The hidden dangers of Wage Increases…

What a difference a year can make. I turned sixty in 2018, realizing that I’d aged out of my life insurance which now only pays out 30% and triples in cost moving forward, which I opted out of. The wage increase to $15 dollars an hour may have appeared like a wonderful thing for the working force, which I’ve long been retired from. But, in reality it isn’t such a grand thing at all. Even before the increase shopping became so expensive with all of the products raising their cost and the items such as macaroni you’d buy getting smaller and smaller. Soon I imagine it will resemble pea size.

Jobs became harder to find, and lay offs were rampant. Folks were let go in droves since the employers couldn’t afford to pay as many people, benefits for those began to disappear at an alarming rate. The homeless numbers began to increase as the cost of living kept going up. Your monthly bills rose as the amount of money left over for food to just survive began to dwindle.

A jar of mayonnaise should not cost almost $8 and the cost of a loaf of bread close to $4 dollars. This past year I’ve made my own bread and recently making my own homemade mayo. Thank heavens for a G O U T condition that happened a few years ago. You may wonder why I’m happy about this?

Well, you first have to find what triggers your gout pain and believe me it’s so painful that I could barely walk. You can’t sleep either because Gout does not sleep when you want too. So, you either suffer or find out what foods are causing you such turmoil.  By elimination of one type of food at a time that often causes gout pain and believe me there are a ton of foods that can cause this condition. First to go was Beef …

This was not so hard as 5 years ago beef began to rise in cost causing me to give up buying the beloved product in the grocery store. Oh how my taste buds missed the beef, even to a point the memory of how good a grilled steak tasted outdoors was in the forefront of the mind.

Gout pain remained, so the next culprit was to give up seafood. Well, at this point in time I might as well told myself to give up the air that I breath. I grew up in Florida and since I could walk as a child I fished, shrimped and ate seafood like it was the life saving air we need to breath.

Asparagus is a major cause of gout pain~ added to the list making them demons to the inner workings of my body. I’d just planted from seed a million ( well, perhaps not that much~ 6 yrs ago) in my back garden eagerly waiting for the 3 years before I could harvest them and enjoy one of my favorite vegetables. Hum… They are still growing out there and looking massively beautiful each new growing season.

Enter 2019

2019 ~ Arrived with hopes for a much better year, given my knees that needed dual knee replacements back when I was in my mid forties ~ as told by my surgeon are still in good repair after I was forced to stop manual labor many years ago. I rested those knees for 7 years , bought a wheelchair and hoped for my body to realize it was time to fix its self.

With the grace of the universe they did just that without having the knee replacement done, no more cracking noises from them as the cartilage breaking off, grinding between the joints of the knee. So, did it repair its self? Only the universe knows that answer. But, I am walking and gardening still to this day as I approach 61 years old. They may blow out at any time I know, but I somehow doubt it… I listen to my body closely and it tells me without a shadow of a doubt when I need to sit or lay down. I’ve grown very good at hearing it scream at me and I just pure and simply listen.

The roof is leaking, the axle on the car (21 yr old vehicle) is cracked. The windows casing are deteriorating and my pup is aging right along with me at an alarming rate. I know her days are numbered and my heart sinks at the thought. I’ve owned dogs since I was a little girl growing up in Florida under the close eye of my guardians ~ My Grandparents….

I know with the rising costs of everything I will not get another pet to raise and love again. I simply can not afford the vet bills that are needed with a puppy, and spading. Oh my deck steps are going down hill too , which leads into the garden I love. I made some handy dandy tricks to shore up the one step to get me through last summer, but have not looked at them yet this spring as the snow has just now this week finally melted up here in Canada. My back yard is a mess that I will soon be attacking with a rake, to remove leaves and the gifts a pup leaves behind all winter long (6 months of winter) Lots and lots of gifts she bestowed to me..

I use to back in the day do it all in one day clearing and cleaning the backyard, but it will take me at least three days to do a job that once took one. I am blessed that I can still walk on these legs, still have a back that can continue to garden in her permaculture beds which I planned out years ago for this time in my life when bending was not an option for the length of time it takes to put in and work a garden. I am so happy I had forethought…..

So, the radishes are sown in my homemade garden trug (built in 2015) and the mustard greens are sown as well. I plan on more for the deck garden, since I can’t eat many of the store bought lettuces or vegetables because of the chemicals they spray on them. I am going to be one of the happiest women around when I get to eat my first salad of the season in a month or two. I found that the store bought greens hurt my 6 Ulcers .. Chemicals my friend are not our friends…..

Being my own body detective has made my quality of life much better, now if only I can find that damn pot of gold hidden I’d be golden…

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Animating my way through Winter…

I still have 5 feet of snow in my backyard where I do my Springtime gardening each year. This year I decided that I’d try my hand at learning a new trick. Not, pertaining to gardening, but rather teaching myself how to animate. You will see (thank heavens) a progression in my abilities with each new animation that I released to the public.

My love of gardening is followed by my love of creating, which is actually what gardening is all about. So, whether it’s Art or Gardening I am in my up most happy place creating. I hope you enjoy my baby steps into animating and if one day I become good I  hope to hear from Spielberg.  (Insert laugh track here…)

Toonie Tuesdays began on YouTube back on January 30th 2018

I’m pleased to introduce you to Wilson and Harley

(Click on Each Video to View)

With each new frame I created I grew excited daily to bring these two characters to life. I began drawing my heart out digitally using a digital Pen Tablet and SketchBook Pro.

Winter time in Northern Ontario, Canada can become challenging in more ways than one and to keep a feeling of ” Well Being” can be a tricky thing when the daylight hours are at a minimum and the dark skies of a snowy winter can alter how you feel each day. So, I battle my way through the winters here doing things that can offer me smiles and enjoyment. Last winter I had an indoor garden all winter long, but I also had those gnats flying around all last winter too, due to them hatching from the store bought potting soil.

Between shoveling off my deck and snow-blowing the driveway many times I began creating something fun for myself. I figured if I could make myself giggle I just might be able to bring a few smiles or two to other folks who are struggling to find their own Winter time smiles.

Now, I know these are not the best around and some folks may even say they are not very good, but this is the beginning of animation for me and I started out not knowing what on earth I was doing. Baby steps remember, and learning as I go.

When I hear something that I’ve drawn has made someone smile or just felt better then I know I am on the right track with this path I’ve taken. These are not merely for my own enjoyment they are for you my friends here.  The folks who are sitting here reading this typed out message and watching the birth of Wilson & Harley….

 

When I arrived at this point in time for creating the above animation I’d been pondering (I do this a lot) for many hours over just how I wanted to change up my skills and thought of something that just might work out.

Bam !  I was blown away by what I created here and I am very excited for you all to see….

 

So, I think I’ve kept you all here much too long and I’ll save the next ones for future blog posts. If, you’ve made it thus far I truly Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope that I’ve left a few smiles in my wake…. hugs

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My Christmas Elf returns this year….

Just after being sick with a cold for over a month, my Christmas Elf returned this year to help me out in the kitchen to prepare Gluten Free Pie crusts for the mini Apple pies I’m making for my son. Due to terrible skin allergies he has had to give up all gluten.. Please enjoy this bit of whimsy for your post Christmas Day…..

 

And, if you have a few moments to spare, join my beautiful daughter and I in the kitchen to whip up some tasty treats..

 

Thanking you all kindly for spending some holiday time with my family, Hugs….

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Vlog Of Sorts – Dec. 8th 2017

I’m still under the weather as far as the head cold goes, but Winter waits for no one when it comes to having to bring out the snowblower and snow shovels. Friday was a snow storm to prove Mother Nature is boss, no matter how much we as humans think we are. Enjoy these two short videos to see for yourself. Hugs from me to you

Part One…..

 

Part Two…

 

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Caught between Spring and Summer

I’ve been so busy over the winter time here sowing seeds of all types. I wanted to get ahead of the short growing season we have here in the north. I thought I’d try my gardening hands with some different plants this coming season. Now that Spring has finally arrived here and melted all of the snow away I have daily chores of taking out the seedlings for their first breath of fresh outdoor air and the glorious sights of a real sun ~ instead of just grow lights. These little plants need a weeks worth of hardening off, 30 minutes each day not in direct sunlight so they will be able to handle being outside fully.

Today it has been raining, and they are calling for more of the same tomorrow off and on. This morning I awoke to fog which always signals warmer temps after a chilly overnight. So, with the pending rain I thought I’d drive to the lake here and see if the sun would come out for a picture or two.

