Am I Good Enough?

Do you ever feel like nothing is ever good enough? I’ve been struggling with that feeling once again lately.

For example, I never posted anything last week. Based on my idea list for posts I was supposed to write a short story with Kevin, one about the other dwarven brother. I wanted to continue the short as it feels more like a cliff-hanger chapter than a complete short to me, whereas my husband felt it was getting to be the length of a short essay and figured we should stop. And then posting day came and I realized that part of the story is in present tense and the other part in past. We decided to hold off on posting it so together we could sit down and fix that. Well, it has been a week and because of [insert excuses here] we just never got to it. So, yesterday I posted it how it was, without any edits.

And then today, now, in fact, I am supposed to put up a post about making a vision board. But I’m unhappy with it as well. So, guess what isn’t going to be posted yet? Yup, that post. Instead, I’m going to ramble and post this without editing it.

But it isn’t just my writing that is making me feel like I’m not good enough. I’ve been really hard on myself for a while now. And last month I had more than just a log put into my fire of doubt, it was more like an entire tree with the way my mind has been chewing it over.

Essentially a family member with whom I used to have a decent relationship decided that I should be threatened with CPS back in September (she was drinking and mashed up two different events, ended up accusing me of taking my child to an after-hours sex-show – like what the fuck! Go ahead and call I did no such thing.). I had no contact with her until January when my husband convinced me to have a one-on-one conversation with her in which she told me I needed to see my psychologist more often and told me I was brave for talking with her. Nothing was resolved but I thought it was enough of a conversation that I could allow her in my life again. And then in February, she came to my house, where she proceeded to berate me in front of my four-year-old daughter (who in tears asked me why said person was being mean to me). I have been in no contact since but the things she said during that ‘conversation’ live rent-free in my head because I have a terrible habit of mentally-self-sabotaging myself.

So am I what she says I am? Why does it keep ringing around my head like this? Am I really such an irresponsible person, who abuses my children and husband? Do I really not allow my children to be kids? Should I really be institutionalized? IS my mental health so bad that my children should be taken away? Do I really need to work more on myself? Can I actually take care of myself? Am I good enough? Is it irresponsible of me to reach out to people who are struggling in their own ways? Does the state of my house really matter that much?

No and yes.

Yes, I need to work on myself – everyone does! And I am working on myself. I talk with my psychologist monthly, psychiatrist yearly, and my family doctor regularly. They all tell me that I am doing exactly as I should be. I do not need to be institutionalized, in fact, I am doing better than most people with DID and they think I should write a book about what I go through so I can help others too. I’m not so sure I feel comfortable with opening up that much about my trauma for the world to examine but it makes me confident that I’m not a failure, at least for short bursts of time.

I have proven that I can take care of myself and my surroundings. But I am limited in what I can do by both my physical and mental health. But I’m not completely ignoring the things that need to be done. Have you ever heard of the spoon theory? It applies here.

For example, on Friday morning my house was clean. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but there were no dirty dishes, all counters were washed, my bathroom was cleaned, and one could walk from room to room without tripping on anything but a floor mat. The only chaotic rooms were the office which was behind a closed door and my kid’s bedroom. I spent Friday through Sunday very busy. I made a bed frame, bought groceries, worked more than 22 hours between three jobs, had two naps, spent a few hours searching for a missing friend, etc. I overdid things, again, and am in pain for it still. So, yesterday morning I looked around my house and wanted to cry because I could not look anywhere without seeing a mess. After two days of hardly being in my house and it looks like a bomb went off. And because I’m the “stay at home parent” I’m responsible to get all of this cleaned up. And I’m the one who is called irresponsible and told I should be institutionalized for not being able to handle things.

No, I am not abusing my children and husband. At least I don’t believe I am and I am told by my husband that I’m far from abusive. I do everything I can to ensure my children are not abused like I was when I was younger. My children are my number one priority. But there are three things I can think of that may be construed as abuse if someone wanted to twist things around.

One – yelling when really angry or frustrated – if I ask for space and you continue to badger me and not let me have a time out, after a number of hours of not getting my needed space I snap. I will scream for people to leave me alone, to go do the things they need to do, and stop touching me, let me have a time out!

