Pool Day

Dan is on days off so he has made it his mission today to set up our above ground pool.

Since we became grandparents sixteen years ago, our yard has evolved to accomodate ‘the kids’. The major summer staple has become the Grandpa pool.

We started off with a wading pool for Genie and Rory. Even with a little spot for the kiddies to splash, we had plenty of room on our large patio for the barbecue and patio set.
The first Grandpa ‘monster pool’. It was only an 8′ inflatable but to our still tiny tots, it was massive.
When we switched things up to a ten foot pool, we had to move it to the other side of the yard.
A couple of years ago, Grandpa decided to replace the ten foot pool with a fourteen foot one. Since there wasn’t enough room in the side yard to accomodate it, it moved back to the patio.
…. Which meant moving our dining area to the side yard.
But when you get a beautiful day in May and Grandpa hasn’t set up your pool yet, you just make do with Kat’s pool. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Wishing all a lovely summer day today!

Canadian Politics

Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings

I do not discuss politics often.  In this day and age, it seems as if it is not so much a discussion as a drag down/knock out fight.  However, today I will make an exception.

In Canada, there are three main parties – the Conservatives on the right, the NDP (New Democrat Party) on the Left and the Liberals in the middle.  Although Canada is far from being as politically intense as our southern neighbours, there are Canadians who are to the extreme right of the Conservatives and the extreme left of the NDP. These two demographics seem to be growing – or at least growing increasingly vocal.

I am not a card carrying member of any party but, since I prefer compromise to battle, I tend to favour the Liberals – who happen to be currently in power.

I voted Liberal in the past two elections because I am comfortable supporting them and their leader. I like Justin Trudeau for three reasons. (1) He consistently displays affection, kindness, respect and appreciation for his parents. (2) He consistently displays affection, kindness, respect and appreciation for his wife. (3) He consistently displays affection, kindness respect and appreciation for his children.

I do not have a major issue with the left or far left. I just do not believe that all of their ideals, although important and well meaning, are practical as a be all and end solution for maintaining a strong country. In Canada, the left – even the extreme far left, tend to fight for their beliefs with protests and the like – mainly peaceful demonstrations. They take issue with the Liberal government and Justin Trudeau for not doing enough to support their causes and I can respect that.

I have a harder time finding respect for the right, specifically the far right. They tend to flat out oppose anything the Liberal Government does. They flat out oppose anything Justin Trudeau does. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals can be doing exactly what the majority of countries and their leaders are doing and it is all wrong – and all Trudeau’s fault. (He caused the pandemic, caused the many repercussions of the pandemic, caused the fall in oil prices, caused the increasing frequency and devastation of natural disasters around the globe, caused the ramping up of racial tensions, etc. … ๐Ÿ™„). Those on the far right seldom show any respect in their opposition and quite frequently spread questionable ‘facts’, use righteous indignation, or use questionable humor in their quest to destroy the credibility of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. This is politics as it is today and politicians know what they are getting into when they run for public office. I generally roll my eyes ๐Ÿ‘€ at such nonsense and move on.

Then there are those, from the far right, who attack and taunt anyone who supports Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. These people are not just small pockets of strangers. Some of these people are relatives and friends. To these people I am a libtard and a snowflake, unworthy of using my vote as I see fit, and too lazy to take care of myself and my family (hence my support for social programs, justice and the like). These are people who know that I am worthy of respect. These are people who know that I not only have the right to my vote, but who deserves that right. These are people who know that I have worked all of my adult life to provide for myself and my family, who has helped others in need and who has paid my share of taxes regardless of who was in government. None of this matters, to those on the far right (specifically people on the far right who know me) because I chose to vote for the Liberals and Justin Trudeau. ๐Ÿ™„

I do not fight often but I will fight for my right to vote as I see fit. AND I will fight for every other Canadian’s right to vote for whoever they see fit. (Even those who know me but choose to mock, attack and insult me for how I vote.) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Sense of Accomplishment

Some days you can feel a major sense of accomplishment by investing a seemingly small amount of time and effort. Other days, like today, that sense of accomplishment is just not there.

Lately we have made a few adjustments in our life. One of the adjustments we have made was to give up Kat’s groomer (since they were closed for Covid-19 reasons) and invest in a set of pet clippers.

Grooming tools

Dan has been grooming Kat but since he is on his fifth shift in a row tonight and Kat was looking pretty straggly, I decided to step up to the challenge.

Straggly Kat

I got out everything I would need, including all of our grooming equipment, a fold up metal table, a vinyl tablecloth and of course – Kat.

For two hours, I wrestled with Kat while she did her best to avoid clippers, combs and the like. She fell off the table three times – fortunately onto my lap each time.

By the time I ‘finished’, there was a goodly amount of fur to show for my efforts.

Kat hair
Groomed Kat – sort of ๐Ÿ™„

At least I got her ears trimmed! Maybe we will both feel like continuing the battle after a walk. ๐ŸŒž

Monday!

Monday is here and the sun has finally returned. Other years, I would be at work glancing out the front windows of the office, to see the sun across the street. The office faced straight north so the sun was never on our side of the street. Now I am retired and the sun is mine to enjoy every day that it shines.

Yay Sunshine!

I was just out watering the plants. Being out in our yard is so relaxing. I love nature. I love all forms of life – except for a few people. For the most part, I ignore people I do not care for but I do struggle with those who are arrogant or cruel.

I prefer to focus on the people and other life forms that I love.

I am not sure if rocks are considered a form of life but I love them. We have several rocks around our yard and Dan is supposed to be getting a BIG one from one of his friends shortly.
We have our first tomato! It is a beefsteak, so hopefully it grows a bit before it ripens or it will be Kat’s first tomato of the year.
A couple of these blossom have finally opened all the way. They have the strangest texture. They feel like tissue paper.
I bought this Hosta for Dan years ago. We have probably moved it four times but it has finally found its happy place. It is huge and getting bigger every year.
Dan is refinishing a couple of our frogs. He still has to paint the horns gold. I don’t know when I became a hoarder but I hate sending anything to the landfill – even rusty old frogs. ๐Ÿ™„

Have a good week, all! Hopefully I will have pictures of peppers and cucumbers to share soon.

Father’s Day 2020 – Part 2

Happy Father’s Day to all those Dads out there. I hope your day is special.

A lot of men, like my husband Dan, are ready to marry in their mid-thirties.
Dan was even ready for a family (fortunately for me – because I had one).
A couple of years later Dan was ready for his dog Casey, followed a few more years later by our first grandchild, Genevieve. Genie and Grandpa shared a special bond from the day he was in the delivery room to welcome her into the world. Over the first few years, Genie spent so much time on Grandpa’s shoulder that a few years ago he got his one and only tattoo – a ladybug on his left shoulder. He got it for Genie to remind her that in good times and bad, happy or sad, his shoulder would always be there for her.

Genie has been followed by eight more grandchildren – all of whom Dan welcomed with open arms and a loving heart.

Rory (with Genie & Kat)
Gabby
Brook
Maddy & Prim
Cousins Dominic and Lucas
Last but not least – Cason

Having a family is great, except for the times when it is hard, and we have had our share of both with our family. Dan is there, in good times and bad. I cannot imagine doing this without him. He makes the good times better and he makes the bad times tolerable. I love you Dear. Happy Father’s Day!

I can’t let Father’s Day go by without honourable mention to a few more fathers today.

Mark with Erin and Dominic
Son Dan with Lucas
Son-in-law Charlie with Maddy
And my Dad (with Danny, Mark, Jennifer & Mom)

Summer in Saskatchewan

Sherwood Golf Course – 2019

Today is the first day of summer 2020! With our less than hospitable winters, I live for spring and summer. The shining sun, the singing birds, the warm summer breeze… Life is good! Actually as much as life is always good, we have barely seen the sun for days, the birds are too cold to sing and that breeze is 50 to 70 km gusts of northern gale force winds. What’s a Canadian girl to do?

Turning up the fireplace helps – obviously not real but it does have a good electric heater.
Enjoy a hot cup of tea – I love my tea diffuser from Dan & Amanda. And my cup from Kori ๐Ÿ’–
Have a hearty breakfast. Yes we have real dishes – no I do not use them๐Ÿคฆ
Do some baking. These were pretty good but I am leaning toward’s chocolate chip today.
If all else fails, put on your fur coat, wrap yourself in a pillow and call it a day.

Enjoy the first day of summer 2020 everybody! ๐Ÿ’

Friday Flowers

It has been cold and rainy all week but we are turning a corner today. It is still overcast but at least I have a few more flowers to share. Next week, with sunshine and warm weather, our yard should be blooming beautiful. With luck it will be nice enough on Dan’s next days off to get the monster pool up for the summer.

The petunias are starting to come around.
The zucchinis are blooming – in the cucumber planter ๐Ÿคฆ
My coral geranium is recovering nicely since I moved it to a better location in the yard.
Both of my Mother’s Day hanging planters continue to thrive. It must be the love that brought them๐Ÿค—
The flowers in my front yard planter are starting to bloom
Probably my oldest perennial. I moved it this year to make room for Dan’s new Bleeding Heart. I am so glad it survived!

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! ๐Ÿ’

My Priority is Peace

I have lived a stressful life.   There have been countless ‘situations’ in my life.  Through good, bad or ugly, especially the ugly, my response has been to stress out. 

I am turning sixty five years old next month.  I cannot handle the stress any longer – not physically, not mentally, and not emotionally.   I am done.  

As so often happens when one decides to give up an unhealthy lifestyle, the universe seems hell bent on dragging me back to the darkside. Currently there a number of potentially stressful events affecting my life and the world in general.

1. Family issues. My daughter got upset with me last August.ย  Typically, I have been labelled toxic and she has cut me out of her life.ย  Except she doesn’t cut anyone out of her life. She keeps the anger and the hurt and the hate going.ย  She cuts her entire family out of the life of anyone she has turned against, hurting them as well as herself and those she has shunned. Presently she has cut out her father and his wife, her ex-husband, her ex-husband’s family, her stepdaughter, her brother and his wife and their five year old son, most of her inlaws, Dan and I, friends too numerous to mention, and a few distant relatives.ย ย  As far as her problem with me, the truth is she cannot cut me out of her life – she is a part of me.ย  She cannot stop me from loving her and her family, she cannot erase theย  memories that I have of her and her family – all of the good times we have shared and the difficult times we have survived, she cannot erase all that Dan and I have done for her and her family nor the things that her and her family have done for us.ย  We are a part of her life and she and her family will always be a part of ours.

2.  Finances. I am recently retired.  The plan is for Dan to work for another four years and retire with his full pension.   Lately the plan isn’t looking good.  Dan works making pipe for the oil industry – at a time when the oil industry is struggling and a time when big companies are working to destroy the unions that protect their employees.   Our finances could potentially be adversely affected.   Dealing with financial problems at this point in our life could be serious.  As tempting as it is to start stressing out over this situation, I realize that will not protect us nor in any way improve the quality of our lives.

3. Global Pandemic.   Everything is at stake.  The global economy, personal finances, health, lives around the globe,  lives of loved ones, the viability of the food chain – the potential fallout is endless and astronomical.   There are countless reasons to stress over this situation but far more reasons to keep a level head and potentially become a part of the recovery.

4.ย  The murder of Floyd George and subsequent civil uprising. I can’t even.ย  At first this was shocking. At first the peaceful protests and the support by so many were powerful and moving.ย  At first there was a glimmer of hope that we could overcome the invasive bigotry that courses through humanity.ย ย  Now this movement is slowly being crushed by those who believe violence is the answer and more insideously by those who prefer the status quo – those who feel threatened when others desire the rights and privileges that they have always enjoyed. That is all sad, painful, and potentially stressful and I have no answers.

5. Social Media. I have been on Facebook for years. I joined to share pictures with family, keep up with friends, read the jokes, and play the games. Now it is a source of animosity, ‘alternate facts’, disrespect, insults, and those trying desperately to justify hate and ignorance. Instagram is almost as bad but that is due to its ‘Look at me I am Better’ format. People want to be ‘influencers’ in a race to want more. It is a race all will ultimately lose. There are still good, human, beautiful posts on both Facebook and Instagram, but one has to expose oneself to so much negativity to find them.

I could stress out for countless reasons – but stress is not an option. I have done enough stressing. There is enough stress in our world – it is a violent and destructive force that helps and heals no one. Going forward, peace is my priority. Peace is the healing, constructive power that I need. Peace is what our world needs.

Peace is Possible ๐Ÿ’—

For the Love of Trees

There are at least a dozen moments a day when I realize I am so absolutely happy to be retired. My favorite moment is when I walk out the door – any day, any time to enjoy my walk around our neighbourhood with Kat.

My favourite thing about our neighbourhood is the proliferation of trees. Trees do so much to dress up a neighbourhood and make it appear strong and healthy. I never get tired of the trees.

Trees forming an arch over our street๐Ÿค—
Trees shading the basketball courts and the pool.
A little path between one of the ball diamonds and a row of trees. I can actually walk through there without knocking myself out on a tree branch.
Dan prefers this path – it is a bit roomier.
The city cut down dozens of trees in our little golf course last summer. I have no idea why these two were saved but they do stand out.
One little blackbird sitting in a tree.
A random group of trees we pass.

I have no idea how many trees we have in Regina – definitely thousands (several thousands). When settlers first came here there were zero trees – just flat land with a creek (Wascana Creek) sitting beside a pile of bones. (Which is why Regina was originally named ‘Pile of Bones’). I am not sure why the settlers thought this would be a good place to settle, much less be the capital city of Saskatchewan, but I am grateful that they were industrious enough to start planting the trees we enjoy today.