Tag: family (page 1 of 12)

Uncertainty

Uncertainty. A potent word. A word that brings to mind FEAR. Or does it? Maybe uncertainty creates the possibility to discover a new path that leads to something wild and wonderful.

The Coronavirus is the plague of our day. We are more connected now than ever before and with that comes a river of information. Information is power, the more knowledge you have, the more tools you can arm yourself with to cope. But the abundance of data we are flooded with can also bring anxiety and fear. Facts are coming in almost by the second, not the minute. I will admit that I have at times been overwhelmed by all the information coming my way. 

When that happens, I take a very deep breath. I am blessed. I come from strong stock. I am a farmer’s daughter. My grandparents fought on the frontlines and the home front during WWII and I carry with me valuable lessons I learned from them. We are a “make do” tribe. We are a “figure it out” tribe. We are innovative. We are resilient. We accept the challenges that lay ahead. 

We do not know what tomorrow brings. But that is always the case, whether or not we, as a world, are facing Covid-19 or not. We shall continue on. We will be strong for each other. We will continue to do right by people. Help a neighbour; help a friend; help a loved one if you are able. Even if that’s as simple as a wave from the window, to leaving milk or bread at their door. 

So much is out of our control. I know that there are so many ‘rites of passage’ that will pass so many by. But there is plenty that we can control. As Winston Churchill once said, “ Attitude, is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

And for those of you who live so very far away from those you love so deeply. I understand you. It is a boat we share. It is scary to know that if a loved one is in need you can’t be there to help them; you can’t reach them. But we will continue on. We are blessed to live in a time with the technological capabilities to talk to one another, across borders, across oceans. And we shall continue to walk in faith. 

I am fully aware of what is happening around the world, so please never for a moment, think that I frivolously share things here. But as it has always been; will continue to be for me; and I hope for you: a safe place. This is my spot in the world, I come to share and as much as possible, I would like to continue to do that and not with a heavy heart. We are seeing enough of that in the daily news and in the world around us. And I never want to jump on a band wagon for “hits” or “likes”, I see too many others do that to increase their blog and social media traffic. That is not who I am. I come here only to speak from my heart. 

Thank you to our doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare workers, firemen and women, police and teachers! Thank you to all those lending a hand. We are forever in your debt. The toll mentally and physically that this will take on our frontline defence, will for some be more than they can bear. When this hell for you on the front lines is over, we will be here for you, to help you pick-up the pieces. 

Do not forget that we are ladies and gentlemen. Let us continue to hold ourselves to high standards and not be dragged down. We are all in this together. This isn’t happening in one town, one city, one country, this is GLOBAL. 

Let this bring out the best in us. We have already seen extraordinary acts of kindness and people coming together in our own community. Acts of love and creativity. Let, that be the torch we all pick up. There are silver linings; light will always prevail over darkness; and some good will come of this. Let us all act sensibly and responsibly, as some people who may be more susceptible to this virus may not appear vulnerable to the naked eye.

I pray that you all stay safe and stay well. 

xoxo

First Batch

Today, I started my Christmas baking. This year, I’m making three different cookies to bundle up and give away. The first, was a batch of “snowdrops”. These are deliciously delicate, studded with pecans and each bite has hints of honey and vanilla and all of that is generously enrobed in powdered sugar. 

As I chopped the pecans this morning I couldn’t help but think of one of the first women I ever worked with, Mrs. Moss.  Her job growing up in the weeks leading up to Christmas was chopping all the nuts and fruit that her Mama would need for Christmas cakes, cookies and pies. I don’t ever chop nuts and not think of Alice Moss. 

I know I’ve shared her story here before and I’m gonna do it again today. She was such a special lady. It’s funny, but along the way, other people’s stories become a part of you. Maybe that’s how we keep them alive, as long as we continue to tell their story, their threads continue to be woven into the tapestry, for their story has become a part of our own story. 

The story I shared of Alice’s childhood during Christmas, can be found HERE.

The first part of her story and how she met her husband can be found HERE.

Thanksgiving Eve

There is a pumpkin pie cooling on the counter. I made a fresh loaf of bread earlier in the week and that loaf is now prepped to be used for the stuffing. Celery and onions have been diced and sautéed, in readiness to be thrown into the stuffing mixture tomorrow morning. A turkey breast is chilling in the fridge and the last grocery store run before the weekend was made this morning. I think we’re ready. At least my checklist makes it appear that we are.

I’m so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’m even more excited about my leftover turkey sandwich and a cold slice of pumpkin pie the following day! Come on, Thanksgiving! I’m ready for you!

{Image HERE // Pinned HERE}

Happy July!

“Oh, Hi! I didn’t see you there!”

I’ve been having too much FUN lately, so I’m a few days late to wish you “Happy July!” I’ll never know what happened to the rest of June? It went by in a blur of carousel colours and lights, red ringlets, freckles, baby toes, chocolate cream pie, hot summer car rides that ended in ice cream cone licking, strawberry moons, eating from the garden and being surrounded by everyone I love.

Here’s to hoping that July holds as much FUN and happiness as June did!

{Image Slim Aarons // Pinned HERE}

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Full Circle

As many musicians do as they climb the ladder of fame, they play smaller venues. The first time I saw John Mayer was at a local college next to my hometown. It was the eve of the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks. As he started his final set, he spoke briefly about that day and the people that were lost and how we’ve now turned the corner. That we’ve passed through every major holiday or personal event in someone’s life, in this one year. I remember that moment so clearly, yet for the life of me, I can’t tell you what song he started to play right after that, but half way through it, he just went in to one long solo that included, “Happy Birthday” and “Auld Lang Syne”. He was marking each yearly milestone that we all passed through before we came back full circle to this one particular day. 

Today is a full circle day for my family. Somehow we have had birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and all the other things in between without one of my greatest soulmates present. How this year has passed so quickly, I’ll never be able to tell you. I still smell her, I can hear her, I talk to her on a daily basis, even if our chats are just to the whispering winds. 

Somehow, it feels as if the universe knows that a piece of my heart is still missing, because a large number of the blogs I read have all been talking about grief lately. She wasn’t a wallower, she was a pick your head up, put one foot in front of the other and keep walking kind of lady and that is what I have done this year. But I won’t say that she isn’t in my daily thoughts. The amount of times I’ve been in a stationery store, waiting in line to pay for my handful of cards, only to realise that one of the ones I’m holding, I no longer need, is actually laughable. I normally do chuckle to myself, step out of line, put the card back and just shake my head. 

Despite what people say, what textbooks tell you, I don’t think there are any “rules” to grief. You simply make the journey into this land the best way you know how. Maybe you pick up some pointers on the way, but I feel grief is about learning to live with your altered self. I’ll never be who I was before this. How can I be? But you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, you see beauty in the everyday, you love those around you a little harder than before, you continue to laugh and you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel. Life is a dance of pain and love, without one, we would never appreciate the other. 

I was fortunate to grow up in a home where music of every genre was played. That still applies to our little cottage. Recently my parents asked me if I had heard Scott McCreery’s new song, “Five More Minutes”? I had not and after looking it up and watching the video, I was just left in a puddle of tears. Because this song is about life, about living. Time is a funny thing, it ebbs and flows like a river. There will never be enough time with those you love. You will always want more. I could have used five more minutes with her, but I’m greedy, because after that I would have asked for more. There still was so much more to know, to learn, to hear, to see through her eyes. But she is still with me, I carry her in my heart. 

We’ve passed this last mile marker that brings us full circle to one year.  And we’ll all keep going because that is what she taught us; to keep your faith, to keep your head up and to keep moving forward. She’s still with us, her footprints just aren’t visible to the naked eye any more. 

The Last Batch

The cottage is turning into a regular ol’ cookie factory. I baked my last batch of Christmas cookies this morning. They’re all cooled now and waiting to be boxed up and delivered. This last batch of spritz cookies will be packaged up with snowballs and iced sugar cookies.

I made an extra batch this go round so there will be cookies for Mr. Michie to enjoy with a cup of tea. The vanilla, almond and hint of lemon flavour of this buttery flaky cookie goes perfectly with a hot cup of tea or a bowl of vanilla ice cream!

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The First Batch

I’ve spent my day baking my first Christmas batches of spritz cookies and sugar cookies. I think it took me longer to decide which cookie cutters to use than to actually make the sugar cookies. I love cookie cutters! This year I’ve used my pretty little lady and there are stars, hearts, reindeer, trees, mittens, a cute little bear and a log cabin. Tomorrow, I’ll ice the sugar cookies and start working on making snowballs.

I got the prettiest little pot of glacé cherries at the grocery store this week and I placed them in the middle of pink coloured spritz flowers. They reminded me of cookies on the tray of Italian Christmas sweets that always filled both of my grandmother’s homes during the holidays.

The cottage smells of sugar and lemons and vanilla and almonds and I think that everything might be covered in glitter dust now. But, that’s okay! Who doesn’t need a little sparkle in their life?

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you may be! 

The First

Not only did we usher in the first day of December today, with a few morning snow flurries, I might add, but the beginning of Advent has also arrived.

I was so excited to see what was behind our little paper window this morning! Mr. Michie carefully pulled it back and our miniature scene today was of a boy pulling a sled over a frozen pond.

I adore paper Advent calendars. They bring me back to my childhood and all the little glitter covered paper calendars my Nana would give us to celebrate the season with. Happiness is…

Nostalgia

I don’t know why and I know that it just isn’t me, because everyone I’ve spoken with today has said they feel as if this has been the longest week ever!

The woods were so quiet this morning. I only passed one other person out with her two Jack Russells. The sunbeams were distilled through the leaves, moving in and out as the breeze shook the branches; little tracks of light making the path glow. I could see my breath. It was a perfect autumnal morning.

I love the way the light changes this time of year. The shadows become longer. The light becomes whiter. My Nana’s dining room was at the corner of the house, so light filtered in from the front and the sides. Near one of the windows in the corner she had a Christmas cactus that sat on a tall wooden plant stand.

The afternoon autumnal light would be so pure the cactus almost appeared as it was glowing. The light would move across the dining room table and come to rest on the opposite wall. I would sit at the kitchen table watching the light dance about. It always made me think of Cranberries, by Andrew Wyeth.

We hardly ever turn on the TV, but last night the Mercury Prize Awards were on and Mr. Michie wanted to see some of the acts perform. Sampha, won the prize and we were both very happy with the judges decision. He played, “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”.

I have no idea why, because there was not a piano in the dining room, or even in my Nana’s house for that matter. But, this song makes me think of her home. I suppose it speaks to me because her house knew me well.  I used to clean for her and my other Grandmother for pocket money. I was usually saving up to buy Christmas presents. Her walls heard my voice, her furniture knew the touch of my hand. Her stove was incredibly fun to cook on, this perfect 1960s avocado green beauty. I think this song makes me feel nostalgic. The changing of seasons makes me feel that way as well, excited for what is to come and sad to let the previous season slip away.

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