Starting A New Chapter January 2020

One of my writing intentions was giving my writing the attention it deserves. Time management is key to this goal. It requires time for this goal and if I take twenty minutes to sit down and focus I am following through. I am honoring my passions.

I will share some draft material from my next memoir. Procrastination has latched on to me, yet when I am sitting here working on my blog, I can get the words down. So why not trick procrastination and get some writing done! I’m experimenting with my prologue at the moment and this memoir will be a little darker than my first memoir about working in a luxury hotel in Lake Louise. My debut memoir, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, was a glimpse of my experiences while working at the Chateau Lake Louise during the summer, where everything on the outside seems to be perfect, but I share how it is far from perfect.

The next memoir still doesn’t have a title that I am excited about, so I will keep the theme and continue with, Behind the Kitchen Doors ~ The Winters. This memoir is about my experiences working for the same luxury hotel only in the winter. Then I move from this hotel to another hotel within the same hotel chain. A different hotel, but the same drama and heartache of this creative being’s journey of self-discovery. Thank you for being here with me. Here we go…

Hotels Keep Your Secrets

Hotels keep secrets. The secrets left behind in a hotel are more than you may believe.

After 25 years in the hospitality business and more important as a front-line employee at the start of my hotel life, I have been privy to situations that I’m sure guests would hope no one would remember. I have heard conversations between guests that I am sure guests would deny. Or not care to reminisce. I know this to be true because I’ve heard the words. I was serving in the luxury hotel’s fine dining room, The Edelweiss, during my first winter at the Lake. I enjoyed the slower pace of knowing my guests vs proving Frisbee service to tour groups. Get’em in, get’em out type of dinner service. In the fine dining room, I had to know about wine pairing and scotch. I couldn’t offer house wine because why sell a six-dollar glass of wine when you can sell an eight dollar glass? The higher the bill, the higher the tip. Servers, and I was no different, thought about money and how much we could make each night.

The new couple that sat down in my section looked like they had been together for a few years. She was tall, shoulder-length, wavy, dirty blonde hair. She walked with confidence. He was slightly taller, short black hair with a hint of superman wavy style hair. He had his arm around her waist as they walked. I smiled as they were seated at the table of two by the window overlooking Lake Louise. I introduced myself and offered pre-dinner drinks; he ordered a bottle of Louis Latour Chardonnay. He said it was close to their wedding anniversary, and it was his wife’s favourite. She smiled and told me it reminded her of their vacation last year to France. People tell me their stories. People trust me. I listen and smile. I engage in conversation at the right times. I was trained, and I paid attention to the training.

As I walked away to put the order in, I heard, I love you… come from the gentleman. There was some type of acknowledgment from his wife, but there was silence. I checked on the two other tables in section to see if they needed anything and picked up the bottle of wine. As I approached the table, I heard something that I should have walked a little slower to the table.

You’re a liar. The woman gruffly whispers she has seen the phone number on the cell phone bill (this was the mid-90s and bills were still being mailed to our homes). The woman called the number, and a woman answered. It could mean only one thing. The man is silent and speaks from the side of his mouth, we’ll talk about this later…

I walk up to the table and present the bottle of wine first to the woman and then to the man. They hardly look at the bottle. I don’t want to even talk to them but I had a job to do and all I could do was open the wine. I ask with caution.

Who would like to taste the wine? As I open the bottle, a staged task I’ve also been trained to perform night after night. A five-minute procedure that connects me to my guests. It’s where I learn a little more about them and use it my advantage as I see fit.

The woman points to her glass and forces a brief smile. I go through the motion of pouring a small amount for her to taste. I was for her to smell the wine, swirl it around, smell it again then takes a sip to swish around to make sure it’s a good wine. I try not to look at her or the man, but I glance at them both, quickly. The man is staring at the blank space on the table where I would place his entrée choice if they made it that far.

It’s good. Thank you. She points to her glass and I pour the standard few ounces to make sure the wine stays chilled.

More, please. She whispers and I pour as she requested. They’re the one paying for the meal, I’m not one to say otherwise. I pour the man the same amount and he asks for a double Johnny Walker Black on ice. She huffs and almost gulps back the wine. I pour her another glass and ask if they need more time with the menus. They look at me and nod in agreement.

The rest of the meal is in silence. It is chilling to go up to the table during my quality checks. They both are polite. The praise the food and when I walk away, there is silence.

I thank them as I place the bill down. I hear, I’m going to the room and I don’t want you to come up for a while. Ouch! I think. This will not be a good night for them. Why go through dinner? Why torture yourself? Sure, it was entertaining to my creative being trying to come up with all sorts of conversations they would have. Who was the other woman? Why would he cheat? Did he cheat? Maybe the other woman was an event planner setting up their wedding anniversary surprise for her from him? There were many possibilities my imagination played around with. The man signed the bill and as he walked to leave the dining room; he apologized for their behavior and asked me if there was a bar in the hotel. I told him about the Glace and he wandered off to find more scotch to ease his bruised ego. I desperately wanted to ask him if he was cheating, or what it all a big misunderstanding?

I never saw the couple again. My curiosity questioned if he went back to the room, and they had a big fight? Did she leave the hotel and not tell him? What happened to this couple? I experienced a few of these uncomfortable situations when I was serving at the Lake. This may not be a secret, but this situation lingers in the walls of the hotel. Sometimes I could feel the ghosts of the past linger in the lobby as I walked through to a function I was working. I wonder if my stories are hanging in the air of the dining rooms where I started my unexpected hotel life.

***

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Happy New Year, part 2

 

Two weeks into the New Year and I would like to say that I’m on track with my goals and intentions. In some ways I am. I am listening and reading the books I’ve listed on my books to read in 2020, I will need to add to the list, but so far I’m happy with my progress. I’m not writing as much as I have set out to be. I am struggling with my personal time management. It’s something I will become better at, each day I’m getting better.

Has anyone made resolutions for 2020? I focus on my writing goals for the year and try to make my intentions as attainable as possible. I believe this year I have set some measurable goals for myself. Each day I’m working on them and that feels good.

Here they are!

I haven’t listed them in any order, however, I know that publishing my next memoir is my main priority, which speaks to giving my writing the attention it deserves and that will help me with writing two more books. My intentions are genuine and I know I will get to each one. I will do something each day to make sure I am following through. The last ten years have helped prepare me for the next decade and I’m ready!

Today, I’m writing a blog for next week, I’m focused and passionate. I’m ready!

Looking forward to sharing more with you this year. Thank you for being here with me today. Wishing you all a great week!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year! The Roaring ’20’s are back

We are entering the age of growth. In the 1920s, there was economic growth and widespread prosperity from wartime activities. Technology was on the rise and the Jazz era blossomed. The 20s also brought us major literary movements. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, T. S. Eliot were part of these movements. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorites. I love Woody Allen’s, ‘Midnight in Paris’ where the main character, Gill Pender (played by Owen Wilson) time travels to the 1920s each night after midnight while on vacation in Paris with his finance. I don’t want to give away the movie, I recommend watching it for yourself to see the fun imaginary world of this film.

There was a lot of activity during the 1920s and something tells me that this round of ’20s will be just as exciting. I’m usually quiet until I am on the page and lately I’ve become more comfortable doing videos for our Nice Family Farm business. I enjoy sharing our passions about the microgreens we grow and sell. I like to share recipes and have plans to self-publish a series of mini cookbooks around our microgreen farm. I have had this feeling for a long time that I am no longer to be quiet. I am to write more, share more, uplift others more, support my hubby more, be more aware of my health and wellbeing. I am here for a purpose and through writing and creativity, I will continue my journey of sharing and learning how to share my purpose.

The past year has been adventurous and prosperous. I am grateful for everything that has been provided to bring me to this very moment. I am aware I need to give my creative life more attention and I am working on that. As a new entrepreneur, I’m not sure if there will ever be a “work-life balance” that seems to be a buzz phrase these days. I think we just need to do what needs to be done to get the work done. When there is time to relax, take it, when there is a need to work, then work. However, when I am sitting here writing or planting seeds to grow our microgreens and even when I am making sure there are no sunflower seeds stuck on the sunflower greens, it does not feel like work. I am doing something that is meaningful to me and my purpose. I don’t feel bogged down, there is no stress, there is pure awareness of being at the moment. There is a sense of purpose. There is a sense of ‘yes, this is what I am meant to be doing.

