Havin’ A Time.

I’m havin’ a time. And not a good time! Boooo to that!

Some shit is happening in a loved one’s life and there is nothing I can do about any of it. As a human with a pathological need to do something this is a huge challenge! Its a challenge for most people. We want to help. We want to fix. We want to soothe. We want to make it better and we want to make it all go away.

Sadly, that’s impossible so instead I’ve turned my attention toward self care until the suffering passes. I’m distracting myself with memes!

When I worked at the child care centre, I was in charge of the Facebook page. I posted relevant things to the page like a social media whiz. I was good at it and received much praise. What they don’t know is that toward the end of my days with them, I was >this< close to posting this helpful infographic about The Scorpion Pits, ha.

Dogs!

This one always makes me laugh like a loon. Its a good, solid plan!

Seems like this would work! Plus, you’d attract all sorts of other dogs just in the day to day too, which is never bad. Unless the dogs are vicious. Then that’s bad but we’re being optimistic here! No bad days and no bad dogs!

Cats on the other hand…cats are assholes. Which is precisely why we love them!

Except for maybe these guys. Yeah…for maybe like 5 seconds! I fostered a litter of kittens and had them sleeping with me in my bedroom. THAT was an experience. Have you ever had your eyeball scratched out? Not pleasant and the thing is, they don’t care. Kittens think its perfectly reasonable to attack your fucking eyelashes as you sleep. Jerks. Cute, little fluffy jerks. I’d totally do that again. Thrill of my life!

Ha! Catthew! I’m totally naming my next cat Catthew . I’ve had cats named Ned Buckle, Wallace, Miles, Larry, December, Wizard, Hyena, Orangey, Stripey, Dot, Dust Bunny, Spider and Cornelius. Catthew seems almost normal.

This one doesn’t make me laugh so much as it inspires me.  It’s got a swear and its trying to be helpful. I like.

Distraction and silliness do work! I still have chest pain but my mind isn’t racing, so that’s something. I’m going to keep at it…I really like the idea of furiously dancing 🙂 What do you do to help yourself through tough times when you feel powerless? 

The Awesome Impact Award

I’ve been given my VERY FIRST AWARD by the ever lovely Victoria at Tashnee V. Mavee. Isn’t that so nice? I thought so 🙂 Thanks so much!

The Awesome Impact Award relates to sharing an incident that impacted your life in a really positive way. This is so my jam!

The rules of this award are as follows:

  • Tag the person who nominated you. Tashnee V. Mavee!
  • Take “The Awesome Impact Award “image and add that to your post:

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  • Talk about an incident that impacted your life in a really positive way.

See below 🙂

  • Nominate other awesome bloggers for this award.

Stacee

Richa

Suzanne

So.

A recent conversation about trains brings to mind something that had a MOST positive affect on my life.

I grew up in the suburbs outside of Port Moody, BC amongst two other cities. The three cities, known collectively as the Tri-Cities were all stretched out between the Fraser RIver and various mountain ranges with many miles of interconnecting rail throughout. We didn’t have light rail transit back in my day and bus service cost money, was unreliable and was most definitely NOT COOL. So, we did what any asshole teenager would do, something dangerous! We hopped trains to get around.

Well, my peers did. I was a. not cool. and b. smart. Not at first. Initially I did try to hop a train. It was an impromptu event. We were all near the tracks in the process of making our way to “the bush” which was an hour walk away. The boys saw the train, grabbed the girls and started running. My boyfriend at the time ( Jim.  A decent guy from what I remember, and VERY adventures for a teen age boy 😉 ) hopped up first and I quickly followed. Now, I’m not the most graceful of humans, so when I ran-hopped I was not in time with the train and missed. Jim grabbed me by my shirt collar just in the nick of time and up I went, gasping with exertion and shock. I would have died. He saved my life.

I think its safe to say that, that was an incident that had a rather positive effect on my life. I’ve gone on to live 30 more years, all thanks to Jim.

Salty, Fizzy & Sweet.

Somewhere in my interweb travels, I came across this southern ( as in American South ) treat.

Salted peanuts in Coke.

As a lover of many combinations the masses find strange, I was all over that!

The idea is to take a few swigs of your Coke, pour in your sleeve of salted peanuts and “Bottoms Up!”

Purists say it must be in a glass bottle to get the full experience. The only glass bottles of Coke I could find were diet and I’m morally opposed to diet anything, so my Coke was in a plastic bottle.

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My verdict? It was really good! Not weird or strange at all! Whoever invented this was fucking brilliant. The salty peanuts and their rich creaminess really cut through the sugar of the pop and complimented that signature caramel essence. The fizzy burn came through for a satisfying ending. I’m a total fan.

It was really filling. This would make for a meal. In fact, I think part of the lore is that farmer’s would eat this (drink this) “on the go” for lunch during their busy days.

Have you ever tried this combo? What did you think?  Do you have another combo that others find strange? Tell me all about it! I’m always looking for interesting new things!

 

 

Monster Baby Lessons.

This wee Monster Baby woke me up at 6am Sunday morning.

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But how could I resist such a sweet boy? I just don’t think its possible.

Besides, fuck that! I spent years as a Mum, resisting my children’s charms because I was so concerned with doing it “right”, with making sure I had positive power, authority and influence over them. Ignoring the truth that I knew damn well that I have no natural authority, ha. And I was faking my confidence and knowledge the whole time. It was all smoke and mirrors, Baby! I spent the whole time my kids were under my care being terrified of making a mistake and living in fear that I and I alone could mess them up so badly if I did. So fuck ALLLL of that 🙂

I found out, the hard way, that you can do all the right things and your kids will still mess up. You can do all the wrong things and they won’t. Life is funny like that.

Being a grandparent is a pretty sweet gig. None of that parenting nonsense.

Now, because I know different, I do things with my heart. It seems to be working out better for all.

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Best of October.

Hello November!

October was a challenging month for me. It was the two-year anniversary of a trauma that re injured my brain AND it was the first whole month in which I was not in Tanzania. Waaa! I had some readjusting to do, under stressful circumstances. BUT it wasn’t horrible. I’m here, alive and kicking in November. I learned some things and made it through. My goal for next October is to thrive rather than survive. But you know that’s my goal every month!

ANYway, I got thinking about it all and the good things that happened and really wanted to showcase that. Do a roundup exercise of all the awesome. Because our brains are wired for the negative, no problem there, ha ha but the positive…that’s a thing that needs cultivating. And that’s a thing that’s really, truly worthy of my attention 🙂

The Best Savoury Thing I Ate In October:

Tanzanian Pepper Beef Stew. I invented it based on my memory of a meal I ate whilst in Tanzania. I’m fine tuning it for my recipe book and will share it eventually, but if you want to make something similar, it’s basically beef and peppers with lots of black pepper and onion. At first bite, I was proud. So proud!

The Best Sweet Thing I Ate In October:

A banana crepe with Nutella at Cora, with two dear friends on a sunny Autumn morning.

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I’m not usually a sweets person but there was something about this warm, chocolate fruity glop of deliciousness that really hit the spot. A rare but welcome thing.

The Best Hot Drink I Drank In October: My last attempt at recreating spiced tea. It was almost perfect. Perfect spice, perfect sweet… I just need to tweak the milk – I’m going to try shelf stable milk – and see if that does the trick – but drinking it whilst reading a book in the warm sunlight, knowing I was so close was dreamy. At this point if the milk doesn’t make it so, it’ll be alright because it’s a damn fine cup of tea anyway.

The Best Outing I Had In October: This is a toss-up between two. The first one was a walk in the river valley with two friends. The sun was shining, there was a chill in the air, the leaves were crunchy and we were surrounded by birds and squirrels doing important animal things. I found the BEST sticks to add to my collection and there were lost of laughs and insightful realizations and just good fun.

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The second one was a surprise motorcycle ride with my man. He came home early on a sunny afternoon and asked me out. We didn’t go anywhere special, just out and back through an area close to the city but it was fun to be zooming along in the sunny air. There was a slight chill as we sped through traffic, turning into curves with total acceptance of whatever was to be. You can’t resist the turns on a bike, even as a passenger so I really had to surrender to them. Would we crash or remain upright and keep going? Only one way to find out. That was fucking scary and liberating at the same time.

Best Social Interactions In October: My fun and chatty conversation with a lady at the transit station who gave me doughnuts. I’ll detail it fully in another post but here I can tell you that it was really nice to have an honest, kind conversation with another human being, especially as we seemed to just click in seconds. People think it’s all weirdos on transit but that’s not true. I’ve met a lot of lovely humans as well.

Going to a new book club at my local library. Everyone was open and friendly, welcoming and engaging. Their words and their actions matched and it was just a really nice night.

Smartest Thing I Did In October: Get our wills made up! The sense of relief I feel is … well, relieving. I feel just a titch more grown up 🙂 One less thing to feel anxious about.

Coolest Thing I Bought: A Namaste Skeleton!

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The dead and dying in me see the dead and dying in you. Its perfect! I buy a lot of my regular home décor during Halloween sales. Ha Ha.

Best Shows I Watched: So yes I’m totally late to this but OH EM GEE …

OUTLANDER. 

I’d tried to watch it once before with the Hubs but just couldn’t get into it. I think watching it was my man was the problem because I had no issues revisiting it on my laptop with my headphones in! I’d read the books years ago and really enjoyed them. I’m happy the series is holding my attention the same way.

Salt Fat Acid Heat 

Is another one I’m liking. It’s on Netflix and its a fancy little cooking show -kind of, sorta – about how if one masters these four elements, Salt, Fat, Acid and Heat, one can transform their meals. I really like the host Samin Nosrat and the whole thing is just really interesting. If you’re passionate about food and people and places, this is a show for you.

What were some of your highlights in October? I’d love to hear all about them!

Love and squishy hugs!

Ngorongoro Crater

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast after our visit with the Maasai before hitting the road to our next destination, the Ngorongoro Crater.

We ate lunch at the top, took some photos, watched the Instagram girls with their boyfriends and their posing and had ourselves a chuckle, then it was down,down,down into the crater.

My favourite memory of this day – and a lot of others – was standing up in the Land Cruiser with the hot sun blazing down on me as we raced through the wind down bumpy, dusty roads. The air felt different. I felt different. So relaxed and aware of everything. Absolutely brimming with life and attention. Both myself and my surroundings. Nothing but magic.

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We saw a rhino for afar. Well afar. Even our best camera was unable to get a photo but we were so excited! A rhino! The rarest of the rare! Even Grace was excited. She squealed and laughed right along with us. We had to squint through the binoculars to make out its shape but saw it we did. A real life Unicorn, I don’t care what anyone says. And then – this seriously happened!- we saw its mate! Across the road and a few miles up! Two! Two Rhinos/Unicorns! That really got our Grace going. She has such keen eyesight to spot anything in the tall grass, never mind a rhino. She quickly made a U-turn and drove up as close as she could along the road so we could get our look. It was still so far away rightfully wary and elusive. We took turns with binoculars and even managed to get photos!

My photo:

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Ha Ha.

And Monica’s photo:

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A much better shot!

Seeing a rhino at all, in the first place is the rarest gift. Being close enough to photograph one is like that, times a million. We were in awe and then immediately sobered because we all knew the reason for the rarity of this moment. There are thought to be only 11-15 black rhinos in the crater and between 5,042 and 5,458 of them in the world, due to poaching.

It was quickly closing up on 6pm so we had to skedaddle out of the crater. Tonight’s lodgings were at Sopa Lodge, a beautiful resort on the edge of the crater.

We all freshened up and then met up for a buffet dinner in the gigantic dining room. It was pretty good, something for everyone but the star of the show was their Chocolate Torte with Salted Caramel. Twas SO good, we suggested Kate go back up and bring us back whatever was left on the plate. She did, ha! After making sure there was another one for the rest of the guests. ( We’re not complete assholes 😉 ) I’ve been working hard at recreating it for home and need to make some tweaks but in the meantime it’s just, chocolate ganache in a graham crust, with a salted caramel glaze atop. It sounds so ordinary but there was just something about it…

After dinner we needed to be escorted back to our rooms by staff. Why? Well sometimes the buffalo like to come up to the rim and chase guests around. Ha. And in the warmer months, staff often find them splashing around in the pool 🙂 Veronica and I didn’t see one our walk back but Kate, Monica and Janet did. So cool!

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We drifted off to sleep excited for our next adventure, hiking, with an armed escort!

October Book Brag *7

I read seven books this month. That is pretty sad…didn’t I read more the month I went away? Let me check…Oh EM GEE, yes! I read 8 books last month. I’m a slacker!

ANYway, here is my round-up for the month of October.

 

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby is about an interesting girl with an interesting dream. Only what happens in the book was pretty damn ordinary in the end. Not horrible. A quick read.

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew is a memoir. It was honest and kind of long-winded. As someone who’s long winded herself, I can relate. Not horrible. I was hoping for something fabulous and profound because I respect and admire this chap’s work in our country. Once again, my expectations failed me 🙂

The Elephant In The Brain by Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson. This is a book about our hidden motives in everyday life. Basically, your brain is a selfish jerk BUT your brain doesn’t want you to KNOW its a selfish jerk and it especially doesn’t want other people to know! It’s all ok though because ALL human brains can be selfish jerks. Absolutely fascinating. Intelligent and interesting. Not at all dry and written in such a way that the science behind all of this is easy to understand. Highly recommend!

People Tend To Tell Me Thing by Amy Dickinson. Amy writes an advice column and this book is not really about that BUT it’s still a really good book because Amy is an interesting and intelligent person. She’s clever and unique and really honest about herself- She must have read The Elephant In The Brain!- and it all makes for a great read. I felt a kinship with her, as a messy human. Highly recommend!

 

Little Green by Tish Cohen was engaging. Its a story about two people, a marriage and what happens in that marriage when something goes really wrong. A quick read. I had strong emotional responses, good and bad to both main characters but the ending pissed me right off. Read it. Its not a waste of time.

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart was slow for me at first but then once I settled into it, I found myself quite liking it. Its part of a series of books based on a set of real life sisters, who lived unusual-for the times- lives. I grew to like most of the characters and was irritated by others. I love it when a book makes me feel something, so this one is a win for me.

The Marriage Of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. I think I may be growing out of this author. This is the second book I’ve read of hers that has disappointed me. In fact this one made me openly scoff. It was a long, complicated, fussy story about a family, told in two parts. The first part is mostly about the mother as a young woman and the second is about her son. In between all sorts of other things are woven with people acting like assholes and hypocrites throughout. Maybe it was my mood but this book is a definite nah for me.

Okie dokie! My goal for November is to read ten books. I don’t think this is going to be a problem because you see, I have a real problem! I added waay too many books to my holds list at the library and they’ve all come in at once. Ooops! Wish me luck.