The Situation

Amazing Outdoor AdventureI’m just a single woman with 3 dogs, who loves the outdoors, spent most of my adult life working in it, and also crossed into other areas of business that deeply broadened my knowledge and expertise beyond the hunt-fish-camp business arena.

Needless to say I’ve been into a routine for a number of years that has provided me a decent living, an opportunity to travel beautiful south west Minnesota, and work with an amazing collection of people whom I cherish beyond being customers and colleagues. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.  I face the challenges put forth to me each day with a can-do attitude, and give my best to everyone and in everything I do.  The downside is a little disparity between what I want to accomplish, and what I actually can. Work comes first and everything else has to fall in place after.  It’s the routine I’ve come to accept.  Until now.  Did I hear someone say it’s time for an adventure?

What If?

Bucket of Limitless PossibilitiesFirst quarter 2012 proved to be especially challenging for me. An injury I endured all fall wasn’t getting any better, resulting in Doctor visits and treatments that ended up going on for months. So did the bills.

Then my prized hunting partner–the four-legged man of the house–became very ill, almost died, and required hundreds of dollars of treatment and surgery to bring him back to prime condition.

Then one of my sweet little Lhasa girls went lame with a ruptured ACL and required surgery followed by months of recovery–and bills.  Throughout this chaos the demands of work remained constant.  The demands of my personal life remained unaddressed.  If this was any indication of what was in store for me the rest of the year…..

Then in second quarter, the epiphany came.  WHAT IF?  What if I only had 5 years left?  What if I only had a year left?  What if this is my boys last good year in the field?  It jolted me into a new perspective.  Would I have any regrets?  I realized I was at a crossroads and didn’t like what I saw.

Time for a bucket list, and a plan.  We get one pass through life and everything wonderful about it is there for us if we choose to go get it.  The possibilities are endless!

Tips and Tricks, Gear and Gadgets and Getaways Ohhh My!

Whats NewsWhen it comes to the outdoors, there are times when I have to have the latest whatsit whizmo deelie, and other times when I am not giving up until I create some nutty homemade contraption on my own.  Admittedly, sometimes, my ideas need a little massage….but there are plenty of times when I’m pure genius.  (ok maybe not exactly genius).  If it’s new to me, and I’ve tried it with great success, this is where you’ll hear about it.

In addition, this is where upcoming opportunities and adventures will be listed, news and events.  Someone once said “if you build it, they will come”.    Calling all adventurers!

Diary of a Food Baby

Killer Cookin PR Brady AdventuresThere’s food and then there’s food.

Fast food.  Not my idea of a good time.  Been there and done that. And with that routine came less energy, more pounds, and decreased health.

I’m a food baby.  I love food.  My idea of food is real home cooked food, and I love to make it.  Dad was a baker, and also big into ethnic cooking from his roots in the Ukraine.  He taught me well.  Being the creative person that I am, now I dabble with an array cooking techniques of my own, often with his wonderful influence.

People tell me I’m a good cook.  I’ve made meals for groups of 150 people.  Some of my favorite dishes are of course …come to think of it, what food isn’t a favorite? And the best twist is to be able to serve something up from the wild that I dispatched myself.

This space is reserved for fellow foodies, to enjoy a new spin on an old favorite or a new spin on what could be a new favorite!

The Outdoors Way

Words from Wild PR Brady AdventuresIf you need time in the outdoors like you need air to breathe, you know where I’m coming from.  If you don’t,  perhaps this section will help you better understand those of us who do.  Or maybe inspire you to become one of us. This space is saved to describe and express those “never enough” moments that bring me back to what matters most.

I’m Just Sayin’…

Girl Outdoors PR Brady AdventuresWhile this page is referred to as Girl Outdoors it isn’t necessarily restricted to girls only.  I don’t tend to have many traditional girl-like interests, but we ladies stick together regardless of our personal interests, because, well that’s what we do. Some of my female friends struggle to understand my passion for the outdoors, and sometimes they don’t understand my career oriented passion either.  In actuality, the same could be said of men.

I’m often asked.  “Where do you get your strength?”  At the end of the day, it all comes down to being ok with who you are, where you are, and why you are.  Having faith.  Trusting the system.  Believing.  Getting back up again, and again.  All that and a pot of coffee is usually a good start for me.

Whether it’s a home life, health, social or business setting, we can face some hard core challenges.  And how many of us were sent out into the world with an Easy button to help with those trying times?

I’m a firm believer that with knowledge comes power.  This space is reserved for the female persuasion in particular, and speaks primarily to those things we can identify with, along with gentle reminders that “you’ve got the power.”    I’m just sayin’…

Business Tidbits, Acumen and Observations

Its Just BusinessSome people are blessed with a simplified life.  I’m not really one of those people.  My background and interests are very diverse.  I’ve been engaged in many aspects of business over the years, have learned many things, shared a few ideas, made some mistakes, made some progress, made some money, and helped some folks along the way.

I bring to the table a level of business acumen that is not often seen today.  I commit, I own, I get results.  I subscribe to being a lifelong learner.  One of the things I enjoy most is helping others reach their potential—it often helps me to get closer to mine as well!  Topics that you may see on this page include things like Best Practices, The Black Box, Conflict and Resolution, Marketing Magic, Customer Service Solutions, Behavior in Business, Forward Thinking for Success Today.

