Am I Complaining?

What-luck-MeansI’m generally a pretty easy-going person.  I try not to let the small stuff get to me, and as a rule I’m known as the girl who’s always smiling.  Sometimes the smile isn’t as genuine as I’d like it to be, but it’s up there, plastered on my face just the same… a less-than-heartfelt smile often beats having to explain to people that I’m not angry; it’s not my fault my resting face is misery personified.  Can’t help it!

These days, I’m just frustrated.  There’s no sugar coating it – I’m at my wit’s end.  Being a renter has it’s ups and downs, and as much as I would love to have my own forever home, it’s just not in the cards right now.  And however badly I want to stay where I am now, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain civil to landlords who constantly push the limits.  I want out.  Today.  Right now.

I have a problem.  Well… problems.  First, it seems I must have been someone really horrible in one of my past lives, because Karma seems to have it in for me in the worst way.  I’m not a complainer normally – it’s just that it’s hard not to feel sorry for yourself once in a while when absolutely nothing seems to be going your way.  It’s not that I want to have my cake and eat it too (although honestly, who doesn’t??)… I would just like to taste a few measly crumbs every once in a while.

House hunting in a renter’s market.  Sounds pretty simple right?  There are always houses going up for rent, all over the place.  Except where I live!  Sure, things come up – I see them… I don’t want them.  I wouldn’t say I’m ‘picky’ per say.  But we do have some criteria which may be bent a little, but not completely broken.  It has to be a full house – it has to be detached – it has to allow pets – it has to be within a certain budget – and it has to be in one of two towns.  I guess that’s asking too much.

They are so far and few between, that the last few that HAVE come up have been snatched up before I can even get a viewing.  And the ones that aren’t taken, I don’t want!  I need a touch of fairy dust, or a wave of my imaginary fairy godmother’s wand… a little bippity-boppity-boo or abracadabra… and I need it soon, or I’m afraid my miserable resting face might become a perma-fixture, and my well of optimism might start to run dry.   Sigh.

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Mother

I lay here in the quiet in the darkThe light of the full moon dancing on my skin

She keeps me safe as a mother does her child

A constant yet ever-changing love 

She watches over me, from her place among the stars 

A moment

I sit alone, under the shade of the old maple as the breeze gently sings through the boughs, the leaves dancing in perfect synchrony. Solitude in this moment is not lonely, but rather cherished…I am never truly alone. I hear the whisper of the air moving around me, calling my name in a language long ago forgotten. I feel the energy languidly flowing from the ground beneath me, into every cell of my being. A butterfly flutters by, wings as soft as a secret. And for a moment, all is right.  

Simon Says

Just thought I’d take a quick moment to revisit some previous thoughts that have probably already made their way into one or more of my posts…it’s been a while, so I can’t remember.  Yeah, my memory isn’t great.

Facebook “memories”.  You know what I’m talking about…those random things that pop up almost every day, showing you what you were doing this day years past.  Well today one popped up of a video I shared July 13th of last year, and as I watched it again it was like I was seeing it for the first time.  A young woman who has all but eliminated all of her trash… what she’s collected in garbage over a two year period easily fit in a small mason jar, with lots of room to spare (Trash is for Tossers).  All by making some rather simple life style changes, and better, greener choices, she’s doing what all of us should be doing.  But we are lemmings…followers of the crowds…zombies of marketing ploys.  Our society is surrounded by conveniences that have turned us all into lazy, complacent, apathetic drones.

So much talk about saving the planet, and yet nobody really wants to do shit about it… or we say we WANT to, but then we don’t DO anything.  We generate so much hot air with our empty chatter, we could probably melt the ice caps!

I want to start doing something about it.  I already recycle, but not nearly as much as I would like to.  I start projects I never finish – I get passionate about causes I never pursue – I’m a hypocrite, and I’m tired.  I can’t save the planet on my own, but I can do my part.  There are so many EASY ways we can all just do our own part… I’m done being lazy about it.  I’m done doing what the media keeps cramming into my head at every turn.  I’m going to follow through.  I’m going to pursue those causes, and finish those projects, and create new ones!

