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What Surrounds Us

Do we ever really take notice with each season, what surrounds us. Yes probably during the spring and summer a little more than usual, a little during the fall and winter, especially for those of us that live places where the leaves change colors or it snows. There is so much more too our surroundings than weather. The other day I was showering with the bathroom window open, and noticed a bee buzzing around at the lemon tree outside the window. I never really noticed this act of nature during this time of year in January. Usually something noticed when we are outdoors more enjoying warmer weather. I have trails by my house that I love to walk with my dog, letting him off the leash so he can run around and smell all the different smells there are. Living here in Southern California, we have had some well needed and welcome rain. With this rain comes the mud on the trails, deep fissures on most of the hills and water filled holes. But, the plants and trees are greener, the bushes are bigger and fuller, expanding out to the trails, so much more to notice.

Living by the coast most people here experience the beach when the weather is warmer. There is so much beauty in the rough, dark angry looking ocean during a storm or bad weather, so much personality. So much that has been there long before I was born, and will continue long after I am gone. So much of what we are surrounded by has taken years and years of creation, how blessed we are to be here to see it and enjoy it. None of it has anything to do with us, but most of the time we take it so personal, we take life so personal. Can we not just enjoy the ride, soak it up, take it in, experience it in all its glory and majesty. Even what man has created, how incredible is the brain, the human brain, always changing, growing and developing. Our homes, our neighborhoods, office building, city structures and development...our many ways of communication, our access to knowledge and information. What an amazing world we live in!!

Our ability and freedoms to choose how we want to live in this world of ours, to coexist with our surroundings. Taking it all in and not taking anything this world has to offer for granted. What surrounds us is LIFE. Don't be tethered to it, but experience it, allowing these experiences to move through you, you are not these experiences, good or bad, and they are not you. Find the freedom in being you, and living with what surrounds you, there can be great peace in this, a place for your soul to settle.

Kale Beet Salad

*With this salad I used Tuscan or Lacinato kale, both the same or another name for it is Dinosaur kale. This kale is a deeper green, slightly thinner and a bit more tender than the curly kale. As I have mentioned before kale thrives in cooler weather, it can even withstand snowy weather.

Beets are available year round, but winter is the prime time for them. Mature golden or red beets have an earthy bitter flavor if eaten raw, but can turn candy like when roasted. Beets are great for growing in northern ares because they can survive frost and near freezing temperatures. If planting beets, they will usually be ready for harvest in 55-75 days, so be ready to harvest in about 2 months when they are about golf ball to tennis ball size. If they get too big, they can taste woody and tough.


1 bunch Lacinato Kale, stems removed and chopped

1 bunch beets 3-4, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup walnut piece

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

6 ounces raspberries

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2-1 tbsp honey

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.


Place cut up beets on a baking sheet, spread out in a single layer, drizzle olive oil over the top and add some salt and pepper to taste. In a preheated oven at 400 degrees roast the beets for about 35-40 minutes.


In a large bowl place the chopped kale, roasted beets and walnuts. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss. Serve as a side or and some protein and it makes a hearty meal.

Kale Beet Salad

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