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Sadhvi Sez: Feeling the Spirit in this Wonderland


Attention!!! It’s one of those days where everyone is going to be sitting up straighter and maybe even acting a bit more kind and more aware of how they treat each other because today could be the last day of the world. Exciting, isn’t it?

I’m baking an easy and simple cookie recipe today called “Chocolate Crinkles” that I’ve made for years. It’s online everywhere, with slight variations. The one I use is from Betty Crocker, and the only thing I do differently is to add some ground almonds and maybe a bit more vanilla. If you click here, you will have it.


What else? I’ve made 24 jars of “Marroni Creme”, which is really “Chestnut Jam” (chestnuts, sugar, and vanilla – yum!). I love to make it because no one makes it anymore.

Marroni Creme

I used to buy it when I lived in Switzerland, because it was available in the grocery stores there.
I think you can get it online, but if you’re married to a chestnut roaster, you probably just want to make it yourself, because it really is simple to make.

My husband has a few regular folks that ask for it at his chestnut roasting stand, and they are usually older people from Europe who remember, or  the children of those older people who know that it makes them happy.

And lastly, here’s a video that I took from the Dicken’s Festival at the Biltmore Village a few weeks ago. It’s one where my favorite girl singer’s are performing “Walking in the Winter Wonderland”. Enjoy!

I guess this is my last post IF the world ends. If so, tt’s been a wonderful life, and I’ve had a good time.

If it is still spinning after today, well, until next time.


Sadhvi Sez: This Thanksgiving…

ON THE CLIFFS (1917) by Dame Laura Knight

The sky where I live has been this deep, crisp blue color that makes me feel like I’m on vacation in the south of France. Kind of the feeling that you get when you look at this painting.  I like feeling relaxed and dreamy when the energy this week is completely the opposite; where everyone is busy getting ready to go somewhere and do something because it is THANKGIVING!!!  The time to get together with people and to eat a lot of food and spirits, or, to be cozy with just yourself or your partner and disappear?  I’ll do both this year, and I hope you do too.

I’ll be bringing a new type of booze instead of a nice bottle of red wine to the “Thanksgiving Social Gathering” on Friday called Hendrick’s Scottish Gin that is made with Bulgarian Rose and Cucumber – sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  You know I am not a big drinker, not since I drank too many pitcher’s of Miller Lite beer at Miami U. in 1977 and did handstands down a flight of steps on my way home, but when I saw the brown bottle that looked like something found in an old apothecary, I ended up being so taken by it that I took it home with me. I am going to serve it with tonic and slices of cucumber, like they say on their website, and see if I don’t feel nice and grown-up. I’ll let you know.




The African Adventure Begins!


We arrived in Africa after a grueling but fun 29-hour trip.  The heat here is overwhelming…a constant sauna…but, since it’s dry heat, you can tolerate it.

After getting situated in the place we are staying, we walked to a nearby mall and had a delicious dinner of Indian food and went to see “New Year’s Eve” in English–at an air conditioned theater.  We could easily have been back home, except for the “chicken” flavored popcorn.  The next day, we explored Becky’s city, visiting her university and moving her into her new dorm room.  We were also visited by a stranger, who scaled the wall and the iron gate at the house, apparently to rob the house.  But, since I thought he was the gardener, who was due to come that morning, I went up and introduced myself to him and said, “You must be Mr. Mompati!  How nice to meet you!”  He looked startled and said, “Yes, Mr. Mompati.  Can you let me in?”  He was pointing to my host’s office door.  I said, “Yes, I can, but I need to go get dressed first,” as I was in my bath robe.  When I came back out, he was gone.  I didn’t realize his true identity until the real Mr. Mompati arrived the next morning with a big smile on his face.  I thought he was trying to pull a fast one on me, until I realized that he knew all about me and my girls–and my purpose for staying in the house.  After some discussion back and forth, I realized how close I had come to letting a thief walk right into my host’s office!


We tried to start the big jeep of a car that we were going to borrow–the one with an extra tank for long hauls–but it wouldn’t even turn over, so we have ended up renting a car.  I can’t say I’m too disappointed:  1) it is automatic instead of manual, and I was having anxiety attacks thinking about trying to shift with my left hand, while getting used to sitting on the right side of the car and driving on the left side of the road 2) it is gloriously air conditioned!  It doesn’t have 4-wheel drive, which might be a problem in the game reserves, but I’m hoping we can work around that.  Now, if I can just stop putting on the windshield wipers every time I want to signal that I’m going left or right (since even the hand controls are reversed on the wheel).

Tonight, we take our malaria medicine and get ready to leave early in the morning for Khama Rhino Sanctuary–and Tuli Game Reserve–that is, if we can find our way to the road!

Love from Africa!



Beautiful Women Over 50: Lillie Sanders of Magnolia, NC


I  just finished watching an episode of “North Carolina People” where William Friday interviews Lillie Sanders from Magnolia, North Carolina (July 2010). Mrs. Sanders is a 2007 recipient of the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award given by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to  “recognize the unsung heroes of North Carolina whose vision, determination, resourcefulness and strength of character have caused them to make a positive difference in the state.”

This incredible woman spends her life helping the people of her community by finding ways to give them the basic things they need for life.  She grew up in poverty, working hard on her grandmother’s farm, and she has had lots of hard times in her life, but instead of getting overwhelmed or depressed, she has  “taken every negative and turned it into a positive.”

She started in 1998 with the Clothes Closet in Duplin County,  in order to “make sure that people could stay warm and look decent, whether they had money or not.”  Giving her own clothes away first, she soon attracted donations of clothes from churches, agencies, and concerned citizens.  People can come to the Clothes Closet and shop for clothing, and they can choose to leave a money donation or not Continue reading Beautiful Women Over 50: Lillie Sanders of Magnolia, NC