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Baking With Spoons

A friend of mine shared this story the other day, and it’s something I’ve thought of every day since.

If you’ve got a few minutes, I encourage you to go read it. If not, I will fill you in!

It’s something called “The Spoon Theory,” used to describe what’s it’s like living day-to-day with an illness. What it’s really like. I mean, we all know that sick people are tired and weak all the time, but it’s still hard for a healthy person to wrap their brains around that. Trust me, I know, I used to be a healthy person too.

The author of the story explains it as such: each day we wake up with a certain number of spoons. Each activity we do over the course of the day costs us a spoon. So a healthy person can hop out of bed and easily not use up a spoon until they arrive at work. Whereas it requires one spoon for a sick person to get out of bed, one spoon to shower, one spoon to find a pair of pants to wear, etc, etc. Basically, small things that we all do over the course of the day aren’t as easy for some people as they are on the rest.

What really interested me about this story is not how it influences the perception of healthy people, but it gave me something to refer to as I used up my spoons over the course of the day. It put into words something that I hadn’t yet been able to explain.

Each day, I wake up with a certain number of spoons. That number depends on how long ago my last chemotherapy was, how well I slept the night before, or how many spoons I have left over from the day before. I never really know how many spoons I’m waking up to, so how many I have to use up for the day is always a surprise.

On days where I have a lot of spoons, I’ll go for walks, visit with friends and family, go to a restaurant. Some days activities require more spoons than others though. I may wake up with 8 spoons, but walking the dog could take up 5. So I’m left being stingy with my spoons for the rest of the day.

One of my favourite ways to use my spare spoons? Creating in the kitchen.

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My family are always at me for using up my spoons in the kitchen, but it’s how I choose to use them! Maybe they are just annoyed I don’t use my spoons doing dishes…

I’ve been baking exclusively with apples since apple picking last weekend. Here are some recipes to share:

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Apple Crumble Bars using this recipe. Shortbread cookie base and crumble with a just-tart-enough apple filling. My Nana loved these and they are great with a cup of tea!

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Apple Butter, naturally. I based it off this recipe using a dozen apples and half a cup of pure maple syrup. It took about 7 hours of simmering to get it really thick. I ended up with four jars, three of which I gave away. One of which I kept so I could have apple butter on pork.

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Finally, Apple Oatmeal Muffins! Made in a mini muffin pan because I still don’t have a regular sized one. I based my version off of this recipe and subbed the flour for whole wheat, the oil for almond butter, and the buttermilk for almond milk curdled with one tablespoon of lemon juice. If I were to make these again I’d add more cinnamon, more almond butter, and more apple! Otherwise, they’re great slathered in some homemade apple butter.

All enjoyed next to a purring cat…

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My mom and I have traded dogs for a few days. We finally diagnosed why Buster wasn’t feeling well and I can’t care for him until he’s better. Cashew the cat strongly dislikes Buster, but for some reason loves Archie the poodle. Cashew has come out of hiding to rub up against Archie and purr loudly in his presence.

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Archie in turn is scared of other dogs, but seems to be okay with the cat. I think the two of them could actually be great friends.

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It’s all very entertaining to watch go down as I stand in the kitchen using up my spoons in an apron stained in applesauce.

If I were to add my own twist to the spoon theory, it would be to mention that I don’t think it’s exclusive to sick people. Everyone has a certain number of spoons to use up over the course of the day, just not everyone has so many or uses them up so easily. So while I’m recklessly using mine by chopping up a gazillion apples, might I suggest you use some spoons doing something you love today too. Perhaps eating funsize candy bars? After a week of mostly rest, I’ve got a few spoons to spare, so I’m changing out of my peejays and into my spy costume. Happy Halloween!

Feline Frenzy

As you all know, I’m a dog person. Well, for the most part. I’m that annoying person who loudly goes “awwww” every time I see a dog on the street. But just because I constantly plaster my blog posts with cute pictures of dogs, doesn’t mean I don’t love their feline counterparts.

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I don’t warm up to cats as quickly as I do dogs. That’s because they require a little more coaxing. Unlike dogs, cats don’t immediately demand your love and attention. But once they get used to the idea of you, they can be sooooo sweet.

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Few things are cuter than a kitty pawing at your belly while purring loudly.

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And few things are funnier than a cat going nuts and jumping all over the place.

I got to hang out with the above Lennox and Simon while visiting with my bestest friend Meghan.

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Meghan and I were roommies in university and have been friends for almost 20 years now.

She’s studying science-y things in Halifax now. And apparently knows one of my blog readers! Hi Abby!!

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Don’t Meghan and I look like we’re related? We’re totally sisters from different mister (and mother, I suppose. But her mom is still my Second Mom).

After catching up with Meghan and the kitties, I swung over to my dad’s abode to hang out with him and the step-family.

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And look at what was there!! A baby Siamese my step-sis got for Christmas. SO CUTE.

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She slept for a long time, and then starting trying to climb up everyone once she awoke. I want. She’s just small enough to fit into a purse ;)

In other news, the final sister has arrived! I’m the baby of the family with two older sisters. The three of us are usually only together at Christmas.

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My sister Sara and I had just returned from a hot yoga class, hence the sweaty look. Tonight was Moksha style and it was just what the doctor ordered!

Alright, that’s all I got. Consider my kitty quota met ;)

 

Question of the Day: Would you classify yourself as a dog or a cat person?

An Ode to Pets

Happy Waffle Wednesday!!

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Did you celebrate?? Let me know!

Thank you for letting me vent a little yesterday. You know I am always honest on this blog, so I had to just be real about where my head was at. I’m also reeeally bad at keeping secrets. Seriously. Do not ever tell me a secret, I will blurt it out to the first person who is willing to listen :P

I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. I was pumped for spin class!! It was definitely the thing that brought me the most joy today. No better reason to get out of bed :)

A fancy celebration of Waffle Wednesday was out, due to my empty fridge. So I went for something a little more rounded.

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I put soy nut butter (fat) and fake-syrup on my waffles (carbs), then had an egg white pillow (protein) with parmesan on the side. I find breakfasts that are macronutriently balanced keep me full the longest. This one had 33g carbs, 22g protein and 12g fat :)

Work was another long one, with my arse planted in a court bench all day. I’m covering a murder trial all week. The circumstances aren’t all that heart wrenching, but still pretty brutal. The victim was stabbed a dozen times and we had to look at the autopsy pictures today. I will never understand how someone could do that to another human being. Court is my favourite thing to cover, but it can also be emotionally exhausting sometimes.

Which may have led to another cop out on dinner. Except today, I sunk even lower!

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Pita Pit! I had to run some errands downtown after work, which happened to be right next to this fine establishment. It sounded a lot better than trying to scrounge up something from my empty fridge.

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I got a turkey and hummus pita with every vegetable available. Including pickles and extra bean sprouts, but minus banana peppers. No cheese.

And when in Rome…

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I needed a little sucralose to chase down my sodium ;)

It was de-licious too. Pitas are such comfort food for me.

I was needing a little extra comfort today. My beloved Fergus passed away.

We got Fergie in October 1998, when I was 12. It was mere weeks after my dad moved out, and my mother and I joked he was my “daddy replacement.” My dad is allergic to cats, so while the separation was tough (understatement), we were at least able to welcome this furball into our home :)

He was a fat cat who didn’t care. He would pounce and crawl on things as if he were a creature half his size. He was an outdoor cat by nature, so my mom and I decided we couldn’t deny him the great outdoors. He would spend the nights prowling the neighbourhood, returning home in the morning hungry and wild-eyed.

Over the past several months, he’s been losing weight and becoming more attached to us. We attributed this to old age. But my mom called me this morning saying he was having trouble breathing. A trip to the vet revealed cancer had taken over his body and he was put down.

I realize he’s just a cat. But we bring pets in our lives for a reason! For love and companionship. Both of which he provided to the fullest. So rest in peace Fergus.

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Do you have pets?? Tell me all about them!!

My mom also has a miniature apricot poodle, Archie. We got him when I was 10. He still acts like a puppy and will follow me wherever I go in the house. He loves being around people, and is happiest sitting proudly on someone’s lap! :)

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