Homemade Fresh Lemon or Peach Ice Cream

 

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As summer comes to a close in Montana we enjoyed some homemade ice cream.

Forager has organic dairy-free half & half!   I modified a recipe by Sunkist:

2C Forager Half & Half.  For dairy version use heavy cream or whipping cream

1C sugar

Grated peel of 1 lemon

1/3C freshly squeezed lemon juice.  For peach (6) fresh peaches in food processor w/ half & half

Lemon Burst Cookie or waffles (optional)

 

This easy-to-make lemon, or peach, ice cream doesn’t require a machine.

Combine half & half with sugar; stir, medium heat, on stove to dissolve sugar.  Blend in lemon juice & zest (for peach version, I left the peach skin on).  Pour into shallow pan & freeze until firm, about 4 hours.  Serve with Lemon Burst Cookies.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves.  Makes 6-9 servings (about 3 cups).

 

 

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Leslie Lake

 

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Running Diary – 9/1/2019

Leslie Lake from Elkhorn, MT

GREAT trail run and even better fishing!  10 miles, decent elevation gain >3000’

Collected sage, juniper, & purple daisies for new smudge sticks.

Went around lake and entered in from the top; more difficult side for quad.  A lot of water is coming in from top, trail is beautiful, mossy, and wet.

Racing downhill to (music) GREASE – You Better Shape Up –  uneven, large rocks, used the heck out of my poles – so fun!!

Form improvement – lead with my heart, pull with hamstrings, head up.

Fly Fishing hubby – fish look at flies before they bite; they take a swim by – Matt loves.

Hot sun on my back and legs, cool breeze circling my knees

Great food and coffee at the lake (love my Jet boil & Mushroom Coffee mix by Four Sigmatic) #foursigmatic

Can-Am Quad fan – challenging ride –

A bright purple quad wrecked up the trail.  She had flipped a few times before we got there.   Matt helped her with our Can-Am’s winch.  She has a shoulder strain.  She “lost her breaks at creek prior to difficult area.” #CanAm

Recovery – have perfected yoga flow for this runner.  #yogaforrunners #artfulblogging

#runmontanatrails #powertoyou #upagainsttheropesyoga #geochristie #GRLPWR

#yogarunnergirl

 

 

Drugs and Addictions

To everyone who  is struggling with addiction, & especially your parents:

I am drawn to write this because we have friends and family that have lost their children to drugs.  I am truly sorry.

As an Emergency Room RN, in an area that has a lot of methamphetamine and heroin patients, I see this terrible disease many times in a twelve hour shift.  Patients that don’t seem to recognize the power drugs have over them.  Their amygdala, a basal region of their brain overriding their prefrontal cortex (higher region of brain).

I want to try to somehow lessen your grief & guilt.  Parents are fiercely protective of their children, but kids ultimately make their own decisions.   Like migratory animals that travel thousands of miles every season………..baby we were born to run; or at least walk.  Just as you cannot stop a baby from walking,  some studies state “because it involves basic brain functions, everyone will become an addict if sufficiently exposed to drugs or alcohol.”  And, in many cases, the effect drugs have on human’s innate physiological processes in the body, addiction cannot be overcome, even for love.  The information provided below is meant to show how, down to the cellular level this disease works.

“Drugs of abuse co-opt the very brain functions that allowed our distant ancestors to survive in a hostile world.  Our minds are programmed to pay extra attention to what neurologists call salience – that is, special relevance.  Threats, for example, are highly salient, which is why we instinctively try to get away from them.  But, so are food and sex, because they help the individual, and the species survive.  Drugs of abuse capitalize on this ready-made programming.  When exposed to drugs, our memory systems, reward circuits, decision-making skills and conditioning kick in – salience in overdrive -to create an all-consuming pattern of uncontrollable caring.”  I quote this again, “some people have a genetic predisposition to addiction because it involves these basic brain functions.  But, everyone will become an addict if sufficiently exposed to drugs or alcohol.” Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA and pioneer in the use of imaging to understand addiction.  (TIME: Your Body A User’s Guide, Time Inc. Special, 2008)

In addition, young people exhibit pleasure seeking behaviors many times over adults that are a little older.  They are the age group most susceptible to addictive and harmful behaviors.

Below is a link (Scan0050) to a diagram from The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) for TIME by Kristina Dell, Massey and Joe Lertola.  This article and diagram have stuck with me for 11 years.    Notice how the heroin and morphine block the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters and cocaine blocks reuptake of dopamine in the third synapse picture.  “If dopamine receptors are the gas, the brain’s own inhibitory systems act as the brakes.  But in addicts, this natural damping circuit, called GABA appears to be faulty, so the brain never appreciates that it has been satiated.” (same TIME article)

Scan0050

Wabi-Sabi

This YouTube explains the Japanese tradition Wabi-Sabi.  I have seen tea bowls mended with gold infused glue and they are truly beautiful.  The tea bowls, and tea cups, that get broken over the years are repaired and continue to be used to enjoy tea.  Their history is often a heart warming memory.

Wabi-Sabi resonates perfectly with yoga and the Yamas and Niyamas.  One of my favorite books is The Yamas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele.

Seasons of Life

SEASONS OF LIFE

JOY   PAIN   SICKNESS   HEALTH   YOUNG   OLD

 

It’s a special feeling when the world shifts and your child is grown up and teaches you a life lesson.  The papers below are that shift for me.  My world shifting for the better, thanks to a few papers my daughter, Julia, wrote in college last year.  They changed my world.

I am a quiet, private, shy person by nature.  When we learned my husband had cancer, I couldn’t talk about it.  It was hard to say the word CANCER.  I didn’t want to talk about it with friends at work.  I tried not to think about it, but I was scared to death.  I was just coming to terms with empty nesting.  Getting used to a quiet house, smaller meals, no homework, two less goodnight hugs and kisses, two less before bed prayers and tuck-ins.  These things I loved.

Then, as you can see in my previous post, I learned we need to talk, share, and sit with our fears.  I’m taking baby steps at this and Julia writes these papers and posts them on her blog!!!  I really admired her and wanted to be like her.  I still have work to do because I’ve been wanting to post this for months.  But, it’s still hard.  We are all works in progress.

My husband is fine.  After many trips to The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah and THE GRACE OF GOD, he is cured.  When I shared Julia’s papers with the surgeon’s nurse at The Huntsman and they requested a copy!

My friend just had surgery at The Huntsman Hospital last week for her cancer.  The Huntsman is an amazing place.  The hospital is full of LOVE.  You can feel the love there.  Husbands and wives walking arm and arm pushing a chemotherapy pole.  So different from the feel of the emergency room I work in.  It often has a feel of anger, physical pain, crisis, and overdoses. People trying to die while those at The Huntsman are fighting to LIVE.

Julia Cox

CRWR 212A-01

20 February 2018

Rain

My mother sat in front of me, heart heavy, gazing out at the summer rain. The air smelled richly of coffee grinds. The whir of the grinder should have been back ground noise but was prominently taking center stage of our “conversation.” I didn’t know what to say. I focused on the weather. We could feel it that morning, the weight in the air, the breeze starting to pick up and then boom!

“I don’t know what to think,” my mother whispered, “I don’t know how this happened.”

“I know,” I replied.

“I’m angry, like really really pissed. I would do anything to change it, to make it so that it wasn’t him.”

“I think we all would, I know I would trade places with him instantly. He’s been through enough.”

My mother returned her glistening gaze to the table that sat stretching far between us. I felt like people were staring at us. My teary eyes glanced up to survey the Café. No, nobody was. After all, nothing was wrong in the world, everything was wrong in ours.

 

Hikes

My tiny fingers gripped tightly to my father’s shirt collar. I was flying through the trees, so high up on my father’s shoulders. Bare branches whipped by my head, my giggles lost in the breeze. I was not afraid – I should have been. Up so high in the air, upon my father’s shoulders I felt like nothing could touch me, I was invincible. I was invincible because he was invincible. We slowed to a walk next to my mom and brother. My chubby cheeks bright red from the breeze, hurting from the smile that would not leave my face. I felt a stutter in my father’s long, steady stride. It didn’t concern me at the time. He continued on, carrying me through the clouds. My father had to get surgery a little while later.

