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my name is monica but now i'm better known as nana. i have recurring dreams about faraway places and wild animals running free. i love to create with paper, food and yarn and i love to share snippets of my life.

Friday, February 28, 2014

No words necessary...

So today is my last official day of blogging everyday in February. I still plan to blog but maybe not everyday! You may have noticed that I didn't blog yesterday because I was so disappointed  as my surgery was bumped AGAIN to March 11, so I have decided to put things on the back burner and get on with living my life. I was in such a funk yesterday but after some retail therapy with my hubby and my mom today and giggles from my grandsons, it's all been put into perspective. I feel like I've been given a 'stay'
of sorts so I plan to embrace each and every day!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The morning after...





So I managed to have a pretty good sleep and this morning I thought, OK, get up, clean the house and do what you do. I even found time to do some art journaling and I swear by the time they finally enter my brain next week, I will be so relieved that it's finally happening I won't have time to be nervous!
I looked on Facebook and it was full of supportive comments of people understanding my frustration. The only thing I said in my post was "Lord, give me strength" and my prayer was answered tenfold. Also my dear friend Janet had composed this beautiful poem for me and I'm truly touched. Life is about more than waiting for things to happen to us, its all about the moment we are in right now and right now I am blessed.
On this day when you are feeling blue,  
Here my friend is a verse for you,  
you are strong, beautiful both inside and out,  
you are crazy and wise without a doubt,  
So if you need to sit down and cry,  
It's ok, this day will pass by,  
Your future is filled with sunshine and love,  
Surrounded by family that fits like a glove,  
As you take your seat on this rollercoaster ride,  
Hold tight, close your eyes we are right at your side........ -Janet Cooper




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seriously?!?! Talk about an emotional roller coaster!

OK I'm a pretty strong woman but this is getting to the point of ridiculous. I've been on a real emotional roller coaster. My neurosurgery date has been changed once again for the 4th time!!! First it was the 4th of March, then changed to the 24th, then back to the 4th of March and then just yesterday changed to Wednesday, February 26th. So today I follow the proper steps, go to the lab for the blood bank and I'm now am sporting the red wristband that is not to be removed until I'm discharged from the hospital. Check and check. I call the hospital to get what time I'm to be at the hospital, 8AM they say, eat nothing after midnight, check and check....and then.....ten minutes later...I get a call from the neurosurgeon's office saying there is a major emergency and they are transporting someone by air ambulance so MY DATE IS NOW POSTPONED TO MARCH 4TH! I truly have compassion for the  emergency patient, there but for the grace of God go I but...Seriously?!? I'm trying to be strong but I have to admit I started crying in Target. There, all better, now I'm going to eat a couple of chocolates. Take that hospital people!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

My new surgery date is...

Wednesday, February 26th.
 The day after tomorrow. Yikes! I feel prepared but I am still nervous. I've been doing everything to keep busy. I have so many lists of the things I need to do, bet every time I sit quietly, the nerves kick in. I guess I can't keep my promise of a blog every day in February :( Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Birds!!!

Our yard looked like the set of the old Alfred Hitchcock movie 'The Birds" as the Bohemian Waxwings descended upon our Mountain Ash tree for their annual glutenous feast of the fermented berries! It's so fun if you are fortunate enough to witness and capture this amazing spectacle! This year, however, one birdie hit the window ((drunk perhaps?!)) and was almost undone by an eagle perched upon the same tree!! My grandsons and papa quickly saved the birdie and placed him in a shoebox and at the time of this printing his fate is still unknown.



Saturday, February 22, 2014

Blast from the past!

You know there is no better medicine on the planet Earth than to spend time with your grandsons. Today I was at my daughter's for a Stella and Dot party and her and her hubby decided to join a group of their friends for brunch at 4:30 AM to catch the gold medal hockey game against Canada and Sweden.So lucky for us, the boys came over for a sleepover! We played Master Chef and created some yummy cupcake concoction and watched the vintage movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids." The loved it as did we giggling right along with them Their sweetness and chatter is p

ure joy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Full of grace during mind games...

So this morning after I spent a turbulent sleep trying to prepare myself for my upcoming surgery on Monday, I get a call from the University Hospital that the date for my neurosurgery has been changed to March 4 due to an emergency. Surgery itself is scary but having neurosurgery requires quite a bit of mind preparation on my part, but I'm trying to handle this with grace. "There but for the grace of God go I." At least my surgery, although serious, is elective, and my Trigeminal Nerve Pain is in somewhat of a remission, so 10 more days isn't going to affect me physically at all. Mind games, are all in how you handle them so I am choosing to try to handle this roller coaster ride with grace.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

American Idol judges? who us?

What a difference a day makes. First, thank you dear Sue for your beautiful bible readings. I LOVE them. Secondly, my surgery date is now bumped up to this coming Monday! - February 24, so I only have a few days to stress! God is good.
Tonight my son had us over for dinner and we are having so much fun being the 'armchair coaches'
of American Idol because clearly we know WAY more than they do! So much fun. Family is good!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Michael Kors sunrise......

Today started like any other day but the sunrise was particularly beautiful.... a beautiful peachy color, like a Michael Kors rose gold colored sunrise.
I also received my call for the date of my surgery which is going to take place on March 4 so I've been very reflective all day. I'm nervous although I anticipate a new healthier life on the flip side of the operation. I mean, how can things not be perfect on a morning that starts with a Michael Kors rose gold colored sunrise?!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pocket Book Slippers. Too cute!

I love these little slippers and the little verse that goes with them!
They are so simple to knit and so loved by all. For our Christmas Craft sale I've made and been fortunate enough to sell several pairs, Just recently I knit a pair for my mom and she was delighted with her little slippers. Her is the pattern if you'd like to try a simple knitting
project.

Size No. 7 Needles or 4.5mm
4 Ply worsted yarn

Cast on 5 sts.
Knit 6 rows.

Next Row: Increase in 2nd stitch of each row until you have 22 stitches on the needle.
Next Row: Increase in each stitch to 44 sts.

Next Row: Knit 2, Purl 2 for 6 inches.

Next Row: Knit 2 together across giving you 22 sts.
Next Row: Decrease in 2nd stitch at beginning of every row until you have 5 sts.

Knit 6 rows.
Cast off, fold in half and sew the K2, P2 sides together and the 5 sts on top together to form strap.
Decorate with button if desired.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I miss my dad:(

Today would have been my dad's 86th birthday and we all miss him greatly.So I would like to share some of his greatness with all of you. The things I most remember are how he used to let me watch him shave and help him splash on his Old Spice cologne. With the skills of a master chef, he taught me how to make the best Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee pepperoni pizza. He LOVED my children so very much and I know he would have absolutely adored his great grand sons. Those are some of my memories but he is known for much more than that. Rest in sweet peace daddy. I love you.
"Elmer Roland "Rollie" Miles (February 16, 1927 - August 17, 1995) was a professional football player for the Canadian Football League Edmonton Eskimos. Miles played offence (running back), defence (linebackerdefensive back), and special teams (kickoff/punt returnerpunter), during his eleven career with the Eskimos. Miles is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour. In November, 2006, Miles was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#48) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[1]Rollie Miles was one of the most versatile players in history of the CFL during his eleven-year (1951 to 1961) career with the Edmonton Eskimos. As a defensive player (linebacker and defensive back), Miles intercepted 38 passes for 547 yards. As a special teams player, Miles returned punts (finishing with 279 punt returns for 2,085 yards) and kickoffs (88 returns for 2,131 yards), and punted on occasion. On offence, Miles was often found in a backfield with such CFL greats as Jackie Parker, Normie Kwong, Johnny Bright, Bernie Faloney and Don Getty, he could run or pass on the option with skill.
Selected as a CFL Western Conference All-Star eight times (three at running back, three at defensive back, two at linebacker) Miles was also named the Eskimos' team Most Valuable Player three times.
Miles played in five CFL Grey Cup championship games, winning three during the Eskimos' dynasty of successive Grey Cup titles in 19541955, and 1956.[3] Miles played in the famous 1954 Grey Cup game with separated ribs, but still helped his underdog team win that classic game.
Miles was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. The Eskimos added Miles' #18 jersey to its Wall of Honour in 1983. The City of Edmonton named the Rollie Miles Athletic Field in his honor."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

We had such a lovely Valentine evening at the ballet. It was Richard's first time ever being at a ballet (other than to watch our daughter's competitions and recitals) so I hoped he wouldn't be disappointed. It was quite the contrary as we were treated to the talents of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.
Prior to curtain, the artistic director gave a small session explaining the different dances the company was going to perform and the various choreographers, and I have to say my most favorite of all was Alvin Ailey's original called 'Revelations.' Apparently it is the most viewed ballet in the world and has been seen by more people than have seen Swan Lake! I'm so glad to add my name of those privileged enough to witness such magic. Bravo!

Friday, February 14, 2014

What does the fox say?!

Richard and I have never been big on the commercial-ness of Valentine's day. We may go for dinner or exchange cards but if we don't it's really no big deal. When it came to my kids or now to my grandchildren, now that is completely another matter! This morning my mom (GG) and I headed to the dollar store and snatched up as much candies and trinkets that we could for the five little fellas! Once home I proceeded to bake some heart shaped brownies and while they were cooling I started to create the five little gift bags, While I was creating the "What did the fox say? Happy Valentine's Day" cards I knew I was enjoying this process way more than they would in receiving them. But it's all about taking joy in the process and taking joy in the journey and I must say I had fun!
And as a post script of sorts, 2 out of the 5 grandsons that received their loot so far absolutely loved it!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nose Warmers are cool!

Laugh at me if you must but nose warmers REALLY work! My nose was so cold today so I whipped one of these up. I remember having one as a teenager . My husband thinks I have completely lost my mind and that my neurosurgery couldn't come soon enough!...but hey... my nose is cozy warm so who's laughing now?! I found the pattern on Pixxi Dust blog and the pattern is as follows:

To knit nosewarmer:

Cast on 40 sts

Round 1: K1, p1
Round 2: K1, p1  
Work in stockinette st as follows 
Round 3: K
Round 4:K 
Round 5: *K6, K2tog, repeat from * to end.
Round 6: K
Round 7: *K5, K2tog, repeat from * to end.
Round 8: K
Round 9: *K4, K2tog, repeat from * to end.
Round 10: K
Round 11:*K3, K2tog, repeat from * to end.
Round  12: K
Round 13: *K2, K2tog, repeat from * to end.

Round 14: K
Round 15: * K1, K2tog, repeat from * to end.
Round 16: K
Round17: *K2tog, repeat from * to end. (5 sts left)
Cut yarn, use darning needle to pull through remaining sts and weave in ends.

To make cord:
I used six strands of the yarn and braid a long enough cord to fit around you head. I braided a 21 inch cord.
Tie cord onto nosewarmer and enjoy a toasty warm nose always!!!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Your true friends are your friends when...

A true friend is someone like my friend Janet who lives in the U.K. She is here visiting her daughter. We truly enjoy our times together most especially when we are doing nothing! This morning was so evident of that. She arrived as planned at my place at 10 AM and knowing that I wasn't feeling 100% after my injection yesterday, she let herself in and did some knitting until I rose from my slumber at noon! Who does that??After having a coffee we sat in my bedroom and watched some great movies. So wonderful being so comfortable with someone that doing absolutely nothing is so much fun!

Becoming fragile??

As I'm posting this blog entry I'm sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my monthly injection of Kenalog 40. Kenalog 40 is a corticosteroid and has many benefits. For me in particular, it reduces the terrible inflammation and itching of my skin as a result of Lupus. But of late I'm finding that the side effects from the medicine far outweigh the reason that I'm taking it. As one nurse so wisely stated to me during one of my many visits too emergency rooms and medicenters, dealing with the various and sometimes serious ill effects of the above mentioned  Kenalog, "Sometimes these medications can make a person so fragile." Those words have played over and over in my head and I've decided that I do not want to be fragile.
So today I am asking the doc to start the weaning process. As I sit here looking around these familiar walls  for what seems to be the millionth time, I ponder my goal  to try to get off as many meds as I can this year. Wish me luck!....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I enjoy being a girl!

Just like the lyrics from the musical 'Flower Drum Song' I enjoy being a girl most especially when my beautiful pink envelope from Ipsy appears in my mailbox! NO matter how cold or miserable it is outside that shock of pink is sure to cause me so shriek with delight!It's the best $10 plus s&h I've ever spent! This month's treasures are a
Fresh Start facial with Ice Age Mud with 2 steps, Plump Pout MIni lip gloss in Fuschia Freesia, Zoya Nail pink nail polish in the color Dot, Tinbeauty creamy eyeshadow in the color Violette,and J.Cats false eyelashes and they all arrived in the cutest pink cosmetic bag! If you haven't guessed by now the theme is 'The Look of Love"I am in love with Ipsy!

"When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curl,
I float as the clouds on air do,
I enjoy being a girl!"

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Chai time!

Whenever I feel a bad day coming on with my Lupus my usually my first thought is that I need to take some kind of breakthrough medicine to help ease my discomfort.Lately however, I've been reverting to more natural remedies and they have proven to give as much relief if not better without the drowsy sleepy hangover affect.
One of my most favorite things is Chai tea.
My dear neighbour makes it for me firstly because I LOVE the taste and because in her wisdom she knew that the ingredients in Chai tea help relieve inflammation. In addition  Chai improves digestion,enhances the immune system and has antioxidant properties. It has also been suggested that Chai has antibacterial and anti-cancer effects.
If you ever have a chance give it a try. Chai does a body good!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Natural all the way baby!

Yesterday Richard and I decided that we would go through the house and put everything back in its place. What originally started out as just a simple 'pick up' cleaning turned into a mini Spring clean of sorts. We were washing down the shelves in the back porch, on stepladders polishing the light fixtures, replacing all of the burnt out light bulbs at the same time polishing and shining as we went.
Once we were done we sat back and basked in our hard work. I wanted to take a picture of the products that we used to clean as my blog pic and that's when I realized we are all natural baby. We use Norwex cloths for the most part and vinegar! The toilets get an occasional splosh of bleach but that's it! I don't even us fabric softener anymore thanks to my cool dryer balls. So we can inhale indoors and know that our air is as natural as it can be!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Go Sochi Go!

The Winter Olympics are underway and despite all their controversy, the Opening games were beautiful. I know it's understandable that people use world events such as the olympics for their political platforms, but I am always so torn because being the parent of international athletes, I know the blood, sweat and tears that the athletes have put in, with the hopes of everything coming together for that one magical golden moment. My hope is that by letting the Western world into the seemingly forbidden and secret lands of Russia, that we may be able to change their mind
on many issues. In the meantime I hope that the athletes are safe and are not used as pawns in anyone else's agenda and we can all enjoy and be in awe of sport at its best.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Warm tootsies!

While I have chosen to try to do some daily exercise on the treadmill in the comfort of my toasty warm home, my hubby Richard has decided to take a more daring route. Everyday after work, no matter how low the thermometer drops, he opts for walking for 3-4 miles outdoors! I decided to knit him some nice woolen socks to keep his tootsies warm, but the first pair I started were knit with a wool that was much too thick, so much so that they practically stood up by themselves! Now I've got these lovely natural wheat colored ones on my needles a I'm sure they'll do the trick! Now if I can only get them finished before the Spring thaw!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

No plans necessary!

Yesterday was one of those unexpected wonderful days.  It was still very cold, -29 Celcius so I didn't have too much planned. Just as I was about the lace my last sneaker to get on the treadmill I received a call from my dear friend asking me if I want to do an impromptu lunch and shopping with our mutual friend who is here visiting from the U.K.
Before she could finish her sentence I'm like Hella yeah!
We did our usual banter about ...where do you want to eat? I don't care you? I don't care... and we always end up at Original Joe's where we had a wonderful lunch and visit and caught up on all of our news. We  did a little shopping and then headed home tired and happy. That's the way to do it people. No plans necessary. Get on the phone and go!! Loved it and I love them both very much!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Healthy Lasagne Recipe

I like many of you are constantly living our lives by what the scale says. It has been particularly all consuming for me. After trying EVERY diet there is, losing weight , gaining it back, you all know the drill, I've decided that I am going to continue to eat healthy and move this body a little more, now that I'm a bonafide athlete(read yesterday's post:)
My husband has been blessed with a terrific metabolism and I have not. I've had my thyroid removed and I am presently on steroid treatment for Lupus so for now it is what it is, however, although we may appear to be Jack Sprat and his wife, he has to watch his ever climbing cholesterol so we are both always looking for the healthier alternative. One recipe that we both love that doesn't compromise taste for nutrition is this Lasagne Recipe. I've even fed it to my grandsons with no complaints! Give it a try!


HEALTHY LASAGNE
1 POUND LEAN GROUND TURKEY (has more flavor than chicken)
you can reduce the amount of meat by adding chopped peppers, carrots etc)
1 small ONION finely chopped)
2 cloves GARLIC (minced)
1 bag SPINACH  or spinach/kale mix
WHOLE WHEAT LASAGNE NOODLES(always use whole wheat as the breakdown of sugar is so much healthier)
PARTLY SKIM GRATED MOZZARELLA
CANNED SPAGHETTI SAUCE (read label for sugar content)
1% COTTAGE CHEESE -1cup
1-2 EGGS
PARMESAN CHEESE 1/3 cup
Preheat oven to 350
Brown meat and add onion,garlic and salt and pepper to season. At the same time steam your spinach in another saucepan and drain all water.
Chop spinach and add to the ground meat mixture. Pour in jar of spaghetti sauce and simmer for 7-10 min.
Cook 8 lasagne noodles as per package directions.
In a separate bowl mix together cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.
Layer into a 9x13 pan:
1/3 meat mixture, 4 noodles, cottage cheese mixture, 1/3 meat, 4 noodles remaining meat mixture.
Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with a salad. Delish and good for you!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Run run run away, run away baby!

It is brutally cold outside today and I can no longer justify basking in the warmth of my fireplace like a sloth so...I decided to get back on track...so to speak. Prior to Christmas we put our treadmill in our bedroom to literally be the elephant in the room. It gets in the way, I bump my hips on it as I pass by as if it is trying to gently remind me why we put it there in the first place so today I laced up my sneakers and grabbed my gear (ipad, phone, remoteS and headphones and water)...you never know what emergency may arise in the 30 minute duration of my workout!
I placed on the headphones started with a Bruno Mars medley and by the time the song Runaway Baby was playing, I thought,' hey, I can do that. I can be a runaway baby' so I started running. I was first alarmed by the fact that I sounded like a herd of caribou running over the arctic tundra but once I settled in I managed to run for a total of 5 whole minutes of my 40 minute set. I was so impressed with myself, so impressed that I was sweating, not glowing or perspiring, but actually sweating like a true athlete! Ahh today was a good day!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Sabbath

I realize how blessed I am to take a sabbath any day of the week. Reflecting back on the days when I was employed full time, I would dream of days like today where I could sit by the fire and listen to the crackling birch as it slowly morphs into glowing embers. And my daydreams of past have truly been realized. After a rewarding hard day of teaching prenatal classes, it is really nice to curl up on the sofa and just chill.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Prenantal Superbowl Sunday

Right now I'm sitting in my comfy jammies watching the Superbowl after teaching prenatal classes all day.Sharing my knowledge of birth to new parents is both so rewarding and exhausting.
They are so joy filled in anticipation of their new bundle to be!
For now though it's so nice though to be relaxing with some super bowl snacks that my hubby picked up!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

A blogpost every day in February!

I am challenging myself to post on my poor old neglected blog every day this month. First my deepest gratitude to all of you who are still subscribed and to any of you who still peek in to see if there is anything new to read! While I am much more loyal to uploading Youtube videos and posting them here, I've been negligent in my written word so.... for the rest of the month I am going to try to post something EVERYDAY and to also make a real effort to pop by and visit your blogs too.
Today I'm getting ready for a prenatal class that I'm teaching tomorrow and I'm so pumped up this time around after just finishing watching the Netflix series 'Call The Midwife'! I highly recommend it! I give it 10 centimeters out of 10! :)

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