The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

It’s An Annual Time Of Year

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With another sister’s birthday approaching on Monday, I tried to get creative. Although I had already popped an actual birthday card in the mail to Michele, I thought I would send her an email card. I’ve finally had lots of time on my hands to play around with the extra features in iPhoto and discovered some cute features for such E-Cards. I had fun designing the card, despite the fact some of my creative juices are starting to dry up.  The whole process must have worked as Michele emailed me back saying she loved it. While designing this E-Card, I realized I had never updated iPhoto ’09 to iPhoto 11 and soon discovered there was no actual automatic update, but that you had to get the latest version of iLife, of which iPhoto was part of the package along with iMovie and GarageBand. As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the latest and greatest version unless I was willing to spend a little money.

As clever as I thought I was being – getting the latest downloads from Apple, searching the web for info on iPhoto 11, and reading the latest issue of Macworld – it was all for naught. The powers that be in Cupertino, California (Apple’s headquarters) were looking for my hard earned dollars and if I had of taken the upgrade when it was offered I could have saved a few dollars, but for some reason I didn’t do so and was now going to have to pay full price. I decided to give this whole thing some thought, took a break and Monday afternoon saw me heading down the road to Walmart for a few items and clear the cobwebs that had now gathered in the old brain.

Tuesday was set aside for the annual maintenance on the generator that’s saved us from power outages a few times while living in this area. Not sure when the technician would show up, we bided our time until just after lunch when he finally appeared. This year he found what could have turned into a huge problem concerning a connection inside, fixed it within a few minutes and soon presented us with the bill. Naturally, a few extra dollars more because of the minor repair but would save us money in the long run. This generator has been well worth the money invested and any extra maintenance is also worth it. After the technician’s departure we bit the bullet and headed to the travel agent in Fort Erie and finally booked our trip for Britain. What the hell, we’d already doled out a few extra bucks for the generator, now why not dole out a few extra bucks for us!! At least we’ve taken that first major step in getting this trip started and only have to decide how many days to stay in each of the cities or towns we have to travel to.

The arrival of Wednesday morning saw Nat heading back into Fort Erie for the van’s annual maintenance and another unscheduled bill, but again, a necessity that we can’t ignore. So while Nat was lingering around in an ultra-cold garage and talking with the boys, I decided to try again for iPhoto 11. Making a long story short, I was now able to download the latest version through the App Store, naturally at full price, but was pleased the whole process was now taking place. Macworld magazine this month contained an article on making your own cards and I couldn’t resist wanting the latest and greatest. I’m now thrilled with the results and looking forward to playing with the new features. I’ve already got an idea for dear little bros. birthday card in March!

Our financial advisor gave us his annual visit on Thursday. It’s now time for Nat to set up his RIF (Retirement Investment Fund) and with his “John Henry” signed on the bottom line, Andy was now able to set up the account and put things in motion for the monthly withdrawals. It was a pleasure to hear some of Andy’s news that he had found a way for us to at least make a little extra money each month, rather than withdraw on what we’ve already saved. That kind of news is always welcomed in this house, trust me!!

As this week is turning out to have an “annual” theme it makes sense that Nat and I should book our annual Valentine’s dinner at The Mandarin. We’ve made the reservations for a day other than the 14th, due to obvious reasons and, as usual, am looking forward to the same. Valentine’s Day itself will see me trekking to Hamilton for my annual visit to St. Joseph’s Hospital. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point of annual visits to both of my Nephrologists, for which I’m grateful, but there are some days I wish I could just forego the trip to Hamilton. Living in this small town has its disadvantages when it comes to visiting the larger city centres, such as Hamilton and now even St. Catharines. Nat and I have slowly become accustomed to the smaller shops in Ridgeway and Fort Erie, along with our one “big box”store, so when it comes time to travel to either Hamilton or St. Catharines we try and make a full day of it, which we’re finding tiresome. I still count my blessings and am forever grateful for how far I’ve come, however, and any annual trip to Hamilton is a small price to pay for maintaining the good health I’m finally experiencing.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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