Fifty-Three, But Who’s Counting?

We look pretty good. What is it we’re all dressed up for?
(Helpful hint – put labels on old photos while you still remember the details…)

I have many talents – drawing isn’t one of them – for example The Car Guy is much taller than I am…

The Car Guy and I celebrated our 53rd Wedding Anniversary in 2022. Our Wedding Vows were very traditional, but if there had been an internet back then, I think we would have added some of these vows, which I found when I did some web research:

“I promise to get up and get our remote from across the room, even if it was not I who placed the remote so very far away.”

“I promise to love you through Ikea, be it during the buying or the assembly of furniture procured therein.”

“I promise to replenish the toilet paper that you almost certainly won’t remember the stored location thereof.”

“I promise that I will never ask you to sample anything to see whether it has gone bad.”

“I promise that I will clean up after supper when you cook it.”

“I pledge always to respect your musical preferences while you are driving. However, if you are not driving…”

“I vow never to steal your covers, unless you are hogging them.”

“I vow to agree that you really are the best driver on the road and that you always know exactly where you’re going.”

“I vow to always do all the stuff neither of us wants to do when I know that you really, really don’t want to do it a lot more than I really, really don’t want to do it.”

“I vow that for as long as we both shall live, I will guard you against spiders and mice.”

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.
– eCards –

For more pithy quotations see this post: Love and Marriage

An Abnormal Normal Christmas

Back to Normal Christmas Letter
For many years I wrote an Annual Christmas Letter for family and friends. There wasn’t much to report on a personal level in 2020 and 2021 because of Canadian pandemic social restrictions. Everything I wanted to say about everything else was on my blog – so I didn’t do letters for those two years.

January 2022 was the end of the pandemic for The Car Guy and I. We promptly got Covid when we left the restrictions in Alberta and moved to the open social life of Arizona – sure made writing the Annual Letter more interesting and easier to write!

An Abnormal Christmas
The Car Guy and I moved up our migration to Arizona to early December 2022. That meant we celebrated Christmas with real family in Alberta in November, while December Christmas was a series of virtual visits with family who were also in small pods in far flung places. Our Christmas Day meal was a simple gourmet BBQ hamburger dinner for two – if that isn’t a stress free holiday recipe, I don’t know what is!

One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.
– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone –

I always know what I’m getting for Christmas…
fat… I’ll get fat.

I bought my brother some gift wrap for Christmas. I took it to the gift wrap department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping.
– Steven Wright –

As for this post – “It’s A Wrap” too!

gHosT the Dog – Boxed In

Update from gHosT the Dog…

there is a simple. explanation. for why I look like my head. is stuck. in a box: my head IS stuck in a box

but there is a simple. explanation for how. that happened, I was checking. to see if it was true that. all the biscuits were gone.

and even if they were all gone. maybe there were crumbs. that had to be eaten before the box got. recycled. it was a very deep box and when I. couldn’t reach the bottom with my tongue I stuck my head in. just a bit farther then I was stuck.

the two leggers didn’t laugh they didn’t even take a picture they. just pulled the box. off. but here’s the thing, the box was talking to me it was saying. there really are some crumbs stuck. in the very bottom of the box so I put my head in. again. and got stuck again.

apparently that is when the picture. was taken and if the two leggers hadn’t taken the box off my head. and put it out of my reach. there is no doubt I would have got stuck. a third time.

never give up is my motto

Somebodies dog, somewhere – has your dog ever got its head stuck?

my other adventures are here: gHost the Dog

This is the Week That Was: Tidy Friday

Tidy Friday

It is ever so easy to just keep putting things off, especially when you are retired and deadlines are mostly a thing of the past! That was the impetus for my declaration a few weeks ago that Fridays would be Tidy Friday – the object being we would ‘rehome’ stuff that had been ‘unhomed’ during the week. You know what I mean – that pile of unfolded laundry, work surfaces that you can’t work on because of the accumulated clutter, etc, etc.

That is working out rather well – so well, in fact, that I have taken it one step further with One and Done Wednesday. Wednesdays are going to be dedicated to finishing all those little projects that never quite got finished, but when they are done, they will never have to be done again! (There are lots of these types of things here at the ‘House of the Never Ending Reno’!) This past Wednesday, The Car Guy finished the baseboards and window trim in two rooms!  I removed the dead lower branches from ten more spruce trees.

Many Thanks to Family Tree Maker

Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.
– Author Unknown –

Way back when (2004) I purchased the Genealogy Program, Family Tree Maker. Last week I finally decided to upgrade it so that I could use the new ‘tools’ it offers. I was disappointed to find, however, that though the new program could import all the ‘people’ data I had saved, it could not read  the family tree charts I had made.

I contacted the company that owns the software (Mackiev.com) and was impressed with how quickly they responded to my concerns, how much help they offered me and finally how promptly they refunded my money when we agreed that the software was not going to work for me!

What I really would like now is Family Tree Maker 2005. It is an upgrade to the program I have, but still reads all my charts! No luck so far in finding a copy for sale online!

How Many Things Aren’t as They Seem?

A Peanut is not a nut – it is a legume.
Koala bears are not bears – they are marsupials.
A guinea pig is not a pig, but a rodent.
Bulls don’t charge a matador’s cape because it is red; they charge it because it is moving.
Adverse Weather events are not proof of Climate Change.  I mention this because the Province I live in, Alberta, had another hailstorm last week. It dropped the largest hailstone ever seen in Canada. Though some claim that this one hailstone is proof of climate change, no one knows if the ‘mother of all hailstones’ actually fell in a farmer’s field at some other time and no one was there to celebrate its arrival!

Another Kind of ‘Cult’

Turning the Tables on Vegetable based Meat (Satire)

Thinking Outside the Box

You Don’t Say!

A Musical Interlude: Barcelona Guitar Trio + Paquito Escudero – Billie Jean (Michael Jackson ) (flamenco guitar) For more of their videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/MaestrosdelaGuitarra/videos

… and That was the Week That Was…

Bruce Did It

Our resident moose: Bruce

I’ve been re-reading some of my favourite books. For the past month I’ve been immersed in the wit and wisdom of Robert Fulghum.

In one of his stories he describes how his family settled on a way to discuss the normal daily shortcomings and idiosyncrasies of family members  – in a playful, respectful way.

In my Seattle household there are seven of us: five core family, a housekeeper, and a large stuffed moose …

One morning when I was raging around the kitchen over who drank the last of the milk again and didn’t go to the store for more again, in walked Myrna with the moose. “John (the moose) did it, ” she said, ‘and he’s so very sorry.’ The moose did look guilty. We laughed. John took his chastisement gracefully. Milk crisis forgotten.
– Robert Fulghum in the essay ‘My Fault’

Well, we just happen to have a resident stuffed  moose too (we named him ‘Bruce’). With only two humans in our household, shall we say we are experiencing a certain degree of ‘testiness’ caused by 13 months of a lot of two-some-ness. The idea that all of our fumblings, mumblings, faults and foibles were actually the work of Bruce the Moose  seemed like a brilliant idea.

Everybody knows they could do better, but nobody feels bad getting reminded in a secondary loony way.
– Robert Fulghum –

It has worked very well. ‘Bruce’ is silently stoic, but you can sense he is  building a database of good things to remember, such as: buy crunchy peanut butter – not smooth –  always, not almost always; if you add a lot of beans to the family diet don’t comment on the ‘noisy response’ a few hours later; don’t stack three slippery, loosely covered containers on the top shelf of the fridge.

Have you and your family developed some new coping mechanisms in the past year?

When the Dashboard of your Dodge Transforms into that of a Chev (or WordPress Hides the Classic Editor Again)

Logged onto my WordPress Account this morning and the Dashboard (the place where you manage everything to do with your blog) was different. Familiar enough to know where everything was, but presented in a different manner.

I explained to The Car Guy that it was like getting into an old Dodge and finding the familiar dashboard was now something that belonged in a new Chev. I would be able to use it, but it would take a bit of time to figure out how everything worked… though there was a problem because I couldn’t figure out how to start it.

In WordPress, the ‘start’ button is the post editor. I’m used to the ‘Classic Editor’. WordPress is pushing us to use the new and improved and very confusing ‘Block Editor’. This morning, I couldn’t find the button to start the ‘Classic Editor’.

I contacted support and was told that the dashboard changes (which removed the Classic Editor ‘start’ button) are slowly being rolled out, which is why there was no announcement.

I’ve chased the Classic Editor over hill and dale and will not give up on it until WordPress ‘kills’ it. It is no longer about what is the best editor, it is about my stubborn determination to hold onto something that works for me.

After a bit of back and forth, the WordPress Happiness Engineer eventually found me a link to get me back into the old Dashboard. If you are a blogger and you want to get back to the dashboard that lets you use the Classic Editor, then here is the link. Just replace ‘yourblog’ with the part of the url that is specific to your blog:

https://yourblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/edit.php

At Home Dining – We Up our Game

The Eating Bar in the Kitchen: every day dishes; cutlery we got as a wedding present (51 years ago); mismatched drinking glasses. In the background on the right – the box with the new kitchen taps act as a reminder that The Car Guy has to either install them or call the plumber…

For most of the last 270 days, our evening meal has been consumed, in our home, at the kitchen island Eating Bar,  by a Party of Two.

What with Lockdowns; Mandates of how big our social bubble can be; living in a rural setting (a bad mosquito season this summer); general caution by others for (and by) people in our age group; the threat of  Fines for non-compliance; and Snitch call lines – well lets just say our social life has been very ‘quiet’.

Christmas Day Dinner was no different and when I asked The Car Guy if he wanted to ‘up our game’ for dinner for two, maybe use the ‘good dishes’ and newer cutlery, he gave me that look that said “We’re having left over ham from Christmas Eve’s Dinner…”

So I imagined left-over ham on the good dishes on place mats and newer cutlery and Canadian Festive napkins – and said “Yeah, it doesn’t make much difference does it…”

The next holiday dinner is today – Boxing Day. At this point in time,  we have eaten left-over ham at two dinners, two breakfasts and two lunches (because a ham of any size is the definition of eternity). Boxing Day we are serving what we affectionately call New Food.

To celebrate, we invited a guest and I set the table in the Dining Room. (How many of you have Dining Rooms? How many times a year do you use that room? We travel through ours many times every day because it is the only way to get to the kitchen from the rest of the house.)

Boxing Day Table set; guest is already here.

The good plates, the good cutlery, the good crystal glasses, a centre piece and Bruce the Moose as our guest. We are all set to ‘Up’ our Dining Game!

(To be honest, this post was inspired by some truly awesome photos of Christmas Dinner posted by friends and family. By virtue of extremely good taste in decorating and/or more people in their family bubble, they had what looked to be a festive and fun Christmas Day.

The reality for many seniors (like us in Alberta and maybe elsewhere) Christmas was somewhat more subdued. Maybe this is because as Covid time passes, it is getting harder and harder to emotionally ‘kick it up a notch’. We are surrounded by a society where government is ruling by keeping people in a blind, perpetual fear.

We are asked to put ‘safety first’ but ignore the inner voice that asks, “what about the collateral damage?” So, we do things as safe as we can, we keep the people near us as safe as we can, but it is a task beyond our ability to make sure everyone else and everything we do is absolutely safe.

Many of us seniors have lived through two pandemics already. Some served in a war or two. We learned to drive before seat belts and air bags. We rode our bikes without helmets. We got chicken pox, measles and mumps. Between 95 to 99.9% of us seniors will chalk up another win in the pandemic column!

So, this year is different, and we can live with that in good humour and good grace. But next year I hope we’ll see a full complement of people at our ‘turkey or ham’ table!

 

 

 

This is the Week That Was: Perspectives

Digital Perspectives

I’m reading “Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. I’m at the part where you do a one month Digital Declutter. I am supposed to step away from any technologies (apps, sites and tools on my computer or mobile phone) that I can take a break from without creating harm to my personal or professional life. Fortunately, I am 50% there even if I do nothing because I don’t have a mobile phone. I don’t have a professional life either… or much of a social life…

As for Apps, I can easily slim down Facebook. All I have to do is ‘snooze’ a few people for 30 days. I can clean-up my Twitter feed too – unfollow, block. News Sites? Shouldn’t be too hard to stop reading the news for a month… I’m feeling calmer already…

Funny Perspectives

My Twitter feed can be quite fun some days:

 

‘Rona Virus Perspective

I’ve read that a lot of people put on weight during the lockdown…

 

What Colour is a Balanced Life? (Video)

An uplifting 3D animation about a Father (Copi) and his son who are trying to find the balance between assigned tasks and creative living. Watch what happens when this is out of balance. Does it make you think about how unbalanced we have become in the ‘RonaWorld? What colour are you when you are in balance?

Balance is not something your find, it’s something you create.
– Jana Kingsford –

Alike – This animation production took 5 years to complete
Directed by: Daniel Martínez Lara and Rafa Cano Mendéz
Produced by: Daniel Martínez Lara and Nicolás Matji
Music by: Oscar Araujo
Production Company: Pepe School Land
Release date: July 8, 2015 (Mundos Digitales); December 13, 2016 (Online)

This is the Week That Was: August 31, 2020

Memory Foam

A man was lying in bed on his new memory foam mattress. He soon regretted buying it because it spoke to him all night long – “Remember when you wet your pants at the school picnic? Remember when you could sleep until noon? Remember when you didn’t have to count calories?”

Rarities


Sunday Morning Love Story
Sunday morning, except for those week-ends where Saturday morning is declared virtual Sunday because real Sunday morning is otherwise occupied… The Car Guy goes to Tim Hortons and buys us each a Breakfast Sandwich and beverages – Coffee (light roast with 2 milks) for him and a small Tim’s Iced Capp Light for me.

Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.
-Tim Hortons T-shirt –

If you can tell people you’re at Timmy’s and they don’t ask ‘Timmy Who?’, then you might be a Canadian.

Laundry Day

One day a housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweatshirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to his wife, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”
“It depends,” she replied. “What does it say on your shirt?”
He yelled back, “Texas A&M”.

Cat Tales or Tails

The cat sitting at the keyboard of the computer explains to the cat watching: “So far I’ve discovered I was in a litter of eight and my mother’s name was Fluffy!”
– Author Unknown – comment about Genealogy Research –

Tupperware? More like Tupper-where-is-the-freakin’-lid?
– Aunty Acid –

Oh, You Mean Real Red Flags…

Why does a space rock taste better than an Earth rock?
Because it’s a little meteor.

Have you been to Meteor Crater in Arizona? It is the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site – the result of a collision that rocked the American Southwest approximately 50,000 years ago. It is about one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep. The object that created the crater was a nickel-iron meteorite about 160 ft (50 meters) across.