A Non-cook makes Curried Beans and Broccoli

I am not a cook. I am allergic to pots and pans. The sight of an oven gives me hives. I have never managed to avoid the torment of cooking, but I like to keep it simple. I like to open a package and throw it in the microwave.

Tonight I had a rare urge to create in the kitchen.

sauteMaybe it was walking in the rain this afternoon or perhaps a craving for getting back to my roots. I grew up eating curried everything. Curried lamb, curried chicken, curried eggs.. my mom’s motto was “if it’s for dinner, it must be curried”.

My problem? I wanted to use the broccoli I bought a few days ago and I am feeling the vegetarian phase rising to the surface.

Mushrooms, onions, peppers fried up, I steamed the broccoli in the same pot. (minimizing the dishes is important)

add tomatoes and beans

Throw in a can of mixed beans, a can of stewed tomatoes and a ton of curry powder. I let the flavours in my concoction blend for a little while.

Time to try it. Very tasty and nice and HOT!       Wow.. I am impressed. A Curry Dinner with no recipe. Mom would be proud. 

dinner is served

Go ahead, laugh… the jokes on me today.

Last evening was a quiet evening. I enjoy times when I can simply get myself cozy on the loveseat, all alone with a book and a chai tea as company. All the lights were out save for a lamp to read by. I really do enjoy living alone, I felt so content, my feet propped up on the one arm of the seat, my head against the other. After a while, I felt a quiet rumble in my tummy and remembered I had not eaten since lunch.  There was left over pasta in the fridge, so without turning on the kitchen light, I grabbed it and went to get a bowl. Being a procrastinator, the dishes were still in the dishwasher. I knew I should unload it, I had filled it earlier in the day, but this was not the rime. I would leave it till later or tomorrow. I heated the pasta in the microwave, threw on some parmesan cheese and dug in. Simply delicious.

I was nearly finished when I noticed dog hair sticking out from under the bottom of the bowl. “That’s weird” I said to myself “how did that get there?” (I have a dog that drops hair everywhere but still, I was puzzled.)

I am sorry, but It's not my fault.

I am sorry, but it’s not my fault.

Slowly a light flickered in the recesses of my blonde brain. I jumped up and checked the dishwasher. Sure enough… the soap lay undisturbed in the bottom. I had not pushed the button to actually wash the dishes. I realized I had used a dirty dish to eat from. Horror of all horrors… It must have been the dish I had placed on the floor the night before for the dog to lick clean. EWWWW… dog germs all in the bottom and now it was too late; I had already eaten my dinner… from the dogs bowl…

I will pray I don’t get sick and let this be a lesson about procrastination.

Am I Being Stalked?

I am sure it hunted me down, stalked me, waited for the opportune moment before the strike! Yesterday I was stung by a bee. Not once, but twice. the second sting coming hours after the first.Yellow Jacket

pollon

see the yellow pollen on his backside?

I know I always blame the bee, but it was actually a wasp. While bees are busy gathering pollen from the flowers in the garden, wasps are the predators. They feast on other insects, animals and me. I have heard that they feed insects, flies and even caterpillars to their young. Their bodies are sleeker and more streamlined for hunting for me down and attacking.

Wasps are the ones with the thin waistline, bees are the chubby hairy things. They do sting, but do not target humans.

bee

Is this a bee or a wasp? (I can’t tell) or another kind of bug?

I visited a friend and, as I walked along her path to the front door, a wasp (or bee) jumped on and took a ride on my shoulder. While I innocently sat chatting, the nasty killer stung me on the neck. I swiped at it, it fell to the floor where it met its demise.

Later on in the evening, after sitting on the deck and throwing the ball to the dog, I made a phone call to a friend. I was busy chatting again when I felt something crawling under my shirt. My dear friend must have thought I was being murdered. I threw the phone down and ripped off my shirt screaming “don’t you dare touch me” “get off me” “Help!” then a loud thump as I dropped a book on its head. (Mind you, she was still on the other end of the line when I picked up the phone again.)… hmmm … Some friend, she should have called the police, what if I was being attacked by something larger than a wasp… It’s ok E. I forgive you.

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Are bees innocent? Have they got a bad name for no reason?

Do you think it is possible that the first wasp was able to signal his tribe? is it possible that they have my number and I am being hunted? Stalked by the world of wasps?

