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Showing posts from October, 2013

Bright Moments on a Cold Day

I left the house early, coffee mug in hand, braving the driving rain on the way to my car and an appointment with Jamie, my lovely hairdresser.

The grayness of the day outside only made the cosy salon more welcoming when I arrived. "It's the perfect day to be at the hairdresser," I said to Ivo, the salon owner.

Jamie arrived just after me, and ushered me to her small room upstairs, where the walls, matched the greenish gray of Lake Simcoe across the road.

It was good to see my friend again and have the completely self indulgent experience of putting my hair in her hands while we catch up on the past couple of months in our lives.

As I settled into the chair, Jamie said, "I have a story for you," and then slid the decoratively frosted glass door to her room, closed for privacy.

"This is like a little doll's house, so many stories are shared here: heart-rending; silly--and mostly a whole lot of laughter," she said.

She began her story by telling me about…

Sweet Essentials

A deep slate gray cloud blanket rolled back from the north eastern sky to make room for a day whose chosen morning dress was peach and palest gold. And I was thinking, at the start of this day, of the sweet essentials that make such a difference!

While tidying up my email inbox before leaving work the evening before--I clicked on an email that I almost filed to read later. It was entitled, "Accessibility Report."

It was late, and at that time of the day it didn't seem an urgent thing to read, but I opened it, and was so glad that I had! There on the front cover was a photo of someone we support at our fall family barbecue; somebody I have known for 37 years.

Immediately my day was transformed! From being focused only on emptying an inbox so that I could go home knowing I'd have a fresh start in the morning; to a reminder of what it is that drives that work and all those emails and paperwork!

In no time I was making copies of the report, which was written in plain langu…

Inspiration of One Sort and Another

I glanced to my left as I followed the grey road north this morning and was lost in awe. Yet again. 

It is a wonder to me that I arrive anywhere, when everything in me wants to pull to the side of the road and be amazed. 

I settled instead for being amazed and keeping going. I am a constant captive of the beauty of creation, and this morning it was a far off row of trees, a mixture of deciduous and coniferous; ochre leafy trees and army green soldier trees that stood as though at attention in the line of forest across the misty fields.

I continued to think about my weekend decision to choose a different mind set; acceptance of what is; pondering the fine line between acceptance and changing what I can.

I did reach my destination and when my meeting was over  my work colleague asked me, "And you? How are you doing?"

I told her of my weekend decision to be done with complaining; to be grateful; to change what I can (starting with my mind set) and to give my whole heart to whatever …

Let Gratitude Glow



Each night I point my car west to go home from work, and on Friday evening the sun was a giant, vivid red globe, slowly being put to bed beneath the covers of approaching night. It was a ravishingly beautiful beginning to the weekend. Today, Saturday, has been gray and drizzly, but on the hills that surround our house, the red, yellow and orange of autumn glowed through the gray like bright embers amongst the ashes in a grate; unquenchable glory! I had time in the day to reflect a little on life in my corner of the world, and made a decision. I decided to accept things as they are in a couple of areas. It is less important what the acceptance is about than the fact that it helped to change perspective. Changing how you think about something is almost as powerful, if not more so, than actually changing the circumstance. The decision moved me from discontent to gratitude and I would rather experience my life with gratitude. Let gratitude glow through a driving drizzle like those leafy embe…

Lessons Learned and Lost

If our grandson William could live on only two foods, they'd be Yorkshire puddings and the little meringue "nests" that come in boxes. 

Because it was Thanksgiving dinner we were eating, we didn't have Yorkshire puddings (although I actually considered making them!) but I made sure that I had a good supply of meringues.

Pete was governing his son's meringue intake, which was a good idea, for no one has ever seen him stop eating them of his own accord. I laughed, watching William draw on his considerable negotiating skills and at one point I said, "I think you may have just found a loophole!"

For the second time in as many days, he asked, "What's a loophole?" and Pete and I knew that whatever profound lesson we had hoped to convey the day before, it had been lost on William. 

"Well, at least it was fun to write about;" I thought to myself,  "Humility is a good quality to develop."

It was later in the day when granddaughter To…

The Observer

They bring me joy, these boys of mine: my son, Pete, and his two sons. A extra few hours of vacation tagged on to the Thanksgiving weekend, gave me time to surprise them at the hockey arena and hang out for both boys' hockey games, with brunch at the Golden Griddle in between.





A friendly woman in a Robin's egg blue hijab, greeted us and showed us to our table, explaining our menu options and the cost for children and adults at the buffet. We settled in to enjoy our meal.

William, the youngest boy was born curious; a scientific observer and thinker. Nothing escapes his attention.

Over lunch, his dad and I were talking and one of us used the word "loophole." William looked up from the place mat he was colouring. 

"What's a 'loophole?'" he wanted to know.

I laughed at the challenge presented by the question and deferred to Pete's younger and more agile brain. He explained that a loophole is when rules are in place for a specific purpose, but someon…

The Gift Strewn Day

I drove my car towards the on-ramp to Highway 400 and noticed the mist hanging close to the ground, although high in the sky the morning sun was up and shining brightly.  

As my car merged with the morning traffic headed for the city of Toronto, to my left stood trees, like layers of delicate silvery lace, backed by ghostly hills; while on my right, through the blanket of swirling fog covering the fields of the Holland Marsh, rose the rooftops of farmhouses, storage sheds and barns. 

Slowly, the lanes of traffic oozed towards the city and tall buildings rose from the mist now tinged with the faint orange hue of smog. I was in awe of the beauty all the same.

That evening, on my way home, I stopped at the Sobey's grocery store in Bradford to pick up a few things. As I loaded the bags into my car trunk, the sky to the west, was deep salmon red on the horizon, fading into the indigo blue of approaching night.

Night was falling fast as I continued home, and by the time I was on the outsk…

Love Story

Like so many dogs, my brother Rob's Staffordshire bull terrier seems to have been "sent on assignment." So far, I'd have to say he is accomplishing his mission because for a small dog, he takes up a big amount of heart space.

Bruce had some big paw prints to fill when he came into Rob's life. Thirty years ago Rob had another Staffordshire bull terrier, the aptly named, Boss.

The first time Rob took Boss out as a puppy, he let him loose on a country path surrounded by fields, thinking that it would be safe. Boss took off like a shot, his little legs running at top speed down the path towards the road. He wouldn't turn back no matter how loudly Rob called, and the only way he could stop him was by overtaking him. 

By the time he was two years old, Boss still wasn't coming when called, and Rob began to wonder what he was doing wrong.  But finally he learned Boss's one weakness; he couldn't bear to be rejected. Rob discovered this when he became so frust…

Life's Small Vanities!

Little vanities? I have them! Not too many. And mine do double duty, being a source of innocent pleasure and laughter at the same time.

Visitors to our house often pause at a photograph of Paul and I on our wedding day.

Inevitably someone will look hard and say, "Has anyone told you, you look like Gwyneth Paltrow?"And I laugh and say modestly, "A few."

My friends have to forgive me taking my small pleasures where I find them. :) One of my few claims to fame is looking like Gwyneth, 44 years ago!

On Friday last week, after a morning meeting, some of our work team went out for lunch together to celebrate the fact that it was almost the end of a week worked hard. It felt good to be almost at the weekend.

Our server was lovely, attentive and pleasant. Someone commented that she was one of those people you just like, with an extra pleasant, friendly personality. As she took my order, she commented on the beauty of the day and her love of the fall.

I love listening when peopl…