Garden Update

We finally got a couple of decent rains this week and plenty of sunshine. The garden and flower beds are taking off now. Dan finished a couple of his little projects and we have a new regular visitor.

Kat will be eating fresh carrots soon.
The Tiger Lillie’s are blooming.
The frog duo got their horns painted up.
Tinkerbell got decked out with new skirt and wings.
And – we have a squirrel! Yay🌞

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Stay safe and have a good week. 😉

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 up💖
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!

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!

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.

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 ‘‘ instead of ‘retirement101with‘.

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!


It has been almost a year since I started posting blogs on Word Press. I was getting frustrated with other social media that I had been using. I felt that Instagram was too superficial and commercial. Facebook was too political, nasty and negative. I was looking for something better and, for the most part, I have found it on WordPress.

I enjoy the opportunity to be more creative on WordPress. I enjoy meeting people from different countries and totally different walks of life and getting to actually know them on a deeper level as neighbours and friends. I enjoy the time and effort people put into sharing their posts. WordPress is a deeper, more personal experience.

The only issues I have with WordPress are the technical challenges that it presents. Much of my time at work over the past couple of decades has been dealing with technical meltdowns, glitches and the like. I have had more than my share of such nonsense so it is not something that I look for in a pastime.

The most persistent and annoying issues I have are relative to the WordPress Reader. The search tool is so frustrating, I generally cannot even find my own blogs on it let alone anyone else’s. Having found a blog I want to read, I often cannot download the pictures or video clips or my phone locks up. I have no idea why. I can download an entire set of commercial drawings from an electronic planroom on my phone but my phone has to be constantly restarted when I am trying to use WordPress.

The most bizarre issue I have had on WordPress happened when I was setting up my account. I went through the entire process, including choosing the name – Retirement 101 with AnneMarie. That was where I was at – navigating my own path to retirement. WordPress, in its infinite technical wisdom, decided to name my website ‘’. Why? I never asked for that website name. I am fairly sure I didn’t agree to it. Was someone in the black hole of technology anticipating the pandemic of 2020 and the social distancing that it has created? No idea. My website needs work to look more professional but I think I am going to have to live with the seclusion that comes with my web address.

Maybe I can move to a secluded spot in the woods?

Back to work

I have received notice that I am scheduled to return to work on June 8th. Since I am retiring on July 24th, I could easily refuse. There is no benefit for me to return, other than a few weeks pay, which we could survive without. There are several reasons not to return – most, but not all, health related. The dust, the air conditioning and the stress in my office all aggravate my asthma and that is something I do not need, on top of my other respiratory issues right now, particularly considering the current Corona virus situation.

Be that as it may, I have agreed to return to work until my official retirement date. I have been with this company for almost sixteen years. I have a lot of time and effort invested in it. I have built up a number of client and supplier relationships that I do not wish to see the company lose. As much as I know things will ultimately be done differently when I retire, I want to make sure someone is ready to take over where I leave off.

In the meantime I have two weeks left to enjoy my pre-retirement break. Today I am cleaning our patio set and getting it ready for resting and relaxing once I do retire for real!

Rainy Day Wednesday

Dan is back to work for another round of shifts. The damp cloudy weather isn’t helping me feel better today but I will get some work done around the house. I have to make Kat some fresh food, clean the glass shower doors and work on the kids room. That should fill my day. I did put my plants outside earlier and took a bit of a tour around the yard.

A new flower arrangement I got for Mother’s Day yesterday – Maddy had to pick the Sunny yellow basket!
And a beautiful red Geranium!
And a new Bleeding Heart for Grandpa because he can’t be left out when Genie’s buying gifts – even for Mother’s Day🤣
2020 Frog
Dan’s little birds
Rock on…

Have a good day all and remember to keep safe!

Facebook Hacks

All Fixed

I do not try a lot of Facebook hacks. Some of them are questionable, some of them are useless, and some of them just require more effort than I am willing to invest.

There are some hacks that sound like the perfect answer to one of life’s problems. Those, I try.

A few weeks ago, our bathroom sink was not draining particularly well. I remembered seeing a post on Facebook about pouring baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar.  It worked like magic.  Our bathroom sink drained like a darn!

Today, our kitchen sink was draining rather sluggishly.  I dumped in the the baking soda, poured in the vinegar, and it plugged solid.  No idea if I used too much baking soda, not enough vinegar, or if the two reacted with grease in the pipes – but it plugged solid.  

I did what any intelligent woman would do if her husband was in the next room. I snuck to the bathroom, grabbed the toilet plunger, filled the kitchen sink with super hot water and plunged the heck out of it. That worked. The sink drained. I scrubbed it down with bleach cleanser and it is good as new.

I can’t say as much for the toilet plunger. In my enthusiasm , I tore a big hole in the rubber plungy part. I rinsed it off and snuck it back into the bathroom. Now I have to wait until Dan goes to use it, knowing I am going to have to convince him that he must have wrecked it the last time he used it – because I would never plunge a toilet.

Stupid Facebook hacks.


The Barley Mill
Yorkies and Chips

Another Saturday out shopping with my husband. We went out to The Barley Mill for one of my favourite lunches.

We were kind of, sort of celebrating. Evraz North America got hit by a data ransom attack so the company is basically on shut down until everything gets resolved. All of the employees who work in the steel plants and pipe mills are laid off. At this point, Dan is supposed to be laid off for three weeks.

Obviously this is bad news for the business, owners and shareholders. This is bad news for the IT department and management who has to deal with this fiasco. This is terrible news for the younger employees who have home mortgages and vehicle loans to pay and families to support. I feel for all of them.

But Dan & I are fine. Our humble little house is mortgage free, we have one small vehicle loan, we have emergency funds and I am still working. My paycheque will cover our monthly bills and keep food on the table. For Dan and I this is sort of a minor inconvenience – which is more than offset by the fact that Dan is home for three weeks. Whoo hoo!!!💃🕺

For three weeks we get to keep regular hours, eat regular home cooked meals and spend quality time together. I have been busy creating a honey-do list. Dan has been busy buying beer and booking rounds of golf.

We may have a conflict of interests. 😊😕

The Ten Commandments

Moses – Assiniboine Park Winnipeg, MB

This morning, I happened upon a blog that listed a number of thought provoking question. One of the questions was “Do you follow the ten commandments?”

The ten commandments are pretty basic to decent human behaviour – so yes, I generally follow the ten commandments. (Nobody is perfect). I kept thinking about this. I know why I follow the commandments. They make sense. They are the foundation of a constructive life. If I did not follow the commandments, my life would be in chaos. I would be filled with guilt, in trouble with the courts, lose my job, I would drive away friends and family – there would be constant negative consequences.

I was taught the ten commandments by the time I was three years old. Even then, I am pretty sure I could understand the consequences of murder, lying and stealing or the benefit of honoring one’s parents or setting aside one day a week to honor life and creation.

What I can’t understand, is why the powers that be felt it necessary to teach me that if I broke the commandments, God would smite me down and I would spend eternity burning in hell. Seems kind of overkill for anything a tot might be capable of.