I am missing 11** days of posts out of the 28 days that November has had, so far.
Am I flipping out? Nope.
Do I care? Yes. Of course. I always care.
Am I in knots like I would have been last year? No way! Life is way too short to be in knots over a fictitious deadline of questionable importance.
What am I planning to do with this knowledge?
That is a good question. I am not quite sure what to do.
Should I try and scrounge up the energy and words to post a decent thing for the missing days?
Should I just brush it off and move on?
Can I find a compromise that makes me feel decent about participating in NaBloPoMo again this year? I am honestly not sure.
It is always good to challenge oneself. Of that, I am sure.
I suppose I am just not sure exactly what my goal, beyond 30 posts in 30 days, is – or was.
Last year it was a challenge that I felt I couldn’t possibly complete and, yet, I did.
This year, I knew I could do it and I was pretty sure I would, but here I am on November 28th trying to figure out what to do.
Mostly, I have written elsewhere. Other things for other people.
That is a really cool turn of events that might never have happened if I didn’t start writing a little bit here.
They are interesting words, aren’t they?
I guess what I am saying is that when the intention is clear the accomplishment often seems clearly attainable. The opposite is also true. I think I may have proven that this time.
Maybe the trick is to set a clear intention, no matter the task, in order to reach one’s goals.
Why then, does this not work in all the things I intend to do?
What am I missing?
Are my intentions not good enough? Are they not focussed enough?
Is there something pertinent I am overlooking?
Am I paving a road to H-E- double hockey sticks?
For example, take my weight. No really. Take my weight, please. Ba doom tsh!
Why can’t I intend it away? Wouldn’t that be something!? I wish I could. I really do.
Alas, wishing won’t make it so.
I am tired of it and I intend to do something about it.
I won’t be coming back here to whine about it. I promise. It’s just that I think I believe that a written intention has more power than one I secretly wish inside my head.
Just like I am fairly certain one spoken out loud is more powerful than one written.
Although, I am sure it depends on the person and the intention.
For instance, last Friday we went to see The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show at the Scotiabank Centre, here, in Halifax. As many of you know by now, Stuart McLean cancelled the remainder of the tour because he has been diagnosed with cancer and was strongly encouraged to begin treatment right away. What many of you may not know is that the show ended with a “Hey Jude” send off and after the “Na na na nanana naaa nanana naaa” part we didn’t sing the words “hey Jude”. No. Instead, we were all singing “Next year” in place of “hey Jude”. We didn’t know Stuart McLean was ill. We did know that he was in fine form, that we were thoroughly entertained, and that we absolutely wanted the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show to come back to Halifax next year. We wanted Stuart McLean to come back next year.
The phrase “next year” in and of itself isn’t all that special. In fact, it might be seen as a mostly innocuous or even negative thing. Kind of like the elusive “someday” we often utter when making plans to travel to an exotic location or treat ourselves to a fancy something-or-other.
But I am telling you, last Friday night in the Scotiabank Place the phrase “next year” was most definitely an intention. I felt it then and there as I sang it.
It went pretty much according to plan, except we didn’t eat any pie! That is a travesty!
I have a friend in Texas who hosted a 100% pie Thanksgiving today. How amazing is that?!?
And here we are stuffed like the turkey with no room for pie. Oh! The shame!
We’ll have to train harder for next year.
In the meantime, my unending quest for awesome American side dishes (You know they are amazing, right? Oh, you really must go read my post!) I asked my very best imaginary friend, Sheila (Hey Sheila!) for a recipe to share with you and being the awesome friend that she is she came up with this gem!
Sheila’s Corn Casserole
Shoepeg corn, 2 cans, drained
French cut green beans, 1 can, drained
Sour cream, 8 oz.
Slivered almonds, small pkg.
Chopped onion, half – whole (depending on your tastes)
Ground pepper, to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, sharp or mild,
1-2 cup Cream of something** soup (celery, mushroom or chicken.)
Mix it all up in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam Topping
Tube of Ritz crackers, crushed.
Stick of butter, melted.
Blend crackers and melted butter and spread mixture on top of casserole.
Cook 350 for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbly and top is browning.
(Brown to your liking.)
I am definitely making this side dish next year.
It’s late and I must sleep because Friday will be a very busy day.
I want to tell you a bit more about our Thanksgiving dinner conversation with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but it will have to wait until I have a bit more time. I wish I could tell you right now! I assure you I will share as soon as I can.
I will tell you all about Friday’s busy-ness tomorrow night. Promise!
Meanwhile, pie for breakfast!
I kid. I kid.****
How did you spend your Thanksgiving?
Did you double up on this holiday of gratitude?
What are you thankful for today?
**Can you see now why I love Sheila?
***They all work. Celery is what original recipe called for.
It was a very rainy and windy weekend, but for a little while today the rain stopped and I went out to run a few errands.
