Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favorite Things A-Z

It's American Thanksgiving this week and although we in Canada celebrated Thanksgiving in October, I figure it's still not too late for me to do a blog about things I'm thankful for/my favorite things - alphabetically.

A - Arizona. In my high school yearbook it says that I want to travel, especially to Arizona. Finally, over 40 years later, I've become a regular Arizona visitor. It's everything I imagined it to be, and then some. (Also Alberta, Asparagus and Antipasto)

B - Babies. For as long as I can remember I've loved babies. When I was a teenager I used to knit baby sweaters - I had a dozen of them ready before I had any babies of my own. My life is full of babies - from the 7 I gave birth to to the 20 beautiful babies my babies have had. (Also Beaches, Books, Birthdays, Bunnies and Blogging)

C - Cats. When I was a child our family was never without a cat. Back then noone bothered to have their cats spayed and/or neutered so we always (it seemed) had mama cats and kittens, which we gave to good homes. I haven't had a cat of my own in years because of our frequent relocations and a couple of kids with allergies, but now I am able to enjoy my daughter's cats. (Also Cameras, Computers, Chocolate and Christmas)

D - Driving. As a teenager I never had the desire to get my driver's license. It wasn't until I was 9 months pregnant with my third baby that I finally got my license. I'm so glad I did. Driving gives me a sense of freedom and adventure. (Also Diamonds, Daisies, and Diet Pepsi)

E - Edmonton, Alberta. I've lived here off and on since 1968. It's a beautiful city with lots of parks and a wonderful river valley. With a metro population of one million it's small enough not to be intimidating, but large enough to have everything I need or want. It'd be nice if the winters were a bit milder, but that just makes us appreciate the 7 snow-free months even more. And a bunch of my kids and grandkids live here. (Also Emeralds)

F - Friends. With all the moving around I've done as a result of my father's and then my husband's careers, its been difficult to maintain long term friends (except for my sisters-in-law who were my friends before I knew their brother). About 6 years ago I was fortunate enough to meet, through scrapbooking, a friend who makes up for my earlier lack. Mickey and I clicked immediately when we both attended a scrapbooking convention in Edmonton. She lives just a few blocks from me and over the years have come to know one another's families as we continue to find similarities in our lives. She enriches my life and I'm so thankful for her. (Also Family, Flowers and Fireplace Fires)

G - Grandchildren. I remember how exciting it was to attend the birth of my first grandchild, Jonah. How exhausting, and how helpless I felt in the face of my daughter's struggles. He's now 14 years old and towers over his mother and grandmother. He's been followed by 4 brothers and 15 cousins and each birth is as exciting and as welcome as the first. My life is enriched by these children and the unconditional love they bring with them. They are my treasures. (Also Giraffes and Gumdrops)

Just a few of them

H - Home baked bread. When my children were younger I used to bake bread, from scratch, in 7-loaf batches. Those were the best days - the house would smell so good - the bread, still warm, with butter and jam or molasses. Nothing beats that. The first loaf would disappear within an hour. (Also HDTV and Helicopter rides)

I - Internet. What an amazing piece of technology. Whole worlds of information are opened up to us...Facebook and Blogging are two of my favorites...and email and all the photo storing and editing websites. It's great. (Also Ice Cream)

J - Junk Drawer. Every kitchen needs one - so many treasures can be found there, from batteries to gum, elastic bands to chopsticks. (Also Jewellery, Jelly Beans and Ju Jubes)

K - Kites. I love seeing kites flying in the spring and fall. Although I've only gone kite flying a couple of times, it's fun to feel the power of the wind as it takes the kite aloft and knowing that I can control where it goes and how it comes down even if it crashes. (Also Kaliedoscopes, Kids and Kittens)

L - Lloyd Allan MacKenzie. Love of my Life. Father of my children. My first boyfriend back when we were teenagers. The reason my life has been so happy. (Also Lemons and Limes and Laughing)

M - Mothers. The mothers in my life are M people - my mother Meta, and my grandmothers Mary Ellen and Millicent. And me, Millicent Patricia. I was lucky to have loving, caring mothers in my life. They set the example for me to follow. It's a joy to see my own daughters and daughters-in-law as they become mothers and raise their children in love and joy. (Also Movies, Mountains and Music)

My mother, my daughter, my grandson

N - Nova Scotia. Canada's Ocean Playground. I've always considered Nova Scotia home. Although we didn't actually live there till I was 18, every summer we'd go there on vacation and stayed with Mum's and Dad's families in Upper Musquodoboit and Jollimore, visiting both sets of grandparents and cousins. I love it there, the family, the beaches, the salt air. My roots are there. Lloyd and I were able to move back there from Alberta when our children were young and stayed for 8 years, having our 7th baby born in Halifax. We all loved Nova Scotia and I was glad to give my kids a sense of their roots. Although small, it is, in my opinion, Canada's most beautiful province. (Also Nuts)

Peggy's Cove, NS

O - Owls. When I was 19 I started my owl collection with a 2-ft. tall ceramic owl. Over the next few years my collection continued to grow. Then it started disappearing as children entered my life, combined with frequent moves, until I had just one left, in the shape of a napkin holder that was given to me as a bridal shower gift 40 years ago and has always and still holds mail. I love the look of owls with their big eyes and sturdy bodies. One of my little granddaughters found out that I used to collect owls and has given me several small owl figurines, note pads and ornaments in the past couple of years, so my owl collection lives on. (Also oranges and omelettes)

P - Photographs. My love of taking pictures started when I was a teenager and Mum gave me her old Brownie box camera (now found in antique stores!). I've been taking pictures ever since. As the only scrapbooker in my family I have become the recepient of all of Mum's photo albums and any other pictures that turn up. Now I face the challenge of identifying them, organizing and hopefully getting them into scrapbooks. I love having pictures of my family from so long ago...and the recent ones too. (Also Penguins, Princess Bride, Pretty Woman, and Pirates of Penzance)

Q - Quilts. Not so much the making of them (although I have done that too), but the having of quilts. My grandmother and mother were quilters and I have at least one quilt made by each of them, as well as by my sister. Wendy quilts the way I scrapbook. Her work is beautiful. She gave me a quilt a few years ago that is made up of squares Mum made many years ago and forgot about. Wendy pieced them together and did the quilting and now I have a beautiful quilt that showcases both my mother's and my sister's handiwork.

R - Reading. From the time I learned to read the Dick and Jane books in Grade 1, I've been an avid reader. Books have always been an important part of my life. I like fiction mostly - romance, mystery, supernatural, etc. Currently my favorite authors are Nora Roberts and her alter ego J. D. Robb, Dean Koontz, Jeffery Deaver, Kirstin Hannah, Elin Hilderbrand and Ken Follett. (Also Rainbows)

S - Scrapbooking. My all-consuming hobby for the past 8 years. I love creating layouts using photos, flowers, buttons, ribbons, embellishments of all kinds. It has been a source of great enjoyment for me, making me more aware of photo ops in my daily life (I'm never without my camera). It's also a hobby of collecting, and the papers and embellishments tend to take over whatever space they're allotted, but I think the resulting family scrapbooks will be treasures for the next generations to have. (Also Seashore, Sisters, Star Trek)

Granddaughter Kenzie likes to scrapbook with me

T - Thimbles. I started collecting thimbles in 1967 when our family went on a cross country road trip and I wanted to have small, portable souvenirs from all of the places we visited. I have over 100 thimbles now, including small silver ones used by my grandmothers and mother when they quilted. (Also Travelling and Television)

U - Universal Studios. This isn't necessarily a favorite but just something I'm thankful for. I love watching movies and Universal provides a lot of entertainment for me.

V - Vacations. We've had some fun vacations over the years - driving across Canada from BC to NS, driving across the US from Maine to Montana, and south from Alberta to Arizona. To Disneyland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, South Dakota. Deadwood and Hollywood. Tombstone, Mt. Rushmore, Washington DC and Washington State. To Vancouver. Huntington Beach, CA and Cavendish Beach, PEI. Through the mountains, across Prairies, past the Great Lakes from both the Canadian and US sides, to Niagara Falls. It's been a lot of fun. Maybe someday we'll fulfill our dream of visiting Scotland and Ireland.

W - Wendy Lynn McCarthy Oler. My only sister...not quite a year older than me. We haven't lived within 700 miles of one another since I was 18 but through the years we've visited and called and made a point of having our kids get to know one another. Now we're both empty nesters, our husbands like golfing together, and we get together more often. She's a quilter and a great cook. She's an important part of my life. We're going to take up sky-diving together when we're 80!

X - X-Rays. and related medical technology that improves our quality of health care.

Y - Yarn. I used to knit a lot before cross-stitching and then scrapbooking took over. I'm still tempted whenever I pass the yarn section in a store, to get some and make sweaters, mitts, scarves, etc. Maybe I'll start again - something to keep my hands busy when I'm watching television with Lloyd in the evenings. (Also Young and the Restless)

Z - Zoo. We've visited the Phoenix Zoo and the Wilderness Park in AZ in the past couple of years. Always a fun place to take the kids. The first zoo I ever visited was the Wuppertal Zoo in Germany back in 1961. (Also Zebras)


RH (aka Lucy) said...

What a fun list. I may do that sometime. You've had a very blessed life.

Mickey said...

How very touching Pat! We are such friends because I think that we have so much in common .
Thanks for sharing all your treasures. Love coming to your blog and find you have something new on it!

Anonymous said...

L is for Lloyd and Lemons....

Chatty Crone said...

You do have a lot to be thankful for!

Is that picture with the snow and berries in Canada? It is gorgeous.


JQ said...

Cute, mum.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Mom. - Mary