“Why mommy?” I asked, as I impatiently waited to see my father again.

“Your dad hurt his knee,” she replied calmly.

My father tore his ACL carrying me through the woods that day. He did not falter.

 

Drive

I sped along the freeway, music blaring, drowning out any thoughts that kept trying to appear, like a snake popping its head out of the pond we used to swim in, showing us just for a moment that maybe it wasn’t safe beneath the surface. I tapped the steering wheel nervously, ate everything in my passenger seat even though my stomach was in knots, counted the mile signs, anything to keep my thoughts from wandering to what waited when I got to my destination. I pounded the steering wheel, feeling the pain shoot up my palm and wrist. I tried making my eyelids barriers to the crashing sea, they were not effective and the flood pushed its way through.

I dialed my best friend, waiting and waiting as it rang and rang and rang. I hung up. I reminded myself it was pointless anyways, he didn’t want us to tell anyone.  My brother called me right after.

“How’s the trip going?”

“Oh, you know,” I replied. Glancing to my left, I saw his black truck towering next to my little car. He waved goofily at me as he passed me again. His little game for the trip. He was probably trying to occupy his mind too, I thought.

 

Jokes

“It’s the last meal shirt!” I exclaimed, ripping open the bright red wrapping paper. My boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy and glanced around at my family to find out that he was the only one that didn’t understand the cruel inside joke. It was just a plain T-shirt, bright baby blue, V-neck, with the Blue Iguana logo stamped on the back.

“I don’t get it,” he said, looking around for an explanation.

“It’s from our trip to Salt Lake,” I replied, hesitantly looking at my father.

“Oh, gotcha. Was it a good last meal at least?”

“There guacamole tasted like boiled eggs” my brother recalled, grabbing another present from under the tree. We all laughed at the humorless memory.

 

Windows

Besides the trademark stale, sterile smell that fill my nostrils instantly as I expected, I first noticed the windows. They made up the entire entrance, from top to bottom, spread side to side, just a full wall of windows. Maybe this was designed to be cheerful, open, warm from the natural light that flooded in. It felt cold. Every sign had the word “cancer” on it, an unwelcome reminder we were all nervously and uncomfortably skating around, yet there it was unashamed, “cancer,” everywhere we looked. It was unavoidable now, we couldn’t turn the corner or run back the way we came without seeing it – “Cancer.” It was unescapable, even though the endless wall of windows made it seem like we could easily break out, run, never look back. It wasn’t that easy, we found out. The windows were very deceiving.

 

Tears

I stared at the double door, waiting. My mother sat beside me, a book lay open in her lap, but I could tell she wasn’t actually reading it. My brother stood beside us, constantly moving with impatience. We talked, but I can’t remember what we were saying, it was all a way to keep ourselves sane. The door swung open making my heart jumped into my throat, but it wasn’t our doctor. My mother’s face visibly fell, making my heart hurt even more. Finally, he came out and approached us.

“Will you come with me into the private room?” He asked, his voice giving away nothing.

We all followed. Everything felt numb as I walked. Thoughts were swirling around in my head faster and faster, a hurricane of fears destroying everything in its path. Why were we going into a private room?

Once in the private room the Doctor explained the surgery to us. My father was alive. He made it through the surgery and was doing well. He launched into details about the surgery and the tumor that was removed.  I wasn’t listening. I felt my eyes fill with tears and watched my brother finally cry, no longer needing to hold in his emotions to be strong for me and my mother. I stared at him in awe as tears leaked out of his bright green eyes and streamed down his tan face.

“When can we see him?” I blurted out, interrupting the doctor.

 

Here

We all rushed to the ICU of the Cancer Center, more excited than ever to see him after the endless eight hour wait. Finally, we reached the dark room where my giant father lay sleeping in the tiny hospital bed, a nurse hovering over him. My mom and brother ran to him. I stood frozen in the doorway. After all the waiting I finally got to see the man that I wasn’t sure I would see ever again. Nothing could stop my torrential tears now. My father stirred, slowly glancing around when my mom gently embraced him.

“Where’s Juji?” He asked, concerned. Slowly, I walked over, trying to conceal my fear on the small journey to his bedside. His dark green, tired eyes looked at me lovingly. His face immediately filled with concern and struggled to find my hand. I took it and squeezed it hard, hanging on for dear life.

“Everything’s okay,” he whispered to us, “I’m right here.”

 

 

Julia Cox

Journal- On Losing Oneself

Eight hours. Eight hours drags on when you’re at your nine to five, staring at the clocks watching it slowly tick on to the next eternity of a minute. It felt long on my trip to Salt Lake City, driving with the music as loud as it could go to drown out all of the thoughts flying through my head, but music can’t silence tears. Eight hours of sitting on a plane that is bouncing up and down from turbulence, waiting to hit the safe, sturdy ground can feel like the longest time of your life, but I never felt an eight hours longer than waiting for my dad to come out of surgery from the cancer we just discover he had.

Holding hands. Holding hands is a romantic gesture. That moment when you were in the seventh grade and you first feel your crush brush your hand with his a few times before he interlaces his sweaty fingers with your own. Holding hands that day was like holding on to dear life. We squeezed so hard, not wanting to let go, not physically allowing ourselves to as the nurse comes back in telling us to say our goodbyes. And then back to the sweaty hand holding, as my mom grasped mine after we couldn’t see him anymore and every scenario raced through our minds, trying to see if hope would beat fear this time. It never did.

Writing notes. Writing notes that you would pass back and forth to your best friend when the teacher turned her back, giggling at the content and mischief that it held. He wrote a note, that he hid from my mom in his sock drawer and revealed right before his surgery. “Just in case,” he said, with tears in his eyes as I watched the strongest, bravest man I had ever known try not to show his fear. He wrote three, one for my mom, one for my brother, and one for me.

Missing someone. Missing your loved one when they go on a weeklong vacation, trying not to think of them every night as you coax yourself to sleep. Missing your friends after they go off to a different college than you and you skype them and talk on and on about the boy you met in one of your classes or at a party that you’ll forget about in a week. I never thought I could miss someone I hadn’t seen in just a mere eight hours, but God was I wrong. He wanted to talk to me but I couldn’t speak. The fears had won the race against hope and they continued washing over me after those eight hours of waiting, holding hands, learning of notes written in fearful moments of not knowing if you will survive, and missing my dad.

Hugging someone. Hugging someone can be an intimate moment, it can be a boyfriend comforting the girl that just found out her father had cancer that most people don’t survive. Hugging someone can be a wife squeezing her son so tightly during your eight hour wait because he reminds her of her husband in the way he talks and looks. Hugging someone was a father gently wrapping one arm around his daughter as he wakes up, trying to comfort her through her speechlessness.

These are the 480 minutes in which I lost myself. Eight hours went by, not even a full day and I had changed. I was not my blunt, hardcore, strong, stubborn, somewhat heartless self anymore and to this day I’m still not that person. I lost that part of myself during those eight hours, just as my dad lost part of himself, a tumor ridden part of himself. In those moments of waiting, holding hands, learning of notes, missing someone, and hugging family I lost myself.

 

 

 

 

 

The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation

The Ancient Tibetan practice for Health and Vitality

By Azriel ReShel on Sunday March 27th, 2016

How Ten minutes a Day can change your Life

Some years ago I attended a yoga class where my flamboyant artist friend and yoga teacher shared an interesting sequence called The Five Tibetans. I immediately fell in love with this simple, short and totally useable sequence and it became a great resource that I turn to and use for a quick yoga pick me up. For some time it was a daily sequence, but it’s always been one I return to, and a sequence that I teach my students as a self-empowering, simple yoga ritual they can do on their own at home.

So what are the Five Tibetans?

The Five Tibetans or the Five Rites of Rejuvenation, is a system of five, believed to be Tibetan, Yogic exercises said to be over 2500 years old. You flow through the five exercises almost in a meditative dance. Each exercise stimulates a particular chakra or hormonal system and revitalizes certain organs, so that the five rites together form a complete workout for the body as a whole.

This series of movements also known as “The fountain of youth” are credited with the ability to heal the body, balance the chakras and reverse the ageing process in just ten minutes a day.

 

The movements are also known as “The Fountain of Youth”

According to legend, a British explorer learned the rites in a Himalayan Monastery from Tibetan monks who had excellent health despite their advanced age. Some skeptics cast doubt upon the origins of the practice, but no matter the exact source, there is no uncertainty about the great health benefits of the practice. Peter Kelder first publicized the Tibetan Rites in 1939 in a publication, The Eye of Revelation. The sequence was later popularized through a book, The Five Tibetans, written by yoga teacher Chris Kilham, who says we will never know their true origins:

 

“Perhaps they come from Nepal or Northern India…As the story has it, they were shared by Tibetan lamas; beyond that I know nothing of their history. Personally, I think these exercises are most likely Tibetan in origin. The issue at hand, though, is not the lineage of the Five Tibetans. The point is [their] immense potential value for those who will clear 10 minutes a day to practice.” – Chris Kilham

Yoga teachers are in agreement, the sequence is a simple yet incredibly, even deceptively powerful one that creates a dynamic energetic effect in the body increasing the flow of prana or chi up the spine and through the chakras, energizing every cell in your body.

 

Turning back the clock

According to the Tibetan lamas, the only difference between youth and old age is the spin rate of the chakras (the body’s seven major energy centers).This specific routine is said by lamas to stimulate all seven chakras to spin rapidly at the same rate. They believe that if any one of the chakras is blocked and its natural spin rate slowed, then vital life energy will be unable to circulate and so ageing and illness will set in. The Five Tibetans are called the rites of rejuvenation because the lamas say the ageing process is stopped by the unblocking and activation of the spinning of the chakras due to this sequence. Recent medical research has uncovered convincing evidence that the ageing process is hormone-regulated. The sequence also normalizes hormonal imbalances in the body which also hold the key to lasting youth, vitality and wellbeing.

Tibetan monks had excellent health despite their advanced age

As simple as the Five Tibetans may seem, they have a profound effect on the energy and chakra system of the body, stimulating the electrical energy of the chakras in the same way as switching on a light switch sets off a flow of electrical energy.

“The Five Tibetans is simple, practical, effective and certainly mind/body altering. If you would love to become rejuvenated, remain calm, feel more vitality, be more flexible and simply look your absolute best, then now there is a new way to experience a greater state of wellbeing that takes just minutes a day, but lasts a lifetime.” … Dr. John F. Demartini

How to practice the Five Tibetans

The Five Tibetans have similarities to some traditional yoga practices: Tibetan 1 is basically Sufi whirling. Tibetan 3 is essentially the camel pose. Tibetan 4 is like an upward table, and Tibetan 5 is a smooth flow of up dog and down dog

First Tibetan

Stand erect with arms strong, outstretched and horizontal with the shoulders. Now spin around in a clockwise direction until you become slightly dizzy. You can employ a ballet-like technique of keeping your eyes on one spot and then returning to that spot when you turn your head in a full revolution. There is only one caution: you must turn from left to right.

Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you do the spins.

First Tibetan

Second Tibetan

Lie down full length on the floor or bed. Place the hands flat down alongside of the hips. Fingers should be kept close together with the finger-tips of each hand turned slightly toward one another. Raise the feet until the legs are straight up. If possible, let the feet extend back a bit over the body toward the head, but do not let the knees bend. Hold this position for a moment or two and then slowly lower the feet to the floor, and for the next several moments allow all of the muscles in the entire body to relax completely. Then perform the Rite all over again. For greater core strength activation you can lower the legs without touching the floor and then using your belly and your in breath, raise the legs up, in a continuous cycle. Be sure to breathe out as you lower the legs. An easier version is to have your hands underneath the buttocks and a more challenging version is to have the arms stretched above the head as you raise your legs.

Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs and exhale as you lower your head and legs.

Second Tibetan

Third Tibetan

Kneel on the floor with the body erect. The hands should be placed on the backs of your thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking your chin in against your chest. Then fold the head and neck backward, arching the spine. Your toes should be curled under through this exercise. As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching return your body to an erect position and begin the rite all over again.

Breathing: Inhale as you arch the spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.

Third Tibetan

Fourth Tibetan

Sit erect on the floor with your feet stretched out in front of you. The legs must be perfectly straight, with the backs of the knees well down or close to the floor. Place the hands flat on the rug, fingers together, and the hands pointing outward slightly. Chin should be on chest and the head forward. Now gently raise the body on an in breath, using your core strength of your belly to lift the pelvis, and at the same time bend the knees so that the legs from the knees down are practically straight up and down like an upward table. The arms, too, will also be vertical while the body from shoulders to knees will be horizontal. As the body is raised upward allow the head gently to fall backward so that the head hangs backward as far as possible when the body is fully horizontal. Hold this position for a few moments, return to first position on the out breath, and relax for a few moments before performing the Rite again. When the body is pressed up to complete horizontal position, you can tense every muscle in the body.

Breathing: Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.

Fourth Tibetan

Fifth Tibetan

Place the hands on the floor about two feet apart. Then, with the legs stretched out to the rear with the feet also about two feet apart in a downward dog, push the body, and especially the hips, up as far as possible, rising on the toes and hands. At the same time the head should be brought so far down that the chin comes up against the chest. Next, allow the body to come slowly down to a ‘sagging’ position in an upward dog, with only the toes on the floor. Bring the head up, causing it to be drawn as far back as possible. The muscles should be tensed for a moment when the body is at the highest point, and again at the lowest point.” Be sure not to strain the lower back, by bringing strong flowing movement to the upper shoulders. Those with lower back injuries can bend the legs as they go into upward dog.

Breathing: Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, and exhale fully as you lower the body.

Fifth Tibetan

Gain a more focused and purposeful mind

As with all yoga practice, it is important to synchronize your breath with the movement. It’s best to do the exercises in the morning because they get your energy going. But it’s highly likely you will fall in love with the sequence and want to repeat it during the day. To begin with it is best to complete five to seven repetitions of each rite every day and to work up to 21 repetitions of each of the exercises. Usually this takes about 10 – 12 weeks. A lot of people are keen to reach 21 repetitions quickly, but it is best to gradually increase the repetitions. The recommended slow build up process allows your body to develop a strong foundation upon which to improve your flexibility. And it also is important due to the effects of the Rites themselves.  They can initiate many changes in your body’s energy and balance systems. Although this varies from person to person, it is generally best to allow your body time to adjust.

It’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you and not to strain or force any position that causes pain. There is also a simple and adapted version of the Five Tibetans for those who have injuries or cannot perform the sequence.

When you make this sequence part of your daily practice, you can experience an overall improvement in your health and wellbeing and perhaps the most important benefit, is a dramatic increase in your levels of energy. Other great benefits are a greater resilience to stress and the ability to stay centered. As with all yoga practice greater flexibility in body and mind are usual. Most people report a more focused and purposeful mind and greater awareness, which then creates a happier and more fulfilling life. This sequence really improves the quality of your life.

Experience an overall improvement in your health and wellbeing

A complete and balanced practice

One of the great things about the Five Tibetans, is it is a quick and simple practice that can be done by anyone, regardless of age or fitness levels. It is an incredibly simple ten minute routine that can easily be slotted into your daily life, yet will have major spin offs in all areas. It’s free, and it’s yours. A self-empowering practice you can do on your own anywhere and at any time! The Five Tibetans strengthens and stretches all the main muscles in the body. Just as Sun Salutations make up a complete sequence, the Five Rites are a complete and balanced practice.

The 5 Tibetan Rites

In just ten minutes a day you can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Feel younger and more powerful
  • Slow down the aging process
  • Improve strength and flexibility
  • Enhance vitality
  • Calm the mind
  • Create greater mental clarity and focus
  • Improve your breathing so its deeper, slower and conscious
  • Strengthen lower back and core muscles
  • Improve your libido
  • Supports menopause and hormonal balance
  • Be more centered and at peace
  • Lose weight and develop muscle tone and core strength
  • Improved digestion and elimination
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Develop better posture
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Support deeper sleep