Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Next Rotation

As I sit on this morning, in the quiet stillness of a home that has not yet awoken, I am given a beautiful moment to reflect.  My 33rd year has circled its way around and linked together with the next.  I close my eyes and see the final parties in my hometown, uprooting my family from our comfortable un-comfort and traveling to a new state, a new climate, an unknown territory.  I see the beauty of Arizona, the pure MAGIC of Patagonia.  The mountains rising all around.  Western Sunsets.  The Sunrise on a crisp morning.  The sheer fantastic-ness of the high desert.  I've learned to adapt to temperatures I gawked at from New England. I've learned to love the sweat and relish the hot, dry Arizona sun on my skin.  My fear of Rattlesnakes, scorpions, black widows, it seems silly now.


My Heart, my heart has changed.  It is no longer kept inside of this little cavity.  It has expanded.  It has burst wide open.  It radiates from the central point within my body and extends to all those around me.  I've learned to Love in situations that I never would have imagined.  The judgement is fading.  We are all one.  We are all the same.  It is a higher Love. I've moved thousands of miles from what I know.  My family, my friends.  My support system.  The world that I knew.  I've lost one of my best friends, my Grammie, she was an Angel on Earth and now she is always around me.  Thank God, because Grammie, I need you here with me, I feel your love, support and presence everyday.   My Heart has opened to a new community of amazing people. And I've learned so much.  I've seen pure bliss and light embodied in 20 year olds.  Knowledge hidden in every crevice and every being around me. I've seen drama..yes, I've seen drama.  In many forms.  But to look at this drama as a mirror.  Reflecting it within my self, my soul.  Using it to better my being.   I've undoubtably become closer to God, the Source, The LIGHT.  This place, this little town, in the middle of the desert.  I've rooted into the source, I've grown towards the Light.  

I've found brothers and sisters in the kitchen.  In the kitchen.  It is quite magical there.  My Cafe family.  We are a family, aren't we.  The love and teasing, the support and constructive criticism.  The magic that we create, everyday.  It was amazing to be part of that family.  IN MY GLORY.  And to serve this Light to an amazing staff.  Incredible Gardeners, Nurses, the Apothecary team, Front desk, Sales team, Management, all of the Light workers at the Tree of Life.  And the guests.  Watching the Transformation of people of all shapes and sizes.  The transformation.  The GLOW, the smiles, the bounce in their step that the entire team at the Tree has contributed to.  And My sister, having my sister be an active part of my life again.  THAT has been wonderful.  Seeing her outside of our bubble.  As a woman, my teacher, an amazing Aunt.

I see my shy children that were just starting to open up evolving into these magnificently social creatures.  Relating to male and female of every age as a friend.  Forming bonds with toddlers and elders equally.  They are so wise, so wise. I appreciate and love them more and more everyday.  I see my husband. Well, I didn't actually see much of him.  Somehow, our relationship is stronger.  I feel more love for him, more love from him, more mutual support.

I look around me, I look forward.  There are boxes, in a pile, to my right.  Empty bookcases, cabinets and shelves all around me.  I'm not quite sure where we are going now.  I mean, I know, I can find it on a map.  But I don't KNOW.  Our new RV is taking on the qualities of Home.  Time for a new adventure.  Time to turn inward.  Back to the family.  To replenish the life force of our family.  Dusting the cobwebs off of the old homeschooling books and exploring new ones.  Loving every last minute of the sheer cuteness of my two year old (almost 3!!) The love of my son and the maturity of my daughter.  Spending time with my husband. I'm not sure where we are going, but I KNOW that it is right.

Sitting here on my 34th birthday, above and beyond all, I feel gratitude.  SO much gratitude.  For all things in my life.  An amazing Mom and a wonderful Dad, a sensational husband, three of THE MOST incredible kids, Grandparents, both here and in spirit, my brother and sister, cousins, Aunts, Uncles, my dear, dear friends, who may as well be blood family, my in-laws (YES, I am lucky enough to be grateful for wonderful in-laws!) Nieces and a VERY SOON to be nephew, for GOD.

I have Gratitude because I know that I can do ANYTHING.  We can follow our dream, follow our passion.  We ARE NOT STUCK.  "I wish I could.." "If I had the money..." This should not be part of our vocabulary.  This is our life.  We have it to LIVE and LOVE.  Own it.  Follow God.  Put your intension out to the universe and if it is truly for your Higher Purpose the universe will conspire to support you in all things.   For THIS I am grateful.

Thank You Light for all you have given to me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prickly Pear Kombucha!

Prickly Pear: A wide spread fruit bearing Cactus located in the Southwestern United States among many environments world wide.  

Kombucha: A fermented black tea drink with origins in China.

Over the last couple of years our family has been blessed with having a Mother other than myself to nourish our beings.  Most times there is more than just one other mother.  She’s a little different than most mother’s you meet, she’s kind of odd to look at,  she put me off a bit when we first met.  We keep her tucked in a closet or inside a cupboard.  I do have to say she makes the most terrific drinks.  Our Mother is a kombucha scoby, a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”.  
Most folks here in the states know to eat yogurt for acidophillus when they take antibiotics.  Some know there are other options, mostly in a pill form. These pills contain a mixture of probiotics, acidophillus being one strain of probiotic. 
Probiotics are a necessary part of our diets.  Whether you are raw vegan, macrobiotic, or  a straight carnivore, our bodies need the probiotics to stay healthy.  
Pro - to support 
Biotic - Life
Probiotics live in our intestines and fight off the bad bacteria and germs.  They keep our bacteria levels at a healthy balance.  They fight to keep us healthy.
Probiotics thrive and grow in fermentations, but are killed in pasteurization.
Most cultures in the world, culture their food (yes, pun intended!) 
Kimchi, sauerkraut, beer, wine, kombucha, mead, miso, pickles, aged cheese, and the list goes on.  Making these products yourselves is the best and cheapest way to consume them.  When purchasing for the health benefits intended, you need to keep your eyes peeled for the “un-pasteurized” seal of approval.  

One of the most simple and inexpensive forms of fermentation that I have found is our beloved kombucha.  Kombucha requires but three ingredients, tea, sugar and the mother or scoby.  Simply brew 3 quarts black tea, dissolve in 1 cup sugar, allow to cool to room temperature, add 2 cups kombucha from previous batch and top with your scoby.  We cover our one gallon glass jar with cheesecloth to avoid flies, and let it brew for 1-2 weeks.  Strain and repeat.  Super simple.  Of course there are always little tricks that you find out along the way, one for example being that you should never let your mother touch metal.  I strain mine with cheese cloth or a nutmilk bag.  I highly recommend finding yourself a good mother!
After many, MANY gallons brewed of kombucha, we moved to the desert and the prickly pears ripened!  I hopped right in, grabbed myself three big, beautiful fruit and went home with a skip in my step.

I poured off one gallon of my already brewed kombucha and started peeling those tricky pricklys.  It was quite obvious it was my first summer in the desert.  This New England girl found out exactly why they are called prickly pear, and spent the next few days pulling prickly hairs out of my finger tips!  After chopping the beautifully pealed fruit, I added it to a gallon glass jar and sealed it off with the lid for a two week anaerobic fermentation.  

Doing the original brew open to the air, we are allowing the ferment to collect all of the yeast and good bacteria from the air.  This is called aerobic fermentation.  We need this good bacteria and when you are brewing correctly, it only collects the bacteria that we want in our bodies, which is why it causes the mother to grow without growing mold.  When we follow the aerobic ferment with a tightly closed lid, it anaerobically ferments.  This is when all of those living organisms are reproducing, breaking down the sugars even more, and creating a bi-product of carbon dioxide, and leaving our brew all bubbly and extra yummy!  When we do the second ferement we need to add a bit more sugar, which can come in the form of fruit, in this case prickly pear.

Two weeks later, after a bit of yard work in the hot Arizona sun, I was delighted to share this magnificently colored, fabulous tasting brew with a great friend and a lovely conversation.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Seventh Rotation

Today, my second baby completed his first seven year cycle.  With two feet firmly planted on the ground, he steps into the next phase.  Reading his own birthday cards,  helping Mom with the strength of a young man, ready for stories with a little more depth, facial changes and growth spurts, stepping into his eighth year.  My little man is seven today.  

We started the morning off with breakfast in bed a la Dad.
Potatoes, mesquite pancakes and nutmilk along with an Emelia crafted pudding.

A joint birthday party with best friend Asa, we enjoyed the playground, ate raw, vegan chocolate cake, and felt the company of an amazing community.

Now Steve and the little ones (along with two of our birthday friends) are quietly chattering away, giggling and trying to stay cool, snuggled up tight in our new RV...
(YAY !! Pictures and  details coming soon !)