F*ck Up Friday – Crescent Moon.

Every payday, I do the finances then walk myself up to the bank to take out our cash and do any other running around I need to do.

On this particular day, I also took the long way to the library where I browsed for books, bending over in the aisles, crouching down and such. I was out for a couple of hours, just doing my own thing. It was cool and breezy but a good day for walking!

When Hubs came home, he found me on the couch reading one of my new books and when I got up to give him his allowance I heard him snort laugh.

“What!?” I queried. Snort laughing is out of character for the man who has to be reminded that babies need to see expressive faces, not flat affect.

” I don’t think you’re going to be able to wear those pants again!” he snickered rudely.

These are MY favourite pants! I wear them most days of the week. I’ve had them for a few years now and I’m already mourning their loss because they are so comfy and worn in….Ohhhhhh.

My hand flies to the seat of my pants and the direction of his laughing eyes – I’ve split my favourite pants from top to bottom, right alongside the seam.

FUCK!

I don’t wear regular undies – my entire ASS is hanging out! HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN LIKE THIS!?

Surely I would have felt a breeze! It was cool and windy day! Surely it happened when I was doing sit ups and not bent over picking out books. Surely, I haven’t been walking around town like this ALL DAY!? Surely someone would have said something!? Surely, I would have noticed strange looks! Right? Right?!

Le sigh. I’ll never know. Check your pants, Peeps. Check your pants for wear and tear.

Beyond Meat. First Try.

I was so excited when my local grocery store started selling Beyond Meat burger patties. I’ve been slowly going “off” beef for the last little bit ( find it smells gross when it cooks) but still want to enjoy that meaty and umami taste us meat eaters love.

We paid 6.99 for two patties – on sale- and this is what we got:

They felt pretty fragile but I had no problems getting them into an oiled pan where I was instructed to cook them on each side for 4 mins a side on med-high heat.

Compared to a beef burger patty these gals are higher in calories than a beef patty (which is 204 calories per 100 grams.) These patties are 13 grams heavier, with an extra 66 calories. BUT I was eating them for my own anti yuck factor, not calorie count and it made no difference to me. The Beyond Meat burger also has 5 more grams of protein than an average beef patty but 226 (!!!!) more mg of sodium than a beef patty. So there’s that. It also has 0 grams of cholesterol.

They cooked up nicely even giving off “juice” in the process:

Here is the finished product:

A little dark but nothing major.

How was the taste? Good! ( I did have a photo of the inside of them in a burger bite but I accidently deleted it when I was clearing off photos whilst on a trip. Oooops. Sorry)

The patty had a great mouth feel. A good give in each bite and a soft interior with NO hard crunchy bits. They tasted smoky, like they’d been grilled. They tasted like MEAT, in my opinion. The Hubs said he liked them but wasn’t as enthusiastic as I was. ( Not many people are as enthusiastic as I am )

I’d eat them again. I’d choose them over a beef patty from the gorcery store for sure. But I do have concerns with the sodium levels so …not all the time and when I do the work and find grass fed, humanely raised, not smelly as it cooks, cattle to buy, I’d eat that instead.

I think they still have some work to do but for now, these are a good choice every once in awhile.

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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 … 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 πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜›

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 ❀

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! ❀ 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!

A Mother’s Reckoning.

Book:

A Mother’s Reckoning. Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold

Wow. Just Wow. First of all fair warning. If you have any kind of trauma injury this book may trigger you. There is absolutely nothing graphic in it but I found myself having to read it in bits and spurts because I was getting amped up. I bit off all my fingernails…I ate out half my pantry, ha ha! ( I still read it in 7 hours though! ) Also, I found myself with racing thoughts at bedtime and the anxiety brought up some well buried events from my childhood. So, take care. I regret nothing and think it was well worth it though because this book…oh this book!

I found great comfort in this book. I’m the mother of a child who has made some bad choices and I have felt all kinds of turbulant, complicated, gut wrenching emotions during the course of that experience. As Sue Kelbold struggles to make sense of why her child did what he did and what her own part was, she takes the reader along with her and imparts great wisdom derived both from her experience AND from experts she meets along the way. It all felt like a balm for my soul.

I was left feeling like there is no easy answer. Good, bad or indifferent. I was left feeling nothing but compassion for every human being who struggles, with anything. I just wanted to give the world a great big hug. We are all just babies really. Vulnerable to the scary and the unknown. And yet we keep trying! How amazing is that!? I felt like if this woman can live her life the way she did and have this happen in her family, then shitty things can happen to any of us regardless of our best intentions, knowledge, beliefs and actions. We can try our best, and our best might not be good enough. The perfectionist in me struggles with this but it is a stone cold fact! I find it comforting. I don’t want to stop trying my best but I think it gives me room to let myself off the hook for all the things I cant control, yet blame myself for!

There is a lot of grace and kindness amongst these a pages too. Sue Klebold is unflinching and sincere. She makes zero excuses and only seeks to understand. The bits of kindness she was shown in the wake of this tragedy and the kindness she showed others astounded me, and filled my heart to bursting.

We all like to think we’re impervious to things like this and when it happens to people boy oh boy do we like to play arm chair expert don’t we? ” Well, she mustn’t have been a good parent if her kid did something like!” we expound sitting on top of our very high -and very wobbly- horses. Until something like that does happens to US and then suddenly, we’re not so sure anymore. Of anything.

I relate to this deeply as the mother of a child with an addiction problem.

I relate to this deeply as the wife of a person with a brain illness.

I even relate to this deeply as the mother of a young mother!

Us humans love to judge and think we know better. It makes us feel safe in a world that is nothing but chaotic.

This was an excellent read. Very well written and put together. Sue Klebold is very human and very likable. There is great wisdom in this one. Well done! I highly recommend.