New Year’s Resolutions


Gill has a few words about making and sticking to New Year’s resolutions.

I’m with her on her first point. If I bother making a resolution at all, I know that no good ever comes of aiming too high. If I get it in my head that I want to do something, I just tell myself that I’m going to give it a go and we’ll see what comes of it. Any result is a good result when you don’t have an unrealistic bar to clear or deadline to meet.

I’ll even take it a step further, but also disagree with her somewhat on number two. Often you’ll hear people say that it’s a good idea to have somebody holding you accountable or to do the thing you want to do in a group. For me, if you want to ensure that I don’t do something, put me in a group or have somebody bother me about it. It’s the same thought process behind the unrealistic goal. If my progress is slow, I’m going to feel judged by the group or my appointed nag, I’m going to get discouraged and I’m not going to want to do it anymore. I’ve found that I’m much better at basically everything when I’m left alone. That’s why I often don’t tell people about my goals. I know that if I do I can never speak to those people again.

I’ll let Gill take it from here.

At one point or another we all have stood there glass of champagne or non-alcoholic bubbly in hand when the year rolls over vowing to do it right this time around. It has also been said that if you can do something for 21 days it will stick, but what about beyond those 21 days? Here are some tips.

  1. Don’t set the bar too high – Don’t tell yourself your going to lose 35 pounds by your cousin’s wedding in mid February and then beat yourself up when the little red needle on the scale only moves 25 pounds. Set a reasonable goal.
  2. Support is everything – Surround yourself with encouragers not enablers. Encouragers will not only be your cheerleaders, but keep you accountable. They will make sure that when you’re about to rip chunks out of your hair due to your cigarette craving to bring you back around.
  3. Think outside the box – Weight loss, quitting smoking and getting your bills in order are important, but what about trying a new recipe a month? For the last couple of years I have worked, and am still working at not being so hard on myself.
  4. Self encouragement can help – Before the start of my journey to stop being hard on myself I would tell myself very harsh and negative things. Thankfully I have been blessed with loads of supports, which makes it easier for me to support myself.

Question

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? If so, how well did it go?

Making A Day Of It With Mom

Seems like Gill had a nice Christmas. I wonder if the snow scene she describes is going to inspire a quilt at some point.

In the last few years I have begun to notice something beautiful. My mom and I are building a bond, and she gets me. I have talked about her in previous blogs, and about neat things she has done, but this one’s kind of special.

Wednesday’s Adventure

In the last decade or a little better my mom has taken up quilting. In her humble opinion she isn’t good at it, but I have received many complimentary responses to some of the projects that adorn my bed, sofa, and now wall. My mom had received some materials from my sister for Christmas, and had the creative juices perform a Niagara Falls on her. We first drove to a blink and you will miss it village about fifteen minutes away called Maxwell to see their quilt shop, but it was closed until the following day. With country music playing and good conversation flowing, we made our way to a larger town about forty minutes away called Shelburn, where the quilt shop was open. My issue was that it was rather cluttered, but it was a nice little place on the main drag.

Ice On The Trees

To our readers who come from warmer places that don’t get lots of snow I must paint this picture for you. Where I grew up was an area called The Snow Belt. If you manage to get to this little slice of heaven you will marvel at the snow on trees, making it look like a postcard. It had rained, then frozen, and with the temperatures when my mom and I left home on the colder side there were branches of trees made silver by ice. When we were coming back from our adventure silver had given way to brown and black.

Question

What’s something you would be surprised to know about one of your parents?

Have A Few Jokes

Here are a few I’ve found as I try to clean out my holiday neglected inbox.

*One year, a man bought his mother-in-law a cemetery plot for Christmas.

The next year, he didn’t buy her anything.

“Why didn’t I get a Christmas gift from you this year,” she asks as the family is sitting around opening their presents.

“Well,” he says, “I didn’t think you wanted one. You never used the one I got you last year.”

*My Uncle Louie was the worst ventriloquist ever. He used to stick two fingers up my ass and tell me not to say anything.

*Last Christmas my Aunt Sadie hung herself. Being part of a traditional family, we didn’t take her down until the fifth of January.

*A guy’s at the bar, drunk. Another guy, wanting to be helpful, picks him up off the floor and takes him home.

On the way to the car, he falls down three times. When they get to his house, the second guy helps him out of the car, and on the way to the front door he falls down four more times.

The second guy rings the bell, and when the wife answers, he says, “Here’s your husband.”

“Thank you,” she says, “but where’s his wheelchair?”

*Two guys are talking one day.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but my wife thinks she’s a Christmas card.”

“Why don’t you send her to your psychiatrist?”

“Why should I? He never sends me one.”

*Q: How do we know that peanuts are fattening?
A: Have you ever seen a skinny elephant?

*Due to inherit a fortune when his sickly, widower father died, Charles decided he needed a woman to enjoy it with.

One night at a singles’ bar, he started talking to a woman whose beauty took his breath away.

“I’m just an ordinary man,” he told her, “but in a week or two my father will die and I’ll inherit 20 million dollars.”

She decided to go home with him, and the next day she became his stepmother.

The 179 Days Of Christmas

If you’re in need of some festive holiday music to listen to as you gather with family and friends today, how about this nine hour version of the 12 Days of Christmas?

To be clear, I do not suggest that any of you actually listen to this. It’s terrible. I made it to day 14 only because I felt it my duty to find out what happened once it got beyond the standard 12, but it took a heroic effort to do so. As Brad so aptly put it when he sent it my way, “if this doesn’t make you want to shoot yourself in the face, nothing will.”

In spite of this thing, I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas. Everyone but Brad, that is. We don’t like Brad anymore.

Recipe For A Fabulous Holiday

Gill is back to share her recipe for a happy holiday season. Hers involves a lot less liquor than mine does, but it’ll work.

Hi friends.

It’s that time again, and one of the big things around this time is time honored recipes. They might be generations old, like your 5 times oma’s recipe for fephernus cookies, or new off the net. But what about the ingredients for a wonderful time? I have those right here for you.

Ingredients

Take a generous helping of family
Some traditions old and new
Go heavy on the fun and cherished memories
Add a helping of compassion and kindness for your fellow people

Instructions

Blend the family moments together until the cockles of your heart are just room temperature, add the compassion and kindness gradually until warmth begins to spread. Keep this up into the next year, and the ones to come.

Serves As many as you like

To quote Tiny Tim, “God Bless us everyone.”

Ms. Gillie wishing you all the best, for now and to come. Happy holidays.

Giving Back

Gill is back.

To answer her question, the main thing I’m doing in the hopes of making the world a little bit better is just being myself. I’m not trying to sound egotistical, I just mean that I’m doing my best to do what I always try to do anyway regardless of where we are on the calendar. Listen to people when they need an ear, try to be there with some decent advice, a laugh or a smile. Give what I can where I can, that sort of thing. Even running this silly little blog helps in its own way, a fact that never doesn’t amaze me.

Normally this is about the time when I would rank awkward gifts, regional dishes, or poke a bit of fun at party guests, but right now I’d like to pause for a second to appeal to all of you out there.

Many times we don’t think too much of the lady pushing the shopping cart with all of her worldly possessions, or the guy with the rough looking clothing. Have you ever taken a second to find out what brought them to this moment? Sometimes in the business of life we don’t stop to think.

Nothing For Christmas

When I was growing up I often would race down to the sofa by the fireplace at my parents farmhouse to find what treasures were hidden in the pretty paper. As I grew up I would see different groups of folks collecting mountains of toys, or stuffing buses. Having never been blessed with children of my own, I decided this year to help someone in my community. I’m going to start by buying something for one of our local toy drives and see where it goes from there.

Question

As 2018 marches to a close, how are you making the world a better place?

Gill Remembers A Family Friend

Our condolences to Gill and anyone else who knows this lady.

In Memory of Leona Knott Oct. 26 1928-Nov. 24 2018

I was getting my breakfast ready when a family friend called to inform me that someone who had been a large part of my childhood had past on.

A Good Neighbor

When I was little I would often go to this lady’s house to spend days, or overnights while my parents went out, went to work, or from what I was told, when my sister was born. Like me she lived on a farm, and had lots of things to do in and outside of the house.

Mispronounced

When my sister and I were tiny children Leona had a piano. I loved banging out what I thought to be wonderful Carnegie Hall level performances. I didn’t realize that my sister also needed time to bang out those works of art. She couldn’t say “Leona` or “piano` so she would say “Lona I wanta play the plano.”

A Wall Of Faith

By now you probably know that church was a part of my life since I was small, and whenever I would go to Leona’s house she would take me to her church. This morning my dad remarked that he wasn’t sure what the United Church would do with out Leona’s cooking, organizing, and other talents.

Make A Password, Help A Charity

This just landed in my inbox.

Hey Steve,

We’ve recently built a Secure Password Generator Tool which promotes cyber security and the benefits of having a secure password.

So we can really make a difference, for each use of the tool, we are donating 1 cent to charitable causes (EFF and One Laptop Per Child).

Is this something you could get behind?

Sure is. Those are both good causes (even though OLPC has had its share of problems), as is the mission to get as many people as possible using passwords that aren’t easily crackable.

So if you need a new password, head over to the BitsFromBytes Password Generator and make one while simultaneously helping to make a difference. You can also read more about what each of those charities does if you’re not familiar with them.

Parents Know All

Gill seems to be recovered from her surgery and back in action, although she’s not talking about that here.

It is a known fact that one can’t outsmart their parents. Whether you’re four and you eat that entire plateful of delicious chocolate chip cookies or sixteen and some bottles are no longer in the liquor cabinet, they know.

What’s My Point?

A few weeks ago I was facing some issues and feeling really sad. It must be a parental thing, because in a majority of e-mails my dad sent me he would include something to make me laugh or at least smile.

For Those Who Don’t know

My dad is a very soft spoken guy born in 1943, but his sense of humor is as big as his heart. Somehow he knows the right things for the right moment to cheer me up.

Something About Mom

My mom has style, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her daughter. She knows the right things to wear, how to decorate, and all about complimentary colors. We even share a love of neutral colors and unique decorating ideas. She also gets and empathizes with me on things, E.G. when my sister went in to this expensive boutique and I felt uncomfortable, she and I just sat together listening to music the next day.

Conclusion

So whether you think you got away with throwing that party in your house when your folks went to Europe, or you don’t think they get you, they do. You’d be surprised the next time your mom takes you for lunch at that little Italian place and knows you love the spaghetti Mario.