mother earth and us

 

I‘ve been thinking about some of the postings on Facebook and Youtube by people obsessing over the negativity in the world. Many people are churning out videos trying to figure out who exactly is responsible for the mess, and some are asking what can be done to turn things around.

Definitely there are problems on our Planet. Mother Earth is disgusted with the way we have been abusing a beautiful Planet that gives us limitless resources for our well-being – a Planet we are completely dependent on for our lives. It’s insanity, is what Eckhart Tolle and Steve Taylor, and countless other people are saying. Is it true that we’re all insane to allow this to happen? – It does look that way, doesn’t it?

We have opinions about the people we think are responsible for causing the havoc, and we have a right to wonder and to know the who and why of it. Although believing this ‘n that and not having a course of action amounts to, well, – nothing.

There’s a sense of helplessness, even hopelessness, judging from the world-wide anxiety and depression. There are questions needing answers, for instance: There’s an abundance of food, but a lot of it is wasted; this being the case, how do we get it to the great numbers of people starving to death every day? And why so many wars? – the maiming, violence, killings, destruction. And why the ongoing raping of beautiful Mother Earth for the benefit of a few? And why the endless brands of packaged foods in supermarkets causing obesity and sickness? And why not transform our archaic educational system and replace it with what’s really relevant in terms of body mind spirit? – giving all children a better chance of becoming happy, fearless, fully-functioning, creative adults. And why the many trashy magazines on newsstands? And why the medicines produced by Big Pharma having side effects at times worse than the diseases? And why the half-truths that keep us “dumbed down.” And then there’s politics as usual – if there wasn’t so much at stake, it would be laughable. The last I heard, a presidential candidate spends billions of dollars trying to get elected, and we know where that money comes from. Still. . . . 

Many of us have great hope for our Planet, and want to be part of helping it heal. We understand that we are visitors, so to speak, to this Planet, and we will continue on after. So perhaps in lieu of not having a brilliant idea as to how to help save Mother Earth and ourselves, we can turn within and get our strength, courage, peace, fearlessness from a part of us that knows, and when the time comes to take action, we’ll be ready.

It’s been said that we’re much more than what we’ve been taught to believe, and we need to know and remember this because at this time in the world’s history we can’t falter, no more coming up with excuses; we go beyond, we don’t cringe; we accept and work with what’s happening in the world, and we become powerful human beings working together. The answers will come at the right time, and whatever they are, we’ll accept them and work with them.  

 Imagine that!

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“All is always well even when it seems unbelievably unwell.”  – Adyashanti

It’s a fascinating world, and it’s a pleasure and honor to be part of it, eh?

puro café

There is a place in Cuenca where a delicious cup of coffee and home-made baked goods can be enjoyed in a relaxing outdoor setting with an expansive view. It’s at Puro Café located in back of Todos Santos on Calle Larga. And it’s obvious that Sandra, the owner (she comes from *Belgium and her pastries are mighty tasty) loves what she does. 

Last week I asked Sandra how she came upon the space, thinking it must have taken a while to find. “No,” she said, “it was the second place I looked at.”  And I thought, “Good for her; it all flows.”

Most people I know order a cup of coffee having milk or cream, cinnamon and chocolate, etc. with a lovely chocolate and cinnamon design added on the top. Lactose intolerant me, orders plain ole Café Americano. Thankfully, Sandra put a stop to that – she prepares Café Americano with chocolate melted in. She said the chocolate won’t melt if it’s more than 55%. And so, the quality of the coffee, the way it’s prepared, along with Ecuador’s well-known chocolate, has nicely elevated Café Americano. 

The next time you’re in Cuenca, Ecuador, have a look and a taste.

 The view from Puro Café.


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*Whenever I hear “Belgium,” Agatha Christie’s delightful Poirot with David Suchet comes to mind. Do you think of that connection, too?


in quito

On a Sunday a few weeks ago I went to the Coffee Bean located at Av. Shyris y Naciones Unidas, Edf. Shyris Park, across from Park Carolina in Quito, Ecuador. It’s a place  where a delicious cup of coffee is guaranteed.

That visit to the Coffee Bean turned into a trip to a part of La Ronda, one of Quito’s oldest neighborhoods. Alexander is the owner of the Coffee Bean, and he suggested that his wife Ekaterina and daughter Maria show me this old section. 

Ekaterina, Maria, Alexander from Moscow

Off we went by taxi. Then, the driver said we’d have to get off (something about a tunnel). Okay, no questions asked. We walked a little, and soon were in front of the beautiful Basilica del Voto Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow). We climbed and climbed and climbed the steps leading to the top of the Basilica. I suspected as we went higher and higher, and as I listened to their conversation, that of all the buildings, the Basilica is the favorite of mother and daughter.

Then ekaterina and Maria pointed to a statute of the Virgin Mary. She is dipicted with the wings of an angel. Can you see it in the distance on that hill? It’s as close as I got. 

Sunday in Quito having breakfast made by Cesar at the Coffee Bean, and then to the top of the Basilica, nice!

With Cesar on the right. He is from Venezuela.

bamboo juice . . . *uh-oh, mistake!

How is it that I’ve never heard of, let alone tasted, bamboo juice before visiting Otovalo? It was by pure accident that I discovered a young woman hacking away at part of a bamboo tree as I passed her shop. I’ve always appreciated all that the bamboo tree gives us. So when I saw them outside adorning the entrance to a shop, I had to double back. A hearty-looking bamboo juicer was directly in front of the shop, and in the back was a counter made of . . . bamboo. 

