The Sacred Scarab in the Woods

A few days ago, I came across the scarab or popularly known as the dung beetle during my afternoon walk. I truly admire how poised the scarab sits in his/her space. This was the second time I encountered this cute and astonishing beetle. I feel lucky to encounter the scarab at the beginning of the New Year.

What makes this beautiful creature so sacred?

The sacred scarab was worshipped by the Egyptians as the embodiment of the sun god (the morning sun) Khepri. It is the most famous member of the beetle found in every part of the world except in the oceans and Antarctica. According to the National Geographic Magazine, there are about 30,000 scarab species. In Japan, they were kept as pets.

They are incredibly athletic with powerful legs. Their legs pull a whopping 1,141 times its own body weight.

Although they are not aggressive towards humans but do have a sneaky habit of destroying flowers, turf grass, and food vegetation.

What does it mean if you come across a scarab? 

 The scarab is a symbol of creation, resurrection, or new life.

Here is more information about Beetle symbolism and meaning. https://worldbirds.com/beetle-symbolism/

Trail Camera-Bobcat and prey in the South Carolina Woods

Hey Friends,  The trail camera had captured a bobcat and prey in our backyard. In South Carolina, bobcats typically inhabit areas of dense, thick brush such as bottomland forests in the coastal plain. They are found in many different habitats including swamps, mountainous regions, and forests.  Enjoy!

Bobcat and prey, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

Nothing says The Holidays better than having some warm and flavorful herb roasted potatoes as a side dish. This side dish pairs well with any main dish or served alone.

Can you hear the sizzle? Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021
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I enjoy making these herb roasted baby potatoes in huge quantities and freezing any extras. Also, I love eating them in the morning with eggs whenever I need a power pack breakfast for a very long hike in the mountains.

Flavorful Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag of baby potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Wash and cut potatoes half or quarter.
  • Pat the potatoes dry with paper towel.
  • Combine potatoes with olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle extra olive oil.
  • Bake on the bottom rack for about 25 mins. or until fork-tender.

3 Magical Moments on a Rainy Day at the Cabin

Our Cabin (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

I have a confession to make. I’m a pluviophile, a lover of rain. 

It’s my favorite time to spend in the woods because everything slows down.

Yes, it can become even super slower here. The wildlife takes cover and all you can hear are the sounds of the leaves on the trees as if a lady is dragging a very heavy and long ballgown across the floor, as she begins to dance to the rhythmic sounds of the rain.

 I sit on the red swing and drink a cup of tea or coffee. The cats are staring out the window eager to catch a squirrel taking cover. After the rain has slowed down or completely stopped, I am eager to see the magic of the woods appear before my eyes. 

Red Swing (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
—John Updike

Rainy Day at The Cabin. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

These are the 3 magical things that happen in the woods on a rainy day.

Rhythmic Rainfall 

The musical beats of the rain send calming waves throughout the day. The rain songs are on a lovely loop soundtrack. I guess that’s why many want to dance or sing in the rain…I do! 

I even own a rainstick so I can enjoy the sweet and lovely sounds whenever I feel stressed. 

Mystical Fog

A mystical dense fog starts flowing over the four mountains around me, (Coldbranch Mountain, Battered Rock Mountain, Reedy Mountain, and Table Rock Mountain).

According to folklore, Table Rock Mountain received its name from a Cherokee legend in which the flat-topped mountain served as a table from which the Great Spirit ate his meals.

When I look out into the sky and see the mountains surrounded by fog…I can definitely understand!

Table Rock Mountain. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021
Coldbranch Mountain. (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021
Fog (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

Magic of Stillness

There is a magic of solitude when it’s raining (even though I have neighbors nearby) and an organic reflection of turning inwards. Sitting in the stillness helps me understand myself more. It’s a reflection of time and a reminder of the beauty that resides in all of us. 

Rainy Day People by Gordon Lightfoot

Black bear and cubs visiting the cabin

Black bear and cubs, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

In May 2021, I had a black bear visiting me at the cabin and showing off her baby cubs. She was done hibernating for the winter and was looking for something yummy to eat (no, not me…lol). The bear remembered me from last year when I set up some bird feeders. Let me rewind this story and explain.

Last year, I heard a loud thunk on the back of my deck. I quickly turned around and saw the black bear standing acrobatically on all fours on top of the deck. The black bear climbed all the way up and was staring enchantingly at the bird feeder swinging merrily on the deck. Then she stood upright and yanked the bird feeder and started shaking it as if it were a gumball dispenser and had won a prize. She ate half of the seeds and grabbed the bird feeder, then smiled (as if she was saying, thanks, Lady!) and placed it into her powerful jaws, and went right down the pole of the deck to finish the rest of her loot.

After a few more visits from the black bear, I began to feel like the guy from, ‘Grizzly Adams.’ I learned that the bears live far towards the back of the woods from my cabin. Bears only become aggressive if they feel threatened. Overall, bears are usually very peaceful and gentle.

Humphrey the Bear: In The Bag

Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans & Raisins

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Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Raisins, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

I love making this dish as a quick and savory meal for dinner. Rice pilaf makes a great vegetarian meal. Also, both curry and turmeric have many health benefits.

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I serve this rice dish with my favorite chutney, Patak’s Major Grey Chutney-Sweet Mango with Ginger.

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You can find my favorite chutney here.

Curry Rice Pilaf with Pecans and Raisins

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried sweetened cherries
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground 
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbs ghee or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan add, ghee or olive oil, with the chopped onions.
  • Brown the onions in the saucepan for about 5-8 mins. 
  • Add all the spices: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, curry, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon
  • Brown for another 5 mins
  • Then add the rice and stir for about 2 mins. to infuse the flavors.
  • Add water and cover with a lid.
  • Reduce the heat and let the rice simmer for about 15 mins. 
  • Remove the lid, add the chopped peacans and raisins.
  • Then continue cooking for 5 mins. or until all of the water is absorbed.

Notes

You may use any pre-mixed spice of Indian Curry blend of seasoning.
Optional: Serve with yogurt, or your favorite brand of chutney.
Keyword rice

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod, (c)The Comfy Cabin, 2021

This recipe is a flavorful mixture of tangy and sweet.
As a child growing up in New York City, one of my favorite dishes was tomato-based salted cod fish, bacalhau. Once a week, I would always look forward to this dish with a side of french fries…yum!
I recreated this dish inspired by my Mediterranean and Hispanic heritage. It’s a fusion of flavors that makes this dish extra delicious! Plus, this dish pairs well with any side of rice, salad, or potatoes.

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Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod, (c)The Comfy Cabin, 2021

Mediterranean & Spanish Baked Cod

The Comfy Cabin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Spanish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds cod fish or frozen bag or cod
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp parsley
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes or tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of mixed olives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine or water
  • 4 tbs olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pad the cod with paper towels until dry. 
  • Add olive oil and cod to a  9”x13” baking dish.
  • Add all the spices, chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and olives. 
  • Pour water or white cooking wine in the dish.
  • Bake for 20-25 mins. or until the fish is opaque (depending on the thickness of the cod fish).
  • Add extra olives if desired

Notes

For extra flavor: add the spices to the cod ahead of time and place back in the fridge for about 30 mins so the flavors can set in.
Keyword fish

Visit The Swamp Rabbit Trail-South Carolina

Walking the Swamp Rabbit Trail for Health and Fitness

Lovely day today…60 F degrees outside. I took a short walk at the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a 22-mile multi-use (walking and bicycling) greenway that traverses along the Reedy River, an old railroad corridor and City parks to connect Travelers Rest with the City of Greenville, South Carolina.

Swamp Rabbit Trail, (c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

If you plan on visiting South Carolina be sure to check out the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail, SC

Swamp Rabbit Trail Information:

https://www.greenvillesc.gov/316/Swamp-Rabbit-Trail-Interactive-Map

“Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running.”
—Dr. Matt Tanneberg

The Proclaimers- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

3 Great Reasons To Love Cabin Living

Table Rock Mountain, SC
(c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

In early 2020, I packed my stuff onto a moving truck and was headed to the woods.
My husband was offered a new job opportunity and we decided to move to a cabin in the woods since we are both nature lovers and enjoy hiking. Two years later, I can guarantee that cabin living is worth it! 

We have a breathtaking view of Table Rock Mountain here in South Carolina. The wildlife is extremely fascinating! Plus, I have experienced serene sunsets and magical twilights. I’m very excited to share all these adventures with you! 

With Gratitude,

Debra Roinestad

Debra and Kurt ,
(c) The Comfy Cabin, 2021

Here are 3 Reasons To Love Cabin Living

Slower Pace Lifestyle 

Faster doesn’t always mean better. A slower lifestyle helped me find more mindful moments. I don’t have to be fast anymore! The slow and steady rhythm of nature has helped me heal.

Slow Living Is Healthy Living by Michael Finkelstein, MD

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/slow-living-is-healthy-li_b_6209242

Self-Discovery

Living in the woods has a way of awakening your senses. Fresh clean air, a crisp cool breeze, and the warm pulsating sun on your face have a way of making you feel alive again. There is a sense of realignment and a restoration of peace. There are many opportunities for meditation and enjoying all the sounds and stillness around you. In the woods, I found the best version of myself. I soon began to discover that nature and the self are one.

“Going inward will awaken. True change starts within. —Unknown

Better Health and Wellness

Studies have shown that living in the woods has many health benefits. There is a healing power of the forest. The frequency in nature vibrates at a higher level and washes away our fears. We begin to develop unity with nature. Also, we foster respect for the elements within nature and truly, ourselves.

Why Forest Bathing Is Good for Your Health by Karin Evans

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_forest_bathing_is_good_for_your_health