2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Fa La La La La, la la la la

December 20, 2011

The title is not very melodious, unless you can sing it.

It was one of the first Christmas songs I learned in Grade one. I couldn’t read yet, so I stood in the choir with a song book, and sang Fa la la la la la la la la with much gusto! I remember it clearly.

Like most experiences in our early life, we can be marked positively or negatively.

I always loved Christmas. My Mom & Dad must have been challenged to provide in those days, but we never knew it. Imagine yourself, making something out of Christmas with no credit cards! Well, I had Credit cards and over did it all every single year. I may have had regrets about some of my decisions through the year, but overspending Christmas was not one of them!

I’ve become slightly (only slightly) more practical these days, but I can see that I’ve passed that shopping germ on to my daughter and she goes to extremes too, but she doesn’t blow the budget for the year. I guess that I imparted other skills to her as we went along.

So here we are. Another Christmas. My 68th.

I hear all the contraversy about being politically correct and wonder “who has time for that”?

Another wonderful Christmas season, when we can thank God, thank our friends, and thank our families for the richness of our lives.



Facebook fenomena

June 9, 2011

i hav sertin reservashins about the facebook fenomena.

Maybe (probably) it’s me…I like the concept, but I can’t imagine the need to keep everyone up to date on my daily comings and goings. I can’t imagine having 250+ “friends” and I can’t imagine 250+ people being interested in what I am doing in my life.   I can’t name 50 friends… Friends are people we know and like, people who we have something in common with and trust to be loyal and generous. Maybe the word “friends” should be re-tooled, it’s too warm and fuzzy. We could call each other “watchers” or “features” or “likens”. Take your pick.

I am very curious to see where the “fenomena” will take us as a society. I suspect that we will reach a saturation point, and with that, a care-less point, which may spill over to the actual “friends” we have.

I like communication. The more the better, between people. I like MY facebook friends who post photos, and notes.  I like it when I hear that kids talk to their parents,  partners talk to each other and friends tell each other how wonderful it is to have them in their lives.

So, to all my FRIENDS and you know who you are. I appreciate your friendship.

Hail Mary, full of grace

May 26, 2011

For Mother’s Day 2014- Thinking of my mom:

In the past few days, I found myself thinking of my mother more than usual.  Her name was Mary and I think that she was a Saint by any standard. She loved me throughout my life, and I can recall her clearly, shaking her head, at a complete loss for words more than once. That’s one of the things that I admire most on reflection- she didn’t comment. When I came home at age 14 with Champagne Blonde hair…no comment.  When I was drawing in my eyebrows with too-dark pencil…no comment. When I hemmed my basketball tunic to dangerous heights…no comment. When I danced for 52 hours in a competition… No comment. When I decided to get married, open a Boutique…no comment.

Now how did I get this ramble on?  OH! It must have started with the eyebrows…I’ve been retired for six years and have noticed recently that I can go through the day with no eyebrow pencil or mascara on. That was a no-no in my entire adult life. Seven days a week, (unless I was deathly ill), I always put on some war paint.  Today, I was thinking how relieved I am, that I can let go “all my childish things”. Now, everything in my life is optional. What a relief! I don’t think about competing or performing.  I don’t think about clothes, shoes, or money.  I have enough of everything. Those hectic days are racing into the past and even though time is flying by, it contains so few components.  We eat whatever  and when we want,  some days we work a bit and some days we don’t.  Everything : optional!  We walked around our beautiful back yard tonight, and admired the lush mini forest that we planted tree by tree on the 1 acre hay-field we moved to 40 years ago. Just like the trees, we grew up together, grew stronger, flourished and reached for the sky. (And we produced a couple of cute little seedlings.)

Now, back to my thoughts of Mary. She was a “worry wort”. At least she claimed to be. I always thought that worrying was paralyzing, but she showed no signs of that. On several occasions, she saw my father, Elmer leave for a new mine site, while she stayed behind with three little kids and packed up the household,  organized the move and then took the train and bus half way across the country to join the family together. Elmer always had a house ready and the beds set up when we arrived, and it was exciting to get settled again and start  school and make new friends.

I knew early on that Mary was a strong woman, all 5 ft 2″, 98 pounds of her!

Mary 1936

Mary 1936



Doomsday Scenario

May 21, 2011

I woke up this morning to hear that the world MAY be ending today. I’ve had a few thoughts on the subject…it is certainly the truth for some people. Their world will end, some tragically, some naturally and some figuratively.

I don’t expect to be among the “chosen few” as described, but I will get a court of 2nd opinion once I meet my Maker. He has a great sense of humour (just look at us!) and I think that he’ll find room in his Kingdom for me. After all, how dull would it be? Have you seen the various “types” who have been proclaiming Doomsday?

If you don’t hear from me for the next few days, don’t worry. I am just very busy, and hoping that one of the doomsday-ers will call and leave me their bank account, car, vacation property and/or diamonds (I love the yellow ones).

Yes, I admit. I am an opportunist, but more of an optimist.

(Just in case)- I love you all!

HAPPY EASTER. God is “in the house”.

April 23, 2011

I was just thinking of  the variety of places I lived at Easter.

I remember Easter in Snow Lake, Manitoba, because I had my First Communion and had a small bunch of tulips, which must have been quite an acquisition for my parents to make in that Northern town.  I really couldn’t think of any sins to confess, and was embarrased by that. I guess I was 7!

At age 10, we were living in Magog, Quebec. I had new shoes and a new hat and gloves, and walked down the street to the huge church, where the Mass was in Latin and the Priest preached a message in French, but I liked the incense.  Coming home was somewhat more memorable because I had blisters from the new shoes.

At age 14, I went to confession at the church in Waterloo, Quebec. The priest was quite inappropriate, (I thought) questioning me, and it left me wondering what he said when he went to confession, but our parents had ingrained in us that we should go to confession at Christmas followed by midnight Mass, and confession on Good Friday followed by a high mass on Easter Sunday.

My final Easter in the Catholic church would have been in Chibougamau. I was married there and denounced my religion, when the church and I just couldn’t agree on certain principles like birth control and hell. Having said that, the power of our upbringing is ever-present and I had both of my babies baptized in the Catholic Church!

I always believed in God in my life and returned to church off and on over the years. Early on, it was just to teach my children the value of a religious upbringing. During the 60’s & 70’s it was popular for parents to say “when they grow up, they can choose for themselves”. I thought that was an odd approach, since, what would they choose from?

Finally, it was time to join a church when my 3-year-old Grand daughter looked up at me one Sunday and asked “How come you don’t have a church, Nanny?” I have found a church I love. It’s the little Nazarene Church in Franklin Centre.  It’s an outreach church, that makes teaching & youth services,  helping less fortunate people around the world & in our community, on the streets, their mission.  It’s what I always thought God would want us to do.

Happy Easter. Yes! God is “in the house”.

Love to all, Pat

Inner child, Inner talent, Inner asylum

March 28, 2011

I confess, in my 60’s, I’ve unleashed them all.

My inner child is littlepatti, who I re-discovered and wrote about on my blog starting in 2007.

I stumble across my inner talent every so often, at the unlikeliest times and it even surprises me. It causes me to wonder if I should have pursued a different avenue  in my life.

My inner asylum lurks in the background of my world always threatening to charge the gates of conformity.

I don’t intend to poke fun at any of them. Well, yes I do. But no offense intended for those of you who are making clay pots at the asylum and playing Tiddly- Winks and Fish.

There but by the grace of God go I, there but by the grace of God, go I.

This all occurred to me because we are renovating our bathroom. It’s been a fun process choosing all the new fixtures, cabinets and colours. It was even fun knocking down walls and tearing out old wood, but somehow, today as I stood there, paint roller in hand, and a step-ladder to go up and down 25 times, I thought “am I crazy?” “I’m sixty-eight years old”! I don’t know how to paint!

That goes back to my “inner child”. littlepatti thought that she could do anything. No instructions necessary. Just watch and learn. Swim, dive, bicycle, drive, (that rhymes, so I’ll stop right there, but you get the point.)

My friends are taking painting classes and doing lovely work in varying degrees of loveliness, so I thought I can paint too, albeit of a different variety.  So much for talent.

We’re at least two weeks away from completion, we plan to lay the Clic flooring and put an IKEA cabinet together.

Please send a paddy wagon.


PS: Word to the wise and note to self: If you haven’t tackled your own renovations since 1979, hire someone. You are too old!

Love Canada. Hate winter.

March 5, 2011

I never liked winter. I could never get with the program. Nothing has changed except I wear long johns when the temp drops now. I can’t think of one good thing to say about winter. I don’t like mitts and boots, hats or any winter sports. I TRIED! God knows I tried!

Most of the mining towns I lived in were up north (I mean up north, not the Laurentians),  Snow Lake, Chibougamau. I don’t remember freezing all the time. We didn’t have Down coats, just bulky parkas. We skated on outdoor rinks and ponds, and walked to school even when the temperature dipped to dangerous levels. We wore a scarf over the nose and numerous pairs of socks. We weren’t very glamourous, now that I think of it, but we never did think of it, then. I didn’t like it, but need I remind you: We didn’t get a vote. I don’t remember anyone talking about the weather, ever! By the way, we never had a full length mirror in our house. We depended on the medicine cabinet and one fancy round mirror over the sofa in the living room. We didn’t spend countless hours admiring our selves or  finding fault, we were too busy. Doing what? No TV, computers, not many books either. In the early days, our parents didn’t have a car, so there were no sightseeing jaunts on the weekends. Our parents certainly didn’t “entertain” us, they were too busy working and housekeeping. The rare time that Mom would come outside and skip with us, take us along berry picking, or play Rummy on the bed,  and Dad would take us to the lake after work to swim in the frigid water or to skate on a pond, were treasured memories.

