Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Monday, November 16, 2015

evolution of consciousness

this article is from : ~ a favorite inspirational site I visit often. I thought it would be good to share it today. As well Spirit Science can be followed on Facebook with daily information, inspirational thoughts, and spiritual well-being- hope you enjoy not only the article, but also the site.


       There are three transformational processes within the evolution of the Consciousness. These are, in fact, three levels of development. At these different levels of development the state and functions of the Consciousness show entirely different signs. If we are aware of these characteristic signs, we may easily recognize what state of development of the Consciousness we are in: ordinary Consciousness, awakening or the level of complete freedom.

Monday, November 2, 2015

an aspen willow sunrise

 at the ranch, it was the sunrises that were the most spectacular
hi everyone, made it back to california, there is a little more to do to get settled in than expected, need one more week and then I will be back with more inspirations, menus, and other fun postings.

Monday, October 26, 2015

got my snow :)

 thank you Mother Nature for granting my wish 
There will be no postings for the rest of this week as I prepare to return to California- there is a bit of sadness leaving this beautiful land- but in a few short months I shall return.  have a fantastic and peaceful week.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

thursday's garden ~ awr's three gardens

here are a few picture's of the three gardens I am working on at the ranch- I only have a week left here, but think that I have started each to have my plan-of-action in place.  the rest of the ranch will be natural landscape, I can't compete with nature- it is too beautiful here.

the moss garden- the north side of the house gets a small amount of sun and has a lot of moisture, the perfect place. I am working on a fountain made of bark and rocks to place here. The center window is our den and it will be wonderful to hear a fountain.

this beautiful piece I confiscated from deep within our forest
took me nearly all day to cut and haul....but it is worth it.

the bird garden-
this area is between the MC and main house in a small aspen grove. I plan to have ground level feeder dishes, (which I am sure the chipmunks and ground squirrels will enjoy as well) hang some feeder-blocks from the trees, and a small solar fountain bird bath, as well as some homemade birdhouses.

the wood in the back was also hauled here from the
forest, it is perfectly shaped for a seat
occasionally we have a loss do to window-strikes
or other conditions- this will be where we bury
our little feathered friends. plan to have a carved
bird on the pedestal 

the butterfly/bee garden-
hidden on the other side of the MC from the bird garden (remember last year in CA I put the butterfly garden where I fed the birds and they ate all the caterpillars...) so, I have made it not so easy here at the ranch. my biggest task here was covering our well-pump head that obtrusively stuck out of the ground. I was going to build or purchase a wishing well, but found a solution I like much more, this fills my desire to re-purpose and use from nature. Next year it will be filled with Colorado wildflowers of every variety. My next task is a way to cover and hide my propane tank.

butterflies and bees cannot drink directly from a
water dish- here I have clear marbles and moss
a small stump with a natural bowl for the
resident chipmunks and ground squirrels
and of course somewhere comfy to sit
and enjoy the fragrances 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

meal ideas ~ colorful and tasty fall meals

 Looking for something that has fall colors and excellent flavors? 
they're here....Steve and I both love sauerkraut and curry, and these colorful fall dishes satisfy those flavor cravings. 

Kraut, Pork, and Potatoes
The delicious pairing of pork and potatoes makes this easy slow cooker meal a go-to comfort food recipe. It is chock-full of protein and can be thrown together in 15 minutes.
1 1/2 pounds tiny red new potatoes, quartered
1 14 3/4 - ounce can sauerkraut
1 teaspoon caraway seeds (more if you love this spice)
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup beer
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

 In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, place potatoes, sauerkraut, and brown sugar

 Cut pork shoulder in 1 1/2-inch pieces, trimming away and discarding any excess fat. In a medium bowl combine pork, mustard, and pepper; toss to coat. Place pork in the cooker. 

Pour beer over the mixture. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 hours. Skim fat from cooking juices. Serve in shallow bowls with juices and garnished with parsley.

