Rushing

Part of my ‘problem’ of living in the countryside is that when I do travel to an urban area I tend to see all the ‘stuff’ available within arm’s length and go bananas at the shops. Usually I’m with another adult, ie. my husband, and that fact alone tends to reign me in. Not that he controls the purse strings, but when I stop and linger over the 17th pretty object in my sight, he tends to shoot me that decidedly ‘male’ look of exasperation and I then I feel sorry for the poor guy. But when I’m by myself (as in, it’s just me and Little C) there is no telling if I’ll mentally justify an indulgence (or three)!

This morning I rushed to Brandon for camping supplies. Little C needed swimmers, I needed food to plan a healthy menu (after all, I’m trying to be kind to myself) and I had a present to drop off for a friend’s daughter. I have daydreams of a leisurely day in the city, strolling through the shops and enjoying a long lunch with my Mom and sister at Lady of the Lake, but alas today was not that day.

After rushing around Target and making three trips to the car, then rushing around the mall like a chicken with no game plan I finally found all the things I needed. A budding headache made me realize that I had not eaten yet, so a quick (and slightly depressing) sandwich from the drive thru was in order. While eating my food and driving out of the city, I reflected on why I felt so disorganized. Frankly, I realized that in order to be more organized, I must indulge more often!

I kept getting distracted by shiny things and found it hard to focus on my list of essentials. If it wasn’t gorgeous mint sandals on sale, it was ‘oh, I need a new camera, I should look at those’ or it was the desire to find the ‘perfect’ toy for a 2 year old. If it wasn’t all that, I was constantly on the look out for entertaining ideas. Items for my sister’s upcoming bachelorette, or decor ideas for my mom’s upcoming birthday (she’s turning the big 6-0!), or even picnic items on sale were drawing my eye. My list fell to the wayside as I oohed and ahh-ed over paper goods, shoes and cameras.

None of this was on my camping trip list! Hauling myself back to reality was extremely difficult.

Brandon is such a great little city. I can find almost everything I need/want here and I need to make a point to come more often. When I first moved to the country I hopped in my car and drove to Brandon once a week to get my ‘urban’ fix. I need to start traveling there more often again.

Perhaps without my husband so I can linger over all the pretty things 😉

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Kindness is Key

When we arrived home after nearly a week of camping and volunteering at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum, I was mysteriously brimming with energy. But instead of focused movements, I was running all over the place and after putting most things away back in their proper place, I went out into the garden to take stock on what was happening with our vegetables.

The peas were more than ready to be picked and there were two overgrown zucchini calling my name. After plucking the food from their vines I weeded in between plants until I got bored, then brought everything indoors. After panicking for a single indecisive minute, as I didn’t want to let the vegetables just sit there on the counter, I decided to bake a chocolate zucchini cake and cook a cauliflower salad.

After checking to make sure I had all the necessary ingredients (I did) I set about boiling the cauliflower and eggs as well as getting the cake batter ready for the oven. I don’t know what possessed me to do all this. I was in a tizzy! Between my time in the kitchen, taking care of Little C and trying to catch up on blog posts, the whole day was frazzled, the total opposite of relaxing.

Truth be known, I love to cook and bake. It’s a creative outlet that many people enjoy and it’s something I do for myself. Big C is a picky eater and is known for rejecting many a culinary masterpiece if it’s not plain steak and potatoes. Although I am slowly and gently nudging him toward a more open mindset, sometimes just by adding herbs and spices to otherwise mundane dishes, he does not eat anything ‘mixed’ like casseroles or anything with a sauce. Gravy or soup is OUT. How crazy, right!

With all this baking around the house, I’ve been snacking unnecessarily on junk food. To my shame I’ve been ignoring the delicious fruits and vegetables in my fridge in favour of cookies and brownies. I am not happy with the way I am acting. Treating myself poorly is not the way I envision living. I know I will have to make a conscious effort to be kinder to myself. Perhaps I will document this journey? We will see.

I recently read an inspiring post about treating yourself kindly. It certainly resonates with me, as it’s something I struggle to do every day. After I had my son, 5 months ago, I got a blood clot. So between dealing with being a new mom and these new health issues, nutrition took a total backseat (like, I threw it in the trunk and slammed the door down). I recently saw a picture of me that a friend took on a camping trip and I almost cried. I hated what I saw. I want to change that! Life is too short to be unhappy with the way you look. Yes, it’s good to accept who you are, but it’s also right to be the best you can be!

This isn’t a food and exercise blog. I am by no means an expert. Ha! Not here! This is my beginner’s guide, my buckling legs, if you will, to treating my body kindly. I am not rigid, of course not! I seek pleasure all the time, which is why I am in this predicament in the first place. Somewhere along the way my brain decided cookies and other sweets were the answers to my pleasure prayers. And although it’s perfectly fine to indulge once in a while, everyday three times per day is not an indulgence, it’s a bad habit!

So, Kindness is Key!

Austin

On Sunday I packed up the car and took the baby for a 40 minute drive to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to meet with my mom and sister, who were starting to organize themselves for this year’s fashion show. They, and others who help them, put on a vintage fashion show as an extension of a group we belong to, Reunion Ladies Activities. This group demonstrates different things that prairie pioneer women did ‘back in the day’.

This museum is close to my heart, as it is where my parents met, got married, and practically raised us. This is, in fact, their 40th wedding anniversary! My sister and I know the hard work it takes to put on a show and make history come alive for spectators. She has grown up helping our mom with the Ladies Activities and I have split my time between this and helping our dad to run a steam engine. Last year was the first year in a long time that I was not on an engine. I could not get time off work to help during the week, and I was pregnant and didn’t want to be jumping on and off, or falling off the engine or breathing in the wood/coal smoke. It is a hard and dirty job but I was so sad, as I love my time on the steam engine.

This year, with a new baby, I will not be on the engine again. I am having trouble finding my niche, as I always had a routine during the show, and now it is being disrupted. I have no antique crafting skills like looming or quilting, and am mediocre at embroidery. I found my grandma’s recipe for sourdough pancakes, which she used to make there, and I’m going to try to make this at home to see if I am any good at it. Who knows what’s in store…

The Manitoba Agricultural Museum is located just off the trans-canada highway, on highway #34, North of Austin, Manitoba. It is really a wonderful place to visit and learn about Manitoba heritage!

One our engagement pics, done  by the lovely Jodi of Memories by Me at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum!

Happy Canada Day!

Despite all the rain and it’s horrid consequences, I am determined to celebrate today! Our country is 147 years old today! For some reason I can’t download a picture on this site (I have a few cute ones I wanted to share) but oh well. My family is coming over later today for an impromptu supper. With one day’s notice it was hard to put together an impressive meal, but that’s not the point of having family over, is it!

I’ve been lucky enough to have the past few hours all to myself, but I hear Little C squawking on the monitor, so it’s time to put my ‘Mom’ hat on now.

We are so, so, so lucky to live in such a vast, beautiful, bountiful, peaceful Country. Happy Canada Day!

 

Wet…

Whew, Southern Manitoba is taking a beating at the moment. We are being deluged with wind and rain that is too much for the flat lands to take all at once.

Brandon, MB is declaring a state of emergency (cbc.ca)

 

Cottonwood Campground at Treherne, MB (Facebook)

  Southern Saskatchewan is taking a beating as well (Facebook)

Farmers have lost crops in this deluge and both cities and rural areas alike are experiencing home floods, power outages and damage from fallen trees.

Most of the damage was done yesterday, on Sunday. Today the wind and rain have died down, so hopefully the worst is over.

Luckily, the village where Big C and I live is located more in the hills than valley or flat plain, so we escape unscathed. We spent the weekend holed up in our house, watching TV, reading and playing with Little C. Oh, and juicing.

  

I fixed up 2 different cocktails from the orange juice for us to enjoy. We’re not really ‘orange’ fans around here, but it’s a great way to get that much needed vitamin C!

The sun is just starting to peek out from the heavy clouds. Hopefully it decides to stay. I’m off to plan a small Canada Day party!

In the Summertime

My baby (Little C) and I are lucky to have this summer together, as I am on Maternity Leave. In Manitoba we get up to 6 months for maternity leave and 6 months for parental leave. Usually the mom applies for both and gets a year off to take care of the new baby. Daycare is hard to come by, so we put our name on the waiting lists for 2 local centers and hopefully Little C will get a spot before I go back to work in February!

There are SO many things to do in Manitoba this summer, it’s hard to group it all into sections and explore all our options. We won’t be doing any major traveling this year, as my husband (let’s call him Big C) and I went to Europe (Great Britain, France and Northern Ireland) for our honeymoon last year and we want to ‘lay low’ for a while. I have ideas for ‘big’ trips (I think I was an explorer or a sailor in a past life, I love to travel!) for our family, but we need to save the funds and figure out the practicalities of traveling with an infant.

Luckily for us, Manitoba is brimming with activities! Whether it’s berry picking or attending one of the many festivals or heading to the beach, there is no shortage of things to do! I’ll be documenting all the local things we have to offer under this big prairie sky in an effort to commemorate my time with Little (and Big!) C.