Simple Pleasures

With the gradual de-confinement of the past few weeks, it’s finally time to start getting back to a semblance of normal activity.

Yesterday, I made the decision to go purchase some lovely flowers for my garden urns. I then called my widowed daughter to ask if she wanted some help with the kids and would she like that I bring over some sausages to grill on the BBQ. Needless to say, the answer was “yes”, to both.

After picking up the flowers, the grocery store was next. Luckily for me, there was no line outside. I put on my selfmade mask and began shopping. I actually enjoyed it!

I feel alive again! Isn’t it remarkable how something I considered mundane has now  become pleasant, even with all the precautions needed during this global pandemic.

Why is it usually when something is taken away, that we can truly begin to know its worth? If we can always keep this life lesson in mind, perhaps we would complain less and practice “Gratitude”, more. Wouldn’t we, as human beings, be happier?

The Gazebo

With the gradual de-confinement, I have once again began to socialize; speaking on the phone or video chatting, is not my preferred choice. I like “in person” interaction.

Luckily, since the acquisition of my Gazebo, last summer I’ve been able to host my friends in its space starting last week; not more than 2 friends at a time. It is a closed structure and can protect us from the elements while air flows easily through the screened windows surrounding the Gazebo, making it safe during this time of Covid. It is big enough to keep the required 6 ft. distance. When its chilly, blankets keep us warm and cozy.

Last week, Maia came by and we had supper together but the evening ended early. Maia had been in the hot sun most of the day and was feeling its effect. Time spent with her is usually quiet and relaxing, “just chilling” is the expression used by the younger population.

This weekend my friend C—- came by mid-afternoon and stayed for dinner. We had so much to catch up on. With her demanding job and ailing Mother C—‘s busy schedule doesn’t give her much time to socialize. Getting together is always a pleasure.

Yesterday M—- and her friend A—- came by, in the afternoon. We opened a bottle of Prosecco and toasted to new beginnings. M— recently sold her home and is moving into a Condo. A—-, recently moved into a new Condo to be closer to her son and I renovated my back yard, last year. During the course of the evening, the conversation flowed, like the wine, LOL!! We did “take out” and ended the evening with a warm cup of coffee and my homemade Italian bread cake.

It felt good to have a semblance of normalcy, even though the little bottles of sanitizer sitting on the serving tray were there to remind us of the uncertain times we are currently living.

The Freedom of Self-Isolation

I’ve been in my quiet bubble of self isolation and have not posted for some time.

I’m relishing this time to do whatever I want, at the time I want, without any outside distractions. It feels euphoric!

This week,I directed my attention to making different styles of cloth masks. There are so many “how to” videos; it was hard to decide which ones to choose.

I made 4 versions, using items I had at home,( see below); Its amazing how creative one gets when working with limited resources.

The bottom 2 were the easiest to make.

On another note, like many women, my gray hair growth is visible. My nails are short and unpolished. I’m taking a breather from all these chemicals, like our beautiful planet Earth. In the last 6 weeks, we have greatly reduced our carbon footprint.

I’ve actually lost some weight by eating home cooked meals and drinking less wine. This makes me very happy, LOL!!

With warmer weather around the corner I’m looking forward to start my gardening. My Gazebo, has been “spring cleaned” and is ready for me to enjoy. Maybe, I’ll be motivated to resume writing my book.

Insignificant and Trivial

Writing about my single life during this 4th week of self isolation, because of the Corona Virus pandemic, is insignificant and trivial.

Social media is a way to stay in touch and connected during this period. Many people are baking, (including, myself) and cooking fine cuisine dishes. Others, are baking bread and making homemade pasta. All wonderful and fulfilling activities.

Just yesterday our Prime Minister announced the grim reality that we’re in for a long haul, 12 to 18 months, depending when the vaccine will be developed.

The general population is still in react mode over the global situation. They are keeping busy and adjusting their lives according to the daily government directives. Once the adjustments are made and the novelty of cooking, baking, creating amusing videos with “Tik Tok”, etc. and going to multiple food stores, simply for the outing, maybe then, people will truly understand the gravity of the current world situation.

Once all these distractions are exhausted, what next? Will people reach to the depth of their soul and revisit what is truly important OR will they become frustrated and angry?

In my opinion, everything happens for a reason. The World and its human inhabitants were spinning faster than it was meant to. I often felt that the planet Earth would fall off its axis and spin off into a black hole (metaphorically speaking). Everything needed to come to a halt in order to reset humanity and begin anew.

I want to be hopeful, but I’m also a realist, it will get worse before it gets better.

On a last note I want to say, I am proud and Grateful to live in Canada. Kudos to both our federal and provincial leaders. Their leadership is exceptional, under these trying times. They deserve our respect.

Courage

For those of us in North America, there is heightened anxiety over the spread of Covid-19 virus since the last few days. School closures and cancelled sports events amongst many other measures such as keeping social distance is all contributing to this anxiety.

Like most, I’m doing my part. In all honesty though, it isn’t so difficult for me. Ever since the birth of my first grandchild and then the H1N1, I adopted the hand washing protocol; maybe even too much at times. I don’t favor crowded areas so I usually shop at non peak hours.

Now is a good time to get some of those “to do” projects done. Also, Spring is around the corner, what better time is there to get ready for the change of season; on the top of my list is:

  1. Wash winter outer wear and boots before storing
  2. Sweep driveway of all winter debris.
  3. Clean garage
  4. Wash car interior
  5. Indoor spring cleaning

What are some of your “to do’s” for the the coming weeks.

The Beanie

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This Friday past, I had a lunch date with my friend M and one of her close friends. M’s friend had commissioned me to crochet a baby blanket for her future grandson and I was on my way to the restaurant, to deliver it, when my cell phone rang. It was from a previous client, of my creations. She wanted to know if I had any crocheted beanies in stock. I did not, but one could be made. That’s when she informed me of the passing of her close friend, who had been battling cancer for many years. Tears welled in my eyes.

About 2 years ago my client had asked me to crochet a beanie for the same friend. Apparently the friend loved the hat so much, that she left instructions with her husband to be buried with it, when the time came; she preferred to have the hat cover her head and not her wig. Unfortunately, the color of that beanie did not suit the color of the burial outfit chosen by her family; she needed a lighter color but the original hat would be placed in her coffin, in order to respect her wishes. I asked when it was needed for and she replied that it was for the day after next, the Sunday. After my lunch date, I rushed off to buy the yarn. The hat was replicated in the desired color and ready by Saturday afternoon.

This order meant a lot to me, it was personal. You see, I had met the deceased a few years ago shortly after the end of my cancer treatments. She was a lovely woman in her early forties, who was battling cancer for a few years already. We spoke about our respective cancers. My heart had gone out to her because she was young, with a young family.

There isn’t a single day that I am not grateful, for the success of my cancer treatments. I survived; others do not! They go through many different treatments in order to: slow down the cancer; stay alive as long as possible; be there for their children, spouse and/or cherished family members. These people are truly brave! It takes extreme courage to: face every new day; be living with the side effects of the drugs and the cancer; endure the malaise and pain.

Rest in peace, beautiful lady and warrior. May God have a special place for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is Valentine’s Day!

It is a day to express one’s love to the special people in our life, namely love partners. Many couples go out for a special dinner, others are showered with flowers and/or chocolate or maybe a card. But for the single folk it can be a day tinged with a little sadness and loneliness.

In last year’s Valentine blog, I wrote about my expression of love as a single woman. This year is no different. Later today, I will go out and gift myself some roses; if I appreciated chocolate more, I’d buy chocolate instead, etc. The purchase is to remind myself that love and consideration begins with oneself.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire Universe deserve your love and affection”.

Buddha

I would love to get some feedback from my readers about what Valentine’s Day means to them. Please share.❤❤❤❤❤

A NANA’S LOVE

After my 3 year old grandson’s repeated request for a sleepover , I finally made it happen. I had the pleasure of hosting him for 3 days and 2 nights. It was a bit exhausting but worth the time spent together. He didn’t miss his mother nor sister until the third day. Up until now it was his older sister that got to spend alone time with me.

With the death of their Daddy, my son-in-law, almost three years ago, my granddaughter and grandson were left with a major void. My ex and I decided, independently, to be there for them.

The previous weekend I had my 13 year old grandson, the eldest, over for a one-on-one to celebrate his birthday. He’s a reserved boy, but I managed to have him share some of his thoughts and interests. He introduced me to “Memes”. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary , it is, “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media”. We viewed some and laughed together.

The age old expression “you reap what you sow” is very much my motto when it comes to children especially my grandchildren. I want to give them my time and love in a way that is beneficial to THEM. Later, (I hope, LOL) I will reap the benefits!

I never knew my grandparents, therefore never experienced that type of love. My maternal grandparents were dead even before I was born. My paternal grandparents lived in Italy. It was from my long ago ex employer(Shirley), a young ambitious, vivacious, energetic and generous woman, that I became aware of the special bond one can have with their Nana. It touched my heart and I never forgot.

As a 21st century grandmother (with our busy lives and varied interests), my desire is to help enrich my grandchildren’s lives by being open minded, young at heart and supportive. They know my home is their home. May it always be a haven for them.

Facial Treatments

Its a while now that I’ve been noticing the sagging skin on my face, the neck wrinkles and the crepiness on my chest, not to mention the other places on the body, but I’ll focus on the face, neck and chest for now, LOL! I can no longer brush it away as I did before.

Last week, the Grammy award ceremonies took place. Watching the celebrities at their red carpet interviews, gave me time to look at the women, their gown , hair, and face. The 50 + were of real interest to me. It was amazing how well preserved they were despite their age. It made me wonder how truthful they are, when they claim it’s all about the cream they use (they may not have had plastic surgery, but they’ve had something done).

After the Grammy’s I did some research on ULTHERAPY and THERMAGE and requested a consultation with a Derma Clinic. These treatments and others can end up costing thousands of dollars. I told my friend Maya about this and she suggested I first try an IPL treatment that she offers at her spa for a fraction of the price, compared to the other treatments.

The appointment for an IPL was last Thursday. I felt excited but with a sense of trepidation, after all, this was a laser treatment, could it harm me? I quickly put things in perspective. Seven years ago, I underwent cancer treatment. It consisted of 6 rounds of chemo and 25 of radio therapy. A little bit of laser pales in comparison.

I can’t say the treatment was painless; with every shot of laser came a stinging burning sensation. Maya is an excellent esthetician, very sensitive to her clients needs and a very caring person. Before and after the treatment, she gave me a soothing facial, making the overall experience pleasant. I left the spa relaxed and rejuvenated.

I don’t want to age gracefully. This is not about vanity. As we age, the face gives us a more drawn and tired look. That said, I believe that working on our inner selves is also a powerful rejuvinating process. It is part of my daily life. But like my skin care routine, there is only so much I can do at home. When needed, I visit a spiritual healer. She is a gifted woman and has helped me deal with stagnant and suppressed emotional pain, which manifests itself physically.

We wear our emotions on our face; they leave their mark. With some spiritual healing and IPL treatments, I hope to erase some of the visible emotional scars.

As a side note, my spiritual healer made a point to mention recently, GRATITUDE, is the single most important aspect to healing our emotional pain.

Continue reading “Facial Treatments”

Shaping Up, the New Reality

The New Year is upon us. It’s 2020! Can you believe it! I already know I’m going to have an exciting year (just like I knew 2019 was going to be one of transition, reflection and personal growth).

My social calendar is filling up rapidly, that means, I need to refresh my wardrobe by doing some serious shopping. Of course, as a woman, I feel the need to get into shape before I invest in any new pieces.

Although I’ve been exercising almost daily, for the past few months, the results are NIL!! Frankly, it’s rather frustrating. Aging and menopause is a factor, say the experts.

Getting dressed, itself, has become a daily exercise. In my drawer I have every body shaper imaginable. I try on several before I decide which one flatters my shape and outfit. While one shaper pushes in my stomach it creates bulges on my back. With the full body shaper, I practically have to get undressed everytime nature calls. Many times I opt for none.

When I think about all the fuss that goes into trying to get a taut body shape, I question its importance. In the end does it really change anything about, who I am? No, it doesn’t! Then I must use common sense, accept the loose body skin and be realistic about how much can actually be tucked away, or disappear with routine exercise.

As with every New Year, there are resolutions. Mine is to accept the reality of aging and to find new respect and love for this 60+ body.