My Final Say for 2011

2011 is on it’s last legs. Not a bad, bad year per se, but we had our ups and downs. We at least managed to get our new deck built and hopefully in 2012 we’ll get some of our windows replaced. The living room transom window is dripping like a fountain – the seal is broken – and the office window certainly needs changing too. Dampness has been a dirty word in this household and we’d really like to replace all of the windows, but will have to do so in instalments.

We also finally received and got hooked-up the new Airport Express. So far we’re not having any trouble getting the internet, but just our dumb luck, the Apple TV is now lighting up every once in awhile. A white light will come on and stay for about 10 seconds and then turn off and not necessarily in any time pattern. I’ve put it into sleep mode, I’ve checked and rechecked the settings and I’ve downloaded the latest update. Now I’m in the throws of more online research to see what the heck is going on. Technology really does make your life a lot easier, but jeez Louise, it can be a living hell whenever it acts up. As much as I love Apple products, there are times when I think Steve Jobs felt there were only geeks wandering this planet!

As Nat and I wanted to see our best friends before the end of the year, we took a drive into St. Catharines on Friday. We decided to make a good day of it, so on our way we stopped in Niagara Falls at The Mandarin for a nice lunch. We then continued on our way into St. Catharines, loaded up on Kaisers at our favourite bakery, and then drove over to Floris and Cecil’s for a really nice visit, got caught up on some news and enjoyed tea and biscuits before heading back home.

New Year’s Eve day saw the two of us getting ready for the rest of the week as usual. With groceries and other errands done in the morning, we then returned home, had a bite to eat and then started a little light house cleaning and completed a couple loads of laundry. The kids will be coming over tomorrow just before noon, so I wanted to get one day ahead. As I was on the last stages of my jigsaw puzzle I sat in the dining room afterward trying to get it completed so I could free up the table for Sunday lunch. It wasn’t long after Nat finished watching a football (soccer) game on telly, when he stuck his head through the door and asked if it was finished yet. “Almost”, I replied, “but with your help it’ll go a lot quicker”. So he joined in and by 3:30 pm we had finished. “Have one last long look, dear”, he said, “it’s gotta get torn up soon!” After our supper I broke up the pieces and popped them in the little ziploc bag. I’ll keep it until I get a chance to send it on to Jenny. Being the City of Calgary, Alberta, I think she’ll get a kick out of it.

The 2nd of January Nat will celebrate another birth year – very, very much to his chagrin. With Susan, Tom, Laura and the grandkids coming over tomorrow we’ll have a small lunch of cold cuts, roasted chicken pieces, salads and potato chips before Nat opens up his gifts. I found him a gorgeous blue sweater at Gary Water’s Store when shopping with Bonnie and I know he’ll love it. He loves the clothing at Gary Water’s but feels it may be a bit too “high end” for him. Personally, I think it’s not. He’s a “high end” kind of guy and looks fabulous in the sweaters I’ve bought in the past.

We’re looking forward to Sunday and seeing the kids, as we don’t see them that often anymore. So we’ll enjoy the first day of 2012 with family and hope the good times continue throughout the year.

Happy New Year to everyone and hope 2012 is successful for all.

Yes, We’re Still Here

Neither one of us can believe how idle we’ve become these past few weeks. The odd day or so we’ll drive down the road on a couple of errands. It’s usually WalMart for some doodad (much to my chagrin) or Canadian Tire or for groceries. The other odd days I’ve been doing Christmas baking, and I’m really on a roll in this department. As my hip hasn’t been bothering me since our return from Britain, I’m taking advantage of how good I’m feeling and heading down the road like a steam-roller.

For excitement, Nat and I have been watching the PVC guys come by now and again to do their markings for utilities, etc. all along Dominion Road. Apparently we’ll be getting house number poles for the emergency response people. These poles will be lined up in the front of each home that have the individual house numbers on them. Nat and I have seen them mostly in rural areas where it’s completely impossible to read house numbers in the dark. This way the emergency response folks can find any particular house without any hassles, as the numbers are on blue background and are visible at night. It’s a good thing and no complaints from our perspective – except for one more thing Nat has to mow around in the summer!

For excitement I’ve also decided to rework some of our pictures in the bedroom, dining room and office. Every now and again I have this need to re-organize something, and this time it’s pictures. Nat and I were very pleased with some of the photos we took on our trip to Britain, so we had some enlarged and framed and I’ve been hanging them up in groupings. The dining room is now done and I’m now trying to figure out the bedroom. Being the impatient one that I am, I managed to take some of the paint away on one bedroom wall while taking down the old pictures I wanted to replace. As careful as I think I’m being, I never manage to do a good job, but Nat’s assures me we can fix the two little patches and we’ll be good to go. Naturally, the new picture arrangement I want to hang won’t cover those two little spots. Figures!!

The Christmas cards are also done, thanks to a pair of idle hands. It’s nice to get them done early, especially the international ones. As we won’t really be celebrating Christmas ourselves, we won’t be putting up a tree. We did plan, however, to at least decorate the fireplace mantel and a table or two. At least now we’ll look as if we’re in the Christmas spirit. In the past few years Nat and I have bought one larger item and have called that our Christmas gift to each other. It’s usually something for the house that we can both use – one year it was a big screen TV (which has since been replaced due to a blown tube) and last year it was the Apple TV which we both enjoy watching movies via the internet and iTunes. This year Nat’s found a golf club he likes and is now asking what I’d like to get. To be honest I have no “blinking” idea. I’ve searched the cobwebs of my brain, rattled and browsed a few weekend flyers and even spent a couple hours on, but to no avail. I know I want lots of things, like more clothes, shoes, handbags, the latest and greatest Apple product, etc. but let’s face it – when in hell am I going to wear or use it all!!

In an effort to solve our Christmas gift problems we wandered into St. Catharines this afternoon. Nat decided to hit Golf Town and see if he could tryout that new driver he’s been looking at. His success was kind of a failure, as he had bad luck getting distance from this new club. With some disappointment showing in his face, and after talking to the sales person, we left the store empty-handed. He’s now leaning towards maybe getting some refresher lessons and maybe work out a few kinks and bad habits he’s developed over the past couple of years. We then headed over to Best Buy to look at printers. Another disappointment, I’m afraid, as this big box store didn’t sell what I was looking for – the Epson series which I really love. So we picked up a Christmas gift for someone on our list and headed for home. On the way, we stopped in at Future Shop and as it happens found what I was looking for, only a newer model. Not knowing whether I’ll use the little extra doodads on this newer model, we again walked out of the store empty-handed. I’ll do some research online and see what I can come up with – if I do end up actually deciding on a new printer. It’s starting to look like another bit of a disappointing Christmas. Much like last year, things aren’t going exactly the way I wish they would, but then I’m getting older now and have to face a personal and financial reality. I suppose I can always ask Nat to just give me a few dozen chocolates from Nigh’s and I can drown my sorrows in wonderful dark chocolate with creamy centres!!

I’m Only Selling ‘Cause I Want Something Else

Now that the new iMac is pretty much up and running and I’ve loaded on the programs I needed from the Mac Mini, there’s no excuse to keep a third computer in the house. The new iMac, the Mac Mini and that grand old HP Laptop running Windows XP are too many to justify, so I’ve decided to sell the Mac Mini much to my chagrin. For several days I was unsure and questioned myself as to whether everything on the Mini that I was going to need had, in fact, been transferred, before I wiped the hard drive clean. As luck would have it, my Quicken program transferred over beautifully and is up and running as if it came pre-installed. Our photo and music folders also transferred over and were up and running without too many hitches – just a little re-organization in iPhoto and we were good to go.

So with some hesitation I composed an ad for Kijiji to sell the Mac Mini, the Dell Computer Monitor, external Speakers, instal Discs and more. While Nat was out golfing on May 1st I took the time and re-installed the Tiger operating system and wiped the hard drive clean. It was slick and it was easy but just a little time consuming to run the full instal and once over I could package everything up and post my ad. For some reason I continued to hesitate to pack everything up. While working on the new iMac, I’d look over to my right every so often where the Monitor and Mini were sitting, all plugged in and ready to go, if wanted, and ask myself “Is this what I really want?”. “Yes”, I told myself, “the money it brings in will contribute to that new little LCD TV and wall mount you want for the bedroom”. I’d have to give up one to get the other. So the deed was done today. The ad has been posted and now we wait. Hopefully we can sell it to someone who will love the little thing as much as I did. My first introduction into the world of all things Apple and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way things worked out. That little Mini worked it’s heart and soul out as I downloaded movies, music, burned CDs, surfed the Web, crafted birthday, Christmas and other cards in my Print Shop program, along with anything else I could think to throw at it. Over the past few months you could hear it’s little CD ROM drive struggling a big, but it still chugged away as best it could.

While composing the ad for Kijiji, Nat was back in the garden digging the perimeter of the lawn to make his mowing job easier. He’s also very close to getting that new shed. It’s now just a matter of finding out when Costco is going to get some more in or whether he gives that idea up and reverts back to his original choice at Hone Hardware. Another waiting game, but he’s that much closer than he’s been in months!!

Nat and I also headed down to Fort Erie this morning. Our old paper shredder finally bit the dust and we wanted to replace the same. We also wanted a few other supplies, so we took the time out and got our errands done before lunch. All that rain last night made the lawn soggy and Nat wanted to give it time to dry out before his digging expedition began. As for me, I suppose there are literally no excuses left – I’ll have to get back to transferring what’s left of those old tape cassettes and maybe then I can clean up the office and get it back to normal. Yeah, yeah, at least I’m thinking about it!!!