The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet With Happiness & Positivity!

Dawn Quyle Landau of Tales from the Motherland has issued the 5th annual “50 Happy Things/Attitude of Gratitude” challenge and I am more than pleased to join in once again.  For instructions on the “how-to”, please click here.  Once you’ve figured out how to do it and have been inspired to do it (Why not?  How much can it hurt to bring forth things that make you happy?) click here to add your link.

There is absolutely no order to my following list.  I have set the timer for 15 minutes and this is basically stream of consciousness stuff (i.e. as it comes, I type).  All embellishments are added after the clock has run out and I’ve spell-checked my list 😉

  1. My boys – they remind me that I am human
  2. My home – protects me from the elements
  3. My family – all the way down to second cousins thrice removed
  4. My sisters – despite whatever goes on in life, they are there for me
  5. Mom – without her, I would not be
  6. Friends who are the chosen family
  7. Blogosphere – a world I could not have imagined ten years ago
  8. The friends I’ve made on the blogosphere – I cherish the connections I’ve made
  9. Going to Old Montreal for New Year’s Eve with good friends
  10. Getting on the ferris wheel for the midnight fireworks
  11. Friday Fictioneers – for teaching me how to cut the fluff and get to the point
  12. B – for pushing me to be a better writer while becoming a close friend
  13. My ability and joy of cooking
  14. Sharing my food with those I love
  15. My boys when they help me before I have to ask
  16. My computer – as a tool to connect and write
  17. Internet – bringing the world to my fingertips
  18. Brothers-in-law who help out for stuff that I just cannot do on my own
  19. Girlfriends – to share those things that you just can’t with family
  20. Blogging community – I keep learning
  21. Rochelle for her friendship and for trusting me with her lateest WIP (and any other writings)
  22. Julie for being my “culture friend” and my trusted date for stuff no one else is interested in
  23. Feeling part of my close knit gang
  24. Food – the diversity, the sensuality
  25. My taste buds – which permit me to enjoy all the flavours out there
  26. Good wine
  27. fun work colleagues
  28. New colleagues who seemed to really appreciate me
  29. Clients who appreciate me
  30. My legs for allowing me to take my walks
  31. My big-ass bathtub for when I need to get away from it all
  32. Reading – opening my world to other realms
  33. Writing, which allows me to let go of stuff
  34. Writing prompts that push me to do better
  35. My bed, where I get the rest I need or at least pretend to
  36. My hands which are capable of so much more than I thought
  37. Heating which protects me from the cold
  38. My capacity to love no matter how many times my heart is broken
  39. Being appreciated for what I offer
  40. My wit and sense of humour – keeps me sane
  41. Travel – I need to do more; experience other cultures
  42. The communities I’ve built – virtual and real
  43. Connections I’ve made with people from around the world
  44. A cozy fire, to gaze into, to snuggle with someone
  45. Zeke – who is not getting as much love as he should but will
  46. Eyes – to appreciate the beauty around me
  47. My smile, which seems to be what people remember about me
  48. My camera, which helps me to look at things differently and record the memories
  49. Being able to express myself and be open to others’ opinions
  50. Widow’s pension, which helps to make ends meet
  51. EI which permits me to take the time to rest between jobs
  52. Working a seasonal job which allows me to take the other seasons off
  53. Sense of smell, without it, I would never appreciate food and cooking so much
  54. My body – it may be quite as I would like it to be, but it’s mine and it functions
  55. Dishwashers – because sometimes, doing the dishes just blows
  56. My car – I can go anywhere when I want
  57. My resilience – even though it’s a word that bugs the shit out of me, it is the right word for me
  58. The close friends who will always include me in their happenings
  59. My ability to adapt to whatever life throws my way
  60. My boys – I am so proud of them both for the young men they are becoming
  61. That Iain has decided to go back to school to get a diploma in electricity
  62. That Aidan has decided to pursue an education in animation (yeah, yeah, it has another title that I always forget)
  63. That I know I can count on my sisters for anything
  64. My lack of cynicism – despite the world we live in
  65. My charm that can be helpful when I screw up
  66. Dark chocolate
  67. Camaraderie – that can be found
  68. Facebook – say what you will, I have kept in contact with many because of it
  69. Book, books and more books
  70. Potential for love – I’ve not given up

What? For Me?

“Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they will be pleasantly surprised.”
Marty Rubin

I worked the last Christmas party at the golf club Friday night (yay!). Finished at 3:00 a.m., got home by 3:15-ish, changed into comfy PJs – coz there is no way in hell I was gonna just hit the hay and fall asleep.  Doesn’t work that way.  Got take it down a notch, yanno?  Poured myself a brewskie, started reading blog posts and answering comments and, once I started yawning, went to bed by 4:30-ish.  Was still not sleeping by 5-something.

Finally did conk out and was wakened (woken? awoken? awakened?) by my damn dog at 8ish.  Managed to hold back and NOT kill him, let him out, returned to bed and fell back asleep until 11:00.  Not what one would call a proper amount of ZZZs.

Gave up on the idea of getting more sleep and dragged my sorry ass downstairs to make myself a coffee.  Made like a slug in front of the computer to see what was new and exciting and by 11:50 got a text from Sophie asking if I was home.  I replied in the affirmative and she said she and Charles would be right over.  I answered with an “I guess I better get dressed then!”

I totally didn’t blog about it (and if I did, I tagged it horribly because I can’t find it) but last August, I helped out at Sophie and Charles’ wedding, wrapping bread, lighting candles, but mostly playing bartender.

Anyway, they must’ve been around the corner because I was not finished dressing when the doorbell rang!  Sheesh!

Their mission was to give me a gift as a thank you for helping them out!  How sweet.  And how wonderful.  How totally unexpected. I’ve been given a spa package including an exfoliation with a massage.  Can you say PERFECT timing?  To receive this type of gift right after my last day of work?

Woot!

Only, it ended up NOT being my last day.

At the beginning of Friday’s shift, Hélène, my boss looked at me, practically batting her eyes and whined said:  “You really don’t want to come and brunch with us on Sunday?”  Read:  “You sure you don’t want to work with us on Sunday?”

I laughed and said… “Are you saying you really need me to come and work?”

“Yes.  It’s the members.  You surely want to say goodbye to them? (No, I really don’t).  They’ll be happy to see you. There will be 100 of them.”

Sigh.

I’m such a suck.

So all my going on and on about the 14th being my last day of work for the season for real?   Nope.  Not only did I agree to work today, on Sunday.  But I had to be there for 9 am.  Now, I know for most folks, this is more than reasonable.  However, I have been on the start at 4:00 pm, finish in the wee hours beat for the past month.

Alarm clock at 7, coffee, breakfast, shower and work at 9.  I kinda have to admit that though I was okay with NOT seeing the members one last time?  They were kinda nice and sweet and every single one asked me if I’d be back next season.

I answered with that vague, “We shall see…”

So NOW I can celebrate and book my two-hours of relaxation…

Which I now feel is even more deserved.  No?

I know this is a Thanksgiving song… and I am giving thanks so…

Sunday Musings

I used to do a Gratitude Sunday/Sunday Gratitude/Weekend Coffee Share, in which I gave thanks for whatever happened during the week.  Somehow these posts have fallen to the wayside.  I think it’s time I brought it back, different format, though.  Doing challenges like Pegman and Weekend Writing Prompt are all fine and dandy but as a result, I was feeling a loss.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust

Maybe that loss is being felt because I’m frankly exhausted  – a term I find gets overused by those who are merely tired.  We seem to have entered the age of extremes so why should one not be exhausted instead of merely tired.  I must admit defeat.  I am bloody exhausted.  A co-worker and I were talking last night before the big 260-person benefit evening, that this October, in particular, has been particularly grueling.  It’s supposed to be the slowing down of things at the golf club.  Instead, it has been one event after another and we are just plain exhausted.  I just did a nine-day run and frankly, today could not come soon enough!

So what did I do on my one day off that is supposed to consitute my “weekend”?  Well, once I got up at the crack of 11:00 am (I worked until 1 am the night before…) I made myself a couple of coffees and had a bite to eat.  Then.  I have a fabulous brother-in-law, Sébastien, who changed my tires for me.  As I sat there watching Sébas and his son, Nicolas work together, joking and ribbing each other, innuendos galore, I could not help but smile.  I then drove home with tears in my eyes.  I couldn’t help it.  I couldn’t help but think that my boys did not get long enough with their father to learn stuff.  I will never forget Iain telling Mick, lying comatose, that he couldn’t leave yet as he still had so much to learn from him.  Broke my heart.  It’ll be four years and I can still hear this clear as day.

Could not decide between the following two quotes, so have included both.

“Boys do not long for fathers who will usher them through the gauntlet of psychological disconnect. They long for fathers who have themselves survived intact. Boys do not ache for their father’s masculinity. They ache for their fathers’ hearts.”
T. Real

“You can’t love your mother or father if you don’t also have the capacity to grieve their deaths and, perhaps even more so, grieve parts of their lives.”
Glenn Beck, The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life

I got home, unloaded my summer tires and Iain was clearing out the shed.  I asked him if he wanted to come with me to the market to get the goods to make salsas and jellies and he said that nah, he had some stuff to do…

“God know that a mother need fortitude and courage and tolerance and flexibility and patience and firmness and nearly every other brave aspect of the human soul.”
Phyllis McGinley

I hid my disappointment and went to the market.  It’s amazing… Just yesterday – I swear it was yesterday – it was September.  I had told myself I would get all the stuff necessary to make salsas, that we’d go apple picking and visit David at his Britannia Mills mini-farm to pick up hot peppers to enhance our goodies.   Well. So much for that.  Here we are October 21 and my hopes for getting anything besides pumpkins were, to say the least, slim at best.   Luck was on my side.  I snagged a couple of boxes of not-so-beautiful tomatoes for ten bucks, plus 2nd rate apples that are “not fit for sale” for $15 instead of $22, as they are not perfect (pffft!), a box of bell peppers, a couple of braids of garlic, onions, a couple of pumpkins, some honey – because, when in these markets, everything looks fabulous.  Was so bloody cold, I forgot to take a pictures of the market!  Darn.  Iain did go to David’s on Friday, so the pepper situation was taken care of.

Goodies to make more goodies

Home once again, I unloaded my stash and Iain was washing his car.  Brought in the goods and he moseyed over to see just what I had managed to find.  Was as pleased as I was so…  I canna lie, there was a liltle bit of pleasure on my front – again hidden.

I started chopping veggies for the salsa, asked Iain which peppers he wanted me to use and made two different batches of salsa.  I took it as a good sign when I went up to his room where a serious video game was going on with Aidan and his friend, gave him a spoonful, he took, coughed, and said “Was not expecting quite that much heat!”  Mom still can rock it.

While working on my second batch of salsa, Iain came in to chop peppers and ingredients that he planned to turn into hot oils and  sauces.  His dehydrator has been working on drying out one of the peach somethings (not sure if they’re ghosts, morughlas, reapers or what – all’s I know is they are friggen hot) so he can turn them into chili powder – not anything you’d find in your standard grocery stores…

I looked at him and said, “I know you don’t like anything mushy, but I really enjoy when we work on something together.”  I just got a look.

“Isn’t this the truth of any good mother? That in all of our lives. We worry only about those we brought into this world, regardless of whether they loved us back or treated us fairly or understood our shortcomings.”
Adriana Trigiani, Big Cherry Holler

I know I can never fill in their father’s shoes, nor do I want to.  I can give them what I can.  I can be there for them in my capacity.  There will always be those moments where I’ll think, “Damn, Mick should be here teaching them this lesson” but that is, I know, futile.  And I can hope that I’ll be enough.  And that one day, they will think back and say – Mom was there when we needed her and did the best she could.

Canada Day in Quebec

I have a love/hate relationship with my province at times.  Especially on Canada Day.  I am blessed (thank you, Mom) to be perfectly bilingual.  I like to say I am what P.E. Trudeau wanted our whole country to be…as comfortable in English as I am in French.  Plus, look how much my father looked like him at a certain time of his life – in a handsomer way, of course…

I went to both English and French schools so I got different history lessons… History being that “unbiased” retelling of the past… I used to joke that I could not remember which were the “bad” Indians because I got both sides of the English/French history – just so I’m clear… there are NO bad Indians…  Who lost in the battle of The Plains of Abraham in Quebec?  Well, that depends on which side you were on… I can’t claim one or the other, frankly.  The English/French thing has been going on since… I’m a Square Head Frog, or a Bloke Pea Soup…

I get frustrated because St-Jean-Baptiste Day – exactly one week prior, is a Quebec holiday and everything under the sun is closed; come Canada Day, not so much.  St-Jean-Baptiste cannot be moved, Canada Day can – I mean for companies giving you the day off… if they fall on a week-day, St-Jean must be taken on that day but Canada Day can be moved to the Friday or Monday, whichever is closer.  Banks and such are closed but you may have to work.  I don’t agree with this.

My friend Joe shared this beautiful pic on Facebook yesterday, so I snagged it for my post.  Our parliament building beautifully lit up.  I apologise for not giving credit to the photographer (still waiting for Joe to tell me if he took it or he himself snagged it…)

I love where I live.  It’s a beautiful province within a beautiful country.  We have wild extremes when it comes to climate, which is normal, considering how vast a territory we have.  There are issues, yes.  I think pretty much every place has.  Here in Quebec the language issues and desire for separation from Canada drive me nuts.  The Separatists come and go and each time they try to rally the troops, they fail. (Thank God.)  It would break my heart if they ever did succeed.  While I don’t want this to be a political post, it kinda sorta is.

It’s Canada Day!

I thought I’d share a few little funnies with you… coz, that’s how I roll.

From 2010… so different Prime Minister but still same old story…

I have been trying, for three days now, to find a text I read a long time ago about a Quebecer on vacation.  When asked where he’s from, he says Quebec.  The other person says, “Oh, that’s a country?” To which he gets the reply of “no.”  So the first guys says, “Then why not say you’re from Canada?” And it goes on and on about trying to explain that the Quebecers like to call Quebec a Nation because they are distinct.  Sadly, I cannot find it to save my life.

And this little spoof from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” from 2014 – shows how this separation issue goes on and on…

And, of course, as many of you are Americans… must have a little funny between the ‘twixt of us… ‘coz ya know, we really do love you guys and we do share the longest undefended border…

So to all my Canadian peeps, I say:  Happy Canada Day, eh!

And, let’s take Rick Mercer’s advice… Go out there and visit this beautiful country!

Oh!  How could I forget to add this!!

Friday Without Plans

“A deliberate plan is not always necessary for the highest art; it emerges.”
Paul Johnson

I cannot remember the last time I had a day off and nothing scheduled.  Dye-job and a haircut, notwithstanding, I felt quite free to do whatever the hell I wanted.  Was really.  Really.  Nice.  Work has been busy enough… it’s rare that I work a forty-hour week and I think I was just shy of it by half an hour… Might not sound like much to office folk (one of which I was for over thirty years) but lemme tell you, schlepping tables and chairs, trays of food and drink, setting tables (who knew that by tale number 14, the shoulders would burn from putting tablecloths on?) walking to and fro and keeping that smile is not for sissies.  An eight-hour day is a LONG day in the service industry.

K,  no more bitching, I promise you.  So, like I said, the only thing on my agenda was my hair.  At 9-stupid-30 a.m.  On my day off.  Of course if I hadn’t chatted with a friend till 2:30 in the a.m., maybe 9:30 would not have been so stupid.  Whatevs.

I called my mother on my way back from the salon as she lives a hop, step and a jump away to invite myself over for a cup of coffee and ended up with a nice open-faced tomato cheese sandwich to boot!  Chatted with her and Yvon until his lift arrived at noonish (he goes for physiotherapy a few times per week).  Figured I’d leave Mom to watch her shows or relax or read or do whatever the hell she wants and made my way home.  After all, I had a no-agenda day to not plan!

Today was gorgeous.  Sun was shining, then there were some clouds to cool me off, then the sun popped out again.  Yep.  Was gonna take advantage of NOT having to wear black pants, three-quarter-sleeved-buttoned-up-to-my-chin shirt and strangling tie.  Put on my bathing suit, a spray of sunscreen and vacuumed my pool.  Then I jumped into said pool.  Wunderbar!

Zeke figured out how to keep cool…

As I’m having Tammy and Andre over tomorrow for dinner (Mick’s best friend and his wife), I took out some steaks, lamb and chicken.  We will be having a mixed grill…  Keep ya posted 😉

I have been on a mission to weed a bit every day or so and have made some mega progress.  It is starting to look quite lovely here.  The front is mostly weed-free and other than those little mother****s in my unistone driveway, walkway, backyard, things are looking good.  I will have to pull out all the stops to get rid of those suckers.  I can still see Mick cursing over the whole bidness.  Using a pressure washer to blast them away, then spreading sand and sealer over the whole thing to stop them from coming back… effort which, frankly, does not last long enough.  Note to self…. next house has NO unistone…

No, I shall not show you the drive-way per se because, well… it’s past midnight and I just realised I did not take any pics.  Just see above, same shit is my driveway.  Only WAY more intrusion…

So, I tackled some of the backyard, some of the front yard then got fed up and cleared out some of the roses and other flowers.  I am amazed at the sneakiness of weeds.  They try to meld right in, sometimes succeeding quite well…. can you spot the uninvited guest in the Black-Eyed Susans?  While the flowers are still not out, it’s even easier for those buggers to hide…

One of these things just doesn’t belong…

And others are just showing off, thinking they’ll be kept because they might be as beautiful as the flowers… And as penance for ripping them out anyway?  Say hello to scratched hands because they just know we are going to go as far down as we can to ensure we get their roots out and won’t notice those nasty thorns just waiting for unsuspecting hands (and even when we do suspect and are careful, there is always that one thorn hiding…

Come and get me, Bitch

But once cleared out, things are starting to shape up…

And, since we’re on the subject of lovely things…. we are, aren’t we?  The other day I took some pictures with my real camera and had not downloaded them until today.  So all pics taken the other day are still applicable to today because.  Because I said so and today there is no schedule, right?

Dragonfly outside my office window enticed me to go out with more than my phone camera.  I went very slowly to not scare it away and managed to get a few decent ones.

I shall end this with one last image.  On Friday’s, CBC Radio 2 does what they call a “Deep Dive”, with host Rich Terfry.  He plays a whole album – but not just any album – an album that has made an impact in one way or another – as one would have in the vinyl days (yes, I know, we can still do that today), meaning, each song will be played in the same order as on the record.  In between songs, he gives us tidbits on it’s creation, on the members of the band, on how it came to be, etc.  Tonight’s choice was The Band’s album Big Pink – 50 years old this year!

After that, it was the programme:  “Marvin’s Room” with the hostess Amanda Parris.  A one-hour show featuring R&B in all its formats, old and new.  During these two shows, I washed and hung up my clothes, nuked some leftovers brought home from work, and ate. No way I was planning any food cooking.

By 8 p.m., Odario Williams came on with his show “After Dark”.  A cool mix of all sorts of genres of music but most of it on the easy listening tempo.

I was relaxing in my lounge chair when I realised there was a squirrel, just lying on the wires above my cedar hedge. I’m thinking he was enjoying the tunes, too!  That, and the neighbour’s kids screeching as they were playing in their pool…

Think I’ve kept you long enough with my rambling on…  A major heat wave is starting tomorrow in the Montreal area. We will be hitting some wicked temperatures for a good week… highs of up 35°C (95°F) with a humidex factor bringing it up to 45°C+ (115°F)!  NOT looking forward to working from Sunday to Thursday in that…  Till then, stay hydrated, don’t over-exert and enjoy… in no time at all we’ll be complaining about the cold…

A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful

61. Summer heat

62. Not working on a weekend

63. New haircuts, new look

64. Swimming pools

65. Left-overs made by someone else

 

 

 

 

It’s What Nourishes Me

Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.

— Virginia Woolf

I have come to realise that without my friends and family, I am lost.  The words used for me are often “resilient” or “strong” or “capable”…. There is only one way for me to be that.  To connect with my friends and family when I need the extra strength to move forward.

I have always been this way, apparently!

My mother likes to tell me a story, of which I have zero recollection by the way, of a punishment she doled out to me when I was, I dunno… 4? 5? 6?  I’ll have to ask her.  Turns out it was the ultimate, primo, perfect punishment for one such as me.  You see, I was a biter.  I wasn’t happy with you or what you said or did?  I’d bite.  Drove my mother batty.  She threatened more than once to break my teeth with a hammer… ‘course she didn’t.  (And by the way… I STILL bite – so it may have worked only short-term, Mom.  If we’re wrestling or I’m being held down and I feel I can’t break free – I’ll bite you!  Consider yourself warned…)

Anyway, back to my story.  I bit, probably Dougie Dixon, my neighbour, once too many times.  My mother decided that my punishment was for me to stay in my yard, no friends could come over, not even cross the line (grass) and I couldn’t go anywhere for THREE DAYS! (She later realised that one and half days probably would have sufficed as it became more of a punishment to her as I moped and whined and complained.)  THREE DAYS!  It was torture.  No friends?  None?  Not one?  Be alone… They came to the house and my mother told them… “No, Dale can’t come and play with you.  You see, she is an animal and bites…”  Oh, the horror…

Why am I boring you all with this now?  Because I was feeling rather “meh” and frankly, lonely, these past two days… It’s amazing how you can share your house with three young adults and still feel like you are all alone.

This afternoon, I went Bob Burrowes’ funeral (my late dad’s girflriend’s baby brother).  Like my dad, like Mick, every single picture of Bob in the video they had playing on a loop showed his big-ass grin.  This guy, gone too soon via massive heart attack at the age of 67, had a lust for life and people just like Dad and Mick.  The number of people who showed up is a testament to this guy.

Many knew both my dad and Mick so there was some reminiscing going on.  Moments of sadness mingled with smiles of remembrance.

I left from there to shoot down to Montreal to join friends for Giselle’s birthday supper.  And THIS is the point of my going on and on… Jeez… Written diarrhea anyone?

Surrounding myself with people who love me and who I love is what nourishes me.  Keeps me from losing my mind.  From finding myself going too deeply into sadness.  I am blessed.  I can’t help wonder if that is what was missing from Anthony Bourdain’s life.  From Robin William’s.  From so many others who took their own lives.

And, because I can’t always be serious.  As I was parked two streets over and two blocks ahead, Dany and Giselle gave me a lift to close to my car.  I insisted they not go out of their way.  I got out of the car, crossed the two streets and…. promptly walked north instead of south.  Three blocks later, I think… jeez… didn’t walk that far to get to the restaurant, did I?  Turned around and started worrying that my car had been towed.  Dumbass.  I was further south than I thought.  That’ll learn me to pay attention to, not only the street I am parked on, but the cross street too!

Julie mentioned a fabulous App called “Waze” that tells you where the cops are, the potholes, which streets are suddenly blocked off, which bridges are closed… so I used that and realise that… yay!  Despite seeing the tail end of some fireworks (effing annual competition…) my bridge home was NOT closed…

A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful

61. Finding reasons for getting together

62. Nourishment of friends

63. Finding my car

64. No closed bridges on my way home

65. Great readers who also supply me with love and friendship (yes, Frank, this does include you!)

 

Rediscover This Day and See Your Memories

“Be a person that others will look for your posts daily because they know you will encourage them. Be the positive one and help others to have a great day and you will find that not only they like you but you will like you too.”
John Patrick Hickey, Oops! Did I Really Post That

Let’s talk about Social Media. No, I’m not gonna get all negative and fired up about the stupid stuff. I can’t because my nature is to focus on the good, not the bad. I rarely, if ever, share anything negative, quite frankly. I try to stay away from politics though sometimes, it’s awfully difficult… I will, on occasion, share the seriously stupid. Mostly, however, I choose to share things that make you laugh or go “awwww”… Because. You all know. It is a choice. We can rag on others, help grow hysteria or, how about this? Let’s share the happy, the laughs, the love.

That said.

It seems to be the “in” thing now. I don’t know who did it first, Facebook or Google, but they both like to go into your past pictures and posts (scary thought when you do think about it) and bring them forth one, two, three, nine years later. “See Your Memories” or “Rediscover This Day”… this can be fun or sad or, I imagine, horrifying… all depends on what you shared in the first place, eh?

I remember seeing a few memes on Facebook. Of course, the one I want, I cannot find… but here are a few to make you chuckle:

Why am I even going on about this? Because this morning’s “memory” on Facebook.

The boys were so cute and sweet. Then. 😉

So, I remembered that in December, Facebook thought it would be particularly perfect to choose the “Three years ago” timeline so that I could be reminded of my posts during Mick’s coma. For those not on Facebook, here’s what went down: in an effort to do something, because, frankly, I was feeling rather helpless, I posted a picture of Mick and some poem I Googled on either Strength or Courage or Faith or Hope… The end result was I got a lot of love from all over the world. Which I needed. So, to me, these were good posts. And no, it did not make me sad three years later to have these memories pop up daily – and kinda funny (Universe, that YOU?) that they stayed on the “3-year plan” for a week…. hmmmm. It reminded me of all the love and support I had received. Did I share these “Facebook Memories” like the one above? Nah. I felt they would make me look like I was looking for more sympathy, which I am not. I’m good. Really.

But, because I did mention it, here’s one…

On what would have been Austin’s 22nd birthday, I posted that I wondered what he would have looked like, and included this picture:

Not because I was sad. He has been gone for 21 years now. But, maybe because my dad’s fifth death anniversary is two days before Austin’s birthday, I was triggered. I dunno. But I shared it. So many people commented with lovely messages (as you can see above), sending love and hugs. I sure as hell was not looking for sympathy again, and hope no one took it that way. Though, I really don’t think so. I do feel blessed to have so many lovely people in my FB family.

Google’s “Rediscover” is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish!

They share albums. And make “stylized photos” and “Animations”… they go all out… Of course, if I didn’t take so many pictures and if they didn’t get uploaded into the Google Photos, I’d have zilch. Well, they do automatically from my phone. I haven’t set up my computer as of yet. I can only say thank goodness I did because I had some major computer issues way back and not all my photos had been backed up and The Google came to my rescue (for the one’s my bro-in-law, Chris, was unable to retrieve). Phew!

One of the nice things, is they – and by “they” I mean the powers that be who love to torment us peeps – make a collage page, then select a bunch of the pictures taken that day.

For instance, on May 28, I got this little popup.

There’s often a little surprise at seeing Mick’s face in an image I totally forgot I had taken… followed by a moment of reminiscing, usually followed by the thought “that was a fun day…”

Or, how about on May 20… 8 years ago, I had started karate three weeks before and signed up for the “cassage” – breaking of planks of wood – right away. What? You start karate at 46 and now you gonna break wood? What the hell? None of my pics made it to the collage so I’ve taken the liberty of adding two… The woman beside me, Sophie, started on the same day as I did and I coerced her to join me in the wood-breaking. We were like 5 year-olds, having learned how to ride a bicycle, when we broke our planks. High-fiving each other… Seriously. Such nuts. Big joy in the memory, followed by a little sadness because, Richard, completely on the left, is no longer with us, having died one year ago last January…

Since that fateful day, my planks increased to 4 thick, when I fractured my arm. Uh huh. Right…. Next step would have been cement… had I not stopped karate. Who knows? If my foot ever feels better, or my shoulder or. Yeah. No. Not gonna happen. Shall remain as a lovely memory.

One last thought on this whole Social Media thing. I have a Twitter account that my blog posts and Instagram pics get uploaded to. I just haven’t ever gotten into the whole tweeting thing… and no, there is no one I particularly want to follow. Instagram is fun when I take a walk and click a pic and upload. That I can spend some time scrolling, liking pics by those I follow. Not too demanding. Frankly, I am in LinkedIn but don’t use it in any useful way. Maybe when I truly get tired of having to soak my feet after a shift at work, and popping pain killers to try and get through, I will get on there and look for a job….

Meantime, enough of this for today. I have to clean the house. We have a potential buyer visiting tomorrow!

OF course, I don’t use Social Media like in the video below but…. when FB and Google are reminding you of stuff… they are the stalkers, no?

A few of the 10,000 things that make me happy and grateful

  1. Social Media – I use it for good
  2. Love. From strangers who became friends
  3. Peter, who will finish fixing my pool.
  4. Memories
  5. Being cancelled for work because of rain, giving me time to clean house for visit