Second Half of the NEW YEAR

Good Morning ALL, yay it is Friday.

Alvin and I enjoyed a full walk last night after work.

He didn’t stop or walk slowly.

I could tell that he was enjoying each and every step.

Sniffing and walking.

Walking and sniffing.

 

Just transferred the money to the gal that is baking my birthday treats.

Those treats are a delectable carrot cake with cream cheese icing and cupcakes.

The cupcakes are one dozen vanilla with key lime icing and the other twelve are chocolate with salted caramel icing.

I can hardly wait to bite into these sweet amazing treats.

My friend is one of the best bakers, I know.

I have met up with a few of them over the years.

My paternal Grandmother was one of those women who could bake the socks off anyone.

She made the best jelly rolls, angel food cakes, orange chiffon cakes, cookies and homemade bread.

I can taste them now.

All the gloriousness (I guess that is a word).

The jam in the jelly roll.

The thin layer of icing on the cakes.

The smell of the bread baking in the oven.

That was a long time ago and I can recall those smells.

It is funny how much food plays a role in our lives.

We have to eat to maintain health and energy and to live.

But food has become over the centuries so much more.

We eat when we are happy.

We eat when we are sad.

We eat to celebrate.

We eat when someone dies.

We eat, eat and eat.

Christmas cookies.

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Easter bread.

The list goes on and on.

We have channels all about food.

The industry is crazy.

There are bake offs and cook offs and grilling championships.

The list is a mile long.

Every celebrity that can cooks has their own television show.

We blog about food.

We have YouTube videos about cooking and baking.

We put photos on Instagram.

FOOD, food, and more FOOD.

Sweet and Savoury.

 

Well with all that goodness now instilled in your brain, I have to go to work.

I baked a coffee cake …. second one with this new recipe that I found in one of my favourite recipe books.

The night before I baked a few dozen peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

For an outing this evening.

I am still a bit nervous as this is my first larger than 3 people gathering.

But I am prepared.

I made separate packages of the cookies and will come up with something for the cake using cupcake holders.

 

With kindness and respect, we live our lives.

I/We, shall remain,

As Always, Carol & her Alvin

 

It is a NEW YEAR.

Welcome to Friday morning and it is raining and windy here in Edmonton.

Started to rain in the early evening.

Not constant.

 

How are you this morning?

I am well.

Couple of things.

We were up I would say about 5:00 a.m.

Alvin had his breakfast and did his business in the backyard of course.

Then we hit the sofa for some extra zzz’s.

I must have fell into a fairly deep sleep quickly as I had the most unusual dream.

When we woke up and I started to write in my “Gratitude Journal,” I found myself writing quickly about this dream.

Some of the details were fresh in my memory.

Which is unusual for me.

I madly wrote them down and filled the page before I knew it.

I made connections with some things that happened over the course of the day.

The premise of the dream was: I was in my Grandmother’s house in the small town where she lived decades ago (I lived there at one point with her).

There was this dog, not Alvin.

I had given him a haircut which was a perfect replica of a dog, a clone.

Not even the same dog.

After it dropped to the counter or whatever the surface was, it basically came alive.

From just what would have been a haircut.

The original dog was not hurt or anything but now there were two dogs.

I remember being frightened of this second dog but it was so cute.

There were a great many things that happened in this dream.

There was another woman with me with the dogs.

Almost feels like other people but I am not sure.

At one point I am sitting in the passenger side of a white SUV.

Waiting for someone.

It was winter out as I remember seeing snow.

We were pulled over near a sidewalk.

There were two Real Estate Agents with signs that opened the back door of the SUV and were in and out with their signs as they tried to put them up.

When I finally had enough and climbed into the driver’s seat, they yelled “don’t run him over” and there was this third Real Estate Agent behind the car.

It was odd and creepy and weird.

I looked for traffic as a car slowed and waited for me to pull out.

The street that I turned onto was busy but I finally got turned.

When I turned the street some cigarettes started to fall out of a little nook in the steering column near the wheel.

OMG, strange.

I remember hearing a conversation between the woman and the house and another …. the woman was explained some things …. I don’t remember the details now.

But she called me the B word.

Yikes.

Well that is it.

That was an odd one.

So I have been watching a lot of “Love It or List It,” lately.

I saw a white SUV drive by yesterday.

The second dog was PLUTO the newest Canadian sensation.

I recognized the town as where I lived for a short time with my Grandma.

She lived there for more than 25 years.

 

Anyway, I was going to post some photos and I see by the clock on the “wall” that it is almost time for me to grab my coffee and start the work computer.

I might try and post a few from the week that was …..

