Thursday, October 1, 2015

Whole Grain Pomegranate Sangria Bread

Whole Grain Pomegranate Sangria Bread
By, Chef Gina Meyers

1 Tablespoon of Cornmeal

1 cup of quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup of buttermilk, divided

½ cup of True Temptation Pomegranate Sangria

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup of whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons of packed light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons of caraway seeds

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

6 tablespoons of butter or margarine, chilled, cut into pieces.

2 eggs, lightly beaten, divided

½ cup of currants

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal. In a bowl, combine oats with ½ cup of buttermilk; ¼ cup of pomegranate sangria let stand ten minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine all-purpose and whole wheat flour(s), sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds, baking soda and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs: set aside. Reserve 1 Tablespoon of egg; combine remaining egg with remaining buttermilk (1/2 cup), plus ¼ cup of Pomegranate Sangria. Stir into oat mixture; stir in currants and pomegranate seeds. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until stiff dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Shape dough into round loaf; place on baking sheet. Brush top of dough with remaining egg. With serrated knife, cut an “X” in top of bread, extending cut over sides of loaf down to baking sheet. Let stand in warm place for fifteen minutes. Bake 40-45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool slightly on pan on wire rack before serving.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Ghost Town, by, Alan R. Hill

The Ghost Town

By, Alan R. Hill

We stood on the cold corner across the street from our high school, huddled together against the wind. The news was beyond our comprehension. It took our breath away. What could we do? It was November 22, 1963.  I left for the Marine Corps in the beginning of March and my friend shortly after.


Four years later we were both back home, safe and somewhat sound. In late May we departed for a trip across the United States, to the East Coast and beyond.


We crested the ridge and the vista of the valley lay open before us. A ribbon of road as far as the eye could see. The rolling yellows and greens held in place by a powder blue sky, all around and above. One glance at my friend’s appreciative face and flashing brown eyes told me he saw what I did.  


It was the Wyoming prairie lands we were entering. We rolled over the top and the weight of gravity propelled us downward. We fell quietly, in tandem with the pristine landscape, part and parcel of it, like a hawk sweeping down from on high.


 As the road leveled and straightened we saw some movement in the sage brush to our right. Two wild horses, a white stallion and his roan mare. Shiney coats all. They ran along side us, we slowed and stopped. They continued on ahead of us and they stopped. They started a kind of dance on the edge of the roadway while tossing their heads to and fro. Then committed, they ran, hooves ringing hallow on the asphalt, across the road, off and into the prairie and away.


We gasped for breath, the sight was so beautiful, the experience so elemental.  They disappeared into the depths of the prairie, eventually merging with the variegated yellows and greens. Apparently swallowed by that expanse. Or perhaps re-entering a portal into another time from which they had only momentarily appeared. A loud “clunk”, broke the silence, transmission in gear we continued on our way. A wary eye on the gas gauge, it was getting low. There was a turn up ahead and it looked like the only one we might see for days. We took it.


There was a one pump gas station on the way into town. Relieved we pulled in, but it was deserted. We got out of the car and looked around. The back door on the second story of the worn house that fronted the property, opened. An old man stepped out and came down the rickety flight of stairs. His hair was white, eyes sky blue, he was tall and there was a calmness, and a dignity about him.


He came over to us standing by the pump. “Where you young fellas headed?” he asked stopping to talk to us, rather than going directly to the pump. We explained we were headed out across country, “going to New York and the World’s Fair in Canada.” We continued to talk as he approached the pump.


“If I was a little younger, I’d throw my knapsack in the back there and come along with you,” he said simply, while removing the pump. There was a stillness and quietness in his motion.


At his words I could see a lanky youth with a full head of thick brown curly hair, slinging his knapsack in the backseat of the car, decidedly; as if the direction of time was no object.


He filled our tank with gas, we talked a bit more, paid, wished each other well, and leaving him there, drove into town.


It looked like an old cowboy town. The street was unpaved and the stores and shops which were all closed were bordered by a wooden platform that ran in front of them along both sides of the street. Any paint long ago faded revealing a uniform grayness. Where once their sprouted a rich and vibrant oiled wood, pungent and resounding from the heels of passersby, the boards now complained and ached, and fairly groaned with their history. But it may have been the wind I heard.


When the storefront street came to an end, there were homes. But they also were closed. Made mere houses by boards nailed to windows and doors, signaling absence and barring entrance to their worlds. The wind made a circle of dust that ran up and down the street. Like mini tornadoes in a fast food world, impatient and unable to commit to a full run, hither and yon, starting, stopping, appearing, now gone. From whence does the wind come?


Retracing our steps we were surprised to find an open restaurant. The one shop on the street that was open appeared closed by virtue of its proximity to the others. We looked in, there were people inside. We stepped across the threshold, and back in time. All eyes turned to look at us. We strode to the counter, and sat on the unstable stools effortlessly maintaining center stage. Exchanging the temptation for a mad spin on the stools, to slow half revolutions for the sake of decorum, the seats themselves protesting their years of service loudly with each screeching turn.


 “Where you young fellas headed?” we were asked.


 “Where’re ya from?” another shouted.


 “Headed to New York and up from San Francisco,” we explained.


“What are you “sour dough’s” going to be doing in these parts?” we were asked, amid a round of laughter.


What’s a “sour dough” I thought? Later, I realized it was a reference to the long gone gold rush days of San Francisco and our famous sour dough bread.


 “We were running out of gas,” we answered. “What happened here?” we asked.


“Well, used to be a river there,” said one of the men as he pointed out the window of the small old restaurant. We followed his finger to a red gorge, like a scar in the earth, which must have been the river.


 “What happened?” we asked.


 “Dried up” we were told.


 “Used to do some mining too”, said another.


 “Mostly everyone gone now though,” added a third.


We ate and conversed with the remaining citizens of the town, after which we again said our farewells. Then we walked about the town a bit and took a few photographs. The empty houses with barred doors, the empty wind swept streets.


We passed the one pump gas station on the way out of town. I caught the blue eyes of the old man as we drove past and waved. He returned the salutation.


When our eyes met, an instant before our arms moved, there was eternity unbidden. It was like coming upon a deer in a meadow. You can glimpse it but can’t hold it.  I think the old man knew it, too.


As we drove on I had a feeling he was in the back seat traveling with us, eager for life and alert, running his fingers through his long curly hair as he leaned forward to say something to us, his enthusiasm making us laugh.


It was the summer of 1968. In less than a week we were in New York City. 

We heard the news on the radio. On June 6th we had our suits pressed.  The Chinese Laundry storefront looked harmless enough, and very small. We were a step behind Napoleon Solo as in the Man From UNCLE. We were led behind the counter through the curtain into a cavernous labyrinth of the bowels of some huge hotel. We left our suits, and waited feeling naked and vulnerable.


Next day we joined the solemn procession at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Walking silently sadly, down the aisle and around the closed casket.  What could we do? We paid our respects along with the others. It didn’t seem enough. Both brothers gone, first John now Bobby.


The channel of time carried us on, and swept us away. The Saint Lawrence River was beautiful. We arrived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We were surprised they spoke French? The World Fair had ended in October 1967, it was now an expo. Most of the pavilions lived on, what we saw there was an exhibit called “Man and his World.”


Alan Hill ( 559449-1970 © July 12, 2015.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Mind, Body, and Spirit: The Balancing Act, by, Marie Lavin, MSW, LCSW

The Mind Body and Spirit



In honor of the passing of Dr. Wayne Dyer, I am sharing my personal growth workbook, Manifesting Magnificence for free on kindle (till September 5th, 2015) . Dr. Dyer's publisher is offering his movie, The Shift for free too Serendipity Presents: Manifesting Magnificence . Please enjoy an excerpt from Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, by

Marie Lavin, MSW, LCSW.

Marie Lavin MSW,LCSW
Edited by: Susan Bierzychudek
© Divine Healing Energy 2015
Contributor to Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook
© Serendipity Press, all rights reserved, 2015



The Balancing Act

The mind, body and spirit, in their perfect state, act to support one another. But in our stressed and scattered lives, that perfect state is not always the norm. Attaining a perfect harmony of these three will lead us to a peaceful inner balance, allowing us to open to opportunities that are presented, and to be our very best selves.


It is important to identify ways in which we can change our thoughts and behavioral patterns to bring our mind, body and spirit into balance. Recognizing patterns that may once have served, but no longer work for us, is a critical part of this work.


First let’s address how the mind, body, and spirit fall out of perfect balance. When we are not taking care of ourselves—not paying attention, not listening to our basic needs of hunger and sleep, or becoming overwhelmed by our everyday lives—we tilt off kilter. We lose our balance when we are involved with addictions to alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, gossiping or working, for example. When we are in those addicted states, we become distracted and lose our focus on balance. We may use those addictions because they feel comfortable, often because we’ve been that way so long that we simply don’t know another way to be. It’s like wearing old comfortable shoes that may be held together by threads, barely giving us the support we need. We may think those tattered shoes are better than a new pair of shoes that feel stiff and need breaking in. Old patterns feel comfortable and predictable, despite the fact that they’re no longer useful. New patterns of thinking or behaving may need the same gradual breaking in before they feel natural and right. But the result is worth the work, many times over.


One common example of a behavior pattern that may no longer serve us is avoidance. We may not want to examine our tendency to procrastinate. It may feel like too much work to change that pattern, in which we conveniently back-burner issues we’d rather avoid. Our old pattern allows us to think that we’ll deal with the issue or task tomorrow. But when tomorrow comes we feel disappointed in ourselves, often opting to do something that will distract us from that feeling—perhaps focusing on an addiction to gossip or alcohol or food. That distraction is just another pattern that is not serving us.


It takes work to balance our mind, body and spirit. It takes time and patience, and the desire to move to a more peaceful inner harmony. It also helps to identify what behavior and thought patterns need to change. At its foundation, this work is about self-love. But how do we begin to work on our issues? The first step is to recognize that our behavior and thought patterns are interfering with a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Then we need to take small, manageable steps to find ways to make the changes. Part of your success will be in discovering which healing modality works most effectively for you.


Looking at my own journey towards greater balance, it was energy work that allowed me to release the blocks of thought and behavior patterns that were not serving me. That modality was such a perfect fit for me that I found myself compelled to become a practitioner, helping to teach others how to become their best selves. Energy work may also be your key to a better balance of mind, body and spirit.


Buy Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook

Thursday, March 26, 2015

7 Steps To My Writing Process, Why I Write, by, Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith, a fellow Bewitched Television fan and friend, shares her thoughts on the writing process and candidly shares, "why and how she writes."

7 Steps To My Writing Process, Why I Write
By, Carrie Smith

1. I've always subscribed to the theory that anyone can write--and write well. What matters most is the idea; syntax and grammar is secondary. In that light, a vivid imagination is paramount and style will develop over time. When I write, I start by jotting down ideas first and worry about structure later. I have volumes of titles and opening sentences which I look back through for inspiration.
2. I give awesome feedback when asked to critique/edit someone else's work but I am my own worst enemy. I have a very hard time deciding when something I write is "done."
3. Learning other languages has helped tremendously with learning grammar.
4. I'm most comfortable writing creative nonfiction/memoir. Taking creative license with events from my own life is therapeutic and helps to give closure. Putting something funny or troublesome onto paper forces me to examine all the details and think about them from other perspectives.
5. I have a hard time sharing my work. I'm very protective of it because in my eyes, it's never good enough.
6. I wish I was better at writing fiction. I'm too consumed by the actions taking place and too often skip over smaller details which would help the reader understand why they're happening.
7. My first publication was a in 2004 in a local writers column in the Gannett News syndicate. It led to proceedings to appear on a talk show for public television. Unfortunately, the host died before my episode could be filmed...

Serendipity Media Group

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, 21st of the month exercise, by, Linda Ferrari


The 21st of Every Month: A Plan for Keeping Your Life in Balance
(excerpt from Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, Serendipity Press, all rights reserved, copyright 2015)

By, Linda Ferrari

Ever make a New Year’s Resolution and then three weeks later you realize you haven’t “kept” your resolution? Me too. Or, perhaps worse, you can’t remember what your resolution was? Or, perhaps worst, you decide to simply not even make a New Year’s Resolution?

For me, a New Year’s Resolution is a metaphor for positive change—changes—big and small. And I believe change is inevitable. So why not plan for change? Why not make a “New Year’s Resolution” once a month? That’s what this plan does—help plan for change on a monthly basis.

Another advantage of the plan is that it helps keep your life in balance. Have you ever found that when you concentrate on improving one area of your life (such as finding a new job) that another area of your life starts to suffer (such as then getting less exercise)? Me too.

So here is a plan that helps manage change while helping to maintain a balance in your life at the same time. I have practiced this plan myself and have shared it with a few others who have also found it useful. I hope you will find it beneficial to your life.

Here is how it works. I check in with myself once a month and see if I am keeping my life in balance while meeting goals I have set for myself, and then setting new goals as needed. It’s, therefore, a time for personal reflection.

I chose the 21st of each month because the shortest day of the year (Dec. 21st) is on the 21st of the month and the longest day of the year is on the 21st (June 21st) and the seasons traditionally change on the 21st (Sept.—autumn), (Dec.—winter), (Mar.—spring), (June—summer) but any day of the month will do. The main point is to choose one day a month and have it be the same day each month. I mark the day on my calendar so I will not forget.

This is what I do. I bought a pretty notebook with blank pages, and I write in the notebook on the 21st of each month. I evaluate my life in nine areas and then sometimes add goals that seem especially important, or just notes or random thoughts or an overall evaluation of my life.

Here are the areas: Spiritual, Work/Career/Vocation, Family, Financial,  Physical, Mental/Education, Love, and Friendships. (You may add Social and Emotional to your workbook). Directions, print out the below wheel. Give yourself a rating for each area of your life and place a dot with pencil or pen on one of the three lines in each category. The line closest to the center is (below expectations), middle line is (needs improvement), top line is (pleased/satisfied with expectation). Once you do this for each area of your life, connect the lines and then ask yourself, "will it roll?" View this as a bicycle tire or a car wheel, is this stable or are one of the spokes in need of repair?

Manifesting Magnificence is a personal growth workbook with a series of exercises to promote positive benefits in the areas of mind, body and spirit. How would it feel if I took a hike to Yosemite one day and met a woman named Cecelia? It would feel exciting and serendipitous. While on that hike, I discovered that Cecelia is a Drama Therapist who has shared for this workbook her tips. How would it feel to have a book signing in Manteca and be seated next to a man named Richard? It would feel fun, energizing. While at that book signing, I found out that Richard is a Yoga Master and he has shared his meditation techniques in this book. How would it feel if I was looking for an online Dreamboard and met a woman named Anita? It would feel enlightening and wonderful. Anita is the Co-Founder of and she has shared her Law of Attraction tips in this workbook. The stories behind the collaborators in this personal growth workbook are stories in themselves. Enjoy a bounty of rich information intended to uplift your mind, body, and spirit.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, in the news, Directions on how to create an online dreamboard

If you haven't heard yet, Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook has sold 17 copies since it was published, just three weeks ago. To keep the momentum going, I have asked Co- Founder and Visionary, Anita Rani to share our book with her friend and colleague, John Gray. I have requested he write the Foreword to Manifesting!

John Gray is the foremost authority on relationships. His best-selling book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, has changed for the better the way men and women relate to one another.

Anita recently interviewed John for the website. Anita writes about why she started an online Vision and Dreamboard Company in Manifesting and I have contributed How To Create  A Dreamboard Section in Manifesting as well.

Dr. Allan Hedberg is going on TV today to discuss his collaboration and his Self-Esteem techniques found in Manifesting. For those that don't know, Dr. Allan Hedberg is  a Clinical Psychologist practicing in Fresno, California.

I went on Central Valley Talk TV last Wednesday, and had Manifesting Magnificence on the coffee table as Mike Scott was interviewing me about this book as well as my cookbooks.

Yoga Master and Author of Emotional Sobriety, Richard Parenti is teaching a Meditation Course at Modesto Community College and has shared similar meditation techniques in Manifesting.

Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook has something for everyone. If you are teaching a course, the perfect accompaniment to your lesson plan. If you are a stay at home mom struggling to find your life purpose, and need a new fresh perspective, Manifesting offers it. If you are a college student, in need of some easy and healthy recipes, (dorm room friendly even), Manifesting has that too.
If you would just like to show your support for someone who has contributed to Manifesting, that would be wonderful as well.

Each author in Manifesting Magnificence would enjoy an opportunity to teach a workshop or share his/her passion for a cause.

My two causes that I support are NAMI Fresno and The Madonna De Lume Society.

I have a request: In the next couple of weeks I will be a guest speaker at a renowned university--would you consider ordering two copies?

Let's start a change reaction. Thank you for supporting Serendipity Media Group and authors who need a voice.

Anita Rani, Co-Founder of

Dreamboard Exercise:

You are responsible for your life. The way you think creates your life.

We are giving you multiple tools to create your own Dreamboard online as well as in this workbook. Go to to create your profile.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Manifesting Magnificence: A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step in the right direction

A Journey of a thousand miles... 4 steps towards achieving your dreams and goals
by, Gina Meyers

Do you want to have change in 2015? Yes, there will be challenges, but I mean do you want to have more control over the way you think, and feel? Do you want your life to truly be the life of your dreams?  A new year gives us a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning.  This book is a road map for your future. It gives you handy tips and advice to help you achieve success in mind, body, and spirit. Create the feeling of what you want NOW. Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, is a collaboration of authors, teachers, spiritual leaders who are sharing simple yet proven techniques to develop skills to be effective in reaching your goals.

Break through the mundane habits of yesterday and into your magnificence.
Be the best you!

Here are some handy tips to take the first step towards your journey. Many other helpful tips and worksheets are found in Manifesting Magnificence: A Personal Growth Workbook, by, Gina Meyers (and friends).
4 Steps to Achieving all of your Dreams and Goals….

1)      Get a clear vision of what you want to create. (Go to Anita Rani’s section in the book entitled: Using The Law of Attraction and Creating Dreamboards)
2)      Hold that vision in your mind as often as possible every single day. See it in your mind, and feel it throughout your body as if it is happening right now. If you visualize it, your brain has the capacity to activate the feelings that come with that picture. This is what Olympic athletes do regularly when focusing on the “win”
3)      Say “yes” to those opportunities and events that are in alignment with your dreams and take massive action every single day towards manifesting and achieving your goals and dreams.
4)      Say “no” to anything that veers you away or steer you away from your true bliss, your true calling found in your brightest visions. Unless you make room for your new dreams, you will stay stuck with what you don’t want rather than attracting and keeping what you do want.
Never stop believing in your self. Take responsibility for what doesn’t work, but move on. Empower yourself to move in a completely new and uplifted direction.

As Lao Tzu  said, “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
For these and other tips, please visit:
Books available at select Barnes and Noble and