First Days of Beauty

Every year, I choose one main positive value in life to focus on. This year my focus is on beauty. So far, I have not really been struggling with this effort, so much as building a base to grow it on.

I have started a major home beautifying project – cleaning our basement. I haven’t reached any Kodak moments yet, but every time I go downstairs I am excited by how much better things are looking than when I first began. ๐Ÿ˜Š

My husband has been home on a work layoff – the first in many years! It is nice having him home. It is very nice having him available to do the shopping and run errands. It is especially nice when he run out to do errands and comes home with a special little gift for me. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Dan came home with this beautiful glass baby elephant. He seems happy sitting beside the adorable stuffed elephant that granddaughter Genie gave me for Christmas.

I have not been spending much time outside this month. Occasionally, I do catch a beautiful moment in nature when I glance out a window.

Our backyard is a haven for squirrels and birds this winter.

I continue to spend time searching out and experiencing the meditations I find on You Tube – especially those related to sending healing, loving energy to others. They seem to be such a beautiful way to connect with family and loved ones – so much better than worrying and fretting about the people I care for!

Lately, I have finally realized, the rationale of sending healing, loving energy to those who would not have typically made my prayer list in the past. I am talking about people who have caused major grief to myself and my family, any people who I see as being arrogant or hateful or cruel. I know one is supposed to extend love and caring to those people – but that is seriously difficult to do – no matter how many times I read that they are the ones who need it the most.

Through meditation, I have found a way to send loving, healing energy to anyone, everyone, and especially to those who are the most difficult to. In my mind, projecting hate and anger to these people does not help them or me. However, sending them love and healing energy does make me feel much better. I can only hope that these people are touched by the love I send them. ๐Ÿ’—

This is one of the healing meditations that I have found to be particularly moving. I hope that if you are inclined to try it, you will enjoy the experience.

Stay safe and have a beautiful day๐Ÿฅ€

Keeping Busy

January has been a bit busy so far.ย ย  Dan has been home so we spend quite some time being together. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have started cleaning our basement.ย  Basement is probably an overstatement at this point, but it is coming together.ย  I have replaced a dozen cardboard boxes with a few Rubbermaid totes, sorted through Christmas decorations and downsized considerably, vacuumed up a year’s accumulation of dust and spider webs and found a few winter sweaters I forgot that I owned.ย ย ย  A few good day’s work for sure.

While going through the basement, I found boxes of old family favourite recipes – and a few that could become so,ย  now that I have time to cook.ย ย  I have tried a few already – peppersteak, breakfast pizza, breakfast wraps, and lemon butter tarts.

We had a brutal storm this week.ย  Sustained winds of 126mph ๐Ÿ˜ณ and snow.ย  We were extremely fortunate that we had no damage to our place and that all of our family stayed safe.ย  Our power was off for a couple of hours and Dan had some shoveling to do the next day.ย ย ย 

There was a lot of property damage across the province and many travellers were stranded away from home.ย  Dan and Amanda spent an extra night in Edmonton after taking Cason in for a bit of day surgery.

Recovering and milking the family for a little extra TLC. ๐Ÿ’—

I have spent time morning and evening practicing my meditation.ย ย  I have been enjoying Buddhist chants lately and continue to spend time sending healing energy to friends and family near and far.ย ย ย ย  I cannot imagine why it took me so long to appreciate meditating, but everything in its own time and this is my time to meditate. ๐Ÿง˜

Saskatchewan has the dubious honor of highest per capita Covid numbers since Christmas.ย ย ย  Dan has been doing our shopping and running our errands while I hunker down and await my turn to receive the vaccine.ย ย  In the meantime, I am happy to see those on the frontlines and our most vulnerable seniors getting the first doses that are available here.ย  ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Keep safe, keep busy! Only 4 more months or so until spring ๐ŸŒป

Natural Beauty

Even the easiest winter in Saskatchewan finds me missing the natural lush, green beauty of summer.ย ย  Regardless of how small our house may be, I will always find space for a few houseplants to see me through the season

When I moved in here with Dan, he had one plant sporting one brown leaf.ย  I nurses it back to health and it thrived for years before it totally failed.ย  When my son in law Charlie, lost his Mother, he brought me her little plant to take it’s place.ย  This is what was that little plant.
I go to the same nursery every year to get my bedding plants.ย  One year, I got this little succulent when they were clearing out their perennials.ย  It goes like crazy, I cut it down, and it grows like crazy once again.
My daughter bought me this little tree a couple of years ago for mother’s Day.ย  It was about 3″ tall.ย  Now it is 27″ tall. If it ever reaches it’s full height of 30 feet, we will for sure need a bigger house. (The elephant was from granddaughter Genie for Christmas)

Have a naturally beautiful day!

And So It Begins ๐Ÿ˜‚

Every time I resolve to do anything that I feel I really need to do, the universe kicks in to say “OH NO YOU DON’T” – or maybe the universe, like an old friend of mine, just thinks I enjoy a challenge. ๐Ÿ™„

At the beginning of every new year, I resolve to focus on something that I feel I should prioritize in my life. One year, I chose to focus on ‘happiness‘๐Ÿ˜‹. I clearly remember the universe tossing me many, many opportunities to be crushed by overwhelming sadness โ˜น๏ธ. Another year, I chose to focus on ‘kindness’. The universe promptly sent me every asshat on the planet. In 2020, I chose ‘peace‘ as my focus ๐Ÿ™„. Nuff said๐Ÿคฆ.

This year, for the entirety of 2021, I decided to focus on ‘beauty‘. What could go wrong? I climbed into bed last night, mellowed out with a couple of beautiful, relaxing, guided meditations, and gently drifted off to sleep. The universe blasted into my sleeping conciousness and brought me a solid seven hours of the ugliest nightmares that I have experienced in decades. WTF???

I crawled out of bed this morning, feeling beaten and bedraggled. I dragged myself to the kitchen to let Kat outside to ๐Ÿ’ฉ on the sidewalk at the foot of the back steps. Meanwhile, I got her breakfast ready and poured Dan and I each a cup of lukewarm coffee. (Yes we need a new coffee pot – tomorrow’s mission).

The rest of the morning passed well enough – I got dressed and pulled myself together, straightened up our room, made a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. Finally, I straightened up the kitchen and started to wash the dishes. And – there it was!

A tiny sparkle of beauty to warm my heart and cheer my day.

I do not typically buy myself jewellery – if I was to buy jewellery, I probably would not buy it on sale – at Walmart. But I loved this little ring and I always love seeing it sit on my kitchen windowsill, just sparkling and shining and making my day a little more beautiful.

Universe 0 – me 1.

Have a beautiful day๐ŸŒป

Spring Has Sprung in Saskatchewan!

I did not have far to go to enjoy some beautiful spring weather today. We are experiencing a very unseasonable warm spell. Yay!!!

It is +3 celcius today, a high of +5 expected tomorrow,  with minus single digits forecast for the next two weeks.

Kat and I went out for a while to enjoy the day. I worked at clearing our sidewalks and Kat’s patio path. It got so warm, I had to take off my winter coat to cool down. ๐ŸŒž

Kat hanging out, enjoying the sun.
Kat’s path – the snow is about 5 feet deep in the back yard and on the garden so she didn’t have much room to wander and do her business. ๐Ÿ’ฉ
There was sun to be seen – just kind of hiding behind the tree and some passing cloud cover.

If the beautiful weather was not enough to make my day, I came in to find that Dan had finished the laundry I had started, before heading outdoors. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Keep safe and have a beautiful day๐ŸŒป

Happy New Year 2021!

It is finally here!! – a brand new year with bright new hopes and dreams. ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ‰

Back in the day, I would be spending this day making my list of New Year’s resolutions. Most of them would be long forgotten by mid-March. A few years ago, I changed gears and chose a new ‘focus’ for each new year. Last year my focus was on peace and I have to admit that will be a hard one to beat. Going forward, I will definitely keep ‘peace’ a priority but for this year of 2021, I have decided to make ‘BEAUTY’ my focus.

During the summer of 2020, I spent a LOT of time outside – enjoying nature as I hadn’t for decades. On the days when the sun was shining, the grass was green, the flowers were blooming, the sky was blue and the birds were singing, the beauty of our world was easy to immerse oneself in. What really surprised me was that, on the gloomy and dreary days, it was even more heartlifting to find a tiny beautiful treasure to appreciate – be it a wildflower, a leaf, a perfect raindrop, or a baby’s smile. That is what convinced me that a year focussed on beauty, would make for a memorable year.

Today, I am fortunate to be able to share a family moment to kick off my year of beauty – and beautiful it was.

Yesterday afternoon, son Dan married Amanda, the love of his life – the woman of his dreams. More than a basic joining two hearts, it was the official joining of two families – a yours, mine, and ours celebration๐Ÿ’ž Even in the midst of a pandemic, with a very limited ‘live’ attendance this group made it an amazing event, while family and friends joined them via technology.

Live from the basement of the happy bride and groom. Gabby with Cason, Cori-Lynn (friend), Amanda, officiate, Dan, Lucas and Gregg (friend). Dan made the floral arch, while Amanda had a big hand in the rest of the decor.
The wedding cake – Dan made his amazing sour cream German chocolate cake (2 sections – 4 layers each) and mounted it on the wood base. Amanda decorated it with her typical talent and understated, humerous, flair!

This group does nothing half-way. They feed off of each other’s abundant, positive energy to make everyday a celebration. I was concerned about how well they would make out in a slowed down pandemic year like 2020, but they made the most of it – as always!

To the happy couple, the beautiful family and to all – Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2020

This year is winding down. For all of the challenges of 2020, people are excited for all of the possibilities of 2021. I guess that is human nature!

In 2020, I made peace my priority. In a difficult year, this priority served me amazingly well. It brought me into retirement. It allowed me time for walking miles and miles around our neighbourhood with our little dog, Kat. It brought me hours of relaxing in our yard this summer. It led me to a new and inspirational journey within, through meditation. It provided me with countless hours spent with my husband – a luxury after years of Monday thru Friday/ eight to four-thirty while Dan worked twenty-four/seven shifts. In half an hour, it will see us relaxing in the comfort of our own livingroom while we watch son Dan and his soon to be wife Amanda marry in their own home – hours away from us. Once again, in this year of pandemic, we are grateful for technology!

My path to peace in 2020 ๐Ÿ’ž

All the best as you ring out the old and wishing you a beautiful 2021! ๐Ÿฅ‚

Aging & Wisdom

Mom with Mark, Jen, & Danny

In North America, the general consensus is that being younger is synonymous with being better. We are conditioned to believe that the young have the advantage of being smarter, stronger, more attractive, and all around more capable and valuable than those who are elderly.

I bought into this theory when I was younger. I felt that I was smarter and sharper than my elders. In some ways, I was. I was quick to learn academically. I could read by the time I was three, absorbing the ability by listening to my older siblings doing their homework at the kitchen table. I memorized letters and numbers, poetry and prayers. I stayed at the top of my class, or close to it, throughout my school years. Once I became a mother, I quickly learned that I could multi-task, which I felt was a good sign of higher intellect and a great survival skill. Throughout my working years, I was capable of easily learning whatever was required to do my job competently. I did learn a lot of my knowledge from my elders, but I felt that my younger, quicker mind helped me to utilize that knowledge more efficiently.

Physically, I used to be stronger than I am now. I had the dexterity to perform tasks that I now struggle with (since when did it become such a struggle to do up the zippers on my winter boots?). I possessed the physical strength to shop for groceries, while carrying an infant, dragging a toddler and herding a pre-schooler. I had my own chainsaw and the ability to operate it. (We had a wood stove up north – the ability petered out when we moved back south. I once almost took out our neighbour with an electric knife. Live and learn – one should not cut a frozen ice cream cake with an electric knife. ๐Ÿ˜”). Even a year ago, my job included physical aspects such as hauling around heavy cartons of files, moving around product for inventory, and helping to load and unload trucks on the loading dock. Tasks that I would definitely struggle with now.

There is something to be said for youthful physical attraction. My babies were adorable and are still an attractive lot. My grandchildren are gorgeous. I was no slouch in my younger days. I had great legs. Total strangers would comment on my legs – in bizarre situations – it was kind of wierd. The thing is, younger people can tend to be dramatic, demanding, noisy, messy and embody any number of traits that are less than attractive. If it wasn’t for the bright smiles, thick hair and nice legs, a lot of them would be lonely.

As far as being overall capable and valuable – I think as a society, we are misguided. I have not been ‘elderly’ for very long. I am sixty-five and have been retired for a few months. These months, I have been slower and less productive than I have ever been. My priorities have changed – so much for the better and (not to brag.. but) I find that I am becoming wiser than ever. I understand things that I have learned and ‘known’ over the course of my lifetime. Even the things that I understood – I understand on a deeper level.

Since growing older, or possibly growing up, I have realized that…

1) Peace of mind is the most important thing in life. There is absolutely nothing that is worth sacrificing one’s peace of mind for. It is when things are at their worst, that we need our peace of mind the most. We are at our best to deal with life (especially the rocky periods) when we have peace of mind… 2) Infinity can only be found within. We can stare at the skies, we can gaze at the mountains and the oceans and the forests, we can look out over acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers, but we cannot comprehend the vast infiniteness of the universe and beyond until we look within ourselves and experience our subconscious minds and souls. 3) Aging is a gift. As we go through life – we live, we learn, we experience joy and grief, pain and pleasure. As seniors, we continue our physical lives, but we have such a precious opportunity to dig deeper. One of my blogging friends, likes to remind us of Wayne Dyer’s famous quote “You are an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience.” I always knew I was body, mind and soul. I think I always knew that of the three, the soul was the foundation of my existence. I was just too busy dealing physically and mentally, to live from my spiritual place. Now I am there and I would never go back, I could never go back, to that place where I stumbled and struggled to live my life as an intelligent physical being.

Mom & I

December 17th

My Father with my son Danny๐Ÿ’ž

Today marks the 27th anniversary of my Father’s passing. This week is always intense for me. My Father was a good man and he lived a good life – but his passing was the result of five years of pain and grief, as sinus cancer ravaged his body and our lives. His passing was a devastating and heart wrenching relief and blessing – set against a full blown stage of Christmas flowers and decorations, Christmas carols, and of course a raging, frigid blizzard. It was, and still is memorable.

This year, this week is particularly intense. This year, many have lost loved ones due to the Covid 19 pandemic that continues to rage. Many of those lost have been elderly parents, grandparents and loved ones. Everytime I hear another horror story of a nursing home that has been overwhelmed with cases of this brutal virus, I think of my parents and I feel for the residents and their families. I know what it means to be with loved ones when their time has come. I know that it is irrelevant how long a person has lived, or how much they have done or been through in their lives. I know how important it is for the elderly and their families to experience compassionate, loving final hours and days. When it is all that is left, it is everything.

I could go off the rails here and rage about those who protest wearing masks, or spread bullshit about the virus conspiracy, or complain about missing sports or holidays, or whine about whatever else is disrupting their pathetic self-centred lives. I could, but this blog is a tribute to my Father, so this is not the time or place.

I will just take this opportunity to express gratitude for all who have stepped up this year to do their a part – the medical personnel, the caregivers, the support workers, the truck drivers, the store clerks, the teachers, the suppliers of all essential services and products, the politicians who have worked together in good faith with the medical community, the teenagers who have supported their families and their communities, those who have followed health guidelines and done everything possible to protect themselves, their families and their communities. To everyone who has done their part, thank you. ๐Ÿ’–

I would also take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for anyone, anywhere, who has lost loved ones, or who has been separated from their loved ones throughout this pandemic. My heart goes out to you. ๐Ÿ’–

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for those who have been personally affected by the Covid 19 outbreak at Parkside Extendicare in Regina. In one, two hundred resident, senior’s care home – within three and a half weeks – there have been one hundred and sixty residents who have tested positive, many who have become severely ill – twenty residents who have passed away – plus eighty six care workers who have tested positive. There have been many from the community that have gone in to assist – paramedics from the Regina Fire Department, doctors and nurses and support workers from SHA, all risking their own health and well-being.ย ย ย ย The statistics are staggering. The reality for all affected – residents and their families and their caregivers have been beyond devastating. I am so sorry for all you have been going through – all you continue to go through. ๐Ÿ’–

Dedicated to my Father – Rest in Peace, Dad. You will always be a part of me & a part of my life๐Ÿ’–

Lighten Up

Everyone has those times when their light is shining a bit dim. This is one of those weeks for me so I thought it would be a great time to try to share a few of my favourite tunes. I hope they brighten everyone’s day! ๐Ÿค—

I use this one before ‘meditating to send healing’. Feel the love ๐Ÿ’ž
How can this not make you happy? A true classic.
Good for a smile or a tear – always brings back memories of my little boys.
My little boys (with their baby sister) 1981

Shout out to Dwight from fadedjeansliving.com one can never have too much light! ๐ŸŒž (Stop by and check out his blog, people. ๐Ÿ‘)

Have a great day!