Saturday, August 29, 2015

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS SEPTEMBER 2015

September musings... The Sun casts certain shadows in the month of  September...that I just love to observe...and actually sit or stand in... for a minutes outside each day...and just "be" in it's waning light. It feels different...it looks different...the Sun's light that is...because it is retreating...slowly...as if by some cosmic clock...so the lovely season of Autumn can begin.

This month offers...soothing energy...as if the whole Earth...can sigh a big breath of release...from the intense heat of the Summer cycle...and the frenzy of growth. Just as the Sun is retreating it's bright light of the Summer season...you are given this natural yearly signal...to retreat also...and embrace the Autumn...known as the cycle of "gathering in"...to reflect... to release...give thanks...and explore yourself more deeply...for your personal growth in the future.

This is a time of great change and release in my own life...my youngest and last child at home...has spread her wings and moved away to college...leaving a feeling of emptiness for me in my heart...and her echo left here in our home. I miss her something fierce...but I know that this is such a very necessary step for her growth...and one for me too...as her parent .I need...and each person needs... to know how and when to release and let go...no matter how painful that experience might feel in the moment.

As one door closes...another door opens.

No matter what release you are now facing...embrace it...because something new awaits you on the other side. It may not be what you want...but more than likely it is what your soul needs for your life to expand...and for you to grow. Take the gift of this month of September...to be like the Sun...and retreat within yourself...connect and honor your feelings...and reflect on your life events...change... and what you need to release from your life...no matter what that might be.

This is what I must do right now...reflect...feel...release...so when the time is right...I can move forward...to embrace a new chapter in my life.

And be at peace.

Peaceful release to you,
Victoria




There are flowers enough in the
Summertime
More flowers than
I can remember-
But none with the purple,gold,and red
That dyes the flowers of September!

by Mary Howitt
(1799-1888)


THE SEPTEMBER HOME...Is all about nesting..bringing order...beauty and balance once again to the place you call home.Return to your kitchen for Autumn baking...making hearty soups and stews...and place apples...nuts and herbs on your kitchen counters. Fall cleaning is also in order this month...so clean your home from top to bottom. Be sure to add natural pest control buy placing small cedar squares in closets and drawers.

LEAVING THE NEST REFLECTION JAR...

My youngest daughter and last child at home...has just left for college...and my emotions feel so raw...and I know they will remain a roller coaster for some time...as I settle in to my cycle of being an "empty nester". I wanted to express my feelings and keep them...as I feel it is so important to write out how I feel...and hold the memories too. You might want to do this also...for a child of yours who is going off to college...moving into their first place...or moving to a new city...away from you.

Fill up your Leaving The Nest Reflection Jar ...starting the very day your child moves out and add to it each day for a FULL year...then present it to your child...on the exact day...the following year...to cherish forever your heart emotions...and deepest inner feelings when they left home for the first time.

Supplies you will need:
1 large recycled bottle or jar
small blank tags
pen

Each day record your feelings or thoughts by writing them out on one of your blank tags...then place in your jar or bottle. If you wish say a prayer or express a loving message to your child as you finish placing the written tag in the bottle.

Present your Leaving The Nest Reflection Jar to your child one year from the day they left home as a cherished gift to them...and ask them to carry on the tradition with their own children.



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS...
September 7th...Grandparents Day... September 21st.. International Day of Peace...September 23rd...Fall Equinox

In Greece the September Equinox is associated with the Greek mythology of the goddess Persephone and her return to be with her husband in the underworld. It is also a time when the Greeks reflect on successes or failures from the previous months.

In China...The mid-Autumn festival also known as the Moon Festival is celebrated around the time of the Fall Equinox...which honors the abundance of the Summers harvest with special moon cakes that are filled with lotus...sesame seeds...duck eggs or dried fruit.


SEPTEMBER IN FRENCH...Septembre

SEPTEMBER IN SPANISH...Setiembre


FOLKLORE...

Married in Septembers
golden glow, smooth
and serene your life will go.

FULL MOON...September 27th

LUNAR ECLIPSE... September 27th

FLOWERS FOR SEPTEMBER...Lily...asters

GEMS FOR SEPTEMBER...Sapphire

FACTS ABOUT SEPTEMBER...In Old England September was called Haervest-Monath (Harvest Month). This is the month to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for Winter.

TEACHINGS OF SEPTEMBER...This month is wonderful to reflect on your successes and failures so far this year...and make peace with situations that did not go the way you wanted them to. Do Fall cleaning and organize your home.


