About Me

My name is Christine. I'm a visual artist, musician, traditional storyteller, DV survivor, and have been a fulltime caregiver for an individual living with various diagnoses. After my marriage, I learned how to play various instruments, started exploring various means of creative expression, worked with at-risk teens/families, volunteered with the local crisis lines, participated in starting up a family resource center, completed my BA, furthered my studies towards becoming an art therapist, managed homes for adults living with disabilities, and facilitated therapeutic music/art sessions. I was doing everything I could so my children and I could have a brighter life, present and future. My physical health, however, continued to show evidence of too many chronic stressors over many decades. This blog is about my journey in discovering peace and better health by meeting life in the most basic and, in my opinion, the most rewarding of ways - by focusing on the riches of simplicity. If you're a new visitor to my blog, you might be interested in starting here: Finding the Riches.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Still Figuring Out The Details

"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." 
(Henry Miller)

The Environment; Our Environment

In our home, we use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. There is no vehicle in our driveway except when friends stop by.

We try to stay as clear as possible from processed food products, though the items from the food bank fall mostly under that category and we appreciate the availability of all food bank items.

I'd like to eat primarily organic food but that's a bit tricky for low-income families. I'm looking forward to having a bit of a garden on our deck again this year ("Deck Gardening"), and though we don't have storage/freezer space, we're working on our plan for this year's community garden and are looking forward to having homegrown produce throughout the Summer.

I'm also thinking of picking up a few extra seed packets this season to see if I can grow some produce indoors next Winter. If you've done so, I'd love to hear from you!

In the meantime, we are aiming to focus mostly on "The Clean 15" for the next while and see how we do. I'll keep you posted on our progress!

That said, today's recipe is a GFCF snack using packaged rice crackers.

2-Ingredient, Snack-Size GFCF Pancakes


24 Rice Crackers (I used Superstore's plain, "no name" crackers)

3 Eggs

That's it!
I used my "Magic Bullet" and first made the rice crackers into crumbs then blended in the eggs. I spooned the batter into a non-stick frying pan and cooked just til the batter seemed to start firming up, then flipped them over. Watch that they don't burn.
****This recipe only makes 8 very small pancakes, each about 2 inches in diameter. They were perfect with honey!

A few months back, I was craving french toast and didn't have any gfcf bread in the house, so I coarsely crunched up some rice crackers, mixed in some eggs, and poured the mixture into egg molds in my frying pan. They were pretty good, and I've turned to that often as a french toast alternative. 
One day when I was recovering from some sort of something or other, I wanted something more along the pancake line, and knew I needed something with protein that would be light on the stomach and wouldn't take long to make. These worked out to be a perfect solution. Obviously this doesn't work well for families having a big pancake breakfast, but that's not healthy anyway! These are great as a snack or as part of a meal.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Finding the Riches

Gratefulness. Every Day.
Purposely seeking out beauty numerous times throughout the day. Every day.
Purposely choosing to randomly smile throughout the day.

There's Something About Nature

"I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree"
William Blake

Remember being thrilled by the sight of a ladybug when you were toddling about and barely able to say the word, "bug"?

Remember how the rest of the world faded away while you marvelled at how the ants you were watching could carry such giant food crumbs and how easily they could maneuvoeur around the piece of grass you experimentally placed to disrupt their intended path?

Those wonderful, miraculous pleasures didn't disappear.

Looking into a flower and doing nothing else but breathing brings a calm  -  a different calm than one that comes from soaking in a tub or reading a book. For some who have been away from calm or from nature-appreciation for awhile, this might involve a bit of mind-training, but even starting at 5 seconds a day and working up to being able to successfully block out the world and focus on the simple and miraculous intricacies of a flower for a minute or more each day provides a sense of connection. Healing. Calm. I remember when I started to re-understand that as long as there was nature around me, all would be ok in my world.

There's Something About Music

Addict: noun [with modifier] informal
an enthusiastic devotee of a specified thing or activity

My name is Christine, and I am a live-music addict.

For me, it's not just the music. There's something very deep about sharing music. Beauty, connection, wonder  -  there's something unique and satisfying to being part of a live music performance. Whether you're on the sharing end or the listening end, there's something that's created in those moments of time that can never be recreated. And both the sharer and the listener (although, really, are those roles actually truly separate? hmmm) nudge each other's lives while experiencing those moments together.

Of course, the music itself does count. It reaches deep down inside; some place primal that's connected to ancient times before the development of verbal language. It can touch places that are so often untouched and left parched in modern society. And lyrics? Well, I'm almost always up for listening to a story!

There's Something About Friends

"I have moved and I've kept on moving
Proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing
Found others on the way"


I've found in life that there are so many layers of friendship (I'm referring to actual friendships here, not folks within our circle of acquaintances). When I was younger, I viewed friends as folks who drifted somewhere within my "inner circle" and "outer circle" of people I knew. The inner circle friends were those with whom I felt the closest (usually based on time together, familiarity, commonality, etc), and the outer circle were folks with whom I'd had similar connections but just to a different degree. Later in life, I reached a bit of a quandry in having common interests and general philosophies with some folks, yet was on the other end of the spectrum in lifestyle or other viewpoints. I began to see that some friends are like some relatives - with some, you develop a close relationship, and with others, you might or might not get together very often and might not have a great deal in common but there might be one or two good-sized factors that provide the glue that keeps you in touch and keeps you wanting to be there for each other.  I also simplified  -  weeded out unhealthy relationships as well as personal/friendship relationships with individuals who showed evidence of a lack of respect towards others, and found much peace in relationships with those who exhibit a true sense of peace in the way they live their life.  Most of the latter have included common interests as well as common philosophies in various areas, but some have included only one or the other. As a result, I truly enjoy and appreciate the eclectic treasure of individuals I am honoured to call my friends.