We didn’t have time to mope around. It wasn’t the “thing” to do. I don’t recall ever saying “I’m bored”, not that it would have ellicited a response anyway. Parents didn’t respond to “bored”, like they didn’t respond to “I don’t like green peas”.

And then, Elvis burst on the scene. That was a game changer, or did it just happen to me at the perfect age? It seems to me that I started to come of age about that time, I listened to music, combed my hair 100 times, chewed Thrills gum, and chased boys…

I really wonder how all the little nuances in life impact us. Are we better off? Are we smarter, calmer? More courageous?  I don’t know.

I love my life, and I have said so often how grateful I am to have gotten this far.

I just HATE winter.

PS: We undertook a renovation to stave off the winter blues, and we are doing most of the work ourselves. We are fairly competent and progress is slow but sure and we should be able to drag it out until the first heavenly sign of Spring.

By the time this is over, I have a feeling that carpentering will be the 2nd thing to appear on my “Hate List”.

2011! (??)

December 31, 2010

I am almost as old as a rock!

Where did that time go?

Some New Year’s are as clear as though they happened yesterday, and now, I can skip through the decades  1950’s, 60’s, 70’s , 80’s, 90’s, 2000, 2010…

We often stayed  home when the kids were young, or we would take them out for supper NY’s eve.  We didn’t eat out as much as families do today, so it was a special event. We tried to get home early because I was afraid to drive that night of the year. (I still am).

I didn’t especially like New Year’s eve parties, and I can recall the few I went to as a big disappointment.  It was a  lot of hype, and people tried so hard to make it festive, it fell flat.

I do remember a very fun-filled  NY’s eve in Virginia town, with my husband’s family, his brothers & their wives-We hemmed my Mother-in-law’s sequined dress, just before going out. It was a beautiful dress but out of date by being too long. That had to be the 60’s when we were still surprising a few with our mini skirts. I just loved her for being so compliant to her young daughters-in-law. (  we named her “Mini-Mommy”).  We all went to a party at the local Legion Hall and we rocked the place. It was a freezing night! When we got home, I fell asleep to the sounds of the “boys” finally confessing all their true stories (i.e.: “remember when the Police came by to ask if we knew…” ) to their Mom & Dad, and the howls of laughter.

Recent years have been perfectly spent baby-sitting our Granddaughter, while her folks went out, and this year they are all going away, so we’ll babysit their Poncho, & Jasper. (dogs).

I’ll make my usual resolution to lose some weight (starting on Monday) and I will sincerely thank God for my wonderful family and friends,  fantastic memories, and  many, many, blessings.

Remember-Every day is a gift.



Savoring Christmas

November 5, 2010

Rushing home from work on Christmas eve, cleaning house, wrapping gifts, cooking and creating a certain holiday ambiance.  Stress? You bet!

Every year I “ramped it up” and loved every moment, even through the times I was reduced to tears from fatigue. I always promised myself that I would do better the next year. I would be better organized, start earlier, save money, even down size. Ha ha

It never happened, but I never had any regrets over Christmas. The overspending, the excesses that could slip by unnoticed…I used to make Cranberry sauce and stuffing from scratch, a 15-20 lb. turkey, a couple of meat pies with a Cream cheese pastry and Sugar cookies of course. I did it all with various degrees of success.

I look back at those years fondly. My children loved Christmas and never noticed the many “flaws”.

Here I am in my late 60’s, retired and well organized! (somewhat, let’s say).

I redesigned my tree early last year because I promised that I wouldn’t be dragging out the same old decorations for 30 years as our parents did. Now,  I don’t need one ornament or decoration. My cards, paper and napkins were bought on sale last January. I don’t need a thing and the “Hearts Desires” lists get smaller every year. Our artificial tree is as lovely as the real ones. gifts are not piled high around it,  in fact, the gifts are neatly gathered into gift bags because the gift exchanges and turkey dinners are not always at our house.

Go ahead. Ask me if I miss anything. The answer is no.

There truly is a season for everything. Recognizing that fact is an act of  freedom, a permission to relax.

The moral of the story is:

Savor Christmas. Savor your life and be prepared to move on.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.


PS: I wrote this Christmas message  earlier than usual, hoping to motivate  families to get with it…now! 😉