A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! Bed late and up late this Saturday morning. So excited that my daughter slept over last night. We had such a good night and as she is getting ready to go home to her family, a bit of sadness creeps into my heart. I love when she arrives and am sad when she leaves. I guess that is a Mother thing or parent thing. She is such a great human, person, woman and daughter. Just love my girl to the moon and beyond.

One thing that I want to figure out with my new computer is how to access my photos through Word Press. Somehow the new computer does things differently or perhaps it is the old me that just cannot see the trees for the forest. Oh, well, as I recently told my daughter, eventually I figure things out. Sometimes it takes me awhile.

Last night for supper we had black bean burgers enveloped by Val’s most delicious dill pickle cheese biscuits with a splatter of her raspberry jalapeño jelly. OMG, so delicious. We added cheddar cheese as you cannot have a burger without lots of cheese. My mouth is watering at the mere thought of that burger. I do not think that anything will ever top the most deliciousness of that burger with those biscuits on either side. My friend Val sure knows how to cook and bake. She is the bomb, so talented in the kitchen. I am eternally grateful for all the goodies that she sends to us. Alvin loves his homemade treats as well. We had later in the evening this incredible chocolate brownie. Hidden in the brownie/icing was pieces of a Kit Kat chocolate bar, one of my favourites. It was so rich and delectable. My tummy was so full and content by the goodness. This morning I gave my daughter one of the apple tarts for “breakfast” with her coffee, I will have my later (dessert for supper tonight). Thanks Val, you rock.

Thank you to my daughter for helping me with computer things this morning. She is on her way and I am about to “publish this post.” Photo of Alvin is from last night. What a cutie!

I hope that you are having a wonderful Saturday. Mine has been good thus far. Lots going on. I am also watching over Humphrey, Bogart and Cynder for a couple of days.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, understanding, gratitude, love, laughter, focus, possibilities and coffee. I need coffee ……

Always, Carol & Alvin

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are okay. Alvin still has diarrhea but it is less and definitely less blood. Sorry for the descriptive language this early in the day. But all in all it seems better than he was on Tuesday. He certainly loves the chicken more than the rice. It has been a bit of a challenge to get his medications into him but so far only missed one pill that ended up too mushy in his rice that he wouldn’t eat. They are intelligent creatures and likely his sense of smell is way better than mine or most humans. Yesterday worked out okay with me working from home. I was able to take him out whenever he needed to go as once he asks, he needs to get outside now.

I am grateful that the weather has been mild. Certainly has helped the middle of the night trips outside with the Alvin. I would go no matter what but has helped make it more bearable.

So grateful for all my family and friends who have reached out to check on his status. Thank you.

I am grateful that today is Friday and it is almost the weekend.

I am grateful that Amanda is coming for a sleepover. We are both always over the moon to see her.

I am grateful that I have a job where I can work from home.

Oh, Val, I am wearing my new green sweater this morning. So yesterday the doorbell rings and there, stands this guy with a huge box. As he hands it to me, he says, “it is a heavy one.” I said “thank you” and he was on his way. I quickly put the box down and went back to work. On my break I opened it up to find so many goodies (Christmas box) from our friend Val, who spoils us rotten. There was biscotti (my absolutely favourite), some dill pickle biscuits (had one with supper, so good), apple tarts, chocolate muffins, homemade treats for Alvin and other baking for me. There was also the most perfect GREEN sweater for the Momma, “me.” I am wearing the sweater now and it is the perfect weight and I LOVE the colour. There was also some Epicure items in my gift. Also in the box was my Epicure order and my daughter’s. There was a lot of things in that box. Filled my counter. I let Alvin open his gift but he found it a bit difficult this time around so I lent a helping hand and then he was in ….. I know he wasn’t supposed to have anything but what is on his “bland diet” but he was whining and crying and so excited, that I gave him one treat. I broke it into three pieces and he happily gobbled it down. We are over the moon grateful to have this amazing human in our lives. She treats me and Alvin like “rock stars” no better than that….. we are truly blessed. Thanks Val. We love our treats and I cannot wait to taste some of the baked goods tonight with Amanda.

Well it is almost time to head downstairs and get to work. Get that coffee plugged in.

Have an awesome Friday.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Last Half 2022 – December

Good Morning ALL! How are you on this Thursday? I am well. Receiving great report about my boy. Missing him but glad he is doing well. Still dark as night outside. We are nearing the shortest day of the year.

Are you ready for Christmas? Do you bake? Do you entertain? Do you wrap gifts in paper, bags or something else? What special dishes do you make during the holidays? Are you having a big crowd for Christmas? Do you put up an artificial tree or a real tree?

I am ready for Christmas. Shopping done and most wrapping done except for a few items that have yet to be delivered, Christmas cards mailed and still have a few to hand deliver and that will be on Sunday, house and tree are decorated (I keep fussing with the tree, looking for perfection, lol. Yes, I bake every year. This year I made Sugar Cookies and iced them, Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will make some Mincemeat Tarts for Christmas, as well. Yes, a bit although this year I am hosting more (which is lovely). My daughter, son-in-law and pups mostly come here for Christmas although I have gone to their home a few times over the year. Sometimes good for a change. I wrap gifts in paper, bags and sometimes use brown paper, Christmas towels, and sometimes put a gift within a gift. I started making this Hot Cheese Dip for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as an appetizer. I like to make some different twists on the traditional Christmas Dinner meal. Like chicken instead of turkey and one year we had tofurkey. Homemade cranberries instead of out of a can. Garlic whipped potatoes instead of just whipped potatoes. This year we are having Chinese Food instead of the usual. My friend Lucy gave me some Chinese Dumplings that she made so I froze them to have at Christmas. Christmas is usually me, Amanda, Steven and the pups, Alvin, Aspen and MiMi. This year we may have a couple of friends. We also leave an open invitation to anyone who does not have a place to go to for Christmas. The thought of someone alone makes me sad. I am having what I call a big crowd this weekend for a Christmas party, the second weekend in a row for parties. YAY, me. I have been putting up an artificial tree as I had a tree lose all of its’ needles. But I used to put up real trees. I love the smell of a real tree.

So there are my answers to my questions. I hope that you have fun thinking about your answers.

Countdown to Christmas: OMG only “9” sleeps until Christmas Eve.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Last Half 2022 – December

Good Morning ALL! It has been a strange almost 24 hours. Yesterday morning I awoke with Alvin next to me and my daughter sleeping in the spare bedroom. This morning I awake to myself. Just me. It has been years since I have been alone in the house. Feels odd, strange and lonely. Yesterday at the stroke of NOON, Alvin left with my daughter for three weeks or so and will be home on Christmas EVE. Yesterday it was hard to see him go and I did shed some tears for my boy and then I got busy. I have lots to do and that was part of the point to get some things done and to have some downtime. Packing him up to go was akin to packing up a child to go away. There was his favourite blanket, I sent a bed for the car and in case he wanted his although Amanda said they have more beds than pups at home. I packed his food for three weeks which seemed like a lot but not really, his meds, his dishes, his toothbrush, toothpaste, ear cleaner and toys. Oh, his sweater, harness and leash. Although he did wear his harness in the car and was strapped in safely in the back seat while sitting on his favourite blanket and his bed so he was comfy although I am not sure he thought so. I think that I forgot something, oh and the pumpkin. There was food and pumpkin that was open in dishes in the fridge that was packed and went. They made it to Alberta Beach and Amanda reported that he is doing great. He did pant on the drive out but did not drool which is a step up for him. For the guy that seldom sets a paw into the motor vehicle. I am both pleased and very relieved. I wonder how last night went. I went to bed at 9:30 and read for a few minutes before lights out but did not fall asleep for a long time. How long I do not know as I did not get up to check the time. I woke up a couple of times during the night to go to the bathroom. I was laying thing trying to convince myself that I should get up and when I checked the clock it was 6:30 so I stayed in bed until just after 7:30. Yes, I should have likely got my butt out of bed but just to lay there with no one wanting me to move and do anything was great. I have all day to get things done.

Just after Amanda and Alvin left yesterday, I went to put something in the hall closet likely my jacket and before I knew it, I was cleaning it out. It was done at the end of fall but needed it again. Reorganized and cleaned the floor and proudly displayed my new winter boots. Following that I sat down and did some things on my phone before starting to bake.

Yesterday I made four batches of fudge which I am not sure how many pieces that will make, I am going out on a limb and guess around 100 pieces and then I baked 10 dozen chocolate chip cookies. I had supper in between the 5 dozen cookies mark.

I think it was about 7:30 or so when I finished cleaning up. So I enjoyed some Christmas movies while snuggling under our favourite red blanket.

Today’s schedule or agenda is SUGAR COOKIES. I am thinking about four batches but will see how many individual cookies I make. Each cookie will need to be iced and then there is laundry. I have already changed bedding, towels, gathered laundry and reorganized my bedroom clothes closet. Just will finish this post and do some online banking before heading downstairs where I will make some coffee and make the first batch of sugar cookies so they can be chilling while I start laundry. Whew.

I am glad that I booked tomorrow off as a vacation day. Tomorrow afternoon is also the funeral of our neighbour’s son. The service will be streamed so I will be able to attend via online. I also have to run and pick up toothpaste and movoflex for Alvin as Amanda will stop by on Wednesday after work to pick up. Going to be a busy week.

Have a wonderful day.

I just received a text from Amanda. Mr. Alvin was up at 4:30 to pee and then back to sleep until a bit ago and has just finished breakfast (8:20 a.m.). WOW. All is well.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin (even though he is not here at the moment, he is always with me in my mind, heart and soul.)

Last Half 2022 – December

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are well. Perhaps a bit sleep deprived but otherwise ready to get this day going. I was surprised when I started this new post that the words “What are your favourite things to wear?” come up under my header of this post. I did not type them. Not sure what is going on? But definitely creepy. Does that mean that I was hacked? Yikes. Anyway, moving on and I am not going to worry about that. I will take it as a fluke, perhaps I accidentally had something to be pasted, not that I remember saying “what are your favourite things to wear.” Never a dull moment.

I am excited because my daughter, Alvin’s sister is coming for a sleepover tonight. She said that she would stay tomorrow and help me with the baking. That would be great. I do not often have help with the Christmas baking so I would appreciate her assistance. Amanda also mentioned about perhaps taking Alvin home with her tomorrow to Alberta Beach. That would be basically three weeks away from home. I am not sure. I know that I will miss him terribly and I think that he may think that I am not coming back. He has been very clingy as of my three day each week return to the office. But maybe it would be good for him. I worry about him with him approaching 14 years and do not wish to cause him additional anxiety. He knows them and the pups very well so that is not it but it is not home. I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. I will speak to my daughter and see what she thinks.

One of our friends lost their pup this week, he was 14 years old, I believe. Always incredibly sad when a doggie passes on. Truly they are family and the hole they leave in your heart stays forever. We just learn to live without them.

I will need to shovel the driveway as there was a slight skiff of snow a day ago and I did not go back out to clean it up. My daughter will park her car in the garage. It is very cold outside this morning. I decided to remake the dish that I came up with two nights ago and then apple crisp for dessert.

We are down to 23 sleeps till Christmas EVE!!

Have a great day.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: even was texting with two friends from Regina last night individually at the same time. Great to have friends near and far. I am so blessed.

Last Half 2022 – November

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? I am happy to be working from home today. Alvin had a good vet appointment yesterday. No ear infection. Same weight as last visit. Anal glands not full. Had his nails trimmed. YAY. We are done for another 5 weeks. While I was at the clinic, I asked if they could put in an order for Alvin’s food and Michelle, the Vet Tech said “I already ordered it and it is here for you.” WOW, that was great. They ordered two cases of the wet and one bag of the dry food which is exactly what I wanted. So I paid for the food and his visit which was almost $500.00 but he will have food for awhile. He still has lots at home but I do not wish to run the risk of him running out. You never know these days. It would not matter so much but he is on a special diet and needs this special food. We walked to his appointment yesterday. I realized partway through the day that it was icy outside. A few minutes before leaving I went outside and cleared some of the snow from the lawn making a path to the public sidewalk where I tossed some snow which gave me some traction to the street. We walked on the edge of the street until we reached dry sidewalk. Unfortunately our whole side of the sidewalk until we arrived at the walkway was icy but thankfully once we were past our street it was good. I am grateful that Gillian and I picked up those ice picks for your boots at Costco. They worked like a charm. I left them on my boots. Guess I will need to take shoes to work from now on.

Looks like this morning we will have some cuddling time before I start work. Glancing about my office I see that my African Violet is a covered with rich purple flowers. So very beautiful. I love my home office space as it is filled with all of the things that I love and that help me feel creative. I have books, photos of family and friends, cards, cool window coverings and more books and more trinkets and ornaments. It is my happy space. I guess you could say that my whole house is my happy place, happy space. I love my house, each room for different reasons and am over the moon grateful to be living here.

Well it is almost time to head downstairs and plug in the coffee. I already prepared the coffee so just needs to be plugged in to perk. YAY, me. Alvin is resting just outside the office door.

Tonight I am going to sit down and make a list of all the people and events that I require baking/sweet treats for and calculate how many of each item is “needed.” I know that I am baking Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Fudge for three items. Likely not much as I need to make massive amounts of the cookies for sure. Then I will pull out my recipes and ensure that I have all of the ingredients to bake as the first weekend of December is one week away from this Friday. OMG, where has the time gone. I also need on this weekend to hit the grocery store and pick up some final items and go to the Bone & Biscuit to pick up gifts for Alvin, Aspen, Milo and Cookie.

Have an awesome Tuesday.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: always be prepared! Grateful for this weather. Thanks to our friend Gillian who is going to pick up Alvin’s food today. I could not live my life without such great friends such as her 🙂

Last Half 2022 – November

Good Morning ALL! Welcome to Saturday. It is overcast here in Edmonton and it was snowing ever so lightly a little while ago. This morning is give Mr. Alvin a haircut and bath. I am sure that he is over the moon excited, not. Not something that he enjoys but it needs to be done and then he will be good until after Christmas (hopefully). We have laundry on the TO DO LIST and doing up Christmas 2022 lists to include Christmas cards and gifts and baking. I like to write everything on paper so that I can see with my own eyes and that way, I do not miss anyone or anything. Organized is how I always do the Holiday Season. Just makes sense to me. I think that this year I will only bake Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Fudge. That is the plan but it may change once I am in the kitchen. Lists also help when you are baking and cooking to ensure that you are not short one ingredient or more. I am pretty good at swapping but sometimes with certain things it makes a notable difference. How do you do Christmas? Lists or just by memory?

I am trying to set FONT size for my post and it was working for awhile and now every paragraph I have to reset it. OMG. One would think after using this platform for more than ten years that I would have it all figured out but I do not. Actually that is not completely true as WordPress has changed things over the years. Oh well, it works out in the end.

Time to wash the Christmas towels (I almost forgot). Usually it takes me a couple of weekends to make sure that everything Christmas is set out properly. My daughter picked up some new Christmas tree lights for me so next week or weekend, I will be redecorating the tree. Seems like a lot of work but in the olden days, some years ago, I used to sometimes redecorate the tree 5-6 times during the holiday season. Sometimes you just look at it and it needs some tweaking. Sometimes! This time I have a legitimate reason. The new lights. Anyway, now that I am hosting the office Christmas party, I certainly need everything to be picture perfect (or at least my version of picture perfect).

Well I think that I figured out how to change the font and it stay that way – oh no, how did I do it?

Alvin is giving me that look, perhaps he has to go outside. So will have to cut this short.

I hope that you all have a fantastic day.

Forgot to mention that we had a wonderful walk yesterday. Bumped into friends that we have not seen for a long time. Nice. We had an interesting conversation! COVID and politics not good topics of conversations but sometimes it just goes there. Oh well, that is life. We are all entitled to our feelings, thoughts and opinions. That is what makes us human. We are emotional beings and throughout the past almost three years that has been extremely evident.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: oh, coffee………..

Last Half 2022 – November

Good Morning ALL! Can you believe that today is November 6, 2022 already. Yikes. It has been a snowy snowy November thus far. Colder, too. Our clocks were turned back last night at 2:00 a.m. which has already played havoc with our minds and bodies. I will admit that I am happy that the time goes back as it gives us one more hour in bed and when it is a reasonable time in the morning – we can see outside without the aid of a flashlight. It was snowing earlier when we got up. In fact, we went to bed at our usual time last night as the Momma was tired after a full day of decorating the house in all of our Christmas attire and the much later than usual Friday night. Mr. Alvin was awake and had to go outside at 1:30 a.m. The one thing about winter and senior dogs. You cannot just open the door and let them go out or at least I do not like to, so it means grabbing my winter coat, boots and mitts before heading out and if it is dark outside, I need my phone and with help from SIRI, the use of the phone flashlight. It is a whole deal but I gladly do it, as I do not wish my boy to slip and fall.

With all this snow and all of the shovelling so far, I am thinking it is going to be one of those winters where the snow banks are taller than me me. My computer brought up photos of a winter since I moved to Edmonton where the snow banks were taller than me. Who really wants that memory jog? But it is history and I thought it was important for whatever reason, lol, to take the photo, so I will not delete it.

Mr. Alvin is finally pooping on the deck in the snow. Easier for me to clean up and less likely someone will get injured jumping off the deck into the snow. I am going to shovel some of the excess snow off the deck onto the grass area so he will not jump off. There is quite a lot down there now.

My friends Gillian and Signe are coming for coffee and a visit this morning. I need to get outside and shovel the sidewalks. A couple neighbours have already been out. I have been shovelling every day. But it is good for the arms and good cardio.

I will post photos of Christmas decorations once I have taken a few more. I am almost done my shopping. As per usual, I am supporting small business and direct sales. That is the way to go. Helping where I am able. I do have to get some photos printed of our “family photo from summer” to pop into the Christmas cards. This year I am cutting back on the cards that I give to people that live near to me. There are a few that look forward to the card and photo so I will continue hand delivering those. I hope that stamps stay at the same price. Then baking. The big question. Everyone has been asking me. Are you doing your baking this year? What are you baking? That has not been yet decided. I will for sure do some but whether I give boxes of treats to 50 different families, not sure. I will do my best. I do know that everyone appreciates the treats.

Time to head downstairs. Get that walk shovelled. Put on the coffee and be ready for company.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Always, Carol & Alvin

Last Half 2022 – October

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are doing well. Back to the office today for the next three days. Alvin has two friends checking on him this week. Alyaa for the first two days and then Pauline for Wednesday, lucky boy.

What a gorgeous day we had yesterday. The sun shone and the air was warm and there was not even the slightest of breezes. We spent a few hours outside between a walk and moving the patio furniture to the garage, washing down the house, garage, windows, front porch, deck, raking, putting some leaves around the plants in the back flower garden and cleaning out two of the three last flower pots. The impatiens were basically done. There is one plant on the front porch for decoration as it seems to be doing great. So good to get it all done. Prior to the cleaning I decided to colour my hair followed by a shower. Yes, I know that you normally do not shampoo your hair or have a shower but this “home colour” said to shampoo after the conditioner (which I conditioned again after the shower). It is dark but covered the gray. The main reasoning for the hair dye was because I was given the box of colour and did not wish to waste it. I am pretty happy with it and it will fade in a short time and be perfection. Besides it makes me feel like a different person, hopefully a better person, lol.

There were a few smaller tasks that I completed but no one really wants the whole list, I do not think! We are all busy. Great to have “stuff” done. I feel as though we had a weekend.

I was sadly disappointed that unless I paid for it – there was no free viewing of “Christmas with the Kranks.” I just wanted to watch it but I did find a free viewing of “The Grinch” with Jim Carrey so I watched that in between preparing an apple crisp with the remainder of the apples from Pauline. I might have to bring the DVD player up from the basement and hook it up once again so that I can watch all of the Christmas movies and other movies in my collection which is on a small bookcase in the living room.

Still very dark outside when I peek out of the office window. I am not sure what time the sunrise is set for as the days get shorter and shorter leading into the shortest day of the year in December.

Today, tomorrow and Wednesday are to be 20 and 19 degrees celsius. How wonderful is that? I decided to wear a dress and I have to wear my flip flops as I did something to my toe and when I put any pressure on the toes it hurts. Not broken. I have no idea what happened. There was a bit of blood between two toes so I must have picked up a rock or something sharp.

Well time to head downstairs and finish getting things ready. Take Mr. Alvin outside one last time. When we were out around 5:45, the air felt warm. I am so grateful for these beautiful days of falls.

I hope that you have an awesome Monday. Tonight I am backing chocolate chip cookies for a farewell potluck at work on Wednesday. One of the girls that sits close to me but works in a different area is moving to Calgary.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee.

Always, Carol & Alvin

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