Monday, August 24, 2015

Not Your Grandma's Applesauce.



Making Apple Sauce is easy-peesy.  My garden has three full grown apple trees.  That's a lot of apples folks.  This time of year (August/ September) I'm constantly looking for things to do with them.  In the end, apple sauce seems to be a family favorite.  We all love to eat it and the kids even love to help with the making process.  It all starts with fresh apples--and, home made apple sauce is a completely different animal (bad analogy here) than store bought, really, there is NO comparison.  

On a day like today, when I don't have much planned and the kids feel like doing some apple picking, I send them out to the yard with a large bowl.  They always come back with it full to the brim with apples.  Henceforth, apple sauce making commences, . . . yummo!

Ingredients: (sorry for the undefined ingredient amounts, that's just kind of how I roll with some things--a pinch of this and a handful of that)

-Apples, lots of them, I'm talking a large bag/bowl full, enough to fill up my large dutch oven
-Brown sugar, about 1/8 cup
-Maple Syrup:  A nice 3 second drizzle
-Water 1/3 cup
-Salt 1/2 Teaspoon
-1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon
-1/4 Tsp of nutmeg
-2 Tbs of butter
-(Optional, and probably not for the kiddos--for a little zing, throw in a pinch of cayenne!)

Steps:

1.  Chop apples.  Some people like to peel the apples, but I don't have time and it still tastes yummy, so why bother.  It does make the color look a little more like "poop" according to Serafin, but she still eats it, so I guess that's not a bad thing!  Generally I like to cut the apples small, as pictured, but when the kids feel like cutting too, I include them in the process.  If you blend the mixture in the end, then whatever size you cut them doesn't matter, but if you like chunky apple sauce, then consider size when chopping.

2.  Throw them in the pot!  Add all the ingredients accept the butter!

3.  Stir, and bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 10-15 minutes stirring every once and a while.

4.  Throw in the butter and cook for another 10 minutes or until wilted down enough to mash with a masher (it should be easy).  




5.  If you want to, use a potato masher and go to town!  The kids like to get involved with that part too!  If you are in the mood for something smooth, throw it all in the blender and voila--you have pureed apple sauce!  You can also use this as a recipe to make fruit leather if you have a dehydrator.  Enjoy!




Kid approved!


Friday, August 14, 2015

Island Extraction--Orcas Happenings 1

Waiting in line to get on the ferry (summer time)


Living on an island makes things interesting.  It's not all that easy to extract yourself from this little bubble.  I was supposed to fly off today, it's a one hour flight straight into the heart of Seattle, alas, of course the one day that we've had rain and thunder this summer, has to be today.  Oh well.  The first time I took a plane off the island was last November, and I have to say, it was a really unpleasant flight, I'd prefer to drive on occasions like this.  

So, . . . now I'm in line at the ferry.  I guess my intuition was spot on because I had a reservation for the ferry just incase something like this happened.  They just started a reservation system this year, no more three hour waits if you are smart enough to book ahead of time.  And yes, the problem is, . . . you have to be smart enough to book ahead of time.  The ferry is loaded with 90% reservations which are opened up at different times, 2 months before departure, 2 weeks and then two days--incase you haven't done the math, this leaves only 10% of ferry space for people who don't have a reservation, that's not a lot.  During the summer, bookings need to be done as soon as they open up, otherwise you are screwed.  Honestly, a lot of people complain about the ferry system, so far I have appreciated it for the most part, but that's because I am good at planning.  I agree though, there are some serious quirks that need to get fixed within the system.  Where I think it sucks is for the islanders who need to get off the island ASAP, for whatever reason.  It's not easy.  

About the ferry.  It's a beautiful ride.  Right now I've set myself up with a project that I've been waiting to complete, yup, I'll be enjoying my ride armed with a pink tutu.  There's nothing like looking at the shores of the San Juans while you sew hot pink buttons on to an elastic wasteband.  And yes, I'm %100 serious here.  Despite the fact it can be a real pain in the You Know What to get off this island, the built in down time allows me to relax and enjoy the scenery a bit.  It's alone time, which is something that I don't get very much of, so I enjoy it where I can.

This weekend I'm heading into the city for a fun weekend.  The kiddos are with their papa.  I'm gonna hang with my awesome boyfriend.   I'm also going to see my old friend Dave who is in town helping my Dad move into his new house.  My Dad just recently purchased a house in Seattle! He is working on selling the house my brother and I grew up in, Dad lived in the house for something like 45 years.  It's a strange concept for me not to be able to go back to the house I grew up in, the payoff for a little strangeness is having my Dad close by, how cool is that?  I'm excited.  This weekend I'm going to get to view the new digs for the first time, along with receiving some old items that were my moms, her tincture press and her recorder.  Mom's spirit still shows up in surprising places. 

This blog post is kind of an experiment, I downloaded a blogger app on my phone and I want to see how it works!  I realized it had been a year since I wrote.  There are reasons for this, more about that later, but I'm turning over a new leaf here and am starting up a new business so it's time to connect back to my online community.  I love you all! More from this island gal later!




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Omnicient Orcas 2: Balancing Act



The Balancing Act!


Hi sweet friends and family.  I'm writing because I haven't for a long LONG time now and I want to let you all know that I am doing well!  The "journey" has been amazing in all aspects.  If you haven't heard already, Gary and I are divorcing.  It has been a tough ride, but that's just the way it is.  Perhaps one day I will write more about my experience.  For now, I am just trying to move through it with grace and my truth.  The kiddos are doing fine, we are all adjusting to our new family dynamics and have been for a while.  Overall, everything is as to be expected and we keep each other smiling.  

It's August and Orcas is beautiful, like usual.  There is no doubt in my mind that I am in the right place.  Somehow this magical island has brought peace and beauty into my life, daily.  I have immense gratitude for this and all of the amazing people in my life.  Thank you.  

Our days are filled with trips to town, art projects, visiting friends, walks and so much more.  Five minutes from my house is Moran State Park which has a lake to swim in and beautiful water falls to hike to.  Today my kiddos tromped down a trail with me and we played in the woods.  Below are some photos from our adventure.  More to come friends, . . . when I get around to it.  Life is a balancing act these days!




Here we go!


They are so fast!  I actually have to run to keep up with them sometimes!


Silas checking out some roots


Serafin is a nature girl, and at the same time, a fairy princess (note the rainbow tutu).


Hi, it's me!

The cuties, enjoying the scene.



Monday, February 3, 2014

This Delectable Life



Something has been unleashed in me these last months and I don't know quite how to describe it.  A transformation into a new way of thinking and being.  Letting go of old habits and welcoming in the new.  A new level of consciousness about myself and what I want for my life; my truth is literally spilling out of me.  

This is it!  One life in this body!  LIVE IT!  

I've been so lucky to have had pretty awesome experiences as of late.  Everything from smelling the mossy hillside and reveling in it, to crying my eyes out and laughing hysterically straight afterwards.  I have had long walks on the most pristine beaches and listened for hours to the howling wind blow away all that needs to go.  I've had encounters with other beautiful souls, people who aren't afraid to look me in the eyes.  Thank you.  It amazes me that while I get more and more clear about my own path, I not only hear and see more truth in myself, I find it in other people, in the trees, in the sky, in fire, in animals--everywhere around me.  What a cool thing.  I believe, that is how love and healing spreads, by learning how to stop and listen to ourselves first.  

I think a lot of my clarity has come with a release of fear.  Finally.  Fear is something that I have been holding on to for a very long time.  Like a long lost friend that somehow gives me the illusion of comfort.  If I stay in my fear, I don't have to move, make any decisions, or change my life.  I think somehow I found comfort in that.  "Better the devil you know" as the saying goes.  It's not true though.  It's all a gamble, all of it.  So why not follow your gut?  

