Have a Ball in 2010!

We just returned from a family excursion to OMSI.  It is absolutely pouring here and it seemed like half of Portland had the same idea.  Tonight I will make homemade pizza with Shiitake mushrooms we found at the year round farmer’s market at People’s Co-op yesterday.  They look beautiful, are local, organic and were only $5/lb.  I made the crust dough this morning with a recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  I discovered the recipe a few weeks ago and have made the pizza dough twice already.

I used all purpose unbleached white flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill the first time.  It was great, but I thought it would be better to add more whole grain.  The second time I use half white and half whole wheat, per the recipe.  It was a little too crunchy for us and did not have that traditional “pizza crust” flavor.  Today I stuck with the original recipe of just white.  We will also have a green salad and sparking pear cider.  Henrik helped pick out the Cream Cheese Apple Cake from The Grand Central Baking Book.  I knew we had all the ingredients so I offered it up as a choice.  A few of the ingredients have to warm to room temperature so they are out on the counter.  I am about to get started on the cake, which can bake while I assemble the pizza.  Tonight we will celebrate as a family, but tomorrow I am looking forward to celebrating in a more solitary fashion.

I have a trilogy of activities planned to welcome the New Year.  Tonight is the full moon so tomorrow will begin a new waning moon cycle.  The transition time between the full and new moon is the best time for detoxification.  Choose nourishing activities as the moon swells from new to full.  I first learned about working with the moon cycles while learning how to make herbal infused medicinal oils and extractions when I was as an undergrad.  The pulling of the waxing moon cultivates a richer herbal medicine.  Years later when I was researching organic products to use in my spa business, and also looking for spas to visit on a trip to Germany, I stumbled upon Just Pure.  The Just Pure day spa offers purifying treatments during the waning moon and nourishing treatments during the waxing moon.

I scheduled two days of treatments during our five day stay in Munich in 2004.  The experience was amazing.  I got hooked on the idea of tailoring my home spa treatments to the moon cycles.  My current home facial program involves a slightly longer than normal shower and a facial scrub and/or mask based on the waxing or waning cycles of the moon.  If I can squeak in an extra half hour, I use the same protocol in the tub by customizing what I add to the bath water.

On New Year’s Day I plan to start on the right foot with a yoga class at The Bhakti Shop.  Later in the day I will spend an hour at Loyly.  I like to spend about ten minutes in the steam room (they also have a sauna), quench the heat with an icy shower and then return to the steam.  I repeat the cycle until I am out of time.  Rob got me a gift certificate for The Rejuvenator package for my birthday last year and I got to spend three indulgent hours at Loyly, but that splurge isn’t in the budget at the moment.  For only fifteen dollars and sixty minutes of your time, you will walk away from Loyly a new person.

Finally, I plan to start the Flor-Essence Herbal Tea Blend to make sure I detoxify internally as well.  I also used Flor-Essence during the waning moon cycle just before the Summer Solstice.  It was a great way to mark the seasonal change and to pay additional attention to the inner processes of my body.  I know I am due for some extra attention again and I am looking forward to blending all three activities into my New Year’s Day ritual.

I hope you too can find some special way to start the New Year.  I also hope you will join me in observing, or, if not readily evident, searching for the beauty around you every day.  Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!

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