Jaclyn and James

Jaclyn & James

We are beyond happy that we chose Sandra Ruch to be the officiant for our wedding! Sandra gave us many options for our wedding ceremony which we really appreciated since we were having a culturally blended wedding and we weren’t sure where to start. It was nice to put our ceremony together and choose what we did/didn’t want. Sandra is so warm and loving, she has a such a great spirit. We could really feel that she was so happy for us on our special day. She kept us calm with our spirits high. Jaclyn & James Aug 25th, 2018

Jesse and Diana

Jesse & Diana

Sandra Ruch is a lovely and warm person and a professional when it comes to wedding officiating. She conducted our official signing and was present for our first look, while our officiator facilitated the ceremony. She communicated everything with us in advance and completed everything quickly and efficiently. We are happy to recommend her services to other couples. Jesse and Diana August 12th, 2018

Aaron and Brittany

Aaron & Brittany

I can’t say enough good things about Sandra Ruch! My (now) husband reached out to All Seasons looking for a Jewish officiant for our interfaith wedding and Sandra was the perfect fit from the start. From our first meeting she was simply delightful, and truly interested in making it a wedding that was OURS. We worked with her to create a ceremony that was reflective of Jewish traditions, while remaining secular and more importantly inclusive. She was so positive and engaging through the whole process! Our ceremony went off without a hitch, and that’s in large part to Sandra’s professionalism, calm demeanor and positive outlook. We truly feel like we lucked out choosing/finding Sandra. Thank you! Aaron & Brittany July 14th, 2018

What I love about Love

Being a wedding officiant is just about the most perfect vocation anyone could ask for.  I absolutely love spending time with people who are so positive about the future, so full of hope and love.  Joy, happiness and excitement surrounds them in a cloud of deliciousness!!!

Kenana and Dave

One of my daughters says there is nothing that she loves more than a love story and encourages her friends to share their stories.  My first favourite book ( I read it over and over) was Erich Segal’s “Love Story”.  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Love_Story_(Erich_Segal_novel)_cover

 

The first thing I want to hear from a couple is their story.  I want to know how they met and how long they have been together.  It is that connection that is the foundation of the new life they are building.

It’s wonderful to hear about their plans for the future and the many things they have in common.  I often wonder what is the most important element of a relationship? Is it sharing hobbies, professions, physical attraction, values, culture, religion, politics, family values?  Somehow it is a little bit of everything.   A couple may seem like total opposites until there is a bit more excavating and you find that at the core they are so similar.

What do you think?  Will you share your love story with me?

My Closet Bedroom

I’ve been in my element these past few weeks.  I created a bedroom in my closet.  The closet is about 6 feet by 7 feet and I have loved having all that storage space!  I had an abundance of items organized in that closet – my clothes and everything else.  The apartment is only 400 square feet in total.  It’s small but more than enough space for me to live very happily. I often have friends and family over and can comfortably entertain a dozen or more guests.  I frequently have overnight guests too.

A few weeks ago I was scrolling Pinterest when I found this photo.  I was so inspired.  I went to my closet, took a look went back to the sofa, got up and looked again.  I repeated that scenario at least 3 times until I just couldn’t help myself. I started hauling everything out of my closet – clothing, suitcases, shoes, boots, boxes, jewellery, coats and so on and so on and so on.  A lot of stuff.

Pinterest

After washing the floors and the shelving, I moved the single bed into the room.  Now what to do with all the “stuff”.  Of course,  a quick trip to Ikea would have quickly solved all my problems but I didn’t have that amount of extra cash and I also prefer to use recycled products whenever possible.  Ol, I admit, I am very frugal and I hate waste more than anything.

That same week I found a dresser in the parking lot of my daughter’s condo. I am so lucky when it comes to finding things that I need.  Looking around my place right now there are many great finds.

the dresser
The dresser (free)

Then I started scouring Marketplace on Facebook.  I was hoping to find something cheap, in my neighbourhood  and that someone might deliver. No small wish list.  Here’s what I found this week.

 

 

The storage box
The storage box $15 picked up
The wardrobe
The wardrobe $40 delivered

 

The clothes are in the dresser, the wardrobe and the storage box.  I emptied a few shelves in my linen closet moving all the towels into the bathroom and all the bedding into the storage box of my Ikea Beddinge sofa.  Before the move, I had the beautiful quilts that my Grandmother made there but now I am showing them off in my new bedroom. I moved the shoe shelf into the entrance way and gave it a beachy look.

