Read-dy

Breakfast Served All Day

My youngest grandchild lives close by so I have the pleasure of seeing him often. Time just stands still when you are with an 18 month old. He grounds and teaches me the fun of the present moment.

For Christmas I gave him a little wooden kitchen set so that he can cook like mommy and daddy. For about an hour we did just that. I sat on the floor as he delighted in making me an egg with cheese, or onion, or tomato, or hot sauce, or honey or just plain. He would take the adorable fake sunny side up egg and put it in the adorable little pan. He’d add something to it or just leave it plain and put it in the oven and close the oven door. Then he’d count to three and gleefully exclaim, “Read-dy” and toddle over to me with the pan in one hand and a spatula in another. And we’d eat. Yum. Repeat. Yum. Repeat. Yum. You get the idea.

After this experience I decided to adopt his joyful technique as a mantra to bring me to the present moment. Many, many times a day I say Read-dy to myself. It never fails to bring a smile to my face. We never made cinnamon bread in his little oven but I have in my big girl oven. It’s easy. Maybe it will inspire you to be Read-dy for a new mantra. Here’s the recipe.

Cinnamon Bread

Recipe modified from several sources over many years

Dough

1 cup of milk at 105 degrees f

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar

1 packet of quick rise yeast

1 large eggs

6 tablespoons of butter

1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

4 cups of flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

Filling

1 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup of raisins (optional)

7 tablespoons of butter softened, not melted

First make dough

1-Bring milk to temp

2-Put milk in bowl, add yeast, stir to dissolve, add 1 tablespoon of sugar, stir to dissolve

3-Let sit for 5-7 minutes (sometimes 10) till it starts to get foamy

4-Add rest of sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Mix

5-Add flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. Stir in bowl then empty onto floured surface and kneed for about 5 minutes.

6-form ball and place in greased bowl, cover with towel.  Let it double in size.  About an hour.

Next make filling

Add all of the ingredients except the butter in a bowl.  Make sure that the butter is very soft but not melted.  Add the butter with a fork and mix until you have crumbles.

When the dough is doubled

Turn it out onto floured surface.  Punch down then roll out to form a rectangle that is about 12×24 or a bit larger.  Spread the filling out onto rectangle with your hands.  Dont go all of the way to the edges.  Roll into a log starting at the 12” or shorter side.  Pinch down the edges.  Place into a 8’ or 9’ bread pan that is greased or sprayed or lined with parchment paper.  Cover and let double.  Might take 30-40 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.  You know that it is done when you can tap on the top of the loaf and it sounds hollow.  Let cool in pan for 5 min, then turn out of pan and cool on rack.  Once completely cooled you can slice and toast or just eat warm!

Make Me Aware

A letter to Archangel Michael

The darkness of my fear and confusion overshadowing me, filling me with loss and defeat.  Hopelessly I weep, crumpled to the floor calling out to whomever will bother to listen to my sad story, my confusion.  Calling to you to help me.

Make me aware of your presence as you enter my room. Silky, warm glimmer of white and gold a speck, but then growing, expanding, to a beam, making me lift my gaze just a bit. 

Make me aware of your presence as you move closer to me.  Feeling the warmth of your body as it nears mine. Your strength, your determination,  your focus, making me breathe just a little deeper and begin to lift my head as I realize now that I am not alone.  I am not abandoned.  There is hope.

Make me aware of your presence as you gently touch my shoulder and place your hand on my back.  You are so close now.  I can feel your breath.  It makes me want to breathe.  It makes me want to be here.  To see what I need to see.  To dive deep into my fears so that I can cast them away.

Make me aware of your presence as you reach under my knees and lift me.  Your exhale strong and quick, your power melting me into your arms, I feel my body rise from the depths of my own hell.  My muck.  My mud of self-imposed torture.

Make me aware of your presence as you take your first stride.  Your rhythm and harmony rocking me to a quiet, peaceful moment as we move from my darkness.  The room fills with light, my thoughts much clearer now.  My heart swelling with love as I feel your grace fall upon me.

Make me aware of your presence as we exit the room.  Your body melting away as I begin to stand on my own.  Your essence still with me as sparkles in my heart.  Each one reminding me of the love and strength that I felt.  Each one reminding me of the truth.  There is no room.  There is only Love.

The Void

Photo by Sharath Giri on Pexels.com

It was New Year’s Eve and I was alone sitting on my sofa staring out the window at the white lights I strung up outside. The wind was blowing making them sway and twinkle more than usual. The neighborhood was quiet and and I was listening to soft music trying to figure out what this feeling was that I had. I knew it was familiar. I knew it was profound. I knew that it was more than once in my life that I felt it. I kept thinking back at times in my life when something was about to change like graduating high school, then college, then marriage, then divorce. I realized it was something to do with change but I just couldn’t figure out what it was.

Then it hit me. Death.

My relationship with my mother was at best respectful. We were not particularly close but made it work. What’s interesting is that when she died, it was still very difficult for me. A profound shift comes when the person that brought you into this world leaves. You are an orphan. The cord is cut.

Nothing you can say. Nothing you can do or think or buy or throw away will ever bring her back. There is no way to change the finality of it. You then realize that life will be different and you have no idea what that will be like and it’s terrifying. You are in a void.

So on New Year’s Eve, as I sat and watched the white lights sway, I realized that a part of me died in 2020 and there is nothing I can do to change that. I’m not terrified, but I am feeling the death and the anticipation, and the uncertainty of something new that I have no idea how to navigate. The best I can do is feel the fear and try to breathe. I just have to have faith that the new world in front of me will support and nurture me like my mom.

Wind Direction

Many, many years ago I had a friend who used to refer to me as “She who calls the wind”. The title came about because I not only welcomed change, but navigated it quite easily. I had a sense of direction in my life.

This past year the wind wasn’t a gentle breeze or even a hearty gust. It was a vortex, a tornado. We were all tossed about like the cow in the movie Twister, just circling, trying to hold itself upright.

I still have my hopes and dreams and I have a sense of where I’m headed but not with the certainty of the past. Not with the visible assurance of the snow on these trees. You know where the wind came from and you know where it went. Maybe I will find myself in the cold of winter. In the icy layer of snow that covers my bark and lets me see what I could not sense. Maybe I will know the direction of the wind.

Growth in Glass Containers

Something really strange happened when I switched out all of my old Tupperware and replaced them with glass containers. Nothing wrong with the Tupperware. It served me for many years and I feel kind of guilty for cutting them out of my life. Sure they were scratched and stained from overuse, the microwave, and my grandkids grabbing them out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen so that they can fling them around and beat them up. But you know they’re plastic and will therefore long outlive me.

I got rid of the plastic as part of a cleaning out exercise and I needed something to put my food storage in so I bought glass containers. Now what I didn’t realize was how much I was going to love them, and NOT for the reasons I thought. I thought that I was going to love them because after all they’re better for the environment and they’re cleaner and you can microwave them without worrying about eating plastic.

The POWER of Glass

What I didn’t realize was how much they allowed me to grow personally. I finally feel as though I’m a mature woman. I finally feel as though I don’t have to make due with plastic. There’s a certain maturity to the sound of my fork clinking the glass as I eat orange slices at my desk in the office. Or me telling myself to focus on what I’m doing as I place the containers into my lunchbox so that I don’t bang them together and chip them.

Growth can happen in even the smallest of things if you pay attention.

TIME in Snow

Leading up to this moment.

On my Sunday walk I noticed the light as it hit the snowy footprints in the path. Some were hard pressed and some barely indented the crunchy snow. The edges of the path glittered with tiny specks of red and blue and sometimes gold. It just depended on how the light was.

A half smile came to my face as I thought of all of those steps. Each one a moment of time. There were thousands of them by who knows how many people. It was like an imprint of an image, except the image was life in this one small space on earth, and these were the moments of that place captured in the snow. A winter recording.

My footprints were no different really. I would think, then breathe, then think and all the while the opportunity of the grace of the infinite moment was there. I just didn’t step into it. Even though I know it’s there. It’s something that escapes me but I still try. Someday I’ll do it. I know I will.

I did think of the moment that brought me to this place on Sunday. The feeling of wanting to be in nature and to see the sky. But I also thought of ALL of the moments that brought me to this place. All of the moments leading up to this moment. Just like the path full of footprints I have had many moments, many footprints, and I’m grateful for all of them. Especially the ones that hurt or were uncomfortable because I know that all moments are important. They’re all opportunities to grow and become.

I completed my walk renewed and eager to come back again another day. My mind calmed. My heart full of gratitude.

My passions are the outdoors, adventure, family and food. Wrap that all up in a deep longing to find meaning and purpose in life. I’ve done fire walks, a sweat lodge, gone on really out there retreats, spent countless hours hiking, had a successful massage career, and lots and lots of meditation. I’m the person at the party who mostly observes until they feel like jumping in and then, well, look out cause Seinfeld has nothing on me.

I hope you enjoy my ramblings. Join me for adventures of the heart and soul. Together we might be able to navigate this crazy thing we call life.