When Life Hands Me Lemons

“When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself.

And that changes everything.”   marcandangel.com

Sometimes It Is Tough To Keep My Spirits Up

Count my blessings…I do.

Be grateful…I am.

Sick of the topic…we all are.

           What can I do?

      Control How I Respond To What I Cannot Control.

Share Good Karma

Our Family Has A Mantra.

  “Share Good Karma Back Into The Universe”

  • One car cuts you off.

          Let the other car in.

  • A cashier goes above and beyond.

          Write a note to his manager.

  • One friend is ill.

          A book arrives unexpectedly in the mail. Witty and entertaining illustrations help bring her a smile.

  • Another friend has received “stay at home orders” for the umpteenth time.

          Send her driftwood from the West Coast, all polished up and pretty. A happy memory.

Build A Gazebo

No visitors inside our house.

       Build A Gazebo where we can visit outside with our bubble, rain or shine.

Make Lemon Pavlova

I love lemons. 

           Make Lemon Pavlova, a guilty pleasure.

Reminiscent of meeting long-time friends for the first time.

Recipes from good friends living in Australia.

When Life Hands Me Lemons

I am challenged to change myself. 

My Response Is A Choice I Can Control

I choose to Share Good Karma back into the Universe.

I choose to Keep My Spirits up, Build a Gazebo and Make Lemon Pavlova.

I choose to be Grateful and Count My Blessings.

               And that changes everything.

Saxe Point, Victoria, B.C. 2021

How do you deal with setbacks in life? 

Do you have favourite recipes using lemons?

Behind The Scenery

“ENDOtheLINE: The Chronic Pain Comic” book by Alisha Winder  endomyline.com

Alisha’s Story “When You Love Someone More Than Life Itself”

Copyright:  ©️ 2018 – 2021 behindthesceneryphoto.com – Erica Henault – All rights reserved. All photographs and writing are my own unless otherwise noted.

128 thoughts on “When Life Hands Me Lemons

  1. Favorite recipe with lemon ~ vodka tonic!
    But I enjoy brightening up many dishes with a squirt of lemon . . . including Spanakopita Pizza.

    I keep my spirits up by playing the “It could be WORSE game.”
    Example: Instead of social distancing due to a pandemic, I could be Anne Frank hiding from the Nazis.

    Love your gazebo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great idea using lemon on spanakopita pizza or on spinach anything.🙂 A good point on how it could be worse, Nancy, and back to count my blessings. I am usually a cup half full woman, yet I have my human moments. I wish you and your loved ones a good Easter weekend.xx

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  2. Yay for the finished gazebo Erica – it looks amazing! And an Aussie Yay for the pavlova as well – my mum would tell you that nothing beats a good pav. Well done on keeping your spirits up during a really difficult time of life – this pandemic is doing its best to suck everyone dry, but if we choose our attitude and count our blessings (and share the love – like you did with the grandies and with Marcus) then life can still be pretty darn good xx Happy Easter ❤

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    1. Hi Leanne, Even Chuck says how one good thing about this pandemic is how it encouraged us to put a Gazebo in our yard. In the past we had a tent like tarp, although it did not withstand the wind and temperatures for long. I know you also believe our attitude is an inside job, counting our blessings and keeping our spirits up. Yes, life is still pretty darn good. Happy Easter. xx❤️

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  3. What a gorgeous gazebo, Erica! I could hang out there for hours writing and reading. Great job! During tough times, I’ll look back on things I’ve overcome in the past and just keep pressing forward. Lemon is my water is my favorite! Wishing you and your family a lovely Easter. xo

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    1. Until you mentioned the writing and reading in the gazebo, I had not given this much thought. We live close to a park so not always a quiet place. Yet, happy children/family sounds.🙂 I look forward to having friends and family over for coffee outside. I usually have lemon in my tea. I like your lemon/water suggestion for the summer. I hope you and your loved ones are having a good Easter weekend. xo 💕

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  4. Thank you Erica. I love the gazebo and all you’ve done to keep your spirits up. Nature, friends, family, helping others. The world would be a beautiful place if we all did more of those things. Choosing love is powerful. 🧡

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  5. I recognized the lovely little pieces of polished driftwood that sit in a place of honour in my studio. They make me smile, and your words bring tears to my eyes. Is it a coincidence that just before I read this post, I ran across a quote that said joy sent out into the world expands exponentially? I don’t think so ❤️

    I love your new gazebo and hope that some day I’ll get to sit under it with you and Chuck again, sharing laughs and our stories.

    btw – our lockdown has been extended another 4 weeks (5 months and counting …). The big topic of conversation this weekend with my guys was about how we all really need haircuts!! But Gilles and I both have appointments for the vaccine this coming Friday. Progress. I think.

