Happy New Year!!
Thanx so much for checking out my first blog post this year. I’m so happy you are here.
A few years ago, I made the 1st new year’s resolution I’ve ever kept
& it was…
Never make another new year’s resolution.
It’s not that I don’t set goals or make plans for my year. It’s just that by mid-January, every year, I found I was feeling like such a loser because I had already failed in several, if not all, of those resolutions.
Having an abundance of good intentions at the start of each new year has never been an issue. My follow thru, however, was not stellar.
One word to note is…abundance. Always the keener, I’d make a minimum of 10 resolutions. Sometimes 25.
I figured I’d better clean up my entire life cuz it was New Year’s Day. Hold the cheers, fire crackers & kisses. I was terrified!
Not only did I make too many. They were vague.
I will lose weight…How much? What’s the timeline?
I will exercise everyday…for how long? What kind? Why not skip Sundays?
I will read 30 books…so, how many per month? What kind?
I will sort thru & downsize by half…every room of the house…what room first?
I will organize my cupboards…my closets. Where do I start?
I will redecorate the living room. With what? Everything pink? Wink. Wink.
I’ll reorganize my office. Overhaul all my files. What the what!! I don’t even have a paper shredder!
Blah. Blah. Blah.
But now - since I made my ‘no resolution’ resolution,
I do things differently at the start of each new year.
I’ve gotta let you know my love for touching & holding books,
feeling the paper & hand-written notes etc.
has not yet released me from passion for ‘hard copy’ daily planners.
I do have all of our appointments on my ‘phone-calendar’.
My husband accomplished a monumental task when he finally (after months & months), convinced me to put said appointments into my phone calendar.
Of course, my stipulation was that I had an accompanying real Daily Planner…pink-papered-perfection! Giggle. Giggle.
I start my new year with transferring important dates (birthdays, anniversaries etc.) from my previous year’s daily planner into my new one. This planner is the only place where I keep birthdays etc. cuz they clutter up my phone calendar & I’m not a Facebook babe.
I decorate my pages.
There’s washi tape & stickers a-plenty.
Multiple ink colors
& funky little Char-made borders, illustrations & symbols.
I look at it & it just makes me feel good.
The birthdays & anniversaries are in blue ink with pink shabby-chic borders.
Sometimes there’s a cake or cupcake sticker on the birthdays.
Our anniversary day is filled with hearts & romance.
December is loaded to the nines with Christmas galore.
I add in all of our appointments as well…as they are booked.
When I’m going thru my last year & transferring the occasions, I also add in other special days that we love to celebrate…
& ones we need to commemorate because of loss or
ones that mark achievements;
The 1st phone call, ever, from my Randy.
The day we met when he showed up on my doorstep.
My 1st trip out to the middle of everywhere Saskatchewan.
The day Miss Molly got her puppy, Gunny
& also, the day her last one, Brunchie went to puppy heaven.
The completion of The Princess of Quite-A-Bit
& of A Dish of Delish!
My book launch.
The day our beautiful grand-daughter went to heaven
& the day my sweet nephew left earth for heaven as well.
The visits from all of our International kids.
The things we’ve done & where we’ve gone…
like to The Dirty Bird for lunch. LOL!
As the year goes on, I write in little things, so that looking back it’s like a condensed diary.
Something I believe to be important is to recall…
To remember last year’s successes
The laughter & the tears.
That always gives me pause for gratitude
& to remember to be thankful, in the moments, for everything.
To remember the lessons learned
& really, to make the most of every day.
To love as if it is our last opportunity.
To be kind, as if it is the last thing we will ever do.
To think about how we want to be remembered…
If this, in fact, was our last day on earth.
Have we loved enuff?
Been kind enuff?
Been grateful enuff?
Shared our smile enuff?
Have we been real enuff?
Or did we play pretend by acting as if we were someone that we’re not?
Did we bully?
Look the other way, when someone needed our help?
Did we withhold a compliment, when we knew it could have made their day?
Were we so self-absorbed that we neglected to see their need?
Were we so bent on winning, that we failed miserably at loving?
In looking back at my previous year,
do I wish I had the opportunity for some do-overs?
These are the things I reflect on at this start of a new year…
I do have plans & goals I’m working on in 2019;
Writing…deciding on which writing project to start with & finishing 1…maybe 2 writing projects this year.
