COUNTDOWN: 60 Days to 60

Today is Wednesday, June 28, 2017 and it is the 43rd day until my 60th Birthday.

I have to admit that when I started on item # 38 – I had to keep referring back to the other lists as I had forgot which ones that already been mentioned.

So I have decided to just put them all together and keep adding the new ones.  

Sorry for the rather lengthy post.  

 

I have often thought a BUCKET LIST would be nice but perhaps today I will do it in reverse.

Not the things that I want to do in the future but some of the things that I have done over the years.

Okay so this is going to be another 60 things list ….. but things that I have done not necessarily favourite things but things that I have done/accomplished, okay.

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1. Started cooking at age 6 (have been cooking now for almost 54 years).

2. Camped with cousins on a dry river bed and did not know and then the rain started and we had to leave.

3. Played in the water at Padre Island / Gulf Coast of Mexico as a child while spending the winter in TEXAS with family.

4. Bought first house on my own at age 52.

5. Adopted first doggie (Alvin) on my own at age 53.

6. Started making jewellery and had own jewellery business at age 53 with my daughter.

7. Worked first real RETAIL job (small town clothing store does not count).

8.  In said RETAIL job even had “number 1 sales per hour” in the whole company (not bad for someone at age 57 working with mainly young ones).

9.  First paid babysitting job at age 8 for neighbours with toddler and newborn.

10. Tasted first FAST FOOD at age 18.

11.  When a child walked from my Grandparents farm to ours which was about five miles away (after disagreement with my Dad and it was at night).

12. Had a mock wedding as a prank on my Mother (so much fun and she loved it, too and honestly she did not believe it).

13. Rode on the hovercraft between Vancouver and Victoria back in, I believe it was about 1997 (they do not use them anymore).

14. Volunteered to canvas for Diabetes, Cancer, and Heart & Stroke many times over the years and as recent as 2017.

15.  Belonged to the Jaycettes  many years ago in Regina.  They did so much work in the community from fundraising to organizing neighbourhood watch groups.

16.  Also belonged to Downtowner Optimist Group in Regina (great experience helping community’s children) and had different roles from member to Vice President to President.

17.  Joined Capital City Cleanup (cleaning trash in my neighbourhood) when I moved to Edmonton and still do this on my own and not in an official capacity.

18.  Had supper in the revolving restaurants in both Niagara Falls and Toronto, Canada.

19.  Sat in the shade of lilac bushes as a toddler which was happened to be where there was a nest of baby mice and spent the next several decades being deathly afraid of them.  Also had a terrible nightmare that our root cellar as a child was filled with water and I had fallen in, it was dark of course, red eyes swimming toward me (rats) did not help with my phobia.  I am proud to say after a few experiences with them in the latter years has helped me.  After moving to Edmonton in my CLEAN, not old house, I had them (mice) and first time I spent three nights at my daughter’s house.  The next two times and hopefully the last I managed to live here.  Found that it does not matter how clean your house is …. if it is COLD outside, they will find a way to come in.  PROUD to say that even though they scare me they no longer terrify me.

20. As a teenager help save the life of a young boy who had been playing with fire in a barrel (someone was burning garbage).  As, I was leaving the cafe and turned down the back alley to go home I heard him screaming and saw him on fire.  I quickly sprang in action and got the flames extinguished so that he did not have worse burns.  Left him lying on the grass, and ran for help which was close by.  Thankfully he survived.

21.  As an adult I had several occasions either on my own where I happened to be in the right place at the right time and helped a young one in distress.  I am thankful.

22. On my only trip to New York City I visited the World Trade Centre.  Visited a company we worked with and it was quite the experience.  Rode up in the first bank of elevators and then had to get off and onto the second one.  Because of security concerns back in 1994, someone from the company I was going to see had to come and personally accompany me to their offices.  I remember the view from their offices.  We also had drinks on the concourse at the harbour which was amazing.  An experience I shall treasure always.

23. Travelled to Victoria, British Columbia by myself in 2010 and spent a few days exploring the city and admiring the beauty of Victoria.

24.  Started second “career” at age 54.  I plan to life until I am 100 so have lots of years left to do work and then “retire.”

25.  Attended all different schools from Grades 9 to Grade 12 in three different Canadian provinces.

26.  Sold through direct sales:  AMWAY, Fashion Two-Twenty make-up, Tupperware twice in two different provinces and Steeped Tea.

27.  Wrote Eulogies for four different family members and gave three of them.

28.  Started to write poetry at age eight years.

29.  Jobs have done over the years: Babysitting, Berry picker,  Executive Assistant (summer job), Keypunch operator, Bank Teller,  Claims Dispatch Clerk, Mapping Clerk, Reinsurance Underwriter, small town Ladies Clothing Shop, Customer Service Clerk at Retail store with largest sales at West Edmonton Mall, House Cleaning, File Clerk and Housing Clerk.

30.  Wrote Groom’s speech for my friend to give at her brother’s wedding.

31.  Broke handle off new shovel while digging out dead cedar tree from my back garden area two years ago.  Still do not believe that one.

32.  Grateful to have attended concerts for two of my favourite entertainers:  Celine Dion and Sir Elton John.

33.  Good at making meals from virtually nothing.  I love challenging myself to using everything in my pantry and fridge.

34.  Love making up new recipes.

36.   Grew up on the farm and helped with everything from stacking bales when haying, to housework, to looking after siblings, to cooking, gardening and other chores all before age 14.

37.   After moving from the farm in Saskatchewan to British Columbia …. my Mom, Sister and I spent that first summer picking berries.  Hard work but definitely had payoff.

38.  Attended one of the first Bryan Adams concerts back in the 70’s before he was the headliner.  He stole the show.

39.  Was contacted by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal with respect to one of my blog posts.  That was so exciting.  We even spoke on the phone and emailed for awhile.

40.  Ate first oysters at age 18 …. friend made an oyster loaf and it was so good.

41.  Made the most changes in my life after the age of 51.

42.  I personally know one of the founding members of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, New York.   Started by “shaving heads” to raise money for Children with Cancer.  So proud of the work they do.

43.  First time drove the self-propelled combine I “ran into a log” …… no major damage done.

44.  Helped look after the runt of a litter …. baby pig ….. he was so cute.

45.  Learned to swim by being towed out into deep water and left to get back on my own.  I am not a great swimmer but I did not drown.

46.  I am learning to listen more as I get older.

47.  Was in the house when the funnel of a tornado was bearing down and by some miracle it hopped our house and took the roof off of the house directly behind us – not far away.

48.  I am finding that this is a difficult process.  Can this count?

Here are the next 12 items:

49.  Always loved to fly and most especially in small planes with a pilot who loved to do dips, twists and turns.

50.  Sponsored two children through World Vision.  First was a little girl in South America and second was a young boy in Africa, in Malawi.  I sponsored him for ten years.  On one occasion I sent a box of paper, pencils and other items for him to share with his class-mates.  The cost to ship to Africa was more than the cost of the contents.  He was eight when we started the journey and eighteen when he aged out of the program.  I always loved receiving his letters which were sometimes written by a family friend or aid worker.  They are a treasure to be kept forever.

51. In High School due to the moving from province to province – I always take to take a full class load due to the different “credit” requirements.  Even had three years of biology and chemistry and some other classes.  Love the sciences so that was okay by me.  No spares for this girl.

52.  In my twenties at one of the slow pitch tournament after parties I was able to drive an actual limousine.  One of the out of town teams from Winnipeg had driven driven to Regina in the limo.  All the guys were vying to drive the car, the limo but guess who was the only one who got to drive the CAR?  Me, silly.  I am still not quite sure how I managed it but I did and even completed parallel parking with the monster.  All our guys were jealous.  I was one very proud girl.

53.  When my Grandfather was killed in a farming accident in 1973 – I moved back to Saskatchewan to live with my Grandmother to help out.  She was 72 and I was 16.  It worked out.  Sometimes not but most of the time.

54.  Loved the trip to Montreal in 2007 with my daughter.  We even had the pleasure of a day trip to Quebec City.  So beautiful.  One of my favourite spots that I have visited.  Our Canadian History is on display in Quebec City.

55.  Recently had my first time in a “paddle boat” at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.  So much fun.  I was with my daughter at a work outing.  Best fun I have had in a long time.  Got kind of stuck with the boat and we girls had to do a 360 in a narrow space to get out.  Laughed so hard.

56.  Saw PANDAS in the San Diego Zoo.

57.  Almost was detained in Mexico.  Coming back through the border crossing on a hot summer day ….. August 2002 ….. it was scary.  My friend went through no problem but not me.  They held me up asking all sorts of questions.  I guess they thought I looked like someone else. Finally after what seemed liked an eternity … they waved me through.  Must say some of the scariest minutes of my life.   Both the U.S. and Mexican soldiers at the crossing which was between San Diego and Mexico were armed with BIG GUNS.  They were not fooling around.  They even had another person surrounded with guns pointed.  I have never gone back to Mexico, and never will.

58. In 1978, I travelled with some folks to U.S. – destination being Los Angeles.  While in the big city – we had gone out for drinks as it was hot.  The waiter that served us asked for ID.  We all pulled out our Saskatchewan BAR CARDS (they were issued by our local government in Canada) and I was only a few months away from being 21 which happened to be the legal age in California at the time.  He looked at me and looked at the card and walked over to the BARTENDER and I could hear him say that “this card said I was legal to drink in a place called  “Saskatchewan” as he slowly pronounced each syllable.  BARTENDER said:  “Let them have one drink.”  

59. Just after high school graduation my cousin and I tried to break the WORLD GUINNESS RECORD for staying awake the longest.  We had almost a week but who would believe us.

60. Okay, one more.  Mother to the last person from Saskatchewan to be accepted to the NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) for their two year Photography Program.  My daughter took the last FILM course and the first DIGITAL one.  That was cool.  She has that eye and still to this day takes the best photos.  

Always, Carol

P.S. sorry seems like a book….

Just thought of something else:  For all those STAR TREK FANS – Years ago the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas had what they called “THE STAR TREK EXPERIENCE” and I was able to visit it.  It was fantastic.

Thought for the day ……

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 28th day of May, 2017.

A bright gorgeous morning here in Edmonton.

A slight cool breeze at this time making it absolute perfection.

I love these kind of mornings.

My neighbour is out trimming the lawn.

Her battery would not charge on her lawn mower and my push mower is too small to cut the grass which has grown at lightning speed over the past week and a bit.

We tried to start my son-in-law’s mower which I still have but to no avail.

My neighbour’s father is coming over so he will see if he can figure it out.

Off to a start.

Soon I will be out mowing the back yard again ….. I mowed it last weekend and it has grown lots.

After the grass gets cut it will be giving Mr. Alvin a hair cut and bath.

Followed by a walk and perhaps some more laundry and few small chores around the house.

 

Yesterday was fantastic.

Started out with the birthday party of my friend “G” …… we did a good job hosting.

The decorations looked good, the cake turned out to be yummy and she loved her gift.

We had good conversation and even the odd laugh.

Afterward Alvin and I went for a short walk.

Our friends were busy and could not make it but we are going today.

THE ZOO.

OH my gosh.

I had the best 10 minutes of my life on the PADDLE BOATS.

My daughter accompanied me on the Office Event.

We had a barbecue supper, salads and dessert.

Then everyone went checking out the Zoo.

One of the first things we did was go on the paddle boats.

Neither of us had ever done that and it was great fun.

There was a narrow passage way around some trees and we did not make it through either time.

The boat got turned sideways and we had to back it up and up to get turned around to get out.

We laughed so hard – I almost peed my pants.

So much fun.

The Zoo staff did remark that the boats were hard to steer.

Best time ever.

We spent the rest of the evening walking around checking out the animals which including SEALS, OTTERS, ARTIC WOLF, VARIOUS MONKEYS, CALVES, SHEEP, GOAT, LAMA, OWL, and so many more.

ZEBRAS …… so beautiful.

Did not see tigers or Lucy, the Elephant.

Some of the little creatures were sleeping ……

We even rode on a small train that took us for a little ride.

As we walked around the zoo we laughed about how much fun we had on the paddle boats.

If I could have a small body of water on my property I would totally have a paddle boats.

Best fun …..

NOTE:  usually I do not post photos of people but decided sometimes you just have to and I know that they would be okay with that……

The tulip garden celebrating Canada’s 150 Birthday this year was beautiful.

Tulips are my daughter’s favourite flower.

The grounds are beautiful…..

Some breath-taking trees.

Perfect ending to a perfect day.

Surrounded by friends in the morning and my daughter for the evening (and of course, fellow co-workers).

GREAT DAY.

 

Now time to get back outside and finish the yard work.

My neighbour just finished mowing the front lawn.

We managed to get my son-in-law’s lawn mower going with her Dad’s help.

I have mowed the back and hand trimmed the edges.

Going to rake now.

Decided that Alvin can wait till next weekend for a hair cut.

I may even take next Friday afternoon off and do it then ……

Have an awesome Sunday …..

 

Special Hello to: my daughter, thank you for a great evening.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

 

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