Sit Back, Relax – Maybe Procrastinate

The Dentistry profession needs help. A lot of it. At long last I had my appointment with the oral surgeon in Niagara Falls. With a lot of information to review, I was really pleased with his demenor and felt comfortable. That’s a good thing with me. He went over every step and explained everything, including all of my silly questions.

Having said that, I won’t be able to have my surgery until mid-Summer – maybe June or July. Apparently the hospitals in the Niagara Region only allow 3 days a month for oral surgery, which makes it extremely stressing for any patient to be taken care of in a fairly quick manner. I started my journey back in November of 2017 thinking I’d be done by now. I was wrong. My stress level remains high and in the meantime I still have to have some cavities filled before the surgery. Even more stress to fuel the fire. I’m at the mercy of the CDA and no other options available.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Nat finally got Laura moved into her new apartment. Her deal has since closed and we’re hoping she’s settling in okay. We’re also hoping that her stress has been relieved now that she has less financial obligations to take care of.

Hubby is also relieved now that the golfing season has finally arrived – or at least the beginning. We both attended the registration for the Rangers Golf League at the Loonie Lizard in St. Catharines. His golfing buddy had called that morning and asked if we wanted to join him and his wife for a drink. We met up around 2:30, got Nat registered and sat down with Al and Armonde for some drinks, great conversation, and then ordered a really fresh out-of-the-oven delicious pizza for an early Sunday meal. Fabulous.

The following Wednesday I met with dear Sister, Michele, again, for lunch at Swiss Chalet. She’s been slowly working away at her web site – – and by the looks of things she’s doing damn good. I have to swallow my pride and admit that she has done so much more than I could have figured out. The technical side of my brain is really slowing down, to the point where I have to think twice before I do anything. This is one talent in my life I miss. We had a great lunch and she got me caught up on family news. Nat and I sound like a couple of bumps-on-a-log when it comes to family activities. However, I’m really enjoying these monthly get-togethers with just the two of us.

About the only thing we managed to achieve this month is the purchase of a new recliner chair for Nat. The one he’s using now is nearly 15 years old and has been well taken care of. Suddenly last week a spring broke from underneath and now the footrest just hangs there. I naturally suggested we go looking for a new one. After all what else were we doing?? Nat was hesitant, of course. Another one of those “We don’t need to spend that kind of money right now” moments. Other major expenses were coming up and I knew exactly what he was talking about. I said let’s just go out looking. Won’t cost us anything and we pretty much knew where to go – Lampman’s Furniture in Fonthill. Plus Nat found an ad in our local paper for Rossman’s Laz-y-Boy in Port Colborne which gave us a second choice. We were determined to buy a Laz-y-Boy this time around because of its durability and lifetime guarantee on springs and other parts.

We drove down the road to Port Colborne, checked out Rossman’s and were pleasantly surprised with the amount of inventory in what looked to be a small downtown shop. There were Laz-y-Boys lined up from front to back of the shop and we had a great choice. Nat picked out a couple he really liked and were on sale. We knew, however, we wanted to also check out Lampman’s for comparison. We told the salesman we were going to think about things, then drove down to Fonthill and had a look around. Not as much selection of recliners, but there were enough that Nat found another one he really liked. As the saleman’s back was turned I grabbed the cell phone and snapped a picture of the chair and the sales tag for the Model number. Let’s just do some proper comparison and hope Rossman’s had the same chair. Back to Port Colborne we went.

Turns out we were in luck, the chair Nat liked was there, at the same price, but not in the fabric we liked. Not really meaning to spend the money right now, we both looked at each other, I shrugged my shoulders and we had the salesman order the chair in the fabric we wanted and we were good to go. I truly believe Nat was quietly happy. He will now be able to sit in comfort in a more modern style recliner chair along with fitting into our decor. He’s happy, I’m happy. Let’s face it, some of those recliner chairs can look like they come out of some old person’s apartment – loud coloured fabric, overstuffed, huge arms and a footrest that sticks out into the middle of the room. We take delivery in about 3 weeks.

Headed to my hairdresser this past Thursday. Really want to have my hair streaked in white and was told that it will take a few trips. She also recommended a blue shampoo that will soften the dark tones, so I’m working away to see how this goes. God, she’s so good and helpful – and we have a great time.

My manicure/pedicure appointment was the next day. Going along wtih my decision to try each colour in the palette, I went for a soft, sparkly grey/blue – both hands and toes. Lovin’ the colour. Plus another great time with Ashley.

Now this week I’m determined to get off my butt and bake. I baked great scones for Nat’s tea (they’re extremely easy) and hopefully tomorrow I’ll get back to cookies. The cookie jar is nearly empty. I’m also going to try and bake a Hallah Bread which looks delicious from the recipe I have. With Spring now at our doorstep, I’m hoping to get things done and over with as they come up. I’m a huge procrastinator and I really want to break that bad habit!!!

Speaking of procrastinating, a couple of spots have re-appeared on my face. I had one removed a few years back by lazer and it looks like I’m in for another treatment. This is one procrastinating call I have to get over!!!


How Much Slower Can One Go?

Believe it or not, it’s now the end of February 2018 and I’m only now going to see the dental surgeon on the 28th. I started this whole bloody process in November of 2017 hoping to have my teeth done by Christmas. That was wishful thinking.  I’m totally frustrated, anxious and stressed out and if this whole process is not done before the end of March I’m going to scream and write to the CDA to let them know that I can get major surgery done faster than dental surgery. That’s saying a lot with the huge lack of good medical doctors in this province.

While waiting for my dental surgery, I’ve actually had to give up on my sister’s web site. Totally frustrated with my lapse of knowledge and along with new design structures for WordPress I became stressed again. Trying really hard to keep my blood pressure down for health reasons, I had to admit my technical skills have gone and my brain is devoid of any creative thinking. Damn. My brain only allows me the skills of a now official senior citizen. My crossword days are waning, my patience for needlework is waning and even keeping up my blog with wild and crazy schemes hubby and I have gotten up to are gone. I can barely think of anything exciting to post. How sad am I?

On a somewhat more mundane, but upbeat note, I managed to find the perfect cargo pants for women. With a few exceptions, I hate using a purse. I find them cumbersome, clumsy and constantly in the way of using my hands.  I wanted what the men have – cargo pants that have enough pockets for your necessities – wallet, cell phone, glasses and any smaller items you absolutely need. After searching for years, buying ones that I thought were right and experimenting with similar styles, I hit upon the Land’s End web site and couldn’t believe my eyes. The first pair I bought were so perfect, I ordered another pair in beige and am now in cargo heaven. My search is now on for cargo shorts.

I came upon Land’s End while looking to replace an Oxford Shirt I wore and loved for over 20 years. Having to toss it out was heartbreaking. I soon came across the web site, a well-known, reputeable clothing establishment. I felt secure in knowing I could trust them and their inventory of women’s Oxford Shirts was more than I could have hoped for. At first I ordered a couple of cable-knit sweaters with 3/4 sleeve I find myself wearing all the time. Then I ordered an Oxford Shirt to give it a try and I was so pleased I ordered one in every colour. I wear them daily and love them. It now appears I may be a regular customer.

The day before my birthday, my older sister with breast cancer received her results. All good, she was told. Everything went well, they managed to remove the tumour cleanly and she would only have to see the radiologist for her next step in the process. She sees the Radiologist this Monday – the day before I see the dental surgeon. It seems we’re going along together in this waiting period of the medical and dental professions. Trust me, and dear sister will agree – the waiting time is extremely frustrating and stressful. No wonder the population has high blood pressure – created by the very professions that highly recommend you keep it in check!!! Talk about irony!!!

My birthday was quiet – turning 69 should never be shouted out too loud. We had lunch at the Mandarin St. Catharines – still leary about the Niagara Fall’s restaurant from our last crummy visit. We had a nice time and spent the rest of the afternoon quietly at home. (Damn, that “quietly at home” part sounds like I passed away!!).

Shortly after my birthday, that scammy Valentine’s Day was upon us. In my teenage years it meant something, but age and cynicism took over. Loving hubby, however, still bought me some Nigh’s Chocolates. Who am I to deny such a thoughtful gift. He knows exactly how to hit me right in the heart!! We also took the excuse to have a meal at the Queen Charlotte Tea Room – an authentic and proper English restaurant – the usual fish ‘n chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Beef w/ Yorkshire Pudding, Meat Pies, Afternoon Tea, High Tea, scones, a huge variety of teas and so much more. Set in an old house in Niagara Falls, it’s warm, cozy, friendly and the homemade fries are to die for!!!!!

My hubby is off today, helping his youngest daughter to move. She’s come to the realization that her townhouse condo is too much for her to handle financially and has found a very nice apartment which will give her freedom from expenses she found too burdensome. Nat rented a U-Haul truck and along with her daughter’s boyfriend, a neighbour and son, she’ll get moved in today and will have the balance of February and March to relax until her deal closes mid-March. She was lucky to take possession of the apartment early and will have lots of time to move, clean the townhouse condo and then get settled in her new digs. For me, it’s been a quiet day to get some small things done in the office, do laundry and maybe later watch a few old sitcoms I’ve taped for such an event.

On a final note, as I tried once again to grow my hair out, it became a disaster. I became frustrated again at any hair touching my forehead resulting in itching at night that drives me to drink. A side note – itching apparently is a side-effect from the Prednisone I’m on as an anti-rejection drug. My hairdresser completely understood and we decided to take my hair style back to it’s old no-nonsense ways. As much as I try to change my appearance or improve in some small way, reality brings me back to earth.


Still Waiting, And Waiting ….

At first I truly believed that my new teeth would be done. I was naive and wrong. I’m still waiting. At first I received a call and subsequent email advising Nat and myself of the enormous cost that would soon befall us. General Motors was not going to cover as much as we had hoped, and the uncovered balance was going to break the bank – literally.

Suddenly, today, while Nat is out I received another phone call from the Dental Office and was informed that the Oral Surgeon had finally reviewed my file and that I was going to now have two options. Oh great – more bloody waiting time. The first option:- I would have the entire procedure done all at once in a Toronto Hospital – The second option:- I could have the bottom cavities repaired right away, then have the dentures made and have the upper teeth removed in a hospital setting. Apparently the Oral Surgeon is apprehensive about one or two of my anti-rejection drugs and would prefer to do the procedure where more services would be available immediately.

I advised the dental secretary to make the appointment with the Oral Surgeon where Nat and I could discuss all of the above and then advise of our decision. I’m sure it will be the second option. We both have no desire of travelling to Toronto. So now I wait some more.

As January has been passing us by, neither one have been busy. We’ve done the usual chores and errands, etc. and I’ve been helping dear sister, Michele, design a possible web site for her Administrative Virtual Assistant business. I truly believed it would be easy, but I was soon awakened by new WordPress settings, how-to’s, and other changes that are now a bit more restrictive than what I’ve been used to in the past. I suppose corporate headquarters is looking to make a bit more money, and I can’t blame them. There are a lot of web-hosting sites out there and the competition must be tough. I, however, believe that WordPress (and Square Space) are the best out there, except that Square Space is even more expensive.

After long hours in the evening and while Nat has been out of the house, I sat behind my computer screen and customized, customized, customized until the cows came home. Michele is looking for a theme with columns and everyone we picked out had to be customized to create those columns. The one exemption I discovered is any Free themes seem to be uncustomisable to achieve such columns. Nowhere, nohow can I find the settings or descriptions found in online set-ups regarding the very exact theme I’m working on. I’ve now been through at least 5 themes, all to no success. I finally had to admit defeat to my dear sister today, and told her I gave up. I’d do anything to help her with her web site but we’re going to have to re-think the set-up where I won’t have to blow my brains out trying to get her up and going. We do, at least, have a site up with some tagging to (hopefully) get some views and possible customers.

On the good news side, my older sister, Gail, has successfully had a cancerous tumor removed mid-January. She’s still waiting for her radiation schedule, but at least she’s been informed the surgeon managed to get everything and there were no more signs of the tumor. Bless Gail, she appears to be thinking  positively and I’m sure after radiation this will be the last of it. Our family has beaten so many odds before, there’s no doubt in my mind we can keep doing it.

And So It Begins – 2018

The saying “Never a Dull Moment” does not apply to hubby and me so far for 2018. The New Year came and went as fast as I could get to sleep. Nat stays up longer in order to shorten his waking hours in bed and I’m curled deep down underneath the duvet by 11:00 PM at the latest. Without any broohaha, it’s 8:30 am January 1st, 2018 and another usual day begins.

The whole Christmas week was extremely quiet for our family. The usual Christmas Eve visit to Laura’s and then on to a get-together with my side of the family later that evening. Christmas morning, as usual, we’re off to Susan’s to a visit with them. This year, however, we bought a small turkey and decided to have our holiday meal on Boxing Day without any fuss or bother. Just the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy w/ corn. A normal meal for us, except with a bit more expensive meat – Turkey instead of Chicken!

We enjoyed the quietness that the early days of January bought us. For Nat’s 79th birthday we went to Johnny Rocco’s Italian Restaurant in St. Catharines. The stormy weather had eased up just enough that we had clear roads but with mounds of snow all around. Our meals were good, albeit they don’t serve Lasagna anymore. A great disappointment for me, as I was looking forward to it. I remembered it was delicious the last time we ate at this restaurant, but since then the menu has been changed. So, it was pasta and meatballs which I couldn’t begin to finish. Another take-home leftovers, along with the balance of Nat’s pizza which was not the usual kind he was used to eating. A bit more authentic Italian.

Nat’s appointment with his Doctor the next day was more enlightning. A bit more has been discovered since his last appointment and naturally, a change in medication and a change for the better for Nat. His stomach isn’t giving him as much trouble now, and long may that last.

We’ve also received some personal calls from Laura. She’s finally decided to sell her townhouse condominium. The condo fees have risen to the point where it is no longer financially feasible for her and an apartment is looking a lot cheaper and easier to run. After some talks with her Dad, she’s now listed her place and is now on the look-out for a reasonably priced 2-bedroom somewhere around the Niagara Falls area, if possible. I’m so glad she’s at least personally talking to her Dad, as opposed to the constant emails from the past. Of course, her Dad will have to co-sign all documents, being a joint tenant and he’ll be able to help his daughter as she meanders her ways in and out of a sale and rental transaction. I know things will work out for the best and she’ll realize a huge load has been lifted from her shoulders once she’s settled into any new digs.

As for moi – no word from the Dentist or Oral Surgeon as yet. My last appointment I was told the dentures would be made next and I would have a chance to check them out. The financial end of things will also be calculated so as to see who pays what. God, I’m hoping our health insurance will do right by us. This is going to be another huge burden on us financially, as we’re just now getting the kitchen paid for, and another big bill creeps up. Somehow, like everyone else, you just can’t get ahead enough to keep the hounds at bay. Hubby keeps telling me, I’m worth every penny and it’s a no brainer, since it’s my smile but my mother’s inherited guilt keeps floating through my heart and soul. God Bless Mom – she’s left a few personal things behind!!

Here’s to 2018 – And Hopefully A New Me

The days of December 2017 have been passing us by; slowly at first, but then all of a sudden, it’s a week before Christmas. With literally no Christmas shopping to do Nat and I have been spending the wintery days and nights quietly. I will admit, it’s been very stress free (to a certain extent) but I also miss some of the shopping. Ideas for some people literally swirl around in my brain, but I digress, no one in the family wants us to buy for them. More money for us, I guess.

Our minds have naturally been elsewhere, but slowly certain questions are getting answered and we’re beginning to settle down to the reality that may soon befall me. Nat and I are both anxious about this whole matter and we both know what each other is thinking as the days go by. Once Christmas is over, hopefully we’ll be closer to a resolution and an end to the whole affair.

