Saturday, December 31, 2016

Leave a Little Love

Let love be the foundation of your life,
the ground of your being.
A place of forgiveness and gratitude,
delight and awe.
A ceaseless source of hope.
(Stephanie Dowrick)
Left a little love behind on my afternoon walk.

Happy New Years Eve,

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Changing Colors

Last winter I had a gorgeous red hibiscus that gave me many, many blooms and lots of joy every time I would see a new flower.  Unfortunately, those blooms only lasted a day then would immediately fall to the ground.
Even though I moved its location once summer rolled around, it just couldn't survive the heat.
So this year, I bought what I thought was a yellow hibiscus, but every time it blooms, I'm in for a surprise.
And thankfully, these flowers last more than just a day.

Colors are the smiles of nature.
Leigh Hunt

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Health and Wellness

I must admit, I had become a bit of a couch potato; but since my oldest boy's been home, I've been doing a whole lot of walking.
His request before he even arrived was that I please have a yoga mat waiting for him.
Ever since he took a course in college a couple of years ago, he's been into yoga and fitness.
And tells me that, at my age, walking is not enough. I need to do yoga and some resistance training with an exercise band.
After a bout with bronchitis, he started running in order to strengthen his lungs, so I'm trying to incorporate a bit of that into my walking routine, too.  
Our walking path was repaved over the summer and marked every 100 meters, so I am walking 400, jogging 200, walking 400, jogging 200.
It all starts with small steps and simple goals.
Of course, it wouldn't be a walk of wellness without paying attention to my surroundings and finding beauty along the way.

Wishing you well,

Monday, December 26, 2016

Home for the Holidays

My Colorado boy missed his connecting flight and arrived a day late.  And my youngest started off his journey getting on the wrong bus for the airport.  But, they both finally made it safe and sound last Wednesday and Thursday and that's all that matters.
It's been 2 years since my Colorado boy was home which means it's the first time we've been together as a family in that time.
I'm seeing a lot more of him since he only has a few friends here for the winter break, while boy number two is still a teenager; sleeps all day and has plans every night.
Colorado boy was really hoping to see blue skies here in Kuwait, but ever since they arrived, there's been nothing but cloudy, gray skies.  At least it's not -3 like it currently is in his part of the world.
I've been making their favorite soups ... my boy wants to learn them all so he can make some when he's back in cold, cold Colorado.

Tortilla Soup is a very easy one.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add vegetable broth, a can of chopped tomatoes, corn, some salsa, cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes.  I even added leftover black beans with spinach.  Simmer for about 10 minutes and then stir in some chopped cilantro.  Heat through and serve with avocado slices.  

Unfortunately, I never measure anything, so it's hard to share an exact recipe..  I just add ingredients to get a flavor I like.

Hope you all had a very, merry Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Garden Revitalization & Outdoor Learning

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
(Margaret Mead)

If you follow along with me on Instagram, you may recall seeing that at the end of September, we were quite shocked and disappointed to find that our community garden had been completely demolished.
The worst part of the whole scenario is that the damage and destruction was carried out by the very Public Authority tasked with maintaining garden spaces in the country.
But, I'm happy to say, we fought back and with the support of the community through donations and the hard work of many volunteers, we are up and running again.
It is a joy and a privilege to teach children about the benefits of gardening and taking care of their environment.
Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.
Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching,
Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

Last night we had the cutest group of homeschoolers between the ages of 2 and 5 visit the garden.
 After reading them a story about leaving a zero footprint, they picked up garbage, composted, planted and watered.
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.
(Rachel Carson)

It's always so much fun watching children get excited about every aspect of the garden, even picking up garbage.  But I do have to say, I think watering was their favorite part. The soil may stay moist for quite a while.

Have a fabulous Friday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mission In Memoriam

Last year, my good friend, Elena, lost her father ... and just a few months ago, after a year of battling lung cancer, the removal of one lung, and many other complications, her mother passed away.
When she found out I was going to Jerusalem in November, she asked if I could light candles in memory of her parents and make a donation to the church.
And what better place to do that than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection.
This door is the one entrance to the church.
And just beyond it is the Stone of Anointing where it is believed Jesus was prepared for burial.
Upstairs is Calvary Chapel.
Which is where I made the donation.
And was able to light the candles in memory of Elena's father and mother, speaking their names as I did so.
I consider myself to be a spiritual person rather than subscribing to any particular religion.  I do believe in signs.

As I was leaving the chapel, something floated from above, directly in front of my face. 
"When angels are near, feathers appear ..."

It is believed that white feathers represent protection and that our loved ones have crossed over into the spirit realm.
It was a very moving moment.

I saved that little feather and attached it to the wings of an olive wood angel that I gifted to my friend upon my return home.
Sending you blessings for a beautiful new week.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Something to Smile About

My last post was about the death of my husband's uncle who he was very close to.
On Friday, yet another uncle passed away.
And just yesterday, the mother of his very good friend died.
Sad days indeed, and a reminder of his own father's passing 10 years ago in the very same month.
We were unable to attend the burial service of the first uncle in Jordan because of a business trip to Dubai that my husband could not cancel.
We left early Tuesday morning, arriving to dusty, warmer weather.
After checking in, we always head straight to the Dubai Mall, have soup and sourdough bread at Nordsee, visit the Japanese bookstore and then take a quick walk outside to see the iconic Burj Khalifa.
While my husband attended business meetings, I was able to walk around the hotel grounds and sit outside at one of the many restaurants where I could read and have a drink.
As you can see, I was not alone.
I was engrossed in my magazine and the folks at the next table laughingly informed me that a fine feathered friend was stealing my nuts.
Next thing I know, a young dove came and sat right in the bowl.
Every time I see this picture it makes me giggle.  
I'm used to the crows in Sri Lanka who will steal your food if you turn your back for a second.
But have never had a dove come join me at the table.

Definitely something to smile about.
Happy Sunday!
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