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Italian Wedding Soup with Soft Bread

Well, it’s November 2nd and raining.  It seemed like a great day to make a soup and since I have the ingredients in my fridge for an Italian Wedding Soup, that’s what’s going to be happening in my kitchen today.

I’m sharing my recipe for the soup and also giving you my recipe for a Soft Bread from the bread machine.  I make all my own bread and I’ve tried a lot of different recipes but this one is my favorite.  It stays soft for days (if it lasts that long) and the outside isn’t too hard.  If you like the soft fluffy bread with lots of holes for holding your favorite topping, this is it.

Try the soup and/or the bread and let me know what you think!

 

Italian Wedding Soup

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons minced onion
2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup orzo or other small pasta
1 large carrot, diced

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil and onion. Shape mixture into 1/4-inch balls and set aside.

In a large pot heat chicken broth to boiling; stir in the spinach, pasta, carrot and meatballs. Return to boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, at a slow boil for 10 minutes or until pasta and carrots are cooked, and meatballs are no longer pink inside.

Serve hot with Soft Bread (recipe below).

Soft Bread (Bread Machine)

3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp sugar or honey
2 tsp yeast
2 cups flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Place water and sugar in bread machine pan and stir to dissolve sugar.  Add yeast and stir.  Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Add flour, olive oil and salt.  Turn on bread machine using the desired settings (medium works best for me)

Enjoy!

Are You Dancing Yet?

When you see those ads for work from home opportunities do you just dismiss them as a scam? Think of those who post them with disdain, the same way you do telemarketers?

Most of us do and I was not an exception. I was filled with distrust of these companies and their schemes.

Opportunity Dances With Those Already On The Dance Floor

BUT I found ONE company that has changed my life. I have more money, more time freedom, more friends, more optimism for the future, more health and more happiness.

It’s true money doesn’t buy happiness, but it makes life less of a struggle and lets more of the good show though. Message me if you’d like to know what company I work with and how it’s changed my life.

It’s also true that you miss 100% of the shots you never take.  Even though there ARE a lot of companies out there who are just looking to take your money and give you nothing in return, there is also at least one that I know from EXPERIENCE works if you do.

So get on the dance floor and let’s dance!!

 

A Daughter Needs Her Daddy

Although I long ago ceased to be a little girl, and my own father has traveled beyond the veil of death and I am no long about to be with him in the flesh, he has never left me.

I hear him whispering to me how proud he is when I accomplish even the smallest thing.  I hear his whispers of “I love you” in the song of the birds and the rustle of leaves.

My father and I spend much time together.  When I was a little girl, he let me help him with his work, probably more of hindrance than a help :-)   We fished, we hiked, we worked, we played in the warmth of spring, in the summer sun, in the winter snows and in the autumn leaves.  And as the seasons and their course, so too has life.

Gone, though my father is, my love for him will never fade and my memories of him and our times together will be treasured until the end of my days.  This poem spoke to me so I have posted it here.  Please use it if you like, to share with your father or as I do, to remember a father that was the world to his only daughter.  I love you daddy!

Fathers Day Poem - A Daughter Needs Her Daddy

Fathers Day Poem – A Daughter Needs Her Daddy

 

Want To Know What Your Future Holds?

I love mediums and fortune tellers.  Some of them are pretty amazing!  In recognition of their special gifts, I think I will try my hand at a little fortune telling of my own:

Want to know what your future holds? Create it yourself! Better get busy!

Want to know what your future holds? Create it yourself! Better get busy!

 I see….money….no wait….lots of money!  I see…..fun and new friends.  Nice ladies who love you and are helping you make money.  I see….your debts and your worries are melting away.

Create the future you want.  Message me and and we can talk….it’ s all possible.  I promise you!

Life Takes Twists and Turns – Sometimes Even U-Turns

Earlier this year, I wrote about having several home businesses and I just couldn’t seem to make them work out for me.

I wanted more than anything to be able to stay at home and live life on my own terms.  But one has to make a living and it seemed that in trying to find ways to make a living with home based businesses I was just spending more than I was making.

