International Hug Day part 2

Yesterday, I may have been a little dubious about the power of hugs but as usual, our granddaughter, Genie had to pop in to convince me to rethink matters.

Gifts for Grandpa🐞

I love teenagers. When my kids were teenagers, they were the best and they had the best friends. We were ‘the house‘. Having left my husband, to raise and support three teenagers alone, it was not the biggest or the fanciest house. It was a safe house, a secure house, a peaceful house, and a happy house. That is all my kids and their friends wanted. A place to watch a movie or play a board game or eat a week’s supply of homemade stew at one sitting. There were not a lot of rules, other than the obvious ones like no drugs or alcohol but the first rule was always RESPECT yourself, RESPECT each other and RESPECT Mrs. N. (This was before I remarried and became Grandma D.) They all had their moments and no doubt a few challenging days but they were adorable. Nowdays, my kids and their friends are all in or close to their forties. They were good, responsible teenagers and they have all become responsible adults with children of their own, who are coming into their own as teenagers.

This brings me back to Genie and her friends. Genie is amazing. She is smart and beautiful and kind and (generally) responsible. Her friends seem to be likewise. They are all really good kids – until the DRAMA kicks in. Then they are still good kids but more dramatically so. When did teenagers become so insecure and stubborn and dramatic?

Yesterday, Dan and I were watching the news, while supper cooked, and Genie came crashing in with her friend Lucas. Earlier she had texted to tell me she had gotten a 95% on her final English exam for the semester. She was beyond excited. Yay, Genie! She comes bouncing in dragging Lucas behind her. Lucas did not fare as well and unfortunately came up short on his math exam. Genie had taken Lucas to the Cornwall Centre to meet up with friends in an effort to cheer him up. It obviously did not work very well so Grandma and Grandpa D’s it was. We visited for half an hour, chatted with Genie, commiserated with Lucas and it was time for them to head out. Grandpa gave Genie her usual bear hug, as did I, then I turned to Lucas and offered him a hug as well. (I knew from previous visits that he was a hugger). He jumped at the offer and smiled for the first time during their visit. He looked better for the hug and Dan and I both assured him that in the overall scheme of things, he would be fine.

I may not be totally convinced but I do think my hug for Lucas yesterday helped him turn a corner on his day. I certainly hope both Genie and Lucas did well on their exams today. Fingers crossed.🤞

International Day of Hugs

Today is the International day of hugs.  I have to admit, I am not the most touchy feely person and I am rattled more than a little when someone spontaneously hugs me, especially if it is someone I have just met or someone I do not know very well. Occasionally, someone will ask if it would be ok to hug me. I generally agree although there have been times when I have just declined with a simple “No, I’m good”. Actually it was one time and he was a pre-plan funeral salesman. It was just wierd.

Despite my reluctance to hug willy-nilly, there have been a number of studies that have shown that hugging has potential benefits – physically and emotionally. Newborns, are known to thrive when the they are hugged, compared to those who are deprived of such physical interaction. The same theory must also be popular with seniors. I am pretty sure one of the prerequisites for working in a nursing home is the ability to pass around hugs like hard candies – which is another story of mine altogether.

I honestly do admire people who are capable of giving out spontaneous hugs to anyone in their immediate vicinity. I had a brother-in-law who gave the best bear hugs. He was an amazing man with a big heart and a total joie de vivre. Unfortunately, he died in a vehicle accident many years ago. The likes of Paul are few and far between. My kids are all good and natural huggers but they are all a little cautious about who they hug. My grandchildren hug anybody, their friends are huggers, it is somewhat of a ‘thing’ with the lot of them.

& kisses

Happy ‘International Day of Hugs’! It is only one day of the year, make the most of it.  Hug your mother, your friend, your sister, or your dog. Hug a stranger – but like not me. I’m good🤗

Winter Flu

The temperature is finally breaking into single digits today and I am home with the flu. I spent the weekend making home made chicken soup and taking care of my sick husband and he has decided to share. It is miserable having aches and pains, sore throat, runny nose, headache and heavy chest.

I get a bonus when I am home sick during the week. My dog takes it personally. She pouts, glares at me and goes to the back door on a regular basis. When I drag myself over to open the door, she looks at me as if to say ” Not me, you get out!”. I have no idea what she does when I go to work all day but I have a feeling she will not be impressed when I retire in a few months.

Religion

I grew up in a French Catholic home.  Religion was a big part of our heritage and a big part of our daily life.   I left the church many years ago because I could no longer be a part of it.  At first I put my religion in the background, as my husband at the time had become  negative and disrespectful towards it.  I felt he was doing our children more harm than I was doing them good, by having religion in our lives.  Then, when I left my husband, I left the church completely because the powers that be frowned on divorce and I refused to be frowned upon for getting myself and my children out of a terrible and dangerous situation. I did the right thing, and to this day, I know what I did was the right thing.

I am hardly the only person who had  legitimate reasons for leaving the church.   There has been every type of abuse by clergy in the church and many who used their authority to support it and conceal it.    There is no denying this and there is no excusing it.   Victims need to be compensated and supported and abusers and their supporters need to be held accountable. 

It would seem that organized religion, especially the Catholic Church is a floundering institution which, at some point, will permanently drift into obscurity.  A lot of people would like to see this happen.  I am not one of them. Although I do wonder if it is beyond saving, I do feel that it is an institution that has always been worth saving and it grieves me that it probably will not happen.

Growing up, the Catholic Church was an important institution. I didn’t believe that it was ever infallible but I felt it was important in my life.

– We were fortunate to have dedicated priests and nuns serving our parish. I remember many of them today. They were a valued and respected part of our community and our lives.

– We were fortunate that we were taught basic morals and values – that we were taught rules that have helped us live good lives, rules that we could pass on to our children so they can live good lives.

– We were fortunate to have a strong sense of community. We celebrated births and we mourned deaths, together. We made time to gather every Sunday and many times in between. Our priest opened the church hall up to all of the teenagers in our small town (and surrounding areas). During the week we shot pool, played shuffleboard or table tennis, and practiced singing for our glee club. On weekends, we had dances which featured local aspiring bands. Father L’Heureux was our sole chaperone. I can only remember one incident. One young guy thought he would sneak in a mickey of alcohol. Father L’Heureux stepped in to escort him out and took a punch to the face. There was no blood but the good priest was not happy about having his cigar crushed. 😂

– We were fortunate to have many women (nuns) who devoted their lives to taking care of the sick and the elderly in homes and hospitals. These facilities were anticeptic, brilliantly, CLEAN. The food was nourishing and healing. The nursing was strict but compassionate . I spent a month in a public hospital a few years ago. I could not believe how we now treat our sick and suffering. The place was disgustingly dirty. The food was just plain disgusting. It was in no way edible, much less nourishing. Other than my cardiac specialist, who was amazing in every way, care and compassion was pretty much non-existent.

– We were fortunate to have a place to gather with others to experience a living faith. It was a moving and uplifting experience.

There were, and are, many positive contributions that religion, and specifically the Catholic Church made to society. There were a lot of truly dedicated and devoted clergy in the church who spent their lives serving others. I am so sorry that their lives and good deeds have been lost in the noise of the corruption that has rocked the church over the past few years. I am sorry for all that we have lost, especially since we have nothing of comparable value with which to replace it with.

Positivity

If one is happy and grateful and stays focused on seeing the best in life, every day will be rainbows and unicorns. Except when it isn’t. 😟

Today it wasn’t. Today started with a windchill of 48 below zero. I got to work and my ex showed up. I haven’t seen him for years. I was fine with that, but today he showed up. Then his car froze, so he could not leave for hours. Then I had a tense discussion with my boss about a messy tender that I have been working on, followed by an argument with his son. Lunch was wieners and beans, leftover wieners and beans! The afternoon brought two more messy tenders and too much work for too little time. By the time I got home, I was struggling.

I fed my dog, worked on my jigsaw puzzle and made myself toast and jam for supper. Still struggling! I finally went to take a hot bath.

In the tub, I suddenly remembered a moment at work today. A client called to complain that he couldn’t find an email we had sent him. My boss told him to look in his junk. Ok, my bad but I thought that was too hilarious. 🤣

Then I remembered that my husband had brought home cinnamon buns for me and my office mate, Kori this morning. I remembered Kori had picked me up for work because my car is in the shop. I remembered my son had thanked me for being understanding and civil to my ex. I remembered the power had come back on when I got home so my house was warm and toasty. Best of all, I remembered tomorrow is FRIDAY!

My husband (with Cason)
Kori and I at Civic Night🥃🍺🍷🥂
My son (with his son)
My Dog, Kat

Bottom line, today was not all rainbows and unicorns, but it had more than a few good moments, good people and a pretty good dog. I have enough warm and fuzzy memories to get me through the night and off to a fresh start tomorrow. Today, I will take that as a win.👍

Life in the Frozen North

My poor little car is down for the count. I am not sure if this is even a thing, but it would seem my automatic steering fluid has frozen. Whatever the problem is, my power steering no longer has the power to steer.

We are lucky that we do not live in an area where we generally see hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or the like but when our temperature drops down to the minus 40’s things tend to seize up – especially vehicles. Aluminum rims shrink and tires go flat, fluids freeze, batteries die, doors freeze shut. It is too much fun – especially when it is too bloody cold to deal with all this fun stuff.

Fortunately, I live a block away from where my workmate lives so for tomorrow we will carpool and Dan will drive his Jeep, which I usually drive when he is working. Even more fortunate, the temperature is supposed to start going up this weekend. 😊

Nightmares

Years ago, during my first marriage, I had nightmares on a regular basis. There were two nightmares that were particularly recurring. The first one would vary but I would dream that I awoke only to realize I was still dreaming. This would repeat over and over throughout the night. It was exhausting and frustrating. In the second nightmare, I was dead. The dream changed from night to night but I was constantly seeing my dead body. In one dream, my dead body was propped up in a child’s sandbox. It totally creeped me out that people were just letting their children play in the sand and no one even considered moving my body. It was disturbing to say the least.

After my first marriage ended, I read that the first dream was typical of someone who felt they were trapped in a hopeless situation. Relative to the second dream, I read that death in a dream represents the end of a situation. It blew me away how both of these dreams had been such an accurate depiction of my life at the time.

In the years since, I still tend to have very vivid dreams but I would not consider them to be nightmares. Most are just very wierd and it seems rediculous how realistic they seem at the time.

This morning, Dan left for work at 4 a.m., which is usual when he works the day shift. Kat got up to see if she would get fed, which she did not.  As usual, she tried, and as usual she failed which meant coming back to bed and waking me up in the process.

I had two hours before I had to get up. Fortunately, I promptly fell back to sleep. That was the end of my good fortune. I experienced two hours of the most vivid and disturbing nightmares that I have had in decades. There were any number of details that I felt could be symbolic of something. What that would be is totally beyond me. I do think that overall these nightmares were relative to my current situation with my daughter. I have no idea if they were a good sign or bad.   I looked them up on an online dream dictionary this morning but was none the wiser.    Now I am annoyed, tired and confused.  I hope this is not the beginning of another trend!