My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Hogmanay (pronounced IPA: [ˌhɔɡməˈneː] — with the main stress on the last syllable) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday.

When my brother and I are were little, our family celebrated New Year's eve together, and when we were old enough, or lucky enough to coax our parents into allowing us to stay up until midnight, we witnessed a traditional welcoming of the new year. One of the adults would open the back door, and would encourage the old year to take its leave. The front door would then be opened, allowing the New Year entrance into our home, accompanied by a warm welcome. I always assumed that this was a Scottish tradition, but after investigating the aforementioned practice, I found the following, which led me to believe that its origin was British.

A New Year party on the New Year's Eve is the most common type of celebration in England. When at midnight the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast, they drink a toast to the New Year. The most famous celebration takes place in Trafalgar Square in London, where big crowds gather to welcome the New Year. If the family prefer to bring in the New Year at home there is such a custom: the members of the household sat themselves round the hearth, and when the hands of the clock approach the hour, the head of the family rises, goes to the front door, opens it wide, and holds it thus until the last stroke of midnight has died away. Having let the Old Year out and the New Year in, he shuts the door quietly and returns to the family circle.

My Nana..or "Gram" as my cousin called her...would never allow a dirty home to welcome the New Year, so much cleaning and tidying was done prior to the 31st of December. Our bodies were cleaned as well... and then dressed in clean PJ's. After the stroke of midnight my brother and I banged pots and pans on the front stoop. I always thought that this was a welcoming act, but have read that the practice had more meaning. It was an endeavour to drive away evil spirits.

The Scots celebrate New Year with a passion...perhaps more than any other culture. Go here to read about their colourful festivities and traditions. I am sure that what our family practiced was both a celebration of both Scottish and English tradition as we are of both Scottish and English descent.

In closing, I pass on a wish that is above my door all year long. Lovingly stitched by my cousin, it has continued to bless us over the years.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

What we did on boxing day.....

A Boxing Day wedding.....

Two sisters....

The happy couple.... now Mr and Mrs A....

One very proud papa!

Best wishes for a happy and long life together. Buddy and Heather!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

May your days be filled with love and laughter and the company of good friends and family! Peace, good health and happiness in the new year!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am Still Here...

...but wrestling with yet another cold. I miss my blogging buddies but will be back soon!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Hippopotamus and the Tortoise

I received this email from a friend today and thought it appropriate to share, given what is...or is not ....happening in Copenhagen

The Hippopotamus and the Tortoise

'Much of life can never be explained, only witnessed.'
- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast, has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa , officials said.

The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean , then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

'It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother',' ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park , told AFP.

After it was swept away and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together,' the ecologist added.

'The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,' Kahumbu added.

'The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years,' he explained.

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.'

This is a real story that shows that our differences don't matter much when we need the comfort of another.

The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To Our Leaders in Copenhagen

As you gather this week to debate, and make decisions that will effect all of us, please keep in mind the following.....

You speak for the health and welfare of families...

...for little creatures who have no voice....

It is our ardent desire that our children and theirs will grow up in the same beautiful world that we have experienced...that they will look upon bodies of healthy water and abundant wildlife...

...upon lush and beautiful forests.....

...and that they will have learned from our mistakes. So.....please...take your responsibility very seriously. Make decisions that will help to heal our planet. We are counting on you....

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O Christmas Tree...O Christmas Tree!

I was having my usual struggles with deciding whether to decorate a tree this year.  It seemed a lot of effort to expend for such a short time and now, for so few.   My Christmas tree is at least 5' tall.  The thought of hauling it upstairs was daunting.  I needed to come up with another solution....  My daughter had a little tree...approximately 2 1/2 feet tall.  She was willing to trade.  We both win!

I enlisted the help of Alexia when she visited.  She is a great little tree decorator.  

Most of the ornaments on our tree are a lot older than she is!  My daughter, Mandy (aged 25) made the tree topper when she was 5.

I have many decorations.  Some are handmade by my children,  a friend, my mom, my MIL and myself.  Some are store bought.  This year I did not need to read posts about inexpensive decorations.....  I have enough...  I have stopped buying and making.

I am glad that I did put up a tree.  We need the bright colours at this time of the year... and it is nice to have another look at the ornaments... many that were lovingly handcrafted...that have graced our tree for so long



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Friday, December 11, 2009

Where Do your Thoughts "Drift?"

When my daughter told me of the snow that was falling in Bracebridge and Huntsville....two towns that are approximately one hour north of here.....I thought she was exaggerating. Apparently not. Huntsville has been declared in a state of emergency.

"Miley" plowing through a drift....

Mandy... up to her hips in snow.... and it keeps on coming! So... Where do my thoughts drift to when I contemplate another 4 to 5 months of this???

Did you guess summer??

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

With Christmas two weeks away, I decided to take stock. Have I been able to "mindfully" give this year?

Well... I have bought toys for the grandchildren, but for the most part, they are toys that stimulate learning and that stimulate the imagination. I have also bought them clothing. I shopped close to home, or stayed home, saved gas, and did internet shopping. I bought them gifts that will help them cut back on waste and plastic. I will wrap their gifts in one box each, thereby saving wrapping paper.

My children and their spouses will receive their gifts in orange crates, again saving wrapping material.

I have made a few gifts. Not nearly as many as I would have liked, but having Pneumonia knocked the daylights out of me and changed a few plans.

My husband and I have made a pact to cut way back on our spending for each other, and yours truly has asked for bird feeding material, as I get so much enjoyment from feeding these little creatures.

I have already received the best Christmas gift ever, that a member of our family is slowly recovering. How can you top that?

Is this Christmas going to pan out the way I would have liked? No. Not this year. Lessons have been learned, however.

I pledge that next year, 80% of the gifts I give will be whatever form that takes. I am going to cut back tremendously, and try to do that as creatively as possible.

As a reminder to my children... I want nothing... I need nothing. That is my Christmas wish.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One Simple Word....

Thanksgiving has passed and we are moving on at a very fast pace towards Christmas. Preparing for Christmas often takes us into the malls for purchases of goods and foodstuffs. and that got me to thinking. Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to express our gratitude, but have you noticed lately how seldom we use and hear the expression. "thank you?" Why is that!? We teach our children to respond with a "thank you"... to use their manners. Somehow this has escaped the employees in the stores where we purchase our goods. How often do you find yourself saying "thank you" to the teller...(she forgot to say IT!) she tallies your purchase? ("Thank you for giving me the opportunity to empty my bank account in your store?!? And yes...I will be glad to purchase a gift box after spending a whack of stash here"...)

It isn't just in the malls that we notice the absence of that word, though, is it? Too often I have forgotten to acknowledge an effort on the part of a family member or friend. I feel joy and gratitude in my heart for that effort but by forgetting that one simple little word. I may have left the giver wondering at how much I really appreciate their gesture. On the flip side, responding with "You are welcome" informs the person who has expressed gratitude, that they have been heard.

"Thank you." "You are welcome." Not just one simple word, I guess.

Why have I included the picture below? I forgot to say "thank You." I ask for much.... Too often I forget to acknowledge the gift...

Thank You for this beautiful sunset.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Another project completed!

Alas! I forgot to take a picture!! The Ragg quilt is finished. It looks great, and its new owner LOVES it! I stayed up rather late last night, sewing it together and clipping its edges. Annie was very pleased and snuggled under it.

For all who asked or commented, Annie is recovering from a bout of Meningitis, and is doing well. She is still in hospital but is being a great patient.....because she is anxious to get home.

Sometimes life reminds us of its fragility. In the blink of an eye, our world can be changed forever. We need this reminder... some more than others...because we often forget what is truly important.

I will try to post a pic of this quilt at some later date. Now...on to the next project!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Digging Deep

One of my blogging friends has been writing about the memories she shares with her sister. I commented that I have few memories from so many years ago, and that I would have to dig deep to find them again. Why do you think that is? Is it because so many of us our caught up in TODAY, and have little time to reminisce? I am not sure, but unearthing old photographs sure helps.

My family which consisted of my mom, dad and brother, lived in the Silverthorne district of Toronto. We were fortunate to have grandparents and aunties and cousins that lived nearby. When mom and dad were busy, my brother and I were cared for by family.

We lived in the house that my dad built. Building this house was quite an accomplishment for a man who was busy with attending school, as a teacher, during the day and school, as a student, at night.

Our neighbourhood was small...our world was small. We behaved ourselves, because if we didn't, we knew that our parents would know about our antics before we got home.

In those days, milk was delivered to the door. Horses were frequently seen on the streets. Often a man would bring the pony pictured below around the neighbourhood and mothers would scramble to clean up their children for a picture taken on the back of a pony. It was a thrill for my brother and me, and I am glad that I have this picture to remind me of a time when life was simple...


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Next Project...

...and I am wondering how long this one will take.  I am not known for completing projects in a timely manner.  I started the quilt for my grandson two years ago, and I am ashamed to admit that it is just finished...  This is a Rag Quilt that I am making for my SIL, Annie.  I am hoping that, stitched with love, it will help her on her road to recovery.

I will keep you posted on my progress.....



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Monday, November 30, 2009

Do You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis?

Signs and symptoms

Meningitis and Septicaemia (blood poisoning) are not always easy to recognize, and symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all. In the early stages, the signs and symptoms can be similar to many other more common illnesses, for example flu.

Trust your instincts. If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.

Early symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), and muscle pain, with cold hands and feet.

A rash that does not fade under pressure (see ‘The Glass Test’) is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. This rash may begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.

The spots or rash are caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. They are more difficult to see on darker skin, so look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids. The spots or rash may fade at first, so keep checking.

However, if someone is ill or is obviously getting worse, do not wait for spots or a rash to appear. They may appear late or may not appear at all.

The above is from the "Meningitis Trust."

Our family has recently had dealings with this disease, and I felt that I should post this information with the hopes that someone might benefit from knowing the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and be able to seek help quickly if a loved one should develop this illness. Fortunately, our family member is on the road to recovery, but it has been quite a struggle for her, and a tremendous worry for those who care about her. Early detection and quick response is essential.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Are you Thankful for?

Canadians have already celebrated their Thanksgiving , but as I have blogging friends who live south of the border, I figure that entitles me to another gratitude session. Sit back and put your feet up... My list is long!

I am thankful for my family...every one of husband...sons and daughters....(those I carried and those I did not)... grandchildren.....son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws....nieces and dad...and my brother. I am thankful for my extended family....

I am grateful for friends...some of whom I have known for many years...and some that I have only recently met through blogging, but who, already, hold a special place in my heart.

I am grateful for a roof over my head...a shelter from the storm...the place I call "home."

I am thankful for a new consciousness....for the recognition that less is more...that simple is better.

I am thankful that a peaceful, unprotected border is all that stands between us and our American friends and family.

My list can go on and on, but today I have a very special reason to be thankful. Annie is waking from her sleep... and she is hungry.

Thank you to all who remembered her in their thoughts and prayers.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Monday, November 23, 2009


It has been almost a week since I last wrote.  I have been slowly recovering from Pneumonia, and beginning to sound my usual self.  That, in itself, is a blessing, as I desperately want to visit my sister-in-law who has become ill and who is in ICU as I write this.

Anne, or "Nanda" as she is known to her family, was born in Guyana and came to Canada at 15 years of age.  She has two children, a boy and a girl, and is "nana" to Ethan, who is two.   She is a tough little cookie, and I am sure that she will do well recovering from this illness.  She has the support of a large family... a husband that has not left her side since she became ill....and two children that love her dearly.

What does one do from a distance?  Pray, encourage, support... and make quilts.  I am presently making Anne a Ragg Quilt which I hope will give her pleasure, and warmth.  I will post pics when it is completed.

So... Please send healing thoughts and prayers her way.  Thank you.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Well... I am back ....shaky... but back. It has been a long week and a big struggle. I have had a first hand encounter with Pneumonia which was more than like caused by the H1N1 virus. Man... I can understand why they would call this a Pandemic. My advice to you. Do NOT wait to see your doctor if you develop symptoms of this flu. If they see you within 48 hours, you can be treated with Tamiflu. After that, they treat the resulting illness which in my case, was Pneumonia. with antibiotics.

I did have an Epiphany, however. While I was ill, I imagined what it would be like to live with an illness that I had brought on myself by stupid living. I hate being sick. I would not be a good patient. So I am going to start, today, treating my body with the care and respect it deserves. Before I eat anything, I am going to ask myself..."Is this going to nourish my body?" I am going to nurse this frame for as long as I have left. Life is too priceless to treat with indifference.

Our earthly home needs to be treated with the same reverence. We need to care for her as if she were a beloved child or partner. What are you pouring down your drain today? Have you invested in biodegradable products? Do you use vinegar and baking soda as a cleanser? Do you monitor the amount of plastic that comes into your home? Do you carry a reusable mug?
Every small action helps...

For those who are tired of the environmental doom and gloom that seems rampant, take a little break from it and pick up David Suzuki's "Good News for a Change: Hope for a Troubled Planet", Visit here to see the interview

Thanks to every one for the kind thoughts when I was ill.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off for a Few Days.

I have Pneumonia.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Field - Copy of Signed Original
Courtesy of Bee MacGuire
Obtained From TheMcCrae Museum of The Guelph Museum

Monday, November 9, 2009

Introducing... Dan and Tinah

The next on my list to introduce is Dan, my eldest son, and his wife, Tinah.  Dan has just turned 33.  (Is that dating me?  Do the arithmetic...  I was Mandy's age when Dan came along)

Dan is a Red Seal Chef.  I am immeasurably proud of him!  He is presently working in a Retirement Home but has had lots of experience in other facilities, including in a hotel in downtown Toronto.  Not only is he a "chef extraordinaire", but he is a terrific daddy to two sweet little girls and a great big brother to Mandy and Bryan.

His passions are Hallowe'en and fishing, and his little girl is following suit.

I have often referred to Dan as "my rock."   He has been a source of strength for me many times.  He has also been there for his siblings when they have needed someone to lean on.

Tinah is working in a Large hotel in the downtown core.  She is multi-talented, and bilingual, and has worked in many areas in this Hotel involving reservations etc.  She is a wonderful mommy to Alexia and Delia, and I am sure that those two children will never want for fun and adventure with a mom like Tinah.

Dan and Tinah have been married for over four years now.  Their lives are busy, and yet they still manage the time to make family a priority.

Did I say I was proud?



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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mandi!

My "baby" has just turned 25. She is bemoaning that fact, and I have to admit that I have little sympathy for her. (Wait till she passes 50!)

I have decided that I want to take a minute to introduce some of the people that are responsible for a few of my grey hairs in the next few blog posts. Just kidding!!! What I really want to do is to introduce you to my children, and their spouses.. After all, my family enriches my life in so many ways. I love them and I am proud beyond measure, of every one of them.

So... This is Mandy. She is my youngest child and only girl. (I am also proud to say that I have a wonderful step daughter who I will introduce at a later date.)

Mandy has recently finished schooling and is now working with autistic children. This was her calling. She has always drooled over babies, and has enjoyed working with young children. (The baby in the picture is her newest niece..."Delia".) To get to where she is now, she studied and was awarded her E.C.E. She then went on to University and got her BA in Child and Family Studies. After many years of study, she decided to work with young Autistic children. Mandy is a talented girl. She is compassionate and caring.

Mandy has many friends but her "best" friend is her partner Jamie. The picture below was taken two years ago. Since then, Jamie has become a "Class A Mechanic" and he and Many are now engaged. I could not ask for a better partner for Mandy. He treats her well. She treats him well. They are ambitious... and fun to be around. At present, they are renovating their home with the intention of selling one day. They are doing this on their own....and doing a fine job.

