Friday, October 8, 2021

AUGUST & SEPTEMBER RECAP

 

A raccoon enjoying the decor in our backyard.  

Here we are well into October and I haven't blogged since July!  August was pretty quiet, our free time was spent in the backyard and we enjoyed a weekly nature walk to various parks where we never knew what we would encounter.   

Butterflies at  The Riverwood Conservancy.

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the backyard. 

Enjoying a walk in a lake front park.

Bullfrogs were a surprise on the lake front outing. There were quite a few of them. 

I can hear their croak in  my head looking at these pics.

One of a few skunks who enjoy our backyard.

This Chipmunk entertained us much of the summer.

A sign summer is coming to an end when the Goldfinches start eating the Jerusalem Artichoke flowers. 

So adorable.

September was a little more exciting. After our birthday gathering in June, Andi and I decided we needed to have lobster together more then once a year, so the first annual "September Seafood Feast" was held on the long weekend. And what a feast it was!

Now, that's a shrimp! First course.
Mussels in a garlic wine sauce. Second course.

The main event! 

Rob also caught up to me in age last month. We both had his birthday off work, and enjoyed a lovely nature walk and picked up schnitzel and pierogies from V's Schnitzel House for dinner. 

Still a hottie at 52!

We had a vacation week towards the end of the month. It was mostly a stay-cation, but we did do one overnight to Niagara Falls. It was a much needed getaway, as we hadn't had one in almost a year. We also enjoyed a lot of nature walks, and some delicious meals at some local restaurants. Oh, and we also saw our first owl of the 2021 Fall birding season, which started September 1st. 

We stayed at the Fallsview Casino Resort.

Views from our room. 

We enjoyed a lively and very enjoyable dinner at Margaritaville, did some shopping and I won all the money back in the casino playing the slots that Rob lost. It was a nice getaway.

Our first owl of the Fall 2021 birding season! An Eastern Screech.

 I hope you enjoyed catching up with me!

Friday, July 30, 2021

FIFTY TWO

 

First birthday cake on my actual birthday.

Last month I celebrated my 52nd birthday, which was also my 2nd Covid birthday, so things were not as per normal. For close to a decade now, I've been celebrating my birthday with my cousin/friend, Andi, who's birthday is only 3 days before mine. We have certain traditions we try hard to stick to. We go to their place, she cooks lobster for us and something else for the boys, and only twice have I not taken care of the cake. I like to take care of the cake.   

Last year, due to Covid restrictions, we exchanged cake and lobster in a parking lot and went home to enjoy our goodies on our own. We were able to get together in July, but it was not the same. This year we celebrated together, safely outside, and it felt almost normal. 

My birthday was on a Thursday this year, and I was working from home. I had a little celebration with Rob over my lunch break before he left for work. We had both booked the Friday off to make it a long weekend. 

Happy birthday to me!
On our Friday off  we went for a nature walk and enjoyed drinks and lunch on a patio for the first time in months! First time visiting Harper's Landing, won't be our last. 
We were thrilled to see some Bobolinks on our outing. 

Enjoying drinks on a restaurant patio!!!

My Martini of choice, Vodka, dirty with 3 olives.
 Dave and Andi came over on Saturday to enjoy a birthday celebration in the backyard, and it was lovely.

Balloons for a festive feeling.

Lobster for lunch for us girls!

Table for two.

For that festive feeling.
Birthday cakes!
I ordered two birthday cakes again this year, just in case it rained and we couldn't get together and I had to deliver one to Andi. Her's was salted caramel and mine was strawberry, real strawberries, so good! Her's was delicious too.

Birthday Cake #2. 
  It wasn't our "normal" birthday get together, but it was still lovely. 


Friday, June 18, 2021

THE FOG IS LIFTING

 

Sunrise walk earlier this month.

