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May 13 2013 017

How I would love to tell you that life has been all roses and frolicking this week.

That is but a fraction of the story.May 13 2013 019

In the last couple days alone the farm has seen accidents, injuries, delusion, anger, bloodshed, exile, and multiple deaths of various creatures.  If it sounds like Lord of the Flies, it has been to some extent. In fact I believe one creature’s tailless corpse may still be wedged between two bricks in the sunroom now that I think about it. Yip, Moon Pie, and Nickel are savages in their play.

Still, we haven chosen to celebrate in spite of these things.

The voices of three generations rose up to sing gospel hymns and children’s songs.

We honored mothers.May 13 2013 021

We created new things from old things.

We fixed broken things.

We marveled.

We broke things that really needed fixing.

We recoiled in horror.

We stared too long at train-wrecks.

We cried.May 13 2013 023

We simultaneously understood and didn’t understand.

We accepted that this is all part of the giant whirlygig.

…and then we went back to the roses and frolicking.

Keep close to Nature’s heart…

Wash your spirit clean.

–John Muir

clover

clover

Nickel Adorned with Hearts

Nickel Adorned with Hearts

Tree root heart

Tree root heart

Moon Pie Heart

Moon Pie Heart

Heart Strings, tugged once daily

Look into your own heart and discover what gives you pain and then refuse under any circumstances whatsoever to inflict that pain onto anybody else.

–Karen Armstrong

Title: Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Author: Karen Armstrong

Synopsis: Karen Armstrong, a religious historian and former nun, explores the notion of empathy and compassion that underlies and unifies the Abrahamic faiths as well as most other religious traditions.

Why I read this: A certain yogini inspired me to deepen my understanding of compassion.

What I loved about it: Armstrong’s conviction and intellect shine through every page. The depth and breadth of her scholarship was a nice change from my recent lighter reading.  The language was scholarly, yet accessible, intelligible and beautiful.

What was unexpected: I was surprised by the depth beneath the self-help title and macrostructure. There really are twelve steps, but the history, spirit, and detail Armstrong provides were far more intriguing.


You might like this if you liked: The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology

Fun coincidence:  As I was reading this book, El Diablo was reading God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
by Christopher Hitchens. The themes and events covered often coincided. It was fun to compare notes and the authors’ vastly different perspectives: enduring optimism vs. chronically quarrelsome.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

-Kahlil Gibran

Last year I rediscovered the joy of Christmas.

This year, Valentine’s Day will have a makeover.  We will keep the love, but let’s expand it beyond the mere romantic, then  add a lot of light, and hm….how about a tree?

Valentine's Day Tree

Valentine’s Day Tree

Yes, a Valentine’s Day tree.  It’s all about the love and light.

Shall we celebrate with yoga and tea and giving?   Healthy hearts all around.

All donations for the class will go to Le Bonheur Foundation Heart Institute.  If you can’t make it tonight, you can still give by clicking the blue link above or visiting lebonheur.org

give love

If you are interested in joining us tonight, shoot me an email  lunareuphoria@aol.com for directions.

MooMoo's forehead heart

MooMoo’s forehead heart

I’m learning to be a “good” listener. These are the wonderful words I heard around the house this week…

~*~

“Hello family!”

~*~

“I can help.”

~*~

“I feel better.”

~*~

“I’m so glad we did this.”

~*~

“I thought you needed a ‘poinsetter’…and here are those cookies I told you about.”

~*~

“I love you.”

~*~

“This has been the best day of my life.”

~*~

What words have warmed your heart this week?

God made food; the devil cooks.

–James Joyce, Ulysses

~~@~~

The Devil insists his Sin-a-Buns are easy and quick to make.  One must wonder why then he started them in the morning and then made me wait ALL DAY (until dinner!) until they were “ready” to eat.

The answer to that mystery is this: because he’s The Devil.

