,' so though many around me are retiring, or have already done so, that's not in my immediate future!! I do enjoy massage, think at times of shifting foci, but to what? Nutritional counseling tweeks my interest, especially as I learn more about going Gluten Free in todays world ... art, dance, reading, .... these I do in fits & spurts, as the mood strikes!

Time, such a precious gift .... how do you wish to spend yours?

* Reishi Mushroom is one of the Longevity Herbs of Chinese Medicine
Recently, a FB friend commented on drinking her "healthy coffee," which is formulated with an extract of Reishi. Hmm - I'm NOT a fan of multi-level marketing (her product is sold that way), so I asked my herbalist LAc friend Ethan his favorite form - & received a lovely 'care pack' in the mail last week which included "Ling Zhi" or Reishi mushroom mycelium in powdered form "Current clinical studies reveal this impressive mushroom to be a highly effective therapy for nearly all major disease states and to confer "nonspecific immunity" through longterm regular use. Just a few of the disorders Reishi has proven itself beneficial for include allergies, cancer, liver disease, Alzheimer's, heart disease, AIDS, radiation exposure, external wound healing and chronic bronchitis."

The company warns: "The mushroom mycelium powders have a mild malty, chocolate-like aroma and flavor due to the caramelization of the polysaccharides during the drying process. This is normal, we have not sent you cacao powder by mistake!"
So I made some into 'chai' with ginseng, schizandra, chicory, cardamom, fresh ginger, licorice, ginkgo leaves, carob powder & a few other herbs & spices - simmered it on the stove for ~ 20 minutes, & poured a cup - yummy!!! Especially with some coconut or chocolate hemp milk for cooling! I simmer each batch several times, & have been drinking several cups daily.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Law of Attraction

Energy flows where our thinking goes - Jamie asks what do I wish to attract?

The little bi-line that flows into my mind is to be 'healthy, wealthy & wise!'

Health - that's a constant theme, here! Working on healthy balance of wonderful, nutritious food (complemented by things like my daughter's DELIGHTFUL & decadent GF/Vegan Chocolate BD cake that she made for herself!), movement, fresh air, good water.

Wealthy - I think more of sufficiency - having enough 'food, shelter & warmth' - & being able to enjoy time off & adventures. Wealth of spirit, wealth of living on this lovely blue-green planet, & being able to buy heritage seeds, eat OG food, live in a less toxic world. I am still in process with rearranging & clearing clutter - more rich surfaces & abundantly beautiful rooms!! (this one is 'borrowed' - isn't the colour yummy!?)

Wise .... hmm, what do I want to study? I have been drawn more to nutrition, esp as I learn more about how many non-organically raised crops are sprayed with round-up just before harvest 'dessication,' to make it EASIER to harvest .... sheesh!! So, I buy OG ... but if I eat out, besides the danger of cross contamination from gluten, what other dangers lurk?

I lean toward completing training in Soaring Crane Qigong, so I can teach this form! I love doing it myself, & would like to share it with more folks!

What do YOU wish to attract?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Jamie's prompt this week on Wishcrafting Wed - "what do you wish for your health & wellness?"

Quite timely, at the beginning of a new year - double, as this week we left Rabbit & entered the Year of the Water Dragon!

My first thoughts are more movement, healthy food, clearer home & serenity!
Yesterday I picked up my first Veggie share from my CSA. I've eaten mostly local OG veggies & fruit, & try to keep the rest of my food as close to home as possible, for most of my adult life - 40 years!

Our little family (daughter, her family & myself) have eaten Gluten Free for 2 1/2 years, & added mostly dairy free last fall. I experience more energy, healthy weight (weigh about 5# more than I did in my 201-40s), clearer sight, .... it's been great! & contrary to some folks experience, I see 'glue-y' items & am just happy they're not on MY plate!!

