VACATION Summer 2018 – Thought for this day

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday the 20th day of August, 2018.

This kept me busy for most of yesterday …..

Welcome to my vacation.

Road trip from Spruce Grove-Edmonton to AIRDRIE, Alberta.

Momma and her daughter.

Take the scenic tour.

Most of the photos were shot as we drove down the highway.

Some poor “bugs” were lost along the way and I was sorry that their lives ended.

My daughter drove all of the way …..

We passed by many a red barn.

Some of the shots were blurry.

Most of those I deleted because why would you want to see those.

Oil digging machines.  Big round bales.

Beautiful green countryside.

Even time for a selfie when we were stopped for construction.

Those poor workers out paving the roads in the HEAT.

As my daughter would say ….. “Another photo of a sign”

I thought they would always remind me where we were.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE.

They have had some of the best signs.

 

Okay perhaps the 7-Eleven sign was over the top.

Pretty flowers ….

Our first stop was CAROLINE.  I managed to get a photo of the Town OFFICE.

Disappointed in missing the entrance sign.

A map to show us the way (we had GPS, too).

Dirty windshield.

Sorry poor little bugs.

The trees were absolutely thick, green and glorious.

The highway just stretched out in front of us.

 

We stopped in SUNDRE for lunch at this local establishment.

 

The server/cook was amazing.Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, indoor

They had a wall filled with Record Album Covers …. so cool.

We had to have a photo taken in front of it.

When asked us if we wanted dessert?

We hesitated and then said “sure” and she gave us Saskatoon pie for FREE.

We did not have to pay for the pie.

Can you believe it?

Such a nice person.

 

After lunch we headed over to a book store that my daughter had spotted on our way into the town.

Shout out to “CAMELOT BOOKS.”

Unfortunately per the owner only in business until end of August, 2018.

After all, one can never have too many books, right!

This was a used book store with something to suit everyone’s imagination.

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They had some books over 100 years old.

Such treasures.

What a great place to stop and investigate.

I picked up two books of poetry that were printed before I was born.

So I know that there are some things older than me.  Ha.

After we spent some time checking out the books and of course leaving some of our holiday money at the bookstore, we were on our way once again

 

 

The way to AIRDRIE.

Somehow or OTHER I managed not to get a sign for AIRDRIE.

How did that happen?

Disappointing.

Three hundred and some odd photos and none of our destination, well that just plains SUCKS.

We arrived at AIRDRIE just after 3:30 p.m. and drove straight to the hotel to check in before heading to our REAL DESTINATION.

IT was the antique shop/mall named “WHERE ON EARTH …. DID YOU GET THAT?”

One of my daughter’s friends who lives in Calgary met us at the antique stop/mall for a visit.

She brought her Mother and baby son ….

Now for some reason I did not take any pictures of the store or the SIGN at this time.

What was I thinking?

Perhaps distracted?

After all I am or was almost “61” at the time.

After we hung out at the store for a few hours and it was about to close up, I asked one of the staff for the name of his three favourite restaurants in town?

He gladly gave me the names of them and even wrote them down.

 

We headed back to the hotel and found my youngest brother hanging out (waiting for us).

We went to a restaurant named “PEPPERCORNS” by the water which is in the background of the following photos.

At first we were wondering where the water was until we opened the blinds at our table and voile, WATER.

It was great.

Snapped a few photos.

Some of the homes lining the water were so pretty and their back yards …. well I was a bit envious.

 

We found these bushes by the water that were this grey colour with same colour berries.  Very cool.

Ducks as there should be in water.

The sun was setting and the smoke gave it an eerie look.

We had a great visit with my youngest brother from Calgary.

 

The next morning (Wednesday) instead of heading off to “DRUMHELLER” to see the dinosaurs we decided to go to the mountains.

CANMORE.

We could not believe how far out Calgary has grown – almost reaching AIRDIE.

Here are some shots of the ever growing city of Calgary.

HAZY due to smoke and heat.

Police van across the highway keeping everyone safe.

 

Photos of everything.

I had to get one of the truck hauling LOGS.

On the way to the mountains…..

 

I see mountains….. yay.

 

Sign for CANMORE.

We went to this bookstore in CANMORE.

Yup another bookstore.

So very cool.

On one side of the store there were new books and little gifts and on the other side used books and a coffee shop.

We had coffee and goodies …. coffee break.

 

 

 

We took a walk about Canmore and took in some of the local stores.

Vintage store.

We had lunch along the way.

The best CHICKEN and FISH TACOS ever (I am not sure that I have had them before but they were good).

I cannot remember the name of the restaurant.  Not a chain.

One of my favourite things was we bought locally made rings to mark our trip.

I shall treasure them forever.

I should have taken a photo of them.

I wear one or both of them every day along with the one that I purchased on our Mother/Daughter Trip to Jasper in 2009.

 

When we were on our way out of Canmore, we turned down a street and found this walk way by the river.  There was not much water in the river but the sights were beautiful.

This was a wonderful find.

 

 

 

 

Along the way ….. taking in the sights.

 

On our way back to AIRDRIE.

Shots from the car.

 

Everyone needs a shot of the big SHOPPING MALL sign.

Designer stuff ..

We laughed all the way about me and my sign obsession

 

.

 

Finally the morning we were leaving AIRDRIE and one last stop at our favourite ANTIQUE place.

I decided to take some photos.

Neglected to take a photo of the sign on the store.

But I took some photos of some cool items.

There were so many items that I would have loved to have brought home with me.

Alas not enough room or money.

I desperately wanted one of those wagon wheels for my back garden.

The rusted old water pump would have worked, too.

Just before I left …. five minutes before leaving the store.

On one last look about I found the item that sung to my heart.

THE ROOSTER WEATHER VANE.

Rooster is my Chinese sign.

This was my gift to myself.

It remains in my garage at this time until I find the perfect spot for it.

Likely will wait until spring to display it.

So grateful that I found the most perfect item.

 

On our way home.

More shots from the car.

Those buildings in the next photos …. store the big round bales.

Very cool.

More photos of logging trucks, not sure why.

Another red barn.

We stopped again in SUNDRE and hit the bookstore one last time.

I found ten more books …. love to read.

 

Construction ….. trees ….. this truck ahead of us ….. we followed him for over one hour…… we thought he was taking us home.

Cool churches, a tractor.

Electrical tower.

 

BACK TO SPRUCE GROVE.

 

Here are some photos of my finds from the Antique Store …. some for me and others for gifts.

Books ….

Teddy and Alvin ….. the day after we arrived home … Teddy came for an overnight stay.  We missed him.

So that was our trip.

We had a blast and have vowed to do it again next year.

We only have to convince my daughter’s husband, my son-in-law that it is a good idea.

Just kidding …..

We were gone for two nights – three days but had the best time.

Saw my little brother, the mountains, ate in great places, shopped in book stores and antique shop,  and took lots of photos of signs.

What could be better than that.

Oh, spending time with my daughter and my little brother.

Okay ….. done.

 

Special Hello to: my daughter who is the best travel partner ever, thank you.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

PS:  just in my office putting the finishing touches on this blog before going to POST.  I sat down in my chair and Alvin came up to me and put his paw on my leg.  He does this when he is asking “politely for something.”  Here he was asking for me to put his blue blanket on the floor as I had forgotten.  How cute is that?  I love this little guy.  Makes my heart sing.

 

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From ME to YOU

On this wonderful Wednesday.

I just wanted to tell you that something absolutely wonderful is going to happen to you today.

Enjoy.

Happy Wednesday.

Thought for the day…..

I just wanted to tell you all this story as the thought for the day.

Yesterday, while I was working at Bath & Body Works (West Edmonton Mall).

A lady came into the store looking for a particular item.

I could not help but notice her Texan drawl.

We got to chatting.

She flew to Edmonton to be with her husband who was in business meetings (oil, of course).

This Texan Lady remarked on the beauty of our country.  She also wanted to check out some of Edmonton’s sites.  Even inquired about “public transportation”.  So I gave her the 3-1-1.

Also on the weekend before flying back to Texas they were going to visit Jasper.  I know that they will enjoy their time there.

I quickly told her about other points of interest throughout Canada – like our Maritime relatives and Calgary and Banff to the south.

She remarked on “how very friendly and wonderful everyone in Edmonton and Canada had been to her.”

I told her about when I was a young girl and our family spent the winter in McAllen, Texas.

I felt then as I do now – that Texans are like us …… BIG HEARTED, WARM people.

“We bonded.”  She was so nice.

This is CHEERS to CANADIANS – WE ROCK.

Continue to be the best and most friendly people on the “block” ……. the world is noticing.

It is always good to be liked by your neighbours…..

Have a wonderful FRIDAY everyone.

Always, Carol

P.S. time for coffee……………..

Just have to tell you …..

Quick story.  Last night during our week long wind storm, Mr. Alvin had to take a trip outside.  I opened the back door.  He started walking on the deck.  All of a sudden we heard this noise (kind of scary, groaning sound) Alvin turned his head, and looked up. While I was stepping outside to check things out …. AL high tailed it back into the house.  So what did he see?  Well a large section of siding had come loose on my neighbour’s side of our duplex.  The siding is loose on the second story.  It is still attached by the window but each time the wind blows it looks like it will be ripped off and take flight.  Each time Alvin goes outside he looks up to see what is going on.  Isn’t that cute?

Thanks to my “guard” dog.  He is cautious as he looks up each time he/we go outside.  Better to caution on the safe side…..

Always, Carol

Children ….. the light in our lives…

Last Friday, I watched over two of the sweetest children, Anela (4) and Zavier (2 1/2).   It was the three of us, and Alvin, of course.  We played  games and  with toys, and I answered questions. Yes, four year olds are very inquisitive, and want to know things.  So I did my best.  It was fun.  Made me use my brain and imagination at times. The kids played with Alvin throwing him his snowball.  We had a snack followed by quiet time which was me reading a story, and then more playing and then lunch. While I made lunch the kids watched a bit of television.  Thomas the train, is cute but honestly some of the children’s programming is beyond me.  I do not see what they see but then again I am not 2 or 3 or 4.  Likely the reason..

After lunch, we had some very special visitors.  My friend Anick, and her children who at this very time are getting close to her parents home in Quebec.  But last Friday the children, my friends Lea, Mahee-Lee and David came over to join us for the  afternoon.  I had planned to do some Easter Crafts, play some games, hang out and have a snack which would include chocolate cupcakes with a robin’s egg blue icing.  I set up a table in the family room in the basement to do the crafts.  The floor has carpet so the girls decided to show me their cartwheels, and other acrobatic feats.  I gladly sat off to the side and watched.  LOL.  Oh, to be young!  So cute.  The boys played with the cars and trucks until time for Zavier to go and have a nap.  Oh, I can still hear vroom vroom vroom… One game that I found that all of the children love is “I SPY” …… doesn’t matter what the age …. and we came up with a new twist on the game, too.  It is called “WE SPY” with our little eyes,  and you  play it in teams of two.  My daughter came over and took photos of the kids playing.  I wanted to have photos of my friends.

The day literally flew by.  Soon Anela and Zavier had left for home.  Lea, Mahee-Lee and David stayed until suppertime.  Another neighbour Kahlia came over and the kids had a “snowball” fight ( there has to be a better word than that ) but anyway on the deck in my backyard.  I took some video.  Kahlia is 9 and I thought that he would be the rough one but I must say Miss Lea who is 6 can definitely hold her own.  I sat out on the deck and drank coffee while videotaping them play.  The laughter was infectious.  They had so much fun.  Poor Alvin was not sure where to go.  He kept running from place to place.  Finally he rested over by me (guess he figured that I might be a safe haven).  It was the best day …. we had so much fun.  Children are the greatest creation.  We all need to have children in our lives.  I am so grateful for last Friday.  Keeping with the children theme …….. I invited Lea and Mahee-Lee to spent the night, a sleepover as Mom & Dad were busy with the finishing touches of packing.  We watched movies and had a great night.

The following photos say it all:

Anela, Zavier and Alvin (getting to know each other)

Lea getting some photography pointers from Amanda, everyone took turns

Me, Alvin and the Kids

Zavier and Anela @ SNACK-TIME

DAVID .... ah so cute.

Mahee-Lee enjoying her cupcake....

Me and the kids having cupcakes....

Miss Lea

My beautiful daughter Amanda - whose light shines bright!

Anela

Craft-time - Lea

Mahee-Lee the "Cartwheel Queen"

The rewards ..... of crafting...

Zavier enjoying his snack

"the next Spielberg" ......

Anela and her Easter picture

The whole gang.....

 

Thought for the day…..

This afternoon my friend Lea accompanied me on a walk with Alvin.

It is mushy, slushy, icy and wet out there.

But we all need the exercise, so we braved the elements.

Lea wanted to take the reins so to speak (Alvin’s leash) and so she did.

It was so cute, they would get a bit ahead of me and then Alvin would stop, turn around and make sure that I was there.

He did that on the whole walk.  Guess there is a guy who wants “me” around.  LOL.

We had a great visit.  I sure am going to miss her.  They leave for Quebec on Sunday.  I am going to miss the whole family.

So the thought for the day is this …… always spend time with those you love ….. because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

A month or so ago, I never would have  dreamt that the Enchill family would be moving away.

So remember, take the time when you can and spend it with family and friends.

I am so happy, deep down in my heart that I had another opportunity to spend some time with my friend Lea.

After the walk she came in for a little while.  We were planning some crafts for Friday afternoon.

Friday I am babysitting a couple of little ones, and then the Enchill children will join us for crafts.

Party time ……

Before Lea left, she had to try the treadmill.  She did very well.

All I can say is this ….. Quebec will be so blessed to have this wonderful young lady join their population and Alberta, well, we will be missing her.

OMG, the sun just came out….. YAY……  Big smile….

So remember ….. VISIT …. PLAY …… SMILE …… LAUGH …… ENJOY LIFE …… cause you never know when things will change.

Change is good but just different.

Someone is barking and wanting my attention as he plunked down on his tummy …. nope he is up ….. I know it is suppertime.

Gotta go.

Always, Carol

My friend Lea

I have a friend named Lea, who is six years old.

She lives a few doors down from me.

Lea was one of the first people who came over to meet me when I moved in two years ago.

Lea and her family are moving back to Quebec at the end of next week.

I shall miss my little friend.

She always brightens my day with her smile and beautiful laugh.

Her Mom has told me that somedays as soon as she gets in the door after school – she asks if she can go visit Carol.

I shall miss my little friend.

Yesterday afternoon Lea called and came over.

She helped me clean and tidy up the basement.

She is a huge help.

Lea is one of the nicest, smartest, funniest people I know.

She cares for her family, animals and her friends.

I have no doubt in my mind that she will go far in this world.

She has a true heart …. one of gold.

I shall truly miss that little girl.

Both Alvin and I shall miss Lea and her family.

They have become more than friends, they are part of my family.

My backyard will be quiet in the summertime, I shall miss that very much.

I will miss tea-time with Lea’s Mom Anick.

I will miss David’s soft way and all his cars, he is three.

I will miss Mahee-Lee’s giggles, she is four.

I will miss Peter, his soft spoken style, he Lea’s Dad.

Before I break into too many tears, I shall just say this …..

I LOVE YOU LEA and you will always be my friend.

Love you Anick, Peter, Lea, Mahee-Lee and David.

You are the best.

May life treat you kindly, and with respect.

May your days be filled with wonder and bliss.

I wish you much love & laughter, joy, perfect health and much abundance.

Take Care.

Save travels…..

You are always in my heart.

Love Always, Carol and Alvin….

One of my favourite photos of Miss LEA...

Photos from our two years together …..

My friend LEA

Peter, Mahee-Lee, Anick & Lea

David

Mahee-Lee

Lea & Mahee-Lee visiting

Peter, helping build my new deck

Making Easter Cards

Anick .... fresh from face painting "class"

Enchill Family (summer 2010) Birthday party

One Sunday afternoon ….

Yesterday afternoon my six year old friend from a few doors down named Lea called me to see if she could come over for a visit.

I could tell that she was bored.  Some weeks she calls more often than others.  She has a little sister named Mahee-Lee, and a little brother named David.

But she is the big sister through and through.

I suppose that I can identify with her as I am the eldest of my siblings.  Sometimes you just need to get away.

It was funny as I asked her what she was doing and she said “putting on her boots” ….. guess she knew that this time I would say “YES”.

When Lea arrived Alvin did his usual greeting …… he loves his Lea.  So he has to jump up and try to give her a kiss.  It usually takes a few minutes for her to get her boots, coat, mitts and hat off when Alvin is the meet and greeter…. LOL.

Once she was settled, as I had mentioned on the phone “I was working, making some jewelry” and then asked her “if she would like to make a bracelet”.

Of course, she said a resounding “Yes, please” with a huge smile attached.  So I chose some beads for her and cut her a piece of  stretch cord to make the bracelet.

I continued with the necklace that I was making.  We chatted up a storm during our jewelry making session.

We had a couple of “accidents” with one being a tray of beads spilled onto the floor.  We both scrambled to pick them up before Alvin got to them.

But surprisingly enough, Alvin didn’t even flinch ….. just wasn’t interested in “our beads”.  So we were relieved.

Once Lea had her bracelet finished, I asked her if she would like to make herself a necklace.  She was so excited.

More beads and time later, she asked if I would help her finish the necklace.  I guess it seemed a daunting task for a six year old.

So I worked on one side and her on the other.

We quickly finished it.  It was coming close to 3:00 p.m. and she had to run home.  Lea and her family were going to the “YM” for an outing.

It was a fun couple of hours with my little friend, Lea.

She is so grown up for a six year old.  Lea makes me laugh.

It was a great afternoon and I even made a necklace and matching bracelet in between the laughter and beads rolling on the floor….  🙂

My friend Lea - Halloween Craft Party 2010

My friend Lea showing off her bracelet & necklace

Close-up of Lea's beautiful necklace...

"The bracelet" ...... great job, Lea.

Lea’s bracelet, she was so proud.  As am I.

Great JOB…..very creative.

L

My creations from Sunday afternoon with Lea.

This was a grand way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Please check our “Dear Stella Jewelry” on Facebook.

So I wonder ……

At this very moment, I am alone with my thoughts and body as Alvin is away for a sleepover.

There are times and this is one of them – that I wonder.  Why, is there no man in my life?

I am a great gal, girl, woman, human being.

I  am loving, giving, considerate, funny, artistic, attractive and a lot more.

People have asked me over the years, “how come you are single” – some probably are thinking that there is a major flaw or something.

I always repeat the same mantra …… “just haven’t found the right guy” ….. he’s out there….. somewhere.

I finish by saying that “who knows someday he might just walk up to my door”  ….. and that will be that.

I do miss having someone to talk to daily.

Up until a couple of years ago I was working (not from home), so I had the carpool guys and co-workers.

So on a daily basis I was able to connect with a human being.

These days, it is me and Alvin.

I see my daughter as often as possible (but she works full-time).

I have new friends here and do see them often.

I am grateful for this life.

I love being at home.

It is a dream of mine come true.

But somedays and I guess this is one of them, it  would be great to have someone to cook supper for ….. to chat about our days …… cuddle on the sofa …… go out for dinner…. take a walk in the neighbourhood…

So this is the moment I am currently in ……

I am very grateful for all that I have …… for my dear family and friends…….

I am happy as they say “in my own skin” ….. which is a good thing……. cause who else would be??  LOL

But a girl can “wish” right……

So for now ……. I will just be grateful to have this wonderful life and maybe, just maybe someday soon…… someone to share it with……

 

Alvin ......

 

 

P.S. they will have to LOVE Alvin …….

Always, Carol

“An unusual noise” ….

It was 10:30 p.m. last night.  Alvin and I were outside on the deck.  I was waiting for Sir Alvin to do his bedtime business.

We both were taking in the stars, the night sky was amazing.  Lots of stars.  So beautiful.  Calm and wonderful.

As we were still for a moment we were taken aback when we heard this “buzzing” noise.

Can you guess what it was?

I am certain that it was ……

A housefly.

We didn’t see it – but we sure heard that undeniable buzz.

Guess with these unusually warm temperatures, The FLY figured it was spring and woke up from his slumber.

I think he will be in for a bit of a surprise when it cools down tomorrow.

Talk about hardy …..

Well that was a cool surprise last night ……

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