Two – making my kids have chores despite their young ages. They are responsible for getting them done before they are allowed things like monitor time or asking a friend to play. If they ask for help doing the chores, I will help as long as they continue to work on it. If they stop, so do I. In some cultures, my oldest child would be cleaning her school regularly and would be allowed to take the city bus around on her own, in fact, it would be considered very strange if she wasn’t allowed to do those things. I do not go that far with their responsibilities, they aren’t a maid or anything but they do need to do their homework and follow their chore lists.

Three – occasionally, after every other punishment has been tried I give my children one or two of the gentlest swats upon the butt. In this, I can see people calling abuse over. I feel that I must explain that this is not a regular occurrence. It happens maybe twice a year. If I have gotten to this point of punishment I have already done time ins, time outs, taken things away, tried creative punishments that fit the misdemeanor, and am on the final straw my kids will get a warning that the next step is a bum swat. There are never more than two swats and they are relatively gentle. I’d compare it to the force of guiding the child out of the way of a shopping cart in a busy store or burping an infant. But because it has been noted as a punishment my kids will cry and yell and call me mean. And I do feel mean, I feel like the world’s worst person every time I do this.

No, I’m not irresponsible for reaching out to people who are in need and being their friend. With this logic, I should ghost my depressed friend when she becomes suicidal because I can’t take care of myself?? Bullshit. Does this mean I should ignore someone who is an ex-addict when they are trying to turn their life around? No! Where is your compassion for others, if you think that helping someone who is unable to move on their own get out of the street and calling 9-11 to ensure they are safe is problematic to my own well-being, well I just don’t understand this logic and it rattles me. I’m not giving these people more energy than I can reasonably give out.

I get that I am a hot mess and that things could be better. I know that I am hard on myself and that there is cause for concern when a person is diagnosed with fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and dissociative identity disorder. But I am not failing my family, I’m not abusing them and I am doing the best that I can with the cards I’ve been given. I need to keep reminding myself of this.

If you are anything like me, and overthink things, and are harder on yourself than necessary, I ask that you take a moment to stop and breathe. You are also doing the best that you can with what you are given. Some days will look different than others and that’s okay. If all you can do today is brush your teeth and go back to bed. I applaud you, it can be really difficult to self-care when you are struggling. Yes, there is more you “should” be doing but take it a step at a time. Life is a journey and beating yourself up over it won’t help anyone in the long run. Try to love yourself.

Brothers (Part 2)

Mukal Cavebuckle sat up with a pounding head, the decision to fall asleep against Gilgrik’s door was a necessary delay tactic but he’d need a beer to calm his anger before continuing with his plan. Stumbling to his feet, Mukal allowed his body to sway back into the jade slab door, slamming it on his brother’s beard before staggering his way down the hall towards his only possession, his grandfather’s table.

Behind him, Gilgrik made noises of disgruntled satisfaction. He entered the kitchen and immediately started with his regular complaints, “You lazy git,” he grumbled, “yeh drank all my beer again and do no hard days work. “

Knowing this speech by rote Mukal tuned out his brother and found some stale bread and hard cheese to eat. He’d only slept three cycles but would have time for a nap later. For now, Mukal knew he had limited time to upkeep his ruse and meet with the gang.

“They’re always looking for rubble removers,” Gilgrik said as he headed into the passageways towards the boiler network.

With his brother finally gone Mukal stopped his act of being completely drunk and walked with an air of arrogance towards his brother’s room. He needed to come up with an item of enough importance to his plan that wouldn’t seem amiss if Gilgrik went to grab it. The large jade slab was perfectly balanced and opened easily with just the brushing of a fingertip. Inside the room was nearly empty, with only a bed and wardrobe to be seen. It was eerily dark in the room, even by the standards of a dwarf who had spent his entire life underground.

He walked towards the bed, casting a simple light spell as he moved. The corners were tightly folded, sheets crisp and flat. It did not look as if anything could be hidden, but he got onto his knees to look under the bed anyway. There he found a wooden box, intricately carved – it was their mothers. Mukal needn’t look inside, he knew it held only two things: a letter, written to their father by the King after he saved the capital from a ruthless horde of undead; and a red diamond engagement band that Gigrik had once proposed to Mukal’s long-time girlfriend with.

He got up carefully, ensuring not to disturb the bed before heading towards the wardrobe. Hopefully, something would be worth his time in there. If not Mukal would need to hire someone to break into Gilgrik’s office locker and that would cost them weeks. The wardrobe doors were locked, he’d have to find the key later. The beer delivery would soon be here and it would be suspicious of him to not sign for the order.

As Mukal stepped out of the room he noticed that the delivery man had already arrived and was about to knock. He hastened to the door to let the human in. “Want a bear?”

“The word is beer, Mukal. And no thanks, I’ve got a date after my shift. She wants me to drink only with her today.”

“Is it with that Janet from the bar? The one you mentioned last week?” the words of the common tongue fell out of his mouth awkwardly.

“Yes Mukal, she’s the only other human in town.”

“Uh… right. Have a good one. The date that is.”

“Have you practiced your common enough yet? I got to get going.”

“For now. Thanks, Mike,”

As Mike the Human, dropped the goods off in the regular location. Mukal added, “My brother has requested a larger order of the dark ale- do you think you could have it for tomorrow’s shipment?”

“Sure, I’ll add it to the tab. See you later Mukal.” Mike replied as he handed the paper slip over to be signed. Mukal wondered, not for the first time, why the human would waste such a rare material as paper on signatures. He scrawled his signature and handed the board back. Without another word Mike turned and left. into the tunnels as the mid-day song echoed its way past him.

The day seemed to be passing quickly, the gang would be here any moment and he hadn’t even found an item to use yet. He spun in a slow circle looking around with calculated thought wondering what item he could grab. And then his eyes landed upon Gilgrik’s precious lantern and a smile spread across Mukal’s face.

The first of the gang to arrive was Brokoid an unusually short dwarf whose agility came in rather handy. Next was Glalmetrud the strongest woman on this side of the Battlefield of Bonebeard. Finally came Diogenus with his ragged group of orphans. “You brought them again? Make sure they don’t go snooping. I will not tolerate theft in the dwelling.”

Diogenus replied while grabbing one of the bottles of ale, “My riff-raff are not so commonplace.”

“Have you found what we need?” asked Glalmetrud.

“In fact I have. My brother left this morning without his lantern.”

Glalmetrud looked skeptical, “Everyone has a lantern. Some of these corridors get too dark without. How will a lantern lead them towards the engineer?”

Mukal picked up the carved lantern, lit the candle inside, and held it up. “How many lanterns have you ever seen that shine your name to the floor?”

Brokoid went to take a swig of a beer but stood only slightly taller than the bottle. The action should have thrown the dwarf off balance. Instead, as though in an act of defiance, Brokoid finished the entire thing, before letting it go and giving a mighty burp. “Where do I need to take it?”

Birthday Vacation

I know I’m late on posting once again, but there is a good reason. Both Kevin and I had our birthdays over the last few days. To celebrate our family went on a bit of a vacation to Harrison Hot Springs Resort (located on the southern end of Harrison Lake, in the Fraser Valley, BC) and we only got home yesterday evening. After dropping off the rental we went for DQ ice cream and discussed the trip. Here is a quick video of what we all thought.

It was a lovely trip. We arrived Saturday afternoon and stayed in the heritage building with a room that looked out over the outdoor pools. The resort has been open since 1886 and was originally known as St. Alice’s Well. The three outdoor and two indoor pools are fed from the local hot springs “Sulphur” and “Potash”.

We swam daily and spent the rest of each day exploring a bit of both Harrison and Agassiz. The kids got to play on a large play structure in each town,

Our first evening at the resort we decided to get a late lunch from Maison d’la Poutine House. It was only a few minute walk and served decent food with a lot of toppings. The children loved that the bench had carved animals and after we crossed the street to play at the pirate-themed play structure. We then took a swim and decided to get pizza for dinner from Village Pizzeria.

Sunday was my birthday and I really wanted to explore the hotel and area. So we ended up in the garden, near the tennis courts. As it was wet, raining on and off nobody was in the area but us. I loved how the trees were labeled with little plaques to tell us the type and any fun information about the planting. The kids found some carved seats that they began to call thrones and we un-officially dubbed the pond area the throne room. We grabbed a coffee from Miss Margaret’s Café (which is basically a mini-Starbucks) and then drove down the highway to Agassiz, where we found most places were closed as it was a Sunday. We ate at Subway for brunch and then played at a local playground before going back to the resort to swim some more. Even though we didn’t get to do much shopping we had a wonderful time exploring. For dinner, we went to Taco Rio.

