Friday, June 22, 2012


A post or two ago I shared the story of the past several years of my life and the impact and influence they have had on my life as it is today.  I want to update that because I woke up today with a tremendous feeling of well being, connectedness and feeling like I know who I am and what I need.  I woke up HAPPY and GRATEFUL!  I had a fantastic day yesterday interacting, pretty randomly, with people. People I did not know.  It was great.  I love to talk and yesterday I met a person at the bus stop and another at a coffee shop that also, apparently, like to chat up strangers.  The older guy at the bus stop asked me if I was religious because I said "thank god" twice referring to a specific event.  I told him I was not religious and he looked me right in the eyes and said "Buddhist?" To this I smiled and responded yes actually I do practice  Buddhism.  He said he could tell.  Hmmmm, ok.  I took that as a compliment.  Then at the coffee shop before work I met a young woman who was very interesting.  We spoke about nutrition, one of my favorite topics, cooking, kids and food and our spiritual practices.  I am not to sure how we ended up discussing our practices but it was a lovely conversation.  She is Jewish by choice and we shared a few things that drew us to our practices.  Both of us said the same things...a feeling of connectedness with ourselves, other people and living beings and with whatever the source is inside of us.  I told her a phrase we use that I LOVE and that for me sums it all up beautifully;  "The Buddha in me honors the Buddha in you". 
Then I was off to work.  I have 2 "jobs".  I put the word jobs in quotes because I love doing these jobs.  I work at them, last night I was exhausted, but it is work I enjoy and feel satisfied doing.  I would not have imagined that at almost 40 years old with a college degree I would be doing what I am doing now for the pay I am receiving but, you know what, I love it, it makes me happy and I am learning.  How many people making making bigger bucks can say that about the jobs they go to 5 days a week, 8 or more hours per day????  I enjoy my work, my money, my life.  I do not stress out that it is not enough.  I live accordingly, and very well.  Things do not define me.  I want experiences not stuff.  I am not preaching that I do not long to posses certain material things.  I do and I will get them when I am supposed to.  I will not work for anything other than my well being and the well being of others.  That is what this life is about.   I do believe that when we keep an open mind, open heart and open eyes we do not have to do so much work to be happy and feel taken care of.  An open mind and open heart bring on amazing experiences, some good and some not so much but each with a lesson.  Today I am feeling fulfilled and grateful and I am so amazed to be saying this because in a few weeks it will be the 2 year mark of my husband's passing.  I miss him and think of him everyday, every minute of everyday.  I also realize that it is because of him that I have the life I have now and feel that this life is one I share with him always so I intend to make the most of the time I have left.  I have that written and hanging next to my bedroom door so that I can read that everyday as a reminder.    What makes you happy?  It needs to come from within first.  If you can make yourself smile then you can pass it on to others.  Give yourself and others that gift!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pizza, my way

I have yet to meet a person that does not like pizza.  I love it.  I especially love my pizzas.  They are pretty much the same except for variances in the crusts.  I do not make my own crusts.  I have never had luck making much from scratch that required a dough other than cookies.  So my pizzas are experiments with different things like pita rounds and organic ready made pizza doughs.  I have had great luck with both.  I tend to prefer thin crust so pita rounds are my favorite choice but if I am in a carb craving mood I buy a ready made pizza dough and essentially make, what I consider to be, pizza bread because I can never get it rolled out thin.

Choose your crust
spread with a tomato paste (preferably one with no added sugar like the Whole Foods 365 brand)
Sprinkle a generous amount of Oregano
chop 3-4 cloves garlic and spread them evenly
Slice a small yellow or red onion and lay the rings out (to taste)
crumble black olives(to taste)
Slice one large Roma tomato and lay the slices on top

Preheat your oven.  I like to line a round cookie sheet with natural parchment paper for the baking.  Easy clean up!
Bake per pizza dough instructions or for the pita rounds at 350 for about 15 minutes.
Slice and serve with Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over the entire slice and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.

I prefer this so much to adding cheese which you can do but give it a shot with the olive oil. 
Artichokes, mushrooms, pineapple, spinach, etc. make great additional toppings.