Gratitude December - Days 25 - 31

Hello everyone!

I trust you all had a very Merry Christmas. I was well organized ahead of schedule for Christmas this year. Christmas Day was nice and easy and I was able to make Christmas dinner at a leisurely pace and enjoy the quiet. Since Christmas I have been struggling with a bad cold and am just trying to keep warm. I have my heat on full blast but it is still quite draughty/drafty. I'll be glad when the new week begins as by then we are forecasted to return to normal seasonal temperatures.

December 24th was my last post for Gratitude December. Today I will include my gratitude items for the rest of this month.

December 25 - I'm grateful for the annual celebration of the birth of Christ. Though we all have different traditions it is so nice that there is a special day set aside to honour this historic event even if the actual day of Jesus' birth is not precisely on December 25th.  Some people celebrate Christmas up until January 6th or the Feast of Epiphany.


 

December 26 - I'm grateful for the turkey we had for Christmas dinner because it is a traditional meal and there is always someone in the family who needs to keep up traditions for the other family members to enjoy. Sometimes I don't feel like making these big meals but I know how disappointing it would be to my late mom and sister to know that and how disappointing for my family members to see and experience a holiday without the traditional holiday feast.  I also feel good when I'm able to prepare the meal for loved ones. Added advantages are leftovers to eat and that  means less cooking for a few days. So many things for which to be thankful for from a simple roasted turkey.

December 27 - Winter storms have been harsh across the entire province during this Christmas season. I'm grateful I have shelter because it started snowing on December 24th and has been very cold since then.  Earlier in the month I said I was grateful for shelter but I'm even more grateful during very cold (and very hot) days. There are many who are on the streets or in Single Occupancy Rooms (SROs) that don't have any heating despite the fact that the city has a by-law requiring that rented SRO properties be heated to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

December 28 - I'm grateful I have a good yarn stash. When the mood strikes I can start a project without running to the store.  In this case I've started making a  'happy' (yellow and white) coloured dishcloth.


 

December 29 - I'm grateful for my extra long, faux fur coat, hat and heavy duty winter boots on a very chilly day.  A snowstorm was expected today but I decided to go for a walk to the library and felt able to do so because I have the right clothing and foot wear.  Along the way I received 3 compliments on my coat.  I seldom get a chance to wear such a warm coat in Vancouver.  It requires a cold, snowy day not a rainy day otherwise the 'fur' would get matted.  I always get several compliments when I do wear it because people in my city don't wear such coats. You will be more likely to find a long faux fur coat or a real one, on the streets of Ottawa, Canada or someplace like Moscow, Russia. Men especially seem to like the long coat.  When I left the library to run one last errand before making my way home again, the snow had started to fall and there weren't that many people out for a walk or for errands due to the cold.

 


December 30 - I'm grateful I spent some time over the holiday to sort through and get rid of some old papers. I've still got a long way to go but most of the small boxes and tubs of papers are sorted.  Once I get through sorting the next piles I'll begin shredding.  It will be a happy day.


 

December 31 - I already know how I want to end the month of gratitude. I'm so very grateful I've made it through 2021 and that my loved ones did as well.  

Personally, I've made great strides in getting through a lot of  'old business' in 2021.  I've also done other things like work on crafts, read a lot of books, attended to health issues (some of which were unexpected), kept up the family connections and forged ahead with the missions in Kenya. 

I will begin the new year feeling good about the state of things at home and I'm cautiously optimistic about everything else in the world.  

I am grateful that I was able to send everyone on my Kenyan list a small gift to make their Christmas Day special. I was able to send to everyone on the for sure list and on the maybe list and also to one who was not on the list. In addition,  I added some other unexpected things that came up:  eye examination for one person and a contribution toward eye glasses (more funds required before glasses can be ordered). There was also an urgent need for funds to begin a legal process of getting land titles registered (half the funds required have been sent). Since January is planting season, funds were also sent for one farm/shamba which provides maize (corn), variety of vegetables and tea for 4 households for the coming year. 

 

I've linked to the needs as mentioned in previous posts. As always, if you are able to assist the grassroots people in Kenya we would love to hear from you. You can find a Pay Pal button to the right of this blog (click the red flower).  Alternatively, you can send me an email (at the address on my Blogger profile page) if you need more information. I'd dearly love to find monthly sponsors for Janet and her daughters in the photo above. Someone who could help while Janet establishes her business and someone who could help the girls with school fees.

Last, but not least, let me end by thanking each and every one of you who visit this blog and take the time to read my posts. A special thank you to those that also take time to comment. If not for you, I would have already closed this blog.  But faithful readers and commenters give motivation to continue. You are appreciated.

I also want to wish each of you and your families and loved ones a very Happy New Year. My hope is that 2022 will be a better year where we can get back to meeting and spending time with friends and loved ones near and far.






Gratitude December- Day 24

Today is Day 24 of Gratitude December. I'm grateful that I was able to meet a friend for coffee and exchange of gifts. We haven't been able to see one another more than once or twice per year during the pandemic so it was so lovely to have a long chat over hot coffee.

She loved her gifts. The main one is the throw I made but I also sent gifts for her husband and 2 boys, both of whom were very excited.


I'll be taking a bit of time to enjoy the holiday and hope to upload a list of Gratitude December items when I return.

All the very best to each and every one of you and a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe. 💗 

Gratitude December - Day 23

Hi friends and fellow bloggers,


I had a post ready in draft for day 23 of Gratitude December.  I must have accidentally deleted it because I can no longer find it.


Today I'm thankful for this booked entitled,  Braiding Sweetgrass authored by Indigenous botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer.  This non-fictional work is about the world of botany as described and explored through Native American eyes. The book was published in 2013 but I only just learned about it. I saw it was highly popular with various celebrities and my curiosity made me wonder why a book about plants was so popular.

The book is sprinkled with real life examples illustrating the knowledge the author wants to impart about plants.  It is very clever, informative, educational and byvturns, surprisingly moving. 

The reason the book gets a special mention on my gratitude list is because gratitude is a key attribute of Indigenous cultures.  The book helps us to see gratitude as practiced by Indigenous cultures and shows us how connected we are to the natural world and how far we have fallen away from respect for the earth and all it provides.  My hope is that the book will help people to become connected once again to the earth and help us to take better care of her.

Have a wonderful rest of your week and a very Merry Christmas.


I will likely post one more day of gratitude December, then take break before resuming to finish Gratitude December. I'll add the gratitude items in one list/blog for the days I miss posting.

To my regular readers, please accept my apologies if you haven't had a comment from me in awhile. For some reason I only seem to be able to post comments intermittently on most blogs. It's frustrating but I'm sure it will resolve in time. In the meantime, I ask for your indulgence. Stay happy and stay safe. MERRY Christmas 🎄🎄🎄


Gratitude December - Day 22

Hello friends and fellow bloggers,

Today's post is Day 22 of Gratitude December.  I'm grateful that the Coquihalla Highway has been reopened to commercial traffic.  The reopening is about 1 month earlier than initially expected through the hard work of so many workers, engineers and so on who worked around the clock to reopen it.  


Photo credit:   BC Ministry of Transportation

The highway is a major route that connects the City of Vancouver and the other municipalities in the Lower Mainland with the rest of the country. While it was closed the supply chain was badly affected. Truckers had to use alternate and very dangerous routes to move goods. It will be awhile yet before this major highway is reopened to recreational traffic but today's reopening is definitely good news!

Photo credit:  Darrel Dyck, The Canadian Press

There will be major upgrades to the highway going forward.  Upgrades that will try to strategize around climate change issues so these repairs are temporary in nature.  BC Minister of Transportation, Rob Fleming called the reopening, a Christmas Miracle and I would agree.

Gratitude December - Day 21

This post is for day 21 of Gratitude December.

I'm grateful that in this day of internet, email and social media, there are still people who like to connect in the old fashioned way.





These Christmas cards and others not yet hung, have given me smiles 😊.

What about you dear reader? Do you still send or receive Christmas cards? If you receive them do you display them somewhere?

Gratitude December - Day 20

The weekend saw another storm and thousands were left without power.  Today I am grateful for the sun and clear skies. 

I am also grateful that I live in a place with such beautiful scenery. It adds to my daily enjoyment of life.  What is one thing you are grateful for today?




 

In the last several posts, I've mentioned an opportunity to bless villagers in Kenya with a Christmas meal. If you would like to participate and help feed a village family please click the red flower to the right of blog to be connected to Pay Pal.  If you wish to read more about the initiative please click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.  We appreciate your kindness at this challenging time of year.

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy your holiday preparations as we near Christmas Day!

Gratitude December - Day 19

Hi friends and fellow bloggers,

Today is Day 19 of Gratitude December.

Overnight we had so much rain and I could hear it pounding down for hours.  Overall we've had far more rain since mid-September than we've ever had since weather occurrences have been recorded. It's wreaked havoc around the province.


 

When I took these photos the rain had stopped and the sun had come out. I tried to capture the raindrops on the leaves as evidence of the rain.

 



Today I am thankful that I have a home and shelter from the rain and cold. There are many homeless in the world including in my beautiful city. Though the different levels of government have been strategizing for years about how  to tackle the issue, the solution seems to allude them. I do hope they can find answers because the problem is only getting worse. In a few years I'll have to make some difficult decisions about where I live too. In the meantime, I don't take my home for granted.

In the last several posts, I've mentioned an opportunity to bless villagers in Kenya with a Christmas meal. If you would like to participate and help feed a village family please click the red flower to the right of blog to be connected to Pay Pal.  If you wish to read more about the initiative please click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.  We appreciate your kindness at this challenging time of year.

Gratitude December - Day 18

Hello everyone,

Saturday is Day 18 of Gratitude December and I'm posting a few hours early.  If you landed here from Skywatch Friday you can click here to find my entry. You can also click on photos if you wish to enlarge them for viewing.

I'm grateful that I finally made it to the annual Christmas Market. It's been going on for several years now but this was my first trip. I purchased a season's pass several weeks ago and planned to go several times. 








My plan didn't quite work out for various reasons but I was happy to finally get there. I'm hoping to go again but on Friday new Covid restrictions were brought in and that will put a damper on all large gatherings. All the more reason I'm grateful I made it to the market when I did.








These are just a few photos of the experience. I hope you enjoyed!

In the last several posts, I've mentioned an opportunity to bless villagers in Kenya with a Christmas meal. If you would like to participate and help feed a village family please click the red flower to the right of blog to be connected to Pay Pal.  If you wish to read more about the initiative please click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.  We appreciate your kindness at this challenging time of year.

Gratitude December - Day 17

Today is Day 17 of Gratitude December  (I've increased my blog font at the request of a reader).

I'm grateful for a day in which the gray skies broke to show some blue and the sun even came out for awhile. If you live where you get a lot of snow, you probably also get a lot of sunshine even during the shorter daylight hours. Sunshine and blue sky would not generally be scarce but when you live in the rain forest, the dry days and the clear sky days are few and far between during rainy season.

I took advantage of the beautiful day and went to the Christmas Market. I'll feature the visit in another post on another day.  Today I'm featuring the beautiful sky we had both in day and in the night.  It was also relatively warm and it was so lovely to get out and about.

 

On the way to the Christmas Market

Fresh snow has fallen on the mountains.

Lighted sails at the Vancouver Convention Center.

Giant tree in the plaza of the Art Gallery.

Moonlight through the branches.

Back in front of the old Vancouver Convention Center.

In the last several posts, I've mentioned an opportunity to bless villagers in Kenya with a Christmas meal. If you would like to participate and help feed a village family please click the red flower to the right of blog to be connected to Pay Pal.  If you wish to read more about the initiative please click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.  We appreciate your kindness at this challenging time of year.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday this week.

Gratitude December - Day 16

Today is Day 16 of Gratitude December.

I'm very grateful for these two kitchen appliances that make my life so much better on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

 


I'm talking about the Nespresso coffee maker and the milk frother. I can make a cup of regular brew or make cappuccino in the  comfort of my home.

The Instant Pot is a wonderful addition to the kitchen. It makes it easy for me to put together a tasty meal with minimal effort.

What appliances do you enjoy in your kitchen?




Gratitude December - Day 15

 Hello friends and fellow bloggers.


Today is Day 15 of December and also Day 15 of my December Gratitude List.

This year I was able to get my Christmas preparations done much earlier than usual without feeling rushed. I put up the tree and decorations near the end of November so I could enjoy the cosy lights all month long. I also got my Christmas cards prepared and sent in early December. The gift selection and wrapping took a bit longer but it is all done.


I've even baked a few mince tarts this year. I don't do much Christmas baking because my tendency is to eat far too much of it and I need to watch my sugar intake. I could bake and give to others but truthfully during these Covid times most people do not want such gifts, at least where I live. 



 

 

Next week I'll decide on whether we are having salmon, turkey or ham for Christmas dinner. I've already purchased a ham and if I don't bake it for Christmas Day it will appear on New Year's Day.  Of course any leftovers are saved to make ham and pea soup.

I'm grateful for all that I've been enabled to do this year and this month in particular. It gives me a preview of what I hope I can achieve in coming years as I get better organized. At one time I was super organized and efficient in everything.  Years of care giving and also personal health challenges put me in survival mode which I'm now trying to move past. 

What about you dear reader? Have your energies and abilities changed with the advancing years?

In the last several posts, I've mentioned an opportunity to bless many villagers in Kenya with a Christmas meal. If you would like to participate please click the red flower to the right of blog to be connected to Pay Pal.  We appreciate your kindness at this challenging time of year.

Last, but not least, I want to wish you and your household a very Merry Christmas. I've noticed that many bloggers are busy preparing for Christmas so not as many people are on line but I hope to post an item of gratitude for every day this month.  I may not post every day.  In those instances, I will make a note every day and post several days all at once.


Thank you for stopping by!

Snapshots over the Week

I had a good week. Though I got off to a slow start I made up for it by the end of the week.  I had what is probably my last appointment wi...