Oh Easter Morn

Easter comes in whatever way

I woke up to the dawn of the morn and was greeted with snow blanketing the world around me, deck and land. There was not a warm fuzzy feeling coming out of me right now. Joy was not quite the expected response in the stirring of my heart nor the wondrous Alleluia!! that usually comes on this day. Sorry, Lord, I’ll do better. Got it off my chest….you know confession and all. Well, Easter you have come in, memorable as ever. to welcome us to a new day beginning a new year of rebirth, renewal, rejuvenation. Not quite feeling it but I know joyful life is there. It might be hidden to be found just like the little ones discover on their own Easter hunt for they are the proof that all can be found.

It is such a dichotomy Easter in its timely tradition of faith and its polar tradition of the joyful Easter egg hunt. Two totally different worlds meet, lamb and bunny, but still with the gift of joyful delight. Uplifting the heart and minds of those who participate as in the faithful who have overcome to see the light or the pitter and patter in discovering the cracking open of the Easter egg. Neither to be taken lightly nor wrongly, just different paths giving the human heart a promise of spring, light and love. It reminds me that Easter is really a good time to feel comfortable putting all of one’s eggs in one basket. Safe and cared for. Afresh. Just like the kids. Although I am sure there might be a tussle or two with the little ones but not for the faithful….open and allow all of self to be present, lay bare, in the rising of the Lord in us. Eternally of hope.

But regardless of what kind of day it is outside, it is the inside that counts. The inside of each of us, standing maybe at the foot of the cross or empty tomb or standing right beside a hidden treasure just waiting to be found. I think of the many Easter mornings with my own girls, the delight and crazy as they began their hunt (way before church too of course). They were full of the unknown knowing all would be found in the early light….turning over- looking under- climbing – crawling – kneeling – stopping – running….the elusive Easter eggs. The carefully painted eggs that we blew out the yolk which later on in years became the many colourful plastic eggs filled with surprises. Miss those days. But I remember the little hints and clues, getting hot or cold or luke warm LOL, whatever the wording, to help them get closer to the few elusive eggs not yet found. Boy was that fun. However, the challenge was to get up early enough to help Easter bunny with the hiding. And to top it off, having to write down where hidden. Hahaha. Yeah not so fun.

Oh to go back to the golden old days. Nah the gold and old days are here. The tradition and wondrous experiences are the now. Certainly I can hold my own resurrection of memories from years gone by, even in technicolour, but really they are ever present. They have to be because it is part of us, in our faith and/or in with our own cultural customs. I am in awe that my own daughters as they continue the mark of wonder and glee in preparing their own path of traditions and observances. The detail and planning behind these days, shared with me, most humbly for me, recreating the aged and storied goodness.

It is odd not to be going to church. Over the last year since the pandemic began, I have chosen to stay away. Initially I had no choice but eventually as the doors opened, I found myself inclined to stay with the pastor’s effort of the live streamed Mass on Facebook and the daily Gospel reflections. I also found a Newfoundland channel of Sunday Mass that is accessible. Nourishing my faith in God’s house is a beautiful gift but not at expense of gatherings. Yes there are the protocols in place but I have realized that God stays with me wherever I am and so being with my grandkids and family….that is my need. Having experienced the loss of seeing family, my mom in particular, and then the restrictions to even visit openly within and between provinces, I realized that the sacramentality of life is so much more, seeing God in all things, graced moments, which I have come to appreciate more and more. Life is precious including having the digital age that fosters a communal awareness, connections and fostering relational goodness as in this day in age, no other choice. Being and seeing my mom, my daughters, my dad, my granddaughter, my siblings across the miles live virtually…just to see and be seen. Yep. Today is a reminder that Easter gives an invigorating hope, of a new life within.

But not to ignore the other side, there is Easter of a more secular nature; no less important as it is traditional and well-intentioned customs of many. Easter bunny and the Easter egg hunt for real beautifully painted hollow eggs, colourfully sweet filled plastic eggs or the big chocolate Easter bunnies (hollow and solid) discovered at the end of hunt. I do not know when the change came, going from the traditional hollow chocolate eggs and bunnies only to a more flash-in-the-pan, popular modern day chocolate character variety fare. But give me those delicious Cadbury creamy filled eggs. Yumyumyum. Do you wonder about the wee tiny oval eggs that you get? Seem like the shape of bunny droppings? Ewww. I don’t know but still…yum in the tum. Too much information. Sorry. Yet, it is so unbelievable the Easter fare out there. How does the Easter bunny choose?

Well needless to say I saw the images of my grandchildren doing their Easter hunt; nothing has changed. Basket, hunt, eggs…filled. And smiles, big smiles even on my two youngest of grandchildren. Yes my youngest just over 1 year is walking or one-handed trailing the walls and such. Good thing Easter bunny knows how to hide the eggs along the walls or fridge or low cupboards or corners. Hahaha. Oh Easter what have you done!! Given joy to the little hearts and minds whether understood or not. And maybe just maybe the story of Easter from the Christian perspective, giving an account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ may come to pass. But whether heard or read about, bible or other story told, makes the connection or not, signs of new life and spring may be the place of awareness. And chocolate fix. I wonder if the Easter bunny knows of the palette of the older children (you know the adults in the hunt)? Just wondering.

So as you and I enjoy this Easter weekend, hopefully sharing in a meal with loved ones, if not near but from afar (technology rocks), let us take a moment to remember….

If you see a rabbit laying little brown eggs, don’t eat them they are not chocolate.

Two things I learned from the Easter bunny; everyone is entitled to a bad hair day and some body parts should be floppy.

You might want to think about what colour you paint your eggs when eggs are found on the ground; maybe avoid yellow.

Where else can you bite someone’s head off and not get yelled at.

Lent was invented so Catholics could get another shot at New Years Resolution.

No thanks, chocolate Easter bunny, I have more than enough men in my life that are hollow and full of disappointment. (not nice really)

Go on an Easter hunt; I can’t even find my car keys.

Easter is the only time where it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.

Be patient….sometimes blessings need a little bit more time before they hatch.

Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were only three days apart.

When life gives you more than you can stand….kneel.

Have a happy Easter for peeps’ sake.

Rejoice and enjoy this day and the days to come, somebunny loves you. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers today and let their hearts be filled with gladness.

Mind needing attention…. aaahhh

Look beyond the trees.

Lately, I have been doing different kinds of mind activities, you know the kind – brain draining logic kinds of games. Stretch the brain till it hurts. Ones that frustrate you to no end. But you do them anyway. LOL. So I have got into the habit of ‘cheating’….alleviating the sense of how can I be so not smart. Sorry Lord, but I have and I know it is Lent!! But almost to the finish line. I did not give up ‘cheating’. But I’ll think of not giving up so easily. Okay?? It’s just that, well, I mean they put the answers in the back of the booklet for goodness sakes and my fingers do the walking. Quite frankly I am glad they do. Because honestly having checked my wee small brain with the one who made up these particular ‘good for the mind’ games, my eyes go crossed eyed. I even went to a thesaurus when doing a crossword puzzle to check to see if the clue and crossword word matched. Unfortunately yes. Yet, it is dp funny how your brain wanders to one place and the word can mean something entirely different, almost too much of a stretch at times.

Speaking of Lent, hopefully it has been a generous amount of time over the past few weeks for reflection, walking in the desert so to speak, removing or staying things that have been a distraction of sorts in the long stretches of your life. Yes there is also the part of giving up something or taking on something, a discipline of sorts, for forty days. I did not give up or take on but settled into what I already have. Which is more than enough to dwell upon. And well, I love fish on Fridays for sure (not the fishy kind mind you. Not even for Lent will I take on fishy fish. Sorry.). Searching for the calm in the deep pits and crevices we struggle through, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Maybe it has to do with the timing of Lent and spring…new birth, rebirth, fresh feel to the day. Excitement even with the masks. The journey of self-discovery of the pause in one’s life and seeking deeper meaning to what life is all about I think happens wondrously. Reflecting has got to be one of the most powerful gifts to give oneself, decluttering the heart and soul within. I am so grateful right now because my walks have moved or returned to the shores and cliffs nearby. Feel so much closer to God, me, and my wandering thoughts.

Now with the change in daylight, the warmth in the air, the smells (yes even cow dung), the delightful patches of colour, and low and behold the time for dying and rebirth as Holy Week closes to open Easter season invigorating our hopes. Marking a holy moment of gratitude with one lit candle touched by another to bring light to a new path, new beginning. Oh yes Lent, you have done your due diligence for me these past weeks…getting my mind to pay attention. Hence mind games to fine tune an instrument that needs a bit of a stir. I know I know, logic head games or scrabble (yes me and myself playing against each other. Guess who wins?) are not quite a Lenten practice but hey I am a work in progress.

I feel this keen stirring within me to get the fire lit, a burning desire to grab life by the horns and run with it. It could be the excitement I feel as the physical presence of barrenness and worn blanket of winter white sheds its layering to hints of delight. There is a lightness in my step that almost makes me want to burst free but of course, I will probably fall on my face. Yes. These old legs have been a walkin’, not a runnin’. Hahaha. Have you ever tried that. Face plant is not my thing. Thankfully I have two grandchildren who are under two. So I have to build up to the run. The only catch is my grandson who is 10 1/2…I’ll have to practice discretely. Yeah me. But really there is such a desire to get to work on the whole enchilada….me.

So working on the mind, body and spirit….with mostly the mind lately. I think the spiritual part is always being fine tuned in gratitude and love that I receive gratefully and with promise from those that I love and come into my life giving me a bit of themselves to me. Now the burst of energy seeping through my bones is getting to be livelier. My feet were really moving today even though it was overcast and fog coming in over the water off the northshore, I was stepping in time. LOL, I am thinking of Dick Van Dykes song from Mary Poppins’ Step In Time. How my mind works I will never know? Hey there is another thing helping my mind. Texting. I have to say thank you to the people who set up the ability on phones, computers, tablets etc with programs or apps to allow you to ‘chat’. Although I have not mastered the two digit texting on phone or tablet like my daughters. I am really good at one finger. Oh my, my old typing teacher would have a fit…tap my fingers when I stray off and look at typewriter. Those were the good old days. I remember that rule – “two hands, two feet, if not no beat”. Beat? What do the feet have to do with the hands? Oh yes, sit up straight. Beat. Rhythm. Oh yes. How one forgets!! Hahaha.

The gift of sharing and chatting with others in whatever form or whatever way, gets the mind active. Sometimes I cannot express my thoughts fast enough as I connect to one thing and they are already going off on another. That reminds me of Messenger and Google Hangout – timing of conversation does not fit the comment they just sent. Even on cell phone. I guess when you have so much to say to one another…well let’s just say slow down. There is Lent all over again. Pause and breathe. Sometimes I think people in general are not comfortable with the quiet. Need to fill in the space.

Why the mind lately? I have once again been thinking of my mom and even my dad. We say we have senior moments. Everyone, young or old can have them. But with my mom walking with dementia that is a whole other kettle of fish. Dad gets mad at himself because he cannot remember. He says it began when he had to carry a little note pad and paper when he worked the floor at the plant. It went down hill from then in memory? I do not think so dad. You had way too much to remember for goodness sake. Is there a connection between an active mind, staying active and dementia. I do not know. Certainly music is a big thing that brings the heart to the mind, generously and wondrously moving. But I also discovered that when you talk about her passions, remember them, her eyes light up. Might not be many words but something is jogging and best thing….most beautiful mom smile.

So spring, I am giving and praising you for the kick start to my days lately. I sat outside on my deck (just pulled the Muskoka chairs out from the shed) and enjoyed my crosswords. Not going to bring scrabble out because it is too windy and hey, the birds may think these little wooden things are to munch on. No thanks. But also to thank you for opening up the woods for my granddaughter and me; she is a hoofing her. Now that she can walk in her new rubber boots, we are going places. The woods is her oyster. Her mind is in full gear, grabbing on to words as she repeats what I talk about in what we are doing….love it. She stops all of a sudden because she hears the birds….not that horrible movie The Birds….no the big crows that yak and caw constantly. Her head goes up when she hears their sounds, spots them and starts to imitate their call. I teared up as she raised her arms up to talk with them. Precious. Yesterday we got out of the truck when I picked her up as I have to park at top near the road due to soft clay dirt and permafrost; she sees overhead a gaggle of geese flying above us. Oh my what a sight! She waves at them as they fly by in their perfect vee. Wow!

Paired with her abundance of being a sponge and taking it all in, she has a brother who just keeps me hoppin’ too. His mind is razor sharp and also filled with love for another human being. When he watches a movie, listens to a news story, or reads a piece from a book and tears up (no my grandson it is a beautiful heart you have) oh I want to scooch him forever. Amazing graced moment. He feels so strongly and does not miss a beat. Isn’t there a saying about little ears. Well his are fine tuning exponentially, thank you very much. He has this uncanny ability to take something and make it come alive. The way he articulates his thoughts, the way he finds words beyond his years, and uses them appropriately….nothing wrong with his mind. Well done parents.

I do realize that my mind like any other part of the body needs attention. Cannot neglect it as it is easy to do. You know when you put the milk in the cupboard (oops, hope not for long) or forgot to turn the stove off (not good, better not be far) or forgot your wallet (hope your not hungry) or forgot to close the window (flood insurance). You know things you do when you are in a hurry or busy. Just do not forget the kitty litter if you go on vacation. But the biggest one is a daily one, forgetting the names of people. I can remember a few times of a family member or a good friends, said their name a hundred times, do you think I could remember? Nah. Of course being in education there are so many students I taught and staff I worked with….after awhile you have to suck it up butter cup and just admit it. Honestly, we are human. Not great in a business deal mind you.

So food for thought if your mind is in a muddle, take up the piano or guitar, eat a strange or different foods, change your daily routine, do a puzzle or strategy game, read or write differently (not backwards but aloud or in poetry), do math for a gr. 5 (yeah that will get your heart pumping), learn a new language (pig latin or…), take a class (out of comfort zone), donate your time.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein. Play scrabble. Blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for a healthy and active mind.

Rubber Boots in fashion??

Boots are made for walkin’

I am not sure about you but I am really getting tired of the winter fashion….boots in particular. Heavy slugging. But hey my toes keep warm which is a bug a boo of mine in having cold feet. Reading socks are the bomb for sure. Is that an old adage “cold feet, warm heart”? Anyway not my cup of tea. So off with the winter boots. Please. Can I really put them away? Well maybe I will keep them on the rubber mat just in case because March has not finished. It came in like a lion but heaven forbid it would go out like a lamb. We shall see. So winter boots, you are on standby. But off with you….my feet feel lighter already. I love wearing running shoes or sandals. Oops there is an in-between stage though….rubber boot weather. You know its a thing.

Right now, I have a tune and lyrics in my head from Nancy Sinatra’s “these boots are made for walking and that’s just what I’ll do…” I know the song is out of context for my thoughts today but the boot theme is not. Spring is here!! Woo to the hoo. And with it comes all kinds of outer wear…look out runway, fashion heats up, with its finest. Not really being a fashion statement myself, but shopping with my middle daughter the other day, the cutest kiddie boots with handles, were on display. LOL. Where do they come up with these ideas? But you have to love the imagination of the footwear designers. Just like any good producer of fashion, you got to catch the eye and in this case, the little eye. And so like any good mother, she lets her little one take a boo at the wide array of boots. Personally what I think and what the little one thinks….nope not even in the same ball park. Oh yes boot designers, you got the kiddie market.

Surprisingly, my daughter does not go with door # 1 or 2 of boot selection from her baby’s hand grabbing but with door #3….plain jane solid dark coloured boots with tiny handles and pink soles. Why? Well, heaven only knows. I mean there is a smorgasbord of Princess, Paws, zoo images, 3-D wing coming out of boot, flashing soles, tie-dye, splash of technicolour strewn in geometric crazy etc. I guess when the boots get muddy it does not matter. But there you have it…rubber boots ready and set in the buggy. Little one is going to be wearing them everywhere. It is always interesting picking her up in the morning to be with me for the day and her shoes or boots are missing. Where might these ones end up? Last time, her winter boots were found in her brother’s bed. Not sure how my granddaughter determines the map in her own mind. Too complicated for me.

So rubber boots (or depending on where you are from wellies, wellingtons, galoshes, billy or gum boots. Who knew?). They are in fashion. I find on the island there is a certain culture of rain boot wearing. Maybe it is where I am walking or looking but young and old alike seem to be okay with rubber boots. Not fancy but solid thick rubber soles – Canadian Tire or Marks specials. In fact, many male/female younger/older wear the ones with the banded stringed tall tops which funnily enough we bought a pair a couple of years ago when my daughter and later me gave working on the mussel socking line a go. Which by the way it is HARD work let me tell you. Anyway, the standard spring boot wear seems to be a lined pea green boot with tied at the top feature to reduce water coming into the boot. Kind of like an all terrain vehicle of boots…good tread, durable, takes most surfaces, rugged. I have to say I see quite a few wearing them in all four seasons too which I guess is not a surprise as it reflects the island fishing culture. I kind of like that.

However I do not want to wear big rubber boots for too long. They are kind of clunky too. But unlike my daughter she would and does. Not the CT special…no no no…not for her. Fashion is her thing which I know will be her daughters too. Yikes. The thing to do is get Hunter boots. Hunter rain boots. You got it. They are kind of like the Sorrel of winter boots, only for fall and spring wear. I never have heard of them before until my daughter pointed them out to me a few years back. Looking at the price which really if you break it down….how often are you going to buy another pair of rubber boots. Oops I should say rain boots as the Hunter line says on their site. My bad. So take the price, divide by the months worn yearly, length of years keeping them….not so bad. It is the ouch initial outlay or at least for me. Because we are talking about rubber boots. RUBBER BOOTS!!! Yet I do have to say they are stylin’ on her, seem to wear nice, and practical. She had her pick from a variety of tall or mid calf length, full colour range, buckle for bling and practical use for a larger or smaller calf fit. I do have to say nice rain boot.

Why a big to do? Because the charm of the island with its red clay dirt roads, lanes fields, and pathways….lets just say sink or swim. Don’t get me wrong. I love the red dirt charm. You should see me come across the 13 km bridge with the sun beating down towards the shores of the island….beautiful deep rich red stone and dirt. Lovely. When you sign up for island life, you sign up for all of it….not pick and choose. Which I did and do, as I have parked my truck up at the top of lane because the permafrost is melting and creates havoc on my lane never mind places that are not paved or gravelled. I like the natural look…what you see is what you get. Which means suck it up buttercup.

So today my granddaughters debut…little boots meet mud and melted snow puddles. Woohoo. It was gorgeous today, simply beautiful with a southwest wind, melting of snow and jacket weather. But look down, way way down and I’ll call Rusty – oops that is an old children’s show. New page. Look down and there are my boots and her boots. Hers sinking in the lane. Aaaahhhhh. Noooooo. And don’t I turn my head and there is Maggie May sinking deep into the soft parts of the muddy red dirt lane. Yep. Its official. ITS SPRING. Deal with it. Okay okay I am calm. The little boots leave a trail of boot prints down the lane. Why would she do anything else unlike me who as I look down, being so much older and wiser, walking on the side of lane next to grassy part. No sinking. No deep tread marks. Nope. What is she thinking? Having fun. Yep. Get over it.

I look at her and think that is what it is all about. Lets have fun Rara. Yes little one but can we maybe avoid the lane for just a bit. I would prefer not the crater look, or in this case, the footprint look on the lane. Just for a hot minute. Hahaha. No can do as she takes off seeing another puddle. It is all the same to her…life to be lived.

So what to do. Well let me see. Spring time. The season of perpetual unpredictable weather. It rains. It pours. It gets mucky and muddy. It makes puddles. It gets squishy and mishy. It soaks. It gives us cats and dogs, thunderstorms, lightning. The whole kit and caboodle. We get all bundled up in winter, what happens in spring? Mud and rain. Growing life, mud and rain. Blooming and planting, mud and rain . Get picture. Yeah. Have you not seen this. People dodging the rain as they jump over puddles to get to car holding onto the umbrella trying not to get more wet. What part of you did not get wet? And where is the shopping cart? Hmmm. Covid-19. Take it back. Oops. Maybe rain gear could be good…. including rain boots!! I mean who wants wrinkled soggy menchy feet and to top it off ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes.

Side humour today. While carpenters were busy working outside the old house I just bought, I busied myself with indoor cleaning. I had just finished washing the floor when one of the workers came in and asked to use the washroom. I looked at his muddy boots and said “Just wait a second, Ill grab some newspapers

“That’s alright lady,” he responded, “I’m already trained.”

These boots are made for walkin’. Go and enjoy jumping and laughing and carrying on. Mud and all. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and for the dance in the rain, boots on,

Smile…its a good day

I see water….woohoo

Don’t you sometimes want to kick up your heels and twirl and whirl, smile like a cheshire cat? Is a cheshire cat more like a sly smile? Nah. Hopefully not. That is not the feeling I have today. Nope. I am talking more of that wide stretched grin splitting spread of the lips until they hurt (not really) from the giddiness within and bursting at the seams. Best feeling to grab a hold of your arms, wrap them tightly around you and smile like crazy. I got that this week. Thank you. Thank you.

What is there to smile about? Come on I can see it….nice and slow. Yep. You got it. Smile you are on….. Right on. Yes, there are lots of things to smile about and I think we need to do it more often. I love to smile. My challenge is not to smile or chuckle when I should not. Especially when my grandkids are doing a no no and I am supposed to be firm or be serious. Bad behaviours and all that. Are you kidding? That is what parents are for. Hahaha. Or those times when someone (adults usually) slips or rams into a window of door, and then look around to see if anyone saw; I just can’t help myself, crack up in smiles and silent laughter. I am not that mean. Thank goodness for masks these days. Sometimes I think I have a warped sense of humour. But hey today, smiling is on my mind and why. Well let me see. Hmmmm….

First my older sister tells me this week my mom and dad now have the ‘shot’, the pandemic shot, woohoo. And dad got to see my mom face to face in the same room two days ago. Woo to the hoo. I teared up when she texted me with this information. Bless her heart for keeping family in the loop. Anyway, I know it is only once a week but who knows, maybe soon it will be twice a week for them. Please. Please. Please. And then to top it off, the nursing home contacted family members and it looks like my sister is going to be classified as an essential caregiver for our mom at the home after they give my sister the ‘shot’. Oh happy day. Who would have thought a shot would be connected to happy?

Then this past Monday was the anniversary of the pandemic permeating our lives to the nth degree. What is there to smile about? Well always find the half cup full mantra…my newest granddaughter was born on this day a year ago. And she is thriving. Simply perfect. I know all babies are but I can brag. Okay. She just celebrated her first birthday on Tuesday. I cannot believe it!! I mean where did the time go for goodness sake. And there she is the little picininny (Rara language for precious) eating her Elmo cake – first sweet. Oh my heavens the red is all over her face. Watching her on the short video (big smile on my face and nodding my head), she has a slow start looking at what it is before her (head of Elmo). Kids are beautiful, aren’t they? She tentatively touches the cakeface of Elmo, and then oh my she gets her little paws in, squish and mush and lick. Mommy of course has the cloth nearby. Hahaha. Little one has her eyes so focused on the cake before her…what to do what to do? So funny. The smiley face on her as she dips her finger into the red icing and begins to eat ‘Elmo’ …yum in the tum. She takes a taste it carefully (so funny to watch) and suddenly, hand to mouth mock speed…..you got it. Happy 1st Birthday.

Smile and Mother Nature. Of course the weather has not been all peaches and cream lets just say. But there was a moment of sun and shine yesterday while getting into my truck. I drove just a little bit down the open road and thought what the hay. I rolled down the window, lo and behold, the warmth of the sun hits my hand as I reach out. Hooyah! Alleluia! I know this is Lent (no Alleluia and such) but Lord, I really felt the need to feel the cozy warmth spreading through my fingers, which I did. The breeze filling the palm of my hand, teasing my fingers, with the hint of spring. It’s like my fingers took on a life of their own, flex and stretch, to the beat of the wind lightly whipping them into a playful mood. Oh yes. Thank you.

Despite being ready for winter to be over, I have learned to appreciate and welcome the cold snap. I can walk on snow still. Don’t laugh. Yes sirree. It felt great because seriously, lately walking with my granddaughter in the woods or on the open field, her weight does not break through the snow but me, its not fair. Step and stomp. Not fun and not funny. Workout me but nooooo…. she does not break a sweat. Just turns to me arms up because her little legs are tired….are you kidding me? “Up” she says. Yes, she knows how to talk now. “Up”. I’ll give you up. Gently and smiling, I lift her and she looks at me….melt. Oh what we do for our loved ones.

But today, I took Maggie May out for our early morning walk along the road and decided I am going to try the tractor trail. So like offroad driving, I took a step onto the snow and then another. Well the Lord is good to me. I am light. Feels great. Smiling and flapping my arms. No audience at this time of the morning. Woohoo. So off we go walking along the snow laden trail, then down to the beach where I make no prints on the sand (haha), traipse a bit of the rocky red shore, turn around (do not need to face plant on the icy rockface), and go back up the cliff top to continue my walk. The view is breathtaking with the sun sparkling cascading a hue of blue white snow lining where the cliff meets frozen ice snow down below. And me, I literally kicked my heels and my face broke out in a smiley smile from ear to ear as I come to the mid point of my walk, seeing the lighthouse across the bay. The beacon of light is going!!!

Surprising read on FB. A couple of days ago, I read a beautiful article from a friend on FB, you know who you are. Thank you. Anyway, she shared this photo of a newborn baby fawn found lying on the backdoor step of some person (not sure if she is known) with an article attached. I think the article is from Conservation authorities (not sure) and helping us mere mortals get our act together. Do not touch the fawn for it seems like the mother will deliver babies in the strangest places. Well just to be clear mom is nearby, states in the article, getting food or standing near by to protect. So you and I, don’t touch don’t feed just don’t do whatever the human heart feels like wanting to do. You know who you are. We are asked to leave the baby fawn alone. Unlike colts being born and have legs to get up and go, fawns take a little bit longer (as the article states). So smile, welcome the new born and enjoy while you have her/him.

Then, I catch a poster that reads….my ducks are not in a row. At this point I have no idea where my ducks even are. That caught my funny bone. LOL. Thanks once again for the smile. Chuckle.

However, the piece de resistance was putting out my Muskoka chairs on the deck and when I went to sit down, a FLY flew in and landed on the arm of the chair. Smile smile smile. Not because it was a fly…where is my fly swatter anyway. No, it was because it was warm enough for the fly to come out and play. Now that my friends is something to smile about. Happy dance…yes yes yes. Oh it is the little things in life that makes you appreciate the joys which come upon you when you least expect it.

Flies are a good thing? Right? At least right now. I’ll probably have another comment, not so smiley, when barbequing season is in full swing. It was warmer today. Yes I have to park my truck up near the road but hey give me plus two digit temps.

Whatever you are doing today, clocks are ahead, daylight longer, cannot beat the joy and promise of whatever comes your way. Blessings.

Let us pray for those whom are need of our prayers and the warmth of a smile given to them.

Hanging in but….

Dating on-line. Really??

Baring my heart here. I have not talked about on-line dating in a while so today I find myself booting up the laptop and fingers finding their way to writing deep awareness of this chapter I have opened in my life. Whew. Well here I go.

You know you think about something for a little while and then you believe that maybe it is a good thing. Then you think some more doing the whole ‘checklist in the head’ kind of pondering. Pros and cons. Positives and Negatives. Do to or not to do, that is the question. That’s me in a nutshell. I do not think I over think but I do mull over for a spell before I make a decision. Which finds me in a wee bit of a quandary over on-line dating. Yes still at it. Hanging in but….My youngest tells me “it will be a slow go for ya, mom”. On my walks lately I have been talking out loud as I trek down the road then up the road, down to the water over to the harbour and back. Wondering what in the world is the world of on-line dating all about. What should it look like? What does it actually look and feel like? I can tell you my first impression was more a ‘fun-in-the sun’ kind of feeling and now it is more like a ‘wack-a-doodle oopsie are you kidding me” kind of chaotic sensation within me. Right down to my toes. Not sure if that makes sense.

Maybe I am approaching this whole dating thing all wrong. I have met some lovely men (hope they do not mind me saying that) and then I have met some questionable “are you for real” men!! Flattering and kind but red flag kind of work going on in the back of my mind. Literally in my head I am saying “are you real”? My daughters and sister have ingrained in me to be cautious. Yep. Of course I failed miserably in the first few goes but oh well. Life is filled with mistakes. Right?? But as a wisdom given to me from a former principal that I worked with, sharing a life lesson that I have walked with for a long time. He said that all things we experience are good no matter what they are. It is what we do with what we have experienced and decide on what we want to keep from the experience, what is a truth of the experience, and what we want or need actually to let go of. So that is me right now.

What have I learned to date (About me” About men” About me and men? About relationships? Is that a long time to be on it?) which is now going on the fifth month by the way. Maybe that is not a long time. For me I think love, if that is what one hopes to find on the dating site(s), comes softly. I really like that image in my head. I took the phrase from one of the book titles by Janette Oak’s which also happens to be a movie romance series set in pioneer times. Although as I have been told by others, love can hit you square in the face too, and quickly. But what I am discovering about myself as I am not the latter, more of the former. So more of a friendship before anything else kind of woman. That there are certain things I would like to take place during the on-line dating, if I am going to move forward or engage with the person in any way. Wow, look at me!!!

Surprisingly and somewhat disconcertingly, some of the men I have met seem to express strong feelings right away (like in 3-4 days of talking and chatting). Not on the phone or video chat, only by words shared on the chat line of site or in emails or google hangout or texting. Look at me. Woohoo. Just saying. Getting sidetracked here. Is that normal? Is that real? Is it to be trusted? when a man comes to a conclusion that he sees bells and forever. What??? Then I think to myself is it the same for younger people on the on-line dating? Probably not. Because quite frankly being my age of 61 years young, maybe there is more of an urgency. Or maybe it is more like ‘been there done that’ and now a better understanding of what one does not want. The years are not as fruitful when you are over 50+ or 60+ or 70+ which is who I have attracted. Oh yes there were two in early 40’s….no I am not a cougar for goodness sake. I got that from a TV show. I am so hip. I was kind but said no thank you…way too young.

I have discovered about me that I am not afraid to share my thoughts which is a HUGE win for me. I have been getting lots of practice talking with men which is quite new. And Tony the Tiger great. Why? Talking with my dad or brother or in-laws or male colleagues does not count. You are not seeking a relationship with them in that way. But how I speak and banter with those who are familiar to me, I have to do that with the men I meet. I have to be true to myself. Just be me.

Dating has not been in my life for a long time…..I mean a really long time. Cobweb kind of long time. Anyhoo, it is all good. Being honest is my go to. But I realize that I may be too forthright which I need to be careful of, not turn someone off so to speak. I really try to be kind in my words. I really like reading the profiles of the men on the two sites I am on. Very different approaches in framing and navigating the dating sites…interesting.

