Sunday, February 29, 2004

Sunday, February 29th.........Well, I did it. I booked the trip. I am off to Mexico for two weeks. I board the plane tomorrow. I am in the process of packing my bags, which will contain - three pairs of shorts, two bathing suits, two pairs of jeans, one pair of dress white pants, a few tops, cosmetics, camera, walkman, several books and my journal. Oh, my purse with some cash. I am traveling alone for the first time.

Oh look at me, I am sitting on the beach in Cancun watching the waves crash all around me while I slip my toes in the hot white sand. I am looking out at the ocean and the tourists all around me, while I lay on my lawn chair with my book, sunscreen and upbeat music in my ears. It's so hot beads of sweat are dripping down my back. My blood is finally warmed up and soon I will be rested and beautifully bronzed.

OH no, I just woke up and realized I wasn' t on my way to Cancun. I am just laying in the tanning bed at the local mall. Sand does not come with the tanning beds, what a dream, the sweat not even possible. Music was blaring in my ears (where do these people get this music anyway?) Oh well.......

Enjoy this incredibly beautiful day....

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Saturday, February 28, 2004

TULIPS....The other day someone gave me a bouquet of tulips. Beautiful yellow and orange ones. It had been a long day and I was somewhat under the weather by the time I got home. I put the tulips in a vase and proceeded to get into bed to rest my weary body. In the morning when I went into the kitchen, I was disappointed as the tulips were drooping over the side of the vase in despair, I had forgotten to put water in the vase....I didn't feed my tulips the basic necessity for them to live. It reminded me of someone who was totally defeated.....this beautiful bunch of flowers with no vibrancy or life.

I picked them up and on my way to the waste basket I took a second look at them and decided to put them back in the vase, this time with water, just to see if they could be saved. I couldn't believe it when later that night I looked over and saw these beautiful tulips standing tall, refreshed and as sturdy as they were when I had first received them. I was reminded of the ways we are refreshed and brought back to life after times of trial and tribulations...... The Bible talks about receiving the gift of the "living water". When we receive the gift of living water from Christ, we are refreshed and brought back to life. In Psalms 36:9 Jesus is called the fountain of life and the source of living water (Jeremiah 17:13). The living water satisfies the soul's desire.

Most of my journaling is easy and possibly fun reading. I have been working on a link for those who want to share in some of my Bible study, however it's not quite finished yet. As Christians and non-Christians read my journal entries I feel a need to share not just my daily events, but also my thoughts and belief in Jesus. With the movie The Passion, there is much buzzing talk and controversy about the movie itself, Mel Gibson and Jesus in general. As each of you know me so well, you know I am not classified as a "Bible Thumper" but rather as a believer, gentle and humble. I thank you for allowing me to share gently with you, Jesus.

Now I am off to go dancing.......!


Thursday, February 26, 2004

HI - Where have YOU been? ! It has been a busy week and I apologize for not blogging since Sunday. I had a long meeting Monday night in Milton, Tuesday we actually did some grocery shopping, made a really nice stew and crashed early. Wednesday was the day we went with our church to see The Passion.

I went with some friends from my church and outside of my church. Tonight I spent time with some of these friends celebrating Sandy's birthday (no age mentioned out of respect of the elderly - haha !). During the course of the evening we had discussions about the movie. There were many questions asked and we could only offer each other limited answers. So tonight before catching up on my blogging, I have been researching through my Bible and my little resource book "Book of Bible Knowledge" (the best $3.49 I have spent).

I have discovered that I learn through others, by their questions specifically. It forces me to look for the answers and back it up so I am correct! I have a feeling I am on another journey. Oh where will I ever get time to travel these journeys?

See the movie and share with me - ask questions so we can learn together. Be prepared, it is truly brutal and extremely graphic. Some critics loved it, others not.

Back to my books!

Sunday, February 22, 2004


On Saturday Joseph dragged me to Oakville Place, with pleads of needing new jeans. When we got to the mall I naturally assumed he'd want to go on his own, after all what 13 year old boy wants his mom tagging along. However, he adamantly decided he wanted me to go with him into the store. American Eagle here we come. Oh my goodness what an experience! Have you ever heard the saying "if it's too loud, your too old"... Well, we have decided I am most definitely too old. I stood by the clearance rack,
(they had 75% clearance sale on some items) while Joseph rummaged through the jeans. I couldn't stand it, the music was so loud I absolutely could not hear Joseph talking to me. I became very irritateand I couldn't wait for him to try these jeans on so I could get out. I did try my best to be cool and not show my extreme agitation. I looked up from the rack and saw another lady across from me, she smiled, as she witnessed my conversation with Joseph wherein I exclaimed in despair that I could not hear a word he was saying. She nodded with understanding and said, "you know they just turned this music up".

Joseph and I headed to the clerk to check the price on the jeans (my very cool son managed to find jeans marked down to $15.-) wherein I couldn't help myself, I lightly complained that it wasn't quite right to have music so loud that you couldn't hear someone talk. Joseph smiled in complete embarrassment and told the clerk "it's okay" (in other words my mom is a freak, she's old please ignore her!) Poor kid. Anyway the part that gets me about this entire experience is the fact that she smiled, nodded at me and did absolutely nothing to even slightly de-crank (if that's a word) the music so at least we could talk. That really bugs me, after all, I am the paying customer, not the 13 year old! Finally, I could not take it one second longer, I paid for the jeans, took the bag, handed Joseph (who still wanted to shop) $20.00 and told him if he could find a shirt to go ahead and buy it, but I was out of there.!

I slipped into the next store, Fairweathers and what a joy. The music was relaxing and perfectly placed at a reasonable volume. What's with these stores and their inappropriately loud irritating music. Do they forget who carries the money for these kids who shop there? Where is the marketing strategy in this picture?

What year was I born?....... Oh yes, 1950 something..... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Saturday, February 21.... HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH, HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
I have had some writer's cramp. Thoughts are lazy and not particularly exciting these days. However, for the past while I have been thinking about how fortunate I am to have the things I have. In comparison to some I have much, to many I have too little. I have, he has, she has, I want, they have....

As we go the journey we spend time slipping, jumping, hopping, crawling, screetching to a halt and sometimes just laying down. I have spent time doing all the above. I have recently spent time thinking about my many blessings, and yes, there are many. I am talking material possessions today, not health, children etc. I have somehow managed to hang on to my house, put groceries on the table, and generally survive. I look around at my home realizing it as being probably humble to most, but very elaborate to me. I have more than I could ask for. Although by human nature, I could keep asking, and do! I have spent more time alone in the company of myself in the past year than ever in my life. I have found out some not so nice things about myself and some really cool things.

However, the two most important things I have learned is that I am cool, relatively balanced and generally o.k. and that I could actually be quite happy living in my bedroom. It has everything I need (other than a kitchen, and is that something I need??). I have the big soaker bath tub, shower, relatively large room wherein I have temporarily moved in my desk, sitting chair, my new bed, dresser, t.v. and wall unit. Believe it or not, it's really not cluttered (I do wonder if I would recognize clutter anyway). My closest is actually big enough to house everything I should really NEED (if I managed to throw out the clothes that are outdated by about 15 years!).

I have enough, more would be too much. More would be fun. Am I satisfied? Yes. Would I love a trip twice a year, YES! Will I survive without the luxury of trips? Yes. Will I yearn for trips in the winter to the hot summer spots, YES! I was thinking, I should rent the house out to someone and just live in my bedroom. What would that provide me with? Much more cash to spend, much less housework, no cooking - I could pick up Wendy's every night and most certainly no snow shoveling as I would rent it to a man who could handle a shovel. The point is, I actually COULD live with much less. Could you? And if so how much less?

Maybe I am just becoming a hermit????? Not likely! But I do love the hideaway in my bedroom!

Have an amazing day.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Thursday, February 19, 2004..... In the pursuit of peace of mind ....
I have a wonderful friend, we won't mention her name, she'd probably kill me if I did. I met her when she was 18 and I was probably 32. She was looking for a placement out of high school as a co-op student. She was impressive and I convinced the in-house lawyer to give her the placement, the rest is history. When I was younger and she was really young, I had 4 children and she would come to visit, claiming she had to leave due to a headache, teasing me about the noise in my house. Well... my kids are all grown up and there are not many headaches to complain about.

My friend didn't pay much attention to my words of wisdom. She got married and proceeded to have children. FIVE of them, one girl and FOUR boys! I don't visit as often as I should because I am so busy now that I don't have kids running around, and besides her kids give ME a headache now. Actually they don't really, but I like to tease her about it. Anyway, she was talking about the kids and what they were doing, their busy schedules etc. and I really was shaking my head thankful that I have pasted that age of enertaining all those children running around. I recently went to a wedding with her, her husband and a few of their FIVE children. I really was honored as the kids like me, and let me know it. They wanted to sit beside me, entertain me and share with me. Her one son made my day, he decided to be my date for the wedding, he sat with me in the church, sat beside me at dinner and he even danced with me. I hear he took my advice and shaved his head for a new style!! I want to take my hat off to you my friend who is kind, gentle, humble, a great mom (and a neat and wonderful friend) for being so brave to bring these five beautiful children into the world. Even though you can't sit in the bathroom for long and you can't read a book, or probably even wonder what it's like to NOT have a headache, your rewards are these neat, interesting and individual children. They are everything we need and could possibly want to have in this world. One day you will sit in the bathroom so long that your legs might go numb, the books will be boring, or you might not even be able to read them without your glasses, and you WILL stop having headaches - until the grandchildren come along.!

I just wanted to say you are an amazing person, a super mom and your children reflect your graciousness... they are so neat and I had so much fun with them on Saturday. So much that I would even invite them to stay overnight so you can sit in the bathroom even for just a while one night!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Tuesday, February 17, 2004.... Special Days !

Today Gina and I had a discussion on the happy / sad of Valentine's Day. Happy are we women when some thoughtful person (usually our significant other) does something even so slight as giving us a love card. Sad are we when he does not! We get pretty upset when you forget Valentine's Day. Get with it boys.... Valentine's day is a MUST to throw the overcoat on, find the interact bank card and head out to get something, anything for your favorite girl. Do most of you remember this special day?

My future son-in-law was telling my 13 year old son that you don't have to "buy" something, you can do something really romantic and thoughtful such as making a puzzle and giving her pieces of it daily to put together...a puzzle that says something romantic. As the conversation was going on, I was rolling my eyes (cheap scape!) I of course had to interject my opinion on the matter and I told them I didn't think it was all that cool what he was suggesting. My son listened with intent and when my son-in-law got out of the car, Joseph leaned over and said "does he really think I'd do something so corny?". Yea! I have educated my son, if you are going to do it, do it right! Flowers, chocolates, dinner, cards, all the above. I was actually just kidding him, I do believe it's the thought that counts. It's the lack of thought that really ticks us women off. We can't help ourselves, we were designed to be emotional, sentimental and softies for Valentine's Day. My sweet daughter has it right, she so surprisingly delivered to me Laura Secord chocolates on a beautifully wrapped ceramic Valentine's dish - with a very nice card. There's a daughter who knows how to make her mom feel special!

Then, there are first anniversaries (my youngest daughter did count months for a long time...let alone years)...what about anniversaries of our first date, our first kiss, our first, our first, our first.... No wonder guys get so confused. So here it is guys...special dates to remember:

1. First six months of dating;
2. Always Valentine's day;
3. Most certainly her birthday;
4. One year of dating;
5. Engagement;
6. All wedding anniversaries;

Take heed of Joseph's example...last year he had me bring him to Dominion on the way to school (he needed something for his lunch). I waited outside for him. He slipped into the back seat and I drove off. I could hear him wrestling in the back seat and I finally figure out he was doing something for me. He said his goodbye's, jumped out of the car and off to school. When I arrived at work, I reached into the back seat to get my purse and there sat a wrapped bag of flowers... the card read... "Did you think I would forget? Happy Valentine's Day...Love Joseph" Did I cry? Yes. This year, he was very pre-occupied buying a teddy bear for a young lady he knows... and there were no flowers in the back seat this year...but I had the incredible happiness to watch this caring, sensitive young boy think of a lucky young lady on Valentine's Day.

p.s. please don't share this story as Joseph will probably be less than thrilled with me and I may never get flowers.......

