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Month: October 2016

Slow start to blogging…but there’s always soup

Slow start to blogging…but there’s always soup

Remember the tortoise and the hare?

This is what I’m trying to remember, on days like these.

A slow start

When I first entertained the idea for starting a blog, I was full of energy, ideas percolating, ready to dive right in and get started.  I would have 2 or 3 posts up in no time!  My intention for this little blog was to capture these “Little Pockets of Bliss” in my everyday chaotic life, focus on the good, and leave the bad out of it.  I wanted my blog to be a place of uplifting inspiration, not a negative space where I vent my frustrations.  Who wants to read that stuff?  Everybody has that kind of crap!  They don’t need to be reminded of it!

And then life happened, as it always does.  It had been a particularly trying couple of weeks, although really, that is normal around here.  Dealing with work and household chores that never seem to get done. The stress of an ongoing (and seemingly never-ending) legal battle with my ex-husband over custody of our two boys.  Add to that the normal whining and sarcastic comebacks (what I hope is typical) of a 13yr old.  And cap it off late last week with my 9-yr old, fighting with me about everything, storming off upstairs hollering, “You’re such a jackass!”

All before 8am.  Sigh.

As I hung my head in despair, tears pricking at the corners of my eyes, I thought to myself, “How can I possibly blog about bliss, when there is nothing blissful about this life?”  This is my life.

It’s a long story, for another time.

In and out of wallowing

I did a full on misery wallow for a few days.  Feeling sorry for myself, I avoided the very things that bring me joy.  I got caught up in the “woe-is-me”, scrolling through Facebook for hours, reading and deleting emails (okay, sometimes unread).  TV watching consisted of guilty pleasure shows like Dance Moms, not even the new fall shows (and I have a list…we’ll get to that).

I did absolutely nothing productive, watching my vacation time tick away on the clock.  Another day lost and nothing accomplished.

Luckily, the sun came back out, literally and metaphorically, shining light on my self-made shadow.  In my endless internet-fest, I hit up some of my favourite people on Facebook, Twitter, and the blog-verse.  They weren’t posting the pretty. They were documenting the nitty-gritty, full-on face plant meltdowns the toddler took in the grocery store.  The burnt breakfast, the entire carton of juice spilled on the floor, the overflowing toilet, the car that won’t start when you’re already late.  They don’t only post the glamorous, Pinterest worthy portions of their lives.  They dig deep, and let it all out, exposed, naked, for the world to see.  Because it’s honest, and it’s real life.

So with that in mind, I pulled out the laptop, determined to just start, just write, and get a blog post published.  And if some of crap of my real life makes it’s way into the blog, so be it.  This is me.  All of me.

Okay…most of me.  Y’all don’t want the naked…

It all starts with a first step

When push comes to shove, I know what to do to pull myself out of funk. I just don’t always listen to myself when I am hunkered down on the couch under a blankie, feeling sorry for myself.  But when I manage to throw off the blankie, and drag my sorry ass off the couch, I go back to the list.

Yes, I have a list, and I carry it around with me everywhere in my traveller’s notebook.

Things That Make Me Happy

  • reading
  • listening to music
  • journalling
  • cooking
  • making art
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • Hawaii

There is more to the list, but I pulled one out and went to work.  Here is what I came up with.

Make soup.  You can blog about the other stuff another day.  I wonder if tortoises eat soup?

Coconut Curry Sweet Potato Soup

October 19, 2016
Serves 6-10 bowls
Prep time
10m
Cook Time
30m

Warm and spicy sweet potato soup, quick and easy to make.  Perfect for crisp, cool autumn days!


Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 1
    onion, chopped
  • 1 Piece
    fresh ginger, thumb size, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon
    minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons
    curry powder (more if you like spicy, less if you like mild)
  • 1
    carton chicken stock, approx 900ml
  • 1.5 Pounds
    sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1
    can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 Cup
    brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon
    salt
  • 1 Teaspoon
    pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and ginger, cook and stir until tender, about 5 mins. Add garlic and curry powder, stirring for another few minutes.

  2. Add sweet potato and stir for another minute, then pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

  3. Using an immersion blender, or in a blender/food processor, blend soup (in batches if necessary) until smooth and creamy. Return to pot, add coconut milk, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Heat through, about 5 mins. Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Serve with optional garnishes...sliced avocado, siracha sauce, lime wedges, fresh cilantro

Let me know if you make it, and what you think!  What do you do to pull yourself out of the “woe-is-me” when life gets you down?

P.S. This soup freezes nice too!  Just label your zip-loc bag, use this handy-dandy gadget, the Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Storage Bag Holder and you’ve got a great lunch down the road!

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Welcome home!

Welcome home!

cropped-little-pockets-square.jpg
Bliss in a September blue sky

Welcome home!

That sentiment evokes such a feeling of bliss for me, as I’m sure it can for so many.  Hearing your family saying it, as you step in the door from a long day at work.  Breathing a sigh, suitcases in hand from a vacation, or any time away, be it brief or a lifetime.  That feeling when you’re handed the keys to your first place, all your own.  A friendly greeting from a seemingly familiar face when you’ve finally found your “tribe”.

Bliss On a September day

It was a rainy day (which I always pronounce with somewhat of a British accent, akin to the Pizzaville commercial).  I was sitting on the deck, listening to the drizzle of the rain on the awning overhead. Soft sounds of music in the backgroud, a playlist of songs by Makana, on my iPhone.  Alternating between writing, and staring  at the sky, I watched in the distance as the late afternoon sun began to slowly peek through the clouds, with those beautiful golden rays.  The smell of the rain, the earth, the leaves on the trees, the tiniest hints of impending autumn, not quite here yet.

And there it was, in that moment.  “This is happy, right here,” I thought.  “A little pocket of bliss, in an otherwise crazy, complicated life.”

Hmm…what a great name for a blog.  Little Pockets of Bliss.

I could just keep writing, online in addition to pen and paper. Nothing extraordinary.  Just sharing my thoughts and musings, as a way to keep myself accountable, to keep going, to just do it.  And maybe in the doing, in the sharing, I will create a place, a tribe, a home, where I’m not the only one in search of those fleeting moments, the happy, the Little Pockets of Bliss.

So here it is, this first little blog post.  Welcome to my home.  Pull up a chair, bring a cup of coffee or a steaming mug of tea (or a glass of red or white…I don’t judge!) open your journal, put pen in hand.  Take a deep breath, stare at the clouds in the September blue sky.

As is tradition in my family, when a new baby is born, we say…Welcome to the world, Little Pockets of Bliss!

Where is your Little Pocket of Bliss today?