Index Memory Holder

I love me some December ! ( Special thanks to melatonin for that! ) There is something satisfying about saying goodbye to another year, all the while enjoying food and friends and family. I love looking back on everything I’ve done/experienced and trying to glean as much as I can from the lot. Good and bad.

The problem has always been my memory. My normal aging brain, poor mental hygiene and seasonal depression tends to wipe away anything I’ve done before June. Boooo!

It’s so frustrating to look back and come up with so little.

Was I even alive? Ha ha.

This year, I’ve tried to combat the problem. Some of you may be interested in it too.

Grab some index cards:

Grab yourself a really good pen:

Look at those FEETS!

Label the card as such:

And then start recording, in point form any little daily tidbits you think you’ll want to remember a year from now. I go day by day, marking each new day with a bullet point. I don’t bother with actual dates unless something important happens, like a death or a birth ETC. And I’m brief -or I try to be. A day might look like this:

. Library. Wrote. Talked to Jig. Made an amazing dinner- insert recipe name here. Lazy evening online. Good day.

That sort of thing! It’s an accounting, not a journal.

I record things like the weather too, whether or not I went outside or stayed home. Did I see any cool birds? Meet any interesting people? See a beautiful sunrise? Go grocery shopping? I record the exciting and the ordinary. It’s totally up to you! Write down the things that appeal to YOU. Don’t think about it too much, just write!

And don’t worry if the first few weeks are a little lean. It takes awhile to make it a habit but in time you’ll find it’s easy enough to do.

I find it helpful to do it at the same time every day, and tie it with another habit so it’s easier to remember. If you forget and have to go back and do several days at a time, that’s ok too. My notes have lots of question marks where I can’t remember. They are a note of their own too! Soon, it’ll just be a regular part of you life. A scribble here, a note there. It all adds up. There’s no need to stress. Just be as consistent as you’re able throughout the year.

If you do this every week for the rest of the year, you’ll have a day in , day out account of what your life looks like at the end of the December!

I plan to enjoy my cards with a glass of cheer and then I’m thinking I may ritually shred them to make room for the new too πŸ™‚

At any rate, index card life accounting is a cheap and easy way to give yourself a memory boost if you need it and a fun way to record your life, even if you don’t. I’ve been enjoying the daily ritual immensely!

Cheers & Happy December!

Knorr One Skillet Meals -Mediterranean Lemon Chicken w/ Barley – Review.

Knorr came out with something that caught my eye awhile ago. One skillets meals. They intrigued me because A. I’m a lazy ass and one skillet cooking is my jam. B. They use interesting grains like Barley and Quinoa.

My grocery store had them on sale so I picked up two offerings and finally got around to making one!

Behold! Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Barley

These are meal starters so you’ve got to provide and add your own things. For this one those things are chicken, spinach and carrots.

To start I sliced my carrots- more than the recipe called for because Mmmm, carrots!- and set them aside.

Next I cut up my chicken and browned it in oil. The package tells you to coat your chicken in flour before frying it but I was like “nah” so I skipped this part.

Once my chicken had some colour, I added the carrots and package mix plus the recommended water -2 cups- and I brought the whole thing to a boil. I gave the lot a final stir, covered it up then turned the heat to medium low and let it simmer away for a little over 20 mins.

When the time was up, I chucked in the fresh spinach, covered it back up and took it off the heat. When my greens were wilted to my liking I stirred them in and served the whole thing up, after a quick seasoning of salt and pepper.

HOLY LEMON!

They weren’t kidding about the lemon. That’s pretty much all I could taste. I had to add extra salt just to cut the sourness a bit. It wasn’t horrible by any means but the lemon was very pronounced. It over powered everything.

So if you like lemon, this is a dish for you.

When I had it the next day, the citrus smack upside the head had mellowed and then I was finally able to truly enjoy the dish. I ate it with gusto and it turned out to be pretty tasty on day two.

The ingredients aren’t too bad at all:

and it was simple enough to make. It might be a fun way to introduce a younger person to cooking and if you’re exhausted from work and don’t want to cook much but also don’t want to eat garbage, this would be a decent option too.

I’m looking forward to trying the other one I bought. Look for it here next! Steak & Peppers. Brown Rice and Quinoa.

Happy Eating!

Monday Ramble, Friends Forever & More Nice Stuff.

Happy Monday!

Can you believe this is THE LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER?

What?! This month flew by. It’s been mostly warm here in my wee corner of the world and the transition into Winter has been gentle and easy. It wont be long until we turn back toward the light on Solstice and then before you know it – Spring!

