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Friday, February 8, 2013

A Day of Simple Pleasures

Today I craved a day of simplicity. Life has been crazy not just for days , weeks, months, but years on going, with very few actual simple days that have no stress attached. My body and health are reflecting that in a huge way. I figured out my anemia is off the charts, making it hard to do even the most simple of tasks with out pain, exhaustion and serious shortness of breath... all due to the iron deficient anemia combined with my fibromyalgia. Fact is, right now I am sitting on the couch with a heating pad covering my neck and shoulders to even write this.  Not starting a pitty party, it is what it is and I am doing my best to fight back. Changing up my diet, resting a lot and letting my hubby do even more ( though that gives me a huge case of the guilts), I have started taking my iron pills again, even though they make me sick to my tummy for hours after no matter what I do. I have ordered two exercise DVDS that are geared towards fibro patients and have even arranged to have a massage therapist come over on Monday to work on my very tight and strained, stressed out muscles!  

My first step to create a day of simplicity was to turn off the TV...well in a way... I tuned it to the "Big Band" station.... so wish they had one that was 20's and 30's, but I do have Spotify for that on my computer if I wish. Anyway, I then made myself a nice brunch, instead of grabbing a protein bar, eggs, buttered toast and OJ... all geared towards getting more iron in, the OJ helps with absorption. The toast, well I LOVE buttered toast... eat it daily... never tire of it. I then did a quick soak of  some pinto beans to get ready to cook them on a gentle simmer through out the day.  I have a Facebook friend, who follows my fan page, and she recently had myself and my daughter over for a lunch to finally meet face to face after a few months of being "pen pals" ; she served the most delightful, but simplistic lunch and the star was a tureen of cooked beans with a broth. When later I asked her for the recipe she told me they were simply pinto beans and past that each time she made them a different way each time; what she had on hand would go in.  I make both a turkey noodle soup and a vegie and wine "pasta sauce"  that is like that, so understood.  I decided today was the perfect day, with the music in the background playing a happy tune, the dishes washed from my brunch for one, and doing my best to ignore the non stop traffic outside my kitchen window, and the heart beat the loudly turned up bass on the car radios caused my house to have, I got to work. 

As my pintos were soaking ( having done the quick cook, boil, then soak method) , I proceeded to chop up a few lovely vegi's including one I had not ever used, that my friend had told me was in her batch that she had served up to myself and my daughter, Fennel.  I also chopped up fresh leeks, large beautiful mushrooms, great for getting vitamin D in a non pill form, and all were put on my baking sheet , drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Mrs. Dash Original and put in the oven to roast and caramelize a bit. Meanwhile, I changed out the water of the beans, gave them a good rinse, and then putting them back in the pan added Vegi stock, plenty of minced garlic, which is great for arthritis pain, salt, and pepper, and more Mrs. Dash, this time the Santa Fe Lime.... having no recipe to follow allows my mad scientist side to come out. *wink*  I added a can of organic chopped tomatoes to the mix and a bit more water to make sure I had enough and with Billie Holiday now on the tube, I decided to do my best to read a book during the day time hours, and without ear plugs, while the beans cooked and the vegies roasted in the oven ( to be added later). I grabbed up Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, and settled in with a cuppa herbal tea,steaming hot, sitting at the ready on the near by table. 

Quite a while back I had done a review of her book, The Happiness Project, and my journey through it 
( you can find the posts under books and personal here on the blog, under labels ). I loved it, became a super fan, had her send me a book plate and even read it a second time, each time gaining new insight and help towards my own goal of being happy, or happier in my life. When I saw that she was coming out with one based on being happier at home, I pre-ordered it , I even carry around a book bag with the cover on the front as my every day purse! Eager to get started, needing to feel happier at home, or at least with where our home is located and what the side effects of said location are causing stress and health wise, I opened to the first page, made it through the intro... yes, made it through.. it seemed to drag and drag. Not to be put off, I made it through the next section "Preparation" .... ok, my mind started wondering, I got up and stirred the beans, added in the now roasted, sweet smelling vegies from the oven to the pot, made some more tea, stared out the window and turned the heating pad back on, and finally got to the first real chapter, the first of the 9 month journey for the author to be happier at home. Her resolutions listed on the first page of the chapter, reminiscent of her last book,  I was ready, really ready to dive in, read her journey, take notes, underline things and start my own journey so that I could report back to you each month with the results... perhaps even give a gift card away for the purchase of the book.... I can not do it. I can not even make it through the first months of reading.  I am not saying don't read the book, but if you have not yet read The Happiness Project, do read that one first and then decide if you wish to purchase the current book... it is NOT a bad read, it is just obviously not for me. Reading on Amazon in the reviews, it seems I am not the only one that feels this way, BUT there are a lot of people that liked it as much as the first book. It simply was not hitting a cord.... who knows, maybe another day. Frustrated, I picked up my book I read at night, another cozy mystery , this one by Denise Swanson, and slipped happily into the pages. Guess to be happier at home, for me I have to stick with what works. Keep it simple.

Having finished the last chapter of my book, excited to get to start a new one tonight, I dished up my beans, and had a bowl , with a crusty piece of bread to go with it and dunk in the liquid, mmm tasty for a cool late Winter day... the sun may be out today, but the chill is still there in the air. The rest of the beans cooling, ready to be put in containers and placed in the freezer ( always cook such things in bulk) , the "kitchen sink" turkey noodle soup pulled out for supper to defrost and to be tinkered with before hand, now this blog post also done, like the beans, I think I shall catch a cat nap... now where did I place those ear plugs???

Don't forget, I am giving away a 6 pack of Zelda magazine, including the sold out issue 3 on Monday, but you have to live in the USA ( sorry ..postage is awful) , be a follower, not just a popper in, and leave me a comment on this past Monday's post to enter... be sure to leave contact information too.  
p.s. Tell your friends

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