I swore I would be completely honest about this SIBO journey, but damn it was a lot easier to be honest when things were going well. Things are not going well at the present time.
I haven’t really been sleeping well for the last couple of months, and if you know me then you know that sleep is probably the most important thing I do to look after myself. If I’m not rested I can’t function. And in the last couple of weeks my sleep has been getting sooooo much worse. The last few nights have been maybe an hour or two of shut eye – and not very good rests even during those puny amounts.
I’m a disaster.
I’ve talked with my naturopath and we agreed it was likely that some of my anxiety was seeking attention – because I also had started feeling more and more anxious – something that always happens when I’m not getting enough sleep. However, in the last few days I noticed some of the body aches were back, my head is throbbing, and I basically just felt really unwell.
It’s the SIBO. Something I’ve been eating has to be aggravating it. Which in turn aggravates me because my diet has been SO restricted. So, while I was lying in bed last night at 3am cursing up a storm about how I was never going to sleep again I decided to go back to the basics. For me that means my “hamburger soup” which is essentially ground beef, tomato paste, beef bone broth, and kale made in the instant pot. Yum. But when get discouraged I tell myself that there are literally millions (maybe billions) of people who would love to eat what I’m eating so I shut my mouth and remember to be grateful.
Another thing I am super grateful for is our local butcher shop in Cochrane “The Butchery Block” because that is the place where I have been sourcing all of my beef. I’ve found most grocery store meat makes me feel nauseous, but their stuff is fantastic – it’s like how I remember beef tasting when I was a kid. They know where they get it from (a ranch in southern Alberta) and their prices are pretty decent. I’m really grateful for that little shop.
Further, this time I’m grateful I didn’t just chalk all these symptoms down to mental health issues. SIBO makes me anxious, it bring up trauma like feelings, and leaves me exhausted. But it doesn’t mean that I’m failing at caring for my mental health, it means that there are some physical issues that need to be addressed. I mean, Im always working at my mental health – but sometimes there are physical issues that can be the source of mental health like symptoms, and I think it’s very important that we remember that.
Fingers crossed that things start to get better over the next couple of days while I enjoy my hamburger soup!
I love this legend. This was the reason why I started bringing in the flower books to the hospital when Dad was so sick. I was trying to remember the story but was falling (very) short. I felt so badly for dad who had gone to so much work to put together all of these treasures so that we could remember what he taught us forever. So now this story to me is more than just a beautiful legend, but a treasured memory of time with my dad.
Blackfoot legend retold by Annora Brown, photos by John Ramsay.
Help me out if you know who anyone is!
Grandma, You are so giving and loving. You always know the right thing to say. You are always ready to lend a helping hand. You always have as mile to cheer up my day. You have given me so many fond memories. You always make your house feel like home. You are very trusting (especially in letting your grand children drive your car without a license!) You always take the time to talk to everyone. You are so kind and I am very grateful that I have such a wonderful Grandma that I love so much.
Happy 80th birthday! Love always, Melissa
Grandma. Here is a poem just for you, the best grandma in the world.
Loving, caring, soothing
ready, beautiful, young, playful
Loving, playing, laughing,
Your 80th birthday is not only a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with your friends a life that has enriched all of us, it also gives us a chance to give thanks for some of these qualities that make you such a wonderful person.
What an exciting and varied life you’ve lived. And yet you’ve always managed to adapt to the present while preserving important aspects of the past. That I think is one of the most important qualities of your character.
All my life I’ve been enthralled by your stories of growing up in Cochrane, marrying Dad, the early days on the ranch, and the establishment of our home. You’ve given continuity to our family by passing these stories onto your grandchildren and I hope we’ve all gained an appreciation of the fact that much of what we enjoy today is a result of the efforts of you and Dad.
In my own childhood memories, you of course played a pivotal role. How lucky I am to have that memory of coming home from school on a cold day and entering a kitchen full of freshly baked break, doughnuts, and love. Always you had a treat waiting for us when we got home.
Your life didn’t lack excitement or challenges; I can remember you rushing someone off to the hospital because of an accident in the field while simultaneously making plans to feed a crew of hungry people supper. You saw to it that your (often reluctant) children had the benefit of music lessons even if it meant tackling roads that today we might consider impassable without a four wheel drive. (I personally came as close as I ever want to climbing a telephone pole on one of those trips)
When it was necessary, you weren’t afraid to take on the medical establishment, and I will always be grateful that against everyone’s advice you had the courage and foresight to take me to Warm Springs where I got a brace that helped change my life.
Your own active imagination has always helped you understand the dreams of others. The support you gave me when I wanted to go to school in far off places gave me the opportunity to enrich my life indescribably, I now know I had a remarkably privileged education and life experience in my teens and twenties. Your tolerance in these matters is a great example to me as a parent: you may not have always agreed with what I was doing, but I always had your support and that gave me the courage to go on.
We’ve had some very good times together too. Such as our trip to Nassau when I was in high school… do you remember your reaction when I thought you should run back into our burning hotel to rescue my Calypso records?
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I came to appreciate your real gifts to your children: you example of a sincere religious faith, concern for your fellow men, and an ability to set goals and work to achieve them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM…. And thank you! Love Margi
Last night I received a wonderful gift, and my uncle spent hours (literally hours – I think over 3) going through my photos with me and a couple of cousins, and writing down who was in every one of them. Not only did he remember an incredible number of people, but he was able to name many of the animals in the photos as well. I am grateful and it will certainly make sharing these memories more accurate. Again though, if anyone is able to recognize anyone who is unnamed please pass that information on to me (or any good stories associated with the photos).
