Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The month of December has whizzed past, and here it is, December 23rd. I'm embarrassed that I haven't blogged since October. I was quite sick for 3 weeks at the beginning of this month but I don't know why I didn't visit my blog in November. I can't even remember what I did during that month. (hence the reason for the name of this blog)

I love Christmas! We put up our artificial tree at the end of Nov. We have to have a fake one because of my hubby's allergies and asthma. Let me see if I can locate a picture of it:

This was taken in 2005, but it's the same. Exactly. We put on all blue mini lights, silver decorations, and white snowflakes, with silver tinsel. So far the tinsel has lasted since I was married in 1982. The tree just doesn't look the same without tinsel.

I've been visiting many blog land homes the past few days, and staring at their Christmas decorations. I've decided our tree is about the best. Ha...ha...You would have to see it lit up in all its blue splendour at night in order to agree with me. Many of the homes are beautiful, though. I can't get over how much energy some people possess. I don't have one quarter of it.

I put up a nativity scene on our mantel, and a miniature village on top of our entertainment unit. I'll add pictures here later. I also decorate the master bedroom with Christmas scenes involving my Chatty Cathy collection. This year it looks really cute.

The top photo on this post is my parent's nativity scene. Each Dec 6 we go out for St. Nicholas' Day Dinner, then to their house for tea and goodies. We've been doing this since 2001. It's a fun tradition.

Tomorrow evening is Christmas Eve. I've done a fair amount of baking, and the presents are just about all wrapped. I love to leave some things to the last minute. We open our gifts on Christmas Eve. It's a German tradition. We usually go to a church service, and have a carol sing-a-long here at home afterwards, with some of that baking to be sampled, and hot chocolate to drink.

This is one of my favourite times of the year. I believe in the Christmas story with all my heart, and know the tiny baby in the manger as my Saviour and Friend. I trust that you do too. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October days

Hmm...would you believe I nearly forgot about this blog? It's been 2 months since I last posted! And no one even cared or noticed. Obviously I'm doing something wrong.

It's hard to believe that October is over after tomorrow, and there are exactly 8 weeks until Christmas Day. When I was many years younger, time seemed to flow in slow motion, into the next day, then the next week. It used to be difficult for me to "see" to the end of one week and the beginning of another. A weekend seemed sooooo long and enjoyable, like a mini vacation.

The trouble with me in those younger days was that I enjoyed life so much and had not one worry or care, except the worries of homework and exams and what to wear. My parents took such good care of me! I now cast my eye back upon those days with a bit of longing and yearning. Lately I'm trying to put things into perspective, and relish each and every day, no matter what happens in the day.

Lately I've been experimenting with new recipes for dinner. I have stacks of cook books I've never used, so I've tried out quite a few new things in September and October, and they've been a success with my family. It makes my heart glow. Plus this is the time of year I love to putter in the kitchen. I think I putter too much, as I've gained 4 pounds since July. What a shame. It seems lately that if I even look at food I gain weight.

I'm back to my gym routine twice per week, so I'm sure it will begin to help me out soon. I sure hope so. I've been doing fall cleaning, and putting away the lawn furniture, etc. A few weeks ago, Matthew painted the bedroom balcony. The following week it rained like you wouldn't believe, and tonight it's so chilly it feels like it could possibly be snowing somewhere, but I'm sure that's my imagination.

Tomorrow night is Halloween. Here in Canada, we celebrate by having parties, decorating, eating scrumptious goodies, handing out candy at the door, and setting off fireworks and sparklers. I have no idea why we do the fireworks thing now, and not on July 1st. No idea at all, but I'll never ever forget the ones my Dad used to buy and set off for us, after he'd taken us trick or treating in the neighbourhood. I especially loved the Roman Candles and the "snakes" and the sparklers. I adored Halloween night, I think because of the excitement of dressing up, getting all that free candy, and wandering around the streets in the DARK of night.

I'm off now to dig out my Halloween decorations to put in my window tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years ago...9/11

On a bright and sunny Tuesday, Sept 11, 2001, I woke up to the phone ringing. My hubby answered it. I drowsily went downstairs, and the radio was on. The phone call had been from my Mom. It was 7:30 am PST and she had called to say that the Twin Towers had been bombed and the Pentagon had been attacked.

My heart nearly stopped beating. I wondered if it was the End of the world at last. Our puppy was very sick at the same time, and I was concerned for her, so between the news of the bombings (which turned out to be planes crashing deliberately into the Twin Towers, a fact I still can't accept) and the sick puppy, it was a truly wretched day.

It changed my perspective on the world and life in general. On Sept 23rd, my mother in law passed away, and I was nearly overcome with grief and death. I hated the thought of dying. I hated the thought that there are people in this world who love and enjoy killing. It took me a long time to recover and realize that I need to enjoy each day to the full, and be thankful to God for giving me this time to be alive.

It's been SIX YEARS since that awful day, and I can say I really did change. I still miss my mother in law so much. It does NOT get better with the passing of time. That is a lie. It doesn't hurt as deeply, but the hurt and the longing for her to still be here, so I can talk to her and see her, is just the same as the day I heard she was gone. She loved the Lord with all her heart, and was a Christian, so I know she is happy in Heaven with Him. But I still wish I could speak with her again. Those things never stop hurting, nor do they get better.

