Posted in celebrations, family, fitness, Food, pandemic, retirement, rural life, Self Care

Sundaystills “Connecting”

It felt like mumbo jumbo…the year end post and a couple of blog challenges and the word of the year. Nothing flowing at all.

And then, what was right in front of my face appeared plainly while I was out for a snow shoe on a bright sunny day.

But first, the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2022. The expected and the unexpected. The rules I broke and those I followed. Well… maybe I won’t go that far, although I can say I did not get a single speeding ticket. I totaled off a vehicle, but the deer didn’t call me in so…

I did a review of my WOTY already, but in case you missed it over the holidays, you can catch up on my reflections here at 33 links to hope. It was the word I needed, and it helped during some tough stretches.

…transformed in ways…

But there was also lots of positives in the year as well. I did 94 posts and feel totally thrilled to have so many loyal and regular readers who engage. It’s definitely not about the stats but it is super fun to look back and see what garnished interest and especially where the readers came from. I think that’s the super power of the internet is that these words can reach anyone with access. Which is why one chooses what they put into this space (or any social media space) as it can be seen and have an impact in a small way or a big way. It still shocks me that Rant! had almost 7300 views in one day. That’s why I think about what I write and carefully edit photos before I publish.

My own little “survey monkey” 2022 stats

I also read. Between blogs and books, I spend a fair amount of time with words. I super wanted to do a word cloud, but technology won that round, and I decided it wasn’t worth the stress. I didn’t keep track, but I strongly suspect I easily read 94 books, but I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite as I came in and out of genres, series, and scopes. I spent a lot of time with L. M. Montgomery in my hand and, as usual, it was delightful. I read all of the Anne of Green Gables series (again), plus a couple of biographies.

This just in from Donna, the co-host of #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge and #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge!! Huge thanks. Love that she did it in the shape of a bike!!

Which is a great segue into our wonderful bike trip to Prince Edward Island. I would definitely say, besides the news that we are going to be grandparents again in April, the trip was the highlight of the year. We wanted to stay in Canada and PEI had been on the bucket list for a LONG time. We lucked out and got home a week before Fiona devastated the landscape having enjoyed absolutely stellar weather. Just over 400+  kms and 16 blog posts. Total immersion in the landscapes as we pedaled along and that red sand… just wow. Blue skies, good beer and excellent food rounded out the trip.

Castle in the red P.E.I. sand

The other “lucky” aspect of the trip is that my leg/back issues cleared up just before we departed; thanks in large part to physio, ice, rest, acupuncture, and injections. I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out as I had really been struggling, and I am so thankful to have turned that corner. It might come back, but I am working at keeping stronger. In fact, I recently reviewed the cornerstones of staying stronger next year, and I am on track. One new thing I added late in the fall was aquacises. That would definitely be my new thing for the year as it had been 30+ years. I still miss lane swimming, but the times just don’t work. So, I will stick with this alongside biking, walking, and soccer to keep me moving. Oh, and skiing. How the heck could I forget that in a yearly review as it’s always a highlight (added bonus first trip with our adult kids &grandkids).  I think getting back on track in the fitness department was the biggest accomplishment this year. It’s  super easy to fall off the wagon and difficult to climb back on.

There weren’t a lot of other highlights; no weddings, births, or deaths. It was a relatively quiet year thanks in part to Covid, which is NOT in the Rearview mirror. If anything, it’s going to get worse, so please consider this your PSA to get your booster vaccine shots. Because vaccines work.

Which is why, for the most part, we kept to smaller gatherings. Like our annual dessert club New Year’s Eve “party”. But hey we played board games until 0130 which is amazing as we should have been comatose from the chocolate overdose. I did a Great British Baking Show technical challenge (with a timer and everything!) and made a yule log. Definitely qualifies as a #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge item. Although it didn’t stay on the plate long but it looked pretty!

The Great British Baking Show – Yule Log

The calendar is starting to fill up again. I love the proximity to our grandchildren and have them signed up for swim lessons. There will be summer camp across the road and outside time galore. There is still work on the calendar, and I don’t think that will change in the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed that we get in 2 ski trips this year (which comes with a ++ $ but so worth it) but save enough for our European adventure. We are doing a bike and barge down the Danube in the spring, so that’s a big ticket item!

There are always things I should have done less of, such as mindless scrolling (so I have tightened my time limits), snacking, and procrastination. So this coming year I hope to encourage myself to stay more balanced in all areas, which is neither a resolution or a goal or a WOTY, but just a reminder that I  need to remember the bigger picture. I hope to be a bit more spontaneous this upcoming year, and I will need to remind myself that it’s not all about the to do lists. That again is going to challenge me.

As I said above the WOTY popped into my head as I was out walking. Predating the walk I had called a friend, who is also a fellow volunteer, and we were discussing our groups’ lack luster performance over the last two years. She stated that it seems pretty common amongst the smattering of groups she belongs to.  Meandering thoughts about my upcoming birthday and how I could do a girls’ night as The Engineer is away and then thought, nah. Various times over the holidays, the conversation went back to the dinner parties we used to host. I had been thinking about a cousin in the east that I hadn’t heard from in eons. I thought about a friend whose son had forgotten her birthday. I thought about my biking friends who keep asking me to join them on Saturday morning rides (in season of course, although knowing them they might be out fat biking every weekend!).

The threads started to wind together, and when I looked back, I saw it – CONNECT. I had been pondering purpose, but I felt like it wasn’t quite right as I know my purpose(s) and how they connect to my core values. But what was missing was the connection. Covid changed how I connect, and I will have to challenge myself in many ways to change this. Perhaps some things will be a permanent disconnection, but those are things I need to examine and can simply view that as a way of de-cluttering, but I need to assess what I am and am not connected to.


Thank heavens for my dogs as they get me outside daily, which connects me to nature and keeps me sane and balanced. 


  • To nature
  • To creativity
  • To friends & family
  • To self care
  • To paying it forward 
  • To exploring

Thanks for reading. It’s a longish post, but I wanted to wrap up the year, hit a few blog prompts, and roll out the WOTY. In fact, it’s way longer than our Christmas letter this year was! For kicks and giggles I have included our card photo here.

And that’s it, kids. A wrap on ’22 and a start for ’23. Thanks for reading.


PS. A huge thanks to Terri for hosting #Sundaystills and Deb and Donna for #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge. I didn’t really do a real #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge as I am currently not reading anything. Chowed down on 2 books over the holidays but haven’t picked anything else up yet.


I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

25 thoughts on “Sundaystills “Connecting”

  1. Once again, I loved reading your thoughts Bernie. I too, revisit Green Gables regularly, usually each year, either in print or audio and PEI has been on my dream list for travel for a very long time. As I make my way through your back catalogue, I am now jumping to your PEI adventures for some vicarious travel until I can get there myself in person! Sigh…one day. Loved the yule log! What a champion baker! You always leave me with something to think about and after reading your 33 Links to Hope, I got thinking about a WOTY, which I’ve never done before and chose a word for 2023 which now slips into my headspace each day. It was lovely to read your choice for the new year and what a meaningful one it is. I’m really looking forward to more of the thoughtful, interesting, adventurous and inspiring words you share int he year ahead…especially those amazing travel plans! Heidi


    1. I am so glad I connected with you Heidi and that inspired you to find a meaningful WOTY. Also glad our trio to PEI resonated with you just as it did with me. I live in this country, and it took me decades to get there, so hang on to your hope of getting there. Give them a couple of years to get cleaned up from how badly the storm Fiona walloped them. It’s so worth it and a perfect place to bike! Thanks for the kudos about the yule log. I was pleased about how well it looked and tasted. Bernie


  2. Overall it sounds like you had a positive and productive 2022. We were in PEI around the same time as you and got home about a week before Hurricane Fiona hit as well. It was crazy to see how much damage it caused, especially with the sand dunes and some of the rock formations along the coastline. I must say, your yule log looks delicious and very nicely presented! Yum!


    1. Yes I remember reading about your time in PEI. I feel pretty lucky to have seen it when we did. It was a good year and now 2023 seems to be off to a good start by eating a delicious yule log! Hope you time at the cabin was great LInda. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We ended up going to Ottawa instead as the cabin was completely inaccessible because of all the snow followed by a bunch of rain. And we forgot to bring our snowshoes / microspikes. Whoops. Hopefully we can visit the cabin next month instead.


  3. A very busy year and lots to be thankful for. Glad you managed PEI pre Fiona. That Yule log looks better than many on the baking shows. And walks, spring, summer, fall and yes winter are a great mood lifter. 2023 is still a blank slate. Happy Monday Bernie. Allan


    1. Yes, to walking all year long. Thanks for the compliment about the yule log. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was a busy year, and yes much to be thankful for. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thanks. I was pumped about how stellar the yule log turned out! Connect definitely resonated with me instantly, so I will have to challenge myself to get connected in many ways.
      Good to hear from you Janis. Happy New Year. Bernie


  4. That yule log looks like it was created by a bakery, Bernie! And I’ll bet it tasted great too. Love your WOTY and loved reading about all your plans for 2023. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts as the year unfolds. Bike and barge on the Danube?! Oh yeah, I can’t wait to read about that one!!!


    1. Ah thanks Deb! I was pumped how well it turned out and looked. My judges thought it was pretty good as well. Ah yes I am sure, if the internet is good, I will likely blog each day. For me it’s the best way to capture it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m foregoing a WOTY this year feeling that they never work out for me. If I picked Connect I shudder to think of all the ways it wouldn’t happen! But that’s just me, of course.
    I totally agree with your idea: “That’s why I think about what I write and carefully edit photos before I publish.” I’ve learned over all my years in blogland that it’s best to be 100% sure about what you want to say to the world before you say it. Communication is endlessly fascinating…


    1. I am more excited about this word than the previous year, or perhaps it is because I am in a better head space than last year. I definitely will have to challenge myself – I’ve become a bit like a turtle. And yes, one needs to think before they publish or even speak for that matter. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like it I LOVE it and am so appreciative of your time and effort!! Go back and check out the blog as I inserted your wonderful word cloud!! Bernie


  6. Connect is a great word for you ( and all of us, in fact), Bernie! I just love that shot of the tracks in the snow! 94 books? Jeepers–good for you. I apparently watch too much TV… Anyway, I’m happy you got a post together for SS and WOYP challenges. Prince Edward Island sounds amazing–we really want to go to Canada this year even if it’s nearby Vancouver. Enjoy your family and the upcoming grandbaby–can;t wait to hear more! Have a great weekend!


    1. I have so many tracks in the snow pictures and some of my little snow angels! Plus deer, rabbits, coyote, and now porcupine. I’m glad I finally found some words. Weird I had the same block last year for that post! Definitely do Canada – I guess it depends on your available time, but you could do a camper trip thru parts of BC as a great starting point. I bet you end up meeting some VI bloggers! Thanks again for hosting and for your regular engagement here on my blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane. The previous year had an uphill climb but there was light at the end of the tunnel. This year is already starting smoother so fingers crossed! Appreciate your readership and engagement. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

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