For the Love of a Mango, and how to cut one the French way

It only seems appropriate that I would write a poem about mangos.

Every day, I go out, for a “mango Check” to see if any have dropped from the trees.  They are all too high too reach this far in the season, even with a tall mango picker.

I have to get them before the birds do.

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There are many native birds here that love mangoes as much as I do, I’m afraid.

My grandson and I have agreed to leave some out for the birds to clean up.

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For the Love of Mangos                                 by Lorna Erickson

mangos, mangos falling from the trees

Swaying, swaying in the tropical breeze

Honey flavored juices

calling out to meet

Communing with the elements

savoring the sweet

Singing a story of ancient lullabies

Sharing a meal with fine feathered friends

Enough to go around

shading and protecting

Mangos, mangos a Heavenly delight!

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I was in the Virgin Island of Tortola, when I first learned the French way to cut a mango.

I was visiting my ex-boyfriend there.

It’s a long story, and kind of a sad tale, but also very romantic.

He cut the mango for me the way that I will show you.  He called it the “French cut” and we ate the single squares of mango right from the skin, juices running all down our chins.

It was lovely!

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How to French Cut a Mango

  1. First you will want to find the dimple.  Every mango has one. IMG_3967
  2. Turning the dimple to the side and facing the widest part of the mango you will center your knife at the top, and slice straight down. ( this avoids cutting into the seed)
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    dimple is on the side

    Each half will be all flesh, no seed.  Make criss cross cuts forming small squares., cutting all the way through and stopping before you cut through the skin. IMG_3969

  3. After cuts are made, you can flip the skin to push the squares outward.  IMG_3976
  4. You can eat it right from the skin at this point, or slice off the squares into a bowl.
  5. The middle is all that remains with the seed intact.  You can trim off the skin, and eat or cut around the seed.  IMG_3977
  6. I usually hold it over the sink as it is really juicy. IMG_3979
  7. You can eat it alone, in a smoothie, or with your favorite fruits and yogurts.  Salsas, chutneys, and jams are another option.

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    Banana, Mango, Blueberries, Maple yogurt and Cinnamon

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    Fresh Mango

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  9. Last Years Mango and Banana Harvest
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30 Days of Gratitude….Day 13….

What do we really have control of in our lives?

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In writing about ” what is a Cottage Necessity”, I’ve emphasized being in control or being the Boss of what comes into your home.

We have a certain amount of control over what we put into our  bodies.

Unless, we grow our own food, we don’t have control over how it’s grown or how it’s packaged or transported and handled.

We do have the ability to research, read labels, and choose what chemicals go into our bodies.

We only have control in our choosing.

We can choose our friends,

how we clean our homes

what to wear

the furniture we sit on

the food we eat

the water we drink

what to watch on TV

how we spend our day

We can choose our thoughts and our words

We can choose our perception of a situation

When making a choice are we basing our choices on wisdom, reason, feeling?

How many decisions do we make out of fear?

To fight or flight?

Is that the only question, because most of our choices are based on our survival instincts pressing us to act?

Only through finding our inner stillness and developing it and nurturing it through daily practices, meditation, prayer and rituals that connect us, ground us in our presence and to our earth mother, will we be able to connect with our higher truths, and make our choosing based on centered intuitive guidance.

We can listen to our bodies when after we’ve eaten something how it makes us feel.

After we’ve cleaned the floors, is my head stuffed up and a sick feeling in my stomach?

Animals naturally avoid things that are harmful to them because they’ve developed their instincts.

Praying over food and water helps to raise the vibration.

As a child, we prayed at every meal without understanding that.

That’s why this gratitude journey is so important as we practice prayers of gratitude for 30 days so that we can form a new habit and raise the vibration of our lives and our planet.

The more we act like we have control, the less we really have.

Today I choose to become wiser by realizing that I have control over nothing but my own perception.

I am a creator and choose inner stillness as my guiding light.

In gratitude, that there is a Divine plan greater than I could ever imagine, I release all of my misperceptions of a less than beautiful life.

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Today, find a corner in your home that needs brightening.

Bring in some fresh flowers.

Burn a salt lamp with some essential oils.

Add a pretty pillow or an uplifting picture.

Tell your home ” Thank you”.

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Every word you speak, every thought you think, is like a prayer that you call to the Universe.

Are you calling in what you want, or what you don’t want?

Today, when a negative thought enters my mind, I will replace it with a positive affirmative thought.

