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