September 19th – Birthday Celebrations

September is a busy birthday month for our family with both sons and my sister Elaine celebrating their auspicious arrivals on this planet.Β  In fact, today is Elaine’s birthday so Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Elaine πŸ’ž

With all of these birthdays happening, I started wondering who and how these celebrations began.Β Β  As, usual I turned to Google for some possibly questionable answers to fill that little ‘piece of my mind’ that torments me when I get plagued by such all-consuming wonderings.Β 

Google hooked me up with Huffington Post and this is what their inquisitive minds had dug up on the subject.

Ancient Egyptians began the birthday celebrations in the 1300 BCs as an annual means ofΒ  honoring their Pharaohs.Β Β 

The Greeks added moon-shaped cakes, decorated with lit candles for a glowing effect. πŸ•―οΈπŸ•―οΈπŸ•―οΈ Awwww….

At some point, Ancient Romans started celebrating birthdays for the common man.Β Β  Christians found the practice rather pagan but eventually joined the party when they started celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in the forth century. It was not until the twelfth century that women were deemed worthy of such celebrations. πŸ₯Ί

Finally, in the late eighteenth century, Germans created the birthday cake as we know it today and began decorating it with a specific number of candles to honor the age of the celebrant.

So there you have it! The thirty-one century origin of birthdays.

Take care and have a great day. (Even if it isn’t your birthday, it is never a bad day for cake!)

September 18th – Transformation

Today I am opening up that ‘piece of my mind’ that examines creating transformations in my life.

I have experienced many dramatic transformations in my life. Changes instigated by me, by others, or just by life in general. People have come and gone. Homes and careers have come and gone. Pets and pastimes have come and gone. Other people, homes, careers, pets, and pastimes have come to fill the void. Over the years, everyone and everything in my life has changed – except me.

Obviously I have changed – but not necessarily how, or as much as, I would hope to.

This morning when I sat down to browse You Tube for a morning meditation, I came across a Tarot Reading. I am not into astrology as a rule. I don’t totally discount it but I definitely haven’t studied it either. This Tarot reading caught my attention. It had a heading that proclaimed ‘Leo, you are going through the biggest transformation of your life.’

Whoo, hoo! Finally! The Me I Always Wanted To Be!

It spoke to me. My life has changed drastically in the past two years and I have worked harder to change more than ever before. Except lately, I have been feeling stuck. Not necessarily in a bad place, but not in a great place either. Just stuck – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Obviously this Tarot reading was just what I needed. After all of the changes that have happened in the past two years, all of the changes that I have made, this is IT! This is the darkness before the dawn. I am about to be transformed. πŸ’ž

So I watched this Tarot reading. It went really well for the first fourteen minutes. Then the last two cards and there it was. The transformation was not coming from outside of myself – it would happen on the inside AND only if I made it happen with work and dedication.

There’s always a catch!

So I guess that is it. We all have the ability to change, but we have to invest the hard work and dedication that it takes. Even when we feel stuck, we just have to keep working at it. It isn’t want I wanted to hear but it was obviously what I needed to hear today.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

September 17th – Odds and Ends

I had a less than ideal sleep last night so rather than trying to focus on any one topic today, I thought I would just share a few random ‘pieces of my mind’.

Meatloaf – Dan enjoys a great meatloaf. Unfortunately, mine are not particularly great. I made one last night. It was definitely better than the last one I made but the texture was a bit soft and the bacon wrap was a bit limp, despite cooking it longer than I should have! What does it take? At least, the cake I made was great. πŸ‘

Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing. 😁

Covid has made a serious comeback in Saskatchewan. It is rediculous that for all the grief and upheaval this pandemic has caused, people continue to resist even the slightest inconvenience to control it. Seriously people! Follow the damn arrows! ➑️➑️➑️➑️. Does it not make sense to avoid face to face contact with people? Even if you are wearing a mask?

Holidays – I ran to the Dollar Store yesterday for more peanuts and birdseed for our furry and feathered visitors. Apparently, we are officially into the holiday season. There were Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas decorations filling the shelves. Maybe we have too many holidays when they have to compete for shelf space? πŸ™„

I bought a little ornament for us – I think that should cover us until Easter. πŸ€—

Federal Election – Only two more full days until election day in Canada. I am so excited!!! I can avoid watching the news but there is no dodging the election advertisements. Soon they will be over. ☺️ And we will be Simply Blessed to see the end of them. (What a handy ornament!)

Weather – This morning it was +2 when I got up (felt like -3). It has warmed up some but I am still wearing a sweater and feeling a bit chilled. Tomorrow’s weather report for Regina. ….

Summer is back πŸ₯³

That is all I have for today. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

September 15 – Huggs

Since I have run across the subject of hugging  in a number of articles and blogs that I have read lately, I thought this would be as good a time as ever to share ‘a piece of my mind’ on hugs.

I grew up at a time when people hugged fairly frequently.Β  I am not a touchy feely type of person, but I have always envied and admired the huggers.Β  To me, they display and embody the confidence and security that I have typically lacked.Β Β 

Hugging was known to be therapeutic for the young and old alike back in those days.Β  Infants and the elderly failed to thrive when deprived of human touch.Β  Hugging was healthy. Now, that does not necessarily seem to be the case.

Two things seem to be the driving force in the current decline of hugging.Β  The first is obviously the global pandemic that we have been experiencing.Β Β  Any and all touching has been discouraged to control the spread of Covid – which makes total sense.Β Β  The second is the obsession that we seem to have with sex these days,Β  which makes little to Β  no sense because most hugs are totally platonic in nature.Β 

Maddy & Prim – Sisterly Huggs

One thing that I find rather bizarre is that with the decline of hugging, there seems to be an increased dependence on ‘support animals’.Β Β  Why is that?Β Β  We can’t handle human to human contact, so we are turning to our animals?Β  Most hugging goes on between close family and friends, so why would we prefer to hug our pets?Β  Because they do not challenge us the way other humans do? My family and friends have certainly challenged me over the years. πŸ™„ My dog, not so much. 😁

While so many seem to flounder on the subject of hugging these days, why is it that so many big men are still big into hugging? Gold miners hug. On tv, they spend as much time hugging each other as they do digging for gold. Alligator hunters hug. They shoot alligators and they hug. Sports people indulge in a lot of contact, on and off the sports field, but they seem to be more into handshakes and back pats than hugs. It often looks like they are going in for a hug but can’t quite do it. Except for wrestlers. Wrestlers are hardcore huggers.

Teachers do not hug. There is zero physical contact between teachers or with even the youngest students. Office workers do not tend to be huggers. Maybe at Christmas. My bosses all hugged me at Christmas. Visiting supplier reps would hug coming and going. They would hug me. With my boss it was more of the sporty handshake/back pat thing.

I don’t have a solid opinion on hugging figured out as yet. Outside of Covid, I think hugs are natural and healthy but I still have my limits, despite getting older and supposedly needing more human touch. πŸ‘΅

Anyway, that is it for today. Feel free to share your thoughts on hugging in the comment section below.

Group Hug – Grandpa, Genie, and Casey Dog

Take care and have a great day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’žπŸ€—

September 14th – So Far So Good!

My catscan is complete and I am back home with Kat. Today the ‘piece of my mind’ that I am sharing is relative to my latest medical experience.

Kat was not worried – she was just waiting for me to share my breakfast. πŸ˜‚

Everything went as well as could possibly be expected!

I was up at six o’clock to drink two glasses of water as per instructions. By seven o’clock I had lost eight pounds which would probably be expected by anyone who has ever gagged down two glasses of water at six a.m. Since the hospital where I was going is just a few blocks from our house, I had ample time to get dressed, check the weather and read my online news while I was not having my regular morning coffee.

I headed to the hospital at seven thirty and got there with no issues. I made it into the hospital and to the admitting desk without issue. I found radiology on my first try. (By this time I was feeling pretty cocky! I have the worst sense of direction and when I am within the confines of a hospital, where my stress level is through the roof, my sense of direction flies right out the nearest window.)

I was sent down the hall to change and had only one moment of sheer terror when I stepped back out of the change room with no idea which direction I had to turn. There were only two directions to turn and fortunately I chose the correct one to take me back to the reception counter. The clerk at the counter led me to the catscan area.

In the catscan area I was given another glass of water to drink. When I told the nurse I had already gagged down two glasses of water, she gave me a pass. She could not give me a pass on the iv that she had to insert so the lab technician could pump dye into me for the catscan. The injection went smoothly despite the fact that my vein (or artery?) on the inside of my elbow runs horizontal instead of vertical. Very strange – maybe they zigzag all over my body. 🀷

As soon as the iv shunt was in place, I was taken into the lab and placed on the catscan table. They attached the bottle with the die and did a quick scan before, and one after, the dye was released into my system. The dye did not hurt but it definitely causes an instantaneous and wierd feeling as it travels through one’s body – like a warm liquid starts at the top of one’s head and moves all the way down. That was relatively creepy.

That was it! All I had to do was wait fifteen minutes before the iv could be removed and I was free to run back to the change room, get my street clothes back on, stop in at Robins for a coffee and lemon poppyseed muffin and I was out of there!

I was so excited that I got to the Jeep before I realized that this was just a test and I still have to go for the actual surgical procedure for my hernia(s). I will have to go to the General Hospital, across town, for that performance. 😧😳πŸ˜₯

I made my way out of the parking lot and got myself home in one piece. Now I may need a nap. If I let myself dwell on the next step in this journey I may need wine – or a shot of tequila. πŸ₯Ί

I must say that everyone, EVERYONE – from security, to clerical, to nurses, to technicians were AMAZING this morning. I am definitely grateful for their kindness, consideration, competence and professionalism.

That is it for today! All in all, a good full day before nine a.m. (Retired life is so great until one inevitably has to venture back into the real world. πŸ˜‚)

Take care and have a great day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

September 13th – Shop Locally

Shop locally they said! It will be fun they said!

Obviously, my ‘piece of my Mind’ for today is relative to shopping – everyone’s favourite pastime. Except mine. 😟 When I do shop, I definitely prefer to shop locally – and I avoid self-serve cashouts. If I am going to support local stores, I will support the employees who work as cashiers.

This weekend Dan and I went shopping locally for a toaster oven to replace our aging and failing four piece toaster.

Before we headed out I checked online for our best bet so we would not waste the entire day shopping. Specialty shops were rediculously expensive. Hardware stores listed every make and model at every price point – not available in stores and out of stock online. πŸ™„

We headed to Canadian Tire. They had fifteen display models – thirteen of which were a brand that is so consistently dysfunctional that I refuse to even consider it. The other two models were absurdly overpriced. They had two or three models that we liked and that were reasonably priced. They were packed away in boxes which did not display actual oven sizes. We were able to get a hold of a very helpful clerk who helped Dan open the most promising box to actually see and measure the enclosed unit. We liked it, but the dimensions were so close to our maximum space available that we decided to keep looking.

We went to Walmart and found the perfect oven on their display shelf! Perfect size, perfect price, perfect brand! There were no boxed units to match on the shelves below the display. Once again we were fortunate to acquire the assistance of a very helpful clerk. She spent some time searching their store inventory before advising us that they do not sell that model. 🀦 She checked the other Walmart stores in town for availability. The good news was that the south Walmart sold that exact unit. The bad news was that they were out of stock. πŸ₯Ί

We went to Superstore. Nothing in their display, nothing on their shelves, no clerks to be found.

We came home. I cleared off the cupboard, scrubbed the counter down with bleach cleanser and Dan rearranged it to make room for our soon to be purchased new toaster oven.

We returned to Canadian Tire and picked up the model that we had initially liked, took it to the counter to pay, and my Canadian Tire card was declined. Seriously? No reason whatsoever why my card would be declined. Dan tried his card and it worked fine. Same account AND I am the actual cardholder. 🀨 When we left the store, Dan went to the Canadian Tire gas station and used my card to fill the Jeep. Now my card worked! πŸ™ƒ

We came home and Dan set up the new oven. I put a few things away and straightened up the kitchen. Dan got rid of the packaging and I tried out the new oven by making a perfectly browned piece of toast. 😁

And the oven knob was missing from our stove – WHAT THE HELL!

After tearing apart half the kitchen, scrubbing the floor, and checking every conceivable in place I could check, I found the oven knob under our paper towel stand. 🀷

Ta Da! New toaster, convection oven, air frier.
My shopping trip reward – lunch at The Tap😌

So that is it for today. Another successful local shopping trip complete. I am really impressed with how good the service has been at most of the stores we have been to lately. I am almost excited about going shopping for a new microwave. 😧

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž I have my catscan tomorrow morning but I will try to put out a new post when I get home. (It could be health and hospital related. πŸ˜‚)

September 12th – Simply Sunday

Some days are just about ‘Peace of Mind’. That is today. Just a day for Sunday morning ham and eggs, spending time with Dan, rest and relaxation, fresh air, and hanging out with our little dog, Kat.

Overcast morning
Kat, hanging out and about
Summer fading
Sunday morning visitor
The sun breaks through

That is it for today. A peaceful, pleasant Sunday. Life is good. 🌞

Take care and have a good day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

September 11th – Violence and Terrorism

Sharing a ‘Piece of My Mind’ on 9/11.

It is twenty years today since Al Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, attacked the Pentagon and destroyed the twin towers of the New York World Trade Centre. They were supposedly acting out of retaliation for the USA support of Israel and their involvement in in the Persian war. 

…… It was one of those days, just one of those normal days. I was getting ready for work. Dan was not home, but for some inexplicable reason I had the television on when the first news reports come on. A plane had hit one of the twin towers of The World Trade Centre. Like most everyone else, I assumed it was a horrible, freak accident – until the second plane hit the other tower. On live television, the plane flew straight into the side of the tower and was swallowed whole. This was no accident. By the time I got to work, there was a small television on the service counter. We saw rescue workers swarming the area, we saw people fleeing for their lives, we saw people falling to their deaths, we watched the towers fall – taking countless victims down in clouds of smoke and dust and rubble. We watched the reports on the Pentagon attack and the plane that went down in a field, short of its mark. Even in Saskatchewan, Canada – standing around a small television, thousands of miles from the devastation, we watched in horror and grief. Thousands died that day. There was carnage and mass destruction. Air traffic and any sense of normalcy was brought to a halt for days.

Several al Qaeda members died in this suicide mission. Over a number of years, many of those involved were captured, killed or imprisoned. After evading capture for almost ten years, their leader Osama bin Laden was tracked down and killed.

This horrific act of violence and terrorism shook the United States, Canada, and virtually every country around the globe. Lives and families were destroyed. Chaos reigned. There was billions of dollars in property damages and business losses.

But, what did these terrorists gain. There was no appreciation gained for their cause, no justice, no closure. The only result was the retaliatory measures inevitably taken by the USA and its allies. The escalation of the war against terrorism. More violence, more bloodshed, more loss.

You would think people would learn. After a lesson like 9/11. You would really think people would learn. But have they?

Who are these people that attacked the United States Capitol on January 6th, who carry out attacks on Muslim temples, who attack LGBTQ nightclubs, who burst into malls and schools and theatres with guns blazing, who scream obscenities and throw gravel and dog feces at politicians? What do they want and how do they possibly think they are going to get it with hate and violence?

If bin Laden and Al Qaeda, did not accomplish anything with their 9/11 attacks, how can anyone still possibly believe that hate and violence is the path to victory?

That is all I have for today. My heart goes out to all who are to this day suffering the consequences of of 9/11.

Until tomorrow, take care & stay safe. πŸ’ž

September 10th – Politics

Today I am moving forward into that wee ‘piece of my mind’ that cares about politics.

Canadian go to the polls on September 20th to elect a new or re-elect the old political party that will lead Canada for the next four years (more or less). Just two years ago we elected a minority Liberal government. They are now vying for the power of a majority government but they have some stiff competition and some solid opposition.

For the record, I do not, nor have I ever, stood solidly behind one political party or another. Whether it is a federal, provincial, or municipal election, I vote for the leader that I feel will best represent our country, province, or city. Also, my vote is mine, and mine alone – as it should be. Dan and I seldom discuss politics and we do not always agree when we do, but we do respect each other’s right to vote as we see fit.

In this current election, the Liberals and the Conservatives are neck in neck for first place. The NDP (New Democratic Party) are a distant third. The Green Party, Bloc Quebecois, and The people’s Party of Canada do not have the overall support to seriously affect the election one way or another.

These are my thoughts on politics, this election and the leaders of our top three parties.

First, I do not think it makes a lot of difference who wins or looses any election in Canada. We are a democracy with so many checks and balances that no party in power can make changes that are terribly sweeping or detrimental to our country.

Second, I do not think any of the main party leaders are particularly great or terrible. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party has been our Prime Minister for six years. He has his strengths, but his public speaking leaves much to be desired and he does have a history of embarrassing himself and our country with his wardrobe, his questionable connections, and regular public faux pas. He has tried to enact policy that is in the best interest of all Canadians and to help all areas in a manner sensitive to specific challenges.

Erin O’Toole is the leader of the Conservative Party. He is dignified, polished, and seems relatively intelligent and reasonable. I have two issues with Mr. o’Toole. The first and worst is that the Conservative representative in our riding is Andrew Scheer, who I personally have no use for as a person or a politician. The second is that Mr. O’Toole obviously supports the Conservative election campaign. Their campaign rests on questionable and ignorant attacks on Justin Trudeau and the star of their ads is a typical arrogant ‘Karen’ making typical patronizing snotty ‘Karen’ remarks. They have already lost two elections using this tactic, why would any leader support a third round?

Jagmeet Singh is the leader of our federal NDP party. As leaders go, he appeals to me. He is charismatic, dignified, and appears to be genuine. Unfortunately, I cannot get behind his doctrine of wealth and power distribution, unions and the like. I am not against helping those in genuine need – but I am a serious supporter of personal responsibility. I believe that there is a point where empowering gone too far becomes enabling irresponsible behaviours.

I believe that all three men who could become our next Prime Minister went into politics with a genuine desire to lead with integrity. (Which I believe is typical of most people who go into politics). I also think that most people who go into politics are painfully naive. They grow up surrounded by one group of people and share a lot of their beliefs. They think good governing should be relatively easy. Except, they get into politics and realize that there are countless people with countless different, and often opposing, views, beliefs, and desires. Few, if any, who want to change or compromise. We all want everything we want or need, we do not want to pay for anything that anyone else might want or need, and we all object to adequate government to make it all happen. Sounds simple enough. πŸ€”

Fortunately, most Canadians are reasonable and rational. Unfortunately, as elsewhere, there are extreme supporters and detractors of any government policy. Those are the Canadians who drive semis through cities (horns blasting), demonstrate outside of hospitals, throw gravel and scream obscenities at our Prime Minister, drive tractors and combines and tie up traffic from the Prairies to Ottawa. I cannot imagine anyone going into politics, being prepared for such goings on. Nor can I imagine anyone engaging in such goings on and expecting a positive outcome. πŸ₯Ί

That is pretty much my ‘piece of mind’ regarding politics. Although I know who I will be voting for, I wish the best for all who are running in this election and for all Canadians who will live with the results.

Take care and have a good day! See you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

September 9th – The Downside of Aging

I usually write about the benefits of aging. Peace, patience, wisdom, understanding, time – the things that are a true blessing to the aged and for which I am truly grateful.

Today I am going to that ‘piece of my mind’ that deals with the downside of aging. FYI – I totally believe in the protection of the tiny tots around us! But where these protective measures become an issue for us older folks is when we inevitably reach that physical decline of strength and dexterity.

I don’t know what I would do without Dan, or with him – if he ever reaches my current state of decline.

Everyday there is a new challenge accessing something I want (like salad) or need (like Cheezies). I am not proud of it but I have resorted to taking a butcher knife to one of those stupid plastic protectors that come on store bought cakes. What are they protecting them from for heaven’s sake! It is a cake – obviously sold to be eaten. But, apparently and sadly, not by us wimpy old folks. πŸ₯Ί

Sometimes it isn’t even a protective device as such. Sometimes it is supposedly convenience packaging – like those plastic bags that come with built in ziplock closures. Our store bought Gyoza bags are the worst. We have purchased them for years and last night was the first time I ever got one opened and resealed as they are meant to be. Chances are the next time we have Gyozas, I will have to resort to using my trusty butcher knife to regain access but last night it was a major win.

At home, I am relatively able to manage with Dan’s assistance and a bit of ingenuity. Going to my son’s house is a total battle of survival. With Cason at the age of inquisitive self-destruction, their entire place is one huge challenge. I finally figured out their baby gate to the basement and during our latest visit I discovered that they had booby-trapped their exterior doors. In case of a fire I will be fried to a crisp, clutching one of those stupid little plastic cap things that spins around with no intention of opening the door. (Way to go Dan & Amanda!) 😳

Anyway, that is my ‘piece of mind’ for the day. We are having chilli for supper so I should start trying to claw my way through the heavy duty, stretch plastic wrap on the the ground beef. 😟

Take care & have a good day! See you tomorrow πŸ’ž