So... now you know a little about Mandy, and what makes her such a special gal.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

My Condolences to Our Friends South of the Border.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

    by Dylan Thomas

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning, they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    As the world hears of the horrors that occur on a daily basis on some soil both near and we awaken to the knowledge that our world is ill and diseased, and that what we once considered normal is no more... as we find ourselves looking harder and harder to find good in the people and the world that surround us...we wonder at times what our future holds for the possibility of peace and health...our personal and planetary peace and our time. Are we approaching the end of our world as we knew it? Are we just to go softly into that good night?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well Said

A fellow blogger posted words that are very meaningful this morning... and I encourage you to go here to read her post. We all struggle with raising children in this day and age. We have successes and failures. I think the author of her letter has hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts on Our future

There seems to be a lot of "Doom and Gloom" circulating lately. At times it feels almost overwhelming. We are warned of a bleak future for humanity. We are told we must change our ways to avert disaster, and then we are told that our small actions are of little significance. I cannot believe this is so.

John Schaar
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination

It is a true that our world is changing. It is also true that most of the damage is caused by large corporations that continue to pollute unchecked by our elected government parties. I continue to believe, however, that the actions of like-minded individuals CAN and WILL make a difference.

Andrea Ayvazian
A reporter interviewing A.J. Muste, who during the Vietnam War stood in front of the White House night after night with a candle, one rainy night asked,"Mr. Muste, do you really think you are going to change the policies of this country by standing out here alone at night with a candle?" Muste replied, "Oh, I don't do it to change the country, I do it so the country won't change me.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." Dale Carnegie

Is it foolish to work hard towards change in every small imaginable way and then trust that there is a Greater Power that watches us and cares for us?

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Victor Hugo

I choose to move forward. I choose to focus on what I can do today to help make tomorrow a brighter future.


Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

It Is Done.... Finally!!

I finished hand stitching the binding this weekend and was finally able to give Dustin his quilt. I am ashamed to say, that it has taken me two years to complete this project. I explained to Dustin, that this just isn't a blanket but it is also a game that he can play, ("I Spy") and told him that when he was sad or just needing a hug, he could bundle himself up in it for a "Nana hug," and know that the person who made it loved him a lot.

I have started gathering fabric a quilt for the little gem below (The bigger gem) . It is her turn for a quilt...and a "Nana hug," and I commit to finishing it in less that 2 years!

Both of my grandchildren were blessed with a little brother or sister this year. As you can see, Alexia loves her little sister, Delia., and she is a wonderful big sister.

I overheard a conversation between Dustin and his little brother, Halen, this weekend. In a very quiet voice, Dustin said. "I love you, Halen. You are my very best friend. I waited for you for a long time." I asked Dustin if he had wanted a baby brother or a sister, and he replied, "I did not care... I just wanted something..."

Out of the mouths of babes....

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Monday, October 26, 2009


I have been unable to post for almost a week now. I have been back on night shift and it seems as if all I have been doing is sleeping. Working at night and sleeping during the day is tremendously taxing. It doesn't matter how much sleep that I never seems enough.

We had visitors this weekend...two smalls and a daddy... and on Sunday night poppy shared a meal with his great grandsons. It was wonderful having so many generations around that table.

Dustin, the six year old small, had many questions. He questioned me about why I removed a plastic bag from the garbage and why I felt so strongly about not bringing plastic into the house. It was a great teaching op and after typing "Plastics in Ocean" on Youtube, I was able to show him a video that spoke of the greatest crime against the environment...the use of plastic.

He sat on my lap and I felt his little body become tense at the images of dolphins and turtles playing with floating plastic bags, and he was horrified to see birds with their heads stuck in rings that had previously held our pop cans together. These images, as hard to view as they were, made an impression, and for the rest of the weekend, Dusting asked what many of the items in our home were made of. He reminded his daddy not to bring home plastic and to take a reusable bag when he went shopping.

I truly believe that our children, with knowledge and guidance, will do much to help heal our environment. At this age, they are like little sponges and are not yet conditioned or hardened to the harsh realities of the world.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Much was accomplished.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Just be happy in whatever you do..."

These are wise words from a visitor to my blog. Wenn lives in Malaysia, and I am really happy that she found her way to my blog. She has reminded me to be happy with every small and insignificant step I make towards living a simpler and greener life.

I sometimes do not walk the talk. I am critical of my efforts from an environmental standpoint. However... I need to remember that if we all made small seemingly insignificant steps to clean up our act, our combined efforts would make a difference.

I went grocery shopping today. This was the first time in a week and the last time this week. With the exception of some soup bones and toilet paper, I brought home no plastic. I remembered my cloth bags. I chose produce that was without packaging. I did buy a dish pan...plastic...but it will get many years of use and the water that is left after doing my dishes will be used to flush my toilet. I have bought a few more bandanas for nose wipes.

All in all, I am pleased with my efforts today. So Wenn... Thanks for the reminder. I will try to remember your wise words.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another flogging....

I am beginning to think that I am an armchair environmentalist. Sure... I have great intentions, but in my case, my intention does not always translate into successful endeavour. Too often I am jolted into the reality that I could have done things differently. Most lessons learned come on the heel of a great mistake.

I have joined the "No Impact Weeklong Challenge" which began today. I am also reading the book " No Impact Man". I could not sleep last night. I am developing a nagging, irritating conscience. At 2 am I did a review of my week off and the number of times I slipped and left a larger impact than I intended. The thing is, most often I know better.

Take, for instance Friday. Three other ladies and I travelled 70 miles to attend the "Needlework and Craft Festival" in Toronto. My friend drove her husband's Crew Cab... a very large truck. Four ladies travelled 70km or 100 miles to browse and buy more fabric and supplies to feed our addiction to crafting and creating. Crafting and creating is not a bad thing...but the problem lies in the number of projects that all of us have on the go already. More supplies...more stuff...more expense. As if that was not enough, we left the Show and went to a Mall. Afterward, we went to a restaurant and ate.

So...what's the fuss? I really did not need to go. I have more than enough. We burned an insane amount of fuel to get to the Show. (I wonder if anyone else felt the same?)

Dinner was great. The company was great. We could have had a wonderful time, however, just sitting and chatting over a meal closer to home.

My husband and I travelled north to Bracebridge to visit with my daughter the following day... We made another faux pas. Several times we visited Tim Horton's, and bought coffee and lunch when we could have carried our own. More expense and waste.

Amber.... please don't give up on me. You are a tough act to follow. Hopefully after doing this challenge, I will have learned a few things....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One of The Strangest Things I have Ever Seen!

I was driving down my street last fall, and caught a glimpse of a squirrel trying to drag this bottle up a tree!!

Honestly! (I am NOT making this up!) I had my camera...and that in itself is unusual... and was able to shoot some pictures. Good thing! Who would have believed me?

He dropped the bottle and later I was able to zoom in and read the label. It was a herbal preparation for sore muscles!

Poor little guy. I can appreciate that he might have sore muscles... jumping from limb to limb and spending long hours outdoors in cool and damp weather.

He tried repeatedly to lift the bottle and drag it up to his nest.

He was unsuccessful in removing the lid, but you sure have to give him an "A" for effort. Somehow I wish he had been rewarded for all of his hard work but the bottle was on the ground the next morning. I am sure that the squirrel was nursing some pretty tender muscles after that kind of exertion!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thoughts on the Environment.

Today is the day when bloggers around the world unite, and in one voice, express our concerns about the state of the environment. I could speak of global warming. but many do not believe that there is such a thing. This way of thinking is difficult for me to understand. I could argue the point, but I choose not to. Instead, I wish to say, that for whatever the reason, we cannot afford to use the earth in the manner which we have any longer. It is time that we became better tenants.

I do what I can to lessen my footprint. Through association with those bloggers who are more knowledgeable, I am learning to do more. When I feel that I am not doing enough, I, like Amber, count the things I do not do. It makes me feel a little better.

It is my hope that my grandchildren, and their children, inherit clean earth and clean air. I hope that their food comes from from areas that are close to home, and that there is enough...just enough...of everything good in their lives. I hope that they learn from our mistakes, and that they do better than we have., as custodians of this beautiful planet we call home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanksgiving at the Cottage

Gathering to give thanks for....

... a beautiful day....

... a wonderful family...

.....for Poppies and Great- Grandchildren... all of them...

...for the many loved ones who have gathered round this fire throughout the years.....

We are grateful.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Housework Can Wait...

I have a little visitor today. My plans to clean and prepare for this weekend's onslaught have been put on the back burner... but that is okay. I would rather hang out with Halen.

This says it all....

"Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

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