Happy New Year 2019!

I always feel a little down when the holidays are over. But I’m setting my sights on some new goals this year. So there is lots to look forward to. I know there are some hard times coming but, that is just life.

Two small projects that I intend to keep going through the year are another photo a day project. And I am going to do another big year just using lists of birds that I see in my travels.

I know that some people do a big year and follow migrations or travel to see specific birds, but I am just going to record what I see in my daily life and see how many I can get. Today I saw wild turkeys chickadees and a cardinal. Nothing spectacular, nothing new to put on the life list, but a start anyway. I also took a photo as I went for a very chilly walk this afternoon.

Don’t Shop Here Either

If you scroll down far enough on this page, you’ll see the Petfinder Seal of Approval logo.  I volunteer with a dog rescue, and currently both of my dogs, Jack Russell Terriers, are rescues from the Jack Russell Rescue of Ontario. Please, if you’re thinking of getting a dog, or any other pet, consider adopting.

And if you don’t adopt, please consider purchasing your dog directly from a reputable breeder. That way you won’t be supporting the horrific industry of kitten and puppy mills that sell to pet stores and pedal their animals online often on a site like Kijiji and Craigslist.

Breeders (most) care about the quality and health of their dogs, and who the new owner will be. Mills care only about their profit and the animal abuse that exists in this business is horrendous. I have a puppy mill survivor, and she will be scarred forever, mentally and physically.  Her puppies would have been weaned much too early, and many would have died. At the end of her career, she probably would have been left to starve or be shot. A fine thank you for years of service. Thankfully, a woman (angel) involved in animal rescue was able to get her out before that happened.

There are so many amazing dogs on Petfinder. And, the rescues take great care in placing the dogs in just the right home. Please consider adopting before you go out and shop.  

It’s All Perspective

Lenticular clouds
image: GooKingSword

The “401” is a highway that runs along the north shore of Lake Ontario from Windsor to the Quebec/Ontario border. As it stretches through the city of Toronto it is eighteen lanes, but gradually narrows to four lanes the further it gets from the city. Along the way, the highway runs close enough to the lake to get glimpses of the water where ever trees or buildings don’t block the view.

So it was along the 401 East that I found myself trying to keep my eyes on the road as I spotted an unusually shaped cloud. The cloud hovered over the lake like an oval space ship. Was this a lenticular cloud? I really want to see one of those. But,  they only form in mountainous areas. As much as I dared, I watched the cloud wondering why it was that shape. I was excited to think I was seeing something unusual.

Finally, as I progressed around the edge of the lake, the unusual cloud revealed itself to be the very end of a very ordinary bank of clouds. The cloud bank trailed off into the southwest and the mystery of the cloud dissipated.

Only perspective made the cloud I saw any different from any other normal cloud. Had I not had to drive on, I would only have seen something wondrous. But changing my physical position relative to the cloud revealed it was somewhat less so. That’s how it is with most things. Change your perspective, and the thing you are looking at changes too.

If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Christmas Shopping List

Socks: on sale-four, ninety-seven
Barbie Doll: so she now has eleven
Toaster oven: will do for Mom
Sweater: again this year for Tom
Box of Chocolates: may keep for myself
Grab some tinsel, it’s the last on the shelf
Wallet: for Sis, too bad it’s green
Earrings: for Auntie- the selection’s sure lean
Here this will do, come take a look
Good heavens this list is as long as a book
On Christmas Eve the shopping is hard
Don’t stop and worry, just get out that card

Over twenty years ago I worked in the jewelry and purse
department of a major department store in a large suburban mall. Christmas Eve was on a workday and although we had to travel an hour and a half to my in-laws Christmas Eve celebration I had to work to closing time at 6:00 pm.

I don’t remember what time started but I do remember a very busy day. Most of the day I worked at the cash register (not an easy job for someone who has trouble adding back in the day when they didn’t add and subtract for your, and certainly before debit cards existed). What I do remember vividly is the very un-Christmas spirit of the shoppers and their willingness to buy whatever was on the shelves–and the shelves by that time were pretty bare!

The manager of the department refused to restock the merchandise so that all of the items–some of it had been there since the
spring when I started–would be sold. remember tucking decidedly ugly wallets, many time passed over purses, and gaudy jewelry boxes. The store was full of sour, rushed shoppers but I decided that none of that would affect my Christmas spirit.

I managed to smile my way through the evening and keep my good mood intact. It was an important lesson on how to control my attitude! I also, many years later, was inspired to write this little poem! I hope you have a great Christmas Season and if you suddenly remember on December 24 that the next day you need some Christmas gifts try to keep a little Christmas spirits

Finish the Year

I tend to start a lot of projects, and then once they are nearing completion, I let them languish. I have unfinished projects of all types stashed away. Gretchen Ruben, in a recent podcast, suggested having a theme for Christmas and I liked that idea, so I have chosen a simple one.

That theme inspired me to have a project theme as well. So, I’ve decided to “Finish the Year”. All those projects that are sitting around 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 99/100 done, I will finish by December 30. An easy fun project is my train case, which I plan to use within the next few weeks as I have a few over-nights. It’s been sitting with the lining ripped out for about a year.

I recently decided to go and buy the fabric for the lining and when I went to look at it to determine how much I needed, I discovered I’d already bought the fabric. It’s almost done now, and ready to be used. I’ll post a picture when it’s complete.,Another large project that has been sitting since late last spring is my big lounge chair.

After I got it, I immediately sewed the cushion covers. Then, because the prospect of pulling so many staples was daunting, it sat looking very ugly for a long time. My husband offered to give me a hand this week, and we moved the project forward by a lot. Just another hour of stapling should complete the chair.

Lounge chair recover

And, of course, there is a partially completed ‘sideways’ sweater on my knitting machine. It took some math to figure out the shaping, so of course, that made the whole thing grind to a halt. Please, someone, diagnose me with dyscalculia so I have a legitimate excuse. There’s more, of course–but I am going to Finish the Year. I will not start any new projects until the WIPs are done. Wish me luck.  Winking smile