Archive for January, 2010

Getting Lucky

Do you remember that little Sunday bread making project?  The one where you could win a recipe book from Maritime Penny Pinchers blog?  Well, guess what…  I won! 

Do you know what this means?  I’m a winner now, baby.  Life is different.  It’s Year of the Sock.

It’s just a matter of time for those tickets to see Ellen.  🙂 

Just gotta believe.

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Jane

I cannot recall now how I found them.  The internet has evolved into a much more search-friendly place now.  But I was pregnant for the first time, and I had found a list of women who were all expecting babies in August 1996, and I decided to join the conversation.  And my life was forever changed.

Those August 1996 babies are 13 now.  The topics have changed with the ages of our kids and as life events have unfolded.  Many of us remain together, connected by our computers. And our hearts.  We have been there for each other in the face of both joy and horrible tragedy.  It is truly a pool of love, support, friendship and vast parenting savvy, and I am so very privileged to be among their company.

Tonight we are one fewer in number.  Cancer, that vicious and insidious disease, has taken our beautiful Jane.

I don’t know if it was as fast for her as it seemed for us.  She never once moaned about her condition.  She never once posted of self-pity.  She was a model of grace and acceptance, from the day she told us of her illness, to her recent last posts on searching for a hospice.  She mentioned to us that she only had weeks left to live.  And only a few days later, she was gone.  My heart simply aches for her family.

Life is a frail and delicate thing.  Embrace the joy that comes your way.  Share your heart.  And hug your kids.

Good-bye sweet Jane.  And thank you for sharing the last 14 years with us.  I truly hope you knew that our lives are richer for having known you.  We will miss you and love you always.  xo

On Stability, Super Heros, And a Chance to See Ellen

We are half way through January, and I am still in the honeymoon phase of the possibility it brings.  There is something very uplifting about January.  It’s a fresh start. A new life page.  And I am still contemplating the possibility before me.  Now, I fully realize that every new day is a similar opportunity, yet a new year, by virtue of its time distance to its next anniversary, January causes me to pause longer and consider possibility more deeply.

What do I want my life to look like?  What is the vision I want to focus on as I move forward?

To that end, I have been working a bit on my vision board… which is actually just images I’ve stuck up on a cupboard wall as I’ve found them.  The images are representative of things I want to materialize in my life – some continually, some eventually.  I’d like to share with you some of what is up there so far (in no particular order):

Work Stability – one image which is not in this post is a picture of my work photo id where the expiry date of March 31st has been changed to “not applicable”.  I want to say “good-bye” to short-term jobs, and “hello” to a position where I have more stability, benefits, and means to support my family.

Transportation – Sometimes it is hard to plan for major purchases when your main concern is getting through the short term.  My recent issues with my van have made me realize that I need to put safe, reliable van to my list of goals.  My current transportation isn’t going to last forever. And while I’m still no closer to a long term achievement plan, it’s on the visualization radar.

A home that is mine – I’ve posted before about my dream home.  January just makes me want it all the more.  Perhaps it is my hunger for stability, or my desire to feel some sense of permanence, or some intrinsic need for roots, but so much has to align for this particular thing to materialize.  You not only need saved resources, but your life needs some provable permanence before someone will lend you the money to purchase a home (lottery wins also gratefully accepted).  So this one is definitely in the “eventually” category, and perhaps belongs more in the centre of the wall, but it’s in the visualization lense, if only the universe will comply.

Be of service – Would you just look at this dear face.  He takes this superhero stuff very seriously. He makes me smile. He’s living the dream.  And you know, service can mean a really wide range of things.  Sometimes it only takes a very small thing to make a big difference to someone.  I want to be cognizant of areas where I can be of service to others.  I think the world would be such a better place if we all reached out a little more often.  A snazzy cape and a cool pair of boots would be a bonus.

Dream Big.  Believe. – For this I have chosen the cover of the December 2009 issue of O magazine.  Here’s why…  To me, this is representative of possibility and belief in one’s dreams despite obstacles.  Last January, Ellen Degeneres set the goal to be on the cover of O magazine.  At the time it seemed an outlandish reach of possiblity.  Apparently it was not, as by December 2009 she was on the cover.  I want that kind of faith in vision.  I want to shoot for the life I crave, however out of reach it may seem.  I want to act in ways that make my vision materialize.  Ellen has given me that sense that things can happen if you put it out there.

By the way, this year her focus is world domination.  Seriously.  In sort of a non-serious way.  Her newsletter specifies “the real goal is to reach out to countries around the world and show our love.” I really hope she succeeds.  Because lots of stuff in the world stinks right now, and a little love might just make a great deal of difference.  (As an aside, in one of her world domination attempts to reach Canada, she has opened a contest specifically for Canadians where they could win tickets to her birthday show. How cool would that be?)

And there you have it… the dream so far.  What is your dream? Are you focussed on your goals?  What images represent what you want from life?  I hope you share.

A Sunday Project

One of the things I love about making bread is that it is a project.  Like gingerbread, or things of that nature, it has a process, and steps, and it can wile away an afternoon fairly easily with a yummy treat at the end.

But I’ve become somewhat dissatisfied with my old bread recipe… an old one from a cookbook put out by a flour company years ago.  And I’ve been in search of one which would yield fluffier, more delicate bread.  The project-nature of bread making, however, makes trying just any old recipe unlikely though.  It’s not something I’d just google.  I’d far prefer to venture the next project with a recipe that is more tried and true and trusted.

Recently while reading blogs, Wendy at The Whole Way lead me over to Liz at Maritime Penny Pincher — and what did my happy heart see, but a bread recipe, with pictures, and a contest to boot.  Liz challenges readers to bake her recipe (or send in your own), tell her about the story, and send pictures for a chance to win a recipe book from our lovely province.  So on Sunday, Rainbow and I set out on our new bread project.

The recipe makes three loaves, so we did one regular and two cinnamon breads.  Essentially, for the cinnamon bread, before the second rising we rolled out the regular dough into a rectangle, buttered the dough, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, then rolled it up and tossed it in the greased baking pan.  In retrospect, we probably should have rolled it a teensy bit thinner, or made the cinnamon a teensy bit thicker, but it still is quite tastey, and will most likely be made again in the near future.

Yummm.

Do you have “projects” that could wile away a Sunday afternoon?  Any tips for the perfect delicate bread?  I’d love to hear about them.

A late breaking resolution

I have begun to dream that I was hospitalized for drinking too much coffee.  I would wake up realizing it was just a dream, but subconsciously I knew that one part was true.  I really do over indulge in cafeinney goodness more often than I should.  And in the back of my mind I wondered, was my body trying to tell me something?

Then Tuesday I was working away at my temp job… it had taken about a day and a half to get my computer system up and running again… and I still had no phone… so as I was strolling though a cubby on the way to use a phone… and the very full, very large, very new coffee treat I had just purchased splattered out of my hand, crashing to the floor… just at the entry of my supervisor’s cubby.  The supervisor of my temporary job.  Lovely.  Then not two days later… the day after they had to get that now coffee-stained carpet steam cleaned… I did the exact same thing all over the staff kitchen.  For those keeping track, that is two very full, very large, very new coffees in three short days.  More than one person suggested I start using a sippy cup.  Including my supervisor.

I was more than happy then, that Thursday evening, to finally get home and change out of my coffee splattered work clothes and get into my dobok for taekwondo class.  Fresh clothes and a reason to re-focus.  I chatted with other parents as we watched the kids’ class.  And then it was time for my warm up.  And I noticed it.  Every time we stretched… and my face got closer to my own skin… I could smell coffee.  Stretch up, stretch down, smell coffee.  Feet straight out, feet pulled in, smell coffee.  The last spill of the day had apparently permeated my skin.  I may not have been very ninja like, but I was cafeinney goodness.

I knew then, it was time to cut back.

So, since Friday morning, I have been very very careful not to go too crazy on the coffee.  Just a regular sized cup or two through the day (which, to be honest, is about what I used to drink before I even left the house).  The rest of the time I’ve been drinking herbal tea, or hot water, or something other than coffee.

And ya’ know what?

I feel like crap.

I know it will take time.  I know that I will get grouchy.  But I also know that I need to do this.

I, Sock Girl, officially resolve to cut back significantly on coffee.  And, to reward my new efforts, I splurged on this:

Some may call it a snazzy little travel mug.  Some may call it a sippy cup.  I like to think of it as Spilly Pants Warranty. A little peace of mind for the perpetually clumsy.

Happy New Year

As much as I am waving madly to 2009, happy that the year is now memory, have to say it did not entirely suck.  Yes, I realize that I am probably the worse resolution keeper in the history of ever – I have not accomplished better blogging, more creativity, or managed to acquire job security –and while it certainly ended with a heaping helping of stress (see last post) – 2009 did have its moments worth holding close in the heart… beautiful, spectacular moments worth savouring…

– I officially joined my kid’s taekwondo school and got my yellow belt in December.  (I was the only adult in my test class).  I also still stink at it, but meh…  Ya’ gotta start somewhere.

– I got temporary work in a wonderful, wonderful place.  And I get to go back for a while in just a few days.

– I started using twitter, and it resulted in my finding lots of interesting and wonderful people, and in my having coffee and ice cream with the lovely and talented Crib Chronicles.

– My kids used food colouring and dyed the dog’s face red and green for Christmas.  Now this, on the surface, may not seem entirely all that celebratory, but to me, who aspires to feed creativity, the fact that they are now 9 and 13 and are still up to stuff like that sort of does put a smile on my face (albeit secretly).

– I got a new dryer.  And it still puts a silly grin on my face.

So, fare-thee-well 2009.  Entering 2010, I still feel like my life is a work in progress… like I’m still redefining things… but I am not one to dwell on unmet resolutions and negativity on New Year’s day.  So despite my terrible track record with resolutions, here is my list of “areas of focus” for this year (some of which is just carried over from last year but we won’t talk about that):

  • This blog… I would like to write a minimum of 100 posts in 2010.
  • Creativity… I also want to carve out the time to explore fictional thought.
  • Work… I want to feel way more security than I currently do.
  • Spirit… I want to keep focussing on gratitude and joyfulness.

To my blog readers, I want to thank you for dropping by and being a part of my life.  From the bottom of my heart I wish you all peace and happiness in 2010.


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