The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The bad days are beginning to be more frequent in my senior years. On the other hand the good days that come along are very good, so I’l keep plugging along hoping for more good than bad.

Starting off on what I thought was a good day, I decided to make pasta salad, which hubby and haven’t had for quite some time. I only make a small batch for our supper and I was trotting along so well until the pasta had cooled enough to dress. That night we decided to finish off the last chicken legs left in the freezer. We had been to Costco the previous day and had stocked up on chicken thighs for a change. Not wanting a large meal we voted for the pasta salad as a nice side dish with the legs.

All was going well, as I said, until it came time to dress the salad. As I was stirring in the mayo, I also added the salt and pepper. Once done, I gave it a taste for seasoning and OMG my tongue felt like it had swallowed half the box of salt!! It was awful and I started to get upset. Not always thinking straight, I grabbed Nat to take a taste to confirm my suspicions. His face suddenly cringed, his eyes closed and his tongue was spitting out whatever it could. The following discussions:

“What were you thinking”?, he asked.

“No bloody idea. I took a pinch from the salt box and must of miscalculated”, was my reply.

“No kidding”, was his sarcastic retort.

I’m not starting over, so how do I fix it?”, I asked.

“The only answer is to boil some more macaroni, add it to your mix and see if it absorbs that extra salt”, Hubby’s response .

So away I went. It worked. We did, however, now have enough pasta salad to invite the neighbours over. In the end we decided to put away enough for lunch the next day and toss the rest. Ce la vie!!!! My fault and lesson learned, even though I won’t remember at all.

As the week continued, and most days were just boring, I went for my hair appointment feeling somewhat optimistic and upbeat. I decided to get a perm this time now that my hair has grown back from the Thrush scenario. The shampoo I bought for hair loss worked better than expected and I was pleased as I sat in my hairdresser’s chair. Even she had noticed my hair looked better and we proceeded with a discussion on what kind of perm I wanted. On a whim “Let’s go really curly”, was my smart ass reply. Without hesitation the process began.

This time there was some excitement at the salon regarding a possible abandoned car with Texas license plates. One of the customers went out to check the car and discovered it had also been left unlocked. Naturally, she opened the door, had a good look around at a small mess in the front seat and smelling what she felt was more than a dead animal lingering. She returned to the shop and the theories soon began. My hairdresser reported the customer’s finding to the owner of the Avondale Store who put a note on the car window that it will be towed if not removed by end of day. We all had a good laugh at the various scenarios being discussed and, trust me, they began to get a little weird only because they were Texas plates!! None of us have ever heard of anything good coming from the State of Texas, especially from watching TV.

With all things now settled, it was time to remove the small pink curlers and reveal the masterpiece. EGAD!!!! I was taken aback as I have never in my entire life had so many curls on top of my head. I looked like Mohammed Ali, with a mass of Afro curls only on a much smaller head!! I started to laugh as my hairdresser could see the huge disappointment in my eyes. She reassured me it could be fixed with a curling iron and smoothed out. But the whole idea of getting a perm was not having to use a curling iron. I wanted to finger and fluff my hair in the morning. Another smart ass idea of mine gone wrong. In the end my hairdresser fixed Mr. Ali’s curly top and I was at least able to face the public again.

For the last month, my mind has also been on the crappy eating habits I’ve returned to. Chocolate has been the bane of my existence. Eating more than I should. Buying more than I should and stashing whatever I can in the fridge. Whenever Nat is out of the house at his golf games (3 x a week) I’ll sit in front of our computer and stream my favourite British cooking or comedy shows while munching on as much chocolate as it takes to complete the show – each one usually an hour long. Seriously, I’m addicted and sick. I’m now anticipating really bad blood sugar levels at my next blood work which will probably confirm the high results I’m getting at home. Telling myself every morning to behave yourself and lay off, I’m only good on the days that Nat is out of the house. The true signs of a Chocoholic.

