More About the E-course

“Growing Older with Gusto!” is now available for registration!

If you are interested, go to https://lavalily.com/learn-with-lucy to find out more about the course and to register. Checking out with PayPal will give you access to the course on February 5, 2023.

Because I am teaching this course through WordPress.com, you will also need to sign up for an account with WordPress.com. It’s simple and it’s free!

In the meantime, go to the link above, and read more about the course. I will be offering several other courses in the future. Share this information with anyone you think might be interested. If you have any questions, send me a note via lucyj@lavalily.com.

A hui hou

Lucy

Growing Older with Gusto!

https://lavalily.com/learn-with-lucy

The e-course is available for registration! I realize there may be a problem with the registration page, but if you are interested, you can go ahead and send your name, phone number, and email address to me: lucy@lucyleejones.com. Checking out with PayPal will give you access to the course on February 5, 2023.

In the meantime, go to the link above, and read more about the course. I will be offering several other courses over the next few months. Share this information with anyone you think might be interested.

A hui hou

Lucy

ARUGULA!

Growing space is limited for me, even though I have a couple of raised beds. They are at a level that keeps me from having to bend too far or get down on my knees (difficult if not impossible these days)!

I need several more to really grow as much food as I’d like. So as much as I love fresh lettuce, I have settled for buying it at the market and using my garden space for things I can’t easily find to buy – like arugula and certain herbs.

I enjoy growing arugula (sometimes called “rocket”), and I love the spicy flavor. Before I started growing my own arugula, I bought what I needed at a little outdoor market and coffee shop in downtown Tucson. One of the growers there always had a huge batch of arugula for sale. I no longer live in Tucson, so I miss that little market and the friends who gathered thee.

My current patch of arugula is in a raised bed right by my side patio. Arugula grows quickly, and I love to pick a handful to add to my salad or sandwich. The more I pick, the thicker it grows! Fresh arugula is such a delicious treat!

A hui hou!

Ginger-Limeade

If you are looking for a delicious, refreshing, non-alcoholic drink to enjoy, here it is!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to drink Ginger Beer. It’s non-alcoholic, sharp, and refreshing. Similar to that is my very favorite drink (similar to Ginger Beer) is Ginger Limeade.

You can buy this drink in a bottle in many of our Hawaiian stores. It is made locally, and it’s very similar to Ginger Beer, but it will never surpass the taste of freshly made in your own kitchen.

I can only give you the approximate proportions I use, and you may need to experiment for your own tastes. If you wish, lemons could probably be substituted for limes, but I have never tried it. I have limes, and I prefer limes, so that’s what I use.

The piece of ginger I use is about 3/4 the size of the one in the picture above. Peel it, then slice it into thin circles.

Put these in a saucepan, add about 1 cup of sugar, more or less to taste (I use Splenda or Monkfruit or Erythritol for this). Fill to about an inch from the top with water. Simmer until it has reduced by about half.

Let it cool while you squeeze the juice from about 8-10 limes. Add the juice to the ginger syrup. I add either a liter of seltzer water or diet tonic (my preference).

Serve over ice for one of the most delightful drinks you’ll find anywhere. There is almost always a pitcher of it waiting in my fridge!

A hui hou!

Middle East Journey

This week is an appropriate time to share a little bit about one of my trips to the Middle East. I was still in active ministry at the time, making everything I learned there more valuable.

So much of what we saw on that trip was exactly how most people picture that part of the world – wide expanses of desert with Bedouins and their tents. Expand the picture above and you’ll get a better idea of a typical Bedouin with his camel.

When I was offered a chance to ride a camel, I quickly agreed. Riding a camel certainly has been one of my more unique experiences! I’d been riding horses for many years, so I thought a camel would be a cinch. How wrong I was!

Camels have a nasty disposition! Also, along with their constant complaining, they bend down in stages to let you climb on, which gives you the sensation of being on a very fluky rocking chair (or a slow roller coaster).

LUCY ON A CAMEL

I took this ride near the Qumran where ancient papyrus scrolls were found in 1945. Later, I visited the museum where these scrolls are on exhibit.

QUMRAN

In just a few days, we will celebrate Epiphany and the magi who followed a star to visit a baby in a stable. The word Epiphany means a “revelation,” or what I call an “ah ha!” moment and especially when we realize that God or the Holy Spirit is with us at all times, no matter what our religious tradition.

In the meantime, I want to say that I truly appreciate those guys even more now. I can empathize with the grueling ride they must have had on those camels!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year)

Growing Older with Gusto!

“Growing Older with Gusto!” is on the way! I’ll have the sign-up page ready in the next few days, so watch for it.

This e-course will be for younger women and men who are beginning to realize their mortality. They are getting a few (or more) gray hairs, they are seeing a few wrinkles in the face, and they don’t like it. Most of all, they fear what is to come. None of us knew what to expect because we had never been “old” before!

When you get the information, please consider forwarding it to any younger person you know. Encourage them to take part. Over the course of six weeks, I will cover all their questions, and maybe even answer a few questions they didn’t know they had.

Nothing will stop us from the normal path of life where we finally grow older. Life is terminal, but it doesn’t have to be a dreaded part of life. It’s too easy to say, “It’s all in your attitude!” There are actual things we can do to live every minute of the life we have, and allow those minutes to be enjoyable. We can live every day with Gusto!

A hui hou!

Jalapeño/Artichoke Dip

Without a doubt, this is probably my favorite dip to share but it’s not for the weak of heart (or delicate tastebuds)!

I happen to love spicy hot flavors in much of my food. I have lived in the Southwest US off and on for many years. I moved to Hawaii from Tucson about 27 years ago, and I brought my need for spice with me.

Once the ingredients are on hand, it’s only a matter of a few minutes to have it ready to put into your best terra cotta dish. If you have a food processor you can use that; otherwise a blender would work. Surround your dish with chunks of sourdough bread, chunky crackers, torn pita, chips, or a few veggies, and it’s ready to serve.

Chop up about a cup of marinated artichoke hearts. Add a 4-0unce package of softened plain cream cheese, ¼ cup mayo, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan and pulse in bursts to help mix everything together. If it’s too thick, sprinkle in a little water until the dip is just the way you want it.

When this is mixed to suit you, stir in a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh or pickled jalapeños. This is where you need to be mindful of your heat tolerance, especially if it’s for a potluck or a party, so add the jalapeños mindfully. You can add salt to taste, but I tend not to add much salt, if at all, because I think the flavors are enough in themselves.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

A hui hou!

You’ve Been Waiting for This

My Sunday blog posts are generally about food, gardening, writing, travel, and all sorts of various topics. I’m not much of a “niche” person, because my personality is more profoundly diverse. This mid-week blog will attempt a different path and focus on what I learned in interviewing more than one hundred women over sixty when I was on Sabbatical about 3 years ago. I call these women my “Perennials.”

Many of you have been waiting for the e-course I’ve been putting together about being or becoming a Perennial. “GrowingOlder with Gusto!” is just about ready to launch, so keep your eye on this spot each Wednesday.

This e-course will be for women and men of all ages who do not look forward to getting older. In this e-course, they will learn what it takes to be a Perennial, and how to look forward to growing older rather than dreading it. As a friend said, “We don’t HAVE to grow older. We GET to grow older.” Not everyone gets that opportunity.

Adding years to our life is nothing to be afraid of, after all. As I’ve read in so many places, “we start aging the minute we are born.” It’s only when we reach our thirties and forties that we start to notice the process that’s been happening since birth.

One thing I discovered about the “Perennials” I’ve interviewed is that we are an inquisitive bunch. We are not always satisfied with accepting things the way they are, but we are always looking for what makes something “tick.”

In other words, our curiosity pushes us to explore, to keep our minds active, to push our own limits, and to become “Perennials” who are forever blooming.  Does that sound like you, too?

“Growing Older with Gusto!” will be appropriate for people of all ages. I welcome and encourage your contribution to the course discussion

Does this sound like a course you’d like to share with the younger people in your life? Would you also like to learn more about “Growing Older with Gusto?”

Watch for more information next Wednesday! I look forward to your comments on this post.

A hui hou!

A Typical Hawai`ian Winter

I first wrote about this in 2009 soon after I started writing my blog. It’s one of my favorite times of year here in Hawai`i, in what we call “winter.” The roads are lined with dazzling displays of poinsettias .

The highway I drive regularly is narrow and curving with almost no place to pull over, but I managed to get a few pictures. Some of the photos are a bit hazy, so there must have been some vog the day I took these (look up “vog”). Please enjoy these pictures that show a few of our winter scenes.

Yes, there is a difference between summer and winter here. Even in Florida, Southern California, and Arizona (all states where I have lived in the past), there is a distinct change between the temperatures in July and those in January.

Here, there is no noticeable change in temperature from month to month all year. From late November until mid-March, however, there is a change in what blooms along the roadsides and in our gardens.

Some places have huge embankments of poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima). “Pulcherrima” means “very beautiful,” and it is. There is no way to compare these with the little pots of poinsettias you might purchase in a local store.

Against our rich green forests, the brilliant reds are almost florescent. Then throughout March, I look for those little drops of red in the midst of jungle growth that keep hanging on. When they are all gone, I know that winter is over!

Poinsettias flow over onto the ground and almost seem to take over everything else. My first experience with poinsettias took place back in the early 70s when I decided to take some courses in the ornamental horticulture department of California Polytechnic Institute in San Luis Obispo.

We made a field trip to visit the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, CA where over 70% of the poinsettias in the United States and over 50% worldwide actually begin their life. There were acres of greenhouses filled with poinsettia cuttings in all varieties and stages of growth. Please follow the link above to view the history of that ranch as well as the history of poinsettias in general.

I love the way they intermingle with the yellow hibiscus. Such a dazzling display of color!

This is a sight few of you will see at Christmas.

Many of the poinsettias have found their way into the wild tangles of growth alongside our roads.

Others are a featured part of a home’s entryway.

You can see why I’m obsessed with taking just the right pictures to illustrate this stunning plant.

Poinsettias are originally from Mexico and named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico in the 1920s.  During his stay in Mexico he wandered the countryside looking for new plant species.

In 1828 he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and brought them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. The rest, as they say, “is history.”

When I lived in Southern California, I remember how people would plant the small potted plants they bought at Christmas time. Many of their homes had nice stands of poinsettias, but they rarely reached the size of the ones here.

If you are interested in what to do with your Christmas poinsettia plant, look online to read about it. You will find good sites on how to choose and care for your poinsettia, and what to do with it at the end

I really do empathize with those of you who are suffering under ice storms and record-breaking snowstorms. I have lived in Alaska, Illinois, and Rhode Island, so I know what you are experiencing. But I could never go back to it, now that I’ve lived in Paradise for close to 30 years!

Whether you are celebrating Hanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Yule, Saturnalia, Kwanzaa, or any other festival at this time of year, poinsettias are a celebration in themselves!

Mele Kalikimaka
[Merry Christmas in Hawaiian]

WASSAIL

This recipe has made its way through several generations and I’ve passed it on to my own children. My oldest daughter said she’s already gone through three (maybe more) batches this holiday season. I’ve also given it as gifts to friends and neighbors.

Just smelling it as you walk into the house is enough to put you in a holiday frame of mind!

Wassail Recipe

Juice 2 oranges and 2 lemons. Set juice aside to add later

Slice rinds and boil in 6 cups of water with 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 T of cloves, 1 cup sugar (for alternate, see note below). Simmer for an hour.

Add citrus juice and 1 gallon of cider or apple juice. Warm it – don’t boil.

Note: In place of sugar, I use Monk Fruit or Erythritol. You might want to use maple syrup or honey, too.

Enjoy!

A hui hou!