The Awful Truth

Most of us carry a well hidden secret we only share with a selected few. If we share it at all. What we keep inside may differ in magnitude. Some have secrets that other look upon as daily gossip others cast darker shadows. Why we feel a need to leave some things about ourself un-revealed may depend. But sometimes it is better to open Pandora’s box and let the awful truth out. It can give us relief and freedom. Like a heavy burden has been lifted off our shoulders. To show ourself completely may strengthen the bonds to friends and loved ones. So why are we so afraid?

Locked door. The Awful Truth | My Green Nook

Are we afraid we will not do in others eyes? Why is that so important? Should we not surround ourself with people who like us as we are? Or is the case that we do not accept and like ourself with the flaw our secret may be? Does it make us feel so uncomfortable we do not want to look at it even ourself?

This is a mind game I have been playing for some time. You see I carry a well hidden secret – the awful truth about myself. I keep telling myself it is not that bad and really nothing to be ashamed of. But still I cannot open up and tell, not even to all of my relatives and friends. Of course it can be wise to keep some secrets and all truths does not have to be shouted out. But my secret is not-self inflicted and does not harm anyone else but me. If someone told me my secret I would not react with anything else but respect and think the person was brave being open about it. So why is it so hard for me to just let my secret go? Some probably already have figured it out anyway. I guess it would be easy to just write it here, publish it and see what happens.

No, this it not the place or at least not the time to tell you my awful truth… I guess it is true that everyone wants to hear the truth but no one wants to be honest.

To give you a happy ending I can tell you that I have inspected my awful truth from every angle and come to the conclusion that I can live with it. And pretty much handle it with the support of the good people around me.

Quote. The Awful Truth | My Green Nook

….including yourself

Where would you go?

Have you ever felt that you just want to leave? To take a break to get your things together? To just be alone in peace and quiet? Or if you are more of an active person maybe rumble and jump around like it was your last day.

I guess we all feel that way sometimes. When we are winded up and have lost control or at least feel like we have. This does not mean we actually want to take a hike forever rather just get a moment to breathe and feel. To get time to ask ourself the important questions – how do I feel and what do I need? To lower our shoulders and ease the burden of everyday life. Living is not always easy and we may feel ashamed to admit it. The pressure on us to be smiling and perfect can go to our heads. The good advice of positive thinking can really cause frustration. Are we not allowed to spit and breathe fire just for one day. Not even if we do it in a closet where no one sees or hears us?

Let us pretend that we get the opportunity to just hop aboard the next train or boat to anywhere. Where would you go? Where is the place you find peace? Where can you be just you? Where can you be alone with your thoughts and recharge?

Dream for a while and create your perfect place to escape to. The place where you find comfort and calm. What would it look like – your own dreamscape?

Dreamscape. Where would you go? | My Green Nook

During my various hours of meditation and relaxation I have created my own mental escape resort. This comes to hand almost daily. When I need a break and get myself together I close my eyes, take a couple of deep breathes and go there. This is my place of comfort and calm where I can recharge enough to cope a bit more. But sometimes my own mind is not giving the relief I need. This made me

think of the place I would go to (where I actually would place my body). I asked myself the question – where would you go? The terrifying answer was – I do not know. Or is it a good answer? Maybe I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Of course I am but some days I just feel that I cannot cope anymore. I cannot cope with me or being me. There is nothing wrong with the people around me or the place I am in. It is me. And where do you go when you can not stand your own company?


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Poo Days

Life with a newborn can be quite interesting. Since BabyGirl arrived we have poo days. These days are not necessary bad days just days when she is supposed to poo. Which usually occurs every twice or third day. We keep track in a calendar familiarly known as the poo-calendar where we write down every victorious poo. Never have poo been such a hot topic. We talk about poo even at the dinner table. But I guess it gets that way when you spend a whole lot of time working on the poo.

We massage Baby Girl’s little belly and exercise her legs to stimulate the bowel and relief gas. Every fart is a celebration and a step closer to the goal. Beside this we give her two teaspoons with canola oil every day. The hardest part with her stubborn stomach is to see the pain she goes through. She cries and gets grumpy – nothing seems to do. The sweetest thing is that between the spasms she smiles and cuddles. Yes, she is a shining happy little girl until her stomach starts again. We get relief for a couple of hours or at best a day and these are spent as family time. Every time we visit Baby Girls physician or nurse they ask about her poo and how the stomach is. So we even get to share our poo day stories with others. Sadly we forget and share this with friends and relatives too. Just ask us how things are and you get the story. If you are lucky that day is a poo day.

