Must Be A Clampett Duck

Just when I thought I had the mystery of the quacky duck solved, it turned out to be a no go. I have no idea where Molly’s new duck came from, but if you are into duck tales, you should pay a visit to Karla on theclampettsblog (if you aren’t already a regular visitor). She tells great ones – not to mention tales of chickens, geese, turkeys and other little critters that tend to visit her and her husband’s off the grid acreage.

I did sort out our Visa issues. After two days of pulling my hair out, I landed a live one at our bank – my new hero at the reception counter. She was able to call Visa (with me standing there) and ascertain that someone had tried to book a flight to the Middle East using my card. The Visa people weren’t buying that one, so they blocked not only my card, but Dan’s as well. For whatever reason, they didn’t run that past us, so I was freaking out trying to find out who and why someone had control of our Visa account. Someone who obviously was not us! Anyway, we are all good now. I hope. 🙄

Meanwhile, I haven’t had a chance to mention that we had a fun family supper on Sunday night with granddaughters Genie and Brook – along with their other halves and Brooks little half (and her dog Kingsley, who I suspected of being the source of the mystery duck). Anyway, we had barbecued steak, shrimp, corn on the cob, Caesar salad, and fried mushrooms. For desert, I made an almost homemade apple pie. (I cheated and used store bought frozen crust. No one needs to know that Grandma hasn’t made an actual pie crust for decades.)

Genie and Alec – Genie is really happy to be home. ☺️
Brook, Alaska, & Kale. They were pretty happy too! Especially Alaska Rose – I don’t think that baby is ever unhappy. 💗

That’s about it for today. I am almost back on track today. I have my meditation, walking, and dancing done. I just have to get busy around here doing some more yard cleanup and making a small pot of soup for supper, plus getting my weights done.

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

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! 🌞💞

Bits and Pieces

I just have a couple of bits and pieces to share today. 😉

First up – Over the past few days, Dan and I have celebrated my birthday and our wedding anniversary. As always, my sister Elaine was thoughtful enough to send us beautiful handcrafted cards to mark the occasions.

My photography does not do them justice. The needlepoint images are padded and both are exquisite! 💞

Secondly – I promised then and now photos of Genie with Molly.

Then – Two months ago when Genie was leaving on the first leg of her summer adventure.
Now – Molly is quite a bit bigger and Genie is actually quite a bit smaller (thinner) than she was when she left.
Molly was determined to let Genie know how much she missed her.

That is it for today. A beautiful sunny day out so I should get Molly fed and get outside to do a bit of yardwork before it gets too warm.

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Congratulations!

Celebrating a special young couple today. Our granddaughter Genie (Genevieve) and her boyfriend Alec (Ben) are officially engaged! They are such a sweet, responsible, caring, special couple – we couldn’t be happier for the both of them. From the beginning, through thick and thin, they have always been – meant to be.

Alec & Genie
First Love
Young Love
Graduation Love
Forever Love
It’s a Love Story – THEY BOTH SAID YES!

That is it for our big news for the day. Congratulations to both of you! Thank you, Denise for raising a very special young man and for all that you have done, and do for the two of them.

Week 20

It has been 20 weeks since I got out of my rocking chair and started getting fit for spring. It has been such a great journey, I have had no inclination to quit once spring sprang or at any other time in my foreseeable future.

As always, I noted a few improvements this week.

#1 – For the first time since I started working out, I noticed that when I am working out, I was really not struggling to breathe or to catch my breath – even on warm and humid days. That is amazing! With asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis, I used to struggle to breathe all of the time.

#2 – My hands look younger. My blood vessels are not as noticeable. I don’t know if that is because my skin is healthier or because my collagen levels (that affect blood vessels) is better. Either way, that is cool.

#3 – My stamina has improved considerably. On Saturday, I spent the entire first half of the day working to clean up our entire yard in anticipation of a visit from my sister, her husband, and their two German Shepherds – Heidi and King.

This was after they arrived. 🤣🤣🤣. I can hear Dan out back recleaning the back patio as we speak.
Heidi appreciated the nice cool sand.
King – The first pure black German Shepherd that I have ever seen and he is GORGEOUS!
Molly and King went hard.
And rested frequently!

Dan and I had a good visit while watching our dogs carry on. Dan barbecued us a delicious steak and shrimp supper Saturday night. On Sunday, I whipped up some pancakes and bacon, Dan and Jerry went golfing, and Lorraine and I got in a good visit while keeping an eye on the canines. It was a great visit and the weather was perfect – warm, windless, and absolutely bugless!

The dogs all got along great – especially King and Molly who are both still puppies (big puppies). Heidi has quite a few good years on her and struggles with arthritis, so she was more content laying back and watching the young ‘uns.

That’s it for this week’s report. I am still working out, planning to get in some good walks with Molly, and anxious to see how far I can take this fitness program that I am on.

Take care and have a great day!💞

February 19th – Rumi

There are people who possess brilliant minds. There are also people who possess the ability to express themselves simply and comprehensively. I find it fascinating when these people are one and the same – when brilliant minded people have the ability to share their wisdom in a simple and comprehensive manner.

One such fascinating person was Rumi, a thirteenth century Persian poet, who is still sharing his wisdom with us today. (Amazingly, his wisdom is as relevant now as it was in the thirteenth century.)

A year ago, I shared a few of my favourite Rumi quotes in this blog post. Simply brilliant words of wisdom.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2021/02/16/rumi/

There was one quote that has stayed with me for the past year and has had a profound effect on me and my life.

“It’s your road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi

My first thought was ‘obviously’. We are all responsible for our own lives. We are responsible for the choices we make and we are responsible for the consequences of those choices. Others can walk with us, but it is our life and inevitably we have to ‘own it’.

But then…. I had this realization. Everyone has their own road. Not just me…. 🙄

Everyone has their own road, even the people I care about – even my sons and my daughter and my grandchildren. They have to walk their own road. Even on those occasions when I can walk it with them, I cannot walk it for them. I cannot choose the paths they take and I cannot save them from the wrong turns they will inevitably make. They have the right to walk their own roads and the responsibility to deal with the consequences – for better or worse.

It has been a few difficult years for me (parenting wise), but Rumi’s words have helped me to put things into perspective and it has made all the difference. I am on my road and have faith that those I love are on the roads that they need to be on, to ultimately get them where they need to go.

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

February 14th – Parenting 101 version 2.0

Like most parents, I thought I had a pretty decent concept of parenting while my kids were ‘kids’. The one area where I really struggled was my tendency to worry about them, much like my Mother worried about my siblings and I, and her Mother worried about her and her siblings. It is a Mother thing that is harder to overcome than most mother things, as I mentioned in a September 2020 blog post.

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/09/19/parenting-101/

My ‘little ones’
Mark, Jen & Dan with Grandma
In recenter years

My sons and my daughter are now in their fabulous forties and amazingly I have my maternal worrying somewhat under control.

It is funny how young parents worry about the terrible two’s and the terrifying teen’s. Those were too easy. Toddlers are adorable – regardless of where they are stuffing the marachino cherries and grilled cheese sandwiches. Teens are a hoot – a constant source of amusement and delightful drama.

I won’t deny it. The forties are ugly. (My mother definitely worried as I approached mine!)

I have one son who seems to be dealing fairly well – he keeps busy and has an amazing wife and family. His twenties were seriously trying, but he seems to be handling the forties.

The other son is well into his forties. He has made a lot of changes in his life in the past few years. It remains to be seen how they will go for him.

I manage to forgo the worrying for both of my sons these days, and just send them warm and fuzzy feelings on a regular basis.

I still tend to worry about my daughter (and her family). I know that is not good. Just as Jennifer is responsible for her family, for the decisions she has made and for the consequences of her decisions, I am responsible for my own mental health and well being. I am responsible for creating a happy, peaceful home for myself and my husband. I am responsible for living my best life. I raised all of my kids to the best of my abilities. There comes a time to let go and trust that they have whatever it takes to live their own best lives.

So, there you have it. As a mother, I still worry – but I am gradually getting better and I am getting better about holding myself accountable.

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!💞

February 9th – For the Love of Elephants

It is beautiful, warm, and sunny in Saskatchewan. 🌞 Despite the sunny skies, it is hard not to be dragged down by all of the disturbing news in our province, country, and around the globe lately – but not today! Today I am going to update a post on one of my favourite subjects and then Kat and I are heading out to clear off more of the patio.

Today I am updating a post on elephants!

https://seclusion101withannemarie.com/2020/04/26/for-the-love-of-elephants/

The herd has continued to grow slowly but surely over the past couple of years.

Super elephant isn’t really a ‘new’ addition. He just moved home to his place in the herd, from the spot he had on a shelf over my desk at work. He retired with me. 🤗

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day!

November 30th – Letting go and Moving On

Today is November 30th, the final day of my month of WISDOM. This seems like an opportune time to source and share ‘words of wisdom‘ on letting go and moving on. Retirement was not my first go around with dealing with this concept in my life, but it has been a challenging one. I am well into the moving on stage, but there are still times when I can use some wisdom and encouragement. If you are going through a similar situation right now, I hope that these quotes will help to brighten your day and make your current path a little easier.

“When you let go you create space for something better.” – Anonymous

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” – Tao Te Ching

“Holding on is believing there’s only a past; letting go is knowing there is a future.” – Daphne Rose Kingma

“There are things we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But, keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” – Anonymous

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

“You will never get what you truly deserve if you are too attached to the things you are supposed to let go of.” – Anonymous

“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” – Steve Maraboli

I couldn’t resist closing off today’s post without this video clip. 💞

That’s it for today folks! Wherever you were, wherever you are, wherever you are going, I hope that today you are happy and hopeful. 💞

November 15th – Heartbreak

Regardless of how much we appreciate our lives here on Earth, we all experience times when our hearts are broken and our souls are shattered. I have experienced such times in my life. The death of a loved one is always hard but the most difficult for me has been the times when loved ones have deliberately destroyed that what is most important to me. That seems to be a recurring theme in my life. 🤷 Unfortunately, the only way to get through it, is to accept it and hope that everything truly does happen for a reason. It does help to know that there are others who understand and who share their ‘words of wisdom’ on grief with us.

“No matter how bad your heart is broken, the world does not stop for your grief.”

Faraz Kazi

“The shattering of a heart being broken is the loudest quiet ever.

Carroll Bryant

“I’d rather love a million times and have my heart broken every time, than hold a permanently empty heart forever.”

– H.C. Payene

“I know my heart will never be the same, but I’m telling myself I’ll be okay.”

– Sara Evans

“It is strange how often a heart must be broken, before the years can make it wise.”

– Sara Teasdale

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

– Marilyn Munroe

That is it for today, except to share our family news. Our two little ones have made their arrival. Alaska-Rose Charlize was born early Saturday morning weighing in at a whole 4lbs. 14oz. Logan Micheal was born early this morning weighing 7lbs. 8oz. Both are beautiful, perfect, and doing well. While it is a blessing that both have arrived safe and sound, it is sad and unfortunate that, since our family remains estranged, it is unlikely that they will be meeting each other anytime soon.

Take care and have a great day. 💞