Sunday, July 14, 2019

sunday grace

there is a week in summer when caring for the garden becomes less a joy and more a chore.  its tendency to delight me by the most mundane of moments--a tiny shoot of life, the seduction of a honey bee, the sun lighting up droplets of water clinging to its petals--is tempered by its insatiable need for maintenance.  maintenance that is tender one day and resentful the next.

the bright newness is replaced by the inevitability of change.  the carefree ease gives way to a mindful commitment of care.   the energy recalibrates to fuel less the outward show, more the network of roots forged over time that will see it safely through cycles of resignation and hope, spark and smolder, rupture and repair, death and rebirth.

Friday, July 12, 2019

summer garden

deer-proofing (ha!)
drowning in gratitude
magic hour

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

dear pinterest

please stop showing me pins that you believe are inspired by my "recent browsing activity".  i have never browsed for, nor am i remotely interested in:

keto bread
keto anything ffs
badly painted faux wood signs/wall hangings
bathroom "art" with bathroom jokes about farting and butts
contouring makeup tutorials
dining room tables that conceal automatic weapons

please just stop.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

titles of lists i'm contemplating

flowers to grow this year
ways to be generous
things to do instead of look at my phone
bringing me joy
dogs i have loved
streets to walk down

beautiful andrea jenkins has been creating little lists on her blog for a few months.  read them.  she never fails to make me smile and inspire me. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

return of the light

the dining room in winter light.  the art is jupiter and her moons, which i painted this january.

oh hello there.  i came over to get a recipe and realized that i have positively abandoned this little blog space.  it's been over six months since i've posted.  there is nothing earth-shattering or deep to write about, but i feel a wee update is in order:

  • we are nearly one week past imbolc, the return of the light, that halfway point between winter and spring solstice.  i dreaded the coming of winter.  i believed it to be a primary source of my panic and anxiety last year.  with some minor hiccups, i've made it through this far without any issues other than some mild insomnia.  i'm still practicing most of of the nutrition and wellness routines i established last spring.  as we move toward march and the anniversary of my panic, i take one day and night at a time and remember the light will come.
  • i am devouring garden catalogs and have placed a huge conifer order that will arrive from the pacific northwest in march.  this year we are focusing on carving out another large piece of lawn and converting it to garden.  we will also tackle the shady sloped side yard that has so much potential but has been very neglected for a decade.  gardening saves me.  and while i want to be present in february, i can't help but daydream of june:

magic garden, june 2018
  • this weekend is cold (but partly sunny, so i'll celebrate it).  we will spend some time tending to the inside of our home with regular housekeeping and finishing some bigger, not-so-exciting  projects like replacing the baseboards.  this house has loved me through thick and thin and i plan to return that love through tiny gestures of care.
i hope you are well and safe and loved and can feel the light on your face, wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

soul food: brainberry ice cream

i heavily relied on nutrition to support my recovery from panic attacks, insomnia, and severe anxiety.  and while i moderately enjoy tolerate my morning green smoothie with kale and mushroom powder, i wanted to find ways i could boost the mood power of yummy comfort food too.  as serendipity would have it, this daydream coincided with blueberry season.

so i concocted a mental health-boosting ice cream.

we all know that blueberries are the o.g. superfood: high in vitamins, low in calories, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant.  turns out that antioxidant mojo can actually clean our mental pathways, sweeping away debris that would otherwise interfere with healthy brain functioning.  blueberries have also been shown to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain which may help alleviate depression, especially in trauma survivors.  blueberries are also an excellent food to help lower high blood pressure, which for some can co-occur with or be a precursor for anxiety.

three brain-friendly plants provide extra emotional support here.  lemon balm calms the mind and helps relieve stress and anxiety.  holy basil (or tulsi) is an adaptogenic herb that can help regulate cortisol levels (adaptogens act differently in humans, depending on the need).  the scent of lavender is well-known for its ability to help us relax.

raw honey is used in place of sugar in this recipe.  in ayurvedic medicine honey is used to increase feelings of emotional and mental balance.

if you add chopped walnuts (either in the ice cream itself or as a topping), your brain is supported even more by the nuts' magnesium and omega 3 fat.

i'm not a nutritionist so i have no idea if the amount of these foods in the ice cream reach therapeutic levels, and i don't even care because it is just so good. it is sweet and tart and floral and delicious.   

any time i make homemade ice cream i'm reminded of summer cookouts with my family and friends.  it takes me right back to being perched on the edge of the pool, wrapped in a towel, feet dangling in the water, eating the amazing vanilla homemade ice cream my mom and dad used to make.  it makes me feel better.  i am a believer that food can help us heal from all sorts of human maladies.

* * * * * 

brainberry ice cream
makes roughly 6 servings

1 1/3 cups organic whole milk
1 1/3 cups organic heavy cream
3/4 cups local raw honey
2 tbsp. lavender blossoms
1 tbsp. lemon balm leaves
1 tbsp. holy basil (tulsi) leaves
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
small pinch of salt
1 egg, separated
1 cup blueberries (fresh or roasted--fresh will give you an icy bite, roasting for a few minutes will soften the berries and give you a purple-blue ice cream)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

1. in a medium saucepan combine the milk, heavy cream, and honey. heat until well combined and warmed through. remove from heat and toss in the lavender, lemon balm, holy basil, and lemon zest to steep. stir in vanilla and the pinch of salt.
2. chill the base for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
3. when you are ready to complete the recipe, strain the cream base.  separate the egg and beat egg white until stiff. gently fold into the egg yolk, then fold this into the (strained) cream base. churn according to your machine's instructions.  add the blueberries (allow to chill if roasted) and the walnuts (if you are mixing them in the ice cream) in the last five minutes of the churn.
4. transfer into a freezer-safe container, and allow to freeze  for 2-4 hours.

* * * * *

i hope you make this ice cream and it makes you feel better.  please don't confuse this post and recipe with good, sound medical advice.  if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental or emotional challenge, please consult your doctor, naturopath, therapist, or nutritionist.