Monday, September 29, 2008

Vegan Banana Blueberry Recipe

Here's a great recipe I used last week that is so moist you'll be shocked it doesn't have any dairy!

Dry Ingredients:
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 white sugar/sucanat
-4 cups flour (2 w/w, 2 pastry)
-1 tea baking soda
-3 tab ground flax seed
-2 tea cinnamon
-1 tea salt

Wet Ingredients:
-1 cup vegan margarine (Balance recommended)
-6 brown bananas
-1 cup apple sauce
-1/2 cup soymilk mixed w/ 2 tea apple cider vinegar
-2 tea vanilla

Mix dry ingredient and sift. In separate bowl mix wet ingredients, then combine. Don't overmix, just moisten and then fold in 1 cup of blueberries. Spray muffin tray, and pour. Bakes at 350 degrees for approx. 20 minutes.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Non-Violent Communication

Well, yesterday was our training on Non-Violent Communication at the Carp Ridge Learning Centre. Rachelle Lamb was the facilitator hailing from Victoria, and our 15 participants ranged from people who worked with or lived with children and wanted to bring about a new wave of conscious caregiving, to people who wanted to improve their personal relationships by becoming more conscious of how they respond and react to one another. It's such an amazing opportunity to be in a room full of people who are committing to becoming more conscious and striving to have more effective and less violent relationships.

For a brief recap we began the workshop by focusing on 'NEEDS" and how they are the basis of every interaction. All people, all the time, whether they have the tools to identify it or not, are communicating their needs. We spoke about basic needs, universal needs, and our group specifically spoke a little about ego-needs. From there we went through the steps of Non-Violent Communication: 1) Observations- objectively identifying what an individual is observing without interpretation or judgement 2) Identify feelings- how does the action you observed impact you personally, without thoughts 3) Needs- Focus on what are your needs in the situation, which are life-serving 4) Request- concrete action that has a timeline. This process was highlighted by the importance of intention when you enter into a conversation and a natural curiosity about the people in your life. Having the intention of connection and harmony, and being curious about another individual, will take you away from judgement and will move you towards a new form of being with people. Simple but not easy, effective but not natural in terms of our instinct to judge and analyze.

All in all, great experience and I'm looking forward to the impact this will have on my life as I continue to practice this form of communication. The children in our preschool will be greatly impacted by adults who clearly communicate with them without judging or imposing their truth on them. Thus, furthering our value of empowering each child within this environment. We'll look at having another training session in the New Year for parents of the children at the preschool. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fall has arrived

Ahh...there's a stillness and coolness in the air that is typical of this time of year. Such a time of excitment; shedding the layers of leaves we've accumulated over the past months, harvesting and preparing for hibernation in figurative and literal senses. The staff at Carp Ridge Learning Centre have been busy designing advertising, postering nearby venues, designing programming, learning and growing and awaiting the arrival of children for October. We've met several families over the past couple of weeks, and it's been a great opportunity to connect to people within the community and canvas the communities needs, wish-lists, and to hear praise of what we're striving to achieve. We're now contemplating the need to create an online Alliance/Network to promote children and youths' access to nature. A similar movement exists in the US stemming from the book [great read] titled "Last Child in the Woods." Stay tuned to that one. Off to get some storage supplies for the Learning Centre. Until next time, Marlene

Friday, September 5, 2008

Still recruiting families...

Well, with less than a month to go we are still going through the recruitment, marketing, and media process. We're super excited to welcome Jamie to our staff next week; we'll take this opportunity to do a more in-depth reach out to the media, as well as more intensive networking. It's an interesting process, one that is unfolding naturally, and with the reminder from my wise partner, Scott, "Build it, and they will come."~Field of Dreams

A note to anyone reading this Blog, we are also still recruiting volunteers and supplies (such as children's outdoor clothing, garden/digging supplies, snowshoes, skii's, etc). Please contact us if you'd be interested in getting involved or if you have anything to donate.

Facilitator, Mar