October 19, 2017

Arugula Bean Salad

Arugula is a wonderful green, and can add flavor, and color to so many things. This is a favorite summer to fall  salad, and we hope you enjoy!

1 can green b1 can wax beans

1 can light red kidney beans

1 tomato

1 bunch scallions

pinch of crushed garlic

tablespoon brown mustard

juice from one fresh lemon

splash of cider vinager

teaspoon olive oil

dill

celery seed

salt and pepper

grated sharp cheddar cheese

drain all three cans of beans and place in bowl.

Mix lemon, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, celery seed, salt, pepper, and dill.

stir in cut tomato, and scallions

pour mix over beans, and add arugula and shredded cheese.

toss and serve with crackers, pita chips etc…

Also great with a few pieces if kielbasa

Enjoy your fall weekends!

Andi Bartruff

Photo courtesy of Edible Charlotte

 

 

 

 

Does Anyone Really Borrow A Cup Of Sugar Anymore?

If you live in a neighborhood where you have recently borrowed a cup of sugar, then I would consider that to be a great place, and a place that time has forgotten. Why has this neighborly gesture become a thing of the past? Most of us don’t even talk to our neighbors anymore, much less feel that we could borrow a cup of sugar from them. This strong bond and sense of community is probably gone forever. I for one will always miss it.

I grew up in an older, established neighborhood, and by that I mean, we had all been there a while. We spoke daily, knew everybody’s family, and everybody’s business, and in a good way. We took care of each other.  I remember as a kid, my mother, my grandmother, and my aunts, would spend all their time in the kitchen cooking for our family, and they would also cook food to share with the neighbors. When they needed an ingredient, no one ran to the store, or bought something prepared in its place. They would send me next door to borrow a cup of sugar, a stick of butter, flour, or whatever was missing in the pantry.  That is just the way it was. We spent time talking with the neighbors over a cup of coffee, sharing gardening tips, sharing the days local news, and of course a sharing touch of healthy gossip. I remember my mother borrowing a stick of butter from our neighbor Barbara, to bake a cake that was going to be given to her for a holiday gift. I am sure if Barbara had known this, she would have given an obligatory eye roll, told the story over a cup of coffee, and deep down been perfectly fine with the gesture of give and take.

So now all these years later, I’m still living in an old city neighborhood, much like what I grew up in. But my childhood memories are just that, childhood memories. I am lucky if I get a smile and a gentle wave from my neighbors, because in this day and age that bit of effort seems to be a lot for people to give. My neighborhood and neighbors are great, but really it is our overall society that has changed. I wonder if someone next door took the time to sit on my porch with me, drink a cup of coffee, and talk about Sundays football game, would be like telling your friends you saw Bigfoot.

What we are missing by dismissing this wonderful old pastime, is connecting with another person, and growing a relationship that enriches, and strengthens who we are. Real human connection, not texts, not emails, not phone tag, gives us a way to give back, a way to give of ourselves, and a way to learn from others how we can be a better person. It gives us perspective, and wholeness. And let’s face it, we all need a cup of sugar at some point! Let’s make the effort to make the connection, and never forget how great is it to be a part of a neighborhood family!

Stephen Spurling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain and Rhythm- More Music

Ok, another unusually rainy, and cool day in August.  In these parts, it is a bit of an adjustment to get acclimated to day after day of rain.  It certainly affects your activity, and well, certainly the way you feel the day. Instead of the magic, and imagery of a hot, sweaty, and sunny summer experience, that includes sand, wet bathing suits, and sun kissed noses, and produce,  I am now picturing covered porches, tin roofs, and books read in comfortable chairs.  I see water meeting water on lakes, rivers, and oceans, instead of daylight always hugging the horizons. With the late summer grey, I long to prematurely swaddle in a sweater. It has actually made me think of a little travel to a place that depends on winds, and weather I have not experienced….

So, until the travel takes place, or the jet stream changes, a good way to enjoy the current elements is to rock with the weather. This selection is for thunderstorms, and rainbows….

” Paper Airplane”  Alison Krauss and Union Station

“I’ll Be Seeing You” Billie Holiday

“Right Down the Line” Bonnie Raitt

“Just the Way You Are”   Bruno Mars

“Blossom”   Carole King and James Taylor

Andi Bartruff

 

 

 

A Mother And Her Son

I should start by saying that my mother was the very best… She was a kind, and a God-loving  women. I was her son although not her first choice. Odd circumstances would bring us together to share a life that would  grow into a beautiful mother and son relationship.

