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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Zen of Rock-Watering/ "2013 Cake"/Giveaway Winner

Did you know that it is important to water your rocks? 

You know, the rocks you may have around your flower bed......or possibly just a random rock you may find on the ground?


I didn't either.

But recently, I had a lesson in rock watering.....from one of my favorite teachers.

I've been studying the Zen of Life from her for almost three years now. 

Here she is:

Seem a little young to be a Zen Master?

I assure you, she is not. 

What I have learned from her in the last three years could fill a 1,000-page book.

Like the need to water your rocks.

We were watering the flowers last weekend when I noticed that she was watering the rocks.  She said "I watering". 

I started to say, 'oh, but the flowers need the water' and stopped myself short.  Maybe the rocks do need the water.  How do I know?

I watched.

I saw the sheer joy in her as she lovingly watered the rocks.  Not just tossing water everywhere either.  Systematically covering every square centimeter on the surface of these huge rocks.  Rocks I found on our land and struggled to move into place to hold my flower I was so excited to have that once held purpose for that I have never once that I never even really look at anymore....completely forgetting the joy and excitement they once held for me.

My Professor of Zen caught me watching her and paused to flash me the broadest of grins, punctuated with a little giggle that simply would not be contained in her small body.

I answered with my own grin.....and giggle.

Yes, 'we watering'.

Maybe it isn't about the rocks or the water but is about just moment.

Part of living more mindfully is being FULLY PRESENT and seeing the possibilities all around NOT just going down the same trodden path, but in looking beyond the things we do and unplugging from all that we do on 'automatic'.  Not just stopping to smell the flowers, but maybe stopping to ponder a rock, or to water one. 

Simple.  But not easy.

To find joy in the simple, is to find the key to a happy life.


Today is my husband's birthday.  Happy Birthday, honey.  I don't know why I am wishing you happy birthday on here (my husband doesn't read my blog---in his view: 'why should tell me all that stuff anyway'.  True that!).

He's getting his big yummy vegan german chocolate cake this weekend when we have a little get-together, but I thought he needed something today as well.

I wanted a lighter cake and some way to use up the gazillion pears I have from our pear trees who have been over-achievers this year.

So I came up with a hodgepodge of a recipe.  This is something I actually did just 'make up myself' although really I am pulling from memories of all the cakes I have made in my life and applying a few vegan baking concepts.  I had no idea how this was going to turn out.  Sorta like how I felt in January of this's what I'm going for, no idea how this year is going to turn out kinda thing.  So, I'm calling this "2013 Cake".

Thought I'd go really out-there and add a baked sweet potato.  I peeled the skin off (feed to the nearest dog....they love them!), and mashed up by hand.

Terrible picture, but ground flax seed soaked in water for a few minutes.  Gets very gelatinous and is a great substitute for eggs in baked goods.

Adding in sweetener (maple syrup).

Alcohol-free vanilla.
Dry meets wet.

Getting ready to put in the oven.
"Icing".  Really is just melted chocolate chips mixed with some coconut milk.
2013 Cake
It came out very moist (this actually could have been baked a bit longer) and very tasty!  The birthday boy really liked it.  Success!

2013 Cake

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/4 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon


1 baked sweet potato, peeled
1/2 C maple syrup
1 t vanilla
2T ground flax seed (soaked in 3 T water)
3/4 C pears, peeled (I lightly poached mine)
1/4 - 1/2 C coconut milk
vegan dark chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients.  Mash potato.  Blend in syrup, vanilla, flax mixture.  Add in pears.  Slowly add in coconut milk and stir.  Adjust to get consistency of cake batter.  Fold in approx. 1/2 chocolate chips.
Bake 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Check with toothpick and remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean.

Melt 1/2 c chocolate chips and stir in approx 1/4 c coconut milk.  Spread on cake (melts a bit into cake if you spread while cake is warm, or let cake cool first if you prefer).


Winner of my 2013 Giveaway (copy of Happy Herbivore and a Veji-Bag) is Glorianne.  Thank you for entering, Glorianne.  You are the only one that did!  (I have to remind myself that I did not start this blog to amass a huge following or to 'monetize' it and have ads all over the place {nothing against people that do that, it's just not my thing}, but merely as something to help keep me accountable and to chronicle my efforts to become healthier.  A nice side-effect has been that a few people seem to have benefitted from the blog, and that is very satisfying.  To pay it forward I only need one person, so you are it, Glorianne!  Please e-mail me at: and I'll get shipping info from you.)  Thanks to my overseas readers who didn't enter due to prohibitive shipping costs.  Gotta find a way to include you next year!


Sue, off to water my rocks, in Ohio

1 comment:

  1. Sue...loved this post! Such simple life lessons to learn from your sweet Zen girl! Of course you need to water the rocks! I am glad you stopped to listen and learn from her....ah...the simple things. Oh, the memories you are making for you and that sweet one. I will always remember 'we watering' now when I water my garden.