Christmas Morning 2020

Good Morning ALL. Happy Christmas one and all. The air is warm outside. The house is quiet as my fingers clack away on the keyboard. Alvin is stretched out on the carpet in the hallway just outside the office door. My daughter, son-in-law and pups are snoozing in “the master suite” (okay perhaps not what you would consider to be a master suite but for me a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom, is pretty master, lol). What a glorious Christmas we are having. The family arrived in the later part of the afternoon on Christmas Eve, that would have been yesterday. We make some snacks, ate some snacks and ate more snacks and more snacks and then decided to open gifts. We always have enough food to feed about 20 people and there are three of us. Likely we should have gone for a walk but it is Christmas and who thinks of exercise when there are presents under the tree and food all over the place. Even before we sat down to open gifts, actually not long after the kids and grandpups arrived – we heard some rustling in the living room. We were busy snacking in the kitchen. Amanda went into the living room and there was the Alvin getting a headstart opening his gifts. He had found one of his gifts that was way back under the tree, without causing disarray to the other gifts or knocking over the tree – he pulled the gift back out onto the middle of the living room and was beginning to tear apart the tissue paper that covered his gift. How he knew that was his gift we will never know. My son-in-law joked that perhaps he knew how to read. What a guy. After we had some goodies, we settled in to watch the Christmas movie “ELF” which is another little story. Steven wanted to watch the movie which I happen to have on DVD in my massive Christmas movie collection. When the kids gave me the new television just before Christmas – we decided to disconnect the DVD player and put it in the basement. We would have had to hook it up which is not a big deal when the light bulb came on and I checked my PVR recordings and voile, I had recorded it. So no need to bring up the DVD player. We chatted and watched the movie. Drank coffee and eggnog. Throughout the movie, someone was whining so much. Not loud but clearly not happy. When the movie was over and we started preparing to open gifts, guess who was the first one to the tree? Three guesses and the first two don’t count. Mr. Alvin. He was so excited. I think with all of the gift opening that we have been doing and the parcels from our friend Val, he is beginning to put two and two together. He definitely understood about the gifts. I will note that he has been going to tree over the past few weeks once I wrapped gifts and we remember when he pulled my son-in-law’s stocking from under the tree and started to open his gifts. Note to self for next year. I made sure that I safely tucked all gifts with food related items and the stockings in a basket in the basement landing until time to open. We certainly were entertained by Alvin. He was frustrated with me at times. What can you do? He, me, we were all super spoiled. The perfect year to be spoiled. I received clothes, books, special pens, several items from my favourite store “Bath & Bodyworks”, chocolates and more chocolates and more chocolates, a hand held blender with more gadgets than I know what to do with and more. Definitely crazy spoiled. My son-in-law received from my daughter one of those projectors for indoors so we did some star gazing for part of the evening. A great night. Merry Christmas.

Well time to head back downstairs and have some coffee. I am going to call my sister and chat. It is beginning to get light outside. Hopefully the sun will shine. We definitely need a walk or two, today.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope that Santa was good to you. Not sure that me and Alvin deserved all the lovely gifts that we received but we are grateful to all those folks who showered us with them this year. We are grateful to have all of you in our lives. Truly, we are blessed.

Have an awesome day. Be safe, go for a walk. We will continue to live our lives with kindness, respect and compassion for all.

Merry Christmas 2020.

Love, Always from Carol & Alvin

Welcome to Christmas 2020

Good Morning ALL. Merry Christmas Eve. We made it. So excited to see my family later today. Alvin and I were blessed to have his buddies Teddy and Kobi over for a visit yesterday. They kept him company while I worked. It was a win/win. They are so cute and we love them very much. Miss Kobi follows Alvin everywhere he goes whether inside the house or outside. Teddy and Alvin are happy to see each other and just be in the same space with no need to be close. They have a great relationship. Life is about relationships and friends for sure. Both Alvin and I are so blessed to have so many dear and wonderful friends. Friends are family and family are friends. We are blessed all the way round.

I just want to wish each and every one of you, the most special Christmas.

I hope that you are safe and in good health.

Alvin would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read his Momma’s stories.

I totally agree with that statement, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I hope this day brings you joy and comfort.

I hope that you are able to enjoy each and every moment.

Continuing to live each day with kindness, respect and compassion.

Merry Christmas.

I am so excited for this Christmas!

Always, Carol & Alvin

Almost Christmas 2020

Good Morning ALL. Well we did it, only one sleep to go until Christmas Eve Day. I am so excited. The plan is on for my kids to come for Christmas. There was a possibility that they may not but it has been confirmed they are coming. Alvin and I are over the moon. Our pod will grow by four, my daughter, son-in-law and the grandpups Aspen and Milo. We are happy. Today is my late start and I am happy to report that the two of us that are not on vacation have managed to keep the mail current to this point and hopefully the phones will remain quiet today so that we are able to do this for our coworkers. What a great Christmas gift that would be. I am hopeful. Also today Alvin’s BF Teddy and his little sister Kobi are coming to spend the day. I told Alvin last night and I would like to think he understood that they were coming this morning. He will be over the moon to have one last visit with his buddies before Christmas break. Christmas break will be quiet as we will remain on strict restrictions. The only visitors in the house we are allowed will be our POD which is my daughter, son-in-law and grandpups. I am pleased that we are allowed to have someone although I have said this before – I would be okay with just Alvin for some time. If that time alone meant that the virus would disappear hopefully forever. We would still see people when they dropped off food and stuff and can always video chat. There are ways not to be completely alone if you choose. Back to Christmas. Are you ready? Food in the fridge and pantry? Baking done? Gifts wrapped? Movies selected and games? I am quite certain that you are. I am except for changing the bedding on our bed as the kids will have the master bedroom, changing out the towels with Christmas towels in all three bathrooms, one last clean of the bathrooms and then prepare the food for us to snack on tomorrow night. Well less than one hour before the pups arrive. I need a cup of coffee. We went for a walk but only went just inside the park yesterday as the wind was cold. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be warm, I believe. We won’t get out today as the pups will be here and I cannot walk all three at the same time and I am not sure that I want to leave anyone behind while I walk the others separately (gifts under the tree). But we will get exercise with the pups here anyway. I work until 7:00 p.m. tonight. Last night I made a pan of chili not a big pot. It was delightful. Just scaled it back. I wanted to mention that I noticed the number of “followers” is now over 900. So exciting. Maybe by the 2021 I will have 1000 people reading or at least signed up to read this blog. Makes me over the moon happy. When I was a small child I did not dream of this …. although I think think that in the future we would be able to see people’s faces when we spoke to them on the phone. That would have been in the early 60’s. I guess I can see the future. LOL.

Well everyone time to head on downstairs. Put on the coffee to perk. The sky cleared yesterday and I was happy to see the moon last night from my deck.

Be safe, continue to live your live showing kindness, respect and compassion to all. Truly it is the only way for us to live our lives.

Always, Carol & Alvin

YAY, it is almost here. I feel like I am 8 again. Best Christmas EVER is coming. So excited. So excited.

Welcome to December, 2020

Good Morning ALL. How are you doing this Thursday morning? I am great. We are in serious countdown mode to Christmas. As one week today is CHRISTMAS EVE. Sometimes I forget that I am 63 and think that I am 8. Waiting for Santa to arrive. Believing that good will prevail is what always gets me through each day. Positive thinking – faith – believing that I can force change. We all can. So back to Christmas. Are you watching your favourite Christmas programs and movies? I am over the moon happy to have this 58 inch television hanging on my living room wall. So grateful to my kids for giving it to me as they have a new one. I thought that my other t.v. was great, the colour was great, picture was sharp or so I thought. But I have noticed things on the bigger screen that I never saw before …. it has been wonderful. Definitely going to be spending some time watching more movies over the Christmas break.

Our City has serious restriction protocols in place at this time until into January so we cannot have company other than the people in your “bubble” and my bubble is two extra people other than myself. So my kids are my “pod” for this time. There are so many new words or old words have new meaning in this pandemic. Like pod and bubble to name just a couple. But at the end of the day I am grateful that our government and leadership are listening to the scientists and medical professionals and clamping down. It is not ideal at this time of year for sure but it is for the best, so that we do not have spikes and lose even more dear souls. We also have to remember to reach out to those folks who are struggling. If you have a neighbour who is alone, seniors who live down the street or you know someone who needs help, please reach out. Even if you do not have the financial resources to help, perhaps you can give them information that can help or even just to listen. Now I know we cannot go into houses to help but you can talk from the sidewalk or facetime or phone. We still have phones you know. Please make this Christmas about more than you and your family. Make it about helping someone who is struggling …. you never know what a phone call can do to lift someone’s spirits, to give them hope. Besides I truly believe that we are all here to help one another. If we were meant to be alone …. there would not be 8 billion or so people on this planet. Reach out. Please. Let this be the part of 2020 that brings lightness to what has been a dark year for so many. We can do this.

With kindness, respect and compassion we will get through this pandemic.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Welcome to December 2020

Good Morning ALL. Oh my goodness, cannot believe it is after 9:30 a.m.. I was up baking until almost midnight and then Mr. Alvin who had been sleeping most of the evening was up at 5:00 and then we had to hit the sofa for extra zzz’s, well I did for sure. Yikes surely puts a late start to the date. Yesterday was a great day but very busy. Of course, nothing are always subject to change and change things did. Yesterday it took longer to get things started baking wise, in fact I had wanted to start in the morning but it was closer to noon but I did get a double batch of fudge and unbaked macaroons done by noon, my daughter came, put away groceries, had a snack, visited, she left as another friend was stopped by to pick up her tea order which was at the same time as my Fifth Avenue Collection LIVE was starting (I just was attending), I watched and visited with her (COVID19 protocols in place), she left and I fed Alvin and decided what the hey – order pizza for supper, working on laundry in between and baking and then another Fifth Avenue Collection LIVE at 7:00 p.m. followed by more baking. WHEW …. no periods ….. just one long sentence, I know. Poor Alvin missed a walk so will have to get out today especially with this nice weather. My youngest brother is calling me at noon and the last Fifth Avenue Collection LIVE is today at 3:00 p.m. I can hear Mrs. Krank from CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS speaking in my ear as she repeats the list of what she needs to do as her daughter unexpectedly comes home for Christmas EVE and expects their usual Christmas EVE party. On the upside I suppose I have an extra weekend and could some baking next weekend but really would love to be done so that I can wrap gifts and deliver baking only next weekend. Time will tell. Phone calls and company these days are more important. “18 sleeps till Christmas EVE.” Okay breathe Carol Yvonne breathe, there is lots of time. Remember I am working from home and and am off work at 4:00 – so could easily bake something in the evening, okay that is true. I guess I forget that when I was younger I would bake after work and supper on a Friday night while my daughter was sleeping and then get up and finish on the Saturday. Most extra things had to be done in the evenings. I am certain all you Moms out there can relate. I have walked myself down from the at peak of dread and am good now. Funny how small things can wind you up. I am a perfectionist and when I cannot for whatever reason get things done on the schedule ahead of me, which is usually set by my, I get a bit anxious, okay a lot anxious. But the sun is shining and I can imagine birds singing somewhere and life is good. I guess if not keeping my “baking schedule” is the only thing wrong in my life, well I should consider myself very blessed and do not get me wrong. I am MOST BLESSED. I have a great life. My friends and family are so amazing and wonderful. There is this beautiful house, I call home that I can spend each and every day and night in and then there is Mr. Alvin. My trusty companion. Who is laying on his little bed close to me and the computer at this moment. We are both in good health and I have a good job and am able to work from home. So really I should just be quiet. Out there I am sure that there are folks reading this who think OMG what is she going on about and then there are others who think, I hear you. I am not 20 but 63. I set my schedule as though I was 20 not 63. My mind has not slowed down but my body is thinking although in good condition is not 20 and it takes a bit longer to get things done. Not too much slower mind you but some. Anyway, I hope that you are having a giggle this morning about my silliness. Time to just get on with the day.

When I think of how great it was to see my girl and to have a visit with Maria from work. It was so wonderful. I have not had a chat with Maria for months. Very therapeutic. We both needed that. We plan to have a get together with another girl from work during Christmas holidays. Also I love spending time with my daughter. She brought me back a plush Santa that I had given her years ago and it was funny because I had been thinking of that Santa just the day before ….. funny how life works. I am still looking for a photo. I will find it. Next weekend.

Well it is almost 10:00 a.m. so I had better get hopping and have breakfast and get the cookie dough for the sugar cookies mixed up and get to chilling. At least get one batch on the go. I think the plan will be to get two batches of them done today. Chat with my brother, wash a load of towels, walk with Alvin and the LIVE with Fifth Avenue Jewelry at 3:00 p.m. …… that will be enough.

Well I hope that you are well. Happy Sunday Everyone. Remember living with kindness, respect and compassion starts with ourselves.

I will be kind, respect and compassion to myself and to all others.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – last quarter.

Good Morning All. Can you believe that it is the weekend once again? My how the time flies. I have a long list of things to accomplish over the next weekends until Christmas. Alvin needs a haircut but I don’t want to do it too soon or he may need a trim and then he has a vet appointment on December 1st and definitely needs a trim before then. So I have decided on Sunday, tomorrow, in the afternoon I will give him a haircut and bath. I believe that the temperature is too be mild for this time of year. There is always laundry to do. Some of the gals that placed Steeped Tea orders from me are coming to pick up their “teas” this weekend. My daughter said that she is coming for a visit. I have that Christmas project that yes, I have not gained any momentum on that as yet. I put it together and it has sat for weeks. I just got stuck. I have other ideas and now cannot make a decision for love nor money. Oh well, there are still “how many days and weeks until Christmas Eve.” I have not counted as yet and that is likely good. Anyway, I always seem to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat (just so you know I would never place a bunny in a hat like that). I mean that I will somehow magically get the project done. I always do somehow. There be cleaning to do and I always would like to make some “energy bites” and “scones.” I love the versatility of both of these as you can make them your own depending on what you have in your pantry and fridge. The energy bites are: oatmeal, coconut, dried cranberries, almonds (the roasted ones from COSTCO) with honey and peanut butter and likely will throw in some M&M’s leftover from Halloween (tucked away for just this). The scones I will add perhaps blueberries. I still do not have eggs. Remember my last time with making scones. The eggs gone very bad!! Anyway that is part of the plan. Always things to do. I am happy that most of my shopping is done and some of the wrapping. Need to pick up things for the fur babies who in our circle have increased in numbers over the past year. We have the grandpups Aspen and Milo. We have our neighbours, the cats Humphrey and Bogart. We have Alvin’s BF Teddy and his little sister Kobi. Then I cannot forget Mr. Alvin. So lots of babies.

Well the clock is ticking away and it is 9:04 a.m. already. I have only changing bedding on our bed and have written this, oh and I guess I have entered in a couple of contests/draws from store receipts. Who wouldn’t like to win a VISA gift card or free groceries. Me, I would.

I hope that you are well. The sunrise is beautiful once again. When I was outside with Mr. Alvin about 45 minutes ago – it was delightful. Definitely will get a walk in today. Looking at my mid section and Mr. Alvin’s – well we have to get outside more often and for longer when the weather permits. I guess we both have to cut down on our food intake. Pretty difficult when we both love to eat. Isn’t it funny how our four-leggeds are more like us than not.

Wishing good health, some fun and laughter and abundance. I hope as I continue to live my life with kindness and respect that you are as well.

Oh, last night I had a great visit with my neighbours down the street. I snapped some photos of their beautiful decorated yard. Oh, I guess I have to figure out why I am not able to upload / download photos from phone to computer. Yes, that has been on the list for awhile. I have to write these things down so that when I can capture my daughter for help, I don’t forget. My poor girl – always has a long list of things to help her “old” Momma with.

Happy Saturday. Alvin is laying outside the office door waiting “patiently.”

Always, Carol & Alvin

Living … One day at a time.

Merry Christmas ….

The sun is already up ….

We were up late last night and slept in this morning.

I managed to keep Mr. Alvin in bed until about 7:00 a.m.

The pups were up shortly after that ….

My daughter went back to bed and my son-in-law is still sleeping after an extra long day (he had to work).

We had a great Christmas ….

Had some late night snacks just after they arrived from an earlier Christmas feast with my son-in-law’s family.

Opening the gifts after that …

Mr. Alvin was the unintentional star of the night.

He absolutely loves opening gifts.

First he opened his gifts, Aspen and Milo’s gifts and then mine.

He does so great …..

There were toys and more toys and treats for the pups and a bandana each.

The boy got his duster with extender that he wanted and more.

The girl got some jewelry as what girls do not love some bling and more.

The Mama got spoiled.

I needed kitchen towels and a stir fry pan and those were two items that I received.

Along with scratch tickets, crystal ornament, HONEY, more kitchen towels, single serving Tupperware food chopper, Magnolia & Vine bracelet and extra charm and more.

I was so spoiled this Christmas.

Thank you to my family and friends.

Here are some photos and then I better go clean up some more and make some COFFEE.

Merry Christmas.

Oh and make some phone calls.

 

Bit of action shot so blurry

Some of my gifts.

Alvin enjoyed opening his gifts and mine.

Aspen and Milo just enjoyed their gifts.

We had a great Christmas Eve and now it is Christmas Day.

I went and spent over one hour with Humphrey and Cynder.

Giving them fresh food and water.

Cleaning the litter box.

Everyone wants a clean one of those ….

Time to go downstairs and make me some coffee.

Then call some family before I start to make brunch which I am thinking will be kind of like “lunch.”

There are no rules on this day.

We just go with it.

Whatever happens, happens.

 

I hope that you are having an awesome Christmas.

Merry Merry Christmas To You and Your Family.

Always, Carol & Alvin

I guess I should upload our newest photo.

 

Living … One day at a time.

Oh my goodness, this is Christmas Eve morn.

Where did the time go?

I just got home from picking up Humphrey and doing the chores at his house.

In less than one hour my friend G is picking me up to take a last grocery run.

There are always those items that you do not wish to pick up too much in advance.

I just heard a clang in the back and looked out my window to see some lights of a truck – the garbage guys.

Today is the pickup.

I just realized how dark it is in the back lane.

We do not have any lights.

That might be something either the City or our Neighbourhood Association could put in.

At least one here and there.

Dangerous with no light.

Especially when the neighbourhood fees just rose by $25.00 to $175.00 annually per year and add taxes to that figure.

Today is not the day to complain there will be another day to vent that story.

 

Mid afternoon yesterday my friend P and I went to see the movie CATS.

It was spectacular, fantastic, wonderful and awesome.

The cast was crazy good.

James CordenJudi DenchJason DeruloIdris ElbaJennifer HudsonIan McKellenTaylor SwiftRebel Wilson, and introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first feature-length film role.

It was well done.

The music, the dancing and the singing were fantastic.

We thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

 

I came home to Alvin and Humphrey.

Had a bite to eat (about 7 p.m.).

Made a double batch of chocolate fudge with walnuts and the honey mustard dip for tomorrow’s dinner.

Did I tell you our menu?

It is unique but every other Christmas we switch it up.

Not everyone likes turkey, I do but not everyone.

 

Menu:

What I call Chicken Fingers

Honey Mustard Dip (homemade)

Cranberries (homemade)

Mashed/Whipped Potatoes with Boursin Cheese baked in oven

Gravy (not homemade)

Stuffing (not homemade)

Buns (not homemade)

Peas

Corn

 

Assortment of goodies (all homemade) ranging from my Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies and fudge to my friends Banana cake, Ginger cookies, mince tarts, and apple tarts 

and every place in between.

 

Some things made by me and others not.

A good mix.

 

We will have a hot cheese dip with baguette to snack on as well as veggies, crackers with hummus.

 

Likely too much to eat.

 

Well it is getting on here and my friend will be here shortly to pick me up for our shopping trip to Save-On and Costco.

Hopefully we will be there before the masses.

 

Wishing you a great Christmas.

The kids are dropping off Aspen and Milo about 2:30 p.m. and I will hang out with the pups until they come back for the evening.

Change of plans.

Humphrey will go home before the pups arrive.

Aspen would not like Humphrey.

That would be one scene I would not like to view.

 

I wish you and your family the most glorious Christmas ….

May you enjoy love, laughter and some good food….

If you are able to include a person(s) who does not have family to spend the holiday with, please do.

No one deserves to be alone at Christmas unless they choose to do so.

 

I hope the next two days are filled with a special kind of light that will continue to shine all year long.

The light of love and compassion.

The light of kindness and respect.

The light of generosity.

The light of you and me.

 

Merry Christmas from Carol, Mr. Alvin and Mr. Humphrey.

Me and the Boys.

Always and Forever.

………… After all…..

 

 

 

Living … One day at a time.

Good Morning and It is Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

Another day closer to Christmas.

One week today is Christmas EVE.

Our weather has been wonderful.

 

I am always so happy when I have a ride home with my daughter.

We chat about our days and catch up with life.

She is the apple of my eye and the warmth in my heart.

Love her with all my being.

We went to COSTCO and surprisingly enough it was not super busy.

There were people but not so many that one feels like you have to duck and dart to move about.

We picked up the items that were on our lists.

I was happy to see several of my items and additional ones on sale.

Then back home, unloaded the car and then she was gone.

Just me and Alvin once again.

I quickly put everything away and then we went for a walk.

It was quite nice out not warm but not cold either.

On the return part of our walk the wind was cold on my face but refreshing all the same.

 

I just had to return to the sofa for a few more zzz’s this morning therefore have to cut this post short.

I apologize.

Perhaps all of everything is catching up and I am so looking forward to the Christmas break.

We will be busy with all of our extra charges but I will be at home and not juggling work and everything.

Life is good …. sometimes a bit busy … sometimes a bit complicated but that is life.

Happy Tuesday.

 

I hope that you are having a great week thus far.

Spend some time with a good friend, your children, or just you.

Enjoy.

Life is spent well with kindness and respect.

 

Always, Carol & Alvin

Living … One day at a time.

Good Morning and today is Wednesday.

How many sleeps till Christmas Eve?

Did you check the calendar?

One day less than yesterday.

Right answer.

Last night after our walk which was another short one.

I cannot blame Mr. Alvin as it was kind of ugly outside.

Blowing snow and all that.

Once home I got him out of his jacket and harness and all warm inside the house before going to shovel.

I shovelled both neighbours on either side of us.

A short time later it looked like I had not shovelled.

It just kept snowing.

Thankfully not so much.

 

One of my friends from the down the street stopped by and had tea and a visit with us.

So a nice quiet evening.

 

This post is going to be a short / a small one due to me having some toilet issues.

The on-suite toilet needed some help.

So in with a plunger.

ARGH.

Hopefully that fixed things.

Always have to watch just how much paper one uses.

I am guilty of using too much, I think.

Perhaps this is just a tad personal but sometimes it is worth sharing so that others may learn from your experience.

Well from one poop story to the next.

Time to go downstairs and pick up the poop from earlier this morning.

Sorry ….

 

I hope that you all have a wonderful day.

Filled with kindness and respect.

 

Always, Carol & Alvin

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