Where the heck did summer go!.

My daughter went back to school today!!! How on earth is it time for that? It feels like it was just yesterday that school was out. I want a do over 😦

so it has been a while since I posted. I apologize. I have been learning lots of new things and spending time in our garden watching my little experiments growing. I am pleased with most of them. Everything struggled this year with the quantity of rain we had.

The tomatoes and the yellow beans and carrots are doing great! The squash are a definite fail in that spot as were the leeks. The Brussels sprouts are only just starting to grow along with the corn.  The green beans have started to climb the corn but are no where near these ate they should be for this point in he season. We have had a couple of zucchini and the potatoes also seem to be thriving in their box.

so next year I will add in some compost -maybe even this fall and try again. The more I learn now, hopefully the easier it will be when we have our property.

What were your gardening wins and fails this year so far?

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So much yumminess!

Word wants to correct my spelling to crumminess, but I won’t let it. I really did mean to write yumminess. Or is it Yummyness? I like the ‘i’ better 🙂

So last week I started a sourdough starter and although it took a while, we had sucess! I have my first loaf started – did you know it takes 5 hrs!!! I did’t quite plan for that :/ looks like I’ll be up a bit later than expected tonight. I also had so much starter, that I tried buiscuits! I used Daiya cheese ( non-dairy for those that don’t know) and the just green part of a leek as I didn’t have any grated cheddar or chives. They are super!!! next time I’ll plan it better and make sure I have sharp cheese and chives.

I also started my Kombucha yesterday, so I will be hoping for less vinegary and more tastey this time around. I snagged a couple of bags ( ok I grabbed 6) of green tea from work as I only had flavoured green tea and not enough black. Can’t wait!

My seedlings are all out enjoying the heat on my back deck and I am jealous of them! I am in the kitchen cooking up a storm, and they’re lolling around in the sun.  Oh, I almost forgot, I’ve been waiting to have some leftover bananas to try the 3 ingredient cookies I keep seeing on Pintrest. Today was my lucky day and I had enough for 2 batches! I did one with mini chocolate chips, and the other with chia seeds, dried cranberries and a pinch of pecans ( someone has been raiding my stash <:( ). I report that they are friggin awesome!! I don’t miss the sugar or flour or anything! These would even be awesome for breaky before a bike ride to work etc. So I will definitely be making these on a regular basis.

Other than that, a relatively quiet week. I didn’t get to write like I wanted to, but I did get a bit of quiet time, which I needed. A new term started with several new students and I can’t wait to see how they all do.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a menu made. I did, however, learn that life is very much like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump says. I am struggling to find my place at work, and in life and decide what I want to do. Well, that’s not quite true, I know what I want to do, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to attain it. Change is hard. Contemplating it is also hard. Indecision is even more so. Sometimes, we just get frozen by decisions; our brains saying one thing, and our hearts another. The trouble comes when you have to decide if you’re going to listen to your head or your heart. Most people would say go with your heart, but that can’t always be the choice, since often long term goals take priority.

Take Scotland, for instance. I love that place ( well I don’t especially like Glasgow, but that’s just me). I would move there in a heartbeat! I can’t though, because I simply can’t afford it. but what if I could visit? I did a bunch of math and I would need about $6000 for the hubby and I to go. I tried to rationalize with myself ( hahah!) that if I could keep the cost below $3000, then we should be able to afford to go. However, we are in debt- a lot of debt- and that $3-6000 would go a ways towards getting rid of that, making our plans to move to the country realistic and attainable. But its Scotland! I really want to go! But I also really want to move to property and grow my own food etc. If I listen to my heart, we’re going as soon as I can arrange things. If I listen to my head, that money goes to pay off debt and get us on the road to self sufficiency. Decisions, decisions.

I still don’t know how I will answer that question. I tend to be a logical person who dreams of being a free spirit. I know that once we get our property and animals, leaving on a trip will be significantly more difficult. But as each days goes by, my need to get out of the city grows. I guess we’ll leave that bridge until we have to cross it.

In the meantime, enjoy the spring. Get out and get your body moving and focus your thoughts on good things, and try some new things! HUGS

Barefoot in the Garden

Betcha thought I was going to write barefoot and pregnant. Naw, sorry to disappoint, but I’ve spent enough years doing that, its time to branch out. I love being barefoot in my garden and feeling the damp soil squishing up between my toes. My feet are about the only thing I can stand to have touching the grass. I even walked- ok ran cause it was pouring rain and I was in my band uniform, kilt and all ( wet wool is not conducive to a comfortable rest of the day)- through a crowded field in Scotland. It was not the thing to do, neither was it ok to take ones very uncomfortable gilli shoes off and put on flip flops. Who knew? No one ever looked at me strange here in Canada, in fact many of us do it, but I guess, over the pond, its not cool. Tough.

Got the grass raked and the garden beds mostly cleaned out. Now I just need for it to get a bit warmer to be able to start planting! Visualize me rubbing my hands together in glee here. I am super excited ( I’m sure you couldn’t tell) to see how much I can produce for us this year!

As I type, I have some veggies roasting to take to Easter dinner. I also tried Avocado hummus, and I’ve also tried making Paleo crackers! I have a paleo blueberry coffee cake recipe for breakfast tomorrow. I watched an amazing series on Netflix called “Cooked” with Michael Pollan. It involved the elements of fire, water, air and earth that affect how we eat food.  It made me super hungry, like I wanted to go make a stir fry. Not a great thing at 8 o’clock at night. But it did inspire me to do some braising ( like I need an excuse!) and sourdough. I also got a recipe to start a sourdough starter. So next weekend, I should be able to say how my first loaf of sourdough bread was 🙂 I am also obtaining a SCOBY tomorrow to try my hand at kombucha again. Last time I left it too long and it was very vinegary- not pleasant to drink.

What new things have you tried lately?

That’s it for me, nothing terribly earth shattering this week. Oh! except that I started a new book series! This one, while I don’t plan on complete X rating, will have a few steamier scenes I believe. Only have the first chapter of the first book written, but I can tell based on the characters that they’ll have a hard time resisting each other.

Menu time!!!

Saturday we had tribal dinner with our peeps

Sunday- dinner at my parents

Monday- braised beef!

Tuesday- chicken tournados, salad

Wednesday- Roasted Pork on the BBQ with salad and potatoes

Thursday- Pasta with pesto

Friday- no idea

Have a splendid week and check back next week for an update on the sourdough. HUGS!

 

Is it spring yet?

Seriously! We got almost 30 cm of snow last week and now tomorrow is supposed to be minus too- damn- cold after a lovely couple of days above zero! At least my seeds are happily growing!

I’ve actually had to transplant my peas and beans to a Rubbermaid tote. My wonderful hubby very kindly drilled homes in the bottom for me, after asking several times if I was sure I wanted holes drilled into the bottom of a perfectly good bucket. He was even nice enough to purchase a bag of gravel and carry it into the house and empty some into the bucket. I think he secretly wanted to show off his muscles, he said it was so I didn’t drop it. It was very kind of him and I thanked him appropriately. A kiss people- I gave him a big kiss with my dirty hands ;).  Don’t ask me how I gave him a kiss with dirty hands- figure it out.  My hands were above the belt people, seriously! Get your minds out of the gutter! lolol.

I finally finished revisions for book #3 who’s current title is Second Chance at Love. I am hopefully working with Algonquin College to have a student do the artwork for the cover. I have sent off lots of pics of what I would like, and am waiting… patiently….to see what happens. Perhaps not as patiently as I might like, but all the same, patiently.

Ooh! I have had some free time at work the last week or so with our transition to paperless and everyone scrambling around trying to figure out how everything works now. So I found this awesome book at the Library called Prepper’s Natural Medicine. Holy cow! Lots of info! I also checked out a crap load – more like a crap ton- of books on native plants of the boreal forest and Canada in general since one of my goals would be to make our own tinctures, salves etc. with herbs from our own garden. There is a ton of information, many courses you can take and links to those practicing Registered Herbal Medicine.

We had a lovely visit with our oldest son, celebrated his and his next youngest brother’s birthdays and in between, our 25th wedding anniversary. I miss having all my kids in the house. Soon another chick will be leaving the nest. I know they do this- move out and start their own lives- but it’s still hard to see them go. Another 3 years and potentially all the boys will be off doing their own thing and then GIRLS WILL RULE!! No seriously we will finally outnumber the male population of our home! Then I’ll be looking forward to starting our new journey as a family of 3 and hopefully our move to our dream property.

For now, we dream and plan and enjoy our time together 🙂

Menu

I was really lazy and only bought veggies and cold meat this week and we ate out of the freezer, which was predominantly chicken so, menu was/is as follows:

Saturday: Chicken legs and roasted potatoes and salad

Sunday: Tandori chicken with baked potatoes and salad

Monday: Chicken tournados and (betcha thought I was going to say potatoes, eh) rice and green beans

Tuesday: Turkey and apple mixed with mild italian sausage meat, left over rice, left over cauliflower, tomatoes etc one pot special.

Wednesday: Something with ground chicken( I still have a few hours to figure that out hehehe)

Thursday: Pasta

Friday: no idea, but probably chicken cesear salad, or leftovers, or hot dogs…

Be kind to each other!!That’s an order! lolol

 

 

My seeds have sprouted!!!!

I know that isn’t terribly excited, nor a particularly good reason for missing two weeks, but it’s exciting!!! It’s really super exciting!!! This is one of the first steps I’m taking to be self sufficient with my food and one of our main goals this year- start our own veggies from seed. Not only did they come up, but some are being little troupers and may even need to be transplanted out of their egg carton cribs into more posh living spaces 🙂

Positive thinking went a long way in getting back to work last week, even though I was fighting a bout of vertigo. I did figure out that part of the problem was that after 5 years, I didn’t want to go back to work, and not because I wanted to stay home and veg on the couch,(although if I had made that choice, there was nothing wrong with it) but because I didn’t want to deal with the interpersonal relationships and the betrayal I felt from coworkers. I have now adopted a slightly cynical approach, but it’s helping me to feel a bit more self-protected, which is good.

Did you look into those two planting tidbits I gave out last time? I didn’t either, but they are still on my list. On a side note, I was making cabbage rolls on the weekend and noticed that as I was spreading out my savoy cabbage leaves that they looked an awful lot like scrotum skin. I called in the main male in my house for confirmation, to which he shook his head at my declaration, but in the end, had to agree that it did indeed. I did refrain from mentioning to the boys as they ate said cabbage rolls that they were eating veggie balls, but it was very difficult. I waited till today to spring that on them 🙂 I wonder how many of you will buy one this week and cook it just to see. lololol I can be such an instigator sometimes. heheheheh.

Anyhoo, on to other things. I believe skating is finished for the now since we seem to have jumped straight into spring up here in the great white north, which is looking more green than white right now. I am assured that there is more snow to come, which is all good, but I think I might actually like this early spring thing.

I also started writing again! I’ve finally started revisions to book #3 in anticipation of having it ready to epub for June 10. I think I’ve set myself an unreasonable time-line, but I want to at least try. I still need to figure out a cover and all that, but I am encouraged by the fact that, after almost a year, I’m back at it.

Menu time!!!!

Saturday we enjoyed, I don’t remember, give me a minute, hmmm. Great, hubby doesn’t remember either, must not have been all that exciting. 😦

Sunday: Cabbage rolls ( ie veggie balls, heheheh) with some wraps to use up the unused stuffing

Monday: Chicken breasts ( yes, balls followed by breasts- that’s how we roll in this house), wedge fries, and veggies

Tuesday: Pate chinoi ( probably spelled that wrong- ground beef with a layer of broccoli, topped with mashed potatoes)

Wednesday: Pork chops in spiced apple sauce ( made by me last fall!) rice and broccoli ( see a theme here- broccoli was on sale this week)

Thursday: Pasta!

Friday: Hot dogs and French fries

Peace out! Make sure to be kind to someone and don’t forget to share that little tidbit about the savoy cabbage with your friends. It’s especially effective if you are holding a cucumber in your hand too. Make sure they aren’t trying to swallow anything when you tell them!!!!

HUGS

 

Positive thoughts

That is how I’m going to face going back to work this week, by the power of positive thinking. At least I still have a job, at least I still have my health and the love of my family. That doesn’t mean that things are perfect, it’s a choice. I can choose to let the horribleness of the last couple of weeks bury me, or I can choose to go forward with a smile on my face.

I have been exploring some new things this week! I found a great website:http://www.walkerland.ca/ . They have tons of information, and it’s Canadian! I’ve also learned a bit more about seeds and making my plants thrive. Did you know that you should cut off the top of your pepper plants and let them grow back a second time before transplanting once the weather is warm? Me neither!  Have you heard of hugelkultur? Me neither, but I’ll be looking into that too!

One of this weeks tasks will be to get the seeds planted and on their way to being yummy food in our bellies this summer! I am also looking into starting my own food prep business. I figure why not combine a few of my favorite things to make life easier for people!

I am also considering running piano lessons in the afternoons if there are interested parties. So although Friday was a piece of crap, I have some new endevours to look forward to.

This week is a short post but I wouldn’t leave you without a menu for the week, that would be mean. I may be a bit of a kitchen nazi, but I’m not mean.

Saturday: we had turkey hash with basmati rice and brussel sprouts with bacon and raw veggies.

Sunday: pork chops, turnip julienne, and kale salad

Monday: veggie chilli with corn bread

Tuesday: Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce with spinach salad

Wednesday: Chick peas mixed with chicken, potatoes, greenbeans, cauliflower in butter chicken sauce.

Thursday: say it with me! Pasta!!!!!

Friday: Pizza 🙂

Enjoy your week, be kind, smile in spite of adversity and I look forward to chatting again next week.

 

Made it!

Yes! I made it through January. It wasn’t looking good. There were many days when I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry and sleep. I questioned everything, from does my husband still love me to do my kids still need me. It was rough. But I made it! This is all part of my life now, this anxiety and the messes it makes in my mind. It often wants to ruin things, but I fight back.

