Share Your World #38

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? 

Kind of a mix.  It doesn’t come naturally to me (although I think it did when I was little).  But hanging around with spiritual seekers seems to involve a lot of hugging so I’ve readjusted.  And I like hugging my good friends.

What is your least favorite Candy?

I really don’t like licorice.  But I’m pretty fussy about candy and how I take my empty calories, so if it doesn’t involve really good dark chocolate, I mostly don’t eat candy.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

That I think I may have lost track of how to have it.  I mostly enjoy pretty quiet pursuits like reading and watching TV — enjoy but don’t exactly think of them as “fun”.

The one activity I dearly love is getting together with one or two good friends, sharing a good meal and having a long and deep conversation.

I can also get pretty excited about attending a workshop with a Rinpoche or some other great spiritual teacher or going to an event that will involve a meditation or some kind of spiritual ceremony.

List of Favorite Smells: What smells do you love? Whether it’s vanilla scented candles or the smell of coffee in the morning or the smell of a fresh spring rain…make a list of all the things you love for a little aromatherapy.

Image by Mark Prince, CoffeeGeek.com, 2006, ri...

Image by Mark Prince, CoffeeGeek.com, 2006, rights released for wikipedia. Image can also be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeegeek/113110988/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of cooking scents:  coffee brewing, bacon cooking, spicy baked goods baking, chocolate baking, turkey roasting…

I’m a big perfume fan so the list is long.  My current two faves are Butterfly (Hanae Mori) and one called “L” that’s available only through Soft Surroundings.

I also love the scents I get on my fingers when I run them through lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, etc.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I work a bit with aromatherapy.  A friend designed a mix for me as part of her finals at aromatherapy school and I wear it most of the time (somewhere underneath clothes if I also want to wear perfume).  It’s an odd mix of lemon, peppermint, clary sage and vetiver but I’ve grown to quite like it as well as appreciating its benefits.

Recently I’ve also created a mix of rose and frankincense, after reading about their cancer prevention/curing benefits.  It’s a little sweeter than scents I generally favor but some days I enjoy inhaling the lovely fragrance of rose.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for lots of lovely weather and fresh air last week.  We’re getting ready to leave for our annual (and possibly last) annual trek to Michigan.  We’ve had to cancel and change plans a number of times due to Mom’s health issues but things finally seem plateaued.  And most of her old friends (the “grown ups” of my childhood) up there are still getting around so some nice visits will be on the roster.  When GM tanked the economy of Flint most people my age left, but I’ll see the one friend who’s still there — and whose mother is one of Mom’s great friends.

WPC: Mirror

Late again.  No excuse except I couldn’t seem to get around to digging up the cord for uploading the photos from camera to computer…  This is my entry for Mirror.

Both of these shots involve an odd configuration of mirrors wherein a mirror on a hall door can be seen from the bathroom mirror.  Depending on the angle of the door, the reflected view changes.

Both of these are shot looking into the bathroom mirror and catching the reflection in the hall mirror.  The first of these photos shows a view of a window in the next room over.  The window is actually on the same wall that’s behind me as I’m taking the photo.  The second photo has the hall mirror reflecting back the bathroom sink and mirror (and me🙂 ):

Mirrors 1

Mirrors 1

mirror-2

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Turmeric Ginger Lemonade

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Turmeric Ginger Tea, I’ve become a fan of the turmeric ginger combo and its health benefits.  It took me some experimenting over the course of five or six pitchers to develop a recipe for the lemonade I like:

Leigh’s Turmeric Ginger Lemonade

  • 7 cups water
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 inches fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup (or more, to taste)
  • 6 medium to large lemons (possibly one or two more depending on how juicy they are) squeezed; 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • optional:  for better absorption of turmeric, add a few peppercorns

Put two cups of the water plus the ginger and turmeric in a sauce pan. If you’re using peppercorns, add those too. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Turn off the stove and add the agave syrup to the pan.  Let steep 10 minutes, cool a bit, then strain out the turmeric and ginger.

While the turmeric ginger tea is cooling, squeeze the lemons.  When the tea is cool enough add the tea, lemon juice and remaining water to pitcher.  Refrigerate till nice and cool. It’s the best tasting way I’ve found to drink the turmeric and ginger.

Share Your World #37

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

medicine-wheel

Quite a few.  I occasionally pick up a rock whose energy feels special to me.  But a huge number came into my life when I was studying with a Hopi elder and, a couple of years in, we worked on creating our own medicine wheels.  The process involved receiving lots of painted rocks to use to create our own personal circles.  I left the group before we finished so I don’t have the whole wheel, but I use the stones along with some of my other faves when I cast a circle for meditation or spells.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?

