All posts filed under: Home Life

Puppy Classes… Again

Grandpa Car Guy said (or maybe he suggested, even perhaps asked) “Shake a Paw.!?” As near as I can recall, I said “Why? What do you seek in this engagement?” I may have said or done a few other things too… So I’m back in a Dog Training Class again. Apparently I could be the dog that gets the ‘most improved’ award – but it is much too early to tell whether I will ‘paw the line’. Early days… This isn’t the first time I have been in the Gamma Dog’s blog. You can also see me at: Sticks and Car Shows A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House Looking for Puppy Faces The quotation “What do you seek in this engagement?” is from the book Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. The photo has had a Rembrandt filter applied in Topaz Studio.

Indoor Cold Storage – Project Accomplished!

The new fridge finally arrived. Twice actually. The first time, the delivery truck couldn’t negotiate the deep snow in our drive way and had to abort the mission. With little hope that the snow would melt before spring, The Car Guy abandoned his plan to mow the grass one more time this fall. He removed the mower from the tractor and installed the snow blade. I helped him. We had some brief discussions about either buying a new tractor with easier implement changing, or moving to the city… Two days later the fridge was delivered. If you have been following the Fridge in the Middle Story, you will note that the fridge just fit into the cabinet and all is right in the kitchen again. Now, and here is the ‘cool’ part, we have a water and ice dispenser – and not just cubed ice – crushed ice too! Think of the summer drink possibilities – except now it is fall. Or, it should be fall except  winter arrived first. The two seasons have been …

A Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving is today (the second Monday in October).  It is a celebration of thanks for a good harvest – and it occurs earlier in the fall than American Thanksgiving because Canada’s climate is colder and our harvests end earlier. At least, our farmers hope they end earlier, but the early snow we’ve had here in Alberta has delayed harvest somewhat. We’ve had our family Thanksgiving feasts already. On Saturday we hosted a Thanksgiving lunch. The featured ‘guest’ was a fairly large ham. Though we bagged up a lot of ham and sent it home with the family, we still have a lot of ham left over. Eternity is a ham and two people. – Dorothy Parker – Yesterday (Sunday) we went to the daughter’s house for a Turkey Dinner. Son-in-law got a little carried away in the selection of the size of the turkey. This caused them to own a bird that just barely fit into the appliance that cooked it. There was also lots of mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry jelly, several salads, …

Dark Days

It comes with no warning. Days of being sad. Energy tank on empty. Dark, dreary, heavy days. Overwhelmed. Too much, too many. I’ve been down this road many times before. It always passes. It is seasonal or hormonal or just being sad. It isn’t depression, but it is a gift that helps me to understand those who battle real depression. If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. – Stephen Fry – I wanted to write down exactly what I felt but somehow the paper stayed empty and I could not have described it any better. – WTM –

Fridge in the Middle

The Car Guy and I decided to replace our refrigerator. It is over 20 years old and well past its ‘best before’ date. This is a haiku Haiku’s don’t have to make sense Refrigerator – Author Unknown – The appliance store had so many fridges to choose from – at least, that is what we thought when we first walked in the door! But, as our sales associate, Todd, walked us through the choices, it became clear that our new fridge would be ‘one of a kind’. Yes, if we wanted a fridge with an ice maker/water dispenser, with two upper doors and a lower freezer, that would fit in the space we had, in the colour white (to match the appliances we weren’t replacing) – our selection was one fridge. So we ordered the fridge. It was supposed to be delivered in a week – two weeks tops! That was almost two months ago. On a very local scale, a refrigerator is the center of the universe. On the inside is food essential to …

Sticks and Car Shows

My name is Ghost. I am this blogger’s Grand-dog. I’m still a puppy. A really big puppy. The two-leggers take me to Car Shows. When we aren’t looking at cars, they tie me to the bumper of their Mustang. Then they give me a stick. I chew the stick while I think about pulling the bumper right off the car. I think I could do that if I really wanted to. It is one thing to think I could do it. It is another thing to think about what would happen if I did do it… Treats and tummy rubs might be in short supply for a while. Last week I forgot I was attached to the weaker of the two-leggers. I pulled on the leash too hard, and the two-legger tipped turtle. She scraped her knee. No treats and tummy rubs for the rest of the morning. When I’m older, will the scent of a rabbit be tempered with anything? Will I ever have control over what my nose tells me to do? I …

Not Fueled by Chocolate

As I slide towards another birthday, I am reminded that increasing age diminishes my ability to shed those extra pounds that cluster around the part of my body that makes me look like a pear. An unfortunate side effect of getting older is that it is getting harder to maintain anything remotely resembling an hour glass figure. A brisk thirty minute walk in the morning and forty-five minutes at the gym after lunch just isn’t enough exercise to make my clothes feel ‘less snug’. I’ve been forced to cut calories too, starting with the ultimate sacrifice – no dark chocolate snacks until the pudginess is brought into submission again. For some indefinite amount of time, my blog writing will ‘Not Be Fueled by Chocolate.’ There are any number of articles and advertisements that suggest how to lose weight (many are for bogus diets or are designed to drain your bank account), but it is only in the last few years that researchers have identified how our body fat makes us fat. With the rise in …

