Accountability

I have to call my own accountability into question. I just did a quick blog review and confirmed my suspicions. I have totally forgotten about the third quarter report card. If I was making excuses it would be that August and September were jam packed full to the brim.

I’m now well over a month late. It hardly seems worth while to do a full report when in 10 weeks it’s year end. What??? 10 weeks, only 9 before Christmas!!! Isn’t it crazy how quickly a year can go by?

So in a nutshell (which is a challenge for someone who likes words as much as I do) here is my self care report card number 3.

I am still bothered occasionally with insomnia; I’ve never figured out why but I am now taking a combo of natural stuff to try and get into a bed sleep habit.

I’ve gotten into better nutritional choices and have made a decent dent on some weight loss. Obviously I have more to lose but this feels so much better. I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy.

Most other items I’ve held my own on; dental hygiene, work life balance, hugging and rejuvenation items.

I’ve been sadly lacking in stretching and any fitness at all. The work injury turned into something bigger and then it went a little crazy for a while. I’ve been cleared to resume and am slowly working my way back into my regular routine. Very slowly, especially if Little A is walking with me!

Creative time hasn’t been a huge item but did manage a few wedding projects and some baby gifts. Absolutely love the time I carve out to spend in my attic. I did get creative with our outside planters so they have some colours and textures for the fall and winter.

I think, perhaps maybe, that I’m seeing the bigger picture. That might be my pre retirement brain talking but I’m trying not to stress the small stuff so much. Still working with the litmus paper of “will it matter next week or next year”.

Encore Careers

The countdown is getting serious and I have to keep my attention from wandering. I want to go out strong from my Continue reading

Something from Nothing, Year 2

There has finally been a bit of a break in the unseasonably cold snowy fall weather. The combines are going full force late into the evening and we completed a significant portion of our fall yard work on the weekend. Construction season ended too early but now we have time to focus on a few other items.

So armed with a chainsaw and a clipper we started gathering materials so I could decorate the planters that remain outside. It’s so nice to have some colours and textures in them during the non growing season.

I think my favourite view of it is the one below; partly because it’s through clean windows! It’s a long day to do the 128 window panes and 16 door panels but it’s so worth it. We are so blessed with our house space and our rural life that the work is just fair trade for that.

I love the flower pots and the cost was nil this year as the few hardscapes are from previous years. Even then the rule was that I won’t spend more than $25 for any item so it’s mostly salvage from various spots. I’m so pleased with the results of my something from nothing this year.

I have plans to add a cross and poppies in November and then dress it with lites and outside flowers for the Christmas season in December. I think it will look better than it does sometimes in the summer when I’m struggling to get the plants to grow.

Bernie

This speaks volumes

I saw these words and they resonated in my heart. On many levels and for many reasons.

Food for thought because sometimes the way ahead seems hard: so cherish what is here now.

Bernie

Like Puzzle Pieces

Across the crowded dance floor my eyes fell upon a man. I knew, at that moment, he would complete me. My life would be intertwined with his forever.

But this story isn’t about him. It’s about the Continue reading

Deep Roots

I spent the weekend surrounded by music; most of the hits from the 70’s and 80’s. Songs we could sing along to or that brought back crazy memories. I’ve never been a huge music person, perhaps because I am tone deaf. Don’t ask about my time playing a flute because it’s not a pretty picture. Don’t ask me what band plays what song as I fail that game quite spectacularly.

But every once in a while I connect deeply to a song. Which is guess is, for musicians, is what it’s all about. Just like writers want the words to resonate within the soul of the reader.

The lyrics of this song absolutely speak to my roots. The musical notes actually pull my feet to move and inspire me to sing, although that’s not a good thing.

Plaid dirt, white shirts, blue collar roots

Still runnin’ through my veins

I was born small town, deep roots

Mud on these boots

I wouldn’t change a thing

It’s how I was born and raised

(born and raised, born and raised, born and raised)

Born and raised

It’s how I was born and raised

The connection that I feel stems from the fact that this family group are farmers from southern Saskatchewan. A skip and two hops from where I grew up. The shared backgrounds, work ethics and love of county music means I feel a powerful connection to their work.

Born & Raised

Bernie

Ps. Pretty stoked we have tickets to see these young lads sing!!

Domestic Goddess

Every once in a while there are some particularly funny social media posts. A particular one about domestic goddesses, in which I was tagged, cracked me up. I truly forget that not everyone has the cooking, preserving, baking and gardening gene or even likes to do those things. I’m quite sure, whether you are a non kitchen person or an old hand at canning, this post below will crack you up!! These are Mar’s on words and hashtag.

A little advice to the NEWBIE CANNER…

1)when your friend offers you 10lbs of beets and 10lbs of carrots RUN!… not having a canner won’t wash as an excuse because I guarantee that one will show up at your doorstep … my best advice is to say you hate carrots and beets…… Brenda you a smart cookie !

2) when experienced canners say” it will only take an hour or two … bank on 10…. we don’t know the shortcuts yet!!

3) warn your hubby that you are cooking beets…. otherwise it will appear to him that you have had a meltdown in the kitchen and killed something or someone with your bare hands… from the fridge to the sink to the stove and even the ceiling( that one took some talent) ….beet DNA is everywhere!!

4) Peeling garlic sucks ass

5) Once you have successfully converted quarts to liters and concocted your brine TRIPLE IT!!…recipes lie!!!

6) don’t get oversized jars because you need 10 gallons of water to cover the bastards …. and if you do, I suggest you start boiling the water before you even remotely think of canning anything because it takes forever!!

7)make sure you stay awake for 24hrs just to hear the lids pop otherwise you will always wonder who you will be poisoning next year when you give them as Xmas presents😳😳😳

8)be thankful that you didn’t also accept 10 lbs of tomatoes and a great salsa recipe🤪🤪🤪

9)just because your mother was good at canning doesn’t mean you will be… genetics don’t count!!

10) appreciate the domestic goddesses you know who do this stuff and like it!! Beverly Pavelich, Jasmine Asselin,Marilyn Gerwing,Bernie Cruikshank I am definitely humbled by this experience and am not canning worthy!!!😔😔😔😔

#fuckthisshitgotothefarmersmarketandpay20abottletheydeserveit

Now I’ve never thought of myself as a domestic goddess but I do love food. I’m particularly fond of home made baking and of garden produce whether it be canned, frozen or enjoyed fresh. The weekend hit high on both those fronts but the garden produce came at a cost.

That of cold fingers and icy chills down the neck. I always wonder why we wait till such a cold day to go dig carrots, beets and any other goodies left in the ground.

I can’t say that cleaning the harvest is my favourite thing to do but as I said, I love to eat it so it has to be clean.There were no bumper crops except maybe the pumpkin and squash. Which are still sitting in the snow.

The carrots as you can see are tiny. We were shocked to see that the 3 foot tall corn had actually produced cobs. Not a lot but enough for a thanksgiving feed so it’s now frozen and ready to be turned into creamed corn.I’ve already made 2 batches of borscht and there was still lots of beets left so they got cut up and roasted. I will pull them out in the winter and use them up. There was no beet juice anywhere but on the cutting board!

On the baking front it was time for a new recipe trial. I love pumpkin and had some smoked pumpkin in the freezer from last year that needed to be used before we harvest this year’s. So I saw this recipe for pumpkin spice cinnamon buns that looked delish!

And now you can see why I’m not a food blogger. I just do a basic flat lay picture, usually on my butcher block cupboard, and maybe edit it a bit for brightness. I might go so far as to find a nice backdrop but not very often. So while mine don’t look this good they sure tasted good!

Perhaps too good, for my own good.

Bernie

Tartan terror

Hundreds of years ago the site of tartan may have induced terror in the English countryside. It had been striking terror in my head for over a month before I faced the “dragon”. Continue reading

Silver Lining Words

Perception is very important and how which word is applied is very important. Take bossy for example. It comes across as negative but if you use assertive it changes the perception. You can insert several different words into the same sentence and try it out to see the change that viewing it turned around imparts.

Darci Lang, author of Focus on the 90% had an excellent September blog post. Her site won’t let me link  but can be found here at http://www.darcilang.com/blog.  I am giving her  direct credit here so I am reposting her timely post.

It seems like almost everyone I have talked with this month is stressed. People are using words like “crazy, busy and insane”. What can we do to make September a happier month?
#1. Stop using words like crazy, busy and insane. Replace them with positive words. I know I am too damn happy but I say “blessed” a lot. When people say, “Oh you must be so busy!”, they are right, but my response is “I am and that is a blessing!” Feel grateful for the abundance of work and the luxury of going to school.
#2. Sleep and eat well. Every year, I enter September realizing the need for the basics to be done really well. You can’t possibly expect to have great outcomes at work, within our schools or in our homes if we don’t feel well. Look after your whole self.
#3. Make “today”, “this week” and “this month” lists. I still write everything down…old school. There is something euphoric about being able to cross things off. Just dig in and get it done!
#4. Avoid all toxic people. I know, easier said than done. Do all that you can do to protect yourself from anyone who has the power to rent space in your head. Negative people are in every workplace, classroom and community. They rarely change. Let’s get really good at making sure they don’t win and affect our performance.
#5. Look at what you are complaining about and ask yourself,” Is this something I knew would be a stressful part of my leadership role, job or schooling?” Chances are yes, you knew. Complaining is a habit, change the habit.
#6. Unsubscribe, direct deposit and don’t touch a piece of mail more than once. Look at every area of your life and ask, “Can I get rid of this?”
#7. Set serious personal boundaries. I could work 15 hours a day but I don’t. Set clear defined boundaries around when you are done work and when you take time to stop studying.
September in our office is flat out, back to work, speaking two or three times a week in different cities now until the end of year. Aren’t we blessed?
Happy September!
Darci

I recently had a gentle reminder that I need to find my 90% glasses at work. Maybe we all occasionally need a reminder that, despite the issues we might be facing, we are indeed blessed. Let’s face it that anyone reading this blog is literate and has access to a computer. That also implies that there is free access to read whatever sites you’d like to read and that the writer is not being censored.

I fully recognize that many people are dealing with difficult issues such as mental health struggles, death of loved ones or loss of health to name but a few. Which maybe means that we have to dig deeper to find the word that chances perception. Or as my mother said yesterday we should all try to be a little kinder to each other. My act of kindness today was birthday cake; turtle pecan cheesecake.

Bernie