I was adopted, and I know as most would say…. how special it is to be “chosen”. And I say yes it is! However I was only chosen because I came as a “package deal”. My mother had to adopt me to get her first love, my brother. I was the extra baggage that came with the child that she really loved. We would all three grow up and live in the best harmony my mother could provide. Yes, my mother would raise us as a single parent something unconventional for the era that we were living in. She worked hard to make ends meet, a journey that she took willingly! I loved my mother and I know that she grew to love me in time. She wasn’t a mother who said “I love you” nor did she show affection. I understand now, it was her only way of being strong as she had been hurt by all the turmoil surrounding the adoption of my brother and me! Plus the fact that now she would have two mouths to feed which made her life twice as hard! So, how lucky was I that she loved my brother so much  that she was willing to take on a second child that she really did not want or have the means to provide for. Although my childhood wasn’t always easy, and the love at first was not equal, I was a part of the “package deal”.

I fast forward to the end of my mother’s life, a life that was taken way too soon. I only had my mother for a very short period of my adult life, an injustice that only life can deal. When I think back now on our adult relationship and all the love that she learned to show, it still brings tears to my eyes. No, I wasn’t wanted, but I was in the end  one of her most proudest accomplishments. You see life will give you back all that difficult circumstances can sometimes take away. It is the circle of life. I  now understand what my mother meant when she said to me… “God gave me this life and I have truly done the best I could with it”. If I can share anything  with you from my past experiences, it would be… ” If life is full of unwanted circumstances and it is, then make the best of them”! It is all any of us can do. And at the end of the “day” even if that “day” takes years to come, and we are wise enough to see, life will give us the answers. My mother taught me that wisdom. I have so much love for her and her choices in life. After all I am here and I am all that I am because of her! Stephen Spurling

A “Humbleness Of Mind” About What Is FREE!

I think that one of the biggest blessings that God ever gave me was my “humbleness of mind”  I am happy with the most simplest of life’s pleasures. In my day-to-day life I find that I am aware of all things big and small. I can sit on the porch and relish in the moment of the breeze, feeling the sun on my face, and smelling the smells of nature. All of these things are free! I notice every sunrise and sunset. Some of us are not always in tune with our “humbleness of mind” to even notice these things. We need to notice! These are free gifts that are beautiful and make us “take a breath” and we all need to take a breath. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are going,  just be sure to enjoy the free things in nature. After all, these things can only enhance our well-being. This is not a difficult task, but for some reason it is so overlooked.  Today and for everyday hereafter smell the air, really feel the warmth of the sun, and enjoy all things that are FREE in nature! Be more than aware of the sunrise and sunset… Dance in them! I challenge you to be “humble minded” about the free things in nature . So when you notice a beautiful blue sky … say to yourself or to whomever your with “that’s free”. You will be surprised at all of the free stuff around us, and saying it out loud will help you be in touch with all things. And most of all; you will catch yourself taking a breath! And if you are really lucky you may see something “free” that will take your breath away! Stephen Spurling

Heart.

The heart has always been a symbol of love, courage, and devotion. Heart and Soul are two words often found together,

and for good reason. It is through the heart that the soul expresses itself. The heart is the organ that keeps us alive

physically, and it is the central source of our emotions and feelings. We know when someone is speaking from the heart, and

we know when our hearts have been touched. It has nothing to do with logic or being rational; knowing is a feeling. When we say

that someones heart is in the right place we know that regardless of the outward appearance of that person’s life, his or her intent

is soul felt and honest.

How is your heart feeling? Is it sad, happy, light or burdened? Is your heart in the right place? To know what is in our hearts

takes effort and time, for we must practice listening to the voice within. Don’t go to sleep at night with a sad heart; take time

to lighten your heart with the universe. Open your heart to the universe each night before you go to sleep, and it will bring joy

to your soul and wings to your ideas.

My Heart is happy, light and full of love.

Angel Wisdom. Chabby Chaberek

“Success”

“We can fail only if we fail to try”.

In our society success is synonymous with two things: Money and Power. But the universe measures success by entirely different standards. First of all, to the angels money and power have no value in and of themselves. If money and power are employed for the good of all , then the person who has them could be deemed successful-not for having them but for the accompanying sense of gratitude, compassion, and generosity.

Second, there is no such thing as failure, because everything we do is part of the discovery process. We can fail in life-fall short of our souls mark-only if we fail to try, explore, or take a risk. If we live according to our values, do what we love and are inspired to do, and are not afraid to experiment with life, we are automatic successes, no matter how much money we make or how high a position we have attained.

If you haven’t yet achieved your goals, work at learning from your experience while enjoying the process.. I explore, I risk, I learn, I succeed.

Angel Wisdom……Steven Chaberek

“Doing what you love”.

Those who do what they love are in tune with their purpose on earth.  
Too many of us have been brought up to believe that work is not meant to be enjoyed, let alone loved. Work is meant to give us a paycheck, not excite, energize, or fulfill us. The Universe knows that the opposite is true. Not only can we earn a living doing what we love;we owe it to ourselves to pursue that end. When we find ourselves in jobs we dislike, that frustrate, sadden or otherwise enervate us, our souls are telling us that we just are not in the right place.

When we are doing what we love, by contrast, we feel and radiate joy and enthusiasm, improving not only our own lives, but also out environments. The universe wants us to know that our loving can be our living, and it will instantly answer our requests for help and guidance in aligning our souls with our sources of income.

Do you believe that you can make a living doing what you love? If you would like to believe this, make a list of the jobs you have enjoyed and the ones you have not. When you discover what jobs made you happy and why, fashion the perfect job for yourself, using all the positive elements you have listed. Now visualize yourself in this job, believe that you will have it, and ask the universe to send you the energy and opportunities you need to create it.

“When I do what I love, I create the kind of environment in which abundance flourishes”

angel wisdom.

Chabby

 

” A Good Day”

In order to create the perfect day, we must plan not only our schedules but also our attitudes

At the end of the day, we usually reflect upon the kind of day we have had. But how many of us reflect on what kind of day we will have? With the universe as our aid, we can virtually assure that everyday will be a good day-in the sense that we perceive it as such. The night before, we can mentally map out the following day, seeing ourselves rising in joy and confidence, feeling healthy and energetic, dealing with our duties calmly and efficiently. When we awake, we can take some deep breaths, greet the day in thanks, welcome the new experiences that are in store, whatever they may be, and immediately begin to put out the relaxed and joyous energy that will make the next 24 hours a positive experience.

Be creative and enjoy the next 24 hours! I am in complete control of the quality of my day.

The True story…

As I write about my life I do it not for a reaction from others, but to inspire people to get past all the hurt and turmoil of their own lives. I grew up in what I thought was a typical home where we had many adversities to overcome. Maybe more than average. But for me and my family it was just “deal with it.” In growing up this way it taught me to deal with whatever comes my way as an adult.

        I look at it this way; “the worst part of my life is behind me.” See when you grow up in  a tumultuous home full of inconsistencies and you survive it… to adulthood. Ahhh….. adulthood, now I am in the driver’s seat! This means if there is pain in my life now,  I have allowed it!  We will always throughout our entire lives have to make decisions, what I call being at a “crossroad”. We have choices and not to sound glib, we can take the high road. Most of us know the difference between right and wrong. Although I must admit that sometimes when we are living in that moment, we don’t always make the right decisions.  We are just trying to survive! I always knew that I would survive my childhood no matter how often things seemed completely hopeless. For me surviving was an enate ability to go into myself and live a different scenario and most importantly… WAIT. Wait til I had control of the situation… AKA adulthood! I do believe that our childhood memories mold us into the adults we become. The only thing is… we must let go of the bad memories as they will only carry over into our adult lives and usually not in a good way. Remember you are now in control of your destiny, you’re in the driver’s seat! 

        I will write stories of my life as I lived it raised in a southern home. It will be a true story of  love, hatred, chaos and a sense of dealing with what was termed as the “unspeakable acts” of a family that had run amuck! But the southern charm of my family would make you want to pull up a chair and stay for dinner. In other words the acting abilities of my family could win us an Ocar! So sit tight as I compose the details of a story that not even Hollywood could conjure up! Stephen