Dear Carlsbad, Oh What a Year It’s Been…

I posted this on Facebook today:

One year ago, I showed up at Carlsbad City Council as an thirty-year resident who had finally had it with the way this city was being manipulated by outside developers. The final straw was the possibility that a monstrosity of a concrete mall was to be built on Agua Hedionda Lagoon. NO WAY, I thought. I didn’t even have a speech written when I pushed my way through the crowd, but I knew it was time to step up and speak up. That was the night I spoke about “not being impressed by men in fancy suits with fake tans.” I may have walked in to those hostile chambers alone, but walked out with the new and lasting friendship of a tribe of hundreds and hundreds who soldiered on to save the lagoon as we’re saving Carlsbad, one council seat at a time. Much love, appreciation, and gratitude to our TRIBE.

Yes, the lagoon is safe FOR NOW. But there will always be the threat of over-development and that’s why we stand vigilant, never again complacent to the machinations of our self-serving local government.

Here’s my speech in its entirety:

“First, I’d like to make a brief observation; other than the farm workers at the strawberry fields, Caruso’s soft focused Utopian propaganda video had no people of cultural diversity represented. Kind of crazy, right? I mean, when you really think about it? What’s that all about?

[This refers to a video shown by Caruso Affiliated. Big bucks in play here.]

Mayor and council, I need to make myself particularly clear. 

I’m not impressed by fancy suits and ‘healthy’ fake tans.

My family and I are vehemently opposed to the development of Agua Hedionda.

Agua Hedionda is a sensitive resource and ecosystem that needs to be saved and protected and restored, NOT built upon and destroyed.

I love to shop and I don’t want Nordstrom built on the lagoon when we have a perfectly good mall that needs the promised renovation.

No matter what or how we were duped in 1986 and 2006, that should not mean this deception should continue.

For thirty years, I’ve watched you and other councils systematically destroy land and native habitats in Carlsbad.

This needs to stop.

Enough is enough.

My family and I vehemently oppose all building on Agua Hedionda.

Enough is enough.

Leave it alone.

Shame on you Mayor and City Council. 

Shame on you all.

And finally, Mr. Blackburn, we met privately about the pet store in the Westfield mall that sells puppy mill dogs and you PROMISED me that when the mall was renovated and all the stores were closed, that store would be gone and wouldn’t be allowed back. But it’s still open. You promised and I feel betrayed.

Do the right thing, would you?”

More to read…

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/08/10/something-sorta-stinks-in-carlsbad/?iframe=true&preview=true

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/09/26/power-to-the-people-cos-sometimes-the-only-answer-is-a-revolution/

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/09/28/carlsbad-referendum-signatures-stun-caruso-city-council-pals/

 

Another Empty Nest, Another Sad Mom

Another empty nest

Poor mama bird, I know how she feels…

 

I found a broken shell from a newly hatched baby under the ficus tree. A pair of warbling vireos make a home year after year in this birdhouse.

 

It’s so sad that she puts all that work into building a nest and feeding her babies and they always fly away.

They always leave mommy. *sniff*

I guess that’s the way Mother Nature intended it to be, but it still sucks.

Facebook is full of moms who can’t wait until their children turn eighteen, almost pushing them out of the nest with a packed suitcase and a sigh of relief so they can resume their “lives”, but that’s not the way I feel about it.

As much as I’m bursting with pride at the independent and successful young professor he’s become, his bedroom is still quietly waiting — just as it always was, with fresh sheets on the bed, clean clothes in the closet, and his favorite books lined up on the shelf.

In the beginning, when he first left for college (years ago), the hardest thing to deal with was the silence — the QUIET was deafening. I have no idea how one child could fill up the space with his presence, but he did.

Now, nothing makes me happier than a call telling me he’s coming home for a visit (sigh) so I can load up on the ingredients for his favorite foods.

You know how mama birds feed their young, don’t you? They regurgitate partially digested insects and worms directly into the beaks of their babes.

I’m not THAT extreme, but you know what I mean.

It’s one of my greatest joys to watch my son eat.

I admit it. I do. I sit across from him at the table and soak it all in, every single mouthful.

(Don’t feel sorry for him, he’s used to it.)

And then he leaves again, and the quiet fills our house and our hearts.

Can you guess that I’m missing my Angel Boy right now?

2015 #VionicWalkabout Is ON!

#vionicwalkaboutDo you love to walk as much as I do?

Then join us!

The 2015 VIONIC WALKABOUT IS ON!

We have the ability to create a movement!

Vionic Venture WalkerShare your Walkabout journey via social media using the hashtag #VionicWalkabout.

The #VionicWalkabout spotlights personal wellbeing by bringing people across the nation virtually together to walk for health.

All it takes is a simple pledge to walk 30 minutes everyday for 30 days in an effort to create healthy habits. 

This year’s Walkabout challenge is being co-sponsored by Vionic shoes spokespeople Dr. Andrew Weil and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska, and runs during the month of February – which is national Heart Health month.

Pledgers will receive exclusive wellness insight from the world renowned Dr. Weil and fitness tips from Juliet Kaska as well as the chance to win prizes from Vionic shoes, to the grand prize of a all expense-paid trip to Napa, CA!

Make Your Pledge Today – sign up for free online: http://www.vionicshoes.com/2015-vionic-walkabout

What’s a Walkabout?
A Walkabout is an Australian journey for well-being during which one seeks to clarify his/her life purpose. The Vionic Walkabout challenge is inspired by the Aussies and aims to improve physical and mental well-being by creating healthy habits over the course of 30 days.

WALK TO WIN
By participating in Vionic Walkabout, you’ll have the chance to walk away with some seriously great prizes. Through photo and caption contests on Facebook and Instagram, we’ll give away weekly prizes such as new Vionic Shoes, Dr. Weil Cookbooks and Visa gift cards. Plus, we’ll select a Grand Prize winner to receive an all-expense paid trip to Napa, CA.

WALK TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Walking can improve physical health by helping you manage your weight, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, strengthen your heart and much more. It can also improve your mood, ease depression and help maintain mental efficiency!

Vionic sent me these cool shoes and I’ve been walking all over my city. They’re super comfortable, lightweight, and give my heels and high arches all the support they need. As always, I’ve received product, but no compensation, and all opinions are mine.

My Neighborhood #Vionicwalkabout

A couple of feline friends who always run out to greet us and get some love.Walk1

Stopped for a picnic at Magee Park in Carlsbad.

walk12

The park was full of well-groomed collies!

walk11walk10

Hmmm…what are they trying to say?walk9 Couldn’t pass by this beautiful rose without stopping to smell…

walk8

Red berries!walk7A very primitive and mature Cycad.walk6Look at these fluorescent puffballs!walk5walk4And a popcorn sky…

walk3

 Start your #Vionicwalkabout today and be healthy!
There’s still time to start walking and win a trip to Napa!

http://www.vionicshoes.com/2015-vionic-walkabout

Zesty Veggie Hummus Pinwheels

FINALzestyCrowdsourcing is an awesome method to gather fresh ideas and to spark creativity.

I needed to prepare a couple of dishes for a party and my Facebook friends didn’t let me down. Jen from Driftwood Gardens and Lizzi from Considerings (I reblogged her yesterday) and Becky Bell came to my rescue.

Veggie Hummus Pinwheels were the perfect choice. I added the “Zesty” part, not only because a few squeezes of lime juice adds a fresh and sexy pop to almost anything, but because —  well, I can’t explain. You’d have to be there, or at least you need to read my post from yesterday, which was reblogged from Lizzi Rogers. She said it far better than I could paraphrase.

There’s a method to my madness; always bringing vegan eats to any gathering so I can watch their faces when they tell me how tasty it is whilst I use any and all opportunity to climb up on my little soapbox and ruin any party atmosphere by ranting on and on about becoming vegan and cruelty-free living. Hmm…maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to many parties.

Back to the recipe…

Hummus is so easy to prepare from scratch that it’s a staple here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells. (Recipe below.)

It’s mostly all prep work. Organizing your ingredients makes it easy. Because I was bringing this to a party, I didn’t include onions, but the addition of a thinly sliced red onion would be a wonderful crunchy flavor enhancer.

veggie roll up 4I used a handheld mandolin to thinly slice the veggies. Carrots, bell pepper, mushrooms, cucumber, and freshly steamed, chopped spinach. Make sure you squeeze out all of the cooking juice and save  for soup stock later in the week. SEE THE LIME…

I had some leftover guacamole and used that too. Organic pea shoots and cilantro (coriander to you all from across the pond) rounded out the healthy deliciousness.

**For a really low calorie option, use a large lettuce leaf instead of a carb-filled tortilla.veggie rollup5Simply spread, layer, roll, and cut.

Spread with hummus, guacamole, spinach (this one doesn’t have spinach, but I used a slice of veggie cheddar cheese. The important part is to layer all the veggies on the side of the wrap or tortilla closest to you. Sometimes I heat the tortilla to make it a little more pliable.

vegroll1 Start rolling, keeping it tight. That’s the secret to a successful roll up. If you’ve ever made sushi, it’s the same principle, without using a bamboo mat. vegroll2 Tah dah! A fat little cigar shaped roll of yumminess.vegroll3 Cut in half with a sharp knife. At this point, you can stop. If I was making a wrap for me and my tugboat man, this is how I’d serve it, along with a lovely fruit salad and a wheat grass smoothie. 

vegroll4But we’re going fancy schmancy for party eats, so keep cutting…eating the ends as you go. Well, at least that’s what I did.
veggie rollup3 Turn them up so they’re smiling pinwheels, choose a special serving platter, add a little garnish: here I used cilantro, pea shoots, and thinly sliced LIME.  

Beautiful, festive, healthy!FINALzesty


BASIC HUMMUS:

One 15 oz. can unsalted garbanzo beans (or your own from scratch)
Four garlic cloves
Six tablespoons lemon juice
One-third cup tahini
Salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce

Drain beans, but save juice. Toss it all into a food processor and blend until desired consistency. Add a little juice from the beans as needed. Season to taste.
That’s it! Couldn’t be any easier, right?
Options: Add chopped, drained spinach, jalapeños, roasted red peppers, etc. Use your imagination and experiment. It’s all tasty. Especially if you add a squeeze of lime…

Trends in Toenail Fashion

Just saying “toenail” and “fashion” in the same sentence makes me feel all oooky and squeamish BUT I’m doing this for YOU —  my readers — as a public service to bring you the pertinent details and relevant information — especially since it’s officially summer and our feet are exposed in sandals and flip-flops.

Hold on, I need a sip of  yummy Stonecrop screw-top chardonnay before I continue…you might also want to prepare yourself with an adult beverage — I can wait.

This is where it all started. I saw this pic on Facebook, gagged a bit, threw up in my mouth a bit, shared it, and received TONS of commentary, more than is normally generated by a photo-share — and it fueled my determination to delve into the subject of extremely long toenails — I truly believe it’s reached the status of being POST-worthy.

Here ya go, what do YOU think?

feet

100% of the comments on my Facebook page were like this: “Eww”, “Disgusting”, “Yikes”, “OMG, those look like pterodactyl claws!”, “Chain saw!”, and “YUCK”.

Although, I’m not totally hating on the shoes. Who doesn’t love sparkle?

Could this be the NEXT BIG THING?

I’ve done a bit of armchair research. Apparently, having LONG toenails is a “THING”; a certain segment of society thinks it’s SEXY.

Check out this FB page if you don’t believe me and here’s a tip: MUTE the sound if you click on it…http://www.yevettenails.com/home.html

In many cultures, long toenails are as appreciated as long and manicured fingernails. Many women take great pride in their toenails, treating them with the same attention and concern as their fingernails.http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Long_Beautiful_Toenails

You gotta check out this Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/authormaxinep/freaky-long-toenails/

No way, it’s not for me!!!

Personally, I can think of a zillion reasons why that wouldn’t work for my lifestyle…I go to the gym and work out, can’t have those claws getting in the way of my jumping jacks or at kickboxing, right?

We hike; no way those monstrosities will fit in hiking shoes-or any shoes for that matter. It doesn’t seem possible to be an active, athletic person with those gnarly hooks.

Oh, and HYGIENE. That’s a big one.

Most importantly, I have no doubt that my tugboat man would NEVER again want to get all cuddly and romantic if he had to go to bed fearing a midnight slashing.

What do you think? 

Are YOU going to join this fashion trend?*************************************************************************************

Animals do it right.

 Bear claws and an adorable sloth.

 

 

 

 

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, Line Up! Yoo Hoo, Pinterest, I’m Calling YOU!

 I hope you enjoy a repeat of one of my most clicked on posts of 2012 while I spend a little time with my tugboat man and my son, Angel Boy.
…..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     …..     

It was last year that I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. (Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!)

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts hanging on it is a close second.

Now you can carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in.

The moral of the story is that it might not be a good idea to leave Princes Rosebud alone for long periods of time.

Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

decorated elliptical

Property of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife

Because of a COMMENT by Cowboys and Crossbones

I feel a potentially infectious bout of truthiness coming on and before it dissipates, I need to revise yesterday’s post, A normal life…for now.

Disclaimer: The picture of of my captain and myself IS accurate, we do sit by the fire and read or read before going to sleep–HOWEVER– Cowboys and Crossbones commentary shamed me into a fuller version of the story:

Cowboys and Crossbones says:
How do you keep from talking to one another while you’re reading?! I think it’s a sweet routine.

(ES-She’s just setting me up here, acting all so “sweet” with her and her party lifestyle and wild ways and her BFF cat, Teddy. She knows how to yank the real scoop out of me and I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Watch out for her, people, she’s a sly one.)

Enchanted Seashells reply:
Well…you are a smart one, I annoy him constantly with commentary, questions:

“whatcha reading now, what page are you on, why aren’t you paying attention to me,  you look funny in your reading glasses,  can you feel me pulling your arm hair,  does it hurt,  am i annoying you yet…”

…those kinds of things which are prolly more interesting than the vision of us sitting quietly reading. hee hee.

To which C&C wrote back:

I thought I had you figured out!!!!! And yes, your questions would be MUCH more interesting than words on a page.

(ES-Darn that C&C! She wasn’t happy just getting the dirt on what goes on at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, NOW she’s saying that’d be more interesting than my original  story, which obvs was BORING!)

Because I strive to be a truth seeker and I rise to any challenge, I have to set the record straight. It’s NOT always uninterrupted evenings of tranquility around here–well, sometimes it is–but more often or not, out of the corner of my eye I’ll see his foot or leg twitch and that upsets my concentration so I need to RETALIATE and TORTURE him in some way.

As a reminder, my theory of a successful marriage: if he’s annoying, be twice as annoying.

In addition to the incessant questions of a two-year-old, I’ll say stuff like, “Do you want me to read you a paragraph from my book?” and he’ll invariably say, “Does it have sex in it?” and I’ll say, “Geez, you are such a baby.” And then he’ll say, “Let me see it. If it has any sex scenes, I can find them like magic.” {insert a finger snap here} …as he fans the pages and then stops, points to a passage and says, “See, I told you I could find it!” So proud of himself as he’s leering at the page. That’s when I say, “You are SUCH a dumb tugboat captain.” (Since I have to have the last word. Always. Always. Always.)

I feel ever so much better having gotten this off my chest. Let’s just say that if C&C hadn’t forced me to come clean, you might have walked away with an inaccurate picture of our serene life. This is, after all, CONFESSIONS of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Are you happy NOW, Cowboys and Crossbones?

Meow

Finishing up three or four posts that aren’t cooperating. They’re not funny enough, they have no point, no denouement, no zing–nada. Instead of a rational thought process, I’ll offer up a scattered smorgasbord of tasty appetizers instead of a whole meal.

Remember these cats?

bandit in a boxOur Bandit used to talk to us that way. After a while, I started answering her back. She’d say, “Meow“, I’d respond, “Meow”. She’d stroll into the kitchen and greet me with a head nod and a brief “Mew”. I’d imitate her head nod and answer her. She tried so hard to communicate with us! If we didn’t go to bed at the same time every night–if we stayed up a bit longer than usual–Bandit marched into the family room with an outraged sense of purpose-maintain eye contact–and kind of growly-meow, walk a few steps toward the bedroom, and then walk back to us. If we didn’t follow her, she’d leave in a huff and wait on the bed and if we didn’t move quick enough, one swipe of her her paw let us know she was pissed. She had the sharpest claws. They spoke volumes.

One day, the captain said something to me and I didn’t hear him. Instead of saying, “What did you say?” I said, “Meow?” He seemed to understand what I meant because he repeated himself. That one meow led to complete conversations in cat language. Angry meows, grunting meows, questioning meows, and mews in agreement. We just have to remember not to do it when anyone else is around. I’m not sure many people would understand. Meow?

We worked out at the gym this morning. Before we left, I asked the hubs to take a couple pictures of me. See the hairband with sparkles and the Hello Kitty slippers? Starfish?

me2 Pictures of me

Late this afternoon I heard a hawk in the eucalyptus tree across the street. It let me get really close for these pics! The colors were magnificent. I wish I took better photos.
hawk2 Hawk in tree
Chocolate cake was requested by my tugboat man; I whipped up an easy one bowl version. It was sooo good! It’s lowfat but really moist. The recipe is below.
choccloseup chocolate cake

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze
from Better Homes and Gardens

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I use half non-fat milk and half cold coffee)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • egg
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and lightly flour a 9×1-1/2-inch round or 8x8x2-inch baking pan.2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into prepared pan.

    3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Spread with glaze.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1  cup confectioners sugar
3 tbsp. water or coffee
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in cocoa and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens; do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, gradually add confectioners sugar; beat with wire whisk until smooth.

Best Christmas Decorations EVER-Haters, line up! Yoo hoo, Pinterest, I’m calling you!

I was inspired by other topnotch decorators who so kindly blogged about their DIY Christmas tree masterpieces.

In fact, I was so inspired and so thrilled to be stuck here all alone for the millionth time during the holidays that I created a masterpiece of my own, just for you, my loving internet family. S

o, Cousin Fur and Aunt Cheeky and Second Cousin Far Removed Tracy F for Fantastic, this one’s especially for you guys.

As I looked around my house, the elliptical seemed like it had the best “bones” to adorn.

Plus, it had a ready-made beverage holder!

I didn’t have any Maxi-pads or other feminine hygiene products–‘cos THAT ship has sailed–if you know what I mean. {Hey cool, a nautical reference jauntily tossed in. Damn, I’m good!} 

I added a toilet paper garland, a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels, two glittery seashell ornaments, a bottle of wine in the beverage holder, a white plastic poinsettia, a few EMPTY gift bags, and a festive plush Hello Kitty toy.

You can’t really see it very good, but there’s a chocolate bar too, which I luckily don’t have to share with anyone! I’m such a lucky girl! This is the best use I’ve found for the elliptical. Hanging freshly ironed shirts on it is a close second.

Carry on with your day; just take a moment to let it all sink in. Don’t HATE…Emulate.

Decorated for Christmas elliptical decorated elliptical

Abandoning the mother ship

pumpkin, pumpkin stew

Soon to be pumpkin stew

DIL and sister wife left this morning to drive back up to SF. I still have my son until tomorrow. He flies out mid-morning to the east coast and I’m not looking forward to the thirty-five minute drive and the lunacy of the airport. At its best it’s not pleasant. Now they’re undergoing major construction delays and it’s another level of Hell.  For the moment, home is reminiscent of the old days; he’s sitting at the dining room table with a computer surrounded by piles of books, only this time he’s not writing a report or research paper, he’s grading essays.

Young Yale Professor

Photo of a Yale professor in action

I can’t believe this little sk8r boy of mine goes to work and fifteen college freshman call him Professor Angel Boy. Of course, they don’t REALLY call him Angel Boy, but I think they  should. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the concept. It’s mind boggling. Especially since he still derives the greatest pleasure by shocking me with offensive earsplitting and vulgar expulsions of intestinal gas that serves as his initial form of communication when he opens the front door (Insert loud breaking wind sounds here) “Hi, mom, I’m home!” or belching as commentary while we’re enjoying a lovely meal at the dinner table, like Thanksgiving. Apparently, my laughing is an ineffective method of dissuading that kind of behavior. Sometimes I tell him he’s disgusting but he finds that a compliment rather than a criticism. His wife thinks he’s funny too; even the captain finds him humorous, shaking his head, “That’s our boy!” almost, no, not almost–completely proud of him– so it’s hopeless. The dichotomy between his academic braininess and his juvenile antics is-uh-refreshing. It’s no wonder I treat him like he’s still in the third grade. It’s as if he never left elementary school with the stupid arm farts and the other robust sounds and smells that emanate from all of his orifices. I keep my fingers crossed that when he meets with his department heads or his publisher that he remembers all the lessons in good manners we practiced and he only acts out here as the living embodiment of the prodigal son. Like I said, fingers crossed. 

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

Smells DELICIOUS

I’m in the kitchen baking another loaf of Whole Wheat Bread. Tonight we had Moroccan Pumpkin Stew (recipe below) with steamed brown rice and Seared Ahi ‘cos I have to make sure he gets enough protein.

It’s kind of cold, damp, and foggy; after dinner we made a fire and  played Scrabble. He won, of course–232 to 219.scrabble

An assortment of desserts; apple pie, black bean brownies, oatmeal cookiesapple pie, black bean brownies, oatmeal cookies

Beautiful flowers from my Angel Boy

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 6 small potatoes, well-scrubbed but not peeled, cut in half
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-1/2 cups canned tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons raisins

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, carrot, potato, and pumpkin and saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time. When vegetables have softened, add the ginger and garlic. Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and cinnamon stick. Cook for another 5-8 minutes, then add the canned tomato and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, then add the raisins. Allow to cook for 18-25 minutes until all vegetables are soft – but don’t overcook. Serve over or with brown rice.