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

It is a NEW YEAR.

Well here we are at Friday, June 5th, 2020.

The birds are singing, the sun is shining and there is only an ever so slight breeze.

All in all, perfection.

Alvin is resting beside me on his little bed.

I am typing these words.

 

Last night after work we went for another full night.

My toes seem to be less purple with each passing day.

Thank goodness as it is one week today.

I am ever so careful on my trips up and down the stairs.

Always using the railing and careful making each step.

No point in tempting fate.

Not this girl.

The walk by the way was incredible.

So nice …. bit windy but beautiful.

 

Tonight after work as I am on the regular shift that would be 4:00 p.m.

Walking, feed Al and then do some gardening.

The weekend forecast is rain.

I would like to take my brand new grass trimmer and trim the grass in the backyard.

Both shrub/flower beds need to be weeded especially the back.

The front I can lean into to weed but the back one I have to actually climb up the stone retaining wall to do any weeding.

I was not feeling very comfortable doing that with an injured foot.

But feeling like I can do that tonight.

Then water all of the beauties.

That will then be that!!

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

Somedays I feel like adding a poem.

I wrote this many thirty years ago.

I cannot imagine that now.

Just wanted to share it again.

Maybe it will be new for some of you that read my blog and if not, I hope that you enjoy it.

 

A DREAM

I had a dream late last night,

Of sparkling white sandy beaches,

Palm trees swaying in a sweet scented breeze,

Of clear blue skies and water, clear blue,

Of monkeys, elephants and parrots, too.

When I awoke and looked all around,

It was a dream, so I had found.

The picture is somewhat sadly different.

My sandy beaches are cluttered with garbage.

The palm trees have been removed, replaced with malls.

The breeze smells bitter — terribly so,

The monkeys, elephants where did they go?

We have come too far, too fast,

The signs have been there,

But we did not see, due to our hungry greed

From horse drawn sleighs to gas powered cars,

From tin and glass to Styrofoam and plastic jars,

From all that technology we still didn’t learn

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

The time has come to join together,

Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters,

If we learn to reduce, recycle and reuse

We can save our planet —

The gem in our universe.  Our Earth!

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

By Carol Lewis on November 28th, 1990

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

Wishing you an awesome Friday.

Filled with much joy, laughter, more kindness and always respect.

I/We remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Living … One day at a time

Hello,

Well it is Monday and it is a day off for me and many other Canadians.

So grateful to have an extra long weekend going into my last week before vacation.

Although I must admit I am only working Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

 

The house is quiet this morning with only me and the Alvin.

We are looking after a neighbours cat Moo Moo and Humphrey will be joining us shortly.

Lots to do today.

Some laundry, vacuuming, cleaning and stuff.

Also some card writing as there are many August birthdays.

The air remains cool thus far, which is a blessing.

Although so nice to have sunshine.

 

I signed up for INSTAGRAM last night or actually my daughter started me off.

I am excited for this new social format.

Have to think exactly how I would like to present myself.

Positive is a given.

 

I have more photos and then I have to run.

Two cats and a dog for today.

One cat with us and the other will go and visit again.

 

Yesterday Aspen and I were out for a walk before 7:00 a.m.

After Teddy went home; I took Alvin and Milo for their walk and after dropping them at home followed up with second walk for Miss Aspen.

We were all pooped after that and just relaxed.

 

 

Love the lilies as the buds open wide.

 

Time for breakfast and coffee and WORK.

Oh, gotta go and pick up Humphrey.

 

The babies were all good and we enjoyed our time together.

 

Happy Monday.

 

Always filled with kindness and respect.

I have the best life.

 

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 27th day of January, 2018.

The SUN is shining this morning.

The sky is beautiful with a mixture of colour and clouds.

The thin dark clouds appear to be dissipating and the sun shining more brightly.

What a lovely break after the overcast snowy past couple of days.

Shovelling, argh there was shovelling.

I did all but the driveway last night and will have to do that today.

We have banks of snow on the deck and on the front lawn from me throwing the snow to the side.

I will say this on my walk to the bus yesterday morning the snow shone like a billion diamonds in the street lights.

So beautiful.

 

YAY, it is the weekend.

I must make a TO DO LIST as I have so much that I would like to accomplish this weekend.

So many chores and such running through my head.

Stuff to do.

We all have stuff to do on the weekend.

I sort through the needs to be done stuff first ….

Now Alvin really could use a hair cut and bath.

It is COLD outside.

So the hair cut will be a trim and the bath will be a bath but I will ensure he is dry before he goes outside.

I also have to measure his food as it is getting low.

I was going to get off the bus and go pick it up this week but four out of the five days I got a ride home and one I got off at the grocery store.

The vet is on the other side of home.

Last night it was snowing, the traffic was well crazy and I did not reach the house until 6:00 p.m.

Usually I get home while taking the bus about 5:15 p.m. and with rides it was 4:45 or earlier.

Monday is supposed to be warmer.

A temporary reprieve.

So if there is enough food for Alvin I will get off the bus Monday after work and pick him up a bag.

If there is not enough – well I will bundle up and go.

I think it is too cold for the boy to be out.

I especially think of his poor little paws.

Always laundry, clean the office (put the smaller Christmas tree away to the basement), vacuum, wash floors.

Prepare my friend’s 40th birthday gift and card for next Friday.

I know there are more things to do and that is why I shall sit down and make a list so that nothing gets missed.

I have two days so no need to worry.

Alvin will help where he can.  LOL.

Well I suppose that I should not put off the inevitable any longer as I need to get changed and get this day going.

It was and is always Alvin that makes me get up and get going on the weekend.

I would love to dilly dally longer but he is the BOSS …. get up and get going.

No laying around for long with him.

He first was up this morning at before 4:00 am and I managed to have him stay in bed until a few minutes later.

Oh, I have not been up since then – I am not that silly.

I do have a great life and am grateful that I can do what needs to be done virtually on my schedule.

That would be on the weekends only.

WORK, is another story.

Nothing seems to go according to plan.

But that is okay.

If everything was scheduled that may eventually be boring.

Okay, I am going now.

Have a wonderful day.

Enjoy the weekend and I hope that you are able to have some down time for yourself.

Even though Alvin sometimes cracks the whip, I manage to have some downtime …..

 

Special Hello to: all those folks out there who have a dog in their household, enjoy.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Wednesday the 3rd day of January, 2018.

New Year is just rolling along.

First day back to work yesterday with unbelievably warm day.

What a relief from the double digit minus temperatures.

Very grateful for this beautiful weather.

Alvin and I enjoyed our first walk in over a week and about 1/2 through he wanted to go home but I coaxed him to stay.

Needless to say he loved it.

Such a warm, perfect evening.

 

I was thrilled but completely surprised by the TODAY show announcement that HODA KOTB is the new morning co-anchor with SAVANNAH GUTHRIE.

I love HODA, she has the biggest smile and warmest heart.

We share a birthday as well.

Perfect addition to that part of the morning show and I was so relieved to hear that she was not giving up her  spot with KATHIE LEE GIFFORD in the “4th” hour.

Great decision, well done TODAY show.

 

Well back to work and I can only imagine how much mail will be delivered to us today after being closed for over a week.

Thankfully the POST OFFICE was closed during part of that time.

 

I guess it is almost time to hit the road for work.

That good old bus ride.

Surprisingly, yesterday there was not a full bus to work.

I am thinking today may be another story.

 

I hope that you have a great day.

Wishing you warm temperatures and sunny skies.

I hope that you are surrounded by kindness and respect.

Have an awesome Wednesday.

 

Special Hello to:  our neighbours to the south ….. stay warm and safe with all of the cold weather.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Wednesday the 7th day of June, 2017.

