Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Expectations

It is that time of year again when everyone is thinking about making resolutions, having goals and setting intentions. We all have great expectations for the coming year.

As each year comes to an end, I write my goals and expectations for the coming year in a journal. I always make long lists and set the bar high for myself, hoping that I will make great leaps of progress in all areas of my life that need improvement, or incorporating new things in my life that will help enhance my wellbeing and way of life.

I like to look back at last year’s goals and intentions to check my progress and I am always amazed at how much I have accomplished by just setting the intention.

That doesn’t mean that I accomplish everything I set out to do. But would I have accomplished as much as I did if I hadn’t set the bar so high? HMMM…good question. All I know is that if I have a long list of things to work on, it seems that more gets done than if I have a short list or no list at all.

Some things don’t get accomplished as desired, but there is always a lesson in it. By looking back, it helps me see the areas that need more work, it helps me see how to build on what I have already been working on and it helps me to set my intentions and goals and chart the course for the coming year.

Regardless of whether we want to be healthier, happier, wiser, more prosperous, or more physically fit; setting the bar higher rather than lower is a good thing. At least, it works for me.

Happy New Year!!!
I wish you peace, love and laughter
Gypsy Girl

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

I had taken these pictures last week.

While I was practicing yoga I caught a glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, of something sparkling in the garden just outside my yoga room.

The sun was gleaming perfectly on the raindrops that has settled on the last of my herb garden...a sturdy sage plant. I love life's little gifts. And it's not unusual to get little glimpses of God's miracles from my all glass Yoga Sanctuary. What a pleasure it was to see my garden in repose with one last shining jewel. Some days it's a hawk soaring in the sky; others it might be my little chipmunk friend that joins me. Whatever it happens to be I like to savor the moment.

Just when we were bragging about how extended and lovely the summer and fall season had been WHAM!! We got winter. An early winter and some pretty wild weather, even for New England.

So I couldn't resist...I had to take a photo of the same scene, just a few short days later.


Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

World Yoga Practice Month-January 2008

"Practice and all is coming" Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Do you practice yoga? Would you like to step up your practice? Or maybe you would like to start a yoga practice, but don't know where to begin.

Well, January is World Yoga Practice Month. The idea is to commit to practice yoga every day for the month of January.

So join the ever growing community of yogis who are committing to practice yoga every day in January. Make some new friends, have some fun, and enjoy the healthy benefits of practicing yoga every day!!

You can learn more about it by clicking here . Or check out Yogamum's site...Yoga Gumbo for more information.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can Kimchee fight the flu?

I heard they are giving free flu shots in my town this week. I have never had a flu shot and I don’t remember the last time I had a flu, or come to think of it; I don’t know if I’ve ever even had the flu.

A few years ago when SARS (bird flu), a highly contagious disease was sweeping Asia, Korea was relatively free of the deadly virus. The theory was that kimchee was the answer. Though not proven it was based on kimchee’s anti-bacterial effects. You can see the results of a study from scientists at Seoul National University (here).

My sister-in-law is Korean, so I have had the opportunity to enjoy this spicy and delicious dish, in all of it’s forms, for many years. And, I’ve learned a lot about kimchee from her, as well.

Kimchee is a daily staple food in the Korean diet. It is the Korean national dish and has long enjoyed the reputation of having wondrous curative powers.

Kimchee is made from chinese cabbage, which is brined in salt, other ingredients may or may not be added, such as garlic, ginger, spring onion and liberal amounts of hot chili pepper. It is then put in crocks and allowed to naturally ferment. It is this natural lactic-acid fermentation that creates the lactobacillus bacteria that is so beneficial to the immune system. And a strong immune system helps ward off viral infections.

So, to answer the question I asked “Can Kimchee help fight the flu?” I don’t know, but I am a big fan of staying away from Doctors, a big fan of using natural cures, a big fan of eating healthy, nutritious food AND, thanks to my sister-in-law, I am a big fan of kimchee. So, when I heard they were giving free flu shots, I declined….., I opted to make a batch of kimchee. I’d much rather eat kimchee than get a flu shot!

Stay healthy!!
Gypsy Girl

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Mad Hatter

My whole family loves to ski. So when the first snowflake fell everyone started to think about it. One night when the whole gang was together one of the grandkids requested that I make a ski hat with ear flaps for him...which was immediately followed by a chorus of "I want one"..."Me,too"..."Don't forget about me, Gram."... and on and on. So I was on a mission to make ski hats to suit them all.

I couldn't find a crochet pattern for a ski hat with ear flaps, but I was able to create one by improvising with a few patterns I found and a little creativity of my own.

A while ago, Lori over at Happiness Shared had recommended a website called Head Huggers. Take a look at Lori's lovely blog and also if you knit or crochet Head Huggers is a worthy organization to look at. They make hats for cancer patients that have lost their hair from chemotherapy.

I used the cap portion of one of those hats and then made my own earflaps and braids to finish it off. It's a great way to use up all the left over small balls of yarn from other projects that just aren't quite big enough to make something else with. Just create some nice multi-color stripe patterned ski hats.

I have been crocheting an endless stream of ski hats for everyone in the family. Some I have already given to them and others will be Christmas presents.

Here are just a few of the hats I've made this week

So, thank you Lori for posting about Head Huggers in you blog, along with the photos of the beautiful hats that you made. Because of it there will be much "happiness shared" with all the kids (big and small) in my family this ski season; when they all are enjoying their new ski hats.

Gypsy Girl

Monday, December 3, 2007

Toyland Salon

In our family it is always a cause for celebration with family and friends and yesterday was no exception. Our town had it’s annual Christmas Parade.
My daughter has a big colonial home on the main street of town and the parade passes right by, so it is a perfect place and a perfect occasion for a family gathering. Not that we needed an excuse. We are a large family and we all live in a small town and spend a lot of time with one another. In fact we can’t seem to do much without the input from each other.As you can see in the above photo, my grandkids have a birds eye view of the parade from their perch on the roof.

My niece Amelia has a hair salon in town and one night , about a month ago, at a family dinner she mentioned that she would like to have a float in the upcoming parade. We all jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak and gave our suggestions and ideas. We do nothing in a quiet and dignified manner in my family, so it was a loud and boisterous few hours of kibitzing, planning, shouting and howling with laughter and we had the whole thing figured out and we were off and running.
So, for the past few weeks it has like a whirlwind with every one including the kids making elf costumes, knitting scarves, crafting giant candy canes, gingerbread boys, all manner of decorations for the “Toyland Salon”.
Here are a few of our happy elves.
The float was constructed in my daughter’s barn several miles from the parade starting site. On the way to the site, 3 of the giant candy canes broke. It was pandemonium, to say the least. Everyone shouting orders, running for tools, trying to get things fixed, to get all the elves dressed and everything else in place. But everything turned out well.
Here's little Amber holding up one of the candy canes.

The weather was cold yesterday so by the end of the parade everyone was ready for some good warm comfort food at my daughter’s house and there was plenty more shouting and laughter rehashing the events of the day. It was all in great fun and Amelia's “Toyland Salon” won The Best Business Float Award.