About Me

December 31, 2019

End of a Decade.

I'm not a resolution maker, so I won't bore you with a list of things I should tackle this year. I will make goals for my personal life and my work life, and share those with my family for personal and with my team for work. I'm sure you're saying "but a goal and a resolution are the same thing" and my response is I see them as two separate things.  A resolution is something to change or "resolve" in my opinion. To me, a goal is a set plan to achieve an end result that benefits more than just myself. I hope that made sense. Not what everyone else does, but by now, if you've followed me for a bit, you know I don't exactly do things "by the book" in this little life of mine. It's who I am.

This decade was full of many amazing experiences and a few not so great moments that kept us grounded (or "re~grounded" us) and humble. Highlights since 2000:
  • birth of our first grandson in 2010
  • the birth of our first granddaughter in 2013
  • stability in our programming at our charity
  • successful funding grants for our charity
  • my promotion from a counsellor at our little community hospice to the program manager for the pillar that supports grieving families
  • our 30th wedding anniversary ~ special trip
  • our 35th wedding anniversary ~ new rings
  • travel that took us to new unexperienced places 
  • designing then building our dream cottage 
  • our first real veggie patch and a real art studio
  • more theatre productions and a travelling show
  • creating and producing an outdoor music festival
A couple of things that were really hard over the last decade:
  • my father-in-law died in 2015 at age 80
  • my mom was diagnosed with dementia in 2016
  • my cousin died in 2017 in a car accident
  • my auntie died in 2018 at age 80 as well
  • a relationship ended and another was changed
  • a culture shift at our charity ~ still navigating
Clearly, the good outweighed the bad and there are so many more things I could add to the list that enriched our lives over these years. The hard things are hard and some are still a work in progress. This is what life is all about .... embracing the beautiful experiences and navigating the ones that take us to our knees. I'm thankful for both (though I wish some of the hard things could be a bit softer) as they enhance the others and keep us grateful and humble. Good life lessons. And new directions when we hit "roadblocks" with projects. We grow from hard experiences. And cherish the good ones.

I'm ready for 2020. A new decade is always exciting. But I have concerns for the politics that have been less than stellar in other countries. And now our own beloved Canada is going thru some difficult challenges. The economy is changing and we'll need to be extra careful this decade with spending and purchases. Frugal living has always been our path and will continue to be. A thought just popped in to my head that a decade from now, as we enter 2030, we'll be retired and living a different life style. I wonder if we'll still be here, in our little house in the big woods? Or on the tiny island we love so much, in a tinier cottage, overlooking the sea. Will we be welcoming more grandchildren over the next 10 years? We will bring home a new puppy to love? Finish writing our books that are currently sitting? Successfully have 10 years of a music fest under our belts? Will we travel to Europe (dh has never been) or stay closer to home and continue to explore this amazing country? Will our friendships shift? Who will come in to our lives next? What will happen to our tiny charity? So many ideas, so many unknowns. Exciting, isn't it? I'm so very ready for 2020 ....

Are you ready? Are you excited to say goodbye to 2019?
What are your wishes, hopes and dreams for 2020?

~ Chy

December 30, 2019

The Day: Part 1.

The day began late, with sleeping babies
finally emerging from their warm nests.

Dh made us an amazing breakfast and
we began with toasts for the day ahead.

Thankful for a guy who loves to cook and creates the
most scrumptious dishes for us. We had buffet style 
set up, with eggs, bacon, hash browns, waffles and
warm syrup. With sparkling mimosa's and cranberries. 

I took this pic too quickly. It looks like
someone downed their drink but in fact,
it hadn't yet been poured when I snuck
in a picture. Soon it was full, then empty!

My favorite shot of the day .... my fruity
sparkling drink, with the tree in the back.

We sat down to eat and watch the Queen's
Christmas Day Message, a tradition here.

Regal and poised, like all of us, she's had
a year of ups and downs, good and bad.

Soon the mimosa's turned into cranberry
sparkling champagne with fruit. Just as
good as the orange juice ones. Kept the
day festive and bright. And bubbly!!

No new snow, just a dusting but this
shot made me wish for just a bit more.

After the gifts were open, I made one more
batch of Shortbread cookies while dh got
the turkey and fixings ready for the oven.
I was able to decorate after they were done.

Stars, hearts and teddies was the theme, 
with a few bells and stockings thrown in.

I loved these little glitter balls that are
gold, silver and white, and very crunchy.

Outside, the warmth was in the air but
the frost continued on thru the day.

Such blue skies and no wind. It made
it lovely to walk about and breathe.

We had foggy days and clouds in the days
up to Christmas, so blue sky was welcome!

Late day as the sun moved around to the
West, I captured this shot of our potting
shed, garden and fire pit. So quiet and
serene. And so very, very Christmasy!

~ Chy

December 28, 2019

Quiet Morning.

 When our kids were growing up, we
truly had to wake them up EVERY
single Christmas morning. The two
of us were always so excited for the
day to being and yet our kids, always
good sleepers, would not rise early
like all our friends kids and like we
both did growing up. Incredible but
true. My friends would call to ask
me how day was going and I'd have
to share that we were waiting for the
kids to wake up! No dark Christmas
morns for this out of the norm family!
And it has never changed to this day.

We were awake early, excited as always.
It is nice to chill and gaze at our tiny tree.

But soon the sun was up. I went off for
a shower and dh went to start breakfast.

A sunny day with so much frost from the
day before. It lasted well in to the afternoon.

A first glimpse of the tree on Christmas
morning. No kids yet! Just us and music.

Pretty sun reflecting on our tiny gallery
wall. Can you spot the furnace controls?

Stockings by lamplight, full and ready
to be opened. If only we had awake kids!

In time, they emerged and we finally got
the day start by late morning. First brekky,
then stockings, then dh becomes Santa,
handing out each gift and we all watch to
see the expression on the giftee's face.
So much fun. So worth the long wait!

~ Chy

Surprise Treat.

After all our hard work getting ready
for Christmas, both inside and outside
the house, in town and at work, with
family and friends, a treat on the Eve.

A favorite quick dinner that is filling
but not stuffed! Fresh veggies stir
fried in a teriyaki sauce, with chicken
and shrimp and extra breaded shrimp
on the side. So delicious and though it's
fast food, it's good food and such a treat.

~ Chy

All is Calm ....

The mantle is lit ....

.... the stockings are hung ....

.... and filled to the brim ....

.... the tree is bright ....

.... and the packages set ....

.... for family and friends ....

.... to open in the morning ....

.... or when they stop in to visit!

We had a quiet Christmas Eve, with
goodies and warm drinks, a game to
play and books to read, an old show to
watch that brought back nice memories.

~ Chy

Frosty Eve.

 We drove down the highway in to town to visit
my sweet mom in her care home on Christmas Eve.

Icy roads but no traffic made the drive just fine. The
fog doesn't look bad here but it was hard to see ahead.

On the way home, our little lane out to our house was
empty as well. The frosted wreath a dear friend made.

Trees were covered and though it's a bit hard to see,
even our garland on the veranda was icy and white.

The potting shed once more. It's our measure of our
snowfall. But with the sun and warm temperatures
the last few weeks, we haven't had any additional
accumulation, just flakes here and there to remind
us that it's now Winter and Christmas. Next week,
it's supposed to all melt away. We'll see if that is true.

~ Chy

December 27, 2019

Ginger Carrots.

We aim to try a new recipe each holiday.
I know that many families will serve the
same dishes over and over but we like to
experiment. Here's the newest dish to try.

Recipe and review to follow. I love carrots
and butter and ginger, so this is so perfect.

~ Chy

New Bar.

A new desert to try for the holidays.
It was sent to me by my eldest dd.

I love the traditional Nanamio Bar each
year but this year, she found a White
Chocolate version online. We've truly
not made Nanamio Bars for years ....

.... very finicky and honestly, they are
cheaper and tastier from Costco. But
we had to try this version and it turned
out to be quite easy to make, though it
does take time with chilling the various
layers. I'll send along a post review and
the ingredients later during the holidays.
I'm sure it will be amazing and tasty!

~ Chy

Love Notes.

The last tradition we complete each year, on the
eve of Christmas, is to write each other a tiny card,
with love notes inside. Some years are harder than
others, most are amazing but it's been our practice
to thank each other, with words of love, for doing
it all together, the good and the bad. Teamwork ....

~ Chy

Two Fireplaces.

It's fun to decorate wherever we can. This year, we
lit up both fireplaces with garland and twinkly lights. 

New stockings were found (1/2 price!) but
they were too heavy to leave on the fireplace.

Our fireplace in the master bedroom. Such a
lovely soft glow to fall asleep to each night. 

Our tiny tree that we found a few years ago
and love to decorate for our space, just for us!

~ Chy

Villages at Night.

We placed our Christmas Villages this
year in the dining room ~ they glow!

The larger one on top of the piano and
the smaller one on top of the tea wagon.
We have 4 more villages but this year,
we did a bit more of a minimalist decor. 

~ Chy