Happy Birthday, DanπŸŽ‚

Dan with his family – Cason, Gabby, Amanda and LucasπŸ’“

My son Dan is celebrating his birthday today. We cannot be with him as he lives hours away, but we are thinking of him and wishing him all the best – today and always.

When people talk about nature versus nurture, I think Dan is the perfect example of nature. He hit the decks running, big hearted, and good-natured. Forty-one years later, after taking everything that life could throw at him – Dan is still ready to go, big hearted, and good natured! (although apparently his good nature was a bit lacking the day Cason locked him out of his truck) 🀣🀣🀣

The only thing better than having a child like Dan, is seeing the man that he became. πŸ‘

Grandpa’s Girl

When I married Dan 21 years ago, I had two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage. Dan had never been married and had no children. He was better to my kids than their own father had ever been – especially to my daughter, who was fifteen at the time.

A few years later, my daughter became a mother and we became first time grandparents.

Grandpa, Genie and Casey

Dan and I were in the delivery room with Jennifer when Genevieve arrived. They stayed with us for nine months, by which time Grandpa’s shoulder had become Genie’s go to place, in good times and bad. After Jennifer and Genie moved out, they were often back to spend time with us. Genie was always excited to see Grandpa and would spend hours entertaining him while she searched out and played with the many ladybugs in our garden. She soon became his little ladybug. 🐞

Grandpa’s little ladybug, Genie

When Genie was about nine, Dan and I went on a vacation to Ontario. While we were at Niagara Falls, Dan got his one and only tattoo – a small ladybug on his left shoulder – as a reminder to Genie that no matter how big she got, he would always have a place on his shoulder for her.

When Genie saw Grandpa’s ladybug, she decided that when she was old enough, she would get a ladybug to match – to show him that she would always be there for him as well.

A couple of years ago, I was able to arrange for Genie to get her ladybug tattoo on her sixteenth birthday. Our tattoo artists do not typically work with anyone under eighteen, but my boss’s son agreed to do this one for Genie.

Genie turned sixteen on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, we could not make the tattoo happen right away and by the time we were able to, Covid-19 had temporarily closed all of our tattoo shops. Recently, they reopened and Genie was one of the first in line to book an appointment.

Genie – Getting her tattoo
Grandpa and his ever loving ladybug, Genie

It is finally done! Genie and Grandpa happily showing off their matching tattoos πŸ’ž

65th

This weekend we had the pleasure of spending a few days with son Dan and his family – Amanda, Gabby, Lucas and Cason – celebrating my 65th birthday.

Cason & Lucas helping blow out the candle on the cake son Dan made. German chocolate sour cream – amazing cake!!
Gifts and card. *The cookbook is a copy of one that I used throughout my children’s childhood. I gave the original to my daughter years ago when she started her own family.
My husband took me on this lovely trip, gave me a beautiful card, took me shopping for a couple of new outfits and bought my birthday supper (Chinese – totally delicious!)
Buddha Board from Genie – my talent does not do it justice. It is very relaxing and therapeutic. (Husband Dan decked it out with the river rocks)
Dan, Cason, me, Amanda – back row. Gabby and Lucas in front
Bacardi, Cornelius & Kat
Taking a scenic detour home
Son Mark took great care of everything at home while we were gone.

All in all, it was a lovely few days away. I came back a year older but that was to be expected. πŸ™„

Scoping Out Playgrounds

Now that I have my grandson every Wednesday, I am on the search for nearby playgrounds. The one we went to this Wednesday had an abundance of great equipment for him to enjoy. The only problem was that the walk was a bit much for Dom. On the way there he asked me twice if we were still in Regina and on the way back he asked if we were still in Canada. πŸ™„

I do not think the park I went to this morning even had a name but it was a relatively short walk with a few points of interest for Dom along the way.

I had to go under the overpass.
Through some trees
Past some picnic tables
Beside a splash pad – it has four jets like this.
Basic monkey bars and swings
Dom loves slides!
Of course there is always a police car, complete with lights and sirens, on the adjacent Lewvan.
Canada Post out delivering the mail.
And a train heading over the underpass.

I think this walk is worth a shot with Dom. The worst he can do is clutch his heart, drop to his knees and tell me he is not going to make it. That is a whole other story. 🀦

Have a great day. I hope you our enjoying the same beautiful weather we have today!

4th of July

Happy 4th of July to my sister Jeanne, her family, and all of our neighbours to the south of us in the USA.

I used to visit the USA quite regularly, years ago. We lived so close to the American border that it was never a big deal to spend a couple of days in Minot, North Dakota just for the heck of it. After my sister Jeanne and her husband Paul moved to Gillette, Wyoming I made a number of trips down to visit them – at first with my parents and then with my own family.

Wyoming was always a great place to visit. I remember an abundance of steakhouses, country bars and friendly neighbours. There was always a visit to the Black Hills – Flintstone Village, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Every curve in the road was another tourist attraction and another fascinating little gift shop. I still have pretty little vases and stone bracelets to remind me of those days.

Jeanne and Paul moved to Chadron, Nebraska when Paul left the oil rigs to run an apiary. We were down there a couple of times. As always, it was good times and friendly people. Unfortunately, a few years after the move, Paul died in a tragic accident. Jeanne stayed on, running the apiary with an American friend of theirs. They eventually married and still make their home in Nebraska. Jeanne’s son is raising his family in Wyoming and her daughter is in Washington State with her family.

It is so sad how times have changed between Canada and the USA over the years – with border control, tariffs, and of course now with Covid 19 closing borders. I would love to travel back down through the States. There are so many places that I would love to visit and of course it is always an easy drive to better weather during our frigid winters!

I just want to say, I really appreciate the photos and stories that our American neighbours post on WordPress – it is an inside look at a country that I would love to see more of.

From this side of the border, have a great USA Independence Day!

Happy Birthday, Gabby!

Happy Fifteenth Birthday to our dancing, world traveling, academically achieving, basketball playing granddaughter!

Gabby – Grade 9
Gabby’s first visit to Grandma & Grandpa’s
Daddy’s GirlπŸ’–
Cool Gabby
Gabby, Lucas & Amanda
Lucas, Santa, Cason & Gabby – Gabby saves her biggest smiles for when her little brothers are in the picture😊

Life isn’t always simple or easy for young people – but no matter how great life is, or how challenging it can be, Gabby shines through. 🌞

Wishing you a Happy Birthday and your best year ever (so far). Love Grandma & Grandpa D. πŸŽ‚

Rainy Day Sunday

We are finally getting a good soaking rain today. Our garden needs it and our house was more than ready for some attention. The dust bunnies were starting to compete for shelf space with the elephants.

From our trip to Edmonton last summer
Christmas gift from son Mark, Erin & Dom
I just thought this little elephant family was too cute to pass upπŸ’–
My pink crystal elephant from Dan
Christmas gift from son Dan & family
My Winnipeg Elephant
Ellie the Elephant – to mark the anticipated arrival of Maddy

Hope everyone is having a great Sunday – Rain or Shine!

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. πŸ˜‚

Wishing all a lovely summer day today!

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 πŸ™„

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