Monday 29 April 2013

Update on my mother

 photo 092e2edb57b2ed55e089913d1cb2c685_zps2693f12c.jpg New update on mom. Those of you who are my friends on Facebook will already know this, but there are many of you who are not, so this is just to keep you updated. Mom came home from the hospital on Friday. She was doing super well. My brother and I were super amazed at her progress. Unfortunately, she deteriorated overnight and by next morning was having mobility problems. By Saturday evening we made the decision to call in the paramedics and they came and they felt she would benefit from going to the local town hospital. She was taken there by ambulance. Once there they did X-rays and blood tests, and it was determined that she had had a heart episode/attack. She was then moved to a cardiac care unit in a larger hospital a bit further away. She is resting comfortably. We will know more today after we visit her a bit later on. Please continue to keep her in your happy thoughts and prayers. God bless you all, and many thanks.

Saturday 27 April 2013

Update on Mom

Working from my iPad here. I don't really know how to do photos with it and such, but did want to let you all know how Mum's operation went. She came through it well with no complications. They were able to get all of the cancer and she was able to come home from hospital today. She is coping well with any pain, and her oxygen levels are really good so she doesn't need any extra oxygen.

She has been greatly encouraged by the cards and letters and prayers, and has said once she is completely well she wants to thank each person personally.  I told her I have the best readers in the world, and I meant it with all of my heart.

You are all such a blessing to us all. Thank you so much for everything. Praying that her healing continues to go well. God bless you all.


Wednesday 17 April 2013

Wednesday prattle . . .

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Often through the years, I had wondered who does the cleaning in the beautiful homes you see in the magazines . . . then I got to work in  a big house and I learned first hand who does all the cleaning in many, if not most of those beautiful homes!  Only someone with a skivvy would be able to keep things looking so perfect, never a thing out of place . . . or have such an array of silver, copper and other antiquities and vast collections!

I used to dream of having silver and copper . . . but quickly came to realize just how much work they were and decided after a time, that they were things I could quite happily live without!   I was responsible for all of the glassware, china, silver and copper in just the kitchen and conservatory and that, in and of itself, was a full time job!  Doing the copper in the kitchen used to take the both Todd and myself several hours each month in two stints . . . and that didn't include the stuff which was well within my own reach.  He would come and help me with the stuff that was hanging up.   Because the kitchen had cathedral beamed ceilings, must of it would involve him standing on a ladder and handing it down to me.  It did not take long for all of these trappings of wealth to lose their lustre for me and I could win the lottery many, many times over and I would never indulge in such . . . for in truth. . . one,  I am rather lazy at heart, and two  . . . these things no longer hold any appeal whatsoever for me!

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I like pretty things . . . but pretty things that are easy and not time consuming to look after!   I have a difficult enough time keeping a small terraced house in shape . . . and tidy and clean.  I would not want anything larger.   That's where Todd and I differ.   He would love a big house and garden, but then again, men don't really see things in much the same way as women do!   He always says that had we a large place like that I could have a maid.  I don't think so.  There is no way I would ever be comfortable with someone cleaning my house for me and knowing all of my secrets.  I'd just like a bigger kitchen, thank you very much!

So today is the last day I will be able to write my thoughts out for you until I return from Canada.  I will be able to go online sporadically . . . but I won't have the time or means to do much more, and I'm fine with that.   I am so very grateful to be able to do this service for my mum . . . I would never ever be able to do enough to repay her for the childhood both she and my father gave to me, but at least I can do this one thing.  I hate that I have to live so far away from both of my parents at this time in their lives . . . you never really think about your parents getting old . . . until they are old, and then it seems like all of a sudden . . . overnight, it happens, and there you have it.

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I had a most enjoyable chat via the I-pad face-time with my youngest son yesterday and his puppy Baxter.   Baxter is a Dachshund/Maltese cross and just the cutest little puppy.  Quite adorable, and it was clear that both he and Bruce are smitten with each other.   And then there is Bruce's Sara . . . they are quite the lovely little family at the moment, and I do think she's the one.  It is such a blessing to see your children grown up and settled and happy.  First comes a puppy . . . and then, who knows!  Time will tell.   He'll be picking me up at the airport tomorrow.  I can't wait to see him!  Family . . . it's everything.   I shall miss Todd and Mitzie . . .

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I picked up all of my prescriptions to take with me yesterday . . . I almost need a suitcase for all of them!  Todd took a look and then said, perhaps I better bring my prescription papers with me so that nobody accuses me of drug running.   He may well be right on that!  My Doctor had suggested I bring three months worth just in case and so I am . . . but it looks like an awful lot!  Looking at it all, I thought to myself it's a wonder I don't rattle when I walk.   Instead I just wobble, big beautiful woman that I am.  ☺

Margaret Thatcher's funeral is today.  I suppose we will watch it.  I was not living here in the UK, of course, when she was Prime Minister and I am quite shocked at all the emotion and vitriol which her death has inspired.  I don't quite understand it.    She must have been doing something good to have been voted in three times . . . and even if you don't agree wholeheartedly with someone's politics or methods, I believe in death those who have served their country deserve some respect, be they politicians or soldiers or whatever.  At the end of the day she was someone's daughter, wife, mother, etc.  and she was a daughter of our Heavenly Father.  She may have made some poor decisions as Prime Minister, but she did not make them alone . . . and she made some very good decisions as well.  It easy easy to look back on someone's career or life and pick up on all the bad, but lets never forget all the good either.  Kindness costs nothing.

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Those bombings at the Boston Marathon are a bit scary aren't they?   My heart and prayers  go out to all those who have been affected by them. Who would have thought . . . well . . .  I think that is the greatest weapon Terrorism has don't you?   The ability to surprise us with the unthinkable.   We must never let our guards down ever . . . I expect security at the airports will be quite rightfully intense.  I am not bothered by it really.  It is a small price to pay for safety.  It saddens me that we live in a world where it exists . . . but you do what you have to at the end of the day.

Expect the un-expected.  It works both ways . . . doesn't it really.   Along with the bad there is much good to look forward to as well.  I like to dwell on the good rather than the other.   It may be a Pollyanna-ish way to look at life, but I'd rather go through life with a smile on my face and a song in my heart than for it to be the other way around!  And now I am prattling as I am wont to do . . . and so I'll bid you adieu with a thought to carry you through the day.

“The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us.” 
~Dieter F Uchtdorf

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . delicious Cheddar Baked Chicken.   Scrummo!!

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I'll see you on the 1st of June!   (God willing!)

Have a great Wednesday!  I love you all!


Tuesday 16 April 2013

The Simple Woman's Day Book

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 FOR TODAY April 16th, 2013

Outside my window...
It looks like it is going to be somewhat of an overcast and rainy day.   Yesterday was gorgeous. Just like spring should be.   My brother sent me a forecast for the weather of Nova Scotia last night on the I-pad and it looks like it isn't going to be as cold there as I was worried.   It seems to be pretty much the same as here.

I am thinking...
As the literal Spirit Child of a Divine Heavenly Father I have unlimited potential.  This is an amazing thought.  I wish I had known this when I was much younger.   My whole life would have been quite different.   Knowing this in the later years however is making a huge difference to my golden years, and that's pretty good too.

I am thankful...
I had lunch yesterday with some friends from church.  We had a lovely time.   Good food.   Great friends.   Fabulous company.  What more could a person ask for?

In the kitchen...
I may bake a cake today so that Todd has something to nosh on after I leave .  .  . we'll see.  Just so long as it doesn't become something for me to nosh on today!   I suppose that is what counts!

I am wearing...
Nothing new here!   Same old drill.  PJ's, slippers and dressing gown.   Okay, bathrobe.  I just thought dressing gown sounded posher.  Do people even still use that term of phrase?

I am creating...

 I am looking for things to keep my hands busy when I am at my mom's.   they will have to be quite portable and easy to carry and not weight a lot.  Here's a few things I was thinking of . . .

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Granny squares are always nice and easy to do.  I just love the BRIGHT colours in these.   The pattern is from Signed with an Owl.  There is a fab tutorial there.

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I also love these slippers and they look quite easy to do.  You can buy the pattern on Etsy.  I just might do that.  I can always use a new pair of slippers.

