Tizzying, calm the waters

Joyce Rupp wrote this poem a while back called A Prayer to be Free of the Tizzies (2000). In it, she talks to God acknowledging that it is not God but her, human extraordinaire (how I see her), that causes the tizzies within, the ‘wild worrying’ and the ‘needless scurrying’ actioning regularly in our daily lives. Calm the waters. Get thoughts under control. Hold your horses. ‘Whoa Silver’ kind of stop and calm the heck down. For worrying does not do anything but take up way too much real estate in the mind and matter. Be calm. Well, easier said than done.

The thing is that some things, small or large, can tick you off. And it seems no matter what you try to do it becomes a niggle, an irritant that festers. Similar to when someone mentions the word lice, YIKES, and you start to get that phantom feeling of having to scratch your head at something that is NOT there. I think it is the mere knowledge of knowing. LOL. While at other times, the tizzy is that helplessness in feeling that you cannot do a thing about it. Your head space becomes a mind field of ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’ ping ponging back and forth. Grappling with an issue that generally is trivial by nature but becomes bigger as you stew and fret.

Speaking of real estate, I recently have been in a bit of tizzy, not trivial by any stretch of the imagination, to the awareness of the cost of living and the crazy ridiculous of the real estate market. The price curve is almost vertical in the out of this world phenomena of the increase. Granted some people are doing really well in selling their home and bless their hearts for reaping the benefits of something I find uncomfortable and unjust. How in the world can our young afford the impossible?! Sitting back listening to my friends share the real estate frenzy going on in their neighbourhood, their faces reflecting the unbelievableness to their own home’s value, brings home to me a tizzy. I mean on the one hand those who sell their home for the unprecedented pricing (and within days of the listing going up the market), they are in good shape. Yet, on the other hand, they get the gain with a fantastic walk away but then turn around and buy crazy-priced home. What!!!

Really!!! I feel helpless and fraught with angst because it is so unfair, not realistic in any way, for the young or old alike, to own their own home one day. My dad tells the story of my folks and their purchase to buy their very first home. As I recall they put in three offers (back in early 60’s) which ranged basically from $11,500 to $13,500 for similar three bedroom brick homes each on nice size lots. Unbelievable. And the thing back then was home prices did not surge or skyrocket from year to year.

Anyway, so putting in the bids, one in city, one in suburb and one in a nearby village from city, dad got a call at work from mom on a Monday morning. She said congratulations we got home. Dad thought he got the city one as it was in a more upscale part of the city. He liked that idea. No. Then he said so it was the one with the home next to river in suburb community. No. He said to mom, “you got to be kidding?” Maybe he said it more colourfully. Anyway, he had low balled the village home at $9,900.00 and lo and behold the owner said YES. At that time, Dad made $58.00 a week, and mom made less. He would always shake his head when telling the story, thinking how in the world would he pay for that home in his lifetime. Well, dad, I am saying that same thing now “REALLY, how in the world?” All I can do is pray for common sense.

It is not mine to be in a tizzy over as I ponder the words of the beautiful prayer The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1930’s). But it still sits with me. What is the future for our young? Yet then again, I think of the crisis happening across the ocean with Russia and Ukraine. Holy lightening! Taking over another country? Why? Taking a life ( a life who will not have the worry of getting a said home). Why? Social media capturing the chaos of paradox. So, tizzy yes. More of a frenzied tizzy actually. I pray for the loss of lives. I pray for those in positions of power to see their actions to become right and just. I pray for the paradox that we exist in as I sit in front of the nightly news witnessing on the very same screen, the hopelessness of the living to a win celebration of 5-3 Maple Leafs to Washington Capitols. The dark and the light of a paradoxical tizzy. Got to sit a spell for a minute.

The other tizzy which has been percolating for the last two years has been the effects of Covid-19 on people especially the young, shut-ins and those with mental health challenges. What is the new normal? My heart worries as I watch the effects on those in my life. This requires a different pondering…stay tuned. I just pray here for the unknown.

So for now, to bring me to a calm, I want to hover over a level of tizzy that will eventually go away. A silver lining to go hand in hand with a tizzy. Something that requires a less of me. For some reason the last few weeks, winter has really bothered me. Usually I am pretty good about coasting through the winter but I have been on strike. Snow to go. Haha. Winter to go. Yes. February to go. Yes. It is March. Closer to spring. Grateful woohoo. And hey, today came in like a lamb. You know the old wives tale “March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion.” Yes a sprinkle of snow on the windshield as I peek out the window…I can handle that. So thankfully this tizzy is short lived.

Where are your manners?

I also should put things into perspective. Humans worry. I think it is in our DNA or i is it RNA?? Not worry, or have a tizzy fit, just maybe take the edge off it. How? No clue. but do not worry about worrying. Pointless. Now if the mind wanders into tizzy mode about how you look today OR you asked a dumb question OR someone will notice that tiny stain on your shirt OR that you had a second cookie OR getting left off of group chat OR someone heard you in the next stall OR forgetting someone’s name OR stumbling when walking OR hurting someone’s feelings (dad no more talking, heard story already, like yesterday) OR leaving stove on (maybe you should check). Don’t. In the words of Erma Bombeck, worrying (tizzy) is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Calm the waters.

Living with the tizzy, big or small, breathe then kick some snow. Haha. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayer and for the tizzy to be calm. Let us pray for the just and right to come to our world leaders. Let us pray for those who suffer, mentally physically socially and spiritually. Amen

No is spelled N O

I wonder how many times in the day a person find themselves saying the word ‘no’? And when it is said, does it mean no with a humph? Or is it with a smile, a chuckle, a surprise, with sarcasm, a ‘no means no’…..what? Does it mean m-a-y-b-e or y-e-s? So many ways no could be interpreted. This small two letter word can pack a powerful message if it is said in the right way indicating no means no and out you must go. It is a sentence all by itself surprisingly enough. Does it need any further explanation? Well apparently.

Unfortunately for me, and most recently, my youngest granddaughter who is almost two (hard to believe), has perfected saying the word ‘no’. Not only saying the word but puts the humph in the word “no no no no”. She is watching way too much Cocomelon. LOL. But seriously, her vocabulary maybe limited but no comes out loud and strong. There is no question she has the science and art of the nuance of the language down pat. Even in the gestures, as her beautiful golden head of hair vigorously shakes back and forth and mouth set firmly saying “NO”. She is not quiet about it. And let me tell you there are no smiles, chuckles, maybes and such. No means no.

I could learn from her. The thing is when I say no which is almost every third word as she goes about her day, she balks. At first you might think she does not hear me. How many times do I need to say to not touch the dog dishes, climb the chair, pull on the gate to go up the stairs (she is strong), keep fingers from pulling the plug, leave your poopie diaper alone, don’t look at the projector light, no going in the shed, go slow, be careful, do not put in mouth. Just NO. But when she says no, her stubborn little body twists and turns and stomps the foot (new recent action). Haha. So cute. So much of an attitude. Have to keep from chuckling loudly. She knows the no for her.

