Monday, December 26, 2016

Gratitude Monday - The Christmas Asparagus Edition

We had Christmas Dinner last night with Mike's mom and sister. That alone is something for which to be grateful and I am.
But among the foods on offer was my MIL's pickled asparagus. I don't recall ever having tried pickled asparagus anywhere and I've always been curious.
My goodness it's good.
This was her own asparagus grown in her garden and picked and pickled at its peak.
I liked it so much that she gave us the jar to take home.
I have pickled asparagus in my refrigerator, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Turned Me Loose Edition, A Cancer, My Ass! Post

Last Thursday I saw my cancer surgeon for the last time.
It wasn't going to be the final visit as I still have two more Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) tests coming up, but he said he didn't need to see me any more.
I'm that healthy, and I am grateful.
All the tests, last year's colonsocopy, the CT scan in late August, all the CEAs done every three months, have all been good.
The CEAs are to go on for three years. I don't hit that mark until next July.
I'll still get the last two tests. It's matter of going up to the hospital and getting a bit of blood taken. The results will go to him as well as to my family doctor. He suggested I follow up with her, but admitted it wasn't really necessary.
If there are any problems his office will call me.
I do not expect to hear from him until my next colonsocopy in the summer of 2018.
Oh, and Cancer, My Ass!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Let Them Love You Edition

It has happened during my daily meditation/self-hypnosis hybrid that I get messages. They flow into mind from whomever and serve me well. I am grateful for all of them.
The most recent message was, "Let them love you."
It took me a few minutes to figure out what this meant. I realized the intent is general, that is, let people be kind to you, accept their help when offered even for the simplest things such as holding the door for you.
Further, lose the need to keep matters even. If a person wished to extend kindness, then show them enough respect to let it happen without worrying you owe them something.
All you owe is the gracious acceptance of their kindness toward you.
I have kept this in mind and accepted kindness when offered.
It is a great lesson, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gratitude Monday - In Hot Water Edition

Today I am grateful for the simple pleasure of a hot bath.

They are wonderful all through the year, but in cold weather they are especially inviting. I can slip down into the tub and be surrounded by the welcoming heat. They make my feet feel warm.
They are relaxing. In them the cares and woes of the day surrender to the soothing water.
Also, I've had some good writing ideas and plot problem solutions come to me while in the tub and those are always welcome.

Several other things to be grateful for come along with the bath: hot water from a tap, a bathtub in a warm room, and time to enjoy the bath.

It is a simple thing. It gives back so much and for it I am grateful.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Apple Pie Order Edition

I'd been thinking of apple pie. This led me to the logical consequence: I baked one.
I am grateful for a number of things involved in this including Robin Hood Gluten Free Flour. It makes the best pie crust ever.
I am grateful my husband brought home some apples, and I am grateful I know how to bake pie.
We still have some cake around so the pie will go in the freezer for a few days. That's fine because just having it around and available will do for now.
In a few days the pie will be all the better.
Here is said pie:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Simmering Pot of Welcome Edition

Yesterday afternoon we came back from a movie to a pot of turkey soup simmering on the stove.
There's something about the fragrance and warmth of soup on a cold day that makes a person feel welcome, and for that feeling I am grateful.

Granted, this may sound a bit odd as I made the soup and I walked into my own house. But the feeling overwhelmed me. This was home. It was warm and welcome and inviting.
I am not sure this is the kind of things we usually feel when we walk in our own door.
It was an eye opener, and a heart opener, and it was wonderful.

If you've never felt this way about your own home, or never realized that you do, then I strongly recommend taking a moment the next time you walk through your own door to check how you feel.
To be clear I am not speaking of how good it feels to get home after a long, hard day at work, or coming home from the hospital, or a long flight.
I'm asking you to notice how it feels after walking the dog or taking out the garbage, or any other routine activity.
Feel the gratitude of being in your place in the world and if there's a simmering pot of welcome on the stove when you get there, even better.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Adjustment Edition

I am very grateful for chiropractors. We have four in town. Over the years I have been to all of them and I can say they are all good.
I am grateful for that, too.

I'm currently grateful because just over two weeks ago I had a midnight hairball attack. I coughed so hard I pulled muscles in my back, sides, and stomach/diaphragm.

There's not a lot one can do when muscles are pulled. Mostly they need rest. These are core muscles, they are used for everything. It's not so easy to rest them.
As part of the fun I also managed to mess up my back and that meant a visit to the chiropractor.
I won't lie: it hurt like hell.
I won't lie again: it sure helped.

One visit wasn't enough. I had to go again on Saturday morning. This visit also hurt, but I am grateful I went because I can move better for it.
In fact, my back feels pretty good.
Stomach and sides are coming along slowly, but I know I'll be fine soon.
If there had been no chiropractor I'd be faring much worse.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Thanks, Obama Edition

I am grateful the US has had such a good president for the past eight years.
Barack Obama has governed with dignity, grace, respect, a strong mind, and a warm heart.
His presidency has been without scandal while he has been the target of hatred, racism, and blocking from republicans.
He rose above it all and set a very high standard.
What happens tomorrow is up to the American voting public.  It's their business, not mine, but their decision will be heard around the world.
We can only wait and see, but for right now, thank you, Mr. President.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Photo-Finish Friday --Displeased Baboon Edition

This baboon is displeased with tourist shenanigans.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Bend and Stretch Edition

I am grateful I was able to get this pic.
I am sure the giraffe was equally grateful to have found something green to eat as Africa is in the fifth year of a drought.

Please click to enlarge.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Warthog Dreams Edition

The warthog in repose

I got to pet a warthog at the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland.
Each night four warthogs came to the campfire at the sanctuary and bedded down for the night. They were so used to humans they could be petted.
I did.
It was a dream come true, and for it I am grateful.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Photo-Finish Friday -- Family

Baby elephant and mama in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Please click to enlarge.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Gratitude Monday --My First Rhinos Edition

The first rhinos we spotted on our game drive was this pair, mother and baby white rhinos foraging for breakfast in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. The bird on the young rhino's back is an oxpecker.
They were peacefully grazing as we went by.
It was a magnificent moment. One of many.
For it and all the others I am grateful.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Out Of Africa Edition

We arrived home late yesterday afternoon from South Africa.
I am grateful to have taken such a magnificent trip. I am grateful all went well, that my fellow travelers on the tour all got along and were so enthusiastic that every one of them signed up for all the optional excursions.
This is our seventh tour through Explore. This is the first time everybody went all in on everything, and that's something to be grateful for.
Good people, a top tour company that hires the best local guides, and a great deal of good fortune in seeing all that we saw.
I'll write more about that later when I've got the pictures ready, but for now we were there and we are home and I am grateful for every minute of it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- This Really Rocks Edition

I have learned what some of my rocks and crystals do and for it I am grateful.
Recently I got a free ebook published by Hay House: Crystals: How to Use Crystals and Their Energy to Enhance Your Life, by Judy Hall (Hay House Basics, 2015) and learned a great deal.
It made me get up, collect every rock I had, and set them outside in the rain to cleanse.
After they dried I put most of them away to rest. They'd been out for years collecting energy and not getting my proper attention.
Among the few I left out is a large single point clear quartz that came to me more than 20 years ago.
I found it in the gutter one day. It glistened in the late morning sun. It had two lengths of yarn wrapped around it, one light blue, the other a pinkish purple. Logically, someone had been wearing it.
The Mountaineer had a lost and found in those days so I left it at the front desk and went to my cubicle.
After a week no one claimed it.
I didn't want it so I  took it across the street to where my inlaws had an alternative therapy clinic and my husband ran a health food store. My MIL put it in a glass carrier with some other crystals, most of them quartz.
It stayed there about two months. Eventually she convinced me that the crystal wanted me so I took it.
Over the years I used it from time to time and often took it in my suitcase when we travelled, but at no point did I even ask it what it could do for me.
I have channeled a rocks consciousness in the past, but it seemed like an effort and I got away from it.
Through the book I learned how to ask.
This quartz is a memory crystal. It showed me a series of images from my life. Most of these were scenes from when I was very young though some were from my teens. It went beyond seeing. I relived them, felt what I felt at the moment it happened.
It was wonderful.
I am grateful for it and am looking forward to what else it, and the others show me.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gratitude Monday -Preparing For Change Edition

The seasons are changing and for it I am grateful. The differences make for obvious markers as time continues along its path.
Fall is a few days away and the leaves are getting ready to go out in a blaze of colour.
If one must change, then do so with style.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Gratitude Monday --General Good Edition

On Saturday we slept in until a bit after 8 a.m.  It's good to do that now and again and I am grateful we had the chance to do it.

We have an abundance of homegrown tomatoes courtesy my in-laws. They are tasty, and that is good. They can go into so many things and lately, they have: corn and tomato salads often with zucchini, too; a potato and tomato casserole; something similar but with zucchini  rather than spud; an egg, cheese, and bread casserole from a batch of bread that did not work out; lazy cabbage rolls that took care of a bit of leftover meatloaf; tomato soup; and the most magnificent Greek salads of the year.

The cooler, overcast weather is not good for farmers, but for writers like me it's not so bad. It has helped me think about my current WIP. It's off in a new direction from the original, and that's good, too.

Life is good. Sometimes the good is obvious. Other times one need only look at a different angle to find it.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Gratitude Monday -Not Labouring Today Edition

Today I am very grateful that my husband and so many other workers have the day off.

I am grateful for the people who fought for the five day week, lunch hours and coffee breaks, holidays, safe working conditions, fair wages, and everything else we take for granted now when we go to work.

