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Why I Open My Door At Thanksgiving

give thanks…because I’m truly grateful for the abundance of friends in my life.

My Thanksgiving celebrations are always potluck, jeans and t-shirt style. I put on the turkey, and everyone else brings something to share. That way no one has to do a lot of work and I’m not too stressed out to enjoy my friends.

Potluck is also a good conversations starter; Mmm! I love this! Who made it? What’s the recipe?….and the conversation goes on from there.

That’s what life is about.

I’ve been through hell and back as a child and as a young woman. Throughout all of it, I’ve had wonderful friends who are each, in their own way, unique and perfect.

Holiday times used to be sad for me, lonely even . I was often new in town, without family, and I felt very alone. As time went on, my new friendships deepened, and although I went through times of despair and loneliness, my friends would always show up in ways that helped me understand what was really important.

So at Thanksgiving, many people are caught up in family tug-of-wars about who goes where and who is hosting what. Or, maybe they have no family at all.

Autumn is the time of year when we start turning inward. The changing colour of the leaves wave us into shorter days and cooler nights. We cozy up inside, in big sweaters and under cozy blankets. We begin the journey into a season often spiritually described as one of mystery and hope.

I open my door at this time of year so that friends have a place to come and relax. My friends are my family, and I love them all.

I don’t have much, but I hope I offer a safe space to be yourself, laugh, and be nourished; both body and soul.

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving & Not a Piece of Turkey in Sight

thanksgiving-snoopyIf you didn’t get your annual invitation to my Thanksgiving party this year, it’s because I didn’t have one.

The notice is out for our Hallowe’en bash though, so shake the dust off your costume and come prepared for some fun. For that I will be truly thankful – a bunch of adults acting like kids and an entire evening of silliness.

I do miss my leftover turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, but I don’t miss feeling obligated to do it. So this year, let me say that I am thankful for change.

Yes, change is scary, and vast, and sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I’m not talking about the nickel that I found next to my sweetie’s errant sock on the bedroom floor today. No, I’m talking about big, life-moves-on change. Taking a lesson from my most awesome mumster, I am excited about this new chapter that I’ve been blessed with.

For the first time I ran with my partner, (that’s a big deal for a private woman like me),spent a holiday weekend savouring a meal someone else cooked, and spent time in a different, refreshing atmosphere.

Instead of asking what my kiddo wanted for dessert, when what he really likes is being with his pals, I left him a surprise treat for when he gets home from grandma’s. Instead of planning and budgeting for a big dinner, I was spoiled to a weekend in wine country. Rather than cleaning up all night last night, I curled up by the fire and watched my favourite team sweep their rivals on the way to the World Series.

This year I am thankful for my wonderful son, my own determination to thrive, my amazing friends, and my loving man.

This year I am thankful that there is no turkey, stuffing or pumpkin pie in sight, although, if you’re out there great-Thanksgiving-Fairy, it would not go unnoticed if you arrived at my place of work this afternoon with a plate of culinary-thanksgivingish-delight.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, whatever it is that you may be thankful for this year.

 

 

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Misfit Thanksgiving – Getting to Know You

give thanksI had the pleasure of getting to know an acquaintance much better last night as our Thanksgiving celebration wound down into the quiet evening hours.

I had known this gentleman and his wife for years, but never really had an opportunity to speak to him. He discussed community, politics, religion and generally, the stuff that makes the world go ’round.

This is the beauty of what I have come to call our, “Misfit” get-togethers; gathering people together who are kind and intelligent to share an evening of, well, true sharing.

The definition of Misfit is; One who is unable to adjust to one’s environment or circumstances or is considered to be awkwardly different from others.

As we age, being around people we actually like is a big deal. It’s rejuvenating, fun, and renews our belief that good triumphs over evil. Being surrounded by thoughtful (as in they think independently, and care about how they impact others), intelligent people with a true sense of who they are and how they show up in the world every day is something that I am thankful for.

Most people define themselves against their first experience of ‘them’ and ‘us’, basically, how and where they fit into the family unit.

For some, family gatherings are just another uncomfortable event they feel they have no choice but to attend. Others have tossed decorum and bunk to the side, and have decided to live a life less complicated and simply spend time with people they actually like.

As we charge full-steam ahead into the season of holidays that seem to be tied to family tradition and sanguineous relationships, don’t forget that it’s all a load of crappola.

These traditions of gathering are an opportunity to spend time with the like-minded, differently-minded or whatever-mined, kind, loving, wonderfully diverse people whom you call friends. If you have been invited to our home to share a ‘misfit’ holiday with us, know that you have my respect, and that I like you.

The good people whom I like; they are my family of friends, and for them, I am truly thankful.

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Be Thankful for Those Gentle on Your Mind

turkeycatI have to make this a quick one…

I have 25 people descending on our wee home in a few hours, and I’m still in my nightie, working on my first cup of coffee, and trying to help a dear friend in a crisis of the heart.

