Dream Your Own Death.

One of the possible side effects of taking melatonin are vivid dreams. Since I started micro-dosing myself I’ve had a few but because I knew to expect them AND because I know that vivid dreams mean I’m in that lovely restorative REM state, this is A-OK with me! I’m not overly bothered by them.

Well, except this one.

On the very first night of micro dosing, I dreamt I was in a room full of people, perhaps 15 of us all together.

The room was white and sterile, with overhead lights that flickered and buzzed. The general mood was somber. There was a woman and she was not having a time! She was really carrying on, crying and wailing. Pulling at her hair…a staff member sat beside her and was trying to calm and console the poor dear. My curiosity got the better of me and I rudely interrupted them to ask”What’s her problem!?” in the snottiest voice ever!

“Oh, she’s just learned how she’s about to die” the staff member says, nonchalantly.

I openly scoff at this poor women’s distress but quickly realize that I have also been collected and made to gather in this room… I’m starting to catch on but still, I’m full of cheek ” How am I going to die?”

Staff lady turns to me, looks me dead straight in the eyes and says with a steely glint ” YOU, are going to have a medical event.”

My heart pounds! Pressure in my head builds and builds as I stare at her in horror. I start to hyperventilate as my head explodes in pain and then I wake up.

In.a.panic!

“I’m dying! I’m dying! ” are the most coherent of the many jumbled thoughts racing through my head. “What about my grandbabies? What about my garden!? MY JOURNALS!!” I’m sputtering. Actually sputtering! ” I haven’t done all the things I want to do!” I wail in my head.

That last thought clears the fog because I actually have done the things I want to do…this must be a dream…Holy crap! Some dream!

Gradually my heart stops racing and the stroke pain in my head clears. I get up to pee and have a laugh.

I am an end of life care doula! I read about death every single day. I live and breathe death and help people with theirs…and yet here I am, dreaming about my own and freaking out! Too bloody funny.

I know it’s just a dream and dreams aren’t reality but the whole thing made me wonder this- If I’m not lucky enough to die in my sleep, if I am made aware of the details of my death, is this how I’m going to react? Goddess, I hope not. Who wants to spend their last moments in a panic?!

This is just like the time I dreamed of spiders and had to remind myself that I wasn’t actually afraid of spiders. And I’m not, under most circumstances, ha ha. I’m only afraid of them when they move quickly.

It seems I’m only afraid of death when it moves quickly too.

Best of July.

Hello August. Goodbye July. You were wet and stormy but you were still GOOD no matter what anyone else says because you were not anywhere close to being below zero! I will take wet and stormy over cold and snowy, any day!

Best concert:

(Ha! Like I regularly go to concerts every month)

Backstreet Boys! What a hoot! I bought these tickets as a joke (a very expensive joke, back when I still had a job) and never gave it much thought after that. Colour me surprised and delighted when the entire evening turned out to be SO DAMN FUN! Myself, my friend, my daughter in law and my daughter met up for dinner where we ate like the beasts that we are and then enjoyed a few hours of non stop singing, laughing and dancing. It was a blast! I know waaay more songs than I thought I did and I really enjoyed the whole thing. They put on a great show and it was so out of my ordinary. It felt good to hang with my adult daughter and be adults! And it felt good to hang with my daughter in law as women, instead of mum and grandma. And of course, it’s always special to be with my Friend.

Here we are, after she got sick of me taking 9 million selfies.

Ha!

Oh! And before the show, we came across a lady who rode her bike straight into a pole. She smashed her face and cut up her lip badly. We were all a little stunned by it! I can so relate. I once rode into a parked car. My daughter gave her the shirt off her back to stem some of the bleeding but she was definitely going to need some stitches. Ouch! It was the most random thing to see…

Best Victory:

I, Lael, she who is afraid of worms. She who is SO afraid of worms she sometimes cries and runs away from particularly big ones, used a very long stick to save a very long worm from certain death on the sidewalk! I was so proud! Take THAT fear.

Best Cosy Moment:

I can still feel his baby body on my lap. Sitting on a stool at Miss. Sassafras’ house, during her birthday party. Kids happy and running around, holding OV, body heavy against me because he’s sick, while he eats watermelon and we share ice cream cake. His cold hasn’t caught me yet…but if it does…it was worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beep Beep

Best Book:
I read 16 books this month! Wow. I’ve read 90 books out of the 125 books I’ve challenged myself to this year. I’m 72% of the way there. This month the best book I read gets FIVE STARS! That’s a perfect book my friends.

The ClockMaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. I thought it was beautifully crafted and intricately detailed. The story was utterly captivating. A good summer time read.

Best fruit:

Nectarines!

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I’ve developed a nectarine problem. I just cant stop eating them! They are the perfect fruit. What am I going to do come Autumn?

So, July intentions: did I get my ass on my bike? Yep! I got three rides in!

Did I explore more of the city? A little bit. Mostly close to home.

Did I read outside? Yep! So much that my butt is telling me I need a better outdoor seating situation ๐Ÿ™‚

Did I eat my meals outside? Noooo, unless you count all the times I crammed strawberries and peas in my mouth while out in the garden…heheh. It’s been pretty buggy out there. I don’t feel too bad about not meeting this one!

Intentions for August:

More of the same really. Outdoor reading, biking, exploring. I really want to visit the Devonian Botanical Garden before they close it in September. I want to take Miss. Sass for a walk across the river/lake in Jasper…August is our last full month of Summer so I feel this sort of frenzy to DO ALL THE THINGS!

One goal I’d love to smash is this: meditate every single day.

Do you have any intentions set out for August? How was your July? What was the best thing you did?

The Change- Micro Dosing with Melatonin for S.A.D

Stepping out onto my rotting wooden porch, a familiar feeling overcame me. A sensation I felt throughout my body. An organic, all knowing feeling of the truth in that moment.

I don’t usually make note of what exactly brings on this feeling. It’s not really all that important. I trust my instincts. The details dont really matter.

But this time I did take note…

The sky around me was a darker shade of blue, filled with puffy clouds. Both the sky and the clouds seemed closer to me than they had the day prior.

The air felt cool even though the sun was shining. Even though my favourite weather app told me it was 20 degrees C outside.

Autumn, my Friends! Autumn is in the air!

If you’re following along with me and my S.A.D journey/experience for yourself (and you’ve done your own research!) this is your reminder to start taking your micro dose ( .5 mg) of melatonin daily,( in the late afternoon) as soon as YOU feel Autumn in the air, wherever YOU live.

I’m excited to see if starting the melatonin micro dose now does me any greater good than it did last time. It sure helped me last night. I slept like the dead and woke up feeling less ugh than I have in the past four days.

What I’m trying to stave off are the three months of vile muck I go through every Fall when we lose the light. My wish, my fondest hope, my deepest desire is that by starting the melatonin as soon as I notice the light change from Summer to Fall, I will glide through the worst of it with a low grade soft depression as opposed to the hard angry kind.

I’ve given up all hope for a total cure. This is the way I am, because of where I live. Nothing short of moving to the Equator will cure me. ( An idea that has crossed my mind, believe you me!)

I won’t know if it’s worked until I’m out of the worst of it of course, and last time that didnt happen until mid November. Depression is an asshole that tricks you into thinking you’re just “fine” until you come out of it.

I scared myself last year. I’m >this< close to going to the Doc for meds which is something I don’t want to do hence this massive pre-emptive attack. ( I have a whole program planned) There is nothing wrong with meds, AT ALL. I just don’t want to take them. I’ve seen too many of my friends suffer from the wrong med or side effects and that has really turned me off them. BUT I will if things get unbearable. And if you decide to do that too, good for you! I hope you feel better.

For now though, I’ve got this experiment to keep me busy plus a few other tricks up my sleeve. I’ll continue to document my experience for those who need it. IN the meantime here’s a link, should this subject interest you!

Science Friday

And get moving on your Summer Fun! We’ve got 8 , EIGHT, weekends left!

Monday Ramble, Sun, Storms, Food, Bears, Death.

HellOO Friends!

Thank you SO much for your patience with the dead air here on HeartStyle and my personal inattention! Something happened last week that switched my brain into sad mode, so โ€ฆ I was sad and let those feelings reign.

This weekend wasn’t sad though. I woke up on Saturday and it was SUNNY! It’s been storming for AGES here and the day felt like waking up to Spring all over again. So I read an excellent book and went for an excellent walk and bought a Slurpee that was SUPPOSED to be excellent but was not.

Because instead of Lime, I got MELON. Yuck! I should have known by the colour. The sign said Lime but it was lies. ALL LIES!

OH well, it was cool and I was hot!

