Fresh Growth

Look who decided to grow fresh sprouts. This Rose bush is now towering over these lilies, which it has never done before.

Maybe, I gave it a complex in the past post when I stated how it takes a back seat to the Tiger Lilies when they are in bloom.

The only thing different I’ve done is more than usual dead-heading and pruning. Whatever the reason, I’m pleased. I can’t wait for all the new buds to open.

The colour of, The Sons, car seemed a perfect contrasting background to show off the new growth.

Are your flowers doing better or worse than usual this season?

Extra Cash From Old Coins

A version of stretching your pennies.

Remember when rolling coins to take some extra time and check their year, especially if you find a older stash.

We did this a few years ago with silver coins and made out pretty good.

I just sorted a couple more cans that have been sitting around for years. Putting all the pennies together not thinking much about them, but I just did some research and looks like I’ll have a project for a rainy day.

Here’s a quick guideline but there is lots more valuable information online.

Canadian Silver Coins

1870 – 1919 are 92.5% silver

1920 – 1967 are 80% silver

1967 & 1968 are 50% silver

U.S. Silver Coins

1964 or earlier (dimes, quarters, half and full dollar) are 90% silver some nickels are 35% silver

This is Interesting

Pennies before 1982 are 95% copper, so they are worth more for melt down.

Have you ever taken time to study and sort coins?

Old bills are pretty interesting too.

Roses Take a Back Seat

It’s not often the popular “Rose” gets out shone, and there’s not always so much red in this flowerbed.

Our Tiger-Lilies bloomed later this year than most. Usually, they are in full colour while the rose bush is still budding. A spell of wetter conditions and less sunshine has them competing this year.

These Tigers are way ahead in getting attention and comments. People even stop to take pictures.

I don’t consider myself having a green thumb, but I can grow things and rarely kill a plant. These Tigers must just love their location, because they get big and bushy like this every year. I have a couple of the exact ones in a back flowerbed which are not near the size of these two.

There is one thing about the pictured bed that keeps me scratching my head though. In the little over ten years the Rose has been planted there I can’t seem to convince it it’s a bush, and that it could be taller then a foot. This year it’s even creeping sideways.

If anyone has ideas, please let me know. I’ve tried spring pruning or not, neither made a difference. Maybe, I should search it out, maybe it’s not suppose to be a bush.

Which flower caught your attention at first glance?

Where Was I?

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This was a busy work station

To those who follow my blog I would like to apologize for my absence, and also let you know I’m working my way back.

Since my last post, I’m sure Mister and I have spent more time not home than home. With Wi-Fi not always assessable, (hard to fathom, but we only use phone data for emergencies) blogging was put on hold. The positive to this was, when we were not on a highway we were either with family or friends.

Here’s a quick update on happenings that have taken place.

  • Our daughter and her husband bought our acreage, and are busy making it their own. Thankfully, for the time being, we still store things there and we didn’t have to make a complete move. Thirty some years of accumulated address changes was time consuming enough to do.
  • Mister and I got to enjoy house hunting with the son and daughter in-law while they shopped for their first home. Then we shared our knowledge and extra hands to help build a garage and do some inside home renovations.
  • We put our cottage up for sale, which meant sprucing it up first and getting some small overdo projects done. It also led to packing up some personal items for staging (who knew that was going to take almost a full cargo trailer). We love where we live and our friends here are special, but it’s time to move closer to the kids to cut down highway traveling when visiting. After 37 years, I’m also looking forward to the conveniences of living in a town or small city.
  • We had our boat in for motor repairs last spring which resulted in it getting stolen. Fortunately, the R.C.M.P. recovered and returned it, unfixed but in one piece. The repairs finally got done this spring by a different mechanic.
  • With the help of social media, a very special person and friend who moved away long ago and I were able to reconnect.
  • One of our granddaughters had a outside wedding last September. The beautiful ceremony was made even more memorable by light falling snow.
  • There’s been an exciting addition to our family. We already have four awesome grandchildren, but in February we were blessed with grandchild number five. The son and his wife delivered a precious new grandson who definitely melts our hearts with his smile.
  • Whenever I can, I’ve been loving the smell of horse and leather again. Pulling experience from my past to help the daughter with training her young horse.
  • Sadly, but for her own plus her family’s well being, one of my sisters was moved into an Alzheimer’s care facility.
  • Some people believe winters in Alberta are long and boring, not so here at Gleniffer Lake. Although considered a summer resort, there’s a good number of year round residents which keep active with weekly coffee get togethers, crafting sessions and playing cards.
  • I also took time this winter to dig into my stashed sewing/quilting projects. A grand total of 132 got completed (wow, they can sure add up). Plus, a few hats were even knitted in the evenings.
  • I recently got to spend a week as the daughters assistant doing a kitchen cabinet make-over at the acreage. (I love doing this kind of stuff).

 

There are the highlights on what’s been going on in my life, and I’ll elaborate on some of these happenings in future posts.

I look forward to reconnecting with everyone.

The Wheel and Lost With A GPS

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I hate when reality proves there isn’t enough hours in a day or days in a week. When life is like being on a hamster wheel. With me running and running, and no matter the pace I get nowhere.

At least I’m still on my feet and life hasn’t thrown me out onto my butt. Smiley Face.

For anyone feeling like they’re in a wheel, let’s take a deep breath, put our heads down and focus. When it slows, we can jump off and take time to smell the roses.

How do I get so far behind so fast?

Are you, in the wheel or out smelling roses?

If you noticed I didn’t post last week it was because that darn wheel wasn’t laptop friendly. Besides, I was busy self-discovering.

Mister did a lot of traveling during his working years so him and I being separated was common back then. Since his retirement it rarely happens. The days we spent apart last week were eye opening. Who knew we would miss each other that much.

My biggest surprise was learning I’m human (or maybe aging). I’m not ashamed to share this next tidbit because maybe it will put someone else it’s happened to at ease.

Stress and sleep depuration can and probably will affect your concentration and coping skills more so as we age.

Did you know even an experienced traveler can get lost while using a GPS? It happened when I didn’t realize the wrong destination on the touch screen got programmed.

My road-trip home was going good, the first pee break was in the city I knew it should be in. After that was when things went south. Actually, I needed to drive south but under the cloudy sunless sky I didn’t realize I was heading east. Sure, I had moments of, this road seems different, but I chalked it up to Mister is usually driving while I’m distracted by reading or napping. When I passed a town I knew I shouldn’t was when all faith in the GPS left and I felt lost. That rattled my tired self which only frustrated me more. So, on the side of the unfamiliar highway with my data-less phone I made a few calls. Do you believe with everyone carrying cell phones it took five tries to reach someone who could confirm that I would eventually get home? The three hour trip turned into five because of my detour.

Thanks goes to the daughter-in-law who answered and the son who she put on the phone for the out of the blue call for a Google search.

Do you put your trust in a GPS when traveling?

The daughter-in-law informed me that it’s also very hard to get a good, clear picture of a hamster in a wheel for this post. Thanks for trying.

How Are My Odds?

So far my hands are steadier, and I can concentrate far better than the last few days. Hopefully, the frustration trigger is buried deeper than it has been too.

I hope I don’t jinx it by saying so, but overall I’m doing better this time than I expected.

Will I be successful? I’m still uncertain.

Quitting is easy for some people, and maybe it depends on the reason behind why they smoke in the first place. 

For me it’s not social, in fact most family and friends don’t smoke. It’s not for the physical reason of keeping my hands busy. Cigarettes are my reward. I dangle them as enticement to get a project done, or I have one while gearing up to tackle something. Some of my best problem solving takes place on the deck while I’m smoking.

Yes, it’s unhealthy, and that’s the only reason I’m trying to quit, yet it doesn’t change that I enjoy the habit.

I started in grade school although it didn’t become a regular issue until I was in my late teens.

When I became pregnant, I quit and actually went 27 years as a non-smoker. The urge troubled me almost daily during that whole time though.

I know it’s an excuse, but when we had two near death scares in the immediate family both within the same week, the stress had me smoking again.

That was almost ten years ago.

Family laughs when I say, “I’m quitting.” They’ve heard it before.

I debated whether to publish this post because if the past is an indicator my odds to succeed are low.

They say to quit, you have to be ready, and it’s hard to know if you’re ready without giving it a whirl. 

I’m going “cold turkey” no pills, patches or aids other than a pack of nicotine gum if things get hairy. So far I have only had two pieces.

My dilemma is what do I reward myself with? I don’t want to use snacks.

Is it weird that I function on a reward system? 

Have I spent too much time training four legged critters?

Do you reward yourself after say, cutting the lawn or weeding flower beds?

To others who have tried to quit and have failed, it happens, and all we can do is try again.

P.S. – To those around me, I’m trying my best not to get grumpy and snappy but cut me some slack if I do. Sometimes, I just can’t help it.

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?

Blog Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

A big thanks to, Riddle From The Middle, for nominating me for “The Blogger Recognition Award.”

As a new blogger, having my posts viewed brings satisfaction. Getting likes and comments is rewarding, and I’m thrilled and honoured to have RFTM, whose blog inspires me, enjoy my work.

Riddle From The Middle’s blog is about her journey through everyday family life. What makes her work worth reading is she writes with a genuineness that’s inviting and entertaining. Check out her blog here.

These are the Blogger Award questions and my answers.

How my blog got started.

Layered with years of experiences, a mind stocked with stories and an inquisitive nature, I’m surprised I took this long to start blogging?

When I’m writing a novel, I spend an abundance of time wrapped up with the characters and their storyline. After my recent book hit the presses, I wanted a short break from writing fiction but not from writing in general.

A new passion started when I began reading blogs and following favorites. That led to commenting on posts, and soon I joined the fun and created, “Saddles to Shorelines and Life as it Comes.”

To me, blogging is a version of reality TV, but the drama is more controllable. I enjoy connecting with real people while we discuss concerns and sometimes silly topics. It’s a way to share interests, inspire each other, or make us reflect on precious moments. A bonus for a writer is bringing a smile to someone’s day.

Two huge benefits to blogging is I can be in my PJ’s, and I’m never followed by a camera.

While I plot my next novel, blogging keeps my mind in writing mode and my fingers practised on the keyboard.

My 2pc of advice for new bloggers.

– With my blog less than a year old I don’t have the experience to say what works or doesn’t, but if you enjoy sharing thoughts and writing join me in, the learn as we go group. The hardest part is pressing the publish button.

– Although getting readers and gaining followers is wonderful and satisfying, write for your own joy. You get out of blogging what you put in to it.

Rules for This Award:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.

Write a post to share your award with a brief story of how your blog started, and give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

Nominate 10 to 15 bloggers for this award.

Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and link back to this post.

I have nominated 10 blogs which I thoroughly enjoy reading, check out these links;

A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tale

A New Day Living Life Almost Gracefully

Empty Nest Full Life

Invisible No More

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Retirementally Challenged

Rhythm in Life

Ron’s Country Musings

The Traveling Todds

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Beeping Things

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Am I a lab-rat trained to respond to sound stimulus? Everything, beeps or buzzes these days. Clothes washers, dryers, microwaves, coffee pots, oven timers. Excuse me while I pause this thought, my laundry is beeping, I must jump up and switch loads.

Were was I?

Oh I remember, things that beep or buzz, dying batteries, car sensors and ignition, keypad strokes, incoming phone or social media messages, calendar reminders, well you get my drift.

Laundry day is the worst, it’s when the annoying sounds wear on my nerves.

Our washer and dryer know exactly when I sit down, open a page on the computer or I’m in the middle of another project, that’s when they call out. Plus, they never finish a cycle at the same time.

Yes, I do understand the notifications are meant as a convenience. We no longer have to relay on memory as to what we have going on, but is this a good thing?

Super annoying is when I’m standing in-front of the open washing machine already transferring clothes into the dryer, it still keeps beeping telling me it’s done. Does it think I’m deaf, or maybe not working fast enough?

I have found myself muttering to these appliances more than once when they’re demanding my attention, “Yes, yes I hear you, just give me a minute to finish what I’m doing.”

If they ever respond with something like, “Get your as… in here,” instead of their nagging noises, I’ll let you know. Maybe not, you’ll send a visitor to my door carrying a white jacket. 🙂 

Another pet peeve on laundry day is, how the heck do coat hangers, especially the wire ones, twist themselves into mind puzzles while hanging on the closet rod? If more than one are side by side, I can guarantee they will come out in a tangle, and usually at least one falls into the recesses of closet darkness.

Once gathered and untangled I’ll lay them on the bed so they are handy. With a shirt from the washer in one hand I’ll reach for a hanger. Now, I’m playing the “Barrel of Monkey’s” game. Lifting the lot linked together, grrrrr.

Oh, oh.

My fingers have become still, my hands now hover over the keyboard. There are furrows between my brows as my gaze lifts from the computer screen. My head turns towards the other end of the house.

I must go, an appliance is beckoning me. 🙂

Should we be worried about robots taking over the world in the future?

or

Perhaps we should be cautious of programmers and appliance designers?

A Week Pet Sitting

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Why Are You On The iPad?

Puppy’s are made of short naps, hours of fetch and tug a-war, and the rest of the time is pet me or at least pay attention to me.

Mister and I spent last week pet sitting at our son’s house in the City, while he and his girlfriend went on vacation.

Under our care was Dobby, a nine month Doberman Pincer pup, Chewbacca and Little two felines, and a dwarf hamster.

When looking after Ruben or now Dobby our fur Grand-puppies for longer than a night, Mister and I find it easier if we’re at their homes where they have fenced yards.

In preparation I packed writing assignments, reading, two knitting projects, and had planned to catch up downloading pictures and organizing them during the sort of vacation away from our own chores.

What was I thinking?

I always expect to get more done in a week than is practical and I hadn’t considered the coming distractions.

The first full day on our own I was out of bed before Mister which is normal because that’s when I like to write.

Who would have guessed that Dobby would bark whenever I’d stop paying attention to him and look at my iPad? With Mister still asleep, I tried to keep one hand petting him while the other maneuvered the stylist on the iPad on my lap. That might have worked if not for the unexpected boops causing all kinds of chaos on screen. The puppy won my attention that morning.

By midweek, I had more of a routine. Emails got checked when Mister could play with Dobby, and there was no more barking at my iPad if I tried short sporadic spurts of morning writing.

The kid’s 3 story home also distracted me from time to time. We only used the main floor, an upstairs spare bedroom and two of the four bathrooms, but with carpet and house pets there was vacuuming, dusting, or wiping nose and paw prints, to keep up with.

A quirt of mine is I enjoy house cleaning, I’m not obsessed about it but it can sidetrack me. Give me a sink of warm soapy water and I can spend hours spot washing doors, frames, walls or non-daily areas.

Our kids have never complained that having us house sit often comes with a cleaning bonus. It’s not meant to offend, it’s just what I do when I’m bored or unsettled.

Adjusting to a different TV provider proved frustrating for Mister. Remotes, menus and channels were not what he was familiar with, so he usually gave up searching for shows. Instead, he would find a channel with reruns and we would just watch what ever came on.

There was, On-Demand, Netflix, and the kids left written instructions how to use these but we couldn’t get interested in either. It surprised us to learn how much we watch and depend on our PVR and taped favourites when at home.

Being in the city for a week came with benefits. We got in a couple visits with our nearby daughter, although unfortunately we weren’t able to catch up with the oldest one. I enjoyed a shopping day with my BFF which ended with her husband and Mister meeting us for a enjoyable supper out.

We had a shortened but nice visit with the kid’s when they got home. They had other things to do though, so we got out of their hair and returned to our cottage.

My voice will probably crack from lack of use not saying, good puppy, bad puppy, Dobby don’t chase the cats, no, leave it, go get your toy.

I should have weighed myself prior to staying there. I’m certain I lost weight, not enough but still a positive, due to trips up the stairs and having Dobby judge me if I ate snacks. Because of his watchful eye I didn’t consume a single potato chip during the week, a record for me.

Another misconception was I thought I’d have tons of opportunity and it would take little effort to get great pet pictures for this post. By the time I would grab a device and get a camera App open they would either turn away from me, move into bad lighting, have disappeared, or Dobby would boop the camera resulting in a blurred picture. If I tried to sneak into a different room for a cat’s photo session, Dobby would find us in a flash and send the cats fleeing.

This is one of the few pictures I managed to get of Chewy, the black cat, and Little, the tabby.

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Oh a warning, cats are traders.

We swear the cat dish always had food in it which is how they are use to being feed but they made sure to lick it clean sometime between the last nightly check and the morning when the kids got home, making it look like we neglected them. This after letting them share our bed every night, a treat they don’t get to do with the kids.

When either the son or daughter ask us to look after their animals, if we can, we are glad to do the favour, but we’ll admit we enjoy stays at their places better when they’re there and we can visit them.

What do I appreciate the most about being home?

No puppy has tried to steal my morning cookies, and I can enjoy a full cup of hot coffee without the interruptions of throwing a slobbery rubber toy.

I miss the cute faces and their happiness to see us though, but not enough to make us think of having a full time pet of our own again. Been there, done that.

One more thing, I don’t remember Mister and I wearing so many cloths while away so who does all this dirty laundry we brought home belong to.

I wrote this post with a smile and a fondness of animals.

Do you ever Pet sit?

Do you prefer doing it at your own place or go to the animals home?