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 ‘seclusion101withAnneMarie.com’. 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!!!πŸ’ƒπŸ•Ί

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. πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜•

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.


100 More Business Days πŸ˜Š

Nature at its Finest❣️

There are 100 more business days until I retire. Whoo hoo!

I am retiring at the end of July, the best time of the year in Saskatchewan. The flowers will be blooming, the sun will be shining, the birds will be singing and I will be free to enjoy it all😊

As much as I have enjoyed the challenges of my career, I am looking forward to being free of the stress of deadlines and profit margins and tracking endless details. πŸ€‘

I am looking forward to having free time to read and write, cook and clean, walk the dog and putter in my garden. I am looking forward to having time to visit my sisters and meet new friends. I can’t wait to have FREE time. πŸ•°οΈ

I am so looking forward to freedom! Only 100 more business days and I will be free to start a new chapter in my life. The closer I get, the better it looks. πŸ₯³

International Day of Hugs

Today is the International day of hugs.Β  I have to admit, I am not the most touchy feely person and I am rattled more than a little when someone spontaneously hugs me, especially if it is someone I have just met or someone I do not know very well. Occasionally, someone will ask if it would be ok to hug me. I generally agree although there have been times when I have just declined with a simple “No, I’m good”. Actually it was one time and he was a pre-plan funeral salesman. It was just wierd.

Despite my reluctance to hug willy-nilly, there have been a number of studies that have shown that hugging has potential benefits – physically and emotionally. Newborns, are known to thrive when the they are hugged, compared to those who are deprived of such physical interaction. The same theory must also be popular with seniors. I am pretty sure one of the prerequisites for working in a nursing home is the ability to pass around hugs like hard candies – which is another story of mine altogether.

I honestly do admire people who are capable of giving out spontaneous hugs to anyone in their immediate vicinity. I had a brother-in-law who gave the best bear hugs. He was an amazing man with a big heart and a total joie de vivre. Unfortunately, he died in a vehicle accident many years ago. The likes of Paul are few and far between. My kids are all good and natural huggers but they are all a little cautious about who they hug. My grandchildren hug anybody, their friends are huggers, it is somewhat of a ‘thing’ with the lot of them.

& kisses

Happy ‘International Day of Hugs’! It is only one day of the year, make the most of it.Β  Hug your mother, your friend, your sister, or your dog. Hug a stranger – but like not me. I’m goodπŸ€—

Top Stories of 2019

Happy New Year

Tonight I watched the news with my husband. I generally avoid watching our news as it tends to focus on politicians, social issues that are never resolved and news that never happened. Our newscasters once interviewed a golfer who did not get hit by lightning during a storm. That was special. We also heard of Regina’s connection to the Concord that crashed years ago. Fyi – there was no connection. That was the story. πŸ™„

One of our news segments tonight was looking back at the top five news stories in Saskatchewan in 2019. I do not know who chose these stories but for what it is worth, here we go.

1. Fighting the federal carbon tax. For the record, our premier argues against anything the federal government proposes. Personally, if the carbon tax cost us anything this past year, it was not noticeable and we got a rebate of about $750.00 on our taxes last year to cover it. We spent it on a new patio set.

FYI we have a real patio – the grandkid’s pool is on itπŸ™„

2. Federal Election. It was painful to watch but ultimately hardly newsworthy.

3. Saskatchewan farmers terrible season. I don’t remember a year when that one did not make the top five news stories for the year.

4. Regina Bypass Opens. Government spends billions to solve a problem that could have been solved with a couple of traffic lights – but it would not have been nearly as impressive. 🀷

5. Mac the Moose from Moose Jaw received a new rack to regain his title as tallest moose in the world after a moose sculpture from Norway took him down.

Personally, I would not have rated all, or probably any, of these stories as top newsmakers in 2019. Regardless, I do think these choices reveal something. In Saskatchewan we are blessed. We see news from around the globe – news of devastating floods, fires, famine and violence and it is unimaginable to us .

In Saskatchewan, we have social issues and there are personal tragedies that affect families and communities, but as a whole, we live in relative peace and security. That should be noted this year and every year – noted and appreciated.