happiness

Pizza and Shepherd’s Pie

Usually when I finish a class we celebrate with pizza from Community Flatbread in Cochrane.

My last class ended March 15 which was just when things were beginning to get real here.
In the last 5 weeks things have changed and Community Flatbread is offering pre-made food for sale (as well as some grocery type food).

These little things are what brings some normalcy to a situation that is anything but normal, and I’m so grateful we are able to enjoy them.
(We also bought Shephard’s Pie from them that is absolutely to die for).

Community Flatbread is also one of the businesses in town who are taking donations so that those in our town who can’t afford groceries at this time can receive some as a gift.
I ❤️ our town and the amazing people in it!!

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happiness

Niagara Falls and Icebergs

We have to be creative with our travels these days. So this afternoon, we took the dogs out for an adventure that involved seeing Niagara Falls and pretending we were on the Titanic and heading towards an iceberg.

Niagara Falls
Iceberg right ahead!!!

I notice how much these walks mean to our mental health and I’m so grateful we live where we do. I also notice how much quieter the roads around us are and I appreciate how we are all working together to make the world a safer place. It’s not easy, but it’s sure important.

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happiness

The sun is back

The sun is out, snow is melting, and mud is everywhere. Springtime in Alberta (which means it could still get cold and snow at any time).

It also means the cows are calving and it brings much joy to my soul to see those babies. We took the dogs out for a walk today and checked out some of the new arrivals.

Even though the three of us have always done a lot together, I’m finding that we are spending a lot of quality time with each other and I consider that a blessing.

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happiness

Costco shopping

I headed out for our weekly grocery trip to Costco. In all honesty, I was very anxious about going – to the point where I was having mini panic attacks as I was getting myself organized (we have a process for disinfecting whatever comes into the house).

When I got there I was so impressed with how they’ve made things as safe and enjoyable as possible. We lined up outside so they could keep track of how many people were inside shopping. They had staff around the store to remind about social distancing, and to wipe things down.

But the biggest thing was how welcoming and kind the staff was. We were all greeted with big smiles and staff was helping customers wherever they could.

After almost a week of being at home, watching things change daily, it was so heart warming to go out and have such a warm greeting. Especially considering the risk these people are putting themselves at every day to make sure we can buy food and essentials.

There truly are a lot of genuinely good and kind people out there. We all get to choose how we want to be. Choose to be kind.

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happiness

Social Distancing – ranch style

I got myself out for a drive today. The last few days have given me a lot of insight as to how mom must have felt most of her life- not able to go out and be with people with out a lot of planning going into it (not that I’m actually seeing people, that was her – but I’ve been able to understand a lot better now how she felt). Granted her reasons were different, but it was a virus related (polio) illness that changed her life.

However, as far as isolation goes, we are socially distanced at one of the best places in the world in my opinion. As I was driving, I looked at the cows getting ready to calf, the snow, the mountains, the mud even. I felt an appreciation for things that I haven’t felt in a while. God really gave us a beautiful world to live in and to look after.

The Homestead
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happiness

End of a year, end of a decade

Usually I don’t get too excited about New Year’s Eve. My birthday is in January, and instead I celebrate that as my personal new year. But this year, I’m quite mindful of the fact that we are closing the door on the most difficult decade of my life. I had a friend jokingly say that the 40s were supposed to be the “fuck-it” forties, where you do what you want, no matter what people think. For me it was kind of more a “fuck-you” forties – but lots of growth and change happened.

I stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine at the beginning of the decade as I dedicated myself to dealing with the anxiety disorder that reared its ugly head during my marriage. My (now ex) husband lost his job not once but twice, which had us move from Rhode Island to Virginia, and then him to northern Virginia without us. The rage and abuse went from a mild simmer to a full out explosion of hatred and eventually the kids and I were able to get out and return home to Alberta. Then my dad died, I got divorced, my son became very ill, I broke my shoulder, my mom died, and my daughter also became ill.

Through this I learned about Ayurveda, studied it in a course to become a practitioner and became connected with a healer who guided me through my life changes. I started attending church regularly in Virginia, made a connection to my pastor who was integral in helping save me and my kids, and for the first time really learned about having a relationship with God. I took a health coach course that helped my interest in healthy living return. I started riding again, which has always been my soul connection, it helped me learn how to be brave again, how to keep going, and how to enjoy life. And finally, I was accepted into a masters of counselling psychology course, and now I have some direction for my future.

I’m happy to say goodbye to this decade, but I’m grateful for all I’ve learned about myself and about my family – immediate and extended – in this time too. When I say how blessed I am to have the family I do, they’re not just idle words. They literally helped save our lives, and have held us up ever since.

So when I think of where I want to go next, what I want to take with me, it’s what I’ve learned from these last few years.

Love unconditionally and bravely

Keep your circle small

Love yourself

Love others

Love God

Be strong, but allow others to help

Laugh often

Happy New Year, may your life be blessed.

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