Our Yard

Dan is out working on a few of our planters so I thought I would share shots of our latest yard acquisitions.

Great deal on a new birdbath from Canadian Tire. It will move to its permanent home once Dan gets water flowing through it.
Dan picked up another little metal sign. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’ž
A friend for Kat
Same old Kat but she is sporting a new spring haircut.

We also have a variety of new holes in the sand around our garden planters. Our squirrels take the peanuts we put out for them and bury them in the sand. Kat smells the peanuts and goes around digging them up – leaving a new hole for every peanut she finds. Fun times! ๐Ÿคฆ

Our grass is turning green and the trees have their leaves coming. By the time I post pictures of our yard again, we should have the garden cleaned up and the bedding plants in. Summer is coming! Yay๐Ÿฅณ

Keep safe and have a nice day. ๐Ÿ’ž

Medically Speaking

I do my best to avoid being a burden to our medical system.  Actually, I just do my best to avoid our medical system altogether.    I should touch base with my doctor more often,  but one trip to his office and all too often I have slipped down some wierd rabbit hole into the land of medical miracles and miscues.

My last trip down the hole started last January with a trip to emerg for pneumonia and bronchial spasms.  This led to trips to my doctor for follow up tests and x-rays which resulted in a diagnosis of COPD on top of my asthma.  This led to trips to a respiratory specialist, a CT scan, more tests, and a diagnosis of bronchiectasis. (I was also supposed to see a heart specialist and ENT but what with the Covid pandemic that never happened.) ๐Ÿ™„

In the meantime, after consulting with my doctor and respiratory specialist, I started working out to hopefully improve my lung (and possibly my heart) function. While that didn’t happen, it did lead to more trips to my doctor for not one, not two, but three hernias.

This led me to an ultrasound clinic – for the hernias and for a checkup on my abdominal organs. From the amount of pressure that the technician had to use, I am pretty sure she was working with the microphone from Barbie’s karaoke bus. (State of the art Saskatchewan medical equipment!) ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

In a follow up with my doctor, I discovered that the ultrasound technician had totally missed the hernias in my lower abdomen, found a two inch epigastric hernia in my upper abdomen (No doubt a result of violent coughing fits last January and my workout efforts last fall). And, as a bonus, she noted that I have a bit of fatty liver.

Fourteen months in and I am on a surgical wait list for a hernia and my doctor has strong suspicions that I have a serious drinking problem due to the fatty liver thing.

I doubt that a couple of small glasses of wine a week at most, and the occasional Caesar is that big of a deal as drinking problems go. Personally, I think my love of KFC, Cheezies, and Smarties has more to do with the fat I have in my liver or anywhere else. ๐Ÿคจ

The bizarre thing is this is not the first time that my health issues have cycled around to a serious drinking problem! I must have been a heavy drinker in a previous life because it sure hasn’t been in this one. ๐Ÿคฆ

Maybe it’s the pickled asparagus?

Stay safe and have a great one!

Daily Reminders

When Dan was running errands a few mornings ago, he found this metal plaque to put in one of our flower beds.

We are getting to an age where life is becoming more precious and fleeting. Regardless of what is happening, how we are feeling, or who is or is not physically with us, we try to make the most of each and every day. This little sign will be a reminder to help us do just that.

We have other such reminders around our house. They may be a bit corny but they work for us. ๐Ÿ™‚ They help us to appreciate each other and our life together.

A little bowl of stones from my mother.
Dan bought these to dress up the kid’s playhouse
I picked this one up at a garden centre.

Not every day is the best, but try to make the best of every day๐Ÿ’ž

Karma

I have often wondered about Karma –ย  “what goes around comes around?”.ย  It generally seems that Karma is more ย  a hit than a miss.ย ย  I do something Iย  think is super special and …. nothing.ย  Not a thank-you, not a thumbs up from the universe, Nada!ย  Then someone does something totally nasty to me and …. the universe beams down on them. All the while, Karma is nowhere to be found.ย ย 

Then there are the other times –ย  those times when I am just trucking along, totally oblivious to Karma.ย  I am not trying to bargain with her or pressure her or sneak anything past her, and there she is!

In the past few days, Karma has just been there!ย ย  It started off in such a simple manner that it hardly seemed ‘Karma‘ worthy.

Before we received our recent heavy dump of fresh snow, Kat and I had resumed our daily walk.ย ย  Dan hadย  been joining us.ย  After a few days, the walks started to bother him – a lot!ย ย  Dan is a big man.ย  He has been working in a steel plant, walking miles and miles, on cement floors, wearing heavy steel toed and steel plate metguard work boots for decades.ย  His feet have taken a beating.ย  Since he has been off of work for a few months now, the feeling seems to be coming back to them, making things even worse than usual.ย 

I knew Dan had foot issues.ย  I knew he had a number of thick callouses and problems with his nails.ย ย  It is one thing to know it and another to really know it. One day Dan was saying how much his feet always bother him and it just hit me how much discomfort he was in.ย ย  I started wondering if I could do anything to help.ย 

The next day we went shopping and I looked around for foot care products.ย ย  We came home with some Dr. Teal’s Epson salts.ย  At home, I found a rubber basin and some foot lotion.ย  That night, I brought everything out and asked Dan if we could try soaking his feet.ย ย ย  He was more than willing.ย ย  Now, this has become a thing we do.ย  Every night I fix a warm basin of water with Epsom salts, he soaks his feet, one at a time, and as they come out I dry them and massage them with foot cream.

Our evening ritual takes less than an hour from start to finish.ย ย  Dan’s feet started looking and feeling better by the third night in. It was amazing.

What was even more amazing, was the unexpected arrival of Karma. As Dan’s feet have been healing, I have found it pleasant and relaxing to work our way through our evening routine. It is like our own little spa date every night. As a bonus, my hands are smoother and softer than they have been for years, the achy stiffness has been melting away, and my dexterity is improving daily. Thank you, Karma!

Ready for our nightly spa date ๐Ÿ™‚

Keep safe and have a nice day. ๐Ÿ’ž

Finding Myself

Back in the day (my day), people went to great lengths searching to ‘find themselves’. 

I loved and admired my father.  If I ever envied him, it was because he never had to ‘find’ himself.  He knew who he was, and he was who he was, regardless of who he may have been dealing with at any particular time.   

My father was a very quiet, peaceful man. I spent a lot of time with him and I  remember him losing his temper with someone else ONCE!    My parents owned a service station/autobody shop.  My siblings and I pumped gas from the time we could reach the gas nozzle.   One day, my father was busy in the back of the shop when a customer pulled in.  He was a big man (at least 6′-6″ and 250 lbs).  He owned one of the most successful retail businesses in town and was no doubt on the town council and Chamber of Commerce.    I ran out to pump his gas.  I was tiny, probably about six years old.  This big man got out of his vehicle, stepped around it, and stood behind me.  I did not notice he had a lit cigarette in his hand.  My father stepped out of the shop.  He noticed!   He yelled at the man to get away from me and he went up one side of him and down the other for half a block.  My father was 4′-10″  and 130lbs.   If I had not been so shocked at his outburst, I would probably have found the entire incident hysterically funny.  The customer obviously did not, but I never saw him smoke another cigarette in his life. He did remain a loyal customer.

At the other end of the spectrum, my class was making graduation plans.  We had to choose a business person to make a toast to the graduating class.   I was surprised when one of my classmates nominated my father.  When I asked why, he said because my father treated everyone in town with the same respect and consideration – everyone including the teenagers in my class.  It did not matter to my father who you were, he knew who he was, and he acted accordingly. 

I was not like my father when it came to knowing and being myself.  I blame him.  ๐Ÿ˜‚    To the very end, on his deathbed and while I was pushing forty, my father would introduce me as ‘our baby’.  To be fair, six kids in,  he probably forgot my name by the time the ink dried on my birth certificate. 

During this past year of seclusion, or reclusion as the case may be, I have been ‘finding myself’.  I have found myself, learned to like and accept myself.  

The interesting part of this journey, is that while I have been finding myself, I have learned to accept others as they are.  They do not have to agree with me or validate my views, and I can accept them as they are and respect their views – even if I disagree with them. 

I don’t know if this is a new level of maturity or self confidence, but I am in a good place. A peaceful place. I am ready to quit searching and just be – me!

Yea, I got my first Covid vaccine shot today!

Have a nice day and stay safe! ๐Ÿ’ž

Shopping Around

Yesterday I went out shopping for the first time in ages. Dan had an errand to run so he dropped me off at Walmart to get started on my mission.

I don’t know if there are supply chain issues, strange hoardings happening, or if it was just coincidence, but I struggled to find some things that I went for. Walmart was out of Epsom salts, potting soil, dish towels, and yeast. Plus, a bag of flour spontaneously flew off a shelf and tried to take me down. Love shopping!

By the time I was ready to move on to the Dollar Store, Dan was back to join me. They had the peanuts for our squirrels and sunflower seeds for our birds. We managed to grab a few other things including some new flowers for Dan’s parents gravestone.

