Posted in family, food, loreeebee.ca

Lockdown Life Spawns a Recipe Book

What have I been doing during our latest lockdown? Nothing too exciting, as is the point of said lockdown. Advised to stay home and socially distance ourselves from loved ones and not so loved ones alike, there is not much else to do. Grocery shopping has become an event on my calendar. Although a warm vacation would have been great, I have found other things to keep me busy.

When all the local gardens are frozen solid and covered in snow, the part of my brain focusing on my landscaping/gardening business switches over to freelance writing. I have a few projects on the go in that department, specifically a cookbook from recipes originating from my maternal grandmother at the farmhouse I have mentioned a few times.

Social media, namely Facebook, has been a great tool to rekindle connections with my many cousins on that side of my family. I believe there are thirty something of us first cousins, and many more second and third cousins! This adventure is going to create quite the collaborative cookbook.

I volunteered to spearhead the project, appointing myself as chief collator, sorter, editor etc. Many of these recipes were handwritten (of course no one had any other method of transcription back in those days) by my Grandmother, back in the 50’s. Her short forms, terminology and unique cursive writing often have me guessing.

So, when my eldest granddaughter is busy with her online school classes, or during any other spare time I find (who doesn’t have spare time these days??) I am typing furiously, trying to get the recipes ready for publishing.

I have chosen Lulu, a self-publishing, online platform for this recipe book where copies are only printed as they are ordered. That way I do not have to pay anything in advance, worry about deliveries or store unsold copies. When I am done, I simply send a link to my extended family members and they can order copies as they wish. All proceeds from the sale of this recipe book will be donated to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, located just down the road from the family farmhouse, where many generations of this family are laid to rest.

Posted in business

How to Build a Website or Blog

The best way for an inexperienced person to build a website or blog is to find (hire) someone else’s website that is specifically designed to build websites.  Kind of like a website for dummies approach. These sites offer simple, straightforward advice and instructions that even the most computer illiterate people can follow. 

Keep in mind that Blogs are websites, so any reference here to a website will apply to building a blog too.

Find a Website Builder

Website builders or advisors can be found easily online and are great because they do most of the work. All that is required from you is the unique and specific information or items you wish to promote. And money, as these website building services are rarely free. Some sites do offer free advice and basic blog templates, often a great way to get your feet wet so to speak.

There are many such website builders designed and committed to building websites for others. Do your research to find one that suits your needs. Most have experienced employees that can offer valuable online support to advise and guide even the most inexperienced and novice person through the steps of building a website, regardless of what the website is to be used for.

Other things covered in the price of a website builder are spam filters, analytic tools, tutorials, templates, and troubleshooting. The support staff will also provide ongoing advice to help to keep the website running smoothly. These features make the process even simpler for you. Keep in mind that these extra services are the ones not usually included in the “free” offers.  

An online store is also usually available permitting your clients to purchase products you sell.  A free shopping cart for clients and use of PayPal is usually also available to enhance the shopping experience on the website.

Prices may vary depending on ongoing discounts and promotions offered as well as the length of the contract period selected.  When a contract is signed, rates are usually charged on a monthly basis. The good news here is that these charges can be claimed as expenses on your income tax if you claim your business income.

Finding a Domain

Finding and paying for an available domain name is a crucial thing to think about in the process of building a website. Your domain name will be the URL or address for your new website. When you register a domain name, no one else can use it for their website.  A unique, catchy URL is important since it will draw people to your website and help them remember the name to visit again or recommend it to others.

Some companies (the one you hired to build your website) provide a free domain name, if not they will show you how to find one that is available for use. 

Advertising on Your Website

If advertising is desired on your new website, the website company you have hired will most likely provide some free credit through the services of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.  This is beneficial if the website is to be used to make money, so if that is something you require, be sure the website company you choose offers that service.

Conclusions

The biggest tip I can offer is to research your options on all the offers available online. Some will boast they are free, but often just the basic start-up process is actually free. Most offer “packages” based on the services provided, starting at free and increasing in price. Keep in mind the adage “you get what you pay for.” Make a list of features you need on your website or blog and find someone to help you.

Regardless of whether you choose the free options or pay for help, your new website should be up and running in no time providing worldwide exposure.  Remember too that money paid to run your website is tax-deductible under business expenses.

It is so easy, even I managed to build a website for Gardens4u, my landscaping business, and this blog. When I started out (2012) I considered myself a website beginner. I have learned so much over the years that I have since promoted myself to someone with moderate knowledge of websites. I use Yola for my business website and WordPress for my blog, both of which are listed in the top website builders for 2021.

photo credit

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Uvlizer Destroys Invisible Pathogens

I’m sure you’ve heard that UV light destroys those invisible pathogens that the COVID virus is spreading around. While sunlight is the best source of UVB rays and a great (and free) way to keep your immune system healthy, UVC is the most effective at cleansing.

What is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?

In a medical dictionary, ultraviolet light is defined as:

denoting electromagnetic radiation of wavelength shorter than that of the violet 

end of the spectrum, having wavelengths of 4–400 nanometers.

ultraviolet A (UVA): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 320 and 400 nm, 

comprising over 99 per cent of such radiation that reaches the surface of the earth. 

Ultraviolet A enhances the harmful effects of ultraviolet B radiation and is also 

responsible for some photosensitivity reactions; it is used therapeutically in the 

treatment of a variety of skin disorders.

ultraviolet B (UVB): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 290 and 320 nm, 

comprising less than 1 per cent of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

Ultraviolet B causes sunburn and a number of damaging photochemical changes within 

cells, including damage to DNA, leading to premature aging of the skin, premalignant and

malignant changes, and a variety of photosensitivity reactions; it is also used 

therapeutically for treatment of skin disorders.

ultraviolet C (UVC): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 200 and 290 nm; all 

of this type of radiation is filtered out by the ozone layer so that none reaches the earth’s 

surface. Ultraviolet C is germicidal and is also used in ultraviolet phototherapy.

ultraviolet rays: electromagnetic radiation beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum;

they are not visible to humans. They are produced by the sun but are absorbed to a large 

extent by particles of dust and smoke in the earth’s atmosphere. They are also produced 

by so called sun lamps. They can produce sunburn and affect skin pigmentation, 

causing tanning. When they strike the skin surface they transform provitamin D, secreted by

the glands of the skin, into vitamin D, which is then absorbed into the body. Because 

ultraviolet rays are capable of killing bacteria and other microorganisms, they are 

sometimes used to sterilize objects in specially designed cabinets, or to sterilize the air in 

operating rooms and other areas where destruction of bacteria is necessary.

photo credit

What is Ozone?

Wikipedia offers the following information about ozone:

Ozone or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O3. It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope O2, breaking down in the lower atmosphere to O2 (dioxygen). Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet (UV) light and electrical discharges within the earth’s atmosphere. It is present in very low concentrations throughout the latter, with its highest concentration high in the ozone layer of the stratosphere, which absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 0.1 ppm. While this makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level, a higher concentration in the ozone layer (from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging UV light from reaching the earth’s surface.

wikipedia

What is a Uvlizer?

The uvlizer was created based on the germicidal effects of UVC used in healthcare combined with the oxidizing powers of ozone. Germicidal UVC light produces ozone during the cleansing process which also disinfects the areas where ultraviolet light cannot reach. The Uvlizer is natural and safe, leaving no chemical smells or residue on the surfaces in your home when used properly. It does leave a faint chlorine-like smell in the air, but that dissipates quickly, well within the 40 minutes indicated in the instructions.

The Uvlizer is very portable and easy to use; you simply turn it on and leave the room. After the required wait time for the smell to disappear, move it to another room and repeat the process. As indicated, you must leave the room and remove plants from the room while the uvilizer is working as the ozone is toxic to humans and plants. When turned on, a timer counts off 30 seconds to permit you time to leave the room. There is also a remote for this purpose. The unit shuts itself off after the time limit you set based on the size of the room.

Where can I get a Uvlizer?

Currently you can purchase a Uvlizer online for $80USD or $102CDN with free delivery worldwide! Shipping from Wyoming in the USA, delivery takes 6 to 10 days within the USA or Canada and longer elsewhere.

Protect yourself and your family; get your home sanitized from Covid and other bacteria, viruses and pathogens you are not even aware of. Reviews are all very positive for sanitizing homes (including pet odours), offices, businesses, hotel rooms, and even the masks we have been wearing.

Posted in loreeebee.ca, relationships

Successful Relationships Need one Rock and one Kite…

This post was written years ago, but is still one of my favourite, even though it does fall into the virtue signaling category of how not to blog…

All of the successful relationships I know of are made up of one rock and one kite.

The rock is the one that thinks with their head and not their heart, (do NOT read “heartless” or  “cold-hearted” here), can be counted on to tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it,  can handle the truth even when it’s not pretty, and always seems to have their feet firmly on the ground.   This person has firm beliefs (I did NOT say “narrow-minded”), morals and ideals.  They are extremely loyal and dedicated to their partner.  They are also very appreciative of the role that their kite plays in their relationship.

The kite on the other hand, likes to soar.  This person has a great imagination, is often creative, is a bit of a dreamer, and can be impulsive.   Many decisions, good and bad, are made based on emotion.   Kites love to meet new people, take on new challenges and rise to the occasion.   They often need to be tugged back to the ground (read “reality” here) by their rock before they make irreversible and expensive mistakes.

I am well aware of which one I am and am extremely grateful that my husband is my rock.  A sometimes annoying rock, but a rock none the less.  The voice of reason coupled with unconditional love and support has helped me through the most challenging and stressful times in my life to date.

Which one are you?  The rock or the kite?  Whichever you are, make sure you have the other in your relationship. At the risk of repeating myself, I will say it again…

All of the successful relationships I am aware of have one rock and one kite.

photo credit

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca

Sitting is the new Smoking

Have you heard? Sitting is the new smoking, in terms of what is bad for us that is. What is really ironic is that this advice comes to us in the midst of a pandemic lockdown where we have been told to sit on our couch and stay at home.

We (should) all know why smoking is bad for us by now, that is nothing new. Although many people continue to smoke, research has been telling us for years of the damages smoking causes to our bodies.

Why is Sitting Bad for us?

Harvard Medical School reports that sitting is unhealthy for the following reasons:

it relaxes your largest muscles. Even if you’re reasonably active, hours of sitting—whether reading a book, working on the computer, or watching TV—tighten the hip flexor and hamstring muscles and stiffen the joints themselves. Overly tight hip flexors and hamstrings affect gait and balance, making activities like walking harder and perhaps even setting you up for a fall. Plus, tight hip flexors and hamstrings may contribute to lower back pain and knee stiffness, scourges that many people suffer with every day.

So, how can we Flex our Muscles Instead?

We can flex our relaxed and tightened muscles by consciously adding more activity into our daily routines. Many of us working from home are expected to spend the day on our computers. If you cannot remember to do so, set a timer to remind you to get up and move around more. Here are a few suggestions of things you can to to ensure those muscles are not stiffening up:

  • Answer or make your phone calls while standing up and walk around while you talk
  • If working from home on a computer for extended amounts of time, get an adjustable computer desk so you can stand up while working.
  • Sit on a stability ball, instead of in an armchair while watching TV. This activates your core muscles as you try to stay upright. You might not want to try this while using your computer.
  • If your joints are aching, find exercises to keep the joints loose. Aching joints are a viscous circle, the less you move them the achier they get, but the achier they are the harder it is to exercise them.
  • If you have multiple levels in your home, make a point of using the stairs as you walk around. I used to leave stuff on the steps to take upstairs in one trip, now I go up every time. Sometimes I forget why I went up, but I do go up!
  • Find online exercise routines to follow if you are used to going to the gym.
  • Take up yoga, starting with beginner poses (find them online too) working your way up to the more complicated (flexibility required) ones.

My personal in house exercises are planks, high knees, squats, lunges and yoga poses, all of which I do on a regular basis in the winter months when my garden business is under snow.

Of course, if you can, get outside for your exercise, even in the winter. Fresh air and sunshine are more than just good for your muscles, they are good for your mental health, immune system and more.

Posted in blogging, loreeebee.ca

Virtue Signaling: What it is and Why you Should not do it

Recently I read that virtue signaling is not a productive, favourable, or profitable way to blog. In fact, the practice can lower your blog’s ratings on Google and other search engines.

What exactly does virtue signaling mean?

The Oxford dictionary defines virtue signaling as…

the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.

and Wikipedia has this to say…

Virtue signaling is a pejorative neologism for the conspicuous and disingenuous expression of moral values with the intent to enhance one’s own image.

As for pejorative neologism, I had to look that up too. Pejorative means:

  • Disparaging; belittling.
  • A disparaging or belittling word or expression.
  • Tending or intended to depreciate or deteriorate, as the sense of a word; giving a low or bad sense to.

and a neologism is:

a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language.

Why would you want to practice virtue signaling? (AKA my excuses)

As a freelance writer, the stuff I get paid to write is definitely more technical and factual, less warm and fuzzy, but my blog posts are more on the me, me, me side. It is a personal blog after all, so I post about the things, people and events or issues that inspire or motivate me. Yes, my posts are based on my opinions and experiences, which do reflect my morals and sentiments, why would I right about things I know nothing about? That would be disingenuous; I am genuinely proud and appreciative of my grandkids and garden business. And my morals. But that may be why my blog does not rate highly on Google’s illustrious ranking system.

Please tell me I am not disparaging, belittling, or depreciating and I don’t think I have the tendency (or the creative ability) to make up new words. Do I?

Well I’ve learned lots, perhaps you did too, but this rant is over. I suppose if I want to improve my blog’s ranking on Google I should write (brag) less about my garden achievements and adorable grandkids, and focus more on the health and wellness category.

Of course, if I do bow to the pressure, my pictures won’t be as cute!

photo credit: Pexels.com

Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Ten Signs you are Gluten Intolerant

photo credit:  pexels-photo-265216
 
 
This article from MINDBODYGREEN.COM,  was one of the first I read on the subject years ago when I first suspected I was wheat intolerant.  I thought then that it had some good information, worth passing on.  It now bears repeating as much of it still applies…
 
 
More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.
 
 
It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?
 
 
If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:
 
1.  Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation, with constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.
 
2.  Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends to be a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.
 
3.  Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
 
4.  Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis.
 
5.  Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off-balance.
 
6.  Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility.
 
7.  Migraine headaches.
 
8.  Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.
 
9.  Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees, or hips.
 
       10.  Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, and ADD.
 

 

How to test for gluten intolerance

The single best way to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to perform an elimination diet where you would take it out of your diet for at least 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.
 
The best advice is that if you feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when you reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for you.  In order to get accurate results from this testing method, you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.
 

How to treat gluten intolerance

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross-contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.  The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. Research has shown that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.
 
 
Many of these facts remain relevant today, almost twenty years later.  I myself have been eating gluten-free for almost ten years.  I say gluten-free although I was diagnosed with an intolerance to wheat, not gluten.  Gluten-free is wheat-free, but not vice versa, so I say gluten-free when eating outside of my home. 
 
Occasionally I “cheat” and consume something with a bit of wheat in it, but usually regret it later with stomach cramps and diarrhea, depending on just how much wheat I consumed.  I know I probably should not do that, but it does keep me eating healthy.  This cheating is not recommended for someone with celiac disease or a sensitivity stronger than mine. 
 
Ten signs you are gluten intolerant
Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com
Posted in grandkids, loreeebee.ca

Jigsaw Puzzles Teach Patience

Santa left my seven-year-old granddaughter a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle under our Christmas tree this year, in the form of a map of the world. Santa is a smart guy, he figured a geography lesson in the form of a puzzle would be right up her alley…

She brought the puzzle back to our home to work on between her online school lessons, but also to prevent her younger brothers from losing the pieces or destroying any progress made, a smart move on her part.

Our dining room table is now jigsaw central. I figured I might as well get some use of our dining room since we are not allowed to have large family gatherings these days. There is not much chance the puzzle will be disturbed there.

This puzzle is the largest my granddaughter has tackled, so far. I taught her to sort all the pieces into categories, in this case, different coloured countries, (the large orange pile will turn into Russia) as well as lots and lots of water in various shades of blue. Assembly then started with the outer edges. Patience is definitely the key here, it took us over an hour to sort the pieces, then form the border.

Her biggest problem will be keeping Grandpa from completing it for her while she is not here, as he is a jigsaw puzzle junkie too. I caught him working on it last evening after our granddaughter left for the day…

Posted in beauty, guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Repairing Skin Damage, Five ways to do it

photo credit

This article was originally posted on Higher Dose, adapted for use as a guest post here on Loreeebee…

You might not wear your heart on your sleeve, but you definitely have an organ that is outward-facing. *Drum roll* Your skin.

As your body’s largest organ, your skin requires a lot of attention because it’s literally the body’s barrier, protecting you from external factors. Even though your skin is your body’s protector, external factors such as sun damage, stress, free radicals, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, pollutants, and the natural aging process all put wear-and-tear on our skin.

Even though our skin endures a lot every day, there are many ways to both repair and prevent further damage.

Here are our favorite ways to give your skin a healthy DOSE of TLC.

Detoxify the skin

Multi-step self-care routines can seem daunting and unnecessary, but what if we told you they were actually essential for your skin’s health? With one-third of your body’s toxins being excreted through the skin, your skin is constantly working to help transport toxins out of your body to keep your system refreshed. Skin impurities like acne, rough texture, and poor complexion can be a result of buildup on your skin, so taking some extra time to detoxify your skin will help keep things popped, snatched, and glowing.

Step 1 | Detoxify

Detoxifying your skin starts with stimulating your lymphatic system and then pushing out toxins with a DOSE of infrared. A lymphatic facial helps to drain waste from the lymph system, promoting better circulation and less water retention. Following up a lymphatic drainage massage with an infrared sweat is the ultimate cleanse, clearing out buildup and increasing blood flow for a fresh face.

Step 2 | Fight Inflammation

When you apply heat to the skin, cold must follow. Therefore, post-sweat, opt for cold therapy to get the heat out of the skin and quell inflammation. Cryo facials are an excellent way to tone and tighten the skin while shrinking pores and strengthening your body’s immune response. If you don’t have access to a cryo facial, spend up to three minutes in a cold shower, or consider an ice roller that you keep in the freezer.

Step 3 | Nourish

Once the skin has detoxed, it’s time for restoration, rejuvenation, and recovery. Follow up any treatment with proper hydration and nourishment in the form of serums, creams, and oils that lock in moisture and keep inflammation down. Clean products that are high in antioxidants like vitamin C help support the skin’s recovery process, fight and prevent oxidative stress, and encourage collagen production.

Chill out with a cryo facial

Cryo facial is a type of cryotherapy that focuses on soothing, stimulating, and refreshing your complexion using cold temperatures to enliven the skin.

Rather than using exfoliating creams or chemical peels that can irritate the skin, a cryo wand is used to blow cold air on your face in concentrated, circulated motions. The freezing temps and vaporized liquid nitrogen instantly shrink enlarged, oily pores and increase circulation to your face, leaving you with a fresh-faced, cool glow. These facials also encourage collagen regrowth and cell repair — giving you long-term anti-aging protection.

Get a face-full of LED

Immerse your skin in the benefits of blue, red and near-infrared LED light energy.

The sun emits a full spectrum of light to help our bodies function throughout the day. While blue light signals cortisol production to help us be more productive, red and infrared light suppress cortisol and increase melatonin to promote better restoration and recovery.

However, because most of our jobs keep us indoors and exposed to artificial blue light from our screens AM to PM, our bodies stay in a prolonged state of stress. More stress means less melatonin, which means worse sleep and inflamed skin.

This mood-enhancing, skin-restoring treatment provides the skin with healing light sources, taking no longer than 30 minutes. Near-infrared LED light energy stimulates cells to regenerate and heal, leaving you with an even skin tone, a clearer complexion, and fewer wrinkles. Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress by stepping away from your screens to give those frown lines a break!

Give your skin a workout with a microcurrent facial

Your body isn’t the only thing that needs a workout.

Microcurrent technology, which is touted as the ultimate non-invasive facelift, can be used from head to toe to tone and tighten skin from the inside out.

Using low-voltage current, microcurrent sends frequency deep to stimulate the muscle as well as promote cell growth in skin. Similar to physical exercise, this facial / body workout activates the lymphatic system, encouraging proper drainage aka no facial puffiness or water retention. Mircocurrent, which is virtually painless, also oxygenates the skin, invigorating the proteins that signal repair and ease inflammation.

Not only are results immediate, but long-term treatment can undo fine lines and wrinkles and keep the skin smooth without paralyzing the muscle (like Botox // other injectables).

Read the labels

There are many, many beauty products out there that claim to prevent and reverse skin damage. How do you know which ones work?

Always look for clean ( with no endocrine-disrupting ingredients) beauty products like:

  • Niacinamide to minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
  • Azelaic acid to lighten dark spots from acne and repair sun damage.
  • Topical retinoids like Vitamin A in these products reduces fine lines and improves skin texture.
  • Vitamin C to improve collagen production and boosts skin firmness.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to reduce hyperpigmentation

And, of course, drink lots of water, wear a long-lasting (natural) SPF, and eat lots of antioxidant-rich whole foods. Your skin will thank you.

Show us what you’re doing to take care of your skin by tagging us on Instagram @higherdose.

This article was originally posted on HigherDOSE.com

Posted in current events, family, grandkids, health and wellness, loreeebee.ca, mental health

Introverts still have the advantage

photo credit to Andrea Piacquadio on pexels.com

This article was posted way back in April when the COVID pandemic lockdowns were new to us, reposted today in frustration that most of it still applies…

Introverts have such an advantage in this COVID-19 turmoil and the isolation, quarantine, and social distancing guidelines it has spawned.  So much so that I find myself wishing I was more introverted.

I never realized before just how much of an extrovert I am.  Or perhaps it’s the strict rules we have been instructed to live by that I bristle at.  I never have been good at someone telling me what I can and cannot do, or when I can do them.  I am getting lots done, things I have been procrastinating about forever, but not on my own terms.

I am missing the social interaction we take for granted that enriches our daily lives.  Whether it’s chatting with neighbours, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, or stopping into our favourite stores.  I miss the actions and all of the people that make them so special.

I miss my grandchildren so much, and their parents too of course.  The sunny smiles, hugs, and laughter from the children and the amusing anecdotes their parents share with us are what makes my world go round, usually.  My world feels like it has turned upside down, with me holding my breath until it rights itself.

Compared to others, my life is relatively good.  My family is safe and healthy. My landscaping business may get a late start this season, but my freelance writing can fill in the extra time.  And, my own gardens may get some extra TLC.

This extrovert is just impatient for this nightmare to be over.  In the meantime, perhaps I should try channeling my inner introvert so I might enjoy the few things left we are allowed to do.

As an update, my gardening business did resume in May, although I lost several clients as they were either working from home and able to tackle their gardens themselves, or had to give up my services due to budget constraints. My own gardens did indeed benefit from the extra attention as suspected, although they generated more expenses than income. I was not able to pick up as many freelance writing projects as anticipated, again mostly due to clients’ reduced budgets.

Nine months later, memories of 2020 became a poem in a recent post. Many things remain the same or have evolved, been reinvented, or reinstated, but some have changed. Some in a positive way and others not so positive.

The judgement, finger-pointing, blaming, and ugliness has ramped up to an all-time high. Family get-togethers are still taboo, especially since our immediate family members total 12. As one son stated, “he can work with his brother, but cannot have Christmas dinner with him.” Where is the logic in that?

As for the positives, a hot summer meant more time in the lake at the cottage. Socially distanced from our neighbours, it was the place to be. Family members came to visit, but not all at once.

In July, when it seemed like we had “flattened the curve,” we were able to gather for at least one birthday celebration this year when our second grandson turned one…

Introverts still have the advantage

Sadly, it was only the second time these five cuties were able to see each other since March.

Also on the positive side, we (as a family of 12) have decided that since I have been assisting our 7-year-old granddaughter with her online school and allowing our almost 3-year-old granddaughter to visit weekly to give her mom a break after the birth of their new baby, (our 5th grandchild, a celebration in itself) that we would continue this support system by allowing the grandchildren to visit. This decision was made despite the fact that Ontario residents have been told not to permit anyone outside of their household into their homes as of December 26. As a support system for my family members that are considered essential services, I feel it my duty to do whatever works for them, and I take great pleasure in the visits.

In fact, I believe my mental health and that of my precious grandchildren rely on these visits.

After all, I am still an extrovert. That will never change.