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’

Taking Care of Kat

Like most people, we are responsible pet owners, so today we made that painful trip to our veterinarian.

To be clear, Kat is fine – for the most part.ย  She had her annual check-up, received her rabies shot, got a deworming pill, renewed her city dog license and got a bottle of Aventi Omegaย  3 oil (which is amazing stuff for keeping her nose and paws soft and healthy).ย ย ย 

Then the painful part of the visit kicked in with a $220.00 bill.ย 

I do not really believe the bill was unreasonable, all things considered.ย  Most everything Kat received is good for at least a year – the Aventi only five months – but well worth the price. And of course, as clients, we have to pay our share of office and administration costs.

The painful part kicked in with an estimate we received for getting Kat’s teeth cleaned (under anesthesia) – which was recommended. All the bells and whistles included, we are looking at twelve to fourteen hundred dollars.

Yikes! Sadly this is far from the first surgery we have sprung for over the years and chances are it will not be the last. But YIKES!

Pets are such an important part of life (at least in North America). They bring love, companionship, security and joy to our lives. It is unconscionable that anyone would have a pet and not provide proper healthcare but how do most people afford it?

Kat & Friends Bacardi and Cornelius
Kat and our very special Casey (who was the most caring and empathetic dog ๐Ÿ’—).

It’s Go Time

The snow and ice has kept me housebound for a few months now and Dan has been laid off for a month. It is time for us to get active before we turn into Mr. & Mrs. Doughboy.

We have decided to start working out together. Having a workout partner will help to make it fun and hopefully keep us motivated. The plan is for us to take turns leading off on a few exercises for each session. This should afford us plenty of variety and split the struggle of coming up with workout routines.

The challenging part is that we are coming from two totally different places and working out for two totally different reasons. Dan has a long history of playing intense sports (hockey, baseball, racquetball) and working an extremely physical job in the steel industry. I on the other hand, have never even watched sports, much less participated! I have worked in administration and sales, most of the time being desk bound. While we both want to lose some weight, my health issues are respiratory, while Dan’s are circulatory. It is going to be fun, coming up with workout plans that work for both of us!

Day two, down and done!

Falling over tree pose – that’s a thing right?

Stay safe, keep active ๐Ÿ‹๏ธ

Happy New Year 2021!

It is finally here!! – a brand new year with bright new hopes and dreams. ๐Ÿฅ‚๐ŸŽ‰

Back in the day, I would be spending this day making my list of New Year’s resolutions. Most of them would be long forgotten by mid-March. A few years ago, I changed gears and chose a new ‘focus’ for each new year. Last year my focus was on peace and I have to admit that will be a hard one to beat. Going forward, I will definitely keep ‘peace’ a priority but for this year of 2021, I have decided to make ‘BEAUTY’ my focus.

During the summer of 2020, I spent a LOT of time outside – enjoying nature as I hadn’t for decades. On the days when the sun was shining, the grass was green, the flowers were blooming, the sky was blue and the birds were singing, the beauty of our world was easy to immerse oneself in. What really surprised me was that, on the gloomy and dreary days, it was even more heartlifting to find a tiny beautiful treasure to appreciate – be it a wildflower, a leaf, a perfect raindrop, or a baby’s smile. That is what convinced me that a year focussed on beauty, would make for a memorable year.

Today, I am fortunate to be able to share a family moment to kick off my year of beauty – and beautiful it was.

Yesterday afternoon, son Dan married Amanda, the love of his life – the woman of his dreams. More than a basic joining two hearts, it was the official joining of two families – a yours, mine, and ours celebration๐Ÿ’ž Even in the midst of a pandemic, with a very limited ‘live’ attendance this group made it an amazing event, while family and friends joined them via technology.

Live from the basement of the happy bride and groom. Gabby with Cason, Cori-Lynn (friend), Amanda, officiate, Dan, Lucas and Gregg (friend). Dan made the floral arch, while Amanda had a big hand in the rest of the decor.
The wedding cake – Dan made his amazing sour cream German chocolate cake (2 sections – 4 layers each) and mounted it on the wood base. Amanda decorated it with her typical talent and understated, humerous, flair!

This group does nothing half-way. They feed off of each other’s abundant, positive energy to make everyday a celebration. I was concerned about how well they would make out in a slowed down pandemic year like 2020, but they made the most of it – as always!

To the happy couple, the beautiful family and to all – Happy New Year!