As I sat in the car (bad knee day) I thought about what I was going to blog about or what video I was going to make for my YouTube channel ~ BirchtreeGuardianGardener

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I of course had to make little cards over the winter time so I could mail some to my gardening friends all over the world. You see we gardeners and other You Tubers love to exchange items of interest. I’ve found this to be quite enjoyable during a time of struggle this past winter. I’ve experienced some family losses that have taken their toll on me for a year now, but I’m strong and will survive one way or the other.

I tend to find things to keep me very busy, instead of sinking into that hole that so many other people know all about. The sowing of seeds this past winter has saved me in more ways than one. They needed my daily attention and care. I could not refuse to get out of bed each day, since these newly sprouted plants needed me to bring the sunshine to them and water them or just tickle them to stimulate the outside wind so their tender stems would grow strong and healthy.

Well, in doing so these tiny little plants over the wintertime have tended also to me. By, giving me a purpose and a goal.

One was to get the heck outta bed! Keep my mind and my thoughts on bringing these plants up so in the spring they could finally feel the warmth of the sunshine, the breeze of the winds and the love mother nature has to offer them.

The past few days I’ve been feeling low and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why….

The weather is brighter and the warmth is returning along with the longer daylight hours. How I love spending time outside working in my garden or just sitting out there watching my little pup enjoy running around or searching out critters. So, why the long face I asked myself.

I drove to the lake here in search of answers .. This is a place where there are no phones to ring, or door bells to blaze… No, distractions except for the calming feelings I get sitting by the lake. Spring has just begun and yet I’ve felt like someone poked a hole in my balloon, and I was sailing out of control without a True North in sight.

Two hours later I didn’t have my answer, so I fired up the old car and drove to another place that I love .. The video below shows you this special place, where many decades ago my late husband and I sat on the bench that you will see in the video.

This bench is the place where I told him what my doctor has said to me (back in 1993) I would one day become blind.. There were five eye operations that I could have, but after that nothing could be done. It was as black and white as that. Well, many things changed that day by the waters edge, but one thing that didn’t change was my conviction to never say never and no matter what the situation I would remain strong, blind or not!

I found my answer today while sitting on that bench, remembering the past and the memories I retained. I still have my eyesight after just One Operation so far on the left eye. I have 4 more operations to go, if they are needed. The doctor back in 1994 told me the first operation would only last for one year and I’d need another one. I told him, “We’ll see about that…” You see I’m not your normal patient and you’ll see for yourself.

I was the first person to have this special eye operation in Ontario all those years ago, and they brought in 5 other surgeons to watch the procedure as well. This has been written up in the Canadian Medical Journal as well. But, as far as I’m concerned they will not get another chance to do another surgery on my eyes. Sheer will of conviction I say has carried me through… I have faith it shall continue…

So enjoy this short video, witness the bench

where I regained my strength back in 1993

and again in 2017

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A Turkey with only one leg…Beware of this tale….

I bought a turkey for this Thanksgiving dinner and the bird happily thawed in the refrigerator for days, until Thanksgiving morning.

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I joyfully dug out my special turkey pan to hold my glorious bird that would in 4  to 5 hours offer my family with a tasty meal for this Thanksgiving holiday.

I excitedly cut away at the plastic wrapping that tightly surrounded the thawed out turkey with a soulful grimace upon my face…Not looking forward to cramming my hand into the birds butt to remove the awful bag of giblets…

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To my horror I witnessed a terrible sight!

I had bought a One Legged Turkey!

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I sadly crammed my hand into the hollow of the turkey butt to pull out the awful bag containing the giblets for which to make a honorable gravy to lightly pour over the hand mashed potatoes…

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My face began to frown even more after finding that the bag was missing!

Now the only thing left to do was to take three pieces of paper for my family including myself…

Because, we had to draw for the Thanksgiving Turkey Leg!

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Since, there was only one Turkey Leg…

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Oh My Goodness ~ 200 Followers Mark !

A great big smile and hugs go out to Anju ~ https://anjusworldblog.wordpress.com/

for helping me to make it to 200 followers… I think everyone should pay her a visit, because she has a very interesting blog. Lots of fun information and just an all around beautiful layout…This young lady is beautiful inside and out.. So, take a few moments to have a look see.. You’ll be glad you did, honestly…

Thanking you all kindly,

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Until next time

~Laura~