Saturday, 7 April 2018

FROM JUDY’S KITCHEN ~IRISH SODA BREAD WITH ROSEMARY AND CHEESE

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Our family loves soda bread.  We use this recipe because it tastes good, and it feels like it lifts our spirits. 

If you feel down, try the soda bread.

IRISH SODA BREAD WITH ROSEMARY AND CHEESE

--Makes 16 servings..

1 ½ cups of all purpose white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (I use brown sugar)

1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of sea salt

1/3 cup of grated cheddar cheese (for a different taste, use raisins or currents)

1 tablespoon of rosemary flakes or crushed rosemary or fresh herb rosemary as in the picture

1 egg 1 ¼ cups of buttermilk (I use regular milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together well. Stir in cheese and rosemary seeds into flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and oil. Pour liquid ingredients over flour mixture and very lightly combine together into rough dough.

Place dough in 9 inch by 2 ½ inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

SPIRIT ANIMAL–SPARROW SINGS

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Several days ago, I was feeling sad because my Dad was gone, and I was feeling glad because he was now released from the body that was starting to weigh him down. As he said, "It just doesn't work right anymore!"

I went out and sat under the arbour and mountain ash tree. I relaxed my body back into the swing chair, and closed my eyes. Within minutes, I could feel something watching me and there was bird song all around. I thought the birds were eating the berries in the tree. I looked up. There were about half a dozen sparrows hopping around the tree and looking at me, like they were concerned. Yes, I do put birdseed out, however, it's not like they are dependent upon me for food.

I wondered what was up. Then they started flying past me, quite close to my face. The dogs came and sat with me, and watched the birds. Pretty soon they were swooping over the dogs. It was quite a show! They were trying to tell me something.

Sparrows are noted for eating a wide variety of insects, and will fly up around the house. This year, they have kept our garden quite free of the normal pests that eat our lettuce and spinach and tomatoes. Chairman Mao Tse-Tung learned, with disastrous consequences, what happens when one dishonours the sparrow. He calculated that a sparrow could eat almost ten pounds of rice per year, and that if he killed a million sparrows, he'd have enough rice to feed an additional 60,000 people. The Chinese people were commanded to kill as many sparrows as possible. In Shantung province, the locals killed an estimated 2.7 million sparrows. The amount of rice did not increase with the death of the sparrows. It diminished. The insects that the sparrows normally killed, ate and damaged rice well in excess of what the sparrows ate. Chairman Mao decided he'd had a bad idea and ordered the people to be friends with the sparrows so the population would return to normal.

Sparrows are noted for representing abundance - both substantial and spiritually. The Japanese have a story about a sparrow’s gifting an old woodsman with gold and silver. There is also a story about a sparrow singing to Jesus as he hung on the cross. Songs have been written about the relationship between God and the sparrow. In ancient times, sparrows were thought to carry the souls of the dead up to the Gods. Our ancestors believed it was bad luck to kill a sparrow because this stopped them (the sparrow) from fulfilling its task.

Taking all of this information into context, it seemed to me that the sparrows were telling me to cheer up. They were saying that I was well taken care of, and that Dad was also well looked after. Sparrow’s song was a reminder to stay grounded (as are the colours) and stay in the present moment. The present is full of joy and peace and wonder. Their aerial acrobatics were reinforcing that I should use the gifts of my third eye and connect with the Divine to see the perfection in everything. It is good advice!

Many blessings.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

April 1 2018–This Month, Walk With Nature

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April Fool's day – a day for playing jokes.  This blog is not about joking.  It is about waking up and realizing that we need Nature in our lives.  It is about remembering that we come from Nature – from the Earth.  Our blood flows red with iron richness and lots of mineral and gases that are part of the Earth's structure.

We need to be out in Nature to restore our calm and to remind ourselves that we must care for the plants, animals, birds, etc. because they are our cousins.  They carry the same ingredients in their bodies.

It is sad that we want to destroy the parks and rivers and lakes to "develop" them.  And, yes, in some places, wild lands are being reclaimed so that new life can flourish in those spots.

Today, decide to be out in Nature for one hour a week.  Then slowly increase the time. 

Many blessings.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Spirit Speaks - The Spiritual Path is Stepping Into the Unknown

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The mystics in the world are writing about the opening up to spirituality that will be transforming people over the next twenty years.  Spirit tells us that this spiritual path is different for everyone. People seldom have the same experiences and processes.  Each of us is wired to experience life differently and so we each must have a unique spiritual experience.  Each day will open up new experiences for us to process and to grow with.  It will be challenging.  It will be frustrating at times.  It will help us grow into the being that will make a difference.

Many blessings.