Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Good-Bye, Old Woman 2014.

OK, so there’s Baby New Year, but there’s no name for the old year that passes into history. Usually Father Time is depicted as the one bringing Baby New Year into being, or something like that, but he’s always around since time is always around.

I don’t feel a sense of difference just going from one year to the next. To me, New Years Day is just another day, except that it’s a stat holiday here in Canada & people who work get paid more if they qualify (if a person has worked 15 of the 30 days previous). I’m working tomorrow, and so I’ll get extra pay. It’s just another day, even though there is a sense of change in the air. It’s hard to ignore the signs of a new year approaching since so many people focus on it. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s natural, isn’t it?

I have to say that this hasn’t been the best year for me, but it’s also not been the worst. So that’s a good thing. Looking back, I can’t say that there’s been anything extraordinary about it. It’s not been special in any way, although there have been special moments in it. Mind you, there are always special moments in each year, aren’t there? I’ve learnt to look for even the smallest blessings and things to celebrate – it helps to make life more interesting and it helps to keep my attitude good.

I don’t count my blessings in the literal sense, although I do make an effort to see them and to acknowledge them. Despite some people’s views that there is nothing good in life and that they’re not blessed, each person is in some way or other. I know what it is to be so deep down into the well that I’ve hidden my eyes from even the smallest bit of light so that it’s so dark that I can’t see any good, but I don’t want to be there. If people take the time and make the effort to look for it, there’re good things all around. Sometimes they’re just wee bits of goodness, but they’re there. Yes, it’s hard to make an effort, and if you’re down in the deepest pit of despair, the effort to see that is extremely hard to make. If you do make that effort, though, it’s totally worth it.

No, I don’t count my blessings in the literal sense, as I said at the start of the last paragraph, but I do make an effort to seek them out and to acknowledge them. Sometimes I don’t see them ‘til later, and that’s fine.

I was off work this year until August, and then I started a job that I don’t like. I won’t go into it, but there’re many reasons why it’s not a good job. However, I am working and earning money, and that’s a good thing. I focus on the people with whom I work, all of whom I like. Some people I don’t like to work with for various reasons, but I like them as people. I’m sure this makes sense, at least to most of you.

Being outdoors is something I love, but I’ve not been out in it all that much in the past few years. This needs to change, and it will change. I get strength from being outdoors, and I’m always rejuvenated when I’ve spent time in nature. I feel closer to God in nature than almost anywhere else. Often I go on photo jaunts, but sometimes I go outside just to commune with nature. I love photography and capturing the beauty of God’s creation, but there are times when I just have to sit and be still and to enjoy it without feeling the need to capture it in some way. To be still and know that He is God….oh, what a blessing!

The best part of this year has been time spent with Dublin, and that’s been a lot. He’s the best part of my home, and it’s wonderful sharing my home with him. He’s funny and sweet and loving and adorable.

I don’t really know what else to say here, and so I’ll end this now. I hope and pray that 2015 will be an amazing year for me – there are changes for the better that I’m working on and will continue to work on – and for each and every one of you.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

NaBloPoMo January 2015

OK – some of you know that I’ve done NaNoWriMo in the past. That’s where you go through November and write a novel, or at least get one started. To win, you have to write at least 50,000 words. I started this year, but I didn’t get anywhere near 50,000. So obviously I didn’t win. I do love writing, though, and I love the challenge of NaNoWriMo.

Something else that I heard about a few years ago was NaBloPoMo. That is National Blog Posting Month. This is an ongoing thing, but it’s also a monthly event. Confused? Sorry! I’ll explain it now, and I hope it’s clear now.

NaBloPoMo started quite a while ago – I don’t know when, but it’s been going on for years. Each month receives a theme – next month’s them is “Habit.” There are prompts for each day, although I notice that the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) tend to be free from prompts. So while the thing goes on all year, it changes each month, and each participant signs up each month.

I signed up for next month, and I’ll be writing posts for January 2015 in this blog. I hope that others will join me, or at least read my posts. This’ll give me something to blog about 5 days each week, and I can continue each month.

Here’s the link to the prompts for next month, in case anyone’s interested.

