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Monday, May 11, 2020

Invitation


Fendler’s Sundrops (Calylophus hartwegii fendleri)
beginning to bloom in the front yard. 
I love this plant with its bloom time spanning late Spring
and into the Fall until the first frost.
Inviting each and every one of you to cake and tea . . . virtual, of course.

Steamed Orange Tea Cake


2 T. softened organic unsalted butter for buttering the glass bundt pan.

2 1/2 C. organic sprouted spelt flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt

Mix together the above 4 ingredients in bowl.

5 organic duck eggs at room temperature

Beat the eggs vigorously with electric mixer set on highest speed for about 5 minutes so the eggs are light and lemon colored tripling in volume.

1 C. organic maple sugar

Add to eggs and beat for 3 minutes.

1 C. organic Greek yogurt            Beat well into eggs.

2 tsp. organic vanilla extract        Beat well into egg/yogurt mixture.

4 T. finely minced orange zest      Fold into egg/yogurt/vanilla mixture.
     (remove bitterness by dropping into boiling water for 10 seconds
     and draining immediately)

Add juice of 2 organic Valencia oranges into above mixture and beat together well.

Fold in dry ingredients. Pour batter into greased glass bundt pan.

Fill a wok with enough water for steaming and heat until boiling. Place the
glass bundt pan on empty tuna can in the boiling water. Cover wok and steam over high heat for an hour or until the cake springs to the touch. Check the water level after a 1/2 hour; add additional boiling water if necessary to maintain steam. Remove from wok and let cool before removing the cake onto a pretty cake plate. Dust with organic powdered sugar if desired. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature with tea. I like organic Dawn Chorus Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Later to enjoy the remaining cake reheated in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes.

And as we partake of our cake and tea, let's do some bird watching. We are having spectacular birds with stunning color visit our feeders just now. The Western tanagers sometimes visit singularly but often there are four or five at a time eating the fruit from the fruit suet in a hanging cage as well as eating the organic fresh orange halves put out mostly for the visiting orioles: Bullocks and Scotts who love the fresh orange leaving only the section dividers in each half of orange. We also see daily a plethora of Black- headed Grosbeaks, both male and female.
Desert Beardtongue (Penstemon pseudospectabilis)
with "shocking pink" flowers along the West side of our home.
They bloom profusely in the Spring a
nd again more lightly in the Summer.
It is interesting to me 
how the blue-green, triangular leaves 
are fused together around the stem.


As we relish our time together sharing steamed orange cake and tea, and watching the abundance of gorgeous birds, may we




Friday, May 1, 2020

Beltane 2020

Johnnie Jump Ups are just such a "happy" flower
blooming profusely and providing
 abundant seeds for the following season.
May 1 is Beltane, also know as May Day. It is the Pagan festival of fertility with the Goddess and the Green Man coming together to create new life. 


The Goddess sitting among newly emerging Pipevine leaves
with a Pipevine Swallowtail in her hair.

As we are sheltering in place may we recognize the vitalness of connecting with nature. And may we innovate ways of doing so when it would be best not to venture out into the beautiful places nearby when way too many others are doing so. This practice is putting people at risk who live in these sparsely populated areas, and minimizing the possibility of "social distancing."

Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) in her glorious Spring bloom.

Let us be creative at home with our family ways of connecting with the wild and free energy of nature: create May Day baskets filled with flowers from your yard, build a house for the fairies, plant a flowering plant you would not otherwise choose to do but are drawn to the beauty of the flower, begin a victory garden during the pandemic so as to nurture yourself with fresh produce you might not otherwise feast on, sit outside at sunset and enjoy the glory of seeing the stunning colors created in the evening light. Connecting with nature puts us in touch with our most elemental BEingness. At this time when the "veils are thin" as they are also at Samhain, may we celebrate the miraculous things that can happen.


Go wild today! Staying at home, of course. And as we exuberantly in our own backyards leap up and down, as frisky Spring lambs do, may we happily









Saturday, April 25, 2020

Consciousness



"There appears to be a law that when creatures
have reached the level of consciousness,
as men have, they must become conscious of creation;
they must learn how they fit into it
and what it needs are and what it requires of them,
or else pay a terrible penalty: 
the spirit of creation will go out of them,
and they will become destructive; 
the very earth will depart from them
and go where they cannot follow."
Wendell Berry in his essay A Native Hill




Dwight Sims' pictures 
of the damp sand in
the Santa Fe River bed

Saturday, April 11, 2020

School 's Out




Curved bill Thrashers nesting in cholla

The pandemic has us all sheltering in place. Students at all levels are not physically coming to school and schoolwork at home is done at home. 

During sheltering in place let us not lose sight of the real, looming, pervasive crisis that has been set aside and seems all but forgotten during this pandemic: climate crisis. 


