Life Visited

Life is a funny thing.  You are taught values, morals, ethics, right vs wrong, and the way of your family all as a child but when you become an adult you start to find your own way.  As kids, typically, your parents teach you family is what you have.  As an adult we start learning that family is those around us that support us and are actively in our lives.  This causes a struggle as adults trying to balance life between careers, family, extended family and friends.  Do we really need this struggle?  Shouldn’t we just follow what our hearts tell us and not be so worried for everyone’s approval?

Recently I lost my mom to a long cancer battle.  And I have a lot of great and wonderful memories with her and she taught me a lot.  I also have realized as an adult I have to have my own beliefs that make me whole.  As the family gathered and we went through all the normal stages I sat back and watched as my family unraveled.  Then I thought wow, this is my family and has always been my family.  They disagree, fight, get mad, don’t communicate well and are very negative.  When a family is going through a death this is all a recipe for a toxic environment.  I wondered why aren’t we lifting each other up and helping each other through this.  This brought me to thinking about growing up and all the things our mom taught us.  She taught me to be kind to people, she use to tell me to kill them with kindness.  She taught me to work hard and climb the ladder of success by showing my skills not kissing butts or being underhanded.  We grew up poor, we had no privileges. She owned a business and worked full time at nights.  We all had jobs at 15, bought our own cars, paid our own way and met the struggles of life head on.  Now as adults we have all gone our own way and found our own families yet we still hang on to each other.  The way we hang on to each other can be toxic though.  We don’t listen to what the others are truly getting out of life.  We aren’t present enough to get to know each other therefore when we are together it is a negative interaction with everyone thinking their way is the right way and getting mad or hurt when it doesn’t go their way.  We forget that life isn’t fair.  Life can’t be all about participation trophies and giving away what we earned.  On the other hand though we do need compassion and patience with others and an understanding it’s okay for us to have different wants, paths and beliefs.  It’s okay to listen and not voice a negative opinion and its okay for the flow to change in order to accommodate others as well.  My mom valued family and wanted nothing more than her children to all be best friends but in reality we all have separate lives.  When we all put aside our differences and just be present in each other’s lives we see the value in each other and just may learn something cool about each other that we didn’t know.

I have found that my family has changed now that I am half way thru my adulthood.  My family has become more of the friends that are in my life consistently and the ones that take the time to call, well text because who actually calls anyone any more, and just says hey what are up to today or ask how something went.  To keep those members as family we have to reciprocate with doing the same thing.

I want to remind everyone to just be present in each other’s lives. Don’t forget to stop, slow down and take time to say hey how’s it going today and really listen to those that you love and that love you back be it blood family or those friends that have become family.  Before you know it those loved ones could be gone and you are left pondering if you did enough to be present in their life.

Bright Blessings

Ruby DragonLily

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Adventures in eating…

We tend to go thru our daily lives eating typically the same things.  Sometimes we reach outside the norm and try something new but overall we stick to the same types.  What happens when your life choices have to change because you are diagnosed with an allergy?  That is an allergy against meats and dairy and anything from a pig, cow or mammal.  Which for a vegetarian or vegan this may seem like a win win but for a daily meat eater this can make your life a little topsy turvy.  
This has happened to a close family member and watching them go thru it is tough. It did lead me down a road of research to what really does come from an animal and how much do we really know about where items come from?  Such as the thickener gelatin is made from animal collagen and even Benadryl has animal byproducts added to it and whey comes from dairy.  Let’s spend some time covering some of these items over the next few writings.
In the meantime…

Bright Blessings,

Ruby DragonLily

Adventures in eating…

We tend to go thru our daily lives eating typically the same things.  Sometimes we reach outside the norm and try something new but overall we stick to the same types.  What happens when your life choices have to change because you are diagnosed with an allergy?  That is an allergy against meats and dairy and anything from a pig, cow or mammal.  Which for a vegetarian or vegan this may seem like a win win but for a daily meat eater this can make your life a little topsy turvy.  
This has happened to a close family member and watching them go thru it is tough. It did lead me down a road of research to what really does come from an animal and how much do we really know about where items come from?  Such as the thickener gelatin is made from animal collagen and even Benadryl has animal byproducts added to it and whey comes from dairy.  Let’s spend some time covering some of these items over the next few writings.
In the meantime…

Bright Blessings,

Ruby DragonLily

Life Thought

     ​Normally I talk about food and nature type subjects.  The busy summer I have had brings me to write about something more personal, family and friends.  We are thrown into a family and raised based on how our parents are taught through their families and through society.  As we grow older some realize that one’s beliefs may or may not follow suite with how they are raised.  At that point happiness should come into play.  That is when we pick our friends and in some cases we call them our family as well.  Not everyone follows this ritual, some stay closer to family and beliefs that others.  Is this okay?  The old saying does say we pick our friends not our family.  But then again what defines family?

This year I have learned that, for me, the path I am heading down is the right one for my happiness.  In my mid 40’s I have had a great career in upper management that I worked hard to achieve and maintain (coming from a poor single parent family), own my home/property, have a great husband, lead a relative healthy lifestyle that keeps me and my family out of the Dr’s office and no meds and reflecting back that I truly am happy.  How many can actually say that in this crazy world these days?  If you can’t should you take time to reflect on what actually makes you happy?  Afterall, everyone does deserve a chance to be happy.

    Between a close family member receiving a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, other members of my family just being power hungry and controlling and others just seeming to only exist instead of live it has all gotten me thinking this year as to what is important in life!  

For me, what is important is living and being happy for me.  If those power hungry and controlling family members can’t ‘chill out’ long enough to even know what is going on in my life then maybe they don’t need to fully be in my life.  Maybe the ones just wanting to exist don’t know what direction they want to go in but does that need to affect my path?  This is a tricky subject.  On one hand my caring loving nature wants to help and save everyone, especially from themselves but on the other hand I want to think of my own well being and how those energy sucking vampires steal my happy.  

So in my mid 40’s I have stepped back to reflect.  I don’t need to shut those unhappy people out of my life but I don’t have to save them either.  In the end making sure myself and my immediate family that lives in my household are happy and healthy is what matters, they are my future.

With that life should not be a race or competition with anyone, you should always take a few minutes to know something personal about someone so you can ask them about it the next time you talk to or see them but overall find your family, aka friends, that are of your like mindedness and hold them dear.  When I grow old I want those people that just say hey what’s up to be around me not the ones with hidden agendas that they may not even realize they have yet.

I no longer have time in my life for stupid drama, power hungry people, competition or BS.  My life is filled with, by choice, silliness, happiness, time to smell the roses and making my own way how I want to make it.  If you don’t agree with my way that is just fine, you don’t have to agree, you only have to understand it’s okay for everyone to be on a different path and still get a long.

I leave you all with this today.  Find your happy and hold on to it!  We make our own lives what we want them to be and no one can stop that but you.

Bright Blessings,

Ruby DragonLily

Chemical free living

Chemical free living is something dear to my heart.   Why chemical free?  Our bodies are organic in a sense so why would we introduce chemicals into them?  It is the only body we get in this lifetime so in my opinion why not take care of it the best you can.

For 7 years our lifestyle has changed, for the better.  We are in our mid 40’s and healthy and on no medications.  To achieve this we took the path of being chemical free.  

Cooking from scratch, cutting out sugar and processed foods, changing our cleaners and overall changing our lifestyle.  This has to be one of the best decisions we have made.

We have more energy, more motivation and have a more fulfilled life. Why did we make these changes?

Cancer, high blood pressure and other health issues run in my family.  If there is any way I can lessen the chance of having these issues then I want to take it.  This means eating fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, less meat and less sugar.  All these things become habits over time and in the end when someone tries to get you to eat a sugar laden cookie, where the sugar falls off it, you cringe and say no thank you because you know it is going to taste like crap. When you eat poor quality meats and vegetables they are usually tasteless compared to their organic counterparts.

So my challenge to everyone is to take a month and change your habits.  Do this with an open mind and eat nothing but fresh vegetables and fruits and less meat for a month straight and then see how you feel.  Make changes also in your drink habits.  Instead of a sports drink go all natural with plain water or try a Bai coconut fusion www.drinkbai.com.  After a month of making some changes you’ll develop new senses for new foods.  You’ll realize real organic foods taste better and make you feel better  There is nothing like a good organic heirloom tomato or an organic banana!  Go for true taste not a processed taste that is basically just salt and sugar.

Now that you have cleaned up your foods we can work on other tid bits such as if you have a headache gently rub some real peppermint oil on your temples to relieve the headache.  Or a tablespoon of local raw honey a day will help keep allergies at  bay.  Follow my blog for more information on living clean.

Live Clean!

