Sunday, December 26, 2010

Angels All The Way

Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year! Let's just get that out of the way shall we?

Today is Boxing Day, the day I usually in a prompt and efficient manner, dispose of my Christmas Tree. But, as it only went up 3 days ago, I promised the kids I would leave it alone for the time being, say, tomorrow. I love christmas time, really, I do. But when it's done, I'm done. Be gone holly, be gone tree, be gone little red sleigh and ceramic house. I want order here people.

But I'm giving my tree a break this year. The poor thing was snatched off the Christmas Tree lot at Home Depot at a rock bottom price as there were only a couple days left until the big day. We lovingly decorated it with all our favourite ornaments and memories. Went to bed ready for Christmas Eve and I woke to find it laying face first on my carpet, acting all embarrased like, as it had poured all it's water onto my presents and soaked my rug. Thank you Amelia. Hope you had a good time tugging that ornament off that you just had to eat and pulling the tree down with it. So we propped er back up. Tied her to the Curtain rod and redecorated the whole thing. Randi dragged the carpet upstairs and over the banister in an attempt to dry and I stuck all the presents by the fire to warm up. And there was my angel, the pinnacle of the tree, holding her little lights in each hand that don't light up anymore. They are little blackened bulbs now. But she keeps smiling even if she is not lighting the way.

We are angel people, not star people. My parents had a lovely little angel with gold foil wings, alabaster hair and a beautiful wax face that had been delicately carved. One year the angel hung out too close to the fire and that was the end of her lovely little nose and rosebud mouth.

Recently, my son's girlfriend told me about an angel her mother used to own that they always put on the tree top. There she was, holding her two little lights in each hand much like my angel used to, and as Mara (at that time about 9) gazed in wonder those little lights suddenly blazed up and became flames of fire. Chaos ensued and the scored angel was promptly disposed of. Can you imagine what a little girl would be thinking as this angel decided it was time to torch the tree???

Even though some angels go bad and try to burn down your house or not light at all, or turn into a blob of wax, we still stick with them. It's angels all the way in this house.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cookie Belly and Other Christmas Maladies

I don't really have to point out to any of you that Christmas is coming down the pike like rollerblades down a hill right now. We are in the thick of it. Shopping, decorating, celebrating and baking.

But Christmas doesn't come without its issues. You can't have a rose without thorns ya know.
To name a few: stress, perpetual busy-ness, a few extra pounds, hangovers and of course cookie belly.

Cookie belly plagues my household a lot at this time of the year. Both myself and my new daughter aka ballerina billet Kelli have a passion for baking, especially cookies. And then we sample the dough at different intervals, sample each batch, sample when they are still hot and then when they are cold and voila, you have a cookie belly. That's a belly that feels far to full and uncomfortable with a major sugar rush at the same time. The next morning you wake up with pants that have shrunk on their own accord.

But it's worth it. They are beautiful cookies inside the belly and outside the belly. The other day we spent an afternoon baking and decorating sugar cookies. Works of art, every last one of them! We are both good little bakers. In fact, I'm feeling a little peckish and Kelli just baked up a new batch of gingersnaps. Soft and fat pillows of gingery, spicy, sugary goodness....mmmmmmm. Bring on CB!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sign of the Times

Yesterday was my day off, if you can call it that. It's the day I have "off" of my job that I go to and the day I try to jam in as many chores as possible. So after wandering around Walmart for a while which I hate doing so I finally said to myself "Self, what are you doing here, get out!" I left and headed to the Mall.
I'm not much of a Mall person either but, it's a sign of the times - christmas is coming; there is shopping to be done. I'm a get in, get it and get out kind of girl but yesterday as I was heading back to the exit there was the Christmas train out in a huge display.
This train set(s) is up every year but honestly, I have not taken the time to check it out since the kids were little and would stuff there little noses up against the glass on their tippee-toes to see the trains putter by through the little villages and hills.
I thought, slow down, you are moving to fast. You got to make the morning last. So I took the time to check out the little trains moving around the track and all the activity of train town.
There is a parade, which I remembered, going through a town with names of local stores. One of the floats in the parade is called "3 men in a hot tub" and sure enough, it is a hot tub with three men in it. I did not remember one of them being naked but sure enough, there is a little guy in there wearing no clothes....
Around the corner there is a fire going on with thick cotton ball puffs painted grey on the roof to indicate smoke and the police are there trying to keep order and the fire truck of course. There is a few men hanging around pointing, gesturing towards the ladder or the roof or something.
But one part, I did not really remember is a fenced in area with a barn called "Jurassic Park Day Care". There are a lot of dinosaurs lazying around inside the fence. I guess this is where you drop your dinosaur off before heading to work. Sticking out of the top window of the barn is the back end of either a brontosaurus or T-rex (not sure as I could only see his butt). Very clever.
Made me think I should really take the time in the midst of this busy season to check out the small details that make Christmas extra special. In fact, next time I'm in the mall I'm going to give that whole train set up a good going over, see what other little surprises are there to be discovered.
The Christmas chaos is starting to rev up. We can get overwhelmed, overbooked and overfed. Slow down and take the time to discover the little wonders of the season, whether that be the incredible unique beauty of a single snowflake or the back end of a dinosaur sticking out a window.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Mouse in the House and Other Such Critter Encounters

Winter is in its way here in Canada. There is a definite chill in the air. So who can blame Mr. Mouse for moving his abode from the sunny grasses of my backyard to inside my 4 walls. Doesn't seem to matter that there are also 3 humans, 1 dog and two cats in here already. Apparently, we can all get along.
Amelia, the dog, though she sometimes takes the stance of a pointer (one paw bent in the air, back straight and nose pointed in the general direction of a suspicious object), is quite useless at catching anything.
Clare, well she is just too old and crabby. She can't hear, she sleeps all the time and she has a problem determining where the heck the kitty litter is.
But disappointing. My big boy born in the wild by a feral mom no less. Who was raised on the ins and and outs of hunting mice. He simply is not doing his job. Oh, he's met Mr. Mouse, watched Mr. Mouse, even played with Mr. Mouse, but he has not shown Mr. Mouse the door.
So now when I go down to do the laundry, there he is twitching his cute little nose and whiskers at me and then I catch a glimpse of his little white belly and tippy tail as he scampers off. I hope he didn't invite his friends.
I don't mind mice. I don't really want them in my house either. But it seems until Frodo gets his act together or I break down and set a trap, it is what it is. Now RATS, on the other hand, that is a different story.
I used to work in a dog kennel where rat disposal was part of the job. I had it all worked out though. I simply let CeCe (sounds like seesee) out of her pen, barking chaos would ensue as all the other dogs would I suspect place their bets, and CeCe would eventually nail that rat, give it a quick shake, break it's neck and voila, one dead rat ready for me to dispose of. All I had to do was bury the sucker.
Then, there was the squirrel visit, clearly something right out of the movie Christmas Vacation. I was typing away at the computer, much like today. The dog and cat were both snoozing behind me in their respective chairs. Suddenly I hear the plink, plink of the piano. I take a quick look around me. Only me and the pets are in the house and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. So I tiptoed into the music room see who was playing my piano. Mr. Squirrel was just heading out and we kind of ran into each other. I screamed, Squirrel screamed and we both headed in different directions; me up the stairs and Squirrelly into the clutches of the now very much awake dog and cat. Thus the craziness began with Squirrel, Amelia and Frodo all tearing up the place. Clare slept through it all. I eventually cornered the poor squirrel in the shelf on a bookcase and I promptly sealed the front of it with a garbage bag and called my hubby to get home right now and do something about this! With a little luck we eventually got the squirrel back outside. That is probably the last time he will try his paws on making music.
So back to Mr. Mouse. He really must go. Maybe if I wake Clare up and point her in the right direction, she'll perk up and do what comes naturally. Maybe Frodo will get his lazy butt in gear. Maybe Amelia will come up with a brilliant idea in her silly head. Maybe I'll set a trap. Or maybe, we will all live in harmony until spring. As long as Rat and Squirrel don't show up!

