OLW May Blog Hop

by Cynthia on May 1, 2012

in Me,One Little Word,Scrapbooking

Welcome to the OLW Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Margie, which is based on the BPS class led by the amazing Ali Edwards.  If you are here from the hop then you have arrived from Kaylea’s blog  My Scrappy Life.

Unfortunately my Mom is in the hospital and things are touch and go at the moment.  As a result of all of this I don’t have my post prepared so I am forwarding you on to the next person on the list, Donna .  I do hope to be back next month.  Thanks for stopping by.

OLW April Blog Hop

by Cynthia on April 1, 2012

in Me,One Little Word,Scrapbooking

Welcome to the OLW Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Margie, which is based on the BPS class led by the amazing Ali Edwards.  If you are here from the hop then you have arrived from Nikki’s blog, INKYART.  If not, I am so glad you are here!

My One Little Word for 2012 is Invite.  I have written about my word here , here and here. The month of March was one of some consolidation, rumination and introspection as I moved through the big realizations and movement I experienced in February.  And for me, no matter how much insight I get, my physical abilities dictate the amount of ‘stuff’ I can accomplish.  I am realizing how large and all encompassing the word invite is.  It is BIG.

This month Ali ‘invited’ us to focus on some action specifically related to our word.  Evolving from my ‘invitation to acceptance’ from February, I really wanted to keep on with that path so I didn’t have a specific activity in mind.  We did have a trip to Louisville, KY planned in March however and so my goal was to incorporate my word into the trip.

So under the heading of “THIS MONTH I:” I wrote ‘with my word INVITE I want to work on trusting myself, believing in the decisions I make, and to participate in my life as FULLY as I can, wherever I am at at any given moment’.  I haven’t been feeling the best with the ongoing hormonal adjustments (within the scope of my fibro, etc.) and so I wasn’t sure how I would cope with our trip.  I rested as much as I was able beforehand.  I really love our road trips.  It is great to get out, explore, see our Deerhound friends and take in the whole show environment.  Honestly though, I have been so compromised that the thought of being in so many different places, the work involved in the showing and the socializing aspect, had me anticipating some issues.

I went with the word ‘invite’ and ‘invite acceptance’ and ‘invite trust and choosing where I am’ in my back pocket.  It was altogether pretty good.  No question I was tired and in pain.  The Louisville Spring Circuit Show (4 days of shows back to back) is a huge show, in a huge venue.  Lots and lots of walking on concrete.  Long walks on asphalt outside the venue to find a patch of grass for my girl to pee.  A major disruption to the mega greens of my daily diet.  Long hours and a huge spike in the physical activity level (and lots of loading, unloading, hauling, etc. etc.).  However, this was the first time I didn’t feel at all frazzled with it.  I just reminded myself to do as much as I could handle, to invite acceptance of wherever I was physically.

The Saturday night was a great example of this for me.  I was so tired after the first three days of showing, a couple of late nights and not enough rest, that when we finished in the early afternoon I just wanted to call it in for the rest of the day.  My plan was to lay down in our hotel room, order in and knit.  I did lay down, however we got a call from one of our friends wanting to see if we wanted to go out with a group for Chinese.  Initially I was resistant to the idea – I didn’t think I could manage it.  And we said no. However, in weighing my options, not from a point of illness but rather from an invitation of choosing instinctively, I decided to go for it.  So we called, changed quickly (I was already in my pj’s!) and zipped over to their hotel.  I wasn’t less tired, and I didn’t hurt less, but the time spent laughing and enjoying myself with some great people was a great choice (and nice because we wouldn’t see them after the Sunday rush for another 2 months), and at that moment, something I was able to handle.

I managed the two day drive home really well.  Normally we would do it in just a day, pushing to get back.  I knew I needed the break and we re-adjusted.  So, we drove at a much more relaxed pace, stopped just south of the Sarnia border in Roseville, MI, had a relaxed evening, slept in and left in good time the next day.  When we got home I was able to help with the big unpacking and resettling.  That’s not to say I didn’t then hang in my pj’s for the next three days and rest – and I was okay with that too.

I will say it again.  One Little Word is magical.  Transformational.  Revolutionary.

In “Documenting my experience” I wrote: ‘it’s been a hard month – making these shifts really means I have to move myself from a long established pattern – by inviting acceptance from last month, I have come to realize that my anticipatory or reactive behaviours and/or feelings only result in fear, worry, anxiety – NOT good for me – so hard to just leave behind – for good or bad this has been my pattern for such a long time – I haven’t been completely successful this month and I am okay with this (YAY!) – I am realizing that trusting myself, believing my inner, authentic self really allows me to make decisions and/or invite choices that are for my betterment – I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to KY and only did what I COULD without guilt or recrimination – when we got home I rested (stayed in my PJ’s) and although it was difficult I allowed myself to be where I was – so necessary – I like this shift and I invite more of it!’

Thank you so much for taking the time reading my post and my journey.  Thanks again so very much to Ali, for such a great class, and to Margie, for hosting this blog hop!  I hope you have a great month!  And please, enjoy the rest of the blog hop.

OLW April Blog Hop List

Margie

Monica

Jill 

Jenn

Kara

Cheri

Catherine

Nikki

Cindy     (you are here!)

Lisa

Donna

Coley

Naomi

Stephanie

Ruth

Eydie

Janet

Orange Gearle

Amanda

Jen

Melissa S

Kaylea

Missus Wookie

Cindy

Beth

Tere

Kelly

Heidi

On My Sticks …

by Cynthia on March 28, 2012

in Knitting,Yarn Along

Knitting on the scarf/shawl has continued.  I still really love it.  I am at that awkward place where I am into the second skein of deliciousness and, having another skein in my stash, wonder if I should make it into a shawl or keep it as a scarf.  The yardage on the skeins of Sundara are generous so I could possibly use that other skein for a less glamorous scarf (and have two) or make a shawl.  I have to decide soon, as I need to make sure I don’t knit all this skein without doing the edge rows.  Not sure what I will do.

Decision making has not been my forte these days.  Still living in that haze of menopausal hormonal shifting.  GOOD times.  I highly recommend it …lol.  And I have been crazy fatigued since we got back from Kentucky on the 19th.

I get so far behind so quickly.  I spent little or no time online last week.  Despite my deep seeded affinity for allowing myself to get pulled down into so much guilt for not visiting blogs and sites, I rested and gave myself the opportunity to be where I was at physically.  I must admit it ended with a wallop of feeling like crap about myself on Sunday.

I did go with Ed to take the hounds for a walk yesterday.  It was great to be out and in the fresh air.  I am soooo paying for those hills today though, despite proactively having ‘the‘ bath last night (stuff is usually magic for me).  Sore and stiff everywhere.  Amazing how the fibro makes your wrists sore … from a walk.  Love it.

I have been reading a fair amount – goes with the laying around.  On the second to last O’Connor novel from the current series.  They have been pretty good.  Easy reading for sure.  Much needed around here.

I have also been reading the books below in the ever ongoing search for the best way to feed my chronically ill body.  As the hormones change so do my sensitivities.  The Emmerich books are so good as are the Fuhrman books – there are some fundamental differences in their approaches with respect to fats and meat.  I am personally more inclined to the Emmerich books although right now eggs, milk and cheese cause me quit a bit of inflammation and stomach upset.  My focus has really been to dial down the inflammation as much as possible just to make things easier for myself.

The Ratio book is in a different catagory.  It is one of my go to kitchen bibles.  LOVE this book.  I highly recommend it.  With these concepts anything is possible in the kitchen.  Knowing ratios means that you can cook anything, pretty much any way you want.   It has been very enlightening for me.  I really want to get Ruhlman’s latest book.  Will do one of these fine days.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Linking with Ginny.

Several few years ago I followed Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice religiously.  They had created the Daring Bakers Challenge and I was really hooked on checking out what everyone created each month, following one specific baking challenge. And there were some really cool challenges.  As my health issues dominated my life and the internet took a back seat, I kind of lost track of their sites and the challenge.

Then, last month, I came upon the challenge again and found myself at their new website The Daring Kitchen, and, in a moment of absolute craziness/serendipity/spontaneity I joined up for the baking challenge (I also signed up for the cooking challenge but that is for another day)!  I am so glad I did.  This month has been tough for me, mostly fatigue wise, and I barely made it in under the wire (posting date today, baked yesterday) but I got it done.

The challenge this month was hosted by Erica and Sara of Baking JDs.  The challenge was to create Dutch Crunch bread.  Having never heard of this before I was admittedly curious.  Apparently a San Fransisco treat (and of Dutch origin), Dutch Crunch refers to the ‘topping’ slathered on the dough prior to baking, which creates a tiger like crackled shell on the surface of the bread during the baking.

We were given the choice of making rolls or loaves of our own choosing to turn into Dutch Crunch, and then making the rolls or bread into something delectable.  The two recipes given, soft white rolls and brown rice bread, were new to me so I went with those.  The results were great.

The recipes were quite easy.  Yesterday was both cold and dry here in Ontario, so I didn’t use all the flour called for in the rolls to get the required texture of the dough.  The Dutch Crunch cover was to be prepped during the final stages of rising so that it had time to start blooming before being spread onto the bread/roll dough.

The rolls and the bread both used a fair amount of yeast, as did the Dutch Crunch, and, as I was putting together the crunch I found I was shy 1 tablespoon of yeast.  I proceeded, knowing the miraculous power of yeast, and prepared to accept less than perfect results.  As it turned out the Dutch Crunch came out beautifully.

Dutch Crunch being new to me, it was pretty cool to see it bake up in the oven (I had the oven light on and opened the oven door just once!). I think the cool thing about cooking/baking is when your finished product proximates the photos you see in your reference.

The smell was pretty intoxicating (there has been no baking here for a good couple of weeks) and there was a certain teenager who was yearning to eat the rolls hot out of the oven.  He got a piece of bread, smothered in semi caramelized onions, instead.

The texture of the bread is lovely.  Light and with a nice crumb, there is no trace of the cooked brown rice in the final baked product.  A complete mystery to Nick!  Both he and Ed were eating the excess Dutch Crunch off the edges of the bread with a lot of zeal.  It has this lovely sweet taste to go along with its crunchy texture.

So, onto the sandwich made with the finished rolls.  Ed and Nick had planned at breakfast that hamburgers would be had with the rolls (okay they actually just wanted to eat the baked rolls by themselves but ‘settled’ on burgers).

We used locally grown, grass raised Angus cooked on the BBQ (for Ed to stand out there today in the rather brisk, winter like wind we had today attests to the seduction of these rolls).  They were topped with melted Cheddar, Madeira braised mushrooms, caramelized onions, homemade mayo, Dijon mustard, baby greens and dill pickle slices.  They were soooooo good.

Nick had 2 double cheeseburgers (no clue where he put it all, I was full just watching him eat … and of course he was hungry about 30 minutes after finishing!) with toppings.  The rolls and their Dutch Crunch held up quite nicely given the amount of ‘stuff’ in between the top and bottom.  The next time I make these (I have been ‘told’ there will most definitely be a next time) I will make them a titch smaller so that the burger isn’t overwhelmed by the size of the bun (my bad).

A great first foray into the Daring Kitchen challenges.   I can’t wait for the next one.  If you like to bake and/or cook I do urge you to go and check out the website.  There are a tremendous number of awesome resources, forums, book reviews and information on the site aside from the challenges.  And, it is so much fun!

I do hope to be back to more regular posting soon.  Fingers crossed!

On My Sticks…

by Cynthia on March 14, 2012

in Knitting,Yarn Along

I am in love.  I still haven’t finished putting Ed’s sweater together.  I think I am living in this blurry, fuzzy disconnected state of menopausal hormones … so not sewn up.  I will get there…soon.

Oh wait, here I am off track again.

I am in love.  I finally started my new knitting project.  The one I have been waiting for.  LOVE this yarn.  I have had it for a while. Probably since Sundara first opened her online shop.  Her yarn is truly glorious.  When I bought it I had no plan for it.  And then I saw this.  I do need people like Jared Flood as I simply do not possess the genius that he has in reworking a great pattern with a different yarn.

I am so in love.  Knitting this shawl is proving to be an incredible experience.  The yarn is exquisite.  Soft, silky and a joy to feel.  The pattern is straightforward and progressing easily.  It is one of those knits that I could sit and just knit and knit and knit until it was done.  But I don’t want to do that – I have to savour this one.  I am not using the 5.5mm needle Jared used.  Me? 4.5mm needles.  Started with the 5.5 and it felt a little too big so I went down.

The photo doesn’t do the yarn justice.  Must get better ones.  Photos that is. I admit I was rushing it a bit.  We are on the road.  Dog show in Louisville, KY starting tomorrow.  I did bring the shawl with me though.  There will be more knitting.

On the reading front I have been working my way through the Cork O’Connor series of books by William Kent Krueger.  All in all they have been great reads, easy to immerse myself in, and easy on the brain as well.  I have been reading these primarily on my Nook which I didn’t bring with me on our trip.  Instead I decided to bring The Murdered House.  So far, really good.  REALLY good.  Feeling good about my choice for sure.

Linking with Ginny.

12 on 12 in 2012

by Cynthia on March 13, 2012

in 12 on 12,Family Life,Scrapbooking

My 12 on 12 for March (I did do the 12 photos for February but never published them – guess I should have).  The photos, not in chronological order, left to right, top to bottom:

1. Kung Pao Chicken – the best meal ever, which we had for dinner.

2. Iron Coat Rack – purchased at Camp Ho-Ba-Chee, a rockin’ vintage store in our little village.  Lesley and Robin are awesome!  And I am so happy it’s in MY house.

3. Mussed up bed sheets this morning.

4. Maximus at the fence – wanting to be out with the hounds in the yard.

5. Bailiewick in the field – watching the deerhounds run is an unbelievable experience.

6. Ed and the hounds posing for a photo – have to put together an ad for our upcoming National Specialty being held in Frankenmuth, MI in May.

7. My lovely husband on the phone.

8. Cribbage – Ed and I play this game A LOT.  Today’s stats – I skunked Ed once, he beat me once and then I beat him again. Ha!

9. Putting my supplements together for the next 4 weeks.  It takes a bit of time.

10. Getting the truck ready for our trip to Louisville, KY. We are leaving today so there is planning and packing happening.

11.  The salad we had for lunch.  Yummy.

12.  A wonderful package from Elle’s Studio came in the mail today.  Woot!

OLW March Blog Hop

by Cynthia on March 1, 2012

in Me,One Little Word,Scrapbooking

Welcome to the OLW Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Margie, which is based on the BPS class led by the amazing Ali Edwards.  If you are here from the hop then you have arrived from Cheri’s blog, Scrap Dreams.  If not, I am so glad you are here!

My One Little Word for 2012 is Invite.  I have written about my word here and here.  The month of February has been another instrumental month with respect to my word.  I continue to be amazed how life changing focusing on One Little Word can be.  What I thought my focus would be at the beginning of February was certainly not how my month ended up.

Our project this month was to create a mosaic based on our word.  And we had the option of an 8.5×11 photo of something which speaks to us or was special in our interpretation of our word.

The photos left to right, top to bottom:

1.knitting   2.supplements   3.Bailiewick   4.beans/pantry   5.grasses   6.bath   7.scrapbooking   8.chicken soup   9.runners

These were not the photos I started out with at the beginning of the month.

I have continued to work on eating well, being aware of inviting good emotions and calmness, being present, taking photos and managing the challenges that came this month (i.e. my laptop crashed and was out of commission for a week or so, my menopause symptoms continue to cause me severe debilitation) when suddenly I had this huge epiphany about my word.

My life has long been dominated with the language of  ‘I have to’, ‘I need to’, ‘I should’, and so on.

This was particularly so after I got sick such a long time ago.  My chronic illness and my guilt associated with it has always left me feeling less than, feeling left behind, feeling unaccomplished, feeling I need to do more in order to make up for what I felt I lacked, feeling huge levels of inadequacy, feeling the need to be more.

These words and phrases are so pressured filled, bound to disappoint and on so many levels belittling.

At the same time, I felt that if I did this, or took care of that, my illnesses (Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Lead Poisoning) would go away.  And of course that hasn’t happened.  I have had periods of improvement but all in all not much has changed.  I have done all kinds of alternative therapies, different food programs, herbal remedies, all with no huge, lasting change.  And, I always put things off, waiting for the cure.

The funny thing about being engaged with One Little Word is that it is with me all the time.  I think about it without thinking about it.  I wear it like an invisible cloak.  I think about what I want to invite.

And then, one day this month, I started to think about what invite could also mean.  Other than just asking to bring qualities or aspects into my life.  How I could invite.

A choice.  An option.  Not ‘have to’, ‘need to’, ‘should’, but that I can decide to RSVP yes or no.  And while I realize this is a simple concept it just felt huge.  One of those AHA moments.

I can invite myself to be in a place where I do what I can, when I can and be okay with what is.  It’s not a choice of giving up or giving in or feeling like I have quit fighting for health, but rather it is an invitation to acceptance.  And being okay with that.  And not worrying about what others think.  And not feeling that in not doing the needs, shoulds and musts I am somehow less.

It has been liberating.

So the photos.

I invite healthy eating and taking my prescribed supplements because they help me to function the best I can, not because they will cure me.  I invite mustard baths with candles because they relax my muscles, help the pain and because it feels good.  I invite photography because I see so much around me and I have something to say.  I invite knitting and scrapbooking because they allow me to create and feel empowered.  I invite the runners because I will move when I can.  I invite my dogs because they love me with so much passion and get me outside which makes me feel alive.

And finally,  I invite the open road below because I still have places to go, things to do and life to experience.  And where I am on the road right now is enough.  I am enough.  Right now.

I love the concept of One Little Word.

Ali’s class gives structure and focus to the word I have chosen in her ever humble, graceful and accepting manner, while Margie’s blog hop is helping me to consolidate my thoughts and experiences each month.  To both of you I send a HUGE thank you!

I am really excited about March.  I am so stoked about the revelation I had this month.  I feel it inside me … deeply.  Enjoy your March!  And enjoy the blog hop!

OLW March Blog Hop List:

Margie
Melissa S
Sharyn
Kimberlee
Jill
Cheri
Cindy   {that’s me!}
Jenn
Monica
Catherine
Naomi
Jamie
Coley
Melissa C
Donna
Monica B
Veronica
Heidi D
Lisa
Nikki
Devon
Amanda
Brooklyn
Kristina
Jen R
Kara
Eydie
Ruth
Missus W
Marilee
Cindy
Kaylea
Dawn G
Rebekah
Becky
Orange Gearle
Katrina
Jo
Nicky
Beth
Kelly
Tere

On My Sticks …

by Cynthia on February 29, 2012

in Knitting,Yarn Along

Leaping lizards it’s February 29th!

LOL.

It’s been one of those weeks.  My blog is being slammed by spam (like 40 overnight).  I lost 6 months of digital photos (my own stupidity although I do have Backblaze so they are out there somewhere – hopefully) with a couple of clicks of the mouse.   And the socks I was knitting?  They appear to have been taken over by Ronald McDonald or someone with similarly giganticus feet.

Must be the leap year – at least that’s what I am going with … or maybe my menopausal brain.

Last night I admit to feeling a level of despair – today the offending socks are about to be ripped out (no ‘frogging’ here, just a darn good rip).

I don’t know what happened and honestly in my entire knitting career I have never made such an incredible boo boo.  The length and fit were great leading up to that heel turn and then it all went sideways.  I noticed that there seemed to be a weirdly large number of stitches leading into the short row shaping but as with all dim witted moves I just forged ahead.  Last night as I was finishing it I already knew it was doomed and yet, like a deer in the headlights I kept knitting.  When I tried them on, oh my word.  Let’s just say wide and long by a good bit – like crazy long and wide (and I am pretty sure that neither Ed, Nick or the dogs were knitting on them).

I admit that I contemplated not posting at all, but thought in the spirit of it being a leap year, and with the hope that I do not have another catastrophic knitting error for another 4 years, I might as well throw my Mickey D socks out there for all to chuckle at!  Rock on!

 I just started the Right to Write so I am not offering any opinion YET (but I will) and the other is one that I have been slowly itching to read (I do believe it was recommended by Amanda – I could be wrong).  On the fiction side still reading the Cork series by Kent Krueger and enjoying it.

Okay off to do some ripping and find something else to cast on!

Linking with Ginny.

February Daybook

by Cynthia on February 28, 2012

in Daybook,Journaling,Me

FOR TODAY

Outside my window… glorious sunshine with warmish, cold spring like feeling – NOT seasonal but then what has been this winter?

I am thinking…about how powerful my One Little Word has been for me this month

I am thankful…for today

In the kitchen…there are piles and piles of cookbooks waiting to be re-organized and re-shelved

I am wearing…hand knit pink, black and white socks, black leggings, grey shirt

I am creating…a house filled with love, creativity, peacefulness and positive energy

I am going…to get some more work done on my Varde today … slowly but surely

I am wondering….about our trip to the Mid Western Regional Specialty in KY in a couple of weeks – really looking forward to it

I am reading…The Right to Write, Copper River and Quinoa 365

I am hoping…that my plan for the major overhaul of my digital photo database goes smoothly

I am looking forward to…asparagus pizza for dinner

I am learning…to truly accept where I am…right now

Around the house…there is a lot of organizing and purging going on – it feels good

I am pondering…the changes I see happening in our family

A favorite quote for today…The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes selves with everyone else’s highlight reel

One of my favorite things…laughter and silliness – part of my daily bread.

A few plans for the rest of the week: putting away the cookbooks, making more crackers, working on my craft room, budgeting for next month, watching old movies on TV with Ed, taking Bailiewick and/or Max for short walks, basking in the sunlight, enjoying the moment

A peek into my day…

(dog prints from the melting snow outside and the result of  ‘digging’ in the dog bed’)

Linking up with Peggy.

Weekending

by Cynthia on February 26, 2012

in Family Life,Weekending

this weekend began with
a terrific snow storm
terrific
because we have had so little snow this winter
great to be inside while nature expressed itself
later in the afternoon
out in the car
dropping the kid off for skating
and then
a quick trip for veggies and fruit
wonderful evening
with my guy
saturday was quiet
resting on the couch
and watching old movies
pizza for dinner
staying up late watching this
sunny day today
Max had a bath
and
Nick was off to the girlfriends house
for the day
Ed went to Kingston
for some fun at Golf Town
I spent some time
in my craft room
putting up rods for punches
and
putting together a Varde for supplies
so glad to have a cordless drill
they rock!
low key evening ahead
yay
all in all a great weekend

how was your weekend?

linking weekend love with Amanda