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! 🌞💞

August 7th – Family Day

Every day is a day to be grateful for, but today was an extra special day for us. Son Mark and Grandson Dominic dropped by for a visit. 😁

We started our visit with brunch. Our power went out just as Dan was cooking the eggs and making the toast. Luckily, he was able to finish cooking outside on the barbecue and everything turned out perfectly delicious!

After lunch, Mark, Dom, Kat and I spent some time up in the playhouse. When Dom tired of the Playdough, we managed to watch a movie, play with Lego for a bit, and take a splash in the pool before it was time for them to head home.

Mark & Kat
Dominic, happy to dig into the Playdoh.

After our company left, I still had enough energy to get things cleaned up and back in order around here. 👍

Unlike Kat, who obviously had no energy left after keeping up with Dom.

I hope you are enjoying a pleasant day! Take care and see you tomorrow 💞

At the end of the day the most important thing is that your family is safe, you have food to eat, and you are grateful for what you have.

– Anonymous

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!

Happy Birthday, Dan🎂

Dan with his family – Cason, Gabby, Amanda and Lucas💓

My son Dan is celebrating his birthday today. We cannot be with him as he lives hours away, but we are thinking of him and wishing him all the best – today and always.

When people talk about nature versus nurture, I think Dan is the perfect example of nature. He hit the decks running, big hearted, and good-natured. Forty-one years later, after taking everything that life could throw at him – Dan is still ready to go, big hearted, and good natured! (although apparently his good nature was a bit lacking the day Cason locked him out of his truck) 🤣🤣🤣

The only thing better than having a child like Dan, is seeing the man that he became. 👍

Family Visit

Lucas & Cason

We had a short visit with my son, his wife and their two little boys this weekend. Lucas is four going on five. Cason is sixteen months.

It is amazing how much these little ones can change in such a short time. At Christmas, Lucas wasn’t too excited about having a little brother. Now he is totally into being a big brother and having a playmate in training. Cason was still pretty much an infant at Christmas. Now he is running around like a little drunken sailor and drooling like a St. Bernard. Cute but you really don’t go looking for his kisses these days. 😂

Our company was not here long, but we were able to take them out for lunch before they had to leave. Despite the long wait for our meals, both of the boys were very well behaved. A woman at the next table came over to compliment Danny & Amanda on their beautiful well behaved children. It is always so nice when people take the time to pass on such encouragement to young parents.

Lego Time
Dan & Cason
Amanda & Lucas

National Ambrosia Day

Danny & Lucas

Today is National Ambrosia Day. I can’t believe that of all the salads that could score their own day, that the honor would go to Ambrosia Salad.

Ambrosia Salad is a mix of fruit (typically orange sections as the base), creamy milk product (yogurt, whipped cream or sour cream) and mini marshmallows. It is not my favourite food – so not my favorite since it is a combination of my three least favourite foods. In the eighties it was super popular, particularly with my mother in law who served it with disturbing regularity.

My son Danny loves food – eating it, preparing it, discussing it. A couple of times a year we travel across the province to visit Danny and his family and a couple of times a year they come home. Every trip is preceded by a discussion on the food that will be served. Danny threatens me with Ambrosia salad. I threaten him with tomato aspic (which probably does not get it’s own national holiday🙁).