Life Lessons 101 :

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  Simple.

Knowing the right move to make doesn’t necessarily get easier as we grow older.

It will.

Once we choose to take up the practice.

Right from the get go– your gut is always there.

Telling you.

What’s right for you!!

So, Listen.

Don’t fight it.

Be Guided.

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Perhaps it was written in the stars that the focus for me in 2011 would be food. Or, maybe at twenty-five years (officially & technically an adult), the preparation of meals helped me to feel that I was taking on the responsibility of caring for mySelf. Shining a light on my own diet certainly was the brightest idea I’ve had when it comes to curing my ailing body. Either way, food is our topic.

Food can either act as the cause or, cure of the vast majority of human illness.

Conversationally, food has been brought up consistently. Two apparently opposing perspectives have been shared with me recently. Both of which I empathize with greatly. The first came from a fellow yogi, John, who I grab a beer with after practice on Thursday’s.

John, is a middle aged Engineer, bachelor with a smile that does not cease. Even during the most difficult of poses. His food philosophy: “Quick & Easy.” Which leads him to order Asian BBQ Buffalo Wings at the bar and, to eat microwaved meals for lunch Monday- Friday.

Last night, I listened to a fellow twenty-something as he talked through his concerns about spending too much time focusing on food. Allowing other activities fall to the side in order to to explore the world of preparing meals.

Cheers, to that!

I dedicated much of October and well into November to the practice of preparing good for your body meals. Still, I feel that there is so far to go. Although, I agree with John. When it comes to being hungry, even with my intentions set on doing it right, I’d like it to be quick & easy. Even going the quick & easy route, still requires commitment.

The most important aspect to eating well, while having it ready for your belly before it’s yelling: GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE GRUMBLE, is to start with a solid base.

We’ll be diving into this at length here shortly. First, let’s take a brief moment to grab a snack!

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For this, I am grateful.

 

Welcome, to November!!

My Michigan stay has brought me back into the kitchen. Hooray.

The cottage kitchen is huge, with lot’s of area to maneuver & a lot of drawer’s, cabinets, utensils & choices to work with. It makes me yearn for a Carly sized kitchen with an emphasis on simplicity.

Here’s my recipe for a Filling Fall Breakfast. 

You’ll need a sauce pan, or a personal sized porcelain pot. No microwaves allowed.

Ingredients:

Applesauce– I’ve been making my own from all of the apple’s that I picked. This recipe is a product of watery applesauce. Making your own applesauce is super simple. If you decide, like me to do it without a recipe, remember that you need less than water you think. About 1/4 cup for 5 apples.

1 spoonful Almond Butter– Peanut butter harvests mold. So, if you haven’t already now’s the time to make a switch.

5 prunes, quartered. Or, a handful of dried Cranberry’s

Flax/ Rolled Oats— I have a jar of mixed oats & seeds that was tossed together to save space. It makes breakfast prep easier too.

Nuts & Seeds— of your choosing. It’s also beneficial to scoop the seeds from squash and boil or bake for later.

Grated GingerSuper for your digestion. Really, a good way to begin your day. It’s best to grate the ginger right before putting it all together. Giving it some time to release what’s beneficial to your body, but not so long that it’s all gone by the time it hits your belly.

Pour applesauce & prunes into pan on low heat.

Add your whopping scoop of almond butter. Stir until a cohesive consistency is reached.

(This will heat up quick. Be sure not to bring to boil, or risk waiting longer to eat).

Remove from stove. Add your desired amount of flax & seeds. Don’t forget to include your freshly ground ginger.

Give it a stir. Enjoy!!

Even on a day filled with physical activities, this starter will surely keep you going well into the afternoon!!

Chow Baby!

 


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It’s rather simple to get a fire going in a wood burning stove. The task is keeping it lit.

The key (I’m told) is to build the fire, so that right before bedtime you have a bed of hot coals.

Okay, simple enough.

Experience around a campfire has me believing that a bed of hot coals is what to anticipate right before hittin’ the hay, anyway–

My fire keeps going out though. : (

Last night- RAGING FIRE! Spectacular!!

The whole place was warm. Managed to keep it roaring for a few hours, with very little effort. Than, just before hitting the switch, I laid one large log on top of two toasty warm ones with a bed of hot coals underneath. Closed the door and listened to the rain pitter patter on the roof.

This morning- chills!! I opened up the stove to see that somehow, by adding the large log, I killed the fire. All of it. Right there. Done.

Not long after making this discovery, Layla was going wild over a tall reddish colored man coming to the door wearing a purple cowboy hat. (Purple leather, perhaps from the rain. Not at all like a costume. Stylish country).

This was Paul Smith. Coming to check in on the young lady who knows nothing about living in the country. My Uncle apparently had asked him to do so.

I went over with him my difficulties with the fire and explained how there aren’t any small logs to include, only big ones.

He said he’d have over small logs that burn up quick and bring a lot of heat. This is referred to as morning wood.

If all were to go according to plan, than once again by morning I would be left with yet another bed of hot coals. And possibly a slight chill. Smaller logs don’t take very long to start fire and therefore keep the fire going easier.

I swear I knew this before. For some reason, my family’s log pile is the lamest on the block. On top of that, everyone who came before (throughout the Summer) used up all of the little logs. Leaving behind all of the very big ones. This poses major problems for indoor fire builders. i.e. me.

Alright, in other news:

cme is about emphasizing individuality. An original intention.

Another mission aligned with goodness comes from Dear Friend Steven, of Sexy Suits for Steven. Who is on a mission to dress his patients.

You see, Steven works in the Mental Ward of the Ravenswood Hospital. A bright young lad, with the potential to do almost anything, he chose to help the mentally unsound because “Nothing else imaginable could be more frightening, than to be lost within the confine of your own mind…” Tip of the hat.

Many of the people who come into his care, do so wearing those flattering hospital gowns. Often times, they wear this stunning attire for the duration of their stay. Only to be released wearing the same outfit as they came in with.

Hm,…

Starting with his own wardrobe, Steven has taken up a collection to help out these good folks who has dedicated his life to. Before leaving town I made a charitable contribution of some stylish leftovers that I hadn’t sold & some of my mom’s old attire.

When it comes to the mindful re-use of material goods. This is a very honorable cause. Better than say, bringing it to a thrift store where it will be re-priced before getting back out the door. These donations go directly to serving a single cause–

Providing people with dignity.

After Paul Smith departed, I sat down to a cup of Herbal Coffee (not quite the same) & began reading a book that dissects physical ailments, & dis-ease as being brought on by attitude. What I read is truly worth sharing:

To give, is to make room inside of yourself, so that you may receive.

Wow!

Or, is that Tao?

If you have any shoes or clothing to donate to Dear Friend, Steven’s direct cause. Please leave word & I will ensure that you are connected with him.

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Since the onset of Spring, I’d set my intention to organize, clean up, clear out and inventory all of the tons of stuff I’ve managed to accumulate over the past few years that was cluttering up my parents house.

Of course, Summer being my professional “busy season,” getting around to actually acting on my intention was easily & consistently put off.

Simply looking at the monumental work load ahead that was intended for me to make something of myself, was really overwhelming. I avoided it seamlessly by picking up a few things here & there– pinning them together & dancing around in front of the mirror totally lost in my magic nation land.

So, when I saw my favorite color [orange]  bursting brightly in flame filled fashion from my bedroom– I felt fear, panic and relief. With all that stuff burnt to a crisp, I would have been free to start over. Which may have been easier…

Once my Dad had squelched the flames with his handy dandy fire extinguisher and it was safe to approach my former sanctuary, I did. Everything I felt was in my lungs. At that moment, I’d been doing a fantastic job staying away from the ciggy’s. The whole thing was like a welling up that once again I managed to avoid releasing.

Breathing was difficult with the still smoke filled air. My Sister & Brother did a great  job keeping it cool, while still ensuring  that the moment was just as dramatic as it was deserving of. The smoke had a thick texture to it that I felt filling up my pores as it quickly  took over my lungs and taste buds.

The fire extinguisher left behind it’s own flavors that even at this moment make my mouth turn.

What was used to put out the fire cause more damage, stuck around a lot longer and proved to be way more difficult to clean up after than the fire itself.

Looking around my room was one of the strangest experiences ever.

My bedroom, is how I’d come to identify my Self. Its contents directly reflected the rapid changes that I mySelf, have been going through over the past few years. It, like me, experienced an onslaught of one transitory phase after the next. Swift as the swing of the pendulum.     Now this.
In it was everything I’d created, worked for & cherished. It was my office, my study, my place of practice, my studio, where I slept, the space I shared with My Love Trey. In essence– the one place in the world where I could go for solitude.

In one quick instant FIRE!!

Without even considering how long I’d spend sleeping on the floor of my Sister’s room, only to move onto the couch (a step down in comfort), I was overwhelmed knowing that the one thing I’d been clutching onto was no longer there. Serves me right, I’m sure.

Shockingly, not too much was damaged or destroyed. Sure sign that the universe intends to keep me on my path. Even more surprising was how little I cared for the contents– my collections, my works, my everything. I couldn’t care less about it. Looking around, seeing it all in its new smokey state. My thought was What’s here that I couldn’t be without? Nothing.

I still had to deal with it.

Deal with it I did. Moved everything out. Littered up the rest of the household. Finally got  down to work!

Before the fire cleanly clutter is what I lived in. After the fire I took a minimalist approach. Sort of.

Inventoried & organized my way through August and early September. Spent two lovely Sunday’s making a SPLASH at the Logan Square Farmers Market. One Sunday being rained on, networking & getting noticed at The Vintage Bazaar.

Getting acclimated with the fine art of selling. Seeing my stuff off to new owners. Making frequent trips to the thrift store to make deposits. Picking up new items to suit my new Life. All good things.

My wardrobe is the finest example of my most recent transition. I’ve taken on a uni-formal approach. Sort of. A much nicer route for one with a  creative mind. Not having a closet busting with options makes room for more constructive thoughts.

Father finally came to agree that the closet doors weren’t worth having any longer. Finally.

I write now in the living room of my family cottage on Big Blue Lake, Michigan. Here, I will stay until at least Thanksgiving. My campaign for Thanksgiving at the cottage commenced.

A step in my own direction, sort of. After going through everything the most logical conclusion was to do something constructive with it. As I’d intended to do long ago. Most of what was kept is to be made into something.

Looking for work anywhere is not an easy task. Living with my parents causes me to feel blockage whenever I consider taking on a large creative endeavor. (Like mySelf).

My desire is to be a designer. More than that. Upon first playing with the idea, my mind kept being drawn back to the sort of lifestyle that should be promoted along with the goods. The clothing only being a method for promoting this lifestyle. This blog is another.

My first task was to dive into the way of being. Plenty of experience was gained there. Still, I toil. And, I am glad for where I am at.

Saturday morning, hurried 40 mile per hour winds met me again & knocked the new pontoon boat into the dock which set its pieces loose to float away on their own.  I threw on my boots and ran off after the dock. It would have made more sense to simply strip down.

Wet all the way up to my thighs & with the water being warmer than the air I decided to just go under. BRRRRR, was it chilly!! Took some talking into too.

Afterward was amazing! Once I got over being cold, I was HOT!! Felt so good, all day long.

The winds are a changin’!
No question about that.

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