It's been a rough couple of months but I finally feel like the fog that grief causes is lifting, if only a little. Some of you reading this may already know, but my father passed away in April. It was sudden and unexpected and it was heart breaking.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one at any time is difficult, dealing with it during the Covid pandemic added a whole other layer. I said my goodbyes to my Dad over the phone while he was laying in a hospital bed in Nova Scotia. I watched his funeral in my living-room while it live streamed with only five people in attendance. It all seems so surreal now.

My brother and I talked almost daily during the most difficult days. And I really don't know what I would of done without my Aunt Betty, Dad's younger sister. She took on a lot during this time that I couldn't do. Friends and family members reached out and helped in any way they could, and I am grateful.

I know I still have many difficult days ahead. I'm hoping to go to Nova Scotia in the Fall to bury my Dad's ashes next to Mom. 

I think about my parents daily, and even though I've done a lot of reminiscing the last couple months, the memories are a little harder on the heart the last couple days I've noticed. I think it's because Father's Day is Sunday. 

I wrote a few words to be read at Dad's service, and in honor of Father's Day and my dad, I am going to share them here.

And my daddy skinned his knuckles
On the cars that he repaired
He never earned much money
But he gave us all he had

He never made the front page
But he did the best he could
Folks drove the cars from miles around
And let 'em look underneath the hood

Those words are from country music singer, Alan Jackson’s song “Home”, written about his father, but they very well could have been written about our father, Layton MacAloney. Growing up on Dixon Court, there always seemed to be a car in the driveway on Saturdays that Dad was working on for a friend.

We lived on Dixon Court for many years. Dad always had time to chat with his neighbors and enjoyed teasing the neighborhood kids. He also liked to start up the lawnmower or power saw early on Saturday mornings to let his neighbors know it was time to be out of bed. 

In 1988 we moved to Johnson Avenue. Next door was a young family, Jan and Jackie Bates, they had three young sons to raise and for Dad to tease. They became neighbors by chance and remained friends by choice.

Dad had many hobbies through-out his life. When he was younger, he enjoyed driving stock car at various tracks. He drove at Onslow Speedway with his older brother, Carvel, when we were kids. We’d go clam digging, smelting and camping as a family.  When he retired, he bowled with the seniors’ league a couple times a week. Having family involved in harness racing had him going to the barn often and attending the horse races.   

Dad, for as long as we can remember was always on the go. Mom used to call it “running the roads”, but Dad truly was a social butterfly at heart, and he enjoyed going to visit his family and friends and he did it often.

In 1995 Dad took his first flight on a plane, to Saskatchewan for Jeff and Sandy’s wedding. Dad liked to joke that the only food the airplane served was eggs, he had them when they left from Halifax, and then again when they transferred in Toronto. Same thing on the return trip.  With the wedding and a touristy trip to the famous Buffalo Rubbing Rock we made some great family memories. He’d fly west a couple more times over the years to visit Jeff and his family, the last being for Xmas in 2017, when we celebrated Xmas together for the last time.

Some of you may not be aware, but Dad could be quite stubborn. When Mom passed away in 2012 we talked to him about moving into a senior’s residence where he wouldn’t have to worry about yard maintenance and maintaining the house. He happily remained in his house.   

Dad taught us many life lessons while we were growing up, some he’s not even aware of. We learned the value of hard work, the importance of a strong community network and that wealth is not always measured in dollars. 

Though my brother and I haven’t lived in Nova Scotia for many years, love knows no distance, and we will both miss our father dearly and long for one more conversation.

We take comfort in knowing he is no longer in pain or suffering. Dad has been reunited with Mom, his parents, siblings and countless friends.

We hope when you think of our Dad, you remember that Layton MacAloney grin, and smile or laugh at a memory you shared with him. He enjoyed a simple, but rich full life, and now it’s time for him to rest. He’s left us all with a heart full of memories that we will cherish until we see him again. 

If  you are seeing your Dad this coming Sunday please give him a big hug from me.

I love this picture of Rob, Dad and I taken in 2013.