Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recipe: Green-wah (as in Qunioa)

Green-wah (as in Quinoa!)

Quinoa is incredibly nutritious, a great source of vegetarian protein, and...

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared that the year 2013 be recognized as "The International Year of the Quinoa."  -WHFoods.com

Here's one of my favorite ways to prepare it, a meal that my toddler also loves!

2 cups dry quinoa, cooked in 4 cups of water until done
While the quinoa is cooking, sautee an onion in coconut oil,
Use a food processor to grind up a large handful of spinach,
Add the cooked onions and 2-4 tablespoons of raw minced garlic
When the quinoa is done, add the spinach/onion/garlic mixture.
Season with Braggs Amino Acids to taste.


Dream: The Festival

I have such long, vivid dreams and within the dreams there is a richness of detail and layers of memory and experience that I wake up feelin glike I have been somewhere else.  If anyone who reads this knows about dream interpretation, I am looking for a dream reader to teach me. 

Last night I was dreaming that it was the night before a small local festival. It was dark, and I was walking down the street with some friends.  There was a lot of traffic, and across the way I could see the houses preparing for the next day, one house was unfolding itself at the top, letting out a large well-designed porch for people to enjoy.  At the bottom of the embankment below the sidewalk, I saw rocks next to the street.  I'm always looking for rocks, and this time I saw a piece of green sea glass.  Almost as large as my palm, rectangular, smoothed and rounded on the edges.  I went down the embankment to pick it up, my friends wanted me to leave it because they thought traffic was dangerous, but I knew I would be safe.  When I got down to the street, a limo stopped and a wealthy young man opened the door and asked what I was doing.  I talked to him, and he offered to take me to the festival.  I told him I would see him there.

The next day I wandered around the grounds of the main festival gathering area, it was green and grassy, and had a beach just a little ways off.  No one had planned much for food, but people were bringing in their own, some sharing, some asking for donations to split the cost.  Children were running around laughing.  There were two young boys (around 10) that were somehow attached to me, friends perhaps, not my children but in a way there with me.  They asked me for pizza and I told them that I had three dollars in quarters, if they could scrounge up another two dollars, I would take them to Little Ceasars later.  They were happy with that answer, and I left them on a wooden bridge that you see at playgrounds, only far more expansive.  I wandered into an area where there was a small performance, someone playing piano.  20 or so chairs were set up, and I was delighted that I had come at the right time.  I remarked to the person next to me that I always try to make it to these performances, and had memories of prior events I had gone to in that setting.  There, I saw the rich young man.  He seemed interested in me, but I was too busy enjoying the festival and had other concerns so I didn't talk with him. 

After the performance I walked through different art displays that the festival had to offer.  One was a hall covered in Japanese art, scence of people in Japan, flowers, buildings.  I sighed and said to the person wandering near me, I would live here.  There.  I have lived there before. 

Then, I went out into the grassy area and met up with a girl I have been friends with most of my life, like a cousin.  We had both been working some days of the week at the home of a little boy who had some kind of severe disability.  He was about 8, unable to walk, and unable to speak up for himself, but had a very sweet energy and we both cared about him very much.  The girl asked me how he was doing, which surprised me because I though she had been there recently.  She said that the woman from social services had taken over her hours.  I was alarmed by that, since on my days that same woman was always there, sitting on the couch like it was her house, talking to the boys father, and something just didn't feel right about the situation.  The woman had harmful intentions.  The girl and I wanted to talk about it more, but wanted to be sure we had privacy, so we walked on, looking for a place to talk.  Another girl came up to us like she knew us, but as far as we could remember we had never met her.  She was thin, pale, stringy hair, an odd face that seemed like she had trouble fitting in with regular society.  She sad immediately- you said you would take me to 44th street!  There is a funeral there later that I need to go to.  You can come with me, and then we will come back here.  My companion and I looked at each other, I thought of taking the boys for pizza anyway, so we shrugged and agreed to take her.  We didn't know who the funeral was for, and didn't ask.  The girl was satisfied, and walked away.  Shortly after that, I was a coin in the dirt and picked it up, thinking of the boys' pizza money.  It was larger than a quarter, old and worn but the engravings were still clear.  The front had a man's face in profile and said that it was a 51 cent piece.  I turned it over and it said "tarot" on the back, and had a picture of a thigh bone, it said "mark of the severed leg", and another message next to that but that message didn't stay with me.  I turned to my friend in amazement, since this coin was directly related to the situation with the little boy we took care of.  I knew the second message was information or direction about him, or the social services woman, and what we could do.  I put the coin in my pocket, and we kept looking for a place to talk.