Yet safety and guidance, the never ending internal radar alert system within, takes over the Rara (my grandma handle) vocabulary. I remember a conversation about a year ago, before she was really walking and crawling lots, my daughter noticed that I was saying no to her daughter who was starting to show signs of the red zone kinds of things. You know the kind where babies put anything in mouth. Or begin to crawl towards the upstairs of the stairs. In our chat, my daughter said outright that she was not going to use the word NO too much with her own daughter. Let’s just say my eyebrows went up and out. Yeah. Really!!

So here we are sitting in the living area with all of the toys located around the room as my granddaughter sits on the lap of my own daughter. Little one likes to hold on to the ear lobes for some reason as she sits with those she knows. Maybe it is kind of similar to a security blanket, only the human kind. Ouch. Anyway she pulls on her mommy’s earlobes and my daughter says no in a very loving and gentle way. So trying to remove the wee hands from the earlobes, the babe takes her hands and smacks her mommy on both sides of her face. My heart goes out to my daughter because she truly loves her daughter with every fiber of her being. But the expression on her face was so heartbreakingly sorrowful. I do not think she realizes that babies to toddlers and beyond have the capacity to do heart damage. Unbeknownst to themselves, but nevertheless, sometimes their actions go right to the jugular. So her mommy had to grab the little ones hands and firmly say “NO.” Her look caught my heart strings.

It is so hard to raise a child. Nothing like it. What you think you are going to do or say and what you do do or say, well it is a crap shoot on a good day. I think breathing comes to mind. I was thinking of the emojis in text messages and there is this one image with a shark blowing steam from its head. LOL. Yes that about covers it. So the word ‘no’, overused – abused – misused. Yep. No, there is not a manual of Roberts Book of Rules, the governance for protocol and procedure to run the lives of tiny tots. And you can forget about a manual with rules and practices for the older tweenies and teenies and heaven forbid ,the nest leavers returning. Aaaahhhh.

In my little opinion raising three daughters and being with my three grandchildren, I believe that when you say no to a child or for that matter anyone, you want the receiver of the NO to show you mean it. If no means no then NO. It could be with a look…the mom or dad look. Parents have that down pat. So do teachers for that matter. LOL. Short explanations might be good to provide, depending on the age of child. (Don’t be like my dad as he told us to come to the dining table. Those lectures and life lessons of what not to do were so long. Shoot me now, Dad). And for heaven sakes, stand your ground and have consequences in mind. Not that ‘thou shalt do as I say, not as I do’ yucky mumbo jumbo stuff. Nor that ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. Little ones are people too. Just saying. However, I am not sure how a child learns the nuances of cajoling, buttering up, pleading, or whatever you might want to call it, prompting the curt no and turn it somehow into a worn down yes. Gotcha mom. Yeah, not nice. I can attest to that one and so not proud of my actions. It is exhausting to say no. 🙂

No does not have to be negative all the time. There are so many good reasons for saying no to a child (or a pet, too many LOL). Just know the why of the no. Right? Saying no for the heck of it does not bode well for the heart and mind. You should be good with it. Although it is interesting what people say no about when with child. I have carried the philosophy for the most part for having experiences. Some experiences like being near water or a fire or tree climbing etc will be a no to the no, a child needs to explore and discover some things on their own. Does one want to be frugal with the no? Probably not. But maybe be a bit more creative….turn the no and rephrase. How? Don’t ask.

Note to self….for goodness sake make sure you say YES too. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are need of our prayers today and the art of more yes then no in life.

PS The humous results of no…maybe…or hiding from the no.

Parents its okay to say “no” to your children. They won’t explode. True story.

I would love to but unfortunately….no.

Please keep making excuses for your children bad behaviour. It really seems to be working out well for you.

The easiest way to shop with your kids is not to.

I asked my mom if I was adopted. She said, ‘Not yet, but we placed an ad.’” —Dana Snow

Currently helping my son search for his chocolate that I ate last night.

90% of parenting is just thinking about when you can lay down again.” —Betsy Farrell

A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” —Jerry Seinfeld

When I tell my kids I’ll do something in a minute, what I’m really saying is ‘Please forget.’” —@SarcasticMommy4

I’m just a mom, standing in front of my husband, trying to say something that I can no longer remember cause my kid interrupted us 75 times.” —@LHLodder

Then suddenly you’re a mom declaring ownership over swept dirt on the kitchen floor yelling DON’T YOU DARE WALK THROUGH MY DIRT PILE!” —@LooksLikeTutTut

Can’t find your kids? Don’t worry; sit on the toilet. They’ll find you.” —@MamaJessieC

No winter lasts forever….

Mantra this morning. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn (Hal Borland) Thank the Lord. I realize that it is a wee bit too early to say spring has sprung. Valentine is a mid point in February which brings us closer. It is raining!! That is a good sign. Right? I can even see a smidge of g-r-a-s-s. Woohoo. Two days ago I woke up to some playful birds flitting and chirping, carrying on in the backyard. It was a sight for sore eyes; or I mean a sound for the quieted ears of winter. It’s a hibernation wakeup!! Yes.

Does nature know way before when the seasons will change? Of course having a day set aside, a real date in time, which I believe to be March 20th this year, holds the anticipative ‘change’. But that fools us just like Wiarton Willy, the groundhog and its shadow on Feb 2nd, that supposedly gives us a ray of hope for an early spring. Let’s face it, March is not necessarily known for its debonair gift of blessed great weather. The old adage of March coming in like a lamb and going out like a lion…well it can come in like a lion and go out like one too. Where in the world do these old wives’ tales come from?! However, my daughter whose birthday is at the end of this month shares with me that winter is closing down. Hmmm

And yet, the little signs of spring keep tickling me. Teasing me. Waving its’ carrot. I felt that hint of the mild and newness. A gentle sweeping coming over me in that old familiar feeling and smell of warmth as I walked out to add two more recycling items to the blue bag. Trying to hurry before the recycling crew came, I just slipped on my boots and went out without a coat and I was not shivering me timbers. No frost on windshields of the cars, snow was not as crunchy underneath, and the dawn…oh the dawn chorus…sun filtering through the haze of early break of day. Early! Woohoo! I welcome the longer days. Another hint of spring??

Last evening after dinner, we popped out for a bit to find some of those elusive treat: cheese popcorn, Bits and Bites and cheese dip/crackers as well as wanting to find an organizer for toys for the never ending mess of play 🙂 of my granddaughter. Yes, treats healthy and specific; need to fill the treat cupboard especially for the little one. Funnily, all three snacks have been hard to come by lately, not sure why. Not a Kellog’s product. So snack attack….road trip….off and hunting.

