Kitchen / Garden / Sanctuary - Urban Homesteading to Nourish Body + Spirit

Month: April 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

Philosophy Friday: When We Wish It Were Different, We Suffer

Temporarily back on crutches, this time for the left leg!

Several years ago during a difficult period of my life, I was into listening to Ram Dass talks on my MP3 player while I took walks out in nature. One particular point that I distinctly remember from those talks is “when we wish it were different, we suffer.” What Ram Dass was saying is that when we rail against life – against the way things have turned out – we suffer. We have our own idea of the way things should be…our own expectations (ooo those are insidious, aren’t they). And when life doesn’t follow our little ‘personal protocol,’ and we decide that a situation is “bad” rather than accepting it as simply a part of life, we suffer. We of course have a choice in how we react to what happens in our lives, and it takes real humility to gracefully accept what is rather than resist it and push against it and wish for a different outcome.

Case in point:

Last Friday I was going down the stairs on my way to work (having just gotten off crutches two days prior) when I stepped down wrong and sprained my good ankle. It rolled under me, popped, and I crumpled onto the stairs. Cursing it all, I sulked back up to the apartment and got my crutches. And with this unexpected turn of events, suddenly my bad foot was forced to be my good foot, which it was certainly not ready for. I went to the doctor and got x-rays just to make sure nothing was broken (nothing was!) and since I could hardly walk at all, I hung very low (literally) for the next few days and got around the house mostly by crawling on painful knees that have been carpet burned, bruised, re-bruised, and then bruised again by the previous 6 weeks of crawling around on our carpet and tile floors. I looked pathetic, with an air cast on one foot and a splint on the other. And to top it all off (oh yes, there’s more!), I even managed to burn the fingerprints right off my left hand. (I was standing in the kitchen, lost my balance, grabbed for the stove, and touched a very hot burner.) And I had a splitting headache.

It’s during times like this that we would do well to remember to just accept life as it comes; to not resist it. I did my best to accept the situation as it was, and not wish it were different. I didn’t totally succeed, but just having that thought in my mind helped me to step back and see the big picture, remembering that my limited mobility is only temporary. The real challenge, I think, is to apply this concept to permanent situations that are not — and never will be — ideal, such as chronic pain, permanent disability or disease, the premature death of a loved one, missed opportunities, lifelong regrets, etc. A tall order for sure, and one I’ll probably be forever working on!

So if there’s nothing we can do about an unpleasant situation, here’s to not wasting any more mental energy on wishing it were different!

(Epilogue: Now a week later, my ankle is doing much better and I’m walking without crutches again. I am so so glad. 🙂 )

Easiest Macaroni & Cheese Ever

My mom and I somehow got to talking about macaroni and cheese today, and the different methods of making it. I’ve seen some pretty elaborate recipes for Mac-n-cheese, but personally I find that I’m much more likely to turn to a simple recipe when I’m in the mood for it (especially if I just want to cook up a small amount for a snack). Thus, this simple & humble dish is quite frugal, too. In addition, I find that if I use cheese with a bold, sharp flavor like sharp cheddar and/or Parmesan, I don’t have to use as much in order to impart a good cheese flavor.

Below, I share my own method of making mac-n-cheese; it’s so simple that it can’t even really be called a recipe! I don’t measure the ingredients; I just decide how much pasta I’m hungry for, and then just “eye” the cheese amounts, adding a bit of yogurt/buttermilk/butter/milk for some liquid; the cheese sauce pretty much makes itself in the pan.

Parmesan cheese, sharp cheddar, and yogurt

Lindsey’s Easiest Mac-n-Cheese Ever

– Desired amount of whole wheat pasta (I enjoy Eden Kamut spirals)

– Desired amount of grated sharp cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese (roughly equivalent to the amount of dry pasta you’re cooking)

– Small amount of plain yogurt, buttermilk, butter, or milk (I like yogurt)

Cook your pasta in salted water, to the tenderness you like. Drain the pasta. Return it to the pot, and set the burner to very low heat. Add the cheese(s) and yogurt to the pot, and stir gently but constantly. The cheese will kind of clump up at first and you’ll think “well this is just great” …but keep stirring! It’ll pass the clumpy phase and begin to form a lovely, gooey coating over your pasta. Once it’s at that stage, it’s time to eat! Add any seasonings you want (I added some ground Ancho chili pepper to mine at the very end), though it really doesn’t need anything extra. Yum!

This recipe is part of today’s Pennywise Platter Thursday carnival over at The Nourishing Gourmet.

Free Shipping Today at Tropical Traditions!

Tropical Traditions ( is one of my very favorite companies! I absolutely LOVE their products; they’re made with the highest quality ingredients and you can really tell. (They’re not paying me to say this, but if they wanted to, I’d be fine with that! 🙂 )

Anyway, they’re offering free ground shipping today (April 5th, until Midnight EDT), which saves about $10 to $15 off your order, or more, depending on what you order. If you want to take advantage of this (though they do have a free shipping deal every now and then), enter coupon code FREESHIP4310 during checkout.

Here are my favorite products that I order from them:

Moisturizing lotion – I use this every day on my face and hands. It’s the most luxurious stuff, and very gentle since it has only a few wholesome ingredients. Definitely my favorite lotion.

Virgin organic coconut oil – Great for cooking, and also for skin!

Organic raw honey – This is the best-tasting honey I’ve ever had. I like to buy and taste lots of different honeys, and this one always wins, hands down.

Coconut cream concentrate – I love this stuff. LOVE it. The “format” is a little strange, because when you receive it,  it will have settled out into a hardened layer of coconut oil and a layer of dried/finely ground coconut meat. You’ll wonder what to do with it at first; what I do is put the jar into a pan of simmering water and let it sit there until the contents have softened and liquefied, and then I can easily stir it up. Then, I put it in the fridge until it’s hardened again. Once hardened, you can then store it in the fridge or at room temperature (it won’t separate again). I usually just eat this stuff plain, it’s so good; I break it into chunks with a knife, and eat it as a snack. Sometimes I’ll eat it dipped in the raw honey, which is a very decadent and extremely delicious snack!!!

Now, I’ve also tried their organic bar soap, and though it was really nice soap, Hubby and I have never seen a bar of soap get used up so fast! It was weird. It just seemed like it was gone in record time. So, that’s the only product I wouldn’t get again. I haven’t tried every single product that they sell…but the ones I listed above, I make sure to never run out of!

Anyway, if you buy anything and you’re a new customer, you can also get this Virgin Coconut Oil book for free (any time, not just today) by entering my User ID, which is 6032410. When you’re going through the checkout process and you’ve added your shipping address and phone number, you will see the question “How did you hear of us?” Just choose “Referred by a friend” and then a new “User ID” field will appear below that where you can enter my User ID. (screen shot below)


Happy Easter to you!

We have a beautiful spring morning here today, and I hope you do, too. Easter is one of my favorite holidays (that, and Christmas)! My family and I will go out later this morning for a light brunch of crepes at a cute little French bistro not far away. I can’t wait! We used to do it up big for Easter, and go out to a fancy buffet brunch at a nice hotel (ohh how I loved that — it was SO special!), but these days, I’m quite happy with something more casual and light. As long as Easter involves chocolate and family, I’m good. 🙂

How about you — what are you doing for Easter today? Do you have any special Easter traditions?

« Older posts

© 2024 The Herbangardener

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