Sunny Side Up

Gratitude & Happiness

Winning at Whisking.

W  is for Whist.

As a child, one of the first games I remember playing was Go Fish or Old Maid. It was a fun way to learn how to count and make patterns. Later on, games became fun in a more competitive way. My friends and I would try to prove our intelligence using strategy. In high – school we often spent our lunch hour playing cards. Sometimes it was crazy eights countdown, sometimes president,but the favourite seemed to be hearts, a game similar to Euchre, but that I could never quite understand. At holiday dinners, my cousins tried teaching me how to use bidding in games. Never good at math, I’d become easily confused trying to keep track of suits and tricks and plan my moves. Despite this, I still played and am considered a good sport. Perhaps Whist is the card game I can learn to enjoy.

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Sweet Scottish Steps.

S  is for Strathspey.

In my younger years, I delighted in playing dress up in my leotard and tutu and going to ballet class to twirl about. Unfortunately, I was also a stubborn child and felt conflicted between my Saturday morning cartoons and putting on a performance at dance recital. Cartoons won out. Later, in high – school gym class, they tried teaching us line dancing and ballroom. Some of them were quite complex, and I usually ended up tripping over my own feet. I enjoyed some good laughs, but sadly I can’t say that I remember any of the steps now. In my twenties, it was going clubbing with friends to dance until dawn and begging the D.J. to play our favourite song. I’ve always enjoyed dancing, though I wouldn’t say that I’m any good at it. Perhaps that’s because I’ve grown body conscious over the years and shyness has made me awkward. Now, dancing is something that I do on my own for the feeling of freedom that it brings me.  If I were to learn to dance again, perhaps the Strathspey is one I would consider. Though it looks somewhat complicated with many steps, I like the feeling of traveling to the past to a more courtly and romantic time that the gentler, slower steps suggest.

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Really, That Rare?

R  is for Rarebit.

Here is my attempt at a Welsh Rabbit. Though it looks a little funny, it was delish! ;P

image  image

I remember as a child sitting in front of the television watching Sesame Street after school and nibbling on my favourite snack, grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in ketchup. Our black lab, Trixie, often helped me finish them by licking the crumbs off the plate. Sometimes, she would eat the whole thing in a gulp before I could get to it. I would be left with only a puddle of drool on the plate, distracted as I was by the images and songs on the screen. Dog scolded and another plate later, I would eat the second before she could get at it, faster and often resulting in a stomach ache.  Neither of us could help it. The combination of bread, butter and melted cheddar oozing together with a slight crunch was just that good!

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Queries on Quality Querns.

Q  is for Quern.

One of the things I do in my efforts to eat healthier is to avoid processed and refined grains, such as corn and wheat. In my search to replace these, I have found many interesting variations created from nuts, seeds and gluten free grains. Have you ever heard of coconut flour? Or Teff? Finding grains and products that have not been modified, are sprouted and use the whole grain is important. This is because of the way the other versions break down into sugar and gluten causing illness, irritation, inflammation and difficulty losing weight.  Now, when I think about how our ancestors used to make flour, and how it was probably of a more natural variety, I see why the quern is so valuable.

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Purrrfect Purrsuasion.

P is for Purring.

Yes, I’ll admit I wanted a reason to include my three cats in a post and “P” provided the purrrfect topic. Meet Cannonball ( R.I.P. 1998 – 2013.,) Star, and Squeaky!

Cannon - staring! B-Wcopy - Version 2  Star close up copy - Version 2  Squeaky Attitude copy - Version 2

If you are a pet owner I don’t think I need to explain how they each have their own unique purrrsonality – Cannonball was a baby and a bit of a loner, Star is a spoiled princess and Squeaky has wild cat in him. In return for your care and affection, they offer unconditional love and comfort. Blessed with many years of joy from these three, one of the things I love best about them is cuddle time and purring. There is something so soothing in that sound. 🙂

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O, The Ones Who Are Forgotten.

Ois for Oubliette.

I enjoy reading and watching stories in the fantasy genre, particularly if there is a Medieval aspect to them. There is always the romance, the hero’s challenge and a rescue. Some might say that the dragon is a scary feat for the knight to face, but I can think of something more terrifying. It comes in the form of a dungeon.  Yes, I know when you compare them dragons are all scaly and big and fire breathing, and the dungeon seems like just a far off room. The kind of dungeon I’m referring to, however, is not your friend if you have a fear of tight spaces or being buried alive.

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Nemo’s Nemesis?

N is for Nautilus.

Some of you may have never heard of this amazing undersea animal. For those who have heard the word before, perhaps you only know it from its association in literature as Captain Nemo‘s ship in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, written in 1870 by Jules Verne. Check out this beautiful, relaxing video as an introduction to this unique shelled being.

I have always been fascinated by the continuing spiral pattern found on the inside of this creature’s shell and what it is thought to represent. The myths, legends and symbolism attributed to it never really occurred to me before. As someone who enjoyed playing on the beach and collecting shells, I just enjoyed the nautilus for the tiger striped pattern on the outside and the pearlescent beauty hidden beneath. More intriguing, I think, is that these creatures have been around for over 500 million years!

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Meaningful Mindfulness

Mis for Meditation.

Just breathe. It can be difficult to do in our daily lives with stress from work piling up as we try to beat the clock and fit everything in. Our thoughts might race around much like we do from home to the office to the various family activities and obligations.  If you’re like me, maybe you’ve thought about trying meditation before, but weren’t sure how to begin, if you were doing it right or had problems quieting your mind. That’s okay. The important thing to remember is “it’s called practice for a reason.” (Miracles Now, p. 13)

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Introducing an Interesting Art Form!

I  is for Intaglio.

I remember in elementary school learning about how the Inuit told stories by carving into soapstone. I was fascinated by the figures that came out smooth with hints of green, grey or brown in that beautiful rock. In art class we got to make our own engravings in a bar of Ivory soap. Somehow it wasn’t quite the same, but our hands smelled good after. One of my friend’s grandfathers made beautiful carvings of nature from wood, often of birds and very lifelike.  I have great appreciation for the detail that goes into creating through a sort of recycling, turning one thing into another by etching and picking away until the image reveals itself. I wish I had that talent. For now, I will content myself with learning about the process.

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Hello, What’s That Weird Noise?

His for Hiccups (Hiccoughs.)

Everyone has done it. Perhaps it was after enjoying a large meal and eating too fast. Maybe you got over excited or nervous and started laughing hysterically without pausing for breath. Is there a reason for that odd little squeaky, suction cup – short of breath sound we make? Often difficult to get rid of and a source of great amusement to our friends, there are many myths and folktales surrounding why we do it.  A list at get-rid-of-hiccups.com shares some of them:

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