Monday, 11 November 2019

Chaos meets fear

I like order. In my perfect life I would know every single piece of clothing in my closet, every last item of food in the fridge and pantry, and every last one of the animals that live with us on the farm. They all would have names, and we would only replace one when the other one is close to death, with just enough time left to teach the new one everything it needs to know. I would get up every morning at the same time, write insightful articles and books that help other people in a way that reassures me that I have found my purpose, I would do yoga every morning and be calm and peaceful throughout it all. I would work 4 days a week, enough to have the social contact my introverted self won't get otherwise, but not too much to leave me exhausted. We would only have guests over when I'm well rested and prepared, the house is properly cleaned and styled, the menu is carefully planned and the She Shed has a nice welcome basket and a warm fire waiting for the guest. 
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Monday, 4 November 2019

How to live a little bit greener

Image Credit: Pexels CC0 License
I love nature. I've never been to Disneyland or Vegas and I don't see myself ever going, because I'm not a big fan of man-made attractions. But I've seen Arches and Zion National Parks 11 years ago, and they still rank amongst my top 3 places I've ever been to. Most of the photos on my phone are of trees, clouds, landscapes or animals, and a good sunset gives me more enjoyment than going to the movies. As long as I can spend at least a small portion of every day outside, I feel like it was a worthwhile day.
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Saturday, 2 November 2019

A letter to October

Dear October, 
You were a disappointment this year. You are usually one of my favourite months, but this year you had it in for me. Instead of delivering golden days, blue skies and sunshine, you gave us bitterly cold winds, grey days and even snow for 24 hours. Wtf?!
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Sunday, 27 October 2019

Strive for joy, not happiness

Time is a funny thing. Despite mankind's determination to divide it into orderly units of seconds, minutes and hours, it stretches and contracts depending on the situation. We all know that time can fly or move like molasses, that days can feel endless but years seem to go by in the blink of an eye. 

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Sunday, 20 October 2019

Nina

Her biggest talent was love. She would fly up the driveway, her paws barely touching the ground, and jump up on me so high we were nose to nose. She was so overjoyed to be reunited again, she would give me a big kiss right on the lips, doing a happy dance all around me. Every single day. Then she would fly back down the long driveway, jump up on one of the other dogs or chase the horses, loving the speed, the freedom, and most of all, us.
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Wednesday, 9 October 2019

My entourage


I wake up from the tapping on the front door. Teddy, our gigantic puppy, is asking to be let in, with Callie, our Calico cat right behind her. I've started letting them in in the mornings, having coffee in bed with 4 dogs and 1 cat. It's my most precious morning routine.  
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Wednesday, 2 October 2019

A series of unfortunate events

On the list of things you don't want to find in your house there are a few that come to mind: a serial killer hiding in your basement; half a mouse head; a wasp invasion; an angry bear. And yet, I found 2 out of the 4 in my house this week and it's barely Wednesday. It's been a rough couple of days. 
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Friday, 27 September 2019

Reading weather

It's grey, grey, grey. Fall is letting us down in terms of the golden and crisp-in-the-morning, warm-in-the-afternoon weather I love so much; but on the bright side, this weather is perfect for reading. 
(I would say reading and writing, but I have lost my writing groove since the summer, and I'm still desperately looking for it. If you see it, please send it my way!)
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Sunday, 22 September 2019

The summer of 2019

Summer is officially over. Fall arrived over 2 weeks ago, rudely ahead of schedule (have you not heard of being fashionably late?), and after telling each other every day for the last 14 days that "summer is gonna come back, just wait and see!", we have to admit defeat. We have waited, and all we see is rain (an unusual amount for our region), fog, and grey skies.
But! Before we fully embrace fall (I already started decorating, having successfully moved into the acceptance stage), let's take a look at the summer of 2019!

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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Claim your home

I'm currently reading Boo Walker's beautiful novel Red Mountain, and one passage resonated with me so strongly, I want to share it with you. 
To give you some context, one of the main characters, Brooks, just found out that his fiance cheated on him with his boss' wife. (Intrigue!) Brooks had a rough upbringing and has a hard time trusting people, so this betrayal makes him question everything in his life and he considers leaving and starting new somewhere else. His boss (+ the other betrayed party) urges him to stay, saying how much he is needed and how much he means to all of them. His next words are what has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days:

"At some point in life you have to decide to throw the anchor and accept that your home isn't perfect, but it's home. And your friends and lovers aren't perfect either, but they're what you've got, and you damn well better love them."

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Saturday, 7 September 2019

Playing the long game

In 2014, a scandal rocked the blogging world. It wasn't a huge one, but big enough that even newbie bloggers like myself heard about it. A blog called Halfway to Fearless appeared seemingly overnight and was suddenly everywhere. I was still at that stage in my blogging journey where I thought becoming "blog-famous" was a goal of mine, and I eagerly (and often jealously) read every blog that had "made it" for tips how to get there.
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Saturday, 31 August 2019

I got interviewed!

Hi guys,
I'm just popping on here to share that I did an interview with NF Reads that's live now! We're talking about my books, creativity, negative feedback, the best and worst things about book publishing, and what my next book will be about. 
Check it out here!

Also, many thanks to everyone who's shared photos of my book babies out in the wild, I love them so much! Keep them coming!


Happy (long) weekend!
xoxo Miriam



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Monday, 26 August 2019

Relax, darling. You have time.

Have you ever had the panicky feeling that you're behind in life? That everybody around you is further ahead and has their shit together more than you? That you are the only one who can't seem to catch up? 
I know you have. Because here's the thing: we all feel that way sometimes. In a society that values youth above everything, it seems that we only have a limited window to achieve the things we want to do, and that it's all over after a certain age. What age that is changes as we grow older: for kids and teens everybody over 30 is ancient and life is pretty much over. We believe that all the big stuff like career, a house, marriage and kids is happening in our twenties, which of course isn't true. Despite popular opinion, we can't do it all at the same time, and even more importantly, we don't have to. 

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Finding the courage to follow your dreams

Most of us talk about our dreams in a hypothetical way, secretly convinced that we will never achieve them. They seem too ambitious, too crazy to even try, so we don't try, which makes our worst fears come true: we don't achieve them because we don't do anything about turning our dreams into reality.
Putting your energy into something that's important to you is scary. What if you fail? It seems easier to not even try to keep the possibility alive, to make yourself believe that you could always do it *one day*.
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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

My new book is out!

I am thrilled to announce that my second book Quit the Hustle is out now! This book happened accidentally. I had no intention of writing another book so soon. But when I experienced burnout last year and hid myself away in a sleepy little town I wrote it all down to work through it. While I was doing that I noticed that I wasn't the only one who was utterly exhausted: a friend of mine was going through the same process, giving up her side business because she simply couldn't do it anymore. 
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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

194 days of solitude*

*(sort of)
When I'm going to sit in my rocking chair 30 or 40 years from now and look back on the story of my life, the last year will be a special chapter. It will be a chapter of extremes: the most introverted time of my life. The most sleep I ever got. The least physical year I've ever had (I've never spent more time lying down than during the 194 days I will have been away from home by the end of August). It was the year of packing my suitcase and saying goodbye to my husband 27 times. A year of introspection. A year of stillness. 
It's also the most internal growing I've done in a long time, maybe ever. It was the year where I put the pieces of myself back together. 
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Sunday, 21 July 2019

A new favourite spot

Happy Sunday friends!
I'm thrilled to share with you that we found another favourite spot at our place, at least as great as the willow tree at our old one ;-) 
In my experience, special places slowly evolve, you won't find them right away, which is what makes them so special when you discover them one day. 
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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Life lately

How's your summer going? Ours is wetter and cooler than what's normal, which means everything is so much greener than it usually is! True, the green is mostly weeds and not grass, but it's still a novelty to be surrounded by green this time of year in the semi-desert. 
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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

A video of the first 6 months of 2019

As you may know, I'm into the third year of taking a one-second video every day with this app, and I wanted to share the first 6 months of 2019 today! I love this easy way of documenting life, and I'm always amazed at how much of a story you can create by filming just one second. I highly recommend it!
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Monday, 1 July 2019

Body confidence is a feminist act

The bathing suit I'm wearing in these photos (it's this one from Aerie) arrived in the mail about 3 weeks ago. I had been impatiently waiting for it and the bikini I also ordered, and squealed with delight when I saw the package in the mailbox. Ten minutes later, the squeals of delight had turned into squeals of horror, and the old enemy I thought I had left behind for good several years earlier was suddenly back, grinning at me triumphantly in the mirror. Every woman reading this will know whom I talking about: our well-known nemesis body-loathing, causing the unpleasant but oh-so-familiar "I-feel-shitty-about-my-body" sensation that makes us want to hide in a big old paper bag. 
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Friday, 28 June 2019

Summer bucket list

I was curled up in bed yesterday, watching the rain and enjoying that exciting feeling of knowing that summer is still ahead of us. It's one of the best feelings in the world, isn't it? Summer in my mind will always be the season of being footloose and carefree, of long hot days and deep cool water, of letting your hair blow in the breeze and not having a care in the world.  
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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

A birthday to remember

What do you do when you expect 40+ guests to celebrate your husband's 65th birthday and you don't have a fridge or cooler big enough to store drinks in? Two words: booze canoe. 
To get your own booze canoe you fill a canoe with water, throw about 20 blocks of ice in it, and when you release all the beer, wine and soft drinks they will happily bob in the water, staying nice and cold all night long. You heard it here first, folks! 
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Monday, 17 June 2019

June days

June has been hot and sunny, and I'm all for it. Having spent the majority of my life in moderate climates with often rainy and cool summers, I'm still thrilled to have semi-desert heat and sunshine for about 6 months in a row! I can't imagine ever getting sick of it. 
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Friday, 14 June 2019

What is PMDD?

Your alarm goes off and you reluctantly open your eyes. God, you are so tired. It's an effort to even raise your arm to shut off the annoying alarm. You glance over at your husband who's still sleeping, undisturbed by the alarm. A wave of red-hot anger sweeps over you. How can he still be asleep? And his breathing is fucking annoying. You roughly shove him, bend over and yell into his ear: "Wake up! Sleepy time is over!" He wakes up with a start, looking at you with surprise and hurt in his eyes. You feel a twinge of guilt, but it's quickly replaced by more rage. It's not your fault that he can sleep through an earthquake. If he would behave like an adult it wouldn't always fall on you to make sure that everything goes smoothly in your life. Fuck. This day already sucks.

***
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Friday, 7 June 2019

Why you need a mission statement for your life

Do you have a vision for your life? A picture in your head of what your dream life looks like? If not, you need to. Every decision you make, the habits you form and the actions you take should lead you towards the life you want to live. That's where a mission statement comes in. Every company has one, and so should you. Mission statements are like the beacon of light you follow towards creating your best life, designed to help you make decisions and figuring out your path.
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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Stop feeling guilty

You haven't exercised in three months because you needed to rest? It's alright. Stop feeling guilty. You are a good person.
The piece of cake you had at work today (and the second one you sneaked an hour later when nobody was watching) is making you feel like a failure? Stop that. It doesn't make you a weak person, nor a failure, nor is your life ruined. It's cake, not a measuring device of your worthiness.
The nice, warm weather is giving you a panicky feeling because you believe you're not "ready for summer" yet? Be like Celeste Barber:
You better believe this body's ready for summer. 

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

Happy to be alive

It's crazy to think that at the beginning of this week we were sitting around my mother-in-law's old kitchen table, having breakfast where Rich has eaten tens of thousands of meals. Between then and now we have traveled 9,000 km, the temperature doubled, I've done 4 loads of laundry, Rich dropped nearly 10 pounds of salt-induced water weight, I've worked 3 shifts and had 4 call backs, and Rich is on IV-antibiotics because his Lyme doesn't like to travel.
We are hopeful that with the return to our regular, calm life, combined with the drugs, the heat and the soothing nature of our animals we will get this latest relapse under control.
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Friday, 31 May 2019

When you're in your late 30s...


... you have a drawer full of cables that you don't dare throwing out, because you're pretty sure that you still need one or two of them (but you don't know which ones)

... you go to bed by 8pm and don't even feel bad about it

... having matching plates matters to you

... you have a plastic bag full of more plastic bags under your sink 
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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Home is where you feel wild and free

When I was 10 years old, I fell in love for the first time. A boy was involved, sure; but much more importantly, it was a place and a lifestyle. 
My best friend's dad had grown up on a farm, and every vacation the entire family went back there to help his older brother who had taken over. There was no mom but there were 4 kids, and the oldest one, a 14-year old boy named Andy, had to work on the farm like a man. 
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Friday, 17 May 2019

From Russia with love

I'm sitting in the middle of the busy lobby, with different languages flying all around me: boisterous Italian from the big, noisy family next to me; French from the elegant gay couple on my other side; and lots and lots of German.

We are currently on a Baltic cruise, and after having visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Tallinn, we are  now headed full steam towards Germany. 
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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

The secret to living your best life

Do you want to know how you can truly feel at peace? Have you been reading countless self-help books in search of the answer to the eternal question: how can I finally be happy? 
I've found the answer. And I'm about to share it with you.
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Friday, 19 April 2019

Lovin' (farm) life

I open my eyes to the sun streaming in, lighting up my happy pink walls. It's only 6 am, but we have finally reached the best time of the year: the time where you don't have to get up in the dark anymore. For the next 5+ months it will be light already when my alarm goes off, and nothing could make me happier!
Outside my window I hear the pheasant's mating call; the doves are cooing, the birds are chirping, and our roosters greet the new day enthusiastically. 
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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Breathless


It started so slowly that I didn't notice it at first.
I had a bit of a cough, but it was winter, and everybody had a cough. 
I got winded pushing a wheelbarrow up the hill, but I wasn't getting any younger, and it was winter, so I was probably just out of shape. 
I wheezed up a storm hiking up my favourite mountain on the first nice day of spring, but I hadn't hiked all winter, so again, I blamed it on being out of shape. 
(Winter is being blamed for a lot in my world.)
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Sunday, 7 April 2019

A video of the first 3 months of 2019

I'm always happy when the first quarter of a new year is behind us. While I like winter in December, by January I'm usually sick of it, and getting through the next few months is always challenging. What I do to make it more fun is writing down the little and big highlights, taking my 1-second videos, and celebrating every day in some small way. For example, today's celebration included writing in my journal, taking Lily for an early morning walk while the sun was still out (we have rain in the forecast and it is now grey and overcast), eating a warm chocolate croissant for breakfast and making myself a third cup of coffee. Oh yes, baby!
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Saturday, 6 April 2019

The magic of the road

What do you do if your husband invites you to drive 1,400 km with him in two days? If you are adventurous and open for anything, you say "hells YES!" If you are me, you look at him like he lost his mind and politely tell him "abso-fricking-lutely not". But if you have a husband who knows you better than you know yourself, and who knows that you need to get out on the road, he will wheedle and insist and tell you how much more fun it will be when you are there with him, until you are out of excuses and grudgingly agree to come along.
Thank God for husbands who know what's best for you and make sure you get it. 

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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

6 Years of Blogging

Earlier this month this blog turned 6 years old. Happy Birthday dear blog! When I sat down on a rainy afternoon on March 15, 2013 to write my first blog post I would not have believed that 6 years later I would still be doing it. 
Life is what you make of it, and blogging is the same. Many of the OG bloggers that were around when I started have abandoned their blogs in favour of Instagram, have turned into influencers, or have given up altogether. It seems that there aren't very many bloggers like me left anymore: the small ones who still write just for the fun of it, without being Internet-famous.
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Friday, 22 March 2019

Saying goodbye to being a horse woman

We have different personas living inside of us. 
There is the person we want to be: confident, unafraid, strong, independent. 
There is the little kid, afraid of the world and wanting to be loved. 
There is the mess we perceive ourselves to be: the flawed human being we are desperate to change and improve. 

I believe that reconciling all these personas into one and becoming the person we truly are and always have been is the defining step of finding peace within ourselves. It's how we become authentic.
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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Lyme Disease Update

It's been 8 months since my last update about Rich's Lyme disease, and for the majority of that time everything has been really good!
In case you are new around here, let me give you a quick overview: my husband got very sick in the fall of 2017. He had intense joint paint, night sweats, chills, brain fog, insomnia, lost a ton of weight in a short amount of time, and deteriorated very quickly. After the worst 4 months of both our lives where no doctor could figure out what was wrong with him he finally got the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

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Monday, 11 March 2019

Celebrate everyday

There is an old man who walks by my house in Princeton three times a day. He has a tiny white dog, old and slow, and he walks that dog all over the neighbourhood. I see them every day when I'm here, and I often wonder about his life. 
Does he have a wife or is he widowed? Does he ever go away or is he at home 365 days of the year? Is he happy? What will he do when his dog dies? I hope he will get a new one. 

I picture him at home, making coffee in the morning while talking to his dog, telling him how he slept last night and that he has to refill his prescription today, and that there is warmer weather in the forecast. When he makes lunch he gives his little friend some scraps, and after their lunch walk they have a nap together on the couch. He eats a pastry with his afternoon coffee every day and then they watch TV together. Once a week he plays cards with his buddies. 
It's a small life, I imagine, but a good one. He is content. 
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Tuesday, 5 March 2019

When your brain threatens your marriage

Last month I was convinced that my marriage was in serious danger.
I spent all night crying, having terribly dark thoughts about separation, having to start over, and losing my best friend.
I was so worried that I actually contacted a counsellor to make an appointment for marriage counselling.

Had one of us cheated on the other?
Had we fallen out of love?
Had something bad happened?

No, nothing like that.
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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Peeing our pants

Remember when I foolishly proclaimed last week that spring is on its way? Yeah, I may have jumped the gun on that. But it's not my fault, it's the robin's - it lied. Robins are supposed to return when it gets warmer, but it must have been just as impatient as me (I get it, robin) and returned a tad early. Which I can also understand, since there's no place like home, right? Except right now I can think of plenty of places that are better than home, like Mexico, Hawaii, the south of Spain, California, Arizona ... you get the idea.
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Sunday, 24 February 2019

Meet the Second Chance Hiker

I love people who do big, crazy things, and when my room mate introduced me to the Second Chance Hiker, I was immediately enthralled. 
Meet Cory, a man who recently embarked on the biggest adventure of his life: hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to lose 200 pounds. 
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Friday, 22 February 2019

On being whoever you want to be


I keep buying long, flowy dresses, because I want to be the person who wears long, flowy dresses. I don't exactly have the kind of life that makes wearing dresses practical, with wearing scrubs for work and jeans around the farm, but then again, who said that life has to be practical all the time? I'm over being practical. I've always wanted to turn into an eccentric older lady, and I may as well start now. Wearing clothes for the simple reason to make yourself feel pretty seems decadent, but then again, could there be any better reason? 
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Thursday, 21 February 2019

It's happening ...


It's happening. 
Two days ago we saw a robin. 
Yesterday I saw patches of dark peeking through the thinning snow cover on our roof. 

Five lambs were born over the last two weeks.
The dogs are shedding.

The patch of sky and trees I see through the window upon waking up in my little room away from home is getting lighter a little bit earlier every day:

We may barely see it yet, but nature is getting ready ...


...


... for spring!

Trust me, it's happening.

Yay!!!!
xoxo Miriam



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