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS

...FOR YOUR HOME

September is such a great month to clean out and clear out...your home environment...and creating a Home Blessing is such a special way to cleanse your home... once you have completed your cleaning and  clearing out process. I have designed a simple...lovely... and meaningful HOME BLESSING e-course that offers you a wonderful way to clear your home of unwanted energies and add the qualities you really want for your home and family. You will be able to feel the positive difference in your home creating my Home Blessing...and will want to make it a yearly tradition. By ordering my Home Blessing just once...you will have the directions...and easy to follow format to do just that...year after year ...after year. My Home Blessing e-course also makes a great gift to give to those you love and care about.

To order my Home Blessing...just click on the TRADITIONS  button that you will find on my website found on the right sidebar...or www.seasonallivingandtimelesstraditions.com


..FOR YOUR HEARTH

Carry on the tradition of baking...and make fresh baked goods this month of September in honor of the harvest season.

I am crazy good over any fruit dessert...and cobblers to me are so comforting and wholesome. Try this ever so good blackberry cobbler...and enjoy this wonderful traditional fruit dessert.

BLACKBERRY COBBLER
serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup sugar...plus a bit for sprinkling on top
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
vanilla ice cream,,,,optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet or ovenproof baking dish in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the butter burn.

While the skillet is heating up...place the blackberries in a large bowl. Using a potato masher...mash them to release some of their juices.If the berries are tart...sprinkle them with some of the sugar.

To make the batter...in another bowl...whisk together the flour...baking powder...and salt. Add the 1 cup sugar...milk...and vanilla extract...and stir until evenly blended.Next...remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the melted butter to the batter...and stir to combine. Pour the mixed batter all at once into the hot skillet...then add the blackberries and the juices to the center of the batter.

Bake until the top is golden brown and a cake tester (knife) comes out clean...about 60 minutes. Serve warm...or at room temperature with ice cream if you wish.



...FOR YOUR HEART

Have a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt...in your neighborhood or nearby park...and embrace your inner child!

Go to an apple orchard and pick your own apples.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS AUGUST 2015

August musings... This month is bringing such great change into my life...that feels so bittersweet... because my youngest daughter is leaving home for college. She will not be that far away...the trip is only an hour and a half tops...from our home...but to me it feels like a thousand miles away...to my mom heart. If you are a parent you do know how very difficult it is...and how heavy your heart feels when your children leave home. Yes...you did know that someday this would happen...but when it does actually happen...you feel frankly overwhelmed with this reality. I keep thinking " can I put the brakes on this... and just forget about it"?  Or better still..."can she not go away to college"? The mom thing...can be so irrational and filled with inner turmoil...all of it fed by emotions you can't or will not even begin to understand.

 It just is.

I am about to become what is known as an "empty nester". Doesn't that term even sound lonely? I feel like a label...has been imposed on me...ready for a trailer park somewhere...playing bingo...and drinking cocktails beginning at 10 am...with a bunch of other "empty nesters". Yikes! That vision scares me!

It is hard enough...often sad enough for me that my oldest daughter and grandson live an airplane flight away...which makes my heart hurt...I miss them so much. Now my soon to be  "empty nester" mind is now going to bingo and trailer park mentality. I need to get a grip.

I hope this "empty nesting" change doesn't mean my husband will now have to take Viagra...so we can experience that special moment. That would be the ultimate this is "s..."crap...and my life is over now...for me.

Maybe I will just become a hippie...oh wait...I pretty much already am one. Or get a tattoo? Have one already... ear piercings...already have double pierced ears. Smoke? I already love to smoke cigars. Cats...nope. Travel the country in an RV...not even no... but hell no.

On the brighter side...I keep reminding myself...she is going to her first pick college... and the town where she will be living is really pretty neat...and she has a few friends going to the same college...so she will already have folks she knows... to hang with. The college is close by...an easy drive...for us to drive down and see her. She has made a vow to come home once a month...which believe me I will hold her to...or put her on the worst guilt trip ever... for the rest of her life!

It is her time to go out on her own...and spread her wings...and my heart...best wishes...and  blessings go with her...it goes without saying. Her being able to go to a great college...where she will be laying a solid foundation for her own future...and my husband and I being able to give her this gift...is part of my personal harvest this year...and I am so very grateful.

My cup is full.

This season in my life...right now...is the cycle...of that bittersweet feeling that any parent knows and experiences...as the years of parenting...watching over...and nurturing your children...come to a close...not completely...ever...just in a different way.

I trust that all will go well...very well...for my daughter...and for your children too. Our children are...our most priceless harvest...our wealth beyond measure...and I know you are as grateful as I am...for the gifts of being a parent.

Blessings always,
Victoria



All that I have comes from my
Mother!

I give myself over to this pot.
My thoughts are on the good,
the healing properties of this
food.

My hands are balanced, I
season well!

I give myself over to this pot.
Life is being given to me.

I commit to sharing, I feed
others.
I feed She Who Feeds Me.

I give myself over to this gift.
I adorn this table with food.
I invite lovers and friends to
come share.

I thank you for this gift.
All that I have comes from my
Mother!

by Luisah Teish



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR AUGUST

August 1st...First harvest...August 5th...Workers Day in Iceland...August 15th...Independence Day...in India...August 25th...Women's Equality Day


FULL MOON IN AUGUST...August 29th


FLOWERS FOR AUGUST... sunflower...marigold


GEMS FOR AUGUST...agate...onyx


TEACHINGS FOR AUGUST...This month marks the beginning of the harvest season...and is a month for you to ponder all aspects of your life that you can acknowledge appreciation for. August is also a month to honor all you have harvested thus far this year personally and professionally...including lessons that you learned.


FOLKLORE FOR AUGUST..."If the first week of August be warm...the winter will be white and
long."


HOW TO SAY AUGUST IN OTHER LANGUAGES... In French...August is Aout...In Italian...August is Agosto


FACTS ABOUT AUGUST...

Many cultures call this month The Harvest month...or The Time of the Harvest.

For three weeks in Scotland... the world's largest art's festival is held in Edinburgh...Scotland's capital. This yearly tradition features classical music..opera...theatre and dance.

In Japan starting August 13th...and ending August 16th...The Obon or the Festival of Lanterns is held. This celebration is much like The Day of the Dead...which honors a family's departed relatives.

During The Oban special food is prepared to place on home altars and in temples... and as the sun goes down... paper lanterns are lit and hung in doorways so their ancestors spirits can find their way home.


HARVEST CELEBRATION

Researching history can be great fun...and is such a wonderful tool for you to discover how your ancestors lived...their traditions and what their daily lives were like...and perhaps the struggles they encountered just gathering enough water to drink...and the long process of even preparing a simple meal.

This August marks the beginning of the harvest season...a time of harvesting the crops...giving thanks for the harvest...and celebrating with special foods brought in from the fields.

Here is a great way for you and your family or friends to celebrate this harvest season. Assign each person a task of doing research on a particular subject...such as...how did the the early pioneers celebrate the harvest season? What crops did they grow? What food did they prepare as a special treat for the harvest meal? Did they play music or dance that day? Also include as part of the research the customs or traditions of any particular country that you are a descendant from...including foods eaten or other traditions held during the harvest season.

Now for the fun part...after all the information is gathered from the research.Set a date in early August and plan a  harvest dinner around the foods or recipes you have researched and gathered.Get everyone involved in the food preparation...including table decorations that have a theme of the harvest season.

After all the food is prepared...gather round the table and have everyone share what they learned and what they found out about what it was like during the harvest season in days gone by...including the traditions and customs held during that time period. This will be such a great experience for each one of you...learning the deeper meaning of the harvest season and how important it was for our ancestors survival...as well as a teaching format of history of  your family ancestors. Open up the discussion also about the difficulties of living and surviving then..and how important the fields...crops and harvest season was...and how much we have today with our modern conveniences. This is such an insightful discussion...that hopefully will give each person present a deep appreciate for their food...and the many other blessings they have each day.


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Set out pretty little bundles of wheat tied with gold ribbons...on tables...as a reminder of the harvest season.

Set out vases in each room...with this month's flowers...the sunflower or marigold.



...FOR YOUR  HEARTH

The month of August is the time to harvest your home grown herbs...or purchase organic fresh ones...and make some really healthy and good dips.

Herb and Yogurt Dip
serves 4

1 cup strained plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves...finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves...finely chopped
11/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate...serve with veggies...in baked potatoes...or with chips.


GARLIC HERB and TOMATO DIP
serves 4

3-4 fresh organic medium sized tomatoes...skinned
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic crushed
5 fresh basil leaves
a pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper

Skin the tomatoes by dropping them into a pot of boiling water for a second or two.The skin can then be easily removed..

Chop the skinned tomatoes into very small pieces.Add the chopped chives...and the basil that you have torn into small pieces....followed by the seasoning. Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth...serve with veggies...chips...or to spread on sandwiches.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Make a Harvest shrine or little altar on a little space in one room of your home...where you can place little stones...where you have written with a paint pen...things you have harvested this year...both personally and professionally...as a loving reminder for you to see each day...how much you have to be thankful for.