The Next Chapter

Good Morning ALL! I hope that this finds you well. Yesterday was definitely different. First day going to work without Alvin in the house. Leaving the house felt strange as I said to him – I love you Alvin and I will see you after work, habit. The house was dark as I turned the key in the lock. As I walked to the car, I turned to the living room windows where I had always waved to Alvin who would be sitting on the sofa looking out watching me as I left for work. When I got into the car, Michelle was crying as she remembered how he would look out the window at me as I was leaving. We had some tears on the way to work. Oh my boy, how I miss you. The continuing saga at the office was a temporary reprieve from my new life. I thought of him often as I had also brought one of his favourite toys, his Teddy Bear with me to the office (carefully tucked away in my purse). I felt as though he was beside me all day.

The walk to the house after work felt long as I climbed the steps to the house, the realization that there would not be someone waiting for me on the other side hit me like a ton of bricks. As I turned the key in the door, I still hung onto hope that I would see him as I opened the door and called out to him. But he was not there. I locked the door behind me and stepped into my new reality. Alvin is only a memory now, a recent one but now a memory. One to remain in my memory and in my heart for all time. I will always remember that little guy who brought so much joy and laughter to my life.

We did not have coffee at the office yesterday so I made a pot when I got home from work. By this time, I had a headache from lack of caffeine, I suppose. I took a few minutes to just enjoy the coffee before starting supper as Amanda was coming for a sleepover after work and a dental appointment. She arrived earlier than expected which was wonderful. Supper was a bit later. Tears were shed. It is difficult for her when she steps into the house and Alvin is not there to greet her. No barks of joy. No little fur bundle looking out the window waiting for her to come into the house. It was definitely a difficult moment. We had a good evening. Even a wee bit of laughter.

Time to head downstairs as I have to make a pot of coffee before work as we have none.

I hope that you are safe, warm and have a wonderful Tuesday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin, my forever Angel.

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! My first actual day of vacation. The sky is overcast and it is windy. We were up and down a few times last night and slept in this morning. Alvin would not eat his food. I just gave him his wet food with nothing else hoping that he would eat but he did not. Last night he ate his biscuits and a few small pieces of carrots so I know that it is not his teeth that are bothering him. If I gave him chicken he would eat it. I am thankful that we have an appointment with his Doctor this afternoon and hopefully we can get this sorted out. If I am able to collect a stool sample, I will take it with me. You cannot take it too much in advance so if he does not have one closer to this afternoon, I will collect one tomorrow morning and whisk it over to the vet. Better day but can tomorrow. My daughter reminded me how much her pups do not like their new food. I guess he will eat when he is hungry provided there is nothing else stopping him from doing so. I suppose if he ate carrots (not on his food list but I had to see if he would easily eat them) and biscuits which are the okay for him to have, they are a hypoallergenic treat. He ate the bits of chicken I gave him with his pills tucked inside. The tramadol must have a strong odour as it took a few tries because he kept eating the chicken and spitting out the pill. Thankfully it stayed intact until he consumed it. What a last few days! I was so sure that things were on the upswing. His poop is getting better but unfortunately at the end of the last one there was blood again. That is our update.

Considering he has not eaten much in the last couple of days, yesterday we went for a walk, he kept on walking and before we knew it were had walked our old usual route. The air was warm and the sun was shining so maybe he felt energized. As we approached his BF Teddy’s house his gait quickened and then we were there and he started to walk up their driveway. I had to stop him as they are not at home. He has not forgot his old friend. I sure wished that they would come home so that the pups could get together. Not that I think that Alvin is going anywhere at the moment but I think that seeing Teddy would do him the world of good. He has not seen him in months and I am sure that he misses him. This is the second time that he has walked to Teddy’s house in recent times. The last time he did not even go into the park he just walked straight down our street to his house.

Later this afternoon, our girl is coming over after her dental appointment (that is a good reminder that I have to get my appointment made soon, I just find it hard to think of anything but Alvin and work at this moment, which is not good I suppose). Amanda plans to sleep over tonight, I believe which will be nice.

Well I should go and have a quick shower. Alvin sounds like he is sneezing / coughing. My poor little guy. I wished that he was all better.

Have a wonderful Monday. Fingers crossed for Mr. Alvin’s appointment, please. Positive thoughts.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

P.S. so grateful that I am on vacation for this week and next. Dreaming that retirement will be close.

