Good Enough

Why do so many people waste their lives trying to convince others that they themselves are ‘better’ ?   Or that others are ‘not good enough‘ ? Better than what – or not good enough for what? Why is life a contest and who made the rules? And why does our society seem to be getting so much worse and less tolerant?

I grew up in small town Saskatchewan.  People were not judged by race or sexuality. We were rather oblivious to the major global issues in those days before internet access.

That is not to say that there was no bigotry and ignorance.  People were judged by different criteria. From my earliest days, I was well aware of the judgemental nature of small town Saskatchewan.   I was French Catholic and to make matters worse, my family lived on the lower end of the economic scale of things.

My First Communion Day

I grew up knowing that I was not good enough.   From my earliest days, I did not understand why.   I was kind – certainly kinder than those who dismissed me or taunted me for being ‘not good enough’.  I was honest.   I was as smart as any child in our school.  I was always close to, or top of, my class academically.   I was as attractive as any of the other children in my school (at least in my mind).    I was physically challenged (I still am) – but who cares?  It was not like my goals in life ever revolved around how far I could throw a ball, how fast I could run or how high I could jump.   I did not understand why, but I was made very much aware that I was ‘not good enough’.

When I grew up I was often reminded that I was ‘not good enough’.  I married into an Anglo-Saxon family who felt they were very much ‘better’ than anyone and certainly better than my family and I. I was constantly reminded that I was not good enough for them. My mother-in-law felt badly for the way they ‘had’ to treat me but she did once tell me that I would understand one day when my sons grew up and married cheap tramps. (Jokes on herI have two daughters in law and both are amazing women – each in their own way!).

While there have been many good, kind people in my life, there has always been enough ignorant and judgemental neighbours, co-workers, employers, etc. around to remind me that I was ‘not good enough’. I do not know why I ever let them bother me, but I did.

It has taken me to retirement to realize I truly am done with people and their games and attitudes. I am happy living my little life of secluded retirement. I do not care who I am good enough for. I do not care about trying to be ‘better’ to meet their criteria for ‘good enough’.

I am good enough for my husband, my dog, and most of my family (depends on the day🙄). I am good enough for my current neighbours. I am good enough to enjoy the sun, clouds, rain, trees, flowers and rocks. I am good enough to enjoy the life that I am living. I am good enough to face myself in any mirror and know that I am a good person. I continue to learn and change as life goes on but I am now and I always will be, good enough for me!

Summer Saturday

It has been a relatively uneventful day today. I was up at six a.m. compliments of Kat – our little dog has to eat.

Kat

After coffee and checking out the news (such as it was), I got ready to go shopping with Dan. Our first stop was Superstore. I ran in to the smoke shop to get Dan cigarettes. (I haven’t smoked since 2010 – I should never smoke again but I am keeping my options open). The clerk was none other than Grandpa’s Genie. I ‘accidentally’ left the cigarettes on the counter so Dan would have to run in to see her. 🤣

Genie (& Kat) – such a Grandpa’s girl🐞

We travelled on to Walmart to pick up a few items. There was a big sale on TP. We should now be good through to the next pandemic.

We came home. I changed into shorts and a light top to give Bob the Boulder a bath with the pressure washer. It was supposed to be 31 above (celcius) – it was not.

Bob the Boulder

I froze my butt off and took all the shrapnel I could handle before going in to change – again! I put on a black sweater and pants (the closest I have to a ski-doo suit) poured myself a glass of wine and headed back to the frigid outdoors.☃️

Sunshine!

There wasn’t a cloud to be seen. It was hot as hell! I powered through the wine and headed back in to change into something cooler while Dan made us icy cold Caesars. 😊

Fortunately we picked up hotdogs and buns for supper. After wine and a Caesar, I am not up to cooking anything too challenging. 😉

Bye for now. Wishing everyone a great weekend🌞

R & R

Dan and I had a productive day yesterday so today it is all rest and relaxation.  Dan left to go golfing at 6 am so it is just Kat and I.  We are going for a walk and then spending the day hanging out in the yard.  It is supposed to be a sunny 31 degrees above (celsius) so should be a perfect day for doing next to nothing.

Yesterday we got our new boulder, Bob.    Bob is not terribly huge but he got as far as the corner of the front lawn and he is not moving. He will however get a shower the next time I water out front. 
The pool is up and almost full.
We found the ladybug planter I bought Dan a couple of years ago, cleaned it up and set it out.
We went to Uncle Wiener’s Discount Store (that is a real place 🙄) and bought privacy screen to install along the inside of our front chain link fence. It was not fun to install, with about a dozen cedars growing up to the fence, but we got it done. It does a pretty good job of providing privacy. From the street side, you really cannot see into the yard. ☺️

I also got a bit more yard clean-up done and washed down the patio set (again) so we are pretty much ready to spend some time enjoying our yard.

Have a great day and keep safe🌞

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 💖
Have a hearty breakfast. Yes we have real dishes – no I do not use them🤦
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! 💐

Cleaning Up

It had to be done. I went out this morning and got rid of my Covid hair. My hairdresser did her best but I still have a fringe of colored hair that makes me look more grey than white. Next time!

Before
After – obviously 🤦

A friend of mine recently had her hair cut short and dyed pink. I thought it looked super cute so I considered perking things up with blue dye once my hair goes pure white. Then I thought back to the days of blue haired old ladies who reaked of cheap perfume and decided against that move.

Speaking of older women… When I was a kid my grandmother used to wear a blue paisley dress every Sunday. She would sit down and totally disappear into the pattern on her couch. Just one of those odd memories that stays with you for life.

I returned home to find Dan trimming his ‘Tree of Enchantment’. It looks much neater but it is still too short to actually look like a tree, in my mind.

Tree of Enchantment – Weeping Willow

We have gale force winds again today so I will have to take a break from painting planters. Darn!

Have a great day and remember to keep safe. This virus isn’t over yet.

Just Like That!

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Today – not so much. It is cold, windy and looking to rain later. We could use the rain. The cold and wind we could definitely do without.

Southern Saskatchewan has a tendency to be windy, but I do not remember winds like this. It goes on for days (and nights!) at a time. I left our bedroom window open last night and felt like I was going to get blown out of bed this morning. I went out and set our hanging planters on the ground again.  The plants in them just take too much of a beating when the wind is gusting in the 70k range.

It might be a good day to give Kat a bath. She is filthy and she does not look like she is too motivated to go for a walk any time soon.

Have a great day! I hope wherever you are, your weather is being kind to you today.

Choosing My Battles

It appears that technology (currently WordPress) is determined to pose ongoing challenges. I have never been one who enjoys conflict, so I make an effort to choose my battles.

Today my battle of choice was aligning my website address with the title of my blog, since WordPress had gone rogue on me and decided my website address should be ‘seclusion101withannemarie.com‘ instead of ‘retirement101with annemarie.com‘.

Since chances were slim to nil of getting the website address changed, I decided to go with it and change my blog title instead. That alone was battle enough as WordPress did not seem to believe I really want to make the change.

This has been my mission since 9:00 this morning. I have taken short breaks to have a bath, do my hair, have brunch, dust the livingroom, run to the pharmacy, go with Dan to get the Jeep washed and buy groceries, put away the groceries, walk Kat the dog, and have a short chat with my neighbour Kim. Finally at 4:00 this afternoon, my mission appears to be complete and my new blog title is here to stay!

Tomorrow, I will work on changing my tag line or adding a category to my menu. One battle a day and I should start to see some progress!

Stone Elephants

I am not the biggest fan of artwork – especially abstract art. I do not really understand it. I do not care who painted it, I would never pay millions of dollars for a red dot on a white canvas.

I do however love the beauty of nature. I feel the pulse of the universe in the sky, the ocean, the earth, plants, animals, and even in each and every one of my little stone elephants. I love the material from which each was carved. Each is unique and mesmerizing in its own way.

Garden In!

I planted the rest of my seeds and seedlings yesterday! The garden is mostly peppers – bell, Hungarian wax, and a variety of hot peppers and tomatoes – San marzan, Roma, Tiny Tim (for Kat), Beefsteak, multicolored and Better Boy. We also have a few cucumbers, onions, zucchini (for Kat), peas, carrots, lettuce and radishes and a few herbs. I also have my flower planters done. Most of them are perennials but I add a few annuals to the mix every year.

Garden area. The hanging planters and the Bleeding Heart were from the grandkids for Mother’s Day
Beefsteak Tomatoes
Garage wall planter
Day Lillie’s that we got from our neighbour this week
Dan’s ‘Tree of Enchantment’ would be a little more enchanting if it grew a bit this year
I love this planter. I bought it for our patio to slow the grandkids down, but now their pool is too big to share the patio.
Currant Bush – there are going to be more currants than bush this year🤷

Now I can start the rest of the yard clean up. Dan brought out the water hose yesterday so now I can dig out the pressure washer for the patio and pond. Then, I can start giving all the planters a fresh coat of paint. I am so excited for all the time I will have to spend outside in our yard this year!

Opening Up Saskatchewan

Our provincial government has decided that it is time to re-open Saskatchewan. I agree that it is time. People need to return to their lives and we should be ready. Businesses have been made aware of what they must do to keep their customers and staff at minimum risk. Medical facilities have had time to prepare for Covid and non-Covid patients. Schools will remain closed for now as will churches, sports venues, and the like. Our government should be ready to take swift action if there are signs of a serious outbreak. People in general have been educated as to the risks of Covid 19 and the precautions needed to avoid contracting or spreading it. Saskatchewan is ready. It is time.

I have ventured out very little in the past two months. For the most part, I have gone only where I absolutely had to – our bank, our pharmacy, and to a lab for blood tests. I also went to one outdoor greenhouse and one very quiet dollar store. Dan has been doing all of our other shopping and errands on his days off.

Yesterday I decided that it was time. I put on a mask and headed off to Walmart with Dan to pick up a number of items that I prefer to buy for myself – shampoo, conditioner, and the like.

Not actually me…

Dan dropped me off at the lineup to the Walmart entrance. There were maybe fifteen people in line. The line was orderly and moving at a steady pace. One person would be allowed to enter the store and the rest of us would move up a spot. The spots were clearly identified. I was signalled to enter the vestibule, where there were three more steps to move up. Then I was signalled to enter the store.

Once in the store, it was a GONG show. People were coming in, people were going out, people were crossing sideways to grab a cart or return a cart. I had no idea where I was supposed to go. A staff member caught my eye and motioned me over to get a freshly sanitized cart. I thanked him, grabbed a cart, and moved off towards the pharmacy area.

There were no arrows to indicate which direction I should be travelling. There were only a couple of other people in the immediate vicinity so I was easily able to keep my distance. I was relaxing, while still being vigilant. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a large man moving up beside me. I edged away from him just as he put his BIG hand on the handle of my cart.

This was not the first time Dan has stepped up beside me to take over pushing a cart but he startled me none the less. Fortunately, my mask muffled my shriek and we moved on.

Dan’s hand vs my hand. He has BIG hands.

I led the way around the store, while Dan pushed the cart. It was all good until we reached the grocery department. Suddenly there were arrows on the floor and I was going the wrong direction – as were half of the customers. Dan was in the next aisle, going the right direction. I caught up with him and we quickly got what we needed. We paid the cashier, who was on the other side of a plastic barrier. I was distracted when I noticed she was sanitizing the debit machine after I used it. 👍

By the time I turned back, Dan was gone. He was halfway out the door. As I was trying to get past the service counter, there was a staff member – right there – announcing Walmart’s Covid 19 protocols. In the ten square feet in front of her counter, there were a dozen people all going different directions. I was one of them. 🙄

It may be time and Saskatchewan may be ready. Personally, I do not feel that I am quite there yet – at least not for Walmart.