COVID 19 Anxiety.

How are you holding out? Are you feeling anxious?

I thought I was doing pretty good until I noticed I was sniping at my husband and growing more scattered than normal. A stranger on an article about anxiety mentioned in the comments that she felt like her head was going to “pop off” and my light switch flipped on. That’s how I was feeling too!

The great thing about this was that as soon as I recognized it in myself, I felt better! I’m doing pretty good now. Still anxious but not unaware and able to take action to care for myself, as needed. Here are some things that helped me. I hope, if you are feeling anxious too that they may help you ❤

1. Be open and honest about your feelings with your friends and loved ones.

My Hubs was able to cultivate so much more patience and understanding for me once he learned why I was suddenly being such a bitch to him. My friends flooded me with love and support too, which had a very real bolstering effect! Not only that, my openness has helped others open up about their own mental health and that has further built and strengthened my community AND given me a sense of pride and purpose, which in turn allows me to focus on something other than DOOM!

2. Realize that feeling anxiety now is completely normal!

Anxiety is a normal response to an abnormal situation. These are SCARY times! You are not over reacting if you feel afraid. You are a human being having a biological response to real danger. Our bodies are designed to feel this way, during times like this. It all feels awful by design. You’re doing nothing wrong.

3. Do something physical if you can to move that anxious energy out of your body.

If you already have an exercise routine, keep it up. Adapt it if you need to, but be sure to keep at it. If you don’t, try going for a walk. (If you can. Away from other people, obviously) I know I personally always feels better after a walk.There is lots of science that confirms the great benefits of this form of exercise. If I cant get outside, I walk in my house. Seriously. That’s how much I believe in walks for good health. There are a ton of other amazing things you can do to work that anxiety out. Yoga, dance, weight lifting -use cans if you don’t have weights- clean your house! Take up a craft..do something physical. It doesn’t matter what, as long as you like doing it. Joyful movement is an excellent balm.

4. Find humour in things. Seek it out!

Oh the memes. The memes! What a time to be alive! The memes are amazing! People are so clever, so artistic and hilariously funny. I have spent more time laughing than I have worrying, that’s for damn sure. Find your own favourite source for humour. Laugh. Just laugh. Seek out the absurd. There is science to back up how important this is too. Have yourself a good giggle!

5. Seek out the good.

These ARE scary times, and some people are acting like jerks but there are way more decent humans than not. Find those people! Focus on them. Be that person yourself! Here, I’ll get you started. When I popped up to the store to grab some groceries every single human was acting decent. Yes, the fear was palpable but no one was freaking out and people were helping one another! ( I helped a lady who couldn’t read English.) I saw countless people reaching up on the top shelves for those who couldn’t and people were not clearing out the food. They were careful to leave stuff for others. I came home feeling happy, yes happy! It’s nice to know we haven’t lost our kindness.

I belong to three groups on Facebook devoted to helping others during this time. People are going out their way to assist those in need. My own friends have offered up their libraries to me! Delivered straight to my door step! ❤

Countless artists online are making art for others-free! I’ve seen a Jann Arden show and Keith Urban too. Other organizations are opening up online content for free as well. Goodness still exists. Look for it.

Our world is going to be changed by this massive event. YOU are going to be changed as well. May you find peace, comfort and a wee bit of joy where you can. Love and squishy hugs to all of you!

Throwback Thursday- Young Me Edition.

I swear this is one of my first times participating in such a thing here.

It was really fun to look through my old photos and while I don’t have a lot, I have enough to play for a little bit! All photos circa 1970 something.

My Gran and me. I look to be about….2..ish. I also look like my Grandson here! That was a funny realization. It’s the round squishy face ❤

I’m probably 3 here. Playing in the water on Gabriola Island. My grandparents property had a stream running through it and the otters used to play in it. Thankfully, no otters in my buckets today! Had I been a parent there, my kids would have totally been in that stream. Maybe not at three years old but most definitely later. I admire the supervision I was under here, ha ha!

Maybe 4 or 5. I appear to have short hair so this looks to be around the time I wanted to be a BOY and walk around with my shirt off because it was hot. I asked my mother for a haircut because I thought having short hair would mean I was a boy. I deeply regretted that for years to come! I had bad hair until my teens!

I used to beg my dad to make me these silly hats. He had a million handkerchiefs. That he actually used as handkerchiefs!

Ha! And did you know that until today I always thought the word was hankerchief ? Don’t I feel silly!!

Special thanks to Anne from Snowbird in Paradise for the inspiration and encouragement. This was fun!

Spring Tea Party

Spring arrives in 2020 on March 19.

If you’re thinking to yourself ” That seems early” You’d be right!

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac this is a thing because of … math. And how our calendar is set up and leap years.

You can read the whole article here. It’s extremely interesting and the author explains things far better than I ever could. Sorry!

Last year, I had a one women tea party to celebrate the occasion ( and as an excuse eat scones with homemade clotted cream) and I’ll be doing the same thing this year too!

SPRING!

FOOD!

CELEBRATING ALL THE THINGS!

Here are some highlights from 2019!

Steamed green beans with wee tomatoes and pesto for dipping. Open faced Tuscan ham sandwiches with dijon ( and butter!) and cucumber sandwiches on top of a tea biscuit. Deviled eggs with capers. Missing are my scones with jam and clotted cream! The scones were Ok but the clotted cream ❤

I used Chef John’s recipe from Food Wishes:

And it turned out really well!

It was insanely good on top of a scone with a good spot of jam. I even froze it and enjoyed it six months later on top of some Swedish pancakes! It was just as yummy then too. I’ll be making this again for 2020.

My next favourite thing were my family famous tea biscuits. This year I’m not going to be making scones because…meh. I prefer tea biscuits and these are pretty versatile. My recipe come from a battered old Purity Flour cookbook:

Well loved for good reasons. I especially enjoy cheese in mine:

There are a million other variations you could do to your own taste! I’ve got some fancy ones in my head for this year. Scones are just too sweet and dry for me. Biscuits are where its at!

And last : Deviled Eggs with Capers.

There’s nothing really to them, simply make a basic recipe and add Herbs de Provence , chop up some capers, add them to the mix saving a few whole ones as garnish.

I made it up as I surveyed the contents of fridge and I was so pleased they came out as tasty as they did.

Fancy and pretty to look at, yet different than the usual deviled egg you’d normally eat without tasting too weird. A lot of my “creations” don’t turn out nearly as well! 🙂

All enjoyed of course with a big mug of hot tea. Here is a pretty set up to satisfy you purists:

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

My favourite is Earl Grey with extra Bergamot. How about you?

I’m working on finalizing my Spring menu this year and I’m sure once its all said and done you’ll see it here. How do you celebrate Spring?

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? 😀

Melatonin Update- Part Three

This post is part of my experience with using melatonin as an aid to lessen the negative side effects of Seasonal Depression Disorder. You can read previous posts HERE and HERE.

We’re moving into the depth of Winter darkness and I thought now would be a great time to do another update on how the micro dosing with melatonin is working for me and the S.A.D.

My hope is to offer a real time testimonial for fellow sufferers and shed some light upon the condition for everyone else.

More specifically, for anyone who needs to be educated because while most people have a clue and are decent, I think there are still people out there who think depression is something that can be willed away with positive thinking and essential oils.

October was excellent. Historically this is a challenging month but I got through it amazing well. SO well in fact that I was simultaneously thrilled for myself and relieved as the calendar switched over. Suck it October! You didn’t win this time!

November was going on swimmingly as well until Carolyn died and the last week or so of the month was a challenge. Grief is not the same as S.A.D. and feeling all the feels is to be expected. I miss her dearly and am angry that cancer took her but I’m so grateful that she was in my life and am happy her suffering is over. I feel sad but I don’t feel SAD, ya know?

S.A.D wise I was still going good. Light moods, full acceptance of the weather- I even found myself ENJOYING IT!- I was living each day, as it was, in the moment.

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

December. Oh dark December. We’re what … nine days in..and I am feeling it!

It’s so dark! I can’t seem to get enough light, no matter how many times I go out in the sun or how many lights I turn on in the house. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even put on my sunglasses because I’m trying to get as much light into my body as I can.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And my brain is SO foggy. I keep cleaning my glasses thinking they are the culprit -maybe its burnt corneas, heh- but the feeling persists. It’s not my eyes, its my brain.

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

I find I’m also unable to take my thoughts and turn them into words, spoken or written. I have the thoughts and the ideas, I just cant get them out. I’m still able to read – THANK YOU GODDESS-but writing and communicating is a bit of a challenge. My Hubs who loves the quiet is even giving me sideways looks because I’m so inward. I feel like I’m sort of trapped behind this gauzy veil that actually made of steel or something. Boooooo!!

Having said all that, the melatonin is still working. I take it every day-plus my vitamin D- and I am still doing better than I have been in years past.

I know right?! I’d say through October and November I was operating at around 95%. I still had to do the work- self care, good brain hygiene – but it was easy enough to do and I had clarity and way more good days than bad. Win, win win!

December is proving to be more of a challenge as the light fades away but I’m still doing WAY BETTER than I have in the past. I am operating at 75%.

The challenges I’m facing are not consistent every day. I do have GOOD days.

I’m planning Yule festivities with excitement instead of dread.

I’m still exercising. Even when I don’t want to.

Instead of being mean to myself about not writing or being social, I’m able to recognize that it’s not me being a flaky ass, it’s my brain doing its thing and eventually that symptom will go away and I’ll be at it again once more.

I’m able and willing to engage in good self care and I’m still deriving pleasure from most of the things I love.

I have peace, calm and wisdom and while visual and verbal/typed clarity is a challenge, I still have mental clarity and as anybody with depression of any kind knows, that is huge!

So despite December’s darkness the melatonin is still helping and my brain health has improved with it.

The light starts to come back soon and before you know it we’ll be on the upswing to Spring with light, glorious light! Ha Ha. I’ll do an update again in February.

Love, Squishy Hugs and a Happy Monday to YOU! ❤

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!