December 31, 2020 – last day

Good Morning ALL. Can you believe it? The very last day and down to last hours of 2020. 2020 came in with all of the promise and hope that a New Year could bring and is leaving us with thoughts of promise and hope that 2021 will bring. So we will start and end with the same dreams for the New Year although the in between could never have been predicted. This year has been the same and different for so many of us. I cannot compare my year to that of my friend who lives down the street and works in the healthcare field. We both have had much different experiences this past year. She has faced all of the stresses and anxieties that came with COVID19 and the Pandemic as she continued to work. Me on the other hand, when our employer announced that we would be closing our doors to the public on March 16, 2020, and start the process of having staff work from home, I had mixed feelings but mostly I was overjoyed. On March 19, 2020 I was sent home with my coworkers with a laptop and whatever supplies we required to work from home. Later that afternoon I was set up and March 20, 2020 I was working from home. In the beginning there were definitely some stressful times but over the last nine months I have smoothed out the kinks and working from home has certainly been a godsend. Of course, there are moments of stress, but that is inevitable, as my job can most certainly be stressful at times. But I no longer have to spend a minimum of 1.5 hours travelling to and from work. There are no worries about leaving a senior dog, my Alvin home alone for such a long period of time. We have figured out a few things over time and one being that we will need to go to the office for one day per month as we have some large print jobs where the documents need to be prepared to be mailed. I can handle one day each month. Of course, this may change over time. My friend down the street lost her beloved pup Abi in February and in July brought baby Bailey home. Having a puppy at any time is a lot of work and with the stresses of working during a pandemic has been difficult for our friend. We have kept in touch with porch / sidewalk visits, texts and video chats. We live only a few doors apart and yet our lives that were so similar are so different this year. She was not able to spend Christmas with her sister and brother-in-law who are expecting early in the New YEAR nor her parents. Her parents are in her sister’s pod as she is expecting. I on the other hand was so blessed to be able to spend Christmas with my daughter and son-in-law and pups. In January my friend will be hosting a “virtual baby shower” for her sister. So many firsts this year. This is a reminder that I must check out the registry and chose a gift for the new baby. I always love to buy books for little ones, cannot go wrong with books.

I am grateful that we have the technology to see family and friends. This is the time to use this technology so that no one is alone. Take a few minutes and reach out to family and friends. We are blessed to have the technology to physically see each other.

So as we wrap up this YEAR, I have mixed feelings. I would say for the most part I have positive feelings. Working from home was always a dream, a thought that I had but never thought would come to fruition. I missed spending time with my sister and brothers in August. My daughter and I did not take our annual girls road trip in August. Since March, I have mainly seen my friends from the doorway although we did have a few visits. Our girls Annual Christmas party was done virtually. I never thought that I would not enter a store for several months. From March until August, all of my groceries were picked up by my friends and my daughter. I have since that time been to the store a grand total of 6 times, been to the vet numerous times, to Shoppers once to mail Christmas cards and parcels on November 20, and to the Optometrist twice since August. I will say that the handful of times that I have entered a grocery store have been anxiety ridden for me. For the past month or so I have not been to the grocery store although I was to the Bone & Biscuit on December 11th, to pick up gifts for the fur babies including Alvin. I have been to the office three times, twice in September and once in November. Most of my time has been spent at home or going for walks. Thankfully we are able to go outside. As the time passes, I think that the only way that we can stop this virus is to follow the protocols set out by the Health Care Professionals and Government Leaders. While it is not ideal as we are social creatures, it is imperative to follow the rules. Wear masks when in public, wash your hands, stay home when you can and social distance. I will say that trips to the Vet are different now. The last time Alvin went I was not allowed to be with him, I sat with my mask on in one of the exam rooms while they took him to the back exam room. The Optometrist was definitely different. Two visits one for the exam and the other to pick up frames. They as the Vet only book one appointment per hour. Better to be safe.

Perhaps if we would have taken more precautions sooner and taken this more seriously – we would be in a better place, I don’t know. Going forward we must do what is right for everyone. This is not the time to be selfish. We do want to see our family and friends in the New Year.

The sun is up although it appears to be cloudy. This is the last day of 2020. I hope that 2021 brings us hope and promise. I know that it will take months and likely most of this next year before the vast population can be vaccinated and at this point we do not know if that is the complete answer or not but I remain positive that the scientists will figure it out and we will end 2021 in a better place. To all of those folks who lost loved ones this year, I keep you in my heart and hope that your memories will help to bring you comfort. To all those families who lost beloved pets, I keep you in my heart and hope that memories of them will bring you comfort.

