Rocking A Hospital Gown

What would make five adults get up at 3:00am, shovel snow to and off two vehicles, then drive an hour into the nearest city in winter blizzard conditions?

This little guys booked early morning surgery.

For those who knew this was where I’ve been this week, I’d like to send out a quick update.

Children’s resilience is amazing. Monkey, (our newest grandson) was a trooper for his recent day and a half hospital stay.

His kidney repair surgery went great, and even though he came home with some temporary body jewelry and a tube, he is back smiling and playing.

We are grateful for amazing medical knowledge, doctors, and all hospital staff who help people with life changing care and procedures.

If love alone can heal then this little guy has absolutely no worries.

Smiles Are Contagious

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For us, seeing this smile is contagious. There’s nothing as genuine as the look of joy or wonderment on a child’s face.

Getting to spend time with this little fellow brings Mister and I great joy.

This is my new partner in silliness, our youngest grandchild. In posts, I’ll be referring to him by his nickname, “Monkey”.

It’s precious to witness life through the eyes of a young one again. To watch them experience and help teach them new things, and to just join their world and play.

I know, I’ll never tire of seeing our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren smile, but anyone’s smile can brighten ones day.

Remember to share the power of a smile when around others, and don’t be afraid to flash the first one.

It’s All In The Water

 

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This place is referred to as “Canada’s Dead Sea” because the natural mineral-rich properties of its water is very similar to that of the “Dead Sea of Israel”.

Whether or not you believe legends or current stories about curative powers of waters like these, that’s not what makes this place special.

Manitou Beach, (Canada’s Dead Sea) is no where near a coastline. It’s a spring fed lake located in the central prairies of Saskatchewan.

It is a True Hidden Treasure.

Manitou Beach, is a place rich with history, but also plagued with adversity. A village that could write a book about the meaning of perseverance.

Mister and I have visited many mineral pools, but never another with extreme natural buoyancy and soothing/moisturizing qualities like the waters of Manitou.

Since we discovered this gem of a place a few years ago, we’ve been to Manitou Beach a handful of times.

We’ve gone with friends, siblings, and have even gathered the kids and grandkids here for a weekend get-away.

Manitou Beach is one of Western Canada’s destination we recommend others to visit. 

We love visiting in the winter. Even though, summer businesses are closed, and enjoying the same buoyancy in the cool lake water is not an option.

Our place of choice to stay is, Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa There is more summer rental choices in the village, plus a serviced summer campground on top of the hill.

Manitou Springs Resort and Spa is a, no need to step outside until you have to leave, type of place. The wonderful amenities and friendly staff make it easy to just relax and enjoy your stay.

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Inside the resort is a large soaking pool with 38 degree Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit) soothing mineral rich water.  Plus, another large mineral pool at 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 Fahrenheit), this one has a deep end. I prefer hanging out in the deeper water where I can fully experience the extreme buoyancy by floating without effort in a standing position. Free, unlimited pool access is included when you book a room or suite.

To satisfy ones hunger the resort has a poolside cafeteria plus a family restaurant. In our experience both have great food and menu choices.

If you want to treat yourself to some pampering their European-style spa offers fantastic Swedish massages, reflexology, body wraps and other therapeutic and esthetic services.

There’s also a fully equipped fitness centre for those who enjoy a workout.

Browse their gift shop which carries a wonderful line of products made with their famous water, souvenirs, clothing, and a good selection of swim suits.

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Manitou Beach was a hoping destination for thousands of world wide travellers in the 1920’s and 30’s. Then, the depression and changes in the way people travelled took its toll.

In 1983, fire destroyed the original indoor pool. The new and existing one was opened in 1987. Trouble didn’t end there though for this village. Increased rainfall and snow run-off for a spring fed lake with no out-going streams means rising water levels. This issue has already consumed some beaches and roadways but, is currently being controlled with protective berms.

It’s not only the waters which has history and made Manitou Beach popular in its glory days. There’s also a dancehall which was known for its big name entertainment, and its desirable flooring system. The wood planks of the dance floor rest on braided coils of horse hair giving it movement and therefor comfort for dancing. The dancehall still holds occasional public and private functions.

Do you like relaxing in hot pools?

Have you heard of Manitou Beach, (Canada’s Dead Sea) before?

Have you ever experienced floating in natural buoyant waters?

Which Do You Dread

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This only shows 6 of the 20 blinds

Options filtered through my mind as I did my pre-Christmas cleaning. Which in itself is a bit odd, because we won’t even be home. So maybe it was late fall, early spring, or more like catch up from being away so much cleaning.

Anyway, I actually enjoy cleaning but there are chores I dread and thought it would be fun to hear what chores others dread.

Name a chore or two you dread but grudgingly do often. Here’s a few of mine.

  • Window washing (Okay, often is stretching it here, I do the outsides 2 maybe 3 times a year, insides is less, but that’s because I dread it.)
  • Washing floors. (Not sure why I don’t enjoy this, and it’s really too bad it needs to be done so often.)
  • Dusting or washing horizontal blinds. (I have a good reason for this one. We have 20 windows, most are big, and all of them have horizontal blinds.)
  • Scrubbing the shower and tub. (The older I get the more I hate this chore. It has become easier since I started using a half and half mixture of vinegar and water with a little blue Dawn dish soap as a cleaner though.) This chore also makes me smile too, because of a comment one of my nephews made years ago. It was shortly after he moved out on his own. He was shocked when my sister told him he had to clean the tub and shower. His reasoning was, it gets washed whenever I shower.

Oh and if this was summertime instead of winter, cleaning tree fluff of the window screens is way up there on my dreaded list, and weeding flowerbeds.

Is there a chore you do regularly that you wonder why or how does this get dirty so fast.

– Cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures.

– Cleaning the mysterious crumbs and such out of Silverware and utensil drawers. (Actually pretty much every drawer. How does stuff get in closed drawers.)

– Scrubbing kitchen sinks, including drain area and stoppers.

– Washing door and drawer fronts and handles.

 If you have a choice, do you prefer to cook, or do the cleanup?

 My hands down answer is do the cleanup.

Chatting And Laughing (Wine Coasters)

These useful, multipurpose discs make excellent little gifts. They are coasters that slip on a glasses stem base. They can be handy glass identifiers at gatherings, or use one to eliminate that unruly charging cord in your bag or pocket by putting the rolled phone cord inside.

Use speciality materials for different seasons or occasions, or just have fun with colour.

They are very inexpensive to make. If you or someone you know is a sewer they are a great way to use up scrape pieces of cotton, flannel, or felt.

Making these was another easy and quick project for our afternoon crafting get togethers.

Not everyone here has a sewing machine, so I suggested we stitch the Wine Coasters by hand. The decorative blanket stitch and all. It had been years since many of us opted to sew a project by hand. There were a few joking comments that I was torturing them, but it really wasn’t that bad. They don’t take long and we had fun.

Pictured is a 3pc. and a 5pc. style, and 2 sizes. The blue one is hand stitched and the smaller size.

Basic Steps

We used a CD as a template to cut the larger sized circles.

Cut 3 or 5 circles depending on the style you are making. (The 3pc. has a bottom and 2 top halves. The 5pc. has a bottom and 4 top pcs. showing quarters.)

With wrong sides together, fold in half and press the (2 or 4) pieces for your top.

Place your full bottom circle with right side of material facing downward.

For the 3pc. style, – place and pin your 2 folded pieces on your bottom circle, butting up the folded edge in the middle. Don’t overlap fold.

For the 5pc. style, – place a folded piece on one half of bottom circle. Then each next folded piece is placed a quarter of the way around the circle, covering half of the previous piece. Once all 4 are in place there should be a roughly pencil lead sized hole in the middle for stem to come through. Pin pieces in place. (This step sounds more difficult than it is.)

Next for either style, sew through all layers (.5cm or 1/4”) around the outside edge of circle

Turn right side out.

Press.

Optional – Top stitch around outer edge, with straight, zigzag, or blanket stitch. 

If you are interested in making these there’s also lots of pictures and detailed instructions on Pinterest. Just search, wine coasters or DIY wine coasters.

Tips

The CD sized 3 pc. style on a smaller based glass is a little loose fitting.

The CD 5 pc. style takes a few extra seconds to put on, but in my opinion fits better even on a smaller base.

I don’t think I would make the 5pc. style any smaller then a CD, it might be too hard to get on.

If possible, measure your bases before deciding which to make. Especially if making 3pc. style. Adjust the size of circles you cut according to your glasses base. (Cut roughly 1.5cm or 3/4” bigger than base to allow for seam and a little play.)

Do you or someone you know love to entertain and could use these?

Do you theme or decorate for your parties or get togethers?

