Welcome to December 2020

Good Morning All. How are you doing today? Well we are in the countdown mode now. Can you believe “19” sleeps until Christmas EVE Day. WOW. I guess that means that I better get cracking with my Christmas Baking to ensure it is done and delivered before the big day. My list is bigger than I initially had decided upon. So I will be baking several batches of the following: Sugar Cookies with my special icing, Fudge, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Unbaked Chocolate Macaroons, and Raisin Cookies. So countless of dozens of delectable treats to be enjoyed by my kids, neighbours and friends and Alvin’s Dr. and her staff. I am so excited. I think that I am ahead of my usual curve than other years. Now that is a phrase we have heard this year but in reverse. Anyway, today, tomorrow and Monday are baking days. I even took Monday off as a vacation day so that I would have lots of time. In between the baking, I am hosting a online Fifth Avenue Collection jewelry party for which I only have to show up to the LIVES (whew), laundry, cleaning, my daughter is stopping by today with groceries and for a visit and a friend from work is stopping by to pick up her tea order. The baking and jewelry party is all weekend. My Jeweler Friend does lives at different times over the weekend. There was one last night, two today and one tomorrow. Looking out the office window the sunrise is beautiful once again. Last night after work Alvin and I joined my friend Pauline and her grandpup Georgie for a walk. The sun was setting already when we left the house at 4:30 and was gorgeous. Someone had even pulled their car over to the side of the road and was taking photos. It was very pretty. Alvin and I had two good walks yesterday one at noon which was about 25-30 and then a 45 minute one after work. So if we do not make it out today we will not be behind, thank goodness. The battle of the midsection has definitely been HUGE this year but in all honesty I think it has been a carryover from last year and the year before. I cannot blame it on COVID19. Okay, perhaps just a little.

What are your plans for the weekend? Do you bake goodies for your family and friends? One thing I am excited about is that this year I have nice boxes made just for cookies and other treats and I am so grateful to my friend for picking them up. You know my personal shopper friend, as I like to call her. She is amazing. Not just because of that – she is a kind, loving, generous person and we love her.

Okay, I guess I had better get this train back on the tracks. Throw on a Christmas movie, put on the coffee, go to the basement and put on a load of laundry and change the furnace filter (very important to keep that changed) and then have some toast and coffee and then START BAKING. I would like to have some things done before my daughter arrives. I am excited to have company. Only one at a time.

I wish you a wonderful Saturday. Remember to do something nice for someone other than yourself. It is easy to treat yourself but hey so much more rewarding to treat others. You won’t regret it. Be nice. Shovel a walk, bake a pie for your elderly neighbours, bake something and give it away. The vacuuming can wait. Maybe you have neighbours who cannot leave the house and have a dog …. take the dog for a walk? That would be nice.

Happy Saturday ALL.

See you tomorrow.

Living with kindness, respect and compassion for all.

Always, Carol & Alvin

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Welcome December 2020

Good Morning ALL. Well it is Thursday morning December 3, 2020. Another gorgeous day on its’ way to us living here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This day is forecasted to be +5 degrees celsius. Our normal temperature is -4 for this time of year. We are to have about another week of these temperatures. I will say that when we were out for our noon day walk that Alvin and I wanted to keep on walking – well I did anyway. There were a couple of times that he wanted to turn around and head for home – not quite sure why but I was able to convince him to keep on trucking. The air was so warm and soothing as it touched my face. The sun was shining brightly in the perfect blue sky. I am so grateful for these days. So grateful.

What is on your “plate” for today. Well another workday for me. Tonight I will almost finish my Christmas project which is very exciting for me. Just about there. I also have to double check my recipes and ensure that I know what I am going to bake and that I have the right amount of ingredients. I know that I have more than enough flour and sugar and butter. More than enough. Somehow in the beginning it seemed like a good idea to buy 10 kgs of flour and I think it is the same in sugar and four pounds of butter. The butter might be more close but the flour and sugar will keep. If anyone needs a cup or five of them, I will have some for that. You never know. I did work on the Christmas project last night. I had to use this strong glue so opening the windows and then I placed the project under the fan for the stove (which had it sitting on top of the stove). Yikes. Not a nice smell and not good for one to breathe in – that is why I opened the windows and turned on the fan.

How are you doing these days? Are you okay? I know that this year or almost year has been so off the charts strange for everyone. Strange is putting it lightly of course. People are either working from home, laid off and receiving government relief benefits or out on the front lines working through this pandemic. For the majority of people having to remain at home and away from large groups of family and friends or even travelling has been difficult. Although I will say there are people travelling and that scares the “crap” out of me. What will they bring back with them? Travelling should be ban until this is over unless you are in the military or some health care professionals. Allowing folks to travelling especially out of the country is absolutely ludicrous at this time. How can you ban people from getting together with family at Christmas and allow families to travel outside of Canada. Does not make sense to me? I do agree that we have to buckle down and stop the crazy increase of this virus and if that means wearing a mask and social distancing until who knows when, well this girl is in. What will happen if we do not adhere to the new “rules.” I do not even want to go there.

I am sorry for the dark message so early in the morning but sometimes I just have to get things off my chest.

Okay how about Christmas? Do you have your tree up? I have heard that tree sales are up and that most people already have their trees up and decorated much earlier than normal. I have also heard that flour and sugar and other baking items are beginning to fly off the shelves. So I guess that I am not the only one that is baking. Isn’t it funny that no matter what I am talking about it all comes back to that darn virus. Anyway. I am excited to get some serious Christmas baking done this weekend. Sugar cookies, fudge, chocolate chip cookies, unbaked chocolate macaroons, raisin cookies and who knows what else. Will depend on time and energy and supplies. I even have some delightful boxes to place the baked goods in to deliver to friends and family. So excited. Thanks to my “personal shopper” and you know who you are. I am the most blessed person on the planet. I know this to be for certain.

Well time to head on downstairs. Put on the coffee and get to work.

If we all continue to live our lives with kindness, respect and compassion – what a wonderful world this will be.

Always, Carol & Alvin

Second Half of the NEW YEAR – last quarter

Good Morning All,

It is mid morning on this Saturday morning half way through the month of October, 2020. The sky is pretty with a cool pale blue lined streaked with long thin white clouds. There is a bit of a breeze. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees but there are some that are holding on for dear life. Lawns are covered with frozen yellow, orange, red and green leaves and clumps of snow. Pretty to the eye and crunchy to the feet. I do not expect that we will have warm temperatures again before spring – just a feeling. But I am not a meteorologist and would love to be wrong. Oh well, it is mid October after all. I do note that looking out of my office window there are some trees that still are covered in golden leaves. I am always amazed by the difference between the front and back sides of my house. Happens with weather as well. Sometimes it can be raining in the front and not in the back and a few times we had hail in the back and not in the front. Weather.

14 sleeps until Halloween and 15 sleeps until the Christmas tree goes up. I am excited for both. Have you decided if you are going to dress up in a costume for Halloween even if you stay at home? Our employer is having a virtual costume contest. I am undecided at the moment. Definitely easier to do without having to go out for sure. Time will tell. I can always throw together something at the last minute. Halloween being on a Saturday is cool as well. I am also thinking that with Sunday being my putting the Christmas tree and decorating the house that perhaps I may take a vacation day on Monday to put the finishing touches on things. Most times I can get the majority done in one day especially when that day falls on the weekend and definitely not if it falls on a weekday. So excited. It is these things that we look forward to and that give us good feelings. I will say for this year – it is more important than ever to be doing things that give us joy and provide good cheer. I could sit on the floor or on the sofa or stand in the kitchen in the dark and watch the lights on the Christmas tree forever. Speaking off Christmas tree lights – this will be another year where I will have to place all of the lights on the tree by hand. My once prelit tree is no longer. I believe it was last year that I manually removed each one from the tree and then manually hung strings of lights. Removing them took many many hours of work. It was not much fun but in the end I was happy to have done so. As much as it is nice to have a prelit tree, I don’t think I would do it again. Now that may not even be possible …. perhaps they all come prelit, I do not know. Time is zipping along and soon the house will be donned in its’ Christmas apparel for me to enjoy and all to see.

I guess there is no point in leaving light jackets and sandals in the closet. Time to take those items and pack them in the basement closet. Time to wash and freshen up winter coats, scarfs, mittens and bring up the boots. Also to switch up my clothes closet. That is a job for today. Along with laundry, some cleaning of floors, dusting and bathrooms. I have a couple of parcels that need to be mailed on the remaining Tuesdays in October in order to use the free shipping that Canada Post provides for people with small businesses. I have some craft projects in the works so time to get things moving along with them. Time to start thinking about the calendar and the days left and what needs to be done. What am I getting for Christmas for my daughter and son-in-law and a few others? Soon it will be time to address and write letters for Christmas cards to be mailed. This year there will be fewer than other years. Or at least at this moment. I also have to think about baking. What sweet treats will I make this year. I also give them out to friends and neighbours – so make that list as well. I see a lot of lists happening here. Bring it on, I say, bring it on, lol.

Well the time is evaporating here. I will admit that even though we were first up at 5:00 a.m. – the sofa called us to lay down and it was so toasty warm and delightful just snuggling with my Alvin that we did not get until almost 9:00 a.m. Most of the time I dreamed away but some of the time I was just enjoying life in foggy thought. I had a great dream. Only remembering bits and pieces but there was a cute, good guy, cause would you dream of other, a trip to a warm climate with friends, there was a thing about money and he helped me with a credit card. This will make sense to some people including me.

Okay time to hit the shower and wash off the night and get this day going. Get those closets changed up. Wash some coats and clothes. Tomorrow the girls are coming for coffee and a visit. I love when we can get together. Oh, almost forgot that last night after work, me and Alvin headed out for a walk. I found his winter jacket (I need a sweater that fits him) and I put on a light jacket on top of my long sleeved sweater and off we went. When we were on the halfway point which happens to be his best friend Teddy’s house, he made a beeline across the driveway and up the front porch steps before I had a chance to reign him in. I asked him to announce himself but all he did was sniff at the door, I could hear the pups in the house and rang the doorbell. Iris came to the door with Kobie in tow and Teddy coming towards Alvin. Iris is one of those people that always makes you feel like a million billion dollars. She is always so happy that you dropped in unannounced. Truly. So we went in for a short visit. She asked if I would like a cookie as she just made some and you know me when would I ever ever turn down an offer of a cookie! Never. To my big surprise they were the unbaked chocolate macaroons that my Mom used to make and that I make for family and friends (one of our favourites). I graciously took one. It was so good. She had baked them for her brother who lives and teaches English halfway around the world. My friend was so excited to tell me all about the cookie story. I loved to listen. The cookie was so yummy and I was hungry so I asked politely for another and made my friend so happy. She was super pleased that I loved them and that they tasted so good. Makes me want to make some. They are a family favourite of ours, as well. No bake cookies. They call them chocolate clusters and we call them unbaked chocolate macaroons. Many names for these delectable treats. Both Alvin and I had treats. Lucky us and a great visit before leaving for home.

Well time to get this show on the road. Take care and be safe on this day and always. If we remember to all live our lives with love, kindness and respect for all – what a great world this would be. Little things matter. They do.

I/We shall remain,

As always, Carol & Alvin

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