As I reflect on 2019 and set my goals for 2020, I am proud of my accomplishments. I am proud of my husband’s intentions that are being fulfilled every day. I am excited to learn new skills and knowledge as we grow our business. I am having fun this year with my first bullet journal adventure. I am a creature of habit and always buy a similar daily planner that I don’t really enjoy because it is generic. The date boxes are too small and there is no place to doodle if needed. I’ve watched friends create their bullet journals and now that I’ve started to create my first one, I’m having fun with it. I get to choose the colors and types of fonts (well, my version of different fonts as I learn to use my brush lettering pens). I have creative control, and that is something I crave. To color, to doodle to play!

I will share some of my 2020 goals/intentions in next week’s post. They are attainable and will be finished in a timely fashion. It’s up to me to work the plan and turn those dreams into plans into action. (Insert cheerleader here).

What are your goals for 2020? Do you have a planner or a bullet journal? How do you keep yourself on track with your goals and intentions? I love hearing from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing & Happy New Year!

 

And just like that, it’s Christmas

What is one of your fond memories of Christmas?

It’s all about the Christmas chocolates!

As a young girl, I remember the black and gold box of chocolates sitting on our coffee table. There was a sense of specialness about the chocolates because they were only in the house during the holidays. I was told I couldn’t have a lot of chocolates and to save them for “Christmas” but that was only one day I thought. How could I eat all those chocolates in one day? I soon learned that Christmas time was more like the week before the 25th and lasted until a few days after January 1st, because that was my birthday and I could have more chocolates on my birthday. I always wanted to eat the chocolate macaroons first and then the dark chocolate covered cashews. I remember thinking how delicious the cashew was, especially covered in chocolate. Now, if I am offered a chocolate from a box of chocolates, I tend to look for the shape of the cashew and now more for a caramel over the macaroon.

Then I was introduced to the purple tin can of Quality Street one Christmas. What a treat! Each chocolate was individually wrapped. Each color represented a different type of chocolate. My favorite when I was younger was the rectangle blue foiled wrapped treat. It was chocolate coconut, go figure! My second favorite was the triangle purple wrapped, filled with a single hazelnut and caramel. Just the other day my in-laws brought a tin of Quality Street and the first one I went for was the purple wrapped chocolate. Now my new favorite is the round orange foiled wrapped caramel chocolate. My tastes have changed and I prefer a good caramel over coconut, but I won’t say no if it was last chocolate left in the tin.

Like many people, my Christmas memories are about family getting together, sharing stories, cooking food, playing in the snow and most importantly, being with the ones you love. My family lived in Ontario for a few years when my father was posted through the military. We were close to my Grandparents Berry who lived on a farm and I loved this farm. I loved the house, the gardens, the miles of trails to the lake, the acres of cornfields and barns full of chickens. Even at the young age of eight, I knew I wanted to live on a farm. I loved helping my grandparents pick strawberries and peas. I was so proud when I was allowed to sit on the combine harvester when my grandfather harvested corn. I felt so confident as I was trusted to walk into the chicken barn and feed the chickens. Thirty-three years later, here I am living in our home on a five-acre farm where we grow microgreens and by Spring, we will be building our greenhouse to start the next phase of the small-scale farm. One day we will have chickens, maybe year two, for now, I’m content with where we are, right here and now I look out the window of my writing room and see one of our garden plots that is filled with garlic bulbs growing under the earth. I can’t wait until the summer to see how they grow.

Though I may only have spent a few Christmas’s on the Berry Farm, it feels like yesterday that I was walking through the porch doors into the kitchen where I saw my Grandmother puttering around the kitchen making pies for the Christmas feast. The smell of the woodstove tickled my nose and I smile now each time I start our wood stove in our home. My middle name is nostalgia.

This year is our first Christmas in our home and we are starting from scratch as we sold or donated all of our Christmas decorations (excepting to a few things). I was excited to string lights around our deck’s railings and posts, next year we will add more lights, not like Griswold Christmas, but there will be lights added each year. We cut down our own Christmas tree from our property. It was fun to wander through our property to find a tree, a new tradition for Adam and I to enjoy in this new season of our lives. Gratitude fills my entire being for these experiences. Thank you for being here with me today. I would love to hear some of your Christmas memories.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

How Meditation Can Ease the Stress

I’m at a loss these days. I am aware of this feeling. I am aware of the amount of responsibility I have taken on and that has been given to me (because I said I would help out). I am aware of the stress that shows up in my shoulders as they hunch higher at certain times of the day. I am aware of the snappy comments I want to spurt out but I take a step back, take a deep breath and think, “I am”. This is my meditation practice, the self-enquiry method of Ramana Maharshi. Self-Enquiry is an awareness of the awareness itself. More about Ramana and the meditation practice feel free to click on the link above.

Everything happens for a reason…a statement I’ve heard all my life from family and I believe wholeheartedly in this notion. Everything does happen for a reason. I am right here and now sitting in my first home in Fredericton, New Brunswick because I followed my gut, I said yes to opportunities, stayed in places for a little longer than I should have, but there was a reason. At the time I may have questioned my choices, but I knew there was a reason. The universe had a plan and I trusted with all my heart and soul that I would be taken care of.

My true state is to be still. To sit down and write. To share stories. I am also in the stillness when I am in the garden. I may be moving around, planting, watering, and harvesting, but I am quiet and grounded. When I learned to meditate nine years ago, I was ready for my true self to be found. I knew who I was but I also knew there was a higher purpose. I knew I was here for a purpose and that was to be of service. That’s where my hotel life comes into play and how I was able to move to beautiful places through the west coast of Canada. I said yes to one opportunity that I asked the universe for and this was before ‘The Secret’ and the law of attraction. I knew if I asked the universe for something that it would come. If it didn’t come it meant I wasn’t ready for it, but what would come would experience to help me get where I was going. Ultimately what I asked for would come around, sometimes it took longer than other situations. Now, I’m right where I asked to be. Living in a farmhouse (I asked to live in my grandparents’ Berry’s farmhouse in Ontario), close to family where we could create a sustainable life while I am able to write and work on the farm. I didn’t think I would still be in the hotel business, but there is something about the hospitality world that I can’t seem to let go of, just yet…

We have been in our new home, a new province, a new chapter in life for three months. It feels a lot longer which is a good thing in my eyes, however, there are challenges that I am facing that I need to come to terms with. I am very aware I need to meditate more to ground myself, to get back to my true self. My still self. I know many people may say I am pretty quiet and I am. Yet, I am aware of the chaotic energy swirling around within, the ego. I am battling with the “past” and knowing I don’t work for a wonderful business that I use in Victoria is taking a toll on me some days. My new hotel is very different and I am currently taking on a lot of responsibility that I am capable of, but I think I voiced I didn’t want more responsibility in the hotel world when I left Victoria. However, I enjoy the new experience. I know there is a reason for me to be in this position.
More importantly, I miss my friends. I miss my writing group. I tear up thinking about the amazing creative life I surrounded myself with. I don’t have that yet here in Fredericton. I know I will find the writing groups and connect with other creative people. I am aware I am being hard on myself and expect more of myself than I should. I have to be gentle with myself and tell myself it is okay to have these feelings of nostalgia.

Now that I have been writing today I feel myself shifting into my true state. I am still. I am quiet. I am.

Thank you for being here with me today. Do you have a meditation practice to help with stress? Or do you do something else to help you with the feelings of overwhelmness? I love hearing about how we take care of ourselves

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

The Hotel Life Continues

When I am not writing or playing in the garden, I am working for a hotel. I use to say I worked at a hotel and was a writer on the side. I changed my mindset. I am a writer who works at a hotel. I enjoyed my various positions at different hotels over the country. I am grateful for the amazing experiences that have been provided. I wrote and self-published my debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers, because of my experiences in the hotel world. Everything happens for a reason. I am here because I said yes to a door that was opened for me over twenty years ago. I am grateful I walked through the door of opportunity.

My current role as Guest Services Manager is taking care of the team members at the front desk and the guests who we greet and assist. We are all here to be of service. My purpose is to be of service to others. To help people be a better version of themselves. If I can do that by providing them exceptional service while checking them in or asking how their stay was, I get giddy with helping people, sometimes I witness my cheeks get hot with excitement. Even though I am an introvert, I honestly adore meeting people who walk into any hotel I have worked for. I savor listening to their adventures. Working in a hotel is great for people watching. I have stories to share. I have a lot of character development opportunities with each guest I interact with. Thank you, universe.