Here is a wonderful link to some words written by John Piper regarding this day:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Matthew's first day of college!

It's Matthew's first day of college. It's hard to believe. When people tell you to enjoy your youth, to savour each new day, to enjoy your children as much as possible while they are young, take heed! It was 13 years ago that Matthew began his first day of Kindergarten. I can remember it so clearly. We had enrolled him in a private Christian school, and his first day was right after Labour Day. Robert drove all of us to Vancouver Christian School, and we took a few photos. Matthew was sooooooo excited! His teacher was Miss Tiu, and he adored her from day one. I didn't cry when he was gone for 3 hours that first day. In fact, I never cried. I was so happy we had a chance to send him to a Christian school for 9 years.

Matthew never had a problem being away from me. He was always an independent boy. He enjoyed Kindergarten, and he always was exhausted and had a nap when he got home. He went on Tuesdays and Thursdays full days, and every other Friday. Oh the memories! In Grade 9 he switched to Windermere Secondary, the same public school I attended. He enjoyed his studies (mostly) and graduated with honours in June of this year. Now a new life is before him. I hope he enjoys college. I feel he is privileged to remain at home and go to a college nearby. We saved for his tuition since he was a young child. He has enough to get him through 2 years, then he's on his own. He's taking history, English, and classical studies. He loves writing, but is unsure of what to major in. I hope he finds his path in life, and enjoys each day to the full.

Monday, September 3, 2007

My parent's 52nd anniversary

I nearly forgot about my parent's anniversary today. Of course. You know what my mind is like! I had them over last Friday evening to see the rest of our trip photos, and I could have celebrated the event then, but absolutely forgot about it until Saturday morning. I had an idea for a gift but hadn't bought it yet. * sigh *

I was busy last week with fence painting. The weather was finally nice so I had to get it done. I finished it, and also painted the bench we have in our front garden, and re-painted the side gate too. A home takes a lot of maintenance but it's worth it.

My parents were married in a garden wedding in Amity, Oregon, 52 years ago today. I think they deserve a medal. How many people do you know that have been married over 50 years? Here's a photo from that day so long ago:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Lady Diana...a memory...

It was ten years ago today (August 31) that Lady Diana died in that tragic car accident. Some things I never forget. I was filled with such grief when I heard the news from Leona, my sister. I was in a state of shock for one week.

While thinking about that event today, I realized how much has changed in ten years. Each morning I would walk to the corner of the street nearby and buy a newspaper. Each day for one week the headlines would have another picture of Diana. They went overboard for one whole week, and I drank it in. I couldn't help it. I grieved along with the rest of the world. Today I would simply go to the Internet to get all the ghastly details, embellished with video clips. I would be overwhelmed and inundated with too much at once.

Why was Diana such an icon? Why did we love her so passionately? Why did we grieve so much when she died?

I don't know. I met her in person in 1986, when she visited Vancouver for Expo, our world's fair. She walked over to us, waiting in the lineup at the Pan Pacific Hotel, and she spoke to my sisters and took their bouquets of flowers they held out to her. She noticed Marie's "sheep jersey", and commented on it.

Personally, she was a breath of fresh air in our odd world. She was young, beautiful, vibrant, full of life, and we needed a princess. She fit the role so well. At least, we thought she did. We didn't know or realize what her personal life was really like.

Now she is just a memory, a memory of things that could have been, but weren't meant to be. That's real grief.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantastic Friday

On this fantastic Friday (aren't all Fridays fantastic?) I've been cleaning. My sieve like head forgets where important papers are filed, even though we have two metal filing cabinets in our home office. At one time when I used a type writer, I used to type labels for the files in the cabinets. I was my hubby's secretary when he had his own business once upon a time.

I have a dreadful habit of collecting the mail each day, putting it on the dining room table, eventually opening it, then placing it in a pile on the book case in the living room. From there it should go upstairs to the office and be methodically filed, but usually it sits a week, then when it finds its way upstairs, it goes into a pile to be filed.

The piles have taken over the office. I should have taken a before picture and put it in this post. I've had it, and am getting rid of the piles once more. This usually happens twice a year, spring and fall. It's not quite fall but it sure feels like it, so I'm cleaning in a frenzy.

We have a garbage strike going on, in its 5th week, so I have to figure out what to do with the paper. We set up a compost bin 5 weeks ago. We've been putting a lot of fruit scraps into it, and it needs more "brown" stuff, and I recently discovered that I can compost PAPER, so I'm planning to purchase a large shredder, and get rid of my paper that way. Isn't that COOL? I didn't know you could compost paper. After shredding, the paper has to be moistened. I might never have much garbage again!

Wouldn't it be neat if everyone had a composter? Now I'm off to finish those piles, before tackling the vacuum cleaning. My office is looking great!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's quite true.

I needed to have a new blog, as my travel blog is just about finished, and once started on blogging I can't stop now.

When thinking of a name for my new blog I kept thinking of my mind and how sievelike it's become. It never was very good at retaining things, as I suffer from migraine headaches and they seem to act a lot like strokes. No one knows what causes them, so I'm doomed. My dh noticed that after a migraine, whatever he's told me of importance the day before has been magically erased.

Therefore, I think this will be a great name for my new blog. My paternal Grandma, Alma May Williams, had a favourite saying. "I have a head like a sieve."

That's my blog's motto.