Post Number 365…This is It!

This is it. This is my last post.

This is post number 365.

I feel a little choked up as I bring this amazing project to a close. The feeling is kind of like watching one of my kids take just one more step away from me; equal parts happy and sad.

Through the Woods365 Radical Acts has seen me through quite a year. When I launched this project on November 1, 2013, I had no idea where it would lead. I had no idea if I could actually write and post every single day. I had no idea that I would learn so much about myself, about my life and about just how deep my passion for writing runs.

And I had absolutely no idea just how much exceptional runs through the fabric of my ordinary life. To the point that some days it was like tossing a coin to choose what exceptional aspect I wanted to share.

I am called and compelled to acknowledge 365 Radical Acts for what it has taught me over these past 365 days;

  • That each and every one of us has more exceptional in our lives than we could ever possibly notice
  • That exceptional is present in every moment
  • That being on the lookout for the exceptional aspects of my day increased them exponentially
  • That my life is about as far from ordinary as I could possibly imagine
  • That writing on a daily basis is like breathing…I simply cannot live without it
  • That I can do anything I put my mind to
  • That I am courageous
  • That I am all about joy, passion, exuberance and fun
  • That the practice of vulnerability and transparency is the only way I want to live
  • That I have boundless energy for the human experience
  • That I have a message I feel deeply compelled to share
  • That the purpose of my life is about only one thing…love
  • That I am an instrument of love
  • That I am at my most fulfilled when I am sharing my gift
  • That sharing my gift through writing is profoundly fulfilling
  • That love guides each and every moment of my exceptional life

And my biggest learning?

That this is just the beginning…!

Thank you for reading. xo:)Last Pink Heart

More Heroes

I wrote a post a few days ago entitled My Hero. The post was about my son, Zach and his ability to ask for help when he needs it.

What I have had the opportunity to realize over the past few days, with my husband away, is that I am surrounded by heroes. People who are ready to jump in and help because I am still very sick and doing my best to parent three busy boys on my own.

HeroHere are just a few of the heroes in my life at the moment;

  • My son Max for lifting, hauling, reaching things down off high shelves and for being the shoulder I can lean on
  • My mom for coming out last night to cook us dinner and get the kids to school this morning so I could go to Toronto and run a workshop this morning…and for making sure I am following up with the doctor on blood tests, chest x-rays and next steps in my health journey…and for always mothering me so tenderly
  • My dad for making the boys’ favourite stew and sending it out with mom last night (with lots of leftovers)
  • My neighbour John who is enthusiastically carting Zachary back and forth to the hockey arena for his games and practices
  • My friend Shelley who is calling with her support, her love, her coaching and her wisdom
  • My sister Margie who keeps calling to check in with her unconditional love, her big heart and her broad shoulder
  • My friend Cheryl who is on standby for anything I need (groceries, meals, kid care, a hug  etc.)
  • My husband who keeps calling to check in and stay as close to the boys as he can on the other side of the country
  • The moms who are banding together tomorrow to make sure Michael and Zach have a fabulous Halloween

Isn’t it extraordinary to know that there are so many heroes out there just waiting in the wings for a chance to flex their superpowers?

Feeling incredibly appreciative, loved and held! :)Tender Heart

High School Dance

Max is at his first high school dance tonight. I guess the school assumes that by holding the dance on a Wednesday night it will cut down on the partying.

Hmmmmm…

I must say that I felt a little pang as I watched him leave the house tonight. High school dances were always so much fun!

How did I get to be 46-years-old with a kid in grade 10?

I mean, really!?! :)

Move Over Butter Chicken…

…I have a new love now! And it’s name is Dal Tadka.

Butter ChickenI fell in love with Indian food not long after I fell in love with my husband 25 years ago. One of our favourites over the years has been butter chicken with basmati rice and naan bread. Well, now that I am no longer eating meat, the butter chicken is out. However, that has just given me a new avenue of Indian food to not only explore but also to fall in love with.

And it all has to do with the wonderfully humble and oh-so-delicious lentil.

Dal TadkaI wrote a blog post about month ago waxing poetic about My New BFF (also known as my slow cooker). I have had amazing success with yummy vegan creations and my latest favourite is Dal Tadka which just-so-happens to be bubbling away in my Crock Pot as I write.