I had another great lunch with Michele, again. This time we got so involved, we sat at our table for almost 2 hours. We had a lot of catching up to do and some personal issues to go over. She always makes me feel so much better about myself and I truly hope she finds what she’s looking for in her future job prospects. So far, she seems to be on the right path and I wish her every success. I’m hoping this will become a monthly thing. It’s a great way for the two of us to get out and just have a good ‘ole gab fest. It’s very cathartic.

Our great little village has now had its fair share of snowfall. Large flakes that resemble Ivory Snow (a detergent from the 1950’s that was flaky and soft) have fallen practically everyday. I can sit in my comfy chair and look out the front window watching the snow slowly fall, resembling a picture postcard. Peaceful, calm and heartwarming.

Our Christmas this year will certainly be a very quiet one. As usual, we’ll see Laura and her family Christmas Eve and then Christmas morning we’ll go to Susan’s place and see what her family all received from Santa.  We bought a small turkey ourselves and will probably cook it up when we return home from Susan’s. This will be a new experience for us and I admit I am kind of looking forward to it. Christmas this year has somehow become very personal to the two of us.

To anyone who may read this, Merry Christmas and all the best of 2018. Be good and enjoy.

The Last 16th And Honouring The Dead

As families go, mine is pretty damned great. There are just enough of us to gather around a good-sized dinner table, have small group conversations, have one large discussion, talk over each other or eat our meal in complete silence (nah, that has never happened!!). The same scenario goes whenever we get together for a birthday and so it was we gathered to celebrate the last person in our family to turn Sweet 16.

My niece, Zoe, has grown before our eyes and turned into a beautiful, talented and clever young lady. You just might say she’s going to be a renaissance woman. Her artistic talents became very apparent during her early years. A bit of Andy Warhol, Piet Mondrian or Amedeo Modigliani, along with a great sense of style, humour and intelligence. I managed to buy an early piece on canvas named “Owl” which hangs proudly in our office where we can see it on a daily basis.

Now in High School her talents are still expanding above and beyond. With her fabulous grades she’ll be able to name her career whenever she’s ready. I truly hope she finds what she’s looking for. Her 16th birthday was just as eventful and fun as her family is. Zoe and her family are in constant contact with another Aunt and cousins and we sit and listen to their hijinks, travels and tribulations whenever we are together. They really make Nat and myself look and sound like a couple of old fogies – and I suppose that’s what we’re getting to be. At times jealousy rears its ugly head but I know in my heart you make the bed you lie in. We do, however, always have a great time and good laughs.

Another family moment arose when The Welland Canal Fallen Workers’ Memorial was announced. The unveiling ceremony was held on November 12th, the day after November 11th, which was somehow very befitting. A large tent was set up along the Welland Canal Parkway at Lock 3. The turnout was more than expected and despite the slow chill that eventually set in to everyones’ body, the ceremony was lovely and well done. As my maternal Grandfather and his only son (an uncle) were both among the 137 that died while helping to construct the canal and its bridges, the entire familly turned out, including dear brother who travelled down from Sudbury.

We sat amongst other family members of fallen workers, along with a large gathering of interested spectators and a few historians and listened to speeches and stories that brought you back to an historical time in our local history and we all came away looking at the great expanse of The Welland Canal in a completely different light.

The Memorial itself is a pair of canal Lock doors partially opened with each of the names of Fallen workers inscribed in the black granite. After the ceremony the Memorial was flooded with families and guests and our family came to the conclusion that we can return on a quieter day to take pictures and appreciate the memorial in a more peaceful setting.

Claudia had invited the whole gang back to her place for Beef on a Bun, Shredded Pork and salads after the ceremony. As our brother was down from the Sudbury area, and as we rarely get a chance to see him, it was a real delight to sit around the kitchn table and get caught up on family news. The reality has now come down to discussions of medications, aches and pains, along with what we can and cannot do any more. Our childhood memories of the older adults in the family having the same discussions has now come full circle.

