DAY 30 – This Is IT!

It is Day 30 of my thirty day June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge. I have been officially retired for a solid year and I have proven to myself that I can still pull together the focus, the capability, and the inspiration to succeed – on time and on budget! 🀣🀣

I have thought about this final post for pretty much the past month. I was pretty confident the entire post would ‘Accentuate’ my sense of accomplishment. However, “the best laid plans of mice and men” has declared that today I must share the spotlight. Last night I received a text from our granddaughter.

After seventeen years of filling our lives with hugs and kisses, giggles and ladybug liberties, our Genie has graduated – along with her partner in cuteness, Alec. Congratulations you two!

Genevieve (Genie) over the years
Genie & Alec’s pandemic graduation. (Notice how color coordinated they are?)

Genie was also officially diagnosed with h-eds this week. That may not sound like a positive but it so is. You cannot deal with, access the treatment and therapy you require, or get your physician to consider that you have, an all-encompassing condition, until you have a legit diagnosis on your medical records. I know this because Genie’s siblings are affected, her mother (my daughter Jenn) is affected, I have been affected, and my Mother was affected. Lack of a proper diagnosis has caused enough unnecessary pain and issues for our family. So yea, this is a positive!

Back to me… I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge that I set for myself. It has helped me to appreciate the positive in my life. For those who have been following, or dropping in from time to time, I hope that your moments with me have been enjoyable and a little bit uplifting. I genuinely appreciated your comments, compliments and thumbs up (likes).

The reason I chose the “Accentuate the Positive” challenge for June was because there has been so much struggling and suffering around for so long. Covid, difficult economic times, political issues, crime and violence, anger and frustration, mental health issues, racial issues and the like, are all wearing people down. I felt that posting a little warm and fuzzy every day was just a nice and timely thing to do.

I know that my June blogs have not fixed all that ails our world. I did not expect them to. But, I am no quitter! 🀣 Tomorrow I am starting a new series of blogs. It will not be a challenge (because I know I’ve got this). It will simply be my mission for July. I hope you will drop by from time to time to check it out.

That is it! June challenge complete!

Have a great day! πŸ’ž

Day 29 – Canada

Today is the 29th Day of my June ‘Accent the Positive’ challenge and today I am celebrating my country ‘Canada‘.

Although Canada is not immune to the issues currently affecting most other countries in the world, there is much to celebrate if one is Canadian.

In my mind, we are the perfect blend of nature’s glory and modern convenience.

A lot of urban greenspace
We have publicly funded state of the art health centres. (University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton)
Manicured gardens backed by natural forest. (Canada ranks third in the world for total forest cover!)
We have our own ‘Canada’ Goose.
Modern shopping centres offering variety and abundance at affordable prices
Four distinct seasons – winter is not Kat’s favourite!
We have more surface area covered with lakes than any other country. #1
We also have the longest coastline of any country in the world. #1
Virtually every type and size of sports arena that any athlete or fan could hope for!

Canada truly has virtually anything one could hope for – from vibrant city life to laid back country living. We have coast to coast highways and your choice of international airports. We have a vibrant economy and extensive social programs. We have strong support for arts and sciences.

I feel very fortunate to be Canadian. I may hope to travel to other countries one day, but I will always want to come home to Canada! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

That is it for today! Twenty nine days down and only one more to go!

Have a great day and I hope to see you tomorrow! πŸ’ž

Day 28 – Sunday

It is already Day 28 of my ‘Accentuate the Positive’ blog challenge.  My positive for today is all about the Sunday!  Every day is special but for myself and I am sure for many others, Sunday is extra special.  

Sunday is typically a day of rest and relaxation, gratitude, and healing.  My yesterday Sunday was fairly typical.

Since Dan worked nights this weekend, he brought me a treat for breakfast with my coffee.
It was beautifully warm out so I relaxed in my outdoor rocking chair to do my morning meditating.Β  I was a bit distracted by all of the little birds who were around me chirping and peeping but they kind of added to the ambiance.
I visited with my plants and garden critters.
I had time to do some work on my crocheted blanket. It seems to be a horizontal overachiever. I may have to dismantle it and reassemble it as something more manageable – like a crocheted tent.
I watered the vegetables and I broke my plastic watering can. I do have a super nice bronze metal one that I will switch to. πŸ˜‰
The sand between the planters and around the pond was great when we had grandbabies playing in the yard.Β  Now it is an ongoing sifting project – but the perfect relaxing past time on a warm summer evening.
Nothing like a good book on a warm Sunday afternoon. This one is about fishing, family, and life. It is available on Amazon for the Kindle Reader and the author can (Allen E. Rizzi) can be found on WordPress.
Sunday’s are perfect for contemplating life in general – like why Dan’s weeping pussy willow tree (Tree of Enchantment) seems to be shrinking instead of growing.Β  There is a ton of new growth on it – the branches pretty much fill and spread out of a 6′ x 6′ planter and the trunk is getting super thick – but it is vertically challenged!Β 

That was my Sunday yesterday – and that is it for Day 28! Only two more days to go. I think I’ve got this one. I have not really found this too challenging, but enough so that I have thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

Have a great day and I hope to see you tomorrow! Have fun and take care – especially if you are in the path of this heatwave that is moving our way. πŸ’ž

Day 27 – In His Own Mind

Day 27 of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ Challenge. I couldn’t get through this month without devoting one day to Dan. He is my husband, my best friend, and a definite positive in my life!

I hope you enjoy these photos from Dan’s phone. I think nothing says so much about a person as the pictures they carry with them.

Bonzai trees at Devonshire University of Alberta gardens outside of Edmonton.
That day Genie got her ladybug tattoo to match Grandpa’s – the one he got for his ‘ladybug‘ Genie.
Shooting wildlife the nice wayπŸ’ž
Dan’s late Aunt Helen and his Aunt Ethel. Amazing, strong women. Aunt Helen raised three deaf sons and two daughters. She was predeceased by her husband, two sons, one daughter, and a son-in-law. She lived on smart, capable, and independent until she was ninety-five. Aunt Ethel is one of those women I aspire to be. She is always peaceful, happy and so very kind. Two very special ladies!
Garden produce last summer. That Silent Sam was pure hot. The carrots were just very affectionate.
Garage spider ‘Fred’ (he lived there forever)
Five hundred year old Mystic Oak at Souris, MB.
The old and the new Souris Swinging Bridge. One of those times when new is definitely much better.
Hopefully he was going through a car wash but since he always hand washes our vehicles I am thinking he was driving to work through this. 😳πŸ₯ΊπŸ™„

I hope you enjoyed Dan’s photos. It was pretty difficult to narrow his gallery down to these few but I think these ones do say a lot about him.

Twenty seven days down and only three more days to go! I (kind of) can’t believe I have made it this far.

Wishing all a delightful Sunday and I hope to see you tomorrow. πŸ’ž

Day 26 – Electronic Innovation

This is Day 26 of my ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge.   Today I am going to put the accent on the electronic tools and toys in our lives.

Back in the days when my boss traded in our adding machine for a calculator, when another boss added a fax machine to our office equipment, and even when my (then) two year old grandson swiped my new iPod Touch to watch You Tube cartoons under his blanket, I knew I was on a steep learning curve.  I had no idea how steep the curve could get – or how much our lives would be altered by electronic innovations.

Electronic tools that keep us feeling well – and confident that we are indeed so!
And some to take care of us from fingers to toes.
There is nothing manual on our Jeep.  We didn’t even know we had a key for it until Jen showed me there was one hidden in the keyfob. 
Electronics to keep us in touch and informed.
This is one of the older examples of electronic equipment in our kitchen but it has a special place in my heart.  Everytime I use it, I am reminded of the morning that I taught my Dad how to make easy peasy real oatmeal.  
What’s a home without television, satellite, and an electronic fire (which gets surprisingly warm).
Nothing escapes electronic innovation, not even our garden.  From tools to turtle riding gnomes, they are there for us to use and enjoy.

Today, electronics in business have advanced even further than those in our homes. What started off with a calculator for me, morphed into computers, scanners, accounting packages, electronic planrooms, and the rest – not to mention all of the electronic tools that have made there way into the production department.

Our lives in business and at home have been irrevocably changed by electronic innovations. Sometime the challenges they present can be a little daunting or frustrating, but all in all, the good outweighs the bad. When it comes to electronics, we have a lot to appreciate and enjoy. πŸ˜‰

That is it for today! Twenty-six days down and only four more to go!

I hope you enjoy your electronically enhanced day today! See you tomorrow.

Day 25 – Photographic Genes

It is the 25th day of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge.  My positive for today is photography because “A picture is worth a thousand words” and I have always run a little short on words.  🀭

I have said that I did not get anything genetic wise from my Mother.Β  IΒ  did not get her looks, her temperament, her domestic talents, her singing ability, or her construction skills.Β  (I once taped my cell phone to a crate at work trying to operate a tape gun. 🀦).Β  Recently however,Β  I have discovered an appreciation for my Mother’sΒ  love of photography.Β Β  In her later years, she even started taking pictures of her pictures. (When I take a picture of a picture for my blog, I can hear her saying “Who’s laughing now?”). Actually, most of the pictures that I take picture of were her pictures.

I will never be organized enough to have the dedicated photo albums that my Mother had, but I do have a few new photos to share today.   I hope a bit of my Mother’s photographic skill come through.

I don’t know if Dan and I have a running disagreement on where Tinkerbell should be this year, or if she is flitting around on her own, but I am pretty sure she keeps moving.
Kat before and after her grooming. πŸ’ž
Yea, I put on makeup and jewelry to take Kat to the groomers.  Not too wierd. 🀣🀣🀣
Where did that pansy come from?
Little visitor πŸ’ž
Grandpa’s Bleeding Heart going through yet another round of blooming.  πŸ’
I’ll stick with real grass πŸ€”

Twenty-five days down and only five to go!

Wishing all a good day and a nice weekend! I hope to see you tomorrow. πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

Day 24 – Musical Interlude

It is Day 24 of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge.  I am a bit short of time today so I am going to make this quick by sharing a few of my favourite ‘positive’ tunes.  Hope you find one you enjoy!

The only sports tune I love – The only time I got near a baseball field, I walked into a swinging bat and got all my baby teeth knocked out. No real harm done but the tooth fairy was a little miffed.
Dan & Anne – July 1999 – Our Wedding Song
I just love this tune πŸ’›
Have to include at least one Alan Jackson tune. 🀣
My absolutely favourite hymn – I was devastated when my Dad died but when my cousin sang this song at his funeral, it made all the difference πŸ’–

Hope you found something that helped perk up your day! I have to get Kat ready to go to the groomers so that is it for Day 24. Only six more days to go!

Have a great day and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Day 23 – Memories

It is Day 23 of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge and I have decided to pay tribute to memories. This one is a bit of a trip down the rabbit hole for me, so hopefully it will be a positive experience for anyone who chooses to join me today.Β  πŸ™ƒ

I have never been one to dwell on the past.  At first,  it was not a conscious decision.  I was focussed on dealing with the present and looking forward to the future. πŸŒž   After a brutally painful period in my life, I did make a very conscious decision to shut the door on my memory banks and slap a big old lock on them.   If a moment from the past happened to sneak through, it was nothing more than a snapshot in someone else’s photo  album.  I would not relate to it personally.

I was perfectly happy to live in this delusional little headspace, where my past did not exist.Β Β  I had no desire to relive my past throughΒ  painful memories, and bizarrely,Β  the bestΒ  memories from my past were the ones that were most painful for me to face.

Ultimately, this decision to block my past became problematic.   I had a tendency to react to triggers that  seemingly came out of nowhere – like the time a business consultant snapped his fingers in my face.   He was lucky that he got out of my office while he still had fingers!   There were other times, many times,  when I just drew a blank when someone mentioned the past, even the recent past –  like the day Dan and I ran into his boss.  They started talking about the time they had been at one of our local hospitals.   I could not remember when or why Dan would have been at the hospital.  It was only when Dan’s boss turned to me and asked how I was doing now, that I realized that Dan had been at the hospital to be with me.   I had been in the hospital with pneumonia/empyema for a solid month  a couple of years earlier and  I had totally forgotten! 

In the security of my relationship with Dan, and the relative well-being of my life in general, I decided it was time to crack the locks on my memory banks and have a peek around.   At first, there was a whole lot of ugly memories that burst out.  I wasn’t surprised, and I wasn’t that bothered by this.   I was expecting them.    I did not find a lot of warm and fuzzy memories.   I was not expecting to and quite frankly, I was terrified of finding any. 

Lately, I have been sorting through our basement and closets.   I found a couple of boxes of older photos.  I started to go through them and discovered that I have finally reached a point in my life where I am ready to look for the positive anywhere and everywhere – even in my past.

So, without further ado, or rambling on as the case may be, I invite you to browse through a few positively good memories with me. πŸ’ž

Lunching out with Jen.
For years, we went shopping on Saturday morning. And we went for lunch. And we went walking at Wascana Park or took the kids tobogganing or swimming or to any number of places. We took trips to Gravelbourg and Saskatoon and one memorable trip to Winnipeg.  $$$πŸ˜‚
First there was one – Genie, back in the day when grandbabies were all sweet littleΒ  innocents – happy to chase ladybugs and steal Pipsi. πŸ€—
Back in the day with Casey and Susie.  Casey was a beautiful American Eskimo/Pomeranian.  She was with us for sixteen years before she passed away.   Suzie was a tiny  blind kitten that Jennifer gave Dan.  She lost her owner and all of her siblings in a house fire.  The owners family took her mother but could not provide a home for Suzie. We had her for about thirteen years before we lost her to cancer.
My first Christmas with Dan and his dad, Nick.
Danny, getting ready to head out on his own with his very first vehicle – bought and paid for by his truly. πŸ‘
The first home where my ex and I lived in Regina.Β  It couldn’t have been uglier!
Until we added our ugly sofa and mirror and fugly lamps!  (I spared you the wall of mirror tiles and the one covered with metallic butterfly wallpaper – and the glass and brass orange lamps!)
Family visit at our home up north.  Without a doubt the best years with my ex. 
Back in the day with my ex. (Mark Sr.) and our three little ones (Danny, Jennifer and Mark B.)
And way back, with my sister Lorraine and our niece Brigette. πŸ’ž

Twenty-three days down and seven to go.

Now that I am caught up with my life, I had better get busy with my here and now. That lawn isn’t going to water itself.

Have fun today and I hope to see you tomorrow! πŸ’

Day 22 – Words of Wisdom

It is the twenty-second day of my June ‘Accent the Positive’ challenge.Β  Today I decided to share some of my favourite quotes by the masters – they are positively brilliant, beautiful, and inspiring words of wisdom.Β 

Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. 
–  Rumi
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. 
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
Those who bring sunshine to others, cannot keep it from themselves.
– James M. Barrie
Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly.
– St. Francis De Sales
Celebrate what you want to see more of.
– Tom Peters
If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.
– St. Therese of Lisieux
You will rise by lifting others.
– Robert Green Ingersoll
What’s going on the inside shows on the outside.
– Earl Nightengale
May all your weeds be wildflowers. πŸ’ž

That is all for today! Twenty two days down, only eight more days to go.

Have a beautiful day! I hope to see you tomorrow! πŸ₯€

Day 21 – Retirement!

Since I have retired, the positives in my life are ubiquitous! Today for the twenty-first day of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge, I have chosen to express my appreciation for this wonderful time of my life – RETIREMENT πŸ₯³

Time to bloom. πŸ’

I appreciate that my retirement provides the time for doing what I please, when I please! I particularly appreciate this in the morning. I love having the time to enjoy my coffee, while reading my online newspaper and playing my morning internet game. πŸ’

My happy morning place.

I appreciate having time to take care of myself and run errands that I need to deal with. I never have to stress about making doctor or dentist or optometrist or hairdresser appointments – I am free – anytime! I can even take Kat to the vet or groomers any day of the week!

Going to the groomers on Thursday πŸ™‚

I appreciate that in retirement the weather is always perfect! If it is warm and sunny, I can spend the day outside enjoying the beautiful day. If it is rainy, snowy, cold, or windy, I can stay inside and look out the window and appreciate what I have the option of avoiding!

Rain, shine, or in-between, every day is lovely!

I appreciate that I SAVE so much money that it is not terribly painful to take a significant drop in income since I retired . I save on taxes, on clothes, on vehicle expenses, on take-out food, and on spending money – just because it was my payday reward for working. 🀦

Money I haven’t spent! πŸ˜‚

When the weather is lovely, I appreciate that I can spend my time outside – during the best parts of the day. I check up on my flowers and vegetables, do a bit of clean-up, water and take care of my plants. I have even been working on our front lawn this year. Still a ways to go, but at least it is green!

Mostly green πŸ‘

I appreciate that shopping is so much easier! My husband has always, and still does, the bulk of our shopping. However, there are times when I go with him, or without him, for whatever reason. Shopping is so much easier mid-week, when most people are at work!

Wednesday afternoon shopping – far from the Saturday crowds 🀭

The biggest positive of retirement is the time I get to spend with my husband. Although he still works 24/7 shifts, at least when he has time off, I have time off! Time we can actually spend together! πŸ‘«

Spending time together, enjoying Dan’s yard projects. πŸ’ž

Whether you are working towards it, or already living yours, I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I enjoy mine. πŸ€—

Twenty-one days down and only nine more to go! Thank you for dropping in today and I hope to see you tomorrow.