Creating the Warrior Spirit

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“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

I am continually amazed at the gifts God gives us, the variety and the beauty! Some are subtle, almost unseen but still so necessary; while others are obvious, prominently displayed in the forefront. All receive equal honor because the Master’s hand created them.

God – The Giver of All Gifts

When I work in my job as a yoga and Pilates teacher, I remember my faith and that God can use me for healing and health-giving purposes. Since I am very flexible, I have to keep in mind that I can push my students too far. It’s a delicate balance between healing and harming.

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Warrior 1 opens the heart with hands reaching towards heaven and feet grounded on a firm foundation.

Looking up to God, the giver of all gifts, I have hope and motivation because I know I am His craftsmanship he is not finished with me yet. He is still carving, shaping and polishing to create something special for His grand design and His plan for my life. I am grateful for God’s patience and guidance. I know He will take me exactly where I need to be. Wherever I am, I have the opportunity at all times, to do good works and reflect God’s love.

“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8

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Warrior 3 Pose uses balance, strength, grace and focus.

Warrior of the Lord

This week I had the chance to see a very unusual and remarkable creation, a God breathed sculpture carved from a 2,000-year-old redwood stump. warrior-of-the-lordThe “Warrior of the Lord” is a dramatic 7-foot-tall carving and has an impressive 9 foot wing-span. With his wings spread and his cloak is flowing. The majestic archangel stands ready to take on his fight against evil.

warrior-of-the-Lord-SafonovThis beautiful piece of art carved by Alexandre Safonov, stands in front of an antique store in mountains of Agoura Hills. The artist’s creation was inspired by the Holy Spirit. “I feel the Holy Spirit”, Safonov said. “I put the energy of God into this piece.” ¹ Alexandre prayed every time he started work on his masterpiece.

“This is a warrior; he represents God and the word of God.” – Alexandre Safonov

His eyes seem to be looking up in adoration to God.

The Armor of God

When I saw the statue, I immediately thought of several scriptures, particularly Ephesians
6:10-18, about spiritual warfare and putting on the ‘Armor of God’. ²

alexandre-safonov-warrior-of-the-lordThe archangel’s “Sword of the Spirit” carries a ‘B’ to represent the Bible, the word of God. His “Belt of Truth” bares the cross of Jesus and his massive “Shield of Faith” is emblazoned with the initials of Jesus Christ, ‘JC’.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. – Ephesians 6: 10-12

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Warrior Fathers – Men of Honor

Happy Fathers Day to all the men who are warriors for their families and especially to my husband, Steven, who is an amazing and supportive dad to our daughter and devoted to his family. He is a warrior for our family each and every day. We are blessed and I continually thank God.

Many blessings,

Linda

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Footnotes:

1. http://www.theacorn.com/news/2015-06-11/Community/Woodcarver_uses_faith_talent_in_work_of_a_lifetime.html

2. Ephesians 6:10-18 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A+10-18&version=NIV

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A Mother’s Blessing

i-have-no-greater-joy-3-john-1-4What a day! On May 21st, my youngest sister, Alisa, delivered the 21st of my nieces and nephews. I can say I am a very blessed Aunt! That’s a lot of hugs and kisses and yes, that is a lot of birthday checks!

Alisa-JulianAlisa amazes me, two days after a cesarean section, with staples still in her stomach and not getting sleep for days, she manages to look so good for this photo.

Behind the smile, Alisa lives with the fact that baby Julian was born with a hole in his heart and with a leaky heart valve. She has to navigate several medical options for him. Not knowing what lies ahead for her son, Alisa has stayed calm and joyful. She and her husband are standing strong in faith, taking it one day at a time.

A Rough Start

The arrival of my newest nephew reminded me of my daughter Lindsay’s early years. I started out as an awkward mother. After having a C-Section and being in pain, I didn’t have a lot of desire to bond with my daughter right away.

Lindsay was a colicky baby, an inconsolable crying ‘thing’ that left me sleep deprived, cranky and depressed. I remember my father trying to cheer me up; he told me, “Lindsay is going to be your best friend some day.” I heard the words but at the time, I had a hard time conceiving of such a thing.

Lindsay moved on from her colicky phase. and into her ‘wild child’ era. She was only about 2½ or 3 when she dragged a chair to the 2nd story opening over the recreation room, stood on its ledge and waved good-bye to me, announcing that she was, “going to fly like Dumbo.” I never moved so fast in my life!

Motherhood was a wild ride. Lindsay was challenging, but today, Lindsay is one of my best friends and our love continues to grow. She’s a joyful, compassionate and giving woman, a devoted daughter who makes herself available for her friends and family. I wish I could take credit for how she turned out but the truth is, I had to surrender the whole motherhood thing to God early on. delight-yourself-in-the-lord-and-he-will-give-you-the-desires-of-your-heartI knew from the start I was in way over my head.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

We all have supreme hopes and desires for our children. I pray and put my hope  in God, but learning to “Delight in the Lord”, what is that exactly? How do I best do that? Am I walking with Him in love, joy and strength? I still ask myself these questions every day. My life line is this, I am grateful because my God is with me and for me. He will never leave me or forsake me. 

Persevere through the hard times; good times are coming! 

Joy For This Journey

On Mother’s Day, Lindsay gave me a special personalized gift and a sentimental note. Her words were so beautiful and heartfelt. I wish I could see myself the way she sees me.

Lindz also took her dad and I out for a cruise on her boyfriend’s family boat. His family’s generosity was amazing: flowers, food, great scenery and witty conversation. Everyone made it a lovely day.

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Mother’s Day was followed by a very romantic get away with my honey, Steve. I am thankful; at this moment life is sweet.

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God’s Promises to Never Leave Us

1. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

2. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

3. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5

4. “May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us.” – 1 Kings 8:57

5. David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20

6. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. “They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.” – Psalms 37:28

7. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” – Psalms 94:14

8. “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 41:17

9. “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

10. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

 ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈  ≈

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God promises are true. “His word is above all! We can move forward because, He goes before us. And if God is for us, who can be against us”?¹

With a grateful heart, Linda

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Jesus in Matthew 28:20 ²

Footnotes:

1. http://www.thejourney2grace.com/index.cfm?i=11059&mid=1000&id=324730

2. Matthew Chapter 28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+28&version=NIV

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Woman In Gold – The Untold Story

I cried more than once. The movie, “Woman In Gold” is powerful and emotional. It’s a true story about holocaust survivor, Maria Altmann, played by Helen Mirren. The story follows her journey to recover a world-famous painting of her Aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. This film draws much of its strength from Mirren’s spirited performance. Ryan Reynolds effectively plays the attorney, Randy Schoenberg, who helps Ms. Altmann recover the works of art looted from her family by the Nazis. Reynolds’ lively rapport with Mirren gives momentum and life to the movie.

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Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) by Gustav Klimpt, sold for a record $135 million in 2006.

In part, this movie is about loss and the atrocities of the holocaust but it is also about an exceptional family who loved music and art. Maria had a close bond with her Aunt Adele. Their affection and love for one another was well depicted in the movie.

Remember The Good

My family was invited to see the movie with Jim Altmann, one of Maria Altmann’s sons. I could tell it meant a lot to Jim to be able to share the moment with a big group of his family and friends. I asked him, “what was the predominate impression you took away from the movie?” Jim answered, “Good question; Every time I see it, something different stands out. Seeing it this time I’d say, remember the good memories.” Like Jim, I also felt that message resonated in the movie. The movie also carried the message of courage and the importance of remembering your ancestors.

One of the Great Battles in Art History

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Steven Eichberg at the theater with a reproduction of Klimpt’s portrait of Adele, the original resides in Neue Galerie, New York.

At the reception following the movie, I inquired if Jim felt the film told the story factually. He said, “yes, it did do a good job of revealing most of the facts.” He loved the movie overall and felt the description of some of the events surrounding Maria’s  journey to reclaim her family’s property were well done. But exactly how hard and for how long Maria fought, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, was not quite accurately described. Jim Altmann continues, “my mother was in her 90’s and Helen is in her 70’s. The process was very long, drawn out and exhausting, much more so than what was shown in the movie.” I can imagine how much more difficult the burden would have been on a woman in her 90’s. The trips to Vienna and the constant rejection and deception would have been a lot for anyone.