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! Another busy day ahead. My daughter slept over last night and she is still sleeping. We are having my cousins over for a visit and supper today. So I have lots to do. Cooking and cleaning. Alvin has taken the corner in major improvement. He had a good poop or poops yesterday so that is such a relief. I will continue with his regiment and hopefully by next week he is back to his old self. Next Thursday is his 14th Birthday. We will celebrate not next Saturday but the following Saturday with our family and perhaps even a friend or two. I am grateful for all of the many blessings in my life. Family and Friends.

Speaking of friends, just a special shout out to my dear friend Gillian who helped me out in a major way yesterday. After work, I had to go to the vet to pick up something (treats, yes I know – not like Alvin can have them now but they are a hard commodity to secure), my eyeglasses and some groceries. She picked me up shortly after 4:00 p.m. and we had all three stops done and back home by 5:00 p.m. How is that for getting things done. I am so grateful for her friendship, love and support. She saved me time and walking and carrying.

Another dear friend received good news about her pathology report and we are forever grateful.

Just good news all way round.

Freezing rain earlier ….. yes ….. raining in Edmonton ….. in January. Go figure. The next days and virtually all week are to be mild. Perhaps Alvin and I may get out for a walk yet before the temperatures change.

I will post a few photos tomorrow but need to get this show on the road.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to read my posts, it is so appreciated. I love to write and to share my life with you. Maybe some of the pooping stories are a bit much but they are part of my life, unfortunately or perhaps fortunately! Take some time for yourself on this weekend and have a good one. Be safe and take care.

Continuing to live this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus, possibilities and coffee. I have already enjoyed a mug of that good stuff, lol.

Always, Carol & Alvin

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! Bed late and up late this Saturday morning. So excited that my daughter slept over last night. We had such a good night and as she is getting ready to go home to her family, a bit of sadness creeps into my heart. I love when she arrives and am sad when she leaves. I guess that is a Mother thing or parent thing. She is such a great human, person, woman and daughter. Just love my girl to the moon and beyond.

One thing that I want to figure out with my new computer is how to access my photos through Word Press. Somehow the new computer does things differently or perhaps it is the old me that just cannot see the trees for the forest. Oh, well, as I recently told my daughter, eventually I figure things out. Sometimes it takes me awhile.

Last night for supper we had black bean burgers enveloped by Val’s most delicious dill pickle cheese biscuits with a splatter of her raspberry jalapeƱo jelly. OMG, so delicious. We added cheddar cheese as you cannot have a burger without lots of cheese. My mouth is watering at the mere thought of that burger. I do not think that anything will ever top the most deliciousness of that burger with those biscuits on either side. My friend Val sure knows how to cook and bake. She is the bomb, so talented in the kitchen. I am eternally grateful for all the goodies that she sends to us. Alvin loves his homemade treats as well. We had later in the evening this incredible chocolate brownie. Hidden in the brownie/icing was pieces of a Kit Kat chocolate bar, one of my favourites. It was so rich and delectable. My tummy was so full and content by the goodness. This morning I gave my daughter one of the apple tarts for “breakfast” with her coffee, I will have my later (dessert for supper tonight). Thanks Val, you rock.

Thank you to my daughter for helping me with computer things this morning. She is on her way and I am about to “publish this post.” Photo of Alvin is from last night. What a cutie!

I hope that you are having a wonderful Saturday. Mine has been good thus far. Lots going on. I am also watching over Humphrey, Bogart and Cynder for a couple of days.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are okay. Alvin still has diarrhea but it is less and definitely less blood. Sorry for the descriptive language this early in the day. But all in all it seems better than he was on Tuesday. He certainly loves the chicken more than the rice. It has been a bit of a challenge to get his medications into him but so far only missed one pill that ended up too mushy in his rice that he wouldn’t eat. They are intelligent creatures and likely his sense of smell is way better than mine or most humans. Yesterday worked out okay with me working from home. I was able to take him out whenever he needed to go as once he asks, he needs to get outside now.

I am grateful that the weather has been mild. Certainly has helped the middle of the night trips outside with the Alvin. I would go no matter what but has helped make it more bearable.

So grateful for all my family and friends who have reached out to check on his status. Thank you.

I am grateful that today is Friday and it is almost the weekend.

I am grateful that Amanda is coming for a sleepover. We are both always over the moon to see her.

I am grateful that I have a job where I can work from home.