We found a house that was familiar, and went into the bathroom and shut the door, but we didn't want to be interrupted, so in the bathroom there was another door down to the basement.  We went down there, and shut the door.  Still not feeling like we would have privacy there, we walked through the basement with its low ceilings and piles of boxes to another door, which led to an indoor pool that hadn't been used in years.  It was tiled, and had a gentle slope down to the deep end.  We started talking about the boy's situation, and very soon a nun came through the door and we stopped.  She was suspicious about what we had been discussing since we stopped so suddenly, so I told her that we used to play in this house as children and were reminscing, looking at all places we had fun when we were 6.  At that moment I could vividly remember playing in that place when I was little, the girl and I running around, even swimming in the pool.  I don't know if I have had dreams with that girl before when I was 6, or since then, or if in my dream I just had very clear memories to fill in the richness of the dream.  But I knew I had been there many times, and I remember the exact feeling of the room, details of how it looked both drained and with water.  And then, I woke up. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Unconditional Love

A lot of parents talk about how deeply they fell in love with their perfect, beautiful infant the moment they met.  I was enthralled with the process of pregnancy, enjoying the entire experience of hosting a growing person.  Labor was wonderful, birth was miraculous.  Meeting this tiny crying creature that is called "my son" was a moment I will never forget.  From the time I knew he existed I started to feel love for this person, and seeing him certainly was amazing.  But I would compare it to when I met my partner.  I remember vividly the first time I ever saw Michael walk past me.  I had an instant, strong reaction that stuck with me, and I immediately had the seeds of infatuation and love growing.  The birth of that relationship began at that moment, and the deep, daily intimate, love I share with him now was present then.  But at that particular time, I didn't know him very well, I knew almost nothing about him.  I could feel love and it was real, but I didn't know very much about what made Michael, Michael.  It was a mysterious, magical feeling.   Very much like meeting Avian, my little golden haired son.  I did love him right away, but I didn't know much about who he was, what makes Avian, Avian.  Being a parent is a marvelous, challening, elating, frustrating, joyous, fulfilling process.  Recently, as Avian has approached two years old and has reached a developmental stage where he can express himself quite clearly, I have noticed a real shift in my relationship with him.  Now instead of just having a general infatuation feeling for him (which did sometimes wear thin in the wee hours of yet another sleepless night during his earlier days), I have a deeper understanding of who this person is.  I can have a relationship with Him.  We can talk, exchange ideas, I can listen to his requests, needs, demands, feelings, experiences and can more understanding about what this individual is like, what his personality leans towards, the kinds of things he is interested in.  It is wonderful.  His fits, screaming rages, his head-banging when he is frustrated, his flinging of the spoon because I mixed his granola before he got a chance to tell me to add raisins...all of that is so normal for his age, so appropriate for his development, for his individuation process.  It is a delight to see his feelings emerge, to know that he can clearly communicate them to me, and that I can support that process, help him handle things when he is overwhelmed, model alternatives and coping skills, and coach him on how to explain his ideas when he needs it.  I just read the exceptional book "Unconditional Parenting", and it came at exactly the right time.  I don't see his "acting up" as a battle of wills or him defying me.  He is experiencing the world, and it is overwhelming, he is feeling feelings and they are huge.  I am so glad I get to walk along with this incredible growing person and help him figure out life.  He is helping me figure out life at the same time.  The more I get to know him, the more I can love who he is, unconditionally.