It has been too long since I have written in this category. It is Tuesday, right? With everything that is happening in the world right now, I felt the need to write a new blog post. The Tishspiration posts will be on my new website when it is ready.
I was a little disgruntled this morning while I listened to the local radio station. It seems that while I decided not to listen to Prime Minister Trudeau’s daily news briefing (it is a little surreal to even write that bit) he talked about trying to help more people who were falling through the cracks of the current emergency benefits program the Canadian Government is putting into place.
Great, man. Way to steal my thunder. I had this title since last week, thank you very much.
As I contemplated the idea of choosing another title, I decided to keep it. It is timely and relevant. More than I thought it was when I first began working on the concept for this post.
The Canadian Government is helping people.
They are working hard to help Canadians maneuver through the world which is very different than it was only three weeks ago. Three weeks. Has it only been three weeks since we were all told to stay home? It seems like longer to me. Maybe that is because I have spent more than a year at home, working on building my own businesses.
I had unemployment insurance until November of 2019. The government, because of many years of being a part of the workforce in Canada, offers this while people are in between jobs. I was an employee, of several different companies for most of my adult life. I am not lazy, but I have been selective in which jobs I have applied for since the pogey (unemployment insurance) ran out. When things started happening three weeks ago, our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, started holding daily press conferences on his front lawn. He said we would all be okay, and that the government was working on emergency benefits to help Canadians weather this storm called COVID-19.
I had hope. He said people who were self employed would be able to apply for this benefit, to help cover the bills while our businesses were unable to run normally at this time. I thought things were going to get better for me, at least for a short period of time.
I do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
In my business, in the last 12 months, I did not earn the minimum of $5,000, needed to qualify. While I do not expect a free ride through this crisis, I was led to believe that there was hope for me. Although I am not surprised that the Representatives of The House Of Commons added stipulations to what the Prime Minister was offering to help Canadians, I am disappointed.
I am not alone. There are people in this country who also do not qualify for what is being offered. Thankfully, my husband is still able to work at his full-time job from home, and able to continue working at his part-time job, outside of our home. I am not able to look for employment outside of our home at this time. I am a person with a chronic disease and therefore considered immunocompromised. To stay healthy, I need to stay home, and to be honest, I haven’t gotten any calls for interviews in the last month.
We made the decision to take advantage of the offers available to us while we weather this out. Deferrals do not help us in the long term, but they do help us right now, and like many other Canadians, we will take all the help we can get.
Where is the Tishspiration in this article?
It is here. With me. I am also writing to tell people to not sit quietly in anticipation of the worst possible outcome. I am my own best advocate, and you are your own best advocate. Speak up. Do so with intelligence. If you whine and complain, nobody will listen. If you look for one thing to be grateful for every day, share it. Give others hope.
Follow the guidelines, but if you, like me do not qualify, don’t apply for the benefit. It wastes your time, and it takes time and energy away from people who qualify for it. Tying up the system for no good reason doesn’t help you or anyone else.
I know things are wild out there. People are yelling at people about the safe distance and who should or should not be out and about. Remember that they are not intending to be ignorant, they, like you, are scared of what is happening, because they, like you, have no control over things they normally would have control over. Like going to work and getting a paycheck. Going to the mall. Seeing their friends and family.
Get creative. I know, a lot of people do not think that they have any creativity in them. We all do, to varying degrees. Ask for help if you need it, but don’t just give up when technology decides to be uncooperative. I haven’t told my husband, yet, but I am considering painting the link for this website on my living room window, to see if I can generate more followers, but even more importantly, more book sales. I wanted to paint a picture, and I think I will incorporate it into a white, fluffy cloud, so it can be easily read from the street, and snapped in a picture on a cellphone by the people in my neighbourhood who, like me, are walking more as it is something we can still do.
If you have ever considered working from home, the time is now!
Stick with me for a moment. People are at home. They need things. Network Marketing has the answer for the needs of many people, worldwide, right now. You can support someone you know by purchasing the products they sell, and they will be delivered to your door, to avoid leaving the house to get the things you need. I am currently offering makeup and books for sale, and I do make jewellery. Jewellery designing has taken a back seat for now. It is more of a hobby than a business, and I am okay with it as it is. My supplies will be there when I am ready to play with beads again, or if there is an order I need to create.
The only way I have available to me right now to earn an income is through my online businesses. I am working very hard to grow my entrepreneurial dreams, and it is a way for me to lay a plank across the path to hold myself up, to keep me from falling through the cracks. What I do isn’t going to be what everyone else should do, but I want to encourage you to be open to what your friends and family are offering, and even a stranger might have the opportunity that will help you stay on top of the path. Do your own research, like I did, before taking the leap, and jump in with both feet when you find something that you could see yourself promoting as something you love. Whatever that is for you!
To the Extroverts and to people who suffer with mental illness:
This is not an ideal situation for anyone who falls into these two categories. If you are a people person, call a friend, every day. Schedule a video chat with your family. Write a letter to someone you love. When is the last time you got a letter in the mail? It is something that ALWAYS puts a smile on my face, to open the mailbox to find something there that is from someone I know, and someone I want to get mail from.
To anyone who is suffering from mental illness, my heart goes out to you. Things were hard before COVID-19, and they are likely to get worse before they will get better. I want you to know that someone out there cares about you, even if that someone is only me, a stranger trying to spread a little hope into the world. Please reach out if you need help to get through the next second, minute, hour or day. You are not alone, the world is struggling with you. The world may not have the same struggles that you do, but we are all struggling in our own way right now.
One last thing.
Things will get better. It can and it will. It has to because every roller coaster has its ups and downs. We are in a down right now, but we will be going up, maybe even stronger than we ever have before, if we just keep on working on the things we can control, and not getting lost in the fear of what might be. Focus on what will be, and make it a reality.
Please don’t ever give up hope. It is all we have to hold on to in times like this. I am going to grab on and pull myself up out of the cracks I am falling into, and when I am on solid ground, I will reach out to see who I can help up to stand beside me.
When we support each other, we rise together. I believe this with my whole heart and soul.
Several months ago, some friends visited with a common goal in mind. We sat around my kitchen table, talked, laughed, and tore up some magazines. Our mission was to collect inspiring pictures and words to create and add to our vision boards.
First, I began with a honeymoon magazine. I have always wanted to go somewhere for a honeymoon, and I love the beach. Other topics which caught my eye involved bright colours, decorating ideas, pets and plants. As a result, the number of pages I collected soon added up. This was the beginning step of creating my first physical vision board.
I have previously created a digital vision board. People are using them for backgrounds on their computers, and even on their phones, to be a constant reminder of what their goals are. Therefore, it makes sense to have pictures and digital photos where they can be seen easily, and frequently.
My first digital vision board
The goal for my digital vision board was to stay on brand, create inspiration, and show several goals at once. I was pleased with the outcome, but I also had all those pictures ready to glue onto a physical vision board.
When I set aside a second afternoon to work on the physical vision board myself, I selected and created a base. Next, I decorated it to add texture and colour. Then I stapled some bling around the outside. At this point, I was finally ready to go through the pictures I had collected.
A few hours later, I had collected and cut out every picture and word I thought I would use in my quest to create a vision board. After that, when I sorted the pictures and words, I realized I certainly had more than enough to create several differently themed vision boards.
Here you can see the 4 steps I used to create the first physical vision board.
As you can see, in step 4, the board is complete. I am still finding pictures which fall off the board, now that it is hanging on the wall. When I notice they are missing, subsequently I glue them back in place. However, it is a little annoying, but because it is my first one, there is a learning curve. The glue sticks didn’t seem to be working, so I tried the glue dots. For now, it is a great visual reminder of one of my main goals.
Finally, when it was finished, I then took another hour to rearrange the art on my office wall, to make room to hang up my new vision board. It is easy to see, and a colourful, vibrant reminder of something I am working towards as a personal goal.
I am pleased enough with this first physical vision board, that consequently, I am going to keep creating more. I am not sure if I will make them the same size as this one, or if I will vary the size based on the theme.
Have you ever created a vision board? Please feel free to share your pictures of yours in the comments, or a link to your vision board picture. I would be thrilled to see what other people create to inspire themselves to keep moving towards their goals.
In an effort to get back on track with my blogging, I have decided to change up the Tuesday category. I love Treasure Seeker Tuesdays, and I am hoping that I was not alone in that sentiment. The time has come to try something new. #TishspirationTuesday Week 1 What is Tishspiration Tuesday? I might not even know yet.
I am going places.
Yes, I am writing my first book. Yes, I just took on a new project at work. Yes, I am planning a limited jewellery collection to be launched with my first (and every) book. Yes, draft 2 is in progress, in preparation for editing. Yes, I am all over social media, and I even got Instagram before I got a cell phone so that I can contribute there. I can follow I just can’t share there. Yes, I do talk to my husband when I am awake, and maybe in my sleep too.
No, I have not managed to hire a maid to keep up with the housekeeping. No, I have not hired a chef to keep me on track with my meal plans. No, I do not sleep very much when I am in a high creativity & productivity cycle. No, I haven’t been to Zumba regularly this summer. I will be changing that as soon as possible.
I drink my coffee black (which I review alternately with wine reviews on my Facebook live videos) and I take really good multivitamins. I try to eat healthily, and although I still have pop for a treat, I have basically given it up as an everyday beverage. I am making changes.
I ended the Birthday Bling Club. It did not get the number of subscribers I had hoped for. I have replaced it with a closed secret group to help people like me stay motivated and accountable with weight issues. It is going well. Now if only I could get back on track with my own weight loss goals…
What on Earth am I doing now?
I’ll bet some of you are wondering. There are days when even I am wondering…
I am shaking things up. I am using the momentum created by the positivity I have surrounded myself with to try and give you all a glimpse into the possibilities into what your own potential is.
That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?
Tishspiration. The Art of Surprising Yourself. Once upon a time, these two concepts were not linked. Until I thought about it. Someone I spoke with encouraged me to somehow find a way to meld these two things together. Now, it is as if they were never separate concepts. I made the term. I defined it. And now, I am going to run with it!
Tishspiration has been hovering around in my mind since April 2018, but it has had a much longer history than when I put a name to it. I will be writing a book to describe it in more detail. That will be book 2. I have to get book 1 written, published, and shared from my heart with the world before I can shift gears and get to work on book 2. I can’t wait to explore what all of this means for me, and what it could mean for you.
As it grows and develops, there will be opportunities. Some will help me to fine tune this concept I have created into something that will change over time. I have been working on this in the background while doing all of the above. I have to keep going. You can witness all of it. I am hoping that when the time is right for you, you will take the leap with me. It all starts here. Now.
Are you with me?
Let’s start a conversation about this little thing I call #Tishspiration!
We booked a week and planned our vacation to visit with both sides of our family. That means we needed to plan to drive from Fredericton to Cape Breton which is 6 to 8 hours, depending on speed, and the number and length of stops along the way. We did spend the majority of the week in Cape Breton, Chez Edmond Vacation House. It was a wonderful way to catch up with my family. You can read all about it in my previous blog post, Salt Water Therapy.
On Friday, we left a day before the rest of my family and headed for the mainland of Nova Scotia. We were going to visit Roy’s mother in Pubnico, on the South Shore, and had decided to make an important stop between Cape Breton and Yarmouth County. We wanted to be able to make a little visit with Roy’s father, and of course, the always delightful Nanny Webber! I did not take any pictures during the visit, but when I got home, I was surprised to find this news interview on my wall. She has since turned 110 in July, and you will see Nanny Webber and her son, Roland Webber, speaking to a reporter about her upcoming birthday celebration a few weeks ago in the following link.
I am glad to be able to share this here. She really is delightful.
The next day, we got in the car and headed for Yarmouth County. If you do not know about the geography of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Yarmouth County are on the opposite ends of the province. If we wanted to drive it in a day, it would be 8 to 10 hours, easy, and there would have to be rest stops, and a break for at least 1 meal. We stayed in Dartmouth Crossing in the middle to have a place to sleep on either side of the travelling.
When we arrived in Pubnico, Roy’s mother was not around. We went to his Aunt & Uncle’s place, and while there, Roy’s mother called. We went to visit. Roy’s Aunt had told us that his grandfather had suffered a mild heart attack, and things were a little off kilter because of this. We decided to climb back into a car and drive to Yarmouth to visit Roy’s grandfather at the hospital.
Before going to see him, we decided to find supper on the way. We ate at The Dinner Plate Family Restaurant. If you aren’t from the area, you might miss this place. It was amazing! I didn’t get a picture, but I highly recommend their Lobster Poutine. I know, it sounds unappetizing but there is no gravy on it. It has french fries, lobster and mozzarella. The sauce is similar to what is used in that part of the province to make ‘creamed lobster’ which is served on toast. It is a sauce that is not thick like gravy but does use lobster, butter and cream for the base. Similar to a broth used for lobster chowder. I really enjoyed this meal.
We made our visit at the hospital and stopped at the Bulk Barn before heading back to Lower East Pubnico. Roy and his mother got in the vehicle the family calls the bug and went up the hill across the road to check on the garden and orchard. I went and found my camera, and snapped a few pics while I waited for them to return.
Sunset Teaser from the backyard.
A Little Brown Sparrow in Lower East Pubnico.
Trees as seen from the Backyard in Lower East Pubnico.
Wildflowers in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.
Wildflowers and a tree stump in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.
A bench with flowers in Lower East Pubnico.
Roses in Lower East Pubnico.
Flowers and bushes in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.
Flowers in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.
Flowers in front of the house at Lower East Pubnico.
A close up of the red roses in Lower East Pubnico.
I did want to capture some sunset pictures that night, as the sun was setting on the end of our vacation. I took my time and tried some new techniques with the camera. I had a friend review them with me, and she recommended the best sunset picture of the bunch to be:
Sunset in Lower East Pubnico.
I am not a professional photographer, but I am having fun with the camera that I have borrowed to practice with. One day I might even know what all the different settings do.
From Lower East Pubnico, the sun is setting across Pubnico Harbour, which separates Pubnico East from Pubnico West. There is a rivalry amongst the two sides as to which one is better, especially if you grow up in that area. I didn’t, and have the distinct pleasure of taking in all of the views from a creative artist’s point of view. I will share some other pictures here to close this post. I hope that you enjoy the pictures because I do enjoy being able to share them with you!
Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.
Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.
Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.
Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.
Sunset at Lower East Pubnico. I know the sun is blurry, but I like this picture.
West Pubnico Church across Pubnico Harbour.
Dusk at Middle East Pubnico.
Last glimpse of the sun on the horizon.
After the sunset.
Down the trail, after sunset.
What did I learn about taking pictures on this vacation? A great camera can help you to take amazing pictures. There can be a perception of depth to the photograph if you focus on the grass in front of the scene you want to capture with your lens. Not every picture is worth keeping. It is really hard to take sunset pictures without flies in them. Finally, the horizon should be straight to make the picture perfect.
I hope that you enjoyed the conclusion of my vacation blog story for this summer! Do you have any photos or blog stories from your own summer vacation? Feel free to send me a link in the comments so that I can check it out!
Hello Treasure Seekers! This week, in Treasure Seeker Tuesday #29: A Tale of Two Grandmothers is the story I want to share with you. One might think that I am writing about my own grandmothers, but as I am known to be full of surprises, it will not be about both of my grandmothers.
One of my grandmothers died before I was born. I never had the pleasure of knowing her, and I do hear that she was a remarkable woman. My middle name, Agnes, is in her honour. I am proud to be her namesake. It keeps her close to my heart. I hope to be able to meet her in heaven someday.
I am writing about my other grandmother. I do know her very well and love her dearly. She has had quite a life, and I want to tell some of her story here. Along with her in this post will be my husband’s grandmother. We each only have one living grandparent now, as his grandfather on the other side of the family passed away less than two weeks ago. He was 92, almost 93. He loved to be busy and was gardening in the orchard, vegetable garden and greenhouse almost right up until the day he died. It was sad to receive the news that he was gone, but it was a better thing for him to go quickly instead of being too sick to stay busy and be stuck in the hospital. He will be missed.
Both of my grandfathers have also passed away. I miss each of them from time to time but smile at all of the memories I have of growing up with them in my life. Roy’s other grandfather and grandmother are also gone. It seems like more people are dying in our world, but it is actually no more or less than before. We are old enough now that we both are taking note of this more, and it seems like it is more frequent, but it is not. We are just paying more attention to the news than we did when we were younger. As we grow older, our perspective changes with us.
We went on vacation for the first full week in July. We had a busy week, and I plan to blog about the vacation later. During this vacation, we planned to visit with our grandmothers, along with as many friends and family we could fit into our week. You see, some people get to see their families whenever they want to, and sometimes when they don’t want to. Roy and I live in New Brunswick, and most of our families live in either Nova Scotia or Ontario. When we make the trip to visit with our families, it literally means we plan to spend time with our families. We would love to have the time to visit with everyone when we go on vacation, but there are too many people to fit in. We only see my family, including our nieces and nephews, once a year, if we can all make the trip.
This time has become precious to me, and I want to be present in their lives when I get the chance to be there. If I am not spending the majority of my vacation with them, I am missing out on something that matters to me. Being an aunt in person. Playing board games, colouring and picking songs for music night. Having 1 s’more cooked on the bonfire and watching them chase bubbles around the yard. Watching my mom and nephew play washer toss together. Going out for ice cream. Listening to and joining in on a chorus of giggles. Stuff most aunts take for granted because they can see their nieces and nephews whenever they want to. Things I take a few pictures of and try to be present in the moments so that I can remember them until next year.
When I went to see my grandmother, I went with my mom, sisters, and their children. Nanny seemed to remember me, which was good. Her memory is failing, and she repeats things, gets confused, and asks the same questions over and over. If you were around her frequently, it would be trying on your patience, but it’s not her fault. She is 89 years old and lives in a home for senior citizens, built as an addition to the local hospital. That way there are doctors and medical staff on site all the time. She likes it there. She says the floors are clean, and that the food is good. She says that there is nothing that they don’t have because the staff provides everything they need. She also says that even though she is there alone most of the time, she doesn’t find the time long at all. She is still active where she is because when we arrived to visit, we had to leave and come back. She was at a birthday party. One thing about my Nanny is that she likes her activities, and I don’t think she would have been pleased to be interrupted. We also decided that it would be nicer to the person that the party was for to not interrupt and cause a commotion since it wasn’t Nanny’s party, and she was a guest. If it had been her birthday, we would have gladly surprised her, but it wasn’t.
We went to a store to window shop, and we went back. I asked Mom if she thought the parties ran late in the home, and she didn’t think so. Mom was wrong. They are a bunch of party animals in there! We had to wait longer for her to be finished when we went back!
Nanny was surprised to see the group of us when she came back to her room. She wanted to know all of our names, and ages. She asked me how old I was, and I answered truthfully, “44.” “What?” she asked, “44? Huh. Next, it will be 50.” To which I held out my hands and said, “Slow down there! I am in no rush for that!” Everyone laughed about it.
She kept repeating the names and trying to match the kids with my sisters. She did get confused. We changed how we were sitting to make it easier, and it did help, except it put my sisters, the twins not sitting side by side. Then she had to concentrate to place them.
When it was time to leave, she kept looking at me and asking me if I hugged her yet. By the third hug, I made a joke about how I thought I was unforgettable, but I guess not. We laughed. She wanted to hold my hand, and that was fine with me. Everyone gave her a hug, and we left as a group. Nanny had a good day, and I was glad we got to have a nice visit with her. It is a little hard to see her the way she is now, knowing what a tough cookie she has always been. She loved to play cards, crib, and Bingo. She didn’t lose gracefully and always wanted to win. She still gets her hair “set” in curls and loved laughing when we visited. She had breast cancer, twice, and beat it. She still complains about arthritis in her spine and in the next sentence claims that she is lucky to have her good health. The doctor jokes with her about not making any money from taking care of her, because she is too healthy. She likes that joke.
It amazed me one day in university to realize that my grandmother was fluently bilingual in English and Acadian French. I knew she spoke both English and French as a child. I asked her if she could also read both languages, and she told me that she could. I guess I never really thought about it until the day I asked her.
Later on that week, we went to visit Nanny Webber, my husband’s grandmother. She will be 110 on July 22nd. She is still living in a senior’s apartment, in the same building as her son, my father in law. He checks on her and helps her as much as he can.
Visiting with Nanny Webber is a different experience than visiting with my grandmother. I have no problem holding a conversation with her, and she likes to have a few minutes to talk to me without the men listening in. I know she doesn’t say anything to me that she wouldn’t say in front of them, but I think she likes to visit with me as much as I like to visit with her.
She does have helpers now for two meals a day. She was not happy that they wanted her to stop eating salt. She has been alive longer than most people will ever dream of, and I agree with her that if she wants to have salt, then she should be able to have it. It might be worse for her to stop having it at her age. I can’t say for sure but I think she is wise to keep going the same way she always has. It’s worked for 110 years, why stop now? My husband helped his father fill up her salt shakers (she has at least 4) and gave her one near her chair, so it is there and she can reach it by herself if she wants to.
I don’t know Nanny Webber as much as I would like to. We have had a few visits over the years, and I am honoured every time we have a little visit. I look forward to as many visits as I can with her. I told her that I am writing a book, and she told me that she would like to read it and that she hopes that she is able to. I hope so, too.
Our grandmothers met at our wedding, almost 8 years ago. There is one picture of them sitting together at the reception.
Nanny Webber (left) & Nanny (right) at my wedding reception in September 2010
My aunt took this picture. 🙂
There are 2 other pictures that I would like to share. The first one is of my grandparents on their wedding day. It is a picture with a story behind it. When they got married, My grandmother posed for a picture with her maid of honour, and my grandfather posed for a picture with his best man. The pictures of them together had either been lost or were not able to be developed for some reason. They never had a picture of them together on their wedding day.
Imagine their surprise when they looked at the picture below…
Nanny & Pepere on their wedding day, September 30, 1947
My aunt had this picture created, digitally as a surprise for them on their 50th wedding anniversary. I guess I am not the only one in the family who is full of surprises!
When we visited with Nanny Webber, I learned that we had even more in common than just our love for crafts and marrying into the Webber family. On my wedding day, there was a hurricane, and we had to schedule a different day for wedding pictures. Nanny Webber wanted to give us a wedding photo, taken the day after her wedding, on the family farm. She had to get dressed for her wedding photos twice also!
Here is the picture she gave to us:
Nanny & Grampy Webber, Sept 18 1934. The photo was taken in Clam Harbour, NS.
This photo was taken the day after their wedding. I am not sure if it was dated for the day of the wedding or the day after the wedding. It was her mother’s farmhouse they are standing beside.
There you have it, Treasure Seekers! A Tale of Two Grandmothers! I hope you enjoyed reading about our grandmothers. Please share any stories about your grandparents in the comments. I would love to read them!