I have started working with a Case Manager through the county’s mental health services unit. Today we came up with a plan to help me accomplish my goal of getting out of my apartment with no purpose attached. I mean, I’m now able to leave if I have a specific errand to run (go to the bank, the library, pharmacy, grocery store, etc.) but I still struggle with simply going out for a walk. And I want to be able to get out for non-specific reasons.
So for the next 2 weeks my plan is this: on Sundays, my goal is to go for a walk. And if I feel that I need a “purpose” of sorts, then I am to either plan out and walk a potential running route (since I do want to return to running in the near future), pick a store I haven’t been to here in town and go window shopping, or if I absolutely MUST attach an actual errand to it, then I am to find a longer way to get to where I need to go.
I started today. After my appointment, I needed to go pick up a few things, but instead of walking straight to the store, I wandered around a bit first. I walked through the residential area the mental health offices are in, then made my way to a street that would eventually lead me back downtown. I ended up walking almost 3km out of my way just to go to Giant Tiger.
I will confess to feeling a bit anxious at first. Part of my brain was screaming at me to go get my things and go home. Where I could hide and nobody could see me. But the truth is, I don’t WANT to be hiding. I don’t WANT to be invisible. I WANT to be ME again. And I’m slowly getting there.
When I started making my dinner tonight, I had absolutely no intention of sharing the recipe. Because I really didn’t expect it to turn out. Truth is, I have no money until the end of the month and I am out of fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread, etc., etc. I’m limited to dry goods that are in my cupboard, a bit of yogurt, some frozen peas and a bit of meat in the freezer. So I threw some stuff together and hoped for the best. The result: a yummy, filling dinner that tasted like Mac & Cheese.
Fake Mac & Cheese
- split red lentils, rinsed and drained
- ground turmeric
- cayenne powder
- ground cumin
- ground coriander
- vegetable oil
- elbow macaroni
- frozen peas
- nutritional yeast flakes
- plain yogurt
I apologize for the lack of measurements in this. I really did just pour stuff in the pot.
- In a largish pot, bring some water to a boil. Add in a 1/2 tsp or so of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, along with 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Stir and then add your lentils (I probably poured in a cup or so). Simmer the lentils until almost cooked.
- When your lentils are almost done, add the macaroni to the pot. Stir and allow the pasta to cook in the lentils (you may need to add a bit more water….you don’t want to have to drain the pasta/lentils so don’t add too much more water).
- When the pasta is almost done, stir in the frozen peas and nutritional yeast flakes. When the peas are cooked, you’re ready to eat. Serve in a bowl, topped with a bit of plain yogurt.
My once Beautiful Plants (specifically the Begonia Rex at the top)
Oh Poor Begonia Rex. I remember the day I brought you home, so full and beautiful. Your colourful foliage made me very happy. I made sure to read up on how to care for you properly. Apparently though, I am doing something very, VERY wrong.
Yes, those are my Begonia Rex now. Even though I thought I wasn’t watering them too much, it turns out I was. Especially the one in the white pot. The poor, sad plant was definitely suffering from too much love. I trimmed off the brown, water-logged roots, changed the soil, and gently re-potted the poor thing. Of course, I am now TERRIFIED of watering it. I did check the roots on the Rex in the blue pot, and they seemed ok. But it is just a very sad plant. I feel like these poor Rex plants might just get chalked up to an indoor gardening experiment gone sideways. All I wanted was to have some plants that weren’t just GREEN. I am going to keep babying these poor things, and see if I can’t nurse them back to health. I’m a horrible plant mom. And I feel so awful.
I am apparently MUCH better with outdoor plants though. It sure helps that Mother Nature does all the work for me. I just get to enjoy the pretty flowers that are blooming. Well, except for my geranium. All the colourful petals have blown off. But, it is putting out new growth, so it’s not dead yet. And my portulaca and outdoor Begonia hybrid, Miss Montreal, are doing AMAZING! I love that my portulaca are multi-coloured. They make me so happy.
For the second day in a row, it has been crazy hot and with no A/C, my apartment hit 34C (93F) this afternoon. There was absolutely NO WAY that I was turning on the stove. Even the mere thought of hot food made me feel slightly sick.
So this salad was born.
Chickpea and Couscous Salad
- 1.5 cups of couscous (I combined the couscous with some bulgur wheat I had in the cupboard)
- 1.5 cups boiling water
- 1 19oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- black olives, pitted and sliced
- couple generous handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup or so of mustard vinaigrette (recipe below)
- In a bowl, put your couscous and cover with the boiling water. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes (until the water is absorbed).
- In a second bowl, combine chickpeas, red onion, garlic, black olives, spinach, and vinaigrette. Stir so everything is coated with the dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper if you want.
- Add the couscous to the dressed ingredients and stir to combine. Put in fridge for a couple of hours to allow flavours to blend.
Chickpea and Couscous Salad
When I make salad dressing, I never measure my ingredients. I eyeball things and then I adjust as I go. But I’ll try to give some measurements for you. And this makes a small amount of dressing. I’m just one person. I used this dressing on a couple of green salads before using the rest on the couscous salad tonight.
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 6 tbsps vegetable oil
- couple good squirts of grainy dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- dash of dried herbs (I used marjoram, basil, rosemary, but thyme would be good too)
- Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a good sealing lid. Close lid and shake to combine. Taste and adjust as necessary
Lately I’m finding that I feel like I have nothing to write about. I still have some very bad days and since I’m having more good days, I find the bad days REALLY bad. But I’m persevering and I’m trying to make sure my days are good.
I’ve been spending a lot of time outside on my balcony, enjoying my plants. Seeing the bright colours makes me smile.
I might have an obsession with Portulaca
And with the return of hot weather, I find that I’m really craving salads for dinner. I can eat salad any time of the year, but during the hot days of summer, I can make a meal out of salad. Hard-boiled eggs, salmon, tuna, chicken, greens, cheese, homemade vinaigrette.
Salad with Eggs, Spinach, Cheddar, Black Olives
Salad with Asparagus, Salmon, Red Onion, Spinach
Today I decided to tackle another sewing project. And I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’ve had this brown dress for ages. And while it’s super comfortable and I love wearing it, it’s a whole lot of brown. And I feel like it makes me look like a big poop. So I decided to cut it apart and re-purpose it. For this project, I wanted to try and keep the shape of the original dress (as closely as I could). So I used the brown skirt as my pattern and just cut the new fabric. I love how it turned out. And I’m thrilled that I was able to take an old dress and make it into something new.
I have a vision for the brown skirt too, and I’ll be sure to share when it’s done.
When I was growing up, I remember watching my mom plant pretty flowers in the front and back gardens. I loved how Mom would use interesting containers as planters: a half barrel, a cracked toilet, an old wood burning stove. One flower that got planted every year was portulaca. Mom loved them for the bright, colourful blooms and the ease of care. I love them for similar reasons, but I mostly love them because they remind me of my mother.
I’m getting there. I’m getting back to myself again. I feel my optimism returning, my zest for life. My energy levels are getting back to normal. Today I had an “a-ha!” moment, a conversation that really solidified my recovery. I popped into a shop here in town and got talking to the sales associate. She informed me that the owner was going to be posting an ad to hire someone for 15 hours a week. And my first thought was, “I can do that.” So I told the sales associate that I’d apply. It’s a huge step, but after 6 months, it’s one that I feel ready to take. I want to be working again. I NEED to have a bit of schedule and routine in my life.
I then came home and sat on my balcony. It was so recharging to sit in the sun with my plants and listen to the birds. I am hopeful again. Because I can see the end of this.
One of my portulaca has bloomed