January 29, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait..

Tuesday was one of those days. I spent most of the afternoon taking my Mom to a medical appointment.  I did get some grocery shopping done and a nice dinner put together but I didn't end the day with a feeling of accomplishment.

In the morning, I got up late and spent my usual hour with coffee and e-mail.  I did a little knitting. I'm still working on some cowls for family and friends.

One of my friends, Deb was coming over after work to pick up her cowl so I made up a pan of lemon squares.  Her boys like them best.  I pulled out my Kitchenaid food processor, plugged it in and measured out the ingredients.  I pushed the button and nothing.  So frustrated but I won't rant about it again.  I'll be doing my research before buying another one.  I want to buy appliances that are manufactured in Canada or the States.  So hard to find but you can't count on a company's past reputation any more.  I think the only way to get manufacturing back to North America is to put your money where your mouth is!

I had to transfer everything to my blender which doesn't work as well for this recipe.  It took the shine off my good mood.  Even though we are still freezing here in Ontario, the sun was shining brightly this morning.  I started to grate my lemon and aromatherapy really does work.  Just the smell and bright strips of lemon rind makes me happy.

It's been so cold this year that most of my Christmas bulbs were late flowering. My dining room is cold when I don't have the fireplace going. One of my favourite Christmas activities is planting my paperwhites and amaryllis. I got a red one for the dining room and pink one for the living room this year.

The paper whites went in my white ironstone casserole.  I've added some moss and tied them up when they got too tall.  These are one of my favourite things about Christmas and they lasted right through to the first week of January.

My red amaryllis bloomed just in time for Christmas and we've already cut off one of the stalks.  The pink however is just blooming now.  It's quite nice to have something in bloom in the house when I am longing for spring.

Poor stick!  He really doesn't like the cold and every day is a struggle for him.

Here's Miss Lucy.  As soon as the camera comes out, the girl strikes a pose!

January 26, 2014

Downton Abbey Addict

Oh, Mr. Bates! (imagine all shades of inflection here)

I have come late to the party and was hooked on Downton Abbey in a millisecond.  Oh the clothes, the manners, the decor.  I'm not sure if it speaks to my "station" in life but I'm most intrigued with "below stairs".  The homespun clothes and the lovely aprons and copper pans and all manner of utilitarian appliance.  I love it all.

Shortly before Christmas, I watched the first two seasons on Netflix.  Even though I bought season one more than a year ago, I just never found the time to pop it in the TV.  Probably just as well.  I truly enjoyed "bingeing" on DA.  I went out and bought season three before season four started this month.  Now Sunday evening between 9 pm and 10 pm is sacrosanct.  Don't ask me, I cannot come.  I will be at home or as they would have said in those days "not at home".

On a more personal note and after my confidences of yesterday...

I had set myself a goal to lose 10 lbs in January and I have succeeded!  So I am setting the same goal for February and planning to start some exercising.  That has been sadly lacking in my life to date.  My rheumatologist suggested I start with walking. To that end, I bought new winter boots on Friday.  My boots were a full size too big due to orthotics (which did nothing for me except wreck my knees!) and therefore, extremely uncomfortable to walk in (besides being ugly bugly).  While I was at the shoe store, I found a couple more items on sale (ahem)...navy patent leather pumps and plum moccasins.

Here's my first "dieting" tip for you...don't reward yourself with food (you're not a dog and shoes work so much better!)


January 25, 2014

To Blog or Not to Blog...

...that is the question?

I haven't posted to my blog at all in January.  The truth is I was considering abandoning my blog.  I was feeling that it was taking time I didn't really have.  It's a small little personal blog without a big readership so I was going to let it quietly fade away.

This year started oddly for me.  I formally retired on December 31, 2013 and was expecting to feel relief, joy and the promise of possibilities.  Instead, I mostly felt grief...for a job I didn't even want to return to.  So contrary!  Of course, I usually am pretty contrary. I suppose it was natural.  It wasn't really a retirement of my choosing.


Mostly I have worked through those emotions and am feeling open to whatever comes my way.  I plan on concentrating on me this year.  A year long project to find my bliss; to accomplish those things we all list as New Year's resolutions but give up on by mid-January.  This year my word is


No matter how many times I fall off the horse, this year I am getting back up.  I'm going to take the opportunity to try new things, learn new skills, and find what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I may not always succeed but I want to try to say "Yes!" instead of "No".

There are a lot of creative projects to finish around the house and a renewed interest in my garden.  I have a great group of friends that I spend time with every week and that will definitely continue.  Maybe I'll find some time for a little romance this year as well.  I feel younger than I did 10 years ago so that's not bad.

Of course, top of the list right now is working on getting my extra weight off (once and for all...it is do or die time!) and start exercising.  I want to make my heart a lot healthier before I consider put it out there again.

Having or not having a blog really doesn't affect any of these goals but I think it might be good for me to document them.  If anyone else finds it interesting, that will be a bonus.  But this time, it is for me.

I've been reading a lot of blogs in the last month (even if I haven't been posting) and it is the time of year for introspection and self-examination.  A lot of you have been writing eloquent posts.  Some of your posts have informed me and inspired me and left me to gnaw away on an opinion or two.  What I've learned from you is that I have to stop being intimidated by what I read.  I'm a lousy photographer with cheap equipment and that isn't going to change any time soon.  My writing skills are rudimentary but they are my own.  I have to let my competitive nature ebb away because I don't have the wherewithal to compete with the amazing blogs out there and really wouldn't want to devote the time necessary if I did.

I want to make every day count and make up for too many days lived by rote.  If I'm going to continue doing this, it needs to be for me.  A sort of diary of my life rather than trying to fit into any niche or format with pretty pictures.  I'm going to try to be as honest as I can (while protecting the identities of the innocent - grin).


If you want to come along for the ride, feel free.  Any advice or comment is always welcome.