February 22, 2014

Thankful for...100 List: #26-50 (a year later!)

As an exercise in positivity, I am continuing to make a list of the:

100 Things 
for Which I am Thankful.

A year after I began this list, here are my next 25. 
Here are the other segments of my Thankful Lists: #1-25, and #51-75

(Note: They are listed in no particular order, other than my rambling thoughts at the moment.)

26. watermelon without seeds
27. digital books (so many at my fingertips!)
28. classical music (Karl Jenkins & Tchaikovsky)
29. easily accessible photos and videos of puppies
30. my new niece...and how she has my nose
31. my mom's homemade scones
32. gifts or cards for me left on my desk at work, just because
33. watermelon with seeds...if anyone around is in the mood for a seed fight!
34. bosses that pull the best out of me
35. Irish movies (Secret of Roan Innish, PS I Love You, Leap Year, War of the Buttons etc)
36. documentaries about...anything
37. Etsy!!
38. snow, whenever it falls
39. getting to know extended family much better
40. the noisy but pretty birds that make quite the racket every morning
41. real paper books...the smell, the feel, the pages...
42. access to excellent medical care, supplies & medication
43. encouragement from unexpected sources
44. evening park walks with my dog
45. meeting so many amazing people during last year's market season
46. friends of all different types who all understand a different part of who I am
47. clodhoppers
48. all the amazing stories I've learned about my ancestors
49. my natural hair colour
50. that I am a NERD GIRL!

Definitely a random order!

Watch for more updates to this list in the coming days.

What are you thankful for?

Start making your own list.
(PS - It does wonders for your current state of happiness.)

February 20, 2014

How Willow the Westie came into My Life

Yes, I have always been a dog-person. Ever since I can remember I have loved dogs, wanted one or many dogs, I even used to read dog encyclopedias as a child! Yes, I was that kid.

I do love all animals and have had many, many different types of pets & animals under my care - from cows to horses to turtles to gerbils and hamsters, salamanders to garter snakes and canaries and budgies, endless amounts of fish, cats and of course dogs. Yet, dogs are and always will be, my favourite companions.

On our farm in Alberta I barely remember a puppy named Lucky. We only had her a short time before either she ran away, or (as we think more likely) she was snatched up from the end of our driveway.

My parents then got me a little black lab-cross pup I named Buffy. Though I was still quite young, I loved that dog until we had to move a while later and send her to a new home.

Years passed and many pets passed through my care until finally one Christmas my parents surprised me and my family with a cute little puppy tied with a red bow right on Christmas morning!

That was my beloved Sophie. A true and lovely scruffy terrier who lit up my life for almost 15 years. She literally grew up with me and even gave us the joy (and craziness) of having a litter of  'whoopsie' puppies. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was decide to let her rest from her aging pains.

I lasted for three months before I began looking for a new dog to enter my world.

February 18, 2014

Crushing Fear with Creation

2012 designs of Irish Linen or Marline beaded wrap bracelets
I love creating.
I love gluing, cutting, printing, designing, putting things together to make something completely new.

It's been a dream of mine to have my own table at a summer craft fair or market and after a few years of putting it off and letting fear get the better of me, I did it.
I plunged, headfirst into selling my own wares.

I've been beading and making trinkets and jewelry for a very long time.

I made plastic friendship bracelets in elementary school, which my friend and I secretly sold from our desks for 50 cents each in grade six. I made beaded necklaces and bracelets as a teenager, even learning how to use a bead loom with one of my best friends. I made woven jewelry out of one of my favourite mediums, a type of string called 'marline', after learning how when that same best pal came home from a S.A.L.T.S. trip one summer and she taught me. I've made earrings, styled with charms, re-purposed stones as pendants, and now forged into areas like chainmaille and wire-wrapping.

It's just in me to create. 

February 14, 2014

A mid-February Love Story.

Oh yes, it's February 14th...Valentine's Day or Singles Awareness Day...or just another Friday.

Yes, I am single.
Yes, I am fully aware.
And yes, I have yet to date someone and have that relationship coincide with this auspicious day.

However, today I am thinking of more than just candy hearts, or flowers, or chocolates or the countless date night photos I see plastered all over social media.

Today I am thinking of a love story from my own ancestry.

I am thinking of a young soldier with red hair stationed in northern BC over 60 years ago and a feisty small-town girl, eight years his junior.

I am thinking of how he must have smiled at her, gazing through those beautiful hazel eyes and how her cheeks must have blushed.

I wonder how they spent their first ever Valentine's Day. Perhaps a card or note was exchanged, or flowers or another gift. Maybe a walk together, holding hands, talking of nothing or maybe planning their future together.
Pops, Grandma & Me

I don't know all of their stories, but I do know of a great love that began a legacy that continues in my own life.

A legacy of cherishing family.

A great love for God and others.

A fieriness and a spirit that is stubborn and strives to live and not let tragedy or difficult circumstances rule.

 My grandparents showed me how to love.

They showed me how to treat others.

They oozed God's love and proved that trusting God may not be easy, but it's worth letting go and letting God work through your life.

They showed me that no matter what background you come from or what hardships you face, you can surround yourself with sorrow or you can live another day and find joy. It is a choice.

Pops, Grandma & Me on a road trip to Hyder, Alaska for the day.
They also taught me that we do not have to make this choice alone. If we choose joy, God will bring it. Maybe not in the way we asked, but He will reward us and lead us toward the joy He knows will enrich our lives and show others the way towards Him.

Grandma Dot, what a lady!
I am thinking of my Grandmother tonight, as she is surrounded by a few family members and nurses and doctors in a hospital bed in the north.
I am remembering.

And I am thanking God, though I feel a stab of grief at the thought of her fading away. She loved. She is loved. She will be forever loved by those who knew her. She is always a thought ahead and always has a witty, cheeky word to say.
She is a woman like no other.

I am thinking of how I would like to live.

Like my grandparents lived. 

Choosing joy.
Loving others.
Trusting God.

Happy February 14th.