Monday, July 27, 2015

Joni's Amazing Pumpkin Pie

1/4 C Coconut Oil 
1 Date + soaking water to make 1/4 C
1 Egg
5 drops Vanilla (Medicine Flower Extract)
1/4 C Almond Flour
1/2 C + 2 T Coconut Flour
1/4 t Sea Salt
1 t Cinnamon

3-4 Dates + soaking water to make 1/3 - 1/2 C
3 Eggs 
2 C cooked Buttercup Squash (not Butternut) or other sweet winter squash
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
Piece of Turmeric (about 1/4”)
Piece of Ginger (about 1/2”)
1 C coconut milk (full fat)

Soak all four dates in a small bowl of water 
Preheat oven to 350F, and place coconut oil in oven to melt

Make the crust:
Blend date, water, and egg until smooth
Transfer to a mixing bowl, add remaining crust ingredients and mix (don’t forget to add your melted coconut oil from the oven!)
Press into a pie plate 
Bake 5-7 minutes

Make the filling:
Blend dates, water, and eggs until smooth
Add all remaining ingredients and blend 
Pour into prepared crust
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes (until the center doesn’t jiggle)

Use only organic ingredients. 
Buttercup squash is a green squash with a disk on the bottom (or is that the top?) and is super sweet and wonderful.  They can be found at the farmers market and sometimes at the Co-op.  The easy way to cook it is to bake it whole for about at hour at 350.  You can then just scoop the meat out with a spoon.
I use Medicine Flower Vanilla (available at the Co-op) because it doesn’t contain sweetener or alcohol.  You could probably use your favorite vanilla extract instead - the Heart of Cooking recipe calls for 1 t.

A standard 9” pie plate is a bit too small for this, so either use a 9 1/2” pie plate or just make a small additional pie with the extra.

Recipe adapted from Heart of Cooking

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wrapping up 2014 and looking out toward 2015

This year I turned 50 and it's really true that time seems to speed up as you get older!

2014 started out with my youngest returning home from a year studying in Argentina and the adjustment of having someone living with me again.  Once home, she finished the second half of her Sr. year of high school.  Since we only live four houses away, many of her friends would come by often.

The first day of Jr. year we started off with a back to school breakfast and I hosted again this year without her with the promise of doing it again the first day of second semester.

February marked my 50th birthday.  I rented a big house on the Oregon Coast and invited some of my closest friends.  The plan was that Jodi and I would go a day early to get oriented and to have some alone time before the party.  Then weather happened!  We were supposed to go out to the coast on Thursday morning, but my intuition had me checking the weather on Wednesday evening.  Good thing!  A major snow storm was coming in that night.  If we waited until the morning, we would get stuck in the valley.  Luckily, the owner of the house was fine with us coming that night and Jodi agreed (because it was my birthday!).

That's Jodi on the frozen beach on Thursday.  I couldn't believe there was snow in Lincoln City!  We were completely snowed in!  AND my friends were completely snowed OUT. :-(

But, we were in a beautiful house a few blocks from the beach and had enough food for eight people.  There were movies, a big jetted soaking tub, games, and Soul Collage supplies.  And at least my worst case scenario of Jodi being stuck in Eugene and me being stuck in Corvallis didn't materialize!

The coast thawed out on the weekend and on Sunday, it was sunny and warm for my birthday.

Late morning of my birthday I knew it was time to go pick up my glass float.  Somehow I knew where it would be and we pretty much just walked right to it.  Yeah, we meandered a bit looking here and there, but I had seen its location every time I thought about finding it and there it was!  (See it above, just forward and to the right of the charred logs?)  And there it is on the right on the kitchen counter.

While it wasn't the 50th birthday celebration I had planned, it was pretty awesome.  I got to spend a wonderful long weekend on the coast with my sweetheart!  We adjusted our dinner reservations to two and still went to April's at Nye Beach.  We still went to the glass blowing studio - I'd wanted to do that for YEARS!  With the found float and the float I blew myself, I came home with two lovely keepsakes.

Mid-February we welcomed an exchange student from Egypt to our home.  Nardeen stayed with us for about a month and a half while her host parents traveled out of the country and then came back to finish her year in the states with us.

Toward the end of February I started working on the UUFC Fall Women's Retreat as the co-chair.  I was also co-chairing the Services Auction that happened at the end of April.

And in mid-April Jodi developed a tooth infection which has turned into an eight-month long ordeal with emergency room dates, stay in dates, meditation dates, and Dr. visit dates.

At the end of May Steffi turned 18 and had me plan a really fun scavenger hunt party:

Steffi’s Great 18th Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Each item is worth 10 points.  Bonuses are 5 points.  

Upload each item to facebook, tagging Stephanie - #steffiis18 and #

Be respectful, lawful, and safe.  And most of all have fun!  You must be at Cirello’s Pizza (9th and Circle) at 5:30.

  • Start a Conga line in a grocery store.
  • Your entire team’s reflection in something other than a mirror
  • Learn to Swing Dance from a stranger.
  • Ride a bus from one stop to the next.  Extra points if you get the other passengers to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” with you!
  • Sing an elderly couple a love song
  • Busk on a street corner, bonus to the team who scores the most bank
  • Interact with a statue
  • Each team member hugging a stranger
  • Your entire team on a slide (one in front of the other)
  • “I can’t believe we all fit in here!” - extra points for the most creative
  • Help a stranger fold clothes in a laundromat
  • Deliver a meal to a stranger in a restaurant
  • Entire team photographed in mid-air jumping
  • Find someone whose name starts with the letter “T” and have them sign your elbow
  • Get a picture of someone on your team helping someone (mowing a lawn, carrying groceries, etc. - folding laundry doesn’t count!)
  • Be the display mannequins in a store
  • Take a Pedicab 5 blocks - be sure to pay your driver!
  • Act out something on a sign (sign must be in the picture)
  • Get a police officer to sing the Barney Song (I love you…)
  • Ask a stranger to marry you.  Extra points if the stranger says “yes”
  • Get a stranger to let you bowl for them during their game.  Extra points for a strike!
  • An unknown couple telling the story of how they met
  • Have three strangers tell you a funny joke.  Extra points if it’s a little kid telling a kid joke.
  • Run a relay race through an intersection’s worth of crosswalks (obey all traffic and walk/don’t walk signs).  Extra points if you can get bystanders to cheer.
  • Get a photo of all team members having a good night’s sleep. This can be in a store, in a park, on a train… Extra points for creativity.
  • Find a stranger who can juggle 3+ objects and take their picture with all three items in mid air.  Extra points if your team has a go.
  • Draw a funny picture and hang it on a public bulletin board
  • Take a team selfie on five different benches
  • Your entire team sitting with an unknown family at a restaurant - bonus points for each person with rabbit ears
  • Pole dance on a street sign
  • Teach an aerobics class at the riverfront for at least ten minutes.  Extra points for each person not on your team participating.
  • Take your picture in a Porta-Potty
  • Ask a stranger for a taste of their food
  • Go green!  Entire team hugging a tree - bonus to the team hugging the biggest tree
  • Write the names of everyone on your team in sidewalk chalk on the river walk.  Creativity bonus!
  • Get a pizza tossing lesson at Cirellos at 5:30

June was high school graduation for Steffi and Nardeen. (Pictured are Nardeen, Norah, and Steffi on their way to the ceremony.)  Along with volunteering at the all-night party.

It was a busy summer for Steffi and in August I took her GS troop to NYC for their last trip.  What a GREAT city!  I found an Air BnB on the upper west side - halfway between Central Park and Riverside Park for only $1,000 for the whole week!

I got to do a little travel with doTERRA as well, once to a resort near Park City, UT for a leadership retreat and also to Salt Lake City for the best convention so far!  This company is so impressive.  The quality of the oils, the way they source, their compassion, their stewardship of their supply, their ethics, their integrity.  It's all just impressive.

At the end of September my committee and I put on the best women's retreat!  It really went well.  Our minister did the main program and it really came off great.  And even though Jodi was scheduled to work, she managed to be there for it!

The best moment of the year was just last week when I asked Jodi to marry me!  Imagine - two 50 year old women finding each other in this crazy world!  And in person no less.

And in looking forward to 2015 - It'll be all about The Galavan!  A 170' Sprinter that will be a home on wheels as soon as I can make it so!  There'll be lots on our new blog about that.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Loving Myself - Days 3 - 6

I am not cut out to be a daily blogger.  I just have to accept that fact!

The last three days, among lots of other things, I loved myself by:

Spending time with my girlfriend
Eating ice cream (not sure that even counts anymore, as I really need to no longer have sugar...)
Walking on the beach
Connecting with my daughter
Making great food (peanut sauce!)
Making my bed
Daily self care
Setting boundaries for myself with others
Learning something new
Planning a trip

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Loving Myself Day 2

Today I loved myself by:

Making my bed
Staying in bed late
Hanging out with GUTS girls
Getting my Tarot read (that was AWESOME - you should do it too!)
Doing some cleaning

Just a few simple things...

What did you do to love yourself today?

Loving Myself

Do you know how you love yourself?

Loving yourself doesn't have to be monumental, it doesn't have to take a lot of time, although sometimes it can, if it serves you.

My fabulous life coach, Reggie Adams has us list 100 Ways to Love Myself in her GUTS course. And during our monthly call today, I had the inspiration to post how I love myself each day.  Now, I've never been much of a daily blogger, and blogs are certainly not as "the thing" as they were way back when I started this thing, but polishing it off this year, and this will be part of that journey.

