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.

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Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 8th day of April, 2017.

It is raining this morning and has been raining through the night.

Not a hard rain but a lovely soft rain.

Cleaning the earth as it touches down.

The sky is that soft grey colour …. the one that you know is going to last for awhile.

There is no break in the sky …. no sign of the sun.

 

Alvin and his internal clock.

Up and then down.  Up and then down.

I feel like a yoyo but there was something about getting up at 4:00 or even 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday when you do not have to that was not appealing.

We are up now.

Time to head to the shower perhaps that will give me the boost to get going…. making coffee and pancakes (just in case we have company) and laundry and stuff.

Gotta have clean clothes.

 

My sister is now in Peru, South America.

I have seen shows on Peru, reads lots of stories and seen it on many a map.

I am excited to hear all about her travels upon her return.

 

Time to go and have that shower.

Have an awesome day whether you are travelling to faraway places or just going to the grocery store or even just staying home like me.

Special Hello: my sister and her guy …. safe travels.

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Thursday the 6th day of April, 2017.

Happy Birthday to my friend “L” back in Regina.

Alvin and I would like to wish you a very Happy Birthday.

 

Well forecast for today is 15 degrees celsius.

WOW, that is warm for April and we will take it.

Perhaps by the end of the day the remaining snow on my front lawn will be gone.

If not, I will give it a hand …. spread it out a bit.

 

Well as per usual it is hard to believe that we are already one week into April 2017.

It seems with every passing year the time just seems to pass more quickly.

I guess it is a signal that we need to live our lives consistently in the moment.

Enjoy every second no matter what is happening.

There always will be a situation that comes along that is not the most favourable.

It is up to us in how we react to said situation.

One thing I always have to work on … is to think before reacting.

Sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment that generally we would not ….

I am always a work in progress when it comes to “situations.”

Live and Learn.

Not a bad thing.

Sometimes frustrating.

 

I will say that at the end of every day I get to come home to the cutest little guy on the planet, me Alvin.

He warms my heart with his waggling tail and his big brown eyes.

I guess lesson here is no matter what happens during your day – you can always go home.

Hopefully home is your sanctuary, your safe place.

I love my house, my home.

It is everything I have ever dreamed of having ….

 

Well here it is time to leave for the bus once again.

I can hear trucks running outside in the “hood” and I would suspect others are getting ready to leave home for work, as well.

 

Happy Happy Thursday.

Have a great day.

 

Special Hello to: my sister who leaves for South America very early tomorrow morning.  Safe trip my darling sister.  Enjoy and I am excited to see the pictures.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 24th day of July, 2016.

WOW, how can it be?

The 24th day of July?

Crazy, hey.

Well on this bright and sunny Sunday morning I am enjoying the cool breeze that is wonderfully drifting into my windows.

The office feels delightful ….. cool and warm all at once.

My neighbour and I held a joint garage sale yesterday.

It was not successful by any means regarding amounts of things sold or money made but we had fun.

We ran it from 9 a.m. and closed it down at 2:20 p.m. – we met some nice folks.

Alvin stayed out with we girls all day.

It was not hot by any means and he had water and the house close by.

But he enjoyed with me and the girls.

One family from South America ….. they have only lived in Canada for two years.

The family’s favourite thing to do in our Canadian summers is to go camping.

They go to Banff because it is so beautiful.

After the garage sale the girls went home and I tidied up and had a bit to eat before we went out to run a few errands as I needed a few items for my TEA TASTING.

This afternoon I am hosting a TEA TASTING in my home.

We are going to have four different tea blends.

They are made into COLD / ICED tea beverages.

One with water and lemon, another with ginger ale, one with wine and the other with plain water.

I am not a wine drinker or a drinker period but my neighbour had this wine on Friday with the Citrus Mint Sangria and I knew it would be a good fit.

Will have to check the label and let you know.  It is a popular summer wine around here.

How do these tea blends sound:  Peaches & Cream which is a white tea; Jenna Cherry Jubilee, Citrus Mint Sangria and Summer Berry Sangria which are all fruit teas.

They are going to be yummy.

Will report more about the tea tasting with more details and some photos later on.

Mr. Alvin will be so happy to see his sister as she will be attending.

My leader is coming and he loves her.

We are hoping for a good turnout.

You never know …..

Some say yes.

Some say no.

Some say maybe.

Some say no and come anyway.

That’s okay.

Well I suppose I should hustle as I have a few things to do before the TEA TASTING begins.

There are a few hours but time always has a way of racing by …..

I hope that you are having a great summer weekend.

Looks like today is going to be warm.

Yesterday was a bit cool but refreshing after Friday’s 27 and higher with the humidity.

Take care.

Special Hello to: all my family and friends near and far.

Always, Carol and Alvin

 

Oh no, I hear some sirens blaring in the near distance.

 

 

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 28th day of September, 2014.

Well it is a windy overcast Sunday here in Edmonton.

We had a great time with Steven’s family and friends celebrating his 40th Birthday.

His niece who lives about 5 hours away came with her two little boys.

So nice to see everyone.

We chatted, ate, laughed, ate and laughed some more……

Well in less than one hour I will be off to work again at the store.

I wonder who I shall meet today.

Sometimes we meet people that are visiting from all over the world.

Other times people from all over Canada and sometimes people from Edmonton.

That is the one thing that I truly love about being at the store is meeting nice people from all over the world.

Our world – our planet has become so small now with air travel and the internet.

We know more about other places than ever before in our history.

How very cool.

Really, I can write these words and once published they can be read from someone in Australia, or South America or on the east coast of Canada.

I never thought when I was a small girl that any of this would be possible.

So food for thought …… the changes that happen over our lifetimes.

I hope that you all have a great Sunday.

Time for me to go and sip on a hot cup of coffee and learn something on the computer via my daughter.

She is the technical guru in our household…… that is for sure.

Special Hello to: my sister ….. where are you?  We have to talk. ……

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day……

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 9th day of August, 2014 and my “57th” BIRTHDAY.

The sun is shining and there is a cool breeze coming in through the office/bedroom window.

Just back from driving my neighbour to the airport as she is going to Saskatchewan to attend a family wedding.

WOW, I AM FIFTY-SEVEN.

CRAZY ….. three years from being sixty.

Now that is crazy.

 

I wanted to impart some words of wisdom or maybe some fun facts about the year I was born.

But instead I shall just say what comes to my mind, as always.

I have not always been such a positive soul but I always wanted good things for others.

I always dreamed of living a life where I helped others.

I thought at one point that I would be a nurse.

I would have the house with the white picket fence and be surrounded by four children, and later grandchildren, and the husband.

Every summer we would host a big family reunion and everyone would come from far away.

We would celebrate our family and we were happy.

 

I always let my imagination guide and protect me when I was younger and quite possibly that is the reason why today I harbour no ill feelings to parts of my childhood.

I always love to write and create.

I always wrote in a journal and wrote poems and stories.

Somewhere on the shelf I was a writer just waiting for that moment.

My time to be that “New York Times” Best Selling Author.

Even though I am a Canadian.

I always dreamed of travelling to Australia, Europe and Hawaii.

Possibly South America.

 

I guess for the most part I have been pretty comfortable and at times things have been easy.

I have been disappointed in my choices.

Sometimes sad along the way.

But when I look back at my life thus far overall I am pretty content.

Content in choices, content in my own skin and content to try even though I may fail.

Success is nothing without failure.

Failure and Success are both opinions.

Like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

We are all beautiful …… I think.

 

So on this day …… a day that I was pretty sure would come along but sometimes scared that it would not …. I am grateful, proud and happy to be alive.

I am grateful to be Carol.

I am grateful to be surrounded by much love and laughter.

I am grateful to have my own house …. bought on my own.

I am grateful that I have one most beautiful and amazing daughter.

I am grateful to have a son-in-law and grand-puppies.

I am grateful to have me “ALVIN” ….. a son like no other.

I am grateful to learn everyday.

I am grateful to meet new people every week.

I am grateful that I took a chance.

I am grateful that I have learned and not been afraid.

I am grateful for my past, grateful for today and grateful that tomorrow will come.

I am grateful for each and every moment.

I am grateful that today at 6:20 a.m. – I turned fifty-seven.

I am grateful for every wrinkle …. for having great genes ….. barely any wrinkles ……

I am grateful that I can see the world, smell the world, taste the world and hear all the world.

I would post a photo of me but the most recent one is from last fall.

So that will be for tomorrow …… possibly photos of birthday celebrations.

 

Happy Birthday to my cousin “M” who turns 47 today ….. he was born on my 10th Birthday.

That was a cool birthday.

 

Special Hello to: all those folks with a birthday on mine ….. or mine on yours ….. Happy Birthday also to one of my favourite television personalities “HODA KOTB,” who turns 50 today.

 

Always, Carol and Alvin

 

 

 

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 8th day of September, 2013.

I am surrounded at this very moment by so many “beings’ that I love more than words can say.

My daughter, my grand-puppies Elton and Miss Penny and my Alvin.

How lucky am I?

We are having coffee while I am writing my blog.

I hope that you are having a great start to your Sunday.

Today I work at the store.

Sundays are always interesting.

We always have a mixture of personalities coming into the store.

Some people fly in and grab what they need and leave … with very little contact.

Others like the small talk.

It is always quite the challenge to determine which is which.

But I love being around people and for the most part they are great.

We have people coming into the store from all over the world.

Lately there have been people from Holland, England, South America and Japan.

I feel like an Ambassador of sorts.

Always a fun way to spend a Sunday.

Well time to see what else this day will hold in store for us.

I will leave this thought with you ….. always “better to be an Ambassador” …… leading the way.

Have a great great Sunday.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Special Hello to: all those people visiting my country, my city and my store “Bath & Body Works.”

Always, Carol and Alvin

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Thought for the day….

Good Morning and Welcome to a Rainy Monday, the 15th day of July 2013.

Well here we are once again …. the beginning of the work week.

I think that for most of us ….. it is a continuous loop …. no beginning or ending.

It seems to work out better ….. Sunday nights no longer keep me up thinking about the week ahead.

Sometimes I don’t sleep but for different reasons.

Part of it comes from my age.  Okay, we will not go there ….. because everyone knows “M” for us older women.

 

I am so lucky, blessed and grateful to be working at Bath & Body Works at West Edmonton Mall.

So many people from all over the world visit us there.

Yesterday we had a family visiting from South America.

They were visiting their other grown daughter who just had a baby …. the first grand-baby on both sides of the family.

Such a wonderful family….. I had so much fun helping them and visiting with them.

I have met people from every corner of the planet and perhaps someday I will have the opportunity to visit their countries.

 

If you could go anywhere on the planet where would you go?

Have you travelled away from your home country?

Or at you like me …. do most of your travelling via others and over the internet.

Thank goodness for technology …..

 

On Saturday I got my very first “smaller” version of a personal computer – “a tablet” …. very cool and a brand new digital camera.

The camera fits in the palm of my hand and now when Alvin and I go for walks I can easily put it in my pocket so that I can take photos and videos.

I know …. I am very lucky …..

 

So on this overcast rainy Monday morning I hope that you enjoy your cup of coffee – or glass of juice or maybe tea …..

Put a smile on your face …..

Close your eyes and travel the globe.

I am going to do that on my break…… yay.

 

Special Hello to:  everyone who enjoys a challenge …… “new technology” ……

 

Always, Carol and Alvin

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday, the 25th day of March, 2013.

Wow, another clear morning sky filled with bright shining stars and the MOON.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend.

Mine was great.  I had coffee on two separate occasions with my daughter, did some laundry, grocery shopping, bit of housecleaning, walked with Alvin, worked at the store Friday night and Sunday.

Life is good.

I am so lucky to work for Bath & Body Works at West Edmonton Mall.

We meet people from all of the world.

Yesterday I met a young couple from Brasil, South America.

My Father visited Brazil when we were living on the farm in Saskatchewan.

One of the people that my Dad had met while there was a young man named Bill, and he even came to visit us on the farm.

The couple actually lived near one of the places my Dad visited often.

They were the sweetest, nicest people.  I helped them find gifts for family and friends.

I was able to secure a coupon for them towards their purchase and they both gave me a hug as they were about to pay for their items.

I truly love meeting people …… it is one of my many blessings.

 

We see people from all over Canada and the U.S. and the WORLD.

I have met people from Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and all over North America.

Very cool.  So for now this is how I travel …… by meeting people while working in a store.

People from everywhere …..

Everyone loves our store ….. we all love things that smell good.

So if you are not able to travel and you want to get away by meeting new people just work in retail ….. especially in a city.

If you are in a small town and work in a store that does not necessarily have visitors from far away use your imagination …… just pretend they are someone from London or Paris or Peru.

So on this first day of my work week for the office ….. Have a great one.

 

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