Sunday, May 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS MAY 2016

May...Finds me thinking about my daughters...when they were little girls. They both have been my greatest blessings and joy in my life.

Both these "little girls" are adults now...my oldest daughter a wife and mother herself. As I am sure you do...I ask myself ..."where did the time go... and so quickly"? This is...the million dollar question for all parents...I suppose. And the answer is...simple...it just does.

You can't stop time...no one can...but what you can do...is make each moment count...each sunrise savored...each sunset embraced...for what it is...the gift of life and being able to live another day.

It is so easy to get caught up in the "rushing about" of our constant striving to keep up with the status quo...our to do lists...are constant going...that we are in fact losing the simple joys and pleasures of life itself.

Everything is moving too fast...often in the wrong direction...to me.

There is so much more to life than focusing on money...and always wanting more and more...often getting into debt to get that wanting of more and more. Until you want more...again.We as a collective whole in our culture...always seem to be in a race with time...having to have or be this or that before a certain time...in order to validate our self-worth or be considered successful...by others...or ourselves. We are judged and we judge ourselves...when we do not have...the cars...the houses...the pool...the body... the looks... the clothes...or the money...by a certain "time" in our lives.

Okay...all these things are fine...but at what cost? We are trashing the environment... and depleting our natural resources. Never in history have we as a culture been so out of balance and  ill...mentally...physically...emotionally and spiritually. Everyone is stressed to the max...in their race against time...to get that next thing... that next promotion...that next material fix...to fill that void within...that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

The material world and lust for money...things and power...will not feed your soul... or bring you happiness. Or frankly make you a better person...or more spiritual or godly...or enlightened. It doesn't make you anything more of.

Period.

This month of May...with Mother's Day being honored... I invite you to focus on the whole aspect of mothering...which is nurturing,,,caring...loving...responsible...and life affirming energy...and see where you can bring mothering energy...into all levels of your daily life.Not only to make your life more soul filled...but more life affirming for the good of the world too.

Practice mindful shopping...by asking yourself...am I purchasing this to fill a void within me...to make me feel happy...or to impress others? If you answer yes to any one of these questions...then walk away from buying it. If you have children...teach them that although it is okay to purchase things when they need them...and it is okay to want things...constant shopping and spending will not make them happy or fulfilled...or wanting to keep up what their peers at school have.

Nurture the environment by only shopping local...including where you purchase your food. Only buy what you need...so you will not waste food...and purchase seasonal...fresh organic food. Eliminate chemical laden snacks and foods. Eat home cooked meals...instead of eating out. Your pocket book and waistline will thank you. Eating out should be an occasional treat...not an everyday convenience...and the food at restaurants is more than likely pesticide grown food. Clean your home...with natural cleaning products...instead of harsh chemicals that end up in our water supply. It is so easy to get organic cleaning recipes on-line...all you have to do is goggle them. This will also save you money...and will not harm  you...or you  family's health.

When you want to add new items to your home...or are wanting to redecorate...please consider buying your items from vintage...flea...and antique shops. You will be decorating your personal space with beautiful...as well as unique items for your home...and this is a wonderful venue for you to use recycled or upcycled items. Always have fresh flowers and houseplants in your home... to be a reminder to you of natural beauty and the wonder of nature.

Reclaim the wonderful tradition of hand-making your own gifts...you will be so amazed how fulfilling this can be for you...and handmade gifts are such a great treat to receive. If this does not seem like a possible idea for you...then please consider purchasing  your gifts from artisans who handcraft quality gifts and products.

Make your own organic spa products...for relaxing healing baths...massage oils...and foot care.It is so easy and inexpensive to make your own spa products...and you can rest easy knowing that you are not using harmful chemicals to take care of your spa needs...and it is also quite fun to make your own.

Nurturing and mothering yourself...will give you inner peace and a sense of calm and serenity...so take the much needed time to care for yourself. Healing baths...exercise...exploring your creativity...relaxation...gardening...listening to music...all these things will bring more much needed balance into your life.Take care of yourself emotionally as well...by setting healthy boundaries with your family and friends...and eliminate toxic relationships from your life. Surround yourself with positive people...and be a positive person...and practice kindness to yourself and to all others.

To add more meaning and soul to your life...celebrate and honor milestone birthdays...life transitions and changes... in unique creative ways...focusing on the experience...wisdom gained and lessons learned...instead of store bought or the standard commercial ways...that our culture promotes.

Get in touch with your spiritual nature...and make it a priority in your daily living. Prayer...meditation...and reading positive books...that assist you in improving yourself...will enrich your soul...and create tranquility within you...that running out and shopping or constantly having to be entertained won't and never will. Embrace your faith...whatever that may be for you...and when you do...you will add such a deeper meaning to your life...that material things will never give you. Spending time in nature...will give you a sense of feeling connected to the earth...all living things...and will improve your physical and emotional health as well. Keep a diary or journal to write out your thoughts and feelings... your deepest longings...fears and hopes. This is such a powerful tool for self exploration...healing and growth for you.

Start a garden...nothing will get you more grounded...or teach you life lessons...as gardening will. As you continue to garden...you will begin to notice the changing seasons...more and more...and really become aware of how connected you are to nature and the ever changing seasons and cycles found in the natural world. You will also gain a deeper respect and value for all life.

Your own creativity and your ability to tap into it and express yourself ...is such a powerful expression of your soul or inner spirit...and is an endless source of inspiration and aspiration for you each day. When you keep your heart and mind focused on creating something wonderful...no matter what medium you choose...your days will be filled with excitement and wonder...and you will never be bored or your spirit dulled.

Spend more time with your family...doing activities such as cooking a good meal together...playing board games... and being out in nature as a family. Discuss as a family how each one of you can make a positive difference in the world...by living a life of meaning and soul...instead of one of excess and consumerism.

Above all else...live from a state of gratitude each and every day...and see with your heart...all that you truly do have in your life to be thankful for.

Begin this mothering month of May...to live a life of soul...of meaning...and a space of gratitude...and your life...will be filled with true wealth...happiness and joy.


Happy Mother's Day to you all,
Victoria


" A swarm of bees in may
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly."

- Rhyme from England

PRAYER FOR MAY..." Guide me to live a more caring...and heart centered life".

WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR MAY...

May 1st...May Day...May 5th...Cinco De Mayo...May 9th...Mother's Day...May 21st...Armed Forces Day...May 31st...Memorial Day

FACTS ABOUT MAY... The month of May was named for Maia the Greek goddess of fertility.
Did you know? May was once considered a bad luck month to get married. There is a poem that says "marry in May and you'll rue the day".

FOLKLORE FOR MAY..." The world's favorite season is the spring...all things seem possible in May,"
- Edwin Way Teale

GARDENING TIP FOR MAY...Fertilize plants that are blooming...mulch trees...shrubs...and garden...start mowing your grass weekly

HOMEMAKING TIP FOR MAY...Clean your book shelves...being sure to dust off each book...and clean each shelf. Donate any books you are ready to let go of...to a book recycling center.

FULL MOON IN MAY... Is May 21st

FLOWERS FOR MAY... Is the beautiful...Lily of the Valley...which symbolizes sweetness and humility

GEMS FOR MAY... Is the striking Emerald...a symbol of rebirth and love

TEACHINGS FOR MAY...This month has such creative energy...and is perfect for you to get your creative goals and personal issues into full swing. The month of May also offers you ways to seek out how you can nurture and support your life...with loving self -mothering care.


HOMEMADE MOTHER'S DAY GIFTS

There is nothing in the world that a mom loves better than something homemade from her children. I have included some wonderful nurturing self-care products that you can make...to give to your mom that will nurture her body...mind...spirit.


INVIGORATING BODY SCRUB FOR MOM
This wonderful homemade spa product will refresh and renew skin.Mix and then place blended ingredients in a pretty glass jar... with a tight fitting lid...tie with a pretty ribbon...and then write out the instructions on a tag...tying the tag to the top of the jar.

1/2 cup of sea salt
2 drops pure peppermint oil
3 drops pure rosemary essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 tablespoons jojoba oil

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl...and then package into the glass jar or bottle or jar. Tie with ribbon and write out instructions on a tag...and tie it around the top.

*** Instructions for body scrub...get your skin wet in shower or bath...and then gently massage this body scrub onto your skin...avoiding your face and other delicate areas. Rinse off.


COOLING LAVENDER WATER FOR MOM
This cooling spray is perfect to sooth irritated skin.

30 drops pure lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon witch hazel
water...enough to fill spray bottle

Mix the ingredients in an 8 ounce spray bottle. Shake well...then fill with water. Shake well again.Tie with a pretty ribbon...and write out instructions on a tag...tying it to the top of the spray bottle.

*** Instructions for this spray...just spray on liberally when you have irritated skin. Keep in the fridge if you want a cold spray to mist your skin after being outside or gardening.



FLOWER GET TOGETHER...

What better symbol for the month of May...than the beauty of blooming flowers and the joy they bring into lives. With this as your focus...invite your friends over for an afternoon of connection...conversation...and arranging flowers together...that you all can take home to fill your homes with!  Be sure to ask each guest to bring one large bouquet of flowers with them...for the group to share in the flower arranging get together.

Have healthy snacks...and teas ready for your guests...and of course a beautiful vase of flowers to decorate the table where snacks will be served. Use your best tableware...silverware and glasses for serving...this is after all a celebration.

Have scissors...string...and pretty ribbon for your guests to cut the flowers with and then tie with ribbon or the string for their finished flower bouquets to take home.

Once all your guests have arrived...have everyone place their flower bouquets they brought on a table...that you have placed the supplies on. Explain to everyone present that they can then gather flowers from all the flower bouquets...and make their own unique... creative flower arrangement from the flower selection...and to then help themselves to the string...and ribbon...to bundle up for them to take home with them.

After everyone has created their flower arrangement...serve the snacks and tea...and have everyone show off their flower master pieces!


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Restock your dried herbs this month...with fresher herbs. Please do not throw away the bottles or jars they came in...instead soak off the labels...and wash out the bottles and jars...allow them to dry completely...and then use them to store nails...tacks...buttons or other small objects you use.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

A wonderful potato dish using fresh herbs...really good as leftovers too...to serve the next morning with eggs...and bacon!

CREAMY CHEESY POTATOES
serves 4-6

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 grated nutmeg
4 large russet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the cream...Parmesan...ricotta...thyme...rosemary...salt...and nutmeg in a large bowl. Toss in the sliced and peeled potatoes and coat thoroughly with the cream mixture.

Scrape the contents into an ovenproof dish that is about 2 inches deep and drizzle the melted butter on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and turn up the oven to 400 degrees and cook until brown and crispy on top...about 20-25 minutes. Serve.


...FOR YOUR HEART

The next time you go to the store...leave a five dollar bill or whatever you can give... in the cart for the next person who uses that cart.

Nurture yourself this month with healing baths...below is a simple but very healing bath to ease away tension and stiff muscles. The magnesium in Epsom salts helps relax the muscles and nervous system. Lavender soothes both physical and emotional tension.


TENSION RELIEVING BATH

1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup baking soda
10 drops pure Lavender essential oil

Mix the ingredients together and add to your bath water just before getting in the bath. Stir with your hand to dissolve the salt. Soak for at least 30 minutes.