Thursday, October 20, 2016

Island of happiness

Do not shrink your beautiful light,to make someone else feel more comfortable. Be who you are, without hesitation and you will inspire others to shine, also!~Andrew Guzaldo

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Pro 4:23 I hope this helps!
Negative people, gossip, putting people down just because of the political views they stand on, you don't have to go very far to get your daily dose of negativity!  Immersing ourselves in so much negativity and allowing it to be "poured into us" can rob us of our joy, trust and peace. Of course many times you can't always avoid negative circumstances, it  is something you just need to walk though, trusting in God's unfailing love and knowing He is already there in the mist of your circumstances-keeping our eyes on Him even when the road looks so very dark and we can't see what's ahead.

The other day I was just reading the news and a few articles on my feed on social media and other sites; another busy week of news, one heartbreaking story after another when this little guy popped up on my screen!  A bright purple and green hummingbird playfully interacting with other hummingbirds. I must of "liked" a page a while back I thought. Since then, I paid a little more attention to this hard to ignore bird that brings so much color and pure joy to my social media feed.  How these photographers got some of these shots, I have no idea! They move so fast that you hardly notice that they are even there, let alone get a good shot of their beautiful rainbow colors that really only can be seen and observed by photograph. The photos here are desktop wall paper, one of these days I will try and capture one.:)

Being inquisitive as I am I began to look at the people that shot the photos and took videos of these birds.  I found that they were watching the same birds every day that came in their own back yards.  They created  beautiful gardens and a friendly place for these beautiful birds.  Many of these birds are lovingly named and have strong distinctive personalities.  To my amazement they knew these birds inside and out and these birds knew them. Many of these hummingbirds trusted them so much that they would eat out of their hands. The daily drama of this hummingbird haven is watched and written about every day. An island of happiness in the midst of a dark world enjoyed by a few dedicated observers.

While hummingbirds are the tiniest bird in the world, they can fly sideways, up and down, and hover in mid air. They fly an average of 25-30 miles per hour. They are very smart and remember every flower in the garden (but can't smell them) and they know how long it takes each flower to refill. Hummingbirds can see and hear better then humans.

The hummingbird must be the definition of whimsy!

"God’s tiny miracle, evidence of careful design, enjoyment of life, lightness of being,love, joy and beauty, adaptability, resilience, being present, independence, playfulness and joy in daily life."

Hand embroidery that I am working on for a show. Cotton threads on wool.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 
Psalm 63:6-8

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Not your pumpkin spice

The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. ~Thomas Moore

Her own photo.

As Fall approaches the weather gets cold here in the Northwest.  Everything seems to be turning orange. (sunsets, leaves, pumpkins) :) My daughter grew her first pumpkin this year, and it is the deepest color orange I have ever seen in a pumpkin.

One of my favorite recipes that I like to make this time of year is this recipe for Thai coconut pumpkin soup!  This is my own recipe for this soup and I make it every year. (sometimes more then once) You probably can find a better version of it, but this one is really simple and always good.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
~Melody Beattie

Thai coconut pumpkin soup

Organic vegetable or chicken broth 3 or 4 cups

1 small baking pumpkin cubed and insides removed.
(save the seeds for roasting with a little olive oil and sea salt)

I can coconut milk

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 stalks lemon grass

1 sweet potato or 3 red potatoes cubed

3 carrots chopped

! small onion chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

ginger root

Thai basil (important)


2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp. turmeric and curry (curry paste if you like it spicy)

A pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste

2 chicken breasts cooked and chopped (not for vegetarian/vegan)

Finely shred garlic, lemon grass and 1 tbsp. ginger set aside.

Simmer stock with chopped pumpkin, onion, carrots, potatoes and celery.(add a little water if needed)

Add  your finely shredded garlic, lemon grass, tbsp. ginger root, turmeric, curry and 2 tbsp. of soy sauce.

Simmer on low heat until tender.(20 or 30 minutes)

Add coconut milk, cilantro and Thai basil (the more Thai basil the better about 1 or 2 cups)

Simmer 5 to 10 minutes more.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve soup with Thai basil garnish or the toasted rice noodle garnish as shown.

Toasted rice noodle garnish; heat up a little sesame seed oil in a pan and drop in a little rice noodles and toast until puffy and light brown. (noodles will be tough if under cooked)

Place garnish on soup and enjoy! :)

There is more to this season then candy and pumpkin spice!
  Good soup, cozy chair, a good book and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Now that's a good recipe!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Remember those that are hungry this season and give to children that need it most!