Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🍀

My family is French Canadian three hundred and sixty four days a year, but on March seventeenth we turn Irish for the day to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and my father’s birthday! 🍀🎂

A celebration with my Dad.

My father and I were close.  I still feel that closeness, even twenty-nine years since his passing, especially on days like this –  his birthday/St. Patrick’s Day.    This morning, his presence was felt more than ever.

My father enjoyed any number of simple pleasures, none moreso than relaxing and  watching good entertaining television programs.    His favourite ever was “The Littlest Hobo”.  My Dad loved that show.   With his love for dogs,  “The Littlest Hobo” was an obvious hit for him and the best part of his week as long as the series ran.

This morning while having my morning coffee and vaguely aware of the television running in the background, I heard this familiar tune….

Yes, one of our channels has resurrected Dad’s show and my husband Dan (😍) had flipped to it in honor of my Dad’s birthday. 

Molly, who is not typically the least bit interested in television, was mesmerized.  Like my Dad, she has found her all time favourite show. 💓

Anyway, that just made a brilliant start to my day so I had to share.   

Now to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share an old Irish blessing…

May love and laughter light you days
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
With joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.
A bit of greenery for St. Patrick’s Day

Take care and have a great day! 🍀💓

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Molly is ***ONE***

She can hardly contain her excitement!

Molly was born into this world on February 16th, 2022. After spending her first few weeks with her Mom and siblings, we welcomed her into our home on April 22nd.

April 22, 2022
Eating one of the many cedars we had pre-Molly.
Molly’s first ‘official’ walk – 4 weeks post final round of vaccinations.
Genie’s lap dog.
Summer splash pool – I was trying to clean it and give her fresh water. She just couldn’t wait!
Fresh out of responsible pet control.
Christmas 2022 with Cason, Lucas, Bacardi, & Cornelius
Yes, Molly! You did this to me. 🙄

Our big girl is an entire year old. It hasn’t all been easy, it hasn’t all been fun, but every day is so worth it! 😁 Happy Birthday, Molly!

Body, Mind, Soul, & Heart

Most people have their own particular outstanding strength –  be it physical, mental, spiritual,  or  a genuinely  kind,  caring, and affectionate  personality.   Then there is son Dan,  who turned forty-three years young today.

Dan was an infant for about three months. Even then,  he never stopped.   In his sleep, he was moving fingers and toes, tumbling  around,  and practicing his  grins and gurgles. By seven months, he had mastered forks and spoons and fed himself Easter dinner at Grandma’s house.  By three years old, he had mastered his first set of real tools and was swinging a hammer like a pro.

In elementary school,  Dan was the A student, the class clown, the solo singer in the annual Christmas concert, the teacher’s pet, and the chick (every little girl)  magnet. At home he was helping me bake, helping his father build a garage –  followed by our new house – followed by laying an acre of sod with the next door neighbour and I.

When he turned ten, Dan was ready to join the workforce.  He took on a paper route in our area and was  saving up to buy his own big screen tv. 

By fourteen, he was ready for a real job so he joined the production crew at the millwork company where I was employed.  Throughout high school, he worked fifty to fifty-five hours a week, graduated with honors, bought his first vehicle, and installed a new motor in it (himself).   In his spare time – he hung out with his friends Dave and Scott and, along  with  his brother and sister, helped me to maintain our household,  since I was now divorced and working eighty hours a week to support us.

Dan with his Oldsmobile Cutlass

After graduation, Dan headed north to work for my brother-in-law’s/sister’s oilfield fabrication and service company.  Despite injury and illness, he completed  his four year journeyman pipefitter course in three years, graduating at the top of his class.  Soon he was on his way to  managing large oilfield projects in northern Alberta, despite being  the youngest man on the site (for a number of years).    By this time he had purchased his first house, traded up to a new truck,  married his first wife – and was soon to become a father.

Following a difficult marriage and a  painful  divorce process, Dan married the love of his life –  the wonderful (and equally energetic, caring, intelligent,  and fun loving) AMANDA. Due to a last minute Covid lockdown, their formal wedding ceremony was a very intimate affair for them, which we watched over a streaming website.     

Fortunately, we were able to attend their less formal wedding reception the following summer. ( In 2021)

Hers, his, and theirs – Lucas, Gabby, and Cason.  (They couldn’t even keep it together for their photo session. ) 🥰

Dan and Amanda have a beautiful home always  filled with kids, dogs, friends, family, great food, love, and happiness.  Dan is working closer to home these days – still long hours, but at least closer to home which enables him to be at home every night.  Amanda  runs her own  company – as well as their busy home.  Gabby is in Grade 12 and working at a store and ice cream shop in a small town close to their acreage, Lucas is in Grade 2, and Cason just started pre-school.

