Vivian’s View From Here: A Couple of Ten-Year-Olds

Hi there, Friends and Felines!

Vivian K. Perry here,
with just a quick note before I dash away again:

Maisie and I have super-duper cause for celebration today.

That’s right.
My sister and I are celebrating a very special birthday.

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We have reached a whole decade!

Vivian

And hopefully, we can stick around for another one, right?

Maisie

We have to go now and get this Purry-Perry Party started,
so instead of leaving a comment,
why don’t you sing ♪ Happy Birthday ♫ to us?

🎈🎈🎈

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🐾

Head bumps & nose kisses,
 Maisie & Vivian

A Cup of (Extra)Ordinary

Nothing gets me out of bed in the morning quicker than the expectation of savoring rich, delicious coffee.

At least two big, fragrant, caffeine-infused cups are an essential part of my routine and a necessity to get my brain working. Later in the day, however, my beverage of choice is tea, usually of the green variety.

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I know; big deal, right? Why am I blogging about something so ordinary?

Because sometimes, something as simple and mundane as your cup of tea or coffee can be elevated to (extra)ordinarydepending on where you are, who bought it or brewed it for you, or who may be around to share the experience.

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Sometimes a cup of tea is made extra special when it comes to you as a gift – a pretty mug and coaster in your favourite colour, along with your first infuser, and a yummy variety of loose tea flavours from DAVIDsTEA. (Thank you, Daughter. 🙂 )

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Forever Nuts is my new favourite from there. How fitting. 😉

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Other times, a cup of coffee can be special when you get to enjoy it in a new locale.
Like the Caribbean!
And that is whether you drink it inside where it’s cool…

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…or outdoors in the incredible, tropical  heat.

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Morning coffee tastes particularly wonderful in Rome

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Of course, when in Rome, it should be espresso, shouldn’t it?
Perhaps cappuccino? Nope. I stick to old, reliable Caffé Americano– style.

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Java on the balcony of your room in Cannes also tastes pretty darn special.

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And during a dinner cruise on the Seine in Paris?
The pleasure of a coffee after your gourmet meal is hard to outclass.

But as delightful as you can imagine all of these cups of coffee and tea were, there is one cup of tea I remember the most with enduring fondness. Today in particular, it makes all the others pale in comparison.

It is the memory of Mom and I sipping tea together in the late afternoon sun…

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My wedding day, August 1998

…on an incredibly special day, made that much more memorable by an intimate moment shared.

Today also happens to be a noteworthy day for my family. To be able to indulge in a good ol’ cup of orange pekoe tea with my mother today, on her birthday…it doesn’t seem like a great deal to ask for.

But again this year and for the rest of my days, fond memories will have to do.

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Happy Birthday, Mom.
Knowing how much you always loved your tea,
this morning I’d like to imagine Dad putting the kettle on
and the two of you enjoying a cup together.

And I’ll raise my cup to you.


Jennifer

Vivian’s View From Here: It’s Our 8th Birthday!

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Yay! Vivian here, letting everyone know it is our birthday today.
My sister, Maisie and I, have turned eight years old,
and we think it’s time for us to celebrate!

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Maisie

Aren’t we BEAUTIFUL? 🙂

eba3da36477f5fdaf89e92ed57ad8552-e1429638008574Remember how we looked when we were adopted?

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Here is a small gallery of us over the past eight years:

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 Until next time, Maisie and I wish you all a purr-fect remainder to your summer.
As for today, don’t party too hardy for our sake;
simply enjoy a nice little treat or two in our honour.

We love you!
 

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Jennifer’s Journal is Turning Three

Happy Birthday to my little blog!

Actually, my blog will turn three years old on New Year’s Eve, but I thought I’d get a jump on marking the occasion with  questions and answers about my experience as a blogger.

1. Did you think you’d still be blogging after three years?

I didn’t think about it in the beginning. I only knew I was willing to see where it would take me.

2. Can you describe your blogging experience in one word?

Rewarding! This post tells why.

3. How has your blog changed from the time you started until now?

At first its purpose was to practise more writing of poetry and short prose to better prepare myself for the discipline of novel-writing. But my posts broadened quickly to include photography, still in keeping with my blog’s central theme of sharing what I love.

