Category Archives: My Home

Mornings

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The garden is GROWING out of control!
I love gardening. Each morning I roll out of bed, feed the dogs, take them out to do their business then let the chicks out. I then take about 20 minutes to observe what is growing in my garden. I scaled back from my normal 12 dozen tomatoe plants to only have 6 this year. I have hundreds of green tomatoes, each day a few turn red. Everyday I find something ripe, something I had not noticed the day before. With the addition of the chickens, I’m intrigued by their crazy antics too.

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I also have 3 zucchini plants that continue to produce lovely green beauties.
An easy recipe to use both tomatoes and zucchini is to make a gratin.
I slice tomatoes and zucchini into round slices. I alternate layers tomato, then zukes, drizzle EVOO, salt and pepper, crushed garlic if you prefer. Sprinkle mozarella on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The flavors meld together and voila! Delicious!

Here are a few pictures of the garden and chicks…whom are so much fun!

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I also shredded zucchini and made lasagne using the zukes for noodles. So yummy, and gluten-free!!

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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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They are back!

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I have been wanting to write about so many things lately. But once I sit down to write an entry, the fatigue sets in and I begin to yawn, then my breathing slows and then I almost fall asleep.
I truly have had some great ideas and insights lately and know that I’ll eventually write about them, but thank you for your patience!

It will soon be my 1year anniversary of my new job that I began July 3 last year. The position allows creativity, the staff are down to earth for the most part and really the worst of it is my commute. Somedays it takes up to 3 hours to arrive. Other days it only takes 1-1/2 hours. I forgot to mention that is a mere 21 miles door to door.

Halfway into my commute I drive over a bridge and through the surrounding salt flats. The Leslie Salt Company moved out years ago, so the birds have moved in. The land is marshy, with levies that are continually being adjusted and moved with the tides. This part of my drive is really beautiful as hundreds if birds migrate here throughout the year. Being in Northern California, the weather is mild. I’ve seen lots of bird use the salt flats as a nesting ground and nursery.

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When I first began this trek to my new job, I noticed huge white pelicans flying over the highway, elegant and stoic. I’m used to seeing the California Brown Pelican near the coast but not these white ones. Each day as I drove to work I would count up to 50 white pelicans all flocking together in a remote area of the flats away from all the other birds. It almost took my breath away seeing so many orange pitcher mouths together!

I eventually did a little research on the interwebs and learned these species are from the Half Moon Bay, which is around 15 miles away over the ridge. They spend their winters at the coast and breed inland! Voila! Mystery solved why I never saw any white pelicans during winter.
Here’s a little more info on the American White Pelican. I’m not a huge bird enthusiast but seeing the countries largest bird fly over my car spiked my interest to learn more. It reminded me to appreciate my life more. To remind myself to slow down and this time, to watch the pelicans.

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 πŸ™‚

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!

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 πŸ™‚

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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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Cool new shaker!!

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I’ve been meaning to share with you my new shaker I ordered! It repurposes a Mason Jar into a cocktail shaker! How cool is that?
Once Lent is over I will give it a whirl..I mean shake!
Two guys from the South, who now live in Brooklyn, organized a Kickstarter for their invention. You can read more about it here.

Here is the link to order! Bottoms up! Cheers to the Mason Shaker