I love those artificial lilacs. They are so pretty!

I finished out my shopping trip with a quick stop at Home Depot. They had nothing I needed so it was back home.

I was never that into shopping, but these days I really try to avoid it. Between the people who cannot follow directional arrows and the ones who refuse to keep their distance at cash out, I get more than a little annoyed. Some people have no respect or consideration for the store personnel who are there to serve them. With these Covid variants affecting younger and younger people, it is hard not to see my daughter and granddaughter in every vulnerable clerk I see. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Today is Dan’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Dear! We started the day with a trip out to the graveyard to bring his parent’s their spring bouquet. It seemed a fitting day for such a visit. We came home and I made Dan breakfast and put our plants out to enjoy the sunshine. ๐ŸŒž A few minutes ago Dan called his sister who is also celebrating her birthday today – different year same day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our neighbourhood parks are not lush and green yet, but it is time for Dan and I to head out for our walk with Kat. Soon our walk will look like this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay safe & have a beautiful day๐Ÿ’ž

Happy Easter!

Easter has always been my favourite holiday.  I grew up in the Catholic faith and I loved the Easter services filled with joyful, spiritual music in a church decorated with beautiful spring flowers.   Outside of Easter Mass, the holiday marked the arrival of spring – warm sunny days, pretty summer dresses (with hats and purses and shoes to match),  gathering for a feast of ham and turkey with all of the trimmings, brightly painted eggs decorating a  basket of chocolate eggs and bunnies.  Easter was always a happy family holiday – far from the stress and commercialization of any other holiday.

This year, Dan and I are alone for Easter.ย  Churches of every denomination are closed here due to the pandemic. Likewise, family gatherings are prohibited. Easter dinner is an ongoing affair that started with baked ham on Friday, appetizers and turtle cheesecake last night and turkey supper tonight.ย  (Our house smells so good!)

My pan was a bit big for the recipe but it tastes like chocolate turtles and cheesecake.

It is a little windy and cool today but when the sun comes out it is nice enough. I put my little plants out for some fresh air – in baskets that would protect them from the worst of the wind.

Other than that, we have been having a quiet day. We enjoyed seeing pictures and videos of Dan and Amanda’s boys gathering Easter eggs. Son Mark sent a pic of Dom dressed as the Easter dinosaur. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I guess as long as he was an egg laying dinosaur. ๐Ÿค”. Genie sent a photo of herself and her siblings. They are all growing up so fast!

Happy Easter and all the best to you and yours on this beautiful spring Sunday. ๐Ÿ’

Easter Weekend

We kicked off Easter weekend yesterday with some gorgeous sunny weather. A beautiful day all around!

Tackled some spring cleaning by taking on our fridge. Did some sorting, did some tossing, made some wierd discoveries. For two people, we have a rediculous amount of cheese!
Our little plants were happy for some quality time out on the patio.
Easter dinner Round One.
Kat sleeping off our big walk.

Keep safe and I hope you enjoy this beautiful weekend. ๐Ÿ’ž

Newsworthy News ๐Ÿ’

I typically begin my day with a cup of coffee and a few minutes online with our local newspaper. This is not generally the best way to begin my day, but I persist. Yesterday my persistence paid off!

Yesterday, tucked in amongst the tedious, depressing news of the day, there was a brilliant article on an amazing woman.

Fran Forsberg has spent decades providing a kind and loving home for over 160 foster children. Her dedication to these children did not stop with a healthy diet, clean clothing, and a warm bed. Fran Forster cared about the children she took in and cared about doing all she could to ensure that they fulfilled their potential and had the tools they needed to succeed in life.

In the nineties, Fran found herself mother to two children who were gender diverse. Wanting to be as informed and as supportive as possible, she attended a symposium on gender diversity. She was one mother in a room full of endocrinologists and psychologists. She returned home with a mission to do what needed to be done to ensure respect, pride, equality and success for children who were struggling in a society that did not typically understand nor accept them.

At sixty six, Fran Forsberg is still dedicated to the youth she continues to actively work with and for. Although she is no longer a foster parent, she has taken in three infants to care for during the pandemic.

Fran Forsberg is a heroine to many and having read this article about her, I am definitely one of them. It is not about her gender, her age, or even her personal mission. Fran Forsberg is an inspiration. She is a beautiful, positive, powerful person who despite a pandemic, financial struggles, political woes, and all of the turmoil that rocks our lives these days, she is still a beautiful, positive, powerful person – living her best life to do her part to make life better for others. ๐Ÿ’ž

Fran Forsberg (Saskatoon)