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On September birthdays, the Terry Fox Run and peace-building granola

On September Birthdays

Though it can be a challenge to gather and celebrate birthdays in September, I would still like to acknowledge a couple of Virgos dear to my heart.

It is well-known in my family that I give much importance to celebrating birthdays….

I believe that the very fact that we exist, completely apart from outer success or accomplishments, is the worthiest reason for celebration.

So first of all, BIG love to my husband who worries for us, works SO hard for us, plans adventures and gifts for us, is there for us, talks us through our tears and struggles, and cheers and supports us always~

I have always told Dan that his energy and talents are larger than life, and he should thus use his powers for good. He spends every breath working towards that end, and for that I will love him for all eternity.

Secondly, happy wishes to my step-mother Elsie. As I write and think about the evolution of our relationship over the last 7 years,

I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards this woman,

who in her infinite wisdom never once tried to take my mother’s place and always honored our need to remember Grandma Carol.  In doing so, she firmly won her place in my heart.

From the start, Elsie,  you loved our kids as your own grand-kids, gifted them with countless expertly sewed costumes, baked dozens of homemade buns that went straight from your oven into their mouths, and showered them with words of pride and encouragement.

In your own distinct ways, you both shine.

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The Terry Fox Run

Today was the annual Terry Fox Run at George’s school. It was an especially well- attended and organized event this year for our little neighbourhood school.

Though it has been 33 years since Terry Fox died,

today the story of his life touched my heart in a way that it perhaps never has before,

I fully and finally understood that Terry was truly a young and tenacious pioneer of doing the right thing, and of making up a new right thing.

What a radiant soul that lives on and on and on…

It was a particularly difficult assembly,

as the school community and staff was quietly but surely honoring another radiant young man, a teacher,  in the throes of his own struggle with cancer.

I am always in awe and inevitably moved to tears when massive love and support can organize itself into an event and pull itself into one space. These are the sorts of moments that always end up defining us ALL,

and today it happened again in a little school gym filled to the brim with kids, teachers and parents,

and it was my deep honour to have witnessed it.

I read an article this week that suggested that in every situation we should ask ourselves,

‘What would love do?’

Well….,

Love would do what Terry Fox did, determinedly continuing to run on through wind, rain, pain, and exhaustion~

Love would do what Marcus Karpati is doing, moving through his illness with indescribable courage and grace and even taking the time and energy to visit his school, co-workers, and his beloved students,

and Love would most definitely pour itself into a little school gym, multiplying itself beyond and within,

and circling itself around everyone gathered there.

Oh,

Love.

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Peace Building Granola

I sometimes think that I could subsist entirely on seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and cereals.

My family, of course, is not at all interested in the bird diet,

but they are still always very happy to see a freshly made pan of granola on top of the stove.

Though there are not a lot of things that I make repeatedly,

mostly because I get either get bored with making the same foods or I can’t remember where I discovered a recipe to start with,

this granola is a rare standby in our home.

After I introduced my dear friend Heidi to the recipe, we affectionately started referring to it as our  ‘love, peace, heart healing, friendship-building granola’.

See, there are actually other people who talk like I do!

I do need to credit the wonderful Jamie Oliver– I have tried many other granola recipes over the years but always come back to his –

It is super easy and satisfying, and so heavenly with warm steamed milk. I have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and for my bed-time snack,

all in the same day.

 Jamie Oliver’s Granola

* 2 cups oats

* 1 heaped cup mixed nuts

* 1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, sesame)

* 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 5 tablespoons maple syrup

* About 3 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I usually soak the dried fruit in water while the granola is baking, to soften it)

Preheat oven to 350°. Put oats, mixed nuts, mixed seeds, coconut, and cinnamon on a baking sheet. Stir well; smooth out. Drizzle with maple syrup and olive oil; stir. Bake 25-30 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so take out and stir, then smooth down with a wooden spoon and put back in oven. When granola is golden, remove from oven, mix in dried fruit (roughly chop any large pieces); let cool. Serve with milk or yogurt. You can keep leftover granola in an airtight container about 2 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “On September birthdays, the Terry Fox Run and peace-building granola

    • Just a note Kay, if you do decide to make the granola….I forgot to indicate how many cups of oatmeal -2 cups. 🙂
      When I first thought about that post, I was actually going to write about baking being calming and therapeutic -so we are on the same wavelength…again 🙂

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  1. Tania says:

    Another beautiful post Karen. Thank you for sharing your truest of feelings and being so authentic with all of us who are blessed to be your readers. I especially enjoyed your granola story. My Dad supplies with me with homemade granola on a regular basis and my lovely husband knows not to eat any – although this has never been explicitly asked of him. When my parents travel to Mexico for 6 months of the year my Dad prepares extra bags for me. I savor it for days when I feel I really ‘need’ it and it always comforts me in way that I thought was unique to me. Who knew there were others with ‘granola’ stories. From one granola girl to another – thank you.

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    • Oh, thank you Tania for such lovely comments. They fill my heart. So nice to feel connected with you. Thanks for sharing your granola story with me too – It is most definitely our shared comfort food! xo

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  2. Karen, I love all of your posts. But this one is especially, and touchingly, beautiful. I am so grateful that you have found such a lovely way to express your experience in this world.

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