Change of Season

Despite our pool weather temperatures this week, it is obvious that our seasons are changing from summer to fall.

With my natural instinct to hibernate come mid-September, the pitch darkness when I let Molly out at 5:30 A.M. is less than optimal. My efforts to rearrange my schedule to optimize the sunlight that we do have is also proving to be a challenge. And… With everything falling,drying, decaying and generally turning to dust, my lung and sinus issues have been causing me grief. Autumn is not my favourite time of year!

Fortunately, even autumn has it’s redeeming features. Just as I am getting a bit tired of salads and barbecued suppers, we find ourselves in the season of comfort foods. Since we had a steak leftover from Sunday supper (Dan and I decided to share one) and a container of homemade beef broth in the freezer, I whipped up a pot of beef barley soup for supper on Tuesday. So good! I used the regular onions, garden carrots, parsnips, celery and cabbage and even tossed in a few (peeled) fresh San Marzano tomatoes and a couple of fresh hot peppers. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

And made a tray of homemade cheese biscuits to go with it!

With any number of soups and stews and casseroles reminiscent of my mother’s kitchen to choose from, I can work up a little enthusiasm for autumn and even for our up and coming Saskatchewan winter. Not a lot, but enough to keep me going on my health and fitness journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished my Zumba workout so it’s time to head out with Molly. This could be another dog park day. We have been there three times and Molly does enjoy it. Yesterday we played fetch for a while, but I got tired of going to retrieve the ball so that didn’t last long. ๐Ÿ™„

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Must Be A Clampett Duck

Just when I thought I had the mystery of the quacky duck solved, it turned out to be a no go. I have no idea where Molly’s new duck came from, but if you are into duck tales, you should pay a visit to Karla on theclampettsblog (if you aren’t already a regular visitor). She tells great ones – not to mention tales of chickens, geese, turkeys and other little critters that tend to visit her and her husband’s off the grid acreage.

I did sort out our Visa issues. After two days of pulling my hair out, I landed a live one at our bank – my new hero at the reception counter. She was able to call Visa (with me standing there) and ascertain that someone had tried to book a flight to the Middle East using my card. The Visa people weren’t buying that one, so they blocked not only my card, but Dan’s as well. For whatever reason, they didn’t run that past us, so I was freaking out trying to find out who and why someone had control of our Visa account. Someone who obviously was not us! Anyway, we are all good now. I hope. ๐Ÿ™„

Meanwhile, I haven’t had a chance to mention that we had a fun family supper on Sunday night with granddaughters Genie and Brook – along with their other halves and Brooks little half (and her dog Kingsley, who I suspected of being the source of the mystery duck). Anyway, we had barbecued steak, shrimp, corn on the cob, Caesar salad, and fried mushrooms. For desert, I made an almost homemade apple pie. (I cheated and used store bought frozen crust. No one needs to know that Grandma hasn’t made an actual pie crust for decades.)

Genie and Alec – Genie is really happy to be home. โ˜บ๏ธ
Brook, Alaska, & Kale. They were pretty happy too! Especially Alaska Rose – I don’t think that baby is ever unhappy. ๐Ÿ’—

That’s about it for today. I am almost back on track today. I have my meditation, walking, and dancing done. I just have to get busy around here doing some more yard cleanup and making a small pot of soup for supper, plus getting my weights done.

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

1-800 Welcome To Hell – If You Want To Hear A Duck Quack Press 7

So, I am on day two of trying to reach the Visa fraud department and Molly came trucking in with a quacking duck. We have never gotten her, or any of our dogs, a quacking duck. Go figure, but it reminded me of the time my sister Lorraine sent me a 1-800 phone number with an option to hear a duck quack. I did. Option 7 was indeed a quacking duck. It was probably the only time EVER that a 1-800 number did not leave me fit to be tied.

Meanwhile, back to Visa. Apparently, their fraud department found one of our purchases questionable so they blocked our Visa cards. I am not sure if it was Dollarama or Walmart that put them over the edge but here we are! Sitting on hold. Yesterday, they offered a call back option. I tried that. Three hours later I received an automated call that put me through to an automated message manager, that hung up on me. I have even been to our bank – twice! They gave me a super duper ‘special’ 1-800 number to call. That’s working well for me.

I got my first credit card when I struck out on my own with my three teenagers. I didn’t particularly want a credit card, but I did want to rent a vehicle, a hotel room, or the occasional movie. A credit card was a necessity. I tried my bank and any other options available to procure a credit card. Because I had no credit history AND three teenagers, I was deemed financially irresponsible. Finally, my boss went to his bank and told them to give me a damn credit card or he was pulling all of his business and personal accounts. That did it. I got a credit card. A basic $500. Visa.

After I got my card, I would see other people whip out their Platinum credit cards and I would think – WOW! – they must be important to have a Platinum Credit Card.

Over the years, I seldom used my credit card. When I did, I paid it off right away. The Visa people loved me. Everytime I used my card they upped my credit limit. I went from Basic to Gold to PLATINUM. I whipped out my Platinum card last week, leaned over to Dan, and said “Do you think anybody thinks I am important?”

Anyway, with my Platinum card came points to collect for travel. When we decided to go to Costa Rica to visit Dan’s sister, we decided we should start using our credit cards to accumulate these points, so we started to use them for everything. We don’t buy that much but eventually we had the points to fly to Costa Rica – just as the pandemic shut down the airlines and Dan’s sister moved back to Canada. No need to travel to Costa Rica now. But, we are still in the habit of using our credit cards. Until now!

Now we cannot use our credit cards because they are blocked and I cannot get through to that one person on the planet who can actually fix this.

So, questions of the day… Is MasterCard just as bad? Has anyone ever had an issue with any credit card and come to a painless resolution?

That’s it for today. I obviously have to go back to the bank and get ugly. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

31 Weeks From Feeble to Fit!

It is hard to believe that I have been working out and getting in shape for THIRTY-ONE weeks.

It is even harder to believe how far I have come in only thirty-one weeks.ย ย ย  In Mid-February I was exhausted, cold, sore, sickly, flabby, and feeble.ย ย ย  My mind was sluggish and I just felt blah.ย 

With spring coming up in two or three months, I decided I had to do something to regain some strength and improve my health.ย ย ย  I started gradually,ย  and have worked up to an hour ofย  dancing/Zumba every day (except Sunday), daily walks,ย  and working out with dumbbells each evening (except Sunday).ย ย ย  I drink six ounces of beet juice a day and take cold showers on a regular basis.ย  I have also joined an online Volley group for support and motivation.ย  Nothing I do is much of a time commitment and the only cost has beenย  in maintaining my Daily Walk companion Molly.

High maintenance Molly. ๐Ÿ’ž

The difference in my health and fitness has been amazing!ย  I feel good – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I look better than I have for years.ย  I keep active all dayย  and embrace new challenges!

This morning, Thirty-Oneย  Weeks from spending my days in my rocking chair in front of our electric fireplace, I strapped a harness on Molly (our now +/- 70 pound Pyrenees), set off for a walk, met up with a stranger in one of our neighbourhood parks and WE DID IT!ย ย ย  Molly and I went to our first offleash dog park.

If anybody had told me seven months ago that I would be heading into an offleash park to hang with a group of strangers and a pack of BIG dogs, there is no way I would have believed it.ย ย  But there, I was, hanging with the other dog owners, while watching our pups race around an open field, having the time of their lives.ย  Occasionally, they would come back to check on their human, before racing off again tails flying and grinning eat to ear.ย  It was just one of those moments that make it all so worth while!

It was just one moment of many, when I am so glad that I decided to make this health and fitness change. Every day, I have reason to appreciate the choice I made, reason to appreciate ALL of the people who have supported and encouraged me, and reason to marvel at all of those random moments that have brought me to this place – be it a random meeting, a chance advertisement on Kijiji for a perfect walking partner, or coming across the right article at the right time. That first step has led to so many more – and in only thirty-one weeks.

That is it for today. It’s time to go finish prepping the porch so I can get it painted this week. Just one more thing that I couldn’t have imagined doing back in February. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

More Photos From Genie

Genie sent me a few more photos from her time in London, Ontario.

She spent some time wandering art exhibits…

I think this shot was taken in the Toronto airport.
Genie working a media event. The woman with her won a day at the ex (with her husband). Genie helped escort them around the midway – and had a good time doing it!
And she kicked things up a notch with a bowl of stew! (I love that bowl. ๐Ÿ’ž)

Now that Genie is back home, she has agreed to help me get some shots and videos of Molly. Hopefully, we will even get out of town to the Wascana Trails before our weather gets too nasty.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Molly and More

Summer is officially over!ย ย  Autumn has arrived and, as usual, it has arrived with a hint of the upcoming winter in the air.ย  Really, who needs that – especially in Saskatchewan, where winter brings ice, snow, frigid temperatures, short days, and long nights? ๐Ÿฅบ

Chilly as it is, Molly and I did get outdoors this morning.ย ย  Since she destroyed yet another harness yesterday, her training harness no less, we had to revert to one of her older ones.ย  That made our outing a bit more challenging.ย ย  I did play ball with her for a while before we headed out, just to wear her down a little bit.ย 

Taking a break on the ball diamonds.

