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. 🌞

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)

Happy Birthday RoryπŸŽ‚

It is hard to believe Rory is fifteen, going into grade ten, and looking to start drivers training –

And, he is SO big. πŸ‘€

Rory with Prim and Maddy (& Kat)
Grandpa With Baby Rory & Genie
Little Rory – Those eyes!
Turning 2 at Candy Cane Park
Rory & his sister Genie at the ‘Under the Sea’ theme room at the Saskatoon Travelodge. Rory struggled with extreme chronic pain, and mobility, speech and dexterity issues throughout his younger years. His mother arranged for a number of diagnostic appointments in Saskatoon. I would go with her and the kids and arrange for special hotel accommodations so Rory would have positive memories of those days. He loved the hotel outings but struggled with the medical visits. They were hard on him. Ultimately, tests would reveal genetic collagen issues. Rory was prescribed higher and ever higher levels of painkillers until he was finally old enough to be accepted into a pain management program.
Rory at the Sheraton Cavalier in Saskatoon. This hotel did not turn out great, as the waterpark was closed when we were there, but as always we had a great time. We did have a beautiful corner suite on an upper floor which was memorable and perfect for us. We also had a great supper in the upscale lounge to celebrate Mother’s Day. Best of all – Rory loved the view of the city, especially after dark when the bridges were all lit up.
On our last trip to Saskatoon, we stopped at the Royal University Hospital gift shop. I bought souvenirs for Rory and his sisters and this elephant to add to my collection. This will always be one of my most special elephants as it is a tribute to Rory’s early struggles, to his mother’s dedication and determination to get him the help he needed and to the memories we made on those trips to Saskatoon.
Rory at the Gravelbourg Inn. Not all of our trips were for Rory’s medical issues. Rory and his sisters also enjoyed trips to visit my mother. It was always an adventure staying in a small town motel, taking Great Grandma out for brunch and stopping off for a visit at the town playground.
Rory had a special place in his heart for Great-Grandma. My mother had suffered with chronic pain throughout her lifetime. Rory was so sensitive to that connection. They shared a common bond.πŸ’ž
Outnumbered – Rory with his sisters – Brook, Maddy, Genie & Prim – visiting with Santa
One of many lunches with Rory and his sisters. Those kids were always so well behaved in restaurants. Even as infants and tots, we could take them anywhere. My daughter and I went into a store one day and one of the cashiers turned to the other and said “that’s her” and pointed at Jen. Jen looked at her and the woman said. “You were at the oriental buffet last night with your family. You and your husband have five kids and they are all so beautiful and well behaved!”. It wasn’t the only time people commented on Jen’s family, by far, but it was pretty note worthy – and well deserved.
A highlight of a Rory sleepover at our house was always uninterrupted computer time!
Rory’s Grade 8 Graduation – With everything that Rory had endured as a youngster and everything he went through to overcome his medical issues, his Grade 8 graduation was a major accomplishment and a huge step forward in his life. When his teacher presented him with the award for the most improved student in his class, we were all moved to tears. Rory so deserved the acknowledgement and we were all so proud of him.

Happy Birthday, Rory! We love you so much! We wish you all the best going forward. Grandma & Grandpa D. πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ™ŠπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

Productive Weekend

Dan was home this weekend so we got more than a few things accomplished.

Dan cleaned the pond. Looking forward to repainting the planters and trim boards in our yard. They are looking a little too rustic for my taste.
I did all the laundry, plus all of our bedding including our pillows. I made up the bed nice and fresh. I gave Kat a bath. I scrubbed down the entire bathroom because it smelled like wet dog. Kat got into our room, jumped on our bed, and went into some psychotic whirlwind of a thing. ALL of our fresh bedding – including the fitted sheet, ended up on the floor smelling like wet dog. Do over!
I made cookies.
Dan mowed the lawn again – it needs a serious watering!
I enjoyed some texting with son Dan
And scored a sweet, new photo of Cason
And I did some texting with son Mark.

Hope you all enjoyed a good weekend!

Father’s Day 2020

Dad and my son Danny

My father was a good man.  He was kind and peaceful.   His life was never easy but he dealt with it – whatever it was. 

Dad was born premature, weighing one and a half pounds.  His father bundled him up, put him in the sleigh and hauled him off to town to be baptized.  On the way to town, the sleigh hit a rut and overturned.  Dad was thrown into a snow bank.   He survived (obviously).  If I know my Dad, he was laughing when they found him.

When my Dad was old enough, he was sent to a convent where his classes were taught in French.  When he was in grade two, his mother suffered a serious stroke.  My Dad went to work for a storekeeper, spending his days sitting in the basement of a store removing eyes from potatoes.  His father needed help feeding his family and paying medical and care bills for his mother.  As always, Dad did what he could do to help. 

As a teenager, Dad went to the city to work with his brother, Herman.   A few months later he returned home with Herman’s body.  Herman had died a victim of tuberculosis.  Dad was by his side, holding his hand when he passed away – then he brought him home to be buried in a grave marked by a concrete gravestone that he designed and made for him.

Dad’s grave in front of the cross he made for Uncle Herman

After Herman’s death, Dad stayed home to help the family.  He became a licenced bartender and a true craftsman at applying stucco.  Although his formal education had been so short, Dad never allowed that to limit his options.    After my parents married, Dad went to work at an Airforce training base during World War Two. (At five foot nothing and color blind to boot, the army wasn’t looking to send him into battle).  After the war, my parents moved up north, where Dad supported our growing family with his stuccoing skills.  When they moved to southern Manitoba, he entered the auto body trade.  When I was three, we moved back to Saskatchewan. My parents purchased an autobody shop which they ran until they retired.

