Day 8 – Flower Power

Our yard is not bursting with color yet, but we do have perfect little blossoms popping up here and there. For day eight of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ challenge, I have chosen to share a few of my favourite little buds.

Violet and pink verbena
Dan’s favourite – multi-colour portulaca
Petunias by the pond.
More Petunias by the pond.
I love these wild marigolds! ๐Ÿ’ž
And more Petunias by the pond!
Nameless gnome guarding our new marigolds.
This is a perennial that we have had for years. The cutest puff of color when it is fully in bloom.
Not blooming yet, but these Coral Bells add color to our front yard. ๐Ÿ˜Š
My sister and I used to help my great uncle pick the blossoms off of his chives. I always thought it was such a pity. They are so pretty!

Spring is such a great time of year! Everytime we go outside there is a new treasure to be found. ๐Ÿค—

Eight days down, twenty two to go. Have a lovely day and I hope to see you tomorrow! ๐ŸŒž

Day One – The Sky’s The Limit

After much deliberation, I decided to kick off my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ blogging challenge with a salute to our province – The Land of the Living Skies (Saskatchewan).

In Saskatchewan, our skies stretch forth as far as the eye can see, unimpeded by mountains, or skyscrapers, or the like. Our winds also blow unimpeded by such natural or man-made windbreaks. Thus, we not only see anything in our skies, chances are it is moving and constantly changing – giving one the impression that they are in fact ‘Living Skies’.

A nearby park, covered with blue sky and wispy clouds.
Summer sky over Wascana Creek
Cloudy skies ๐Ÿ˜ข
Double rainbow after a summer shower.
A clear blue sky beaming down on the Jag we used to have. It was gorgeous – the Jag and the sky. ๐Ÿ˜‚
๐Ÿ˜ณ
Sky in the Water – I think that used to be a song๐Ÿค”
I love it when that happens. ๐Ÿ’ž

One down, twenty nine to go! Have a good day and I hope to see you tomorrow! ๐ŸŒž

Survival

The Saskatchewan floods and frigid weather have passed. Most of our plants have survived so far. We will see how many make it through the hurricane strength winds today!

All of the pepper plants seem good – sweet bell, mini bell, and hot varieties. ๐ŸŒถ๏ธ
Kat’s Tiny Tim tomatoes and our Roma, San Marzano, Beefsteak, Better Boy and multicolor all look good. Except for one multicolor plant – I think Kat ate it. ๐Ÿ™„
The petunias are still small but starting to bloom ๐Ÿ‘
The wildflowers under our bedroom window seem to be fine – a bit messy, maybe ๐Ÿ˜‰
I just loved the color of these plants at the garden centre but not so sure now. Will see once they have a chance to grow a bit.

Stay safe and have a good day! ๐ŸŒž

Shopping Around

Yesterday I went out shopping for the first time in ages. Dan had an errand to run so he dropped me off at Walmart to get started on my mission.

I don’t know if there are supply chain issues, strange hoardings happening, or if it was just coincidence, but I struggled to find some things that I went for. Walmart was out of Epsom salts, potting soil, dish towels, and yeast. Plus, a bag of flour spontaneously flew off a shelf and tried to take me down. Love shopping!

By the time I was ready to move on to the Dollar Store, Dan was back to join me. They had the peanuts for our squirrels and sunflower seeds for our birds. We managed to grab a few other things including some new flowers for Dan’s parents gravestone.

I love those artificial lilacs. They are so pretty!

I finished out my shopping trip with a quick stop at Home Depot. They had nothing I needed so it was back home.

I was never that into shopping, but these days I really try to avoid it. Between the people who cannot follow directional arrows and the ones who refuse to keep their distance at cash out, I get more than a little annoyed. Some people have no respect or consideration for the store personnel who are there to serve them. With these Covid variants affecting younger and younger people, it is hard not to see my daughter and granddaughter in every vulnerable clerk I see. ๐Ÿ˜ž

Today is Dan’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Dear! We started the day with a trip out to the graveyard to bring his parent’s their spring bouquet. It seemed a fitting day for such a visit. We came home and I made Dan breakfast and put our plants out to enjoy the sunshine. ๐ŸŒž A few minutes ago Dan called his sister who is also celebrating her birthday today – different year same day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our neighbourhood parks are not lush and green yet, but it is time for Dan and I to head out for our walk with Kat. Soon our walk will look like this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay safe & have a beautiful day๐Ÿ’ž

Easter Weekend

We kicked off Easter weekend yesterday with some gorgeous sunny weather. A beautiful day all around!

Tackled some spring cleaning by taking on our fridge. Did some sorting, did some tossing, made some wierd discoveries. For two people, we have a rediculous amount of cheese!
Our little plants were happy for some quality time out on the patio.
Easter dinner Round One.
Kat sleeping off our big walk.

Keep safe and I hope you enjoy this beautiful weekend. ๐Ÿ’ž

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Kat Walk

Spring is always my favourite time of year and this one is looking to be a grand one.ย  Most years, we are up to our hips in snow until at least mid April.ย  This year, our snow is practically gone and the streets and sidewalks are mostly dry.ย ย  Dan and I have been taking Kat for her daily walks this week.ย  She has been wearing her stylish blue boots for dealing with the unavoidable puddles.ย 

I heard from our sons this week.ย ย  Everything is going fairly well for both of them.ย  And…ย  Grandbaby #10 is on the way! ๐Ÿ’ž

Our seedlings continue to thrive and our indoor plants are starting to bud and bloom.

Have a beautiful spring weekend!

Gratitude and Compassion

Saskatchewan has officially frozen over. It has been this way for a few days and there is no end in sight for these frigid temperatures.

In years gone by, I would be miserable and exhausted by now.ย  This year I am happy, rested and GRATEFUL that I am retired.ย ย  Every time I glance outside or see a weather report, I am reminded how fortunate I am to be at this place in my life.ย  I have nowhere I have to go, nothing I have to do. We have everything we need to keep us safe and warm.

My life these days revolves around eating heathy, working out with Dan, sitting by the fireplace crocheting a cozy blanket, and meditating.  My favourite meditations involve going within and sending love and peace to our world – the plants, the animals, and especially the people that inhabit it. 

These days when I meditate, I have been focussing on the people who are most affected by our brutal weather. I think of the children who are trudging back and forth to school on our icy streets. I feel for those who are dealing with the miserable drive to work and back – more so for those brave souls who are working outside in this frigid cold. My heart goes out to those desperate souls who have no home to provide shelter from our Saskatchewan winter. There are shelters where those on the street can find a warm bed or a hot meal – if they are lucky. Facilities are overwhelmed at times like this and sadly some must be turned away.

It is hard to look out at our frozen neighbourhood or watch our weather forecast and find anything good in it – but there is. There is the opportunity for gratitude. There is a reminder that there are those who need and deserve our compassion, kindness, and generosity. And there is hope that things can and will inevitably get better for all.

Strawberry bedding plants. When spring arrives, we will be ready for it!

Keeping Busy

January has been a bit busy so far.ย ย  Dan has been home so we spend quite some time being together. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have started cleaning our basement.ย  Basement is probably an overstatement at this point, but it is coming together.ย  I have replaced a dozen cardboard boxes with a few Rubbermaid totes, sorted through Christmas decorations and downsized considerably, vacuumed up a year’s accumulation of dust and spider webs and found a few winter sweaters I forgot that I owned.ย ย ย  A few good day’s work for sure.

While going through the basement, I found boxes of old family favourite recipes – and a few that could become so,ย  now that I have time to cook.ย ย  I have tried a few already – peppersteak, breakfast pizza, breakfast wraps, and lemon butter tarts.

We had a brutal storm this week.ย  Sustained winds of 126mph ๐Ÿ˜ณ and snow.ย  We were extremely fortunate that we had no damage to our place and that all of our family stayed safe.ย  Our power was off for a couple of hours and Dan had some shoveling to do the next day.ย ย ย 

There was a lot of property damage across the province and many travellers were stranded away from home.ย  Dan and Amanda spent an extra night in Edmonton after taking Cason in for a bit of day surgery.

Recovering and milking the family for a little extra TLC. ๐Ÿ’—

I have spent time morning and evening practicing my meditation.ย ย  I have been enjoying Buddhist chants lately and continue to spend time sending healing energy to friends and family near and far.ย ย ย ย  I cannot imagine why it took me so long to appreciate meditating, but everything in its own time and this is my time to meditate. ๐Ÿง˜

Saskatchewan has the dubious honor of highest per capita Covid numbers since Christmas.ย ย ย  Dan has been doing our shopping and running our errands while I hunker down and await my turn to receive the vaccine.ย ย  In the meantime, I am happy to see those on the frontlines and our most vulnerable seniors getting the first doses that are available here.ย  ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

Keep safe, keep busy! Only 4 more months or so until spring ๐ŸŒป

December 17th

My Father with my son Danny๐Ÿ’ž

Today marks the 27th anniversary of my Father’s passing. This week is always intense for me. My Father was a good man and he lived a good life – but his passing was the result of five years of pain and grief, as sinus cancer ravaged his body and our lives. His passing was a devastating and heart wrenching relief and blessing – set against a full blown stage of Christmas flowers and decorations, Christmas carols, and of course a raging, frigid blizzard. It was, and still is memorable.

