Friday, March 10, 2017

Romantic Love

True love is made of four elements: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Love is a living, breathing thing. There is no need to force it to grow in a particular direction, if we start by being easy and gentle with ourselves, we will find they are inside of us, solid and healing.
- more of T H Hanh

I find it difficult to improve upon Hanh's words. Experience has shaped my thoughts about what constitutes love. The objects of my love (romantic, family, friendships) differ widely and yet the basic tenets are the same. I am learning ......

cashew snack

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live in.  -unknown

I made a snack for my granddaughter Violet's baby shower. I wanted to nourish her mother and indirectly her growing body.  

I mixed equal amounts olive oil and tupelo honey (1/4 cup each), together with light gray celtic sea salt (1 T plus 1 t), and powdered cayenne pepper (2 t). I relished the sight of the colorful syrup as I poured it over 4 cups of organic cashews. I smiled with satisfaction as I coated each cashew with the sticky goodness - my hands glistening -  as the half moon fruits lay on the parchment paper that covered the green baking sheet. Delightful aroma filled my home as the cashews roasted for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Why this mix? 
The cashews are a good source of monounsaturated fats (heart health), copper (to aid iron absorption for the developing brain), and magnesium (bone development).
The olive oil is again a source of  good fats (brain, skin, heart health). The tupelo honey has a light sweetness that offers an immediate and sustained energy boost for Zarah, Violet's mother. The cayenne is known for it's stimulating effect on digestion.
The grey celtic salt, beyond its crystal like subtle beauty, contains sodium (a major component for muscle and nerve development and iron).

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Dancing is poetry with arms and legs. - Charles Baudelaire

I have discovered contra dancing, and what a treasure!  Contra dancing came into popularity in England in the 17th century. John Playford is credited with publishing a series of books describing the dances and music, the final printing had 900 dances. Through the years the dance has incorporated Scottish and Irish influences with various levels of complexity with crossovers, interweaving, and partner changes but maintaining the long lines and plenty of partner swinging and twirling. Contra dancing is popular still - with live music and callers, it is an aerobic play land that provides non stop smiling.

I recommend you find a dance in your area and give it a twirl for the sheer enjoyment as well as exercise.