Tag Archives: Family

Happy New Year Nostalgia

2014.
I have a bubbling suspicion that this year will be chock full of change. Can you feel it too?

The past few months have been churning, status quo, the motions continue forward, however a few weeks ago my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve been overwhelmed by the feelings that spout out from such news. The really good thing is that she found it in its early stages. The initial reports showed 3 tumors and a mastectomy was arranged. Cancer was found in her lymph nodes also, so she will be prescribed chemo and radiation.

The last week I have been recuperating with her at home since surgery, which went really well, but feeling nostalgic. There really is nothing like that feeling of curling up in bed with your mom in bed, no matter what age you are…and I’m 42!

This morning I woke up at 1a and at 2a and at 4a when I decided to just get up. Even though I’ve been visiting for over a week, the one thing I have been meaning to do is look through the photo albums. My parents seemed to have captured the perfect memories to our childhood. Capturing the snippet of time that a point and shoot camera accomplishes. I laughed a little and cried a tear or two, but helped me remember how goofy my brothers and I were. And now with families of our own, how our offspring now resemble how we were all back then. The family vacations, the family parties, the cousins…so many cousins! The holidays, the family pets, the messy house, the moments where my brothers and I passed the time by dressing up as monsters, giving talent shows or beating each other up. There are even a few of me as a teenager, being moody and embarrassed being in public with my parents.

I would really like to wish a resounding Happy New Year to everyone, but happiness is just not what I see. There will be lots of change and recovery, and some pain, hopefully not too much.

So until next time here are a couple pictures of my parents, one on their wedding day in 1966, and one 9 months later the same year.

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Summer was just here, I swear

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The summer’s coming to end. The days are definitely getting shorter. The weather still has some heat, however my garden is getting tired. The tomatoes are not really turning red and the zucchini are growing few and fingerling sized.

School is back in session which equals to hellish commutes…who’s whining? πŸ™‚
But I do know that love is about and shows up when you least expect it sometimes.

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Today I decided to take out most of my garden to get it ready for the Fall garden. I usually dread this task because it is admittance that summer really is over. After clippinga and pruning the vines I was left with a few pounds of immature tomatoes. And what does one do with all that fruit? Make relish!

Being raised on the West Coast, green tomato relish wasn’t something that I ever had. However after reading this recipe Farm Girl it had a familiar resemblance of chili verde. So I decided to give it a try.

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I had all the ingredients handy and it didn’t take more than an hour and a half. You can find the recipe on the link above to Farmgirl.

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I used a water bath method to can them. I will share a few jars with my family, however after sampling the finished product it was amazing. Not only can it be used for chips and dip, but I can use it to make chicken chili verde too.

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With the end of summer, good things do come from the changes of the season. Finding the heart shaped tomato today validated my decision to grow food for my family, which I shared pounds of tomatoes with friends and family with my abundant crop…taking the time the other night to look at the beautiful sunset then stare at the stars reminded me to be grateful for what I have and the life I live.

Onwards and upwards to your dreams…

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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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Humdinger of a Day or Happy Last Day of Winter

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Howie left ,Joey right

I was looking forward to my day off. My husband and I planned on getting chores done and preparing for our sons visit back home next week for Spring Break. Today began with a serious of routine doctors appointments. I had not had an annual in a few years and my husband had to follow up on his vaccinations for his new job. After my appointment I met my husband in the waiting room who surprisingly was being taken care of by two nurses checking his vitals and serving him apple juice. After being poked he stood up, felt light headed and almost blacked out. After two hours of being monitored by nurses and his doctor he was released since he felt a bit better. I drove home and we were greeted by our 2 darling dachshunds Joey and Howie. Well actually one was sick as a dog. There were piles of vomit everywhere. Once we realized which one it was, we cleaned up the mess and took Joey outside for some fresh air. He continued to get sick from both ends. This alarmed us because Joey has had some health issues and been on medicine for an autoimmune disease the past year. He was lethargic. Not his chipper self.
The disease attacks the good blood cells in the joints causing severe arthritis. We are fortunate that we live close enough to UCDavis who treats Joey for the disease.
We took Joey to the emergency where he was admitted right away. The vet determined it was just a bacteria infection. Phew! No relapse of his autoimmune disease!

We all went back home. I felt exhausted. Do you ever think your day is going to be one way and turns out to be a humdinger? Today definitely was that day.
After 6 hours of various medical attention and advice, there was only one thing that I know would make us feel better. For the dogs, warm rice and for the humans, homemade chicken soup.
Lately with my IBS attacks, I make a big pot of homemade chicken stock to use for our weekly meals. It helps keep my gut happy and healthy.

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Gluten Free Chicken Soup

As I relax tonight I am grateful that the day went the way it did. It made me think how life is short. I shouldn’t take my health for granted or my family’s for that matter.

When I checked the mail today I received a package from Juniper Moon Farms.It was my Fall 2012 shares. Perfect timing, on the last day of Winter.

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My shares are from these sweet sheep πŸ™‚