Step one will be the hardest part… ridding my home and my life of all that is unnecessary to it, and doing it in such a way that will send the least amount of it to a landfill.  Step two might be just as difficult…if not more so.  Getting my husband and teenage daughter on board with me.  I’ve tried before, and failed miserably.  It’s not easy to follow a dream when you’re doing it alone.  But we all live in this house together, and it’s time I put my foot down about something  –  something that means so much to me that they should see and understand that this is not a silly whim.  This is a matter that should be serious and important to every single person on this planet.

I’m going to do my part.  Will you do yours?

How Green are my Thumbs?

Back in the Fall, I stated collecting things around the house that I planned to use to start my garden seedlings this Spring.  Empty toilet paper rolls, muffin trays, egg shells, etc.  Well today was the day – a beautiful sunny day; if a little bit on the chilly side; and a few hours of afternoon to kill.

So armed with a bag of organic soil and my stash of seeds, I went at it.  I’ve still got a lot to plant because somehow my 4 trays of egg shells have disappeared!

I feel good about reusing things that would normally have ended up in landfill or some recycling plant somewhere.  I know recycling is good – but in my mind, UPcycling is better.  Finding new ways to reuse something – sometimes a few times over – before it uses up precious energy to get reprocessed into something else…well it just gives me the warm and fuzzies, knowing that I’m doing my part!  (I also used up the rest of the little biodegradable starter planters we had in the garage)

Now…I had big plans to start this big sprawling garden this year.  But sometimes life has a way of just throwing you curve balls.  A few weeks ago, my landlord suddenly decided he wants to sell the farm.  Yay.  So my big sprawling garden is now going to be started in containers that we can bring with us to our new home (which I’m not so secretly hoping will happen by June 1st!)

It’s in town…sigh…I’m going to miss the quiet of the country.  The peaceful absence of man-made noise.  But I’m excited at the same time – turning a new leaf in this book called life, and I’m excited at the prospect of attempting urban homesteading (on a small scale).  Change is good!🙂  And this place might give us the opportunity we need to save up for a down payment on our own place!

…now since it’s my first time in a LONG time attempting any kind of vegetable gardening, I’m not entirely sure how green my thumbs are.  S0 here’s hoping these little seeds all pop!!!!🙂

New Beginnings

With the end of another year upon us again (already!), and the beginning of a brand new one peaking around the bend, many of us are looking back on what we’ve accomplished; or in many cases, NOT accomplished;…with disappointment and regret…and what we hope to accomplish in the next twelve months.

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I don’t really understand why we all feel the need to wait until January 1st – but I suppose we see it as a fresh start of sorts; just like when we decide to start a new diet on Mondays.  So I’m just going to go with it – such is life.  Some traditions, however silly, are here to stay.

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A large part of becoming a homesteader, for me (and this is only my personal opinion – you don’t have to agree with me!), is attaining my own personal best when it comes to health.  There are so many issues running in my family, and I know that if any of those are passed down to me, I will have many difficulties in operating a successful homestead. I do not want diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol getting in the way of my dreams.  I don’t want osteoporosis or arthritis preventing me from working the land.  And I certainly don’t want weight problems stopping me from enjoying every single minute of it.

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Yes, weight tends to be the number one resolution on January 1st…or rather, the LOSING of.  And yes, I’ve made that same resolution myself, time and time again, with varying degrees of success, or lack thereof.  I’m not able to guarantee myself a different outcome this time around, but I can guarantee to give myself 100% effort.

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At 36 years old, I realize that these things will become increasingly more difficult, but I’ve never been one to shrink in front of a challenge.  Weight isn’t the only thing I’ll be looking at this year, but rather, overall health.  I want to concentrate on changing the things we put in our bodies – this means changing the way we shop for groceries, and pulling out all the stops when it comes to curbing bad habits (like grabbing this and that on the go!).  I’m going to be putting a lot of emphasis on clean, organic foods.  Whole foods.  Eating the way Mother Nature intended us to, without eliminating an ounce of flavor.  Yes, another challenge, I know.

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I’m also going to concentrate on every other aspect of health… from eyes and teeth, to skin and bones.  The number on the scale is important to me, I’m not going to lie.  But feeling good on the inside is just as important.  And the INSIDE, also means my head.  I’ve had a lot going on lately, and life hasn’t exactly been great in the happiness department.  And my optimal Health Plan will definitely include this.  So from head to toe on the outside, AND on the inside.  I realize this is quite an ambition, but I think ….no, I KNOW I’m up for the challenge!!!

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I will get healthy, so that I can give myself the best possible chance to succeed and reach my dreams and my goals of this dream life of mine!  I will!  I read in someone’s blog, that we need to “manifest” what we want to achieve.  So this is what I choose to manifest.  Optimal Health.

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What do YOU choose for  yourself for 2016???

A Little R & R…and a Glass of Wine

On a recent much needed visit with my best friend, we decided to keep with tradition and pop into our old haunt…a little courtyard plaza; aptly named “The Courtyard”; that’s reminiscent of a Medieval country village, with board and batten white wash and dark beams, high steep roof peaks, and of course, a courtyard in the centre of it all. In this place is housed a quaint little tea house, and our favorite occult shop, Odyssey.  I had a three year old gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket…actually, it was buried in old emails and it took me about 15 minutes to find it.  But o wanted to see what goodies I could find.

Not my photo – borrowing from Google

  

A couple bumper stickers that stay true to my tree-hugger personality…my very first wand (finally!), a new 2016 Witches calendar …and the piece de resistance: I laid my eyes on Llewellyn’s 2016 Herbal Almanac, and I just had to have it!  Small enough to fit in my handbag, but filled with so much information that it could very easily become my bible!  

In planning my garden for the Spring, a large part of that consists of herbs – for the kitchen, for healing, and for magic.  Only a few pages in, and I’m already hooked!  I’m already dreaming about cultivating barley and looking up where I can buy an old-fashioned flour mill!

  
So tonight, this entry is short, and possibly not as well written or thought out as others…because truthfully, all I want to do is strip off my clothes and climb into bed with a glass of my favorite wine, and enjoy a little R & R by immersing myself in pages that will quickly become worn and dog-eared. 

Sleep sweet everyone.  Bright blessings!

Something’s Missing…

I understand; although I don’t particularly like it;  that it seems to be accepted as the norm that as we grow older, we tend to lose some of the magic and joy the holidays bring us as children.  I’ve been disillusioned by choice for many years, believing that because I had a child, I should be entitled to these feelings.  This was a false entitlement apparently.  And through the past years, my Christmas spirit has rapidly dwindled to the point that this year, I have nothing left at all.  No joy of the season, no anticipation, no anything.  All I feel this year, is complete and utter indifference for the day that’s so quickly approaching.  Indifference, and dread.  And sadness.  I want to feel happy!  I want to be excited for the gatherings and festivities!  I just can’t seem to muster up enough energy to really care!  And I don’t know if I really should be sad, or if I should be afraid.  Is this a product of the continued and grossly increased commercialization of this once sacred time of year?  Or is it rather a product of my own lack of …I don’t even know WHAT it would be a lack of to be honest!  I just keep thinking, there must be something wrong with me!  But then I’ve heard the same sentiment come out of so many mouths around me this year…enough to make me believe that this is not really ‘abnormal’, per-se… but maybe some sort of epidemic!!!

