27 May 2012

peaceful Sundays...

Thoughts from an amazing woman on this beautiful Sunday morning.  Finally had a good run without any IT band pain this morning and finished up by watching the Prostate Cancer Ride for Dad pass along Riverside Drive.  It was sunny & breezy and all around a wonderful morning.  It's one of those days that you can take in all that is around you and be grateful. It's a crazy time right now and yet I knew that I needed today to ground myself.  I needed a run to clear my head.  I needed time in the sunshine planting my garden and being in the yard.  Later friends will join me to bbq and hang out and just enjoy the peacefulness that summer days have to offer.  Wherever today may find you, I hope that you are peaceful.  Singing & dancing & loving.  Happy Sunday.

24 May 2012

Taking the leap....

When change is necessary, trust yourself to have the strength and courage to do what you need to do to grow. Sometimes it just comes down to a leap of faith. Sometimes that which we define as fear is really just a mixture of anticipation and excitement.  That "I may cry or vomit at any moment" feeling means that we are on the brink of greatness.  Nothing that is worth much in life comes easily.  It takes work and dedication and faith.  It truly does mean taking that leap. 

There has been this dream of mine since I lived in Ottawa and fell in love with a store called The Paperie on Bank Street.  I found myself in there at least once a week, strolling through the aisles to find the perfect card or gift.  As many of you know I start each month with a list of people's birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events and properly write & send a card.  I send thank you notes in gratitude.  My holiday card list is usually longer than my arm.  And yes, I even have a few pen pals that I write letters & photographs to rather than emails & jpegs.  I have always dreamed of having a shop of my own where I can help encourage this lost art of correspondence and support others out there who still see the joy in knowing someone will receive a bit of happiness when they check their mailbox.  

I won't sugar-coat it.  Opening a brand new business is pretty frickin' scary - it's a whole new set of bills, anxiety and juggling.  Doing it solo amps that fear up a little but I am very lucky - I have the most amazing parents, sister, family & friends who constantly support me.  People whom I love dearly and who I know will be there come success or failure.  When the worry creeps in, they remind me that I can do it.  Sometimes it's just a few simple words like "you're going to do great" that still the fear.  Sometimes it's having someone to bounce ideas off of or someone who will challenge you and help you think things through.  

So, standing here on the edge of heart pounding excitement & a nauseating kind of fear,  I'm more than pleased to announce the opening of Poppy Paperie & Gifts opening in Walkerville, June 2012.

Give me the strength to yet again spread my wings and jump - trusting in myself that I will fly. 

13 May 2012

Mother's Day Wishes

I am strong because you raised me to see the best in others. 
I am courageous because you taught me that I could do anything. 
I am loving because you showered me with hugs and kisses. 
I am the woman I am because of the love of my mother. 
I am blessed. 
I am thankful. 
I love you more than I have words.

10 May 2012

Cleanse Week Recipes

It's Cleanse Week around these parts - better known as the City-Wide Cleanse put on by one of our local Naturopathic doctors. It's a week of no sugar, no gluten, no alcohol, no dairy, no meat, no coffee and no corn.  So though I do eat pretty cleanly, my body is currently screaming for a cup of coffee and a hunk of cheese! Normally there are a group of us who do it together and alternate cooking dinner and/or snacks so that you aren't eating the same thing for five days straight.   Tonight was my turn and I made the Roasted Sweet Potato Felafel which were delicious!

 Roasted Sweet Potato Felafel

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5lbs) 
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped 
2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro, chopped 
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
1/2 cup chickpea flour 
1 tsp olive oil 
sesame seeds 

Preheat oven to 425F (220C) and roast the potatoes whole until tender - 45 min to 1 hour.  Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool and then peel.  Put the potatoes, cumin, corriander, cilantro, lemon juice and chickpea flour in large bowl.  Season well and mash until smooth.  Stick in fridge to firm up for an hour or in freezer 20-30min.  When you take it out, mix should be sticky rather than really wet.  Reheat the oven to 400F/200C.  Use a scoop or spoons and make round, put on oiled cookie sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake in oven for 15min until bases are golden brown.  Makes approx. 18 falafels, serves 4-6.  

I served these with just a giant lettuce/spinach salad but you could make the accompanying chickpea flour pancakes to go with them.  They were great with a little siracha hot sauce... 

Now to go attempt an oat/coconut/banana cookie to have with my herbal tea......

07 May 2012

Forever in our hearts....

Just a few weeks ago, our family lost a great woman.  After a few false starts and not being able to see the paper through my tears, here are the words I shared to pay tribute and say farewell...... 
Dear Gram
It was once written “You can shed tears that she is gone or smile because she has lived”.  You started to slip away from us years ago and now, as much as it pains us to lose you, it comforts us to know that you are finally at peace. 
There are certain intangible gifts a grandmother bestows – held in your heart , not your hand.  There was never a moment that we, your granddaughters ever doubted your love for us.  You had your three boys but we knew we were your world.
Memories of tea parties set in bone china and fine crystal.  Letting each of us choose the setting we loved the most to enjoy grilled cheese sandwiches.  Adventures on the city bus down to the Captial Theatre for movies.  Allowing us free reign with the golden syrup on our Yorkshire puddings at Sunday dinner.  Always indulging my request for an entire sheet of the world’s best apple squares as my birthday gift.  Every year.
We gather today to pay tribute to you.  To honour the most important gift you have given all of us – your love.  You showed us the love of two grandparents.  As a role model to us, your granddaughters, you were an example of a woman with strength, independence and fortitude.  We are who we are today because of you. 
You are not a gift taken away from us, but a gift given to us.  Our memories fill our hearts and comfort us. 
So as we say farewell,
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sunshine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again, may Gold hold you in the palm of his Hand.
Know we loved you Gram.  We always will.  Until we meet me again….

06 May 2012


It's been over two months since my last post.  In my drafts folder there are about 15 started posts that I never finished.  Messages that I started but that I couldn't wrap up.  Thoughts in my head that I couldn't put into words.  Feelings in my heart that I wasn't sure how to express.  Usually it's writing that helps me sort everything out and put questions into perspective but there has just been something blocking me.  I've been running here and there but haven't put myself fully into that either.  But it's spring and it's time for re-birth and starting again and I'm just going to leave all the half-written musings in the drafts folder and begin again. 

This weekend was the Kalamazoo Marathon, at which I ran the 1/2.  I didn't train nearly enough.  My IT band was still acting up.  But I couldn't not run.  It wasn't pretty.  It's the first time I wanted to walk off a course because I was hurting but I knew it was the kind of pain that I could stretch out and run through so I kept going.  By the time I got to mile 6 I was laying in the grass doing Pigeon attempting to stretch out my hip.  I laid there and remembered that this is JUST 13.1 miles.  My little fighter Emma didn't want to get spinal taps and 'picks' but she did it.  She kept fighting.  Steve was in turmoil his last few weeks and in total pain and yet he kept smiling.  When it got tough, I asked Steve to run with me.  And we did it.  There were tears at the end (as always!) and I got a new personal best of 2hrs 14 min. 

I ran this race with my girl Danah, who constantly reminds me that people come in to your life for a reason.  We have supported each other through our divorces and into new birth as single women.  The race is most certainly not only to the swift, but to those who keep on running.  Life may not always be easy.  The finish line may feel a million miles away.  There may be challenges that seem to test your faith, your tenacity and your strength but keep going.  Keep writing, even if you don't finish the story.  Keep running, even when you want to give up.  And keep smiling, even if you are super sweaty!! 
So, time to keep moving on.  As much as these past two months have been crazy and busy and challenging, I know I have to just keep moving and I'll get where I need to go.