The Other Side of the Hotel World – The not so great stuff.

Part of my position is to respond to guest reviews from TripAdvisor, Expedia, and all the other travel sites that hotels deal with. What I don’t like about my job is responding to some of our guest reviews. It’s difficult to read about a bad experience that a guest never shared with us while staying with us. I encourage you, whenever you are staying at any hotel and you are not having a good experience, please ask to talk with a manager, share your concerns, because how are we to grow if we don’t know?

When I first started in the food and beverage department, we received comment cards that we had in our billfolds. When I moved to the room division side of the hotel I would read comment cards left in the guest rooms. We had control of the reviews, especially the not so great reviews. The ones where guests didn’t have a good experience, maybe they didn’t sleep because the mattress was not to their liking (I’ve had this comment about beds in all the hotels I’ve worked for). Or the didn’t get the ocean view room that their travel agent promised. Who ends up taking care of the mistake? My hand is up.

At least during the time before on-line reviews, we (being the hotel management) could call the guest to talk with them before they told anyone else about their bad experience, whatever it may be. Now we have less control. Guests will leave the hotel and post their thoughts and experiences on any review site. We are in an era where everything is readily accessible. We can read about an experience from a guest who just checked into their hotel. It’s scary as a hotelier. One bad review can hurt the hotel. It comes down to being honest with guests. It’s always been about being transparent with the people who are standing in front of us, who come to the hotel and spend their hard-earned money one hotel over another. Then there are the guests that make me laugh out loud when I’m reading reviews on-line.

Some of my favorite comments/reviews (the not so great ones):

  • The bar prices are too high. I was their (this is how they spelled it) for a Christmas party. I couldn’t afford to drink.
  • The shower head was too high and I couldn’t get a proper shower. I will never stay there again.
  • Power went out in the middle of golf, on a suite. Was not compensated. Will not stay again. (This guest was upset because they couldn’t watch golf when there was a city-wide power outage.)
  • The Elk wouldn’t move away from where we wanted to take pictures for our wedding. (I’m not making this up)

I better stop myself here. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I wanted to share my hotel life with you. My job is to make sure all the guests that come through the doors have the best experience possible. I strive to ensure I provide the service that is expected of me as the employee. I coach and mentor my team to make sure we equip them with the tools to ensure the guests are taken care of. It comes down to one simple thought for me, (this notion was shared to me by one of my favorite past Director of Operations) how do you want to treat people when they come to your home? The answer for me: a warm welcome and hospitality.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

If you liked, Kitchen Confidential and the Grand Budapest Hotel, you will enjoy this eye-opening life experience of one employee’s journey of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Amazon | GoodReads

 

 

NaNoWriMo2019 Update

The month of November hundreds of writers embarks on the month-long writing challenge where we write a novel in the month of November. I should also mention the goal is to write 50,000 words. This little challenge is called NaNoWriMo. This is my fifth year participating and each year I have learned more about myself and my writing routines.

My NaNo project this year is to finish my second memoir about working for the luxury hotel, Chateau Lake Louise during the winter months in the later 1990’s. My debut memoir was about my time at the hotel during the summer months where I served hundreds of people over the summer months where guests would come from all over the world to witness the magical lake of Lake Louise and do the tour of the Canadian Rockies.

 

During the winter months, it was all about skiing and taking advantage of the wintertime activities. For me and the other employees of the food & beverage world, we also took advantage of the amazing skiing offered at Lake Louise, Banff and Kananaskis. We also indulged a little more in the party lifestyle than I should have. I was faced with life lessons and moral decisions each season I lived on top of the mountain. I am sharing more intimate details of the darkness that I faced with my mental wellbeing. The games people play to get ahead in their careers. The love triangles that seemed to be a sport. We may have looked professional while serving people who were spending hundreds of dollars to stay at the hotel, but when we went Behind The Kitchen Doors, the true stories of our lives were exposed.

Thank you for being here with me. Now back to the writing.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

 

 

 

 

 

If you liked, Kitchen Confidential and the Grand Budapest Hotel, you will enjoy this eye-opening life experience of one employee’s journey of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers

 

From No Snow to Snow – What to Expect

Today, Friday, November 8, when I am writing this blog, it is snowing. I haven’t seen this much snow for over 16 years. Living on Vancouver Island has spoiled me a little. I have seen snow one or two days each year while living all over the Island, but the trend was that it would snow then the next day it would be gone.

I don’t think the snow is going to be gone overnight here in Durham Bridge, New Brunswick. Where we live is considered a ‘Snow Belt’. I wasn’t really sure what that meant when we were buying our home from across the country. A Snow Belt is found in regions that receive an appreciable amount of annual snowfall. That only makes sense to me knowing that cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are prominent winter activities in the Maritimes. When I was younger growing up in Halifax, we didn’t have as much snow, but when my family lived in Ontario there was a lot of snow. One year the snow almost reached the top of the roof of our house. My father shoveled a high snow wall pathway to get to the car, it was like living in a snow globe.

So what does one do when we knew we were leaving a place that received maybe 2 centimeters of snow every other year to a province that had 80cm last November? Prepared in all the senses. I was prepared to buy warm sweaters and ski pants for when I go out cross country skiing and show shoes. I thought I prepared myself for how I would physically feel when the snow started. When I saw the snow on Friday morning I thought, how pretty, look at the trees heavy with snow. Then I had to go out and get groceries. The plows had already been by and I had been watching cars drive on the road all morning. I knew I had to embrace the fact that if I needed to leave the house for not only groceries but for work, I had to get in the car and drive. I grew up driving in snow. I lived in the Canadian Rockies and drove in snowstorms with no question. Where was this fear coming from? It’s more a denial and reality check all in one. I am no longer living in Victoria. No longer on the West Coast where the annual rainfall in some places, like Tofino, BC is over 3000 mm. I should be used to extreme weather conditions.  I am here now. On the East Coast where snow is not going away anytime soon.

I was not prepared for how my body would react during the snowfall. Or, how I would react when I was driving behind another car going very slowly and when they tapped their breaks I felt a surge of fear run through my body. The ‘what if’s’ started to flow and I saw a ten car pile-up as my imagination went into overdrive. I took a few deep breaths and told myself, this is life now, I have a great car and I am an experienced driver. I trust myself and I continued my drive home with less stress than the ego tried to play games with me to start thinking, ‘Nope, I’m not driving in this ever. I’ll have to work from home, that’s it….’ the ego loves to play games and I am aware of the games. I use to play them and now I know when to walk away.

On the other side of the coin. The snow falling gives me a sense of joy. I am immediately taken to my Grandparent Berry’s farmhouse. A very special place for me. I loved being on the farm. That is why we bought a farm. We may live in the country and we may be in the middle of the Snow Belt, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. The sense of stillness and sustainability is priceless. The snow will fall and it will melt. The season will move on and I will be right here to watch is all. I am here to experience the experience.

Than you for being here with me today. I wish you all a prosperous and joyful day!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

What really happens Behind The Kitchen Doors, of a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies? My debut memoir reveals what employees really think of guests who snap their fingers at servers and how I ended up at one of the most beautiful hotels & resorts in Lake Louise to work for the summer.

 

NaNoWrimo Adventures

Happy November! I love this time of year not only because I am enjoying our first Fall season after moving back to the East Coast (Victoria, BC has three seasons, summer, rain, and heavy rain). I am also participating in NaNoWrimo, a writing challenge where writers all over the world commit to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. I have been participating for five years and each year I learn a little more about myself and creativity. I am reminded that creativity has chosen to work through me. I am the vessel to write the words down. To share. To be. It’s a humbling experience that I eagerly enter with faith and trust in creativity.

This year I have not prepared as much as I would. I only have the Rolodex of excuses to throw out that I know will not stick to any wall. I know the truth. I’ve been preoccupied with our move across the county from Victoria, BC to Fredericton, NB. Starting a new job and a new business on our small scale farm. Life has changed for this creative being, and all for the greater good! I am very aware that I haven’t been writing as much as I would like to be and the only way to get back to my routine of writing is to write. I will give an example of how my days off used to be spent and how they have altered.

On one of my days off, I would spend a few hours writing and connecting with a good friend. I would walk home have lunch then go back to the writing while in-between meal prepping for the week. I figured out the best time management for my life. The life that also worked 40 plus hours a week in a hotel as a manager where my responsibilities were high and there was no 9 to 5 scenario to pick up at 5 pm be home by 5:30, cook, clean up and then write. My days off were when I focused on the writing. I would take ten minutes here and thereafter dinner to write and now I don’t seem to be taking advantage of those moments.

Now my days off look a little different. Saturday’s my hubby and I wake up at 5:00 am to make our way to the Farmers Market to set up our microgreens table. We are connecting with people from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm, talking about microgreens, selling microgreens, being present in the moment. After the Market, we head home and that is when I settle into the writing. I head to my writing room and share that I am not available for a few hours. My hubby heads to the basement where we have our grow room for the microgreens and he works on our business and I work on my business. The business of writing. I will write for a half-hour while the laundry is in the washer. I will take a break when it’s time to put the laundry in the dryer. I will write for another half hour or so then start to meal prep for the week. I am grateful for the moments that I am able to write and then cross the to-do list of maintaining our home. My hubby helps out 150% – he is down in the basement right now watering the microgreens that we will take to Market next Saturday. Then he will start to soak seed to be planted tomorrow to maintain the schedule of our other customers. This new life is filled with passion and joy. I had a hard time seeing that when we first moved back to the East Coast. Trying to settle into our first home, start new jobs and maintain my writing life as I did in the past. Now I am making changes to make sure that I am enjoying our new chapter in life and honoring creativity by sitting down and writing.

This post went a little off-topic and sometimes that happens. I was talking about NaNoWrimo. What is my project this year? I am finishing my second memoir about working for the luxury hotel, Chateau Lake Louise, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.  This memoir focuses on the winter months and how employees survive going from working six days a week to two days a week. How do we fill our time? Skiing, drinking, hiking, partying, and everything else in-between. My debut memoir, Behind The Kitchen Doors ~ The Summers was how I started my hospitality career when I thought I was only going to work for one summer at the beautiful hotel. The universe and creativity had other plans for me.

Thank you for being here with me.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing….

Microgreens to the Rescue!

Microgreens are one of the healthiest vegetables on the market. They may be small in size but they have huge on all the nutrients and antioxidants your body needs. Gram for gram, microgreens contain about five times more vitamins than if grown to mature vegetables.

My hubby and I have started a small scale farm and our focus at the moment is microgreens. Why? Because of their high antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. I love watching them grow from the moment we prepare the soil and plant the seeds to the moment we harvest and prepare them for sale at the local farmers market in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

I have ranked a few of our greens on their levels of antioxidants and a quick tip on how to incorporate them into your daily menu.

  1. Broccoli: High in Vitamin A, B, C and K, broccoli is the queen of nutrients. This little green veggie has a significant amount of iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

A quick way to implement the microgreen into your menu: Add a palm-full of greens to the top of your next burger of choice. The soft peppery taste will add more flavor to the burger or sandwich.

  1. Pea: Pea shoots are another green that is easy to grow, but it does take time to understand what they need in terms of water and light. Some weeks they grow faster than other weeks. Though Pea shoots have similar traits of the broccoli they also have significant amounts of vitamin B’s: niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, B-6, and folate.

Quick Tip: Add a handful of pea shoots on the to of any curry to balance out the heat of the curry. (We like heat, but it’s nice to have a balance from time to time).

  1. Arugula: One of my favorites! When we are harvesting arugula it smells like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and birthday celebrations all in one whiff. Sometimes they smell like a roasted spicy nut or a sweet grass. It is heavenly!

Arugula microgreens are great for keeping your bones strong and healthy. That’s because it contains about the same quantity of calcium as spinach.

Quick Tip: We tried this new recipe and loved it! We use to put arugula leaves on our pizza, now we spread our micros all over the flatbread! Spread a handful or more of arugula greens on top of your homemade pizza accompanied with pesto, fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella. Hello, flavor!

There are so many recipes and ways to use microgreens and I am happy to share them with you. Message me for more details and share your ways of using microgreens. I love hearing from you.

Thank you for being here with me!

Until Next Time, Keep On Typing…