Christmas is my Favorite Time of Year

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There is absolutely no question; Christmas is MY favorite time of the year.

I love the lights and the decorations. I love the music, the carols, the songs, the heartfelt and the silly. My all time favorite song is “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

I love shopping for gifts for my family and friends. I love the food. It’s the one time of the year when I throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I love.

But mostly, I love the time spent with friends and family.

I haven’t had enough time to bask in the holiday season! I feel like this every year. There are just so many wonderful things about this time of year, and I can’t get enough. That’s probably what makes it so special. You appreciate things more when they don’t last forever! It also reminds me of my Mom/Dad and Mother In law. They have all passed on now, but they made our Christmases very special every year.
Christmas season deserves an appreciation post for all of the magic and wonder it brings to each of us every year, so here is.

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Beautiful Christmas lights are twinkling all around. Upbeat holiday music is playing everywhere. Seasonal drinks are released. Red cups at Starbucks anyone? Plus, it’s EGGNOG TIME! It’s finally appropriate to watch Christmas movies all the time, snuggled under a blanket with a hot cup of cider. PRESENTS! Finding them, wrapping them, giving them, and getting them. It’s time to bake lots of cookies and make gingerbread houses.

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Everything is sparkly.
I live in oversized sweaters, warm scarves, fuzzy socks and lets not forget the lined tights. Everyone is in a happy and in a giving mood! So much love! I love being able to say, Merry Christmas to everyone I interact with. Every night consists of curling up by the fire with a hot drink. I get to decorate every inch of the house. The tree is always my favorite. I make decorations, with the year on it every year.

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This elaborate holiday feast only happens once a year and is the most special dinner of the year, other than Thanksgiving. Family and friends from all over the world gather at one table, with Christmas chatter and laughter to fill the air. There are always traditional Christmas foods that are prepared using seasonal recipes and even the leftovers are popular. Many people will spend hours and sometimes days in the kitchen to prepare for a Christmas dinner.

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I have to say I really love all the holiday parties we attend and have. Giving to the needy. This should happen year-round, but Christmas is a great time to give back. There is certain entertainment that can only be found and enjoyed during the Christmas season. Beginning right after Thanksgiving, Christmas music is played everywhere on the radio, in stores, and on television. Christmas carols are sung around neighborhoods and in shopping centers. Christmas books and magazines are sold in grocery stores and in book stores. Christmas plays are performed on television and in schools. Sometimes it seems like there is no escaping Christmas entertainment because it is everywhere but that is what makes the season more festive. I just love the idea of Christmas. I wish that the Christmas spirit could last all year round (for some people it does–they NEVER take off their lights). And yes, I have already fully decorated my rooms for Christmas. It’s not ridiculous at all having Christmas decor all throughout November and December. As you might be able to tell, I love everything about it. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.

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Autumn/Fall

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Autumn is my favorite season. I love seeing all of the changes Mother Nature brings our way. The maple trees are especially vibrant with colours of red, golden-yellow and a combinations of both. The list is long but here are a few of my favorite things about Autumn:

. Changing of the leaves with all of the pretty colours
. Using my Crock Pot for Savory Dinners and Soups.
. Wearing comfy Sweaters,Sweat Shirts and scarfs.
. Apple picking is always fun at our house.
. Baking lots of pies and apple crisps.
. Sleeping is always better with cool nights and open windows.
. Most fresh vegetables are available at your local fruit market.
. With Autumn come lots of yard work. Fresh air is good.
. Bonfires are great too, having smores by the fire is a must.

Autumn is the “cooling off” months right between the hot summer and chilling winters. When the cooler temperatures of fall start rolling in, saying goodbye to summer is a little hard to do, but welcoming. I love going for long walks on the trails, hearing all the crunching of the leaves under my feet, plus drinking a warm mug of Hot Coco. Feeling the cool air enter my lungs and dressing in layers. The cooler air also reduces the inflammation of sinuses. Great for meditation, or just sitting by the water, or on a park bench. Everything looks so beautiful and peaceful. It’s not cold like winter, and not hot like summer, it feels just right. Also its the season of Halloween, plus many more holidays we look forward to. It’s always nice to spend quality time with our families and friends.

Autumn represent the preservation of life. During this time, animals prepare for the winter by storing their food and creating a cozy hibernation space. Autumn begins with the Autumnal Equinox. As the earth tilts closer to the sun, days become shorter and nights grow longer.

Autumn is also called “Fall” this is probably because it it the time when trees loose their leaves and they fall to the ground.
But why do we have two names for one season?
In the English language, calling the season “autumn” first began in the 12th century. But the word was not commonly used until the 16th century. This is about the same time that people began using the word “fall” to mean autumn. In the earlier days before refrigeration, it was also called “harvest” people would prepare to preserve their food, after harvesting.

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Balance. The Fall Equinox represents the balance between the seasons as well as the balance between light and dark, fall provides an opportunity for us to balance our self with our mother earth.
Change. In tandem with spring, fall is a part of a beautiful cycle of loss, regeneration and regrowth. The dead leaves and branches on the ground disintegrated and become part of the soil, acting as seeds and fertilizer later once the cold welcome the warmer weather.
Conservation. Farmers and critters alike work tirelessly during this time of year to protect the basic necessities of life. We as people also work to preserve our comfy abodes like the animals do with their hibernation spaces.

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of then all” – Stanley Horowitz

Get outside and enjoy Autumn.

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How Your Vet Sees Euthanasia

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How your vet sees euthanasia…..

So, you bring me this puppy – she kisses my face, devours the cookies I offer, and our friendship starts.

Several visits later, he starts to learn where all the cookie jars are in the clinic, and that lady in the white coat, well she’s okay….

Fast forward many visits later, now I am in love with your dog and your whole family because, well, you are just really really good people and I have not only watched that pup turn into a really sweet family member, but I got to watch the kids grow every year and be a very small part of your journey.

Remember that time she ate your teenage daughter’s thong underwear? 😝😝😝 yeah we all had a good laugh over that once surgery was done and she was recovered. Your daughter probably never forgave me for bagging that up and showing the whole fam-jam when they came to pick her up from the clinic.

So many adventures, so little time…..

And here we are, fifteen or so odd years later, having to say goodbye.

He’s got heart disease and I can’t fix it anymore. She’s got cancer and there is no cure. He has arthritis and the meds just aren’t working. I want her to live forever for you. I want that so badly it hurts. I feel like I have failed him and you when I have run out of options to keep them, and you, comfortable and happy.

So now it’s time, and I am supposed to be professional. Objective. I am the doctor. Calm. Cool. Collected. Always under control.

Fuck that.

I have known you and her for a third of my life, and most of my professional career.

But I keep it together. My superhuman amazing technicians have put the catheter in. My support staff from reception to assistants have done all the paperwork. Trust me they may not show it but their hearts are breaking for you. They have been there. They know. And they know you and care about you too.

And I have the needle in the pocket of my white coat. The same pocket that was always full of treats for him. I take a deep yoga breath and come into the room. Gotta stay strong now…….

She’s giving me that sweet look she always does, the one that is followed by puppy kisses and a glance at the cookie jar. But she is too weak now. She is ready. You are not. I am not. But this shit has to happen because we love her too much to let her suffer.

She would keep going as long as we asked her too. But we can’t ask her to anymore. It’s not fair to her. I wish our human hearts could be so giving all the time. I wish I could be the person my dog thinks I am. I wish I wish i wish I could find a way for them to live forever. But I don’t have those magical powers. I am just a vet.

So we kiss him back, not much left of his body that still works, but that old tail wags, just enough that I lose my shit on the inside but I try not to cry. Gotta stay strong.

Her body relaxes, she is in your arms and your are sobbing. Another family has lost one of its most cherished members. I put my stethoscope to her heart to make sure it has stopped but she is held so tight to your chest that maybe that is your heart I hear pounding or maybe it’s mine and all the blood rushing through my ears as I try so so so hard not to turn into a blubbering mess.

Confirmed, he has passed. You lay him gently on the table and we hug tightly as you go to leave.

The door closes behind you and I don’t know if you hear this, but I sob hysterically into your pets ear. She is gone, he will be missed, and you have to face what I know will be one of the hardest parts of today.

Entering that house and they are not there to greet you.

Please know that I know how you feel. As you leave the clinic I just wish with every fibre of my being that you never had to face that. I wish they could live forever.

And please know, I am so grateful that I was a small part of your journey.

Love always, Your vet.

By the end of this I was crying so hard remember my little boy Jonesy.

(Brookville Veterinarian Clinic)

A Winter Friend

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A WINTER FRIEND

This article is so befitting for all of us… take time to ponder… the last statement cannot be refuted:-

I FIRST STARTED READING THIS EMAIL AND WAS READING FAST UNTIL I REACHED THE THIRD SENTENCE. I STOPPED THEN AND STARTED OVER, READING SLOWER, AND THINKING ABOUT EVERY WORD… IT MAKES YOU STOP AND THINK.
So, please READ SLOWLY!

AND THEN IT IS WINTER
You know time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all those years went.

I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is… the winter of my life, and it catches me by surprise… How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those “older people” were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person in myself now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change… Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so… now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last… this I know, that when it’s over on this earth… it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are also many things I’m happy to have done. It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not in your winter yet… let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can TODAY, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life… so, LIVE FOR TODAY and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember.. and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

“Life” is a GIFT to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Remember: “It is Health that is real Wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

~Your kids are becoming you……but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good.. coming home is even better!
~You forget names… but it’s OK, because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything…. especially golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don’t care to do them anymore.

~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It’s called “pre-sleep.”
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an “ON” and “OFF” switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words … “what?”…”when?”…???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it’s not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is “sleeveless?!”
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet…. 2 of which you will never wear.

~But “Old” is good in some things:
Old Songs, Old movies …
and best of all, our dear …OLD FRIENDS!!

Stay well, “OLD FRIEND!” (Photo By: George Dannewald)

Tuuuba Palzoooa

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SO MUCH FUN

Wait! What? Tuuuba Paloooza what the heck is that? Well I’m here to tell you all about it.

There’s nothing more relaxing than slowly floating down a shimmering river with the warm sun shining down on you as your feet dip into the refreshing waters. I’m sure you’re all planning summer adventures outside now that the weather is consistently gorgeous!

In Ontario and the surrounding areas, there are tons of relaxing lazy rivers to spend your sunny summer days. The currents are slow and comfortable for you to enjoy some refreshing drinks while you float the day away!

If you’re looking for a super fun way to spend your summer days in the sunshine you should definitely add Tubing in Inglewood. It is a definite must try.

Credit River – Inglewood, Ontario
Conservation authority does not endorse navigation of the river, they did post a tip sheet for individuals looking to do some kayak, raft or tubing. With some caution, tubing down the Credit River can be a whole lot of fun. There’s no lazier activity than river tubing. It doesn’t get any better than sitting in a donut, soaking up the suns rays, having many laughs with friends or family, and letting the river’s current flush all your troubles away. I highly recommend it.

Dan and Mandy been hosting this event every year for the past 9 years. You don’t have to worry about a thing. They have everything under control, and if you have any questions or concerns they are more than willing the lend a helping hand. These two are such a great team when it comes to tubing.

Photos by Dan & Mandy

A Special Thanks goes out to Dan & Mandy for all their hard work.
Looking forward to next year.

Vacation Time

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Taking vacation is good for your health—really! … A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.

10 Reasons Why Vacations Matter
Vacations are not a luxury; they are a necessity for a well-balanced, healthy life “ as important as eating well and getting exercise. Here are 10 reasons to make them a priority in your life!

Vacations Relieve Stress—Stress is a true physiological response originally meant to help us and keep us safe. It releases hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine for the fight or flight response that was necessary for early man. However, in modern society, chronic stress can be destructive to our bodies. Getting away for regular vacations and leaving our every day stresses give us a break from the constant high levels of these hormones and a chance to repair some of the damage.
Vacations Help Prevent Heart Disease—Stress is one of the major contributors to heart disease and high blood pressure. Long-term studies in both men and women have shown that vacations can reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Men who vacationed regularly were more than 32% less likely to die from a heart attack. For women who vacation regularly, that figure jumps to 50% less likely to die from a heart attack. (2010 Framingham Heart Study)
Vacations Help Maintain Focus—Studies find chronic stress can affect the part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activities and causes problems with memory. Continuous work with no breaks or vacations can make people feel blocked and distracted, and have problems concentrating. Surveys show almost three-quarters of people who vacation regularly feel energized and more ready to tackle the tasks at hand.
Vacations Help Prevent Illness—There is a whole field of research called psychoneuroimmunology that finds stress and its adrenal dysfunction can alter your immune system and make you susceptible to numerous illnesses. It can increase your chance of getting infections like colds and the flu, as well as more serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Some researchers even believe that long-term stress may partially contribute to cancer. A recent survey found that people who take regular vacations report being and feeling healthier.
Vacations Improve Your Sex Life—There really is such a thing as vacation sex! Studies have shown that high cortisol levels associated with stress create a negative feedback loop in the brain and lower levels of sex hormones like testosterone, contributing to loss of libido. Surveys indicate people who vacation regularly reported feeling sexier, with greater romance in their relationships which equates to better sex!
Vacations Make You Happier—Neuroscientists have found that brain structure can actually be altered by chronic exposure to stress hormones contributing to depression and anxiety. Research shows that women who do not take regular vacations were three times more likely to be depressed and anxious. This corroborates a survey that found people who take regular vacations reported feeling extremely happy with an overall feeling of well-being compared to those who did not vacation. And many reported these effects lasting beyond their actual vacation.
Vacations Strengthen Relationships—Vacationing with your family or loved ones help forge closer bonds. Studies have found women who take vacations with spouses report feeling more satisfied with their marriages. Research has also uncovered a correlation between children academic achievement and summer family vacations. These shared experiences promote family bonding, which is priceless. Family vacations create more memories than any other activity. In fact, other studies have found people place a higher value on the shared experiences they have on vacations than the material goods they have acquired during their lifetime.
Vacations Make You More Productive At Work—Contrary to what it may seem, studies show that more vacation time for workers actually increases company productivity, and has been found to decrease the number of sick days taken off. Liberal vacation policies create improved quality of life for employees, which translates into increased work quality. Workers also report feeling more creative after taking time off, and more than 70% of them reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs when they took regular vacations.
Vacations Improve Your Sleep Quality —Studies have shown that people who take vacations and travel regularly reported an almost 20% improvement in their sleep. While on vacation, they averaged an hour more of quality sleep, which even carried over to when they returned home.
Vacations Help You Get Thinner—A majority of overweight individuals admit to mindless eating as a response to stress. Stress hormones such as cortisol are linked to increased belly fat and weight gain, which is linked to heart disease. Studies have shown that even when indulging a little more on vacation, people who regularly vacation feel more energized and are often more active on vacation. They were also found to have improved glucose levels and even had some weight loss around their waists.
And last, but not least, taking vacations can keep you young! Chronic stress is believed to accelerate biologic aging and the aging process. Why not do yourself a big favor? Make yourself a priority and take some time off. Medically speaking, taking regular vacations is one of the most rewarding prescriptions, says Dr. Leigh Vinocur
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