A Card For Mom — Memories For Me

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Beach at Bayfield, Ontario

This photo was one of many taken on a trip to Bayfield in September 2010. I like it very much but, at the same time as it soothes me, it reminds me of a sad time.

Almost seven years ago, seven of Mom’s eight children went to her home in Vanastra for the last weekend visit, and packed up her belongings. Her house and car would be sold and she would move to a new residence. Her dementia had advanced to the stage that we felt she was not safe alone.

On this particular day almost seven years ago, we walked along the beach and enjoyed the view and the fresh breeze. It was actually quite nippy, and I remember I gave Mom my yellow hooded jacket to wear over hers. She had turned into a rather “skinny little Minnie” in the few months since her partner had died, and she was cold. She was in no hurry to leave, though, perhaps because she too, felt it was soothing in a way.

She had been troubled seeing so many of her “things” going out of her home to end up who-knew-where! We had to tell little white lies and say that her kids were going to be taking them home and using them. She wanted to be sure they were not going in the garbage. It was heart-breaking to see and feel her turmoil. Items that she had collected, but hadn’t seen for many years were suddenly very, very important to her.

At the beach, some of us collected seashells and driftwood, and others collected photos of the same. One brave soul even went in for a swim. We all tried to cheer Mom up with small talk and hugs. She was alone and lonely; sad and scared; and probably in the throes of a depression. None of those feelings were helped by her advancing dementia.

In spite of all this, I sent this “Mom-day card” today. And just in case she does recall the time, I balanced  the possible sadness with a reminder of how she had gobbled up a huge ice cream cone before we went home.

I’m Vending My Wares

I’ve just recently begun offering to display and sell Audities’ Cards in seniors’ residences. To date the cards have been well-received by the residents, so I will continue.

This choice has given me yet another excuse to design a sign to promote my craft.

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If you have suggestions and contact information for me, I would be grateful. Thank you.

Nine Months Later

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Actually, there are quite a number of rounded bellies in my yard, leading me to worry. Where will all this snow go? There is only so much that sublimation can take care of, right? How much will be left to melt in the spring? And where will the melt water go?

I’m guessing that if we get a lot of sun and wind, and the weather stays cold, then a lot of this snow will disappear before we get to the melting stage. Hmmm. Does anyone know? Google, here I come.

Plans Becoming Routines = Success

This post has been jiggling around for awhile, so today is the day! 😉

My sample of one of Mom’s recent cards. She has no serious arthritis, so I’m hoping she will enjoy some colouring too.

When my dear Daddy was not well and mostly house-bound with emphysema, I had a habit of sending him postcards, with almost every square millimetre filled with words or drawings and colours. There was no special schedule, but I sent dozens to him over the last couple of years of his life. And it always made me happy to think of him receiving them.

I have had plans to do the same for Mom who is in a senior’s residence where, in spite of her dementia, she is very happy and comfortable. Although she is well taken care of, she does have her down moments, so I believe that receiving happy snail mail could serve to perk her up when she needs a lift.

So, yes, I have had these plans. And, yes, I have sent cards semi-frequently. But! This is the House of Cards! I am the card lady! I can do better than that to Show I Care!

So, I have decided to make it a routine to send out a card every Monday morning. I have three back-to-back weeks under my belt, so I’m well on my way to a routine. 😉

What routines have you created to help you carry out your plans and good intentions?

A Tough Decision — But I Made It

I thoroughly enjoy my three hours of volleyball every Saturday morning! Thoroughly!


But with the weather and road conditions today, I have decided to stay out of the traffic. And away from the unnecessary risk of fender benders or worse.

This is a rare moment indeed. But we have to do what we are compelled to do. And today I am compelled to stay home and spend the three hours playing in the snow instead of fighting through it to play on the courts.


Thinking For Myself in 2018

As I go about my busy life, I get many reactions:

To Share is to Care
  • “What?”
  • “You’re kidding!”
  • “Why?”
  • “That’s just weird.”
  • “I don’t understand.”
  • “You had better be careful!”

And, every summer, when I spend a week with my five sisters and their hubbies, I hear many variations of the same surprised reactions. And the reason is simple: I think for myself, and once I reach my conclusions, I act on my beliefs — no matter how unconventional. Unfortunately for my brothers-in-law, I also share most of these ideas with my more adventurous sisters. 😉 Some of the men call me a witch; they blame me for getting their wives into things they consider “weird.”

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Systems & Whatnot — Why not?

The insomnia of the wee hours in the dark can trigger such ambitious and lofty plans! And, when we’re lucky, these moments trigger an amazing clarity of purpose and even a detailed visualization on the procedure required.

One of my most recent sleepless nights stirred up a wild and crazy need to organize, arrange, codify and, in essence, overhaul my non-existent greeting card inventory system.

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A jumble of treasures within a rather loosely structured vague shell.

There was no real  pressing reason to do this now, but since I am trying to grow a business, I felt that I should have a system to keep tabs on my stock! And, do you know something? Even building the system was fun!

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Colour Me Happy

According to some researchers, there are health and psychological benefits to spending time on a childhood activity we once loved: colouring.
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Perhaps, as a New Year’s gift, you would like to treat yourself to a box of quality coloured pencils. Then you can do a trial run with a 5 X 7 Audities’ Card and see if you like the activity well enough to move on to colouring books.

Check out my growing collection and add colour to your life today.

Sneak a Playful Peak

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My inner child delights in these illustrations, so this Audities’ Cards for Children gallery is not playing hide and seek – it is growing. Why don’t you stop by and have a look? And then tell me which one speaks to your childhood memories.

Families Know How to Show They Care

At Terrasse en Art this past Sunday, Audities’ Cards was truly fortunate to meet and talk with many delightful people. Thank you to all for being there with us.

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There was, however, one especially wonderful person who totally enthralled me with her story. Like me, she comes from a large family of many, many children. And, like me, she believes in sending real snail mail to her brothers and sisters! Imagine my joy at meeting this kindred spirit! Thank you, Di!

The card above is an example of my most recent inspiration: greeting cards with space for you to write a name or your own greeting on the cover. How much more personal could one be?

Terrasse-Vaudreuil en Art!

Terrasse en Art November 26th! Yes! Be there, or be square! 🙂IMG_0957 (1)

And speaking of square, Audities’ Cards will be there — with a Square!

Why should you care? Well, it means that you will have the convenience of making your purchases with a credit card or with an interact card. Cash, of course, is always welcome, … and extremely convenient too!

While quantities last, with every purchase, you may select one of a dozen lovely bookmarks. You may also choose a circular envelope seal for each card you buy — so long as quantities last.

We have a selection of cards with French, with English, and with no text.  Most feature blank interiors that are ready for your personalization, and thus, perfect for many different occasions. Perhaps you’d like to take a look before the event so you have an idea what to expect.

Watch also for a few photos taken in Terrasse-Vaudreuil. These would be great to send to your family and friends: Show You Care with scenes of the beautiful little town you live in.

I look forward to seeing you at Terrasse en Art on Sunday, November 26th — that’s in less than two weeks — in our beautiful little town community centre.

Be there or be square. 😉

House-of-Cards Party

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This afternoon, after playing three hours of volleyball, I and 10 other players spent a lovely few hours together in the home of our friend, Darlene. She had kindly offered to host the get-together so that Audities’ Cards could exhibit their collection. While nibbling on the generously provided delectables, the girls had a relaxing time chit-chatting and shopping from the hundred or so selections of greeting cards. What a delightful time we had.

Thank you, Darlene, and thank you, friends.

I’ve been thinking that with Kevin Spacey’s series being cancelled, perhaps we could call this kind of get-together a “House of Cards Party.”

Perhaps you too would be interested in hosting such a gathering?

Dialogues in the Park

I don’t know if we asked the right questions, nor if we found the right solutions, but I do know that it was a beginning — perhaps.


Last evening, in one of my town parks, a handful of citizens met to shake hands and talk with the mayor and four candidates for the upcoming municipal election. And it was good. For someone, like yours truly, who is mostly too intimidated to stand up at council meetings, it was a chance to share my voice, and to be heard. There were two “secretaries” taking notes as we sat on, and stood around, the bleachers and tossed out our ideas, our compliments, and our criticisms. It was an informal, but maybe effective way to communicate, and possibly it will help to bring about change. Change that we all say we want: transparency and a response to our particular needs as residents in this small town.

There is no way elected representatives can know what we need if we don’t interact with them and tell them directly what is important to us. And this was an opportunity to do just that.

From what I understand, this relaxing get-together will be repeated next Wednesday at the beach, although probably not for a swim. Why don’t you join in and help make a difference? This is such an easy way to make sure your perspectives/opinions will be taken into consideration when the newly elected council meets. Let’s make a concerted effort to have a truly representative local government that acts on the behalf of all of us.

Marie Antoinette’s Painter — Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Although I am not a painter, I feel inspired by the life of this woman.

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Born in 1755, I would guess this prolific artist must have been quite happy and fulfilled — she painted 660 portraits and 200 landscapes in her lifetime, and died just before her 87th birthday. Perhaps it was the exposure to intrigue and nobility. Alas, I don’t have much of that in my life.

Alas, too, I missed seeing this exhibit in New York last year. I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it.

Six Years Ago Today I Retired

Now I’m free to relax as much as I like!

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And that, indeed, is the challenge — we retirees don’t relax. Instead, we follow our interests wherever they lead, and then we end up so busy that we wonder how we ever had time for a career.

But it’s all good — I have never been too keen on long boring meetings in make-work projects for the Ministère de l’Éducation. These days, they are never on my agenda.

What do you do, in your retirement, to stay out of mischief?


Back to Healthy Habits

My sleeplessness in Terrasse was a wake-up call. 🙂 But now I’m getting back on track.
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Unfortunately, all my good routines and well-developed habits, got lost when I was taken off the rails by recent stressful events. (Yes, priorities have a way of taking control.) So, for a variety of reasons, I stopped walking every morning, listening to Weston A. Price Foundation – Wise Traditions podcasts, dry brushing, making and drinking beet kvas, making and drinking bone broth and eating naturally fermented sauerkraut every morning. I also missed out on seeing what was going on in the “hood” — on a normal day. Add these changes to the additional mental load of “figuring-out and planning,” and I got what I got!

So, having just returned from a 5 km tour of my town, and re-learning what I already knew about gut microbes, I am all set to peel some beets. 😉

Donna, I’m going to catch up to you again.