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.
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 so😂.) 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!
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 way😂)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
This just doesn’t seem to be Kat’s year for taking walks. A few days ago we were out walking when two dogs charged up from nowhere and tried to attack her. She was fine, but a bit traumatized. I haven’t walked her down that block since.
Last night we set off for our walk. We walked about five block and all was good – or as good as it gets walking Kat. She walks, then stops dead to smell a post, eat some grass, fill a poop bag, whatever. It is a process. She finally gets up to speed and, since we have doubled back, we are one long block and two short blocks from home. Kat stops and yipes – sharp and loud.
I looked down and Kat is holding one paw up in the air. I looked around and I saw a spiked seed pod on the sidewalk but nothing else. I crouched down and tried to have a look. There was nothing obvious so I tried to feel around between the pads of her hairy little foot but could not find anything. I stood up to see if she would put her paw down and walk on it. She tried but she couldn’t do it.
I decided that I had to carry Kat home. Picking her up was not the most graceful thing I have ever done. Carrying a fifteen kilogram dog three blocks was not going to happen. I carried her about six feet before I set her down and tried to catch my breath, while digging in my walking bag for my cell phone. Fortunately, Dan was home, answered the call and agreed to come and meet up with us.
Once again, I picked up Kat and tried to do my part in meeting up with Dan. I made it another six feet before crouching down and letting Kat slide out of my arms. When Dan got to us, we were both looking pretty pathetic.
Dan checked Kat over and convinced her to try to stand on the grass by the sidewalk. She decided that she could limp home beside him, stopping a couple of times to eat more grass.
When we got home, I got out a pair of tweezers and had a better look at Kat’s food. I did find a sizeable sharp splinter that I removed but she was still limping. Dan had another look and decided she most have twisted her paw when she stepped on the splinter.
Kat still had a bit of a limp this morning but she has been doing fairly well. She has been bouncing out to the gate to check out every passerby. It seems she will be fine but I think it is best if we skip our walk today.
Every year I choose one aspect of my life to focus special attention on. This year I chose to focus on peace. Every morning, I begin my day by copying ‘peaceful’ positive affirmations in my journal. Throughout the day, when I find myself tensing up for any reason, I stop for a moment to focus on peace. When things go wrong, I try to think “Isthis worth losing peace over?” At night, I drift off to sleep focussed on peaceful thoughts.
So far, this year has not been perfect. There have been challenges with my health, family issues, employment issues and general life issues plus the uncertainty that comes from such things as a global pandemic. Regardless, I have felt a profound change in the way I process it all. I find it easier to let go of control or expectations. I find it easier to appreciate the moments in life that are worth cherishing. I find it easier to just ‘be in the moment’. I find it easier to laugh and smile and just feel good. I am finding it easier to create a peaceful vibe around me, like the people I have most admired in my life.
I am not always where I would like to be on my quest for peace. There are anxious moments and stressful days, when I feel less than peaceful. There are people who seem intent on drama and creating chaos. At times, I feel more frustrated and annoyed with them than peaceful. However, overall I feel I am making significant progress. I have another 228 days to focus on peace and I know that I am on a good track for a significantly better life experience.
Life is not always great, sometimes it is not even good – but I honestly believe that we can live it better. It takes work and perseverance and time – but life can be better.