Friday, October 29, 2010

When you Blow It....and We all do

Three Steps to Sin:
1) Contemplation
2) Rationaliation
3) Consent
P.S. - sin always affects others
Ruth Bell Graham

I think Ruth pretty much nailed this one. Short, sweet, to the point and pretty darn accurate. Odd, how easy it is to sin, especially when you consider we actually have not one but 3 choices to make. We have to choose to contemplate it, choose to rationalize, and choose to consent. That means we have 3 chances to stop the process too, knowing there are dire outcomes (sin always affects others,not to mention yourself) if we move onto step 2 or 3!
Yet, we all do it, we all mess up.
Which is why I love the story of Peter and the crowing rooster. Here is Jesus with his disciples having their last supper together before his death on th cross. Jesus knows what is coming, he probably feels quite alone as there is no one else around the table even amongst his closest friends, who get his pain.
Jesus looks at Peter and says "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:31).
Peter emphatically insists "Lord I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!"
But Jesus says "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
Later that night, when Jesus is arrested Peter follows at a distance. He is attempting to keep his fiery words of complete and utter loyalty. So as he sits by the fire trying to look inconspicuous, someone across the way is staring intently and accuses "This man was with him!" Peter quickly contemplates what to do. He rationalizes, if he admits it, he will be caught and then what good would he be to Jesus! So he gives his consent and lies "I don't know him." He does this two more times, getting louder and more insistent believing his lie. After the third time the rooster crows and Jesus turns and looks straight at him. It is a knife to Peter's heart, he knows he has blown it and he runs out to weep bitterly. We can all relate to how Peter felt. I know I Can!
Afterwards, Peter gave up on himself, he went back to fishing. He probably felt, "I'm no good to even be called a disciple of Jesus. I'm just a dumb old fisherman, that's all I'm good for."
So when he finds himeself sitting around another camp fire, this time with Jesus, he can barely look him in the eye. He hangs his head in shame. But Jesus reinstates him, not once, twice, but three times, wiping off each of Peter's mistakes. He directs Peter to do the very thing he now has expertise on, looking after Jesus' sheep. Peter has been through it, he has been sifted by Satan, he knows what it feels like to blow it. Jesus knew this would happen, he was praying for Peter even before the events took place.
"And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
The best person to remove a sliver out of another's eye is the one who has been through the same thing, who has removed not just a sliver, but a whole plank.
When we blow it we can come back stronger, and be there, with compassion, understanding and grace to help someone else through.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Week in the News!

I hope you all have had a great week! It's Friday for me, week's nearly done. And it's been a pretty typical one. Ups and downs, ins and outs, highs and lows - zoom another week gone in my life in the blink of an eye.
It started with the most gorgeous Thanksgiving weekend ever. We drove the kids back to their respective schools....the other side of Toronto...on the holiday Monday. Needless to say, I would not recommend that little, I mean long, bumper-to-bumper drive. Why weren't all these people snug in their Grandma's farmhouse eating turkey in the backwoods somewhere???
We got home late but Tuesday was back to work so with sleepy limbs and fuzzy eyes I headed into the office. "What....I have to do the Minutes for 2 meetings back to back all afternoon?"...."And what are we talking about??" I magooed my way throught that and somehow produced two coherent sets of Minutes. Came home to find cheques in the mail from the government!!! Yeah!! None for me however, two for Adrian, one for Randi. But, it all pans out for the whole family in the end, believe me.
Did Laundry
Made Cookies
Made Lentil and Sweet potatoe soup
All those other everyday things we women do. Blah blah blah
I had dance last night and survived yet again!
So here we are on Friday, my day off. I paid the bills via the internet (I love internet banking). And find that this week, we have no money so we will be on a tight budget.
I will be getting groceries today, working out and maybe, if I'm lucky, will get in that 3:00 nap!
This weekend will include yardwork and prep for winter, who keeps hinting he's coming for a visit soon. I have a lovely backyard

And here is our deck - 5 years and counting. Maybe next year we can actually use it! Sheldon has made steady progress this year so I'm hopeful.

Hope you all have a great Friday a great weekend and enjoy the everyday things of life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Prince Edward County

If I hop into my car and drive around the corner, down the block, take one more corner and then a right over the bridge, I find myself in Prince Edward County.
"The County" is a place I spent a fair bit of my childhood (Grades Kindergarten to 6) in a variety of houses as my parents rented what was available/affordable. The County was a farming region, a little island with a great beach, where we got apples, potatoes and fresh corn.

But "The County" is grown up. Suddenly, it has become a mecca for artists and gourmets, not to mention the biggest thing growing there now are wineries! I still love to visit as it is filled with childhood memories, beautiful landscape and now that is all grown up, really great food and wine!

Last weekend we went with friends to "Taste" a culinary celebration so to speak. For a pretty penny you can nibble on all sorts of gourmet goodies made from local ingredients and sip the lastest fruits of the vine. If you ever get a chance to go, it is a nice albeit pricey, way to spend a day. So there I am on the Picton Fairgrounds, the same place that as a child I would go every Tuesday night for skating lessons, the same place I would ride the scrambler at the Picton Fair, the same place where I hung out with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the grandstand watching the horse show (true story). Now, I'm walking about with all the other adults looking pretty pleased with the assortment of goodies to choose from and enjoying live jazz. My, how life changes!

After nibbling and sipping, we travelled about a bit and landed in the middle of a party at the Sandbanks Winery. Seems they had a harvest party earlier in the day and everyone was, well, celebrating the harvest, in a big way.

The trees are pulling out their very best colours, the air is crisp and fresh, the food is good - you should come visit!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Taking Stock

I've taken on a new project lately. No, it's nothing living and in need of shelter. It's my old recipe collection.

I have written favourite and family classics into an old binder for years, but, like me, that binder is beginning to show it's age. For that matter, so are my cookbooks. There is one I bought at work when some fella showed up at the office selling cookbooks. It was a big lug and in fact, has a starring role in the Santa Clause (at the beginning, when he is making dinner). I dont know what possessed me to buy it cause that would mean I would have had to carry it home as I did not drive back then, there is no public transporation in Trenton (still) and it was a good 40 minute walk home. But, I did buy it and I have, some 25 years later, taken the cover right off of it. I have another I scooped at up at a house we were renting when Randi was just a newborn. Still has the address written in the front of it.

So I've decided to start to retype all of these so they are legible, print them off, and put them in page protectors so they don't start colonies of their own for all the butter, sugar and flour I have spilled on them. Then I will keep them in a nice heavy-duty binder. Also, as more often then not, when I'm looking for a recipe I often check the internet, I can then print these ones off and slip them into a nice little page protector as well.

Now I have the original "cyndi's chocolite chip cookies" recipe, Grandma Hall's chocolate cake, my mom's amazing macaroni and cheese, which I can never get right, that yummy butter tart recipe from one book and the Pumpkin Thai soup I tore out of a magazine and made my own. All in one place, and ready for the next generation.

I could just be getting sentimental - and practical - but probably more sentimental. Note the picture I found at the back of my old binder.

I believe Randi would have created this masterpiece before she was even into double digits. Note the joy and happiness, not the sleeping brother up in the house, note that everyone is thinking about a ballerina, which is strange because it wasn't until many years later when we moved into town that we started taking in stray ballerinas.....

And now she is in her last year of University.

Sigh......I'm getting sentimental, and taking stock of my family history of cooking at the same time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turn the Page

It's been a big week for me; a new chapter, a turning of the page so to speak.

I dropped my baby off at University. That's right, my baby.

Child number one is starting her fifth year. We are old hat with her.
Child number two is starting his first year. And, he's my baby.

That means I'm role as a mother is basically over. I know it is NEVER really over but the brunt of the job, once a full time role, is now moving to part time. I don't like it, I'm fighting against it, but eventually I will have to accept it.

I hate the part when you leave your off spring in some unknown and foreign land, far from home and you give them a hug and drive off. It's a terrible sink or swim feeling. Of course, they are more than ready to swim, you have been teaching them all the moves for the last 20 years and they are usually itching to go it alone.

but is hard.

So, we are moving on to the "Empty Nest" syndrome which is making me feel rather old.
But I have an ace up my sleeve....a back up plan.

What if we could simply produce another child - still have one under the roof and remind me to keep in tune with the rhythms of school life?

Voila - we take in Kelly, a ballerina at the Quinte Ballet school. She is a mere 17 years old. Just going into Grade 11. That gives me at least two years to adapt into "Empty Nest".

Kelly is my "transition" child, my "ease me into it" girl. She's sweet, quiet and busy and indepedent enough to help me from over-mothering but just enough to allow me to keep my hand in this parenting career.

Some people are more than ready to have their kids out from underneath them. Some people are not. Give me some time. I'll get the hang of it. I was never a quick learner.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Puppy Love

This is Jack....

Jack is a chocolate lab puppy and I think I love him. I'm pretty sure he loves me too. In fact, Jack loves everybody. My daughter's boyfriend said, while playing with Jack, "whoever said you can't buy me love never had a puppy." And he was right!

Jack, sadly, was only visiting our house for a few days while his owners were off on a camping trip. Believe me, I could have kept him! While he was visiting I called him a number of things:

Jackson Browne
Jack Bowser,




Rolo (cause he's so chocolatey sweet and probably is made of caramel on the inside) ....

Petting Jack is like petting a live, warm, velveteen brown sweater. I loved his little tail, his all pink mouth, the way he would lean heavily up against me and look up. Sigh.....

He played a lot with Amelia and he peed on my rug several times. He had every dog toy that we owned scattered across the back yard and living room.
I miss him.

"Come back Jack.....come back!!"

Friday, August 20, 2010


We recently returned from a week's holidays at a cottage. Had a lovely time- lots of do nothing stuff and a completely different change of pace. I would get up around 8:00 as opposed to 6:00, read and read and read, eat a fair bit, and the evenings consisted of a good family game and a movie. I also did a lot of swimming, something you can only do for a few short months of the year in Canada.
I've decided I love to swim in the northern lakes, cossetted by trees and rocks rather than the great lakes, an endless expanse of water. I love the silky feel of the water up north. It seems to gently wrap around you and is not that interested in bashing you with mountainous waves and white caps.
It usually takes me a while to get into the water. At the Sand Banks in the County you just keep on walking and slowly, the water creeps up a little higher and I waste more time just trying to acclimatize. But up north there is no choice. There's no walking in - you just jump off the dock and away you go. It's a quick, surprising, refreshing, awakening moment and then I'm there, ready to dog paddle away!
I flip over on my back and take the stance of Jesus on the cross - arms out to the side, feet together. And I just float away, looking up at the clouds watching them scuttle past. There is that somewhat uncomfortable popping feeling in my ears as the water seeps through and then - nothing. I'm weightless with only the sound of my breathing, the water holding me up and blue sky and clouds above. I check out the tree tops waving away and though I can't hear it I know the wind is rustling the leaves.
Then, after a few good laps to work off that extra snack, I climb out onto the warm rocks and wrap up in a towel.
These are the times that make up for cold, cold winters, ice and snow and endless night.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poor Puttytat

I have a bored cat on my hands. I feel terrible about it but I'm not sure what to do about it...

Frodo is mopy, losing hair like crazy and giving me a number of signals.
One that says I'm bored

One that says I'm ticked off

One that says I'm hopeful you will let me out!

Frodo was born outside from a feral mother. Friends of ours allowed the mom to have her babies under their porch and we watched these little ones nose about and grow. I knew which one I wanted to take home and when the day came to get Frodo we discovered momma cat had hidden them into crevaces of an old rock pile! We literally had to pull him out from the ground!
So Frodo is an outside cat - he lives for the outdoors and to chase birds and mice. He loves to roll on the warm pavement and snooze under the bushes.

But sadly, Frodo has received a life sentence. It seems the neighbours do not appreciate Frodo using their rose garden for outside purposes and after a number of complaints it is clear Frodo will have to stay inside. We tried a leash, a good one too, that I was hopeful he would get used to and we could then tie him up for some outside roaming time but he was out of that in a matter of minutes. Our next option is a cage....a sorry option indeed.

