Celebrating a Canadian Thanksgiving

A fleeting rainbow and the pink hues in the clouds on an autumn day

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and for us this year will be even quieter. Last year we were prevented from any family dinner due to regulations over covid and I made up plates for my children to pick up and enjoy at home. This year our son and his wife are in the city where my daughter-in-law is receiving radiation treatments and eldest daughter is across the country while the youngest is away working out of town. Yes, it is a very quiet weekend. I cannot help but remember thanksgivings of old where we often had full tables overflowing with food and the turkey was large.

Yet, there is much to be thankful for. Although the delta variant has our health care system gasping for relief we are fortunate to still be here, millions have not been so fortunate. We’ve had challenges, yes, but we’ve also had the support and loving care of many family members and friends. Today as I look out over the green space the trees are golden with a scattered bit of red or orange and the evergreens reach high into the skies.

This year there will only be two physically present at our table but the spirit of loved ones who have crossed to the other side will be with us and all of our relatives on this side of the veil will also be here in our thoughts as we give thanks for this place, for each other, for the cats that purr and wrap themselves around our legs, for all that is life-giving and good. Yes, we have much to be thankful for.

From our house to yours: Happy Thanksgiving! May we all recognize the blessings each day brings all year long and give thanks.

A precious gift: when a woodpecker visited

I love birds – listening to them, watching them, photographing them. This fall I have been noticing little juncos on the lawn underneath the pine trees harvesting whatever it is they eat. Then there are the cheerful songs of chick-a-dees and other birds I hear as I sit four floors up on my balcony, looking out over the green space. My favorite places to live have always been those places where birds were plentiful. I used to love filling bird feeders and watching feathered friends partaking of my offerings before flying off. Here in this apartment building I have been denied that pleasure. There is simply nowhere to hang a bird feeder. Still, I hoped to entice my winged friends with one of those little wire boxes into which I’d inserted a suet block. It’s been attached to the railing of the balcony for months with never a sign that the birds were even aware it was there. Until last week when a little woodpecker visited. I’d hoped for song birds, but I was delighted when this little fellow alighted and proceeded to eat away at the suet/seed block. Small things such as this truly delight me.

When a woodpecker visits and proves they do not live on wood alone 🙂

Whatever is happening in your life, wherever you may live, I hope you recognize the small blessings. I hope they make you smile. I hope they lighten your heart and make you grateful for this gift called life. Until next time, Cheers my friends.

Cats and cancer, Covid, and challenges

As I type this the case count continues to climb in the city where I live. That’s worrisome. No I am not going to focus on that. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve have been and are interested read on. However my life is pretty tame and not all that scintillating. Okay if you’re still here you’ve been warned. I am sitting in a hotel room in Edmonton trying to write a read worthy post while Callie cat walks back and forth on the desk in front of me. Challenge number one, on a positive note there is only one cat here. At home there’s now three, my own and my daughter’s two little felines. Hence the reason I have not been posting often. My attention has been fully engaged in playing bodyguard for Callie. Yeah, it’s been a full time job. But things are calming down and the felines are becoming more tolerant of one another.

So what does cancer have to do with it all, you may ask. Readers will remember I had posted about my daughter-in-law’s recent diagnosis with brain cancer. Thankfully the original diagnosis was incorrect. She does have brain cancer but it is not the aggressive type they first thought it was. Also on a positive note, the side effects of the radiation and chemotherapy have been minimal we are all grateful for that.

Last of all I have finished the many revisions to my novel and it is now going to print. So, there you have it, a short synopsis of life over the past month or so. Callie continues to demand my attention. She’s had to share it too often and is enjoying her one on one time. I will indulge her with my apologies for wasting your time. But remember you were forewarned. Until next time…..Cheers!

Six Thousand Beats and more

Six thousand beats and counting

Hearts forever stilled

Yet spirits shine a light to guide;

To inspire acts of love

Beat the drum and sing the honor songs

Of my people, of all peoples

Let the beat resound

Creator God, open ears

To hear six thousand beats and more

This Reconciliation Day

And let truth, though painful

Penetrate all hearts

And open wide the doors, once closed

Welcome all inside

Let all listen to six thousand beats and more,

though these hearts are forever stilled

Their Spirits guide us on

So, bless us now, Creator God

And heal the wounds of old

And wounds too freshly new

Creator God breathe into each

Gathered here today

A peace so longed for and so needed

In all our hearts today

Creator God bring healing now

For six thousand beats and more

Remembering, as many are this day, 9/11 twenty years ago

It’s hard to believe twenty years have passed already! For those of us who were adults and witnesses, whether in person or through the power of television, the horror of that day does not seem so long ago. My husband was a truck driver and was en route home from Texas that day. He’d been hurt and had to fly home earlier than anticipated. We lived in Newfoundland at the time and I remember planes landing at our airport from the U.S.A. the same situation was being played out all over our small province. In the years to follow a Broadway play would tell the story: Come from Away. Although the focus has been centered on Gander, many travelers would find themselves receiving the hospitality of strangers all across our province and our country.

