Father’s Day 2020 – Part 2

Happy Father’s Day to all those Dads out there. I hope your day is special.

A lot of men, like my husband Dan, are ready to marry in their mid-thirties.
Dan was even ready for a family (fortunately for me – because I had one).
A couple of years later Dan was ready for his dog Casey, followed a few more years later by our first grandchild, Genevieve. Genie and Grandpa shared a special bond from the day he was in the delivery room to welcome her into the world. Over the first few years, Genie spent so much time on Grandpa’s shoulder that a few years ago he got his one and only tattoo – a ladybug on his left shoulder. He got it for Genie to remind her that in good times and bad, happy or sad, his shoulder would always be there for her.

Genie has been followed by eight more grandchildren – all of whom Dan welcomed with open arms and a loving heart.

Rory (with Genie & Kat)
Gabby
Brook
Maddy & Prim
Cousins Dominic and Lucas
Last but not least – Cason

Having a family is great, except for the times when it is hard, and we have had our share of both with our family. Dan is there, in good times and bad. I cannot imagine doing this without him. He makes the good times better and he makes the bad times tolerable. I love you Dear. Happy Father’s Day!

I can’t let Father’s Day go by without honourable mention to a few more fathers today.

Mark with Erin and Dominic
Son Dan with Lucas
Son-in-law Charlie with Maddy
And my Dad (with Danny, Mark, Jennifer & Mom)

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 ๐Ÿ’–
Have a hearty breakfast. Yes we have real dishes – no I do not use them๐Ÿคฆ
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! ๐Ÿ’

Friday Flowers

It has been cold and rainy all week but we are turning a corner today. It is still overcast but at least I have a few more flowers to share. Next week, with sunshine and warm weather, our yard should be blooming beautiful. With luck it will be nice enough on Dan’s next days off to get the monster pool up for the summer.

The petunias are starting to come around.
The zucchinis are blooming – in the cucumber planter ๐Ÿคฆ
My coral geranium is recovering nicely since I moved it to a better location in the yard.
Both of my Mother’s Day hanging planters continue to thrive. It must be the love that brought them๐Ÿค—
The flowers in my front yard planter are starting to bloom
Probably my oldest perennial. I moved it this year to make room for Dan’s new Bleeding Heart. I am so glad it survived!

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! ๐Ÿ’

My Priority is Peace

I have lived a stressful life.   There have been countless ‘situations’ in my life.  Through good, bad or ugly, especially the ugly, my response has been to stress out. 

I am turning sixty five years old next month.  I cannot handle the stress any longer – not physically, not mentally, and not emotionally.   I am done.  

As so often happens when one decides to give up an unhealthy lifestyle, the universe seems hell bent on dragging me back to the darkside. Currently there a number of potentially stressful events affecting my life and the world in general.

1. Family issues. My daughter got upset with me last August.ย  Typically, I have been labelled toxic and she has cut me out of her life.ย  Except she doesn’t cut anyone out of her life. She keeps the anger and the hurt and the hate going.ย  She cuts her entire family out of the life of anyone she has turned against, hurting them as well as herself and those she has shunned. Presently she has cut out her father and his wife, her ex-husband, her ex-husband’s family, her stepdaughter, her brother and his wife and their five year old son, most of her inlaws, Dan and I, friends too numerous to mention, and a few distant relatives.ย ย  As far as her problem with me, the truth is she cannot cut me out of her life – she is a part of me.ย  She cannot stop me from loving her and her family, she cannot erase theย  memories that I have of her and her family – all of the good times we have shared and the difficult times we have survived, she cannot erase all that Dan and I have done for her and her family nor the things that her and her family have done for us.ย  We are a part of her life and she and her family will always be a part of ours.

2.  Finances. I am recently retired.  The plan is for Dan to work for another four years and retire with his full pension.   Lately the plan isn’t looking good.  Dan works making pipe for the oil industry – at a time when the oil industry is struggling and a time when big companies are working to destroy the unions that protect their employees.   Our finances could potentially be adversely affected.   Dealing with financial problems at this point in our life could be serious.  As tempting as it is to start stressing out over this situation, I realize that will not protect us nor in any way improve the quality of our lives.

3. Global Pandemic.   Everything is at stake.  The global economy, personal finances, health, lives around the globe,  lives of loved ones, the viability of the food chain – the potential fallout is endless and astronomical.   There are countless reasons to stress over this situation but far more reasons to keep a level head and potentially become a part of the recovery.

4.ย  The murder of Floyd George and subsequent civil uprising. I can’t even.ย  At first this was shocking. At first the peaceful protests and the support by so many were powerful and moving.ย  At first there was a glimmer of hope that we could overcome the invasive bigotry that courses through humanity.ย ย  Now this movement is slowly being crushed by those who believe violence is the answer and more insideously by those who prefer the status quo – those who feel threatened when others desire the rights and privileges that they have always enjoyed. That is all sad, painful, and potentially stressful and I have no answers.

5. Social Media. I have been on Facebook for years. I joined to share pictures with family, keep up with friends, read the jokes, and play the games. Now it is a source of animosity, ‘alternate facts’, disrespect, insults, and those trying desperately to justify hate and ignorance. Instagram is almost as bad but that is due to its ‘Look at me I am Better’ format. People want to be ‘influencers’ in a race to want more. It is a race all will ultimately lose. There are still good, human, beautiful posts on both Facebook and Instagram, but one has to expose oneself to so much negativity to find them.

I could stress out for countless reasons – but stress is not an option. I have done enough stressing. There is enough stress in our world – it is a violent and destructive force that helps and heals no one. Going forward, peace is my priority. Peace is the healing, constructive power that I need. Peace is what our world needs.

Peace is Possible ๐Ÿ’—

For the Love of Trees

There are at least a dozen moments a day when I realize I am so absolutely happy to be retired. My favorite moment is when I walk out the door – any day, any time to enjoy my walk around our neighbourhood with Kat.

My favourite thing about our neighbourhood is the proliferation of trees. Trees do so much to dress up a neighbourhood and make it appear strong and healthy. I never get tired of the trees.

Trees forming an arch over our street๐Ÿค—
Trees shading the basketball courts and the pool.
A little path between one of the ball diamonds and a row of trees. I can actually walk through there without knocking myself out on a tree branch.
Dan prefers this path – it is a bit roomier.
The city cut down dozens of trees in our little golf course last summer. I have no idea why these two were saved but they do stand out.
One little blackbird sitting in a tree.
A random group of trees we pass.

I have no idea how many trees we have in Regina – definitely thousands (several thousands). When settlers first came here there were zero trees – just flat land with a creek (Wascana Creek) sitting beside a pile of bones. (Which is why Regina was originally named ‘Pile of Bones’). I am not sure why the settlers thought this would be a good place to settle, much less be the capital city of Saskatchewan, but I am grateful that they were industrious enough to start planting the trees we enjoy today.

Getting Out and Getting Fit

Since the snow melted a few weeks ago, Kat and I have resumed our daily walks around the neighbourhood. It was tough going for a while as neither Kat nor I were in great shape going in. After a few weeks at it we are starting to struggle less and enjoy it more.

Kat patiently waiting to go for a walk
Off the beaten path there are the cutest little purple butterflies in the weeds. This little guy tried to hide by folding up his colorful wings. I am pretty sure it didn’t work. Kat snuck her nose into the pic and the butterfly vanished.
A mother duck and her ducklings in the storm channel. Fortunately, Kat can’t get close enough to cause them any grief.
She did manage to startle a redwing blackbird.
Checking out some bushes.
We made it past the arena, past the pool, past the basketball courts and around the golf course.

Hopefully after a few more walks around this neighbourhood, we will both have the stamina to make it across Elphinstone to walk the paths that run through Princess Park. That is a nice area.

When Dan is on holidays we might even convince him to join us on a few hikes around Wascana Lake, the Wascana Trails outside of Regina and Evraz Park.

Genie, Maddy & Prim at Wascana Lake
Wascana Trails
Evraz Park

Have a great day – here is hoping everyone has the opportunity to get out to enjoy some nature and exercise this summer๐ŸŒž

Happy Birthday Rory๐ŸŽ‚

It is hard to believe Rory is fifteen, going into grade ten, and looking to start drivers training –

And, he is SO big. ๐Ÿ‘€

Rory with Prim and Maddy (& Kat)
Grandpa With Baby Rory & Genie
Little Rory – Those eyes!
Turning 2 at Candy Cane Park
Rory & his sister Genie at the ‘Under the Sea’ theme room at the Saskatoon Travelodge. Rory struggled with extreme chronic pain, and mobility, speech and dexterity issues throughout his younger years. His mother arranged for a number of diagnostic appointments in Saskatoon. I would go with her and the kids and arrange for special hotel accommodations so Rory would have positive memories of those days. He loved the hotel outings but struggled with the medical visits. They were hard on him. Ultimately, tests would reveal genetic collagen issues. Rory was prescribed higher and ever higher levels of painkillers until he was finally old enough to be accepted into a pain management program.
Rory at the Sheraton Cavalier in Saskatoon. This hotel did not turn out great, as the waterpark was closed when we were there, but as always we had a great time. We did have a beautiful corner suite on an upper floor which was memorable and perfect for us. We also had a great supper in the upscale lounge to celebrate Mother’s Day. Best of all – Rory loved the view of the city, especially after dark when the bridges were all lit up.
On our last trip to Saskatoon, we stopped at the Royal University Hospital gift shop. I bought souvenirs for Rory and his sisters and this elephant to add to my collection. This will always be one of my most special elephants as it is a tribute to Rory’s early struggles, to his mother’s dedication and determination to get him the help he needed and to the memories we made on those trips to Saskatoon.
Rory at the Gravelbourg Inn. Not all of our trips were for Rory’s medical issues. Rory and his sisters also enjoyed trips to visit my mother. It was always an adventure staying in a small town motel, taking Great Grandma out for brunch and stopping off for a visit at the town playground.
Rory had a special place in his heart for Great-Grandma. My mother had suffered with chronic pain throughout her lifetime. Rory was so sensitive to that connection. They shared a common bond.๐Ÿ’ž
Outnumbered – Rory with his sisters – Brook, Maddy, Genie & Prim – visiting with Santa
One of many lunches with Rory and his sisters. Those kids were always so well behaved in restaurants. Even as infants and tots, we could take them anywhere. My daughter and I went into a store one day and one of the cashiers turned to the other and said “that’s her” and pointed at Jen. Jen looked at her and the woman said. “You were at the oriental buffet last night with your family. You and your husband have five kids and they are all so beautiful and well behaved!”. It wasn’t the only time people commented on Jen’s family, by far, but it was pretty note worthy – and well deserved.
A highlight of a Rory sleepover at our house was always uninterrupted computer time!
Rory’s Grade 8 Graduation – With everything that Rory had endured as a youngster and everything he went through to overcome his medical issues, his Grade 8 graduation was a major accomplishment and a huge step forward in his life. When his teacher presented him with the award for the most improved student in his class, we were all moved to tears. Rory so deserved the acknowledgement and we were all so proud of him.

Happy Birthday, Rory! We love you so much! We wish you all the best going forward. Grandma & Grandpa D. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’

Another Round of Elephants

It has been a bit since I posted photos of my elephants.  These are just a few of my random favourites.  That is not quite accurate.  Every one of my elephants is my favourite.

A ‘Dumbo’ collectors elephant from my daughter.  He should be kept in original packaging but then I would not get to thoroughly enjoy him.
Oriental Harmony Balls
Scented Oil Diffuser – A bit off track here but did you know you should avoid certain scents if you have animals?ย  Dogs are adversely affected by eucalyptus.ย  They become lethargic and depressed by it.ย  Strange but true.ย 
An Elephant Jewellery Box
An Elephant Ring Box
Two Elephant Pins & A Ring – I also have an elephant bracelet that I received for speaking at a career day for Genie’s class but it is out for repairs at the moment.
Tea Diffuser Elephant That I Received for Christmas From Son Danny & Amanda
Glow in the Dark Elephant
My PrimRose Elephant. She was only two ๐ŸคทHe stayed on the elephant shelf๐Ÿคฃ

These are just a very few of the elephants I have. I have everything from a huge stuffed elephant to outdoor elephants to micro mini elephants. I saved one very special elephant for grandson Rory’s birthday post tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Take care and have a great day. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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 ๐Ÿคฆ

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.