Kind words

“A kind word can warm three winter months.”    a Japanese proverb


“so excited to be working with you today and tomorrow. Work feels less like work when we are working together.”   (from a co-worker)


“I knew today was going to be a great day when I saw it would be starting with you.”   (from my hairdresser)


“Thanks for caring. So glad we are friends. So much is added to my life through your friendship.”      (from a friend)

My winter shall be warm indeed.


Reader’s Block


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Reader’s Block.”

Reader’s Block? What on earth is that? Reader’s Block is something I cannot even imagine! My love affair with books began when I was very young and has only grown as I have aged. I enjoy history and biography, books with photos and descriptions of places I will never see except in a book or on TV. I love cookbooks and crafting books, books that will help me learn something new.  I don’t read a lot of science fiction now, but in high school I read as much of it as I could find. Come to think of it, I read pretty much every book in the school library.

Some of my favourites through the many years, books I read again and again, have been:

The Sugar Creek Gang series. Someone gave me the first one when I was 6 and I loved it and kept following the gang through all their adventures.

What Katy Did. My grandmother gave me that book for Christmas when I was 5. I t was one of the books I used to learn to read. My original copy had pencil marks all over it as I underlined words I did not know or understand the meaning of, so I could ask mom or dad to explain them later.

I LOVE Tolkien. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings still get read and re-read, and every time is still a great adventure. I also have almost anything else he wrote.

I truly enjoy the writings of CS Lewis and again have most of his published works.

My favourite book of all would have to be my Bible. Old yet ever new, a source of guidance, instruction, hope and love.


When I was 11 years old, our house burned and I lost all my precious books, including What Katy Did and the two others in that series. At a library book sale last year I found book 2 and book 3, but not What Katy Did. A very special friend found one and gifted it to me – a valuable gift. Many thanks, Crystal.

What is in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”    William Shakespeare  Romeo and Juliet

Just what is in a name?

When I started researching my genealogy, I was looking for the father and grandfather of William Switzer, my grandfather. I soon discovered  EVERY William Switzer had a son named William and pretty much every son of every William had a son named William. .  At first I thought ‘how silly- did they not have any creativity in naming their children?’  Later I came to somehow appreciate the fact that eldest son/ daughter named after paternal grandfather/mother, second maternal and so on. It does give a person an idea of a name to look for. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule. ( And some turn out to make sense as one discovers a second wife and her parents.)

In these times, few parents follow a strict naming pattern. And creativity in naming one’s child knows NO bounds. As one of the residents at work commented as she told us the name of her newest great-granddaughter (Manhattan) –  “I don’t know anymore, when hearing about my great-grandchildren, if we are really talking about children, or about cities, states, or vehicles!”

As word meanings and usage change with time,some names that may have been popular a generation or two ago fall into disfavour. Then there are those who carefully choose a name to reflect the character qualities they hope will be reflected in the life of their child; others look for names with profound meaning. Still others will select a name based on what shorter versions of the name might be used.

As to the shorter versions of a name, I find it rather humorous that tonight, of all nights, my oldest daughter, Angela, chose to blog “What’s my name” in which she talks about the varied shorter forms on of her name she encounters. We moved part way through her grade one year of school. After her first day in her new school, her teacher called me in for a chat. Apparently, there was another Angela in the class and the teacher had thought it would save confusion if our Angela, the new one, could be called something other than Angela. And apparently our Angela did not take kindly to the suggestion. “Only my parents sometimes call me Ang,” she told her teacher, “And I only let my grandpa call me Angie. You may call me Angela or you may call me Angela Elizabeth!”

Continuing thoughts on hats

The assignment,, would I choose to accept it, was to write a post that builds on a comment left another day…so I thinking about hats. I love Sonja’s blog theme of giving daily; this one struck a chord.

I have had this dislike of hats for as long as I can remember. I think the problem is more that I really do not look good in any hat so it is easier to say I do not like hats than to accept the blame for myself. When I was a child, a lady was expected to wear a hat. One did not go to town or to church without a hat. There were, of course, various styles and kinds to choose from…and as Sonja has mentioned- some were beautiful and others downright ugly. 🙂 I can remember looking at women and wondering WHY a woman had to wear a hat. What if hats don’t suit you?  I would try to visualize what I might look like in this hat or that. And shudder.  So thankful I can go to church or to the mall without a hat.




I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? Then it covers them up snug you know, with a white quilt and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again…”        from Lewis Carroll

The value of words

Strange how even a few words can make or break one’s day.

I overheard a conversation during supper yesterday. It was at work – the end of day three of three long days. There had been an abnormally large amount of confusion all day long. I don’t know why. Maybe the dull grey days offset only by the white snow was getting to the residents, maybe it was something else. In any case everyone was getting on everyone else’s nerves. Including mine. And then, as supper was winding down, I heard it.

“This was such a great meal. Isn’t it amazing how no matter how busy she is or how much stuff we bother her with, Sandra always manages to serve us a most delicious meal.”

My spirits lifted. I felt invigorated. Energized – maybe I could get those dishes done after all!

“What you mean? It is no big deal. We pay through the nose to be here. They better serve us good meals!”

My very first instinct (sadly) was to tell her what she could do with her nose. (I did not.) And the energy of just seconds before went POOF and was gone.  Just a few words made so much difference.

Tonight I met with a friend.  Family issues and illness had prevented from us getting together for a few weeks, so last week I sent her an email. Not long, but long enough to let her know I cared about her and her situation, and missed our conversations and so on. And tonight, my friend said –   “The highlight of my week was getting a letter from you. OK, it was an email, but I could hear your voice and feel your concern. I printed it out so I could read it over and over. It meant so much that you took the time to care.”

Just a few words.

Lord, may my words always be words that lift up, encourage, bring joy and peace.

007 011Today’s assignment in blogging 101 is to write a blog to your dream reader- your dream blog to the reader you wish was following. Problem is today I am in a fog. My body hurts. Half a dozen elephants are tap-dancing on my spine – or so it feels. My head feels a few sizes too big. I am exhausted, even doing nothing. This could be simply the result of needing some chiropractic adjustment. I know it is past time to visit him again. It could be the result of a near sleepless night Monday when I had to spend the night at work due to heavy snowfall and unsafe roads. It could also be a cold or flu or bronchitis or pneumonia. Currently at work we have 6 residents out of 20 down with bronchitis and/or pneumonia. We also have 5 of 7 staff down with flu or pneumonia or bronchitis. So far I have been one of the two staff healthy enough to work – and fill extra shifts as well. Could be my turn. Maybe a day of full rest is what I need. Time will tell. Meanwhile, dream reader, my dream blog will have to wait until I can think more clearly.