Twenty years! Yes, it’s hard to believe. People from all around the globe worked at the twin towers and are remembered, mourned, and prayed for, even so many years later; as are the victims of the planes that crashed in Pennsylvania and Virginia. I did not prepare this post ahead of time. Life has been challenging of late, but I do wish to pay homage to the many heroes and helpers who stepped forward that day and in the weeks to follow.

Earlier this week I was sky gazing (I know, that’s such a big surprise) and looking up I saw clouds that seemed to form an angel. I have heavily cropped the image and present it here in memory of all those lost, and in tribute to heroes, sheroes, and helpers from that time and for all time.

In the arms of the angels….September 11, 2001

Happy Labour Day, Canada!

It’s a bit late in the day but I have been thinking of our labour force and workers of every kind from janitors to rocket scientists it takes all kinds of people working all kinds of jobs to keep the world going. I hope people everywhere have had an opportunity to rest from their labours today.

Every ant in an ant colony is vital to the survival of all. I think that is true of people too, as the song says, People who need people are the luckiest people of all. I did not capture this image. It is the work of my daughter, Anastacia Hopkins, who seems to me to have an artist’s eye. I am grateful to her for allowing me to use it here.

By the way, there are several words that are spelled differently in Canada than they are in the U.S.A. labour is spelled correctly – labor if you happen to be American…..just an f.y.i.

Back and forth, back and forth

Another trip to Edmonton this week, arrived home again this afternoon. It is a trip we will have to make monthly as hubby’s eyes need extra care due to diabetes. I am grateful that our health insurance covers it. The pandemic will, no doubt, cause deep cuts to Canada’s health care system across the country. I dread what’s to come, already we’ve been notified of changes to what medications will be covered. Still, we are fortunate to live here in this beautiful and rather wealthy country. I try to keep in mind just how blessed we really are. especially as the people of Afghanistan face so many horrors!

I have shared many photographs of the view from our balcony and the stunning display overhead as the skies are constantly changing and delighting the eye. This time I thought I’d share a couple of photos of the Edmonton skyline – well, okay, a small piece of the skyline. There is beauty everywhere, whether in the country or in bigger cities….

Taken from our hotel room in the North end of the city of Edmonton
the same view taken at night – almost looks like Christmas with all the lights

Whether you’re enjoying beautiful rural areas or are ensconced in an urban area, I hope you’re touched by beauty, always. Until next time, cheers!

R & R this Sunday afternoon

August has been a tumultuous month for us and I am so very weary. I don’t have much to post about but did want to share a couple of photographs of the gorgeous pink skies last evening. Alberta skies never fail to impress me – so beautiful!

Forecast was for thunder storms and rain, but we didn’t get either one
Zoomed in on all that spectacular pink!

Wherever you may live on this beautiful planet, I hope you get the chance to enjoy nature and all its gifts!

Cat love and cat fights, oh my!

We’ve had quite the week with moving daughter back home with her two fur babies. Mine is not very impressed. After eight years of having no competition and all of the attention suddenly she’s faced with two feline rivals. Both are male, Merlin has a similar disposition to Callie-cat: very laid back and chill; Whiskey, not so much. It’s been a bit stressful for all of us as he continues to hiss at her. I think he’s finally beginning to settle down. He likes to play fight as well, which Callie definitely does not – she’s a lover, not a fighter. LOL

We did everything we could to make the adjustment easier for all three. Introducing first Merlin and then Whiskey in separate visits before they actually moved in. Merlin is coming along fine; Whiskey is still a work in progress. When things gets a bit too tense they’re separated and put in different rooms. Please wish us luck as we continue to help our fur babies to adjust.

Callie-cat wondering why Merlin is hiding LOL
Introducing “Whiskey” he had to be contained in the beginning as he kept lunging at Callie and hissing…Callie is checking him out from a distance


There has been a lot of changes of late. Eldest daughter is looking for a place to live even as our youngest moves back home to live with us and our son and daughter-in-law struggle with recent news regarding her brain tumor and her cancer diagnosis. In addition I am back at work after being off pretty much this past year. Adjustments to life’s ups and downs are constant, but seems even more challenging of late. A few more turns around the highway of life.

From somewhere most sacred and mysterious comes strength to face the challenges and comfort in the dark hours. I call it Divine. I call it sanctified moments. I call it blessing. For no matter what life throws at us we persevere with the loving presence I call Creator, Divine One and I am grateful.

Recently friends have described me as a “strong woman”. Well, friends, strength comes from growing through the challenges. And now, even as I feel I am being “tried by fire” that mystery comes to whisper, “You’re not alone. You are never, ever alone. Not in the past, not in the future and not now in this present moment.” And I am grateful for this gift called faith, for it is a gift and not of my own making. I share my experience in the hope that someone reading will be comforted. No, we are never alone, no matter what is happening around us.

New day dawning