Tag Archives: life

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

.

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

.

and they touched the sun

.They touched the sun

They held the sun in their hand

.

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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Journey to find the Ultimate Outhouse

This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge is journey. I would like to take you on a journey… a journey to find the ultimate outhouse. This is an essential search when travelling to the northern parts of Canada, where towns are few and far between.

the endless highway... on and on and on.... not an outhouse in sight.

Sometimes the outhouse is out in the middle of a field with a small parking lot and nothing else around.  It seems all exposed and alone.

In the middle of nowhere

I wondered about the sign on the door.

WHAT?? Really? At what age can we leave them?

Do people tend to drive off leaving a child in the outhouse?

This cute little blue one was on a bit of a tilt. The bushes are growing around it. The door was left open. Is it safe? I was a little skeptical.

Is this safe to use? Maybe in a pinch. How desperate am I?

Some are doubles, Men on one side, Ladies on the other.

A family the pees together....

Is this an outhouse or and in-house? I suppose it was much preferred over going outside in the middle of a dark and cold night, but I would hate it in the morning.

I am glad I am living in the era of indoor plumbing.

Some Outhouses are super fancy, dressed up with plants and flowers, covered in vines. A treat for the weary and desperate traveler.

wonderful.. this outhouse is complete with flush toilets, a shower, laundry and books, if you are planning a longer visit.

Sometimes, there is a conveniently placed outhouse, but one has to wait for a turn. I waited and waited and waited and waited.

He looks a bit constipated... I wish he would hurry up.

After a long drive, searching for a sign, desperate for a rest stop, I was ready to give up and find a conveniently located bush when “what to my wondering eyes should appear”, but a cute little log outhouse nestled in the bush. I was so excited and about to be relieved.

Isn't this sweet.. a log outhouse...

I opened the door. Maybe…

I have waited so long... maybe...

Maybe not.

Absolutely NOT !!

It was time to find that bush.

A little way down the road..  I was caught.

outhouse relief.

I hope you enjoyed the journey. If you plan a trip to the far north, I can tell you that I have become an expert in finding relief behind a bush.

 

 

Patience is hard to find.

A photographer needs patience. Waiting for the right moment, the time when the lighting and mood is right, waiting is hard.

Into the gray.

Landing

I love to take photos of birds. I need to get out into the wild with my telephoto and a tripod. I am looking forward to hiking and exploring this summer… Today is gray and cool. I need patience… one of the hardest things for me is waiting..

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”    ―      Fulton J. Sheen

I am in a test right now. Waiting for the Insurance company to approve all the repairs so we can finally clean up after the flood. I cannot wait to get our rooms back to some kind of normal. I have boxes of food all over my kitchen and it is easier to order pizza than it is to cook. ( OK there are benefits.)

Francis Bacon said: “Whoever is out of patience is out of possession of his soul.”

I read that and started to wonder. I know I have been out of control at some points in my life and it is not somewhere I want to return to. I must be patient, with myself and with my world.

When The Birds and The Bees Meet

I felt him looking at me. He was staring from the roof of the bird feeder. Mr Yellow Jacket rubbed his hands together, watching my approach.  Was he planning an attack?

"Hey, gang, wake up, someone is heading this way. She looks tasty"

All winter, the Yellow Jackets have laid in wait, dormant, hiding inside the log cabin that sits on the bird feeder. We did not realize they had built a home there.

"I am coming Buzz, I am ready to attack cause I am hungry It has been a long winter."

My husband had to take down the log house and remove the nest. The Yellow Jackets continue to gather around the empty feeder. I have a feeling they will be building another home inside the house.

The hive, but no honey. Just our luck, we get the Yellow Jackets. Why don't the Honey Bees built a hive on our property.

There was a cluster of bees inside the nest.

We enjoy feeding the birds and watching them at the feeder. I wonder if birds will eat the bees? I hope so.

The Birdhouse is back on the post. We will keep watching for further developments.

Why a DIY Disaster Equals Flood

Why do I have strangers sitting on my kitchen counter?

My entry in this week’s “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual.”

Strangers are on my counter

It all started in the bathroom. A little DIY project. The toilet would not stop running, an easy fix. The trouble began with the wrong size part. Too late to return it, the project will wait until morning, Hubby turned off the water, we try to conserve where we can.

After a good night’s sleep, I arose eager to start my fabulous Friday. In my morning fog, I wondered why my feet were wet. Skipping forward, and after much time using every available towel, the water in the bedroom, bathroom and hallway is somewhat cleaned up. You have already guessed that the toilet seal is broken and the water not completely turned off.