(Well, first we have to get through the January/February. Two months that seem like two years! But whatevs! Today I feel optimistic!)

Last week, my daughter’s mother in law, threw her a baby shower and wow oh wow!

The party was the first time I’d ever met my son in law’s mum but I’d heard lots about her and felt like I already knew (and loved her). I was not disappointed. She greeted me with the warmest hug and really is, a beautiful human. She LOVES my daughter. Madly, and I feel so grateful that my precious girl, has this amazing woman in her life. My baby is set for life with this one. If I were to die today, she’d be just fine because of the love and support of Angel.

That does this Mama’s heart good!

In other news, Carolyn’s death brought up lots of stuff, none of which is bad, surprisingly. I’ve got posts coming up about all of that. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m sad, of course but it’s that rare exquisite kind of sad that almost feels good. Mostly, I am filled with gratitude for all the things πŸ™‚ ❀

And speaking of friends –

Haa!

I think I’ve shared this before but it deserves another go. All our friends may die but we’ll always have face bugs!

Strangely, I don’t find this to be a comfort.

I do adore this one though!

Happy sigh

And this:

Anne has my heart.

I’ll love you and leave you with this:

Tee Hee!

Love & Squishy Hugs ❀

A Sad Goodbye.

Beloved

Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer, almost four years ago.

At first she was told it was stage two and most likely completely curable.

Two months after that, it was not.

The cancer jumped straight to stage four and all treatment was stopped to be replaced with something of a more palliative nature.

It all seemed good at first. Sure, there is no other stage past four but some people live years with metastatic breast cancer. Surely that’s how it would be for her!

And it was, mostly, with little squibbles here and there, until the cancer got into her bones, ate away her spine and required surgery to literally shore her up with rods and cement. That was in the late Spring of this year.

My darling friend Carolyn, died yesterday.

I read the news this morning and was hit instantly by the heavy tiredness of grief. I am so sad she’s not of this earth anymore and I’m so sad for her family.

I’m glad she’s been released from all her suffering. May she be safe in the arms of her ancestors.

I met Carolyn, many years ago, through another blog I had at the time. I cant even remember when but I’m pretty sure it was over ten years ago!

We hit it off straight away and had a great internet friendship for the longest time, until I finally went to meet her in real life one day.

I went, by myself, to a stranger’s house, in a whole other country.

Ha!

And had the greatest time! Her family treated me like gold and I was lucky to return the favour a year or two later.

Carolyn had the greatest laugh. Big and booming.

She smiled and laughed, a lot.

She was welcoming . So welcoming she invited a stranger to her home. Ha Ha!

She could make you feel safe and reassured and complete in who you were. She accepted every part of who a person was.

She was silly, goofy and funny as hell.

Carolyn was sharp and quick and clever and witty.

She was WISE. Oh wow was she ever wise. She was patient and kind and understanding and tolerant too.

She loved her kids and she loved her grandkids. Those girls look just like her πŸ™‚ Carolyn had pretty blonde hair, curly! And the most amazing blue eyes.

She loved animals too and was owned by many a cat and dog. When I went for my internet stranger sleepover we slept on her deck, in a tent, with her cats and wee little dogs πŸ™‚

People everywhere just loved her, she was a rock to many of us. She was loyal and supportive. She had integrity.

For almost four years Carolyn fought her illness bravely and with cheer most of the time. She was able to change her diet completely in her quest to live longer for her family, even though she was a sugar fiend, just like me πŸ™‚ I hope, wherever she is now, she’s having herself some cake! I’m baking cupcakes today in her honour ❀ Butter, sugar, fat. LOVE.

She was also authentic and honest about it all, too. She told me cancer was a mind fuck and that dying really fucking hurt.

Oh it all breaks the heart.

Hug your loved ones then get out there and live the heck out of your life.

F*ck Up Friday- Just Come On In!

Heading out to the library one day last week, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.I couldn’t find my keys!

I hadn’t been out of the house for two days and I need them to get into the yard, never mind my dwelling, so I knew they were at least safe. I just had to find them!

I’d probably set them down someplace when I was reorganizing my key chain. No biggie! They’d turn up eventually.

I grabbed an extra set I’d tucked way for exactly this occasion and headed out the door.

Well.

Remember how I had mentioned that my neighbourhood was experiencing an increase in crime?

Remember last month how some jerks broke into my neighbour’s house, in broad daylight?

Remember how this encouraged me to up my home security and put in new locks and reinforce my doors?

