Saturday, April 12

Parcels, Phone Calls and Rain

Today about 11 am, a knock came at the door. Hubby answered it and then came into the computer room carrying a package. Here is what was inside.
Something wrapped in pretty pink tissue paper, tied with a lovely piece of lace, an adorable bird in a nest and an altered art tag. I was thrilled and carefully opened the pink wrapped package. I now knew what was inside.
I had seen the ceramic pomander ball on Brittany's Friday Flea Market post. She had commented that she liked one of the prints I had for sale, so I wrote to her and asked her if we could trade. She agreed. Brittany, thank you so much for agreeing to the trade. I absolutely love the pomander ball. The bird in its nest has a new home in my living room window and it looks adorable there. The tag is just lovely. I will add it to Mom's Mother's Day gift.

Mid-afternoon the phone rang and when I answered it I was delighted to find that it was Pea from Pea's Corner. Pea lives in northern Ontario and I live in southern Ontario. We visit each other's blogs often and we've formed a nice friendship. We had a great chat - over an hour for sure. We talked about a lot of things and got to know each other a little better. I was delighted that Pea would call me. Thank you, dear Pea. I enjoyed the chat and next time I'll phone you. I look forward to us possibly getting together when the weather is nicer.

Both Brittany and Pea made my day a little brighter. It was a dark, overcast and rainy day. I was very blessed to have these wonderful ladies make it just a little bit brighter. Bless you both.

Other than that, there's not much news in my corner of the world. In fact without Brittany's parcel and Pea's phone call, it would have been a very boring day. Friends are the blooms in the garden of life and I've been truly blessed.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend. Remember, if you are out having a few drinks, take a friend along as a designated driver, or take a taxi. The life you save may be your own. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, April 11

Show and Tell Friday, the Farm and a Meme

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 crystal angel came my way from a blogging friend at Christmas 2007 and was a complete surprise. I absolutely adore her. The photo doesn't do her justice but she is beautiful. She stands about 6 inches high and is 5.5 inches from front to back. The pink you can see through her is the lovely tea light candle that she is holding. I often turn out the lights and let this little angel guide my way. I keep her on my entertainment unit. She is a very treasured possession. Thank you once again my blogging friend. Your gesture touched my heart.

Tuesday Brandon and I went to the farm and we enjoyed a bit of one-on-one time. We didn't take any photos. We hadn't been for several weeks and since the weather was nice we decided to go and see if Rosie the sheep had given birth. She hadn't. Today, Jordan and I took our one-on-one time and he wanted me to take the camera along because he wanted to take photos.

Here he caught the baby lamb from last fall looking directly at the camera. I must say that he took his time and made sure he was going to get a good shot.

He thought it was cute because Matthew and the goat were staying close together. This isn't a bad photo either for someone who is only 10 years old.
The the baby goat stood on his hind legs and started eating hay. Jordan was delighted and snapped the photo above.

He soon tired of taking photos and was off to play on the trampoline. The boy next door came running over to play with him and they spent about 20 minutes having fun. While they were doing that, one of the girls from the farm were watching them and I decided to go and see the horses. Meet Cracker, above. I love his gentle nature.

Don't let anyone tell you that horses don't take care of each other. The barnyard is very muddy because of all the melting snow and the rain we've had this spring. The horses are muddy and here cracker is pulling mud out of Max's hair.

When Crackers finished with Max, I whistled and called him over. Yes, I can whistle and yes, he did come. Here he is wanting some attention.
Then he turned his head as if to say, "This is my best profile." He began to scratch his nose on the fence so I gave his head and neck a good rubbing. He basked in the attention, though he gets lots from the people who live on the farm.

Max didn't want to be left out, so came over to have his photo taken as well. I rubbed his head and neck as well. These horses are Heflinger's and they are beautiful. The three girls that live on the farm will bring all of the horses in tomorrow, clean them up and give them a good brushing. They will look much like this within a day.

After the farm, Jordan and I stopped at Tim Horton's, washed our hands and I bought him a milk. He always gets quite thirsty when he goes to the farm and of course he knows we have to pass the coffee shop on our way home. We had a wonderful couple of hours together.

Now you may wonder why, since Easter is over, that I decided to post a picture of Jesus on the cross. Grams at Talk to Grams tagged me to do this meme. I've done this one before and it was easy to do, so I decided to do it again.

The Rules:
1. Write your own six-word memoir about yourself.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you'd like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don't forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

My six word memoir: He died that I might live.

Since I've done this before and tagged people, I am not going to tag anyone for this one. However if you do decide to partipate, please leave a comment so I can come and read your memoir.
I saw this meme over at Hootin' Anni's and thought it would be fun. For those who don't already know, Anni and I are good blogging buddies. We talk almost everyday and we have come to agree that we are kindred spirits. Now when I saw this, I realized that there are more things that Anni and I have in common.

The Name Game

Your rock star name (first pet, current car) Jack Ford. A very common name at that. Not something that a rock star would be likely to use.

Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal) Green Wolf. Not sure about Green Wolf but at least Wolf fits for Native American. Gray Wolf would have been better. Sorry, my favorite color is green.

Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name) Alw -Ma. I think this kind of sounds like something or someone in pain. Well, you never know with Star Wars.

Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink) Purple T. I shortened my favorite drink, which is a good cuppa tea to T. Sounds more like a superhero - Remember Mr. T.

NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers) William Bertrum. Bertrum William? Whadda think?

Stripper name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy) I don't have a favorite cologne, so that is out. But I do have a favorite fragrance. How about Lilac Chocolate or Chocolate Lilac. Do you think that sounds like a name for a stripper?

TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Chrysler Charlottetown. Charlottetown is the capital city of Prince Edward Island.

Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Spring Rose Spring is my favorite season because it is a time of rebirth and I have always loved roses since I was a little girl. Climbing roses are my very favorite, but I also love tea roses, floribunda roses and any other kind of rose.
Cartoon name: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now) Raspberry Jeans

Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Orange Willow. Think it fits? A good name for a hippie, don't you think?

Porn star name (first pet, first street where you lived) Jack Spring. Guess that would be okay for a male porn star. LOL Maybe Jackie Spring?

Thanks, Anni. I had a lot of fun doing this.

A week or so ago, I sent Anni her Pay it Forward gift and she's already received it. Drop by her blog to see what I sent her.

To Pea and Denise, remember that you can receive yours Pay it Forward gift anytime during the year, which ends in January 2009. LOL You'll never know when to expect a parcel in your mailbox.
Last but not least, be sure to stop by Mary's Vintage Flea Market and take a look at the cute things I have to offer for sale this week. There are rooster mugs, a Trust the Lord print, Fairy prints and some other items. You can also find out how to participate in Friday Flea Market by following the link from Mary's Vintage Flea Market. Join in the fun! Buy, sell or just browse and leave comments.

Have a wonderful weekend and spend some time outdoors. This is great weather for getting some exercise and enjoying the harbingers of spring. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, April 9

Thankful Thursday and a Fun Country Show

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.

As always I have much to be thankful for this week.

1. That Barry, Michelle and the boys will be staying nearby. I love being able to take the boys out and do things with them. Things as simple as taking a walk in the woods, going to the park, playing a game of baseball, riding bikes, watching a movie and of course, visiting the farm.

2. I'm thankful that Mom is in fairly good health and is still able to do things with us. We are so lucky to have her with us.

3. That we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. Some are not so lucky. We may not always have what we want, but God provides our needs.

4. For friends that touch my heart every day. One such lady did so today and she knows who she is. Thank you, my dearest friend for making my day.

5. For babies, robins, red-winged blackbird, hawks soaring overhead on the wind currents, flowers, signs of spring, sunrises and sunsets and other beauties of the Earth. I am a nature girl and all of these things bring me joy.

6. For Meeko who brightens our life with his antics and he takes us outside in all kinds of weather with his walk. He tries his best to keep us in shape.

7. I'm thankful for the little girl at the grocery store who held the door and started up a conversation when I thanked her. We had quite a talk and her mother was so kind to allow me to have that conversation. A random act of kindness that touched my heart. That little princess made my day.

8. For grandsons who want me to buy my fishing license so we can go fishing together.

9. For a husband who is diligent, hardworking and puts up with me even when I'm not having a good day. Sometimes he should have a medal. Of course sometimes I should too. LOL

10. For all the blessings that God bestows upon me each day. For all this I am truly thankful.

My husband is crazy for Patsy Cline. Mom loves all of the music that the great old entertainers brought to us via the radio when I was a kid. Sooo, a couple of weeks ago Mom phoned and asked us if we would like to go with her to see Connie Burton as Patsy Cline.

I was a little leary because I've found that many impersonators don't do a good job. I must tell you, I'm glad I went. This little lady is good. There was a few times I noticed that she didn't sing a note just as Patsy would have, but they were very few. She did a smash-up job of impersonating one of the greatest country and western singers of all time.

Hubby and I don't get out often and this was a wonderful outing. Thanks, Mom. We sure appreciate it.

Yesterday when I posted about Asperger's Syndrome, Edge of Design asked this question:

Would you mind refreshing my memory Mary? While reading more about AS, I was wondering what it again that alerted you to the possibility it might be something like AS and not just a personality thing? I'm just waking up so some of the details are sketchy to me. I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?

When Brandon was young, he used to line things up rigidly. If they were moved out of place, he would instantly align them again. I mean perfect alignment. He would spent hours doing this. Another thing we noticed was that he was obsessed with trains - all kinds of trains and by the time he was about four years old, he could identify a cross-section of a steam engine. By this I mean all of the parts. Besides this, he did have meltdowns from the time he was about 3 or 4 months old - usually because he was too hot. I mean he would scream until we realized that he was too warm. As he grew older, he had meltdowns about other things and as he got older, the meltdowns became worse, especially if there was a change in his routine. He had a lot of problems at clock change. He still has some issues with this, but not near as bad as he used to.

One of the specific indicators that he was on the autism spectrum was what we called, Brandon's little dance. When he became excited he would flap his hands and do a little dance. He would bring his right elbow down and his right knee up until they almost touched - very similar to the dance that football players do when they score. We thought the hand flapping and the dance were cute. Little did we know at that time that these were specific signs of autism.

Brandon started Junior Kindergarten when he was four and he had a very good teacher. This same teacher taught him in Senior Kindergarten and it was then that she told us that Brandon had problems socializing with the other children. We thought that odd because he usually got along well with kids his age. However, matters continued to get worse at school and we had no idea why.

Brandon was very smart and went on to grade one. That year he had a teacher who had just graduated from Teacher's College. She knew nothing about working with special ed children and at this point we still didn't know that Brandon had Asperger's Syndrome. We had many problems that year. Brandon was very curious about certain things. One boy in his class had really curly hair. Brandon would stand behind him in line and touch his hair. He was asked over and over not to do this, but continued. The teacher and principal labeled him as bad. We knew this wasn't true and couldn't figure out what was going on. Usually about four days out of five when I went to pick him up from school he was in the principal's office for some small infraction of the rules. Brandon touched someone. Brandon wouldn't sit in circle. Brandon wouldn't join in a group. Well, children that have Asperger's do not like to be in a group. So, finally we took Brandon to a behavior specialist and he tested Brandon. Several appointments later and after a trip to a child psychologist at Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Before the beginning of the next school year, Barry & Michelle moved so Brandon would no longer have to attend that school. That is the year that he got Mrs. V for a Vice Principal. Mrs. V had been a special education teacher before she became a VP. She saw right away the tendencies that Brandon had and went to work to have him formally identified as PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Defined.) She wanted this identification so he could have an Individual Educational Profile. This allowed him to have a educational assistant to help him in the classroom and also allowed him special privledges in areas in which he had problems. Over the next two years, with Mrs. V working on his behalf, he learned a lot and improved greatly. He is doing great at this time and is learning to cope with daily life with far less problems.

Now to answer your other question Edge.

I think what it is I really would like to know is if someone's children were diagnosed with Autism, could they actually be suffering from AS and not know it?

Asperger's Syndrome is a form of autism. So, if the child has been diagnosed with autism, it depends if he is at the high or low functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. Asperger's and PDD-NOS are much the same. The reason that Brandon was formally identified with PDD-NOS is because if he had been formally identified with Asperger's Syndrome, he would not have been eligible for an educational assistant. Brandon's only physical attributes that show are somewhat of a large head, a bit of awkwardness in his motor skills and an odd gait. People who are not familiar with AS would not know that he has issues.

Low functioning autistic children often do not talk until almost two years old and sometimes never learn to talk in the way we call normal. That is a word that I hate. What is normal for one is not normal for another. We are all different. Low functioning autistic often have to be put into group homes as they age. Brandon, if we teach him all he needs to know, will live on his own and do just fine. Low functioning autistic children will have severe mental and physical challenges. I count my blessings every day that Brandon is high functioning autistic.

Brandon was actually a blessing to our family. We have learned so much from this young lad. He has taught me to look at the world through his eyes and it is a much different world when I see it from his point of view. Liken it to a tapestry. We see the entire thing while kids with Asperger's Syndrome see every thread. It is a complicated world for them.

Edge, if you are still with me, I hope that I have answered your question. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to ask. If I don't know, I will research it and find out. The more educated we become on the subject of Autism, the better it is for all concerned.

Take care and have a wonderful Thursday. Sorry the post was so long. ~Blessings, Mary~

Symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome and A Bit of Fun

Since April is autism month, I thought I would make a list of some of the signs that indicate a child might have Asperger's Syndrome aka Asperger's Disorder. Children who have this disorder can exhibit many different symptoms and it depends on the severity of the disorder whether these are highly noticeable. Sometimes they are very mild and are not noticed until the child attends school, which was the case with Brandon.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, though just because your child has some of these symptoms it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she has it. If you are concerned, be sure to check with your family doctor .

* Unable to read body language.

* Walks or runs with a clumsy gait.

* Dislikes change in environment or routine.

* Speaks like a little professor.

* Doesn't make eye contact.

* Hast trouble starting or maintaining a conversation.

* Lacks social skills and has trouble making and maintaining friendships.

* Stands awkwardly.

* Has odd facial expressions.

* Is unable to differentiate different voice tones.

* Voice lacks tone or pitch and talks somewhat in monotone.

* Developmentally delayed motor skills. (Brandon can now do up a zipper but still cannot tie shoelaces. Luckily there are both running shoes and sandals with velcro.)

* Is overstimulated by textures of clothing and/or food.

* Is overstimulated by light or noise.

* Requires step-by-step instruction to do simple tasks.

* Appears to lack empathy.

The last one is one that I'd like to touch on. Lacks empathy. From what I've seen in the Asperger's children that I've met, they don't lack empathy, just don't know how to communicate it. I believe that most of these children are very sensitive and very in-tune with the feelings of those around them. They just are unable to express what they are feeling. I've seen a child with Asperger's laugh at an inappropriate time but think that he believed it was appropriate.

Have you ever laughed when someone fell? Some people do and this is because it is a nervous response. I believe that is why the child laughed inappropriately. He knew he should respond but wasn't sure how to go about it, so he laughed - a nervous type of laugh.

This is another reason that we should never judge people that are strangers to us. If someone you know responds inappropriately, you know that is out of character for that person - well, maybe not, depending on the person, but we do know if that is characteristic of him/her. We do not know that about strangers.

Asperger's Syndrome as well as other disorders on the Autism Spectrum make people act unusual. They are called weird, quirky, odd, eccentric and other names. This is very demeaning for the person who knows he has a disability but doesn't quite know how to cope with it. Most people with AS can be taught appropriate actions. If you know a child who exhibits several of these symptoms, have him/her checked by a health care professional. Education and knowledge is the key to acceptance.

When I dropped by to visit Storyteller at Small Reflections earlier today, I noticed that she had taken part in this fun quiz. I decided to give it a try and this was the result.

What dog breed are you? I'm a Border Collie! Find out at
I love border collies and am honored to be one. I love working dogs. The dog we had before Meeko was an American Eskimo. The dog that we had when I was growing up was part border collie and part German shepherd. Grandpa's dog was a pure German shepherd. So working dogs have been part of my life since I was a child. I hope you will take this quiz and let me know in the comments what type of dog you are.

Isn't this clipart of the robin pretty? I meant to post this last week. On Thursday I saw my first robin of the season. He had a beautiful red breast and was fat as could be. It didn't look like he'd suffered much over the winter or lost weight on his trip north. He was a beauty.

Robins love to sit on our terrace and look for juicy worms. I suspect that they also eat the crumbs that Meeko leaves in the grass when he has cookies outside. Whatever they're after, I enjoy watching them.

Robins have different songs and a special distinctive sound when it's going to rain. I listen for the robin's song and it's not often that they are incorrect. I have seen the rain pass us by but not often. When a "robin calls for rain," as Grandma used to put it, it usually does rain.

Another bird I love to hear sing is the red-winged blackbird. These birds can be found in marshy areas and along creeks, rivers and streams. They have a distinct call that I remember from my childhood. I saw my first red-winged blackbird last Friday when Meeko and I were walking along the canal. He was chirping his head off and I suspect he was calling for a mate because he was flittering and fluttering around and acting a little crazy. LOL

I'm hoping to get some bird photos this year to post here. I love songbirds and really want to see the indigo bunting that made its home in this area two years ago. I didn't see them last year but the male is truly amazing in color. Along the canal we also see finches, pileated woodpeckers, kingfishers and for years, we have watched a blue heron have breakfast in the canal that's not far from here. You have to be there very early in the morning though, just after dawn. It's awesome to see him catch a small fish.

Not much other news than that. I got most of the things on my to-do list done today, but not all of them. I have made another to-do list for tomorrow, but am going out with Mom and Dwight in the afternoon so we shall see what gets accomplished.

What is on your to-do list? Anything exciting? I would be interested in hearing what you have to do in the comments. Take care and have a Wonderful Wednesday. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, April 8

Awards and a Fun Meme

I am very blessed with a wonderful group of blogging friends. I received these beautiful awards recently and I love them all.
The Nice Matters award was presented to me by Karen of Karen's Korner. I love pink and green together and this award is very pretty. I would like to pass it on to:

Denise at Samaritan Women

Grams at Talk to Grams

Lady Di at Kitty Justice

The You Make My Day Award was also presented to me by Karen at Karen's Korner. This award touched me in a special way. Thank you so much for the beautiful awards, Karen. You often make my day as well. I would like to present this award to:

Anni at Hootin' Anni's

Dawn at Call Me Grandma Dawn

Diane at Diane's Place

Deb at The Canvas Grey

Pea at Pea's Corner. I love this award with all the coffee cups that tells of a Perfect Blend of Friendship. This one goes to everyone on my blogroll. I am very thankful for my blogging friends. I don't know how I ever managed without all of you in my life.

Speaking of being grateful. I've been blessed. When we got back from our Florida trip, I mentioned that Barry, Michelle and the boys were planning on moving away from this area because Barry's work would be taking them there. Well, the house didn't sell and as the week's passed he realized that the job wasn't for him. So, he began looking for work closer to this area and he starts his new job on April 21st and it is only 20 minutes from here, so they will still be living close by. God is so good.
Carolyn at Talk to Grams tagged me for a meme. Here are the rules:
1. The rules are posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago.

Well, let me see. That would have been April 1998 and I would have been taking care of Brandon and Jordan full time. Brandon was almost three and Jordan was 8 months old. Those boys kept me real busy back then.

2. Five things on my to-do list for today.

Go and pay a bill that is due on the 13th. I always like to pay things ahead of time.

Do a bit more spring cleaning. I have to do it a little at a time because of my disability.

Get a few groceries.

Clean the bathroom.

Do laundry and get meals.

3. Snacks I enjoy.

Fruit of all kinds.

A taste of dark chocolate, though I have to be careful with this one as I'm a Type II diabetic.

Cheese and crackers or cheese and grapes.

Miss Vicky's potato chips. Mmm!

Crackers with a little peanut butter.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire.

Give money to the Salvation Army to supply all of their family service clients with food for a year.

Give money to the Autism Society so they could further research autism and the disorders that fall within the Autism Spectrum.

Pay off any debts for immediate family members. (1 brother, 1 sister, Mom, daughter)

I would buy my niece a house and pay the mortgages off for my other nieces and nephews.

Set up a college fund for my grandsons and great nieces and nephews.

5. Three bad habits that I have.

Not watching my diet close enough.

Procastinating about things that I dislike doing but know I have to do. Grandma always taught me if I had something to do that I disliked doing to get it done so it would be over with. I also tell the grandsons this. I should practice what I preach and do as my grandmother taught me.

Writing details on envelopes or scraps of paper. Sometimes, though not often, these get misplaced before I record them where they're safe.

6. Five places I've lived.

This one is real easy as I've always lived in the same area I do now. While growing up, I lived in rural southern Ontario about a 20 minute drive from the place I reside in now. Today I live in the city but our house is in an area across from a park. We have lots of green space here.

7. Five jobs I've had.

Sewing baseballs by hand for Spaldings. I loved this job and worked there for a number of years until they moved their operation to Korea. This job entailed tacking the leather onto the ball innards, threading the lacing through two needles and coating them with beeswax and then stitching the ball. These balls were for the major leagues and had to be perfect. I could sew three dozen balls per day, which was good. Since we were paid by the piece, I made good money.

Driving taxi. I did this for 14 years and owned my own taxi. Most of that time I worked from 12 noon to 2 am the next morning. It seemed that if there was a problem call I always was the one to get it. I probably would still be doing this if I hadn't been hit from behind when I was stopped. I had my foot on the brake and the impact gave me whiplash and pushed my hip into my spine. I was not able to dress myself for 6 months. It took me weeks to even be able to get out of bed.

Nurses Aid. I worked in a nursing home for a few years and then worked as a private duty nurse. I looked after a woman who was 101 years old. I adored her. She died at 102.

Bartender and waitress. I worked at the Holiday Inn for years as a bartender and waitress. The tips were good and the wages were $1.35 per hour.

Retail clerk. I worked as a retail clerk when Michelle was a baby - so about 40 years ago. I earned $1.00 per hour.

Here are five people I'd like to know better. What a nice way of tagging people.

Anni at Hootin' Anni's
Jackie In the Land of the Living Skies
Pea at Pea's Corner
Lori at Pink Faded Roses
Mama Bear at Bears in Exile.

Thanks, Grams for tagging me. This was a lot of fun.

That's all the news from this corner of the world for today. Take care, Everyone and remember to do something nice for YOU. You deserve it. ~Blessings, Mary

Monday, April 7

Friends, Flood Photos and a Beautiful Award

I have lots of girls in my circle and decided that they all needed to know that someone cares about them and appreciate the difference they make in my life. If you are here it may be because I tagged you as one of the girls in my circle! If I didn't tag you , no offense intended. Tag! You're it! Consider yourself tagged.

Those who are tagged are listed below in no special order. Whether you are first or last, you have made a difference in my life. Thank you so much! I have been truly blessed.

Just to let you know, I am not tagging anyone but if you decide to participate, please let me know so I can visit and read your list.

Anni at Hootin' Anni's
Grams at Talk to Grams
Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink
Denise at Samaritan Women
Denise at Shorty Bear's Place
Lady Di at Kitty Justice
Pea at Pea's Corner
Karen at Karen's Korner
Mama Bear at Bear's in Exile
Jackie at In the Land of the Living Skies
Virginia at Small Reflections
Betty at Country Charm
Ruth at Body Soul and Spirit
Mary at Isabella's Closet
Paula at On a Rainy Night
Lori at Pink Faded Roses
Renie at Renie Burghardt's World
Sharon at Rose of Sharon
Sharon at Sit With Me Awhile
BJ at Sweet Nothings
Deb at The Canvas Grey
Tina at Tina's Odds and Ends
Willow at Willow's Cottage
Katherine at Yellow Rose Arbor

Wanna let your friends know you love them and appreciate the difference they make in your life? Go here to learn how.
It was such a nice day here yesterday (Sunday) that hubby and I decided to go for a drive along the Grand River. We had heard that the river was over its banks in some areas and what we heard was true.

This is the highest I've seen the Grand in a long while, though it isn't as high as its been. The water was not over the road today but we could tell that it had been.

The trees above are right near the road and as we passed through this area we realized that the hiking trails were flooded. If I had stepped over the guardrail, I would have been standing at the very edge of the water.

Here is another photos that shows part of the road. You can tell how close to the road the water is. We saw people in different areas exploring the river bank. A very dangerous activity for this time of year. The police have warned people to stay away. Each year, the Grand claims at least one life in this area and sometimes more.

This is the opposite side of the road from the river. The water is laying in pools in all low-lying areas.

I can remember a time when the Grand River flooded all the homes in the areas anywhere near it. The worst I ever saw was in 1974. I'm glad that precautions have been taken to prevent the Grand from flooding like it did back then. A deserted house was flooded up to the second story windows. Somewhere I have pictures of that flood and I never want to see anything like it again.

My BFF, Hootin' Anni surprised me with a very special award on her Sunday post. It is incredible and I was thrilled to receive it.

Isn't it beautiful? And this is what Anni had to say about presenting it to me:

This is an award I would like to pass onto Mary @ Mary's Writing Nook! It's a new award made by me, and I wanted to pass it on first to Mary...we, in my mind, being of kindred spirits. She and I have so much in common and we find more and more familiarities daily. With this Kindred Spirit Award, I try to convey the spirit of friendship. Her generosity and self worth is beyond compare. She is a giving, loving, wife, mother and grandmother. Thanks for being a good blogging friend!!! I want to pass on to others in time [each an individual 'award' -different], but Mary just had to be the first ever to receive one. I had her in mind when I designed this. The intention behind this is not to pass it on by those who receive it...I want it to have a very special, personal distinction, for each individual. It means a lot to me in doing acts of kindness and giving a little of my time, when I can find time[!] to others who are so willing to give of themselves, unconditionally! May your kindness be everlasting Mary!!

Anni, you loving gesture and kind words have touched my heart in a special way. I am so blessed to have you in my life. My wish for you is for all of your dreams to come true, that good health follow you for many years to come and that you are blessed abundantly. Love you, Girl.

Well, it's time to get out the Toronto Blue Jays clothing for the boys. Yes, they are second in the eastern standings, right below Baltimore. They beat the New York Yankees in their first game of the season and then they beat Boston twice. That is terrific. I do hope they have another three seasons like they had in the '90s. Three back-to-back World Series. Way to go! And Roberto Alamar who played second base at that time was just recognized for his outstanding career. Way to go Roberto. Now I am not a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan, but do enjoy seeing them win. If they get in the playoffs, I always watch the games. So I'm hoping they do well this season.

In other sports news, Canada won the Gold in curling last week and the Canadian women beat china in hockey. Team Canada has moved on to the qualifying round of the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Championship thanks to an 11-0 win over China. Canada will be joined by Finland and Team USA in the qualifying round. Congratulations to all involved.

With that, I will close for today. I wish everyone well and hope that your week will bring you much joy. ~Blessings, Mary~