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Jane on Finding My Religion

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about religion–it must be my age.  I’ve had a strange religious journey in my life.  My earliest memory of church is of attending Methodist Sunday School on our Army post in Germany and singing hymns like “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” but I was really raised–sort of–in the Episcopal church, by parents who had tried out a variety of religions themselves–from the Methodist brand to a very secular Unitarianism–and ended up in the Episcopal church.  My mother always seemed to choose her church on the basis of the quality of sermon being offered there (something she got from her father)–so we switched around a lot.

I remember when I was confirmed in the Episcopal church–the process that made me a real member of the church and allowed me to take communion–I asked the priest, who happened to be a very open-minded kind of guy, if I should worry about the fact that I was having to vow a lot of things that I wasn’t convinced I completely believed or accepted in my heart of hearts.  He was a sweet, older man, and he said the important thing was to believe in the big picture and not worry about the details.  He said this with such kindness and such acceptance of me that, right then and there, I believed:  I believed in him, and, since he was such a good, kind, intelligent man, I believed in his religion.  The power and virtue of his faith convinced me more than any of the creeds I was memorizing.

Religions of the World

My husband and I were married in the Episcopal church by another wonderful man, Mr. Hadden.  We didn’t know at the time of our wedding that he was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but during the service, he lost his place, and my husband and I had to coach him along, whispering things like, “Isn’t this where we are supposed to kneel?”  We got pretty tickled–and I have always loved Mr. Hadden for smiling at us and even laughing a little along with us.  He was another true Christian.  (He eventually christened all of our kids in the Episcopal church–even our youngest who was so big–weighing 11 pounds and 11 ounces when she was born–that he almost dropped her at the altar!) Continue reading Jane on Finding My Religion

Sadhvi Sez: Keep Your Heart Open by Creating and Giving


This Holiday season is different on account of so many things: the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012 (oh no, the end of the world!); the end of the Kali Yuga on that same date; astrological configurations that have not occurred since 26,000 years ago; not to mention the intense times on the planet on account of financial, emotional, and weather-related things that just don’t seem to end.

Hey wait, maybe December 21st will be the end of all the chaos and nonsense, wouldn’t that be nice?


This year I’m not even able to play my usual Christmas Songs while baking the things I send to my family who live far away; Nat King Cole and Bing just don’t sound very good.

I’m listening to classical music and my favorite Osho music more, trying to find comfort and joy inside. I’ve never taken that technological step with getting an iTunes account or a MP3 player or an iPod, so I am thankful that I have a CD player that is hooked up and still works!

I also like to bake to chill out, and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. I have my grandma’s recipe for poppy seed and nut rolls, and it is the best one I’ve found, and I’ve searched the web extensively for a better one – believe me, there is no better recipe than hers! Because of my Czechoslovakian background, I find that I start to crave something with a lot of poppy seeds in it around now. They are so good and everyone loves them. If you like to bake, you should try to make them.

I don’t buy things that are mass-produced for any gift-giving occasion, so here are a few of my favorite things:

1.) My favorite hand-made soap is called Goat in the Patchouli Patch from ThingsFromHome. Really, in the ocean of hand-made soaps that are out there, Mickey’s goat milk soap’s stand out for their purity and price.


2. And forget all those fancy anti-aging products that promise everything and are expensive to boot, because really and truly, none of them will make me look like I did when I was in my 20’s again! Instead, finding a product that is really good for my skin, not crazy expensive, and something that smells really really good is what I am after.

What I found to be all that is Garima’s Lavender-Rose Moisturizer. Besides being a master herbalist she’s an aromatherapist too. My skin likes her products, and they make me happy because they smell divine! And, they are very high quality and affordable too. Check her stuff out.

3.) I found these seeds that are beautifully packaged and great gifts for anyone who gardens. Check them out at this site: Hudson Valley “Art Packs”.


4. I am also into supporting the local artists in my area. And while at one of our tailgate markets this past year, I saw Kristen Schooover’s whimsical and cute functional pottery. She has an Etsy page and is on FaceBook. You can also contact her in the old-fashoned way of telephoning or emailing her, if you write and ask me for it.


And lastly, I wear hats and scarves almost year-round; I feel especially protected when I’m wearing something on top of my head, and around my throat. I was really pleased to get a present of this hand-made silk scarf from a dear friend who got it from an online company in Canada called, WomenClothingToday. I love my silk scarf with a hand-painted design from Austrian artist, Klimt.


I’ll close with a wish that you are surrounded by love and beauty and feel a deep sense of contentment with what is, and what’s to come!

Happy Holidays!