Basically he sits inside now and mopes about with those sad, bored, hopeful eyes watching me.
I'm open to suggestions.....his age works both for and against him. As he is now 10 he is slowing down a little and does not mind sleeping more than playing. On the other hand, trying to switch a 10 years old cat from always going outside to not is like trying to teach an old dog new tricks.
In the meantime, on occasion, Frodo does sneak outside at times. Early in the morning, when I'm walking Amelia, Frodo has learned if he is quick he can zip out the door when I'm busy trying to keep hold of Ami. I don't blame him - who could?

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Air I Breathe

I was on holidays last weekend and part of that included a family camping trip to Algonquin. And this people is the air I breathe.
This is the life blood that revives and strengthens me.

I need to see things like this...

I need to smell, taste, touch and hear the sounds of a canoe on the water

And I can't help but wonder at the beauty created around me and how, in a short span of 5 months, this same environment that welcomes me with warmth and greenery will be white, cold and still. Truly, God is keen on variety!
We had a great time eating....


And just enjoying the scenery!

And then, I head back home and I sit in my "pod" in the office, with no window and the windows that are available do not open!

And that is why this is the Air I Breathe, the Air I Need to Breathe!

In a couple of weeks I have another vacation time coming up which will be spent at a a lake....with the wind whispering in the pines and loons crying at night and dragonflies stopping by to say hello with their shimmering, iridescent coloured wings.

And I will be ready and refreshed for another year - to do the business of work and life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anybody for Freshie?

The other day at work a co-worker mentioned the word "Freshie". there's a word I have not heard in a while!! I doubt my kids would even know what it means. Funny how "Kool-Aid" is still kicking around but Freshie has disappeared along with "groovy" and "far out."
I started to thinking about all the hip words that come and go, words we never say anymore, words we never even need to say anymore. Coming even faster are the new words to fit our technology - blogging for example. How funny would the word blogging sound to someone 50 years ago?? If you asked them what they had thought a blog was who knows what the answer would be. Something from a swamp, a monster similar to "The Blob"? I believe "The Blob" was all the rage about 50 years ago....but I could be wrong.
So here's to all those long forgotten words that used to be so much a part of our vocabulary. If you are a reader, you are a lover of words and it seems to be a shame to pack them all away. Maybe I'll start re-inventing the word "Freshie". Start putting it out there again like "Boy isn't that a freshie!" meaning new and hip or something like that. Or "She's a real freshie!" as in a big flirt.
So I encourage you all - if you have a word you once upon a time had a great fondness for that seems to be shelved, pull er out, breathe some new life into it, and let's see what happens!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Market Day

After surviving that nasty flu bug and getting my energy back I took an early trip down to the local farmer's market. Too bad I could not (and still can't) smell anything but the visual was wonderful! A trip to the market is enough to sooth any soul. Enjoy the photos!

Potatoes! Birthed from the Earth


Remember to eat your vegetables

These bottles were so pretty in the sun

Berries for Dessert!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back In the Saddle

I've had a good run - for over two years I've been perfectly healthy. But all good things come to an end, they say and WAM - it hit me. For the past week, I've had a cold, a flu a whatever.
Sore throat - check
Painful ears - check
Achy - check
Feverish - check
Upset tummy - check
Coughing all night - check etc. etc....
I'm on the mend now, coming out of the fog and beginning to get my energy back. Of course, I kept going to work and of course I kept doing the household chores. But finally I'm beginning to feel like I can accomplish these things without having to hit the couch for an immediate nap. In the midst of this nasty business I thought I would try and make myself feel better. So, one night, I took some aspirin, laid down for about an hour, felt the drugs kicking in, announced to my husband I have about an hour before I crash again and headed out the door to buy an I-Pad. What a pertty toy it is and certainly helped to while away the hours in bed or on the couch. And just so you know - I saved my pennies for about 6 months - try not to buy toys on credit people. Not a good idea.
I must say - photos and videos are amazingly clear. Apps are taunting me - looking for my money and some will certainly win. I've downloaded the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and I'm doing my first E-book read. Some change is hard to take and some is easy. The I-Pad technology falls under easy and fun to be sure. So I'm back in the Saddle with an upgrade.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cats, Dance and Strawberries

I've a busy weekend. Moments of peace, moments of chaois, moments of tension and excitement. All because of cats, dance and strawberries!
Let's start with the cats. I had to take Frodo and Claire in for the annual check-up and shots. Now Frodo is 10 and beginning to slow down. He was not happy about the vet visit and I knew it. He hunkered down, flattened his ears and gave me a look that said "I hate you right now." But he did not make a fuss, just put up with the prodding and poking. Claire, on the other hand, is 17 years old but she acted more like a feisty, feral wildcat. She hissed and slashed and growled and carried on like a banshee. It took 3 of us, some gloves, and a towel to complete the shots. I thought for sure, this whole chaotic process was going to kill her....but no....she lives on, and on, and on....
On to the strawberries! It's strawberry season here and they are ready for the picking. So a friend and I went out to a farm and sat in this beautiful, peaceful field with ruby red berries peeking out under every green leaf. The beauty of just sitting there, barely having to move, the scent of the berries and fresh country air was enough to put any anxious soul at ease. We came home laden with baskets full and a froze a bunch for a cold winter morning when I need to remember the peace, warmth and beauty of a strawberry patch.
Finally the tension and excitement of the dance show! I've finally culminated this dance process with the big show at a local theatre. There was chaos backstage with little kids, some barely 3 crying and wanting their mommies or having to pee. One of the girls came upstairs from the change rooms stating "don't go down there, there are a lot of angry little tutus!" People running around trying to change for their next number, or waiting excitedly, warming up for their turn to go on. My group had to perform 3 times, one at each show and believe me the excitement and physicallity of the whole thing wore me right out!
Yup - I've lived a lifetime all in one weekend.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


