Sunday, April 20, 2014

hop! hop! hop!

I woke at 7:30 am and I had a headache.  I would have preferred to stay in bed but I had a little too much to do to prepare for dinner today.  It, Easter dinner and well any holiday dinner, has become a catch 22 for me.  I love that big meal.  Today my niece is coming over with her boyfriend and Porscha's boyfriend of only a week is coming too and I love that.....I love having company.  We don't do it often but I love it.  I love all the great food there will  be and am so grateful for it......the 22 part.....I loathe the work involved.  This morning when I woke up with that long list in my head of what I need to accomplish before I put the turkey in, coupled with that headache, made me wish I could throw a store bought frozen lasagna in the oven and call it a day.   The goal is to stay organized.  I plan on sewing somewhere in there and even am planning a nap....yes I have only been up two hours and am already considering where a nap can fit in.

Chocolate has been found and partnered with peanut butter already.  The sun is out and birds are singing.....I have my kitchen window open.  I am so happy for that....spring.


Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!  Eat too much and enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

some knitting at long last

Last weekend we ventured to Windsor, Ontario for Amber's provincials championships otherwise known in the basketball circle as OBA's.  We have been doing OBA's for nine years.  Four of those years we did them twice...for Porscha and Amber.  Usually it is an away tournament and they really are a lot of fun. (well one year they were not so fun for me but that included a mom that liked my husband a little too much...do I sound bitter??  I try not to be but sometimes there are people and situations that forever leave a foul taste in your mouth...that forever change you...this would be one of those people/situations.  Thankfully she is no longer around.)  

We always seem to have just a great group of parents.  There is always fun, jokes, good food and even when we don't medal...happy players.


Last year was a rough year for Amber.  Not every coach utilizes a player so that they are being used to their full potential.  We allowed her to move to a team that was in a higher division....part of that choice was because John felt with Porscha she was kind of pigeon holed into playing on a lower division team because he coached her and he has often wondered if that hindered her movement forward into post secondary play.  She has been very fortune to play post secondary but he has wondered if different people would have seen her in a different division, and so he did not want to hold Amber back when she was asked to move to this team.  As well, we drank some of the kool-aid...you know that whole thinking that your child in a better division is better...when in fact sometimes it is not.  Unfortunately, it was a year of regression for her.  When, in the end, she was cut (basketball politics at its finest) she came back to her old team so far from where she was when she left.  John and I had many conversations over this throughout the year...always hoping that at one point it would click again for her.  This weekend the girls did not medal but we saw Amber open up and shine on the court.  It has taken a whole year of hard work but she is finally back to her old playing self...exuding so much confidence.  It was wonderful.  John and his assistant coach have so much to be proud of with this group of girls and with Amber.


One of her teammates had decorated her parents van and had all the girls sign the window.  I love that her parents let her.....that is some of the best parenting in action there........best!

The hotel was so busy.  On Saturday morning my inner alarm woke me at 6:30 am and after tossing and turning for an hour I decided to dress and pop down to the exercise room and use the treadmill.  When I got there, both treadmills were in use and there were kids crawling around everywhere.  So I decided to venture out into the neighborhood and walk.  It was the best walk ever.  It was a score as well because I passed a Starbucks on my route back to the hotel!! 


So at long last some knitting.  The Sasha Wrap.  At first after finishing it I wasn't sure.  I wasn't sure I could love it as much as I loved it in the picture I had been drooling over while I worked on it.  I feel like it could have been longer.  This is something I have to remember when I knit stuff.  I am 5'10.....I need length.  So I decided to wear it to work.  Well I have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.  It is perfect!!!


John made an amazing dinner the other night.  Fish, squash patties, guacamole and the best potatoes.  It was so good!   


I have been enjoying this long weekend.  Four days off in a row has made for productivity!!!  I made these adorable bunnies and rabbits.  I saw the idea in a magazine and it had been brewing in my mind...waiting to be executed.  



I love getting stuff like this done on weekends that give me extra time to putter with no time expectations.  It is rejuvenating!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

oh my dear blog....i have not forgot you

One thing I really love about the branch I am working at now is the freedom I get at times. I am allowed to step away from my expected tasks...tasks that sometimes are a little repetitive and I am given a chance to be creative full speed ahead.  The branch I was at prior to this one was very large and very black and white.  It was okay but I much prefer to be allowed opportunities to have some fun outside of those black and white restrictions.  That grey is so much fun!