And in his spare time, Dan just finished building the last section of their massive deck.

Happy Birthday, Dan. We are so proud of you and your beautiful amazing family.  (And so happy that you found someone with the energy and inclination to keep up with you 😉)

That is it for today.  Take care and have a great day! 🌞💞

Walking off the Celebration

I had a great day yesterday. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for the well wishes. If I missed anyone in the individual replies, I am so sorry! Every birthday wish, and comment on my improving fitness, was genuinely appreciated!

I had a very nice day which was topped off with two of my favourite foods for supper. KFC and Carmel Cake.

Made it myself but it was SO good.

Neither a choice that I would recommend for a healthy diet, but one has to keep it real. How many birthdays does one get in a lifetime? (Ok! Apparently it can be quite quite a few since this was my 67th 😉) Other than that, I stuck to my fitness routine yesterday and I was back to it this morning.

Molly & I heading into the new Regent Park.
We had to stop to admire the wildflowers.
The crowded paths were manageable. 😯
As were the deserted green spaces. 🙄
Molly was relatively good today… except walking around the ball diamonds. I don’t know why she was determined to look over the fence every two minutes. I could see through the chain link? 🤔
We finally ran across some other visitors to the park. We have SO many crows this year. Why is that?

That is all I have for today. I came home and finished my workout so it is time to get some real work done around here. We had another heavy rain yesterday afternoon and Molly decided it would be a great time for a romp around the yard followed by a run through the house. I did clean up as best I could at the time but there is a still a wet dog smell lingering about the place. Nice…

Take care and have a great day!💞

Sixty Seven 🎂

Today I turn sixty seven and I have to admit, I have never been so excited about growing older. 🤗

Every year of my life has brought joy and sadness, love and loss, challenge and triumph. This year has been no exception, other than that the past five months have been exceptional when it comes to personal growth, wisdom, and understanding.

It all started so innocently and easily. I felt miserable and looked worse. Physically, mentally, emotionally – I had drifted to a really blah place. One day, enough was enough. I got off my butt, cranked up some tunes from the sixties and danced. I started to eat better and I found ways to improve my diet and fitness level.

  • In the past five months I have:
  • Gone from basic dancing to Zumba (aerobics to music) using free videos on You Tube
  • Mostly given up junk food snacks
  • Spent more time planning and preparing healthy meals
  • Started drinking six ounces of beet juice, and eating a couple of tablespoons of sauerkraut a day. I also eat about a quarter of cup of sunflower seeds a day – which I buy raw and airfry with olive oil, lemon juice and hot sauce.
  • Started to take cold showers in lieu of hot baths
  • Started walking my Pyrenees pup every day
  • Meditated daily for the first three months – not so much lately – but I have been spending a lot of time out and about, enjoying fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature.

Everything I have been doing takes minimal time out of my day, the cost is negligible, and the results have been amazing. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I have never felt better or stronger. Surprisingly, shockingly actually is that the one change that I have made, that I enjoy the most, is the cold showers. I go from cool water to straight ice cold. The initial discomfort is NOTHING compared to how much better I feel after a cold shower. My dry, itchy skin is gone! Even on a cool day, I am warmer getting out of a cold shower than a hot bath (because the air is warmer than my skin), and I just feel good. One can never imagine a cold shower as being a good thing but it is a game changer. ☺️

Now for the before and after….

July 2020 – Celebrating my birthday with Dan, Amanda & Family
July 2021 – Celebrating Dan & Amanda’s Wedding Reception 
July 2022 – Feeling better than ever and looking forward to turning 68 just so I can use this photo as another ‘before’ picture.

That’s it for another day – and another year. I have no idea what this next year has in store for me. It will probably be a mixed bag of challenges and blessings – BUT I am ready for both and everything in between. I am so glad that I took that first step five months ago. It is never too soon and never too late. 👍

Take care and have a great day!💞

Sometimes it is hard to tell a challenge from a blessing. 😂

Wednesday!

It’s Dan’s birthday today but since he had to work we celebrated last night. Just a quiet evening at home but it was nice. A little food, some tv, and a nice supper.

