A Good Home, Book Interviews, Book lovers, Book Reviews, Christmas Decorations, Good wishes, Gratitude, Kindness, Laughter, Life Challenges

Incredible You

Readers of this blog and A Good Home have encouraged my family and me through some crazy times this year. 

Blog photo - Winter arrsangement cu 3

You’ve consoled and encouraged me in the domestic arts, including the two times I tried making outdoor Christmas arrangements!  Several readers offered compliments, tips, commiseration, inspiration.

And Arna sent me this photo. 

Blog Photo - Reader Arna's Planter

“I told you I have a planter like yours!” she said.

Yes, Arna, but yours is far more assured. 


From last fall to this spring, I had to abandon virtually all my book-related activities and take to my bed.

Some of you decided to help.  You bought my book, and wrote wonderful reviews.

Phil reviewed A Good Home for an American book website last year, then created computer-assisted images promoting the book. 

Book - Philip Young's photo

Blog Photo - Reader Philip's Owl Photo

John G. took my book with him on his annual canoe trip, then wrote a review too.

Book - with bagel and gloves in Johns canoe


In Avery, Texas, 90 year old Lou Mathis and his wife Aggie were themselves struggling this September.  Their farm business was suffering because of its name, “Isis”.  (Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess, but in today’s climate, not a popular name.)

Lou asked on their blog: “WHAT DO YOU THINK? For some reason I refuse to give up the… ISIS FARMS. But would painting the sign OVER IN GREEN……”


I asked you to reply to Lou and Aggie and many of you did.  Wonderful, caring replies that helped them make their decision. It’s now  called “Aggie’s Farm”.

Photo by Aggie's Farm
Photos by Aggie’s Farm


In October, Canada’s national radio network, CBC,  aired my interview with celebrated host Shelagh Rogers.

Blog Photo - Shelagh Rogers and The Next chapter

I’d been nervous about it. But people like John V. wrote to my blog afterwards:

“I heard you speak on the radio about healing and it gave me perspective and hope for my own circumstances. Sincere thanks for sharing.”

Such validation for a book completed in dire times!


On crazily painful days, I often forced myself to write poems, making fun of myself and my home life.  Some (like Stiletto Heels) became blog posts, which made you laugh, uplifting me in return.

Image via shopflyjane.com
Image via shopflyjane.com

Andra wrote: “I absolutely howled with laughter reading this. Thanks, Cynthia! Have had similar thoughts watching the young ladies strutting about in high heels and skimpy dresses in inclement weather. And like you, I recall being just as foolish back in the day. Great poem.”


Then, without warning this fall, life changed perilously. My husband nearly died.

Titled No Words, my poem expressed the raw agony our family experienced.

In reply, you warmly supported us with prayers, consolation and good wishes.

Incredible kindness, especially because I’ve never met most of you in person.


“Thank you” hardly seems enough. But thank you, anyway.

For your kindness.

And for being part of my world.

My best,


49 thoughts on “Incredible You”

  1. I’m grateful to know you and your writing Cynthia. I too hope this year has less challenges and more blessings for you and your husband. May the deserved support contine. 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

  2. You are inspirational Cynthia and have been from the outset. I wish I could say the same….I’m trying to get back to my own blog but…I’m sure you know how it can be. Stay well and strong …all of you .
    Blessings Susan 💖

    1. I know how it can be, Susan. It’s been difficult for me to write since my husband’s illness. Humorous writing has been especially tough. But also, life just takes over, and priorities shift.
      Do what you can do when you can do it, and don’t be afraid to reblog a favorite post of someone else’s – or your own.

  3. Those shoes are horrific. I can honestly say I’ve never worn anything higher than two or three inches. And that stopped a long time ago.

    I think we can all relate to the despair and bleak moments when a loved one is seriously ill. How can we not send our good wishes and hopes for recovery? You need to rely on the clinical team for his recovery, but support can help too when you feel so low. Hoping 2015 brings you a tranquil and peaceful year.

    1. Thanks so much. I remember your response in that tough time. It mattered then and it does now.
      I hope you’re walking much better now, and that overall, things are picking up.
      Sending you my best wishes for a rewarding and healthy 2015.

  4. You are such an inspiration, dear Cynthia! This post is a typical example of your kindness – thanking others when really we should be thanking you. I truly hope that next year brings you and your family better health, peace and happiness. Much love, Clare x

    1. Clare, I don’t think I can say it any better than you, so I’ll second. The internet has given me two invaluable gifts: information sharing and soul sharing. Cynthia, your soul sharing is a blessing.

      1. Oh Aggie – I think we could keep this up indefinitely – I agree with you completely! I hope you and your husband have a happy Christmas and a much more peaceful new year.

    2. Dear Clare: One of the individuals whose adventures allow me to vicariously experience things I would never have otherwise. Thank you, my friend. I read and re-read your posts, marveling in your unique way of allowing us readers to share your life.

      You’re a role model to me, because this year has brought you such tough challenges, yet you persevere and continue to support your loved ones.

      Thanks for the wishes.
      I am, of course, wishing you the same.

      1. Oh Cynthia, you are too, too kind. I can never think of myself as at all inspirational – I spend most of my time rushing from one crisis to another and making all the wrong decisions. I must try harder to be a little more organised – a New Year’s Resolution perhaps?

  5. I also thank your readers. Looking back, the name change was a no-brainer. Not really fair, but then life isn’t. Marketing must appeal to it’s customer base.

    Incidentally, have you ever read those fun novels of Dion Fortune? The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic? That is where I first encountered Isis.

  6. I never did read those books, but will check my library. My local librarians are very helpful. I first encountered Isis as the name of a cat, and its human told me about the origins of the name.

    I’m glad my blog community was of support to you, and what a great name: Aggies’ Farm. And not just because I like the human behind that name!
    I know how hard you and Lou (and Andrew AKA Muskels) work, and I’m wishing you all a rewarding and healthy 2015.
    And I still don’t believe that Lou is 90 years old! (smile)

    1. Thank you, Chloris.
      And we wish you the same.
      Question: does your garden go to sleep completely at Christmas time, or are some things (additional to the snowdrops) blooming around then?
      You are in Suffolk — am I right about that?

  7. I find that, in general, bloggers are helpful, caring people and that’s part of what makes blogging so much fun. I read many blogs, including yours, because they show me sides of life that I’d never see otherwise, It helps me broaden my horizons, and for that I thank you.

    1. Thank you, and ditto.

      Without your blog, how was I to know about all those things that grow in the wild, up on mountain trails, alongside streams or abandoned roads, or on the barks of trees? Or that live fungus comes in all those strange and sometimes yucky colours?

      And who would have reminded me of the wonderfully fragrant scent of pomanders from my youth — prompting me to buy oranges and steal the cloves my husband uses in his recipes, and stick the oranges all over, releasing a wonderful fragrance each time I pass?


  8. You put such a sincere, positive energy out there that it’s not surprising it is returned tenfold. I wish you a wonderful holiday and the peace of knowing you’ve weathered the storms . . . and hopefully have found some safe harbor.

    1. What a lovely note, Kay.
      Thank you.

      I’m wishing you all good things, including the publication of your book. You must produce a book. Your writing is strong and insightful.

  9. What a neat way to end out the year, Cynthia. Very clever. You thank your readers for helping you, but I truly feel as if you were a lifeline out there this year, really cheering me on. I love your style and your writing and your book — they are are all so soothing to me, just like home. All the big gardens and houses you featured, just reminded me of childhood and growing up and Mom. I am wishing you a most special Chistmas and healthy and happy New Year. Cheers, m’dear! ((hugs))

    1. Thanks, Rosa.
      It works both ways, m’dear.
      Every time you braved the troubles and shared an achievement, or just your way of coping through tough times, I was here cheering for you.
      Which cheered ME up no end.

      Big hugs, and Merry Christmas.

  10. Dear Cynthia, I really feel very distressed that I have not been totally aware of all the issues you have been going through. It is as though I have some of the jigsaw pieces of your story, but so many are missing. So I have not ever responded to you as I should.
    Like you, I have a story to tell, but I think you and I always like to accentuate the positive. You always put a positive spin on the aspects of your life I have read about. I think spreading joy is in your nature. You are professional and your standards are high. That really shines through.
    Please know how much love and care I have for you, even if I have missed some of the most traumatic, life changing moments. I am devastated to read of this latest issue in the frightening illness which suddenly struck your husband. He is your rock and your protector and it is unthinkable that he should suffer. I hope that things are settling and that your house is full of the love which you so deserve.
    You certainly have it within the blogging community. You are amongst friends here.

    1. Hey Karen:
      Thank you. Very much.
      I love reading your blog, and your generous replies, and am glad you’re in my world.
      And no, you didn’t know about my scary times because you were going through scary times too. At much the same time!

      A big hug and Merry Christmas,

  11. I am always so moved by the spirit of friendship, love, kindness and sincere compassion shared here. Whenever I need to brighten my day I log in and I am never disappointed. Heart to heart, life to life…a small slice of world peace exists here on a micro sale. Now, if only we could expand this into the macro sphere…the world would be a much brighter, peaceful and accepting place! Small steps lead to even bigger steps…I am optimistic and I am grateful. Thank you!

    1. What a beautiful note, Lee. On behalf of all my blogger friends, thank you for being one of them. Your replies always uplift me and I bet they do the same for others.

      Today, a slice of kindness and compassion. Tomorrow, world peace… maybe. (big smile)

      Thank you.

  12. You have had a difficult year, Cynthia, but you always count the silver linings instead of the dark clouds. This year I pray for you Isaiah 40:31, “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles,they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
    Happy soaring in 2015, my friend.

    1. Thank you and God bless you, Georgeina.
      What a lovely verse that is. I’ll keep making note of it.
      It very much reminds me of that lovely hymn, On Eagles’ Wings:

      “You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
      Who abide in His shadow for life,
      Say to the Lord, “My Refuge,
      My Rock in Whom I trust.”

      And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
      Bear you on the breath of dawn,
      Make you to shine like the sun,
      And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

      The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
      And famine will bring you no fear;
      Under His Wings your refuge,
      His faithfulness your shield.


      You need not fear the terror of the night,
      Nor the arrow that flies by day,
      Though thousands fall about you,
      Near you it shall not come.


      For to His angels He’s given a command,
      To guard you in all of your ways,
      Upon their hands they will bear you up,
      Lest you dash your foot against a stone.


      And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

      (Composed by Michael Joncas)

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