I feel so blessed to be able to practice yoga. Even if it is only once a week and occasionally in the backyard. It feels so good to breathe deep - in and out - feeling the air way down in my belly. The stretch in my joints and the deep, sweet strain in my muscles. If you can move and breathe consciously for even 5 minutes a day it will brighten the remaining 1,435! Even when you are sleeping. Trust me.
I am constantly amazed at the colors and shapes of the flowers growing in my garden. Yes, I put them there so I had a little to do with the way they grow but there is so much left to the uniqueness of each bud, petal, stem and leaf. I could spend hours just sitting and observing. Nature is amazing! What bit of nature do you find fascinating?
The Tucson Gem and Mineral show did not disappoint! I had a great time digging through mounds of pearls and gems and although the weather was unseasonably cold I was able to soak up a little bit of sunshine. Some of my favorites include this electroplated quartz which inspired the collection, House Holloway. Other notables were quartz crystal in a variety of shapes and sizes and fresh water pearls - fat, yummy round pearls in a variety of colors!
Last summer on the shore of Rockford Bay in Lake Coeur d’ Laine, I found a rock shaped like an angel wing. I immediately thought of my mom who is always in my heart. The lake holds special meaning for me as I spent many a summer day on its shores in the good company of family and friends. When I was young my mom took my brothers, sister and I along with the two dogs and any other assortment of pets to my uncle’s house on the lake. It was a summer destination and I looked forward to it every year. Now as an adult I have the pleasure of visiting the lake each summer with my husband and get to spend time with my sister, her family and their, now ours too, friends. My brother in law's mother has a cabin right on the lake and it is a very special place.
I wanted to share the wing and it's meaning with my family so I had it cast into a sterling silver charm. My hope is that the wing will represent something special to each person in his or her own way.
Ok I know what everyone says, “Fruitcake? Isn’t that something you use for a door stop?” Most people have a negative connotation with fruitcake. My mom made fruitcake every year at Christmas and I have loved it since I was a little girl. The memories of the big Tupperware container filled with candied fruit swimming in booze are clear as day. It sat on top of the refrigerator for a week and to sneak a piece of that delicious fruit I’d need my big brother or a chair to reach it. I don’t remember the actual baking of the cakes just that when a slice was presented in front of me I couldn’t wait to devour it.
Throughout my adult life there was always a foil wrapped piece of cake delivered at Christmas time. I would make it last 6 months or more. The best thing was I didn’t’ have to share it with anyone. The fall after my mom passed away I thought about the fruitcake. I had never made it with her nor did I remember anything about the process. My sister had made it with her once but couldn’t remember details. During a visit with my step father I rummaged in the pantry finding the old wood box filled with mom's recipes. I knew it had to be in there. Sure enough it was but not how I expected. I found a very old recipe card with Helen’s Candied Fruitcake written at the top. Below read the ingredient list and directions on what to add to what at different stages. A few of the lines were crossed out and portions rewritten in my mom's hand. “Pecans ½ #” off to the side and “use double recipe with 7-8# fruit”. “SOAK 1 wk” I made a photo copy of the card and took it home.
I knew she bought the fruit from DeLaurenti in the Pike Place Market so I made a trip there to gather the ingredients. Not sure of the exact brand of booze she used I purchased a fifth of Jack Daniels and soaked the fruit for one week. The process of making the cake was pretty easy. I’m thankful I saw the note about draining the fruit before you cook it. The leftover booze soaked juice is used after the cake is cooked, poured over the top to make the cake moist. I made enough to share with my family at Christmas. All who love it were of course very grateful. The spouses who don’t eat it were grateful that I made my siblings happy. In the end I really don’t mind if people snub fruitcake. It just means there is more for me!
What old family recipe do you hold dear?
How is it November 13th already? Wasn’t it just summer? My dahlias are still hanging on but it's time to clean out the garden beds and prep them for next year. Sigh.
I heard a program on NPR explaining why it seems like time goes faster the older we get. It’s because the more years we’ve circled the sun the more familiar we are with what happens in our lives. When we are young everything is new and we experience things for the first or second time. It is a time of discovery and seems to last forever, like summer when I was 10. The older we get the more the experience is the same over and over. We get to know it quite well and go through the motions as if a daily routine. It’s why the ride home goes faster than the ride getting there. We already know what we are going to see, just in reverse. Thinking about this reminds me to stop and watch the clouds form shapes in the sky.
What is the coolest cloud shape you've seen?