Thank you for my word of the year: Trust, a word that really came in handy when situations got foggy or hard or were simply unknown. I was able to let go of it all and put my trust in the greater good. It was a word that encouraged me to set aside anxiety, to set aside the Universal Remote and relax into uncertainty.
Thank you for these two human creatures:
Two great little kids who bring me nothing but love and lessons, silly fun and a squishy heart.
Thank you for my dream animal encounter:
This Raven left a group of people who were feeding him, all the way down the parking lot to our truck, to hang out with ME.
I AM THE CHOSEN ONE!
Ha Ha Ha. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!
THEN, his mate flew in from a tree somewhere, for a visit too!
They were both super bold, not aggressive just unbothered by our humanness. At times they was SO close to me I could have reached out and touched them. I didn’t though, out of respect for the moment. I thought the female was going to hop on my shoulder t one point, she just kept moving closer and closer! But I guess she was respecting the moment too.
We chit chatted in English and Raven for quite awhile, close to 30 mins before they fly into the trees for a snooze. Dream come true!
Thank you 2019 for the MIRENA IUD:
For all your hormone-y goodness that helps me live a normal life every month. Life changer. This seems funny to me to include on this list and hell, it may seem weird to you but when one has lived as I have lived, one is inclined to give thanks where thanks is due!
Thank you 2019 for March 18. The first day after Winter I was able to go for a walk without a jacket and be comfortable! Three more months to go ❤
Thanks for BOOKS. GLORIOUS BOOKS!
And libraries too ❤
I read 133 books in 2019 beating my Reading Challenge by 8 books. Woot Woot! My goal for next year shall be…hmmmm….135 bookeroos!
Last but not least:
Thanks 2019 for all the lovely humans who pass by my little corner of the Universe by way of this place on the Interwebs.
If you’ve ever read, liked, commented or met me in real life, you’ve had a positive impact on me and I thank you! I feel extremely lucky to be surrounded by so many intelligent, kind, fun and thoughtful people and I appreciate you SO MUCH.
Here’s to a kind and compassionate 2020.
May we be peaceful, happy, well, safe and free from suffering.
Remember when I went to Tanzania, started to write about it, then never finished?
Ha Ha Ha!
It’s coming. Truly.
I brought something back from Tanzania that was far greater than stories and photos and I will actually share that with you today.
I’m not even lying.
I’m not really a goal oriented person. I’m happy to live my life, floating along this way and that. Travelling to Tanzania was the ONE thing in my life that I wanted to do.
I wanted to see the animals and the landscape. I wanted to bask in the beauty and the wonder of a place that was so different from my home. I imagined doing so would bring magic and meaning into my life and the experience was most magical. My time there was positive and special and full of meaning and emotion.
And then* poof* it was gone.
I lived every moment of that time. I was the most mindful muthafucka there ever was ! I squeezed out every last drop of experience I could. I let the whole thing sink into my very being and when I got home life was the same as it ever was.
One minute I was there, the next I was not. One minute I was surrounded by magic, the next it was like I’d never even gone. (Did I go? I mean I know I have the photos…)
After the post trip depression cleared and I got my working brain back I was struck by the greatest piece of wisdom I’ve gained this year.
I think I’d come back from a fun weekend with family. It might have been Miss. Sassafras’s dance recital, when my mum in law was in town and my family enjoyed dinner together and lots of love and laughs.
It might have been when I had my goodbye chat with Carolyn. When it became really clear that she was not going to outwit cancer, she was not going to live with it as a chronic condition. She was going to die. And she was going to die soon.
It might have even been a day when I was sitting on my porch in the sun having a chit chat with a wild crow.
I don’t know. But it came and it grabbed me and it stuck. I am ever grateful.
The Big Moments are fleeting. They do not last.
You might think they will because they GIGANTIC but they slip right through the hands. They may be grand and spectacular but in the scheme of all things, they are just small compared to this:
The seemingly small bits in the everyday that become HUGE. These are the things that add up, to make up a life. These are the things that matter. That count. These are the things that stick with you and glow far brighter than the big moments.
A smile from a loved one. Their smell, their laugh. Going out for coffee with a friend, your partner making you a cup of tea. Family dinners, neighbourhood walks. Birds chirping, the furnace roaring to life in the dead of Winter.
The small bits of the every day are the things that sustain us , without us even knowing and become what matter most in the end.
Go and do the big things
Then come home and make a good life, in all it’s perfectly ordinary, spectacular glory. Really focus on that.
Home, family and friends.
That’s where it’s at.
According to me 🙂
What’s been your greatest lesson of 2019? What did your Inner Wise Owl tell you? Won’t you share?
