Last Half 2022 – August

Good Morning ALL! What a beautiful morning it is! Alvin and I left the house at 8:10 this morning and arrived back home at 9:30. We saw our friend Lucy out working in her garden. She is a neighbour of our friends Pauline and Al. Lucy has such a beautiful garden. She keeps it immaculate, there is not one weed in her lawn. I wished that I could say the same. Her roses are still blooming although they have slowed down. Her tomato plants are huge and are bearing lots of that delicious red fruit. We had such a lovely chat, I always love stopping when she is out in the yard and catching up. Alvin say patiently while we chatted. We must have been talking for over 30 minutes when he decided it was time to go. So we said our goodbyes and were on our way. We walked to Pauline’s before turning around to head for home. Pauline’s garden as I have mentioned on several occasions is my “happy place” and it was nice that when Lucy and I were speaking about gardens she mentioned about how beautiful Pauline’s garden is and that it makes her feel so relaxed and healthy when she is standing there. I told her that I felt the same and that always refer to it as my “happy place” and we had a giggle. Well today is my second last day of vacation so despite the temperature today, I have to get busy and get some things done. According to the forecast it is not going to be as hot. Lucky for us and for all our furry friends everywhere.

Well it is taking forever to upload photos from computer to this post. I noticed that it does not appear that any of the photos from my photo uploaded/downloaded with me catching the fish. Honestly I did catch four.

Okay, I have been working on this post for over two hours now. Some photos from my birthday week. How can you tell I love flowers?

Back to getting some work done.

I need another cup of coffee. I am going to work up the front flower bed. There needs to be another plan for what to plant next year or buy some shrubs for the bed.

Have an awesome rest of the day.

I had the best birthday. 65 is off to a great start.

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

PS: Some new neighbours that moved to Canada from Germany lost their cat. It escaped through the A/C in the window. Prayers that they find it soon.

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Last Half 2022 – August

Good Morning ALL! I hope that this finds you in good health and happy. Alvin and I are doing great. I am enjoying my vacation and wished that it was permanent. Wouldn’t it be nice to be on vacation all the time – well I guess for me that would be retirement! Yesterday was a great day. In the morning I checked in on my charges Humphrey, Bogart and Cynder – fed them and all that. Of course, Alvin was looked after before I headed out to my birthday party at my friend Gillian’s house. Our friend Signe and Gillian’s husband Kris were there as well. We had so much fun. I was totally spoiled. They are way too good to this “woman.” I have photos to share and will keep this post short as I want to go and enjoy my first mug of coffee on the deck before the sun is too hot. I already have been over and looked after my charges next door and also took Alvin for a walk, changed bedding and a few other things. So feels good to be up early.

Well I have no idea how to delete a photo or to make the one smaller. Something changed in WordPress and I am lost.

Photos of my charges. Birthday party. So blessed.

Time to head downstairs, Mr. Alvin is restless.

Wishing my niece-in-law Sara a very Happy Birthday and my friend Karen from work. August is a huge birthday month for family and friends.

Happy Birthday Ladies.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: ONE Day until 65! I think it is going to be a great year.

The New YEAR 2022

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? I hope that you are doing well. Alvin and I had a good sleep and I kept hitting the snooze button this morning, argh! The sunrise in the distance is so beautiful with hues of orange going up into the dark blue morning sky. No matter what the colour palette is, always gorgeous and is a good start to the day.

Well this morning I am going to the grocery store. My outing for the month, lol. Yesterday we hosted a small birthday party (there were four of us). The birthday girl was over the moon happy with her gifts. We did good. We had cake and fruit and coffee and some laughs and some near tears. Nothing new for us. I am so happy that we were able to get together. Then later Cookie’s Dad texted me wondering if they could come over for a visit. They came over just after 5:00 p.m.. His wife and daughter came along. First time I met Cookie’s Mom and she is lovely. I look forward to our next visit. She was so sweet and even offered should I go away on vacation or away that they would be happy to look after Mr. Alvin. Lots of company in small amounts but absolutely wonderful. Alvin was happy to see Cookie and she was super charged to see him. I missed her energy.

