Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Grandson!

Meet my 1st grandson ...

Born December 23, 2013 at approx 9:10 am NL time -- 7 lb 14 oz.  Mama's doing fine. 

His name?  Dante Maximus.  Yep!  That quite a handle for a little guy.  But with a strong name like that, one can pray that he will fill the boots he's been placed in. I'm in love and I've only just seen him via FB photo.  

What a wonderful Christmas gift.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas

In honor of getting the tree up this weekend (which involved wine spritzers, popcorn shrimp and goat cheese & pepper jelly) AND in honor of the first snow day for the kids this season, I present to you:

The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Sealed" with a Kiss!

I think that most people who put up Christmas trees have certain ornaments that are extra special to them.  I've highlighted some of mine in past Xmas posts, so at the risk of being boring, I won't repeat myself.   (At least not today:  I make no promises for when we decorate the tree this weekend!)

Marie from Oak Cottage moved houses in the past year and is missing some beloved ornaments that are, as is usually the case, irreplaceable.  She hopes they aren't lost forever. This got me thinking about people who lose their houses to fire and how it's always the little things that they grieve the most.

I'm not financially able to take vacations to far away places any longer.  But I do try to go somewhere special every few years; and while I'm gone, I buy a Xmas ornament so every year I can relive the happy memories.  My tree also has some unique "ornaments" to commemorate my darling international children -- key chains, cardboard drawings, etc. 

I visited a friend in Cape Breton in the summer of 2012, and we had a wonderful 5 days of hiking and beach walks and relaxation.  During one of our beach visits after a huge storm had blown through a month earlier, we found the beach littered with seal carcases, poor dears!  Not the most picturesque setting, but they didn't smell and it certainly was memorable.  Towards the end of the trip, I found the perfect Xmas ornament -- a glass seal (much like the one here but in brown tones and covered with glitter).   I remember looking at it again when I unpacked ....... and that's the last I saw of it!  It was in a plain brown paper bag, so I'm assuming I inadvertently threw it out with the trash.  Boo hoo!  I've searched everywhere for another pretty seal, but I've had no luck to date.  

I bought a few ornaments during our travels in NL this past summer.  And I'm looking forward to those memories joining the many others that will hang on this year's tree.  But even though I hardly had him for longer than a week, that little seal ornament is still missed! 

I feel for you, Marie!  

What about you guys:  anyone else missing special ornaments?  Tell me about them so we can grieve together.

Monday, December 9, 2013

During this season of Peace, let it be on earth and in us as well.

My local radio station asked this morning for comments on what you love and hate about Christmas.

What I love about Christmas was easy:

I love the family being together.
I love the tree -- the size, the smell, the twinkling lights, the special ornaments with memories attached.

I love my faith, my church family and my relationship with God.  The "reason for the season" is very real for me.

And of course there's the wonderful food, the carols, the thoughtful gifts to as well as from others, the blessing of being able to take a week off work and relax.  I am extremely fortunate.

I can't think of anything that I hate about Christmas ..... unless I include that my daughter can't make it home or that I can't be with my parents and family in NL.  (Haven't figured out how to be 2 places at once yet.)  

Some people commented and said they hate the commercialism of Christmas.  That bothers me, but I don't allow it to directly affect me.  I shop early; and even when I have to go to the mall, I talk to myself before hand and say "Now you know there'll be traffic jams; and there'll be crowds of people; and it will take you ages to check out."  So, I psyche myself up and find ways to make it easier.  (Great time to catch up on Hollywoods gossip at the checkout line or begin eating the bag of chips in your cart!)  

People said they hated the "expectations" of Christmas. I learned years ago about the disappointment connected with expectations.  Now, I try to keep my expectation level at enjoying my children with the time they give me and/or the happiness they show at being with friends; enjoying what baking I've managed to do; enjoying being alive as opposed to having all my body parts function as they once did.  (And yes, even enjoying that glass or 2 of wine with the necessary Malox chaser!!!) 

If something begins to bother me, I try to find a way to "release it to the universe" and let it go.  That's one thing that aging teaches you is that you need to enjoy life while you have it in whatever capacity you can.  I soak up all the positive, laugh at myself, remember how wonderfully blessed I am and eat try to let the hustle and bustle pass me by.  

But I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am.  There are those who cringe when Christmas rolls around:  not the grinches who won't let themselves enjoy Christmas but those with legitimate reasons that rob their joy. 
People whose loved ones die unexpectedly as they're preparing for a Merry Christmas.
- People who have lost loved ones in previous years and relive the anniversary of that death year after year.  
- People who don't have loving families or a support system; who suffer from depression or mental illness; who live in terrible hardship and need and want.   
- People whose childhood memories of Christmas are so terrible  that it affects them for the rest of their lives. 

I ache for those people.  Because even if you strip away the tree and the gifts and the special food, this is still a season of joy with reason to  celebrate.  

The "Peace on Earth" that the stories and songs talk about should extend to the hearts and minds of all people. And I hate that it doesn't.

That's the only thing I don't like about Christmas.  

How about you?  Are there things you really hate about Christmas?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Put my "man" sweater on today ....

It's still green .... well okay, more brown ... outside.  Not a "blade" of snow, as they say in Newfoundland.  Certainly doesn't look like Christmas here in Nova Scotia.

I haven't a Christmas decoration up inside or outside other than the pine wreath I bought at last Saturday's craft market.  I've been so busy lately.

When I'm busy, I don't eat right. When I don't eat right, I don't sleep
well.  When I don't sleep well, my hands and wrists ache in the morning from arthritis and I shlump at work.  When I ache and shlump, I crave the wrong kind of food; and then my emergency supply of food at work (granola bars, chocolate covered almonds, peanuts, etc) gets depleted.  When I eat too much of that stuff, I bloat and feel fat.  As it's cold at work, I then resort to wearing my "man" sweater which is always hanging in the stock room.

Kinda looks like this one..... except with less shape and more nubbles!

It's not really attractive and doesn't go with my little black pencil skirts and kitten heels.  But when I wear it, I don't have to hold my stomach in ---- the stomach full of granola bars and microwave popcorn!

In honor of my faithful "man" sweater, and to give you a break from Christmas music, here's an oldie:

"The Sweater Song" by Meryn Cadell!  

Let's see if you can relate!


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