Saturday, December 20, 2008

How silently. How silently....

How Silently...How Silently...

The Jesse Tree continued, even with our move. Yeah!

How silently the snow fell in the biggest and
earliest snowfall on record since the early seventies.

And, just to appease our sense of celebrating festive coloring for Christmas, I purchased ten of these red bows ahead of time and placed them up all around the home, both inside and out.

Wow, did it snow.
Wow, the sun did shine today.
Wow, how beautiful everything was!

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas everyone. God is good! We are so happy to have our pastor coming already tomorrow for dinner and to bless our home afterward. Yes! Life is good! All is well!

There is only so much I can accomplish on coffee shop time until we can secure an internet satelitte connection in our rural area, the only type of internet available. I'm having a hard time accepting the fee of 800.00 for installation, so please accept my apologies for the promised details of our move until another time.

God bless;

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We have arrived. All is well....

Further adventures in the east!

The road leading to our new home...
(Day 2 after arriving here)

Thank you to everyone for all your kind notes and prayers. We have arrived at our new home and our guardian angels were surely with us as we traveled the nightly trek with safe passage to arrive safe and sound.

Our moving week was slightly harrowing with several unexpected forks in the road, but we are here and that will something else for another day.

With only our older son and youngest daughter in tow, the dogs tagging along for the four hour plus duration of the drive here, I ended up with a scary icy windshield complete with visual loss while traveling through a doozy of a snow storm. What a white knuckler for sure, five hours of cold, scary driving. But, all is well now. All is definitely well....

More later....

Camping pics for you...

You didn't believe me did you? We spent three nights camping IN at our new home awaiting the moving truck to arrive. Yes, we did this. So nuts and yet so memorable...

Camping IN

We had to have a big chuckle over the bedding choice for the parents our one daughter decided upon. There we camped with Raggedy Ann and Andy. So fun!

Family entertainment

Hanging round the fireplace semi circle in our camping chairs while watching a DVD in the laptop.

I am still without internet abilities in our new home area for some time yet. I am currently sitting at a coffee shop to share this with you, and yet if you wish to contact me personally, I can get email on my cell phone by using the email abilities on the top left of this blog page.

God bless and if I don't get back again before next week, Merry Christmas to you all.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Be strong and courageous...

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

~ Joshua 1:9-10

I just had to share my friend Trudy's lovely side buffet decor.
It's so pretty and peaceful looking.

Moving week has arrived!

Moving week has arrived!

It's just as I said; Advent is a time for preparing...and this Advent - we are preparing for another journey, a continued adventure here in the eastern regions of our country, during Advent yet.

The reality of the move has always been at the forefront with each of us at home, however little by little, the grand reality is taking its toll on everyone emotionally. God is so good. He has literally carried us all this way from the rest of our family, knowing in the grand scheme of life's plans, we would NEED to be here and in our new abode over time. The whole plan has been unfolding for the past few weeks quite literally in so many ways. I am keeping notes on each thing as it arrives via however it comes.

Last week our internet went down shortly after my last post, and I came down (hard) with a good sinus infection I dreaded having because I feared my hubby catching it from me and it was not so great for all that my calendar supported until the weekend. I have to admit, it was a hard week to overcome the obstacle of feeling lousy and the frustration that comes along with the package deal, mainly because I don't have time to feel bad! Grrrr.... It seems to be coming to an end now, thank goodness.

With a big move comes all those professional appointments to have those items due tended to with familiar faces before moving on. Thus is the reason why my calendar is so full lately. All the chiropractic appointments, the RMT appointments for percussion and therapeutic reasons, multiple ice hockey games both here and away out of town, and so many other events filled all the daily squares on my calendar. I've been running and putting the miles on the vehicle, so its a good thing gas prices are currently at great lows.

It feels good though to have taken the time out necessary to tend to my own personal needs with a visit to our family doctor for that overdue physical (don't you love those? wink). I knew ahead to fast because of the thorough nature of our doctor with the nod for blood work shortly after his exam. It was the surprise though when he also handed me a requisition form and gave his strong pointed-finger-order to get going and have a cardiogram test that same day after the blood work. I suppose with all the positive and negative stress being lassoed around me, my heart was doing some hefty flip-flopping and in the process take my breath away, so I guess I rather liked the idea in the end for a preventative measure towards optimal health. It's all behind me now, thank goodness again.

