Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Question

Asked myself this question this morning, what takes us more of my time, thinking about the food I should or should not eat, which way of eating is best, or my relationship to God ?

Luke 12:22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear."

If a modern day guru of sorts said what Jesus said, we would think he was being irresponsible in making such a statement.  We are consumed these days by concepts such as vegan/non vegan.  Protein/no protein.   Carbs/low carbs.  Fat/low fat or no fat.  Organic/non organic.  I have no desire to discuss the merits of any food plans, been there done that. Yet, most of us never have realized that food has become the whole focus of so many conversations, and so many times we stock and restock our pantries with whatever foods we just heard about on the television or in the news.  It's mind boggling.   It's peer pressure extraordinaire  !  If I was bent on finding a subtle plot to take peoples minds off of God, I would guess what to eat and what not to eat, would be high on the list.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Party Time

A wonderful family celebration for Melissa's 32nd birthday.  I made her favorite cake, the one she first asked for when she was 6.  White chocolate cake with raspberry, neo classic butter cream frosting.  I made French macarons too using the same raspberry frosting.  
The evening went by all too fast !  We enjoyed Caprese with heirloom tomatoes, Julia Child's wonderful recipe for Chicken salad, deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms and a few other goodies.  A cool meal for a very warm summer evening.    Nothing better to me then being surrounded by my family !

A Gift From Paris, sunshine and breakfast and Cooper

This past weekend, Melissa and Cooper came up for a visit.  James had to work once again so could not make the trip up.  We celebrated Melissa's birthday a bit late, but we all enjoyed our special time together.  Melanie and Melissa got to spend a fun evening Saturday night, going to a concert together.  They haven't had an opportunity to do something together like that in years so it was extra special for them.   Saturday morning breakfast was a simple one, on the porch, enjoying the sunshine and the conversation.   Cooper, found his spot this past weekend, the back of the over-sized chair.  He slept the weekend away, such a sweet dog.
Friends went to Paris recently and brought me back some gifts.  One of which was the most wonderful box of chocolates from Ladurée.  What a treat !

Petit Dejeuner

My little corner of the world is changing.  It comes with time and with age and I for one am embracing it full on.   There is less homestead life and more of a relaxed, yet, faster pace life.  My days are full of indulging in a  love of French cooking, that had been put on hold for many years while I was busy just simply cooking enough food to feed hungry teenagers.   We have been so blessed in so many ways, one of which is that we now have the time and the money to do some things around the house that we have in the past, just dreamed of.   I have the time now to dress with more care,  nurturing   the girlie side of me.   Its a wonderful time in life.  Once again, Emery and I are dating once again, something we didn't do for very long in our beginning.  We dated 10 weeks before we were married and then Melissa was born 18 months  after that.  So there wasn't a lot of just us time.  However, let me assure you, it was perfect just the way it was !  
Life is good, really good.  Wonderful actually !  
This morning for breakfast I made fresh peach and almond  clafoutis.  A perfect way to use the locally grown, fresh peaches we picked up at the market this week.   Now to sit on the porch before the scorching heat of the day arrives and sip my cappuccino ~
I have much more to write about later as a lot has been going on around here of late.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sa vie est belle

It is a wonderful life !  Certainly there are hardships that come along our way, but there is so much joy to be discovered each and every day in some aspect of life.   In this time of rejuvenation, I am enjoying the easy life.   Long leisurely breakfasts on the porch after Emery has headed off to the office.  I do feed him first though.   I am embarking on a total makeover of myself. Spending hours at our fitness center, swimming, working out, etc.  I have once again taken a deeper interest in what I wear, how my hair is done etc.  Big plans are swirling around here on some renovations and redecorating.  There are daily discussions on trips abroad, including in the next five years doing an extended stay in Paris, 3 months, or maybe even 6.
As we approach a time when retirement is not long in coming, we are finding that we are once again planning for fun adventures, as if we were in our 20's again.  No real responsibilities, not the same level of obligations as when we were raising our family.  The homestead life just does not call to us any longer.   Life comes in waves of stages, you can learn to enjoy the changes or fight them and in doing so, you end up going nowhere.  We are embracing with joy, the new freedom we have.  Sa vie est belle
This morning, joy in a breakfast of a toasted slice of French baton, spread with herbed goat cheese and topped with peeled fresh garden tomato.  A steaming cup of caramel macchiato and a bowl of fresh blackberries.  Soft music, a breeze blowing and joy in things like the table cloth blowing in the wind, a shadow, and the bubbles in the water.   A good book to read .Simple joy !