Do You Over Pack

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It can pay off big time.

I’ve always over-packed. Whether it’s different climate outfits or just extra choices, there’s always clean clothes coming home in my suitcase.

But, for all the times that’s happened it only takes one delayed return, added days to a trip away, to appreciate those extras.

Sure, I never go where purchasing or washing clothes isn’t an option, but that isn’t always convenient though. Plus, it’s definitely never easy to find what you need in a pinch, unless it’s the basics (socks or underwear).

We just got back from a trip that ended up being 5 days longer than expected. I tell you those extras packed were greatly appreciated.

My method when packing is, if there’s still room in the suitcase, fill it. Unless I’m going where I know I’ll be shopping.

I also always travel with more medication than required, and I’ve finally got Mister doing the same.

Do you travel with extras or just the bare minimum?

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?

Was It My Imagination

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Do you have an unexplainable fear or love for something? Can a simple sight, sound or smell, change how you feel?

For many years and with unwarranted intensity, I’ve loved the ocean and feared fire.

I love many of nature’s things, but the instant I hear, touch, or smell ocean water, I actually feel a calm come over me like no other. Like I’m returning home, yet I’ve never lived near an ocean.

As for phobias, I only have a couple minor ones and none compare to my fear of fire. Saying I fear fire isn’t really correct. I enjoy a campfire or fireplace, and I’m not afraid to burn candles and such. It’s that fires have raged and haunted me in reoccurring nightmares.

For years, I’ve had a theory about these two obsessions.

My reasoning came out of nowhere, as in no suggestive books, movies or conversations. It’s more like hints were slowly given to me in my sleep and over time. I didn’t spring out of bed one morning with the complete theory fresh in my mind.

I’ve kept none of these thoughts a secret. I’m not ashamed by them. In fact, I’ve shared, joked, and laughed about this theory with friends and family.

Before you call me crazy, let me tell you about a couple extraordinary experiences that make me question the truth behind my theory. 

It happened when Mister and I finally got a chance to go on a ocean cruise.

The instant I stepped aboard the cruise ship, panic began to build. I’m sure for some this is not unusual, and maybe it’s even common, but it caught me by surprise. I’ve always been extremely comfortable on or in water. We’ve owned boats for years, and I’ve been on many lengthy voyages on small and large ocean ferries.

Was my theory cause for this reaction?

You see this theory I speak of is, I believe in a past life I captained or worked on a big wooden ship. It was my way of life, my home for years, and that’s where my strong love of the ocean comes from.

My fear, or whatever it should be called, is also a result of this past life. I believe I died on the above ship, trapped by an onboard fire.

Was my theory all a tale created by my imagination? If so, how do I explain the strange occurrences that followed?

Brief flashes of deja-vu on this voyage were taken in stride, but what happened on the forth night will live with me forever.

It was full into night, and I was sound asleep when all of a sudden I shot up in bed. There was no unusual noises or motions, and only a sliver of a moon lit our cabin.

I woke with no worry or anxiety like when one has a nightmare. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Drawn to the window, I stood and scanned the dark silhouettes of passing land. I watched the boats running lights glisten on the rippled water as the ship began to quietly enter a channel to another port and our dock for the day.

There were previous night maneuvers like this, all which I slept through. But, on the forth night my heart raced with excitement, a feeling of familiarity, attachment, an appreciation of the area. 

What makes this unexplainable is I had never been to, seen pictures of, or even researched this port before this journey.

How can I not believe the long ago sailor in me knew this place?

This thought was reinforced by a memorable incident which happened the next day when the ship idled in place by a glacier.

While standing at the ships rail enjoying the view an announcement came over the speaker system. My worst nightmare began for real, yet instead of panicking, I stood barely phased. There was a fire onboard in the spa which required some areas of the ship to be evacuated.

For me, this was to show me that I no longer carried the sailors worries now that he had returned home the night before?

By the way, the fire which was electrical, was contained and put out with minimal damage.

In general, I don’t believe in things that can’t be seen, heard, or proven, but ghosts or drifting sprits are my exception.

Was this all coincidence?

Believe what you may, but I believe I returned a lost soul home while on this voyage.

It’s been ten years since this trip and I haven’t had a, trapped by fire, nightmare. I do still love the ocean though.

Have you ever experienced deja-vu?

Have you ever felt that a spirt guides, protects or is near you?

The picture is a couple whales playing beside the ship.