This is the link to the blogroll for those who want to sign up and be included in this challenge officially. Each blogroll is only for a particular month. So this link is just for January 2015’s blogroll.

If any of you do sign up and decided to join me in this challenge, or if you have any other ideas of challenges for blogging, please share in the comments section below.

Happy blogging! Smile

Gingery Goodness

Shots of Dublin from today




Monday, 29 December 2014

Just Thinking


2014 is leaving us very soon. I can’t say that it has been the best year of my life – not be far – but it’s also not been the worst, and that’s a good thing. It was definitely a year of ups and downs, and a lot of that has been due to having a much better attitude than the last time I was off work for a long period of time. I also didn’t let myself sink down into a depression, even though there were days when I was quite down. I would start thinking about what’s good in my life, though, and then my spirits would start to rise again.

Yes, I suffer from depression. Not a chemical one like many people I know, but I still suffer from it. For me, depression’s part of my personality since I’m an emotional person who tends to go up and down a lot. When I sink down into dark times, it’s because I focus on what’s bad in my life and let myself get down so easily. I know that this is different from what others go through, although the symptoms are often the same. I am clarifying this because I don’t want anyone to think that an attitude adjustment is what’s needed for people to leave their depression behind. Nor is their depression due to a lack of faith or anything like that. Not by any means. Yes, my kind of depression is a serious thing, and some say that some kind of chemical change does come over me. Maybe so – I wouldn’t be surprised – but it’s still not the same thing.

I don’t know if this clear to anyone – I hope so. I don’t know how else to describe it – but it’s the best that I can do. I just wanted to clarify that I’m not trying to minimise what other people go through. Each of us has our struggles and pitfalls and temptations and weaknesses, but each of us also has our strengths and things that bring us joy, and we all feel deeply, even if we don’t show it. Each of us are capable of feeling the lowest lows and sinking down into the pit of despair, but we are also able to experience wonderful happiness and exhilaration. Not all of us show it, though. Some people are just more staid and laid back and quiet about things than others, and these differences – along with all the other differences – help to make each person unique and special and interesting.

The differences of each person are part of what makes life in general fascinating. There’re actually a lot of things that make life interesting, but sometimes it’s easy to forget this. I’m the kind of person who’s easily amused and am rarely bored, which is good since I’m sure that I’d bore easily if I wasn’t. I do get bored if my life’s the same all the time, but I’ve learned to look for amusement in everyday life and in various moments, especially when things happen to me, and that’s cool.

I am the kind of person to which things happen often. If someone’s going to slip or trip – but not necessarily going to get hurt – it’ll be me. If someone’s going to have something spilled on her, I’m often the one. When these things happen, I’m often annoyed at first, but usually I end up laughing over them, or at least let it slide off me and let it go.

I’m glad that my cat’s an easy going and calm beastie. He loves to snuggle and to curl up on my lap, and I’m glad about that. Some people I know have cats who don’t like that, but Dublin is one who craves cuddles, and I happily oblige him as much as I can. Of course he does more than just nap on my lap, but this is one of my favourite things about him. He feels confident that my lap is there for him when he wants it, and I’m thankful that he feels that confidence.

This is quite a varied post, eh? Oh, well! I just wanted to write and post something. I’m going to take a blog writing course early next month, and it’ll give me some ideas. I also know that there’re loads of ideas online, and so I’ll get some ideas for what to write. If you have any, please feel free to write them in the comments section.

In case I don’t post again ‘til 2015, Happy New Year, & may it be an amazingly blessed year for each & every one of you.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Squeeee!! Too Cute

"Squeeee!!" has become something I'm known for, and it's my go-to "sound" for when I find something cute; usually too cute for words. On Facebook, I'm well known for it among my friends, and it's usually elicited by kittens, or cats in general, as well as anything else that I find cute.

Today's Squeeee!! is the most adorable show around, Animal Planet's Too Cute. If you love cute baby animals and love to watch them grow ad begin to explore their worlds, then you'll love this show. Whoever came up with this show - and it was inevitable - had a brilliant idea. The narrator has a down-to-earth way about him that gently encourages people to follow the babies through the first ten to twelve weeks or so of their lives. Each episode features three litters of various breeds or either dogs or cats, and occasionally they'll mix it up and have litters of both animals. They've even had one or two episodes of other animals, also head-explodingly cute.

