Wednesday, November 4, 2020

When the worlds goes to shit I make lists of Little Things

The sun rises.
I visit nature for comfort in days of uncertainty of what the future holds... Lock down 2.0 starts tonight with some modifications from the first version... I've watched the numbers sky rocketing from 400 - 9000/day in just a few weeks and I can't help but wondering how we will ever be able to control this pandemic monster... I turn off all News channels, stop reading the updates. I don't want to hear one more word about Covid, the terrorists or the US election... Don't even go there...
I retreat into my own world, a world where I feel safe, a world I understand and can control more than the big one. A world where my actions makes an instant difference. Such as noticing to the Little Things that brings me joy. I list them in my head: a late blooming flower, a grazing cow, the sun rising above the the French Alps, a confused lady bug on my window sill, a cup of extra creamy coffee with a ginger cookie or two, my morning walks, a snuggle with my husband, a cat laying next to me on the couch in the evening, my big girl making me laugh-cry like no other can, an upbeat tune that makes me want to dance, a smile from a neighbor, a hot shower, dinner together every night, a hug from my teenage boy, a row of crochet, the freckles on my little girl's face, lighting candles, the sound of the wind and the smell of fall. Just to mention some. 
Stay strong, stay safe, stay optimistic. Be kind. Love is all around even if it at times doesn't feel like it. Even when it feels like the world has gone totally crazy and out of control... Escaping the big picture and diving into the little things soothes my worried soul. Do you too make lists of Little Things to sooth yourself when you feel overwhelmed? What's on your list? Little Things is what life is all about in the end. Little things makes for a brighter and more joyful world. Taking pictures of Little Things and writing about Little Things work as positive affirmations. So I keep on listing things that brings me joy: woolly socks, soft yarn, a water color painting, a handwritten birthday card, my fabric stash, Long Train Running by The Doobie Brothers, baking, Gogglebox on UK's Channel4, my big girl playing the piano... This too will pass... eventually. I mean, shit can't go on forever... Can it?


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

The weekend, a messy shed, midlife crises and pretty views

We are at the last stretch of a two week long October break. I've enjoyed it to the full. This is the year of no plans so we've spent this school break at home. Luca Bo (who has started his four year long apprenticeship to become an awesome wood worker/carpenter/builder) has been working most days as he no longer can benefit from school vacations. I think he was a little bit upset when reality sunk in last week, being the only one who needed to get up at dawn while the rest of us slept in. I'm so beaming proud of my boy, who gets up at 5.30 am making himself a frothy coffee and grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. He prepares his lunch sandwiches and get ready to leave the house an hour later to catch the bus before sun comes up. All by himself. As a mother with a built in supervising radar, I usually wake up about the same just to make sure he is up (without him even knowing... I just put my "Mama elephant ears" into practice and listen for noise from his bedroom or the kitchen and as soon as I hear him I turn around and fall back asleep...) and not one single time has he overslept. In fact, he has never ever missed a school bus or been late for school in his whole life. That is more than I can say about myself...
While Luca Bo has been working - learning how to set a tile floor, renovate a wooden chair and build a door (I love love LOVE that he has chosen this professional route, it is so him!!!) - the rest of us have had sleep in mornings and little on our agendas. As I work at an International school as an After School Carer, I have school break too and I've made the most of it by diving back into my crochet hobby. I've spent lots of time making slow but satisfying progress on my, for the moment, three WiP's:
• The Blanket Of Hope to stay sane
• The Cluster V-stitch baby blanket for unknown baby
• Some Thermal stitch potholders for my home
The weekend gave us fabulous autumn weather with crisp fresh air and sunshine. I decided to tidy up the shed, which was a complete disaster... Some of you might have seen it on my Instagram @myrosevalley. It was one of those spontaneous projects that you start on a whim with great enthusiasm and after 10 minutes you ask yourself: "Why on earth did I start this???" I stuck it through, dragged everything out, swept the floor, cleaned up all the mice poop, spider webs and dead bugs. Sorted, cleaned and re-arranged. I put up a number of big nails on the wooden walls to hang things. When all was done I was so chuffed with the result that I had to show it to every family member and get praised for my efforts (like a child... I know...)
"Oh Mama, you've done so well. It looks great. Bravo!!!" Bless my children for knowing I need praise just as much as they do.  
On Sunday Jay and I took a long walk chatting about future plans. As a couple in our early 50's and with only teenagers in the house nowadays (how did that happen?), things are changing dramatically for us all and you start to think about what is coming next... Who are we? What do we want to do? Where are we going? As much as our youngest Emmy Bo is having a challenging time with existential thoughts in puberty, I guess we are going through a bit of the same thing... It's all new to us and it is a bit of challenging times. I think they call it midlife crises... 
A friend once asked me:
"Annette, you - who always are in some sort of crises - can you help me because I think I'm having a crises and I don't know how to deal with it." 
Yep, that's me. And often I've been ashamed or annoyed of being that deep thinker, analytic person, questioning and putting to much thought into things... It hasn't been easy, it still isn't, but it is who I am and who I've always been. I guess you can say I've been in puberty crises, friendship crises, being single crises, changing job crises, love crises, moving country crises, getting married crises, becoming a mum crises, missing my home country crises, loneliness crises, who am I crises, low self esteem crises, I'm not good enough crises... Do you want me to go on?  Crises has such a negative sound to it though and I prefer to call all these things challenges of life. 
As we travel on this journey through life, obstacles will occur and we will find ways to get around them. We will find solutions. And if we didn't have these challenges that forces us to reflect upon where we are, what we are doing and what we really want, how on earth would we be able to grow and dare to open doors to new exciting paths that might, or might not, lead us to new places, people and personal growth? I'm not saying that it is at all easy, but I do believe we sometimes have to stop and reflect on which path to take next. 
So anyway, we went on this beautiful afternoon walk up the mountain above our house and chatted lightly about this next phase in life. "The middle aged couple with grown up kids" phase. What does that mean? I'm not sure. I can recall so many people telling me throughout the years to really enjoy and cherish the time I have with the kids because one day they will be big and wanting to leave the nest... And I guess I always knew that, of course, but even if I did it has kind of sneaked up on me. It feels like it has all happened so suddenly. I just didn't really see (with emphasis on that word "see"...) it coming. Now I am the one saying the same thing to other mothers with young children. So bizarre... Time passes so quickly without you even noticing. Today is coming to an end already and a new day is to arise... and so life goes on. Somehow it feels like time is passing quicker and quicker the older I get. Do you feel the same way?
At the end of the weekend I packed up my crochet, put away all my "bench time props" and closed the now tidy and organized shed. It really was an awesome, productive and relaxed weekend and although this week has been a bit hectic so far, I'm still making the most out of my "staycation", focusing on what I want to do instead of what I should do. And who knows... maybe this "staycation" will continue for a while... I suspect a new lock down might soon be reality... Corona is not giving in... quite the opposite. 
Take care my lovelies. Stay safe. But live. Don't forget to make the most of every day you have on this planet. And if that is making big changes, taking action on projects or just chilling with crochet, you decide.


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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Good Morning Pancakes, Welcome and Lets do this!

Hello my lovelies! I'm so happy to see so many new visitors here at My Rose Valley. Warm welcome to you all. 💕😊 💕 It is cold and nippy outside and after a great start with some delicious Good Morning Keto Pancakes (see recipe below) and a cup of morning tea, I'm ready for this day. 
I suffer from pain in my lower back (arthritis the doctor said a few years ago...) that makes me sleep poorly at night and walk like an old lady in the mornings before warming up, and a couple of weeks ago I had enough and decided to go on a low sugar - low carb routine to kick the inflammation that causes the ache. Already after a week of cutting out all sugars and "bad" carbs the pain has been reduced 50%. I'm so pleased with my progress. If you're interested I'll tell you more about what it is I'm doing different in a separate post, give you some suggestion of my average daily menu and the tips and tricks I've discovered to stick to this routine without falling off the wagon. I don't look at it as a forever and ever diet, it is a tool to help my body recover and get rid of the inflammation more than anything, just so you know. Let me know in the comment field below if you want to know more.
After breakfast I looked out my kitchen window and Ooooopsie!!! I forgot to bring my blankets and pillow inside from the bench last night. The table cloth has blown off and fallen to the ground...😬 Luckily it hasn't rained and it is all dry but cold... I think I'll just leave it there, prepped and ready for a moment of reflection on the bench later this afternoon.
Today I WILL get the job done. I'm determent! It has been so comforting to hear that many of you are procrastinators just like me. It has inspired me to get going with what is holding me back for the moment... No more time to wait for the "right mood" to appear. Sometimes it's just about taking the first step and off you go. Like putting on the trainers and step outside the door for that daily walk even if the "right mood" isn't there yet. Once you're outside walking the "right mood" will arrive and afterwards comes the reward of feeling fantastic. Let's do this!

Makes approx: 8-10 small pancakes
2 eggs
100 g cottage cheese
1/2 tbsp ground psyllium husk powder
Butter or coconut oil for frying
Whipped cream or full fat yogurt and berries for serving

1. Mix all ingredients together and let set for 5-10 minutes

2. Heat up butter or coconut oil in a non-stick skillet. Fry the pancakes on medium-low heat for 3–4 minutes on each side. Make them small or they will be hard to flip.
3. Serve with whipped cream (I whip my cream in the Nutribullet smoothie mixer... super quick and easy) or a dollop of full fat yogurt and berries of choice. I use frozen blueberries that I heat up in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. 

Original recipe from

Bon Appetit! 

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