Hello August. Goodbye July. You were wet and stormy but you were still GOOD no matter what anyone else says because you were not anywhere close to being below zero! I will take wet and stormy over cold and snowy, any day!
(Ha! Like I regularly go to concerts every month)
Backstreet Boys! What a hoot! I bought these tickets as a joke (a very expensive joke, back when I still had a job) and never gave it much thought after that. Colour me surprised and delighted when the entire evening turned out to be SO DAMN FUN! Myself, my friend, my daughter in law and my daughter met up for dinner where we ate like the beasts that we are and then enjoyed a few hours of non stop singing, laughing and dancing. It was a blast! I know waaay more songs than I thought I did and I really enjoyed the whole thing. They put on a great show and it was so out of my ordinary. It felt good to hang with my adult daughter and be adults! And it felt good to hang with my daughter in law as women, instead of mum and grandma. And of course, it’s always special to be with my Friend.
Here we are, after she got sick of me taking 9 million selfies.
Oh! And before the show, we came across a lady who rode her bike straight into a pole. She smashed her face and cut up her lip badly. We were all a little stunned by it! I can so relate. I once rode into a parked car. My daughter gave her the shirt off her back to stem some of the bleeding but she was definitely going to need some stitches. Ouch! It was the most random thing to see…
I, Lael, she who is afraid of worms. She who is SO afraid of worms she sometimes cries and runs away from particularly big ones, used a very long stick to save a very long worm from certain death on the sidewalk! I was so proud! Take THAT fear.
Best Cosy Moment:
I can still feel his baby body on my lap. Sitting on a stool at Miss. Sassafras’ house, during her birthday party. Kids happy and running around, holding OV, body heavy against me because he’s sick, while he eats watermelon and we share ice cream cake. His cold hasn’t caught me yet…but if it does…it was worth it. 🙂
Best Book: I read 16 books this month! Wow. I’ve read 90 books out of the 125 books I’ve challenged myself to this year. I’m 72% of the way there. This month the best book I read gets FIVE STARS! That’s a perfect book my friends.
The ClockMaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton. I thought it was beautifully crafted and intricately detailed. The story was utterly captivating. A good summer time read.
I’ve developed a nectarine problem. I just cant stop eating them! They are the perfect fruit. What am I going to do come Autumn?
So, July intentions: did I get my ass on my bike? Yep! I got three rides in!
Did I explore more of the city? A little bit. Mostly close to home.
Did I read outside? Yep! So much that my butt is telling me I need a better outdoor seating situation 🙂
Did I eat my meals outside? Noooo, unless you count all the times I crammed strawberries and peas in my mouth while out in the garden…heheh. It’s been pretty buggy out there. I don’t feel too bad about not meeting this one!
Intentions for August:
More of the same really. Outdoor reading, biking, exploring. I really want to visit the Devonian Botanical Garden before they close it in September. I want to take Miss. Sass for a walk across the river/lake in Jasper…August is our last full month of Summer so I feel this sort of frenzy to DO ALL THE THINGS!
One goal I’d love to smash is this: meditate every single day.
Do you have any intentions set out for August? How was your July? What was the best thing you did?
I’ve read 9 books this month. Not my best month but I’ve been playing outside every chance I can get so it’s ALL good! I do intend to do MORE reading OUTSIDE from here on out because that’s a special pleasure that comes and goes through a short time frame 🙂
My favourit book this month was:
The Last Hours by Minette Walters
A descriptive, interesting, engaging tale about life during the Black Death. I found it a little long about 3/4 of the way through but then when it ended I was left craving more! Good thing there’s a second one!
I also enjoyed these two:
Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran was fast paced and fun to read. Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird really got me thinking good.
That;s easy. It’s also the only movie I watched this month, ha.
Always Be My Maybe !It was smart and funny and sweet without being saccharine. It held my attention the whole way through and left me feeling happy. You can find it on Netflix, I believe. Go watch!
Kindest human interaction:
It’s a toss up between the lady who asked me ” Are you OK? Do you need a ride? ” when OV and I were playing in the pouring rain OR when Hubs gently rubbed cream on my roasted sunburnt back, without me asking…
Coolest thing I got in the mail:
My first box of Universal Yums! A monthly subscription box of snacks from around the world. This month the country was Colombia. Colombia? I am enjoying your snacks! You make the BEST queso tortilla chips! And I love your coconut toffee.
Best Lune moments:
I bought myself 30 small and medium gifts as tangible reminders to celebrate everything but the best and most valuable things were moments engaging with loved ones. Even in sadness.
1. Learning about the new developments in my friend’s health, the sorrow and the conversation and the love and wisdom that followed. 2. Having my entire family over for dinner! All the kids, blood and otherwise, all the spouses, former and current. 3. Seeing my mum in law and enjoying her feierce love for me. 4. Spending the week with my Hubs doing nothing much but having fun nonetheless. 5. Chatting with my daughter every day. She calls me and says ” What’s more annoying? Me as a kid or me as an adult? as way of apology but you know, I am grateful and appreciate that she WANTS to talk to me. I’ll take her daily phone calls, joyfully. ( The answer is always ” You as a kid!” ha ha. She was a tornado, that one! )
I’m happy for July because I’m hoping the weather sort of evens out a bit…but I’m enjoying the ever changing nature of the way things are now. We get rain every day and we get sun every day so if you plan it right you can enjoy it all and life never gets boring! The days are flying past so I’m making a few intentions to keep my butt on track:
Read my books outside when it’s not raining.
Get my ass on my bike!
Eat my meals outside when I can…
Check out a new part of the city every week.
What are your best June memories? What are your intentions for July?
Hello May! I should note that is does NOT look like this photo in Edmonton as I type this! No, no. It’s currently snowing sideways and everything is covered in snow. It’s all OK because it’ll melt quickly and we’ll be back to green grass and better days 🙂
Why are the best months flying by? WHYYYYYYYY?! The days of nice weather are so fleeting here, these are the months when I wouldn’t mind it if the days dragged on the way they do in January.
Look at me, hey? No wonder I suffer so in September. I’m already mourning the loss of days that haven’t even happened yet.
I was super, super busy with all kinds of fun stuff last month. Visits with friends, walks in the nicer weather, lots of reading and Netflixing. I’ve been watching stuff on YouTube, too. I’ve been living vicariously through all the Through Hikers. I want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail SO BAD. Nobody I know like hiking much though and I’m not sure I want to do it alone. We shall see. It’s getting to be one of those things that’s starting to “bug” me. The call has become rather insistent.
This is a pretty random Best Of:
Best Thing That Completely Took Over My Life– Blogging From A-Z Challenge! I met the most interesting humans and it was cool to have reading and writing be the main focus of my life most days. Stay tuned for a follow up post regarding the experience in greater detail.
Best Book– I read 18 books this month. I’ve reached something like 47% of my Reading Challenge goal. Fire! (That’s what the cool kids are saying these days 😉 ) Of these books, 7 really stand out for me. They are:
Best Movie– The African Doctor. Oh my heart! This was a great story. It’s on Netflix. In French, with subtitles. I always feel so cultured when I watch movies with sub titles, heh…I also watched Brene Brown: The Call To Courage An excellent watch! I was nodding and crying and bolstered throughout 🙂
Best TV Show– Schitt’s Creek. I am IN LOVE with this series. It’s Canadian. It’s clever and funny and silly and ridiculous and heart warming and progressive and modern and…oh it’s ALL THE THINGS. Watch it!
Best Meal– Taste wise, this would have to be a Teen Burger from A&W, with onion rings and a root beer. Nothing beats that. For my heart, that would have been my 21 year old daughter’s birthday party, with my son in law and my scrumptious grandson.
Best Time Outdoors– I gave my Mountain Ash a haircut. It was the first time I’d been out doing yard work and I don’t know…it was kinda magical. At the risk of sounding like a total nut (oh wait. I’ve already established that ) I thanked my tree for her leafy coverage and listened to her for guidance as I trimmed her up. The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, the birds were singing…I was connected to the Earth.
Best Naughty Act– I’ve been feeding the birds, Crows in particular but of course the other big birds have been getting in on the action too. The Magpies and Jays. My goal is to develop a relationship with the Crows in my neighbourhood because Crows are cool. I’m gaining an appreciation for the Magpies who seem pretty intelligent too. They’ve started talking to me and while I’ve seen crows do that ALL the time, it’s a first for me with Magpies. Jays seem to be squawky and … I don’t even know. I don’t have a read on them yet!
I had a Raven come by just yesterday! A RAVEN! Squeeee! I was so surprised because while Ravens are my FAVOURITE I wasn’t holding out any hope to get THAT lucky. But lucky I was. It flew straight into the yard in front of me but was nervous of Claudette and settled on the fence instead. I tossed a peanut into my garage roof and it grabbed that and sat and yapped at me before flying off when a car came by. It came back later, sitting on my neighbour’s roof calling for more but I resisted the urge. I don’t want to turn them into pests! I was so struck by how much MORE they are compared to the other birds. Bigger, smarter, more personable. And that’s saying something because I find the Crows and Magpies to be marvellous creatures. I went to bed happy for the experience. What a gift!
Best Hot Drink– OK, hear me out. 7-11’s Spiced Chai Latte. I know, I know! BUT you have to just try it. It costs two bucks, and its spicy! One note mostly, cinnamon but still, it actually has some spice to it. ( I rarely get a good cup of spiced chai in this western world) It’s rich and creamy too, without being oily -Tim Horton’s I’m looking at you and your hot chocolate- and it comes out of the dispenser HOT! I pay 5 whole dollars or more for a drink at Starbucks and even after I ask for it extra, EXTRA hot, I still get something barely warm. Booooo!!! All in all, a quality product for a great price. 7-11 for the win!
So May! I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday. I’m excited about planting my garden and all the plants and life that is going to start popping up. I saw a bee the other day! And I’ve seen a ton of butterflies. My ants are very busy in my front yard and the other day a bird dropped a GIGANTIC worm on my deck *shudder. I’m just waiting on baby bunnies, dandelions and bumblebees.
OH! And it’s one month until Lune, my birthday month. Shit, I’d better start preparing for that! I have like, no presents and I need 30 of them! If you have a birthday coming up, I highly recommend you celebrate ALL MONTH LONG too. I think the older one gets, the more important birthdays become. Plus, one of my personal mottos is : Celebrate Everything. So there!
A mill town, in the interior of the province, it’s a kind of backwards place. They have some social problems and some race problems and some housing problems and some…lets just say they have some problems!
Most places do, right? It’s just that in a place with a population of just under 11,000 people, those problems are like RIGHT THERE!
It wasn’t a horrible place to live and nothing majorly bad happened to us. Williams Lake has the honour of being the place where I met my very first circle of ladies. The ladies who loved and accepted me so generously and in doing so taught me so much! So, the city has it’s place in my heart for sure.
But the nonsense! Oh my!
The rental rate was at .1% vacancy. We were living in a crappy trailer, in an even crappier trailer park when our lives took a turn!
Frequent drunk male visitors to our neighbour, Elsie who was the neighbourhood bootlegger. Her customers would make their way down the hill from a visit with her, fall and then just roll to the bottom. It was awful to watch at first because… human dignity…but after a while, I’m ashamed to say we’d usually just laugh and call the cops to get the guy off the road and safely into the drunk tank for the night. This happened more than a couple of times a week!
The old man and woman across the “street” who’d have rip roaring fights about ???, who the hell knows! But they were mad and they were loud and they were outside and it usually ended with Kay yelling “Oh go to bed!” at Dolphus, while the rest of us giggled and took that particular phrase as our own. I even say it unironically these days, ha ha.
Peeing! Everywhere there was peeing! During Stampede Week, I saw a rather large lady drop her drawers behind a very thin sapling, in the middle of town and just let loose. The next day, some dude in the trailer park walked behind an empty trailer and took a leak all the while yelling at me ” I wasn’t pissing, Lady!” when I freaked out at because he was RIGHT there by my freaking window! And he WAS SO pissing! But the last straw and the thing to make me laugh was the next day when I looked out that same window again and saw some thing else relieving itself. A deer. A bloody deer, just squatting there all casual like, peeing on the grass. Even in my pissed off -ha!- state, I could see the joke in that. A Universal joke.
Stampede Week again, middle of town, again and this time we see a commotion in the bushes. Someone is struggling to stay upright. They lose the battle and a MOON appears. The whole town is mooned by some drunk guy falling down, pants around his knees, bare bum hanging out, in the bushes. I still think of that and laugh. Bare bums are just funny and I don’t know, I just felt such affection for the guy. This is how you know I was acclimatized to all the nonsense!
Speaking of drunk people- are you noticing the trend?- The kids and I were having a quiet night at home when “BOOOM!!” the whole house shakes and rolls on its wheels, my 15 year old cat flies ( like literally flies) out of the bay window and we watch one of Elsie’s clients, maneuver himself out of her parking spot in a 1000 point turn. This was really helpful because it gave me time to call the 5-0. They caught him at the bottom of trailer park hill and he was so drunk, they weren’t sure how he was even alive. His blood level was so crazy high that the cops came back to tell me what it was in amazement, lol. Of course I don’t remember the number but it must have something really high! Now there is nothing funny about drunk driving BUT there is something funny about his slow getaway that enabled him to get caught.
Elsie loved my daughter and my daughter loved her. I was totally OK with this relationship because Elsie was always appropriate. Well, usually appropriate. There was one night when she came creeping onto our porch with a bag of candy for her at 3am and when she didn’t get an answer, tried her very best to break in by jimmying the lock! My 15 year old son had to tell her he’d send Jig over in the morning and she went away. (After suggesting that maybe an afternoon visit might be better)
Elsie was a sweetheart but a tough lady and she had exacting standards of behavior that she expected her many boyfriends to uphold. Elsie had boundaries like nobody else and when one of her boy toys crossed them, well we’d all be in for a treat. I cannot count how many times we watched Elsie running out of her house screaming with fury while she beat some dude with a mug. Or a broom. Or his very own bicycle..Elsie was tough! I really admired her for that. Don’t worry, we always watched, phone at the ready in case the situation turned murderous but honestly, we were cheering her on.
So there you have, some neighbourhood nonsense. Thinking about this all kinda makes me miss the “dub”. There were some issues yes, but those people were still human beings who treated us well and accepted us for who we were. They taught me a lot and really helped define my sense of justice, integrity and powers of empathy. I became a better person for living amongst them, that’s for damn sure. They made me laugh, they tested my patience and inner compass and they showed themselves, warts and all so authentically to me. What a beautiful gift ❤
Sadly, unlike Oprah’s favourite things show, this will not be a giveaway post. Nobody is getting a diamond bracelet, or a trip. There is no parking lot full of cars to be gifted out to you, my darling readers. I am sorry! If I could, I would. Of course!
What you will get (hopefully) is inspiration to think about your own favourite things and why those things are your favourites. What do they mean to you? I’m into living simply, that’s for sure BUT I also strongly believe that it’s important to express one’s self through the objects we keep in our lives and there is much we can learn, positive and negative from the things we surround ourselves with.
I saw this at Michael’s Craft store around Halloween and fell madly in love! Why? Well, That is Lotus Pose – my kind of lotus pose! I am not flexible enough to get my feet up either, haha- with hands in Namaste. I am a half assed Buddhist and this is all my jam! But more than that, I love this piece because it is a skeleton and it reminds me to relax fully into life and death. It reminds me that we all suffer, we all die, and we all have great potential to experience peace, calm, love and joy in the meantime. It reminds me of this ” No mud, no lotus” and this ” May I Live Like The Lotus. At Ease In Muddy Water” and this ” Let The Mud Settle” Mantras and lessons and ideas that I find very helpful in my everyday life. Plus, it’s so cute sitting there on my art table, all creepy and such. I get a kick out of freaking people out and then engaging in deep conversations with them, or at least popping positive ideas in their heads about life and such.
My son made me this little owl and I adore it. Of course I do, right? I adore it for another reason. When he brought it home to me he said it wasn’t very good and even though I reassured him that it was “most excellent!” he struggled still and while that totally broke my heart, I understood completely. I am a perfectionist too. So when I look at my owl I’m reminded to go easy on people and go easy on myself.
What? A yellow plate? Hell yes a yellow plate! Food looks better, tastes better and feels better on a sunny yellow plate. This bistro set- plate, salad plate and bowl- by Fiesta ware makes me happy every time I look at it. I have all different colours but I love this one so much I think I might just replace the others and sub in more yellow 🙂 Especially helpful in the drab winter months!
My Hubs bought me these giraffes at a stall in a mall for our anniversary. They are from Kenya, and it was my longest dream to go to the continent of Africa to see the animals, so they served as a reminder and motivation for that. I’d walk past them, give them a stroke and remember. They kept the dream alive in my head and strengthened my resolve each day. They made it seem possible for I had not thought it so before then!And then one day I went! To Tanzania AND Kenya- we popped into the Maasai Mara whilst in the Serengeti- Now, my giraffes remind me that dreams require action, however small, that they are possible and that I’ve seen giraffes ( and lions, and elephants, and hippos, and hyenas, and leopards, and warthogs) and a million other amazing creatures, in the wild and it was amazing.
How would I describe my daughter? Pure love. She’s fierce in her love and open and honest about it. She was born that way and twenty years later, she’s still that way. My girl painted this for me when she was 10 years old and every time I see it I feel loved. I’m also reminded TO LOVE, greater and wider then I have before. My girl inspires me to be a better person and taught me more than I ever could have learned on my own. She says she’s the way she is because of me but I say I’m the way I am because of her!
I used to do this on New Years Eve but have since changed it to my birthday. What is this? I collect notes to myself, receipts from fun times and such, quotes, things I’ve learned, experiences I’ve had and pop them into this FABULOUS bottle I found at Home Sense for twenty bucks. THEN, once a year, I dump them all out and read them. It’s a fun little exercise that shows me just how cool my life really is, how much I’m grown, what I’ve learned and how lucky I am. I highly recommend it!
So that’s that. A few of my favourite things. What is your absolute favourite thing? Why?