This show is completely non-offensive and super safe for anyone to watch, and it's harmless and something everyone can enjoy. Unless you're heartless and hate animals, but I really don't know anyone like that, thankfully! Who truly can resist the cuteness of a baby, whether it's a human infant or a kitten or puppy or foal or bunny or duckling or....? Well, you get the idea.

Now some people wouldn't think that "completely non-offensive and super safe for anyone to watch, and it's harmless" would be worth watching, but it is. It's an hour well spent, in my opinion, and I know others who think the same as me.

The show always features two or three babies from each litter as the stars of the show, and they show what happens to them when they're old enough to be rehomed away from their mamas. Their updates are also shown at the end, and we get to see how the featured babies are doing.

I just can't get enough of this show, and today Animal Planet is having a marathon of it, ending with the 1 PM episode. After that, it's on to other shows.

If you love cute and are prepared for an overload of sweetness, then please tune in to this show sometime - it normally airs Saturday evenings on Animal Planet - & be prepared for your head to explode and for your teeth to hurt from so much sweetness. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Hi, all! I hope that you're doing well. Some of my friends have already started their Christmas days, but here in Canada, that's still several hours away. Right now, it's almost 12:30 in the middle of the day on Christmas Eve, & it's a rainy cool day. I went out to run some errands this morning, & it was good. People were quite pleasant, & it was cool to just chat with some people, even if I didn't know them. I then came home & went to bug Dublin a little bit, just because he hadn't been at the door to greet me. In typical cat fashion, he was sleeping on the bed & looked sleepily up at me. Then it seemed to hit him that it was me, & he got a little bit excited. He started purring & happily received my affectionate greeting. Then he put his head back down and placed his tail back over his face, obviously telling me that he wanted to go back to snoozing.

So I left & placed the presents I had here into their gift bags and tissue paper. So that's done! I only have the one for my brother to take care of, & that's at my parents' place because Mom & Dad picked it up for me. I couldn't find one of what I wanted here in Agassiz, but that's fine. At least it's bought & is ready for me to wrap up.

I didn't blog yesterday, although I did intend to. Oh, well! I don't actually have much to say today, either. That's all right, too.

I'm watching Border Security, a TV show about Australia's border control. It's interesting, & I also like watching New Zealand's border control show. The things that some people try to get away with truly amaze me and the stories they tell are fascinating. There's certainly a lot of creativity involved, that's for sure! Sometimes I can't help but chuckle at some of it.

Two packages from South Africa were just X-rayed, & they look like they held snakes that were possibly live. *shudders* I can't imagine why someone would do that, unless they're trying to either harm someone or smuggle the poor creatures in. What an awful way for those animals to be transported!

A quarantine vet was brought in & confirmed that they were live snakes who'd been fed. Then they were brought to a zoo so that experienced snake handlers could open the boxes & see what was what.

Ai yi yi!! A green tree python is one snake. What a gorgeous green colour! I don't like snakes, although I know that they're not slimy. I had a huge boa constrictor across my shoulders, and it was weirdly cool to feel its muscles moving. It was actually kind of interesting. There's another kind of snake from the boxes, but I didn't catch what kind. Poor creatures! No creature should ever have to travel like that, & now they said they'll have to euthanise the snakes since they might carry diseases that'd wreak havoc on native snakes, even if they're healthy. What a shame!

I'm very happy! Today I went to Kent Outdoors, which is the local outdoor store. I was looking to see if I could find something for a last minute present for someone, but I couldn't. I did ask about a rain poncho because I've been meaning to find one, & the guy showed me a really good one. Yay!! Now I can go out in the rain for walks, even when it's pouring down, & not have to worry about getting soaked. An umbrella's fine, but sometimes it gets super windy here, & then, of course, umbrellas are useless. So this'll be good. It has snaps for the sides and a couple at the neck, & it has a drawstring hood. It's big enough to go over whatever else I'm wearing, & so I can carry a purse or some such underneath as well, and it won't get wet. Oh, how cool! I'll be able to go out into the bush, too, if I want. Oh, happy day!

