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Archive for the ‘From What I Can See’ Category

Time Travel

The speed with which time is passing must be time travel because I feel like I am about 2 months behind.  I have goals for the summer that include making jams, jellies, and food preservation. The only thing I have accomplished is dehydrating things. I have to say I really enjoyed the process and the results.

My other big chore was one I used to save for September; the dreaded deep cleaning before holiday season is upon us. Sadly, I had to do it all in the last 3 days. Not a thing was left untouched but somehow the stench of rotting rodents remained strong. Living in rural Canada, rodents are not a rarity.  I searched everywhere, still I could find nothing. There is some sage advice out there that says to follow your nose, which I did. Still no resolution. Not a corpse to be found.

I made my husband’s favourite supper and soon enough, we had eaten our dessert and drank our tea cups dry.  The time had come, I couldn’t delay any longer, time to load the dishwasher.  I have a portable dishwasher so wrestled it over to the sinks.

Once I moved it out and sort of walked it to the sinks, my orange cat hopped on top for his favourite time, riding the dishwasher. I have no idea when he decided it was  something he loves to do.  The little bit of shaking the smell got even worse, I shook it again and sure enough a dead mouse fell out of the insulation around the motor of it. I managed to remove the carcass, sadly I have had a lot of experience with this but they are usually a fresh kill, then proceeded to clean everything with bleach water and Lysol spray.

The silver lining is having the cleaning done, and free time coming up this fall. I should also mention that the pet door is now sealed and I let the kitty out through our front door. I am so looking forward to the day we can build a catio.

By the way, the house smells clean and fresh with a tingle of citrus.

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vintage tipsLooking at my to – do list I have realized I need at least 6 more hours in my day to just get caught up. I am suffering from that nasty spring cleaning bug and my expectations greatly exceed my ability. Great ideas come to me, usually when I am trying to get to sleep. No shortage of ideas but a significant lack of ability.   I wish my children lived close by so they could come in and we could have a cleaning bee at each others homes. I have never figured out doing someonoe else’s dishes is more enjoyable than doing my own. This applies to laundry as well.

I check my email once a day, I check my Facebook every day, one time only so that doesn’t capitalize on my time. Then one day, I discovered Pinterest.  I don’t think there is anything left for me to Pin. I finally decided I would dust my books, one at a time and while I have it down from the bookcase I read or re-read to help me decide if I should keep it or put it in the gargage sale (the one I have planned for three years).

 

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Changes

My husband was taken to hospital by ambulance in critical condition about 2 weeks ago. Fortunately he is upgraded to serious but stable condition. His absence from our home and the responsibilities that he took care of have fallen to me by default. I am finally getting into a rhythm but I sure miss having someone here to share meals, chores, conversation, and yes, daily, weekly and monthly chores.

With no one here to cook for, toast and peanut butter counts as a hot meal. I find I use paper towels for plates and my go cup is continually filled with cold beverages that I prefer. I am beginning to understand why some people do not thrive on their own and I seem to be one of them.

I have always had someone to look after and enjoy taking care of people. I do miss my days as a nurse, but again I was able to look after someone.  In all that I do I have apparently not learned much about self care. What is it? What do I need to do? Does it cost a lot? Why should I if no one is around for me to care for?

My college attending grand daughter spent the weekend with me and I was over the moon happy to be cooking, doing her laundry, being an ear for her to open up and a ‘sage’ to offer her advice when it was asked for. Mostly I listened.

I have realized I might very well be on my own again in the not so distant future. I hate to even think about it and even harder to admit, but this has been a good test of what I will have to do then. I would advise anyone to start with self care so they can be able to care for others.

When I go visit hubby again tomorrow I will make a fuss and try to encourage and cheer him. That is my nature. I have also decided to seek some professional mental health help as well, step 1 in my self care journey.

I have my cat lady starter kit well in hand, done all the banking and business of the house, and am studying a program of specialty diets that will meet the requirement of my hubby’s needs. It can be hard to marry the heart to the head but my new union of same starts tomorrow.

Time for a new perspective.    995350_992045704175770_8448422194926653346_n

 

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Christmas

51xw909pyml__sx258_bo1204203200_Christmas Day, 2016, has come and gone. All the weeks of anticipation, shopping, food planning and preparation, writing and sending out Christmas cards, presents wrapped, and secrets whispered to Santa Claus, are some of the traditions of this celebration.

I am always amused when I hear people speak of the charm of an old fashioned Christmas because I was born early enough, and poor enough, to appreciate what an old fashioned Christmas really is. If we had to put the forethought and preparation into it, Christmas would under go a speedy metamorphosis that would give a picture more reminiscent of life in the late 1940’s through to the 1990’s of that nostalgic old fashioned Christmas. I am thankful I don’t have to raise a turkey, then, when the time is right, chop off it’s head, clean it out and pick off it’s feathers.  The same applies to geese or any other fowl, whether tame or wild .  I appreciate the opportunity to purchase a turkey that has been flash frozen and sealed in plastic for my protection. About the only old fashioned thing about my Christmas turkey is the stuffing.

I still make stuffing the way my mother taught me and she learned from her mother and so on down through the generations.  I still use the same ingredients and method and like it enough to shove my hand, full of the uncooked dressing, through the bottom end of the bird and stuff it’s hollowed out carcass until it is ready to fall out the other end.

Just imagine the gifts; I do not embroider hankies for my daughters, they use disposable tissues. I do not knit socks for my husband or son, as they are quite content to grab a package of 10 pair for $4.99 or other ‘bargain bin’ find.

Gift buying had it’s limits. Debt was not even considered at an old fashioned Christmas, this is one tradition that needs to be reintroduced.  Our family tradition is ‘three gifts for each one because Jesus got three gifts from the Wise Men.’ I am finding the new guidelines of four things for each, one thing they want, one thing they need, a book and one thing to do, an excellent guideline as well, and it helps budgets because it sets limits. .

The dream of an old fashioned Christmas can still be built into our memories when the TV and electronics are turned off and activities are carried out instead. Things like board games, cards, skating, tobogganing, and talking,  are enjoyed instead. It is about time together, shared experiences and a lot of laughter that create those memories that we will remember as an old fashioned Christmas.

 

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Really?

I wrote a post about Christmas and how it is celebrated by different people and customs. I got a message that the author felt they must tell me that it all evolved from imageszyixe3hoa pagan festival. The celebration of light returning was an excellent teaching opportunity for the church. In Christian faith the light coming into the world is Jesus, from whom we gain salvation in the world darkened by sin. Most people of that time were illiterate and very superstitious so why not use this time of year to turn a pagan festival into one that teaches how Christ is the light of the Christian faith.  Who cares when the “real” birthdate of Jesus was? It really does not matter, the lesson in hope and salvation was made in a time when people could ‘see’ the light and ‘see’ the escape from darkness (ignorance).

 

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Christmas Pudding

l56756-the-grinch-logo-65964I enjoy Christmas and all the fuss and busyness of the season. I have an Advent calendar, an Advent wreath and Advent candles. I do Advent devotions and attend Christmas church services.  I also hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with goodies and presents under the decorated Christmas tree. I have a foot in both the religious and secular world during this season.

Some would say you can’t have it both ways and to them I say, “Yes I can and will.”  Never has a season that is viewed as a time of peace ever been so controversial. What gives people? Everyone clamouring to be right. Guess what? You are right no matter how you celebrate Christmas.

I have a dear friend who raised her children with a religious view of Christmas and her children knew the presents came from the parents. My children knew this was a time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus but they also believed that Santa Claus left the presents and filled their stockings.  Guess what? All the children were happy and excited about Christmas and overjoyed at the gifts they received.

My point is, no matter how you celebrate in your family, it is the right way for you and yours. These squabbles over how it should be celebrated, if it should be celebrated and when it should be celebrated (for my Orthodox friends) it is right.

Traditions seem to be dying out faster than hand written letters but it is just those very traditions that keep us connected to the past and with our ancestors. I 12373398_1054530267900672_8302093150560862531_nhave an old, patterned, heavy glass dish I got when my Mother passed away. She got it from my Grandma and she got it from my late Great Grandmother.

It was the dish that was always reserved to hold the cranberry sauce at special family gatherings such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.  I do the same. Another tradition that has evolved over the years is for Grandma to give presents to the grandchildren to open on Christmas Eve, each one containing a new pair of washed pyjamas and a new book, paper dolls, movie or other quiet activity.

So no matter how you celebrate, or even whether you celebrate, lets agree we all need a time out to sit back and think about peace and how we can do our part to make it happen.

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November

4f63f52b28d212439408bbc7f186b563The countdown for Christmas is officially on in our home. Our village has Christmas Capers the last Saturday of November where vendors sell their wares in our community hall.  Our local Lion’s club serves up a pancake breakfast and the shoppers move on the see, sample and buy from the huge selection of goods being offered for sale.

I haven’t missed one since moving here and I count on it for buying the unique gifts I want to give my family.  Another huge bonus is the support for local businesses. I am a strong believer in fair trade, ethically produced, and local vendor goods. I see it as investing in my community and in the future for my grandchildren.

All this happiness and glitter however has one drawback; I enter hyper Christmas mode. Wrapping gifts, sending cards, planning pet and home care while we visit away and of course, the baking!

My Norwegian heritage has guided me throughout the years and I do not rest until I have baked 7 kinds of cookies. I am not sure when this tradition started in our family but it is one of those things that I carry on.

At some point in all this ‘glee’ I am bound to feel overwrought and want to hold up my HELP sign, so friends, when you see this signal, know I need a visit and a cup of tea while we test the cookies that are baked.

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