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I have not made a sock monkey in a few years now.  I like making them and other sock animals.   That is always a possibility and then I could just leave them with the intended grandchild and not have to worry about bringing anything back and it's weight.   Food for thought there.  Mind, I'm not sure if my mother's sewing machine still works.   I doubt it has been used in years and years.   She has a beautiful old Singer Sewing Machine from the 1950's.  It is just gorgeous.   My sister and I learned to sew on it when we were girls.

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Source:  Simple Serendipities

I love these little corner felt bookmarks as well.   I could make quite a few of those I am thinking.  We'll just have to wait and see what I do . . . anything is possible.

Of course I am bringing some of my water colors with me and some paper. 

I am going...
It's hard to believe as it has come up on me all of a sudden like . . . but I am going to Canada the day after tomorrow!   I am excited to see my mom and grateful to be there with her now when she needs me.   I am excited to be seeing, hopefully, all of my children and grandchildren.   I am excited to be seeing my brother.  I am sad to be leaving Todd and Mitzie behind and I will miss you all so very terribly much.   Sigh . . .

I am wondering...
I was violently ill last evening.   We had had a simple supper . . . just fish sticks and some oven chips and tinned carrots.  (Yes, I like tinned carrots sometimes.   They remind me of my childhood.)  Anyways.  I couldn't finish my supper.   I started thinking about Cod not really being Cod.  The package said Cod, but who knows nowadays if it really is or not.  The manufacturers are slipping all sorts of deception into our food.   Anyways, after I cleared up we settled into watch a program on the telly . . . and by about 8 PM my stomach started feeling pretty queasy.   We went to bed at 9 as I really just wanted to go to bed.  I was laying in bed for about 15 minutes when I had to dash to the bathroom . . . just made it.   I don't think I will be eating fish sticks and oven chips again for a very long time . . .

I am reading...

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The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult has tackled yet another 'big issue' (forgiveness) in The Storyteller, but as in all her books things are a little more complicated than usual, and there's her wow-didn't-see-that-coming twist as well.  Sage Singer has a past that makes her want to hide from the world.  Sleeping by day and working by night, she kneads her emotions into the beautiful bread that she bakes.  She strikes up an unlikely friendship with an elderly gentleman that she meets at a grief group she attends.   Has she finally found someone she can trust?   Without giving too much of the story away I will tell you that this book is gripping, and a real page turner.  At the same time the subject matter is heart rending.  As with all of her books, this one makes you think.  I highly recommend.

I am hoping...
I am hoping that everything goes well with my mother's operation.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers.   She got her first card in the post yesterday and was pleasantly surprised and most definitely uplifted!   I told her she will most likely be getting quite a few more!   Something to look forward to.

I am looking forward to...
Getting the travel part of the journey over with.   Not a fan of travel, especially on my own.

I am learning...
I like to think that I learn something new each day.   I can't always think of what it was . . . but I am sure I learned something yesterday.   hmmm . . . my mind has gone blank.

Around the house...

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I love the idea of a Veranda.  Of course they don't do Veranda's over here.  No such animal, at least not that I have seen.   I wonder though . . . could one set up their back garden in the area by their door like a Veranda?   It bears thinking about.    What is a Veranda?   It's whatever you want it to be I think, but the main criteria is that it be a place of relaxation which exists just outside your door.  A place where you can sit and think and watch the world walk by . . . but in the comfort of your own space.  Food for thought . . .

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There's those granny squares again.  I think my heart is telling me something don't you??

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I love this sign.  I shall have to make myself one.  It may be a terraced house on a housing estate, but it can be our little cosy cottage inside it's doors.  It's how it makes us feel inside that counts, right?

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Sigh . . .

I am pondering...
As most of you know Baroness Margaret Thatcher died last week.  There has been a lot of ugly press and  negative opinions put out there about her and it makes me feel very sad.   Here was a woman who served her country for most of her adult life.  She was not a posh person like the politicians we have today.  She came from ordinary beginnings, the daughter of a shop keeper and grammar school educated . . . not in a private school like Eaton etc.   She must have been doing something right . . . for she was elected into office not once, or twice . . . but three times.  You may not have agreed with all of her policies, but as a person who served this country in the manner she did, she deserves respect and it saddens me to see ugly comments about her.   She was someone's daughter, mother, sister, friend, wife, grandmother, etc.  I think to speak ill of the dead is in very poor taste.  They cannot defend themselves.

A favorite quote for today...
Men are all alike in their promises.  It is only in their deeds that they differ.

This reminds me of a favourite scripture . . . by their fruits shall ye know them.   Food for thought there.

One of my favorite things...

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Old black and white American Sitcoms from the fifties and early sixties.  I could watch them for hours.  It was a much simpler time I think.   I wanted to be June Cleaver, Aunt Bea and Donna Reed . . . and yes . . . she was in color, but Olivia Walton.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Flying home to Canada, and hoping to get there with no mishaps.

A peek into my day...

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Catching up on laundry so that all I am taking with me is clean and ready to pack . . . sigh . . .

It's hard to believe that this is my last day book entry until June.  But tis true . . . oh . . . and the Sun just peeked out from behind the clouds.  Yay!

A thought to carry with you through today:

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong.  Sometime in life you will have been all of these.
~Lloyd Shearer

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Carrot Pudding with a Brown Sugar Sauce.   Deliciously simple.

Happy day all!!


Monday 15 April 2013

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard 

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.

This will be my last Small and Wonderful Things post before I go away.   I am sure when I get back I will have a lot to share, but here are my things for this week . . .

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We partake of the Sacrament  each Sunday when we go to church during our Sacrament meeting.  We do this in remembrance and respect of the Savior's Atonement.   It is blessed by two worthy Priesthood holders and then passed to the congregation by four others.  Yesterday was really special.   There is a young man in our Ward who has Down's Syndrome,  He's a really likeable lad.   Each month during our Fast and Testimony meeting he bears his testimony.   It is always so very touching, even if the only words we ever understand are . . . I love my mom, Jesus died and a few others.  We all know what he means and I personally admire him for the courage that it takes for him to get up there.    Yesterday he blessed the Sacrament.   There are normally only two priesthood holders blessing the Sacrament.  One for the bread and the other for the water.  Yesterday there were three . . . one to bless the bread and one to help Ben bless the water.  It was so beautiful.  The helper said the prayer bit by bit, while Ben repeated it.   I am sure Ben's mother's heart was filled to bursting with pride and love for him, as were all of our hearts.

Being a mother of a Special Needs child myself, I know how very special these accomplishments are to our children and our family . . . they are small and very wonderful things . . . things which so many take for granted, but which are truly treasures in our hearts.

I love that I belong to a church where EVERYONE is celebrated, honored and treated with the respect due to them.  Where there is no such thing as "can't," and where each member is encouraged to reach their utmost  potential.   Where ways are found for people even with the most extreme disability to be able to celebrate this life they have been given and to participate in the work which our Heavenly Father has sent us here to achieve.   A church where . . .  when one is not strong enough to do it on their own . . . someone else is always there to help them shoulder the load and to help them move forward.  It's a small thing, but it's a huge thing . . . and it's pretty wonderful.

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When we moved into this house three years ago the first of April, we were still feeling pretty wounded from all that has preceded our move.   What was a very difficult time was somewhat softened by the sight of the Camellia bush which lives by the front door of our home.  It was blooming profusely . . .with huge deep pink blossoms and was such a cheering sight.    Each Spring since I have looked forward to it's blooming and the beautiful reminder it is to me of the goodness of God and His deep love for each of us.   Because we have had such a late Spring this year I despaired of being able to see it in bloom before I go, but yesterday brought the vision of a few first tender blooms and I know that if our good weather continues by Thursday morning when I leave the house to go to the airport it will be well underway with it's beautiful Spring show.  Some might say an accident of timing . . . I would say a special message from my Heavenly Father telling me all will be well, and that He's on the case . . . a Divine Signature.   I do not believe in co-incidence . . . only in God-incidence.  I am glad for that.

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The talks in church yesterday were incredible.  I am always amazed that there are people in the world who do not consider Mormons to be Christians.   What is a Christian? A Christian is a person that believes in Jesus Christ, and believes that Christ did in fact die for us so that we can repent and return to live with him again. He is our Savior and Redeemer. We pray and we worship in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the center of our faith.  WE live our lives according to His teachings and we follow His example in all things. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He died for me. He loves me. He is my hero, and he is my best friend.   HE is the head of our church.   If that doesn't make us Christians, I don't know what else will.

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Gratitude.  It may seem like a small thing, and it is pretty wonderful . . . but it is huge in the scheme of things.   Learning to be grateful in all things is one of the challenges we have been asked to overcome here on earth.   The "in all things" is the hard bit . . .

 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18 

It can be done though.   We just have to persevere and keep putting one foot in front of the other . . . one small step at a time.  It's called faith . . . it's not a big thing . . . it's a mustard seed . . . which can grow into a huge tree.

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Trust Me . . . it can be so hard to do at times . . . we have a tendency to want to take care of things ourselves and to want to fix things ourselves . . .  we are impatient, and not inclined to want to wait for His timing to kick in . . . but our Heavenly Father wants to help us . . . and He wants us to know and live that with our every breath, every ounce of courage . . . every day and even with the  tiniest bit of faith.

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Milk and Cookies.   A feast which warms my heart and soul.    Sometimes this is all you need for supper . . . maybe not the most nutritious one as far as empty calories go . . . but it does the heart good as a once in a blue moon treat.  I confess that chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven warm the cockles of my heart in a very special way . . . but so do social teas from the box and digestives . . . and oreos . . . girl guide cookies. I'm not picky.   Cookies and milk . . . milk and cookies.  Nom! Nom!

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We are watching a television program . . . and I hear it . . . the unmistakeable sound of a Blue Jay in the background noise of the program and I am transported in an instant to Canada.  It is a sound which brings peace and comfort.  I know they can be somewhat nasty birds . . . that they are bold and cheeky and sometimes . . . well most often . . . bullish . . . but their cry reminds me of home.  I lived in a house once right next to the woods and I would put little peanut butter sandwiches out on top of our back fence each morning for the jays.  They always came.  I loved watching them . . . that was their gift to me . . . in exchange for a few bits of bread and some . . . peanut butter.

What are the pennies in your life?   I would love to hear about them!

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind.  To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again.  To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
~Henry David Thoreau

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Beef and Bean Patty Melts.  Oh so good!

Hope that today is a great beginning to your week!  Happy Monday!


Sunday 14 April 2013

Sunday this and that . . .

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With each season that passes there is a sameness to the work it brings, a comforting familiarity which never changes . . .  the garden needs hoeing and weeding . . . turning the earth over carefully.  Jack Robin stands by closely watching, hoping for a fat worm or two . . . he's not afraid of us it seems.

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There are the flower beds to plan, and pots to plant . . . will we go with our old faithfuls this year . . . or try out something new.  Old faithful always wins . . . again it is that comfort in familiarity that keeps us held in it's warm embrace.

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The front drive must be weeded  . . . it is a constant reminder of that lovely phrase about "blooming where you are planted," . . . for lots of things migrate to it's cracks and crannies and take up home.   We are always surprised to see an errant sprig of lavendar or a poppy . . . or even a daisy springing up in the most unexpected places.   You almost hate to pull them out . . . but if we didn't before too long the whole drive would be a mass of hitchhikers . . . leaving no space to park.

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Seeds need to be sown . .  seedlings planted . . . there is a routine to follow . . . and it seldom changes, but the joy is ever new.  Wnter is over . . . we hope . . . and the garden is calling, calling . . . will we do a kitchen garden this year?  Or will we not??  Perhaps just a few herbs . . . and some lettuces and leaves . . . things we can use quickly and daily . . . we've not had much luck with other things.

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The lawn needs raking and mowing . . . that is the un-fun bit . . . edge trimming, fence mending . . . staking . . . but it is all part and parcel of the garden and adds to the enjoyment as a whole.  Oh that I could have a secret space . . . a secret garden, tended only by little fairies and sprites.   A small space tucked away at the end, hidden from worldly eyes . . . just for my own pleasure, as selfish as that may seem.

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A little world with mossy hidden alcoves and tiny doors . . . a few Chinese lanterns, of the natural kind, and fairy flowers, Forget Me Nots, and Lily of the Valley, purple Violets, and wild Daisies.  Oh how charming that would be . . . and how serene . . . I could quite happily lose my mind and spend my time tending such a place, couldn't you?

