Ice Cream · Vegetarianism

Home Made Ice Cream

Perfect for this summer heat!  In June while visiting our daughter we were introduced to home made peach ice cream made in a Cuisinart ice cream maker.  It was delicious – much fresher than anything in the stores.  We purchased one for ourselves.

I’m now on my fourth ice cream batch.  A batch is rather small – four servings, by most people’s standards, I would say actually two servings.  I’ve made strawberry twice and vanilla twice.  With my first batch I also made blackberry cobbler since blackberries were ripe for picking on our farm.

We wanted ice cream without eggs – lacto-vegetarian. This has been my base for vanilla.  You can add fruit, chocolate, etc. to make different flavors

Vanilla Ice Cream  

2 1/4 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

I have been trying to use all organic ingredients.  I have lately found the most sensational milk – as close to raw as you can get – Kalona Super Natural – http://www.kalonasupernatural.com/our-process/  It is hard to go back to even regular organic milk after tasting this milk.  Put all ingredients except for vanilla into pot on medium heat, stirring until it just gets hot enough that you can see steam rising on the sides of the pot.  Stir in the vanilla, pour into spouted container that you can cover and put in refrigerator over night.  The Cuisinart container stays in the freezer between uses and should be in the freezer for twenty-four hours between uses.  This is key to good ice cream – coldness during the churning process.  Follow directions with Cuisinart.  There are probably other ice cream makers out there, but this is the only one I’ve tried.  I remember my grandfather using the old hand-cranked one, then my mom using the electric version.

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

1/2 c. butter                                                        

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2/3 c. milk

1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen blackberries, thawed or fresh (I really don’t measure here.  I like lots of blackberries.)

Melt butter in a 2 quart casserole. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk in a small mixing bowl, mix well. Pour mixture over melted butter, do not stir. Spoon blackberries over batter; do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Hiking · Pizza

Hiking and Miguel’s Pizza

This past weekend we hiked in the Red River Gorge area.  My aching calf muscles and the stinky sweaty clothes I just today loaded into the washing machine attest to the hilly areas we climbed.  There was a time when hiking was one of our biggest pleasures, but sadly we had gotten away from it over the past few years.

There was no cell phone reception out in the wilderness, which was quite fine with me.  The second morning we started out very early – beating the crowds and found ourselves very alone out on the trail for almost two hours.

On our way down we stopped at a gas station inquiring about any vegetarian restaurants that might be in the area.  The lady at the counter laughed.  To our surprise we found one of the best ever little eating establishments called Miguel’s Pizza just upon entering Natural Bridge State Park.  The pizza was fabulous and very reasonably priced.  You were given a piece of paper at the counter in which you checked off the ingredients you wanted.  There was a wide variety, including tofu, pesto, and roasted garlic as well as a variety of other vegetables.  The ones obtained locally were marked.  Plus, they recycled!  After you ate you distributed your garbage in the proper containers – metal, paper, plastic, etc.  I include what I found on youtube about them to give you some idea:

We are already planning our next trip – hiking and Miguel’s Pizza.

Dreams

Dreams and Their Meanings

I have dreamt about hallways for the longest time – decades to be more exact.  A few nights ago I had a hallway dream.  I always seem to be lost (That is also much the case in my waking life.).  I might ask directions but usually try to find my way on my own.  I often come to dead ends – stairways that are blocked off or that require great dexterity in maneuvering.  The hallways are usually in some type of school buildings – very large.  There are numerous hallways.  There are always people.  In last night’s dream I remember the people to be mature.

I have looked up the meaning of hallway dreams to find:  “To see a hallway in your dream, symbolizes self-exploration. It is the beginning of the path that you are taking in life. You are going through a transitional phase and journeying into the unknown. It also signals spiritual enlightenment, emotional growth physical prowess, new opportunities and mental passages in your life.”

Dead end:  “To dream that have reached a dead end, indicates that you have come to an abrupt end in the pursuit of your goals. You must find another way to achieve your goals because the current path is not working out. Alternatively, the dream may be telling you that you are going nowhere. Perhaps, the dream is symbolic of a dead end job or a dead end relationship. You need to reevaluate your options.”