Dad, my niece Teenie (Jeanne Christine) and I

After retirement, my parents enjoyed a few easier years.  They would visit my siblings and I on a regular basis.  At my home, Dad could always find yard work to keep him happy and occupied.  When we moved to a home with a large, neglected yard, Dad was in his glory for years!  

In 1989, when Dad was eighty years old, just months after celebrating his fiftieth anniversary with Mom, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer of the sinuses.    He passed away four years later, on December 17th, 1993. Losing a loved one is always difficult, watching my Dad waste away for four years from this insideous disease was heart wrenching  beyond belief. It was also incredibly inspiring and such an honor to witness the strength, grace and dignity that he displayed throughout his final years.

Final visit with Dad. He was joking about running out of time before Mom had the camera focussed.

Rest in peace, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

Fyi Father’s Day is on June 21st. At least one of my sons keeps track. Same son who informed me I was 59 when I was pretty sure I was 48πŸ™„

Siblings

Butterfly Sister

I am the youngest in a family of six siblings. We are all different in so many ways and eerily similar in others.

My eldest sister Denise phoned me yesterday to see how retirement was coming along. We spoke for a couple of hours. It was great to hear her voice, especially since she was sounding really good. Denise has been battling serious health issues for the past few years, so not all of her days are good ones.

As sisters, Denise and I have rather a unique relationship. She was married by the time I was two and a mother by the time I was three. I do not remember a time when we lived under the same roof as ‘family’. Once she married, she also moved a lot – generally far away. I have not spent a lot of time with her over the years.

Denise and I are different in a number of ways. I love elephants, Denise loves butterflies. Denise is exceptionally organized, me not so much. We grew up in different decades, with different music, different styles, and different social standards.

Although we grew up in such different times and so far apart, the funny thing is that we have so much in common. We both had disastrous first marriages. We could both easily live the life of a hermit. We both love nature. The weirdest thing is that when we do see or speak to each other, we will both be listening to the same music, reading the same book, or sharing a common interest that we would never have imagined.

I love all four of my sisters and my brother but I have a special place in my heart for Denise. We share a common bond, which is so very strange because as ‘sisters’ we have never shared much bonding time.

I Was Right!

For years I have been doing battle with a typical retractable water hose. I would wrestle the miserable thing out to our front lawn while it would try to retract every time I got a foot further.

Miserable Beast

When I eventually finished watering, one quick tug and the hose would retract at a manageable steady pace – theoretically. In reality, one quick tug and either nothing happened or fifty feet of solid hose would shoot back to the reel at a hundred miles an hour. If it was the latter, I had my choice of holding on for dear life or letting go. Letting go was not the best option.

Years ago, we started seeing advertisements for an expandable, lightweight cloth hose.

Sweet!

My husband and I would go to the garden centre every spring and I would see these expanding hoses. I would reach for one and my husband would say “you don’t want that do you?”. I would assure him that I did want that – at least to give it a try. At this point, I would get his whole speech extolling the virtues of our sociopathic retractable hose – with a bonus speech on operator error.

On Friday, we went to a discount store to pick up some economy (disposable) paint brushes that I can use for painting our planters. I saw my dream hose – on sale – in a discount store! I snatched it up and stormed the til to pay for it before Dan could talk me out of it.

My ‘Amazing Hose’ is amazing! It is lightweight, manageable, easy to extend, and easy to put away. The nozzle on it is equally amazing. I have purchased half a dozen nozzles in the past twenty years – some cheap, some stupid pricey. I did not love any of them. I love my new nozzle. My new hose and nozzle are perfect! I do not get to be right very often – but this time, I nailed it. (We won’t discuss the ‘Easey Peazey jar opener’ πŸ™„)

I had so much time left over from watering plants yesterday that I cleaned up our bird feeder and put fresh seed out for the birds. 🐦

Happy Birthday!

This weekend we have two family birthdays. πŸŽ‚

Lucas & Cason – last visit before the lockdown

Yesterday, our grandson Lucas turned five years old. My son and his family live hours away from here so we were not able to celebrate in person. We sent Lucas some cash for his birthday. (My son said Lucas was very excited and wanted to spend it on a power tool for them to share – I do not think soπŸ˜‚.) Dan was at work, but I video called Lucas to wish him a Happy Birthday. We discussed his breakfast (pancakes with strawberries). We also played a few two person video games. It took me a bit to catch onto them but we got there. It was not an inperson visit but we both had fun!

Celebrating Mom’s birthday 2012 – Mom and Prim

Today would have been my Mother’s birthday. She passed away in April of 2013 one month short of her 95th birthday. Mom lived in a nursing home for her final five years. My daughter and I would often go to visit her and take her out for Sunday brunch. She loved to visit with her great-grandchildren and show them off to the staff and other residents in her home. She also loved it when we brought her flowers to brighten up her room. (Even the time we forgot to pick up a bouquet on our way out of town so had to pick wild flowers in the ditch along the wayπŸ˜‚)

I would love to be able to call my Mom and wish her a Happy Birthday, but honestly I am glad for her that she is not here. I am happy that her life ended peacefully, with family by her side. I am glad that she was not here to experience any part of this Covid 19 pandemic.

Happy Birthday Kat

Kat 7 Yrs Old

Today I received an email from our veterinarian. The email came to my email address but it was actually directed to my little dog, Kat. Apparently her birthday is today – who knew! I always think of her birthday as being the day in June, seven years ago, when she came to live with us.

Baby Kat
Quarantine Kat – we are getting there but her haircut is a work in progress πŸ˜‚