Friday, 15 December 2017

December 15, 2017 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   Years ago, we acquired a second-hand 4,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of a castle in Scotland.

    For years it sat on a shelf in the basement, and my Dad was always going to put it together, but we didn’t have a table or board big enough as the box said the puzzle was 57 x 38 inches.

   Then Dad passed away in 2003, and still the puzzle sat on the shelf. 

   Numerous other (smaller) puzzles were completed over the years, yet that 4,000 piece one never moved.

   Finally I decided it was time to do something with it.  On January 13th of this year, my niece and I took it off the shelf.  After measuring every possible surface, we started putting the puzzle together right on the floor in a corner of the living room.

   In the beginning, I had a bit of assistance from my sister and niece, but I completed the bulk of the puzzle myself.  All in all, it took me just over two and half months, but with my health challenges this year, that was actually stretched over ten months, and the final piece was put in on November 12th (photo, below).

   Many people stopping at our house would comment on the progress (or lack thereof) and say that they couldn’t do something like that because they didn’t have the patience.

   Yet, it isn’t really “patience” per se that is required.  Like any task in this world, it is love and enjoyment of the task that keeps a person going, and whether you are a “journey” or a “destination” person.  I really enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles so the task was not daunting - in the sense of impossible - as I knew I WOULD finish it, and it is the challenge of the puzzle, not the completed puzzle that I get the most enjoyment from.

   The puzzle has now been taken apart and boxed up again so it can be passed onto someone else for them to enjoy.

    This is also a good time of year to remember that the Christmas season is a journey to enjoy, not a destination to reach and check off a list.  We wonder why life is going by so fast, could it be because we rush through our holidays and milestones in order to reach the next one?


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Life's problems wouldn't be called “hurdles”
 if there weren't a way to get over them.
 - Author Unknown

Monday, 11 December 2017

Let Go

Some times you have to let go to see
 if there was anything worth holding onto. 
- Author Unknown

Friday, 8 December 2017


Abandon the assumption that something is wrong
 if people are suffering...
A person's suffering or struggle doesn't make them broken...
just because you can't fix what you see...
doesn't mean you are broken.
 - Barbara De Angelis

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


The first ripple of love has to arise in your own heart. 
If it has not risen for yourself,
 it cannot rise for anybody else, 
because everybody else is farther away from you. 
It's like throwing a stone in the silent lake – 
the first ripples will arise around the stone and then
 they will go on spreading to the further shores. 
- Osho

Friday, 1 December 2017

December 1, 2017 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   Sigh, it seems there are some misconceptions and rumours floating around about me that I  need to clarify.

   First, I have not quit the newspaper.  Which should be obvious as I am still the contact person, and I still write a blurb for this spot every issue. 

   That said, I have had to make changes in how I go about putting the paper together, and, the biggest change of all, is that I have had to get help with the twice-monthly deliveries as I am just not able to handle the physical effort on my own.  Even though I have had help, I have been along on every trip, in the car, giving directions.

   Unfortunately it doesn’t look like this situation will be changing any time soon, and, as I can’t always find someone available to spend the day with me, I can’t guarantee that I’ll always be able to get the print issues out to the communities in a timely manner.  The paper will be available online for sure.

   Second, I AM getting better, but “getting better” does not mean that I am cured, totally healthy, or that life is now back to normal.  FAR FROM IT!  All “getting better: means at this point in my life is that I am not loudly knocking on death’s door any more.  Thank goodness!  I still need loads of rest, I still need help doing things, and I am not supposed to have any stress - though I still haven’t figured out how to get around that one as just having a chronic illness is stressful enough, besides the stresses that result from not being able to do what you want, or need to do each day.

   I was told that I have been like a gas tank that is so empty and dry there aren’t even any fumes in there.  When I rest, and manage to get replenished, I act like I have a full tank, when in reality I may only have a few drops of gas, which are quickly used up.  Until I can get my tank filled up again, I am going to be limited as to what I can do on my own.

   Third, just because I am smiling doesn’t mean that everything is sunshine and roses in my life, because it is NOT!  I smile, because I am at heart basically a very happy person, and because smiling is the one thing I can do that doesn’t stress me out, or exhaust me within 10 or 15 minutes.  While there may be a smile on my face, the tears are a mere blink away and can fall at any time - and they do fall.

   My life changed in the past 5 years, and nothing is the same.


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Wednesday, 29 November 2017


Discomfort isn't always a sign 
that we're doing something wrong. 
If we're not uncomfortable, 
we're usually not growing.
 - Barbara De Angelis

Monday, 27 November 2017


It is only when we silence the blaring sounds
 of our daily existence that we can finally hear 
the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, 
as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
 - KT Jong

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Just because one door is closed 
doesn't mean all doors are closed. 
- Barbara De Angelis

Monday, 20 November 2017


Gratitude makes sense of our past, 
brings peace for today, 
and creates a vision for tomorrow.
 - Melody Beatie

Friday, 17 November 2017

November 17, 2017 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   When my sister and I were younger, our house was hit by lightning one night.  The lightning hit our TV aerial and travelled along the wiring, into the outlet cover was blown across the room, but the most freaky part of the whole thing was that the lightning went  horizontally into our metal TV stand just above all the LPs storied on the bottom shelf before it changed direction sharply and went straight up into the TV. 

   As a consequence of getting zapped, our colour TV became a black & white TV, except if we watched black and white movies - which always appeared in bright vivid colour.  Other than the quirk of the coloured vs black and white, and the odd loud snap and crackle when you least expected it (and the house was totally silent otherwise), the TV was fine so we didn’t get a new one, until it finally did bite the dust.

   After literally YEARS of watching the TV, and knowing that if we saw black and white it was really in colour, and visa versa, you’d think we wouldn’t have been surprised when we were able to watch shows and movies the way they were meant to be. 

   The first time we popped in the old John Wayne classic “Angel and the Badman” (VHS) to watch on our brand new TV we were sure that the TV, or the VCR, or both, were broken as the movie we were viewing was definitely black and white, and not in colour as it had always been every other time we viewed it. (It has since been updated in colour and newer releases on DVD are almost all in colour).

   We even scrutinized the video case in sheer disbelief to discover that the version we had was in fact a black and white movie.  As we sat there watching the movie we could remember the colour of each and every outfit and item of scenery, as well as the vivid blue of the sky! 

   Even though we had known in our minds that what we had been viewing before had been altered as it was being seen on a (for all intents and purposes broken) TV, that had been our “reality” for so long that when we saw it through a new lens (TV), it took a while to adjust.


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Wednesday, 15 November 2017