Sunday, January 20, 2019

SOMETHING NEW

Perhaps I complained a little too loudly about the cold weather last weekend...Old Man Winter has sent a reprimand - "You whining about the cold? I'll give you something to whine about!" We are getting us a real winter wallop; not only is it colder, it's snowier. So after shovelling out those extra 15 cm of snow in the driveway, I'm hunkered down in front of the fireplace with my hands wrapped around a Cinnamon Chai Tea.

I've been trying lots of different teas lately, thanks to a David's Tea gift box from Christmas. They are Something New for me.

Which got me musing about all the new things I discovered last year!

For example: I discovered new music and artists. The Bahamas with their easy summer sounding groove, Natalie Prass' "Short Court Style" which I dunno, I just find it fun. "Come for a Ride" by Divine Right - old song, but new to me. And Donovan Woods.  "Burn That Bridge" is over the top when it comes to building musical tension. 

I discovered new recipes too - chocolate meringues, Pasta with roasted squash and kale that I could every night for the rest of my life, and lots of great soups.

Of course, there were new adventures, new people and new pets who entered my life and touched my soul. 

All that to say, this year too, will hold New Things. The Thai Chicken Noodle soup I made last week is a keeper. And I have a stack of new books to read by my beside.
I pulled this book out of a boxful at my daughter's place. It is pushing near 100 years old since being published and chock full of fairy lore, mythology and classics like Tom Thumb, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. I'm enjoying this new read!

And of course, there will be new adventures ahead. Now adventures can be exciting but sometimes, not very comfortable. 

I happen to work in the healthcare field and well, looks like change is a coming (again) and I really don't know what the future holds regarding my job. My work family works hard, really hard, to support those in the community who are weak, ill and vulnerable, young and old alike. And the provincial government has determined there is likely a better way to spend the tax payer's money (again). This is old hat for us but there will be new processes and hierarchy put in place. 

This year, there will be lots of new things ahead for all of us. Some, like a good recipe or book or a new soul to connect with will make you wonder how you survived before. And some new adventures will be uncomfortable, even hard. 

I've rambled on long enough now, the snow has finally stopped and the real deep freeze is about to set in. Stay warm and safe everyone,  and try Something New.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

RECIPE FOR COMFY-COSY-CANADIAN-HEAT-SEEKER

The dog wants out. The dog wants in. And out, and in...and every time I open the door this whoosh of cold air streams in. Frigid, icy, take your breath away kind of cold. The arctic air is making the rounds here in Canada. 

I thank God above that the furnace is working. It faithfully starts up with a grumble almost every 10 minutes. Still, my house is cold and the outfit de jour is sweaters, blankets, fuzzy slippers and socks. 

I want Comfy! I want Cosy! I want Heat! 

To the kitchen I go, where the stove gives off that extra boost heat seekers desire.

Breakfast is oatmeal, hot and comforting with dried cherries and pecans. Kinsip, a locally made product of Maple syrup infused with whisky makes it extra special! This stuff will spoil you when it comes to maple syrup. If you find it - buy it.
It was supposed to be a Christmas gift but at the last minute I heard that L'oreal commercial in my head that said "You're worth it" and I said "You're right" and I kept it. 

Oatmeal was the energy starter I needed and I got crazy in the kitchen making soups to stock up the freezer.

I started with a squash/sweet potato soup.

Squash, sweet potato, apple a drizzle of Kinsip (worth it) and seasoning. 

All blended up and topped with roasted sesame seeds - Voila!

Hadn't planned on the next one, but after a visit to the market the crazy mushroom dude was feeling particularly generous and gave me a LOT of extra mushrooms. So I made a cauliflower soup with mushrooms.
Roasted cauliflower is a very pretty thang.

Then I made a Thai Chicken Noodle, another fab recipe from the fab Marcus, my friend's hubby who is a kitchen wiz with the best recipes.
This one is a bit spicy with coconut milk, spinach, mushrooms (I've got a lot of mushrooms right now), red pepper and noodles. 

Another beauty from Marcus - vegetarian Shepherd's Pie!

So, here's my for all you heat seeking Canadians: Sweaters, blankets, working furnaces, slippers, socks, oatmeal, time in the kitchen, season with Kinsip and throw in mushrooms. 

You will feel comfy-cosy in no time!




Sunday, January 6, 2019

IT'S POSSIBLE


There was a year when my daughter lived in Japan. I live in Canada, the other side of the world. And although the umbilical cord had been cut over 20 years earlier, the invisible one, the one that connects mother to child was and is, still intact. And it was stretched far too taunt for my liking. But I realized that if I really, REALLY needed to be with her, I could get on a plane and hold her in my arms within a day. 

Because it was possible. 

There are things we hope and dream for that seem impossible. But look again, try another view, consider the surprises and twists in life that you are not even aware of. Chances are those hope and dreams are indeed possible!

What if the worst happened? What if? Most of the huge mountains we perceive in our way are really only rather steep hills that may take the stuffing out of you in the process of climbing. But then you somehow make it to the top. You get a new perspective and take stock of your surroundings. Some things are lost, and unexpectedly some are gained. 

This coming year some of your impossible dreams can come true - So don't give up. Keep dreaming, keep hoping. 

It's Possible!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

CHEERS TO A GOOD YEAR


Can you believe it - we are at the end of 2018. Whoosh, that one went by fast! This time business: It drags along like slowly falling snowflakes, and suddenly in the blink of an eye they land, melt and disappear. Boom! Another year over. 

I'm sure you've noticed the massive amount of advice on the internet. Just flipping through Facebook I came across these gems: 
or how about:
and this next one is chock full of wisdom!

Most of us tend to take stock of what the heck just happened in 2018 and consider how to take on 2019 with new goals, energy and fortitude. 

For me, 2018 was a year filled with many blessings and believe me,  they did not go by unnoticed. 

So, here's a few hi-lites: 
Sheldon and I went right to the west coast. We visited Adrian and Carolyn and for the first time I saw Victoria BC. 

I had a few amazing new additions!
DandyLion and of course, the Little Prince Soren
I got to go camping not once but twice 
Swimming, loons, roasted marshmallows, canoeing galore!

Then there was time at the cottage with family and friends, lots of great food experiences and rounded up the year with Adrian coming home for Christmas. 

Did I have my share of frustrations and disappointments? Of course, but not many. 

So here we stand on the cusp of 2019. I wish you (and me) a year full of adventures, blessings and welcome additions. In the midst of storms I wish you (and me) safe havens and peace. The next year will likely hold its share of each. 

Cheers Everyone to a good year - the one behind us and the one ahead!




Sunday, December 23, 2018

MY CHRISTMAS WISH FOR YOU


It's Christmas Eve eve. Outside is dark with just a hint of snow falling. All is Calm. All is bright. 

This time of year can be a rollercoaster ride. You might be gripping the safety bar wishing the ride to end or maybe you have both hands full out up in the air hooting with delight. Laughter, tears, frustration, wonder, grief and joy, loneliness and fullness are all part of the ride.

Wherever you are at, my Christmas wish for you is Love, Joy and Peace. 
I wish you Love as you get together with family and friends.

I wish Joy. The simple joys that can be found throughout the holidays.

And I wish you Peace. 
The kind that settles your soul. That passes all understanding in the midst of it all. 

Shepherds sitting in a field putting in the night shift when an Angel showed up with a message from the God of LOVE: "Don't be afraid, I have JOYOUS news for you, for everyone! Today a baby has been born - Saviour of the earth!" Suddenly there is a sky full of Angels - (that must have been quite a sight). "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE to men."

Love - Joy - Peace - My Christmas Wish for you. 


Sunday, December 16, 2018

A HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS

Oh, by Golly have a Holly Jolly Christmas this year! 

Well, I'm certainly working on it! I spent the last week packing in the parties and celebrations almost daily! Tis the season to be Jolly, to be joyous, to celebrate with friends and family.

So let the Wild rumpus begin!

First off was a Fundraiser called "My Favourite Things" at the church, raising money supporting a local school.


The girls got together and bought tickets for prizes, raising over $1500.


There was great food to keep everyone's sustenance intact


My job was selling tickets, which I did in abundance. It was a late night by the time we finished cleaning up and I was a sleepy girl the next day at work. But that did not deter me from my next event!
I hung out at the local mall, selling doves and raising money for our local Hospice.

Another day of work and then off to event #3 - the Work Party. I've worked at the same business for over 20 years and this is the first time I've attended the annual Christmas Work Party. 
Now this place was hopping! Another jolly night of celebration and connections with those we rub shoulders with in the trenches. Our own Gizelle kept the place hopping with tunes.
This is Sarah, gettin' her groove on!
You Go Girl!

Gizelle had a few tricks up her sleeve, including awkward games. This is me - "Head Banging" with a Fitbit on my head, trying to get in as much steps as I could. 
Well....that's humiliating. I lost, by the way.....but I still have the stiff neck from that bit of business. 

I'm an introvert by nature. But It's Christmas time. A Joyous time. Time to get out there and celebrate with fellow humans who have their own ups and downs. 

Joy to the World! The Lord Has Come! Let Earth Receive Her King. Let Every Heart, Prepare Him Room" 

So Let Heaven and Nature Sing, Repeat the Sounding Joy and consider the Wonders of His Love!







Sunday, December 9, 2018

WHO WANTS A TREAT?

Just say the word "treat" and the dog's ears perk up. I suddenly have Lulu's full attention. 

She loves "treats". But let's face it, who doesn't? In slang vernacular, a treat means special treatment, be it in the form of a gift or food or entertainment. We "treat" ourselves or others to acknowledge, reward or just because. In Lulu's world a treat is a reward, not that she cares, she just wants the treat!

This weekend Randi came over with Prince Soren and we spent the day Christmas baking. 

What a treat for me! To spend the day in the kitchen with my daughter and grandson! And, as a special bonus, we had guests!

My own Mom dropped in to see what was cooking and of course love on Soren. Just look at this chubby little fingers and cheeks!

And some of our dearest friends who were in town from Kelowna also visited. Spending time with family and those we care about is a treat indeed.

Randi and I were busy whipping up the goodies in the kitchen.


We made a mocha cappuccino biscotti with chocolate and toasted pecans, perfect for dipping.

And a soft and chewy ginger molasses cookie, rolled in cinnamon sugar.  

Finally we made these super easy chocolate mint cookies, sprinkled with crushed candy canes.
There is still more to do but we ran out of steam and time!

But Christmas baking is well underway. I hope you take some time to enjoy the season ahead with special moments - so Who Wants A Treat?