PR’s Cakes N Steaks

Who says pancakes are just for breakfast? Not me!  Heck no, I love this fruity nutty recipe.  This tasty meal is a super lunch or dinner entrée that fills the tummy on a brisk fall day.

The Steaks:

  • 4 pork loin steaks
  • 1T EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Coat the steaks in EVOO, then lightly salt and pepper all sides, and let rest for 1hour.

Place in a preheated oven at 375 for 40 minutes or until done.

Cakes for 4 people:

  • Your favorite brand of pancake mix
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 3T sugar
  • 1 C grated apple

Follow the package directions to make pancake batter for 4 servings.

Add the remaining ingredients to the batter stir in to blend.

Drop spoonful’s of the batter onto a hot, oiled griddle or skillet.  When bubbles start to form flip the cakes over and brown the other side until they are done.  It only takes a couple minutes, so don’t walk away!

The Secret Sauce:

  • ¼ C Dark Syrup
  • ½ C Maple Syrup
  • 1T Nutmeg
  • 3 peeled, cored and diced apples
  • ½ t salt
  • 2T butter
  • 1C crushed walnuts

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat

Add apples and salt and cook for 5 minutes

Add the syrups and walnuts, cook another 3 – 5 minutes until sauce begins to caramelize and thicken.

Place 1 steak and several cakes on a plate and drizzle that chunky sauce over both. SOOOOOO good!  I like to add some dark green veggies to the plate like steamed broccoli for balance.  Serves 4 people.

Killer Cookin PR Brady AdventuresThank you for reading my post. Does this recipe sound yummy?  If you try it out let me know what you think! All comments are greatly appreciated.  Check out more great recipes under my Killer Cookin’ blog category, and if you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. There’s a place to do that right on my home page.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

Road To Wellness – An Update

Well, it’s been 15 months since I woke up to my right leg blown up like a balloon, unable to walk, constant level 10 pain, eventually discovering a short list of big issues that would prevent me from making a living, or doing just about anything I love to do.

But today I’m doing much better.

I’ve gone from a frustrating and painful hour of micro-mini exercises in bed in order to get out of bed every single day, to a simple “hello morning!” stretch, then off to a “real” workout routine on my yoga mat or at the gym.

That means yes, I can now get down on the floor and back up without it being an act of congress. And I can take a flight of stairs in a few seconds instead of 4 dreadfully painful minutes.

I can sit cross legged for the first time in a year!

I can wash dishes or prepare a meal without having to sit or lay down every 5 minutes to alleviate the pain and numbness in my hands, arms, shoulders, back, right hip and leg.

I can walk from the parking lot to the store, or most any distance, without a limp and without holding my right hip in place.

I have even been known to get out on the dance floor, or take the hula hoop out for a short spin…..

These changes are almost surreal to me. I do believe in miracles.

My health situation forced me to make changes that I initially fought like mad, but now I’m learning to work and play well with them. They say everything happens for a reason. Perhaps my body decided I needed this down time.  Perhaps I needed to slow down, and re-assess everything about my life. This little “bump in the road” has brought me back to the basics of what’s most meaningful to me—things that I somehow let drift away in the midst of running myself ragged with “doing”.

It’s been a long, painful haul, and the journey is certainly not over. Admittedly, I may have an occasional set back but it does not last long. 

I’m bouncing back. I’m on the road to wellness.  I continue on with bold determination.

Imagine that November 1st, one year ago today I sat on an exam table in excruciating pain, being told by an orthopedic surgeon that besides all sorts of problems that are NOT his specialty, I would need a hip replacement within one year. Well.  Good thing I didn’t take that awful conversation to heart.  He was wrong.  Here I am today, showing virtually no signs of needing anything replaced, and getting better every day.  And no thanks to that guy!

I sought many alternative methodologies over the past 15 months. Some of them are bringing me surprisingly fantastic results.  Along the way I’ve had dozens upon dozens of “ah-ha” moments, and sad realizations. Life lessons have unfolded before me that have helped me cope with far more than just the frustration of my body not performing at 100%.

While I’m still not completely “fixed”, at least I’m not down for the count. And I’m hopeful that I will eventually be back to 100%, whatever that ends up meaning for me.  I’ll be sharing some of the amazing things I’ve returned to, discovered, and incorporated into my new “wellness program” during this journey over the upcoming months.  For now, I leave you with these simple bits of hope and truth:

  • No matter how bad you think things are for you, they are absolutely worse for someone else.
  • There are more examples of a person’s value and worth than you could ever come up with on your own, so stop judging yourself.
  • Constant complaining about the same old shit does nothing positive or helpful or useful for you or anyone else who has to politely try to hear it.
  • As frustrating as it is to listen to countless do-gooder’s “self-proclaimed medical expert diagnosis” of your problems, take a breath and be patient—remember they are only trying to help.
  • Just because it was a certain way twenty, or ten, two years ago, doesn’t mean it’s that way now. Everything changes over time.
  • The more idle time you have on your hands, the more room there is for unnecessary worrying and negativity.
  • Whatever you aren’t able to get done now, will still be there waiting for you later…unless some kind soul decides to give you a hand and helps you with it.
  • Every time you choose not to at least consider an unorthodox alternative, you’ve lost a potential opportunity for positive change.
  • Lower your expectations and raise awareness of your accomplishments. Little things can also be big.
  • Sometimes it’s best to just let your body rest. And rest.  And rest.
  • Thirty minutes of intentional meditation is far more productive than hours of simply sitting around overthinking stuff on the couch.
  • Animals have super-powers we will never come to understand.
  • WE, too, have powers that most of us will never understand.
  • Positive thinking can be every bit as impactful as traditional medical treatments.
  • Manifest destiny is real.
  • Stubbornness and fortitude are sometimes confusing in-the-moment. Pick and choose your battles.
  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • Never assume people understand the pain you are in or know how you feel. Never assume they don’t, either.
  • Believe and trust that you are not alone. Your higher power is always on call and ready to assist.
  • Pain is an energy drain so severe, it can cloud your reasoning, change your personality, and slow you down to a dead stop. Smart choices will keep your mind fully charged, which will help your body persevere as well.
  • The people who truly care will still be there no matter what. As for the rest, consider how much of your very limited energy you want to spend trying to figure them out.
  • You are not a powerless victim. Everything about what you do next is a choice you have the power to make.
  • Not making a decision IS, in fact, making a decision. And it is yours alone to make.
  • You won’t know if you don’t try.
  • Never settle. Never give in.  Never give up.
  • Today is always replaced by tomorrow. Move forward, and leave the past behind.

Thank you for reading my post. Was it inspiring?  Scary?  Funny?  Unbelievable? Just plain weird?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  Life is an adventure—good or bad, and it begins today!  There are lots of inspirational stories under my blog category, “PRs Amazing Outdoor Adventure Update”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my home page.  As always, please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!

 

I Am Jack–Angel Jack

Hello this is Jack! I am a good boy!  I am an excellent hunter, and up here I’m a great angel, too!  Yes, today makes it one whole year since I floated away in my humans arms and went up to heaven. I remember I was tired and in pain and we were looking into each others eyes and she was petting me and calling me Sweet Boy and then she faded away and the next thing I knew I had no pain at all and I was with Buddy, and Sweet Pea and Zeke and Precious, and Smokey and all of the many fur and feather babies that my human has loved over the years and we’ve been running around in a beautiful grassy park ever since.

But I’ve been keeping an eye on my human. She’s had a very hard time this past year.  I’ve tried to visit her in dreams, to comfort her and tell her I’m okay.  She loves hard, and forever, and sometimes has a hard time moving on. So I just couldn’t stay away today.  I’m here to bring her a special message.

 

Hello my human!  It’s me, Jack!  I miss you too!  I know.  I know.  I wish we had more time, too.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  But the time we did have was the BEST!  You made me so happy!  I love you!  I adore you!  Please don’t be sad any more.  It makes me sad too.  I am always with you in your heart.  I know you can feel it.

I know it’s been hard for you. I watch you.  I love to be in your heart.  We all do.

So you have to know that my back disease wasn’t your fault. None of it was your fault. You need to know that. It’s okay.  When I look back to a year ago, I know you did your very best for me.  Remember how sick you were?  It was so hot.  You coughed and coughed.  You hadn’t slept in weeks.  Yet you found the strength to try to take care of me, and everyone else.

Remember how hard it was to pick me up and get me outside? You braced yourself up against the wall and lifted my broken body into your chest, barely making it down the steps of our home on wheels.  I know that really hurt.  I saw your tears.  But you never complained.  You just held my back end up in the yard so I wouldn’t pee on myself.  You carried me in and out for many, many days.

You tried to make my medicine taste good and gave me special treats even when I didn’t feel like eating them. You kept my sores and “sick bed” clean and dry.  You sat with me and told me what a good boy I was when I felt so terrible and sad.  You didn’t let that man take me and “put me down”.

Not every human would have done that. Not every human would have tried so hard.  Not every human would have kept so much hope and determination.  I will always love you for that—you were the best!

I’m very grateful for every minute of our time together. I would not want to have been with any other human.  I’m so grateful, too, that my original human gave me to you.  She was smart and good and she sure knew what she was doing, even though I was scared to go with you at first.  She knew we were meant to be together. 

Even though it was only for a year and a half, we had many wonderful adventures I’ll cherish forever. Laying on the soft couch, the smell of your cooking, all those cushy toys to put in my mouth, riding in the truck, hunting the birds, that skunk, swimming in the big ocean water, running free on the farm, pointing the lizards and chasing those long skinny legged birds, all of those bones and chews, curling up with you on that big chair…..my life with you was pure joy. Never did get on board with those two female dust mops though.

Yes. For me, our time was perfect.  I want you to think so too.  Remember the good stuff, my loving human, just the good stuff.

The last thing I’ll say is that I am an excellent hunter and so are you. All of us up here that have shared in your life feel the same way. We all want to see you celebrating the outdoors again.   It’s time.  You need to open your heart to a new hunting partner.  You have plenty of room in that great big heart.  Buddy and I want you to.  So do it.  Go hunting this fall.  Find a good boy or girl, and spend the summer together getting ready to chase birds all fall.  They will stand at your side and adore you just like we all do.  Please promise you’ll make new adventures and memories and share your heart again.

Well, it looks like I’m wanted back upstairs. I gotta say, the birds up here are fantastic, and there’s no limits!

Always, your Jack

 

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. You can read all about the adventures me and my human PR had together in the outdoors… I wrote lots of stories under “I AM JACK” in her blog category, “Words From The Wild”. I was careful not to have many typos.  I am a good boy!  If you like what you see, please let her know by “liking” her website. (She says it’s important to get “likes”, whatever that means.  I know I like her lots!) You can even join her tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. Please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in our journey together, and PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again,   Jack.

