Saturday, 23 June 2018

Happy summer!

Summer is in full swing around here (albeit with almost daily thunderstorms, which is unusual for this area), and I'm finally doing all the things I've wanted to do when we moved here, but somehow haven't! Funny how that works, isn't it? 
That's the great things about having out-of-town visitors: you get to play tourist, and see your home with the eyes of an outsider. And what I see is pretty damn beautiful!

My sister is currently here, and not only are we having a fantastic time (and she takes great photos!), but we are apparently re-living our youth (in the words of my daughter). Nothing wrong with that!
Here are a few photos from our canoe-trip the other day:
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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

My sister is here!

Sorry for the radio silence, it's been a weird two weeks. I will talk about that another time, because today is gonna be a happy post! My sister ~Emma in the book~ arrived last Sunday for a visit, and I couldn't be happier about it! There's nobody who can me make laugh as hard as she can, and we're having the best time.  
Here are a few photos!
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

When your brain is broken



I'm not a label person. I don't own any designer bags or sunglasses, because I never had the desire to. Yet, when I was looking for a phone case 2 years ago, I ended up picking a black-and-white striped case by Kate Spade - the only designer item I own. 

Hearing about Kate Spade's heartbreaking death last Monday shook me deeply. Not so much because of my phone case, even though I'm still very fond of it - but because mental illness won. And every time mental illness wins, it results in a huge, terrible loss for all of us.
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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Best (and worst) of May

May was - full of surprises! Before I get to them, let's take a look at the 1-second-a-day video:
As you can see, there were 2 things dominating that month: the dogs and the Little House (formerly known as the She Shed). That's because:
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Boss Women: Kärt


It's been a hot minute, but today I'm back with our next boss woman!
I'm thrilled to introduce you to Kärt, a holistic wellness coach, business coach and yoga teacher. This kickass boss babe is not only a fellow immigrant who made BC her home, she also runs her own business and loves what she does so much, she actually likes Mondays (say whaaaatttt?!).

Take it away, Kärt!
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Saturday, 26 May 2018

My top 10 summer reads for 2018

I've been reading up a storm lately. I always read a lot, but now that I have my hammock (which is the best reading spot I've ever had!), I do it more than ever. Is there anything better than swaying gently in a warm breeze, reading a great book and occasionally looking up to watch the hummingbirds feed right in front of you? I don't think so. This is my heaven, 100%.

Here are a few of the books I've read and enjoyed lately:
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Thursday, 24 May 2018

"You will be SO happy"


We had drinks at the neighbourhood pub, and it was bittersweet, as all goodbyes are. Our usual easy banter was strained, tinged with sadness. I was excited to leave, but I was also heartbroken at the thought of whom I would have to leave behind. One of my best friends; my life-line, my confidante.

But we soldiered on bravely, because that's what we have always done. 
We've made jokes about explosive diarrhoea, managed to make people with multiple fractures laugh, and found the funny in hospital politics that are anything but.
He was my person at work. The one who made it not only bearable, but fun 
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Monday, 14 May 2018

Melting chocolate never made me so happy

It's so hot, the chocolate bars in my purse have melted. 
It's only mid-May.
You would be forgiven to assume that I must be on vacation in a tropical location somewhere, with palm trees and sandy beaches and fruity drinks with a little umbrella in it at lunchtime - where else would it be so warm that your candy bars melt in your purse, in the shade?
But I'm not on vacation.
I live in a place now where the temps can reach mid-thirties (Celsius) in mid-May, and I don't think it will ever get old.
I dreamed of that growing up.
When I was a kid, the rule we were taught was that you could only walk barefoot during months without a "R" in it: May-August. It was an easy rule to follow, because all the other months were so freaking cold, nobody in their right mind would ever have attempted to walk barefoot anyways - it was an act of courage to do that for most of the permitted months.
But here I am, at 7:30 at night, and it's still 28 degrees Celsius. A warm breeze is blowing, and the air is perfumed with the sweet scent of lilac. The dogs lie all around me, lazy and panting, doing what we all should be doing much more of: enjoying the moment. They're content to be together, to be close to me, and to be in the shade, with the soft breeze cooling them down.
None of us could be any happier.
I never thought I would live in a place where it's so hot that chocolate bars melt in my purse, in May.

Yet here I am. 



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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Living with Lyme

Life is busy lately. Busier than usual. Busy in a way that makes Rich sicker, because too much activity and stress is bad for him. His short-term memory has declined again (example: during dinner last night he couldn't remember a phone conversation he had that very morning 😖), his constant shoulder pain is back more severely than it has been in months, and his energy levels are very low.
What I've been afraid of, and what Rich optimistically disregard for as long as he could, is that Lyme Disease won't leave us any time soon. 
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Monday, 7 May 2018

Why I'm going grey

It was an ordinary Wednesday about 8 years ago. At work, after a busy morning, the afternoon lull had set in, and we were all hanging out around the centre island, cracking jokes and enjoying the downtime. My lashes were bugging me that day, one of them stubbornly poking me into my right eye, and I darted into the bathroom for the fifth time, trying to get it sorted out. Since I was wearing eye shadow and mascara I didn't dare rub my eye without looking in a mirror, for fear I might smear my make-up. For what felt like the thousandth time that day, I cursed having put make-up on.
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Monday, 30 April 2018

Best (and worst) of April

Omg guys, April was a BIG month for me. Honestly, I don't even know where to start, so how about we take a look at the 1-second-a-day video? Okay, let's do that:

Lots and lots of great stuff happened, and almost nothing bad! Let's break it down:

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Friday, 27 April 2018

What the old cowboy told me

"Making a bad decision is better than no decision at all" the old cowboy says, looking at me fiercely, as if daring me to disagree with him. There's no danger of that - he's a formidable guy, tall and lean and wrinkled, with the wisdom of the old and proud who have lived a very full life. 

Besides, I happen to agree with him. We are so afraid to choose poorly, to make a wrong turn somewhere, that it seems easier to wait and weigh all the options for a little bit longer. But the longer we wait to make a decision, the harder it gets, and here is the real kicker: it's impossible to know beforehand if a decision will turn out to be the right one. So in a way, all the agonizing, the sleepless nights, the list-making and the weighing of pros and cons are futile. Ironic, isn't it?

That's the thing about life: we try our hardest to plan, to make the future as safe and predictable as possible - but our apparent control over our life is really an illusion. We can't foresee what turns our lives are going to take. There are too many elements out of our hands: economy, weather, illness, other people, love and loss. 
We can try to be the best possible person for our partner, but do we have real control over whether they stay or leave? No.
We can work hard at our job, show up every day, never late, never calling in sick, but do we have real control over whether the company will stay in business? Or if there will be a downsizing? Or if new management takes over, changing everything? No. 
We can try to be as healthy as possible, eat our greens and exercise and don't smoke and drink in moderation, but does that guarantee us healthy, long lives? Sadly, no. 

There are no guarantees in life. 
And while that sounds scary and awful and may make you want to curl up in a ball and give up now, here is the other piece of advice the old cowboy imparts on me:

"Never give up," he continues, settling in more comfortably. "I have never given up in my life. Once, I hobbled along on crutches for 4 days, with no food or water, until someone finally picked me up. I was starving and dehydrated, but did I give up? No. Never."

Because here is the thing: while we may not have much control about what is going to happen to us, we have all the control in the world over how we are going to react to it
Also, here is the other great relief: once you realize that there isn't really a right or wrong decision to make, it takes an immense amount of pressure off, doesn't it?

Here's the third thing the old cowboy tells me: "When I get to the top of the mountain and see the valley spread out below, I always stop to look at it. Because it's so beautiful, isn't it? It's so beautiful." 

The old cowboy doffs his hat and leaves.

Here is what I've learned to be true:
Out of the biggest tragedy can grow the biggest joy.
What we think we can't survive will, in fact,  make us so strong that we can do things we never thought we would be capable of doing.
There is beauty everywhere, if we stop to see it.

The old cowboy, of course, is right.


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Sunday, 22 April 2018

50 life lessons

I love nothing more than the lessons life has to offer. Living with a 25-year older man has many advantages, but one of the most useful ones is life advice. He's made all the mistakes, and if he hasn't, his friends have. This doesn't necessarily mean that I won't make the same mistakes myself (after all, that seems to be the only way we humans learn), but at least I got a head start!
Here are 50 pieces of useful advice I've learnt thus far:


1. Believe in love.
2. When you find it, hold on to it and never let go.
3. Expect life to be hard sometimes. It will be.
4. Expect marriage to be hard sometimes. It will be.
5. Never give up. Brighter days will come! They  always do.
6. There will be pain in your life, because nobody gets away from that. But there will be so much more joy!
7. Never say no to a piece of cake or a glass of champagne.
8. Find a passion in life that makes you feel alive and do it often.
9. Stop dieting and start living. What counts in life are great experiences, laughter and friendship, not a random number on the scale.
10. Counting calories is a waste of your beautiful, creative mind.
11. Enjoy food. It's one of the greatest pleasures in life, and sharing a meal with others is one of the greatest joys. Don't ruin that for yourself by denying yourself certain foods.
12. Seriously guys, don't give up fresh, warm bread. It's one of the best reasons to be alive!
13. Never stop moving. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
14. When it comes to exercise: 10 minutes is better than zero minutes. This rule also applies to writing, house work, and personal hygiene. 
15. Don't worry about things that are out of your control, like the weather, other people, or whatever the latest trend is.
16. Don't give a shit about trends. Buy what you like!
17. Don't give a shit about fashion "rules". Wear what you like!
18. Don't believe the lie that aging is something to be ashamed of. Wear your battle scars (wrinkles, grey hair, stretch marks, etc.) with pride!
19. Other people's opinions about you have less to do with you and more with them. Feel free to ignore them.
20. You don't have to explain yourself to people. They are not entitled to know everything you do.
21. Stop buying stuff - it will weigh you down and stress you out.
22. Seriously: the more you have, the more you have to worry about.
23. When the sun shines, stop what you do, close your eyes, and turn your face towards its warmth. Repeat daily.
24. Listen to the birds sing.
25. Invite friends over even if your house isn't clean. If they're true friends, they won't care, and if they're not, who cares?


26. Spend more time with your loved ones, and less time working.
27. Work to live, not vice versa.
28. Do everything in moderation, including moderation (quote by Oscar Wilde).
29. If you need a day in bed, hiding away from the world, take it. You will feel better the next day.
30. Naps are the secret to a healthy happy well rested life!
31. There is no such thing as perfection.
32. Remember: 99% of what you see online is other people's highlight reel. Don't compare your everyday life to their highly edited, filtered, and censored moments.
33. Walk away from negative people. Life's too short for unnecessary drama. 
34. Don't try to "fit in". You will meet people you can be yourself with. Wait for them. They are worth it.
35. Stop trying so hard. Relax. Be yourself. You're amazing!
36. Forgive. Not for them, but for your own peace of mind.
37. Forgive your parents. They probably tried their best. Parenting is hard, and we all do the best we can.
38. Accept. There will be things in your life you wish you could change, but you can't. Accept it.
39. If you find the perfect black dress, buy it! Those are rarer to find than unicorns.
40. Ditto for jeans. The perfect pair of jeans is basically a myth, so if you find it, buy 5 pairs of them, become best friends with the store clerk, and have her email you every time they have a sale. If they do that, name your firstborn after them. She/he's worth it.
41. Don't focus on how you look in a swim suit. Jump into the water and focus on how amazing it feels against your skin!
42. Don't wait for your life to start 10 pounds from now. Live it now.
43. Don't ever deny yourself an experience because you think you don't look good enough. Do everything, right now!
44: Cooking a turkey dinner is a lot easier than it sounds. I promise! You got this.
45. If you're sad, cry. It will make you feel better.
46. If you're happy, dance! It will make you feel even more amazing!
47. Accept that you will never stop being scared. Face your fear, and do it anyway.
48. Write a list of everything you want in life. Then, work towards it. Trust me: writing that list will be the hardest part.
49. Get yourself a pet. Or better yet, many pets
50. Life is short. Go and live it NOW!



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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

My husband wants bright yellow

We're currently in the process of deciding what colour we want to paint our house, and for once in our lives, my husband wants to go brighter than me.
I love colour. I'm the one with dibs on going colour-crazy, with my husband having the role of trying to talk me down. 
Yet, here we find ourselves, roles reversed, with me being clueless about how this suddenly happened. 

Maybe it's because he was so sick, he thought he might die?
Maybe it's because he is so much farther over the hump, he's more aware of the preciousness of every day?
Maybe it's because he once saw a house that was so outrageously, in-your-face happy and unique and out there, he wanted to have a house just like it?

I'm concerned because yellow won't fit into the neighbourhood. 
It won't fit into 'the landscape'.
It won't be subdued. 
Nor discreet. 

It will be cheerful, obnoxiously so. 
It will practically shout: 'Live a little louder'!
It will remind my husband of the best house he ever saw.
It will make us both laugh.

Life is short.
Have a yellow house while you can.



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Sunday, 15 April 2018

UPDATE: I'm now shipping to the US and Europe as well!

Hi guys, happy Sunday!
I'm just popping in to let you know that I figured out a way to ship my book now only within Canada, but also to the US! It's 5 CAD more, which works out to be about 20 USD. For some reason, shipping from Canada is weirdly expensive, but I think that's a good solution!

I do ship to Europe as well, but it's 15 CAD more, so you might be better off to wait until it's available on Amazon

To get your signed copy, click here!

Thank you for your support, it means the world to me. This is such a new experience for me, and it's definitely faaaaaaar outside my comfort zone. But I'm not complaining, it's the wildest ride I've ever been on! 

Thank you!!!

xo Miriam


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Friday, 13 April 2018

Get your signed copy now!


My baby is here!!!
If you're following me on social media, you already know that my biggest dream has come true: my book arrived last week. It's not officially released until June 5, but I had my publisher send me 100 copies, and after staring at the big pile of books in my room all week, I've decided that now is the time to release them into the wild!

I will sell some signed books right here, starting today!

Click here to order!


Langley peeps, if you want to shop locally and support the Langley Hospital, you can buy a copy at the Langley Memorial Hospital gift shop! The books will be available there from April 23 onward!

Thank you all for all the congratulations and well-wishes over this past week. This is the most exciting and surreal time of my life, and I still have to pinch myself daily to make sure I'm not dreaming. 

Please let me know in the comments if something isn't working, as per usual I'm figuring it out as I go!

Lots of love to you all,

Miriam

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

When dreams come true

I hike up the hill, breathless and soaking wet. The rain is pounding down mercilessly, but it suits my current mood: I'm desperate. My tears mix with the rain, both rolling down my cheeks unchecked. I don't bother wiping my soaking-wet face, choosing instead to howl with the wind. 
"What am I supposed to do now?" I scream into the storm, startling my dog Roxy who is scampering along next to me, undisturbed by the rain and wind.

I fucked up, big time. And I got busted. Over the last several weeks, I've skipped school more often than I attended it, opting to hang out with the coolest kid from school instead. I'm fed up with it all. I'm 18, scared of the future, unable to figure out what I want to do after graduation, and I've had enough of being the good girl. I've been the good girl all my life, and where has it left me? Feeling afraid, insecure and completely clueless. So I checked out for a while, hanging out at the lake, the pub, or simply driving around with Frank, the other rebel. 
But one of my teachers ran to my parents and told them all about it, and they are majorly pissed. And even worse: disappointed. Is there anything worse for a people-pleaser than disappointing her parents? I don't think so.
So here I am, walking around in the rain, desperately searching for a solution to make it all good again. I thought I was a rebel, but I'm not cut out for it: all I want is for my parents to like me again. 
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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Saying yes to love is the bravest thing I have ever done


Hi friends! I just wanted to let you know that my friend Liz from Be Love Live celebrated 7 years of blogging on April 1! Happy Blogiversary Liz! 🎉🎈 

She decided to celebrate all month long (why not?), and asked me and a few other people if we'd like to guest post on her blog. Hells yes! 

I wrote about the history of my boyfriends, how I was told at 15 that love doesn't exist (by my mom!), and how a certain someone taught me that actually, love not only does exist, but that it can move mountains. 

You can read it right here: Saying yes to love is the bravest thing I have ever done.

Happy Wednesday! Only two more days until the weekend. I think we'll make it.

xoxo Miriam


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Monday, 2 April 2018

Best (and worst) of March

March was the first month since October that was really good. Yay! It contained many of the things that make life worth living: bonfires, rainbows, good friends, dog walks, yoga, and - strippers?
Yes, our daughter (!) took us to a strip bar (!!!) in the middle of the month, and it was hilarious. If you pay attention to the video, you will see her (the stripper, not our daughter) twirl around the pole at 0:09 in the video.

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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Do we ever get the life we thought we would?

When I was younger, I fervently hoped that my life would look like one of those fun beer commercials. You know the one: a bunch of impossibly beautiful people are piled up in a SUV, top down, laughing and singing along to the radio, driving to the beach. Once there, they run attractively in slow motion to the water, dancing and laughing and having the time of their lives. They keep dancing, swigging from their beer bottles. Then, night falls. Couples find each other, and cuddle up in hammocks, gazing up at the stars. Or, my personal favourite: they all go to a beach house, where they stretch out on pillows and blankets on the floor, watching a movie together.  
I imagine them all living together, as a happy, slightly dysfunctional family (but charming dysfunctional, not devastating dysfunctional), cooking together, going on road trips together, being young and wild and carefree.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Vanilla with a dash of spice

I used to be the girl who was afraid to stand out. Who thought that being different was about the worst thing that could happen to a person.

I used to be the girl who wanted to blend in. I didn't want to be invisible, oh no; I wanted to be like everyone else, indistinguishable from the people around me.

I used to be the girl who thought that being universally liked was a goal to strive for. Even though people tried to convince me that that was impossible, I was sure that I could do it, if I just tried hard enough.
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Good news all around

It's Sunday afternoon, and we've just spent an hour moving massive, 600-lb hay bales around. Before that, I loaded up the pick-up truck with garbage for a dump run. Not having a garbage pick-up at our place is one of those things that other people might find inconvenient, but that I find quaint. It's so rustic! So rural! For a declutter-enthusiast, it's a cathartic and cleansing ritual, and the frugal part in me rubs her hands with glee every time I remember that I used to pay $30/month for garbage pick-up, and now I pay maybe $5. It's the little things, guys, it's all about the little things. 

In other news, the snow is almost gone! (The above picture is from last weekend.) We are in this barren, in-between state where spring hasn't quite sprung yet, the white is all gone, and nature is mostly brown and a bit desolate looking; but I fricking LOVE it. It's so easy to walk again! No sinking into knee-deep snow drifts, no risking limb and life on treacherous ice, no being exhausted after 5 minutes because every step is hard work. Life is easy again! 

I spent the last few days with my new best friends Bobby, Kamaro, Antoni, Jonathan and Tan, aka "The Fab Five" from Queer Eye, aka the best feel-good-show on Netflix right now. It's such a beautiful, heart-warming, positive show, even if you have sworn off reality TV like I did (or thought I did), you have to watch it. Have to. It's non-negotiable. 

Not only are they kind, funny, supportive and stylish as hell, but they are all about being kind to yourself and making the best of what you have. They make over more than just the men's wardrobe, house, food and styling regimen - they help them find their confidence, value and worthiness. From what I've read, everybody who has watched them feels the same way I do, which just proves once again: kindness is badass. Helping others find themselves is worthwhile. And being well-dressed and taking care of yourself has nothing to do with being vain, and everything to do with feeling good. We can only do good if we feel good, and that's why it's so important to put our own well-being on top of the list. 
These guys are good for your soul, for your self-esteem, and for your sense of style - so please, go ahead and watch them! I guarantee that you won't regret it.  

The other super-exciting news is that my sister is coming to visit us this June! We've done a few sister trips over the last few years (we've been to London a few years back, and went to Paris last year), and we had discussed going to Barcelona this year. However, it didn't feel right, and when I asked her if she would like to come here instead and be my first guest in my she shed, she said yes. I'm thrilled!!! We have planned some ATVing, horseback-riding, boating, a couple city trips, a huge party (Rich's birthday happens while she's here), and just lots and lots of sister time. 💓 

Last good news:
We have a release date for my book!!! Get out your calendars, babes, and mark down June 5.
That's when my memoir Let's Pretend This Is Normal is finally coming out!!!!!!

For now, you can pre-order my book here
But if you want to wait a little bit longer, I will have an exclusive, limited event right here, where I will sell a few of my signed books, with a little surprise, for a special price!
Stay tuned for more ~soon~!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a kick-ass week babes!

xoxo Miriam

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

5 Years of Blogging



On March 15th was this blog's 5th birthday! 🎉 Anyone who knows me knows that there are few things I love more than recaps. Looking back at the previous year, be it around a birthday or New Year's, is something I enjoy thoroughly. How else can you appreciate everything that's been happening in your life? Taking the time to reflect and practice gratitude are the best ways to realize how good we have it.

When I think back to 5 years ago, it's crazy how much has changed. On the outside, I had a few big changes: selling our house and moving to our dream place; quitting my job without having a new one lined upgrowing my hair out (and pondering to go grey); getting serious about writing; Rich getting Lyme Disease.
But I think the bigger changes are the ones that happened internally. I learnt that it's okay to cut toxic people out of your life; that nobody has life figured out, we're all just pretending we do; that everybody carries around their own baggage, invisible to others, but at times so heavy for us that we are in danger of collapsing under it. I learnt that being kind to yourself and others, of laughing at life's unpredictable jokes, and of enjoying the good with reckless abandon are the best way to live.

For you left-brainers out there, here are a few numbers:
907 published blog posts
2,535 followers
over 738,000 page views  (that's more than double from last year, meaning I got more page views in the past year than in the first 4 years combined!)
Most popular post of the last 12 months: Thankful (893 page views)

I do a recap every year, here are the ones for year 432, and 1.
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Friday, 16 March 2018

Why it's okay to fall apart

I think I'm having PTLD: post-traumatic Lyme disorder. Now that Rich is getting stronger and doesn't need my help as much anymore, I'm falling apart. I can keep it together at work, but as soon as I'm home, all I want to do is eat chocolate and watch one Grey's Anatomy episode after another. 
I have no energy, I could sleep all day long, and I'm permanently exhausted. 
Since I'm a healthcare professional (ha!), I have diagnosed myself: not only do I have PTLD, but I'm also currently in the 4th stage of grief/loss: depression. 

You've probably heard of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 
It occurred to me that while I haven't lost anyone (thank you, thank you, thank you!), Rich and I both went through a traumatic event. 
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Let's Pretend This Wait Is NOT Driving Me Crazy...


... even though that would be a lie. I'm dying a thousand little deaths over here, people. 

Do you remember how I used to go on and on about how I wanted to write a book? First, I was talking about it for quite some time. (Years, people. It was years.)
Then I felt the overwhelming need to explain the reasons why.
Then I talked about it some more. What can I say? We writers are angsty people, and writing about our problems is how we deal with life.

But then the amazing thing happened: I actually finished it!!
And then I found a way to publish it!!
Everything was on track and going awesome.
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Friday, 9 March 2018

5 reasons why I love my small town



Rich and I have been living in our new town for 15 months now, and we love it more than ever. A lot of the time it feels like living in a soap opera, and what's wrong with that? It's endlessly entertaining, and I get a kick out of the many little intrigues and dramas that are happening around us. While I'm sure I only see the tip of the iceberg of everything that's going on, that's more than enough to give me plenty of reasons to adore this sweet town.  
I mean, just look at what's going on here:

1. We have Dancing Mask Man
We have a mystery dancing man in town, and everybody is talking about it. He sets up his boom box in different parts of town, and dances. Because he's wearing a mask, it's slightly pretty creepy, but he seems harmless, and he sure managed to spark curiosity and conversation around here. Who is he? Why is he doing it? Is he sending a message?
So far it's unclear why he is doing it, which only increases the mystery. People are scratching their heads, and I love it!
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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mornings


My morning started with spilled coffee and Nutella on my car seat.
And on my coat.
And on my hands.
And on my face.
Nutella everywhere!
Not an ideal way to start the day – but then again, there are worse ways.

It also started with a kickass sunrise.
And -11 degrees.
A dog licking my hands.
And another one puking up the plastic he pulled out of the garbage yesterday.

It started with a 6am-phone call about how noisy the geese are. (It’s mating season, they are hella loud). Rich conceded to sell a few! #downsizingonebirdatatime
It also started with making plans with our friends to meet up later today after their 5-week vacay.

It started with a hot shower in the dark (dark showers are wonderful – try it!).
And with the good soreness after a stretchy yoga session the day before.
It started with being recognized by a man I never met before (small towns, what can I say).
And with the appreciation, once again, of how much I love where I am.


This morning, with the chocolate and dark shower and sunrise and 6am-phone call and puking dog and licking dog and being greeted by name by strangers and making plans with new friends – this morning was wonderful. Messy, imperfect, and wonderful. Just like life.


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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Best (and worst) of February

February was an odd month. For the shortest month of the year, it sure felt long. Like January, it was filled with snow and ice, which is not surprising for winter in Canada, but it sure gets old after a while.

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights:
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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Adele and me


Once in a while, you come across something or someone special. It usually has nothing to do with who you are or what you do - it's a connection that just happens, as if by magic. 
And it is magic. When you find a friendship like that, you hit the jackpot!

That's what happened to me and Adele. Adele is one on of our mini goats. But she isn't just any goat - she is a natural yoga goat!

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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Two months post diagnosis



Today I want to give you another update on Rich's Lyme Disease status. (For the one month post diagnosis post, click here.)
He has now completed 2 full months of antibiotics (Doxycycline) and started on the third month. We see the doctor every two weeks for monitoring, but so far, he's tolerating the antibiotics well and has no problems with them. 

We have noticed an almost imperceptible, but hugely significant change: instead of feeling sick all the time with the odd good day, he's now feeling pretty good most the time with the odd bad day! His energy levels are rising, his appetite is back, and he says he feels almost normal everywhere below the shoulders. 
His main problem is still the pain and limited range of motion in his left shoulder (the right one is much better now), and the pain and swelling in his hands. 

As I mentioned last time, we've been experimenting with medical marijuana. After some misses, we have now found something that works well for him: Phoenix Tears, a cannabis oil. Ours is equal parts CBD and THC, and I put two tiny drops into a capsule and give it to him to swallow every night before bed. It doesn't get him high, but it helps him sleep, and getting a decent amount of sleep has been instrumental in making him feel better. 
Thanks to the oil there are days where he doesn't take any painkillers aside from his anti-inflammatory, and even on bad days he's now cut back from six to two Tylenol!


We've received a ton of (unsolicited) advice about our diet. Go paleo, cut out dairy, gluten and sugar, become vegetarian, only eat organic, etc. 
Here's the thing: we love food. There are few things better in life than roasting a chicken you raised yourself, mashing potatoes with a healthy dose of butter, and serving it with a rainbow of colourful vegetables. We don't want to restrict ourselves. We have no food allergies, and we don't want to create a list of 'forbidden' food. Like most women, I lived like that for a decade, and it made me miserable and ill-tempered. 

So no, we won't cut out anything. We live by the rule "everything in moderation", and we grow some of our food ourselves (if you ever eat with us, chances are that your piece of meat has a name 😉), but we won't follow a "diet". I hate the word diet. Diets are not permitted in our home. 

Food plays such a large role in life: it's much more than just "fuel for your body" (an expression that irks me, to be honest). It's part of our culture, our history together as a couple, and it's a large part of what makes life enjoyable. 
We eat a ton of fruit and veggies, but we also love Kaiserschmarrn for breakfast (torn pancakes with raisins and apples, an Austrian speciality), we have ice cream regularly, and neither of us says no to a big, juicy steak. 
I don't feel like our eating habits are unhealthy, and I definitely don't believe that they have contributed to Rich's illness. So, while I appreciate the attempts to help us, we respectfully decline to follow the latest eating fad. 


I'm still doing the heavy lifting around here, because of Rich's painful hands and shoulders, but he's feeding all his birds. We have found a good balance of doing the chores for now, and once spring comes, it will be a whole lot easier. 

Overall, we are on the up and up! 
It's easy to forget sometimes that we've only known that he has Lyme Disease for two months, and have been treating it for a relatively short amount of time. 
At our last doctor's visit, we discussed just that, and the doctor said: "You were basically crippled in December, and look at you now!"
Look at him, indeed. That man of mine is a fighter, and I'm so proud of him!

Happy weekend!

xo Miriam



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Thursday, 15 February 2018

"You married a farmer - get used to it"


If you would have told me at any given moment in my past that I would be traipsing around a ranch with a sledgehammer in hand to hack open frozen water dishes (and ward off feisty turkeys - they're getting frisky), I would have told you that you're insane. 

Alas, that's exactly what I was doing yesterday (on Valentine's Day no less), and will be doing again in an hour or so. 
This video is from Christmas, but 7 weeks later, here I am, still doing it. LIVING THE DREAM, PEOPLE, LIVING THE DREAM.

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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Father Winter can stuff it


We are in survival mode. 
Winter is kicking our asses, and we are barely hanging in. Rich wants to buy another dog; I keep ordering clothes and necklaces online. We need more dogs and clothes like a hole in the head, and deep down, we know that; but we keep looking at dogs and clothes anyway.
Our actions are desperate cries for help, because WE.CAN'T.TAKE.IT.ANYMORE!

The ice. The snow. The forced house arrest (thanks for nothingLyme). 
The slipping. The falling. (We've each wiped out several times thanks to the thick sheet of ice covering everything. I have the bruises to prove it - Rich's skin is unblemished. How??) The bundling up in coats and hats and gloves. 
Yesterday we argued for 10 minutes if we've had snow for over 4 months or 3 months; it's been here since the first week of November, and I was convinced that it means it has been 4+ months: November, December, January, February. Makes sense, right?
Wrong (according to some). Because February just started, meaning it's 3+ months. 
"Well, it feels like the snow has been here for 40 months," I snapped grudgingly in the end, unwilling to admit that he was right. 
Very mature, Miriam. Very mature. 

But that's what winter does to you. It makes you say and do things you normally wouldn't. 

It doesn't help that we had planned to do a road trip down to Sedona, a place I've been wanting to visit for ages. 

We went to Utah 10 years ago, and that trip is still one of my all-time Top Three vacations. There is something so special about that red rock - you can feel yourself open up, transform, and go home a changed person. 
I WANT TO BE A CHANGED PERSON!
Well, not really. But an extra dose of patience would be nice. 

Alas, life laughed at our plans and made new ones for us; staying put and battling a disease. NICE GOING, LIFE. 

I mean, the view isn't too shabby:

 And the company isn't either:

As you can see, it isn't all bad. But boy oh boy, the cabin fever is real, and my poor patience is being tested like never before. Probably a lesson I'm in desperate need of - but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

In good news, I got my bangs trimmed yesterday, and for the second time in a row I got them trimmed for free! It happened last time just before Christmas (same salon, different stylist), and again yesterday. It's a small gesture, but it made an otherwise grey day so much brighter!
I'm planning on baking some treats and bringing them in tomorrow, just to brighten their day as much as they did mine. Kindness rocks!

Okay, I have to feed the beasts now. Out in the snow I go again!

We are all going to make it (probably). 

xoxo Miriam


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