May the New Year be filled with hope and promise. May you find your way through this next year with faith, hope and grace. Continue to be kind and respectful and compassionate to all others. We need each other even more now than ever.

Thank you for taking your precious time to read my words, this post. I appreciate your time.

So from our home to yours, Alvin and I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year.

Always, Carol & Alvin

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Welcome to December 2020

Good Morning ALL. How are you on this “8th sleep/day until Christmas Eve Day?” I am doing well. Finally finished wrapping the gifts last night. Now that is not to say that I overbought or anything but just took a bit longer to get things done. For no real reason. But I am happy and I know that Mr. Alvin is happy to know that his grumpy Momma is done. For some reason last night I was “short” in the patience department, I don’t know why. Work is going well, I am ready for Christmas, all my bills are paid, I saw my daughter on Sunday and I have chatted with friends …. but for some reason I was a bit grumpy. Oh, now I remember it was because Mr. Alvin was being a whiny pants and I was trying to wrap a gift. I did not have a box for the gift and I really wanted to put it in a box. Anyway, we both survived. NO one was harmed. Speaking of Mr. Whiny pants …. someone is giving me that look, he may have to go outside. So this is going to be a short one. I hope that you are doing okay and that all is well in your preparations for the holidays that is for those who celebrate. We all have our own traditions and non-traditions. We are unique individuals so why not. We need to remember that always and forever. We made it out for a walk at noon yesterday was great and then I shovelled my front walk and both my neighbours on each side of us.

Okay, I had better go as I think he may have to go outside and go poop. I know what it is like to have to go the bathroom NOW.

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday. May you be surrounded with love and respect and compassion. May you continue to spread love, respect and compassion to all others.

Happy Wednesday.

Mr. Alvin, I am coming, my little buddy.

P.S. he loves to sniff the gifts. I was afraid that he was going to open one of his sister’s gifts last night. I think it is the tissue paper ….

Always, Carol & Alvin

Welcome December 2020

Good Morning ALL. Well my friends here we are at the end of another “work/school” week heading off into the weekend. It has been a week of many different feelings for so many folks. I would like to start by saying to all those family and friends that have lost a loved one, some two-leggeds and some four-leggeds, we keep you all in our thoughts and our hearts. Alvin and I send our love to you all. I know that it is never easy losing someone and we have all experienced loss.

For some reason it seems more difficult this year and maybe it is because we have endured loss of a totally different magnitude this year. Things we used to take for granted are different and some cases so hard for us. So many different levels of loss. For so many children instead of going to school and seeing their friends – they are learning online. They have not been able to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins this year. For some folks like me, we are working from home. Others, those incredible ones working in grocery stores, retail outlets, fire and police, nurses and doctors and cleaning staff and the list is too long for me to relay risking their lives, just working and doing their jobs is a struggle, and then not seeing their families on a regular basis. Even going shopping is not that “fun” experience that it used to be. No more large gatherings. So many folks have lost their jobs this year and others saw their businesses close possibly forever. There is no doubt in my mind that most folks are looking to the NEW YEAR with hopes that things will be much better. I do as well.

I have a good weekend to look forward to and that is what we must do, look forward. Do what we can. Be safe and practice the protocols outlined by our Health Professionals. This weekend I am baking. I have a 10 kilogram bag of flour and one of sugar and lots of butter and chocolate and coconut and icing sugar. There is no doubt that I will be baking lots of goodies to give to my friends and family. It is what I love to do. Sometimes all it takes is a box of cookies to brighten one’s day. To bring a smile to someone’s face. To remind us all that we do think of each other. I am also one of the hosts of a MEGA PARTY for Fifth Avenue Collection or FAC starting tonight on FB live. So jewelry and sweets for me this weekend. My daughter is dropping by tomorrow with groceries and for a visit. We love to see her when we can.

Well it is almost time to head on downstairs. I booked Monday off as a vacation day so that I can wrap up baking and make some deliveries including to Alvin’s Vet Dr. Karen and staff.

Living our live with kindness, respectfulness and compassion is what we need to do now more than ever. Remember. We all need a little kindness ….. shine our lights on everyone we see.

Always, Carol & Alvin

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