I’ve Quit Cheating

After my eye surgery I slowly became frustrated that I had to use glasses to read. Everything from recipes, labels, computer screen, iPad screen, etc. Not wanting to pay a great amount of money I purchased some binocular-style eye glasses. I soon realized the Optometrist community calls them “Cheaters”. These glasses worked really well and I had purchased as many as I needed – one pair for the: kitchen, office, TV side chair, night stand and my purse. I figured I wouldn’t have to search around the house to find a pair whenever I needed them. The scheme worked for quite some time, but each pair of Cheaters was different in style and intensity. (I just picked up a pair wherever and if they worked, they worked).

With time I soon began to wonder if I should actually upgrade my old prescription and get a proper pair of reading glasses. I was soon reminded by the mailman when she dropped an appointment check-up in the mailbox. The card sat on the office desk for a week or two, as I tried to justify any extra expense we may incur. With Nat’s nagging, I soon picked up the phone and made the appointment.

When I admitted to my Optometrist what I was using, he didn’t really chastize me and he certainly understood the expense. Turns out the price wasn’t so bad, as our health insurance would cover all but $40.00 and I was getting a bifocal upgrade where I’d have a wider area of view, with a good computer screen portion. I’ll see in a day or two when they arrive how better my daily life will be without putting glasses on-and-off, on-and-off, on-and-off. A frustrating routine to say the least. AND No, I’m not ready for that fancy little chain that hangs around my neck. It will be like wearing a necklace which I can no longer do because of my sensitive skin. Another frustrating scenario.

I had another appointment with the old law firm I worked for. One of the secretaries had called to have me sign an “Affidavit of Execution”. I was a witness to a Will back in 1982 and would I come in for 5 minutes to sign the affidavit. Nat and I also had a couple of other errands in the big City that day.

As I walked in the door, I recognized the Receptionist, but any other secretary or lawyer walking through the lounge were complete strangers. I was suppose to meet a secretary, but her boss came into the lounge to greet me and turned out it was one of the lawyers I had known and, in fact, a son of the founding father of that firm. I remembered him as a a pull no punchesvery conservative, old school kind of man and I only got along with him because I absolutely adored his father, and his father liked me (he had told my boss one day who past it along). I had also done some secretarial work whenever his secretary was on holiday and he made it a point to tell me what good work I did.

As we sat in the small “signing office” the first thing out of his mouth was “how could your boss allow a Codicial to a Will be signed and witnessed out of the office and with two strangers as witnesses? I politely replied my long term memory has faded from my brain after my transplant (a bit of a fib – it’s actually my short-term memory). I signed what I had to and tried to leave the office, when another secretary I knew and liked, asked me to stay a bit longer, as her boss also had a Will that I had witnessed. She was going to call me in a week or so, but since I was already there – why not? So Nat and I waited as the Affidavit of Execution was being drawn up and printed out.

Thinking I’d see the secretary to sign, I was completely surprised when her boss came out and was immediately up to his old tricks of trying to “get my goat”. I’ve known this lawyer from the first day he started at the firm and we’ve always gotten along famously. He was one of a few lawyers in the firm I could actually say “go to hell” to. We were verbal jousters and enjoyed the challenge. We reminisced for a minute or two, I signed where required, and he asked me if I’d return. “Honestly?“, I asked. As he shook his head I told him I now had a bit of a sour taste in my mouth from how my sister was treated. He understood and with a big grin on my face, I told him of my wedded bliss in a small village with peace, quiet and tranquility. We hugged each other and with that I departed.

Nat and I were then on our way to Costco for our regular trip of groceries and once we arrived, we had no idea how busy this place would be late afternoon on Tuesdays. We bobbed and weaved our way through hordes of customers, got what we needed and then got the hell out of there. We’re at that stage in our lives where too many people in one place can no longer be tolerated. We’ve been spoiled by our peaceful little corner of the world.

This past week my last parcel from Land’s End arrived. For years, I’ve been searching to replace my favourite all-around short-sleeved Oxford Shirt. I’ve never shopped at Land’s End before because of their limited sizes. So when I was googling for “Oxford Shirts” and landsend.com showed up, I gave them a look-see. They had finally up-dated their sizes and what to my surprise they had the exact Oxford Shirts I had been looking for. I ordered one to try it out – perfect. I ordered two more in different colours – more perfection. What the hell, I then ordered the balance of colours and now have one shirt for every short or pair of pants I own. I also have a reserve shirt for my day-to-day housework. It’s going to be my workaholic top. Just to be totally anal about the whole thing, I went to WalMart and purchased a wooden hanger for every article of clothing in my wardrobe and that of Nat’s. We’re both pleased now that our clothes hang in an orderly fashion and not igglety, pigglety in our closet.