Dub just left the bedroom - I guess he decided that it was time for snuggles. Instead of coming right over, he crossed the room, sniffing as he went, & now he's by my feet. He's such a little love! He really wants to snuggle, and so I shall move my laptop so that he can.

So I hope that each and every one of you is having or will have a very merry and safe and happy and cozy Christmas or other holiday if you celebrate some other special day. Blessings!!

Monday, 22 December 2014

An Introduction To Me

Long post below - sorry! I just got carried away as I wrote this. I hope you'll bear with me and read the entire thing. Not every post will be this long. :)

Aaw! Everyone, say hello to Dublin L. P. Knowles, full of gingery goodness. Some of you may already be acquainted with him and have come to know him through my plethora posts about him on Facebook and through his Facebook page, as well as through conversations and the like. Some of you may have not, but you will get to know him if you will follow this blog. As I type this, he is curled up on my lap - his favourite spot - snoozing. Being a cat, he does sleep a lot, of course, but that is not all he does.

This blog will not be just about Dublin, though. There is a lot more to me than my cat, although he is a huge part of it since he and I are together a lot more than I am with anyone else. I am not ashamed of that, and I am not ashamed to be a woman who is crazy about cats.

It wasn't always so, though. Up until the November evening Dublin entered my life back in 2008,
I liked cats but never saw myself opening up to one. Then Dublin entered the room in which I sat with my parents, brother, and his then-wife. Being a cat, he commanded the attention of the five of us, of course. He surveyed the room for a few moments before choosing to approach me. He stood up on his back paws, placed his front paws on the couch beside me, and laid his tiny chin on my lap. He immediately started purring and I stroked his soft head. He had a look of pure contentment on his face, and immediately I fell in love. Al and Danielle already had two cats and a dog, and Dublin did not get along with the dog and one of those cats. Al and Danielle would've loved to've keep Dublin, but they knew that it was not the best home for him. There was no way that they would send him to a shelter, and so they were committed to keeping him until a good home could be found for him.

After talking to them a bit about Dublin and the possibility of me bringing him home with me, I asked my landlady if I could have a cat. She talked to her hubby, who said that it was fine. So I made arrangements to bring this ginger love puss home with me.

8 December 2008 was a day that changed my life. I became a doting cat mama, and my life has not been the same since then.

In some ways it may seem to be the same, but it has changed. I have gained a lot of online friends - who are just as precious to me as any who I've met in person. I have met some of them in person, and they've proven to be just like they are online.

So what else is my life aside from Dublin, you're probably wondering if you don't know me. Well, many things. The main ones are my yarn crafts - especially crochet - photography, writing, reading, the outdoors, music, my family (parents and brother, as well as lots of good friends who're like family and a huge extended family of aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins), and, above all, my faith.

I am a Christian who can't recall never having faith. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to do what Jesus wanted me to do. I have not always done that, and I certainly can't say that I've always known what it is He's wanted me to do. I follow the Bible, though - which to me is more real as any other book and is God's Word in written form. I made a conscious decision to ask Jesus into my heart when I was five, &, while I don't remember what I prayed as I knelt with Grace Priest at her kitchen table up in Coppermine, NWT (now Kugluktuk, NU), but I do know that it was sincere. I can see us there as if it happened yesterday, and from what my parents have said, I know that it was real. Walking home from Grace Priest's that day, I was going down the road saying, "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" and raising my hands. What a sight I must have made at five years old!

At the time, Dad wasn't a practicing Christian - that's a story for another day - and he was embarrassed by my enthusiasm. He didn't care that I had asked Jesus into my heart, but he didn't like that I was being so showy about it. So he told Mom that she needed to help me not be so outward. Now he regrets that, but back then, he didn't think it was a good thing.

I was baptised by immersion on Easter Sunday in 1982. I was 12 years old, and it was one of the most important decisions of my life. To me, baptism is something that a person should choose to do as a way of following Jesus' example of the same as well as of showing outwardly my intention to follow Him and to be His disciple. In the church I went to at the time, baptism was not something that meant church membership. They were two separate things, and I think they should remain separate. Again, this is something for another day, perhaps.

I had a time of not-quite-backsliding-or-rebellion from January 1988 to 30 March 1989. I was questioning why I was a Christian. Was it because it had been expected of me or because I had made that decision on my own? Also, it was the time in my life when I did a lot of soul searching and wondered if I was really a Christian or if it was just an act. I know now, as I did at the end of this time, that my faith has always been sincere and that it really was all my own faith, that it was my own decision to be a Christian, but at the time, I had started doubting because of different things in my life. I might go into more another time, but for now, I'll just say that I ended up throwing away a lot of stuff that I had allowed to come between God and me. They weren't harmful in and of themselves, and they weren't bad on their own. For me, though, they were keeping me from what was most important.

Some people would say that if my faith really was all important to me and the most important part of my life that I wouldn't have gone through such a period, that I wouldn't have needed to go through any soul searching or wondering; nor would I have let anything take my attention away from God. It does happen, though, even to the most faithful of followers, and I do believe that I needed to go through that in order to emerge stronger and a lot more sure about things. I would've loved not having to go through all that, but I know now that I needed to, and I am thankful for it. It also helped to start heal me from some deep hurts that I'd just started to deal with. Even now, going on 26 years later, things still come up that I know stem from those past hurts, but I've come a long way. I do think that some things may never be completely healed unless some things happen in my life, but that's all right. I'm fine with not dealing with those things unless I have to. After all, there's enough in life without having to think about things that aren't necessary. I hope this makes sense, although it might not if you don't know the background.

OK, so Dublin and my faith are two big parts of my life. I am very, very thankful for both. God brought Dublin into my life at a crucial point for both of us. He needed a good home in which he was safe from a dog who barked at him all the time and from a cat who would lie in wait to pounce on him - Dublin got a nick in each ear from that other puss - and in which he was doted on and the only cat. I was emerging from a depression and needed someone else to care about and to shower love on. There are no accidents, and the meeting between Dub and I was not an accident. We were brought together, and he's been the light of my life and an amazing blessing. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for him. I tell him that I love him often each day, and we share lots of snuggles and wonderful moments. Of course life's not perfect, but there's far too much good sharing my life with hi to focus on the bad.

I'm a voracious reader. I've always loved stories, whether they're told to me orally or on paper or in e-form, or whether I'm writing them. I also love movies & TV because these are forms of storytelling, but my favourite way to take in a story is through books. Preferably on paper. There's something wonderful to be in holding a book, feeling the paper, taking in the scent. Sometimes I'll run my fingers over a cover if the print's raised, and there's nothing like having the words reveal themselves to me letter-by-letter. How many adventures have I gone on in this way? Who but God knows? I'm not even going to try and guess. Yes, there are books that I wish I'd never read or even heard of, and there are many that I've not read, despite how popular they have been. I've not read lots of classics that people think must be read, but then I've always done what I've wanted and read what I wanted. I don't follow the dictates of others unless I absolutely have to, and I think for myself. Sometimes my opinions are based on those of others who have great influence to me, but for the most part, my mind is my own. This has come through reading and through various experiences in my life. I think it's important to be able to think for oneself. Yet again, a topic for another day, perhaps.

Photography is another form of storytelling, although in a purely pictorial form. I love capturing what I see through this art form, and more often than not, I'm pleasantly surprised by how they turn out and what's seen in them. Sometimes things aren't quite what they seem, and it's cool to discover them.

Music is another love of my life. I have a good voice, and I'm not saying this out of vanity or any kind of arrogance. I'm saying it because I've been told so my entire life and I've almost always been involved in worship teams and choirs, and I've sung solos. I always play the guitar and flute, but my favourite musical instrument is the piano. I don't have one and I don't have access to one, and I miss it so much. There's nothing like ticking the ivories and getting lost in the music.

Crochet is my favourite craft. I find it easy, for the most part, and the challenge of new stitches and patterns is exciting to me. I'm also a bit of a yarn hoarder, but I am trying to use the yarn that I have. I also can't afford lots of yarn right now, but I can dream.

Nature is a love of mine. I can't get enough of it, although I've not gone outside too much lately. Part of it's because the weather's not been the greatest and I don't have the proper gear for being out in heavy rain - surprising, perhaps, since I live in southwestern BC, a notoriously rainy area. One day, but for now, I go outside on days when it's not rainy. I'm prepared for the cold and snow - I love the cold and snow - but the rain, not so much. I feel closer to God in nature than almost anywhere else. There's something about being in His creation that helps me to stay soothed and calm and thankful. Sometimes I take Dub with me - he loves being outside and I have a harness for him - and he always enjoys that.

My family - Mom, Dad and Allen, who goes by Al with most people. They are the most important and beloved people in my life. Mom and I talk almost every day, and Dad occasionally. He and Mom are having Al, Christy, Kim, Nic and I over for Christmas this Thursday, which is Christmas Day, and that'll be good. Christy is Al's girlfriend, and she's been such a blessing. She's made a real effort to include Mom, Dad and I in her life and the life of her family to some degree, and that's meant a lot. She has four children, and Kim and Nic are the youngest. Kim graduated this past June and is in college. Nic is in grade eleven. They're really nice. We also met Megan and Christian, Christy's two older children.

No, there's no romantic interest in my life, and that's totally fine with me. I used to really want to be married and have children, and part of me still wants that. It breaks my heart sometimes that I'm not a mom, but it's the way my life's gone, and I'm trying to deal with it. Still, I have Dublin, and he's always going to need me. That is a comfort to me, I admit. Yes, I wouldn't mind having a man in my life, but, as I said, I'm fine being single. I have a lot of friends who'd love to be in my place, and long ago, it made me realise that there're benefits to being single. Of course there're benefits to being a wife of a good man and being a mother, and I'd still love to know those blessings, but I know that I am where I am for a reason. So I look for the good in my life and thank God for those things.

I am open to love - I want to be clear about that - but I'm also not actively seeking it. If I did that, I know that it'd become my focus, and I don't want that to be the focus of my life. There're too many good things in life without having to think about finding a man. I don't need a man, despite what some people think about being alone. I'm an introvert, and I find strength in being alone. Sometimes I'm alone too much, perhaps, but whatever. haha :)

One thing I've learned about love is that it comes in many forms. It's not just romantic love that I'm open to. I'm open to the love of my family and friends, and, of course, of Dublin. I'm open to God's love, and I'm slowly accepting the fact that I am valuable to Him. I am His image bearer, as is each person, and realising this, especially after a sermon of a former pastor, really opened my eyes to a lot of things. It's been a blessing to start to see people in a different light, despite what some of my friends think. No, I don't like everyone, and I certainly don't want to know every single person in the world. However, each person has value, although its harder to see in some people than in others. I am trying to treat each person well, although I do admit to failing in this far too many times.

Thankfulness is huge to me. God has blessed with, and I want to express my thankfulness any way that I can. I try to say "Thank-you" to people as often as I can, and I like the Gwichi'in attitude that saying it isn't always necessary, but, rather, showing it is important. I do believe in saying "Thanks" because not everyone recognises a show of thanks, but I also want to be able to show my thanks, whether it's to God or to people or to Dublin, so on & so forth. Along with this comes forgiveness. I don't believe in holding grudges or in holding on to anger. I believe in letting go of past wrongs that've been done to me and to others who are dear to me. I don't think that it's healthy to hold on to these things. I do understand people doing it - believe you me! - since I've had wrongs done to me. I can see how easy it is to stay angry and to not forgive, but I've learned that it's unhealthy and that it's good and freeing to let go. I know lots of people who disagree with me, and we've learned to agree to disagree.

So this is a bit about me. I hope it's not too much to take in. I'm not totally sure where this blog'll go or where I'll take it, but I feel that I need to start it. I'm planning on making changes in my life, and some have started already. I won't go into any of that right now, but one of them is to start blogging. I used to blog all the time, but then I stopped for a long time. I just sense that it's time for me to start again, and I look forward to seeing where it'll go. I hope that you'll stick with me. Please feel free to leave me comments - I'd love to read your thoughts on things, including topics you might like me to write about.

For now, thank-you for reading through this long post. Blessings to you and your loved ones. :)