Author Archives: suzieqsspace

A brief two words hey so

Sooooo I’m up early. The little canine, Lukey, decided to wake me so he could go outside and rub his belly along the grass (Insert eye roll here). And I gotta pay him mind cuz sometimes he actually really needs to go outside to use the “Lukey loo”, and if I ignore those moments I am greeted with a small pile of “smelly Lukey logs” in the far corner of a room or a small pool of “Lukey pee” with spatters alongside anything I have left on the ground at his leg height. Good ting I got nuff o’ dem reusable shopping bags – his favourite target.

Having gone to bed early and also now that the sleep has been knocked outta me, I ponder …. ‘how I gine tekk full advantage of this up earliness?” 

First idea – do the National Trust Hike….I did into dem last year and slack off badd badd. So I checked this week’s location….. Indian Ground Playing Field – The Richard Goddard Hike, St Peter. Wuhhhhh? Who? Dah fail. Dis body ain’t driving all up dey today.

Next option – ok, as soon as it gets lil brighter I cuh go fuh a ride. Bike hey so becoming a bit ornamental so dat sounding good. Lo and behold, two drops o’ rain fall…soooooo, yuh know dat pon pause…..granted I have gone riding in de rain before…even got caught in a torrential downpour dat sneak in outta nowhere…and thoroughly enjoyed it too. So de fact that I still here typing this tells me I just being lazy. 

I glance at my phone (yeppp….the beginning of the end of anything involving exercise), and see that Apple has taken the initiative to create a video of the Best of the Year 2018, using random pics and videos of mine. It ain’t ask me nutting…just ups and do it….but I sure in some of the finest of fine prints somewhere I have agreed to let it do this so I gine be quiet and thankful that it is doan just up and share it for muh wid whoever it pleases. Turns out to be a nice collection….of course it got in a few pics that make yuh wonder “ammmmm, why?” but they also confirm that it is a non-human selecting the images. So I save the vid and think of what next …..  Do I just revel in the peace and quiet of the early morning? I prise open de window little more and enjoy de crisp, cool, fresh air….and the silence.

And THEN I say, lemme just check my Facebook newsfeed….. Ya know it done dey LOL

Was a rather brief FB visit and a bit of brief exchange of comments (“Facebook chit chat) with a couple other early risers and then it dawns on me (pun intended) lemme do a blog.

So here I am….jotting down a few words, still hoping to lure my body out of it’s “stop in yuh bed lil longer inertia” and go for a ride. Torn (not really torn…but it sounds better …more dramatic) between riding and doing a bit of gardening before de sun get hot hot. And as I type this I realise I am OLD. Gardening is near the top of my list. Wuhlosss!

Right now I am watching a little white lizard which has adopted the area round my tv as its playground (or perhaps hunting ground… tho I wish he luck cuz my swatter done tekk care of several potential meals). Outside bright and his built in “guh back into hiding cuz yuh gine get kill” sensors say it’s time to retreat to wherever he iz be during de day…. likely hiding amongst my books waiting to surprise me. For now we good. We have an understanding. He will either end up as a flattened, crispy lizard corpse discovered under a pile of books or he will be smart and grow up to be a teenaged white lizard, at which point we gine have to renegotiate this agreement. Cuz by then he ain’t gine be de cute little fella dancing bout by my tv cables. He gine graduate to being de ting dat might crawl pon me or drop pon me …de ting I friten fuh. He best chat wid de big fat one dat is be in my kitchen dat know dat when lights on it is my turf and when lights out he got free rein. If young lizzy onstand that, we good and he will live long. Dem got nuff sugar ants bout hey dat he cuh eat. I wud even lure dem in wid some crumbs LOL. Not in trute… Terro Ant Kill already down to mekk sure dem doan lift me outta hey pon a nite, cuz yuh done know dem is team up and be carrying tings MUCH bigger dan dem back to their nest. I gotta protect myself……and Lukey LOL

Anyhowsie, I called this a brief two words hey so, and as usual I rattling on. 

So I gone. 

Laterz!!

Becausing dese chirrun is grow up fast fast, I decided to share a pic of de little lizard in his youth.

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Looka, Lizzibus!!

G is for Green Thumb

brown thumb ivy

Victim – brown ivy

LOOK HOW I END UP WID A GREEN THUMB, DOH DOH!

I had just about come to terms with my “brown thumbedness” when a friend shared some pics of her gardening success in a WhatsApp group chat. And those images of healthy-looking heads of lettuce, among others, evoked a few feelings within me. I was initially impressed, then envious LOL, baffled as to why I just can’t get tings to grow well, and eventually inspired as she gave me some tips. Ok, ok…maybe envious before being impressed. 🙂

Being quite versed in growing up bacteria and other microbes using all kinds of growth media, I was flummoxed as to why I just can’t manage plants. Clearly I’m a microbiologist and not a biologist. Started from seeds…. reached germination and feeling hopeful (Yaay!) …seedlings start to grow… then Monkey, my cat, reasons that the seedling tray is its new playground and scratching post and digs up seedlings, or better yet decides to get in on the fertilizing action and pees on them. Done wid dem! Tried starting out with seedlings cuz that cuts out the period of waiting for seed dormancy to break….. got healthy parsley, basil and coriander seedlings …sturdy, green, well-established ones, not nuh scrawny tings…..within two days leaves dropping off and death ensues. Purchased several air-purifying plants….happy peace lilies (these survive but ain’t suh happy and that manifests as brown leaf tips and failure to flower), ivy (leaves drop off within days), spider plant (appeared to be doing so well, putting out new shoots and ting….then sudden so dat dedding too), snake plant (takes special skills to kill these …. skills that not even brown-thumb Suzanne possesses…these live).  Heck, I even managed to kill succulents. Aristaloe aristata met its maker within days. 

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Just so… de ting collapsed

By this time I was giving up and resigned to resorting to my Blueair air purifier and open windows for adequate air quality, and realized that I gine have to rely pon Boppa or Central Growers for my herbs. Enter Jaxx with pics of her produce…..enter inspiration and the thought that if a CFO dat is deal wid numbers cuh get plants to grow I who deal with small living tings musse cuh get bigger, green living things to grow. LOL Interestingly, what hadn’t dawned on me was that she was giving them all they needed to grow and I wasn’t. Plain and simple. I give the bacteria what they need and voilà, they grow. But this poppit wasn’t really doing the same for her plants. And before yuh tink I is a real idiot, yessss, I used to water them (apparently too much LOL) and I tossed some fertilizer (of some sort) at them … when I remembered (i.e. when they looked bad and I figured they needed a boost). But my biggest mistake was that I was trying to grow them inside and inside gets way too hot when I am out and the house is closed up. Now, I sure used to notice the heat when I came home. First order of business was to open up all windows and doors and air de place. Leaving on a fan while out only meant that I was met with warm but well-circulated air when I got home. So my poor planty wanties did getting a serious heat shock when I went out. Would look wilty wilty and little swibbly when I came in so I would douse them wid water… but the damage was done (repeatedly) and eventually the extra water would allow root rot to set in…….. and the poor plant would be struggling, if not soon dead.

I ain’t gine say how many plants met their death at my hands, but suffice it to say, Nature Care get a lot outta me and my “planticidal” tendencies. 

So armed with tips from my friend, Jaxx, and a lady at Nature Care, and with renewed confidence and excitement, I got a few plants and set them up outside.

AND THEY GREW!!!! 

So I embarked on a mission to set up a garden, growing various herbs and veggies in pots.

Fast forward to present day and lo and behold my thumb green as ever and I fussy enuf and feel I iz a farmer. 

How ya like muh?

Now I can understand and experience the satisfaction of gardening….watching seedlings grow and mature and reaping a harvest from your own garden. Insert the big beaming smile emoji here. And throw in the little guy doing cartwheels or backflips too.

Did I say I am fussy?

That’s a gross understatement.

And there’s more to report on re my green thumb… but I will leave that for my next blog post.

