Archives for 2011
Let’s celebrate our friendships, the ones we’ve had for years, the ones we’ve just made, and the ones that are just around the corner. We share degrees of friendship with each person in our lives. We may have a kind of friendship with the person who serves us coffee at Starbucks, or the person in the neighborhood who stops to say hello as we walk by. These are the buds of friendship, the kind that may or may not blossom into late night chats, but are still important to our daily lives. They give us a reason to smile.
For most of us though, friendship is like fresh air, the thing that helps us breathe life in more fully. We’re committed to each other. We hold up the light of possibility when things are uncertain. We listen, we laugh, we seek to understand and when we don’t understand, we let it all go. We shop and we explore and we keep the music playing because friendship brings a song to our hearts. We are connected and fully visible and it feels good. Three cheers!
C.S. Lewis said that friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What? You, too? I thought I was the only one.” We don’t want to travel the world alone and so we count on our friends to serve as mirrors, to reflect back to us what’s important, or to give us a chance to laugh at ourselves when we fall down. Friends walk with us, no matter what.
As Albert Camus said, “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Friends may bump into you now and then without meaning to, but they won’t throw you over or off the tracks. They may get slightly miffed about something going on between you, but they’ll always find a way to make up over brownies and coffee. Friends need each other and that’s a good thing.
You’ve probably noticed with cherished friendships that no matter how long you may be apart, even if years pass by, once you’re together again, the connection you have is solid. You’re plugged in, ready to give and receive more of what you share. Friends are forever and that’s the real truth.
So, let’s celebrate all our friends, the new ones, the-couldn’t-live-without-you ones, and the ones yet to be discovered. There can be no loftier title, no degree achieved, or no equation stronger than the one that is summed up in the word “friend.” Hug your friends today and give each other a round of hearty applause.
For our Blue Mountain holiday potluck lunch, we all brought in dishes and voted on our favorites. Artist Aaron Brudvig was the winner. Here’s his tasty recipe for winter turkey and corn chili.
Winter Turkey and Corn Chili
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs ground turkey
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 roasted red bell peppers, diced (available in a jar)
2 tbsp pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 can navy beans or white kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 cups frozen corn kernels
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp granulated sugar
salt to taste
a few dashes of liquid smoke (optional)
1. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and green onions; cook, breaking up meat with spatula, 4 to 6 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add chili powder, oregano and cayenne; cook 1 minute longer. With a slotted spoon transfer mixture to slow cooker.
2. Add red peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, bay leaf, beans, corn, and stock; stir to combine. (optional liquid smoke)
3. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours. Discard bay leaf. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, sugar and salt. Cover and cook on High 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream.
Do your children or grandchildren ever see the patterns of little dots on different objects like elevator buttons or ATM keypads and wonder what they’re for? January is the perfect time to get educated! It’s Braille Literacy Month, a time to bring awareness to BRAILLE, the method that is used by the blind to read and write. Because January 4th is developer Louis Braille’s birthday, it is only fitting that we celebrate Braille literacy this month.
Created by Braille in 1821, the system is made up of characters called “cells”. The cells are made up of raised dots in varying positions, and arranged in columns that can be felt or “read” by the blind. The first Braille book, Fables and Tales for Children, was printed in Louisville, KY by the American Printing House for the Blind. For more information about Braille or visual impairment, visit the American Foundation for the Blind on the web at www.afb.org.
The New Year is upon us with promises of attitude adjustments and hopeful tomorrows! We get to take a panoramic view and look at everything from that oh-so last year hair style, to our jobs, to the things that bring a laugh or the things we know we don’t want to repeat again. With our colorful New Year’s glasses on we can make a resolution to be smarter, thinner, more spiritual, richer, or even kinder as the year begins. After all, it’s time to be optimistic, burn some rubber over the past, and keep moving. Ready! Set! Wait…
Hold on! Maybe we need a new compass here. This could be a good time to tap into the resources of the One with the big GPS system, (Glorious Personal Services) and notice that we might yet have room to be molded and shaped. We’re still the clay as the New Year starts, and perhaps more open to new designs and deeper impressions.
