They are Saints

imageMy WTF is not ready so instead I will tell you about my gratitude to all those people who came before my time and did extraordinary things with there lives. I had no idea that when I committed a whole year to reading about The Saints that it could transform my thinking and my actions.

I downloaded an app called “Saint of the Day”. You see the Catholic Church has proclaimed a least one person to have a feast day each day of the year. I read a one page bio of the saint and after about 3 months of reading these quick excerpts I started to think differently about my own life. These saints come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders and  nationalities and no matter what their circumstances they used what they had and changed other peoples lives.

I realized we are all blessed with unique talents. We all have them and we all have to figure out what those are and then actually do something with it and not hide or save it. The other half of that point is that we all have weaknesses and you don’t have to waste time correcting your weakness instead start using what you are good at because that is a whole lot easier and much more satisfying. In saying that one of my weaknesses is writing but here I am attempting to write because I still think I need to challenge myself but I am not going to worry about it or struggle to be the best writer cause I know what I do well and that is what I try to focus on each and every day.

Thank you to all of The Saints for being amazing examples of how to use your life with the gifts you have been given no matter how small they seemed.

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imageIt is Wednesday and I am feeling guilt for not writing in so long. I have all the excuses which of course really don’t matter cause when I make a commitment to something or someone I follow through on it because that is who I am.

Thank goodness for real guilt feelings cause those real feelings for doing something wrong propel me to do what I should be doing. I use to think that guilt was taught to me due to my “catholic” upbringing but I have come to realize that it is an very important feeling that I am in need of when I get off track.

Today is Wednesday and I don’t have a WTF written but
I just had to post that I am committed in getting my next WTF posted by next Wednesday.
Now that I have said it and written it down it will force me to stick to my commitment of writing at least once per month.

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WTF – Pat, My Father in Law

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WTF Wednesday : Pat

144Pat is a strong man’s man, loving, thoughtful, proactive, decent, respectful, a fiction reader extraordinaire, cowboy, ranch hand, cyclist, innkeeper, boater, golfer, swimmer, health guru and all around fix it man.

He is a husband, father, grandfather and a real estate broker who is expert at appreciating and enjoying life. 


In the Beginning

308I first met Pat at his home when I was dating my husband and I was struck at how my husband looked and acted like his father. I figured that if they were so alike that my husband would probably turn out to be a lot like his Dad as he got older. So I sat and watched Pat those early days and once I got to know him I realized that if my husband turned out to be anything like his dad then I would be a very happy woman.


Epic Then

378Pat was the first and only cowboy I have ever met. I was so interesting to hear of his vacations where he worked as a real ranch hand and I remember him showing off his new saddle for his next trip to the ranch in Wyoming.

I found out that this family was all about cottages. It seemed that Pat really enjoyed buying, fixing and then selling cottages. I had no idea that this could be a hobby for some families. Even though the cottage was 5 hours away we took advantage of it as often as we could each summer. The unique part of cottaging with this family is that they liked “boat access only” cottages. So that meant that Pat had to boat into the main dock to pick us up to bring us out to the cottage which took at least 20 minutes and lots of gas I am sure. Not only were we taxied to and fro every weekend but since I am Catholic I really needed to get to mass on Sundays. Pat without hesitation offered to taxi me in then drive me to the church, wait for me, then taxi me all the way back. I still can’t thank him enough for being so generous as to support me with this very important and spiritual part of my life.2006-08-Kids & Darmody & Mac 009

Pat being such a good Father in Law, willing gives advice when it is called for.  I will never forget when we went grocery shopping (when I was a young mother of 2 toddlers) and  I decided to just leave the shopping cart next to the car instead of returning it to the cart area. Pat looked at me with raised eyebrows and curiously asked “What had happened to me? Hint, hint! I got his very short but clear point right away and returned the cart. That moment has stuck with me for the past 10 years and I apply it to my life all the time. Whatever we do or don’t do effects everyone around us. 


Epic Now

2006-02-Family Vacation 108Vacation and Pat are two words that should be synonymous because if we are going on vacation then he is either helping with our kids or taking care of our dog or we are joining him at the condo in Florida, or a rented cottage in the Muskokas or Disney World for lots of fun.
As I said before, my husband is like his Dad and so when we decided to leave for a months vacation in Europe,  Pat easily agreed to take the dog and drive us to the airport so we could leave our car at their home while we were gone. To top off his generosity he emailed us in Europe and asked if we wanted him to take our car and get it fully tuned up and find new tires for it.  This was a huge aggravation for me that he just simply took care of without any fanfare. This example is just one of many thoughtful things that Pat consistently does for all of us since I have known him. Lucky us. 

University of Pat

1. Work hard but smart.
2. Take time to relax.
3. Enjoy life and don’t take it for granted.
4. Taking vacations must be a priority.
5. Be respectful of others no matter what you are doing.
6. There is a song that fits almost everything you are doing and Pat can sing it. 



Fantasy Fabulosity

IMG00025-20091019-1255Thinking up an adventure was so easy because I have been wishing for this since I met Pat. We would go to the ranch in Wyoming for a couple of weeks and I would work as a real ranch hand. After a week of training we would head out on an authentic cattle drive across the plains on horseback. We would work from sunup till sundown and then sit out by a fire eating cowboy food and maybe even have some ice cream for dessert cause this is a fantasy right?

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Vacation Gratitude


Walking on the beach in Florida

It really is not hard to find thingsto be grateful for when you are on vacation in the south.

What I have come to understand about gratitude is that it is the mental state you are in that matters.

We happily left for the airport so we could take an airplane that would whisk us away from the sleet and snow and deposit us in sunny Florida but the flight was delayed for almost 3 hours. I suddenly felt myself slip into an ungrateful mood.  Here we were stuck in this airport and we would be arriving very late but due to my attempt at doing this blog,  I decided to force myself to look at it differently. I took a deep breath and looked around and started to force my thoughts on how to be grateful for this delay.  I was amazed at what happened to my attitude and the feeling of peace that surrounded me.

A couple of  things that rippled from that feeling was that not only did it use up some of the waiting time and it made it more enjoyable but I was able to set a good example for my children as to appreciating the delay and not wasting my time grumbling about our silly  1st world problem as I would have done in the past.

So,  thank you Allegiant Air  for the flight delay cause it taught my children and I a  great life lesson and also for getting us here safe and sound.

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WTF: My Dad Victor

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WTF: My Dad Victor Maheral


My father is a dependable, loving, generous, giving, loyal and hard working man. He is the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back if you really needed it.

He is a father, grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, handyman, home builder, a sports enthusiast, crossword expert and a passionate Catholic.


In the Beginning

400My father grew up on Calumet Island in a large Catholic family. His mother was a hardy French Catholic woman and his father a strong silent Irish man. They married and produced 12 great kids. Who in turn provided many grandchildren.


Epic Then

371My Dad took on being a husband and father very seriously. He provided a good home and all the things we needed and wanted and gave us love and support.  He always put his family first and had my back no matter what was happening in my life. He would practice any sport I needed to get better at and encouraged me to keep practicing till I got better at whatever I wanted to do. 

He was a great school teacher. Firm but fun. Kids respected him and he loved what he did. 

His passion for almost all sports has to be admired. Some of my favorite memories of him is watching him play softball during the warm summer months and hockey during the long winter months. He had a bit of a temper though and had a nickname to prove it in those days. When he played sports he was known for playing hard and giving his all for the team and also getting kicked out of the game once in awhile. I think that eventually he became a referee just to even it out.  

The list of what he has done and given us would make this post very long so I will highlight  just a few of the most memorable like when he built my our dream home that had an indoor pool; ran a 5km Fathers Day race with me in Ottawa just because I asked him too; gave me a car and paid to fix it when I damaged it; drove me all the way to Toronto cause I missed my bus; help me pack and move my stuff numerous times from home to home. The list just goes on and on.

Epic Now

306My Dad has continued to live his life to the fullest.  He married a wonderful woman who brings him happiness, love and companionship. His spoiling continues and spills over onto my family now by bringing us our favorite foods, praying for us, calling regularly no matter if he is in Canada or Florida. He seems to get younger by the year as he takes on things like finishing our basement, chainsawing and clearing trees on our property,  fixing whatever is broken, babysitting and even home schooling my kids when I am struggling. What I most admire about my Dad is how he stayed by his wife (my mother’s) side and was her caretaker till she died.

University of My Dad


  1. How to be a real man.
  2. How to be a terrific grandfather.
  3. How to live as a Catholic person.
  4. How to be a leader through service.

Fantasy Fabulosity

114 (2)If I could magically conjure a next adventure with my Dad, I would plan for us to do the pilgrimage from Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral  to St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. We would enjoy the physical struggle of this 12 day walking journey and the opportunity to pray our favorite prayer “The Rosary” and of course end each day with our favorite treats, jujubes for him and dates for me. 

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Will winter ever end?

Will summer ever come?

Will summer ever come?

As I stepped outside it hit me. It was not cold. The icy wind didn’t seep into my clothes. I felt like I could just stand up and breathe in the air.
I suddenly realized how grateful I was that this insane winter may be coming to a close.
But then it dawned on me, that here I have been complaining about this awful winter. How could I possibly be grateful for it?


I had my “gratitude glasses” looking at the wrong thing.

Instead I should be looking at all the things that make winter tolerable like my nice warm home, my high quality winter clothes, my reliable car with winter tires on it and of course the money to heat our house and buy food we could not possibly grow at this time of year.

Now that I have figured it out, go ahead Winter…bring it on.

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40 days of Lent

imageThe idea of looking at each day to see what I am grateful for has already changed my perspective on approach the season of Lent. I always looked at the Lenten season as tough and kind of depressing until Easter arrived. It was all about giving up stuff and not eating all the good food and going to church a whole lot more.

But today, I finally got it!

Lent is an opportunity to be more peaceful, take time to pray and just say no to all those things that clutter and distract me.

How cool is that?

During the rest of the year, I make excuses,  sometimes feel obligated to do other things that are really not productive, or simply waste time like browsing the internet reading random stuff or watching another season of some t.v. show on Netflix.

Today, after just one week into the Lenten season, I am grateful for the focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I look forward to immersing myself in it and hopefully coming out the other end a little bit better.


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