My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where I journey to...

When I am troubled, and my mind is not still, or at peace, I journey in thought to the very best experience that I have ever had. Paddle to a Cure was an expedition that raised money for Breast Cancer. I was one of the lucky ones that participated.

Great gratitude is forever extended to the leaders who donated their time and effort over five summers to guide and teach us the skills of kayaking.

Seriously... who needs southern beaches?

My next painting...


When I miss my friend... I am here...

I am here at every bump in my road of life. When my heart is heavy... I am here...

...and here.

Is there one memory that brings you a feeling of comfort... a place where you can retreat when times are tough? This is mine.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mandi and Jamie...married!

Mandi and Jamie eloped last week. I knew that this was going to happen as Mandi did not want to see me hurt by her choice, and allowed me time to get used to the fact that I would not be there to see the ceremony. They told their family members and closest friends and explained why they had made this decision. Both kids are quiet, and the thoughts of a huge ceremony, the throngs of people and the expense was more than they felt they wanted to handle. What they wanted was a quiet, private ceremony and a vacation afterwards.

They chose Niagara Falls as Jamie had never been there before, and Mandi had fond memories of visiting there when she was younger, and, of course Niagara Falls is well known for romantic escapes. They were married in a lovely ceremony on January 18th and stayed at The Sheraton on the Falls.

Mandi called me afterward and shared pictures of the occasion. There was a delivery to their room of chocolate dipped strawberries and Sparkling water. Their room was absolutely gorgeous, overlooking the Falls.

Thanks to the help of my daughter-in-law, Tinah, who arranged the reservation of the room and the incidentals...(like the strawberries and sparkling water)...I felt as if I had truly been a part of the occasion. Thank you, Tinah.

The highlight of their "ma-cation" was a trip to a magic show... a gift from good friends, Ben and Cassandra.

Those small little details that make a wedding so special and complete, were arranged by Katherine...her Maid of Honour. Thank you so much, Katherine.

A reception on Feb 20th will allow us all the opportunity to congratulate this couple in person, but until then... "Congratulations, Mandi and Jamie, and best wishes for a long and happy life together.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

About a Pellet Stove

I do not ask for diamonds
or trips down to "The Cove,"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

I did not protest big screen
or magnificent sound surround.
I did not challenge hi tech
or the latest gadget around.

I do not ask for diamonds
Or trips down to "The Cove,"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

A pellet stove will keep me warm
Long after the power goes down.
What good your hi speed internet
or the toys we have around?

I do not ask for diamonds
Or trips down to "The Cove,"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

The dreams about the cabin
are long ago given away...
but the dream about the pellet Stove
is a dream that is here to stay.

I do not ask for diamonds
Or trips down to "The Cove"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

So don't say "next year I promise"
because a promise is etched in stone...
Your trips take you on long journeys
And I am here, alone.

I do not ask for diamonds
Or trips down to "The Cove"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

So when you find me frozen
cuddling two dogs, a bird, and fish.
Remember this, my techie...
a pellet only wish.

I do not ask for diamonds
Or trips down to "The Cove,"
All I have ever wanted is
a flippin Pellet Stove.

And when you bury my frozen corpse
and read the eulogy,
include the following, darling,
which describes me to a "T".

"She did not ask for diamonds
or trips down to "The Cove"
All she ever wanted was,
a flippin Pellet Stove!

On Step-parenting

I love you just as though

Publisher:Nicholas Gordon

I love you just as though you were my own,
Though you are not the children of my blood.
Love is not lodged within one's flesh and bone,
But in one's heart, which goes which way it would.
I married into you, as into wealth,
Or into some bright mansion, just by chance.
You were not why I came, nor what I felt
That made me give my life to this romance.
Yet once we were a family, out of need,
Love came bubbling up from some sweet spring,
Watering the newly planted seed
That it might in the will of sunlight sing.
So may we long remain through love and art:
Stepparent and stepchildren of the heart.



When I married their dad in 1998, I became step-mother to Alex and Heather, two of the best step-kids anyone could ask for. I have always been treated with respect and never has an angry word passed between us. I am one of the lucky ones....

Step-parenting, however is not for the faint-of-heart.... Do I have any regret? Some.

From the beginning of our relationship, I chose to take the back seat in all affairs concerning the children. I did not discipline. I felt that was their dad's responsibility. I did not attend their at-home activities as I did not want the children to feel uncomfortable with their mom and I in the same room.

What I have learned is that when you claim that "back seat" as your own, that is the seat that will be assigned to you in the future. That is my regret....

And so, I hope my step-kids will always know that I was the silent partner, encouraging, directing, worrying, banking, suggesting, cheering, arranging...and always loving. Always.

A new day is here, and on that note, I want to step forward and claim my rightful place in the future. I want to be a part of the plan. When you visit, I want it to be a visit to "Dad and Wendy." When you start bringing little ones into the world. your children will be MY grandchildren as Dustin and Alexia, Halen and Delia are your dad's... I want to claim the title of "Nana" when that day comes.

I love you guys...always have and always will......

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Monday, January 18, 2010

How I Spent My Day Off....

Well... I was invited to go sledding with the girls last week. I agreed and offered to "man" the camera. Little did I know what was in store for me. The first hint was when I was offered a pair of snow pants......

Alexia bravely went down the hill, choosing a path that led to a huge jump.

Mom and Alexia shared a ride together.

And then... it was Nana's turn....

I am sorry but this was a very large hill....

Safely at the bottom.. Anytime is a good time for a hug.

And Delia? Sleeping peacefully...much like Nana did that night.

Thanks for including Nana, girls! You rock!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

She's done!

I finally finished this painting.  Started months ago as a gift, I have been unable to find the time to complete it.  I am learning that in order to do the things I like, I must make the time, and that finding the time is not an option, as there will always be other things that scream that they are the priority.

It is finished now and I am pleased with the results.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Not "Just a Pair of Mittens"

This pair of mittens was knit for me by my "best friend." They were knit shortly after my mother passed away in 2001. They were knit from wool that came from my mom's stash, that was given to my friend. Not only do I think of my mom when I wear them, but I also think on a friendship that has spanned three decades. Together, over the years, we have hashed out problems and victories. We have shared philosophies and recipes. We have inspired, and supported each other. We have been accused of chatting too much...and yet there have been times when we both are speechless.

There must be angels....I wished for a sister... and then there was YOU.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010


Several days ago, I posted about a pair of shoes I ALMOST purchased from the States. I justified this purchase as the shoes were made from recycled materials, and were on sale. In retrospect, it was a foolish decision, and one that was made on the spur of the moment. In the long run, it does not matter about the cost of said goods...the environmental cost of shipping from that distance is too steep, and after all, what purpose is there is eating local is I am going to negate all good done in that department by ordering shoes that are shipped thousands of miles? Did I really need them? No. It was a "want" and not a "need."

Son #1 in all his wisdom once told me at 13 or 14 years of age.... "Mom, you taught me the difference between what I want and what I need. You get us what we need. What we want, we have to buy ourselves." Wise words from a wise (and wonderful) kid.

The child is now teaching the adult.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I did it! I finally got around to painting! It has been months since I last picked up a brush, and it is all I have wanted to do, but things always seemed to get in the way.

I am convinced that if I just planned better, my day would be more organized. I am lessening time spent here, and THAT takes discipline, however, the reward is that I can fit more time into my day.

I started my morning off better than yesterday. As I am working tonight, I stayed in bed as long as I could and then visited with son #1 for a short while. I prepared my supplies for painting before I left and all there was to do when I got back, was to make a cup of coffee, and pull up a chair to my easel. (Warning...when painting, put your beverage as far away from your work area as possible. That ensures that no brushes or paints make their way into the cup.)

I will post a pic of my completed painting as soon as it is finished which is soon!

How did you spend YOUR leisure time today?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today was the only full day I have had off in the past week. Between working shifts and covering vacancies caused by illness, there has been little time for R and R. Christmas was a blur as we prepared for a wedding the following day. All in all, this gal is truly feeling her age.

So how was my day spent, you ask? Certainly NOT in the pursuit of all those leisure activities I had planned yesterday, but rather, I spent half my morning dealing with company service reps, voicing my concerns over poor customer service. I spent the rest of my day in an ugly mood.

I had ordered a pair of shoes in October from the States. I spoke to three lovely girls over the course of the past two months, as my shoes never did arrive, and each had promised me action. In spite of their assurances, my my credit card was charged for something that never did materialize. Today, one bright lady told me that she does not understand why my order was ever filled to start with, and why the shoes were never shipped. This company does NOT ship to Canada. If there is any satisfaction to be realized, it is that I got my money back. Lesson learned I guess. Stupidity is not painful, and if it were, the process would have been halted back in October.

On a more positive note, I got out for a walk 5th this week! Walking does help to calm me when all other efforts fail. Anger IS painful...and sometimes all-consuming.

I am off to salvage what there is left of the day. Knitting...reading...perusing the various art sites. This is how I should have spent my ONLY day off this week, but all is not lost. Bedtime is still several hours off.

And how did YOU spend YOUR day?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another project completed...

Made for Buddy and Heather in celebration of their recent marriage.



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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our Winter Robin

Hubby was able to get this picture  of one of the Robins that I spotted near our feeder.  I understand that this is not such an unusual sight...that these birds are referred to as "Winter Robins.  I hope that they are feasting on the rose hips, as I understand that they do not eat seeds.  I just can't help but feel sorry for them...  This one looks chilled.  I am sure he must be regretting his decision to stay in these parts!



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Wants and Musts

I usually only post every few days but I have been bothered of late by all that I know needs to be done, and what I want to do in the coming months. Perhaps the advent of the New year has got me to thinking about the coming months and all that is on my plate.

I have to study to write an exam in April. This is a MUST. I WANT to paint more. I WANT to make quilt for my granddaughter, and I WANT to visit my family more often. I MUST take the time to walk more. I WANT to have more time to read. I am still working so my leisure time is limited. How does one balance wants and musts?

The list goes on. I once heard it said that a good exercise to improve the quality of one's life, is to draw a circle on a piece of paper and then divide the circle into 8 pieces. In those pieces write down the things in our life that are most important..(Ie career, family, art, spirituality etc) and then meditate on what small thing that you can do to improve that item. All of this..the steps taken to improve these things... takes time and commitment.

I am convinced that I must waste a lot of time, because there are so many unfinished tasks at the end of the day. Perhaps blogging and surfing the net has robbed me of a lot of precious time but I do enjoy my time visiting my blogging friends and family.

I think the key is moderation... "Moderation in all things." My dad hammered that into my head from an early age. You think I would have learned.

So... I am going to resolve to spend less time on the computer. I will continue my blog and reading but restrict the time to an hour a day. This means that I may not respond right away to posts, but please remember that I am still here and that I LOVE your company!

Besides resolving to spend less time here, I am entering the second have of my goal when I started to blog, which was to shape up and restructure my life... to de-clutter. I want to intensify my actions in this regard so time management will be helpful.

I guess my most important resolve is to try to stay happy. Now THAT will be a biggy!

What is YOUR resolve!


I was lucky enough to glance out the window in time to see this visitor to the bird feeder that I received as a gift at Christmas.  This (the feeder) was the only thing on my wish list....and I was lucky to receive TWO!  The picture below is cloudy.  Now you know, that I do not wash my windows as often as I should.  (Blush!!!)

This picture is not as clear, as it was taken at a distance.  I hope that I can get closer to this pair of Robins that lost their way south.  I worry about them as this is the first time I have ever seen Robins wintering in Ontario.  They are feeding off Rosehips which I leave on my bushes every winter to feed the Jays.


Chickadees, Nuthatch, Morning Doves, Purple Finch, Cardinals, Jays, Goldfinch, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers...and now Robins...dine at my feeders.  How lucky am I?

What birds come to your feeders?

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