Second Half of the NEW YEAR

Good Morning All,

What a great Saturday I had.

To start the day off the weather was just as they had forecast. The sun was shining and it was windy. I as you know slept in a bit so was feeling a bit rushed as I always seem to do this to myself. But I was only about ten minutes short of being ready when my daughter arrived. I wore the dress, the cardigan and the scarf. The only item that I changed my mind about was the shoes and I wore some semi flat sandals which ended up being the perfect shoe to wear (I will explain later).

My daughter wanted to stop and get gas which we did at the neighbourhood gas station. Then we were on our way. We almost missed the first turn off from our neighbourhood to the highway but just as we were almost passed, I mentioned “aren’t we supposed to turn and go south.” Luckily the exit is roomy and there was no one behind us so we “checked” and made a quick turn and then were truly on our way. They have “google maps” and yes it was on but it was one of those times when because Amanda also takes the second exit, habit took over. Anyway we continued on our way. We had to go a good way around the City of Edmonton before turning off. The drive was beautiful. The countryside was a glorious palette of fall colours and some of the houses were amazing. I had no idea. Big, big houses with three and four garages built into the house. When we got to the final couple minutes according to “google maps” we were for a minute not quite certain if we had the right place. It was a leaf covered opening between the trees. But we carried on. There were several cars and I spotted an older woman (likely about my age) all dressed up. We stopped and I got out and it was the groom’s mother. We had arrived! The groom happened to come around the corner of the house and came over to chat. We used the bathroom before my daughter continued on her way to do some “thrifting.” She wanted to go and check the shops in the nearby smaller City of Sherwood Park. I was so relieved that we had found the venue.

The venue was actually a private residence which originally was rented out by the owner for different types of retreats. When COVID19 hit, he changed the plan and started renting out for smaller weddings, family reunions and as a B&B. It was the most beautiful place. In the front, the house was magnificent with a huge porch with steps going up covered in stone. Lots of stone on the outside of the house. The groom directed me to the back of the house where I walked down to the area set up for the wedding ceremony. I had no idea that a lake was within walking distance of the house. I was told the name of the lake but alas I have forgotten. Very nice backdrop with the water and the trees all draped in their fall colours. I took a seat on a chair in the ceremony area and just enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my face. The groom came and sat on a nearby chair and we chatted. I learned that his parents were refugees from Vietnam. His Mother had been a nurse back home and ended up in several places including a refugee camp before coming to Canada. His parents met and married in Edmonton where “the groom” was born one of two sons. I met his younger brother and his wife who are expecting a baby. I also learned that the tea ceremony is Chinese (an Asian tradition), and is a time for the generations to offer their blessings to the bride and groom. They also at this time would hand down items from one generation to the other. The groom, my neighbour and friend was always seeking me out to ensure I was doing okay. Some other wedding guests were milling about and some where playing a lawn game. I was introduced by the groom to the handful of guests that were outside. His cousin’s husband and his son, also formally to the groom’s parents. There was a bit of a breeze but not the gale force winds that we have been experiencing. What a lovely afternoon. Of course, I snapped a few photos of the surroundings.

It was about 2:00 p.m. when we were called into the house for the TEA CEREMONY. A sofa in the living room was draped with a red silk/satin covering. There were red and gold cushions on the sofa with two on the floor. The guests gathered in the kitchen/dining area which was an opening floor plan to the living room. The groom waited patiently for the bride who was to call him to the door of the room she was in. When he knocked on the door, the Mother of the Bride answered the door. She gave him tea to drink and then gave him instructions. He was asked to do a number of pushups for the amount of years that they have been together and one for eternity. A few minutes later a woman in a beautiful red lace dress came running around from a door on the other side of the room and it was the bride. They embraced and then walked over and knelt on the cushions. The groom’s mother was sitting on the sofa. A female cousin handed the bride and groom each a small cup of tea which they in turn handed to the groom’s mother. She drank the tea and offered blessings to the couple. Family members took turns ….. all the parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins and I asked the cousin (Michelle) if I could participate as they had mentioned friends or anyone who would like to offer their blessings. So little old me was able to participate in the TEA CEREMONY. I was over the moon. The photographer snapped photos of everyone who participated in the tea ceremony including me. I managed to snap a couple of photos of the bride and groom afterwards as we were instructed not to take photos during the ceremony as there was a professional photographer to do this.

Before heading back outside to wait for the Wedding Ceremony to begin, I was checking out the photo tree by the entranceway to the house. The tree was filled with photos of the happy couple from all of their travels all over the world. There was also a table with small coloured cards & envelopes spread about so I picked one up and write some good wishes to my friends. A young woman, best friend to the bride came over and asked if she could take my photo, I said yes. The photos were placed in the envelope with the card as the bride & groom wanted to have photos of everyone in attendance.

By the high point of the sun it was a good 20 degrees celsius and although in the beginning of the day and partway into the afternoon there was a bit of a breeze.

Back outside and down to the ceremony area the guests were beginning to gather. The groom’s cousin Michelle officiated the wedding ceremony and was preparing the sound system. We waited for a little while before the groom came to take his place. It was not much longer before the bride and her mom came down the stairs to the back lawn area where her dad took her arm and the three of them walked toward the wedding area. The bride looking gorgeous in full length white gown and opting for a floral wreath crown instead of a hand bouquet. Her dress had a lace bodice and long sleeves with a skirt of organza and a beaded belt tied with a satin bow at the back. She looked so beautiful. Both the bride and groom wrote their own vows. We all had a giggle when the bride signaled for her cellphone and read her vows from it, followed by the groom who pulled out handwritten pages for his vows. The vows were so moving. Then it was over and they were married.

After the ceremony the wedding photographer took photos of all the guests in one big photo followed by family photos and over the course of time photos of the bride and groom.

I went back into the house for a drink and found they had some special treats laid out in the kitchen for all of the guests. So I chose a barbecued pork bun and some veggies and a can of Sprite. All of the food was individually packaged for the guests. I sat down at the end of the big table which was empty at that time. As the table began to fill up, I gave up my spot to an woman with mobility issues. Once I was finished eating, I went and sat on the front porch. Just enjoying the afternoon air. A small boy came outside with a coconut bun. His name was Evan. We chatted away until a few minutes later his sister Macey came out. This is how it all started with me meeting these two sweet young children. Evan (4) and Macey (6). They told me all sorts of things about school and themselves. It was a few minutes later when a young man came out and introduced himself as Jimmy. Thinking he was the children’s father as he was so good with them. Anyway, I am thinking that I have been writing this post for well over an hour. Sometimes you just meet people and click and this was the case with this family. Not long later I met the Mom, Jenny. We ended up going back outside to the lawn area and then going for a long walk in the area off the back lawn. Walking and talking and enjoying each other’s company. There was sand on the path and posts from an old dock which meant clearly the water had been further out at one point in time. From that point until I left we were together. What an awesome family. I found out that Jimmy was Jenny’s boyfriend and that she was divorced. The children adore Jimmy that was evident. Jimmy was so polite and kind. They even called me Auntie Carol. I was taken aback by this but after realized that in most other cultures they call older females “Auntie.” When I say taken aback, I meant in a good way. After our walk the FOOD TRUCK arrived and we had supper. There was a nice choice of food. We sat together at a table in the backyard and enjoyed our supper as the sun set. I texted my daughter when I was getting my food as it was about a 30 minute drive for her to come and pick me up. Before I left, Jenny and I decided that we had to keep in touch ….. so we are now FB friends.

I said my goodbyes to the family, my new friends and hugged the children. By the way, masks were wore and social distancing was done. As I walked away Jimmy said to the children “would you like to walk Auntie Carol out” so they joined me to the top of the walk. Such cute children and so nice. Best time. As I walked to the parking area, the food truck was leaving. The driver of this monstrous vehicle when backing up accidentally backed into something, I did not see what it was. There had been a pointer out helping but it was getting dark and I could see trying to maneuver something going wrong. As I started to walk around the vehicle the groom came out onto the porch and called out to me asking if I got a donut, I said no. I also said that my ride was here and that I was leaving. In a minute the bride was there. Jess came down to say goodbye and asked if she could come and say thank you to my daughter for driving me. I said of course. So the bride and a few minutes later the groom came to my daughter’s vehicle. We had a little visit before we were on our way.

What a glorious time I had. There are so many moments that I could have included in this blog but time is passing and I have some things to do before Mr. Alvin arrives home. Miss the little guy.

Amanda and I found our way back to the highway and back home with no problems.

I am so grateful for the invitation to my neighbours, my friend’s wedding. Their family and friends are so friendly and wonderful. Just to add the family that I connected with …. Jenny went to University with Eric, the groom. They drove up from Calgary.

Living my life with KINDNESS and RESPECT.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Wednesday the 3rd day of October, 2018.

Yesterday weather wise was glorious.

The sun shone most of the day.

There was a breeze but did not feel cold.

While I was waiting for my ride to arrive yesterday morning.

I was looking at my tree.

Thinking of how beautiful all the leaves looked as the odd one would come floating down to the ground.

This is what I came home to last night.

My beautiful tree ….. is now bare.

All of the leaves gone in a single day.

 

The largest pile of leaves that I have ever had from this tree.

Usually they come off in stages.

Usually I rake at least four or five times.

Not this year.

 

Oh, so pretty.

I see raking in my near future.

 

Yesterday Calgary and areas south of us received a huge amount of snow.

We, I am grateful that we still have bare ground although we did have a nice blanket of snow only a short time ago.

I am just plain grateful that the ground is bare, my snapdragons are still blooming and I have leaves to walk in and to rake, soon.

 

You never know what is going to happen with Mother Nature.

We did enjoy our walk last night stopping to chat with our friend “P.”

She had unexpected company or she would have joined us for a walk.

 

Well almost time to leave for work.

Wednesday already.

I hope that you enjoy this day.

I hope that if you have snow that it melts so that you can enjoy FALL for a bit longer.

I do not kid myself to think that winter will not arrive before fall ends.

Not here, not in Alberta and not in Canada.

 

Have an awesome day.

Read a book, make some tea, make some soup or perhaps stew and share with a friend.

Have a great day.

 

Special Hello to: my friend “V” who is always creating some wonderful dishes for friends, family and customers.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

 

 

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Tuesday the 7th day of August, 2018.

It is almost 7:40 a.m. and my daughter is likely on her way to pick us up.

The sky has that overcast (perhaps smoke from the forest fires in British Columbia) look.

The sun is up.

Alvin and I went for a walk at 6:00 a.m. before the heat of the day sets in and our last walk until I get back home.

My daughter is picking us up and then we are dropping Mr. Alvin off with my son-in-law.

He will stay with “S” and Aspen and Milo.

Alvin had a bit of a limp this morning but did not appear to be in pain.

He climbed up the stairs easily and on and off the bed.

Mm, a cool breeze just wafted in through our open office window.

It is only a few minutes until we leave on the ROAD TRIP.

My daughter and I are going to AIRDRIE, Alberta which is just outside Calgary.

There is a HUGE antique “mall” there for us to explore.

We are meeting one of my daughter’s friends at the antique place about mid afternoon and then later meeting my brother at the hotel.

We will go for supper together.

Tomorrow we are hoping to drive out to DRUMHELLER, the home of the dinosaur museum (TYRELL MUSEUM).

Explore and relax.

Home on Thursday.

The forecast is to be in the 30’s so we likely will not get much walking in but that is okay.

As long as we are together.

Gotta run and make sure that I have everything and have the house closed up properly.

 

I will be back on Friday with photos and stories.

Have a great week.

 

Special Hello to:  YOU ALL, thank you.

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 5th day of August, 2018.

The house is quiet at the moment except for the whirring of the fan downstairs.

My sister, Alvin and I are awake but not wanting to disturb the sleeping ones.

It is getting late – 9:30 – so soon we shall just go downstairs.

Alvin and I were up earlier for him to eat and go outside.

 

The sun is shining and it looks like a beautiful day on the way.

YAY.

 

We had a great time yesterday.

The birthday party was a huge success.

 

Today the family leaves for Calgary.

A couple of days staying at a hotel with a pool/waterslide, I think.

They will visit with our youngest brother.

The days passed so quickly ….. they always do when you have company ….. on vacation.

Alvin will miss everyone most especially my sister.

 

Yesterday we walked to the service station just out of our immediate neighbourhood.

Alvin and I waited on the corner as I did not wish him to walk on the street.

Busy streets with traffic lights.

He cried and tugged on the leash for her from the time she crossed the streets to the time she was back with us.

Was glad when she arrived back.

He loves his Auntie C.

I am so glad that they were all able to come and spend some time with us.

It was great getting to know the great nephews.

 

Well time to get this show on the road.

Have an awesome Sunday and enjoy the day.

 

Special Hello to:  my friend “V” in Regina, hope you are having a great summer.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to the 12th day of April, 2018.

No “white” surprises overnight but there is some of the white stuff in our weather forecast for today.

Although we are to be lucky as most of the snow is going to hit the southern part of Alberta.

I hope that they are incorrect with their forecast.

 

Last night I watched the Grammy Salute to Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

I had recorded it from Tuesday night.

It was fantastic.

50 years together.

Not one fight said Elton.

So many awesome artists singing the songs of Elton John and  Bernie Taupin.

When I went to bed I was inspired and then could not sleep as I kept getting up to write.

I wrote and I wrote.

This has given me a new lease on writing.

You never know when inspiration will hit.

I have been hit.

 

Well I am running a tad bit late but am so grateful that I decided to watch the music last night instead of other recorded shows.

It was so wonderful.

Maybe today is the day that you will be inspired to create or do something that you have been thinking about but putting off.

Do it ….. I know you can.

 

Happy Thursday.

Special Hello to: Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin, two of the best creative teams in the history of music.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Tuesday the 15th day of August, 2017.

The sky is blue and there is a cool breeze.

Kind of warm in the house but comfortable with fan blowing.

We had our company from Quebec and Calgary visit with us yesterday.

It was great to see the children as the last time was 2011.

Cannot believe how they have grown …. I guess six years will do that ….

Nice to see their Dad as well.

Well we are just on our way to the Vet as Alvin has his teeth cleaned this morning.

I hope that he does well.

I feel so bad not giving him any water or food.

Funny thing he has not fussed about it which is surprising.

I am not having water or food either.

Would not be fair if I did.

Well better get going ….. have to see if he will go poop ….. before.

 

Have a great Tuesday.

Special Hello to: Any LEOS out there celebrating a birthday today.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to the 8th day of August, 2017.

The skies are overcast but the weather channel had forecasted sunny skies for today (last night’s report).

I hope that the sun shines.

Lots of birthdays today …..

Happy Birthday to:  Niece-in-law “S”,  little “A”, cousin “T” and my dear friend “K”

August is a huge birthday month in my family and with several of my friends.

My friend “K” celebrates her birthday today and mine tomorrow.

 

We are almost ready for all the company descending upon us today.

Some dropping by for a visit while in the area visiting in-laws.

My brother will arrive from Calgary later this afternoon.

 

Started the prep work for supper so that I am prepared.

Bedding changed for a change in the guest room occupant.

 

Alvin is loving having the company.

Wonder what he will think when my nephew and his family arrive?

 

Happy Tuesday.

Have a great day.

Excited to see everyone …..

 

Special Hello to: Birthday Celebrators

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday the 7th day of August, 2017.

The sky is partially overcast here in Edmonton and we have already had a rain shower this morning.

The household is up and going already ……

Alvin had me up early and we were later going to bed.

But that is nothing new.

It has been great having my sister staying with us.

Yesterday we enjoyed our time at West Edmonton Mall and luckily were there early before the holiday weekend crowds began to show up.

Once early afternoon hit it was crazy busy with people scurrying about and by that time we were done so we grabbed a bus and came home.

Alvin was happy that we were not away for a long time.

Today we have some grocery shopping to do for the BIRTHDAY PARTY tomorrow night.

My brother arrives tomorrow night and also my sister’s son and family will be dropping in at some point as well.

It was unexpected for them as they were attending a wedding in Calgary but when my nephew had an extra week off from work they decided to come this way.

My nephew’s wife has a brother in a nearby smaller city not far from Edmonton.

So it all works out.

I am excited to see their three sons.

The eldest and I used to do everything together as I was living nearby from the time he was in his Momma’s tummy until I moved to Edmonton.

The next two were born after I moved to Edmonton and the elder of the two I saw only twice and the little guy, not once.

So it will be great to see them and catch up.

Of course, we have SKYPED before so I am not a total surprise to them.

Well time to get this show on the road as I have to prepare my shopping list.

Some housework to do today …… maybe a bit of decorating ……. a few streamers and balloons.

Have an awesome long weekend if you are lucky to have one …..

If not, I hope your Monday is a good one.

Special Hello to: all those folks celebrating a birthday on this day.

Always, Carol & Alvin

COUNTDOWN: 60 Days to 60

Today is Saturday, July 15, 2017 and it is the 26th day until my 60th Birthday.

I will say that it is a bit difficult putting a year to certain events.

Now were are at:

1988:  Just a good year with my girl.

1989: Beginning of year a long term relationship ended which brought on a year of getting my life back in order.

1990: We both went to Calgary with friends and had a great visit with my brother and his family.  Went to Banff and Heritage Park … so beautiful.

1991:  Went to Montana with friends and had one of the best vacations ever …. this was an adult only trip.  The weather was great.

1992: In the summer of this year we had a great visit with my Mom and all siblings and children in Alberta.

1993:  This year was filled with incredible highs and lows; births and the passing of family members.

1994:  Visited New York City while in area on business.  What an incredible city.  One of my fondest memories was to the World Trade Centre.  So grateful for that memory.

1995: Joined the computer project which would take me away from my regular job until 1998.

1996: Lots of overtime during this time not much time for anything extra.

1997: Continuing with the overtime but the extra money allowed some flexibility and we even bought a new television set, a bigger one.

 

Oh, how I wished that I had all of my journals summarized and in front of me at this time.  My life has been filled with so many amazing people, places and things.  Often times things run all together and the years seem like yesterday.  So much I have missed.  During this decade I travelled through work to Calgary, Vancouver (visited Victoria while in Vancouver), Toronto (visited Niagara Falls while in Toronto), Winston Salem, North Carolina and of course New York City.  Each of these trips held a special memory.

My daughter attended the Bon Jovi Concert in Saskatoon in 1993.  We increased our family by two nephews and a niece.  I

I was thinking the other day that wouldn’t it be great to keep a journal from say your earlier adult years, and just summarize each year on December 31st, 2017.  It would be something that you could hand down to each generation.  What a treasure.  I am hoping that my blog will also give my daughter some extra information and an on-line journal as such about her Momma and her life.

 

Always, Carol

COUNTDOWN: 60 Days to 60

Today is Tuesday, July 11, 2017 and it is the 30th day until my 60th Birthday.

Okay, now we are less than one month until my Birthday.

I am so excited.

My sister is coming from Saskatchewan to stay with me and Alvin for TEN days.

So excited about that.

My youngest brother is also coming from Calgary for an undetermined amount of time.

Any amount of time I can have with my family is time well spent.

When I think about all of the time over the years that we have spent together it makes me HAPPY.

Doing the Happy DANCE right now.

When you surround yourself with the ones you love and laugh, you know the real deep down belly laughing.

That is the absolute BEST.

Also my daughter is on vacation at the same time as me, and I am looking forward to spending some extra time with her as well.

Sometimes the BEST VACATION of all is sitting around the kitchen table drinking coffee with your sister, your brother and your daughter.

Perhaps throw in some freshly baked cinnamon buns.

Not sure where that came from …….

Simple times ….. are the best.

So many thoughts …..

 

Always, Carol

 

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