Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Year!

The end of a year and the end of the first decade of the 21st Century! All endings mean beginnings are at hand.

I tend to get a little philosophical on December 31st… so here you have some of my thoughts.  In no way do I presume to have any original ones… this is just a collection of ramblings. Why  does this read like the Alphabet? Well…  I’ve received lots of comments about the second section of my book MAGIC MADE IN MEXICO. It follows the same format and readers seem to like it… so, why not?

I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!




A is for AGE: Many of us do not like to see it creeping up but I agree with Mark Twain who said,” Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

B is for BALANCE: This is a constant challenge but one worth the effort because on the days when we strike it… life is good.

C is for CARLOS: My wonderful creative son…                                                                                                                                                  

D is for DIET: Hopefully this D word and I will be able to stick together a bit more!

E is for EXERCISE: What I said about D is applicable to E too!

F is for FAMILY & FRIENDS: It’s nice if the first is our greatest treasure but if not, hopefully the second fills the gap. Many say, “My friends are the family I have chosen.”

G is for GENEROSITY: The more you give, the more you get back…

H is for HAPPINESS: We search the planet for this only to find it extremely close by… inside each one of us.

I is for INSIGHT: I love this…Paul Gauguin said, “I shut my eyes in order to see.”

J is for JORGE: My husband who is “mi amor, mi cómplice en todo”…

K is for KNOWLEDGE: The pursuit of this gives purpose to life. We never stop learning

L is for LOVE: Nowhere have I seen a better definition of “the greatest virtue” than in:1 Corinthians 13.                                       “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

M is for MAGGIE: The daughter I am blessed with…                                                                                                                                 

N is for NICE: An old fashioned concept? Maybe… but I think life’s easier on everyone when we try to be…

O is for OPEN: Open-minded, open-spirited… almost all openness is a good thing

P is for POOL: As in swimming pool… this is one of my greatest pleasures

Q is for QUALITY OF LIFE: This what we all want… recognizing when we have it is the crux of the matter.

R is for RETIREMENT: Not what it once was, is it? This time in life is a gift. It gives us the opportunity to do what we couldn’t do when we were too busy working!

S is for SECURITY: A much sought after state… again, much of this is in our minds.  I read this on the Ernest Gaines Quotation site, “Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

T is for TIME: What we all want more of… sigh…

U is for USEFUL:  To feel we are useful is one of life’s most basic requirements.

V is for VERBS: As a writer I’d like to know approximately how many exist in the English language. I’ve looked all over the Net and not found the answer… can you?

W is for WEDDINGS: There will be TWO in our family this year!

X is for XEROX: Not many other words begin with this letter. And I am, supremely grateful for this x-cellent technology… I well remember when it didn’t exist.

Y is for YUCATAN: Not a plethora of words start with Y either, but I give thanks every day, because the name of the place where I live is as unique as its first letter.

Z is for ZOO: Peter De Vries said, “Life is a zoo in the jungle.” Think about it…

  • Many of the quotes I used in this posting are from  – a great resource, I think


Filed under Family and Friends, Vida Latina, Writing

Kyle and the Christmas Cactus

During the Holiday season, we get lots of notes from far-away friends and family. All are welcome and a few are truly special. On December 24th, I received such a greeting from Deanna , a treasured friend I met through a Life-writing workshop. Reading what she sent to me, you’ll not only be touched by her great writing but also by her caring spirit.

Please pass this post around to those you know… Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone reads it and puts “Kyle” and Deanna in touch with each other?

Kyle and the Christmas Cactus

Dear Kyle,

The “Christmas School Holidays” are upon us, once again, and my thoughts return to you each year at this time.

In 1991, I left the local school community, that I had loved and been a part of for eleven years, and drove an hour away to join a fledgling staff in a smaller lakeside community. The school was comprised of portables while we waited for the new school to be completed. Our Principal was a bright, warm-hearted, dedicated woman who had chosen a staff made up of vibrant, adventurous young teachers and a few experienced, near-retirement souls like myself. Her enthusiasm was tempered daily with the message that the students were always our priority and that their learning environment be a balance of educational and life skills.