School:  “To dream that you are in school signifies feelings of inadequacy and childhood insecurities that have never been resolved. It may relate to anxieties about your performance and abilities. If you are still in school and dream about school, then the dream may just be a reflection of your daily life and has no special significance.

Alternatively, a dream that takes place in school may be a metaphor for the lessons that you are learning from your waking life. You may be going through a “spiritual learning” experience.

To dream that you are looking for a school, suggests that you need to expand your knowledge and learning. To dream that you are at a new school means that you are feeling out of place in some situation. Or perhaps there is a new lesson that you need to learn.

To dream that your childhood school is in ruins, suggests that you are dwelling on some unresolved childhood issue. Alternatively, the dream represents the passage of time. You need to look toward the future instead of reliving the past.”

In last night’s dream after reaching a dead end I changed direction and found myself outside facing a bright sunny day.  At the same time I knew I would have to re-enter the building again to start over.  I equate the meaning of the dream to learning spiritual lessons, and that I should be working harder, and having to repeat earth school over again, hopefully achieving a higher level, or going in some different direction.  I believe finding my way out of the building into daylight is a return to God or source for a while until I have to make my way back for more learning.  This is just my own interpretation.

Edgar Cayce, called the Sleeping Prophet, was able to astound people by interpreting their dreams and giving them insight into their psyche, lives and even past lives. Cayce revealed that dreams are actually journeys into the spirit world. 

Edgar Cayce once said, “Dreams, visions, impressions, to the entity in the normal sleeping state are the presentations of the experiences necessary for the development, if the entity would apply them in the physical life. These may be taken as warnings, as advice, as conditions to be met, conditions to be viewed in a way and manner as lessons, as truths, as they are presented in the various ways and manners.”

Carl Jung said dreams are “the main source of all of our knowledge about symbolism.” Even though I do find symbolism in my own dreams, in a lot of cases they have been pretty straightforward.  Jung also recommended relying on intuition in dream interpretation.  I totally agree with this.

I, myself, have found dreams to be twofold.  Some nights they are just a hodgepodge of the day’s events, like a recap of sorts, a letting off of steam. On other nights I feel they carry significant meaning and can offer answers to questions and provide guidance.  Sometimes they carry warnings.  I have had these warnings on several occasions especially in matters of health.  There have been too many times I just didn’t get it, and the dream would reoccur.  Later, I would have the “ahah” moment of knowing what the dream was trying to tell me.  In two particular cases if I had heeded my dreams I could have saved myself lots of despair.

Whenever my mother comes to me in a dream and tells me something I act on it right away.  The information she gave me in one dream basically saved my life.  Edgar Cayce believed that deceased friends and family members do occasionally visit us in our dream state either offering direct communication or as an aid in helping us deal with their death. They could also come as some aspect of ourselves.

Decades ago I kept having a re-occurring dream that would always end at a certain point.  I had never told anyone about the dream, and I had forgotten about the dream until several years ago when I was having a past life reading.  The person doing the reading started with the past life reading by reciting what happened in the dream and finishing it for me.  She had not known about the dream.  It was remarkable for me to find out I had been dreaming about a traumatic event in a past life.

Ancient Chinese tradition held that it is your spiritual soul, which creates your dreams and leaves the body to travel to other realms and meet other souls.  Once, I experienced this just before drifting off to sleep.

My belief is that dreams provide a rich avenue of development on many different levels and connect us with our spiritual selves.  Besides meditation they are one of the most useful spiritual tools we have.  There have been times that as I drift off to sleep I ask for answers.  Dreams can provide those answers.  I’m truly fortunate and thankful that I remember dreams easily.  I often think my dream life is more active and eventful than my waking life.  There are some mornings that I wake up rather tired.  It’s from walking down all those different hallways.