Back before Christmas I was asked to do the display window.  Our knitting club donated some of their awesome knits.  It was a great window.  My co-worker and I came up with a cute saying with some help online browsing.  All you Knit is Love for the Holidays.


In the photo is tough to really see it all but I had fun positioning monkeys in crazy positions, draping beautiful knitted scarves just right......I just honestly had so much fun!!  


I was also decorated the stairwell.......this is just a small area of it.  Making those awesome letters too with my favorite addiction at work......the laminator!!

Again for Valentines I got to tap into my creative side.  Another cute saying we found.  My Heart is an Open Book.  So perfect.


We found a cute idea for books!!! As well we had these awesome vintage Valentines.  Some were a tad creepy but it was fun going through them and picking out ones to display.



Again last week I got to have some fun with the window.  The saying that my co-worker wanted was "Spring into a New Book".  So perfect.  It was funny because I had an idea to hang little pictures of bunnies on the shutters...like this:




So I went to my co-worker and was about to tell her my plan and she got so excited and before I could finished said how we could hang the saying like a clothes line.  That is what I love....collaboration at its best!!!


I really love being able to do this.  I am so lucky to work with so many awesome people.  They make me smile daily.

Porscha was asked by a friend who is taking photography to pose for some pictures.  We have only seen a few but this is one of them.


My gosh I love them.  She looks so fantastic.  When I see her having such amazing opportunities I find myself feeling a bit sad about many of the things I missed out on rushing into life.  I think what makes it tough is she looks so much like I did at that age and there are times I wonder what was I thinking to have not really embraced life differently back then.  I think in my head...wait Porscha....walk slowly...very slowly....don't run ahead.  Take it all in because on the other side, life might get really tough....I know.

I think it hit me hard too because I am tired.   I just handed in my last assignment for the course I took this semester.  That course was a lot.  I sometimes feel like my house is never clean.  There is always someone's clutter somewhere and it messes with my head.  I do not like clutter.  Clutter is toxic.  Basically I am feeling over worked and I think seeing those beautiful photos just made me feel even older...even more tired.....so far away from youthfulness and that is not like me.  I don't really get feeling that down...well it has been a long time.  Thankfully for me we are heading away for the weekend.  It will be John, I and Amber for her provincial basketball championships.  Nothing can cheer me up quite like those awesome basketball moms.  I will get a much need break from caregiver responsibilities....there will be no cooking and there will be knitting...maybe even a ride across the boarder to Kohls.  Hell to the yes I am so looking forward to it.  I am hoping that it will rejuvenate me and clear the clutter from my head!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

beans???

So I wanted to pop in and share another recipe.  The healthier side of my last post.  As awesome as all the baking I do is I am on a path right now that has me really wanting to eat cleaner.  To eliminate the things that are not the best options for fueling my body.  Now it does not mean that once in a blue moon I won't still enjoy those not so healthy choices but the goal really is to be the best to my body.  After being able to stop the thyroid medication and just in general knowing how lucky I am to have such good health in my forties. I want to continue to work toward optimum health today, tomorrow, into my fifties, sixties, seventies and beyond via the best possible healthy choices.

Black Bean Brownies.

Now you are probably thinking what the heck???  I was.  Black beans???? Brownies???? How?????

Well prior to going in the oven they looked amazing.



 And after....


These brownies are so good.  Porscha loved them.  Shelby liked them too.  Amber was not sold and John was so not interested.  I just like that they are a healthier option that actually taste really good!!!     

I bought a five pack of avocados.  I am in the big leagues now!  Usually I buy one or two and sometimes I don't get to them or up until now had a hard time figuring where to add them in.  Well I have used four of the five so that is fantastic.  They say an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.  Amazing heath benefits...if you are interested you can read about them here. (there is a chocolate pudding on that page I might like to try)  I love avocado on bread with melt cheese.....I cut it up and top homemade soup with it.      



Last weekend there was basketball.  A dare to wear her sweatshirt as pants. 


There was a fourth place medal.  


I got lots of knitting done on my sasha wrap.  I am loving it more and more with each stitch  I can't wait to finish it!


A busy weekend behind us and a new weekend almost at our doorstep.  A little slower pace this coming weekend thankfully, John's birthday and warmer temperatures (so I hear).  I am super excited about that!



Friday, March 21, 2014

did ya get lucky???

Usually around these parts on St. Patrick's Day I make shamrock cut out cookies.  I decided to try something different this year.

Luck O' The Irish Brownies

I bought mint chip ice cream to go with them.  The picture is not that great.  They had not cooled fully at this point.



They reminded  me of Nanaimo Bars.  A really great recipe.  Made lots.  They would be great for a take somewhere dessert.  I did add about 1/4 cup of butter to the icing.  I found prior to adding it the icing was too sugary tasting.

Amber has a tournament this weekend and I have a paper due.  I have worked a few extra hours this week. Unfortunately the laundry fairy, the dish fairy or the in general clean up fairy failed to help me out at all this week.  Glad I don't work those extra hours on a regular basis.  I am beyond happy I have Monday off!!!!! Looking so forward to it!!! 


Friday, March 14, 2014

The Tea Song - by Yorkshire Tea

Valerie comment on my last post and shared this link from you tube.  Oh my gosh.....it is perfect!!! And watch careful.....I saw bunting!!!!



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

the right kind of vessel

Well I have thought about getting over here....somehow it just has not been happening.  A little too much of this and that getting in the way.  I am here finally now...with the help of a very wonderful snow day.  I know the winter has been harsh but I will 100% jump in and enjoy a snow day when given to me.  I was at work for about a half hour when I found out they were closing us up.  No argument from me.  I came home and made the best of it all.....I put jammies back on, brownies happened and a pot of tea and a lazy afternoon ensued with my watching pvr'd episodes of Ellen and taking some time to blog!!!


I think I have mentioned how I just love instagram....well the last few days have been a bit of a bust for me because my crappy HTC phone has stopped working after only 17 months.  They can fix it I am told.  I can send it to some place that does the repairs here in Canada....pay for the shipping....let them fix it for Lord knows how much. Obviously they don't stand behind their crappy product....that went for a crap a few months out of the warranty.  I am going to try to have it fixed locally.  I sort of don't want to put tons into a product that has put a bad taste in my mouth and probably will give me more grief at some point so it will depend on how much it will cost.  It may be better to stick to a better known name brand and buy a new one.

Anyway the thing I love about instagram is the British gals I follow.  Okay so I have to say that Brits rock floral decor.  Good heavens above....they rock it well!!!  I love every photo posted that oozes floral.  Just love it! They also rock buntings.  I have been trying to pick away at making a few heart ones.  When I get one done I will share for sure.  So buntings...they have it covered!  And lastly tea cups.  It has began a somewhat new addiction for me.  The perfect tea cup or mug.  I am constantly checking out tea cups....and mugs and I have been buying a few here and there.  My most favorite, newest addition.....


It says: A cup of tea solves everything.  Is this not so true?  Well at least in my world and apparently the Brits are onto this thinking too!  This tea cup would be so awesome for my dear friend Beth.....being a south paw and all that...the saying is on both sides!!  Bezzie a fab blogger and someone I follow on instagram mentioned that her uncle, I think it was her uncle, said one time that a cup of tea is all about the vessel.  I love this thought.  

The other week I popped into the coffee shop across from work.  E23.  I got myself a hot chocolate and there were these yummy looking blondies and so I ask for one of those as well.  The whole time sort of chatting it up with a gal named Rachel...her and her husband own the shop.  Well I over spent and was 40 cents short.  They don't take debit and so I said that I would pass on that delish looking blondie.  So Rachel said no not to worry that I could bring it next time.  I told her I was right across the street at the library, that I was good for it.  I enjoyed my hot chocolate and blondie before my shift at work.  Well the next day she came into the library with her children and she said hi to me...and was chatting a bit.  Just a real nice person to talk with.  

