Me and White Supremacy

This is something I must face each day as I wake up in a home that is Indigenous. I am white. I am Dutch. I am a settler, a guest on Indigenous territory in a country on Native land. It is not and never will be my native land.

I am afraid of the journey ahead of me. It will bring change and change is not always welcome, even if it is needed! Think about your visits to the dentist.

Layla F. Saad uses white supremacy in her title because it is the truth. It is a bigger pill to swallow than privilege, and it is one I need to take every day, for the rest of my life.

Yesterday I picked up the journal to go alongside the book. I have the audio book to listen to, as well as, a Kindle version. I need to read this book, too. Hearing it is not enough.

It is not enough to read these words, hear these words, or write about these words. The goal is to change – and to be a better ally to my daughter and her family. And to remember always, that I am a guest.

If this is a journey you are taking, I invite you to walk with me. I will not go fast. I will take the time to write and speak. I will take the hand of my daughter and I will learn.

I hope you will join me.

Marcia

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21 in 2021

The year is coming to a close and it seems to be time to make new resolutions. I’m rather tired of resolving to lose weight. I’ve been resolving that for years. Even with the guidance of a fitness and life coach (Pahla B Fitness – see her on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook) weight loss and even fitness has been slow this year.

However, I do remember, having listened to her earlier podcasts ( Episode 5 of the Fitness Matters with Pahla B podcast on Spotify and other platforms. ) Here she talks about looking back over the year to identify the things you have accomplished over the year. So here is my list – and a few pictures.

Some of this years mittens

I started this last night and needed to get to bed on time (9:30 pm). Since then I have listened to another podcast by Peggy Malone at https://drpeggymalone.com/podcast/ It’s number 183 and I thought I would simply make a list of 21 things I accomplished this year, whether they were goals or not.

  1. Totoro Mittens (This pattern is no longer available – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/norwegian-totoro-mittens
  2. Dragon Mittens https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/green-dragon-goes-to-norway
  3. This was actually the first – where I used the TinCanKnits pattern and added a second colour: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/DippyKnitter/the-worlds-simplest-mittens-3
  4. We couldn’t find a Poppy troll mitten, but we found another one: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/trollunge
  5. Robot mittens were also coveted! https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/robot-mittens
  6. For the beekeeper in our family this one was perfect. Lots of adjustments and they are still in need of thumbs, but they will be finished by the end of this year! https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bee-key-pears-mittens
  7. I grew garlic for the first time
  8. I made garlic scape pesto for the first time. I got my inspiration and recipe from Vino Farms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74tzvONRhvM
  9. I planted four different kinds of garlic – Music, Red Russian, Rose de Lautrec, and German.
  10. I bought another pitch fork kind of tool similar to the one that is shown in the Vino Farms video.
  11. I got deep into debt due to challenges in our family.
  12. I made a plan to get those debts paid.
  13. I hooked up a second monitor to my laptop and that has been a gamechanger for online teaching and blogging.
  14. I have built a connection with my sister through our Sunday morning Google Meets.
  15. I have been consistent in listening to the Bible and I’m on track with the reading plans that matter.
  16. I built a 550 day plus streak on My Fitness Pal and when I lost it, I started over.
  17. I tried several ways to grow carrots and figured out that the best thing is to plant them with coffee grounds and cover them with boards until they sprouted.
  18. Together with my family, we processed 15 dozen ears of cord for ourselves and the freezer.
  19. Mebee’s Apiary was born and I helped to process and sell our honey. Check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/M%C3%A9bees-Apiary-109186394790483

20. I survived my first of 3 bee stings in our second year and got very wet doing bee rescues during two flooding incidents!

21. I became much more competent in online teaching – Jamboard, D2L, Google Classroom and creating work for my students.

Limits are good. 21 accomplishments are good. Next year I am creating an accomplishment jar. Every time I do or learn something new, I will write it on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar!

But now it is time to look to the coming year and things I want to accomplish.

Enjoy your look back on your year! What did you accomplish?

|#ajourneyoftenyears

Cheers,

Marcia

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Cherries Galore

It’s the first week of July and cherries are coming from the Northwest US at $1.98 a pound. This is a fabulous price and I have already bought 10 bags.

My first foray went to the dehydrator, the freezer and the vinegar. I will be making sweet and sour cherries later today or tomorrow.

Yesterday we pitted the cherries and this morning they will go into pint jars for winter enjoyment. But the pits went into a pot with some water and sugar. Boiling this concoction kills the cyanide in the pits. We will strain that for syrup over our ice-cream!

So, now that I have some pictures – let me give credit where credit is due.

Oxtail soup was my dinner contribution yesterday and the recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking.

On the top right is my harvest of garlic scapes. I planted garlic in October, 2020 and it has brought us pleasure since early spring. I watched https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74tzvONRhvM which is part 2 of Vino Farms series on growing garlic. I’ll be re-watching part 3 and 4 this summer! I’ve discovered I ❤❤❤ garlic pesto – especially mixed with a bit of mayonnaise. I dip my carrots and celery in it!

The other pictures are of day one of cherry preserving. I loaded our round dehydrator with cherries and it yielded a 750 ml jar.

The biggest picture is from Day 2 of dealing with cherries. This is the day I took the pits, let them boil over on the stove and made cherry pit syrup. It is still in the process of setting, but I got the recipe here: https://www.newlifeonahomestead.com/preserving-cherries-use-cherry-pits/

The remainder of the cherries were turned into 8 small jars of cherry marmalade and 8 jars of cherries in a light syrup. I consulted my Bernadin canning book for that!

Suffice it to say that I am an exhausted Oma today. Time to put my feet up and set a spell!

See you next time!

Marcia

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Getting Ready to Plant!

I don’t remember starting this post, but I do remember doing all of these things – probably in February.

I had intentions of starting some onions in the winter, but that did not happen. Maybe next year.

It is now April and spring is in full swing at our rented homestead. The reused Epsom salt jugs are functioning as greenhouses for my tomato seeds. So far I have 5 types seeded and still more seeds to plant. We do LOVE our tomatoes.

Organizing my seeds into baggies has also been helpful as I go out to plant. I just take the bag I need or the seeds I need and start to plant. Somehow I misplaced the book I was using for my journal but I wrote a lot of planting information on my calendar. We are moving forward!

Our seeds have come from the following sources:

Heritage Harvest Seeds: https://www.heritageharvestseed.com/index.html

Saturday Seed Company: https://www.saturdayseedco.ca/

Vesey’s Seeds: https://www.veseys.com/

William Dam Seeds: https://www.damseeds.com/

I am looking forward to sharing more of our gardening experiences this year!

Marcia

PS: I watched a series of Youtube videos from VINO Farms on growing tomatoes. I now have a heating pad under my plants. We also follow his beekeeping videos. Stay tuned for more about that on Monday!

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Extending Grace…

You never know (and I haven’t figured out how to change it) how a group of pictures is going to arrange itself. Then I noticed that one of the pictures I was using (scrounged from Facebook) had a name on it. I replaced it.1

It is Wednesday of Spring break. I have been to the dentist, added another layer to my debt snowball, and bought a new pair of hiking shoes. I have hung up a load of laundry, done my workout and enjoyed my breakfast.

So where does grace come into all of this? It comes in the form of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It comes in my workout from Pahla B Fitness, which is designed to help with moodiness. It had a lot to do with grace.

I have not done some things that I had planned to do. I have done other things, but not those things. I am not thrilled with my scale numbers and I had anticipated being somewhere else. I have not been consistent with the tasks that will help me reach my goal. I give myself grace.

Grace looks at that and moves on, recognizing that today is a different day and different things can happen. Grace says, “You can have various outcomes that do not mirror the past. You can make changes to your future.”

So today, I embrace grace and go forward.

If you are struggling with anything, if life feels a tad funky, GRACE has something to offer.

We live in challenging times.

Hugs,

Marcia

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SPRING BREAK Begins!

Spring break in Ontario was delayed and we are finally enjoying a week of R and R. And thanks to increasing Covid numbers, a stay at home order. I have been staying at home.

I could have planted my tomatoes 2 weeks ago, but I finally got 10 seeds into a container today. They are Chocolate Sprinkle grape sized tomatoes – and I love chocolate sprinkle sandwiches. I also transplanted some strawberries that were endangered by the rototiller.

The mint that we had in the pot is coming back – a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure if it would. The garlic is coming up in most of the squares, but two are completely empty. Something else will be joining them.

I finally got brave enough to try my hand with this massive tool. It was a short lived adventure. We had too much tension on the main belt and it burnt through. We will be getting two more tomorrow. Always have a back up plan!

To add to the day’s adventure, I also drove our mini-tractor for the first time. I figured it was time, since my grand-daughter is brave enough to do it, too. And that was tense, but I got from the garage to the garden without tipping over. (That’s what I was afraid of!)

Growing Things, April 2021

The chickens are enjoying the feed that is hiding in their manure pile. (Tuesday’s job). My compost bins are moving very slowly (in my opinion), but I’ve been visiting them and moving things around.

The bees are very busy. They have a very good supply of pollen and arrive home with baskets full. Eric started a new hive NUC, hoping that the bees will make their own queen. The new hive is named after our family dog, Baxter, who left us this week.

Our next challenge is to cut some planks. We have a set-up but we need to figure out how it works. Once that is done, we will experiment with deadfall, before cutting the good stuff.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s news.

Marcia

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I’m Learning to Cha-Cha!

So I’m not the first person to use this quote from Robert Brault, who blogs at http://rbrault.blogspot.com/ and I know I won’t be the last. Today this showed up at work and I want to do some sharing about it.

At the beginning of 2020, I joined the Killer Bee Hive on Facebook and also started exercising moderately. I also began, slowly but steadily to lose weight. And then I hit a wall.

Since July, I have been bouncing, rollercoastering, switchbacking, stalling, resting and I don’t know what other analogies I found for being in the 250 pound range. It is now March and those are still the numbers. But the analogy has changed.

I am not a dancer. I don’t have a partner to dance with, but I am going to look at this as a dance.

I am also seeing a counsellor. The shadows beckon. I must go back to find the reason why. Those are the steps back. The steps forward will be the release of old thoughts that keep me bound to this number.

I am here for a reason, but I don’t want to go back and I want to cha-cha my way forward!

Can you dance on a rollercoaster?

Marcia

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It is MARCH!

The wind is blowing and the snow is melting. The clouds are scudding across the sky and I am thinking that I have a few posts to write if I want to catch up on my goals!

Today I will talk a bit about our bees. Last year we bought a beehive, and another. Then I plunked some money down on a hive of my own. This year we have a few NUCs on order and we hope to split the hives we currently have.

Winter 2021

Whenever it was warm enough, Eric would walk down and listen – checking to see if there were any signs of life and counting the days till spring! Fast forward to this past week – the 11th to be precise.

I was at work when the urgent call came through – come home. Do not stop at any stores. We need help. Turns out that the creek had flooded and the bees stood in danger of being drowned in ice cold water. The water was so high it was over my boots.

This is our beeyard on March 11 2021, just after 3:30 pm.

There was not much we could do about the water. Fortunately we had a few 2×6’s that were nearby. Together we tilted the hives and raised them about 2 inches above the water level. I prayed it would be enough. We went home and finished our day.

In the morning, Eric’s first errand was to check on the bees. He was certain we would lose them all. The snow was still melting upstream, after all. This is what we came to….

By Saturday the water had retreated and we could relax.

LESSON to be learned: We were pretty confident that our bees were safe. They weren’t. Life is full of unplanned events. I don’t have back up plans for everything – including this. One thing I did know – we were still going forward with this part of our plan. New queens are coming in May. Our goal is still to have 10 healthy hives by the end of this season.

Follow me here, on Facebook and my Youtube channel, or #ajourneyoftenyears and I will keep you posted!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6gIIvxC68dMkCBXXGb0QlQ

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FINISHING! (And Progress!)

It is the end of the month. Lots of things are finished or almost finished!

This morning I completed the final video in the Walk Off Weight Series playlist! It is wonderful and so very doable. I did the workout each day in January and will continue in February with the series from last year!

Yarn Projects, January 2021

This month saw the completion of a few projects. The hats were completed. The sweater had its underarm seams grafted. (This particular sweater had a lot of procrastination issues! Two-ton has spend a lot of time on my bed, and in my crafting pictures. You can see him with some of the squares I’ve made in Ravelry’s 2021 BAMCAL.

The cowl is a work in progress. The black ball is something I have had for more than 10 years, if you can believe it. And it was expensive then! I was gifted a pattern from a BC designer, WeeSandy on Ravelry.

The crazy WIP is a shawl that uses mitered squares in unusual ways. It is helping me to use up yarn that has been in my stash since I came back from China in 2017.

January was also a month of beginnings – and I surprised myself by starting a You-tube Channel! There isn’t much there, yet. Still, I’m looking forward to what it will grow into! And how my videos will change over time. You can check it out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6gIIvxC68dMkCBXXGb0QlQ and enjoy the journey with me!

Here’s to a wonderful February!

What are you starting or finishing? Please share in the comments!

Cheers,

Marcia

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I Have Promises to Keep

Today I am keeping a promise I made yesterday and failed to keep.

During my workout on Wednesday morning, Pahla talked about keeping promises that you make to yourself. It’s on Day 27 of the Walk Off Weight series. You can check it out here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qce_s-eEBHE

That made me think of the things I keep putting off. These things nag at me when I should be thinking about other things. I see their unfinished state and start getting down on myself. Or the growing pile of banana peels in the freezer that needed to be dealt with!

I wrote my list before 7 am. on Wednesday. By 9 am the dehydrator was on the kitchen counter, the bananas were laid out on the trays and they were ready to dry. Before I went to bed, the underarms of the sweater were grafted together and I discovered a few threads that needed to be sewn in. I still went to bed.

This idea really worked well, so I did it again on Thursday. The first promise was to deal with the banana peels and get the dehydrator off the counter. They were ground up in less than 10 minutes (thanks to our Vitamix). The thumb on the mittens were completed and those 3 threads woven into the sweater.

Reading and writing with the grands: This, sadly, is also something that tends to get left when life gets crazy. Putting it on the board as a promise, reminds me that it is important. Tonight I read Tomie DePaolo’s Cloud book to the boys!

Between this, that and the other thing, it is almost 9 pm and time for me to turn off the computer and tidy my desk.

Three promises a day! That’s all. I can do this and get things done!

Good night!

PS: I took a leap and made a You-tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6gIIvxC68dMkCBXXGb0QlQ

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