We've been emotionally overwhelmed with the support gathered here in our little country area in just two and a half short years. So many friendly faces have extended gracious invitations and uplifting notes to our family, tears are visiting uninvited frequently. Our motto for this whole venture into the "east" has been "No Regrets!", and I will confess right here and now, there are no regrets. It's just plain ole hard right now.

Friday night began the trek for our move with my husband arriving home permanently on the last commuter flight he will have to endure. We counted a total of 62 flights for him in the past eight months, and that isn't counting all of the other flying he's had to do for work to regions within his work territory.

After 62 commute flights, this weekend became the final Friday ritualistic night pickup of my hubby! Whew...well worth celebrating! Onward ho!

Overall, the children and I have known Friday evenings to be a time to fetch their daddy at the airport, and early Monday mornings were a time for mom to take dad for a coffee before he flew out once more. We are so happy to put this all behind us now. Three months initially turned into eight and now it's finally OVER! Yes! How difficult this all became on our family, his health and our emergency contingency plans if required.

Tomorrow morning begins a week with my husband at home until our move is complete, and a whole bunch of things are sending us into orbit with the speed in which they will take place. His last difficult percussion massage takes place tomorrow, a chiropractic visit and a visit to the Ophthalmologist to check his eyes for possible damage from the medical prescriptions he's required to take for his illness. In between all of those things for him, the rest of us also have appointments, a final horse riding lesson for the girls, and mom's massage (boy oh boy! Wish it was for relaxation but it's for an old injury that gives me migraines. I want relief!)

On Tuesday we head to the lawyers to sign all of the final papers on both houses, and tend to final items until the packers arrive the following day. We had to postpone them from arriving here Tuesday because we found out last week our new home will not be ready in time for the truck to arrive. The carpet had to be removed from the master bedroom and a wood flooring installed (medical reasons). The basement carpet was also needing installation, therefore without those items to be completed in time, unloading the truck would be near impossible by the end of the day without everyone tripping over one another.

We made a decision to stall the packers by one day and easily filled it with last minute things to do instead. Whew... Now the truck will leave here on Friday and we trek up to our new home. We are praying for clear passage all the way through as the drive is really a roadtrip of well over four hours (Plus) with animals who will need attention along the way. It will be dark no doubt, so no falling snow would be welcomed and no snow squalls would also make the drive less of a hazard for us. If we had had the choice, of course we would prefer a Spring time move, but this wasn't to be in this planning.

As each day unfolds, so many good things are coming to light and we see the hand of God clearly in almost every detail of this move. I'd like to say it's almost unbelievable, but nothing is impossible when God is involved. ;-)

What wasn't planned however was the need for my husband to travel ahead of me by one day with two of the children to fetch our keys to the new home and now deal with the carpet layers who called to say they can be there one day earlier than expected. They will now be gone when the truck arrives on Monday. And so it goes.

Surprises along the way....

With the truck arriving later, we will be partaking of a unique vacation as a family along the way.
  • Actually we will live in our new home, camp in the new home that is, and pump up our air mattresses for nightfall.
  • We will eat popcorn while sitting round the campfire (er fireplace) in our camping chairs, and watch a movie on my laptop.
  • I've received a few great hints and tips on other ideas to pass the time, including playing hide and seek in the dark because there is no furniture to bump in to.
  • We will have appliances in place already, hot showers and cooking facilities, however hubby has promised to bring in dinner at least or take us out (if we can look decent during our camping trip of course).
  • By the time the truck arrives, we will already be familiar with the creaks and sounds of the new house and know where to place all the furniture. What can't be good about all of this? Certainly I'll keep you posted over time to let you know how it goes. hee hee
Meanwhile, we are slowly but surely completing our "so longs..." here with our friends and neighbors, knowing our journey in the eastern regions is not yet complete.

A few of my "Newcomer friends" who welcomed me to the area. This was a fun 'spa party' where we indulged for an afternoon with the choice of manicure, pedicure or massage. Guess which one I chose? wink, wink

One of my homeschool support group mommy friends whose four children we adopted over here as pseudo-grandparents. Love them all, a sweet bunch.

My friend Ruth and I met through Creative Memories. Instantly the day we met we became support for each other, my hubby and her too, as she was on an oxygen tank therapy suffering from Pulmonary Fibrosis and has since become much better and kicked the oxygen. We are routing for you Ruth!

In the early decision process of moving over here, we thought maybe by this time, we might be moving back home to the westcoast. This possibility was not to be however, and so it is we are still here and all the medical issues are falling into place so wonderfully.

So many things await us in our new area including a fabulous doctor eight minutes away from our home, and one of the best surgeons in the country whom we see the second week of January. The Physiotherapist program will become a little intense and more aggressive for my hubby though with classes three times each week, however this time they will be six hours in duration each time instead of two. I have no idea how the time there will be filled nor what my husband will be performing like, but I can only imagine and know this is fairly serious stuff to take into consideration for rearranging the calendar. Actually I can't believe I just wrote that! What calendar! I won't know anyone up there hardly at all...laugh.

I will leave you with this family photo snapped last week when we dined with three other families. It was an emotional night, both uplifting and touching, yet overall it was so very special by night's end.

My friend's husband has been so very ill with complications from a suppressed immune system while being in remission from leukemia. When my husband battled pneumonia last February, he wasn't far behind, though he ended up on complete life support and not expected to recover. Even in his frail state, he moved about with his cane for support and hosted the evening in his home.

At the end of the evening when he became too tired to continue the visit (and my husband also), he asked all to gather round and offer prayer for my husband and our journey to come. It was greatly touching and I swear there wasn't a dry eye in the room from that moment on. What a beautiful man, a man who needs our prayers right back just as much! Even though emotions ran wild, we all smiled and found lots to giggle about afterward. We did. And the last photo below was a group photo snapped with all the families present (except one of my son's friends because he had to leave for another commitment). What a gift this night was! Such a pleasure.
An evening to remember, so special in every way.

If you don't hear from me for a while, I guess you'll know why, right? Bless you all my dear family and friends. The private emails have been keeping my days brighter than ever, and filling me with great joy and even laughter.

*I especially love the new group I've been invited in to, now a formal member of ;
SIC = Sisters in Chaos. I just love it! Thank you Diana for inviting me to join. (wink)

*Thank you to those who are keeping me focused, you all know who you are...wink,wink.

*Thank you for my prayer warriors pulling us through another topsy turvy time, you also know who you are, muah!

* Thank you always to my sisterchicks, kindred spirited friends = Denise and Justine for always making the sun shine directly on top of me.

* Thank you to all my blogging friends in cyberworld. You make my heart sing with all the fun you are to me, the ah-ha moments we share together and the giggles we collect along the way.

* Thank you to our grown children who keep us sane and keep offering to fly over here to help us out. Love you so much! Hugs our grandchildren for us...often!

* Thank you (always thankful!) to our parents who keep us grounded and constantly remind us of how much we are loved and cherished. No one could ask for a greater earthly love than the love these special folks of ours have given to us. Love you so much!

Viva la Vida!

* Thankful for feast days to have fun amidst the moving chaos....

I'm off to buy a pinata for December 12th tomorrow. This is our moving day, a day we will somehow end with great sighs of relief and the fabulous pelting of blows to break open that pinata with all of our pent up adrenalin being let loose. Oh to have something to end the day on a great note! Viva la Vida!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, please pray for us.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Exciting news!!!!

A surprise email appeared this morning, one for my bleary eyes to see and pop right open! Now I was wide awake! I received a note from Emma Williams, Managing Director for Schmap Guides (click to see website)

Here's part of the email below...
:: Schmap: Toronto Photo Short-list

Hi Renee,

I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the sixth edition of our Schmap Toronto Guide, to be published at the end of this month.

YES! I was so excited though I confess I had absolutely zero idea what it meant (laugh), nor any idea of the photo chosen for inclusion in the sixth edition of the Toronto Schmap Guide. A quick check was in order using the link provided to grant permission for my photo inclusion. There is no remuneration for my photo inclusion, just the pleasure of helping out tourists with the new edition. After I previewed the photo chosen, I realized it wasn't the best I'd ever taken, but nevertheless, I have to admit a big wide smile has not left my face today yet! HA! Just a nice warm fuzzy to bless me this day.

And just for the record, here's the photo I snapped, the one I took during the recent trip to Quebec with my girls in October. You can see parts of our trip both HERE and HERE. (...and yes, I never did upload my final part of this trip, a to-do on my list that keeps moving to the bottom, soon, soon....)

The FAIRMONT Royal York Hotel - Toronto, Canada

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent - a time for preparing

...preparing for a journey ahead

Advent brings to mind so many things for me.

During our priest's sermon this morning at mass, I found it especially interesting and listened intently as he explained how simple preparations during the Advent season can enrich our lives, filling us with grace and blessings.

One of the many helpful suggestions offered during the sermon seemed to hit me deeply (smack in the center of my forehead to be exact). I could really relate to working on one virtue each week, every single day until it came becomes a habit.

It sounded easy - 4 weeks for 4 new virtues.

"Just be sure to work at one virtue every day for one week", he said. Sounds easy right?

At first it sounded like something else to add to my already overflowing to-do list, but just for a wee second, and then it all made sense to me. We have a choice to make. We can all choose to use this Advent entering our lives today for good, or not. We don't have to allow this liturgical preparation time to escape our busy, busy days at all.

Indeed Advent is a time to prepare our hearts. It's also a time for offering sacrifice. It's a time to pray, a time to anticipate and a time filled with wonder. With the entrance of a whole new church year, it's a time of hope for families filled with God's promises we can cling and hold on to.

Oh sure, I made plans to keep Advent in focus within our home during our moving preparation time we are currently experiencing, and beyond in fact, into our new home. It sounds good anyway doesn't it, to be able to voice that. Pulling it all off will be quite another thought. Or will it?

Don't get me wrong here. I knew I could keep up the continuity right now as we pack and lock up the house for another family to reside here, but once we arrive at our new home, that seemed questionable with the distraction ahead of unpacking again.

I finally found a tree to hang our brass Jesse Tree symbols on this year at IKEA, and loving all of the liturgical year possibilities it offers. I only had these red ribbon hangers but on my list for tomorrow is to set off and purchase purple ribbon instead, so much more fitting for this Advent season.

During the sermon, I must also confess my mind wondered all over the place with personal thoughts, concerns, anxieties and trepidations appearing before us during this same timing. By the end I sat spellbound for a moment to reflect on what was running through my head. I wanted to blurt out loud - "Wow, what a fitting time for everything we are preparing for"... truly I thought, it was absolutely fitting for everything happening in our lives right now!

Our second, handmade felt set of
symbols to hang on our Jesse tree.

(Just like the Jesse tree story, so too is God working on our own story here.)

We will walk the journey to Bethlehem, reflect on our Jesse tree symbol hanging and Bible readings, light our purple candles, recite our "O' Antiphons" - clearly attempting to keep Advent in our hearts and minds during the days ahead, all the while trekking to a foreign land where "home" will be where our hearts rest for the future.

I know for myself, it will present a constant to keep my focus ahead and still tend to, and keep my vision in both mind and body. I know I will eventually have to do battle with fatigue or the feeling of becoming overwhelmed, at least for the first few days while settling into our new abode. A simple thought hit me though, touching my heart deeply. Are we the only ones trying to keep the mental and spiritual intact while journeying forward to lands unknown in distant areas, trusting with all our hearts? No. There is another family making their way forward too. Now that puts a big smile on my face!

As uncertainties begin to creep up and attempt to turn me into a coward, even for a blip of a moment, I will dwell on a young girl's (Mary) trust as she proceeded forward, always trusting in God's ordained plan for her life. She just kept on trusting. Now I know I am not her, nor share the exact same journey of course, but if she could trust to easily, then why shouldn't I?

As we enter into yet another adventure "in the east", the one when that began with that whisper announcing - "it's time to go yet again", we have to continue stepping out in faith because;
  • At every step of the way, we know now that our path was already being formed for us.
  • A rocky road was being made smooth. Rounding curves ahead haven't been filled with forks so we wouldn't lose our way having to choose whether to turn right or left. It has only been a green light straight ahead for us.
  • The view is becoming more beautiful every day, especially over the past three weeks as we see the hand of God unfolding in every detail along the way since we first decided to proceed.
There is something so endearing as small tidbits of confirmation to comfort us when we were without a map to guide us, yielding our human natures heavenward, and following along where we knew we had to travel. We have been carried thus far and the forecast is only becoming brighter ahead. (with snow today!:-)

In just nine days, dozens of cardboard boxes will become filled and then stacked in rows all over our home. As we will creep along, moving from room to room, we'll begin to weave through mazes of the brown cubed blocks, hoping each one is labeled correctly for an easy unloading down the road. This will be the day of our Jenn's birthday back home, so we will honor her by having cupcakes for everyone during the day when a coffee break is in due order.

As there are still details not conforming to the exact timing of the move, we can only hope and pray the hardwood flooring workers will be able to complete the master bedroom in time for the movers to cart the furniture in there so our weary bodies can fall onto them when night falls that first day there. And, heck, if not, well, we'll just be prepared and content with being forced to camp out in the family room in front of the fireplace, that is, if we remember to keep an empty spot there without boxes resting in rows to get in the way of the possibility.

More importantly, as much as we love snow (well, you know "I" do, snicker), we pray the journey will offer our moving truck crew and ourselves driving both of our vehicles packed full, a safe road trip towards our new home. We pray for the absence of icy roads or highway closures, encountering possible snow squalls, or anything else of danger for our travels. We pray our guardian angels keep us wrapped up in their protective arms, fending off fatigue as we trek for many hours, in the middle of winter (and Advent).

I took this photo just for all of you tonight

Honestly! What a "perfect" time for our family to make a major move my friend! T'is the season for unlimited possibilities; a whole new year, and a focused and intentional time to prepare our hearts for the coming of one very sweet and wondrous babe. Oh yes, think of the possibilities! So, are you thinking???

If God wants it to be, my life will be useful through my word and witness.
If he wants it to, my life will bear fruit, through my prayers and sacrifices.
But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine.
It would be indecent of me to worry about that.

~ Dominique Voillaume

The world is a book.....

The world is a book...

The world is a book,
and those who do not travel
read only a page.

~ St. Augustine

This is the usual reading hour after lunchtime in our home. These two 'reserve' their spots on each chair by leaving their books there to read early in the morning. They even bring in my kitchen timers to assure me they are reading for the duration of their scheduled and assigned reading times.

Clearly - everything else beyond this moment is gravy (smile)! At least that's what I say.

There is nothing quite like the love of reading, especially when it entails a great book, which soon tends to linger in their grips, long after the ringing stops.

No doubt tomorrow will see them nearer to the fire, comfortably reading their current reads and watching those big fluffy flakes fall to earth. That is, until mother yells out it's time to get outside...hee hee.

Bring on that snow folks. It's so lovely already, much too dark for a photo op though. Sorry. I'll just have to keep on looking out the window to enjoy it for a while yet tonight.

Guess what?

Guess what?

More snow is on the way. Just when the last huge batch is slowly melting away, we are now expecting up to 30 cm. overnight and plenty of weather warnings for early morning commuters.

Let me ask you this. What is winter without snow? That's right. It's not winter. At least over here in the eastern regions, that's for sure.

Oh, and about that photo up above.... it was taken last winter just before the weather turned in time for Spring to arrive, a late snowfall in late March. I think it will soon become one of those classic type of photos for me. I love the, at least this snow over here.

Yah, yah, yah, you hear that from me alot the past two years. However, you'll also hear me say - just BRING IT ON ... and then melt before our moving truck and packers appear on Dec. 9th.

I want to build snowmen with the children.

I want to attempt pretty and just perfect snow angels on the ground.

I want to tilt my head skyward, open my mouth and give thanks for such marvelous winter feasting.

Oh yes, I'm loving it...

The children took out the snowman mugs last week which is fitting for the wintry weather matching the snowman on the front of the mugs outdoors.

This photo was snapped with my camera on my cell phone (believe it or not!) last week while looking out an upper floor window with a screen on it. I just love this photo, and will miss our little red hipbarn so much. We call it the Taj Mahal for our animals, but truly, it's quaint and sweet for our wee bit of country living here the past while. The colors are just perfect!

So, we'll see what the morning brings, a picture fit for another camera snapping session tomorrow morning no doubt.

Love it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

So Thankful..

Ten things I am Thankful for!

During this season of American Thanksgiving, I am reminded of my visit with my one and only sister last year at this time when we were able to spend a week alone together for the first time since our young youthful years. It was a time for sisterly bonding, and doing many things together, and celebrating American Thanksgiving on Cape Cod, just the two of us.

After a memorable time together, we shared the same idea for the future. Perhaps this same time every year could become a sisterly tradition of sorts for continued visits together just like the one we had both enjoyed so immensely.

As I type this writing tonight, I am reminded that life must continually be filled with goals and dreams, and though they may not always become attainable in the end, it is still good to keep dreaming. For my sister and I, our reunion timing was just not meant to be this year. My own family's move currently in progress offers poor timing over our reunion during the "American Thanksgiving" season. No problem though. There is always next year, right sis? Heck, I'm still filled with many warm and cherished memories from last year to carry me through until we meet again next year for "such a time as last year's was".

Happy Thanksgiving to you Helen.

Happy thanksgiving to all our family and friends over the border.

** And without further ado, here are ten things this week which I am very thankful for. I'm absolutely filled with deep gratitude for every little itty bitty thing these past few days.

Ten things I am Thankful for!