December 17th

My Father with my son Danny๐Ÿ’ž

Today marks the 27th anniversary of my Father’s passing. This week is always intense for me. My Father was a good man and he lived a good life – but his passing was the result of five years of pain and grief, as sinus cancer ravaged his body and our lives. His passing was a devastating and heart wrenching relief and blessing – set against a full blown stage of Christmas flowers and decorations, Christmas carols, and of course a raging, frigid blizzard. It was, and still is memorable.

This year, this week is particularly intense. This year, many have lost loved ones due to the Covid 19 pandemic that continues to rage. Many of those lost have been elderly parents, grandparents and loved ones. Everytime I hear another horror story of a nursing home that has been overwhelmed with cases of this brutal virus, I think of my parents and I feel for the residents and their families. I know what it means to be with loved ones when their time has come. I know that it is irrelevant how long a person has lived, or how much they have done or been through in their lives. I know how important it is for the elderly and their families to experience compassionate, loving final hours and days. When it is all that is left, it is everything.

I could go off the rails here and rage about those who protest wearing masks, or spread bullshit about the virus conspiracy, or complain about missing sports or holidays, or whine about whatever else is disrupting their pathetic self-centred lives. I could, but this blog is a tribute to my Father, so this is not the time or place.

I will just take this opportunity to express gratitude for all who have stepped up this year to do their a part – the medical personnel, the caregivers, the support workers, the truck drivers, the store clerks, the teachers, the suppliers of all essential services and products, the politicians who have worked together in good faith with the medical community, the teenagers who have supported their families and their communities, those who have followed health guidelines and done everything possible to protect themselves, their families and their communities. To everyone who has done their part, thank you. ๐Ÿ’–

I would also take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for anyone, anywhere, who has lost loved ones, or who has been separated from their loved ones throughout this pandemic. My heart goes out to you. ๐Ÿ’–

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for those who have been personally affected by the Covid 19 outbreak at Parkside Extendicare in Regina. In one, two hundred resident, senior’s care home – within three and a half weeks – there have been one hundred and sixty residents who have tested positive, many who have become severely ill – twenty residents who have passed away – plus eighty six care workers who have tested positive. There have been many from the community that have gone in to assist – paramedics from the Regina Fire Department, doctors and nurses and support workers from SHA, all risking their own health and well-being.ย ย ย ย The statistics are staggering. The reality for all affected – residents and their families and their caregivers have been beyond devastating. I am so sorry for all you have been going through – all you continue to go through. ๐Ÿ’–

Dedicated to my Father – Rest in Peace, Dad. You will always be a part of me & a part of my life๐Ÿ’–

Kitchen News

I was in the mood for doing some cooking this week. I started on Thursday by doing up a batch of Carmel Corn. (My late Mother’s recipe).

Yesterday morning I cooked a couple of pounds of bacon to have on hand for when we have salad. (It keeps the lettuce from sticking together ๐Ÿ™„)

Then yesterday I baked chocolate chip cookies with my sister, Lorraine. Since we are a few hundred miles apart, we couldn’t judge them on a taste test – but it doesn’t look like either of us burnt them, so we will call it a win-win ๐Ÿ‘. Chances are the hundreds of miles between us saved our cookies. We baked a ton of buns together one time, burnt the lot, and tried to stash them in a garbage bag before our husbands came in for lunch. On the off chance that they did not notice that the house reeked of burnt buns, the bag fell over when they walked in the door and about two hundred blackened buns rolled out – one by one by one. Saddest friggin parade I have ever seen. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

I don’t use Keg Spice in my cookies ๐Ÿค”

The only thing I am making today are croutons for our Caesar Salad tonight. Is there any reason why croutons have become scarce as hen’s teeth and rediculously expensive lately? Have the TP hoarders turned their attention to croutons? It seems odd. ๐Ÿง

Hope everyone is having a great December weekend๐Ÿ’ž โ„๏ธ

Ps for Neese – my recipe collection leaves is less than elegant but here you go!

Home and Family

We received the most amazing news last week! Dan’s sister Joan has decided that it is time to leave her paradise in Costa Rica and return to Canada. She has a beautiful home there on a stretch of land where her front yard is the Pacific ocean and her backyard is a fresh water river. She is looking at relocating to a couple of different area in Canada (both very nice) but I can’t imagine them stacking up to Costa Rica.

Regardless, we are both thrilled that she will be back in Canada. Joan is Dan’s only sibling and they have always been very close. I have several siblings (four sisters and one brother) but in some ways, I have more in common with Joan. She is far more adventurous and independent than I will ever be, but our core beliefs are very similar. We are “soul sisters”๐Ÿ˜Š

We will both be glad to see Joan back in Canada and look forward to visiting her once she gets settled (and we gets this Covid situation under control ๐Ÿ™„). It may take a while but is exciting to have something to look forward too!

Even Kat is excited!

Another Day on the Prairies

It has been a while since I have posted. Everything changes from one day to the next so by the time I go to write about something, things have taken a turn. ๐Ÿ™„

Our weather goes from snowy to icy to brutally cold and back again. I have all but given up on walking, which of course has been detrimental to my health. I have been working on my meditation, which is helpful and I have been enjoying sourcing out different You Tube videos on that – so that is something!

There has been an uptick of Covid cases, including quite a few at the plant where Dan works (right in his area ๐Ÿ™„). We seem to have dodged it. Personally, I believe Dan and I had it in February, which was when my health went sideways, but they were not testing then. The doctors can tell I have lung damage that suddenly shows up on scans but they cannot tell what caused it.

I went out one day last week to help granddaughter Genie pick out her Christmas present. Our favourite dress shop (Le Chateau) is closing down so we went looking for a dress for son Dan’s wedding and her graduation (should they have one this year).

This is the dress Genie went with. It fit her perfectly! It will look even better with fancy heels instead of fuzzy black socks๐Ÿ˜‚

Then, son Dan called last night to say that due to new Covid restrictions in Alberta, they are postponing their wedding party until next summer. They are going ahead with their wedding ceremony on New Year’s Eve – with just their children, officiate, and the couple who are standing up for them. They have had to wait long enough, they just want to be married already. We look forward to celebrating with them in the summer!

Dan & family๐Ÿ’ž

With case numbers going up here every day, we have stayed home as much as possible. We did go to Leon’s and got a new mattress for our bed one day. (Kat does NOT like it). Dan had to go to Canadian Tire so he picked up a new monitor for our computer. I went and did our weekly shopping early Monday morning – by myself. With things being bad at Dan’s work I thought this was our best option. I did amazing btw. There were only 3 items I did not get (frozen okra, oven gloves, and soda crackers) and I only went rogue twice (picked up 4 cans of tomato soup and a container of sour cream). I hate shopping but actually got through it ok – even packing everything up at the cash register. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dan is at work starting a new round of shifts today. They are finishing off a couple of orders, then he expects to be laid off mid-January until the company picks up more work. He has been expecting lay offs for about fifteen years and they always come up with something, so who know? We will see when, or if, it happens.

Have a great week and take care out there!

Holidays

Growing up in my family we kept to a fairly predictable schedule. (My mother was a drill Sargent in her previous life ๐Ÿคฃ) Dinner was at 12 noon, supper was at 6 PM, laundry was done on Monday morning, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on their appropriate dates.

When my family was young, our schedule was somewhat predictable. Meals were always at the table. Supper was 6ish, I did laundry once a week, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on or close to appropriate dates.

Between Dan’s 24/7 shifts, kids growing up and having their own families, and various births and health crises, our schedule has become rather loosely goosey…. We eat, we do a load of laundry when one of us happens to go downstairs for whatever reason, and we celebrate birthdays and holidays.

Last night we had granddaughter Genie and her boyfriend Alex/Ben over. We enjoyed our Christmas turkey supper, topped off with a peanut butter cheesecake to celebrate Genie’s birthday (she will turn 17 on December 24th – and she doesn’t eat peanuts ๐Ÿคฆ- I made her a mug cake and dressed it up for the occasion).

Aren’t they the cutest?
I love Genie’s hair – gorgeous colour.
My amazing husband who helped make supper and cleared away all of the leftovers. My less than amazing dog lurking for any flying food that Genie lost control over.

Dan is scheduled to work straight through December 22nd to 26th but we will be getting together with Genie and Alex/Ben on the 30th. But, we won’t be celebrating New Year’s ๐Ÿ˜‚ – they are coming with us to son Dan’s wedding on the 31st. New Year’s will have to merge with Easter and Dan’s birthday sometime in the spring.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s – I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones!๐ŸŒฒโ˜ƒ๏ธ And for our southern neighbours – Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿฆƒ