Tag Archives: family gathering

Already the day after

It’s already the day after Christmas and this year I obviously missed wishing you all “Merry Christmas“, so instead I will ask you how did you celebrate? 

My Christmas was spent with my family and was spread over two days this year. On Christmas Eve day we all met at Dad’s – fifteen of us – and shared a delicious meal that was followed by an exchange of gifts with Dad, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. It’s my week with Dad, so after everyone went home and I’d finished cleanup, Dad and I relaxed and read books. The next day, December 25, I got home for a few hours with my husband, and in the evening we welcomed our girls, their guys – except one who was unfortunately sick at home, and our grandson. It was another pleasant gathering of the clan with gifts exchanged and more food. My girls know me quite well it seems, and I received thoughtfully chosen items for Christmas. 

Here in our part of Nova Scotia we got some of the winter storm that was sweeping across the Maritimes and eastern US. It varied across the province, but for us it was some of everything – snow, ice pellets, rain, sunshine breaking through, fog, then more rain, more snow – but not a huge amount. The wind was ferocious for a while, though. At our house, and at some others around us, the power went off in the middle of our gift giving/opening, but we were prepared with battery-operated lanterns and other lights. Apparently, power was restored in the wee hours of this morning. That’s the way it is here, so be prepared.

All in all, it was a more relaxed time than in past years. Less chaos, less stress, less pressure. More time to enjoy everything.

Now it’s your turn. How did you spend Christmas Day? Or do you have other celebrations around this time? I’d really enjoy hearing about it. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. – Isaiah 9: 6-7

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Bringing in the New Year

Can you believe 2016 is here already! How did you bring it in?

On New Year’s Eve eleven of us got together at my Dad’s. We all contributed snacks of varying types. Dad and a couple other people enjoyed working on a jigsaw puzzle awhile, and we all enjoyed the snacks, conversation, and table games. And snacks. And we ate and nibbled and snacked. Did I mention food? There was a lot of it – just snack food, some healthy, some questionable, all good. Perhaps I should have warned you that we are such party animals! .. who like to snack.  😉

At 12:50 my brother-in-law and nephew set up fireworks on Dad’s lawn near the bird feeders. (All survived quite well, by the way. 🙂 ) It wasn’t nearly as cold and deep with snow as two years ago when we did this. My daughter and son-in-law had also brought fireworks, so beginning at midnight both boxes were used which made a long and thrilling display.

Here are two images I captured through the kitchen window, not great ones but it gives you an idea of the colour, and you can imagine the sizzling, popping and booming going on.

New Year's Eve 2016New Year's Eve 2016.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final canister they set off was a big one. When it lifted off in a blast of colour and noise it did a surprising mid-air turn, shooting over Dad’s two-storey house and not missing it by much. whew!  That could have been an interesting ending to the evening. 

Yes, 2016 has begun. A new year to try new things, improve on the already tried, and find success in achieving goals. I’ll write soon about that point.

How did you bring in the new year? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!

May your holidays be cheerful and touched with sweet blessings from god.

Our Christmas day has started out fun with one daughter staying over last night. Probably ten of us (Dad, my sister and family, my husband and some of ours) will get together at my dad’s for Christmas dinner; not as many there this year because two of ours will be spending that time with the other sides of their families. Then there’s the craziness of gifts exchange, which is always amusing and interesting. Dessert follows that mild chaos, having given time for the main course to settle. 🙂 After clean-up our daughters and families will come out to our house for gifts exchange among us. And, of course, more food since it will be close to meal time again. It will be a full and fun day.

Our house is nicely decorated and I even got some baking done – not as much as I had wanted to do, although there’s plenty.

In all of this, it’s sometimes a little hard to remember why all of it is happening. It came out of the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. Now …. for many people  it’s so very not about Him at all. 

nativity(One Christmas my husband gave me this beautiful Jim Shore figurine.)

For those of us who know Him and His Truth … I wish you a deeper joy in your relationship with Him. Personally, I know no greater love and nothing stirs my heart the way He does. I cannot express all He is to me.

For those who have not made that choice/decision … my wish for you is that Truth will find you and you will find Answers for your life. 

Merry Christmas everyone!  I send my love and best wishes.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. – Psalm 95:1

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Quiz: What magical creature are you?

Here it is Monday already! I missed blogging on the weekend, but I have a really, really good reason.

Friday at 3:00 PM my doorbell rang. When I went to the door who should be standing there but … my daughter who lives in Alberta!!  She came home for a ten-day visit, a surprise to everyone except her oldest sister who helped in the planning. 🙂  That’s neat because on her last trip home (in April) it was that sister who was the only one NOT to know she was coming since it was a surprise for her special birthday event.  What a lovely treat to have her home.  🙂

It was a busy weekend, including a family event at the cottage to welcome into the ‘clan’ my sister-in-law’s fiance’; their upcoming wedding is in October. It was after receiving the invitation to Sunday’s special occasion that my daughter started making plans to come home again. She had been blessed to get a promotion with pay increase at work which enabled her to make two trips home this year, the first time she’s been able to do that since moving to Alberta six years ago.

Sunday was a gorgeous day for family and feasting (including lobsters and muscles on the menu), and then my beloved and I went canoeing for a little while on the calm lake. I needed that.

So … all the above, including reading to review, and I missed blogging – but with good reason, don’t you agree?  🙂

Now, this post was originally going to be on the weekend and about this fun quiz I would like you to try. The question is: What magical creature are you?  I don’t know if I should tell you what I am according to that. 😉 Funny.

Do try the quiz and leave a message to share what magical creature you are.  🙂

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

How I got into Writing book reviews

Tuesday is one of my usual days to post a book review. Obviously, I didn’t manage to do that this week, for which I apologize. I’m not sure I will even get one ready for Thursday, but I am still reading as much as I can.

There have been a few personal things come up to alter my course a bit. On Friday I had a scheduled few hours’ hospital stay, Saturday I was still getting my energy back from that, Sunday was my dad’s 89th birthday and also Father’s Day – so we had a family gathering at his house. Among our group there are five fathers. It was a great barbecue day and we had lots of delicious food to enjoy. Sunday was also my first day back at my dad’s for my week, which this time will be three to give my sister a needed break. Then Monday was my grandson’s ninth birthday! (Time is passing quickly!) Today, Tuesday, I took my little Meyya to the groomers and while she was there I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with a friend. So you see, I have been busy in various ways. But that doesn’t stop the books from coming to me; yesterday another arrived in my mail and I’m trying to remember where I won it or chose it! (I really must keep better track.)

In lieu of a book review I want to talk a little about writing them. Writing reviews isn’t something I planned to be doing; it simply evolved. In 2010 I was excited to win a book in a writers chat room and mentioned a little about it here. Later, through what was then called BookSneeze – now BookLook Bloggers – I won a Max Lucado book in exchange for a review. Early in 2011 I reread author Laura Best’s first novel and reviewed it here in support of her work. That year, after Laura’s book, I reviewed fifteen others because I enjoyed it. I had become a book reviewer! Occasionally I receive requests for reviews, but I now have such a backlog of novels to read first that I don’t/can’t always accept. I am trying to get caught up, which is not as simple as it may sound.

When writing reviews, sometimes it isn’t easy to put into words what impressions I feel from the story I was immersed in. I try always to be fair no matter if the content appealed to me or not. What trips me up is that I tend to notice errors in spelling, punctuation, details. I say it ‘trips me up’ because they seem to stand right out as if screaming ‘Here I am! Notice me!’ and pull me right out of the story.

I really don’t want to write bad reviews because of that, or at all, because the errors are not the story, but they do affect an observant reader. Instead I try to be honest about my findings without trashing a book.

Even after a writer’s hard work there may be much yet to be done. Sometimes the typos and conflicts are glaringly noticeable and very distracting to the reader. In my next post I will be presumptuous and present a few tips – or maybe more like observations – for authors, especially those who are self-publishing or are trying to cut corners.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Family fun and birthday surprises

Today was a day of activity … secretive activity.

My husband’s landmark birthday is on Wednesday, but a surprise birthday party was planned for today. He got busy doing yard work at my dad’s this afternoon, which put him out of sight of people going past our house to our daughter’s  where the party was being prepared.

Another daughter arrived and took Dad “for a drive”, and my husband and I went on to do our normal things before going home for my week there. We even ordered Chinese take-out as we usually do on the Sunday ending my week at Dad’s. (I didn’t change our routine because I didn’t want to make him suspicious.) While he was in the restaurant collecting our order, I talked with our daughter on the phone, so when he came out we had our story worked out to get him out there.

As soon as he got back into our vehicle I told him I’d been talking to our daughter and she needs him NOW at her place. Apparently, there is a leaking pipe in her yard (true) that is much worse and not getting any better (false), and she needed his help right away (false). He said to me he would have to get a shovel and his boots, so we stopped at home and left our meal and my puppy, and got his supplies. Fifteen minutes later we were driving down her long driveway. As we drove up over a rise he saw the cars parked in her yard. “What the frig is going on here??!!”, he exclaimed, while stomping on the brake. He looked at me sitting beside him trying to act innocent — and not very well by that time — and started backing up the car! So funny! He was totally bamboozled! It was great!

Sixteen of us were in attendance and oh! the delicious food! We gave him cards, small gifts, and a large one we had gone in on together for him. He kept expressing his amazement over not catching on to it, but I had done nothing to tip him off. Such success! Such fun!

And he deserved it.

Do you have any tales of surprises you have managed to pull off for someone?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

The last one standing

It happened. The sad news we knew was going to come too soon was delivered. My aunt – Dad’s youngest sibling – passed away very early Tuesday morning.

Alzheimer’s disease.

This leaves Dad the last one standing. All his three brothers and his three sisters have passed from this life. 

The memorial service was held Saturday morning. Uncharacteristically, Dad was very quiet during our hour-long drive to get there. He was a little jittery at the service but held his composure. It was a lovely service. The reverend who conducted the service shared Scripture in a way I had never heard it presented at such a service – or maybe ever before. He brought it alive and spoke it in a way that should make its meaning very clear to most there; it was wonderful. What was shared about my aunt was very fitting and even funny. Everyone loved my aunt who could brighten any gathering, the mischievous one who always made people laugh, the gentle one with the positive outlook and sweet spirit.

At the reception afterward I knew Dad didn’t immediately know most people who came over to talk with him, and most didn’t realize they should introduce themselves to him to give him a chance to remember. I tried to clue them in, but looking at Dad you wouldn’t know there is anything wrong – in his late 80’s he looks years younger and is very spry for his age – so unless you know about the dementia you just … wouldn’t know at first. And he covers it well, with grace, and with humour.

We all made it through that morning quite well, despite our loss. It is always wonderful seeing family members we don’t see much, but is your family anything like ours? It’s usually at funerals that we see each other again. Over forty years ago my parents, sister, and I moved to this county (notice I said county, not country), which means we live farther from most of our relatives on Dad’s side. We used to have a family gathering every Canada Day, but that hasn’t happened for many years. On Saturday my sister suggested to some of our cousins that we have a ‘cousins day’, which she wants to organize for down our way one day this summer. It seems to be a favourable idea, even though they would have the longer distance to travel for the get-together, but if they’re willing it could be fun.

Out of sorrow will come something positive. My aunt would like that.

Do you have family gatherings or reunions? How do you handle distance from family?

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