Sunday, January 30, 2011

Peace, Love and Lotus Flowers

Last night, I got a tattoo.

Unlike the first one I got, which was the result of a bit too much to drink (though, as a true doctor of spin, I will make you think I got it for all kinds of deep, philosophical reasons), this one is actually quite symbolic.

As you may know from reading previous posts, I am not a religious person.  

I would consider myself a spiritual person who believes in loving yourself and others enough to treat them, and their beliefs, with respect, doing your best to be the best person you can be and finding pleasure and beauty in the chaos that is life as we know it.

The only time I have felt any sort of spiritual connection has been in dealing with certain people - those who within minutes of knowing them I feel like I've know them for an eternity.  My grandma calls it being an "old soul."  I call it the closest thing to God that I have ever known.  

I had resigned myself to believe that deep spirituality that goes by so many earthly names was just something I would never understand, but I was wrong.  

While in Korea, I visited a Buddhist temple in the heart of Seoul.  I'm not sure if it was the magic of being transported to a silent spot in a city that is always moving, or if I was being touched by Buddha himself, but the feeling was unmistakable.  As I walked around that place, I stood in deep awe.  For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt at peace.  It's a feeling I get only fleeting glimpses of now, but the impact was immeasurable.

It is for this reason that I chose to get a lotus tattoo.  To remind me of the peace I found in that tiny monastery, and remind me to keep seeking that peace in my everyday life.

In Buddhism, the lotus flower means purity of speech, mind and body which is why it can be seen in many pieces of Buddhist art. The colours of the flower are used to represent aspects of perfection - pink being symbolic of Buddha himself, purple signifying mysticism.

I have always had an affinity for flowers, but one that is so symbolic of my own personal experience as well as things I hope to achieve - it's utter perfection.

I have been told to let it heal before he goes back in to adjust things - but I'm very pleased with the result.  Thanks to Piero Corradetti of Beauty is Pain in Woodville - he does amazing work.  Check out their website at

Enjoy a few shots from that life changing trip and one of my new addition.

And, though it might sound a bit hippy-dippy...

Peace and love, people.  
Peace and Love


Enjoy a few shots from that life changing trip and one of my new addition.

And, though it might sound a bit hippy-dippy...

Peace and love, people.  
Peace and Love

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time for a change...

I'm stuck in a rut.

I can't seem to figure out how I got here, or, at the moment, how I can get out of it.  I'm frustrated, irritated and grumpy and, unfortunately, taking it out on those around me who love me most.

I think I'm having an age crisis.

I will be turning 29 in March - and yes, for those out there who think I'm just a spring chicken, I know this will sound winy and selfish - but I'm not where I thought I'd be at 29.  Yes, life gets in the way of the best laid plans, but seriously, this is now extending to everything in my life, even the things that used to bring me the most joy.

The worst part of the situation is that there is no end in sight.  I do the same thing every day just to get by - I go to work, I come home from work, I go to jujitsu, I spend my nights alone because Shane's working, no matter how much I clean, my house is a mess, I can't stay up to date with laundry - I'm basically a mess and this will continue into the foreseeable future.  I have nothing to look forward to and it's so depressing.

This is not how I thought I'd spend my first year of marriage, not how I thought I would enter my 30's, let alone how I thought I would spend the end of my 20's.

Anyway, I guess I need a change, but until I find the time, resources and ability to make it, I guess I might as well get used to it.

BAH. :(

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Procrastination is an art

I hate report card time.

It's not because I dislike them - they're an important part of the educational process.
It's not even because I resent having to give up my time to do them.  I kind of had an idea of what I was getting into when I applied to teacher's college.

Report card time sucks for two reasons.

First, getting started is the hardest part.  I say to my husband every year, "don't make any plans for us this weekend, I have report cards to write." and inevitably I end up sitting at my computer, watching the cursor blink and wondering what's up on facebook or checking my email, or googling something really...random, feeling the urge to spontaneously bake or make a 5 course meal....all in an effort to avoid the reports.

Second, once started, it's trying to eloquently word the obvious into sugary bites that say yes, your child who, as I'm told, does no wrong, who is perfect in every way and smarter than Einstein is not only a crumby student, but can also be a total asshole into - Tommy is an enthusiastic student who enjoys hands on activities.  He does need to work on his listening skills.

You may think that politicians can spin - but teachers are the original SPIN DOCTORS.

Anyway, I digress.  This blog, too, has become a way for me to avoid the reports.  As were the coconut pecan banana muffins I baked this morning and the cabbage lentil soup I whipped up after dinner.

I hope you enjoy the soup recipe - you'll have to wait for the banana bread, the recipe card is lost to the piles of paper on my ottomon.

Cabbage Lentil Soup

1 small cabbage (purple has lots of good vitamins in it!)
2 large carrots
1 onion
2 celery stalks
10-15 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tetra pack of veggie broth
1 can/tetra pack of either vegetable juice or tomato juice (try to find one with low sodium)
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 bay leaves

Sautee the onion and garlic until the onions are a nice caramel colour.  Add the other veggies and lightly sautee.  Pour in the entire tetra pack of broth.  Add tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves and lentils.  Pour in enough veggie juice to fill up the pot and save the rest to add as the liquid evaporates.

Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for at least an hour or until all veggies are soft - The longer the better.

Serve as is, or blend in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Serve with crusty bread and butter.