UNTIL!   Late in May, I got a phone call from a friend who I had worked with in the past and she told me about this new training that she had put together to do business totally 100% online.  I have to admit that I may have been a little less than gracious in my response.  I was tired of the struggles to  build these businesses.  Tired of the failure.  Tired of the broken dreams.

I love going to work every day and leaving my kids for someone else to raise - Said NO MOM EVER!

You don’t have to you know! Just contact me and ask how I make a living from home.

But the spark of really, really wanting to work from home and make a living doing it just would not go away and what she said kept nagging at me.  I knew I didn’t want to fail again, but what if this time was different?  What if…….

Well, you could say that “what if…” got the best of me and I figured I should give it one month of honest effort and if I did that, I would never look back and say, I should have done that….

So, April 26, 2013 ( I note this date because it is now a milestone in my life) I decided to take one more kick at the home business can and give it an honest effort for one full month.

I logged on to the training videos, learned the basics and went to work putting the online training into practice.  I was NOT prepared for the success!  It blew me away!

After just one week, I KNEW beyond ANY DOUBT that this was for me!  I loved being online (I’m an internet junkie) so this was perfect for me.  There were so many things I loved about this I’ve decided to make a list:

  • I LOVE that my investment was a grand total of $29
  • I LOVE the fact that I do everything online – no phone calls, no approaching strangers
  • I LOVE that I don’t sell any products, have any inventory, do any billing
  • I LOVE that I never have to bug my friends and family to buy or join anything
  • I LOVE that I never leave my home to do home parties
  • I LOVE that I work  only when I want to
  • I LOVE that I work with a team of really genuine and caring people
  • I LOVE that the company I work with is ECO-FRIENDLY and GREEN!
  • I LOVE that there is a proven track record of steady growth for 27 years
  • I LOVE the A+ Better Business Bureau Rating
  • I LOVE the philosophy of helping people reach their goals
  • I LOVE helping people build the lives they want to live (not the ones they are stuck in)
  • I LOVE helping MOMS be able to stay home and raise their own kids
  • I LOVE helping seniors and those close to retirement pad that next egg and build a retirement income
  • I LOVE the team of ladies I work with
  • I LOVE the energy and synergy of my team
  • I LOVE making new friends
  • I LOVE seeing movement in my business
  • I LOVE the feeling of believing that what I do is making a difference in peoples lives
  • I LOVE THE SUCCESS!

Oh man!  I could go on and on and on!!!!  But I think you get the point (if not, wow is all I can say hahaha).

Now, I’m not going to tell you who I’m working for.  I’m going to make you ask me.  Why you ask don’t I just come right out and tell you?

Simple!  If I tell you, you are going to open a new tab in your browser and immediately do a Google search.  Now I’m not afraid of what you’ll find on Google.  I’m concerned about what you WON’T find! (yes, I like bullets!):

  • You WON’T find how we work exclusively online
  • You WON’T find how the program works from start to finish
  • You WON’T find out team (I think we’re the BEST!)
  • You WON’T find the whole story
  • You WON’T find how much each of us care

Those are the things that make this work!  Not the statistic, data, news reports, reviews! NONE of those things will give you the real picture.  Only someone who loves what we have can give you the TRUE picture.

I want to help everyone who has struggled like I have with home businesses that just don’t work!  I want to show you HOW this one does and HOW you can make it into anything you want it to be!

Send me a message and I will show you exactly what I do.  In 40 minutes or less you will have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision if this is right for you.  You don’t even have to talk to anyone (other than through a few email messages) EVER!  Use the REQUEST INFO button below my profile (top left) to send me a message and tell me you want to learn more.

DO IT NOW!!!!  I promise you, you will not be sorry you did – even if you decide it’s not for you, at least you won’t have the dreaded “what if….” hanging over you!

Make a Sourdough Starter – A Lesson in Patience

I have always had an interest in “living off the land” or homesteading as it is often called.  The homesteading lifestyle goes hand in glove with the slow food movement.  I make most of our food from scratch, rarely using pre-packaged foods.  Not only does it taste better, I can control and know what’s in it.

Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet.

Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet ~ Aristotle.

I recently got interested in sourdough.  That has got to be one of the most wonderful “slow foods” for making a loaf of bread – the first loaf takes about a week, but it is so worth the wait.   The reward for having put in your week of time and effort to get a sourdough starter to a point where it’s stable and ready to use is a tangy yet slightly sweet loaf of sourdough bread that smells heavenly.

Yes, you read that right, one week ~ 7 full days ~ for that first loaf of sourdough bread!  Since that seventh day in my sourdough experiment, I’ve made numerous loaves of homemade bread, a chocolate cake, biscuits, and a cinnamon coffee cake.  Some have been more successful than other but all have been edible and some have been really yummy!  I will make each of them again, tweaking the recipes based on what I learned from each attempt.  I will share my recipes as I get them perfected for my starter and my tastes.

I do use my bread machine to do the work for me in making my sourdough bread since I’ve been working my day job and just didn’t have the time to do it the “old fashioned” way but the results have been good and it’s allowed us to enjoy homemade sourdough bread when it would not have otherwise been possible on those days.

When I decided I wanted to make a sourdough starter, I had no real idea how to begin so I scoured the internet doing research and borrowed a book from a friend.  Each resource I found had it’s own twist on the subject and many were very long winded about the science of making sourdough which is great to know but not necessary.  In fact, it made it very confusing and much more difficult than it needs to be.  Sourdough has been used for hundreds and probably even thousands of years.  The early developers of sourdough certainly didn’t understand the science behind it yet the starters were kept going from generation to generation and in all parts of the world.

In a nutshell, a sourdough is a mix of flour and water that contains natural bacteria and yeasts.  These natural bacterias and yeast are allowed to grow and multiply until they have multiplied to a point where their population has the ability to raise a hunk of dough into a tasty, leavened bread.  To make a sourdough starter you need just three things; flour, water and patience.

Here are my sourdough instructions without any extraneous science or explanations.

Ingredients :

1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water  and  1/2 cup of any unbleached flour

Mix together in a container that’s easy for you to get a spoon in and stir.  I use a wide mouthed mason jar but am planning to switch to a plastic container very soon.   Cover it lightly with a cloth or a lid just laid on top (just to keep dust and in my case, pet hair, out of it). It should be about the thickness of fairly thick pancake batter so add more water or flour until it’s about that consistency.

Patience:

Let it sit on your counter in a warm place.  Check it every 12 hours or so and give it a stir.  When you start to see some bubbles on it, maybe within a day or two, then it’s time to feed it.

Sourdough Starter Rising

This is my sourdough starter about 4 hours after being “fed”. Notice the bubbles forming in the starter. This starter has risen to almost double from where it was in the jar when I fed it. That tells me it’s feeding and “off gassing” nicely. When the starter stops feeding, it will return to it’s original volume in my container. I will then use some and feed what’s left in the jar and the cycle begins again.

Care and Feeding of a Sourdough Starter:

Step 1 – (day 1) Once you start to see a little bubbling or foam action you will know it’s working.  This could take from 1 to 2 days.  When it’s been working for about 12 hours, feed it another 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup flour and give it a good stir (keep that pancake batter consistency by adding more water or flour as needed).  Don’t get hung up on the 12 hours thing.  Generally, plan to do  feedings in the morning and before bed.  It’s not rocket science so don’t get too hung up on times.

Step 2 – (about day 2 or 3 and continuing until day 7) Your going to start really nurturing the culture in your little baby starter so it’s going to need your care and attention for the next week at least.   Once you have about a cup of sourdough starter after you stir it and before you feed it, you will need to start discarding some or you’ll have a bucket full by the end of the week.   Discard about 1/2 of your culture and feed it with another 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup of flour (more or less).

Keep it the consistency of a thick pancake batter.   I like to keep my sourdough started a little thicker than a pancake batter because I find I can more easily see the action of it rising and falling. If you batter is too thin the gases produced by the culture will just escape and you won’t be able to tell how well it’s working.  Some say a thin batter is better but at this stage I think thicker is better so you can tell if your baby sourdough starter is healthy and growing.

If you get any really foul odors or discoloration in your starter this means the wrong bacteria and yeasts have taken charge so discard it all and start again.  A little fermented smell is good – anything that smells rotten is bad.

Step 3 – (up to day 7) Regular feedings and nap times.  Now that your baby is growing you need to keep a regular schedule of discarding, feeding and resting.  For most people this will probably be a 12 hour schedule.  For me, because we heat our house with wood, and it’s winter time right now, my house is cooler at night and even during the day if we’re not home to tend the fire, so a 24 hour schedule works best as the cooler temperatures means slower growth for my sourdough culture.  Basically, you can tell what your feeding schedule should be by the rise and fall of your starter.  When it’s falling, that means it is done feeding and growth is slowing down so you can plan your schedule around the natural rhythm of your sourdough starter.  The starter will tell you when it’s hungry by becoming less active.  The warmer the starter, the faster it will grow.  If you want it to be slower so you don’t have to discard and feed as often, put it in a cooler place (but not the fridge that’s too cold for a baby).

Continue the discard, feed and rest schedule until your culture is a week old.  If all’s well, at that time you can start using it.

Sourdough Honey Bread

My Sourdough Honey Bread made in the bread machine. It’s a very small loaf which is great for our small family. We can use one of these loaves in a day or two so I make it often which allows me to keep my sourdough starter active on the counter instead of in the fridge where it’s activity becomes very slow and must be restarted before it can be used.

Step 4 – Using your sourdough starter.  Most recipes will call for anywhere between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of starter so keep your starter at about 1 1/2 cups after a feeding so that when you take out a cup you’ll still have enough starter left to grow for the next time you need starter.  Immediately after you use some of your starter for a recipe, you need to feed your remaining starter to bring it back up to a level that can be used for the next recipe.  I usually plan my baking so that I use about a cup of starter per day (one recipe per day).  If you want to use a lot of starter on a given day, you’ll need to build your starter up with feedings until you have enough for your use and enough left to build it back up.

I use my 1 cup of sourdough starter (don’t forget to feed your remaining starter) in the morning and feed the remainder right away.  Since it’s on a 24 hour cycle (for the winter) I remove about a cup of the starter each morning and either use it to bake or give it away (or you can store it in the fridge and bring it back up if you want to use it at a later time – we’ll talk about that later).  Our family will go through a small loaf of sourdough bread every couple of days, so one day I’ll make a sourdough bread and the next day I’ll make something else like biscuits or a cake or maybe pancakes.  This keeps my family in “slow food” and also keeps my starter active.  Today I’ll share with you my basic bread recipe that I use on a regular basis.  I’ll share more sourdough recipes in future posts.

Basic Sourdough Honey Bread

  • 1 cup of sourdough starter (don’t forget to feed your remaining starter)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil (I like to use a nice olive oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour (depending on the consistency of your starter)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast (yes, I know it’s cheating but needed for a bread machine)

Place all ingredients in a bread machine (wet ingredients first) and process on the whole wheat cycle if your machine has it.  Or you could just do dough cycle and then take the dough out, shape it and let it rise in a bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

As your starter and your bread machine will be different than mine, you may need to try this a few times to get it the way you like it.  Adjust a little here and there until you make it just the way you like it.

From sourdough starter to homemade bread and jam.

From sourdough starter to homemade bread and jam. Letting the bread machine do the work may be cheating a little but it’s great way to get homemade sourdough bread while you’re working.

Reviving a sourdough starter that you’ve had in the fridge:

If you had to discard starter but saved it in the fridge for later use OR your starter is at an age where you can safely put it to sleep in the fridge (about a month old), you need to revive it before you can use it in a recipe.

Remove it from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.  Then feed it with a one part water to 2 parts flour to get the amount of starter you need.  Once it’s fed and started to relax you can use it in your recipe as normal.  I’ve not tried it but I believe you can also freeze sourdough starter and revive it the same way.  If it does not reactivate when you’ve warmed and fed it , throw it away and say a little prayer as your little culture has died.