What I noticed while out close to half past 5 pm, the sun was still heavy in the sky. I mean it was still daylight, no gathering darkness. How do you spell relief? No hat, no mitts. Well, hat still but no mitts for the little one as we got out and started to walk in the parking lot, holding her tiny hands. Upon entering the store, shades and hues of colour and articles assail the eyes as the shelves are lined with displaying the oncoming spring fare and activity. You know the look where one finds a bounty of eye-catching organizers (the ever looming spring cleaning declutter), barbecue utensils (cannot wait for camping and fireside chats), Easter cuisine (look out Lent and hopping bunny), seeds and sod (smell of red dirt), delightful rain gear, and floral. I’ll take it…for now. Just to know that winter does not last forever and spring does not skip its turn.

I realize the last vestiges of winter will bring slush and mud and puddles and car washes on repeat. But alas. So what! Are you kidding me! Sign me up. I am ready for the ungluing of parka-boots-mitts-shovel in hand and say hello to messy spring. You heard me. Messy. Spring. What an oxymoron!! Yes, I want spring to come but it can be messy and unpredictable. On the one hand, there is the sunny clear blue skies, with a few fluffy clouds and then the next day cold biting wind followed by rain. The ground goes from walkable delight to knee deep in mud and muck, even pelts of snow.

Maybe it is too soon to be toting the placard “bring on spring”. But there is nothing wrong with seeking out its allusion, welcoming in the beginning stages of thawing and melting. Although transitions can be tough on the mind and body, they can also be an awakening to the stirrings inside. I think of nature’s seasons connecting to the seasons in one’s life. Nothing stands still. Not in nature and certainly not in one’s life unless you feel stuck in a particular season. Which can very well happen.

So when thinking of moving from winter to spring, there is a transitional period of sorts that enters the body, mind and spirit and physical being…inviting a change. A transformation. Yes, I like that way of thinking because it is a slow process. As the ground thaws, it begins to allow for opportunity and resurrection of new and rebirth. A natural order. Does that not reflect the season of life in each of us? A transition, unsettling and provocative, as a natural change occurs within. The temporal nature of seasons of life come to bear fruit within….seeking or adapting to whatever comes. For now, no winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.


Let us pray for those in need of prayers today. Peace.

Oh Be Mine

Early this morning before the sun even showed any signs of the dawn rising, I woke up to the sounds of squeaking and squealing. Having a bit of a phobia around mice from working at a fishing camp during university years, I am very attuned to squeaky like sounds. The sounds seemed to becoming through the wall. No way. So peeking out the window I saw the root of the squeak and squeal….two skunks doing the mumbo jumbo. You know…. getting it on. It was still fairly dark so I could just make out there were two of them. One seemed to be fully black while the other had the characteristic black and white stripe of the mephitidae. And then much to my chagrin, they chased each other around the winter maze that I had cut out in the snow for grandchild. Unfortunately. Yeah, for mating season. Love is in the air. Bleh. Pepé Le Pew and Fleur de stinkerbelle, can’t quite smell the love.

Let the love grow. Be visible. Shine. Speak. For Valentines Day is upon us. A day set aside once a year for love, expressing one’s love, or getting the courage to. Where there is a bit of hope for that special note or message or gift to be found in the mailbox, snail mail or email, showing you are thought of in a most special way. I wonder did Charlie Brown ever get his Valentine just for him? Standing beside the mailbox, waiting with bated breath, to get that elusive but much wanted Be Mine Valentine card, he never left. No matter how many times I have watched A Charlie Brown Valentine over and over and, it does not change….no “Be Mine” card. Nor does Charlie Brown give up; the eternal optimist for ‘maybe this time’.

Oh to bring back the innocence of bygone days in elementary school. Where an afternoon was dedicated to having a Valentine party. Desks pushed back, games galore, music, table full of foods (peanut allergies and non-homemade things not an issue), dancing, and red freshie. A day or two was dedicated earlier to making the classroom shine love with hearts and heart people and shape poetry or limerick about love and kindness. (We could use that these days). Red and pink hues dotting the walls. And then time was given to creating the piece to resistance, the ‘love’ mailbox. A little bit of construction paper, markers/crayons, glue, scissors and maybe even glitter and voila….a plain old shoe box or cereal box or even a brown paper bag …transformed into a vessel of hope. An eternal hope that the mailbox would be filled with cards and oh my, even a sweet candy or two. Do you remember the Sweetheart candies with the little words imprinted of love on them?

I remember going out and getting the Valentine cards with my mom, making sure there was enough to be given out. I would look at the thematic choices carefully because there had to be ‘boy’ ones and ‘girl’ ones and then very special ones. Oh yes one can’t forget those secret crushes. Very interesting to reflect back as I think about how some cards were kind of blah looking while others were more ‘love’ like and then the carefulness of who got what. Goodness sake you do not want to give anyone the wrong idea!! Especially as my mom reminded us kids to always remember how it would feel not to get a card. Thank goodness for class lists. Then the dreaded and anticipated telling part….the opening up the ‘mailbox’. How many cards did I get in the ‘mailbox’? Anticipation. Lunch bag let down. Who likes me? Maybe someone likes me.

It’s those words. Two maybe three simple words somewhere in a note or message or gesture saying I LIKE YOU. Or the more jittery heart pumping out of the park words of I LOVE YOU. Like or love….the four lettered, simple, no nonsense, spine tingling, unexpected word that you want to hear. From someone, anyone. Haha. No not just anyone. THE one. It takes me back to Randy Sageman, my first real crush. The ONE. He sat at the back of the room in my grade 6/7 class while I sat at the front. I’m not sure if he was in grade 6 or 7. Yikes! Is that like a cougar thing? Going for a younger man. Anyway I can still picture him with his dark brown curly hair and big eyes. He like to run and so did I. Cannot even remember if I ever talked to him. Knowing me I probably just beat him in a foot race or some other sport activity and left him in the dust so to speak. Did not have the flirty skills or the giggles that other girls did? But, did I wait at my ‘mailbox’ on Valentines Day, hoping for a Be Mine? Probably.

Being given a Be Mine in whatever way is a beautiful feeling indeed. It might not be in a romantic way but to know you are liked. To know you are loved. Someone takes the time to reveal to you that you are special to them or you to them. Yes, it may not be reciprocated in the way one hopes but it is not about that. It is giving oneself permission and how it unfolds, it unfolds. What is that quote, “it is better to have loved than not at all.” Something like that. Anyway, however you do it, whether with flowers or chocolates or candy or cards. Or for goodness sake, actually saying the words face to face. Today is the day on Valentines Day. A day dedicated to, set aside for, giving attention around, the like or love of one person towards another, you grab it. Allow it to seep in, twirl around, and get the heart pitter-pattering for a hot minute.

In a Letter from apostle Peter (1 Peter 1:22), “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart,” I welcome his sharing of ‘love one another deeply’. A sense of a deeper love of the human heart to another. Is that not what we are asked to do? Love our neighbour with the heart, our heart. Valentines Day, a day full of hearts and hearts everywhere, is the day of hearts full of the promise. Look beyond the chocolates and flowers and candy and cards and poetry. Or the text or twitter or email or snapchat or FB or blog or hashtag or video chat or…. whew, the list is crazy long. And just see what are you are saying on this day…. Be MINE. So Charlie Brown does not have to guess anymore.

In the words of Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, author and lecturer, “Our heart knows what our mind has forgotten – it knows the sacred that is within all that exists, and through a depth of feeling we can once again experience this connection, this belonging.”

Oh be mine, today. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are need of prayers and for the hope of always feeling the love and like of others.

PS Feel the love. Happy Valentines.

If you love them in the morning with their eyes full of crust; if you love them at night with their hair full of rollers, chances are, you’re in love.” Miles Davis

I was married by a judge. I should’ve asked for a jury.” Groucho Marx

As a man in a relationship, you have two choices: You can be right, or you can be happy.” Ralphie May

Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby—awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.” Lemony Snicket

Love is an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” Jules Renard

Love leaves a message from the heart….

I need to upgrade the power of my glasses because I’m blindly in love with you.

If you were a library book, I would check you out.”

I’m no photographer, but I can picture us together.

Are you from Starbucks because I like you a latte.”

Are you a loan? ‘Cause you’ve got my interest!

Are you tired? ‘Cause you’ve been runnin’ through my mind all day!”

Brain or Brawn….Be Active

Well I want to do something. It’s cold. February. Just left January. Double digit minus. It has been a wee bit hard to go outside with my little granddaughter and pookie dog. My granddaughter, bless her heart, has discovered snow as a good treat to eat. But realizes that mitts do not allow for picking up snow because she will not let me put her little thumb into her mitt, which does not allow her the free motion. Ergo, mitt in mouth, pull it off, and voila….little fingers free to be frozen quickly from the delights of eating white icy cold snow. Thank the Lord there is no metal items in the yard for her to try to lick with her tongue. Yikes!! And then there is my dog. Going outside in winter, trying to do her business while at the same time navigating the nuances of right back paw or left back paw lifting up due to cold on wee paws. LOL. It is not fun for her but it is cute to watch.

And honestly, I would rather keep and preserve my lungs for a more milder, less abrupt shock, to the breathing department. I am not quite sure the reasoning behind the brisk walk or run in the cold of cold that I see others do. Nor for that matter, the walk or run in the hot boiling sun. Both extreme and not necessarily attractive or healthy. On the one hand you are bundled up like a woolly muskox while on the other, you are sopping from sweat, the smelly slippery kind. Each heavy on air consumption. Although I have to say wearing masks has come in handy blocking out the sharp chill.

I enjoy physical activity but my brain cannot be on standby either. So lately, I have been engaging in the world of crosswords, especially when I get a few minutes from chasing after my granddaughter. LOL. Now that is my inside physical activity….up and down 14 steps again and again and oh yes, again. Arms holding her little hands while she bends her head back, me taking her weight, as her small legs go one foot at a time, up the stairs. And lo and behold, let’s go down again. Bouncing down on my bottom as she would bumpity bump if I did not do the bump to step bump with her. Great for the min-med-max glutes!! Oh yes. So, crosswords is kind on my body. Mind you, it can be through the charts challenging, making my eyes cross.

Holy moly some of the clues are tough. I certainly cannot go one word at a time, thinking I am going to get them. Silly me. The authors of crossword clues must have a handy dandy thesaurus on had when putting them together. Because goodness, where in all that is holy did they come up with that clue? Geez Louise!! Not only that, have you ever written something down and looked at the word you believe it to be and think – that does not look right? It could even be a simple word that you have written or seen thousands of times but for some reason it does not look or sound right when you write it down on paper or now a days, in text or twitter or email.

The English language is a conundrum. Take for example, the word yacht. Not that I have been on a yacht or use the word very much (or at all), but apparently it has been a favourite of my crosswords of late. So the question to me is “why in the world would I put ‘cht’ together!!!” For that matter, who thought of putting those letters together to make that sound in the first place? Does not begin to make sense? There are quite a few of them actually…english words…. that are spelled crazily. Cheating is not in my wheelhouse generally but hey, I want to at least appear to be smart. LOL. It’s no wonder some people have trouble with the spelling of english words! Nevertheless the joy of crosswords, there is an answer at the back (not referring to the New York Times which makes you wait) so I do it in pen.

But upon reflection, there are so many spellings of words that can be confusing especially when you factor in the American and British english spelling versions. I am not sure the rule of thumb when choosing between burnt-burned, cheque-check, grey-gray, humour – humor, defense – defence, license-licence, colour-color, meter- metre, fibre- fiber, and cancelled- canceled. Why? One’s head could spin. Are they not interchangeable? It can be somewhat frustrating when you are trying to spell and it does not jive with the crossword clues. And do not get me started with technology and the built-in autocorrect or spell check with their bings or tings. Aaaaahhhhh!!!

Have you ever been texting on your cell and the phone’s autocorrect takes on a life of its own? It is hilarious. I thought I said this and then the recipient texts back, what in the world does this mean? So I reread the WHAT I said and it is not even close!! Are there phrases built in to get a texter into trouble? Or I try to text a word and it keeps putting the wrong letters in. What is that? I know the letters are close to one another but seriously. In that, the chat becomes a long thread of texts, sometimes inappropriate wording as well, and voila….lesson learned….READ OVER TEXT before you send it out. Goodness. I think I need new glasses. And lastly, just as a point of interest, check who you are texting before you hit Send. I have been caught in the do’s and don’ts of texting where I was chatting to multiple people at same time. Yeah. Man, that gets the brain active, heart pumping, and fingers flying across the keys.

Well, onwards and upwards. Speaking of heart pumping, a good friend was playing this newer game, called the Wordle Game, and was affronted that he could not solve the puzzle. He is a bit of a nerdy trivia, brainiac so this kind of surprised me. The point of the game is to guess the wordle, meaning you have to know 5 letter words. Simple huh!? Nope. There are no clues to the hidden word except you have 26 letters to work with and guess the 5 letter word in 6 steps. FYI: The New York Times bought the game from Josh Wordle. And you know what that means….brain drain. As the news article coins the NYT as having the “portfolio of original, engaging puzzle games”, the wordle game is going to be HARD. Just saying. I tend to avoid the crosswords from the New York Times because I would like to feel like I am quasi smart. Hahaha. But come on solving a 5 letter word in 6 steps, it can’t be that hard. Can it? Apparently as I watched my friend. And the neat thing is you can do it in a friendly group competition format, sharing app and seeing who the best….solving in maybe two steps not 6, or none. Yikes!!

Being active. As I look out the window, after another night of snowfall, and cold. Yeah, stairs for me. Thanks granddaughter. And brain drain….crossword puzzle a la mode (super size large print even). Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers and helping others to be active. Thinking of you mom and dad.

