The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

Breadsticks and Bar Keepers

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Going across the U.S. Border is not one of my favourite things to do. However, there are times when I have to bite the bullet and do so. Not to rub Canadian retailers’ noses the wrong way, the shopping at Walden Galleria Mall is delightful.  Apple, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Brookstone, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Williams & Sonoma, and many more, are nowhere to be found near our little village without driving for a couple of hours.  I’d prefer to shop in Canada but I live in a small area where retailers don’t have the population base to justify the cost of building. Naturally, Toronto does. However, I don’t wish to drive a couple of hours to browse a kitchen store to see what’s new. So, despite my trepidation of border crossing I hop in the car whenever hubby is headed that way so I can at least see the latest and greatest. We are also at a huge advantage in that Walden Galleria Mall is only a half hour’s drive away.

I guess you can tell by now that Nat and I made the trip “across the river” so he could buy some weed killer that is more powerful than the Canadian version and 3/4 the price cheaper (despite the value of the CDN dollar). In order to make a good day of things, we also decided to wander around Walden Galleria Mall, then drive across the street for lunch at The Olive Garden with a stop at Home Depot on the way home for Nat’s weed killer. Our trip was fun and looking at all the gorgeous shops I love was a real treat. No matter how I tried, however, I couldn’t get in the mood to clothes shop. I decided to opt for my usual ooohing and awwwing at the Apple Store (would love an iPod Touch but can’t justify it) and my favourite kitchen store, Williams & Sonoma. For some time I’ve been keeping a lookout for a set of yellow Salt & Pepper shakers, but, alas, no go. But Nat and I still ooohhed and awwed at the best in cooking and baking supplies. It was at this point I grabbed a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend which is one of the best touted cleaning products I’ve heard about. Yes, they sell the damn thing in Canada, but this was going to be my only purchase – I was NOT going home empty handed!!

With my feet and legs now starting to feel the pressure of walking on concrete I started to slow down. This was the time for the two of us to head across the road, sit and relax and have a gorgeous Italian lunch. What a treat – the Olive Garden had a new lunch menu since we’d been there and it was delightful. For $6.99 US you could get a salad or soup along with a mini entree of their regular supper menu. We both began with the salad and breadsticks, which we love, and then I enjoyed the mini meatball sub (5 small meatballs tucked inside a larger-sized breadstick and dowsed in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, while Nat enjoyed a mini bowl of Spaghetti. What a treat!!!!! Our delightful waiter even bagged up a couple of extra breadsticks for home – just heat and serve!

With all things “Nat and Twila” we naturally got turned around trying to get to the Home Depot which was just down the road from Walden Galleria Mall – a 10 minute drive. We pulled out the GPS and I plugged in the address for the Home Depot I thought we wanted. Nat was getting a little edgy when the “trip time” kept getting longer and longer. We were a little dumb-founded when the GPS announced “arrive at destination” as we turned into a garage station. Stopping to pause to see what went wrong, we discovered I had plugged in the address for the Home Depot which was further away from the Mall, but closer to the border. We managed to get turned around from the garage station and had to only go a few addresses down the road to actually arrive at our destination. We were successful in getting what Nat wanted and from the store we had arrived at, it was just a hop, skip and jump back to the border crossing. Que, sera, sera it all worked out in the end!!! This proves the world is moving too fast for me these days and hubby has to be more patient – but at least I kept him in the same State!!

With three big events coming up in our extremely ‘active’ (cough, cough) lives, I decided to get back to having my hair streaked. I’m also treating myself to a manicure and pedicure for each event which I’ve not done since my wedding. With a couple new dresses in the closest, a bit of the weight I’ve lost and a little personal attention to myself, I’m feeling so much better about myself and am looking forward to each event with a smile on my face.

I’ve also faced a little reality this month. With my golf game pretty much in the dumps, I decided to sell my golf clubs, cart, bag and accessories. I had to face it, I’m not going to golf any more – my swing is still there, but for some reason I keep topping the ball. After putting a bit of weight on after the transplant and my “Ladies” getting bigger, it’s a real stretch (and I do mean stretch) to make my arms come down hard and straight enough over the “Ladies” to keep the club low enough to strike under the ball. Once you’re in the down swing with your arms, the Ladies begin to take a dip thinking they want to help out, when, in fact, they’re bloody well in the way, making you top the ball every time! Frustration abounds, trust me!!!! So the golf clubs had to go. And I did sell them, albeit, the cheap bastard wouldn’t budge in price except for an extra $5.00.

Nat was due to play golf this past Saturday morning. During the night, however, we experienced one of the worst thunder and lightning storms in a long time. The entire night sky was constantly lit up by streaks of lightning and roars of violently loud thunder. At times Nat and I both felt the house shake and the bedroom window light up our room well enough to read a book by. This bad ass storm took place throughout the entire night and early evening. Naturally, Nat bowed out on the golf game assuming this storm had hit the entire Region. He soon found out when his golf partner called closer to noon to ask why he never showed up. Apparently the sun was shining brightly over the golf course and not a speck of rain. Just Nat’s dumb luck. It was also pretty much “par” for our week (pun intended).

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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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