1) For the initial confusion - now cleared up over the Surgeon who almost refused my husband’s case due to the fact he will retire in a year and he wasn't wanting to disappoint my husband in the process of having to refer him onward to another. He has not only taken my husband’s case to heart, he will try see him through to recovery if able.

2) For the confusion now cleared up also as to the Surgeon not actually responsible for my husband’s day to day care, rather only the surgery itself in the future. Three recommendations were referred to us for consideration and the Respiralogist we had hoped for nearer to our new home was on that list! Oh YES!!! Door to door travel will be less than ten minutes for appropriate care and/or emergent anything in the future. This doctor knows the surgeon personally and both will work together on my husband’s case. Wow, God is good!

3) For the Red Cross’ blood chart a friend pulled out to inform me of the fact there are actually three possible blood types which will match my husband’s rarer one of “AB neg” for future considerations with regards to an actual transplant. The blood types of donor and recipient must match to avoid rejection of the organs, so this matters. Whether or not in the end this will be of any assistance doesn’t matter right now. It just all sounds so much more positive to us at this point in time. I for one will become a regular blood donor after all the fascinating information I found out about this topic from our friend. Her husband has required over 80 emergency blood transfusions for his case of leukemia, now in remission. Praise God for this incredible gift of life!

4) For Guardian Angels unaware who watch over us, and for real life ones who bless us at every turn. A fellow colleague and his family have been transferred to work at the same location as my husband. Ahead of the family this old friend watches over and has become ever protective over my husband during his days at work, insisting on rest breaks when he sees fatigue creep into my husband's eyes, coffee breaks just because, and the occasional dinner together. He even stays at the same hotel during commuting evenings. How great is this! Last night, both wandered over to the local Costco to grab their beloved meal together – a famous Costco hotdog! His family will move there from Quebec two days after us, and live not far from where we will. Familiar faces have become quite a blessing to us as we all have stayed at the same hotel during our road trips to this area. Even if it was from long ago when we used to visit and chat, together we will all become familiar with, and forge through our foreign new land, enjoying every bit of our time, where our new homes will soon dwell.

5) For fence builders who had no problems working knee deep within two feet of snow today. There they were digging trenches to install some chain link fencing, for the sole purpose of our dogs hanging out inside of while outdoors during the daytime. Dare we let them loose? No, that is not an option at all. Our husky will run away for sure, let alone our golden lab.

6) For the success of a second attempt! A second minor hockey association announced they still had one opening remaining on their rep/travel hockey team which our son could join in on. They have one card for a last player ready and waiting, and have suggested they get him playing as soon as possible. The trick however is *when* we can provide proof of our new address with various documentation. It won’t be able to happen though (as they are aware) until we have the utilities in place, driver’s licenses changed over, etc.The first hockey association we tried had no room left on any of their teams for him, thus placing him ninth on a waiting list. When the very ability to play an endeared sport or not becomes an issue, it all matters greatly to our son. It all matters because if he is going to proceed to any higher league level caliber of play for a few more years to come, the average hockey stats from the previous year are reviewed for invitational entry into their programs. It all matters. So, with much happiness, this was all good news this past week for him. His younger brother has now requested we inquire about a spot for him to play there too. Better late than never I suppose.

7) For a happy teen daughter and her younger sister for finding out there are THREE horse riding centers and boarding barns within ½ mile or less from our new home. A nice bike ride would suffice for transportation anytime for riding lessons or the big dream of them buying their own horse.

8) For the realization we will have relatives only 1 ½ hours away from us, so much closer than this place now. Toast! Ting ting... here’s to “family” who will be living nearby, our niece and her husband we celebrated Thanksgiving with. Such a wonderful thought.

9) For snow skiing and other snowy mountain fun being within reach for a familiar feel and comparison to our Westcoast roots provided enjoyed before our move here. Yes, perhaps we will get back to this sport again; I’ll get the younguns on snowshoes and skis within no time at all. If all else fails, a great day tobogganing will be right up their alley. Wink

10) For my CURVES workout center; where I can move to the music, get in my workout, and get rid of all my stressors, one station at a time. There is nothing so triumphant as the accomplishment of a completed workout. When either negative or positive stress eats up the mind and cripples a desire for physical motivation, there is nothing as wonderful or successful as having proceeded with the workout anyway and feeling the absolute benefits from it soon afterwards. I love my CURVES, watching other woman like me bouncing around in between their stations on the circuit in order to keep up their heart rates. Here’s to women who look after themselves, one station at a time!