Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Kind of Resolution

If you’re like most people, two weeks from now you won’t even remember what your New Years’ resolution was. Or, you’ll remember what it was but feel incredible guilt at not living up to it.

Although most of us could benefit from losing a few pounds, exercising more, or spending less, I think it’s time to start a new kind of resolution. I’ll go first.

My New Year’s resolution is to enjoy small luxuries more often.

Note there is no time line associated with this resolution like “every week”. There must be no guilt or sense of failure associated with this new kind of resolution.

The beautiful café au lait cup and saucer in the picture is one of two I purchased years (decades?) ago in St. Pierre, a small French island off the east coast of Canada.

It is part of a small group of china, linen, clothing and bath products that I’ve been saving “for good”.

Based on how long ago it was since I’ve used this cup, apparently I’ve been saving it for the Twelfth of Never.

Now that I’ve taken it out of its back closet hidey-hole, this cup is going to hold my morning coffee on Monday.

What forlorn luxuries do you have hiding in your closets and drawers that you haven’t been using? Silky lingerie? Linen napkins? Gift with purchase hand lotion?

It's a new year. Live it!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just One Gift

Everyone knows that Christmas is a family oriented time of year.

Children squeal in delight over new toys, and try to fall asleep early on Christmas Eve despite their excitement over Santa’s impending visit.

Parents are busy trying to co-ordinate decorating, shopping, holiday events, and cooking.

In some homes the Christmas cheer is a little harder to come by.

I have friends who lost their teenager this year in a terrible accident.

I have several other friends who are dealing with their child’s medical issues, hoping there will be an improvement next year.

For these parents and others like them, there’s only one thing they really want this Christmas.

Just one gift, but not one that can be wrapped and put under the tree.

Give a special hug this year to your relatives, friends and neighbours who may be hurting in this way.

Bless all the mommies and daddies.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

“Cliché, c-l-i-c-h-e, cliché”

I started my career in the ‘90’s wanting to be a modern version of Mary Tyler Moore’s TV character.

Then I met a great guy, fell in love, and got married.

He wanted to be a farmer. I was expecting a baby, and was willing to nest somewhere nice and quiet - like a farmhouse.

So I traded in my briefcase for canning jars (figuratively, not literally, as the briefcase is still around here somewhere).

I’m sure this gave my friends and family moments of great amusement.

Now I have taken things one step further away from the original plan for my life.

I have started to homeschool my child, Kitten.

I’ve become a farm wife who homeschools the young ‘un!

I am such a cliché!

I’m Kitten’s teacher (I think I can do it).

I’m Kitten’s teacher (hooray).

I’m Kitten’s teacher (uh oh).

I’m Kitten’s teacher (SOMEONE HELP ME).

Send reinforcements, send a real teacher, send someone creative, and send more coffee!

Send someone who knows what that accent over the “e” in “cliché” is called.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Operation Peaches

We picked all the peaches from our tree, which yielded about 60 pounds of the things. Usually, peach canning day is a time when Big Guy and Kitten know they should take cover and stay out of my way.

It does not put me in the best of moods. However, in the last few years, things have gradually changed so that canning peaches is not the headache it used to be.

Air conditioning in the house improved things immensely. Also, the fact that Kitten no longer bites me on the back of the leg when I’m spending too long in the kitchen is a help (sorry, Kitten, I know it’s been years since you’ve done that).

My canning books say you should cut the peaches in half, put them in boiling water for a few minutes, then in cool water, to slip off the skins. Then take out the pit and slice each half.

This, I have to say, takes forever.

So now I throw the book to one side, and just peel the peach like I would an apple. I cut the peach into chunks, or slices, whatever is easier.

This approach may not result in beautiful blue ribbon worthy jars, but I come more from the “just get it done” school of thought.

If you or someone you know is busy with canning this time of year, I have one important piece of advice. No, it’s not about sugar, heat or fruit flies.

It’s simply this – after a long hot day of cutting, measuring, stirring, and lifting hot jars, what a canner really wants is to be taken out to dinner. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive; it just has to be one less thing to stir around on the stove.