hippieonthegrid

Simple, Logical, Natural Living

Happy New Year December 31, 2012

2012? BUH-bye! Good riddance! I am thrilled to be done with this year and usher in a whole new year. For all I have been through this year – haven’t we all been through so much this year? – I hope 2013 is a kinder and gentler time span. That being said, there is something to say about making real resolutions to help ourselves have a good year.

  1. Be kinder to ourselves. We deserve it. That means letting ourselves off the hook every now and then, not being so hard on ourselves, and taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually (and stop ignoring spirituality. It does matter.)
  2. Be kinder to others. They deserve it. Just like for ourselves, let others off the hook now and then. I used to live by a motto that you never know what someone is going through. I plan to re-adopt that motto this year.
  3. Take responsibility and stop laying blame. I think we have all learned some lessons about blame this year. Everyone blamed Republicans or Democrats for the state of the nation. People incorrectly blamed an intellectual disability (Asperger’s) for the killings in Connecticut. What really caused all of it? People. It’s time for people to take responsibility for their actions. Maybe if we all practiced #2 (be kinder to others) we can stave off events that make us blame to begin with and make fewer people do the wrong things.
  4. Do something new or learn a new skill. One way we can improve ourselves is by taking initiative. One way you can become who you want to be is by figuring out who you really are. How do you know you’re not into playing an instrument unless you learn to play a song on the piano? You just might discover a few new things about yourself.

At least for me, I think those ideas may help me make a difference in my life and the lives of others. Welcome 2013. Happy New Year and be safe!

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Apple Santa December 23, 2012

Apple SantaThis Christmas will be a little hard without my mother here but I do believe I am doing right in honoring my mother’s memory. It’s been therapeutic maintaining our traditions and keeping the Christmas spirit alive this year. My mother loved Christmas: our traditional Slovak Christmas Eve, Church, presents, family, and the music. She always made Christmas such a special time. I am making sure to keep up the things she loved the most. One thing she did every year was make Apple Santa’s. It’s really easy, fun, adults and children alike love them, and they smell wonderful (not t mention they are edible)!

What you Need:

1 apple
5 toothpicks
5 marshmallows
1/2 black licorice twist
6 whole cloves

How you do it:

1. Remove stem from apple, insert a toothpick a little more than half-way into the top. Place marshmallow on top of toothpick. This makes Santa’s head if you didn’t realize that. Finish his face using three whole cloves placed for the eyes and nose.

2. Cut the 1/2 licorice twist into four equal pieces. On the remaining four toothpicks, place a marshmallow first and then a piece of licorice. Place these toothpicks at the spots for arms and legs.

3. Finally, using a toothpick, score three spots for Santa’s buttons and press in a whole clove. That’s it!

 

December 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hippieonthegrid @ 10:48 am

This sounded absolutely delicious, I had to repost!

Pas de Deux Blog

We grew up eating a lot of vegetables, but brussels sprouts were not one of them.

above

I recently asked my mom why this was, since now we are all now huge fans of the little cabbages. (On Thanksgiving, for example, we had to hide the roasted veggies (including brussels sprouts) from ourselves when they came out of the oven, for fear that we might nibble away at the whole pan before we got to serve them for dinner.)

plate and bowl

Her reply: “They just weren’t as available 10 years ago as they are today.”

Well, that makes sense, I guess. These days brussels sprouts are everywhere, it seems. This bag of pre-shredded brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s would be a case in point.

shredded

I didn’t intend to take the “lazy” route with this salad, but TJ’s only had this pre-shaved bag, no whole sprouts, and since I had visions of a shaved…

View original post 242 more words

 

Resurgence November 11, 2012

Filed under: Inspirational,Spiritual — hippieonthegrid @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

So it’s been a heck of a year. I lost my young cousin in August and that drags on as his killers are being tried for the crime. My mother just passed away a few weeks ago. We were clobbered by a couple storms. All that being said, I oddly feel a sense of calm and well, resurgence, is the only word I can really think of. I know life is what you make of it and I know now I have to make something of it. I’m going to start taking care of me as well – mind, body, and soul. Today, I started my morning with a 35 minute walk/run on my treadmill and wow, that’s why I’m a little soft around the middle. Funny how just a teeny bit of exercise shows why you’re not the way you want to be there, and there, and oh yeah, there. It is my goal to get at least a 30-something beach-ready body by the time we go on vacation. Oh yeah, vacation, another thing my husband and I decided we needed to do for ourselves this coming year and we booked but because of our luck, Hurricane Sandy took out the town. What luck didn’t account for is resilience. My resilience, my husband’s, and the resilience of strong, determined people. My mother would never have wanted us to be defeated.

 

Potato, Bacon, and Egg Hash September 29, 2012

Delicious Breakfast!

I got inspired this morning as I attempted to be as lazy as possible and stay in bed watching TV. Giada had this awesome recipe for Salami, Bacon, and Spinach Hash and because I can never leave well enough alone and I didn’t have some ingredients, of course I modified it. These measurements are a guesstimate as I just added what amount looked right. It was delicious!

  • 3 slices thick cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled and cubed
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 /4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 3 slices Genoa salami stacked on top of each other and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 small Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 large, organic eggs
  • chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Stirring occasionally to brown evenly and crisp. About 5 minutes. Remove bacon to paper towel and reserve.
  2. In the bacon fat, cook the potatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper. Stir often until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove and add to paper towel.
  3. Add oil, onion, green pepper, salt, and pepper to pan. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, salami, tomato, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook through about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the bacon and potatoes back in and stir well. Make 2 openings in the mixture and crack an egg into each opening. Cook until the eggs are set but yolks are still runny. My eggs took about 7 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve. Yum!
 

Working my Way Back September 24, 2012

So it’s been quite a while since I posted. Well, I admit, I mentally and emotionally crashed. I am disappointed in myself that I let that happen but knowing I have seen even the strongest people crash now and then, I feel hopeful and ok with letting myself wallow for a little while. Mourning and grief are normal and natural, I have to remember that. Since my cousin was murdered in the beginning of August, my life seemed to nose-dive. Two of my uncles were diagnosed with cancers that are not treatable. My dog needed surgery. I was in a minor car accident. My mother’s myelodysplasia (MDS) was upgraded to acute leukemia and she’s been in and out of the hospital. She also requires a lot of help that of course I am so happy I am able to supply it. Everything just seemed/seems to go wrong lately and I began to learn things that were sad and unpleasant – I learned that I have been wrong for a long time about people I thought I knew so well and I am very disappointed in who they are. I hope they can find some spiritual guidance to help them become who they are capable of being. I am certainly not perfect and now is a time I am taking to also improve.

I was listening to a podcast today about Zen and Buddhist Dharma hosted by Zencast.org entitled “Practice Simplicity.” I found so much comfort in its insight. Gil Fronsdal introduced me (and his audience) to a tremendously important Buddhist instruction to, “Set your mind at ease, and notice what takes away from that.” It’s one of the hardest things to do – to set your mind at ease. But it is easier to see what takes away from ease – these people who are purposefully hurting others and are not who I thought they were. The only problem with this instruction is that’s the end of it. So… what do we do about what takes away from our ease? There’s nothing more, no more instruction. Fronsdal also noted that issue but said this instruction in itself is difficult, so to start – just “notice.” Notice the moment, don’t react to it, don’t let your mind do anything about it, just notice. So as I listened to this program as I drove, I practiced and noticed something that made me really, truly smile and appreciate the beauty of everything – the leaves are changing colors. Even walking to my car this morning I pulled a couple leaves stuck on the back of my car and STILL didn’t notice the leaves were changing. So from today on out I will track one beautiful thing each day as I do nothing else but “notice.” Today: the leaves are changing.

 

Being Thankful August 19, 2012

I haven’t posted in a little while. Usually when I think about posting I’m thinking of something I’m attempting in the kitchen, how my garden is doing, or some book I’m reading that I’m really into. This past week felt like a month though. My family had terrible news that we lost a young family member and even worse, to violence. Violence doesn’t happen in our family, illness and accidents do, but violence? No. So it’s been a tough week with circumstances ridiculously difficult to fathom. But I’ve learned a lot, I realize I take so much for granted, forgetting that for some, tomorrow just might not come. It sounds sad, it is sad, but then there’s the other side of it. My cousin is in heaven and doesn’t need to worry about all the silly stuff we worry about here. He’s taught me a lot this week. First, that even in death you can give life: my cousin’s organs immediately went to several people waiting for more time with their family. He also taught me that sometimes we are so caught up in worry about silly things that we forget to be thankful for what we do have. I woke up this morning for the first time in a week feeling ok, even a little happy because we learned justice will be served. But, most of all, I took a few minutes to enjoy things I sometimes let pass me by as mundane: how the room was just a tad chilly but under the covers was perfect. I relished the warm, precious dog who curled up next to me and looked at me like I am the best person in the world. I took in every moment of comfort and happiness I feel having my loving, doting, protective husband sleeping by my side. So I guess today’s post is a public service announcement of sorts: don’t sweat the small things that really don’t matter and remember to enjoy the small stuff that means everything.

 

 
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