Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hello 2016

Scraps of Joy has moved to 

Hey there. I have recently moved my blog to a new location. I have moved some of my favourite posts over to the website and I will be posting there from now on.

Thanks for visiting here and if you'd like to receive notification by email every time I post something new, go ahead and sign up over there at the new location.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Movin' on Over

Hey there. I have recently moved my blog to a new location. I have moved some of my favourite posts over to the website and I will be posting there from now on.

Thanks for visiting here and if you'd like to receive notification by email every time I post something new, go ahead and sign up over there at the new location. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On a Morning Ride

I am up early today - only because I have an early morning appointment with my trainer. But when she texts that she is too ill to be there I decide to go for a bike ride.

I love my bike - a gift for my birthday last year. We bought it in a unique shop called Lifa, in the quaintest of quaint little towns on Lake Winnipeg while we were visiting Sweetie, The Lion, and dear Little Man.

It is an aqua, new-fangled, old-fashioned style Electra Super Deluxe Cruiser with whitewalls and wicker saddle bags. It also boasts a chic bicycle bell on the handlebar that goes BING-BONG like a doorbell.

I start my ride while the cats are still prowling and ride for 20 minutes before the first of the dog-walkers appears.

A half-ton backs out of his drive and turns in my direction. I pull further over to the side of the street as I think that the bright sun behind me is blinding in his eyes and, mixed with early morning grogginess, he might not see me.

That would be a tragic and painful end to this lovely morning ride.

And it is a lovely ride. I breathe in the fresh air and feel benevolent to all mankind.

I take time to look around me. (I try looking above me to watch the sky but I'm not that gifted with balance)

Oh! That pink and white mixture of petunias is pretty, trailing out of those pots. I might try that combination next year.

I drive down paved and non-paved alleys and find myself wondering who decides when the pavement in the alley ends? And why? 

Nearing the end of my ride, I finally see people. A couple sits on the front steps in T-shirt and bathrobe, coffee cups in hand. A few doors down, an older man moseys down the driveway looking rumpled and dreamy, and carrying a pail of water for his annuals.

I turn down my alley which, as it happens, is not paved. But I like it that way. And I love the predictability of Ace, the neighbour's dog, who barks at me through her fence.

I see home and our mature backyard checkering through the dark fence as I ride by. The oak tree stands guard near the gate while the russian olive's branches whisper over the fence. I glance at the tallest tree in the yard - the kindergarten tree. People who have lived here since the birth of the neighbourhood tell me that one day over thirty years ago, all the kindergarten kids came home with tiny evergreen saplings. And so, everyone has an evergreen somewhere in their yard. 

What a nice place, I say to myself. 
Cozy. Homey. So thankful for my lovely home and for the job provided to The Cowboy, enabling us to enjoy our comfortable home.

For a while now I’ve been wondering if I am no longer a morning person. Lately my mind and my energy have been revving up in the late afternoon and at bedtime. 

I used to write best in the mornings. 

But I’m reminded why I love early mornings. 
It's the quiet. The air. The tranquility. The freedom. The ideas. The words ...

The words. 

I put my bike in the garage. 

In the house I look at the clock, surprised to see that I rode for over an hour. I grab a glass of water and sit down at the table. Open my laptop.

And the words flow.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Joy and Pain, Pain and Joy

I have spent more than a week in a great deal of pain.

The kind of pain that consumes your life. 

And takes your breath away.

I didn’t know it took my breath away until after multiple medical appointments to get it figured out, and as soon as the pain medication I was finally prescribed kicked in, I suddenly felt like I could breathe.

I always thought I had a high threshold for pain – I even had doctors tell me so – but this week I almost couldn’t take it. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but there was absolutely no position whether sitting, standing, laying, walking, crouching, or curled up in the fetal position that I wasn’t inwardly screaming.

Partway through wallowing in this ordeal it dawned on me that I’d better start practicing what I preach. I have stated – in this blog - that joy is something you can choose. Well, what better time to prove it!

I feel I need to say here that I’m not making a statement about mental illness. I’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness and can’t speak for those who have. I have no idea if choosing joy is an option in those circumstances, though it would be an interesting study.

In my present circumstance, however, I decided to peer through the pain and locate some of my best “joy bubbles” on which to focus.  Things that set the joy bubbles … well, bubbling.
I eventually came up with 25, some of which I put into practice and others I spent time thinking about.

