Autumn always inspires me to make acorn cookies!
Acorn Cookie Recipe
2 cups walnuts (pecans will work too!), finely chopped but not ground
Put 1/2 cup aside for later
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
combine in food processor or mixer
3 cups flour
1/2 teas baking soda
add flour, baking powder and 1 1/2 cup nuts
1 teas. vanilla extract
add vanilla and process until dough is mixed
Refrigerate until firm for a couple of hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls - should make about 3 dozen cookies.
Bake until firm and lightly browned on the bottom.
Roast remaining 1/2 cup nuts on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in 350 F oven until brown, stirring occasionally to brown evenly.
1 cup chocolate morsels, dark or milk chocolate, based on your preference -
2 teas. shortening
in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for 30 more seconds.
Stir until evenly melted and ready for dipping.
Assembling the Acorns
The cookies are very rich so handle carefully.
Dip about a third of the end of each cookie in chocolate and then dip into the nuts!
Lafayette Gilchrist and Daryl Davis, piano masters from Baltimore, MD, mesmerized the crowd at the Creative Alliance on Friday, September 27th. This town is over flowing with talent. Have I mentioned I love Baltimore?
The sun enters Libra annually from September 23 until October 22. Libra is an air sign, ruled by Venus. Venus also rules the earth sign Taurus so they share some of the same zodiac herbs. Characteristics of people born under Libra are
Libra herbs are all of the feminine gender and ruled by Venus.
Yesterday my oldest daughter reminded me I used to say "the only one who likes change is a wet baby." That was before I started 'collecting firsts', opening my heart and mind to new experiences and actively seeking change. I love it! Variety is truly the spice of life!
The end of summer, marked by the Autumnal Equinox on September 23, and Mabon, is an example. Summer is delightful, but I don't want it to go on forever. I'd find it difficult to live in a place with no change in seasons. I guess if I had never experienced them, I might not think about it. But having enjoyed their unique beauty and variety, I look forward to each one.
Colors of Mabon
The colors of Mabon include many of my favorites - shades of orange, gold, red, burgundy and browns. As the leaves change here in the north eastern part of the United States, we will watch the colors gradually unfold until they crescendo. Even after they pass their peak, they are still breathtaking, with more muted and metallic tones. I once heard leaves are the only thing that gets more beautiful before death. I'm not sure I agree with that.
Decorate your home and wear colors in these glorious shades. If you're an artist, create a painting with the warm, vibrant shades of Mabon. Or pick a favorite color and look for it as you go about your day.
Herbs of Mabon
Herbs, defined by herbalists as "any plant that is useful", are abundant during Mabon. Some most traditionally associated with the season are acorns, apples, barley, carrots, chamomile, corn, marigolds, onions, pomegranates, rosemary, sage, walnuts and wheat. Harvest some of the herbs from your garden or look for them at farmer's markets or garden centers. Combine them to make a still life, bouquet, wreath or swag, to celebrate this second harvest.
My booklet on Haunting Herbs is located on the site. I could attach a link, but this is hidden treasures, so I'll let you see if you can find it. (Or you could look to the column on the right under herbs or free).
The sun will move from Virgo to Libra on Monday, September 23, and I will be adding at least one of Libra's zodiac herbs, so stayed tuned!
Stones of Mabon
In addition to the colors and herbs, there are also stones for those of you familiar with the power of gemstones. And if you aren't familiar, you may want to spend time around them and see which ones catch your attention! There's a reason!
Amber, in shades of orange, golds, yellows and browns, will warm and delight! Yellow agate, cat's eye, hematite, jasper and topaz are also associated with this time of year.
Activities for Mabon
In addition to the ideas mentioned about you might also want to
Wishing you all a blessed harvest.
This showed up as a memory on Facebook and prompted me to repost. I've had it out since January and in these challenging times, it's kept me focussed and provided peace of mind.
It's that time of year! This has been our of sight, out of mind since the move in July. My course prompted me to look for it and display it again. It's helpful to reflect on what I cherish, what I want to create in my life and business, what I want to surrender and release, and why I know these things are meant to be. Hope it prompts you to do a map of your amazing life! I love the ocean and roses. Create your map with things that are personal to you!
This quote captures a concept I've been processing for quite some time. I'm convinced it takes self confidence to love*. I've watched people withhold love, and it seems they are often afraid if they give too much away, there won't be enough left for them. Those with high self esteem openly give love, praise and encouragement.
Love is boundless. A Russian folk tale tells of a mother who had five children. One asked her which she loved best. She took the flame from a candle to light five candles and explained that the original flame was the same size as it was at the beginning, and each of the five candles had the same size flame. None of the candles had any less. That's how love is. It never decreases because it is given away. It remains the same, or even greater.
If we are aware that fear and lack of confidence are the reasons people hold back, we can be more compassionate and not take things personally.
*Love in this instance refers to love for humanity, not romantic love.
I love vision boards and goal settings, but if they aren't visual and engaging, I lose interest. I started making maps years ago and they keep me on task! Circling completed tasks gives me much more satisfaction thank checking off linear lists. If you are a creative, you may want to try this approach. The limbs from the my tree are based on my values. These have changed over the years, but always include health, relationships, creativity, and learning and education.
Gratitude is alway at the base of my goals. If we don't appreciate what we have now, we'll never be content. Leave a space for seeds - people, places and/or things that may - or may not - flower and grow. Also included a space for completely unexpected opportunities! One year I took a trip to Paris and bought a house - both completely unplanned when I made my draft goal map! Life is over flowing with possibilities. Leave a space for them!
You are probably all familiar with today's Hidden Treasure, but what you might not know are some of it's hidden virtues! I've always thought of it as a place to go to exercise, but it is so much more! Last evening my friend Hal Gamber invited me to an event at Cafe Troia in Towson, MD, to learn more about the Y (YMCA).
Yes, there are buildings located throughout the area. The Orokawa Y in Towson is located at 600 W. Chesapeake Avenue. But their services spread far beyond the four walls of the building. They are committed to contributing to a "stronger, healthier, more connected community for all".
Y people are for a better us
Here are a few thing you might not know about the Y.
With so many programs and services being cut through recently, it is a comfort to know that there is an agency providing quality support and community connection! For more information, visit the Y in Towson.
Sage has antimicrobial properties that keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Burning sage decreases the levels of aerial bacteria by up to 94%. It neutralizes dust, mold, and pet dander. It dispels negative energy, soothes stress, improves your mood and aides in better sleep.
My illustrated journal summary is below. Complete instructions are on my August 11 post.
On August 11, I posted on making smudging bundles from sage grown in your garden. I added the steps to the process in my illustrated journal, above. After the sage was harvested and wrapped it needed to dry. That process takes about 4 - 6 weeks and when I checked this morning, it was ready!
We smudge for a variety of reasons. One may be a general cleansing. But if you are smudging because someone had violated your space or made your angry or uncomfortable, it is imperative that you center yourself and come to a more positive frame of mind before you begin. It you need support, find a friend or two to help you feel positive and loved. You are clearing negative energy and adding positive to replace it so keeping a positive frame of mind during the ritual and following are vital.
It might be helpful to find, or write a prayer or poem to express your intentions. When I was in Stone Harbor this summer, my friend Lisa had a book with a beautiful prayer to accompany a smudging ritual.I hurriedly copied it into my illustrated journal and will probably redo it on parchment, but for now, it gives you the words you need. I'm not sure who wrote it. I looked on line and found several people acknowledged. Thank you to who ever wrote such a lovely piece.
The next step is to gather your materials. If possible, use natural materials.
It is best to declutter each room before you begin. Open all of the doors, closet doors and windows so you can move from room to room easily and without interruption.
1. Light the candle and set your intention. You may use the prayer above or something you have written or found that expresses your personal perspective.
2. Use the candle flame to light the sage. Once the sage has caught fire, blow it out and watch for glowing embers. When you see the smoke begin to roll off of the smudge stick, it is ready.
3. Guide the smoke toward your heart, over your head and around your body to purify yourself before you begin.
4. Go the the lowest area you will be smudging. You will be working clockwise in each room. Use your feather, or your hand, to direct the smoke from the lowest part of the room to the highest as you move in a circle around the room Be certain to direct smoke into the corners of the room. Direct the smoke out the door or windows before you move on to the next room.
KEEP THE SHELL CLOSE BY TO COLLECT BURNING EMBERS. I tap the smudge stick on the shell when I begin in each room and usually another time or two as the leaves burn.
6. After you have completed smudging each room extinguish the sage by rubbing it onto the shell or on sand or dirt. Check to see that there are no burning red embers.
DO NOT wet the sage. If you do, you won't be able to use the sage again.
After the smoke clears and the negative energy has been released, fill the space with love. You can say prayers, meditate or journal about love, have dear friends over, read inspirational materials or do what ever feels best for you!
The Bygone, located at 400 International Drive, invites you to "step back into the roaring glamour of days passed." It has a 20s flair, and is billed as Harbor East's most elevated and exciting dining experience. You enter the Four Seasons Hotel lobby and take the Bygone elevator to the 29th floor for a spectacular view, creative and delectable dishes and phenomenal service!
Two weeks ago, Carrie and Izzy came from New Jersey and took me to the Bygone for brunch. On Sunday, John joined me for a return visit. It's fantastic!
I wore my vintage dress with the Baltimore Oriole print (see below) and we spent hours enjoying the view while we dined on the finest and freshest seafood, fruits and vegetables, and delectable pastries. It's an experience you'll always treasure!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!