I finally came to terms once my blood work was done. After checking the results online today, my numbers weren’t good, but weren’t has high as I had anticipated. I’ve now disposed of any stashes in the fridge, started keeping record of my exercise, blood pressure and blood sugar results everyday to remind myself that if I don’t make better gains, I’m going to have a two really pissed off Nephrologists. The discipline is extremely hard and it’s been getting me depressed at times. Hubby tries to support me as best he can but being an already disciplined person, it’s hard for him to connect with me. These are the times I miss living closer to my sisters. I know I can get through this, albeit on my own.

Back to normalcy, and in order to get out of the house to clear away the dust bunnies that had gathered on our shoulders, Nat and I headed to the Balls Falls Craft Show this Thanksgiving weekend. We had walked around the Marshville Heritage Festival the week before, which was a bit of a bust.

When we arrived at Balls Falls. we were surprised at the reorganization of the event. They had now extended the parking area to a larger lot, had 6 seater golf carts running back and forth every minute to pick up people who were unable to walk up and down the large hill that takes you down to the Artisans and Big Barn. The Artisans, too, had been re-organized. The large tent at one end was now split in two with new Artisan tents in between. All Artisans in the Big Barn were laid out in a more conducive manner, and the Food Artisans were located in another large tent set up behind the Big Barn. The only disappointment was the Food Tents and eating area, which seemed to have been downsized. It was probably just my mind playing tricks, but the seating area was moved behind all of the Food Vendors and the Band Stage was now abandoned with picnic benches. Really not conducive to enjoying lunch and watching the world go by.

As Nat and I walked around we really enjoyed a lot of the Vendors and their wares. Some of the Vendors seemed to have changed while other new ones had arrived. In the end I found a few items I would loved to have bought, but I had to be good and save my pennies for our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip to Stratford for 4 days.

Continuing on the bad day vein, the Mail app on my iPad has decided to act up. Apparently I’m not alone in this, as I have a sister having the same problem. Mail will send or receive messages, but if you try to answer a received email, it won’t go. I get a message back regarding a problem with the setup on the Server or that the address is not recognized. Another one of those things where I’ll end up on the phone talking to someone at Cogeco see what the problem is. I’m sure it’s something I’ve done wrong at this end – it usually always is!!

After visiting Balls Falls we returned home for a quiet afternoon. As it was such a perfect day, Nat went for a walk while I did a little research on cooking our little turkey breast for Monday. Wanting to save a lot of hassle and mini-arguments, I happened upon a recipe for the Slow CookerDespite not having all of the ingredients, I knew we could improvise as we have in the past and it would all work out.

With the arrival of Monday, we proceeded to get the Slow Cooker out and the veggies all prepped and ready. We cut up some potatoes, and onions, laid them in the base of the cooker and placed the turkey breast on top (after seasoning the breast). Switched on the cooker for 6 hours and we were done. Voila, our meal was complete except for the gravy and one other side which could be completed closer to eating time.

During the rest of the afternoon we could smell the turkey cooking away and as luck would have it, the turkey was done earlier than expected. It had reached its temperature so we decided to eat early. What the hell, it was only us!! With the drippings in the bottom of the slow cooker, Nat was able to make his gravy in the same pot, while I heated up another side dish. The turkey breast was sliced, the potatoes laid along side and the extra side was ready to go. We enjoyed a very quiet, yummy Thanksgiving dinner on our own. (Honestly, still not the same without a whole wack of family sitting around a big table and all talking above one another.) We retired to our recliners for the rest of the evening.

Regarding the Turkey Breast, I have to give cudos to Costco. While getting our semi-annual groceries this past month, we came across a small bin full of turkey breasts with bone in for only $9.99. A deal we could not resist, we grabbed a package and when we were unpacking it at home, we discovered it was the whole top of a turkey. Both sides were huge and we divided the pair and froze one for another time. Such a deal!!

With Thanksgiving over, we have Halloween to look forward to. Oh goody!! I’ve lost my zest for this event and would love to just turn out the lights. Nat, on the other hand, feels that since the neighbourhood has increased with Little Ones, that we should do something. This year, my love, it’s all yours.

Good Friends and The Passage of Time

Again, no postings for over a month. Things really have come to a complete standstill in our lives. We’ve been doing the usual – groceries, prescription pick-ups and WalMart runs, much to my chagrin. With no other choice, it’s frustrating that WalMart is our mainstay  to purchase the everyday necessities, certain cheaper grocery items, or even an inexpensive pair of slippers, T-shirt, running shoes, etc.

On a happy note, we’ve been to a couple of dining-out events. One was a great get-together with some former workmates which I have not seen for close to 15 years. This small group of ladies get together every couple of months to catch up on events and have a good ‘ole chinwag. I kind of invited myself when having lunch with Michele and it was great fun. I will admit, however, that I felt myself getting a little hyper as the night went on. I could feel my lips wagging faster and faster and had to remind myself to shut up so others could talk. There was so much news in my life and apparently not enough time for my brain to get it all out!

We were having our evening out a JJ Kapps in St. Catharines, and as I ordered a steak sandwich on garlic bread, the new dentures were given a workout not expected. As a result a bit of adhesive began to give up the ghost and as I rambled on after eating, I could feel them dropping. I quickly grabbed a thumb to stick them back up where they belonged all the while pretending to suck on my nail as if I had a bad habit!! Trust me, I’ll know better next time.

The second meal was at Bugsy’s for Bridget’s birthday. Another nice time and really good meal – fish and chips – which hubby and I enjoyed immensely. This time I wasn’t out as late as the previous night, but we all had a good time and can’t get over the fact that our youngest granddaughter is finishing her year at Brock University and will soon be out in the working world. Mom and Dad will become empty-nesters and wonder what to do with all of their spare time. I’m sure they’ll both find lots to do.

With the quiet times at home, I’ve taken some time to try some new baking. I found a couple of cookie recipes – Walnut Sugar and Potato Chip. They both came out pretty good and hubby thinks they’re “keepers”.  A couple of newbies for the recipe book.

Today I also tried Brioche Rolls which I found quite easy to do, but man the butter content was unreal – a stick and a half!! Haven’t tried them yet, but they look and smell fabulous. Can’t wait to try them.

On an extremely sad note, a great friend of ours’ has passed away. Cecil was the better half of our former neighbours when living on Green Maple in St. Catharines. We would join Cecil and Floris on their front lawn early summer evenings and have great chit chats about family, events and anything newsworthy. Once they moved to another part of town we continued to visit almost on a nightly basis to join them on their back porch. Then we moved out of town and although the visits back and forth decreased with time, we always tried our best to keep in touch via the telephone. I’m not a telephone conversationalist, but talking with Floris was always fun, funny and very enjoyable.

Cecil, a man with a dry sense of humour passed away this weekend. He had become sick and his ailing body could no longer keep up. I loved this man. A tall, gentle figure that would go for early morning walks to keep his achy joints pain free and had a stride that would take me 3 steps to 1 of his to keep up. He was an avid golfer until most of his foursome were having ailing problems of their own. I’m sure he missed his games but understood time takes its toll and spares no one. He would sit quietly in his chair as Floris and I would chatter away all the while listening intently and answering any questions that his wife would throw his way. With a bit of a minor disagreement now and then, he would concede to his wife with a polite nod and the conversation would continue. Once in awhile you could see a twinkle in his eyes while listening and then a quiet sly remark would be injected into our talks. His dry sense of humour was quick and if you were not listening you’d miss it. God, he was quick! My husband, too, enjoyed his talks about golf and other ‘man’ things with Cecil along with appreciating his quiet presence.

The love between this lovely couple could be seen through their eyes. When we were living on Green Maple, Cecil took sick and ended up in hospital. Floris was beside herself as the two of them had never slept apart from one another during their entire 60 + year marriage. There were times when their kitchen window and ours were open at the same time and we would hear the two of them laughing to the British TV comedy show they would watch while having their lunch. It was infectious and I would begin to laugh, too, as I was washing up at our kitchen sink. The best of times were being enjoyed by two wonderful people and you hoped it would never end for them.

Cecil will be missed and we can only hope that Floris will find solace in the wonderful memories they made together. Here’s to an enduring love.

When Will I Ever Learn?

Haven’t been posting for several weeks. Not much to tell or talk about, honestly. Now that all of my health issues have dissipated and I’m feeling terrific, it’s been too good to be true and I’ve been doing more things around the house. I’ve also gotten back to baking which makes hubby happy!! I’ve also been able to maintain my lower weight and it’s given me more energy and enthusiasm. That alone is worth everything to me. After being so lazy and lethargic for a long time, feeling perkier is so uplifting and I’m taking advantage of every minute of the day I have.

Michele and I had lunch a couple of weeks back, which was nice. My appetite certainly hasn’t gone anywhere and, in fact, it’s hard for me to control. I have this voracious habit of wanting to nibble on chocolate whenever I have idle hands. Needless to say, I’ve been getting a lot done because if I don’t keep busy, I’ll nibble. After all, idle hands are the devil’s workshop!!

My family was also notified that a friend of the familys’ had passed away a week ago. She was, in fact, the Maid of Honour at our Mother’s wedding and we went to school with some of her children. Gail, Michele and I attended the funeral which was short and sweet, but did not recognize anyone we knew anymore. Her children had grown up with babies of their own and even they were now grown up themselves. With over 50 years having passed between the two families and our memories fading, it was difficult to recognize any friendly faces from our childhood days. The three of us quietly exited the church before the light luncheon was served, and as we had signed the Guest Book, we knew the family would at least see our names and hopefully recognize that we had been there. Another era in our lives is now a footnote in our futures.

During these past couple of weeks, I came across some old public school class pictures. As I had heard about “Memories of Lincoln” being on Facebook, I decided to re-join in order to see if I could get responses from anyone still around and would be able to remind me of those that attended the same Grades 1 and 2 as myself. As much as I hate Facebook I thought I would only become “friends” with anyone from my personal past and leave immediate family out.  I was also trying to get in touch with one certain person from my past and who was, in fact, distantly related to the woman whose funeral Gail, Michele and I had attended. Another reason I went to the funeral, but this person was not there. That I would have known!

I posted my Grade School photos and received great reactions but mostly from siblings of those in the pictures. It was great to hear from them and even one or two remembered me, along with some of my siblings. I then began to play around with my main identifying picture and background photos, along with one other memorable event in our family’s life. As time went by – just a few days, in fact, things began to change and I soon realized why I was NOT a fan of Facebook. More and more “Friends” came out of the woodwork and postings were soon popping up on my “Timeline” that meant nothing to me. Some of these “Friends”, were children of “Friends”, unknown to me, and most of these postings were just taking up space, in my opinion. I’m not one for philosophical sayings, love your neighbour and all that, and especially postings of graphic, silly jokes that are completely stupid according to my senseof humour!! I knew it was time I had to leave, yet AGAIN. Once you join Facebook you have lost all privacy you may think you were going to have. You accept to be Friends with one person and suddenly any one of their Friends get notice and things begin to snowball from there. Friends of Friends of Friends, etc. are now seeing you as a “Suggestion” on their Facebook Timelines and a parade from your computer to anybody else remotely known will be lining up until eternity!!!

After thinking of ways to at least say adios to those who had befriended me, I gathered up my thoughts, as politely as I could, posted them to the Facebook box that asks “What’s on your mind, Twila?”, letting them know I appreciated their thoughts and that I would be deleting my account within a couple of days. Thank God. I just can’t cope emotionally with this program. It’s extremely exhausting as you’re on the damn thing for a good part of your day. You have to check your Timeline, respond to any Comments, or Notices that pop up, and Friend Requests, check these “Friends” out if their name is unfamiliar (or even to be nosey) and then decide whether to befriend them or not. Then as you’re going through all of these steps, someone sees you are online and decides to Wave, so you have to click on that button and Wave back so as not to appear rude. Then some other Friend decides to send you a Message via Messenger, so another click onto that button to read and respond to their message. The longer you’re on Facebook the longer it takes to get off. The next thing you know your day is half over and your plans for the rest of the morning or afternoon are shot to hell. The bread you planned to bake wouldn’t have time to rise, the errand you wanted to run was cutting it close to lunch or supper and then dear hubby has been sitting in the living room quietly doing his crossword puzzles wondering where in hell you had gotten to.

I’m hoping you get the picture. Just bloody time consuming and if I were to be completely honest a bit mundane. I really appreciate how Facebook can certainly help you find and keep in touch with loved ones who live far and wide and family is able to keep in touch with those they’ve not seen for a long time. I know I love seeing and hearing from our side of the family in Britain – especially the kids (God, I love those children), but I can also keep in touch through Instagram which is far less time-consuming and the pictures posted are far superior than those on Facebook. You can leave comments, if you want, or quietly “Heart” the picture(s) and move on. I can also get any other news I need through my Twitter account. Another program where I can completely control who I follow and who I don’t. As I’ve gotten so sick of the American news of late, I’ve just unsubscribed to every and all news feeds, kept my feeds coming from Visit Scotland, a couple of other quiet Twitter feeds and even one celebrity- actor/singer in the U.K. whom I adore. So now my mind has stopped racing from all the tense moments I had been readiing in the news, I can relax looking at gorgeous pictures from Scotland and reminisce of our trips, and get a laugh or two from the other Twitter sites I follow. Whew!!!! Quiet at last!!!!

There are other quieter and less stressful ways to keep in touch with friends and family, So much more personal and fun – Skype. Free and easy, give it a try. Then sign on to Instagram for photos and more smiles!!

Lesson learned. If I ever join Facebook again, please smack me in the face, tie my hands up and disconnect any gadgets that can get online. Thank you.

The Surprises Just Keep Coming

Our oldest granddaughter’s birthday was on the 24th of June. She turned 26 and was a feisty one-year old when she attended our wedding in 1994. There have been a lot of wonderful memories over the years of Christmases, Birthdays and family get-togethers watching as Karly grew into a very beautiful young woman. She’s been through some good times, sad times and even stressful times with her love life. A huge animal lover, it soon became apparent she would follow her love and enter into the Veterinary field. Alas, she has the job she’s always wanted, as a Veterinary Assistant, taking a hands-on approach to treating, caring and healing animals of all kinds. She’s at her happiest when a four-legged creature is in her arms.

Needless to say, it was a great surprise for us when we received a message that Nat and I were invited out to supper with Karly’s Mom, Laura, and her brother, Lucas. She had picked the restaurant of her choice and on the 26th we joined her family for a very enjoyable meal. It was very nice to have some quality time with the three of them and listen to dear Lucas rattle on about his life and fitness routine. He, too, has grown into a tall, good looking young man with biceps and upper body form any 22-year old would envy.  Needless to say, Nat is very proud of his grandchildren and their maturity.

A couple days later I was off to see my regular Doctor. My face had sprouted a couple of red marks and for the past couple of months just sat there, one on my upper cheek and the other on my upper lip. Every now and again I would scratch the two making them redder. They were not appearing to grow like the previous spot near my lips that was lasered off but were still giving me a bit of worry only because they were not healing or clearing up. My Doc gave them a look with her magnifying glass, told me they were a medical term I fail to remember and told me she could get rid of them by using Nitro (like dry ice). She also gave me another option but the Nitro seemed quicker and I would be out of there right away. With my permission, she grabbed her Nitro Bottle with nozzle, held it over each spot and shot some extremely cold dry ice (?) on them. With that, I was up and at ’em and on my way  home. All that worry for naught.

I’ve also been going through a two week routine where I have to check my blood pressure and pulse about 3-4 times a day so my Doc in Hamilton can check to see if its coming down. I’m on extra Blood Pressure meds which appear to be working, as I’ve been feeling so much better and have a bit more energy than several weeks ago. It also appears that some of my balance issues have dissipated and I won’t complain, as that really takes some stress off my shoulders. It feels so good to be back to my old self, or as much as I can. It’s also felt wonderful not to have any doctor or dental appointments in over a month and I’m thrilled with every moment. I’ve just past the first anniversary of my dental surgery and that’s one celebration I won’t be having!!!!

Thought Provoking Moments

Now that the new sump pumps have settled in and are much quieter, life at home has almost become a bit complacent.

I had my annual check-up at St. Joseph’s in Hamilton. My Nephrologist and I got each other caught up on our version of events during the Thrush fiasco. Apparently he knew quite a bit more than I was told. He had been in constant touch with the Doctors on my case and despite the fact I was told nothing, my medications were practically being changed on a daily basis (which originally had me puzzled, but was helpless at the time) only because of the constant conflicts with one of my anti-rejection drugs. I guess my transplant meds were keeping the powers that be on their toes. I then had my turn and a chance to rant and rave about the Dieticians constantly nagging me to eat, and my constant explaining that how can I eat, if I can’t swallow?????  At least now we were both in sympatico and I felt better being updated on the whole affair. I really do have to know what exactly is going on when it comes to me, myself and I.

I also had to explain to the Doc about the number of times I had fallen, hit my head and was now having balance problems. Knowing what I know about concussions, I had become concerned as the old noggin’ is taking its time getting better. The Doc then put me through a series of tests, as his trainee interns watched on. He had me stand up while he put one of his arms in front of me and the other in back and asked me to remain standing for several minutes. I could feel my body wanting to sway back and forth, but I held my ground. He could tell I was wavering but was satisfied how I did. He had me walk back and forth across the floor, touching my left index finger to my nose and then try and touch his index finger, repeating with my right finger. He appeared satisfied that I was alright and then explained to Nat and I how to proceed. As I’m wanting to loose at least 5-8 pounds, he agreed that the treadmill would be perfect for helping my balance and that a regular routine was now really recommended. It was also a given that I would strengthen my legs and concentration. I will admit this treatment is a great relief from what I had previously been thinking.

With more information in hand, a couple new medications (for blood pressure), Nat and I had lunch on the way home and then settled in for what was left of our day. My appointments in Hamilton, despite being at 10:00 am, usually take up over 5 hours. The drive (both ways) and parking alone are 3 hours. The walk from the parking garage to the Clinic is close to 20 minutes (2 ways), the waiting to be seen is usually another 30-45 minutes, the check-up close to 60 minutes (depending on scenario). Now you can understand why we just clear our entire day for that one appointment.

The sore back is continuing. This has been going on for several weeks and there have also been a couple of days where I couldn’t even stand up without a stabbing ache in my right hip and back. I was walking bent over like a pretzel and it was agonizing. I sympathize with all those in my family who are also experiencing back problems. Thankfully as the days have passed, most of the pain has eased up, but there’s always that little weak feeling in my lower back that reminds me not to go for a run!!

Our routine has now returned. Nat has his golf games 3 days a week, I’ve been trying desperately to get the baking caught up-to-date. I’ve not made bread in several months, the cookies are in extreme low supply, along with the Raisin Loaf and Scones. I started something almost 20 years ago, that I can’t stop. Nat has become use to having fresh baked goods for his Tea, it’s going to be a struggle to wean him off when the times comes that my baking slows to a “crawl”.

A few surprises have also come our way. From the beginning of the year, Laura has been coming by periodically for a visit. Sometimes she brings Zoe and sometimes not. She’ll stop by Timmies for us and we have a great visit. This has continued right up to this past week, and even Susan and Tom have caught on. I have no idea why they decided to change their ways, but it’s been absolutely great. The visits break up the days for their Father and I, plus we have a chance to visit more often than in the past.

In previous years I was enjoying Nat golfing and having a few hours to myself. I would eat lunch when I wanted, watch some crap TV, muck about on the computer, play games on the iPad or generally amuse myself without the love of my life looking over my shoulders. With the Thrush trauma last year, the old body walking like a drunken sailor, and now the back pain,  I’ve become a bit complacent and my ambition has given up the ghost. I long to sit in the recliner, play games on the iPad, watch boring TV and become brain dead. My emotions are also on the edge.  I’m now getting lonely while Nat is golfing. I’m dwelling on having dentures and my life has become quite stagnant. Even shopping has become somewhat boring. Believe it or not!!!!!! Not having a car, nor being allowed to ride my bike and being just a bit too long of a walk to downtown can add to my loneliness. Nat struggles to come up with any suggestions, despite his tries, as his imagination is a bit lack-luster and his spirit of adventure has disappeared with his childhood. I love him to death for even trying.

Getting out of bed is also becoming a struggle. Not that I’m sad, but I just don’t want to leave the warmth of our bed, close my eyes and return to the Land of Nod. My pill routine is the reason forcing me to get up and at ’em as I have to take one at 9:00 am on the dot. After 20 years this, too, can become a bit of a drag, but my health and well-being are more important than snuggling in bed.

I’m trying hard not to allow my depression to rear its ugly head. I’m hoping that if it does I’ll have the sense to talk things out with myself on my website. The last extreme depression I experienced almost became fatal. The sisters I called were unavailable and Nat tried with every fibre of his being to understand. Nothing in that world makes any sense to him and if he doesn’t understand then he shakes his head and struggles for words to say to me. With the passing of days, talking in bits and bobs, we soon stick our heads out of the sand and get on with our lives, as boring as they are.

It Just Won’t Stop

Well, that problem we absolutely love to hate is back. The sump pumps!!!!

Nat was mowing the lawn this past week and noticed that the ditch was starting to dry up. A good thing in my opinion, but apparently not in Nat’s. Then around 4:22 am this past Friday, I awoke to rustling noises, footsteps, pipes clanging and a flashlight lighting up our bedroom window as it streamed across the closed draperies. As I jumped up and peeked out the window, I could see Nat on his hands and knees with half a pipe in one hand and a feather duster in the other, trying to clear out something from the other half of pipe that came from the exterior house wall. “What in hell is going on now?” I moaned.

Being selfish, and knowing there was nothing I could do at this ungodly hour, I returned to the warmth and comfort of our bed. The garage door could now be heard closing and the tapping of Nat’s slippers up and down the stairs. More rustling sounds and suddenly a motor running. This scenario continued for about 10 minutes and Nat returned to bed. Now I’m fully awake and had to ask what the hell was that all about. According to Nat, the sump pump would try to start up, but to no avail and ran continuously. He was pretty sure this had been going on for a day or two.

First thing Saturday morning, he was at it again. With research and some checking things out, he discovered the main sump pump was not working and its’ switch was a bit dodgy, along with being clogged somehow. While the main pump was struggling, the back-up pump had taken over and soon burned itself out. Nat and I ended up in the basement for a couple of hours figuring things out, and as I tried to stay out of his way, I was at least able to hold the flashlight so he could see exactly what was going on down that black abyss.

He noticed quite a bit of silt had settled along the bottom of the tank and once he pushed up on a part of the pump he could feel the silt underneath that was clogging some of the holes. After clearing that away and cleaning up most of the silt in the tank he managed to get the main pump working again.

Without hesitating Nat called our plumber, but naturally he was busy as hell and after hearing our story, said he would try and be here as soon as possible – possibly sometime during the middle of the week. This is where I knew Nat was not going to get any sleep at night. His ears would be constantly listening for the sump pump motor to kick in. I also knew that it was going to be a couple of long days trying to keep the main pump running. Sometimes it began to suck up air as the water level in the tank became too low, and then the pump would run continuously. Every now and then Nat would have to run down to the sump pump room and jiggle the switch to get it back to normal. I could see Nat every night as we watched TV that he (and even I at times) would listen for the main pump to stop once it ran its’ course. We were extremely lucky for a day or two and said nothing so we wouldn’t jinx anything! He only had to run downstairs about 3 or 4 times in the early evening to jiggle that switch.

It’s now Wednesday afternoon, Nat has just called and I gave him the good news. The plumber had called just after he left for his golf game, had arrived at 10:30 am and all was right with the world and our house again. I was at least able to explain what was happening, and the plumber knew the rest of the story from Nat. It was concluded that he would just replace both pumps. End of story.

This very nice plumber was quick, organized and even neat. The two new pumps are now neatly nestled in their little spots in the tank, sitting on bricks, with one higher than the other, for flowing purposes and each pump was plugged into the electrical outlets, one high for the higher pump, and one low for the lower pump. God, I love this man!!!

Now, instead of waiting for the plumber, we’ll wait for the bill – oh goody!!!! In my opinion these two new pumps are going to be worth every dollar.