Shasta patiently waiting on a lush spot of clover
with her very favorite ball
for us to finish our breakfast.
She knows soon we will
go for our morning walk.
Each morning after breakfast we walk with Shasta. Soon after the closing of the schools here in Santa Fe, NM, a teacher posted her message on the East side of the bridge over which we walk to get to the path along the Santa Fe River. 


Sangre de Cristo Mountains
in the background
above the bridge
Each morning I read the teacher's message which I find ever so impactful. So I  would like to share her message with each and every one of you.






























The bottom line reads
"action, not hope, now"




To discharge all the emotions that this powerful message brings up, may we





Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April 07, 2020

Glorious Spring time  sunset from our backyard.

Today is World Health Day. I would like to share my morning reading from Earth Prayers from Around the World with each and every one of you. 


House made of dawn.
House made of evening light.
House made of the dark cloud.
House made of male rain.
House made of dark mist.
House made of female rain.
House made of pollen.
House made of grasshoppers.

Dark cloud is at the door.
The trail out of it is dark cloud.
The zigzag lightning stands high upon it.
An offering I make.
Restore my feet for me.
Restore my legs for me.
Restore my body for me.
Restore my mind for me.
Restore my voice for me.
This very day take out your spell for me.

Happily I recover.
Happily my interior becomes cool.
Happily I go forth.
My interior feeling cool, may I walk.
No longer sore, may I walk.
Impervious to paint, may I walk.
With lively feelings may I walk.
As it used to be long ago, may I walk.

Happily may I walk.
Happily, with abundance dark clouds, may I walk.
Happily, with abundance showers, may I walk.
Happily, with abundance plants, may I walk.
Happily, on a trail of pollen, may I walk.
Happily may I walk.
Being as it used to be long ago, may I walk.

May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.
In beauty it is finished.

              NAVAJO CHANT

As we focus on our well BEing and the health of our planet, may we frequently







Sunday, April 5, 2020

Perfection


May we each BE  perfection relaxed as Shasta lying on our couch.


This morning while sitting the thought for a post about "perfection" came to me. Later as I was checking my emails, I discovered Tania Carriere had already written one beautifully. With her permission here is her blog post on pandemic perfection. For more on Tania and her work please click on www.advivumjourneys.ca/.

I woke up this morning with a sense of dread. I was greeted by the voice in my head saying “I don’t think I you’re doing this right”.

This feeling followed me around yesterday too.
I remember coaching my clients just a few weeks ago…
“everything is going to change, what we do and how we do it is going to shift. Be prepared to let “the way it is” go and accept that we are going to create a new normal”.

-and then the world shifted -

And I said “no problem world, I got this!”
I’m good at change, I’ve mastered resilience, optimism and the art of finding a silver lining.

I am prepared to let it all go, to embrace a new normal, to be resilient and use this change as a pivot point for a brave new way!

I got busy and made a list, “things to do in this time at home”:
re-kindle romance with my hubby of 18 years
commit to my daily meditation practice
cook yummy, healthy meals, from scratch, with no leftovers
read, read, read - only for pleasure - I deserve it!
run twice a day on the treadmill (even though I have NEVER run before). This is THAT time to get fit and lean!

Nice list right?
Seems like me; optimistic, resilient, productive.
Because I don’t want to get to the other side of the pandemic and discover that I have wasted this opportunity, right?

And because I am a best-life coach, I should be able to do this - no sweat.

Except I am sweating.
It is frikkin’ exhausting!

I’m staring at the folder in which I’ve downloaded 16 free mediation apps, knowing I will never open them, feeling overwhelmed and hearing the criticism of the “shoulds” mounting as a chorus in my head.

I realize that the one thing that I didn’t let go of was perfection.
In times of stress, our old coping patterns have a way of springing back into action. Mine is to respond full steam ahead while getting things done right. So I ramped up my writing, my delivery to clients, my virtual-social gatherings. I got busy with good intentions.

Apparently at some point I said to myself “If there is a pandemic, then I will do pandemic well!”
Which is a crazy objective seeing as this is my first pandemic and I have no prior experience.

I hear this “pandemic perfection” in my conversations with clients as they manage the anxiety of not being as productive at work, as wise as parents, as present with friends. Heck - they’re even beating themselves up for under walking and over walking the dog.

And I confess, I ate Cheesies for breakfast this morning. I did so while hiding from my husband. Which is the opposite of both re-introducing romance AND eating lovely home cooked meals from scratch.

But in all of this worry about how it should be done, we are forgetting that this is a time that asks us to create a new normal. We don’t have a baseline for this, there is no “standard” to live up to. And no, we shouldn’t be holding up the old measures as guideposts for our days.

Letting it go means I can say I don’t know what a Sunday is supposed to look like while I am in the third week of social distancing. Is there any reason why I can’t watch a movie at breakfast? Do we really have to eat lunch at noon? If it takes twice as long to write a blog while holding the cat, can’t that be ok?

A part of my new normal is holding myself compassionately and discovering who I need to be, how I need to exist, in this strange new life.

Perhaps the best I can do for myself is to feel my way through the day.

No beating myself up.
No “insisting”.
No trying to do it all like it was done before.


I am replacing perfection with a sense of discovery; the “way it should be” with an inquiry, “how is it now, in the new normal?”

The pressure to do it perfectly can be replaced with the acceptance of what is and the tuning into the voice that wants to guide me. My list can be prompted by my needs as they emerge, because I cannot predict who I will be in this unrehearsed time.

I am inviting myself to sit with self-compassion, gentleness and love. I am throwing out the list. They are a part of the old way.

Part of the new way I am creating is to gift myself tenderness, flow and permission. I’m just going to accept that we are all making this up as we go along.

I’m deleting the apps.
I think I’ll meditate on Cheesies

My husband is upstairs watching a movie with morning coffee, I think I’ll join him.
~Tania

And as we are gentle with ourselves and each other at this time of sheltering in place, may we


Friday, March 27, 2020

Spring

Dwight's most recent creation at Baca Street Pottery.
Now that we are "sheltering in place" (as all
New Mexicans are) we took some time a few
mornings ago to install this clay piece
among the Beargrass (Nolina microcarpa)
in the front yard.
Spring is the time of renewal. The changing of seasons were not so noticeable in West Sonoma County, California, but here in Santa Fe, NM, we definitely experiencing four distinct seasons. And Spring is happening, well, on most days Spring is happening. I am reminded by people walking by that snow may still fall even into early May. This occurrence often interferes with an abundance of apricots and peaches ripening on the trees. I am so anticipating apricots and peaches from our trees that are growing steadily in our backyard orchard.

Right now I am harvesting arugula from the smallest hoop house. Delish! And Dwight is moving along with another hoop house over one of our long raised beds into which I will plant the peas, seeds from last years' peas, planted in two Todd planters that are sprouting in the minigreen house. 

Successful seed planting in the minigreen house has not gone smoothly. The heat mattress did keep the temperature at 80 degrees. First the thermostat was replaced since it came from MuRefuge where it was used for 25 years. The replacement thermostat was no more effective. A replacement heat mattress just arrived as I publish this post. Peas do not need as warm a soil to sprout so the Todd planters with the sprouting peas remain in the mingreenhouse. All of the other seeds that have been planted in pots that are sitting in the house. Once the heat mattress has been replaced and proper functioning is evident everything can be moved into the minigreen house. 

Gardening in New Mexico is not for the faint of heart. Most of the farmers who grow produce to be sold at the Santa Fe Farmers Market are women. I so admire them with their creativity in growing food year round here in the high desert. I am ever so grateful the Farmers Market is open on Saturday mornings. We stock up on all the fresh veggies we eat during a week between these markets.

I dearly miss buying nutrient dense food from Singing Frogs Farm. In that vein
I am trying to figure out how to grow our own nutrient dense food here in our backyard. 

Harogem Apricot planted in the Spring, 2018, in glorious flower.
Purchased from Tooley's Trees as a 2 year old.
The double black wrought iron gate
in the background is where Shasta
can connect with each ad every passerby.
The apricot trees, it seems everyone has at least one apricot tree in their yards, are now in full flower and absolutely gorgeous.  

Clover came to Santa Fe, NM, in one of the
large clay pots transporting St. John's Wort,
Tansy, Comfrey from MuRefuge.
Shasta loves laying on the every year enlarging area.
The perennial herbs are "popping" (as Shasta's Auntie T describes) showing green. I do love Spring and all her green. We now have abundant fresh chives since I have planted them around all the fruit trees as well as in our herb garden just outside our kitchen. Culinary chive as well as garlic chive seeds have been sown for more plantings in the orchard.

Yes! Spring is here and gardening has recommenced! While I hear a number of people asking "what to do now that I am stuck at home?", my days are as busy as ever. I watch our neighbors who are working at home (with a baby only months old and a soon to be two year old) balance work and childcare. Oh my gosh, I admire both the mother and father!

Tarragon from which I have already made
baked Tarragon Yogurt Chicken.
m-m-m-m-m-m delish lunch!

Lovage grows into almost a bush by mid Summer
covered with heart stopping flowers.
And what a wonderful treat while sitting and eating breakfast: a rather large flocks of migrating robins drinking from our bird baths. No pictures were taken as we were way too enthralled with observing this Spring event.

As Spring renewal and greening delights us, may we each rejoice and