I can control my thoughts and what I ask for.

Dear Diary…Day 7…of the 27 things for 27 days countdown….

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It’s time to lift the veil!  Feng shui is more than most people may imagine.  It’s a matter of life and death.

I woke up earlier than usual this morning.  I feel like it’s time to take this clutter clearing business to the next level.  I feel like some people may not want to hear this, or even deal with this level.

We are such creatures of habit and have been schooled by the T.V. for the past 65 years or so.

I remember our first T.V. It had a rounded greenish screen enclosed in a wooden case on legs.  It was black and white.

Every Sunday, Dad would pick up a dozen donuts and we would head over to our cousins house, the kids riding in the back of the pick-up, to watch the Walt Disney Hour.

Until 7:30pm, when the show started, all of us cousins, 3 boys, 2 girls, and some of the neighbor kids, would play “Ditch”, where we formed teams and played “Hide and Seek” all up and down the street.

When the television marketers began to see what a valuable tool mass media could be in relationship to selling to a larger audience, and how the use of ads and commercials could influence Society’s buying decisions, a new monster was born.

All of that being said, even though I could go on and on, I really want to focus on the beliefs that have been hypnotically induced by advertisements and the media.

The beliefs in products that are advertised to make our lives better, that are in the long run, making our society sicker by bringing chemicals into our homes that cause all sorts of illness, foods that create tension, apathy, brain fog, and rob our bodies of energy while silently killing us, and causing diseases that are passed on to our future generations.

As people become more aware and stop using products and foods that are laden with chemicals that are robbing us of our ability to use our intuition by desensitizing our minds, our bodies , to our very own senses, our planet will begin to heal.  Our quality of life will return.

It’s time to return to our Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s ways.  The ways of living simply.

We’ve become frazzled consumers by trying to live up to some ideal, super human, type A lifestyle, where every thing is germ-free, over-saturated with chemicals, and full of uppers and downers just to cope with every day life.

I say, that’s what the “veil” is all about.  It’s keeping us distracted from who we truly are.

I’ve seen a lot of people in the last few years whose life has been turned upside down.

Whether it’s the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, a sudden change in a way of life through catastrophe, or health issues, the Universe is issuing a wake-up call.

And now is the time that we take the universe seriously.

It’s time we listen to the call that comes from the bees that are dying, to the whales and the dolphins who continue their mass beachings due to sonic testing and plastic pollution in our oceans.

This is a cottage necessity for our future generations.

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My Dear Cottage Mavens,

Here are some things that you can do today, this week, to bring more peace and stability into your homes and to help heal our planet.

  1. Go through your pantry and remove all processed foods or anything with chemicals that you cannot pronounce.
  2. Avoid shopping down the processed food isles in the grocery stores.
  3. Discard all toxic cleaning products, hazardous products,” perfumed ” products like heavily perfumed laundry soaps, fabric softeners, anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, etc.
  4. Think about the products you use every day and the long term investment in you and your family’s health.
  5. Do your deodorants contain aluminum?  Does your toothepaste contain Flouride?  Is your diet full of sugar?  ( these will dull your I.Q. and lead to Alzheimers and cancers).
  6. Aspartame which caused early death and tumors in rats is now in most candies, diet drinks, and anything artificially sweetened.
  7. High fructose corn syrup is genetically modified.  So is anything made with wheat, canola, and soy.  If it’s designed to kill bugs, it has to be killing our gut bacteria.
  8. Take a before and after picture of your self, and our housemates.  The inflammation and the bloating will decrease, as many allergies, headaches, aches and pains, depression, lethargy, just not feeling good will lift away.
  9. The agitation, the nervousness, the aches and pains in your body will start to leave as you return your body to it’s natural state of being .
  10. Your intuition will become more clear, your sense of smell will return, your eye sight may improve, and you’ll experience a state of well-being, which will carry you through every day occurences with more ease and resilience.
  11. Check your prescriptions for side effects, and look for natural alternatives.  Are you willing to sacrifice other areas of your well-being by taking these things into your body?

These are things that we cannot see or notice because they happen over a long period of time.

They are the silent killers that are the plagues in today’s society.  And they are being marketed to our children every day through the media.

Our homes are our sanctuaries.  We have control over what can come in and serve our greater well-being.

This is only a place to start as we educate ourselves, our families, and our friends.

So, start today.  This may be the biggest clutter clearing yet!

