Monday, December 11, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Wondering Editon

Over the years I have kept my sense of wonder about the world and I am grateful that it is constantly fed and nurtured.
Right now, the wonder is fed by Dr. Masaru Emoto's book The Hidden Messages in Water (Beyond Words Publishing, 2004).
In it he has photographed water crystals after they have been subjected to good words, heavy metal music, bad words, classical music, and many other things.
The differences are amazing and beautiful and ugly and makes a person really thing about how environment affects water and in turn, us.
I am reminded once again everything is connected and everything we think, do, and say has ramifications beyond our ability to grasp.
It both answers some questions and raises so many more and for that I am grateful.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Mice Ideas Edition

I like to use writing props. I find they help with my stories and even if they don't, I still think they do.
They include, but are not restricted to, a stag that's actually a candle holder,  an analogue clock, a staff that I collected and drew on all by myself, and the latest, four mice.
My husband sewed the mice for me. I am grateful for that.
One mouse required glasses.
I wondered how to do that, then remembered we have pipe cleaner around.  A few simple twists and the biggest mouse has his glasses.
They are positioned around my computer for my current project, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Proper Pan Edition

I have a real baguette pan. It was my birthday gift to me. It arrived the day after my birthday and just a few hours after making a test loaf of French bread to determine how much psyllium fiber to use.
For that loaf I used cornflour, Robin Hood GF Flour, and coconut flour so tried five tablespoons.
It went well.
The next day I tried out the new pan swapping the cornflour for almond flour. It is very good. It wasn't quite as dry a dough as the first, but still worked really well.
As you can see it grew a bit and drooped over a pan edge.
I don't care.
I have a proper French bread pan and for it I am grateful.

The photo is of that very first batch of French bread from the new pan.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Normal Adventures Editon

It was a normal day like any other and for it I am grateful. I sat crunching tortilla chips dipped in salsa mixed with my homemade coconut milk- based sour cream thinking about what I have.
On the table we have an electric kettle,  Mike had selected some fruit for dessert, and there are a few other items including a pencil and some scrap paper where I make notes for what I have to do during the day so I don't forget.
That includes what I've decided to make for supper so I don't forget about it.

The table is paid for. So is everything  on it, and so is the house it sits in. We have no debt save the  month bills and when I put something on Visa it is for convenience's sake. I am able to pay it off as soon as I get the bill.

I drove over to a grocery store afterward. My car is owned outright and it sits in a garage, also paid for. This keeps my car and my husband's truck safe from weather and thieves. Neither of our vehicles is a favourite target for vehicle theft, but they are still safe and that is what matters.

I went out to get the dairy-free version of ice cream and found two brands to try. One such branch is made right here in Alberta and was on sale.

The above are simple, normal day things and for each and every one of them I am grateful.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Gummed Up Edition

Today I am grateful for gum.
This is nothing new, I've always liked it. But since I had braces in my 20s I got away from chewing it regularly.
Oh, I would on occasion, but not the way I did in my teens.
I've gotten back into it in the last year or so, keeping gum in the car. I occasionally have it, but mostly it is for my husband when he is driving. It keeps him alert.

However, that's not my point. Y'see I like to have something in my mouth, especially when I am writing. After I stopped smoking I used toothpicks, but I've gotten away from them in the past few years.
Why gum did not occur to me until a few weeks ago mystifies me, but that is what happened.
I started writing the current story in early October. It went well enough, but I wanted something to chew on as chewing, as the hogs are my witnesses, helps me think.
Finally one day soon after I started this story the little light went on: "Gum!" it blared in the way only a little light can.
So I bought some, and then another some, and I now keep a mint flavour and a cinnamon flavour right here beside me.
I swear it helps, and for it I am grateful.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- A Layered Lesson Edition

Yesterday afternoon as I prepped some veggies to go with a roasting ham I needed an onion.
We have several large white onions courtesy Mike's dad and for them I am grateful.
Some of them are moldy.
This is not a problem as all one has to do is cut the icky bits away.
As I did this I saw how most of the onion had mold.
As I cut into it, stripping away layers and layers of grayed, slimy flesh, I was thinking it can't be all bad. There must be some good in it. Eventually I found the good bit.
I am grateful for that, too, as initially this onion looked rather hopeless.

I am sure you know where this is going, and I am equally sure you are thinking it's a cliche. There's a solid reason for that: it is.
But it's still a valid lesson and a great reminder that there is good in everyone and everything if we take the trouble to look deep enough.
It's a reminder I needed as I have been tempted lately to write some people off.
I will still do it, but I will advise myself that they are not hopeless and there is good in them, they are simply not good for me.
The lesson has layers like the onion that taught me it, and for it I am grateful.



Monday, October 30, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Spanakopita Substitution Edition

Tortillas can be used to make spanakopita, and for it I am grateful.
I love the spinach and feta pie. It is one of my favourite things, but phyllo pastry is beyond me and I intend on keeping it that way.
Yesterday I made spanakopita and used two tortillas in place of the pastry. I used a brand containing gluten because I can get away with a bit of it and they are much easier to work with. I found just the right pan, not quite as big as the tortilla so I could bring the sides up a bit, and heated the tortilla just enough.
Once the filling was in I put a second tortilla on top and tucked it in around the edges because it seemed like the right thing to do. It got a good coating of olive oil to keep it from getting all hard and crispy.
It worked.
The spanakopita pastry substitution was tasty and not all that involved to make.
For that I am grateful.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Blob Edition

