Several of our International kids,
somehow found it necessary to share with me that they’ve been in their fields
or enjoying green grass & temperatures from +17 to + 19 for almost a month.
A few of them are in are in ‘the land down-under’ reveling in + 20 to +25 temps. Good Grief!!
The flowers are blooming. Blah! Blah! Blah!
Like I needed to know this while the snow outside was up to my waist & the temps were seriously frigid! LOL!!
News Flash!! Today we have hit +1!
Bikinis & sun hats are out of storage.
There are sun glasses aplenty & ski-bunny attire is being packed away.
Canadian summer has started.
Speaking of ski-bunny…
the only thing ski-ish about me is slipping into a stunning après-ski outfit in white or icy pink
& sipping a creamy hot peppermint cinnamon mochaccino in the ski lodge,
watching those other poor suckers fall on their bootie-licious bottoms.
There have been numerous stressful issues & situations in our world in this new year of 2019. So, I’ve been going to God to have Him order my life, emotions & days.
That reminds me of a little dude my Molly told me about who, when he heard his mother pray for God to order his grandma’s day, simply asked, “Mama. What website does God order days from?” Sooo cute! Wink! Wink!
With all the stress & pressure I’ve felt like my days were lacking order, joy & calm.
They were becoming knee-jerk reactions to events, rather than focusing on how God knew exactly what was going to come into each & every day.
Or focusing on the fact that He was going before us. That He was gonna get us to the other side.
I refuse to live in crisis mode all of the time so I began to ask ME some questions.
The first one was, “how do I want to start my days?”
I knew immediately it was with a prayer of gratitude.
A simple prayer.
The same one every morning.
“Thanx God, for giving me another beautiful day to love you!
Thanx so much for giving me another awesome day to be loved by you!”
Now, about these ‘beautiful & awesome’ days…
I need you to know that February was the longest YEAR we have had in years.
Actually, part way thru January it got cold. Like the highs were – 25 degrees cold, with wind chills making it feel like -34 to -48.
February gave us the longest cold spell since 1939.
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the last time we saw a stretch of similar February temperatures was in 1939. During that year, starting on the 6th of February, there were nine days in a row where daily highs did not make it into the minus teens.
This year we had 12 days of it, in a row & the rest of the month was not what one could call warm.
I have been praying this simple prayer every morning for weeks now.
And, every time I do, I put on a big smile when I pray it.
Some days I’m not really wanting to smile, but I do it anyway cuz it helps my brain think I’m happy.
(Check that out on Google. I’ve researched it but forgot where I put that research)
This one’s for real!
That prayer really helps me start my day in a positive frame of mind.
The very next thing I pray, while still in bed is another simple one…
“I’m looking forward to the Divine appointments You set up for me today.”
Truthfully though, some days I’m not really looking forward to speaking to:
The cruel & unkind.
The energy sucking whiners.
Nor, the bullies.
But I say I’m looking forward to it as an act of faith…
Somedays while hoping the phone nor the doorbell will ring.
Just being honest.
Yesterday I woke exhausted.
My sweet Honey Bear & I had been discussing then praying…
Discussing…then more praying till early morning.
I was close to tears as I prayed
“Thanx God, for giving me another beautiful day to love you!
Thanx so much for giving me another awesome day to be loved by you!
I’m looking forward to the Divine appointments You set up for me today.”
God has such a sense of humor.
He also says that if we are faithful in the little things we will be faithful in the large ones…Luke 16:10-12
I had only been up a few minutes & the phone rang. I wondered who could it be this early?
A fricken’ telemarketer blithering on about security issues on my computer.
I immediately said, “take me off your list!” He hung up.
Now, you gotta know I usually give a hysterically funny answer…or…
When they are standing on my last nerve, I sing…
getting louder & louder…
In a deep Contralto Operettic Voice,
“Take me off your list, take me off your list”
Over & over & over
ad nauseum for 2 minutes if they refuse to hang up.