4. Are you a better writer three years later?

I believe I am. I think my ability has been honed, while my curiosity about everything has expanded tenfold. Writing a couple of novels definitely helped too. I hope my research and editing skills have improved as well.

5. What do you dislike most about blogging?

I keep wishing I could meet some of the wonderful people I’ve found here on WordPress. Or at least hear their voices. Come on, everyone, let’s vlog! (video-blog) 🙂

6. What do you love most about blogging?

It’s hard to choose only one thing, but I love to create something that readers can identify with and moves them to share their comments. Posting photos that others like as much as I do is gratifying too.

7. What advice would you give to someone starting a blog today?

Commit to a schedule and blog regularly. Be consistent and be yourself; in other words don’t try to be everything to all people. Don’t choose a theme with a white text on a dark background, or too many bells and whistles. Most people find it hard to read those kinds, including me.

8. What has surprised you the most?

Connecting with people who are like-minded, as well as those who have different interests and opinions. Besides it being an education, it is a great way to cultivate an open mind and form new friendships – even if they are the virtual kind.

9. What have you learned about blogging?

Most people are visual creatures. An image catches my eye and invites me to read in a way a block of text alone can’t. The writing still has to be engaging, of course.

10. Who was your first follower?

Carla from Seasons Change and So Do I. We started our blogs on the same day and we still follow each other. We’ve both been through a lot in our lives, and just as her blog name suggests, we have gone through significant changes since we began blogging. I’m grateful for her support. She feels like an old friend.

11. What are the most popular posts of the past three years?

I will qualify this answer with the reminder that I had fewer followers in the first couple of years, so the lists reflecting the most popular posts are also the most recent.

By reader views:

Greenspond – Part II
Friday Bouquet #11
Hello, December – Goodbye, Nano!
Christmas Renewed
Imagine (and a Birthday)
Wildlife of Newfoundland & Labrador
A Walking Trail, Bergy-Bits, and Other Pretty Things
About Me
To Sea by Virtue
Relics of Rome

By reader likes:

 About Me
Unexpected
Photo Challenge: Threes
Battered
Summer Lovin’
Cat Dreams
Vivian’s Room
Photo Challenge: Up
Remembering Rhonda
Is There Room* in Your Book for Me?

12. What are your ten personal favorites?

Thinking Out Loud
My “Backyard” – Part 1My “Backyard” – Part 2: The Beach
A Spanish Purr Sounds Just As Sweet
The Day We Met
If Only
She Writes
“That’s my father”…
Hey, Little Girl
Vivian’s View From Here
Autumn Walk on the East Coast

13. Anything you’d do differently?

I should have started blogging sooner. I have a vague memory of wondering why anyone would want to have a blog. Now I know.

14. Anyone you want to thank?

I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read Jennifer’s Journal. I especially want to thank those who have liked, commented, followed, signed up for emails, reblogged on WordPress, retweeted on Twitter, or shared my posts on Facebook. You all know who you are. 🙂

I also thank the lovely bloggers who shared their stories, advice and talent with me, supported me in my writing, and those who nominated me for blogging awards.

15. What will the next year look like for the blog?

I have three chief areas I hope to work on:

a. more opinion pieces, poetry, and short fiction to develop my skills for writing articles and short stories
b. better photography, thanks to a new DSLR camera for Christmas – providing I learn how to use it 😉
c. articles about writing, while periodically sharing what is going on with my pursuit of the craft.

~ J.K.P.

Is there anything you’d like to see more of in future?
Jennifer’s Journal would love to hear your suggestions.

Imagine (and a Birthday)

This is the last in the series of my best loved Peace Songs.

It’s also my beautiful sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Lynn. Love you lots! ❤

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one

written by John Lennon

 

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding

Sweet Daughter

05-10-~3 (2) My One-Year-Old Daughter and Me

Denise was born on a beautiful sunny day, just like today. She decided to show up three weeks before her due date of July 6th. Born at Carbonear Hospital, she was the smallest baby there at the time, weighing a dainty five pounds, seven ounces.
My life as a very young mother had begun!

