Plans Becoming Routines = Success

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Posted in Business, Family, Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, Memories, Nostalgia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why, You Ask? Why Do We Go South? Why not stay in Ontario, in the country we were born in?

As WilleR and I wake up each day, whether it be in the middle of December or the beginning of February, this question is answered in a heartbeat. I peek out of my small bedroom window without even lifting my head. First, I’m looking to see if it is light enough out to walk and second, to see the sky. What kind of day will this be?

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Day after day, week after week, month after month we can with complete unobstructed honesty say that 90% of the time, the sky is clear, blue, very little clouds (if any) blanketed by God’s amazing ball of sun. When we do have clouds, they add to the already glorious sunrises and sunsets. It is that nice. With that comes the main reason for this little family to vacate Ontario at the end of October and not return until the beginnings of April.

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Sure, when I was a child and even a teen-ager, I loved the snow. I don’t remember my thoughts on the bitter cold winters, but I took it all with a grain of salt because I never thought of anything different. When I began driving in my late teens and for the rest of my working career, I began to despise it. I still had never given the ‘south’ any thought but I didn’t like having to bundle up in the coat, scarves, mitts and boots.

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The road conditions, no matter where I resided, country, village or city, left a lot to be desired and getting into a freezing cold vehicle to drive to work was nasty! That doesn’t even touch on the ‘fun’ (NOT!) of scraping windshields and cleaning the snow and ice off of said vehicle. Now are you beginning to get the picture? Our frame of mind?

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A field full of Teddy Bear Cholla (Choy-a) cactus

WilleR had even more justification under his belt for making this move. He shoveled a whole lot more drives and sidewalks than I could ever imagine. Even after buying our snow blower, I took pictures of how uncomfortable a chore that was. He’d be covered head to foot in white and come inside the house with his body temperature so high that I’d be concerned as he took layers of clothing off.

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Mountain ranges no matter where you look

In 2013, after minor discussions about what we want to do in retirement, we made the wonderful decision to sell our house and travel full-time in our Mobile Suite 5th wheel. It wasn’t an easy decision, at first, as we fussed over how can we go south and still keep our house? With a mortgage still outstanding on our home for another 15 years or so we couldn’t even feasibly cost out going for as little as a month. Really, it came down to ‘why do we want to?’ ‘why are we trying to hang on to a house, it’s just a house, so we can return to the upkeep of property and sticks and bricks?’

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Between the two of us, it came down to a very easy bottom line, ‘sell the house!’ Retirement for us came in the year 2016 and when the house sold in February of that year, with a closing of April 2oth, we began our full-time lifestyle. Two years have passed. I think of the house in London on Metcalfe Cr. Periodically but it is almost as if it was someone else’s home. I don’t miss it. WilleR  doesn’t miss it.

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The home we sold

I mentioned earlier that our 5th wheel has all the comforts of home and it does. Even more than what we had in our sticks house. Mr. 4 Paws doesn’t miss it either and doesn’t even seem confused at where we are. No matter where we move or how often we move, he is home and has the same little bed each time.

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Our home now

There are no beaches, for the most part, which is something I thought I would crave if I came south but there are beautiful desert lands for us to park on with as little ‘conveniences’ as you want and also gorgeous parks to camp in with swimming pools and every bit of social life you can imagine. If you want that. I’ve seen a new relaxed attitude in my partner, my love, my husband. WilleR has read more books since last October and he has learned how to sit still for longer periods of time without having to do something. I love that.

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There are beautiful heated pools and hot tubs

Me? I’m in my glory. I’ve never been a stressed out type of gal and that is mostly thanks to our wonderful Mom who dealt with everything in a matter-of-fact manner. Life is great. I always thought of myself as shy, to a point, and didn’t know if this life of meeting people, sitting and getting to know people on a daily basis (if we chose) to be something I would feel comfortable with. Well, surprise! I talk to anyone, I am the one to strike up a chit chat with a stranger and it is me who goes to the pool, the clubhouse and explores the area first.

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Amazing views and lots of room to fly drones

This might give you some understanding of why we chose this life. We have no regrets over the house, the winter departure or the lack of shoveling we have to do. It is 11 am, Mountain Time, in Yuma, Arizona. It is a clear blue sky, the humming bird is drinking from my feeder, he visits often, WilleR and Mr. 4 Paws are sitting outside beside me, one reading, one sleeping and it is already 66F/19C.

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What you see here is one HAPPY camper!

Did I mention that there are NO bugs and as little as 18% humidity?

