August 29th – Spring Returns 🌄

Seasons are never a one and done thing in Saskatchewan. This morning the sun is shining, the air is warm, and Kat and I were out enjoying it all. I was even back under my tree, listening to some peaceful music and meditating in the heart of nature. 💗

So nice seeing everything looking clean and green, hearing all the little birds chirping and peeping and rustling in the branches. It is a perfect Saskatchewan day for some serious rest and relaxation.

We are having Tim’s Chinese for supper so I have plenty of time to putter around and take Kat for a bit of a stroll this afternoon. I am feeling so grateful for this beautiful day! 🤗

Wishing all a lovely Sunday afternoon! Take care and I will see you tomorrow. 💞

August 25th – Time Flies!

It seems like we were just cleaning the patios and planting the garden and here we are with autumn bearing down on us! The seasons seem to pass faster every year. 😳

Dan emptied the pool this morning 😥
Grandpa’s Bleeding Heart is done for the year. 😟
The wildflowers around the birdbath are looking rough.

I have never been a fan of autumn but there is still much to be grateful for. I am grateful for the fresh garden produce that we are enjoying every day, grateful that I have Dan to manage much of the heavy fall cleaning, grateful that I am not facing a winter of dark and icy drives to work (YAY), grateful for the end of mosquitoes and other bugs, and of course I am grateful that I am still here to enjoy each and every day!

Kat’s new food chock full of goodness and fresh garden vegetables and herbs.
At least the petunias are still blooming!

Wishing everyone a great day. Take care and see you tomorrow!

August 24th –  An Attitude of Gratitude 💞

Lately I have come across a number of articles regarding ‘The Dark Side Of Gratitude”.   The rationale behind these articles seems to be that focussing on gratitude can lead one to feelings of guilt (for having an abundance of what others lack), depression (for not being able to appreciate all that one has), or  feelings of unworthiness (for all that one possesses).   I  see the point these articles are trying too make,  but in my mind it is not gratitude that is the problem.

The best definition I have seen for gratitude is ‘Pausing to notice and appreciate the things (people, experiences, and opportunities) in life that we often take for granted.’ it is that simple.   Gratitude opens our hearts and our minds to all that is beautiful, comforting and caring in life.

I have struggled to feel grateful in my life and I now know what it is like to have a true attitude of gratitude.    Struggle is no doubt part of the path to gratitude but it is definitely not the result of it. 🤦

My path to gratitude was an uphill, rock strewn, dirt road which came to several dead ends and led me over the occasional cliff.   I, like most people, made it harder than it had to be.  Ultimately, I  found it necessary to make peace and contentment a priority in my life, and gratitude came naturally.

Along the way, I shared or crossed paths with others who were enjoying a life of gratitude and many others who were struggling to find their own way.

I have known people who had virtually nothing and yet were  so grateful for anything and everything.   Most of these people were young children.   Regardless of their personal circumstances, tots will positively beam with joy over anything from a new pair of socks, to a simple treat, to the discovery of a ladybug, to the greatest Disneyland adventure.  Tots are born with an amazing attitude of gratitude.  That, in my mind, is why childhood is such a precious and magical time.  🤗

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I met people who had far more than they would ever need, but we’re totally miserable and lacking in gratitude for  all they had or anything that they received or experienced.   They constantly wanted more, or something different, or were too busy grasping what they had,  to comprehend the joys of gratitude, much less attempt to develop an attitude of gratitude for any of it. 

There were those who were totally vested in their own pity party or victim identity.  They threw away one opportunity after another, ignored all kindness and generosity shown them, and tossed away every blessing they received in life.  Sadly, I have known people to plod through their entire life with this mindset.  They appreciated nothing in life.  They were incapable of an attitude of gratitude until they changed their opinion of themselves and  life in general and many just never did.

Lastly, there were those who never recognized their blessings because they were totally wrapped up in needing others to be grateful for every little thing they did for them.    Gratitude was a weakness in their mind, subservient behaviour that was to be expected from those beneath them.   They could not develop an attitude of gratitude because they simply did not understand the concept. 

Developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is not the easiest thing to do these days. Life is typically lived at a frantic pace, technology drives us beyond our limits, drama and greed and negativity are celebrated. But, living a life of gratitude is so worth every effort that one can make.   There is no dark side. Gratitude helps through the worst times of our lives, helps us make the best of the good times, and just makes every day worth living.

Wishing you a great day with every opportunity to feel grateful. 😊 Take it easy, take care and see you tomorrow. 💞

August 18th – Rain Day 🌧️

I was so grateful to wake up this morning to a nice rainy day. We needed the moisture. Dan and I fertilized the front lawn yesterday so this is perfect. (Ok. Dan fertilized and I watched Dan fertilize. Either way, the job got done. 😂).

It is also much cooler today. It is cool enough that I have our back door closed. In the spring, I cannot wait to leave the back door open so we can enjoy the fresh air and Kat can go in and out on her own. After a few months of constant sirens, vehicle traffic, neighbourhood noises, barking dogs, and the like, I am so happy to have a day of peace and quiet! Dan is at work so there is no tv. Erin called in sick today so I will not have Dom. I have nothing but peace and quiet to fill my day!

Peace and quiet are such precious commodities. There are so many people who need to have SOUND – all of the time! Even out in nature, amongst the babbling brooks and baby birds, there are people who need to bring or create noise . 🤷 Of course, that means no peace and quiet for people like me. 😟

So this is my kind of day and I plan to cherish every moment of it. 🤗

As will Kat, as soon as she finishes her nap.

Rain or shine, I hope you have a beautiful day! Take care and I will see you tomorrow. 💞

One of my favourite peaceful places – nature hike at Souris, Manitoba💞

August 17th – Naturally💞

It is much cooler here today and the smoke has finally cleared. Our plants are looking so much happier. I. am definitely feeling so much better. I am so grateful for the reprieve. 😉

Mini Bell Peppers
Sage
The petunias have aphid damage but the blossoms keep coming
Kat’s carrot patch

Our forecasted rain this week would really be appreciated. Now that things have cooled down a bit, it would be nice to see things get a refreshing shower. City water is just not the same.

I have grandson Dom with me again today. He is more mature and easier to entertain this year but he still needs to eat so I should work on getting his lunch ready. 🍝

Wishing all a day of natural contentment and beauty. Take care and see you tomorrow. 💞

August 9th – Pain Relief

I have been struggling for the past few weeks. Our weather, while not nearly as hot as in many places, has been relatively hot for us. Our house stays cool in the day time but gets stifling in the evening. We have two options – turn on the air conditioner or turn on the fans.

I have three respiratory issues so my lungs do not handle air conditioning well. My lungs can handle fans, but if the fan is blowing in our bedroom, it is blowing on my legs and I lay awake with leg cramps all night. 😥

Dan was talking to someone who suggested I try CBD creams and oils. With my leg cramps getting worse and my lack of sleep wearing me down, Dan offered to take me to a cannabis outlet (which are legal here) to see if they had anything that they would recommend for me. The shop was immaculate and the two staff members that attended to us were amazingly. We left with a bottle of hemp CBD oil, one of CBD Cream, and a package of hemp CBD bath salts.

I wasn’t too happy with the bath salts at first. I was too distracted by the plant life floating around in the tub and sticking to my skin to really enjoy it. I definitely was not about to let all of that stuff wash down our drain but fortunately I always have a drain screen handy. When I told Dan how it went, he made me a mesh basket that I could use to dissolve the bath salts but control the plant life in the tub. I am much happier using it this way!

I tried the CBD Cream with good results for my stiff and achy hands. I had a migraine one day and tried rubbing some of the cream on the back of my neck. The migraine vanished in minutes. I seldom get migraines, but when I do they are bad, and they do not just vanish!

I started taking a small dose of the CBD oil every night, about half an hour before I go to bed. Not only have my leg cramps totally vanished, but I have been sleeping soundly. I get up in the morning feeling great and more relaxed than I have ever felt! I have lived with sore, tense muscles forever (part of my genetic collagen disorder no doubt) and I would never have thought it possible for my body to feel this good.

On Sunday, when my son was here he developed a migraine. Mark has had frequent migraines since he was two years old. They are vicious and they last for days. He knew the one coming on was a bad one and he knows his migraines. I rubbed some of my CBD cream on the back of his neck and on his temples. I texted him the next morning to see how he was and he said he was feeling much better. 💞

I knew next to nothing about CBD a few weeks ago. I had heard of it but it wasn’t something that I researched or paid much attention to. I am amazed by the results that I have seen and I am so grateful that we found it. I am especially grateful that we discovered this line of Hemp CBD products as I would probably never had tried the marijuana lines. (Because I have such a low tolerance for anything with any psychoactive ingredients 🙄).

I have long been frustrated with our medical community, when it comes to quality of life. There is nothing worse than being in crushing pain, or seeing a loved one devastated by pain and hearing some doctor saying “well you won’t die of it.” Like you should be okay with living in pain. 🤨

I am so grateful to the governments, the researchers, and the industries who are recognizing that quality of life matters. I am so grateful that products are entering the market that address health issues that our health system ignores. These products are life changing and they are no doubt just the beginning. 💞

The Dr. Teals is a product I have been buying for months for Dan’s footbath. I doubt that the CBD level is high enough to do much, but he can use it way more frequently than straight Epsom Salts without it drying out his skin.

Wishing everyone a great day! Keep safe and I hope to see you tomorrow!💞

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

– JFK

July 4th – Everyday Magic

One of the most magical moments in my life occurred when I was about five years old. The town I lived in built a water tower, installed the infrastructure, and for the first time ever, my parents got indoor plumbing. I don’t think I ever – EVER – saw my mother as happy and grateful as she was on that auspicious occasion. I have never forgotten that and to this day, sixty some years later, I never turn on a tap, flush a toilet , or pick up a garden hose without feeling the magic.

Our everyday magic💞

I vaguely remember not having indoor plumbing. I remember my grandmother having a hand pump by her kitchen sink. I do not remember us having one. I do remember having an electric kettle that we used to boil water for doing dishes. I also remember being alone in the house the night someone forgot to unplug it. The electric cord caught fire and it was spewing millions of sparks across the kitchen – between me and the door. 😳🥺😢

A hand pump like my grandmother had.

We did have an indoor washroom. I do not remember the sink or the bathtub or how they were filled or emptied. I remember the toilet. It was basically a BIG can with a toilet seat on top. Inside the can was a metal five gallon pail. I do NOT remember anyone emptying it and I have no idea where it was emptied because I do not remember us having an outhouse. If we did have an outhouse, I have no idea how that was emptied. I remember my grandparents had the same arrangement except that they they lived in a small two story house and their washroom was upstairs.

We would go to visit my grandparents for a full week every summer. I do not once remember their five gallon pail ever being emptied. Nowadays, if any of my grandchildren saw me tottering down a steep narrow stairway carrying a five gallon pail of poop, I am sure they would notice – and remember.

Kids nowadays take notice!

Living in a country like Canada, we are so used to taking conveniences like indoor plumbing for granted. It is unfortunate, because having simple access to an abundance of fresh, clean water is so much more than magical. It is a true blessing. 🤱

Kat hanging out in the pool. 😉

That is it for my magical moments today. I hope you have a great day and that you have plenty of your own magical moments to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrating, Happy Fourth of July to our family, friends, and neighbours in the USA. 🇺🇸

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. 🌞

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. 💩
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. 😊

Keep safe and have a beautiful day🌻

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!

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. 🕊️