Little Smiling DeniseDenise at Six Years Old

Denise was a happy child, but she was also softhearted, intelligent, and focused.

Bachelor of Nursing Graduate

She always worked hard to realize her goals.

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Happy Birthday, Denise! I am so proud of you, and can’t imagine my life without you in it!
Love Mom

Happy Birthday, Son ♥

Due to an interruption in our internet service, this post didn’t go online yesterday as it should have on my son’s birthday. My apologies!

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Christening Day

In the midst of a snowstorm back in the eighties, my boy decided to make his debut into the world. Because I couldn’t make it to Carbonear Hospital, Brian was delivered in the nearby cottage hospital, a high point for the staff there that day. He was a strapping nine pounds seven ounces, and I was thrilled to have a little boy, as I had a girl at home.

waiting for a piece of dough to play with from my batch of bread
waiting for a piece of dough to play with from my batch of bread

As most little boys are growing up, my son was a bundle of energy who kept me on my toes, but he was also super-affectionate.

How quickly the years have flown by! Here is Brian in his teens.

my handsome boy
my handsome boy
University Grad with Two Degrees
University Grad with Two Degrees

Happy Birthday, Honey. You have enriched our lives beyond measure. ~ Love, Mom ♥

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“That’s my father”…

Missing you on Father's Day
My dad in his younger days

When we were little children, my dad worked as a salesman. Sometimes he had to leave his young family to go on short business trips. On several occasions and if we were on summer vacation, he would take us along, and he would make a working holiday out of it. We loved to stay in whatever motel or hotel he booked for us. It was on one of these little motel stays that I saw my first TV program in colour (I’m telling my age here, for sure). And of course we enjoyed the novelty of eating in different restaurants each night.

Most of the time though, Dad’s job only required him to be away from home from nine to five, Monday through Friday. One particular day, as he was getting home just before supper, he got out of his car and noticed my little sister playing outside with her friend. He heard her as she turned to her playmate and said in a proud but quiet tone, “That’s my father.”

That little memory always made my father smile when he shared it with someone. Seemingly an innocent and offhand remark made by the youngest of his three children, those three little words meant much more to him. I know it made him feel proud and happy to be that father, that figure of authority and loving protector of his family. It was a responsibility he took seriously, a role that only he could execute with his unique brand of friendship, understanding and humour.

We had our dad with us through all the joy and the turmoil of growing up, and for many years after. He stood by me twice as I married, giving me away to another man who professed his love. But when we lost him almost ten years ago to the devastating illness known as ALS, none of us were ready to say goodbye.

Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad. He would have been seventy-nine. It was my wish to let everyone who reads this blog today to know a little bit about him. He was a man I was proud of, and still am. Why?

Because “that’s my father”.

My daughter, my dad, and me
My daughter, my dad, and me

Further reading:
Daddy’s Guitar
You Never Left

For My Mother

Last month was my mother’s birthday.  She turned 75.

For the first time in her seventy-five years, our dear mother wasn’t able to eat any birthday cake.  She is bedridden, in and out of consciousness on morphine, and dying.  There is every reason to expect – and actually, dare I say, hope – that this is the year of her last birthday, and that her painful battle with Alzheimer’s disease will finally be over.

Mom has taken a turn this past week, a turn that plants her squarely in the final stage of this heartbreaking disease. She can no longer swallow even liquid food, so we know the end is near.

I can hardly think of anything or anyone else right now. I dread what lies ahead, even though I said above that I hope this, her last trial, will soon be at its end.

Here is a poem I wrote over twenty five years ago, when my mom and I were much younger women. I made some changes, updating it to reflect the present, but the essential message remains the same. I love you, Mom!

Mother

When I needed someone to hug
You were there
Your arms outstretched and waiting, your gentle, warm embrace
Absorbing all my love.

When I felt the pain of problems
You were close by
Your soft, smooth cheek was soothing, your warm familiar bosom
Blotting out the fears.

When we begged a little comfort
From each other, over the years
With a love so unconditional, as one woman to another,
We shared our tears.

And now,
When you have reached completion
Of this, your final trial,
I will treasure precious moments, tender memories, my sweet haven
Because, Mom,

When I needed someone to love,
You were there.