I had an entity attachment the other day and I am grateful I remembered what to do about it.
On the whole it wasn't a bad one, as attachments go, but neither was it a healthy thing to have hanging around.
I discovered it during my regular morning meditation. I am grateful for that and for me meditating almost every morning, because that means it wasn't there very long.
That said, its energy tentacles, if you will, has encroached far enough in that it took a bit of effort to get shed of it properly.
It appeared as a whitish blob of thick energy located at my left hip. Its tentacles were deep in my guts, but it was not malevolent. I think it just needed some energy and found me.
I am a Transpersonal Hypnotherapist. While I have no formal training in clinical depossessions, I do know how to do them and have done them on myself in the past. But it had been years and I had no intention of fooling around so I asked for both Jesus and the Archangel Michael to be present and help me.
Jesus is always good for an energy boost and the Archangel Michael is great for cutting energy cords.
Also, bringing in the big guns in these cases is never wrong.
So I found Blobby and spoke with it while the Big Guys were on standby. Blobby seemed quite simple. It didn't say much, but made it clear my energy was just what it needed as no one loved it.
I had to convince it otherwise and insist it detach from me. It was most reluctant, but did. The tentacles seemed to lengthen as it pulled them out.
This bothered me for a variety of reasons so I had Archangel Michael cut them, then he and Jesus swept them out of me while I sent Blobby on its way.
Once it was gone we three fixed up the hole in my energy where it had been and filled it with love. It is the best weapon.
I am grateful I knew what to do, grateful I had the sense to ask for help, and grateful I received it.




Monday, October 16, 2017

Gratitude Monday --What A Crock Edition

Because my husband is also taking acupuncture treatments and because he has a job and because we have to drive 50 miles to get acupuncture, our appointments are set for late afternoon, 5 p.m.
That means the evening meal is either something in the city, which is great, or  eating when we get home, also great.
To do the latter means a bit of planning and that's where the crock pot comes in. I can throw a few things in it in the morning and have food waiting when we get home.
All it takes is a bit of planning. I need an idea for what to prepare as well as a few minutes to put everything in the crock pot. The latter is easy. The former takes a bit of thinking at times.
When it all flows together we come home to a hot, home cooked meal.
For it, and for the crock pot which makes it possible, I am grateful.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Thanksgiving Edition

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. I am grateful for the holiday, but I think it is important to be thankful all the time, not just once a year, or even once a week as it seems by my blog.

We had our Thanksgiving meal on Saturday for convenience reasons and I am grateful that we had a turkey and all which goes with it. And that brings me to my gratitude this week.

Squash.

We get squashes from Mike's parents. They are tasty enough and I am happy to have them, but as a veggie goes, they are adequate in my view. I've found a few ways to prepare them and that's all good, but on Saturday, I found the best way ever.
When I roast a turkey I put all the veggies in with the bird so all the flavours can get to know one another, exchange essences, and strive toward the greater good. On Saturday I threw in cubed squash.
I am so very grateful that I did because squash roasted in turkey juices is about the best thing ever.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Seasoning Edition

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the cooling off, the changing leaves, the sense that the immediate world is preparing for its quiet time.
What I  really love is I get to use the oven. This opens my world back up to roasted meats, roasted vegetables, soups, stews, and cookies and cakes and pies.
I am grateful for the cooler weather, and I even look forward to winter.

The weather lends itself to kitchen experiments, playing around more with herbs and spices to see how they fare  or even changing up how one sweetens a thing.
To that end yesterday I made peanut butter cookies and threw in some molasses to see what would happen.
I am grateful they are tasty.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

In This Life


I've danced around it enough in my life and online, but it is time to admit a truth that is both difficult and freeing: I am of extra- terrestrial stock.

What does that mean?
I will do my best to explain.

On the one hand I am fully human. Human birth into human life from human parents into a human family.
But the other hand tells me that the odd happenings of my life that return in dreams offering  glimpses of otherness while trying to define the otherness in a way my human mind can grasp go beyond the confines of simple Earth life.
I consider ETs my people. When I was young I considered them my real family. I know in my heart they have contacted me. While I regret having no conscious memory of it, I am sure it is for a reason. And I am equally sure I set it up this way for my own good.

Some memories have stuck with me over the decades. I have written on the blog about the clown drawn in grease pencil on a barn wall. I know a visitor put it there because I have never forgotten the day it happened. It plays in my mind frequently.
 In the last few years I have remembered more, how it didn't start as a clown, but morphed into it from fear.
Originally, after the visitor told me couldn't visit me anymore I would go into the barn and gaze at the drawing, remembering our talks.  It wasn't until years later that I understood I am the only one who ever saw the drawing.
I have remembered that during our talks we spoke about my role here, what I was to do in this life. I don't recall what it is. I very much want to, because I want to make sure I do it.
But I believe, now, that part of it is talking openly about the experiences. There are many, many different races in the Universe and I don't know which one I am from, but I do know, among other things, I am a bridge between them and us.

Here's another example:

During a past-life regression in the early nineties I went to a lifetime in Peru thousands of years ago where I was an alien. My current husband was a friend in those days. In the scene I went to he and I had been walking through the rainforest and were stopped on the crest of a large hill. The hill led to a valley and the valley led to a small mountain probably a hundred miles away, if not more.
In it was our base and it was were I was headed. I was excited to go there, but saddened that my friend, being human, could not go with me.
We parted at the hill and I was at the base in an eye blink.

I've always felt I had something to do in life and it always felt big and important. Important comes in many forms. Perhaps my role isn't so big, but it is still important.



Monday, September 25, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- South American Way Edition

Today I am grateful for a book I picked up at a garage sale in Inuvik almost 20 years ago.
The Art of South American Cookery by Myra Waldo, (copyright 1961 by Myra Waldo Schwartz, published by Doubleday & Company, Inc.)
Why?
Because right now we have plenty of tomatoes and corn and squash along with potatoes and onions and all manner of other fresh vegetables. I needed things to do with them and a South American cookbook is about the best resource ever.
I used this book years ago and then set it aside, not picking it up again until this past weekend.
The reason is the other day we found a good deal on corn, 10 cobs for $3.50. The other veggies I mentioned above are straight from the in-laws' gardens and happily filling our kitchen.
Corn tamales to which I added squash, tomato-onion salad that I decided needed an avocado,  the corn topping from a corn-potato casserole that became a side dish for roasted vegetables and chicken have all made it to the table, and they've all been tasty.
I am grateful for that, too.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Quiet Time Edition

I am grateful for my hard line phone. It never occurred to me to be grateful for it, and for that I am sorry.
I didn't realize how much I depended on it until it was gone.
Not completely gone, just not working.
It started yesterday, apparently some time before early afternoon although it did work at one point after it wasn't working.
My sister called somewhere around 2 p.m. so we had no reason to believe our phone was out. However, Mike's mom had been trying to call well before that time and only got a busy signal.
We discovered the problem when he tried to call his mom around 5 p.m.
Telus tried to fix it, but couldn't.  For scheduling reasons, there's and mine, a repair person won't be here until Wednesday.
I am grateful it will be attended to. I know all will be well, and for a few days, quiet.




Monday, September 11, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Now Open Edition

We had a new garage door opener installed last week. The act of opening the garage is now smooth and silent and for it I am grateful.
The door had a few things go wrong including one of its two springs. This meant a new style of bar with an outside spring to replace it. We hoped replacing it would cured the matter. We did not know there were other problems lurking behind it.

A local company did the work. This is good.  The nice men checked things over the day we called and set an appointment for the middle of the following week.
The initial replacement of the bar and spring was done quickly. The door still did not shut properly.
We could have lived with it, but it meant holding the button down until the door closed, and who knows how long that maneuver would have worked.
I said put in a new opener and they did so right then and there. The work was done quickly and efficiently.
I am grateful for that, and I am especially grateful that the new unit does not give off an annoying creaking, grinding sound when it operates.
It is all good.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Making Contact Edition

Last week I decided to ask the Universe what to do about an irritated, and occasionally bleeding, throat.
We've been breathing smoke from fires in B.C. for most of the summer and that's what's irritated my throat.
To make it more fun, there are now two fires burning not far west of here.

I am grateful I thought to ask, and am doubly grateful two different sources told me the very same thing: honey and hot water.
Both my angels and the mineral kingdom in the form of a malachite told me this.
Both said to do it three times a day and that the dosage at bedtime was the most important.
While neither said exactly how much to use, the angels are good about showing me pictures.  In my mind I saw a tall glass from my cupboard  about half-full. Based on the colour of the contents I guessed it at two teaspoons of honey in about six ounces of hot water.
I have been doing this. It works.
I am so grateful.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Remains To Be Seen Edition

For our Saturday hike we dipped into Banff National Park and did part of the Howse Pass.
That's an undeveloped and flat way to get from Alberta to BC.
We got as far as the Howse River, about 5 km down the path of the 28.8 km hike.
Hikers like the trail and pack trips are often made along the route.
It is wonderful. It's beautiful and wild and home to plants and trees and wildlife that remain relatively unmolested by civilization.
I am grateful for that, and grateful that we made the walk.
There's a steep bit at the start of the hike as the path descends into Mistaya Canyon, crosses the Mistaya River, and climbs up a wee bit before all but leveling out until descending into the river bottom of the Howse River.

But every lustrum or so some politically-excited fellow decides there should be a highway through the Howse Pass.
This nonsense has been going on for decades now. The point of the argument is economic, nothing else.
Howse Pass is just south of where Highway 11 meets the Icefields Parkway so if it is punched through the wilderness, it'll bring more people to Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House and assorted other Central Alberta locations.

The subject comes up, enjoys a bit of press in Central Alberta, and then dies until the next person thinks what a good idea it is.
It isn't, and I am grateful that the idea has been stomped down each and every time it comes up.
Further, I have it on good authority that it is only an issue in Central Alberta.
No one else knows and no one else cares. I am grateful for that.
And if it ever became the subject of national discussion plenty of people would care enough to stomp the idea out again.
The undeveloped pass remains to be seen.
I am grateful for that, too.
Looking east from the Howse River.

Looking north and a bit west.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Gratitude Monday- Mountains of Gratitude Edition

Along the river at the bottom of Sunwapta Pass.
Mike and I go to the mountains for a drive and/or a hike almost every weekend. I am very grateful we both like to do this and have the opportunity to do it.
Saturday we went north on the Columbia Icefields Parkway looking for the falls that one sees from the highway just before going up the very steep and very scenic Sunwapta Pass.
We walked along the river for a while to a different set of falls and then made our way back eventually finding the falls we set out to see.
I am grateful for the day, the walk, the Rockies, and for my husband.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gratitude Monday - An Untreated Treat Edition

The earth provides our water. We need it to survive and I am grateful I have access to clean, healthy water at the turn of a tap.
But we've gotten so far away from the water Mother Earth provides freely. What flows from my tap is treated. While I am grateful for it as it means it is fit for consumption, it's not the clear flowing stream of nature.
When I go for a hike in the mountains I drink out of a mountain stream. I've had water that had no taste, as water ought, but is really, really weird, to water did have a taste. It was a grand taste and I am grateful for it.
We take water on our hikes and when we run out we help ourselves to the fresh, clear mountain streams and drink what the Earth provides.
It's one of the highlights of the hikes for me, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Veggie In-laws Edition

It's the time of year when the vegetable gardens are producing beautifully and bountifully. For that I am grateful.
We have a few things growing here in the yard, but most of our veggies come from Mike's parents.
They both have large gardens and they are both generous with the produce. To date we've enjoyed tomatoes and zucchini and lettuce and cucumbers and potatoes and corn and raspberries and other excellent produce.
I am grateful for my in-laws.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Gratitude Monday --She's Still Here Edition


Central Alberta has an oldies station, 1440 Wetaskiwin, which plays the hits of the 50s, 60, and 70s and for it I am grateful.
I go to Red Deer twice a week for acupuncture. It's about a 100 mile round trip. If one must make a long drive, then blasting the stuff one heard in high school is a great best way to do it.
Nothing beats rocking down the highway on a bright sunny summer's day listening to oldies. Only they aren't oldies to me as I crank up the volume. I'm riding down a gravel road with friends and dates and beer, 17 again.
It puts a big smile on my face.
For the record I am well aware of my surroundings and fully engaged in the act of driving my car on the highway. I am grateful for that, too.
Yet there's the other me inside, as I cruise by the canola fields in bloom under the bright blue Alberta sky with the sun beating in a side the window, who never left the 70s.
I am so grateful she's still here.




Monday, July 24, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Lake, Lamb, and Friends Edition

On this Monday I am grateful to say we spent a weekend camping with our friends Bob and Sylvia at Pigeon Lake.
The lake is north of us and south of them and takes each party an almost equal time to get to it. That's another thing for which to say thanks.
We do this camping weekend quite regularly though have missed the last two years. This past weekend meant getting back on track and we did.
We spent some time paddling on the lake looking at birds and such and then went for a walk in the bush where we found strawberries, raspberries, and running red raspberries. The latter grow near the ground and shoot out runners. They are very tasty.
Our evening meal included, but was not restricted to, leg of lamb done in a dutch oven. It was the best lamb ever.
Later at the campfire I had the idea to stick a Two-Bite Brownie (R) on a stick and plunge it into the flames. Fire-roasted brownies are amazing.
Best of all we got to spend time with our friends, and for it I am grateful.

The suns sets on a grand day with friends.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Olds Me Edition

Yesterday a memory floated into my awareness during one of my many daily unguarded moments. It made me laugh, and for a variety of reasons I am grateful.

Back in the mid -1980s I worked at the newspaper in Olds. I'd been away from reporting a few years when I got the job, but I got the work done each week. That's what matters.
Deadline was Tuesday afternoon. The paper had its own printing press so that left some flexibility in when things got done, but I preferred to get done earlier rather than later so that meant getting as much done on Monday as was possible. Monday was also the day I got the police report from the Olds RCMP detachment at 1:30 p.m. and then made the 10 minute drive to Didsbury for the report from that detachment.

Usually I'd get back to the office a bit after 3:30 p.m., slip down the alley to The Beehive, a convenience store, for a solid pick-me-up snack and then settle at my desk.
And that's when it happened.
I'd look down at my notebook, swing my vision to the blank paper in the electric typewriter and think:"What am I doing here? I can't write!"

I had a good chuckle yesterday when I remembered this bit of silliness. Of course I could write, but it didn't stop the occasional bit of panic.

I got over it at some point. I don't recall when I stopped thinking it, but I am grateful that I did. I am grateful that I saw through the absurdity of it. I am grateful that at some point back then thinking I wasn't qualified for my job suggested the people who had hired me were easily fooled. That was both insulting and silly in the extreme. It made me flip my insecurity over and tickle its tummy until it spilled its secrets.
I'd been looking at the world all wrong. Once it righted and I admitted my ability to write everything went well.
I am grateful I came to that realization three decades ago, and grateful for the memory and the laugh it gave me.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Full Cirque-l Edition

Warspite Lake with Mt. Black Prince.




Enjoying myself on the shore of this beautiful tarn.

We went hiking in Kananaskis on Saturday and I am very grateful. We found a short, fairly easy hike that led to the shore of beautiful, peaceful tarn. I found it difficult to leave.
The hike is Cirque Black Prince and once you get to the lake you can walk back on a parallel path for a bit until it joins the main path.
The loop makes for a delightful walk.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Sticking To It Edition

Last week I started acupuncture treatments and I am so very grateful I did.
I noticed significant improvement after the first treatment.
It occurred to me about 10 days ago that acupuncture might help my heart. I'd taken these treatments for asthma about 20 years ago. Today I do not use any medicine for asthma and have to remind myself I have it.
Dr. Kenneth Wu treated me then and he is treating me now. He is an acupuncture specialist and a Dr. of Oriental Medicine. I am grateful he is in practice only an hour's drive away.
He told me why my heart is irregular and that I'd come to the right place. He did not guarantee it would revert to a normal heartbeat because I'd left it too long although that does happen.
I told him I hoped to get rid of the fluid in my legs. He said that was kidneys and bladder and the whole body will get treated.
After four needles stuck in my back for about 25 minutes I drove home, very relaxed.
The next evening Mike and I went for a six mile bike ride. In the more than 20 years we've done this route I have always stopped at the three mile mark to rest a bit before heading home.
That evening I did not.
The second treatment was Friday.
Saturday we went for a short, steep hike as I wanted to test how I was doing.
In the past I have to rest during steep pitches because the blood pounding in my ears sounds like partridges drumming.
On Saturday there were no partridges.
That evening we went for another bike ride.
I am to go twice a week for two months for these treatments.
You can bet I am sticking to it.




Monday, June 26, 2017

Gratitude Monday -Goodsoil, Good People Edition

We spent the night in Meadow Lake Provincial park, SK, recently and ate our dinner and breakfast in the village Goodsoil.
We ate both times at The Little Brown Jug, one of three restaurants in the village of maybe 300 people.
The food was pretty good, but the atmosphere was wonderful and I am grateful for the moments I spent there.
When we arrived there was one old fellow eating. He was cheerful enough, but when locals came in and asked him how he was he'd say, "Waiting to die."
But he smiled as he did it. While it carried an edge of seriousness, it was offered lightly.
When I got up to look for the washroom and then made an oh, there it is gesture, Charlie, if I recall his name correctly, called over "You should have asked me."
 A few people began to drift in. One woman in her forties bundled over to the coffee machine and made a fresh pot. A fellow when to the fridge, got a soft drink, and called to the kitchen saying what he'd done.
It sounded like a few of them were Charlie's family, one a grandchild.
Within in a few minutes about eight people had either joined Charlie or sat at the table beside him. A few minutes after that the meeting of the Goodsoil branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation came to order.
It was a delight.
The coffee-making woman read the minutes of the previous meeting. I heard how the steak fry was mostly a success, but not enough people brought food and something was going to be done.
I don't recall what they decided, but I am confident it will never happen again.
It was hard not to hear their business, but I didn't make a point of listening in.
These are good, hard-working, decent people who care about wildlife in the area and are giving back to their community and the province and, for that matter, the world as a whole.
It reminded me a great deal of where and how I grew up, and I am grateful for that, too.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Saskatchewander Edition

We arrived back home late Friday after two wonderful weeks in the province next door.
Saskatchewan has a great deal going for it with respect to nature, especially birds, and this was our two week birding tour.
We saw owls and ducks and geese and lark buntings and horned larks and pelicans and many, many others.
I am grateful for all of it.
One of the best things to do when away is find the little places, the restaurants in the small towns where the locals go. Part of that is discovering menu items unique to the area, even to the eatery.
One such delight was the Harvest Moon Cafe in Val Marie, SK. One of the desserts on offer was fried saskatoon perogies served with ice cream.
Who could pass that up?
Not us.
It was very tasty and for it I am grateful

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Walks On The Wild Side Edition

We went hiking on the weekend and for it I am grateful. But what I am even more grateful for is that hikes exist.
It's struck me the last two hikes we were on that someone went exploring, decided a route would make a great recreational hike, and that work got done to make it a physical reality.
It was never anything I gave much thought to until the other day.
Well-signed, well packed mountain hikes, or any walk for that matter, should not be taken for granted. They need to found and decided on. Trails need to be made and kept up, and the people who do it dedicate time, money and resources so others can walk through the bush safely.
So thank you to everyone who ever had anything to do with any hike anywhere that made it so.

The hike to Silverton Falls, Banff National Park, Alberta, looking westward.
The light portion between the trees and mountains is the Trans-Canada Highway.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Checked Out Edition

We went through a police CheckStop Saturday and I am grateful for it.
Peace Officers from the County  and RCMP were set up on Highway 11 just past the Nordegg turnoff stopping all the traffic.
This is good.
County and Town Peace Officers, the RCMP, and Fish and Wildlife work together on these stops on all long weekends and most other weekends, too, if memory serves.
The May long weekend is the kickoff to their enforcement partnership.
It's been years since we were stopped at one of these. I am glad we were, because it means they are out doing their job, people are caught if they deserve it, and it is all good.
The nice man checked Mike's driver's license and the insurance, registration, and plates on my car and everything checked out. He asked where we were coming from and did we have any alcohol in the car? (We didn't.)
He was friendly, kind, and seemed happy in his work.
Both of us said afterward we were happy to have been stopped.
Thank you police and peace officers. You do fine work, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Gratitude Monday- Glad I Asked Edition

About two weeks ago I asked my angels for help re: some back problems and am very grateful I did.
Months ago I pulled several muscles coughing. They had mostly healed, but for a few stubborn locations. I'd seen a chiropractor for a few times, but nothing stayed fixed.
After reading a Doreen Virtue book, "How To Hear Your Angels" ( Hay House, 2007)  I decided to give asking them about it a try.
I was shown a picture in my mind of a different chiropractor in town.
I confirmed it as there are two chiros in the clinic and was I to go to this specific one?
I was shown this one again which told me I was to go to her.
So I went to her and am grateful for it. The treatments and the yoga poses she suggested have helped considerably and all is almost well again.
I am grateful to the chiro and grateful for the direction from my angels.




Monday, May 8, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Crockpot Edition

Today I am grateful for my crockpot.
I've had it for about two dozen years. It was a gift from my MIL and it has served me well.
Yesterday we decided to see an afternoon showing of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I decided having dinner ready and waiting when we got home was a good idea.
I fired up the trusty crockpot and by about 9 a.m. lazy cabbage rolls were snuggled in and cooking.
I am grateful I have it and that it works well.
Oh, and dinner was delicious.
I am grateful for that, too.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- It's Weird But It Works Edition

Do you swear at your computer?
Who doesn't?

Recently I have changed my attitude toward my computer to the point I no longer see it as an inanimate object, but rather a device molded from once-living materials. Like any living creature it wants to be appreciated.

This may be a bit of  stretch so let's take it down to its simplest expression: everything is energy and energy responds to what we send it.  Be nice to the energy and the energy will be nice to you.

The slice of quartz that runs the show is from a living object. It has a consciousness.  Treat it kindly.

If you are grateful for your computer and what it does for you, tell it so. I have been thanking mine lately and even told it I love it a few times.

I swear it is working better. It was having issues shutting down and would freeze at the last second. Since I have been doing this it shuts down quicker and has even not frozen a few times.

On the physical side I changed a few things around so the back up battery isn't right behind it. Perhaps that was enough to keep it slightly cooler thus not requiring the extra time to pop off properly.
But I maintain showing it appreciation is key. When I do this I am also putting out gratitude to the Universe and that is always the right move.

I am grateful for my computer, for it working better, and for me forming the thought to do it and acting on the thought.





Monday, April 24, 2017

Gratitude Monday -Great Gray Day Edition

We went out west Saturday to collect wild horse manure for the garden.
It was cold, gray, and overcast. While that's not the best day to go toward the mountains--it was hazy and they were all hiding--it was a good owl day.

We were treated to the sight of a Great Gray Owl on the way. He, or she, was beautiful and made up for the great gray day.



Thank you, owl.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Duck Puddles Edition

The local world is looking quite wet these days and for it I am grateful.
I've seen water puddles in fields that have stood dry for years.
Some local ponds have more water in them now than I have seen in more than a decade. One we saw yesterday is a great spot to watch birds. Plenty of ducks nest there as do geese. The catttails hold many a red-winged blackbird.
But for the last several years it has held so little water not many birds could make a home there. Last fall we had a great deal of rain which really rejuvenated the local watering holes. We've had enough snow in the winter to continue topping them up.
For ease of math I'll use small numbers and for ease of my own understanding I'll use imperial measure.
Imagine a 10 gallon container. Now imagine it holding maybe 1.5 - 2 gallons of water.
That's how bad it's been at this pond.
Yesterday it looked more like it held at least eight gallons. Geese were there as were a few ducks. I know more are on the way.
The red-winged blackbirds are due back shortly. I expect plenty of frogs this year, too,
There's still more melting to do and spring rains to fall.
The ponds are filling again and for it I am grateful.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Honey Brioche Edition

I've been experimenting by eating spelt flour now and again. It's going well and for it I am grateful, but I am especially grateful that the honey brioche buns I've been playing with are turning out so well and so tasty.

What I've done is adapt a brioche thin crust pizza dough. I've made these a few times, some even with gluten free flour, but the last two spelt flour batches have had honey in the place of sugar.

Not only do they turn out well (so far) they are easy to make because they are a simple pizza crust in a different shape. The sweetness in them cries for the missing love of a good, sharp cheddar or other cheese. That day will come because we only eat a few per batch and freeze the rest. They will be dedicated to hiking lunches as soon as we can get out for mountain picnic season.

I am grateful they are easy to make, that I like them, that I am tolerating the gluten fairly well, and that mountain picnic season is all but here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Happiest Problem Edition

The other day I was flummoxed. I could not decide what to have for lunch.
All manner of food awaited preparation. I could have gone to any restaurant I wanted.
The issue was I did not know what I wanted.
As I pursed my lips and knotted my brow it occurred to me that it was one of the happiest problems a person could have.
I have food.
I have money.
I have my own transportation.
My sole issue was not knowing what I wanted to eat.
There are people in the world, some may even live on my street, who do not know if they are going to be able to eat today never mind what to have. They'd likely be delighted faced with such a decision.
It was the kind of a problem I am grateful to have had.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Not Grateful Edition

They last few days I have been mulling over what to be grateful for in this post,
Many things came to me, as they do, but nothing stood up and made its case.
It was then I realized the most important lesson of gratitude:
What's not to be grateful for?"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Yay Spring Edition

Spring arrived this morning. I am so grateful. Not because it means the end of winter, but because I appreciate having definite seasons. They often overlap or get downright confused with a +20 Christmas Day one year and snow in July another, but they have their own style of weather and that's what's important.

Spring is also a very optimistic time. Plants start up believing in the sun and rain and the soil, animals mate believing in replenishing life, and humans? Well, the nice warm days and longer light makes most of us feel better.
So it's a new season, and in many ways a new year with a new life cycle, and for it I am grateful.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- Words Didn't Fail Me Edition

It's getting on time to send out a manuscript. I need to do a last edit on it and give it a good reading before it goes out. I am grateful it has gotten to this point.
But I also need to work on the query package.  Along with a query letter some places like a synopsis, long or short, of the story.
I've shopped this story in the past so some of the hard work on the package is done.  It's been a few years and I like to think I can do a better job of it now. To that end I was going to wait until today to get started on reworking the letter.
Instead I felt a draw to do it yesterday morning, after coffee but before breakfast.
I have more sense than to ignore this feeling so I pounded out a few sentences and decided they were much better than the original.
The query needs more work, but the basis for a fresh, new look is ready and waiting for me, and for it I am grateful.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Pot-Bellied Slump Edition

The pain in my leg is almost gone and I have social media to thank for it.
An ad for a video course or somesuch and free ebook appeared in my FaceBook news feed. Normally I'd ignore it, but "leg pain" caught my eye so I read a bit.
After clicking around I learned about the psoas muscles and how they need to be engaged to walk properly without assorted pains.
In short we need to stand the way we were told to when we were young, shoulders back, chest out, tummy tucked. The latter should actually read the pelvis needs to be flat, but you get the idea.

 A few years ago I pulled hamstring, or so I thought. It never really did heal and I'd limp a bit after sitting awhile.
I've made an effort to stand properly and sit properly, something I never did. I slump. When one slumps one gets a pot belly.
Surprisingly, standing and sitting properly with the psoas muscles engaged feels really good.
The leg pain is reduced considerably, and best of all the stomach and abdomen muscles that were hurting me when I stood too long is all but cured.
I am grateful I found this ad, happy I was intrigued enough to look around, and beside myself that merely changing my posture has led to all this improvement.

I'm not sure engaged is the right word to use, but it gets my point across.
I must note this is anecdotal to me. In no way am I dispensing advice, medical or otherwise.
There's still a far way to go. The stance does not come naturally and it only hides the belly a bit.
But hey, it's a start, and that's good enough for now.




Monday, February 27, 2017

Gratitude Monday--Crystal Clear Edition

Lately I've gotten back into talking with my crystals. I haven't done it in years, but I recently read a book about their uses and decided to get back to it.
In short, one relaxes and contacts the intelligence of the rock.  They are as alive as we are though in a different manner, and they have a consciousness. They, like the plants we use in medicine, help us. All we need do is ask.

The other day I contacted my smallest malachite. The first thing it told me was I had too much copper in my blood. It's a copper-based rock so I thought I may be misinterpreting its message.
Then I heard "manganese."
This meant I needed some in my diet.
After the sessions I researched foods high in manganese. One of the best is hazelnuts so I ate a handful.

I'd had a headache for more than a day. I thought it may have been from the old cheddar cheese I'd been eating so had decided to accept the punishment.  But less than five minutes after eating the hazelnuts the headache was gone.

I am grateful for that, for the message from the malachite, and for the book I'd read that sent me back down the path of talking to my rocks.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Choosing Love

My opinion toward our Prime Minister changed profoundly the other day.
I originally thought he was too much of a political lightweight to do anything profound, and that he got the job solely on his name.
Justin Trudeau has opened Canada's doors to refugees. He's taken a great deal of flack for it at least on social media. Arguments are mounted about our seniors/veterans/homeless who ought to be looked after first.

Certainly they need to be cared for, but it must be understood that  if you are born in Canada, and especially if you are white, then you have already won the lottery. We have programs to help our own. Yes, there are those who fall through the cracks, but for the most part they can find food and shelter, even if only for a night.

Refugees have lost everything. They have what they can carry.
We give them shelter and food and clothing and most important of all, we give them hope.
This is the right thing to do.

Each and every day we get a choice to either act from love or act from fear. By the tenets of religion, spirituality, and plain being a decent person we are exhorted to choose love.

As I thought about it the other day I took an objective, overall view and realized that Justin Trudeau is doing what every one of us is supposed to do: he has chosen love.






Monday, February 20, 2017

Gratitude Monday- My Forest Bath Edition

On Saturday I got to spend more than an hour out in the woods and for it I am grateful.
It's something I'd needed to do for a while. I need to be around trees and walk through the quiet forest and just be.
Mike was busy collecting wood for a later carving project and this left me to my own devices.
This is best.
I wandered. I leaned against spruces and poplars and then found a magnificent spruce who welcomed me to sit and rest my back against it.  Eventually I sprawled out underneath it enjoying the soothing energy of the trees and the ground and feeling the sun and wind on my face.
This is what the Japanese call Shinrin-Yoku and they are right.
I have always done this. Our farm was surrounded by a mixed wood forest and I spent as much time in it as I could.
My time Saturday was wonderful, almost like being a kid again. I am very grateful to the forest for soothing me.

The kindly gentletree:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Gratitude Monday-- Real Cake Edition

My husband baked me a Black Forest Cake on the weekend. He insisted it be a traditional cake. That means custard filling.
It took a great deal of work, but every bite makes it worth it.
He did it from scratch using a recipe for Mock Saddle Of Venison, one of my favourite cakes, and used cacao nibs for the chocolate.
The whipped cream is coconut milk. The cake layers are drenched in Kirsch. The chocolate curls were omitted.
It is a very rich cake yet I managed to eat a healthy slice of it as I think anything less would be an insult to the cook.
It took hard work, dedication, love, and plenty of eggs, and for it I am grateful.



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Creating Beauty, An Angel Message

I have felt angels near me on two occasions. I expect they've been around at other times because, well, angels are like that, but on these two occasions I am sure.

The first time was about 20 years ago. My inlaws hosted a sounding circle at their clinic and I was one of the warm bodies helping to fill out the circle. Most of it is long gone from my memory, but I do recall quite clearly being blocked.
If memory serves we sounded assorted vowel sounds and I think they were directed at specific people in the circle. We may have sung their names, too, I don't recall.
At one point I felt something in front of me and could almost see it. The being was at least as tall as the ceiling though felt taller. Even though there was no one physically present it was like I couldn't see through it. I felt that it was time to stop. I also knew, by distinct feeling, the presence blocking me was an angel.

The second instance was last week. This time the Archangel Jophiel stood by my computer for most of a weekend.
Here's some background:
I've had some niggling computer problems since about December. Windows 7 won't shut down properly at times for one. It goes right to the very last screen and is less than one second, if that, away from shutting completely when it freezes. I have to press the button to shut it off. I asked the nice people where I bought it and was assured that as long as it all but shut down properly it was nothing to worry about.

One a few occasions the display didn't go black after two minutes of idling like its set to do. That appears to have resolved itself. I recently tried Reiki on the computer and discovered if I did it during shut down it would proceed normally. When I didn't, it locked.

But the most annoying issue was every time I exited Word it said changes had been made to the normal template and did I want to save them?
This started one day in December after changes somehow got made to said template. I put them back the way I want and saved the changes, as one does. But it kept asking me every day despite me not having done anything to warrant it.

I am not computer savvy. This is unlikely to change. Consequently, doing anything beyond the most basic clean up and the occasional system restore I leave it to the pros. I'd checked for all the things that could be wrong. I found things that could be done, but they were beyond me except for the one that said I could uncheck the box that made this box come up.
I didn't, because there was always the possibility that there was a wee virus inside and I didn't want to forget it was there if I ever had to take the computer in to the shop.

Then last weekend I felt a presence at my desk. It made me want to sort out the template changes problem again. I thought about it then did nothing.
But then one morning last weekend during my meditation my mind went to the presence. I asked who who was visiting. The question was barely formed when she told me she was Jophiel. She told me to create beauty.
Part of beauty is strength, part of strength is deciding, and part of that is doing a thing you've meant to do for a while.
In short, I checked all the factors that may be making the template box come up, actually looked through them and couldn't find any evidence of them. There may still be an issue, but nothing obvious, so I simply unchecked the box that makes the box come up.
Shortly thereafter, the Archangel departed.
I have yet to try not using Reiki on shutdown. I intend to do so shortly.

So now I must create beauty in writing, in life, in wherever it can be made and by whatever means is available. Part of that is writing about the things we don't normally discuss, like angel visits.






Monday, February 6, 2017

Gratitude Monday --Inside Edition

Yesterday was cold. Snow was persistent though so thin one had to know it was there to see it.
I did not have to go out for anything and for that I am grateful.

Also, I got some writing done. I am grateful for that, too.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Your Life Is Your Strength

The above is what I received this morning while meditating. Preceding it was a blast of light near the bottom of the sacral chakra.  Preceding that was a blast of strength felt at the base of the solar plexus chakra coupled with a scene in which the cover of a manhole located there came off.

There's no mistaking the interpretation. It is time to talk of many things,* the bulk of which no one talks about for fear of being labelled a kook, a flake, or the like.
So what?
I am that I am.
My life is my strength.
That means the events of it, the things that shape you and make you what you are. In my case, I  believe those events include interactions with extraterrestrials.
I can't offer proof to anyone, nor do I presume to. What I have to offer in evidence is a series of events throughout my life that lead me to this conclusion.

For example, I had a dream when I was about 10 years old. In it I awoke on an operating table surrounded by a team of doctors. The room was dingy, dirty, and yellowish. All the doctors were in the usual mask, cap, and gown, blue in color. The only other thing I remember of this was thinking I should go right back to sleep. I did.

I have always remembered this. Consequently when I read a similar description in Whitley Strieber's Communion my heart thumped against my ribcage.  That has long been my signal to pay attention to what is happening.
I had the same response when I saw the bookcover. It terrified me yet I felt compelled to read it. It took several weeks before I built up the courage to do so. I am glad I did.

There are many other incidents throughout my early life. They've all but disappeared now, and I can honestly say I miss them.
Today's message is probably the signal to move on to the next phase of whatever is happening.
I am ready.

__
* Paraphrase from The Walrus and The Carpenter, from Through The Looking -Glass and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll.



Monday, January 30, 2017

Gratitude Monday -- As Promised, God, Edition

I promised God I would thank him publicly so here it is.
This happened:
Our computer crashed or claimed to do so Saturday night. We were terrified. Mike had been looking up information on hellebore when a popup came up saying a virus had crashed the hard drive.
We couldn't get rid of it and couldn't see the pop up behind it.
What we could see was a mostly blue screen behind it.

I presumed this was a scam so unplugged the internet as I could not make the popups go away. Mike suggested shutting it off, and as we were both panicking because neither of us have a clue, I pushed the button rather than shut down in an orderly fashion.

When I put the computer back on I got the usual screen about not shutting down properly and the choice of safe mode or starting normally. I chose safe mode.  Instead of starting it went to a screen offering start normally or the highlighted choice of using startup repair.
Tried that. It went to the Lenovo screen. Nothing else appeared to be happening. We left it a few minutes. Nothing happened. Shut it down from the button again as there was no other way.
After trying a normal start and getting this choice again, I shut it down deciding to let the pros look at it on Monday.
But I thought to try again and be patient. I did. I chose start up repair again and left it. Soon I saw some life as the second green button flickered. This gave me hope.
I live in fear of my computer dying even as I have most things backed up. What I hadn't backed up yet was the novella rewrite I had completed the day before.  I had an uncorrected version as well as the scrawled notes on the hard copy. I lost a hard drive in 2012 and this novella was on it. I found half of it back then and rewrote the rest from the hard copy.  I thought I might have to do something similar this time.

About 15 minutes had gone by. I was desperate. I prayed. I actually folded my hands at my desk and asked God to fix the computer. Then I said thanks and mentioned if it got fixed I would say so on my blog.
I opened my eyes and there in front of me was a small screen saying computer start up repair was searching for the problem.
Over the course of the evening it got fixed.
God got the program rolling, and I am grateful. Thank you, God.
Science did the actual repair work, and I am grateful for that as well.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Show Time Edition

The other day at lunch my friend Kathy Feys gave me the first season of Newsroom.
She said it was the best show on TV. I had never seen it as it is HBO and we have low grade cable. I was always curious about it.
I watched some of it, like it a great deal, am grateful for it, and for the thoughtfulness of my friend.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Gratitude Monday - Wake Up To What? Edition

I had another spirit wake up call early Sunday morning. I am grateful for it, and for all the others I've had.
They'd slacked off for a time and when they came back they were rare and quite weak sounding.
If you're just tuning in or need a refresher I refer to being roused out of a sound sleep to the ringing of a telephone.
It only rings once and as soon as I am awake I realize the ringing is only in my head.
They've been back for a while now and I have written about them in the past.
Sunday's call came at 01:29 shortly after my husband left for his night shift to check the local highways.
It was loud. It was insistent. It was a single ring inside my head.
I am happy I get these. I've experienced them since late 1989 or so though the early ones were the door buzzer for my apartment. I've awakened to many spiritual things over the years from meditation to past life regression,to clearing and cleansing energy, you get the idea.
Of course there's more to learn and experience. I am sure there are many things I have yet to hear of and even more I may never hear of. There's something ahead for me. I look forward to it. But I wonder what I am waking up to?



Monday, January 9, 2017

Gratitude Monday - The Flour Downstairs Edition

Today I am grateful the flour downstairs is still good.
It's been a bit of a glutenfest around here lately. I craved proper toast the other day and rather than go out to a restaurant, get an order of toast and coffee, and be done with it I decided to bake bread.
Rice toast is fine, but at the end of the chew it gets a weird consistency like one is chewing cooked sugar. Essentially, one is.
Further, I'd had a nagging thought to eat a bit of gluten again and that's what really put it over the net. Five years ago I had a nagging thought to stop eating gluten, "for a week" as an experiment. It's been great, and it is not over, but it was time for a wee change.
I dug out the spelt I had in the cupboard, sniffed and sorted through it to make sure it was okay, and then fired up the bread machine.
I am so grateful for toast and coffee that I made myself. It was the best.
Then I decided to try making bagels with the rye and barley flours we had in the cupboard.
Yesterday I decided to try making pretzels. That meant a trip downstairs to the stash in the big tote.
Not only was it in fine form it does not require sifting. The stuff we had upstairs did.
I am grateful for that.
There are several large (ice cream sized) pails of it and that's wonderful because I have an urge to make tortillas and buns, and maybe more bread, and anything else that comes to mind.
It's fun. And I realized as I was rolling out the dough in ropes to make pretzels it is not the eating, it is the procedure that I am enjoying so much.
For that, I am grateful.

The pretzels:

are very tasty. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gratitude Monday - New Year Edition

It's another new year with no mistakes* in it yet and for it I am grateful.
I can do so much this year.  I make no promises that I will, but I can so I might.
Possibilities include, but are not restricted to,  I can continue to grow and change and improve. I can approach people openly with love in my heart. I can think before I speak, hold my tongue, or better yet, not hold my tongue.
Too much that should be said is left unsaid out of fear of hurting others.
What a load of crap.
Not that I advocate being malicious, I merely mean if a thing is bothering you, then get it out and get it taken care of. Keeping it inside eats away at our emotional innards and we end up living a lie.
This serves no none, least of all ourselves.
In that vein if you love someone, say so.
If you want someone to fuck off, say so.
Both are equally important, and ultimately, those who hear it will be grateful.
Have a great 2017. I know I'm going to.
 __

* Paraphrase of Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery