COUNTDOWN: 60 days to 60

Today is Sunday, July 2, 2017 and it is the 39th day until my 60th Birthday.

I just realized that I had the wrong date on my Countdown yesterday …. it was July 1st ….. sorry about that.

Well only 39 days if I counted correctly.

 

You never know where life will take you.

Sometimes planning and dreaming takes you the farthest from where you were.

I was living a relatively comfortable life in Regina.

Some of my family lived/lives there and at that time most of my friends.

My daughter decided to move to Edmonton to go to NAIT (post-secondary school institution) back in 2002.

They (her boyfriend later they married) decided to stay in Edmonton …..

It made sense as the years went by for me to pack up and move.

She is my only child and I could not bear to see her perhaps once or twice a year, if I was lucky.

So in March of 2009 after retiring from a Company that I had worked for thirty years I moved to Edmonton.

It has been a crazy ride but I would not change it for the world.

Never thought I would be here.

Never thought I would be able to buy my own house.

Never thought after I retiring that I would be working full-time again.

Never thought that I would work at West Edmonton Mall.

Never thought I would work for several years in the highest volume of sales retail store, there.

Never thought that in my late 50’s I would have had the highest sales per hour in said retail store.

Never thought that I would once again be in direct sales.

Never thought that I would adopt a dog.

So many changes but all good.

So you see – you never know where life will take you.

Take that chance …… and go.

 

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.

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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 Thursday the 12th day of March, 2015.

Today is the 35th Birthday of my darling daughter …..

Wow, I cannot believe that she is thirty-five, where have the years gone?

It really seems like only yesterday she was in high school and now it has been 17 years since she graduated.

There are so many wonderful things to say about this girl of mine.

She is kind-hearted, kind of shy in a way but not, smart and funny and super talented.

As far back as I can remember she excelled in the arts.

Didn’t matter if it was drawing, painting or taking photos …. she was really good.

I could tell at an early age that she had the “eye.”

She just could visualize ….

After taking some courses through the City of Regina in photography and art classes in High School she entered the Arts Program majoring in film at the University of Regina.

Two years later she decided to take a break and regroup.

All this time she worked at least one job sometimes two.

One day she called me at work to “say that she had figured out what she wanted to do.”

I was elated …. she knew.

She applied to NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) in Edmonton for their photography program.

They only took a handful of applicants from all over the country and the likelihood of her getting in would be tough.

But she put together her portfolio with everything they asked for and was ACCEPTED.

The only student from Saskatchewan accepted that year.

Quite the feat.

During the two year program she took photos of “Buzz the Owl” at the Edmonton Zoo, photos at a cemetery, had friends model …. all for projects.

She even set up a cover for a magazine ….

Over the years she has taken photos of pets, children, families, weddings and nature.

In between we started our own “jewellery line” ….. Dear Stella Jewellery.

Now she takes photos of our jewellery ….

I could write for days of her accomplishments.

Today I found out that an art project she was working on with an artist and others will go to China to be displayed in a museum.

I am so very proud.

She has always been my special girl.

So today on her 35th Birthday I celebrate her life thus far.

Happy Birthday my Darling ……

May the next 35 be just as exciting and incredible as the first.

Special Hello to: my daughter on her 35th Birthday.

Always, Carol and Alvin

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