I sometimes write down dreams, but I don’t keep a dream journal.  If you have trouble remembering dreams it is often suggested to keep a notebook by your bed to write down dreams upon awakening.

Last night I had a dream about a dolphin – a small dolphin.  He/she was wet flopping all around me wanting to be petted on a top floor of a high-rise building.  I looked up dolphins and buildings, the closest I might find to being on a top floor of a tall building.

Dolphins   

To see a dolphin in your dream, symbolizes spiritual guidance, intellect, mental attributes and emotional trust. The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life. Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions.

To dream that you are riding a dolphin represents your optimism and social altruism.

To dream that a dolphin is dying, indicates feeling of despair. You are feeling disconnected.

Building

To see a building in your dream represents the self and the body. How high you are in the building indicates a rising level of understanding, awareness or success. If you are in the lower levels of the building, then it refers to more primal attitudes and/or sexuality.

To see a building in ruins or damaged, indicates that your approach toward a situation or relationship is all wrong. You need to change. Your own self-image may have suffered and taken some blow.

To dream that a building collapses, indicates that you are losing sight of your ambitions and goals. Your pursuit for material gains is failing.

To dream that you or someone fall off a building, suggests that you are descending into the realm of unconscious. You are learning about and acknowledging aspects of your unconscious. Alternatively, it symbolizes your fear of not being able to complete or succeeding in a task.

To dream that you are scaling or climbing a building, indicates that you are getting carried away by your ambitions.

For dream meanings please refer to:  http://www.dreammoods.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend Marathon

Drawer from cutting board

I haven’t posted for awhile.  It’s really only been I think a couple of weeks, but in computer time that is probably an eternity.  In essence I’ve lasted close to 5 months on the post a day challenge for 2011.  In fact I have really shied away from the computer and writing, etc., in general for the last several weeks.

The rain, rain, finally went away and the work, work, outside began.

On Friday I was cleaning cabinets and found a cutting board that I never use, simply because the cherry is just to beautiful to cut on.  A light bulb went on in the darkened corridors of my mind to use it for the bathroom drawer.  I’ve never been happy with the wood on the drawer.  The problem though was that the cutting board was too small and an odd shape.  So, some artistic license was needed.  How artsy the drawer actually turned out , people’s opinions may differ on, but I’m fairly happy with it.  I’m thinking of adding another piece maybe down the road.  You will see by the picture that the board had to be cut up.

Rock work

My husband and I had during the week made a list of things we needed to accomplish around the house by the end of June.  I had to

at the last minute throw the drawer into the mix.  What may seem to be the less time consuming task usually ends up with the most complications.  The complication was that the original drawer we were gluing the new “artistic design” to, cracked in the process. We kept going back to this project as we began the Memorial Day (long) weekend of other projects.  By Monday the drawer was finally finished.

There was lawn work.  There was partial dismantling of part of a barn that was deteriorating in order to use good beams of wood for a building project.  We are in the midst of rocking two buildings which we will join and make into a workshop/greenhouse.  As much as possible we are using recycled and found materials.  The rock we gather from our woods.  So far the only thing we have purchased is concrete mix.  The

West Side of Deck

window was also taken from part of the dismantled barn.  I am looking forward to using a door which someone gave discarded from their own house remodeling.  Roof materials will definitely have to be purchased.

There was much cleaning out of the smaller building.  Amazing how much stuff  can be shoved into one building.  A good deal was weaving supplies which has already found a home.  So more recycling there.

There was some gardening done. There was pressure washing of the house and deck.  There was sandblasting of two old metal gliders that my Dad had given us.  There was window painting and deck furniture painting.  There is still some touch up pressure washing to do, as well as some touch up painting.  By Monday night we were about to drop.

The best part was putting up the hammock which had been stored in the small building.

Hammock
Uncategorized

A Little Yellow Stuff Goes A Long Way

This morning as I was fixing breakfast I was totally amazed to look out the window and see light. – Not just any light, but bright light, the light that comes from the sun.  For the longest time it has been bleak with almost constant rain.  I was beginning to feel we were on Ferenginar.   Ferenginar for those of you who are not Star Trek buffs is a planet where it rains nonstop.

I opened the door and told my husband to come over and look.  He said, “What’s that yellow stuff?”

Yesterday morning I got my first sign of yellow as I was talking on the phone and looking out the French doors.  A yellow bird landed in the yard.  To be exact it was a Goldfinch.  I told my friend on the phone and she said yellow meant loyalty and that she was my loyal friend.  That is certainly good to know.

Especially after reading the “Celestine Prophecy” series I tend to pay close attention to the animals that I see and make it a point to look up the meanings.

From the website: http://www.whats-your-sign.com/bird-meaning-finch.html

“Bird Meaning of the Finch

Joy

Simplicity

Variety

Diversity

Appreciation

Happiness

High Energy

Honoring Resources

Healthful Diet

Enjoying the Journey

When finches come into our awareness it is a sure sign of ebullient times ahead. Finches are a sparkly omen of high energy and bright days on the horizon.

Consider their flight pattern. In the same way you can pick up on a person’s character by his/her gait, we can do the same with a bird’s flight. And, in the realm of symbolic interpretation, flight can give us a lot to work with in bird meaning.

Finches are never satisfied to just go from point A to point B. They seem to boogie from place to place. Bouncing and bobbing through air currents is big fun for these birds. Observing them just gives you a feeling of freedom and happiness.

Indeed, Native People of North America held the finch as a bird of happiness. They observed their variety and colors and considered this bird to be favored because they were painted in shades of bright joy. Furthermore, joyful dispositions and their obviously freedom-loving behaviors are admirable qualities much revered by our wise ancestors.

If that weren’t enough, Native wisdom holds the finch as an oracle of celebration and upcoming festivities. These are song birds, and their music heralds the bounty of spring.

Indeed, the song of the finch is holds a great deal of symbolism. When the finch sings to our awareness it is a beckoning to unleash our own song. If we’ve been concealing our brilliance from the world – the finch is a sign to start making our value more audible and available to others.

The finch will sing lightly to your heart, and guide you on a bouncy path of creativity.

Its bird meaning deals with sociability too, and if the finch comes into your life it may be a signal to get more involved with social activities.

To summarize our bird meaning of the finch, and offer a few quick-points:

Flight:
Full of zeal and zest. The message here is “Enjoy the journey!

Color:
Derived from food source (finches don’t produce their own pigment. The quality of their food determines their brightness. Better food, better color). Message: “You are what you eat!” Feed your body good stuff, and let it flourish brightly. Check out my color meanings pages to help identify deeper symbolic meaning of your finch sightings.

Diet:
Finches feed their young plant matter (not meaty worms and such like most birds). Another message “Nourish your body!” with good greens from the earth.

Feathers:
Did you know finches have, on the average, 12 tail feathers? Twelve is symbolic of structure, particularly in matters of time (our 24 day is halved by 12, twelve signs of the western zodiac, twelve months in most calendars). Tail feathers are the rudders, so the finch may be telling us to “Navigate time wisely!

Habitat:
Finches are happy to nest anywhere. They are extremely opportunistic (even using discarded nests from other birds) and seemingly easy to please. The message “Appreciate what you have, and make the most of it!“”

The finch I saw was a very bright yellow.  Taken from the color pages – http://www.whats-your-sign.com/color-meaning.html – you can click on:  “Worshipped in the form of the sun – Yellow is all about radiating creativity, protection, intellect, positivity and clarity.”

I’m thankful for the return of yellow.

Food · Pizza

Eats in New York – Pizza – A Tradition

Several years’ back we watched a television show about pizza in New York.  Two of the places featured were Lombardi’s and Grimaldi’s.

Lombardi’s has been in business for over one hundred years beginning in Little Italy as a grocery store in 1897 and becoming licensed as the first pizzeria in America in 1905.  On our first trip together to New York City we visited Lombardi’s.  I remember a long line.  I vaguely remember the pizza.  I do remember the atmosphere, more like experiencing a piece of history.  I must note that the business was closed from 1984 to 1994.  When the doors reopened, they were reopened a block away from the original location.