Remember how I felt safe (And SO SMUG!),secure and satisfied every time I turned my key in the lock or slid the deadbolts home? Nobody’s getting in to my house.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

That only works if one is not a dumb ass.

On my return trip home from the library, I let myself back into the yard and immediately found my lost keys.

They’d been OUTSIDE, for TWO DAYS ( and NIGHTS ), sitting in plain sight.

I guess I’d left them out there on Sunday when I’d been picking rosehips. Not only had I left my keys outside, my husband had walked past them twice on his way in from work and not seen them either.

Le sigh.

I am buying one of those long, reely key chain thingys and a carbineer and I’m going to attach the whole get up to my bra strap so I never leave them out there again! (This is not my first offense, sadly)

On the plus side, this incident is truly an indication of something I’ve always suspected- I have the BEST LUCK. Seriously. I must have been born with horseshoes up my bum…

Have you had a major fuck up lately? Please share!

Plant Medicine: Spruce Tip Tea

Come September I start boosting my immunue system with a swig of Elderberry syrup – Sambucol- every morning and every evening. That stuff works like magic! I am rarely sick and when I do fall ill it’s so mild I don’t even know I’m ailing.

Take last week for instance. I upped my dose of magic berry juice to 3x a day because I felt a cold coming on. After a week of slightly more snot, a slightly stuffy, itchy nose and a bit of a drier throat I realized THAT was the cold, ha! Thank you Mother Nature for the protection ❀

I was kind of glad to “sick” this year because it gave me an opportunity to try out my Spruce Tips! Do you remember when I harvested them last Spring? You can read that post HERE.

It was so easy, I popped 4 dried tips into a mug, poured some boiling water over top and let the whole thing steep for a bit.

After scooping out a few floaty things – spider eggs?- I took my first sip and got a very mild hint of lemon. I was worried that my brew wasn’t strong enough based on that but I was also worried that my throat wasn’t sore enough either. It turned out they were made for each other because even though the taste was subtle, it was effective. It was exactly the right dose for my throat. I went from having that hint of sore throat feeling to a lovely sort of cool, icy feeling. Almost like when you use an antiseptic numbing spray but not as strong (or annoying).

So that’s a win! Next time I’d use 6 tips instead of 4, just because I want a stronger taste – I like it!-. I might also pick extra tips and infuse them in raw honey over the summer to make a syrup that’s easier to take when I don’t feel like making tea. Raw honey has healing qualities too! Of course I’ll keep you all updated on the results πŸ™‚

Do you have any plant medicine you use and swear by? Tell me all about it!

Monday Ramble, Time, Scary, Everybody Shhhh & Some Good Advice.

Yawn.

Happy Monday?

Happy Monday!

Hello Monday.

If you live in my part of the world -North America- you may be feeling tired this morning. Yesterday we set our clocks back -one hour- to Standard Time and that awful practice has a way of messing with ones body, big time!

It takes me about a week to start to feel closer to normal so today I am dragging my ass.

On top of that, I was woken up out of a dead sleep at 2am with intense uterine pain and had to get up and take Advil AND THEN, the melatonin I took at bedtime kicked in and gave me all sorts of strange dreams- wrestling a cobra while the owner sat by and watched it bite me and refused to help. Listening to ” hard jazz” in a seedy bar. Hanging out with an ex boyfriend and experiencing ex boyfriend behavior over and over and over again!- I woke up sluggish and weirded out, ugh.

But my coffee was ready for me and it was delicious. I chatted with my daughter first thing this AM and I’m anticipating some delicious homemade soup for lunch. Go me! πŸ™‚

Did you have a good weekend?

I had Miss. Sassafras and we went for a short hike to feed chickadees:

And then we went to visit this little guy:

And I got to enjoy both my favourite littles at the same time.

This movie scared the hell out of me as a kid!

Ugh! This is a trick that would work on me, ha ha.

Speaking of tricks (and treats) we had a good Halloween. 22 kids came! That’s a new record! I was happy with the turn out. It was busy-ish for about 45 min and it all died off before 8pm. Now that’s my kind of fun, ha!

Luke seems like a smart guy. I wonder if we can convince the others? This is how I knew I was “older”. I cant tolerate noise anymore. It’s a real thing! I’m not just being crotchety, loud noises just set my teeth on edge and put a cold steel rod in my spine.

This doesn’t though:

This feels like a nice reminder ❀

It’s supposed to snow today so I’m off for my last (most likely) snow free walk of the season.It’s going to be a while before I’m comfortable walking in the snow because of my balance issue so I intend to make it a good one! What do you have planned today? Tell me all about it!