Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's Been a Slice 2013, Hello 2014!


Well, my friends, the turkey hangovers are over, the pie has been eaten, and the grandkids have been "covertly" handed too many treats from grandparents, aunties and uncles. And, as we stand at the threshold of a new year, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at the one we are leaving behind.

It never ceases to amaze me that in the blink of time that is a year, so much can happen. To think that in the last 12 months we've had a new grandbaby, had the oldest grandbaby start kindergarten, a daughter engaged, opened our business, visited schools, played at some weddings, had kids move back home and then back out again, did some bar shows and some trade shows, did a bit of camping, and celebrated a mini family reunion (sibfest 2013).

I'm sure if you hold a mirror up to your year, it most likely holds at least that many events, some completely life-changing.

Sometimes in the day-to-day business of life it seems like we are doing little more than chasing our tails. At the end of the year, I find it fascinating to look back and connect the dots, taking note of how each event leads into the next, and how skipping any one moment, may have changed the course entirely.

That is why I believe that life is not just a product of happenstance. That is why I truly believe everything happens for the sole purpose of leading us to the next thing, the next place, the next lesson, in turn, teaching us who we are supposed to be and become. Our genuine selves.

So if we take an honest look at our past year, looking at everything, both good and bad, doing our true best to not look at it through the skewed lens of our ego, we can always find lessons we were meant to learn. We may not find all of them, but that's the beauty of life, everyday that we awaken, we get another chance to do just that.

It's been an incredible year, and I can't wait to see what's in store next!

This week has been a blast!

Once we were able to complete a extremely challenging repair, we were able to take a few days off for Christmas.

The girls were home with husbands and boyfriends, friends and babies. There was a lot of food, laughter, board games and smack talk. It was soooo good to get everybody under the same roof!

But, with the holidays behind us, it's back to the shop on Monday.

We have some very interesting and different types of repairs over the next while to keep us on our toes.

Oh! And we are going out on New Year's Eve! We did not book a show for New Year's, this year for the sole purpose of attending some kind of dance etc. Well, imagine my disappointment when I couldn't find anything to go to! We kept watching for some kind of notice to pop up at the post office or one of the many bulletin boards around the neighbouring towns, to no avail.

But, over the holiday, our local bar owner put a notice on facebook that she would be hosting a party! Yay! It's been a very long time since we've attended an event like this as regular guests. I'm looking very forward to having a great night!

So, my friends, Happy New Year! And with that, I'll leave you with this wish.......

May the reflection of the year past be clear and true, showing all we need to see.
May it's truths, show lessons learned, bringing us closer to who we need to be.

May we see the peace, love and joy, we've been lucky enough to receive.
May we also see all that lies ahead of us, the strides we can achieve.

May we look forward with excited anticipation, putting fear of the unknown at bay.
May we trust that no matter what happens, we walk on, and we will find our way.

May this new year be just that, a shiny, unmarked new and wonderful start.
May you grasp it tightly with both hands, head held high, mind clear, and lead into it with heart.

Until next year! (I know, overdone joke)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Little Chubby Guy In A Red Suit, Bringing Stuff


The Holiday Season is officially upon us! Yay!

I love having wee ones around, always, but especially this time of year. Everything is new and incredible. There has not yet been any jading of ideals, no one has pulled back the curtain on the magic of Christmas. There is awe and wonder at every turn, beauty and excitement in every shiny, tiny face.

I, for one, believe it is our duty, as the adults of the world, to foster that magic. Instill in our young ones, so deeply, the joy of giving to others, that they never lose the desire to bring happiness to those around them.

It's about so much more than a little chubby guy in a red suit, bringing stuff.

With that, I'd like to revisit a subject that just doesn't seem to go away.

Season's Greetings!

I think if everyone could put aside all the noise about the political correctness of different seasonal greetings, maybe we could get back to the reason the greetings ever came to be.

I think all the greetings, regardless of religious or political origin, were used to let your neighbours know you wished them well.

Now, unless you have incredible intuitive capabilities, there is no way of knowing anyone's personal belief system in the brief moment in which a greeting is afforded a stranger. Therefore, we tend to offer whatever is familiar to us. It might be Merry Christmas, it could be Happy Hanukkah, it could be one of many greetings from many different places and cultures around the world.

What it boils down to is this. It all still translates into wishing your neighbours well. Plain and simple.
Why clutter it up with all the noise?

Dismounting soap box. (with a backflip, cuz I'm a ninja like that)

Soooooo, this week was one for the books!

Yep, this week sure presented it's challenges. Glitches in websites, phone tag with insurance people, parts not coming, parts not available, parts breaking, totally not having the superpower to shrink huge heavy things down to a miniscule, manageable size, and then returning them to their original state.

Yep, one of those weeks.

