Tuesday, November 1, 2016

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS NOVEMBER 2016

NOVEMBER... I love this month! Very much! I get really excited about buying our turkey... and go to several local resources before I make up my mind...which one will come home with me.I must admit...I do poke them...and pick them up...and of course read everything that is printed on the packaging...just in case...some strange and unwanted ingredient is added to our possible Thanksgiving turkey. I am very careful about the food I buy...and eat...because I care about my family's health and mine too.It is not just buying the turkey that I carefully select...but the mindfulness I put into all the details of this holiday...because it matters.

My Thanksgiving turkey shopping has become a very special yearly tradition for me...something that brings me great pleasure. Traditions matter...they are the common thread of humanity...that always brings us closer together. And make good times and wonderful memories.

As I set my Thanksgiving table with my yellow and gold china...and silver...handed down to me from my husbands mom...I feel connected to all the women...and men...who are doing exactly the same thing as me.. setting their holiday table with the very best...they have...because they too value the beauty...the soul...of following and keeping traditions.And they also know how vital it is to pass these traditions on to their daughters and sons too.

In this season of my life...with grown children...and a grandchild...and seeing our lives becoming more and more about technology...social media...fast...and cheap... I feel now more than ever...the value of traditions and the gifts that they give us to live a more grounded...enriched life...needs to be held on to.

Technology can't and never will replace the sharing of family history or traditions...or the gathering of family and friends around the table for a good meal. Or the pleasant hum of meal preparation from folks in the kitchen cooking together...or the sound of laughing children...playing together while they wait to eat.

And most importantly...taking this one day...when hopefully we need to be practicing it in each moment...the sight of bowing heads and grateful hearts...expressed through a prayer of thankfulness for all each one of us...really has to be grateful for.

We are all so blessed.

This Thanksgiving no matter if it is just you...or a gathering of 2 or 20...make it special...create a day of tradition...of mindfulness and care...that each and everyone present will remember always...close to their hearts...and want to return to...year after year.

Because traditions have soul

And that makes life worth living.

Keeper of Traditions,
Victoria


Thanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
For harvest stored away, home, and hearth and holiday.
For Autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart
For neighbors, and November nice things, new things to remember.

For kitchen, kettles' croon kith and kin expected soon.
For sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about.
That spells thanks for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.
by Aileen Fisher

PRAYER...

" Help me be aware in each moment...how much I have to be thankful for."


WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR NOVEMBER...

November 1st...Day of the Dead...All Saints Day...November 5th...Guy Fawkes Day in Britain ...November 11th...Armistice Day in Belgium...France...November 11th...Remembrance Day in Canada...November 11th...Veterans Day...United States...November 24th...Thanksgiving Day in America...November 30th...St. Andrew's Day in Scotland


FACTS ABOUT NOVEMBER... Throughout much of history November has often been thought of as a somber month...because it signaled the start of Winter. Folks would spend the whole month storing the harvest and preparing their food and homes in order to survive the Winter.


FOLKLORE...

" Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves whirling fast."


GARDENING TIP...

Place your cold sensitive potted plants in protected areas or indoors. Plant bulbs now. Reduce your watering on your lawns.


HOMEMAKING TIP... Clean your woodwork in each room...and wipe down your doors and doorknobs with pure Lavender essential oil...it will kill bacteria...will not harm your doors...and leave each room smelling fresh with the scent of Lavender

FULL MOON... Is on November 14th

FLOWERS...The chrysanthemum is the lovely flower of this month

GEMS...The Topaz is the gem of this month


TEACHINGS...This is the month to really see clearly how much you really do have to be grateful for in your life...and make a promise to yourself to always be aware of this truth each and every day. Practice giving more this month...because it is the right thing to do...without expecting in return.


THANKSGIVING GRATITUDE JARS

This Thanksgiving get your family and friends involved in a wonderful creative craft...by providing them all the supplies...to make their own Thanksgiving GRATITUDE JAR. After they have decorated their jars...be sure to tell them...that the purpose of their decorated GRATITUDE JAR is for them to place small pieces of paper...that they have written what they are grateful for each day...and place it in the jar.Also let them know...that they can begin practicing what they are grateful for...by writing their first gratitude slip of paper...that Thanksgiving Day...and then each and every day after that...until the next Thanksgiving day...giving each person a full 12 months to fill their GRATITUDE JAR.

Ask them to bring their decorated GRATITUDE JAR...the following Thanksgiving...to share with everyone.

SUPPLIES...
markers
tags to write GRATITUDE JAR on
empty clean jars with lids
glue gun or tacky glue
different colored ribbon
gem stones...decals...stickers...dried flowers
glitter



DAY OF THE DEAD...

Day Of The Dead is practiced on November 1st-November 2nd in many cultures throughout the world...including gaining in popularity in the United States.I t is a celebration of taking a day and evening to honor one's families who have passed away...with family altars...the cleaning of grave sites...placing flowers and food out for the deceased family members...including the painting of sugar skulls.

Below is a simple and loving honoring way you can honor family that has passed away...but please feel free to add your own way of celebrating and honoring their lives.

Set out a small table...or use an area on any table... with family pictures of relatives that have passed away. Place a small vase of flowers or Rosemary...an herb that is a symbol of remembrance...on the table...and include a white pillar candle...that you can light throughout the day or evening.

Keep the candle lit...and when you feel it is right...take a few moments to pause...look at their pictures...and recall happy times and memories with them. Bless them and thank them for being in your life.

If you like...share stories about your relatives who have passed away with your family around the dinner table that evening...keeping those you loved...and lost alive in your hearts and minds.


SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Keep your November home decorating simple...and natural by setting out trays and bowls of beautiful apples. They look so pretty in any room in the house...and they can also be eaten by family and guests.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

I am sure by now...you are so over any recipe that has to do with turkey...or pumpkin...so I wanted to give you some tasty and old-fashioned side dishes instead to cook up this month. Enjoy!

CREAMED CORN
Serves 4-6

5 large ears fresh corn or frozen ears of corn work just as well
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 chopped onion
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cut kernels from corn into a medium bowl (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups kernels). Using the dull side of knife... be sure to also scrape milk and pulp from cobs into bowl too...as it adds flavor to the recipe. In a blender...or food processor puree 1 cup of the corn kernels and the milk. Set aside.

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet...melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and the remaining 3 1/2 cups corn to the pan...and cook until the onion begins to soften...approximately 7 minutes. Add pureed corn mixture to skillet...bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook...stirring occasionally...until tender...about 15 minutes.

Add cornstarch...the fresh thyme..salt and pepper to corn mixture...stir well. Cook...stirring frequently...until thickened about 5 minutes. Serve...and enjoy!


BACON BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Serves 4-6

You say no one likes Brussels sprouts in your family? Put bacon in it and they will!

4 slices thick-cut bacon...chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts...ends trimmed off and then cut in half
1/2 chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp...about 5-6 minutes.Remove the cooked bacon...and let cool...then crumble and set aside. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan...and cook until crisp and browned on the outside and fork tender about 10 minutes. Add the parsley...the balsamic vinegar...lemon zest...salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sprinkle in the bacon...and then serve.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Clean out your linen closet...and gather up towels..washcloths...blankets and sheets that you no longer use or want...and pass them out to homeless people you see...or give them to a homeless shelter.