I tend to make a comment to those who have a photo and have something to read. I click ‘pass’ or ‘x’ if the person has no photo or has little to say or nothing to say (not finished their profile maybe). I click ‘smile’ or ‘like’ as I think the men should know they made you smile or made a connection or liked their thoughtful points about themselves or have great photo(s). Get my drift. The problem when I do that is I get myself into trouble. I am getting profiles, matches so to speak, that are from anywhere from the States —not even in the same code – zip vs area. Really??? Or many from out west. Then quite a few from Ontario (hey hey) and just a few from the Maritimes. And where do I live?? You got it.

One man responded to my comment to him about his profile and I guess decided to look up where I live and said, “there are not many fish in that community”. I wrote back that “there are not many fish on the whole island”….LOL. Anyway, the distance seems to be a pro/con. Am I biting my nose to spite my face? Should I give them a go. But three who expressed interest in me said they would relocate. And each of them ‘lied’ in profile about where they live. I discovered afterward as we got to talking. Why did they do that? For me, how could I ask that of anyone when I would not relocate myself? Visit – yes (after covid). Then men from Ontario presents a more attractive choice in that I have family and friends in Ontario which I will always visit when I can. Is that a hopeful? Or is it the same all over again? Long distance relationships. Is it fair? Yet Maritime men, well I guess I am not their cup of tea. Or maybe it is the bridge. Would you pay to come to meet a woman that you do not even know…is she worth 48.50 toll? No. Or is it my age? Or is it….what??? You can get a complex after awhile. LOL.

I read the prompts from the dating sites which indicate you will catch the attention if you…. have a few photos, share some things about self, and if you feel an initial connection, send a like or smile along with a comment. Well. I did. Okay, I have had success but….on-line dating for Karen in bits and bytes.

What did I get? Well, no video chat or phone call for the most part so far. And if so, brief brief brief. Are they real? And make sure they do not want money. Or it seems unable to because of reasons X Y and Z. Not heard from since.

Learning there are some lonely men who just want to chat. I love to write so…okay.

Success with one video chatter. Great. And he found someone. All is good in the hood.

Emails and chatting….great idea. But hopefully they want to move to phone or video. Because honest to goodness the question comes up…are they real?

So how do I approach on-line dating from all of this. I just plug away and know myself. I want someone who can carry on a conversation. Someone who wants to talk on the phone or video chat. Someone who can at least make an effort to touch base. Someone who is honest for goodness. Someone who is really exists. And I cannot treat it as a mission or project or goal (my bad)….when it happens then it will. As John Lennon said life happens to you while you are busy making other plans. Advice?? Nada. If someone is considering on-line dating, do it. Just leave the expectations at the door. And be yourself for you cannot be anyone else.

Okay Maggie May, you are my date today and tomorrow and tomorrow after that. Hey, just so you know, I did have my very first face to face date, it lasted an hour. Sat in the parking lot of MacDonalds in his truck listening to him talk about his career mainly. Learned a lot about potatoes for sure. Then I said thank you, nice to meet you, and goodbye. Is it me? Yep. Anyway he was real. LOL.

To Love and dating and relationships. Blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers today and to feel the love of others around them.

Get Out the Photo Album…Yikes

Me…how we do grow up!!

Yikes my brain has gone on standby!!!! What is up with that?!? Last weekend my middle daughter was over with the kids and she happened to see some photo albums sitting on my book shelf. Pulled out a few and started to skip through the pages of yesteryears. Oh my. Smiling and chuckling, remembering a bit here and there. I sat beside her and would fill in a few of the gaps. recalling when and where. Of course I did not put the pictures in chronological order (hindsight is always great) so it took a bit to place. But when she started looking at ones from my early days as a young gal….way back when. LOL. Yeah some are black and white because they were. FYI: My grandson asked me a while back, “did you have TV back then, Rara?? Was it the kind in a big wooden with dials? I saw it on an olden kind of show.” “Funny, very funny, grandson of mine”. Hahaha. Yes we did smart one, even in techni-colour…eventually. Boy they grow up so fast…10 going on teen too soon and have a ‘tude and half. Love him.

Anyway, when I looked at my own photos of long ago, I had a much harder time retrieving back into the recesses of my own mind, pulling at the cobwebs of my childhood and growing up years, looking at the images, placing them, what was behind the photo. Hold on Silver, need to pause for a bit, I do not want to loose those memories. Sort of like in the song Photograph by Ed Sheeran when he sings “we keep this love in a photograph we made these memories for ourselves, where are eyes are never closing, hearts are never broken, and times are forever frozen, still“….whew that jumps out at me straight between the eyes.

So naturally my daughter discovers I also have a whole boat load of pictures tucked in a large blue plastic container that I had not taken out in a coons age nor organized for that matter until recently. Yes I had it hidden in my closet for keepsake but needing to clean out my closet, I forgot to put it back. And of course my second grandchild, little curious mite that she is, discover the bin, and what….well she knows how to open lids. Yep. The teeny little fingers grabbed a few of the pictures and voila…..they float. Yes they do my darling granddaughter. Oh oh oh. Anyone who knows tiny tots, they like to do repeat, repeat, repeat. So each time she came over, her little mind does not forget. And so little Muhummand Ali, does her thing…see the bin, quick as a wick, moves fast for a little one and…..Well thankfully the pictures are durable, should be looked at, and so lesson number 51. Yep, Rara lessons for my little granddaughter. No throwing. Be careful. Be kind. Kiss the photo. Gentle. Ta Ta. No thank you. Pick them up. Let’s just say I am glad the photos are not confetti-like. Once again, retrieve. Aaahhh! Gotta love them.

Hey it is my fault. I left them out. My bad. But gratefully for I have to laugh too because my oldest who just had her first baby last year, and by the way the little one is turning 1 yr old this week….holy lightning where did the time go!!! wanted some pictures of herself to compare to her own baby girl. Good thing I spotted a few pictures as I was retrieving from the ‘fun and games’ with my other granddaughter. You never know what life presents to you.

So I gathered a few photos that I found of her and our family over the years in the blue bin and sent them via text. Thank the Lord for the miracles of technology and cell phones and sending messages virtually by the way. Just saying. But why it meant a lot to me this time around was that I wanted to find pictures of celebration to express my thoughts…it was my daughter’s birthday too. When someone says a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’, I could not find a better way to express my love and blessings to my eldest as she celebrated her special day with family surrounding her before her eyes. Forever frozen photographs. Yes. Ed. Yes. Well said.

I love to write and for many years I would write a long note or poem-like prose to each of my daughters. I even did the large bristol board card with pictures and words, telling them how special they were/are to me. Oddly enough, my middle daughter said to me she wished I kept a few more things….like favourite clothing items or toys or games and such from childhood. Yes. I understand as right this morning I was wrapped in a nightie my mom made for me (which will not be made by her hands ever again sadly enough). But maybe and hopefully they do that now with their own, holding on to things for their young. I can tell you that my oldest daughter has this app which she and her partner use to capture every single day the life of their daughter from feeding to #1 /#2 to her firsts or whatever things she does daily. Can you imagine? What a tracking of her little life!! And pictures. Holy Hannah, lots and lots. Once again technology has an amazing ability to capture life’s precious moments.

I know I have some favourite images/photos/items of my own past, ones that I look or hold onto for they bring such joy to my heart. It might not be joyful or meaningful to others but it certainly was and still is to me. Maybe it is a way of giving the heart the reminder of the goodness in one’s life, the blessings given, the held memories captured to joggle the old noggin’ to remember life as we knew it and life as we know it now. But also the mind too. I think of my mom right now who is walking with dementia. My dad calls it the terrible disease. It is,Dad. No other words are needed in that.

At this point, gratefully and with heartfelt joy in my heart, she still recognizes each of us when we skype her. My sister and I bring images to her through our words during our virtual visits, recalling her as our mom, bringing out the things we have always loved about her. She could make something out of little. Had the ability to make a casserole dish taste delicious even though you may not think the foods together would work – tuna fish, mushroom soup, peas and potatoes….yum, mom. Best cooked rice pudding to perfection. Fresh bread that wafted its way into ones nostrils as you came into the front door. Swiss steak that falls off the fork. And pizza…delisiohso. Don’t get me going on her gardens…no mom not the weeds and good for the soul. But your knack for beauty and flowers and shrubbery that worked together. I am grateful for those moments now and hear her husky laugh, nothing like my mom’s laugh and smile….it is funny how her voice is so much more. Her nose still spreads as we look at her. She wants to say something smart, I just know it. But loses the thought before it begins, yet it is still awaiting there to come out. Tears come to my eyes right now. Sorry.

Take out the albums. Yes, I think it is good to look back to see where you have been. Good memories and not so good but all are recollections gathered and held dearly that have become part of who you are becoming. Not souvenirs selected from an outside momentary place but deep rooted images companioned in the very roots of your being. Held reverently with heart and home attached to them. I think I am going to have to write on the back of the pictures maybe or something so while I still can….you never know what life has in store for each of us….bring life to the photo.

I think I begin to understand the oral traditions of faith, of families, of communities and then deciding to have them written too. Memories can fade and recollections become hazy clouds, forgotten places and faces, treasured memories once stored become empty. Hold on a moment longer to be forever captured….blessings this day.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and for those who experience the loss of remembrance, keeping the dignity of those who suffer in this way.

Critters and Mother Nature…Just Wow!

Surprising fun.

Kowabunga! Can the end of February be any more crazy with weather? Crazy with unexpected guests? Crazy with surprising fun? I thought I was in New Brunswick for a bit over the last few days!! Not in a mean way but when I travel back and forth from PEI to Ontario during the winter and early spring months…I almost have to close my eyes and just hope for the best. The weather can turn on a dime. No wonder my dad would not consider going down home to his parents in NB for Christmas way back when…you cannot trust Mother Nature. But having said that….”Dad, I moved down east to experience it first hand anyway”. And so worth it. Here to stay.

So getting back to weather, this week of ‘turncoat’ weather…sun – rain -sleet – storm – wind – sun – mild – freezing brrrr wind gusts – snow AGAIN – back to sun and blue skies – today overcast bit milder and icy on road. Aaaaahhhhhh. My sister and I just shared a moment together this morning when I texted her, “so how many more days to spring??” Hahaha. 21 days as of today. Last day of February. Does it really mean spring? I mean really, Mother Nature has her own sense of humour and will do whatever whenever wherever she wants because she CAN!! And don’t get me started on thinking of the old adage…. March coming in like a lamb, going out like a lion…not going there today. So I got my shovel ready. Mother Nature…enough already.

Then unexpectedly especially when staycation as an operative word these days, a little treat was in store for me. Four days ago, I was given a wondrous gift from my nephew…he changed the oil on my truck. Okay, good to know. Hold on a sec because while that took place, I was with my granddaughter, sister and me enjoying a little farm menagerie of barn life extravaganza….chickens, goats, sheep, donkeys, and barn pets. The smile on all of our faces….woohoo. And adorable as button photo ops. Those goats can sure ham it up. Billy goat gruff eat your heart out. The miniature donkeys really were soooooo cuddly cute. No, did not cuddle per se but stroked their heads when they would let us.

Cute, “kid”ding

My granddaughter was a bit hesitant at first but then her little legs strutting back and forth between the pens and coop…well no words. Watching her look at the sheep grazing on the hay and she just stood there with her face shiny bright and chattering away. The sheep got an earful. Bless your little heart for making the adults see the joy and delight of Creation. Grinning from ear to ear. Talk about unexpected fun. Oil change and fun at the farm. Who would have thought?!?! Thank you nephew for inviting us into your world at your girl’s family farm.

Mind you the smell could be a bit overwhelming. But do you know what it was not. It brought me back to a childhood memory of my grandpa’s farm in NB where we got to play in his antiquated unneeded barn. Mom had a quiet fit…you know how mom’s are. Good ol’ days. That dank musty smell coming from the forgotten leftover hay, worn wooden slated wagon, and beaten wooden beams high overhead came in like a whiff of spring. Silly huh? No. Take me back to those good old days for just a moment or three.

You never know.

I have always had this strange interest in worn doors, odours and hand touching ‘history’ (maybe need to change that to ‘look but no touch’ for now). This barn was brand new, as of two years ago, so why memory lane….for whatever reason its sight and smell wafted in and stayed with me that morning. I was as wilful as my granddaughter going back and forth, not just following her, but doing my own trekking too. Felt like a bit of a farmer, kicking the hay towards feeding fence with my boot, having fun, watching the playful antics of the animals. No my daughter, she was safe. Geez. Anyway I had to laugh at the sheep because seriously when someone says don’t be a sheep. I get it. They moved as one if they sensed danger. My little granddaughter being dangerous…..lol…. and me and my sister. We moved, they did moved…. together…like sheep. Get it. Holy lightning they can move fast. Hahaha.

Beauty and Beast

Then for the last few days, these cheeky beautiful looking and unexpected guests have been teasing my Maggie May. All of a sudden she goes from zero to hundred with a yip-leap-frantic tail wiggle-barking frenzy mode. There before us out in the yard a fox, sitting so prettily in his/her healthy fur coat and pointed black nose, staring in. Beady eyes…sly as a fox. Yep little creature you got that down. Oh my. I mean I have noticed quite a few red foxes out and about lately. Being winter you can catch their paw prints and boy my yard seems to be a draw. What I have not noticed is rabbits prints. So fox + rabbit = life cycle. Eewww. Thank you Biology lesson 101. Well, no wonder they are looking mighty healthy. I guess I should be grateful it is not a skunk (whispering that one) or a coyote.

It is the little things in life that make your day. Which reminds me. Have you ever watched the movie The Birds? Well I did ONCE and once was enough let me tell you. I think it is an old Alfred Hitchcock film. Personally I am not into horror thriller scary kinds of movies and that one has stayed to haunt me for a long time. Why am I mentioning it today? Unquestionably, there seems to be an inordinate amount of birds clambering around the road side, in farmer fields, banded along telephone lines, flying helter skelter in front of my moving truck and squawing high in the trees…. in disturbing droves. Do birds go in droves? Never mind. What I am saying is there seems to be a noticeable clustering of them and it reminds horribly (a phobia from that yucky film…sorry horror movie buffs) of the scene of birds coming down the chimney or lining shoulder to shoulder on telephone line. Then attack. Yeah not a warm fuzzy memory. Eeeeeh Yaaaaah. So beware of the dip and dive. I am not interested in racking up a meal plan for other critters on my truck grill. Just saying.

But unexpectedness, surprises, crazies….all bring life to life. Blessing.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers and pray for unexpected surprises of fun for them.

Calm the waters within

Finding the calm

Come down from the loft! Yep. I did literally. I just came down from the loft at my place where I usually write my ponderings. Now sitting here at the dining table (another fav place of mine), staring out at the sun coming in through the window (dirty window with mini handprints….granddaughter. WHAT!!!!) Yeah yeah, Karen. Get the windex out and clean it. The joys of being a Rara grandparent.

Ouuuuweeee! What a morning to be out and about! It is spectacularly delightful with the sun peeking over the horizon cascading once again (sunshine started yesterday) and its brilliance laying claim upon the frozen seashore, nearby fields and sides of the road as I walked the dawn of morn. Self-care. Right? So glad I found a mask in my coat pocket (yes it is clean) as it came in handy to stave off the brisk cold wind from the north. I am not into that whole ‘breathe in and breathe out’, allowing the cold brrr air to roll around in my lungs. I’ll leave it to the diehards and crazies. But the beauty around me….aahh. Simply joyous. Although I did feel a wee bit of warm. Nah. Kidding.

Oddly enough while walking, I was contemplating searching for an overflowing waterfall, sinking into its depths while surrounded by its warmth…to wash away whatever and then nourish the inner being. Calm the waters within…my spirit. Part of taking care of the ‘me’ (and the ‘you’) is tending to the soul, the innermost self. It struck me that it is Lent too, a time for reflection and preparation, letting go or taking on of something. Jesus walked in the desert for a long time, tempted and prodded, but never falling to the guise of distractions. So what does that say to me. How to nourish and feed the living waters, allowing the stream of life to flow within, calm and peaceful from the daily narrowing allure of the ‘don’t touch’.

Oh to go to a spa. I’m not really into spa’s per se but maybe I do not know what I am talking about. I mean they have mud baths. Right? Well, holy lightning the idea of sinking deep into mud….are you kidding me?! NO. Been there done that. Yeah. You got it. Childhood memory. I was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5, and my dad said I rolled around with the pigs in the pigpen of his uncles farm in New Brunswick way back when. Scarred for life. No thanks. I love the Maritimes but some memories can stay in the past. Seriously though, what can help to nourish the spirit….make you feel freeing. For me it is water.

Something about it is so life-giving. I was bathing my granddaughter in the sink last week because I do not have a tub and she is playing away. While watching her, she gets so preoccupied with the water and the suds. Naturally, she turns on the faucet (because it is right and Rara did not bring extra towels for being the curious little one she is), allowing the water to flow through her fingers which spontaneously spreads wide, drenching me (even little fingers can do that). She just looks and looks and then a most precious gift comes…a smile crosses her face. Is she nourished? Oh yes. Oh yes.

I know I await the spring to come, where the water will gently come in to the shore and I can stand while it brushes softly against my toes. Or the wondrous loud crashing on the rocky shore as I sit or stand, allowing the spray of the waves upon the rocks to hit me square in the face. Breathtaking and crazy feeling. But it reaches down deep in me, a purity that calms me, holds me, washes me….awakens the restless soul recessed deeply to the core of my being. But hey that is not to be as yet. So today or tomorrow I travel seeking a babbling brook, released from the confines of the hidden winter, to stand still…..listening as the life giving water fills me. Because I am not going to turn the tap on in the sink at home for it wastes water and frankly, if I turn on the tap…I will have to go to the washroom. Takes away the whole ambiance right now. Eew. For some reason listening or being near the water in the outdoors does not do that. Funny that.

Where oh where is a babbling brook? Little water fall? Trickling stream? Oh where oh where can it be? Searching for what brings me to a calm, breathing life back in….maybe it comes from being baptized, a renewing promise to self that is at the root of the water’s importance to me. I do not know. Mystery. But whatever it is, it is bigger than me for it grounds and fills me at the same time. Grateful in gratitude.

So today, imminent storm not withstanding, I will begin my trek. Although I am really having a senior moment right now. For I have to say as I came back from town today (had to stop pondering to do life; you know how it is), the body of the St. Lawrence on the north shore was beautifully displayed beyond the fields and smattering of cottages as I crested the hills….bluer than blue, sky clear and sun shining whitely on the ice and snow covered waters with just a few spaces showing deep blue water. Oh yeah. I guess that is my calming water for today. Trek tomorrow.

Undertake whatever you know about you and treat yourself, nourishing in bountiful revelation to feel good. Remember the most important person to keep your promises to is you today. Woo to the hoo. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and way to help them be spiritually nourished.

TLC + Self-Care = Aaah

TLC. today

You know that phrase just a little TLC….tender loving care. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well being kind to yourself, the person you have walked and talked with, yourself, since the day you were born. Well maybe not exactly the moment of birth as you did not exactly walk or talk at first more like…drool, spittle, burp, stare, girgle, little doodoos, smellies, flail, kick, whimper, screech. But since then, somehow, maybe too quickly really, you look in the mirror and….woohoo “look at me now” smile (or frown) depending on the day. You are the best, loved, and valued person who deserves a bit of TLC, only for you. This is your life and sooooooo need to build yourself up. Look in the mirror.

Oh my. Well, I see wrinkles (worry stress kids yadayadayada) – grey streaks au natural (comes with the territory)- double chin (grown over the years) – flab to the bod (oh well take me or leave me) – squinty eyes (too much something). Yep, a little TLC could go a long way. For goodness sake, does that not remind you of something? Okay this dates me. But oh well. I am thinking about I need to pull out Miss Sally’s magic mirror from Romper Room to hear the reminder that I am special too. Listening to her voice as she held the mirror up saying”Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror tell me today. Did all my friends have fun at play?” Saying the names of so many kids (or adults), someone reminding you, me, he, she, I to do. Have fun. Take. Care. Of. Self. T.L.C. Haha. I forgot about that old show until today. Anyway, do you HEAR me??

What does it take to give oneself permission to be loving and tender to self? Could it be you are too busy with the busyness and speed dial lifestyle? The commitment to A B or Z? Preoccupied with the thingy tomorrow (or next week/month/beyond this day) and not thinking about the doing today? Don’t you just want to kick back for a second, put the brakes on, hold the train, and just chill?? Spend a little me time for only you. Do what makes you HAPPY.

But then again, do you know what makes you happy? You know the kind of spine tingling, giddy, jump up and down happy; or a more subtle like sense of a softly stirring of a smile and eyes lit kind of happy. Not everyone claps their hands quickly together as something catches the heartstrings. I think of the TV shows where a talk show host such as Ellen, Oprah, Steve Harvey, Jimmy Falon and so on who would bring together lost loves, military families, old friends, people who saved. The happiness and tears of joy, laughter and unexpectedness fills the faces. Disbelief. Stumbling. No way in a million years. And yet right there before their eyes is the happy. Should that not be part of the feeling of TLC for you or I?

I have a penchant for watching those reunion kind of shows, surprising the beejeebies out of the person(s) because it is just so beautiful to behold. You want to wrap the moment up and take it with you, seeing the purity of love witnessed. I mean I do like happy endings. Who wouldn’t? But to watch them it is more of the feeling inside me, the warm kind of generous feelings filling my cup so full, making me feel a goodness. Warm fuzzies. Oh yeah. To give that to myself in some way each day I think speaks to the TLC of self-caring.

So back to who, what, when, where, why, and how. BAAAAAH. You can’t take the teacher out of me for goodness sake!! WHO? Well me. WHAT? Self-care to be determined (no pinterest). WHEN? Any time. WHERE? Preferably where I am right now (no GPS or Siri needed). WHY? I owe it to myself. HOW? Breathe, Take the first step. And…. So back to the WHAT?

How to the what of self-care + TLC = aaaah? It does not have to be an elaborate plan of action, check off the list, post it note, ding on technology device. No. But of course if that is your personality type where you need reminders to put you first, well hey, whatever floats your boat. But do it. Just do it. Do what??? Well, take for example yesterday evening, I just got back from going to Cornwall PE and I stepped outside of my truck and happened to look up at the sky. The stars were bursting at the seams filling the clear night sky with the air, cold (brrrrr) and brisk, and it took my breath away. The moon is crescent and sky was not black but bluish black and I could still see the silhouette of the trees crossing the skyline. A smile crossed my face as I took a turn spinning slowly to take in my view. Happy. Yep. Check. TLC. Yep. Check. Check.

Did I want to go for a walk? Yes. Did I though? Are you kidding me??? It was cold cold, the brrr kind of cold. Just saying. And besides my dog, Maggie May, just got her fur cut…spa day for her…and would complain just a tad. I left her for a bit already and she was beside herself with happy to see me. And honestly, she would squat on the road and not move because her little paws and shaved fur cut….shiver me timbers. Nah, that would not be my happy. Yes, she would have her little coat on her but I would end up carrying her anyway. That would not be TLC for me.