Well during her visit she broke her travel mug.  It was one of those breaks where it just shatters slivers of ceramic type glass everywhere.  It was on carpet which made it easier to clean up.  She felt bad but heck that sort of stuff happens.  Anyway, I had a thought over the weekend that it might be a neat gesture to buy her a new travel mug....you know the whole play it forward thing.  I believe wholeheartedly in that sort of stuff.  You do onto others as you would want to have done onto you.  Good karma brings you good karma. I was out and about and the only one I could find was sort of wacky....well there was a nice one at Starbucks and I do love me some Starbucks but I think owning a coffee shop and walking around with a mug advertising Starbucks is not such a great idea.  So wacky won out....a really great vessel in my opinion!!


After I bought it John and I were sitting waiting for a pizza we ordered and I had a moment of....."was that weird I bought, pretty much a stranger, a travel mug?"  I started to think maybe I should take it back and not follow through on my gesture.  I was feeling a little self conscience of my good deed.  Maybe my gesture is stalker like.  I kind of fluffed off the instinct to return it and ended up dropping it by the shop this morning for her with a little note with the forty cents taped to it.  She was not there but a nice treat for her the next time she is in.  

I got thinking about it and I think my questioning the gesture revolves around the thinking in the world today. People get so caught up it their lives.....we all are guilty of this.  Rarely do we take time to do special things just because....for a stranger...for someone we don't know well...heck even for the ones we love.  So instead I decided to embrace and be grateful for being able to give someone a bit of joy.  Even if I do look like some crazy person in doing so.  I always think of how amazing this world would be if everyday we all made a point of doing that one good deed....saying that one special thing to someone....treating people like we would like to be treated.  Eliminating negative thinking.  To not be caught up in our wants.  To not get caught up in selfish thinking.  It would be so amazing.  

A really awesome thing that happened this week was my visit to the doctor that has been following me for the last year and a half for my thyroid issues.  I have written about it before but basically I was diagnosed as having hyperthyroidism back in the fall of 2012.  It had gone un-diagnosed  for a good four or five months because the lab I had some routine blood work at never sent the results to my family doctor.  I assumed no news from the doctor was good news.  

All the symptoms could have very well be a result of what was happening in my life at the time and so I had no concerns at all.  When I saw my family doctor in the fall for my check up she could feel something on my thyroid.  An ultrasound showed a nodule that was just under biopsy size.  The specialist I was sent to see was going to monitor it and I began taking tapazole.  My next ultrasound indicated another rather large nodule that set in motion an appointment for a biopsy.  About two months after that ultrasound I decided to stop taking my birth control pills.  I had been on the pill for close to 25 years.  I had found some info online that indicated a connection between the pill and thyroid issues.  

A month after stopping the pill I saw the doctor that was monitoring the medication and he said my blood work indicated that my levels had changed and so he cut my dose in half.  I was taking just one dose a day. When I went for the biopsy a month and half later (two and half months after stopping the pill) the nodule that they felt needed biopsied was no longer there.  Just a cluster of small ones.  So this week.....seven months after stopping the pill the doctor who monitors my medication said my levels seem fine.  He said I can stop taking the medication.  Now we will give it three months and see what happens.  I am hoping that is it.  It was so nice to know I could get rid of the last two pills and not have to renew the prescription!!!! 


When all this thyroid stuff emerged it was during a time in my life when I was dealing with an incredible amount of emotional pain.  I do believe that what we encounter in life and how we respond to it affects our bodies.  I was very weak around all of that stuff.  I fell into trying to do things to make others happy.  I was not being authentic to myself.  I was not able to manage all that went on back then very well at all.  I did not stand up for myself properly.  My life was stressful enough and for years I managed it all fine...Shelby's care and whatnot but adding that extra.....well I think by not being able to react better to all that extra stress, my body finally protested.  Now stopping the pill I think was wise as well.  I needed to be done with having that constantly in my body. Now I could be wrong and in three months maybe I will have to go back on the pills but you have to wonder a bit about all of it.  I am going to remain positive and continue to do good things for my body and my mind and hopefully I won't ever have to take any of those pills again!!!!    

I have been missing my phone...the other day on the bus I saw a quote someone wrote on the back of the bus seat.  It went something like this:

Life isn't about being dealt bad cards......rather it is about how one plays those cards.

Can I get a Amen????   Best quote ever!!!!