A Chipmunk Comes Calling

Thanks, Monica Hadsall, for this seed sentence! April 11, 2018

 “When he answered the doorbell, there was only a chipmunk sitting on the front step, looking up at him.”

When he answered the doorbell, there was only a chipmunk sitting on the front step, looking up at him.

“Sup?”chipmunk-2192456_1280

“Excuse me?

“Sup?”

“Are you asking me something?”

“See anyone else around?”

“Uh, no. But then again, I’m not sure this is real. I’ve never talked with a chipmunk before. Didn’t know you could.”

“Could what?”

“Talk.”

“Yeahwecan.”

“Excuse me?”

“Goin’ somewhere?”

“No! I came to the door because the doorbell rang!”

“You keep excusing yourself. Where ya goin’?”

“Look, it’s one thing to meet a talking chipmunk. Its quite another to meet one with a smart mouth like you’ve got.”

“You people like to think we’re all the same. Do you think we’re all adorably cute? Or dumb and irritating like Alvin and his gang?”

‘I certainly hope not. You’re not like them, are you?”

“Gnaw.”

“Excuse me?”

“There ya go again. Gnaw…like in “Nah”. It’s a joke, man!”

“I get it. Corny!”

“Well, corn would be okay, but we were kinda hoping for hazelnuts.”

“Kind of picky for a yard scavenger, aren’t you? Why hazelnuts?”

“Latest thing. Hazelnut coffee.”hazelnuts-brown-nuts-open-68483.jpeg

“But chipmunks don’t drink coffee.”

“Yeahwecan.”

“There’s that word again. Whatsitmean?”

“Huh?”

“Whatsitmean?”

“Yeahwecan?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, man, no wonder you guys fight each other all the time. You’re very confusing. Can we get back to talking about hazelnuts?”restaurant-beans-coffee-cup.jpg

“Okay. What’s this about coffee?”

“You throw out those coffee grounds onto your garden, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, we smell that fresh coffee perking, and the missus gets all excited. Pretty soon you come out and toss them over the garden. Next time a good rain comes along, it soaks some of that coffee down into our burrow, and we got coffee dripping from the ceiling. It’s okay – don’t panic. We like it, but just want hazelnuts to eat with the coffee. That too much to ask?”

“Maybe. Okay what the heck. Wait right here.”

On the way to the kitchen for hazelnuts, the man stepped into the bathroom to look in the mirror to be sure he still existed. Yep. So he gathered a handful of nuts and returned to the door. If the chipmunk was still there, he’d give it the nuts. If it wasn’t there, he’d make a good strong pot of coffee, drink it all, and get back into bed so he could wake up a second time and start the day again.

The chipmunk was still there.

“Hey, thanks, man.” He stuffed four of the nuts into his cheeks and rolled the rest toward the garden where his burrow awaited.

“Wunmrfing…”

“Excuse me?”

“Wunmrfing!” Pfffftttt! He spit out the nuts on the ground and frowned up at the man. “I SAID, one more thing!”

“What do you want now?”red-onions-vegetables-vegetable-onion-onion-market-47051.jpeg

“Can you plant some more tulips in the garden? Along the back fence?”

“But it’s June! I don’t plant tulips in the hot summer. I plant them in the fall when it cools down.”

“Aw, come on! It’s my birthday next week and tender tulip bulbs are my favorite!”

“So you’re the one whose been eating them! I’ll make you a deal. I’ll plant three now for your birthday if you’ll forgoe eating them in the fall. Deal?”

He tapped his paws together. “I’ll only eat half of the tulip bulbs this fall if you’ll put out some hazelnuts under the log by the back fence now and again. That’s the old log under the fir tree where the hawks can’t get us.”

“And you’ll run along by the fence when our granddaughter comes over so she can squeal with delight?”

He sighed. “Yeah, I guess. I hate being cute but it’s part of my gig.”

chipmunk-2530068_1280 (2)Picking up the four hazelnuts, he tossed them toward the garden, waved, and scampered off muttering to himself, “Geez but I hate having to entertain for snacks.”

The man closed the door and decided he needed that big pot of strong coffee after all. He poured a big cup and sat down to consider. Was he going mad or had he really conversed with a chipmunk?

The doorbell rang. Damn rodent probably wanted the fresh coffee grounds.

He sighed and emptied the coffee grounds into an old pan to dump on the garden. Then, shrugging his shoulders, he headed to the fridge for a carton of milk and poured it into a paper cup to take along. On second thought, he drank it and refilled the cup with cream. This wasn’t just any chipmunk and he knew where this conversation was going.

– Ellie Hadsall, April 12, 2018

From the author: “This story is part of my “Random Sentences; Random Stories” series. Individuals have contributed random sentences from which I write a short story. I never know what the sentence will evoke until I begin writing. The results are greatly varied and take me on adventures of insight. I hope you enjoy them!”

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … “This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest…” more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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When you relocate, does your heart come, too?

Thanks, Rich Heiser, for this seed sentence! April 11, 2018

“Sometimes, when you relocate, you need to purposely DRAG your heart with you.”

Sometimes, when you relocate, you need to purposely DRAG your heart with you.

Vernon’s heart strongly resisted relocating. He knew it was better by far if your heart drags you instead of the other way around. But he couldn’t see that happening. Maybe if he forced a relocation, his heart wouldn’t have any choice in the matter.

Life had lost its inspiration. Days followed each other in predictable measure. Get up. Walk to the coffee shop. Talk with the same people about the same humdrum events. Avoid politics. Return home. Go to his studio. Open the blinds to let in what light could enter through the narrow windows. Pick up a brush. Paint. It was increasingly difficult to find motivation and he knew that above all, he needed change.

Life had become a comfortable jacket. Worn in some places, a bit frayed at the edges, maybe even boring to wear at times. But he knew the smell of it and how it warmed him on a bitter cold night as he painted in his dark and drafty studio. Damn! He needed a nip of smooth scotch now and then to make up for the chill wafting through those worn window panes. He’d talked with the local realtor more than once, trying to work up the nerve to sell this place before it was so out of date it was only good to raze to the ground. It had its charm and some young upstart might be fool enough to be taken in by its gables, multilevels, curving staircase, and rusty pipes. He could take the money and settle into a snug townhouse somewhere with warm electric heat and a brightly lit studio. Let someone else tend to the trees and grass. Spend more time painting. Be inspired to care again. Profits from the house along with his latest commission offered comfort for a few years and would allow him time to find the right place and explore new techniques.

But it was hard to let go of the dream home his parents had built. Since early years as a small boy, he had stared out the windows at the big old apple tree, watching it bud, bloom, prop up bird nests, turn into shades of brown in the fall, and stand bare until snow piled high on its branches. He grew up in this old house. Knew it’s secrets. Had his own secrets hidden in the back corners of his mind. But one, long dormant, was pushing to the surface.

The article had been buried deep within yesterday’s newspaper. He still wasn’t sure how it caught his attention. “Woman seeks information on her roots.” It might not even be her, but somehow, he knew it was. With her name, it couldn’t be a coincidence. And his secret held her answer.

He stared at the canvas in front of him. Her face formed itself in the spontaneous splashes of deep purple dripping down the amber staircase he had dabbed in yesterday. Would this woman want to know what he had to tell her?

Dropping his brush on the table, he poured one more thumbs-width of scotch into his glass and slumped into the chair. Remembering.

Steering his way home through alleys, to avoid Snarly Gander’s local thugs, he had almost hit her. Slamming his brakes, he had skid to a stop, got out and approached the slowly moving wraith with the bright red beret sliding off the disheveled hair.

“Ma’am?” The shadow turned to face him. Her face. He couldn’t shake the memory of that wretched face for years. Her left eye and lips swollen from a brutal punch, makeup smeared across her cheek, dress ripped, and belt askew. But what haunted him the most was her swollen belly.

“Sir…help me. Oh, God, please help me! Help us!

He led her to the car and set her into the back where she could lay down. She was shaking so hard, he wasn’t sure she could sit upright.

“I’m getting you to the hospital.”

“No!” She wailed, arms flailing in protest. “You can’t! Please! They’ll kill me!”

“Who?”

She shook her head. “Can’t say. They’ll kill me!”

“Where’s home? I’ll take you home.”

“No! They’ll look for me there! Somewhere else. Anywhere! Help me, please!”

“Got a family?”

“No more – they kicked me out. Please, I have nowhere!”

So he took her to his home. What else was he to do? He knew those mean streets. Filled with men who fought to run the local booze racket and women who did what they could to survive.

He set her up in his parent’s old room with its faded morning glory wallpaper until he figured out what to do with her. Three months later he still hadn’t figured it out.  By then it was far beyond figuring. She was fast approaching a delivery day and he still didn’t know her name. “Corrina” she told him, but every other woman was Corrina ever since that damn song had hit the clubs. He figured it wasn’t her real name, but it didn’t matter anymore. He was already hiding her, so why not add her name to the list of secrets?

Corrina insisted on secrecy. “If the father finds out where I live, he’ll kill me. The baby. And you. He tried the night you found me, but the bartender intervened by kicking me out the back door and announcing drinks on the house.”

Vernon snooped as deeply as he could to find out who was at the Green Mill that night. Kip the bartender was as closed mouthed as they came and who could blame him? His livelihood depended upon confidentiality. Couldn’t blame a man for doing his job. But after months of accumulating bits and pieces of information he figured it out. And understood why Corrina refused to talk. He didn’t push her on it. She already had more than most to handle.

Corrina’s belly grew. You could see the baby’s feet kicking as it squirmed around. She let him feel her belly as it moved. At night, he thanked God for Corrina. “God, you know I never wanted a kid or even a wife. Don’t want to be responsible for anyone but me. But it’s been a nice surprise to have them with me for just a little while. Just don’t make it forever.”

He did insist on one thing. He wanted someone there to deliver the kid.

“Corrina, you gotta have a midwife.”

“Yeah, sure. Okay. I’ll let you know when.”

She didn’t. He should have known. She announced labor pains with a loud moan in early morning. Lucky woman, that Corrina. The kid popped out in three hours. Arrived at 4:14 on the nose. For some reason, he always remembered that. He cut the cord, washed the squalling baby in warm water and wrapped it in a blanket, hands shaking all the while. He’d only seen Molly deliver her pups when he was eleven and watched a cinema of a baby born to pioneers, but it was enough.  He and Corrina, they got through it okay.

“Valarie. Her name is Valarie.”

“She got a last name?”

“Davis will do just fine.”

Six weeks of a nighttime crying baby made it hard to get up in the morning to go to work. But that little Valarie was hard to resist. He’d go pick her up to shut her up when Corrina was napping, and she’d coo and giggle until he grinned. Then she’d settle back into his arms and gaze into his soul with those deep blue eyes. It made him wonder, for the first time, what caused existence and how a baby survived to adulthood. And how God was smart to make babies cute, so you could tolerate their constant disruption to life. That Valarie was a real eye-opener for him. Something to consider as a strange gift. But he found himself relieved when Corrina announced it was time for the two of them to move on.

“Where you going?”

“I got old friends with kids. I can live with them until I get a job and on my feet. I wrote them I’m a widow and they want to help.”

He gave her money for a trip and food along the way, but she wouldn’t tell him where they were headed. “It’s better that way. You saved our lives and never questioned me for the truth. You may not understand but when you took me into your home, you took a big step closer to death. God must have been looking out for us both.”

He took them to the bus station and waved them off.  All he knew was that the destination on the front of the bus said “New York” but it could have dropped them off anywhere along the way – Corrina and her tiny Valarie.

Well, he’d carried them along with him in his own way, pulling the memories out occasionally to ruminate over, but never seriously considered doing more.  Until that damned newspaper article.

“Woman seeks information on her roots.” Valarie Davis. Philadelphia. Her mother, Corrina, was deceased and she sought any living relatives. Vernon wasn’t a relative, of course, so wasn’t under any obligation. But he couldn’t let it rest. It nibbled constantly at the edges of his thought until he gave in and pulled out the map. A flight to Philadelphia offered a much-needed change into his stale life. Maybe he’d been too comfortable for too long.

He wrote a brief letter to the address in the paper and a reply arrived only a week later with an address. “It’s a coffee shop. I hope you respect my caution, but until I meet you I prefer to not share my address.” Of course he understood. After all she was Corrina’s daughter and he was glad she’d been raised well. Her handwriting was neat, forming sentences with proper grammar, and a neatly hand-drawn sparrow on a branch on the bottom indicated her interest in art. Something they could share in common.

He bought a flight, arrived, and checked into a quiet motel. In the morning he arose to get to the coffee shop before she arrived. He was nervous and chuckled to himself. “Relax! It’s not like she’s an art critic or interviewing you for a show.”

