Category Archives: growing

Namaste

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This is AMMA. I met her a couple weeks ago. Awhile back I was on the interwebs and came across a place called the AMMA center near where I live. I sometimes would take the road that the center was off of and at times, traffic would be creeping for miles while cars would be turning into a driveway that winded up the hills of San Ramon.

I saw that AMMA herself was planning her Summer USA tour and I just knew I had to go. Now I admit I am spiritual however not really religious. I have tried Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Baptist, Christian and while I felt comfortable in all the church services I knew that I could not commit to just one. I really didn’t know why, but that it was a commitment I was ready for yet.

I read about AMMA and learned that she has spent her whole life embracing people. Hugging folks. That was her philosophy. I have always said HUG IT OUT. In fact my belief is that when I come across people who are in a bad mood or generally nasty, they should have been hugged more as a child. Hugs are magical in my book. They make you relax. They comfort. They bring people together physically and emotionally. They spread love. They release endorphins! If people hugged more the world WOULD be a better place in my opinion.
In AMMAs life, at a very young age, despite cast and poverty, she hugged people who she thought needed it. She has accomplished so much in her life by embracing others. She is devoted to humanitarian life all over the world.

My husband, son and I left early to the AMMA Center.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea who was going however I assumed lots of people would attend. When we arrived only 50 people were in line. We were briefed to take our shoes off before entering the temple. We would be seated and there would be a meditation session before AMMA began her embraces.

As we entered the Temple, we lined up and were escorted to the front of the room. On the alter, or stage, people were preparing the platform where AMMA was to be seated. They were decorating with flowers and setting up the microphones.
I turned around and realized the 50 people who entered earlier multiplied and now the entire Temple was full of a few hundred people. We luckily were seated in the second row from the front.

I asked the woman next to me if she had ever seen AMMA before. She shared that she had not and wasn’t even sure if she was ready. She told me she had a hard time accepting hugs. I assured her it everything would be alright as I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and gave her a quick hug.

Finally it was our family’s turn. I felt anticipation as we walked closer to the stage. It seemed like controlled chaos. There were helpers telling people waiting to come forward, to kneel, to stand, to hand over their offerings, to sit on a stool, to walk over to the side, to stay. Once the three of us were in front of AMMA she grabbed Joshua and embraced him. She began to chant, then touched my husband. She kissed Joshua on the cheek, and then I was told by one of her helpers that she was going to be giving us a family blessing. She fed us each a sweet, I was to kneel infront of her. As I kneeled she began to chant Ma Ma Ma Ma…I rush of emotion came over me as she embraced me and kissed both cheeks. My troubles disappeared and I felt content and most vividly I felt love. She smiled at me and smiled at my family and said another blessing for our family. Her smell was intoxicating. Rose. It remained on our clothes for awhile afterward. We were given another sweet wrapped in rose petals. We moved to the side of the stage and watched AMMA continue her embraces. As I watched I realized she knew what each person needed that day. Some people needed consoling, some needed to feel her love and some needed to be in her presence. It was a remarkable experience.

AMMA changed me and as a family we shared a moment we would never forget.
Namaste’

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Tiny little things

I admit openly, that life has its challenges. At times, its easier for me to think and worry about the big issues. The problem with doing that is I feel bogged down, depressed and overwhelmed. However, time after time I am reminded that I cannot change what cannot be changed. I am reminded about the little things everyday…such as…
I had a good nights sleep last night! I woke up this morning from dreaming about some of my favorite people. Yesterday, I definitely had a case of the Mondays when another close friend called me and asked for a hug or two, she was visiting the mall I work at. I received a surprised visit and a reminder that I am special. This morning, I was watering my garden when a tiny little female hummingbird swooped in front of me and landed on a tomato cage. She sat there looking at me for about 30 seconds then zoomed off. My son is home from college for the summer. My apron strings don’t feel so tight, it’s great seeing him sleep in his bed and hear him laugh at my lame jokes!
It really is the tiny little things and small moments that make a happy life…well if it so, I feel very lucky lately 🙂

More on tiny things, my friend had a tiny little baby and I made this blanket for him.
It’s a go to pattern from Lion Brand, Little V Stitch For baby blankets I always use machine washable cotton or wool yarn. I added a simple picot trim around the edge with washable cashmere.

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I also was given some beautiful porcini mushrooms that I used to make a wild mushroom ,kale and leek soup.

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Here’s my tiny little girlfriend Miss Hummingbird.
Isn’t she adorable!

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Have a great day! Cheers to the tiny things that make a big difference!

I’m sure you’ve heard the little things are what matters…

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I would like to introduce you to my little friend, Hans. He swings from my itty bitty kukoo clock. There are some things in my home that I really love. This clock is one of them. We are 4 hours north from a little town called Solvang. That is where found this gem.
You can learn more about clocks and Solvang here. http://www.clocksclocks.com/AboutUs.htm?mobile=0
Here is Hans in action!

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With the weather warming up, Summer seems to be right around the corner. I love that May is here and one little special event happens in my yard in May.