This year, this week is particularly intense. This year, many have lost loved ones due to the Covid 19 pandemic that continues to rage. Many of those lost have been elderly parents, grandparents and loved ones. Everytime I hear another horror story of a nursing home that has been overwhelmed with cases of this brutal virus, I think of my parents and I feel for the residents and their families. I know what it means to be with loved ones when their time has come. I know that it is irrelevant how long a person has lived, or how much they have done or been through in their lives. I know how important it is for the elderly and their families to experience compassionate, loving final hours and days. When it is all that is left, it is everything.

I could go off the rails here and rage about those who protest wearing masks, or spread bullshit about the virus conspiracy, or complain about missing sports or holidays, or whine about whatever else is disrupting their pathetic self-centred lives. I could, but this blog is a tribute to my Father, so this is not the time or place.

I will just take this opportunity to express gratitude for all who have stepped up this year to do their a part – the medical personnel, the caregivers, the support workers, the truck drivers, the store clerks, the teachers, the suppliers of all essential services and products, the politicians who have worked together in good faith with the medical community, the teenagers who have supported their families and their communities, those who have followed health guidelines and done everything possible to protect themselves, their families and their communities. To everyone who has done their part, thank you. ๐Ÿ’–

I would also take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for anyone, anywhere, who has lost loved ones, or who has been separated from their loved ones throughout this pandemic. My heart goes out to you. ๐Ÿ’–

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and prayers and condolences for those who have been personally affected by the Covid 19 outbreak at Parkside Extendicare in Regina. In one, two hundred resident, senior’s care home – within three and a half weeks – there have been one hundred and sixty residents who have tested positive, many who have become severely ill – twenty residents who have passed away – plus eighty six care workers who have tested positive. There have been many from the community that have gone in to assist – paramedics from the Regina Fire Department, doctors and nurses and support workers from SHA, all risking their own health and well-being.ย ย ย ย The statistics are staggering. The reality for all affected – residents and their families and their caregivers have been beyond devastating. I am so sorry for all you have been going through – all you continue to go through. ๐Ÿ’–

Dedicated to my Father – Rest in Peace, Dad. You will always be a part of me & a part of my life๐Ÿ’–

Evraz In The News

On Wednesday evening, Evraz issued 500 layoff notices in the tubular division of their Regina pipe mill. That included every unionized worker from seniority number 500 down to 0. I think my husband Dan is around #92.

This news did not come as a shock. Evraz warned of an impending work shortage some time ago. Financially, we will manage but any extended time off will mess with Dan’s pension, so that isn’t great. But, it isn’t all bad for us, either. If Dan’s layoff is actually December 17th, we can spend the holidays together. ๐ŸŒฒโ›„โ˜ƒ๏ธ๐Ÿฅณ. We can hibernate in January. ๐Ÿป๐Ÿฟ๏ธ And, I am pretty sure I can find some things on the honey-do list for Dan to work on. (That gym in the garage is not going to build itself – it hasn’t so far… ๐Ÿ™„)

Sadly, this news is devastating for many of Dan’s co-workers. That it has come to this, days before Christmas, makes it worse. I feel so sorry for the younger people out there – the ones with mortgages, loan payments and families to support. It doesn’t help that many of them have been off lately due to a Covid outbreak in that plant. I certainly hope for everyone’s sake that this lay-off is short term. There is not a lot of comparable employment around here – especially now.

The Evraz layoff made our news yesterday. Our politicians are running true to form. Ryan Meilli (our leader of the opposition) is taking the governing Saskatchewan Party to task for their failure to use Evraz pipe for local crown projects. Mopey Moe, our Premier, is blaming Prime Minister Trudeau for the Saskatchewan economy. And, Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to support Evraz and their employees through this difficult time. ๐Ÿค”

Keep well, keep safe, and have a great day.