 

I was trying to snap some artistic photos of my flowers and a glass flower from different angles.

Well some turned out better than others.

Then there was Alvin and Humphrey on the deck.

You can see Humphrey sitting on the deck post with the beautiful sunrise behind him.

My first ever BUBBLE TEA sold my Steeped Tea of course.

Well that was the week that was …..

 

I hope that you had a great one.

Remember to live in kindness and respect.

We got this.

 

I/We Remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

It is a NEW YEAR.

Good Morning Tuesday

The sun is rising and the sky is blue with a few night clouds still remaining.

The garbage guys just went down our back lane.

I opened the window and called out to them “THANK YOU.”

After doing so I realized that the man at the back of the truck had ear phones.

So unlikely he heard me.

Anyway, I feel better saying “thank you.”

 

There are three small words that can mean the world to folks at this time or any time, really.

They are:  “please” and “thank you”

Often times we forget our manners.

My Grandmother was instrumental in teaching me good manners.

I have followed them my whole life.

I am certain that there may be once or twice that in my mad rush or blind ignorance that I forgot, and I apologize.

Just a simple thank you can go a long way.

 

How about practicing:

At the grocery store say thank you to each and every employee working that day.

Say thank you to the person who graciously moves out of your way as you rush along.

Thank you to the person who drops off the flyers at your door every week.

Say thank you to your family and friends just because.

Walk about the house just saying thank you until it rolls off of your tongue.

Remember when asking anyone for anything to say please.

Walk about the house just saying please until it rolls off of your tongue.

 

If we are all practising self-isolation you likely are not seeing many people with the exception of grocery stores and perhaps the pharmacy/drugstore.

Whether you are at home or out picking up the necessities.

Remember this without those folks working their shifts and sometimes longer at your local grocery store and others ….. we would not be eating or able to survive.

That is the truth.

They are really risking their health and lives every time they go to work.

All the services that are deemed to be essential/necessities ….. whether we see these people or not ….. send them good thoughts.

Like shouting out to the garbage truck as they stop in our neighbourhood.

 

Practise good manners with self-isolation and social distancing.

We will come out of this better people.

That is my hope.

Less selfish.

More kind, supportive and respectful.

 

Well it would be time to grab my coffee and get to work.

I am grateful to be employed during these times and to be at home with my Alvin.

I am grateful to be in good health.

I am grateful for the warming temperatures.

I am grateful for walks with Alvin.

I am grateful for freshly perked coffee.

 

Thank you everyone for reading my posts.

I really do appreciate you spending some of your precious time with me.

I hope that you have an awesome day.

 

Always be kind and respectful.

I/We remain,

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Wednesday the 24th day of April, 2019.

Another gorgeous morning as the sun rises filling the sky with hues of pinks and oranges and yellows.

Well my five day weekend has come to an end and it is back to work for me.

What a glorious five days we had – working – walking – working and walking.

Alvin saw his friends and spent some time with Humphrey the Cat.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get some tasks completed around the house.

Always things to do but I made a large dent in the list …. perhaps dent isn’t quite the right choice of words but you know what I mean.

We even lounged on the deck for a bit yesterday afternoon.

Sometimes we walked just me and Mr. Alvin and other times we were joined by our friend P (once with Georgie her grand pup).

I am grateful for the kindness of my family and friends.

I am grateful for this spring wonderful weather.

I am grateful to have beautiful parks so close by.

I am grateful to have seen swans flying in our neighbourhood as they passed through Edmonton.

I am grateful to have seen the return of robins in our area.

I am grateful that both Alvin and I are in good health.

I am grateful for our life.

 

Today feels like a good day to share a poem that I wrote many years ago.

 

FROM DREAM TO REALITY

I had a dream late last night,

Of sparkling white sandy beaches,

Palm trees swaying in a sweet scented breeze,

Of clear blue skies and water, clear blue,

Of monkeys, elephants and parrots, too.

When I awoke and looked all around,

It was a dream, so I had found.

The picture is somewhat sadly different.

My sandy beaches are cluttered with garbage.

The palm trees have been removed, replaced with malls.

The breeze smells bitter — terribly so,

The monkeys, elephants where did they go?

We have come too far, too fast,

The signs have been there,

But we did not see, due to our hungry greed

From horse drawn sleighs to gas powered cars,

From tin and glass to Styrofoam and plastic jars,

From all that technology we still didn’t learn

That we’re literally burning our planet — our Earth.

The time has come to join together,

Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters,

If we learn to reduce, recycle and reuse

We can save our planet —

The gem in our universe.  Our Earth!

Written for Amanda’s school play at W.H. Ford School

By Carol Lewis on November 28th, 1990

This is so bizarre that I wrote this twenty years ago for my daughter’s school play.  It is even more prevalent today.

Now it has been almost thirty years now.

What has changed?

 

Well almost time to go downstairs and finish getting ready to leave for work.

Alvin is nesting on his blue blanket which has been made even more comfy by adding a lap blanket my Grandmother made in about 1990.

Talk about lots of older things.

It remains almost as new.

 

Have an awesome Wednesday.

Sending out our thoughts and positive energy to all those in need.

Happy Wednesday.

 

Special Hello to: my friend V who is such an amazing person……

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Tuesday the 27th day of November, 2018.

Another beautiful day on the way.

Yesterday was a bit cooler than the past several days but still so nice for this time of year.

A time of the year when weather can change in a heartbeat.

Oh, that is most times of the year.

That is living in Canada.

Our weather can change drastically from morning to noon to night.

My Grandma always said “Variety is the spice of life.”

Do you think she was referring to the weather?

Likely not.

Oh well.

I feel sassy and full of vim and vigour this morning.

Most times I am not an early morning person but perhaps it is the extra things I am doing that are helping.

I started taking Vitamin D, a multi-vitamin and onto MATCHA again with breakfast.

Anyway, I feel great.

Certainly is a good way to begin one’s day.

 

Sunday night I came across something that Charles Dickens had written.

It was on a Christmas card.

I thought it would be appropriate to share it with you:

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

     Charles Dickens

 

Such a lovely sentiment and something that we should all try to do.

I do try and keep positive thoughts in my mind (most of the time) and following with kind and generous actions.

But to say that I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year – just brings it up to another level.

 

We all have heart ache in our lives.

We all have situations that do not go the way we thought or intended.

We all have moments/times when our thoughts and actions are less than stellar.

If we all just take 5 minutes each day for ourselves.

To bright the light back.

We can live through the heart ache.

We can change our thoughts and intentions.

We can have more stellar thoughts and actions.

If you are feeling great and in a good place …. your thoughts and actions will show this.

 

I hope that you have an amazing day.

Keep Christmas in your heart.

Be kind to yourself and to others.

 

Special Hello to: all our Angels on earth and in in the heavens, thank you.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday the 26th day of November, 2018.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day.

Alvin and I enjoyed a wonderful walk.

 

Twenty-five years ago, my Mom passed away at the young age of 55.

We all miss her.

I wrote this poem when we arrived at my brother’s and it was read at her funeral.

 

“Dear Mom”

 

Dear Mom,

Sitting here thinking back,

One moment ago,

Sometimes only days, then back a dozen years.

The memories flood on in,

There were happy times and sad,

Crazy wonderful and bad.

I think of all the voices of family and friends, chattering in my head.

Everyone has a special story, a thought for me to hear.

How hard it is to say that last good-bye.

I remember your laughter, your firmness and the way you spoke your mind.

The Love you shared with others, your charm, that wit, that mind!

We will always wonder, why your time with us was short.

But you gave us all love and understanding, you always believed in us.

Pointed us in the right direction.

Then quietly and quickly moved on,  to watch down over us – our Guardian Angel!

There will never be another “Jeannie”, another “Granny”, another Mom, another Friend like you.

Mom, there is no doubt in my mind that you were one of a kind!

You touched so many hearts that is evident by the stories I have heard,

and by the tears that have and will be shed.

Mom,

No one Loved You More

No one Loved You Better

We all Love You the Same.

Written by Carol Lewis (November 1993) to honour our  “Mother” who passed away in November of 1993.

I miss my Mom and think of her often.  When I think about how easy it is to communicate with family and friends who live at a distance, I am utterly amazed.  It would have been so great if back in 1993, and prior we could have sat down at the computer and SKYPED each other.  So if you are thinking about me or your Mom or your best friend, and they live at a distance, take advantage of the free download and start to SKYPE.  Between Facebook, E-mail, and SKYPE there is no reason to miss out on the days and years of our loved ones.  Post some photos.  Send some love.  Stay in contact.   To all my friends and family out there, I love you and think of each and every one of you each and every day.  Really I do.  I send my love and thoughts of good health and abundance.  Take care everyone…..

 

Special Hello: to all our Angels, you share a place in our hearts and minds as you watch over us all.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Wednesday the 7th day of February, 2018.

One week from today is Valentine’s Day.

WOW, spring is on the way.

It is snowing very lightly this morning and feels warmer than it has been.

Perhaps it is the positive energy in me that gives me that feeling, who knows?

I do know one thing for sure …. at some point in some amount of days …. weeks …. months, we shall have spring.

I love spring.

The colours ….. the energy …… the flowers ….. TULIPS.

Tulips are my daughter’s favourite flowers.

I would like to surprise her and plant some bulbs so that perhaps next spring she could awake one morning and find tulips blooming in her back yard.

That would be nice.

 

Last night my special nephew “T” called me.

His Grandmother recently passed away.

They were very close and I hold him just a bit closer during his time of loss.

Grandparents are so very important and when you grow up having them there at every stage of your life ….. they are greatly missed when they pass.

Hugs buddy, hugs and much love.

 

Yesterday was one of those days that I really thought I was losing my mind.

I could not keep negative crap out of my head.

Between work and the bus ride home ….. well ….

Today is a new day.

I am grateful to my “T” for without knowing it and without wanting to make the conversation about me, he brought me back.

Thanks again, buddy.

 

Well here we go almost time to leave for work.

I hope that we all have a great Wednesday.

I must remember to breathe and when those thoughts creep into my brain, I must move away from my desk and find a quiet spot to bring happy thoughts back to me.

Exercise …… we are missing our walks.

Hopefully this cold weather is almost over.

Regardless tonight we are going for even a 5 minute walk.

Both of us, NEED the fresh air and exercise.

Perhaps that is what is missing.

 

Happy Wednesday.

Special Hello to: all the dreamers out there ….. it is never too late and I am reminding myself of that at this time.

Always, Carol & Alvin

COUNTDOWN: 60 Days to 60

Today is Friday, July 28, 2017 and it is the 13th day until my 60th Birthday.

 

Well as the curtain begins to rise on my upcoming 60th Birthday.

I was thinking what else can I share regarding 60 years of life and experience.

Perhaps ADVICE.

Likely one of the single most pieces of advice that was ever given to me was this by my Paternal Grandmother, Stella.

Now, we did not always see eye to eye on things but likely due to the 56 year age difference.

But we agreed on a great many things.

My Grandmother was educated and very intelligent.

She rarely showed signs of emotion and me, well I plainly wear my heart on my sleeve.

Perhaps we were a good bit of YING and YANG.

I learned so much from her over my lifetime until she passed at age 97 in 1998.

 

So the advice was simply this:  “everything in moderation.”

It applied not only to food but to life.

If you live a life of moderation then you would live a good long life.

Or at least increase the likelihood of such.

 

So that is what I would like to leave with you for today….

Those pearls of wisdom from my Grandmother who was an amazing woman.

“Everything in Moderation.”

 

Always, Carol

 

COUNTDOWN: 60 Days to 60

Today is Saturday, July 22, 2017 and it is the 19th day until my 60th Birthday.

The air coming in through my office window is cool as I write these words.

The sun is already up for the day as I have risen for the day, as well.

I would say that one of my favourite things to do is to write poetry.

I will share some of the poems that I have written over the years.

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

“GREAT EXPECTATIONS”

To Windthorst I came late in the fall,

With great expectations — or so I recall,

I looked forward to seeing new faces in class,

And taking the subjects I knew I should pass.

My impressions are fixed now, it currently seems

That totally false was each of these dreams,

With all the boys, I’d thought it’d be heaven,

But it hasn’t worked out; so back to Glenavon.

The girls are prettier than I’d thought they would be;

Though none but a fool could prefer them to me!

(My vanity comes from the pressures of rhyme —

You know that I’m modest all of the time!)

My rhyme is near finished, my brainpower low,

My thoughts have diminished, and so I shall go.

Life, bring excitement!  Life, bring romance!

Life, bring me something!  Windthorst last chance!

Written as I entered Grade Twelve in Windthorst, Saskatchewan.

Grandma sold the farm in the summer/fall of 1974 and we moved to the Village of Windthorst.

I wrote some poetry for the school paper.

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

“FROM DREAM TO REALITY”

I had a dream late last night,

Of sparkling white sandy beaches,

Palm trees swaying in a sweet scented breeze,

Of clear blue skies and water, clear blue,

Of monkeys, elephants and parrots, too.

When I awoke and looked all around,

It was a dream, so I had found.

The picture is somewhat sadly different.

My sandy beaches are cluttered with garbage.

The palm trees have been removed, replaced with malls.

The breeze smells bitter — terribly so,

The monkeys, elephants where did they go?

We have come too far, too fast,

The signs have been there,

But we did not see, due to our hungry greed

From horse drawn sleighs to gas powered cars,

From tin and glass to Styrofoam and plastic jars,

From all that technology we still didn’t learn

That we’re literally burning our planet — our Earth.

The time has come to join together,

Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters,

If we learn to reduce, recycle and reuse

We can save our planet —

The gem in our universe.  Our Earth!

Written for Amanda’s school play at W.H. Ford School

By Carol Lewis on November 28th, 1990

This is so bizarre that I wrote this twenty years ago for my daughter’s school play.  It is even more prevalent today.

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

“BEYOND THE SUNSET”

The sun melts into hues of gold and pink,

as the sky darkens.

A peaceful sigh, as she closes her eyes.

She sees the roses in her garden.

The fragrance soft but strong in the air.

She sees her children and theirs.

She feels her husband’s touch.

She remembers times gone by.

It has been a great life!

She is not afraid,

The time has come.

The Lord extends his hand,

And she follows him home.

Written by Carol Lewis on September 29/30, 1998 for my Grandma Stella.

I went to live with my paternal Grandmother when I was just 16 and she was 72.

We did well together for the most part considering the age difference.

I miss her and think of her often.

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

“Dear Mom”,

Sitting here thinking back,

One moment ago,

Sometimes only days, then back a dozen years.

The memories flood on in,

There were happy times and sad,

Crazy wonderful and bad.

I think of all the voices of family and friends, chattering in my head.

Everyone has a special story, a thought for me to hear.

How hard it is to say that last good-bye.

I remember your laughter, your firmness and the way you spoke your mind.

The Love you shared with others, your charm, that wit, that mind!

We will always wonder, why your time with us was short.

But you gave us all love and understanding, you always believed in us.

Pointed us in the right direction.

Then quietly and quickly moved on,  to watch down over us – our Guardian Angel!

There will never be another “Jeannie”, another “Granny”, another Mom, another Friend like you.

Mom, there is no doubt in my mind that you were one of a kind!

You touched so many hearts that is evident by the stories I have heard,

and by the tears that have and will be shed.

Mom,

No one Loved You More

No one Loved You Better

We all Love You the Same.

Written by Carol Lewis (November 1993) to honour our  “Mother” who passed away in November of 1993.

I miss my Mom and think of her often.  When I think about how easy it is to communicate with family and friends who live at a distance, I am utterly amazed.  It would have been so great if back in 1993, and prior we could have sat down at the computer and SKYPED each other.  So if you are thinking about me or your Mom or your best friend, and they live at a distance, take advantage of the free download and start to SKYPE.  Between Facebook, E-mail, and SKYPE there is no reason to miss out on the days and years of our loved ones.  Post some photos.  Send some love.  Stay in contact.   To all my friends and family out there, I love you and think of each and every one of you each and every day.  Really I do.  I send my love and thoughts of good health and abundance.  Take care everyone…..

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

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

“IF I HAD KNOWN”

Looking at photos of us when we were kids.

It seems like only yesterday,

but it was a lifetime ago.

Things have changed.

We were five now we’re four.

How I long for those days.

When we were all together.

When playing school, all sitting in a row … I’d be the teacher…

Running about the yard playing in a nearby slough looking for tadpoles …

Playing in the dirt ….

Imagining driving to far off places in that old black car, and eating Mom’s homemade french fries and pumpkin pie.

Playing hide and seek and watching Disney on Sundays.

Was what we did, when we were just kids.

Now we’re grown,

Time has past.

If only I had known,

We would be four and not five.

I would have taken your hand.

I would have told you how much I loved you every day.

I would have loved you better.

I would have visited you more often.

I should have tried.

I would have known your pain.

I would have understood.

I would have known your favourite song.

I would have known your favourite colour.

I would have known you better.

Now we’re four and it’s too late

For me to take your hand.

To share your pain, and to comfort you.

I wished that I had knew you better.

Between the pain and the laughter.

You were a man, and I remember the boy

The little boy with a zest for life.

The little boy that always seemed to find a way ….. now that’s our secret….

That irresistible little guy that made me smile.

The little boy with such a big heart.

That much I did know when the boy became the man.

I feel that I let you down, but it is too late

I wished that I knew your favourite song.

Or what you made you cry late at night.

Why the time passed so fast.

Now we’re four instead of five

What did you think?  Your thoughts?

I wished that I knew.

If I had, I had only known  the man, not just the boy.

Written by Carol Yvonne Lewis, January 8th, 2010

I miss my brother …… somedays it feels like only yesterday that we were saying good-bye and others it feels like an eternity.  Often times we take for granted that our siblings will live forever and most certainly if they are younger than we are, longer.  Reach out ….. say hello …… even if you cannot physically seem them ….. phone them, text them, email them, live chat, SKYPE with …… do not miss out on an opportunity.  

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

Always, Carol

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.

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

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.

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