Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ask Yourself One Question Today

Christmas Morning 2019

What is the one thing I can start doing or stop doing that would have the biggest impact in my life?

It's an interesting question and a very simple one as well; but the answer could make a huge difference for you! I pondered this question over the last few days because I really felt like something was missing from my life. I also felt like I was spreading myself too thin.

I'm making some changes for myself that will be very healthy for me. I'm going to spend more time developing my skills as an artist, writer and photographer. I'm going to focus on quality, not quantity. I have a few ideas for a home business and I've been procrastinating a little due to lack of organization - I didn't know where to start! But I'm buckling down because I want to have things in place by the end of 2020 to launch my new business ideas.

I'm going to spend less time doing things that I feel are 1- time-wasters, 2 - things I feel obliged to do and 3 - things that produce anxiety for me. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we fall into roles - roles we think we should be falling into naturally; or because society taught us that that's what we should be doing. I've spent a lot of time on people and projects that are just going nowhere so it's time to put a stop to that and focus on areas where I shine. 🌞 

What about you? Is there some meaningful change you can implement that will have a positive effect on your life and for your future?

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Celebrating A New Solar Year

A Glorious Sunrise on Winter Solstice Morning 2019
Happy Yule Friends! A Blessed Solstice to you!

I woke up to a beautiful scene this morning. We are celebrating the end of the solar year and the beginning of a new one. The Sun really made an entrance today! I see the Sun as the giver of life on this planet - without it, there would be no life - (despite what those epic disaster movies want you to believe where people seem to be able to survive in an ice age!) 

I'll be lighting ice lanterns this evening, lighting candles and feasting with my hubby. We'll be having a meal that celebrates the harvest but also symbolizes light and fire. It's going to be lovely. I'll post photos of our feast with my recipes tomorrow on Rain's Garden.

During the longest night of the year, let's be thankful for all of our blessings. Winter and dark nights can feel quite cold and lonely. I admit that I often have cabin fever, especially when February rolls around. But I try to make my life cozy and comfy to help me feel gratitude for everything and everyone I've been gifted with. I love seeing a little bit more light each day!

Do you celebrate the Solstice?

Friday, December 13, 2019

Love, Beauty, Gratitude and a Happy YOU

I woke up this morning and looked at the calendar and thought, oh neat, Friday the 13th! Though this date honestly doesn't mean more to me than those terrible horror movies from the 1980's! (Which I admit I watch every year lol)

Friday is Venus' day. The day of love, beauty, romance and creativity. You don't need to be in a relationship to celebrate this day! Show yourself some self-love, self-care and do something to make you feel beautiful inside.

I have been under the weather the last few days - pretzel overload me thinks. I was in bed all day yesterday which isn't a good thing for me, I get so bored. I'm not a good "bed rest" patient that's for sure. I browse a lot on Pinterest out of boredom at times and I came across a quote that asked:

The quote focused on the YOU. Are you living the life YOU really want to live?

So many people live by the expectations of others or by the "rules" of society. Some people live in loveless marriages, stay together for the kids or for fear of being alone. Many people work jobs that they hate and it makes them physically ill and bad-tempered. When we shy away from the status quo and follow our own paths, a lot of the time we are mocked or plain misunderstood by others. It's a shame but it's a reality.

The life I really want to live is in progress I suppose. There are some things I definitely want to change. Some of them I work furiously hard towards, and for some odd reason, others I just don't bother with!

I decided to write out a list:

1. What is making me unhappy with my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional life?
2. How do I envision my happiest self, my ideal life?
3. How will I transform my life? This step requires a plan, lots of detailed steps and a timeline.
4. What is a priority? This step requires listing all of the changes I want to make in priority with baby steps on how to begin each one, one at a time.
5. What will keep me motivated? 

Number five is easy for a few of the changes I want to make. But for others, I feel like I really need a supportive kick in the butt to feel like I deserve all of the happiness that I can have in my life. I know this sounds defeatest, but it's really hard-wired thinking that was drilled into me as a kid that I didn't deserve anything good in life - that I was simply a burden. Many people who grew up in abusive families become people-pleasers, as I did. It's hard-wired and very difficult to change - but I'm taking baby steps every day to change it.

In order to help with those baby steps I started a Gratitude Practice. Every morning when I wake up, I brew some coffee and sit down by myself for a little while. I don't touch the computer or my phone. I just enjoy what I see out the window; the warmth, aroma and taste of my coffee; and the gentle snoring of the fur babies.

I write three pages in my Gratitude Journal. Even if I don't have three pages to write, I do it anyway, even though I may be repeating myself! This compels me to think deeply about what I am thankful for.

I add at least one little slip of paper to the Gratitude Jar that I made a week ago. It contains things that make me smile - and it could be anything. This morning I wrote "Alex rubbed my head before I fell asleep." I think this is a lovely way to catch happiness in a jar! When I'm feeling down I just have to empty the jar and read all of the slips of paper. This makes me grateful for the little things in life.

Because I love to be creative and artistic, I also started a Gratitude Art Journal. Every morning, without fault, I draw or paint a scene that makes me happy. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, just a doodle if I want. This taps into my creativity each morning and creates a visual image of what I'm grateful for.

I'm very big on gratitude and I love this practice I started! It really is motivating me to continue taking those baby steps to change the things in my life that make me unhappy. Baby steps is the key. A little progress is much better than no progress at all. In five years, I could be sitting in the same rut or I could be celebrating all of the changes that I made through self-love, discipline and hard work. I'd prefer the latter!

You are a beautiful person and deserve all of the happiness in the world. Let's all live by that truth!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Savings Goal For A Rainy Day

Hi Friends :)

It's that time of year when it is way too easy to overspend! What is it about Christmas and the winter holidays that turns people into heavy spenders? It's almost like I forget that I have a budget this time of year and my attitude towards borrowing from the credit card is very lax. I always figured, ah heck, I'll pay it back in the new year! At least that's how I used to be! Now I have other goals in mind and despite the flashy advertising and the Christmas spirit, I am sticking to my budget!

As many of you know, my biggest goal is to purchase a home in 2020. My pre-approved mortgage from last year expired in May, so I'll be re-applying at the beginning of March. I have savings goals and debt-repayment goals. These are coming along as planned so far despite some surprise expenses over the last few months.

During the months of October through to January is the time period where I spend the most money; so I make sure to budget accordingly. That way I don't feel deprived. I know myself well, and if I feel as though I'm forced to live like a pauper...I'll fail at sticking to the budget.

Alex and I don't go out at all anymore and it's just us and the furballs. When it comes to celebrations, we basically eat and drink our way through them! :) We still give each other gifts, but we have spending limits and we stick to them.

This week I'm actually starting my holiday planning. I'm figuring out the holiday meals, baking, and crafts I want to prepare. I'm starting to paint a few Christmas cards that I want to put in the mail next week. I'm thinking of how we'll be ringing in the New Year as well. Then Alex's birthday is in January. In order to reign in the spending, I am planning for all of that during the next few weeks.

How do you set goals? I think that having a plan is the most successful way to do it. I use three keys to goal setting/planning:

1. Intention
2. Action
3. Affirmation

For example: 

1. My intention is to buy my home and property in the spring of 2020. 

2. The action I'll take involves saving enough for the down payment; paying down more of my debt; searching the real estate pages; contacting agents; planning visits and working with my bank for the mortgage and purchase of the home. (As part of the "action" plan, I have all of this in much greater detail but it's very long so I won't copy it here!)

3. I am creating financial success. I will "nest" in 2020. I happily discover new ways to be frugal. I enjoy the process of the home search. I love myself enough to take care of myself during this process. I am excited to start this new chapter of my life. I will find my home in 2020!

I'll admit that last year there was a lot of negativity surrounding the home search. I think this was due to our lack of knowledge of the way things work and our frustration over dishonest real estate agents. We learned a lot about mortgages, insurances, real estate agents, property taxes, legal aspects of the buying process, zoning and the value of due diligence. We learned to take what most seller's agents say with a grain of salt and rely on our own research, our buyer's agent's wisdom and our instincts. 

This year it's all positive and it will happen. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Waning Gibbous Moon

Hello Friends, :)

Are you feeling off lately? A lot of my friends have mentioned that, especially yesterday (November 13th), things haven't quite been "on" for them. Same thing happened to me and I was wondering if the Moon was affecting some of us!

When the Moon wanes, it could affect us by making us feel a bit unorganized; giving us the need to slow things down a bit and de-clutter our lives. My mind was definitely unorganized the last few days!!

It's also a good time to de-clutter your self. Do you need an attitude adjustment? :)  My attitude towards certain things could use some fine tuning that's for sure. Sometimes we don't see it until we finally take some time to slow down and think about it. My tendency to be a people pleaser turns me into a doormat at times, and I need to change my attitude towards needing to make others happy before I make myself happy. That's just one thing I've been working on a lot this year. How about you?

Friday, November 8, 2019

Things To Come - Divination

Hello Friends 😊

Do you believe in premonition and divination? I wrote this Tarot spread a few years ago when I was trying to tap into my inner fortune-teller!

I used to be a staunch realist. I only believed in what was right in front of me. I saw the world for what it was - a harsh, cold, lonely and angry place where you just kind of waited out your existence, then you ceased to exist. I was also an atheist at the time and this was my attitude of the world around me. I despised humanity!

I have mentioned this often, I was brought up in a misguided fundamentalist Christian environment. I say misguided because the message of love and hope that Jesus promotes wasn't used in my upbringing. It was about control and fear. I abandoned Christianity many years ago but I have much respect for anyone whose faith gives them a sense of security, love and hope.

I am very much against any religion or spirituality that promotes hatred, ridicule and violence.

So, getting back to my original answer is yes, a little. I don't believe anyone can predict the future because life is too unpredictable and nobody has control over anything that may or may not happen in this world. 

I've had premonitions. I've also had dreams that baffle me when I wake up; then freak me out when what happened in my dream is happening to me in real life.

The Apple of My Eye: Jack

I had a premonition two nights ago. I dreamed that it was snowing and that my car was covered with ice. I know...this is pretty standard in the mountains in November!! But in my dream, my hound dog Jack was in the backseat of the car as I tried to scrape the ice off the windshield. I had started the car while I was scraping, then suddenly the doors locked and Jack was trapped. I didn't have another key and my phone was also locked in the car. Jack was staring at me helplessly as I stared back, trying to desperately figure out how to get him out of that car.

This dream woke me up in a panic. I got up from bed and made sure Jack was safe. I went back to sleep then forgot about the whole thing.

This morning, I wanted to run to the grocery store and I decided to bring Jack with me. He howls whenever I leave the house without him and Alex was still sleeping so I always bring him with me to make sure he doesn't wake Alex up. I brought Jack out to the car, saw the ice on the windshield and sighed heavily. I put my purse in the car and I was going to start the car and close the door, then I just felt like something was wrong. I felt like a déja vu was happening. 

I couldn't remember my dream from the other night, but my gut was telling me to go back into the house to get Alex's set of car keys. I started the car with my keys, closed the door and accidentally pushed the lock function on the door. Jack was inside the locked car - but I had my extra set of keys so it was okay. That's when I remembered the dream and had a jaw-dropping moment!!!

I don't think I'm psychic, but I think that my unconscious mind is good at warning me of things I need to look out for. 

I did the above mentioned Things To Come tarot spread today. In the back of my mind, I'm always hoping the cards will tell me that I'll purchase a great home and property next spring! I wonder sometimes if my interpretation of the reading is influenced by this wish. 

This is the card I drew for #1: the significant event to come. It's the Two of Wands from my Fairy Tale deck. I'm not one to follow a textbook meaning of a card. I follow my first impression and the meaning behind the fairy tale itself. This is the fairy tale "City Mouse, Country Mouse". In short, the city mouse visits the country mouse and pompously "poo poo's" her simple lifestyle, insisting that she come and experience the "exciting and luxurious" life he leads in the city. She visits and is in danger at every turn so she says to him: 

"I would much rather live a simple, peaceful life in the country than an exciting, dangerous one in the city." 

I found this card very significant, it confirms my values and shows me I'm on the right path in my life.

To me, this is divination. I use my intuition, my unconscious mind in dreams and my interpretation of messages I receive through card-reading. I also keep an open mind and awareness of what's going on around me in Nature. I have learned to listen to my gut feeling and respect it. 

Do you use divinatory tools like Tarot or Oracle cards? Runes? Astrology? Let me know your thoughts on this subject!!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Samhain Thoughts

Hello Friends and a Blessed Samhain to you!

The seasons are changing, light becomes dark and a new year is ahead of us. What does Samhain mean to you? I don't mean the textbook version, I mean, how does this day, this time of year, this belief and/or this spirituality affect your life?

My Celtic ancestors considered this day as the new year, saying goodbye to the harvest and summer; and hello to a time of rest, contemplation and darkness. I also say goodbye to the harvest and the comfort of having warm and tolerable weather. I've prepared physically for the oncoming cold and darkness, but mentally, I'm not there yet.

I took an especially long walk yesterday in the woods. It was pouring rain so I was completely alone besides the odd critter rushing past me on the trail. It is like a walking meditation for me to be in the woods alone. I can appreciate all that I have with such emotion! Gratitude is the key to happiness.

Lots of quiet time, contemplation and Tarot helps me to come to terms with the long months that lie ahead. I also reflect on the past year and do a 60-card reading for the year to come! One card for each month, then 4 cards under each month for the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. I write my interpretations in my spiritual journal and I check back every month to see how I'm doing. 

Not only do I read the Tarot, I use other divinatory guidance tools. I have Oracle decks, Runes and an amethyst Pendulum. I use these daily but I also spend time with them at Samhain because I find their energy is so much stronger.

I make short term and long term goals - especially for my finances. 2020 is the year I finally buy my home and property and I won't let anything stop me this year. I won't rent beyond next summer. We couldn't find our dream home last year and we made a lot of mistakes - but we learned from them. We are even okay with buying a cheaper property that isn't necessarily our dream home, fixing it up and selling it in a few years while we continue to find that perfect spot to call home forever!

Last night I did a very emotional ritual to speak with those I've lost - mainly my childhood sweetheart Marty, my grandfather Wilfred and my two late pugs, Winston and Spencer. It's always a sad ritual, but as I remember the wonderful memories, my heart fills with joy that I was so lucky to have them in my life - even for such a short time!

We all shall pass and I want to live life to the fullest and not lament over any regret!

Bless you friends! Sending love out to all of you with wishes for a great year ahead! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Solitary Joy

Hi Friends :)

Do you enjoy alone time? Do you enjoy silence? Or do you feel more comfortable around other people? I'm definitely a solitary person who NEEDS quiet! One of our neighbours constantly has her radio playing and it's very annoyingly placed right by her always open window! I think I'd go nuts with a radio playing all day long. In fact I go nuts when I'm in the bedroom with our window open because that's all I can hear!

I've been in my relationship for over six and a half years now. Before I met Alex, I was alone for eighteen years. And I mean ALONE. No dates, no interest, no nothing! I rarely spoke with anyone unless it was my therapist, a doctor or the cashier at the grocery store...oh, and of course my dogs! :) I was recovering from burnout and family issues; and I had no interest in sharing that version of me with anyone. I chose to be alone. At first it was very lonely, but I guess I got used to it and started to value my solitude.

As I started to feel better in 2011, I started to feel like I wanted to share my life again. It was an inner struggle because I know myself, I'm not a social butterfly at all. I felt slightly shy about expressing the need for time alone when I was just starting to look for a relationship! I didn't know quite how to sugarcoat this:

"I'm looking for a loving, passionate and romantic, long term relationship. But...I don't want to meet your friends, I don't want to go to your family's Sunday dinners and I basically want to stay home and never socialize or leave the house. Will you go out with me?" LOL

But I figured I'd need to be honest from the get go. I joined an online dating service and laid it all out on the line - as diplomatically as I could! I was very clear about the burnout I suffered, my lifestyle and the fact that I'm very much a solitary, independent person. Of course, I also mentioned that I want to spend my life with someone I love, that I'm a romantic and that together time was just as important to me.

It took a few years, lots of dates, lots of disappointments...but I found Alex and he found me. We were a 95% match according to their computers. And the best part? He loves his solitude as much as I do! He was estranged from his family as I was; and he wasn't very social at all. Very good match!

I got to thinking about this subject because lately Alex is spending a lot of time recording a new album. He's in his studio pretty much all day, then we have a quick dinner and he's back in there until he comes to bed.

I miss his company of course, but I kind of like my alone time. I spend my time doing hobbies that I really enjoy, reading, trying new recipes, making cheese; and watching horror movies because Alex isn't big on them. I spend lots of time with the pets too which makes me very happy!

Having solitude is important for both of us and it works for us.

I have a tendency to not ask for help when I sure could use it. Being alone for nearly 2 decades (and with my upbringing), I am hardwired into thinking that the only person I can really count on is myself - so I tend to take on issues and problems alone. It took me a while to re-program myself into knowing that I can rely on my partner and it's okay to ask for help. In return, I'm there for him when he needs help with anything as well. Asking for help can be a scary thing, because it involves a great amount of trust in the other person. When you've had terrible experiences with other human beings, it's a risky thing to be vulnerable. But once you know you can trust that person consistently, asking for help is a relief! Allowing someone to help you is not only good for you, it's good for that person as well!

What about you? Are you more of a solitary person? If you're in a relationship, how important is alone time for you and your partner? Are you comfortable asking for help or do you tackle problems solo?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Insomnia Insight

Hi Friends :)

I went to sleep last at around 10pm - totally exhausted to the point where I couldn't put two words together. Then BAM! Wide awake at 1:30am. I guess I've been lucky the last few months, I haven't had any issue with insomnia! 

I tend to fight it a little bit. I lie there, staring at the ceiling, willing myself to fall back to sleep. But then I eventually give up as thoughts start to fill my mind and I'm way too distracted at that point to even rest. So I get up. Usually I make a chamomile tea and pull out my colouring pad. I have a pad of paper full of mandalas and objects that I have waiting for me when I can't sleep. I just sip tea, listen to relaxing music and colour. A lot of the time, that relaxes my mind enough where I'm tired enough to try to sleep again!

Last night though, no such luck. Alex got up a few times asking me if I was coming back to bed. He even offered to put on a movie with me so we could both fall asleep to it; but I was too far gone at that point...wide awake! So I decided to write a few Tarot spreads. I started this blog in 2017 with the intention of posting often as a way to keep spirituality and self-improvement present in my every day life. 

As we all know, life gets in the way sometimes. But I also believe that if we really want to do something, we will always find a way to do it. Sometimes our reasons are very valid, but a lot of the time, they are simply excuses due to procrastination, laziness, perceived busy-ness, writer's/artist's block, disjointed priorities, mental health or physical issues or we just simply don't feel like it. 

We all have obligations that need to get done for the home and family of course - and some aren't as pleasant as others - but we do them out of love for the people who depend on us!

But when it comes to hobbies and things that used to spark our interest, feeling obligated to do these things (for whatever reason), makes it a task, not a pleasure. If you force yourself to do something out of obligation, it will be quite obvious to you and those around you that you really aren't enjoying it. I've started blog post after blog post, with a feeling of obligation, and I've never posted them because they are simply boring and stale.

Many times I opened this blog and stared at it, wondering why I lost that spark...why I was posting once every month or so when there was a time that I couldn't wait to write my next Tarot spread, my next self-improvement post or come up with a really thought-provoking piece of writing!

After thinking on this for a while, I figured things out. 2019 has not been a stellar year for me!

- I got royally screwed by two realtors and my dream of home ownership was put on hold another year. 

- I was having issues in my personal life (that are now thankfully solved).

- One of my dogs was attacked by a loose dog and I had to stop my morning dog walks.

- My garden and outdoor activities suffered as we had a dreadful summer.

- Sciatica and piriformis pain ruled many months.

- Dental pain lasted nearly 2 months.

And now? Just plain old physical, emotional and mental exhaustion has set in from all of that trauma.

I'm not one to throw in the towel or have a pity party (for too long! 😉), but evaluating the last 10 months put a good perspective on why I feel the way I do. Having that list is also helping me to figure out how to shake it all off and learn from it all. 

I usually see the glass half full...I know the value of time...I know we are not long on this earth...I know that love is what rules me, and I've learned that it's my choice to either wallow in pain, anger, regret and pity or take one giant step forward and keep going. 

Everyone has their cross to bear, so to speak. My cross, at least the heaviest one, is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's a sneaky little mental health disorder. It can fool you into thinking you're doing just fine then it comes at you with a vengeance...just to remind you that you are never going to be rid of it. I used to feel so much bitterness for having this disorder! I was angry at the world. But at some point when you are in chronic pain and dis-ease, you need acceptance and you need to take matters into your own hands on how to live with it. Otherwise, existence is just too overrated. 

Anyway, these are nocturnal insights! I write these Tarot spreads for anyone who reads the cards, I find that the Tarot always gives great understanding! Poor man's therapy! But the questions I come up with can also be food for thought for those who don't read the cards. You can use these questions as a tool for thought and self-improvement.

My favourite time of the year is upon me - October, Autumn, Halloween, Samhain...and then Yule and Christmas time...I want to enjoy every moment! Please share with me if you want to. What cross do you bear and how do you accept and live with it?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Seeing The Joy In What You Have

Hello Friends! A Blessed Mabon to you!

Today is the Fall Equinox and I have bid a fond farewell to summer today. I'm very much enjoying the cooler nights, the changing of the season, the warm cozy meals, sweaters and blankets and the beauty of the colours of Autumn. The air at this time of year has a special fragrance doesn't it? 

Today I am celebrating what I have in my life, what I'm very grateful for, what brings me joy. I used to only live for the future, I had a case of the "when-then's"...when the winter is over, then I'll feel better...when I buy my house, then I'll be happier...when I find love, then I'll feel complete...I'm sure some of you can relate!

I changed my thinking around quite some time ago. I make do with what I have with dreams of the future of course! But I live in the moment as much as I can and I'm grateful to be alive, despite the challenges of chronic pain and the world around me.

Where is the joy in your life? Look around you! Life is so short, drink in every moment! Celebrate the abundance of life! Celebrate the harvest by baking some bread, or making an apple dish. Write a gratitude list. Think about what you need to leave behind and make honest efforts to do so. Go spend time outside if you can, walk the dogs, pick some beautiful leaves and make a centerpiece - enjoy yourself!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

What Do You Need Vs. What Do You Want

Hello Friends,

I've been in deep thought lately. My life is really changing these days. As most of my friends know, Alex and I found some squirrels in our basement walls back in early June. We released them this week and they're doing just fine, sticking close to the back yard, which is really nice. :) I never thought I'd become a wildlife rescuer, ha ha! ;)

Our six pets are also doing really well. All healthy and happy! Though I had to stop the dog walks because there is a very dangerous loose dog near the trails where I used to walk. It attacked Jack a few weeks back and now I just don't feel safe at all. I called the police, they spoke to the owner, but not much else can be done so it's a frustrating situation. This village is a cesspool for irresponsible pet owners, sigh. Breaks my heart for the animals.

But...our home, though a rental, is cozy and comfy.

Food is good, I'm making lots of cheese and starting to preserve what's in season.

The garden is flourishing, my next task is to pick all of those yellow and green beans!

My relationship is on track and we're happy.

My health though...well, I have a few issues. Not just the anxiety that causes me to have difficulties swallowing food and digesting it, but I've developed sciatica in my right leg. The food thing will always be with me, and though I will never EVER get used to it, I accept it.

The sciatica though, NO WAY am I living with that pain for my entire life. It really started in April when I made two road trips to visit houses for sale. The first road trip was 23 hours of driving in a 48 hour period - it was brutal. The second road trip was a 14 hour drive in 24 hours - again really difficult. And they were about 2 weeks apart. I remember driving home from the second trip - in tears and wailing out loud that I felt like I was being tortured.

I dislocated my right knee back in the late 2000's and I was already dealing with chronic joint pain there. The sciatica made it feel like a knife stabbing my knee relentlessly.

Pain killers and Rain don't mix. Besides Tylenol (which doesn't work for this kind of pain), pain killers make me nauseous so I can't really take them - even if I'm desperate. No win situation.

Doctors are all quacks around here - IF you're lucky enough to even see one who cares - 'nuf said. I can't afford physical therapy so I'm basically on my own.

After doing hours and hours of research, I realized that the driving messed me up. Most car seats are "bucket" style seats and they aren't very ergonomically correct for a healthy spine and skeletal system. My sciatica is on my right side, my driving leg side.

When I analyzed my driving posture, my's is horrid, my legs are not parallel to the ground, my legs are so short I have to be right up against the steering wheel, and the head rest is pushed forward, causing me to goose neck out in front. No wonder I'm in pain.

It's gotten to the point where I can't even sit through a movie without shouting out in agony. I realized that nobody is going to help me but MYSELF so I have some big changes to make.

I know that being forced to stop the daily dog walks in the woods have made me less active. I went through a bit of a depression in July and I stopped all of my exercise as well. This all made for a perfect recipe of pain and suffering (oh how dramatic!).

Since I'm the driver of our little family, I need to make sure I don't continue to injure myself. Next spring when we start the house hunt again, I'll be taking many long road trips and I need to be pain-free to do it.

1. I'm looking into cushions, bolts and gadgets to make driving easier with sciatica pain.

2. I'm going to reset my seat in the car so I'm not as close to the steering wheel, and also fix that damn headrest. I have to find a way to adjust the seat so my legs aren't dangling - cutting off my circulation. 

3. I have already found videos on You Tube that show where to massage for the "trigger points" of where my pain seems to be coming from. I can self-massage or Alex will help me with that one.

4. I have found exercises I can do at home to help my healing.

5. I am actually considering joining a gym so I can go 5-6 times a week to exercise properly with good machines and proper weights. If the cost is too much, I have to set up a home gym here which will require buying some equipment.

6. Because doing lots of cardio activity irritates my digestion, I have to ensure a meditation routine twice a day again to make sure I can actually eat the food I cook.

Do I WANT to do all of this? Honestly - NO. It feels like it's taking precious time away from me where I could be in the garden, painting, drawing, loving my pets, cooking and baking and spending time with Alex.

Do I NEED to do all of this? YES.

This got me thinking about needs versus wants. I WANT nice clothes, nice furniture, a big old pick up truck...I WANT an RV...I WANT a big house and an art studio, I WANT to buy lots of hats and some cowboy boots...I WANT to have all the money in my bank account dedicated to cheese making and cooking. I want I want I want...

Chuck Black Painting - One Of My Heroes!

What do I NEED to be happy?

- Love
- Alex
- Our pets
- A forever home (next spring is IT, we decided, do or die, we ARE buying a house)
- A garden
- Nature
- Supportive and loving friends
- A pain-free (as much as possible) life
- Good health
- Enough money to pay our bills and live below our means
- Beauty and creativity in art and my hobbies
- Creativity in the kitchen through baking, preserving and cooking
- Frugality, a simple life
- Quiet and peace - no society, no neighbours, no weekenders, no condo developments

What do I WANT to be happy?


So doesn't that mean I need to do whatever it takes to get what I need and want in life? YES. That means I need a different perspective - the exercise and money I need to spend to help with my body pain is NECESSARY to get what I want. If I keep telling myself this, it will become my truth! If I need to dedicate $150 a month (gym fees and gas money) plus 3-4 hours of my time daily to making myself as healthy and pain-free as possible...why am I resisting? To save a few bucks? To somehow be lazy? Ugh...did life really start going downhill at 50???? If I want to stay active into my 100's (because I plan to live well over 100 years old!!), I need to take care of my aching body NOW.

Or am I making excuses and having a pity party? Well, either way I'm sick of it, so I'm taking action!

Oh my, I had a lot on my mind today! :) When Rain has a THOUGHT, I definitely have a deep one.

What do you need versus what you want? What are you able/willing to do to get it? What have you accepted that you can't have? How do you cope and live your best life despite your challenges? And most importantly, are you grateful for what you have?

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ready For A Change!

Have you ever been in one of those moods where you just want to take a really good look at your life, how you live it, what you miss, what you've given up and what changes you'd like to make?

I've been in that mood lately so I made this Tarot spread to help me get through it. I think when you decide to make a big change in your life, the first thing you need is the will. If you aren't willing to make the change and see it through, no matter how much you try to convince yourself and others you're ready, you'll always give up. 

I also think you need to be prepared. You can't just wing things because if you don't have a plan, you may give up after a few steps back. When I make big changes, I always have a plan of action and a list of back up plans; and I've been successful that way. Mind you, I'm also a creature of habit and LOVE routine, so lists and directions help me out a lot!

Life is good but it can always be greater.

There is no better time like the present to make changes that you need or want to make! :)

Friday, May 17, 2019

It's Never Too Late

Hello Friends :)

I hope you all had a great week and (in Canada) have a nice long weekend ahead! (I'll be hiding from the weekenders lol!)

It's never too late to start something new or change your path.

- Julia Child started cooking classes when she was nearly 40.
- Colonel Sanders started franchising his chicken restaurants when he was 62.
- Martha Stewart's fame and success came in her early 40's when she published her first book on entertaining.
- Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of the Species in his 50's.

....I remember when I was 21 years old, thinking that it was too late for me to go back to University to start a degree in Business. After high school, I did one year of Cegep ** and never got my diploma so I figured I was just a deadbeat and I'd never succeed...oh my gosh how naive I was (and how influenced by judgmental family too)! A year later I faced my fear of failure because I regretted wasting that entire year and went back to Concordia University in Montreal and got my Business degree. Too late? It's never too late!!!

**Cegep is a Quebec phenomena...high school goes to grade 11, then students do 2 years of Cegep (which is like college but with more mandatory courses to control the recently "freed" high school kids)...then you go on to University. I read that it was invented to keep kids in school longer during a time where jobs were scarce.

Tomorrow's moon is a special one: the Full Flower Blue Moon. Most people know that a Blue Moon is defined as the second full moon in a month. I learned something new today in the Farmer's Almanac. The traditional meaning of a Blue Moon is the third full moon to occur in an astronomical season. Since March's full moon occurred on the Equinox, May's full moon will be the third this spring, making it a Blue Moon. Interesting stuff in that almanac!

May's Full Flower Moon symbolizes blossoming flowers and gradual growth. It's a good time to push through the darkness and allow ourselves to flourish by:

- casting away what's been dragging us down

- acknowledging areas where we have neglected ourselves and attending to them

- soaking up the brightness of the Moon and the warmth of the Sun to gather energy and self-awareness

- shedding the "outer skin" that's been trapping us

- looking at ourselves in a whole new light

- embracing change

Full moons always give off intense energy and you might feel pulled towards creativity and celebration - so embrace that! I am! I ordered a digital pen and mouse pad yesterday, my creative juices are flowing and I'm finally going to try out some digital painting and drawing! I can't wait for it to arrive. I found one that plugs right into my laptop since I don't have a tablet! 

Blue moons don't come around too often, neither do second chances or opportunities...if you were waiting for a good time for a second chance or to seize an opportunity, it's here, take it and use it!

If you want to do a little kitchen witch ritual for luck tomorrow, light candles that represent the colours of flowers - pink, blue, green, yellow...and cook up something with cinnamon. Why not make my Cinnamon Crunch Knots? :) When you stir, do so clockwise (also called Deosil in Gaelic) to attract positivity and luck. (Stirring counter-clockwise, or Widdershins, repels negativity and banishes).

Cinnamon is for luck, but be creative, this is a magical ritual after all :)  If you're wishing for luck in health, add lemons or pumpkins to your recipe; luck in love, add some chocolate or honey; luck for success, use sunflower seeds; and just for luck in general, add some orange to your baking! Pour your positive energy into everything you do! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A Reminder For All Of Us

Foggy Night in 2018

1. Procrastinating.
2. Blaming.
3. Avoiding change.
4. Trying to control what's uncontrollable.
5. Criticizing yourself and others.
6. Minimizing your problems and fears.
7. Overemphasizing your problems and fears.
8. Living for tomorrow.
9. Living in the past.
10. Trying to be someone you are not.
11. Being ungrateful.
12. Allowing negative, toxic people to influence you or upset your life.

Sunset on Prince Edward Island 2010


You are alive. You have a roof over your head. You had a meal before bed last night. You can see a doctor if you get sick. You have a person or a beloved pet who loves you and trusts you. You have a choice of how to live your life. You can feel the warmth of the sun and the cold of the wind. You can read. You have clean drinking water. You can taste the sweetness of chocolate and the sourness of a lemon. You are a great person and people appreciate you!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Day 30 of 30 Days of Self Love: Pray

"Morning Frost" (oil)

Good morning Friends! :)

A month has flown by...I hope you spent the last 30 days practicing self love; and I hope you continue to do so for the rest of your life! :)

Today's Self Love Challenge is to pray. Regardless of our religious and/or spiritual beliefs, most of us practice some form of prayer. I turned my back on any form of spirituality for years, I had such pessimism and figured all was lost anyway - I was so deep in depression. But as I worked through the pain of depression and educated myself on the different religions of the world and the vast spiritual doctrines based on Nature, Science and the Universe - I started to feel a pull. It took me decades to find my path and the journey was absolutely fascinating!

As many of you know, I follow a Nature-based spirituality which can be defined as Paganism, though I've never been rigid with any kind of dogma. I found what makes me happy. Spirituality and prayer really gives me a sense of comfort and hope and I think that if anyone, whatever they believe, feels that sense of comfort, hope and unconditional love through religion, spirituality and prayer, then they are one of the lucky ones! :) 

In my case, prayer is asking the Universe for kindness, empathy and guidance; trusting that everything will work out for me as long as I continue to love myself. 

I also feel that the Law of Attraction is a form of prayer for me. When I ask the Universe to help manifest things I want in my life, I follow it up with actions that support my thoughts, dreams, emotions and words. I try to project out positivity to attract it back. 

"Forest Home" (oil)

I do this every morning when I'm out walking the dogs. As soon as I leave the village center and make my way onto the back roads and then into the woods, I feel my spirituality strengthening and I begin to pray. I feel a gush of gratitude and happiness when I'm chatting with Nature and the Universe! I've often thought that I'm feeling Mother Nature hugging me. :)

Thanks to all those who took part in my challenge this month! I loved reading your comments, it was a lot of fun! I learned a lot about you and you gave me lots of insight and food for thought!

I have a book called The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. It's a wonderful book with daily meditations and prayers. Today's prayer is a very powerful one, so I'll end my post with it and wish you a wonderful day!

"Today, help me focus on a peaceful pace rather than a harried one. I will keep moving forward gently, not frantically. Help me let go of my need to be anxious, upset, and harried. Help me replace it with a need to be at peace and in harmony."

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Day 29 of 30 Days of Self Love: Drink Water!

Swimming in the river with Charlie a few summers back

Hello Friends :)

Sunday's nice and quiet here, I'm the only one awake! Alex is a night owl and sleeps until afternoon some days. All six pets are twitching and snoring's POURING RAIN outside so the snowmobiles are's a peaceful and solitary time for me! :)

Today's Self Love Challenge seems so simple: DRINK WATER. We all know the benefits of staying hydrated, heck it's vital for life.

I've had an up and down relationship with drinking water. For the longest time I found it sickeningly sweet. That's when I lived in Montreal, I hated the drinking water there. I put it through filters and I just always felt nauseous drinking it.

Waterfall in the woods

Then I started on bottled water, but either always suffered dry mouth or heartburn from it. It got to the point where I was only drinking a brand called Montellier, it's an effervescent mineral water. I was going through 2 bottles a day of that stuff and it was getting expensive. There were times when I couldn't find the amount of bottles I needed for a month's supply and I ended up getting dehydrated a lot, drinking high sugar juices and sodas when I was thirsty.

The water in our current rental was always rusty and I didn't want to even try drinking it because my water-drinking experiences were always so bad. November, the price of Montellier water doubled so I had no choice but to figure out why I was having so much trouble drinking water! I did a lot of research and discovered that bottled waters fall into two categories:

Alkaline with a PH of over 7
Acidic with a PH of under 7

After doing more research, I read that some people react badly to acidic waters, they suffer dry mouth and heartburn, indigestion and swollen tongues! That sounded like me, so I did a few tests. I have a PH meter that I'd bought for my cheese-making, so I pulled it out and did tests on the water we had in the house.

Water refill from grocery store (no brand): 5.3
Naya: 5
Esca: 7.2
Nestle Pure Life: 7.8
Tap: 8.1
Tap through a Brita filter: 7.9

For me, the Naya water was the worst. I had immediate dry mouth and a swollen white tongue. I decided I wanted to get used to tap water again, so I got the water tested and it was fine for drinking, even though there was a little rust/iron in it, the lab suggested using the Brita filter to help with that.

Waterworks at the duck pond

The big day for me was November 16th - I drank my first glass of filtered tap water in years! Huzzah! No dry mouth, no heartburn, no swollen tongue! :) I still found it a little sweet for me, but I have gotten used to it now. I find that if I have it cold on ice, the sweetness is cut a little bit.

I remember as a kid, hating lemonade, especially pink lemonade because it made me so thirsty!! I still can't drink lemonade! (Minute Maid Lemonade has a PH of less than 3! Very acidic!!) I read a fun fact, battery acid has a PH of 1.0. 😇

When you're dehydrated, you are at risk for many problems. I remember one time my heart was racing so fast, I felt faint...and it was all due to lack of hydration. A friend of mine told me she was dehydrated one day and felt so weak, she thought she was having a heart attack.

We know that being hydrated is great for your skin and your digestion, your organs, your entire well-being and health. It also helps to keep the weight at a healthy range and it keeps your muscles supple.

I just had a memory...when I was in grade school, we used to have gym outside on hot days. The gym teacher had us running around for hours, there were no water bottles or anything like that for us. So many of us kids would have terrible cramps in our sides...all due to dehydration. The gym teacher would tell us to just walk it off. Yikes.

Are you a fan of water? How do you make sure you drink enough?

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Day 28 of 30 Days of Self Love: Why Are You A Good Catch?

Fishing on Bass Lake last spring

Hi Friends :)

Happy Saturday! Oh guess what? IT'S SNOWING. if this surprises me...though at this time of year, it won't stick around too long. We have freezing rain in the forecast this afternoon so I really hope we don't lose power!

I'm spending the day in the kitchen. For many months now, I've felt like I was going through the motions as I made meals and sweet treats. My heart just wasn't into it. But in the last few days, I've been getting my "kitchen mojo" back! :) I decided today I'm making a real Italian meal...I have some bread rising, some homemade Ricotta draining in the cheesecloth for my Italian Cheesecake...dinner will be a pasta dish from my Dom Deluise "Eat This" cookbook...and of course, red wine! :) I can't wait to eat!!! (I'll post all of the recipes on my main blog in a day or so!)

So today's Self Love Challenge is to write down a list of why you are a "good catch". Whether you are in a relationship or not, want to be or not, I think it's a good exercise to think about all of the great things you have to offer another person, your family or society! By doing this exercise, you reinforce to yourself all of your great qualities. :)

I think I'm a good catch because:

- I have a big heart that is filled with love, compassion, empathy, generosity and care.
- I have a great sense of humour.
- I like to be active and do fun things.
- I am very handy for small repairs around the house.
- I am a passionate cook and baker (getting back quickly to that!!).
- I'm great with finances, know how to budget and invest (within my own risk comfort!).
- I can have a great conversation.
- I'm creative with my art and my crafts.

As I write things out, I think of more and more things I can add to the list! If nobody else appreciates why you are a good catch...that's okay, because YOU do! :)

Why are you a good catch? :)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Day 27 of 30 Days of Self Love: Unplug!

A gorgeous drake at the duck pond!

Hello my Friends! :)

Is there another word for hypocritical??? I don't want to say I'm a hypocrite, but today's challenge may put me in that position lol... ;)

Today's Self Love Challenge is to UNPLUG. Stay off the internet, don't be glued to your phone, don't be tempted to check your email or social media account when you hear a "beep" notification! I realize that I'm on the internet writing a post and I've been on the internet all morning answering me telling you to unplug may seem slightly duplicitous....(oooh big word lol, I have my thesaurus handy!!!)

Seriously though, are you old enough to remember the days BEFORE the internet, before smart phones and Facebook and Instagram? I am. I only learned to use a computer when I went to secretarial school in 1987. After I left home, I spent a few years partying and working in bars, then I realized I needed a better job. The secretarial school taught me to type and take shorthand, and taught me how to use a computer. It wasn't like the computers of today though...kind of looked like this:

MS Dos was the language before "Windows"...When I got my first job in finance, I was on a training program to learn how to use Windows 3.1. That was in 1993 before Windows 95 came out. I remember thinking at that time that life as I knew it had completely changed! Remember that dial-up modem sound?  :)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the internet. Information at my finger tips...communication with friends any time I want...paying bills, checking bank accounts, shopping...and now finding real definitely has made life much easier for a hermit like me! :)

But once in a while, it's good to focus on the non-technical...the garden, Nature, your pets, your family, your a book, go for a walk, open a cook book and make something in the kitchen, do some photography, some art, some home get the idea! :) Enjoy some time in the REAL world!!! :)

On that note, I just want to say that I am slowly but surely removing myself from social media. I never had a Facebook account, but I have been on Instagram for the last year or so. I initially opened an account to follow a few art challenges, but I noticed over the last year that I started to become too "into" the platform by posting photos of the pets, my garden, myself and day to day things. I find myself checking my phone MANY times a day to see if I got "likes" or comments. I was never like that before and I want to get back to the person I was. I will always have my blogs and I love visiting my friend's blogs too! But I think that Blogger will be the only platform I use from now on! That's my way of disconnecting from technology a little bit more!