Sunday, November 27, 2016


I went for a walk yesterday to the local drug store and guess who I ran into??

The jolly elf himself! Actually this particular Santa has been hanging out on Sidney Street waving at cars going by for the past 24 years and in my opinion, he's the real deal. I asked him if I could take a couple of pics which he readily agreed to. Then I asked if we could do a "Selfie".

"Never done one of those before, hope you know what you're doing!" chortled Santa.

I'm proud to say, I'm the first person ever to take a selfie with Santa! At least this particular Santa...

Santa's Here! Let's get this Party started!

Love it or hate it, the Christmas season is upon us. 

The shopping, the parties, the concerts, the works: some good, some bad. And let's not forget the line-ups! We went to the Santa Claus Parade last weekend and it was so freakin' cold there was a line-up right out the Tim Horton's door for coffee.

We Canadians and our weird Tim Horton's fetish....I got nothing.

One of my favourite parts of Christmas time is the family time. Now I know my daughter Randi has been home from Europe for about a year and a half but it is still a miracle to me to have her so close by after 3 years of her being on the other side of the pond.  This weekend we started Christmas baking together.

On the agenda were these very easy Christmas mints:

Then we dove into some Shortbread. You start with the dough like so:

Then you cut them into these adorable little cubes and this is the final product:

Today we made Ginger Snickerdoodles:

Move over Keebler elves, there are new bakers in town!

I know the Christmas season can be harrowing, stressful and busy. But it can also be miraculous, generous and beautiful. I hope you can find a balance between the two and enjoy all that it has to offer!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


We re-arranged a few things in my office area a couple of weeks ago, making room for a "stand-up" work station. On Friday, I came across this little note attached to the side of one of the filing cabinets:

"Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart."

I have no idea how long that has been there, or who stuck it there, but I kinda like it, so I left it there. 

I'm getting the message!

If you are watching - and listening, you can usually find little nuggets of insight wherever you look, including on filing cabinets.

These comics have been following me around the office from pod to pod for I don't know how long. They are old and yellowed with age. 

I work in the Health Care field and in Canada, that means it is financed by the government. And THAT means things are always changing with every new government voted in that is trying to juggle our health care dollars. I just take a quick glance at Peppermint Patty and know I'm not alone. PP gets exactly how I'm feeling.

Sometimes we just have to face reality. I have a lovely crystal hanging decoration on my door that says "Dream". It's there for you to read coming in and going out. Yesterday I begrudgingly switched to this hanging decoration:

It coming friends....whether we like it or not. Mr. Weatherman is telling us to expect up to 20 cm over the next two days. Might as well embrace the change. 

Personally I'm not a big fan but I admit I like some snow: the first snow, the last snow and a bit on Christmas day say for an hour or two starting at 8:00  am and ending at 10:00 am. Meanwhile I'm hanging the white flag that says "Let It Snow" on my door acknowledging my surrender to the upcoming Canadian winter. 

So, look around you and keep your ears and eyes open. Open up the scriptures, take a walk, check out your Facebook feed. Someone is trying to tell you something and I hope you are getting the message!

Sunday, November 13, 2016


This may seem a bit shocking to you but I happen to like Cable TV. I know, most of you are jumping off that Cable band wagon and my argument is full of holes, but still I really do. 

Now before you all start rioting on me let me explain. In the 30 years I've been married, we have never subscribed to Cable. We managed with stringing up funky wires or bunny ears. For 12 years we lived in an old Victorian house that came with a HUGE TV antenna you could climb (if you were inclined) and pretty much  see the whole universe. All these options sufficed. We were able to get a handful of channels like CTV and TVO and that was enough for us. 

But then, along came digital. We were warned people and for about a year or so we were still able to slip in a few channels until about January 2014. BAM. Nothing, Notta.  The TV went dark and quiet. I would be walking the dog at night and see this strange sight through neighbouring windows, wondering how that all worked:

Finally, 2 months ago we finally got Cable! Picking so many channels was overwhelming and we still only need about 5 but this was the package for us starters. I am not a big TV watcher but this is truly part of our culture. My husband can now click mindlessly through channels like every other male in western civilization. 
And Commercials!! There are some that drive me crazy, like the "Wayfair, you got just what I need" ditty. But there are some really good ones too. Here are a few of my favourites from years gone by:

That adorable little girl sharing Cornflakes with Santa!!

Or how about the Singing Cow!!

Here's one that really "dates" me (you will get that pun in a minute). My sister Heather actually made this her Halloween costume once!

Welcome back TV, how I missed thee!

Hit It Hal! - "Mooomoomoom moo, Mooom moon moo..."

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I noticed the other night while walking Lulu that I am surrounded by a golden universe.

There is gold in them thar trees! 

In fact, everywhere I looked were trees, roads, yards covered in gold.

We all know there is a winter wonderland coming, but right now it's all about the crisp, fall leaves creating a golden, autumn existence.

Like most of you, I get to rake in all the gold that has fallen from the trees, leaving a plethora of gold leaf medallions on my yard. 

But, hey, it's only once a year. And they smell and looks so good.

Today, I turn 53, which is a bit of a head shaker. How did I get to 53? How come I have been allotted that many years on this earth (so far)? Even more fascinating, they have been very good years! My health has been excellent, I have an amazing family, great job and friends. I'm not struggling to survive in a refugee camp somewhere or scrounging for my next meal. 

As King David said:

"Lord, you have assigned me my portioned and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places and surely I have a delightful inheritance." 
Psalm 16:5,6

I'm keenly aware of my blessed existence. Do I deserve it? Not really. I certainly didn't earn it. Because I'm in process. Gold doesn't just arrive all shiny and clean. It needs to be refined and purged of impurities. It needs to be shaken and tossed to get out all those nuggets of dirt and muck. Often it's thrown into a fire to be shaped and melded into something beautiful.

So, even though I have been abundantly blessed, I'm still a 53 year old  woman made up of some gold, some dirt and some niggly stones that refuse to be removed. 

In the meantime, I will keep raking in the gold. Nuggets of wisdom, understanding and insight. Precious moments and memories. And I thank God for the delightful inheritance I have even though I am  made up of not just gold but dirt and muck and niggly stones.