Autocorrects Humour of Cell phone funny and (Disclaimer of sites cited. If looking at sites, some examples beyond my colourful language sharing or way of talking. So sharing PG only for me. Sheesh)

Dad: Your mom and I are going to divorce next month. Daughter: what?? why! call me. please? Dad: I wrote Disney and this phoned changed it. We are going to Disney.

R: We are watching Harry potato R: and the sorcerer’s stove R: potter* stone* sweet Jesus R: Harry potato and the sorcerer’s stove sounds like the lamest movie ever S: tears emoiji

Dad: Do you have a key to get in? Mom: Grandpa dies. Mom: Does. Dad: emoji big eyes Mom: My bad it was spell check does.

Grandma: What time are you leaving in the morning? I need you to look at my crotch, I have a knot with a tail & two strands of yarn coming out of the same end, big mess… Granddaughter: grandma? I think you meant crotchet. I am not interested in looking at your crotch.

Katie: You have no value. Katie: meant to say clue Katie: I’m sure you have great value. Katie: sorry.

Girl: Can you pick me up some more boobsicles? Girl: No. I meant boobsicles. Girl: booksicles. Girl: GOD DONKEY. Friend: So that’s 3 orders of boobsicles and one holy donkey. Anything else?:)

Teacher: Are you doing the nutcracker this year? Director: Yep. I’m auctioning kids tomorrow. Director: Suctioning kids. Director: Ridiculous auto cat rectal. Director: Birdseed. Director: I AM AUDITIONING KIDS FORPLAY. TEACHER: Wow I am sorry that I asked. Hahahahahah.

Is this a lost art?

I was going through the contents of my personal memory chest, an old olive green hard-covered suitcase, this past Christmas. Kind of fun. And which, by the way, I realized I borrowed from my older sister over 40 years ago. She had good taste back then. LOL. Suitcase is in great shape still. Uh oh! I never gave it back. Yikes!! Sorry sister. Anyway, nostalgia. Pure and simple. It holds some of my most treasured keepsakes that I have gathered and saved over the years. Things I just did/do not want to let go of. Why in the world I kept all of these things?! Not like I am a hoarder or anything. I really am good at purging. Probably too good at times as my daughters have reminded me. Oh well. But regardless, it brings me happiness. Lots.

I chuckle and smile as I look over some of the collection of chaos nestled in the lined case. Old photos, awards/ribbons/ silver dollars won in sports, an old pennant, baseball team photos, newspaper clippings, my first train/plane ticket, report cards (what a hoot to look over) homemade cards from friends when our family moved away, cards and notes from students/friends, odd trinkets, a pressed flower from being a bridesmaid many moons ago, 4-H recipes for Baked Alaska and Raspberry Bavarian Cream (yummy), my girls artwork and hand-made cards to me, Mother’s Day place mat, certificates for workshops, Christmas ornaments, a popsicle stick memento box from middle girl, my grandpa’s poems, old coins, hospital baby pictures, hospital bracelet, Christmas song book, old journal….crazy happy mementoes. Honestly, a hodge-podge of sentiment. Love it!

And then I find a stack of letters, old letters wrapped in a rubber band, tucked way underneath the bits and pieces of chaos. Aha. Briefly leafing through them, I found I kept letters from friends, my grandmas and my mom. Good old fashioned, long hand-written letters written with heartfelt love. Archived stories and news of days gone by. Is this a lost art? When was the last time I sat down to write a letter to someone, anyone? Dear…..

Man, do I miss snail mail and stamps that were 6 cents. LOL. I remember going to the mailbox many a time during my university years and seeing a letter laying in the box, marked 343 or 203. How on earth do I remember those numbers from my residences? Huh. Anyway, I would take the stairwell, no slow elevator for me, running up taking two steps at a time, to my room and ripping open the news. Just knowing that someone took the time and wrote to me….so gratefully humbled now. I hope I conveyed that when I responded back. I hoped they knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was ever so thankful. And I wish I could have saved a few that I know I got rid of too. Hmmmm.

My heart has a bit of heaviness right now thinking of my mom in a home, her ability to write is no longer available to her. Those hands of hers, which now are laden with arthritic pain and shakiness, brought beauty to the pen. You know the kind where the hand could take the pen and form the letters with a flow and curve connecting so perfectly,, creating wonderful loving messages. It felt like home. And it was. Did not matter what she wrote, she had a way of making whatever she had to say come alive. And so too did her own mom. Funnily, she nor her mother, passed along the grade A penmanship. More like, chicken scratch would be apropos in describing my writing. LOL. I am not as bad as a doctor’s pen, but deciphering it…well my mom and grandma loved me.

I cannot remember the last time I wrote a letter by hand. I know that it would be mixed with print and cursive with a heaping spoonful of chicken scratch. I so remember the many periods during elementary school where we had to print or cursive line upon line of the alphabet, one letter at a time. How many would that be 26 letters x 187 instructional days x 10 school years =? But not today. Nope. I barely lift a pen unless I am doing crosswords or a grocery list or printing the alphabet as my granddaughters (when I am one or the other) learn the alphabet. Or sometimes creating a brain shower of ideas on a page for writing. Hail the digital age….ready fonts, big and small, bold or not. When was the last time a pen or pencil was picked up?

Well I know that I cannot stuff a computer or laptop or iPad in my treasure box to be tucked away and later looked at. Or at least I do not think so. But I do know that those letters written to me long ago are still there, safe and sound. The specialness and sentimental value of them are held steadfastly. I can still decipher who’s penmanship is who’s wonderfully enough. They are still with me, alive and well, even if on paper.

Is handwriting a lost art? It could be. But I think I better not talk about it but do something about it. I guess I am going to have to find some addresses. Oh my Lord. I just opened another can of worms. Addresses?! Never mind. I need my cell phone because heaven forbid I cannot remember phone numbers to get addresses (as I can email or facetime) so I can write a handwritten letter to with a stamp that is about what price now! It’s all good. Blessings.

Let us pray for those in need of prayers today and for those who would be so joyous to receive a letter from home. Peace.

PS. Lost art. Handwriting…say it is not so!!

Handwriting is more connected to the movement of the heart.

I don’t have bad handwriting, I’m just using my own font.

Handwriting says a million things about a person. Create.

As a person with terrible handwriting. I love the computer. I’ve waiting all my life as a computer.

Handwriting is an imprint of the self on the page.

I saw that bad handwriting should be regarded as a sign of an imperfect education.

And more….

The only thing that most people do better than anyone is read their own handwriting.

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.

Irony we want our handwriting to look like typed fonts and our computer fonts to look like handwritten texts.

Handwriting enables civilization.


Okay. It is time to get over the notion of protesting the natural order of things when it comes to the weather or whatever one’s latest peeve. Time to look at things from a different perspective such as the winter doldrums. Why? Because this is Canada, it has four seasons with a repeat, and it is only mid-January!! There is no hidden agenda with Mother Nature and living above the 49th parallel. Four seasons, not skip-a-season ticket available. So unless there is some sort of scientific apocalyptic seasonal happening taking place then, suck-it-up-butter cup; meaning moi ou vous!!

