February 2023: To Do List and Favourite Podcasts

It’s -39 C with the windchill today. Enough said. But also, why is February both the shortest and longest month of the year? In a world focused on productivity and hustle, it’s challenging to make space dedicated to rest and recovery and wintering. So, I made a fun little list of things to do. Take that, February.

My Three Favourite Podcasts of the Moment:

Maintenance Phase with Aubrey Jordan and Michael Hobbes. Wellness and weight loss, debunked and decoded.

I Love It But I Hate It with Kat Angus and Jocelyn Geddie. Hateful optimists and loving pessimists Kat Angus and Jocelyn Geddie break down movies and TV shows that they totally despise… but also really adore at the same time.

Fated Mates with Sarah MacLean and Jen from Jen Reads Romance. Weekly episodes include romance novel read-alongs and discussions of the work of the genre, highlighting the romance novel as a powerful tool in fighting patriarchy…with absolutely no kink shaming.

If you’re are curious, have a listen. They’re all so good. And I promise you will laugh and who doesn’t need a laugh in February.

Until next time…

What are your plans for February?

December 2022: Remember to Breathe

December has arrived. We all know this month can get a bit bonkers.

Take a breather. I read somewhere that taking fifteen minutes alone, without distractions, and doing something you enjoy can give you enough of a refresh to forge ahead.

  • Read a book. My personal favourite. Currently reading Heart Breaker, Hell’s Belles, Book 2, by Sarah MacLean
  • Make art. Another favourite of mine.
  • A walk outside, if possible. This is Saskatchewan, after all. But we know how to dress for the weather and there is nothing like fresh air to perk you up.
  • A soothing bath. Light some stainless steel candles, my new favourite thing. Put on some music. Apply an eye compress. Heaven!

Whatever activity you kept for yourself pre-December, keep that date throughout the month.

Until next time…

Remember to take a few minutes throughout each day to take some deep breaths. I would love to hear other tips you have for surviving the holidays?

How Is It The End of June Already?

Is anyone else panicking at the thought of summer flying by too fast? I know I am. I also know that’s a sign I’m not living in the moment or being mindful. But there’s just so much stuff happening and I want to make sure I pack it all in, you know?Which means June has been busier than I’d like or would normally plan for.

That’s because we made the big decision to fill in our underground pool. A pool that had SO MANY great memories. But it wasn’t getting as much use as it once did and it needed major repairs. It was quite the process. And.. now it’s a giant garden. Our first tempt at growing vegetables on this scale. Things are sprouting…

Will do an update in July.

I’m determined to get out golfing more this year. Any other golfers out there? love being outside, I love walking, I love spending time with my husband. I enjoy the game. I’m bad at it. But I’m working at being okay with that. To that end, I don’t keep score. I take mulligans. A LOT of mulligans. And I quit when I’m not having fun anymore.

June is also National Indigenous History Month

If you’re wondering how to celebrate, or looking for a way to connect and learn, The McKenzie Art Gallery (Regina, Saskatchewan) is currently hosting a stunning exhibition: Radical Stitch. Showcasing work from 48 artists, it is one of the most significant exhibitions of Indigenous beading in North America.

Radical Stitch Exhibition

It was a incredible experience and I highly recommend checking it out. So many distinct styles (floral, geometric, abstract, and others) that showcase the importance of beading to Indigenous peoples. But also how deeply personal, labour intensive, and complex the art of beading is.

“So to be a bead artist in this moment in time, it’s a radical act as Indigenous people and coming from cultures where colonial governments attempted to halt this practice, because in so many ways it was our strength. Radical Stitch recognizes it’s a radical act.”

Cathy Mattes, guest curator of the exhibit

My Top Favourite Reads by Indigenous Writers:

Until next time…

I’d love to know what you did in June? Have any big projects on the go? Are you trying something new?

*The top photo was taken on Mother’s Day at the McKenzie Art Gallery. FYI: Currently the first Sunday of every month are reserved for visitors who require increased safety protocols because of COVID-19.

Develop Your Playful Side

Every December I pick a word for the upcoming year. Except for 2021, which I skipped. Which likely explains my choice for 2022. DREAM. Of possibilities. Both fantastical and ordinary. Chasing the dream, not in a busy, get it done kind of way, but a whimsical exploration. To play and paint and stargaze. Purely for the joy and entertainment of it all.

This is me on a long ago trip to Vancouver gazing out over the water while on a dinner cruise. Can staring off into space considered a hobby? If so, it’s a favourite of mine. Always dreaming up stories.

The longer this pandemic drags on, the harder it is to take time away from the overwhelming amount of statistics, the constant updates, the frustration, and the worry. Now it’s winter and getting through the next couple of months seems rather a daunting task. There’s not much I can do about the pandemic, other than getting my booster, washing my hands, social distancing, and wearing my mask, or the long winter months ahead, but I can dream. I can add joy and playfulness into each day.

Somewhere along the way play turns into something immature and unwelcome as we get older. But 2022 is going to be my time to practice taking a break from reality, to remember to play and laugh. I will remember it’s okay to be silly for a few minutes each day and that adults need recess, too.

The Benefits of Play:

Define What Play Means to You:

Let your imagination go. What is something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but didn’t pursue? Be aware of your energy levels. We’re all drained right now. It’s okay to start small. Be an amateur. Make mistakes. Try something new. Rekindle an old hobby. Do what’s right for you.

It can focus on creativity, like crafting, doodling, knitting. Maybe exercise is your fun thing. Seriously, the belly dancing class I took way back when was a complete hoot. Go for a hike. Try pickle ball. Maybe self examination brings you joy. I know it does to me: journaling, yoga, meditation. Music is key for a lot of people. Try karaoke, or learn a new instrument, take a voice class (even if you think you can’t sing). Socialize. It doesn’t have to be a big group. Maybe it’s scheduling date night. Go axe throwing. Take in a dance class. Go to a poetry reading. But keep it safe.

Make it Happen:

  • Clear your schedule. Set aside a block of time, big or small, to be silly and have some fun.
  • Turn off your phone, TV, and other devices. You can do it.
  • Give yourself permission to do whatever you want. This is your time to dance like no one’s watching. Or to be still and sit and dream.

Until next time…

Live laugh play. Here’s to a playful 2022! What do you do to take a break from life?

Quick Time Away In July

At the beginning of July we decided to take a mini vacay and spend three nights in a geodesic dome overlooking the north shore of Buffalo Pound Lake in southern Saskatchewan. It’s easy to sense of history that echoes along the shores of the lake, across the water, and into the valley where First Nation peoples have resided for millennia. Today the valley is home to First Nations, small towns, farmers and ranchers, and cottagers.

It’s so peaceful and relaxing here. The sunsets are amazing. We call Saskatchewan the Land of Living Skies for a reason. They are spectacular.

The domes have a lovely rustic feel. There is a small kitchenette, minus a stove as cooking isn’t allowed inside the dome, but there is a fridge, sink, and countertop area. It comes with dishes and cutlery, other cooking necessities, as well as a gas barbecue. There is a bistro table and chair set and, most importantly, a bathroom with a shower. We stayed in one of the family domes which include a king bed and two double mattress in the loft area. The bed, with its Endy mattress and luxury linens, was SOOOOO comfy! And the view from it is amazing.

As comfortable and cozy as the domes are on the inside, the outside area is still in need of some landscaping. Aside from the view, which was wonderful, the ground was rocky and uneven and there is no shade and little privacy. But the area is under development and I hope some of these issues will be addressed in the coming seasons. In fact, a couple of very comfy Adirondack chairs where delivered to each of the family domes while we were there.

Of course, I read a great book! Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. I loved this book and a Sunday Book Talk review will show up some up in the next while!

**Buffalo Pound Lake is found on Treaty Four land, the traditional territories of the  nêhiyawak (nay-hi-yuh-wuk, Cree), Anihšināpēk (uh-nish-i-naa-payk, Saulteaux), Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda, and the homeland of the Métis/Michif Nation. **

Until next time…

Do you have any vacation plans for the summer? Staycation plans?