You came into my life in the September of 1992, a wee boy going on five. You were in the middle of a blended family with older, protective siblings and younger ones who, as might be said, nudged you “out of the nest”, too soon.

There were the days you climbed the stairs into the Senior Kindergarten portable, needing a knee to sit on and a welcome hug before venturing into the day’s activities. Then, there were those many times when a surly little fellow stomped into class, unwilling to join the morning circle until you had spent some moments alone under the teacher’s desk or by the book shelf until you felt ready to tackle the new sound or song.

Fall disappeared and the Christmas break was fast approaching. Holiday songs and poems were learned, crafts and cards for parents were made and the Nativity play and concert,completed. On that last day of school before the holidays, you walked in with a plant that so represented you. It was a tiny Christmas Cactus, needing only love, time and attention to help it to grow and to bloom. I wrapped it carefully against the cold, took it home and told my four children that it was my ‘bestest present”.

You and your family moved out of the area later on in the next year and I, not knowing where you went, prayed that your new Teacher would see the real you and your potential.

I willed that Christmas Cactus to survive!  I watched it, watered it and year after year, moving it from home to home, waited for a bloom that, somehow, would assure me that you, too, were coming along as I constantly wished for you.

Last year, Kyle, there was ONE beautiful flower on that wee plant that keeps doing its best and I was thrilled. Did that mean that you, also, were not only surviving but thriving?

Kyle, you are twenty-three now and I hold you in my heart and wish you well. This year, eighteen years later, is definitely the “bestest” year yet. There are THIRTEEN blooms on “our” Christmas Cactus!!

Wherever you are Kyle, Happy New Year!

Deanna, Oakville, ON

Image credit for Christmas cactus :


Filed under Family and Friends, Writing

Hunting and Gathering

Monday, I spent the day with Ada. She is my daughter’s future mother-in-law and the two of us will be seeing lots of one another throughout the coming months… we’ve got a wedding to get ready for!

Our “to-do” list involved several errands concerning the nuptial Mass at the hacienda where the reception will be held…. And then we headed off in search of bridesmaid dress material. No… we have not been given the assignment of choosing the actual fabric! Our job is that of hunter-gatherers (we hunt out and gather together all the samples needed by the bride)  Actually we did very well – in a space of just two hours, we hunted through five stores and gathered together numerous swatches in the requisite midnight / safire blue.

Very pleased at having successfully completed our first mission, we decided lunch was in order. I had been to a new restaurant the week before and I figured Ada would also enjoy it.

Pimienta”, located on Calle 60 Norte (close to the stadium) opened its doors four months ago and from day one, it has been successful with Merida’s food enthusiasts. Without being stuffy, the décor is understated and attractive. I don’t usually write about restaurants I visit but this one deserves a special citation.

“Shall we have a glass of wine?” I inquired of Ada. She nodded her head. The wait staff at Pimienta is well informed about their wines and the menu. Our server suggested a Trivento Pinot Noir to accompany the lasagna we planned to eat. I actually ended up having a different dish and a Chardonnay would have been a more appropriate choice, but I enjoy Pinot Noir so no issues.

The Mediterranean inspired dishes are all beautifully prepared and presented. Quite a few of the other tables were occupied by friends and acquaintances and I noticed most of them also ordered pasta. In fact I changed my lasagna order when I saw a plate of Alfredo pasta with shrimp being served to another customer. Not the best thing for a future mother-of-the-bride who needs to whittle inches off the waistline… but January cometh!

We chatted about the wedding and agreed that there will be many more hunter-gatherer forays… Fine by us! We’ll have more chances to come back to Pimienta.

As most of you know, pimienta is the Spanish word for pepper.

On I read the following quotation:

“Epithets, like pepper, give zest to what you write

And if you strew them sparsely, they whet the appetite.”

 “Pimienta” has certainly whetted our appetite and enhanced the excitement of preparing for the BIG event.



Filed under Family and Friends