I had no idea what bamboo juice would taste like. So I prepared myself, and, surprise . . . it was DELICIOUS. 

The young woman was so friendly. She laughed alot, tried hard to inderstand a gringo, and let me take as many photos as I wanted. As long as I’m in Otavalo, I’m a steady customer.

*I’ve been told this is sugar cane and not bamboo. Big mistake on my part. ; (

otavalo

I’m in Otavalo, Ecuador, a city surrounded by three volcanoes; it’s a vibrant city, with a 70% indigenous population, and I want to add, it’s quite a sophisticated small city.  

On Saturday people come from many different countries for the market; it’s quite a happening. Many people come to import large quantities of scarves, hammocks, hats, pants, fabric in luscious colors, bags, jewelry, paintings – it goes on and on. Here is just a small sampling of what you can feast your eyes on should you come.



Being in Otavalo is a lot of fun. I’m learning to negotiate – the art of negotiating Is a must here, and is interesting to observe.

From a very young age children help their parents. When you’re from a different culture, it’s eye-opening to observe another way. Love it!

about coffee grounds

Whenever I see the word coffee, I click and read. This time it was at: sprudge.com/10-ways-use-leftover-coffee-grounds.html
The write up:

“10 Cute Animals Show You How To Recycle Leftover Coffee Grounds
JULY 21, 2014 BY ANNA BRONES

A daily morning coffee routine means one thing: daily leftover coffee grounds. Most of the time, they just get tossed in the trash. That’s your first mistake; coffee grounds are happy to be composted, along with coffee filters. But you might not want to be so fast to throw your grounds out at all. Leftover coffee grounds are actually quite useful, from keeping your dishes clean to keeping you looking your best. Not convinced? Here are 10 ways to use your leftover coffee grounds.”

I had a lot of hope for suggestion #2, which is: Exfoliate Your Skin – with 1 part coffee grounds and 1 part oil, “like olive oil or coconut oil.” It worked beautifully; it did what was suggested it would do, and with enough oil left on after rinsing to feel nicely moisturized.

Now suggestion #9, Get the Best Looking Hair Ever – by massaging your hair with coffee grounds, then rinsing. True; those coffee grounds worked like a charm. However, in the shower they seemed to have taken on a life of their own during the rinsing – they went here, there, and everywhere. Cleaning took a while, to say the least. Though . . . I must be a glutton for work because I did this a second time. The results are remarkable.

It’s time to look at that useful write-up again as there are eight other suggestions on what to do with leftover coffee grounds. It’s such a shame that all this time I’ve been discarding them. Although, I remember that years ago my father put coffee grounds around all the shrubs. I wonder where his source of information came from.

sprudge.com is all about coffee. So very interesting!

I hope you enjoy, too.

are you happy?

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Photo copied from: Meditation Masters

The new cathedral

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I frequently walk pass the New Cathedral in front of Parque Calderon on Benigno Malo. Though today as I passed by I looked at the two women who sit the entire day in front of the Cathedral selling candles of all sizes, on a makeshift table that also holds a large selection of rosary beads, and prayer books. I backtracked, bought two tall white candles. then went up the few steps leading to the Cathedral.

Cuenca was especially noisy today; it felt good to be inside. I stood in the back for a few minutes. People were kneeling and praying, or walking around and admiring. It had been years since I lit a candle in a church. However, I know someone in dire need of prayers, and I believe in miracles. There were quite a few statues along the two sides of the Cathedral, and in front of every statue stood an old-looking tin table holding candles in various sizes and stages of burning. I walked around looking for a statue of Jesus. Found! – it was the last statue on my walk; I lit the two candles and placed them carefully so they wouldn’t fall. Then I prayed for a healing.

After that I walked around. And as I walked I heard the lovely voice of a woman singing loud and clear. I couldn’t detect the direction it was coming from, but I agreed with myself that entering this beautiful Cathedral today was a smart move on my part.

As I was about to leave, I saw a confessional — the one in the photo above. It looked weary and the paths leading to the doors — one for the priests, the other for lay people — were well-worn. I stood there thinking of all the people who entered that confessional, burdened with feelings of having sinned and heavy with guilt. And I thought of the priests who listened, and I wondered how they responded.

I think it’s time to step out into the lovely sunny day.

you forgot how to play, oh no

Will you come and play with me? What, you forgot how to play? Oh no, you’re funny, come; I can show you; I love to play.

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chia seed pudding

Have you prepared chia seed pudding yet? – it’s so easy to wing it. For instance —

Put 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of water, or water with freshly squeezed lemon juice, coconut water, or almond milk. Stir carefully until well-mixed. If there are a lot of chia seeds adhering to the spoon, keep stirring. When all is thoroughly mixed, cover, place in refrigerator, and let gel. Experiment with the ratio of water to chia seeds, so you’ll have the consistency you want.

Many different ingredients can be added – foods and spices you have on hand, e.g., ripe bananas, avocado, organic powered chocolate, sesame seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, maple syrup, stevia – any combination stirred in with the chia seeds. Or . . .

it’s all so simple and tasty: cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut shreds mixed well with the chia seeds and allowed to gel. Then remove from refrigerator and top with fruits of your choice – mangoes, oranges, papayas, pineapple, watermelon, berries. So delicious and nutritious.

Make sure you have a lovely day today!

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