Year Two – Week Thirteen & Fourteen

I’m back! It has been a few days since I have been on here, but fortunately it is not because I fell off of my Health & Fitness journey. I have just been rather busy. ๐Ÿ™„

First off, it has been mostly beautiful weather here so I have been outside cleaning up the yard and getting ready for summer. Secondly, we took a short trip up north to visit son Dan and family – and to help them prepare for granddaughter Gabby’s graduation party I did a lot of baking (while Dan was out shopping for a lot of fresh fruit to serve with said baking.) Third, I have been working really diligently to stay on course with my health and fitness program.

Getting There…

Speaking of health and fitness… Physically things have been going well. I did faceplant on our cement patio (chasing Molly) a few days ago. My skin has mostly grown back but my glasses were a write off – hence the new look.

Mentally and emotionally, I am crushing it. I am reading “Be Your Future Self Now” by Dr. Benjamin Hardy. It is one of those works that is just brilliant. There is so much wisdom to be found in every chapter. One such example “We all have a future ahead of us. In 10 years, 20 years, we will become our future selves. The question is: Who will your future self be?

If I had stayed the course fifteen months ago, my future self would have been pretty pathetic. Right now, I would be pretty pathetic – and miserable to boot. I am so grateful that I began making better choices last February. I am reaping the rewards now and loving it! ๐Ÿ’–

I have started a timeline for becoming my future self. I have already reached my first goal – to be calm and confident. There’s always room for improvement (and I intend to keep working on it) but I have to say, I crushed it this weekend. My next goal is to be healthy, strong, and fit by August 11th. I am working hard to get there! Every goal met is encouragement to set more and to improve further on the ones I reach. Exciting stuff!

That’s about where I am at these days. We were not at Dan and Amanda’s for long this weekend, but husband Dan did manage to get a few cute photos of grandson Lucas hanging out with Molly. Molly was amazing this weekend. She even spent a fair amount of time strolling around leashless which was pretty cool to see. She was SO happy loping around free and easy.

That’s it for today. I hope everyone is keeping well. Take care and have a great rest of the day! ๐ŸŒž๐Ÿ’ž


Heading Home

Genie and her sister Brook have begun making their way back home! They were both working for North American Midway this summer, but seldom had time to spend together as Genie worked in Guest Services and was usually in KiddieLand, while Brook was selling tickets on the adult Midway.

Having been sisters since Genie was three and Brook was five, it is nice that they are getting to spend this time together. Their trip began this morning with an Uber ride to the train depot in London, Ontario where they were taking the train to Toronto. They are spending the night at the airport hotel and will be on the plane at 8A.M. tomorrow for their flight home. Just one more adventure for our (not so little anymore) girls.

Genie & Brook – sleepover at Grandma & Grandpa D’s.
Brook & Genie – another one of many sleepovers.
Genie & Brook – Saturday lunch. (A lot of those too!)
Brook and Genie – Toronto

Tomorrow morning, they are back in their real worlds. โ˜บ๏ธ

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

August 28th – Saturday

Today is yet another quiet Saturday. Dan is working days this weekend. He is off to work at 3 A.M. For me this weekend, that means I am wide awake by 3:05. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Yesterday, Kat and I fell back to sleep so I was able to have a somewhat productive day once we got up at 7.

I made my cucumber relish. I have no idea whether the recipe I used will be to our taste, but the jars sealed properly so I am excited and super proud of my efforts. ๐Ÿ˜

I also got a little yard clean-up done yesterday before my I got rained out (or in as the case may be). I took out some Drake garlic sausage for supper. While Dan barbecued the sausage, I cooked up a big batch of pierogies, heated up some sauerkraut, and sliced some fresh garden tomatoes. Needless to say, our supper was amazing.

Today is not going nearly as well. I could not go back to sleep so I decided to do my morning meditation before I got up. I felt Kat jump off the bed, but since she did not bark or whine as usual, I assumed she was just getting a drink. Needless to say, I was wrong. At five when she started to complain, I got up to let her out. At least I had socks on when I stepped into whatever she had been working on at four. ๐Ÿ˜’ I am not sure what prompted that but I am thinking she had too much garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

Since I was up, I decided to get on with my day. I cleaned the porch carpet and took out the garbage. I fed Kat and the squirrels and birds. I checked the weather and scanned through the Leader Post epaper, while I had my morning coffee and vitamins. To round things off, I dusted the livingroom. It has been raining for a week and I had already dusted twice. Why? Where does this dust come from? ๐Ÿคท

The highlight of my morning was catching up on some wandering . I love this blog! If you are looking for an upbeat blog with a huge offering of gorgeous Canadian scenery, you must check this one out. L & K, generously share their hiking adventures while including a well written history and details of the sites they visit. ๐Ÿฅฐ.

Reading up on all the latest in great Canadian outdoor recreation took the last bit of energy I had this morning. I joined Kat for a nap, followed by a ham and cheese omelet for lunch.

Thankfully, there is still time to get more done around here today. I should take out our recycling, scrub down the washroom, and do some laundry. Dan requested pizza for supper, so that is as good as done.

Meanwhile, I am feeling grateful that my husband continues to work so I can enjoy my retirement. I am feeling grateful that I have the luxury of a nap when my day calls for it. And, I am feeling grateful for the company of my little dog – even when she is less than the perfect companion. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wishing all a great day! Take care and see you tomorrow. ๐Ÿ’ž

July 14th – Magical Moose Jaw

On our way to Gravelbourg last week, we made a few quick stops in the small city of Moose Jaw. Like Gravelbourg, Moose Jaw is a unique community with a rich history that has been well preserved. This magical little city on the prairies also has a few newer landmarks that add to it’s charm.

Unfortunately, due to impending weather, we did not have much time in Moose Jaw. I hope you enjoy the photos we were able to get. We will be returning to Gravelbourg this summer, so we will get more to share with you at that time.

Mac the Moose welcomed us into Moose Jaw. While he is an imposing fellow, the city of Moose Jaw was not named for him or his ancestors. According the the Moose Jaw website “The name Moose Jaw comes from a Cree name for the place, moscรขstani-sรฎpiy, meaning โ€œa warm place by the riverโ€. The first two syllables, moscรข-, sound remarkably like โ€œmoose jawโ€”.
This is not a great photo of Mac, or the windblown old lady with the dog. It is simply to illustrate the formidable size of Mac the Moose.
This monument to the Moose Jaw (Canadian Airforce) Snowbirds aerobatics team sits a few meters from Mac the Moose.
Moose Jaw Main Street. One of these buildings leads to the Tunnels Of Moose Jaw. While these tunnels were built to house utilities for the city, they have a rich and fascinating history. Many Chinese immigrants who came to work on the railroad in this area used the tunnels to escape the head tax that they could not afford to pay on their meager wages. The tunnels also afforded them a warm and safe refuge from violent racist abuse from some of the locals. During prohibition, these tunnels were used for smuggling liquor that fueled illegal gambling. Rumour has it that Al Capone and his cohorts were involved in this activity.
More historic buildings on Moose Jaw Main Street.
Canadian Pacific Railway Station opened in 1922 and closed in the 1960’s. Now it operates as a strip mall.
This sign leads to the Sukanen Ship Museum on the Highway #2 south of Moose Jaw. I have a number of photos to share of the museum and will explain the origin of this site in an upcoming post.

I hope you enjoyed the bit of Moose Jaw I had to share today – proof positive that Saskatchewan is not just open skies and barren praire! Next time we go through, I will try to get photos of some of the residential areas and few other landmarks.

Have a great rest of the day! I hope that you have your own special place to contemplate the magic around you!๐Ÿ’ž

Dan upgraded my meditation space this morning. Our squirrel was so curious about the commotion around his tree that he sat on a branch, a foot away from me, to see who was encroaching on his territory. ๐Ÿ’ž

4th of July

Happy 4th of July to my sister Jeanne, her family, and all of our neighbours to the south of us in the USA.

I used to visit the USA quite regularly, years ago. We lived so close to the American border that it was never a big deal to spend a couple of days in Minot, North Dakota just for the heck of it. After my sister Jeanne and her husband Paul moved to Gillette, Wyoming I made a number of trips down to visit them – at first with my parents and then with my own family.

Wyoming was always a great place to visit. I remember an abundance of steakhouses, country bars and friendly neighbours. There was always a visit to the Black Hills – Flintstone Village, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Every curve in the road was another tourist attraction and another fascinating little gift shop. I still have pretty little vases and stone bracelets to remind me of those days.

Jeanne and Paul moved to Chadron, Nebraska when Paul left the oil rigs to run an apiary. We were down there a couple of times. As always, it was good times and friendly people. Unfortunately, a few years after the move, Paul died in a tragic accident. Jeanne stayed on, running the apiary with an American friend of theirs. They eventually married and still make their home in Nebraska. Jeanne’s son is raising his family in Wyoming and her daughter is in Washington State with her family.

It is so sad how times have changed between Canada and the USA over the years – with border control, tariffs, and of course now with Covid 19 closing borders. I would love to travel back down through the States. There are so many places that I would love to visit and of course it is always an easy drive to better weather during our frigid winters!

I just want to say, I really appreciate the photos and stories that our American neighbours post on WordPress – it is an inside look at a country that I would love to see more of.

From this side of the border, have a great USA Independence Day!

Travel and Grandchildren

Genie At The Wheel

Two of the greatest pleasures of retirement are the freedom to travel and the time to spend with grandchildren. This summer, we were fortunate enough to combine the two. We packed ourselves and our teenage granddaughter into our new Jeep and set off on a trip to see my sister and her husband, and my son and his family, who live en route. Genie would travel with us as far as my son’s and spend some time with her cousins while we went on to our ultimate destination. We would pick her up on our return trip.

Since Genie had recently gotten her learner’s licence, Grandpa thought this could be a good opportunity for her to gain some on road experience. I had some reservations. We briefly discussed the matter but with Genie already buckled in behind the wheel and Grandpa firmly wrapped around her little finger, there was no turning back.

Saskatchewan does not have the most challenging roads on the planet. Genie was easily able to pull onto the highway, get up to speed and engage the cruise control. It soon became obvious that she has her mother’s confidence behind the wheel and the natural ability to keep it between the navigational lines. By the time she had a few miles under her belt and proven she could competently pass the slower vehicles on the road, we were all starting to relax. The time and miles passed.

Soon we were pulling into Saskatoon. There are two major cities in Saskatchewan, both with a population of about two hundred thousand people. We live in Regina and Saskatoon is the other. Genie had taken driver’s training in Regina. She had driven around the city with her driver trainer and on a number of occasions with her father. Since she had done so well on the highway, we were not worried about her driving through Saskatoon. We should have been. The first stretch was uneventful enough, Genie did fine inspite of the somewhat heavy traffic and the volume of vehicles merging into our lane. We were still at highway speed as we were taking the city bypass. Then, we took our exit and entered the actual maze of city streets. The speed limit dropped to fifty kilometers per hour. Genie did not. She was on a mission to get out of the city. She blew past our exit, so Grandpa had to guide her back through the traffic. He was doing a great job of keeping calm. Even when she inadvertently turned into a Costco parking lot, still going well over the fifty kilometer speed limit, Grandpa kept calm. Fortunately, all was well and she safely brought the Jeep to a stop. Once Genie and Grandpa had a chance to regroup and make a new plan, we were back on the road. Genie had the speed under control, she exited the parking lot, followed Grandpa’s instructions to turn left and drove straight ahead – oblivious to the red light in front of us. Grandpa convinced her to stop before she made it into the roadway. He was no longer quite as calm. I was on my last nerve but we reached our exit and soon we were out of Saskatoon.

An hour of open highway to North Battleford and we were ready to stop for lunch. We had the better part of an hour to relax and enjoy each other’s company before heading out. When we did, we came to a consensus that it was time for Grandpa to take the wheel – with Genie at his side, acting as chief navigator. Normally this would not have been an issue. Unfortunately our normal route out of town was under construction so we had to follow a somewhat confusing detour. After circling the construction site two or three times Genie successfully navigated Grandpa out to the highway.

The rest of the trip was enjoyable and uneventful as far as driving went. On our trip back it was obvious that Genie was too tired out from her visit with her cousins to drive so Grandpa drove the distance. We look forward to more opportunities to travel and spend time with all nine of our grandchildren once we are fully retired. Are we likely to put them all behind the wheel on our travels? That remains to be seen. However, this was certainly a special trip and one that we will always remember.