The New YEAR 2022

Good Morning ALL! Welcome to a bright and beautiful Sunday morning. We did have frost overnight but it will disappear as the sun’s warm rays shine down. How are you this morning? I hope that you are well. We are doing pretty fair, I must say. It was really late when the lights went out last night, I want to say close to 11:30 p.m. and the next time we were up it was close to 5:00 so I gave Alvin his glucosamine chew and his breakfast before he went outside and then it was back to the sofa until 7:30 am. Now I would have stayed on the sofa happily enjoying the warmth of our soft red blanket snuggled beside the boy but he had other ideas. But he jumped and wanted outside so I had no choice but to follow. Up and to the door we both went – he was going back and forth on the deck before I realized that Sonja was outside with Bogart. Appeared that Bogart was trying to make a run for it and was on the top of their gate but she was able to talk him down but in the meantime Alvin was pacing the deck wanting to be a part of the action. I think personally that he misses his feline friends. It has been forever since Humphrey has spent anytime with us. He used to spend lots of time here with Alvin before his brother came to be. Sonja had to go off their deck and into the backyard to retrieve the unsuccessful attempt to escape artist before heading into the house. Alvin did not give up. He paced the lower part of the deck debating on whether to jump down onto the snow and ice that remains on the opposite end of the steps down. Now he could have taken the steps down and it has melted there but frozen ground. Not sure which was better if either for him to go down but jump he did as I watched temporarily holding my breath. He walked over to the fence and sniffed as if he saw Humphrey and Bogart but they were in the house. Finally after a few minutes, I grabbed a jacket and put on some shoes and my glasses and went outside to retrieve the boy from his mini morning adventure. He certainly did not want to come in as he ran across the frozen ice, snow and mucky frozen grass we call a backyard with me in careful hot pursuit. Finally I thought that I had him to carry back up but he is faster than me. Up he jumped onto the deck. First time he has been down in the area of the backyard since early winter. Months and months. I managed to get him into the house and wiped his feet not that they were wet but to dislodge any little bits of “yuck” that may have clinged on his paws. Once into the house, I decided what was the point in laying back down on the sofa so I put away my jacket, folded the red blanket and propped up the pillow and went downstairs. I turned on the dryer to warm up the already dried towels that were left in the dryer last night and then put on the last load of laundry, some blankets. I waited a couple of minutes for the dryer to warm up the towels before putting them into a laundry basket, I grabbed the NORWEX cloths and my clothes that were on the drying racks and took them upstairs, upstairs to my room where I proceeded to hang the clothes, fold the underwear and fold the towels. I decided at that point that today I should remove all of the towels etc. from the linen closet and reorganize. The recently washed towels were placed on the spare room bed as I wanted to write this post before tackling the linen closet. In fact, I may leave that until later, time will tell. So here we are. I am going to walk over to our little neighbourhood mall in the early afternoon so I will have a shower likely after this post. Freshen up you know!

Yesterday was a great day. Starting off with coffee with my girl friends in the morning which actually ran into the early afternoon. Man, did we have some great conversation. The girls brought treats to add to the sweet little oranges that I offered. So we had peanut butter cookies and apple danishes as well as the oranges. I broke down and gave Mr. Alvin a wee bit of peanut butter as he was “really feeling left out” and made sure that he let us know. I think that is his first peanut butter since his surgery over one year ago. Once in awhile treats are good. He licked that up pretty fast, I must say. After the girls left I got the laundry ready to go before we headed out for a walk. It was really nice out and we enjoyed the walk and exercise. I am assuming that Alvin liked the exercise, he did enjoy the sniffing part for sure. Once back I put on some laundry and then decided to go outside and remove that remaining ice on the front sidewalk. It took me over 30 minutes but I picked and scraped with my ice pick tool (like a straight up garden hoe) and removed the ice. I also chipped away and cleared the drain and pushed all of the ice chunks down the storm drain. I could see and hear the water running down the drain from both sides. Finally my job was done and back into the house. My SKETCHERS and socks were soaked and my pants were wet from splashing myself so once inside the house, I removed my shoes and shoes and went upstairs to change my pants. Doning fresh pants and socks back downstairs. I decided that I needed a real coffee break so at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon I made a pot of coffee, yes I did, lol. Not likely the best choice that I have ever made but nevertheless it was done. I sat down and enjoyed a cup of coffee before heading out to the backyard to do some snow removal. The deck is almost bare so I was lucky to scrap some of the remaining snow from the grass area up onto the deck. Hopefully it does get to +12 or so today so that the grass that he clear from ice and snow in the back dries out. Alvin needs a place to “go.” Let me see what next. Laundry. Supper for Alvin. Odds and ends of things. I had supper later than usual but was happy to have leftovers of stir fry and then apple crisp for dessert. I worked on laundry into the evening. Leaving the towels to finish drying overnight.

Last night I watched a couple of recent episodes of “Star Trek” PICARD” last night. That show really is timely, I must say. They always seem to incorporate the “thoughts and actions” of the day. From the very first STAR TREK episode back in 1966 they seemed to get the true essence of human beings. They were ahead of the curve in so many ways. Last night one of the characters cited some words that made me stop the show, grab my phone and record her words. I even posted it on Facebook. The character was a much younger Guinan who Picard had come across in 2024 (you will have to watch the episode for all the details) in his attempt to correct the timeline. Guinan said to Picard “this place is a pressure cooker, you know they are actually killing the planet, the truth is whatever what you want it to be, facts aren’t even facts anymore, a few folks have enough resources to fix all of the problems for the rest but they won’t, because their greatest fear is having less, because this one tiny ball in the entire galaxy and all this species wants to do is fight, I have been here long enough. There were never more true words spoken. Remember Guinan is a El-Aurian from another planet, another galaxy far away.

Well, I suppose I should end this post before I end up writing a book. LOL. Time to hop into the shower and then have some coffee. I can smell coffee in my mind. Looks like it will be a beautiful day.

Have a wonderful Sunday. I know that we are going to enjoy every moment of this day.

Until tomorrow,

Living this life with kindness, respect, compassion, patience, love, laughter, understanding, gratitude, focus and possibilities.

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL! It feels like forever since I last wrote a post. Well Christmas is all over for yet another year. We had a fantastic Christmas. My daughter’s friend who just happens to be a pharmacist tested us all on Christmas Eve and yes, we were all NEGATIVE. Definitely one of times when I wanted the results to be negative. No worrying about securing an A+ grade. We ate until we almost burst on Christmas Eve filling ourselves with, let me see if I can remember the menu. Hot Cheese Dip with Baguette, Butterfly Shrimp, Mozzarella Sticks, Boursin Cranberry with Cracked Black Pepper Cheese “Ball”, crackers, Guacamole with corn chips, vegetable tray, and a sweet tray of baking. We also had nuts and chocolate. I see where the CHEESE was the star of the show. Likely not the best plan but oh well. We enjoyed the food. After we ate we played a game that my son-in-law got for Christmas (he opened it early), BLOCKBUSTER. Now we did not have the patience for the rules so we made up our own and I never laughed so hard. We had the best time. The game is all about movie trivia. So much fun. After the game was over we opened gifts. Now this is funny, I am now thinking after we ate then we opened gifts and then played the game. We were up until after 2:30 a.m. No, pretty sure we played the game and then opened gifts, yes that is correct. We played the game until about midnight and then it took us 2.5 hours to open our gifts. We opened one at a time. Then we had fours pups with gifts although the only one really interested in opening gifts was Alvin, Mi-Mi did make an attempt. I always love watching Alvin as he impatiently opens his gifts. He had his paw on the bag and then with his nose and mouth pulled out the tissue paper. So much fun. He loves opening presents. My daughter had a couple of her stocking gifts laying beside her, wrapped and he was tearing open the paper. Cute not someone was not impressed, lol. I was happy to see that the pups got along. Earlier I had been concerned that perhaps Mi-Mi and Cookie would be at odds but they were not. Actually a couple of times the quiet Miss Aspen let out a sharp bark at Cookie when she got too close.

Everyone was spoiled this year. I made quite the haul. I believe everything on my list with the exception of having my mortgage paid in full was under the tree. Some of the things that I had asked for were: Debbie Travis’s new book about life, filled with photos and recipes AND Rebel Homemaker, the first cookbook from Drew Barrymore and Chef Pilar Valdes, filled with photos, recipes and stories. Also on the list were fuzzy Christmas socks, Cuisinart paring knife, Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap, and a Day Planner for 2022. In addition to these gifts, I got a package of Player’s choice scratch tickets and won $5.00. Ecologic Paper Towel which can be used 200 times and is biodegradable and a Packet of tea. I also received a poinsettia plant and turtles chocolates from our guests. Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, some friends dropped a card and baking off for me and some treats for Mr. Alvin. We are so lucky. Mr. Alvin received from his sister and family – a cute Reindeer stuffed toy and from his momma – the most beautiful blue and green turtle. He also received more edible gifts. So we were totally spoiled. That was Christmas EVE. We did not get to bed until after 2:30 closer to 3:00 on Christmas Eve. The kids had our room and our guest the “guest room,” me, Alvin and Cookie slept on the sofa except it took awhile to get a little someone to settle down. I had placed the baby gate up so that she could not go upstairs and she whined until I got up from the and placed her on the “green” chair with Rudolph, her favorite sleeping spot. I had to do this about 10 times before she finally stopped. So it was well after 3:00 when we got to sleep.

Alvin woke up at 5:00 and then we were up about 7:30 to stay up. Not much sleep. Most of the house was up about 8:30. We had coffee which we all needed. It was us girls that were up and my son-in-law stayed in bed for awhile beyond us. Amanda’s friend left about 10:00 as she was going to pick up her girls and open gifts with them. We invited them back for supper with us.

We had a late brunch with quiches, the veggie tray and some cheese. Lots of coffee was drank. I made a second pot. Throughout Christmas Day, I quietly putzed. Taking the gifts out from under the tree and reorganizing them. Washed the dishes that did not fit in the dishwasher and once the main floor was tidied up, I went to the basement and put away the gift bags, folded up the tissue paper – all to use another day. The kids had done some wrapping in the basement after they arrived on Christmas Eve. Once the cleaning and tidying was done, I had some more coffee and checked out the recipes for fresh cranberry relish and dressing. We had a quiet but enjoyable afternoon. We had planned to have supper about 7:00 p.m. but our company arrived a bit later, and then she wanted to test her daughters with the rapid covid test (like the one that we did the night before). It was closer to 8:00 p.m. when we had supper. The girls were negative. Thank goodness everyone was negative. We had a lovely supper of roast chicken breasts, whipped garlic potatoes and gravy, dressing, fresh cranberry relish, corn, peas and homemade buns (from one of my friends). Our dessert was baking which consisted of fudge, sugar and chocolate chip cookies, butter pecan tarts, chocolate caramel candy and some cookies from the BON TON Bakery. Anyway, we ate too much but it was good (if I do say so myself). Usually I do not like to make new recipes when there is company but both the dressing and the relish were so good. Will make them again.

The girls opened their Christmas gifts from us.

After clean up, we sat down and had another good game of BLOCKBUSTER. My son-in-law and I took on the other four girls. They won but it was a close fun game. We close on a Christmas movie category. Can you believe that I lost on the category? We named so many movies before we could not name anymore. If I could have included all of the HALLMARK movies that I have been watching – we would have won but they were excluded. Oh well.

Dee and the girls left just before midnight. We were in bed shortly after. This time the kids took Cookie to bed with them. She settled down and we all had a good night sleep. In fact, it was not even Mr. Alvin who was up first – it was the other pups at 6:15. My daughter and I fed the pups and then laid back down again. It was almost 10:00 when we all woke up. I guess we needed the sleep. I was happy that the kids decided to stay for another day.

We had a bit of breakfast and visited. My daughter and I had packed up most of their things.

The best gift of all was not really a physical gift but my son-in-law arranged for me to go to the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, to go to space via a virtual reality headset. Both my son-in-law and daughter had tried it and warned me that I may be dizzy or nauseous and that I may not be able to keep the headset on for a long period of time BUT I surprised then when I squealed with delight during my space trip. I got to literally touch the space station, saw the stars and the sun and earth. I felt as though I was an astronaut in space. It was the most coolest experience of my life. I would have stayed there all day long. I loved it. After the space trip, I was able to go Africa and come up close and personal with a zebra, saw giraffes and an elephant and a large cat not a lion this time. I definitely would like to do this again and again. I had no idea that you could buy virtual reality headset – I thought it was only in the movies.

After the VR experience, I packed up food for the kids and they loaded up the car. They left for home in the afternoon. Then it was just me, Alvin and Cookie left. The noise and excitement all done for another year. We had the best Christmas ever. So much fun.

Well I have trapped Alvin and Cookie in the office with me and they are getting a bit restless so time to sign off. I wanted to catch you up in our last two days – in our Christmas.

The outside temperature is bitterly cold. Minus 30 without the windchill. Supposed to be cold all week. I guess we won’t be going anywhere. I am grateful that I asked my daughter to pick up more food for Alvin and as it would turn out that is the only food that Miss Cookie will eat. Yikes. Oh well. At least she is eating.

Time for a shower and to rescue the pups from the office.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, that you are safe and warm and happy and most of all in good health.

Until tomorrow.

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

Always, Carol, Alvin and Cookie Monster (that is my new name for her), lol.

2021

Good Morning All! Well looks like we made it to the end of another work week. How are you doing? Do you have exciting plans for the weekend? Are you finished your yard work? I hear for Edmonton area the weather is not supposed to be great but as long as it remains relatively dry, I am good with it. I want the white stuff to hold off until after Halloween. That would be perfect. Maybe I will be able to get my Christmas decorations up before the first “—-fall”, I cannot bear to even say or write that word at this time. We had a good sleep last night and I just had a refreshing shower. Alvin had his appointment at the vet and for some reason he was very vocal – more so than he has been in a long time. Nothing new happened. I don’t know. He also had his last laser therapy session and managed to wriggle out of his goggles with only 16 seconds to go. So we had to stop and replace them on him. He was definitely not having any of it. Perhaps it had something to do with they ran out of his treats that I usually buy for him now (he has to have special ones) and they are pretty sure cannot be ordered anymore. So I guess no more treats when the bag in the pantry is finished. It is down to the last handful. We did enjoy a walk to the park and to our friend Pauline’s house where we found her outside in the garden. She was about to take down a bird feeder but could not quite reach it and decided to wait and have her husband do it later. We chatted for a few minutes before heading back home. Our walks take longer now so I have to be careful that we don’t dilly dally too long as I would not wish to be late for work. We left home for his appointment virtually right after I was off work at 3:00 and got him ready. Alvin’s thing now is to sniff every last blade of grass right down to the earth’s core. It is as though it may be his last time, very odd. He used to sniff but I could easily have him continue walking, no longer. I have to go and distract him otherwise I would end up dragging him. Not pretty. Anyway we ended up being early to his appointment and waited outside for a few minutes. A little girl in a nearby truck with her Dad had the window open and was commenting on how cute Alvin was. He always gets the attention. After the appointment – same deal. Thankfully I was not in too much of a hurry. I did go to the grocery store a little bit after we got home. I decided to feed Alvin his supper when I got home so that I would hopefully miss the rush at the store and I was correct. He was happy and hungry when I got home about one hour later. I enjoy that time alone with only myself to worry about and maybe keeping out of the path of another grocery shopper.

Whoops getting later here. Where does the time go? I have a question for you? Do you do things at the request of a friend or for a friend that you might not do for yourself? I am hoping you say “yes.” I think that I mentioned tonight I am going to my friend and neighbours to watch the newest addition of HALLOWEEN. I have never really got into this series / franchise of movies even though I really enjoy watching Jamie Lee Curtis on the big screen. So when my friend invited me to watch the movie with her and our other friend (me and the young ones), I felt that I could not say no. She loves these movies and waits impatiently for them to come out. Plus she is a good friend to me and Alvin. She also asked me to watch the previous one so that I knew the storyline. I did that last night. I would not say that the movie was bad but definitely not something that I would intentionally spend my time watching. That being said it was okay. So I am prepared for tonight. I also picked up some fruit which is the snack treat that I am bringing and the girls are taking other items. Even though I am not a fan of these “slasher” movies, I wanted to spend time with my friends. She lives close by which is nice. I can walk there and spend some time without having to leave Alvin for too long. I know …. yes I need time to do things for me….

Okay time to fly. Have a wonderful Friday. Maybe you are doing something for a friend, enjoy!

