Tuesday, November 17, 2009

centering during chaos

Taken in Eden Park, Cincinnati

I am grounded.
I am centered.
I am at peace with myself.
Everything about me breathes the calm and peace of the soul.

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."
- Unknown

Just little reminders for myself during these stressful times. Hope it helps some of you out there too.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

courage for new beginnings

I recently saw the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I couldn't help but be moved by this letter, written by the main character, for his daughter:

"For what it's worth, it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be...You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

the warmth of a friend's home...and an autumn recipe

A group of friends and I had a party recently to celebrate a couple's engagement. Here are some photos... looking at them, I can almost smell the hot mulled apple cider which I made for that party. Recipe follows...

EB chopping lettuce for the salad.
She was the mastermind behind the lovely Turkish dinner.

homemade bread by RZ

more bread by RZ

RZ's kitchen stuff

...and a cute little Valentine hanging in the kitchen.

Mulled Apple Cider
1 gallon fresh apple cider
a generous slosh of apple brandy (I used applejack) - optional
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg, broken into pieces (you can break it with a rolling pin or some other heavy tool)
a few whole cloves... about 5 or 6 maybe
whole allspice berries... a generous pinch
* You can also use store-bought pre-mixed mulling spices, but whole spices are always more fun. :)

Put everything in a slow cooker and let simmer for a few hours. You can also use a large pot and let it simmer on the stove. It makes the house smell wonderful. Enjoy!

Thank you, RZ, for always welcoming us in your cozy home. Your kitchen always brings friends together and creates fond memories. Congratulations to you and N!

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tired but inspired

Here's an affirmation/meditation I got from a recent retreat:

"Never forget. You are here to be the very best you can be, to learn the most you can learn, to evolve your soul to the fullest extent possible within this lifetime."

Aaaahhhh... just what I need to regain a little bit more energy and get through my study day. "Evolve your soul." I like that.

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