Baby massage. Poo Days | My Green Nook

Want to learn more about baby massage? Check out these links for example:

Today´s Parent – Infant gas: How to bring relief through massage

Parent – How to massage a baby

New Challenges

A new love and new challenges have clearly found their way into my life. I have been aching to write and blog again. Today it seems a bit closer to reality than for a couple of weeks ago. I have a need to let my creativity flow and words to find their way out –  to fill a blank page with black signs. I am sitting here with my baby girl in a carrier on my tummy. It is summer outside and a soft breeze from an open window cools us down. What have you been up to lately?

Open Window. New Challenges | My Green Nook

The other day I found out that one of my fellow bloggers is quitting and it made me sad. I hope we stay in touch though since we had much in common.  I also had time to read through all comments on my posts and was happy to see your kindness. I would love to have you writing guest posts for me to share. I really think it would be fun and interesting. So I will set off time to go through all your offers and suggestions, which I look forward to, and then I get back to you as soon as possible.

With motherhood new challenges arises.

  • Sleep. Although I understood that sleep was going to be affected and that it was precious I did not realize the width of it. During the first weeks I was exhausted and my mind played games. It was frightening and I almost lost it. Depression was close to a fact but with the help of relatives and friends I managed. Now, thankfully, I am back on track.
  • Time. With a newborn everything takes time. Planning and patients is crucial. I found it hard before and today it is even worse. A typical scenario: You are ready to leave and are about to step out the door when your baby poo and you have to change diaper, again. This way I have been late to several appointments. But I guess I will figure it out soon. Or maybe that just is the way it is to live with kids.
  • Things does not always work out the way you planned. Before our BabyGirl was born I had decided to breastfeed. I was so sure of it and had no second thoughts. But I was faced with one of the largest challenges. It just did not work how much we even tried. It tore me apart and affected my sleep to a point I could not be the mother I wanted to be. After a month of struggle I gave up. It was a difficult choice do not think anything else. I also discovered the shame of not breastfeeding your baby. Mothers do not talk about it and you feel very lonely. I opened up about it an found that it is more common than one could guess.
  • Puts your relationship on a test. When you think of a family you see two smiling parents and a sweet baby. This is true from time to time. But becoming parents really challenge our relationship. All the above effects it. Not sleeping well makes us grumpy and easily provoked. Lack of time to discuss and spend on each other makes it even more complicated. Unforseen happenings puts even more pressure on both of us. I am thankful we have ten years and a lot of experiences in our back pack. Trust, hope and love keep us going. We know things will be better. We have just settled and work on the daily routines. Trying to bear the burden together and share the joy.
Pure Love. New Challenges | My Green Nook

I´ll be by your side… Photo: Charlotte, My Green Nook

It might sound that I regret having a baby but no way. I love her and just one glimpse at her makes my heart sing. I am happy, my spouses is happy and our baby thrives. The above are just things I think we should talk about and acknowledge. Having a baby is not only a fluffy and easy dream in pink or blue. It is also hard work and puts us up to various challenges.

What challenges do you face in parenthood?

F as in Filipendula

F as in Filipendula. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Filipendula

Species: Filipendula ulmaria

Common names: meadow-sweet, mead wort Swedish name: älggräs, älgört

The Filipendula genus includes 12 species of perennial herbaceous flowering plants native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Filipendula ulmaria is a well-known herbal and medicinal plant. The flowers were commonly used in mead, wine, cordial and herbal remedies. They can be added to stewed fruit and jams, giving them a subtle almond flavor. It has many medicinal properties. Dried, the flowers are used in potpourri. The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavour, the green parts having a similar aromatic character to the flowers. In history it was used as a strewing herb in festive times. The herb was then strewn on the floors to give the rooms a pleasant aroma. The content of salicylates (formally acetylsalicylic acid) and tannins made it a valuable medicinal herb. Treating a wide variety of health conditions and illnesses. The name aspirin is derived from the old name of Filipendula ulmariaSpiraea ulmaria – which gave rise to the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A common group of painkillers.

F as in Filipendula. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Filipendula ulmaria. Photo: John Johnston ©

Description: Filipendula ulmaria is a tall, grand plant with  delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers clustered close together at the top. It is having a very strong, sweet scent reminding of honey and almond. A more common species used in gardens are Filipendula rubra (Queen-of-the-prairie).

How to grow: Filipendula ulmaria likes moist and may be suitable near a pond or a shady marshy area of the garden. A woodland edge may also work. Native it thrives in ditches along fields and in forest meadows. Seeds can be purchased from well sorted seed companies often specialized on herbal and medicinal plants.

Recipe:

  • Meadow-sweet cordial make your own summer drink (non alcoholic), the recipe is like the one of elderflower cordial
  • Herbal tea (infusion) a cup of well-doing tea when you caught a cold or have a headache¹

¹ Disclaimer: Be careful when using herbal remedies since the effects may be uncertain. Since meadow-sweet contains salicylates it can affect the stomach negatively especially in high concentrations. I don´t recommend herbal medicine as a substitute for modern medicine in any way. Always consult the professional health care.

© The photo is licensed by Creative Commons and some rights are reserved. License Attribution 2.0

 

E as in Eryngium

E as in Eryngium. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Family: Apiaceae

Genus: Eryngium

Species: Eryngium planum

Common names: sea holly Swedish name: rysk martorn

 

Eryngium is a genus of flowering plants including about 250 species. The different spieces are distributed almost worldwide wherever their growing conditions are met. The majority are grassland plants but some belongs in rocky or coastal areas. The Eryngium genus contains both annuals and perennials. Several species of Eryngium have been used as food and medicine. The Native American people used many of them for varied purposes. Eryngium yields an essential oil and extracts have anti-inflammatory properties. The roots have been used as vegetables or sweetmeats. Young shoots and leaves are sometimes used like asparagus.

Eryngium planum is native in central and southeastern Europe as well as central Asia. The essential oils and bioactive compounds of it are used in European folk medicine as diuretic, stimulant, and appetizer. Ethanolic extracts of shoots and roots show a significant antifungal and moderate antibacterial activity.

E as in Eryngium. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Eryngium sp.

Description: Eryngium planum is a herbaceous perennial thistle with branched silvery-blue stems, and numerous small blue conical flower heads surrounded by spiky bracts in summer. It is very beautiful to use in flower arrangements, fresh or dried (eternal). It is also attractive to use in garden beds, since it is a very hardy species adding superb color. The shimmering blue being a nice contrast to yellow or gold neighbours. Attracts butterflies.

How to grow: Eryngium planum is easy to divide in early spring. It requires low maintenance and is easy to take care of. Tolerant of hot, dry sites, and soils high in salts which makes it suitable in coastal gardens and along roads which may be salted during winter time.

Herbal and medicinal plants: traditional and folk medicine has laid the ground for many modern medicines produced today. Without the research and knowledge gained in history modern medicine would have looked very different. If it even had existed. Nature is still a source of new remedies and studies are done on newly discovered plants. To be able to make new medicines for modern diseases. I think it is a very interesting history to take part of so I thought I would share this link with you:

Sadly the use of traditional medicine has led to extinction or alarming threats of several spieces. Since harvesting and collecting have been to intensive. Meanwhile modern medicine have leaked out in our water systems via the sewers causing disturbances in the reproduction of aquatic species among other things. Yet again we have sustainability issues to tackle to ensure a healthy planet.

Family Dinner

Family dinners is not always fancy like the picture below. But make it a social time spent together with the family as often as possible. No telly and no disturbance – just sit together enjoying your meal. Catch up and talk about your day. Let it take time and make it a relaxing pause between chores.

Dinner table. Family Dinner | My Green Nook

Nutrition and food is a hot topic today –  we can view it as a part of sustainability (health, agriculture, food industry, organic food, different diets, GMO etc). The #CTWW-gang is engaged in the discussion. This week Reduce Footprints gave us the challenge Family Cook Day. I must admit that I have not followed the guidelines but I keep to the subject. It is only me and my spouse in my family so far and we always purchase food and cook it together. Food and nutrition is an everyday thing which is vital for us. With the right choices we can live a healthier and more sustainable life. As always the process begins in our minds. And then we work on it step by step. Some of you may already have reached your goals others are on their way or maybe have not given it much thought at all. I believe in balance and knowledge. Balance as in we may treat ourselves once in a while but keep a healthy diet over all. Balanced nutrition and food intake is the key. Knowledge as in knowing the basics about nutrition and be able to make conscious choices.

I often stand among the groceries reading the labels and comparing different alternatives. Often the best thing is to cook your food from scratch – purchasing raw foods. Then you do not get all the additives and E-numbers. And always watch out for high sugar or salt content as well as sweeteners. Often light products contains sweeteners or high content of carbohydrates instead of fat. Next time you go to the grocery store check out the dairy department. Compare different yoghurt – fruit vs natural, low-fat (light) vs natural fat content. And while comparing calculate the price difference between organic and non-organic. Summon a weeks consumption – how much did it differ? Can you afford it? Is there anything else you can live without to choose organic?

Also look at the origin of your groceries where are they produced? Some groceries may have traveled world-wide before getting to your store. This is quite common for processed foods and ready to eat meals. Think about the seasons and buy local, organic vegetables and fruit when possible. But local can be tricky at least in Sweden since much is produced in greenhouses which often are heated with fossil fuels. Therefore organic food from abroad may be a better choice especially during the winter. Next time do the same at a different department. Soon you have got the grip and it will be easier from here on. And while at it a reminder – bring your own bags to the store.

A good eating habit starts in the cradle. Make healthy food a natural part of your family diet. A good standard to work from is the plate model which helps you provide a balanced diet. According to it a meal should consist of 50% fruit/berries and veggies, 25% proteins and 25% carbohydrates. The protein source may be vegetarian even if the picture shows meat. I usually save the fruit/berries and sandwich for a small meal in the afternoon since my blood sugar have a tendency to fall rapid. Instead of milk you can choose water.

Healthy meal. Family Dinner | My Green Nook

Read more about healthy cooking with and for kids as well as their parents:

I have decided to make at least one day a week vegetarian. I wish I could say I am a full-time vegetarian but I never manged to take the step fully. My only excuse is that we would have to make two separate dishes every meal. To justify us a bit we prefer organic meat from well-being, healthy livestock and mostly eat chicken, eggs and fish. We eat a well-balanced diet with lots of organic veggies and fruits. Using the plate model as a guidance.

 


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Pieces of Real Life

Pocket watch. Pieces of Real Life | My Green Nook

Time is passing by and recently I think it have rushed faster and faster. It has been a while since I shared my pieces of real life with you. So here we go. I am in pregnancy week 31 which means it is only 6-10 weeks left before our baby arrives. And it strikes me everyday that I am going to become a mother. I am going to give birth to a new little person and life will change. I look forward to meet this amazing human. But a part of me wants to keep the bump and all the movement inside. It is such an unexplainable feeling and the bond is very strong. We already love our little miracle and that love keeps on growing everyday. We are finally going to become the family we always dreamt of.

Besides all the joy and happiness I have begun feeling pain in my back and hips. Having a hard time to sleep since I have to sit up straight to ease the tenderness. I walk slow and it is not as delightful as it use to be to go for my daily walks. I am mostly tired and withdrawn. I just want to be by myself or with my family. I think it is a sign saying it is time to let go of pregnancy and take the next step in real life. Embrace motherhood, family life and let things settle. I tell myself I will manage it if I take one day at a time and focus on the privileges.

My spouse is very supportive and committed. We have gone through everything together – from the nausea to the current pain. Not forgetting all the shared joy and laughter from the first picture of our baby, the first time we got to listen to the heartbeat and the unique feeling of the first kick. We have been to the midwife and all the controls side by side. We have both taken part in the parenthood courses preparing us for the delivery and the baby to come. So I am a lucky one having a child with the best dad and partner I can imaging. We will make it together as we always do.

Hands. Pieces of Real Life | My Green Nook

To you my partner in crime –  life without you would be so boring…

 


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Compassion in Everyday Life

A thousand voices speak for compassion. What does that mean? Does it make a difference?

To me compassion is an act from the heart. It is driven by feelings and an opened mind (or at least eyes). It is my believe compassion makes a difference. It makes us human. This post is a part of a greater good – 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion. #1000Speak

#1000Speaks: 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion

The first picture that came up in my head was one of Mother Teresa and her devotion to help others. And maybe she is a symbol for compassion to most of us. It is easy to claim that compassion is charity work and self-sacrifice. But how about everyday life compassion? And cannot compassion include ourselves?

First focus on you and you alone. Cut yourself a slack and relax. Life is not all about chores, prestige and achievements. It is also about feelings, heart and soul. To be able to truly help others you need to start with yourself. When was the last time you really took care of you? And I do not mean the outside – visiting a hairdresser or buying new clothes. I mean the inside – taking time to reflect and hear your inner voice. Cause it is vital to allow yourself to be who you are. Not neglecting your needs and right to feel good. When you reach this kind of inner peace your mind will most likely open up to others automatically. Since you are not stuck in your own mind and high performance requirements. Rushing between must and should.

Self-Compassion - reflect, listen to your inner voice | My Green Nook #1000Speak

It may start with a smile and a nod to the bus driver in the morning. This is a way to acknowledge someones existent and is very effective. And do not be sad if he/she does not respond. Most likely you surprised them. Help the parent with a baby carriage getting aboard on the bus. Offer your seat to an old, disabled or pregnant person or anyone in need of a seat. This will be very appreciated and your heart will sing. Help a person who seems lost. You may not know the way or be able to help – but you asked. And that in itself is huge. If someone is laying on the ground or looking ill ask them how it is. Offer your help. Do not ever assume this person is intoxicated or dangerous in any way. Most likely something is terrible wrong and your help can make the difference between life and death.

Do I do all this?! Yes, I do and have done it. I have stepped forward when everyone else ignores. I try to smile to the bus driver, the cashier and the cleaning staff. If I do not I probably have a really bad day – I am a human after all. Since I work outdoors when most people are at work I have seen the everyday life of people who are less fortunate. The old lonely woman who fell on the sidewalk and could not get up. No one dared to help her or maybe they did not even see her. I stopped the car and asked her how she was. Then I helped her up and drove her home. Asking several times if she needed medical attention. Often homeless, intoxicated or persons in need approach me in the street. I do not know why they choose me. But I know everyone around stares and think I am stupid or something. But changing a few words does not kill you. At some points I have backed off. If I get any indication the person can do or mean any harm. But most of the time they are just happy someone cares and shares a moment of their time. I was taught never to talk to or interact with strangers. Always to keep an eye open and be careful. And I think I do live by that rule. I would never put myself in danger or seek out trouble. But if I am already there why not try to make the best of it?

Compassion - Reach out your hand | My Green Nook #1000Speak

This is my contribute and thoughts about compassion. It is my voice and my words reaching out to you. I hope you will listen and I hope my words will reach your heart. And encourage you to start changing your mindset towards a more compassionate life. And to you who already live a life full of compassion this is dedicated to you. I want to support you and your deeds by raising my voice. The world needs more compassion today, tomorrow and every day.

 


Photos follow the Creative Commons Attribute 4.0 no changes are made.

 

Friday Bliss

Friday bliss - My Green Nook

Friday is finally here and the weekend is ahead of us. Tomorrow it´s Valentine´s Day and many celebrate it. The day is devoted to love, friendship and people you want to show your appreciation to. But this evening is only yours. Take the time to celebrate your own being by taking extra care of yourself. A friend of my spouse use to say “When you worked hard you got to tickle yourself“. And that is exactly what I want to do on a friday evening.

After a long week walking and standing my feet are tired and a bit swollen. I use maternity socks (medical compression socks) to support the circulation and prevent varicose veins. They do their job but I want to give my feet even more care. So I started my weekend with a nice relaxing foot bath. To set the mood I turned off the light and lit some candles. Snuggled up in my comfortable armchair with a blanket wrap around my shoulders. Placing my feet in the warm relaxing water. Covering the bucket with a towel to keep the heat inside. The scent still manage to get through. I pour up a glass of cucumber water and lean back. Closing my eyes and letting go. Does it sound calming and inviting?

I do my own blend of bath water using:

  • Warm water
  • Organic jojoba oil ~ 1 tablespoon
  • Organic essential oils of lavender and bergamot ~ 10 drops each
  • Organic rose hydrolat ~ 1 tablespoon

I never measure but I wrote the amounts to give you a hint. I wanted a relaxing and soothing feeling so my choice of essential oils is based on that. Lavender is known for its calming and sleep inducing benefits. It also improves blood circulation. Bergamot is known for relaxing muscles and nerves which reduce the feeling of pain. It also reduce stress and improves blood circulation. Rose is used to balance emotions and lift the spirit. It is great for the female body and its various conditions.

Friday bliss - My Green Nook

If you are putting on your high-heel shoes and heading out on town you may want to use other essential oils. Peppermint for example is great to freshen up your feet. Want to read more about which essential oils to use?

Visit Nature Moms and learn more or go to your library tomorrow.

 


 

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Creative K Kids

Creative K Kids