Butterflied Pork Loin

Even after all these years, I still get intimidated by new “firsts”.

I have been perusing new recipes lately in preparation for a business I would like to start. Probably 25 years ago, I came across the “Personal Chef” concept and was immediately intrigued.

A Personal Chef service offers ordinary, working parents the option of having someone prepare healthy meals, on a regularly schedules basis, that can then be frozen to have readily available for those busy work days when no-one has the time or energy to cook.

There are so many reasons to love this concept:

  • Shopping is done for you
  • Meals are made with fresh ingredients, with every effort made to source locally
  • Harmful additives and fillers are substantially reduced
  • Customized menu according to your family’s tastes and preferences
  • Meals are prepared in your home and stored in your refrigerator and freezer
  • Reduces waste by using reusable containers
  • Supper on the table, quickly and easily. Complete instructions for reheating or cooking provided
  • Many, many more…

Anyway, this is a bit down the road, and there will be varied options and plans. But the first step is experimentation and my family get to be the guinea pigs. No complaints so far…

Here is my creation from supper last night. Like I said, this was a “first” and is based from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Of course, I rarely ever follow a recipe completely.

  • The recipe called for bacon strips and I didn’t have any. That didn’t really concern me because bacon is one of the most chemical-laden ingredients you can add, unless you smoke your own meat. So I used two fresh jalapeños and two smoked jalapeños, which we make ourselves. It gave it the smoky flavour that bacon adds, without the harmful additives.
  • The recipe also called for a package of powdered ranch dressing mix, which I also didn’t have. So I added my own seasonings….again, reducing additives. I used the onion and garlic powders along with Pampered Chef All Purpose Dill, and substituted Pampered Chef Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix for the dried parsley

Important note: LEAVE A BORDER around the perimeter of the meat when adding the filling. I lost a fair amount of filling out the ends of the roast during cooking! It didn’t go to waste….we just scooped it up with the meat when serving, but it wasn’t the presentation I was hoping for.

Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin

No ratings yet
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 610 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 lb Pork Loin Roast Not tenderloin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 oz Creamed Cheese
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder Or to taste
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder Or to taste
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley Or to taste
  • 1 tsp Dried Dill Weed Or to taste
  • 4 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers Chopped fine
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese Grated

Instructions
 

  • Butterfly your port loin roast. See instructional video below
  • Pound to 1/3 inch even thickness
  • Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine softened creamed cheese, herbs and spices, and chopped jalapenos
  • Spread creamed cheese mixture over flattened pork loin
  • Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese
  • Roll loin from short side
  • Tie roll at 1-2" intervals
  • Roast can be seared on all sides on the stovetop, if desired. I skipped this step because my filling was already seeping out the edges
  • Roast uncovered to an internal temperature of 145F
  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing

Notes

Be sure to leave a 1/2 -1″ border on all sides when spreading filling or stuffing. This will reduce the chance of your filling from leaking out the sides and ends while cooking….. as mine did!

Nutrition

Serving: 6gCalories: 610kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 75gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 252mgSodium: 388mgPotassium: 1240mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 807IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 194mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Keto, Low Carb
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Tis the Season….

I haven’t really felt like doing much beyond getting dressed and showered lately, and some days I don’t even make it to that. Life has become very bleak for numerous reasons, the main one being that I lost my confidante, my rock, my inspiration, my mom.

She was 94, would have been 95 next month and still lived on her own, never experienced dementia, and only was in hospital for a week before she passed, unlike some of the situations I’ve witnessed in my job at that very same hospital.

I am very thankful that she didn’t suffer, was up playing euchre with the kids the night before she was admitted, and thankful that she remained significantly mobile in her own home, and then in the granny suite we built in our home for her. She touched each of our lives in a profound way, and the loss is huge. It was the day I had dreaded my whole life. Honestly, if there was anyone that could have, should have, would have lived forever, it would have been my mom.

But, apparently, life has to go on. My family still needs to eat, and this is the season that we process tomatoes and cucumbers for winter use.

We make dill pickles with the cucumbers. We love ours rather spicy! My kids eat them like a vegetable side dish! I would share the recipe, but it isn’t a public recipe, rather one I received from a friend. Should I obtain permission, I will post at a later date. It is the best recipe I’ve ever found!

Tomatoes get frozen whole to be used in sauces, smoothies, casseroles etc. later on. I don’t peel them, I process them in the blender when I’m ready to use. I can’t stand the store-bought tomatoes in tin cans.

