Day #9 of 31 Days of Gratitude

If anyone expected me to be completely void of humor/humour on this 31 days, they certainly don’t know me at all…

Day #9

I sometimes think of the geographic area where I grew up (and where I’m now back living) as an unattractive eyesore due to its lack of, well…height. The tallest “hill” in this city – if you’re not counting the off and on ramps to the expressway – is the one on the college campus, and I’m not convinced it’s a natural formation.

When I first brought my now ex-husband to my city and asked him what he thought, his first words were, “It’s flat.” This city is formed over farmland. Way back when, the early settlers (some of whom I am descended from (and yes, I’m aware I’m ending the sentence with a preposition)) were farmers. This area was perfect for it because it was nearly surrounded by water, and it was…flat.

Do you see a hill anywhere in this picture?

Windsor skyline

Technically where we are located is considered similar to the US mid-west. All of its flatness means that there are no lovely views of the hills and mountains in the Fall when the leaves are changing (my favourite time of the year). It also means no skiing (not that I do that anyway). But you can conjure a lot of reasons why a flat geographic city is at a disadvantage. I lived in Ithaca NY for 20 years and one of the best things was the gorges, waterfalls, and the colors on the hills in the Fall.

But one of the worst things…driving in the winter. And Ithaca had some terrible winters. Imagine trying to get downtown and you have to map out the least hilly route to get there without your car turning into a luge.

And that, my friends, is why I’m grateful for my hometown – Windsor. Because it’s flat. So flat that I have never needed snow tires and the only accident in the winter I was ever in was so minor that I didn’t even have a dent in my car!

So I’m grateful for the boring, geographically-impaired land on which I live. Which if you read my previous blog posting…is a Jeopardy question:  Which Canadian city is the only city SOUTH of an American city.

Voila!

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Windsor

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Don’t get me wrong though. This city has many things that I love, including our great riverfront parks, mostly easy-to-navigate North/South – East/West grids of the streets, the abundant amount of ethnic areas like Little Italy (who doesn’t love a canoli), and the International Freedom Festival held every year in June/July. And I love how rich in history this area is, especially because my family was a bit part of it. But most of all…

Its flat roads.

Blessings to all,

dani1

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Day #8 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Okay now it’s getting a bit harder…

Day #8

I’m grateful that despite moving back to Canada, without any job lined up and the possibility of getting one is slim, that I have been able to work remotely for my (previous) employer.

Of course, my extension was more for their benefit than mine – so I could train my replacement / continue to do the job – it’s afforded me the chance to continue to earn some bankable money until such a time when I will be unemployed (and will have no idea for how long).

My job is specialized. Not just anyone can step in and do it. That’s not to say that they can’t eventually learn it – I did – but it’s not the kind of work that someone can just walk in and take over. It requires training – even for those experienced in this type of work – because they have to learn how our office does it. How this position is handled.

So I’m also grateful that I have the experience to be that “go to” person that my office needs to rely on. It does make me feel somewhat important, even if not necessarily appreciated. 🙂

Blessings to all,

dani1

Day #7 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Every country has its problems. Some are still fantastic places to live; others…not so much.

Day #7

I’m grateful for my country – Canada.

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I’m proud to be a Canadian. Always have been. Always will be. Even when I lived in the US for 20 years because I had married an American, I never gave up my citizenship – and I never planned had planned to.

Canada is, and will always be, my home.

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to someday live in other countries – Italy, Scotland, France, The Netherlands – but I don’t think that even those would ever feel like home.

I am embarrassed that I haven’t yet seen much of my country, though admittedly, there is a whole lot to see up in the Territories but ice and snow – and I might be okay with skipping those. But other cities in Canada would be great to see.

I once priced a train ticket from Toronto to the West Coast to Vancouver. What a site that would be!  But what a sticker-shock price tag such a train-ride would be! I think I cruised the Mediterranean for less!

I grew up in Southern Ontario – the southern most part of the country, where the weather is actually reasonable given it’s close proximity to what is referred to as the Mid-West in the U.S. And my hometown – Windsor – is a Jeopardy question:

Which Canadian city is the only city actually south of a US city? 🙂

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In any case, Canada is a great country. And anytime anyone is in the area, ring me up – would love to take you to Timmy’s for a double-double and timbits!

from BBS upload

Blessings,

dani1

Day #6 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Friends…I’ve had a few…

Day #6

Part of the problem I had when I lived in New York was lack of friends. Sure, I had a few, but they weren’t people that I “hung-out” with very regularly. Truthfully, just about every friend I had, I’d met at work (or Weight Watchers from back when I was married).

I wasn’t one for going out on my own so I never really met anyone or really made new friends (or boyfriends which is an entirely different and much more complex subject) to hang out with. Those I did have, had husbands and/or kids and I had to be cognizant that they had lives, when I really didn’t.

I was lonely a lot.

I realize that it was really on me to not be so lonely. That I should have gone out, met new people, etc. But with the self-consciousness that I had (still have), it really is hard for me to be out in public, especially by myself.

So I was happy when I realized that by moving back to my hometown, I would again be surrounded by many friends, some of whom I’ve been close for over thirty years. And while I am still self-conscious when I’m out, if I’m with my friends, I’m less so.

These are people who have known me for so long, many are basically part of my family. Sisters and brothers that I would do anything for, and I hope they know that.

So I’m so very grateful for my friends – new and old – real or even just my cyber friends (all of whom I hope to meet someday) because they help me feel good about my life. They add a huge something that I can’t explain.

Merci beaucoup, mes amis!

FRIENDS

Blessings to all,

dani1

Day #5 of 31 Days of Gratitude

When you have as much of a negative attitude as me, it is actually quite hard to come up with things you’re grateful for. And to be honest, I hate that feeling. I really wish I could be more positive, but no matter how much I try, I invariably let the negative in. So this 31 Days of Gratitude, while challenging, is to help me better consider everything I have. Everything I should be grateful for.

And I won’t lie, some of these are going to be very hard.

Day #5

I’m grateful for my marriage falling apart.

Don’t get me wrong. I never wanted a failed marriage (who does?), and while I hate talking about it now because I feel like it’s one of my two biggest mistakes, I’ve also come to realize that I need to be grateful for it.

Grateful for even what my ex-husband did to me.

From the cheating, lying, and disrespect of me to the nefarious handling of our home, its destruction as a direct result of his lack of responsibility, and again, his disrespect of me…guess what?

I not only survived – and there were times I wondered if I would – but I became a stronger person because of it. I learned more about myself during those years than I ever did in the previous 40.

So while it was a horrible period in my life, I am grateful (in a small way – let’s not get carried away) for having gone through it so that I could learn just how strong and resilient of a person I am.

Blessings to all,

Dani

Day #4 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Yikes! I can’t believe how far I’ve fallen behind on this. Okay, I guess I can’t really say that. And given this is my 4th attempt to do Day #4 because this website keeps freezing every time I want to add a picture, you may not actually see Day #4 (or #5, or #6, etc…)

Day #4

I’m grateful for my kitty Finnegan (aka Finny or Finn). I got Finny from a friend who had adopted a stray, that ended up having six kittens. He was one of only two black kitties, and he stole my heart.

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That was in 2009. As he got older, I did often wonder if his father was maybe a puma or a panther because he kept getting bigger. He’s not fat, mind you, just a very long and big kitty so we suspect he’s part Maine Coon. His mother was just a normal sized cat.

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And while he’s a “bit” quirky (and aren’t they all?), he’s my best buddy in the world. So I’m grateful I have him with me.

Blessings to all,

Dani

Day #3 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Day #3

For Day #3 of 31 Days of of Gratitude, I am grateful for my family. I’ve probably mentioned before that I come from a very large family. I don’t mean immediate – other than a half-sister – I don’t have any other brothers or sisters. But for other family members – I have them aplenty.

I think I’ve mentioned that I always laugh at the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Toula tells Ian that she has 27 first cousins (go to the 1:25min mark).

To explain why I laugh so much and to put it into perspective, when my grandmother (meme/mimi) passed away in 1985, she had 56 grandchildren (which would mean I had 55 other first cousins), 79 great grandchildren and 15 great-great grandchildren.

That is not a typo.

When your mother is the youngest of 16, the numbers can be “out there”. And that’s only one side!

The only difference compared to Toula’s family and mine is that – unfortunately or not – our family doesn’t spend a lot of time together, at least, as a large group. In fact, many of the cousins don’t even know each other. Some maybe don’t even get along for whatever reason. But to all of them, I’m Switzerland.

Growing up, I was closest to several because our families spent a lot of time together. Over the years, thanks to social media, I’m gotten to know some family I didn’t know before, became closer to those I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and in general, am grateful for those that I have in my life.

With that many cousins, many of whom were older than my mom, some have left us already. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to know many of them very well. The great thing about my family being so large is that there is so much to learn – about them and our family history. Stories about their parents – fathers who perhaps fought in a war or served in the military – something to be proud of.

So I love my extended family – all those crazy cousins. And while the number likely never went higher than 56 for first cousins, there are plenty more family that have been added over the years, and are still being added today.

And with a family this large, it’s really hard to feel alone. You’d hope they would be there for you, as much as you’d try to be there for them.

Because, after all, that’s what family should really be about, right?

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Blessings to all.

Dani

 

 

Oops…Day #2 of 31 Days of Gratitude

Well would you look at that…I forgot to do my 31 Days of Gratitude for Days #2 and #3. Ugh. My memory.

Every time I did think of it, I wasn’t in a position to be able to write one. And even leaving myself a note didn’t seem to work.

So…time to play catch up.

Day #2

I’m grateful for my mom.

This is likely a given but I know for many people, their mom’s are not in their lives, but my mom is.

She’s been there with me through every trail and tribulation, through the successes and failures, and while I’ve often questioned whether or not I’ve done anything remotely considered proud of me, her support has never wavered.

And I am grateful for that.

Always.

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Blessing to all for a great week!

Happy Monday!!

Dani

 

 

31 Days of Gratitude

It’s been a good week, friends. Actually, it’s been a pretty damn good week. And I’m grateful.

Grateful for everything I have. Grateful for everything I’ve ever had. Even grateful for everything that has happened to me – good or bad – because those things have made me a stronger person. A person, I hope, people feel is a great, reliable and loving friend. Someone with a big heart, who would do whatever she could to help them. Someone who didn’t take them for granted, and appreciated having them in her life.

So starting today – December 1, 2017 – I’m going to post 31 days of gratitude. Certainly that doesn’t mean that I won’t be grateful after December 31st, but for now, let’s just start here.

If anyone wants to do this with me, please do. I’ll be posting these 31 days on both Facebook (my personal page), twitter @dani052566 and my IG account:  @danielle_reaume

Let’s do this…

Day #1 

I’m grateful I’m still alive.

I’m grateful I’m still alive…

  • to see another beautiful sunny day.

December 1, 2017

  • to appreciate the beauty of nature
  • to appreciate the beauty of the Earth
  • to be here for my family, friends and Finnegan

And most importantly, I’m grateful to be here for me.

Blessings to all…

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

 

No, this isn’t Groundhog Day…

Hello,

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (for those too young to understand that terminology, please Google it), I’m starting anew.

Again.

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To say this journey has been a roller-coaster would be an understatement. For the longest time I thought that every “restart” was an embarrassment. As in, why can’t I just do it right the first time? Stick to it. Just do it. And while I won’t profess to say that I’m completely over that thinking, I have come to understand that like life, which is filled with so many things that interrupt your path, you can still be ON that path…there are just some detours that get in the way.

The key is to stay on the path, but if you sway off, get back on.

And while it does admittedly bother me that I haven’t been very successful up to this point, I need to keep trying. If I don’t, I won’t be around to entertain you fine people with my witty bantering. And how tragic would that be?

As I posted prior, I am now back home in Canada and I’m settling in more and more each day. It is still some adjustment for me, but I’m getting there. And the one thing I’m finally “there” for is to do something about my weight.

Again.

While I was at my heaviest in early July before the move, I had lost some since, but not enough and not consistently. In fact, I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds over the past few weeks and it’s very frustrating.

So why is this time any different? you might ask. Trust me, I’m asking myself. And while I am not going to make any promises, I’m also not going to think about the chance of failure. There’s nothing worse at trying to succeed at something and starting off with thinking about how you might fail.

Talk about setting yourself up for an epic fail!

But this time it’s mostly about frame of mind. And hopefully having someone close to me on the same journey where we can help each other out. This is hard enough to do, but to do it alone is even harder.

No matter what your “thing” is that you need to do – try to find others who will support you, help you, and maybe even walk through it with you.

After all, what is there (for me) to lose…?

Except this weight.

Never let a stumble be the end of your journey…

Broken Pot

So…here I go. Again.

My life is worth living, and I want to do so much more living before there’s no more life left. It’s time.

And it’s not going to be easy. Nothing worth it every is. And I will struggle. I will falter. I will even swear like a banshee…okay that’s a given no matter what…but I will try so very hard to do this.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself – George Bernard Shaw

It’s time to create. Let’s do this.

Thank you for coming with me on this journey, and supporting me. It means everything.

Blessings to all.

Dani