Which Group Are You?

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When something goes wrong our instinct as parents and grandparents is to gather our family, stay close, protect and support each other. Right now the opposite has to be done if younger family members are unable to completely isolate because of their jobs.

This isn’t a, woe is me, post, but it does suck to be in that higher risk and more vulnerable age group. I’m certain everyone of you who is feels the same.

“Thank Goodness to today’s technology.” Who else agrees that without it this isolation would be so much more difficult?

Using devises and Internet we can not only hear our family and friends voices, we can see their faces, or easily share pictures and videos. We only have to physically isolate, so to keep our sanity any kind of call interactions are greatly appreciated.

Video chats is now how we visit Monkey (our newest grandson) who seems to grow and learn new things each day. It’s depressing not being able to share these in person, but we hope not doing it now means a better chance of doing it for years to come.

We get virtual tours of projects and changes at the son and daughter-in-law’s place and lots of video visits while we watch Monkey play.

Our daughter also keeps us up-to-date daily with life in the country for her and her husband. She sent pictures of their house renovations, which they luckily had supplies on hand for. We get to see what her fur baby is up to, and she’s keeping us posted on spring progress with her horse.

The effort each and every individual puts into social distancing will make a huge difference.

Remember, just because you can’t see social distancing results in the moment it could literally be life altering.

Mister and I are starting our 4th week physically separated from family and friends. Boredom or running out of projects isn’t an issue yet. Like many of you, I would be lying if I said at times it doesn’t sadden and frustrate us, but there really seems to be no other option.

This situation has increased our desire to move closer to the kids. We had just listed our place for sale before this virus took over. Now, I doubt the chance to sell and relocate will happen anytime soon.

My prayers go out to all during these terrible times. Especially, those whose job takes them out in the public.

Lets keep these people healthy by isolating ourselves if we have symptoms or have been around someone with symptoms.

Lets stay home unless it’s a necessity.

Lets learn what is a necessity.

Lets learn to be happy in our homes. I hear it’s a great time to move furniture around.

Stay Positive.

Be Kind and Considerate to others.

Be Diligent with hygiene, social distancing or self isolation.

I Hope You have someone or something that Can still make you Smile.

What is something you can’t wait to do once this virus subsides?

For me it’s, be in the same room as family and friends. I should clarify that, family and friends other than Mister, because he is certainly both of those.

Probably, do one of our Chinese food get togethers with the kids. I’m craving something not home cooked.

Hold and play with Monkey of course.

Pet and wrestle the grand puppy. Spend time in the barn with the daughter and her horse. Technology hasn’t been able to bring me the smell of horse, leather and hay.

Be able to clear my throat without causing public panic, and be able to touch my nose, eyes or face in a store lineup without fearing illness.

Have you learned any new ways of communicating or staying connected with family and friends while social distancing?

I hope you and yours can remain Safe and Healthy. 

Have You Gotten Reacquainted

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I have started a new social distancing activity called reacquainting myself with stuff.

I won’t refer to the digging in and going through nooks and crannies as cleaning out, because I rarely throw anything away.

It’s more like taking inventory.

For instance, I have 4 of my previous wallets stashed in a box. Two of them have been in the box for over ten years, one was put in there because it was my all time favourite but is falling apart. The forth one is my traveling wallet and is occasionally used.

Does anyone else save old wallets after buying a replacement?

Worse than that is my collection of glasses cases, drugstore sunglasses, and readers, that I can’t even wear now because of my prescription. Not all of them are in this box. I have no explanation for this, but as long as there’s room in this box things are safe. Once it’s full I will not start another one. That’s when something will have to go.

The box that is getting scary is the one housing out dated phones, cameras, chargers and cords. It’s getting full, but it’s not on my to conquer list yet.

My memory is still pretty good as to what we have and don’t, but I don’t always remember right away where something is stashed. Which can lead to a little frustrated search. So, I’m enjoying this rediscovering.

I’ll admit I had a brief moment of, I should make an alphabetical list of where stuff is. I guess I’m not bored yet, because that didn’t happen.

Have you gotten reacquainted with stored things yet?

Hopefully you and yours are staying healthy, and you are finding ways to fill your social isolation days.

This Is A First

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5:28 am. I’ve said many times I’m a morning person, so seeing these clock numbers is not unheard of, but being up at this hour for today’s reason is a definite first for me.

Mister is stirring in the bedroom and is about to join me which is even more unusual.

We’re not up because we’re sick, headed to a doctor, going on a trip, picking someone up at a airport, nothing like that.

We’re taking Covid-19 serious, but this I actually found funny. Well, I don’t think I chuckled the instant I threw the warm cozy blanket off and rolled out of bed.

It’s Wednesday, March 18, a coffee sits beside me as I start this post which I will finish later.

What are we up to?  We’re headed for groceries.

A store in a nearby Town is opening at 7:00am, a hour early for seniors and vulnerable people to shop during the Covid-19 social distancing. 

We live about a half hour drive from this town, and I shouldn’t be in public without at least one cup of coffee so that’s why I’m up long before the sun today.

We appreciate the store doing this, and hopefully we find the pork chops and few other things on our list.

The store wasn’t as crowded as we were expecting which was nice.

Experts say don’t touch your face, eyes or mouth when out in public, so of course standing in line I got something in my eye. Not wanting to use my finger and thinking I’m smart I took off my glasses and used the arm tip to rub my eye. Than I was like, wait, when was the last time I cleaned that part of my glasses. Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing and tried to clear my vision by blinking alone.

I won’t bore you with details, but we came home with everything on our list. We should be set to hunker in for awhile once again.