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Sun. Feb. 15... Change on the way....O.K. Chris, this is for you, I have pondered the suggestion that you have given me a couple of times...and shall writing 3 times a week, committing to posting my writings on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday's. (Note today's writing should have been posted lastnight!) This shall hopefully prevent disappointment when I get too busy to write and post...leaving my fans as you say (haha) in disappointment when I have neglected to share for days (or in this case, a week). Hats off to you Chris! By the way, did you survive all that food and dancing at the wedding? I am not sure I have.

I didn't write this week, because quite frankly I don't know where the week went. These days I can't even manage to wash my floors or grocery shop. Joseph wrote his speech for the public speaking contest at school on what else.... Being in a Hurry... Rush Rush RUSH! His opening lines were something like....."rushing through McDonald's drive in five minutes before your piano lessons begin, the bigger and faster highways - expressways...(he says oxymoron), high speed internet (no we have not indulged in this) and running through stop signs to get to a great sale at the mall (no I have not done that). I will admit that we do rush through the McDonald's drive through on Monday nights before his drum lessons....but I do it about 1/2 hour before... not five minutes!!

Joseph was writing on what I have been feeling for months now... rush rush rush... for what, and what is the rush anyway?! Are we over working, over socializing, over committing ourselves and our children? The more I try to relax it seems the further I get behind...then I am really rushing, or apologizing because I didn't get something done. Why are there not enough hours in the days lately? Is it because as we get older time moves faster? Or is it that as we get older, we are slower and it takes more time to get things done? I don't know but someone please slow the clock down, quickly ?!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Sunday Feb. 8th...TO FISH WITH ME OR NOT. What a glorious day it is! The sun is shining, the skies are bright and blue. Yes, it is cold out, but that's O.K.

I was wondering earlier, what type of topics can I write about to increase the male reader's attention? I know my heart to heart talks about beauty, life and women things bore the heck out of them. So, Sports - not likely, I know so little about sports nor do I care about sports other than possibly golfing, cars - I love fast cars, but know very little about them, and then I decided that possibly fishing might catch their attention.

Well, I know very little about fishing other than it's so relaxing to sit with a fishing rod quietly in a boat in the middle of the lake in anticipation of the big catch. I did catch a hugh fish once and it was a big rush! The fish being big enough that the buddy I was fishing with being a poor sport, didn't talk to me for hours.

Just imagine yourself in the middle of the lake on a beautiful warm sunny day, fishing rod in hand, hook and worm way beyond the boat just dangling, waiting.....and all of a sudden the rod bends and you've snagged the big one....excitement escalates as you start reeling the big guy in. Depending on the fish that is on your line, there is a way to reel them in...some fish fight like crazy others don't bother until they get close to the boat. You get him up to the side of the boat and your buddy reaches down with the net and scoops him up. You drop him into the centre of the boat. He's absolutely beautiful, obviously a rainbow trout...and he's big. He's flopping all around the bottom of the boat, just gleaming, you are so proud after all, you just caught the biggest fish so far.

Then I think of the other scenario.... you are reeling this fish in, fighting with him using all your skill to keep him on the know he's a big one and you are going to be the envy of the lake. Pictures are going to be taken and you are going to filet this guy, cook him up with special spices and butter, you can taste the flavour, he's fresh and may have salad with him and rice...and a beer or glass of wine...oh...the rewards of fishing.

Your buddy gets the net (and she's probably a female buddy), she slips the net in the water and she somehow catches the hook in Mr. Rainbow Trout's mouth... he flips up and swims right out of the net in front of your disbelieving eyes.....his tail slapping across the water happy to be missing the heat of the frying pan....

I was pondering today about the times we get so close to something that we have waited for in such anticipation, and out of no where, it diminishes for no apparent reason. With a snap of a finger it's gone. Often we just go forward looking ahead to the next dream yet sometimes we are stopped in our tracks with disappointment. I was reflecting on how these times can really keep us from moving forward. It might be little, it could be big...but when these diminished dreams stop us from moving forward, we need to reflect and find a way for us to rationalize the dream and just step ahead with zeal to zoom down the next journey! After all, maybe that fish was meant for you to catch later, when he was bigger, fatter and juicier!

And yes...I was the female buddy who let my male buddy's fish off the hook, quite by mistake, however I did do it and many never let me forget it. The experience did not stop me from fishing - I just have difficulties finding buddies who want to fish with me! So, send me YOUR fish stores!

Chat later....

Friday, February 06, 2004

Friday, February 6th.... Not much writing tonight as I have been sick with a tummy bug of sorts. Looks like Joseph might be getting it too.

What a night....cold, icy and wet...what a great night for a glass of wine, big pillows and fluffy blankets to cuddle with beside the roaring fireplace, lights dimmed, and a good movie... or Nick Nolte in person....!

Well, I tried...but ended up with a few glasses of gingerale in hopes of settling the roaring tummy....Joseph and dog cuddling on the too small couch...Oh, I forgot I don't have a fireplace....hmmm.....

Night once again, sweet dreams....

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Thursday, February 5th....

To continue with sharing my thoughts on the book "Do you think I am Beautiful"... What is the purpose of me reading this book? It is NOT to figure out if I am beautiful, we already know the answer to that one. I decided to read it because my friend read it and found it life changing. I have found it to be inspiring as Angela's words are powerful.

Angela Thomas takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride in this book. She shows us complete transparency and encourages the reader to do the same. I want to provide some inspirational thoughts from her messages.

Have you ever been to a function or event where you were just sitting on the sidelines, waiting, watching and not knowing what you were waiting for? I have... only too often. Have you convinced yourself that you are a behind the scenes person, probably with very little to actually offer? Angela says "there are no faceless women standing around the edge of the room with Him. He did not bring you to the dance just to shove you into a corner and tell you to have a great time watching. You were made for strobe lights!

Let's stand in the centre of the dance floor and feel the effects of the strobe lights while you take your first steps to dance. If you are a woman who is floating out there, possibly struggling with trust, beauty or love issues.... close your eyes and truly lay everything down. Clear the slate, go to Jesus with your cares. Once we do that, and stand firm in making Jesus our ROCK, through His grace and dedication on our part, we will find a new woman emerging. You will put new shoes on and certainly stumble in them. You may put contact lenses in that irritate your eyes, but eventually your ankles will be strengthened and your walk will be confident, your vision will be clearer....

Let Him be the one that matters first. You are beautiful. He watches you and He loves you like no other. Angela says "the love that God has for us is the love your soul was made for. It is an intimate, vulnerable, completing kind of love".

On to the next chapter with anticipation.... good night, it's been a long week....

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Wednesday, February 4th...Well, I spent about a half hour preparing tonight's blog.....just for Mr. McRae as he apparently misses my blogs if I don't write. Well, guess what...the machine froze and I wasn't sure if lost all my work. I was hoping it was saved, as I was far too tired to re-create that great piece. I shut the computer of and restarted it.

While I was waiting for the computer to swing back into action, I went downstairs to have a snack (no dinner tonight!) I opened a can of this "turkey" stuff. I cut it up on the plate and started to eat it.....hmmmm not the best dinner I have had. As I had a few pieces of this "meat", my cat started to go crazy, crying, jumping up on the counter. My dog joined the excitement of the aroma by jumping at his cage as high as he could... I continued to eat this dinner and after a few more forks full, I decided this was pretty awful stuff....wonder what the hint was....? I should have known better when my animals were crying for it. I think I just had cat food for dinner.

What a night....wonder what's for dinner tomorrow????

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Tuesday, February 3..... My friends....each of you know this inquisitive mind of mine and my constant quest for answers to my deep thoughts. I think women are incredible species, truly I do! We are complex, beautiful, smart, funny, devoted and very special. Inside each of us is a closed flower waiting to burst open exposing our beauty. For some of us it has taken a long time to bloom because of the image we hold of ourselves.