(Jean’s) Venison Chow Mein

Once upon a time my Christmas’s were comprised of a long drive to a small town, and a weekend gathering with my “in-laws”. It was a wonderful tradition that started with Jean’s famous Christmas Eve Chow Mein dinner. She made the best Chow Mein. I never asked her for her recipe, but I spent years trying to replicate the amazing taste I recalled from those special years. It broke my heart to learn she had passed.  Although her son and I were avid bowhunters with venison galore, I know that’s not what she used. This Christmas Eve, I dedicate to fond memories of Jean and my best try at her amazing Chow Mein—just a little bit on the wild side.

1 lb Ground Venison

4T Soy Sauce

4T Dry Sherry

4 stalks celery sliced at a 1/4“ diagonal

2 onions, chopped

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced thin

1 green pepper, chopped

1 8 oz package fresh bean sprouts

5 T EVOO

1 C Beef Broth

2 T Corn Starch

3 T Oyster Sauce

3 T Beef Bouillon

2 C uncooked white rice

  • Combine soy and sherry in a cup and divide.
  • Place half the mixture in a glass bowl, add the ground venison, 1 T of EVOO, and mix well. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour.
  • Prepare the rice in the rice cooker.*
  • Chop up all the veggies as needed.
  • Heat 2T EVOO and stir fry onions 1 minute in a large fry pan or wok. Add in the celery, green pepper, mushrooms and sprouts and stir fry until the veggies begin to soften—about 2 minutes, then remove from the pan.
  • Blend the broth, oyster sauce, bouillon, remaining soy and sherry, and cornstarch in a 4 cup glass measure and stir until the cornstarch is lump free.
  • Brown the burger in 2T EVOO (about 5 minutes should do it).
  • Turn the heat up to medium.
  • Stir in the liquid mixture, cover and simmer about 15 minutes until it becomes a thick gravy.
  • Uncover, add the veggies back into the pan, and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through and tender.  

Serve with hot rice, Chow Mein Noodles and Soy Sauce. Makes enough for 6 – 8 people. Merry Christmas!

*if you don’t have a rice cooker, place the rice into a 3 quart saucepan or soup pot. Add 4 cups water, 1T EVOO, and 1t salt. Cook over high heat until it is brought to boil, then cover pot and simmer about 25 minutes (check after 15). Let the rice stand for about 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Does this recipe sound yummy? If you try it out let me know what you think! All comments are greatly appreciated. Check out more great recipes under my Killer Cookin’ blog category, and if you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. There’s a place to do that right on my home page. As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures! Thanks again!

 

 

Creepy Crawley Christmas

 

This past autumn has been so very hard. Missing Jack. Unable to go hunting. Watching the leaves turn from my back yard instead of from endless woods full of birds and bucks.

My hunting season has been reduced to closing my eyes and remembering past experiences. Just not the same thing.  Temperatures hovered at unusual highs in early November, offering me many opportunities to escape to a warmer, friendlier place.

But I couldn’t leave. Health problems were stubbornly hanging onto me in defiance. I couldn’t drive.  I couldn’t go.

I had to accept the harsh reality that I’m likely not going anywhere warm any time soon. Life is changing for me, indeed. And ohhh, to have to face a Minnesota winter.

It’s been so long!

Winter without palm trees and beaches and warm sunny skies.

What is there left to do but make the best of it?

One morning, with great reluctance I finally stepped into the cold wintery outside and made my way to the side of the trailer, unlocking the door. My Toy Hauler was dark, creaking and freezing inside, so I quickly jumped in, dug out my Christmas tree and decorations, and carried the whole works into my living room.

Yup, I’m setting up my tree.

With a heavy sigh I carefully transported several light boxes of delicate Christmas baubles to the front window area, then began pulling my dainty “toy hauler size” tree out of its box. It was cold and stiff.  It’s little artificial branches were hugging tight to the trunk, not very willing to open up into place.  I pulled and separated the 3 sections onto the floor, then fit the base sections into their slots so the tree would stand freely.  This brave little tree has not known cold.  It has traveled the country with me to warm weather destinations, standing proud amidst the palm trees and tropical plants in 60 and 70 degree temperatures, never complaining.  As I fit the middle to the base, then the top to the middle, I recalled the strange feeling of our first Christmas in Florida.

In a tent. On the east coast.

Yes, many precious memories with this tree. I began fussing with the flattened branches to open them up and breathe some life into my little tree. Finding the plugs for the lights, I spun the sections to line up plugs, then tested out the lights.  All working perfect!  I returned to opening up branches, looking into the clusters of squished boughs for any sign of wear or breakage.

‘My how this tree has toughed out the last few years. It still looks pretty good.’

Picking at the branches accidently bent over in transit, my attention was split between the tree, and wondering about dinner, when suddenly, about half way up the tree, right next to my left hand, appeared without warning………a….

SPIDER!                !

Instantly, with feet peddling a mile a minute, I was rocketing backwards. My reflexes automatically reached for something (the tree) to stop me (from falling) realizing I was too late (and hit the floor) landing hard and still scrambling to get some distance between me and that creature infested tree! I pushed myself away so fast that I took down a box of ornaments from the chair, causing shiny round orbs to roll all over the floor.  OH did I mention that I was pretty much screaming the whole way down?