Movement - as a kid, I HATED PE - mostly ball sports with guys or 'jock' women teachers. Blagh!! Then in my late 20s, we went to see my oldest niece in Nutcracker - wow!! The next week I began taking classes (from a world class, Russian method teacher, whose 26 year old daughter is now the principle teacher) .... Here's my son Josh as 'Mother Ginger,' from the 2011 Nutcracker, with one of the principle dancers peeking out from under the skirt (my 6 year old grandson LOVES Nora!) Miss Emma insisted Josh keep his beard, tho the red hair isn't his :)

A few years later, I began taking (& later teaching) Tai Chi & Qigong, along with becoming a Massage Therapist.
The last few years I've taken occasional classes, along with my more regular ballroom & square dance, & have been going weekly this winter - so I plan to continue that. AND next week, am teaching my own Chi Based movement class - 'Dragon Dance,' at a local workshop centre. Stay tuned :)

I'm still at work clearing & cleaning my home! Was actually challenging on Monday (1st day of the Chinese New Year) NOT to sweep or clean much (just put the dishes in the sink, & swabbed a counter! - here's a sweet link for activites of each day)
I'm making headway, & it gets easier. Yesterday I cleared off the little shelves beside the kitchen sink (the house I grew up in had these, & my mom always kept ivy on one) .... & put up teapots & various blue & white cups & containers.
Now I need to deal with the stuff that was there!

My daughter said she feels this year of the Dragon is the year I'll 'get your little Breitenbush house back!' when I live with less 'stuff' around me, it's much easier to keep it neat! I have 6 or so bags in my car to take to Good Will, & a few bags for garage sales ....

What do YOU wish for health & well being in this year of the Water Dragon?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Wishcasting Wednesday, & Jamie's prompt is "What do you wish to Reclaim?"

I'm working on reclaiming my home!!

At almost 8 months old, Baby Z is getting more mobile, so it's time for baby-proofing - & beyond that, time to go through those piles that seem to accumulate & build up, over time! I spent Monday working on getting the dining 'nook' in order, & the center of the kitchen floor CLEAR for him to play in! And I took 4 bags to Goodwill, only brought one home! (some new clothes, so purging more of my closet as well)

Success! Today I want to clean out the fridge (he's at the other grandma's), & begin on my little pantry - to the Rt of the colourful pile (boxes I hadn't gotten to, draped to keep Mr Curious at bay ... I had it set up as a computer room, but have been using the laptop for more than a year now .... so it's time to get the equipment & desk out, & some shelves up.

As I reclaim my home, I will free up time & energy ...
I love Karen Kingston's book "Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui" Karen suggests asking yourself:
1) Does (an object) lift my energy when I look at or think about it?
2) Do I absolutely LOVE it?
3) Is it generally useful?

As I reclaim my space, I make room for creativity, guests, that lovely grandson ....

So off to the kitchen, to continue pulling stuff out of that pantry, clearing the counters, .....

What do YOU wish to reclaim?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Chili

I watch my 7 month old grandson 4 mornings a week, & cook lunch for my daughter & myself - & for her hubby, if we're at their house. It's been fun being creative with recipes & thinking up 'what to have!'

My friend Sheila King has produced a very sweet cookbook, "Sheila's Kitchen" & the format is 8 1/2 x 11", spiral bound & printed on one side - so there's plenty of room to jot down some of my new GF recipes! If you think ahead, you can bring the beans to a boil & soak overnight! I just decided to do chili in the morning, so used OG canned beans (all items are OG when possible!)

My nursing grandson had a diaper rash which we traced to tomatoes, so I left those out of the chili - you could certainly add canned tomatoes or paste, or my favorite, dried tomatoes! I dry them in a food dehydrator, & chop some & cover with olive oil, to toss into things toward the end of cooking.

This is a vegan recipe, you could use any meat you had on hand!

Here's a Chili for Fall or Winter days

2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped

* saute onions & garlic in oil

1 Can OG black beans

1 Can OG pinto beans

1/2 C OG lentils (uncooked)

1/4 C cacao nibs

2 quarts soup stock (I simmer veggie trimmings in water while I'm chopping other ingredients)

** add beans, hot stock to onion/garlic & add spices:

1 T paprica

3 T chili powder

1 T gharam masala or pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp fresh oregano

2 tsp fresh savory

1 Bay leaf

2 Tbsp kombu or other kelp

** chop veggies & add: I used

1 medium golden or red beet,

1 medium carrot,

1/2 a black radish or turnip, 2 handfuls lovage (could be several celery stalks)

** bring to a boil, then turn heat to low & simmer ~ 3 hours.

Serve with cornbread or quinoa/amaranth & a big green salad