We also got in a short walk and ended up have a great visit on the sidewalk with the neighbours just down the street (the ones with the gorgeous yard). They were out chipping and moving ice and snow so that the water would drain. They were lucky and with some hard work located the storm drain. Mine will take some work but with us facing north, we just do not get the warm rays of the sun so takes much longer to melt. When we got home and after Alvin was settled in the house, I went back out and put some ice melt down and then a bit later did some ice chipping and managed to clear a bit of it away. Every bit helps.

Well time to go and have some coffee and I think that Alvin has to go outside. Better go.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

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

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Always, Carol & Alvin

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! Welcome to Friday, December 24, 2021. Are you excited? I am so excited. I am so grateful that I am off work at noon which will give me proper time to get ready for our company. I am close but there are some finishing touches that I like to do before receiving company. You know what I mean! Alvin and Cookie are doing well.

My Christmas Story

It was quiet in the house as I worked my office job from the kitchen table, no sounds of pups.

The tree was decorated and the fireplace ready for the jolly soul in the red suit.

All of a sudden there was clanging and banging noises coming from the living room.

I sprang from my chair to see what the matter!

There I found little Miss Cookie surrounded by Alvin’s toys,

Sitting in the big chair by the window.

How this little one had got those toys all up in the big chair, I will never know.

Alvin sitting nearby on the sofa, watching in amazement.

The pups settled in,

All ready for tonight.

They will be surprised by the treats in their stockings,

The gifts under the tree.

From Our House to Yours We Wish you a Merry Christmas.

May your New Year be filled with Good Health, Joy and Abundance.

Written by CYLewis on December 24, 2021.

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

Merry Christmas

Love Carol, Alvin and Cookie

P.S. we are all so excited for tonight. I cannot wait to see Alvin open his gift.

2021

Good Morning ALL! A bit of a late start to this morning after our girl’s Christmas party last night. 13 Sleeps till Christmas EVE. Back to the party last night. Oh my goodness did we have a great time. There was a bit of alcohol consumption, lots of eating and lots of laughing and chatting. I don’t think that there was one moment where there was not someone speaking the whole evening. No lags or awkward moments in our conversations. We decided on a mix of appetizers for supper/snack on which ended up great and then for something sweet Gillian brought some blueberries (have to have something healthy) and I had sugar cookies and fudge (which I made last weekend). We did have some cut up vegetables with the other items so not all “unhealthy.” I am so grateful that we could be together in person and not on ZOOM or TEAMS or whatever it was last year. Last night was awesome.

I should have taken uploaded our gift exchange. We all did well. I had a friend in the neighbourhood make wooden round Merry Christmas signs and the other part of their gifts will be late. I cannot say what that is because one of the girls reads this post, and no G, I am not giving away the second part of your gift. So this will be the Christmas much like last that keeps on giving. I receiving a multitude of gifts: Golden Girls Coffee/Tea mug with picture of Rose and something she would say (gorgeous) and a tea towel with picture of Blanche on it and a saying ALONG with a top, BUTTER RUM LIFESAVERS, New Fragrance from Bath & Body Works called PURE WONDER (so pretty) Perfume, Shower Gel and Body Lotion, a zip up bag for groceries and stuff, a Christmas bracelet, two pair fluffy Christmas socks, a eco glass with straw that changes colour when you put in water, a glass coffee to go cup with lid and a purse size spot remover. It honestly felt like Christmas morning. Man, am I ever lucky. Spoiled, yup. Not only doing my friends love me, they are very generous. I would have been good with a mug and the life savers and okay the socks but everything else is truly a bonus. I have everything laid out on the kitchen table as I just cannot bear to put it away. I want to look at my beautiful gifts for awhile. So grateful for each and every item. So grateful. I am definitely coming down from a FRIENDS NIGHT HIGH!

What do you say after all that? Well I guess the morning is slowly going away and I have a few things to get done. Like laundry, there is always that to do. Change bedding. I have to check and see if I can get some baking delivered today – depends on how icy it is outside. Next week I will take some treats to our Vet and Staff. I might just get some chocolate chip cookies baked today. It seems like a warm day and the sun is shining so maybe we might get out for a walk! Alvin could use a bath and a haircut but I have to wait until the medicine is done in his ears and I think he has one week left so that might be a next weekend thing although it may be colder. Anyway, could always give him a little sponge bath – freshen things up.

Wishing that I had posted photos, oh well. Not enough time now. Downloading from phone to computer always seems to take a bit of time.

Time to go and change bedding and get dressed. Yup, still sitting here in my pj’s.

Wishing you a great day. I hope that you have time to relax and enjoy life in between all of the excitement and rush of this time of year.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

P.S. Mr. Alvin was so excited he just kept barking and “pretending” like he wanted to go outside last night. I think part of it is he does not have my full and undivided attention. Ah, poor guy. He did have lots of attention and helped me open my gifts. That was so cute.

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! The sky is grey this morning. Not even clouds just grey. Perhaps the forecast is correct and I don’t even want to think or even say the word aloud or even type it. Today is November 14, 2021 and most of our trees have lost their leaves. There is a bit of green grass alongside the brown. So great to have a nice long fall.

Yesterday was a good day. Our friends came for coffee in the morning and we as always we discussed everything from A to Z stopping to laugh along the way. We planned our Christmas Get Together AKA PARTY for December 10, 2021 which is a Friday so that will be a great way to start the weekend. I have to make sure that I can have their gifts by then but it is looking good. As with other years I am supporting local artists and artisans and those friends that do direct sales. Helping others help me which is a win win. The other item for discussion was baking. One of the girls has had so much baking between what she does, her Mom and others that she was giving it away long after Christmas. So that poses the question – When is too much too much? Definitely then. So I am going to cut back as I have been chatting with other friends and some with health issues who although they love the baking – they cannot eat it without repercussions. I think that I am only going to make to give away sugar cookies and fudge. I will bake chocolate chip cookies for my son-in-law but only one batch. SUGAR is definitely not good for us all anyway so I am going to cut back. I had another good friend give me an excellent suggestion and that was to make some Christmas Tree Ornaments out of my sugar cookies. They would be a reminder of me. Perhaps next year. But it is a great idea. Could write names on the cookies and decorate with red and green paint instead of icing or something. Next Year, I think. Never thought of making them into ornaments. Also the cost to bake keeps skyrocketing and you never know what items may be priced out of one’s reach or unavailable. So keeping it simple. My friend G from the coffee party yesterday picked me up a 10 kg bag of flour and S gave me a ziploc bag of 10 cups of sugar which will make a couple of batches of sugar cookies. I will need to buy mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. So now I have most of the baking items. Just a few items to pick up. Looks like I will be baking on the first weekend of December alongside the Fifth Avenue Jewelry party that I am hosting – am pretty sure that this happened last year as well. Yikes. Anyway, when I was going through the list of people to buy for which by the way has decreased over the years – I am in a pretty good place. A few stocking stuffers for the kids and the pups. Gifts for the pups. I think that I am good. There will be a bit of wrapping to happen but that doesn’t happen to be for awhile. Also yesterday Alvin and I enjoyed a beautiful walk – it was so nice outside. Sunny and the air was warm and no gale force winds which was refreshing. I attended the second Fifth Avenue Jewelry Facebook Live for a friend who was hosting. Will say that I was so disappointed in will say technology as I had been patiently on the page of the party for several minutes before the start time and even after the official start time and somehow still missed the start of both LIVES. Actually last night I was mad. Not disappointed but mad. I love watching the start and even though I was right there – I missed it. Well last night I did have to go outside with Alvin but I had my phone with me and that was 7:09 and the party started at 7:00. Not such how that happens but it is frustrating. Not loving technology at times. I also watched an excellent Christmas movie last night based on a book by Debbie Macomber’s “Christmas with Mrs. Miracle” with Caroline Rhea in the lead role. It was a great Christmas movie. Then it was bedtime where I am continuing to read a book by Ruth Ware. She is another great author. I have read so many of her books.

Well I have a long list of things to do today and my daughter will be here at 6:00 p.m. for supper and to sleep over as we are going to our perspective offices tomorrow. I am a bit anxious about going to the office but it will be okay. Mainly because I don’t want to leave Alvin home alone. He will have our friend and neighbour checking in on him but it is not nearly the same. Thank goodness this does not happen very often. I am so grateful to be working from home now. Best thing ever. I love my new office! Then there is some laundry as I want to wash bedding and Christmas towels. If nice go for a walk. Vacuum upstairs. Calling my sister at 1:00 p.m. and the list is long. Oh, and there is another Fifth Avenue Live at 4:00 which was supposed to be at 3:00 but the Fifth Avenue Jeweler had to change the start time. Busy day. Busy day.

Going to hop in the shower quickly and then I won’t have to worry about that tomorrow morning. Have to make it easy peasy for tomorrow. Alvin is patiently waiting for me in the hallway. I have to get this show on the road. Have an awesome Sunday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

P.S. The two hour special with ADELE is tonight. Starts at 9:00 so I cannot watch it all so will watch tomorrow night. I love ADELE.

2021

Good Morning ALL! Well here we are, Saturday morning. What are your plans for this weekend? Maybe you are raking your yard for the last time before winter? Maybe you do not get snow and are just changing up the outside ornaments with Christmas fast approaching? Are you putting up your Christmas Tree yet? When do you put it up? I like to put it up early and enjoy it for as long as possible. Christmas brings me joy. I love the tree, the decorations, the colours of Christmas (the ones we have come to realize as “traditional” ….. the red, the greens, silver and white. I love RED. I do love the overall feelings of love and giving during the holiday season. Some people like to show this with an abundance of gifts. We all do things a bit differently. I think if we are all doing what makes up happy, that no one is being disrespected in the scheme of things and not being hurt or anything of that nature ….. then why not. Although I will say that these days with the state of the “climate” and the overwhelming amount of items that are in our landfills, on the ground, in our oceans and forests and ditches and everywhere ….. that perhaps we need to cut back. Really at the end of the day, most people are happy to be in each other’s company and have a good meal. Splurge on the meal. I know with COVID that we are still not able to have massive amounts of people on our homes during the holidays but celebrate it well with the people that are in our household. Play games, sing, watch your favourite Christmas movies and just talk and of course eat. We all are taken in by the advertisements on television, popping up on social media, in our news feeds and in our emails and in flyers. The thing is most of the advertising is done by the big box stores because they can afford to advertise and the “mom and pop stores or small businesses” cannot so they spread the word mainly by word of mouth. I have for many years either made some of my gifts to others, bought locally from friends and neighbours that have made things or supported their direct sales businesses. I have also cut back the amount of gifts that I give. These days the vast majority of gifts I give to friends and neighbours is homemade boxes/tins of baking. Everyone loves to have a sweet treat and not everyone has the time, the money or likes to do it. I like to do it. As you know my daughter helped me erect the Christmas tree on Thursday after work. Last night I spent a considerable amount of time stringing the lights onto the tree. I will say that is the most “unfun” thing about Christmas for me. I harken back to a time when I bought the tree and it was prelit. Oh, how I miss those years. Just take the tree out of the box, set it up and fluff it. Then decorate. So easy and way more fun. Oh well. Everything cannot be dancing around the room fun, I suppose. Mr. Alvin had me up extra early for a Saturday which is not bad. I have already stripped my bed and gathered all of the laundry. So I am off to a great start. The sun is rising and the sky looks so pretty.

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. At lunch break I walked over to the Vet to pick up food for Mr. Alvin. Good thing I did not leave for this morning and they are closed on Saturdays once again due to staffing shortages. After work Alvin and I went for a walk. We got just into the park and he turned to go home. I tried to coax him to keep going and a few times it was back and forth but eventually I lost the “battle” so back home we went. It was so gorgeous outside that I just wanted to walk but he did not. Alvin is the boss when we are walking. I cannot tell if something is bothering him with his leg or paws or something else so he drives the distance always.

Well I suppose it is time to get this show on the road. Get dressed and get that coffee brewing. I am grateful that I hauled up all of the storage containers with the Christmas decorations last night and took downstairs the remaining “non Christmas” ornaments and decorations from the main floor. Up and down those basement stairs what a work out. There is laundry to do in between the decorating today and we will go for a nice walk. Hopefully we will have another beautiful day weatherwise and that Mr. Alvin is in the mood for a nice long walk.

Enjoy your Saturday!