Additionally, I am looking for a local (Calgary area) recommendation for someone who does high quality scanning of old photos. I want to publish these in a book for the family to share and enjoy and my scanner is not of a good enough quality. Thank you in advance for anyone who has any suggestions.
I woke up at 3am today. Lately I’ve been doing lots of waking up at 3am which means I must be hella stressed. Usually though when I wake up in the middle of the night I lie there and stress about the problems of the world, while lately I just lie there and think about God and where I fit in the universe. Much lighter thinking haha.
This morning (is 3am morning? I feel like it’s still deep night time, or when I was younger it was time to come home) I woke up to a vision of Indra’s Net. Perhaps I’ve been feeling very disconnected lately. I think Covid has a lot of us feeling disconnected and confused. Alberta in particular seems to be filled with anger, confusion, and chaos as we are being divided between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. While I am one of the vaccinated, and strongly believe in it, I don’t like how we are fighting with each other when we would do better to work together.
So anyway, with that I’m feeling a bit separated and confused and waking up to the image of Indra’s Net was kind of perfect.
Indra’s Net is a spider like net that spreads infinitely in all directions. In each “eye” of the net, or where the threads join together, there is a beautiful jewel. Each brilliant jewel reflects every other jewel, which are infinite in number, and every reflected image holds the image of all the other jewels. Infinity to infinity, whatever affects one jewel affects them all. Everything contains everything else, but at the same time every individual jewel is not hindered or confused by the other jewels.
I love this idea because I often get hindered or confused by the other jewels.
In his book Hua-yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977), Francis Dojun Cook wrote,
“Thus each individual is at once the cause for the whole and is caused by the whole, and what is called existence is a vast body made up of an infinity of individuals all sustaining each other and defining each other. The cosmos is, in short, a self-creating, self-maintaining, and self-defining organism.” (Source here)
Instead of thinking that everything is part of a larger, collective whole, the idea is that everyone is the larger, collective whole, but also simply themselves at the same time.
I find this idea so completely abstract that it actually makes perfect sense to me. And I love the way it allows me to see how we are all connected. What affects one of us affects all of us. We are one being working together, but we are also our individual selves with the freedom to choose who and how we are. Some people I find it easy, and a beautiful privilege to think of being connected with, and some make me want to cut their jewel out of my beautiful web. The challenging ones are probably the most important ones as they probably reflect some unhealed aspect of myself. If their behaviours didn’t trigger something in me, who they are and what they do wouldn’t bother me and so I know there is more internal work for me to do in those areas.
Hopefully the 3am wake up time comes to an end soon, but until it does I find gratitude in the comforting thoughts that are coming to me during this time.
I’m back!!! I decided to take a week long social media break, which turned into two weeks, and then over three weeks. It was kind of nice to cut the noise for a little bit, but I’m finding that since we aren’t socializing much (at all really) that I miss hearing what is going on with the people I care about.
I found today’s letter to be quite timely as I’ve been really seeking my connection to God in these last few months. God and I have had kind of a bumpy road (well, I have – I am pretty sure God’s road stays the same but I keep looking at other paths) and I’ve felt the need to deepen and better understand that relationship. I had the most wonderful Pastor in Virginia who really helped me see God differently. Not that she used different words, but she had this amazing relationship with God that made me curious. And once I started praying there, things started changing and happening in ways that I could not explain – so I’ve decided they must be God’s miracles showing up in my life.
As I’m reading these letters I’m understanding better the deep faith that my grandparents and my parents had with God and in their lives.
Friday Morning – Jenkins Breakfast on Radio
The breakfast dishes are not done yet so I must hustle- it really keeps me hopping. This deep snow is sure causing Dad lots of grief. 4 little calves came last night, had to take the Jeep up to the field to bring them down, had frozen ears etc.
Last Monday Mary and George quit Nichols and came over so we had to dash around and tear down Marshall’s bed and get things ready for them. I gave them your dresser to take up to the valley. Marsh has Sheila’s bed now. Don’t know when we’ll get around to getting your bedroom suite. I put the little green table in your room where the dresser was and put all your clothes etc from the dresser in Sheila’s big trunk.
When Frank and Georgie were down Sunday night, Georgie said that when her mother was so sick a few years ago Charlie Coolie wrote to her like he did to us and Aunt Georgie really believes in Divine healing. She said her brother-in-law Mr. Costello had cancer and just made up his mind he wasn’t going to have it. He is Catholic, he used to get up early, early in the morning and go down to the church and pray for hours and he just cured himself that way, then he prayed for success in business and he sure is a wealthy man now – owns so much property and takes two long trips each year. I sure get a lot of inspiration from the Unity papers etc. Hope you read them regularly, they guide me so much and are food for the soul.
It must be hard to not ever have any privacy in there, but it is also nice to have company.
I wrote to Annie and Girlie last night and to Casino Carnival and put your name on it, so if you win $600 don’t be surprised. And I wrote to the radio programme so don’t forget to listen Sunday.
Smokey hasn’t been out hardly at all since it snowed and boy is he ever wild – just like a silly little kitten all the time!.
Well I must get to work now, will see you on Sunday eh? Hope to see you sitting up one of these days soon – think it’s possible?
I’m going to town this afternoon, have a hair appointment at the Bay.
Millie there always asks how you are.
Lots and lots of love