Ruts without Pizzazz

 

Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut and too many days go by without any “pizzazz” at all? I think it might be a good sign if we can ask and answer that question. And if we answer “yes”, it’s ok. It’s a good sign really. It means we’re intuitive, longing, hopeful, and yes, maybe even a little discouraged. But being discouraged and feeling like we’re “in a rut” means we haven’t given up. We’re on our way out because we’re looking; unsettled.

We’re looking to sway with the tress in the wind,

float like the leaf on a lake,

laugh like the magnolias in bloom,

sparkle like the wind chime hanging in the pecan tree,

breathe and stretch free like the wildflowers,

gracefully belong like the dandelion in the sun,

exude thankfulness like the water’s reflection…

It’s in these small responses and effortless reaction to goodness and beauty that carry us into newness. We don’t have to fight for it. We get on the raft and float into it. We open the window and the fresh air rushes in. Really, feeling like we are in a rut is a reminder- a thump in our heart whispering softly,

“don’t succumb to mindless living. Remember, you were made for more”

#beautynearme

Embrace Your Weird

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There is part of us that wants to think we are just SO unique. Am I right? And I will be the first to say that in some ways I fully believe we are.  BUT.  Yes, BUT, here’s the funny thing: We are also all so weird, and in THAT we are similar! We all have weirdness lurking in the shadows. Sometimes we hear about weird ancestry stories where great aunt so-and-so always wandered down the road when it rained looking for her long lost love. (ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic). But it seems more common than not that each family has the mysterious stories intertwined with weirdness. Maybe your families’ story will be about you 😉

I was thinking about how weird I seem today. I’m nibbling on oatmeal for the 3rd time because I am in some kind of Mast Cell flare-up. And I know not a ton of people know how precarious it is to not know exactly what might trigger a full-on anaphylaxis episode (a smell, a molecule, a bite). Again, I (in my weird state) take my “concotions” (Restore and quercetin, black seed cumin oil, DAO enzymes…) -you get the drift. Weird supplement stuff. Weird needs. But if I took a few minutes to chat with you, I can almost guarantee that you have something hidden behind your “normal smile”. You have some weird thing, idiosyncrasy, crazy thought. intuition. fear. dream. Don’t you? I see you thinking about that. You know you’re weird.  hahaha

I think we should just let that be ok. Talk about the fact

that you like to touch trees when you walk past them

or need 2 more hours of sleep than most (it’s a real thing)

or can’t stand socks on in bed

or like to twirl your hair when you think

or take supplements for things people don’t even know exist

or randomly take detours on back roads (dirt roads, preferably)

or eat each food group one at a time on your plate, never mixing

or love to look for shark’s teeth

or never drink your drink until your dinner is done

or if you could, you’d always eat dessert and skip dinner

or  that you think maybe spirits already teleport and our bodies are trying to figure out how to catch up

or maybe you talk to people (from your mind to theirs) really believing that they “hear” you

or you can’t swallow a pill

or you are convinced that God allows your ancestors to look down and smile on you

or that “sunshine beach cravings” are real needs like pickles and ice cream (no pregnancy required)

or ___________________.

 

In some ways, all of the weirdness bonds us together in similarity, doesn’t it?

Embrace your weird. You’re in good company.

embrace your weird

Fried Dandelion Flowers (Crunchy Sunshine Nuggets)

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Yes, I said fried flowers. 😉 Did you know there are many healing properties associated with dandelion flowers, and even more associated with the dandelion greens?

The yellow flowers have many health benefits as they are a source of antioxidants. They are believed to relieve pain from headaches,  backaches and menstrual cramps.  They relieve stomach cramps and ease depression. WOW! The flowers also contain Vitamin A and Vitamin B12!

I think it’s time to fry some flowers. 😉

YOU’LL NEED:
  • approx. 20 dandelion flower heads, stalks and extraneous green parts removed
  • olive oil/butter for frying (I use equal parts to cover the pan)
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1/2 c flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c milk
  • herbs, optional (I like a sprinkle of rosemary)

Remove as much green from the dandelion flower head as possible, while keeping the flower head intact, which are mild and faintly sweet.

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THE STEPS:
  • Rinse your dandelion flowers and gently pat dry using a paper towel.
  • Place 2 T olive oil, 2 T butter in a frying pan over a medium heat
  • Mix the flour/cornmeal with the salt and favorite herb
  • Dip the flowers first in the beaten egg/milk mixture and then in the seasoned flour/cornmeal.
  • Fry stalk side up. flip when golden, about 2 minutes.
  •  Remove and drain on kitchen paper

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Enjoy eating “crunchy sunshine nuggets” 😉

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Grace Collectors

 

As I roamed the cemetery reading the names and dates, sayings and commentaries… I stumbled across this inscription. “She was too good, too gentle and Fair To dwell in this cold world.” Someone lost someone dear. Their tears probably fell into the very earth I stood upon as I read the lines.

I have a theory that pain experiences create vacant wells within us. Pain vacancies are cavernous, hollow tombs, longing to be filled. Grace seems to find it way to the tomb’s door, asking for entrance. Grace is a chameleon, appearing to us based on our need. – water for our parched mouths, light in our darkness, comfort when we’re lonely, courage in our weariness. Maybe our need in itself is a grace to us, so that we will look and listen, receive and rest. When we welcome grace inside, the cold, black-and-white spaces, once horrid reminders of loss, become masterpieces in contradictions; grand paradoxes. Grace is miraculous like that.

And so, I roam the little graveyards imagining each spot as grace collectors. Tears and sorrow made way for the sacred and hopeful.  I feel respect for those who felt the pain of loss in this very spot. I don’t have to know them to honor them, They are contrasts to fast-paced, mindless living.

Cemeteries are grace collectors.

You know how I should feel

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The evening sun was sinking and a breeze drifting by. She moved a little faster on the warm path that meandered through the dense GA trees toward the creek. She desperately wanted to see the sun’s shimmer on the water at dusk, even if for a moment. The physical effort mirrored her busy mind, wandering this way and that, contemplating the day’s happenings as she scurried. Ideas tossed about, churning like a river running free. But questions nagged. “What if” thoughts followed one by one like soldiers on a mission she couldn’t stop.

Everything on the path was wild and green, with spring blossoms bursting. She rushed around the last bend with arms outstretched running her fingers along the edge of the leaves. She knew how many steps until she would hear the familiar babble of the water. (Deep breath.)  Yes, there it is. She closed her eyes and smiled.

Her sitting spot was worn and waiting as always- inviting, open, and always generous. As she went to sit, a flutter caught her attention. A bluebird perched on the branch along the creek, watching the water with her. She noted the tiny movement. A twitch. A chirp. What was the bird saying? As if on cue the bird’s eyes moved until it found hers. She was sure of it. She thought, ‘Am I chatting with a bluebird’? Today she thought the answer was “yes”. An omen, maybe? She wondered as she watched the bird move toward her on the branch, just slightly nodding before flying up in to the sky toward the faint moon and stars that were emerging.  Such elaborate elegance was worthy of notice. That thought was the one drifting in with ease now. And thoughts that she should “chat with birds” more often.

A little bird made her forget what needed forgetting and remember what needed remembering. One little bird defeated the “what if” soldiers, reminding her that moments are for soaking in wonder, not worry.  Moments have always been about wonder. Little birds know this secret—-little bluebirds flying high. They know how we should feel. Feeling good.

The Secret Garden

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We explore and adventure to find less and less untouched places. Undiscovered land, ocean and sky appears almost extinct. In one moment everything seems in reverse when a “spot of earth” seems to “find” us. The wonder of it catches our breath. We find ourselves surprised that we are surprised by the secret garden.