Nice Cake

There was a little solstice party at my new casa. There was what felt like endless amounts of food and dessert. There were candles and fires and cider.

Yesterday was about time for me to get back in the swing of my baking- mixing, pouring flour in bowls and watching magic appear in from of my eyes. I watched Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life  grated carrots.

I got these carrots at the PSU farmers market from a farm in Hood River. They say the purple carrots are the best ones for cooking.

Frosting with orange zest.

This cake is nice.

It’s not just nice but it feels good to eat. I mean it has carrots in it, it’s good for your eyes. I just want you to see it.

oh, and it has a Carrot Bow.

On my way to the airport tonight to head back East I choked on gratitude.

I love when that happens.

Sometimes I can’t believe what I have; these people, this moment to moment stuff that I take for granted.  When I feel this intense thanks it feels like  too much, because I don’t know how to thank it back.

Then I think I saw it. I think it’s simply  to be nice,  that can be my thanks. I can go home and be nice, I can live life and be nice to it.

Merry Christmas. I hope it’s nice .

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Make Space

I was given this classy soccer mom rental car, so it seemed fit that I road trip the hell out of Portland. I found some space for myself, until it soaked into my bones. I want a lot of things that I don’t yet have. But, what I’m reminded of again and again and again is MY freedom. It smacks me in the face and blows my mind out of my body when gifted with its sight. For most of my life I didn’t even know I had it. But I do, we all do. I forget I can be restored to my freedom at any moment. It’s just a choice, getting away helps.

Don’t let anyone take your freedom; it would be silly to let them. It’s all yours. It’s okay you’ll loose it over and over again.. But, when you loose it, do whatever you have to do to find it again.

 Walk, climb, run into the woods.

 Eat a spoonful of peanut butter.

 Sing, chant, scream along to lyrics you pretend not to know. Do it.

 Forgive that person you won’t forgive no matter what. Forgive them anyway.

 Make chocolate chip banana pancakes with honey on them.

 Take a bath with bubbles.

Hang mistletoe in your kitchen.

 Take a picnic in to the movies.

 Lay on the floor until gravity wins.

Self Talk

I spoke to a friend last night. . I listened as she told me the things she tells herself. She’s applying for this job she really wants. She tells herself she doesn’t deserve it; she doesn’t have the skill, ECT.

Now this is a beautiful, witty, sassy, smart gal… I’m standing there listening to her give me her self talk- that abuse we give to ourselves. It is abuse; if anyone else spoke to us that way we’d be out the door. I noticed myself saying back to her that this talk was unacceptable. This was not okay; that we can no longer accept this as proper behavior. We must hear ourselves when we begin to speak this way, and we must talk back saying this is not an option; this will no longer be tolerated. I said this to her, to us, but especially to me.

Now I want to say it so loudly and so clearly that it scares the shit of me. That I hear it loud enough to make my ears ring, and once they stop ringing, I shout it out again.

We are capable of all of it; we are powerful beyond the measuring tools our parents gave us to play with as kids. We are Kings and Queens of kindness and love.  We must claim our seats and space here, while scattering all the love we can muster into every corner of our little nitche and then beyond. Touching other spaces and people and altering the way they see their own plots.

I decided a good place to start preaching from would be in the future…. In a letter of advice from a women I look up to, and who’s advice I can trust.

ME (. . .at 85 years old )

My Dear-

You are doing better than you think you are. I know you are in a rush to get somewhere, but enjoy this, you are safe now you can  live this .

Love more. I know you think you love a lot; you do, but there’s always more.

Give it up; those things you think you can’t let go of. Give them up too.

Stop saying you can’t stop thinking you can’t. Stop it. Do it. Live this day. It’s not going to last forever.

Love your body, your butt especially (because you hate it). . It’s a family heirloom, it’s not going anywhere.

Do what you love. Do all of it! Dabble and dance in it all, don’t turn on yourself. You will create things. I’ve seen them.

Take it easy. Drive slower. Sip your coffee. Chew your food. Hug people. Listen more. Breath. Be patient with your learning.

Say yes. Just say yes.

Trust me, it’s all unfolding.

Shake me up

People ask me daily why I moved here. I despise the question. It’s like the taste of luke warm salt water in my mouth.  The question is vague, and there are too many reasons to sum it up to you in one brief moment. If we were to sit down relax chat for a while maybe I could come up with a vague explanation. But, on the spot there’s no phrase for me to lean on like a job, a guy. . I can’t think of any other normal people answers besides jobs and guys.

I moved here to build a web that  feels like my own.

This web of my own has been shaken up daily. I’ve been hired, fired, quit, dumped, totaled . . I’ve been learning a lot, humbled a lot. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself when I think I have it figured out just right. Only to walk  outside my tidy tiny box. I step out of  my comforts, into the uncomfortable, the messy. I’m seeing daily that I am to be no expert on all this.

I walked outside yesterday morning to go to teach my yoga class, to find Whitey (my car) had  been totaled. Smashed in and flipped over on his side. Someone in the middle of the night was not in any state to be driving. Don’t drink and drive. Believe me I’m guilty of  it in my other life. Thanks to the angels who kept me alive. Us alive. Thank you. Thank you.

These things happen, this life is happening, it’s shaking us up.  Rattling us up into pieces. I  believe it’s for a reason. To make space. I’ve decided I don’t want the shaking to stop. Keep shaking, keep reminding me. Show me there’s more for me here. There’s more for us here.

So shake me up all you want, just don’t ask me what I’m doing here.

The Happier Minute

If you’re on a New York minute (which  I’m used to living my time on) this bread is for you.

If you’re on a West Coast minute (which I’d say the conversion to be about 1 to 8.)  I’m saying this with a lot of love, but you West- Coasters move a lot slower. That being said, this bread can totally be for you too.

It literally takes 4 minutes to make. That would take 32 West Coast minutes..

My conversation may be exaggerated a bit.

I think about NYC and my 3 + spread out years there, man things move  so fast there. But here, the bank tellers ask you your plans for the weekend and wait to hear about it, and the ice cream shops gladly let you try every flavor despite the line out the door. People here are in no rush. But when I’m not annoyed out of my mind over it. I recognize its beauty. I’m noticing there is a correlation between slowing down and people seeming happier. Something about looking each other in the face and asking questions, I mean it’s pedestrian, it’s humbling, and actually it’s really sweet. But most of all no matter what craziness is going on in my world, just slowing down, breathing, and smiling makes me happier.

As for this Pumpkin Bread it’s just easy … I mean It’s so quick I can’t consider it baking . . I consider it stirring.

I like this bread because it always comes out super moist, almost gooey.

My secret ; I don’t use butter. Nope! Instead I use either vegetable oil or peanut oil, also no eggs, it’s vegan.

I’m obviously not vegan. I go through eggs and butter like it’s my job, but this works.

In the meantime don’t let the love die & have yourself a West Coast minute.