Magic of March

I may have said it before but I don’t like to wish my life away. With the risk of sounding like I am, I am glad February over. February seemed unusually hard this year. Maybe it was the cold that had me huddled hiding in my home. Or maybe it was just a season of spiritual stretching and growth. It felt like death and mourning too many days. So glad to lay February to rest.

Here we are at March now. March the month to dream of warming days. Spring melt. Garden plans. Walks to come. Playing in puddles and mud. (Hopeful. Canada in March could just be more winter.)

Dreams of setting up my outside prayer spot. Surrounded by blooms and food.

Dreams of hikes in the park, camping and fishing. Picking dates for a big excursion.

Time to launch my dream journal. A colourful book to set goals, make plans, reflect, create. (My current journal is almost full.) I need a place of encouragement for myself. (Been beating myself up a bit too much lately.) My creativity needs a place to pour out.

March a month of gardening videos and vlogs. Books and lessons. Renewed interest in learning composting and canning, pest control, and supplementing. Pruning and building.

The magic of March, to me, a month of dreams, of plans, of hope. And the weather begins to warm, the days are noticeably longer. Back into the light. March

Thirty days of elimination diet

Quick Sale Asparagus & Baked Lemon Chicken

I started at the beginning of January. I eliminated gluten, all sugars and sweeteners, corn, all nightshade vegetables, dairy, soy, sunflower products, eggs, beef, and pork. Cut back to 1/2 cup of caffeine coffee a day

I eat all other fruit, veggies, chicken, turkey, fish, and most nuts. I have lost eight pounds, and I have not been left hungry.

I have learned a few tricks along the way. Never let yourself get overly hungry, eat healthy snacks. Make sure to drink water. Vary your fruits and vegetables. Do not let yourself get tired. Move around as best you can. Get outside when the weather allows.

The beginning of February I get to add items back into my diet, one at a time.

I have been asked what I am most excited about. It is really hard to say what that would be because I feel so much better now than I used to. I have no desire to feel as I did before.

I do miss cheese. An occasional glop of yogurt in my smooties would be nice. Some beef and pork would be a welcome change. Butter on my vegetables, maybe?

Some things I have no desire to bring back in to my diet. The swelling and joint pain I get from gluten and sugar make it unenticing. Sunflower oil gives me a stomach ache.

The food I do eat tastes so sweet and good now. Regular fruit tastes like candy, and vegetables are sweet without a sprinkle of sugar.

I will warn you that if you try to rid yourself of sugar, every label must be read, it’s added to everything it seems. If it says “no sugar added”, read it more carefully because they will often put sucralose or other artificial sweeteners in.

For me it was a harder addiction to break than cigarettes were. I was down-right grouchy to be around for a few days. They cravings drove me mad, the headache nagged.

The results are worth it for me, now that I can see. My friends started commenting near the end of week two as the inflammation I carried in my face disappeared, thinning it out and returning my cheekbones to me. I have ingested far fewer Advil pills for aches. I wake up in the morning and my joints aren’t stiff. I have taken short walks and haven’t had to take the next day off for foot pain. My house is neater. I have more energy, and I sleep better at night.

My daughter is thinking of joining her high-school running club. Maybe by spring I will be ready to go to.

Even a nice brisk walk would be such a joy. So I will keep going. I probably won’t add most things back into my diet on a regular bases, some not at all. I will test and watch very carefully for side effects.

Life is so good. There is much to enjoy and discover. I am thankful for my friend that encourages me to be healthy, and never gave up until I listened and started to win. I don’t want to miss out on a single experience that could be had because of bad food choices leaving me sidelined.

COLOUR-FULLY STRONG IN 2022!

I Am Willing…or am I?

The pleasure of learning

Morning pages and morning affirmations are part of my journey this year, as I work through this creative devotion book.

This morning I was struck, almost dumb founded as I wrote!

I had reread Julia’s affirmations and basic principles as usual, and I started to write out my affirmations for my day, and life.

Like every other morning this week. I looked forward to writing the “I am willing…” statements. I was looking forward to the “feel good” moment that these statements bring. All of a sudden it changed!

I started with “I am willing…” Then I was stuck repeating “I am willing…I am willing.” Nothing more.

The writing voice changed! It was not threatening or condescending but firm and pointed!

“What are you willing to do?”

“Are you willing to let God use you to bless your own health, so you have energy to bless your family, so they are able to pour blessings out on others without distraction. “

“Are you willing, to seek the perfect shot of God’s creation, even though you have to go out into winter to do it? Are you willing to attempt that new art medium you have been dreaming of….to create beautiful meals….or transform your house and yard into the gorgeous artsy home you have been dreaming of? Are you willing to look at the photo of your life right now today and say ‘I am blessed’?

Am I truly willing, or am I begrudgingly going through this life, half-way doing what “needs” to be done, like a child “forced” to do their chores and homework?

How about you? Are you willing?

December 1st, 2021; Rush To The Finish Line!

I awoke this morning with the thought that maybe December should be a month of “inventory ” as apposed to the final push to the finish. I thought maybe a pause to see and remember all of the accomplishments, and count all the items yet to be finished, and an account of what worked and what didn’t go so well.

December can be such a busy month, with all the holiday cheer, decorating, cooking, gathering, fun.

Would a pause now, break the pace? Or would a “water break” give us the energy to finish the year stronger?

Jesus while sitting by a well resting in Samaria, asked a woman for some refreshing water. As the discussion continued He told her that “if she only knew who He was, she would ask Him for a filling of living water”.

I personally think I could use a drink of living water, to finish this 2021 race strong. How about you, do you need a water break?

Taking care of the most important things.

I hit a wall! Everything was piling up. Kids were picking at each other. Tim was exhausted. There was no peace.

I called a time out.

Bought supplies, and Tim and I checked out.

We didn’t get away to our usual place, it was booked up. We found someplace close to home.

Would like to say we came home relaxed, refreshed, with a fully restructured plan and the umph to get moving on it. We didn’t.

We did have a break from the grind. Maybe it will help everything be more manageable.

Sweet thing about staying closer to home. We were able to get home in time to take the kids fishing.

Fred caught a bullfrog

Fred caught a bullfrog. Thought for a bit that the frog was going to have him head first in the lake, but he persevered.

Maggy’s bass

Maggy is turning into quite the fishin’ girl. This is her biggest catch of the day. One of six this gal pulled in.

Fred going out on a limb (trunk) for Mags

Fred was an awesome big brother and managed to climb out and unhook Maggy’s line. It was close a couple times of him going swimming.

I remembered I had forgotten my salt shaker, again, when I found my feet covered in leeches. Asked for hip waders for my anniversary, lol.

When it was time to hike out the sun came close to say good night. Looked like I could have reached out and picked it up out of the water.

Good night sun

What a wonderful renewing weekend! Tonight I will rest, and tomorrow, it’s not here yet, so for now rest.

Thinking healthy

All the variety of greens and the radish straight from the garden.

Today’s seasoning Thia Basil, and Mint.

Garnished with a tiny sprinkle of pink salt, and a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Can’t wait till I can add my own home grown tomatoes!

Today…

A delight to the senses

Slowly assimilating back into the family. Still tired from the travel, physical work, and adrenaline crash from returning to the familiar.

Problem is that I do not want to go back to how life was managed before the mission trip. “But I am tired!”, whiny voice here.

The schedule was grueling while away, trying to complete as much as possible in as short of time as we could. The work was chewed through and the end of the days were wrapped up with a bow of satisfaction.

I don’t want that to remain there, I want it here also!

Diet was a huge part of our success I believe. We were eating keto with intermittent fasting. Well balanced, healthy, not processed food.

The fresh air, and physical labour made sleep sweet.

Making a grocery list today. Not breaking under the pressure of convenience and the desire for treats.

Fresh whole foods. Moderate quantities/portion control. No unhealthy snacking.

Getting outside into the garden. Absorbing the sunshine, breathing the air, stimulating the senses.

Wrapping the day into a bow of satisfaction of a job well done!

Half way there, already!

Wild red raspberry at home

June 1st, 2021

I remember when I was a child my mom helped out my Great Uncle George and Aunt Beatrice. They had the most beautiful garden, lots of gladiolus plants, nice and neat. Vegetables all in perfectly straight weed free rows.

They also had a massive row of big sweet juicy raspberries. It was always fun to ‘start’ picking them, one for the bucket, one for the belly, one for the bucket, two for the belly, etc, etc.

Always about half way through the task of picking, these berries would get boring and old. I remember whining about “how much longer till we get to the end?”

My mom would always say, ” instead of worrying how much we have left to do, look how far we have come!”

Today, right now, the half way point, it’s time to look how far we have come. What was sweet and juicy? What is not quite on track?

Regroup, refuel, strive for the prize but don’t forget how far we have come!

Lazy day

Maggy’s gooey goodness!

Yesterday we celebrated Tim’s birthday. Lots of love and food and marshmallows. A fun and exciting drive through the narrow roads. Including a bit of an adventure returning the tires of an oncoming vehicle to the road, as he squeezed a little too close to the ditch to let us by.

Today is Sunday. I know that there are things to clean up. Gardens to uncover. Seeds that need planting. But honestly it’s lunchtime and I have not officially gotten out of bed.

I have been working on school work, sending emails, filling in applications, sipping coffee, browsing social media, handing out my unsolicited opinion (oops lol), and writing this blog.

I guess it hasn’t really been a lazy day, as I take another sip of my third cup of cold coffee. I really thought I would get to drink this one hot!

It’s nice to have a day of rest, a gift from the Lord, to slowdown and remember the blessings of the week. To exam what went well, to contemplate where we need to improve, to let our bodies catch up to our minds, and look ahead towards our next week.

Whatever you do today, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may you take time to count the blessings, mourn the losses, and stratigize the week ahead!