Archive for the ‘Family, Friends & Pets’ Category

20140602-205322.jpgI so love the furry friends that have blessed my life. Tonight I decided to frame photos of the four of them. I came across this frame and thought it would work fine. I really like the collage. It’s on my desk and when I look at it I’ll be reminded what a special gift each one has been to me .  Maybe you would like to display the photos of your special friends the same way.


(Clockwise top left – Beni, Mojo, Jackson, Aussie (with my mom))

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food bank 1Friends, if you are hosting an Easter dinner, would you consider asking your guests to bring along a donation for your local food bank. It’s a great way to share with those who are having food challenges at this time. My food bank does not accept perishable food, so check with yours beforehand. You’ll feel blessed when you drop it off in a day or two. Thanks, Linda

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I shared this story with a few girlfriends last week and one suggested I put it on my blog. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh dear…. thought my little guy and I got in a bit of trouble. It was very snowy this morning and I was walking Jackson on a path when a car pulled up nearby. The elderly driver asked loudly, “do you walk your dog everyday?”. I said that I did. He said he wanted to talk to me about my dog and said I was to come to the brown house and see him. Now I have walked dogs by this man’s house for 15 years and he hasn’t really noticed us before. I thought about this all day and wondered what this man could complain about – why else did he want to talk to me about my dog. I came up with ways I could avoid walking past his house in the future. I wondered if I missed picking up after Jackson – it’s possible as he walks off leash mostly. I told myself the guy was just an old grump. All kinds of things were going through my mind. On my way going for groceries this evening we drove past the house. I told Gerry to stop the car. He waited in the car as I nervously went to the door. The wife said her husband wasn’t very mobile and she led me to a back room where he was. She told him that the lady with the dog was here to see him. He asked me where my dog was – he wanted to see him. I said ‘oh I only have a minute, going for groceries, my husbands in the car waiting’. He told me to go get my husband. I didn’t of course – I could handle this myself. He then proceeded to tell me how much he enjoyed watching us on our walks. He thought Jackson was a wonderful dog with lots of spunk. He wanted to know about his breed as he hadn’t seen a dog like him before. He told me about a dog he once had many years ago. When I got back to the car Gerry said he thought the man really gave me trouble  – as I was gone so long. We were both happy that he just wanted to see Jackson and enjoy him. I told the man we would accept his invite and come for a visit soon. Thought you might like this story.



Jackson (10 years old) at the vet Feb. 14, 2014 – 10 days after we adopted him


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note card 3

Today I took a bit of time to write a long overdue note. I’ve been thinking of sending news to a friend for two months now. I feel so much better now that I’ve done that. I value my friends so I feel so good about sending it. If you’ve been thinking of someone, why not let them know – send a notecard or an email.  Just a few words will do.

note card 2

The cards displayed here are for sale on Etsy.com. Click on the card for the link.

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“I am thankful for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.” —Nancie J. Carmody

This quote sums up one the joys of entertaining. The day after we’ve had friends over, we sit around in the mess for awhile, remembering the fabulous event. We sure like to create a place for our friends to get caught up with each other.  The mess is a bit of a reward really.  If you’re not having friends over, I sure hope you do.  It doesn’t need to be complicated.  Its about the people not the food.

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Last week my husband and I were downtown for  a morning appointment. I’ve been working from my home for 10 years now, so I don’t go downtown very often. I was so interested in watching the people hurry by – bag in one hand and coffee in the other.  As we were waiting at a crosswalk, an elderly couple (about 80 ish) wandered up and stood next to us. They were dressed very nicely and were holding hands. I noticed he was conscientious of her and watched her  lovingly. We greeted one another and he joked about the coffee in my hand.  He said  they were living in an apartment just around the corner and they were out for their morning walk.  That brief encounter stirred something inside me as I stood with my husband.  I came across this quote today and was reminded of that lovely couple once again. I think they’ve been practicing this truth for many years. Let’s do the same!

“A successful marriage requires

falling in love many times, always

with the same person”

Milton McLaughlin

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Today I’m meeting my girlfriend who I’ve not seen in a year. We don’t visit very often , but when we’re together it’s like no time passed at all. I hope you nurture your friendships always and have the wisdom to understand the differant seasons.
‘Sometimes being a friend
means mastering the art of timing.
There is a time for silence.
A time to let go and allow people
to hurl themselves into their own destiny.And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.’
~ Octavia Butler

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Today I was reading motivational notes that I wrote down a long time ago. I came across this bit of wisdom.  Maybe you’ll like it as much as I do.

Life is a game in which you are juggling 5 balls in the air. Name them work; family; health; friends; and spirit. Work is a rubber ball, you drop it and it bounces back. The other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. You drop one of these and they will be scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. (Paraphrased –  Brian Dyson CEO of Coca Cola Enterprise)

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I was browsing through an older journal of mine and came across this poem that I added in 2002. Its a good reminder that life is fragile. I hope you like this as much as I do.

GeorgeMichael Grossman

If I knew it would be the last time
That I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say ” I love you,”
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be ther to share your day,
Well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say ” I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our ” Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day,
That you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, hug, or a kiss
and you were to busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them you’ll alway hold them dear
Take time to say ” I’m sorry,”
“Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or ” It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

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I just love my little digital camera. It fits nicely in my purse and I’ve always got it with me. There are many benefits of using a digital camera verses film – mainly cost and protection. A big disadvantage I’ve discovered is the time it takes to download; review; store; and retrieve photos.  I also miss having easy access to our photos in a photo box.  To overcome the obstacle of not having printed copies, after downloading, I transfer a few photos to a file folder on my computer that I call ‘Photos for Printing’. A few times a year, I send the ‘Photos for Printing’ file to a copy center to have prints made. I sure like this system. Once again, I’m enjoying paper copies of my photos. I hope my post has inspired you to print some of your photos. Have a nice day, Linda

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Ladies, have you thought about leaving a legacy for your children? May I suggest a journal that you’ve hand written. I came across this idea a few years ago and I’ve been recording things about my life for awhile now. I think it’ll be treasured by my girls when I gift it to them.  Why not start yours today?  Don’t worry about picking one up, create your own.

Here are a few questions you can answer to get you started:

– what was a fad when you were in school?

– what is one special Christmas celebration you recall?

– who was you favorite teacher and why?

– what is a sound that reminds you of your childhood?

– did you ever go camping with your family? If so, describe one trip?

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You know, during the last few months, I’ve been researching my family history. Unfortunately, of the 30 or so old photos I have, only a few have names written on the back. I’m saying over and over ‘why isn’t there a name of this photo?’

Give a gift to your descendants, and write on the back of your snapshots now. I admit, many of my photos are going to be orphaned if I don’t get the last few years caught up.

Have a wonderful week. Linda

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You know ladies; I really like to support my husband when he has his guy time. He’s become good at balancing his free time between our family and his personal interests.  Sometimes he and his friends go fishing; golfing or hiking for a few days. Other times he attends the hot rod car club meeting; joins his friends for Friday morning coffee (going on 11 years now); and most recently he’s playing hockey. Men need there time, just like we do.  Give your husband the freedom to fulfill his interests; it will add value to your marriage.

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I’m so blessed to have time with my girls without distractions.  This time is not something I’ve stumbled or drifted into, but something I’ve been intentional about creating and I’ve cultivated over the years. I created environments where I would be available for them to talk. For example, when they were young and we drove to recreational activities, the music was seldom on in the vehicle. When they were teenagers, I began to stay at the table after our evening meal with a cup of tea – being available. These were times my girls talked with me about life, times when there was no noise and no distractions. My girls are adults now, but I still make peaceful time. Today, Lindsey and I have about ½ hour before and after our weekly fitness class to get caught up. We also like to spend a few weekends together per year. With Erin, we now have our best talks while waking Beni, her dog.  I still sit at the kitchen table after a meal with a tea and Erin often joins me to talk about life.  Ladies, have you created a time for your children to talk with you? I sure hope so, if not, that’s okay too – just start today.

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Recently, I was invited to spend time with my girlfriend, and her husband, at their vacation rental property.  I really appreciated the offer to leave the snow; spend time in a warmer climate; and have girl time with my friend.  After a week, I felt refreshed.  The experience caused me to think how important it is to share what we have with others. Do you know that generous people who refresh others are themselves refreshed? Sharing can be as simple as offering: a meal; child care; a bed; or the use of household/yard items. The opportunities are endless. Give it a try, share with others (include your time) and see what happens.

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It is so important to express gratitude to your mother (or mother in law or a woman of influence).  If your relationship with your mom is a little turbulent now, it’s vital you get the pen out right away.  As I was sorting through my moms belongings, I came across a few notes that I had written to her over the years. They were notes that expressed the gratitude I was feeling towards her.  For example, here are the words I wrote during a very difficult time in her life and on her 71 birthday:

Hi Mom,

This year is a year of new beginnings for you. Thanks for all the sacrificesyou made for all of us throughout your life. You endured a lot of hardship when we were young in order to keep our family together. I wish you happiness like you have not had before in all your years. Love you, Linda

I found this note, and others like it, in her top dresser drawer. I like to think they brought her comfort over and over again.  Ladies please, write your mom a note today.  I can’t think of a richer gift really.

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I was quite surprised today, when I came to realize that I’ve been focusing more on ‘having’ than ‘being’. I, myself, really strive to be and move away from the mindset of having things. At some point,  I drifted and  I’ve not been this way with my daughters.  I really want the best for my girls but I’ve been a little confused in my thinking. You see, I’ve been valuing their success more by what they accomplish or conquer rather than by their unique personalities – compassionate, caring, hard working.  I am going to turn from this wrong thinking today because my girls are worth far more to me than their efforts.  My desire is really to build them up by first accepting them for their being and secondly celebrating accomplishments.  What about you? Are you putting more attention on having rather than being?

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Yesterday, I came across an older prayer journal that I created several years ago.  As I looked through the pages, I came upon this prayer that I’d cut out and taped next to photos of my girls. As I read the prayer again, I remembered the many times I prayed this when my girls were younger. Maybe you’ll be blessed by it today.

Watch O’ver My Flock (Ruth Bell Graham)

Like other Shepherds
help me keep
watch o’er my flock by night,       
mindful of each need,
each hurt, which might
lead one to stray –
each weakness
and each ill –
while others sleep
teach me to pray.
At night the wolves and leopards,
hungry and clever, prowl
in search of strays
and wounded, when they howl,
Lord, still
my anxious heart
to calm delight –
for the Great Shepherd watches with me
over my flock
by night.

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Recently, I met my dear friend for breakfast.  We hadn’t seen each other for awhile.  When she asked what was going on in my life, I shared my journey with her. We laughed and we cried together.  I felt so much better after I was able to share what was on my heart – with another woman.   I just wonder how many women could avoid professional counseling if they had a close friend to talk with – someone that accepted them for who they are.   Ladies, once again, I encourage you to nurture a few soul type friendships.  Have a wonderful day. Linda

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I really see the benefits of not taking shortcuts.  By this I mean, seeing things through; ‘short term pain for long term gain’; perseverance….. I am sure you get what I mean now. There really are long term gains in not rushing into things; taking the time to plan; examining situations; and taking baby steps.  I seem to meet more and more people nowadays who want instant gratification. They do not want to put in the time, energy or resources now for the future.  It seems there are fewer and fewer people waiting on things – enduring.  Shortcuts may look good at the time, but the benefits diminish and can come at a great cost. For years, my husband and I endured and stuck to what we believed to be right, and it really has paid off. We stuck it out through the valleys of our marriage; invested time in our children; developed friendships; managed debt/credit; saved money; are/were content with our first home; and pay/paid for holidays upfront and on and on.  Although all these things may seem boring, they have allowed us to have a comfortable life now. Ladies, please do not take shortcuts.  Work for the things you would like and spend time nurturing your soul and your relationships. Consciously take the necessary time and steps to line things up for a fulfilling future. Don’t just live for today, live for tomorrow too. Persevere.

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