Saturday, October 24, 2015


I've just finished a week of holidays! A staycation in fact. But in case you thought I was sleeping in until 10 every morning and partying every night (well, maybe a small glass of wine every night but nothing excessive, I assure you), you are misinformed. 

I had yard work to do - trim down the plants, rake leaves etc., little errands and chores, lots of one on one time with the dog but I packed in so much more. 

So, here are the hi-lights!
I made homemade applesauce with my daughter Randi! First time in a long time as she has been overseas for several years. I now have a freezer full.

This stuff is comfort food to me. Add some hot buttered homemade toast and a nice chunk of cheese and you have a perfect meal.  

Did a fair bit of cello time with Morrie. 

Took my girlfriend Denise to the County for a daytrip and started Christmas shopping. In case you are wondering, this is a package of "nothing" (for the person who has everything) and it's yours for only $9.95. 
No. I did not buy it.

Found a glorious new bakery called "The Pink Lunch Pail Bakery". And it's a winner! If you are in Picton, do check it out. 

These were adorable little cookie displays. I can't imagine what they will make for Christmas!

Cappuccino and biscotti are always a good idea.

Thursday dawned glorious with temps around +15 Celsius so I slipped in a bike ride, probably one of the last for this year. 

The trail down by the waterfront was beautiful!

Come Monday, it's back to 9 to 5, in the office, in my windowless little pod. Am I refreshed and ready to back? You bet. I'm very grateful to have a job and work with such amazing people. But every now and then - a Staycation is just what I need. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I was at my parents for Thanksgiving last week. Just before we were about to head out the door, my Mom handed me a plastic bin full of pictures. 

Pictures of me.

Me as a baby (not a pretty baby either)
Me with my siblings
Me with my parents
Those awkward school photos
Me with my husband-to-be
Me with my newborn daughter 
Me, Me, Me.

The first part of my life, up to about the age 35, all nicely assorted in one plastic bin.

I have yet to really look through them all. But how strange to see so much of one's life all in one place! Especially as I'm usually the one taking photos and I'm not often in them. 

Stranger still, due to the changes in technology and pictures now being electronic, there are practically none in the plastic bin from the past 15-20 years. 

Which makes me wonder if I should start printing off photos to fill  the 15 to 20 year void that is missing in the plastic bin. I mean, I'm still here people or as they say in Monty Python "I'm not dead yet!" 

Maybe I'm still old school. But these photos seem so much more real and tangible. 

And there is something about seeing your life, all in one place. All in one plastic bin. 

Monday, October 12, 2015


We Canadians know about giving thanks! How can you not when you live in such a country as this: freedom, abundance, beauty, peace. We have so much. 

I don't know one Canadian who does not like fall. The closest you may get to someone grumbling about this season is the fact that winter is fast on its heels. It is so incredibly gorgeous around here. And we have so much. Put the two together and you have a Canadian Thanksgiving. 

Let's start with the market! I went down on Saturday and it is brimming with colour and produce everywhere you look!

 I picked up fresh beans and little baby beets. We have so much abundance to be thankful for!

But part of this post is the giving part! So I was busy in the kitchen whipping up goodies to "give" towards our thanksgiving meals. 
Earlier in the week I had prepped sweet potato and pumpkin into a nice fine puree. So I made a pumpkin Thai soup  and gave most of it to my kids. I made and froze sweet potato and salmon cakes, ready on hand to fry up when need be. 

I also made a sweet potato pie with a quinoa maple crust for gluten free guests.

And strawberry tarts for our nongluten free guests!

Unexpectedly, I was able to go to Hanna Park in Trenton to see a bench my parents had installed in memory of my sister. 

As Lulu and I walked down the path under the gently falling leaves  I reminisced about all the bike rides, the cross country skiing, the sharing of secrets or just getting into mischief that I did with my sisters on these familiar grounds

Heidi's body was cremated and there is no gravestone marking her beginning and ending on this earth. It is very emotional for me to have this place here, acknowledging her existence finally after over 25 years. 

I'm so very grateful for the time we had together, to share life with each other, even though it was so short. People sometimes ask me why I'm so busy. Part of the reason is I feel obligated to live this life for two, my sister Heidi and for me. Life is precious and our time here can be so fragile and tenuous. Don't waste it!!

Finally, for the first time in 3 years, I got to spend Thanksgiving with both my children. Even better, the family is growing! I know have the best son-in-law ever, Dan, and soon I will scoot Carolyn, Adrian's fiance under my wing as well. 

I gave them life and now, they give it back to me, doubled up! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Lulu is doing her growl/grunt noise which means "get out of bed and take me for a walk." I can only ignore it for so long so up I get and out into the cold, dark morning.  The wind is biting and warning me of worse things to come. The stars are abundant and I pick out the dipper, Orion's belt and bow and Cassiopeia. Lulu is oblivious to the beauty above her, nose to the ground and chasing leaves!

Back home for coffee, I turn on the fireplace and light some candles. Time to shine a little light. 
I'm not big on shopping. The mall holds very little interest for me. Shoes and Jewelry are not even remotely in my top 10 list. And I'm not a light scented candles all the time all over the house type either (case you are wondering I am female, sometimes I wonder myself, but I checked to make sure). 

But it is dark and a little light shining in the dark can make a huge difference!

Here is another example. I helped out at the "Ride for Refuge" yesterday. This is a fundraiser to support people who are "displaced, vulnerable and exploited." Local funds will help support "Nightlight" the drop in centre downtown where I volunteer. 

Here is Lydia and I providing maps, water and direction.  
We were also trying to stay warm so there are abundant blankets around us but we threw them off for the photo! 

And there go some of our riders!!

These people have raised funds for the cause and are now off to pay the piper and do a 10, 25 and some even 50 km bike ride. Shine a little light!!

Lastly, I received an email some time ago. It was forwarded by a missionary I know from one of her co-labourers, a man I've never met, or even heard of. But somehow my name came up and he was praying for me. She forwarded me his prayer (translated from spanish) and here it is: 

Dear Cyndi,
I pray so that God make the miracle you are expecting so that you feel that even His silence has been the evidence that He is listening attentively when you spill your heart. I pray so that you understand that if you see only the steps of one person in your path they are not yours, but the Jesus who takes you in His arms.    
In the name of Jesus Amen.     

This stranger in another part of the earth encouraged me greatly. I was humbled, actually. 

Somewhere someone is thinking of you, and will shine a little light in your time of darkness. At the very least, it is probably your Mom! Remember to do the same!