Second Half of the NEW YEAR

Good Morning All,

What a great Saturday I had.

To start the day off the weather was just as they had forecast. The sun was shining and it was windy. I as you know slept in a bit so was feeling a bit rushed as I always seem to do this to myself. But I was only about ten minutes short of being ready when my daughter arrived. I wore the dress, the cardigan and the scarf. The only item that I changed my mind about was the shoes and I wore some semi flat sandals which ended up being the perfect shoe to wear (I will explain later).

My daughter wanted to stop and get gas which we did at the neighbourhood gas station. Then we were on our way. We almost missed the first turn off from our neighbourhood to the highway but just as we were almost passed, I mentioned “aren’t we supposed to turn and go south.” Luckily the exit is roomy and there was no one behind us so we “checked” and made a quick turn and then were truly on our way. They have “google maps” and yes it was on but it was one of those times when because Amanda also takes the second exit, habit took over. Anyway we continued on our way. We had to go a good way around the City of Edmonton before turning off. The drive was beautiful. The countryside was a glorious palette of fall colours and some of the houses were amazing. I had no idea. Big, big houses with three and four garages built into the house. When we got to the final couple minutes according to “google maps” we were for a minute not quite certain if we had the right place. It was a leaf covered opening between the trees. But we carried on. There were several cars and I spotted an older woman (likely about my age) all dressed up. We stopped and I got out and it was the groom’s mother. We had arrived! The groom happened to come around the corner of the house and came over to chat. We used the bathroom before my daughter continued on her way to do some “thrifting.” She wanted to go and check the shops in the nearby smaller City of Sherwood Park. I was so relieved that we had found the venue.

The venue was actually a private residence which originally was rented out by the owner for different types of retreats. When COVID19 hit, he changed the plan and started renting out for smaller weddings, family reunions and as a B&B. It was the most beautiful place. In the front, the house was magnificent with a huge porch with steps going up covered in stone. Lots of stone on the outside of the house. The groom directed me to the back of the house where I walked down to the area set up for the wedding ceremony. I had no idea that a lake was within walking distance of the house. I was told the name of the lake but alas I have forgotten. Very nice backdrop with the water and the trees all draped in their fall colours. I took a seat on a chair in the ceremony area and just enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my face. The groom came and sat on a nearby chair and we chatted. I learned that his parents were refugees from Vietnam. His Mother had been a nurse back home and ended up in several places including a refugee camp before coming to Canada. His parents met and married in Edmonton where “the groom” was born one of two sons. I met his younger brother and his wife who are expecting a baby. I also learned that the tea ceremony is Chinese (an Asian tradition), and is a time for the generations to offer their blessings to the bride and groom. They also at this time would hand down items from one generation to the other. The groom, my neighbour and friend was always seeking me out to ensure I was doing okay. Some other wedding guests were milling about and some where playing a lawn game. I was introduced by the groom to the handful of guests that were outside. His cousin’s husband and his son, also formally to the groom’s parents. There was a bit of a breeze but not the gale force winds that we have been experiencing. What a lovely afternoon. Of course, I snapped a few photos of the surroundings.

It was about 2:00 p.m. when we were called into the house for the TEA CEREMONY. A sofa in the living room was draped with a red silk/satin covering. There were red and gold cushions on the sofa with two on the floor. The guests gathered in the kitchen/dining area which was an opening floor plan to the living room. The groom waited patiently for the bride who was to call him to the door of the room she was in. When he knocked on the door, the Mother of the Bride answered the door. She gave him tea to drink and then gave him instructions. He was asked to do a number of pushups for the amount of years that they have been together and one for eternity. A few minutes later a woman in a beautiful red lace dress came running around from a door on the other side of the room and it was the bride. They embraced and then walked over and knelt on the cushions. The groom’s mother was sitting on the sofa. A female cousin handed the bride and groom each a small cup of tea which they in turn handed to the groom’s mother. She drank the tea and offered blessings to the couple. Family members took turns ….. all the parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins and I asked the cousin (Michelle) if I could participate as they had mentioned friends or anyone who would like to offer their blessings. So little old me was able to participate in the TEA CEREMONY. I was over the moon. The photographer snapped photos of everyone who participated in the tea ceremony including me. I managed to snap a couple of photos of the bride and groom afterwards as we were instructed not to take photos during the ceremony as there was a professional photographer to do this.

Before heading back outside to wait for the Wedding Ceremony to begin, I was checking out the photo tree by the entranceway to the house. The tree was filled with photos of the happy couple from all of their travels all over the world. There was also a table with small coloured cards & envelopes spread about so I picked one up and write some good wishes to my friends. A young woman, best friend to the bride came over and asked if she could take my photo, I said yes. The photos were placed in the envelope with the card as the bride & groom wanted to have photos of everyone in attendance.

By the high point of the sun it was a good 20 degrees celsius and although in the beginning of the day and partway into the afternoon there was a bit of a breeze.

Back outside and down to the ceremony area the guests were beginning to gather. The groom’s cousin Michelle officiated the wedding ceremony and was preparing the sound system. We waited for a little while before the groom came to take his place. It was not much longer before the bride and her mom came down the stairs to the back lawn area where her dad took her arm and the three of them walked toward the wedding area. The bride looking gorgeous in full length white gown and opting for a floral wreath crown instead of a hand bouquet. Her dress had a lace bodice and long sleeves with a skirt of organza and a beaded belt tied with a satin bow at the back. She looked so beautiful. Both the bride and groom wrote their own vows. We all had a giggle when the bride signaled for her cellphone and read her vows from it, followed by the groom who pulled out handwritten pages for his vows. The vows were so moving. Then it was over and they were married.

After the ceremony the wedding photographer took photos of all the guests in one big photo followed by family photos and over the course of time photos of the bride and groom.

I went back into the house for a drink and found they had some special treats laid out in the kitchen for all of the guests. So I chose a barbecued pork bun and some veggies and a can of Sprite. All of the food was individually packaged for the guests. I sat down at the end of the big table which was empty at that time. As the table began to fill up, I gave up my spot to an woman with mobility issues. Once I was finished eating, I went and sat on the front porch. Just enjoying the afternoon air. A small boy came outside with a coconut bun. His name was Evan. We chatted away until a few minutes later his sister Macey came out. This is how it all started with me meeting these two sweet young children. Evan (4) and Macey (6). They told me all sorts of things about school and themselves. It was a few minutes later when a young man came out and introduced himself as Jimmy. Thinking he was the children’s father as he was so good with them. Anyway, I am thinking that I have been writing this post for well over an hour. Sometimes you just meet people and click and this was the case with this family. Not long later I met the Mom, Jenny. We ended up going back outside to the lawn area and then going for a long walk in the area off the back lawn. Walking and talking and enjoying each other’s company. There was sand on the path and posts from an old dock which meant clearly the water had been further out at one point in time. From that point until I left we were together. What an awesome family. I found out that Jimmy was Jenny’s boyfriend and that she was divorced. The children adore Jimmy that was evident. Jimmy was so polite and kind. They even called me Auntie Carol. I was taken aback by this but after realized that in most other cultures they call older females “Auntie.” When I say taken aback, I meant in a good way. After our walk the FOOD TRUCK arrived and we had supper. There was a nice choice of food. We sat together at a table in the backyard and enjoyed our supper as the sun set. I texted my daughter when I was getting my food as it was about a 30 minute drive for her to come and pick me up. Before I left, Jenny and I decided that we had to keep in touch ….. so we are now FB friends.

I said my goodbyes to the family, my new friends and hugged the children. By the way, masks were wore and social distancing was done. As I walked away Jimmy said to the children “would you like to walk Auntie Carol out” so they joined me to the top of the walk. Such cute children and so nice. Best time. As I walked to the parking area, the food truck was leaving. The driver of this monstrous vehicle when backing up accidentally backed into something, I did not see what it was. There had been a pointer out helping but it was getting dark and I could see trying to maneuver something going wrong. As I started to walk around the vehicle the groom came out onto the porch and called out to me asking if I got a donut, I said no. I also said that my ride was here and that I was leaving. In a minute the bride was there. Jess came down to say goodbye and asked if she could come and say thank you to my daughter for driving me. I said of course. So the bride and a few minutes later the groom came to my daughter’s vehicle. We had a little visit before we were on our way.

What a glorious time I had. There are so many moments that I could have included in this blog but time is passing and I have some things to do before Mr. Alvin arrives home. Miss the little guy.

Amanda and I found our way back to the highway and back home with no problems.

I am so grateful for the invitation to my neighbours, my friend’s wedding. Their family and friends are so friendly and wonderful. Just to add the family that I connected with …. Jenny went to University with Eric, the groom. They drove up from Calgary.

Living my life with KINDNESS and RESPECT.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

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Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Friday the 29th day of June, 2018.

It is overcast at the moment with clear skies to the south (we are facing south at this time).

