Category Archives: Family

seven life lessons I was slow to learn.

The best teacher in my life has been life itself. If I had to teach a life course I would have to admit I usually got it wrong.

I love the quote: “The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you learned this afternoon”. Anonymous

There will always be people holding up stop signs. You need to make a detour and often find that you end up discovering the new path is a more exciting way to get where you wanted to go in the first place..

My class would include the following life lessons.

  1. Never make a hasty decision on important matters. When I was in nursing school, I met a guy. You know the type, the tall, dark, handsome type, who makes your heart beat fast and makes you giddy with excitement. Before long, he was transferred across the country. He asked me to follow him. I threw my education out the window and moved. It has been 45 years and we are still happily married, but the point is, I gave up my education on a whim. Don’t do that. You will need it.
  2. Make good  friends and keep them. I am the bad example. I have lost good friends through neglect on my part. I have lost the closeness I once had with some and totally lost contact with others.  Do not let them get away. I often feel sad because I do not have a best friend. It is easier to stay in touch in this age, with Facebook and email and all the techy contact we have, however face to face interaction is vital.
  3. Stay humble, forgive and be willing to say you are sorry. Family members hurt each other sometimes. Friends say things. We all make mistakes. Always make an effort to patch things up. Take the initiative to make it right. I have seen too many families torn apart with misunderstandings. Do not be too proud to make the first move.
  4. Set goals.  I mean a lot of goals. These should be flexible but you need to start with what is in your heart. Write out a bucket list. Fill it with your dreams. Big dreams like retiring early and small dreams like learning to ski. I wish I had done that. I never heard of a bucket list when I was young, in fact, it seemed a womans goal back then should be to get married, have children and … ummm… well, that was it. So that is what I did. Years went by, kids grew up and suddenly, there I was, aimlessly going through life, my mission accomplished. Once I crawled out of the depression hole I found myself in, I wrote a bucket list and I am blissfully working towards completing my goals
  5. Do not waste your sunny days.Be adventurous. Be spontaneous. Never stay home because the laundry needs to be done or the lawn needs mowing. We had a lot of fun with our children on the days we jumped in the car to go get groceries and ended up a hundred miles away hiking in the forest, the grocery shopping abandoned, simply because it was a sunny day.

    Don’t waste your sunny days

  6. Don’t worry. We all know worry doesn’t change anything. Worry is stressful, it is a waste of time and energy. Most often, we worry about things that will never happen. It is as if we are waiting for the shoe to drop. Think of the times you have worried in the past. What happened? Did it help to worry about it first?  Instead, go for a walk, go shopping, watch a funny movie. Learn to distract yourself. When a crisis does hit your life, and it will, you will somehow find the strength to accept it and deal with it as best you can. Just look at all your options and pray.
  7. Make sure you are happy. That sounds obvious but too many people work at a job they hate, with a boss that expects them to work overtime, leaving them drained and tired. Family life suffers. You suffer. Before it is too late, find another job, go back to school if you have to, but don’t settle for mediocre. Aim to get the job that makes your heart happy. Remember your goals.

I could go on, and I might, but not today, I need to go out and play. Oh, this  is important, maybe it should be number one.. Do not ever think you are too old to PLAY.

Let’s play

Reaching for the Sun

 I asked the children to touch the sun. “That’s impossible ” they all laughed together at such a silly notion.

I am too small to touch the sun.

“We are just too small.” the six-year-old explained with all the wisdom of his years. I suggested they climb higher, reach higher, try harder.

So they climbed the tower at the park.

They climbed to the top

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One by one, they reached as high as they could climb

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and they touched the sun

.They touched the sun

They held the sun in their hand

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Even the skeptical six-year-old succeeded and learned that he is not too small after all.

. Grandma’s aren’t so silly after all.

 

 

 

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Are You Listening to the Zoo

Zoos are educational. We listened carefully to all the animals, they each had important things to tell us. We were interested in what it is like to live in captivity.
I think this is a Softshell turtle that the children are talking to….

"Hey Tommy, I have a big bathtub, will you come home with me?"

"Sorry girls, I like living here, they feed me and besides, I have my eye on Tilly, that cute little thing on the log over there..... Don't look now,... but I think she is looking at me. Is she?"

I find I look for personalities in the creatures at the zoo. My experience with my pets indicate that they are each unique, with quirks and habits, little ways about them that differentiate each one from the other. I know these are wild creatures, but they are individuals creatures. This seahorse had plenty to tell us.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing... "

I am warning you, flash that light in my eye once more and I am calling the authorities.

I am not a lying fish, I am a Lion Fish, Wanna hear me roar...?

"You would be grumpy too if you had to listen to that lying fish roaring all day long."

Sydney the Jumping Shepherd

It is Daylight Saving Time, the geese are returning home from their vacation and Sydney has a new spring in her step.

We put the leash on Sydney and walked to the lake to enjoy the sun.

The ice is melting in the creek.

The ice on Lake Simcoe is starting to melt.  All the fish huts have to be removed from the lake by March 15th, but I worry that it is already unsafe. There have already been a few ice rescues and sadly some tragedies.

help...the ice is sinking.

Luckily, it is not deep at this spot. Sydney was able to scramble out and shake off the icy water.

I found a stick.. please play with me.

Sydney loves to jump to grab the stick.

Sydney can jump high

She loves the game and will keep it up for a long time.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Can you believe I took some distorted photos at the zoo? Sure, I got some of animals too. We took some of our grandchildren to the Toronto Zoo on Saturday. We had a great time. It was really windy and cold outside and hot and humid in the indoor exhibits. On one of the pathways through the woods, there is a giant convex mirror for the zoomobile to see around the corner. The children had fun looking at their distorted images.

A convex mirror reflects a distorted, but wider view.

The children enjoyed learning about snakes and especially about the Massassauga rattlesnakes that can be found in Ontario.

My husbands thermal image is displayed as he reads about how a snake would view him.

The children had fun looking at their own thermal images. When I saw the images, I thought of the Photo Challenge topic this week. Distorted. These images clearly show a distorted image of my husband and my grandson Jacob.

This little figure is six-year-old Jacob.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

I don’t usually indulge in food, not often anyway. The challenge came in and I wondered what do I indulge in? I have to say I do indulge in a trip now and then. Last summer, I indulged on an Alaskan Cruise. I went with my two sisters and two of my nieces. We sailed on a rather small cruise ship, the Volendam, with Holland America.

The Volendam

I have posted about parts of the cruise previously, including the rock climbing. The dinner after the rock climbing event was a formal dinner. I shared a room with Jennifer, the youngest in the family. As we dressed in our finery, we indulged in a glass of wine…

Just one glass.... honest.

With great fanfare, the waiters, complete with bakers hats, marched into the room waiving the napkins in the air. They swooped in and ceremoniously laid a napkin on every lap.

Napkin Parade

My sister Louise received her napkin with great fanfare.

We have a lot of fun with our server, He made us laugh and helped make the evening a lot of fun

The delicious meal ended with desert, a Baked Alaska. Another grand parade.

Ceremonial paraie through the dining hall with dessert.

The week long trip was a week of indulging. everything from wonderful food to massages and manicures as well as an opportunity to see part of the world that is magnificently beautiful with its glaciers and ice.

Sunday Post: Colorful

Actually the proper spelling is Colourful. That aside, I will post my entry for the Sunday Challenge. Four of my grandchildren came for a visit this afternoon. Nearby, we have a lovely little park, so we bundled up and went for a bit of play. The park has very colourful equipment and I enjoyed taking photos there this afternoon.

Animal Attack

Sarah playing on the ramp

Emily looks through the giant circles

Snow Alligator

All that is left is the memories

I love Christmas. I love the colours and flavours, I love the joy of family celebrating together. In all the festivities, I think the dog, Sidney, enjoyed herself the most. She opened her gift with all the gusto of a three-year old.

Thanks Santa, just what I asked for.. a squirrel that can't climb a tree.

With Sydney occupied, the rest of us enjoyed making a mess

Sarah, are you sure that is cranberry juice you are drinking?

Sarah helping

ewwww, do I have to eat this?

Wearing the Christmas hat is not an option...

Emily and Matthew, Emily... no Ipod at the table!!

Is your hat too big Jacob?

Jacob with his electronics

More presents please...

I am so sad, Christmas is over..... I had a lot of fun, so much food, so many people to play with and now, it is over, everyone is gone.