He found a booth and ordered a coffee, black, wishing he had a few drops of hooch to add to the mix. Just to ease his nerves.

Corrina walked in, or at least her close copy. Tall, slim, self-assured. Her clear blue eyes scanned the room and found him.

“Vernon?”

He nodded, gesturing for her to join him and motioning to the server.

“Coffee?”

“Yes, please.”

“Thank you for coming. I had no clue where to start looking except Mom told me I was born in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, so I posted in local papers. You’re the only one who answered.”

“Yeah, it’s because no one knew the name of Corrina Davis except me.”

“Now I know why Mom insisted my nickname was ‘Vernie’. You can call me that. Everyone else does.”

“Corrina did that?”

‘”Yes. She said it was to honor someone special in our life. But she never said more than that. She was always tight-lipped about anything before my birth and I learned early to not push her about it. It always put her into a deep depression. I learned to let it be.”

“I don’t know much about her before I met her but will share what I can.”

So, Vernon pulled memories out from far back in the dusty recesses of his mind to share with Vernie. And the more he talked, the more he realized he had been revisiting their times together regularly all these years. More than a few times, his voice choked as he described her early days.

“You were a good baby. Happy-go-lucky. Made me laugh.”

She invited him to her home, insisting he stay a few days. He figured it as part of his adventure, so he agreed. She led him to a guest bedroom, helping him settle in.

“With what little Mom told me, she said the man who took us in was a young artist.”

“I started off slow but it’s a decent living for me now. Wasn’t in my early years, but it’s proven a good life.”

“Mom insisted I have art lessons and people say I’m pretty good. Want to see my work?”

He stood silently gazing into the room filled with sunlight, vases of flowers, and bright canvases propped against the walls. But one thing, more than anything else, caught his eye.

“Morning glory wallpaper?”

“Yes. Funny you should notice. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to blue morning glories. It’s why my paintings focus on flowers, I think. The highest commission I’ve earned so far is of sparrows on an apple blossom branch.”

He wasn’t sure what to say. Had she really absorbed so much of his home as a tiny baby? Was the place of birth more powerful than one’s genes? God, he hoped so.

Sharing a bottle of wine, their conversation wove deeper and deeper into the night.

“So, are you going to tell me who my father was?”

“We never knew. Corrina wouldn’t tell me and I never found a clear answer.”

“But he was a gangster, wasn’t he? I always figured that’s the only reason she didn’t want to say.”

“It’s possible but I never got a clear answer from her.”

One little lie wouldn’t hurt, would it? Vernie had a good life here. She was honest, pretty, successful in her own way. From what he could see of her paintings, she had a good chance at life. Tell her that her father was the most notorious gangster in America and shatter her world? No, if her mother didn’t want her to know, he wasn’t going to be the one to ruin her life. “I always suspected some good looking young hustler took advantage of Corrina. It happened to a lot of nice young women in prohibition days.”

Hesitantly, Vernie leaned forward. “I’d like to study with you, Vernon. I’ve checked out your art in the American collection at the Museum of Art. It speaks to me. Do you ever tutor starving artists?”

He considered. Was this a gift from his heart, or a nuisance waiting to pounce? Did he want to tie himself down with someone he barely knew? But the morning glories! And the apple tree branches! Wasn’t that something? When you couldn’t explain something – when you didn’t conjure it up with your mind – when it found you

“Possibly, but Vernie, can you come to Chicago?”

She shook her head. “Not easily. I depend on my day job to support my painting.” She slumped back in her chair, considering. Suddenly she shot upright.  “Maybe you could offer workshops here? Travel here occasionally? I usually have a roommate to share my rent but she just moved out so I have two rooms and a bath upstairs you can use when you come here, until I get a new renter, of course. But we’ve just met and I’m sorry if I’m rushing things. Mom always said I jump before I plan. But it usually turns out okay…” her voice dwindled down shyly.

“Can I see the rooms?”

She led him up the stairs onto a brightly lit landing with a room on each side. On the left, to the north, was an inviting room of taupe and ivory. To the right, a sunny yellow room with ivory trim and three floor-to-ceiling bay windows surrounding a window seat. He glanced at the wall, eager of what he might see and found it. A thermostat for an electric furnace.

“I’ll do it.” The words popped out before he could consider. Too late to call them back. He was committed. Responsible. He had purpose. Someone to encourage and inspire. A daughter, you might say.

She rushed to hug him. “If you like it, and we get along okay, maybe you can rent it? That is, if you’d want to.”

If he sold his house – no, when he sold his house – he could relocate his life into this studio, which he was confident was his, earned long ago by taking in a desperate young, pregnant woman. He would take her daughter to Europe where they could tour cities of the old masters and paint, side by side, overlooking the parks of Aries. As he had settled into a steady existence over the years, he’d forgotten that long-ago dream. Hope and a fresh life bubbled up in his heart.

Long he had feared that when he relocated, he would need to purposely drag his heart with him. Today, he was confident that it was better by far if your heart drags you instead.

– Ellie Hadsall, April 12, 2018

From the author: “This story is part of my “Random Sentences; Random Stories” series. Individuals have contributed random sentences from which I write a short story. I never know what the sentence will evoke until I begin writing. The results are greatly varied and take me on adventures of insight. I hope you enjoy them!”

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

 

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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Is it time for new life patterns?

Are you cutting life from the same old patterns and habits, yet constantly frustrated because life keeps handing you the same old problems?

Maybe it’s time to create new patterns for your life, or consider giving up patterns entirely so you can make choices based on the merits of each unique situation.

pattern, sewing, scissors, marking pen, cloth

Change patterns of choice and behavior. Create new designs for life.

If people keep worming their way into your life business, maybe you need to create stronger boundaries.

If relationships start great and end up sour, maybe you need to choose a different kind of partner or change how you relate.

If you have energy crashes all day and can’t sleep at night but follow a pattern of starting the day with espresso, snacking on cookies and treats to get through the afternoon, and finishing the day with a beer or two glasses of wine, maybe it’s time to change your diet plan.

Following the same patterns of choice and behavior we have always followed, while expecting a better result, is illogical and guarantees frustration, depression, and fatigue.

Nothing nurtures a sense of helplessness as much as failing to follow our own wisdom.

Break up your life patterns.Try something different.

Wear a new color of shirt. Redecorate a room. Go to a new restaurant. Walk your dog in a different park. Invite a friend to go hear a local band. Rather than forging ahead, make a ninety-degree turn to the right and see where it takes you. Instead of saying, “This is the way I do it”, say “I’m going to do it differently this time.”

Nothing will change until you do.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … “This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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Breathe!

Some days, everything hits at once and the only thing that gets you through is breathing.

Be okay with that.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

 

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.


 

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Are you living an illusion?

Much like Robert Gonsalve’s paintings, life is an illusion. How we interpret an event depends upon our point of view. Perspective. Current emotional state. Self-esteem. Self-talk. Storyline. History.

There is hope in this. Shift your way of looking at life, and life shifts around you.

illusion paintings by Robert Gonsalves

Painting by Robert Gonsalves. See more on Bored Panda

If you pack past grievances carefully in a suitcase, re-check it regularly to confirm you haven’t forgotten anything, and carry it with you, the weight becomes radically burdensome. Any new experience must be carefully assessed according to what you carry. You’ll need time and energy to open the suitcase, hold today’s experience against each piece of content, and decide if it merits your upset. It all adds up to hopelessness, depression, and feeling stuck.

Consider the option of re-examining this process. What if you shifted your perception? Decide to stand tall for yourself instead of being a victim? Focus on positives instead of negatives? Look for solutions instead of blaming? Take classes on healthy parenting instead of feeling like the kid runs the show? Change yourself instead of demanding others change? Set boundaries instead of being run over? Take charge of your own life instead of allowing other people’s opinions to rule your choices?

You can do this.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Find more of Gonsalve’s amazing paintings.


Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review of PATHWALKER: … “This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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A Baker Tries a Cleansing Diet

Is it feasible to bake while on a cleansing diet?

I am on a two-week cleansing diet. Two weeks of no dairy, oil, carbohydrates, sugar, or alcohol. I am doing well until Nature decides to bless us with a refreshing rain for days on end. When it rains, I yearn to bake bread.

So I bake homemade bread with milk, avocado oil, and organic flour. I’d never cheat on this diet – so I won’t eat any of the bread. I’ll simply enjoy the homey, warm, rich, fragrant scent swirling around my kitchen as it bakes, wafting up the stairway and drifting into my writing studio at the far end of the upstairs hall.