With all coffee and crafting get-togethers here canceled for now it’s a good time to dig out some tucked away projects. Maybe after a nap though.

Have you been having trouble finding or getting out for supplies?

What are you doing to ward off boredom?

Bittersweet Driftwood

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Reusing or recycling items during our craft afternoons is something this group tries for as often as we can.

Many here share my appreciation for driftwood’s natural beauty and uniqueness. Last winter the crafting group agreed it made perfect sense to use the wood for a project, but we needed to wait with the lake frozen and the shoreline under snow.

Living at a lake resort on a damned mountain fed river means driftwood floating downstream occurs every thaw season.

The resort likes to keep the marina and beach debris free so last summer a few of us would go gather pieces to stock pile so they would dry and be ready to be transformed this winter.

Doing a “driftwood” search on Pinterest brings up tons of ideas of what to make. For many of us that was the hardest part of this craft.

Candle holders, wind chimes, sun catchers, wall art, ornaments and even a serving tray were created this day.

Perhaps, I should have zoomed up on the projects for the picture, but the women’s smiles is more what these afternoons are about.

Emotions snuck up on me as I wrote this post which is why “bittersweet” is in the title.

You see, I have a sister and brother-in-law who for years use to come to their cottage here on weekends and holidays. My sister, who also loved to craft, and I would often get up early to paddle our kayak up and down the shorelines and around the island, searching and gathering driftwood. We would load the kayak with as much as it would carry and sometimes the bigger pieces for our yards we would drag behind with a rope.

These were great times, and she would have been in her glory at this craft afternoon, but they sold their cottage a few years ago.

Now, my sister, only 7 years older than me, lives in a world where we can’t visit. She has advanced Alzheimers, and I miss her dearly.

Sorry for that unexpected turn this post took.

Back to crafting. I’m showing a close-up below of a project I made because the fish are a result from a previous craft session. Each one is 33 layers of construction paper completely glued together, dried for a day, the edges beveled and sanded, then finished with a couple layers of clear nail polish. You can make beautiful pendants, fridge magnets, etc. with this simple process also found on Pinterest.

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I will share some of our other crafts in future posts.

Have you ever crafted using things from nature, or reusing or recycling?

I’m always looking for suggestions for future craft projects.

Name Update

It’s still me ” Saddles to Shorelines” just my blog’s name here on my website has changed to match its Facebook page “Kathy Knull’s Life As It Comes Blog”.

The minor change will now show on my posts emailed to subscribers, where I’m mentioned as sender, wherever my blogs name is newly mentioned, and of course I’m working on a new look for my website.

Like before, my blog topics will continue to be as spontaneous and random as life itself.

 

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?

What Makes These So Easy

Are you craving homemade cookies but don’t have much time? Even, with little to no baking experience, you can impress family and friends with these yummy, “Jelly Slices”.

They’re quick and extremely easy to make.

The recipe was one of my mom’s favourites to whip up for unexpected company, or if she craved a homemade sweet at odd hours.

She also loved to bake with her grandkids, and these were a very popular choice.

What makes them quicker then most to make is the batch is baked, all at once, in logs, then cut into slices. So, no individually shaping cookies before baking multiple pans.

Top left picture – Showing the process before baking, a log, a log with indent, indents filled with jam. (You could put peanut butter, chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts, pie filling, pretty much anything you can bake in the indents, or even nothing.)

Top right picture – Them baked.

Bottom left picture – Sliced while still hot and on the pan.

Bottom right – Ready for tasting.

Jelly Slices

Cream Together

  • 3/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar 
  • 1/4 Cup Icing Sugar

Then add

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups White Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla

Mix only until ingredients are incorporated. (Don’t over mix)

Divide batter into four equal parts. Squish each part firmly together, just so it doesn’t separate when rolling.

On a lightly floured surface use your palms to roll each part into a approximately 3/4”-1” thick x 11-12” long log and place on a non stick baking sheet.

I use the wooden spoon handle to make a indent down the middle of the roll.

Fill the indent with any flavour of Jam or Jelly. (Do not cut logs yet)

Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 15 minutes. Every oven and even bakeware cooks differently so when making for the first time check the batch starting at maybe 12-13 minutes. I like soft cookies so I take mine out just when the bottoms start to lightly brown.

Remove from oven and using a sharp knife immediately cut diagonally into about 1/2 – 3/4” slices.

Let me know if you try making these.

Do you have a quick go to recipe when you are needing or craving a sweet?

Traveling Dilemma

 

A good portion of the population wear glasses, right? So, would it kill designers or manufacturers to have different coloured bottles, labels, or even caps on these mini sized products in Hotels, Motels, and Inns?

Maybe, they could incorporate a big, S, C or L, on the label, or just increase some print size.

Something, so those of us who don’t wear our glasses in the shower can identify which product is which.

Clear containers work when shampoo is also clear, and only if hair conditioner and lotion aren’t both creamy white.

Some places also offer body wash. That makes four bottles to choose from, increasing my odds of failure. Yes, I have tried to wash my hair with a wrong product.

This is a minuscule issue, but it is a pet peeve I have when traveling.

I do try and remember to check which is which before jumping in the shower.

I’m also grateful you don’t get those packets, like ketchup comes in, that use to be supplied anymore. The ones that were just as hard to tell apart, and nearly impossible to open with wet hands.

Funny thing, our next stay after this post was drafted, supplied shampoo and conditioner in the slippery packets with tiny print.

Have you ever had to play a guessing game with these mini bottles?

Have you fought with the shampoo packets with wet hands?