Till then….hope you less than green-thumbed readers feel inspired to start your own garden.

Laterz!!

So, what’s on my cards for 2019?

Happy New Year!!!!fullsizeoutput_2090.jpeg

Insert a series of emojis: fireworks, champagne, party hats, noisemakers, the lady in the red dress dancing…..everything that conjures up an image of me reveling in the arrival of 2019…ushering in the new year with a bang.

Now come back to reality where the appropriate emojis were: the bed (with clean sheets ..yaay), the dog, the laptop (does that one exist? probably does), the chocolate bar (wasn’t a bar but the bar will suffice) and the coconut bread with cheese emoji (not created as yet but one could improvise with the coconut, bread and cheese emojis).  And I guess yuh cuh throw in some of those musical notes too cuz I could hear the music from a nearby party for the new Ross Univ. students……ohhhhh…and the iPhone emoji too, as I chatted with other “non-go-outers”… as well as some who were out “shaking a leg”.

So what’s in store for 2019? I chose the title “So, what’s on my cards for 2019?” cuz it was a bit catchy… or so I thought. But truth is, no one knows what this new year will bring. But I do have an idea of a few things I would like to achieve in 2019.

So lehwe start:

I) I think it’s time for the big divorce!!! (Insert the kinda music that goes along with suspense, anticipation….heck, even throw in the Law and Order sound.

Well, I ain’t married so clearly I don’t mean a literal divorce. And if I am honest it is more of a separation than a divorce …an amicable separation…..trial separation (oh dear, I’m caving already). Got ya thinking?…guessing? 

It’s a “cellphone divorce”….well….separation….trial separation. Essentially, it involves putting my phone on silent (if it’s that important the person will call).  I want to test the hypothesis that I will be “better off”) more productive, happier, more well-rested, less irritated) with my phone on silent. I’ve reduced phone usage significantly since Apple decided (for me) that it would be good to install an app which monitors screen time. But I still find myself peering at the blue screen at all hours of the night… when I am roused for my sleep for a bladder emptying (perhaps TMI), when I am waiting in a long line… or even a short one. So I want to carry it a step further because I really find the notifications distracting and I’m sure that I can achieve more without constant interruptions. So wish me luck with this! 

II) I want to up my reading! 

Not really hard to do because I really don’t read that much at present. I don’t get the time to. Correction: I don’t find the time to. So that’s one thing I am already en route to achieving. Ordered plenty books (BookDepository.com, Kindle, Audible, Cloister….yesssss, an actual bookstore), so the next step is to set aside tracts of time for reading. Who knows, as I read maybe I will find more interesting stuff to write about in this blog and post more frequently. But if I don’t, 2019 will still roll along. 🙂

III) Must rest more!

Now this is a biggie! A huge one!

I started to read the Alex Soojung-Kim Pang“s “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less” about a month, maybe two, ago. I haven’t made it past the first pages of Chapter 1 (Ok ok…The Introduction, if I’m honest…but it has a rather lengthy, and informative, foreword), but it has already made an impression by pointing out something which I think is so critical. Rest more, function better, achieve more. And I think it is even more crucial for someone with a chronic illness which in itself calls for plenty rest.

I am acutely aware that despite this “epiphany”, I still do not get enough rest. In fact, I fall woefully short. So a major goal for me this year is to embrace rest. Embrace doing nutting…and being fine with it. (Cuz that’s part of the problem. I tend to feel like I should be doing something.) Or embrace doing restful things…things that are restorative, cuz rest is not equal to sleep. Think I can hear my dear friend, Mera, saying “Iz bout time” with that trademark expression that conveys that she been trying to get me to see this for ages. So many “Father Lords” later, I am seeing the light.

I also need to find the time to finish the book…at least to make it past the first chapter. 🙂

IV) Think less! 

Sometimes your mind can be your biggest enemy.

Lemme be more specific: my mind is often my biggest enemy.

Trained to think….to be analytical…so it’s kinda like my default. It’s kinda like how ya train someone in the army for combat, they are deployed and in the battlefield for many years and then you expect them to return home and re-enter the community and shut what has become instinctive down one time. Nahhhh…not so easy.

But ya need to quiet ya mind and shut it off. So my goal this year is to find that switch that I have been looking for for quite a while now and turn it off…. put it on pause…. rest it…. turn it into a dimmer switch.  Switching it off is crucial to rest. So I invite any fellow overthinkers to join me with this one. 

V) Listen more….hear more…talk less!

Now this isn’t an open invitation for people to offload pon me. So guess again!

Rather, I am recognising that often we (I) don’t really listen to someone and hear them…we (I) often subconsciously feel a need to respond or comment, come up with some plausible solution to the problem (if there is one..and even if there isn’t one LOL), when in trute and in fact de body just wanna verbalize thoughts or feelings and get some stuff off their chest…or just wanna share a life experience.

So another 2019 goal is to just listen, so I can hear and keep my opinions to myself …unless they are solicited. And be careful if ya plan to ask for that opinion cuz lawsseeeee, if it’s something I’m passionate about or, heaven forbid, knowledgeable about ya gine get an earful LOL. 

VI) Be more organised!

I remember once a student complimented me on being “soooooooooo organised”.  Tell de trute, I did wondering who dem mean cuz I think of myself very differently, especially at that particular period of time when the wheels or the Organization Wagon (if it ever existed) had started to fall off. But, it taught me that I was able to create the illusion of being organised and that I was perhaps in some ways more organised than others. It also taught me that people’s perceptions of others can vary significantly and that we (I) can be hard on ourselves at times.

One consequence of living with multiple chemical sensitivity is that one tends to struggle a bit (a lot) with being organised…. for a variety of reasons: i) too exhausted after an exposure to pack away items that need to be stored so ya just drop dem dey so….got thru a dose of the supermarket’s “chemical assault” and ya want muh pack way groceries too?; ii) ya can’t handle such and such without ill effects but it’s an important document so ya put it with other “untouchables” and keep them away from ya so you safe …but then ya fuhget where that space it (SMH)….in fact, ya create so many of these spaces that ya lose track; iii) the very space-saving, organisers etc. mekk outta de same tings that triggers ya so ya can’t use dem…..alternatives are pricey….soooooooooo….put that on pause…de floor will do for now; OR iv) truth is ya just inherently not very organised but managed to fool one student several years ago LOL.

Suffice it to say, I plan to invest in that which will bring a bit more order and organisation to my life.

VII) People a bit more…but not too much!

I consider myself what nowadays is termed an omnivert. Previously I would go for introvert but in more recent years (since they moved away from the bipolarity of extro- vs. intro-vert and came up with other “verts”) I think this cap fits me a bit better as at times I really do want to be around others….AND THEN I’VE HAD ENUF and need to recharge sans people. I went with ambivert once cuz that was what was available tbh….seemed to be an in between; but ambiverts basically have very extroverted moments and can manage both high energy and the lotta buzz and boisterousness that I may tolerate but never love. So omnivert it is.

But I do acknowledge that people need to socialise…even those whon feel they don’t. We just need it in different ways, levels, formats, and for different durations…..but we need it.

So I will attempt to people more (and I’m off to a good start in 2019, she says patting herself on the back) but not to the extent that I find it exhausting ….and conflicting with my other goals of rest and reading.

P.S. How ya like muh use of “people” as a verb? If “fellowship’ and “outreach” can be verbs, why not? Picked up the term from my neighbour….a “non-peopler” LOL.

I think I’ve spent enough of January 3, 2019 on this blog post so I will done up this hey so and end off by wishing you a great year; greatness being measured by that which brings you closer to your purpose, that which brings you true happiness (not fleeting moments of joy but sustained contentment) and that which is congruent with peace and love. 

ENJOY!!! ♥♥

Confession: I came across the term “omnivert” for the first time today…just about 15 min ago, actually. So I started this post as an ambivert…or so I thought. Google um and see if you iz one too.

 

 

 

 

Getting in another one, quick, quick!

Suffice it to say that by de time I “CLRed” away the rust and figured out how to format my last post, de sleep-inducing rain did done fall and, even tho my eyelids still heavy, that pluviophile’s dream moment was gone.

So I said, lemme get in another post hey so quick, quick, before the attraction of the current residual rooftop pitter patter of mainly tree rain (with a little bit of drizzle) manages to exceed my determination to write. Feeling inspired. Actually enjoy writing, and wondering why I don’t do it more often. Perhaps because I also enjoy diversity. 😉

Now when I started this post I had something that I was itching to say….something that I felt couldn’t wait until tomorrow (or whenever I got back to Q’s space). Can’t promise that it was very important, or as Oprah would say, “powerful!”….but it was very concrete. And “poof” it gone.

Hopefully it will come again…and if it doesn’t, I’m sure the world will continue to spin on its axis.

So I gone again….praying for another heavy downpour to facilitate my slumber.

Toodles!

 

Waiitttt! Wuhpart you did?

Fitting title for this post seeing it’s been ages since I last signed into Q’s Space.

For non-Bajan readers, that translates to: “Wait! Where have you been?”

Sooooooo, I just revisited my personal “About Me” blurb and I can safely say that I like I know muhself. Or, in the words of those types who have read and swear by  Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” and talk of manifesting reality and laws of attraction etc., maybe I put it out there in the universe that this would happen when I ended off with “And hope I can keep it up…cuz, I am very good at starting things. Follow through? Mehhh… not always suh good.”

BTW, I haven’t read The Secret, but I have a very good friend who did and I kinda feel like some of its concepts have diffused from Rhonda through her and into my awareness. It’s on my extensive list of books to read tho. And by read I more mean absorb the contents and info therein without necessarily having to read cover to cover. Ideally I wanna Blinkist it.

Anyhowsie, if the records here are to be believed, iz almost ten months since my last blog post. Woww!!

I gine try pass that off as time flying by real fast, which it is tbh, but I’m back with plenty resolve to make more frequent posts. And that is quite an achievable target. How less frequent cud they get? 

What have I been up to? In a nutshell, living… enjoying blue and green spaces, watching fewer sunsets than I’d like, cooking and naturally eating, socializing [within limits – I can have significant antisocial tendencies (imo) and definitely have periods when my desire to be around people approximates zero…. introvert? ambivert? some kinda “vert”…but not an extrovert]; started hiking (love it but that kinda going like my blogposts in terms of frequency), riding (within limits cuz I ain’t dah good at it yet; no main roads fuh me …I neva see a car get lick down by a bike so I know my place); picked up road tennis (and get kinda good at it too – more on that later – worthy of its own blogpost)…and I would love to add reading here, but having discovered the offerings of a firestick the plan to read has been superseded by a few binge-watched series and catching up on movies. BUT in my defense, I had good intentions and will also claim some level of actuation. I bought nuff books – audiobooks, Kindle books, even some real real, hold in yuh hand books and have started several. Finished perhaps a grand total of two (2). [An aside –  why do people do that? “two (2)” Do they think that the person who can read “two” may not be able to follow “2”? Don’t ya pretty much learn de two (2) at de same time? Just don’t get it.]

I gine sign off here tho, cuz it getting late and I need some more shuteye and I now gotta relearn how to format these things and pretty them up a bit before posting.

Wuhlosssss, a suhweeet big rain now come down!

Dis is get in ya bed weather boh!

I out!

So see ya soon!

 

AIP Ribs – on point

Welllllll, if I needed a dose of inspiration to keep with the autoimmune protocol diet, I got it a few minutes ago when the aroma of tender spare ribs met my nostrils, pulling me from the slumber that my alarm only managed to rouse me from for long enough to hit the stop button, grabbing my gustatory attention and encouraging me to crack the lid of that slow cooker and share the experience with the eyes which were greeted with some beautifully cooked, grass-fed, pork ribs.

Needless to say, I had to jukk my fork in one and as I watched the meat fall away from the bone, I decided to have a taste and risk the acid reflux that may ensue when I soon go back to bed. Deeeeeelish!

Perhaps, I should give them a few minutes in the broiler to get that perfect browning and introduce a slight crisp and texture to the edges………….. Nahh, can do that I the morning. It’s Tupperware time. And bedtime.

Will finish this off when the sun comes up. Serve with a some butternut squash (roasted or maybe slow-cooked) and a side of salad and we good to go.

Apologies for the semi-foggy second pic but wasn’t about waiting for it to cool down and maannnn, she was steaming and oozing goodness.

If uh remember, will post a pic of the plated meal. And don’t expect any fancy plating. I cooking, not cheffing. 🙂

I out!

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Day 1

It has been a while and I’ve been very busy. Too busy, really.  So let me bring you up to date on what’s been keeping me away from Q’s Space.

Today I started the Autoimmune Protocol, a special diet which is was designed for those with autoimmune diseases but looks like it can help others with a chronic inflammatory disease. So I’m hoping to see some benefits and am optimistic about it improving my health.

Now lemme tell yuh….for me, this is a biggie. When I first saw the list of “can’t eat” foods my heart sank and I all but gave up. No eggs, no dairy, no grains (wuhhhh? not even brown rice…no pasta?), no nightshades (and I thought, oh that can’t be that bad as I don’t even know what the heck those are so I don’t use them….but, lo and behold, nightshades include peppers…so bye to my lovely bell peppers that brought so much colour to my salads and de sweet pepper that was part of my curry recipe, bye to white pepper and black pepper), no legumes or seeds (wuh dem serious? After I get used to roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on my pumpkin soup), no nuts (not even walnuts? the brain nuts? brazils for their selenium? hazelnuts, cuz they are scrummy, especially when the rest of a Ferrero Rocher chocolate is wrapped around them)….which brings me to NO CHOCOLATE…not even dark chocolate. By this time I am pretty much resigned to the fact that this is gonna be a no-no for me. But here I am, a dose or two of encouragement later, or was it ,misery loving company as it came from the very person who introduced me to the diet and who is embarking on the same AIP journey.

What I will say is that thanks to the internet, I had ample access to AIP recipes (a sign of how prevalent autoimmune conditions have become) and have spent the last week searching for those allowed foods which can be sourced locally (don’t find things like rutabaga here….and maybe just as well cuz that doesn’t sound like anything I should be putting in my mouth), trying and tinkering and tweaking and tasting. So far, it’s working out very well and I have enough meal options at the moment to start the diet and feel like I will cave as soon as hunger pangs exceed availability of an AIP-compliant meal.

I gonna show off a bit and let you see some of the finished products.

There was one absolute disaster….the turkey with cranberries and apple. Shudda known that the short ingredient list which was practically devoid of seasonings (only sea salt sprinkled on the bird) could not satisfy my Caribbean palate, but I was hopeful. Goodness, the thing looked pretty enuf when I set it up in the slow cooker. Nuff potential. In the end, it formed the basis for Lukey (my dog) eating like a king for the rest of the week. The bird was tough and as tasty as a shoe sole (not that I tried one but I can only imagine).

In stark contrast, however, were the curried lamb, lamb stew and today’s spare ribs which were seasoned with an AIP spice rub made from scratch. All dis got me feeling like I cuh cook dennnn. Like I pon an episode of Chopped….ok maybe not, but on some Food Network show. Only thing is they aren’t altering recipes found online…or are they? All jokes aside, I don’t consider myself a chef at all but I am certainly enjoying the cooking.

So I promised you some pics:

Dunno why I chose to magnify the turkey attempt, but ain’t it pretty? Note that was before cooking. I didn’t sample raw bird. LOL

If you click on the image and pass your cursor over the bottom of each pic you’ll see a caption. Maybe you knew that …. I didn’t tho.

Anyhowsie, sleep here tugging at my eyelids and my body hollering out for a chance to replenish itself after a long day.

I gone!