As with all my recipes, I have tried this one a few times before sharing, and have made some tweaks to the recipe. I have pulled this recipe from about six or so that I liked and have combined the aspects I find appealing. The thing I love about this recipe, which I had never done before, is the tempering process; heating coconut oil to a very high heat and sautéing garlic, chile, and spices to make a delicious and fragrant finish toward the end of the cooking time.

The first time I tried this recipe I felt it was lacking in the creaminess I was looking for so I stirred in a can of full-fat coconut milk and the result was a creamy, yummy and delicious lentil stew.

Here’s the recipe. I double it so I can eat it for days. This version is the single recipe.

Enjoy! :)

Dal Tadka (Tempered Lentils)

Ingredients:

1½ cups yellow split lentils or toor lentils

4C spring Water

½ a medium onion, finely chopped

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
(I used 1 28oz tin organic diced tomatoes)

4 cloves or 2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp salt

Juice of half lemon

Tempering ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 clove or ½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 whole Serrano pepper

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon chili powder

Finishing Touches:

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 can organic coconut milk (full fat)

Wash the lentils and add the 4 cups of water to them in a slow cooker insert. Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric powder and salt to the lentils. Cover and let it cook on low for 5 hours. Check if the lentils are almost done; you will feel a slight bite to them.

Have all the tempering ingredients ready. Heat coconut oil in a pan on a stovetop till it shimmers (should be hot). Turn off the heat. To this hot oil, add the cumin seeds, garlic, Serrano pepper and dry spices. Everything should sizzle in the pan. (Watch out for splattering spices during this process.)

Stir this tempering into the hot dal in the slow cooker. Add cilantro leaves and the can of coconut milk. Turn the slow cooker to high and let the dal cook for another hour, which allows the flavors to blend.

Serve over hot basmati rice.

My Hero

I have a bit of a Wonder Woman complex.

I can do it all.

Wonder WomanAnd not only can I do it all, I can do it better, faster, safer, more effectively and more efficiently than anyone else can.

And, for heaven’s sake, do not offer Wonder Woman any help…she simply does not need it!

This afternoon, I discovered that my adorable youngest son, Zachary, does not share my propensity for ‘heroic’ self-reliance.

Zachary coaches young skaters every Monday evening. Simon gently informed Zach this morning that, unfortunately, neither of us would be able to get him to the arena this afternoon so he would have to take a pass. When Zach got him from school, however, he was bound and bent that he was going to get himself to the arena.

And it took him less than ten minutes to make it happen.

Zach found the phone number he needed from our neighbour (who happens to be the convenor of his hockey league), called a mom that he barely knows (whose son is also a coach), and politely asked for a ride to the arena. Fifteen minutes later he was picked up and on his way with nary a backward glance.

Kid SuperheroWhere does this child come from?

Extraordinary!

As the car pulled away with a happy Zach in the back seat, I realized that I was absolutely mortified. I was so uncomfortable with Zachary asking a parent (that I have met only once) for help, it was all I could do to resist dragging myself off the couch to go fetch him from the arena myself.

Seriously, I would rather compromise my own health than ask for a relative stranger for a favour.

Oh dear, some Radical personal work required, I think.

It seems that this truly heroic ten-year-old has some invaluable lessons to teach me! :)

Round Two

After a great evening last night with our best friends and my sister and her husband, I awakened feeling absolutely crappy.

The pneumonia has made a comeback and, as of a visit to the on-call doctor this morning, I am on round two of antibiotics.

Totally bummed!

My extraordinary for today is that my husband has totally rallied and has taken exquisite care of me all day.

I may be bummed but I am also being tenderly nurtured by these amazing men I live with! xo:)

Man Cave

Caveman_remotecontrol_cIt is Saturday afternoon.

Max is out with some buddies and the other two are here with a friend of Michael’s. At the moment, the three boys are in the Man Cave playing a video game.

From the sounds of it they are having an absolute blast. The cheers, the shouts, and the trash-talking is so loud I can hardly hear myself think.

Thank goodness for the man cave! :)