Saturday, April 18

Weekend Doin's

On Friday, hubby and I decided to clean out the flower bed at the front corner of the house. This is one that we made by removing the grass when we moved here. We had rose bushes and many other perennials in this bed. However, last summer it was neglected. Everything went wild and it was a mess. The roses were like bramble patches and some of the flowers had died out because the weeds choked them to death. So, on Friday we got the young man who helped with last year's renovations to come and give us a hand.

Last night at dusk, I took the photo above. There's still a lot of work to do, but we're thinking of planting some tomatoes, green peppers and leaf lettuce here instead of replanting it as a flower garden. We have made a definite decision yet. The area still needs a lot of work, but at least it doesn't look like a jungle. If we do decide on the vegetable garden, we will have to move the Oriental poppies and the Iris that are planted there. I love homegrown vegetables and wish this area was ten times larger.

Friday night, I noticed out the computer room window that a lovely sunset was beginning to make an appearance. I put the batteries in my camera and headed out the door.
As dusk deepened, so did the beautiful colors in the sunset. What beauty. It was breathtaking and the photos don't really do it justice.

Today the boys wanted to come and play with Dakota. It was a beautiful day, so we went and bought 50 feet of line. We fastened a clip on it so we could fasten it to Dakota's collar. Then we took him to the park across the street to play a game of fetch.
Above are the boys and Grandpa. Seems that Dakota is often behind hubby's legs when I take the shot. Here are the boys. Jordan has the ball in his hand and Dakota is on the lead. He would run after the ball and then bring it back.
Dakota isn't always willing to give up whatever he fetches. Here is Brandon trying to get him to drop the ball.
As we headed for home, Dakota spotted the neighbour's little Pomeranian, who had been barking at him the entire time. They barked at each other through the fence and had lots of fun jumping at each other. One of these days we will take both dogs out to get better acquainted.

I do hope tomorrow is as nice as today. I really wanted to work more on the gardens, but decided since the boys were here that we'd just chill out and have some fun. Hope you're enjoying nice weather as well. I do believe spring has finally arrived. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, April 17

Memories: Wedding

This really should have been posted on Thursday. On April 16, 1966, Michelle's father, Lynn, and I were married. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and everything was perfect.

Not many attended our wedding. Both sets of parents and grandparents were there. My brother and his girlfriend came, my sister and my friend were bridesmaids and Lynn's brother and uncle stood up with him. That was the entire group. We were married in the manse, which was quite small and we had to crowd into the living room while the ceremony took place.

Aunts and uncles were invited to the reception, which we had in a little rural community hall. We had a dance but it all wound down early. Then we went back to the little apartment that we had rented. That was our honeymoon.

Lynn passed away in December 1977, but each year when April rolls around, I remember the young boy and girl (yes, we were just kids) who were married that beautiful spring day.

Hope you enjoyed the memories. Have a great weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, April 16

Dog Park Photos

It was a beautiful day here today. No need for even a jacket. So hubby and I decided to pick the boys up from school and take Dakota to the dog park. Brandon phoned yesterday after school and wanted to go, but the wind was chilly and I was in too much pain, so I told him maybe today. So this afternoon, I popped a couple of ibuprofen and used some of the deep heating rub and off we went.

The boys were surprised that we picked them up. Of course we had their mother's permission.

We arrived at the dog park and the larger dogs came to check out the puppy. Dakota was none too brave at first and wanted to stay close to us.

Then Brandon got him running around and they were having some fun, but he tried to avoid the other dogs. Pretty much impossible in a dog park. There were about 30 dogs there of all breeds and sizes.
Jordan holding Dakota. That's not going to happen for much longer. Dakota is getting too big. Normally he doesn't like to be picked up, but since he was in the dog park and feeling a bit vunerable, he cooperated. Notice the tongue hanging out.

This is a good shot of Brandon and Dakota. Brandon adores him and Dakota loves both of the boys equally well. Nice photo of both of them. Dakota is really good for Brandon. He laughs and has a ball with that puppy.
Jordan and Dakota. Jordan started running and called him and Dakota wasn't long overtaking him. The white dog in the background kept jumping on Dakota and he didn't like it at all. The fur on the back of his neck stood straight up and he barked furiously.

Just before we left for home. We were there for about an hour. Dakota came home and had a long nap. It was good exercise for everyone and a lovely day to be out and about.

I hope you were able to spend some time outdoors and that the weather was as beautiful in your part of the world as it was here. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, April 15

A Visit to the Doctor

I don't like to say too much on my blog that is negative, but some of you know that I have been having excruciating pain in my left knee. You may also know that the problem was diagnosed as arthritis and yes, I do have it. However, this pain was like nothing I've ever experienced. I have a high pain tolerance and couldn't figure out why this pain was landing me on my backside so to speak.

My left knee is swollen and I've tried everything I could think of to help with the pain. The female doctor that covers for my doctor when he is away put me on Celebrex last fall. Last month she added Pennsaid to the mix. Come to find out that I shouldn't be taking these medicines with my blood pressure meds, so stopped them both and began to take ibuprofen. That seems to work better than anything else, along with some Mentholathum* Deep Heating, which I bought in the US. This particular rub cannot be purchased in Canada and so I tried ordering from Amazo*n. com, but they will not ship it to my destination. *sigh*

Anyway, yesterday I went to the doctor for my regular meds and mentioned the pain and swelling in my knee. He took a look and told me I have water on the knee. Wow! I didn't realize this could be so painful.

The doctor ordered x-rays, which I went and had last night. He also ordered my three-month blood tests, which I have to fast for. That meant I couldn't eat after 6pm and so I couldn't take the ibuprofen because it has to be taken with food. Well, it was a LONG night for me. The pain was terrible and I got very little sleep. I headed out to the lab this morning to have the blood tests done and the parking lot was full. So was every parking space for two blocks. So, I had to park and walk two blocks to the medical center. Try walking that far and back again with water on the knee. I thought I'd die, but of course I didn't.

I came home, had breakfast, took the ibuprofen and rubbed some of the deep heat into the knee joint. It took me hours to get the pain back under control and even now, the knee is still throbbing. So this was an especially rough day for me.

Now I have to wait for the results to go to my doctor. Then if it's possible, he will use a needle (ouch) to take the water off the knee. It could be caused from my arthritis, infection or bursitis. There are also a couple of other possibilities. If anyone has ever experienced water on the knee, or if you are a health care professional and know how I might get a little relief, I would like to hear from you. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, April 14

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

When Brandon and I were at the video store for him to rent a game on Saturday, I saw a movie that intrigued me. On Monday evening I went back and rented The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

In 2006, Irish novelist John Boyne's book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, was released in the US. From then until present, over 4,000 copies have been sold and it has been turned into a movie.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, tells the story of Bruno, the son of a German commander. The family lives in Berlin during WWII. Bruno's father receives a promotion and the family moves to Poland near the concentration camp of "Out With," what today is known as Auschwitz. Bruno, his sister and his mother often wonder what is burning at the camp, as the black smoke pours from the chimneys.

One day while exploring, Bruno comes upon the barbed wire around the concentration camp. Sitting nearby is a boy of his own age by the name of Shumel. The boy asks him if he has any food and Bruno promises to return the next day with something to eat.

Over time, Bruno and Shumel become good friends. Bruno brings food for Shumel and they play checkers and ball through the barb wire fence. Then, Bruno's mother finds out what is really burning at the concentration camp and she informs Bruno and his sister that they are leaving.

On the day they are to depart, Bruno seeks out Shumel, who has brought an extra concentration camp uniform with him. He sheds his clothes and scurries under the fence where he joins Shumel in a search for his father.

What happens next is something that is every parent's nightmare. Does Bruno return to his family? What becomes of this boy who is the German commander's son?

This movie is not fast paced, but tells the story of two boys who do not see the difference between German and Jew, but see only another human being who, each in his own way, is a captive of the war.

This is a powerful story of war that you won't want to miss. I do warn that tissues may be needed.

What good movies have you watched lately? I would appreciate any recommendations you may have. ~Blessings, Mary~

Monday, April 13

Easter Dinner at Mom's

Today, Easter Monday, we were all invited to dinner at Mom's. She had it today because most everyone had other plans for over the weekend.

It was a small gathering this year. Michelle is still recuperating from her surgery and Barry had to work, so I took Brandon and Jordan. Jack and Melissa was there with Griffyn and Tarryn and my brother was there, and of course, Mom. So there were nine of us.

Griffyn was feeling a little lovey and so Great Aunt Mary gave him a hug. Did you know that hugs are good for a touch of the blues or when someone is feeling down. Hugs cure anything when you are 22 months old.

It wasn't long until Griffyn was playing with the reindeer and snowmen on the sleigh. Mom leaves this up for him all year round, as he absolutely loves it. It sings Sleigh Ride.
Tarryn is very photogenic. I love those blue eyes. Jack closed his when I took the picture. Party Pooper!

Brandon was also being a Party Pooper. I wanted a photo of him with his new shirt that he got for Easter. He was being silly. That kid needs a haircut AGAIN. We just got it cut last month.

Jordan was more cooperative and sat nicely while I got a photo of him in his shirt that he got for Easter.
Isn't Tarryn adorable. I was blessed with the nicest kisses I've had in a long time. Baby kisses make my heart sing.
Mom's Easter village. It has a little house, a picket fence and all kinds of Easter critters.

The Mr. & Mrs. Bunny was a gift from me last Easter. I love all the bunnies on this shelf.

The other end of the shelf. Such pretty Easter decorations. Mom loves rabbits and has lots of them.
The satin eggs hanging from the chandelier are ones that Mom has made by hand. She's added beads and ribbons and they look lovely hanging here.

The dinner was delicious, as always. Everyone was stuffed. We had ham, potatoes, gravy, all types of veggies and all the kids ate without a problem. An enjoyable day. No crying or whining from the kids. Brandon cleared the table after dinner and Jordan wiped the dishes. I was very proud of the boys. They played with Griffyn and kept him busy building with Le*go.

Around 6pm, I brought hubby a plate of food and then the boys and I went to the video store to rent a couple of movies. I took them back to their parents and then came home and watched, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. But that is story for another day.

I hope that each of you enjoyed your Easter weekend. ~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, April 12

Bloody Easter: Vimy Ridge

A view over the crest of Vimy Ridge showing the village of Vimy, captured by Canadian troops April 1917 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-1446).
Canadian machine gunners dig themselves into shell holes on Vimy Ridge, France, April 1917 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-1017).

On Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, at 5:30 am, the deafening roar of 800 guns rebounded over Vimy Ridge in northeastern France. The Ridge had fallen to the Germans in October 1914, and all efforts by the Allies to retake it had been in vain.

Private Lewis Duncan, in a letter to his aunt, stated, The Ridge in front was wreathed in flames as the shells burst."

It was a barrage that was unprecidented in the history of war. Over one million rounds of ammunition was fried--most of them with deadly accuracy. A new type of shell, equipped with fuses that ignited on contact ripped the barbed wire apart and allowed access that until that point had been denied.

My mother's cousins fought at Vimy Ridge. Their names were Tollhurst and they were in the same platoon. One brother was wounded and was carried out by the other. Once he had gotten medical attention for his wounded brother, he returned to the Front, where he died for his country.

On this, the anniversary, of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, I pay tribute to the infantrymen who came from every corner of Canada to take the strongest fortress on the Western Front. These young men fought as "Canadians," not as part of the British Empire. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice, while others came home maimed and broken, both mentally and physically. Still others suffered their entire lives from the effects of mustard gas.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, click on the link. This is an important part of Canadian history.