We might not be as pliable as we once were, but we’re still soft enough to be reshaped and redesigned for new purposes. In fact, we could be getting ready to face the best year yet! Wow! To that idea, we might start out with a big round of thanks for all we’ve been, for all we hope for and for all we yet believe is possible. The fact is, everything is possible!
Let’s start the New Year with a happy dance for the things that have worked to make us unique in the presence of others. Then, let’s step out into the proverbial and the real world of possibility. Let’s recharge, refocus, review all that we want and make a plan to go after it. Now, mind you, we can’t simply make a resolution to lose five pounds, we have to make a re-soul-ution to lose all those things that hold us back, and embrace the good and happy things that move us forward. Come on! You can do it right from where you are! Start something new and be open and willing to see where the path leads.
Remember, you are not alone in this challenge of shaping and changing things up a notch. You’re already beautiful to those who love you, who want only good things for you, and who see you becoming amazing in even more incredible ways.
Happy New Year to you…to us…it’s going to be exciting! Yes, happy new YOU!
Every year, we make New Year’s resolutions in order to “put away” the old year and welcome in the new. But while we may start off with a go-getter attitude and lots of motivation, those resolutions seem to fall by the wayside too soon. Here are some tips for keeping and conquering two of the most popular resolutions: 1) spending more time with family and friends, and 2) losing weight.
Spending More Time With Family and Friends
With the age of email, Facebook and other forms of social media, we’ve become complacent in our relationships. It’s simply easier to text someone rather than reaching out with your voice, or posting to a Facebook wall rather than asking “what’s up?” in person. Some simple things to help you get a bit more of “you” back into your relationships can include:
1) Send an ecard, a paper card or handwritten note.
2) Instead of texting, make an actual phone call.
3) Make a date with your friends once a month – a regular “girls night out” or meet-up anywhere keeps bonds strong.
4) “Unplug” your computer once a week and take that time to take a relative to a movie, or go for a walk in the park.
5) Sit down to a meal with your family – at the table, not in front of the TV. Whether at home or in a restaurant, regular meals together help with communication.
Losing Weight / Getting Fit
Whether your resolution is to lose weight or simply to get in shape, resolving to get healthy is an important but difficult goal for many. Stay on track and motivated by incorporating these tips into your routine.
1) Start a food / exercise journal to track your eating and activity habits. Seeing these things written down can help you see where there’s room for improvement and where you’re succeeding! It’s your “proof” of effort.
2) Go slow! You didn’t gain the unwanted weight in a day or a week, so don’t expect to lose it that quickly. Go into your resolution knowing that this is a longer-term commitment.
3) Set measurable goals. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Instead, make a plan to lose 5 pounds by January 31st, or whatever that goal may be. Be specific and realistic – no one healthily loses 20 pounds in two weeks! (see “Go Slow”).
4) MOVE! Increasing your activity will burn more calories and boost your energy. Consult your doctor or a trainer for the best routines that deliver the most results. A mix of stretching, cardio and strength training is a good plan, but realize that even if you can’t get to the gym every day, simple things like taking short walks will help move your body towards your goal.
5) Clean out pantry. Get a new attitude on food and clean out the “junk” that may be hiding in your cupboards and fridge. Replace junk food with fresh veggies and fruits, and ditch the soda for low-sugar fruit juice and water.
6) Take a photo of yourself at the beginning and then another every four weeks – this can help you see your progress and motivate you to keep up the good work. Don’t just rely on a scale – take stock of how you actually look.
7) Get some help from your friends. If you have a buddy with the same goals, use them as a support system. Having someone to exercise with will keep you on track and honest in actually getting the physical work done.
What are some of your tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions?