The New YEAR 2022

Good Monday Morning ALL! How are you this morning? It is still dark outside so I don’t know if we will see the sunrise or if it will be overcast. I think that it might have been raining overnight. It would appear to be so with the icy covering on parked vehicles that I could see out the front window earlier. The streets will be super icy so if you are driving and in our area, please be careful. Always better to err on the side of caution especially in the winter time. Perhaps you are reading this post from a sunny warmer climate and that is wonderful. Winter in Canada is serious business. Our weather can change in a heartbeat from sunny skies and warm temperatures to blowing snow or freezing rain. We had warm temperatures yesterday although it was overcast a good portion of the day. Unfortunately we were not able to walk. Looking at the ice out there made me cringe and after our short walk to the park on Saturday, I was not really looking forward to doing that again. We did see some friends and neighbours which was good but slipping and having to walk so carefully is not really much fun. So we stayed put.

I did go out and chip away more of the ice and we have an area carved out that the water can run to the drain. That took some doing but certainly has helped with the water/ice problem.

One of my girlfriends was going to Costco yesterday morning so she picked up a couple of things for us. I was so happy that she had time to stop in for a coffee and visit. She only had 1/2 hour as she had to pick up one of her sons from his Rock Climbing Class. I think RC would be so much fun. Can you imagine scaling a small mountain / hill? It was funny that I made extra coffee with the thought that perhaps she may be able to stay for a bit. YAY.

I got through my utilities and sorted that out for tax time. One of the things about having a small business. Keeping records and then finding where you put them, is another. Anyway all ready to go or at least pretty close.

Well almost time to start work, a few minutes away. I always like to get my computer turned on and be settled before the actual start time. Being prepared. I am not a fan of rushing at the last moment.

Mr. Alvin did get some fresh air outside with me on the deck when I was removing some ice from parts of the deck.

I wish you a wonderful Monday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

The New YEAR 2022

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are well. Ready, to begin a new week. The temperatures are warming up and that is so exciting. The possibility of walks at noon break and after work are making me feel wonderful. It has been weeks or likely over a month now since we went for a walk outside. Both Alvin and I are feeling the effects of not much exercise. So this will be good for the both of us, for our bodies and for our minds and souls. What do you do for exercise in the coldest months of the year? Perhaps you live in a place where the coldest months just mean switching sweatpants or some full length pant and a light jacket for going outside OR do you live somewhere with no changes in your weather or very little OR do you live in the Northern Hemisphere where we need to have several different types of outerwear. In Canada, in Western Canada where I live, we actually need multiple winter coats and even sometimes need to wear snowpants (lined outer pants that go on top of your regular pants). We need warm toques to cover our heads with a hood on our coats, warm scarves and warm mitts or gloves in addition to the coats and pants. During our winter months our temperatures can range from plus 10 celsius (not normal but happens) to minus 50 degrees celsius and then there can be the windchill factor. So sometimes the actual temperature outside is minus 20 celsius with the windchill it can feel like minus 30 celsius. We are going from minus 30 temperatures to minus 4 to plus 2-4 this week and into the next week. Now those figures may change. But you see the difference. So obviously you need different outerwear / apparel. I have found that it is a good idea to have your coat a size larger so that when it is so cold outside you can layer sweaters underneath. Not everyone in this country has the means to have so many different pieces of outside clothing so sometimes you have to use common sense or even your imagination. Also winter boots are very important. You have to keep your feet warm. Again, sometimes better that your boots are a little loose to add another layer or socks. Most people have a pair for those cold days and then another pair for those REALLY bitterly cold days. Everything should be waterproof if possible – especially your boots. I have several kinds of mitts and gloves. Another important part of the body to keep warm. The elements in Canada can be brutal in winter and it is easy to get frostbite if you are not careful. Listening to the weather reports before you go outside is also very important. I hope that this does not frighten those folks who read this and are not living in Canada. We have the best country on the planet. Of course, it is not perfect here but pretty darn close. One thing I heard on the weather channel last night that kind of did frighten me a bit was climate change and how much it is affecting Canada. They said two times more than any other country on the planet. I do believe that we are doing serious damage and perhaps even irreparable damage to our beautiful blue planet. On that note, I am going to sign off for today. Food for thought. Do what you can. It is time. If we all work together there is hope that we can save our home, our planet. It is worth the extra work, don’t you think?

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning All! How are you this morning? It is Thursday, December 9, 2021. There are 15 sleeps till Christmas Eve, 15 sleeps till Santa arrives. Are you excited? I am. I am a 6 year old girl locked up in the body of a 64 year old woman. I believe that says it all. When I was a little girl, I remember being so excited and wondering if Santa got my letter or was listening to me when I said aloud what treasures I would like under the tree. At my real age, I honestly do not remember specific gifts other than a watch which I was both excited and disappointed in receiving. I wanted something a bit more exciting and not so practical. I think that I was about 11, maybe 12. I remember my sister and I getting dolls. There was a horrible year when we girls received these toy machine guns complete with the rat-a-tat noise. I was mortified. We had three younger brothers and I do not remember what they received for Christmas that year but guns for girls. Can you imagine buying your young daughter a toy machine gun for Christmas. I am not sure what I told my friends when they asked what I received for Christmas. Why anyone would think that making toy guns for children was a good idea whether in the 1960’s or at any time is beyond me. But back then, it was as it is still today, all about the money, the sales. Whatever they can advertise whether it is good for children or not, they do. I will say that when I had my daughter, I made quite certain that she had age appropriate gifts and things that she actually wanted. But it was likely my Dad that bought the gifts and he did not think about what the girls would like or the boys but rather whatever he could easily find.

Thankfully yesterday, I was able to get some ice melt from my neighbour and I was able to clear most of the ice from my sidewalk and I also put some ice melt down for them and cleared some of the ice from their walk as well. It is still warm out but I am concerned that even though I scraped away the ice once it melted, the sidewalk was still wet and maybe have a very thin layer of ice on it this morning. I have a friend who is dropping off something this morning and I sure hope that the sidewalk is okay. I wished that I would have shovelled a path through the snow on our front lawn for people wanting to come up to the house. I will keep an eye out for her. What a crazy December. I guess we had thunder and lightning the other night before we had the rain. I can honestly say that I do not ever remember having thunder and lightning in December. But apparently it happened, I missed it. Oh darn, that would be one for the memory books. Anyway, be safe out there all you folks that have to drive to work or to school or for anything, really and on the sidewalks, put on those ice grips or something it is scary icy in places.

Well time to head on downstairs. Alvin did not go outside after his breakfast at 5:00 a.m. nor did he want to go out when I came upstairs. He must have to go.

Take care and be safe.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

P.S. thank you Gillian for picking up a few things from Costco for me. I cannot wait to try the new bread and now we have popcorn for awhile. Nice treat to have with all of the sweets.

2021

Good Morning ALL! I hope that you are all well. It is a beautiful bright sunny blue sky morning here in Edmonton. It is the beginning of the long weekend for me. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my Canadian Friends and Family and to all Canadians.

We have so much to be thankful for this year and every year.

I am grateful to be alive, to be employed and working from home, to be in good health, to have my own home, to have great family and friends and for everything in my life including a barking Alvin who is not happy that I am upstairs and he is not.

Please enjoy some photos taken just a couple of minutes ago from the front of my house looking out from the porch as the final leaves dropped from our tree and then some from the backyard. A few decorations for fall.

Enjoy your day.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL! I thought that I would share what my life was like on this day one year ago on July 11th, 2020. By all accounts it was definitely more active. I hope that this finds you well and enjoying your weekend. Perhaps you are watching the rerun of some of the STAR WARS movies. Always enjoy re-watching them.

From July 11th, 2020:

Good Morning All,

We just arrived home from a nice walk a little while ago.

There is ever so slight of a breeze as the temperature is already begin to climb.

Supposed to be +26 degrees celsius today.

Which is warm considering the temperatures that we have been experiencing this summer.

In the some of our Canadian provinces east of Alberta the temperatures have been ugly hot.

With the humidex it has been almost too much.

I cannot imagine being a dog or cat or any animal including human in +40 temperatures.

Not for me.

While out and about we bumped into Humphrey and his Mom.

They were also out for some fresh air and sniffing.

Mom for the fresh air and Humphrey for the sniffing.

He likes to go into everyone’s front yard and sniff the trees and plants.

In a little bit after a late breakfast for me and a cup of coffee, I have decided to move up Mr. Alvin’s haircut.

Might as well get it cut before the heat of the day.

Last night after work Humphrey visited.

After supper and clean up I went over and picked up Bogart to introduce him to Alvin.

Alvin wanted to say hi but was a bit reluctant but the kitten just hissed and did a baby kind of growl.

We did go into the backyard and I placed the kitten down at one point but he was scared so I picked him up.

We spent a few hours just chilling on the sofa.

The kitten draped loosely around my neck, Humphrey dozing on Alvin’s doggie bed and Alvin stretched out on the sofa beside us.

By the time that I took the boys home, Bogart was hissing a bit less.

Alvin was panting so he clearly had some anxiety over the whole thing although he wanted to get close to the kitten.

I don’t think he has seen a kitten before in his life.

Not so easy taking photos with a kitten in your arms.

I snapped these photos earlier in the day from my office window.

The deck was still wet from that wicked storm the night before …

I love my backyard.

Flowers have survived.

******************

Unfortunately the only photo that copies over from the above post was the one of Alvin. I do love that one of him.

He almost always takes a great photo unlike someone I know.

So in contrast, we are not out for an enjoyable walk enjoying the sights and the smells.

We did spend some time on the deck as I was retrieving the flower pots from the garage.

By the way, the storm did not amount to much here in my neighbourhood.

I just brought the laundry upstairs, got washed and dressed and writing this post.

Alvin is downstairs and is making it know that he is not happy.

Such is my life.

Looking ahead, I am thinking that this is going to be a good memory compared to after his surgery.

Trying to keep him from moving and being able to go upstairs, do laundry, make meals, water flowers, even go to the bathroom will be an undertaking until we figure it out. I hope that the surgery goes well. Still two weeks away. Which is good and bad. Good for us and bad for him, I think.

Well he is barking and I do not wish to make him more anxious, he is the boss, so downstairs I shall go. Time to have a cup of coffee, anyway.

Thank you for sticking with us on this journey we call our lives. Not too exciting but never a dull moment.

Have a wonderful Sunday. Remember to check out the STAR WARS movies on television.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL! Welcome to Thursday, July 1, 2021 – Canada Day. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. We are just home from a walk a few minutes ago and I wanted to write this post before it becomes too hot upstairs in my office. At the moment there is a cool breeze wafting in through the open window. I have all of the windows open the house and the temperature is 81 F, which is the lowest it has been in the house for more than a week now.

Last night when I was going to sleep I starting to compose this “poem” if you will and wished that I had got up and wrote down the words as they have changed and evolved as the morning goes on …..

O CANADA

I was born in Canada, raised in Canada and love my country.

I knew early on that some people were treated differently and not always because of skin color.

As a child, I knew of Indigenous peoples.

We hired some of the men from nearby reservations to help out on the family farm.

Why they only lived on the reserves?

I did not really know.

Why there were no Indigenous children at our school?

We learned where the different Indigenous peoples lived, like the Cree, the Sioux and the Blackfoot.

By the time I was a teenager and we had moved to other provinces,

There were some Indigenous children in our rural schools.

No one spoke of or mentioned “residential schools.”

Our history with some being of recent times,

Not written in books for us to read,

Is filled with acts of violence that we find reprehensible and horrific of other countries.

But it is not other countries that fills the news feeds,

Not places where there are religious wars or tribal wars but here.

In this place we call home.

This place called Canada.

This Canada Day we cannot celebrate,

We must not,

Celebrate,

Without acknowledging the hundreds of Indigenous children ripped from their homes,

In the name of religious beliefs and with government approval.

These children suffered more than we could ever know,

They missed their families.

They were not allowed to speak their languages.

They were abused and neglected by “pillars of our communities.”

Many were murdered by these same members of the church and government.

While others were experimented on by the military.

The children that lived through the abuse, neglect and horrors of what was done to them and others,

Continued and continue to suffer as adults.

Their families threatened to silence and worse.

The time has come for us all to stand up.

To stand beside our fellow Indigenous Canadians,

Speak out to the atrocities that they have suffered and continue to,

Recognize and acknowledge,

We cannot go forward without looking back.

O Canada.

My heart hurts for the babies, for the children.

We must hear them, now and forever, and never forget!

Written by CY Lewis on July 1, 2021.

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As I continue to live my life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, understanding and gratitude.

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL! How are you this Friday, March 26, 2021. It is the weekend, yay. I love the weekends. A chance to do some of the things that you did not have time for during the week. Even though I am working from home, I do the laundry for example of Saturdays and sometimes finishing on Sundays as I have always done. That goes for everything that I have traditionally done on the weekends still is completed on the weekend.

One thing away from the joy of weekends and that I was thinking about earlier this morning is the recent loss of life in the U.S. from shootings in a public place. I will never understand why the Americans keep clinging to the The Second Amendment of their Constitution that reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Why is that a fundamental right of the people? Why has not been amended in 2021. This was ratified on December 15, 1791. I am never quite sure why any country clings to outdated laws. This does not make sense to me in 2021. I know that this is very important to the Americans. We share a border with the U.S. and are similar in so many ways. In fact in the early days many people populated Canada from the U.S. – coming in from other countries. So why did we not have a similar Constitution? I wonder. We do not have a “right to bear arms.” People in Canada can apply for a license to own a gun for hunting and such. But there seems to be a lot more control over guns and a lot less mass shootings. Not to say that we have not had them. When will there be a breaking point where the people just say “enough is enough” or will they ever say this? I wonder? Incredibly sad for unnecessary loss of life. Most especially sad during a pandemic. I have always wondered these questions and perhaps because this is not something I usually write about in a public forum, today seems like the day. I believe that there are always going to be people that are able to obtain guns in some manner or other but why make it so easy for them. Also some of these guns that can spray what seems like a million bullets …. why are people able to purchase them? I wonder how many people are afraid to send their children to school, afraid to go to the mall or go pick up groceries?

Time to head on downstairs and get to work. Excited for my morning coffee. The sun is beginning to rise for a new day.

Always good to think about things that do not make sense to still be an active law, if you will.

Living my life in kindness, respect, compassion and patience.

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you this morning? Today is my late start / shift so we slept in which was lovely. The sun has rose, the sky is a brilliant blue as we begin our day. We went to bed perhaps a bit later than usual and then Mr. Alvin had to go outside at 11:23 p.m. but then he slept until 5:00 a.m. – which was truly a bonus. Yesterday after work we went for a walk just inside the park and then back home. Not very long but that was okay. Our temperatures are warming up. I was grateful that we were able to get outside and breathe in some fresh air. The past two weeks or so have only been trips to the backyard and shovelling when there was snow. So this was great. Good for the body, mind and soul. Clear the cobwebs so to speak. Anyway, I am truly grateful for our walk together. As we both age, even though I do not think of either of us as “really old” – I am always in a state of gratitude for each and every day we have together. Each day that we can enjoy each other’s company and even perhaps get outside for some fresh air and a walk. Time flies when you are having fun and that it is. Can you believe that today is Thursday, February 18, 2021. Hard to believe I know. Next month on March 19th – it will mark one year since our office sent us home to work. I have been truly grateful for that decision and for them continuing to have us working from home. The next check date is June, 2021. I have been wishing and praying and praying and wishing and crossing my fingers, eyes and toes that they give us the choice whether to go to the office and work or work from home. With Alvin getting older, I need / I want to be home with him. I cannot imagine putting him back in that situation where I leave at 6:30 and get home after 5:00 p.m. and that is providing I can carpool as taking the bus would put me home even later. I am going to continue to think about how much I love working from home and how good it is for me, for Alvin and has been for our clients. My thoughts also go to the folks in the U.S. who are in the midst of a huge winter storm with another one coming in before they have even recovered from the first one. Many of them do not have furnaces, pipes are bursting in homes and businesses, there is no electricity and no water. My heart goes out to them. We are actually pretty prepared in Canada for winter storms after all we have them during our winter months. Our winters can sometimes be more than half of the year. Sometimes we joke about all the different outer apparel we each have here in Canada. Most of us have a jacket for early spring, for later spring, for summer, for late summer, for fall, for early winter, for bitter cold days and so on. We have boots for rain and snow. These things that go on the bottom of our boots for when it is icy. There are also hats, mitts and scarves. We all have furnaces and some have air conditioners. We have family living in Houston, Texas. They were without electricity. I hope that no more lives are lost and that everyone is safe and warm with clean water and food.

I am grateful everyday to be safe, to be warm, in good health and have good food to eat. To be surrounded by family and friends even though I do not physically see them often, they are still there. I am grateful that Mr. Alvin found me, all those years ago.

Continuing to live with kindness, respect, compassion and patience for all.

Always, Carol

2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you today? Alvin and I are doing well. I am in the mood for composing a poem just for you. Here goes.

WINTER

The sky blending into the white topped garage roofs fills my sight.

On this weekend morning as I write.

There is no denying it.

Winter is upon us.

From morning until night.

The lawns are covered with snow, the streets and the decks.

No pavement or wood is showing.

Frigid temperatures take away our daily walks.

Stories of cold in years gone by, fill our talks.

When we do creep out of our home to shovel the snow from the sidewalks.

The warmest of coats, boots, mitts and scarves cover our bodies.

Our natural inclination, our feeling is the longing to snuggle on the sofa.

With the heat turned up.

With a toasty warm blanket and sip on a warm beverage, perhaps hot chocolate.

And mindlessly watch a favourite movie.

We don our warmest sweaters, sometimes even “long underwear” beneath our pants.

Thick, warm socks cover our feet.

Our energy level is low.

To get our chores done is slow.

This I know.

Our life is simple during this time.

We do what we need to do.

Usually nothing more.

Except for those who do not seem to be affected.

By these more than deep freezer temperatures.

We call winter in Canada.

Written by CY Lewis, February 6, 2021

Wishing you a great day. No matter the temperature, be safe, take care.

Continuing to live with kindness, respect, compassion and patience.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Welcome December 2020

Good Morning ALL. Well it is Thursday morning December 3, 2020. Another gorgeous day on its’ way to us living here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This day is forecasted to be +5 degrees celsius. Our normal temperature is -4 for this time of year. We are to have about another week of these temperatures. I will say that when we were out for our noon day walk that Alvin and I wanted to keep on walking – well I did anyway. There were a couple of times that he wanted to turn around and head for home – not quite sure why but I was able to convince him to keep on trucking. The air was so warm and soothing as it touched my face. The sun was shining brightly in the perfect blue sky. I am so grateful for these days. So grateful.

What is on your “plate” for today. Well another workday for me. Tonight I will almost finish my Christmas project which is very exciting for me. Just about there. I also have to double check my recipes and ensure that I know what I am going to bake and that I have the right amount of ingredients. I know that I have more than enough flour and sugar and butter. More than enough. Somehow in the beginning it seemed like a good idea to buy 10 kgs of flour and I think it is the same in sugar and four pounds of butter. The butter might be more close but the flour and sugar will keep. If anyone needs a cup or five of them, I will have some for that. You never know. I did work on the Christmas project last night. I had to use this strong glue so opening the windows and then I placed the project under the fan for the stove (which had it sitting on top of the stove). Yikes. Not a nice smell and not good for one to breathe in – that is why I opened the windows and turned on the fan.

How are you doing these days? Are you okay? I know that this year or almost year has been so off the charts strange for everyone. Strange is putting it lightly of course. People are either working from home, laid off and receiving government relief benefits or out on the front lines working through this pandemic. For the majority of people having to remain at home and away from large groups of family and friends or even travelling has been difficult. Although I will say there are people travelling and that scares the “crap” out of me. What will they bring back with them? Travelling should be ban until this is over unless you are in the military or some health care professionals. Allowing folks to travelling especially out of the country is absolutely ludicrous at this time. How can you ban people from getting together with family at Christmas and allow families to travel outside of Canada. Does not make sense to me? I do agree that we have to buckle down and stop the crazy increase of this virus and if that means wearing a mask and social distancing until who knows when, well this girl is in. What will happen if we do not adhere to the new “rules.” I do not even want to go there.

I am sorry for the dark message so early in the morning but sometimes I just have to get things off my chest.

Okay how about Christmas? Do you have your tree up? I have heard that tree sales are up and that most people already have their trees up and decorated much earlier than normal. I have also heard that flour and sugar and other baking items are beginning to fly off the shelves. So I guess that I am not the only one that is baking. Isn’t it funny that no matter what I am talking about it all comes back to that darn virus. Anyway. I am excited to get some serious Christmas baking done this weekend. Sugar cookies, fudge, chocolate chip cookies, unbaked chocolate macaroons, raisin cookies and who knows what else. Will depend on time and energy and supplies. I even have some delightful boxes to place the baked goods in to deliver to friends and family. So excited. Thanks to my “personal shopper” and you know who you are. I am the most blessed person on the planet. I know this to be for certain.

Well time to head on downstairs. Put on the coffee and get to work.

If we all continue to live our lives with kindness, respect and compassion – what a wonderful world this will be.

Always, Carol & Alvin

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