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WILLIE AND BAILEY
WILLIE AND BAILEY

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Category: Willie and I

All about my wee boy and what’s new with the Family

I KNOW A SUPERWOMAN – BUT I SO DO NOT WANT TO BE HER

I KNOW A SUPERWOMAN – BUT I SO DO NOT WANT TO BE HER

I know a woman who to my mind at least, is a Superwoman.  She works full-time, she blogs three days a week, keeps her house spotless, herself perfectly groomed, her family fed and looked after, and she hates how busy she is.

Her day starts at 4:30 am, she gets up, wakes her husband then heads to the kitchen to make his breakfast and his lunch.  Irons a shirt for him every day because he prefers how they feel when freshly ironed.  She takes care of him until 5:30 when he leaves to go to work.

From 5:30 – 7 am, she exercises, showers, completes one chore and then makes breakfast and lunches for her two adult male children.  Oh, I forgot, she puts in one load of laundry.

She wakes the boys at 7 am and then heads downstairs to throw the laundry into the drier.  She then sits down with her boys and has breakfast.

Does the breakfast dishes, then drops both boys at the bus stop by 8 am so they can get to work by 8:30.

FOR SUPERWOMAN IT IS TIME TO WORK 

She also starts work at 8:30, but is always there early as it is her business.  Her employees begin at 9 am, by that time she has dealt with her email, made at least two phone calls, and prepped what she wants her employees to work on.

She then reviews all of the information about her first client before they arrive.  When the client arrives, she takes him/her to her office and gives them her trademark personal service.  She is a lawyer and deals with small business concerns.

Once her clients for the morning have been dealt with, she prepares for Court in the afternoon.  She does not eat lunch as there is no time before she has to leave for Court.  Her Court time is usually between 2 and 4 hours; then she heads home.  This part really blew me away, she makes dinner for her husband and the boys and leaves it in a warm oven to stay warm for them.

She then heads back to the office and works until about 7:30 or 8 pm.

She gets home, has her dinner, does the dishes, does one more chore, then folds and puts away the stuff from the dryer that she turned on this morning.

She heads to her home office, sits down and begins work on her blog.  At 11:30 pm she heads back to the kitchen to pull out everything she needs to make a crock pot meal tomorrow.  She preps everything and then sticks the pan into the fridge, does all the dishes she just created, dries and puts them away, has a quick look around the house for things that aren’t where they are supposed to be, puts them back where they belong, then heads to bed.

She cleans up and tries to be very quiet, as her husband has been in bed for at least 3 hours, lays out what she will want for tomorrow and finally heads to bed.  It is 12:30 am.

SHE TRULY IS SUPERWOMAN

By this point, I can hear you all saying “Yeah, right.  She’s handing you a line of bull.”

But, I am telling you that this was her day.  I had asked her if I could shadow her for one day and after informing me that her day starts at 4:30 am said I was welcome to come if I wanted.

I followed her the whole day and despite the fact that I knew I would be laid up for a few days.  I hung around until she went to bed.  I spent the night at her house.

SUPERWOMAN RISES AGAIN

She got up the following morning at 4:30 am and started over again.  She wanted to let me sleep until 7 when she woke the boys, but I set the alarm on my phone for 4:30 so I would know whether or not her previous day was a one off.

She did everything that she had the day before except for the chore, it was a different one this morning, then she also made cinnamon rolls, stripped the bed I had slept in and got everything into the laundry.  I apologised to her for giving her more work, and she told me not to be silly, she had enjoyed having the day with me as she doesn’t get time to see me much anymore.

She dropped her boys off and then drove me home.  I was swaying on my feet almost not able to stand at all; she helped me into the house, got me set up on the couch, gave me a hug.  Told me that she had had a wonderful time and then left for work.

THE SUPERWOMAN INTERVIEW 

We had arranged to meet the following Sunday so I could ask her some questions about her life.

We couldn’t meet on Saturday because that was her house cleaning day, all the chores she does during the week are just to keep things tidy until Saturday.

I couldn’t quite get my head around that because that first chore on Monday was cleaning the main bathroom, and she did it from top to bottom, including walls, floors and windows.  The one on Tuesday before she drove me home was dusting the house, the whole house.

 

SUPERWOMAN ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS

When we sat down on Sunday afternoon, I told her I thought she was crazy.  I asked her why she didn’t turn to her husband and boys to help with the housework, this is what she told me:

“I chose to be an independent lawyer.  I decided I would not be part of someone else’s firm. It was my decision to start a blog and post three times a week.  I am responsible for my home by my own decision.  I choose to allow my husband to relax when he gets home, he takes care of the outside and I take care of the inside.  My boys will have their time to be responsible, besides they do help on Saturdays, one vacuums and the other washes the floors for me.  I just choose to let them enjoy their time off during the week by not asking them to do anything else.”

She followed that up with “this is the life I chose for me; when the boys are gone and its just Hubby and me (sorry I promised her no names) maybe things will have slowed down enough that I will be able to take some time for me.

I just sat and stared at her for a moment, I was flabbergasted that someone could be that selfless.  She chooses to be this busy, she chooses to not accept help during the week, she chooses to be this Superwoman.

My next question was about what she had told me “that she hated being so busy all the time.”  I asked her if she hated it that much, why didn’t she just leave the blogging until she was done working, or why she didn’t just leave the house until the weekends?

Her response was “I chose this life for myself.”

I just nodded and went on to my next question, “When was the last time you took a day just for you?”

She laughed and said, “Last Monday, of course, I got to spend the day with you.”

INTERVIEW IS OVER 

I burst into tears on just how little she made time for herself.  She was totally surprised by my tears, she said “You’re not to cry for me, I had a great time the other day, didn’t you?  We got to talk and laugh and have a good time together.  What more could I ask for than to spend time with one of my greatest friends?  No, don’t you dare cry for me, it was fun, and this life is my choice.”

As I left I gave her a big hug and asked her to please try and take time for herself every day.  She just nodded.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON SUPERWOMAN

Ladies out there, be thankful for the life you have.  I swear that day that I shadowed her she did not have one moment of the entire day when she wasn’t busy doing something.

I thank God for my husband and children, they would never have let me get away with doing everything, even before I got so bad.  I can tell you for sure that my husband would not be happy with that life, as far as he is concerned the house, inside and out, is OUR responsibility, that we are partners and work together for the benefit of our home.

Like her, I only want what makes my family happy, but I so do not want to be her.  If my home is a little cluttered or messy, I can live with that; if it’s not spotless and dust free, I can live with that; I could not live thinking that everything had to be perfect every moment.  How about you?

 

THINGS I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

I make some of my own cleaning products.  Today I would like to share with you two recipes for window/glass cleaner that really work and take the place of the expensive brand in the store.  Mine also make the windows so clean that crows could fly into them.

Recipe 1

1/4 Cup     Rubbing Alcohol

1/4 Cup     White Vinegar

1 Tbsp        Cornstarch

2 Cups        Warm Water

1                   Spray Bottle

Put all ingredients into the spray bottle and shake to combine.  Then use as you would the store bought kind.

 

Recipe 2

1/8 Cup      White Ammonia

1/4 Cup       Rubbing Alcohol

1 tsp.            Dish Detergent (Dawn Original)

Warm Water

1                     Spray Bottle

Same as above,  put all the ingredients into the bottle then add warm water until its full, then shake to combine and use as you would store bought.

PS:  I didn’t get much chance last week to work on the Fairy Garden, but I’m hoping to have more time this week.  Will keep you updated as I go.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

QUOTE OF THE WEEK 04/24 - 04/30
QUOTE OF THE WEEK FOR APR. 24-APR. 30

 

This inspired me this week, I am imperfect, I am weird (ask anybody), I am just me; so this inspired me to be proud of who I am, of what I do, of who I care about, and what I believe in.  What more can you ask of a quote?

I hope it inspires you to be just you.

As always this one came from Pinterest

 

 

I had a very bad week this past week, so I think I’m just going to call the post up top the Family Life post and leave it at that for this week.

Of course,  I couldn’t leave you without a picture of the puppers.  Fighting again in the living room, you can see behind them what is supposed to be their beds, but we just use them as a toy box because they do not like to sleep alone, they must invade our bed each night.  Some nights Hawkeye would like to shoot them both, all they want to do is play and he gets up at 3 am.

 

Fighting again
The little darling always goes for the throat. Bailey and Willie play fighting again.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

PRAWN, ASPARAGUS, AND RED PEPPER ALFREDO

WITH PENNE PASTA 

https://wp.me/p8bPwH-1ST

 

That’s it for this week, I hope you have a wonderful week, that the weekend is clear with warm blue skies, and that you are healthy, wealthy, and wise. (Sorry couldn’t resist)

Take care, and Hey! leave me a comment, the comment button is at the top of the post.  I would love to hear what you think, and I would love to hear how you liked the recipe.

See you next Tuesday.

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER

 

Feel Better with these 5 Ways
Bowing Bubbles

 

I had a really bad day a couple of days ago.  I couldn’t seem to do or say anything right the whole day.  I was in a great deal of pain and I just wanted life to hurry up and go somewhere else for a while.  Then I decided to use one of the ways that I like to use to feel better, I have 5 Ways to make myself feel better; yes, I have more ways than this but these are sort of my first go to’s when I need to escape for a little while.

These 5 Ways are inexpensive and can be done at any time.  They let you forget about everything but what you are doing right now.

The first Way is:     Helping Others 

There is nothing guaranteed to take your mind off your troubles better than helping someone else with theirs.  You can give your time, your physical abilities,  maybe just give someone a little hope, or let them cry on your shoulder without making them feel that they have imposed on you.

When you are focused on someone else’s pain, your pain seems to step back just a little bit.  I am not saying that you should sign up to volunteer at the food bank 3 times a week, that would most likely put you and I in bed for a week.

No, I’m just saying to find a way to give of yourself to someone or something else for a while.  It is truly worth the pain you will feel the next day for using that much energy.  Don’t let your pain or grief or day-to-day strain take away your ability to feel for someone else.

There is no better feeling when you are doing up your grateful journal for the day, to be able to put down that you are grateful for having helped someone else today.

 

The second way is:   Paint, Draw, just be Creative

Drawing, Painting, Baking
Getting all your feelings onto Canvas.

 

Did you know that when you are really focused on doing something creative, it has the same calming effect on the body as meditation does.

Perhaps, you don’t want to paint or draw, maybe you like colouring in a colouring book or crocheting doilies, whatever hobby you can really get focused on and that keeps your mind completely on what you are doing is going to help the pain back off for a little while.

For me, I love to paint and I love to bake, so, on those days when I feel myself slipping into self-pity mode; I get out my art supplies or my baking ingredients and I go to town.

Whether getting all of that darkness out of my body and onto canvas or beating some dough with a rolling-pin, when I am finished I am always feeling more positive, not to mention, that if I’m baking, chances are there is something good to snack on as well.

 

The third way is:    Blowing Bubbles

 I don’t think I even have to explain this one, blowing bubbles is just fun.  You get yourself some bubble blowers and some solution (recipe below) and have at it.  I do it with my dog because he loves to run and chase them.  I wind up laughing every time, and that makes me feel better.  How about you?

 

The fourth way is:   Write a Letter to Yourself

This one is a little bit more serious than the last, but you can turn it into fun if you want.

You can decide to write to a younger you or to who you currently are.  Make sure you get out how you are feeling, I mean it, don’t we all just want whatever we are going through to dry up and blow away some days.

At some point, you are going to find yourself giving advice to yourself, and that can help you release most of those bad feelings.

I’ll tell you what I do, every time something funny happens, or I went out and had a good time doing something, I write it down in a letter to myself.  I keep all those letters in a file folder, as well as anything else I find that makes me laugh, or in some cases makes me cry (happy tears), and when I am having a particularly hard time, or if I can hardly stand the pain, I pull out the folder and read what I wrote to myself, or something I kept a clip of and it makes me feel a little better with each one I read or laugh at.

 

Finally, the 5th and last Way is:   Plant Something

Plant Something
Plant something, get your hands dirty and feel better almost at once.

 

 

Have you always thought you would like a little herb garden on your windowsill, or dream of having spring flowers all around, or you love houseplants and you just want to fill your home with green.  Plant something.

Getting your hands into some soil (yes, they get dirty), or feeling Mother Earth breathing her way through the seasons or looking at and thinking about the impossibly long lives of giant trees in your backyard, there is something so soothing and relaxing in letting your hands get dirty in this way.

Once you have planted, you then get to take care of your plant, nurturing it until those first shoots break through the soil.

It will take you right back to when you were a kid in Grade 2 and the teacher made all of us try to grow bean sprouts.  Do you remember what it was like to see those first little heads popping out of the soil and lifting their faces to the sun?  How you watched to see how big it would grow and by the end of the year, the teacher had to install small trellises to hold them up.

Even if it only takes you back to that time for a few precious moments, your soul will feel better.

 

Well, there you have it, the 5 ways that I try to make myself feel better.  These might not work for you, but I say why not give them a try, you never know what will make a difference in the way you feel.  And, come on, everyone likes blowing bubbles.

 

 

WHAT I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE 

I said you could have the recipe for the solution that you can make up yourself for blowing bubbles.

And here it is:

The Bubble Solution

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 Cup Dish Soap (Dawn Original is best, but, anyone will do (I would suggest, though, don’t go with one you got from a dollar store, they have too much water in them)
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water completely.
  2. Then stir in the dish soap, very gently, you don’t want to cause any foam or bubbles as that will weaken the solution.
  3. For best results, if you can leave this to sit overnight, it will cause stronger bubbles.
  4. If you are making this up for a kid’s party, I would at least triple the recipe, and don’t be surprised if you need to make more.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK.

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

                                             Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh

I was having a lot of self-doubt this past week, so this one seems appropriate to me.

 

FAMILY LIFE

I can’t call it Willie and I anymore because we have an addition to the family, can I have a warm welcome for Bailey, the prettiest little girl you ever did see.

 

Family Life - my new baby
Willie and Bailie –  their first pic together

 

A whole bunch of people have asked why are we getting a second dog, and I tell them because Willie has attachment issues with me.  If I am out of his sight for longer than a few minutes he gets anxious and starts a kind of whining bark, but there is no doubt he is crying out at me not being there.

I asked my son the other day to take me to the dollar store, we brought Willie along so my son could take him for a walk while I went into the dollar store.  We arrived, my son came around and took Willie from me (he always rides in my arms because he hates being in a vehicle of any kind), and I went inside the dollar store.  As soon as the door closed behind me, I could hear Willie right through the glass, in fact, everyone at the registers turned to look.

All I could hear was Willie, “Oh, the poor dear.” and a whole bunch of “Awws.”  I quickly got what I came for and got back to the car, only to find my son inside with Willie.  I just looked at my son (you know the one) and he said “he wouldn’t move, I could have dragged him along, but he wasn’t going anywhere without you.”

Those of you who wondered, that’s why.  I am hoping that it won’t be so hard on him if he has someone to play with.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

CREAMY TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN
This meal can be ready in about 45 minutes and it is so good it will become one of those go-to recipes that we all have. I believe the original recipe called for chicken breasts cut into thin slices, but my family doesn’t like white meat, so I use boneless chicken thighs. This is one of our favourites.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Servings
INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If your chicken needs deboning, do that first, and then cut them in half
  2. In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and cook the chicken skin side down first on medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Then flip them over and give about 5 minutes on the other side. Make sure that they are cooked through and then remove them from the pan.
  3. While the chicken is cooking combine the chicken broth, the garlic, the Italian Seasoning, and the Parmesan Cheese. When you have pulled the chicken out, pour the mixture into the pan and whisk until it starts to thicken.
  4. Add the spinach (I had Kale, so I added that also) and the sun-dried tomatoes, let simmer on medium-low until the greens have wilted down.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and let them reheat in the sauce.
  6. Serve over rice.
RECIPE NOTES
Chicken in a Creamy Tuscan Garlic Sauce
I know this is a large portion but it was all mine.  Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

I think your family will love this as much as mine does.

 

That’s it for this week, let me know what you think about the recipe, and if you have some wise words to help me make the two dogs get along better, I am all ears.

Don’t forget to sign up so you don’t miss a post.  Hey, and let me know if you would like to have a newsletter once a month that will keep you updated on what I’ve done and what is coming.  I’m sure there will be a few surprises along the way.

Have a great week, and stay safe.

 

 

 

SELF CARE – WHAT IS IT? & HOW TO DO IT.

SELF CARE – WHAT IS IT? & HOW TO DO IT.

SELF-CARE;  WHAT IS IT?  &  HOW TO DO IT.

Sitting in the Sun
Relaxing in the Sun

 

The term Self Care has been around for a couple of years and seems to mean something different to everyone.  

I have heard Self Care described as  Taking your Medicine, Going to the Spa, Taking a Load Off, and Going on Vacation.

I am going to give you my definition, and it will include all of the above but so much more as well.

 

WHAT IS SELF CARE?

I define Self Care as taking care of you, making sure that your life is in balance.  I believe there are 5 Categories to Self-Care and they are:

Physical Self-Care

  • Eating Well – keeping to the healthiest diet you can (and I don’t mean A Diet that you are trying to lose weight on)
  • Sleeping  – I know it is difficult for most of us, but we have to try and get as much as we can.
  • Water Intake –  This is so important, the more dehydrated you are, the more pain you will feel, from headaches to joint pain.
  • Taking your Medication on time and every day as prescribed.
  • Exercise –  I know, again this can be very difficult for some of us, but just moving is exercise, walk across the floor a couple of times, or go downstairs and back upstairs.  It’s all movement.

Spiritual Self-Care

 

  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Forgiveness
  • Finding Your Purpose
  • Finding the Meaning in your Life

Emotional Self-Care

  • Positive Self Talk –  DO NOT RUN YOURSELF DOWN
  • Positivity in all things – DO NOT RUN OTHERS DOWN EITHER
  • Feeling Your Feelings – I’m still working on this one.
  • Journaling
  • Create a Book of Photos and Notes – showing you having a Good time/Positive things only.  When you feel yourself getting down, look at this.
  • Working with a Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist
  • Letting go of the Negative – feeling it but letting it go.

Support

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Psychiatrist/Therapist
  • Support Group – Look online there are many people going through what you are, get their help.  You will be amazed at the friendships you find.

How you Live your Life

  • Routines – I believe in these so much.
  • What do you do for Fun?
  • Getting Outside – even if you are just sitting on the Patio
  • Working – doing something to keep yourself occupied and your mind off your troubles.  It can be putting together that book I mentioned before, or if you are still working, setting up your to-do list for the day, etc.
  • Setting goals, sort of –  I don’t really set goals or at least not long term goals.  I’ve tried, but I always seem to fail at them very shortly after I have decided them. Something comes up, or you are down for the count for a couple of weeks.  I find it is much more rewarding to set up;   Three things I Want to do Today (first thing in the morning), if it’s a bad day, they may be Sleep, Read, Drink Water.  I also do this for each week, The Three Things I want to do this Week.  You will be amazed at how much better you feel if you can mark off one or all of the things that you have set for yourself, and if you don’t manage to get them all done, it doesn’t matter.  CELEBRATE YOUR SMALL WINS!

THINGS TO DO FOR SELF CARE

I am setting up a page (you’ll find it on my menu) on what kind of things you can do as self-care.  I could write them all down in this post but wouldn’t it be nice to go to the Self Care page and be able to pick and choose what you wanted to do any time you wanted to?  I thought it might be easier than trying to run through all my posts to find what you were looking for.

So, head on over and take a look, I bet you have tried at least most of them, but who knows, maybe you will find something new, and I pray that you find at least one that helps you feel better.

 

Things I Love, Use, Make

I Love Meal Planning.  I do it every Saturday Morning.  I plan out what we are having for dinner all week.  I don’t bother with breakfast and lunches, because none of my family seems to eat breakfast except me, and for lunches, it’s always leftovers from last night.

I start out by checking the flyers this week to see what is on sale.  Once I have an idea of what I have available to me at decent prices I start looking for recipes (I have an extensive library of cookbooks, and I have six recipe folders here on my computer.  I divide them up into different types of recipes, like this:   Ground Beef Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Beef Recipes, Pork Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes (we do meatless Monday) and the final one is Miscellaneous (that’s where I keep things like Bread, Soup, Salads, Desserts, etc.)

If I don’t find anything in my folders that I feel like, well, we have the whole internet to look for something else.

Once the recipes are found, I decide which days are going to be what, and then I put a Grocery List together.

I list the ingredients out for the recipes (and let me just put a little aside in here;  I never leave a recipe alone, I always add some touch of my own, I don’t know why, but it always happens, Always.)

If there are things that are required for the recipes that I already have then I don’t write them down; but, I don’t always know if I’ve got basil left or not, so what I am not sure of I add to the list.

I then leave the list on the counter for the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday, my husband will go through the cupboards and anything we have, he scratches it off.  Anything that we are getting low on he adds to the list, then the kids have a go and add the things that they want or need (within reason).

Then on Monday usually, my husband goes and does the grocery shopping.  I can’t make it all the way around the store anymore, so he does it for me.

My husband loves having a list so he can just go and get exactly what we need, rather than puttering around the store deciding as he goes.  Mind you, when he sees a good deal, he jumps on it, like last week Chicken was on sale, for more than half off, he picked up more than $100.00 worth, but that will save us a bunch of money over time, so no complaints.

When he gets back, I set out into the fridge anything I need for Monday and Tuesday night and put everything else away either in the freezer or in the fridge and cupboards.

We don’t always go in the order that I have decided on, we rearrange at will, some nights my husband won’t feel like pasta, so, we’ll have the tacos we were going to have on Friday, and I just switch them around.

It’s so great to know that you have done something for the family, even if I had to make out the plan and list from my bed.

I Love Meal Planning.

 

Quote of the Week

 

I don’t know who said this, but I must have heard it a thousand times, this week it struck a chord with me, I don’t know why because I always look for the Good.

 

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

 

Always look for the good, the more you practice looking for it, the more you will see.

 

LIFE WITH WILLIE 

Willie and I did not get out much this week.  I fell three times this week, once down the stairs, and the other two just walking, so I was not in good shape to do much of anything.

The little lump on Willie’s back is getting larger; I guess we will be back to the Vet again.

Next week, Gosh, I’m so excited, we are bringing home our new little girl, a female Dachshund pup that we have already named Bailey.  I will make sure that you get pictures as soon as I can.  Also, I will start adding Bailey’s pictures to Willie’s page as soon as possible too.

Life around here has been pretty quiet, we had two more snowfalls this week, and when it wasn’t snowing, mostly it was raining.  Hawkeye did manage to get Willie out for walks in between rain and snow as I was laid up.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP RECIPE

 

Print Recipe
ZUPPA TOSCANA SOUP RECIPE
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut sausage meat into chunks, or roll into meatballs.
  2. Start prepping the Vegetables and while doing that fry off the bacon.
  3. Put the stock and water into a Dutch Oven
  4. Add the Sausage, Potatoes, Onion and Garlic.
  5. Cook on medium high until the potatoes are done.
  6. Then add the kale
  7. When the kale has wilted down, add the bacon and sundried tomatoes.
  8. Let them warm through for a couple of minutes
  9. Then take off the heat and add the heavy cream
  10. Stir together and serve in large bowls with Garlic Bread
Recipe Notes

This is so good you'll wonder why you haven't done it before.  It's so easy.

Share this Recipe
 
INGREDIENTS

 

 

 

Well, that’s everything I have for you this week.  Oh by the way, if you are looking for the rest of my Cleaning Routine.  I decided to do it up as a page on its own also.  You can find it on the Menu at the top.

 

Have a great week, be safe, and take care.

BTW:  I am going to be posting on Tuesday from now on.

PS:  I’m thinking about doing up a newsletter once a month, please comment and let me know what you think.  Also don’t forget to sign up, that way you will never miss a post.

HOW TO PACE YOURSELF SO HOUSEKEEPING IS EASIER

HOW TO PACE YOURSELF SO HOUSEKEEPING IS EASIER

HOW TO PACE YOURSELF SO HOUSEKEEPING IS EASIER

HOUSEKEEPING SUPPLIES

 

All of us have to get our housework done.  Most of us don’t find it fun or easy.  

If you suffer from a Chronic Illness or if you are disabled in some way whether that is temporary or permanent the housework doesn’t really wait on us, although sometimes it has to.  If you don’t suffer from any kind of restriction, then this will still work for you.

PACING YOURSELF

I have learned to pace myself and to keep to a routine as much as possible and I am going to share it with you.  Now, keep in mind that I have three floors in my house so there are three stairways that I have to negotiate.  I also no longer work so I have the time to set it up as I want.

If you are on one level (I am so envious) you can still keep to this schedule. Regardless of how many floors you have; you just have to adjust the schedule to suit you and how you are feeling on a particular day.

MY HOUSE

My house is divided up into top floor (Bedrooms and Master Bath ), a half level down is the Main Bath (used by my kids and visitors), the middle level houses the kitchen, living room, and a deck off the living room, a half level down from there is the entryway which also has a small deck, and then finally the bottom floor has the laundry room, a rec room (half of which I use as my office) and the third bathroom.  The garage is also here and then we have a patio underneath the deck off the living room.

As you would expect, I try to keep things to one level at a time.

 

MY SCHEDULE

 

Monday –  Our Bed & Bath

This takes me about an hour and a half, with frequent stops to ease the pain a little before continuing.  I strip the bed, take the towels from the bathroom and pop them in the laundry (down two flights).  

Next I make the bed (one of those things that really takes much longer now).  Then I dust the bedroom, I have one of those long pole things that I put my Swiffer duster on, so I can get in the corners and the top of the moulding and such without having to either bend or try climbing on something to get higher.

Then I move into the bathroom, all my cleaning supplies are already in there, except for the Swiffer Sweeper which I hide behind the door in my room.

I should mention that I have already sprayed the shower and bath area with my homemade cleaner (recipe following) letting the solution sit on the walls and tub until I am ready to start the bathroom.

I remove everything from the bathroom counter and floor as well as in the shower of course.  Then I begin with the shower and bath, I have a Swiffer Sweeper that I use for this.  I attach a microfibre cloth to the Swiffer and using hot water I wipe down the stall, the tub, and the ceiling area (remember I have already sprayed them.)  I then wipe down and shine the faucet and drain area with a second cloth.

For the toilet interior I use another homemade recipe (coming in the what I make section) that I leave to sit as I do the shower area.  Then I clean the outer areas of the toilet, under the seat and around the base with my cleaning solution.  Then complete the toilet by using the brush to clean the inside.

Next up is the sink and counter area, I spray them liberally with the cleaning solution and then I start on the mirrors.  I have one above the sink and another on the medicine cabinet.  And yes, I have another solution for cleaning the mirrors.

I clean the sink and counter area, then I take the Swiffer Sweeper and using another microfibre cloth, I wipe down the walls and corners, as well as the fan grate.

Finally, I Swiffer the floor and then wash it.

 

By this point I am usually done in and I head down to my office to work on my courses and emails, not to mention moving the laundry from the washer to the drier.  

This is when I have to be the most careful, because I am now limp like a wet noodle, I can easily fall, because my legs just stop working.

Later, just before I go up to start on dinner, I fold the sheets and towels and have either my husband or one of the kids put them upstairs for me to put away later.

This post is getting a little long so, I think I will give you the rest of my schedule in posts every week for the next five or six.  I don’t want to overwhelm anyone and remember I stop frequently to give myself the time to partially recover between tasks.

Oh, and if I can’t do it on Monday because I am having a bad day or I have an appointment, then I just move it on to Tuesday and the rest of the tasks that week get pushed back a day.  I try to give myself Saturday and Sunday off but some weeks it just doesn’t work out.

One last thing, my kids are both adults and they are responsible for their own rooms.  If I don’t like what they look like, I just close the door and leave it up to them.

Next up, the recipes I use to clean my house.

 

WHAT I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

 

Here are the recipes for the cleaners I use:

 

WINDOW AND MIRROR CLEANER  

1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar

1 Tsp  Dawn Original Dish Soap

10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

10 drops Lemon Essential Oil

10 Drops Tea Tree Essential  Oil

Water to fill spray bottle

 

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake each time you use.

That’s it, simple and easy.  I usually make four at a time, one for each bathroom, and one for the rest of the house (kept in the kitchen).  By the way, this makes a great chrome cleaner too, so your faucet and handles shine up.

 

EVERYDAY CLEANING SOLUTION

1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar

1 Tsp  Dawn Original Dish Soap

20 drops Tea Tree Oil

20 drops Lemon Oil

Water to Fill the bottle up

Even easier than the last.  Again, I make up four at a time, one for each bath and one for the rest of the house

 

TOILET CLEANER

1 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide

½ Cup Baking Soda

20 drops Tea Tree Oil

20 Drops Lemon Oil

Water to Fill the bottle

 

Three of these, one for each of the bathrooms, remember to shake before spraying.

I have one more for you that I didn’t mention in the post above:

FLOOR CLEANER

 

1 ½ Cups Distilled White Vinegar (you could use the Hydrogen Peroxide instead of the vinegar if you prefer, although I think the Vinegar leaves a better shine).

1 TSP Dawn Original Dish Soap

20 drops Tea Tree Oil

20 drops of Lemon Oil

Hot Water to fill up the bucket.

Make this up as needed.

 

As you can tell I like the smell of the Lemon Oil, but not just that, Lemon Oil also has some antibacterial Properties  as the Tea Tree Oil does, but much more, obviously.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

I have two this week; the first I heard someone say one time, but I don’t recall who

 

“START EACH DAY WITH A GRATEFUL HEART”

For those who wake with pain each and every morning, no matter what kind, be it mental or physical, start each morning with being grateful for something, even if it’s just that you woke up, be grateful, the rest of the day doesn’t seem so bad (even in the midst of a flare) if you can think of one thing to be grateful for.

The second is from a woman who I think of as a personal mentor even though we have never spoken and probably never will.  I started her course the Elite Blog Academy this week and I am so excited to be part of it.  I have followed her for a couple of years now, taking note of everything that she does and says on her blog Living Well Spending Less.  And NO I am not a stalker.

 

“DO IT SCARED.”   by Ruth Soukup

Never let fear hold you back, just step out and take that chance!

 

WILLIE AND I

Checking out the sunshine
Had to get out before the rain came back

 

This week was rainy and cold, and if you have been here before you know that Willie will not go out in the rain.  Once again we spent most of the week in the house, however there were a couple of breaks between the systems and so we did get out at least.

 

We had a trip to the vet this week as Willie has a small lump on his back, the vet is not sure if it is a cyst or a Histoma, which is a common problem for Dachshund’s in their second year.  If it is a cyst it will go down and then probably reappear every four to six months as it fills up again, if it is a Histoma, it will have to be removed.  

I will keep you in the loop.

And finally we have the super simple:

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

TERIYAKI CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES WITH NOODLES

https://barbsoutlook.com/recipe/teriyaki-chicken-vegetables-noodles/

Click on the link above or go to the Recipes Page

That’s it for this week, I hope you can start a schedule of your own.  I  really hope you try the recipe this week, let me know what you think.

Have a great week and everybody be safe out there.

What Don’t you Know about Chronic Illness.

What Don’t you Know about Chronic Illness.

 

Hi Everyone,

Today I would like to tell you a little bit about Chronic Illness, how it affects those of us with it, and how we get anything accomplished.

Chronic Illness sufferers deal with pain and exhaustion all the time.  Most of us use what is called ‘The Spoon Method’ to judge what kind of day we are having.

THE SPOON METHOD 

 

Each day we wake with 12 spoons to last us through the day.  The day is filled with activities and chores and interactions with others, and each of those takes one or more spoons to get through.

The goal is to have at least one or two spoons left at the end of the day so that you can interact with your family and get into bed without having drained yourself completely and perhaps even used up tomorrow’s spoons.

Every day is different when you have a Chronic Illness, some days it will take you only a couple of spoons to get up and get cleaned up for the day and other days; when you probably pushed yourself a little too much the day before, it may take half your spoons just to get up.

On the days, when it takes you more to do less, you have to really watch what you spend your spoons on.  If I sweep that floor, how many spoons will it take?  Will I have enough left to cook dinner and interact with my family?

I guess you could say that every day is a gamble, a trade-off.  Trading off one activity for another so that you can just make it through the day.  That’s how I get my housework done, I have to trade-off some spoons so that I can clean that bathroom but knowing that at the end of the day you spent too many spoons and you will pay for it tomorrow.

 

 

BEING IN A FOG 

 

One of the hardest things to deal with when you are ill is what those of us who have Fibromyalgia call Fibro Fog and the rest of the Chronically Ill community just call brain fog.

It is bad enough that we need to deal with the pain and the exhaustion, but the hardest by far to contend with is The Fog.

I have been talking to my husband and completely forgotten his name, or the word that I was just about to speak or the entire conversation.  The Fog leaves you feeling stupid and embarrassed.

I have caught myself just sitting and staring into space like I was contemplating the Universe, but knowing, that not a single thought was going through my mind or if there were thoughts, you have no idea what they were.

I have lost as much as twelve minutes at one sitting from just spacing out, and then you come back and you have no idea what you were doing or saying.

Stuttering because you can’t get the word out, you know it, you know what it sounds like but your mouth won’t let that sucker come out.

When it first starts happening, you think you are losing your mind, but then you start reading more about your illness and find that this is just one of many more lovely symptoms to come.

 

OTHER SYMPTOMS

 

Anxiety and Depression almost always affect someone with a Chronic Illness in some way.  From darkest depths and being afraid to step outside your door, to a little voice in your head saying to you as you are speaking to someone, “no one wants to hear what you have to say.”

Getting that sick feeling in your stomach when you know that you have to go out and go to the mall or the store, knowing that you are going to have to interact with people and feeling like you are going to throw up every second you are away from home.

Praying that your legs will hold you up or that what you are carrying in your arms doesn’t go crashing to the floor, bringing all the attention to you.  In my case, I also lose the sight in my left eye, it throws my depth perception off and I walk into things.  Sometimes it lasts for just a few seconds, or, sometimes a few minutes.

 

WHAT OTHERS DON’T UNDERSTAND

 

There are people who go out to work every day who suffer from Chronic Illness and I want to say right here, how STRONG and BRAVE they are for doing that.  Because I know that during that day someone is going to say to them, “Wow, you look OK!  You must be all better now?”

The answer to that question is “No, I am not all better, I won’t get all better.  I will have good days where it appears  (just appears) that I am doing better, and I will have bad days that are going to feel like I am dying and I might not make it into work.  But, I AM NEVER GOING TO BE ALL BETTER.”

I believe that is the hardest part of all, people saying “You don’t look sick.”  Do they say that to a Cancer patient or to someone who had a heart attack, their illnesses cannot be seen either, but people just naturally have empathy for those conditions?

Most of us who are Chronically ill, have at one time or another, heard someone saying “She or He doesn’t look sick, they are just bucking for a day off.”  Or even worse, “They are just lazy and  looking for sympathy.”

As if we didn’t feel bad enough because we can’t get the things done that we used to, we have people who have no idea what it takes to just get through a day.

I myself, do not work any longer.  I cannot drive a car because of my illness it is quite possible that I would cause an accident that could injure someone else.  Who wants to have that on their conscience?

Those of you with Chronic Illness, I want to cheer you on and remind you that you are warriors every single day.

Those of you who do not suffer from a Chronic Illness, maybe you could cut us a little slack, and give us the same consideration that you would anyone else who was ill.

 

 

WHAT I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

This week I got my butt kicked by a very bad cold.  I am still sniffling and coughing, so I wasn’t up for much this week.  When something like this happens I like to just curl up in a corner and do art.  I don’t have a whole lot of talent but I still love to do it.  So, this week it is something that I made, in fact, it is three somethings.  Take a look below.

I have an art book and it has a 30 day Art Project page and it tells you what to do each day for 30 days.  I didn’t take them in order just did whatever appealed to me at the time.

The first one was to draw a picture that includes water.  The second is draw in pencil only, and the third was to do something abstract.  So here they are my three projects from this week.