It’s time to lift the veil and live your Greatest Self!

Affirmation:  The divine Design of my life now comes to pass.  I now fill the place that I can fill and no one else can fill.  I now do the things which I can do and no one else can do.  Florence Scovill Shinn

Disclosure:  This article is not intended to offer medical advice or diagnose any illness.  Please consult your doctor.

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Ms. Peabody’s Old Fashioned Washing Powder

Combine –

1 cup Borax

1cup Arm and Hammer washing soda

1/2 cup grated castile soap

Use 2 small scoops or 2-3 Tblspoons per load of laundry.

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I got the above grater at Ikea, and the soap at the Meditteranean market.

 

Dear Diary…Day 17…of 27 things in 27 Days challenge…

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Today, as I continue to shred old papers, credit cards, and the endless sea of paper clutter, I think that it is high time to purify some of the spaces that I have managed to clear with a smudging and a blessing.

There are several ways to purify a space or do a Space Clearing, as Denise Linn has coined it.

Some people prefer burning Sage as it has many calming and energizing properties, and helps to send the negative energies on their way.

My daughter once pointed out to me, that at a gathering of her friends, someone lit some sage to scent and purify the room.  She noticed that the conversations grew more intimate and heart felt as the curling smoke wafted it’s way through the room.

 

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Sage bundles with Abalone shell

 

Sage bundles are readily available to purchase online, and in most health food stores.

After you have cleaned your room, light your sage, and carry it in a fire proof container.  You can use a wand of feathers, or your hand to wave over the sage as you walk through the room.  As you do this, think of all of the blessings that you would like this room, and the people dwelling here to experience.

The ground I am on is holy ground.  I now expand rapidly into the divine plan of my life, where all conditions are permanently perfect. Florence Scovill Shinn

If you would like to know my secret recipe for smudging, as not every one in my family loves the smokey air, read on…..

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This is my own personal recipe, that is non-toxic, and smells heavenly!

Here’s what you will need:

  1.  an empty glass spray bottle
  2. Rose water from the Meditteranean market. (costs about $2.50
  3. Orange blossom water from the same market.
  4. Essential oils, tangerine, lime, and cedarwood

Using a funnel pour into bottle to fill half way the rose water, then continue filling with the orange blossom water.  Sprinkle 10 drops each of Lime and Tangerine, and 5 drops of Cedarwood oils.  shake well

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There are other brands of the flower essence waters, but I have found these to be the most fragrant.  They are also edible, and can be used in puddings and cakes for flavoring. Yumm!

The floral essences are made by distilling the orange blossoms, or rose petals in water.  Natural aromas carry the Life force of the plant and bring the powerful energy of Nature into your home.  And these are non-toxic.  You can use them in place of commercial room sprays, as they are made from pure, natural ingredients.

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With the essence, you can play around and create your own, by using essential oils that you have on hand.  I do not recommend using Essential Oils in your food.

I also like to spritz this spray on my body as a wonderful Eau de Toilette!  It’s Heavenly!

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I just re-use the bottle.

I hope you try my recipe.  And if you don’t have the ingredients mentioned above, and you would like to perform a purifying ritual for your room, you can use filtered water with a little sea salt in it.  Even clapping every corner of the room, saying your prayers and blessings will work to bring in a beautiful cleansing energy.

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Please let me know how this worked for you.  And don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss a post!

You saw this blog post first on Cottage Necessities.

Cottage Necessities

 

 

Auntie Deelie’s Beach Cottage

 

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Guest Cottage

 

Home Tour

When you walk through the gate to Auntie Deelie’s Cottage, you’re welcomed with the intoxicating pleasures of plumeria and trumpet vine blossoms whispering through all of your senses.

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The experience causes one to slow down, linger a while, take it all in as Auntie quietly appears in the doorway.

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Auntie is more a name of affection given to this bright and lovely young woman who was grown and raised on the island of Oahu by her dad.  A salty old sailor and waterman, he taught Deelie all about the water, deep sea fishing, and paddle-boarding.

She was raised a Tom-boy, but is very much a feminine spirit, who can often be found sitting in lotus posture or standing in tree pose.  She has been practicing meditation for 15 years, and says that it has changed her life in the most profound ways.

 

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Pineapple, a sign of Welcome

 

Mom and I were invited over for lunch.  She put on a healthy spread, all prepared from scratch, with the most delicious Ginger Tonic of which I will share the recipe in this post.

