Hope For 2020

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H – Hopefully, 2020 is filled with family and friends in your home or in your heart.

O – Obtain, goals you will set for yourself in the New Year.

P – Persevere, through unforeseen situations.

E – Experience good health.

Positive Minds and Happy Hearts make for a Better Year.

Best Wishes for the New Year Everyone!

Biggest Surprise Ever

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Not that I had a birthday, but that our kids pulled off the biggest surprise ever.

An amazing feat because I’m usually pretty perceptive, and our daughter is usually terrible at letting things like this accidentally slip.

The thought and kid’s joint efforts made this birthday Forever Special.

My actual birthday fall on a week day, and I received the usual phone calls and messages. Even with it being a bit of a “milestone one” I didn’t expect anything more.

I should have gotten suspicious months earlier, when a “family appy (appetizers) night” was scheduled on the Saturday following my birthday. The invitation list was simple with kids, spouses, grandkids, and great grandkids. Although these events are common, they are never put on the calendar months in advance.

It didn’t even strike me as odd when pressed to join the smokers outside before the food was put out buffet style.

Without thought, I led the way back into the kitchen where everyone gathered around the table started to sing happy birthday. 

The cake was homemade decorated cupcakes shaped into a boat anchor. Very appropriate if you know me.

At least there were numbered candles not the exact number of candles to blowout. 

Sitting on the table in front of the cake was a small ribbon wrapped gift box from the kids. Inside was a beautiful handmade necklace with six intertwined silver rings and a saying, “six rings, one for each amazing decade.”

Thank You kids, for the work that went into this,

and

Thanks to all that braved the country roads that snowy night.

I Love you all.

As the night went on stories were shared on how they worried I was going to notice random people disappearing, whispered conversations, snickers, and wagged eye brows during recent get togethers, and during the beginning of the appy night. I had, but never put it all together.

Are you perceptive or suspicious when it comes to things happening around you?

Are you easily surprised?

Party Pooper

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Yes, Mister and I acknowledge the day with the traditional greeting, and some years we’ve done the gift exchange, or a special date night.

Valentine’s day. A day to show that person in your life how much you love them. The concept is so sweet.

But, shouldn’t we be loving and kind to that person every day? Then they would know how much they mean to us. Isn’t an anniversary when we celebrate the union of our love?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Valentine’s Day or those who cherish and celebrate it, I’m just sharing some thoughts.

Restaurants, stores and florists would lose a bundle without Valentine’s Day. It’s said to be one of the top occasions when couples splurge.

Have you noticed, the newer the relationship the more emphasis that’s put on this day?

Some think it’s because the spark fades the longer a couple is together. That romance dwindles. I don’t see it that way. I see partners comfortable with their love. Two people no longer needing continuous reassurances. They’ve learned money doesn’t buy or strengthen the bond. They aren’t caught up in, if I spend more, it means I love more.

I guess I’m a party pooper because all the hoopla of Valentine’s Day just isn’t my thing. An old fuddy-duddy. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s someone wise enough not to fall for things or be swayed by what others think. Smiley Face. This, of course, is my version of the definition.

Dinners out that night are too much hassle for us, places are crowded, or need reservations. We go for a meal but not on the fourteenth. As for buying each other gifts why would Mister and I do that on Valentine’s day? We rarely do for our birthdays or for each other at Christmas. Neither of us needs much anymore. If we do, we prefer picking out our own, and besides we always shop together so there goes that spoils the surprise part of gift giving.

For over 35 years, February 14 has a different importance for Mister and I. It’s our daughter’s birthday. If you’re expecting this to continue into a touching tribute or loving birthday wish, sorry to disappoint. That will be shared, in a family get together not here. If I write something special for one person, I would need to do it for them all, making my posts repetitive and possibly boring reads.

If you are anticipating Valentine’s Day,

my wish is that it’s as special as you hoped and planned for.

Do me a favor though, don’t forget to show your love more than just on Valentine’s Day, and remember it doesn’t take expensive gifts to accomplish the gesture.

Our Bird Is Still Frozen

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For most, Christmas get-togethers, meals, and unwrapping are over, but we still have time. This year work schedules and other commitments means our family’s meal and gift exchange will happen late December.

From time-to-time this happens, “Better late than never,” is what we say.

Friends teased Mister and I, “Lucky you guys, you can do your shopping on Boxing Day.”