My girlfriends and I have moved past the ‘get-the-bastard’ stage of life to the, calm-down-breathe-and-hear-him-out stage. If he isn’t genuine or sincere, the default is back to ‘get-the-bastard’. I’m trying to help her avoid that.

My hair looks like Mick Jagger and my lounge-wear screams Phyllis Diller. It’s not pretty folks.

But it will be.

Whatever family crisis the long, holiday weekend may find you in the midst of, remember, this too shall pass. You are loved, and forgiveness goes a long way. Love has never been a straight, easy path. It meanders, turns back on itself, and often times the path is unclear.

Today, even though my own romantic and foolish heart is still mending, I am thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for those friendships that weigh gently on my mind and know will answer the call of connection when I feel lost.

Wishing you gratitude this Thanksgiving.

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How to Get Up & Get Going For Fall

The older I get, the easier it is to make up excuses not to do stuff.

It’s easy to come home, go through the motions and then fake like a boob and get stuck on the chesterfield all night.

It was thanks only to my genius Summer-To-Do list that I accomplished anything fun this summer. You see, my summer turned into a bit of a gong-show, thanks to my self-indulgent je-ne-care-pas, and a schedule only five-star anal-retentive could memorize.

I managed to accomplish all but one of the fun-things on my list. I’m ok with that though. It’ll give me a starting point for my 2016-Summer-To-Do-List.

So, with the proven success of making a list of fun stuff to do,(spontaneity is best, but what the hell, I’m Type A) I am going to formulate an Autumn To-Do List. This will not include anything that I don’t want to do, like finish most of my Christmas shopping, grout cleaning or dragging out our winter clothing.

1) Host our annual Friends’ Thanksgiving Dinner

andrewnamecard

2) Spending a day at one, or a number of, our local Niagara Winerieswinetour

3) Purchasing 12 bottles of wine directly from said wineries

bottlesofwine

4) Hallowe’en Hay Ride, corn maze, or some such shenanigan…

corn maze

5) Road trip with someone who makes me laugh

roadtriplaughing

6) Smores in the fireplace

fireplacesmores

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Thank You Virginia

hemingwayaimIronic isn’t it? Virginia was my intentional first name, but my father got it mixed up, and I was christened someone else. Strange that, as I’ve always felt I was mixed up at birth anyway.

Following a little bit of a ranty post, “Things I’m NOT Thankful For”, my pal, and one of my wonderful mentors sent an email, gently asking what the heck was up with me.

You see, even from across the world, she, like me ‘gets it’. Being sensitive is not an easy thing to be in this world. Not at all. We may feel joy more intensely, but we feel our lack as intensely as well.

So, sitting in the midst of my writing squalor, I took a look around, and thought, well, for one thing, my writing area is a cluttered mess which, metaphorically of course, makes me feel like I’m drowning in paper. Drowning is a familiar feeling in the world of finance, romantic comraderie and life in general for single-parents.  It’s a feeling I can sweep under the rug until I take one giant gulp, and have to wave my hands for help.

So, Virginia saw my hands waving, and asked a few gentle questions.

Was it my latest disappointment in the world of dating douchey-men? Perhaps the bills piling up and my panic over constantly trying to make ends meet? Maybe….

But then I decided quickly, “No, I can deal with all of that stuff”.

“Try visualizing the life you want….”

I didn’t have to look around, or think too very hard. I knew. My creative self has been drowning.  Ironic that as a writer, it’s drowning in words on paper. Ha! Ha-flipping-ha-ha-ha!

Someone pour me a mimosa.

Ironic also that I work in the death and dying ‘industry’, and have been internally hyperventilating since my editor and friend died suddenly last month, making my unchecked manuscript that much more of a guilty reminder that I had yet to review his preliminary edits.

On the outside I look like a force of, “Boy, she’s got it all together”, but on the inside,

I’m a calm, braless, intellect addict dressed in batik, listening to early Bob Dylan songs,  painting and writing all at the same time in my seaside cottage, while my five cats lounge in the sun, and my young, naked lover cooks my breakfast.

How’s that for visualization Virginia?

So, as the rest of Canada slips into a tryptophan comma, I shall begin digging out from under the piles of paper, articles, flyers, lyrics and poems that have gathered in my very tiny, intimate writing space.  Following which I will settle down to methodically put together my novel with the ghost of my brilliant editor guiding me.

Thank you Virginia for having the good sense to ask the obvious.  As always, this Thanksgiving, I AM thankful for the wonderful women in my life who raise me up and carry me along when I’m too dog-tired to do it myself.

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

Sending you a great big ol’ Happy Thanksgiving from up here in Canada!

Wishing you a peace, abundance, hope & joy….xo

happy thasnksgiving