Losing weight…cough. Cough. Sputter. Sputter. Possibly 5 pounds per month.
Exercising…um…er…say 20 minutes a day at least 4 days a week.
Sorting & purging…could it be, one room a month?
But some things I’m seriously wanting to accomplish this year;
To find joy in every day.
To ask the question, consistently, what would love do?
To be grateful &
To pray & hang out with my BFF, JC, His Dad & HS.
Praying you have a Happy New Year, sharing as much joy, love, laughter & compassion, as you possibly can.
Big Hugs & Huge Love,
Warmest Christmas Greetings!
In my last Love Note & Blog I talked about the most amazing gift ever…Love
& about my totally favorite Christmas story that of Jesus birth. The real reason to celebrate this holiday season.
& now, for my 2nd fave story – Molly Believes in Santa.
When my daughter, Keri was in primary school & would read a book, she’d want me to call her the name of the heroine for a few days or weeks.
She’s been Lucy, Mandie, Molly & a multitude of others.
Molly has stuck with her little Pink Mama!
And as a single mama, money was scarce.
O.K. I do have a gift for stating things in the most positive light.
We were dirt poor!
One year in particular, times were very tough.
I had gone to the Salvation Army & put our name in for a ‘family who needed help at Christmas’.
I was able to pick out some ‘gently used’ toys, AKA second-hand, at their store. I had brought them home & wrapped them for my girl.
The day before Christmas a man arrived at our door with boxes of food including Christmas oranges, candies, nuts & a turkey with all the necessary fixins & even some gifts for My Little Molly Dolly.
It was so wonderful!
I had tried to get her into bed before he arrived but she was still up.
Years passed & by that time I had married, & we lived in a beautiful home.
As a family, we had started to fill shoeboxes for needy children across the world & to ‘adopt Salvation Army Families’ for Christmas, because now we could.
(Patrick took this picture, at our house, last nite)
The first thing we’d do, was to find out the first names & ages of the kids, their sizes & the list of things they’d like. Next came shopping. We’d buy them Christmas gifts, wrap them & then pick up the food hamper for the family & deliver it to them.
I sooo believe in paying it forward, just like others had done for us so many times.
We had many Christmases that were plentiful with family & friends.
Times, when on Christmas Eve, we would ask Keri & her cousins to write letters to Santa & then after the kids were in bed, we’d cut potatoes in the shapes of 8 sets of hoof prints.
There we were, 4 adults, staying up till all hours writing a reply to the girls on long pieces of newsprint 2 feet wide. We explained that the replies back to them were from the Reindeer because Santa was busy with deliveries.
We had such a blast stamping them with a different hoof prints beside each reindeer’s name.
One Christmas Eve I asked Miss Molly, “What has been your favorite Christmas ever?”
I thought it would be one of the more recent ones, one of affluence with her cousins, & what she said brought me to tears - of joy.
“My favorite Christmas was the one when I found out for sure that Santa was real.”
I had no idea what she was talking about so I asked,
“Which Christmas was that?”
Her, “O, the Christmas when the man came to the door with lovely food like Christmas oranges & some chocolates & presents for me.
I knew it was Santa even though he was dressed in regular clothes.
He did that because it was too early to be in his sleigh
& he came to the door because he couldn’t get all that stuff down the chimney.”
When I read this story to Molly today, she told me, “I didn’t know why I never saw Santa when he came to the door after that, but I was pretty sure it was because I was sleeping when he came the other years.”
That is just sooo cool!!!
She also said that she never knew those toys were used.
That they were second-hand.
That still brings tears as I write this,
because I thought that being as we were so lacking, monetarily,
my girl may have wished for more.
Instead, for her, that one was the best.
The one when we were poorest.
Don’t misunderstand, on other fronts we were rich because we loved each other dearly.
We were there for each other.
We loved God.
And knew we were loved by Him.
So today, second to the REAL CHRISTMAS STORY
of Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Wise men & the angels –
the True Christmas story,
“Molly Believes in Santa” is still my big time favorite.
You know, so often at Christmas we think we should be buying lots of presents,
decorating more exquisitely
and entertaining in ways that rival Martha & Snoop Dog.
When actually, what our family & friends really need is
Even though the toys that year were ‘gently used’,
was never second-hand.
