Five Special Days



Dad had to work and Mom was having minor surgery, so “Monkey” came to stay a few days at the lake with Grandma and Grandpa.

What would we do in the cooler fall weather?

It was too cold for a swim in the lake. Plus, the pools are still closed because of Covid. “Bella” our boat was already out of the marina for the season, but none of that stopped our outside fun.

He loved riding around the resort in the golf-cart checking ponds for duckies, and of course visiting the playgrounds.

Grandma did the climbing up with him getting to the big slides, but he learned to go down by himself. Grandpa usually did swing pushing, and on this one he took a turn in the adult seat.

Our fun wasn’t limited to outdoors.

New for this visit was dance parties. Monkey figured out which button on our old floor style stereo unit turned on the radio. There was lots of music (mostly Country), and dancing, lots of dancing. If we thought he wasn’t listening anymore and would turn it down or off, he would head over and adjust it back to his liking.

When not outside or dancing there was just good old on the floor playtime. Him and Grandpa did manage to get some pretty good TV watching snuggle time in too.

For five days our house was bustling with activity, cluttered with toys, but best of all, we were busy smiling and laughing. A joyful time for Grandma and Grandpa.

Although he can’t yet say it with words, we’re certain “Monkey” had fun too. 

This was his second overnight stay without his parents. The first time was only one night. He did great both times.

I can tell you Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed these four days with “Monkey” more than his parents did having four days without him. He’s a pretty easy little guy to miss.

These stay-overs bring back fond memories of when our other (older now) grandchildren used to come stay with us. Those are wonderful and cherished times too, even though we don’t have as many pictures from then. It was before cell phones with cameras.

I grew up knowing only 1 grandparent and she passed before I was a teen. I didn’t see her often, and I don’t remember ever visiting or staying with her without a parent.

Our children were very close with all their grandparents, but they have all long passed. We’ve always felt that their time together was special and so do they.

Todays technology makes documenting these memories with digital photos and videos so easy, and to me there’s no such thing as too many pictures.

Do you have Grandchildren that are near enough to spend time with them?

Do you have fond memories of spending time with your Grandparents?

Smiles Speak Words

Seeing the great-granddaughter’s smile while at her new table and chair set made building it rather than buying one worth the work.

Years ago we made the great-grandson a set, and we were told this little sweetie loves using his. It was time for us to make her a set of her own.

Having to build outside means we’re at the mercy of a short hectic season, and days with good weather to boot. We feel bad, but for these reasons the great-granddaughter is older than the great-grandson was when he got his set. 

We decided to make the sets different. Her’s is obviously taller because of her age. So, it was more practical to make the chairs a ladder back style for sturdiness. Plus, for her patiently waiting extra years, her table has a special flip up top for books or crafting supply storage.

Her set was also given unfinished. Being a girl her age, we felt she might have fun helping decide what colour it should be. Maybe even help with the process.

The great-grandson’s set was more a modern style and I finished it with black legs and clear table and chair tops.

One Thing At A Time

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A Family Float taken years ago

I’ve been a bit quiet blogging lately so here’s an update as to why. When this isolation started I thought I was going to continue writing posts from my already outlined file. Yet, when I read a draft its level of importance in life has changed. For most, it just doesn’t feel like the right time to post them. They’re not deleted their day may come.

I’m sure I’m not alone feeling that with each added week of isolation I’m becoming more unsettled. Motivation has become my biggest obstacle. My attitude sways towards, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” it’s not like there’s anything else happening. I’ve lost the scheduled routine of what needed to be done every week.

Don’t get me wrong, part of this slowed down lifestyle I think we needed and I hope to continue practicing it.

I use to always tell myself, “I’ll sleep or relax when I’m dead”. My new motto might just be, “Every minute of every day shouldn’t be scheduled unless time to relax is included.”

Or, maybe my motivation issue is because most of the enjoyable stuff is done on my to-do-list.

I have been ticking things off which feels great, but I also hope this isolation ends before I have to do some of the remaining boring items. My temporary remedy is the other day I added about 10 new things to the list for more choices.

I should probably be ashamed to mention these, but I’m actually proud of myself for getting them done.

Our son is married and has a young son, and I recently got all of my old stashed notes recorded in his baby book.

Another impressive feat was completing the “Grandmother” book our older set of grandchildren gave me in 2003. This one has 64 pages of questions to be filled out regarding my childhood right up to views for the future, and then it’s to be given back to them. It’s now sitting here waiting for us to be able to deliver it.

