Evening Poetry, May 15

The Clothes Pin

by Jane Kenyon

How much better it is

to carry wood to the fire

than to moan about your life.

How much better

to throw garbage

onto the compost, or to pin the clean

sheet on the line

with a gray-brown wooden clothes pins!

You can find this poem in the collection Otherwise by Jane Kenyon.

Cara Cara Margaritas (Recipe)

I wanted to make Blood Orange Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo but didn’t get to the grocery store in time. Since there were Cara Cara oranges in the fruit bowl, so I decided to go with them. After consulting several recipes online, I created my own recipe and if I do say so myself, these Margaritas are perfect for a party or for any night you feel like a little celebrating is in order.

Cara Cara Margaritas

(Serves 3-6, depending on glass size)

1 cup Cara Cara orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

3/4 cup Tequila

1/3 cup Cointreau or other triple sec

1/4 cup simple syrup

about 20 ice cubes

Stir ingredients in a pitcher and serve.

Evening Poetry, May 14

Here is a poem from a classic children’s poetry collection. If you have young children at home, please read poetry to them! Let their young ears become accustomed to the rhythm, cadence, and pure joy that can be found in poetry. One simple way to introduce them to poetry is during dinner: often while my kids were eating, I would read them a poem or two. Nursery rhymes count, as do Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky! I am certain there is poetry out there for every person, old or young.

Hold Fast Your Dreams

by Louise Driscoll

Hold fast your dreams!

Within your heart

Keep one still, secret spot

Where dreams may go,

And sheltered so,

May thrive and grow–

Where doubt and fear are not.

Oh, keep a place apart

Within your heart,

For little dreams to go.

You can find this poem in the collection Favorite Poems Old and New selected by Helen Ferris.

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin (Book Review)

I don’t have a business degree and have never taken a marketing course in college. Everything I learn has been through podcasts, books, articles, blog posts, and a few videos on Lynda or Linked In Learning, as it’s now called.

Seth Godin’s books have been invaluable to me over the past eight years since I discovered him online. His insight, encouragement, and knack for getting to the core of each idea he talks or writes about has been invaluable in my actual everyday life, before I started a business.

When I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mother I read Seth’s books and blog. His message about “work that matters” has always inspired me. I’m an INFJ, so doing work that matters is pretty much as important as breathing. On page 14 of his latest book, This is Marketing, Seth Godin writes:

“Marketing is the act of making change happen”.

And he shows us how we can use the principles of marketing to share our meaningful work with the world and bring about change. All through this book, and, indeed, all of Seth’s work, you will hear him talk about doing “work that matters for people who care” and that we, as marketers, are meant to serve people and add value.

This is not the way marketing was seen in the past. It is no longer considered a good marketing practice to selfishly demand that people (who don’t know us) give us their time and attention as we try to sell them something. Instead, we are to start by showing up consistently, bringing our best to people, and serving them.

Then, if we earn their trust and we become part of a “tribe” or community of people who share interests, we can offer what we have. And they might actually choose to listen to our message and, possibly, to buy from us. One very important point Seth makes in Chapter 20 “Organizing and Leading a Tribe” is this:The tribe doesn’t belong to you, so you don’t get to tell the members what to do or to use them for your own aims.” (p. 230)

I hear a lot about “building your tribe” and “growing your followers on social” from successful influencers, but Seth is right: if you are lucky enough to have a group of people who want to listen to you, that’s great! But you don’t own that community–you are there to serve them, not use them.

I’m jumping around a bit, but Chapter 9, “People Like Us Do Things Like This” is about people’s desire to fit in and their perception of status. Seth explains why it is so difficult to bring about change. I found this chapter super helpful to understand why marketing can be so difficult.

Chapter 10 is about the creation of tension, as a marketer, in order to bring about forward motion, and, thus, the change we want to make. He explains “pattern match” and “pattern interrupt”. This was helpful in understanding what to do about the resistance people have to change.

Other valuable and practical insights can be found in his chapters “A Better Business Plan”, “The Funnel”, and “Status, Dominance, and Affiliation”.

I always appreciate the generosity with which Seth shares his wisdom and the clear way he explains marketing principles so that anyone can comprehend them. Throughout the book, just like in everything else he shares with the world, Seth’s message is about being generous and doing your best work. Not perfect work, just your best. And then ship it. And then tomorrow you can make it better.

If you’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, or involved with marketing in any organization, including non-profits, you need to read this book. Buy it here or at your favorite bookstore or borrow it from your local library, but definitely put it on your TBR list! Oh and one final book nerd note: at 5.3 inches by 7.3 inches, the size of this book feels just right to hold in my hands.

There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. This means if you choose to make a purchase through a link, the cost to you is nothing extra, but I will receive a small compensation. This helps me pay for the costs associated with running this blog, as I am determined to keep my blog ad-free (you’re welcome!).

Evening Poetry, May 13

Seeing You

by David Whyte

I want you

to see

yourself

the way

I sometimes

see you.

I want you

to see

yourself

with the

self-same

eyes

that have me

shy

of telling you

what I see.

I want you

to come across

your self

and see

yourself,

the way I did

that first

morning,

as a beautiful

incredibly

kind

and inviting

stranger.

I want you

to knock

gently on

your

own door

and stand

there

astonished

as I do

unable

to speak

to the one

who has come

out to meet you.

Like Rilke’s

visiting

angel

of the

Annunciation

who forgot

his message

to Mary,

and could only

fall back

to singing

her praises,

stuttering and

everwhelmed

as he was,

by the untroubled

beauty

of her soul.

You can find this poem in the collection The Bell and The Blackbird by David Whyte.

How to Make Cashew Milk

I am going to show you how to make the easiest nut milk available! As someone who lives dairy-free, I have attempted to make my own nut milks before. Almond milk is great, but it requires the dreaded nut milk bag to strain the bits of nuts out of the milk. Which requires cleaning said nut milk bag, which is quite tedious and a definite mental hurdle to me making almond milk on a regular basis. 

Enter cashew milk: it requires no nut milk bag and no straining, which makes it a breeze to make. The only equipment necessary is a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Ninja so that you won’t have bits of nuts floating around in your milk.

This makes an amazing coffee creamer, as well as a treat with a gluten free graham cracker or biscotti!

So here is the recipe:

Cashew Milk

(yields approximately 6 cups)

2 cups raw cashews, whole or pieces

4 cups filtered water

2 Medjool dates (optional)

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract (optional)

pinch of sea salt

Place cashews in bowl and cover with water. Place a clean dishcloth over bowl. Let sit on counter for at least 4 hours. (It was more like 10 hours for me because that’s when I got around to making the milk.)

In a colander, strain out the water and rinse cashews. 

Place cashews in blender with 4 cups water, dates and vanilla (if using), and sea salt. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.

Place in clean mason jars or glass pitcher in fridge and drink it up within 4-5 days.

You can always cut the recipe in half if you can’t drink it as fast. And you can always add more water to the recipe to thin it out if it’s too creamy for you.

Let me know what you think! 

 

Evening Poetry, May 12

My Mother is Mine

by Marion Dane Bauer

My mother is soft.

My mother is strong.

My mother watches me long and long.

My mother sings high.

My mother sings sweet.

My mother can dance

on both of her feet.

My mother feeds me.

She holds me tight.

She never forgets

to kiss me goodnight.

My mother is tall and tall and tall.

But she doesn’t mind

that I am small.

My mother is pretty.

My mother is brave.

My mother still loves me

when I misbehave.

My mother is special.

My mother is fine.

My mother,

My mother,

My mother is mine.

My Mother is Mine was a favorite book of my daughter’s when she was small. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, step-mothers, mother figures, and nurturing, mothering people in our world!