Oh, Val, I am wearing my new green sweater this morning. So yesterday the doorbell rings and there, stands this guy with a huge box. As he hands it to me, he says, “it is a heavy one.” I said “thank you” and he was on his way. I quickly put the box down and went back to work. On my break I opened it up to find so many goodies (Christmas box) from our friend Val, who spoils us rotten. There was biscotti (my absolutely favourite), some dill pickle biscuits (had one with supper, so good), apple tarts, chocolate muffins, homemade treats for Alvin and other baking for me. There was also the most perfect GREEN sweater for the Momma, “me.” I am wearing the sweater now and it is the perfect weight and I LOVE the colour. There was also some Epicure items in my gift. Also in the box was my Epicure order and my daughter’s. There was a lot of things in that box. Filled my counter. I let Alvin open his gift but he found it a bit difficult this time around so I lent a helping hand and then he was in ….. I know he wasn’t supposed to have anything but what is on his “bland diet” but he was whining and crying and so excited, that I gave him one treat. I broke it into three pieces and he happily gobbled it down. We are over the moon grateful to have this amazing human in our lives. She treats me and Alvin like “rock stars” no better than that….. we are truly blessed. Thanks Val. We love our treats and I cannot wait to taste some of the baked goods tonight with Amanda.

Well it is almost time to head downstairs and get to work. Get that coffee plugged in.

Have an awesome Friday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

A New YEAR 2023

Good Morning ALL! Well today is another day. Alvin is doing okay. There is a bit of change in his poop, less blood but he still has diarrhea. I know not really the kind of thing one wants to see first thing in the morning. I still feel kind of blah but likely due to the up and down during the night. Missing two days is a lot so back to work today. Hopefully things are “quiet.” I am grateful that I can work from home during this time. Between going outside with him to monitor him and giving him medications, one cannot do this from the office and also it would mean having someone stay with him and that is not possible. So I will work from home. Thankfully today is Thursday, it is Thursday, correct? I am totally lost on the days at this time.

Thankfully the weather, the temperatures have been nice as sometimes we are outside for a bit as it takes Alvin time to be done. I am hoping that by tomorrow there is a major difference in his bowel movements, if not we may be going back to the vet. For now, medications and keep an eye on him. Thankfully he is eating and drinking water and his pee is clear.

I am still figuring out this new computer and some of the new updates over the last few years have changed things quite a lot. Hopefully on the weekend I can get things figured out. My daughter is coming for a sleepover tomorrow night. She will help get the external hard drive set up (formatted) so that we can put all of my photos, almost 50,000 of them on the HD. I will be so happy when they are on something that can be easily accessed. YAY.

Hard to believe that today is January 5th, 2023. Almost one week into the New Year.

A reminder of Christmas Eve 2022. Aspen at the window looking out to see where her Mom & Dad are or perhaps at someone out for a walk, I do not quite remember. Alvin and Mi-Mi watching her. The fireplace, the mantel with stockings. We had a great Christmas. A good memory.

Time to head downstairs. Put on the coffee, I need a boost this morning.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

Last Half 2022 – December

Good Morning ALL! How are you this morning? We are well. Perhaps a bit sleep deprived but otherwise ready to get this day going. I was surprised when I started this new post that the words “What are your favourite things to wear?” come up under my header of this post. I did not type them. Not sure what is going on? But definitely creepy. Does that mean that I was hacked? Yikes. Anyway, moving on and I am not going to worry about that. I will take it as a fluke, perhaps I accidentally had something to be pasted, not that I remember saying “what are your favourite things to wear.” Never a dull moment.

I am excited because my daughter, Alvin’s sister is coming for a sleepover tonight. She said that she would stay tomorrow and help me with the baking. That would be great. I do not often have help with the Christmas baking so I would appreciate her assistance. Amanda also mentioned about perhaps taking Alvin home with her tomorrow to Alberta Beach. That would be basically three weeks away from home. I am not sure. I know that I will miss him terribly and I think that he may think that I am not coming back. He has been very clingy as of my three day each week return to the office. But maybe it would be good for him. I worry about him with him approaching 14 years and do not wish to cause him additional anxiety. He knows them and the pups very well so that is not it but it is not home. I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. I will speak to my daughter and see what she thinks.

One of our friends lost their pup this week, he was 14 years old, I believe. Always incredibly sad when a doggie passes on. Truly they are family and the hole they leave in your heart stays forever. We just learn to live without them.

I will need to shovel the driveway as there was a slight skiff of snow a day ago and I did not go back out to clean it up. My daughter will park her car in the garage. It is very cold outside this morning. I decided to remake the dish that I came up with two nights ago and then apple crisp for dessert.

We are down to 23 sleeps till Christmas EVE!!

Have a great day.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: even was texting with two friends from Regina last night individually at the same time. Great to have friends near and far. I am so blessed.

Last Half 2022 – October

Good Morning ALL! Looks like another beautiful fall / autumn day on the way, perhaps it is already here. Everything is great at this very moment in my world. Alvin is/was napping outside the office door but he heard something and his head has perked up while my daughter is catching some final zzz’s before getting up to start her day. Life is great. I have both my “kids” here with me. Alvin and Amanda. The lights of my life. I should include my son-in-law and my grandpups as well in that “lights of my life” statement as they are definitely included. Last night we had Pad Thai for supper (my first attempt) and apple crisp for dessert. Supper was great. We had tried to take Mr. Alvin for a walk when we first got home from work and almost had to drag him to the park. He just did not want to walk. But we did get to the park. When he does not want to go – he is very firm about his decision. I thought after missing his noon walk that he would have loved to go but not the case. I am so grateful that Amanda was able to sleepover. Nice having her here with us.

Yesterday on the way home from work I was able to stop and pick up spare house keys so that whomever is watching Alvin has their own key and then I do not have to run about the neighbourhood picking up and dropping off keys. Much easier. Also, if someone ended up being sick or unable to watch Alvin at the last moment, then I would just have to call the phone list to see who could come over instead. A good plan. We also stopped and picked up lottery tickets and I may very well at this exact moment be a multi-millionaire. That changes everything. I would instantly retire, pay off the mortgage and just enjoy the rest of Alvin’s days and do the things on my bucket list like: publishing a book. I would also love to visit the East Coast of Canada and the Northern Territories, perhaps go to the United Kingdom (Ireland, Scotland and England), Italy and Greece and back home to Regina. Not all at once but I would definitely do this. I have always wanted to go to a tropical place so I would have to decide on which place: Hawaii, Bahamas? After that was all done, I was be more than happy to stay home or at least keep the travel to within Canada. Of course, who would not like to go on an African Safari or visit the Amazon in South America or the vast expanse of Australia. But I am being realistic in my choices. Besides I am not too keep to travel too far from home.

Well it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I celebrate and give thanks for my life. I am grateful that my little buddy Alvin is doing well healthwise at this moment. I am grateful to be surrounded by loving, kind and supportive family, friends and neighbours. I am grateful to be in good health. I am grateful to live in this beautiful home with a nice yard. I am grateful that I can see and hear and have the ability to smile. I am grateful that I can dance and sing and enjoy life. I am grateful for walks with Alvin and with friends. I am grateful for quiet moments and loud ones. I am grateful that I am living my life to the best of my ability and beyond. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Family & Friends. May you be of good health and surrounded by love and kindness and respect. Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Always, Carol, Alvin & Amanda

PS: there will be raking in my future with some laundry and putting away patio furniture!

I just realized that I do not have a pumpkin pie, oh no!

Last Half 2022 – September

Good Morning ALL! What a first few days of FALL we are having here in Edmonton on our street. I hope that you are doing great on this bright sunny Saturday morning. Yesterday at the office, I was there. I caught a ride with one of my coworkers and we have a plan to carpool for our future rides to the office. After work my daughter picked me up, we stopped at the store and then home. Mr. Alvin was well looked after as my neighbor Sonja had popped in several times during the day ensuring he was fed, watered and went outside. She even gave him supper so that I could go to the store on my way home from work. I am beyond grateful to her for always helping us. She takes such good care of Mr. Alvin. Oh, and a pleasant surprise from my daughter when she announced that she may sleepover and she did! So great waking up with that human in the house.

When we arrived home from the store and as we were bringing the groceries and things in from the car one of our friends Ali and her pup Bailey were walking by on the opposite side of the street. Bailey spotted us and immediately started to squeal. I motioned for them to come over and as we brought things into the house – we had a visit. We love our Bailey and she gives some of the best kisses. Another gal was walking her dogs Eddy and Bruno who are labs and big but friendly. Bailey got excited again. She has just got to know them and loves the boys. Then they were all gone and we started to put things away.

We decided to pick up something from the store for supper, something already cooked from the deli. So supper was sushi and potato wedges and for dessert, Saskatoon ice-cream. A very unlikely combination I will admit but good all the same. That is what happens when you pick up food from the grocery stores.

After supper we got ready to go for a walk. Other neighbours were out walking and had just picked up their mail so we chatted with them as we walked. We did not even get to their house and Mr. Alvin stopped and turned around heading for home. I tried to change his mind but he wanted to go home. We were not home very long and it started to rain. There had been some clouds in the sky but nothing in the forecast. Perhaps he could tell something was coming. Oh, our weather forecaster Mr. Alvin.

