Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Happy Hour Redefined

"Why limit HAPPY to an HOUR?"
(anonymous)
😄😄😄

Most people have probably heard of the term Happy Hour. Basically it is that period of time when bars offer reduced prices on alcoholic drinks. Often these are complimented with reduced prices on various appetizers or other menu items. I confess that over the years I've had more than my fair share of Happy Hours.

But those days are in the past. These days I seem to have redefined the term. The noisy bar room scene has lost its former appeal. It's been replaced with a recliner in the corner of the living room, or on nicer days, a lounge chair on my deck under the lilacs. Nap time has become my Happy Hour. Funny how I once used to laugh when I heard people refer to their afternoon siesta in such a fashion. Not quite as funny is the fact that I've now become that old codger who would sooner have a good nap than that cold pint or three of yesteryear's beer. Interesting, isn't it, how life has a way of changing that which we deem to be important?

Having said that, I still regularly reach for a cold "bubbly," so to speak. The difference is that this bubly has zero calories, zero fat, zero sodium, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. If I once were to hear such a comment, I likely might have added a wisecrack, something to the effect of, "it then must also have zero flavour." However, in my humble opinion, that simply is not true. I've come to love and crave this stuff as much as I once did reaching for a cold beer. Yes, life has a way of changing.

So here's to my new chapter in life and here's to my new Happy Hour; a nap and a couple cans of ice cold lime bubly. Cheers.
😄😄😄

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Sanctuary: My Definition

Recently I came across two definitions of the word sanctuary that I really like. They are, "Our safe and peaceful haven," and, "A comforting place of refuge and rest in a noisy, chaotic world." I find that I need both. Perhaps you do too.

Welcome to my sanctuary.

My sanctuary is my backyard. We don't have a cottage by a lake somewhere, or a fancy RV trailer, as nice as both of those no doubt could be; we have a simple backyard. We built it up in a way that suits us and our tastes. In the warmer months, after a long day on the job, this is our peaceful haven, our comforting place of refuge and rest from an often noisy and chaotic day.

Like all worthwhile things, however, they come with some maintenance. This weekend's main chore was pressure washing the previous winter's gunk off the deck to prepare for another outdoor season. Perhaps a fresh coat of stain next weekend, and we're good to go.

My sanctuary, however, is not just an after work refuge; it's often also a place of early morning prayer and meditation in advance of the workday. A couple days ago, just before dawn, with my faithful fur-baby at my side, it was here in my outdoor sanctuary that I also enjoyed my first coffee of the day. There in the quiet outdoor stillness, my day began.

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." (Dr. Seuss) I love that! There have been a lot of fond memories created in my sanctuary over the years, and we're looking forward to many more. Sanctuary; yes, we are blessed. Peace friends; God is good. 😊

Photo Source: Unknown

Friday, 24 April 2020

of Orthopedic Shoes and Other Dad Jokes

This classic Dad Joke is probably as old as the hills themselves. It is certainly not original to me, and I take no credit for it, but I thought it worth commemorating with a meme.

Meanwhile in the podiatrist's office, Mrs. Smith learns that time wounds all heels.

James Bond wasn't a very good secret agent until he started wearing sneakers.

Originally slippers were made from bananas.

Finally, before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them, you're not only a mile away, but you also have their shoes.

I could go on, but I probably should quit before I get the boot from this blog.

😏😏😏
Photo Source: Unknown

Thursday, 23 April 2020

AHS, You Rock

"What if you'd lived every day as if you were our society's future and hope?"

We have some new neighbours a few doors down from us. We've chatted a couple times as I walked past their home while taking my fur-baby out for a stroll. They seem to be a really nice family. Today after work I walked past their home again and saw this new lawn art:

AHS 💟 You Rock

As one who also proudly works in healthcare, and has seen some of the pressures first hand, I can wholeheartedly concur. Yes, Alberta Health Services; You Rock! That's awesome!

So here's to healthcare workers, not just here in my home province of Alberta, but healthcare workers everywhere. Thank you for your compassion and professional care during these difficult times of global pandemic. Thank you for all that you do; it is appreciated. And a big thank you also to my neighbour's kids for such a wonderful tribute and reminder. You guys rock too!

😃😃😃

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Mortgage Woes

This is a tongue 'n cheek meme that I created poking a little fun at what is likely the biggest expense for most people; their home.

That is certainly true in our family. We are fortunate in that, when we still had "just one more payment" to go on our mortgage, our home was still in a little better shape than the one depicted here. Still, we too have various home improvement upgrades to do. I suppose that never ends.

With the length of many mortgages today, maybe this meme isn't too far off the mark for some folks. Consider a thirty-year fixed rate $200,000 mortgage at only 4.5% (I still remember 18% rates). At a monthly payment of $1013.37, by the time that debt has been paid off, the borrower will have paid $164,813.42 in interest alone, or a total cost of $364,813.20. All that just to get into their family dream home!

On top of that, add in the required minimum downpayment amount just to qualify for that mortgage, plus any other line of credit that may also be attached to the home, and you have a pretty hefty investment. Increase that 30-year term to a 40-year term, as I've heard some folks are choosing to do, and while the monthly payment may be slightly less, the interest to be paid back potentially goes up by another 25%.

I don't know how young couples today do it. All humour aside, it's all really quite sad actually.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Alien Thoughts on Pageants and Sports?

"Beauty is not flawless;
it shines even through your flaws."
(anonymous)

Call me a prude, but I don't much like beauty pageants. In the same way, I don't much care for body building competitions either, male or female, for the same reasons; they're all so subjective.

As the old adage says, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." Who is the beholder? Answer: The judge(s). What makes them so right? Put the same contestants in front of a different judge or panel of judges, and the outcome likely would be very different.

Likewise we've all seen couples who, if we're honest with ourselves, made us wonder "What does she see in him?" or perhaps, "What does he see in her?" Correct me if I am wrong, but sometimes it all seems so much like the old Mutt and Jeff comic strip. In all seriousness, however, there is someone for everyone. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and it is completely subjective. As such, maybe everyone is rightly a winner.

However, the main reason that I do not like those pageants and competitions is because of what it indirectly says to the loser, not to mention those who never qualified in the first place. To them it says, "You're not good enough." It reminds me of the child in school who is always picked last for team sports. When she/he is eventually picked, it is little more than to be a bench-warmer, since everyone is supposed to participate. Those last-picks aren't fools, though. They know that the situation indirectly says to them that they are not worthy of a beauty pageant or a body building competition; it says they're not good enough to play on the team.

If I'm not worthy, does that then make me ugly? Does that make me a loser? Of course not, though by default, one could certainly argue that. Taken one step further, what does that then do to the person's self-esteem? Many people have enough trouble with low self-esteem already. Then there is the additional argument that could be made against the flaunting sexuality that often accompanies the parading half-naked bodies across a stage. Do not these kinds of competitions dehumanize others?

Maybe that's why I also have a hard time with professional sports. Society has essentially deified professional athletes with media attention and celebrated them with obscene pay checks. To each their own, I suppose. I mean no disrespect to those who do enjoy such things, but for me personally, I'm reminded of something my grandfather used to say. He would say, "Sports is what you do, not what you watch."

Yes, maybe I'm just an old-fashioned prude; but that's the way I see it. Besides, in my way of thinking, the real beauty pageant winner is my wife. As for the rest of the contestants, I'm sorry for your loss.

End of rant. 😉😏😊

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Dogs Make the Best Therapists

To err is human;
to forgive, canine.

Almost five years ago we visited our local Humane Society and rescued this beautiful girl; a Great Pyrenees Lab cross. Since then she has often returned the favour by rescuing us as well. Dogs make the best therapists.

One of our favourite places to go for a walk is nearby Henderson Lake, a 24 hectare man made lake. We are fortunate to have such a gorgeous spot practically in our backyard. Since both our vet and family doctor have suggested that we both could stand to lose some weight, walking around the lake is a good way to start working toward that goal. The exercise and fresh air does us both good.

So if you're in the neighbourhood, perhaps we'll meet you and your fur baby therapist at the lake. Why not join us? Peace and blessings, friends; God is good.