Our walk didn’t go great, but we got home in one piece so that counts as a win. Time to find Molly a new harness!

We are temporarily Jeepless this week.ย  It went in to the shop for a new oxygen sensor, which is proving to be problematic.ย  The latest newsย  is that there are none to be had in Regina.ย  I am not sure why the dealershipย  wouldn’t keep a few on hand.ย  It’s not like Jeep Cherokees are rare around here.ย  Black Jeep Cherokees are so ubiquitous that it looks like a funeral procession every time we drive down a street, through a drive through, or across a parking lot.ย 

The girls made it home yesterday morning.ย  They had a fairly good trip.ย  Genie slept through the train ride from London to Toronto.ย  I guess it wasn’t as exciting as she had anticipated.ย ย  Their hotel room was adequate.ย  I don’t know if either of them were particularly pumped about the flight.ย  They just wanted to be back home!

Landing in Regina ๐Ÿ˜Š

Genie and her fiance Alec dropped by for a short visit and to drop off a few souvenirs that Genie picked up down east.ย ย  They will be back for supper on Sunday, along with Brook, her boyfriend Kale, and her daughter (our great-granddaughter) Alaska.ย ย  Genie just couldn’t wait that long to show off her newest tattoo…

An elephant for Grandma! ๐Ÿ’“

Genie did send me a number of photos this morning but I will save them for another day. ๐ŸŒž

I have a pot of chili on the stove that is ready to take the chill off the day.ย ย  Time to whip up some garlic toast and supper is served.

That is about it for today. Between Molly and waiting for calls from the shop, my day is a bit backwards today. I got my walk and weights done but haven’t done my dancing, meditation, or had my beet juice yet. I know I have said it before but…. I can’t imagine how I ever had time to work before I retired! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Heading Home

Genie and her sister Brook have begun making their way back home! They were both working for North American Midway this summer, but seldom had time to spend together as Genie worked in Guest Services and was usually in KiddieLand, while Brook was selling tickets on the adult Midway.

Having been sisters since Genie was three and Brook was five, it is nice that they are getting to spend this time together. Their trip began this morning with an Uber ride to the train depot in London, Ontario where they were taking the train to Toronto. They are spending the night at the airport hotel and will be on the plane at 8A.M. tomorrow for their flight home. Just one more adventure for our (not so little anymore) girls.

Genie & Brook – sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa D’s.
Brook & Genie – another one of many sleepovers.
Genie & Brook – Saturday lunch. (A lot of those too!)
Brook and Genie – Toronto

Tomorrow morning, they are back in their real worlds. โ˜บ๏ธ

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 31 – Fitness Update

It has been thirty-one weeks since I started working on improving my health and getting fit. It is not so much a goal anymore, as a new lifestyle that I have embarked on.

When I started on this mission, I was sixty-six years old, exhausted, miserable, weak, cold, and overweight. I was struggling to breathe. My blood pressure was high and my pulse was faster than it should have been. Now, at sixty-seven years old, other than still having a few pounds to lose and some muscle toning to work on, I am doing pretty darn good. I am looking better, my numbers are better, and most important – I am feeling way BETTER.

There are only a couple of things to note this week – is that I have days when I really struggle! Mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, there are days when I am not up to the challenge. But… I have come SO far in seven months! There is NO turning back. I know there are amazing benefits to be had by pushing through and going forward and I know there will be negative consequences for slacking off – so forward it is. Even on the hard days. I have never regretted pushing through.

First – I have days when I really struggle! Mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, there are days when I am not up to the challenge. But… I have come SO far in seven months! There is NO turning back. I know there are amazing benefits to be had by pushing through and going forward and I know there will be negative consequences for slacking off – so forward it is. Even on the hard days.

Second – I have overcome most, if not all, of the excuses that kept me from doing this sooner. My biggest excuses were I did not feel well – that ended when I realized I was never going to feel better if I did not get pro-active and start working on getting ‘better’. I did not have enough room to work out – that ended when I started dancing and following Zumba lessons on You Tube. Activities that didn’t take much room! Finally, I overcame my Exercise doesn’t work excuse and developed an attitude of ‘find the exercise that does work for me AND do it… AND keep doing it!’

So thirty-one weeks down, and the rest of my life to go, and I am still on track! Yay me – especially the me that started this mission in mid February. The first step is the hardest, but the weak, sickly, flabby, cold, exhausted me took that step. Now, I am stepping out every morning with my Molly dog, doing my dance workout when we get home, and lifting (light) weights every evening. (Except on my rest day Sunday, when I just walk Molly) How cool is that? ๐Ÿ˜Š

On the path to health and wellbeing. ๐Ÿ’ž

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Miss Molly – 7 Months Old

Molly is seven months old today! ๐ŸŽ‚ This month has flown by so quickly and with little of the big dog drama that I was expecting. From much of what I have read, the day a Pyrenees turns six months old, they turn into a puppy owner’s nightmare. Molly has her moments but she is far from being a nightmare and is getting better by the day.

Molly – 7 Months Old

Molly is walking much better now and has a growing fanclub of regulars that we meet on our daily walks. There are a LOT of big dogs in this neighborhood, so it surprises me how many people make a fuss over her. Last week a paratransit bus pulled over to the curb so the driver could tell me what a beauty she was and this week a carload of young guys passing by slowed right down so they could serenade her. “Love your big dog, gotta get me a big dog, just like your dog!”. Molly was oblivious, but I found it hysterical.

Early July
Early September

Molly has loved her little wading pool this summer. It has made the hotter days much easier on her and it is still her go to spot, the moment we get home from a walk – even if Dan has just drained it to give it a good cleaning.

July
September

She has found her voice and does occasionally use it to extremes – but not that often and not for terribly long. A few barks and she has made her point. She also has a few bizarre sounds in her vocabulary – she does a perfect gas lawn mower and yesterday, I think she was trying to howl, but she sounded just like a train whistle. ๐Ÿ™„

The biggest problem with Molly, other than her latest obsession with pulling the stuffing out of anything that she can pull the stuffing out of, is that she cannot grasp how big she is. She still thinks she can sit on our laps… or worse jump onto them.

My chair

Last weekend, Dan was off golfing for a few days. The first night he was gone, I was sitting in my little rocking chair in the livingroom when Molly came bounding in. She threw her front paws up on either side of my head as she went to jump onto my lap. The chair flipped over backwards. I wasn’t hurt, but I was momentarily trapped with my head against the wall, my arms on either side of me, flat on my back, with my feet up in the air. I was ready to panic, but as Molly strolled over to the couch to watch me deal with my predicament, I found the incentive to push the chair out from under myself and get upright. ๐Ÿคจ

She also likes to squeeze in between Dan on the couch and the coffee table (an area where she doesn’t actually fit), sit in front of the bathroom door, or lay in the middle of the kitchen when we are cooking. For me, to sit on the floor or crouch down to do anything isn’t much of an option, as she takes that as an invitation to lick my ears, wrap her front paws around my neck, or just climb all over me.

Taking on a puppy that grows by leaps and bounds is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely a challenge worth taking on if one has the strength and patience for it. Ours wears a bit thin with Molly some days but I think the worst is behind us and amazingly she hasn’t caused any major or permanent damage – so far. The Cedars around our yard have taken a hit and we are down a couple of pillows, one blanket, and one stuffed elephant. I could have re-stuffed the elephant but half the head and one ear were not coming back. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

That’s it for today, one more month down and only seventeen more to go before Molly is officially an adult dog. We’ve got this!

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

London, Ontario

These weeks are just flying by! This whole year has gone so fast, I can’t believe we are in September. I am not done my spring cleaning and here I am chipping away at my fall cleaning.

Likewise, our Genie was just packing to leave for her summer adventure, and in five short days she will be heading home.

She is still making the most of every day of her travels across Canada. Today I am sharing photos that she took a few days ago, while checking out London, Ontario.

I didn’t crop or adjust any of these photo to correct the angle. I don’t know if the streets in Ontario tend to run at a slant or if Genie has a tendency to lean when she is taking photos, but I will just go with what she sent. Either way, with her artistic bent, I can see why Genie would have enjoyed visiting this area and taking photos of these beautiful buildings.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž