It’s another blue sky sunny day here in Moose Jaw as we inch closer to Christmas and wind up the last days of 2023. I feel confident (and surprised) to say that we’ll be enjoying a green Christmas this year. I can’t help but wonder what January will bring. We need moisture so part of me hopes for lots of snow (or rain—that would work too) and part of me looks forward to hunkering down at home snow days which we haven’t experienced yet this year. I don’t look forward to the bitter cold; maybe we’ll get lucky and escape that this year. Whatever is to be will be and I’ll do my best to embrace it all and be thankful. In the meantime, here’s a few things from this week that I’m grateful for that made me quietly happy and qualify for a Friday’s Fave Five post.
Tea. Our daughter recommended Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea. It’s spicy and cinnamon-y and reminds me of my mom because we used to enjoy a cup of cinnamon tea together when she came to visit sometimes. I like to switch up my teas, so right now I’m enjoying a cup of David’s Tea Cream of Earl Grey I used to keep a good stock of different David’s Tea blends on hand but the last time I went to order online they were out of my favourites so I decided to try some grocery store blends instead. They’re much cheaper and I’ve found some I enjoy. This Cream of Earl Grey is available at our grocery store. I’m glad I can pick up a box now and then without having to up my order in order to get free shipping.
A new recipe. I used to make hamburger soup many years ago. I stumbled on this recipe for the Instant Pot and made it for supper. We both deemed it delicious and a keeper and it takes no time at all to make.
The Survivor season finale. Do you watch Survivor? We’re still die-hard fans. It’s one of the very few programs we enjoy on network television. This week was the finale, and we stayed up late (for us) to watch! Typically, we PVR (or DVR for those of you in the U.S.) and fast forward through commercials. This time we watched in real time. It’s been a long time since we had to sit through commercials and I found them hard to stomach for many reasons. I was thankful for the mute button on the remote.
Spotify. I signed up for three months of free Spotify just so I could enjoy commercial-free music for Advent and Christmas. Do you use Spotify? Or Amazon Music? Or something else? My inquiring mind wants to know, so drop a comment and let me know, please. 🙂
Reading. It took me a while after I retired (coming up on ten years now!) to give myself permission to sit down in the middle of the day to read. I’ve long since gotten over that. I just finished reading the 50th book for 2023 and have compiled a top ten list I’ll share with you next week. This week, I started reading Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano and I’m slowly making my way through, and chewing on, Brian Zahnd’s Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God.
This poem by Gunilla Norris:
Within each of us there is a silence
—a silence as vast as a universe.
We are afraid of it…and we long for it.
When we experience that silence, we remember
who we are: creatures of the stars, created
from the cooling of this planet, created
from dust and gas, created
from the elements, created
from time and space…created
In our present culture,
silence is something like an endangered species…
an endangered fundamental.
The experience of silence is now so rare
that we must cultivate it and treasure it.
This is especially true for shared silence.
Sharing silence is, in fact, a political act.
When we can stand aside from the usual and
perceive the fundamental, change begins to happen.
Our lives align with deeper values
and the lives of others are touched and influenced.
Silence brings us back to basics, to our senses,
to our selves. It locates us. Without that return
we can go so far away from our true natures
that we end up, quite literally, beside ourselves.
We live blindly and act thoughtlessly.
We endanger the delicate balance which sustains
our lives, our communities, and our planet.
Each of us can make a difference.
Politicians and visionaries will not return us
to the sacredness of life.
That will be done by ordinary men and women
who together or alone can say,
“Remember to breathe, remember to feel,
remember to care,
let us do this for our children and ourselves
and our children’s children.
Let us practice for life’s sake.”
Well, that’s a wrap for this week. I hope you’re enjoying some peaceful pockets in the midst of a season that can be a lot to manage.