Saturday, March 29

Support Earth Hour, Brandon and Green Thumb Sunday

Support Earth Hour Comments from

I hope everyone supported Earth Hour tonight between 8 and 9 pm. It was only an hour and I'm sure many of the younger generation saw what it was like before electricity. My grandson asked me what they would do if they shut the lights out. LOL I told him to have a conversation with his family and talk about what was going on in their lives. It would give them a chance to talk without any interruptions.

When I was a child, Grandma didn't have electricity. I'm not sure what happened when Ontario Hydro came to string the lines, but whatever it was, Grandpa told them to get off his property and not come back. So Grandma didn't have any modern conveniences. After dark the oil lamps were lit or the kerosene lantern. She cooked on a woodstove and had a gingerbread clock that had to be wound daily. An icebox sat in the northwest corner of the kitchen. Water was brought in from the well.

We live much differently today than we did back then and it seems that when the power is off, we are not able to cope. In my house there is one clock that is not powered by electricity. Without power, we have only gravity heat from the oil furnace, we use candles or the oil lamp and there seems very little to do. The last time there was a power outage here, I tried reading by the light of the oil lamp and that definitely wasn't easy. Shadows flicker on the page and make the words difficult to follow. We were lucky. The power outage was only for a few hours. Others in Ontario were not so lucky and had to live without power it for a few days.

Today we are all definitely spoiled with the comforts of electricity and technology. What would we ever do if there was a power outage that lasted for weeks? I'm not sure we could survive. For me, there is no way to cook. Even my BBQ is electric. If I have to go 24 hours without my computer, I'm lost because my job depends on a computer. I write online web content and without a computer I can't work. Without work, there is no money. Without money, there is no shelter or food, which are needed for survival. And what would I do without all of my online friends here in blogland?

Earth Hour has made me think back to the days of my childhood when I definitely knew how to survive without power. It's provided me food for thought. Has Earth Hour given you food for thought as well? Please leave a comment and tell me how you coped with the one hour without power?

In other news, Brandon phoned last night and told me that Jordan was having his friend, Daniel, sleep over. He wanted to know if he could come and stay with me. I know this is his way of getting away from his brother for a while. I talked to hubby and he agreed that Brandon could come.

When I picked Brandon up, he was delighted. It's been a while since he stayed over by himself. I asked him what he'd like to do and he said nothing, just relax and enjoy some quiet time. What a darling. It is the end of the month and I have writing to get done before my deadline. I worked on it and he played his game and watched a bit of TV.

Usually Brandon is an early to bed, early to rise kind of boy. Last night he was still awake at 11 pm. I told him Grandma was going to bed and gave him a goodnight kiss. (Don't let him know I told you this. He will only kiss me when no one else is around. After all he's going to be 13 in May.)

Brandon came in this morning about 7am and asked what was for breakfast. I got up and once we were showered and dressed, we went to Tim Horton's, which is a coffee shop that was started by NHL hockey player Tim Horton many years ago. They have delicious coffee and I don't go there much, so it was an excuse to indulge and have a treat. Brandon had a bagel with cream cheese and I had their breakfast sandwich. The place was crowded so Brandon wanted to know if we could bring the food home. He likes eating out, but not if the place is crowded. So that is what we did and we brought Grandpa back a breakfast sandwich as well.

Barry and Michelle picked Brandon up around 1pm. They were taking the boys out for the day. It was nice having Brandon here for some one-on-one time. We didn't do much, just enjoyed each other's company. A great way to bond.

It's Green Thumb Sunday, hosted by Tricia at As the Garden Grows. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to find out how.

I made a discovery in my garden this week. My snowdrops are blooming. Yay! A sure sign that spring is just around the corner.

Snowdrops are a tiny flower that blooms early in the spring in southern Ontario. They are delicate and about a tenth of the size of a crocus. Each year as spring approaches, I watch for my snowdrops to bloom. This year, spring officially arrived and there was no sign of them. On Thursday I took a look and lo and behold, there they were blooming, so I grabbed the camera and took a couple of shots. Once the snowdrops bloom, the crocus won't be far behind and then the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. I see that my hyacinths are forming buds. Soon they will be blooming and the fragrance will fill the yard.

That's about all the news from my corner of the world today. Enjoy your weekend and remember to take some quality time to spend with your family. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, March 27

I've Been Tagged and Show and Tell Friday

Mama Bear at Bears in Exile has tagged me for the ABC meme. I wonder if I'll be able to answer them all. Let's give it a go...

A - Attached or single: Attached for going on 20 years.
B - Best Friend: Hubby

C - Cake or pie: If it's sugar free and homemade, pie.

D - Day of choice: Sunday

E - Essential item: Shoes

F - Favorite color: Green

G - Gummi Bears or worms: Neither

H - Hometown: Small town in southwestern Ontario.

I - Indulgence: Once in a while a very small piece of dark chocolate.

J - January of July: Not sure. Depends on the weather.

K - Kids: A precious gift from God.

L - Life is incomplete without: The love of family.

M - Marriage date: December 17

N - Number of siblings: 2

O - Oranges or apples: Both - It just depends on my mood and cravings.

P - Phobias or Fears: Heights and small windowless enclosures.

Q - Quote: Be aware you may entertain angels unaware. (Grandma taught me this.)

R - Reason to smile: Grandsons

S - Season: Spring and fall.

T - Tag: Anni, BJ, Lady Di and Denise.

U - Unknown fact about me: My hair is thinning.

V - Veggies or fruit: Both

W - Worst habit: A tendency to over-react to small things

X - X-ray or ultrasound: Neither if I can help it.

Y - Your favorite food: Mmm! Don't know.

Z - Zodiac: Libra

Well, Mama Bear, that was fun. Now when you ladies that I tagged have yours up, please let me know so I can read your list. Have fun.

Well, I just looked out the window and it is snowing big, fluffy flakes. A little while ago it was raining. I just hope the snow doesn't accumulate. I've had enough snow for this year. With that I will go on and entertain you with my Show & Tell Friday.

It's time for Show and Tell Friday. If you would like to participate, drop over to Kelli's at There's No Place Like Home.

This week I'm going to show you a print that I have hanging in my computer room. I had it made from a photo that I took in western Tennessee in 2005 when hubby, Mom and I were on our way to Arkansas to visit friends. We took a side trip and stopped at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills. It was a wonderful experience.

The print shows the mill and mill pond on Loretta's ranch and I just love this picture. Doesn't it speak of bygone days and a slower pace of life? Look out, Loretta. You may just find me moving in there one of these days. The ranch is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

When Loretta and her husband were married, they bought the house and property. The house that they lived in at that time overlooked the mill and mill pond. What a wonderful view to wake up to every morning.

Wouldn't you love to live in a house overlooking this beautiful scene? I know I would and I enjoy the print daily while I'm working on my writing, listing on ebay or blogging.

Please pray for Deena at Pretty in Pink. Deena is going through chemo treatment for breast cancer and this week was more difficult than prior weeks. I had an email from her yesterday and she is feeling better, but please continue to pray for her.

Speaking of Deena, she was kind enough to present me with the award below. She also gave it to many of her blog friends. It is beautiful. Thank you, Deena.

I would like to pass this along to everyone on my blogroll. Please check to see if your name is there. I've added some new names recently.

This also Friday Flea Market. I have a few cute things up for sale this week, so please take a moment to visit Mary's Vintage Flea Market. There are a pair of fairy ornaments, some art prints and more. Please drop in for a visit.

May you all have a wonderful and safe weekend. Remember to be kind to yourself. We all deserve to be pampered a little. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, March 26

Maggie L. Walker and Thankful Thursday

March is Women's History Month in the US and I haven't posted one thing about women in history. Women's History Month is October in Canada and I guess it slipped my mind that it was this month in the US. So before the month is over and I've lost the opportunity, I'm going to tell you about a woman who became the first president in the US - of a bank that is.

Former slaves Elizabeth and William Mitchell welcomed a daughter into the world in 1867 and named her Maggie Lena. The Mitchell's worked for Elizabeth Van Lew, a Civil War spy and worked in her mansion in Richmond.

After a few years of working for Van Lew, William Mitchell took the position of Head Waiter at the Saint Charles Hotel. He soon moved his family to their own accommodations in a house in an alley. They had a home of their own.

William Mitchell was murdered and Elizabeth started a laundry business to support herself and her children. Maggie's job was to help care for her younger brother and to help her mother collect and deliver laundry for her clients.

Despite working hard to help her mother, Maggie was able to obtain an education in Richmond's public school system. She graduated in 1883 and began to teach school. After three years of teaching she gave up her position to marry Armstead Walker, who was a building contractor. Remember married women couldn't be school teacher's in that era. Between 1890 and 1897, the couple had three sons, one who died in infancy.

Maggie had been a member of the Independent Order of St. Lukes, an African American fraternal and cooperative insurance society since she was young. The Order had been established by former slave, Mary Prout in 1867. Maggie began working for the Order and in the headquarters moved to Richmond in 1889, Maggie was invited to become the executive secretary - a position she gladly accepted. In 1889, she became the Right Worthy Grand Secretary, which was the Order's highest position and one that she held for the rest of her life.

In 1901, Maggie told the members of the Order of St. Lukes that they needed a bank that was run by their members. She had a desire to turn nickels into dollars. In 1903, the St. Lukes Penny Savings Bank was founded and Maggie became the president.

Maggie L. Walker was the first woman to serve as president of a bank in the US. The bank bought up other African American banks after the crash of 1929. Today it is known as the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company and is the oldest surviving African American bank in America.

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find out all the information there.

1. I am thankful for the energy that I've been blessed with the last couple of days. Though today it was less than yesterday, I was able to continue to deep cleaning of my kitchen.

2. Michelle is doing great. She has a lot more energy as well and I haven't had to go to help out yesterday or today. She was able to run her own errands.

3. For tea. I love to sit and sip a cup every so often throughout the day. This is my reward to myself for finishing a task. I find tea very refreshing.

4. For Mom, who still worries about her kids even though we are all over 50. Mom is a real go-getter, drives her own car and takes care of herself. She is 80 years young. I'm blessed to have her to talk to.

5. For grandsons who phone me and when I answer say, "Hi Grandma. Whatcha doing?" LOL I love it!

6. For my blood sugar levels being under control even though I cheated at Easter dinner.

7. For Meeko, who brings joy into my life.

8. For a hubby who doesn't mind lending a hand.

9. For having food on the table and a roof over our heads. Many don't enjoy such luxuries.

10. For friends, both online and off and especially for blogging friends who give love, support and encouragement. I have been truly blessed.

I have many other things for which to be thankful but this is my list for this week. Remember to always be grateful for the little things in life. Stop and smell a rose, pat a dog on the head and watch his tail wag or say something kind to a child. By doing so, you will bring many blessings into your own life. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, March 25

I Have Energy...

From Christmas until just this week I was feeling exhausted. I mean weary and tuckered out. I had no energy and had to force myself to do everything.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned to Michelle that I felt like I couldn't put one foot in front of the other without falling flat on my face. Now my beautiful daughter is a pharmacy technician and she said, "Mom, you need Vitamin D. I think you might be suffering from SAD," which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I had heard of SAD but never thought I suffered from it, but for years I have lacked energy and have been exhausted. I felt guilty because I was always too tired to do anything much. Sometimes I would sleep 12 hours out of 24. I had spoken to the doctor about it and he just looked at me as if I was crazy. He has treated me for depression and given me anti-depressants. Whenever I have mentioned the way I feel he has told me that I am on anti-depressants and that is all he can do for me.

Well, duh! Doctors don't listen nor do they recognize the symptoms of something very common. They send you for tests, tell you that it is all in your head or just plain shrug it off. A few years ago I told Mom that I was going to have "It was all in her head," engraved on my tombstone. LOL I couldn't figure out what was the matter with me and the guilt from being so tired didn't help. So two weeks ago when Michelle told me to take Vitamin D, I took her advice.

Today I started spring cleaning. My stove was a mess and the kitchen is in need of being redecorated. Hubby was out. I walked into the kitchen and thought to myself, "What a mess!" I immediately poured a sink full of hot, soapy water, got out a new spray bottle of kitchen cleaner and the soapy steel wool that I've used for years. I got busy on that stove and it took me about an hour to clean it from top to bottom. Then I tackled the microwave stand that needed a good washing down. Next I washed and disinfected the garbage can.

Just as I was finishing up these tasks, hubby came home. He couldn't believe his eyes. I don't think he realizes how little energy I have either.

I let the water out of the sink, scrubbed it till it shone and then put on the tea kettle. As I sat at the table drinking a cup of tea, I felt quite proud of myself. The stove, sink, tea kettle and crockpot sparkled. Once again I felt exhausted but this time it felt good. It was because I had accomplished quite a bit in the couple of hours while hubby was out. I'm hoping to continue tomorrow. There's still a lot to do. Maybe I was suffering from SAD, but whatever it was, the Vitamin D seems to be helping. I'm glad I took Michelle's advice. And speaking of Vitamin D, it's time to take my daily dose.

If you are lacking energy and live in a northern climate, try taking Vitamin D. It's made quite a difference in my energy level. If you suffer from health issues, be sure to check with your doctor before starting vitamin supplements. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, March 24

Remember When...

I know that Easter is passed but yesterday I was thinking on how much the holiday has changed since I was a child. Back then the holiday was less about the Easter bunny and candy and more about the celebration of the spirit of the day and of spring.

Back in the 1950s, Easter was a clothiers dream. Every woman that could afford it wanted a new hat and coat for Easter. She also wanted her children to have a new Easter outfit. Woman and girls dreamed of a new Easter bonnet to wear on the big day.

When I was a young girl, Mom always took us to town the week before Easter. We would go to Eaton's (Sears competition, strictly Canadian) and what an experience that was for my sister and I. All of the Eaton's employees were dressed to the nines. They were required to create an image that would inspire the women shoppers to buy dresses, coats, hats, gloves, shoes and purses. The women employees wore flowered hats and white gloves.

Some Easters Mom and Dad would give my sister and I a new dress. These were always sewn by Mom and my brother got a new shirt, also sewn by Mom. Sometimes we got a new pair of shoes - either black or white patten leather that we could see our faces in and, if we were lucky, a new pair of thigh high white stockings that was held up by something similar to a woman's girdle, except Mom always made these out of heavy one inch elastic and then sewed garter clips on them so we could attach them to our stockings to hold them up.

The Easter bunny did come. Mom had once made a round aluminum tray and had etched it with beautiful flowers. She would put it out on the Saturday night before Easter and lay Easter grass over it. This is where the Easter bunny left our treats. We usually got one small hollow chocolate bunny and one hollow chocolate egg with our names written on it. Around these would be a layer of jelly beans. Even back then Mom loved Easter and made sure it was a time of celebration. We children felt truly blessed at Easter because that was the time of year we got candy - even more than we got at Christmas.

What lovely memories my parents gave me of Easter services at church and then going to Grandma's for Easter dinner. These wonderful memories will be with me always and for that I'm most thankful. It was a different time - a slower pace to life and less commercialized. Our celebration included good food, love of family and the celebration of the resurrection.

Thank you for stopping by. I do hope you will take a few minutes to share your memories of Easter when you were a child. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, March 23

Easter Dinner with Family

Today our family gathered at my mother's for Easter dinner. We do this on every holiday, in the old fashioned tradition. When I was a child we went to Grandma's, but when she passed into Glory, Mom carried on.

We are lucky to still have Mom with us. She is 80 years young and is very independent. She cooked the entire dinner herself and wouldn't let any of us bring anything. That is a sign that she is feeling good because when she asks us to bring something we know that she isn't her normal self. Mom has always insisted that she and she alone do the dinner. We don't like it but she's told us that this is what she likes to do. So Mom, thank you for a delicious meal and reminiscing over days gone by.

Can you believe it? I was almost to Mom's when I realized that I'd forgotten my camera. It was too late to turn back, so I didn't get any photos. However, Michelle gave me this one of Griffyn last week. He's a doll and he knows it. He has his mother wound around his little finger. Both Griffyn and his Mom is going to be in for a big surprise when the baby is born in August. Oh, the lessons we learn as young mothers.

Griffyn is not quite 9 months old yet and he is standing on his own beside the furniture and trying to walk. It won't be long until he is running and Mom and Dad will be running after him. He can get out of the safety belts in his high chair and swing and they've had to lower the mattress in his crib. He is a go-getter and they are going to have their hands full keeping up to him. Go Griffyn. LOL

He knows how to work the system. He bats those big adorable eyes and grins and your heart melts. I told him today that Great Aunt Mary doesn't fall for those tactics. He looked at me as if I was strange.

Today was Griffyn's Mom's birthday. She turned 32. Happy Birthday Melissa. I do hope you had a wonderful day. Melissa got cards and gifts at the family dinner. I know she enjoyed herself, but she is exhausted from caring for Griffyn and being pregnant. Please keep her in your prayers.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I could kick myself for forgetting the camera because I thought I would have wonderful photos of our gathering. However, I will always have those memories.

Take care and please remember to do a random act of kindness today. Kindness can bring hope where there was none before. ~Blessings, Mary~

A Blessed Easter to All

Today is Easter Sunday... the day that Mary went to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, to find that it was empty. And she ran to the disciples and told them that Jesus' body had been taken from the tomb.

Peter then went to the tomb with another disciple and they saw only the shroud that Jesus' body had been wrapped in and the linen that had been around His head was in a place by itself. And Peter and the other disciple thought also that Jesus' body had been stolen, as they were not aware that He would be resurrected and they went to their homes, heartbroken.

However, Mary remained in the Garden and wept outside the tomb. Then she saw two angels in the sepulchre and one sat at the head and the other at the feet of where Jesus had lain. And the angels asked Mary why she wept and Mary answered, "They have taken my Lord away and I know not where they have taken Him."

Then Mary turned and saw Jesus standing there but she knew Him not, instead thinking He was the gardener. And she asked him if he had removed Jesus' body and if so, where had he laid him.
And Jesus said to her, "Mary." And then she knew Him.

But Jesus warned her not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father, God.

And Mary left the Garden and went to the disciples and told them what she had witnessed, that she had seen the Lord and she told them what He had said to her.

From the King James Bible:
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

John 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side.
Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

The Lord is Risen. Let us be glad and rejoice. Happy Easter to All ~Blessings, Mary~

For all my friends who love vintage postcards and graphics, please feel free to take a copy of this postcard. It is one from my collection.