Thursday, October 17, 2013
Not a word of a lie, two red squirrels just snuck into the house. Widdershins is all puffy-tailed and there is scampering in the walls.
The last time it rained this hard, cubits were involved.
But I'm not too upset. My cup is full. So is my well. Really full. I've never seen a well actually overflow until today. Even the spirit road ( the road that leads from the church to the graveyard) is one big puddle. I hope the ghosts all have their booooots on!
It's kind of nice. After a few weeks of not doing laundry, flushing only when necessary and washing in a few inches of water it's actually more than nice. Tonight I will soak in a deep bath and then crawl into clean sheets. ( fresh, still warm from the dryer flannel sheets make me very happy).
If you're from the city and your water never runs out, take a minute to be thankful to whichever Deity you venerate. If, like me, you know what water scarcity is, take a minute to be thankful to whichever Deity you venerate, as well.
I know how finite the precious gift of water is.
Today I am a rich person. I have abundant water, a puffy tailed kitty, an awaiting bubble bath and a cozy clean bed.
What makes you rich?
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Over the past few weeks, I've been ticking off some of my neighbors. On Purpose. With Good and valid reason.
I have a lovely old summer home. Emphasis on OLD. Built in 1847, the house had an addition put on. In 1897. It had a porch put on. In 1963. According to one lady, the previous owners rebuilt the porch three times in the past 15 years.
According to me, they may have replaced a few boards, but they never dealt with the underlying issues. The support beams had six inches of air beneath them. They had rotted away because they were not pressure treated and placed on bare ground. The foundations were done poorly. No matter what I did to make it "pretty" ( which is what the previous owners did, literally painting the rotting wood.) it would still be dangerous.
The hospital is a long way away. An accident here could do me in. It could be five days before I was missed.
So I tore off the "Lovely" gazebo, removed more than half of the porch and am waiting for the builder to come and help me do it right; with cement footings and pressure treated wood.
But the neighbors are ticked. I've "ruined" the porch by taking it down. They only saw the effect; they didn't see the substance. Or the danger of keeping it "just the way it was" for the past 50 years."
Life can be a lot like my porch. It can look all prettified on the outside whilst having rot underneath. Sometimes you just have to crawl underneath, examine the issues and make that difficult decision to make serious changes. Its hard. It's painful. Sometimes it seems too costly, too much effort...and what will other people think?
When It's all done, the neighbors don't matter. They will eventually forget the way it was and admire the way it will be. I will be safer.
No one else knows what's under your skin, Only you do. Examine it and repair as needed.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Jane Austin Cookbook... The Baker Street Cookbook... Recipes from the Bible...Beatrix Potter Cookbook, even the Cookbook of Narnia. I have them all.
One way that authors get us to connect with people in stories is to describe what they are eating. Food evokes powerful emotions. It lets you know that you are experiencing a different time: a different place.
Today I spent the day listening to an audio book while doing yard work. My imagination was in Egypt, solving a murder with Amelia and Emerson, though my body was working outside on a crisp, autumn, east coast day.
You know how people who watch TV see a commercial and crave what's being shown? I'm like that with books. If there is a meal described, I have to create it. Amelia mentioned Lentils. Lentils it is! I checked out the spark people recipe site and found a recipe for M'Dardara, doubled the cumin, added my own Gulf Arabic spice blend ( I like spice) and served it with Pita.
Do you ever cook what you read? I recommend it as a way to bring a little fun and variety into your mealtime routine. As-salam alaykum.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
My spark coach task for today is to share my personal choices for food on the run. There are times in all of our lives when we just don't feel that we have even ten minutes or more to eat. For many people, this is the excuse they use for the evil bell or the golden arch . When I'm in the boonies, fast food isn't an option. When I'm in the city, it isn't a wise choice. In less time than it takes to wait in line at one of those places, here's my grab and go list.
Peanut butter and banana sandwich and a swig of almond or soy milk. ( I live alone most of the time. I'll drink from the bottle if I want to! :)
An apple and a hunk of cheese or a yogurt with a mini whole wheat pita bread.
Left over anything. I plan to have leftovers in my fridge. Make a quiche one day and have two days off from cooking. Baked Beans, Spaghetti Squash,( just dump a half cup of prepared sauce over it and nuke), and another swig of milk.
Baked beans, nuked and whole wheat toast. A glass of soy-milk. Not for before long car rides.
Snow peas from the bag. Carrots from the bin. Raspberries from the box. Salad with no dressing from the bag. A small handful of sunflower seeds. A swig of milk. It's not a whole meal, but it tides me over until I have more time.
Eggs, scrambled. Natures fast food. With a piece of whole grain toast. A chug of milk. Grab an apple for "afters".
Mix one tin of creamed corn with one tin of skim milk and nuke for two servings of quick corn soup.
Nuked Edamame beans and an orange and who the heck drank all the milk?!?
These are some of the things I do when I'm rushed.
All that said, if you find yourself SO rushed that you can't bake one day a week, properly plan your groceries, or eat a decent meal at least three times a week, it's time to re-think your life and make Yourself a priority.
My mum said " All this rushing around isn't going to make people say nicer things at your funeral."
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Anyone who has kids or dogs knows how important rules are. Both kids and dogs love rules. They want to know that they are doing it right. Rules make them feel safe. Rules let them know what to expect. Rules allow them to feel a sense of accomplishment. It is hard-wired into us.
At 51 and retired, with no one at home to "set an example for", no boss to impress and no friends that I need to conform to, I am truly FREE of rules. So what do I do?
I set odd little arbitrary rules.
Those of you who know me already know my "Buffy" rule. I never watched Buffy when it came out because I don't have TV but I got the DVD's. I can ONLY watch Buffy if I'm on my Gazelle, working out. That's my rule.
A few days back I made another rule. When I check into spark coach, I have to march vigorously in place during the video portion. That means I get a mini 3-4 minute blood pumping workout at the start of the day. It kind of sets the mood for what I want to accomplish; Plus I get lessons from people who are hero's to me.
I have a rule about making my bed before I get dressed each day, a rule about cleaning a room in my house ( usually the kitchen) before doing any craft like sewing, a rule about doing 10 minutes of exercise every day, a rule about not drinking cognac from a mug. ( I did that once. Trust me. Make this a rule in your life too!!)
Today I need to make a new rule about putting on a sports bra before coming down and turning on my computer. ( see sparkpeople video rule!)
All of these silly little rules add up. They make my day to day life better. They make my house cleaner, my body healthier, my mind clearer and my days more structured.
No one has to punish me for not doing these things. There is no rolled up newspaper bapping me on the nose and no pouty time out corner. But there are privileges revoked. The privilege of knowing that I'm doing what is best for me. The privilege of walking into a clean room. Even the privilege of sipping Remy's from a fine crystal tulip glass.
The privilege of being the boss of ME.
What arbitrary rules do you make for yourself? Do you think they make your life better or do they feel like a chore?
I am grateful to have so many choices and the freedom to set my own rules.
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