Bright Blessings

Ruby DragonLily 

Bath and Shower Tea

Teas are a big part of our life so how about expanding that to our bath and shower routines?!?  If you need a little pick me up in your morning shower a spearmint sachet hanging from the shower head with the water running on it will help jump start the day.  Eucalyptus will help relieve those cold and flu symptoms. So either way you go your morning will start off extra great.

At the end of the day when you want to let the water wash away all the stress by soaking in a tub of water, throw in a bath tea to help relax.  Some Chamomile, Rosemary,  Passion flower or lavender can help wind you down and get you ready for a peaceful evening or a night of good sleep.

What are you waiting for…Pick up some small muslin drawstring bags, add a tablespoon of sea salt and two or three tablespoons of your favorite dried herb and tie it tight.  Either let it hang on the faucet so the water can run over it or if taking a bath just throw it in and let it float around.

Happy Bathing, Live Clean!

Bright Blessings,

Ruby DragonLily

via Daily Prompt: Tea

 

Raw Summer Meals

We are past the middle of summer and it has been a busy one.  With the hot temperatures we are experiencing in my neck of the woods I will say the dinner menu has been all over.  With that though we have not been eating hot cooked meals.  With produce plentiful right now you can eat healthy, hearty and cheap.  The Farmer’s Market’s are full of farmers selling their wares so you can pick up your in season produce and handmade items.  

So what has been on our table this past few weeks?  Lots of vegetables, raw vegetables.

From eating raw corn, chilled tomatoes, slices of onions to raw peas and kolrabi we have eaten well without all the heat from the stove and oven.

We have not eaten a lot of meat this summer.  Meat has gotten expensive and really if you do the research the you can get plenty of protein from so many other sources that maybe it is fine if we cut some out of our diets.  Afterall our teeth are not built to be omnivores 🙂 Not to say we haven’t eaten meat because yes we BBQ’d burgers and brats with friends and 2 different camp outs this month which did give us leftovers.  

If you hold a corn on the cob on end and run a nice down it to cut off the kernels, into a bowl, and then chop up some tomatoes, onions, maybe jalapeno peppers if you like a little spice, get a good hard cheese that you can cut up into really small cubes, then add a smidge of something like a white wine vinegar and a couple tablespoons of a nice oil such as grapeseed or olive or sunflower and mix it all up really well.  This is a nice base for raw corn salad.  If you need a little more calories add some baked bread with a little peanut butter and/or honey to it or maybe some bread with a butter and garlic spread on to it.  If you really want to mix things up use this base and add it to taco shells, squeeze a little lime on it and add a little salsa and sour cream!  It is yummy!!  I also added broccoli cut up really small  to it for a change.  Use your imagination with your vegetables and think outside the norm! Most can be eaten raw and are actually better for you raw. In this heat eating light is better for you.  

It hasn’t been all about vegetables though.  We have eaten our share of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, all fruit night, cracker and cheese night and other great things that usually are snack but grew into a meal.

For all fruit night I cut up whatever fruit we have in the house.  That usually consist of something like oranges, bananas, peaches, watermelon, berries etc. I put it all in a bowl and set out some crackers, not just any crackers though. Crackers that are bought from a local bakery and full of flavor!  This meal was very satisfying to my husband as he just got home from a 14 hour day at work as a maintenance technician and it was 100 degrees out and the last thing he wanted was a heavy hot meal.  Cracker and cheese night is fun because I pick a few different cheeses, hard and soft, from the local grocery store that has a cheese bar. Now I know you are thinking oh my that is expensive but you shop their odds and ends baskets and you get smaller hunks and most run between a $1 and $5.  I pick up a couple different crackers or make some homemade and usually cut up some onion and Jalapeno peppers and tomatoes to go on top too.  Put it all out on plates and it’s an let them assemble their own.  For the rest of the summer think outside the box on what you are serving and try keeping it light and seeing how you feel.

Take in plenty of water and if you need to replace those electrolytes drink an ice cold coconut water instead of sports drinks.   A good coconut water doesn’t have the sugar and salt/sodium sports drinks have and remember there are several brands out there so try a few and not just one.  Our favorite is the Bai, https://www.drinkbai.com/bai-cocofusion Their cocofusions are great, I am partial to the lime but we buy a multi pack box from Sam’s Club each week.  

Live Clean, Eat Well and be happy!

Bright Blessings

Ruby DragonLily