December 12th – Tradition

Maintaining traditions is always a good way to celebrate the Christmas season. Definitely one of my favourite traditions at this time of year is receiving a bouquet of pink roses and red carnations from my husband Dan.

This annual tradition dates back to before Dan and I were dating. Dan and I were both working at the same millwork company. A strange situation indeed, since Dan has spent virtually his entire career in industrial steel work and I am deathly allergic to trees and any of their bi-products. Anyway… We both came to be working at the same company. I in the front office, and Dan in the production department. As was the case everywhere I worked, I did my best to support the production department – without which there would obviously be no company. I made their coffee, kept their lunch area and washroom cleaned, got to know each and every one of them, ensured that payroll was prompt and proper every two weeks, ordered supplies and just did whatever I could to keep them and their department running as smoothly as possible. It was what I did – on top of my administrative duties, customer service, and keeping the showroom clean and presentable.

At Christmas, we had an annual cleanup of the entire shop, set up a bar and a table of goodies, and invited customers and suppliers to drop by for a visit with management and staff. After, we were set-up and good to go, we dispersed to our homes, clean ourselves up, and returned dressed and ready to indulge and party. That was the typical. In 1996, a few months after Dan had joined the production department, I returned to accept delivery of a huge and gorgeous bouquet of pink roses. Dan had taken up a collection amongst the guys in the production department and had arranged for the bouquet, including a card that read “For all you do, these buds are for you.” (A play on a Canadian beer slogan for those from elsewhere). It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated. πŸ’ž

By the next Christmas, I was no longer at the millwork shop, Dan and I were family, and he had learned that pink roses were my absolute favourite (red roses my least) and that I kept a red carnation on my kitchen windowsill for my father, who had passed away days before Christmas a few years previously to this. On Christmas Eve, Dan arrived home with a bouquet of pink roses accented by one red carnation.

Dan has continued this tradition almost every year since – generally on December 17th (the anniversary of my father’s death) or on Christmas Eve. The beer slogans petered out but the sentiment is as heartfelt, the bouquet is as beautiful, and the gesture is every bit as much appreciated.

Pink roses and red carnations 2021 πŸ’ž

This year the bouquet came a bit earlier than usual – partly traditional bouquet, partly a get well bouquet. I was more than happy to receive it and I will enjoy it as I recover from surgery and finish preparing for Christmas.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

October 11th – Happy Thanksgiving!

Today it is officially Thanksgiving in Canada. (In our house we are celebrating with our Thanksgiving supper tomorrow night – at 7 pm, to be specific 😁).

I did not source out an actual news story about Thanksgiving in Canada but I have put together a few bits and pieces that I would consider newsworthy. Some were news to me. 😏

Matin Frobisher and his crew celebrated the first Thanksgiving in Canada in 1578 in honor of their safe return from a dangerous exploration of the Northwest Passage.

Thanksgiving was formally recognized as a holiday in Canada in 1879. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October, in recognition of the successful end of our annual harvest season. Since our harvest ends a month sooner than that of our neighbours to the south, our Thanksgiving is celebrated a month earlier than their November celebration. That makes sense!

One of our neighbourhood Bluejays, harvesting peanuts.

Thanksgiving in Canada is not the huge holiday that it is in the States. Families gather. Some watch a bit of sports. Most eat a lot of turkey, ham, cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing and all the other foods fit for a traditional feast – up to, and including, pumpkin or apple pie. Many Canadians rally to serve a hot meal to the less fortunate. There are small local events put on across Canada, but nothing national or over the top. It is typically a relatively quiet family centred holiday.

Unlike our American neighbours, we do not round off our Thanksgiving weekend with a pre-Christmas shopping spree. Our retail outlets hold their biggest sales of the year on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) as a customer appreciation event. This is a throwback to a European tradition started by Lords and Ladies of great estates. On Boxing Day they would present gifts to their household staff to show appreciation for the extra services that they had provided over the Christmas season.

Let our lives be full of thanks & givingπŸ’ž

Take care and have a great day! For all of those who are celebrating in Canada this weekend – Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ

August 31st – Celebrating Gratitite

It is the last day of August and thus the last day of my tribute to Gratitude.Β Β  This has been a great month for me! Β  I have enjoyed writing each and every post.Β Β  I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated each and everyΒ  visit, like, and comment received.Β Β Β  I love this sense of community that is WordPress! πŸ’ž

For this final chapter on Gratitude, I will once again turn to quotes from the wise!Β  My appreciation to them for putting into words what I truly believe.

Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more.Β  If you concentrate on what you do not have, you will never have enough.

Β Β Β  – Oprah Winfrey

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out, and the tide of love rushes in.

Β  – Kirsten Armstrong

Gratitude opens the door to …the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the Universe.Β  You open the door through gratitude.

Β Β  – Deepak Chopra

Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilling life.

Β Β  – Jack Canfield

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.

Β Β  – Charles Dickens

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.

Β  – Randy Pausch

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies…those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

Β  – John Milton

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.

Β Β  – Gilbert Chesterton

I hope you have enjoyed your visits to my blog this month, as I have enjoyed sharing it!

Tomorrow a new month begins and with the new month I will be kicking off a new theme. I am going to be going in a totally different direction. We will have to see how that goes. πŸ˜‚

Have a great day! Take care and I hope to see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

August 13th – Neighbours

Dan worked the night shift last night. Everything seemed fine. Kat and I had a quiet evening until we headed off to bed at about eleven. At twelve thirty our doorbell rang and Kat hopped off the bed in a frenzy.

I followed Kat to the livingroom. As soon as I glanced out the window, I realized our Jeep was running. I have no idea why, but I suspect it has a wiring issue or some demonic possession happening. I looked out to our front steps and saw a big man standing on the landing. It could have been Dan – or our neighbour Liam, or possibly some random serial killer. I couldn’t tell. He saw me and pointed to our Jeep. Charades isn’t my strong point so I finally gave up and opened the front door. Fortunately, it was Liam. πŸ€— Totally fortunate that it was not the random serial killer. πŸ₯³ He told me that our Jeep had been running for quite some time and he had come to check on us. He offered to go shut it off if I would use the key fob to open the door for him. I did. He did. It was all good. 😁

I am so grateful that we have Liam for a neighbour. We do not know him well, but we chat from time to time and I know he is someone I could reach out to if I ever needed to.

We are fortunate that we have two kind and thoughtful neighbours on our block. There is Liam, his wife and their two adorable little girls who live two doors south of us, and there is Kim and her young exuberant son Kingston who live two doors north of us. Both are the kind of neighbours that anyone would want to have.

Having good neighbours is something I really appreciate and something I doubt that I will ever take for granted. Over the years, I have had a few neighbours who were great people and became good friends. 😊

I have also had a number of those ‘other’ neighbours who make us really appreciate the good ones! I didn’t think it could get worse than one neighbour I had in North Battleford. That was the guy who tried hitting on me as I was walking past his house. I was nine months pregnant, had a toddler and a tot in tow – and he was throwing up over the railing on his front steps. “Nope. I do not want to party.” 😳

Then we had members from a violent gang living next to us. The only thing worse than the noisy parties were the drug deals that went down in front of our house. The day after a couple of their guests got into a fight and ran into my car, they toodled off to a new neighbourhood. πŸ™‚

The neighbour that bothered me the most was a miserable older man who lived next door to us. If I was outside working on a project in our yard, he would be sitting in his half-ton, on his driveway, adjacent to our yard. He would stare at me the entire time I worked. When I finished my task at hand, he would call me over to his truck to critique (criticize) my work. If I did not come out of our house to work on our yard, he would frequently storm over, pound on our door, and indignantly tell me what I should be doing outside. We went to his funeral a few years ago. I was not sad to lose him as a neighbour, but I was really sad that anyone would waste their life trying to control how others lived theirs. πŸ˜₯

Anyway, I digress. This blog is about Liam and the neighbours I am, or have been, grateful for. Thank you, Liam! If I never have the opportunity to pay back your kindness, I promise that one day I shall pay it forward. πŸ’ž

Have a great day. Take care and I will see you tomorrow! πŸ’ž

May your neighbours respect you, troubles neglect you, angels protect you, and Heaven accept you.

– Irish Blessing

August 8th – Feeling It

Dom has never left without leaving me a reason to smile. πŸ˜‚

Sunday afternoon and I am just feeling grateful.

I had my coffee and toast this morning before venturing out into our yard to fill the bird and squirrel feeders.

We are having a major sticky aphid infestation so I washed down the patio furniture and barbecue. Then I fussed over our garden for a while – spreading crushed eggshells for the tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, doling out pails of diluted Miracle Grow, and finally giving everything a good soaking before washing down the birdbath and adding water to the pond.

I came inside to do some laundry and relax with a bit of meditation. I found a nice Nicky Sutton video on You Tube and slowly melted into a nice peaceful place.

Not really me? πŸ™„

By the time Nicky finished doing her thing, I was too relaxed to be terribly motivated so I switched to some soft meditation music and let my mind start to drift.

Before long, I had drifted to a place where I started to think of all that there is to be grateful for. We are so fortunate to be living this life. I cannot imagine how one could not be grateful for any of it. What would be the point in having anything at all, if one could not appreciate it ?

Anyway, here I sat, on a beautiful Sunday morning, just feeling grateful – for my life, my body, my mind, my soul, my husband, my dog, my siblings, my sons, my daughter, and my grandchildren, my memories – so many memories 😳, the trees, the flowers, the fresh vegetables and the green grass, the skies, the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, clean water and abundant food, our house, our furniture, our vehicles – So many things and everything to be grateful for.

I cannot imagine how there was ever a time, when my mind was so full of things that I wanted and things that I did not want, that I could not feel grateful for all that I had.

I am so grateful for this time that I have now. I am so grateful for this opportunity to appreciate all that I have and all that I have had, in my life. I used to think some people 🀨 were so blessed. I am glad that I now realize that I am one of them. πŸ€—

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are having a great day and I look forward to seeing you againπŸ’ž

“If we don’t feel grateful for what we have, what makes us think we would be grateful for more?”

– Anonymous

August 6th – Grateful for a Guru πŸ’ž

I made it to, and through, my dentist appointment. I am grateful that is over! It was a long one as it was the first appointment for getting a crown.

I was getting ready to go to my appointment yesterday. It was one of those days when the smoke from northern forest fires was really bad. This concerned me as I worry about having respiratory issues in the middle of a dental procedure. Inhaling wood smoke was not something I wanted to be doing on my way to the dentist.

I was driving to the dentist, through woodsmoke, and I saw a train passing at the end of our street. My preferred route is via Elphinstone but avoiding it to miss the train was not a big deal. I took Avonhurst to Albert and the same train was crossing Albert, blocking traffic. I was starting to wonder if I would make my appointment on time. The train moved and I was off – until I hit a construction detour. There were fifty cars in a ten block radius and they were all jammed up at the intersection where I needed to turn. By then, I was wondering if I would make it to my appointment at all. 😳

I made it to my dentist’s office, with moments to spare. I turned in and – ta da!! A UPS van flew around the corner of the building and darn near took me out. 😱

With a collision avoided, I parked and headed inside. Dr. Bryden and his assistant were ready for me. I did really well throughout the procedure until we got to the making of the permanent crown template. My mouth was filled with expanding foam and I was told to relax and wait for FIVE minutes without moving my mouth. I can’t cough, I can’t sneeze, I can’t breathe. I was not relaxed! πŸ™„

I decided I that could do this. I remembered a You Tube video I had watched a couple of days ago. It wasn’t a meditation. It was a spiritual guru giving a talk. He was talking about having maximum power to manifest whatever it is that you want or need in your life. He spoke of focusing your mind, your body, your emotions, and your energy to create one desired result.

I decided to manifest myself some serious peace and calm. I thought peaceful, calming thoughts. I relaxed my body – head to toe. I felt peaceful and calm. I allowed that peaceful, calm feeling to expand around me and to envelop my dentist and his assistant.

It was an amazing experience. I felt so peaceful and calm. The five minutes were over and the appointment was completed, stress free.

I drove home by a different route than the one I had taken to get to my appointment. It was a bit longer, but peaceful, calm, and incident free. I arrived home feeling good. I felt good for the rest of the day and my day was followed by a good night’s sleep.

I am so grateful for the spiritual guru who posted his video to You Tube. I wonder if he knows how much his wisdom and insight helps others? I doubt that he is someone who ‘needs’ validation but I hope he knows that he is appreciated.

Time to get on with my day. I wish I could share that You Tube video with you but I cannot find it today, for some strange reason. When and if, I do come across it again, I will share it in another post.

I hope all is well with you and that you are having a really good day. Take care and see you tomorrowπŸ’ž

The struggle ends, when gratitude begins.

– Neil Donald Walsch

August 1st – Gearing up for Gratitude!

Of all the themes that I could choose to go with for August, I have decided to go with ‘GRATITUDE’.

Gratitude πŸ€—

I am relatively confident that two of the first words my parents taught me to say were “Thank You!”. It was not that they were looking for personal gratification. They were just very determined to teach us the true values in life. The values that enrich our lives. The values that make the best of times better and the worst of times tolerable. Respect, dignity, kindness, honesty, humility, and of course ‘gratitude’. Values that would make us strong enough to make the most of life, because my parents wanted us to have more than life – they wanted us to have great lives.

It did not take me long to understand that gratitude was more than words. Genuine gratitude was a feeling. A powerful, feel good feeling. I knew how important gratitude was.

That being said, there have been times in my life when I have definitely struggled to ‘feel’ grateful. Times when I was too busy, too tired, too angry, too sad, just too distracted to feel grateful. I knew it was important, I said the right words, but I could not feel them.

During my ungrateful periods, I would try to feel more grateful. I read books on gratitude. I followed the exercises in the books. I once tried to start each day by compiling a list of ten things that I was grateful for.

I am NOT a morning person. I struggle to like my dog first thing in the morning. But, this was important so I was determined to start each day (for a solid month!) by listing ten things that I was grateful for. By day three, I was thinking “Cool, I have ten toes, let’s go with that”.

Being grateful for my toes – even that wierd long one. WTF! I don’t even have ten normal toes! So not feeling grateful for my toes. πŸ₯Ί

Throughout my life, it has definitely been a process, finding the means to be genuinely grateful on a regular basis. I am finally there. Retirement, and a year and a half of Covid, has given me the time and peace in my life to truly live a life of gratitude – even first thing in the morning. πŸ₯³

So, this month, I am committed to writing one blog each day, to share that and those for which I am most grateful. 😁

I hope you will join me often and I hope that every post I share will be worthy of your time.

Have a great day and take care! See you tomorrow!

So grateful for our fur baby, Kat!