2021

Good Morning ALL! It feels like forever since I last wrote a post. Well Christmas is all over for yet another year. We had a fantastic Christmas. My daughter’s friend who just happens to be a pharmacist tested us all on Christmas Eve and yes, we were all NEGATIVE. Definitely one of times when I wanted the results to be negative. No worrying about securing an A+ grade. We ate until we almost burst on Christmas Eve filling ourselves with, let me see if I can remember the menu. Hot Cheese Dip with Baguette, Butterfly Shrimp, Mozzarella Sticks, Boursin Cranberry with Cracked Black Pepper Cheese “Ball”, crackers, Guacamole with corn chips, vegetable tray, and a sweet tray of baking. We also had nuts and chocolate. I see where the CHEESE was the star of the show. Likely not the best plan but oh well. We enjoyed the food. After we ate we played a game that my son-in-law got for Christmas (he opened it early), BLOCKBUSTER. Now we did not have the patience for the rules so we made up our own and I never laughed so hard. We had the best time. The game is all about movie trivia. So much fun. After the game was over we opened gifts. Now this is funny, I am now thinking after we ate then we opened gifts and then played the game. We were up until after 2:30 a.m. No, pretty sure we played the game and then opened gifts, yes that is correct. We played the game until about midnight and then it took us 2.5 hours to open our gifts. We opened one at a time. Then we had fours pups with gifts although the only one really interested in opening gifts was Alvin, Mi-Mi did make an attempt. I always love watching Alvin as he impatiently opens his gifts. He had his paw on the bag and then with his nose and mouth pulled out the tissue paper. So much fun. He loves opening presents. My daughter had a couple of her stocking gifts laying beside her, wrapped and he was tearing open the paper. Cute not someone was not impressed, lol. I was happy to see that the pups got along. Earlier I had been concerned that perhaps Mi-Mi and Cookie would be at odds but they were not. Actually a couple of times the quiet Miss Aspen let out a sharp bark at Cookie when she got too close.

Everyone was spoiled this year. I made quite the haul. I believe everything on my list with the exception of having my mortgage paid in full was under the tree. Some of the things that I had asked for were: Debbie Travis’s new book about life, filled with photos and recipes AND Rebel Homemaker, the first cookbook from Drew Barrymore and Chef Pilar Valdes, filled with photos, recipes and stories. Also on the list were fuzzy Christmas socks, Cuisinart paring knife, Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap, and a Day Planner for 2022. In addition to these gifts, I got a package of Player’s choice scratch tickets and won $5.00. Ecologic Paper Towel which can be used 200 times and is biodegradable and a Packet of tea. I also received a poinsettia plant and turtles chocolates from our guests. Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, some friends dropped a card and baking off for me and some treats for Mr. Alvin. We are so lucky. Mr. Alvin received from his sister and family – a cute Reindeer stuffed toy and from his momma – the most beautiful blue and green turtle. He also received more edible gifts. So we were totally spoiled. That was Christmas EVE. We did not get to bed until after 2:30 closer to 3:00 on Christmas Eve. The kids had our room and our guest the “guest room,” me, Alvin and Cookie slept on the sofa except it took awhile to get a little someone to settle down. I had placed the baby gate up so that she could not go upstairs and she whined until I got up from the and placed her on the “green” chair with Rudolph, her favorite sleeping spot. I had to do this about 10 times before she finally stopped. So it was well after 3:00 when we got to sleep.

Alvin woke up at 5:00 and then we were up about 7:30 to stay up. Not much sleep. Most of the house was up about 8:30. We had coffee which we all needed. It was us girls that were up and my son-in-law stayed in bed for awhile beyond us. Amanda’s friend left about 10:00 as she was going to pick up her girls and open gifts with them. We invited them back for supper with us.

We had a late brunch with quiches, the veggie tray and some cheese. Lots of coffee was drank. I made a second pot. Throughout Christmas Day, I quietly putzed. Taking the gifts out from under the tree and reorganizing them. Washed the dishes that did not fit in the dishwasher and once the main floor was tidied up, I went to the basement and put away the gift bags, folded up the tissue paper – all to use another day. The kids had done some wrapping in the basement after they arrived on Christmas Eve. Once the cleaning and tidying was done, I had some more coffee and checked out the recipes for fresh cranberry relish and dressing. We had a quiet but enjoyable afternoon. We had planned to have supper about 7:00 p.m. but our company arrived a bit later, and then she wanted to test her daughters with the rapid covid test (like the one that we did the night before). It was closer to 8:00 p.m. when we had supper. The girls were negative. Thank goodness everyone was negative. We had a lovely supper of roast chicken breasts, whipped garlic potatoes and gravy, dressing, fresh cranberry relish, corn, peas and homemade buns (from one of my friends). Our dessert was baking which consisted of fudge, sugar and chocolate chip cookies, butter pecan tarts, chocolate caramel candy and some cookies from the BON TON Bakery. Anyway, we ate too much but it was good (if I do say so myself). Usually I do not like to make new recipes when there is company but both the dressing and the relish were so good. Will make them again.

The girls opened their Christmas gifts from us.

After clean up, we sat down and had another good game of BLOCKBUSTER. My son-in-law and I took on the other four girls. They won but it was a close fun game. We close on a Christmas movie category. Can you believe that I lost on the category? We named so many movies before we could not name anymore. If I could have included all of the HALLMARK movies that I have been watching – we would have won but they were excluded. Oh well.

Dee and the girls left just before midnight. We were in bed shortly after. This time the kids took Cookie to bed with them. She settled down and we all had a good night sleep. In fact, it was not even Mr. Alvin who was up first – it was the other pups at 6:15. My daughter and I fed the pups and then laid back down again. It was almost 10:00 when we all woke up. I guess we needed the sleep. I was happy that the kids decided to stay for another day.

We had a bit of breakfast and visited. My daughter and I had packed up most of their things.

The best gift of all was not really a physical gift but my son-in-law arranged for me to go to the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, to go to space via a virtual reality headset. Both my son-in-law and daughter had tried it and warned me that I may be dizzy or nauseous and that I may not be able to keep the headset on for a long period of time BUT I surprised then when I squealed with delight during my space trip. I got to literally touch the space station, saw the stars and the sun and earth. I felt as though I was an astronaut in space. It was the most coolest experience of my life. I would have stayed there all day long. I loved it. After the space trip, I was able to go Africa and come up close and personal with a zebra, saw giraffes and an elephant and a large cat not a lion this time. I definitely would like to do this again and again. I had no idea that you could buy virtual reality headset – I thought it was only in the movies.

After the VR experience, I packed up food for the kids and they loaded up the car. They left for home in the afternoon. Then it was just me, Alvin and Cookie left. The noise and excitement all done for another year. We had the best Christmas ever. So much fun.

Well I have trapped Alvin and Cookie in the office with me and they are getting a bit restless so time to sign off. I wanted to catch you up in our last two days – in our Christmas.

The outside temperature is bitterly cold. Minus 30 without the windchill. Supposed to be cold all week. I guess we won’t be going anywhere. I am grateful that I asked my daughter to pick up more food for Alvin and as it would turn out that is the only food that Miss Cookie will eat. Yikes. Oh well. At least she is eating.

Time for a shower and to rescue the pups from the office.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, that you are safe and warm and happy and most of all in good health.

Until tomorrow.

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

Always, Carol, Alvin and Cookie Monster (that is my new name for her), lol.

2021

Good Morning ALL! How are you this Wednesday morning? I am well, we are well. Alvin is upstairs with me as I get ready for the day. I even got moving extra early this morning which is great. Had a nice soothing shower and am ready for this Wednesday. I am always amazed, not sure why, as to how quickly the days pass by. Mostly they appear to be moving at lightning speed. It seems as though everyone is living my dream. My dream is to be a published writer. Drew Barrymore’s new book “Rebel Homemaker” debuted yesterday and Dr. Oz has a new one out. So many people that I can think of. I had the idea to write a cookbook with more than just the recipes and it would appear that so many people are writing what I thought of a long time ago. Looks like it was a good idea and I am sad that I did not have the “drive” to get it done. I have started many books but never seem to get further than the first chapter. Over the years I have written quite a lot of poetry and I could definitely add that to a book. I have thought of writing about life’s experiences and what they have taught me. So many idea. I guess as I turn 65 next year there is no time like the present. There are so many books about Alvin that I could write – a complete children’s series, I think. Maybe I will one day soon be coming to a bookstore near you. That would be an absolute dream. But in the meantime I will endeavour to keep writing this post each and every day. It does help fulfil the dream to some degree for sure. I think most of us get stuck in a rut and just marvel at those who seem to have it all. The ones that do everything. When do they sleep? Some of them have help because let’s face it – it takes a village to do most everything in this life. It truly does. Did I mention to you that on Halloween night – I was surprised when someone that I did not recognize said “Hi Alvin.” He has a following for sure. I tried with all my heart to figure out who she was and of course, did not have the gall to ask.

On the days where I feel less than stellar and all days, I am going to continue writing notes and poems and this post. I have lots of recipes and I know that my life mirrors a movie in some respects. So one of these days, I will finish that book and it will be published, but in the meantime, I will carry on. That is all we can do.

Yesterday I learned of a friend whose beloved pup passed on Monday. I could not help but cry most of the day after she told me. She is lonely now as she lives on her own as well. My friend remarked about going for walks but they were not the same without her Sadie. Sending hugs to her.

Well Mr. Alvin has patiently waited for me so I should sign off and get downstairs to prepare the coffee. I love that first cup of coffee and note to self to get drinking more water again. Somewhere along the line I fell off the water wagon.

Have an awesome Wednesday. Be safe and work on those dreams. I will if you will!

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL. Happy to wake up to no rain or snow but I hear that some snow is on the way. A bit of the white stuff would be lovely as most of our snow has already disappeared. How are you today? It is Wednesday – the mid way point. I love Wednesdays. My daughter was born on a Wednesday back in 1980. That seems a lifetime ago. Time seems to evaporate. That is why it is so important to make the most of each and every day. I would say each and every moment but that places way too much stress and anxiety on us if we do not keep up that pace. Making the most does not necessarily mean that we must fill each day with a lifetime worth of actions. Just do what is right for you. For example: if you are working from home – that could mean that you are working the hours set out by your employer and also ensuring that you take time for yourself. It is all too easy to put in extra time, to work more hours on your “paid job.” when working from home. With no carpool to keep you on schedule or bus to catch it is easy to do. I know because I have done it more than I care to admit. This last summer after two weeks vacation – I felt guilt and put in nights and weekends for weeks to catch up. Then I had the realization along with some good advice from friends and family that I was going to burn myself out if I did not stop. So I did. No more weekends. Sometimes I will put in extra time during the week for say an hour but that is it. My time is precious. Alvin needs me. Your family needs you. Or maybe you have an Alvin that needs your time. Life/Work is all about balance. It is not easy and no one ever said that it was. If they did …. those folks had help. Lots of help. My house still needs to be cleaned, I still have to make meals, Alvin needs love and attention, my friends and family need to connect with me ….. so work hard when you are at your job. If you cannot finish everything that day …. there is tomorrow. I know that now.

Last night while watching a show that I had recorded – the Host had a Guest on and they were talking about her book (Carrie Underwood) and Drew asked her about how she kept organized. Carried told her that if for example walking into the kitchen you could see an overwhelming mess but if you narrow it down to the pantry and organize that space first – it is much easier. Now this is not word for word. But the point is and I do this as well. I do one thing at a time. If the pantry needs cleaning, the pantry gets cleaned. Don’t start cleaning the fridge and then start working on the pantry and then start cleaning the kitchen draws. Do one thing at a time. I have always done this. Also a huge thing …… PUT THINGS AWAY IN THEIR PROPER PLACE AFTER YOU HAVE USED THEM. I also make a point of removing an item for every item that I bring into my house. So three things to help you keep organized.

Well I should go and get to work. Plug in that coffee that I prepared at 5:00 a.m. while Alvin was eating.

Have an awesome Wednesday.

Living with kindness, respect and compassion.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thank you to the 900+ folks who have follow this post, both Alvin and I are grateful.

P.S. Alvin had a good report from the vet. His ears are good – no infection.

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