Best of November.

Happy December!

I used to have a cat named December. We found her in December so of course that was her name.

She was a total ass. She regularly terrorized my older cat even though he was 25 lbs of  ‘Wegie and she was just this slight, skinny black and white creature.

When you looked into her eyes it was like she had no soul. Seriously. I know that’s a weird thing to say but that’s how we all felt.

I once brought a stray kitten into the house before finding its owner and this kitten read December like a book. It was fine with Corny and Spider. They even trilled at each other a few times. As soon as it saw ‘Cem, it broke out hissing and spitting, fighting in my arms to be let down and out of the house.

She was something else…she could be sweet too. To humans. She was tiny but if she lay on you, she had this way of stretching herself out so that she was this long ribbon of cat. She liked to ride on shoulders too…

She died young of kidney failure and hers was the first “pure” animal death I was a part of. There was no guilt or questions. It was all so clear. She was suffering, I couldn’t see her suffer and so she didn’t. I grieved for her but it was a sweet sadness, a balm for my soul. I knew I’d done right by her, in life, illness and death. 

Ha! So now that you’ll all been educated about my cat: Are you excited for December?! I am. This is our last month of 2018. I’m excited about the holidays -Solstice and Jolabokaflod in particular- and a fresh new year. 

Let’s say goodbye to November 🙂 

Best… Holiday Cheer! I’m not a Christmas person but I’ve read so many news articles these days about how people who decorate for the holidays early are happier than those who don’t. I’m all about being happy so:

Witchy “Wreath”

Slightly Cockeyed Ikea Vinter Lamp
Bringing the outside in … and adding some sparkle!

Best Selfie:

Miss Sassafras is very adept with technology. When we had her over for a visit the first thing she did was grab my phone and start taking photos. She insisted on this one and I don’t know whether or not to be impressed or horrified about the whole thing.

Best dinner out:

My man and I have taken to going out for appetizers every few weeks. Most places have a “Happy Hour” during the week so it can even be economical if you time it right. Our best time this month? Appy at Brown’s Social House 

We had nachos, yam fries and Korean chicken.

The nachos were fairly standard, everything was fresh. There were a ton of toppings and nothing was soggy. That’s a huge win!

The yam fries were perfectly seasoned and came with the most delicious chipotle dipping sauce that was my favourite part of the whole meal!

The chicken was mildly spicy and tasty. Hubs said it was a bit dry and my complaint was that it didn’t hold its crunch the whole way through but to be fair it was drenched in sauce so that’s probably just the way it is. We liked it, at any rate.

They even made me a unique yet recognizable Dark and Stormy even though there was some confusion as to what that was at first. Everything was hot, fresh and tasty. Service was good and I got to enjoy a weeknight out with this guy:

Best Idea I Had This Month:

I love the feel of clean sheets. Is there anyone who doesn’t? I have a friend who changes her sheets every other day and I used to think she was nuts but; the other day I climbed into bed and was so grateful for the fresh bedding that I decided then and there to change the sheets every four days instead of every seven. I feel so self satisfied like I just invented something amazing or finally gave myself permission to really live, ha ha, Its the little things in life!

All in all, November treated me most kindly. I’m still alive and kicking 🙂

How was your month? What are you looking forward to in December?

Meme Monday-Dec

Ha Ha Ha!

Have any of you seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet? Its so good! I was engaged and captivated the whole way through. I didn’t want it to end and when it did, not a soul in the theatre left until the final credit rolled past. We all wanted to keep listening to the music!

Do you have a favourite Queen song? Mine is … you guessed it! Another One Bites The Dust.

There’s just something about that bass and its so…funky! 

Gah! This one gets me. Right in the feels. I’m not sure I agree with it entirely but it made me gasp out loud so something within me does. I do know it takes bravery to be vulnerable and open in love. I have a hard crunchy shell 🙂 but I do the best I can. How about you? What do you think?

Monday Meme

I love memes. I think they are an ingenious way to share a thought, idea , joke or inspiration in  a succinct and culturally relevant way. 

I find them helpful too. When I need inspiration, courage, validation or just a laugh all I have to do is scroll through my vast collection and, there it is. Something I’ve saved for this exact moment. 

Here are two from last week that really stuck with me :

Have any of you read anything by Brene Brown? She’s spent the past two decades studying shame, courage, vulnerability and empathy. The first meme really brings home a lot of what she writes about. I’d much rather engage with curiosity than shame. I like the reminder this meme brings me.

The second meme feels so empowering! Yeah, I might love you but I don’t have to trust or respect you. That’s entirely up to you. Its your job to be trustworthy and worthy of respect through your actions ( never words) and I decide to give or not, depending on my interpretations of your actions. And just because I love you, doesn’t mean I have to put up with the things you do that cause me to not trust you or respect you. Trust and respect are earned based on behavior, not just given as a gift alongside love. Being able to separate these things was HUGE in my personal growth and evolution as a human. 

How about you? What do these memes say to you?

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!