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

Always, Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL! I hope that this finds you well. Both Alvin and I had a great sleep. He woke up at first about 3:45 and then back to the sofa until 6:40 a.m., how wonderful. We then got up and he had his breakfast. I wasn’t quite ready to get up so we laid back down for a few minutes as I pondered my day. I forgot that yesterday was May 1st, how crazy is that. Guess what, I was having my coffee yesterday morning when the “phone rang” and I saw that it was the Pharmacist from Pharmasave. He was calling to see if I could go in at 11:30 a.m. to receive the vaccine. I said yes, of course and thanked him. The call came in at 10:22 a.m. After that I quickly drank some coffee and went to prepare to leave the house. I had a winning lotto ticket to cash in so I wanted to leave the house a bit early and go to the convenience store in the same strip mall. I am so grateful to Alvin’s Vet Dr. Karen for hooking me up with the Pharmacist Dr. W., and to think everything is all in the same mall. A quick walk. The convenience store was renovating and looking good thus far. It sure was windy yesterday and we ended up with some rain later in the day, actually evening. I was at the Pharmasave a bit early and decided to pick up a few items that I needed and plus it helps him out. Showing my gratitude to him for scheduling me so quickly for the vaccine. I had asked him about the vaccines as I had heard him say that he was only taking names now for the next batch that is coming in. Apparently he receives 100 at a time. He gave all those vaccines out in a three day period. Busy man. I asked him if he gets paid to give out the vaccines and he said yes which is great as I know his business has been suffering throughout the pandemic much the same as others. This is a small pharmacy not like a Shoppers Drug Mart. I had to complete a two page form going over a multitude of things from name and health number and date of birth to if you had any symptoms to allergies and more. Once I filled out the form which was basically giving a quick history and releasing him from any further liability, I waited for a few minutes. The whole time that I was there people were in and out. It was a real assembly line. Everyone was masked of course and physically distanced. When it was my turn, he called me into this little room. He excused himself as the phone rang and in a few minutes he was back and advising me of the possible side effects and so on. I listened and then he asked which arm. I had decided on my right arm as it is not my writing arm (not sure if that mattered or not). My jacket was off and I pushed off my sleeve and was ready. Next thing I know he was readying the shot and into my arm. Painless, really. He was so gentle despite the fact that they basically throw the needle at your arm. I remember him beforehand telling me to relax my arm and to hold it a certain way which I am thinking now really helped the process. Once done he grabbed a bandaid and I checked to ensure it was latex free as I am allergic. He said yes, it was as he had read that I mentioned about being allergic to latex/elastoplast. He then advised that I could go and wait until 11:50 which was 15 minutes later. Both the chairs that he had set up against a partial wall were full so he asked me to go around so I made sure that I did not go close to the two women in the chairs. Dr. W. then called the one that had just filled out her paperwork in for her vaccine and I took her chair. A few minutes later he gave me a card that said that I had received the Moderna vaccine on May 1st, 2021 and that the next one was scheduled for August 21, 2021. Fifteen minutes later I was on my way. Thanking this kind man as I left the pharmacy. Today he has extended his hours so that he can give out the remaining vaccines. I received the Moderna vaccine in case you were wondering.

I was happy that I had bought the items in his store and I will continue to give him as much business as possible. A few minutes later I was at home warming up a cup of coffee in the microwave as I had unplugged the coffee pot before leaving and it was barely warm by this point. Oh and beforehand I of course let Mr. Alvin out for a pee. He was happy to see me and I him.

Oh, almost forgot when I texted my daughter to tell her that I was getting the vaccine – she told me that her husband, my son-in-law was getting his as well. How strange is that we were both getting ours on the same day and around the same time. Now just my daughter to have hers.

A couple of loads of laundry later, I decided to go for a walk with Alvin. The sky has been clouding over and then clearing for most of the morning and now in the early afternoon. Thinking that we had better get going before it rained. It was quite windy and there were several folks out walking likely having the same idea as me. I am always amazed at how cool Alvin is around the geese. The couple that have been hanging around our park are always together somewhere as we walk through and Alvin usually stops and takes a look and continues on. He does not bark or even go toward them, just gives him a look and we keep going. I love how chill he is around them. I think that stems from his youth when we used to go for walks before I was working and we would literally plunk ourselves down on the sidewalk / grass by the water in one of two parks in our neighbourhood and watch the geese and ducks. I would hold him in my arms and he would just watch them literally for hours. Usually it was me that wanted to get up and go not Alvin. He has always enjoyed watching them. When we approached his best friend Teddy’s house, I could not say no to him so up the driveway and the steps and ringing the doorbell. I could hear the pups and some movement. All of a sudden Kobi was up looking out the porch window. Then I could hear both Teddy and Kobi and next thing I knew it, Walter was opening the door. He said that Iris had just popped out to the store but would be home soon and asked us to go in. In we went. This is the only place outside our house and the vet and the odd retail shop that we go. Always, physically distancing. Now we have all had our first vaccines. Walter and I visited until Iris came home. She invited me for tea and I graciously accepted. I told her about our Friday night and as I had mentioned to Walter about receiving my first vaccine. We had a great visit. Then home to finish the laundry and feed Alvin and to make my special pasta dinner. My daughter had picked me up some lentil pasta and this was the first time I have eaten it and cooked with it. It was awesome. I made a simple sauce to add to the cooked pasta of caramelized onions (because why not) with black pepper in olive oil, once down I poured the onions into a bowl and then added to the pan some halved grape tomatoes, salt and pepper and greek spice and once cooked down I added some minced garlic (several cloves). Once done, I added the onions and let them mingle together. I added some pasta water to the onions/tomatoes and garlic and then added the drained pasta to this pan to mix. Then into a bowl. On top of my seving I threw some shredded parmesan cheese and more black pepper. OMG, it was so good. Simple and did not take much time. That was supper. Leftovers for tonight and likely tomorrow. I will make some roasted broccoli to put on top tonight for more veg.

Last night we had a quiet evening. Watched a couple of movies before going to bed.

I was thinking of how a house/home is like us. The roof is the top of our heads. The windows are our eyes looking out and within. The kitchen is liken to our heart. The bathrooms are our kidneys. The basement is the bottom half of us with the furnace which would be our lungs and the floor would be our feet. Another way to look at our homes.

Well time to hit the shower and get refreshed. It is cloudy outside.

I hope that this finds you well and that you are enjoying your Sunday. I cannot wait for a cup of coffee this morning. Just because.

I love to share photos giving us all an opportunity to go places we may have never been before …… I love the elephant. Elephants and Dragonflies are my favourites (please do not tell Mr. Alvin).

Have an awesome day.

Remembering to always live with kindness, respect, compassion and patience for all.

Always, Love Carol & Alvin

2021

Good Morning ALL. How are you this morning? We are doing well. A few times up during the early morning hours and finally up to stay just before 8:30 a.m., on this slightly overcast Sunday morning. The sun is rising in the morning sky spreading the glow. How was your Saturday? Mine was amazing. First thing in the morning, Alvin and I hosted our friend Signe’s birthday party in our garage. Our friend Gillian brought over small heaters and it definitely took the edge off in between blowing the breaker box in the garage until we realized it was the smaller older heater that was causing the disruption. We unplugged the older heater at that point. We had blankets and of course all of our winter gear. I snuggled up to Mr. Alvin on the two seat sofa with him in his sweater and wrapped with a warm blanket. You never saw happier friends. I cannot tell you how much I miss our get togethers. We used to have coffee dates almost every weekend for years and then when the girls changed career paths; the coffee dates were spread out to every couple of three weeks. We absolutely love each other. I am grateful these days that I have a cell phone as we text all the time. It is a great way to keep in touch. We also speak on the phone as well. Sometimes there is nothing better than to hear the voice of a dear friend. I am happy to say that the commissioned gifts which were paper collages made by my super talented daughter Amanda were a huge hit. She definitely has an artistic gift. I am so glad that I could help support her artistic endeavour and to give something truly unique and beautiful to my friends. A treasure for all time. Gillian and I gave Signe gift cards to her favourite store on the planet “CHAPTERS/INDIGO” and we know that she will enjoy buys books. Oh, the vanilla from scratch cupcakes were a hit. That will be a recipe that I will definitely keep and the icing which I modified from my regular sugar cookie/cake icing I will remember to use again. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning with your friends. I was happily shocked that Mr. Alvin sat on the sofa with his sweater wrapped in the blanket the whole party (he did not lay down, he say up). These gals are the best. Perhaps in hindsight having the birthday party later in the day when the temperature had definitely warmed up more would have been good but despite the chill in the air we thoroughly enjoyed our time together and cannot wait until the next time OR when the restrictions are lifted so that we can get together in the house even if we have to social distance. I have lots of room for that. Better to be together than apart.

After the birthday party disbanded and the ladies went home. I gathered up the remaining items left in the garage and put the furniture back to its original stored location. Another successful birthday party held. I then grabbed a mug of coffee and chilled on the sofa with Mr. Alvin until I had to get ready to leave for the Optometrist’s office to pick up my new eyeglasses. I arrived a few minutes early which is par for me. Do not like to be late or right on time. Although with the COVID19 Restrictions and Protocols, being right on time is actually better. Before I stepped into the entranceway, I donned a blue mask. One of the staff opened the inner door and asked to take my temperature. I told her that I had walked over and would be cool so she asked if she could take it at my wrist and with this new fangled thermometer she took my temperature. It did not even seem that she looked at it unless it perhaps beeps or glows some bright colour if you have a temperature. She asked me to use some hand sanitizer which I was already doing and then to follow her. I had been hesitate about my new glasses after reviewing the photos I had taken from my visit a month ago trying on frames. But when she handed me the new glasses and I put them on, I was in love. The new frames look great. They feel nice and light. I am quite certain that the whole visit took less time than it took me to walk there in the first place. Before I left “Sunni” asked if I wanted some of the anti fog spray. They had mentioned this to me on my second visit and how good this spray was so I picked up one for me, one each for both my daughter and son-in-law as they also wear specs. After that I was on my way back home to Mr. Alvin. At home, I put Mr. Alvin’s sweater back on along with his harness and leash and we went for our first walk in over a week. It has been over a week since the frigid temperatures hit our city. There was a bit of a breeze which was cool but really all in all it was perfect. Bright sunshine. Both of us enjoyed the walk until we were 3/4 of the way home, then Alvin began to hop on three paws. We stopped and I rubbed his cold paw with my mitt. He is too heavy for me to carry although if he was injured, I certainly would find the strength to carry him as far as was necessary. He was good until we were almost home and then another paw. Stopped again, warmed the paw and then we were home. At home I wiped his paws so they were warmed up and dry. Removed our outerwear. Then, I went upstairs and changed as I was pretty warm after being dressed for being in the garage. Then grabbed some laundry and down to the basement to get that started. After the laundry was going, I went upstairs and warmed up a mug of coffee and snuggled with Mr. Alvin. I decided to go and shovel the driveway as it had not been done since the last snowfall. It was not too deep. While I was outside one of the neighbours came home, so we chatted from our driveways.

By this time it was almost time to start preparing supper. Alvin was hungry so I ended up feeding him a bit earlier than usual. I made roasted chicken breasts with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots and onions for my supper.

What a wonderful Saturday.

Well I guess I had better get the remaining laundry downstairs for round two. I was going to give Mr. Alvin a haircut and bath but have decided to do that next weekend. We will go for a walk this afternoon. The sun is really shining brightly now.

I hope that you are having a great weekend. Be safe, take care and be strong.

Continuing to live with kindness, respect, compassion and learning to have more patience as each day passes.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – final quarter

Good Morning, so glad that we did not blow away last night or even this morning. The wind blew down some of my Halloween decorations that I had put up yesterday afternoon. Blew over my garbage can and bye-bye couple of items that were in it. Basically it was other folk’s garbage that had blown onto my lawn. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz ….. gone, gone, gone. The air is cool but not cold this morning. My two pots of petunias are still amazingly blooming. I am so glad that I put away all of my little knick knacks from the deck yesterday afternoon as they may have taken flight overnight. The sky is blue as the sun is in the early stages of coming up there remains some of the orange colour on the horizon.

Well I accomplished all and then some of the items on my TO DO LIST from yesterday which makes today and tomorrow easier days. Although I can always find things that I want or need to do around the house. With Christmas just around the corner, I need to get working on my craft projects. Started and have ideas but need to put some actual labour into. I have noticed that I do sometimes procrastinate when I do not have a clear vision of the end result and then again sometimes I am not feeling “artistic” and that pushes the timeline. Oh well there is time so no need to panic just yet. Besides Christmas is not about the gifts as we all well know. It is about being together. All of our “holidays” are about being together with family and friends and celebrating those relationships or at least that is my thought.

So Thanksgiving weekend – some folks celebrated yesterday, some today and others tomorrow. This one is different for most folks. I know some of my friends had family over yesterday. Others today with part of the family and the other members of their family got together with them actually last weekend. Tomorrow is the actual day of Thanksgiving. At the end of it all, we should celebrate each other yesterday, today and tomorrow, everyday. Family and friends are so vital to our well being. Relationships need to be worked on in order to thrive. We are a social creature and need the love and support of others in order to survive. Okay how did I get to this point. Oh, well …. Sunday Morning brain. I hope that whenever or with whomever you have the opportunity to celebrate this Thanksgiving with, I hope that it is awesome. Enjoy the food but most of all enjoy the fact that you have family and friends with you. Now there may be folks that due to circumstances are not able to be surrounded by any family or friends and my heart and best wishes go out to you. I hope that you can play music, watch a video or a movie so that you have at least the noise of humans around you. Maybe your family and friends will facetime with you. Technology is a great these days. Even if you are alone you are not alone.

Alvin and I are hosting Thanksgiving at our home this year. We do most times and as I love entertaining. We are having a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal but good food is all you need. Only a couple of times or so a year do I make anything deep fried and today will be one of them. Chicken with a honey mustard sauce (homemade), potato salad (homemade), peas, corn, cheating and having stove top stuffing as have to have stuffing and for dessert “fruit pizza.” Fruit pizza is a favourite in our family. We will have my daughter and son-in-law and my grandpups Aspen and Milo.

Well Mr. Alvin is laying on his blue blanket / towel bed not far away from me. Resting.

On this Thanksgiving I am grateful for:

I am grateful that I have family that love me and that I love so much words cannot express.

I am grateful that I have dear friends all over this planet of ours. Some down the street and others halfway around the globe.

I am grateful that my daughter and son-in-law thought it was a good idea for me to adopt a puppy. Alvin is my companion, my friend and partner in crime. Okay perhaps not so much the “partner in crime” but you get the idea.

I am grateful that I was able to get my own home late in life but better late than never.

I am grateful to be employed especially during this economic crisis and grateful to be working from home.

I am grateful to be safe.

I am grateful for technology and that I have access to it.

I am grateful to be alive, to have more than what I need and some of the things I want but most of all I am grateful to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, to touch and to be in good health so that I may enjoy all of the above.

On this day and always no matter if I have a day or moments that I am feeling a bit less than positive or wonderful, I know that I am strong and that I will be okay.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. May you be in good health and be surrounded with family and friends who support and love you. Happy Thanksgiving.

Continuing to live in kindness and with respect.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

It is a NEW YEAR.

Good Morning and Happy Father’s Day to ALL the Dads out there.

Whether you are fathering two-legged or four-legged babies, Happy Father’s Day.

Well here in Edmonton, the sky is filled to the brim with dark foreboding rain clouds.

Earlier at 3:47 a.m. there was a lightness to the sky as the sun began to rise.

There is a bit of a breeze this morning.

I have been listening to this same bird chirping since we were first up at 3:47 a.m.

When I was awake.

I did not stay up from 3:47 a.m. until now.

If I had this post would have been done, I would have showered, emptied the dishwasher, brought up all of the clothes hanging to dry from the basement, vacuumed the floors, washed the floors, dusted and cleaned the bathrooms.

Oh well, now I have all of those things to do minus making the bed and almost this post.

We will get things done, well actually, I will get things done.

Alvin does not help much.

 

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time watching over the new kitten next door and his big brother Humphrey.

I snapped tons of photos and videos but forgot to ask if I could share them on my blog.

I always like to obtain permission before I post photos of others.

The kitten is oh so cute.

That little face.

I found that he loved being cradled, held tight and rocked.

I would love to see Alvin’s reaction to a kitten that small.

He loves cats but kittens, likely okay.

Humphrey is not loving the newest member of his family.

He growled and hissed.

The first time I went over to check on them, Humphrey was upstairs and I could not find the kitten anywhere.

I searched the house from top to bottom.

Really starting to get scared I texted and then called my neighbour.

Just when she picked up the phone ….. Humphrey came downstairs and stood by the front door and began to growl.

Suddenly I looked up and saw the kitten sitting up high behind a photo at the entrance by the door.

We all have these things beside the door when you come into the house.

They are like a box, flat surface and somewhat separates the entranceway.

Bogart was up on this “box” which is about four or so feet up.

The little one can jump.

Very much relieved, I told his Momma and then hung up.

After that the kitten followed Humphrey around the main floor until finally Humphrey went back upstairs.

I sat at the top of the stairs to see if the kitten would go up the stairs and finally after having something to eat, up he scrambled.

Before I left for home, I took Bogart back downstairs.

Played with him.

The next time I went over Humphrey stayed upstairs the whole time.

I visited with Humphrey.

Bogart came up and ran around under the bed.

Humphrey growled the whole time.

Finally I was able to grab the little one and we headed back downstairs for some snuggles.

I enjoyed playing with the kitten.

 

Well time to hit the shower and get this day going as it is almost 9:00 a.m.

There is something about a cloudy day that just makes me want to curl up and sleep.

 

We enjoyed our walk last night after supper.

Even though we had a hot day the evening was comfortable.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all you DADS.

Have a wonderful day with your families.

 

Living with kindness and respect.

Every day of our lives.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Living … One day at a time.

Good Morning All,

A beautiful clear morning sky as I glance out of my office window.

As you may have noticed I took a two day break from writing this blog post.

I was inspired by a fellow blogger who had taken some time off during the holidays.

So I am back.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.

With today being the second last day of 2019 and of this decade.

WOW, crazy hey.

I have more photos to share (well that is no surprise).

When I was uploading them from my phone to the computer this morning, I saw unbelievable numbers.

I have 34,529 photos and 778 videos on my hard drive.

I guess that I had better start deleting some of them.

I find it difficult sometimes to go through them and delete the duplicate photos and the shots that are not in focus and such.

Somehow it makes me feel as though I am deleting my life.

Does that sound strange?

Or familiar to you?

But I have 3611 photos on my phone and 96 videos.

Now they are all downloaded/uploaded to my computer.

So why don’t I simply delete them?

I am trying.

Likely a good idea before I download/upload them to the computer to go through them.

But sometimes it is a timing issue as well.

But that is something that in this new era, new decade of 2020, that I must work on.

 

We just heard a sound and went to the bedroom window to investigate.

Our neighbours had some car problems so the tow truck was out to pick up their car and one of the owners.

I decided to video the car being loaded.

Very cool and took less than 10 minutes from beginning to end.

I hope very strongly that the repair bill is a small one.

 

I guess that I can get easily sidetracked, oh well.

It is my third last day of vacation and that is okay.

 

I have some photos of the past few days that I would like to share.

Why not I have 39,015 photos and videos to share.

Well perhaps not all of them.

These photos do not include the ones that I have from pre computer / digital age.

I have over 10,000 of printed photos.

But when you think of the difference in time ….. now it cost a lot of money to buy the film and then have them processed.

Also there were times that several photos did not turn out and those ones I did not have a problem discarding.

Somehow the on-line / digital ones are more difficult for me to dispose of  ….. but I will get better.

 

I guess it is “my life” in photos.

Alvin lost his spot on his blue blanket and Humphrey was quick to lay down.

The next photos were crazy beautiful shadows on the living room wall yesterday morning.

Just gorgeous.

 

Our last day with Humphrey – his Mama arrived home late last night.

Shot of my office …. just loved the sunlight shining on my books and stuff.

My last gift from my kids …. the one that was left behind.

I love it …. “even says SUGAR COOKIES.”

That is why my daughter bought it for me.

Table setting for my cousins who came for a visit and dinner last night.

We had a blast.

We always do.

 

Well I guess it is time to fly.

Getting late already.

We made a walking date for this afternoon with Teddy, his little sister and his Mom.

 

Time for some coffee, methinks.

 

I hope that you are having a great day whether at home or at work.

We are so blessed to have these extra days off during the holidays.

I have to make a list of things that I would like to finish before heading back to work.

It was nice to visit with my neighbours and friends and my cousins.

They were all on my list ….

Even had surprise visit from my daughter.

 

Happy Monday …. yes, it is Monday.

Oh, I am so confused.

Have to set some kind of alarm so that I do not forget to be ready for work on Thursday.

 

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

Living … One day at a time.

Good Morning and today is Saturday the 14th day of December 2019.

We are coming closer to Christmas with each passing day.

Some folks are stressed as they have not started shopping, baking or decorating or wrapping.

Some folks have stressed as they have finished shopping, baking, decorating and wrapping but feel as though they are missing something.

See how it does not matter at which point you are at someone is always going to be stressed.

As I age, keeping it simple is the most important.

Now sometimes I may do/change my plan as I did with the cookies/baking.

Just to be a “cookie hero.”

New phrase but same meaning as “people pleaser” or “cannot say NO when someone gives a compliment.”

That is what happened with me and the baking.

I had decided that I was only going to bake sugar cookies this Christmas and a small batch of fudge for one little boy.

I had decided that I was not going to participate in the “cookie exchange” at work.

It is not really an exchange but there ended up being 15 people participating.

We were supposed to bring enough for everyone in the group to have some.

Now people pass by where the cookies are that are not participating and of course, have one.

But at the same time we always have treats out and about so doesn’t really matter.

I am doing as I have done other years, wrapping them individually for each person.

So they will be just for that person.

I ended up baking fudge, sugar cookies and couple of kinds of chocolate chip cookies.

I would say that I have more than enough for every person/group/event.

 

Story from Friday December 13, 2019.

As I mentioned yesterday my daughter was going to pick me up from work and we were going to go to PETSMART and pick up the clipper head so that I could give Mr. Alvin a haircut.