First stop was at the local farmer’s market which is undergoing major renovations, so it looks at once dilapidated and delightful. It’s confusing, really. I can no longer even imagine what it will look like in the end.
There was a point last year around this time when it stared to feel cozy and nice, but yesterday the makeshift roof was leaking and dripping rainwater on all the things.
I looked around for a minute at the nice, simple homemade, natural wreaths, with their red ribbons and berries, then at the winter holiday planter boxes filled with evergreen boughs, glittery twigs, ribbons and bright red ornaments (which I was coveting, if I’m being honest) and pickles (yes, that’s right) and it just felt odd, but I digress …
Where was I?
Outside, where I parked the car on the new makeshift (?) parking lot there was a table filled with plain evergreen wreaths. They were so festively fragrant I wanted to just stand there the whole time. I took a photo to try and capture it. Can’t you just about smell Christmas?
Then just before entering the building there was another table covered in these gorgeous, bright red, bunches of berries. I don’t know what these berries are, but I know I want all of them. They look so festive, don’t they? These were used in some of the wreaths and planter boxes inside the market.
I have always found the idea of a simple Christmas very appealing.
Every year we say we will keep it low key and simple and we typically do a good job of not going over the top, but when I see things like naked Christmas wreaths and – what I am going to call – winter berries, I am convinced that I would love nothing more than a house in the middle of the woods, filled with the people I love, a real Christmas tree decorated with our treasures and memories and a few homemade additions from nature, and an honest-to-goodness old fashioned Christmas.
That’s the problem with simple. It never really is, is it?
We were away for a the weekend and with the exception of one thing I simply couldn’t get done most of the things that needed doing were completed.
We didn’t turn the radio on for the entire drive to New Brunswick.
We arrived in the dark on Friday.
We managed to take advantage of not one, but two BOGO Starbucks Holiday beverages. Oh yes! Today there was a Peppermint Mocha and there may or may not have been a Cranberry Bliss Bar. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.
The Things were thrilled to spend some time with their cousins this afternoon.
We celebrated a special Birthday today!
We were extremely entertained by our nephew and his mad candle lighting skills, but we especially appreciated his Dad stepping in to really get the show started. (Have you ever seen a musical candle that blossoms with fire and sparklers? We have!)
I think our gift was a hit (though who can ever be sure, really?).
We were treated to an amazing feast of Persian food and I really would like to learn to cook all the Persian things right now.
We left for home in the dark tonight.
It was completely and utterly pitch black out. No stars to be seen, yet the cold night air was crisp and seemed to make the visibility better than usual. There was no haze or fog at all. Unheard of!
We made it home in record time because all the traffic seemed to be going with the flow in the same direction as us and there was nary a dingbat on the highway the whole way home.
Thing 1 managed to study for a science test and upload a video to YouTube after we arrived home. (Motivation is a wonderful thing.)
Thing 2 didn’t get to share her violin playing with her Nanny, even though she made a point of bringing both her violin and her music with her all the way to Moncton. (She will just have to book some time in December. Maybe by then she will have a Christmas carol in her repertoire.)
We are not at home this weekend, but we are together and that makes me …
We are spending our weekend in Moncton, NB to celebrate a birthday and since it is pretty chilly outside we are making an effort to thoroughly enjoy …
We made an effort to get out for a bit today and wound up at one of our favourite places – Chapters!
With a new Star Wars movie merely weeks away from being released into theatres, the merchandising is at its peak. Chapters has a tonne of fun new things for Star Wars fans – young and old – and a really cool selection of Star Wars themed books. There is even an adult colouring book! I mean really. How awesome is this?
We found what we wanted and needed. Then we bought what we needed and left the Millenium Falcon Bluetooth speaker and somehow bid the two foot tall talking Yoda adieu.
Daddy-O took our purchases to the car (along with Thing 1’s hoodie and my fleece jacket, because it was a thousand degrees in this particular Chapters today) and we went to find a spot where we could sit inside the very crowded Starbucks.
We walked to the back of the store to where Starbucks is located and we all agreed it was very strange to see the windows which used to gaze upon Crystal Palace – and a whole lot of natural light – completely blackened by the walls of the gigantic retailer that now occupies the space. That’s going to have to be fixed because holy darkness! It didn’t help that there were also a couple of lights out.
We found a table and asked our table neighbours if they could spare a chair. They were happy to oblige and we were very thankful. So we sat and waited for Daddy-O to return.
As soon as he was back we ordered two for one hot chocolates for the kiddos and two for one Praline Chesnut lattes for the parents. The hot chocolate was a hit as usual and we liked the lattes which we were trying for the first time. Yum!
This was supposed to be a coffee date. Just the adults. An hour or so alone with decadent Christmassy coffees. Solving the problems of the world. Making plans. Just the two of us.
You know what they say about plans …
After recent world events (that I definitely cannot solve alone) I could instantly think of about eighty-seven things worse than our date turning into a family affair.