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We can call it Bah-Humbug-Bug…or Scrooge Fever…or Grinch Flu… whatever it is, it seems it’s a wide-spread plague that’s attacked millions of us across the world.  We need a cure… I need a cure!  I want to see sugar plums dancing in my head again, surrounded by fairy dust and jingle bells!   I want to get excited by the thought of twinkling lights on a Christmas tree, and the smell of pine throughout the house, and hot cocoa on Christmas morning!  But it seems everywhere we turn, all we see is “SALE! SALE! SALE!”… I turn on the radio and hear “♪♫ For everything under the tree, there’s Sears ♫♪”, and about a million other commercials.  I don’t even WANT anything wrapped under the tree this year… all I want for Christmas, is the spirit that’s been slowly disappearing and has now completely vanished.  Will someone point me in the right direction???

Ups and Downs

I’ve been sort of MIA for the past 10 days – been trapped, so to speak, inside my own mind.  I get into these funks once in a while…they kind of creep up on me without my knowledge or permission and pounce when I least expect it.  Since I’m normally the happiest and perkiest and most positive person I know (my friends will attest!), this is extra frustrating for me and those around me.  They don’t know how to handle it, because it’s just ‘so not me’…what they don’t know is that in my teens and early 20’s, I was constantly plagued with long bouts of extreme depression…and now once in a blue moon, the sleeping snake rears its ugly head again.  I’m just glad I’ve developed the ability to charm it rather quickly into submission.  I much prefer to be happy.

So I’m pretty sure I’m back, although I feel like there’s so many emotions inside of me right now that I’m going to explode… Extensive amounts of soul searching are required, but otherwise, life is as it was, if not exactly as it should be.

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I knew I was back when my excitement started growing again when thinking of my dreams – I’m smiling again, and not only on the outside.  Tomorrow I will be putting in an early vacation request to my boss, so that I can start planning our first trip out to PEI – I’m making a family affair out of it, but my main focus while out there will be to explore the island and become familiar with the land…and possibly sneaking away once or twice to ‘peruse’ the availability of vacant land.  It’s all find and dandy to pour over  realtor sites for hours on end looking for land for sale…but when there’s no money just yet, and nothing is really set in stone, that remains pretty much an “up in the air” kind of dream.  I want my feet on PEI soil – I want to breath the salty air, and let the red dirt fall through my fingers.

The plan is for early to mid-July 2016…still seems like a long ways away, but if the pattern of time elapsing stays on track; it seems every year goes faster than the last; then July will be here before we know it!  Just thinking about it makes my heart smile!  Now THIS is a feeling I can hold on to!

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Traditionally Traditional

As far back as I can remember, Christmas time filled the house with the scents of holiday baking – cookies, squares and loaves of all sorts, my grandmother’s famous (at least in our family) sugar pie, tourtière; a fabulously traditional French Canadian specialty; Christmas ‘Ragout’; another wonderful French dish made with the tender meat from pig’s feet, and succulent meat balls, in a deliciously rich gravy sauce; sucre à la crème; a delectable sweet treat reminiscent to maple fudge, but even better!   …Oh, and my absolute favorite, Almond Florentine…super simple, yet addictive bars made with graham crackers, slivered almonds, butter and brown sugar.

My grandmother can no longer see, and so the tradition has passed down to my mother in the past years…but I believe it’s about time to take it on in my own household!  My cousin yesterday, mentioned he would start the tradition this year, and he has inspired me to do the same.

Not only will they make my home smell of my childhood – but perhaps they might entice the elusive Spirit of Christmas to find me once again.

I do believe that with very limited funds this year, and an unconditional love between my apron and I, I may bestow the fruit of my labor as Christmas presents to family and friends.  There isn’t anything in the world like a present made with one’s own hands, that truly comes from the heart.  

Also, in years to come (because I’m really running short on time this year), I may be able to turn my love of the wooden spoon into something of a little side ‘job’ during the holidays – in today’s busy world, many people would love to have the goodness of home baked goods, without the floury mess and hours in the kitchen!  A little bit of enterprising imagination may just work wonderfully for a homesteader-in-training!