“I will get revenge.. You killed my brother.
Me and my brothers will get you!!!” We will hunt you down, you cannot hide from us.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

I Will Listen to the Signs Next Time.

The ominous sunset was a sign, a foreshadow of doom. But I had heard that old adage: ‘Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight” so I took a few photos and went to bed with a smile. Would it matter that I was on a road trip and not a cruise?

Time would tell…
ominous sunset

Our chosen route that day was the back roads from Likely to Barkerville.The Gold Rush Route over the mountain and through the pass.

In the cute little town of Likely, we crossed a river and found a strange sight: there in the middle of the rushing water… a stop sign.. curious indeed. Foreshadow maybe?

is this a sign? I mean, a warning? A foreshadow of trouble ahead?

We picked up a couple of things at a small store near the gas station. There on a bulletin board, my eyes fell on a little notice “road to Barkerville closed”. I asked an old guy sitting in a rocking chair about the sign. “Oh, thats an old sign, from last winter, it’s always closed in the winter. Probably forget to take it down.” What a relief.

A snake crossed my path as I walked to the car. I thought I heard it chuckle.

Hee Hee hee.. sucker..

Hee Hee hee.. sucker..

The sign just out of town did not worry me, “we are on an adventure” I laughed at the sign.

Wilderness road

The tree across the road did not worry me either and we easily moved it to the side.

The tree across the road did not worry me either and we easily moved it to the side.

Have you ever seen those signs; “Watch for Falling Rock?”  Well, there was no sign that day, just the fallen rock.  It was starting to get creepy. Was this a sign, a warning? a foreshadowing?rocks on road

Then the rain started. The road turned into a muddy, pothole filled mess.

The road was muddy and the sky grew dark.

The road was muddy and the sky grew dark.

We drove for an hour through the rain. No visible mountains, no other traffic, not one car. in fact, not another sign of life anywhere. I felt we were alone in the world. Even the birds were no where to be seen..

Just after the rain stopped, a mudslide stopped us. There was a tree sitting in the middle of the road. Not scary, but it did however get my attention. Another foreshadow of what was to come? Naw, this is the worst it can get.. right?

No problem, we squeezed past the tree on the narrow dirt road.

No problem, we squeezed past the tree on the narrow dirt road.

We were too far along to turn back now, only twenty five kilometers to Barkerville, I was releived and relaxed, threw some lively tunes on the radio and started singing along.

I had my eyes closed when he hit the brakes. I bolted upright, my eyes flew open. What was the matter?

The road was gone, washed down the mountain into the canyon far below!

where is the road

Half the road washed into the canyon, was this other half safe?

Safely past the washed out road, more trouble, bigger trouble.

Road block

The hard part was driving around the cement roadblock. The choices: drive on the mountain or the embankment.

I refused to stay in the car while he inched his way over the broken road, on the edge off the embankment. I stood by and watched.

It is funny the things that run through your mind as you watch a scene like this, off in the middle of the mountains, not a soul around….In the middle of worrying about him, I thought.. “Oh no.. What about me?” I knew at that moment I should have grabbed my survival kit, I should have grabbed some water and some snacks. and my phone! All I could think about was me. I thought, if he goes over,  I have to walk twenty or so kiloneters alone in these mountains. AND it is already getting late, it will be dark before I make it out.

“I NEED A FLASHLIGHT!!….  I screamed. but he didn’t hear me. I held my breath and prayed.

The good news is: he made it, I jumped back in the car just in time to see my reward for a harrowing day. Next time I see a foreshadow, a warning, I will pay attention…. maybe.

The hard part was driving around the cement roadblock. The choices: drive on the mountain  or the embankment.

Are You Stuck Behind a Wall?

Heartbreak and pain are good teachers.

It has been over a year since my world exploded. The trauma set me adrift in a storm, I was tossed about in a whirlwind of emotion and pain.  Even though I had done nothing wrong, I felt like I had failed at life.

Once the raw pain subsided, I was left with a dull ache in my heart and a lot of broken pieces. Looking back at that first few weeks, I know I was scared. My carefully planned future dissolved. Self-pity overwhelmed me. I did not know how to go on. I cried out to all who would listen:

“Poor me”  “Why me?” “It’s not fair”.

Unforgiveness became a stumbling block. I wanted revenge. I was tripping over the bricks of anger, shame and worry that had fallen on my path. wall

If I left the bricks on the road, they would pile up and become a wall blocking my way. I did not want to get stuck and be unable to move forward in life. I did not want to wallow in sorrow, bitterness and depression. I did not want to harden my heart.

I saw that wall starting to form. The way seemed dark and forboding.

I saw that wall starting to form. The way seemed dark and foreboding.

In the midst of my moaning, I heard that “still small voice”.

While I was still crying out in despair, I came to realize that I had a choice. I could continue to build a wall with bricks of unforgiveness and anger or I could build a bridge to a new future.

I chose to start working on a bridge. With much prayer, I started removing the bricks from my path The first step, for me was forgiveness. 

bridge of courageIt is not easy to forgive when the pain is deep. It is not easy to forgive someone who has hurt so many people.

I learned that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. By forgiving, I was not condoning his actions; it simply meant I would no longer seek restitution. I released the debt owed to me. I set myself free to take the next step toward my future.

It took courage to let go of the past and embrace a new road. Wallowing in the pit was easy but I am blessed to have friends who offered me their hand and helped me climb out of the pit.  I am blessed with friends who are walking the road with me and praying with me. I now have a new hope and lots of love.

My prayer is for any of you who find yourself stuck behind a wall of negative emotions. I pray you will find release with forgiveness as the key to breaking down the wall.

I have found that unforgiveness is the mortar that holds the bricks of anger and resentment together. It is time to free yourself. It is time to forgive and move into your destiny, your future.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Weekly Photo Challenge This is a real working gas pump in a small town in The North West Territories, Canada. The price of gas was hand written. I love the “No Snivelling” sign that is so professionally made and the yellow handwritten “Gas” sign on top. What is most important?

Gas pump

 Only parts of the pump worked.  But they are very trusting people. We had to fill up, then go into the store and tell them how many litres of gas we pumped. They calculated what we owed on a calculator. At 1.68/litre (about $4.43/ gallon) it is very expensive gas being pumped out of this crazy gas pump.

Close up of the pump.

Close up of the pump. I love the way the words did not quite fit on the sign.

Just so no one feels it is just Canada that has weird gas pumps, this is one we went to in Minnesota, USA. Patience is a virtue. Minnesota

The Knapsack

icon-grill-ted-strutzShe hung her wet coat on the peg and slid into the end booth. Her heart still racing, she ordered a drink. “What am I going to do?” she cried the words to herself.  Closing her eyes, she tried to calm herself. She pulled her knapsack closer, with trembling hands, she reached inside. Her fingers crept past her book, past her sweater. “Please let this be a nightmare” she whispered in desperation. Her fingers touched the cold metal and recoiled. The reality hurt, yet calmed her. It was true, she’d killed him.  Drinking deeply, she sighed. The abuse was over.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From above

When I read the “Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above”, my first thoughts went to the helicopter ride over the Rocky Mountains. We rose up over the snow covered peaks, glided past rock faces and looked down on valleys and lakes hidden  between the  rugged mountains. I will never forget the thrill of riding over the mountain tops and seeing them from above.

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Daily Prompt: Million Dollar Question

journal, pen

“Why do I blog?”  A big question for someone just entering this blogging world.

I decided to start this blog to tell my story. I have heard it said that we all have a story to tell, we all have a book inside us that is trying to get out. I know I have a story.

I do love to write. I love the ways stringing words together on a page can paint a picture, can reach a deep emotion. Words can say so much, they can guide and inform and reach a heart.

My story began when I was born. A surprise baby, and from what I am told, I did not fit with the families plan. Newly immigrated to Canada, my parents already had a full family with four growing children, the oldest already sixteen. But here I am and glad of it.

There is much to tell about abuse, about heartache and loneliness both as a child and as an adult. There are joys too, many triumphs and victories. I have been able to rewrite my sad story into a story of how to overcome, how to survive and thrive in a dark and sinful world.

I am writing a book. It is still a work in progress but as I get closer to the finish line I get more excited to let my story reveal itself. I hope you join me in this blog as I present snippets of my work, and do some soul-searching.

Don’t forget to make a comment so I know you were here. Comments encourage me to continue on this path.

Lily.