Monday, December 28, 2009

Chicken for a Sunday Dinner

Chicken for a Sunday dinner in December

A table for two--near the naked Christmas Tree.

Get out the oval enamel roasting pan with the lid and put that on the counter with two beautiful all natural chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 475! yes that is pretty high--but there is a method to the deliciousness!
Also on the counter:
1 medium onion
2 bright yellow summer squashes
half of a brilliant red pepper
3 medium potatoes
3 nice carrots
2 big handfulls of deep green beans
minced garlic or garlic powder or both
Olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
orange juice
Paprika --for mom:)
Now you are ready to go....
Cut the onion up into slices and place them on the bottom of the roasting pan.
Place the chicken breasts on top of the onions.
Then clean and cut the squash, potatoes, and carrots into kind of big pieces and place them around the edges (not on top of the chicken).
Now for the green beans. Leave them long and sprinkle them on top of everything.
Sprinkle the minced garlic or garlic powder.
Sprinkle the tarragon, salt, pepper and paprika (for mom)
Drizzle in zig zags the honey over the top of every thing. See it glisten.
Pour about three quarters to one full cup of orange juice down the side of the pan--not over everything.
Then pop this in the oven uncovered for about 45 minutes. After that, put the cover on for another 45 minutes.
Serve nice and hot with a fresh baguette, some cranberries and a simple salad. Yum--
Michael told me he thought it was fantastic:)

Getting back on....

Saturday, I got one of the best Christmas presents ever. I have been having great difficulties with Oliver. I think Michael would really like to see him gone and I have put him on the market. However, since making that decision before thanksgiving, I have not really felt in balance. Anyway, then here comes Christmas and I got so sick with a cold that turned into sinusitis and bronchitis/pneumonia. Wham!!! That put me straight out on my back to kind of stew in my own stuff for several days. Michael was in Baltimore with his mom and brother, I felt like poop, physically, but also feeling really off in my heart and my soul. I started reading a book called Way of the Horse. That book came with a deck of cards. I was reading and having a pity party and getting very angry at myself--for not feeling well, for missing Christmas with family, and then worried about Mikey and his tummy ache. Bad Bad Bad---
So, on Saturdy was kind of feeling a bit better in the morning and so was Michael. Good! I did some house work and then decided to visit the barn--but not without some major preparations in my heart and soul. I went into our little meditation room and let myself just get still by focusing on my breathing and by trying to shut up my brain. Then I opened up the Way of the Horse and asked the book, higher power, God, horse wisdom, my mother, my higher self, and even Oliver, for some help. I shuffled the deck and pulled out card number 9---It is the image of a beautiful horse with ears and eyes up in the alert position. The 9 card says--The Language of the Breath and speaks to the ability for horses and people to speak beyond words. We speak with our energy, our hearts, our bodies--sociosensual awareness, heart intelligence, nonverbal communication. ( I kind of think that I am pretty good at this when I am directing or teaching--with a horse, it is a whole nother ballgame!)
To make a long story short---I sat and did some deep breathing and admitted to myself that I was still afraid of Oliver. I also went over all the details of the day I flew off of him at 30mph. The entire area that day was hectic. My teacher had already had a busy day.
I came to the lesson after not having ridden in quite some time and was very anxious about my lesson. I was nervous, my adrenaline was pumping and I was very aware of all the other horses in the arena including the fact that one person earlier that day had fallen off. The arena had it's own energy that was a bit wild. The other folks riding were racing around at the canter, one person was going at the trot, and one was taking some pretty big jumps with her horse. It was loud. Poor Oliver, no wonder he spooked and then spooked again. Yes, it was mighty frightening in the moment, poor Ollie, poor me.
After reading some of my books I became more aware of how the environment, the energy and the feelings in a space can influence a horse as well as the rider.
For me--this was the greatest lesson.
I went to the barn Saturday after sitting in silence and prayer. The barn was quiet. I brought lots of carrots for Ollie and his two pasture mates Old Tex and Timbre (his girlfriend). I called the horses to the gate, Tex was first as always with nuzzling and little nickers, then Timbre--hungry and happy for carrots. Ollie was hanging back at the hay pile, but when I called his name he come over to me and nuzzled my hand looking for carrots. I gave him some and then gently asked the other horses to back up so that I could bring Ollie in. They were all perfect.
All the while I kept thinking about that number 9 card--breathing, that Ollie and the other horses, because they are prey animals are very sensitive to perceptions that we are just not aware of of. I looked at Oliver and in my mind I told him how much I loved him and Tex and Timber.
Ollie came in with my calmly. I walked with him around the arena slowly trying to breath with him. We changed direction, I kept an eye on his ears and eyes. I patted him to feel if his body was tense. He let out a big chortle through his nose. I let out a sigh.
Then along came a friend, Kimmy. She is an accomplished rider and quite quiet and calm. That is when I decided I would ride Oliver. There would be ease in the arena. Kimmy's horse Lizzie is a great gal--strong, stoic, sound, and quiet.
I put Ollie in the cross ties, gave hims carrots, and began to groom him. He was fine. He looked at me with a white eye when I went to put the saddle pad on his back, so I stopped every thing and just stood with him, breathing. I put the rest of his tack on him--he remained quiet and gentlemanly in the ties. We went calmly into the arena, where Kim and Liz were at work--walk, trot, canter and changes. I told Kim and Oliver that this was a quiet time to just walk and trot. A gentle time in the arena. Oliver stood perfectly as I mounted him. We then had a wonderful 45 minute ride--walk, trot, patterns of figure eights, serpentines, zig zags, going both ways of the arena.
Then, while still thinking about my breath and his state of being and knowing that anything I am feeling goes right through my body into his body and awareness, I tipped his head, gave a nudge with my outside leg and quietly said, "Canter.". We rode with the wind for just a few minutes. He was a good boy.
This was the best Christmas present ever. Oliver is a beautiful boy, a great horse. I am ever thankful to my brother-in-law for the wonderful books he has given me--they have helped me to get back on the path that brings me great joy and balance to my life. Thank you thank you thank you!
Love and blessings to all
Be well and blessed be
ps---please give my love to MOM!!! She's the best!

December dinner

We were sitting at the table near the Christmas tree with only two ornaments. One made by a friend. The ornament is a clear glass ball with milkweed seeds floating inside. A glass ball of possibility. This gift came to me on a day when I was feeling so lost, so alone, so confused about what to even do about how I was feeling! The seeds in a glass ball and the thought, of course in the form of this gift, brought back into my body and in contact with all that I was feeling. So much seemed to have happened in the previous few weeks, much to do with my horse Oliver and me. The milkweed seeds gave me hope--Thank you, LB!!!
The other ornament on our naked but perfect Christmas tree came from DJ one of the Ladies Who Lunch. We, The Ladies, meet about once a month to have lunch and talk about life and how we are all coping and dealing, what we are learning, what we long for, what is working, what is not working and most of all what we all love about our lives and our friendship. This ornament is a snowflake. The snowflake is of massive importance to me. I love the snow. I love the cover and silence of the snow. I love the undiscovered country of all things possible that lie beneath the brilliant blanket of snow. And so New Hampshire--while so far from many of those who anchor me in my life is where I choose to nest. New Hampshire where there are great big dumps of 2 feet at a time! Snow is falling right now and I feel the newness of it rushing through me body. I smile. The wood stove crackles and pops. The cat is curled up cozy. I am sitting in the meditation room finding my own silent snow moment. Oh--the title is about a dinner---oops. more to come--I am going to do some art work now!--blessings to all and to all blessed be!

Monday, December 14, 2009

sitting in the dorm thinking about other ways to live and learn

I want to write a recipe book and to open my own little restaurant--Terry's Table or Terry's Kitchen or The Kitchen Table--
the menu will feature some of my favorite dishes
spinach, feta, tomato pie
autumn gypsy soup
potato tomato leek bisque
red pepper marinara sauce
vegetarian chili
Saturday night black bean soup
honey corn bread
oh yeah---
all served with a fabulous salad

I am

I am

I am a New Jersey girl, who got off the turnpike to find her own Garden State
I am a little girl in navy blue shorts, white socks and red round toed sneakers sitting on a ferris wheel beside her big sister
crying on the ride in the night at the town carnival with bright colored lights because something deep inside is all wrong, very wrong
from the big house on Paramus Road with the big side yard, the river running through the back and Mr. Butoni’s fields across the street
the out of doors is the sacred place and has been since the big house in Oakland on Deer Lawn Court and the little house in Oakland on Morton Place near the lake
I am playing in the dirt and finding solace there in mud and sticks and acorn tops
even the little house in Wykoff had it’s place of natural wonder in the side yard and down the road at the railroad tracks
we moved a lot

I am from the ocean, the beautiful ocean at the Jersey shore
magnificent floating on the board and feeling thankful to the father who was often absent, angry, and angst ridden, who moved us from place to place but also taught us to love the sea
to breathe in the sea air
to clean out our lungs he would say
he always wanted to die by walking into the water until he was no more
it was his only place of respite
floating that day after they both were gone
I felt a great connectedness to both of them and to those who came before them and to those who will come after
I floated there that day for hours on the board letting the rise and fall of the sea rock me back and forward in time and circumstance
washed away pain and sadness
released by forgiveness and understanding
loving mother, rogue father

now, my own garden state
having let go of sin and sadness
having let go of repeating and repeating and repeating cycles of family patterns
I am from green fields and warm sunny days hanging laundry on the line
planting echinacea, bee balm, iris, coreopsis
tending tomatoes, beans, lettuce
the trees create walls around our field standing tall above the stone fences
walls of sweet new spring life green
walls of deep hot summer green
walls of autumnal fire light change to come
walls of tall, brown, white, grey limbs reaching to the winter sun
standing there at the tree line in deep white snows listening to the birds flutter back and forth, and back and forth to the feeders
this is pure heaven
screen porch sun set
coffee at first light on the deck
sweet horse nuzzling my neck and shoulder
tuxedo cat lap cat nap
husband sweet and sturdy
I am from my own garden state