Five Minute Pickles


2 onions, coarsely chopped

3 English cucumbers, thickly sliced, then cut in half lengthwise

Dried dillweed (I used lots, use it to taste)


2 c. vinegar

2 c. sugar

1/4 c. salt

1/2 T. picking spices

Place cut up vegetables and dill in a bowl that has a cover or in an old ice cream pail.  Mix the brine ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Allow brine to cool a bit before pouring over vegetables.  Cover and refrigerate.  The pickles will be ready in 2 – 3 weeks and keep for a long time.

Too Much Trouble


We went to our good friends’ cottage for Sunday/Monday. We took our 5th wheel and parked it in their drive way.  I require an electrical plug in because of my CPAP machine.

Plugging in the 5th wheel into their outdoor plug required a bit of finagling. I’m not sure what wasn’t working but eventually whatever was wrong, got fixed.

Watching this play out, I began to feel all uncomfortable inside.  I apologized for being “high maintenance.”

Shortly thereafter, as we’d arrived around lunchtime, we started talking about eating and I stated something to the effect of my body is on a bit of a schedule, eating wise.  A lunch was quickly assembled for the adults in the group.

About this time, I was feeling quite anxious and nervous about these two events.  Later in the afternoon I started to relax.

On the way home from the weekend, I started to wonder why I felt all these uncomfortable, anxious feelings.

I think I got it. The story I figure I ended up telling myself as a child, getting moved around from foster home to foster home every 6 months – 2 years or so, was “I was too much trouble.”  So, somewhere along the way, I vowed not to be too much trouble.  Not too much trouble looked like:  not asking for anything, helping out as much as possible, being agreeable.

You see, as a child if I wasn’t too much trouble then:

 I won’t be changing foster homes, someone will love me, keep me, like me.

Yesterday, I cried for that little girl.

 As an adult, if I’m not too much trouble:

I’ll be a welcome guest, a good employee, a good friend, a good girlfriend, a good wife, someone will love me,keep me, accept me and like me.

 [On the flip side, If I’m not too much trouble I’m also someone who can’t ask for what she needs and gets taken advantage of and even abused.]

It’s funny how these situations this weekend acted as a bit of a trigger.

I’ve done much better over the years at asking for what I need [my husband would say I have NO problem asking stating very strongly to him what I need] but every so often. “don’t be too much trouble”  rears its ugly head.

Our Summer of Hard Things

photo credit – author’s own

In her book, Carry On Warrior:  Thoughts on Living Life Unarmed, Glennon Doyle Melton reveals the following mottos:

  1. We Can Do Hard Things.
  2. Love Wins.
  3. We Belong to Each Other.

I don’t mind telling you, I am damn tired of doing hard things.  This was the summer of hard things, tears and grief.

Finding out my father passed away and grieving what now will never be (a relationship with him) is an ongoing process of hard things.

Going out to Victoria, BC to do a private memorial for my father was a damn hard thing.

Returning from vacation in July to nurse a very ill cat only to have to have him put to sleep about two weeks later was a very, very hard thing.  The hyper vigilant state I was in for Dexter’s care – is he eating, is he drinking – nearly did me in.  Not knowing if I’d wake up to he still being alive was difficult beyond words. Grieving his death, even though we know we ended his suffering, is still a hard thing.

Our decision to give Oreo (our other cat) to the  Humane Society (we dropped her off this past Saturday) was also a hard thing.  Despite knowing it is necessary for various reasons, including the fact that my husband’s allergies and asthma are getting worse, I nonetheless felt like a horrible heartless bitch leaving her there.   I’m praying she goes to a good home.

Today, I am still in tears over these losses.

We donated to the Humane Society any and all cat “stuff” they would accept and recycled the rest to the thrift store.  Even though there are now no visible reminders, the memories of our cats – Snoops, Punkin, Dexter and Oreo – will always be imprinted on our hearts.

I have had pets since I was in my 20’s.  It will be a major adjustment to not have pets.

That being said, In 12 years we have put down three pets.  We cannot do this anymore: love a pet only to put them down a few years later.

It’s too much.

I don’t even want a plant to look after.  It’ll just die too.