Beachy shoe rack
Shoes and boots

I love my new room.  I love the bold red accents.  I am surrounded by my favourite things.  I now have more living and dining room space and having a private bedroom is fabulous.  My rent is the same but now I have a one bedroom apartment.  This is the best of tiny space living!

Bedroom
My new bedroom

 

 

Be Mine Valentine (committed to me)

 

I am no relationship expert.  Although, I have had many – I have had more failures than successes.  Well, I suppose many would sum it in that way.  I, however, look at back them as experiences, learning opportunities and mostly, a lot of fun.

Just days away from Valentine’s Day and I am getting excited.  My beloved and I have been making plans for weeks.  We’ve been married since the summer of 2012.  We?  Me and me.  I and I. Self-love.  I married myself and I highly recommend it.

I planned a lovely, simple wedding on the beach (my favourite place) in the evening.  The whole day was leading up to my ceremony was fun with a bit of shopping and a delicious meal.

July 2012 I promised to love myself.  I promised to honour and protect me.  Now as Valentine’s day approaches I see it as a day to recommit.  I want to have a day to honour Love, in general , and to honour a commitment to the one person who  will be with me until I die.  The one person who I want to love and take the best possi ble care of.   I am proud to say I love me. My commitment to my health, my safety, my well being and contentment is all part of my “marriage”.

I am also blessed to have wonderful people in life that I love,  my grandson, my daughters, their partners and my amazing friends.  However, my life changed the day I married myself.  Something flipped in me and a new contentment washed over me.  It has stayed with me over the years.  There was a moment when I realized I really wasn’t alone.

Whether you are in relationship or not, I invite you to explore making this personal commitment – to love, honour and respect YOU.

Time to Kick Ass (or at least reduce mine)

Well, it has been quite a while since I had the motivation to share the thoughts constantly streaming in my very active brain.  You know the ongoing dialogue that interrupts all the attempts at meditation and the “what I think are brilliant ideas” that come to me while I am out walking.  Yes, the ones that I never remember when I get home.

I am back on track with my healthy life style plan and the best plan of action for me is to share and to have my family and friends (and readers) keep me real.  I have read that this works for some and not for others but it is always a great idea for me.  I was being very strict with myself in the weeks prior to my doctor’s appointment mid January.  I then was a little more lenient in the past 2 weeks – no weight gain but no weight loss either.

I like to use the old weight watchers plan –pre 2010.  It is the best one for me – only some vegetables are free points and everything else needs to be weighed and calculated.  It has worked every time for me and I have been so blessed to not gain anything back since 2004 when I first put it into use.  I managed to drop another 15 pounds since last August and then plateaued.  I think it is time to put more exercise in the mix at least 3 days a week and walk for nothing less than a half hour on the other days.  I have lost 80 pounds in total so far – 20 more to go.

For me the best diet secret is just not to have the bad stuff in the house.  I am watching my sugar intake so I have pretty much eliminated packaged foods (maybe a package of Ryvita crackers once in a while), removed the maple syrup, divide my meat in portions before I put it in the freezer as well as removing fat and skin ( too tempting when you are cooking at 5pm and already hungry), and stocking the freezer with frozen vegetables that are easy to cook in a hurry or when I need to snack.  My favourite go-to splurge is all you can eat sushi every few weeks.

If you want to try the very old weight watcher’s plan without the expense you can try this resource and you can calculate your point value here.  You can also find the value of thousands of food right here.  On the old system you can calculate your point allotment here.

I am inspired to keep this up because my last Doctor’s appointment was successful.  All my numbers were on the decline!  Yup, cholesterol, blood sugar – everything – the doctor was very pleased and won’t see me again for 6 months.  I want to reach my goal weight of 150 pounds by then.  It’s important for me to talk numbers and I wish more of us did.  I am certain that if I knew that so many women weighed in the same range as me, I wouldn’t have felt like the biggest one around.  I wish that I had that measuring stick instead of the chart that said I was supposed to weigh 130 when my starting point was 160.   I had no idea that a size 14 was average.

I started losing weight in 2004 – dropped 35 pounds – felt fabulous and svelt and didn’t try to lose again until my diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes.  I then dropped another 20 and was able to go without medications for another 2 years.  Last year my numbers were escalating and I am now on a few medications that are working well.  For those of you familiar with Diabetic medication – Metformin does not work for me – the side effects leave my joints sore and stiff and cause a lot of digestive problems.  I recommend not relying on your family physician but getting an Endocrinologist as soon as you are diagnosed.  I am taking 2 new medications – Trajenta and Jardiance.  They are working for now but my goal is once again to be medication free.  That is why I am working so hard! I continue to have a monthly acupuncture treatment and to take my Chinese Herbs daily.

It’s all about health and healing.  I am committed to this journey. Help keep me honest.  I love sharing recipes and food ideas, exercise plans and anything that has been successful.  I wish I knew all this when I was younger and I wish that I put a stop to the slow weight gain of 5 pounds every year but there is no sense in crying over that spilled milk.  I am sure there are a lot of important lessons in it all.  At least I know that being overweight did not stop me from doing anything – EVER!

Time to kick ass!  Or at least reduce mine.

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off and Start All Over Again

So here’s the thing.  I love writing and I love my blogs.  I was so excited about my Sixty in the City idea.  I couldn’t wait to get started.  Ideas flowed in my head and my heart.  When I was out ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pictures poured in.  This is my passion.  I love sharing ideas and hopefully inspiring others. Ok, so what happened ….why did I stop?  Why do I have lists of blogging ideas in my “To Do List” and why haven’t I written in months? Why?  What stopped me? Hmmmm…… time to explore the usual suspects.

loose-cassette-tape-650x280  The old tapes I suppose.  What do I mean by the old tapes?  Those are those thoughts that flow through our mind.  Crap that other people told us or crap that we repeatedly tell ourselves?  Can’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t.  Yowzers!!  How did that stuff get into my head?

 

half-fullI pride myself on a cup that is more than half full and often spilling over.  I think that I am a “take charge, get it done, kind of Womyn”.  I never leave dishes in the sink or laundry unfolded.  I plan my meals, plan my grocery list, take time to cook healthy from scratch food, keep my home neat and tidy, stay in touch family and loved ones, remember birthdays and special occasions, make lists and check things off. Yup, you got it….I can busy myself with a lot of mundane details and tell myself that I was too busy today but tomorrow….no the next day….ok no….next week….  I’ll do it….cause I love it.  What’s going on????

Looking back over the years (and when you are sixty, there are a lot of years to look back on) I know that many times when I was on the brink of following my passion to have my own business as an Alternative Healing practitioner. My passion for facilitating groups to inspire womyn to create the changes they want for themselves and for the world…..I didn’t follow my own advice but instead took a different path.  Consistently a solid, dependable job or contract  would come my way and how could I say no to stability and normality?   I am not criticizing those choices.  I was a sole support parent with 2 amazing daughters who I wanted to provide for.  I am certain that isn’t all there is to this pattern, though. My daughters have been self sufficient and stable on their own for over a decade.

Last spring I found a great inspiration partner.  We both wanted someone to keep us on track to achieve our goals.  We met every other week and we created a whole system to keep us motivated.  It was so exciting and so organized.  sunraysWe called our goals sun rays and each ray was a stream that we wanted to pursue and follow.  In this time I got my licence to marry couples and started officiating weddings.  I was blogging very regularly and many of my ideas were unfolding .  I started my training to become a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess).  I was doing it!!! And… Then…I …Stopped !!!!!!!!!  Right in the middle of doing what I was sure I loved and what I am still sure I love.  What happened? One thing only….I got in my own way.

The really awesome part of all this is that it’s ok to stop and it’s ok to start again.  The old but timeless song, “take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” Listen hear

fred-and-ginger

What have I done?  I found my old mentors again …..Sarah Ban Breathnach, Louise Hay and Sark.  I dug out my vision journal and I have enjoyed looking at it again.  (some photos from my old vision book)

Today I am going to start working on expanding that vision journal with my new visions and discoveries.  Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests that you get piles of old magazines and cut out pictures that you are drawn to, putting them into separate piles for the various parts of your life.  Here is a description from one of her books.

You can usually find Sarah’s books in second hand book stores.  I suggest starting with “Simple Abundance”. Currently I am using “Something More” as my guide.

I am ready to commit to me again…..that means healthy choices and exercising, it means writing out my gratitudes from the day before, giving thanks to the Goddess, reading something inspirational.  It means making a commitment to my personal success by creating an action plan and following it though.  For me it means stepping out of my usual comfort zones.  It means finding joy in all the little spaces like walking barefoot on the beach in November in Nova Scotia or wandering through the Allan Garden Conservatory in Toronto on Boxing Day when it is cold and rainy outside.

 

 

 

What does it mean for you?