This amazing, generous world

We live in a world that is usually seen as incredibly greedy, self-centered, ignorant, and just generally not nice these days.  The world of Trump, North Korea, so much sadness – it can definitely put a negative spin on our world.  And yes, there is a lot going on in this world that is sad, depressing, scary – but then you come upon a place that makes you see the world as it should be – a beautiful, amazing generous place.  I was lucky to have found this place, but I am not sure if that is the right word in the circumstances that led up to discovering a most amazing place.

 

My father suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and ended up being transferred to Hamilton, Ontario in order to have surgery.  I am happy to report that he is on the mend, albeit slowly, but he is definitely healing.  When the decision was made to head to Hamilton, my mother, of course, was going to go with him to be by his side.  Seeing that I am living with my parents, I made the decision to forego work for the week and went to Hamilton to be with my mother.  My sister did some research and through her research, she put my mom’s name in for a room at a house near the hospital.  I cannot thank my sister enough for leading us to this house!

 

The name of the place we stayed at was the Mark Preece Family House – this lovely unassuming building situated a block away from the hospital.  We were in touch by phone with the weekend volunteer, Paula, who was incredibly helpful in giving us directions and information.  A couple of hours later, we arrived with Paula at the front door waiting for us.

 

We walked into this building, awed by the beauty that awaited us.  A gorgeous lounge/library with books and magazines to read, colouring books if we chose to do that (and yes we did indulge in colouring while there), coffee, tea and cookies, a fireplace, and gorgeous antiquey (yes that’s a word – MY word!) furniture.  And that was just the front room!  After we filled out the necessary paperwork, we were given a tour.  It was like coming into a second home – we had a very nice room with very high ceilings, beautiful duvets on the bed and a private bathroom.  We were taken down to the kitchen/dining room area – two big fridges, a big eating area, a TV to watch, a pantry shared by all, our own bins in the fridge and second pantry.  Communal dinners on numerous nights during the week.  Wonderful people were met that were staying there – Kellie from Vancouver, Rose and her husband from Thunder Bay – just to name a few that we ended up befriending, all of us staying there while waiting on news of our relative’s health.  It was such a homey feeling, something you would never get in a hotel.

 

The executive director, Pearl, is a wonderful woman who takes the time to chat with everyone staying there (when she gets a few minutes!) – she is a wealth of information and so friendly.  The ladies at the front desk with helpful information about the walk safe program through the Hamilton Health Services and so many other things I asked.  And of course – the cookies!!!  Cookies to be shared by all – I would lie if I said I didn’t partake in some of the cookies.

 

I cannot say enough about the wonderful and calming atmosphere the Mark Preece Family House gave us during this stressful week.  It is a place to feel like home, even when you are miles and miles away from your home.  A truly comforting place to be in to take away some of the stresses of the hospital.

 

The Mark Preece Family House is a gem of a place for those who are in need of a room while a family member is in hospital.  This amazing house, and the amazing volunteers that keep it running, are proof to me that this world really is an amazing, general place.

Advertisements

This amazing, generous world

We live in a world that is usually seen as incredibly greedy, self-centered, ignorant, and just generally not nice these days.  The world of Trump, North Korea, so much sadness – it can definitely put a negative spin on our world.  And yes, there is a lot going on in this world that is sad, depressing, scary – but then you come upon a place that makes you see the world as it should be – a beautiful, amazing generous place.  I was lucky to have found this place, but I am not sure if that is the right word in the circumstances that led up to discovering a most amazing place.

 

My father suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and ended up being transferred to Hamilton, Ontario in order to have surgery.  I am happy to report that he is on the mend, albeit slowly, but he is definitely healing.  When the decision was made to head to Hamilton, my mother, of course, was going to go with him to be by his side.  Seeing that I am living with my parents, I made the decision to forego work for the week and went to Hamilton to be with my mother.  My sister did some research and through her research, she put my mom’s name in for a room at a house near the hospital.  I cannot thank my sister enough for leading us to this house!

 

The name of the place we stayed at was the Mark Preece Family House – this lovely unassuming building situated a block away from the hospital.  We were in touch by phone with the weekend volunteer, Paula, who was incredibly helpful in giving us directions and information.  A couple of hours later, we arrived with Paula at the front door waiting for us.

 

We walked into this building, awed by the beauty that awaited us.  A gorgeous lounge/library with books and magazines to read, colouring books if we chose to do that (and yes we did indulge in colouring while there), coffee, tea and cookies, a fireplace, and gorgeous antiquey (yes that’s a word – MY word!) furniture.  And that was just the front room!  After we filled out the necessary paperwork, we were given a tour.  It was like coming into a second home – we had a very nice room with very high ceilings, beautiful duvets on the bed and a private bathroom.  We were taken down to the kitchen/dining room area – two big fridges, a big eating area, a TV to watch, a pantry shared by all, our own bins in the fridge and second pantry.  Communal dinners on numerous nights during the week.  Wonderful people were met that were staying there – Kellie from Vancouver, Rose and her husband from Thunder Bay – just to name a few that we ended up befriending, all of us staying there while waiting on news of our relative’s health.  It was such a homey feeling, something you would never get in a hotel.

 

The executive director, Pearl, is a wonderful woman who takes the time to chat with everyone staying there (when she gets a few minutes!) – she is a wealth of information and so friendly.  The ladies at the front desk with helpful information about the walk safe program through the Hamilton Health Services and so many other things I asked.  And of course – the cookies!!!  Cookies to be shared by all – I would lie if I said I didn’t partake in some of the cookies.

 

I cannot say enough about the wonderful and calming atmosphere the Mark Preece Family House gave us during this stressful week.  It is a place to feel like home, even when you are miles and miles away from your home.  A truly comforting place to be in to take away some of the stresses of the hospital.

 

The Mark Preece Family House is a gem of a place for those who are in need of a room while a family member is in hospital.  This amazing house, and the amazing volunteers that keep it running, are proof to me that this world really is an amazing, general place.

Dreams to Goals to Success!!!

It has been a very busy few weeks for me.  I have been working a lot of hours, preparing for my presentation and helping out my parents.  But I have still been working on my dreams and goals!!

 

I finally did my presentation yesterday at our public library, on the topic of travelling the world on a budget and with no credit cards.  I am very happy to report that it was a great success!!  I had such a great group of people there who were inquisitive and engaging, and while I had prepared 30 pages of notes, I ended up basically improvising most of the presentation.  It was such a fantastic afternoon and it gave me the confidence boost that I was hoping for to get out and do more public speaking.  So a dream went to a goal and became a success!!

 

I honestly believe that we all have it in us to do this.  A dream is just a dream if you don’t set dates to make it happen.  That’s what goals are for.  Have a dream, write down a date you want to accomplish it by, it becomes a goal!

 

My next dream is to publish an article, and I have a date that I want to accomplish that by.  So the next dream has been put in motion with my goal date.

 

What do you dream of doing?

So long Chile

53 and counting…

For the past few years, I have spent my birthday away from Welland.  From 2012 to 2014, I was in Calgary.  In 2015, I turned 50 in Prague.  51 was Berlin and 52 was in China.  My 53rd birthday has me back in Ontario for the first time since 2011.  It’s been great being back here for my birthday – spent the day shopping and out for lunch yesterday in Fort Erie, and today was spent in Niagara Falls (breakfast and gambling – sad to say I didn’t win big but I also didn’t lose much either!).  It’s been a great day – and am grateful for all the birthday wishes from family and friends.

 

IMG_20180323_094035IMG_20180323_122459IMG_20180323_122508IMG_20180323_122604IMG_20180323_122611IMG_20180323_124700

Bringing joy to life

Bringing joy to life – what things come to mind when you think of this?  Children?  Being with friends?  Inspiring others?  So many different things bring me joy, from people to things to sights to see.

 

I love where I work, and I love the people I work with.  They inspire me – the ones in chronic pain who continue to come in every day and do their job.  The ones who have worked for years at the job and still enjoy it.  I am so lucky to have this job and to work with these people.  They all inspire me in so many different ways – even the young ones who come in.  They all have such interesting stories about what they are doing with their future.

Today 010Today 011

The sun shining inspires me to go out walking and exploring.  It brings me joy and peace to feel the sun warming my skin as I wander through my hometown, and through foreign cities around the world.  I cannot understand how anyone can be sad when the sun in shining – even during the cold winter.

Today 002.JPG

The smell of fresh bread baking inspires me to come home and bake something decadent.  The aroma of food cooking brings great joy – one of my favourite ways to relax is to cook and bake.  And I also enjoy cooking for family and friends – I love sharing my food to make them happy.

IMG_20170730_172536

Of course, one of my greatest joys are the sights I see – even just walking through the park near me.  I love travelling and my travelling will not end.  I have many places that I want to see – but I also enjoy seeing the sights of my hometown, discovering new things.

13612181_10154107173900339_8224289804118791158_n

It is not difficult to find beauty and joy in your life – you simply need to open your eyes and heart and look around.  Every day is beautiful in its own unique way.  Embrace it!

Stressed? Take a walk!

I do not have much stress anymore – I have learned over the years to cope very well and have reduced my stress levels to almost nothing.  Stress cannot be avoided completely and there is good stress and bad stress.  But the bad stress days I had in the past are virtually gone – and I owe a lot of that to my love of walking.

 

Walking in unknown countries, walking around the areas I have lived – all of it has kept me in relatively good shape (I could stand to lose some weight and tone up but that will come in time).  We have been very lucky here in Southern Ontario the past few days weather-wise – we have been enjoying unusually warm and sunny days for the end of February!  Alas, they are coming to an end, albeit temporarily, as spring is just around the corner.  I have been out and enjoying the beautiful weather that has been given to us and these are some pictures I have taken.  I have brought out my camera once again, and am excited to start using it more!

 

Enjoy!!

 

IMG_20180226_134259.jpg

 

IMG_20180226_141639.jpg

 

Today 002.JPG

 

Today 006.JPG

 

IMG_20180226_135913.jpg

How do you cure the travelling blues?

It’s a warm rainy winter day here in Canada – yes you are reading that right!!  Today hit a record temperature of 17 degrees Celsius!!  Rained all day – but it felt good to not have to wear a heavy coat today!  It was a blue feeling day though – I am missing Prague a lot lately.  The beautiful sites, my friends, walking through the gorgeous scenery.

10414496_10152770820430339_5014601649986567671_n

I know the feeling will pass, as will as my missing of China.  Yes, I miss China (I NEVER thought I’d say that!).  The quirkiness of the city I lived in with all its crazy signs, the food (okay – this is really what I miss the MOST about China!  Why can’t I find a noodle place here???).  It was quite pretty in the area that I lived too – and I miss the sparsely decorated apartment I lived in.  The solitude.  I like my alone time very much.

 

20170430131353_IMG_0288_1493542960445

So how do I cure the travelling blues?   I scope out hotel websites, Wikipedia for different countries to travel to and read about, look up flight information for the best deals – does it help?  A bit – at least for a while.  If the sun would shine a bit more when I was off work, I would be less melancholy – I would be able to get outside and walk.  Take pictures of new areas.

IMG_20171018_113718_HDR

Life in Canada is good – I am happy to be back.  But I will continue to have the travelling blues until May when I will head to Ottawa for a few days!  In the meantime – I will dream of the beaches of Chile, the beauty of Prague and the food of China!!

IMG_20170922_142936_HDR.jpg

19629_10153090597055339_4800918291335555615_n

94547757be62e679b8670632c2dc86d2a6df0eba.jpg