I went to a party with my hubby. There were about 4 maybe 5 couples I knew, the rest I didn’t. It was loud, awkward and …. too much. After over an hour, we bailed and headed for home. Not because we didn’t want to stay and visit, or meet new people, but because it was just too much. Those of you with anxiety will understand and those of you who don’t, won’t and that’s ok.

On a more positive note, I read an awesome book called ‘You can buy Happiness and it’s Cheap’, by Tammy Strobel.https://www.amazon.ca/You-Can-Buy-Happiness-Cheap-ebook/dp/B0090RVGPW.

What amazing insight she has. I will say she is a proponent of tiny living and downsizing and minimalizing, and all those things that make most people shudder. But not me. The simplicity calls to me. From the time I first read ‘Little House on the Prairie’, I have been fascinated with living in a small cabin in the woods. I hope someday in the not too distant future to be able to realize that dream. In the meantime, I’ve gotten caught up in the ‘stuff’of life.

Do you have extra stuff? I can guarantee it, because its just a part of life that we’ve learned to live with. It represents status, wealth, prosperity and all those other things that we have been lead to believe matter. They don’t. Ask someone who’s survived a fire how much their stuff mattered versus surviving it. Sure you’ll miss those baby photos and your favourite things, but in the end, you’re glad you all made it safe. It’s the people around you – your wife/husband, kids, pets, friends ie people you have relationships with, that matter the most. Sure there are days I want to run away and hide, but I never want to do it alone, I want my hubby and my kids with me!

The other thing she mentioned that challenged me, was the idea of getting out of debt and staying out- thus the tiny house idea. I LOVE the idea of no longer being indebted to a big bank and forking out our paychecks to a big corporation. But how realistic is that? Very. Yes this book is American, but the principle is the same. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Our ancestors certainly had to deal with this reality. The harsher side of it is that people died from not having money to pay for Doctors, or Food or due to the elements. But what if the world didn’t work that way? That is a very big pipe dream, but all dreams have to start somewhere. So what if everyone started on a small scale buy not living beyond their means and getting themselves out of debt? Well, that is a very hard thing indeed. But it has become a goal for me.

Another thing she mentioned was having meaningful work. I do the work I do, because I have 4 children still at home, a mortgage to pay and bills and debt and food and all the myriad of other things that go along with life. But what would it be like to do what I love doing? I have spent some time this week thinking about that. What do I want to do with my life? The sad thing is, I have no idea exactly what I’d like to do. I have some ideas, but how they would manifest themselves into work, I don’t know. I love food! I love eating the things I’ve created, and serving it to people, and teaching them how to nourish themselves properly. I like making soup for my friends when they’re sick ( ask them about my green soup ) and I love the idea of spending my winters knitting, sewing and writing around a wood stove while a blizzard rages outside, and then a nice walk in the fresh snow. I love the idea of having a big garden that I use to feed us through the winter with some left over to help those who might need it.

I would love to have a place where people come to get rest and fresh air and a ready ear to listen, while I fill them with food. But none of those things top my desire to be the best mom ever. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Do I do it perfectly, heck no. But my goal still stands and I hope that when I’m gone, my kids will have the knowledge and hold it close and never wonder whether they were loved, or wanted, and that those I’ve helped will be able to offer them comfort because I gave comfort to them. The world is a very harsh place, but I want my place to be a place of refuge, and warmth and caring for all who come here.

This year, my husband and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. We have been a couple for 30 years. I was 17 when I met him and just past 18 when we moved in together against our family’s wishes. We’ve struggled, and fought, but most of all we’ve loved. There were many long days and nights when we were all each other had, and I think that made us stronger. There are countless days that I wouldn’t be able to get through if I didn’t have my wonderful hubby to lean on. There are often days when I choose to love him even though he’s pissed me off (less for him I’m sure 😉 ). But we’ve stuck together through it all and I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years will bring us.

I’m sure there will be many more challenges, but there’s no one I’d rather have at my side.

Alright, now one to some nitty-gritty. The all important menu!!!

Last night ( Saturday) :we enjoyed a Rosemary and Thyme roast of pork with boiled potatoes, stir-fried leeks with mushrooms and a lovely salad made by my daughter.

Sunday:  Spanish rice with beans and salad

Monday: Stew and cornbread

Tuesday: Tuna patties on lettuce with veggies

Wednesday: Chick peas and veggies in Butter Chicken sauce served over Rice Vermicelli

Thursday: come on, you can all answer this one by now (lolol) PASTA!!!

Friday: Leftovers if there are some, or hot dogs, or pizza- something will get served, just not sure what yet.

Enjoy your week! Stay tuned for more exciting events as I delve more into my ‘stuff’ and get rid of things I don’t need and venture forth on doing some things I do need- like more writing!!!

Peace!