We also make salsa…..LOTS of salsa!!! Tried a new recipe this year, and it too is the best I’ve ever had!! Again, I don’t peel tomatoes….I chop them in the food processor, and you’d never know the skins were there!

The recipe was a Pinterest find, and I’m so glad I saved it!!! I will use this every year from now on!

I don’t seed my jalapeños!! I know, I know…..I’m a rebel, AND I hate to waste ANYTHING!!! I figure if it makes it too hot, use less jalapeños, but use the whole darn thing! I also only used 2 Tbs sugar in total….not the amount called for in the recipe. Honestly, I think you could add none at all and it would still be amazing!

Here is the link: https://www.thecreativemom.com/canned-salsa-recipe-that-tastes-like-fresh-salsa/

This year I added an item to our keep-for-winter stash….my mom’s corn relish. Every other year she passed some on to us when she made it, and for years we planned on making it together. With my work schedule and the 1,000 other things to do around home, especially this time of year, we never got around to doing it together. Thought of her so many times while making this, had a couple questions and she wasn’t here to give me the answers I needed. To say I regret not making the time to do it by her side, is very much an understatement.

I will think of her every time I eat it.

Corn Relish

  • 1 quart chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1 quart chopped onions
  • 1 quart chopped, seeded cucumber (the big meaty kind)
  • 1 quart frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pint white vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs dry mustard
  • 1-2 Tbs white flour

Place all vegetables in pot on stove and add 3/4 pint vinegar. Cook until onions are soft and done.

In the meantime, mix sugar, flour, turmeric, and mustard together well in a bowl and then add 1/4 pint vinegar.

When vegetables are done, stir flour mixture into pot and stir until thickened, keeping relish near boiling.

Ladle into hot, sterilized pint jars and seal right away with hot lids.

Yield: Approximately 8 pint jars.

Well, that’s a wrap. I do have another couple batches of salsa to make. We used our own jalapeños from the garden and our oldest son wants a batch with the habanero peppers we grew….also with seeds! If you hear fire alarms going off, you’ll know what it is! I like spicy food, but I doubt I’ll even try this!!! It will be a wonder if the lids don’t dissolve!!!

Anniversary #36 – Cottage Weekend Away

For weeks I looked for a place to go. I had certain requirements….simple ones, really: I needed a lake so we could kayak, a kitchen so I could cook, INDOOR PLUMBING, and couldn’t cost a fortune!

Have YOU tried to rent a get-away spot lately? In the past, we had amazing luck with airbnb, but this year, holy smokes!!! What would have cost $80 or $90/night a year or so ago, is at least double now, and that’s IF you can find something available!!

I think I’m going to open an airbnb!!!

A-n-y-w-a-y….. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for something somewhat local. That was before we lost my mom, and I didn’t want to be far from home. I had a few responses, but each place I found lacking for one reason or another. You know, it just didn’t feel right.

Then my cousin called and left a message, “Connie, you know we have a cottage and you’re welcome to use it for FREE!” It was only an hour away, right on a lake, and INDOOR PLUMBING! I was SO thankful!!!

We booked it for September 10 weekend; our anniversary is actually September 7.

Then, out of nowhere, my mom got sick. She passed away August 29 (this will be for another blog, should I ever get to the point I can process this sufficiently enough to write about it). We wanted to have a graveside service, and the soonest date that worked for all the family, due to distance and work issues, was September 11. So we went to the cottage a week earlier than we had planned. To be honest, the timing was perfect. I really needed the time to get back on a somewhat even keel and begin to comprehend the loss and life going forward and to prepare for what I knew would be a difficult weekend ahead.

We arrived Friday afternoon, and stayed until Monday.

When we arrived, we were met with a special gift, a bottle of wine from France from my cousins. That was opened immediately and enjoyed with some cheese and olives from The Pickled Pig in Smiths Falls. I can’t recommend this business highly enough!

Dinner that night was salmon done in the air fryer (yes, I brought it, and half my kitchen with me!), Thai beans, fresh from the garden, grilled cinnamon fresh pineapple, and pesto quinoa and kale salad, with basil and kale from my garden. Finally, my basil has grown well enough to actually get a bit of an abundance!

We had gorgeous weather for kayaking! It was a beautiful lake we were on and we took full advantage. The first night, I went out for a little paddle on my own (I couldn’t wait), but then we went out together each day after.