Here they are in no particular order:


1.              Pink
2.              An actual real letter in the mail for me
3.              The way my grandson calls me Maa-ma
4.              Creativity
5.              The meadowlark's song
6.              Cloud watching
7.              A new bookmark
8.              Walking down a school hallway when everyone else is in class
9.              Just stepping IN to a fine arts college or university, where the creativity in the air is distinct and palpable.
10.          Presents – for me                                   
11.          A full pantry
12.          New piano music to learn
13.          Surprises of kindness
14.          Sky
15.          Wind
16.          The sound of the English horn
17.          Yellow roses
18.          An organized drawer
19.          Good music played/sung well
20.          A surprising and well-turned phrase               
21.          The smell of clover
22.          Wild daisies
23.          Walking barefoot in soft grass
24.          Quiet
25.          A genuine smile from a stranger

And you know what? It worked. It got my mind off the pain and focused on my many gifts from God, and His goodness to me - through people, through nature, through music.

Later in the week I happened to exclaim, “What a great day!”
To which the Cowboy remarked, “That is quite the pain medication.”

Little did he know that, pain medication aside, I had decided to choose joy.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Me, the Corner-Folder

A few years ago when a friend lent me her book over the summer, I remember telling her, “Don’t worry, I use bookmarks. I don’t fold corners. I don’t roll covers. I don’t make marks …” 

It has always been my intent to return a book in the same condition in which it was lent.

But in recent months I’m almost horrified to realize … I have become a corner-folder!!

How could this happen?

Me. A lover and respecter of books and all things book related. Now I am dishonouring these best-loved items by folding over corners?

And to top it all off … yes, I admit it here for the first time … I have been rolling covers back as I read. You know, the front cover and all the pages I’ve already read are rolled back in my left fist as I read on.

What has happened to me?

I wonder if it goes along with that whole over-a-certain-age-you-don’t-care-what-anybody-thinks-anymore season I’m in.

I find myself compelled to analyze this:
- I don’t fold corners to mark the last page I read. I still use bookmarks. I love bookmarks. Give me a bookmark for Christmas and it’s like I just won a trip to Disneyworld.

- I fold corners when I don’t have a pen and paper (or my quote book) handy to write down something I want to remember … something I deem quotable.

- If the deemed-quotable quote is near the top of the page I turn down the corner at the top. If it is near the bottom, the corner at the bottom is turned over. Then, when I’ve had a chance to write down the quote somewhere, I unfold the corner. It’s a very organized system. And yes, if the deemed-quotable quote is in the middle of the page I really DO sit there thinking, Now what?? I have a hard time deciding whether to turn down the top or the bottom corner in that case. I’m just finicky like that.

As I analyze this further I realize that I am only a corner-folder-cover-roller on my own books.

Thank heavens I still respect other people’s books.

This recent realization has brought me to wondering … what else is going to show up? If the corner-folder in me rearing it’s alluring head these days really has to do with the over-a-certain-age-you-don’t-care-what-anybody-thinks-anymore season I’m in, then what else has been lying dormant, ready to pounce when I’m least expecting it?

It’s like the secret rebel in me has been waiting for this season of my life. Who knows what will happen next. Yes, you can still lend me a book without risk of it returning to you damaged. But who knows how long that will last? I certainly don’t!

Should I be seeking help?

Or should I resign myself to the fact that the secret rebel in me will inevitably appear from time to time? And just look forward to the surprises?

Hello, my name is Joyous and I’m a Corner-Folder.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

After 800 Metres ...

Not long ago the Cowboy, Babe, & I attended a family wedding near Vancouver, BC. Our GPS was very helpful that wedding day. In fact, we counted on that confident female voice telling us where to go as we navigated unfamiliar streets.

But on our 13-hour drive home through the mountains it wasn’t necessary. We knew where we were going.  So it came as a funny surprise to suddenly hear that confident female voice break in after 200 kilometres of complete silence. 

“After 800 metres, go straight ahead.”


I started giggling. Partly because it was such a shock after 2 hours of nothing, but mostly because there was nowhere to go BUT straight ahead.

After my little chuckle I started thinking … sometimes it’s nice to have confirmation that you’re heading in the right direction. And sometimes it's not until you hear confirmation that you realize you needed to hear it.