We are, however very close to having our current project completed in time for Christmas. It required using another baking day and we will need to work the majority of tomorrow, after a trip to the city for a parts run and now, sadly shortened, gift delivery.

But, with any luck, that should do it! Then, on Monday we will go into the shop to be on hand for any last minute shoppers, tidy up, and close for the Holidays! Yep, 4 days in a row! Well, almost, my hubby will have to go in on Christmas Eve for a short bit. But then it's days off until the 30th!

It will be time for turkey, games, laughter, and enough treats to keep the grandkids wired for days! Good Times!

Thank you all for taking the time to read these ramblings. I am forever grateful for the support, and continuously humbled and honored by the fact that you do read them.  I love getting messages and emails from you, and hope they continue to come my way. As I said, I am forever grateful.

Well, that about does it for me, this week. Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish.........

May the wonder of the season renew itself in you, becoming what is was when you were small.
May you once again feel nothing but thrilled anticipation, like a 5 year old meeting Santa at the mall.

May the colourful lights reignite your innocence, bring the twinkle back to your eye.
May the cheerfully, carefully placed decorations, make you rethink the reindeer's ability to fly.

May every piece of adult logic take a backseat to the utter and complete joy of the season.
May you forget about grown up things, just for a while, and for good reason.

May you embrace the chaos of the holiday, the noise,the scattering of bright paper, toys and dishes.
May you embrace the chaos of the holiday, for this, is simply the sound of the granting of wishes.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Short Days Long Nights! Yup It's Winter!


With the holidays just around the corner, I got to feeling a bit nostalgic.  Seeing as I haven't scanned ALL of the old pics into this computer yet, I thought I would share a sampling of those that have been.

I know it sounds cliché as heck, but it really does seem like it was just a few years ago when they were this little. These are my two youngest daughters. Then, almost 2 and almost 3. Now, they are almost 24 and almost 23.

Time has, and continues to fly by so quickly. I keep having to remind myself to slow down and let the moments stick. I just don't want to look back, some day, and feel like I've missed memories by not taking the time to let them sink in.

Take the time. Sink into them.

This year, our Christmas ought to be pretty lively. It will be short, but sweet, with in-law celebrations and work schedules being worked into the mix. It will be short, but jam packed, with turkey and treats and gift opening and games and 4 kids 5 and under, maybe more.

It will be nice to have everybody under one roof again, it's been way too long since all of our girls have been home at the same time.

Well, this week was witness to some cookie baking, ladder wrestling, tin hanging, awning balancing and bookkeeping.

I put together some cream cheese cookies with rolo centres, they turned out pretty yummy.

We finished putting the siding on a trailer and put a new awning on another.

In the midst, as I was trying to carry and set up one our 12ft ladders so I could quickly climb it to make sure the giant motorhome my hubby was driving out of the shop would clear the door, it decided to fight back. I couldn't let it fall against the motorhome, so I ended up taking a pretty nasty hit to the knees and shins. Ahhh, the glamour of being a business owner!

Good news, it cleared with inches to spare!

As for the upcoming week?

Well, this week will consist of assisting my hubby in replacing a 400 pound generator in a giant motorhome (not the one mentioned above)

It will also involve, bill paying, present wrapping, last minute picking up of stuff, more baking, more writing, and this time we are REALLY going to a movie!

Take the time. Sink into them.

So, as we approach the winter solstice, I'll leave you with this wish.

May the short days and long nights translate into less work and more sleep.
May it not only mean you shovel snow in the dark... after work... waist deep.

May cozy cuddles in front of a crackling fire be happily checked off of your bucket list.
May whatever your equivalent of this be achieved, and bring you complete bliss.

May you, wherever you are, celebrate and enjoy this changing of the season.
May you find joy, happiness, and peace in abundance, beyond any reason.

Until next time,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!


For those of you who may be unfamiliar with sundogs, well, that, my friends, is what you are looking at in this pic.

I took this with my phone, on our way to a service call, this week. What are sundogs, you may ask? Well, I am no meteorologist, there is no "but" here, just keep that in mind as you read on.

Sundogs are rainbow wannabes. They only show when it's cold enough to freeze your sneeze before it hits the Kleenex. You know that heart warming movie in which Jack Nicholson thinks he's Johnny Carson and a lumber jack rolled into one? You know the one.........he's takes his family to this lovely ski resort to focus on his writing, his little boy makes some lovely dyslexic know, the ones you like to play spelling games in the hallway........"The Shining"! If you don't know the movie......well imagine "It's a Wonderful Life"  yeah.....pretty much that............ only different.

Well, do you remember the tragic end, when Paul Bunyan/Johnny decides to add marathon runner to his repertoire and freezes his lungs in the process? Well, that's the kind of cold it's got to be to see sundogs.

Today it was -49 degrees, factoring in the wind. It hit -52 in places an hour or two away. Ridiculous.

At the shop today, we had to venture outside to take some measurements for an upcoming job. We were out there for a total of about 5 minutes. I was cloaked in 4 layers of fleece and was sporting my trusty donkey mitts, which by the way, double as puppets, they are awesome!

Long story short?         It's Frickin' Cold!!!!!!!

The weather man says it's supposed to get a little more tolerable over the next few days. I hope so. It sucks when weather like this hangs on.

So.... other then freezing our proverbial tushies off, this week was awesome!

McNally Robinson called and needed more books......always so tickled get those calls!

We made a lot of headway on the big job we are working on in the shop.

We were able to combine a parts run with a service call and top the trip off with some Christmas shopping....

We had some people come to the shop to do Christmas shopping of their cool is that?!

As for the next few days?........

Finish off this big job at the shop and tackle another.........

Get serious about Christmas baking.........

Do some more work on my next book..........

Give yet another go at going to a movie or some such craziness...................

Until then........I know I make light of our severe weather, but there are those out there who brave these elements, not because they like to, but because they have nowhere else to go.

There are charities around the world who accept donations of warm coats etc. on behalf of those less fortunate. If you are able, please find the one closest to you and maybe use it as an excuse to clean out a closet or two.

Until next time, I'll leave you with this wish....................................

May you keep as warm and as cozy as the famous snug bug in a rug.
May you perpetuate that warmth by gifting genuine smiles wrapped in a hug.

May you enjoy the comfort of a snuggle blanket as you curl up on the cushions of your couch.
May you bring that comfort to others, through kindness, unknown lives, you might touch.

May you, in the company of your loved ones, feel ever safe and warm.
May you rid yourself of some clutter, wrapping others, keeping them from winter's harm.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read these ramblings! Stay Warm! for you stocking stuffer needs.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Snowmen and Merry Christmas?

The Snowmen have been unleashed! It must be December!

The Holidays mean something different to everyone. Every culture/religion calls it something different and celebrates in their own way. Some don't. It's all good.

I don't know about where you live, but here, one of the hottest debates seems to be whether or not it is politically correct to say Merry Christmas.

I, personally would not be offended if someone offered me the salutation of their choice, whatever it may be, if it was given with sincere kindness behind it. 

The words  "Merry Christmas" should never be flung as an intended insult to anyone or any belief. If that is what is intended, a wish dipped in venom, does that not take the very phrase for which you are fighting, and turn it into something dark and ugly?

I feel that if you put forth the greeting of this holiday, whatever that is for you, with kind intent, the only ones who will be offended are the ones who want to be.

If someone wishes you a Happy Hanukkah, and you aren't Jewish, you should be no more offended by that than if someone says "bless you" when you sneeze.

How many of us have shouted  "Molotov!"  "Salut!", or "Amen!" and it offends no one. Why? Because they are simple expressions of joy.

This holiday should be about nothing but bringing joy to others. Fill it with every kindness you can squeeze in. No matter what you do, or don't believe. Just hug it out and be done.

Personally,  I like to celebrate by putting up my silly snowmen, listening to sappy Christmas songs, baking the treats that make my family light up, and making it a mission to put a smile in the eyes of every face I meet.

Now, for the past week...............................................

Well, our karaoke show went great. Lots of people and a ton of fun! They are a great group.

Aaannnnddd, our Riders won the Grey Cup!  It. Was. Awesome. 

We were busy at the shop with more siding, some brakes, some wiring, and a mobile service call or two.

Some more Christmas shopping was completed. Wrapped. Under the tree. Yay!

I was able to stock up on baking essentials, so I can start getting some things in the freezer. (Pumpkin Spice Muffins....Done!)

Some baby snuggles were squeezed in. (Laney is starting to smile)

Toddler silliness and utter cuteness was absorbed.

Some kindergarten wisdom was bestowed.

Now...for the upcoming week....

Month end book work at the shop................

Take care of the shipment that is due to be delivered.............

Assist in siding  a trailer.............

Run errands...............

Hopefully, on a few evenings,  get home in time to bake a few cookies.........

Go out to a movie!.....

Head down to our local pub to watch some entertainment!

Yep another full week, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Until next time.............. I know a lot of people who will be facing a rough time this Holiday season. There have been some accidents and illnesses that have touched those I love and care about. It's going to be so hard for so many.

With that in mind, I'll leave you with this wish...............

May you find the strength to simply get through, for no one can expect any more.
May the weight of it all be lifted a little by those at your side, as you sleeplessly walk the floor.

May you find a way, whilst gripped in sadness, to give cherished memories a voice.
May you give them such a resonating boom, the sadness will have to step aside, for it will have no choice.

May you wear the hope and strength of your loved ones like an old, cozy sweater.
May you know, for now, it's just about surviving, being, breathing, later is for making it better.

Until next time...............................................