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you today? I, We are well. The birthday party was awesome. We had a great time. Alvin received very thoughtful gifts. He received a beautiful i.d. tag with his name Alvin and our phone number engraved on the back. So thoughtful. From his best buddy and his little sister – two different chew treats. I gave him a toy. The guests all arrived right on schedule. Alvin was slightly overwhelmed when everyone arrived. The kids and grandpups came in the back door from the garage and Teddy & Kobi from the front door. Alvin just ran around barking while everyone said hello. I could tell he was overwhelmed. At one point he jumped up onto the sofa and just barked and stared at me. Poor boy. After several minutes of loving attention from his sister he calmed down. I guess we have not had that many pups in the house since his last birthday. The birthday cupcake and frozen yogurt were a hit with the pups. Amanda had picked up the birthday cupcake and frozen yogurt from the Bone & Biscuit. The cupcake was the same as last year. I should have remembered how hard it was to cut into pieces after being frozen. The packaging said to keep frozen. Even with a hot knife to cut …. it was difficult. Between me and my son-in-law, we managed to get it cut into pieces to share with the five pups: the birthday boy, Aspen, Milo, Teddy and Kobi. I loved how they pretty much all were in a circle around Steven who was holding the cupcake while Amanda and I snapped video and photos. I should say that Steven doled out the yogurt by the spoonful to each pup while I was cutting up the frozen cupcake. At the end of it all …… the pups gobbled down the cupcake and the yogurt. A fine time was had by all. A bit out of order here but we had the pasta salad and garlic bread first and then followed by gift opening. I must say that gift opening is my favourite part. Not because of gifts but I love watching Mr. Alvin open his presents. He has got so proficient at gift opening over the years. All due to the many parcels that our friend Val has sent to us and she always sends a separate gift for the boy. One paw on the gift and with his mouth he rips opens the wrapping. His favourite I think is the tissue paper. Never eating it …. just ripping it, well actually shredding it. So cute to watch. After the pups were all done with their treats – we had the homemade vanilla cupcakes that I had made for the humans. They were a hit as well. The recipe turned out to be a good one. I will keep it in my treasure trove of recipes. Before the kids left for home, my daughter helped me bring the green chair back downstairs from its’ temporary home in my bedroom. I had been thinking that Mr. Alvin was missing sitting in the chair and looking out the window. At Christmas – we took it up as it made more room. For some unknown reason it took us way longer to get it out of the bedroom than it took us to get it into the bedroom. Steven had taken the pups out to the backyard thinking it would only take us a couple of minutes. He had to bring them back in as it took us more than a couple of minutes. Then we had pups running between the chair and the door and under foot. Finally we managed to get the chair out of the bedroom and called the pups to go downstairs which they did. The only ones that had run upstairs were Alvin, Kobi and Milo. In the living room, I moved the brown chair back to its’ spot and the green chair to where it belonged. I would have thought that Alvin would have jumped up but he did not. I placed his blue blanket on the chair but nothing. I guess too much going on.

After everyone had left ….. the house was quiet and still once again. No pups running about. We just sat down on the sofa and chilled. I think that Mr. Alvin was pooped out. Thankfully I made enough pasta salad for an army and will have salad for supper for the next few days. So pasta salad it was for supper. After I washed the dishes that would not fit into the dishwasher – we just say on the sofa and watched t.v. for the evening. Well actually Alvin napped and I sort of watched television. What a great day we had.

We were up early a couple of times before at 5:00 for Alvin to have breakfast and then up to stay at 6:45 this morning. I had the most strange dream ever. Somehow I ended up with these people and I was much younger. Over the course of a few hours I realized that they must be some kind of cult as things just were not normal. The children and young adults were not siblings. The woman in charge was scary. There was a man, that I knew and he was visiting with another adult male. At one point I told him that I was scared and wanted to leave with him. When it was time to go – he was gone. Even the coffee they offered me did not taste like coffee and then I asked for a glass of water and they gave me water with cauliflower. Very strange. I managed to get some plain water. It was all a blur. Very strange and frightening. At one point, I grabbed my belongings which was some books and a small black case and ran out of the door. Another strange thing was that my Mother lived a short distance away. An easy run or walk. Then I woke up. There was also a young girl who was expecting and she was cooking something, I do not remember what at this point. Where this came from I do not know. But definitely woke up with a dry mouth from being scared.

Okay time to head downstairs and put on the coffee and go out and pick up the poop. It is very cold outside. Minus 30 degrees celsius roughly with the windchill. No walking today for us. Likely not this week so we shall have to figure out another means of exercise. Perhaps going up and down the stairs.

I hope that you had a great Sunday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

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