Grounded

Grounded

Thursday, December 29, 2011

118th Post - More

Daughter, sister, granddaughter, great granddaughter,
 niece, cousin, aunt, 
wife, mother, mother in law, step mother,
 grandmother.

Teacher, Counsellor, Friend.

God-lover, God-believer, Follower of Christ.

Resilient!

So many roles! Each brings joy. Each brings sadness. There has been no predictable pattern, but I'm certain a mathematician, if they so desired could find a pattern, perhaps even a formula for my life.

As we make our final approach into 2012, I have a wonder about 'more'? Am I not more than my introductory list? What am I the most of? Am I mostly mother? Am I mostly wife? What about friend? Can I be relative and friend? Just friend? Just relative? 

Is there one way to categorize who we are? Is my responsibility mostly to my children? to God? to my parents? to my husband? to my grandchildren? Or I am firstly responsible to me?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

117th Post - Hop

If you're feeling nostalgic about 2011, head over to A Pause on the Path: Best of 2011 Blog Hop to join the fun of a 'best of' blog hop. It's an opportunity to linky up your most viewed and/or most commented upon posts - or both. 


Better is Possible's 2011 most viewed post happened to be #69. The one about my daughter's inking, more commonly referred to as a tattoo: 


 
   Finished work.
                                               

BIP's post with the most comments was #91.  That's the post number, not the number of comments **sigh. Significance is a nod to my fifty-fifth birthday. 

Who could forget my
groovy birthday boots?


It's always a bit curious to me as to what catches someones eye. My birthday and a tattoo, who'd have thunk!


Your turn. I'll be looking for you!
CLPCS

Saturday, December 24, 2011

116th Post - Christmas



May the joy of the season surround you.

Merry Christmas, with Love






115th Post - Accountable



Christmas Eve Day. 
Already!  

Thankfully I was able to complete the sewing projects I had begun at a leisurely pace earlier this week. Yesterday that pace picked up and turned into a veritable sewing frenzy. I took pictures but can't post them until after Christmas.  While I stitched away, my reverend wrapped, wrapped, and wrapped some more. Such a helpful man. 

I must confess I wasn't singing his praises when we headed to the stores for some last minute buying. Ever the passive shopper, I couldn't get much of a yeah or nay out of him. Humph!

Perhaps I should mention that we went into this Christmas season advising all of  our children that we would not be buying them gifts. We'd made donations to a variety of charities on their behalf and we would only  be buying gifts for our grand kids! 

I was now in a panic; self induced, mind you. How could I possibly not buy the puzzles, the calendars, the socks, the 'really cute clothing item that was on sale and I just had to buy it for.....'? 

Friday, December 23, 2011

114th Post - CBC

Christmas isn't Christmas until we've watched the 
heartwarming Charlie Brown Christmas. 
Enjoy this brief video and have yourself a 
Merry Christmas!


                        

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

113th post - 100!!



Lift the banners, 
      wave the flags, 
   light the fireworks...

I've reached ONE HUNDRED followers! What an honour for this grandma blogging 'just for fun'. To add the icing on the celebratory cake, turns out my one hundredth follower is my sister in law who lives half way across this great country of Canada. Welcome SIL!!!!

Little did I know what joy and delight this blogging adventure would bring. I've met many, many interesting, curious, questioning, answering, intelligent, funny bloggers. I've met some book reviewers, authors, craft enthusiasts, foodies and continue to be awed by generosity combined with creativity. What a bunch!

Thank you to all who have chosen to follow my blog. May I be faithful in posting things worthy of your time. In honour of my one hundredth follower, I will be making a donation to our local CKNW Orphans' Fund

And now off I go to work on that ToDo list that To Date has not turned into the big TaDa! 
CLPCS

Monday, December 19, 2011

112th Post - ToDo

ToDo not to be confused with TaDa! 
which may come at the completion of  AllDone. 

It's day one of Christmas vacation. A morning to sleep in and catch up on much needed rest. 
But no-ah! 
These old eyes popped open well before 4am and in an attempt not to disturb the snoring sleep - or perhaps to escape the snoring sleep of my reverend, I sprung out of bed and started my first day of holidaying EARLY! And why not, there is so much to do. That's what happens when no one in our place of abode has begun much of anything Christmas related. 
                         Oh my! 
                                  No tree, no decorations, no baking. 

