Category Archives: BBTW

Sick Days

Heeeeyyyy, look who’s back on the Bring Back the Words Train! I’m so happy to be slowly settling down and joining back in on the fun. Thanks to Ginger for keeping this going.

I’ll be honest here and say that I am rarely, truly down-and-out sick. I tend to get sniffling misery, or a random sore throat here and there, or maybe some general ‘ick’ but as far as down for the count sick? It’s rare around here. Knock on wood.

There have been a couple times that I can think of, three actually, that I was sick enough I just wanted it all to end. Dramatic to say maybe, but if you know anything about me, it fits. When I’m sick…I am SICK, pathetic and a bit difficult to deal with.

The first time I can remember being so horribly sick was when I was spending a term abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I lived in a little apartment with three other American students and started running a fever. After sleeping all day with what I believe was a stomach flu, I woke up to an empty apartment and apartment building. (The rest of the students were in the same building – 15 of us in total) They had all decided to go out clubbing, leaving me terribly ill and at home alone. Thanks guys.  My most vivid memory of that time was kneeling on the heated bathroom floor, afraid to move too far, wishing for cold tile. Never in my life have I ever wanted a bathroom floor to be colder more than I did at that moment.  I also called my mother, who later told me to never call her that sick again from so far away, because it broke her heart to not be able to help. Thanks Mom.

Another time was 4 or 5 years ago in Vancouver. I had some stomach bug that rendered me a useless, moaning blob of flesh in bed.  My husband had to just leave me in the bedroom to writhe alone because there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t decide whether to kneel, or sit on the toilet and I was in agony. At one point, I made the wrong choice and (TMI warning) made a mess on the floor that I was then too sick to clean up. Bless his soul. My so-kind husband has spent the better part of the last few years teasing me about that moment but it basically makes me want to cry when I remember how awful it was.

The most recent was a cold bug this past Christmas. I didn’t feel so hot on the 10 hour drive North and by the time we got there I had about a day before it hit me. Fever, chills, congestion. I rarely come down with colds like this and I just couldn’t manage. I wasn’t sleeping very well and the best moment of my day came around 5:30am when I couldn’t sleep and tip toed out into the bathroom for a hot shower. Unfortunately I think I woke up the house when I did this, but it was the only time during the day that my throat didn’t hurt, that I could breathe and that I felt human. Even if it only was for 15 minutes.

There was also an awful NeilMed bottle incident during that sickness. I normally use a neti pot when I can, but so many of my friends recommended the bottle. We ran out and grabbed it and I used the solution provided to fill it up. My nostrils must have been severely irritated because it felt like I was driving acid through my nasal passages. It was awful and so painful. I spent the next hour crying because my sinuses felt like they were on fire. It was absolutely awful. Thankfully, I got well enough for the actual holiday to cook and enjoy the merriment.

As far as what makes me feel better when I’m sick? I like to make a ‘nest’. Plop down on the couch with pillows, a stuffed animal (yes I’m 5 years old), a warm rice bag, books, magazines and anything that will keep me busy. I just like to stack it all up there with me and live there for a few days if I can. Holding and sipping a cup of hot tea makes me awfully happy when I’m not feeling well too.  Miso soup or Pho are favorite meals during sickness. I’ll be honest and say that I like being doted on when I’m not feeling well. My most favorite thing? Having my back touched or my hair played with.

When’s the last time you were dropped by illness? Is there anything that makes you feel better? 

(This post inspired by Bring Back The Words Week 14 link up over on Ramble Ramble! Why not check out the other people participating or join in yourself? Everyone could use some inspiration and community!)


Peaceful and Happy

I’ll be honest with you folks. It’s been a rough week.

I’ve taken a tumble downward and have had a few dicey moments. I’m hanging in there and taking it day by day but this prompt couldn’t have come at a better time. I really have needed to take a few minutes and look back over the positives this week. Those moments of peace and happiness. The things that I wasn’t spinning over, that actually calmed me and made me smile. So, thanks Ginger.

Packages. I got packages this week. With my birthday coming up I was expecting a couple but it was a good week to get them. I got one from my Nana that had Pepper Jack Cheez-Its in it as well as a bright, fun purse, flavoured K-cups and a little fun money.  We spoke a couple weeks ago and I mentioned that we couldn’t get other flavours of Cheez-Its here. She’s so cute. Mom sent me a bunch of ‘little nothings’ in a CDP style package. I couldn’t resist with such crappy times and I opened all the brightly coloured tissue paper wrapped packages. My Mom would be a great CDP sender as I got lots of little kitchen gadgets and she sprinkled candy across the top! I hadn’t had a tootsie pop for YEARS. It was a really happy moment that I believe I cried through. Shocking, Sarah. Shocking.


The best package I received this week though, was my CDP from April. I’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival and was SO happy to have it in my hot little hands. Of course, I now feel anxiety because I’ve opened a few already in the last two days. Ridiculous. It’s just so thoughtful to hold a package like that in your hands you know? Something that a friend thoughtfully put together for you, thinking of you on the days where you need to be thought of. It made my day yesterday and I am ever so grateful.

I had a few hours to myself on Monday, Canada Day, and I spent it at the pool. It was so nice to lie in the sun, read and just breathe. I listened to kids running around and enjoying the beautiful weather. I watched seaplanes land on the ocean. It was so peaceful and lovely. I got to have a nice light dinner afterwards, a delicious drink and to top it off with Canada Day fireworks. For a day that started off iffy, it had some beautiful happy moments for me.

One of the most peaceful things for me this past week was honestly getting to take many  naps. I rarely indulge and allow myself to nap but with my emotions being out of whack and the temperature being STUPID HOT and humid, I just gave in and napped. Recharged. Sometimes several times a day. It always felt good to curl up in bed for those naps and I felt better for taking them. Indulgent maybe but I think I really needed them and listening to my body was a smart thing to do. I should remember that.

The other thing I really want to remember and note in the happiness category is my twitter family. My goodness. You guys really reinforce the idea that the internet truly can be a beautiful place with honestly GOOD people in it. Sure there are assholes out there, but the people I’m around? So much love and understanding for the world. Old friends. New friends. Doesn’t matter, your’e loved. I feel so guilty for whining, moping and just being low. I think things like “I’m not as bad as other people” or “There are people truly starving in Africa” to try and diminish my own feelings, to not trouble other people but boy, you all just hold your friends close. You hold them up when they can’t hold themselves up. You hug them and help make them feel like they are not alone in this world. I cannot thank you all enough for the support and love you continue to show, not just to me but to everyone around you. You’re making the world a better place, one note of support at a time. You’re gorgeous people and I feel so honoured to be among you.

I have had a few happy moments and beautifully peaceful moments this week and while not as many as I’d like to have had, there were sunny spots to remember.  I think tomorrow I’ll create my own peaceful moment with a quiet morning prayer to Kuan Yin in front of my gorgeous porcelain statue.


Yes, I think I’ll do that.

(This post inspired by Bring Back The Words Week 3 link up over on Ramble Ramble! Why not check out the other people participating or join in yourself? Everyone could use some inspiration and community!)

Summer Baby

“You know, this time next year you’re going to have to fence all this off.”  Or so my Mom said to my grandfather around the 4th of July, 1980 from her lawn chair at my family’s camp in the middle of Maine.  This is the story I’ve heard so many times as I’ve grown up anyway.  My Mom said she felt ‘off’ at a summer BBQ and had to go home just before she went into labour with me. I was born on July 6, a few weeks early. A summer baby I began and always have been.

Pe (My grandfather. I couldn’t say Grampy – ‘Pe’ was all that came out and it stuck!) was a swim instructor at Boy Scout camp and had me in the water from the get go. Before we had a YMCA or local pool, swim lessons were held at the local public beach. Mom and I would pile into our little aluminum boat (I grew up calling it the tin boat) and the 9.9 horsepower motor would carry us up the lake in the wee hours of the morning. Mom would beach the boat and I’d run off to swim lessons, diving for plastic roses and rings while she read on the sand. Rinse and repeat for most of the summer.

I distinctly remember Pe teaching me how to do the side stroke, tread water and how to jellyfish float. I still don’t really understand what the purpose of the jellyfish float was, but it was fun to learn. I don’t remember a fear of water and every picture I have from when I was little, was me in a swimsuit at the lake. Pe was always in the water with me, raking the rocks out of the shore so I wouldn’t hurt my little feet and he would have to drag me out of the water just to have lunch. I always hated getting out. I even remember my Mom talking about how I’d ‘brown up like a berry’ because I was in the sun so much, all the time.

Nana’s lunches (and breakfasts) were always the best. A quarter of a cantaloupe with yogurt, honey and sunflower seeds. Cold cuts & condiments for a sandwich spread. Seltzer water with a bit of sugar and lemon. Yogurt and honey smoothies. Blueberry bran muffins with honey butter. Bagels with cream cheese and guava jelly. Sometimes, they’d pull out the portable picnic table and we’d eat on the front lawn rather than the screened in porch. I loved those times. Pe always had to find the right spot on the lawn where the table wouldn’t shift and would sit evenly in the grass he had just cut with his push mower.

Pe took such amazingly great care with the grounds. He didn’t use a gas mower because apparently it didn’t cut as nicely as the good old push mowers did. He’d pick up flat rocks from an island in the lake, bring them back and create terraces for my Nan to sit and doing her crossword puzzles on. He always had a trowel and a cardboard box in the trunk with a pair of garden gloves in case he saw a wildflower he liked on the side of the road and just had to have it for the lake. He took great care weeding and planting, setting stones and tidying his lawn. Looking back, it was such a beautiful, lush green space that I can hardly believe it.

I recently found out that the pansies that I grew up picking at our camp, were planted just for me so that I’d have something to pick. They were always on the right hand side of the walkway to the point, where the hammock always was. Purple johnny jump ups with flashes of yellow. Yellow pansies with swatches of orange and purple. There’s a glass pansy bowl in my family, with a glass grate over the top to hold the buds that I really love and hope I’ll keep for generations.

Summer with my grandparents meant digging in the clay and covering myself with it like I was some crazy lake monster until they made me wash it off. Sleeping on the fold out bed between theirs and bouncing back and forth until I got tired, sleeping in Pe’s old v-neck undershirts. It was waking up and washing my hair in the lake with Nana and swimming in the rain because the water was warmer then. It was truly getting to just be a kid and be loevd.

As I got older, my grandparents were kind enough to let me have end of the school year parties at the lake, birthday parties and end of summer parties. We’d BBQ, swim, knee board and tube behind the boat, lay around and drink sparkly drinks from plastic cups and just enjoy the sunshine and freedom.

It seemed I always had friends out at the lake. I was even lucky enough to bring my charges here when I babysat. I’d get them all packed up, drive them out to camp and we’d just…play. Splash. Eat. I took the kids kayaking once and they both learned to call my grandparents “Nan & Pe” just like I did. I don’t think they quite picked up on the fact my grandparents called me ‘Baby Sa-Sa’ though, which is probably a good thing.

(omg guys, that HAIR!?)

I wish I could outline more memories for you, but I think you get the picture here. From Memorial Day to Labor Day. Camp was my home. While we don’t own the camp anymore, I feel so blessed to have the summers I did. I just cannot even begin to think about what summer means to me without the memories of my Nana and Pe.

(This post is for Week 2 of Bring Back the Words thanks to Ginger! I’m really loving these prompts and I hope you are too! Why not join in?)

Begin at the Beginning

Apparently I started blogging back in 2003, when I was a very different person. I was in graduate school. I was in a relationship with a man who never said he loved me. I was binge eating and exercising to an unhealthy degree. I wasn’t happy.  I’m guessing I started blogging like most do, to just get their thoughts out there. Seems that’s what I did.

I started reading the old blog and while it was neat to see the ‘old Sarah’, a part of me felt…triggered? A lot of my past I really don’t want to see again. I just don’t want to. I’m not proud of some of the things, but mostly? It just feels like a really old, sad, confused me. It hurts me to see her struggle and to remember it. My brain has shut out some of those memories for a reason and while a walk down memory lane would be nice, I don’t think I’m ready just yet.  I’m just now coming into my own at almost 33, and I think it’s important for me to stay here in the present for a little while. To get comfortable, settle in; make a butt print on my seat before I delve into the 10 years before now. I think I need to honour that feeling in me for now. For now.

Fast forward a few years. I’m overweight and reading healthy living blogs like it’s my J.O.B. I dislike my job. It’s wearing me down and I’m looking for light.  I really did find the light, the hope, the potential in these HLBs.  I got the idea that I could succeed. That maybe, I could write too and share my information, my success and my passions with the world!  It took me a while after that to really get settled. It took Jennie asking me to write for Food Lush. It took me feeling confident before I started Fear No Food.

But I struggled to blog there. I wasn’t good at stopping the cooking process to take pictures. My pictures weren’t very good. I realized I was horrid at keeping track of what I dumped in the pot for dinner. Furthermore? I just…didn’t WANT to keep track.  Around this time I started feeling jaded about healthy living blogs and suddenly, my own words while genuine, felt crappy.  I wanted to share my life and loves with people. I wanted to help them succeed and be very honest and real. But this blog wasn’t it.

So I abandoned that one and hopped on over here! It’s new and I’m still getting settled here. I’m getting a few people to read what I say. I’m more open. Less composed. Less structured. I share more. I feel more comfortable immediately here which I think is a good sign.  That said – I hope you guys stick around to see what I do with the place!

(Thanks to Ginger for starting this Bring Back the Words prompts! I’m excited to participate and hope you’ll think of joining in. Writer’s block and anxiety be gone!! This is a post for Week 1.)