Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chai Tea and Pumpkin Sunsets

Sometimes I miss living in the country,lots of time actually but last night in particular.Autumn outside of the city just seems to arrive at exactly the right time,cool nights mean chai tea by the fire and apple picking in the warm Indian summer sun. This quote explains it ..

"The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly
changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools."
- Henry Beston, Northern Farm

 It is a natural occurrence for the Earth to take her slumber in the colder months,allow the fields to harvest their abundance and the tree's to hibernate for awhile. Winter weather gives Mother Earth time to recover from days of dancing wildly in the sunshine.I felt like I was becoming too caught up in the ever present flurry of the city so I took a walk last night and bumped right into the most brilliant pumpkin hued sunset.It took hold of my breath as I paused to look around the neighborhood that is now my home.Change brought me to this exact moment in time and it is for a reason that I am here, a piece of my heart will always belong to the countryside but I can get used to pumpkin sunsets in the city.

Chai Latte's are best around a campfire !

Here is the recipe:

1 cinnamon stick

5 whole green cardamom pods

5 whole cloves

5 whole black peppercorns

2 1-inch pieces ginger root, sliced

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon loose black tea

1/2 cup milk (or milk substitute)

Honey, to taste

In a small pot, combine cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, ginger, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, add tea, and steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and return liquid to the pot. Discard solids.

Over a low heat, stir in honey and milk and cook until heated through. Pour into mugs, and top with frothed milk and cinnamon, if desired.

I also like to drizzle caramel over the top !


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

This is the time of the year that my Soul Shines !
Pumpkins, Apples, Cider and Spooky Nights and I am a Happy Girl ..

Try this Pumpkin Soup Recipe, It is Enchanting !!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesdays with Morrie

This book is a requirement for the course I am taking called Death and Dying. I heard great reviews about this book prior to the course and I believe a movie was made about it as well. I placed it on my reading list of "one day when I have time books" and never found the time. I think in some ways I didn't want to read it. The descriptions sounded like it may bring up some securely hidden emotions. I am an empathetic reader, if a book interests me ,it is like I become the character, I will carry the acquired feelings with me for days so a book like this may set me back a few steps,or so I thought.

The book did bring up hidden emotions I have buried since I saw my grandma take her last breath. I have been asked to describe my feelings, I have yet to find the words. This story touched on my experiences before she passed and it spoke to me in a way that not much else has. I have amazing friends who walked every step of those days with me ,I have family who was present for every single moment and carry their own set of scars and yet I am unable to express in any real depth what I actually feel,even to them.

I chose a new career path of hospice nursing based on my new view of life and love. I am inspired even further to keep forging ahead on this path ,this book helped the light at the end to glimmer brighter. I always believed it isn't so much the destination but rather the journey that guides a person towards their highest self.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Honey Tea and the Moon

I try not to write too much about my sadness here,I would much rather spread light, I am not usually so sad but sometimes its best to be honest. I wasnt feeling much light yesterday and sleep did not grace me well with its presence.I walked to the window at some wee hour this morning and was greeted with the very start of the sunrise ,the sky was silent.

I sat in the stillness and watched a prism of colors slowly illuminate the sky until daylight broke.

I contemplated darkening all of the windows and summoning sleep but instead I went to work where I acquired my current raspy throat.

My Irish grandma had the best remedy  :

Boil water with a squirt of fresh lemon
Pour the lemon water over black tea
Add a shot of Irish Whiskey
Take a spoonful of honey and mix it all together.

So as the Harvest Moon painted the sky tonight I sipped my tea and the stillness returned.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Harvest Moon

I think I have been kidding myself lately. As summer comes to a close and the leaves begin to flutter about with the apple scented wind,I am kind of sad. I adore Autumn,I wait for it all year,I always have and yet as it begins to grace the earth in its crimson magic,I am feeling more and more dismal.
I think it may pass and I suppose its symbolic of the seasons,as summer ends the harvest begins,we now reap what we have sown. I believed I have sown good tidings except I have ignored the ever present flicker of grief lately,as the leaves fall off the tree's,I need to allow the tears to fall so as to reap the goodness that only a cleansing can give.

The Harvest Moon dances in the sky tonight and year after year I believe it becomes more enchanting,it is and will always be my favorite moon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice !!

It is officially the longest day of the year and the start to days of sunshine,lemonade and bare feet which reminds me of one of my favorite stories :

I Would Pick More Daisies 
Don Herold (Adapted)

When the late Nadine Stair of Louisville, Kentucky, was 85 years old, she was asked what she would do if she had her life to live over again.

"I'd make more mistakes next time," she said. "I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

"You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, and a raincoat. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds and I would pick more daisies."

Summer is the season of Wonder,the time of the year that evokes the spirit of play and imagination  with a carefree aura to its days.Wildflowers await bare feet ,fireflies dance in symphony amidst overflowing gardens of the earths bounty. I plan to take Nadine Stair's advice and pick more daisies than I ever have before and not wear shoes (unless i have to) until Fall.

Here is a recipe for Old Fashioned Lemonade

It looks divine,I plan to add some strawberries !

Happy Daisy Picking !!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Moon in Tuscany

I have never been to Tuscany but it is one of my dream destinations.
This weeks full moon with its crimson golden aura transports my soul to a cafe in Tuscany under a sky of twinkling stars that dance sweetly with the full Strawberry moon.

I adore strawberries and according to "The Farmers Almanac"..

 June's Full Moon is called the Full Strawberry Moon

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.

• Full Strawberry Moon – June. This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

So this is why the air in June smells so sweet :)

As I gaze at what remains of the June Full Moon,I am reminded that magic is everywhere if we only believe in it ..Sweet Dreams !

Here is a picture that was taken of the Eclipse from Sicily.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberry Season...The Season for... Love

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each”. In the month of June, I resign myself to the sweet flavor of strawberries. As May leaves us with a brilliant display of wildflowers and June begins to scatter sunshine on gardens everywhere, I am delighted with the anticipation of strawberry season. Native Americans had a different name for strawberries. They called them "heart-seed berries" and added them to traditional corn-meal bread. The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shapes and red color.
Legend has it that if you break a double strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will fall in love with each other.
The strawberry, a member of the rose family, is unique in that it is the only fruit with seeds on the outside rather than the inside. Many medicinal uses were claimed for the wild strawberry, its leaves and root. I adore this sweet berry and its romantic aura that fills the air each June. An abundance of recipes exist to turn this legendary fruit into shortcakes, pies and chocolate covered aphrodisiacs but my favorite is good old fashioned strawberry jam. I am transported to a simpler life when I pour bubbly chunks of strawberries into glass canning jars and seal them for future enjoyment.
Below is a recipe that was posted by "The Pioneer Woman" on her blog.
It is a very easy recipe to follow and her blog is one of my favorites so check it out and fall in love with Strawberry Jam !!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Its been a year

Memorial day loomed in my mind for weeks,I did not want this day to arrive because it marked One Year since she left us.I knew their was no way to avoid it but in my daydreams,I hoped I would somehow sleep through it or at least dodge that impending feeling of doom that gripped me each time I saw any mention of this day.I wanted it to rain,I felt like if it didnt I would feel guilty for laying in bed all day as I planned.

I didnt sleep through it,it didnt rain like I had wished it would and I didnt lay in bed all day gripped in gloom,rather it was a beautiful day filled with sunshine and love,just as she would have wanted it to be.

I miss her terribly,a light went out in my heart when she left us and I often feel the darkness but in that darkness I have found a different life,maybe not the one I would choose but one that honors all she taught me.

Memorial Day is a holiday that celebrates Our Heroes,She is and was my Hero and I carry her heart in my heart.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I guess I'm doing fine..

Spring has been all about rain here in my little corner of the world.We had the most intense thunderstorm last night,well actually a few of them all day into the night and the sky was a haunting shade of gray until sunset.Sunset brought the most magnificent hue's of reds,golds and crimson that I have ever seen,you had no choice but to be in awe of it.

Easter day was simple and sweet,I was happy for this.Holidays are very different now and grief tends to come in a rush right around them.As much as I tried to fight it,that gut wrenching sadness hit me a few days before but my family and I had a peaceful day and new memories are in the process I suppose.

Speaking of Easter,I have a ton of candy sitting in a basket in my kitchen.I have placed this basket in several different locations so that I am not tempted to eat it but so far none of the locations seem to be hiding it and so I decided to make "Candy Bar Cookies".These apparently arent that unique based on the gazillion recipes that turn up in the google search but I plan to tweak my own version.

I Love chocolate chip cookies..Love !
After many many different recipes I still adore the Toll House version.Sometimes I make it exact to the recipe and other times I adjust it to be almost vegan.Both ways are scrumptious.

I plan to make my "Candy Bar Cookies" using the original Toll House recipe and then adding about 2 cups of chopped candy bars from my "Hidden" basket.We have about eight different candy bars in the basket so it should be a very gooey unique cookie.

I will post pictures of my creations ,should their be any left : )

Today its very windy and the sunshine is beaming right through the clouds.Maui and I have decided to walk anyway,I hear their is wisdom in the wind.

Monday, January 31, 2011

11 more to go..

Below is the "New Year" letter I sent to friends.I welcomed the ending of 2010 ,I was exhausted with grief and wanted to begin the year "saying whats in my heart" as the letter states ,I felt if I opened my heart I could walk away from the worst year of my life into the beaming sunshine of a brand new life.

So far my 2011 has not literally beamed with sunshine,we are experiencing one of the snowiest winters on record here in NY but I have been happy,busy and hopeful.

I'm ready for the next 11 months and that beaming sunshine

Happy 2011 !!!!!

If I had looked into my future last new years eve and saw this past year I would have hid in a cave until it was all over, but in many ways I am happy I didn't see it all coming.

I have learned that the most wisdom comes from the situations when you feel like nothing worse could possibly happen, and then it does.

The best gift I have ever received was the letter my Ma left for my family and I (she left one to each of us) to read after her passing.

That letter inspired me to start 2011 off by writing my own letter to the people I love so that whatever this new year brings, I begin it by saying what’s in my heart.

You my friend are in my heart and its because of the spectacular memories we have made that I want to make more with you.

I hope to end 2011 by saying “that was my best year ever” and I hope the same for you, I hope to be part of the memories you make and would be honored to have you be a part of mine.

So Happy New Year and from the words of Eddie Vedder

Feel the air up above ,Oh pool of blue sky.

Fill the air up with Love, All black with starlight.

Feel the sky blanket you with gems and rhinestones

See the path cut by the moon for you to walk on ...


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I have looked over the edge and its amazing

I am back,after a long time away..time away is good sometimes I think.

Its the thick of winter here in NY and I am in hibernation not so much by choice but then maybe some choices aren't always "our" choices if that makes any sense.

I am taking three online courses this semester,all intensive writing courses and they are intense.My favorite so far is the Philosophy course and our next assignment is to read Ishmael in a week,which leads me back to why I'm in hibernation.

Tonight the snow is falling in small spurts and when it does fall its almost like tiny little pebbles,not the fluffy fairytale kind but rather frozen.The sound is like rain hitting a tin roof and its making me sleepy.

The holidays are gone and the new year is well on its way,I am happy for this..the holidays were nice but a bit haunting and even while I was feeling joyful from time to time during them I always felt the absence of my ma.We did have an authentic charlie brown tree this year !!

I am currently listening to "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan" and ignoring the fact that I have reading to do, essays to write and laundry piled in the corner..the pitter patter of pebbly snow and dylan is more enticing right now.

I wonder if this year will be better and if I will finally hike the Appalachian trail? stay tuned..its on my bucket list.

You may be wondering why my title is speaking of the edge ,well I feel like I have been pushed right to the brink of life and stood there for hours not always fearless ,not always well put together but I've stood there and felt the veil between where we live and where I think we go when we pass,and the power of love that holds you together while standing there is beautiful..the view from the tip of insanity can be amazing if you choose to see it that way,I have seen it and I write to tell about it.

I will leave you to make some tea and attempt to read but I refuse to do laundry tonight,I would rather fall asleep to the pitter patter of snow.