Healing

Healing.

Healing
begins
with
gratitude,
compassion,
and
love.

 

At the urging of one of my besties, I watched a Netflix documentary called “HEAL.”  HEAL takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our health and ability to heal. The latest science reveals that we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis. The fact is we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe. This film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all. HEAL not only taps into the brilliant mind’s of leading scientists and spiritual teachers, but follows three people on actual high stakes healing journeys.

I was highly and very personally impacted by this film on many levels – emotional, physical, and spiritual.  I thought of friends struggling with cancer and chronic disease and the various issues I live with.  I thought of my childhood and how parental relationships have affected my life.  I thought about the power of prayer and my spiritual beliefs.  I will be thinking about this for a while, and I am so glad I watched it.

Have any of you seen it?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Keep Searching

Snowy Rose of Sharon Seed Pods March 2018 Mars PA

Snowy Rose of Sharon Seed Pods March 2018 Mars PA

Keep Searching.

Some days
we have to

look a lot
harder

to find
the beauty.

But it
is there.

Keep
searching.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

PS.  I watched a documentary yesterday that touched me deeply – Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.  It was recommended by an art blogger friend, Ann Christina, from Germany.  It also won an Academy Award this year for Best Documentary Short Subject.  It is a story of mental illness, depression, love, and the healing power of art.

Mindy Alper is a tortured and brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression have caused her to be committed to mental institutions, undergo electro shock therapy, and survive a 10-year period without the ability to speak. Her hyper self-awareness has allowed her to produce a lifelong body of work that expresses her emotional state with powerful psychological precision. Through interviews, reenactments, the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mache’ bust of her beloved psychiatrist, and examining drawings made from the time she was a child, we learn how she has emerged from darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and support.

I watched this on YouTube and originally shared the link, but then found that it was removed from YouTube for a copyright infringement.  I hope you have a chance to find and see this touching film.  If anyone can let us know via comment where it is available to view, I would appreciate.

Dear Music

Dear Music,

Thank you for lifting my spirits.
Thank you for reminding me of sweet memories.
Thank you for speaking to me when all other words fail.

Thank you for making me dance – even if only in my heart.
Thank you for making me sing – even if off key.
Thank you for taking me places I might never go.

Thank you for expressing the inexpressible.
Thank you for your healing power.
Thank you for letting me hear the voices of angels.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Old-Fashioned Homemade Chicken Soup for Beginners

When I have a head cold, nothing makes me feel better than the smell and taste of good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup.

So when my throat started aching, nose started running, cough began croaking, ears felt like they were stuffed with cotton, and head began pounding this week, I knew I had to get a pot of soup on.

Not only does the smell comfort me and remind me of Grandma’s house and love, but the steam clears up the stuffed nose and the warm broth soothes my sore throat.

When other foods lose their flavor when your head is congested, nothing tastes as good as homemade chicken soup.

If you are a beginner cook, I hope you will find this recipe easy to follow.  It is made from staple ingredients I almost always have in my kitchen, and though it takes a couple hours to simmer,  you can throw it together quickly and forget about it during that time – enjoying the aroma and anticipation of comfort.

Here is how I make it.

Old-Fashioned Homemade Chicken Soup for Beginners

  • Servings: approx. 12
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (I like to use Trader Joe’s Frozen Organic Boneless & Skinless Chicken Breasts)
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 sticks celery cut into 4-5 inch pieces
  • 1 cup shortcut carrots
  • 5-6 tsp. chicken soup base (I like Bell-View)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 large sweet onions, halved
  • 1/4  cup fresh chopped parsley (or 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
  • 1 Tbsp ground pepper
  • 12 oz. pkg Kluski egg noodles (I like Pennsylvania Dutch brand)

Directions:

Place frozen chicken breasts in large soup pot.  Cover with 12 cups cold water.  Add celery, carrots, chicken base, whole garlic cloves, onions, parsley, and pepper.  Cover and bring to a rolling boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer with lid tilted slightly so it is not tight fitting, but allows steam to escape.  Simmer for approximately 2 hours or until broth level reduces 1/2 – 1 inch.  You can tell this by looking at the side of the pot where a line will be formed where soup started.  This will allow the broth to build depth of flavor.

When soup is almost done, boil noodles in a separate pot, cooking 2-3 minutes less than directions.  Drain and rinse well with cold water.  Set aside.

When soup broth is done, pour through strainer into a larger pot.  The broth will go into the pot, and the chicken and vegetables will remain in the strainer.

When cool enough to handle, chop chicken and vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  Add back to broth, then add drained and rinsed noodles.   Stir to incorporate all.

Your soup is now ready to enjoy.  This soup keeps well for up to a week in the refrigerator and also freezes well.

Beginner’s sidenotes/tips:  You can certainly use a whole chicken or chicken parts, but it is a lot more work to clean the chicken from the bone, and remove the skin and fat after cooking to cut up for the soup.  Using chicken breasts also eliminated the need to allow the broth to cool and fat to rise to top to skim off as there is little to no fat in the chicken breasts.  Chicken breasts also allow for a heartier soup with big chunks of tender chicken.  Buying a better grade and organic chicken will give you better flavor and better food value.  I’ve found with cheaper brands of chicken, there is fat and gristle that needs removed as well as ligaments that need cut out.

You can certainly use whole raw carrots, but the convenient short-cut carrots save the need for peeling and cutting down carrots into manageable pieces.

While dried herbs are always good to have on hand in a pinch, nothing will make your recipes better than using fresh herbs.  Fresh parsley as opposed to dried will really add a whole new sophisticated level to your soup.

Always cook your noodles separately, and drain and rinse well in cold water.  This will remove the starch that cooks off the pasta from being in your soup and “muddying up” the broth’s texture and flavor.  Rinsing in cold water will stop the “cooking” that still continues in food like pasta while it is still hot.

Cook noodles 2-3 minutes less than directions say to avoid soggy, mushy noodles in your soup.  As they sit in the soup, they will soften and plump even more, so no need to over-cook.

Do not add oil or salt to the noodles when boiling.  There is plenty of salt in the soup base that will make the broth.  It is almost impossible to “unsalt” soup, but additional salt can always be added for individual taste or preference.  If you over-salt, add more water to broth or consider boiling a whole peeled potato in the broth.  The potato will absorb some of the salt.  You can then throw the potato out, hopefully salvaging your broth.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Sticks and Stones

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Sticks and Stones…
can break our bones.
But bones can heal.

Words…
can harm us deeply.
And they can be hard to heal from.

As I looked at this photo I took last week
of a charming old building made of stone
and covered with twisted, tangled sticks,

it reminded me of the old childhood adage
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me.”

And I realized how absurd that is…

I have suffered through
my share of broken bones in my life,
but they have healed.

There are words, however,
that have been spoken
that have changed my life forever.

Choose your words carefully…
Consider their power.
Words can seriously hurt.

But also know
words have the power
to love and heal.

They have the power
to build up
rather than tear down.

They have the power
to create positive change
now and forever.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Reflecting…

Geneva on the Lake Rocks at Sunset 07 2016

Geneva on the Lake, OH – Rocks at Sunset – Summer 2016

Reflecting on the day
And contemplating life

A kaleidoscope of color
Evoking variegated memories

Discovering along the way
Acquiescent acceptance

Sometimes distancing ourselves
to ultimately save ourselves

Healing comes in waves
Crashing, splashing, breaking

Sometimes hitting the rocks
Other times reflecting the light

Remembering to pause
Remembering to cherish

Time spent reflecting
Time spent sharing

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi