August 2nd – Saskatchewan Day

Saskatchewan Legislative Building – Wascana Park, Regina, SK.

Today is ‘Saskatchewan Day’. It is a stat holiday for those who still work – and get stat holidays. (sorry Dear, not youπŸ₯Ί)

There is so much to be grateful for, for anyone fortunate enough to live in any province in Canada. Saskatchewan has its own special benefits. We have reasonably affordable single family housing, stable employment, short commute times, plus other benefits too numerous to mention.

This year, I am feeling particularly grateful for one of Saskatchewan’s most obvious benefits – our wide open spaces! From virtually any point in Saskatchewan we can see as far as we can see. In northern Saskatchewan we do have solid forests but they are broken up by many vast open lakes. In the heart of our cities, we have a few congested blocks but we can always look up! Mostly, our province is flat, free, and clear.

It seems strange for me to feel so grateful for such a thing as open space. People who ever knew me would find it quite bizarre.

I have never really been a ‘people person’. I find a lot of people to be demanding, overbearing, aggressive, or just a bit annoying. I find crowds of people to be emotionally overwhelming. (I don’t do parades or crowded stadiums well 😳). I have just always been more comfortable in my own space. As life has gone on, I have had to deal with more and more people – my schooling, my children’s schooling, my daughter’s children’s schooling and eventually a more and more demanding career. It got really difficult to avoid people.

I was constantly backing myself into smaller and smaller spaces to squeeze people out. Eventually, I found myself trapped behind my corner desk all day, and stuck in our little house every night. (Our yard was not even a reprieve as we went through a period of seriously sketchy neighbours. πŸ™„) With this ever shrinking life of mine and multiple respiratory issues, I felt like I was suffocating.

Then, I retired! (And the pandemic happened). I was free to open my mind to meditation, free to venture out into neighbourhood parks, free to enjoy our big beautiful yard. Free to head off on short adventures with Dan when he is off work. Freedom! πŸ€—

I am finally free to come out of the stifling little spaces that I backed myself into and appreciate the wide open spaces of this beautiful province that we live in. I can never get too much of the open skies, the endless fields, the beautiful lakes and rivers, the long and winding (or relatively straight) roads. We live in a big, beautiful, amazing province! For that, I am truly grateful – on Saskatchewan – and every Day. πŸ€—

Saskatchewan – Land of the Living Sky!

I hope everyone is having a good day and that you have the time to feel grateful for your province, state, or homeland.

Take care and see you tomorrow!πŸ’ž

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see” – Mary Davis

August 1st – Gearing up for Gratitude!

Of all the themes that I could choose to go with for August, I have decided to go with ‘GRATITUDE’.

Gratitude πŸ€—

I am relatively confident that two of the first words my parents taught me to say were “Thank You!”. It was not that they were looking for personal gratification. They were just very determined to teach us the true values in life. The values that enrich our lives. The values that make the best of times better and the worst of times tolerable. Respect, dignity, kindness, honesty, humility, and of course ‘gratitude’. Values that would make us strong enough to make the most of life, because my parents wanted us to have more than life – they wanted us to have great lives.

It did not take me long to understand that gratitude was more than words. Genuine gratitude was a feeling. A powerful, feel good feeling. I knew how important gratitude was.

That being said, there have been times in my life when I have definitely struggled to ‘feel’ grateful. Times when I was too busy, too tired, too angry, too sad, just too distracted to feel grateful. I knew it was important, I said the right words, but I could not feel them.

During my ungrateful periods, I would try to feel more grateful. I read books on gratitude. I followed the exercises in the books. I once tried to start each day by compiling a list of ten things that I was grateful for.

I am NOT a morning person. I struggle to like my dog first thing in the morning. But, this was important so I was determined to start each day (for a solid month!) by listing ten things that I was grateful for. By day three, I was thinking “Cool, I have ten toes, let’s go with that”.

Being grateful for my toes – even that wierd long one. WTF! I don’t even have ten normal toes! So not feeling grateful for my toes. πŸ₯Ί

Throughout my life, it has definitely been a process, finding the means to be genuinely grateful on a regular basis. I am finally there. Retirement, and a year and a half of Covid, has given me the time and peace in my life to truly live a life of gratitude – even first thing in the morning. πŸ₯³

So, this month, I am committed to writing one blog each day, to share that and those for which I am most grateful. 😁

I hope you will join me often and I hope that every post I share will be worthy of your time.

Have a great day and take care! See you tomorrow!

So grateful for our fur baby, Kat!

July 31st – 22 Years of Magic

Today, Dan and I celebrate twenty-two years of wedded blissπŸ’ž. In some ways it was lifetimes ago (a lot of lives have come and gone). In other ways it seems like last year.

I would have been good with a quick trip to city Hall, but Dan wanted a real wedding so I let him take charge. He made all of the arrangements for the ceremony, the reception, and the honeymoon. Jennifer made my dress and designed our wedding invitations. All of my siblings except my sister Denise were able to make it. Dan’s sister, Joan came from Costa Rica and was in the wedding party. The hall was filled with family and friends. Our honeymoon was a week of wilderness camping. All in all, it was a memorable, magical time in our lives.

The night before (checking out the bar with sister Lorraine) – I mean setting up the hall for the wedding reception.
Escorted by Jack Nicolle. I worked for Jack for twenty years. Since my Dad was already gone, Jack graciously stepped in.
The ceremony with Minister Bob
The wedding party
Family – Mark, Dan, Jen, Me, Dan, my Mom, and Dan’s Dad
Cutting the cake
Another boss, Russ Barr. I was so stressed walking up to the ceremony – until I saw Russ. He had such a genuine grin on his face that I just snapped out of it. I turned and saw Dan and the rest of our day was magical.
Our honeymoon suite. Looks a bit rugged but we were on the shore of Diefenbaker Lake which was gorgeous. Dan had everything so organized in our sleeping and eating tents. It was a perfect week of resting and relaxation.

Dan is working this weekend but we have a lovely supper of steak and shrimp planned for when he gets home.

I hope everyone is enjoying a great weekend! Take care and see you tomorrow! πŸ’ž

July 30th – Nap Magic

Today, I reached the epitome of retirement. I had an afternoon nap! That is about as decadent and retired as it gets. 😊

Over the years, I have taken the occasional nap but it is generally the result of life threatening illness or a bit of meditation that went sideways. This was an honest to goodness, deliberate nap because I had a lousy night’s sleep. I typically sleep like a rock, but on the rare occasion that I do have a bad night, it is nothing to nap over. I am just happy knowing I do not have to drag my exhausted self to work the next day. πŸ€—

Yet, here I am – napped out. Now what? I just hope I can still sleep tonight. Otherwise this could be the beginning of a long and slippery slope ending in regular afternoon naps. 😴

This could ultimately be retirement with Dan and Kat one day. πŸ™„

Wishing everyone a great rest of the day and a magical long weekend if you are celebrating this weekend. Here, apparently it is Saskatchewan Day. 🎊

Take care and I hope to see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

July 29th – Winged Magic

I couldn’t do an entire month of magical blogs without dedicating one day to the enchanting butterfly family.Β  I am not a close up, in person fan of most creepy, crawly, blood sucking bugs but I do make an exception for butterflies.Β 

Despite planting an assortment of butterfly attracting plants and having water features, we get very few butterflies around our yard.Β  When we get the opportunity, we do visit any butterfly houses that we happen upon in our travels.

These are a few butterflies that I have been able to capture photos of over the years. Enjoy the magic! πŸ¦‹

Transformation, beauty, peace, hope and freedom – I think butterflies should be the official symbol of retirement!

Wishing everyone a magical, butterfly kind of day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž πŸ¦‹ πŸ’ž

July 28th – Magical Coincidences

Last night, Dan and I were invited to join my cousin Kathy and her husband Scott for supper.

As we pulled up in front of their house, Dan recognized their next door neighbour. He and Dan have worked together for ages and kept in touch regularly when they were both off of work a few months ago. Of course, Dan had to pop over to say hi and check out Roy’s amazing yard.

It is so funny, Dan and I can go anywhere at any time, in or out of Regina, and we will run into someone he either grew up with or has worked with. I always find it so wierd because we very seldom run across anyone that I specifically know.

I am so used to running into people that Dan knows that I don’t always pay too much attention to these meet and greets. Often they are discussing work, times, places, or people that I am not familiar with. One night, we were out and I had my back to Dan. I heard him exchange friendly greetings with someone. I half ignored them until I realized the other voice sounded vaguely familiar. I turned around and Dan was chatting with my one and only brother. 🀦

Anyway, when Dan and Roy were done with their short visit, we joined Kathy and Scott in their gorgeous backyard. We had a glass of wine and a pleasant visit, before proceeding to their deck for a delicious barbecue supper and more enjoyable visiting. It was so comforting to catch up on all the extended family news and share memories of those who are long gone.

After a lovely evening, we returned home and called it a night.

This morning, Dan was packing his golf bag into the Jeep when he found an unfamiliar critter in our yard. I am not sure if he followed us home last night or how he came to be here, but I hope his friends don’t come looking for him. 😳

Sphynx Moth Caterpillar ?

Dan is now off golfing and I am ready to settle down in my little corner to relax and meditate for a bit. I hope you are enjoying a likewise beautiful summer day.

Take care and see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

July 27th – Magical Service

I don’t know if we are on a roll or if everyone is just happy to have a return to normalcy in Saskatchewan. We have been out and about for the past couple of days and the service everywhere has been above and beyond.

Last night we went to The Keg for supper. My prime rib and Dan’s steak and lobster were done to perfection. The service was great, even though our waitress apologized if there were any mishaps, as this was her first week at this establishment. One of the managers came by our table after supper to gift me a generous portion of Billy Miner Pie for my birthday desert. He brought an extra plate as there was plenty to share with Dan. It was delicious!

This morning we went to our cell phone provider’s because we Dan and I were both having issues with our phones. We had two reps give us their undevided attention and get all of our issues resolved in record time.

From Prairie Mobile we moved on to Northgate Mall where Dan was able to walk in and get a quick trim from our favourite hairdresser. She did an excellent job as always. On the way out, we stopped in at a little shop where once again the service was excellent!

If this keeps up, we could get real spoiled real fast!

I hope you are having a great day and being made to feel welcome wherever you go! Take care and see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

July 26 – Older, Wiser, Better πŸ˜

So we have come to this.  I am officially over sixty-five. 

My sister Elaine makes the cutest cards for family! I have saved every one she has sent us. I might have to frame this elephant one! πŸ’ž

After working five brutal shifts, and the last three shifts being night shifts, Dan slept for three hours this morning and then came with me to do the weekly shopping. Tonight he is taking me out for a nice supper – I got to choose and since we had Arby’s last week, I chose The Keg. I love their prime rib and horseradish sauce. It is to die for! πŸ€—

Dan did have an extra special supper planned for us, but once again his romantic gesture was foiled. At least I wasn’t the one that foiled him this time. 😌

When we first started dating, we worked at the same company. One morning Dan snuck into my office and left a sweet note for me. He crumpled it up, so no one else would read it, and set it on my chair. I didn’t read it either. I tossed it in the wastebasket and cursed my boss for leaving his trash on my chair. πŸ™„

The next time Dan tried to romance me, he set a Hershey Kiss on the seat of his Jeep when he came to pick me up. I hopped right in – and sat on it. πŸ™„ At least he used chocolate that was wrapped in foil. That could have been really embarrassing. πŸ₯Ί

Then Dan took me out for my birthday. After a lovely meal at Golf’s, several staff members burst out of the kitchen carrying a sparkler topped birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday! πŸŽ‚ I heard it was really nice. I was in the washroom. Our waiter did bring the little cake back, and it was delicious, as everything is at Golf’s. I think he even sang but I am fairly certain he sang alone. 🎢

Finally, the next year for my birthday Dan took me to Neo Japonica. Everything was magical and when the waitress brought me a saki martini, I was cautious (or lucky) enough that I did not toss it back and swallow my sparkling new engagement ring. πŸ’ž

This year, twenty-three years later, Dan decided that we should relive his triumph. He asked me if I remembered the name and address of the restaurant. It took me a couple of minutes but I did remember the name and I quickly Googled the address. Sadly Neo Japonica is no more. The unique building is still there – with the same verandah where we were seated that memorable night. Unfortunately, the ambiance of the Chuckwagon Hotdog and Ice Cream shop with the bright red shiny paint job just wouldn’t be the same. 😳

So, tonight we are off to a lovely supper at The Keg to celebrate my birthday and the anniversary of our engagement.

You are my greatest adventure too, Dear! πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

Dan always buys me the sweetest card. πŸ’ž

Wishing all a magical happy day today! See you tomorrow! πŸ’ž

* Notice how I used the word ambiance two days in a row. It is not a word that I generally use that often. πŸ€”

July 25th – Magic French Courtyards

When we went to Gravelbourg, my biggest disappointment was that the Mayfair restaurant was permanently closed.Β Β Β  The Mayfair was an icon in Gravelbourg and Sunday Brunch at the Mayfair was the stuff memories were made of.Β Β  A visit to see my motherΒ always included taking her for at least one meal at the Mayfair.

That being said, amazingly the high point of our trip to Gravelbourg was our breakfast at Cafe Paris.Β Β  Not only was our meal perfection but we were able to dine in their very unique and secluded courtyard,Β  so that Kat could nap comfortably in the shade while we enjoyed our breakfast.

We have definitely discovered a great place to start making some new cherished memories.

One thing I did not get a good photo of was the ‘ceiling’ of the courtyard, which was a lacy combination of vines and patio lights. It was so pretty and I am sure it is gorgeous in the evening when the lights would be twinkling amidst the vines.

Our trips to Gravelbourg will not be as frequent as in years gone by, but I am fortunate to have my own little magic courtyard at home for when I meditate. Maybe next summer, we can get some vines and twinkling lights for my evening meditation. πŸ’ž

It is hard to get a photo that shows what an overall cool and pretty little space this is. 😌

Time to head out to my personal little French courtyard! Wishing all a nice Sunday. Take care and I will be back tomorrow!

July 24th – Beyond Magic

New computer – up and running!

Dan picked up our new computer on his way home from work on Thursday. Yesterday, he unboxed it and attached all of the wires to connect it to all the outlying bits and pieces. Last night I got it up and running! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

The magic in this is that technical skills are not my strong suit. In fact, my technical skills probably rate just south of my ‘handling power tool‘ skills. You know, those skills that enabled me to attach my cell phone to a shipping carton while trying to operate a tape gun. The same skills that saw me almost take out a neighbour with our electric knife. Those skills… πŸ™„

My technical skills are worse. Setting up an alarm clock is typically a two or three hour process involving cuss words and a couple of glasses of wine. Setting up a software program is worse. The instructions might as well be in a foreign language. Chances are, they probably are and I just haven’t figured that out yet.

However, last night I set out to get our computer up and running and I got the job done! Without wine or cuss words! There were a couple of small hiccups. The first being that it seemed the keyboard was non-functional (operator error). The second was that, despite very clearly asking if Norton Antivirus would be installed on this computer and getting a very clear ‘NO’, it was definitely there. 🀦 The good news is, after my initial meltdown, it seems I was able to totally uninstall that abomination and successfully install AVG! Yay me!

Our new computer is up and running! Now for the beyond magical.

Last night, there was a full moon! A full moon and I successfully completed a complicated technical task. That is indeed beyond magical.

I am not a full moon fixing type of person. In the days leading up to, and including the day of a full moon, I destroy. Vehicles break down. Tools and electronics cease to function. Meals burn. Once during a full moon, I walked through the office where I was working and jammed four printers without laying a hand on any of them. One was a blueprint copier! A blueprint copier is like a giant wringer from the top of an old-fashioned wringer washer. It consists of two massive rollers that feet a giant piece of paper through print heads. There is supposedly no way to jam one. I did it. I did it so well that the giant piece of paper running through it totally vanished. The technician who came out to make things right was amazed.

Anyway, last night there was a full moon and I successfully set up our new computer. I feel so darn magical!

I hope everyone is having a nice (full moon) weekend. Take care and I will see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž