Friday, May 30, 2014

Soul Restoration


a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature; the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.

That's what walking does for me.
Restores my soul.
Negative people and circumstances can sometimes steal our joy for a moment and that can  really drag us down.  But when I put on my walking shoes and wander the neighborhood, I feel like everything is set right again.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Thomas Jefferson
Yesterday morning, despite the 104 F temperature, I walked for an hour and 15 minutes.  Friends thought I was crazy, but it actually didn't feel so bad at 9 o'clock in the morning.  Perhaps it was the fact that I was lost in the moment. Stopping to look at and collect things, snapping photos, taking in what's around me.
 Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.
(Anatole France)

Whoever values peace of mind and the health of the soul will live the best of all possible lives.
(Marcus Aurelius)
I especially love finding unexpected little pretty spots like the one above.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Chance to Getaway

Last Wednesday my husband had a business meeting in Dubai and asked me to tag along.  Because of work and school commitments, I wasn't able to go until the next day, but definitely will never turn down a quick getaway.  Dubai is such an organized, clean, well-managed country and a true pleasure to visit.  
On my first night, we took our Japanese and Thai business associates and our Sri Lankan partner out for Lebanese food.  It was nice to be able to sit outside for drinks and conversation afterwards since the weather there is not near as hot as Kuwait.  

The next day were were able to spend an enjoyable 4-5 hours with my good friend, Maureen, from Daydream Living.  We walked, and talked, enjoyed the views, and talked some more.  
We went to Dubai Mall twice, where there is always something going on.  

Plus, to top it all off, my best friend from Kuwait was in Dubai with her husband at the same time (totally coincidental) so we were able to hang out with them our last night.  Now hubby and I are wondering when  we can plan our next trip to Dubai.  It is just a hop-skip and a jump away and we always have such a lovely time.

Have a great week. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quotes and Blooms

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.
 People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
Nhat Hanh
As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.
Denis Waitley 
Surround yourself with people who allow you to blossom. 
 Effortlessly give your beauty to the world.
Flowers do it all the time.
Sue Krebs
The bloom may be brief,
but the beauty of its existence will last a lifetime.
Doe Zantamata 
 Where flowers bloom, so does hope.
Lady Bird Johnson
 May my soul bloom in love for all existence.
Rudolf Steiner
Over the weekend I did a whole lot of walking.  
An hour Thursday, an hour and a half Friday, an hour and 20 minutes Saturday morning, and an hour Saturday afternoon.   I kept noticing brilliant yellow trees across the road from the walking path and wondered what they were since I hadn't recalled seeing them before.  Then I happened to find one just around the block from us.  I posted a picture to Instagram and someone said that it could be yellow wisteria, or in Dutch, golden rain. I'm not sure what it is, but it is absolutely gorgeous and is blooming profusely right now.  I'm not sure if  over the years, I never noticed all the flowers around me, or if people are planting more than ever, but it's so nice to see so many blooms despite the rising heat.
May flowers bloom in all corners of your world.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily Happenings

Happy belated Mother's Day!
And Happy Tuesday!
It's mid-week for us here since weekends are Friday and Saturday.
 My husband was in Jerusalem for 5 days visiting family and just returned on Sunday. He brought back delicious homemade zaatar bread from his aunt who has been blind since the age of 2.  I was privileged to meet her when we visited as a family many years ago.  She's now 84 years old, lives alone and still cooks up a storm.  (Jennifer, this is probably the type of bread you remember eating when you were little.)
 He also brought back mahmoul from Jordan. Cookies filled with dates, pistachios and walnuts.  I've been sharing at the office which of course makes everyone happy.  I just love the pretty wrapping on each one.
 It's been quite exciting for Jingles here lately as she has been entertained and teased for days now by a little lizard that frequents our balcony.
He's really not so little and we must remember to keep the door closed.  Can you seem him there to the left?  It's so funny to watch her.  And listen to all the sounds she makes.
 As sunset approaches, I enjoy going out on the balcony to water plants and to watch the birds.   It's so hot during the day that they do most of their flying around in the morning and later afternoon.
 I especially love this next photo.  Three different birds that were flitting about each other and then settled on the same metal structure on the roof across the street.  To me it speaks of the truth that no matter our differences, we can all get along and live peacefully together.  How I wish that were true around the world.
 My weekend was filled with birds of the card and cross-stitch variety, too.  I crocheted little bags and combined them with the stitchings to make gift pouches.  I'm always more creative when  I have time to spare which is why I love weekends so much.
Only 2 more days.
Counting down.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Food

Today was the perfect staying in kinda day. 
Drab and dusty outside but nice and cozy inside. I did a bit of cleaning.  A little crocheting.  And a whole lot of playing in the kitchen.  
It is absolutely amazing what you can  do with nuts.  Today I tried my first cashew alfredo.  The recipe is actually called Very Vegan Mac-n' Cheeze but the results I got turned out more like an alfredo sauce.  Really, really good!
 I've started baking my own bread every weekend.  Small loaves that I can eat and share.
I made walnut tarragon again which goes great with the beetroot & dill nut spread and olive tapenade I got from two lovely people here I met through Instagram.
And since the oven was already on, I figured I might as well make good use of that heat and bake a cake.  
Perfect with the chocolate coffee my cousin gave me over the summer. 
Besides what's pictured, I also made quinoa topped with curried vegetables and had that for dinner.
Now to don my pajamas and do some crochet.
Hope you all have a fabulous Friday (or Saturday depending on where you are in the world).
Best wishes,

Monday, May 5, 2014

Making and Baking

Over the past week I've done a lot of baking.  I enjoy trying new recipes, especially healthier versions of treats that I can share with co-workers and friends.  The following recipes all got rave reviews so I thought I would share the links with you.

Granted, I hardly ever follow a recipe to a tee.  I'm always substituting ingredients based on what I  might have on hand.  The best part about making these things is that I don't feel guilty about eating them because I know I am using good, healthy ingredients.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hello May!

What the heck happened to April!  Days seem to fly even faster as we near the end of the school year.  My oldest son takes his finals next Friday and will be finished with his first year of university.  Unbelievable!

Yesterday a vendor from the monthly farmer's market sent complimentary products to school for a few of us who follow him on Instagram @caveboygrubs.  He makes paleo and vegan foods that are amazingly delicious.  This morning for breakfast I had his dairy free coconut yogurt with his best selling granola.
And for lunch, I made a rocket salad with tomato, cucumbers, beets and walnuts, a homemade honey mustard dressing and homemade walnut bread that I topped with the complimentary dill & beet root nut spread.  Really, really good!
 Last night I crocheted some bowls loosed basely on this pattern.  Funny thing is, after the first one, I thought I had the pattern memorized but they all turned out different sizes. Ha! Oh well, that's okay.  I don't need them all to be the same.  And they turned out to be nesting bowls even though I didn't follow the pattern for that purpose.  
 The brown and the red yarn are felting wool which I have never used before.  After I took this picture, I did wash the red bowl but can't really tell a difference in how it looks and it certainly didn't shrink.  I don't think the water was hot enough and unfortunately, don't always have control over the water temperature here, no matter what setting I use on the washing machine.
 Our weather has been hot and somewhat dusty over the past several days.  Still so happy to see that I do have some blooms on the balcony when I go out there to water.  I need to remember to keep the door closed when Jingles is out there early morning and at night as I've seen a very large lizard running around.
On a sad note, last Friday night, my boss rushed back to Canada as he learned that his brother had a brain bleed that required immediate surgery.  He didn't know the details at the time, but I've learned now that his brother had just finished a meeting with the Department of Agriculture where he worked and as he scooped up his laptop and papers and wheeled around to exit the room, he stumbled somehow hitting his head on a piece of furniture.  His wife was able to speak to him at the hospital and he said he was okay but just had a really bad headache.  Unfortunately, he did not make it.  They took him off the respirator on Sunday and he passed away surrounded by 30 family members singing Amazing Grace.  

I do wonder, was he rushing to another meeting, did he need to be somewhere else quickly?  Such a tragic and freak accident.  He was only in his late 50s.

We are having a quiet weekend at home.   No plans, no running around, no responsibilities.  Just the way I like it after a busy week.
Have a fabulous Friday
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