Inspiration for this blog came from my cousin Roy. His daily reflections of the events in his life have been thoughtful and interesting. Family, friends, colleagues are welcome to read my blog.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Sometimes we talk about teaching values to children. Talking, talking, talking! The most important act is being and doing. Demonstrating with our actions. Having friends and acquaintances from a variety of backgrounds. Being a respectful colleague. Being a respectful parent to not just our own children but all children.
If speaking a language other than English be aware there may be others around you that do not speak the language and be inclusive- speak in English. Excluding people is very easy by doing this very act! It is good to have other languages- I speak and understand several- not fluently but enough to get by! Be aware that some people may understand when you think they do not. For example, in my younger years, when taking a bus in a predominantly ethnic area, I understood the two ladies talking negatively about another passenger. So when I got up to leave, I said Scusi!
If new to the country, learn what the country is all about before putting down what is different. Diversity is great. But it means to be diverse. It goes every which way. It is easy to point a finger at one group but remember 3 are pointing back! Do you include others in your life?
Remember it is okay to know we all have some prejudices and to work on them. Continue to challenge and to change. Demonstrate to our children and grandchildren. A tough one to do but very doable! One last point, I used to be a regular blood donor. Do you know everyone's blood is red? We really are more similar than different!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Children love the outdoors but as we grow older often staying inside becomes the norm. So how to enjoy January.

1. If you have the money or a place to go, get away to a sunny location. Sit on the beach. Read  favourite magazines and newspapers. Read a book. Enjoy the meals and party life.

2. If staying locally, find some indoor places that bring meaning. Even a trip to the coffee shop several times weekly gives a change of scenery. Restaurant meals. Order in. Buy one of those delivered food kits.Invite friends for a quick meal like a simple lunch. The library. The movie theatre. Visit a friend. Reduces the social isolation.

3. Organizing the household. Decluttering. Setting a budget for the year. And of course planning for the Spring/Summer jaunts. Are there tour bus trips? Road trips alone or with family. Researching takes time so often just perusing the internet and dreaming can be uplifting. All the ideas will not be fulfilled but it is fun to dream. Assessing the cost and how it can be managed is a good activity.

4. Watching old loved movies. Reading those books that were on the summer list. Rediscovering what is loved and can be kept and what can be sent to a new home. If a hobby like genealogy, then get to some research and writing of family stories. Phone someone instead of emailing or facebooking. A long conversation can be fun too.

5. Good month for appointments. Eyes checked. Doctor. Dentist. Legal matters. Have the grandchildren for sleepovers. Visit local art galleries. Museums. Historic places. Less crowds during the week.

Seniors always worry more about the weather and the potential of a fall. Smart thinking. So do activities safely.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Reflective Thoughts by Barbara: BLUE MONDAY 2018

Reflective Thoughts by Barbara: BLUE MONDAY 2018: So it is supposed to be a difficult day. Mid January. The bills have arrived. The cold. The long winter. Well it is my niece's bday so t...


So it is supposed to be a difficult day. Mid January. The bills have arrived. The cold. The long winter. Well it is my niece's bday so there is a spark of light.
The pressures of trying to keep the New Year resolutions- I didn't make any so I am good.
My daughter in her blog House of Kerrs wrote 7 strategies to embrace the dark side of winter.
Well for me January is always a time for culturing, cleaning, sorting, scrapbooking and the lull before the spring garden work arrives. Trying to get this house in order for eventual downsizing. Which is closer than it was a year ago.
Winter blues can be life threatening too. Trying to get out in bad weather brings extra stress- slippery roads, cleaning off the car, worried about bad drivers. Public transit can be delayed too. So to go out to the gym or just exercise at home. I power walk around my house with weights in my hands in the winter.

So I did not make a list. But why don't you make one! 5 things that would make you happy right now.
For me, sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in. Instead I get some satisfaction feeding the birds in the backyard.
It is only a day and before we all know it Tuesday will roll around.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


I love the new ads encouraging families to eat together. Sitting down around a dinner table
with many generations brings back my memories of childhood. Often exended family joined the major events. Then there could be the Kids' table. Fund to be away from the adults. Yes eating is nourishment that helps sustain us. However it has been shown that eating together is very social too. Eating alone often makes the meals not very enjoyable! Studies have shown with the elderly in hospital or  nursing homes eat more and better when someone eats with them. I know there are busy schedules but making an effort in the week for more dinners or breakfasts together brings the family closer. At our house when the grandchildren visit or sleep over we sit as a group to eat. One of my granddaughters remarked during one visit that she liked it with the grandparents at each end and the kids along the sides. The conversation can be interesting too. So making regular efforts to eat with family is good. The TVshow Blue Bloods has an ongoing theme of the family having Sunday dinner. A little old fashioned but what old is new again. So when is your next family or friends' dinner?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Listening to my daughters discussing parenting and how some things have changed was fodder for a post at a recent family get together. They were allowed to walk home from school alone at a young age, play outside and be responsible for their homework. My 4 year old granddaughter can not play alone outside in her own yard. My kids did- it was very fenced in but they could be alone with Mom checking every few minutes. Their school work was their responsibility. Now parents have to sign 
every note they see! Every little thing their child has been doing at school. Children can feel they are watched constantly.
 One of the concerns was teaching responsibility gradually. The magic age when they can be alone can be overwhelming without some earlier preparations and responsibilities. So how can modern parents teach and encourage responsibility? Children do need to suffer the consequences of their actions. For example, if they lie, then learning what happens when called out can be a learning opportunity. Not a punishment! Also why do they need to lie! Working on the reason- saving face, afraid to be stupid, insecurities etc. Helping the child with the behaviour!
But some parenting has not changed. Things are the same, they just feel different. Remembering your childhood as the child not the parent is very different. A child may think the parent does not know everything but don't bet on it. Maybe I missed some things but I was very aware of lots of things. Deciding when to intervene and not! So comparing how you were parented and how you are parenting are two distinct concepts. The important take away for me was how to support my daughters as they parent. How to grandparent! How to learn what is different and what is the same to support, care and well just love my grandchildren. Listening to criticisms of my parenting is not also easy but taking a step back and listening to it all helps with the larger family system. What really hasn't changed is how parenting is draining and rewarding at the same time! Yes the grandchildren test this Nana every time I am alone with them. I tell them I just want to have fun! So how is your parenting going? What are your dilemmas? What do you see as your strengths? Remember just getting through the day can be a huge strength!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Let go to grow! A simple concept. But how difficult is it? Very!! Letting go of stuff, negative thoughts, toxic people, well you get the picture. And the million dollar question?! Why do we hold onto things in our lives that weigh us down! Some things are just too laden with emotional memories. It is okay to keep some stuff- perhaps just neatly scrapbook it! But negative memories keep us from really moving on! No one does not have to forgive all the nasties in our lives! One just have to learn not to let what they did to us to keep us from growing and moving on! Famous people write memoirs! So maybe a memoir then put it on the shelf and forget about it! Some of us grew up with the adults in our lives holding on to lots of negative memories. For example, children of divorce! Getting the facts and putting them on the shelf with the memoir. Does one share stuff with everyone? No. Be careful who you trust. Often an emotional experience can be negated by the doubting nellies! So do not share! When a negative memory creeps in, learn to replace it with a present thought or event. It is just a memory! Or turn it around and be proud of all we have survived- the good, the bad and the ugly! So how did I come up with this reflective thoughts! While ironing my clothes for work today! Oh January time to purge and grow! How about you? Any thoughts? Any winter purging?