WE WERE ON A BREAK! (and it was a BIG mistake)

This was 15 weeks ago.

I was elated. Happy. Proud.

I was Icharus.

Dammit.

What the hell was I thinking?

I am not the kind of person who can stop a thing. I am the kind of person who, in order to be healthy and happy, needs to follow through every single day.

I know I am not alone, but I am embarrassed and sad that I flew too close to the sun.

On the upside Wax Wing soup is scrumptious!

Okay. Okay. I didn’t actually eat Wax Wings à la Icharus, but it is one of the very few things I did not eat over the summer.

I planned to loosen the reins a bit and maybe adapt to an 80/20 approach (which works really well, by the way), but then I heard the ice cream call my name … and it was summer … and it was Friday … and we were on vacation … and when would we be all together in this place again?

And … and … and …

You can see where this is going right?

I’ll just wait here for your eye rolls to stop and your judgement to wash over me.

I KNOW! I know better. I know. It’s true. I do.

sigh

So now what?

Well, for one I am not starting all over again, so yay me. Secondly, I didn’t quite throw the baby out with the bathwater. I know what works and I know what makes me happy and guess what, people? It is not ice cream. (or potato chips) (Hmm. What’s that? I didn’t mention the potato chips? Gee. I was sure I did. looks down and kicks invisible pebbles)

As it turns out, I feel so much better–mind, body, spirit, soul, mood, attitude–when I stick to eating a variety of yummy foods (including a few sweet treats) that are gluten free (this is old news) and also mostly dairy free, corn free, and devoid of sugar. Oh yeah … just one more thing … coffee. Yup. Coffee is on the chopping block.

It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I know.

This is partly why (and how) I allowed myself to be stopped.

I am not proud of it, but I am honest, so I will tell you what happened–I let people, who (mostly) do not matter, get in my head.

How sad is that? How silly? How ridiculous? How ludicrous?

How sad.

I literally know hundreds of people who exercise, eat, live, and share their journeys to wellness. There are so many different ways to find what works for you as an individual and I know as well as anyone that it should not matter what anyone else does or says or promotes or buys or endorses.

Yet here we are.

I allowed doubt and fear and alright, maybe a bit of defiance and self-sabotage, thwart me and my efforts.

It isn’t the first time.

When I first went gluten free (or even low carb, waaaaay back when–remember “Protein Power” by the Drs. Eades?–you see.. I was onto something then, too!) I felt so much better, but I let the opinions of others convince me that that couldn’t possibly be what was wrong. I was just fat and Lord knows fat trumps all when it comes to feeling like hammered poo. Amirite? (I know for a fact that if any of you reading this have now or have at any time carried extra fat on your body you know exactly what I am talking about. Every medical anything. Every ache or pain. Each headache or tummy trouble. Anytime the baby nurse takes out the “fat” BP cuff to use on your happily pregnant arm–for God’s sake! Just stop that. Let the Mamma be happy for a half a minute, will ya?!?–the looks, the digging questions, the judgement. All cause a huge heaping helping of self doubt.

Really. Is it any wonder I (I just typed “we”, but this is on me, so here I stand, heart in hand!) doubt myself when for so long clearly any and all of my issues were essentially my fault and my fault alone?

Right?

Right?!?

excuse me for a minute while I take a few deep breaths and go to my happy place

Wrong. Humans are complex creatures and sometimes we carry burdens that we did not create, that we were never meant to carry. For some of us, that burden happens to be visible. When I have the wherewithal to have a sense of humour about it I think of it as my fat suit of armour. I know the truth.

Anyhoo …

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Be nice to people! If someone is doing something and they seem happy and excited or slightly anxious and excited (ANXCITED!) and they are brave enough or trusting enough to share that with you or be open publicly about it, support them. Ask if they are happy about it. Encourage them to go for it. Maybe check in now and then in a non-judge-y way and see how it’s going.

I don’t know.

All I do know is that when I am having doubts and someone swoops in to immediately say the worst of the stuff I am thinking about me (or it or whatever) or point out how difficult a thing is or how they could never give up x, y, z … well, let me get straight to the point (HAH! Have you met me?!) it isn’t helpful. Not even a little bit.

No one really wants to suffer for their art-or for their heart!

So, what is this all about?

Well, to sum up, be nice to people, not just nice–kind. Think before you speak. Certainly, be careful with your say-it-right-out-loud words. Listen more. Pay attention to what you are thinking. Maybe do a double check now and then when you think you have that internally screaming thought and/or eye roll under wraps, and make sure it isn’t written all over your face.

Mind you, if that’s 100% you, by all means, you be you. That is important.

You’ll understand, of course, when I don my eye roll deflector.

Oh, just one more thing–my break is over!

Signs

austin-chan-275638

Well, hello there!

Are you still here?

Wow!

You are a really kind person.

Thank you for that.

I sincerely appreciate your presence.

Obviously, I have been absent from this space for quite some time, but you know what? I miss it. I miss you. I miss this space. I miss being able to simply pop in and say hello, share a part of my day, ask how you’ve been, and wait in quiet contemplation and anticipation for any sign of life.

So thank you for all the times you have swung by.

I am eternally grateful for your silent support. I am also grateful for your LOUD support.

I’m not picky.

Fire: bad. Bread: bad. Support: good.

So maybe I needed a sign.

Maybe I needed to seek one.

Maybe the sign I was looking for was so blatantly obvious that I couldn’t see it.

Sometimes we see what we want and it seems so far away when what we need is sitting right in front of us.

It’s like lusting after a pair of Louboutin’s when what you really long for is a wicked cozy pair of fuzzy slippers.

One might make people go “Wow!”, but will it make you go “Wow!”? No. No it won’t. Well, I suppose I can only speak for myself, but one of those would make me go “Oww!” not “Wow!” and is simply not my style, so why bother? I can’t afford the shoes or to waste a single second of my very limited and precious time on this planet trying to make someone else go “Wow!”. Can you?

Allow me.

No. No you can’t.

So …

All this to say, thank you for reading.

I hope you continue to stick around.

I have vowed to post every day in November with the hopes of getting my groove back and forming a new and improved writing habit.

My sign?

November is National Blog Posting Month. (This is where, if we were cartoons, an anvil – or perhaps an old timey typewriter – would fall on my head.)

Yup.

That – in conjunction with a few other doozies from the Universe – is most definitely a sign.

Do you believe in signs? Does the Universe speak to you?

Feel free to tell me a ‘signs from the Universe’ story in the comments. You know I’ll be replying because the Universe told me I have to be here every day in November. It’d be awesome to have something to do. 😉

 

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB-in-the-Bucket

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you?

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

Super Fly!

So one night early in November I was sitting here trying to write when I heard the unmistakable sound of a housefly buzzing agains a window.

You know that irritating buzzing and flicking sound?

I loathe that sound.

Anyway, I was here attempting to get a post written and published and the sound, for some reason, was more irritating than usual.

It was the first week of November. The Halloween jack o’lanterns were still on the patio and I had gone outside to turn off a little reusable candle that had been inside Thing 2’s pumpkin.

I got it into my mind that I must have let the fly in then and that it had to be a super icky kind of fly. Maybe the kind of fly that enjoys hanging out with decomposing gourds. The kind of fly the might have been Jeff Goldblum in another life.

Oh my gourd!

It was grossing me out.

You know how sometimes you can habituate a noise or a pest?

Yeah? Well I don’t because that flipping fly was going to drive me mad.

It was him or me.

It was being bold. At the very least it could not be allowed to stay in my bedroom. I’d never sleep. Yuck!

My poor husband was none the wiser (Poirot was on), but that damn fly was buzzing around him as he slept. I couldn’t let that happen. So I jumped up and quickly turned off the lamp on his bedside table.

Now my desk lamp was the only source of light (aside from the glow of the TV and my monitor) and you know what obnoxious flying insects love? They just can’t seem to get enough of light sources. Especially light sources with boxy shades so they can bounce off as many surfaces as possible and thusly gross out their unsuspecting human hosts.

I tried to shoo it away and do you know what that fly did? It flew right at my head!

Inside my head, my brain screamed, ” Oh no you didn’t!”

There was but one choice.

I needed hairspray.

Don’t tell me I’m the only one.

I can’t be the only one!

In the end I bested the demonic creature.

Then I laughed out loud because I am fairly certain that I must have looked at least a little bit like this.

We all have our straws.

What drives you a little bit (or a lot) crazy?

Source

Permission

Yesterday Thing 2 was hanging out in my room with BB, reading to me, doing a bit of homework, and – after she finished that – watching Disney Channel Canada on our TV.

I was in and out doing things that need doing on a Saturday. You know. The typical things. Making meals, tidying up, putting away laundry, the usual.

At one point I popped in to check on my daughter to see if she needed anything and she was gone.

I found this on my desk.

notes remote control change the channel Things

So I wrote a reply.

change the world Things permission

Then I brought it to her.

Things message received smart girl wise kid world changer

I think she got the message.

I’ll keep reminding her though because apparently nagging mothers get decent results.

For the sake of the world, I hope so.

NaBloPoMo Deficit (Or I Intend To Finish What I Started)

intention picasso quote doing vs. intention

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.

Can.

Will.

Did.

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.

sigh

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 was confirmed on Saturday when I read the news.

So, here’s hoping there’s something to all this intention stuff because I have things I want to do and seeing Stuart McLean is most definitely on my list.

So, tell me, do you believe in intentions?

Do you have a word you focus on to help you get through your year?

Do you set an intention?

How do you make your intentions a reality?

**And you can bet your britches I just changed that to 10.

Source

 

Thankful Thursday: American Thanksgiving Edition

coffee cup thankful Thanksgiving Fall decor

Happy American Thanksgiving Day!

I know it’s late, but I have been busy celebrating.

If you want to know how we spent the day I think the quickest way for me to show you is by directing you to this post, “How To Celebrate American Thanksgiving In Canada”, I wrote for Life In Pleasantville. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tom Turkey

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.)

Ta daa!
I am definitely making this side dish next year.

Pumpkin Patch turkey thanksgiving wreath

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.

Thanksgiving dinner turkey stuffing dressing mashed potatoes carrots turnip rutabaga gravy peaches and cream corn

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.
****Kinda sorta.

Christmas, Naturally.

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?

Oh, yes.

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?

Wordless Wednesday: Advice From A Children’s Book Edition