Art Project 1
My first project this week. A drawing containing water.

 

 

Art Project 2
Second of three projects. A pencil drawing.

 

Art Project 3
The third and last of the projects this week. An abstract drawing.

 

Like I said I’m not very good at this yet, but I will keep trying.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“FEAR HAS TWO MEANINGS:

‘Forget Everything And Run’, or 

‘Face Everything And Rise’

THE CHOICE IS YOURS 

Zig Ziegler

 

 

WILLIE AND I

Nothing to tell this week, I was so sick that we really didn’t do anything except snuggle in my bed.  I did get at least one picture, though, so here goes

Willie snuggling in
Wanted my scarf

Darn, he looks so cute.  I love his markings.

 

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

I am going to refer you to a post that I wrote some time ago since this week really was a write-off.

 

  https://barbsoutlook.com/one-recipe-5-ways/

 

 

I hope you have a great week and that the sun shines for you every day.

Take care until next time, and remember to laugh lots and have fun.

This Time of Year Sucks for those that are Chronically Ill

This Time of Year Sucks for those that are Chronically Ill

 

 

White is not my favourite colour
This is Crazy

 

I am so sick of snow.  In the South-west coast of British Columbia, it is very unusual for us to get the weather that we have been having, our typical winter may include one or even two days of the white stuff but this has been going on for weeks now.

We have had two serious dumps of snow in the last month with the snow and ice lingering around for almost the whole time.

For those of you who get this kind of weather all winter long, my heart goes out to you.  And yes, the rest of Canada, we know how funny this looks to you.

For those of you who, like me, suffer from a Chronic Illness, this weather just seems to make everything worse.  The pain is worse, the movement is worse, and trying to make it anywhere outside if you have balance issues like me is torturous, to say the least.  

I can’t imagine trying to use my walker or wheelchair in this weather, it would be one step forward and oops, going skating, or the wheels would just sit and spin.

Those of you that work, I tip my hat to you, working while in this much pain would be unbearable.

DEALING WITH THE COLD WHEN YOU ARE CHRONICALLY ILL

 

Snowbound
Outside my front door

 

Over the years I have learned that the colder and damper it gets, the worse someone with a chronic illness feels.  There is not a lot that we can do except keeping heating pads nearby, bundle up inside and outside the home, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated, and do your darndest to not have to move too much.  Yes, we are supposed to keep moving as much as possible but in cold temps, just trying to come downstairs becomes a major undertaking.

Over the past month, I have fallen more than half a dozen times, a couple of times down the stairs, a couple of times just walking across the floor, and once I fell and banged my head against the door jamb giving myself a huge bump on my head and a few scrapes.  I am not trying to garner your sympathy here, I just want you to know what people like me have to go through.

HOPING NEXT YEAR IS LIKE 2010

I do not know if you remember the winter Olympics from 2010.  It was held here on the Southwest Coast of BC, and the weather was so warm that they had to truck snow in from the interior and use the snow machines to top off the rest.

The Organisers and Officials of the Mountain Resorts hosting the games were all in panic mode, just hoping we could get all the sports in.

The visitors to BC were walking around in shorts and t-shirts because it was so warm those couple of weeks, most days it was at least 18’C (or 65’F) and the tourists were loving it.

I remember all the anchors and announcers were commenting on just how warm and beautiful it was here.

I hope that we might see some of that weather shortly; after all the Groundhogs did say winter was over and that spring was on its way.

In the meantime, I will keep my woollen cape close about my shoulders, have the heating pad at my feet, and drink my hot apple cider.

 

WHAT I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE:

 

E-COURSES

I am an e-course junkie, I can admit it.  I love to learn and I jump at just about every chance to learn something new.

I have enrolled in 27 courses from Painting to Coding.  My courses are very eclectic, I have courses on Sourdough Bread, Dog Training, Web Design and Creative Writing.  I try and take them one at a time, work on one for two hours, take a break and work on another.

The ones I usually enroll in are supposed to help me make my blog better in some way.  Most of them are free courses, although, some do come with bundles that I have purchased.  

There are two courses right now that I am really excited about, one I got for free, and the other I paid a lot of money for.  Both of them will really be changing the way I do things so that I might be able to earn an income from one of my three blogs.

Stay tuned and I will keep you updated on my progress.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

     “FOREVER IS MADE UP OF LITTLE NOWS, BE PRESENT IN EVERY MOMENT”

I have no idea who came up with the first part of this quote; when I took note of it, it was some time ago and I don’t remember who actually said it.  The last part “Be present in every moment.” is all me.  It is on my desk where I see it every day to remind me to really be here in every moment.  Now, I know that is not possible, you get busy and things pass you by, this is really to make me take time to have those little moments with my family, my dog, nature, and with me.  If you miss a good moment, you can never get it back, so I try to make sure that I don’t miss them.

 

WILLIE AND I

 

The past week is pretty much the same as the week before.  Snow, ice and rain pretty much made it so we didn’t get out, as I’ve mentioned before, Willie being a typical Dachshund does not like the rain, and since the snow was taller than he was, that kind of let out any kind of walk at all.

We played inside most days and the picture below is us playing on the bed in the morning.  Being a typical Dachshund, Willie hates to get up in the morning, so I play with him until he is revved up and ready to go, if I didn’t he would just crawl back under the covers and stay there all day.

Willie and I playing
Playing with Willie
A kiss from my baby.
Getting my face washed.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK 

Print Recipe
CHEESY MUSHROOM CHICKEN WITH PINEAPPLE GINGER RICE & SALAD
This is a cheesy creamy chicken dish, with a refreshing pineapple and ginger rice, and a green salad.
Prep Time 10 MINUTES
Cook Time 45 MINUTES
Passive Time 35 MINUTES
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 MINUTES
Cook Time 45 MINUTES
Passive Time 35 MINUTES
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400'F
  2. Preheat oven to 400' F
  3. Line a sheet pan with tin foil
  4. Place the chicken thighs on the sheet pan skin side up
  5. Salt and Pepper the Thighs and once the oven is heated to temp pop the pan into the oven for 40 minutes
  6. Place a frying pan on the stove and add the olive oil, start the temp out at medium high
  7. Put the sliced mushrooms into the pan stir around until coated and then turn the heat down to medium low so they can cook or roast long and slow, just stir occassionally to make sure they do not burn
  8. In a medium sized pot add the rice and the tin of pineapples as well as the grated ginger and a pinch of salt, then add the pineapple juice, water or chicken stock to equal 4 cups of liquid
  9. When there is about 10 minutes left before the chicken comes out, turn on the rice. Start on high until you see the pot just coming to the boil, stirring once to lift rice grains off the bottom of the pot , and then cover with the lid and turn down to low for 14 minutes
  10. When the chicken is done, pull out of the oven and put on a cooling rack. Mix the milk with the soup in a bowl and put 1-2 tsp on each chicken thigh, coating it. Sprinkle the pan-roasted mushrooms on top of the soup on the thighs, then put a good pinch of cheese on top of each thigh, make sure there is enough to melt over the whole thing.
  11. Turn the oven to broil
  12. Pull the rice off the stove and leave covered until dinner is ready.
  13. Once the oven has heated to broil, put the sheet pan in and let the broiler melt the cheese down over the chicken
  14. When the cheese has completely melted and is just starting to turn golden, pull the chicken out. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Fluff the rice in the pot and assemble the green salad.
  15. Serve the chicken with the rice and the green salad on the side
Recipe Notes

Take advantage of the downtimes to sit and relax. Pour yourself a glass of wine and wait for the goodness to be done.

Share this Recipe
 

 

Pineapple Chicken
Yumm

This recipe is super easy, for those who cannot stand for too long, or for those who need to be out of the house in a hurry, here is a recipe you can have on the table in under half an hour (with a little bit of prep beforehand).

PINEAPPLE TERIYAKI CHICKEN WITH RICE

INGREDIENTS

12-14 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs ( or if you prefer white meat you could use chicken breasts, I’d say 4 would be enough,) chopped into bite size pieces.

1     Onion, chopped

1     Pineapple, Chopped (or you can use a can of tidbits, don’t drain them.)

2 Cups   Rice

3 Cups   Chicken Stock

1 Cup      Teriyaki Sauce (I use Golden Dragon Thick Teriyaki)

1 Tbsp     Vegetable Oil

1/4 Cup   Green Onions, chopped

 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large frying pan saute chicken and onion together on medium-high until the chicken is mostly cooked through, about 6-7 minutes (less for white meat, you don’t want to dry it out).

Add the two cups of rice and saute it with the chicken and onion for 1-2 minutes until the rice starts to look opaque or translucent. 

Add the chicken stock and pineapple, if you are using the canned, dump the juice in too. 

Stir everything together and put the lid on, turn the heat to medium-low and let cook for about 10 minutes. 

Add the Teriyaki sauce, stir, cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes. 

When serving, sprinkle the green onion over the top. 

This recipe serves 4 in my household with enough left that the three who work have lunch for the next day. 

If you have more time available to you and you want to add extra veg, just make sure that you put the extra veg in before the rice and saute for a few minutes.  You can add chilli flakes if you want to spice it up, or if you have them handy chop up some chilli peppers and add those with the veg.

The recipe can be adapted to use pork or tofu.  If you want to add additional protein, you could always throw in a can of garbanzo beans.

Print-O-Matic

 

 

Well, that’s it for now, have a great week, take care of yourselves, and make sure you take time to have some fun.

MORNING ROUTINE NOT A PLEASURE? HOW TO BUILD ONE THAT IS .

MORNING ROUTINE NOT A PLEASURE? HOW TO BUILD ONE THAT IS .

 


Having a morning routine is the best way to set you up for a better day.

I have been through so many books and courses on how to set up a morning routine but I could never find one that quite fit me.  Then, I realized that they didn’t fit me because they weren’t uniquely for me.

I decided to set up one of my own.  I asked myself some really simple questions and then I went to work honing something that would work for me but allow me the time I need to get going in the morning. (Much longer than most of you, I am sure, unless, you too suffer from a chronic illness.)

Each of us has unique needs and wants that we must have in order for us to be comfortable with any kind of routine.

 

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS

 

1. What time do I want to get up?

Only you can know what your body needs, do you need 7 hours, 8?  How are you going to get what you need, will you go to bed earlier or will you get up later?

  1. What are your MUST do’s in the morning?

All of us have must do’s, washing your face, brushing your teeth, doing your hair and makeup, getting dressed, and if you are like a couple of my friends and have a large shoe collection, choosing what shoes you want for the day can become a time suck of epic proportions.  Do you need to get children up, washed, dressed and ready for the day? Do you need to cook breakfast and make lunches?  No matter how small, write them down.

  1. How long does each of those must do’s take?

Be realistic, if it is going to take you 15 minutes to decide on what shoes to wear, be honest and put that down.  All of the small things you have to do take time, so don’t short change yourself.

  1. What things do you WANT to do in the morning?

Do you want to spend time journaling or meditating?  Do you want to read for 20 minutes?  Do you want time for prayer or Bible study?  Do you want to exercise or do Yoga?

Note down how much time you want to spend on each of these.

  1. Add the two – musts and wants together.

Do you have time to fit them all in if you get up at your preferred time?  If not, then do you want to get up earlier to fit them all in, or do you want to scale back on some of your wants.  Is there a way that you could leave either some of the musts or wants till later in the day?  Will you do them if they are not part of your morning?

 

SET YOUR ROUTINE

 

Your morning routine should leave you feeling good and ready to jump into your day.  It should not make you feel like you have already put in a full day before you have left your house or started to work.

The routine has to let you adjust for the unexpected.  Maybe today you don’t feel good and are just going to give everything a miss except getting the kids ready, or maybe, one of the kids is sick and your whole day just turned on a dime.  Maybe you are just not feeling capable of doing the whole thing today (remember though that if you do, then you will feel better, sometimes we do have to push ourselves.)

For people like me, who suffer from a chronic illness, it can take every bit of energy you have just to get out of bed and brush your teeth on some days.

On those type of days, are your musts, really musts, or can they wait until tomorrow?

When you are deciding what your morning routine should be, remember to stick in just a little bit of extra time that is not accounted for, so that when you can’t find their homework, or your keys decided to leave on vacation because they are not where you put them, or the milk got knocked off the table and you have to clean it up otherwise it will stink before you get home, that you have time to take care of those little hiccups that we all run into now and then.

 

My Routine and a Funny Story

 

I’ll lay out most of my routine for you and you can see where my musts and wants are, and where my extra time comes in handy.

Granted, I don’t work outside my home anymore so I don’t have to rush to get out the door, but I do try to keep a regular schedule, not because I need to get up for my kids, they are both adults and can fend for themselves or because of my husband because he starts work at 4 am.  I keep to as regular a schedule as I can so that I can feel like I am at least contributing to the wellbeing of our home.

First, let me state, I am not laying this all out so that you can feel sorry for me, that is the last thing I want, I see myself as a warrior so no way do I want sympathy.  

I do have challenges in the morning and some days they are worse than others, but if you don’t understand what those are, all of you would be going “well what the heck does she need all that time for?”  So here goes:

I wake up at 6am.  I lie still for a moment to see what I can feel and what I can’t, if one or both of my arms have decided not to be present, then I will have to wait until I can feel them again, same thing for my legs.  I also have to judge what kind of a pain day is it going to be, if it’s going to be a day where I might be able to get some housework done, or it’s going to be a struggle to just get my face washed.

It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour for me to get enough feeling back and manage the pain enough that I can actually stand up.  My master bath is less than four feet from my side of the bed, but at least 2 or 3 times a week I fall because I overestimated my ability to walk or move.

On those days when my body doesn’t really like me much, I will use my cane to prop me up at the sink by putting it at an angle and wedging it against my backside.

I wash my face.

I brush my teeth.

By now it is at least 7am and quite often well past that.

Once I am sure that everything is working and that it is going to be the kind of day where I can get something done, I try and do some simple yoga stretches to help warm myself up.

 

Meditation

 

I don’t move very well and my balance is not good (hence the cane) so when I meditate I sit in a chair, not on a pillow on the floor.

I have a funny story about the last time I tried to use a pillow for meditation, should I or shouldn’t I, hmm, this post is getting a little long, but oh what the heck, it is funny.

I sat down on the pillow and proceeded to try and do my meditation for about 20 minutes.  At this point I really wish I had had a video camera taping me because I still go into hysterical laughing when I think of it.  Like now,  hahahaha.

After sitting for 20 minutes, I went to roll over and get up but my legs decided nope, not going to work now.

It must have looked so funny, this pudgy woman doing her damnedest to get back on her feet, I was kind of rocking back and forth, trying to get to the point where I might be able to grab the footboard when I got my feet to the floor.  

So, here I am rocking forward to try and get my feet under me and then rolling back down.  At this point, I wasn’t really helping myself at all, I was giggling so hard because all I could think of was if someone saw me that I would look like a turtle that was on its back, with arms and legs moving but going nowhere.

Just when I finally got to the point that I thought I could pull myself up, my right arm decided that it wanted no part of it and stopped working.  I went to reach for the footboard and nothing happened.  At this point I am now in hysterical laughter, tears are running down my face and Willie is peering over the end of the bed with his head cocked to the side, like they do when we have said something they don’t understand.  When my arm started working again I just lost it, I wound up sprawled facedown on the bed, laughing like a fool and Willie licking my face.

Needless to say, my morning routine went by the wayside for that day.

 

Conclusion

 

The rest of my routine is pretty simple:

I journal.

I get groomed and dressed.

I have breakfast.

I take Willie for a walk.  This depends on the weather and how bad the pain is.

The days don’t always run smoothly, but they don’t always go like my story.  Most days I am groomed, dressed and bed made by 8:30 am.

Getting dressed and making the bed are two of my goals each morning, it takes me longer than most to do those things but, I consider it a pretty good start if I managed both.

The point to all of this is, that you are unique, what you need from your routine is not what I need or your best friend needs, it is what you need.  The one thing I will say is; make time to enjoy the morning, it shouldn’t be all rush rush.  

Oh, by the way, I don’t advise laughing hysterically for as long as I did that morning, my sides ached for two days afterwards.

 

THIS WEEK’S I LOVE, USE, OR MAKE

 

This week I want to tell you about a book I’m reading, it is Ruth Soukup’s 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero.  I have to tell you how good this is, it gives you step by step instructions on how to spend less but continue living your normal life or even better.

It teaches you how to inventory your pantry and how to set up for freezer meals, and then goes on to explain how to declutter and make money doing it.  

Finally, she gives you tips on how to manage your budget and how to make the changes that she suggests, a lasting habit.

Go out and have a look at this one you won’t be disappointed.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”    Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Darkness and hatred seem to be shrouding our world right now.  I say go stand in the light and shout to the heavens   “I LOVE !!!!!” and if we stand together and do this, nothing can stand against us.

 

WILLIE’S WEEK

 

 

 

We are back to being stuck in the house again, this past weekend we had two feet of snow fall.  The snow is deeper than Willie is tall so he is not interested in going out, and as you can see, has dragged up a couple of scarves and a towel, rearranged them until he thinks they’re perfect and then sits beside me until it is time to play.  Also,with my balance,  I would be falling and getting soaked so no, thanks.

 

THIS WEEK’S RECIPE

 

 

I thought that since we did a dinner recipe last week, this week, I thought I’d change it up and give you a breakfast treat.

 

PEAR AND PECAN MUFFINS

 

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Sugar  (I cut the sugar in half and did not use the brown sugar as the pears are so sweet.)
  • 1 ½ Tblsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ Tblsp Cinnamon
  • ½ Tblsp Allspice
  • 1 ½ Cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Grated Pear
  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • Powdered Sugar for Sprinkling

 

Instructions

 

  • Preheat oven to 350’
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl including the grated pear and the pecans.
  • Dump the wet into the dry all at once and stir till combined but no more, you don’t want a perfectly smooth dough.
  • If you find that the mixture is a little dry, you can try adding more milk a ¼ cup at a time until the mixture becomes a sticky mess.
  • Spray your muffin pans with cooking spray
  • Use an ice cream scoop sprayed with cooking spray to evenly portion the dough into the muffin pans.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes, then test with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
  • Place on cooling racks for 10 minutes and then gently tip the muffins out onto the racks
  • Once they are completely cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • This recipe makes 24 regular sized muffins or 48 of the small ones.

 

Well, that is all I have for you today.  Stay healthy and take care.  I will talk to you next Monda

MY HUGE MISTAKE AND A WEEKEND AWAY

MY HUGE MISTAKE AND A WEEKEND AWAY

Hi Everyone,

I hope your world has settled some since the upheaval of last week.  We watched as the rest of the world did to see what would happen, my son, in particular, was glued to the set.  He is getting married next year to a girl from Portland, Oregon and he is moving down there.  He was worried that if Mr Trump got in, the immigration laws would change and it would make it harder for him to move there.  I guess we will see.

Anyway, that is not what I wanted to talk about today.  I want to tell you about our weekend away and the hunt for a companion for Willie.

THE HUNT FOR A FRIEND

My baby
My Wee Monster – Willie

 

Since our trip to Las Vegas, we have been on the hunt for a companion for Willie.  He has serious attachment issues with me, and our thought was that if we found a companion for him perhaps it would not be so traumatising for him when I went away.

We decided that we really like the breed so we would start by looking for a Dachshund.  My daughter and I got online, and we started of course, with the breeder that we received Willie from.    She had two that were around the age we wanted to have but she would not split them up, they had to go as a set.

That was not the plan, I can handle one more dog, but two more would have been beyond my capabilities ( I have trouble with balance and walking any distance and Willie has managed to put me on my butt more than once).

We started looking in other places, for starters, we looked for anyone in our immediate area that had pups for sale and then we pushed our search out to include all of B.C.

My daughter found a place in Vernon that had several male pups for sale.  The dogs had been used for breeding so they were unneutered.  They would have to be neutered either by his vet or we could make arrangements with our vet, but it had to be done very shortly after we received the dog.

I had several conversations with him and we decided that we would go up on the weekend to see the dogs and to see how Willie reacted to being around each of them.

Hawkeye has family in Vernon so we got in touch with them and we decided we would stay with them.  They were happy to have us and the thought of a couple more dogs coming to their place was fine.

 

A VERY LONG DRIVE

 

ON THE WAY TO VERNON
A VERY LONG DRIVE

 

On Saturday morning we started out, it was pouring, just coming down in buckets, but we were determined to go before any snow hit the Coquihalla Highway.  We left around 9:30 AM and the weather just continued to be awful so we were driving a lot slower than normal.

We hit the Coquihalla about two hours later and we could speed up a bit on there.  The usual speed on the Coq (as we call it), is 120 kph, because of the rain we couldn’t do quite that until we hit the summit.  Once we passed the summit the rain tapered off and before we knew it, the sun was shining and the road became much drier.  We managed to speed up and actually do the speed limit (and if I’m being honest, a little more) so we started making some good time.

Willie is not a good traveler, scared all the time, so he rests in my arms the whole way up.   And I do know that I should have him in a carrier, but, no one could take the whining, it just went on and on.  We stopped, got him out of the carrier and put him on my knee, to save our sanity, and the whining stopped. I knew that he was overweight but, Good Heavens, I thought my arms were going to drop off by the time we got to the breeder’s house.

 

MEETING THE DOGS

 

I put the leash and harness on Willie so that he wouldn’t just take off running with all this space, not to mention the sheep and the llamas that were in a pen just off to the side of where we were parked.  I didn’t want him terrorizing the poor things with his barking.

Dennis, the breeder, came out to meet us and meet Willie, took us around the back to a pen that he has for the dogs, and then went to get the first one named  Jordy.  He brought him over and we put Willie and Jordy in the pen and he went off to get Frank, the other one that we were considering.

Both dogs immediately went to smell Willie and the next thing I know, my brave, afraid of nothing, holy terror is drooling like a bull mastiff and cowering back and away from both dogs.  They had done nothing to Willie, but I guess, that having two unneutered males near him was making him very uncomfortable.

Hawkeye scooped up Willie and I went to meet the two dogs.  Jordy, the one I thought I wanted, was very standoffish and I could not seem to connect to him.  That is very rare for me because I like animals so much they are almost always friendly and eager to have me near them.

Frank, the other Dachshund and I hit it off right away.  He was eager to meet me and didn’t withdraw if I tried to pet him.  I decided that Frank would be a better choice than Jordy and turned to Hawkeye to see what he thought, he was half way across the very large front yard with Willie, trying to calm him down.

I talked to Dennis and said that I would discuss it with Hawkeye and we would be back the next day to pick up Frank.  Dennis said that he was happy with that plan, or if we decided that perhaps we would not be taking either of the dogs, we could give him a call in the morning.

I thought that was a strange thing to say because I had already decided to take Frank.  But, as we left, it kept playing in my mind, poor Willie was still so stressed that he was completely soaked by his own drool.  I grabbed his towel from the back and wiped him down, and my mind was thinking; if this is how he is going to react to having one of those dogs near him, then perhaps we did need to rethink the plan.

 

FAMILY TIME 

 

We drove on for another 20 minutes or so and came to Hawkeye’s Cousin’s home.  His Aunt and Uncle live in a suite in the basement and we would be staying with them.

Hawkeye’s Cousin has quite a bit of property with an area fenced off for her two dogs, and three or four paddocks all fenced off for her horse and her Shetland Pony.  The land slopes away from the house at quite a steep angle but the view over the lake is spectacular.

His Aunt and Uncle are two of my favourite people, they are so kind and fun to be around.  They had dinner on the go, so we had time to sit down and have a drink.  We told them about our trip up and how it went with the breeder, and how if we were going to take the dog, we would pick him up on Sunday morning, then head back home.

We sat around and talked and talked, then we had dinner, and Hawkeye’s Cousin and her husband came down and we just kept going until about 11:30, by that time we were all exhausted and headed to bed.

On Sunday morning, Hawkeye got up and took Willie for a walk, while I did my normal routine of trying to deal with the pain and then meditated for about 20 minutes,  got dressed and went out to make a cup of coffee.

Hawkeye’s Uncle and Cousin’s husband were up and they had already made coffee and handed me a cup as soon as I came into the kitchen.  I looked out the window and this is what I saw

 

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT IN VERNON
MORNING VIEW IN VERNON

 

I took my coffee and went out onto the deck to see the view without glass in front of me.  The picture above was taken from their deck.  It was beautiful out there, very mild, I didn’t need much more than the sweater I had on.

Hawkeye and Willie came around the corner of the house and into the yard, they had been for a walk along the road (little to no traffic) and back taking in the view and the morning air.

Hawkeye got himself a coffee and then we began to talk about what we wanted to do.  By this time, I was pretty sure that I had made a HUGE MISTAKE by even thinking about getting another dog and Hawkeye agreed.

The other thing we agreed about was that Willie was going to have to go on a diet, we could not believe how much more of him there was than the dogs we had seen the day before.  I had never previously thought of him as heavy (except riding in the truck with him in my arms), and I know show dogs have to be of perfect configuration; still, Willie was very definitely going on a diet.

I called Dennis about 9 AM and told him that we had decided to hold off on getting a dog for now.  He was very nice about it and I was glad that I had had a chance to make a new acquaintance.

We left about 10:30 and the weather was beautiful all the way over to Kamloops and then down the Coquihalla, until just before Hope.

From Vernon to Surrey
Coming down the Coquihalla

The rain came back and it wasn’t very long before it was pounding down again and everyone had to slow down to deal with it.  It was so heavy that the wipers were having quite a time trying to handle it.

THE MIGHTY FRASER RIVER
THE MIGHTY FRASER RIVER, LOOKING PRETTY PLACID EVEN WITH ALL THIS RAIN.

 

The picture above shows the Fraser River a little turbulent but looking pretty good even with all the rain coming down.  The dark grey clouds in the sky have somehow turned out looking like blue patches, believe me, there were no blue patches.

We made it home by about 3:30, and the rain did not let up all night or this morning.  The trip was a good time and even though we did over 11 hours of driving in two days, it was a trip well worth taking.

First, we learned that our wee terror needs to go on a diet.

Second, we learned that Willie is probably better off as a single dog family.

And third, we learned that taking an overnight trip now and then is definitely worth the drive and the time, we both felt more relaxed after the overnighter.

That’s it for today everyone, I hope your weekends were wonderful and that the sun shone on you.  I will talk to you next week,  Take care and make sure you have some fun.

 

 

 

 

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas.

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas.

Happy Sunday Everyone,

Las-Vegas-Sign

I am so excited, Hubby and I are flying off to Vegas on Wednesday to get warm and have some fun, and hopefully a little luck.

It’s a Birthday Trip for Me and a Radiation is Over trip for him.  My birthday is tomorrow and he concluded his radiation treatments at the end of September.  Oh, do we need this!

The kids are of course staying home, Mr T just started a new job and Miss Muffet wouldn’t have been able to get the time off even if we had invited her.  They are staying home and looking after my wee boy, Willie.

It has been a lovely weekend around here, kind of chilly both days, but at least not the torrential downpours of Friday when we got hit with the remnants of a typhoon from the Pacific.

Willie and I took a walk yesterday and the fall colours just made my day, not to mention the cool crisp air and the blue skies.

 

 

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas
A Colourful pathway after the wind and rain of the night before.

 

Look at all the colours on this pathway, how could you not smile when you see them.  Just around the corner from there was a beautiful tree, I couldn’t pass up the chance to take a picture of it against the background of the blue sky.

 

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas
Fall colour against a beautiful blue sky

I love the fall, I can’t help smiling when I see all the colours of the leaves changing, not to mention feeling that Little Nip that sometimes turns into a Big Chill.

I look forward to decorating every year for the fall, and I do it a little bit different every year.  My mantle this year has white pumpkins on it, against the exciting Fall colours of a garland.

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas
My Fall Mantle

Then over in the corner is a big vase of Fall coloured flowers, also at the front door when you come in there is a big vase of Fall foliage.  On the front porch, I have two bird houses done up in fall colours with flowers and such around them, and a Scarecrow that keeps the front stairs under his watchful eye.

 

 

 

There are so many things I see on our walks that are just beautiful, but when I take pictures of them, you just don’t quite get the same impact as seeing them in place.  For instance:

58 and a Hopeful Heart in Vegas
Hidden Life

I know you can’t see it, but there is a little mouse sitting where the red circle is, just praying that Willie doesn’t notice him.  He came out of a wee hole in the tree.  I couldn’t reduce the picture anymore, it began to just blur out, this was as good as I could get.

Regardless of the mouse, the colours here too are just wonderful, all the orange underneath the new growth on this Fir tree, with the sun highlighting the growth of the past summer.

I love where we live, we get very little to no snow, the summers are mild for any other place although we still think it’s hot when it hits 35′ C.  The one thing we do have is rain, in the Spring not so bad, but at this time of year, the rain and the wind can do so much damage.  One day last week we were without power for 4 hours, I know, I know, that doesn’t seem much to most of you, but that is quite a long time for the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

We are so lucky to miss out on the storms the North East gets in the Winter, and we also miss out on Tornados and Hurricanes the rest of the year.  We are so fortunate here, the things that people around the world have to put up with in weather and political upheaval, I’m not sure how any of us here would deal with them.

We hear about the horrors around the world and pat ourselves on the back for living here, completely forgetting that we just had the hand of fate in our corner the day our forebears decided to come here rather than somewhere else.

Canada is a terrific place to be from, we have (in my opinion) unrivaled scenery, food that is easily produced, and a population that has lived in peace always, here at home.  We forget to thank God or Allah or whatever Deity you pray to that they led us to this place, a lot of the time we are completely unaware of the fact that we take for granted what a lot of the world would be unbelievably grateful for.

In a way, we all take for granted what we have always known, so have-nots take for granted that they will have not, the persecuted take for granted that it is just the way things are in their world.

In 90 percent of the world, flying off on a holiday is something they could never even imagine, let alone afford.

Woah, this post has taken an odd turn, it started out so positive and upbeat, but has now turned to something I did not expect.  I think it would be better if I turned it around again,  but there is one thing, for all of you wherever you are in the world, who live in fear most days, I send out a prayer to My God, Your God, Whatever Deity might be listening, please keep them safe and smile down upon them.

Ok, back to the brighter stuff, Vegas in three days, it will be nice to get somewhere warm and just sit by the pool, relax and enjoy.  We will eat ourselves silly, oh no, here comes another 10 lbs (DON’T CARE), drink the good stuff, and gamble just a little (yeah right.)  We have no plans, we will just make it up as we go.

For now, I will leave you with this:  You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em.

There will be no blog post in the following week, it will be November before I talk to you again, so for all you Ghoulies and Ghosties out there, not to mention the Witches and Black Cats, have a wonderful week, have a wonderful Halloween, and may your candy bowl be empty at the end of the night so that you don’t get fat eating what’s left.

Bye for now.

 

 

WALKING WITH WILLIE

WALKING WITH WILLIE

WALKING WITH WILLIE 2

Hi Everyone,

I know that you know my little Dachshund Willie.  He is, without doubt, the friendliest little guy I have ever known, he loves adults, kids, and other dogs.  He envies the crows, and birds in general, does not love cats, and I’m not sure about squirrels yet, he tries to chase them so I am guessing that he probably doesn’t much like them either.

Willie is the reason I get out of the house, since my doctor’s would prefer that I do not drive any more (I lose the sight in my left eye without warning, and my legs stop working also without warning, and both my doctors and I would prefer if I was not responsible for hurting someone), and since a dog needs to get out several times a day, it encourages me to get out of the house.

 

ADVENTURES TO BE HAD

 

Willie has an endearing (being sarcastic here) way of toppling me onto my rear end as often as possible, usually in front of a row of cars waiting for the light to change.  The reason; he has spotted someone with a dog two blocks away and is so eager to get to them that he takes off at high-speed, usually catching me in the middle of a step (I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I walk with a cane because my balance is way off,) which means that I am usually going down and rather than fall flat on my face I try to twist and wind up on my backside.

I am sure I present a completely laughable sight as I twist and turn trying to land on my butt.  I cannot say it for sure, but I am almost positive that I have made someone’s day on the way to work much better due to their laughter or big smile.  I have never seen the laughter, because I’m sure they cut if off when I look over, but the big smiles are pretty hard to hide.

You wouldn’t think that a small dog like a Dachshund would have the strength to pull me over, but I assure you it happens on a regular basis.

The adventures that Willie has taken me along on are really too numerous to count, but suffice it to say that, he has wrapped me around trees, people, other dogs, and fences.   His curiosity is unbounded, he needs to know about everything, every sound, every flicker of light, or every rustle of the bushes has to be investigated.  He lives by what his nose picks up.

To be honest, I don’t mind his curiosity, I get to see things that I probably would have missed if I was just walking by myself, but as he has to stop at every bush, blade of grass, and tree, I notice things that would not usually catch my eye.

One of our neighbours, has a Dandelion growing beside his carport, we all thought it was some kind of plant because the darn thing stands 5 ft tall, but because Willie has to check everything out, we discovered that it was a Dandelion and have decided to leave it to see how big it can grow.

 

THE SIGHTS AND SMELLS

 

The things I like are the smells and the sights that you see all around our neighbourhood.  We have a very diverse ethnic community, we have the East Indian culture, the Chinese culture, we have a Greek restaurant across the street one way, an Italian restaurant the other way, McDonald’s is a couple of blocks over and KFC is about three blocks away.  Not to mention, the Ukranians that live just outside our complex and the (I’m not sure what the people of Dhubai are called) but they are a couple of doors down from us and the smells of the cooking are incredible and they taste even better, they are friends, so we occasionally get to taste her food.

I must admit though, that on the days where all the smells seem to mingle together, it can be a little overwhelming, and if the wind is from the wrong direction we also get the smells of the manure the farmers have used to fertilize their fields.  Wow, can you say pungent!

The thing is though, the sights are almost better than the smells, there are gentlemen in turbans, and women in saris, the Chinese ladies with their umbrellas even in the sunshine and a medley of other colours and items that are strange to our culture, but are beautiful and exotic.

I love that our community is full of people from many countries, many cultures, and many races.  The walks with Willie allow me to see what a wonderful place that we live in.

 

PLANTS AND TREES

 

The other thing I really like about taking a walk with Willie is the plants and trees that I get to see.  Where I live in British Columbia, Canada everything is very green, but it is the different shades of green that are so wonderful, from the dark green of the evergreens to the lighter foliage of the deciduous trees, sometimes it’s the lighter green of the ferns against the backdrop of the darker leaves of the Periwinkles.  So many shades that it is impossible sometimes to even count them all.

FERNS & IVY

I love taking pictures with my phone, so I have pictures of trees, and bushes, and flowers, and of course, Willie.  I sometimes wonder how we got through each day without a mobile phone, it is so handy to have the perfect picture-taking device right in your hand all the time, well, not all the time, I am not as bad as the younger generation, that can’t seem to put them down at all.  I know that my two adult children carry theirs with them at all times and that they even wind up falling asleep with the phone in the bed with them.

I was out walking with Willie this morning and I got some wonderful shots of him, and some plants and bushes.  It may sound boring, but wait until you see the colours, it really is so amazing what Mother Nature brings out for us to see.

 

 

As well as those above, I got this, they are all over growing in the grass of our whole complex, all of them individually, not in groups or anything like that.  They have just pushed their way through the grass and look small and beautiful, I would never have noticed them if I wasn’t walking with Willie.

VIOLA IN THE GRASS

Isn’t it lovely.  They are everywhere this year.  The funny thing is they are growing where there has only ever been grass, no Violas were ever planted where they are.  It’s very strange, but I love to see them.

Walking with Willie is always an adventure and a sheer pleasure, I smile at and get smiles in return from everyone that he must stop and say “Hi” to, and if we should be out walking and don’t see anyone else, then he whines the whole way home.  He is a total joy to be around and I and the people who live in my complex find him a happy and friendly little soul, with the possible exception of my neighbour next door, who thinks he barks too much.  What can I say, he’s a Dachshund, and they do that.

Take care everyone and I will talk to you on Thursday.

WALKING WITH WILLIE