Tender loving care is just what is says, to be gentle to self. Make you feel happy. Might be whatever gives you time for you. It might be 15 minutes in the bathroom with doors locked (Good luck). It might be taking your water or tea or coffee or wine (depending on time of day or not) and sitting on deck/porch/stoop/chair/swing/car. It might be just sitting, standing, ‘cop a squat’, and doing absolutely positively nothing for 10 (minutes not seconds please). It might be doing something for someone else because you can (love it). It might be jostling and jumping and stretching and lifting in a work out (prefer the steady walk). It might be catching some rays, some tunes, some zzzz’s, some suds, some writing, some praying, some reading, some Netflix (oh yeah…sign me up). It might be going for a drive to nowhere but somewhere. It might be a long hot shower (well maybe once in awhile because I learned a lesson about appreciating preciousness of water….thank you Water Walk)

It might be getting your hands in the dirt, pulling weeds (not on your life – horrible chore mom), digging in and feeling the coolness of the earth surrounding your fingers as you create a space for beauty to come alive. Planting seeds. Mind you the dirt in the finger nails afterward is kind of a turn off. Nah. It’s all good. It is the connected of self to the earth I think would be quite uplifting. Not that I would really enjoy it myself as I have bad memories of gardens and weeding and ‘it’s good for you” speech. Worked on my two sisters and dad as they are green thumbers. Nope, mom, dodged that bullet but I understand now the WWWWH of you doing it for I so enjoy the beauty created and do pause for long moments which I did get that from you. Gratefully. Thank you.

I think the biggest awareness of TLC is knowing when you need it. It is almost a promise to self that you need it everyday, even when feeling great. Because it feeds the soul, the mind, the spirit, the body… keeping you refreshed, refueled, renewed, rejuvenated. No, you are not a machine which is EXACTLY the point. Do not pretend you are. I know I wrote a blog earlier on about I recognizing that while I can do things, I can and will do them. But in order to do the “I can”, the “I” needs to be treated with the utmost care and love, paying attention when it is time for the pause, stop, rewind, so to speak. Then when I “can”, go for it.

So today do something to love yourself. Blessings.

Let us pray for those who are in need of prayers and to know that they are loved.

Self-Caring… Me, Myself and I??

Gotta start somewhere

Never a term has been in the forefront of my mind so much as this one recently….self-care; more than the spoonful of peanut butter that I take each morning (weird habit huh?) Not so much. Anyway, it is better than “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down“. Aah Mary Poppins, you are a delight. Thinking of her, she always seemed ready to begin the day, cheery disposition, creatively active and laughing…and you know, “perfect in every way.” Hahaha. Oh to have an umbrella that flies towards a life opened to possibilities as she would make it out to be. But one thing her bits and pieces of wisdom and wit portrayed, she carried around her trusty personal bag filled with comfort and things of infinite space.

Self-care, making room for you. Finding a way to create a space dedicated only to you and you alone whatever that means, whatever that takes. I am not saying being selfish but yes I guess I am. For goodness sake, be selfish…treat yourself to take care of ‘me, myself and I.” What a novel idea!! You cannot love another unless you love yourself. You cannot take care of another unless you can take care of yourself. And you cannot see the value in others unless you can see yourself of worth. Right?

Well that might be a bit extreme but the point I am making is that it is not selfish to love yourself and being kind to you. Isn’t there something about putting the air mask on you in an airplane before you put on another…..you cannot help someone else until you are in a good position yourself. Paying attention to the body, mind and soul for just a hot minute or ten (inflation you know). How about put it on your ‘honey-do’ list. NOW. LOL. Not the list of shoulda coulda woulda list that stems from last week, last month, last year. Yikes!! But the ME list.

Everyone deserves to be cared for, spoiled in a way. Think of it as a day at the SPA, not that I am a biggie on that one but hey each to their own. Of course I remember a good friend had taken me to get a pedicure one time (is that the foot thing??). Anyway it was so strange to have one’s feet taken care of but boy oh boy it was felt good afterward. Never had that before. But the point being, one’s body is a vessel that is to be treasured and tended to carefully gently. Although it has taken me a long long long time to get to that point (just ask my kids).

I can only speak from my small world as I ponder here. Maybe I take on too much in terms of others life journeys and circumstances. Well, I like to support others. Right? And I do care. True? But caring and taking on the caring are two different things. I think of the song He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Don’t you just love that song sung by the Hollies. It’s a tear jerker. It is just part of the makeup of me….but you can spread yourself too thin.

Now, I am not talking about standing in front of the mirror and primping and prancing…look at me “mirror mirror on the wall, whose the ‘fairest’ of us all” kind of self-care. Haha. Goodness, are you kidding? Seriously, I bypass the mirror for that…. what you see is what you get. No, it is more the health, well being, mental well being….all of the things the radio, TV, social media have been chanting and ranting (oops reminding) about. I think of the huge billboard media signs that cross the width of the big highways on the 400 and 401 in Ontario for example….you know the ones flashing and looping the message Stay Home Be safe Stop Spread. Well maybe they should do a loop around self-care too. Be Aware….Self-Care. I think now more than ever.

Times have changed, for better or worse, and our very being is impacted and affected. So hail to the self-care and all that jazz. It’s time for nourishing and nurturing you in a way that allows you to be a better version of self. I am not saying go get a gym pass (although its an option). But what do you do for yourself? Where is the me time in your day? Getting to know Karen time….that is the question. To be or not to be….Karen. LOL.

As a woman wearing many hats -mom, grandma (Rara), daughter, sister, friend – I like to give; do not even think about it. To give of myself in offering my time, listening ear, energy, thoughts (five cents worth now), ideas, advice (cautiously), support, love, forgiveness (always), compassion, wit (or try to), laughter (probably too loud) and I would be remiss in forgetting the nagging (my daughters would remind me later on). Just to be present (thanks Grandpa for showing me that). Well, now I am worn out. Whew…and that was only for the first hour of my day. Goodness I am good.

LOL. But seriously, in order to do what I like to do and be who I want to be, there is a me in there to be tended and cared for. An “I” of significance. It may not be a big word, use up too many letters from the alphabet department but “I” is made in the image and likeness of God. “I” has a name. “I” has purpose, meaning, substance, feelings, depth, story. It is knowing when to make yourself a priority. What a novel idea? And I am not facetious here…it is “me” telling the “I” to look after “myself”. None of that, been there – done that, kind of thinking. It is kind of like making an appointment with me so that at the end of the day as Katie Reed a motivational speaker once said “self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Does that make sense?

I am not sure how I got to this place of thinking as I have really not taken care of me. Okay, rarely. Anyhoo I am grateful. For recently, with the support of my daughters and sister and a chance encounter and conversation that my nephew had and his care for me, I am doing some self-care of my own. Wow, just wow! And I realize that it is about time. There is no point in me being a model for those I love, if I do not practice what I preach. What is that old adage, you got to “walk the talk”.

So today, not tomorrow, but today give yourself the present of you. What does it look like? Only you know. How about….bubble bath, sit just sit, read for an hour (or 3), hide under the covers, buy some real flowers that smell, take a nap, do a puzzle (not the 1000 or 1500 piece for goodness sake), go for a long walk, put on cozies or flappable onsies, go to grocery store and pick out ANYTHING wrong unhealthy for you (or not), go for a drive ANYWHERE, do yoga, say ‘no’ to someone, write a letter or email to an old friend, cuddle with your pet, just do something anything for YOU. Just breathe.

Self-care happens days that end with a “y”. So ponder this. Hey google inspire me to self-care:

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” Brene Brown

Caring for others is important, but Covid-19 taught us that sometimes, by caring for yourself, you’re caring for others too.” Becca Kaye

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” Hellobombshell.com

You owe yourself the love you give freely to others.” Anon

I make it a point to practice self-care. I make an appointment with myself” Manisha Singal, MD

I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” Audre Lorde

When you say “Yes” to others make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself. Paola Coehlo

Blessings this day. Just breathe. That is a great start.

Let us pray for those whom are in need of prayers and for the love of self.