From our home to yours…May the Love of the Baby Jesus fill your hearts & homes with love, laughter, joy & peace.
Happy Christmas everyone!!
At this special time of year, too much time, beautiful energy & emotion is spent on finding the perfect gift.
In setting out, the most lavish spread & in decorating, that rivals an exquisite Hallmark movie.
Speaking of those fabulous Christmas movies…I just love them!
I do think, however, that Randy’s gag-reflex kicks in when he walks thru the door & sees my glistening eyes & ear-to-ear grin.
You know, if in looking at your ‘energy account’, your ‘emotion account’ & your bank account –
If all you can afford to give, this year, is love. Then give love!!
I tho’t I’d share some of my favorite Christmas memories & send you, a little love & joy!
Looking out the big bow window past my marshmallow pink Christmas tree,
I took a little walk thru some of my Christmases,
leaving short little footprints…
sprinkled with a few snow angels.
Here are some lovely things that I recalled as I tip-toed thru the soft glistening of Christmas Memories.
When Keri was a little girl, one of her favorite things to do was to sing Christmas Carols at the top of her lungs, anywhere & everywhere.
A couple of my personal favorites will always be:
When she sang Joy to The World - it was & heaven & purchasing instead of & heaven & nature sing.
& O Come All Ye Faithful – instead of ‘O come let us adore Him’, it was "Oh come let us enjoy Him." Sort of means the same thing…I think.
Incidentally, she still can’t get enuff of Christmas music, only now she knows the lyrics. Wink. Wink.
One year, she made a Christmas Quilt.
She worked on it for weeks.
When she’d hear me come in the door, she’d holler, “don’t come upstairs, I’m working on your present!”
When it was time for bed there was great hordes of scurrying to get it, all hidden safely away…
until the next day, when she’d come home from school & get at it.
O my!! I loved all her secretiveness & getting help from Auntie & Baba.
One year I was terribly sick with pneumonia she wanted to bake Christmas cookies.
So, I laid on the couch & she would come & ask me all the kitchen/baking questions that needed answering in between my napping.
When she wasn’t asking questions, she was joyously singing those Christmas carols.
As each batch was in the oven, she would sit on a chair that she had pulled up beside the couch & read to me.
O my!! What a Dolly!!
That still brings me to grateful & joy-filled tears.
One year, Miss Molly wanting to get things happening – like say, opening presents - on Christmas morning put her keyboard outside the bedroom door and played Christmas carols…
& played them progressively louder & louder.
I was enjoying her delightful concert so I pretended I wasn’t awake yet. Giggle. Giggle.
My sweet girl was never crazy about my ‘fancy’ trees.
She wanted a real (AKA green) tree with all the homemade decorations & special ones that she had gotten every year.
That was a tradition I started with her on her first Christmas.
Every year I would buy her a decoration so that one day when she moved away from home,
she would have enough decorations for her own tree.
Her Auntie did that for her too.
And now, she’s got an awesome looking tree! It’s filled with memories thru the years.
While I’m sooo not the most traditional babe ever, I did implement another tradition inspired by one that started with my Mom, her Baba.
Every year there would be one present under the tree on Christmas morning marked from ‘Santa’. Sooo exciting for my brothers & sister & I.
I started to have one present under the tree on Christmas Eve –
cause Santa got to us a bit early being as we live so far North. Wink. Wink.
That one was from Santa & it was always new pajamas.
Sort of served dual purpose in my world.
She got a present & was looking good the next morning for pictures taken while opening the other gifts.
Both of those traditions are still in operation today.
One of the best gifts I can remember was one I got from Molly when she was about 4 years old.
She bo’t me a toy ambulance set with little people in it.
I tho’t, ‘How sweet. She got me something she would love to get. That’s sooo lovely – to buy something that she would love herself. She tho’t I’d love it too.”
One year when we were talking about our Christmas memories, I mentioned how fabulous it was that she had gotten me this gift that she would have wanted & how cute that it was a toy…so special.
Then she clued me in, “No. Mom, that was only one of the reasons.
The real one was because when I was little & we talked you had said that you didn’t have very many toys when you were young.
You had only told me about your dolly.
So, I tho’t because you didn’t have many, I would buy you toys so you could have some.”
O MY!!! Now…that’s Christmas!!
Don’t be so busy…or so profound that you miss the lessons.
My reason for celebrating Christmas is because of God’s love.
He gave His most precious gift, His Son, Jesus.
The virgin Mary had this sweet boy. Joseph had married her.
(Can you say awkward?)
This gift wasn’t wrapped in silver with a delicious-pink-sparkly-curly-ribboned-bow.
Love was wrapped in swaddling clothes & lying in a manger.
There was an awesome star in the east.
Angels were singing.
Shepherds with their sheep.
If all you can afford to give, is love.
For Love’s sake – give love!!!
Cuz love is the best way to change people’s lives & to change your world.
A bit about…A Dish of Delish!
As if you need another cookbook!
You could simply google up a recipe without looking thru the 525 cookbooks you have crammed in your shelves.
Or you could text a friend for that one recipe & she will text you back.
I adore holding a book.
It feels like comfort – sort-of physical comfort.
I love the way it cradles in my hands.
I enjoy reading through cookbooks – no intense focus required.
I love the texture of the page & the smell of the ink.
O my! I can’t even tell you!
The pretty lines.
The ‘Oops’ mistakes!
The soft round shapes.
The gentle curves.
The colored ink.
The irregular font.
Yep! Here’s that book!
Not one thousand, four hundred & twenty-three ingredients that can only be located in NYC, Paris or Martha & Snoop Dog’s Pantry.
Just simple & easy.
And, O! sooo tasty!
Yummy, good home-cookin’ kinda food!
The following is an excerpt from “A Dish Of Delish! Love Served From Pink Mama’s Canadian Prairie Kitchen.”
As you will quickly see baking is not my first love.
I adore cooking
My Sister loved the baking
So…you’re in for super easy-peasy, quick ‘n tasty sweet treats.
Because all of these titles could have “easy”, “easy-peasy” or “super quick ‘n easy”-
I’ll refrain & pretend I’m a bit grown-up & avoid using them in said titles.
Wink. Wink. Giggle. Giggle.
I am anticipating some mocking for me actually calling these recipes.
They work for me & so far, no squawking from the tasters, even after 2nd helpings.
They’re so simple kids can build them.
When Keri, AKA Molly, was a little girl, she helped me make ‘Auntie Linda’s Fabulous Yogurt Spice Cake’ tons of times.
Once when she was 2ish I had her sitting on the kitchen counter. The ingredient’s bowl was in the sink & she was stirring.
She looked at me with total cuteness & said, “I wonder what it would feel like to stick my toes in the batter?”
Well, this little Mama was not about to let a memory slip thru her little girl’s toes.
So, yep! You’re right!
Those adorable little chubby toes popped right into the yogurt spice.
She tho’t it felt yukky, so I picked up each foot & licked it off, while she giggled.
Toes were washed.
Cake was baked.
Later, it was served to our friends & us.
After we had enjoyed, I told the toes story, cuz I tho’t it was lovely & hysterical.
My somewhat sort-of-perfect-kinda-friend was mortified.
She was yipping incessantly about dirty feet…blah, blah, blah. Germs…blah, blah, blah.
I just laughed & suggested she should lighten up. My sweet Molly’s toes were clean going in & even if there was a wayward germ, that little savage would have bit it with the heat of the oven. Sooo funny!!
Same adorable little girl.
After we had it mixed, I picked up the bowl. It slipped out of my hand & spilled in the sink.
The sink part was a bonus cuz our rented apartment had carpet in the kitchen.
I can’t even!
I so love it that My Molly shares her mama’s optimistic heart.
But! At that moment I wasn’t feeling optimistic.
I was actually thinking expletives that I wouldn’t say in front of her, so I just said, “O NO!!”
Molly’s quick reply was perfect!
“O well. We will just start again.”
Just gotta love a pure & cheerful heart!
Have fun in my Sweet Treat eats!
Just gotta say, the lessons here are to not sweat the small stuff…
Like tiny adorable toes in cake batter.
& to keep a pure & cheerful heart so that when tough things happen you can look at the completely down-the-drain-dumped cake batter, as the bowl half full.
It’s October! Wow!!! Can’t believe we’re there already!
I was gonna paint these pumpkins pink, but didn’t get it done.
So, I figured if I couldn’t have pink, at least I’d bring in some leopard print.
It’s another of my faves.
When I was little – no, I didn’t say when I was short.
Always will be.
In fact, they say we shrink as we get older.
Good Grief!! No!
You mean I could become an old pink-haired hobbit?
So far that hair that pops up at various spots on our aging bodies, hasn’t showed up on my cute manicured toes.
Anyway, way back when, even before 8-track players & VHS movies had been invented.
I know! What are those?
I used to wait for my birthday, or Easter vacation & Christmas & think when would they ever come?!
My mom would tell me, “wait until you’re older. Time goes much faster then.”
“Mom! That doesn’t even make sense. Time is always the same.”
She was right...again. (rolling eyes emoji).
About this, ‘time going faster thing’ – my apologies for this blog post not arriving sooner.
I’ve been wonderfully busy. (Happy face emoji).
But here am I,
in time to share a Thanksgiving post. Some things I’m grateful for today.
My Partial Gratitude List:
#1. My first book, The Princess of Quite-A-Bit - Little Bits of Inspiration, Joy & Laughter From A Can-Do Babe is out & selling. The reviews are great.
You can get one too!
Online by clicking “Buy Now” on the Books ‘N Stuff page & I’ll email you the details.
Or check out the places they’re available on my Books ‘N Stuff page.
#2. My 2nd book, “A Dish of Delish! Love Served from Pink Mama’s Canadian Prairie Kitchen” is now finished & the manuscript is being proofed. It’s coming soon!
#3. My voice had been silenced for 2 & ½ years.
I was sooo sad. Not any more…
I have been speaking on Personality Styles, Living Your Passion & Loving Your Life!
There’s more of that to come. O yay!!
I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am, that I’m able to share:
Thank you, God! So much -thank you!!
#5. Relationships are a passion! They make my world go ‘round.
At times, they leave me shredded & beyond sad.
But most days, they fill me up with love & bring me incredible joy
Last season & this one too, gathered around our table Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Spain & Canada, laughed & loved. Both this year & last, our table has extended to events & cafés. Every year some of our International kids return to visit their Canadian home & that fills this Pink Mama’s heart with joy.
My sweet girl Molly & my sister gave me an awesome girl’s weekend, with an old steam train ride to celebrate my 65th birthday. You did an amazing job of making this mama & sister feel sooo special. It was such a great time! I’m so thankful!
My Randy, my one true love holds my heart & my hand as I walk thru what comes into my life. I am so grateful for you Baby.
#6. And even though I don’t like them & don’t spend much time sharing them, I’m also thankful for the sad & hurting times. The bad & awful times. Without them I wouldn’t need to rely on my BFF, J.C.
#7. I’m sooo grateful for the dreams J.C. & His Dad have put in my heart, that are impossible for me to accomplish on my own.
Cuz, without them, no one would ever know, that this blessed, amazing, wild & lovely life is only because of my 3 AWESOME dudes; J.C. Mr. King & H.S.
You can read about them in ‘J.C & Pink Chenille’, in “The Princess of Quite-A-Bit”
& in “A Dish of Delish! Love Served from Pink Mama’s Canadian Prairie Kitchen”.
And about those relationships, the ones that rock my world - I have written my relationship rules.
I’m not big on rules so these are actually things I would encourage you to try, in your friendships as well as your relationship with your spouse.
Char’s Relationship/Friendship Rules:
• Value your differences. They are what drew you together.
• Celebrate your similarities. They will help face the world as a team.
• Be who you are. Never erase your face. People will tell you who or what to be. Be who you were created to be. Not a 2nd rate version of some one you know.
• Laugh! Loud! Long! & lots!!
• Be honest. But not brutally honest. Tell the truth with love. Never to wound. Only to build.
• When difficulties arise, ask yourself, “What do I know to be true about my partner’s or my friend’s intentions?” We speak in different languages based on our personalities but when we truly love each other, the intention is NEVER to wound.
• Don’t manipulate & play games. In your marriage NEVER use sex as a bargaining tool. NEVER use your friend’s confidential comments as a bargaining tool nor to belittle them.
• Remember, if you always have to win. You’ll lose. And, if you don’t always have to be right. You’ll win.
• In all of life’s ‘stuff’ remember to have fun! To be kind & grateful & to love!
The Relationship Rules are an excerpt from The Princess Of Quite-A-Bit.