Monday was Kevin’s birthday. He decided that he wanted to try out the hotel’s buffet breakfast at the Lakeside Café. We arrived just in time to not have to stand in a lineup. All of the dishes listed the allergens which made it easy to decide what we wanted to eat. After breakfast, we went to the Spirit/Bridal Trail. In 2007 a local artist was taking a walk and had a chance encounter with another walker who said that the trees seemed to have individual personalities, this artist started making clay masks to represent those spirits. Afterward we went back to Agassiz to do some tourist shopping (we found this adorable local shop called Blue Dandelion) and to run into a bakery – you can’t have a birthday without dessert right? For dinner, we went to Milo’s Greek Restaurant as Kevin was hoping to get a steak, instead, we ate burgers and fries.

Tuesday morning we slept in as long as we could before getting up to leave the resort. Our breakfast was leftover fries, and sweets from the days prior. We packed up the car and began our trip home, making a pit stop in Port Hope for some real food and a chance to look at some art.

Overall the trip was really enjoyable and way overdue considering we haven’t had a real vacation since father’s day 2020 when we went camping. personally, I’d rate it 10/10 – would love to go again.

Hooray! My Tower is Thriving!

As a kid, I couldn’t care any less about gardening. My grandfather had a green thumb and started a florist shop with his brother. My mum had learned from him and would be out gardening and I barely registered that she was in the dirt. As a young adult, I tried to keep a few plants alive in small dirt pots around my house but they would die on me constantly. I just couldn’t seem to figure it out.

When Kevin and I moved on from living with roommates we had a small garden space that I successfully had tomatoes and lettuce grow in during our first year of being there. Over the next decade, I struggled to get things to grow. The small plot was in the corner of the yard surrounded by trees, which made it rather shaded and full of tree roots. I was successful at getting something out of it every year but I had more luck with my planters than I ever did in the garden. Over time I figured it was my lack of consistent watering and the hate of getting my hands filthy in the dirt that stopped me from producing more plants.

Those of you who are befriended to me on the book of faces know that I’ve been posting about this awesome tower I have plants aeroponically growing inside my house. On the very last day of December, Kevin and I decided to purchase a Home Tower Garden from Juice Plus. We really want to promote healthy eating in our family and figured that the hydroponic tower would be a great way to do this as we could grow plants year-round inside our home.

It took a couple of weeks to arrive. I set it up (without the back-ordered lights), it came with everything we needed and was easy to do. There were instructions on how to put the tower together, but even without looking at them, I was able to get it all in the correct order. I decided that I would start some seedlings while we waited for the lights to arrive – between the kids and Atticus being curious we lost a bunch of the seedlings. But the day the lights arrived I moved them over to the tower with the lettuce we already had placed into the tower.

On February 26th, about a month after I placed my first set of seedlings into the tower, I decided it was time to plant more seeds. This time I remembered to take pictures of the process. The plants in the tower I had placed in too early but they were still growing well. We were able to eat the lettuce off of the plants that we had gotten from Urban Harvest while still growing our own. When the weather permits the plan is to take most of the calendula out of the tower and transplant them into the outdoor garden and at that point we will do another planting session.

I wanted to see what my one-week progress looked like and regretted not taking pictures when I first started planting. But decided that I’ll just take them from here on out and I can update you guys with them in a couple of months when the tower is looking fuller.

February Reading 2022

Dragon Girls: Willa the Silver Glitter Dragon by Maddy Mara

No Clean Clothes by Robert Munsch

Should I Share My Icecream by Mo Willems

Awesome Walruses by Eric Charlesworth

The Oreo Counting Book by Sarah Albee

The Snow Fairies’ Skating Party by Irene Kilpatrick

Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach by James Dean

Pete the Cat: {ete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

Stone Soup retold by Annette Smith

Darly and the Dragon by Stephanie Gorman

Mr. Tickle by Rodger Hargreaves

Little Miss Star by Rodger Hargreaves

A Wild Eagle Needs a Beak by Vi Hughes

Going to the Firehouse by Mercer Mayer


Last week I wrote a bit about how my family is working on bettering our nutrition. Another one of my other goals is to have my house feel like home by finding permanent homes for everything. Clutter and mess effect my mental health pretty severely. It is difficult to feel the thrill of life when as you look around you feel like a failure for not keeping up, which then in turn makes you feel depressed / anxious, which makes it difficult to work away at the thing making you feel like that in the first place.

Anyway, Kevin and I purchased a double-wide mobile last summer. When we first moved in we ensured that we kept the storage locker for an extra time so that we could sort things before they moved in. We knew that things would get re-arranged a few times before we were completely happy with the location of everything. Since then the items that have made it into our home have become rotating/moving piles of things with no home.

Originally when we moved in, we had both of our children in separate rooms. Our eldest daughter chose the smaller room but after she carved up her sister’s closet and drew all over her walls we decided it was best to limit the damage to one bedroom, moving our children both into the larger room. In August, prior to moving Sanura’s furniture into the larger room, I took the time to paint the room the shades of green that Zen had wanted her room to be. We put Sanura’s belongings on one side of the room and Zen’s on the other. It currently feels a bit cramped but Zen has requested a loft frame for her bed, which once in place will open up their floor for playtime.

A panorama of Zen checking out the paint job in her room.

The space that used to be Sanura’s room has temporarily been turned into a space the kids can use to do their homework, practise music and play on their computer. Eventually we would like to have the girls in their own spaces again. A lot of the office and art supplies will have to be moved at that point. So, once the warmer weather arrives we have plans to change up the shelving in our shed so that our crafting supplies and gardening tools will live harmoniously.

I’ve very excited for this as even though our space as expanded I haven’t really felt as though I had enough room to work on a costume project without having to worry about putting away a half-completed or wet project so the space could be utilized for something else.

The first thing we changed this year was our living/dining room layout. The room felt over crowded (and we don’t have everything in the house yet that Kevin is hoping to grab from his parents’ home). We decided that storage was the most important thing to start with. So we used some white covered boards that I procured over the winter to build a low entertainment shelf / computer desk for our focal wall. We intend to move Kevin’s speaker box beside it and eventually replace the computer monitors with a ceiling projector.

We moved our dining room table to be under a window, our fishtank under another and the third window is behind our living room seating. Our tower garden and some other shelving is also in this space. We want to re-organize our dining room hutch but can’t really give any more ideas towards our plans as we are still coming up with them.

After we made the entertainment stand we decided that we had plenty enough extra boards to make a cat apartment and cat-walk for our newly adopted kitten. We babysat Atticus back in November and fell in love with him. His owner reached out to us in early February asking if we would like to keep him as she could no longer care for him. The apartment we made him has three levels. The bottom houses his litter box. The second is a verticle tower that we keep his food and water dish in, it also has steps up to his upper level hidey-box. The roof of his apartment houses his scratch-carpets and allows him access to the cat-walk.

Atticus taking a cat nap.

Yesterday I spent a few hours re-arranging the master bedroom; with minimal help. I spent the afternoon removing both my own and my husband’s dresser as well as a shelf from the space we reside-in. This is not something I suggest that anyone with fibromyalgia does on their own. My body is aching a lot from it but I’m happy with the results so far. With those items removed I went into the office, and removed the three large shelves that we were poorly utilizing, and moved them into the bedroom. The smaller of the three shelves I have put in a corner, beside our mattress (we are still waiting for our bedframe from Christams to arrive). It has a glass door and a few drawers that I set up to display our glass wear and the accessories that go with them. The two larger shelves I have put beside each other between the bedroom door and our en-suite.

There is always lots to do as a home owner. I’m excited to complete some of these projects and work on others as well. I’ll ensure to update as I go along.

Summer 2022 events

Oh my goodness! I’m ever so excited for conventions to open up again! We were fortunate enough to be able to Prince George for Northern Fan Con last September, but I have been missing all you wonderful, geeky, costume-loving people!

As long as we’re actually allowed to host conventions this year *fingers crossed* These are the first three we plan to attend this year that have information out already. As events come closer I’ll update you on them as well.

Vernon Comic Con will be the first event we attend this year, held on Free Comic Book Day. We absolutely loved the atmosphere in 2019 and are so excited to attend again this year. The first two events were held at the Village Green Hotel but I am told that the new venue is larger, which means more fun for all of us!

Kelowna Fan Experience is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. We were fortunate enough to attend in 2019, set up in the artist alley, in the Rotary Center for the Arts. This event also takes over the Kelowna Community Theatre, Black Box Theatre and the Okanagan Regional Library’s downtown location.

Our costume shop has attended Kelowna Comic Con since 2018. This year the convention is moving to the Capital News Centre.

Nutrition is Important

Apologies for the late post! On Tuesday I had a visitor and ended up with a day of intense emotion so I forgot to actually hit post. When I realized that I had missed it I decided it was for the best as I could actually further flesh out my mantra. So, I’m sidestepping just a little bit here and instead of posting my partially finished mantra, I would like to talk about some of the things I’ve been doing in my life towards my goals.

I have spent the last couple of years working on my mental health – something that can be a number of posts by itself and so I shan’t get into it fully right now. I talk with a psychologist monthly, a psychiatrist yearly, and my general practitioner regularly. I journal when I remember to and have been working on changing my mindset so I am less hard and more loving towards myself, and more positive about everyday things. It’s a good start but I’m not where I’d like to be as of yet.

Prior to that, I began to really focus on attempting to deal with my body pain as it had gotten worse after childbirth. I am still in daily pain from fibromyalgia but I have figured out how to mostly manage my symptoms throughout the year. This could take yet another post or four.

My house is usually chaotic and I don’t just mean the run around of having four people with active lives. I mean inside my home. I have always struggled with keeping things organized in my home – my computer, work places, lockers, etc have always been a different story.

Here is an example of what my cleaning may look like: I have laundry on the go and need to make dinner, but my dishwasher is broken and no one likes to do dishes, so I need to wash them before I can cook, but someone forgot to scrape their plate. When I go to scrape it I realize the garbage is full, so I have to take it out to the rubbish bin. On the way to the rubbish bin I notice that the deck needs to be swept, so I quickly take care of that on the way back. But my kid interrupts me because they want help getting art supplies out. On the way out of the office I can smell the cat litter, I haven’t cleared it yet, so I do that and and get reminded that I was getting art supplies. I help my kid set them up and the bell dings on the dryer. I pull out the clothes and quickly run them to my bedroom thinking I’ll put them away soon, I need to make dinner. After washing my hands and heading back to the kitchen I remember that I didn’t get the dishes done yet and start a sink full of water. More food needs to be thrown out, but I forgot to replace the bag, better go get it. As I walk into the pantry I find that someone decided to have a snack and left a mess every where, time to clean that up. But I forgot about the running water and now the sink is over flowing, I quickly turn off the water and grab a towel to clean it up. Now the kids want my attention again. I haven’t started dinner and I am started to feel stressed. The entire day goes like this, things get half done, moved around, etc.

Its frustrating, my house feels like a stressful revolving mess that I can hardly keep up with, especially while being in pain. I have attempted to follow Fly Lady’s plan in the past but find that I get so much junk mail that it becomes a chore looking up what I need to do for minimal cleaning for the week. Something has got to change right?

So, I’ve made a plan. I will use fly lady’s advice but plan on only looking at her weekly sneak peak. I’ve been doing one load of laundry completely every day, as well as one load of dishes daily. Everything else can wait until I have the energy, strength or time. My therapist has told me that I am one of the busiest people he knows, instead of burning the candle on both ends I’m burning it on four. By having a bare minimum set that I need to do each day I can turn the cleaning into a a habit that won’t burn me out and has me less stressed because I can see the progress, even if others cannot.

The thing I really want to talk about today is that I am branching out this year and want not only my mind but my body to be healthy as well. I know that a lot of our body’s health comes from our nutrition and food intake so I plan to focus a lot on food.

In November I purchased a weekly meal plan calendar while at work. I only schedule dinners and special bulk baking/soup batches currently but may branch out to breakfast and lunches as well in the future – there is enough room. On the right-hand side, it has a place to write a shopping list which I use to write down the ingredients we’ll need for the next week’s plan as well as lunch foods that the family requests. It’s a bit of a pain having to sit down and come up with the meals for the next week but it makes preparing meals so much easier. I no longer hum and haw about what to make. And if something comes up I can grab a meal from a different day in the week make it instead and come back to what I was planning to make later as I know I’ll have all the ingredients. I’m also finding it makes a lot less wasted food in our house as we are no longer running to the store guessing what we need and may want to eat for the upcoming couple of weeks.

December while at work I ran into one of my highschool teachers, who I have kept up with here and there throughout the years since I graduated. She has been on a journey to help people understand the benefits of whole food and growing your own food for almost the same amount of time that I’ve been out of school. I’d heard about the tower gardens from her before but wasn’t really interested at the time. But there was something different this time – I was open to learning more. It turns out that she sells not only the towers but also these supplements that help bridge the gap between healthy eating and what you actually consume. I checked out her website and found that there are over 40 scientific studies by reputable universities and hospitals on these products and the benefits of them.

I made the decision at this point to join the company myself, even after trying to research the negatives of the products and company. These are NSF certified, gmo-free, organic, vegan products that seemed like they could actually help my family. The price scared me a bit, but by joining the company I was able to get refunded some of that amount. I figured worst case scenario I’d be a bit healthier, best case scenario I could actually help other and earn a little extra cash while doing so. A win-win in my mind.

I decided to get my family the tower garden. I really wanted to be able to grow plants throughout the winter that my family could eat. This tower is amazing!! It uses 98% less water and 90% less space than a traditional garden, it yeilds 30% more crops, 3 times faster. The food is nutritious, my kids are learning more about gardening and the grow lights make me feel more uplifted during the day. I also decided to get some shakes, and a trio of capsuls (veg, fruit and berries) for myself. The company has a family healthy starts program which meant I was able to get these vegetable and fruit gummies for my kids for free. By doing this I was actually able to earn my first promotion (just for getting products I was going to get anyway) which included a bonus. A bonus I used to treat my family and put towards my financial goals.

I spent the first month a bit sceptical about how these were going to help us. Yes, I read some of the studies but theory versus putting something into action is quite different usually. We started with half of the recommended servings, this way both my kids and my husband and I could all get some of the benefits. After two weeks I was starting to see definite differences. My six year old daughter who hates eating fruits and veggies was occasionally asking to eat fresh food as snacks, all four of us were pooping more regularily and I felt like I had more energy throughout the day.

Since then I have been attending zoom seminars on health, for example, yesterday evening I attended one hosted by Alisa Herriman who has been a nutritionist for over seventeen years and has been voted best nutritionalist in Canada seven times. She specializes in cancer treatment and prevention but had a talk about how nutrition impacts mental health. She speaks quickly and I found that I could hardly keep up as I attempted to write my notes out from listening, but I gained so much knowledge. Like, did you know that fish don’t actually make Omegas? Instead they eat it and are highly processed to make those supplement pills you get at the store. It takes four pounds of processed fish to make one ounce of omega! Or how about the fact that people who have depression, schizophrenia, ADHD or learning disabilities often have low essential fatty acids in their diet?

I intend to learn more about how nutrition helps the body, and to use that information to better my family. It was never something I was really inspired to learn about before but truly believe that by changing the way we eat and the nutrition that wee receive I will be able to help my family be better, do better and live our best lives.

Okay, this post has gotten way longer than I expected. I’ll make an update on how all this is going in the future. Take care everyone, and drink some water 🙂

Prepping My Goals

Those who read my post on Smart Goals will know that this is not my final goal list. I figure I should probably start listing out some of what I’d like to change in my life as well as some things I’d like to work towards before writing the final mantra.

  • have always dreamed of being able to be an active part of my children’s lives. This means that anything I do for work will fit around their schedule.
  • I want to earn enough money at the end of 2023 that my husband can work less at his full-time position and work towards his own dreams – if he so wishes.
  • I would like to pay off all of my personal debts by the end of June 2022 and begin making extra payments towards both my car loan and mortgage.
  • I will save up $3,000 for an emergency vet bill by December 2022
  • I will begin an education fund for my second daughter before September 2022. (My eldest daughter already has one).
  • I will begin saving for household emergencies and retirement.
  • Kittie’s Kostumes – as my events are all dependent upon covid restrictions I won’t make any goals regarding them. But I would like to work twice a week towards making more items to put in the shop, and bringing in more artisan works from across both Canada and the United States.
  • Juice Plus – I would like to earn enough money that the juice plus products that my family consumes are fully funded by sales. Make my next promotion by end of this month and the promotion after that before the end of 2022.
  • Listener – I would like to post one short every three months this year, and have the first draft of book one finished by the end of March 2023.
  • Post-secondary – currently I have no immediate aspirations to attend post-secondary school. instead, I want to learn about health and self-betterment through reading. Come September 2023 I would like to take one class per semester on topics that interest me (such as philosophy, anthropology, psychology, sewing, dance, etc) to be determined in next year’s goal making.
  • regular date nights with my husband.
  • be able to attend my children’s extracurricular activities, school trips and have regular one-on-one dates.
  • Parents & Siblings & extended family – see them bi-monthly on top of our regular holiday meetups, call/email one or two out of town family members weekly for a catch-up
  • Friends – meet up for one breakfast date a month, one dinner or coffee date a month, and come the spring have regular hikes where any of my friends may join. I’d like to reach out to someone
  • Spend 2 – 4 days a month volunteering.
  • By the end of 2022 be able to donate 10% of my income to charities. Have a list of charities I want to support researched by the end of September 2022.
  • Become an active member of the PAC at my children’s school
  • I need to become more confident in starting conversations with people I don’t know.
  • I need to take more initiative to make plans when I get along with someone.
  • make ‘x’ new friends in this year.
  • Donate blood/plasma regularly
  • Start as savings account for green initiatives – solar panels, electric vehicle,
  • compost
  • get my weight down to 175lbs
  • eat healthier; no snacks after 9pm; meal plan – create less waste, weekly meal prep; tower garden;
  • talk to my physcologist monthly
  • read spiritual books weekly
  • take time to do something leisurely
  • be creative weekly
  • have positive feelings towards ourselves
  • boosting your self-confidence
  • practise proper posture and power poses
  • Stop Procrastinating
  • Set a regular wake up and bed time

Creating Goals

I want to make myself a focused goal mantra and feel as though doing this will aid in ensuring I have something to guide me to where I want to be in life. The last time I made one was back in 2015 (it was not completely focused on goals, instead it was more focused on what I had as an overall image for my life) and I failed to read it daily as it wasn’t placed somewhere that I could see it easily. Having moved last summer I now have space in which I can make myself a vision board.

Don’t know what any of these are? Don’t sweat it, this post is going to give a general guideline for how to make one as I can share how I go about making my own.

There are two main things that should go into a goal mantra, although you could add whatever else will help hype you towards achieving your own dreams.

The first would be little inspirations or quotes that add positivity towards your mentality. They can be things like “It’s okay to be a dreamer, as long as you’re also a planner and a doer”. or “No dream is too big if you have the guts to achieve it”, or “I am awesome just because I exist”.

The second is what makes it a goal list in the first place – your goals. They should be “SMART goals”. The letters of the word SMART are an acronym standing for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. There are so many guides that can be found online to help you make goals in this manner but here is a quick rundown for each letter.

Specific – goals should be simple, clear, and specific. If the goals are too broad or vague they are less motivating in the long run. Think of what needs to be accomplished, by who, and what steps need to be taken to achieve it.

Measurable – this will help you determine if you are on track for your goal and if it is a success or failure. Your goals should have some sort of objective way to measure them—whether that’s a deadline, a number, a percent change, or some other measurable element. Think about how much, how will you know if the target has been reached.

Attainable – goals should give you a bit of a challenge. Based on your experiences and resources, think about if you can attain your goal. If not, re-think the goal. It’s fine to have a goal that will be a stretch to be able to achieve but if it is out of the realm of possibilities then there needs to be a breakdown on how to get to what you want in a longer time frame.

Relevant – why does this goal matter to you? Whatever you work towards needs to resonate with your needs and desires at this point in time yet work into the bigger picture of what you want in your life.

Time-bound – without a deadline a goal may sit on the back burner until it never comes to fruition. Think about if this needs to be done in a few days, weeks, months, or years. Having a set deadline creates urgency.

Okay, so you now know what needs to be focused upon for each goal, but there are so many different aspects of your life. When writing a goal mantra you want to ensure you cover all parts of your life. To ensure I don’t miss any I like to write a list out of each area of my life and then jot down something quick for each one.

The following are areas of life that can be used when writing a mantra. I would expect that some goals will cover multiple sections.

Finances; career; education; relationships – romance, kids, parents, siblings, friends; social life and community; environment; personal growth – personal character, physical and mental health, spirituality; leisure time, creativity; quality of life; life vision;