Friday, July 18, 2014

productive day

There is something very satisfying about chopping up lots of fresh ingredients and throwing it all together with savory spices to create a wonderfully healthy meal.  I rarely eat store-bought meals already prepared anymore.   Even though I mostly cook for just myself I can still make a great recipe and either freeze some …. or have it for a few meals.  Leftovers are great.   Often I'll only make half of a recipe and then wish I had made the whole thing so I could either have more for later or share it.  

You can't beat a good curry and this one was just soooo good!  Recipe is below.

It was a productive day.

I finally was able to turn the electric off in my bedroom so I could add a light fixture to the ceiling fan.   I spent two days looking for the breaker to my room.  The fusebox in the garage had electrical cutoffs for everything in the house except the bedroom receptacles and lights.  Who knew there was a separate box outside?  

Proud of me.  It was an easy project after that.  Mostly.

Except now I can see all the dust more clearly!

Butternut Squash & Chickpea Coconut Curry (my own variation)
serves 8  (slow cooker recipe)
2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
1 can organic chick peas
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can 13.5 ounce organic coconut milk (I used light)
1 bunch of fresh spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped (you could also use kale here)
1 1/2 cups peas
1-2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 tablespoons yellow curry powder (you can use your own blend of spices here, I just happen to have a premixed curry powder from a local indian grocery store that I love)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (save some for serving)
Cut the skin off the squash, remove seeds and cut into 1 inch square cubes. Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker besides the peas and spinach. Cook on high for 6 hours. About 20-30 minutes before serving add in the peas and spinach, and give it a stir. If your sauce seems to be a bit too thin or watery when it is done cooking, you could make a quick mix of cornstarch and hot water and pour a tablespoon or two of the mixture into the crock pot, allow it to simmer a bit longer. This will thicken it right up.

Serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice topped with fresh cilantro, mint or basil and maybe even some shredded coconut.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

life whispers

It's hard when you realize you just can't change a difficult situation belonging to someone you love. When you finally realize that it's beyond your control.  When you've tried and tried and given and given and have come near to losing your own health with worry  …. But it's true… you have to let go of it.

I guess you have to let those you love live life on their own terms.  As long as they know (and you know) the consequences are theirs too.

I have found that…. life whispers… and if you don't listen … it gets louder.    Some people aren't good at listening to whispers … Maybe they don't like to be that cautious.  They need adventure and risk.  But listening often keeps us from making bad choices.  Not always… ahhh… we learn from our mistakes too, but the times I've ignored the whispers, things did not go well.

And life is about choice.

We can't take on the heaviness that someone else has created by their wrong choices… We cannot take on the heaviness of their consequences.   Especially when we have given our all in trying to help and mentor and coach and … sometimes even rescue.  Our hearts will literally be torn up.  We can't sacrifice our life for someone who seems to want to waste theirs… as sad as that is…

Ah, but we can pray.   We can love and we can hope.  Situations can change, but usually it's not because of us.  It's because of something outside of our own influence and control.

God doesn't want us to lose our joy.  The joy that life is … and all that life contains!

So let's learn to let go.  Let's learn to say no.  And enough.  … And learn to listen to the whispers before they get too loud.

Friday, July 4, 2014

the treasures we carry with us

Someone who knew my mom well and worked with her for many years saw my picture recently on a social media site.  She reached out to me …. and said I had my "mother's eyes and sweet smile".

Things like that can just make my day.

It's nice to know I still carry so much of her with me.

I feel it sometimes.  Often really.  The expressions on my face.  The intensity in my eyes.  Little mannerisms.  Reactions.  Responses.  My voice.  How I say things.  Even some strengths and weaknesses.

But she had blue eyes.  I have brown.  She tended to be the eternal optimist.  I can be such the worry wort.  She was artistic and creative most of the time.  I only have spurts!  

And yet I feel her.  I feel she is a part of me.  

I'm thankful for people who remind us of such simple, yet such enormous, truth.  

We are all a part of something so much bigger than just ourselves.   And what once WAS still IS in many ways.  Maybe not the exact way we'd like, but love and life goes on….