It's a good feeling when you are a part of a team, part of a family or in the thick of community.
We all want to feel we belong.
As a teenager I spent most of my evenings hanging around downtown with the riff-raff. And we were a community - it was us against them (them being cops or authority figures). It was a terribly dysfunctional community but one you felt a part of nonetheless.
Presently I'm part of a dance class and this is a unique community of it's own. We speak the same language (or at least I try!) and we have a goal - to make this creative process work and flow.
The other day I was sitting on my front steps. They are your basic 70s cement poured that get all nice and warm in the sun which explains why the cats are always laying on them. On the top of the steps there was this ant struggling with the dead carcass of a spider (I'm NOT good with spiders but this one was dead so I was OK). It was attempting to maneuvre it down the steps which were like crawling down mountains for this ant. It was very determined and I watched it's progress with interest. Eventually the ant caught a good breeze which blew it down all the steps to the pavement. The ant continued to drag this thing along and I thought well, you've succeeded in getting it down the what. There was more trouble ahead! Once the ant arrived in the grass getting that dead spider through this jungle was even more difficult as it kept getting hung up in the blades of grass. But the ant carried on....on it's own. Finally, it must have been getting closer to home for soon there was a bevy of ants (more like uncles and aunts) there to help out. Community had arrived and they were soon making steady progress with their prize.
The Body of Christ is a Community - we have our Head (Christ) and we are all parts of the body, ideally working together and functioning as a healthy unit. There is so much we can get done when we work together! And everyone plays a part, everyone belongs, everyone is needed. It is always a sad thing when someone feels they don't belong and are not necessary or vital and eventually they slip away.
Let's do our best to encourage our family, spiritual or otherwise. Let them know they are loved and wanted, because they are!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

Summer has arrived early in Ontario....hopefully this isn't a big trick like she's only stopped in for a quick visit with plans to leave in less than a month visiting some other tropical location. happens here.
So even though it is only the end of May we have enjoyed remarkable, July-like temperatures. My flowers are waaaay ahead blooming and socializing like crazy and my tan is pretty admirable.
Such lazy warm days make me think of summer reading. As you know, I love to read. But in the summer, I especially love to read lots of care-free, take-me-away-calgon, fiction. I just finished Jane Eyre (again) and I'm working my way through the first Harry Potter. Harry Potter made a big splash and still is. It definitely ruffled feathers in the Christian camp. I even came across a book written specifically on why you shouldn't read Harry there nothing else you can put to paper?? Having never read it and as I appreciate a well-written fiction, I thought I would give it a go. It obviously stands the test of time. In my opinion, it's cleverly written - not by J.R. Tolkien standards but clever nonetheless.
However.....there still is a few heavy, indepth, winter/spring, educational reads I need to finish.....
They are sitting on my bedside table, tapping their fingers as a gentle reminder that this is NOT summer yet and I should continue to work towards wisdom and understanding via good solid reads.
Decisions, decisions.....I promise, once I finish Harry Potter (which won't be long) to finish that really good book on The Spirit of Sonship. Then there is that autiobiography on Fanny Crosby.
By then, summer, should it tarry, will offically be here and I can read all about faraway, mystical lands, faeries and other flying creatures, maybe a good mystery or many decisions.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nature is Winning

It's gardening time! We are all in the throes of it. And that includes me. I'm planting, moving, raking and especially pulling.
I've pulled up so many mini trees that I'm starting to feel bad about it. Perfectly good maples, poplars and birches are being dug up and tossed. Seems rather odd when I know my daughter is on the other side of Canada planting trees as fast (faster) than I'm removing them from my yard.
It's not only trees but weeds and even perfectly good plants.
But I'm losing the fight.
Everywhere I look there are more and more. It's something like the Mickey Mouse cartoon where he cuts up the broom and suddenly thousands of little brooms pop up from the splinters. So I can just imagine what would happen if I simply did nothing for a whole summer.
The garden would begin to creep up onto the yard, the grass in the yard would grow probably up to my shoulders, the trees would be popping up everywhere. Now imagine what would happen if I left it for a whole year......I would have a veritable forest on the go!
You see, for all the damage humans do to nature, nature just takes the knock but knows, without too much difficulty, nature can win the fight. Just leave her be for a couple years and our roads, sidewalks, pretty patios and decks, even our houses would soon be engulfed into her green embrace.
Like so many other gardeners out there, I'm trying to assert my authority over a square patch of land I call my own. But really, nature is the boss. She's a I know you told me to sit down but I'm standing on the inside type, much like my son. We would all be smart if we just learned to work with her instead of against her.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hide and Seek is Haunting Me

This dance thing is taking over my life. I'm bruised and beaten, stiff and sore, but the big show is coming up in little over a month and with it's mouth wide open is swallowing me whole.
With the gracious help and support of my dance partner Kelly, we are fitting in extra practices, because I'm such a newby at this and in order to avoid looking like a total idiot on stage I need all the practice I can get.
The result being, the song we are dancing to "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap plays nonstop in my mind on a constant basis. I'm running through choreography in my sleep and every waking moment of my day! Point my toes, look up, jump, get ready for that handstand part, crumple to the ground, goes on and on.
What was life like before this all encroaching process? What did I possibly think about??? I got nothing. Just
"Hide and seek
Trains and sewing machines" stuck in my head.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sometimes, You Just Can't Help It

Warning: This blog may contain some graphic material that is offensive to some readers.

If you are not a pet owner/lover you may be a little grossed out.

In my house, there lives not only humans but two cats and a dog. And they are just part of the family. They hang out with us ALL the time.

Especially, when I'm making dinner. Take this past week, for example. I was cutting up my chicken for a stir fry and suddenly, there is Amelia, right underneath me, looking very hopeful for a slip and spill of a morsel of chicken or maybe I'll just throw her one.

She gives me her biggest, most hopeful, most "you know I'm worth it" smile.

Then there is Frodo. He's a cool cat. He also showed up looking for a score on some chicken but basically ignores me. I try to get his picture but he spends most of his time washing himself and making like he's not interested. He is, but you'd never know it.

Now they both know they are not allowed to help themselves.

But sometimes, you just can't help it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Party on Sheldon, Party off Cyndi

I don't know if opposites attract; they probably do - the ying and the yang thang. But they certainly balance each other well.
Take my husband and I. Sheldon, he LOVES to party. He LOVES to party with everybody. If there is a party going on somewhere, he hates to miss it. He'll sniff it out and get in the middle and whoop, whoop whoop away.
But me well, it's not that I don't like people and socializing and partying on but I have limits. The party for me is good for about 3 hours and after that, I'm ready for some peace and quiet!
Take last week for example...we had a couple fellas come to minister at the church and speak on Evangelism. They were excellent and I highly recommend Steve Holmstrom's book "Vitamin E." Afterwards we went out for lupper, per se...By 4:00ish I was ready for some R & R on the couch with a good book and an oh-so-refreshing nap. But not Sheldon....from there they headed to a hot tub for some manly hot-tub talk (no idea what that could be - not sure I'd like to know either). And then on into the night. Sheldon wandered home around 11:00 happy and full from a day of partying. I was asleep. I think I partied out at the age of 20.
Party on Sheldon....Party off Cyndi...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dance While You Can

This morning, as I sit here, my left forearm and elbow are sore and achy - black and blue, my shins are both whining a little and so are my shoulder blades. No, I have not been in some horrible bike accident, though I have been riding my bike to work again.
The fact is, I got this crazy notion to try Contemporary Dance. Did I mention I will be 47 this year???
Since last September I have been going faithfully, every Thursday, to a contemporary dance classs. This was an "adult" class so I thought - I'll give er a go..gotta dance while you can.
But eventually the class being small was integrated in with a much MUCH younger group. We are talking lithe, agile teenagers. So now the class consists of me (the oldest and zilch experience), then there are two ladies in their 30s and 40s - both dance teachers, and finally we finish up with two lithe, agile, been dancing since they were 3 teenagers. I am out of my league here, believe me. My teacher is wonderful and patient with us all and throws out these funky dance phrases where everybody nods and understands and I just look at her blankly until she explains what it means.
So come June, we will be participating in a performance at a local theatre and right now we are working on "partnering". This involves a lot of rolling around, falling to the floor (hence the black and blue elbow), lifting and throwing.
I'm not a quitter so I'm seeing this through. And I've learned a lot - the girls and my teacher are wonderful and we have a lot of fun. If only my body could appreciate all I'm doing for it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

In the Society of Dogs

Before the sun is up, before all the stars go to bed and the moon makes an exit, Amelia and I are out for our morning walk. But we are not alone, no, we are in good company. There is a plethora of shadowy figures out doing the same thing at this ridiculous hour.
First there is Daisy (and owner). Daisy is a bassett hound that stumps along in a funny manner due to her short legs. Her ears flop about and she kind of waddles. If she is going past our house before I have Amelia out the door the raucous barking begins. Sometimes Daisy has her pet Cat tagging along. First Daisy (and owner) will waddle by and not far behind will be the Cat. This is a beautiful orange and white persian that is so amiable she/he does not know that not all dogs are like Daisy and it's never good if Amelia and I run into him/her. Not that Ami would hurt the Cat but she sure wants to chase her!
My favourite is the guy on the bike. My first winter when I moved to this neighborhood I would find what looked like bicycle tracks in the snow on the road. I could not figure that one out. Three feet of snow with this clean long thin line from a bike. But eventually I ran into "the guy with the bike" and the mystery was solved. This fella is out, usually before 6:00 am riding his bike through the neighborhood in all kinds of weather. Eventually, about 50 feet behind him will come a retriever mix running full tilt with the occasional stop to pee or sniff chasing "the guy with the bike." The dog is not leashed, he simply follows "the guy with the bike." Sometimes the dog is a good two blocks behind and I think "the guy with the bike" is gonna lose his dog. But no, that dog just keeps following. Amelia and I will be walking along and soon out of the darkness I can see "the guy with the bike" coming down the street. Amelia and I know what's coming next. She gets very excited so I pull her leash in tighter. Then we see these two red lights bouncing and blinging in the dark. These would be around the dog's collar, I assume for protection so the average car would see the dog. When the dog zooms by us he barks loudly and boisterously. I've yet to figure out if this is the dog saying "Get out of my way! I'm following "the guy with the bike!" or if he's saying "Ha, Ha, Ha! I'm running free, look at me and you are stuck on a leash!!" Either way, it is one happy dog.
Another is a very sedate German Shepherd that is very well behaved and stays close to it's owner. Occasionally, the German shepherd will be a little rebellious and bark a good morning to us.
There is quite a society going on in my neck of the woods. Long before the average human is up. I'm in good company.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter!

It doesnt get any better than this. The weather is amazing - warm sunny for the next 4 days, my whole family is home under one roof, all safe and sound and it's Easter! My favourite Holiday!
Easter encapsulates my love for chocolate, my love for family, my love for new life and new beginnings and my love for my Saviour all in one. Plus - all the pressure of finding just the right Christmas present does not apply. I mean, what more could a girl/housecat ask for!!

So here's to you world. Enjoy this special Easter time. Enjoy your many blessings, remember there is a fresh start everyday, give thanks and may your heart be filled with gratefulness, eat chocolate! And take a cruise around to see new life sprouting, growing, starting the circle all over again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Time for a Change

Right now, as I'm looking out my back window, I can see the slightly fuzzy beginnings of buds on the neighbor's oak tree. My crocuses are ready to bloom and the tulips are making tentative noises about wanting to come out and play. The birds are back too, swooping and carrying on with Mr. Robin taking on Mr. Cardinal for who can make the most noise. I believe it's time for a change.

It's time to take this off my front door.....

And it's time to switch from my happy waving snowman sugarbowl

To my majolica-like, found it in Florida sugarbowl!

I'm ready for a few about you?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We're Talking Hair

There are some people out there who really like my hair.

"You are so lucky - you have such nice thick hair." I get that one fairly often.


"You hardly have a gray hair on your head!"....true again. They are there, poking out in funky wiry ways but they are a minority and at my age....past 45...well, that's nothing to sneeze at.

But like most women, my hair can drive me crazy.

It's curly in some places, straight in others. On a day where there is even a slight hint of humidity it expands and takes on a life of it's own, better known as "frizz". Now I know there are shampoos and conditioners that claim they can tame frizz but I have yet to find one that can take on my hair on a rainy day, or a foggy day and especially a windy, rainy foggy day (not a chance).

So I've tried a number of things. Let's take a look shall we? Fair warning - I do not photograph well hence the reason I'm usually on the other side of the camera.

There is a blow dry till you die and then finish it with a straight iron method:

There is the add some mousse and let the curl just happen method

There is the just let it dry method (I don't recommend this one - it is like the mousse method but worse). Note - this was taken on a non-humid day. Just multiply this by X4 on a humid day and you get the picture.

So what I have resorted to is often letting it grow long in the summer so I can ponytail the masses when humidity takes over and Medusa complex sets in. I've often considered cutting the lot of it quite short but with some curly and some straight....not sure how that would work out. Plus my husband get into a bit of a funk when I talk "short" hair.
Now my daughter, on the other hand, inherited my full head of hair without any of the frizz and no curl. She gets up in the morning, gives her head a little shake and voila - perfect. She doesn't even brush it....ever....
But me....this love/hate hair relationship just continues on. Someday, maybe when I'm all grown up we will have come to some sort of agreement. Until then, I will carry on, complete with mousse, flat iron, blow dryer and hair elastics.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Onion Denied

For the past 20+ years I have lived with a man who hates or better yet, detests onions.