I am reading a great book called "Do you think I am Beautiful" by Angela Thomas. Am I Beautiful the woman asks? Personally, I have asked myself that question too many times. I was beautiful once. Yes! I was in a relationship with a man who truly thought I was the most beautiful woman he saw at every function we went to. He constantly fed me with his praises of my apparent beauty. I truly spent time feeling beautiful. In reality I was not beautiful, heck I wasn't ugly, but I certainly wasn't beautiful. However, I love those memories, and give thanks to that person who planted them for me!

Angela wrote some amazing inspirational words. One of the things she wrote "When no one notices, a lot of us wander through life blending in, always trying to figure out the balance of being just right, like milk toast and boiled eggs - bland and easy to swallow. Other women act out, doing anything to get someone to notice. But either way, after lost hope, the ache of disappointment, and the repetitive pain of rejection, the longing to be beautiful is eventually stuffed away into an untouchable place in our hearts."

She continues to talk about the natural make up of women seeking to be known as beautiful, she shares that women often pretend it doesn't matter. She says "we learn to pretend it doesn't matter, but Lord knows, it matters. It matters in your soul and it matters in the way you wake up every morning and step into life."

Let me encourage you and ME today to banish the negative clutter you have stored somewhere back in your mind about your beauty. How can I do that you ask? Stay tuned for some feedback on this book I have been enjoying as I am sure I shall be sharing some inspirational words.

Today, wake up your soul and don't allow the world to cut in on your dance, you ARE beautiful !!


Monday, February 02, 2004

Monday, February 2, 2004.....
In Memory of Georgia Stylianou.... Most of you know that this weekend has been extremely sad for my dear friends Mary & Charlie. They have suffered two deaths in their family, Charlie lost his father last week and on Saturday the day of the funeral for Charlie's dad, Mary's mother, Georgia suddenly became critically ill. She passed away Sunday, February 1st.

I have not written for two days because I was overwhelmed with shock and grief for my dear friends. I couldn't write and if I had been able to, I didn't know what to say. Over the weekend Mary & Charlie were reminiscing with us about their parents. Mary's mom, Georgia, was part of our family, and we have many wonderful memories. I was able to share a few stories of Georgia and how she effected and influenced my life, so today I want to write about what she taught Mary, Laurie & I.

Georgia was a typical Greek mom, always trying to shove food in my mouth, especially when I was pregnant. She was constantly trying to fatten me up with her spectacular cooking. She was everyone's mom, telling us how to take care of the babies as she fawned over each one of them when they were born, hugging and kissing them and us. When there was a birthday, baptism, showers or any reason for celebration (and back then in that big Greek family - there were many!), we were always on the list, she always made us part of the family. The memories of the food and Greek dancing will always keep us smiling. My most recent memory was this past summer when she sat at the kitchen table with us and took us down memory lane with her of when she was first married, and it was so beautiful to hear. She laughed with us at jokes about subjects we never thought she'd laugh with us about. I will always remember her telling us girls that your husband was the king of your home! However the most important thing she taught us was unconditional friendship.

When her husband died 30 years ago (yes the three of us have been friends for way over 30 years!), we attended the funeral at the church. It was the first funeral for many of us and a very emotional time. Georgia hugged us and looking right in our eyes, she asked us to always be there for Mary, reminding us of the importance of friendship and of of being there for each other. We promised her we would, however never realizing how truly close we would become over the next 35 years. I have always carried her words with me and because she raised such a loving, caring and amazing daughter, holding us together like glue, we were blessed with eternal friendship. Georgia reminded us of the special bond we shared as friends and encouraging us to nurture it. She in turn became our friend, as she set the example of love and acceptance. Mary, Laurie and I have been referred to as the "Three Muskateers". We have shared much joy, sorrow and tears over the years. We have received and given each other unfailing support of each other in happy and sad times, being closer than some sisters could be.

I want to thank you Georgia today for this wonderful bond of family that we are blessed with, as with your words 30 years ago you gave us life long love, friendship, support and true family. You my beautiful lady are in God's arms and reunited with your husband for eternity.

We love you!