Curried Chicken, Barley, and Vegetables
For an Indian-inspired meal that won’t derail your diabetes meal plan, make curried chicken and vegetables ahead of time in the slow cooker. Top the finished product with peanuts, raisins, and green onions.  Makes: 8 servings Carbs Per Serving: 34
Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh plus 3/4 cup barley mixture

 2 cups packaged peeled fresh baby carrots
 1 cup regular pearled barley
 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
 3 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
 8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
 5 teaspoons curry powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
 1/4 cup raisins
 1/4 cup sliced green onions

 In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine carrots, barley, and garlic. Top with cabbage and chicken thighs.

 In a small bowl, whisk together orange marmalade, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread over chicken. Pour broth over mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 hours.

Garnish each serving with peanuts, raisins, and green onions.

Opps! you may not see this by email until Thursday, kind of missed the deadline- 
however, doesn't change the taste of these wonderful recipes. enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

healthy living ~ another healthy gift idea

I am posting this now because this would be a outstanding "Holiday Gift" idea, maybe for a surprise Thanksgiving Gift to someone you love. Thanking them for their love, friendship, or any reason you may have.  

With the arrival of Halloween, comes the arrival of the "Holiday Season" which we all know can leave anyone a bit tuckered, even after a night’s sleep? Can a simple body-dusting powder help eliminate morning fatigue? Of course!

What is a dusting powder?
A dusting powder is a fine powder that’s commonly spread, or dusted, all over your body. The powder may be unscented or may be perfumed. Historically, dusting powders were used by both men and women to absorb perspiration and help prevent body odour (they weren’t very good at washing in the olden days!) Many people still use dusting powder as a way of enjoying a favorite fragrance, to absorb perspiration and skin oils, and to prevent skin chafing.

If you want to behave like your wig wearing regency ancestors, you can also powder your hair with a dusting powder – a bit like a dry shampoo, if you’re in a rush.

In the 18th century, men's wigs were powdered in order to give them their distinctive white or off-white color, whereas women mainly powdered their hair grey, or blue-ish grey. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower, lavender, or orris root.  By the 1780s, young men had given up wearing wigs and were setting a new trend of simply lightly powdering their natural hair, as women had been doing for all those years. In 1795, the British government imposed a tax on hair powder of one guinea per year. This tax effectively put an end to the fashion for both wigs and powder.

Body powder in this millennium is a normal part of personal care. Unfortunately some talcum powders are contaminated with asbestos fiber and aluminum. It makes me shudder to think that we put that on our bodies and our babies. Nevertheless, who can resist breathing in the sweet scent of a freshly bathed, powdered baby? A safe solution is to make your own baby powder. What I found is it's very easy and not expensive to make your own body powder.

Body powders can be made from simple things you have at home. Plain cornstarch, arrowroot, oat flour, white clay, rice starch, baking soda, orris root, and zinc oxide powder, are just a few of the things you can use. You can add dried herbs as much as you find pleasing and any kind you find pleasant, powdered cinnamon (like you cook with) to herbs like lavender, rose blossoms, thyme leaves, peppermint leaves, whatever you want.

need to get refreshed?
Here’s a stimulating, refreshing powder to keep you cool and dry and start your day off on an energized note. The chilling effects of the powdered peppermint and the concentrated menthol send signals to your brain that energy is abundant. Powdered ginger root revitalized circulation as well, but it is a warming-stimulant. Your body and senses are being bombarded by herbal re-chargers that say… “get up and go forth- a new day has arrived!”

1/4 c. dried peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon menthol crystals *
1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch
3 tablespoons ground ginger

Grind the dried peppermint leaves and menthol crystals into a fine powder using a spice grinder, or my choice a mortar and pestle. Sift out the larger, grainy particles using a super-fine mesh or flour sifter, if needed. Combine the ground peppermint and menthol crystals with the baking soda, cornstarch, clay and ground ginger in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Avoid deeply breathing in the dust, though there is no real danger of irritation.

Store the powder in an airtight storage container in a cool dark place for 3 days to allow the herbal scents to permeate the mixture. Then package the powder in smaller containers, if desired.  use within a year.

Application- apply as you would a body powder, sprinkling or using a “puff” where needed.

This powder can double as a simple underarm deodorant for those who want to avoid the chemicals in commercial deodorants or as a foot powder for odoriferous tootsies.

*(the links above are only for information about the ingredient; although when needing to purchase my products online I do use the Mountain Rose Herbs site most often.)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rune Stones ~

A neighbor stopped by the other day as I was enjoying my Rune Stones. She became excited and said she had seen a man using these at a Renaissance Fair a few years ago, but never knew anyone personally who could read them. After a ton of questions, which I didn’t mind, I realized I should post an article about the Stones here. I bet that there are a lot of people who don’t know about them; and they are fun and easy to use.

Many millennia ago in northern Europe, ancient peoples sought a means to understand their roles in the world at large. They created runes-an alphabet of symbols that served both as a functional writing system and as a unique system of divination. Though the symbols themselves were little more than varying combinations of straight lines carved on natural mediums such as wood, stone, or bone, these individuals devised a method of comprehending the past, making sense of the present, and interpreting the future using the runes as guides. The significance of each symbol was a product of its general orientation once cast and its location with respect to other runes. In the present, runes can play the same role in our lives that they played in the chronicles of distant history. Through them, we open ourselves to a form of universal guidance that helps us help ourselves. It helps you look into your own heart for the correct answers to many questions.

There are many casting styles, each of which serves an individual function. Casting a single rune can help you answer specific questions or choose a daily meditation subject. Three runes, cast during confusing or distressing situations, provide you with insights into the past, present, and future-as represented by the first, second, and third runes cast, respectively.  A nine-rune cast can help you understand where you are on your spiritual path. The runes that land face up relate to your current circumstances and the events leading up to them, and any runes touching are read as concurrences. Rune readings, however, are by their very nature subjective and open to interpretation. Your casting style should reflect your intuitive knowledge of your needs. Grabbing a handful of runes to cast at random can be just as effective as choosing a set number to cast.

Whether you buy your runes or carve them yourself is less important than your sincere desire to understand the messages conveyed to you via this alphabet of enlightenment. Your intentions will have a direct impact on the wisdom you receive while casting. The runes are representative of forces outside of the realm of human understanding, so your intent will act as your anchor. By simply reading the runes, you will find illumination in the unlimited possibilities laid out before you in each new cast.

A little info about my past with Rune Stones and Tarot Cards. My Aunt, my father’s sister, gave me my first set of tarot cards and taught me how to read them when I was about nine years old. Being of Bohemian decent, these were a popular Czech way of life. I took to them immediately, and still on occasion bring out my cards and see what life has in store. As a hobby, I have also been collecting unique decks over the years. The Rune stones came along later when I was in college and had a class that studied the Viking culture. I found them fascinating and fun.

here is a wonderful link to a .pdf file on rune stones. You can buy books, but in this case, it is not really necessary.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

meal ideas ~ best foods for fall: trout

For the next couple of weeks my recipes will feature some of the “Top 10 Foods to eat for Fall” This first one is of course a huge favorite food of mine: Trout

Trout is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, rainbow trout is a healthy choice that brings the feeling of the great outdoors right to the table.

Rainbow trout are native in the area of southern Alaska to northern Mexico and west of the Rocky Mountains. They are sold fresh in many seafood markets and grocery stores, either dressed or butterfly-style. Though known as a fatty fish, trout is lower in fat and calories than many of the leanest meats. A 3-ounce serving of cooked rainbow trout contains 22 grams of protein and only 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, and no carbohydrate, making trout a fine choice for any meal plan.

Prosciutto-Stuffed Trout
fresh or frozen pan-dressed, boned trout (about 8 ounces each)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 slices prosciutto or thinly sliced cooked ham, chopped (3 ounces)
Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
Sliced red onion (optional)
Fresh herb sprigs (optional)

 Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle insides of trout with prosciutto and pepper.

 Place trout in a well-greased grill basket or directly on greased grill rack over medium coals. Grill for 6 to 9 minutes or until trout flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning basket or trout over once halfway through grilling.

Meanwhile, if desired, coat an unheated nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add onion slices to hot skillet; cook until almost tender. If desired, garnish fish with onion slices and fresh herb sprigs. To serve, cut each trout into 2 portions. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 151 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 50 mg chol., 218 mg sodium, 20 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Medium-Fat Meat (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 2;

Lemon-Glazed Trout
4 ounces fresh or trout fillets, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges (optional)

 Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper.

Place milk in a shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Dip fish into milk, then into flour, turning to coat evenly.

 In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fish to skillet. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove fish from skillet; cover and keep warm.

 For sauce: Add shallots to the same skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add broth, lemon juice, and butter. Cook over low heat until heated through, stirring to scrape up any crusty browned bits. Spoon sauce over fish. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges if desired

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 258 cal., 14 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 73 mg chol., 180 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (1 g fiber, 1 g sugars), 25 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Lean Meat (d.e): 3; Fat (d.e): 1.5; Starch (d.e): 0.5

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

healthy living ~ homemade vanilla extract -

It's time to make your Holiday Vanilla Extract

 I post this every year, there really is nothing like making and using your own Vanilla Extract AND… with the holidays just around the corner NOW is the last chance you have for making some to give as gifts and/or use in those Christmas treats. It is very fun to tell people that the vanilla used was homemade. 

It is worth the energy to make one batch using vodka and one using bourbon that way you can judge for yourself which “zing” you prefer.

Making your own Vanilla Extract is extremely easy, and is much less expensive than purchasing it. And more importantly... I know the quality of the ingredients it was made with.

 First you need premium grade vanilla beans to get a good product. (Not the dried up ones you find in the stores sometimes). Not all vanilla beans are created the same!

- 3-4 whole organic Vanilla Beans
- 1 cup vodka (traditional) or sometimes I use brandy or bourbon 

Split Vanilla Beans lengthwise with a knife, leaving the seeds inside intact. Place Vanilla Beans in a large jar, cover with alcohol, and cap tightly. Agitate the mixture by shaking the jar daily for 4-6 weeks. You can infuse the Vanilla Beans for as long as you would like, and add new Vanilla Beans to make a stronger extract.

Once that the flavor of the extract has reached the desired strength you will need to strain the resulting extract out of the jar and into new bottles. To make the bottles even more alluring, you can insert a new Vanilla Bean into each bottle and create a decorative label. Vanilla extract will last indefinitely, and will become even more aromatic and flavorful as it ages. Homemade Vanilla Extract may be used in exactly the same manner as commercial Vanilla Extract.

 You can also make vanilla sugar by putting a split vanilla bean into a jar of white, granulated sugar. Great way to infuse the sugar with vanilla flavor for baking.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Paths, Lessons, & Life --- part II

this is part II of my first posting in May of 2010- if you did not read Part I last week, I do suggest you go back and read it before continuing here- it will make more sense.  ~~paths, lessons, & life part I~~

Paths, Lessons, & Life continued...

Basically, I do not believe that there are evil souls. I do believe that there are malfunctioning bodies and brains that cause people to be evil and do evil things. But then again… are they malfunctioned or just learning that lesson? And what of all those that have been touched by the evil doings, are they too learning something? Yep. Does this mean that we should just let everyone go around doing what they want because it is part of their paths or lessons. Absolutely not! There has to be rules, there has to be some kind of order. Life and creation in general have rules, order, processes. Now what of the rules to control people beyond the general societal necessities? We were meant to have a freedom of choice. “But I choose to be bad and do bad things.” Okay, but you also are choosing that you must accept the consequences of those actions when they affect anyone or anything other than your personal self and personal space. When and if your actions go beyond those two elements then you must comply with the societal, cultural, and general rules. If you don't like those rules, you can try and convince others to change them or get out of the kitchen and find another place where it does flow with your wishes. Remember, living as a part of a group, society, culture is also a lesson we must learn.