I do need to sample the dough to assure I don’t omit essential ingredients. When I remove it from the oven, I need to confirm that its texture is appropriate which requires me to slice off a piece. While washing up baking dishes, I notice a tad bit of butter remains in the butter bowl which I want to wash, so I’ll just use it up on that fresh slice of bread lying on the cutting board.

Then my husband gets home from work, smells the bread, and wants a slice. A good wife doesn’t want her husband to eat alone so she has a slice along with him. But I’m well-disciplined. I skip the apricot jam and firmly decline a full glass of wine, suffering myself to sip only a half glass.

I suspect that by the end of these two weeks I will need to extend my cleanse to three weeks. Unless we get a late snow. In that case, it may extend to four because when it snows, I yearn to make fudge.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)


Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.

 

Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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Quick Snow Ice Cream

What could be sweeter than a bowl of tasty snow ice cream to enliven a winter day? It’s a fun activity for kids, and adults who occasionally act like kids. That would be me.

Recipe:

  • In large bowl, mix 1 cup cream/milk/nut-milk (your choice) with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Place in fridge while you collect fresh, clean snow. (Or gather snow first and keep chilled in a chest freezer or a lidded container outside)
  • Scooping in only a few cups at a time, add snow to the milk/sugar/vanilla mixture, combining well until it reaches the consistency of ice cream. Add more sugar if preferred. Don’t over-work it or the snow will melt too fast, making snow slush (which is still good as a snow smoothie).

Options:

  • Add chocolate or crushed peppermints for flavoring.
  • For a shortcut, substitute eggnog or vanilla creamer for the milk mixture. Add extra sugar if desired.
  • For sorbet, substitute pureed peaches, or other pureed fruit, for the milk mixture. Add sugar if a sweeter dessert is preferred.
  • This mixture gets slushy or icy if stored, so eat it fresh. You can gather extra snow to keep handy for more ice cream in the following days.

    snow ice cream

    “Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

    Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

    Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.


    Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

    Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


    Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

 

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This is a Time for Choices

This is a time for choices. We can no longer sit idly by, tolerating. Gone are the days of allowing things to unfold around us, knowing they aren’t right for us, but playing that game anyway because it seems easier that way.

Are you realizing it is NOT easier that way, after all? Life IS a game, but over generations and through shifts in mass consciousness, the rules of life change. This doesn’t mean that “truth” changes. Truth is truth, regardless of how it is recognized or followed. Instead, what changes is our willingness – or ability – to play by the shifting rules.

What’s coming in the future? It’s not coming; it’s already arrived.

Living on planet Earth has changed, so you need to change along with it. You can no longer remain stuck. If you don’t make the changes you sense you need to make, life will push you around to force you to change.

You’ll be depressed, uninspired, constantly blaming outside forces or people, and waking up every day with a mental list of wrongs that need righted. You’ll find plenty of company to agree with you. Hint: Don’t look for others to join your upset. Instead, look for others who are not upset. Learn from them. Try a different way. Experiment with other possibilities. Doing what you’ve always done will dig your hole deeper. Reach out and up for what’s next.

What is constantly confronting you, is on some level, of your own creation.

Pain is sending a message, hear, heed, and heal.

Treated with disrespect? You are giving off signals, somehow, that you are willing to be disrespected. Do relationships that initially seem wonderful turn around to bite you because you lacked confidence or skills to discuss the warning signs when they first show up? Learn assertiveness and how to set appropriate boundaries. Just as you learn how to play a piano or drive a car, take time to learn how to communicate, speak up when necessary, or for some of us, to tone down a notch or two so we can listen and honestly hear what someone else is trying to tell us. If you can’t shake a relationship, try to set aside blaming the other and dig down deep to discover what the other person is trying to teach you about yourself.

Difficult circumstances hold a precious insight.

The more often a type of problem occurs, the more certainty that something you do or think needs to change. Learn the lesson so that those experiences will stop knocking on your door. Repeated patterns of problems are a template you have created and held onto stubbornly. Honestly assess what you do that reinforces those situations and commit to changed behavior. This will necessitate changing your beliefs, and there is nothing the human being loves more than their beliefs.

Beliefs are not truths. If they were, the Earth would still be flat.

People burned others at the stake to defend that belief which mass consciousness held dear. There are thousands of similar examples throughout history. What are you doing that is killing your joy, in order to protect false beliefs that don’t intuitively ring true?

Where you are right now is an amazing place to be.

How we interact with “now” determines how we experience it. We carry our “stuff” with us wherever we go. Changes in relationships, geographical location, new cars, different house, or fresh employment will continue to reflect back the same circumstances until and unless we let go of our “stuff”.

Hint: you can’t reason away stuff. All the information in the world won’t change a thing until you change yourself. Being who you have always been will guarantee a life like you’ve always had. If that life no longer fits, let it go and create new options.

You hold amazing strengths and wisdom within.

It’s time to let them out; set them free. Over the years I’ve mentored hundreds of people seeking to reach their personal potential. When people realize a new level of understanding, they proclaim. “I suspected that all along. I just wasn’t listening.” The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we aren’t worthy. We aren’t enough. We fail too often. Other people have a better life, do things better, and in comparison, we can’t measure up.

You weren’t born to waste this life; you were born to expand through new insights.

Hint: You win at the game of life by accumulating Insight tokens.

Choose to step up to your potential.

Stop wimping through life; you’re worth more than that. When you start validating yourself, you’ll find others stepping up to walk with you. Stand tall, get a grip on yourself, and go for it.

It’s your life. Lead it like you mean it. It’s what you came to do.

More Ellie posts on “Change”:

Whose Life Do  You Manage?

Help! I’m Stuck – 6 Steps to Breaking Free

Let Your Intuition Decide

Stop the Victim Act – You Aren’t Your Trauma

Hanging on to Who I Used to Be

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)

Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey.


Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review:… This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest…” more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Tomato Cake – Outside the Box

Of course you didn’t wake up this morning wanting a recipe to make a chocolate cake with pureed tomatoes. No one does.

But when you open your refrigerator to find three beautiful home-grown tomatoes discussing the possibility of starting a community mold garden, you give thought. How to stop this? Is the mold usable? Do you dare tell your delightful friend, and your loving daughter and son-in-law, that you didn’t get around to enjoying the fruits of their hard-earned gardening labor soon enough? No!

You stretch your mind to think outside the box. The dessert box. You know that one food always wins you favor in your household. Chocolate cake. Hmmm … could you, would you, should you … consider making this with tomatoes? And while you are at it – what about that cucumber-half remaining from last night’s salad? Yes! You will be brave! You will think outside the cake-mix box. You will invent “Chocolate Tomato with a Hint of Cucumber Cake!”

Of course someone online undoubtedly already came up with it, but you’re going to do this on-your-own. If zucchini substitutes for apples in an applesauce bread recipe, why won’t tomatoes and cucumber do the same? And if you successfully did that very substitution with cucumbers last week, but you hanker for chocolate today, can’t you just add cocoa and a tad more sugar to compensate for the bitterness?

chocolate cake with cherry tomatoes on white plate

Chocolate Tomato Cake. Made with *einkorn flour, but you can use all-purpose wheat flour as well.

Okay, I did sneak a look online to find several spice cakes that included tomato soup as a sneaky ingredient. In my kitchen I give myself permission to substitute pureed tomatoes for the soup. Yes! Today I will substitute pureed tomatoes for tomato soup, substituting that for applesauce, toss in a chunk of left-over cucumber, while simultaneously researching the effects of blending in baking cocoa just for the heck of it.

It worked! If it had not, I would not be writing this post. So … here you go!

Chocolate Tomato Cake

(with a hint of cucumber which can be omitted)

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz pureed, seeded tomatoes

(I added a 2-inch chunk of peeled cucumber as part of the 10 oz.)

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use organic Spectrum all-veggie shortening)
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour*

*see guidance below if you prefer to use einkorn flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Puree veggies, water, sugar, shortening, eggs together.
  • Pour into mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients.
  • Mix well. Pour into 9×13 cake pan (or can use 8×8 for a deeper cake)
  • Bake 350F degrees for 30-35 min or until cake is done.

To test, insert a toothpick into center of cake. If it pulls out clean, it’s done. If it pulls out with batter or sticky goo on it, it needs baked longer. Try 5 minutes.

  • Frost as desired.
choc tomato cake, close up

Cherry tomatoes from friends next door. Pureed tomatoes (hidden in cake) from friend down the alleyway and my kids across town.

*If use einkorn flour:

add 5 Tablespoons fine-ground flax-meal. When mixing final ingredients, allow batter to sit 5 minutes for moisture to soak into einkorn, then beat again briefly for a final mix.

This cake is moist, flavorful, and totally delicious!

I made mine with *einkorn flour. But it should also work with standard all-purpose wheat flour.

Change Your Life Menu: 

Why not step out of your normal life menu to try change? Add a new flavor to your life. Get out of the box. Investigate another way. Consider alternative options.  Make new choices. Experiment to find out else what can happen. Rotate ninety-degrees and try another route. Change the scenery. Make a new friend. Find something of interest in every-day events. Set your own mood for a day and stick with it.

Remember that you are an energetic expression of possibilities and make choices from that perspective. Life the life you want to live. Be the person you want to be. Something “more” is calling to you – step out of your comfort zone to meet it.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)


Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey


Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

 

 

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Sharing Concerns or Complaining?

Today I found myself complaining about people who constantly complain! Whoops! Prompted me to sort it out with writing …

What is the difference between “sharing a concern” and “constant complaining”?

After observing my own behavior and working with clients who are willing to change, as well as those who are not, I’ve reached some conclusions:

Sharing a Concern is:

1. Discussing a situation or problem with another person or group of persons with integrity, who will consider and discuss it with me so I gain insight.

2. Venting frustration with another person or group of persons with integrity, who listen patiently, control rolling their eyeballs, and allow me to get it out of my system. If they share my concern and we trust each other, we mutually vent – one time – and then let it go. In this process, as I listen to my own verbal vomiting, I hear my self-talk and gain insight into my own thinking as well as possible solutions to the situation.

3. After sharing the concern, I consider actions I can take to improve the situation, and set about doing things in a new way to resolve the issue. ‘Nuff said. I get on with it.

Once we decide on an action to apologize, resolve, heal, or clarify an issue, we re-gain control. We shift from being a victim to being in charge of life again.

Constant Complaining is:

1. Constantly complaining – to anyone who will listen. It’s my problem and I want company. Misery loves company. The more of us that can gripe together, the more justified we all feel and the more intensively we can suffer together.

2. Gossip. Telling anyone and everyone what is wrong. The more dramatic I can make it sound, the better.

3. Find others who will side with me to justify my opinion. While I may be confident I am in the right on an issue, soliciting others to side with me disrupts the workplace, family, or community.

4. Avoid self-examination. I don’t want to consider how I might have contributed to the situation because it’s too painful or scary to consider changing my beliefs, emotional defense system, actions, or summoning up the courage to apologize.

5.Complaining is a pattern many of us don’t realize we have. We think it is our right to speak up when things go wrong, yet if we consistently have problems in life, with no pleasant reprises, there is something we do that contributes toward it.

A victim complains. A victor shares with discrimination.

One of the most challenging, inspiring and insightful practices I’ve ever done is to focus on not criticizing, condemning, or complaining. I’m the first to admit I still have lots of work in this area. The recent election pushed my buttons constantly. The moment I think I’ve got this down pat, life offers me another situation to practice.

What we focus upon expands. If I focus on everything wrong in life, that’s all I see. If I focus on the best in life, that is what I see.

Our thoughts and expectations create a vibration signature. If I’m not attracting the situations and people I want in my life, it’s up to me to shift my vibration. How? I become the type of person I want to attract. This works.

Ah hah! Just as I suspected. The person I most need to work on is me.

“Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life; Lead it!” 

Follow this Cosmic Gathering blog to automatically receive future posts! (click on the blue in the right-hand column on this page)


Ellie Hadsall is an author and director of Cosmic Gathering, dedicated to unconditional support for your transformational journey


Ellie’s Latest Book: PATHWALKER  (see side bar —–>)

Review: … This is the BEST non-fiction book I have read in years. I could not put it down! The story is super engaging, Eleni, the main character, is so wise and inspiring. The story of a community based on deep respect, for the earth, for nature, and for each other, gives me hope in these times of corruption, chaos and extreme unrest… more reviews


Ellie Note: Any ads inserted below this article are advertisements selected by WordPress to support their free blogs, which I fully appreciate. The ads do not necessarily represent me or my works.

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