October is National Cookie Month. It’s a bit early for my baking – I usually go on a bit of a cookie baking binge around the holidays, mostly commonly baking Russian teacakes, snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkles, peanut butter cookies, and molasses spice cookies. The recipe for the latter is from my former sister-in-law, Betsy.
Aunt Betsy’s Molasses Spice Cookies
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Combine shortening, molasses, sugar and egg in a large bowl and use a mixer to mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine with the shortening mixture and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Measure by spoonfuls and roll dough into balls then roll in sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes (cookies will look undercooked).
October 4th is Ten-Four Day, a day to celebrate the specialized language of the CB radio. As someone old enough to remember seeing Smokey and the Bandit in the theater, this CB lingo tutorial is lots of fun:
The specialized language of the road used by CB enthusiasts made me think a bit about the specialized language of yoga, Sanskrit. While I don’t use it a lot in my classes, I am learning more about it as part of my 300-hour yoga teacher training. Watch for more thoughts on that to come, but in the meantime you can check out a couple of interesting articles about the use of Sanskrit here and here.
October 3 is Keb’ Mo’s birthday, so here’s a little ditty he wrote about his feelings about the Iraq war. I think it’s a fitting song to revisit in light of recent violence in the world. It’s great to meditate, pray, or send out positive energy as you choose, but we can’t let that be all we do. We have to stand firm against hate and darkness.
Enrichment, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, means providing mental stimulus that complements a cat’s natural behavior. Toys that mimic hunting, furniture or towers that can let a cat get vertical, or food games are all enrichment tools that help cats mimic their natural prey drive. You can buy them or create your own.
Keeping your cat not only physically but mentally healthy will lead to a better experience for the entire household.
Today’s my birthday. Here’s the number one song from the day I was born. Feel free to dance down the street like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
September is National Yoga Month, so expect lots of random yoga-related musings this month!
Today I thought I would talk about themes in relation to planning and teaching classes. Often when I plan a class, my theme focuses on one or more parts of the body (I’m a rather practical person, so such a practical themes come easily for m). For the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve focused on concepts like gratitude and kindness.
My inspiration for the kindness classes was, of all things, a post on the site scarymommy.com. I tweaked the author’s daily question to her children, “Who were you kind to?” to “How were you kind today?” and asked students to meditate on that question while in a pose (yin and restorative yoga both lend themselves well to this with their long holds).
In some of my classes, I also used a version of the metta mediation. You can learn more about metta meditation here. The version of the meditation that I used in class is below: the first round is directed at bringing lovingkindness to ourselves; the next round is directed at some we feel needs lovingkindess directed to them; and the last round is directed to all the earth.
May I be free from suffering.
May I be well.
May I be at peace.
May I be joyful.
May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be free from suffering.
May you be well.
May you be at peace.
May you be joyful.
May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be well.
May all beings be at peace.
May all beings be joyful.
May all beings be filled with lovingkindness.
Thanks for reading!
The 3rd of three annual Emancipation Days of Respect, Dream Day Quest and Jubilee honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting unity, respect and remembrance. Held on August 28th to mark the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Delivered in 1963, the speech calls for the end of racism in the United States. You can read the full text here or listen to it here.
Unfortunately, racism is all too alive in America. We need to own up to that and we need to do what we can to fix it. Mindfulness can help us build self-awareness but should also help us be aware of others’ experiences. We are all in this together and we are all one.
I have a dream that someday MLK’s dream can be realized and that I will have the courage to help it come true.
In peace and unity,
August is National Coffee Month! Coffee is one of my favorite things in the world. While I generally drink it black, I do love Thai iced coffee so I was super excited to try this recipe from the Food.com.
Thai Iced Coffee (4 servings)
- ground coffee, sufficient to make 4 cups brewed
- 4 T. sugar
- 4 T. heavy cream
- 2 t. ground cardamom
- 1 t. almond flavoring
- crushed ice
- Add the cardamom to the ground coffee, and brew the coffee; when the coffee is brewed, add the sugar and almond flavoring, mix well and then let the coffee cool to lukewarm.
- Fill four 12 ounce highball glasses half-way to the rim with crushed ice and then fill two-thirds full with coffee; into each glass, stir about 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
- To achieve a layered effect, hold a spoon on top of the coffee and pour the cream slowly into the spoon so that the cream floats on top of the glass over the coffee.
This recipe turned out great and I’m sure it would be almost as good with some healthy substitutions.