Bad news on that is, then they call twice a day every day for a week.
They must just love the sound of my melodic voice. Not!
We had even considered getting one of those horrible loud siren horns to blast them,
But alas! We hadn’t found one yet.
So…after I got off that call, I remembered that God had suggested the last time I’d broken into my melodic interlude, that I could actually tell them that He loves them.
O boy! Oops!
Umm…er…that’d feel kinda weird…
But. Ok. I will next time.
10 minutes later the phone rings again.
Yet another telemarketer.
“Do you know God loves you? Jesus does too. If you ask Jesus in your heart, you will go to heaven.”
First time ever, complete silence on the phone when I started talking to a telemarketer. They are always talking over me.
Then this morning…
Same silence as I told her of God’s love & finished by thanking her for calling me & telling her to have a great day.
This time it only required one call to get it right…
The Divine appointment, I mean.
I gave it to God as an act of love & worship.
These are the only times, to date, that I have gotten early morning tele-marketing calls.
Guess God knew I needed His appointments to be closer to my prayer, so I’d be more likely to understand…
That even if He only gives me an audience of one…
My appointments every day are to in some way share His love.
To do all I do with love & kindness.
To laugh & love.
I’m gonna share more of my ‘Questions To Me’ in my April Blog Post.
Chatter with you then.
It’s the month of LOVE
The movie channels say it is.
There are hearts & arrows a-plenty.
Romance is in the air…&
On the air.
My Love Muffin’s gag-reflex has been on high alert since the beginning of November.
That’s when the Christmas Romance movies started,
As a count-down to Christmas.
Usually a single parent meets the new love of their lives format…
Carried on thru New Year’s Eve to celebrate the start of 2019.
He breathed a deep & heavy sigh.
Whew! Done until November.
January started with a rush of ‘Love in winter’ ski lodge type rom/coms.
& as January drew to a close
His gag-reflex once again subsiding –
Was hit with the count-down to Valentine’s Day
An unbridled rush of romance flooded the airwaves yet, another time.
Now it’s time for the mystery romance movies to start.
It would appear,
We all love, love.
Every kind of love.
An adorable-wiggly-puppy-licking your nose & toes sort of love.
A soft little kitten,
Snuggled up in your neck,
Purring in your ear,
Sweet kind of love.
Mushy – sweet – giggly – teary - wet kisses –
the love of a child
The love for a child.
Love thru the years of your Grandma & Grandpa
Or your Nana & Papa
Your Daddy & Mama
Or your Mami & Papi
Or mom & dad.
The, ‘I can hit my brother & call my sister names,
That will take you down in a loyal family minute
If you think you can do the same’…
Kind of love.
The Dear Jesus help me,
I’m sooo scared,
I am sooo blessed,
You’ve bro’t me joy,
I’m just so grateful,
I love you so, God
Kind of love.
The romantic twitter-pated
He’s so gorgeous
I can’t breathe
We’re sooo much alike –
Like - um, blue cheese is his favorite dressing.
He likes the History Channel.
So do I!
He drives a GM.
I do too!
One of his favorite meals is steak.
It’s one of my faves too!
He breathes…goes to the bathroom…smiles & laughs.
We’re just so much alike!
So much in-love, kinda love.
The I used to think it selfish to love myself.
I hated many parts of me…
But I have come to understand
That I am beautiful
I now know the kind of ‘I love myself’…
Loving ourselves is one of the loving things we are supposed to do.
Matthew 22:39b says “Love others as you love yourself.”
Years ago, because I didn’t love me –
I was very bad at doing nice things for me.
But now, after years of trial & error
& much practice,
I have achieved my Self-Care Boot-Camp Badge.
I can now relax in a candle lit bathroom,
Languishing in a profusion of bubbles,
Actually, I do nice things for myself every day for a minimum of an hour.
Everything from a slow sleepy wake up
to reading a good inspirational book,
or a happy ending fiction
or sweet romance novella,
Chattering with someone loved,
Giggling like crazy watching Family Feud,
to sipping a strong full bodied cupa decaf.
Here are some other ways I practice self-love & self-care.
I love kid’s movies!
There is not much that’s more fun than hanging out with a theater full of children laughing hysterically when Pooh Bear gets stuck trying to find some honey.
There’s nothing that comes close to the laughter of children!
Happy ending comedy romance movies bring me joy
& send sad and hopeless far away.
Going for walks clears my head of ‘have-tos’ or ‘should-ofs’…
& I am blessed to do my walks in the country.
Journaling is a big one on my list in lovin’ Char & taking care of me.
I journal sad,
all kinds of tho’ts.
I light some candles,
curl up in my pink camo blanket,
grab a cushion or a lap pillow &
start to write.
I still find the creativity of scrap-booking soothing to my soul.
It’s so lovely to be a sharer-of-memories
& a memory keeper.
A couple of years ago I started illustrated journaling.
It’s kind of like scrap-booking with words & coloring.
O my goodness!
I fell in love with it.
I have always loved underlining & making comments in the margins in my books
& even in my Bibles.
Now I do it with crayons, pretty ink pens & even stickers.
& my daily planners have become such pretty works of art.
For me it is soul refreshing!
Another one of the things I do to love me more is to express my emotions in a way that does not hurt someone else.
Laughter can relieve physical, mental & emotional tension.
I just love laughing & even more than that I love making others laugh.
I love to laugh at the ridiculous things I do.
They really make for excellent stories & illustrations,
as to the things one shouldn’t do.
Laughing at ourselves keeps us from dying of terminal seriousness.
And that’s a really good thing!
It also gets those great endorphins buzzing around.
Sometimes I express thru crying
which helps me to avert anxiety & panic attacks,
because it gets those feeling outside of me.
Dishing up sweet doses of self-love & doing what nurtures us brings good health.
It also makes us happier.
That in turn means we are better able to give love
& support to those we care about.
Which makes them happier & healthier too!
Along with incorporating the good stuff I’ve been sharing
Self-love & self-care involves ditching some bad stuff.
Bad stuff to lose…the stuff that shreds your soul:
Envy & Jealousy:
Comparing is a seriously self-destructive act.
There will always be those who are better off than you
or some who are doing much worse.
Stop wasting time on envy.
Be your best you
& leave the rest of it to God.
Jealousy & envy eat away at your soul,
& make you and everyone else miserable.
The blame game sucks the life out of you.
Everything that happens to us can either make us bitter or better
& the only difference is the letter ‘I’.
What am ‘I’ going to do with this?
Also, often in our pain we want someone else to be responsible –
When in actual fact it could be something,
we have done that’s gotten us into the mess.
Do some soul searching,
In EVERY situation & ask –
What part did I play in this?
It’s a dead-end road that leaves you aching.
Spite & the need for revenge:
You may think that if you could just tell ‘them’ this
or just do that to ‘them’
you’d feel on top of the world.
Doesn’t work that way!
When you do retaliate,
after the first rush,
you end up feeling hollow &
a little less like who you’d love to be.
Remember the saying “what goes around comes around?”
Or “You reap what you sow”?
You never have to get revenge.
God will always take care of it.
Unforgiveness & holding a grudge:
Forgiveness is something you do for you…not for them.
It is releasing someone from a debt they can never pay.
It does not imply trust.
I have forgiven people for personal woundings & betrayals,
but that does not mean I trust them implicitly.
Nor do I leave myself open to more pain.
Sometimes, after I’ve forgiven,
I must take myself into protective custody
& hang out with my BFF, J.C.
It’s the month of love…
I’d rather have a life of LOVE.
In all this,
What I’m really saying, is…
Love each other well.
In every situation, ask…
What would love do?
Some of this is an excerpt from The Princess of Quite-A-Bit.
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.