Focus

I must admit, the past two months have been a little rough for me. Getting to the end of this school year was tough, but I made it. School is finally out and I find myself officially unemployed for the next eight weeks. With this abundance of time laid out before me, my mind begins the arduous task of sorting through the myriad of possibilities…How shall I spend this precious allowance of time? What to do, where to go, who to see? And so the making of the lists begins. There are the To-Do’s, the Should-Do’s, the Could-Do’s, the Would-Like-To’s, the Need-To’s, the Must-Do’s, the Absolutely-Have-To’s and, of course, the I-Would-Really-Love-To’s. There is something about the making of a list that lures you into a false sense of control, fools you into believing you are organized and misleads the mind into thinking you are on top of things. Unfortunately, the reality for me is a cloudy mess of confusion. I seem to be suffering from some sort of attention deficit issue lately and I am experiencing some difficulty in focusing my priorities. Focus…I bet there’s a tonic for that. Some sort of elixir, a natural remedy to cure this particular malady? Naturally, I chose to begin my tackling of the To-Do’s in the kitchen. Lesson #1: When you find yourself in such an unfocused state of mind, it is best to stay out of the kitchen.

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This Land

I have never been one to express strong political views or overtly display my patriotic colors, but there is this song that I really love and I always find it especially poignant on Independence Day. You know that Woody Guthrie tune…

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters:
This land was made for you and me.
Enjoying the View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Changing Direction

Well, I don’t know how it happened, but summer is in full swing, it seems. For many months now, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this “Summer Break” I had carefully planned for myself this year. I have been longing for and looking forward to a lazy summer schedule with an abundance of free time, trips to take, projects to make and some serious catching up to do. Then suddenly it occurred to me that this precious summer time of mine has come and is already slipping through my grasp. With me, it always seems the best-laid plans never quite turn out the way I expect. I tend to be the flexible one in life, always willing to accommodate, usually able to rearrange, happy to change my plans for the sake of seemingly more important priorities. Sometimes I think the universe knows this about me and intentionally takes advantage of my flexible nature. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for I have grown to adore and look forward to those delightful little discoveries that so often accompany an unexpected change in direction.

Cloud Watching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to School with Healthy Habits

For ten years now, I have spent my days with little folks, talking about life, the world, what things do and how they work. Together, we have the pleasure of indulging our mutual sense of wonder. I have come to understand that children have an innate love of nature and if that love is nurtured, it will naturally bloom into a love of self and love for others. I watch it happen time and time again, year after year, cycle after cycle. It never ceases to amaze me. So, how can we as parents, teachers and role models, tap into this sense of wonder and instill healthy habits within our children? They are, after all, our hope for the future…are they not? It is a mighty responsibility, an overwhelming task, so my advice is to simply start small. Invite them. Excite them. Delight them in the process. And those healthy habits will naturally become part of who they are.

Hungry caterpillar

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The Seastar Retreat

About this time of year I usually find myself moaning about the unbearable desert heat, groaning about this ever-lasting summer season and wishing away my precious time. This year however, my husband and I decided to make an unlikely escape, taking a break from our typical summer Sierra adventures. We wanted to try something new, so we traded in the alpine lake with that picture-perfect campsite for a luxurious beach house with a never-ending ocean view.

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Keepin’ it Cool with Smoothies and Such

Well Summer has definitely made her way around and seems to be settled in for the season. With temperatures above a hundred we are beginning to wilt around here. Welcome July. There are many things I love about my summer season, but the heat is not one of them. I don’t know about you, but when the mercury rises, my appetite drops. I don’t desire much but sweet summer fruits, simple salads, smoothies and such. So, here are a few suggestions for healthy and refreshing ways to keep your cool in the midst of this summer heat.

Acai Berry Bowl

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So the Season Begins: Backcountry Camping

It is that time of year again. Temperatures have reached the triple digits, desert adventures have gone into hibernation mode, the cooler runs non-stop as weekdays take on that lethargic summer pace. But when the weekend comes, we head for the hills seeking the shade of those swaying pines, the cool relief of glacial waters and that rejuvenating alpine air. And so it begins. Our mountain season and backcountry camping.

Mt. Goode and Long Lake

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Just Peachy

Something I secretly love about my weekly organic produce box is the little challenge put before me every time I bring it home and open the paper wrapping to reveal the mystery contents for the week. Being locally grown, organic, seasonal produce, it is not always a surprise to find certain things at certain times. One would expect to find apples in autumn, squash in winter, strawberries in spring and green beans in summer. But what I love is the combination of ingredients presented each week and the adventure in figuring out some deliciously different way of using them.

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