So, on the last trip we tried Lombardi’s.  On this trip, we were staying in Brooklyn, and Grimaldi’s is suggested as the “must” visit there.  So, on our first night Grimaldi’s it was.  Grimaldi’s also traces its roots back to 1905.  The pizza at Grimaldi’s might have been a tad better than Lombardi’s, but still nothing to write home about, which is quite ironic considering I am writing about it.

There was the same long line manned by a colorful character in what I would call mafia attire.  After nearly an hour we were picked to go in – something akin to your lottery number being chosen.  There were no pleasantries given by this same doorman.  Tables covered in red-checkered clothes were lined up next to each other, no gap in between, in a cafeteria style.  Pictures of Frank Sinatra adorned almost one whole wall.

Once inside there was another long wait, perhaps thirty minutes for the pizza.  We both ordered root beers and drank them very slowly as we didn’t see any refills being given, and kind of concluded with them bringing out a glass with barely any ice along with bottles of root beers that any refills were extra.  I watched as empty plates were picked up and tables dusted off just a bit to make way for the next chosen entrants.

The couple next to us didn’t seem pleased at all and had some words with the waiter.  Almost immediately they received their pizza.   About the time they had finished our pizza had arrived and a new couple had had taken the previous couple’s place.  We were on the edge and not squeezed between people.

The crust had a unique taste from the coal oven.  The pizzas are simple with what you think of as normal pizza ingredients, nothing exotic in the least.  I tend to like the more gourmet take on pizzas myself, but then that wouldn’t be keeping with the experience of Grimaldi’s at all.  There were no leftovers.  Previously we had walked both ways the entire span of the Brooklyn Bridge and after the outside line wait and the inside wait we were pretty hungry.  After eating, we walked down the street to the East River.

I will conclude by being thankful for having both a historical and present New York landmark experience and sharing it with my husband.  In the following days of our trip we followed our gut on choosing restaurants and the food experience got much better.

Gardens

Gardens – A Constant Evolution

Presently - still a work in progress

There has always been this weird place in our front lawn, and living out in the country in the middle of nowhere we have a huge front lawn.  In actuality the front lawn is as big as wherever you decide to stop mowing and let the field take over.  This particular place just off our front porch, was an impossible place to mow and really just an eye sore.  Off to the side also, there is a concrete slab that has been there as long as I can remember, at least fifty years, to which on one side an old root cellar was connected.  It is long past gone, but the slab remains.

When Chris came along we started a small garden there.  The soil in this spot is clay.  After a year we decided to expand our garden and move it over into the field on the North side of the house.  Our vegetable garden over the course of our nine years together has now moved a couple of more times to the South side of the house, finally where we want it.

But, back to the original spot in the front of our house, which faces East.  With the removal of the vegetable garden, this was even more of an eyesore.  I decided it could be a good herb garden.  The

following year I thought a little pond would work well there.  I don’t have pictures of this particular progression.  Over the next year I asked my dad if we could have this big concrete slab structure that I thought might work well there.  Chris hauled it

over from his house, 3 miles away, very slowly, with the tractor, with me following.  There are two pieces to it.  Originally, we just used the bigger piece trying to make a fountain area.  Last year, near the end of the year after fall was sitting in I wanted to redo the whole thing – a redesign, making a bigger water area and moving the concrete slab all together.  At this suggestion, Chris’s eyebrows raised.  I think this is the first time he every really said no to me.  I didn’t push it.  It took a hoist and the tractor to move it into place, and getting it back out of place and into another would be another major operation.  I never brought it up again.  He just more or less decided on his own we would go forward with it.

All I can say is this project is always evolving.  I put in a picture of the concrete slab to the right of the area.  My dream for there is one of those double glider covered swings.  I’ve asked him to build that for me for my birthday.  I’ve wanted one every since I was a kid.  I’m thankful my husband is such a hard worker, without which none of this would be possible.