Best of January-2020

I wanted to call this The Hit List, as a companion to The Shit List because it rhymes buuuut I don’t know…Hit List makes me think of other things and I try to keep my brain out of those bad neighbourhoods, ha ha!

I was doing this last year but I fell out of the practice. Here I am again, ever optimistic.

Best of January:

Well number one, this adorable piece of my DNA:

Olivia Angel-Lael. (!!) She was 6lbs 14oz and hardly gave her Mum any trouble at all. Of course I saw her hours after she was born- I had her brother for safe keeping and we all trooped in for a visit right away – and I got to snuggle her again over the weekend. It’s hard to get a sense of who a newborn is but thus far she is very chill and doesn’t seem to mind her tornado two year old brother, as he bounces around all over her. OV loves her and often pauses his very important toddler business to stop and give her pets on the hands, tickles on the tummy and kisses on the head.

I’ve read 9 books this month, am at 7% of my reading goal, and this was the best one out of the bunch:

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout. Number two in a series…I think…there is one before this one -Olive Kitteridge- its up to the author if there will be a third- ANYWAY, it’s a great story about one woman seem from many different angles along with a few other intertwining storylines and its just so damn human. A good read that inspired me to go easy on myself and others.

Best catalyst: The FLU.

I know, crazy right?! The flu brought with it a gift. It forced me to listen to my body and take time to just be. To do nothing. I didn’t want to be a miserable lump of ick the whole time and in order to do that, I just had to accept that I was ill, unable to do much and just sit with what I had. Be that books, tv, YouTube, or my sick ass self. It allowed me to do these things without guilt or shame and even though I was NOT having a time, it wasn’t all that awful. I was grateful for what I did have! I enjoyed doing nothing. I enjoyed the rest. I enjoyed the simplicity of it all. Not only that, it peaked my curiosity and I went on to learn everything I could about the subject and came away with a real appreciation for… well…everything! Finally, and maybe most importantly I didn’t experience any of that 900 days of January nonsense. The month flew by for me, woot woot!

Best purchase:

I drank a lot of tea this month – It was National Tea Drinking Month too!- and when my cheap kettle crapped out , I simply went back to the way I’d done it for 25 years before-boiled water on the stove in a pot- but I missed my kettle, even if it was crappy so when London Drugs had a sale, I treated myself to this. It’s glass. Yay! No more plastic leaching, ha ha. And isn’t that light so pretty?! I feel so indulgent, lol I’m still blowing my nose with toilet paper though. What is wrong with me?!

Best Game: June’s Journey

June’s Journey is a hidden objects game that takes you through stories as you move through each level or scene. It’s a fun little time waster that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve wasted time! Plus, it’s good for your brain and it’s full of stupid tropes you can laugh at.

Best Ted Talk:

SO GOOD!

How was YOUR January? What would be on your Best Of list?

Sh*T List- January

I used to think that in order to be a sunshiny, sugar sweet kind of person, I had to avoid all things that were negative. Life quickly taught me that was an impossible task! And so I found myself obsessively hiding the ugly stuff in life. Or glossing it up with lies and excusing it with pseudo science and platitudes.

For the LONGEST time I thought there was something wrong with me!

Why aren’t any of these positive thoughts working on any of my problems!?!?!?!?!?

Then as I delved deeper in my practice and I learned that all humans suffer. That suffering is a fact of life and a shared experience for all 7 billion of us, I felt great relief but I was still stuck with all these negative feelings. What the hell do I do with them?!

Well, the first thing I do is feel them.

And then…I put them on my Shit List!

There is something therapeutic about acknowledging the negative and then letting it go.

Sometimes, it comes back. That’s fine. Onto the list again. A shit list is actually a great tool to have because it:

Gets the negativity out of your head.

Helps you uncover patterns and serves as a roadmap to your challenges.

Validates your feelings OR shows you when you’re being a dumbass. ( The power of print! )

You can put anything you want on your list. People, experiences, objects, forces of nature. Whatevs. It’s all appropriate. We’re just making note of things that caused us suffering so we can acknowledge the negative and then… let it go.

With all that in mind I bring you: January’s Shit List

1. Alberta’s current government.

2. The creeps who prowl my neighbourhood, destroying and stealing property they go.

3. Mooshum, the worst watch dog in the history of watch dogs.

When said Creep walked by my fence that guy^didnt even look up from his sniffing.

4. The Flu, which not only got me but gave my 2 year old grandson a febrile seizure and tossed my 5 year old granddaughter into the hospital with pneumonia.

5. Carl’s Jr. who ignored us in the drive thru,leaving us to sit there for 5 minutes before we drove away. I was really craving a burger too. Grrr!

6. Wimpy cough candies. Why even bother making your product? Ricola, I’m looking at you.

7. Myself, for being a mindless, careless knitter and a clueless human. This is a whole post in itself.

8. Animal “rescues” who operate more like pet stores.

9. People who rain on your parade. Yes, Janice I know getting your finger pierced is probably am exercise in snagged fingers but LET ME HAVE MY THING! And Oh, I’m sure owning and operating my own business would be a lot of work, let me find that out for MYSELF instead of gracing me with your “expert” advice. Do you think the thought never occurred to me? What exactly is your point and what are you trying to prove?! It seems like any time I have an idea, share something cool on social media or make note of something unusual, there is always someone there to take a giant steamer on it. Get.out.of.here.with.your.negativity!

10. Advertising in Alberta: First, the phone message from The Brick – a large furniture store- who regularly calls to advertise their shit over the phone. This time, instead of the usual ” I’m so and so from The Brick!” in used car salesman voice the message was as such- ” Hi! How are you?!” long pause…as if the person were waiting for your response even though it’s most obviously a recorded message” Ha ha, just joking this is so and so from The Brick” Go Fuck Yourself with that stupid shit!

Then there’s this gem:

WHY? WHHHHHHY?!

I don’t live anywhere close to this neighbourhood! WHy are they sending me this and what does that photo have to do with teeth?! I hate capitalism.

11. My left ovary which feels like it has a cyst that’s trying to burst.

12. Unripe sapodilla’s that pretend to be ripe according to all sources but when you cut into said fruit of lies and take a big old bite out of a fruit that cost you 4 whole dollars, it so astringent that you have to spit it out into the sink and rinse your mouth out over and over again to repair the damage.

There, that should do it. One rant for every month of the year, ha. I feel better already. How about you? What’s on your SHit List this January?

Birthday List

Somebody, somewhere recently inspired me to start a Birthday List.

Every year this person makes a list of all the cool things she wants to do before her next birthday. She bases how many items to place on her list by how old she is and gets to work!

I thought it’d be fun to do something similar but since I’m impatient and don’t want to wait for my birthday, aaaaand since my birth month is six months from now I thought I’d do this:

Split the difference and create and execute half a list now and half a list in Lune! Here’s my list:

  1. Make homemade boba pearls and Use my homemade boba pearls in Brown Sugar Boba Tea.
  2. Make Salt Water Taffy.
  3. Read Forest Gump.
  4. Read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.
  5. Make pulled sugar candies.
  6. Make Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Ham
  7. Make soup dumplings.
  8. Make my own cheese.
  9. Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee
  10. Go for a winter hike.
  11. Treat a friend to a fancy meal.
  12. Create six pieces of art-one a month.
  13. Get Inka Trail tattoo.
  14. Watch a TEDX talk video every week.
  15. Knit 3 scarves for Chase The Chill YEG
  16. Make Honey Crullers.
  17. Celebrate something silly every month.
  18. Make yogurt out of coconut milk.
  19. Make cake doughnuts.
  20. Take Hubs out for breakfast.
  21. Throw/donate something away every day for a month.
  22. Spend one day living without time.
  23. Make fried eggs, Spanish style.

Hmmmm, this list just looks like an excuse to try a lot of food.

Ha. But there’s other stuff on there too! Knitting for charity…a thought experiment, acting on my generous thoughts instead of just thinking about them…it’s not all food!😆

Ok. Whatever. I like to eat!

Heehee.

I’ll revisit this again in Lune and we’ll see how I’ve done! Won’t you join me for your Birthday too? 😀

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 🙂

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!

Things I’ve Learned #2…

since the last time I did this little exercise!

1. I know what I want to be when I grow up!! A consistently warm and friendly person with superb social skills, who makes people feel safe and valued in all interactions.

2. The thru hiker community is AMAZING! I’m not even hiking a thru hike and I’m meeting the nicest, most supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, in my life!

3. I am a hard ass about a lot of things. And sometimes I use “integrity” as a high and mighty excuse for that flaw. It’s fine to be rigid about some things but its a good idea to question yourself sometimes to make sure you’re being rigid about things that really matter and not just things that trigger your fear and ego.

4. Vanilla Chai Latte’s from Tim Hortons are really good! I was worried they’d be lacklustre but they are pretty tasty indeed. If you don’t want to pay the dollars, you can easily make one at home. Make some chai with half water/milk. Sweeten to taste. Add a splash of vanilla. Heat and whizz up some milk, float on top and finish with a sprinkle of the chai spices of your choice!

5. Homemade soup is the way to go. I mean, I KNOW this, but it’s always seemed easier to just open up a can and heat it up. I don’t think I can do this anymore. I made Split Pea and Ham Soup the other day in my crockpot and it was ten times better than canned. AND it took hardly any effort at all. I mean sure, I made stock from the bone and picked off the meat but the reward was worth it in the end. I chopped a few things and then let it all cook away until a glorious -but ugly, sorry no photos- thing was born.

Now I’ve got servings and servings of homey goodness in the freezer, just waiting for me ❤ I think I’ll try my hand at Italian Wedding Soup next…Do you have a favourite soup recipe to share?

|How about you? Have you learned anything new lately?

Everyone Should Keep A List…(#6)

Of all the little things they love!

  1. A freshly tidied house!
  2. Rich & cheerful Autumn Leaves.
  3. Spooooky skeletons!
  4. Peaceful sleeping dogs.
  5. Funny animal videos.
  6. A good visit with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile.
  7. A big mug of hot and tasty tea.
  8. Elderberry syrup.
  9. Sneak cat attacks.
  10. My monthly Universal Yums box.
  11. A big bowl of homemade Butter Paneer.
  12. Gigantic hoodies.
  13. Gigantic socks.
  14. The anticipation of the first big snow storm.
  15. All the flowers that are still hanging in there, this late in the season.
  16. The spiders as they start to make their way indoors.
  17. The smell of dirt and outside that the Hubs brings in with him when he comes home from work.
  18. A good hair and face day. (Ha!)
  19. Freshly slicked up skin.
  20. Getting lost in the strange vortex that is YouTube.

How about you? Won’t you play along too? On your blog or in the comments. What are some of the little things you’re loving lately?!

Everyone Should Keep A List…#5

Of all the little things they love!

  1. Being woken by a storm in the morning.
  2. When my Crow friends seek me out in the window…

3. Racing the volatile June weather. Sometimes I make it home in time…sometimes I don’t!

4. Drying all my herbs and roots!

5. Spring flowers!

6. Making friends with wild Ravens:

7. Sitting comfortably outside to read my books, watch the sky or just be.

8. When everybody gets along and the general energy amongst all is good cheer.

9. Gigantic salads for dinner. This one HERE, was particularly good. Mind you I didn’t bother with slicing the lettuce into a slab- I chopped it up because who wants to fuss eating a salad with a freaking knife and fork!?- and the recipes says peaches but if you look at the recipes their very own photo shows nectarines… I used nectarines too!

10. Dorky hats. I didn’t buy this super cool fishing hat because I have a million floppy hats but still…floppy hats are just fun!

11. Getting good mail. Packages, surprise cheques, letters or cool catalogues.

12. Feeling the very wet underside of my little dog as she jumps all over me, after she’s been outside in the rain.

13. Having an animated chat with my daughter on the phone.

14. Funny texts from my son that tell me he’s come back to me. It seems I have my boy back. Not the drug addicted human but the boy I know and love.

15. My first moto ride of the season even if it was two hours TOO long and my body hurt for days, ha ha.

16. Hoop earrings I can close with a simple and satisfying click.

17. That compact feeling you get when you’ve been consistent with your core exercises and good posture.

18. Cat frog legs and toe beans!

19. The sun shining in my eyes at 930 PM (!!!!) forcing me to put my sunglasses on to read in my house, ha ha. I adore these nights leading to to Solstice. I stay up so late because I’m just not tired at my usual time with the sun still blaring away at me. This year I’m giving myself over to it. I’m letting myself fall into step with the cycles of the earth.

20. SOLSTICE!!! 95 days of Summer( here in the Northern hemisphere. )Well, technically sure. But in actuality…after these first few days these Summer days start getting shorter and the weather starts making it’s turn toward Autumn. Enjoy the sun and the warmer days while you still can. I don’t think I’ve worn shoes in weeks, ha ha, even with the rain. Do I sound negative? Not my intention! I’m trying to remind myself of the impermanence of all things and that I need to make the most of Summer while it’s here. Maybe that will help me come Autumn. Fingers crossed!

OK, now it’s your turn. Tell me, what are some of the little things you love?