Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season, however you celebrate it.

The tree is trimmed, the house is decorated, now I’m waiting for the spirit of Christmas to arrive. I don’t care about presents, I just want to be with my family and am looking forward to having our youngest son at home. And hoping we can spend some cyber time with our eldest son and his family. We’ll be going to our brown-eyed boy’s new house for dinner to celebrate with him and our daughter-in-law, along with some of her family.

This will be our first Christmas without Mom, and her absence will be felt by so many. We still miss her every day, but during the holidays her loss is more poignant. She’ll be with us in our hearts and in our thoughts.

As I look towards the New Year, I wish all the best for everyone. May it be a great year, full of love, and laughter, and good health. I don’t want to be greedy, so I won’t say “May all our wishes come true”, but how about – most of our wishes. I’m confident a few of mine will! Happy New Year!

Advertisements

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my Canadian Friends and Family!

1280x1024-Thanksgiving-Wallpaper-2 (1)

It’s been another tough year, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to write about Thanksgiving gratitude. Then I read over my past Thanksgiving posts and changed my mind. Because they’re just as relevant today as when I first wrote them, I’ve incorporated some of my thoughts from those posts into this one.

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with loved ones and, if we’re lucky, eat really yummy food. It’s also a time to give thanks for life’s blessings. Compared to so many places in the world, here in Canada, we have much to be grateful for. Thanksgiving will always hold a special place in my heart because I became a mother for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. There’s little in my life I’m more thankful for than the gift of my children.

As I look back at the past year, I see so much sadness, tragedy and anxiety, both personally and in the world, in general. I struggle to find gratitude, so instead I have to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people for no comprehendible reason. Good things happen as well, and this is where I must seek gratefulness. Even though it’s sometimes hard to find life’s joy, it’s there, hidden in many little things, and I give thanks for that.

2

I’m thankful my physical health continues to improve. I’m stronger and leaner and in less pain than I’ve been in a long time.

I’m thankful Hubby and I have had many Sunday Funday adventures this year, having great fun while exploring our beautiful outdoors.

Despite not getting to go to Alberta this year to celebrate Thanksgiving and his birthday with my oldest son and his family, I’m thankful to have family to share Thanksgiving with, and that Hubby once again cooked a delicious turkey dinner for us.

I’m thankful I’ve seen my kids more often this year, and that we were all able to spend a day together for the first time in three years.

I’m thankful I have two gorgeous, bright, healthy, affectionate little grandsons who love me very much, as I love them. And I’m especially thankful they came to visit me, not once, but twice, this year!

I’m thankful Hubby and I are able to look forward to the winter vacation we just booked.

I’m thankful that my aged little Roxy is still with us, and despite the health scare she just gave me, I’m thankful she’s slowly getting better and isn’t in too much pain.

Although I wish my mom didn’t have to take cancer treatments, I’m so thankful she isn’t experiencing many bad side effects.

I’m thankful that, although we’re far from wealthy, we don’t really want for much.

I’m thankful I have reasons to be thankful.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you too can find much to be thankful for in your lives.

Off To Enjoy Summer…

As I did last year, I’m putting my blog on summer hiatus until September.

1

If I have anything exciting to share regarding my writing, I’ll pop in with an update. And if I’m feeling really energetic, I might post the occasional Sunday Funday photo.

2

Have a wonderful, safe and happy summer. Wear sunscreen and hug your loved ones every chance you get.

3

Let’s Make It A Happy and Loving New Year!

5

As 2015 comes to a close, I find myself filled with equal parts hope and disillusionment. It’s sad to admit I’m not really liking our world right now. So much hate, intolerance. Violence. And I’m not just talking about the terrorists. I worry things will only get worse before, or even if, they get better. That leaves me disillusioned and disappointed.

But there’s also a part of me that my dad used to call a ‘bleeding heart’, and this bleeding heart has hope. Hope that there are more good people in the world than bad people. That love can and will triumph over hate. I continue to hold firmly to my faith in humanity with two tightly clenched fists.

So, how about in 2016 we all try a little harder? To be more tolerant, less easily offended. More patient and giving and loving. To look for the good in others, even if they don’t share our beliefs. Let’s be kinder! Just imagine the possibilities.

2

To quote the lyrics of the legendary John Lennon:

Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace… You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

3

I wish for you comfort on difficult days,

Smiles when sadness intrudes…

Rainbows to follow clouds,

Laughter to kiss your lips,

Sunsets to warm your heart,

Gentle hugs when spirits sag,

Friendships to brighten your being,

Beauty for eyes to see,

Confidence for when you doubt,

Courage to know yourself,

Patience to accept the truth,

And love to complete your life.

~Unknown author

4

Happy New Year to all. May 2016 be the best year ever, full of peace, happiness and good health.

1

Christmas Card List

9

Christmas Card List

I have a list of folks I know, all written in a book and every year when Christmas comes, I go and take a look.

And that is when I realize that these names are a part not of the book they’re written in, but of my heart.

For each name stands for someone who has crossed my path sometime, and in that meeting they’ve become the rhythm in each rhyme.

And while this sounds fantastic for me to make this claim, I really feel that I’m composed of each remembered name.

And while you may not be aware of any special “link”, just meeting you has changed my life a lot more than you think.

For once I’ve met someone, the years cannot erase the memory of a pleasant word or a friendly face.

So never think my Christmas cards are just a mere routine of names upon a Christmas list, forgotten in between.

For when I send a Christmas card that’s addressed to you, it’s because you’re on the list of folks I’m indebted to.

For I am but the total of the many folks I’ve met, and you happen to be one of those I prefer not to forget.

Whether I have known you for many years or just a few, in some way you have had a part in shaping things I do.

So every year when Christmas comes, I realize anew, the best gifts life can offer is meeting folks like you.

May the Spirit of Christmas that forever endures leave its richest blessings in the hearts of you and yours.

–Author unknown

Like this unknown author, I too still send out Christmas cards. Each year my list gets a little shorter; it’s so much easier to stay in touch on social media. But there’s nothing like a personal note to say, “I’m thinking about you and wish you the best”, especially to those I have no other contact with, so I plan to continue this tradition for years to come.

To all my family and friends, and to everyone who visits my blog throughout the year, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, however you celebrate the season. And may 2016 be your best year yet.

10616088_895485923837261_2031851288606906404_n

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian family and friends. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with loved ones and, if we’re lucky, eat really yummy food. It’s also a time to give thanks for life’s blessings. Compared to so many places in the world, here in Canada, we have much to be grateful for. I personally am thankful to be able to spend this day with my firstborn son, to not only celebrate Thanksgiving, but also his birthday. And I’m thankful for the presence of my hubby, daughter-in-law and grandsons. Family time is precious, and I’m grateful to have these loved ones around me.

1

As I look back at all of the little knocks life’s given me lately, I can choose to feel overwhelmed or I can find the positive in the situations. Today I want to look for the positives, because no matter what, there’s always something to feel grateful for.

2

At the beginning of May, my wee dog broke her leg while we were traveling. I felt terrible for her pain and everything she had to go through during her twelve-week recovery. It was also a major inconvenience for me, as well as a hit to our finances. I’m thankful she made a complete recovery and doesn’t even walk with a limp now. She’s an old girl, and it could’ve been so much worse.

Also in May, our ancient AC unit decided to retire permanently. We live in a hot climate, and in the following six weeks, our house reached unbearable temperatures. This was especially tough on my little Roxy, who couldn’t even get a drink of water by herself. I’m thankful we could afford to buy a new AC, and we were able to get it installed before the worst of the summer heat hit us.

For several months, during the spring and summer, I did little else besides help my mom with her move from her condo into an independent living community. Most of my other activities were put on hold while I worked long hours at her place. I’m so very thankful for the time I spent with her, sorting through her possessions together, talking about her past, listening to her stories. Just being with her. And I’m also thankful I was in a position to make the transition to a better lifestyle as painlessly as possible for her.

Because of Roxy’s broken leg, we had to cancel our much-anticipated vacation to Vancouver Island in June. I had done so much planning and preparing for this trip, it was a real disappointment to cancel it. I’m grateful that Hubby was able to get an unexpected week of vacation in August and we could reschedule our trip, even if we had to shorten it.

Two days before we left on that trip, I injured my foot in a freak accident. The injury looked horrendous, and both my doctor and the X-ray tech thought the foot was badly broken and I should’ve been in terrible pain. I’m beyond grateful that it wasn’t broken, and because of damage to a nerve, the pain was much less severe than it might have otherwise been. Despite continuing to deal with nerve pain issues seven weeks after the injury, I’m still thankful that while on the trip I was able to walk and hike, albeit at a slower pace and for shorter durations. Bottom line, our vacation wasn’t ruined.

At the end of August, I learned that the publisher of my first two books was closing its doors, leaving my books orphans. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have my books published, and I’m also hopeful that they will find a new home and, in the process, be discovered by new readers.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post that touched on having my comment deleted from someone else’s Facebook post. As a result of my blog post, this young woman unfriended me, sent me a toxic and misinformed message, then blocked me from responding to her. (You suggested I blog about it, so here it is, dear. I hope you enjoyed your “I’m so gonna un-friend you” wine, and it made you feel better.) This situation made me sad, not because I’m no longer her friend on Facebook, but because nowadays people seem so quick to find offense and overreact negatively. I had to dig a little deeper to find the reason to be grateful for this experience, and this is what I’ve come up with. I’m grateful that I’m secure enough with who I am that I don’t need to continuously seek approval from others for my own self-worth. I’m grateful that I have people in my life who love me, and not only do they love me, they like me too. These are the people I want around me. Anything else is just white-noise, and I can always turn down the volume.

It’s so easy to be grateful about this next one. My brown-eyed boy and daughter-in-law will soon be home, and I can’t wait to see them.

3

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you too can find much to be thankful for in your lives.