Winter Mornings ☽ 🌕 ☾

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Can you see the cross?  View this morning.

☽ m o r n i n g ☾

The moon is out.  Four beams of light that form a perfect cross (or X)  illuminate the sky.  I often think about the people of the past, how incredibly impressive and important symbols in the sky would have been for them.  Right now, I am warm and safe sitting with mounds of blankets before a window with the full moon and a cross.  I wanted to write about my morning rituals (or attempts at morning rituals) but am honestly in awe of the sight of the moon at the moment.  And while I was distracted by the brightest light in a dim sky, I looked to the East and the horizon is orange, so time to dive right into the ritual!

I wake.  Not always at the same time, although I am working on that.  This morning it was 6 am.  Winter mornings are quite different than the rest of the year.  They are darker and colder for one and require a lot of warmth for a joyous beginning.  Fire starting, thick wool socks, hot teas and oatmeal and warming scents (I basically just told you everything!).

 B U T   F I R S T …..

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Making tea – peppermint combined with a green tea bag
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The Kitchen Window yesterday morning during a storm

 S A D L Y  N O T  C O F F E E

I was once a coffee drinker – I struggled with coffee.  I loved coffee.  I loved the ritual of making it, the smell (most of all) and I had a conflicted relationship with the taste and the way it made me feel.  I finally decided to stop completely and have honestly found a quiet peace in my day that I never had before.  I think I ultimately was experiencing caffeine overdose, from ONE small cup of coffee.  I could not focus, I would be productive in a frenzied kind of way for maybe an hour and then I felt like just a wreck.  I could drink a cup at 9 am and not sleep until 2 or 3 in the morning.  The last time I drank it was Christmas and that was just because it was Christmas.

It was never this bad when I drank it everyday, but I slowly started to eliminate it everyday and that’s when it really, really started and that was when I decided the best thing for me would be to simply stop drinking it.  So many benefits, the biggest in my mind was obviously my health and well being but also, the money saved! Jamie is still a big coffee drinker but his work provides it so I still get to smell it on the weekends 😉

E M B R A C I N G  T E A

In the mornings, I drink peppermint tea steeped with a green tea bag for that little caffeine kick and added health benefit.  I love peppermint tea, it’s my absolute favourite tea (peppermint and ginger) and find it very cleansing first thing in the morning.  I often have a smaller cup of Earl Grey later in the morning, but first thing I really enjoy a cleansing large cup of herbal and green tea.  I know we’ve been told for years the benefits of green tea, but peppermint tea is incredibly good for you as well!  I know it sounds like the most basic of teas but it’s a digestive aid, full of antiseptic and antibacterial properties.  It is even known to improve alertness and memory!  It’s awesome and so easy to grow!\

A F F I R M A T I O N S

Something I am trying to do (although I don’t always remember) is ‘bless’ my water or tea.  I essentially pray or send positive affirmations over my drink and then by drinking it, am taking those positive directly in my body.  The affirmations can be anything from having a good day to confidence, to security and protection, to creativity.  I find that it really, really helps.

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Beauty of steeping tea

During this time, I’m with the cats and have the diffuser going (currently ylang ylang for mood and frankincense for focus).  I often take this time to knit a little bit and just collect myself before the sun makes his grand appearance (which now is around 7 30).  Depending on how cold it is, there is usually a pressing matter that needs to be attended to.  Starting a fire.  I am always SO grateful when Jamie does this first thing.

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Mysterious fire starter
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Pangur Ban, waiting for the sun (i.e. for us to put food in his bowl)
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Knitting a little bit

B R E A K F A S T  & C H I C K E N S

Eating breakfast is another struggle of mine that I have only recently begun to conquer all thanks to something a wee bit weird… Our chickens!  I never felt like eating in the morning and waited until lunch ( completely aware of the damage this was doing to my day) or I would just snack on something really small.  But since we have had chickens, especially since November when the temperatures began to dip below 0, I have been making them hot oatmeal. I would make it for them first thing in the morning thinking “wow this is sooo good for them… they are going to have a great day!” and realizing… WHY am I not doing that for myself?  So I essentially started making a batch for me at the same time as the chickens.  The chickens get a little bit of a more rustic version.  I actually gave them the end of our beets the other day with oats and that made them very happy.

I usually eat before I go out to let the chickens out and feed them.  Since it’s been so cold, I have been giving them hot water in the morning too with a little bit of apple cider vinegar.  I hope to make a post about keeping chickens in a very cold climate, probably later this month!

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Oatmeal with cinnamon, a little bit of maple syrup and banana – for humans
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For the chickens ❤
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Too cold to come outside so they enjoyed some breakfast indoors!

K E E P I N G  H Y D R A T E D

Once the chickens have been fed, it’s time to start thinking about what needs to be done for the day.  I usually make a to do list the prior evening.  Today, it is Saturday so I am making a blog post (yay!).  Regardless, after breakfast and tea, I have a large mason jar of water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar to drink throughout the duration of the whole morning.

We made a large batch of apple cider vinegar this past fall so I feel very happy using our own.  It’s also SO easy to make and I highly recommend making it yourself if you are interested (especially if you have access to an apple tree… even a rogue apple tree that you have observed while walking past has many rotting – not used – apples lying about it).  Apple Cider Vinegar is extremely beneficial for your ~g u t~ which is the master of your overall health.

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Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar and Water

L A S T L Y

Henry girl (our dogg) and I go out for a walk.  This is the key really for me to have a good, productive day.  Walking, without headphones, early in the morning.  We often try to get out at around 8 am.  Since it’s the weekend, we will probably drive out to a trail somewhere later in the day but on weekdays when I’m working from home and Jamie is at work in town, we just walk the country roads around our home. I kind of consider the morning over when we get back.  It’s therapeutic even though I often have to force myself to get out, especially lately.  The wind and cold has been biting.

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Morning walk through the fields
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Out in the woods on a morning with with Henry

Rituals!  Simple rituals!  I am a creature of the home – a true cancerian – and need the stability of a solid morning ritual even if it’s just tea and breakfast and scents floating through the house.  This morning, I have some basic house and animal chores to do before I think I work on a drawing I had planned.  I give myself the freedom of not having a schedule on the weekends.

The sun is rising!  Peaking over the barn at the top of the hill by our house. Two cats are with me probably wondering why their food dishes are empty.  Pangur jumps to where my attention is directed, to the window, to the knitting basket.  I can hear Henry moving around upstairs ready to get up on this lazy, cold Saturday.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! **stay warm if you’re in a cold part of the world!  That is what we will be doing today (for the most part).

Julia

xo

 

**P S . I am thinking of starting a video blog – something very dull to most I am sure, but just to do little videos on what I’m working on etc, it would essentially be me just sitting there talking because I have NO knowledge of editing videos or anything.  Would love any feedback on this idea! **

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28 thoughts on “Winter Mornings ☽ 🌕 ☾

  1. What a delight getting a glimpse at your morning rituals! Your morning is rather like mine, although I have to feed 4 kids instead of chickens! I really want to make ACV now. YES to a vlog or video podcast!!!✨💛

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    1. Lol!! I think 4 kids is a much bigger task and you have animals as well!

      And yes, it is so easy, All you do is get a big jar, fill it 3/4 full with apples (peelings, core, what have you… a lot of people suggest making a pie and using all the leftover apple bits), cover it with * filtered * water, put a little bit of sugar in there and place cheese cloth on top so it can ~breathe~ I’m sure there are tons of old apple trees too in Southern Ontario (not sure about in the city though?). We take the dog on the weekends to walk along the confederation trail which is the old railway in PEI and it is lined with apple trees so next year I am going out there with those big apple baskets!! Can’t wait! And sorry for the long response – I get very excited about making Apple Cider Vinegar!

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  2. Thanks for the instructions. 🙂 I feel as though we could have a wonderful long conversation about apple cider vinegar alone, never mind loads of other things! One of the places where we go hiking has a lot of old apple trees with rotting apples which I always wan to collect but I’m never sure if the park rules allow it. But maybe next year some will find their way into my backpack!

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    1. Excellent! I’m glad to hear you do have an apple tree you can source your apples from. I’m sure the backpack will work perfectly and the park won’t mind at all 😉
      And I know, we would have so much to talk about from knitting to all kinds of DIY and history! Although, I can be very quiet and shy sometimes ^^

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  3. I love the way you live. I love the photos you take. You are so artistic. When I see your Instagram posts, or I read you blog, I feel such peace. Thank you for sharing. I would love to see a video- whether it is simply you sharing your day, or teaching the viewer about knitting, or just shooting the local landscape.

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    1. Thanks so much Meridith!

      I’m so glad you feel peace from the pictures that I take. That’s usually the driving emotion that I like to convey.

      I will hopefully have the means to make videos this week, although they will be pretty humble and nothing fancy ❤

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  4. Oh such a lovely read this morning of your last two blog posts.
    Thankyou for sharing snippets of your days/life. Even though we live in complete opposites of weather, world and so on, I can see many lovely inspiring similarities creatively ( I can’t knit very well at all, but I love your raw and honest closeness to the earth and your soul purpose/journey).
    Would love to see vids and here a voice to all your wonderful hard work and musings.
    Sorry this comment is so long
    Blessings from down under ( so hot here, but trying to embrace it as you do the bitter cold) ☀️❄️

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    1. Hi Eliza!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! I am absolutely thrilled that you enjoy reading my posts! I find it helpful keeping a blog just for organizing my thoughts and cementing my creative process. I love hearing from other artists as well, so thank you ❤

      I'm not sure I would trade the heat for the cold, but this morning I woke to a blizzard warning for the Island tonight… and tomorrow… into Tuesday (**sigh**). So today will be a gathering candles, making sure enough wood is in and getting groceries and prepping food to eat for power outages kind of day. Just when my heart and mind are turning to the idea of spring! Enjoy your warmth ❤

      Green Blessings
      Julia
      xo

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  5. Hearing about your life with nature around you brings me such joy! Getting up early in the morning to get started with your day is so satisfying and brings such a sense of accomplishment, does it not?
    I grew up in the countryside but have been living in the city for years since I started university, so these little glimpses into your life are so delightful. We finally moved into a house with a garden so we have been considering adding both cats and hens to the household. It is not very cold here at all, just very very wet and windy all year round (and there are no trees).
    Best wishes from Orkney and please do start video journaling, it would be lovely to see more from you!

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    1. Hi Emilie!

      Thanks so much for this lovely comment! Isn’t it wonderful to have a garden? I think that cats and hens are the perfect companions for a home, regardless of living in the country or not! You’re lucky that your city allows you to keep hens. I love, love, love having them as companions and would suggest it to anyone that likes animals and caring for animals (and also like to eat or bake with eggs ;)).

      And yes, if I feel like I didn’t really accomplish much in the day, I still feel a small sense of something positive from waking up early (and in turn falling asleep at like 9 30!)

      I’m curious about life in Orkney, I sometimes watch documentaries about the ancient stones and archaeology there ❤ I hope you enjoy it there and soon have cats and hens!

      Best from P E I
      Julia
      xo

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      1. There is a LOT of history here! Personally I’m here to study the Vikings but there is so much more here with standing stone and neolithic remains everywhere. Life here is very rural. The total population of Orkney is around 20 000 people, so even though I live in the biggest city on the islands it is not that big at all (probably a contributing factor as to why regulations on keeping animals in the garden were never really put in place). It is a wonderful place to visit as a tourist (a lot greener that Shetland) and with tons of wild animals and fascinating plants. They even have palms here.. not natively… but they do grow here.
        We are looking for a cat through the cats protection so it’s taking a while, and the hens would need a house, but hopefully it will all work out.

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  6. What a lovely glimpse into your life this is, and such beautiful photos, thank you for sharing this post. 😊 I’m also glad to see I’m not the only one who has a problematic relationship with coffee, I’ve become a recreational coffee drinker (one cup on weekend mornings) because it makes me jittery and wrecks my sleep, so I drink herbal teas Monday to Friday.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

      I am the very same way, perhaps I could also have a small cup just on Saturday mornings, but it would have to be very, very early because I am like you – it destroys any chance at a restful sleep! I now drink green and black tea in the morning but switch to just herbal at around 11 or 12. Never without tea ❤

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  7. I have been following you on Instagram for awhile but somehow, just today, realized you also have a blog. I have had a very enjoyable morning catching up and I look forward to future posts. Your landscape is similar to ours here in MN and I love all of your pics of nature. Knitting and book discussions are wonderful too!
    Thank you.

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    1. Hi Kris!

      Thanks so much for taking a moment of your day to stop by ❤ It really means a lot to me to hear from others on the blog as I feel like I put a little bigger piece of myself in writing and photographs, so thank you! I'm glad there are others that enjoy nature, knitting, books and all things small and handmade!

      Minnesota is so close to Canada as well, I think you get similar winters to us (i.e. fierce and unforgiving?). We have a blizzard in the forecast for tomorrow morning into Tuesday, such is life!

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  8. I just love your blog! I have been following you on IG for quite awhile, and love your outdoorsy posts, and your beautiful knitting. From one Cancer to another, I couldn’t agree more about the importance of morning routines, despite the difficulty of being consistent thanks to the ebb and flow of the moon, which changes my mood like the tide. 🙂 This Canadian girl appreciates everything you write about. 🙂 Keep up the amazing work.
    ~Rebecca
    @beckbehappy

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Rebecca! I am so incredibly happy that you relate to my posts and enjoy them<3

      You are so incredibly right that it's difficult to keep schedule because of the ebb and flow of the moon (especially for us cancers ;)). Perhaps we would do best if we kept the phases in consideration instead of being hard on ourselves when things don't turn out exactly as planned 🙂

      Your fellow Canadian, Zodiac Sister ❤

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  9. Such a lovely post! I’m on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer (June 21) but feel I’m definitely more of a Cancer. Those tiles around your fireplace are stunning. I really should dry our mint for tea. We have so much of growing in our garden. I brought it from Ontario from my moms garden and that mint came from from grandmothers garden. How long do you let the ACV sit? I think I’ll try making my own too. Yes!..to you doing a Vlog/podcast…you’ll be great at it. Thanks for a wonderful post. I always learn something from reading them.

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    1. Hey Rosemary 🙂

      We are born very close! My birthday is June 23rd, also on the cusp ** known as the cusp of magic ** You are lucky because you actually have the date of Midsummer eve 😉

      Mint is really a prolific grower, it’s one of those plants you need to be careful with or it might take over your garden! But it’s always so neat having generational plants, something I love about them. Last fall, I did my best to dig up our mint because I knew it would just explode next year if I didn’t and that there would be no way I would get all the plants. But it is lovely for tea, the best!

      The Apple Cider Vinegar sits for around 4 weeks. One batch I had it sitting though for about 2-3 months (mostly because I was lazy). But the longer they sit, the larger the mother grows (the beneficial aid to fermenting process – it’s full of healthful minerals and enzymes and is similar to the scoby of Kombucha).

      Thanks so much for the encouragement on starting a vlog! I might be a little in over my head for that one!

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  10. Thank you for sharing snippets of your life with us, am always fascinated by island life especially. Interesting to hear how you are affected by coffee, I have suffered with insomnia of late and am wondering if it is because I have had a cup during the day – will have to take notice in future. Can I enquire how much apple cider vinegar you add to your jar of water. Oh and a definite yes to a vlog.
    Regards Jane

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    1. Hi Jane,

      Of course you can ask away! I just add about one cap full. I actually like the taste of it, so sometimes I add a little more. Also, make sure you are using an organic apple cider vinegar since it still contains the mother!

      And coffee is actually my enemy 😦 Settling down now with lavender and chamomile tea.

      I’ll do my best with a vlog although, it won’t be anything fancy what so ever!

      Julia
      xo

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Julia will definitely try some ACV. I laughed when you described your first vlog attempt which was sabatoged by one of your cats. Hope you are keeping warm and I really like your new Lopi sweater, am starting to get a thing for the brown and grey colour combo.

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