Even mentioning this makes Mister cringe. He’s a necessity shopper, not a crowd shopper. An adventure like that would probably give him nightmares well into 2018.

If I wanted to go Boxing Day shopping bad enough and begged enough, (heavy emphasis on the Italic words) Mister might come with me. He wouldn’t kick and scream (I don’t think), but he would mutter my craziness for sure.

So, our gifts were wrapped and under the tree almost two weeks ago. Leaving things for the last minute is not really my style, anyway. Well, most things, and most times. Smiley face. Sometimes I wish I did, because every year after I’m done wrapping, I think of or find what I consider better gifts.

Maybe this is normal, and it happens to others? Let me know.

In general, I do better with crowds than Mister, tolerating them for short periods. That is if I’m not trying to make an appointment or catch a plane.

Not living in a town or city makes Boxing Day shopping an effort and indulgence. In the last thirty-five years, I’ve gone maybe 4-5 times. I can’t remember if I bought much other than wrapping paper and a small wall mirror.

The years we stay at the son’s for Christmas, being he is a city dweller, he treats me to a Boxing Day outing. He enjoys shopping, so it doesn’t take much convincing.

This season had looked like we wouldn’t see family until late December, but that changed with a text message early last week.

A cold spell moved in, temperatures dropped from plus double digits to a low of minus 32 degrees Celsius at nights. That didn’t stop Mister and I, from hitting the highway Saturday. We made the 1 1/2 – 2 hour drive which took 3 hours because of heavy holiday traffic, and snowy weather.

With a little plan shuffling, we spent that night at the son and his wife’s. Oh, and the right team won in cards. Smiley face, it was the son and I.

The earlier mentioned text was an invitation from our adopted daughter (as we call her). Christmas eve her and her other half hosted an appetizer night with her brother and family, our son and wife, our daughter and husband, and Mister and I, in attendance.

We didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s Christmas morning, so Mister and I declined offers and stayed at a hotel that night. We did stop for a couple quick visits on our way home though.

It turned out we were blessed this year, and saw the daughter, son and their spouses, both Christmas eve and Christmas day. Plus, we caught-up with the adoptees and their families. This made for a great holiday season and it’s not even over yet.

The only other thing we could have hoped for was to catch-up with the oldest daughter, her husband, the grandkids, and great grandkids who unfortunately were busy with other family commitments.

Soon, we’ll pack this bird, a ham and the wrapped gifts and head to our daughter and husband’s for two nights. Looking forward to it.

I wish the weather was warmer we could spend time with her horse, but visiting and games instead will be fun too.

Do you enjoy shopping? Can you handle crowed sale days?

Do you leave gift shopping for the last minute?

Never Too Much Color

 

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As empty nesters, and even though we don’t get many family visitors with everyone busy this time of the year, we still decorate for Christmas.

Mister puts outside lights up at the beginning of December, which by the way look great. This year he added a nice touch of extras where we can enjoy them from inside.

I love to start my days in a room lit by colorful tree lights.

No radio, no TV, the only noise the rhythmic ticking clocks. Which can be a choir if all six analog have batteries, but three currently don’t. The fridge and deep freeze’s unique chatters and moans chime in once-in-awhile, and the furnace’s comforting hum comes on when it’s time to take out the chill. Unless I’m thinking about these sounds they fade into the background and aren’t unsettling.

Has anyone noticed that weather affects the sound a clock makes? There’s one in our kitchen that gets louder when it’s cold outside.

Anyway, back to tree lights. With hot coffee at my side (and 2 cookies, I know bad habit,) I read or write, glancing up occasionally hoping to catch a beautiful sunrise through the window behind the tree.

We no longer put up a real tree to decorate inside, like we did when the kids were young. Our tall, slim artificial one fits our smaller living space and is a showcase of treasured memories. Most ornaments are handmade or ones we’ve bought during travels.

I admire beautiful themed trees, or those done in one color, yet ours is the opposite. Red, green and silver are my favorite Christmas colors, but our tree shines and glitters with multi colors and a variety of ornaments. The main reason is simple. It makes me happy, because it reminds me of the trees we had growing up.

So there’s a glimpse at what little things bring my December mornings peace and pleasure.

I hope you have a way to start every day with joy, that you will have the Christmas season you hope for, and that 2018 is kind.

Do you do themed, one color, or multi-colored Christmas decorating?