Supper #2 was a braised pork loin with a white wine, rosemary/sage sauce, and roasted baby carrots (again, in the air fryer), and cauliflower mash with fresh chives. I added thinly sliced mushrooms to the sauce, though not called for in the recipe.

Cooking with wine… 🙂

Had to take a break while the pork loin was simmering to perfection…. Yeah, yeah, I know….wine in the sauce, wine while I cook, wine on the dock…. <3

Dinner #3 – Chicken Marsala, roasted potatoes, veggie stir-fry (again, air fryer!! 🙂 )

It was a wonderful, and much needed, weekend away together. Laughter, games, kayaking, and tears….

On our last night, Glenn went to bed early and I stayed up on the screened in porch, wanting to savour every last moment before facing the week ahead….

I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am/was for this precious time.

Thank you for the 36 wonderful, challenging, chaotic years, babe. There is no-one else I would want to weather all the ups and downs with besides you. No-one else would have ever put up with me… <3

Cooking and Cleaning….this IS my life!!!

I’ve waited a while to go public with this, only because I wanted to test these products out and make sure that they would make a positive impact on my day-to-day life.

As the title to my blog indicates, I am on a Relentless Pursuit…..of a lot of things! Small, but significant changes are slowly but surely transforming many areas of my life. Overall health and wellness encompass many different facets, and at the core of it all are the meals I cook and the atmosphere of our home.

As a Pampered Chef consultant, I have chosen products that reduce prep time, thereby making the seemingly endless process of preparing wholesome meals, so much more enjoyable. The quality and appearance of the serving and tableware add the final touch as my meal goes from kitchen to table. The fact that our products address both preparation and presentation are just two of the reasons that I love being a PC consultant!

A few months ago, I took on a temporary full-time position at the hospital to cover for a co-worker that was off for health reasons. Knowing that I would have even less time off, and less energy, I was concerned about how I was going to keep up with even the routine housework. I considered even hiring someone, but that is expensive, and in reality, doesn’t really save me a lot of time or work, since by the time I get the house ready for someone else to clean, I’ve almost done most of the work myself.

Years ago, I had heard of Norwex. I was told of cleaning cloths that would do the job brilliantly, only using water. That seemed unfathomable to me, so I admittedly dismissed it.

However, I began to take a second look…..wondering if these products could actually work well for me and do the job I needed them to do. Now my house is by no means spotless, but to create an atmosphere that is both presentable should anyone drop in, or more importantly, at least keep it in a state where I can feel relaxed and at peace, is incredibly important to my own mental well-being.

So I started with the mop system and their Envirocloth and Window cloths. Now I have used microfibre for years, but not like these! They clean so well and so quickly, that it is ALMOST fun to clean!!! The mop system works great to keep the floors clean with minimum effort and ZERO chemicals (another relentless pursuit of mine). These products are created using BacLock®—an exclusive micro silver antibacterial agent which offers continuous protection against microbes and odours within the cloth. So it is anti-bacterial on the surfaces you’re cleaning and then self-sanitizes the cloth as it dries. The mop pads are the same…. These come with a dry pad for “sweeping” and a wet pad for mopping. I have also began using the laundry and dishwashing products as well, further reducing the chemical use in our home. With just using water on my household surfaces and floors, I have been able to eliminate a number of cleaning products all together!

Anyway, I’m only sharing this here because both these products have benefited me greatly in my Relentless Pursuit of creating meals and a home for myself and my family, and working toward living as toxin-free as possible. Rather than having two Facebook groups, one for each company, I would prefer to share my use of these products here because they have become so much a part of my daily life, and my quest to create the home and atmosphere that is unique to us as a family.

As my title says, it is a pursuit. A process. I have not arrived, but I am seeing consistent, sustainable changes as I move forward in my journey.

If you are interested in any of these products, I am a consultant for both companies, not something I would ever do lightly, but to me…. PC and Norwex are a match made in heaven and I have so much confidence in both product lines!! Cooking and cleaning are a huge part of my life, and though I am more passionate about one than the other, they both integral parts of my life that are expressions of my values and my heart.

The links to my personal websites for both companies, are at the top of the page in the menu section if you want to check out any of these products, or the many other that are available.

Love you all….thank you for journeying with me on my pursuits.

Labour of Love!

My daughter’s boyfriend was having a birthday and his favourite food is cabbage rolls. Mine too…..but I HATE making them!

“Can you ‘help me’ make cabbage rolls?” she asked. “Of course…” I replied, knowing it is one of my least favourite things to make! In fact, I usually make a cabbage roll casserole so I don’t have to spend all the time and frustration rolling these things!!

One of the most challenging parts for me is getting the cabbage leaves prepped for stuffing. In the past, it meant putting the whole head into a pot of boiling water and taking leaves off one at a time as they softened. It was messy and I burned myself ALL the time!

This time, I decided to try putting the whole head in my Quick Cooker….the Pampered Chef version of an Instant Pot. So I did the first head for about 5 minutes, but the second I only did for 2. I found the 2 minutes worked best.

So, I cored the cabbage and then put the whole head in with the open end at the bottom.

I peeled the softened layers and cut the remaining core from the centre to make rolling easier. I put the core pieces that I cut out in the bottom of the slow cooker, along with some of the leaves that were too small to stuff.

While the cabbage was in the Quick Cooker, I made the filling.

I used a mixture of ground beef and ground pork, egg, raw rice, onion, garlic, and seasonings…..and mixed it all up with my Mix and Chop from PC. I removed some of the seasoned meat mixture before adding the rice, and made a special filling for me using riced cauliflower instead of rice to reduce the carbs. I added fresh thyme and oregano from our garden!

Then the stuffing and rolling began….

I layered the rolls in my slow cooker and smothered them in sauce.

The final result turned out not too bad, and I didn’t even miss the rice in mine!

I made a cabbage roll soup with the remaining cabbage that wasn’t used in the rolls!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 6
Calories 278 kcal

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 12 leaves cabbage softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • .5 lb ground beef
  • .5 lb ground pork
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped fine
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped fine

For the sauce:

  • 1 jar tomato or spaghetti sauce (no meat)
  • 1 can tomato soup condensed
  • added seasonings if using tomato sauce

Instructions
 

  • Soften cabbage leaves in boiling water or use a pressure cooker @ 2 minutes high pressure
  • Combine filling ingredients in large mixing bowl. I substituted riced cauliflower for the white rice in some of the rolls and cooked them seperately.
  • Once leaves are softened and filling combined, stuff rolls individually, cutting out the stem part of the leaves to make rolling easier
  • I found placing the filling in the upper part of the leaves worked best. I used my large Pampered Chef cookie dough/meatball scoop for uniformity. Then I folded the sides of the leaves over the filling and rolled.
  • Place smaller leaves and stem pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker to keep from burning or sticking.
  • Layer rolls on top and cover with sauce.
  • I cooked on high for 4-5 hours. But keep checking. You want them soft and well-done, but not dissolved.
  • Enjoy!! They are even better made a day ahead!

Nutrition

Serving: 2rollsCalories: 278kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 17gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 838mgPotassium: 913mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 749IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This is the Pinterest recipe that I based mine on https://sugarapron.com/2016/02/12/crock-pot-stuffed-cabbage-rolls/. As per usual, I modified mine, eliminating the sugar, adding additional seasoning, and probably quadrupled the original recipe!

Let me know if you try it!

I spent my afternoon……..vermicasting!!!

As the title of this blog states….I am in “Relentless Pursuit” of many things. One of the main ones is becoming less dependent on an increasingly polluted and manipulated food industry.

Oh, I am no where near where I want to be….but overall, I have made significant strides in this area, along with many other areas of my life in trying to live more chemical free and dealing things back to a more natural life-style.

Today I spent my afternoon out in the sun, sorting through my worm bin.

I have had these worms for a couple of years now, and honestly, it’s a miracle they’re still alive. But they are….and I feel that anything that has survived this long, overcoming the neglect and confusion that these worms have, well….they deserve a renewed commitment on my part.

Worm castings are an organic matter that is highly beneficial to our nutrient depleted soils. These worms are kept alive by feeding them our kitchen scraps….the more rotten, the better they like it. We keeping the peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, just about any organic scrap that isn’t dairy or meat. They turn it into the most amazing, nutrient-dense, organic food/fertilizer for the vegetation we are growing in our raised beds and many bins.

For bedding, I tear up LCBO brown paper bags, the cardboard trays from coffee shops, shredded envelopes, junk mail, newspapers and flyers…. You can also use dried leaves, twigs, straw, hay, mulch…..almost anything that hasn’t been poisoned by chemicals, fertilizers, insecticides etc.

So, in short…..they take our organic garbage and turn it into rich soil that, in turn, replaces not only nutrients in the soil, but microorganisms and necessary bacteria, microbiomes etc. which are so important in growing food and supporting our own healthy immune systems.

We spend SO much effort and money avoiding germs….we have antibacterial this, and antibacterial that….we are killing the good bacteria that are essential in equipping our own immunity to fight the onslaught of harmful bacteria and aid in producing the antibodies necessary to a healthy and strong immune system. According to many, including Dr. Stuart Levy, “Just as a child needs lot of exercise to develop strongbones and muscles, a child’s immune system needs a rigorousworkout to develop normal resistance to infections throughoutlife,” But no, we are bathing them in hand sanitizer and setting them up for future vulnerability.

But I digress…

We are concerned about waste, concerned about food shortages and food quality (or should be)……this is ONE SMALL WAY I am pursuing relentlessly, and healthier, more natural, synergistic lifestyle.

This is the bin of castings I harvested today…..

This is what my bin looked like afterward.

I credit my daughter, Stephanie, who inspired me to begin this process. She LOVES to garden, I really don’t…….but I’m getting there. This is an experiment on my part…..a learning experience, another step in my Relentless Pursuit and exploring my inner hippy!!! 🙂

Here is a link to just one article on Vermicasting…. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/vermicomposting/worm-castings.htm

Let me know what you think.

It’s Been a ‘Berry’ Good Day!!

Tis the season for strawberries and rhubarb!!! I had a bunch of both that needed to be used ASAP so this is how I spent my day!

I started out with an old-fashioned strawberry rhubarb cake/pudding….the kind my grandma used to make where you put the dough in the pan and then mix hot water, brown sugar, and butter and pour it over the top. It made a wonderful sauce that forms underneath the cake. I will share the recipe below… Another Pinterest win!

Then it was on to a new adventure – the first time making jam in my Pampered Chef Deluxe COOKING Blender. I’m still a little iffy with a fully blended jam, but man, it is so much easier, that I might just have to get used to it!

I used the low-sugar recipe found on the Pampered Chef site. The recipe calls for a reduced-sugar pectin, but I used regular powdered pectin, since that’s what I had. It seems really thick and it isn’t cooled yet. So, I think I dodged a bullet! :). The original recipe can be found here.

The next ‘first’ was a blender jam using chia seeds instead of pectin and a small amount of maple syrup for the sweetener.

I made 1.5 times the original recipe, and I found the recipe on the A Beautiful Mess website. The recipe can be found here.

Blender Chia Seed Jam

FYI….chia seed jams can also be done on the stove using the fruit chopped instead of blended. Just do a search for Chia Seed jams and you’ll have plenty of options to try!!

So…it’s been a busy, but productive day!

Here is the recipe for the Rhubarb Pudding (Cake), as promised!! Enjoy!!

Old-Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding

No ratings yet
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 297 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven preheated to 375 degrees

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups chopped fruit I used 1/2 rhubarb, 1/2 strawberry

For the Sauce:

  • 1.5 cup very hot water I only used 1 cup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (not in original recipe)

Instructions
 

  • Mix the cake ingredients together in a bowl, adding more milk if needed to make a thick but not dry dough.
  • Fold in the chopped fruit.
  • Scrape dough into a prepared 8" pan, spreading out evenly.
  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and pour over the top of the cake.
  • Bake @ 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. It is done when nicely browned on top.
  • Enjoy!!

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 180mgFiber: 1gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know if you try any or all of these recipes!

Progress, not Perfection

“Progress, not perfection” is something I need to repeat to myself often.

I’m pretty sure perfectionism is a crippling disease, not a positive character trait. It cripples the person striving to achieve it, and it is detrimental to those who live with that person as well. The standards that can never be met, the heights that can never be reached, the performance that is never good enough. It’s defeating and sucks the life right out of you, and everyone around you, yet we wear it like a badge of honour. I fight it, every frigging day!

  • In my head, I am never good enough. I could always be just that l-i-t-t-l-e bit better, do that little bit more.
  • In my head, I need to perform for acceptance.
  • In my head, I never meet the mark, always come up lacking, and if you’re my child, then my performance and success is measured by your performance and success.