She would then drop me off continue to COSTCO (pick up my few items, as well) and then come back to my house for supper.

So ended up she did not get away from work on time – much later as they were short staffed and she is in Management, so she could not leave the new staff person alone.

By the time she left her office, got to her car and over to me it was 4:45 p.m.

She was tired and frustrated.

No blame there.

The car needed gas so we stopped at a nearby SAFEWAY GAS BAR and I ran to the SAFEWAY store and grabbed a couple of items.

One of our long time staff members had retired and we had a big party for her at the office.

There was so much food that they were asking folks if they wanted to take some.

I took a few things for us for dinner and grabbed some salad as well.

After we were done (which was quick) we found that there was a PET store nearby so decided to stop there and grab the clipper head and some Christmas gifts for our fur babies and their friends.

I asked one of the staff at the pet store and no they did not carry that particular clipper head.

There was no way that I was going to spend more than $100 to buy a new one so we picked up a few gifts and left.

The traffic was so bad and backed up and SLOW that we just continued home.

COSTCO would wait until next week (better for me, anyway).

Poor Alvin was waiting patiently.

We arrived home at 6:30 p.m.

CRAZY.

Snowing …..

Anyway, Alvin got to go outside and have dinner and all was forgiven.

We had a bite to eat and visited before I filled a tin of Christmas goodies and she was on her way.

It was almost 9:00 before I actually sat down for a break.

Dishes and tidying up and stuff.

 

So my plans changed for today.

I was going to be giving Mr. Alvin a haircut right about now.

Needless to say we were not up when we should have been.

But that is okay.

We are having company at 1:00 p.m. so time to eat breakfast and put on some laundry.

Tidy up the house (which to be fair looks good) but I want to vacuum and wash the main floor and do the bathrooms before she arrives.

So there is time.

It is almost 9:00 a.m. – the coffee is brewed.

Time to throw on some clothes and get going.

 

I hope that you all have a wonderful Saturday, December 14, 2019.

Remember that no matter what is thrown your way …. you just take a deep breath and if you need to scream going into the bathroom and SCREAM.

Not an actual SCREAM that would wake the neighbours but a silent scream at the top of your lungs.

It is amazing how wonderful you feel after releasing all that anxiety and frustration.

It works.

 

Have a great day.

Remember there are not many things that happen in life that cannot be changed, fixed or put off.

Of course, there are some things not the majority of things that we deem to be so important are not really in the grand scheme of life.

 

Happy Saturday.

Coffee is ready.

Yes, I am going.

 

Always, Carol & a patient Mr. Alvin.

 

Living … One day at a time.

Oh, what a weekend this has been so far.

Nice to see the sun shining this morning.

We were up at 5 a.m. for Alvin to eat and go outside.

Then headed back to the sofa for some extra zzz’s.

WOW, it was pretty late when we finally got up, I guess we really needed the extra sleep.

I was shocked to see the clock on the stove say it was 9:24 a.m.

Yes, we did not get our bodies up to stay up until that time.

Oh, well.

Yesterday was full of surprises.

I mentioned that Humphrey visited us unexpectedly arriving shortly after we got up.

I spent time between laundry and writing up letters and Christmas cards.

In the late morning Teddy’s Mom contacted me to see if he could come and visit Alvin for a couple of hours.

I said “sure.”

Teddy’s Dad dropped him by a little bit later.

In between doing chores and the Christmas cards I gave attention to my three buddies, Alvin, Humphrey and Teddy.

I had mentioned to Teddy’s Mom that I was just walk Teddy home when we went for a walk about 2:30 p.m. so that is what we did.

We were invited in for a visit and tea (for me).

So great to see the new puppy, OMG, she is so cute.

Just before 4:00 p.m. we headed for home as I had to shower and get ready for our girls Christmas party, finish drying some laundry and tidying up.

Humphrey was resting when we arrived home.

His Mom was to be home about 5:00 which worked perfectly as I was leaving about 6:00 p.m.

After I was ready and just finishing up a few things I texted Humphrey’s Mom.

She did not get away when she planned and was just leaving at that time.

Needless to say she was not home when I left for supper but the boys are fine together.

So it was nice that Alvin had company.

I was kind of surprised but more worried when Humphrey was still there when I arrived home two hours later at 8:00 p.m.

Cell phones are great, I texted his Mom and she said that she was only a few minutes away.

Whew, what a relief.

The girls had gone home to pick up a few things and then were going to walk back to my house (no drinking and driving).

Humphrey’s Mom was just leaving when they arrived.

What a busy day.

We, girls had a great time.

Laughing and venting and chatting up a storm.

Alvin laid mostly beside one of my friends wanting some attention.

There was no plan to exchange gifts but we all had brought a gift for each other.

Alvin even had a paw in opening one of my gifts.

The girls were surprised to see how well he could open a gift.

The one he opened was taped shut.

He found a place to start and between his mouth and paws, he did it.

There is even video proof.

I will share some photos of our gifts.

Funny just after 11:00 p.m. the party was over.

Everyone was getting tired after a long busy past few days.

We had such a wonderful time.

The food was great at the restaurant (company better).

I want to share some photos…..

Had some drinks.

Received some beautiful gifts.

I gave the hand made (not by me) Christmas tree ornaments in the Christmas tins and received the gifts in the photos above.

 

Now it is time to get some work done but before that happens it is time to make some coffee.

OMG, it is going onto 11:00 a.m. – how did that happen.

 

I wish you an awesome Sunday.

The sun continues to shine brightly this morning.

I think that Alvin is tuckered out after all of the company both two and four-legged.

He heard something and just sat up from a lying position.

 

Happy Sunday.

It is a good news kind of day.

 

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

 

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