Remember that older fellow I was telling you about yesterday?

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Here is his photo.  A friend of mine had kept one.   Apparently she had been angry with him at some point because the picture has clearly been ripped into pieces and then taped back together!  I was not disappointed by this picture.  She had told me she had it and I was worried about seeing it, thinking I had made him handsomer in my mind or some such . . . I had not.   Although the photo is not so clear . . . it is not so bad either.    He told her his name was Jeff Welch.   He told me his name was Jeff Martin.   Clearly not a man to be trusted, but he did fuel a lot of teenage dreams and tears . . .

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Here is what I created yesterday afternoon in the solace of my craft room.  I quite like it I think.  Todd wants to frame it.   My dad commented on facebook yesterday that he thought I would be famous one day . . . oh daddy . . . he is my biggest fan.  I love him so.  He's always thought I was the smartest, prettiest, most talented etc.  the apple of his eye.  That is what he calls me, but then again . . . he probably says the same thing to my sister and my brother and that is as it should be.  I wish I could see him when I am home too . . . but he lives too far away and at almost 80 not able to drive down to Nova Scotia.   I wish he could . . .

Here is a thought to carry with you through this day . . .

"Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyway.
~Mary Kay Ash

Let us all be bumblebees and fly anyways!

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Peanut Butter and Jam Croissants.   Deliciously different!

Enjoy your Sabbath!


Saturday 13 April 2013

A trip down memory lane . . .

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I'm feeling very nostalgic this morning. I belong to a reunion page on Facebook that has 543 members.   It's not a high school reunion page or anything, although it very much feels like that at times.  It's a Community Center Reunion page.   My father was in the Canadian Armed Forces and so we moved a bit when I was growing up, but my teenage years were all spent in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, which is where my parents also retired.   As a teenager I used to hang out at the Community Center, or the Rec as we affectionately called it.

About two years ago now, someone had the idea of having a reunion of all the kids that had ever hung out at the Rec through the years and they began this page on Facebook.   Like I said it has 543 members and I can't even begin to tell you how many showed up at the reunion last summer.   I missed it by a couple of weeks and was sad about that, but we just couldn't stay Canada side for any longer than the two weeks we were there.  Most of those 543 members are kids that hung out at the Rec between the late sixties and early seventies.

Most sites would disappear after the reunion, but this page has only gotten stronger and bigger.   It seems there are a lot of us that never want it to end.   I can think of a good reason for that.   For most of us, as Armed Forces "brats," extended family was very far away from where we were living.   Most of us didn't know Cousins and Aunts, Uncles . . . Grandparents . . . and the people at the Rec became our extended family.   Here was a whole group of people who had and were experiencing the same thing.   They all knew what it was like to be the "new" kid trying to fit in, and a whole other host of things that go along with being the child of a serving member of the Armed Forces.  In short we have a special bond . . .  gone are the scales of immaturity and the stigma of belonging to this crowd or that crowd . . . we are quite simply friends which share a common history . . .

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(And we thought we were so stylish!)

Back home the month of May is apple blossom month and they have a huge festival every year called the Apple Blossom Festival, which lasts pretty much the whole month.   It's quite the celebration  and all of the communities in the valley pick Princesses out of which one is chosen at the end as the Apple Blossom Queen.  It's quite an honor.  Yesterday someone posted a really nice link to a video of all the girls who had ever been Queen Annapolisa.  It was so fun to watch and right there Queen 1975 was one of my school/Rec mates, Kathy Welch.   I remembered her being Queen Annapolisa and I remembered her dying tragically in a motor cycle accident on Prince Edward Island just a few months later.    Sad, so sad . . .

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(Me.  I was 16 and in Grade 11.  The jumper I am wearing is one I sewed myself.  I thought it was so cool!  It was made of corduroy and had square purple corduroy pockets on the front near the hem)

The Rec was a great place to hang out.   There was a huge common room which had pool tables, and ping pong tables, Foosball tables and lots of other tables that you could sit at and share some conversation, play cards, etc.   There was a canteen where you could buy chips or burgers, candy bars, etc.    There was a bowling alley downstairs and a gym upstairs.   Some of the guys had a band and they used to practice in a room up over the stage at the end of the gym.  I remember hanging out there the odd time watching them practice.   There were adults there to supervise us to make sure things never got really out of hand and they were cool.  Everyone got a Teen Aires card which meant that you belonged to something and at least once or twice a month they would hold dances in the gym, with live bands.  I used to love those dances.

