Monday, July 23, 2012

Ten Things I'm Thankful For - 07/23 summer edition

 It's been a while now, and lest you are thinking I've been a very naughty and absent blogger, I can, only in my defense claim to have been away, on a respite of sorts, direly needing to unwind and rejuvenate from all of life's many complexities the past while. 

With my hubby's plodding, I managed to escape and in turn, the timing of such a thing turned out to be nothing but a perfect remedy to everything I was hoping for!

It had been a year since I last was able to visit with my one and only sister, both of us acknowledging beforehand, in unison, the need for such a respite. So, with little time to spare, she took her vacation period, and I checked my airmile count to delight in finding that I had enough to make a trip back to her home on Cape Cod once again this year.

With a daughter busy during a week of being hired to help out at a junior "horse camp" down the road, and an older sister able to be on guard for her, one son working as usual every day, and the younger son off to a cadet summer camp, my hubby was more than happy to allow me this visit. What helps me, helps a whole family....right?

Off I flew, up, up and away into the lovely sunny skies above, reuniting with my sister just in time to find out she was in agony, suffering from a systemic reaction to poison oak. Our first three days together were all about unwinding and tending to her itchy, oozing skin, horrible rashes which had crawled from her ankles to her hands by my third day with her. Off to the doctor (again), a prescription filled shortly afterward, and we were on our way to better days. Sleep, plenty of exercise, hydration galore, exploring, good food, and with those things and more, rest occurred, and in the process many new memories resulted. 

Love to you my sweet sister, thanks for the memory. 


Below, once again - I have "ten things" for today, ten glorious things which I present to you in no particular timing, nor certain order, just tidbits which I feel happy to share with you. 

I'm writing down more things to express my sincere gratitude for, an easy thing to do for me with so many illnesses, deaths, and plain old difficult times for many loved ones the past while. Surely, in all the suffering we are feeling heart sick over, we are to work hard at keeping our chins pointed high towards the heavens above, and continued prayers and singing praises for all will perfectly keep our hearts united to His. 

Thanks for being here with me today friends, and may this post bless you in some minor way. 

Be sure to hug the ones you love today, and everyday. Life is short. All too short. Regrets are avoidable. Many reserved "I love yous" need to spill over before it's too late.


 1 - I'm thankful for family times, and even though at times we are dwindling with available players now, we treasure moments like this for they do tend to grow up and out quite quickly. :)

I'm thankful for a day well spent, traveling and taking in all of the Canada Day festivities in the "Blue Mountains" of Ontario. We took our chance on the many raving reviews about taking the gondola up to the top of the mountain (ha, hill compared to B.C., I know....smiling), and what spectacular views awaited us up there! 

High atop on the perches of those Blue Mountains, a very popular winter skiing area, views of the entire Georgian Bay were there for all to relish, and to savor, and what a tremendous featured vista it offered to everyone able to venture there. It was a great day overall, with zero humidity to deal with, yet the warmth and gorgeous blue skies covered us all day long. When evening came, shortly before the fireworks, it became a bit more nippy from the breeze off the Bay, but still, it was a perfect end to a great day. 

- 2 - I'm thankful for continued learning, for nature abounds on our forest property. Quite a surprise awaited us this day when we opened up one of the patio umbrellas. Can you guess what this is? After scouring all of our nature reference resources, we can only conclude it's some type of lunar moth, a moth who wasn't eager to leave anytime soon. Eventually, after all my photography efforts, we shooed him off lest he gobble up the fabric he rested on. 

On another nature note, I stumbled upon one very lovely surprise during a very early morning rise. We had a deer on our property, and as I ran for my camera and woke up my husband to come take a look, we were only able to capture a glimpse of him strolling down one of our forest paths, never to see him again. He was a young one though, no spots still on him, perhaps a year or more. I find this deer on my mind every morning, still tempted to take a look out the window first thing, just in case he returns for a visit. 

- 3 - I'm thankful for family time spent round a table, playing games, chatting nonstop, and catching up with everyone. This domino train game has entertained us all, challenged and delighted us, and we must thank our friends Don & Ruth for introducing it to our family last summer. 

And speaking of Ruth, our dear friend's beeper sounded three weeks ago now, and she has survived a double lung transplant which left so many of us praying hard, and sleeping less, worried about her and how she would fair. Well, I have great news! She's not only in recovery, slowly mending and all, but she has gone through the surgery so well that all her team of doctors are marveling over how fabulous all has turned out for her. 

Gone is the horrible life threatening pulmonary tension, the swelling, the breathlessness, and gone is the oxygen tank that she so relied on to survive. After five bronchoscopies, all has been knitting together perfectly, and her prognosis is just over the top wonderful. It's all hit so very close to home, and we can't be happier for her husband who shared the joyous and very emotional updates with us the past few weeks. Praise God! 

- 4 - I'm thankful for summer sunshine, and ensuring even the little ones are protected from harmful UV rays. Our little missy grandbaby sure enjoys time in this activity center, but outdoors makes it all so much better. She's an outdoor baby, so happy and thrilled to get out there and linger to capture all that sleep inducing fresh air.

We've had a long, long heat wave (not going to complain though, Ha!, Want summer? Come to Ontario!), and our property is slowly becoming a lawn mower hater's dream with crunchy, yellow grass not requiring a bit of maintenance. Forest fire ratings are on extreme again, and fire bans are in full force. Always a caution, better safe than sorry when living amidst a forest. Ya know?  

