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Slowing down, a boy, a girl, a beagle and a truck

Pressures build, there is always something to do, and often it can become overwhelming and exhausting. Crack under the pressure? -OR- Escape to the back roads?

A change of scenery, a bit of nature, the beauty of the Ontario bush, a few stops for some soft exercise, adult conversation. The world no longer feels so heavy.

Heading into Monday back on track!

When Comfort and Enjoyment Turns to Poison and Pain

I thought it all was happening because I am aging. It started with pain in the bottom of my feet, weight gain, depression, exhaustion. Some mornings I would climb out of bed and as soon as my feet hit the floor the pain would radiate making me walk as if I was a very old arthritic person.

A wise friend of mine, suggested the link between food and inflammation, and I researched and read. There is unlimited amounts of research on foods that cause inflammation. But “really” was it true or just another bunch of crud.

When I stop and think back and remember the happiest times in my life, they included food. Helping grandma make homemade bread from scratch when I needed to pull up a chair just to reach the table. Begging for “piggies” (little triangles of dough grandma would cut off for us kids to gobble down). Cookies and tea whenever people would pop in. Huge Christmas/ Easter/ Thanksgiving gatherings filled with every delectable delight imaginable. Cooking for weeks before the events in preparation for the day. Or birthdays indulging in the local Chinese Restaurants delights. Food such a huge part of the joy of life.

I was raised in a day and age where you “ate what was in front of you”, you “didn’t leave the table till your plate was clean”, and “leftovers were completely consumed as there are starving people in the world, so we don’t waste food here”. “Money doesn’t grow on trees, neither does meat and potatoes.” Don’t get me wrong, society today in North America wastes enough food on a given day to feed the entire world a decent meal (in my opinion).

What if we have it wrong though? What if the social interaction without all the”goodies” is what we should be craving? What if we should be seriously considering the role of food as fuel for our bodies, and as a way to good health foremost to any other “secondary” thing? What if we have been shaping unhealthy, detrimental relationships to food for generations?

Within my own family a series of serious food in-tolerances has been appearing, complicating the relationship with food. My uncle and brother have celiac disease, my oldest daugther started breaking out in hives probably from MSG and had digestive issues that could be linked to celiac, one daughter is allergic to dairy/lactose, my youngest is allergic to food colourings.

From my research I found that that wheat allergy, and probably processed sugar, could be a culprit causing the inflammation in the bottom of my feet. But bread, so easy, so good, so much of my life, not to mention pasta…I love pasta.

After much internal debate, I choose to go gluten free, just as test. Sure enough my feet started feeling better. The swollen painful sensation on the pads of my feet was disappearing. The scale started going down instead of up. My mood and energy level started improving. Wow, there was something to this!

Then I slipped, the cravings for toast and pasta hit me like a tonne of bricks. I wanted it, I needed it, I deserved it! The research was just a bunch of “bull patties” anyway right. So back I went onto my old diet of pasta for dinner, and toast for snacks.

Depression took no time to set in, my energy was sapped. How can one move around when you have constant pain in the bottoms of your feet?

Lord have mercy, for me giving up bread, cakes, pasta, cookies, is a struggle harder for then giving up cigarettes was. The psychological link to pleasure of these items is deeply ingrained in ME, “a normal, rational, intelligent human.”

Again, I have started training to eliminate the addiction to wheat based products from my life. I am on about day seven. My mood has improved, I barely hobble, my energy is going up.

This experience has left me with many questions, and lines for research, on societies relationship to food, and health. Are we paying close enough attention to the impact food has on us, emotionally and physically? It’s time to pay attention as our population ages, and our food processes change. It’s time to listen to our bodies, minds, and souls!

I passed it on!

I have a mess of kids whom I love very much, but I don’t always see clearly the lessons I have tried to teach them reflected back. Probably more so from my own self doubt than it actually not being absorbed.

Well it has become abundantly clear, I have successfully passed on my love for “fungi” to my second oldest daughter. I love to hike and I love to photograph nature especially mushrooms and such.

After a few sedatary hibernation months, my fitness level has taken a huge hit. (A post for another time.) Yesterday I had my kids take me and our old beagle for a hike. I enjoyed taking pictures along the way of little spring treasures in nature. After about three kilometers I figured the old beagle and I needed to turn around. The older kids decided to continue, I let Zoa take my phone on with her to continue snapping photos.

It gave me as much pleasure to see the world from her camera view as it does from mine. Maybe even a little more.

My kid loves fungi as much as me, I passed it on to her!

May 1st 2021

Turn and grow

May 1st, yesterday we had quite the snow storm, was surprising after having such a long stretch of summer like weather. Although melting fast, I really didn’t want to wake up to see snow on the ground.

Feels like I have been waiting on hold for so long, like something is about to happen, but no catalyst has reacted to make it start.

Today, today, today. Cool weather crops are going into the ground.

No more waiting for something, anything.

Planting a seed, may it grow!

Will the ending be beautiful?

last day of the tulip

When one invisions the moving of time in their lives, one imagines beautiful things.

How hard, when what is supposed to be beautiful, gets twisted and shaded.

When the pain comes and all one wants is mercy and relief.

When thoughts repeat, louder and louder, till one has no choice than to respond.

The facade is blown.

Betrayal.

This is just a chapter though.

Will the ending be beautiful?

Promises waiting !

The earth like my soul awaits for the renewal of spring, after being blanketed by the cold grey days of winter. Having been held firmly and fiercely in it’s grip, smothering the life breath from it’s lungs. Heart fighting to beat against the constriction of it’s chest.

Waiting for the sun to melt the icy grip away. To chase the darkness, and shadows back to the outside of the fortress walls. Waiting for the colours of life to return. Waiting for the warm breeze to revive the princess’s hope and joy.

Come quickly light of life, the darkness threatens to completely overtake!

An early spring taste of summer, Canadian BBQ style

Starting to get a good smoke on now
A sneak peak…mmmm cedar smoke, if you could only smell it!

The end product will be pulled pork sandwiches, but sitting here in the sun, I just had to share.

The taste of eastern white cedar smoke is heavenly. Far less acidic than western red cedar smoke.

Cedar chunks, and grilling planks are available through schwan-cedar.com

The Canadian Affect

You may be Canadian if the first warm sunny day of March can totally change your mood, and lift you up out of the doldrums of life.

Yesterday was it! A game changing day. A day were the temperatures soared to +6C, the snow was melting, the sun was shining, the air was fresh.

The pure pleasure of hard work in the sunshine, with just a sweater on left me sore, but satisfied. Sleep was sounder last night, energy is greater today.

Who could of foretold of the impact that one day of warm sunshine could have.

An almost perfect day. Warm, no bugs.

Now to get through the season of ice and puddles.

Today promises to be warmer than yesterday and sunny mostly. It isn’t even supposed to freeze up overnight. Of course I never count on what the weatherman says, they get payed even when they are completely wrong.

I feel like a race horse at the starting line on days like this, our business relies heavily on good weather and we have had a late cold snap recently. So off I go to work hard, to soak up the sweet rays of promise of renewal and growth, and bask in the glory of spring being in the air!

Follower or Disciple, which race do you want to be in?

I believe that we were put on this earth to discover love, how to receive it and how to give it. I believe we were created, not accidental. I believe the beauty of nature is not by chance but because of the ultimate artist, that delights in our pleasure. I believe we are all the same and all different at the same time. I believe that the creator desires to have a relationship with each and every being on earth. I believe He chose to dwell among us, fully man, to show us what love looks like . I believe we continue to reject His sacrifice and lessons in a million ways everyday. I believe He loves us anyway. I believe He will not give up on us until we take our last breath. I believe following Him is somewhat easy, He only asks that we believe in Him. I believe that becoming His disciple is hard, because if we chose to answer His call as a disciple, we will be changed.

To become a disciple we need to spend time with the teacher. We must follow Him and learn what He does. We are expected in our limited capability to then become like the teacher. Ultimately we are then to go out and make disciples of “all mankind”.

As a disciple of Christ, I fall short. I worry about what others will think, will they still like me. What do I need to give up? I have a family, a home, an identity after all.

Some people in history have made Christians look very ugly. Some even to the point of haters. I certainly don’t want to be in that number. Lord forgive them!

I struggle to make it through the day trying to be “good”, patients is fleeting some days. Lord I don’t want to be like that Moses guy that took a temper tantrum on the rock instead of letting You do Your thing.

In how many ways have I denied you Lord? How many roosters have crowd in my lifetime? Like Peter it cuts my heart.

How many times have I been the pharisee looking down my high and mighty sinners nose at those that “don’t see the light and change”? Jesus ate with the sinners, not the saints.

So does that make me a follower, a fan? One who knows and accepts the Grace of God, but when the going gets tough, will I fade into the background? Run back home to my den where it’s safe and secure?

I personally want the light of Jesus to shine through me. I want to be kindness. I want to be love. I want to be a reflection of the Father. I will not be perfect, and thankfully perfection is not a requirement. That in itself makes the gift even more beautiful, unconditional love, always. What else is there to strive towards in life that makes the world a brighter, happier place, than love?

I want to be a disciple of Jesus, not a fan! I choose to start today!