I benefit today, as do so many others. I am grateful for it and I hope we never lose sight of how we got here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gratitude Monday--Many Things Edition

I am grateful for many things: big, little, middling, immeasurable.
Late last week the weather forced the cancellation of a planned camping trip with friends. It was disappointing, but we've had so much rain that our basement flooding. Even though it stopped raining Friday the ground was saturated, the water table rose, and water percolated up into the basement.
Being home gave my husband the time and opportunity to vacuuming the water every few hours.
For that I am grateful.

We spent Saturday trying out a new bakery in a nearby town and then on to a restaurant in a different town. Both were good and I am grateful for the chance.

I'd bought a sirloin tip roast to do over the campfire. Instead I got to roast it yesterday. We'll have several meals from it and that's really good. It'll mean less to think about while I process the abundance of vegetables we have received from my husband's family. I am grateful for the bounty and the time.

I'd been craving apple pie and my husband brought home apples from the trees in his orchard at his mother's place. I decided to try the new formula Robin Hood gf flour, but added a few things of my own including a tablespoon of psyllium fibre. It was a good call and it made a fine pie crust. In fact, it is the best pie crust I have ever made. I am grateful for all of it.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Garden Goodness Edition

I have plenty of vegetables to deal with and for them I am grateful.
Yesterday I picked beans and got enough to warrant freezing them. I picked and froze cilantro, and then collected thyme and oregano, both of which are now drying.
Then my husband came home from visiting his parents. He brought zucchini which needs to be dealt with soon, carrots, beets, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes in red and yellow, several cucumbers, and many, many onions.
Today will be spent preparing and freezing most of the above.
It's going to be a great day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Up To It Edition

I am so grateful that I get to go hiking in the mountains pretty much whenever I want. My husband and I have gone out at least a dozen times since mid-April and each one has been wonderful.
We've often gone on hikes along the David Thompson Highway, that's the road that links Rocky Mountain House to the Banff National Park gate. We've got great hikes in Clearwater County and I am beside myself to live here.
We've also gone into Banff or Jasper Park for hikes. I am tickled even sillier to live so close to these magnificent mountain gems.
On Saturday we went to Banff Park and did most of a hike that goes to an old, abandoned forestry lookout on Mt. Sarbach.
It was hot and humid. I was in a plodding along in a steep pitch, that is, walk 10 feet and rest for 30 seconds or so. Mike went on ahead to scout the trail for us.
When he came back down we decided we'd done enough and turned back.
I am grateful I got as far as I did, grateful we turned back when we did, and so very, very grateful that with each hike I go farther up the trails than I ever have, that I have what feels like boundless energy to do it, and that we have the time to go out for drives and hikes in the Rockies.

Here's a pic looking south from somewhere high up on the trail.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- It's All About You Edition

Thanks, all.

I really appreciate my readers. I am grateful you stop by to read me, and to those who leave comments, I thank you.

It's good for the heart, and the ego, to know that I am read. Agreeing with me is great. So is disagreeing with me.
I am glad either way.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How I Spent My 2nd Cancerversary

Over the last few days I've observed my second cancerversary.  That is, I noted in passing the surgery day and then over the long weekend I noted the day I got home from said surgery.
I feel really good. I've been exercising and owe a large debt of gratitude to doing squats. Mountain hiking is easier now that I do them.
Yesterday we accidentally did part of a hike called Tuff Puff. We meant to do a ridge walk nearby, but found ourselves on the Kinglet Lake trail which is also the start of Tuff Puff.  We decided to go ahead and see how it went as it was a totally new hike to us.
Partway up we looked across to our favourite hike. We thought we went high on that one, but this new one took us at least twice as high and we only went partway on it.
I had to stop and rest here and there due to the steep pitches. Every time it looked like we'd reached the top we were wrong.
We went as far as the of the Kinglet Lake/Tuff Puff intersection and then a bit farther along the Tuff Puff hike, just because.
I am amazed I did this. I won't say I can't believe it because as soon as you take that mindset the thing you can't believe happened gets taken away. I refuse to have mountain hiking removed from my life.
I've gone on many hikes in the West Country over the years and always enjoyed them, but never gotten this far.
While I credit exercise I also credit not having cancer. My body feels lighter and has more energy.
It really is the preferred option.
Here are a few pics of me on the hike, and cancer, my ass!

Hopping right along. The silvery band in the middle distance is the North Saskatchewan River.

In an alpine meadow near where we turned around.

Squinting to take a photo near the Kinglet Lake/Tuff Puff  intersection.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- The Real Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition

It's the best time of the year, food wise.
Blueberries and cherries are ripe and commercially available all around us for a reasonable price and for it I am grateful.
But the best of the best is the gardens are producing. We've had cucumbers and tomatoes from the inlaws for a few weeks now, zucchini as well, plus a few new potatoes. Yesterday we were blessed with more new potatoes, carrots, chard, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peas.
I spent a delightful few minutes shelling the peas. It is relaxing and it is easy to mark one's progress. But Mike offered to do it all so I let him while I attended to other matters of the kitchen.
The gardens and orchards are producing and for it I am grateful.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Up The Creek Edition

We went to Kananaskis* on Saturday to do a bit of hiking, have a picnic, and look around.
I'd thought to check out what we took to be a hike along a creek. We'd had a picnic at King's Creek last year and saw people coming back from the hike.

So we did.

Except it's not a listed hike.
It's just a trail along and across the creek and it crosses the creek several times. It's a shallow, fast moving mountain stream and not all that wide. The crossings are done on logs and stones in assorted configurations.
I am not confident in my balance so these were difficult. Eventually I'd had enough and we turned back.
During a return crossing I slipped. One foot went to the streambed. The other was still on a log.
I was on my back wondering if this is how a turtle feels when it is flipped on its shell.
The most efficient way to get back up was to put the other foot in the water, too.
Mike helped me the rest of the way across the creek and thankfully, it was the last time we needed to cross.

I'd been scared the whole hike that I'd fall. I tried not to as what you fear is what you manifest, but the fear won.
On the whole the mountain stream was quite refreshing.
I am grateful that I only got wet to my shins. I am grateful for my new hiking shoes that dried quickly.
I am grateful for the day in the mountains and I am grateful that I'm only a tad stiff in a few muscles from this adventure.

We had our picnic after this hike and then found another hike to do.
It was a great day and for it I am grateful.
*Kananaskis Country is a mountain playground area east of Banff National Park and west of Calgary. There are provincial parks in it and plenty places to canoe, hike, bike, and just plain be in nature.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Husband Coffee Edition

My husband brought me coffee in bed yesterday morning and for it I am grateful.
He will often offer breakfast in bed. I haven't taken him up on it in years so when he offered yesterday I countered with a request for coffee.
He rarely drinks the stuff himself and only when he's not home so he had to confirm what he needed to do.
I rested. He took care of the brewing and brought me the results.
It was wonderful.
I either get up with him or earlier and have my first cup of coffee outside. Yesterday it was the second cup.
Change is good, and so is having coffee in bed.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Spontaneous Regression Edition

Today I am grateful for a number of things including being a transpersonal hypnotherapist with additional past-life regression training.
Here's what happened:
The other day I ran across a method for getting at the subconscious quickly and making changes in a few minutes.
I have no training in this method and only saw one example of how it works. Based on what I saw in a video I decided to try it.
I've done it a few times. It works well enough, but I got more than I expected during one session: the source of the problem was in a past life.
I've been to this life five times now and long thought I was done with it.
I was wrong.
In this procedure one allows all the naysaying, complaints, sniping,  the general negativity, one hears during life to bubble up and be heard rather than dismissing it. Once it has its say one lets it go.
I went right back to the prison cell where I died in my last life. I spoke the way I did in that life. I cannot recreate the accented English at any other time.
I am grateful I tried this method. I am grateful I found the source of the issue, and I am grateful I knew what to do.
The very first time I went to this life happened when I was covering a talk on Alzheimer's for the newspaper around 1989.
During the session we were asked to close our eyes and listen while a tape played rhythmic knocking. I saw a cold evening scene of a late fall. I heard boots crunching on snow.
I was terrified. I had to steel myself to not get up and run away. I now know that it was a spontaneous past life regression. I am glad it happened in that it set me on a path to find out more about hypnosis, past lives, and spiritual work.
During ensuing, conducted regressions I went back to that life as it's had the most impact on this one.
Like I said, I thought I was done with it.
While I think I am done with that life now, I don't want to speak too soon. There may be more waiting.
If so, then bring it on. I know what to do.

I have been vague about the method I used because I don't want anyone to do what I did. If you find it on your own and play with it, then it is your choice.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Independent Friends Edition

Dear USA,

Happy Independence Day!

I am so grateful our countries are friends.

Yours Truly,
The Goat's Lunch Pail

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Yes, Mr. President.
Yes it does.

Happy Canada Day

Happy Birthday Canada!

Yes, Mr. President.
Yes it does.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- One Gratitude Leads To Another Edition

I have a great deal to be grateful for, and for that I am grateful.
On the weekend before last my friend Sylvia and I had a girls' weekend in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. It was a blast.
During it we did some spur of the moment shoe shopping. A family-owned shoe store on Main Street was said to have hard to find sizes. I have small, hard to fit feet.
I found the best pair of hiking shoes ever.
I bought them.
They are wonderful.
This past weekend my husband and I went camping and did some hiking in Jasper National Park. For this I am grateful.
The new shoes got a thorough tryout on the Valley of the Five Lakes Hike.  We ended up going about 8. 3 km ( about  5 mi. in the Old Tongue).
We did a shorter, steeper hike the next day.
Though I am a bit footsore from all the walking the hikers worked well and I am grateful I bought them.

One of the five lakes in the valley.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Unquestioned Good Health Edition

I had my three month check-in with my cancer surgeon recently. All is well and for that I am grateful.
Up until now I've had to see him every three months and get some bloodwork done about two weeks prior to the visit.
This time he said, "Your blood work is pristine."
Okay. I don't know quite how that can be, but I was damned if I was going to question it.
I smiled and took the win.

Meanwhile, I only have to see him every six months now, but still need to get the blood work done every three months. I am to get a CT scan in the late summer.  The next colonoscopy is the far future of 2018.
Cancer, my ass!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Right Here, Right Now Edition

I ran across some wise words on our recent drive through Jasper National Park.
We stopped for a pee break at Columbia Icefields.
The outdoor toilets are at the top of the large parking lot and look out toward Athabasca Glacier.
In one, the word gratitude was written in large letters. Underneath it was the sentiment you should "be grateful that you are right here, right now."

There are many layers to the remark, and all of them are true.

Athabasca Glacier:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Gratitude Monday-- Be The Marmot Edition

A marmot in the morning sun

This hoary marmot spent part of a sunny Friday morning enjoying the sunshine.
Whatever other important marmot business it had to attend to that day was either done or could wait.
Marmots sun themselves.
It is important to them.
Above, it had a rock and the sun. That's all a marmot needs for a sunbath. I presume it was living in the moment enjoying the warmth and light, and I further presume it was grateful as its current need and desire was being met.
I am grateful to have seen the creature and to have gotten its photo. I am further grateful to have the reminder to be grateful for having what I need when I need it, and to enjoy it.
It's a good reminder.
Be the marmot.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Gratitude Monday--All Avocado All The Time Edition

We are currently enjoying a blessing of avocados. We had more than a dozen in the fridge the last few days and I am grateful for each and every one of them.
Despite buying them at staggered times and as mean and green as we could find, they got together and ripened simultaneously.
Fortunately they keep in the fridge for 10 -12 days. But I was not about to let this bounty go to waste. I've experimented with them from time to time in the past and discovered that avocado tzatziki, Guacziki as my husband calls it, is wonderful.
But I wanted something different.
Sunday morning I made avocado brownies. They are creamy as all get out, but I should added more sugar. It's a formula I am happy to work on.
Later on I whipped up a batch of avocado hummus. It was pretty good. Perhaps a tad thin in that I didn't use chickpeas in it, but still it captured the flavour and that is what matters.
I am grateful my experiments turned out and I am grateful I thought to conduct them.

Avocado brownies

Monday, May 23, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Weather's Wet And Wild Edition

We've had rain. Not as much as we need, but we have still had rain and the rain barrels are full.
I am grateful.
We've had snow in the mix, too, and that's fine. It's a May long weekend tradition.
Plus it is moisture and we are in desperate need of it.
It's been windy as well. We could do with out it, but it is there, it exists, and it is what we deal with. If we have to have wind to bring wet, then so be it.
Plants will grow.
The world will be greener.
Wet has come from the sky and for it I am grateful.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- License To Fish Edition

We had a great day yesterday. We took some backroads south and east of Rocky, did some fishing,  saw new places,  and generally wandered around.
It was a most excellent day.
At one point in the mid-morning we fished in the Red Deer River. Just as we had packed it in to do more exploring a Fish and Wildlife Officer drove up.
He didn't have to ask to see our licenses as we started digging them out as soon as he greeted us.
I thanked him for being on the job. I am grateful regulations are enforced. They keep everyone in line and ensure the fisheries continue.
This is good.
He was based out of Sundre, that's about 50 miles south of Rocky. There aren't many F&W Officers around, and they cover a huge area and often an officer from one area can be found working in another.
Much of their work is on weekends.
It takes dedication and love to do it, and I don't think they get the respect they deserve.
During the course of the conversation he suggested a spot along the Dickson Dam that we might like and gave good, solid directions how to get to it.
We ended up going there about mid-afternoon though we couldn't drive to the exact spot as the road was closed off. I expect it will open later in the season. But we walked in a bit and tried our luck.
The fish outsmarted us and that's okay. We can try another day.  It's the experience of it that matters and it was fun.
I am grateful for that, too.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- What They Can Edition

Within hours of the Ft. McMurray wildfire evacuation last Tuesday people were offering their help.
And not just by asking what to do and waiting for the government to organize it.  They dropped everything, figured out what needed doing, and then did it.
People all over the province gave their time, energy, and money. Trucks filled with  food, clothing, personal hygiene gear, diapers, wipes, gasoline, and numerous other items were on their way in hours. They were volunteering at evacuation centres, driving up and down lines of stalled traffic handing out food and gasoline.
Businesses did their part, too. Restaurants offered free meals to evacuees, Labatt's (a brewery) turned the profit tap off and filled cans with drinking water that it gave to evacuees and emergency responders, WestJet flew people out for free.
Mortgage payments have been put on hold for the residents, rental rules have been altered, homes have been opened, and so much more. You get the idea. Ordinary citizens did what they can as soon as they could do it and neither expect nor want anything for it.
I am grateful I live in a world where people will drop everything to help out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Like A Waterfall Edition

Gratitude should flow freely like a fresh mountain stream, spill down in a thunderous cascade, and spread to all parts of your life.

Watching the waterfall. Photo by my husband, Mike Mayrl .
The above is Siffleur Falls in the West County of Clearwater County, Alberta, about 20 minutes from the Banff National Park boundary.
We did this hike yesterday and I am pleased to report I only had to stop to rest once. It's four km and mostly flat, but there's one steep pitch. I ploughed on to the top of it before resting, something I don't believe I have ever been able to do.
I am grateful for the day, the hike, for only having to rest once, and for everything in general.
The difference is, I am sure, not having colorectal cancer.  I am sure I had it for years, but didn't know. The reason I am sure is I have a great deal more energy now.  Years ago I thought I was doing okay,
Today, I know it wasn't so okay.
But those days are over and I am only getting stronger and healthier.
In short: Cancer, my ass!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Locking Down Gratitude Edition

As noted last week, the power door locks on my Ford Focus failed. I am grateful for a variety of reasons including what I wrote about putting money--energy--out to be used.
How things work fascinates me in general, and locks in specific . I learned how power door locks work and got to see inside the door panel before the work to replace the latch and actuator started.
Rainbow Ford gave me a good price on the work of their own volition.  I didn't ask and I don't ask for deals.  Negotiations bother me in the sense that it puts people in opposition with each trying to get the better of the other.
It serves in the short term, but not in the long term. I play the long game myself. It is more satisfying.
But back to my point. When I came in to pay the service manager was on lunch. The other fellow in service wasn't happy with the price as it was considerably higher than he thought it ought to be. I mentioned the price I've been quoted. He worked a bit and got it down to near that price.
The service manager came back, discussed matters with his co-worker, and then left to attend to another customer. The second fellow worked a bit again and I paid less than the original quote.
Good as that is, it is not the main target of my gratitude,
From what I saw in the door panel I was able to determine how a Slim Jim works. I hope I never need to use one, but I can now see in my mind what it does.
But best of all, by extrapolation I figured out how an old style car door lock could get stuck in the unopenable position and be easily fixed.
I refer to the type of handle that opened by pressing down a button in the handle and then pulling the door open. When this style of door is locked one pushes down the the lock and pushes in the button and then closes the door,
If one doesn't hold down the door button the lock inside stays up and looks unlocked, but the door won't open.
If happened once to a car we had ( I am sure I did it)  and stayed that way for about a month. I am sure dad fixed it himself. I always wondered how, but never got around to asking.
While I don't know for a fact how it was done, I can see in my mind how car door locks work now and I can back draft a procedure. It's enough for me, and for it I am grateful

Monday, April 18, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Spending Energy Edition

The  power locks on the driver's side of my car have messed up. They will not lock. Much as I would love to take a door apart and see if it is a simple fix, I don't have that skill so I will leave it to the professionals.
This means I get to spend money, and yes, I do mean it.
Money is energy. It only serves when it is being used.  While it is important to save money for the future, it is also important to use it.
Send it out to do what money does: pay for goods and services.  Those who are paid can use it to do the same, thus setting up an energy path where things get done.
I like money. Not in and of itself as it is an inert object, but for what it can do: feed me, clothe me, take me on trips.
It can't do any of that if it is hoarded.
It isn't money that makes the world go 'round, it is is energy.
Putting the energy out in money form makes things happen. That is important for a functioning society based on using energy in the form of money.
I will get my locks fixed. In doing so I inject energy into my local world and for it I am grateful.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- I Include Me Edition

Yesterday I decided I wanted beanizza, that is, a bean pizza.  I make them fairly often because we both like them,
I am grateful for a variety of reasons with the biggest reason being I have the skills, materials, time, and ability to make the thing I want to eat.
I've adapted a regular dough recipe for gluten free and I use a commercial flour for it. Robin Hood Gluten Free Flour makes a wonderful dough. It takes a tad more liquid that called for in a regular recipe, but figuring it out is pretty easy.
I'm grateful I put the bean recipe together for the topping, and I am grateful we both like it.
I am grateful that there's a type of fake mozzarella that is awfully good. Yesterday's had really mozzarella, some cheddar, and the fake mozzarella.  They were tasty.
I've figured out how to turn tomato paste into a pretty good sauce, got the spicing sorted out, and learned that the dough can rise and then rest in the fridge until I need it.

While I am not trying to brag, the point must be made that whenever we do something that works out we should take a moment to let ourselves know we've done well.

Few people hesitate to say how badly they've screwed up. They'll go on and on about how awful they are. That's just as much bragging and saying how great you are.

I am not saying I am great or the best, I am saying I figured out a thing and it is a hit and for it I am grateful. And I include me in that expression.

The beanizza in question.
I challenge you to find something about yourself for which you are grateful.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Grateful Beyond Words

 I am grateful for the moments beyond words.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Social Media Edition

I am grateful for social media. Not just because it keeps me in contact with friends and news and whatnot, but because it is currently making my job easier.

I'm doing some freelance work for the local paper and have had to search out people and/or organizations to contact. On more than a few occasions a social media site has served my needs.

It's been a great help and for it I am grateful.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gratitude Monday - Bib and Tucker Edition

I am very grateful for the rib bibs my cousin sent us.
One side has hogs, the other cows.  Terry Utas did this of her own accord after I joked with her about needing one for everyday use.
We've used them a few times, notably when we have ribs such as in the photo.
As they were swine ribs, we wore the bibs swine side out.
It protected my clothing, but as you can see, did nothing to stop the spread of sauce on my face.

*Please note the use of tucker in the headline is in reference to the Australian slang term for food and should not be confused with the women's clothing item from the 17th to 19th Centuries.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Spring 'n' All Edition

While it is not officially spring, it may as well be.
Much of the snow is gone, pussy willows are out, and I heard a robin singing in the neighbour's spruce tree Sunday morning.

It wasn't much of a winter, but I am still grateful spring is well on its way.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- This Is Why Edition

I am grateful for the life I lead.

This is one of the reasons why:

Monday, February 29, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Flawed World Edition

Our world is flawed and filled with problems and for it I am grateful.
If we lived in a perfect world, then there would be nothing to do, nothing to talk about, and no reason to grow.
It would be boring as hell and in some ways it might actually be Hell.
Think about it. There'd be no point in writing stories or any other form of expression that seeks to put a light on the human condition.
They'd all be the confirmations of how great we have it.
I think we'd be bored to tears as humans.
Now if we weren't human and lived in a perfect world, that'd be fine.
But as long as we have human lives, as we understand them today, then it is important to have flaws and problems to overcome.
How else would we determine how far we have to go?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gratitude Monday--A Blessing of Work Edition

I've had some freelance work come my way. I am grateful to have it, and further grateful I was thought of for it.
Here's what happened.
The two reporters at the local paper gave their notices effective for the same day, next Monday.
That left the editor in a bind as there are some special sections due along with the regular work.
My friend at The Mountaineer, Bernie Visotto, asked me if I'd be interested in filling in until the new staff started in a few weeks.  If so, then I should contact the editor.
I am very grateful to her for this.
I discussed it with the editor and agreed to take on a few assignments over the next few weeks. I'll get the specifics of the work tomorrow.
This is all good. It's where I used to work. While most of the people there are different from those I worked with, the work itself is virtually the same.
That helps a great deal.

But wait, there's more.
I've been working at home since 2001 though I did some freelance for the paper back around 2008.
I like it in that I don't have to go out much and I can stay away from people. As an introvert I think that's important.
However, several weeks ago around the beginning of January a thought flowed into my mind during meditation.
It's time to go out in the world.
This thought came to me several times over the next several days.
Rather than shy away I found it intriguing. I had no idea what I was supposed to do so I did the thing you're supposed to do.
I put it out to God/Universe/ All That Is.
Whenever the thought flowed to me I said I am totally game to do it, but how it comes about is up to you.
The offer is clearly the how of it.

Shortly before I got this offer I felt excited, jittery almost, as if something were  about to happen.
It did, and for it I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Around The Corner

One never knows what is around the corner.

It's always best to investigate.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Gratitude Monday --The Great Outdoors Edition

On Saturday we took a drive out west along Highway 11.
We had a picnic in the car, did a bit of walking, and then drove just inside Banff Park to the Glacier Lake staging area and did a bit of that hike.
It was a grand day in the great outdoors and for it I am grateful.
This photo is looking east  and south from Whirlpool Point along Highway 11.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Stick Up Edition

The Old Woman of the Hill.

We got out for a fine walk yesterday. The trail goes between two lakes, but we only did a bit of it. I'm not sure of the distance, a few kilometres likely, but the total time was about 90 minutes.
That alone is something for which I am grateful.
It was a few degrees above zero C. We were alone on the trail. The air was fresh and clear. Yet more things to be grateful for, and I am.
But what I am especially grateful for is the ski pole I used. It kept me upright.
We've had some melty weather. It gets below freezing at night. This means ice. The trail was hard packed to being with, but with ice it was a lot like walking on a skating rink.
The pole helped me to not slip much. I did twice, but am not the worse for it.
I am grateful for that, too.
The trail has hills. Sippery hills are dangerous to walk down and a trial to walk up.
The stick served me well.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Too Smart Technology Edition

We watched a very pleasant movie on TV the other night, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen.
It was recorded last Monday and we watched it a few days later.
I am grateful to have seen it, but more than anything I am confused as to why it was recorded.
Finding and setting programs for the PVR to record is my duty and I take it seriously.
This movie was a total mystery to us on many levels including we'd never heard of it and had no reason to record it.
Near as I can figure it we're the beneficiaries of "Too Smart Technology." That is, after monitoring our viewing habits for six weeks the PVR thought the movie was something we might enjoy.
It was right.

I am sure there is a prosaic explanantion for the above.
Malfunction of some sort, presumably. Or my finger slipped.
But until it is otherwise explained I am going with the above and hope that any choice it makes in the future is as enjoyable as this one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When A Sign Is Obvious

It was a difficult decision to change dentists.
I had good service at the clinic I'd been at. The dentistry was above reproach and the hygeniest did a great job cleaning my teeth. In fact, back when I switched to that clinic a few years ago it was knowing that she worked there that made me decide to go.
But the economy has tanked and that dentist charged more than the insurance paid.
It made me look at the dentist my husband uses.  Generally speaking the insurance covers her procedures.
But the fact was I couldn't decide.
When that happens I ask God/Universe/All That is for a sign.
I always ask that the sign offered be hit-me-over-the-head obvious.
If it isn't, then I likely won't pick up on it.
About two days after asking I had to get my glasses adjusted. As I sat in the office waiting in walked a dental assistant from the dental office I was thinking of switching to.
It had to be a sign.
I thanked the Universe and the following Monday made the switch.
As noted in yesterday's post it has all worked well.
Thank you Universe for the sign, for making it obvious enough for me to figure out, and for everything working out well.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Tooth And Consequences Edition

I am grateful for how well things turn out.

I recently changed dentists.  I needed to get my teeth cleaned plus there is always a new patient intake exam.  Dentists are commonly booked solid for several weeks and such was the case with this one. No appointments were available until March,
I went to the office last Monday to get everything set and darned if hadn't been a cancellation for Wednesday.
This alone is something for which to be grateful.

I'd been having a bit of trouble with a front tooth. It felt like an abcess from time to time, but it was a tooth long dead.  Next to it on the left I'd just had an implant done and had decided against a temporary tooth.  The general area got irritated, usually after eating potato chips. But I'd rise with salt water and lay off the chips and all was well until next time.
During the cleaning it was discovered that implant on the right of the deceased was the problem.
An appointment was set up for me with the clinic where I'd gotten this done 15 years ago.
I go tomorrow.  Not only is this fast, the dentist I am seeing spends a great deal of time travelling and lecturing. This week he is in, shortly afterward he'll he off again.
I am grateful to have been seen quickly by the local dentists and by the one I see tomorrow.
It has all worked out very well.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gratitude Monday --Oil Better Edition

Back in November I started oil pulling and I am grateful to Carla Birnberg and this post of hers for it.

I did it the morning I read about it, just to see. I felt really good afterward. Too good in some ways as I had so much energy I cleaned.
On the third morning of oil pulling I swept behind the refrigerator.  I am grateful for that as it did need it.
I told my husband about it on the first day so he tried it.  That night he did not snore.
We've both kept at it mostly with coconut oil though occasionally switching out to olive oil.
His food allergies are better.

We've been at it almost two months now. I've read that it takes about three months for all the good stuff from it to kick in. Whether that happens or not I am grateful today for all the good it has done us.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- Warm and Easy Edition

The thermostat is behind me as I sit at my desk.
If I am cold I can turn around, press an arrow, and get more heat.

It was -27C here on Saturday. We went out into the world to Red Deer and saw "The Hateful Eight."
A wonderful movie and I strongly recommend it, but if you are already cold watching a movie set in a mountain blizzard does not help.
Further, the theatre itself was cold. It wasn't just me, either.Husband wore gloves and a tuque during the show.
Despite it warming up considerably yesterday--for which I am grateful-- I still tapped up the house temperature a few degrees.
It felt good.

Today it is back to the usual temperature, at least for now.
If I am too cold I can increase the heat easily. I need only decide to do it, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Gratitude Monday -- A Spectacular Winter Day Edition

We went for a drive out west yesterday. We went along the Forestry Trunk Road. That won't mean much to most readers, but know that it is gravel, narrow, and has foothills and/or mountains on each side plus some flats.
We stopped at the Elk Creek Fish Pond and did a bit of snowshoeing then went on to Ram Falls where we walked to the falls but not down the stairs to the lookout.
From there we continued north to Nordegg where we saw a herd of wild horses down the hill from the industrial area.
It was a spectacular winter day; warm and bright and blue and white.
I spent it in the mountains and in the company of my husband and I am grateful for each of them.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Photo-Finish Friday -- Lead On

Wherever the path of 2016 takes me, I am ready.

Happy New Year.