Young At Heart - Frank Sinatra

How we live our life ! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Time of Recovery

To say that life has been stressful for our family in the past couple of months would be a gross understatement !  So, now that things seem to have calmed down, and Mei-Ling is doing so much better, its time for me to treat myself to some recovery time.   As you age, you handle stress differently.  I found myself having tension headaches, which then turned into aches and pains that apparently wished to "take up residence".   Heading to the Fitness Center for a nice swim aggravated the tension in my shoulders.  Working out, did the same.  A nice hour long massage, resulted in the masseuse telling me, "your muscles are balls of tension".   I needed to take care of this problem as it began to manifest itself in what I call, symptoms of old age !
A trip to the chiropractor resulted in the same consensuses as the masseuse.  Twice a week adjustments and deep massage are helping.  At home, I have been treating myself to long leisurely breakfasts on the porch, reading favorite books, and listening to music that soothes my soul.  I am beginning to feel younger every day !   
I haven't felt very inspired to write which is why you are not seeing many posts by me, but as I get my "groove" back, then that too will change. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Primum non nocere - First, Do No Harm

Primum non nocere,  is a phrase we connect to the Hippocratic Oath, a pledge for Doctors to abstain from doing harm.  What if, we all lived by this phrase ?  What would our lives look like ?  More importantly, what would the lives of our spouses look like ?  Our children's lives ?  Our neighbors, our fellow workers, etc ?    
Sometimes, without much thought, we say and do things to harm the very ones we love the most.  And often our own "self talk" harms us.  
In the past two months, I have had much time to think deeply about what really matters in life.  When Mei-Ling was handing on to life by a very thin thread, I never once thought about my pretty dishes, my new drapes, what was hanging in my closet, what kind of car I drove or wished I drove.  I never once thought about how my hair looked, or if my shoes matched my purse.   I thought only about the frailty of life and how each and every word and deed has an impact on those we come in contact with.  I thought about life's purpose, about why we are here on earth.  I thought about the power of our thoughts and actions, each and every one.  In retrospect, I measured out with care, the things in life that really matter.   This morning I woke thinking about having peace in my heart that was firm and unshakable, and how that must feel.  I thought about my daughter Melissa, who is having a birthday today, and how every word and action I have taken since the day she was born has had an impact on her life.   Did I weigh every one of them against the adage that I should "first, do no harm" ?  Probably not.  I am sure there are times I was not as kind as I should have been, or as considerate as I could have been.  There have been times when I reacted before thinking about my words.  We live in a world that bombards us through social media, and plain old media, about what we should like, want, have, say, do etc, but very few of them come with any consideration as to if our wanting this or that might harm another.  Do those new kitchen gadgets come with a cost ?  Do those shoes really make us happy long term and fill us with inner peace ?  Do they take away from our meeting the needs of some child going without lunch, or perhaps take only thoughts in our heads about who we really are and what we need to be at peace ?   I am examining my life right now, seeking to find the correct path, the one that includes doing good, doing no harm, honoring God and filling my life with gratitude for all that He has so graciously given me.  To live each day filled not with want and desire for more things, but to live each day filled with the desire to fill the empty spaces with peace and unconditional love.

Every single night before I go to sleep and every morning before I hop out of bed, the same prayer in on my lips.  Of course I pray for m...