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(Is this how your hair smelled??   Mine did!)

Yesterday someone posted about the "last dance" of the evening syndrome and a flood of memories came back to me of dozens of last dances . . . and how very special they were.  I was never able to hang around much after that last "dance."   If the dance ended at midnight, my dad expected me through the door at five past, which meant as soon as the song ended I had to beat it home asap!   My dad was very strict and I knew if I was late it might mean that I wouldn't be allowed to go to the next dance and so I made sure I was home when I was supposed to be.

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They were great dances though.   I remember my ex husband (he was our paper boy) always used to ask me to dance once.   Not twice . . . but once.   He used to ask all the girls to dance . . . once.  Of course once we started dating, he only danced with me.   But I digress . . . I was remembering yesterday the best dance that I remember from that time period.   A band called "Flood" played.  Our Rec Teen/Aires committee always took great pains to get in great bands for these dances . . . most were bands from Nova Scotia like Matt Minglewood . . . but sometimes they got in bands from further afield.  Such was "Flood."   They were from England and mostly played Beatles and British pop songs.   I thought they were fantastic.

The night of that dance there was this guy that kept asking me to dance all the slow dances.   He was a Golf Pro that was in Greenwood for the summer that year and a bit older than most of us girls.   Best thing of all was he was British and had a dreamy accent which had all the girls going ga ga over him.  To make a long story short, he walked me home from the dance that night and just before he kissed me goodnight (sigh . . . ) he asked me if I would like to go out with him sometime.  Of course I said yes and gave him my telephone number.   I was 16, and hadn't had a proper boyfriend yet . . . he was 21.

True to his word a few days later he called and asked me to go out for coffee with him.  I was thrilled.  I didn't even drink coffee, but that didn't matter.  It was actually my first real "date."  My dad ruined it though by taking the telephone from me and telling him that if he wanted to take his daughter out this guy had to pick me up at the house.    That was the kiss of death for this particular date, but I didn't know it at the time.   I only knew that a few night later when I waited for him to show up and when he didn't . . . I thought I would never forgive my father for totally  ruining my life!!  Sigh . . .

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(Did you do this to your jeans?  I did, but used cotton fabric inserts for colour and style!)

I mentioned this on the group yesterday where we were talking about the dances and lo and behold . . . I was not the only 16 year old this 21 year old man had asked out.   There were lots of us!   In fact according to the consensus there were not many girls he didn't ask out that summer . . . and here was me all these years later still think I was special!  Oh boy . . . one of them thinks she has a photo of him somewhere so when she digs it up I will show it to you!  I remember him as being really dreamy . . . but . . . we all know how that goes.   He probably wasn't dreamy at all.

At any rate I think my dad was a pretty smart dad for keeping the wolf at bay.   I was far too young to go out with this man . . . and my dad knew it.   Good daddy!

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(I remember wearing bandanas and halter tops, bell bottoms, knitted vests etc.!)

I love all my friends on this reunion page.   A bunch of the guys are doing a sky dive together in May when I am home this time, and I may pop along to watch them all jump . . . or not jump.   It should be good for a laugh . . . and I find myself wondering how many of the almost 60 year olds will actually do the jump and how much of it is male bravado!   In any case it will be good to connect. with them once more and I find myself feeling pretty grateful this morning for being a part of such a great gang of people.   We support each other still .   We laugh with each other, we mourn with each other.   We just plain care for each other, and I think that's something which is pretty special in the world we live in today.

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I've been practicing doing faces in better detail with my watercolors.   This is what I did yesterday.   I'm getting there . . . actually she looks somewhat like my sister's daughter . . .when she was a teen,  Not sure why, but there it is . . .

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

"Let everyone sweep in front of his door and the whole world will be clean."
~Mother Teresa

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Saturday's offering in The English Kitchen . . . White Chocolate Drizzled Orange Cake.   Scrummo!