Having noticed that my seasoned bones have developed a sensitivity to the whirr and brr of icy-cold conditions, I need to get a jump start on things that I have no control over. In other words, the mind, heart, body and spirit scream out for a bit of a pick me up. Rejig the jig. So, I think a kick to the heels may be needed. Just need to do a self-check of the possibility of a ‘Betty Downer’ rabbit hole. Oops, sorry to all those named Betty.

I should put things into perspective here as many people do love winter, so this dollop of doldrums in winter is a bit pre-mature. You know what I am talking about. It begins with that little bit of gloom and glum followed by a more noticeable ‘woe is me’, which gradually seeps into the daily monologue or kitchen table chatter. Slowly the whittling away and corrosion of seasons, namely winter, masks the hidden gems of winter’s beauty. Betty Downer meet Positive Polly. Yes, the ears are not deceived and have heard correctly that the beauty and gift of winter is upon us. So what to do what to do? Don’t close the curtains.

Can you hear the solid crunch beneath your feet as you take the garbage and recycling out to end of lane? You bet. No need for a weather report. Although quite frankly the local weatherperson should be expanding his or her winter weather vocabulary beyond sunny, rain, overcast, cloudy, cold or icy in describing the day ahead. Anyway, when you see a clear morning with the sun out (like I did today) shining its glittery rays upon the landscape and you go out for a minute to do whatever, it is not the wearing the ‘slip-on crocs and no sock’ kind of day. The day should be enjoyed, embraced, as the feeling of the warmth of the sun hitting your face while standing in the winter landscape. For me I feel a sense of renewal, an energy source that enlivens my being, picks me right up and wraps me tight. Although I could use some sunglasses.

I did take a wander on google to look up the phrase, pick me up, and a number of interesting but startling words toppled out before me. Phrasing it as ‘pick-me-up’, the thesaurus took on a broad spectrum of thought for me with words such as restorative – shot in the arm – incentive – energizer – motivation – tonic – spark plug – motive – spur – catalyst to words like reviver – stimulus – upper – drug – analeptic. I was not thinking about a substance induced stimulant need kind of pick-me-up but more of an encouraging invigorating cheerful manner of seeking a happy. But me being me, my mind naively did not consider the breadth of the phrase pick-me-up. So it will be whatever will be.

Wouldn’t that be a great question on Family Feud to see what the top 100 people surveyed would say ” What would be considered a pick me up?” Would the survey results look different when adding layers to the question such as winter? Earlier I said don’t close the curtains. I mean that. Let the world in. I do not care for that closed in feeling when there is a tendency to hibernate more often in winter. Windows have to be shut but do the curtains? You know the song, “So, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin, smilers never lose and frowners never win.” Where did that come from? LOL.

Anyway, sitting by my daughter’s window and looking outside, the sun teems in, bringing in glimmer of cheer regardless of the temperature in the air. Its rays bounce and glitter, shining brightly in such a calm and peaceful manner, highlighting the quiet of the snow laden blanket allowing the unspoken story to rest beneath. My daughter does not care for the glare and brightness but me I just move over. Right now back home a storm is unfolding even as I write, putting the island under siege to the elements of winter, wind and snow and blustery cold. What kind of lifting of the spirits could be attached to snowstorm? Well shiver me timbers, cozy in. Best feeling to be wrapped up in the warmth of sweaters, turtle necks and thermal underwear. You bet.

I think it does not really take much to find a ‘pick me up’ even if you only want to get over the hump of something. Life can get too overwhelming, too routine, too busy, too many commitments, too boring, too cold, too hot, too same old same old, too sad, too happy, too….you fill in the blank. Once recognized that the ‘blues’ is in, call CAA. LOL. No, just breathe first. And don’t make the pick-me-up too overwhelming or big for goodness sake as that defeats the purpose. In other words, don’t close the curtains. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and for those who are in need or could use a wondrous cheer today.

FYI: Small tiny pick-me-ups from one, two, three, others to consider or add own to your list:

Go outside and smell the roses or admire the tall mounds of snow you shovelled.

Shower and clean up.

Cry. Laugh. Smile, Chuckle, Cry again. Laugh again.

Eat a chocolate chip cookie.*

Nap time.

Look at old pictures. New pictures.

Get a hug, give a hug, or elbow.

Enjoy being alone.

Hop in the truck and drive. *

Bake something yummy.

Sunset and sunrises and sit a spell.

Give yourself a gift. Or go out and get a gift for someone who does not expect it.

Watch or listen or read to fav music, movies, books, podcasts, Youtube

Remember its Sunday.

Feeling of a long hot shower.

Watching someone share something they are passionate about…see lights go on in eyes.*

Smell after the rain. Or listening to rain on the roof.

Putting on the comfy clothes after a day of work clothes.

Crashing waves, walking along shore.*

Be the first person to put knife into the peanut butter jar.

Having a dog to pet at a small small social gathering when you do not know anyone.

Finding money in your pocket.

When you look at messages and see a name from a person that makes you smile.*

Extra fries in bottom of your takeout.

Going barefoot on grass or standing in the ocean on a hot muggy day.*

Seeing an elderly couple holding hands.

Having a good pen.*

Text an emoji or gif to a friend or family member.*

PE to ON to PE to ON…

“The time has come the walrus said to talk of many things….” (Lewis Carrol’s poem, The Walrus and the Carpenter) of winter – and covid19 – and weather forecast – of kindness – and travel – and vaccines. Why the booster is up for debate – and whether we mask or take on double wings. Returning to Ontario after a month back home, it was a great drive thankfully and arrived safely. Much to the worry lines on my dad’s forehead as I did not tell him when I was returning. He would only worry and I had enough to think about along the way. Sorry dad, can’t have everything you want. (That is another story.)

Actually the drive to PEI in early December was good as well as I left around 7 pm at night from a small bubble Christmas meet with a few special people. I had monitored the forecast daily as December drew near, figuring out what would be the best time to leave. Winter can be unpredictable as all well-travelled people know. Not that I am seasoned traveller to parts unknown but I know the trek from Ontario to PEI like the back of my hand…literally. I have done it enough times over the past 11 years or so after my grandson was born and my middle daughter became, my island daughter. Anyway it was a clear, crisp night and traffic was surprisingly fair to moderate considering I took the 401. I drove straight through arriving on the island the next day around 4:30 pm, 19 hour drive. No stops outside of gas and washroom break. A bit tired on the behind let me tell you but hey safe and sound.

Safe and sound takes on a whole different meaning travelling across country through the different provinces these days. Double masked for me, gloves on, and limited exposure to people. What a holiday!! But that is apropos right now. And until it changes, zip in and out. The only down side of the drive to PEI was that I really got tired around 3 am in the morning as most of the drive was night driving. Not that I mind but the body says what the body says. And let me tell you it was cold pulling over at a rest stop. Thankfully winter coat, blanket, pillow, mitts and hat, locked doors (oh yes washroom break)….good to go. Must have had a 40 minute power nap because I woke up feeling refreshed. Funny that.

I think it is best not to drive along the eastern highway from Riviere de Loup to New Brunswick and then Rte 2 (super duper highway) in New Brunswick. The weather can be so crazy and so unpredictable especially in the winter, early spring or late fall. I have done them all. It is mountainous for quite a bit of the drive until you get to the capital city and head east to Moncton. And never mind the sign with the flashing lights of ‘beware of MOOSE’ along the TransCanada highways. Touch wood, I would not want to run into a moose at ALL but I would really like to see one up close (but not too personal) one day. Just saying.

Anyone travelling these days it is good to find out the provincial protocols as well. NB asks for prior permission to come into province just in case you are stopped. But on the island. Well that is another cup of tea….not the calming kind of tea if you get my drift. Once you are over the bridge it is testing. And then you have to let them know where you are staying and then you have to get a second test on Day 4 or 5. Yep. But all that has changed at this point as the cases have become unprecedented since Covid 19 began.

Yes. One day this too shall pass. Not today and not tomorrow for sure. I noticed when driving along the Ontario highways, the message was clear…get vaccinated. I would say at every 20 km there was a neon road sign that flashed the message “Stay safe, get vaccinated”. I am wondering if covid19 will become part of the repertoire of expected illnesses like the common cold, flu or even pneumonia??

Anyway travelling back at 3:45 am in the morning from the island the day after New Years, where I was only in darkness for a wee bit, the day was perfect for travelling. I had a two day window according the Weather Channel of good weather from PEI to Barrie. Not going to mess with it so arrived that night at 9:30 pm and yes straight through. Thank the Lord for technology and advanced satellite systems. Woohoo. Travelling I try to miss the peak times. Of course in NB, there are not really any peak times driving on the super duper highway 2 (my little name for it) which can be good or bad for weather. Speed limit is 110 km which of course translates to 120 km or so. If you like trees and more trees then that is the route for you. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and honestly the ice on the rocky terrain along the highway is beautiful to look at. And the evergreens ladened with snow takes your breath away. Sight to behold.

Gotta love my truck.

I love getting in my truck and travelling despite the parameters of travel and Covid restrictions. It is funny really how the term Covid and its associated words or phrases have become part and parcel of the language of the day. The dictionary has probably changed over the last two years, adding to the definitions or examples or even the thesaurus. I have not looked but I am guessing that is maybe the case.

Don’t you find that things often work out, despite the worry or fret or days of over thinking. Things work out for a reason. What are the odds my oldest daughter wants to go back to school and she cannot get daycare. So lo and behold I can go. But then my island daughter sells her home and needs a place to stay without uprooting and being in a strange place. And in the meantime, I am fully vaccinated so I can visit my folks and siblings and be closer with my other two daughters too. Things work out.

Someone called me being a “homeless with suitcase mom/sister/daughter” right now. Yes on the one hand that may be true. Not sure what is ahead as life is not ‘normal’ so to speak. But I get to lay my head where a space has been provided for me by the kindness of my oldest daughter and sister/dad as they allow me to ‘crash’ in their respective homes (and Maggie May). Do I miss home and family? Yes. But then again, Mi casa et tu casa.

So for now, I get to be with my youngest granddaughter (oh yes I miss my other two grandchildren, and family/friends) and experience her . However, I could have done without the temper tantrum and noise level of the little one today. Yep. Been there done that, now it is on repeat with the new generation. Sucks to be me. Not in the slightest. LOL. Remember patience is a virtue.

Now (or hopefully if the booster works out for me in Ontario) I get to continue to see and love my mom face to face. Touching her. And giving her a kiss (mask on); and who still knows me, calls me by name once and awhile. Tears here. Or if the restrictions change then I will jump up and down at her window. Hopefully she looks. Hey mom, over here. But also to be a part of my older sister’s life and enjoying her, helping her, supporting her too as it is not easy living with two alpha men, our dad and her hubby. Breathe. Even seeing my brother and family too. Bonus. Oops. Cannot forget my dad too. Yes, being with you, listening to your stories of old again and again and again and…yes again dad. LOL.

And if that is not enough to fill me up, I have been gifted to experience and watch my youngest and oldest daughters’ grow and mature right before my eyes as I had the pleasure for last few years with their island sister. Something that has been unexpected but truly welcomed. All of this happened and is happening on the way from PE to ON to PE to ON. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers this day.

‘Tis Your Birthday

Happy Birthday. You are gift.

Not that you want to know the ins and outs of bathroom activity but sometimes when you are contemplating life while on the throne so to speak, you find your mind wandering; sometimes even searching around for some reading material or putting another thing on your “honey do list” if you are so inclined. Besides the kitchen, the bathroom decor gets the most use. Literally. LOL. I have to smile when I think of those books you can buy at Chapters or any used book stores of that infamous book For the Bathroom Reader. Let’s face it, we have all been there, done that. Too much information?? Yeah. Anyway I think there is a lot of thinking that goes on in the quiet of one’s morning constitution unless of course you have only one bathroom or you have little children who like to join you or the cell phone starts ringing. Geez. Getting old before my time. Oops getting sidetracked.

This morning I was thinking of my mom’s bathroom and birthdays. How in the world my mind goes to those places, I have no idea. But since I can remember, she had this long rectangular framed wooden calendar hung on the wall of the main bathroom. And as I was saying earlier, your mind can wander at times while doing your business and in this particular case, your eyes may find themselves glancing up and voila….you see this perpetual calendar with dates, name and years on it. (FYI, a perpetual calendar is not made for one year and discarded but a forever calendar designed with no year date attached to it, only the months shown or some facsimile thereof). Sometimes when visiting the little girls room, I find I glance over at the calendar automatically. Funnily my mind will notice things when I should be focusing on the business at hand, instead of noting that my mom did not change the month!!. Or holy moly, I forgot so and so’s birthday or anniversary. Or doing a quick calculation in my head to the realization that I did not know so and so was THAT old. TMI. My bad.

But, I am grateful for that perpetual calendar. Not only does it have the birth dates of the living but also mom put the end date of those dearly departed. It is not something I want to forget. Sometimes in the still quiet of the night, I feel the spirit warming my heart as I think of those who have left this earthly place. It brings much joy and sometimes freely falling tears of love. Although the ache of the loss of loved ones never leaves, it is profoundly felt especially now as December opens with Advent season as Christmas draws near. And of course, the rejoicing in the birth of Jesus, love born on Christmas. Hmmmm.

Birthdays. Celebrating a new page of your life and if you are fortunate to have friends and family, celebrating their day too. Acknowledging YOU. You are here. Oh the joy of getting older. Now let’s face it, not everyone sees a birthday as a celebration. It may even be depressing, sort of like birthday blues. Oh my. Growing older can be a bit off putting at times but maybe we should look at it as seeing how far we have come, celebrating the birth itself. Thanking God for you. Wow! Being born and being alive. Fantastic!!

Yes, there might be a tinge of hurt and loneliness, if people in your life do not even remember your birthday after awhile. Sorry for that feeling. I wonder how many people would remember birthdays if Facebook was not around? Thank goodness for small mercies….kind of like a perpetual calendar. Yet, on the other hand, if you do not tell people it is your birthday then what? It is kind of a catch 22 or even a conundrum. But thankfully God has your picture on his Samsung refrigerator to remind you, you are not alone. Just saying.

This week I celebrated my 62nd birthday. I did it!! Thank you Lord. Where did the time go? I have no idea. It is not something to hide from, although many have a thing about keeping it a state secret. Not sure why. Although I think of my mom right now who seems to celebrate her being 29 each year so I am not quite sure how that works and how I could possibly surpass her but hey, there are mysteries that cannot be explained. It behooves me to think that I have been on this planet for a long time, like 743 months, 1 week, 6 days, 5 hours, 13 minutes and 19 seconds to be exact. But the clock keeps ticking. LOL.

In celebrating my birthday, I can honestly say I have grown older but have I grown up? Well that is debatable as my brother might say to me. I guess I am on the hill now. Does this mean that I am needing more prune juice, velcro shoes, A5-35, fiber ….nah. You are as old as you feel. I got this.

A birthday is a precious gift no matter how young or old you are. And I am most grateful for the best wishes of family and friends that I have received past and present. My well is filled to the brim. To know that it is a new year before you of a new beginning, full of possibilities, of new tomorrows and promises, and a chance to meet the challenges in everything you try.

Let this day, if it is your day, be one of love and heartfelt joy in celebrating YOU. Know that this note comes with heartfelt love and joy for you on this day. As George Meredith shared “don’t just count your years, make your years count.” Wherever the year ahead takes you, I hope it’s happy. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and keeping the celebration of birthdays alive and well for all.

Bit of birthday humour….

After 30, a body has a mind of its own. ~ Bette Midler

Live your life and forget your age, ~ Norman Peale

Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you. ~Ogden Nash

Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. ~Charles Schulz

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~Lucille Ball

It’s important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle. ~Author Unknown

The good thing about getting older is if you don’t want to do something you can say, I’m too old to do that! ~Kate Summers

You’ve heard of the three ages of man: Youth, middle age, and you’re looking wonderful. ~ Cardinal Spellman

Artificial intelligence is a wonderful thing. I told my computer that today is my birthday, and it said that I need an upgrade. ~ Author Unknown

Age is a number and mine is unlisted. ~ Author Unknown

Pittance of Time

I watched the Remembrance Day National Ceremony shown live at the National War Memorial in Ottawa last week. It was quite moving especially with the videographers panning and capturing the faces of those who attended the memorial. Covered in masks for the most part, the participants eyes spoke volumes to me. Is there not a saying somewhere that the eyes are like windows to your soul or something like that? Maybe William Shakespeare? Anyway, I was struck by the gamut of expression telling their own story; eyes expressing many emotions in their depths. The holding back of unshed tears, clouded looks, sightless peering off into the distance, tightly squeezed eyes shut, unguarded thoughts…maybe of memories from yesteryear. Yet they stand there proudly in the midst of the many, a young and old gathering of the human heart.

How do we support keeping the ‘remembering’ and hold steadfastly the memories of those men and women who gave up their own lives so that we as a country can enjoy the unbelievable fruits of their sacrifices. As I was readying myself for the moment of silence, I surfed the net seeking out pieces of work connected to Remembrance Day and I came across a video clip on Youtube. One piece in particular spoke volumes to me titled a A Pittance of Time, a music video written and performed by Terry Kelly many moons ago. I believe he is a Canadian folk singer from the Maritimes. Talk about moving the heart, the song jiggled and jostled me inside and out prompting my eyes in shedding a tear or two. How the video creates such a poignant telling message in such a way to provoke a response to “stop and pause” for just a pittance of time?? Wow! Perfect words for me because for goodness sake, can we not pause for a moment!!

Terry Kelly’s A Pittance of Time message in song

The realization that many peoples across the world living today have not experienced such wars and devastations as from our past does not bode well for keeping the memories alive. An old adage of ‘we do not know what we do not know’ makes it difficult to give real meaning to the many horrors and devastations that have reeked havoc historically and still continue in certain parts of our world to this day. The why what where who when and how falls and fails in its learnings and losses from the past, shaping and molding our present and future. I think that is why the phrase ‘pittance of time’ speaks to me so strongly and heartrendingly. To give over for just a moment, a stoppage to one’s ‘busy’ lived life and allowing such a day like Remembrance Day for instance, to be honoured and commemorated.

Moving moments, a mere pittance of time. What prevents the pause? Hmmmm. Do you not have a song or passage or poem or saying or image or book or even a tradition that for some reason you hold on to, bring out (if you remember) at different times over the course of the year? No matter how many times you have listened, heard, read, touched or carried the experience out, it tugs at the heartstrings, making an indelible impression; affecting the heart, mind, spirit, funny bone. Oh I have lots of them and they are so good to hold on to.

The feeling of those touching moments, times where you are awe struck, captivated, paused. I think we need ‘a pittance’ of poignant once in awhile. Don’t you? Does that sound kind of crazy? The spirit within seems to be in need of a sliver of a teardrop, a chortle, a sigh, a happiness to come in, even a sadness too so as to stir the soul within for a bit, the heart of you.

November is a perfect month, albeit darker shorter daylight in the day, to sidle up to slowing your roll, grabbing the clock as it were (or digital watch or Big Ben or hourglass or timepiece or Apple watch etc) and awakening to the changes marked by giving over to this month that has been dedicated to memories of loved ones gone, past and present. It does not take much out of your day, next to nothing really, to spend a candlelit time so to speak. A mere pittance of time.

Yes there will be plenty of memories that are quite nostalgic in nature, putting you into a space of smiles and chuckles, unsullied and joyful, as you muse about the past of a person you are thinking of. To give over to the memory and give it a tiny amount of you and your time, you may pull up that old letter from them (email or twitter or Facebook today), play an old song, look at old photos, or maybe even cook a meal that reminds you of them. But on the other side, often with a greater intensity of emotion, some memories can come crashing in which are not so life-giving in nature, resurrecting and bringing up old thoughts of anger or sadness or hurt onto wards the loss of someone. I refer to them as triggers. Sometimes these come out of the blue and other times not so much because a certain event or situation triggers an onslaught of long ago thought to be forgotten feelings. Hmmm.

Hold on to your memory mom.

The act of remembering is a gift whether it evokes joyful glee and heel-kicking or filled with a deep sadness and sorrow and regret. Remembering does something for you and I…it gives each of us our own story, snippets of mini moments, that shape us in some way. A wondrous realization of thanksgiving and forgiveness.

Light up a life in remembrance even if for a pittance of time. Blessings today.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and for those who struggle with remembering and keeping memories.