Christmas Tree

Christmas – there is, perhaps, no other time of the year when Peace and Goodwill is more prevalent. That is what makes Christmas my favorite time of the year and my Christmas Tree my favorite photo this month. My Christmas Tree is full of decorations that are either home made or from little shops all over the world. There is even something from Qatar where local merchants take a multi-prong approach to marketing for every major holiday, even non-Muslim ones! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your branches green delight us!   They are green when summer days are bright, They are green when winter snow is white.   O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your branches green delight us! – English version of O Tannenbaum by Ernst Anschütz –   The Christmas Tree in Canada:  Advent calendars, gingerbread houses, cookies and Christmas trees were all introduced by German settlers who migrated to Canada from the United States in the 1700’s. But it was Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, who solidified the Christmas tree …

Bubble

I could have (okay I did) spend hours one afternoon in front of a water fountain – taking photos of ‘never two the same’ Shape Shifting Blobs and impressively big Bubbles. Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. – William Shakespeare –

Canadian Snowbirds – Renewing a Prescription Drug in Arizona

Good News for Canadian Snowbirds! If you are going to run out of a prescription drug before you can get back to Canada, there could be a way you can get it refilled. Take the remaining medication to a local Urgent Care (Primary Care Walk-in) Centre (we used the one nearest  to us, in Fountain Hills Arizona). Be sure the medication is in the original container with the label from the pharmacy that filled your prescription. The Doctors or Nurse Practitioners will give you a similar check-up to what your doctor at home would do before renewing your prescription. There will, of course, be a fee for this service. The prescription will be sent to a pharmacy of your choice for pick-up the next day. Totally unrelated to this topic – I’ve edited the following popular Snowbird joke that circulates in emails. I made it an Alberta/Arizona joke instead of Minneapolis/Florida (though it is rather far fetched to think someone would choose to honeymoon in Arizona…) An Alberta couple decided to go to Arizona to …

Temporary – Blog Posts, Laundry and Hair Cuts

It is my 8th Anniversary of Blogging. Is that long enough to say blogging isn’t a temporary pastime for me? My blog posts, on the other hand, are only of temporary interest to the blogging world! Other temporary things in my life: laundry – if I ever get ‘caught up’, it will only be for a few hours… hair cut – if it is perfect, it won’t be for long; same with fingernail length cuts, scrapes, bruises, a cold weather, seasons batteries ripe fruit, ice cubes in a drink, gum flavour shiny copper or silver, empty dishwasher new car smell, full tank of gas fresh-cut grass, perfect flowers family vacations, Christmas Spirit bubbles Fall leaves and the berries from the Mountain Ash Tree Snowflakes What things would you put on your list of temporary things? This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Temporary.

Pumpkin Meets Drill

A well-rounded and compact head – a good description of a cabbage, but it works for a pumpkin too! This year I used a drill to make almost perfect round holes in my jack-o’-lantern. (Did you know that the term jack-o’-lantern comes from an Irish folktale? Large turnips and potatoes were used by the Irish in Ireland, but they switched to the readily available pumpkins when they came to America.) ‘Jack’ doesn’t look all that handsome in the daylight, but he really ‘shines’ in the dark! When I was looking for a quotation about pumpkins, I found a musing by Alexander McCall Smith. It reminded me of transporting my pumpkins last year.  I secured them in the back seat of the Jeep and briefly thought about what quiet, friendly companions they were. The pumpkin looked delicious—almost perfectly round and deep yellow in colour, it sat on the passenger seat beside her so comfortably as she drove out of the car park, so pleased to be what it was, that she imagined conducting a conversation with …

The Christmas Spirit Can’t Come too Early this Year

The World of Commerce starts promoting Christmas earlier and earlier each year, it seems. In Canada and the United States, the ‘Great Pumpkin’ products can be in one shopping aisle and ‘Jolly Old Saint Nick’ can be in the next. Personally, I don’t like the crass materialism of the season, and I really feel sorry for the Sales Associates in the stores. Imagine having to listen to the same Christmas music for almost 2 months! This year, however, I’ve put up my small table top Christmas tree already. Every time I walk by it, I am cheered by the tiny white snowmen decorations that my daughter and I made over 18 years ago. At night the twinkly lights brighten that corner of the room. It is peaceful. I have several reasons for putting up this tree so early. First, it is a calming reminder that this final journey with a loved one is down their path to a peaceful place. The tree is also a reminder that the greatest contribution I can give others right now …

Layered Treats – S’mores and Rice Krispies

There are many layers of history for the ingredients in this  S’mores and Rice Krispies® recipe! – Chocolate has been around for more than 2000 years. Sweetened chocolate didn’t appear until Europeans discovered the Americas and sampled the native chocolate drink, which was bitter. They added sugar, and by the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink. – Marshmallows were originally a plant based product that was used for centuries for medicinal purposes. When the plant sap was replaced by gelatin in the late 1800’s, today’s marshmallow was born. In 1927, the Girl Scouts Handbook came out with a recipe for ‘Some More’ which quickly became ‘Smores’. – Graham crackers are made from Graham flour, which is named after it’s inventor Sylvester Graham who began making them in the 1830’s. – Kellogg’s Rice Krispies® debuted in 1927. Their Rice Krispies Marshmallow Treats® recipe was first advertised in 1940. It became a popular food for mailing to service people abroad. Here is how you put all these things together to make this layered treat! You’ll need: …

The Sad, Silent Coffee Machine

Eldest daughter and her family have been staying with us, on and off, for the past month.  This has not created any space continuum inconvenience to The Car Guy and I – The Red House is more than large enough (because it is the same house we raised a squabble of teens in). Two extra adults and two teenagers  – we left it to them to jostle for prime real estate to set up their internet command stations. Our kitchen is spacious. It is more than capable of handling the extra cooks. The biggest difference was that the fridge filled and emptied on a daily, rather than weekly basis. Oh, and the dishwasher was often pressed into service twice a day. But the workhorse, no, the single most essential appliance in the house, was the Coffee Machine. These people are fueled by liquid caffeine. This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion… From that moment on, everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to …

A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House

We recently became ‘Grandparents’ to a puppy, though the term ‘puppy’ seems odd for a dog that never was very small and is growing really quickly. Our daughter and her husband are taking their puppy, Ghost, to puppy classes and are making good progress in establishing themselves as the ‘Alpha Dogs’! This training is quickly forgotten, however, in the excitement of a day here at our rural Red House. We joke that I am so far down in the dog’s ‘hierarchy of obedience’ alphabet that I am the ‘Gamma Dog’. “So many smells. I wonder if any of them are dog approved food. The ‘Alpha Dog Lady’ sure didn’t like the dead gopher I found here last week.” “Sniffing, running, digging, rolling! People – I need a bowl of water!” “And I’m done. Could someone carry me to the car?” This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Satisfaction. Are you a dog owner? Or – do you just enjoy a dog when it visits, then get to send it home with the owners?

purple monster

The 2017 Alberta Flu Bug Arrives at my Door

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days. Sincerely, The Flu. I’ve been getting an Annual Flu shot since 2003, and up until now I have been flu-free. My luck ran out last Monday. I woke up feeling awful – fever, chills, whole body muscle pain,  intense fatigue, a cough, and skin so sensitive I could hardly stand to wear clothes. All these symptoms pointed to a flu virus. The flu, in a nutshell: At First I was afraid I was gonna die. Now I’m afraid I won’t. – Author Unknown – For 3 days I shuffled from bed to couch and back to bed. By Day 4, the whole body symptoms had receded, but site specific rashes and inflammations popped up. I felt well enough, though, to get out of bed and go see the Doctor. He confirmed I …

These Things Match up with Things on my Wants List

Sometimes it is best if The Car Guy just agrees with me… This bench would be perfect on my patio! Too bad it is in a store in Calgary, not Phoenix. This would be perfect in The Car Guys garage. Too bad it was in a store in Phoenix and not in a store in Calgary. Ice Cream and cereal and fruit – a good match when I’m out of milk and yogurt. This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is A Good Match. Post 566

Super Bowl Quiz – The Winning Answers

We were invited to a Super Bowl party. I knew it was going to be a good one when the hostess pointed me in the direction of a really well stocked snack counter. Then she handed me the first of the number of glasses of wine it takes to drink a half bottle or so. With my beverage in one hand, and a plate of munchies in the other, I commandeered a front row seat on the soft couches. “Before the game starts,” said the hostess, “You are all going to take a Super Bowl Quiz. There is a prize for whoever gets the most right answers.” She handed each of us a single page of questions, which I dutifully read. I only knew three answers. I had no idea about the rest. Not a clue. That wasn’t a surprise, since I didn’t even know which teams were playing in the game I was about to watch. (In my defense, I am Canadian, and the last time I really paid any attention to football was …

Christmas 2016 – Santa and the North Pole

Christmas is very nearly here, and I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and All the Best in the New Year. As you can see from this photo of my Christmas tree, I’m all ready for Santa to visit.  I anticipate one very nicely wrapped medium sized gift of the hair drying appliance variety! For better or for worse, Christmas is a time for gifts and giving. Who knows that better than Santa – and Wal-Mart, Costco and Tesco, to name just a few of the larger retailers! While it is easy to walk into the familiar brick and mortar stores in communities around the world, it is quite impossible to visit Santa’s establishment. There are several reasons for this. First, of course, is the fact that Santa is not a retailer. He is the owner of a factory and distribution outlet. His business model simply does not include on-site sales. Then there is the issue of the location of his  facility. It is, according to lore, at the North Pole …