I think it is a good idea to start the week and end the month with a post on gratitude. Even though our province is still racking up high numbers on new Covid-19 cases, there’s alot for us/me to be grateful for.
It is a beautiful sunny warm November day for a ski.
The guy and I both have good physical and mental health. We have purpose. We are busy and happy with many interests and projects.
I am grateful to live in this province of living skies, that we have the wide open prairies. We have lots of space to move around. We are not locked in or down but we do need to be careful and thoughtful about what we do.
I am grateful to have had Sheba for almost 14 years. She’s the one that got me out no matter what, to look up, to see the blue and grey of the sky. She taught me unconditional love and true grit.
I am grateful for this day. It will not come again. Tomorrow will be a different day. It will be December.
What do you do to keep your spirits up, to keep the ball rolling? I have today and tomorrow to finish the month of daily posting. I am pretty sure I can finish by gosh and darn. I hope to keep going beyond into December. It helps to have a place to come to at the end of the day to unload, de-stress, to pass on a bit of news, wisdom or joy. Writing and chronicling my day gives me a sense of purpose. It is hard to have a conversation without Covid-19 butting in. Such are our times. In Saskatchewan we have 351 new cases, 94 in Saskatoon. It’s hard not to feel the heaviness of these times.
I plod along, trying to do my daily best. It’s best to have a list of things I want to do each day. I make it before bedtime. I still keep it in my head. That’s on top of my list, to make a list each day. Today I got the laundry and some dusting done. Oh, my pork belly is cooking in the Instant Pot. We’ve had these packs of pork belly in our freezer from last year. And what does one do with it? It’s bacon except it’s not cured. It’s mostly fat. I seasoned it with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Now it’s cooking on high for an hour. That should take care of the fat. They will make filling for Chinese steamed buns. It’s an experiment for tomorrow – maybe. Oh, my pork belly is done. Looking and tasting good. I hope I won’t nibble them all away before the buns get made.
I didn’t have a long list of to do’s. It’s good to start small. Less chance of failure. Wait! I got the bathroom floor cleaned, too. That’s my hardest to do. Strange why that is since there’s not much floor. Sometimes I have to question myself, to get to the root of why I hate doing something. I still don’t understand why but I got the job done. What’s on the list for tomorrow? I will do my seed order to beat the rush. That’s THE one thing I want to do. There are many things that NEED looking after. I will think of them later.
I like to have a project/skill to work on. That always keeps me going when the going gets tough. So far, I’ve mastered bread making, regular and sourdough from scratch, kimchi and kombucha. Making food from scratch is so satisfying. It just fills me up.
The latest thing that’s keeping me afloat is learning cross country skiing. I’m not gliding yet but I’m still keen. There’s alot more involved than meets the eye. Bending over to tie my boots is quite challenging in itself. I get out of huff just doing that! I’m learning to do put the boots on and tying them before putting my coat on. Less bulk to bend over with. Then there’s carrying the skis and poles while walking to the park. It’s only 2 long blocks away but it’s surprising how heavy things get when you’ve not used to carrying them. I’ve mastered that now, too. I even managed to fasten my boots to the bindings by myself today. I failed the getting up after I fall test. Still, I felt so much more relaxed after my fall. I think I should just fall down right off and get it out of the way so I can ski better. What do you think?
It’s another Saturday and I’m coming to the keyboard late again. It is easy to get up and dress up but not so easy showing up. It’s the procrastination and avoidance playing tricks on me. It does not feel like my Saturdays any more. It is a different Saturday but it is still the same day that my Sheba went to dog heaven. She had given me normalcy during the early new Covid-19 period. We had our walks and runs in the dog park. Life seemed almost as usual then.
Now we can’t go on saying business/life as usual. We must change the way we are living. I have given up my Saturday swims again. It’s a wise thing to do given our current Covid-19 situation. Today we have 197 new cases, 1 death. Yesterday 4 deaths, 329 new cases. So it’s time to cuddle up and keep warm at home. When we know that large gatherings lead to an outbreak of new cases, why do we continue to gather? Why do we defy and challenge the wisdom of those who know?
Like Bob Dylan sings, the answer, my friend is blowing in the wind. So let me not dwell on them. I like to believe that crisis gives us an opportunity to change the way we see and live. The documentary film, A Simpler Way: Crisis as an Opportunity (2016) gives me hope for the future. Give it a watch. It is a bit long, over an hour, but well worth it.
Today is a rest day for me. No walks or skiing. I tell myself it is ok. I don’t have to go, go, go like the EverReady Bunny. I went to the library instead to pick up some books for us. It would have been a good day for skiing for we had more snow. But I am a little weary, feeling a strain on my left leg. I was satisfied with my little outing. I found a couple of hopefully good fiction and I got to watch some kids playing on a snow hill outside the library.
I’m having a hard go at this post. I’m trying too hard and I’m stuck – much like my skiing. But I did make some progress today. It helps to know that there is right and a left ski. Yup, there are when your skis are of the vintage type. So at least today, I got my right boot on the right ski and the left boot on the left one. Getting the binding to clip and unclip is another thing though. I need muscle power or holding my tongue in the perfect position. At any rate, my boots didn’t come off the skis nor did I fall. It’s a big step in the right direction.
I am not all discouraged. I am not a natural at sporting endeavours and I am a late bloomer. I didn’t learn to swim till in my middle aged years. I was absolutely enthused and terrified. It took me a whole summer of trying to just float. I’m pretty good with the front crawl and not bad with the back one. I’m slow though. Another swimmer told me that if she swam as slow as me, she would sink. She wasn’t very nice. I’m good with my speed. I’m the same with the bike, learning late in life. I still don’t feel at home in the saddle. But I am so happy and proud that I could do these two things. They were my most wished for skills when I was a youngster.
So now it is the skis. A perfect timing. The year of Covid-19 and big snow. My skis had been waiting 30 plus years to come out of the closet. I like to overcome physcial challenges. I like doing things that requires effort. I’ve been out only 4 times and I love it already. The first time was in the back alley. I fell down right off. I didn’t think I would like it but after a few runs, I felt the glow. The second time was at the park. It was brutal just getting up onto the tracks. My leg muscles strain and strain. I thought no way. But I was wrong. The 3rd time wasn’t great. My boots keep coming off my skis. Now I know why. I learn and get better at something new each day. Yes, I got the ski bug. There’s lots of room for learning and improving. That’s the hook.
It is glorious to be out in the sunshine and blue skies and to breathe in the fresh November air. It’s wonderous to see the ski tracks around the park. And when we get home, there’s tea and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
I’m later than ever. It is almost 8 pm. I hope my American friends are having a safe Thanksgiving. Today we have 299 new Covid cases in the province, with 72 at the Correctional Centre in Saskatoon. It’s nothing to celebrate or be grateful for. I’m starting to feel like a reporter. I have to snap out of watching the numbers. We all need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. It frightens me to listen to those people who are anti-masks. Do they really believe what they’re saying or do they have another agenda? Either way, they are dangerous, stirring up vulnerable people to create havoc. Be careful of stories you tell. If they are not your story, do not repeat.
Now that I got my rant out of the way, let me tell you about my main concern. I feel much more settled and comfortable having decided to stop going to the gym. I don’t have to second guess whether I’m putting myself, family and friends at risk. I can put my efforts into keeping and building resiliency. I am also one of those vulnerable people. I am easily affected by the weather and mood of others. I am easily affected by everything. It is important for me to keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit. I want to be kind and empathic but I don’t want to feel everyone’s pain. I’m not good at either one though I am improving. Sometimes I just have to grit and bear the pain.
I am learning that I have to be kind to myself first. I’ve had a hard time of it. I think that’s the reason for the anger I’ve felt and held so often in the past. It’s been a long while since I’ve felt it. Hooray for me! Free at last. It’s not so easy ‘getting it’. It takes a life time. It really have given me a mental boost in these times. I’ve learned to get up, dress up and show up no matter how I feel. That’s thanks to Regina Brett. These are the things that you still have to/can do even if you feel lousy. You might not be able to do them as well on any given day. If you try your best, you can forgive yourself.
Get up, dress up and show up is etched in my brain. It gives me that boost/resiliency on especially difficult days. And these are those days. Even so, I still find great joy and satisfaction – of getting up, dressing up and showing up – to make a soup from all my garden veggies for lunch, making kimchi and then going for another ski in the park. They were not all masterpieces but they were my honest efforts. I feel proud of them.
If you are interested in the recipe for my kimchi, here’s the link. I throw in different ingredients sometimes. Today I put in Jerusalem artichokes instead of radishes. Making food is very healing – for whatever ails you.
I’ve been feeling somewhat unsettled the last few days with the rising number of Covid cases in our province. There are 164 new cases today. The government have issued more restrictions, though not nearly strict enough. Bars, restaurants, churches and other non essential businesses, including bingo halls are still opened. I have been feeling quite safe going to exercise and swim at the YWCA. Now, I am uncertain if I should continue. I was happy the ‘Y cancelled all group exercises. The decision was taken out of our hands. Though I could still swim and use the gym, I will forgo it, too until a better time.
The ‘Y offers virtual classes. I think there is something every day of the week. I’ve done them before. I am flexible. I can also exercise on my own. I will do qigong and perhaps yoga instead of swimming. I have my hula hoop for strength and aerobic training. Then there’s cross country skiing that I’m trying to learn. I really do enjoy the challenge of it. I got the falling part down pat. Now I have to learn the getting up and gliding. I have all winter. It’s a very good alternative to my daily walks. I look forward to posting about my daily skis.
I think we/ I need to think of these times in different terms. There’s no denial that we have a pandemic on our hands, but I don’t need to use/think of this time as ‘locked down’. It’s quite distressing to my psyche. I can see/feel the bars coming down. I can the locks clanking. We are restricted in some areas of our lives, but we are not locked up. In my neck of the woods, we can move about quite freely in safe areas. If there’s a traffic accident with a huge pile-up, they would put up barriers. You wouldn’t want to go that route, would you?
Now I’ve decided that I’m not locked up or down. I could still go to the gym or swim, but I’m not. I’m being responsible and am feeling much better. I can just settle and enjoy this time learning more about new and old stuff. I can bake to my heart’s content. I have lots of flour, yeast and eggs. Someone asked me to share some of my recipes. So Martha here’s the recipe for my bread from allrecipes.com
Though our new cases of Covid-19 for today is lower at 175, our provincial government is doing a lousy job at containing it according to Steven Lewis. He is a Saskatchewanian healthy policy consultant currently living in Australia. Pretty depressing! Let me move on to something good. Jill Salahub of a Thousand Shades of Grey writes a post each week on Something Good and Gratitude Friday. I find lots of good stuff from her posts.
The sun did not peep out even once today. I thought hard on how to navigate these so cloudy days. What could I do to give myself and my brain a boost. Finding some good stuff like Jill is not a bad idea. It would help me and others like me. The library is always a good place for me. Now they, in collabration with Open Door Society and the Saskatoon Council on Aging, are offering to be phone buddy service for lonely shut ins. What a wonderful idea! It is good news. We are looking out for each other.
Other good news is after Saturday, there are going to be a bunch of sunny days. Meanwhile, I will have to plod along as best as I can. I have nothing that I have to do and nowhere that I have to be. I can be as fast or slow as I am. I have done none too bad today. I’ve baked 6 loaves of bread and a dozen plus pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. The aromas of baking bread and chocolate chips is always something good.
It is way later than usual. I still have the muffins to put away. I must say good night.
I am so porous to the prevailing moods around me. It is not an advantage. I am one of those people who can feel your pain. It is not a good thing. I’m feeling a little under the weather, mood wise. It is, of course, a very cloudy day. If not for the snow, my world would be very dark. Therefore, I do love the white stuff. It lights up my life.
The Covid-19 numbers in Saskatchewan today are 4 deaths and 235 new cases. I am still tracking the numbers. I should stop but it is better to be informed. It is depressing and difficult to understand why we aren’t all compliant with what we need to do. Why are some so defiant about wearing masks and having large gatherings? Why do some still believe it’s not real? I guess the answers are blown in the wind. I best get on with what I can do and not sink deeper into the rabbit hole.
Talking about rabbits, I met up with one on my walk. It was all white except for the tips of his ears. I’m sure if Sheba was still here, she’ll be lunging and straining on her leash. I have her to thank for my daily walks. It’s hard to give them up after 14 years. My body knows when it is time to get up and get walking. Sheba is with me in spirit. We go down the streets and alleys as before. And it is all good – for my body and spirit. Being out in nature, even if it’s in the city, is something good I can do for myself.
Gardening is another good thing I can do. I know it is almost December but spring in the greenhouse won’t be that far away. I’m excited to get seeds ordered,organized and started. We had the greenhouse built in record time. It’s hard waiting. Here’s the guy’s video of its construction to take me out of here. The greenhouse is a very good thing.