Here is my list of 100 Ways to Love Myself:

1. Listen to my heart
2. Accept myself
3. Let others love me
4. Love others
5. Help someone
6. Clean my space
7. Cook my favorite food
8. Drum
9. Listen to music
10. Dress up
11. Take a shower
12. Brush my teeth
13. Give someone a hug
14. Send an uplifting email
15. Write a blog post
16. Read a favorite blog
17. Clean up a pile
18. Meet friends for a meal
19. Invite a friend for dinner
20. Follow through on something hard
21. Be an advocate
22. Remember who I am
23. Share my talents with others
24. Paint
25. Collage
26. Write
27. Decorate
28. Clean the kitchen
29. Be with GUTS girls
30. Learn something new
31. Find a new interest
32. Go to a new restaurant
33. Volunteer for an interesting cause
34. Go to a favorite restaurant
35. Listen to someone's story
36. Contact an old friend
37. Forgive
38. Send love to others
39. Support my kids
40. Meditate
41. Practice self care before bed
42. Make my bed
43. Cook a new dish
44. Go out for ice cream
45. Go on a retreat
46. Listen to the waves
47. Be quiet and listen for my heart
48. Read an inspirational book
49. Drink a green smoothie
50. Visit a waterfall
51. Light a candle with intention
52. Speak up with kindness
53. Take my time
54. Notice
55. Be grateful
56. Drink fresh juice
57. Ferment something
58. Eat something fermented
59. Get a massage
60. Have my Tarot read
61. Host a party
62. Shop for a loved one
63. Get flowers
64. Take a walk
65. Make my garden more beautiful
66. Laugh 'til I cry
67. Practice energy healing
68. Take a class
69. Have great sex
70. Take a detox bath
71. Go to a hot spring
72. Swim in a river
73... See - your list doesn't even have to be complete!  I've been working on mine since 2003, and I'm still not to 100!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year - New Word

This year started off with a bang.  Literally.  At midnight I awoke to fireworks, my girlfriend's dog, Tashi, scampering around my house and my girlfriend, Jodi, heading to the bathroom.  I pick up Tashi and put her on my bed to soothe her and as Jodi comes out of the bathroom I ask for a hug before she gets back in her bed and she steps on cat poo!

This is Tashi's third visit to my house and my cats are not amused.  One of them decided to let me know just how not amused he was by leaving a large pile of poo on the floor next to my bed.  With fireworks exploding all around, Jodi is washing the poo off her foot while I clean up the floor.

I'm finding the humor in this, especially as I hear Jodi tell it.  She's got the best sense of humor and makes me laugh 'til I cry almost every time we're together.

This is the year I turn 50.  Just a little over a month now.  I've decided to do my own happiness project for my birthday.  Seems fitting that my word would have something to do with this project.  My project, instead of being a "happiness project" will be my own Journey of Joy, documented right here.  I'll be focusing on finding ALL the little bits of JOY in my life this year.

The first day of this year included having Jodi make me breakfast (yum!), yoga, massages, great food with friends, a wonderful walk through an old cemetery, games, great chocolate, and writing.  Lots of joy to start off the year, for sure.

Do you have a word of the year?  If so, please share.

Loving Myself - Day 1

Spending time with friends
Enjoying good food
Loving on my girlfriend
Taking a walk

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Expanding as Protection

In reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, I was struck by the following:

One reason that challenge brings happiness is that it allows you to expand your self-definition.  You become larger.  Suddenly you can do yoga or make homemade beer or speak a decent amount of Spanish.  Research shows that the more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when any one element is threatened.

As I read this, I thought about the relatively easy transition (at least emotionally) I've had with going from full-on unschooling mom to doing my own thing and how comfortable I've been as my kids have gone off on their own.

Because I've continually added elements to who I am, it's been easy for me to let go of the bits and pieces that have made me who I am in the past.  Of course, one of the biggest bits (or piece?) was unschooling mom.  That was my main gig for over 12 years - my top priority all those years.

But as I've (sometimes selfishly) engaged in new bits and pieces, I've been able to fill in the cracks and holes that come from big changes.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ramblings On Transitions

Thoughts swirling around in my head.  They are connected to me, and may not be to whoever might read this.

December is here once again.  In the business coaching world, this means that just about everyone is thinking about making NEXT year the best year ever.  Lots of programs are being offered and lots of buzz around year end and new year.

For me, I'm thinking about my upcoming 50th birthday and what I want to do - how I want to mark this point and celebrate my life transitions.

I've been in a pretty intense transition phase for the last two years or so.  Going from being a married, stay-at-home, unschooling mom (no - you are never NOT an unschooling mom, it just looks a whole lot different after the kids are off doing their thing!) to whatever my next thing is.  I've been reconstructing my entire life and I love it.

I've been training.  A lot.  I've become an energy healer, an essential oil expert, a business coach (and an expert in Book Yourself Solid), as well as lots of other, less official trainings.  I'm an unschooler - what can I say? I've been playing with starting a business and haven't been able to fully commit to what exactly I do yet.  So this past summer I pressed pause on my business(es).  I used my luxurious gift of time to fully explore my sexuality, coming out, falling in love, being in a relationship.  What a gift!

I recently started reading The Happiness Project.  It is inspiring me to think about my 50th birthday year in a new way.  Why not do an intentional Journey of Joy?  Why not blog about this journey?  Spend a year examining what makes me joyful...

My birthday isn't until February, but it feel big and soon and like I need to be through many of the planning stages by now...

There's something about new beginnings that make us all think that we will be better this time.  We will follow through.  We will have the discipline to eat right, the exercise, to blog regularly, to spend time with friends.  It is with this optimism that I contemplate my NEW Journey of Joy.