That spider was mega huge.

I went from the desperate attempt to place distance between me and the tree, to frantically brushing myself off and shaking my head to release any other potential critters that were hiding out in those fake branches waiting to attack me, crawling away as best I could.

I made it to the other side of the room—without crushing any of the escaped ornaments. Out of breath and out of sorts, I stood up and did a little pacing in the dining room, trying to get my composure back.  I need to dispatch the spider.

Relax. Take a breath.

I grabbed the broom and cautiously approached the tree, peering into its branches from a safe distance. Didn’t see anything moving anywhere.  Thinking maybe it’s on the underside of the tree, I tried erecting the tree back up with help from the broomstick—causing the base pieces to fall out of place.

‘OH no, I have to get under the tree and fix the stand!’

I tipped the tree to lean into the window, fixed the base pieces, and the tree fell into it’s proper place again. I peered intently into the tree—looking for signs of life.

ARAGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ran back to the dining room screaming.

You have to realize, this isn’t your every day run of the mill spider. No, this is a Florida spider—they can close up a walking path with a web in a matter of hours and catch unsuspecting birds and animals in it….some of them can carry a small child away…well maybe now I’m being a little melodramatic….but still!  That thing was huge!

I creped back over to the tree, just out of arms reach and peered again into the bristly branches. There it was. I stared, and stared, and stared at the hairy legged beast, waiting for it to make it’s move.  I rustled the tree with the broom just a little bit.

Hmmm, is that a broken leg?

Hmmm, is it missing a leg?

It’s just sitting there.

OH my God how many more are in my trailer.

Um….is it alive?

I shook the tree again, and it took its first lunge for me. It headed down the tree and hit the floor.

OH MY GOD IT’S ON THE FLOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I ran into the kitchen screaming.

By now, both of my dust mop dogs are highly curious about what’s happening. Sunny Girl is wandering closer and closer to the tree with a metal ornament stuck in her tail hair.  From across the room I cry out for her to get away as she gets right up close to the spider.  I have to rescue my little girl, so I dash in and scoop her up and away.

The spider didn’t move.

It’s just right there on the floor.

Beginning to think it’s actually not alive.

Beginning to feel a tad silly.

Ah yes, the rugged outdoorswoman.

Oh it’s times like these I’m glad there are no witnesses.

After a thorough inspection from a distance, I reach the conclusion that nope, the spider is not alive. I surveyed the mess I made trying to get away from the dead spider.  Wow.  I wonder how long that thing was able to stay alive in the box?  When did that thing get into the box?  I have more boxes…..oh dear.  I mustered up the courage to scoop that monstrous being onto a piece of newspaper, then placed him on a metal tin for “show and tell”.

Needless to say my tree decorating efforts came to a complete halt for the rest of the day. Finally got the tree trimmed that night, while keeping a sharp eye out for anything moving that shouldn’t be.  Have had several false alarms, thinking I saw something in the tree…or on the floor….and have had a couple dreams that I’d like to un-dream.  It’s one thing to have keepsakes of places you’ve been to that you’d like to remember.  It’s a whole different matter to have  fond memories of a Creepy Crawley Christmas!

 

Words from Wild PR Brady AdventuresThank you for reading my post. What are you most passionate about? What makes your soul sing? I’d love to hear about it!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  For me, it’s any time I can be immersed in nature! I love to ‘get wild, rugged, and dirty’, so to speak.  You can get up close and personal to the great outdoors through many of my observations and experiences in my blog category, “Words From The Wild”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find meaning and value in the outdoors from this outdoorswoman’s perspective, and PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!

Merry Christmas To All

Facebook is quite a tool. It’s a great way to share news, and find out what’s going on with your friends and family instead of actually spending time with them.  It’s a great way to read between the lines and find out more about someone.  At times, there’s no need to read between the lines—some posts can be un-mistakenly clear.

Yes, Facebook sure can be a tool, and a weapon. A place to blast people that may or may not even know you, with criticism or judgement.  Once in a great while, I’ve put a big toe out there and chimed in on something personally important to me, only to have that toe snapped off by someone who disagrees—letting me know about it both barrels.

I’ve been holding out, and holding out, and trying to stay on that tightrope of not speaking out of turn so I can keep all my toes. Well, I guess today I felt like being offensive.  So here it is:

MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

JOY TO THE WORLD!

PEACE ON EARTH!

MER-RY CHRIST-MAS!

Ha! How’s that for being totally inappropriate and offensive?  Well, screw it, it’s Christmas and I’m celebrating a beautiful time of the year and don’t give a gnat’s ass who it offends!  You want somma this?  Come and get it.

 

I intend to stand tall and shout out:

“Merry Merry Merry Christmas to ALL!”

PERIOD!

It is simply tragic that our country has allowed religion to be all about politics, judgement, suspicion, money, and who’s infringing on who’s rights. For the life of me I cannot understand or appreciate how our culture seems to be moving so very far away from allowing the expression of faith. NO matter WHAT a human believes, the origin of that belief stems from a human thought, communicated to another human.  Scripture can be interpreted in a good or bad light with any religion.  Yet, somehow the Christian faith is being called out on the chopping block.

Seriously… what? It’s not politically correct to say Merry Christmas anymore?

Tragic indeed. And, utter bullshit.

Intolerance of faith is simply intolerable.

Yup I’m here to say loud and proud———

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

There was a time I practiced Existentialism. There was a time I practiced Buddhism, I studied Islam, embraced Judaism, Christianity, joined the ranks of Hinduism, Mysticism….my life journey has included walking many different paths, searching for a broader meaning in life, and believing in something greater than me.  Consequently it’s easy for me to appreciate that all faiths have merit—there’s room for them all.

At the same time, I keep in mind that the United States of America was founded on Christianity. The first settlers needed a blueprint to follow as a civilized society.  Giving thanks, showing respect, encouraging fellowship and stewardship.  What in the world is so dreadful with having just a smidgeon of that influence for a foundation? I disagree things need to be “changed” to represent the current times.  I am straight up grateful there’s still an outlet for the many, many people who still would otherwise have no blueprint, and am befuddled by those who would like to strip it away.  I am able to express my own faith without feeling somehow infringed upon by seeing signs of Christianity and the melting pot of other options out there– why can’t others?

Even though I am not a participant of organized religion, I support ‘Amen’. I support continuing the “In God We Trust” message.  I support allowing kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with hand over heart.  I support saying out loud “Merry Christmas!” and appreciating everything it stands for.  Why?  Because I am strong enough in my own beliefs to be gracious, understanding and aware of the need to offer a “starter story”.  Christianity has been a good story to believe in—and many people continue to need a story.  Without it, there may be no built in core belief system for countless lives, young and old, to turn to, to learn, develop and instill important building blocks that encourage healthy ethics, morals and values.  Christianity continues to be a worthy means to bring people together in unity.

At the end of the day, no religion, no spirit, no human, no anything is perfect. Not a one of us has the right to judge or define faith for all.  One of the great things about our country is that we do have a melting pot of religions and spirituality directions and the freedom of choice.  Personally, I feel like once you have a positive foundation, if one specific path doesn’t move you, there are always options.  We all have the ability to choose what we want to believe in as individuals, while still respecting others choices.

For me, the difference is that I firmly believe in the need for a basic core foundation to start with. Just take a look at the hundreds of people who reach out in their most desperate hour and enter into the MN Adult and Teen Challenge program. There’s no denying that embracing Christianity changes lives for the better.

If a person needs to believe in a God or Goddess or some supreme being in order to live right and do right, I’m all for it. If they can be a stellar person simply by believing in the importance of choosing good over bad, that’s great too.  If you find your path by meditating on a concrete statue of a fat belly bald guy, go for it.   If, like me, you find your faith in the middle of a quiet forest with nature, looking up at a grand pine tree, that’s simply fabulous.  If your God says Jesus is “just a guy”, well fantastic—maybe he was.  If your God tells you to cover your body in public, then wrap it up, baby!  If you are satisfied believing in “nothing” but free will, well, okay then.

But December is a very special time. It is Hanukkah, and the birthday of Jesus, the son of God.  It’s the time for Christians all around the world to celebrate belief in an amazing story of miracles, and hope.  A story that deserves to be shared openly, without apology, or fear of insulting someone.

So,

Joy to the World,

Peace On Earth and

Merry Christmas to All!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

 

Chicken Curry In A Hurry

If you love curry and love making crowd pleasing good food fast, grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocer and whip up a batch of this tasty treat. Great for get-togethers any time of the year.

1 whole cooked chicken – shredded or cubed*

1 16 oz package of your favorite pasta noodles – I like macaroni or bow tie shaped ones best!

6 – 8 carrots –shredded

1 C vanilla yogurtchickencurryinahurry

1 C sour cream

2 green peppers – diced

1 onion chopped

1 T curry powder

1 t salt

1/2 t EVOO **

Instructions:

  • Prepare noodles per package directions. While noodles are boiling:
  • Shred chicken and carrots, chop onion, dice the peppers and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine yogurt, sour cream, curry powder and salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Drain the cooked noodles and add to the sauce mixture, stirring to coat noodles completely.
  • Fold in the chicken, carrots, onion and peppers.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate for an hour prior to serving.  Makes enough for 8 – 10 people or more

*you can roast a whole bird in the oven at 350 for about an hour or purchase a cooked rotisserie bird.

**try adding EVOO to the noodle pot—it will keep the water from boiling over the top!

Thank you for reading my post. Does this recipe sound yummy? If you try it out let me know what you think! All comments are greatly appreciated. Check out more great recipes under my Killer Cookin’ blog category, and if you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. There’s a place to do that right on my home page. As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures! Thanks again!

Plans, Advocates, and Injections

As the years end approaches, a force much greater than I continues to hold me to a new adventure. One I haven’t wanted to hear.

One I haven’t wanted to believe.

One I haven’t wanted to participate in.

I have my own ideas, my own plans.

But,

Apparently I’ve been usurped.

Ohhh my plan was amazing. It started with re-connecting and indulging in a passion of mine that has been left dormant for over 20 years.  I wanted to step back into that joy—even if only as a part time experience—to prove to myself that I could still do it, and do plansadvocatesinjectionssomething that I loved to do.  What a perfect set up—to combine part of my time focused on my business (my main passion) with the resurrection of unused skills from a lifetime ago.

Sadly, after a very short time of stepping back into it…..BAM!

Without warning, for no apparent reason, straight out of the blue, my whole plan came crashing down around me. Without my input or consent, my amazing plan was “re-written” for me.  Now, I did not go down without a fight mind you!  I tried to hang in there….act as if I was okay…..I would push and push to keep going each day, and try, try try to convince myself it wasn’t happening.  But eventually resistance was futile.

And now, here I am, finally sharing my unwanted adventure after months of being on it.

Yes, apparently I’m to embark on a new adventure, struggling with hip, low back and upper back and neck pain that has brought me to my knees and forced me to stop doing pretty much everything I live for. No hunting.  No travel.  No dancing.  No working out.  No flitting about town. No nothing.

Instead of living my life with joy and passion, I’ve spent months held hostage by massive physical pain, and all of the debilitating symptoms that go with it. How can this be happening? After all, I’m only 23 (wink wink)!  This can’t be happening to me!

You’d never know it to look at me.

There is no blood, no cuts or bruises, no missing limbs or casts or anything to give you the idea something’s wrong. At first glance I appear to look just fine.

Unless you look into my eyes, to see the tension, the tiredness, the exhaustion, the sadness of not being able to get up and go the way I get up and go. Or watch me try to do just about anything.

“What’s your pain level?”

On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d give it a strong 11.5 most of the time.

Waking up fearful and with screaming pain each morning—will I be able to get myself out of bed? Or is this the day I will have to call 911? Is my low back going to snap in half and leave me in a heap on the floor before I make it across the room?  Not being able to feel my hands most of the day.  It’s a monumental effort to sit down, stand up, bend over, and on, and on.  This pain has been draining.  It has drained me of energy.  Drained me of caring.  Drained me of “fight”.  Entirely depressing.

Then there’s the slew of Doctor and Chiropractor visits, alternative medicine, meditation, the X-rays and MRI’s and finally, physical therapy at Courage Kenny. The thing about being stricken with pain issues in multiple locations is, each can be independent, yet compounding each other, making diagnosis and treatment very difficult.   “You’ve got some narrowing of the nerve endings and arthritis….you ARE getting older you know….”  But how does that explain this sharp horrific pain? Tears, spasms, inflammation, degeneration. No, no, no I can’t accept this!  I’m 23, remember?  Every time I move I could scream!  So physical therapy seemed pretty useless.  And being so drained, it’s hard to have the wear-with-all to accurately or specifically describe exactly what you feel and where to the right person at the right time to get results. Keep trying, until you just can’t anymore.  I definitely reached that point of “I. Just. Can’t. Any. More.”

Thank goodness for June, Randy, Susie, Joy and Paula, Caring friends who stepped up as my advocates when I could not. How easily I could have just gave up and melted into the world of everlasting chronic pain without them.  But no, they heard me.  They saw me.  They knew this suffocating pain was not me, and held me up, guiding me to push for better answers from the Doctors when I was so overwhelmed with pain I couldn’t think straight.  Between them, and the amazing Physical Therapists at Courage Kenny, I finally had the strength to question my situation further to get to the bottom of what’s wrong.

After one more MRI and an Orthopedic Surgeon visit, it was determined I needed a hip injection.  A simple procedure of injecting a dose of steroids with a mile long needle stuck into my right hip.  Sounds awful, but hey, I suppose as long as you don’t LOOK at it being done….

I secured the first available appointment-thankfully only a couple days later. On Friday November 4th I was in and out with my steroid filled right hip in about an hour.

Feeling groovy.

Feeling like brand new—except for the residual fuzzy nova Cain buzzing in my right leg.

For the next week I was pretty much entirely PAIN free!

Everywhere!

I mean, EVERYWHERE!

Hey—I’m 23 again!

Who knew one simple hip injection would cure ALL of my woes! No more burning pain in my neck and shoulders.  I could feel my hands and arms.  No more stabbing pain in my low back.  My hip felt GREAT!  I could walk without limping.  No more holding pressure on my groin to take a step without screaming pain. Physical therapy seemed helpful!  What a miracle!  I started working on my plan again, with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

The removal of pain after being completely pummeled with it for months can cause a person to not think completely rationally….

I tried to revisit my plan to get back to pursuing my long lost passion that next week; you know, just ease back in slowly.  In all my excitement and naivety I thought I could just jump back in, only to be strongly advised to wait until the injection had a chance to reach its full effect.  Wait to ensure the results are long lasting.  Just slow down and give this some time.  Just 10 days.

Okay, fine. I’ll wait.

This adventure has forced me to address a great personal challenge. Waiting.  When it comes to living, and celebrating life with passion and intention, the idea of holding back is completely foreign to me.  To have to re-access my plan yet again, and agree to just “hold off” for a while? Wait 10 days, and work on rebuilding my core to support a better head to toe structure?

UGH!

Waiting was agonizing. I continued to feel great for the next 6 days.  Physical therapy seemed to have a point now.  But then, slowly, little haunting twangs of discomfort started to re-appear.  Working in the kitchen making a meal occasionally became uncomfortable.  More than 10 minutes on the computer…uncomfortable.  Admittedly, dancing around the backyard bonfire hula-hooping wasn’t the smartest thing to do just days after–but it was only for a couple minutes.   After 10 days I was feeling no pain but, it was clear that as time went on, there were more tiny signs of discomfort in my low back, upper back and neck.

Then that damn universe stepped in again with a big black magic marker, messing up my draft of a great winter plan. While my hip is still doing great, slowly, pain is returning to my low back, upper back and neck. I have increasing muscle spasms, growing numbness in my arms and hands, and I’m trying so very hard not to let it bring me down yet again.

Being the person that I am, I will not go down without a fight. But I also better understand the need to listen to all of the signs being presented.   First and foremost, I need to rebuild my core and not engage in anything to deter that effort.  Clearly I need to take baby steps in fixing my “foundation” to better support my structure and reduce the opportunity for pain to take over.

So am I able to pursue my passion? Nope, not right now.  I’ve received numerous inquiries about my business plans, as well.  My ETA to return to my normal life is unknown at this time.  My calendar is blank.  I got no plan.  Apparently I’m on an adventure of personal health and wellness.  An adventure of waiting and seeing.  An adventure focused on re-cooperating.

Apparently I’m on an adventure of not having a plan, other than taking care of me. And  I’m finally starting to be okay with that—sort of.  Wow, imagine that!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Was it inspiring?  Scary?  Funny?  Unbelievable? Just plain weird?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  Life is an adventure—good or bad, and it begins today!  There are lots of inspirational stories under my blog category, “PRs Amazing Outdoor Adventure Update”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my home page.  As always, please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures. Thanks again!

 

A Chance To Succeed

achancetosucceedI remember as a little girl, my parents intently listening to the radio, or hovering close to our little black and white TV watching the announcements of who would be our new president. Each election, my parents would discuss the candidates platforms with each other, friends and family, sometimes getting into heated arguments.  They would consider how our family would be effected by each candidate, worry, make their decision after laborious analyzing, place their vote, and finally on election day, absorb the news with bated breath.  They would either celebrate enthusiastically their champions win, or with quiet resolve, find a way to look at the positive side of an outcome they weren’t expecting.  When that day of decision came, they demonstrated  courage, grace and eloquence, understanding that regardless of the position they personally held, they were obligated to show their support for the majority, and newly elected leader. They respected the democratic process, and understood that “United We Stand” was the cornerstone of our great nations success.

They understood, our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

But that was then.

Our country seems to be split either consoling or celebrating today. What an epic, unexpected race this election has been.  Whichever camp you’re a part of, hopefully you can keep in mind that indeed, our country has been seriously divided for far too long.

Now, unfortunately, it seems there is no regard for any Peaceful Transfer of Power among the masses.  But the reality is, a decision has been reached by the people of this country.  Attacking those that don’t share your perspective will not change anything, or help make anything better moving forward.  Disputing the results publically and or violently, does not help make anything better moving forward.

Right now the leaders of this amazing, free nation are demonstrating to the best of their ability, an effort to see beyond the “sides” of this election and work together to support the decision that has been reached–urging everyone to do the same.

Can you?

Are you mature enough to step outside your own personal self to embrace something bigger than your own beliefs? Are you willing to become part of the bigger solution?

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

That doesn’t mean rubbing it in, stirring the pot or questioning the decision that our democratic nation has reached.  Rioting, protesting, demonstrating……none of those actions are appropriate.  At all.  SHAME on those who choose to take part in those destructive, divisive  actions.  For SHAME!  If you think those actions are warranted, clearly, you have not learned what it truly means to be an American.

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

Period.

Now is the time for us to take the gloves off, put on our big girl and big boy pants, shake hands, and with chins up come together and give this new direction a shot to succeed.

As my mom would say; “If you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Indeed.

The eyes of the world are on the American People. They are watching our every move. Don’t give them anything more to judge us poorly by.

Seems pretty simple…

United We Stand.

Divided We Fall.

I am so very grateful to be taught by my Ukrainian immigrant father and half Native mother how to win, and loose, showing poise and character.  The importance of looking beyond pride and self to the greater picture—the picture that our leaders are right now striving to find ways of uniting together on.

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

We are expected, as Americans, to stand behind the decisions our democratic process provides. I, for one, intend to show them all that I, too, have the courage, grace and eloquence to move forward with this new day, this new leader, and with a watchful eye, give this historic change in direction a chance to succeed.

For shame on those who don’t.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

 

Shrimp Miso Soup

Easy, healthy and tasty. Just the way I like it! Miso broth is basically a soy bean product—super high in protein.  You can buy powders and make broth from a packet, but I really like the boxes of pre-made miso that are found in grocery stores like Trader Joes or Whole Foods.  Actually, Miso is great on its own. Just open the box, pour the broth in the pot, heat and eat.  Or, you can go to the market, pick up some fresh produce and shrimp and build an amazing Shrimp Miso soup like this:

Ingredients:

ShrimpMiso11 16 oz box of Miso Broth

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 onion, sliced thin

1 thin sliced green pepper

1 C thin sliced carrots

1 C fresh pea pods

2 C fresh mushrooms, sliced thick

8 oz fresh bean sprouts

½ lb fresh cleaned & deveined shrimp, shells on

1/8 t pepper

¼ t sea salt

Pour the Miso broth into a large pot and turn the burner on to high heat. Add the garlic, ShrimpMisoonion, green pepper and carrots, and heat to boil.  Turn burner down to medium, and add pea pods, mushrooms and bean sprouts.  Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Add the shrimp and heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shrimp turn orange and become firm.  Stir in salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls.

Serves 2 – 4 people

Note: your soup ingredients should be served al dente’ so you may want to play with the cooking times to get your own desired tenderness level.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Does this recipe sound yummy?  If you try it out let me know what you think! All comments are greatly appreciated.  Check out more great recipes under my Killer Cookin’ blog category, and if you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. There’s a place to do that right on my home page.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!