Two days after, it was my personal time to face some pretty ugly consequences. After a quiet, long and honest discussion, Nat and I concluded that it was time for me to take care of what has bothered me for years. He was fully supportive and will be by my side at every step. My first appointment was on the 14th. It went well, but we still have to wait and see what the next several months will bring. I’ll try and post as much as I can personally handle.

With a few errands to run in the days following, Nat and I quietly went about our business. We both got our requisite flu shots and then headed into St. Catharines with our To Do list.

Nat has had no luck getting his Nikkon camera to charge, so we dropped by Henry’s Camera Shop where it was concluded that the camera was, in fact, already charged and that he may have had trouble with the connection showing the proper results. With red faces and hands covering our embarrassment, we got the hell out of there. Duh!!!!

We grabbed some lunch at our favourite haunts – Wendy’s and Tim Horton’s – before we drove to the other side of the City for Costco’s. We stocked up on the usual, found a couple of new items and paid what felt like a massive hydro bill. At least this bill will hold us over for severeal months!!

The rest of November and December are going to be quiet with only a few appointments. No shopping for Christmas this year and we’ll give the usual amount of money to each grandchild whenever we get together over the holidays. All four grandchildren are now adults, completing their education, working nine to five or travelling. I feel for their parents in how they’re going to try and get everyones’ schedules in sync. Nat and I will just sit back and wait for when to show up. This year we may also just do our own thing and quietly let Christmas pass us by.

Just in case I don’t post between now and 2018 – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Feeling Great, Then The Bottom Falls Out

The days following our Stratford Trip were good. My body was co-operating and not acting up in any mind-blowing way. The legs were steady. The mind was clear and calm. I continued feeling the love for a few weeks and it was wonderful. Could not believe my luck.

We were invited to Claudia’s for Thanksgiving dinner. No one in the family could rattle my chains, I was feeling that great. The entire afternoon was filled with catching up on family affairs, a lot of laughter and joking around. My nephew, Zach, has a very quick-witted, clever sense of humour and he was in top shape, as usual. The dinner was fabulous, albeit a tad late, but enjoyed by everyone. There’s always a game or two between courses and this time was no exception. A crossword puzzle that had everyone stumped, including myself (a half-decent crossword player). One of the desserts was Claudia’s usual chocolate cake and I confess to sneaking a couple of pieces to take home for my enjoyment over the rest of the holiday weekend.

The following weekend Nat’s golf group, The Rangers Golf Club, had its’ annual banquet and dance. This year they were having a live band (a trio – 2 guitarists and a drummer) which we were looking forward to. Over the last several years a DJ was hired and the banquet became a little quieter than usual. The meal was great – the usual salad course, pasta course, chicken course and dessert. The band was really rockin’ and the ladies confirmed it by their constant dancing with or without a male partner. I was envious I couldn’t join them (a bit about that later). Nat and I did manage to get in one slow dance, as we do every year. Nat, however, didn’t wear his best shoes and opted for comfort. His feet didn’t exactly glide around the floor as the soles of his loafers were the non-skid kind. We managed at least to “step” through our one soiree. All-in-all we really had a great time and the turn out of golfers was exceptional this year.

My dancing days were limited as I somehow woke up one morning after Thanksgiving and couldn’t straighten up. Tremendous pain was emanating from my right hip. I couldn’t stand straight, was hunched over almost touching my toes. I hobbled around as best I could during the day but the more I walked around the more painful my hip became.

Nat and I soon surmised I had a pinched nerve. I have had this before but not to this severity. Research indicated that rest would ease the pain and, it began to ease up enough during the week that I was at least able to attend the Rangers’ Banquet. Sunday morning after the Banquet was spent quietly with Nat enjoying the peace and quiet. That was soon followed by another painful twitch Monday afternoon. As I went to take a wee, I arose from the throne to more agonizing pain in the same area. For some ungodly reason, I pinched that bloody nerve again. I only took a wee!!!! So today (Tuesday) I’m back to where I was after Thanksgiving. I have a couple of appointments this week and I’ll have to really take care not to do anything stupid between then and now or I’ll be hobbling around places looking like an old lady walking around looking for loose change on the ground. God forbid!!!!