Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
sweet roxy dog is courageously fighting a decline in her health. she has lost her sight and struggles to make it up the stairs. we made the difficult decision to treat her nutritionally and holistically at home. she experiences extreme anxiety at the vet and we had a not-so-great outcome years ago when our beloved fox terrier milo was treated with traditional medical techniques (and by not-so-great, i mean a suffering dog who ultimately didn't make it in the end and huge debt fueled by guilt).
all of us (me and prof. parks, roxy, luca and simon) appreciate your prayers and mojo for a healthy happy dog and good judgement for her parents.
Monday, May 6, 2013
next month prof. parks and i are going to manhattan. his days will be occupied with theatre work, so i will mainly be a solitary tourist (which is kind of my introverted preference). i love having all the time in the world to explore and observe the (2nd) most beautiful city in the world (i am, at heart, a west coast girl, so san francisco takes first place with me).
i'm creating a travel journal and sketchbook to take along and capture memories and to keep me present within my surroundings. i was inspired by:
(clockwise from top left)
- painted pages by sketchbook queen sarah ahearn. sarah was the first to introduce me to the concept of capturing ordinary and beautiful moments with sketches, color and words. her book is like taking class with her, which i also highly recommend.
- how to be an explorer of the world by keri smith. i just love this book and its reminders to look at things differently.
- side walks, a journal for exploring your city and i was here, a travel journal for the curious minded by kate pocrass. both of these books have amazing prompts and ideas for noticing and remembering the little quirks of your day in the city.
i started out planning to use a regular sketchbook but then i found a vintage book about new york city that was falling apart. i couldn't wait to repurpose its amazing covers for my sketchbook.
i carefully cut free the interior pages (which will be saved for future art projects) and separated the front and back covers. i repapered the insides of both covers, repaired the frayed edges and corners, and collaged over worn areas. the book is bound with metal rings for easy access. this is the inside of the front:
i especially love the vintage street scene on the back cover:
i added a pocket to the inside back cover for collecting little mementos of my days. it's the receipt envelope from a recent anthropologie purchase decorated with some washi tape:
a variety of pages fill the sketchbook. there are lined pages for journaling, printed pages for gluing in found ephemera and photos and watercolor paper for sketching and painting. i added a few printed prompts as well to capture overheard conversations and list all things teal (or yellow or green or rainbow...) spied on any given day.
a head start:
my hope for this project is that it helps me stay present in the everyday moments of each day in the city. and i'll have a uniquely meaningful souvenir of my journey.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
"you're the only one who knows when you're using things to protect yourself and keep your ego together and when you're opening and letting things fall apart, letting the world come as it is - working with it rather than struggling against it.
you're the only one who knows."
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
“mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”
Saturday, April 20, 2013
sometimes i forget how magical a spring morning can be.
sometimes i forget to not get caught in the dehumanization trap. and that it is the same divisive process at the core of hatred and killing (re: dzhokhar tsarnaev).
sometimes i forget that love does not always come instinctively or easily.
sometimes i forget that inside of me there is this incredible power to center, balance, expand, release, forgive. breathe.
sometimes i forget that grace and equilibrium are those things i'm working toward. it's so easy to be triggered and allow myself to be agitated.
thank you home, husband, friends, dogs, mother earth for helping me remember.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
april. it's the month when we all want to shed the emotional and physical heaviness of winter. nature is telling us to start anew and we are listening.
it's the month when i can easily get discouraged that despite an organic, plant-based diet, i'm still overweight. (i get it universe, my body will never be lithe, but seriously why is it that the more i move toward body acceptance, the fatter i get? ugh...)
it's the month when i realize that every year i really take that whole winter-rest-and-hibernate thing a bit too seriously and i need to jumpstart my activity level. gorgeous mountain trails are calling my name.
it's the month to spring clean our homes; the physical structures we inhabit and the flesh and blood bodies that house our spirits. it's time to release the grime and create clean space for new experiences. it's time to reset.
the components of a good (spirit house) cleaning:
- clean day salad (pictured above and recipe below). honestly, it is so so good.
- green juice with a tablespoon of superfood (daily)
- rainbow quinoa
- lots of filtered water
- kombucha and yogi tea skin detox tea
- coconut oil-pull daily (in addition to incredible detox benefits, this also helps keep sinuses clear)
- nightly skin brush and salt bath
- gentle yoga
- walks outside
- deep breathing
- good deep sleep
clean day salad
(based on whole foods' detox salad)
two cups organic kale leaves (de-stem and roughly chop)
three or four organic carrots (rough chop)
one bunch organic parsley leaves (some stem is okay)
zest of one lemon (always use organic citrus if you are zesting)
juice of half lemon
one-half cup sunflower seeds (or chopped pepitas)
one-half cup organic raisins
one cup organic dried blueberries, cranberries or goji berries (or mix)
one tablespoon olive oil
one teaspoon kelp granules or dulse
pulse greens and carrots in food processor to the size of confetti, careful not to make a pesto of it. mix all ingredients together except for the chia seeds. sprinkle a half teaspoon of chia seed on each serving just prior to enjoying (if you mix the chia into the salad and let it sit, it will absorb the moisture in the salad and get a bit gel-ish).
i pulverize the remainder of the parsley leaves and stems and add a spoon to the pups' food daily. they love it.
i feel sparkly and new just writing this post. happy cleaning!
Friday, April 12, 2013
hooray! the beans have sprouted and are really to eat. just in time: i need more protein.
(you know they are ready when they make a break for it through the cheesecloth.)
an extra whollop of protein and energy added to falafel with tzatziki.
Monday, April 8, 2013
"life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. this is a kind of death."
Sunday, March 31, 2013
sprouting №1: to eat
when i was a girl, our kitchen window sill always had one or two jelly jars with a giant avocado pit suspended above water, held at the rim of the jar by toothpicks. as the days went by, a sprout would emerge to form the beginning of an avocado tree. we had several planted around the yard. the california sun pretty much guaranteed the production of luscious avocados.
we are not so lucky (with avocados) in virginia.
so i am playing homage to the giant pit of green perfection of my childhood by sprouting on a smaller scale. adzuki beans, chickpeas, green peas and mung beans will sprout delightfully nutritious sprouts to eat on the fly or throw into a wrap or on a veggie burger.
rinse your beans and let soak overnight. rinse twice more and drain. measure one-half cup of plumped and cleaned beans into a jar. cover with a double or triple layer of cheesecloth and secure with elastic bands. each morning, fill the jar with water to give the beans a nice shower and drink. drain off the water through the cheesecloth and give your jar a nice couple of shakes. in a few days, sprouts will emerge. continue with the daily shower-shake. when your sprouts are about two inches, you can eat them. remove them from their jars and store in a glass container in the fridge for up to one week.
talk about nourishment straight from the source.
sprouting №2: to grow
this year, i'm starting plants for the karma garden from seed. i chose organic, non-gmo heirloom seeds and am starting them in organic, sustainable mix. added eco-bonus-points: toilet paper rolls as tiny pots.
i am so excited about these two especially: purple carrots and green zebra tomatoes (who did not do so well last year).
i'm making tiny flags for them. i did not mark my plants very well in the garden last year and i think we "weeded" a lot of good stuff. while we are getting better at identifying our plants, we still need a little help.
once planted, these little guys need to be kept moist and under grow lights. in my opinion this is the perfect excuse to buy that child's blue elephant watering can i've been eyeing. :)
sprouting №3: me
this spring, i am metaphorically germinating:
- trail running
- a bigger organic garden plot (if we decide to do it on our land instead of the college's organic garden, it will need to be in the front yard because the back is too shaded with the forest. this is a big move and a big statement.)
- more yoga
- leaning into the gypsiness of my travelling job
- making each trip an adventure
- making each day an adventure
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
i designed this piece for the child protective social workers and supervisors i train. (you may recognize it...it's the background of my karma garden sign.) these words pretty much sum up the broad range of qualities needed in this work. i plan on making magnets and badge wheelie-bobs to use as giveaways. this is just one little part of my new job that i love: creating and inspiration are considered as important as delivery of training and other technical bits of the work.
Monday, March 25, 2013
the cold and dark winter is lingering well into spring. this morning my little forest is covered in heavy white snow. this is the latest blizzard we've experienced since moving to virginia nearly twelve years ago. it's in my nature to be disappointed when expectations (bright sunny skies, blooming trees, hikes and picnics, etc.) are thwarted and my mood is certainly affected. i find myself vacillating between wee temper tantrums and bouts of melancholy.
reluctantly, i move from resistance and solution-finding into acceptance and surrender. i mean, it's the weather; there is not much i can control or direct there, right? might as well enjoy one more week of hibernation and indulge in the bright side:
- a delightfully unexpected week home (all travel and classes cancelled this morning)
- time i didn't think i had to start seeds for the karma garden
- hot homemade spicy lentil soup is still appropriate
- been feeling tossed around a bit lately, i think i might need some time to find my footing
- the silence of the earth when covered in snow is so beautiful; winter truly is the introvert's season
- a stack of books and many naps
- gratitude for a heated house, healthy food, good sheets and warm bodies (of the human and canine variety) to snuggle
Sunday, March 10, 2013
with paper, scissors and glue,
tea leaves and sunshine,
a new story,
chai pancakes with ginger syrup and candied ginger,
morning soul kitchen,
beautiful kantha quilt,
a tiny art gallery in the loo,
and happy reminders.
where are you finding grace this weekend?
Monday, March 4, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
there are spiritual conventions in the rarely-used upstairs fireplace-turned-alter.
there is avoiding work by drawing and coloring quirky little scandinavian flowers.
and there is the revelation that taking some time to do art leads to better, peaceful, more creative work.
there are many tea times during the day. and sometimes espresso.
there is experimenting with vegan tuna salad.
because i really miss tuna salad.
this turned out eerily similar in taste and texture to the real thing. rinse and drain a can of chickpeas and pulverize in the food processor. sprinkle with kelp granules or sea kelp delight to add lots of healthy minerals and the taste of the ocean. then just add your regular tuna salad ingredients. i used vegan mayo, whole grain mustard, red onion, celery, sweet relish, capers and dill. it's fantastic.
there is silence.
there is alchemy: mixing essential oils to create an amazing fragrance. the recipe was gifted to me by a dear friend who appreciates that i like to smell like campfire, coffee, jasmine and oranges.
there is art.
so far, february is pretty awesome.