I have material from 2006 to make a quilt which has finally made it to the cutting table, but we’ll see how far I get with that.

Our snow has finally melted and spring has arrived, so outside work takes priority. It also means I can start some woodworking.

Have you gotten anything done that’s been on your list for a long time?

Do you have something on your to-do-list you’re not looking forward to tackling?

My main one is, resealing our paved driveway which I’m guessing is around 1000 square feet. The worst part is we know this chore has to get done.

All in all, things with Mister and I are as good as can be expected. Life hasn’t stopped throwing us a few curve balls, but I’m sure that’s happening to everyone. 

(knock on wood) We’re still virus free, and as far as we know family and friends also are, so this is great.

It looks like summer is going to be nothing like what we had planned which sucks big time, but that’s out of our control.

Stay healthy and sane everyone. (smiley face)

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. 

Can You Imagine

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This book is a true story about the authors life after being accidentally shot by a family member.

I don’t usually do book reviews on this blog, but this read is definitely worth a mention.

Don’t be misled by the innocent title. This memoir is the inspiring story of a young girl who at nine years old was robbed of the youth most of us take for granted.

A children’s afternoon outing ends in a hospital miles from family and their farm with her spinal cord severed. She will never walk again. She may never see her thirties.

Her determination and bravery will inspire you as you follow her journey and dreams of owning dogs, horses, riding, and living on a farm again.

Partly from necessity, she discovers she has more than love for animals, she has a talent for training dogs to aid and enhance her way of life.

You’ll read about her special companions who also served a purpose and how they helped add meaning to her life.

 As tragic as this story is, this memoir doesn’t dwell on the negatives. It’s an enlightening and uplifting read. Although, I needed a tissue a time or two.

I can personally vouch for the great person this author became having known her now for forty some years.

The book “Dogs, Horses and Me” is available on Amazon in print and ebook versions.

How Far is Far Enough?

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Do you have a limit as to “how far away” from your home is “far enough” for a hotel or motel stay?

We don’t. Okay, maybe fifteen minutes away might be too close, and it probably matters that we live out of town.

Even with the above view out our window, Mister and I still enjoy getting-away. Long distance trips don’t happen as often for us anymore, but we take a few short jaunts every year.

This post was triggered by our recent venture which is a popular one for us. It’s roughly an hour and a half drive from our home.

Have you or would you stay in a Hotel or Motel that’s near where you live?

I can’t speak for Mister, but what I enjoy most about these little trips is they are usually in a city, and are often closer to family or friends.

It has been 38 years since I’ve lived in a city with everyday conveniences within walking distance.

I loved living in the country with horses out our back door, and here at the golf and lake resort. But, I was born and raised in a city, and I kind of miss that way of life too. Maybe it’s just that “grass is greener on the other side” thing, but living in a smaller city or town remains on my bucket list.

If a “staycation” is when you vacation at home, is there a name for when you stay in the same city as you live or somewhere super close?

In the beginning years of marriage when our kids were young and we lived in the country, a 30-60 minute drive to one of the nearby cities was sometimes our vacation. (Guess what word I first typed at the end of that sentence? Check out my “Holiday or Vacation” post for an explanation.)

When our youngest was about a year and a half old Mister started travelling more and more with his job. The kids and I would go with him as often as we could.

They were (still are) great travellers. It never bothered them to sleep in a different place every night. They never whined about time spent in a vehicle, even if the day was 8-12 hours on the road.

Most of these trips were before in vehicle DVD players, handheld tablets, or cell phones. They would pack books, travel games, and a few toys each for entertainment, or just watch the scenery. Eventually, Walkmans and a few handheld electronic games, plus Gameboy, came out. Books remained one of their favourites along with listening to their own music.

A part of what we loved about these trips with Mister working his way across provinces and states meant we visited a lot of little towns. We’ve traveled many main routes, country roads, and back highways through areas most tourists don’t visit.

If Mister expected his business stop was going to be lengthy he would drop us off to explore shopping areas, playgrounds, parks, main-streets or wherever we thought looked interesting. This part of our life started before people had cell phones. We had to wear watches and coordinate pick-up places and times.

I remember when Mister got a pager, and how when it went off we all had to watch for a phone booth while he drove.

Do you remember the days before things like, “text when you are on your way”

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.