Saturday, February 18, 2012

new journeys

As we continue our journey in the short time we have here this round, I find my heart singing by not what I am accomplishing as much as what my offspring do.  The years pass quickly and I was wise enough to absorb as much as possible and not take anything or anyone for granted.  I hope I remember more than I forget which is why I blog, I guess.  My boys can always know a little bit about me even if don't remember as they were growing up.  If it's in writing, they can always go back and reflect.  A strong sense of pride and a little relief occur when their parents witness their own journeys unfolding.  We step back a little bit each day so they can embrace their future on their own discover all life has to offer and allow them to make their choices. As adults, they discover more new terrain and sometimes it can be a little scary in the big, sometimes bad world out there.  Deep in their hearts they know we always have their backs, but it is now their time to spread those wings and take off  with whatever they themselves absorbed under our watch. 
Lady bugs are supposed to be good luck so I share this cutesy pic to wish them lots of luck in their new endeavors.  Mike enjoys the comforts of his own new family and begins a whole new journey with his own son.  His whole life is changing in ways he never knew possible and the joy a son brings is insurmountable.  Words cannot express the bliss, but now he knows how we felt with each of our own sons.  Dan resumed his relationship with Darcy and they are full speed ahead, learning from life's lessons and embracing the endless possibilities as they end their days as students and bask in the pride of their hard earned accomplishment with the college diploma opening doors to new and exciting careers.  Darcy has been granted a coveted paid internship and Dan will pursue a masters in his chosen career.  Meantime, they are having fun house hunting and so am I.  I am no stranger to this process and share what I know to decrease the daunting challenge it can be.  They have time to find the perfect nest without pressure so it is more exciting than stressful for them.  Steve is so busy these days with completing his studies at the community college and forging ahead with being accepted at DePaul in the fall.  We will take processing that goal one step at a time.  He is successfully juggling the demands of working, attending college, and special projects.   He promoted a new endeavor with his colleagues in the production of a story called Cody's Girl and they had a fundraiser to supply funds to get this accomplished.  It was enlightening to see how passionate he was about this project and he was rewarded with much support from his family and friends.  His biggest thrill is being asked to take on the task of film marketing coordinator for the new movie being distributed world wide called
You can visit the link at  He is avidly spreading the word about this adorable movie to all so when it is released sometime around Father's Day, he can boast his role in its successful awareness.  Steve is determined and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and knowing him, it is a given.  This could be his portal to his own career.
I had to share this garden for here is where my heart is these days, with discovering the beauty our earth offers and appreciating the simple blessings it provides.  I learned not to sweat the small stuff  and it has brought me contentment and solace.  It takes a long time to get to this frame of mind, and maybe that's how it is supposed to be. 
These are my ultimate favorite flowers.  I love their beautiful colors, the arrangement and their femininity.  This is my goddess bouquet. 

Like the song says "we don't have to make it perfect...
oh, but maybe we could try...

love me for the woman that I am...
and I will love you.  xo

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

sharing the love

happy valentine's day

with love... from you xo

Monday, February 13, 2012

double nickel

Another year, another page to turn in reflection of this thing called life.  Unlike the basic speed limit, my wings have less limitations and as my soul accelerates,  I share its quest for bliss. 
Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. ~ Yogi Bhajan

Some days I’m lost, some days I’m found. There is one thing that I have. That is my hope. That flame burning inside of me that lights up my life. I have hope for my life, for my future, for the calling I was meant to follow. I have hope tha...t the roads I travel down will lead me on a journey of love. Love for myself, for others, for life. A journey that lasts as long as I breathe. A journey of many wondrous things. I just know it. Deep down in my soul, to the secret places of my heart, that there is something I’m supposed to do with my life. Something big, something great, something really meaningful. So I walk in that Faith, in that promise of my future. I shape my present to fit into that bright and warm future. One where the dreams I have, become the reality I know. Where my words, my voice, and my heart brings hope to others. That is what I know, and even though I don’t have it all together. I have this one beautiful hope for the life I lead, and that keeps me strong. It keeps me going…
When our soul assumes its rightful place as the author of our intentions, we begin to hear its quiet voice whispering encouragement to make choices that bring happiness, health, love, meaning, and peace.... David Simon
You do not need to change other people; you can change your reaction to them. When you choose to feel good you are not dependent on other people acting in certain ways to make you feel good. Before you can attract people who will support, appreciate, and acknowledge you, you must choose to do that for yourself.... Orin
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you’ve got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are.
To Love is human. To feel Pain is human.
Yet to still Love despite the Pain is pure Angel.
Rumi i ♥
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers....

Everything happens in its own right time, you need not force it....Osho

A man once told the Buddha, ‘I want happiness’. The Buddha said remove the ‘I’ that’s ego, now remove the ‘want’ that’s desire, now all you are left with is, "Happiness"...
Wherever you go, go with all your heart...Confucius

Believe in yourself;
Remember how truly Beautiful you are.
Adorn your Soul with Love;
And watch that Light Flow around you;
And touch the World.
Every imperfection, flaw or hurt;
... Is a tiny gem of a precious lesson of Wisdom.

Truly Beautiful things are never perfect.
They are just attuned; To the inner Glow of their uniqueness.
So listen to your instincts. Follow your Truth.
And with Humble Sacredness, acknowledge your Love;
And your self-respect and Courage.

Dance like the fragile flower;
That even blossoms in the snow and Storms;
Just be "You".
For you, yourself, are more Perfect;
Than Perfection can ever be.
I'm becoming more and more myself with time.
I guess that is what grace is.
The refinement of your soul through time.
I'm determined to create a just world...
to leave it a better place than I found it...
to reach out to those in need...
to be myself and love myself...
to respect others and live the Golden Rule...
to offer the best version of myself wherever I go...
to consider the impact on others while pursuing my dreams...
and to live lovingly. xo

priceless presents

nothing like homemade from the heart :)

thanks for filling my heart with joy

gratitude to rumi, radiant lotus, live laugh love and the most beautiful things in the world


Sunday, February 5, 2012

made in america

My new quest is to consciously and assertively pursue purchasing items that are made in our country, the beloved U.S. of A. I firmly believe that if we commit to undoing the damaged mindset of passitivity and consumers put their money by supporting products made with our own hands, this could create substantial growth and pride that once built our nation into the most powerful country in the world. World News Tonight provides an excellent media promotion for this simple cure and I am convinced if we all unite with the same purpose we could positively make a difference. We must make every effort to make the change we all crave in our land of liberty.
 Today I made my first purchase that is made in Tennessee ~ a cast iron chicken fry pan.  This coveted item had to be made here for it depicts good old fashioned cooking in a good old fashioned tool.   
I have been researching ideas for the perfect recipe for frying chicken and they all call for a cast iron skillet.  I intended to scour Wiltons or Bed Bath and Beyond and just so happened upon this one at Walmart.  I saw the American flag tag and searched no further.
In 1896, in a tiny town along the banks of the Tennessee River, Joseph Lodge began a cast iron cookware foundry and put in place an enduring standard of quality.  The resulting privately held metal formula, precision molds, and exacting wall thickness produce the finest cast iron cookware available.  Not even the most expensive stainless or aluminum cookware can rival the even heating, retention, durability, healtfulness and value of Lodge Cast Iron.  Its legendary cooking performance keeps it on the list of kitchen essentials for great chefs and home cooks alike. 
Good Old Fashioned Fried Chicken

12" cast iron skillet
drip pan
peanut oil
3 eggs
2 cups self-rising flour
3-4 lb. bird

Prepare the rub prior to the day of cooking.  Rub consists of seasonings you prefer and can be stored for quite awhile.  I am preparing a concoction of paprika, cayenne, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. 

It has been advised to use a smaller bird so the pieces cook more evenly, no more than 4 pounds.  I bought one pre-cut bird as well as a pack of chicken legs and another of breasts for variety.

After rinsing and pat drying the chicken pieces, apply rub and store in plastic baggie overnight. 

In a medium bowl, beat the egs with a 1/3 cup buttermilk.  In another bowl, combine the flour with a little seasoning such as salt and pepper or a bit of the rub.  Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg mixture, then coat well in the flour mixture.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees in the cast iron pan but do not fill the pot more than half full with peanut oil.  Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp.  Dark meat takes longer than white meat.  It should take 9 - 14 minutes for dark and 8 - 10 minutes for white.
Use tongs to turn the chicken and remove from pan when finished cooking.  Keep on a drip pan to remove excessive oil. 
I hope you join me in this endeavor to make mindful choices when spending our hard-earned money ~ let's put it back in our own pockets.  Try it! xo