*sigh*

The Devil’s Sin-a-Buns

Dough:
4.5 C all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp dry yeast
1 C almond milk
 1/6 C butter, room temperature
1/6 C coconut oil, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
 4.5 tsp ENER-G plus 6 tbsp water, mix before adding to recipe (OR you can just use 3 eggs if you’re in to that sort of thing)
Filling:
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C butter, room temperature
Icing:
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 box)
4 Tbsp (heaping) powdered sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp Vanilla Rum
1 Tbsp almond milk (if needed for thinning)
Place all dough ingredients into a bread machine set to ‘dough’ setting.  The Devil’s bread machine takes about 1.5 hours to complete.  Make sure all ingredients are mixed well and you have a smooth, lightly elastic dough.
Remove dough from bread machine and place on a lightly floured surface.  Separate dough into four equal pieces and roll each piece by hand to form a long baguette.  Let rest for a few minutes, then roll out each piece, one at a time, to form a thin layer of dough in the shape of a rectangle.
Mix all filling ingredients until a grainy paste is achieved.  Divide the filling into four parts, and use a flat spatula to spread 1/4 of the filling evenly on each piece of rolled-out dough.  Roll up the dough longways and take a sharp knife to slice the roll into 6 rolls.  You should end up with 6+6+6 [+6] rolls.
Place the rolls into a greased 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and bake in a 375 F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until light brown on top.
Heat icing ingredients in microwave for 30 secs.- 1 minute, then stir and drizzle on top of the rolls as they cool.  Then enjoy the sinful, gooey goodness.

They are nothing short of amazing.

[Your partner] will make you see more about yourself than any navel gazing in solitude could ever reveal.  And if the process isn’t completely horrifying and frustrating, then you’re just not doing it right.

Jane Lynch

We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”

–Galway Kinnell

~*~

He sold a guitar to buy her engagement ring.  He was going to give it to her on Christmas day, but he wound up proposing two weeks before because he couldn’t wait.

She was horrified by the thought of a public wedding because it would involve too many eyes looking at her all at once.  Besides, who had money to waste on some stupid party? She wanted to elope. Eloping was perfectly fine by him.  Their mothers were appalled by the very idea and pushed for a church wedding.  Suddenly it was ok for the young couple to continue “living in sin,” as the mothers called it, for many months longer if it meant they could plan the wedding.  The mothers joined forces and just started planning the damn thing without the couple’s consent.

“Ok, whatever” the would-be bride said with an eye roll.

The day before the wedding, he got a new hairdo, trading in his 1980s rocker hair for a mullet.

WTF, M8??

The ceremony that took eight months for the mothers to plan lasted 14 minutes.

And time passed….the couple ate a lot of Totino’s pizza, they got a cat, they bought a house, they got a dog, he changed jobs, she went back to school, they argued,  they made up, relatives died, relatives were born, he played guitar, they tried new foods, she graduated a few times, they took care of kids, he took classes, they lost touch with old friends, he studied Kung Fu, they went on vacations, they made new friends, they sold and bought cars, they took a lot of walks in the park, they reconnected with old friends,  she took a job out of state, the cat died, the dog died, they watched movies, she got a new cat, they got a new dog, they sold a house, they bought a farm…

…and 18 years later, she still looks at him and thinks, “This is the problem I want to have.”

Friday Morning’s Skyscrapers

Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, and Realize.

– Master Sivananda

~~@~~

This week I am amazed by other people’s capacity for patience where I have none.

 I am grateful to be learning from your example.

And to the one who tries my patience near daily:

Thank you for being here doing what you do to help me work on it.

The stars aligned oddly last Friday night and I wound up with a new love in my life.  Meet Nilla Bean, the newest member of my family….

Nilla Bean

“The Devil is in the Details” is what he (The Devil) told me to entitled this post.  Mind you this was before I had even considered blogging about this. I was simply taking the pictures to show the family how industrious we’d been.  Yes, we.  He may have done all the heavy lifting (and sawing, hammering, prying, and everything involving dirt and serious effort) but someone had to hand feed him chips while he worked, take the pictures, ‘oooooh and aaaaaaah’ over everything, decide where things should go, and listen to his step-by-step tutorial like a good apprentice carpenter (as if I would be doing all this for myself someday).  Plus, I’m the one, apparently, who must work into the late hours of the night writing the blog, so here we go.

It all started with a simple pallet (or palate, if you prefer) and a need for salad material.  I wanted to plant arugula and spinach and he wanted to destroy something.

The Devil Wields His Saw of Destruction

So he did.

The Devil Beats the Nails into Submission

At this point in the lecture he wanted me to be sure to mention that he was recycling even the nails.

Voila, Hanging Pallet Planters

The Devil filled the planters with dirt, planted arugula and spinach seeds and hung the pallets on the fence.

Then to be ironic, I put a bird on it.

 

I’ll have you know that bird was made from a repurposed vinyl record….as was this bird…

 

The bird was a nod to the crazy people of Portlandia (see video below).

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