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Bubbe Wisdom by LouiseSilk
Unraveling the Threads of Life
Oct 19, 2010 | 100050 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Work Rituals
by LouiseSilk
Sep 30, 2014 | 200 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time. Charles Dickens

Mason Currey’s book: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work compiles the rituals of the day that welcome the creative process. Toni Morrison managed a nine-to-five job while raising two sons as a single parent by rising early using the morning light as inspiration.  His writing is summarized in this interesting interactive chart. I only wish he had given us more information about women.

As a young author taking care of three small children, Alice Munro learned to write in gleaned slivers of time, churning out stories during children's nap times, in between feedings, and as dinners baked in the oven. It took her nearly twenty years to put together her first collection, Dance of the Happy Shades, published in 1968 when she was thirty-seven.

Leo Babauta of the blog Zen Habits lists his morning ritual: 1. Wake at 4:30 a.m. 2. Drink water. 3. Set 3 Most Important Things (MITs) for today. 4. Fix lunches for kids and myself. 5. Eat breakfast, read. 6. Exercise (run, bike, swim, strength, or yardwork) or meditate. 7. Shower. 8. Wake wife & kids at 6:30 a.m.

It’s so easy to be distracted in this high-speed computer oriented world of ours. The secret for me is to make use of the tools rather than wallow in them.  I love my time with pinterest over a coffee and breakfast. It fuels my creativity just like journal writing in the old days.


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L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
by LouiseSilk
Sep 23, 2014 | 386 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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My Favorite Raw Carrot Cake
by LouiseSilk
Sep 18, 2014 | 454 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I was bragging to my friends about the magnificent desserts I am now keep stocked in my kitchen and they insisted I share the recipes. The first of these is the recipe I recently posted for Raw Brownies.

Here is the second:


Cashew lemon frosting:

1 1/2 c cashews

Juice from 1 lemon or 1 orange

2 T liquid coconut oil

2 T coconut nectar

1 t vanilla

Water, as needed


Carrot cake:

5 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 1/2 c oats

2 c dates

1/2 c dried coconut

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

For frosting: blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, adding water as needed. Put in the fridge.

For cake: process the oats into flour in your food processor.  Gradually add in rest of ingredients and process until everything sticks together.

Press the cake mixture into a glass 9”X 9” cake pan. Cover with icing. Garnish with pieces of your favorite nut.  

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Emotional Freedom Technique
by LouiseSilk
Sep 16, 2014 | 523 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I know many people who swear by a tapping technique called Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. It is a healing tool that operates on the premise that we hold underlying emotional stress that impedes the natural healing potential of our body. By engaging basic meridian points, tapping clears these unresolved issues offering more peace and emotional freedom. EFT can be an ongoing process to clear out the old traumas and welcome any new challenges with a healthy, productive attitude.

Here are the EFT Tapping Points:

KC: The Karate Chop point is located at the center of the fleshy part of the outside of either hand between the top of the wrist and the base of the baby finger.

TOH: On the top of the head.

EB: At the beginning of the eyebrow, just above and to one side of the nose.

SE: On the bone bordering the outside corner of the eye.

UE: On the bone under an eye about 1 inch below your pupil.

UN: On the area between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip.

Ch: Midway between the point of your chin and the bottom of your lower lip.

CB: The junction where the breastbone, collarbone and the first rib meet.

UA: On the side of the body, under the arm, at a point even with the nipple.


Here is the Basic EFT Tapping Recipe:

1.  Identify the Issue:

2.  Test the Initial Intensity from zero to ten: For emotional issues, you can recreate the memories in your mind and assess their discomforts. For physical ailments you can simply assess the existing pain or discomfort.

3.  The Setup: Design a simple phrase that acknowledges the problem and accepts yourself in spite or it and saying it while continuously Tapping the KC point, you let your system know what you’re trying to address.

“Even though I have this _______________, I deeply and completely accept myself”.

4. The Sequence: Tap each of the points shown in the Sequence Points diagram while saying a Reminder Phrase:

Top of the Head (TOH)

Beginning of the Eyebrow (EB)

Side of the Eye (SE)

Under the Eye (UE)

Under the Nose (UN)

Chin Point (CH)

Beginning of the Collarbone (CB)

Under the Arm (UA)

5. Test the Intensity Again and repeat sequence as needed.

Interested? Watch this 7 minutes introductory video by EFT Founder, Gary Craig and tap your way to emotional freedom.

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Atlantic City
by LouiseSilk
Sep 11, 2014 | 343 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Like lots of Pittsburgh families, my family loved Atlantic City. It was a direct shot by car to the ocean. It had a beautiful boardwalk and lots of resources. I found notices in the old issues of the Chronicle pronouncing that my Nana planned to take her children and spend the summer there. Here is a picture of my parents- young lovers enjoying a walk on the Atlantic City boardwalk. My grandfather would go there every year for the High Holidays and I remember vividly joining him there as a little girl, watching the Miss American parade along the boardwalk and eating cakes at the Shabbat Oneg.

Of course, times change, kosher hotels close, neighborhoods deteriorate, and Atlantic City decided to revive itself as a gambling resort. For a while it worked. I was happy to revisit it whenever nearby but it never became a go-to destination like the offerings of Las Vegas.

Today, if you want to have a little fun gambling, there are lots of places nearby with good food and interesting entertainment including our own just down from the Point.  For a beach, people prefer the laid back nature of Long Beach Island or the upstyle of Hilton Head. And so this summer Atlantic City was forced to downscale from 12 casinos to eight, causing nearly 8,000 casino workers to lost their jobs and it looks like it will only going to get worse.

It kind of reminds me of the old East Liberty when the intersection of Penn and Highland was a second downtown Pittsburgh. The powers-to-be made Penn Avenue into Penn Circle and look how it took fifty years to bring it back to something of substance. It all makes me nostalgic and sad.

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The Dark Side of Pittsburgh
by LouiseSilk
Sep 09, 2014 | 432 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I got a link to this letter by Jess Rimington asking white people to exhibit outrage at the systemic prevalence of implicit and explicit institutional racism and racial profiling that continues to exist in our country. Then I heard Sebastian Errazuriz speak at the Carnegie. His art asks us to rethink the everyday, confront the transience of life, and question the status quo.  He was very clear about Pittsburgh’s divide when it comes to race and advantage.

Every couple of months there is information touting Pittsburgh better than many other metropolitan regions. Last year we were rated the best U.S. city for relocation and one of the happiest cities in which to work.

The rankings we don’t see show tens of thousands of our region’s minority residents worse off than almost other major regions in our country. The 2011 census showed that the Pittsburgh Region has the 11th highest unemployment rate for African Americans among the top 40 regions. It estimated that the unemployment rate for African Americans in our region was 19%, which means that nearly one out of every 5 African Americans who wants to work is unable to find work. Our black unemployment rate was 2.6 times the unemployment rate for whites, the 7th worst disparity among the top 40 regions in the country.

What to do? Jess Rimington asks us to speak out to improve our region's business climate; to improve the quality of our public education; and to support adequate, affordable public transit. Isn’t it about time?

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The Other Side Of The Coin
by LouiseSilk
Sep 04, 2014 | 439 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

In the last blog, I told you about my daughter, Sarah. Now it’s my turn.

When I was a little girl I didn’t do anything to speak of until I took a 7th grade sewing class where I discovered my affinity for cloth. After an undergraduate degree in Home Economics, I taught myself to quilt and took two years (‘72-’73) to make my first quilt.

In the late 70’s, I honed my knowledge and skills to become a very proficient and well-respected quiltmaker.

In the 80’s, I owned four different quilting-related retail stores. In the 90’s, a Masters Degree in Leadership taught me that what I do best is quilt. The challenge would be how to make it into a viable livelihood.

In 2000, my parents died. As I grieved their loss by making quilts out of all of their clothing and textiles, I uncovered the memory quilt business that turned out to be my true calling.

In 2005, I wrote The Quilting Path, a book about quiltmaking as a spiritual practice.

About two years ago, Sarah called me from a place called The Brooklyn Flea. “Mom, I think we should start making things and sell them here. It’s a great market,” she declared.

This week I am thrilled to launch our web-based business: SilkDenim: Our mother and daughter venture with lots of herstory.

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All Grown Up
by LouiseSilk
Sep 02, 2014 | 366 views | 1 1 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Once upon a time there was an adorable, lovable, little girl named Sarah. When she was a toddler she would take great care coordinating her daily choice of outfits. By the time she was six, she had figured out how to attach the video camera to the television and perform live. When she was eight, she walked into the first Limited Too store to open in Pittsburgh and declared, “ Oh, this is me!”

She drove her feminist mother crazy with all of her fashion concerns until her mother called one of two prominent Jewish models in town to ask for advice. The model told her that the most important thing for any girl interested in fashion was to get skills- there was no long-term place in the industry for just a pretty face.

Sarah’s mother took the advice to heart and enrolled Sarah in CLO acting, dancing and singing classes. She hired a private tutor to teach Sarah fashion drawing and being a fiber artist herself, shared many of her personal sewing and knitting skills with Sarah. Sarah took up drawing and photography and made a practice of documenting her life with the use of the family video camera and a specially purchased single reflex camera.

Sarah followed all kinds of fashion, art and photography as she completed her education, first with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and then a master’s degree in acting. In between she spent extended periods of time working in with her mother’s studio honing her design and needlework skills.

This week Sarah posted two of her latest projects on Facebook. The first was her short film RUN RANT and the second was the first collection of her new line SILKDENIM.  Sometimes a little piece of advice is the key!

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September 02, 2014
Amazing, just like her talented mom

The Raw Brownie
by LouiseSilk
Aug 28, 2014 | 438 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I am about to change your life with the most pure edible satisfying sweet ever:

The Raw Brownie


2 cups whole walnuts

2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup raw cacao

1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped

¼ tsp. sea salt


1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.

2. Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.

3. Add the dates a few at time until the mix appears like cake crumbs that when pressed, will easily stick together.

4. Combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve. Cut into very small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

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Intuitive Eating
by LouiseSilk
Aug 26, 2014 | 330 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

7 Intuitive Eating Guidelines Created by Geneen Roth

1. Eat when you are physically hungry.

2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.

3. Eat without distractions such as radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety provoking conversations or music.

4. Eat what your body wants. (Your body, not your spoiled inner child!)

5. Eat with the intention of being in full view of others.

6. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

7. Stop when you are full.

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