real life wisdom

we interrupt the recipes for a rare Spabettie Fist Shake. Yums will return tomorrow.

no thanks, I do not need to hear “why the ice bucket challenge is bad for you“.

my only gripe with this particular challenge is twofold:

one, that I believe so much more money should /could be raised – many are doing this challenge in lieu of a donation, including those who have resources to donate (or donating much more). others have valid reasons for not donating (animal testing, for one), and are choosing to donate elsewhere.

two, people are doing this challenge without mentioning HOW TO DONATE OR EDUCATE, and many without knowing what ALS even is. don’t know why it is ice water – there is a specific reason for the ice water.

that said, the campaign is obviously working, and whether ALS “is not an especially great need in public health” is obviously moot – people like to donate to the causes which need cures, the diseases we do not bring on ourselves:

Donation Vs Disease                                                                                                                                         (source – CDC 2011)

 

today I have already seen a new info-graphic in my social media feeds several times – Where We Donate vs. Diseases That Kill Us – and I have been told “you are spending money on the wrong disease”.

in this one info-graphic, heart disease is [click to continue…]

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Basil and His Cactus

So.

We found out recently that Basil has cancer.

I know. I cannot even talk about it.

Last week, I told Jason that when the time comes, I do not want Sweet Basil to leave us in the environment of a cold sterile vet office. I do not want Basil’s final moments to be filled with the anxious fear he has every time we go to the vet.

I said I would [click to continue…]

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goodbye

by Kristina Sloggett

in real life wisdom

Monday evening, while listening to M*A*S*H, Dad peacefully slipped away.

In this week I have been shown an overwhelming amount of thoughtfulness and support – I will share some of this later. I have experienced laughter through tears and unbearable sadness as I spend time with those who loved him dearly. So many memories to share and treasure.

I miss his one of a kind humor, his bright happy smile. I keep with me his interminable strength and gentle stubbornness. His love for classic cars, loud music and wine.

Until we take him back ‘home’ to Hawaii, this is how I am remembering Dad:

hula dancing in Hawaii

Keep dancing, Dad – your joyful spirit lives on.

 

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To me, wellness encompasses much more than nutrition, fitness and self-care. If I have learned one important thing in this life, it is that attitude is everything. Well, it’s a lot.

When my dear Uncle Dudley was diagnosed with cancer years ago, his immediate and awesome reaction was “well, we’re gonna beat this $#!*. and he did, for quite a long time. Watching my own dad joke and smile his way through horrifically intense chemo and radiation has both melted and strengthened my heart and resolve.

Having to endure and care for a negative person while simultaneously caring for Dad? Almost did me in.

Staggering stress – dropping this person off at the [click to continue…]

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sugared chai latte banana muffins

I have been told many times that I am a connector, and that I create community. My open mind allows me to know all kinds of people with a variety of personalities – that certainly keeps life interesting. I introduce people, and a friendship blooms independent of me.

When I was in the spa business, it was very competitive – spas and salons rarely shared or communicated. I cultivated what I called “the breakfast club” – inviting other owners and directors to meet once a month and talk shop. Many gave me the side eye and said I was crazy – others loved the idea, and our breakfast club grew. We shared and learned from each other, and were inspired.

Just like I have friends with all kinds of varied interests and personalities, I am involved in different communities online. One constant throughout, I gravitate toward those who really are here because they love it, have fun with it, and truly want to support each other. I am inspired each and every day, and I like to share that with others (I tweet and G+ a lot…). I am incredibly lucky to have supportive and knowledgeable friends on my side as well. Community.

chai latte banana muffins

A very wise friend recently said “Community means… support without strings attached, just lifting up your fellow friends, clients, family, etc., because you want to. Period.”