With all of the above going on, I had previously awoken with an extremely sore back, along with an aching left inside foot. Did I beat myself up in the middle of the night? Had I been twisting and turning the wrong way as I was bending over to clean some trim and other things while cleaning. Sometimes I get in the “mood” and I have to go for it. Nat and I pretty much came to that conclusion only because I don’t do it that often and especially after 2018 and the Thrush that invaded my body. As with all things I ended up having to take it easy for a few days, but I did manage to redo our main bed with the new Duvet Cover and fitted sheets I had found on Wayfair Canada, along with a beautiful knitted pillow cover that closes with buttons. All are gorgeous and I’m ever so pleased.

It’s The Little Things In Life

As posted previously, our head-banging robin was back a few days after we removed all of the tarps from the windows he insisted banging on. I could see in Nat’s eyes this was now the last straw. His patience had worn out and even I was about to “Kill 3 birds with 1 Stone” as the saying goes.

Trying hard to fight temptation I, again, took to the internet and did more research on “how to deter birds from hitting windows”. One of the few phrases I hadn’t used in my previous research. Kind of glad I did as I discovered a very easy item hubby and I could use and it was found locally at our Lee Valley Store in Niagara Falls. Hubby wasn’t quite sure and hesitated thinking it might not be enough. He has this habit of dismissing things before he’s even tried them. Not me!!!! I’ll try anything before taking it out of my bag of tricks. So, I grabbed him by the arm and headed to the Falls to at least give this item a look. What else were we doing???

Arriving at the store and always wanting to have a look around – so many neat gadgets, household items, tools and hardware to check out. Not having been to the new store in the Falls, it was great fun to check everything out. We received help from a staff member and he led us to what we were looking for – a hard plastic spike system that you laid along the top of your fence. Apparently any birds or critters would be deterred and not want to walk over this thing. They only walk on flat surfaces. We paused and thought about it, and once we mentioned to the clerk what we wanted it for, he recommended the coil system that was just as easy to put up and just as much a deterrent to birds than anything else. He showed us the package and it made a lot of sense. We could bring back the item if it didn’t work, so what was the harm. We bought a couple of boxes, not knowing the length we would need and were now headed home hoping this would solve our problem for the rest of the year.

Naturally, once home, Nat was outside with his ladder and coil system laying it along the top of the fence and as each box contained four clips and two coils, he only needed one box. The others could be returned for full refund. Very easy to put up and he still seemed a bit hesitant that it would work. Wait for it!!!!!  It Did!!!! It is now working beautifully despite our pesky Robin giving one more try by sitting in a small gap between two of the coils but gave up after one try. It seems he didn’t have enough of a landing pad to return to. Thank God!!!! To understand what the system looks like, here’s a pic from the Lee Valley Catalogue:

Coil Bird Deterrent.jpg

Almost too simple, but it really works. Just proves, when in doubt check it out at Lee Valley. And no this is not an ad – I just love that store.

On another front, I had lunch with sister, Michele, a few weeks back. The first one in over a year. Really had a nice time, as usual. I missed talking to her and will continue to meet up on a regular basis.

Good news on the homefront for once – our little (slightly ignored) Town of Fort Erie will be getting a Harvey’s and Swiss Chalet sometime in 2020. The retired owner from Port Colborne decided to come out of retirement and set up these two food outlets in our little neck of the woods. God bless ‘im. We’re craving new places to eat or grab a good burger down this way. Yes, we have the usual McDonalds and Wendy’s, but after 20 years of nothing else, one can kind of get sick of the same old, same old. I only wished more retail stores would come down this way. With only WalMart as the main retail establishment for everything from clothes, shoes, household, toys, baby products and electronics, it makes for an extremely small selection to choose from especially if you’re looking for something new, exciting and different. Having to travel to St. Catharines or even Niagara Falls is sometimes a chore, especially in the winter months. There has been a couple of times where hubby and I couldn’t even make it to the QEW in the winter due to extreme snow squall conditions. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but with the building of new houses booming in this area, hopefully some of the other retailers will take notice??

On a final  note, I’ve been enjoying these past couple of months so much, I have no words. I’ve had no doctor appointments, no blood work, or any other health issues that needed attending to, that I’ve been able to relax and get back to enjoying my marriage with hubby and doing things together we’ve not been able to do in a long time. I still have my half-yearly and yearly appointments but it’s those inbetween times I’m going to take advantage of for as long as I’m able.