- 5 - I'm thankful for the times when my hubby and I can find time for date nights. It had been a while. Yes, it had definitely been a while. So much of "life" was in our midst, that there had been no time for escaping to have a stolen moment such as this one beforehand.

Choosing a little Friday night sushi was the perfect end to the start of our weekend, and the company was even better. 

- 6 - I'm thankful for big boy hugs! I have very few photos of just me with each of my adult sons, but I can tell you that I treasure every single one of them!  They tower over me now, tease me incessantly about how short I've become, but I know they love me just as I am. 

This son used to like being read those Mercer Mayer books; Just my dad and I, and Just my mommy and I. The caption for this photo came in a second; Just me and my boy! Love it!

- 7 - I'm thankful for weekly soccer games during summertime. It's at these soccer fields where my hubby and I can take our chairs, sit for a time, and cheer on all the girls who try so hard. 

This daughter much prefers to be up riding on a horse, however there is always a time when continued cardio workouts keep a body even healthier, so her choice of participating in soccer again this year was no surprise to keep her long legs moving.

- 8 - I'm thankful for a small country library that keeps on surprising me with new books coming in weekly. Surprised to see the new Pioneer Woman cookbook already on the shelves, I checked it out and have to say I prefer this one over the last. 

There's something for everyone, and I just love how she sprinkles her family life throughout the pages, giving the reader a glimpse into their lives. I can't imagine being an actual cowboy though is anything but easy, so I admire her for her spunk, her great outlook and her happy smile. 

- 9 - I'm thankful for REAL, FRESH seafood! Yes! While I was away making memories with my sister, I couldn't help but ensure that fresh portions of seafood were on my vacation menu. 

The meal at the top was my lunch one day while we were on the road from Nantucket back to Cape Cod. A small beachside eatery was the perfect stop, with peel and eat shrimp awaiting my appetite. 

Oh. So. Good! 

I could eat this every day! Yum!

- 10 - I'm thankful for photos captured like the one above. Our children (and us) have recently experienced the loss of one grandmother, the upcoming imminent loss of one grandfather, and another who is quite unwell at the same time. We've also felt the loss of a three month old baby, a ten year old grandson of a dear friend, a sixteen year old daughter of another friend, and more untimely deaths. Everyday we wonder, what next?

It's a reflective worthwhile endeavor, to check out;  
.... how do we show our loved ones how much we value them in our lives? 

~ Do we at least venture towards them to offer a personal greeting? A hand shake? A warm and loving hug? Or do we smile, thinking they saw that, and walk away. 

Many in our currently aging population seem to offer the odd comment over how disposable and invisible they feel at times, feeling sometimes that no one gives them much attention as when they were younger. Perhaps they are being a bit sensitive, don't hear what is offered, possibly overreacting to what really is before them, perhaps not. And too, it goes both ways with them acknowledging and greeting the young ones. It's all in one person's perspective.

Either way, we've always made it a point to be an action filled "huggy" family, constantly showing our children how to properly acknowledge loved ones and good friends, be it with a polite hand shake, or a more (hug) loving greeting when appropriate. 

All of our children have made us proud, even our more reserved ones (who sometimes find showing physical emotion a little uncomfortable at times), for this is absolutely, indeed what life is about. It's about showing others - they matter! 

Families especially may not always choose to agree on everything in life, but there comes a time when none of that matters, and it should be left aside so we recall every person is a gift, and they really do matter in our lives. Let's celebrate the lives before us, always, whenever possible, in every way!

Life is short! Leave the disagreements behind, and go ahead and greet one another properly, for one day I can only guarantee you, all will be sorely missed when no longer around us. 

Prayer Attributed to St. Augustine: 
Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Jesus Christ, rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, shield your joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.


There you have, once again, ten things....only ten though! How many there are in any given day, to be grateful for, to keep in our memory, to share with others, and to jot down in our thankful lists. 

I'm thankful you stopped by today. Thank you! 


Friday, July 13, 2012

I am Canadian!

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
- John Diefenbaker 
(From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960.)

He shall have dominion also from sea unto sea, 
and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
  ~ Psalm 72

Feeling proudly Canadian, and so Patriotic as always, it's never "Canada's July 1st Birthday" around here with out a whole bunch of additionally sprinkled red and white decor.

At last, our four new Adirondack chairs are painted, and placed on the back deck. Yay!

It was quite difficult fun to find these flag banners, then to actually hang the flapping maple leafs around the rails of the balcony edging.

There are no limits to the majestic future which lies 
before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, 
aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. 
- Sir Winston Churchill

As the wind grew, and the flags began flapping about through its breezy blowing, one could only appreciate the reminder of our freedom, in a wonderful country such as ours.

Under this flag may our youth find new inspiration for loyalty to Canada; for a patriotism based not on any mean or narrow nationalism, but on the deep and equal pride that all Canadians will feel for every part of this good land.  
- Lester Pearson

" O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."

...And (just to be off-season cheeky), it wouldn't be Canadiana inclusive at the heart of our National Anthem, not until witnessing it sung at an ice hockey game... 


 Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party. 
Like: "Keep it down, eh?"
- Robin Williams

And, by the way, the spectacular fireworks are always a great way to end the day...