The Ponder Days

I am just a sojourner, an artist wandering through life with a sense of wonder about it all. Come ponder with me. This year is about observation and perspective.

This blog is interactive and is at its best when comments are left and opinions shared, lively discussions generated, and perhaps with your favorite beverage.

I would love to read your comments. Please, don't be shy...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Are You In a Painting Slump?

Sometimes it want to, you have ideas, you have the materials, but for some reason, you just can't get started. You go into the studio with all good intentions, clean a few things, and come back out, frustrated and angry with yourself. Is it like writer's block for painters? Is it artist's block? Is there a cure?

Yes, there is such a thing as Painter's Block, but it doesn't matter what it is, you can trick yourself back. You can find a nicer word if you like, but essentially, that's what it is. You are getting your subconscious back on the painting track. Here are a few tips:

Find a non-creative paint chore to do. Maybe the window sills need touching up, or the birdhouse could use a fresh coat, or a little touch of black paint will help that really bad scuff on your favorite shoes not to show as much. The secret is to get that paintbrush in your hand and use it. Then you begin to notice how good it feels in your hand, and how your creative juices start to flow, and perhaps that birdhouse suddenly takes on a little extra flair. THAT is the momentum you can use to keep going right into the studio.

The small, manageable bite process also can be helpful. Always keep a few very small potential projects at the ready. It is instant gratification, and more easily discarded if you are totally unhappy with the results. If you keep these small projects inexpensive, you also have not wasted a whole lot of money. You can play without expectation, and it might lead, maybe your masterpiece!

Get the stress out. The stress of life's intruding circumstances can leave one blocked in more areas than painting. Try to get adequate rest, meditate if you wish, eat properly. Take good care of yourself, and then just paint anything...splash, scribble, splotch! It will get out the excess tension, perhaps induce that sense of calm, and you may just find your painting spirit there with you.

Go totally out of your element. Try something entirely new for you. Maybe it's hiking, or bowling, or bird watching, or baking. Whatever it is, if it is something entirely new to you, it will freshen your perspective, and quite possible freshen your painting attitude as well. New things, new perspective, new ideas, new painting!

The 15 minute trick! I like this one best of all and it works for me in a lot of different areas. Tell yourself you will only paint for 15 minutes, set a timer, and at the end of 15 minutes, allow yourself to quit without guilt. More often than not, you will be immersed in what you are doing and will want to keep going.

Try some of these techniques and let me know...and share your own tips and tricks!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Living Your Spirit #39 ~ The Love of Small Business

The heart of the communiy...that's what I think of first. In response to a contest challenge about supporting small, local businesses, I really got to thinking about what that means to me, and how being included in that definition inspires me.
What really sings to my heart is the camaraderie, the sense of community, and the sharing among others. The small, independent, local community business seems not to be selfish or greedy in nature. I see time and again, vendor helping vendor, with merchandising ideas, recipes, and bartering. While the object is to sell wares or services, for indeed people need to make a living, the methods are kinder and truer.
Stop in at one of these establishments and you are likely to be greeted not only with a smile, but with friendly conversation. You will receive exemplary customer service, and perhaps even gain a friend in the process. Customers are cared for in a more personal way, because the merchants truly do care.
Oh, and the products! You will find the most wonderful things - handmade, higher quality, better tasting, more creative, and how wonderful it is to know the creator. To carry home a fresh, warm loaf of bread that you know was baked not only with fresh ingredients, but with wrap yourself in the warm hug of a garment that was know that you are in the circle of continuity that is keeping your commnity alive...feeds the spirit so well.
I've included only a small list here and will be adding to it. I heartily thank Inkling Media for the inspiration. Although I do support small, local businesses, I have not been doing all I can to promote them. Perhaps this will aid in that effort. If you want your business added here...oh, leave a message. I will be sure to check you out!

My Aunt Debbie
Inkling Media
Double H Photography
Two Dudes Painting Company
Vulcania Graphics
lowercase gallery

Peace and light and love

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Black Friday Trunk Show

The magnificent My Aunt Debbie is hosting Welsh Studio wearable art on Friday, November 25. My Aunt Debbie and Mommalicious have a wonderful shop in Lancaster chock full of the most amazing things. Come check them out. You'll love the experience.