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Memories of Maria Altmann lovingly displayed at the reception

A Quest For Truth and Justice

“Woman in Gold” was supremely entertaining, masterfully directed and brilliantly acted! One the most touching parts of the film was when Ms. Altmann shared a story about a woman, her friend, shown in another portrait. This woman was flesh and blood to her, part of her life. She was not a ghost from the past on a lifeless piece of art. So many families of good people were decimated during the Nazi reign. So much beauty was lost. This was the truth she wanted the world to know. Legal battles to win the return of art confiscated by the Nazi’s continues, with an estimated 100,000 works of art still at issue.

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Ms. Altmann in her 90’s

This Generation of Altmann’s

The movie did not go very deeply into Maria Altmann’s family life during the time of the trials. Ms. Altmann’s son, Jim, lives in our area. He own’s a successful Southern California construction firm. His daughter, Alana, grew up with my daughter, Lindsay, and is one of her best friends.

My husband Steven and I spent a lot of time with Alana and love her like a daughter. Alana and her mom have taken my Yoga/Pilates classes. Lindsay has also shared quite a few special moments with the Altmann family. Lindsay enjoyed playing Scrabble with Maria and hearing her stories.  She gives accolades to Helen Mirren for the way she captured the spirit and essence of Maria Altmann in her portrayal.

Lindsay and Alana have helped each other grow into well-rounded, intelligent, hard-working woman who are comfortable in their own skin. They have nurtured close friendships and each of them is successful in their respective careers. I am so grateful to God for that.

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Seeing these two grow to become the wonderful woman they are now has been my joy!

The Importance of Family

During the court battle for the art, Alana would come to our home and tell us bits and pieces about her grandmother and the long arduous legal proceedings. The movie reignited the emotion and anguish of that process. In contrast to that, I remember so well our happiness the day Alana told us, “We won!”

To Maria Altmann, it wasn’t about the money. The portrait of her aunt, displayed as Austria’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ was so much more than an expensive piece of art; it was the essence of her family’s memories and legacy. When their art was stolen by the Nazi’s, so were pieces of their history, the love and beauty they once shared together. It is essential to keep your family memories and legacy alive.

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Alana and Lindsay during the wedding reception of Alana and Blaine Bisquera

I can say because I know, Maria Altmann’s granddaughter, Alana, is shining her light and love in this world in marvelous ways.

Alana, and Maria’s other grandchildren are living legacies to her growing family and the story continues…

With hope and gratitude,

Linda Eichberg

“I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2

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Wonders Wait Just Around the Corner – March Miracles

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Going With the Flow

As I stepped outside my Westlake Village home, planning to rush off to the gym. The hills caught my eye. They were rich with spring color and they seemed to be inviting me to come and play.

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March is usually the greenest month in Southern California and with the abundance of local trails available to explore, it would be a shame not to sample one or two. I decided to skip the gym and headed to the Westlake Vista Trail in the hope of seeing some seasonal wild flowers.

The trail starts at Triunfo Canyon, just off Lindero Canyon Road at the Pentachaeta Trail. You will stay to the right for Westlake Vista. Just around the bend of the trail head is a grove of natural Oak trees, a meadow and then a fork in the path. Both paths lead to the reservoir but I took the left trail which quickly rises to view rocky cliffs.

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I was drawn toward the rocks to get a better look. There was a small trail off to the left but when I saw how narrow and steep it was, I quickly return to the main trail and soon arrived at the reservoir.

It’s a fairly easy hike for a healthy person but there are some loose rocks that make the steep sections of the trail very slippery. It took about 25 – 30 minutes to get up there. I probably could have made it in faster time but I was accompanied by my two Maltese.

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To the right I could see what looked like a vast open flood plain. To the left was the crystal clear reservoir framed by rolling hills and mountains.

We met a couple of other hikers up there and one of them offered to take a photo of me and my cute furry boys.

It seemed that I was already at the top of the trail. It was lovely; but exploring further, I discovered another small trail to my left. I hadn’t seen it the first time I ventured to the reservoir. The path brought me up to a view of the water that exposed a grander aspect of it’s liquid expanse.

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Higher and higher we climbed to another stunning vantage point as the captivating sounds of water birds echoed in the distance.

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It was at this point that I felt like I was in another world, instead of the city of Westlake Village. It was as if I was at a destination vacation in the mountains but I only went around the corner to experience this magnificent view.

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At the top, viewing the wide stretch of the regal hills, my ambitions were abandoned. There was only that moment, the clean air and the warm sun. The plans from this morning now belonged to the past. The present is filled with God’s love for me and the gift of His glorious creation.

“The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.” – Song of Solomon 2:12 (NLT)

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The Westlake Reservoir is an oasis hidden high in the hills. Taking it all in was like water for my soul. It remains natural and untainted.  It’s not accessible by car and can only be enjoyed after climbing the mountain. But it’s here, so close to my home, waiting for it’s majesty and beauty to be discovered and enjoyed.

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The view on the way down was also out of this world. And there they were, the wildflowers I was hoping for, my reward.

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Their colors graced the gentle slopes calling me to dance and sing before their Maker. So beautiful, but only here for such a short time.

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“Where flowers bloom so does hope!”

– Lady Bird Johnson

Our Time On Earth

My message is simple. There is always gratitude and beauty in every season of life, even in the trials and tribulations. My husband Steven and I are focused on caring for his dad and his wife, who are quickly declining from dementia. It’s difficult to experience this with them.

When we come to these hard moments in life, we find hidden strength in ourselves. We nourish our souls and receive refreshment in friends and in nature. We will all have to give an account of our lives, what we have been, and done. To give our parents companionship and joy in their advance senior years, is an enormous thing to them right now. Every lucid moment they have is a small miracle for which we are very grateful.

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

Everything is a miracle. Have a blessed day! ~ Linda

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Denzel Washington on Grace, Prayer, Blessings and St. Elsewhere

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A couple of friends, who are in the entertainment industry, shared a inspiring video with me of Denzel Washington talking candidly to a group of young actors. He packed a lot of wisdom into a few minutes and what he revealed is worth remembering. 

“True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you, sent beforehand, to indicate that it is yours already.” – Denzel Washington

Prayer and Grace

Denzel goes on to say, “Understand this also… dreams without goals, remain dreams… Between goals and achievement are discipline and consistency. I pray that you all put your shoes way under the bed at night so that you got to get on your knees in the morning to find them, right? And while you’re down there thank God for grace and mercy and understanding. We all fall short of the glory.”

Denzel Washington on prayer, blessings and St. Elsewhere

“We all got plenty. If you just start thinking of all the things you got to say thank you for, that’s a day; that’s easily a day, right,” the Oscar winner asks? “So you have all been given these gifts.”

Sharing Gratitude and Blessings

Denzel Washington feels very blessed to be in a position to be able to share what God has done in his life. He explains, “You’ll never see a u haul behind a Hearst. Now I’ve been blessed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in my life. I can’t take it with me and neither can you”, he said. “So it’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have and we all have different gifts, some money, some love, some patience, some the ability to touch people. But we all have it. Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

Faith and Humility in ‘Tinseltown’ 

This two-time Academy Award winner is one of Hollywood’s highest profile Christian actors. Spirituality is important in every aspect of his life. “I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word“, he said in a 2012 GQ interview. ¹ Although Denzel admits to straying from the Christian faith for a short time, he is now a church-goer who prays before starting his work in entertainment. He’s a family-focused man who likes to say this prayer of his mother’s, “Heavenly Father, we come before thee, knee bent and body bowed, in the humblest way that we know how.” ²

I met, Denzel Washington after he landed his first major acting role as Dr. Philip Chandler in the television show “St. Elsewhere,” back in the early 1980’s.

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I played the part of a dancer in one of the St. Elsewhere episodes. At the start, I was very excited about showing off my tap dancing know-how, but it turned out, the partner I was given to dance with was good at other styles of dancing but only knew a little about tap dancing. So our routine was limited to a few time steps. That was a bit disappointing.

As they were rolling tape for our scene and we were about 30 seconds into our dance, the director abruptly yelled, “cut”! We stop taping. I thought to myself, “oh no, we weren’t dancing well enough”. The funny thing was, apparently, the director wasn’t looking at our feet. Within seconds, he had the wardrobe people pinning up the top of my costume. “Too much bounce,” they said as they tucked me in. Then they mumbled something about the censors, cleavage and discussed with each other the guidelines of exactly where everything should be. We then re-shot that part on the scene.

Let me just say, my top was no where near as revealing as some of the outfits High School girls wear today. But that was the 80’s, when prime time TV was always G rated. It’s crazy how many ‘warnings’ you have to read before viewing most television shows now a day.

Despite the humiliation and the fact that I didn’t get to show off my dance skills the way I wanted to, I was still very grateful to have been featured in the show. St. Elsewhere was cutting edge television at the time and a model for the popular hospital/doctor dramas we have today. Denzel was extremely nice. He had a million dollar smile that radiated warmth and gratitude and still does. That was best part of the whole experience, his genuine smile!

Life is a journey of love, gratitude and grace. Hopefully, we can offer the best of who we are and leave behind some beautiful smiles and stories and for other sojourners to glean from and enjoy. 

The Grammy’s last week also brought back a flood of memories. Seeing Tom Jones wail to, “You Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ with Jessie J. was very cool. I have an interesting story about Tom Jones I tell it in my book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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Tom Jones with Dean Martin’s Golddiggers: Deborah Pratt, Maria (Alberici) Lauren-Riccio, Robin Hoctor Horneff, Susan Buckner, Linda (Alberici) Eichberg and Patti Gribow

Here is a short excerpt of that story – Tom Jones – He’s Still Got That Lovin’ Feeling! 

We all have something wonderful to offer. “Use it; share it. That’s what counts.”

With gratitude and love, Linda

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3 :23

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2: 4-5

Footnotes

1. http://www.gq.com/news-politics/blogs/death-race/2012/09/excerpt-from-our-october-issue-denzel-on-romney-and-obama.html

2. http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Movies/2007/12/Denzel-Washingtons-Ministry-Of-Movies.aspx

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Easy to Prepare Kabocha – Recipes for Wellbeing

Starting Strong

I love it. It’s the start of a new year and my Pilates and Yoga fitness classes are full, both the ones I’m teaching and the ones I’m taking. Everyone is brimming with energy and hope, intending to be healthier this year. The excitement has infused new life into me.

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Exercise is a very important part of overall health but what you eat also plays an essential role in physical well-being.

Healthy Seasonal Treats

A good portion of my life is spent preparing meals. The thing is, I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I went to the grocery store looking for something different to make as a side dish, that was healthy, seasonal and easy to prepare.

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Some winter squash get all the glory: butternut, spaghetti, acorn, pumpkin, they get their fair share of promotion but what about the kabocha have you tried that yet? This green marvel surpasses the pumpkin in flavor and color. Yet, when was the last time you had one as part of your meal? Kabocha needs no flavor enhancers, it is perfect simply roasted with nothing added to it.

Opening the kabocha, you will immediately notice the vibrant yellow-orange color inside. It looked so inviting, I had to taste it raw. It is one of the few squash varieties that taste good raw, similar to the taste and consistency of a carrot.

These simple roasted kabocha recipes are as easy as one, two, three. The prep time is  less than 5 minutes! Got to be grateful for that, right?

Roasted Kabocha

1) Pre heat your oven to 375°.

2) You will need a very sharp knife to split open the kabocha squash. Cut the squash into fours; scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. Coat a roasting pan or cookie sheet with oil and add 4 tablespoons of water.

3) Bake squash for 50 minutes at 375°.

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When the squash is finished and slightly cooled, it is ready to be served. Spoon the sweet flesh off the skin and into your mouth. You could add a sprinkling of cinnamon on top or some buttered peas but Kabocha is equally delicious with nothing on it.

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Crispy Broiled Kabocha 

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1) Pre heat your oven to 375°. Using a sharp knife, cut your kabocha in half. scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. Cut the squash into crescent shaped slices (about 1/2 thick in the center). Coat a roasting pan or cookie sheet with oil and add 4 tablespoons of water.

3) Bake squash for 50 minutes at 375°. Then broil for 5 minutes or less. Keep a close eye on the squash.

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Remove from the squash slices from oven and serve. The skin will be crisp and edible. My husband, Steven, likes them very well done. I asked him if he wanted some salt or cinnamon to add and he gratefully replied, “It’s delicious, doesn’t need a thing.” 

  

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Nutrition

Winter squash is very nutritious. It is packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber and it’s loaded with Vitamin A and carotenoids. Carotenoids found in winter squash include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.¹  

Finishing Strong

Let’s keep exercising and eating fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables for our physical well-being. But going further than that, well-being extends to satisfaction in our career, finances, family life, social and spiritual life. Connect to the One who knows us best. By spending time to ask God about the direction of our lives, we can connect with our Creator in meaningful ways that will give us true fulfillment, happiness and over all well-being. Our foundation is in the love of our Father, God, and our futures are with him now and beyond this world.

“What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it. Is there any god like God”? – Psalm 18: 30-31 (MSG)

My hope is for us to walk in the joy and freedom that Christ gave up his life for. We are blessed.

Gratefully yours, Linda

“We’re depending on God; He’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on”. – Psalm 33: 20-22 (MSG)

Reference

1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2648/2

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. Always seek the advice of your health care professional.  © All rights reserved.

Happy Birthday Jesus

Happy Birthday Jesus, my savior, my friend, my healer and the greatest gift of all.

Jesus Christmas

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6

JOY TO THE WORLD  

Jesus meets you where you are. He loves you as you are.

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Worshiping our Lord Jesus, the hope of the world, on Christmas Eve at Lighthouse Church.

I feel blessed that I could sing beautiful music to Jesus with the worship team and my church family on Christmas Eve.

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A few days before Christmas, friends from my church and I, sang for a friend who was hospitalized for the holidays. He was full of smiles and gratitude as we brought Christmas cheer to him and other visitors of Los Robles Hospital with our caroling. Later that week, we had a fun Christmas party together! We are very grateful for each other and the bond of Christ’s love that holds us together.

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Family Time

Sharing the holidays with my family and my extended family, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. They are all a sweet blessing to my life!

Unwrap the gift of Jesus and the joys and wonders of his love, salvation, forgiveness, restoration and peace.

Merry Christmas everyone. May your days be merry and bright – filled with his light. 

With a heart full of gratitude and joy ~ Linda

“Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” – Nehemiah 8:12

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers or any group I am associated with. © All rights reserved.

Grateful Life Quotes From Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915. He had a birthday this week and it had me thinking of him. In the summer of 1977 I had the privilege of touring with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Frank was one of the most unusual men I have ever met, he was in a class of his own.

Happy birthday Frank Sinatra.

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Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra share birthday cake

“I’m for decency — period. I’m for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man.” ~ Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Traveling Buddies – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

“If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.” – Frank Sinatra, 1962

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Fun times with Frank and his pal Dean

When Frank Sinatra accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, he had this to say,

“I’ve been thinking about why you have to get famous to get an award for helping other people. If your name is John Doe, and you work night and day doing things for your helpless neighbors, what you get for your effort is tired. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and all of you who give of yourselves, to those who carry too big a burden to make it on their own, I want you to reach out and take your share of this. Because if I have earned it, so too have you.” – Frank Sinatra

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“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

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“My greatest teacher was not a vocal coach, not the work of other singers, but the way Tommy Dorsey breathed and phrased on the trombone.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in Music: A Book of Quotations 

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“People often remark that I’m pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you’ve got to have talent and know how to use it.” – Frank Sinatra

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“I love all those girls the same as they love me. I get thousands of letters a week from girls who love me…. Every time I sing a song, I make love to them. I’m a boudoir singer.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in His Way: An Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra

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On the set of the Dean Martin Variety Show, Frank and Dean with the Dingaling Sisters

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” ~ FRANK SINATRA, quoted in And I Quote

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“Don’t hide your scars. They make you who you are.” – Frank Sinatra

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“A friend is never an imposition.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Good Friends – Frank, Sammy and Dean

“I’m not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I’m not looking for the secret to life…. I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” – Frank Sinatra 

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Sinatra family, the early years

“I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” ~ Frank Sinatra

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Frank loved to laugh and he loved his friends. When we toured together, he traveled with a large entourage of people. Among them were some of the best musicians in the world. Sinatra was a pretty intense guy to work with because he demanded excellence in his music. I’m extremely grateful to have watched and learned from his musical genius and to have met some of the members of his family. It was a blessing.

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Backstage with Frank Sinatra and The Golddiggers, that’s me on the top right.

In our book “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”, my sister Maria and I share stories about our time with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and The Golddiggers. We also give insight into what is was like to work with the ‘Stars’ on Dean’s TV Show, The Tonight Show and more. Dozens of musicians and entertainers contributed to the book. Read the inside stories from people who were there.

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BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters is available on:

Amazon & Barnes and Noble

For more info visit – http://www.BeyondOurWildestDreams.com

With gratitude to God,

~ Linda

“I will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you”. – Psalm 63 :5

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers or any group I am associated with. © All rights reserved.

God Blessed This Beautiful Mess

Thanksgiving day is almost here and I am gearing up to entertain twenty one people. I’m posting some funnies to remind myself to keep my sense of humor in the busyness of planning the holiday dinner.

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Generally, I have concerns about how the big day will turn out so I can always use a chuckle to lighten things up. I even find myself more productive when I take time out for some laughs.

Thanksgiving Preparations

I am not an organized and creative ‘Martha Stewart’ type. It took me almost half a day just to select some folding chair covers. With all the information on the internet, you would think there would be some good info to guide you to the best chair cover for a common metal folding chair from Costco but no. ¹

Several different sites instructed me to measure my chairs but there weren’t any covers that seemed close to fitting the size of my chairs. The ones I thought might be best had no photos showing the back of the chair cover. That’s what I wanted to see. Isn’t that what the guests will see first? Back and forth, back a forth, at some point I had to choose. Although I was doubtful, I clicked the ‘checkout’ button. I’m not having bare folding chairs for my dinner guests. I want them to feel special because they are.

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The covers will add a lot to the ambiance of the table. I am going to experiment with some accent bows but I haven’t picked a color scheme yet.

Making Memories

The Thanksgiving holidays remind me once again of the value of making memories, laughter and the importance of family and friends. I am very grateful I have a big extended family to share it all with.

This past month, all of my siblings and I traveled from different parts of the country, to be together in Pennsylvania, to honor my mother for her 85th birthday. My sisters planned a week of special surprises and family outings for mom to share with her nine children. It was a fun and busy week.

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Lillian Alberici and her nine children at her 85th birthday party

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Three generations – me, my mother and my daughter Lindsay at mom’s birthday celebration

Family Blessings

It was so great to see everybody. Sharing a little piece of life, in the homes of several of my sisters and brothers, was a blessing. They all have different styles but an abundance of love is prevalent in each of their homes.

I got to meet my youngest nephew Dylan, for the first time. He is such an incredible joy, as are all my nieces and nephews.

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Apple and pumpkin picking in Pennsylvania with Dylan

A Gift of Laughter

It was a delight to spend quality time with my mother, She has a fabulous sense of humor. I suppose you have to develop that to survive raising nine children! Her humor is a great gift to our family. It’s no wonder that research has confirmed the importance of humor in strengthening families. ² I plan to indulge in as much laughter as I can this holiday. It’s fat free!

A Beautiful Mess

My mother was a fantastic singer. She even sang professionally. There was a lot of singing and dancing in our home growing up. With nine kids, our house was usually noisy and a little messy. When most of my brothers and sisters were still very young, there was a season when my mother had to help my father start his own business. Mom was doing the house work, taking care of the children and running the office. She was stretched to the limit. My older sister and I would help her clean but it would only stay that way for a couple of hours. I heard my mom say often, “I need more house cleaners and less singers and dancers”.

Mom worked so hard taking of us; she sacrificed every day. My mother never did get her wish of having a house that was sparkling clean; but she felt she got something better. At her birthday party, mom gave a short speech to the guests, saying so sweetly, “God must have known what he was doing when I married Al and had these wonderful children. Of course at the time I wasn’t so sure”?! (Big laughs) “But they’re wonderful and I’m so proud to be their mother and I couldn’t have had better children”. Her heart was overflowing with gratitude. We were all misty eyed.

We were not always “wonderful”. We had a fair amount of arguments growing up and still do now and again, but we never hold a grudge and we’re always quick to love and forgive. 

                           “Be a lover, not a fighter”. – Al Alberici, (our dad)                      

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Alberici family in the early 1980’s

Life is messy but we keep dancing!

“In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs and the floor dances.” ~ Rumi

 

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I’m especially grateful for my incredibly loving husband Steven and my daughter Lindsay and the beautiful music they play in my heart. For this, for Christ and so much more, thank you God.

From our house to yours, have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

~ Linda

 

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge”. – 1 Corinthians 1:4 – 5

 

Footnote:

1. My folding chairs were Meco brand (sudden comfort). The material of the chair covers I selected is called ‘scuba’. The fabric has a nice weight to it. I received the covers quickly but they are a little too large, especially the seat part of the chair cover. They fit okay when I tuck that part toward the back of the chair seat. Then there is only a slight 1/2 inch over hang on the sides. Still great for the price of only $2.99 each. Thank you CV Linens!

2. http://www.clemson.edu/psapublishing/pages/FYD/FL526.PDF

© Copyright – All rights reserved.

 

Eternal Summer – Yoga For Mid-Life and Beyond

If you’re a beach goer and live in Southern California, the words “eternal summer” probably have a wonderful meaning to you. Some of our best beach days are in the fall and later in the year. Life is beautiful at the beach!

One spectacular day this October, a family outing to Zuma Beach turned into an impromptu, Yoga session with fellow yogini’s, Maria and Marianna. My sister, Maria and I are yoga instructors, so we were showing off for each other, just a little, doing a few postures we don’t usually get to use in our classes.

Rejoicing in Health – Enjoying Fitness Yoga 

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My boogie board came in handy as a platform for my headstand.

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Playing in the ocean, Maria practices her yoga wheel.

We practically had the beach to ourselves that day. We made it our own glorious playground. My niece, Marianna joined in the fun; and she had a few good yoga poses of her own.

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Marianna takes crow pose to the extreme, balancing on one leg.

After our exercise, we took our boogie boards into the waves. Got to love Southern California’s eternal summer but if you’re a woman going through menopause, the “eternal summer”’ can have entirely different and maybe not so pleasurable meaning.

YOGA FOR MID-LIFE (or Any Time of Life)

Hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Oh my! During Menopause we lose estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that cause these changes in our bodies. Yoga can physically help our body’s hormone system.

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Yoga can help relieve menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia. 

A Brazilian study published in a 2012 issue of the journal, Menopause had three groups of women participate in either a passive stretching regimen with a physical therapist, a specific series of yoga classes or no change in their routine. After four months the women who practiced yoga for one hour, twice per week had significantly fewer hot flashes and slept better than the other two groups. The women were so pleased with the results, 75 percent of the yoga group continued with yoga classes after the study.

BALANCE YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

Yoga keeps your systems fluid and balanced.

As you move your body, the brain, nervous system and endocrine system all work together. “The brain commands the action, the nervous system carries the message and the endocrine system is responsible for long-term body maintenance using glands and hormones”. Yoga is very beneficial for Hormonal Health.

The twisting and bending in yoga energize the adrenals and thyroid gland.

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Just like there are many styles of yoga, there is more than one way to do a yoga pose. Your instructor can give modifications that work for you.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Hormones affect your mood. I have been told by many of my friends, that for them, the worst part of going through menopause was the mood swings. I have to agree. A yoga practice can help you relax by focusing the mind. I am allowing myself the time and space to use whatever natural tools are available to reduce stress in my life and protect my nervous system.

BREATHING ROOM

I have found that now, more than ever, I need to take more pauses in my day to be still and in the moment, focusing on God’s blessings and breathing in His grace and goodness.

Yoga is as much about breathing, (Pranayama) as it is about postures. Whether you’re on the beach or in a quiet room, you will enjoy the stillness and health benefits of the ocean breath. Ocean Breath; Ujjayi Breath offers gentle stimulation to your larynx and thyroid as well as a chance to slow down and quiet the mind from distracting thoughts. Create a sanctuary within.

How to do ocean breath – Sit in a comfortable position with your core engaged. Breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the nose. Inhale fully under the diaphragm with your lips closed and relaxed. Exhale with a haaa or hissing sound similar to what you would hear if you had your ear up to a conch shell to ‘listen’ to the ocean. Think of fogging up a mirror with your exhalation. Feel the back of your throat slightly contract as the breath pushes up against the back of your throat.

Using the Ujjayi breath in your yoga postures can help give you focus and power. 

INNER BEAUTY

Learn, Love, Grow, Discover! Prayer, deepening my relationship with God, meditating on His word and living in the joy of God’s Son and His creation, has strengthened me more than I can say. Yoga is not God. Dependence on God has brought certain aspects of yoga into the harmony of my life. I feel I am living the words of the song I sang in Community Bible Study this week with the worship team, “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place,” and yes, that is a very excellent place to be.

THE NATURAL WAY

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Cor. 12:9

Good health is a personal journey, it’s a blessing and it is worth striving toward. With God’s guidance, I have been able to get through menopause using these natural methods and without the use of hormones or prescription drugs. For that, I am very thankful.

With a grateful heart, Linda

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121: 1-2 NCV

 

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog expressing my own personal opinions. See a fitness or medical health professional to see if yoga is right for you. © CopyrightAll rights reserved. May not be used without written permission.