So that is sourdough as I understand it.  If you do try making a sourdough starter, please share your experiences and ask questions in the comments section!  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

On Sadness and Tears – Joyfully

This past week with the loss of five young fishermen from my community has meant that life has not been completely normal.  There has been a lot of sadness, both my own and also throughout my community as a whole.

Fishing Community of Southern Nova Scotia

A view of one of the many fishing ports in my community of Southern Nova Scotia.

I love living by the sea in southern Nova Scotia where I grew up and where I know many people that I meet while I am out and about each day.  They are usually ready with a smile and bit of small talk when I meet them.  But these last few days, since the boys were lost at sea, the smiles have had less light in them and the small talk has not been so lively.  The sense of sadness permeates everything.  Even the traffic seems to move slower.

Through it all, though, there have been great moments of learning, at least for me.  I have learned a great deal this week about joy.

Even during times of sadness and sorrow, there was no way to stop the joy.   It exists inside even when your feeling sad.  I have come to realize that joy is not and never has been an emotion.  It is so much more than that.  It is a state of being that comes from being in harmony with yourself and your nature.

Sadness and sorrow are emotions and while they are powerful and can permeate ever cell of our bodies, they cannot over shadow joy.

An owl in a  tree outside my bedroom window.

This owl in a tree outside my bedroom window got me thinking about trees and owls and their lives compared to our own.

I have started to think about joy as being like energy.  Energy is the building block of the Universe.  It creates all things and is all things.  Joy, like energy, is everywhere and it cannot be destroyed.

If you think of an oak tree.  The tree is made of energy.  The oak lives and grows taking energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil to create leaves and acorns.  The leaves then fall and decay and provide nutrients back to the tree.  The acorns will become new oak trees or food for other creatures.  This is a system where energy is cycled through all things.

I believe the oak tree is also joy.  It is joy in that it grows where it is planted.  It thrives on light from the sun, water from the rain and nutrients from the soil.   It does not wish to be somewhere else.  It does not wish for more nutrients so it can grow bigger, taller and faster.  It simply takes what is given by sun, rain and soil and does what it can with what it has.  And that is enough and that is joy.

Unlike the oak tree, modern humans are rarely satisfied.  We strive for more money, bigger houses, faster cars, more beauty, more prestige, longer vacations and more shoes.  In our search and quest for all these things, we often loose our sense of joy.  We have lost the state where we find our joy.

A mourning dove in that same tree.

A mourning dove in that same tree on a snowy morning a few days earlier.

I am in no way saying that wanting beautiful things and the quest for happiness are bad things and that we should give them up.  What I am saying is that we can have those things AND be filled with joy if we can learn from the oak tree.  If we can learn that even if we do not have the perfect amount of sunshine, optimal rainfall and abundant nutrients to become a stunning oak tree we still have enough to grow into whatever it is we have the ability to become – and that knowing we have enough – is where we will find our joy.

If I asked you to make a list ten things you would change in your life, most people would write things like more money, be thinner, have more friends, nicer or bigger house, new car and so on.  Other people would write be happier, spend more time with family, be a better parent and so on.  But what if I told you that I think you only need to write one thing. ` To Know Joy`

If you know  joy, it means you have become still within yourself and stopped the striving and the worry and the stress.  It means that you can feel joy in all moments of your life and through all things.

This week, I have known joy even through much sorrow and sadness.  Through tears and pain.  But I have learned that the tears, the pain, the sorrow and the sadness are also joy.  Joy because they were real and they were a part of me at each of those moments.  To be in any emotional state is also to be in joy.  When you are still and experience those states without wishing for a different state that is when you also know joy.

When you are sad, then feel sad and be joyful in it.  When you feel like crying, then let the tears flow and be joyful.  Does that make any sense?   I am not sure it would have made sense for me last week, but today, I know it to be true.  I know that when I am sad, when I cry and when I accept and acknowledge those feelings, I am joy.  You notice I did not say I feel joy.  Joy, like energy is not something you feel, it is just something you are.

So be joy, be real, be who you are and experience each moment as it is without wishing it were different.

I want to leave you with a quote today.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”…Maya Angelou

I believe that finding joy has the same formula.  Like who you are. Like what you have right now. Like what you are doing each and every moment or stop doing it.  And be joyful.

 

The Joy of Life and The Sorrow of Loss

Today is a busy day; a day that started with a sorrow filled mission to the wharf to say a prayer, observe a moment of silence and place some white carnations in remembrance of the young men lost at sea from my community.

As was fitting for the day, it was cold, windy and snowy.  A pale imitation of the night when the “Miss Ally” foundered in high seas and capsized leaving Katlin, Cole, Joel, Tyson and Billy Jack at the mercy of an angry sea.  I made my way to the wharf, feeling the bite of the cold wind making my face tingle and my fingers getting cold even through my mittens.  I could not help but think about the fury of the sea on the night the boys were making for shore.   The same cold biting wind and the same driving snow, just multiplied three or more times and turning the sea into a raging battleground between ocean and men.  It seems that the name on this particular boat was somehow fitting to the situation ~ “Headed For Turf”.  But as this boat sits safe and secure, the “Miss Ally” is still being battered as she lies upside down off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Headed For Turf - Cape Island Style Boat at Stoney Island, NS

Snowy Vessel “Headed For Turf” – Cape Island Style Boat at Stoney Island, NS

Standing at the end of the wharf, safe and secure from breaking seas by a wall of rock placed there for protection, I said my prayer, asking for comfort for the families left behind and for my community to come together in love and healing.

Five White Carnations

Five White Carnations. One for each young man, lost at sea February 17, 2013. Katlin Nickerson, Joel Hopkins, Cole Nickerson, Tyson Townsend and Billy Jack Hatfield.

After a short prayer and a moment of silence, with a name of each man on my lips, I cast each carnation to it’s watery grave.  A small token of the love and sorrow I felt in my heart at their loss.  And in that moment, of sadness and sorrow, it was impossible not to feel totally alive.  Alive to pay tribute to those who are gone.  Alive to receive life and answered prayers.

Answered Prayer

“Answered Prayer”, Stoney Island, Nova Scotia

As I left the wharf, tears stung in my eyes and momentarily froze on my lids until I blinked them away.   There is still so much to do.  So much living which does not stop for sorrow.  There are more missions to take up and more beauty to behold.  Within moments of walking toward home, my eyes were rewarded with the beauty of a winter day.

Beauty of a Winter Day

Beauty of a Winter Day

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Sorrow and happiness, sadness and joy, like sweet and sour on the tongue are both required for the fullness of life.

So today, as I completed my sad mission to say goodbye to five fishermen, I must now move on and carry on with my next mission!  A mission to save an old lighthouse that has shown it’s beacon of hope and safety to mariners for many years but now needs out help to bring it back to it’s former glory, in the days when it’s light and it’s horn were all that saved men and ships from the rocks.

Onward I go to meet with others in my community who care and who will figure out ways to fund the repairs to this proud old girl who has been neglected for far too long!  The tallest lighthouse in Nova Scotia and the most southern one.  She has saved so many and asked for so little in return!  May she stand proud and tall and again gleam in the sun!  And the hope of this new face for an old lighthouse brings my great joy.  I look forward to the day when I can again visit her and tell her how beautiful she looks with her new wardrobe of bright white paint!

Lighthouse at Cape Sable, Nova Scotia

Lighthouse at Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. Neglected by the Government of Canada and left for the community to restore as progress makes her light and horn of less importance to mariners.

Until next time, live well and notice the wonder that surrounds you.

Finding Joy in a Difficult Day

The last few days have been difficult.  On Monday morning our community learned that five young fishermen between the ages of 22 and 33 were missing at sea in a winter storm that came up fast and furious!  They were trying to reach land from the fishing grounds, over 100 miles from shore, when the storm blew up out of the west pushing them backward a mile for every two miles they traveled forward toward the safety of the harbour.

In hurricane force winds and with snow and ice freezing to the rigging of the vessel, it is presumed that the ship became top heavy and capsized or was swamped by a massive wave in seas reaching 30 feet high.  Their ship was a mere 45 feet long.

The gales and snow severely reduced the amount of search efforts that could be done to find the five young men although at one point during the early hours of Monday morning a life raft was spotted by a US air craft that had dispatched to the location of the distress signal from the vessel (which would sound when the vessel foundered).  No other communication from the stricken ship was received and there was no way to tell if anyone made it into the life raft in those raging 30 foot seas in the pitch black of night.   The plane could not stay at sea in such weather and was forced to return to base.

For two days my community has joined with the families of these 5 young men to pray and to hope for a successful search but as hour after hour passed, the possibility that they could have survived the raging North Atlantic in sub-zero temperatures seemed to slip away.  Finally, after nearly two days of searching by both Canadian and US ships and planes, the search was called off with another storm front moving in.  The search is over and Katlin Nickerson, Joel Hopkins, Tyson Townsend, Cole Nickerson and Billy Jack Hatfield are missing at sea.  Five friends, five companions, five crew aboard the “Miss Alley”.

For the five brave young men lost at sea from Donna Huphman on Slide.ly.

And now the wives, children, parents, families and community are left to figure out how to move forward.  In a community of less than 5000 people, the loss of five young men in their prime, with “the world by the seat of the pants”, is a terrible blow.  So here I am, deeply saddened and hurting for the families of these men, thinking about following the joy.

In situations like this one of the worst feelings is the helplessness.  That there is nothing you can do.  No way to take away the pain of so many.  But even in the midst of terrible sadness, there are tiny sparks of hope.  Tiny tendrils of a legacy that begin to emerge.

I was to asked to help to work for a way to have a day set aside for the remembrance of those lost at sea.  I have had the privilege of working on a petition that will be presented to the Nova Scotia government to declare the third Monday of February as  Seafarers Day in remembrance of those lost as sea and also in recognition of the contribution made to the Province of Nova Scotia by those who make a living on the sea.

This has been a labour of love and joy for me to work on this over the last day.  A small way of giving something to the families of Katlin, Joel, Cole, Tyson and Billy Jack that may bring them some sense that their loss was felt by many and their loved ones will live on in this legacy.

There has also been joy in watching my community come together and to embrace one another.  The outpouring of love has been astounding in just these early days of coping with such a tragedy.

For today, the joy has been mixed with great sadness but it’s there none the less.

Be well and follow your own joy!

 

 

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Life My Way.

I decided to create this blog when I decided to stop following the money and start following the joy.

I admit that finances are a problem area in my life and the worry about it has taken up so much time and energy that I can never get back again.  I currently have 3 part time jobs, two of which are in home based sales and are not really my thing but I started them to try to “earn extra money”.  What these home businesses have done is rob me of my time and energy, stressed me out and taken a lot of joy out of my life while providing very little financial gain in return.  So as of now, I will be wrapping them up and leaving them behind.

I also know that the part time job that pays my bills, is also coming to an end within the next year and so I need to find another job.  Another prospect that I am not looking forward to.  I’m definitely now in the “older worker” category and really do not want to return to work full time, but I’m still too young and too broke to retire.

It seems like I’ve been struggling for so long, I’ve forgotten how not to struggle.  I had been running all these things over in my mind, wondering what I should do when I came across this video on YouTube. Please, go ahead and watch it now.

www.noahhammond.com

Now I can’t tell you that when I watched this video for the first time, that I immediately found my life’s purpose, nor can I tell you that I know it now. I guess it’s best at this point just to say that I know what it is not.

My intention with this blog is to document my search for purpose and my search for joy. In the coming days, months, and even years, I will be posting the wanderings on my path to finding joy, happiness and contentment – my purpose if you will.

I would love it if you would join me and I hope that I can show you some of the things that bring my joy and that maybe you’ll learn something along the way that makes you go “hmm”.

Again, Welcome!  It’s good to have you along…

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