Sunday, November 1, 2015

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS NOVEMBER 2015

November musings...My children...my husband...my grandson...sunrises...my garden...hugs...herbs...warm clothes...fresh water...taking a bath...candle light...rainy days...laughter...a clean house...freedom...good health... goat milk soap...good food...quality friends...quiet...solitude...options...wisdom...fresh flowers in my home...trees...all of these simple...and joyful things are some of what I am most grateful for in my life.

Really as I have gotten older...and hopefully much wiser...I have come to appreciate the small things...which are the big things to me...in my life...with such gratitude. Oh yes of course...I do understand the value...and it's place...of having a nice home...and the resources to live comfortably... but it is all the "love"stuff..that I value more...and give thanks for...than at any other cycle in my life.

Never take your life...for granted.If you look very close...at all you really do have...to appreciate...and be thankful for...you will stay in a place of gratitude. Life is not about the stuff you have...or want to have...but truly is about the quality of the simple...inner heart things you have...that no one...or any situation can ever take away from you...or be replaced with something material.

This Thanksgiving month...embrace all you have to be grateful for...including the gift of being alive.

Gratitude...is seeing your life...with your heart.

And really...that is what it is all about.

Blessings to you,
Victoria


" November comes
And November goes
with  the last red berries
and the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And the earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

by Elizabeth Coatsworth



WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS...November 1st...All Saint's Day...November 10th...Veterans Day...November 11th...St. Martin's Day...November 26th...Thanksgiving Day


FACTS ABOUT NOVEMBER...On November 8th 1731 Benjamin Franklin with members of his Junto Club opened the first United States library.

The name November is believed to derive from "novem" which is the Latin word for the number nine in the ancient Roman calendar.

FIRST THANKSGIVING FEAST...

Turkey was not served at the first Thanksgiving feast.According to history...the New England settlers ate roast duck or goose...seafood such as lobster...clams...and mussels. They also ate chestnuts...walnuts...squash...carrots...and peas.


NOVEMBER IN FRENCH...Novembre

NOVEMBER IN ITALIAN...Novembre

NOVEMBER IN GERMAN...November

I found it so interesting that the word November was so similar in different languages.


FOLKLORE FOR NOVEMBER...'A warm November is the sign of a bad Winter."


GARDENING TIP FOR NOVEMBER...Rake leaves...prune fruit trees


HOMEMAKING TIP... Mop and wax your floors. Put cedar wood blocks or Lavender sachets in your closets and drawers...including your pantry for pest control. Polish your silver. Clean out your freezer...letting go of old food.


FULL MOON IN NOVEMBER...Is November 25th


FLOWERS FOR NOVEMBER...Chrysanthemum


GEMS FOR NOVEMBER... Lapis lazuli


TEACHINGS FOR NOVEMBER... Expressing gratitude for all you have...sharing and giving from the heart. Preparing for the Winter cycle.


THANKSGIVING GRATITUDE SHRINE (ALTAR)

Little altars or shrines are special places...where you can create in a small area... in your home...a way to honor or celebrate a favorite event...holiday...life change...or just for memory making.

It is so pleasurable to take candles...pictures...greenery or flowers...knick knacks and mementos...placed together to make a life story...  from them...that gives you meaning in such a creative way.

Find that perfect table...counter...or nook... in your home this month...to make your Thanksgiving Gratitude shrine.Collect items in your home that are a symbol to you of what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving month...such as pictures of your family or friends...postcards of places you were able to visit...coins or paper money to represent prosperity that you have been blessed with...good health etc. Whatever feels right for you...place these items and others on your shrine table. Candles...fresh flowers...or greenery also add a pretty and natural element...that will add beauty to your shrine...for you to enjoy throughout this month.

Once you have created your Thanksgiving Gratitude shrine...set out a bowl or tray...pen...and small pieces of cut paper...and each day write out what you are grateful for...and then place in your bowl...beginning if you can...the very first day of November. Get your whole family involved in this tradition...and ask them to do the same each day for the month of November.

On Thanksgiving Day...light the candles on your Thanksgiving Gratitude Shrine...as a way to focus your attention on all you have to be grateful for...and ask each person who has contributed their written gratitude messages...to take a few moments throughout the day or evening...to pause and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all they have received this year.

At the end of the month...place all the written gratitude messages...in a safe place...and keep them until the following year's Thanksgiving celebration...where they can be read out loud to everyone after your meal is over...sitting together in a circle. This is such a lovely...simple...and heart warming tradition...for you to practice each year...expressing the very important life lesson of gratitude.

Because the truth is...there is always something to be grateful for.


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS

...FOR YOUR HOME

This is the month to cozy up your rooms...with warm throws...baskets of nuts and apples...and candlelight in each room. Forage outside and find fallen leaves...old branches...pods and seeds...and bring them inside to arrange natural...simple...and beautiful treasures from nature in bowls...vases...and baskets.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

I am nuts for spuds...and try just about every potato recipe I find that looks good. This recipe is by far one of the best potato recipes I have ever made and eaten.Seriously... hide them in the back of the fridge for yourself to eat as a leftover...IF there is any left that is.

POTATOES SAVOYARDE
makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter...cut into small pieces
plus 1 tablespoon melted butter to grease baking dish
3 cloves fresh garlic minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf ( Italian) parsley
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
freshly ground pepper
4-6 russet potatoes or 21/2 pounds...washed...unpeeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/12 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 375. Brush the bottom and sides of a 2 quart baking dish with the melted butter.In a small bowl...stir together the minced garlic...parsley...cheese...and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the prepared dish...sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the potatoes and dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Repeat with half each of the remaining potatoes...garlic cheese mixture and butter.Top with remaining potatoes.Pour the chicken stock over potatoes sprinkle with the rest of the garlic cheese mixture and with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue baking uncovered...until the top is browned and crusty and the potatoes are fork tender...at least 30 to 40 more minutes. Serve right away.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Take care of yourself this month...as it is so easy to get stressed...with extra cooking...house work...guests and holiday shopping.

Making your own herbal baths...is such a soothing...nurturing way to give yourself self-care and self-love. It is detoxifying...relaxing...improves circulation...induces sleep...and eases discomfort in your joints or with an illness...and costs just pennies to make.

REVITALIZING GINGER...LEMON...PARSLEY BATH
should make at least 2 baths...depends on size of your bags

Supplies...
inexpensive muslin or cotton bags
1/4 minced ginger root...which will promote circulation
1/4 cup dried parsley...which was valued by the ancient Romans as a tonic for the skin
1/2 cup lemon peel (grated)... for a cleansing and aromatic effect
2 tablespoons oatmeal...to soften your skin

Place all ingredients in a small glass bowl...blend...then fill your muslin or cotton bags with herbal mixture...tie securely...and place in your bath water. Soak for at least 30 minutes. Towel off...and gently massage a body lotion all over. You will feel energized...and refreshed after this bath.