My sister Elaine and her husband John sent Dan the prettiest card. She makes cards for all of the family for birthdays, anniversaries and the like and they are all so special. I am sure she has everything down on a calendar of sorts but I would still lose track. (My Christmas cards from 2015 are still waiting to be sent.)
This beautiful card was the one she sent to us for the loss of our Kat. The inscription was touching, as well. 😢
Dan’s birthday supper – with a side salad. He didn’t get a card from me but I did tell him if he wanted any new golf gear, he could definitely buy it from me. 🙄 It is hard for me to buy the right sports equipment for him but I am all for him having whatever adds to his enjoyment of the game. 💞
And I made him a cake. Actually, it was Brownies with cream cheese icing but it was cakish. 😊

Today is also Dan’s sister Joan’s birthday – four years apart but on the same day. 🎂 They also have two cousins born on April 12th – a few years apart. That seems like such a bizarre coincidence to me. I come from a largish family, that came from two very large families, and none of us share birthdays. 🤔

That’s about it for today. I got my dancing and walking in today so I am feeling pretty darn good about myself. I haven’t missed any workout days since February 14th. Pretty impressive. 😌

Take care and have a great day! 💞

July 26 – Older, Wiser, Better 😁

So we have come to this.  I am officially over sixty-five. 

My sister Elaine makes the cutest cards for family! I have saved every one she has sent us. I might have to frame this elephant one! 💞

After working five brutal shifts, and the last three shifts being night shifts, Dan slept for three hours this morning and then came with me to do the weekly shopping. Tonight he is taking me out for a nice supper – I got to choose and since we had Arby’s last week, I chose The Keg. I love their prime rib and horseradish sauce. It is to die for! 🤗

Dan did have an extra special supper planned for us, but once again his romantic gesture was foiled. At least I wasn’t the one that foiled him this time. 😌

When we first started dating, we worked at the same company. One morning Dan snuck into my office and left a sweet note for me. He crumpled it up, so no one else would read it, and set it on my chair. I didn’t read it either. I tossed it in the wastebasket and cursed my boss for leaving his trash on my chair. 🙄

The next time Dan tried to romance me, he set a Hershey Kiss on the seat of his Jeep when he came to pick me up. I hopped right in – and sat on it. 🙄 At least he used chocolate that was wrapped in foil. That could have been really embarrassing. 🥺

Then Dan took me out for my birthday. After a lovely meal at Golf’s, several staff members burst out of the kitchen carrying a sparkler topped birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday! 🎂 I heard it was really nice. I was in the washroom. Our waiter did bring the little cake back, and it was delicious, as everything is at Golf’s. I think he even sang but I am fairly certain he sang alone. 🎶

Finally, the next year for my birthday Dan took me to Neo Japonica. Everything was magical and when the waitress brought me a saki martini, I was cautious (or lucky) enough that I did not toss it back and swallow my sparkling new engagement ring. 💞

This year, twenty-three years later, Dan decided that we should relive his triumph. He asked me if I remembered the name and address of the restaurant. It took me a couple of minutes but I did remember the name and I quickly Googled the address. Sadly Neo Japonica is no more. The unique building is still there – with the same verandah where we were seated that memorable night. Unfortunately, the ambiance of the Chuckwagon Hotdog and Ice Cream shop with the bright red shiny paint job just wouldn’t be the same. 😳

So, tonight we are off to a lovely supper at The Keg to celebrate my birthday and the anniversary of our engagement.

You are my greatest adventure too, Dear! 💞💞💞

Dan always buys me the sweetest card. 💞

Wishing all a magical happy day today! See you tomorrow! 💞

* Notice how I used the word ambiance two days in a row. It is not a word that I generally use that often. 🤔

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I come from a French Canadian family but one of the biggest days of the year in our house was March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. My mother loved to celebrate and she never met a holiday she didn’t love. March 17th was a double hitter in our home – a day to celebrate the life of a great Catholic saint and my father’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

With the physique of a leprechaun, a twinkle in his eye, and a spring in his step, it was totally fitting that my Dad was allowed to be Irish one day of the year.

This year to celebrate this special spring holiday, I started the day by tending to my little seedlings. The first seeds I planted are coming along nicely. I hope they do not get too big before our garden is ready for planting.

Spring has sprung🍀

Take care and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy Birthday Mark

Happy Birthday to my firstborn – Mark Benjamin. I remember bringing you home from the hospital like it was yesterday. You were so very tiny. Now, poof – forty three years later!

So much has happened in those years. I remember the little boy who refused to walk through puddles. How did you become the man who works construction, camps out with Erin and Dom every chance you get, crawls through the bushes with airsoft guns blazing and spends your spare time on one home improvement project after another? All the never, evers I heard for years and yet here you are. 🤣

It truly makes me wonder where the next forty three years will take you?

Happy Birthday, son. I will love you forever, I will like you for always!