Time for breakfast. Disaster zone #2. More water in the kitchen. This is not good. The counter is a pool of water, as is the floor. Above the window there is a giant paint bubble holding a gallon of water. Inside the cupboards everything is floating.

We found more towels and began mopping and wringing. It was time to call the Co-Operators Insurance. Yep, the guys with the dash.  Within the hour, we had a claims adjuster and an estimator from ServiceMaster at our door. They delivered the good news and the bad news. Yes, our insurance covers this disaster, but we have a $1,000 deductible, unless our damage is high enough to waive the deductible. (Is it OK to pray for a bigger repair bill?)

Cutting a hole in the wet ceiling.

Before long the restoration crew arrived and set about their work. Their “destroy first and repair later” job. The kitchen cupboard had to be removed from the wall (gently).

Gently removed the kitchen cabinet.

The carpets in the bedroom ripped open and seven huge and very noisy fans and two very large dehumidifiers set in place. I am happy to report that they cleaned up as they went.

Two fans on the counter, two on the floor and three upstairs.

Look at the clock, that is 7:50pm, this has been an all day affair. Now we are in waiting mode… like watching the paint dry with a jet engine in the room. My head hurts.

Stay tuned for chapter two of DIY disaster rescue.

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.

Winter is for Ice Fishing

It has been a strangely warm winter here in southern Canada, many doubted if the lake would freeze enough for fishing, but the bay is finally frozen indeed. It was time for us to take another walk on the ice. Today we wanted to check out the fish huts.

The access to the lake is easy, just walk down the boat launch.

There was a lot of action on the lake, it was as if we all had to make up for lost time. Everyone was enjoying the day in their own way.

Trucks and snowmobiles flew across the ice.

Some were cross-country skiing with their very large dogs

I live on Lake Simcoe, which claims the title of “Ice-fishing Capital of Canada” some say “of the world”. I approached a hut.

Is anyone home?... I knocked on the door... no answer. I tried the door... it opened.

I opened the trap door to look into the fishing hole. There is a small stove for warmth, Sitting in the small hut patiently fishing can get pretty cold.

"what are you doing trespassing?" my husband asks.

I knocked on another door and these fisherpeople (politically correct) invited me in to watch as they fished. I waited a while but, no fish were biting. There are smart fish in Lake Simcoe.

Some people were enjoying the day by Ice-sailing. They have a parachute that takes them zooming on skis across the ice

It looks like so much fun... I think I want to try this out one day.

We walked back to shore. You can see how far out the huts are..

additional info added Feb 28:

The thickness of ice is always a concern. Every year, we lose vehicles and sadly some lives are lost as well because the ice is not always safe. The  DNR (Department of Natural Resources) measures the depth of the ice on a regular basis. There are regulations for the fish huts too. Each hut on the ice is numbered and must be removed by a certain date each year.

There is a thickness recommended for various activities:

*Less than 4 inches* � STAY OFF! There is no reason to test the newly formed ice at this time.

*4-6 Inches* � Ice fishing, foot travel in single-file lines, and small spaced seating on the ice should be safe, presuming the ice is clear and clean.

*6-10 Inches* � Snowmobiles and ATV�s can travel safely on good ice that is over inches thick.

*10-16 Inches* � Small cars and pick-ups can begin to venture on to the ice. However, the DNR states that it is best to avoid driving on the ice whenever possible.

*16+ Inches* � A medium-sized car or mid-size pickup can drive on good clear solid ice.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of Lake Simcoe in winter.

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.

The Flip Side: 100WCGU

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #31

The Flip Side:

Pulling into the driveway, she wiped at her tears and slumped forward. “Laid off.” The words echoed in her mind.  The tears flowed. “Now what?” her thoughts were spinning.  How could she get another job in this economy?  How would she survive with no money? She sat alone in the car as the evening turned into night.  Relaxing her grip on the wheel triggered a release. She realized that there was a flip side to this crisis. She has been given a chance for a fresh start, a chance to accept her father’s gift of tuition and finish her education.

I visited Julia’s Place.    I was thrilled to find she has a weekly writing challenge called  the “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups.” http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/100-word-for-grown-ups-week31/  This is a weekly challenge for those who are over 16 and enjoy challenging themselves with writing. Each week you are given a prompt. It may be a few connected words, a selection of individual words or a picture. The challenge is to write exactly 100 words on the weekly topic or suggestion.

I have decided to give it a go.

This week the challenge is “The Flip Side”