Happy Birthday Mark

Happy Birthday to my firstborn – Mark Benjamin. I remember bringing you home from the hospital like it was yesterday. You were so very tiny. Now, poof – forty three years later!

So much has happened in those years. I remember the little boy who refused to walk through puddles. How did you become the man who works construction, camps out with Erin and Dom every chance you get, crawls through the bushes with airsoft guns blazing and spends your spare time on one home improvement project after another? All the never, evers I heard for years and yet here you are. 🤣

It truly makes me wonder where the next forty three years will take you?

Happy Birthday, son. I will love you forever, I will like you for always!

Changing Seasons

The struggle is real. Moving from summer to autumn, in Saskatchewan, just doesn’t work for me.

Trading the summer heat for the autumn chill does not work. Trading bright sunny skies for dull, overcast ones does not work. Trading green grass, thick lush trees and colorful summer flowers for the depressing dying plant life of autumn definitely does not work!

This morning Kat and I headed out for our morning walk. We took a route that we do not usually follow. We trod along four or five kilometres of city sidewalks. It was ok. The weather was warmish. The people we crossed paths with were friendly.

Finally we reached our neighbourhood park. I started to take more notice of the nature around us.

The grass was pretty sad looking.
Some of the trees were looking downright depressing.

And then I saw IT!

A perfect golden leafed tree framed by brilliant blue sky.

It is amazing how one can find so much peace and joy and hope and beauty in one glance. I could have been looking in the wrong direction and missed it. I could have been shuffling along staring at the ground and feeling miserable and I could have missed it. But there I was, walking through my favourite little park, looking for peace and hope and joy and beauty and BAM there it was.

Wishing all a great day – or at least one perfect moment. 🤗

Parenting 101

My Parents’ 50th Anniversary (1989)

On January 1st, I made a commitment to make PEACE my priority this year. I have made a strong and consistent effort to stay true to my commitment. In many ways, I have made significant progress in becoming less anxious and in making my life more peaceful.

There is one area of my life where I continue to struggle on a regular basis . My problem area is parenting – and grandparenting – and when the time comes (if I do not pull myself together) – it will be great-grandparenting. 👵

The problem (for me) started with my Mother. She taught me, that if you love someone you care about them. If you care about someone you WORRY about them. I am sure that is what her Mother taught her and, God forbid, that is what I taught my children. 🤦

I love my children and I adore their children. I care immensely about them all. So, when my children or grandchildren face any challenge whatsoever, I worry. If they face a serious challenge, I go into a full-blown anxious meltdown.

I know in my mind that I am over reacting. I have faced challenges in my life. I have made bad choices and I have had to deal with the consequences. I have had my heart broken. I have tried and failed. I have struggled with health and finances and grief. I have survived and, more often than not, I have come through each challenge stronger and better for having been through it.

I know my children and grandchildren are smart and capable and resilient and everything else that they need to be to survive every challenge that they will face in life. I want to stop worrying about them and start showing them that I believe in them. Regardless of the situation, I want to be a strong and calm presence in their life.

I have long believed that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. This quotation has been repeated by many strong men throughout history. It is true and so extremely important! It is the basis of my commitment to making peace my priority this year.

There is nothing more debilitating than fear. Fear makes any challenge – physical, mental, or emotional – all the more difficult to conquer. Fear makes any dream or goal all the more difficult to achieve. I know because I have too often allowed fear to rule me. I do not want it to rule me or my family going forward!

There is no form of fear that is productive or helpful. Worrying about those you love, even your precious children and grandchildren is not productive or helpful. If anything, it undermines their confidence and that is unhelpful and detrimental to their well being! Worse yet, it teaches them to perpetuate this unhealthy form of love when then become parents and grandparents.

Going forward this year, I will continue to make peace my focus – for myself, my children, and my grandchildren. 🕊️

Daily Routine

Another day of not accomplishing a whole lot.  I had my coffee, read my news, walked my dog, did dishes (where do they keep coming from?), did some housecleaning, fed the squirrels and birds, fed Kat (twice), killed fourteen bugs and did a bit of yardwork.    And, it is time to make supper. Where does my time go?

When I worked, I thought that the best thing about retirement would be having time to complete the ‘bigger’ home projects.  Now I feel like I am living the sequel to “Groundhog Day”.

Is this what retirement is supposed to be like?  I really thought it would be more productive. I used to be productive when I worked. There was always more work than hours in a day, but I always got it done!

I am thinking I should start making a to do list again every morning to get back on track. Or maybe that would be contrary to what retirement is meant to be?

Life in the retirement lane👵

Walking Meditation

Peace is my Path

This summer I have done a lot of walking. What began as a means to improve my health and well being, became my favourite part of my day – rain or shine.

Yesterday I came across an article on walking meditation. I found it interesting because I find walking very relaxing and peaceful and because I have never been able to quite capture the essence of meditation.

I have tried meditation several times through my life. I have tried various methods. I just never quite get there. I either get distracted, get frustrated, or my personal favourite – I get so relaxed that I fall asleep.

Walking meditation sounded ideal for me. This morning as I headed out for my walk, I decided I was going to try ‘Walking Meditation’. One step, two step – Kat stopped to smell a post. Start over. One step, two step – some guy on a bike came barreling down the sidewalk and tried to run us down. Start over. One step, two step – busy street, have to focus. Start over. One step, two step – Kat stopped to poop. Give it up already!

Kat💞

Obviously, walking meditation is strictly a solo endeavour meant to be done along a quiet beach – possibly at midnight. 🙄

Since we do not have any beaches in the vicinity and I am sound asleep well before midnight (not to mention Kat has a fit and guilts me out if I leave her behind when I head out for a walk), my quest for a workable meditation technique is still a work in progress.

Any ideas? I am open to suggestions🙂

Happy Birthday, Dan🎂

Dan with his family – Cason, Gabby, Amanda and Lucas💓

My son Dan is celebrating his birthday today. We cannot be with him as he lives hours away, but we are thinking of him and wishing him all the best – today and always.

When people talk about nature versus nurture, I think Dan is the perfect example of nature. He hit the decks running, big hearted, and good-natured. Forty-one years later, after taking everything that life could throw at him – Dan is still ready to go, big hearted, and good natured! (although apparently his good nature was a bit lacking the day Cason locked him out of his truck) 🤣🤣🤣

The only thing better than having a child like Dan, is seeing the man that he became. 👍

Changing Seasons

It is hard to find a lot of ‘positivity’ in a day that rings in at +5 Celsius and the world is turning a nasty shade of Saskatchewan greige but it is there if you look hard enough.

Kat and I geared up and went for a 3.67 kilometer walk around the neighbourhood. That was hardly a record for us this summer but it is a good 3.67 kilometers further than we used to walk on a daily basis. 😋

I have no idea what this is – the colour leaves something to be desired but I thought those hairy balls were cool. Baby tumbleweeds maybe?
I don’t know what these little cuties were either but they were blooming along the path in our neighbourhood park.

Time to get out and start harvesting everything I can from the garden. There is frost in the forecast for tonight so we will have to cover anything that isn’t ready to pick. 🤦

Have a great day! If there is heat and sunshine anywhere, get out and enjoy it! Send pics🙄

September Sunday

I am taking it easy today. I went for a walk with Kat this morning. She’s taking it slow lately due to a bum leg. I take her for a walk around our route, bring her home for a treat, and then go back for a brisker walk by myself.

Kat resting after her nap.

I snapped a few pictures in the garden while I was outside.

Our bell peppers are amazing this year.
Our jalapenos and other hot peppers are prolific.
Our Roma’s and San Marzanos are finally ripening
Kat has Tiny Tim tomatoes ripening faster than she can eat them.
A couple of our carrots have gone to seed. I have never seen that before but we have plenty of them and they are huge this year.
Out geraniums are still in bloom!

Time to rest and relax for a bit before I start supper.

Have a nice Sunday💐

Emotions

Since January 1st of this year, I have been committed to focussing on peace.   I have written pages and pages of positive affirmations relative to peace.  I have walked miles and miles around our neighbourhood and through our local park, focussing on the peaceful ambiance of nature.  I try to keep peace a part of my day from morning to night.

Recently, I have felt that my life has become more peaceful. I am getting better at accepting the things I cannot change.  I am becoming  more patient.  I tend to be less anxious and I worry less than I used to. As a bonus, my physical health has been improving, which makes me feel better over-all.  

It seems even the people around me are less anxious and stressed than they were in the past.  Maybe I was just projecting my stress onto them?  Either way, life seems more peaceful.

Until a few nights ago…  Suddenly I had a dream about my ex-inlaws.  I dreamt that they came to celebrate Christmas with us.  I have not had any contact with them for many years. I seldom think of them. Nonetheless, I dreamt they showed up for Christmas.  I was so angry, hateful and cruel to them that even in my dream I was shocked at how mean and nasty and terrible I was.  I woke up feeling horrid for how I treated them in my dream.

I have no idea what that was all about. I do not know if I was unconsciously releasing all of my pent up unpeaceful thoughts and emotions. I certainly do not know why I would have spewed it all at my ex-inlaws. They have never been my favourite people but I have certainly known people I had more reason to hate on.

Emotions are so strange. Memories, dreams, or even fictional stories about fictional people can overwhelm us with joy or grief, anger, or fear. That is wierd and unsettling in a way. How we feel often guides us to what we say or how we act. But what about when our feelings are not even remotely based on our actual circumstances? Then what are they for? Hmmm….