Sure, I can pretend I'm comfortable with where I'm at, instead of facing my own fears and moving forward, but I won't be any safer or feel any better.  Fear had frozen me for a long time, and I didn't even realize it.  I had become so afraid that I gave into it and accepted it as a part of me.  Fear of being alone, fear of trusting myself, fear of feeling vulnerable.  It was all there and more.  Every day.  Funny thing is, that now as I move through these fears, I don't feel alone, I trust myself more than ever and my vulnerability humbles me and allows me to connect in ways I couldn't have imagined.  

I keep asking myself, what do I have to lose?  Come on!  It's time to experience a new deliciousness of life.  And, that's  exactly what life is.  Delicious.  Scrumptious.  Mouthwatering.  Delectable. Even when it might not feel that way.  I am reaching for the stars friends, come and join me, let's play and be real with each other! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Omniscient Orcas 1: A Bump In The Road

One of my favorite photos by Gary, and of course it's a dragonfly, which, of course (again), is the symbol of transformation.

***********

Friends, family, readers, all of you-- I have been wondering how I would begin my next blog post.  The other day, friend of mine had mentioned that she checked my blog to get some updates; alas, I have been MIA for a few months now.  Though I express myself through my writing, I haven't quite been sure where to pick things up.  I am, though,  finding the urge to write again-- new life adventures have been unfolding both happy and sad. 

My life has taken an unexpected turn.  Perhaps unexpected isn't the right word, this new life event has been approaching for a while, I've seen glimpses of it, imagined it, flirted with it--I guess I just never believed it would happen.  Denial?  Fear?  Hope that there might be another way.  What happened?  Well, . . . Gary and I separated after being together for 12 years.  I moved into another home on Orcas and am trying to find the space to heal and ground.  

It has been one of the most difficult decisions I've had to follow through with.  It has also been cathartic, enlightening, empowering, and grief ridden.  Our life under the same roof was becoming more and more difficult for me to tolerate.   I began to feel sad, depressed, frustrated, and uncomfortable.  I became scared to live my truths.  I began to lose myself and no matter how I tried, I felt confused and unsure of myself.  My thinking had became so distorted that I started to question my own intuition and break rules that I had set for myself.  Not good.  I felt the need for space and somehow found the courage to take it.  

I love Gary with all my heart.  Being apart from him is like having something torn out of me.  There is also relief and slowly, new seeds are growing and old wounds are healing.  Who knows what can happen.

Most importantly, I am finally taking care of myself and following my gut.  I have not regretted a single moment in my life.  Not a moment.  I love life fully and passionately and believe it has bumps along the road that help us learn and become who we are.  This is just another one of those bumps.  I have been amazed at my own strength as well as the collective love and support that I have felt from those around me.  Thank you.  I am truly blessed and have extreme gratitude for this amazing life and what it offers.  Love and so much light to all beings, each and every single one of you. 

Omniscient Orcas is the title of my new series of updates.  This place seems pull truth out of people--the nooks and crannies of one's being.  There is no hiding from anything here.  So begins the next adventure, . . .

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bye Bye Bernie

Serafin says goodbye

We had to say goodbye to our bearded dragon Bernie a couple of days ago.  We found him in his cage in the morning.  So sad.  There was a large cricket die-off a few weeks ago and a horrible smell was coming from the cricket cage, so we are thinking it may have something to do with that.  Could they have passed on some sort of parasite?  Perhaps he was already sick?  Really, we don't know, but that is what I suspect.  

We got Bernie when Serafin was around 2.  Originally, when we lived in Oakland, Bernie lived in Serafin's room keeping her company.  We watched him grow from a 4 inch baby to a 15 inch adult.  He amazed a lot of our younger guests as he would swish around in the bath tub when he had a bath.  We always looked at amazement when he would shed his skin or scuttle after a cricket and swallow one up fast.  

The laying of stones

We had a burial for him.  Our little pet cemetery is growing.  Honestly, it's so much nicer to do it this way.  We used to get our animal ashes and keep them in a box.  Somehow being a part of the process, actually giving our beloved pets back to our "mother" in this form of burial seems very right to me.  I wish it could be more common practice for humans as well, afterall, that's where we all come from.  RIP sweet Bernie.  We miss you.  xoxo



Here lies Bernie the Bearded Dragon, Goldie the Bird, and Henry the Cat

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Orcas Dreams: Waiting for the Peonies

The Peonies are exploding in our garden, I wish I had better pictures, but my camera charger is MIA and this is what I've got for now!  Beautiful aren't they?  Imagine 4 bushes of these all throughout the garden!

Hi friends.  I know I've been a bit hit or miss these days.  I have to say that computer life is all fine and dandy when it's cold and rainy outside, but when it's this gorgeous, the last thing I want to do is be in front of a screen.  I am delving deeply into my life here on Orcas and fully involving myself in my community and surroundings.  I love it here.  It is beautiful beyond belief and I feel every cell of me vibing on this place.  

I have been sinking my hands into the earth and walking barefooted in our garden.  Feeling every pebble, stick and stone; my feet and my body, seem to be thanking me.  I marvel at how simple it is to feel so grounded and so blessed when there are times when the chaos in my head feels like an inserpassible mountain.  I am learning that, for myself, this connection I am developing with nature is filling me up in a way that I've never experienced before. This, my friends is why I came to Orcas-- to be closer to nature.   My body is coming alive, singing and moving with the rhythms of the seasons.  I can feel my heart extending outward and my entire sole and body opening, healing, feeling, being, living.  The sun is here and it's lighting me up!

Me in front of the Yarrow, this plant always reminds me of my mom!

All this said, things have not been all peachy, a large part of my life has also been filled with worry and stress.  I still have a not so happy husband, both mentally and physically.  His health seems to be up and down and I feel so completely powerless over his situation.  He's been having spells of depression and some sort of stomach illness (TBD).  He's now seeing a Dr. who he likes and will hopefully help pull him out of this mess.  Watching this entire process has been heart wrenching.  Strangely, I find myself getting strength from places inside me that I never expected.  It's amazing how difficulty helps you grow if you allow yourself to learn from it.  Anyway, that's all I can really say about that.  For those of you who know us personally and want to help out, I'd say give us a call and spread your love if you can, even if it's just an answering machine message.  My sweet husband could do with some extra TLC.

The kiddos are doing well.  Silas is all over the place.  He's such a sweetie, however my little Buddha baby has now started his tantrum phase and has also learned about hitting, scratching and kicking.  Lovely.  How did that happen?  Little brother and big sister now fight with each other, already, and it's reminding me of the days when I was young and my brother and I used to have it out with each other.  The good news is that now my bro and I are actually friends and don't need to kick each other in order to prove a point.  So hopefully that's what's in store for my little ones!  For the record, there is also a lot of laugh and play going on, so it's not all that bad!

Ms. Serafin is finishing school next week.   Her school has been a wonderful place, filled with beautiful people and beautiful surrounding grounds.  I'm excited to have found such a great place for her to learn and grow.   I know Silas will enjoy it too, as he already has fun getting into the mix of things with the bigger kids.  Serafin's 4th birthday is this month.  My sweet girl is growing up.  We're having a birthday party.  My Dad and bro's family will be visiting, along with one of my best friends, and join us in celebration along with some of our new Orcas friends.  I'm excited but also a bit unsure of what will be on the menu.  Serafin wants ice scream instead of cake, so at least that part's easy!  

I myself am doing fine.  I'm finding a new connection to my body that I haven't had in a while.  When I was doing a regular yoga practice I was so in tune with my body and since Silas was born I've had difficulty picking that back up again.  I've recently began practicing my fire dancing again and it has re-kindled my relationship with the fire arts.  Along with poi, I've been practicing the staff and feeling the flow of the stick as it moves around my body.  I have even begun a new business venture along this line as I've started making practice poi and ribbon wands to sell at the local farmer's market (probably next year).  So as you can see, my life is full and very busy.  Somehow I got inspired to stay up past my bedtime to update you all, because I love you and don't want you to think I've forgotten ya!  Night night!  :)

Our garden, my refuge!

Don't know if you remember the picture of my baby peas!  Well, they are growing and producing!  YUM!



The butterflies have been doing their dance in our garden.