Feels okay outside as I was out earlier in my p.j.’s and there is no breeze.

We had a shower overnight.

Never heard a thing.

I took a vacation day to have an extra long weekend.

Yesterday we had a request to look after Master Teddy for today and tomorrow.

So he will be joining us soon.

I have changed my plans somewhat but I am flexible.

One can go through photos on the computer just as easily on Sunday as today.

One can delete emails just as easily on Sunday as today.

It all works out.

 

Well last night was our Ladies Paint NIGHT.

It was a blast.

The artist instructor was very nice.

She tried to be funny and all the ladies were not quite sure what to do.

So we laughed where appropriate and carried on.

She had done something like 242 classes.

Crazy hey.

We sat at tables at the Tony Romas Restaurant in St. Albert.

It did feel at bit awkward as I felt low in proximity to the canvas.

But that is no excuse for my “starfish.”

I tried to follow her instructions for the most part and found myself going my own way.

She claimed as my paint tray was messy that was a sign of an “artist.”

Not quite sure about that but we GIRLS did have so much fun.

We laughed and almost cried.

The girls, my friends did a great job.

We are going to find another one to do.

I thought perhaps a landscape with trees.

Practice.

I have always like abstract and that has been my thing.

But here is a few shots of my “work of art.”

My starfish’s name is “Fred” after Freddy Flintstone.

 

 

 

Well should sign off for now as Master Teddy will be along shortly.

I wish you all a wonderful Friday.

I know that I am going to enjoy this day.

 

Special Hello to:  my sister …..

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday the 25th day of June, 2018.

There is a delightful breeze blowing through the open window in the office as I key/type these words.

The house is/was pretty warm this morning.

We enjoyed our walk at 5:00 a.m. with the COOL breeze blowing on us as we walked along.

There were a few mosquitos but the breeze kept them blowing by us.

This is the last day of this heat wave according to the long range forecast.

A few days in the low 20’s would be refreshing and welcome at this point.

I love summer but the heat is hard on most of us and animals.

The birds were singing their songs this morning as we walked through the neighbourhood park.

We have three ponds in the park so it attracts all sorts of birds.

I enjoy listening to them as we walked along.

We, well actually I saw a couple of rabbits out playing in the grass as we were on our walk.

Alvin was busy sniffing in the grass and did not see them in the distance.

I love watching him happily walking about sniffing away.

He is so cute.

Grateful that we got his hair trimmed and bath on the weekend.

Certainly helps him with the heat.

 

Yesterday morning I enjoyed coffee with my girls.

We laughed and told what was new with us.

The girls always have work stories.

I guess we all do.

They asked me if I like the movie “HALLOWEEN” and I said “not really, why?”

Apparently there is a new one coming out and they are going.

Nope not my thing.

The 50 Shades were not really my thing but I went to the last one with them as I wanted to spend time with my friends.

That is what you do.

Big difference between the 50 Shades movie and HALLOWEEN.

For me, anyway.

So after some discussion we found something that all three of us wanted to do.

Da da …..

PAINTING.

We are going to a paint night this Thursday evening.

I am so excited.

Our picture is of a sandy beach with the word “DREAM” in the forefront in the sand.

Will be so much fun.

I had booked this Friday off as a vacation day so then I do not feel quite so bad leaving Alvin home in the evening.

We will be walking in the morning for sure on Thursday.

 

Well almost time to go.

Gather things up.

Close windows.

Wish the breeze would be cool all day long.

 

My friend “P” is having hip surgery today.

So our thoughts are with her.

I know that she will do great.

 

Have an awesome Monday.

Be kind to yourself and to others.

I hope that you are safe and cool today.

 

Special Hello:  all of my friends ….

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Tuesday the 24th day of January, 2017.

This morning feels like a poem.

I would like to share a poem that I wrote in 2010.

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday.

Wishing that we all use our imagination.

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IN MY IMAGINATION

In my mind, there is a place

Where the sun shines all day

And it rains some nights

Where the tulips bloom to my delight

Where the water is crystal clear

And sparkles like diamonds in the sun

Where peace is not just a dream.

In my mind, there is a place

In my imagination

I found my dreams they all came true

I could touch the stars

And walk on the moon,  and then visit Mars.

In my mind, there is a place

In my imagination

I met you there on a sandy beach

When the sun was shining just before the rain

You took my hand, and you kissed my cheek

In my imagination.

In my imagination.

In my mind, there is a place

In my imagination

Somewhere that I can go

Kick off my shoes, walk in the sand

Meet you again in my imagination

Under the stars

In my imagination

Please remember to go

Meet me there

In my mind, there is a place.

Written by Carol Yvonne Lewis, January 8th, 2010

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

Special Hello to: my friends and family sprinkled all over the world.

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day ……

Good Morning and Welcome to Friday the 15th day of April, 2016.

YAY, today is Friday and the start of the weekend for me.

I think today is the day that my sister comes home from Hawaii.

Cannot wait to hear all about her trip.

That is one place I would love to see.

I cannot imagine the greenery and the flowers.

The beautiful turquoise blue water and the sand.

The palm trees…..the pineapple ….. oh my.

Possibly bump into the Hawaii-Five-O Team …… now that would be cool.

On this Friday I am just happy to be on the last day of the work week for the office.

I have a busy weekend ahead but that is okay.

Better to be busy than not.

Just as long as you have time to R-E-L-A-X.

 

Alvin and I are enjoying our walks after work and I am going to rearrange our mornings so that we can go for a walk in the morning, as well.

Often times in the summer it is too hot for us to walk after work and by the time it cools down it is bedtime.

So two walks somedays and others one but better than none.

 

It is so great to see the sunrise on my way to work.

The sky is afire in yellows, oranges and reds.

So pretty.

I have had to start wearing my sunglasses when I get onto the bus as it becomes so bright at one point during the ride.

 

Well almost time to hit the road.

Another day … another ….. you know..

 

I hope that you have an awesome Friday.

May your day be filled with brightness, joy and laughter.

 

Special Hello to: the world travellers …. home again.

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Thursday the 11th day of February, 2016.

We have SNOW.

It started snowing over night and is still snowing.

There is a pure white blanket covering roof tops, cars, lawns, roadways and streets.

Anything sitting outside is covered.

YAY …. actually I am happy for the snow because it means that Alvin and I can walk tonight with no fear of salt getting at his paws.

There has been so much ice again this year that people have resorted to using heavy duty SALT.

Being the consciousness Momma that I am ….. we have elected to walk irregularly but Mr. Alvin does get exercise and fresh air in our back yard.

He loves to run and jump on the three levels of our deck.

So this keeps him moderately active and gives him some fresh air.

I am going to see if I can find socks/boots that would fit him but he is so fussy about his paws that I would be shocked if he would leave them on.

That is part of the reason that I have not done so thus far.

I guess such as life …. we do the best that we can do given the situation.

Once again, I am pleased as punch that there is a new blanket of snow covering the ice/salt/sand.

What a combination…..

Another good reason for excitement … the weekend coming up is a three day one.

Monday is a Canadian Statutory Holiday celebrating “Families” named of course, Family Day.

So it will be nice to spend the weekend with my Alvin and my kids if they are able to make it over.

Coffee and visits with friends who are like family.

Those are the best ones.

Well almost time to get out into the snow.

I was debating about shovelling the deck before I leave for work and out front and then I thought …. it is still snowing so might as well wait.

Good exercise tonight …. walking and shovelling …… gotta work on my core, that is for sure.

I hope that you have an awesome Thursday …..

Take care.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I appreciate your time.

Special Hello to: You, after all without you there would no Me …..

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Tuesday the 24th day of February, 2015.

It was a lovely bright sunny and warm day in Edmonton yesterday.

Today will  be a bit cooler and possibly snow.

It is late winter – early spring.

That’s our weather.

It changes faster than we can change our socks.

But alas it makes for great conversation.

That is something we North Americans like to chat about all day long.

Whether it is around the water cooler or on a coffee or lunch break …

While sitting on the bus going to and from work.

While waiting in line at the grocery store.

We discuss how much snow we got, how much rain.

Who had the most.

Who did the  most shovelling.

No matter where we are it is the one thing that brings us all together …. a common thread.

Because no matter where you live on this planet there is weather.

There are rain storms, snow storms, ice storm, dust storms and sand storms.

There are hot sunny days.

There are below cold days.

There is every type of weather imaginable.

Mother Nature PMS …. ing.

Smiling all the while…..

Anyway no matter what it always give us food for conversation.

I love that we have less than perfect weather because we appreciate the warm sunny days all the more.

So when you are gathered around the coffee bar enjoying that cup of coffee and discussing just how cold it is … remember there is someone around the corner discussing just how hot it is…..

Enjoy your day and your conversation.

Special Hello to: my family and friends all over the world.

You are my sunshine ….

Always, Carol and Alvin

 

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