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Remember when I was searching for “Hawaiiana” in a previous post?

Well, here is where I found it.

Deelie possesses an eye for design, effortlessly blending colors, patterns, and a love for Hawaii throughout her home.

 

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Living Room

 

We immediately felt relaxed and welcomed.

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Subtle use of color, and unmistakable island feel without kitsch or compromise.

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She was so gracious and agreed to let me snap a few photos to share on my blog.  She even let me peek in the bedrooms.

img_0610Her eye for mixing color, pattern, and style and attention to detail are evident.

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A calm, relaxed feel to every room…

An airy, open floor plan…  Aloha kekahi I kekahi – Love one another…

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allowing the outdoors, in…

I hope you enjoyed this House Tour.  Below, you will find Auntie Deelie’s Yummy Ginger Tonic Recipe.  Mahalo!

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Auntie Deelie’s Fresh Ginger Tonic

One large pot of filtered water

A few big chunks of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced in large pieces

Boil Ginger in pot full of water for 15 minutes

A Few scoops of Honey to taste

Let tonic cool down then

Squeeze one fresh lemon

Place in pitcher and refrigerate

Enjoy!

Waldorf Salad Wraps

As I am discovering new ways of eating, focusing on whole foods that are easily processed by the body, I was wondering what to do with that big bag of walnuts that was in the freezer.

I just love the taste of fresh apples with walnuts, and thought I might try a Waldorf Salad.  Would you believe it, that I could not find one recipe in the ten different cookbooks on the shelf?

I should have started looking on the internet, duh!?

I found a little about the history of the Waldorf Salad and a great, simple recipe at simplyrecipes.com.

And you know, I like just a few ingredients, and little prep time, and easy clean-up.

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Waldorf Salad Wraps

3 Tblsps Real Mayonnaise

1/2 squeezed lemon

1-3 red apples – cored and diced

3 stalks celery – diced

1 cup walnuts – toasted in 350degree oven for 15 minutes, then chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Romaine Lettuce

Mix all ingredients, except for lettuce, together.

Clean and pat dry several lettuce leaves to prepare for stuffing

Cut other half of lemon into wedges

You can also add golden raisins, or sliced seedless grapes, or a touch of cinnamon.

 

imageEnjoy!  What would you add to this to give it your own twist?

These would be great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Easy Pleasy Butternut Squash Soup

This is probably the easiest and one of the tastiest soups I have ever made.  Even a bachelor could pull this one off with aplomb! ( is that sexist?)

 

This is basically all you need besides water and salt.

1 Organic Butternut Squash

1 can of organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk ( use one cup if squash is small)

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Line your pan with foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit

Do not cut squash ( I gave up trying to cut a raw squash a long time ago), just wash the outside and remove the label.

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Bake for 40 – 60 minutes, or until knife is easily inserted and it feels soft inside.

imageRemove from oven, and cut it open.  I let mine cool a little before I removed the seeds.

Scoop out the squash.  Bundle the skin and the seeds into your foil for ease of carrying to the compost or the trash.

Put squash into blender

Add Coconut milk and 1-2 cups of filtered water ( no more than 3 cups of liquid Total) to the blender.

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Start the blender on slow

imageThen increase to high speed.  Be sure to have the lid on.

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Pour into bowls and enjoy!  The tempurature should be just right!

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Salt and Pepper to taste.  I like the Pink Hamalyan Sea Salt.

Serve with your favorite crackers.

imageIt’s light and tasty, sooo good for you, and very satisfying.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please sign up with your email so you don’t miss a post.  I love to hear your comments.  Do you like new recipes?  How would you do this one differntly?

The Best Salad Dressing Ever!

imageI wanted to share this recipe with you. It is packed with so much flavor.

Start with your favorite greens.

Baby Spinach, lettuce, etc.

1 avocado

1/2 minced red onion

flax or olive oil

1/2 squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of cashews

Himalayan Sea Salts ( to taste)

All Organic if possible

imageMince the garlic with the lemon juice in the mini chopper.

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Next add the flax oil to the chopper.  Put it all in a bowl.

imageNext mince the cashews.

 

Then put it all on the salad greens.

Toss well, and enjoy.

Let me know if you tried it.

All of these ingredients make a creamy flavorful dressing.  And it’s very filling and healthful.

This can be a meal in itsself or a favorite side dish. Enjoy!