Friday, December 31, 2010

Good bye 2010 you were Fabulous!


 I enjoy reviewing my blog and remembering all the magnificent things that make up my life as the year draws to an end. Truly, this is the main reason I maintain a blog.  It is a perfect tool, which allows me to go back at any point and glimpse the souvenirs of my life. When my son was younger he would often say, “I am going to remember this forever” of course he didn’t always. The best way to ensure that you do remember the special events in your life is to record it.

January, I made one resolution and almost immediately broke it. But some remnants remain throughout the year. Like, whenever I go to Starbucks I calculate in my head how much I’ve spent in a given week.  Not that this stops me from getting my fix of my daily latté.  Oh no, I need my treat. And about that the clutter on my counter, well it must leave seeds that germinate because each time I’ve removed the stacks of paper, it reappears.

February, our good friend and neighbor died. Another friend is renting his house, but we still refer to it as Frank’s house. Frank continues to be missed, especially, on Sundays.

April, I read my first horror book in a long time. I could not sleep for weeks after reading Joe Hill’s Horns. Highly recommend this book, it is a wonderfully written, if not a scary read. We took our first trip to NYC!  It was our son's idea and we had an amazing time. The entire time was spent doing as much tourist stuff imaginable in four days.  I'm wondering if we should make it a tradition, Spring in NYC.

Also in April the best possible discovery was green smoothies, it rocked my world. I recommend to almost everyone I meet to try it at least once.  A good way to consume green leafy vegetables.

June, we had an earthquake that truly rocked my world for the longest 25 seconds of my life.

July was one of the hottest ever. Easy to enjoy when you have air-conditioning! Alas, again this year we had no swimming pool. Maybe next summer we will be able to splash around again.

August, Hawaii, I will never forget you. We had three glorious weeks in paradise. Even now I can feel the glow of Hawaii. As I sit and look out at the frozen river I can imagine the Hawaiian sun on me. We enjoyed fun on the beach, in the sea, and discovered shaved ice a Hawaiian treat. I will be back there, again, and again. Absolutely. BTW I was there on business but all I remember was the pleasure part of being in Hawaii.

The fall was beautiful. My little garden was harvested and put to rest, went to farmer’s markets, and hubby bought himself a nice hot red sports car. We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.

December was filled with celebration, party, laughter, and visiting friends and family out west.

No resolutions this time.  Instead, I've given myself a 365 day Challenge.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas is a Feeling



  Whew, it is Christmas Eve and I survived the month of December intact.

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I traveled to Edmonton on business and then went to Fort McMurray for the pleasure of visiting family in what seems like ages ago but in reality was only a week since.  Every moment was spoken for by someone or by an event or two. 


I took Andrew out of school a couple of days early so he could accompany me to visit family.It is important to me that he sees my elderly mom at least a couple of times a year as she is advancing in age.  Not to mention how much she enjoys seeing him grow.  I spent the whole afternoon visiting my mom and brothers and that made me so very happy.
mama
  
I had an interesting experience while in Edmonton for a Board meeting.  Our chairman, Wilfred, celebrated his 80th birthday a few days prior, knowing this I requested the assistant buy a birthday cake for him.  When the meeting concluded we presented him with a cake, candles a blazing that read, “ Happy 80th Birthday Wilfred” and we all broke out in song. (Well most of us sang, I can’t follow a tune but I mouthed it.)  Wilfred blew out the candles and then sat quietly as we watched.  Then he said that this was his first birthday cake ever!  Andrew asked why, and he responded, because they were poor and he never celebrated his birthday.  No one in his family did.  And throughout his life he never acknowledged his birthday choosing to spend that day as if it were just another ordinary day.  Can you image that? I am a big birthday freak.  It holds so much importance to me because without that special day we would not exist.  The miracle of birth should always be celebrated or at least acknowledged.


And of course, a  visit to my niece and her family for a few hours is a must.  I love visiting her, and I always feel so intensely connected to family when all you have are a few stolen moments far to infrequently. Truly my niece is wonder-woman, really.   What stuck me is how beautifully decorated the house was with all the Christmas trimmings. Being in her home filled me with so much Christmas Spirit I could have curled up by the fireplace and waited for Santa.  No doubt her home will be the first house he pops into on Christmas Eve.


I also had a wonderful bunch at my hotel with my girlfriend and her four beautiful children.  She later wrote, “ I hope it was not too overwhelming” meaning her four children.  But because I come from a large family of 16 the more the merrier, I say. 




 In Fort McMurray we did more visiting.  Really there was not enough time to see everyone.  However, I was fortunate to be there for my sister’s annual sisters Christmas dinner.  This provided me the opportunity to visit with my aunt, cousins, sisters and lady friends all in one sitting.  
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This was too beautiful!
My cousin, Judy, baked me a yummy birthday cake.      

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An amazing party! Thank you Mary, you know how to throw a party.  BTW the mashed potatoes were the best!


For me Christmas is a feeling.  It’s about the feeling we get by spending time with family and friends.  The feeling we get by thinking of others and wanting to make them happy. The lasting feeling when renewing family relationships, old acquaintances, and way too much eating, laughing and merriment.   

Merry Christmas! 


   

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Let the Stealing Begin

It is December 4th.  I have not bought one Christmas gift yet.  Scratch that, I bought two gifts for our staff dinner party, one for hubby and one for myself for our gift exchange.  However, hubby surprised me because he actually bought his own gift so I am ahead of the game with an extra gift already wrapped and it is perfect for someone I have in mind.

This time of the year is the only time I enjoy shopping.  I love buying for friends, and I especially enjoy buying for our staff gift exchange because there is a limit on the price of the gift (ours is $30).  This makes buying somewhat more challenging and you’ve got to be creative which for me is fun. I looked for a non-gender gift but was not too successful.    

We play a Chinese gift exchange game (has nothing to do with Chinese).  If you want to know the rules go here.  Essentially, everyone brings a wrapped gift and place it in the centre of the table.  We begin with picking a number to see who will pick the first gift.  Hopefully people will steal one another’s gift this year, last year everyone was satisfied with their gift and kept it.   Or rather, no one wanted to steal someone’s gift for fear that a fight would break out.  But this year, I’m going to steal to get everyone in the right mood.  So, if it looks like they really like the gift they've chosen no matter what it is...i'm stealing it!

P.S.  We really had an enjoyable time with everyone stealing and ending up with a gift they wanted.  Except for the person who was leading the game, she ended up with a beautiful basket of chocolates.  I knew she didn't really fancy them, and lucky for her I brought an extra gift for this exact reason.   She decided to let the chocolates go and take the extra gift I bought, which she loved!

 I know so out of character for me to be stealing, but I had to steal this mug! 

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