I was robbed when my children were growing up. Instead of enjoying them and accepting them for who they were (like I, thankfully, am able to do today), I found fault, I always had to point out the one way that they could do better. “You did a great job, but……” and then would raise another bar, set another standard, and made them feel like they were never enough.

Without a doubt, this is my biggest parenting regret.

Perfection is an illusion, a mirage, and a trap.

Should you EVER manage to convince yourself that you arrived, there is always a person, a circumstance, or a Facebook or Pinterest post that will quickly, and mercilessly, burst your bubble and, in your head, send you right back to square one.

It’s taken years to begin my journey of becoming free from the tyranny of perfection… twenty, to be exact. Yet I still battle it every single day…..in my head. It has taken intentionality and perseverance to overcome. Some days I make it, most days I don’t, at least not in my head.

But I know, if I hadn’t begun this freedom journey 20 years ago, I would not enjoy the level of relationship that I have with my kids today. THEY would not have the freedom they have today…. The freedom to learn, the freedom to fall, and the freedom to fail, and the freedom to grow, evolve, and overcome the tyranny of perfection.

True freedom can be messy. It can get worse before it gets better. It can be a revolving cycle of failure (my F word) and progress, but never perfection. So stop looking for it.

Start celebrating your wins you do have them!!! Don’t let the failures pile up and weigh you down! Each day is a new day, start fresh!!

  • Be honest!
  • Be real!
  • Be encouraged!!

Be warned!!

  • You may lose people in your life….people you really love and care about!

You will also…

  • Find peace, performance is effing draining!
  • Retain the relationships that matter.
  • Have the people in your life that love you for YOU, however uncomfortable and screwed up that may look like THAT DAY!

You owe it to yourself, and to the people that you love, to break free from the tyranny of perfection!!

It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it…..

It’s been quite a while since I added to this blog. To be honest, it’s been hard to even know what to say or where to begin.

To say this year has been overwhelmingly challenging, difficult, painful….. Oh my gosh, I could go on and on. I honestly don’t remember a time where I’ve experienced such a myriad of emotions….all at the same time and for so very long.

So this is going to be a ‘bit’ of an update….

We lost my second father 3 days before Christmas last year. He had been in hospital for most of the year, being discharged a couple of times but having to be readmitted because his ambulation and mobility was decreasing and my mom just wasn’t able to take care of him the way he needed. Even though she is amazing for being 94 years old, it was just too much and put her health and well-being in jeopardy.

Around March of last year, after he was discharged the first time from a hospital stay of a month or so, it was clear that some significant changes needed to be made. Living in a two-story home – even with a chair lift for the stairs – just wasn’t going to work long-term. So our oldest son took on the monumental task of designing and building a granny suite in what was the garage of our home. All the kids pitched in to do whatever, whenever they could. But with Covid, setbacks, and all the pre-existing structural problems that we were unaware of, it took much longer than we anticipated. Sadly, Paul passed away before it was ready for them to move in. That was devastating for us, but as I have pondered this reality, thankfulness replaced the disappointment and sadness. I know Paul couldn’t have stayed. His care needs were just too great and even with the maximum homecare he qualified for, it would not have been enough. He needed round-the-clock care….and that just wasn’t feasible here, which would have meant nursing home care and he never wanted that….ever. As much as it hurt that he didn’t make it here, it would have been beyond heartbreaking to have to tell him he couldn’t stay. And, as I said to the kids, at least he died in hope looking forward to something, not in despair.

So this “part one” of the update is dedicated to him…. The man who came into our lives when I was 18 or 19 after losing my father and became the most amazing father and grandfather to our crew. He teased and laughed and taught and built anything we needed built. He’d drop everything if we needed him, no questions asked. The nurses who cared for him have told me repeatedly that all he talked about was his family…..all of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…..we were all the joy of his life.

He loved the internet but could mess up a computer in ways that I couldn’t even begin to, no matter how hard I tried, even if I tried to do it on purpose!!! I remember the day we visited and he informed us that he needed a new mouse because his computer was slow!! Of course, it had NOTHING to do with the popups that he ‘didn’t’ click every time they appeared!! LOL

He had his quirks, his idiosyncrasies, and his funny notions, and he had a heart of gold, took the teasing as well as he gave it, and created a legacy of unconditional love and acceptance.

You are missed, Paul….more than we could ever say. But there’s never a day that goes by that you’re not remembered, honoured, and loved…. You will live on forever in our hearts, our thoughts, in the choices we make and the lives we live.