02/22/14

Does Competition Make You Better?

Jimmy Sherburne, #2 Princeton Tiger Senior Guard, February 2014

How do you feel about competition? Do you rise to the occasion? Do you clutch? Do you encourage it or walk away from it?

“Competition makes me better.” Jimmy Sherburne, Princeton Tiger #2, Senior Guard (and adored nephew) playing in tonight’s game against Harvard. Go Tigers!

Back story: One of my favorite quotes and people, not just because Jimmy’s one of my five talented nephews, also because he shifted my perspective on competition. When he was 17 and playing high school bball against a college team, I asked him what he thought about playing such an experienced team and he said, “Competition makes me better. I like it.”

Profound answer for me.

I’ve never felt comfortable competing, often choosing to play smaller than my heart’s desire for so many reasons – fear of being perceived as a show-off, wanting others to like me, wanting others to feel good about themselves, early girl training in Catholic grade school, potential disappointment of losing anyway…

Now, when I feel that way, I think of Jimmy and remember that giving my best when up against any other person or team, makes us all better.

A rising tide lifts all boats. Thank you Jimmy!

PS. They play at 8 pm EST tonight, home game. You can watch on ESPN3.

Thanks for sharing!
02/14/14

Love and Happy Valentine’s Day from Torrey Pines Reserve

Torrey Pines LOVE

Happy Full Moon Valentine’s Day from the top of Torrey Pines!

For as long as I’ve walked these trails I’ve imagined capturing the love and light of people walking in silhouette to the sun and moon and hills here. Finally it happened recently - and spontaneously.

Just before the trail meets the beach I looked up and saw these women passing above. I raised my arm and put up my index finger in the air, hoping to catch their attention. They stopped. I started spelling out the word LOVE with my arms. One by one they started mirroring my gestures – L-O-V-E.

I’m not sure what Lovely Ladies Five and Six on the right were doing, maybe spelling Love backwards, but I am sure that LOVE shows up in the most unlikely places when we show up with an open heart and let the presence of the moment lead the way.

What are you sure of about LOVE?

Thanks for sharing!
11/26/13

Inspired Action: Thanksgiving 2013 and Sweet Smile Soup

Prayers of Gratitude an Ocean Wide  |  Mary Marcdante

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

Thanksgiving 2013 is in two days and the Christmas music is already playing in the stores. Facebook is filled with Black Friday updates, holiday recipes, and my favorite – the gratitude posts. I can feel a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation filling my heart and I love that! It makes any challenge I come across all the more meaningful, as a reminder that I am lucky, blessed, fortunate — pick your favorite word, they all fit for me — to be able to have these challenges because it means I’m still alive when so many others are not. It means I am dealing with “situations” that others would rather have than their own. It means that I’m able to write this message and share it with you. Thank you!

Another Thanksgiving favorite is making “Sweet Smile Soup.” The recipe below is the vegetarian version of the original 20 year old recipe that came from Audrey, the mother of my good friend Barbara who used pot roast, green beans, and brussel sprouts as the key ingredients.

I added green olives as an experiment because I love them and they tasted so good in an ancient spaghetti sauce recipe (you know how old that recipe is if someone uses the word spaghetti instead of pasta) courtesy of my friend since kindergarten Debbie. They worked!

The almond butter addition is an adaptation from a former housemate Scott, who said the secret to great tasting soup is a tablespoon of peanut butter. He was right. I also use almond butter. Either are great.

You’ll definitely want a big soup pot. Mine is 7 qts.

Here’s a link to a pdf of “Sweet Smile Soup.”

Sweet Smile Soup Ingredients

- One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen diced tomatoes with basil & garlic (you can also use Muir Glen Fire-roasted organic tomatoes w/ green chiles for a unique taste but then skip the green chiles listed separately)

- 3 1/2 tomato cans of water

- 1 1/2 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillion” chicken base or vegetable base (THE BEST!)

- 8-12 brussel sprouts quartered (This is a key ingredient – adds a buttery flavor and texture)

- 4 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

- 1 small sweet potato or yam cubed

- 2 tbsps. of diced garlic

- 1 small can of green chiles (for kick!) or 1 inch fresh jalapeno (I like it really hot)

*1 can beans – kidney, great northern or black beans (rinsed and strained)

- 3 tbsps. of green olive juice (salty)

- 12 green olives (smaller ones or for fun use 6 jumbo green olives and give a prize for anyone who gets one in their soup – or add them one per bowl at serving if you’re not a fan)

- 1 tbsp. smooth almond butter (or peanut butter) – this is the surprise addition!

- 1/2 cup of frozen spinach or 1 c. fresh spinach, kale, or chard cut ribbon style

1 big handful of free green beans cut in 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Turn on music – Suggest Suitcase CD by KebMo.
  2.  Add tomatoes and condiments to big stock pot and turn on heat to high.
  3. Cut veggies and add as you complete.
  4. Bring ingredients to a boil and immediately reduce to low simmer.
  5. Simmer for 45 -60 minutes after last ingredient is added. Taste-test carrot for desired texture – slight crunch to soft (not mushy).
  6. While simmering, call Mary Marcdante and say hi (858) 792-6786.
  7. Vouella! It’s Soup! Makes 6-10 servings. Tastes even better 2nd day.
  8. Freezing works but it will be a little mushier.

Optional ingredients for a heartier soup and different tastes/more protein/carbs

* ½ cup dry lentils (add 1 cup extra water if you add lentils)

* 1/3 c. of dry quinoa grains or brown rice added along with veggies (add 2/3 c. extra water

* 1-2 skinless chicken or turkey breasts (use cheesecloth or strain before it falls apart, debone, chop in 1” chunks and re-add to soup)

* 1 pound pot roast, seared. Add all ingredients as suggested to seared pot roast

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe? I’d love to know; please share in the comment box.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Thanks for sharing!