On Sunday, we went to K-Days here in the city and that was fun. We walked around and ate all the things:

These are just what I took pics of. I also had a brisket sandwich and a Butterbeer cone and a Beaver Tail…I may have to go back for the fried chicken skin! We got into K-Days for FREE thanks to our library cards. So thanks EPL! We had fun and I appreciate the treat! ( K-Days are formally known as Klondike Days and it’s basically an exhibition and fair)

Sooooo, what made me so sad?

One of my husband’s drivers was killed in a crash while working.

He was on his last trip of the week, heading home.

He was young and married to his beloved. He loved motorcycles and cats.

His death was so shocking to everyone. Like a lightening strike out of the blue. And so damn sad. The rainy, stormy weather at the time definitely matched the hearts of all who learned the news.

This experience taught me a lot. My end of life doula skills came in handy in supporting my husband and hopefully through him, the driver’s wife, but sudden death is a whole other thing all together. I knew that….but I did not KNOW that. I’m forever grateful for the lesson.

And you know, it felt “good” to be sad. To allow myself to be sad. I didn’t know this fellow but he was still a part of my everyday life through my hubs. It felt like feeling sad was a way to honour that he had lived. It felt like a very important thing to do.

Today the rest of us are alive, and the sun is shining again.It’s supposed to be HOT. No thunderstorms for the next little bit but just in case:

I kind of like the idea of yelling Bring it on ASSHOLE to a tornado, ha! That’s a whole mood right there ๐Ÿ™‚ As is the last don’t too…everything changes.

This is also a MOOD! Although you know, I was outside with tons of people yesterday and I loved it! I think fairs are one of my favorite things. The delicious smells, the clacks and clicks and clangs of all the rides. The music blasting. The little kids. The people dressed in all sorts of different get ups…Mind you give me TOO much of that^ and I’m right back to this meme again, ha ha.

Well. THAT answers that question. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you ever seen bear poop? It’s pretty neat stuff, especially during berry season. I accidently touched it once when I was checking to see how old it was. One of my many claims to fame ๐Ÿ˜›

I haven’t tried that new aging app thingy because all I need for that is the mirror but still, this made me laugh. Then cringe. Then ponder…

Only if you’re lucky. My newest, fondest wish is that I die peacefully in my sleep. That’s my wish for all of us. Happy being alive day, to YOU โค

Love & Squishy Hugs.

Bountiful Farmer’s Market

Edmonton just got a brand new farmer’s market. At my count the new arrival makes 14! Wow! We sure do like our markets …

Bountiful Farmer’s Market is located at 3696 97 Street, ( Edmonton, Alberta. obviously) in a large building with lots of parking. That didn’t help us because this is a popular place! The streets were lined with cars and there were people everywhere trying to find a spot. We found ours on the street and it was an easy 3 min walk to the market. Arrival time…noonish on a Saturday.

The place was bustling and full of people but not crowded and claustophic like The Old Strathcona Market. I don’t think I felt the need to keep my eye on the exits once, woot woot!

The vendors are laid out in rows and there are food vendors and a place to sit under the coolest art treatment:

We had ourselves a wander and found the selection to be varied, unique and interesting. There was food – premade and in it’s raw form- art, sweets, booze, flowers…all sorts of stuff. Full Vendor List HERE. The Hubs and I found everyone to be friendly and engaging. I almost don’t want to talk to people because then I’m compelled to buy ALL their stuff, ha ha! Somehow I was able to be discerning and we only made a few purchases:

YUM! I bought these based on a generous sample. They are a cross between a dumpling and a perogy I was told. What they are is DELICIOUS! I’d never heard of them before and I’m glad to be so enlightened. I’ll be having this in a soup some time in the future. You can also have them plain along side accompaniments of your choosing, with sauce to dip. Very flavourful, moist and savoury. Check out Siberian Meat Dumplings.

Hubs also bought himself from craft beer from …

He chose their Day Drifting Pale Ale, a seasonal offering, and has been enjoying it. Ribstone Creek Brewery is located in Edgerton, Alberta. I am not a beer person but I had a wee taste and was struck by how clean it tasted. A quality product, right there.

Then we stopped in to chat with a very nice gent, brought over by the smell of his product: Twiggy Sticks Biltong!

In addition to the Twiggy Sticks he was cooking up this beautiful coiled sausage. It was SO flavourful and not at all greasy! Like surprisingly, not greasy. It’s in my freezer and I cant wait to cook it up. I love sausage but you know…the fat content makes it a treat as opposed to a regular option. Not anymore!

Not only does this product have the COOLEST name, these caramels are truly otherworldly. I should know, I make a highly acclaimed caramel myself:

Kick Ass Caramels are a force to be reckoned with. Big chunks of buttery, creamy flavour bombs these lovelies are indeed! There was a full range of interesting options to choose from and loads and LOADS of samples. As you can see we bought Sambuca and Chai Latte. Some of the other options were Coconut Rum, Salted Caramel and a whole lot more. The vendor was a hoot, super down to earth and authentic. She stole my heart forever when she referred to me as a “broad” and now I want her as my BFF X 11ty! โค Ha ha. The Hubs and I are fighting over who “owns” these boxes and that man is not into sweets so….yeah. Do yourself a favour and buy yourself a treat.

And do yourself a favour and head on down to this market. We enjoyed it. It’s well thought out and we felt comfortable there. It’s open year round, three days a week!

Monday Ramble, Mermaids, Spiders & Rad Snails.

I love me some Monday! Especially after a great weekend.

I’ve lived in Edmonton for 9 years and not once have I been to Terwilliger Park. I know right?

We went yesterday and had a time. Terwilliger Park is a multi use park with an off leash dog area and there are trails and dogs EVERYWHERE. If you don’t like dogs, don’t go to this park. For me, a dog lover extradorinare, I was in HEAVEN.

There is none of this “Oh no Fido, don’t jump up” nonsense. One minute you’re strolling down the trail and the next a very young and exicted Golden Retriever puppy is barreling into you with LOVE. I also met some sort of Poodle cross who ran straight at me for a very muddy hug/ taste and countless other less exuberant hounds, of all variety. A dog lover’s dream, come true!

There a ton of good trails to explore too, some wide and flat, some narrow and twisty. We did a lot of exploring and as usual I ended up barefoot at one point because my Birkenstocks are not so great in the mud. There are wide open fields and cozy little nooks. There spots to get down to the river- which was moving fast. Be careful!-and there is a bridge that takes you into the rest of the river valley, which we’ll be exploring soon. This is a great park and I cant wait to go back!

Check out my Instagram for flower pics!

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I don’t know who owns this image-not me- but it’s awesome! Isn’t it cute?? A wee wizard! I had a tarantula growing up. They are interesting creatures. Not scary most of the time…until they get out and then that’s another story! Can those things move!! I shiver still, at the memory…

I hope you had a great weekend! Get up to anything fun? Tell me all about it!

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Monday! Happy Canada Day! Happy 9 year anniversary of Alberta living to meeee! Happy Day of Living to YOU!

I’ve been in long weekend mode since Friday AND my brain doesn’t seem to want to do anything other than play in the garden. It looks like rain for now, so hopefully the weather inspires me to stay put so I can get caught up here!

This is from this morning:

In honour of Canada Day I bring you photos from my trip a few weeks ago. The Hubs and I drove a circle route from Edmonton through The Icefields Parkway and had a great old time.

I climbed up to the glacier in my Birkenstocks and walked back down in my bare feet. Thank you dragon feet! โค There are benefits to being a low maintenance human! Sure I could have worn “proper” shoes but I just can’t bring myself to put on the foot prisons. Nope. I can not. We’ve only got 84 days of Summer left. Why spend them in shoes?

What’s one thing you refuse to do in Summer?

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?

C Is For *Camping. A-Z Challenge.


I bought this mug the other day and its sitting on my kitchen shelf, calling to me. ” Fill me with booze”

I’m a teetotaller for most of the year but when camping season comes around, I spend my weekends sitting sideways in a plastic Adirondack chair, having a little drinkie poo out of a coffee mug.

I guess its a good thing, I can only camp and sit outside comfortably for a few months out of the year! I do other things whilst camping too though!

What other things? I like to go for early morning hikes in my nightie, leggings and hoody.

I like to take naps. I like to eat ALL THE THINGS. My favourite thing being, fajitas cooked over the fire.

^Not fajitas but still good! Yes, that’s one meal. For me. One person. Camping requires great sustenance.

I like to walk through the campground and snoop on my neighbours. I play Spot the Airstream and dream of the day when one is MINE, ALL MINE!

I like to drag my Hubs on hikes and walk through mud puddles in my bare feet because I only ever hike in flip flops while camping.

We both like to ride our bikes like hooligans through the trails and pretend we’re hardcore mountain bikers. Hey! We’ve got mud on our bikes, true story.

