There are some days that I don’t want to be in the kitchen. Yesterday and today, though, I can’t seem to leave the kitchen, and I’m content with it, even with clean up. I thought about going to Barnes & Noble this afternoon to browse the cookbooks, but then the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to stay home, cozy in the kitchen. I started the morning out with baked egg muffins made of bell pepper, spinach, green onion, and both Parmesan and garlic feta cheese. They were delicious, but apparently I didn’t oil the tins enough, as the cleanup was a test in patience and forced mindfulness.

For lunch, I prepared oven baked Tilapia cooked in a fresh parsley, garlic lemon sauce, with a few cherry tomatoes tossed in. It was a nice change from the way I usually prepare this dish. I served it with a side of mashed sweet potatoes with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

There’s an oven baked salmon recipe that I came across a couple of weeks ago. It was a keeper, so I decided that I would make it again for tonight’s dinner. I love eggplant, but needed some inspiration, so I found what I was looking for in this eggplant sauce that I thought would compliment the salmon. It’s another keeper.

Today was a good day, where I mostly stayed calm in the kitchen. I didn’t feel frustrated with all the dirty dishes that were accumulating. Hubby helped here and there, but I was trying to let him enjoy his time today. In the eggplant video below, I learned a few things about eggplant that I hadn’t known.

I was hoping to make something sweet, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. I know what I want to bake, but I’m not sure if I will go in a coffee cake direction or plain. I want to make a blueberry, cranberry cake or muffins. I have a blueberry muffin recipe that is in my rotation. I was thinking of adding cranberries and possibly some cinnamon, so that it has the coffeecake feel.

Today was a day of patience and calm. I paid attention to how I was feeling while I was in the kitchen and tried to observe what was different, aside from it being the weekend, having more time, more leisure. But, I hope to take this feeling into the week and continue with my enjoyment in the kitchen.

https://www.savorynothings.com/garlic-butter-baked-salmon/

https://food52.com/recipes/86134-pasta-with-silkiest-eggplant-sauce-recipe-francis-lam

It started with a book. I’ve mostly been listening to audiobooks; in the car, before sleep, sometimes during the day. For the past year or maybe it’s been two years…I’ve had trouble sinking into physical books for long periods of time, but over the past few months, I’ve re-connected with these old friends. It started with one book found in an independent bookstore, then the next was found by accident on my way out of a thrift shop. The thick book, with its light blue cover, and castle world floating along–it drew me in and hasn’t let go. I tend to like all sorts of books from different genres, but lately, I’m finding myself drawn more toward fantasy and science fiction with a bent toward fantasy. But I never know, until I’ve read the first few sentences, if the book and I will be suited for each other. It’s been awhile since I’ve found a book that I couldn’t tear myself from, where time didn’t exist, until the world that I entered was interrupted by the outside. Time stops. I come up for air. The escape, the mind travel is stimulating, is needed–a much needed sustenance; but why did I stop, or rather pause? I have felt more quiet inside lately, as though there is a change upon…I feel content, but at the same time, there seems to be a sort of compartmentalization. I’m motivated, yet not motivated. There are certain things I should be doing, but I don’t. I remain optimistic, yet there is something else.

I try to keep the drawers of my inner-self organized, even if the dust collects, as I watch it collecting, knowing that I must keep putting one foot in front of the other.

**

Dear Crow, I hear you
You wake me, cause me to look up
breathe in, feel grateful for the
gulp of fresh air, blue skies,
sunflowers

Gentle Spirit,
Sail and believe﹘
remember the light.
Listen. Celebrate.

Confetti swirls
within your soul,
always. It lives on.

Go Gentle Spirit,
for now and then and then
and then
and again, Gentle Spirit.

Halloween and Fairy succulent creations at Sloat Garden Center

Breezy morning, gently reminds that Autumn is near. Little squirrel with his shaggy tail ducks under a car, making a dash to collect his bounty.

Summer Flowers – Photo from July

It’s funny how whether you have a plan or not, sometimes, the day has a plan for you. It could be the Universe talking or Mother Nature, or maybe the Earth has reached its capacity to maintain balance. It’s as though some higher power has run a finger and swished the yin-yang of this world into chaos. It’s as though we are in a state of pause….and from this chaos, there is light, there is hope.

**

This is where my fingers stop tapping. They hover above the keyboard, ready to say more, but at the moment this may be it, and that’s OK.

**

Yesterday I went to a nearby thrift store to drop off some donations. Mostly clothes and a few books. I wasn’t planning on going into the store. The donation drop-off is at the back of the store. I pulled the car up and gave the lady my bags. She was on the phone and said that she was talking to a friend that has to move out of her home to live closer to her grown kids so that they can help take care of her. She was having trouble letting go of all that she’d accumulated during her lifetime. I nodded in understanding. We are all headed in that direction. Collectors of memories and stuff.

I walked away, got into my car, ready to circle out of there; instead, I pulled into a parking spot in the back and decided to head into the store to see if there were any treasures I could find. As I walked past the lady toward the front entrance of the building, she smiled at me and said, “your our best type of customer; you start in the back and end in the front.” I gave a wide smile, and bid her good day. I liked her words. I hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but it was true, and it made me want to find something that much more. I didn’t make it past the books, but I did leave there with a pile of books and a surprise that I saw at check out. A bright pink box: 20 Poems: Cards which use Rhyme and Rhythm to Make Words Stick by The School of Life.

As I reach the end of today’s journal page, I am open to what the day brings. I try to keep my optimism hat on, but at the same time, I acknowledge whatever emotions I may be feeling at any moment.

I breathe in deeply…letting my breath out slowly, as I sign off, leaving a trail of peace.

img_2734It’s my Monday off. Hubby is tending to the backyard plants, the garden, our little sanctuary that his father began, and he, his son continues. I’m listening to the water fall from the hose, the scratch of the dog’s feet as he explores the morning sights, sounds, and smells. I hear the mockingbird that’s been quite active in the wee hours of the morning on other occasions; I hear feathered friends peeping and tweeting, whistling their happy tunes.

img_2728

The moon has been flirting with my mind. One day it winked—a Picasso eye. And the other day I was a bird, flying through the sky on the tails of the wind; I spread my wings and flew through castle cloud windows.

(Originally jotted 3/11/20; doodle done this morning)

It’s hard to process just how vast—
the reach…
the amount of ripples
spilling out from this new virus.
The light will come.

Over here, we’ve been under the mandated shelter-in-place for the past few days, only going out for essential grocery shopping. It feels strange—strained, tense, rushed.

On a light note, every morning the doggies see me, they think it’s the weekend and expect treats. I can’t give in because they have to watch their figures (doctor’s orders). They really help keep things going in a positive direction.

I have had time to do a bit of reading, although, I’m finding it hard not to turn the television on to see the latest. I’m taking a break at the moment, a much needed breather. I seem to be washing more dishes. I filed our income tax returns—I’m glad that’s out of the way. I’ll be working two days next week.

I’ve been spending a lot of time flipping through cook books and cooking magazines, looking for some bit of inspiration for dinner ideas, trying to find dinner options that will be friendly for hubby’s sensitive system. I’ve been wanting to prepare some version of a Sheppard’s Pie. Last night for dinner was the day. It was a pleasantly mellow version with a riced cauliflower and cheese topping. The cauliflower and cheese was a nice compliment to the filling.

Hope Everyone out there is staying healthy and positive…good wishes to All. 🙂🌻

Seahorses dance through the
cloud tracks in the sky…tight buds
waiting to bloom into pink puffs
of delight. Sun shines a warm smile
into my being, a happy step to my gait.

2020 began as very ordinary, which is fine. I worked on New Year’s Eve and didn’t take any days off. I began the day by leaving home early. Destination: Target. I had a gift card and wanted to see if I could use it. It was the third or fourth time within the past few weeks that I would find myself looking at food processors. Did I really need one? If I do buy this, how often will I realistically use it? Which one? This one gets mediocre reviews. That one feels cheaply made. And on and on I went. I left the store without a food processor.

Generally, I feel that I am a spiritual person and that I have intention on a daily basis; however, lately, more so than usual, I am feeling more and more drawn toward scripture and Eastern wisdom, and any other traditions that speak to me through the fiction that I read or movies that I watch. It’s possible that this resurgence in me is a result of the continuous negativity in the world. I know that the news usually has some tragedy to report, but it just seems like it’s becoming more brutal, more often. It could be the aging process, within myself (although, technically, I’m not at the high yet), and my in-laws.

I suppose as I journey along and keep glancing back, wondering–as I know many do, where the heck did all the time go. How did life start going so fast. Just yesterday, I was a small child, wanting so much to grow up–to be an adult, to do grown up things. And now here I am, almost at the half-way point–If we use 100 as the full measure.

Here I am at the library–my sanctuary. I always find myself here when I need to take a break, be present, search the shelves for some inspiration and/or guidance. Today, I held back a little. I always like to scan the new arrivals shelf and that’s where I found, Eating the Sun: small musings on a vast universe and Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series. On the books for sale shelf, I selected Zen Keys.

A nice group of books to take home, get cozy, and settle in with.