I think my greatest strength may be my willingness to look into the deep dark shadows of my inner world, examine what’s there and release.

I think my greatest weakness is probably my fear of failure and the ways in which that often holds me back.

What makes you feel grounded? 

I learned long ago to put my attention — and therefore my energy — into my feet and their connection to earth.  If I’m specifically aiming to come back to earth, that’s what I do.

I also tend to feel very grounded after I practice yoga or chi gung or the Five Tibetan Rites.  Since I do those regularly they keep me pretty grounded most of the time without having to “get into my feet”.

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?

Well, since I’ve specifically been warned more than once that cold food isn’t good for my body type and since there’s a lot of info out there on Ayurveda with its warnings to avoid cold food, I think I’d want to keep the warm stuff and give up the cold.  Even if that means no ice cream😦

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m really grateful we finally got some cooler, less humid weather and were able to shut off the ac and open the windows.  I’m looking forward to the finale of America’s Got Talent tonight and tomorrow night.

Share Your World #36

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

If you were given a boat or yacht today, what would you name it?  (You can always sell the yacht later)

I’ve never been keen on the tradition of giving boats women’s first names, but never having wanted a boat, I’ve also never given a lot of thought to what I’d name one.  Off the top of my head I’m thinking, “Waverider”.

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best?  (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey) Plus what would the 8th dwarf’s name be? 

In recent years, with all the sleep difficulties related to my muscles, I guess Sleepy would often describe me.  I’d prefer to be like my 8th dwarf:  Compassionate

Name a song or two which are included on the soundtrack to your life?

One of my long-time faves has been Justin Hayward’s version of “This is the Moment”.  Another one I never tire of is Paul Winters’ “Icarus”

Complete this sentence:  I like watching…

Way too much TV.  Lately I’m a big fan of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie

My cat sleeping

Sunsets and sunrises

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Last week was one of those weeks I’m grateful I made it through.  And grateful for a nice, quiet birthday.  This week I’m looking forward to hitting the end of the long run of doctor’s appointments to which I’ve had to haul my mother…

Turmeric Ginger Tea

In the last six or eight months I’ve been doing a lot of research about alternative health care possibilities to help my mother with her unending arthritis pain.  I was very impressed by some medical school studies on turmeric and the positive results from drinking turmeric ginger tea.

They found that participants who cut out sugar and drank turmeric ginger tea several times a day experienced a greater reduction in pain than those who took prescription pain killers with narcotics in them!

I started exploring recipes and trying out different ones.  My mother didn’t like any version I came up with and she absolutely refuses to even cut back significantly on sugar so I can’t say she had a good result.  But I am reaching the age where I have some aches and pains and a big awareness of how much arthritis runs through my family tree.  I was also impressed with the many benefits (not just arthritis) of both turmeric and ginger.

So I kept fiddling with different recipes, trying to get an easy version that tasted good  Most recipes say you can use either ground seasonings or fresh turmeric and ginger and some totally favor the fresh.  I quickly realized there’s no way I’m standing around grating fresh ginger and turmeric every day so I use the ground stuff.  It does taste better with the fresh.

I drink a cup every day and not only are the little aches and pains gone but I am so energized by it I have to be careful how late I fix it or it keeps me up!

Turmeric doesn’t absorb readily so many recipes include either peppercorns or coconut oil, both of which help more of the turmeric to be absorbed.  I haven’t tried the peppercorns, as that doesn’t sound good to me.  I keep coconut oil around so I add the oil.  Amounts of all ingredients vary wildly from one recipe to another, so I played with it until I used what seemed like the minimum I could add for effectiveness while keeping the taste pretty good.

One recipe I found added a bunch of cinnamon, cloves and allspice.  It really helped the — frankly not very good — taste but none of the spices dissolve in the water and they create a thick sludge at the bottom of the cup.  In a fine strainer the sludge blocked the holes and prevented any water from getting through and any larger strainer let all the spices land in the cup.  But the added flavor really made the tea pretty good.

So I thought of Bengal Spice tea from Celestial Seasonings and the similarity to the spices I added to the tea.  It worked.

Leigh’s Turmeric Ginger Tea

  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag Bengal Spice tea
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric (or 1/2 inch fresh, peeled and grated)
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • Optional:  1/2 tsp (or more to taste) agave syrup
  • Optional:  splash of vanilla creamer

Put the water and tea bag in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to low simmer.  Add the ginger, turmeric, coconut oil and, if you choose, the agave syrup.  Simmer 10 minutes, covered.  Turn off heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes.  Remove tea bag and pour tea.  If you like, add a splash of vanilla creamer (I use non dairy — usually coconut or soy).

WPC Challenges — Catching Up

I’ve been missing in action for a while mainly lots of weather issues left me unwilling to head out with the camera…

I’ve managed a few miscellaneous shots finally that meet a few recent challenges.

The current challenge is “Frame”.  This shot is of the skylight above where I’ve been hanging out reading and writing on the sun porch:

Sun porch skylight

Re:  “Morning”.  The bathroom has the only window in my part of the house where I can see the morning sun. so the first shot captures what I saw one recent morning.  And then my favorite part of the morning…  coffee:

For “Fun“, I took a shot of one of the many horses around town that were part of a big event for which local artists painted lots of horses which were then auctioned off.  And a shot of my favorite little guy in his new favorite sleeping spot…on my laptop bag.

If it ever cools down and quits raining I still have a plan for shooting “Narrow”.

Share Your World #34

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:
What is your favorite comfort snack food?

Dietsch Ice Cream Findlay

If I’m in the mood for salty, it’s pizza.  If I’m in the mood for sweet, ice cream.  And I’m not supposed to have either…

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

No.  I’ve always organized by denomination, but without regard to any other order.  Right now, because of the peculiarity of my current wallet, each denomination is folded in half and one pocket has ones, one has fives and one has tens folded on one side and twenties on the other.  Facing any old way in each pile…

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

My mother in the living room reading or watching TV and me in the family room, watching TV with a laptop in my lap.  And Salty the cat constantly bugging us to let him in and out.   (If the mouse knows what’s good for it it’s staying well hidden ‘cos Salty’s very good at catching mice)

Would you rather not be able to read or not be able to speak?

Since I spent great amounts of time without talking and equally great amounts of time reading, I think not speaking seems easier.  But then it would be pretty tough to negotiate out in the world without being able to talk…

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m glad the Olympics are over and I’m not trying to keep up with umpteen events every day.  I’m looking forward to continuing catching up on the old Turner Classic Movies I’ve stacked up on my DVR from Summer Under the Stars while watching the Olympics instead.

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Share Your World #33

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

Would you travel into outer space?

No

Which country/city in the world (that you have never been to) would you most like to visit and why?

I’m torn among a number of places.  There are quite a few spots in France and Italy I’d still like to see.  In fact, those are the two countries to which I’m most drawn and, rather than travel dreams around the world, my dreams are of minutely exploring those two countries.

English: Lyon, FRANCE Français : Lyon, FRANCE

English: Lyon, FRANCE Français : Lyon, FRANCE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In France, Lyon is high on my list of places I’ve not been and would like to visit.  It’s known for it’s cuisine, which I’d love to experience.  The city also has hidden passageways all over called Traboules, which I’d quite like to explore.

Français : vue de St-Emilion (33), France

Français : vue de St-Emilion (33), France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m also very drawn to St. Emilion, in the Bordeaux region.  Also known for cuisine, it too is a gorgeous area and full of interesting old villages, etc.

San Petronio Basilica

San Petronio Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Italy I’d quite like to spend some time in Bologna, also for cuisine, but as well because it’s full of historic sites to visit.

My rare wishes involving other countries are  Amsterdam and Barcelona.  Amsterdam just always looks so beautiful to me.  And I’d like to see the Gaudi sites in Barcelona.

Hard to choose which one would top the list.  I prefer traveling where I can speak the language, which probably means I’d rank the cities in France and Italy above the two in the Netherlands and Spain.

What could you do to breathe more deeply today?

Pranayama practice.  I fell in love with pranayama as soon as my yoga teacher introduced some.  I wound up taking a course at the Temple of Kriya Yoga and for many years I did a daily practice.

I love the breath as a way to stay calm since there are several ways to focus on breathing without anyone else knowing what you’re doing..  I think it’s the most mobile stress management technique there is.

Complete this sentence:  This creamy peanut butter sandwich could really use some …

Honey-sweetened strawberry jam

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’ve still been enjoying the Olympics and trying to get in some viewing of the growing collection of old movies from TCM’s Summer Under the Stars.  I’m looking forward to the end of the Olympics and turning my attention to watching  LOTS of old movies.

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