Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkeys & Facts

It's Thanksgiving...okay, it's Thanksgiving in the US but whatevs...I have friends in the US so it's Thanksgiving for me too (even though it's Takeout Thursday and a Jr. Bacon cheeseburger is on the menu) but still. So in honor of all things food today (and thankfulness of course) I present to you...

Eighteen food facts about Janet Off Kilter...
  • Janet Off Kilter grinds her own peppercorns. With her teeth.
  • Janet Off Kilter brushes her teeth with wasabi and gargles with pickle brine. But still...her breath smells like apple pie.
  • Janet Off Kilter doesn't reduce sauces. She demoralizes sauces.
  • Janet Off Kilter's other car is the Wienermobile.
  • Janet Off Kilter can fit three hundred and forty-two cookies on a standard-sized baking sheet...without any touching.
  • Janet Off Kilter owns the fastest mixer in existence. When she runs it in reverse, time flows backwards. 
  • Janet Off Kilter grows truffles in her back yard. And at harvest time, she sniffs them out herself.
  • Janet Off Kilter was once asked to participate in a blind orange juice taste test. She was the only person able to successfully identify the brand, style, vintage, temperature, pH level, distance to the orchard, age of the grove trees, and the names of the workers picking the fruit. Including the one who needs to start washing after bathroom breaks.
  • Janet Off Kilter once got carried away slicing carrots, and julienned her cutting board. Undaunted, she sauteed the splinters in olive oil and spices...and they were delicious.
  • Janet Off Kilter doesn't whip potatoes. The potatoes whip themselves, if they know what's good for them.
  • Janet Off Kilter can pair a wine with any food...including hot dogs, ice cream, raw eggs, sawdust, and soylent green. It's people!
  • Janet Off Kilter slices ham so thin, it can only be seen using an electron microscope.
  • Janet Off Kilter can split a pineapple in half using only her pinkies. For coconuts, though, she has to use her thumbs. 
  • Janet Off Kilter can boil a three-minute egg in thirty-seven seconds.
  • Janet Off Kilter's fudge brownies aren't simply dark and rich. Her fudge brownies actually exert a mild gravitational pull.
  • Janet Off Kilter scrambles eggs into their individual component atoms. And can still make them into a tasty omelet.
  • Janet Off Kilter's kitchen timer is an atomic clock. It's set to GMT...Gumsmacking Morsel Time.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Didn't know true sadness until I accidentally pressed a button on my iPhone camera and saw my face from 2 inches away.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bah Hum Whatever

I have no Christmas spirit.

None.

Zip.

Zero.

I’m not a huge holiday person to start with. The Christmas decorations I own are neatly contained in one box. I don’t bake cookies, I don’t do cards, I own no holiday clothing. Not even socks. But usually I have some engagement with the season. A little part of me connects with the general excitement and allure. I hear a traditional song and smile. I find a gift for someone that I think they’ll love. I eat a cookie (that someone else has baked) and relish the crumbs.

This year...nothing. I know Christmas is still a month away but yeah.


A variety of factors are playing in. Work is incredibly busy, which means all I have energy for when I get home is sitting. Sometimes even that gets overwhelming. Traveling to connect with family sounds incredibly tiring, regardless of the end benefits. Decorating and baking equal clean up. Christmas parties mean leaving the house and the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is go out again and when I do go out, to the mall for example...all I see are pregnant women and families with babies. I find myself sighing after each encounter, my heart filling with sadness. It's just a painful reminder that my angry, hostile uterus remains empty.

But then...

I think about my life - my family and friends, my health and the health of those I love, a beautiful safe home to go home to, the list goes on. So when it comes right down to it, I've got NOTHING to complain about.

I still don’t have any Christmas spirit. But I think I've got a little Christmas perspective at least, and for now, that’s going to be enough.



What about you...are you feeling the Christmas spirit?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank You Friends


My life has not been easy
hard times I've seen my share,
through trials and tribulations,
you were always standing there.

You lent an ear, and gave a hand,
and always seemed to understand.

At times when I was torn and weak,
and could not bear the stress,
you always gave your all to me
never any less.

To you I'm always grateful for all that we have shared,
for standing right beside me showing that you cared.


Thank you for your kind, supportive and loving words on yesterday's post. I'm thankful for each and everyone one of you that take the time out of your day to follow my journey and offer such encouraging words. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

In The Beginning...

When you first start out trying to conceive you are filled with hope, optimism and excitement. You smile secret smiles while you dream about your future. You have visions of blissful mother and baby moments, all soft lighting and beautiful music.

As the months and years go by, and as you face negative after negative, the dream soon becomes too painful to dream. Instead of soft lighting and beautiful music there is disappointment, pain and fear that the dream might never become a reality. There is no vision, there is only a big question mark.

And so you go into self preservation mode. The music goes off and the lights go dark and you start wondering if it is really worth it. Perhaps that beautiful vision isn't real. Perhaps you were fooling yourself all along. Perhaps you don't really want this. Look at your life...your life isn't so bad as it is. Maybe deep down, you don't really want this. The pain of trying again and again seems too much. Perhaps you should just give up. You wonder whether it really is worth it?

I've asked myself that question many times. After yet another negative, after yet another early miscarriage.

I am so tired, bone weary to my soul, of all of this. I am so tired of putting myself out there, time and time again and just hitting heartache over and over again. I am even at the stage where I don’t know whether I should carry on trying. And this is me who said she would never give up. But how much more can I endure?

Right now. This hurts. A lot. My heart hurts. 





Friday, November 15, 2013

Funny Face Friday


Cheese fondue, Settlers of Catan (best game ever) and seeing the inside of the climbing gym this weekend is on my agenda. What are your weekend plans?


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cranky Panky

We all have cranky days, where you just wake up cranky and stay cranky all day and no matter how much positive self talk or repeating positive affirmations you do...it doesn't make an ounce of difference. 

I'm having one of the those today and it's allowed me to get a few insights into how to deal with them in a positive manner, without damaging too many people along the way.

  • Notice how you feel, be the observer and watch the emotions flow through you and how they affect you physically. This puts a little distance between 'you' and the emotions allowing some space to breathe. From this vantage point you can see how thoughts create emotions and then emotions affect the body.
  • Avoid judging yourself. You may find that your internal monologue will start to say things like "Look at you, you got angry, you’re bad person" That merely is the ego (or little crazy me as I like to call it) making another pointless judgement. Just let the thoughts go without believing them.
  • Don’t pretend to be happy and put on a fake smile, that only suppresses the feelings, bottling them up causing you to have a massive blow up at someone who least deserves it. Just be honest and let people know you’re having a cranky day and you hope it passes quickly.
  • Avoid people as much as you can. Its times like these that it’s okay to be alone or take time away. Let’s face it...you want to cause as least damage to as many people as possible!
  • Go into the backyard or the nearest park or in my case, work parking lot and scream and yell. Roll around, jump up and down, dance like an idiot or whatever (Okay maybe not the park as people will think you’re nuts) and release the energy that has built up. It’s important to do this as the energy needs to be moved on, not held tight within your body and this is the safe and gentle way to do it. Otherwise you may end up blowing up at someone that doesn't deserve it.
  • Say thank you. Yep, say thank you to the universe for your "cranky day" as it’s allowed you to notice a little bit of how 'you' work and what you can do to be gentler on yourself and others. 
via Cranky Birds
What about you...what's your mood like today?


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I'm never sure of the differences between a crocodile, an alligator, and a staple remover. They all look alike.



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Unfairness And A Choice

Life is not fair.

It never has been, and it never will be. Some people are born with powerful advantages. Others are born with crippling disadvantages. For everyone, in different ways and at different times for each person, life is challenging. And although life is not fair, it is dynamic and responsive. Though life is not fair, and though life presents you with endless challenges, you have the opportunity to do something about those challenges. One very important thing you can do is to dream, and use the power of those dreams to triumph even in the face of all the unfairness and the challenges.

But you know what? I'm finding it incredibly hard to dream let alone use the power of those dreams to triumph at the moment.

I'm struggling with the news that a friend is suffering in the midst of unfathomable situation on her road to becoming a mother, her partner a father. I'm struggling with the fact that Adam and I have fought so hard in our quest to becoming parents when others have what I've struggled so hard to get but don't want to be parents. 

I've realized this though...Yes, life isn't fair, which is why I must be optimistic.

Pessimists pretend that life should be fair and then get upset when it isn't. When the unfairness of life smacks pessimists down, they tend to stay down.

Optimists know life is unfair but still try to make things better. When the unfairness of life knocks them down, optimists get back up on their feet and try again.

Think of it this way...you've been dealt whatever cards you've been dealt. You have two choices...
  1. Complain that other people got better cards than you or 
  2. Concentrate on playing the cards you got as well as you possibly can.
Optimism is the only "cure" for the unfairness of life and I choose to be optimistic. 


What about you...are you a pessimist or an optimist?


Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 

John McCrae

I'm from a military family - My great-grandfather, my grandfather, my father, my sister and myself...we all served our country. My sister still serves as a member of the air force. I'm immensely proud and today I salute everyone that has served and serves in the armed forces. 

Thank you.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial via Ottawa 365

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Inter Unum Somnium et Aliud

A lucid dream is any dream in which one, for an uninterrupted and prolonged amount of time, is aware that one is dreaming. The phenomenon had also been referred to by Greek philosopher Aristotle who had observed: "often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream".

I lucid dream often and I've noticed that it tends to only happen in the two weeks following ovulation (today is 2dpo). Perhaps the surge in progesterone has something to do with it? Lucid dreaming is an odd, weird and a sometimes wonderful thing but I wonder...do others lucid dream as often as I do? I am acutely aware that I'm off kilter but are there others just as off kilter as I?

Here are a few interesting facts about dreams...

  • Every human dreams. There are tons of people who can’t remember their dreams when they wake up, but they still get them.
  • In an average lifetime, you would have spent a total of about six years of it dreaming. That is more than 2,100 days spent in a different realm!
  • Our brains tend to be way more active when we sleep, than when we’re awake.
  • Humans tend to have around 3 to 7 dreams a night. We dream around 2 to 3 hours in a whole night.
  • 90% of the dream is lost the first minute we wake up.
  • You can lucid dream for up to 30 minutes if trained properly.
  • It’s impossible to dream when you’re snoring.
  • Physiologically speaking, researchers found that during dreaming REM sleep, males experience erections and females experience increased vaginal blood flow, regardless the content of the dream. In fact, "wet dreams" may not necessarily coincide with overtly sexual dream content. 
  • Your body burns more calories sleeping than it does in the day time.
  • Information that we learn before we go to bed tends to stick with us longer than information any other time.
  • The normal rules of logic do not apply in dreams. For example, the dream may be taking place in one location – then, abruptly, the dreamer is trans located to a completely different place.
  • Most dreams occur in a house – but this is usually not your own home. The most frequently reported room is the living room. People rarely dream about their work place or school.
  • Dreams tend not to be happy events, and the three most common reported emotions are anger, sadness and fear.
  • Some themes are so common that they are reported the world over. These universal themes include the loss of a tooth, falling or flying, exhibition, arriving late for exams or other important events, and being chased or attacked.
  • There appear to be some differences in the content of dreams between the two sexes. Specifically, women are more likely to dream about their children, family or household activities; men are more likely to dream about strangers, violence, sexual activity, achievement, and outdoor events.

What about you...do you dream often?






Wednesday, November 6, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I'm concentrating so hard on trying not to eat a third cupcake that I literally can't do my job.

via Kailley's Kitchen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Observations

I love sitting in a public place watching people go by. Guessing at what they do, who they are, what their lives are like. It can entertain me for hours. It was on one of my trips to the mall when I noticed her.

She sat alone in the food court drinking her tea from a Tim Horton's paper cup. I knew it was tea because the string of the tea bag was hanging over the side of her cup. I'm guessing she was in her late 70s or early 80s. That age range came to mind because she had an uncanny resemblance to my grandmother (who passed earlier this year). Her gray hair was short with the type of curls that could only come from rollers and setting lotion. Her black coat was open revealing a white T-shirt with a floral design around the neck. Her polyester blue pants had a permanent crease in the legs and her sneakers, which I am sure she had chosen for comfort, had seen better days.
She sipped her tea and stared blankly ahead. Not noticing anyone around her. Just deep in thought. It was noon. She only had the tea...maybe she had eaten already. 

I wondered if she was waiting for someone. A granddaughter maybe who had worn her out from shopping . Now she was relaxing with her tea. Catching her second breath. I had to go. I had a conference call at the office that I needed to get back for but I still hadn't picked up what I needed so I was going to have to come back later in the afternoon.

It was after three by the time I got back to the mall. As I passed the food court, I remembered the older lady. she wasn't at the table. I was just about to turn the corner when I noticed she had moved. She was now sitting at the other end of the food court. How odd I thought. She's still here. I ran my errands for about 20 minutes and when I passed back by the food court I looked around but the lady was gone. There were washrooms off the food court and I decided to make a detour. When I was washing my hands I looked in the mirror and realized the lady standing two sinks down from me was the same older lady I seen sitting in the food court. She was trying to keep the water running but it was an automatic facet that shut off after a few seconds to conserve water. She noticed me staring this time "I can't get this water to turn hot" she told me. "I don't think it gets hot. I think they just give you enough time to wash your hands then it turns off automatically" I informed her.

As I dried my hands in the air dryer she went back to trying to run the water. I watched her in the mirror. She glanced toward me, seeing my back was to her, she took a clear plastic sandwich bag out of her rain coat pocket filled with tea bags and her Tim Horton's paper cup out of her other pocket. She took out a tea bag and placed it in the cup then filled it with warm water. She put the plastic brown cover over the top of the cup. Picked it up and left the washroom. 

I gave her a few seconds then walked out behind her. She walked over to a table, sat down and began to drink her tea. She didn't speak to anyone. She just stared, deep in thought as before. My cell phone rang. It was a work call...I needed to get back to the office. I quickly made one last stop. Five minutes later, I was ready to leave the mall. I walked through the food court expecting to see the older lady sitting at the table but she was gone. The table was clean.

As I left, I caught a glimpse of her getting on a bus. I walked to my car and never saw her again. Thoughts of her consumed me. Why would an elderly women spend hours sitting in a food court? Who knows how long she was there before I spotted her. Why did she have her own tea bags in her pocket? Who was she? Her wrinkled face told me she had worked hard all her life and raised a family. Did they know she was here all afternoon? Did they care?

Is she one of the forgotten elderly? 

The ones who sit at the mall all day because they can't afford to heat their houses or who have no one at home to be with. The mall would be a safe place for these people. Surely no security guard would ask an elderly woman to move along and stop loitering.

I'm going to look for her the next time I am at the mall.

Maybe I'll be so bold as to ask her if I can sit with her. She reminded me of my own grandmother.

I'll tell her that and I'll ask if I can buy her a cup of tea
.

Monday, November 4, 2013

You Are So "Special" To Me

Dear Special K® Red Berries Cereal,

How wonderful you have been to me. No no, wait. Let me rephrase. How special you have been to me, Special K. See that? Your name is also what you are.

I’m not sure what the K stands for, there aren't a ton of words starting with the letter K which directly relate to cereal but either way, thank you. Thank you for being there for me when I realized I didn't really know how to cook myself dinner. Thank you for being there for me when I didn't feel like ordering dinner, which would never turn out as good as you. You’re irresistible, Special K with Berries. You’re not like your simple brother, Special K, no not at all. You’re sweeter. More understanding. Your box says a serving size is one cup, but I don’t listen to “them”. No. I go all the way. The whole box. That’s what love is.

Shakespeare said it best. If music be the food of love, play on. It…it vaguely relates. It has the word food in it. Also, I love you.

Forever and Always,
Janet





Friday, November 1, 2013

"Not Even Funny" Video Friday

It's been a long week and I just couldn't muster the energy for today's Funny Face Friday so I present you this cheat video. Happy weekend my lovely peoples!

video


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