Thursday, 22 November 2012


I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves. - Alexander von Humbolt

One October afternoon while at work, about two months after I first met my future (Canadian) husband, I received a phone call.  He was calling to wish me a "Happy Thanksgiving".  I told him he had the date wrong.  Thanksgiving is in November, not October.  I, of course, being American did not realize that our northern neighbour had a Thanksgiving holiday...clearly the pilgrims did not land near any polar bears, so how and why could they celebrate Thanksgiving?  And how could they eat turkey?  Didn't they steal the idea from America.  I was taught that Thanksgiving began with the pilgrims and their survival through their first winter with the help of their new found friends.  Canadians do celebrate a slightly different, but essentially the same reason for Thanksgiving.  We all need to be take time to notice what we really have...
"We live in an Amazing world , but no one is happy"  was a writing prompt(writing prompt tumblr) that headed my son's work this morning.  My son jokingly wrote about the woes of his great-grandmother and her half century old grudges and his little brother whose life is never quite happy enough unless he has one more Lego...he finally finished his work by saying that people aren't happy because they don't know how to get through things that are difficult.
I do sometimes wonder how different my life could have been if I had just went with...the Amazing... instead.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Green Goop

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. - Marjorie Greenbie

Alright, picture this...imagine a nice quiet grandmother sitting in a rocking chair knitting a sweater for you (her favourite grandchild, of course), the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting from the kitchen...
now think of almost the exact opposite of that grandmother...and you will have my grandma Freda.  She arrived at Ellis island when she was only two years old...on a boat from Germany(for non-Americans....the same island as the Statue of Liberty).  Her name, along with the names of her parents, are engraved on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor, which marks those who crossed through the island before finally landing in their new home of America.
She was always a spunky, independent and outspoken lady.  She embraced her new country whole heartedly.
I always had found memories of the few times our family drove down for Thanksgivings at her house.  She was a very good cook.  But, my hands down favourite recipe of her's was green goop.  (This frustrated her...when I asked for her recipe, she sort of cursed under her breath and then exclaimed,"what! out of all my recipes you want a recipe for Green Goop!! That isn't even a real recipe!").
Well, my grandmother passed away about 10 years ago.  And do you know what my children's favourite item on the Thanksgiving table is...I will let you guess...but I will tell you never know how you will be remembered...but my children think their great-grandmother must have been the coolest grandmother in town for making such a lovely dish (lots of sugar and no vegetables...and you get to eat it with the turkey, and not have to wait for dessert.)

My Grandmother's Green Goop Recipe
( a "salad" to be eaten with the main meal)

1 cup mini marshmallows
1 can crushed pineapple, in its own juice
1 package instant Pistachio pudding
1 tub frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (ie cool whip)
1/2 cup finally chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
(1/2 cup of grated coconut, optional)
(1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, optional)

1.  In a bowl, mix the marshmallows, pineapple with juice.
I did not have mini marshmellows so my daughter and neices cut the large ones...

2.  Fold dry pudding and cool whip into the pineapple/marshmallow mixture.

3.  Fold in nuts and any additional items...(I added coconut)

5.  Enjoy!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Finding the important things

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
-Mother Teresa

My daughter came home the other day, with a project she had to complete.  She was to research about a individual who had contributed to peace and she had selected Mother Teresa.  I opened up several pages on the Internet and left out a book for her to read.  She worked diligently and later showed me her work.
I smiled at the fact that she had chosen Mother Teresa.  When I was in my late teens, my dad had bought me a book written by Mother Teresa.  She was a person who had once inspired me, as well.
As I glanced over my daughter's work, her closing statement caught my eye.  It read," but, best of all, to me, is that she loved doing what she did, and that is important.  For Mother Teresa made people happy knowing that she loved to help them."
I think she found the most important point...what do you think?