It is all about learning, developing, enhancing, and finding the end of the path. The Enlightenment, Nirvana, Utopia, Heaven, and Shangri-La whatever you wish to call it.

It is easy to say what you want to do, learn, how you want to react to certain times, but practicing what you preach is the lesson.

I am now within a lesson. I understand the task, the lesson, but have been placed where my understanding and acceptance of this lesson will be tested. The test is can I believe and practice these ideas of letting others learn and live their own lives while being compassionate and understanding. At work I run into many who test me, but the real test is keeping up the “way” with all those around me being hypocritical, not understanding, not empathic or sympathetic to others while learning their own lessons.

It will be an arduous task to be sure, but if I make it a challenge and fun, it will be a wonderful experience and enlightenment.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

thursday's garden ~ fall garden needs

autumn gardening tips

Autumn is the time to visualize your spring garden and plant accordingly. Here are some outdoor "to-dos" that reap the fruits of fall, plan for spring and keep your autumn garden aglow.

Flash some color.  Replace spent annuals with fall-blooming hardy mums; these showy perennials will provide color for many weeks. Properly planted, maintained and winterized, mums will colorfully enhance your landscape for years to come.

Check out Dutch treats.  Fall is "now or never" time to plant spring bulbs. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocus and other fall bulbs will arrive soon from Holland. Shop early for the best selection. Then dream up a new color scheme or enhance the old.

Give a tree a chance.  Fall is the best season to plant fruit trees such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and figs. Young trees should be staked to prevent roots from being pulled by fall and winter winds.

Protect the weak.  As perennials fade away, mark their locations with small sticks. Some might not be apparent after the winter and could be disturbed by spring cultivating. If you haven't brought in your house plants yet, do so before you heat your home to give them time to adjust. A thorough washing first helps get rid of pests.

Cook up a garden.  Some veggies can be sown in fall to overwinter, resulting in earlier crops the following year: peas, fava beans, hardy spinach, spring cabbage, Calabrese, leaf beets, or Swiss chard. Spring onions can be sown in late summer and early fall for overwintering. Sow hardy lettuce in a cold greenhouse.

Herbs on the go.  Dig up your rosemary, basil, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley and chives to grow them inside as house plants. Keep them in a cool, sunny spot, and allow the soil to dry out before watering. Snip off the leaves as needed in the kitchen, but do not strip them completely. For herbs that have grown vigorously through the summer, cut them back about halfway and then dry or freeze the extra harvest or share it with friends. Herb crafts such as lavender soap and sachets are great as gifts.

Tomatoes in reverse.  If unripe tomatoes are still hanging on the vine and frost is fast approaching, pull the vines out by the roots and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place to finish ripening.  Here in southern California, my grape tomato plants often produce until mid February.

Fruit plants.  Transplant rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries well before the first light frosts so they can develop roots. Rhubarb and strawberries can quickly deplete the soil of nutrients, so find new locations for them every three or four years.

Cider rules.  Harvest those apples now for a delicious cider brew. You can use blemished apples, but avoid adding too many with open wounds or bruises. If rot has already set in, it could affect the taste and longevity of the cider.

Munchies.  Sunflower seeds are best dried on the plants. The seeds will be difficult to remove if you harvest the plants before they die naturally. If birds are a problem, cover the heads with cheesecloth for protection.

Seed grass now.  Fall is the best time to seed new grass. Warm days and cool nights supported by regular rainfall or irrigation make for ideal growing conditions. Spruce up spotty patches or plant a full lawn.

Raking it over.  Know which leaves to rake and which to "leave" behind. Must-rake: leaves on sidewalks (too slippery); perennial beds (cause crown rot); and lawns (attract fungi insects). Leave-behind: leaves under trees and shrubs, and on sturdy ground covers (over time they self-destruct into needed compost). Invest in a clog-free rake with a wave-shaped tooth design to keep leaves from sticking. Use an electric blower only when it is absolutely necessary, such as on the roof. And protect your back from strain while raking by moving your feet rather than bending over continuously from one spot.