Art Tip: Magnification

Are you an artist who uses magnification while working? Do you use loupes or magnifiers? They can be expensive. Did you know that Dollar Tree sells reading glasses (magnifiers) for $1.00? Up to 3.5x magnification. 3.5. This is not an ad, just something I think is useful to share. I picked up 5 pairs and keep them all over the house now...and if they break, so easy and cheap to replace. I'd much rather have glasses perched on my head when not in use than that big old band, and you can still attach jeweler's eyepieces to them if you need to increase.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Living Your Spirit # 38 ~ Life and Pain

   Today I read a post by a father who has only a few days ago lost his sweet daughter to cancer. She was only 5 years old, the youngest of three sisters, and was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor only three short months ago. I have included the link on her name so you can read her story. Her name was Gabby.
I don't know him, but my heart goes out to this man and his family. I am glad he had the courage to post Gabby's story for all to read. I am glad he had the courage to share his unabridged grief. In the midst of our whining about our everyday inconveniences, he has brought a grounding point to us. His experience is one of the worst things that can happen to a person.

   We don't understand why children die. Yes, science and medicine explain some things to us, this is true, but it does not seem to be the correct order in which our society has placed things. We are born, we move through life to old age, and then we die. That is how we believe things are supposed to happen. That is how we want to believe. We don't want to accept any other order. But, it happens. It is awful.
   There are accidents. There is violence. There is war. There is disease. We try to understand it. We cannot. Not really. We can explain it away to the best of our ability, but the bottom line is: we just do not know.

   Scientists can explain a lot about how things work. Anthropologists and psychologists can explain why some people behave the way they do. Religion tries to explain the unexplainable. Great minds for thousands of years have tried to explain the meaning of life. Many have belief systems that help - help to cope with what life brings us, giving us reasons for things for which we so want reasons. Sometimes there are none; none that we know about for certain. And so we believe.

   We believe because it helps. We believe because it gives us structure, a way to live. We believe because sometimes it is the only thing to which we can cling. Our beliefs are different, and that is okay. That is what I believe. I believe it is okay that we all have different belief systems, as long as we are not hurting one another. I believe that we should be respectful of others. I believe that we should help each other. I believe that life can be hurtful enough on its own without us adding to that hurt.

I believe that this precious little girl's life was amazing. I believe she touched others in a way that not many of us can. I believe her father helped many people with his sharing. I know that does not bring him or his family much comfort at this moment, but it is my hope that he continues to share so that we all can that we can believe that people can make a difference in other people's lives, whether they know them or not. Through little things or big things, though joy or grief, through laughter or tears, we can help each other. We need to help each other.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Living Your Spirit # 37 ~ Fairy Tales are Pretend

It is interesting to me that many people complain about getting older, something over which there is no control. The media has finely crafted a capitalist consumerism misconception that younger is better, that age should be feared, that we need to be pretty, wrinkle free, and quite frankly, stay dumb enough to believe it all. Anti-aging is a multi-billion dollar business. It is also discriminatory. Please don't waste precious energy trying to stop the clock. You can't, and really, you don't want to. There are many people whose clocks were stopped too early who would love to be here getting old with us. Thank your lucky stars (or whomever your belief system thanks) for each precious day! Enjoy being a real person!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Living Your Spirit # 36 ~ Incredible Moments

Sometimes, when we are very fortunate, we experience periods of enlightenment in our lives, a shift in our consciousness, often not recognized in language, but in an internal, deeper form of communication. It seems to happen in those rare instances when we are finely attuned. I find that what I receive is unable to be expressed, and while that at first gave rise to frustration and confusion, I have since learned to graciously accept what is given, and it now fills me with an appreciation of the glimpse of grace and knowledge I am blessed to receive. During those moments, I am saturated with gratitude and humility, and I give loving thanks to all of those people whose lives send me reminders. There is a glow about those who are in the midst of receiving, and a silent sharing exudes as we learn from one another.

Peace and love and light to all of you

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Our Country Needs a Mom

Ordinarily, I try to stay away from religious and political postings, not because I don't have beliefs and opinions, but because I don't want this to become a platform. I'd rather just keep it ground for sharing.

Today, however, I am stating a political opinion, half tongue-in-cheek, half seriously.

Our country needs a mom! Really. Think about it. This country is our home, and should be run more like a home and less like a business. Just think what would happen if we got a good, practical mom in charge:

There wouldn't be deficit spending. "If we don't have the money, we don't buy it, simple as that." Can't you hear her? "Let's save for what we want. NASA, you might consider an Adopt an Astronaut Program to help with your budget." Saurday White House lawn bake sales would become a frequent activity.

Waste would certainly be cut, and some White house dinners might even become pot luck. If everyone brought something to share, it would certainly cut costs. And the elected officials would be expected to set a good example. Their behavior would be monitored and they would have their allowances cut (read unpaid leave) when deemed necesssary.

Ah yes, "And you (pointing a finger at unruly, misbehaving illegal aliens) go back to your country until you learn how to behave. When you come in legally, and nicely, and don't break the rules (laws), then we'll talk."

Time outs (prisons) would be structured so that offenders would not want to go back.  Behavior modifications programs would include incentives and consequences appropriate to the infraction. "And no desserts! Not until you get out and be good" (as the aroma of warm apple pie fills the air).

Any more mom ideas to share? All in good fun, not meant to inflame...

Peace and light.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Smiles ~ Kids Learning to Talk ~ Remembering

You have to write them really do. You absolutely will forget a lot of those cute things your kids say when they are trying to figure out the language. There will be occasional events that trigger a memory, and some memories will stay strong, but wouldn't a book full of those cute little words be  wonderful? I am sure I have forgotten a lot more than I have remembered.

My two daughters are different as night and day. I have always said I received the best of two different worlds in their arrivals. They are grown now, but some of the words they coined are with us still, or at least with me. Both talked early, and learned the language quickly, with fun things along the way.

DD1, when learning the parts of the body, said "elbow" and then pointed to her leg joint and said "kneebow". It made sense to her, and I must say I agree. FeeVee was the designation for the television, and compound words were reversed: widesalk, sindowill, and flutterby were the favorites. She was convinced that the thing that went around her neck at mealtime was called a bibon - isn't it just obvious why? Have(with a long a) was a verb, as in, "Mommy, I'm being as have as I can!"

DD2 preferred belbow as her arm joint reference, but loved the y sound. Yadeerow was her word for radio and we still call the little round candy covered chocolates Yem and Ms. Anywhere you went to get something was a store: grocery store, clothing store, money store(bank) and dinner store(restaurant).

Kids have such a great view of the world and often make more sense than do we adults. It is such a joy to watch them experience learning. I am now blessed with two grandchildren and am witnessing that fun all over again.

Please share your kid word memories. They are smile makers, and we can never have enough smiles!

Peace and light

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Living Your Spirit #35 ~ Nothing

Take time to do Nothing.

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time."
                                                                                                                         ~ J. Lubbock

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Free Printable Planner Page Hot List

I used to write my Hot List (see previous post) on an index card because it is cheap and convenient and I can fold it in half to pretty much fit any pocket. I was doing some designing one day and made some printable lists for myself that I found I really enjoy using. As I have to print them, I am also more careful not to waste them and use them more efficiently. I sometimes used too many index cards at one time and pretty soon I didn't know which was which.

I like making my own fillers for my planner because I can tailor them to fit my needs. I also enjoy designing attractive pages that make me want to use my planner on a more regular basis. Creative types like me tend to get bored with plain lines. I am working on some sets now and hopefully you will be able to see them soon.

I'll be putting my printable lists on Etsy in the near future. For a FREE printable of my Hot List, just link to this post on your blog or website, and add your email address in the comments section here along with a link to your blog or website and I will email you your own printable version in PDF format. Please note that you may use this as much as you want for personal use, but not for resale (that's a copyright no-no). This Hot List is part of the River Cottage Collection, which will soon be available as printables and scrapbook set.

There are three lists on an 8.5 x 11 sheet. I just use a paper trimmer to cut them (or you can use scissors). I also have a seven hole punch for classic size planner that I just love. They run anywhere from $10 to $50. I have a Franklin Covey that works very nicely that I bought for about $25.00. has it listed right now for $20.10.

Note: I do not make any money from companies that I recommend here. I am only passing along my own preferences.

As always, I'd love to know what you think.
Peace and light.

Living Your Spirit #34 ~ Bringing Mindfulness to Life

I awaken...and immediately beging to mentally list all of the things to do, then I stop, and remind myself to be aware of the light. I look out the window and look at the day. It is bright and beautiful and I make a mental note to make sure I allow some outdoor time today, even though it is still cool and crisp.

As I go through my morning routine, I find my mind starting to wander again to the day's list. This list is usually comprised of more things than I can reasonably accomplish. Once again I remind myself to be in the moment. "You are brushing your teeth," I tell myself. "Be in the brushing."

I wend my way through the hall and downstairs to prepare coffee, my morning indulgence, although without caffeine, and I enjoy the aroma of the grounds and the sparkle of sunlight through the window. While the coffee brews, I wipe the sink clean and take a moment to enjoy the shine while I pour my coffee.

I settle at my desk with pen and pad and my previous day's list, adding anything I think may be of importance. Then I give myself just a few things to do. It's my hot list for the day and contains only what absolutely must be done and a small number of other things I'd like to accomplish. Once this is done, I carry the hot list in my pocket, and refer to it as the day progresses. I do not even look at the Master List again until the next morning. If anything occurs during the day that needs my immediate attention, I write it on the bottom of the hot list. As I think of other tasks or appointments I write them on the back of the Hot List and will add them to the Master List the next day. Choosing only a few things that have to be done and looking at the Master List each morning while enjoying my coffee helps me to prioritize which allows me to "be in the moment" of whatever else it is I am doing for the day.

As my mind's natural bent is to race forward, this has taken some practice. Slowing down is not what the world preaches today. We are encouraged to be fast-paced multi-taskers, and there is a cost to that. Our stress levels are sometimes off the charts, and unrelenting stress can cause permanent health damage (a post for another day).

We do have lives that are full, and usually have a lot to accomplish. It needn't be overwhelming. We don't have to go full speed ahead all the time. We can do one thing at a time and enjoy the moment for what it is, be it work or pleasure. Even an unpleasant task can be made more tolerable by looking at it with new perspective. Putting the unpleasant things at the top of the list will get them out of the way first, enabling you to better enjoy the rest of your day.

Being aware of our surroundings...on the drive to the office, for example, can give us bursts of joy to carry us through a day. Instead of trying to think of all the things you need to do when you get there, be in the driving and be aware of your surroundings. Notice the sun rising in the sky, maybe the smell of the rain, or that chocolate factory you pass every day. Witness the fact that the lady that lives in the farmhouse that you don't even know has planted flowers, and you get to enjoy them too. Oh, and in the driving!

Part of being mindful is to organize those potential distractions early in the day so they don't keep interrupting you. Some people I know like to do this before bed so they can start the next day fresh. I admit as nice as this sounds to me, by the end of the day my brain sometimes doesn't want to play. You'll find a system that works well for you, I'm sure. If you already have a system, please share it with us.

Peace and light and joy to you in your moments! I'd love to know about them...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Housecleaning Files ~ Folder Tip

Spring cleaning and taxes - time to reorganize the files. Don't you just hate it when you have to tear off a label and put on a new one and either it won't come off at all or it tears most of the folder away? I bought a box of recycled folders a few years ago and didn't like that it was difficult and messy to reuse them and still have them look neat.

My solution? I placed a piece of clear packing tape in the labeling area and then used blank address labels (the kind you buy for your printer) to place on top of the packing tape. When it comes time to change the label, it peels off the packing tape nicely and a new one goes in place just as easily. It takes just a little time to put the packing tape on your folders, but saves time, money, and frustration in the long run. If you don't want to buy labels, any piece of paper with a strip of scotch tape on top will serve the same purpose.

Plus factor? Everything stays relatively neat, and your folders last longer.  If you mess up a label, it's easy to change it...

Happy organizing!

Please share any tips you might have.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Living Your Spirit #33 ~ The Important Women in Our Lives

On the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day it only seems fitting to recognize, remember, and think about those women who have affected our lives in large or small ways.

Famous women, of course, have made an impact by the things they have done and the things they have said. There are many heroes among them, and I applaud their intelligence, courage, creativity, and all the things they have accomplished. I have learned much from learning about them. There are many women, however, that remain unsung. These women who have made an impact on our lives, but have never gained fame or recognnition, are the women I would like us to think about today. Here are but a scant few from my own life.

My Mother.
     I learned from her example never to be afraid of hard work. She worked very hard all of her life, often at more than one job, and never once made us feel like she was sacrificing anything. Among many other things, I can thank her for a strong work ethic.

My Grandmother.
     She taught us not to waste anything. She lived through the depression as a widowed mother of three and "Waste not, want not" was her mantra. The verse of the day was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." My fondness for recycling and repurposing surely comes from her.

My High School English Teacher
     She made us learn the words in the Reader's Digest feature every month and stressed the importance of good grammar. Her joy in words was so evident, and she was definitely a positive influence in my love of language.

My Sister
     She taught me grace. She was loving and good and as far as I know, never said an unkind word about anyone. During her terminal illness she was the epitome of grace and dignity throughout. The continued presence of those elements sustains me often in troubling times.

My Daughters
     I have experienced pure love and joy through their mere existence, and found delight in accomplishments that were not my own. I have savored every moment of their differences and their similarities. To observe a child grow is one of life's greatest mysterious pleasures. I am grateful to them for having been born.

My Granddaughter
     It is everything they say and more ~ being a grandparent. All of a sudden you are willing to risk your life, and very possibly someone else's, to protect this child. You can find pleasure in the moments you might have missed as a mother because you were busy taking care of your children's needs and being totally responsible for their welfare. My granddaughter just makes my life sparkle!

There are many others. Aunts and cousins and friends and teachers and grocery store clerks and co-workers and strangers on the street have all made a difference. I thank all of the women who have passed through my life, and cherish all of the women who are still in it.

Who are your special women? We would love to know...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just Too Cute Not to Post

Little Bucky Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Chewing up the cushion
And pulling out the fluff

Looking innocent

Acting nonchalant

Thinks I'm not watching

Planning the next move



Little red-eyed devil

Good thing he's so cute!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Most Extraordinary Story

Just a story about luck, and other-worldly things.

My father was the one with the Irish heritage, but my mother had all the luck. She never had a lot of money, but always had a positive attitude and was always winning things...not usually big things, but door prizes, raffles, and on one plane trip to Las Vegas, she won on the slot machines in the airport before she even got there! So...she got the reputation as the lucky one.

She had a hard working life, but a nice, simple retirement that was full of pleasure for her. She lived until 92 years of age and smiled every day. I was her youngest child, and we had a special relationship. In her final two years in a lovely nursing home, I always felt that my brother looked after her financial and physical needs and I looked after her emotional ones. My sister had passed on years before.

On the evening of the day she died, I took a long walk around my brother's neighborhood, enjoying and needing the solitude. On that walk, I found six four leaf clovers. Count 'em, six!  It took me some time to process, but what could it be but a message from my dear mother sending me her love, and maybe her luck.

As if that wasn't extraordinary enough, for weeks after, I found at least one four leaf clover a day, often more than that. It seemed that they were finding me. At first, I pressed them between pages of a book, but then I started giving them away, usually to the first person I saw after the finding, for I already had so many.  I put one in a painting, gave them as baby gifts, even finding them on my way into the hospital to see the newborn child. I keep very few now, and don't find them nearly as often, but I still look, and once in a while, find a happy surprise.


These are just a few. The two tiny ones in the lower right hand corner I found on my birthday. The pretty one below them is one I found on her birthday, and the one to the left of the tiny ones I found on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blind Sketching 2nd Day

Same blind sketching process, done quickly. On this, green was done blindly first, followed by blind pen. I then deliberately (and sightedly) accented what the blindness brought me in red. This is fun and I sometimes have an idea where it's going. It does allow me the freedom that I usually have trouble giving myself, so it is a good exercise.

Sketch Wednesday 2nd

no...not blind.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday ~ Blind Sketching

Today I started a week of blind sketches. I started with the blue, my eyes closed, and just let my hand do what it wanted.  I then took the pen, closed my eyes, relaxed, and did the same. I then used the violet, eyes open, to accent what the blindness brought me. I did this last step quickly, not wanting the result to become elaborate or deliberately representational. This meditative exercise has brought my spirit to the surface on many occasions. It was interesting to note the circular patterns my blind steps took.

Tips for Eating Raw

I enjoy eating raw foods and "uncooking" all of the wonderful recipes out there, and coming up with my own concoctions. One of the things that I have noticed though, is that just as in the standard american diet (SAD), there are a lot of sweet treats, however raw and natural they may be. It is a good idea, if we are going to embrace raw eating, to balance these as we would in any other healthy eating regimen. I don't prepare too many elaborate sweet recipes. I am happy with the Chia Bliss Pudding (below), a piece of fruit, or one or two medjool dates if I want a sweet treat. I find that the less I include sweets in my day, the less I crave them.

Another thing about eating raw is that many of the recipes are nut based, which means that they have a high fat content. While they are good fats, and are unadulterated by the heating process, it is easy to consume a diet that has a higher fat content than is desirable. I love nuts, so this is something I try to watch.

Adding plenty of fresh vegetables and greens is a great way to bring balance. I'll be posting some salad and salad dressing recipes (some nut based, some vegetable based) later in the week.

This is my cabinet of basics. Although I do have some nuts and seeds stored in these jars, they are usually used quickly. For things stored for a longer period, I refrigerate or freeze. This is especially true of macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. I also refrigerate hemp seed and ground flaxseed, except for small portions that will be used within a few days.

Have a glorious day!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday's Quick Sketch

Trying to keep with the program...more sketching, even if only a few minutes.

We Can't Rig Sails to Our Cars

"If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast."

This was written by Steven L. Hopp in Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It was written in 2007 but is still pertinent today, maybe even more so. We are so concerned with gas prices as should we be, but there is more involved that the cars we drive ourselves. This book is well worth the read.

Some days there are no posts...some days a lot. This was important enough to add to today. I may repeat it ocassionally for emphasis.

Please know I make no money from things I may mention on my blog (other than my own artwork and other makings that I sell separately). I recommend things becuse I like them or think they are valuable or useful. We need to do more free sharing.

Thank you, I'll get off my soapbox now, although it does give me a vantage point I don't usually have from the low to the ground perspective with which I was biologically blessed.

Coments? Yeah...if you want.

Living Your Spirit #31 ~ Take This Moment

This moment...take this moment and embrace it, wrap yourself in it, even if it isn't what you think you want, for we don't always understand that this moment may have unseen purpose.

There is the zen philosophy of living in the moment, and I feel it is an important one, for often we are muti-tasking to the point that we are not even paying attention to the moment, let alone living it. But embracing the moment...that goes a bit further. It is when we stop, recognize the moment and hold it close to us, fo it may have something to teach.
I know, many of you are sitting there shaking your heads saying, "Yeah, well you don't want MY moment!" and I know that not all moments give us pleasure. There are many, many unpleasant and painful moments. Our lives have sadness, grief and pain as well as pleasure, laughter and joy, but whatever it is we are experiencing at one moment in time has something to teach us.
We miss many lessons of the moment because we are busy living them, or trying to live through them. We can't possibly embrace every single moment of every single day, but throughout the day, we can stop at random and recognize a moment, sieze it for what it is, look deep into it, and maybe learn.
Peace and light on your journey of moments.

Friday Raw Breakfast ~ Bucky Granola (gluten free)

I don't have to worry about gluten, but for those of you that do, this breakfast recipe is gluten free.  I was waiting to get the buckwheat in the dehydrator so I could get them in my tummy! I am usually careful about what I dehydrate together because of possible cross contamination of onions with apples, etc. I have been wanting to make onion bread, but wanted to wait until after the flax crackers and Buckies were done. I had the flax crackers in and then had to wait for the buckwheat to sprout so I have had a few days of a partially filled dehydrator. It IS more efficient if you can think of things to dry that can go in together to fill up your trays.

First - making the Buckies (dehydrated buckwheat groats)

Sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat is great and can be used in a lot of things. Many people think buckwheat is a grain, but is actually a fruit seed from a broadleaf plant that is similar to rhubarb. You can buy buckwheat groats at any health food store.  I always buy organic anyway, but you want to make sure you have organic to ensure sprouting. Sprouted seeds are easier to digest.

Soak 1 cup of buckwheat groats in filtered water for about 8 hours. I like to do mine overnight so they are ready to rinse in the morning. Rinse thoroughly in a large strainer or sieve. I find they will slip through the holes of most colanders, Allow the buckheat to remain on the strainer and place it over a container to allow for drainage. Set aside on the counter in an area that receives light. Rinse well every several  hours until you see tails beginning to sprout from the seeds. This may take 1 to 2 days from the initial rinsing. Spread in thin layers on dehydrator sheets lined with teflex, or on cookie sheets lined with wax paper if you are planning to use your oven (remember, lowest temp for oven with door slightly open). Temperatures over 115 degrees usually will destroy raw plant enzymes, but if you don't have a dehydrator, and want to make these, your oven will have to do, right? You can also put them in the sun, just be careful of critters. Dehydrate 8 hours at 115 degrees. Some people will say 3 hours, but I like to make sure there is no moisture left, so I just put them in before I go to bed. You can't over-dry them.  Oven times will vary. They will be very light and crispy when done. You can use them for so many things, you may want to make a larger batch. They will keep indefinitely stored in an airtight jar.

So here's the Bucky Granola recipe. I eat 1/2 cup of it with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a packet of stevia. My current batch was made without raisins because I was out of them. Experiment with this and try different things.
I use all raw, organic ingredients.

Bucky Granola
Buckies (from a 1 cup soaked batch)
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup hemp seed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup goji berries
2Tbsp sesame seeds
2Tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup dried coconut
1/4 cup raisins
2Tbsp sunflower seeds

Mix together and store in airtight container. Makes 2 and 3/4 cups. Enjoy!
Let us know what else you're doing with your Buckies!
Don't you love the shadows from the bowl?