That means no onions for me.
No onions to cook, smell or eat for over 20 years.
I miss French Onion soup, onions in my food, onions on my hamburger etc. etc.
I could, of course, continue to eat these but there would be no kiss good night for me.
Onions make my hubby literally gag so I have denied myself this right and privilege.
The other day my son had some hooligans, I mean friends, over to watch movies and one of them brought chips.
Sour cream and ONION chips to be exact. No one opened them so there they sat in our snack cupboard. Since I don't have onions in the house my kids then grew up never eating them, hence they are not that interested in them and believe me the hubby wasn't about to crack that bag open.
One day when I came home from work there they were....waiting for me. I'm usually very disciplined but my moments of weakness usually hit when I get home from work, tired, stressed and hungry.
I opened that bag of sour cream and ONION chips and had a few...had a few more....heaven help me. It's fake onion flavouring I know but onion all the same. A little blast from the past.
Once in a while a little contraband doesn't hurt....right?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Patriotism to the Max

If you live in Canada you can't help but to have been affected by the Olympics over the last couple of weeks. We've been transformed into a country of red and white, a country of flag waving and heartfelt anthem singing. It's everywhere. We are Patriotic to the max.
On the day of the big game (you know which one I mean - Canada's game - Hockey), we were in Toronto to get our daughter back to University.
Having spent a last couple of hours in an IMax watching Avatar we landed back in the lobby just as the game had ended.
"What's the score? Who won??" Everyone was asking.
And there on a TV over a bar we could see our men's Canadian Hockey team standing on the podium in the middle. A dead giveaway - we won. Heartfelt congratulations were exchanged and then we stepped outside onto the street to head home.
In the middle of downtown Toronto
Right after the BIG game that we had won.
I was not prepared.
If I had not known we had just won a hockey game I would have thought Godzilla was loose and stomping through town.
People screaming and yelling everywhere, on the verge of riot.
Cars honking and beeping everywhere
Flag, flags and more flags waving in the air.
It was true pandemonium.
As we inched our way through the streets in our car we stopped to let some of the crowd thin.
I stuck my hand up against the car window and received a resounding high five from some guy walking by - a red Canadian flagged mittened hand smacked the other side.
I saw the proverbial boyfriend helping the proverbial drunk girlfriend get home as sheyelled and wavied her flag.
I saw police doing their best to keep order and those same police also getting hugs and high fives from passers by.
Suddenly we heard this banging and I thought oh oh....gunshots! But no, it was a bunch of guys crowded into a truck with a snowblade on the front of it. As they headed down the street flags waving they banged the blade up and down on the road.
There was even a oneman band performing on a string of drums that surrounded his waist and blowing on a whistle. He sounded like a complete marching band on his own.
Talk about a victory celebration!
Go Canada Go!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winding Down

This week at work I had the opportunity to visit several long term care homes. Two of them were "older" homes and one was pretty bright and shiny new. All three of them were filled with precious souls - sleeping, staring, wandering, thinking and waiting. They are at the end of their journey, they are winding down to the finish line.
This is a difficult topic for me. We live in a society with the glut of them being elderly. We do not have the resources in place or the finances to meet the needs of this group. We live longer.
It would be nice if there was a comfortable affordable place where everyone still felt needed and necessary, no matter what age.
Long term care nursing homes can be a place that is warm and comfortable, still provide a feeling of being a part society and have the structure in place to meet the physical care necessary for those winding down.
They can also be places where we feel, forgotton and unneccessary, where we are just waiting. They can be very lonely.
We could look after all our family members at our own homes - keep them part of the family. But this is not always possible. Many of us need to work and there is no one at home to care for those who need to be monitored on a full time basis. In fact the burden of care can wipe out a whole family, especially if dementia is involved. Most of us don't have the finances available to make this a reality. Some of the elderly really have no one left - they are on their own, living in drafty old homes or lonely apartments.
The older nursing homes I visited were cramped. Filled with people and paraphenalia. Some rooms having 4 beds in them - little old people all sharing a tiny space. The newer home was roomy and bright - at the most only two beds in a room. They even came complete with little "porch" areas built out into the hallway where one could sit and watch the goings on of their world. But the warmth and sense of belonging was prevalent in all of them. I met "Tootsie" a little dog in one of the older homes that trotted around, visiting everyone. I met Oscar a dashing young man in his younger days, still very bright. And I met a lovely old lady who didn't say much, just followed us around, clutching her doll tightly. She was looking after her baby and had her nails painted to match her dress. Some of these people had jobs that were very important to them; folding up food bibs, helping to sorting laundry, delivering mail to residents. Something, anything to feel useful.
The elderly, those winding down, are such a vital and necessary part of our society. One we need to look after and honour. I know this is what God would want us to do. The question

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Did It!

Well....It's finally happened. I've taken the Leap, the plunge, turned the corner, crossed the finish line whatever you want to call it.
I finally found a new frumpy sweater.
One that's warm with long sleeves to cover my poor wittle wrists and a working zipper.
One with pockets for my endless supply of kleenex.
One that is Frodo friendly meaning if I pick him up his claws don't become permanently entrenched and I can easily put him down again and not have a big 15lb cat stuck to my chest all day.
One that is big enough to put on over other layers and definitely fits into the frumpy description.
You may wonder what happened to old faithful, the original frumpy sweater. The one with holes in the pockets, only a 2 of the 6 buttons left on it and has paint stains on the back. I couldn't quite let her go so I lovingly gave her a good washing and stashed her in the back of my closet.'ll be great for future messy chores when I'm still trying to keep warm but don't want to get my NEW frumpy sweater covered in paint splatters or dead leaves or whatever.
NFS (New frumpy sweater) was purchased for a phenomenal price at Value Village. You can't put old wine in new wine skins ya know. I'm definitely verging on the well-aged old wine vintage so a well-used wine skin is what I was looking for.
I'm wearing my NFS now, it's working good, I'm ready for the next 10 years.

Friday, February 12, 2010

That Beautiful Smile

She had the most beautiful smile and lovely bright eyes. She was young and full of life. Her picture was everywhere you went smiling back at you. And we all wanted her to come home. Collectively,
In agreement
We all connected with Jessica. All the parents longed for their lost daughter to come back, all the children prayed for their missing sister, all the grandparents ached for their precious grandchild.
And when she was found a profound sense of loss, grief and anger blanketed the entire region. The day they announced on the news Jessica's body had been recovered in the woods near Tweed a friend of mine was shopping in the mall. She felt everyone looked in need of a shower - dirty, tired and oppressed.
We are a small, quiet rural region and murders of this type are shocking and unheard of. Even worse, the accused murderer, a sexual predator and serial killer lived amongst us for many months preying on other women and responsible for the murder of another woman, Marie, less than 5 months previous.
A man of authority, Commander of our local Air Force Base no less.
We are shaken to the core and our trust is shattered. For the moment a man in uniform instigates a knee-jerk reaction in me of suspiscion.
Are you really who you say you are?
I don't like feeling this way and I know in time it will pass.
Jessica is safe now. No one can hurt her any more. She will forever be 27 with lovely bright eyes and a beautiful smile.
I pray for the healing to begin not only for Jess' family but for the whole region, for all those who work in the Armed Forces and everyone else who diligently cried out, insisting this darkness be exposed and justice initiated.
We have a long road ahead of us and still many questions in need of answers.
"But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Father God, we need you more then ever - open your floodgates of Grace and wash us clean with your Love. Amen

Friday, February 5, 2010

February Fallout

First, let me congratulate all my fellow northerners for making it thus far through winter. In another 6 weeks or so, this will all be behind us! FYI - last year on Feb. 9/09 I spied my first Robin. Not sure if I will top that but if anyone sees/hears one, let me know. All in all, it's been an easy winter in Ontario. Only one major snowstorm (so far) and a few nasty cold nights but nothing we can't handle.
And yet, there is palpable tension in the air. We are getting restless and listless. We are getting antsy and (let's put our cards on the table) bitchy. At work with the office under the pressure of trying to meet budget deadlines my coworkers are on the edge. I want to clean, I want to do nothing. I want fresh air, I want to hibernate. There is no rhyme or reason - it's just February Fallout.
So, I'm going to keep my wits about me. A vacation in the sunny south would probably be a great cure-all but as that is not possible I'm going to count my blessings and remember to be thankful for all God has given and provided, another great cure-all.
Thank you God for my beautiful family,
My excellent health
My job
My very good friends
The hope and hint of spring - I'm looking for Mr. Robin who you are sending my way
Thank you God for so many blessings and your constant provision....I'm feeling better already.
Thank you God February is such a short month - obviously You knew what you were doing.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Languages I Speak

I thought I only spoke one language fluently - English. I've dabbled in Italian and of course took French in school which was, as the kids say these days, an Epic Fail. But it has occured to me I speak two other languages quite well. That would be Charismatic Christianese and Governmentalian.

Common words/phrases you would hear in Charismatic Christianese: called, sensed, led by the spirit, claimed, believed, portal (this one is still a little iffy to me), establish, authority, honour.

Common words/phrases you would hear in Governmentalian: processes, initiatives, budget constraints, targets, champions, project, data analysis, input, tasks.

So you see, I can sit in a church setting and discuss quite fluently and understand all the lingo around me and likewise I can sit in probably any Government meeting and get a pretty good picture of what is going on.

It would be rather funny if I started mixing the two up.....picture Cyndi sitting in on a meeting with a number of government bigwigs:
Government Figure - "What are your thoughts on the budget issues?"
Cyndi- "I feel the budget constraints can be established if we claim our authority and I sense I am called by the spirit to support the initiatives"

And cue the crickets......

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Can't Beat a Good Sunbeam

In our house, and all year long, there is competition for a good sunbeam. If you find it, you take it.

That means I have pets and people curled up in odd places thinking vicariously about the beach in the dead of winter or just warming their old bones.

I'm not very good at curling into a ball on the floor. I don't find that too comfortable. But once that sunbeam hits the chair in the front room, or creeps over my bed, I'm all in.

Around lunch time, come January and February I will open the back door leaving only the screen door closed and allow the sun to flood the dining room. Immediately there are chairs reposititioned and pets vying for a spot on the floor.

Sunbeams are truly a gift from above. Enjoy yours!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I Am Woman

All in all, it's been a very productive day. But then again, I'm a woman, w-o-m-a-n, I'll say it again (thanks Helen Reddy). I got up, walked Amelia, spent some time with Jesus, did a work out, took Randi to the doctors, then took Randi all over the place (Shopper's Drug Mart, bank, OSAP place, the Mall, Walmart, Kelseys), then we picked up a couple movies for tonight. By the way, it's movie night tonight. Finally picked up groceries and back to Shopper's to pick up Randi's perscription. All accomplished before 2:30! We shovelled the driveway, started some cookies and enjoyed a Tim-Tam Slam. This is something new to me - Randi introduced me to it. Let's just say it involves Hot chocolate and chocolate cookies known as Tim-Tams and is very yummy!
So, feeling pretty multi-tasky, I thought I would start some laundry. Last I checked there was a load to be started. Upstairs, I find my husband has left me about two full hampers full! He tends to save up his laundry, much like he saves up his overtime, and then Kablam! There it is! Enough laundry to spend the day in suds and folding motion. So I pile up the two hampers full into one, gather up at least another hamper full from the rest of the household and attempt to stuff that into the already overflowing hamper, hobble carefully down the stairs with my clothing mountain, around the corner, shuffle down the hall, and hobble again down the stairs to the basement grabbing a plastic bag along the way because I might as well do the kitty litter while I'm in the basement (I'm a woman). Lo and behold there is that other load of laundry I was thinking about.
Pride cometh before a fall my friends - never forget that.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolute - To Be or Not to Be

Happy New Year Everyone. Today is January 1, 2010. The house is very quiet. Dog is snoring behind me, both cats curled up on the couch, husband out like a light and my son, who wandered in around 5:00 am this morning will not likely see the light of day until this afternoon. There is snow falling of its own accord outside and not a breath of wind to kick it around. All this gives me lots of time to consider the year behind me and the year ahead.

I'm not one for making resolutions. The dictionary describes being resolute as "being firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion." So to make a resolution you need to be determined about it, you need to be set in it's purpose and clear on your opinion. This seems to be something longterm and ongoing whereas resolutions, particularly New Year's ones, are more often than not fleeting and temporary in our culture.

I personally am resolved and determined to continue to look after myself, to live a balanced lifestyle, to be open to growth and learning and wisdom that comes from the experiences of life. I'm resolved and determined to continue serving Jesus, to listen to hear His voice, and (if I'm getting any better at this Christian thing) will obey what He calls me to do.

Which leads me to an experience I have never forgotten. When my daughter was just a toddler I would often plop her in the stroller and head down town, not far from where we were living. On the corner at the end of our street was a house close to the sidewalk where an old man was often sitting in his enclosed porch watching the world go by. He was dirty and unkempt, usually smoking in an old ripped T-shirt. I would zip by this old man and generally ignore him. One day I felt I should stop and chat - just say hello or "nice day" or something. I didn't. I was in a hurry, he did not look like a nice man to chat with and he made me uncomfortable. This urge to stop and chat stuck with me for about a week and for about a week I continued to ignore the still small voice. Then one morning I woke up to find this old man had been murdered. Stabbed to death on his little enclosed porch for I believe cigarettes or cigarette money. I realized all God had asked me to do was simply show this man some care and kindness, nothing more, just a good morning how are you. And I missed this opportunity when this man's life was so soon coming to an end. I wish I could say the lesson was learned but there have been many other situations where I have missed or purposely ignored what God has wanted me to do.

So if I'm to make any resolution it is the same one I have made for the past 20 years. To continue to look after myself, to live a balanced lifestyle, to learn and grow from life's experiences and continue serving Jesus - listen to His voice and hopefully obey.