But that all changes today. Oh yeah, you saw it here, in writing! 
TO DO:

  1. Get dressed
  2. Get coffee before attempting #1
  3. Dust
  4. Vacuum Finally! 
  5. Send the reverend, when he awakens from his sleep induced snorefest, down to our storage locker to bring up a few Christmas decorations  (hmpf - apparently he had to go to work! Sheesh) Two days later...but they're up!
  6. Display aforementioned decorations With a little help from a delightful 4 year old!
  7. Begin sewing the gifts that need to be sewed. What was I thinking?
  8. Shell some more walnuts 
  9. Freeze some shelled walnuts
  10. Bake something Christmasish
  11. Find my Christmas baking recipes before attempting #10
  12. Buy gifts to send to family that live out of province.  And what fun it was! I did good.
  13. Drive to a mall nearby in order to buy gifts; this will involve finding a parking spot. This will involve more coffee to calm my frazzled nerves. Keep in mind I've been up since before 4am. Lesson learned; when you get to the mall early enough there is plenty of parking and few crowds. Do I hear a mini TaDa?
  14. Prepare to squelch guilt associated with sending out of province gifts so late they won't arrive until after Christmas Repeating several times: I will not feel guilt, I will not feel guilt, I will not fe...
  15. Call my mother Communicated via Facebook; close enough
  16. Visit my mother
  17. Buy some wine
  18. Do laundry Done and done!
  19. Wrap some presents
  20. Drink some wine, it must be long past noon by now
  21. Buy presents for in province family before completing #19 Now if I can only keep these a secret til Christmas.
  22. Discuss with my reverend the need to put up outdoor Christmas lights this late in the season A GREAT BIG NO to the lights.
  23. Discuss with my reverend the need to put on a tree, albeit a tiny tree for a tiny apartment this late in the season  Another NO from my rev. Can you sense a rather bah humbuggish theme?. 
  24. Nap
DRUM ROLL ------ TaDa!!!!!  
It took three days, but other than baking; who am I kidding, I'm not baking anything this year, I'm well on my way! And just in time cause Christmas Eve is one sleep away.
Just writing the ToDo's has brought on a wave of weariness. Be sure to come back for the big TaDa! I've always worked best under pressure. I'm counting on that now.

It bears repeating - TaDa! 
(only took 3 days to complete!)


On a completely unrelated topic, I stumbled upon a new Facebook page Trying God's Patience and some fun and/or inspirational thoughts. Not a holiday sentiment but good for a chortle. 


Enjoy your day and I'll keep you posted on my progress. If I can find the time.
CLPCS

Friday, December 16, 2011

111th Post - DejaVu

Today I'm participating in the DejaVu Blogfest. 
Otherwise known as The Day of the Do-Over!


Come back in time and have a look at a Christmas 2010 book Review.  



The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson 
HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | September 7, 1988 | Trade Paperback

Hey! Unto you a child is born!
The Herdmans are absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie and steal and smoke cigars (even the girls). They talk dirty, hit little kids, cuss their teachers, set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse, and take the name of the Lord in vain. So no one is prepared when the Herdmans invade church one Sunday-and decide to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of them has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating-- has a lot of people up in arms. But the actual pageant is full of surprises for everyone, starting with the Herdmans themselves!Chapters/Indigo

 

Without a doubt this is one my top five favourite Christmas novels. I first stumbled upon it when it was made into a TV movie starring Loretta Swit and Jackson Davies. It was filmed in my hometown of Vancouver, BC and it immediately became one of our Christmas staples. Years later, when my children were a bit older I found it in novel form. I was out of this world with delight. I believe I was teaching grade 7 at the time and read it to my class during that Christmas season…..a tradition that carried on until I moved from classroom teacher to counsellor. I never could get through the reading without stopping to control my quivery voice and impending tears. I recall one student (who could have fit nicely with the Herdman clan) scooping up the box of classroom Kleenex and bringing it to this weepy teacher. "Here, Mrs. O. I think you need these!" How fitting that this story brought out such kindness in my student. If you haven't read this book and have a spare hour or two, it is so worth the time. It is a treasure. Many local theatre groups have performed this lovely story during Christmas and it is still my hope (albeit a fading hope as I move nearer to retirement) to have one of my schools present this story as their Christmas production.


Merry Christmas and…. 
Hey! Unto you a child IS born!
Carol (as in Christmas)


Here's a link to the original post - 

IF you haven't read the book, seen the movie, or been to a live production of the play...it is worth adding to your must-do list!


Merry Christmas and I hope you've enjoyed this blast from my past!


CLPCS
                                                                           

Saturday, December 3, 2011

110th Post - Advent2

Today's post is my contribution to the
2011 Virtual Advent Tour.  
Please head over to see more posts about Advent. 



Our 2011 advent season was kicked into high gear with our second annual (we hope) sleepover with two of our grandchildren. We picked them up from their house and took them on a 'vewy long dwive' to our little Okanagan basement get away. Our upstairs is rented to a fabulous couple (my son and daughter in law) and we maintain the basement for as many trips away from the coast as we can.  

What a joy to start our Advent celebrations with two delightful youngsters. Although we always have uncontrollable laughter and good times with their parents, this was a no mom and dad event, and you just know that means a whole different kind of fun.  We arrived at our destination in the late afternoon and after unpacking we piled onto the bed and watched Star Wars 3. This was followed by supper with the upstairs renters (otherwise known as Uncle and Auntie). After a dessert of Christmas shortbread we put on our bathing suits and braved our way outside in the chilly, chilly night to the hot tub. We sat in the soothing warmth while stargazing up into the dark, dark sky.

After the hot tub portion of the evening was completed and we were rinsed, dried and dressed for bed,  dear granddaughter painted Papa's really big nails. Eventually we tucked two darling munchkins into their beds. One on a foamy under the grand piano and the other on the couch which was pushed perpendicularly against big sister's bed. After some laughter and prayers, they drifted off to sleep while Papa and I settled in for the rest of the evening.

Around noon on Sunday we returned the preciousness to their parents and we returned to the coast for another week of work. We brought a good dose of much needed Christmas spirit with us.

SPECIAL DISCOVERY! 

While purging our basement last summer we found my all time favorite children's Christmas book. The book must be well over 50 years old and is well worn. The binding is coming apart, there is tape that has been yellowed by time, as well as a bit of scribbling which must have been done by my older brother. I've signed the cover possibly so Gary (older brother) wouldn't think it was his. Upon closer inspection, his name had been scribbled over. I see I was ever the possessive child.














I can hardly wait for Christmas Week and the opportunity to share my old favorite book with many of our  precious grandchildren.

If you're interested and you missed it last year here's the LINK to my last year's advent post.
Take some time to check out the other Dec. 6th posts at the 2011 Virtual Advent Tour:
raidergirl3 @ an adventure in reading
Sara @ Make Music from Your Heart...
CLPCS

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

109th Post - Courage

“It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt

Poor me! I've been wallowing in the place called Pity, (alias overwhelmed). It's not a healthy place to be. I didn't consciously choose to settle here, it just sort of crept up on me. At any rate, here I am.

Uncovering perspective can be a challenge. I love a challenge! With shovel (laptop) in hand I began to dig. Once again I was in pursuit of perspective. Perspective about life's BIG questions. Perhaps perspective could restore balance, or at least release me from Pity?
         
I've been home sick for three days. Nothing serious; a cold, a low fever, the chills. As I toss about still pajama clad, I've had time to do some online 'screen' shopping, play solitaire, and catch up on some blog reading. In my pursuit of perspective the blog world led me to a powerful story of ongoing courage. 

How touching to discover a link to Leontien's Story.  Courage with a capital 'C'. My heart reaches out to Leontien and her family as she courageously battles a second round of cancer. 



Thank you to Sandie at Chatty Crone for sharing the link. 

Take some time to read Leontien's story. 



"Courage does not always roar,
sometimes courage is the quiet voice 
at the end of the of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow!"
                  Mary Ann Radmacher


Keep on fighting!
CLPCS

Sunday, November 27, 2011

108th Post - Just

I'm back...and by saying that I'm  breaking one of the blogging rules I recently stumbled upon: don't draw attention to long blogging absences...but when have I ever really followed the rules?

It's been a gruelling month. Busy at work and busy at home; make that exhausted at home. This morning my reverend is off to preach his monthly sermon at a local church. Being new at this pastor's wife gig, I have chosen to stay at home and meet up with him after church. Oops, is that another rule I'm breaking?

I find myself in a constant state of anger and weariness. It is mostly related to work, but truth be told, it is difficult to tease out work from life in general. If you're a blogging friend you'll know that I am passionate about my work. Teaching and now counselling is more than a job, but a calling on my life. It is without pride and arrogance that I  declare that I am  good at both. That has allowed for many blessings throughout my life.

I have vigorously defended public education throughout my 32 years in the business. It is no secret that I struggle with  private christian education and when that doesn't satisfy; home schooling. Part of the beautiful life we have in Canada is the option of choices. To disagree is to bask in the freedom of this great nation. So with that in in mind, I anticipate that many of you will strongly disagree with the rest of this post. That's OK. Tension is often needed in order for movement to occur.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

107th Post - Exodus


No I'm not going anywhere! I'm referring to Exodus the second book of the Old Testament.

Exodus 17:8-13 To be precise!


A while ago I posted a simple Facebook status "Carol wants to go home". In hindsight I realize that could be taken several  ways. Mother Irmgard replied in typical mother fashion, "come visit me". Other friends replied in a similar way. One dear friend sent me a message. She was concerned. In her message she included a scripture reference from Exodus 17. 

If you recall your bible stories from Sunday School, this was a good one. The Amalekites were attacking the Israelites. Moses, the leader of the Israelites gave the instruction to go and fight! While they were in battle, he (Moses) would go to the top of the hill and stand, arms outstretched, staff of God in hand, while they fought. 

So, Joshua and his men went into battle. The account tells us that as long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites would be winning, but as his arms grew weary and he lowered them the Amalekites would gain the upper hand. 

Have you ever tried to hold up your arms for any length of time? Go ahead, try. Easy? Well grab a broom and hold it up...high...keep holding. I imagine a battle would last more than a few minutes. Keep holding that broom. How long did you last? All day? Maybe not, I know I can't.  

As you can well imagine Moses also grew weary. But the consequences of his fatigue meant potential defeat for his army. No pressure there! 

Throughout scripture we are reminded of team work, and this story is no exception. 

Cue Aaron and Hur! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

106th Post - Reminder

This week came complete with tragedy, conflict, teenage angst, and generally all the mayhem that is part of life at a middle school. 

It must be noted that there is much more positive than negative amongst the teens and soon-to-be teens at our school. They seek out help when they need it. Even the most marginalized look out for each other. They are creative, fun, joyful and have an abundance of ...
 E N E R G Y !

In addition to my work as school counsellor, I co-lead our school choir with a very talented French Immersion teacher. This year's group is no less fabulous than previous choirs. 

"Everything I needed to learn I learned in choir!"

I rushed into practice late (don't ask) and since we're on a time crunch to learn a couple of songs for Remembrance Day, I was more than a little frazzled. Nothing like music to calm this savage beast!

Amazingly in one rehearsal these talented young people learned a  new song complete with two parts, and are well on their way to learning another. This week was a case of the students extending the joy of music to the teacher. Talk about music therapy! Thirty minutes of leading this group restored balance and peace to my heart. I was able to carry on with some of the more difficult tasks of the day with a greater perspective of goodness and hope! 

My lesson was (again); we all bring good to each other; age, experience, level of education aside, we are connected at a human level and we need each other. This week our choir gave me much more than I gave them. They gave me renewal! 

If you have time, take a listen to one of our songs. This version is  not our choir, nor is it really a choir song, but the message is important and to hear our kids sing this, brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.


The goodness, the worth, the hope continue to be greater than the sorrow, the tragedy and the angst. It took music and a choir full of students to remind me. 

What reminded you of goodness and hope this week?
CLPCS

Saturday, October 22, 2011

105th Post - Answers

I probably should have titled this post "Questions" because it is clear that I have more questions than answers.  

Occupy Vancouver, why?

Is there such a thing as political truth?

Would society tolerate an "embrace faith" movement? 

Can we take the politics out of education? Please.

We know the needs of many of our at risk youth. What would it take to ignite the will to provide them the opportunity for life change? Do our youth even feel the need for life change?

As I put these questions into print, the word that comes to mind is simplify. 

SIMPLIFY!

Simplify...
      if we see a need, can we fill that need? Do we have the will? 

It is difficult to accept that life is worse today than it was when I was 10...20...30...or even 40, yet it feels worse. I have more, yet it feels like I have less. 

Is it possible to stand up and speak...
   
         without violence...
       
                  without infringing upon the rights and liberties of others?

And what would that even look like? Sound like? Feel like?

It seems to me that the whole world needs to press the pause button. 

Just stop for a moment. 
             No protests.
                      No violence. 
                                                 Simply stop. 

Maybe a global time out.
Drop everything and reflect! No Internet, no electricity, simply you and your inner self; pray, meditate, whatever you do to get grounded, centered, or if not that just do nothing. 

If everyone stopped.


For a minute.

Maybe our  collective energy would give someone, somewhere the answer.
The answers.

I don't know.

It beats tearing up the lawn in front of my Art Gallery!

Do you have more questions than answers?
CLCPS