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It’s a…
Selenicereus grandiflorus!
Selenicereus grandiflorus is a cactus species originating from the Antilles, Mexico and Central America. The species is commonly referred to as Nightblooming Cereus, Queen of the Night, Large-flowered Cactus, Sweet-Scented Cactus or Vanilla Cactus.
Scientific name: Selenicereus grandiflorus
Rank: Species
Higher classification: Moonlight cactus

I’m always taken by surprise when it actually opens because just yesterday morning as I was watering my plants before work, the flower was so tightly closed. It seemed it still needed to rest before blooming.

Here it is fully blooming!

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It is true I will only be enjoying this lovely bloom for one night because once it opens and sends its scent into the world it’s done what it was meant to do. This event that I witnessed reminds me that we all have a purpose in life. We are significant in some way.
If you happen upon a Queen of the Night, remember it took 365 days for that bloom. Stop and enjoy, even for a moment.

New Chapter take 2

I began this entry on April 16 and finally got around to finishing today…
Yesterday morning I had fresh thoughts of a new entry. My husband began his internship at the hospital yesterday. It is quite a change from the white collar office job he had for the past 10 years, but strangely as we get wiser, happiness is the goal in life. And working in an office just wasn’t doing that for him anymore. He wanted to help people, make a difference and be happy. He definitely is happier now 🙂

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On a gardening note, I invited a couple friends over last weekend to enjoy the celebration of my husbands new job. I have been holding out on pulling beets and carrots until the perfect occasion. Although the temptation was strong to pull at times, I’m happy I waited. The veggies were beautiful and tasted amazing after being roasted with garlic, and new potatoes.

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I also pulled out all the arugula that went to seed the past couple weeks. They grew 6 feet tall! Amazing and at this size…BITTER and SPICY!

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Happy Monday everyone! Here’s a little love(ly) rose to start your week off positive…stop and smell the roses…

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No. 25

I can hardly believe this is entry 25! The past few months have really flown by filled with emotions, happiness, sadness and with life lessons along the way.
This is me doing the the celebratory No.25 dance…

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Jazz hands in full effect…
As for the ‘costume’ it’s from one of my recitals from 35 years ago. So if you are wondering, yes I am a packrat. I was trying to organize my craft closet when I saw the neon hot pink ensemble and had to share it with you guys!

The past few weeks have been really great…Spring has sprung in the Bay Area. It caught me by surprise. I was just feeling the blah ness of Winter in full effect when I woke up to sunshine and a bird orgy outside my window. Literally hundreds of robins, larks and finches in one tree having a blast! So if that’s not a sign of spring in suburbia I don’t know nothing!

My winter garden keeps producing, there’s enough kale to feed the dachshunds, in laws and us, along with the beets and carrots ready to be pulled, although I am secretly treasuring their snugness in the soil.

I started my seeds a couple of weeks ago. This year I will only grow limited amounts of veggies as I typically go overboard by wanting 15 types of heirloom tomatoes and overcrowding prevents me from enjoying the bounty. I will plant tomatillos, 3 types of organic, heirlooms, zukes and 2 types of cucumbers.

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I am still bent on building a chicken coop and raising some chicks for eggs and companionship.
I came across a great sounding pickled egg recipe for Bantham eggs the other day. Bantham chickens are a bit smaller and their eggs are perfectly single sized.

My IBS has been controlled the past two weeks and I haven’t had much upset. I really have been eating only at home with clean simple tasty meals.
While I still have cravings of bread, crackers etc. I know eating any thing with gluten just is not worth the gut ache. I continue to make pots of homemade broth weekly. That seems to anchor my diet and makes me feel normal.
Last weekend I ran the Oakland Team Relay. The weather was perfect, I ran the hardest part of the marathon, uphill for 5 miles, and sustained my energy throughout. I even ran an extra 2 miles afterward! I was so careful and mindful the entire week before about what I was putting in my body. Such diligence really paid off as I ran my best pace ever!
Here’s a pic of me with my newest addition to my medal collection!

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So life is going, which is a good thing!
Happy Spring everyone!

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February is Fabulous

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First, has anyone ever had a dog that absolutely loved kale? As you see here, my 2 doxies are extremely anxious to get these greens…licked lips and the stares! Crazy pups!

I have been knitting…not as focused as I would like but have been knitting. On a recent TEDtalk I viewed the other day Matt Cutts talks about doing something for 30 days. It could be anything…but the end result will be something learned, happiness and motivation will result…interesting talk and here’s the linkTry Something For 30 Days

I would love to knit an Icelandic sweater or lopapeysa. See here from Wikipedia…

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I’ve been eyeing them all over ravelry. The use of colors and patterns strike awe and delight when I catch someone wearing one. So for 30 days I will work on my lopi sweater. If I miss a stitch I will rip out until perfect. I have a bad habit of knitting as I go, however it turns out should be fine. However, since following a pattern with various bobbins of yarn throughout the pattern must be followed to arrive at the final result…So here I go…lets lopi!

Hello Baby

Organic and mellow colored. Meet my baby butternut.
My summer garden was a BUST this year, except for this beauty. I’ll be making Chaana Masala with her.
I put in kale, beets and carrots for my winter garden. I also started a lettuce box also. There really is nothing like going in your yard and picking fresh herbs and veggies to consume. I am a believer in growing something even if its in a bucket or on a windowsill. It feels good to grow food and to share your bounty with your neighbors doesn’t hurt either.

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