Say what!?

Two nights ago, my energetic daughter and I decided we would do something we haven’t done together since she was very young. We stopped by the Welland Canal while we were out running errands to watch the ships. We were fortunate enough to catch a ship just as it was coming out of  the lock. The two of us sat beside the canal to watch as the ship passed on what we now refer to as the “giant lemon”. The technical term I am at a loss for, so I will call it a cleat or mooring thingy for lack of a better term. It was lovely to sit by the canal in the early evening with someone so dear to my heart and chit-chat about nothing of pressing importance, just whatever came to mind.

 

After the ship passed us by we decided to walk along the path by the canal. Those of you that know me personally may be a little bit shocked at what I am about to reveal. Be prepared. Not only did we walk, but we went for a jog! Yes, I said jog. I know! Me… jogging! I shocked myself with how much energy I had before, during and after. I may just have to rethink my lifelong loathing of all things related to running. I have always loved the idea of running. The wind in my face, blowing my hair and the feeling of freedom people who run seem to have. I want those things. My body just has never cooperated. My state of cardio sucks – and I mean sucks, even though my body is strong. Truth be told, I don’t like the way “things” move around when I run either.

 

So, not only did we jog, we jogged barefoot. Now I understand why barefoot running is so popular. It is totally different from running in shoes and feels incredible. The connection with the surface is a unique feeling and the impact doesn’t feel as harsh. I am not a fan of having filthy feet though and trying to avoid the droppings of Canadian geese was interesting, to say the least. I guess we were not only walking and jogging but also dodging and springing around. It was very freeing, and we giggled together like a couple of kooks. It was such a great feeling to smile from ear to ear and have those that were sharing the path with us to smile back at us as we zipped by them.  We created memories that will last a lifetime with something very simple. We are both looking forward to the next  “jog” together.

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Processing

I had no idea the impact that visiting Las Vegas would have on me both physically and mentally. In a strange way, I guess it has affected me spiritually as well. I suppose you could say  that  I had a cushy  upbringing and my only reality was the one I was in – like so many other people I only saw things from my perspective. Yes, I am compassionate. Sometimes overly so to the detriment of myself. I have tended to put others first to not create waves too often in my lifetime. I have been focusing on respecting my own Being over the last couple of years and have made huge strides in allowing myself to be joyful and fulfilled without guilt or selfishness. This has taken a lot of focus and strength. Learning to say “no” was paramount in my forward movement of personal growth. A person can take on too much and stress themselves out needlessly when “yes” becomes the dominant response. Call me crazy but I feel very empowered when I say no when it is necessary. The trick is not being reckless with “no’s” but to use them wisely, not foolishly just for the sake of it.

It has taken me approximately a week to process my reactions and actions as well as absorb what I have learned while in Vegas. I figured I would just carry on my merry way and come home the same person. WRONG! My eyes have been opened to another reality that I had never really inspected thoroughly before. Another lifestyle choice that was not like mine. The world of the Eternal Party. I love a good party just like the next person but I must admit that there can be too much of a good thing.

 

The puzzling part of  this trip was how overwhelmed I felt once I got home. I was  bombarded by so much in a week’s time that I needed to allow myself to come back down to reality. I am not sure how else to explain what I was feeling. I learned a great deal about myself in the process. Here are a few of the things I discovered in my week of processing.

  • I reaffirmed that I love to live a fairly simple existence.
  • I prefer moderate temperatures. Not extreme heat that sucked every bit of moisture from my flesh or the polar opposite of shivering in overly air-conditioned buildings. How is a woman supposed to know what to wear in these conditions?
  • Home grown and home-made (with love) food is essential to my well-being.
  • my sister that was one of my travelling companions is, and always will be, one of my best friends. I am very thankful we are a part of each other’s lives.
  • gambling is of no interest to me
  • smoking repulses me. Not the person smoking, per say, but the act of smoking and putting out noxious air into the surroundings. I apologize if you are offended by this statement but I am entitled to my opinion.
  • there is no excuse for behavior that encroaches on other people’s safety or well-being. We are all equal here on Earth…get over yourself if you think you are better than anyone else. This is not directed at anyone in particular, just a random observation.
  • I have been vegetarian in many variations (vegan, raw foodist, ovo-veg, lacto-veg) over my lifetime. Eating any other way seems unnatural to me now. Why is this still so hard to grasp for restaurants?
  • I love to travel but I really love to be at home.
  • to love generously and without judgement. We all have “stuff” we are dealing with. This is an ongoing project.
  • Shaklee supplements are essential not only while at home but while travelling too. Thanks to my good friends that insisted I keep up my regime.
  • dehydration sucks
  • there is too much perfume and air “freshener” products in this world. The air is not fresher because chemicals are swirling around in our nostrils. If something smells bad it needs to be dealt with – easy peasy.
  • sleep is vital
  • walking is good. I am thankful for a fully functioning pair of legs. I won’t take them for granted any more and worry about what they look like. They work!

 

The Shaklee Convention was the main focus of my trip. It filled me to overflowing with incredible information. So much so that I think my brain shorted out and was in need of time to absorb and filter all the knowledge that was packed in. My brain is back to functioning properly with all this new information sorted and filed where it should be. I must send a big shout out to all of those at Shaklee head office that put together this fantastic convention. You all are amazing!

 

This trip to Las Vegas began as a time to focus on growth in my business as well as a vacation. I came out on the other side of this experience with much more than I had expected. I have evolved in ways I never knew I would. I thought I had already made peace with my existence and the life I am living but I gained a new sense of  “belonging” within myself that was deeper than I thought possible. Belonging to Myself and loving it!

 

 

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”  – Rachel Naomi Remen

Viva Las Vegas!

“Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire…”

Set my soul on fire, it did.  I have never been anywhere in my travels that is remotely similar to Vegas. Bright flashing lights, the sound of  helicopters constantly, slot machines announcing another winner, the smell of smoke and the crazy antics of people out for a good time.  I’ve ventured into casinos in the past but I’m not a gambler and feel unnerved by people literally throwing money away for mere seconds of  exhilaration that they may win big. I have enjoyed theatrical performances over the years but Las Vegas is so packed with choices as to which shows to visit, no one could possibly enjoy them all. Some of them would scar me for life if I did see them. The endless buffet lines were a statement of societies sheer gluttony. That’s a few of the negatives. What about some positive thoughts, you say.

I was blown away by the creativity and splendor of the hotels. I felt as though I had time traveled or teleported, or whatever, each time I entered a different hotel. Incredibly amazing (in a good way). I love that people wear sequins at any time of the day or night in Vegas. Sparkle like every day is Christmas seems to be the motto…and I love it! I must admit though that the best part of being in Las Vegas was the people I was with. My spectacular sister and fabulous friends and business associates.

Why was I in Las Vegas you must be wondering. Business or pleasure?

Why, a little of both!  I was attending the Shaklee Global Conference from August 8-12 and decided that while in Vegas I should see the sights as well. The conference was mind-blowing with the abundance of information and excitement. I have never, and I mean never, seen a company host a conference like Shaklee does…wow! Shaklee isn’t just a company, it’s a movement. A movement for positive change. A movement to become the healthiest you have ever been while enjoying yourself. A vehicle for health and financial wellness that is ethical, environmentally responsible and proven to be safe and effective.  These qualities in a company touch my heart like no other company can. There is absolutely no comparison out there as far as I’m concerned. Visit my Facebook page and “like” Live Love Be Green. You will be kept up to date on what’s going on and be a part of the conversation regarding health and wellness.

As if the conference wasn’t packed with enough fun-filled moments, my cohorts and I tried to pack in as much excitement as possible. We were awestruck by a Cirque de Soleil performance called KA at the MGM Grand. How the human body can do the things it does in Cirque’s shows baffle me. My brain kept repeating, “don’t try this at home” throughout the performance.  Don’t worry Brain, I won’t be foolish enough to think that I could execute any of the actions I witnessed.

We also took in the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay and had lots of laughs while being amazed at the aquatic life.

There was nothing that could prepare me for the heat of Las Vegas. The 112 degrees of blistering heat made my eyeballs feel as though they were melting in their sockets. I am a southern Ontario Canadian girl who likes moderate temperatures and gets out of sorts when the thermometer reads 80 degrees or higher. 73 degrees is optimal in my world. I’ve had a difficult time acclimatizing back to the temperature at home and even found myself putting on a sweater this afternoon. I will remind myself of the extreme Vegas heat whenever I find myself wanting to complain that I am hot!

I would love to see Vegas become more vegetarian friendly. It was difficult to find things to eat and I ended up cinching in my belt  three holes. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to tighten my belt but I would like to not feel light-headed while doing so. Maybe I was just drying out in the heat.

Over all, Las Vegas was a blast. Thanks to Shaklee for hosting a totally kick-butt convention again this year!

I’ve always wanted to see the bright lights for myself and now that I have I can focus on other destinations.

“Viva las vegas with you neon flashin
And your one armbandits crashin
All those hopes down the drain
Viva las vegas turnin day into nighttime
Turnin night into daytime
If you see it once
You’ll never be the same again”

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Brassica oleracea

Kale, beautiful kale. This year was the first time I have grown kale in my garden. To be honest, it’s the first time in my life that I have ever eaten kale as well (to the best of my knowledge). I love leafy greens such as chard, spinach and those delectable dainty salad greens such as arugula, but had surprisingly never been enticed by kale. Now I love it!  It is such an incredibly lush looking specimen with its large blue-green leaves. I am fascinated by its natural waxiness that makes water bead and roll off its leaves upon contact. Yes, I enjoy the little things in my daily life to the extreme. Makes me appreciate the world around me more when I take the time to notice the minute details.

Solanum melongenm

Aubergine, brinjal, eggplant.

I have learned so much this season.  I knew that the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family – a relative of tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. I knew this because, according to a naturopath I consulted with years ago, I was to avoid all members of the nightshade family. Guess I don’t follow advice very well, eh?  I am nutty for nightshades but try to keep my consumption moderate. I used to eat tomato sandwiches every day for a period of time when I was in my 20’s until I realized this was a reason I felt “off”.  Everything in moderation.

Yes, that is an arm in the background not part of the plant. This is an eggplant, not an arm-plant.

I recently learned that the eggplant is not actually a vegetable, but a fruit. I was aware that tomatoes are fruits but never considered the eggplant anything other than an intriguing  veggie. Not only is the eggplant a fruit but (wait for it)…it is a berry! Say what?  The plant world is fantastic, isn’t it?

The lovely eggplant is not a powerhouse of nutrients but does contain fiber and antioxidants.  Plus, it’s nice to shake up the variety of vegetables on offer at the  dinner table.

Cucumis sativus

My cucumber plant is going berserk. It took a bit to get going at the beginning of the season then just took off. I would normally have pinched it off but since it seems to be doing so well on top of the pergola I think I’ll just let it do its thing.  My daughter asked me recently if the cucumber was in the same plant family as squash. She was “bang on”. Squash, melons and cukes are all part of one big happy family.

Useful for so much more than munching on or slapping on your eyes when they are puffy or tired, cucumbers are very versatile.

– cucumber can be used to quickly shine shoes and repel water
– tightens collagen in the skin for instant firming action
– it is suggested that cucumber skin can erase pen, marker or crayon – I haven’t tested this one so try at your own risk
I love cucumber in a glass of water on a hot day instead of lemons or limes. 

Capsicum annuum “Tequila Sunrise”

I am so excited to taste this variety of pepper. It looks so spectacular against the green leaves.

Lycopersicon esculentum  

The tomatoes are starting to ripen. We have harvested a couple of bowls full at this point with a plethora left to pluck upon ripening. I have been enjoying the “chocolate” variety over the past week. I love the subtle differences between the varieties. The distinguishable tastes, acidity, texture differences…oh my!

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.”     ~Hanna Rion