 

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Everything old is new again….or should be!

 

This is true in regards to fashion, décor, furniture and even television programs. If only we used the same concept for what we eat.

Our forefathers, or perhaps I should say ‘foremothers’, had the knowledge needed to keep her family healthy without running to the pharmacy for medication or to the doctor at the first sign of a slight fever or sniffle. There would have been a pot of simmering broth on the hearth consisting of such delicacies as chicken heads, pigs feet and large bones full of nourishing marrow.

Every part of the animal was used; organ meats, bones, and even the fat was rendered down into lard.  Saturated fat is a necessity for healthy brains and healthy bodies, our ancestors ate this way without incidence of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, asthma, or cancer. After rendering, the solids remaining could be turned into bread or fried up for tasty snacks. There would be crown jars full of preserves and crocks brimming with fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, in the pantry or out building.

Though I grew up on a farm, I now live in a small town. Luckily, I have access to organic vegetables from April to October, I purchase free range eggs from a local farmer and I buy pastured pork and grass fed beef from another farm in the area. If I thought my neighbours wouldn’t mind, I would consider a goat or two in the back yard…no more grass cutting, abundant supply of fertilizer plus raw goats milk at my finger tips…literally! Though my husband supports most of my crazy ideas, I think this may be too much to ask.

I have been listening to Weston A Price podcasts for a year or so and have put some things into practise . I make bone broth every couple of weeks to replenish my supply since I drink a cup every morning. Lately I have been adding sauerkraut and gelatin powder to each cup for the extra collagen and gut health. Plus, it combines two elements of my routine. I also make beet kvass regularly as well as Kombucha. I have been mixing the two together in a cup as per my sisters suggestion and am enjoying that as well. There is always something brewing on my countertop, (much to my partners dismay). I even tried my hand at rendering fat, and the crackle was an unexpected bonus.

I often encourage friends, family and even sometimes strangers I meet in the grocery store, to eat butter, eggs, bacon and high fat yogurt. Slowly, the word is getting out. Let’s pass it forward!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Choices, Diet, Family, Food, Health Care | 2 Comments

Still Learning — Gut Feelings

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It has been awhile since I shared my diet revelations here on Sunflower Girls. So here goes.

This adjustment does not demonstrate any drastic changes to what I’ve previously preached, but I feel it does give me an additional level of control over my health. As always, though, I insist that you do your own research and come to your own conclusions about what’s right and smart for you. My eating choices are still focused on two meals a day with every dish containing a large quantity of quality fat, a good amount of protein, and a smaller portion of carbohydrates. 

Find out what I’ve learned.

Posted in Choices, Diet, Food, Food Related, Reflections & Personal Perspectives | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Dealing with aging…..or revelling in it!

As I get older, I realize that this is a natural progression, from infant to youth, to adult, to elderly.  There is nothing I can do to stop the cycle…well there is, but the alternative is not attractive. I prefer to be on this side of the grass!

I have accepted the “me” that I see looking back from the mirror, wrinkles and all, and have come to like the ‘laugh lines’ that surround my mouth and eyes.

I have accepted the numerous skin tags that seem to be sprouting from nowhere on my neck and shoulders, and the white spots appearing on my legs that even a summer tan cannot hide.

I have accepted my thinning hair and failing eyesight, as well as the nightly trips to the bathroom. Also the osteoarthritis that has taken toll on my thumbs and wrists, though painful at times, is more of an annoyance than something that makes my life miserable.

I do however refuse to let my memory be affected by the unhealthy foods encouraged by the nutritionists of today.  The low fat trend is disturbing and can only end in disaster as younger and younger people succumb to type 2 diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer’s.  I have watched my mother as her memory has slowly deteriorated to the point where she can’t remember what she did 15 minutes before.  She is in her 91st year and is taking no prescription drugs. She uses a walker only to steady her if necessary. She has had a long life, raised 8 children and survived 2 partners, yet it is necessary for her to reside in a long term care facility. She needs help morning and night with dressing toileting, as well as weekly baths and help getting down to meals. When asked, she informs me that she does this on her own and has never had anyone help her. She is encouraged to take part in activities though afterwards she has no idea what she was involved in.

I have been taking coconut oil for 4 years now on a daily basis and have increased my fat intake and reduced carbs dramatically in the last year or so. I have ‘cured’ some minor bowel issues as well as fought off colds and flus by changing my diet and improving my immune system. I have never had a flu shot and intend to continue to refuse it. I believe we have to take charge of our own bodies, the internet is at our fingertips so lets make use of it!

We are what we eat!

Posted in Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Today’s Yarn Has a Lovely Hook — Thrift Shops for Nova West Island

Yes, indeed! To be precise, if we unravel the stitches in this story , we will see that it involves not only volunteering, community, and loops of love, but also a well-used crochet hook. The babies’ afghans, shown above, were crocheted by Allison Irwin, one of our beloved, long-time volunteers who has been with the Thrift Shops for Nova from the […]

via Today’s Yarn Has a Lovely Hook — Thrift Shops for Nova West Island

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RePost of a Removed RiPoste

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Shortly after I originally posted this back in 2011, I removed it. Why? Because I had unintentionally succeeded in hurting the feelings of one of my elderly neighbours.  Indeed, not only had I rejected his kind offer to blow the leaves off my front lawn, but I had also shared my opinion publicly.

Now, I will just take my chances that he no longer reads Sunflower Girls.

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Leaf Blowers!

Posted on November 18, 2011 by Audie Jean

It seems that many of the men on my street feel compelled to blow leaves.

Quite routinely, these men (who probably consider themselves environmentalists) chase Autumn’s colourful calling cards to their final resting place.  At the very first opportunity, they start up their machines and adamantly blow the leaves around their yards and driveways, and across and down the street, and ultimately into the forested area to the east, stopping only when the ground is bare of all evidence of fall.  Of course, this has to be repeated several times until the trees too are bare.

Sadly, I don’t share the growing enthusiasm for these machines.  Yes, they clean up the yard and the driveway and the street, but at what price?  These blowers are aggressively noisy and, to some extent, even destructive of whatever is in their path.  And the time it  takes!  And the energy consumed!  And the resulting pollution! I cannot bear it!

Yes, I too have a lot of trees that give me lots of leaves and, though I love the idea of raking them, I don’t.  I find the activity hard on my elbows.  And I find the idea of bagging and leaving them at the curb quite silly.  So, I use my electric lawnmower and mulch them into the lawn, to eventually feed the grass, and the roots that produce the trees and the leaves that eventually must fall.  Actually, truth be known, I’m also a bit lazy.

Is it a perfect system?  No.  But it is much quicker and quieter and cleaner than the alternatives I see many choosing.

Oh well, the majority of the trees are bare, so the leaf blowing machines will soon be parked away.  And that’s a good thing.  All too soon they will need to be replaced by the snow blowers!

Posted in Gardening, Leaf Blowing, Mother Nature, Our Natural World, Recycling, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, seasons | 4 Comments

This Too Shall Pass

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This summer, the lawns and gardens have been very parched and even a bit crispy in spots. Many people, of course, grumbled about it, while others simply pulled out the watering hoses and listened to the sighs of relief from the roots. I actually did neither, figuring that this too would pass. And so it did. Then for a few weeks, off and on, we had more than enough rain to make up for the previous lack.

But one thing has stood out to me. The dominoes have had an impact. This morning I was actually able to walk through the woods–about 15 minutes–with not one mosquito bite!

Posted in Gardening, Mother Nature, Our Natural World | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Clearing Out the Clutter

On this morning’s walk, I started listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and can’t wait to get started with this new challenge! It all makes perfect sense and sounds almost easy–almost.

From what I’ve learned so far, tidying supposedly involves a simple decision: Discard the item or keep it and then find a place for it.

Among other things, I understand that to avoid failure, we should adopt the following:

  • Plan to tidy once, in one big process, not in stages, a little every day forever.
  • Work with categories, not locations.
  • Discard before you start tidying.
  • Focusing on how and where to store items is a recipe for  hoarding.
  • It is better to consciously decide what to keep, rather than to decide what to discard.
  • Aim for perfection.
  • Do it in silence.
  • Don’t let your family see what you discard.

Because I am really, really busy with life, I probably should actually add this project/activity to my schedule.

Because I share a home with someone who will almost certainly disagree with my choices, I will have to wait for the right occasion to start this.

Hmmm? Is that procrastination? Am I ready for this?

I’ll keep you informed of my progress.

 

 

Posted in Changes, Choices, Life, Recycling | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

So Many Benefits From Such a Small Investment

 

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I knew I would get my money’s worth, but little did I know I would get it in spades!

Find out what I bought.

Posted in Feelings, Reflections & Personal Perspectives, Fun, Memories, Music, Reflections & Personal Perspectives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments