Category Archives: Self-care

Want to join in on a blog hop?

I’m looking for bloggers to tag on my entry in a blog hop my friend Abby got me in on. You can see the format and her piece on Quills and Queries Editing.

If you’d like to participate drop me a line, I can’t publish mine until I find 2 more bloggers!

Turns out I don’t know many bloggers in real life…..

so so sad


Privileged ponderings: retirement plans aka life in my 60s

Since my beloved finished his PhD last year we’ve been trying to come up with a viable plan for when we stop working full time. I say that because I can’t imagine stopping paid work, there’s so many things I find interesting. I hope by the time I hit my mid 60’s I can have enough wealth to scale back my paid work.

Now all of this is an incredibly privileged problem to deal with, I have paid work that exceeds my basic needs and I have a pension from the military that is about what someone living on Ontario Disability Support Program would get. I’m very lucky. My beloved/manpanion/partner also scored a full time gig as he completed school so things are looking pretty good as we both slide into our 40’s this October.

The minions are teens which leaves us 5 years until they are both in post-secondary and about 8 years until they are both done an initial degree/certification. So, if my health holds, my budget should reduce quite drastically and theoretically I’ll be at the height of my earning potential, so why look at scaling back paid work at all? Well, for once, it’s not about me.

I’ve been watching my friends, parents and extended family as they enter their 60’sand one thing that strikes me is the amount of caregiving that they are doing. Their parents are in their 80’s and 90’s, a time of increasing health care and practical support needs. They have siblings living with disabilities that mean they need more than an occasional visit. They are helping adult children through this tough economy and, of course, spending time with their grandchildren. Most folks who are doing this in their 60’s are still working full time, that’s a lot of activity to fit in!

In preparation for having as much time on this good green earth as possible I’m looking first to my self-care because, as an asshole in remission, I’m quite an angry person and wound pretty tight. That is the part of an A type personality that will kill you young. So screw that, I’m living to 100 and no way am I eating cat food the last 40 years.

So am learning to grow more of my own food to both save money but also become a little bit self reliant and need a little less income. I’m exercising and listening to my doctor about my blood pressure and investing time, thought and money in my longevity. If my 60’s are going to be a caregiving ultra marathon I need to be in shape physically and mentally. I think about what leads to elder abuse and I can totally see that slippery slope if I don’t work through all my issues.

I also want to have the wealth to choose to move if my folks or in-laws need us or help those future grandkids. If the minions don’t breed I’ll just need to find other people’s grandkids to spoil.

I’m lucky to have so many people in my life who show my what life in my 60’s can look like. Friends who are learning new things all the time, having fun and pulling it all off most of the time and when they can’t they ask for help.

I want to measure my wealth in retirement by the pounds of food grown, the decibels of laughter, the friends and family at my table. Yes, cash matters but maybe it’s not as much a focus as the time I get to do it and who I get to do that with.


When you can’t race

On January first I made a list of commitments to myself:

2014 commitments to myself

I was off to a resounding start, I registered first thing on January 1 for the Kincardine Triathlon (dotted CHECK) and tried slack-lining a few days later (CHECK). I had been feeling a bit off and had only done light training when I thought I should check with my doctor. I’d done 2 sprint distance triathlons before but I wanted to be sure. Turns out it was a good idea and you can read all my ruminations about blood pressure, genetics and self care here and here.

Last week I notified the race director I would not be racing and offered to volunteer if they were still looking. I had committed to travelling with a friend and I wasn’t going to leave her hanging plus I know about 4 other women racing. So look for me in the transition zone ladies! When you can’t race you can still participate….CHECK that one off the list (ya, it’s cheating but sometimes you need to redefine success).

I’m growing food (CHECK) and having more fun (CHECK). I’m doing therapy around over eating and savouring my food (CHECK) mooohahahahahaha

And I still have 6 months to go!

Stop eating beef?

A few weeks ago I saw an amazing infographic on that demonstrated how simply shifting away from beef could significantly reduce my carbon foot print. Carbon footprints are often on my mind, that’s partly why I walk to work and pay a little more for local, in season, organic produce.

For my family to stop eating beef would be a small change, we have it about once a week, but as the grilling season hits I’m tempted by the smell of steaks wafting from my neighbour’s yard. Time to check out Thug Kitchen for some awesome plant based grilling action.

My garden works on me


I rent a cobbled together hobbit house that sits under a black locust tree. The blooms last only a week or two but it is amazing while it lasts. I love the look of this tall tree completely covered in blooms and the perfume is heady. I found out last weekend at the Forest Garden Convergence about the nitrogen fixing properties of this awesome tree and that the timber is known for it’s rot resisting properties.

I love that new blooms are always coming out so that as I work on my garden my garden works on me, calming me, nourishing me and healing me.

black locust at sunset

biodots, mood lighting and dandelion salads (guest post)

I love it when I get a chance to guest post on Fit is a Feminist Issue.


Dandelion Bacon salad. The trick is to make a roux from 1 tbl fat, 1 tbl flour then add a mix of 1/4c honey, 1/4c lemon juice, 1/2 c milk. Mix that still warm over 8c greens &4 slices of bacon (vegan option roasted pine nuts). Mmmmmmm Dandelion Bacon salad. The trick is to make a roux from 1 tbl fat, 1 tbl flour then add a mix of 1/4c honey, 1/4c lemon juice, 1/2 c milk. Mix that still warm over 8c greens &4 slices of bacon (vegan option roasted pine nuts). Mmmmmmm

Life has been a whirlwind since I was diagnosed with high blood pressure back in April and I griped about my feelings here and got some great resources from readers/friends/family.

I am learning to reign in my charming, yet not so good for my health, A Type personality and to be mindful of tension in my body. The good news, I’m making headway, so much so that after 6 weeks of blood pressure medication my doctor halved the prescription as I had lost 14 lbs and my blood pressure was too low at 107/72. This is good news. It means my arteries have…

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More than I can grok

I was not able to contribute meaningfully to the end of the day panel, I had no questions, it was, to use a term Lorenna had said, more than I could ‘grok’ (Don’t know that word? read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein).

My head and heart were full of great ideas, wonderful experinces and the joy of being with awesome humans. I had left my house in the morning excited at what the day would bring. I had posted on facebook how much I was looking forward to a day with hippies, plant nerds and queers as I consider myself an neo-hippie-plant-nerd-queer and so rarely get to see all 3 communities together.

The day, while packed full, was calming and grounding, something I’ve needed more of recently with my high blood pressure diagnosis and the trips to my doctor and psychologist.

The next day, Sunday June 1, was equally gorgeous and as I went out into the back garden I was filled with a renewed sense of awe. Yes, of all 4 gardens the back yard is the shabbiest, dog dug saddest excuse for a garden but it is also a triumph of building soil. When we moved here 4 years ago the ground was hardpan clay, nothing growing sav a few hostas out front. The south side of the house was gravel, the north dark and funky smelling. While the north, south and west gardens are lush and filled with yummy goodness it was only this year I turned my efforts to the back yard.

There are now hardy kiwis, elderberry, nanny-berry, gooseberry, paw paws, hazelnuts, currants, scotia berries and high-bush cranberries in a yard that was only dandelions. Yes, there are still dandelions, garlic mustard and some creeping bellflower but there is also beauty and lots of bees, birds, butterflies, skunks, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks. They seem to hardly notice the concrete parking garage only 3 lots away and neither do I.