Gosh, I’ve gone past my magic hour of 5 pm! I’m staring down 5:45. Good thing we are late diners. Supper won’t be ready for a while. So what should I talk about today? Our province’s new Covid cases for today is 236. It’s no small potatoes. It’s not that there’s nothing we can do about it. There are! We can wear our mask when we go out. We can avoid crowded and hot spots like bars. We don’t have to wait for the gov’t to close them down. We can choose to be responsible without a government order, can’t we? Some businesses have. All of us need to step up.
Enough ranting already, eh? Let’s get on with the show even though I don’t have much to show. The morning went, just like that. I did a bit of chopping and throwing things into the Instant Pot for lunch. I thought I would deal with my Jerusalem artichokes pickling down in the basement for awhile now. Then I would have a sit down with my cup of tea. As it turned out, it took longer than I thought. A lot longer. Isn’t that how it is always?
The pickles were in a bit of a pickle. It’s not a complete disaster, but I could have done better. It was my first time so I have to be easy on myself. I should have done a smaller batch. I should have used dried pepper flakes instead of a whole fresh chili pepper. The chili insides sort of melted into a white slime. It didn’t make the brine look delicious. Some of the sunchokes were a bit soft and mushy because they bobbed out of the brine. I took everything out and threw out the soft mushies. I discarded the brine and rinsed off the chokes. I put them back in a clean jar and filled it with a new 3% brine solution. I covered them with cabbage leaves. A teacup on top of that to weigh everything down. It was a bit of work leaving me not much time for sipping tea. Then it was lunch time.
My day seem so short, filled with messing around and cleaning up. But I did have a short ski up and down our back alley a few times. After many, many years, I’ve finally got out those long ago skis I got at the Ski Swap. I’ve only tried them out twice ever, if that. It was a bit of a challenge getting everything snapped on. I fell down immediately. Had a hell of a time getting up. So I just laid there and the guy finally had to pull me up. I got better with the second fall, though my foot came out of the boot. That made it easier. I felt pretty good after a few more times up and down the alley. I think we’ll try the park next time. I’m sure the falling downs will have softer landings.
Not to dwell on things, there are 439 new cases of Covid-19 in Saskatchewan today. It is not time to relax yet. One cannot be too careful. For those who defy mandatory masks, think again. You can be careful and keep the social distancing, but you can’t count on other people to do the same. I was in Superstore this morning getting a few things. I was in an express checkout when a woman stepped right in my face. I was none too happy but I was grateful for my and her masks. What she wanted to do was to go before me as she had only ‘1’ item. A car was waiting for her. What she had was 3 items. I had 6. I was super ticked, held it in and allowed her to go ahead. What ticked me off more was her ‘God bless you.’ I wonder how often she used God to cover her unattractive behaviour.
There, I got my rant out! Holding it in makes me boil inside and out. I’m grateful to my fellow Instagramer and gardener for writing this post.
Be good, do good, feel good 🌸. If you want anything to be better, add goodness to it. Goodness makes things better.
We can’t add negative to a situation without making it more negative. It does not matter how right we are. Evil can only be overcome bygoodness.
So, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath and smile. There is nothing better to do in any situation.
I’ve relaxed my shoulders, taken a deep breath and turned the corners of my lips upward. I’m also sipping a glass of red wine. Life is good. I’ve had my morning swim. I’m grateful I’m still allowed that and that the YWCA is still opened. I’m grateful to have my physical and mental health. True, I still grump now and again. I have to allow myself that. It’s being kind to myself. My arm from my shingle vaccine has just a mild ache. I haven’t had to take a tylenol today.
So here’s my adding goodness to the day. I bought some ginger and tumeric to pot up and grow indoors. I know it is cold outside and in the greenhouse but I can still grow things inside. It might not amount to much, but I won’t know till I try. I like experimenting and trying to grow new things. I was aiming for lettuce in the greenhouse but failing that, I’ve sprouted some in the sunroom. They’ve gotten leggy so I did some transplanting this afternoon. There are so many things we can do to help and boost our spirits and immune systems. What better way than to grow things? And if you are looking for some inspiration and information on gardening, check out this young man, Huw Richards and his videos on Youtube. He’ll make you smile.