Friday, July 20, 2012

Making Use of My Oven

It has been hot here lately. Very very hot. I do admit that compared to some of the places my readers live, it may not be considered deathly hot but to me, it was. On Wednesday, it felt like 44 degrees Celsius with the humidex. And that is hot. We also haven't had any rain lately either so everyone's lawns are brown and crispy, there are burn bans on everywhere, and my garden is looking sad. And another thing, we have no air conditioning in our house. If you add all these factors together, you can guess what I've been doing lately. If you guessed nothing, you were right. Well nothing in the whole cooking/baking department. Which makes eating healthy a whole lot trickier. You see, I like crackers and muffins and yummy home cooked meals and snacks. But when it's so friggin' hot in your house that moving from the couch to the bathroom makes you break a sweat, you don't want to turn your stove on, especially the oven. Well tonight I turned on the oven. The low for tonight is 13 so I figured it was safe. While I would be hot while using the oven, the house would have a chance to cool down overnight. But if I was going to turn on the oven, I was going to make the best of it!

I broke out the recipe book and got to it. I decided to make clean eating crackers, maple glazed almonds and strawberry rhubarb muffins. Motivated eh?

Here are the results of my oven usage.

My awesome Clean Eating Crackers!

Yummy maple glazed almonds in my pretty pottery bowl

Strawberry rhubarb muffins

You can find the Clean Eating Crackers here and the recipe for the muffins here. I did make a couple changes to the muffins though. I used soy milk instead of regular milk, 1/4 cup of honey instead of 1/2 cup of sugar, and whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour. They're a different texture but still good!

I'm feeling pretty good about my evening and that I made good use of my oven. I now have some healthy snacks to keep me going for a few days at least.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Five books in six months

As I mentioned in yesterday's Feeling Blue post, I have made a new goal to read five books before the end of 2012. I made this goal in order to encourage me to read more. When I was younger, all I did was read. Ask any of my family members and they would tell you that I was normally curled up in a chair in the corner with a book in hand. But since moving out and going to college and now working full time while taking care of life, reading has kind of fallen to the side. I just always say I don't have time to read anymore. So after talking to a good friend of mine, she encouraged me to make a goal and so I did. And I've already finished a book! Granted, I had it started before I made this goal but I'm still counting it.

Book #1: Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman

I'm in the middle of another one and just about to start a 3rd. The reason why I'm reading two at a time is that one is on a more personal topic and I didn't want to bring it into work and arouse questions. So I leave it at home and bring a different one into work. Now that my classes are done for the summer, I can use my hour long lunch breaks to read and relax instead of doing homework. I'm looking forward to it.

I will keep you posted on my book reading and now that I've put my goal out there for all to see, hopefully it will help keep me accountable!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Feeling Blue

I'm not feeling optimistic lately. Which has made blogging harder. In fact, it has made a lot of things in life harder. After my useless appointment with the internist, I just feel like I'm moving along with no purpose or plan. I'm just going through the motions of each day to get through it. I haven't done anything exciting to blog about so I haven't been feeling up to writing anything. I don't want to bore everyone with my complaining and whining about being sick and frustrated. I have been sick and frustrated for over a year now and no matter how many times I complain about it, it doesn't do any good. So I've been avoiding the blog and just getting through the days and weeks. I do have stuff I could be blogging about, like my almost finished bathroom redecoration or our chickens and dozens of eggs we're getting or my massive tomato plants or my new goal of reading five books before the end of the year. It's not for a lack of subjects, it's for a lack of motivation. I know I said that I would try and do my best to put up happy posts and make my blog a little more interesting to follow but lately, I just don't feel like it.

This will probably pass and I will probaly be back to my normal self and posting happy things will cheer me up but for now, I just need to wallow. So I apologize to my faithful readers (if I have any).

To close off, I will leave you with the latest mandala I coloured. I started this back in February but took a couple months break. I coloured this one last week. It is part of my Project Relieve Stress and no, I didn't draw it. I just printed it off of google and picked up some pencil crayons.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Counselling - Take #3

So once again I bit the bullet and set up an appointment to see a counsellor. This will be my third try, it's got to work eventually right?

Here's a little backstory. In April 2011, I decided it was time for me to see a counsellor. I had been struggling for weeks and feeling very overwhelmed with my two losses and just life in general. So I booked an appointment with a Christian one. Let's just say it didn't go well. It was horrible but I definitely wasn't comfortable and even a little weirded out. After that fail, I figured I was better off not seeing one. I tried, it sucked, move on. Until January 2012. Once again, I was in a bad place. I was still overwhelmed with my two losses, my job, being TTA, being sick, and it being winter. So after some encouragement from my family and friends, I tried again. I found a counsellor who I thought looked good. I saw her probably about 6 times from January to April and while I was comfortable with her and she was super nice, it just wasn't helping. She would listen and be sympathetic but she didn't really have any advice or coping mechanisms or anything for me. So why pay $150 an hour for something that isn't doing anything? So I stopped.

Which leads me to now. I need help. I feel like I'm treading water and losing control and in the meantime losing my mind. I am overwhelmed and stressed and sad and angry and frustrated. It is also starting to cause strain on my relationship with Dan. I'm frustrated with everything and he is frustrated and we are just worn out from this past year. It's been hard. So, I asked a friend for a referral and she gave me the name and number of a counsellor. I called yesterday and made an appintment for next week. I'm really hoping it will go well and I'll click with her and she'll be able to help me. Maybe if this time fails I'll stop trying. Maybe counselling just isn't for everyone and the problem is with me, not them. But, I'm willing to give it one more try.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gardens, Chickens, Fireworks and the moon

Alrighty, I'm going to try and kick off the month of July with some good old fashioned happy posts! But since I'm a little behind, this will be a post of multiple things. First off, I was asked by a dear friend to post some updated garden pictures. So here you go!

The sick chicken in it's makeshift pen

Our garden freshly weeded!

Happy bright lettuce

Crazy onions

Carrots (I know they still need to be thinned)

Bush beans


Basil (I bought the big one and planted the smaller ones)

Our peas climbing their fence

My one cucumber plant

Bell Peppers

I spy some green tomatoes!

A frontal view of the garden

A meat bird and a laying hen

A fat meat bird, ready for slaughter
There, some updated pictures of my garden and chickens. The garden is growing like crazy and it makes me so happy. I love seeing things grow and know that I will be eating fresh veggies from it soon! The meat birds are going to be killed tomorrow so we will have five chickens to put in our freezer. Well, 4 1/2. We had a slight problem with one which involved maggots. That's all I will say on that matter.

Yesterday was Canada Day and to celebrate we went and watched the fireworks. They were beautiful and so much fun. I haven't seen fireworks in at least two years. The best part of the fireworks here is that they light them off from the middle of the lake in town. So we all gather around the water to watch. It gets so crowded and the cars are parked for miles around. Fortunately for us, we have a motorcycle. :D So we just ride up to wherever we want, park our bike between two parked cars, and sit on it to enjoy the show. We got there a little early so we got to hear the ending of the concert that was going on beforehand. It was nice to cuddle on the bike while listening to music and then getting to watch the firework display.

On the way home I thoroughly enjoyed the moon. It is almost full (will be tomorrow) and it was such a clear beautiful night. It just hung in the sky, shining, beautiful, breathtaking. It made me happy. Which now leads me to an update on my thankful list! I've gotten really bad at writing things down. I will be out and about and think of something but by the time I'm near pen and paper, I have forgotten what it was. I will try and do better, really I will.

Thankful List
   118. A rainbow shining through the clouds

   119. Homemade muffins
   120. Clean bathrooms
   121. Chicken broth boiling on the stove
   122. Blogs with yummy recipes
   123. The way the world looks through my sunglasses
   124. M&M cookies
   125. Chivalry from a coworker
   126. Pink Island
   127. Family vacations
   128. Strawberry season
   129. Full moon on a clear night