Do you collect tree ornaments from travel spots?

Coatroom Caper

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Only the instigator of this caper knew details beforehand and came prepared. When she first arrived she ducked into the coatroom toting numerous bulging bags, only to reappear minutes later empty-handed.

After the potluck meal this fun-loving lady, who often has something up her sleeve, stopped by tables, pointed at friends and said, “Come with me.”

By this time, most attendees were already a few drinks into their evening of celebration and rarely questioned her motives. The unsuspecting group she gathered followed her into the coatroom.

Mister and I, live in a gated golf and lakeside resort. The population and activities increase here in the summer, but a good number of semi or retired and even working people stay full-time. We are more than just residents, though, we are a community that enjoys socializing and getting together.

Last week, close to seventy people attended the annual Christmas Potluck at our clubhouse.

Seasonal decorations and a flickering fire gave the room a warm ambiance. The guest’s happy chatter indicated high spirits and moods which matched bright smiles.

Once again, buffet tables held a delightful variety of tasty foods and desserts, with more than enough to feed everyone.

Mister and I, have gone to this function many times before, but this night was different. An after meal surprise brewed in the coatroom.

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The instigator pulled out the stuffed bags she had snuck in and stashed earlier. She handed out props and costumes and created a cast from her followers.

An equipment issue meant a slight delay for the participants who waited in the coatroom, and that’s when my entertainment began. When I saw age related boundaries blur and fade.

I can’t help smile as I’m writing. Perhaps, this will help readers picture what I witnessed. Imagine a teacher or someone trying to control a group of excited preschoolers on a concert night.

From where I sat, the laughing and shenanigans that went on in the coat area proved again, age is only a number. Adults can and will, especially in the name of fun, act like children.

The boys teased the girls, mind you this feisty bunch teased back. Jokes were told and props were played with as the group’s attentions wandered from their instructor. I even heard, “I have to pee.” But, this comment isn’t usually followed with, “Where’s my drink?”

It took 3 different boomboxes, and fifteen if not more people’s efforts, before the required music CD would play. Once it did, the real show began.

The writer/director/instigator narrated a short Christmas tale she scripted while her recruits enthusiastically danced, lip synced, or sang at certain times. They deserve credit for their quick responses to her cues, considering this was unrehearsed, and they had no idea what was coming.

One person had a few lines to recite from a poem about being wrapped in green plastic and called a tree. For this another fellow stood behind the group and taped pages with lines onto a golf ball retriever, which when called upon he positioned so the tree could read them.

From start to finish, it was great entertainment for all in attendance. Nothing beats a night out with old friends or a chance to meet and make new friends.

Another unforgettable evening of fun.

This is just one way snowbirds who stay north keep themselves entertained during the winter months.

Act our age, isn’t a motto we always live by here. Staying active and having fun is what’s important.

For our fellow-laker’s who are down south right now or those who didn’t attend this potluck, see the fun you missed.

I hope my readers enjoy, Love and Laughter, during the Holiday Season and the Coming New Year. Travellers, stay safe.

Do you have friends you can sometimes be silly with?

Do you sometimes act younger than your age?

Double Celebration

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Holy Moly, 12,775 days. Last Saturday we had double the celebrations, mine and Mister’s 35th Wedding anniversary, hence the day count, and Canada’s 150th birthday.

In our younger years, on the Canada Day long weekend we would revisit, Kelly’s Saloon at Fort Edmonton Park, where we were married.

Thirty-five years ago, we exchanged vows in a simple western themed ceremony inside the historic saloon with only family and a few friends in attendance.

It feels like yesterday until one thinks about all we have shared and achieved. The most precious and cherished being the wonderful kids we are blessed with and the continued growth of new generations.

We have sampled the richer and poorer, and in sickness and health, part of our vow’s.

We have laughed lots and cried some, me more so than Mister regarding the last one.

As couples do, we bicker, but our love and devotion for each other is as strong today as it was the day we said, “I do.”

Simple things that work for us.

Communication is our friend.

Saying the hard things is as important as saying, I love you.

We each learned to compromise, so neither of us makes all the sacrifices.

We didn’t lose ourselves, sometimes we do things without the other.

When one or both are stressed we lean on each other.

We ask each other their opinion and advice, it’s often helpful.

We don’t exchange material gifts anymore. The specialness of the occasion for us is relishing the fact we are still here to love one-another.

Mister says having our anniversary on a special holiday means he never forgets, and there is always tons of Canada Day activities to do.

I often forget to take blog related pictures, a perfect one for this post would have been the mass of 60 to 80 or more golf carts gathered for the annual July 1st, hot dog lunch at our resort.

Saturday evening the resort’s restaurant had an adult barn dance with a chuck-wagon buffet. We went with friends, but we learned early in the night it wasn’t what we expected. The four of us were like the tribes elders or the chaperones at a high school dance, in other words, the oldest there. Where were the other couples our age, we don’t know?

The extreme decimal they played the country tunes meant you needed to shout to communicate. Ourselves and the crowd obliged, creating an additional roar which we swear made them turn the music even louder. Aren’t I sounding like an old fuddy-duddy.

Our plan was to dance, but the youngen’s around us seemed content to drink. We should have done our own thing, but we already felt out of place.

An hour and a half later primed with liquid courage people flocked to the dance floor.

Was this our chance?

Nope.

The small floor area filled with arms flailing and bodies bopping while they all danced with each other. To our dismay there were no couples, and no two-stepping being done. So us and our old fashion ways spectated which was entertaining.

After the buffet, us four left and went to the nearest town for the annual firework show.

Not everybody can end their anniversary day with a great firework display, but we always do thanks to Canada Day celebrations.

Hope all our fellow countrymen had a wonderful Canada Day, and the same wish goes to our Southern neighbors for their 4th of July.

Did you stay home for Canada Day or July 4th, or take in some festivities?

Into A Whirlwind

IMG_2179Female writer surfaces after recent disappearance into a whirlwind. It was a good and joyous kind of storm, not the kind where her home was re-rooted and yellow brick roads or witches appeared.

The last four days of May literally flew by.

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Could you go to town for a hair cut, dress and shoe shop for 3 hours, wash and dry 2 loads of laundry, as secretary take minutes for a 2 hour condo meeting, cut lawns, weed flowerbeds, get 3 short visits in with friends to explain a coming disappearance, research and book flights and hotel, get travel medical insurance, pack for an international trip, spend 4 hours driving, all before you leave for the airport in 39 hours.

Requirements to accomplish this were simple, eat while moving, keep moving, multitask, and divide less then 10 hours of sleep between two nights.

I’m not complaining though. I enjoyed every minute of hurried preparation for the trip to Las Vegas for our son’s impromptu wedding.

After four years together the son and his girlfriend decided to tie the knot and with Vegas being his favorite place to visit, they chose a destination wedding, the first in our immediate family.

A quaint yet elegant affair at a Fremont Street chapel with Mister and I as witnesses.

The groom was handsome in his tux. The bride was beautiful in her formal gown.

After the ceremony we all walked a section of Fremont Street for their photo-shoot.

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Memories were made as the four of us shared little glitches and unique situations.

The men thinking they were late and rushing from the hotel to the chapel because they thought the ceremony was a half hour earlier then it was.

Myself and the bride walking blocks in 114F carrying our clothes and shoes because the new limo driver didn’t know where to drop us off closer to the chapel.

Mister and I getting on the wrong freeway back to the hotel which ended with us four separated into 3 parties. Resulting in an interesting task of trying to locate each other in a large Vegas hotel without having use of cell phones.

Doing the cake cutting using plastic utensils in our hotel room, and having no plates with ate using the dig in method.

All things we laughed about and will certainly never forget.

We welcome the son’s new bride into the family and hope they have a long and happy life together. If their smiles are any indication, they are off to a great start.

Mine and Mister’s schedule didn’t quiet upon returning from this trip though.

We were home for Thursday and Friday. I did laundry, he did yard-work then we packed a suitcase and left for three days so Mister could help the son work on his truck.

We arrived back home this Monday night, with thoughts that the week will settle. No road trips in the plans, maybe just a trip into town for groceries. Then I realized I left my laptop at the daughter’s, a two hour drive away, each direction. Today had another road trip, but I think our pace will slow some now.

It’s times like this that make life interesting, and we’ll keep enjoying them while we can.

People always ask us if we get bored now that we’re retired. Ah, no.

This was our first trip as spontaneous as this. Would we do it again?

Mister would probably say, no, but I’m sure he would.

As far as me, I prefer not being so rushed, but sure I would do it again, why not?

Are you a spur of the moment traveler, or do you like to plan in advance?