For the evening we decided to watch a movie and watched “LIGHTYEAR” and oh my goodness, if you have not seen it, you must. It had a bit of everything, good storyline, great characters, love story, heroes, sad, happy, incredibly funny and more. Highly recommend it.

Well time to get the coffee on as we both are coffee drinkers.

Amanda is going to stay and help me with a few tasks before heading out. She is planning to go to COSTCO, yup, COSTCO on a Saturday. She needs gas so she will decide when she gets there whether it is worth going into the store, too.

I hope that you have a great day. I am over the moon happy ……

So great to have my girl here. Mr. Alvin opened the door to her room this morning at 3:00 a.m., I guess just checking to make sure she was still here. He loves her so much. They love each other.

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

Always, Carol, Alvin and Amanda.

Last Half 2022 – August

Good Morning ALL! We have been for a few hours already which I must say is wonderful. I have done all the usual things with Mr. Alvin by this time and also gone to check in on Humphrey, Bogart and Cynder. They have been fed, watered, photographed, and had treats. I have had a shower and even put on a full face of makeup this morning and am now sipping on my coffee as I write this post. In less than one hour I will be at our friend Gillian’s house for my Birthday party. She is hosting. I love that we do this for each other. Very cool and that way no matter what else is going on in our lives, each of us always has birthday cake and presents. I love this tradition and hoping we can continue for the rest of our lives. It was hard to decide on what to wear and I have no idea why. I guess for my 65th Birthday party- I would like to look good. So I decided on a navy blue short sleeved t-shirt which is long and not super baggy and navy blue dress shorts. I was thinking of adding a coral three quarters sleeve cardigan but I think it may be too warm although I could start out wearing it. I feel good this morning. I wore lots of jewelry, too.

This has been a really busy vacation so far. Yesterday Alvin and I stopped at Susana & Malena’s garage sale while on our way to the park to meet up with our friends Pauline and Georgie (her grandpup). I had spotted something new at the garage sale, it was a macrame wall hanging. Very simple in its’ design and that egg shell colour that really goes with everything. I had a vision as I saw it and immediately said “sold.” I could see in my mind’s eye – a bunch of my antique pins and brooches displayed on it. Alvin knows them well so we walked into the garage. Susana’s sister Malena had been in the house and came out. She said hello to us and then Alvin walked into “the back” going towards the inside door and I should have had him on a shorter leash but I did not pull him back soon enough, and then a flash and the sound of glass breaking as it hit the cement garage floor, as Malena moved back out of our way into the table. They had a table in the centre of the garage with other tables lining the walls. There were lots of glass items in the sale but some huge glass vases and goblets on the table and they went flying. Thankfully the table did not turn over but several pieces were broken. I felt terrible and offered to pay for the glass that was broken but kind people that they are – they laughed it off. Susana made a joke about “putting a second mortgage on my house.” We all laughed but I felt bad. I could not even help clean it up as I had Alvin with me and we had to get out of the garage in case Alvin stepped on some glass. I have to find a way to make it up to my kind and generous friends. I wished that I knew how much she was asking for those items, because then I could just give her the money. After that, we carried on to the park to meet up with Pauline and Georgie. Instead of going for a walk – we decided to walk to Pauline’s house and visit on her patio. The pups could run in the backyard off leash. Alvin loves to run in her yard. So that is what we did. We had a two hour visit on her patio. Catching up about all that we have been doing. They had been looking after friend’s farm (dogs) and such out of the City. Just so happens that these friends live in a community not far from where I lived for a year when I was a teenager. My family lived there for years and my brother still lives in the area. Isn’t it a small world.

After our visit we walked home. I made sure that Alvin had some more water and put on another load of laundry. After that I went to check in on Humphrey and Bogart and Cynder. We had company after supper. I had invited Aunt J and the pups, Teddy and Kobi to come for a visit. What a great time we had. So you can see it has been mainly about visiting and playing so far this weekend although I did clean the main floor including washing the floors. Now to do the upstairs, perhaps tomorrow. Later today we will go for a walk with Pauline and Georgie. Tomorrow night Teddy is coming for a sleepover. Perfect as Aunt J and the pups were coming over to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday. I love when a plan comes together. So this is going to be a busy vacation and I would not have it any other way.

Well time to head downstairs, almost time to go and I want to finish my coffee and see if Mr. Alvin needs to pee before I leave.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

PS: zero time to an early birthday party and 2 sleeps till I turn 65.

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