National Geographic Photos

A fly by post just to share this amazing post from Marvelous Kiddo, featuring  some amazing birth photos that were a part of the National Geographic 2011 Photo Contest. There was some debate concerning this photo (warning: photo is of a woman giving birth) and whether or not it’s been staged. Here’s a blog entry from the photographer’s page, written by the mother in the photo. In my mind, this absolutely is a raw moment and is absolutely beautiful. Yes, she’s wearing makeup. Yes, she’s wearing jewlery. You know what? Those are some of the perks of delivering at home. You can wear whatever you want. :P

Linkage Monday

Hi all! Just a fly by post to share something great. My friend, Patrick, shared this on facebook this morning and I absolutely loved it. I shared it, emailed it to my sister and then “ran” here to share it with you. Some great lessons in here:

How to Steal Like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)

Enjoy :)

 

Posie’s soup

Another fly-by post, and it’s not even original content.

Sundays, Pat and I try to make it out to our fear friends’ home, about 10 minutes from our place. They have become such a major part of our lives, so it’s really important for us to have that ‘family’ time. Unfortunately, they were home sick today, so Pat and I had a day to ourselves unexpectedly.

This evening I decided to make some soup, from scratch, for the first time ever. I recently came across this recipe from Posie Gets Cozy, one of my favourite blogs of all time. I had enough time to give it a go, and we had everything I needed on hand. Well, mostly. I didn’t have quite enough broth and I had crushed tomatoes instead of whole cooked. Ah well. The joys of soup, in my mind, is to make due with what you have.

Sausage, already for cooking

Onions and garlic cooking away. I like my pieces big and chunky.

I have to say, this recipe was super easy and though a bit time consuming, was one of those comfort cooks. It was cozy and relaxing to work on, not at all stressful. I got to play with seasoning on my own and had a good time with it. No pressure.

Almost ready!

I really recommend it. We’re planning on making it the next time there’s a family get together. It’s definitely filling, so be prepared for that. Perfect for a chilly Sunday evening

Yum! <3

Settling in

It’s funny how now that I’m working, I find I have more time to post regularly.  It’s been so strange lately, working a full time job again, while getting the last bit of wedding stuff done, while working on estate stuff and getting the house clean. 

 Most of the wedding stuff is going well. Just a few things here and there that need to be done. Namely, meeting with vendors and getting forgotten supplies. Pat and I managed to win a huge discount on getting our wedding filmed. WOO! The company is First Kiss Films, and they are amazing! Go team!  So, we should get a really pretty mini-film of the wedding. Exciting, right?

 

Bridget from FKF

We’ve booked Mum’s burial. I’m a bit nervous about it. I know I’m in this weird place where I want to find this feeling of closure, but at the same time I’m terrified of accepting Mum’s death and moving on. I’m especially concerned about the sale of the house. Even with her gone, we’re still there a lot and it’s still a home to me. T’s going to be such a loss for that to be gone.  It deserves a new family full of love. It was such a great house for us. It deserves better than what we can offer it.

Me, in front of the Orleans house on my 17th birthday

Work is strange, but still great. I think everyone else seems to think that someone else is giving me work, and so I spend most of the day begging for things to do or familiarizing myself with the filing system. For the first time in a long time, or perhaps even ever, I feel happy with where I’m working. There’s no great fight with myself in the morning to come in. Sure, I still get nervous, but it’s not that deep dread I’m used to with work. It’s a really great relief. Today I spent three hours with my supervisor and had a great time of it. We chatted and really seemed to get along. Funny how when you need something, the universe provides.  :)

 I’ve been wondering recently what I’m going to do with myself after the wedding to pass my time and to fill my mind with. I’ve been thinking about getting back into yoga and maybe taking a few online paganism courses. Ellen Dugan has a few, and I’ve heard about some others too. Unfortunately, money is still going to be tight, even with the new job, as we just discovered we have a leak of some sort in the basement. We have to have someone come in and look at it soon and then, after all of that work, we’ll have to repaint. Again. UGH.  On top of that, I need to get myself a car by July, because that’s when we turn in Mum’s van. It’s an hour and a half to bus to work, versus the 20 minutes to drive. A no brainer for sure. I may have found one that could be the winner. It’s a fully loaded 2000 Jetta sedan that has had a lot of work put into it, and only two previous drivers. I’m really excited about owning my own vehicle. This will be the first time I’ve ever purchased a car. Milestone time!

The car I'm lusting after

Meanwhile, it’s my birthday on Saturday and people keep asking me what I want. It’s strange, but for the first year ever, I honestly don’t know. There’s no book series I’m dying for, no movies I need to own. The only thing I’m dying to get is a new phone. I’ve been catching up on the iPhone 4G news all day. It looks amazing. WANT.

iPhone <3

Unfortunately, living in Canada, they aren’t going to be available until July sometime L I hope pre-orders start soon, because I want one as soon as they become available. It’s incredible to believe that I’ll be 27 by this time next week. Where does the time go? I remember my 17th birthday like it was only a couple of years ago, rather than a decade.

 So, with that I should get back to work. I encourage you to go check out this post at Walking the Hedge. It’s a great post and definitely gets you thinking about fate, luck and personal responsibility.

One Month

I was hoping that when this weekend came along, that I’d be too busy to notice. It’s sort of a double whammy, really. Not only is it a month since my mother died, but it’s also Mother’s Day. How’s that for timing? The whole world is telling me to rush out to Hallmark and buy cards, picture frames and flowers for the best friend that I lost a month ago.

Now that I’ve been back to the house, I think I’m finally starting grieve. It’s hard. This stuff has no manual. Our society, for some strange reason, is pretty quiet about how to deal with death. My family doesn’t really do somber well. And I mean, I wear black sometimes, but with two cats and a dog, it’s not really practical. So far, it’s been about remembering. Telling stories.

I want to share one with you, if that’s ok.

Two summers ago, I went over to my parents’ house on a mission. We went out and bought a bunch of fresh berries and picked some rhubarb from her garden. She was set on teaching me to make my own jam. You see, growing up, I used to visit her parents in Regina, Sask. My grandfather loved to garden and so, his entire backyard was a veggie and fruit garden. We used to pick the raspberries and saskatoons for grandma to make jam with. Jam has such a warm family feel for me. And it’s definitely a Mann thing (my mother’s family).

So, Mum invited me over and we went to. She had already done a batch of blueberry jam, if I remember correctly. So, first we sterilized all of the jars.

Going through the jars, getting them ready for ze jam

We then got all of the rest of our tools ready to go

All set for jammy jam

I measured the sugar, as Mum wanted me to do as much myself as I could.

Measuring the sugar and checking with the instructions

Note that I don’t have my engagement ring. This is about 6 months before Pat proposed. Dad was still alive at this point. It’s amazing how much has changed since then.

Me, sassing the camera

Next, Mum and I took turns stirring the fruit, sugar and gelatin mix. Eventually, I started smushing things too, so that it wasn’t too lumpy.

Mum stirring

The mixture

Me, stirring

Much like with baking, I kept having to sample the product. You know, to make sure it wasn’t poison

YUM

And by the end of that hot afternoon, we had jam. Lots of super tasty jam.

Jam <3

I look back on that day fondly. It was hot, it was fun. It was pure Mum time. She was so pleased to teach me. I was so proud of the jam I made. I even brought some in to work.

This is how I want to think about Mum. I don’t want to cry at every ad on television.

Tomorrow, I’m going to my first wedding dress fitting. My girls can’t come with (Wedding, out of town and across the country), so I’ve invited my new family. Pat’s two sisters and sister-in-law have all agreed to go on a bit of a road trip with me, to support me and encourage me through this event that will most definitely be hard. I have to try to move forward. To love and live. I have to try to celebrate. I’m excited and nervous for it. It’s been about 5 months since I’ve last seen the dress. Hopefully, it’s as beautiful as I remember.

Today, as a Beltane gift to myself, I ordered Stephanie’s special edition of her beautiful tarot deck, Shadowscape. It’s been making quite the buzz online since it’s release. Part of the SE is that you get to put in a keyword and she will do a custom card related to it. I thought about it for a while and decided on “Growth”. Cliched, perhaps. I could have gone with healing, or grief…but I think Growth is exactly what I’m striving for. Healing is such a part of growth, and in the end, I want to move forward. I want to better myself. I want to learn so much. The future is so wide open to me now that I am no longer a caregiver. I have to find myself again. For the same reason, and maybe even as inspiration to walk forward with a bit of a lighter heart, I chose to get the Fool card as my print.

Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's Fool Card from her Shadowscape deck

The Fool

Stephanie describes the card here. This. This is so what I need in my life right now. Is that silly?

On a lighter note, a couple of shout outs:

Firstly, thank you very much to Juniper over at Walking the Hedge for the link. I appreciate it! You are one of my favourite reads and I’m spoiled that you’re local. I apologize to any of my new readers for the heavy content. I promise it won’t always be like this.

Secondly, I think, as another treat to myself, I’m going to get myself some of this. My friend, Amber, over at Swamp Herbal Pixie does incredible things with honey and wax. A year or two ago I ordered her Vanilla bean Chamomile Honey, Bunny Honey and Chai Honey. MAN, that stuff is beyond good. Bunny Honey is my all time favourite. And yes, the name suits. :D The Vanilla Bean Chamomile is INCREDIBLE in tea. It’s so smooth and soothing. Love it. The Chai Honey is luscious. The spicing is great and, as you can imagine, is perfection in a chai tea.  I am also hoping to try her Sister Health honey. I have had some issues over the last couple of years with uncomfortable moon times, so all the help I can get, especially in the form of delicious honey, is welcome.

And now, I think I’m going to go read and relax with some ginger and mint tea before bed. It’s an early morning before the mini road trip. I promise to take lots of pictures. Oh, next up I plan on talking more about going through Ellen Dugan’s books and my plans for a new tattoo. <3