Another gorgeous morning ….. bright sunny skies.

Always a great way to start the day.

Another is snuggling head to head with me Alvin on our IKEA pillow on the sofa.

I could stay there forever.

Unfortunately I took an extra 15 minutes and now and rushing.

But it was worth it …..

Sometimes you just have to live dangerously.

Perhaps not quite on the edge but for me it is as I do not like to be LATE for anything.

On this Wacky Wednesday morning …..

Perhaps you need to stay with your children for an extra few minutes ….

Perhaps you need to snuggle with your puppy dog …..

Perhaps you need to go for a walk before work ……

Take those minutes because as we all know they will NEVER return.

Have a Happy Wednesday.

Time to fly to the bus ….. or walk really really fast.

Thank you for reading my blog and I love to make people giggle and ponder things.

Special Hello to: my friend “V” …… Happy Wednesday …… relax for a few minutes, okay and I love the jewellery….

Always, Carol & Alvin

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Sunday the 29th day of May, 2016.

It is another glorious morning with the sun shining and blue skies.

I am hosting another garage sale today and thank goodness for “light” blue sunny skies this weekend.

Alvin went to his sister’s for a sleepover and to be with them during the garage sale.

He gets so excited when people come and it is kind of boring for him to be stuck in the garage with me all day.

Not much fun.

I have a good feeling about this one and know it is going to be great.

Lots of people and lots of sales.

Bye bye stuff.

 

Last night I was invited to one of friend’s homes for a get together.

Family friendly.

In the beginning we sat in the backyard around a fire pit.

I was not there (only a couple of minutes from my house) very long when the skies started to cloud over and the wind got up.

We sat and roasted marshmallows and visited.

Then it started to “spit” (only a few drops) and we jokingly said “no it was sun rays” ….. trying to remain positive.

As it rained harder and harder – we pulled out the umbrellas as remained outside in the rain roasting marshmallows until it rained so hard we were forced to go inside.

That was after about one hour or so.

In the house we played cards …. so much fun.

Most Saturday nights it is me and Alvin at home – watch some shows or perhaps a movie but I do not go out anywhere unless we do a later walk.

We laughed and guess what I won the card game.

First time played it.

Luck of the Irish …. I do not know but it was so much fun.

I am so grateful to have been invited and for the evening out.

So grateful that Alvin was not home alone for that time, as well.

Likely another reason why I do not go out.

I figure he is alone all week while I am at work so he needs me at home all weekend.

Which is fair, I think.

Well time to get going and get some coffee on and have breakfast.

Get out and put up the signs and balloons.

Gather my stuff and IPOD and set up in the garage.

Actually everything is ready to go.

Have an awesome day.

 

The rain clouds are gone and sunny days ahead.

Life is great.

You just have to think outside the box …… just referring to a problem I had ….. but all is well now.

Remember if you are having a problem … try not to dwell on it ….. it is hard, believe me I know all too well.

If you just think of a solution that you might think initially would not work but then it does …. life is good.

Not everything is black and white.

There are people to help.

 

Have a great Sunday.

Now breakfast, coffee and GARAGE SALE.

 

Special Hello to: my daughter and son-in-law and Mr. Elton (who is doing so much better, we love you buddy) – thank you for caring for Alvin while I work the garage sale.

 

Thought for the day …..

Good Morning and Welcome to Monday the 25th day of January, 2016.

Wow, it is going to be a gorgeous day here in Edmonton ….. minus 3 degrees celsius in the afternoon.

We will be experiencing plus temperatures as the week progresses.

With this warm weather there is a forecast of sunny skies, I sure hope so.

This has been an odd winter with so many overcast skies.

 

I had the best visit with my daughter and grand-puppies …. we had pancakes, chatted, and all went for a nice walk.

I miss our walks …. when she lived three blocks away …. we would walk together all the time.

I miss having her close by but then I know that things change ….

It is okay.

 

 

 

Have you ever had an incredible high and not from drugs?

You know when you had great news or something unexpectedly went in your favour.

AND

In a blink of an eye or in less than one hour it all came crashing down by some bad news.

I am not sure how the law of averages works but really ….. I am always amazed at how things came turn out great and then short time later something goes wrong.

I am pretty much a positive person and I believe that things will work out.

But this weekend I had the above ….. incredible high ….. incredible low.

WHY.

Not sure …..

What do you do?

Jump for Joy and then Scream and Cry.

Yup, we do.

 

All I can say is February will be the best month of the New Year.

 

Well I guess it is time to put on the last touches before leaving for work.

Was that a weekend?

I guess so.

Glad for nice weather.

Have a wonderful day.

Special Hello to: all those people who had a crazy weekend, good and bad.

Always, Carol  and Alvin

Thought for the day …..

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

Another odd looking sky this morning however this one is blue but not the kind synonymous with sunny skies …. but blue all the same.

Both Alvin and I are super happy because my daughter, his sister is coming for a visit today.

I am pancakes for us …… so will have to get on that right away ….

I like to have them made and in the oven keeping warm when she arrives.

 

The weekend seems to be zipping along as per usual UNTIL ……

Another speed bump in the flow of our lives …..

Yesterday  I noticed when I was drying a load of clothes that the inside of the dryer window was fogging over and then I could smell something burning.

So I quickly turned off the dryer and unplugged it.

I googled it to see if it was something that perhaps I could fix.

But it is likely better that I call in something familiar with dryers.

Could be lint or could be the motor.

Hopefully it is something that can be fixed and doesn’t cost a truck load of money.

Somedays it would be nice to be married to an electrician or someone handy with things.

Somedays I think I should go back to school.

If truly things happen in threes …. I am done.

 

On the up side, I won $5.00 on the lottery.

At least some extra money coming in …..

Guess I will have to get selling lots of tea ….. likely good incentive …. right.

 

Well enough woe is me …. I apologize …. just had to vent.

I do not wish my daughter to come into the house and first thing out of my mouth is the dryer …..

Thank you so much for listening – I appreciate it.

 

Have a great Sunday.

I am going to enjoy my day ……

Things will and always do at some point get better …..

I will always look to the positive.

Sometimes I have to take the time to mourn the negative and get it out of my system.

 

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

Always, Carol and Alvin

 

P.S. I did manage to give Alvin quite a lovely hair cut and followed by a bath.  I noticed of course well into the evening that I missed a small patch on his one side … about 1 by 1 inch ….. otherwise his hair cut was a success.  I even managed to get his paws trimmed quite well.  All in my life ….. of course.

 

Thought for the day…..

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 27th day of June, 2015.

It is already very warm …. bordering on hot already and not quite 10:00 a.m.

Alvin and I left for a walk about 9:30 a.m. and cut it short because it was already warmer than the weather channel is posting at this time.

Back home closed the windows and turned on the air conditioning.

I am so so grateful to have central air.

It definitely ranks in my top ten of things I hold in high gratitude.

Tomorrow is to be 36 with the humidity.

At the moment there is a slight breeze and it bright clear sunny skies.

Well today is going to be a quiet day.

I have a few things that have to be done and other than that …. quiet …..

Regardless of a/c the heat just does me in …..

Poor Mr. Alvin needs a hair cut …. top of my list when I have a few days off from work after Canada Day next week.

Today I am wishing that wherever you are that you are not too hot or not too cold.

That you are safe from others and the elements.

That you have enough to eat.

That you are surrounded by love and laughter.

That you have and show respect for yourself and for others.

Happy Happy Saturday.

I am also very grateful to be visiting with some of my family tomorrow.

YAY.

Special Hello to: my sister ….. only one more sleep.  I hope that Canmore is not too hot today.

Always, Carol and Alvin

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