Kids Like it When Something Goes Wrong

Kids like it when something goes wrong

‘Balloons’ by Photopin

There was no need to hire a clown for my seventh birthday.

Six girlfriends and I piled into my Dad’s huge 1960 Chevy station wagon to drive to the skating rink for my party.

But his car wouldn’t start, so he got out and pushed it.

But he slipped and fell in the mud.

When he finally managed to stand up, he looked like he had been decorated with chocolate icing, which made us giggle uncontrollably.

He, however, didn’t find it as funny, and went into the house.

Then two shiny yellow taxis pulled up to the rescue. My friends had never been in a cab before, and their excitement made it the most memorable birthday party ever!

Later that day, my Dad said: “kids like it when something goes wrong, it’s more fun.”

That stuck with me, and often it is more fun when the unexpected occurs.

It often sets me on a better path.

The fight or flight mode when something goes wrong makes me use my creative energy to take action instead of overthinking the situation.

You can’t control the wind but you can adjust your sails

When the trains aren’t running or the car won’t make it up the hill in the snow, it changes my routine, and also changes my outlook.

It makes me appreciate how often things do run smoothly.

As I wait in anticipation for the unexpected to happen again.

Have you ever had more fun when things went wrong?

Hillarious Letter from an Irish Mom

Hillarious Irish Mom's Letter

An Irish Mom’s Humor

Dear Son,

Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive. I am writing this slowly because I know that you can’t read very fast. You won’t know the house when you come home. We’ve moved.

About your father, he has got a lovely new job. He has 500 men under him. He cuts grass at the cemetery. Your sister Mary had a baby this morning. I haven’t found out yet if it’s a boy or a girl, so I don’t know if your an aunt or an uncle.

I went to the doctors on Thursday and your father came with me. The doctor put a small tube in my mouth and told me not to talk for 10 minutes. Your father offered to buy it from him.

Your uncle Patrick drowned last week in a vat of Irish whiskey at the Dublin brewery. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated him and it took 3 days to put the fire out.

It only rained twice this week, first for 3 days and then for 4 days.

We had a letter from the undertaker. He said if the last payment on your grandmother’s plot wasn’t paid in 7 days, up she comes.

Your loving Mother, P.S. I was going to send you 5 pounds, but I have already sealed the envelope.”



courtesy of

photo credit: <a href=””>Trilliumdesign ~ Caroline</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

It’s Mother’s Day, Give Generously!

  • Be generous to mom

    Be Generous to Mom Today

    Be generous with:

  • time,
  • attention,
  • food,
  • drinks,
  • flowers,
  • phone calls,
  • visits,
  • chocolates,
  • hugs,
  • kisses,
  • and gratitude!

Make Today the Most Amazing Mother’s Day Ever!!!

photo credit: <a href=””>fabíola lourenço</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day


Happy St Patrick’s Day – Niagra Falls

Niagara Falls on both the Canadian and American sides will be flooded in green lights for Tourism Irelands’ “Saint Patrick’s Day Global Greening Campaign” this year. It is a way to say, ‘One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’, or C’ead Mile Failte, to all the Irish who have emigrated to Canada and the United States over the years, and to attract travellers and investors to Ireland.

In all, sixty nine famous locations and monuments in twenty countries around the globe will be lit in green lights to celebrate Irish friendship everywhere and to lure travellers to visit and invest in Ireland.

A few other notable locations getting the green light are: The Taj Mahal in India, Trump tower in Chicago, Disneyland Paris, The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and the Empire State Building in New York. UNESCO World Heritage site Petra, in Jordan, and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. The London Eye, the welcome sign in Las Vegas and the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.

Photo handout by Tourism Ireland

To My Dear Blog Readers:

Celebrate today

Celebrate today

I wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday, and, when the stress of hustle and bustle subsides, the time and energy to savor all the special moments, as you love, and be loved.

When we exchange gifts, we share ourselves – our time, our energy, our money, and our love. When we make our gifts, we give the best gift ever – our talent, expressed in a homemade card or cookies, cooking Christmas dinner, or building a snowman on the lawn.

We reflect back on Christmases past, and look forward to the New Year, but the best time in our lives is now.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” Alice Morse Earle

As you exchange gifts this holiday season, enjoy some quiet time to celebrate the gift of today.


Ann Hoy

the gift of a snowman

A Snowman Is A Gift for the neighbourhood

photo: photo pin

A brief history of Halloween Celebrations

Halloween scene

Halloween Jack o’ Lanterns light the night

On Halloween, I see more of the supermarket than the supernatural.  With my cart full of pumpkins, candy, decorations, and costumes for my kids – and of course my dog Rocko, I contributed to the scary amount of over $8 billion dollars that was spent on Halloween in North America last year.

Halloween was once a magical night for children to dress up as ghosts or superheroes and trick or treat for candy, but has been transformed into an all ages celebration, where adults wear scary masks, not to ward off spirits, but to drink spirits, (pun intended),at the bars and clubs hosting Halloween parties.

I have always felt excitement and anticipation on Halloween.  The anticipation as a child, waiting for my Mom to make my gypsy costume on the night of; as a teen, taking my niece and nephew trick or treating; as an adult, sewing my party costumes; and as a parent, hosting sleepovers with my kids and their friends watching Halloween videos and trading the frightening haul of candy in their pillow cases among themselves.

Halloween fun

Kids ready to trick or treat

Origins of Halloween:

The Asian version of Halloween is The Hungry Ghost Festival, held in the 7th lunar month, usually around July 15th, which the Chinese have celebrated for over three thousand years, coming from The Buddhist tradition, which has a superstitious twist.  Many, but not all Chinese, believe in ghosts, and offer food and gifts to appease their deceased ancestors, and those who have left their physical bodies to return to earth for the day.  They also burn incense to ward off bad luck and cleanse the spirits.  The month long July celebrations take place in many locations, including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.

An old Chinese saying is: “If you believe in ghosts there will be ghosts, and if you don’t believe in ghosts, there won’t be ghosts.

When I taught ESL for a few years, some of my Asian students talked about ghosts.  And, they were not the type to tell tales, especially tales from the crypt.  One student said he saw a spook in the library stacks back home in Korea, and another one told me about the village apparition that appeared outside his apartment building in Korea.

Confucius, the revered Chinese philosopher, born in 551 BC, said: “Respect ghosts and gods, but keep away from them”.

Hungry Ghost

Hungry Ghost Festival

In Mexico, the Aztecs celebrated The Day of the Dead for over three thousand years.  When it merged with Catholic philosophy, the date was moved to All Saints Day Nov 1 and 2.  The Aztecs historically used skulls in a ritual honoring death and rebirth, but the skulls used now are made of wood or sugar.  They believed the dead returned to earth during the month long event.

Today, in rural Mexico, people bring flowers and candles to the gravesites of their loved ones, then sit and eat the favorite food of their loved ones.  Many Mexicans in Mexico and America build altars in their homes dedicated to the dead, and place flowers, food, pictures and candles on them.

Halloween is also connected to the Celtic Festival of Samhain, or “summers end” in ancient Ireland, which was held on the Celtic New Year, Oct 31st; the last day of fall, before the start of winter.  The post- harvest land looked like death, with bony skeleton like tree branches poking through the fog, and they believed it was the time when souls from the otherworld could most easily enter their physical world, and they lit bonfires to cleanse the souls.  In the middle ages, Catholic missionaries renamed it “All Hallows Eve”; (All Holy Eve), the night before All Saints Day.

Samhain summer's end

Samhain summer’s end

For thousands of years, people have held celebrations at the end of the harvest, before winter comes, and have been curious about spirit.  Halloween is a harvest of candy and fun for kids, a huge party for many adults, and a boon to the economy.    Ann Hoy


sources:   Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach,, Hong Kong Tourism,, Hungry Ghost

Photo pin/flickr/creative commons.

photo credit: <a href=””>Professor Bop</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>  – Photos – photo pin/creative commons

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Thankful for the harvest of my life

“Gratitude is an inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is following that impulse”.

Henry Van Dyke

In our farming past, Thanksgiving was a celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the winter season.

Today it is a holiday where many people share a traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie with family and friends.

To me, it is a day to say thanks for everything I am and have, and all the wonderful people and animals in my life.  I have abundant love and health and joy in my life, and the more I count my blessings, the more blessings I attract into my life.

I hope your Thanksgiving is extra special!  Ann

photo credit: photopin/thanksgiving

Happy Labour Day Canada!

fighting for fairness - labor day

fighting for fairness

On the first Monday in September, Canadians celebrate Labour Day, in honor of the workers who build the countries’ roads and bridges, hospitals and schools, and serve in the public and private sector in numerous roles such as: firefighters, police, farmers and retailers; all contributors to society and the economy.

Labour Day in Canada began in 1872, when workers held a demonstration parade campaigning for fairness in the work place, a 9 hour work day, and the right to join a union and go on strike without being imprisoned.

The huge public support for the ongoing demonstrations prompted Prime Minister John A Macdonald to promise to repeal all laws against trade unions.

Trade unions brought safer workplaces, improved working conditions and higher wages and benefit plans. By 1883, the Canadian Labour Congress was founded.

*source: Surrey Now newspaper &

photo credit: Copper Kettle via photopin cc

Happy Birthday to My Forever Young Sister

Bob Dylan Forever Young

Ann’s Forever Young Sister’s Birthday



As we celebrated my sister’s birthday this week, Bob Dylan’s song “Forever Young”, played in my head. 

We had brunch at the stunning VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, and walked beside the Weeping Giant Sequoia tree, the sunflowers and the water lilies.  Pictured here are my sister, her daughter, and our two cousins.

Bob Dylan Forever Young Lyrics

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

lyrics: Lyrics Freak

Summer Beauty

My neighbor Lori came to the door yesterday with this  beautiful bouquet of cut flowers in a vase from her back yard.  

She arranged the stunning bouquet of white hydrangeas to thank me for watching her house and older kids while she was on holiday.

The beauty of summer sharing was expressed in her thoughtful gift.   

Another summer beauty (Rocko)is basking in the sun on the deck. 🙂

Summer's Beauty

Summer Beauty


I love summer!

I love summer picnic

picnic in Queen’s Park

My brother, my dog Rocko and I enjoyed a picnic on Saturday at Queen’s Park in New Westminster.

That park was full of life, as we strolled around in the summer sun and learned there was a wedding in the Rose Garden, a children’s petting zoo, and a  water park where Rocko stole a drink of water; a boy’s birthday party was set up to the right of us, and an outdoor fitness class started up in the pavilion, as disco music spilled into the air, and a large extended family gathered beside us for a picnic.

Shaded from the hot sun by the tall, mature trees, we ate potato salad and sandwiches, and happy energy abounded as we spent time in nature.