Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It Went like This...

The eve of 2009 gives me pause to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments and look forward to the possibilities coming up. I see this time of the year as a magical period where anything is possible as I renew and create new intentions.

I reviewed my blog and was able to recreate some memorable moments of the past year.

The only New Year’s resolution I made in 2009 was to take Fridays off work, and I was more or less was able to do that, making this year the best year for reading books.

I read tons of great books this year, but I really, really, really, enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. As luck would have it, I received from my hubby the last book of the trilogy for my birthday in December. Because it is not yet released in Canada he had to order it from Amazon UK and I am so glad he did. Yay!!! I am therefore blissfully ending the year reading “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest”. I highly recommend you read all three books because in my humble opinion they are the BEST books ever.

The concert highlight of the year was seeing Leonard Cohen in concert at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Wow!!! Double wow!!!

In 2009 I had my first vegetable garden! It was not very big but I harvested green onions, carrots, zucchini, two types of lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and various herbs. In 2010 I am going to be adding even more vegetables. But will have less lettuce because I had too many lettuce plants last season. I didn’t realize that with lettuce one could just trim the tops of the plant and it would keep growing all summer. My whole family loved the garden and helped with the harvesting. Absolutely nothing compares to vegetables fresh from the garden.

I blogged a lot about tea, here, here, and here. I must enjoy it immensely!

Sadly, the 2009 summer was a dry one. In that we didn’t have use of our swimming pool because when the old liner was removed we noticed some serious damage to the concrete putting into question the integrity of the pool. Since we plan to rebuild our house we thought it best to not invest into the pool until we have a design of the new layout.

On the bright side, a new experience for me was staying at a B&B not too far from Ottawa, which opened my mind to the possibility of staying at B&Bs in our plan trip to Scotland in 2010. Staying at this B&B coincided with another new experience, sending our son off with his schoolmates for nine days of camping in Quebec. It was the longest we have been apart!!! Fortunately, I was being pampered at Hummingbird Hill B&B Spa, creating a wonderful distraction while hubby went to meetings during the day.

I was lucky to have been able to visit briefly with my mom, some family and friends while on business trips out west. In the fall, I had a surprise visit when my cousin from Fort Chipewyan showed up in Ottawa. I had not seen him in about 20 years, and what’s up with the fact that he didn’t gain an ounce? He and his girlfriend joined me for a lovely lunch at Sweetgrass Bistro in the Market. Later, they sent me a surprise package with homemade jams and dried fish. I’m never losing contact with them again.

What do you do when there are no cookies in the house... my son baked his first batch of cookies all my himself, skyped me at work and showed me.

On the whole, I experienced a magnificent 2009 where I renewed contact with old friends and family, made new friends, wrote more, and laughed more. My very favorite pastime is spent at home, drinking tea, and enjoying the company of my family,dog, and fish.

A 2010 intention:
Inspired by the foodie blogs I read (check the blogs to the right)…to cook more healthy and creative meals! Now all I need is a sharp knife and willing taste testers. Awww, where are my hubby and son? Ok, I’ll bake some sweets too, guys, come back!

Cheers! Wishing 2010 brings you health, happiness, and peace!!!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009 What?

A neatly decorated Christmas cake.Image via Wikipedia

I guess, I wasn't as over it as I thought I was. Before the holidays I checked a name on facebook and noticed that a former friend had a facebook profile. I debated with myself before sending her a Christmas message. I never expected her to respond, but she did, and with an equally nice seasons greetings.

I admit, based on our history I was surprised she responded at all. Although, I am very pleased she did, it was as if the universe sent me a special gift. But does this change anything, after all, she didn't add me as a friend or anything. I hope we will be able to pick up where we left off before it all fell apart.

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend" William Blake

P.S. Just got a friend invite : )

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's the Season to be Stressed...

The stress can begin with the first real appearance of winter. And so it begins; it has been snowing off and on for the last several days. For the most part, I enjoy the snow. What I mean is the new white fluffy powder that is easy to shovel, ski and walk on. However, it invariably turns heavy and dense, not to mention into slippery stuff thus less likable. It is officially a winter wonderland in Ontario, beautiful, but you have to either love it or be miserable for the next five months. I choose to love it. Okay, I don’t always love it, but do you blame me, after all winter is months too darn long?

However, it not just the snow and inclement weather that creates the stress this time of the year. This, coupled with the holiday season can create undesirable pressures for even the most level headed person. Both winter and the holidays provide us with a good opportunity to take it down a pace or two. There are holiday crowds everywhere, in traffic and in the malls forces us to slow down even if we don't want to. Oh, and the shopping, or in my case, thinking of shopping. I do all my shopping in my head first, and at the very last moment I will brave the shopping malls.

A method that helps me in maintaining a happy mood while shopping in the mayhem is to listen to my ipod. I set my playlist full of cheerful Christmas music with a nice beat. A sampling would be, Brian Wilson’s First Noel, Leon Redbone’s I’ll be home for Christmas, Kate & Anna McGarrigle’s Rebel Jesus, Colin James & The little Big Band, Baby it’s Cold Outside, and my all time favorite is Tom Jackson’s The Huron Carole.

I love this!!!

Another thing I like to do is to schedule a massage at the end of the week. Looking forward to a massage never fails puts me into a fantastic mood regardless of the situation I encounter while braving the hordes of shoppers. What are your rituals to enjoy the winter, and specifically what keeps you in that festive spirit while holiday shopping?

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Are having a bad day, and need inspiration?

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's my Birthday!

Novelty candles may be used.Image via Wikipedia

I awoke to a dusting of virgin snow blanketing the cars, ground and trees. The river was as clear as glass, and the sky a spectacular color of pink, blue and purple hues. And would you believe, a flock of migratory geese placidly swimming without a care in the world (they must have missed the memo telling them that winter was immediate). I could tell it was cold, but from the warmth of my house it was picturesque. Last year on my birthday I was in Melbourne, Australia and it was hot without a speck of snow in sight. What a difference a year makes.

I love December 7th!

I like to phone my mom before she calls and wish her a happy “birth” day. It is a day to celebrate the life she gave me. I don’t understand people who want their birthdays to go by without acknowledgment. Without a birthday you would be dead, and who wants to be dead anyways. Embrace your birthdays, after all you only get one a year!
I don’t have much planned for the day other than taking the day off work, and relaxing. Yesterday, my husband took me for a lovely brunch and he and our son presented me with gifts.

Some of the things I enjoy doing on my birthday are meditating on my birth, reading by a roaring fire, drinking tea, soaking in a nice hot bath whilst listing to music…but most of all I treasure the company of family and friends. In fact, last week a friend treated me to a wonderful lunch and we decided to make it a ritual. And thus we scheduled a monthly lunch together. Based on experience, with our busy schedules, if we don’t make an effort to schedule these dates, months would pass before we met again for lunch. I was thinking, I might just have an open invitation for others to join us, making it a huge lunch party each month.

What I don’t like on my birthday are people singing Happy Birthday to me in a restaurant, I’d rather crawl under the table and die. Hey, I’m allowed to be dramatic, it’s my birthday!

My hubby decided to work from home today, and made me a cup of hot chocolate! The direction on the can of coco said " Curl up on the couch with your steaming mug and savour. Repeat." I'm going to do just that.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Don't you just hate it when...

- a new month begins and you're still are not done with the old one
-a friend you have not seen in a few months contacts you and says she is expecting a Two WEEKS!
-People contact you on facebook and write "Remember me?" and you don't have a clue who they are
-you meet someone you have not seen in years and they have not gained an ounce.
-you reserve a rental car, but have to wait an hour because they don't have any cars available
-your engine light comes on and the service center manager says "don't worry about it"
-you go shopping at Costco for a couple of items and leave with a cart full
-everyone is using acronyms and they expect you to know what they are talking about, WTH!
-it is Wednesday and you feel like it should be Friday!

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