I like to take photos of EVERYTHING.

I like waking up to absolute silence as the morning light shines into the trailer feeling so grateful to be wherever I am.

I like sitting on a bench watching the water if I’m near a lake and hoping that a bear or a wolf saunters down for a drink. It hasn’t happened yet but it will. I’m sure of it ๐Ÿ™‚

I like to listen as the birds start their song and the campers wake up to start their fires and brew their coffee and fry their bacon.

I love planning out our recipes, and scrolling Pinterest for new tips and tricks.

I love all the new dogs I meet and the kids that race around like maniacs. FREEDOM!

My first camping trip was with a friend as a child. I was so grateful to be invited (camping was not done in my family) and that one experience set off a hunger and appreciation inside me that has never left.

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Besides that pivitol first trip- where I roamed like a wild child for three days- my most memorable trips have both been in Tofino,BC.

On the first, I was sleeping on the beach and a cougar woke me up for a staring contest in the night. *shiver!

On the second one we were visited by Ravens who left their footprints all over our mist dampened towels and a Bear, stroked my head with it’s body as it walked past my tent.

How lucky am I? I’ve experienced the coolest things! โค

My worst trip was the night it rained dumpsters as opposed to buckets and I forgot 1. the frying pan. 2. the tarps.

Did I tell you it was during the middle of a thunder storm and the kids and I were trapped in the tent while the Hubs (who is not a fan to begin with) went to purchase said forgotten items? The lightening would snap and crackle and boom away above us while my 3 year old whispered “I’m scared”.

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

It was wet and damp the WHOLE time ( we were at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge, BC amongst the tall shady trees ) and my daughter peed her bed, soaking it further the very next night. Abort. Abort. Abort!

Nowadays, we’re in a trailer (so much better. I don’t care what anyone says. It IS SO real camping) and the comfort level is much higher. I spend most of my time out by the fire anyway.

I could and do spend hours just sitting there, thinking and drinking. Talking and laughing. Staring at the fire. I love chopping wood and slicing kindling. I love experimenting with different fire methods and keeping my survival skills sharp. My Hubs and I even “fight” over who gets to make the fire, we love it that much. Ha Ha!

I had big plans to restore the Hoopty- our 1983 Vanguard- but now I think we’re going to sell the crapper to our son in law and buy something a little newer and start fresh. Or maybe the camping Goddess will gift me with a decent Airstream to focus on…only time will tell. In the meantime you will always find me wandering the woods or cradling a naughty coffee cup in my chair ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you like camping? What was your most memorable- good or bad- camping trip?!


52 Days Left

Happy August!

I find myself in a bit of a panic today. We have 52 days of Summer left! August being our last full month. Eeek!!

I feel like I haven’t exactly been lazy…but I have sure been acting like Summer is never going to end! How about you?

I just know, come Winter I shall be kicking myself for all the time I’ve spent indoors instead of making the most out of these glorious months. With that in mind and as an excuse to write another list, I bring you:

How to honour Summer. Lael style.

  1. Eat meals outdoors.
  2. Bike rides.
  3. Go to the beach.
  4. Feed the chickadees.
  5. Collect rocks.
  6. Paint rocks and hide them for people to find in unexpected places.
  7. Read books lazily outside.
  8. Take photos of all the things!
  9. Weenie roasts.
  10. S’mores roasts.
  11. Watch the sunrise and sunset.
  12. Go for hikes.
  13. Grab a cool drink, sit where people gather and just watch the world go by.
  14. Enjoy a daily walk in new neighbourhoods.
  15. Have a few road trip adventures.
  16. Meals out with friends.
  17. Slurpees!!
  18. Ice cream!
  19. Lay out and watch the clouds float by.
  20. Lay out and watch the stars-The Perseid Meteor shower starts soon!
  21. Visit parks in other cities.
  22. Have picnics.
  23. ย Preserve,freeze and create with the bounty of Summer fruits and vegetables.
  24. Wander up and down the “cool” areas of town.
  25. Take photos of EVERYTHING!
  26. ย Visit gardens
  27. Blow bubbles
  28. Make lemonade
  29. Spend time barefoot.
  30. Play in the rain
  31. Go into the woods, sit really still and just watch.
  32. Make friends with all the neighbourhood animals.

Special thanks to my friends, Chantel and Carolyn for the inspiration!

How do you honour and enjoy Summer?