Monday, November 30, 2020

Seasonal Sunday

There’s no snow in our neighbourhood but we don’t have to drive far to find some. It’s a dark Sunday afternoon when we set out for a drive up in the hills nearby. In the distance, there’s sun. On an icy country road we head toward it.

Not far from where this photo was taken we find this.

Two seasons competing for attention. Both, have their charm.

Later, back home, I pull leftovers from the freezer—turkey, saved from Thanksgiving back in October—and we feast.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Another Beautiful Day

It turns out to be a beautiful, beautiful day so we take the dogs for a walk in the afternoon after lunch. We're heading toward December with a stellar forecast. Could we be destined for a green Christmas? It's too soon to tell but I wouldn't mind if we were.

It seems that once we hit January we can exhale as we edge ever closer toward spring. Sure, January is often the worst month for snow and cold but there's still something about turning the calendar page that makes it seem like we'll make it through winter after all. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself . . . and this year is like none other in my lifetime. Best to stay in the present moment as much as possible. 😉


Friday, November 27, 2020



This photo of my Thanksgiving cactus was taken a couple of weeks ago. I really need to re-pot it as the small pot it's in keeps tipping over from the weight of it. Once I find another white pot, I will. It's finished blooming now, and there's a little poinsettia on the table in its place. 

(I just learned last year that there's such a thing as an Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cactus. Did you know that? I love that there's always something new to learn.)

The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday yesterday prompted Gerry and me to talk about our upcoming Christmas dinner. Our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner last month was low-key and simple and I'm of the mind to go easy at Christmas too. The days of BIG and BUSY are in the past. I'm happy to embrace simplicity.

Speaking of simple, I posted my Friday's Fave Five list on my other blog this week. Here's a link.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Another Slow Day

We're under new restrictions this week so Gerry and I are spending most of our time at home but making a point to get out for a short while every afternoon to give me a break from Murphy and to give Murphy an opportunity to get comfortable staying home by himself (with Maya, but they're not together when we're not home). It's become a nice break in the middle of the day.

Today, we had to drop off a little dog coat I had bought for Murphy that turned out to be too big (surprise, surprise). I offered it for sale on Marketplace and another small dog owner bought it. I didn't mind delivering it as we were coming into town anyway.

Gerry took advantage of the nice day to take our car through the car wash. He prefers a DIY wash so, while I stayed warm and snapped photos like a lady of leisure, he washed the car. After we got home, he drove our second car down the hill and washed it too. What a guy! 

I mentioned the jacket for Murphy that was too small. I'm thinking of trying my hand at knitting a little sweater for him. We'll see. Finding something small enough to fit him is a challenge so it might be the best route. There were so many more options when we lived in WA and I still have a couple of things that would fit him from when we had, Chelsea, but they're mostly pink and I just can't do that to him. 

This morning I was thinking about a photo I took in 2007, the first year we had Chelsea. I still have the little outfit she wore but Murphy says he's definitely not interested in putting it on. We're discussing it. 😁 

He's also made it perfectly clear he's absolutely NOT going to dress up in a matching outfit with Maya (like the girls did a number of years ago). I'll grant him that one.

Oh, dear. I just realized I might be becoming one of those dog people. You know what? I'm okay with it. Especially now when we could all use a little diversion from you know what.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for those of you in the US so I'm sending warm greetings from our home to yours. While your day may be different than expected I trust it will be special nonetheless. 🦃

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Dog Keeps You Young

(Photo taken before we got Murphy his own BLUE harness and leash.)

In a couple of days, we will have had Murphy for one month. To say this tiny three pound ten-month-old dog has turned our lives upside down is an understatement. He has. In a very good way.

Truth is, though, that bringing this pup into our lives has reminded me of what it was like forty years ago when I had babies. Except I was younger then, with more energy, and perhaps not quite as set in my ways as I am at age sixty-one.

We've been blessed that Murphy has slept quietly through the night in his crate beside our bed from the day we brought him home. A string of sleepless nights was my biggest concern once we decided to go ahead with getting him. Thank goodness that wasn't the case!

Murphy and I have been figuratively joined at the hip pretty much 24 x 7. All good, but that's another thing I'm remembering about what it was like to have babies—a distinct lack of time to call my own. It's all good though and, as I remind myself, temporary.

This afternoon Gerry and I went out (sans both dogs) and grabbed burgers, fries, and root beer and went to the park to eat. It's chilly, so we stayed in the car, but it was such a nice break in the middle of the day. I felt like a teenager as we sat in the car chatting and eating our lunch! 

So yes, having a puppy does keep one young. Tired. But young. 


Sunday, November 22, 2020

'Tis the Season

The non-traditional trees are up—one in the living room, one in the den, and the other downstairs. 

Our daughter called yesterday, just after Gerry dragged the boxes upstairs, to wish him a happy birthday. They chatted and when they were finished I told him to tell her I'd call her back in five or ten minutes to chat (our mother-daughter conversations tend to run long!) after all the trees were up. Sure enough, ten minutes later all the trees were up and lit and that's the extent of seasonal decorating that will happen around here. I'm all about simple and low key.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, was Gerry's birthday and we enjoyed the conversation with kids and grands who called with greetings. He had expected to be on a hike but the club suspended activities given new provincial restrictions that just came into effect, so we took a long drive through an area we hadn't been to before. Once, we would have taken our cameras with stopped to capture some images but with the pup it just seems like too much work. We'll return to that practice in time.

I snapped a few pictures with my camera of the birthday boy and our dogs. Had to chuckle at this one with the dogs sticking their tongues out!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday’s Fave Five

It’s been a very strange week in which almost every day felt like Friday. I’ve no idea why. Here are some highlights for Friday’s Fave Five.

Sunshine! The weather has such a strong effect on my mood sometimes. We’ve enjoyed an abundance of clear blue skies, warm temperature, and SUNSHINE this week. 

Coffee with a kindred. Coffee (or tea) and conversation with someone who “gets” you, and even shares some things that others might not understand, is perfectly priceless.

A pedicure. This is the #1 way I choose to pamper myself. Sharing it with a friend makes it all the more special. (Finding a great new colour is a bonus!)

Routine. Life with the new pup is settling into a regular routine. We’re all the better for it.

A new Netflix series. We just finished watching the all 21 seasons of Midsomer Murders. It’s been our pandemic program for many months. I stumbled across The Queen’s Gambit last night. The storyline has many layers—plus there’s chess. There are only seven episodes so, unfortunately, it won’t last long. Oh, and there’s also a new season of The Crown available.

So that’s it. Simple things, but good things, and now it really is Friday. I have no commitments away from home. I think I’ll put up the non-traditional trees.

(One of the good things about having two blogs, is being able to participate in both Friday’s Fave Five AND Five Minute Friday. Here’s a link to the FMF post on my other blog.)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

If this is November . . .

 . . . I'll take it.

It was so nice today that, after our daily two games of chess (both of which I lost), we used the excuse of wanting to buy more Mandarin oranges to go for a drive. 

Gerry waited in the car with Murphy while I ran into the store. I shouldn't have grabbed a cart on the way in because once I had it I, had to use it. Turned out we needed a few things in addition to oranges. 

I transferred the groceries from the cart to the back seat of the car under the watchful eyes of my husband and little Yorkie and when I got to the oranges: "That's a $70 box of oranges." Happens that way all the time.

We detoured through the park, car window down, on the way home just because it was so beautiful outside. I hope it stays like this for a few more weeks.

The temperature gauge in the car said it was 46 degrees Fahrenheit, which means nothing to me anymore (a quick query to my friend Google tells me that equates to 8 degrees Celsius) but it felt much warmer than that. 

It's the strangest thing with our car: every now and then, randomly, it switches between imperial and metric temperature. It seems to have no trouble being bilingual with respect to showing us the temperature. Not so with me.

When we moved from Canada to Washington state in 2007, I adjusted quickly to the temperature being reported as Fahrenheit. It didn't take long until Celsius didn't compute in my brain. It was the same in reverse when we returned to Canada in 2014. 

These days I'm back to thinking of the outside temperature in metric—but that's pretty much it. Distance and weight and the temperature of my oven and my body are all imperial in my mind. 

I was sixteen when Canada went metric and, obviously, never completely made the switch. I think it's that way for many, if not most, of us of a certain age.

Anyway, however you interpret it, the temperature outside today was stellar. May we have many more days like this!

What's it like where you live?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


It is unseasonably warm for mid-November this week. I know what’s coming so I’m delighted to have a late season opportunity to be outside. (Because realistically, despite my best intentions, once it turns cold I’m staying indoors.)

A walk in the park, leftover homemade chicken soup for supper (Yay! No cooking!), curling up to watch the first two episodes of the new season of The Crown on Netflix, and it turned out to be a good day.

I’m thinking of putting up my non-traditional Christmas trees and ushering in the season of peace a bit early. Goodness knows, we can all use an extra measure of comfort right now. 

It seems odd, what with what’s happening outside, but we did Christmas trees without snow for years when we lived in WA so it’s kind of a throwback. Maybe the lights and the trees will help me climb out of this funk I’m in.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Dog Days

Maya has never in her twelve years curled up with another pup (not even with the perfect dog, Chelsea, who, heartbreakingly, left us seven years ago).

Murphy just pushes his happy self in, not even giving it a second thought. Maya allows it, then gets up and jumps up on the sofa.

"First my rabbit, now my bed," I hear her mutter under her breath as she curls up.

Something outside the window catches her attention and she jumps down and goes to the window to bark at the neighbour out shoveling show.

Three-pound Murphy isn't big enough to see out over the top of the windowsill.

Maya chuckles.

"Now who has the last laugh."

Monday, November 16, 2020

I Don't Understand

I had to go to the hospital this morning for a procedure (Nothing serious. Just a follow-up.). I've been there once before since the world changed in March but it was obviously different today. Masks are mandatory, of course, and there was no problem at all finding parking in the parkade which is normally full. No one is allowed to accompany patients to the imaging area so waiting rooms are mostly empty and signage indicates appropriate social distancing.

I arrived early and spent a pleasant half-hour or so immersed in a new book on my Kindle while I waited. Not an altogether unpleasant way to pass the time. Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay. I can already tell I'm going to enjoy this one.

The young woman who performed the procedure was new and accompanied by a senior person. It was interesting to listen to them talk back and forth about things I have absolutely no knowledge of and I couldn't help reflect upon the fact that once, not so very long ago, I engaged in technical work-related conversation that would have sounded like a foreign language to casual listeners too.

It highlighted for me, again, that I'm in a different season of life—one rich with new things but also of letting go. I don't suppose you can have one without the other. 

Once in a while, I dream about being at work and remember the feeling of competency I had in my career. These days I feel tossed to and fro like there's far more that I don't know than I do. Perhaps we all feel like that to some extent in these times.

Today, I'd just be happy if I could understand what my little puppy, Murphy, is thinking and why he's being so stubborn about getting in the game with potty training. Three cheers for belly bands.

P.S. It appears there are some glitches in Blogger functionality which is preventing me from tidying things up around here the way I want them to be. Sigh. All in good time. All in good time.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A Bright Sunshiny Day

It's been a beautiful day here! A clear blue sky, sunshine, and snow melting so quickly we could hear it run through the eaves troughs. Not bad for mid-November at all.

We attended virtual church this morning (who'da ever thunk that this would be the norm) and took the pups for a walk in the sunshine this afternoon.

In between, I made a pot of chicken soup and Gerry dug out the Christmas lights. I had to laugh when he came up from downstairs wrapped in lights so they wouldn't tangle again and asked me to open the front door for him because his hands were full. 

It's little moments like this when we share a laugh that makes life rich. I need to pay more attention so I don't miss them. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Everything old is new again

Once upon a time, way back in 2008, I started a blog. It was called My Own Velvet Room after a favourite childhood book. It became a place where I hung out, made new friends, and wrote random things about the life I was living. It was simple. I loved it.

Then I created another (A Grandma's Garden) and yet another (Arms of Adoption).

In time, I set up a website because I had dreams of writing a book and "everyone" said a writer had to have a website. The website remained relatively static, but I did write that book. And another one, too.

I posted to the adoption blog when adoption-related things crossed my desk or my mind, and I updated the gardening blog throughout a couple of seasons.

It all got overwhelming so I combined them all into one and called it A Slice of LifeI've been there ever since. The blog has grown and changed and I'm there early most mornings contemplating thin places where faith intersects life. I love the friends I've made through it and I love the practice of writing and posting there.

Despite rumours to the contrary blogging, for me, never died. Social media has done its best to draw our attention away from blogs to their platforms and, to some extent, it's been successful.

But, you know, I miss the old days of blogging.

I miss the long-form newsy updates (as opposed to short-form social media posts), and the homey comfy feel of visiting other blogs. So I looked back at my link list, racked my mind for the names of old favourites, and tried to stop by some places I used to be a regular at. I found so many blogs that either hadn't been updated for years or no longer existed.

And it made me sad.

And now I'm here. 

I thought I might create a good old fashioned blogger blog again so I logged on and—low and behold—there was a list of blogs I used to follow. Hurray! But again, when I visited I found most of them were no longer active.

I feel like I'm starting from scratch here, but so be it. I'm going to give it a go here on blogger again. Low key. Light-hearted. Just ordinary, everyday stuff. The stuff that makes a life.

Here we go . . .

P.S. If you're reading this, please do a girl a favour and leave a comment!

P.P.S. Please be patient while I figure out the platform here again!

P.P.P.S. You’re welcome to join me on my morning blog too!