Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Cluttered Mind ...

The mind is cluttered....
Too many things to think about ...
Lists were made.... then forgotten ....
The mind is racing ...
Concentration is gone ......
Can't think clearly ... 
The mind is scattered ....
The heart races ....
The head hurts .....
Bump into things.....
I am clumsy..
Making mistakes .....
Forget where I'm going .... 
Feeling light headed...
Tears come easy ....

Then the worry sets in ....
At least sleep comes easy these days, just can't seem to get enough ....
I'm wearing too many hats...too many responsibilities  ....
At times it becomes too overwhelming......

Am I stressed ?   Are these the signs of burnout?
Must keep healthy .... must stay strong....

A break is needed to clear the head.......
For now my breaks come hiking in the woods ... away from work, responsibilities ....

There, I said it.  Phew, feel better just writing it down instead of churning around in my head.  Going back over previous posts I noticed lately that they are mostly about being outdoors.  This is where I get regenerated.  

A couple of weeks ago I went to an event and the guest speaker was a young woman, who had decided she wanted to run the entire Bruce Trail in 20 days.  The Bruce Trail - is the longest hiking trail in Ontario, from Niagara Falls to Tobermory - 895 km.  She accomplished her goal this past summer. 

She was such an inspirational speaker, and everyone in the room hung onto every word she said.  She described her run in away that I had not seen the Bruce Trail before.    She described the smell of the earth, trees and forest, the feel of moss under her hands, the bark on the trees and the drum beat of the rocks under her feet.    She is legally blind, born with just 8 percent vision.   She had guide runners and relied on blind faith and trust of her guides to keep her on her path.

As such as in life, blind faith and trust keeps us on track.

Last weekend before the snow came, I was out on the trails, away from the noise of the world and  I listened to the trees and the sounds around me.   I stopped and looked and tried to feel and smell the woods as this trail runner had.    It was an invigorating hike and climbing the hills left me breathless at times.  For a couple of hours was lost in nature and took in what it had to offer.  I was able to leave the stresses behind for just a little while and came back refreshed and ready to start another week.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Big Decision

It was a big decision, but in the end it had to be done. 

Took me a while to make the decision.  I had been thinking about it since the ice storm we had last winter and the damage to our only tree in our back yard.

Many limbs were damaged, and still hanging in the top of our over 100 foot Norway Maple which towered over our two story house.

Took weeks before we could get anyone to come and even look at the tree.  Tree companies have been extremely busy since last winter's ice storm.  In the end after leaving messages for about five tree companies to call me... only one called back.  

We were told the tree was beyond its prime.   There was considerable ice damage and many weak limbs which, once this winter's snow ice got into them they would come down.  The tree was planted too close to the house and the root base was mainly on one side of the tree.  We've been lucky there has been no damage to the house foundation.  But, the tree roots have destroyed the underground plumbing to the pool.  

When we moved into this house seven years ago we had a major trim done to the tree.  It looked beautiful.   It gave us wonderful shade on those hot summer days and kept the house cooler upstairs.  It gave us privacy too in the back bedroom window.   

We had a choice... to trim again or to take it down.   After much thought (I'm a tree lover), we decided to have it taken down.   The tree wasn't healthy any more and a good strong wind could bring it down because the root base was mainly on one side of the tree and we were concerned for our neighbours, as the tree most likely would fall in their direction and crush their roof.   

The day came and three young guys came and took it down.  They started at 7:30 am and didn't finish until late afternoon and barely took a break.  In the end, rot had already started in the main trunk of the tree, so it was time.   

So much deliberation over a tree seems silly in the whole scheme of life when so much other "stuff" is going on in this crazy world.

Winter has come early for us this year.   We didn't get nearly the amount of snow our neighbours to the south of us in Buffalo did.   The roads here were terrible to drive on, lots of ice.  One day driving home the highway was just a skating rink and took every ounce of energy I had to stay on the road.   Cars were in the ditch and some were upside down.  The early winter has caught the public works depts off guard, so little was done for salting and sanding.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Snow of the Season

I woke up this morning to the first snow of the season.    It won't last as we are due for plus temperatures this week. 

Nevertheless, still went out for a three hour hike through the woods.  Air was fresh and crisp and silence was golden. 



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Day in the Woods

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 

Emily Jane Bronte 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving.

I went out on a hike this morning and picked up some leaves 
off the ground and brought them home to make something 
decorative for our Thanksgiving table.  

I rolled up the leaves one at time and created some
flowers for a center piece


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone !

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Marathon

Yesterday was a marathon cooking day.  

The original plan was to peel and core a large bag of wild organic apples that I had picked to make apple crisps and then use the peels/cores to make apple jelly.   Well, that was the plan and first on my list.  But you know what happens...  The kitchen needed cleaning up before I started, and while cleaning up I'd see another job to be tackled and thinking that would only take a few minutes and before you knew it one thing would lead to another and another and then apples became the last thing to tackle before I ran out of steam.  

The day started early - 6:30 am and finished around dinner time. After cleaning up the kitchen, I cleaned out the fridge.  I wanted to use up as many fresh vegetables I had on hand before my next CSA pick up so I would have somewhere to put my next share.  And so, the marathon began......

Three very large soup pots were on the go and made up Squash Fennel Soup, Carrot Soup (will share this recipe soon) and a new soup from the Eat to Live Cookbook I borrowed from the library - pg 154 Dr. Fuhrman's Anti-Cancer Soup (which is very tasty by the way) - all using my homemade vegetable stock I had in the freezer.  Next was two salmon loaves with a homemade creole sauce from my old Five Roses cookbook; cooked a large batch of beets, skinned, sliced, ready for the freezer.   With the beet greens, made two beet green/vegetable frittas; next two batches of baked onions; five big soup pots of homemade vegetable stock from the greens (radish tops, turnip, herbs, carrot tops, tough stems from kale, etc.) I've been saving all summer.  All this is ready for the freezer.  Made and sent two meals off to my 90 year old father-in-law along with soups for his freezer.   Then made a big batch of our favourite "Whitewater salad dresssing".    And... managed to fit in two loads of laundry, folded and put away. 

Then finally started on the apples.   I got out my trusty hand cranked apple peeler, thinking this was going to be a breeze and I'd have all these apples peeled/cored in no time flat.... sadly these wild apples were too small for the apple peeler/corer so they all had to be done by hand.  Starting with a sink full of these small apples the peeling/coring began.  I got enough apples sliced up for six apple crisps for the freezer.   The plan was to use the cores and skins for apple jelly, but found alot were just to wormy for using for jelly. 

I finally sat down for dinner after 7pm - the first time I'd sat down all day.  After dinner, got a really nice foot massage from hubby then off to bed.  

A very productive day indeed !!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Visions of Autumn in Southern Ontario - Day 9

Picking wild organic apples ....  I have enough apples for making a few pies for the freezer.

Since the apples are organic, am going to try making jelly with the the peels and cores. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Visions of Autumn in Southern Ontario - Day 5

Visions of Autumn in Southern Ontario - Day 5

Cooler nights, fall perennials in their prime,  and fall foraging for wild edibles. 


Curly Kale

Puff Ball Mushroom

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