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Ensaladilla Rusa (Spanish Potato Salad)

web.Ensal Rusa

Looking for a fresh way to avoid the mid-week mealtime SLUMP?  Try infusing a simple meal with garden fresh herbs.  Whether you grow your own or buy them from local farms, cooking with fresh herbs is a wonderful way to get great flavor without adding unwanted fat or sodium. Family Fun Tip: Cooking with fresh aromatic herbs is a great way to get kids involved in the cooking process—which increases the chances they will eat the finished product without fussing over unwanted vegetables. Over the years what we’ve enjoyed most is exploring the world through different flavor and herb combinations. Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean—try this simple & easy recipe using fresh dill to impart a light, bright spring-like flavor to your menu. Continue reading…

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Mojo Monday

(PC Tina Masciarelli) Haywood Community College, campus arboreatum & dahlia garden. Mill Pond 1

The second installment of my Mojo Monday series is inspired by On Being and a recent blog post about sacred texts published in celebration of Earth Day. John Muir wrote, “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” This felt like a really big long magnificent breaking storm of a week where stars were colliding rather than shining together. Big highs (Earth Day 2016) and heartbreaking lows (death of a music legend, x2). This week I’m reflecting on places to play and places to pray—and why we need them both.
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#GetOutandExplore: Corneille Bryan Native Garden

web. cropLemon Trillium

It’s Earth Day. For lovers of the natural world, Earth Day is kind of like our Super Bowl, March Madness and the World Series all rolled into one. There’s a lot at stake. Except in our version of “the big game,” we all win. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. That was not a particularly bright time in American history. Yet this big burst of light shot out across the globe giving voice to an emerging consciousness that social, political and environmental change was called for—no demanded. In 1970, over 20 million Americans “took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” To celebrate Earth Day 2016, my family and I spent some quiet time meandering through the Corneille Bryan Native Garden. Inside the spiritual retreat of Lake Junaluska, Appalachia’s most threatened plant species find a place of refuge. The sanctuary is tucked in a ravine that overlooks the lake, naturally forested by mature trees, where a variety of ecosystems thrive shoulder to shoulder. What better way to honor my brothers and sisters, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between environmental public awareness, ideas and action than to seek sanctuary in this beautiful preserve. Continue reading…

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Mojo Monday

web.cropped Columbine2

“We teach each other how to live” —from poet Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault. That’s how my horoscope started this week. It went on to explain how living like a “curious student” is our sacred duty and the best gift we can give ourselves. The prophetic blurb challenged me to focus attention on the assumption that everyone we meet and every encounter offers rich learning experiences, whether we recognize them at the time or not. I thought creating a Mojo Monday post series would be a great response to honor the gift of this powerful signpost, to acknowledge gratitude for the people and places that added a little magic to my world over the last seven days and open the door for more gratitude and abundance in the coming week. I hope this series inspires the same in you. Beauty exists everywhere if we just pause long enough to notice. Continue reading…

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#GetOutandExplore: Charleston, SC & Thereabouts

web.Washington Park.Houses

“It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River. He was talking about Charleston, South Carolina, and he was a native son, peacock proud of a town so pretty it makes your eyes ache with pleasure just to walk down its spellbinding, narrow streets. Charleston was my father’s ministry, his hobbyhorse, his quiet obsession, and the great love of his life. His bloodstream lit up my own with a passion for the city that I’ve never lost nor ever will. I’m Charleston-born, and bred. The city’s two rivers, the Ashley and the Cooper, have flooded and shaped all the days of my life on this storied peninsula.” — Excerpt from Pat Conroy’s, South of Broad. Conroy captures, with lyrical beauty, the romantic draw of the city of Charleston. This week my family and I spent a few days exploring the low country including downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island. Spring gardens in the Holy City were filled with fragrant blooms, the air was warm, skies were blue and the locals welcoming—check out our adventures! Continue reading…

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When Worlds Collide, #NCBN

Twisted Laurel

I love connecting with other writers. I find them absolutely fascinating, regardless of age, experience or genre. Get a group of writers together and you have a vibrant feeding frenzy of energy and ideas! I had such an experience this week when I attended a Blogger Meet-Up at Twisted Laurel in Asheville sponsored by NC Blogger Network. WOW, did the evening get fun right from the get-go!

Continue reading…

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