    Stay well, my friend ❤️

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    1. Dear Joanne, I wondered whether I was over sharing in this post. Maybe TMI – and yet I recall your words (‘when in doubt, go big’) at least for some courage when I write.

      The first time I have heard this phrase “joy sent out into the world expands exponentially.” I will ponder and hold this thought near me.❤️

      We had such a short time under our canvas/tent like cover last year, yet I recall a lot of laughter. The best memories! Chuck has not cut his hair in over 1 1/2 years…a touchy subject…yet, a moot point, just want us all to stay healthy.

      Yay!!! Happy about you and Gilles getting your vaccines.❤️

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      1. omg – we laughed so much that afternoon in your backyard!! My strongest memory of that week I spent on Vancouver Island is easily that first day we spent together … so much laughter!

        On a positive note, Chuck has hair to grow 😉

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    1. Thank you, Eduarda. With our high numbers and increased restrictions I needed to remind myself how my attitude is an inside job. I look forward to a coffee with you in our Gazebo! I look forward to seeing you, always! XO❤️

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    1. You are absolutely right, Frank, personal outlook is so important. I googled limoncello just now. I have seen the word, yet never investigated the drink. Tons of recipes online. Thanks to you, I will now try it.🙂 It sounds like a great addition to Spring/Summer. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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  6. I love that gazebo Erica. Life throws arrows around us, some pierce while some can be ignored. Whatever our approach, keep that smile, as it helps us move on. The analogy of lemons has been inspiring mankind for times immemorial! A poet has put it across beautifully: “The glory of a garden is enhanced not just by flowers but thorns too, pain too is essential to live in this world.”
    Setbacks acquaint us with life, make us resilient and define happiness.
    Thank you for a thought-provoking post, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Balroop for your thoughtful, insightful comment. A few more arrows thrown around us recently and I had to remind myself how happiness is an inside job. A great quote on thorns/flowers. I have always liked the word/concept “resilient.” Another great reminder. Thank you!❤️

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  7. I love your positive attitude! The lemon pavlova looks yummy. Can you believe I’ve never had it.!

    Your gazebo looks so inviting!

    Decades ago when my kids were little I read somewhere this quote,” Setbacks are the stepping stones to comebacks”. It’s been my motto since. I hope you have a lovely Easter with the family, Erica! 😀💕🌼

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    1. Deborah, lemon pavlova has become a recent favourite around here. Any type of fruit can be added to pavlova (basically a meringue). This is the first time I have heard this wonderful quote “setbacks are the stepping stones to comebacks.” Now added to my inspiration file. 💕Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones. 🌻🌹💕

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    1. I look forward to a visit in the future, too, Ann. We are both still on a waiting list for the vaccine and waiting for ‘the numbers’ to go down. I add lemon to my tea and I don’t usually add it to water. A great idea, especially for Spring/Summer. Happy Easter weekend. Many opportunities for you to take your amazing photos. 🙂

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  8. When life hands you lemons be grateful for the gift. Without rain a ray of sunshine would not be appreciated. Your perspective always focuses on the positive and I love that about you.

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    1. Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment. With increased numbers and increased restrictions, I have to work on my attitude, too. Happiness is an inside job.🙂 Yet, fun to go ‘outside’ in our amazing Gazebo! Thank you!❤️

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  9. Lovely to read this Erica! I reckon it’s true – put out good karma whenever possible and raise the vibrations however tiny it may seem. Small ripples increase the flow. The gazebo is a work of art! I’m going to try to get into a lapsed habit of drinking lemon water. It’s a refreshing drink. Have a lovely week 💕

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    1. Hi Susan, I add lemons to my tea, yet I don’t think about lemons in water. Thank you for a great reminder, especially with Spring/Summer. I agree with you about raising the vibrations, however tiny. A really nice way to put this, Susan. I realize we are powerless in many ways, yet I know the tiny vibrations make a difference in my life. Thank you for sharing your insightful words. Have a wonderful week. 💕

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  10. Hi Erica! You know that I completely agree with the thought of making lemonade whenever you can. Miss seeing you now and then on Zoom but trust you are doing what you need to do. AND your gazebo looks awesome and would love to see you, it and Chuck when we visit again. Meanwhile, Happy Easter to you and your family. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy, I know you realize how we are only able to control our responses. We would love to see you and Thom. We are both still on a waiting list for the vaccine and waiting for ‘the numbers’ to go down before any visits. Happy Easter and have a wonderful week.

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    1. You ‘get it’ on the lemons, Anabel. I put lemons on nearly everything. I just learned about limoncello today. I will try making it or buying some. Thank you for your kind response and sharing your thoughts. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!

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  11. Oh sure, now you post this. I needed it more a year ago! Just kidding, Erica. Honestly, you guys are putting the rest of us to shame. That gazebo is a work of art! It’s all about making due under the circumstances, isn’t it? I’d say you’re showing us the way. Now, about that lemon pavlova… 😉 – Marty

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    1. Hi Marty, We are in more a slump right now with numbers, increased restrictions and waiting for vaccines. We finished the gazebo this week. Something we may not have considered building before pandemic. I am on a mission to find some limoncello today. I can’t believe I have never tried it. Happy Easter to you and Gorgeous!🙂

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  12. I love those photos of you and the girls on the tracks in Goldstream Park. I’m really missing my family this Easter weekend. My two kids in Vancouver are very sensibly obeying the public health restrictions and not travelling here to visit this weekend. My local daughter and family are isolating at home “just in case” as one of the grandsons has a cold. And, of course, our kids & grandkids up north are staying put as well. When it comes to making lemonade out of lemons, I’ve baked a pie for my local daughter and family, and we’ll do a drop-off of the pie, some flowers, and some Easter treats for the boys this afternoon.

    Jude

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    1. Hi Jude, My daughter and her family camping at Goldstream Park this Easter weekend. We visited with them for a couple of hours. Many trails and a great place for families. Not seeing our grandsons unfortunately. Everyone playing it safe with the increased numbers and restrictions. Sorry about your grandson and his cold. “Just in case” is a good careful route for now. The dropping off treats is wonderful! I am sure they loved them. Happy Easter!

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  13. This post is so you, Erica! I’m a big fan of anything lemon also… eat, drink, scent: whatever. Fortunately, we have two lemon trees in our yard that pretty much produce year-round.

    The gazebo is gorgeous! I hope some day I’ll be able to sit under its shade (maybe sipping on a drink made from limoncello).

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    1. Wow, I cannot imagine lemon trees in our yard, Janis. Chuck is the gardener in our family, yet no miracles in our climate. Interesting how you mention limoncello. I have heard the name, and googled how to make it this morning. I will definitely try some this month. We would love to see you and Paul. Still waiting for vaccines, numbers to lower and restrictions to lift. In due course. Still many blessings around here. Happy Easter!

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  14. What a wonderful post to wake up to Erica, full of positivity and inspiration. It’s true, and it will always be true, that life will throw us lemons but it’s up to us what we do with them. For me it’s lemon cake, lemon in water and yes, lemon meringue pie. Our tree, which hardly ever fruits, is full of them at the moment so you’ve inspired me.
    And how I love your gazebo. It looks fabulous and just the place to enjoy time outside with family and friends. Wishing you smiles, happiness and a beautiful week ahead. Again, thank you for a wonderful post. xx 💫🌼

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    1. Thank you for your supportive and thoughtful words, Miriam. I know you are a big proponent on happiness is an inside job and creating positive ripples into the Universe. 💕

      I cannot imagine lemon trees growing in our yard. Yet, I am grateful we have access to plenty of fruit and vegetables. Thank you for sharing your insights and wisdom, Miriam. It always makes a difference in my day. Have a wonderful week! xx 🌻💕

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  15. Thank you for this inspiring and uplifting post. It comes at a good time. The gazebo is a great idea in this time of social distancing! (Although here in NH, it would need to be screened against the hordes of black flies that descend upon us in the spring.) The metal roof is just the right touch to remind one of an old-fashioned bandstand in the park. I loved to see you and your granddaughters on the railroad tracks. It reminded me of how much I love walking on the railroad tracks myself: the hot summer sun on my back, the sound of cicadas, the smell of creasote. Ahh . . . My favorite lemon dish is from an old cookbook of my mother’s from the ’50s with very simple recipes for families with young children: lemon pudding cake. You make one batter, pour it into a pan and bake it, and it turns into pudding AND cake at the same time, like magic! It tastes good, too!!

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    1. Hi Liz, I had to remind myself I can only control my response and my attitude. We used to have a tent/tarp-like structure up in our yard and it would not withstand winds and fluctuating temperatures. I had not thought about the metal roof and how it will sound in the rain. I love that sound.

      My daughter and her family including my two granddaughters were camping this past weekend. We visited them for a couple of hours and we were surprised to find these railway tracks. Fun! We did not see our 1 and 3-year-old grandsons to help keep everyone healthy. In due course. I forgot about pudding cake. A great idea. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy Easter!

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      1. I have a hard time remembering that I can only control my response and my attitude. I tend to rage against the machine, the universe, etc., so reminders not to do so are needed and welcomed!

        Until next time, have a good week!!

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  16. What a gorgeous gazebo, Erica/ Erika. I love those photos of you on the train tracks with your granddaughters, and the lemons look so fresh and cheerful. Thank you for sharing your positive thinking. Happy Easter to you and your family!

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    1. Hi Natalie, This is the first time I attempted a fruit photo. I keep bags of lemons in our house, so easy to find the lemons.🙂 My daughter and her family were camping at Goldstream Park this Easter. We visited them and accidentally found these train tracks. Thank you for reading and sharing your supportive words. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!

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    1. I love everything about your supportive words, Bette!💕 I sometimes need to remind myself how I can only control my response. I have not thought about lemon sauce. A great addition to many culinary delights. Thank goodness I have a bag of lemons.🙂 Thank you for the inspiration! xo 💕

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful, supportive words, Donna. We finished the gazebo, yet still holding off on visitors for all the reasons you are well aware. Our daughter was camping at Goldstream and we saw them for a couple of hours this weekend. Fun! Still holding off visiting our 2 little grandsons. In due course. I look forward to ‘seeing’ you soon. Happy Easter! 💕

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  17. Another home run post, Erica! A beautiful gazebo with an even better attitude. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t let a car into my lane that’s waiting to turn. I’m glad you included that one in your list of suggestions. Simple gestures can carry a lot of weight.

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    1. Thank you for your supportive, kind words, Pete. They always lift my spirits. You remind me how simple gestures can make a difference in our day and create a ripple effect. I recall your post where you mentioned the lovely waitress and the special acknowledgement. Back to something you said awhile back, topics/words/actions that matter and make a difference. 🙂

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  18. Love this post! Incase when I needed those reminders. I especially love the gazebo idea. I imagine it will be a favorite space in your home for years to come. Happy spring.

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    1. Thank you for your supportive words, Antoinette. Life has recently changed around here, again, and I need to remind myself how my response is the only thing I can control. The gazebo is a bonus thought and I know we will use it. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones.

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  19. What an uplifting post with lots of good advice. Yes, the best we can do is change ourselves and our attitude.
    I have never had lemon pavlova, but pavlova is a favourite of most of my family and friends. It wouldn’t be an occasion if I didn’t make a pavlova. I made one yesterday when my son and his family came over. I always make the shell. For the past 5-6 years my granddaughter has been decorating it. Prior to that, it was my daughter or a nephew or a niece. I always get someone else to decorate and another to serve. It’s quite a family affair and we all enjoy it. When my granddaughter was decorating it yesterday, my son (her dad) told her that it was grandma’s pavlova and that in years to come she’d be telling her grandchildren about grandma’s pavlova and getting them to decorate it, just as she does for me. The circle of life. It’s heartwarming and reassuring.

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    1. Friends from Australia brought pavlova into my radar last year. I now get requests to make it. I made it with my 5-year-old granddaughter last Fall. My 7-year-old granddaughter has been on my case for her to have a turn. We both like lemons so lemons were the fruit.

      I love your tradition of getting everyone in on the dish. I will borrow your tradition from now on. Awww, the circle of life. I already see this in my family. You remind me Norah, how it is the little things that always give us the most pleasure and the best memories. Thank you for sharing your insights and your story. Happy Easter to you and your loved ones.💕

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      1. It is great to have traditions we can pass onto our children and their children. It’s good to get everyone involved. As you say, Erica, it is the little things that bring us such joy. 🙂

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  20. You are always so positive Erica with your words of wisdom and beautiful smile. Your gazebo looks great and I ,know you will all make the best use of it as your warmer weather approaches. I love the photos with your family and your bright light shines through your words. Thank you for being you! That lemon pavlova looks amazing too. Well done. xx

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    1. Thank you for your kind, supportive words, Deb. You always help lift my spirits.💕 After I saw the recipes from my ‘Australian friends’ last year, I made pavlova for the first time with my 5-year-old granddaughter. My 7-year-old granddaughter has been wanting to make it with me ever since then and she and I both love lemons. I can see how this will become a favourite tradition. I look forward to ‘seeing’ you soon. Happy Easter Week! xx

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    1. You totally ‘get it’ Suzanne. Grab that camera and start shooting. It is often our small day to day events that become our fondest memories. Nice to capture them when we can. I have my down moments, where I have to remind myself I can only control my response. Always many blessings. Thank you for your supportive, thoughtful words.

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  21. What a fun afternoon we had, laughing under your tent. Looking forward to a repeat one day under the gazebo! I’ve always loved the saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”…because of its meaning and also LEMONS!!! That reminds me, I have some lemon blueberry muffins in the freezer….yum! Breakfast here I come…. Great post, Erica!

    Deb

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    1. That was an unusual, surreal and major fun day, Deb! I just learned more about limoncello today. I googled the ingredients and I will try to make it or buy it. I can’t believe I have never had it before. I am envisioning sparkling water over limoncello in the gazebo with Deb and friends.xx💕

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  22. Your first words resonated with me. Grateful and bloody tired of it all but still obeying public health rules. I’ve struggled the last few weeks with issues others are facing and being supportive of them in their difficult times. I need to help them but not let it weight me down so much (as in literally eating like a little piglet). Now having said that I have 2 lemons just begging to be made into a lemon loaf — my favorite use of lemons besides raspberry lemonade. Which I’ve been saying to my granddaughter that we should make one of these days. So thanks for the inspiration to move forward.

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    1. Thank you for ‘getting it’ Bernie. I try to maintain a good attitude, although sometimes it is tough to keep my spirits up. We had all sorts of new news last week and I had to remind myself I can only control my response. You remind me about the ongoing challenges in life with family and friends and the toll it takes on our health. I am getting some new suggestions for recipes with lemons. Someone mentioned a lemon/pudding cake. I love lemon loaf. Thank you for the reminder. Enjoy making memories and lemon loaf with your granddaughter.

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        1. Hi Bernie, I am honoured that you would like to share some of my words. Totally all right with me. I also look forward to catching up reading blogs this week and I look forward to reading your updates and blog posts. 🙂

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          1. Your words evoked Yoda’s style and voice in my head! I am building on the wisdom and making better choices about controlling me and letting the load “rest easier” of the things I can’t control.
            Oh but I still made the lemon loaf and will eat too much of it. Right next to that recipe was the lemon curd one (so good my friend asks for it for her birthday), lemon mousse (light and fluffy and so lemony) and lemon chiffon cake (has won two bake off work championships that one). All things lemon! Take care. Bernie

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            1. Your “Yoda” comment makes me smile, Bernie. I look forward to reading where you are going with this. I love how we help support each other. The lemon desserts are making me salivate. If you have the time and are in the mood, you may want to add the recipes/photos to a post. The words “…and so lemony…” sounds wonderful. I conjure up all sorts of images….and did I mention salivate?! 🙂

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  23. You don’t have to sell me on lemons. I love them all. In all ways. I remember a saying: When life gives you lemons, ask for tequila and salt. That’d be a way to get good karma going, don’t you think? Especially while sitting inside your gazebo.

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    1. I love your saying, Ally. This is the first time I have heard it, yet I know I will pass it on. I have also had some recent comments about limoncello. I cannot believe I did not know what it was and I have never tried it. Google described it for me and it is now on my grocery list. I like your excellent suggestions on how to place good karma into the Universe.🙂 Thank you!

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  24. Lemons are a gift. They encourage you to damper the sour with sweet, which is exactly what you did in this post! I was especially drawn to sharing good karma. It could mean paying it forward, or starting the chain yourself. I think about that a lot. If someone cuts me off in traffic, I find myself MORE willing to let others in. My reward; a smile and waved thank you. Hopefully they pay it forward. Super heartwarming you wrote that letter to Thrifty Foods. When one of our clients come to the front desk and rave about a practitioner, I strongly encourage them to reach out to the owners. And usually they love the idea and are excited to! And when the practitioner is praised, their spirit and level of service gets a huge boost! Win win win!!

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    1. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful comment, Sara. I know you and I have discussed sharing good karma back into the Universe. I try to maintain a good attitude yet sometimes it is tough to keep my spirits up. The recent high numbers and new restrictions did not help. I had to remind myself I can only control my response.

      I appreciate your comment about willing to let cars in, and ‘my’ reward, how it also makes us feel. I debated posting this story wondering whether it was too personal and TMI. You and another blogging friend of mine reminded me of the concept of “confidence” and “courage” when writing and write from the heart.

      I received a phone call from the manager of Thrifty’s a few days later and we talked for about 30 minutes on the phone. I will tell you more about the conversation in person.

      You make an excellent point, Sara, about telling employers and bosses when we appreciate their practitioners/team members. Win win win! I greatly appreciate your insightful comment. xo ❤️

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  25. Yes! I love your family’s mantra. Let’s all share good karma. We would be much happier if we followed your advice. we do get to control our responses to adversity. Great post! And I would love to sit in your beautiful new gazebo.

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    1. Thank you for your supportive, kind words, Laurie. I usually try to maintain a good attitude. I had a difficult time keeping my spirits up with the news from last week, very high numbers and new restrictions. I had to remind myself how I can only control my responses and as always, count my blessings. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insightful comment.

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  26. I love that gazebo! The idea and the execution. And the fact that you now have this wonderful outdoor place to share with friends and family. Summer is right around the corner. Another positive thing to look forward to. 🙂

    I’m sorry to read that you’ve been feeling a bit down, Erica. Rest assured that your blogs always put a smile on my face and make me think. Tolerance. Kindness. Good karma. I should follow your examples a bit more instead of getting annoyed at certain situations. I hope you have a lovely week ahead!

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    1. Hi Liesbet, We likely would not have thought about a gazebo, except for this pandemic. Always a silver lining. 🙂We won’t have anyone over right now and the two of us are staying close to home. These are the present recommendations/restrictions with the numbers/variants increasing exponentially. Things will change when more people get vaccinated. No vaccines for the two of us, yet. Lots of blessings and especially how our loved ones are still healthy. Thank you for your kind, supportive words. You always lift my spirits, Liesbet.🙂 I look forward to reading more about Mark’s special birthday “year.”xx ❤️

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  27. Erica you are such a gentle soul and I always enjoy the messages you send in your posts. This one in particular strikes a chord as at the moment life is probably more lemons than lemonade. However, your words again inspire me to make that lemonade and enjoy the moment. I adore the photo of you and your granddaughters enjoying life together and making special memories. Chuck did a beautiful job with the driftwood #talentedguy Take care during this difficult period and keep making that lemonade or in your case the lemon pavlova – it looks delicious! xx

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    1. Hi Sue, I know happiness is an inside job, yet there are times I need reminders. You always lift my spirit with your genuine, encouraging words.💕 And, of course, Ethan hugs are the best! Our granddaughters were camping with their family this past weekend and we met them for a hike at a place relatively close to our house. You are an active grandmother with the boys and they are lucky to have you in their lives. Pavlova came up in our discussions a few times last year and it is fun to make, along with the Nutella Cheesecake. I look forward to connecting again with you soon. Sending an Ethan Hug to you.xx❤️

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  28. I love anything tart, and lemons are definitely at the top of that list! Never heard of a pavlova before, but I mean, the photo alone assures me there is no possible way I wouldn’t love it!

    I’d also love to build a gazebo, but I’m not very handy at that sort of thing, so I should rephrase: I’d love to HIRE SOMEBODY to build me a gazebo.

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    1. Hi Mark, I have a few blogging friends from Australia and they hooked me onto pavlova last year. It is a type of meringue-like dessert. You can use any type of fruit. Highly requested from my family now.

      We investigated getting a gazebo at the end of last year, with all of the restrictions. We ordered it from Costco. My husband and a couple friends built a base for it first. The gazebo comes in many, many pieces and hardware – 900 pounds weight. I think you can hire companies to assemble it. It took a few weeks and three men. Love it!

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  29. This is such an uplifting post, Erica. Life doesn’t always go to plan and there are always challenges, some of them quiet unpleasant. I like your positivity and how you try to make positives out of your circumstances. That is such a wonderful and kind note – and yes, some cashiers do try to pile bags as high and heavy as possible to save on space. But sounded like Marcus was very considerate of your request 🙂 Easter weekend with family and building a gazebo looked so much fun, and so did making that Lemon Pavlova in these strange times. Love those smile and that pavlova looks delicious. I don’t think there’s a slice left for me 😀

    I’m a pessimist so I tend to focus on the negatives…or what you can call realist outcomes. Then I try my best to just keep moving forward and on to the next step. I like my lemons in a hot lemon honey drink with some ginger. It’s perfect for cold winter nights here in Melbourne…which I will probably make quite a bit in the upcoming months 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I greatly appreciate your thoughtful, supportive words, Mabel.💕 I thought twice about sharing the note to ‘Marcus’ whether it was TMI. Yet, it fit the theme of this post. I do see how a pessimist and a realist are similar. Moving forward one step at a time is a good philosophy. I realize you have Winter coming up and a hot lemon drink is a perfect drink. I don’t know whether you have access to maple syrup? I have started added some maple syrup and lemon to my tea. A real treat. 🙂

      Like

      1. Yes, we do actually have maple syrup here…but it really is the generic kind a the store. If I see a good one on the shelves I might give it a go. Maple syrup does sound like a good addition to a lemon tea. Thanks for the tip, Erica 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Erica – wonderful post … definitely full of sweetened lemons … delightful to read and for us all to think of being kind to others … I do find being ‘polite’ or enthusiastic helps others out of their perhaps negative time of the day. Smiling brings so much joy – as your post is making me smile today … thank you … enjoy your family times and friends too – stay safe – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind, supportive words, Hilary. You always lift my spirits. We have had a roller coaster of events around here and I have to remind myself how I cannot control most things. Only my response. And how a negative time is only part of the day, not the entire day. You also remind me how smiling brings great joy to others and ourselves.🙂 Take care and stay well. Thank you for my smile.🙂

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  31. Thanks for putting all that good karma back into the Universe, Erica. Sometimes, you have to let the sadness and frustration wash over you, but as you’ve reminded us, you don’t have to drown in it. I know your acts of kindness lifted others, and I suspect lifted you as well. I know that gazebo and lemon pavlova did. Enjoy them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Christie. I know you ‘get it’ when I read your positive and uplifting posts. A great point, “you don’t have to drown in it.” I debated on sharing the acts of kindness, whether it was TMI although it was part of the theme of this post. Thank you for helping lift my spirits. 🙂

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  32. Cosmic karma goes a long way! When life gives me lemons my friend makes me lemon bars. I tried a new recipe last night for baked boneless skinless chicken breast. Included putting lemon slices on the bottom of the pan and the chicken on top spread with a brown sugar paprika dusting. Very good!
    Your idea of building a gazebo so you can visit friends outside-brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the Cosmic Karma, too, Pam. Your lemon chicken recipe sounds wonderful. I will try this recipe with a base of lemon slices. We are lucky to have access to fresh seafood around here. Halibut, salmon, steelhead…all great with lemon. We had not thought about a gazebo until last Fall. Still cautious about any visiting, even outside. Things are rapidly changing and I know we will make use of the gazebo. You have a wonderful friend! Have a great weekend.💕

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  33. A wonderful post, Erica. I love your attitude and active approach to changing what you can change. I’m pretty good at making lemonade and putting good energy out into the universe. There are times, though, when I worry or get down. I usually simple accept those as part of the ups and downs and in time they pass. And I like fresh homemade lemonade!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can tell by your writing and your energy, Diana how you make an effort to see the good and share good karma. And you are right, we do expect ups and downs and this too shall pass. I had not thought about fresh lemonade. My latest is half a lemon in tea sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. I will experiment with the maple syrup, fresh lemons in cold water especially with the nice weather around the corner.

      Happy you had a visit with your grandson!💕 Have a great Sunday/Funday!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Yeah! Erica, I adore your beautiful gazebo — perfect for the times and all times! A great design and so welcoming. The fire is ideal and cosy!

    Your post is an inspiration for us all, when spirits dip giving us a hint on how to lift ourselves up and beyond the lows. Your are kindness personified and it is touching how you send presents to your friends (🤗❤️) and the polished driftwood here is stunning! I think you and your husband may be on to something for your local tourist shops! As for the pavlova, delicious!!! Hmm … no special lemon recipes as such although often used within dishes and of course, helps to make salad dressing refreshing and tasty!

    Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday, my dear friend! Keep safe and well. hugs xx ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annika, We will eventually add a few more things in the gazebo. It is a welcome addition to our home. I thought about your beautiful writing studio and you inspired us to have a ribbon cutting ceremony. 🙂

      Thank you for all of your kind, thoughtful and supportive words. Yesterday, Chuck and I went on a long hike, East Sooke park, moderate level, hills along the ocean. Beautiful, chilly Spring day. I hope you are still able to get out for exercise. I hope all is well with your loved ones.💕 Bracing ourselves for more changes/restrictions this week and trying to stay mentally and physically healthy. You always lift my spirits, Annika, and I truly appreciate you. xx❤️

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      1. Erica, I would love to have seen photos of your ribbon cutting ceremony!! 😀 It does make a new build feel even more special!

        Your walk sounds sublime, hills along ocean! Awww … I think you’ve sent your cold Spring weather to us but also sunny so enjoying lots of walks.

        I feel for you with new restrictions. After three months plus of strict lockdown restrictions are lifting today. Shops open at last, dining outside allowed and self-contained household holidays allowed! Hooray! My husband and I have booked our first short trip away in over a year – a delux canal boat in beautiful rural landscape of Cambridgeshire! Can’t wait!

        Sending you love & hugs xx ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I am happy to hear how the strict lockdown restrictions are lifting, Annika. I cannot imagine how difficult to keep spirits up over the last months. And, always the health concerns for everyone. Exciting about the deluxe canal boat trip. I just now looked up the Cambridgeshire area and the photos are gorgeous. Tranquil and beautiful. I quickly sifted through the East Sooke Park hike attached here. Hugs and stay well. xx ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you for sharing this, Erica. This is beautiful. The gazebo looks amazing. We are in another stay at home emergency lockdown where you can only go out for food, medical, work and exercise (like a walk). Hopefully in a few weeks we can see others for an outdoors visit.

    Pavlova must also be popular in Australia. It is big in New Zealand where my daughter is. It is a wonderful treat.

    I’m curious about Goldstream Park and the rail line. Are there still operating rail lines on Vancouver Island? Hope you have a great week! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughtful comment, Carl. It is likely challenging to have your daughter live far from home, yet she lives in one of the best countries in the world. I don’t think any rail lines are being used on the Island right now. Many years ago we enjoyed travelling up the Island on the train. I think you are familiar with the Kinsol Trestle, a wooden railway trestle. Historical and fun for a hike.

      We are presently not at the stay at home emergency lockdown, yet restrictions with numbers of people in our bubble, outside. I am trying to focus on all of our blessings, and I have many of them. I hope you are able to continue your inspirational running/walking outdoors, Carl. Spring is always a beautiful time of year filled with hope and possibilities. Enjoy your week! 🙂

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  36. Erica these are fabulous ideas and inspiring positivity. We too have made our backyard an extension of our living area. Thank you for the uplifting post. As we move solidly into the third wave I know we will need to be looking for ways to help others and ourselves to stay hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You describe this beautifully, Sue “…our backyard an extension of our living area.” I also appreciate how you validate my feelings about entering solidly into the third wave and looking for ways to keep ourselves mentally healthy and hopeful. Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Take care and enjoy our beautiful Spring.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  37. This is such a positive and inspiring post, Erica. It’s so timely because we seem to get discouraged about the pandemic. It looked improving at the beginning of the year and now the cases surged again. It seems like this will never end. We have so many lemons thrown at us. I love lemons. I wanted to grow a lemon tree because we use lemons all the time. But the orange and lemon trees were quarantine in two counties here. We had to go to a county far away to get one, so we haven’t done it.

    I love your gazebo. What a great idea to build one and have family and friends gathering outdoor with the sun and a firepit if cold. It’s lovely to see you and your grandkids walking on the railroad track. I’m so glad to see the happy grandma holding their hands. Have a wonderful week with your family, Erica!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miriam, for sharing your thoughts. “Discouraging” is a good word and describes well how I am feeling, too. I cannot imagine growing orange and lemon trees in the back yard. Possibility in the future for you.

      The gazebo was a positive thought and outcome from all that transpired last year. Presently, we are not having anyone else over, even outside. Stay in our neighbourhood and associate only with the people in our home (the 2 of us)You know the routine, Miriam.🙂 We visited the children when they were camping a few weeks ago and you are absolutely right……..holding hands (albeit outdoors) a treat. Their Mother (my daughter) makes certain they follow the safety restrictions. The numbers after Spring Break and Easter weekend sky rocketed. I know this too shall pass. Thank you for helping keep my spirits up, Miriam. Exciting about your book!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have a orange tree in the back yard. We live in Orange County that started in 1871 with a lot of orange grove. I think the time our home was built, the tree was planted. I see almost all the homes in our area have orange trees in their back yard.

        We used to have orange patches in the neighborhood, but they were gone and replaced with buildings. It’s sad.

        We just have to keep our children and grandchildren close by and do things with them as much as we can. Those moments are the most precious memories.

        I’m excited about my book also. It’ll be available at midnight tonight. Yay! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  38. I’m very behind in my reading, clearly, but this is a wonderful post. Building a gazebo is particularly amazing! Leaving the message about the employee no doubt made his day. All these items are so kind. Doesn’t everyone enjoy having a friend think of them and send along a kindness. This is what keeps the world turning. Well done, Erica! And to answer the lemon question: we recently made delicious lemon bars and lemoncello! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your exceptionally kind comment, Betsy. I wondered whether this post was a little TMI, and I appreciate the supportive thoughts. Funny you should mention, limoncello. I bought a bottle for the first time this past weekend and I find it tastes a little odd/bitter/chemical? The ingredients say lemon. I mixed it with a lot of soda water. I should find a recipe and make it myself. Yet now I have this entire bottle sitting in the fridge. I hope you and family are well, with your son still happily helping you with chores.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You are totally right, Betsy. It won’t go bad. Only people in our household in our gazebo right now – therefore only the two of us until things change again – good thing we love each other 😷

          Liked by 1 person

  39. You offer up much wisdom about what we can control, Erica! I have had to work really hard at realizing that all I can control is my reaction to whatever comes my way. It is a hard lesson and one that, for me, has been thoroughly tested in recent times. The truth of your wisdom is that while it doesn’t always make the process any easier, you are able to not lose yourself in despair when you step back and realize the portion of life within your control. I have not had lemon pavlova, but it sure sounds tasty! Your gazebo is beautiful and I’m sure you will create many wonderful memories there. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amy, for your encouraging and supportive words. I am still working on my ‘lesson’ of realizing I can only control my reaction. It sounds like things have been extra challenging for you. The pandemic is a constant stress and then put life/family challenges on top of that. I find I almost start to shut down to conserve the energy I do have. Hang in there, Amy. This too shall pass. Many lessons on this one. I am always in awe of the amazing, supportive people around us. You are definitely one of them.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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