Because you want to. Because you are inspired. Because accomplishments are to be celebrated, as is friendship! That one sentence up there is but one of many wise things my friend Jess said - read more about her community.

sugared chai banana muffins

sugared chai latte banana muffins

adapted from tropical banana bread with sugared macadamia crumble

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

makes 12-15 muffins

2 tablespoons flax seed, ground
1/3 cup
 water
1/2 cup coconut milk (So Delicious carton)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup butter (dairy and soy free)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
1/3 cup chai powder (Natures Flavors)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
pinch sea salt

Combine flax and water, set in refrigerator to thicken.

Combine coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside. This makes a dairy free buttermilk alternative.

Cream together butter and maple syrup. Add bananas, milk and flax mixtures, combine. Add flours, do not stir – add chai powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt, mixing into flour then mixing together with wet ingredients, until just combined. Pour batter into prepared (sprayed, floured) muffin pan.

Bake at 350 for 22 – 25 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes clean. Enjoy warm, or cool completely and coat in sugar.

gluten free vegan banana muffins

How do you define community?

I’ll bring the muffins!

 

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by Kristina Sloggett

in real life wisdom

Today I am participating in a National Day of Silence.

In remembrance, to honor, to reflect and to remember.

___

For those changed by Tuesday’s events in Oregon,

Friday’s events in Connecticut,

and mourning Friday’s passing of my dear friend Megan.

I hold you all in love and light.

day of silence

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A high school friend recently wrote about Finding Focus at 100mph, referring to his motorcycle.

I kinda sorta relate to that, as I love to drive fast and have lately thought of racing (cars!) classes. While driving fast laps around a racetrack, I believe I could easily find that flow, that peace, that calm.

Back in high school and college, this was skiing for me – being out alone on the mountain (well, I wasn’t alone, was I – it simply felt this way) with that silence that can only come from the layered padding of snow.

Now I find that peace while running – it takes a little bit to find my breathing pattern and get into my groove, but once I do, there’s nothing like it. I can process, I can think, I can just be.

I also turn to cooking, specifically baking, when I’m stressed, worried, need to focus or simply zone out.

Dad and I have had some long exhausting hospital days lately – some of it has been good news and some news is still up in the air. I am tired, I am distracted, I am hopeful, I am scattered.

Good thing it is the holiday season, I have been baking a lot these past few days.

Yep, up baking midnight.

sparkly apricot rosemary jewels

makes 14-17 cookies

1/2 cup butter (dairy and soy free)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stemmed and finely chopped
1 cup flour (gluten free all purpose), plus up to 1/3 cup for kneading
2-3 tablespoons milk (vanilla coconut)
apricot preserves
colored sanding sugar (optional)

Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and rosemary. Stir in flour, adding milk one tablespoon at a time until dough forms. Knead into a ball, cool in refrigerator 20 minutes. Roll dough into one inch rounds, place on prepared (parchment/silpat) baking sheet, make a thumbprint.

Bake at 300 for 25 – 28 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Spoon apricot preserves into thumbprint, sprinkle with sparkly colored sugars.

I will have more of an update on Dad soon.

When do you find your focus? What is your 100mph calm?

 

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my dad’s beloved cat Missy passed last night.

recently, she was just as much (if not more) my brother’s cat.

we have all loved Missy for many many years – she lived a long happy life, a well loved life.

my brother moved in with my dad several months ago (such a tremendous help and feeling of peace that has been!), and immediately bonded with Missy, one of three cats at my dad’s place. he took her to be groomed – a much needed and way overdue event – and since then Missy had been more lively and simply adored him. I was watching a different person when I would see him with her <3

sincerely heart-wrenching news, Missy had a very large cancerous abdominal tumor.

I could not make this decision alone, could barely formulate the text to dad (still has a trach, cannot talk).

via text, the three of us agreed on what was best for sweet Missy cat.

she was brought in to us – we held her, talked to her, said our goodbyes.

heart. wrenching.

and then we just held her…

sweet sweet Missy cat. you will be greatly missed. you are so so very loved.

rest in peace, beautiful kitty. sweet beautiful girl.

 

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