the beach is back 1

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hooray the crescent beach is back - so happy & filled with gratitude that one of best friends is 9 year old Sweet Billie Bee ;-)

The sun shines not on us but in us. 

The rivers flow not past, but through us. 

Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.

John Muir

Raining cats & dogs here this early morning. My friend Sweet Bee, who's visiting from British Columbia (the other side of Canada) 'til Friday and I have been on many beach combing adventures lately - lucky me ! Nature truly is my medicine, my religion, my biggest thrill ... my favourite thing.

Must watch ! absolutely incredible time lapse nature short films by Louie Schwartzberg here + a fantastic interview with him (& Oprah) on Super Soul Sunday here.

& a recipe

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Well Bonjour Spring ! & lovely mossy back garden + panko crusted salmon, asparagus with almonds & feta & oven fries

Leisure is only possible when we are at one with ourselves. We tend to overwork as a means of self-escape, as a way of trying to justify our existence …
Joseph Pieper

One of my most favourite leisure activities is cooking. I love to boldly, persistently experiment in my kitchen ;-)

Panko Crusted Salmon (serves 2)

1 large salmon fillet sliced in 2
2-3 tbsp dijon mustard
1-2 tsp honey (or to taste)
1/2 cup panko crumbs*
salt, pepper
1 tbsp butter
dried or fresh dill

Preheat oven to 425. Mix dijon & honey together and slather liberally on all flesh sides of salmon. Mix dill, salt & pepper (I used a lemon pepper blend) with panko crumbs then dredge/press crumbs onto salmon. Cut butter into 6 little smidges and place 3 down each top side of salmon fillet. Place skin side down in an oiled pie plate/pan. Bake at 425 15-20 minutes depending on size of fillet. Finish with squeeze of fresh lemon.

Asparagus with Almonds & Feta

1 bundle of asparagus (ends snapped off & stalks cut in half)
1 tbsp of canola/coconut oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced almonds
1 fat clove garlic
1/4 cup Feta cheese (or a little less)

Heat oil in a high sided large pan (I use a wok) 'til quite hot. Add asparagus, stir fry a minute or so. Add almonds & garlic, stir fry another minute or so. Taste a piece of asparagus for preferred doneness (we like ours quite crunchy). Add Feta stir just to melt cheese. Finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon.

Oven Fries (the best !)

2-3 large potatoes (sliced into fries)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
garlic powder, salt & pepper

Toss everything well in a large bowl. Arrange fries spaciously on two pizza pans. Bake for 10 mins oven temp. 425. Take out flip fries dust with a little more seasoning pop back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until golden & crispy.

* look for Panko crumbs in the Asian section of your grocery store or make your own


Monday, April 14, 2014

I've never met a piece of cardboard I didn't like* - kraft paisley No.1 - white ink on kraft cardboard - Susan Black © 2014

Striving for balance will derail your plans for greatness. It's not the imbalances of life that will get you down–it's doing meaningless things that aren't taking you where you want to go.

Danielle LaPorte - The Fire Starter Sessions

You may be wondering (I know I am) what ever happened to my 60 minutes a day of art for the entire month of March ?

Huh ? I made it 13 days. On day 3 I was so thrilled about the idea, the fun, the freedom, the newness & the novelty and tres jealous inspired by the amazing 30 min. loose spontaneous & gorgeous sketchbook pages of my friend Jennifer Orkin Lewis that I actually spoke publicly about not only doing 60 mins of sketchbook art/painting a day but maybe I'd be so bold as to add to each of my days, 'cause I'm just sitting' around dreaming up things to do, 30 minutes of pattern making plus 30 minutes of typography, all sketchy loose stuff, spontaneous, fun, not taking myself too seriously or worrying about the final outcome. Ya Huh !! I failed miserably. So ... let's do the post-mortem on that failed project - I know I want to.

Well first & simply I did not ever set the timer for 60 mins. Big mistake. Because by day 6 (or sooner) Madam Perfectionist (not a loose and/or spontaneous bone in her body) had come a callin' & settled in for a stay. Very quickly, because of Madam P watching over my shoulder, what began as a 60 min. a day fun project, turned into a many hour, had to love each day's page madly, must be Perfect, albatross around my neck.

No biggie however, and certainly not at all a surprise to me because, as they say in current psychotherapy, I am pretty "self aware" ;-). In fact the experience was another great reminder. I try to do too much & all the time instead of doing the things that really lift me up and propel me and my dreams and goals forward. The problem is I like doing w-a-y too many things. I keep thinking I should have more balance in my life ? But honestly I don't even know what that means or what "balance" in my life would look like ? maybe I already have balance and I don't recognize it ??

mental emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.

I hear many Buddhists & yoga instructors (I hate to lump them into one group but there does seem to be lots of overlap + I do relate greatly to both practices) speaking lately about striving for "equanimity" in life. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I don't really like that word, I don't like the look of it, or the sound of it and because I am so "self aware" I'm pretty sure equanimity and me are never really gonna be great pals. Not saying I can't be civil & welcoming to a little more calm & composure in my life but I'm really getting to know, love & accept the roller coaster ride that is me.

How 'bout we finish up today with a fantastic little reminder from our pal ze

* I'm a serious cardboard hoarder - cardboard & bubble wrap, another chapter - hoarding and it's relationship to the anxious mind - stay tuned ;-)