Friday, February 19, 2010

Listen to this. Haunting. Beautiful. Uplifting. I've been listening to this a lot in the past few days.


Sanctus, Sanctus

Benedictus qui venit in Domine

Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabbaoth,
Pleni sunt coeli et terra Gloria

Benedictus in nomine
Qui venit in nomine

Here's a close translation:

This place was made by God,
A priceless offering.

Holy, holy

Blessed, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

The holy master/lord, God of Hosts -
The heavens and the earth are full of his glory.

Blessed is he who comes in his name, in his name.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

So it's Ash Wednesday. We did not go to the service tonight. Didn't even talk about it. We haven't gone in a while. I think I wish we had. I generally like the service, but I am not really interested in having the ashes placed on my forehead. It's a day of mourning and in ancient times the ashes on the forehead were a way to express repentance. I'm not certain why we do this tradition now. When I was growing up it was just the Catholics that did it. They would go to early morning mass and the kids would come to school with the ashes still there on their heads. I'm not really a fan of that kind of public display. I don't judge it. It's just not for me.

Much is discussed about what people are going to "give up" for Lent. Traditionally it's meat. When I was growing up the Catholic kids would have fish on Fridays. People today like to give up something during this period, but I suspect it's for another reason than the original penitence reason. It seems like now people use the period for a challenge or to try to establish a new habit they would like. Or to abolish some old habit they dislike.

Yogi Liz decided to become vegan for Lent. She's vegetarian so this is a bit more of a stretch for her. Mindful eating and culinary adventure are her two main reasons. But in her classes she's also talked about ADDING something during lent. A daily walk, a daily meditation, a daily asana. Something that is adding rather than taking away.

I like that.

Having just finished 6 weeks of vegetarianism and no refined sugar, I'm not really inclined to do something more for lent. But all this is food for thought.

Monday, February 15, 2010

La Vie en Rose

This weekend I watched La Vie en Rose, which is about the life of Edith Piaf. I'd never actually heard of Piaf, but ordered the movie because it was probably mentioned to me.

A fantastic, tragic, riveting story! It was done in that annoying manner, though, where they jump from present day to past and back and forth and back and forth? I've never really had a great appreciation for that technique.

Piaf was raised in a French bordello by her grandmother, who ran the place. Her mother was a street singer and her dad a circus contortionist. She was discovered by a cabaret man while singing on the street and made her way from there to New York and then to Hollywood in the 50s. She suffered a car accident in 1951 that left her addicted to morphine and barely able to move.

Amazing movie.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Vegetarian Experiment is Over

And I think it's going to become a lifestyle. (yes Mom, I can actually HEAR your eyes rolling)

It's been a great 6 weeks. A very easy 6 weeks, actually. Well, except for the memorable pork roast incident. Other than that, I've really had no desire whatsoever for meat. Not. Even. Bacon. NOPE!

So I'll keep it up. But I'm leaving the door open. If meat appeals to me, I'll eat it. If not, I won't. I'll continue preparing it for the guys and plan to do something slightly different for myself. But I think I'm going to try spending more money on meat for the guys and buying free-range poultry and grass-fed beef. I figure since we'll be eating so much less, we'll be saving money anyway.

One of the things I've really enjoyed during this time is exploring my New Moosewood Cookbook and some of the recipes by Martha Rose Shulman on the New York Times website.

Another experiment also about to become a lifestyle is not consuming refined sugar. There is no denying that the inflammation in my body has reduced considerably. Yes, it's true that it could be the sugar, it could be the vitamins I started in January, I could be the three-times-daily meditation and breathing I've been could be all of those or any one of those. But cutting the refined sugar has done the main thing I wanted it to do: It made me a more mindful eater/snacker. I've found some great dessert recipes with honey, molasses, maple syrup and agave, and have found some nice snack bars with evaporated cane sugar or beet sugar. I've even found chocolate with no sweeteners at all that is quite good! I've received chocolate from people in the past six weeks...people who know that I like it and want to give me something...and I've just accepted it enthusiastically and then passed it to someone else. It's been very simple.

And so that's my recap. Tonight for supper Taylor, Erin and I had samosas from the Moosewood cookbook and on the counter are two loaves of 'Cracked Wheat' Bread from The "cracked wheat" is in quotes because Shulman actually used bulgur instead of wheat. And so did I. I haven't tried it yet. Because we are still finishing a half loaf of Wheat Germ Honey Wheat bread I made yesterday.