I must add that the month of September has been really great physically and emotionally. Long may it continue!!

I Can See Clearly Now

Finally, I had the second cataract surgery done on my right eye. After being delayed I became a little anxious, as by now, I wanted it over with.

Knowing what to expect this time, my anxiety was a little lower except for the fact that the surgery was put forward to 8:00 AM with an arrival time of 6:00 AM.  I love my sleep and it was sheer torture for me to get up at 5:00 AM, get dressed and be out the door by 5:30 for the drive to Welland General Hospital.

Entering the hospital my groggy eyes finally fully opened and as Nat wandered down to the reception area, I proceeded to get checked in. The two gowns, the ooey, gooey gel, answer same old questions as before and have the IV put in. This nurse had a problem trying to get the IV in, so she left a note for the Anaesthetist (thank God as he was perfect).

This time I was the first patient. Thankfully I would be done in time for Nat and I to get home, have a bite to eat and manage to get one or two things done around the house before returning to the hospital again to have the patch removed.

My relief was self-evident once arriving home. I was now doctor-free for the rest of the year, except for an annual check-up in June. I treasure my freedom from the medical community and despite the fact it’s only April, the year so far has seemed long and stressful. Nat had one chest scare in January, all of the pre-op appointments for the cataract surgeries in January and February, my first cataract surgery and Nat’s second chest scare in March, a major side ache and pains experienced by me the first of April, an ultrasound test, an appointment with my Nephrologist and then finally the second cataract surgery. For us, those were busy times.

Getting the great ultrasound results was a huge relief. My kidney, liver, pancreas, etc. were all scanned and are in excellent shape. After explaining the whole scenario to my General Physician and then my Nephrologist, it was suggested that it might just have been a big ‘ole gas bubble!! Only I would have a gas bubble that big and painful.

In between visits with the medical community, our lives have been relatively quiet. Nat has finally had the joy of using the new riding lawn mower purchased from our neighbours before they moved to Kitchener. He admits it does a nice job and cuts his mowing time in half. I’m glad he likes it and hope it really helps when the heat and humidity are upon us. Too bad we couldn’t devise some sort of shade/umbrella for over his head to protect it from those hot rays of sunshine.

I also had a chance to say my goodbyes to the staff at the TanJay/Alia Shop at Niagara Square before they closed their doors forever. The convenient location of this shop, its friendliness and inventory made it nice to wander around on those days I needed some “alone time”. A few days later, Nat and I took a trip to the Canada Outlet Mall to check out their TanJay/Alia store. The Niagara Square store gave me a couple of coupons, so it goes without saying I found several items I couldn’t live without. To enjoy a little more of the gorgeous day, we walked further down the Mall to say hello to our grandson, Lucas, at the Nike Store. He’s finished his first year at Niagara College and is continuing his job for the summer. For the first time in eons, we had a great one-on-one talke and found our once shy grandson to now be more outgoing. We left our growing potential basketball player to get on with the job at hand and said we’d see him again.

It’s now been the second day since surgery and my right eye is coming along great. I’ve noticed, however, that I’m having trouble reading my Twitter feed on the iPad, along with other close-up writings. I tried using Nat’s reading glasses and they’ve helped, so it looks like I may be making a visit back to our eye doctor for a new assessment of my eyes after the surgery. I have that sinking feeling reading glasses are going to be in my future. After the first eye was done, everything was so clear I was beginning to hope that reading glasses wouldn’t be necessary. I’ll hang on until I see my eye surgeon this week and see what he has to say. It’s very frustrating not to be able to read but at least on the iPad I can stretch out the screen making the words larger.

It looks like the month of May is going to be a quiet one. I’m hoping I can get back to some baking. I’m also looking forward to going to the Dunlop Community Centre to the Art Show they’re having on the 6th. Sisters, Gail and Bonnie, along with the other artists, will be showing their works and this will be the first time Nat and I have had a chance to see everything they’ve been up to. Maybe I can get lucky and find something to hang on our walls??

Here’s hoping for a peaceful, quiet summer – no doctors, no Ambulances, no ERs. Just give me the patio, a big ‘ole easy lounger and my iPad and I’ll be ecstatic.

Cataract Surgery – Seeing Is Believing

Thursday morning:- Finally the day arrived for my cataract surgery. My appointment was for 9:40 AM and I was to arrive 2 hours prior to that. I endured the routine of eye drops 3 times a day prior to surgery and went to bed early in order to rise up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 AM the day of.

We arrived at Welland Hospital in plenty of time, checked in and my name was soon called by a nurse for prep. She took my blood pressure (understood), asked again about my medical history (a little too much, in my opinion, but I understood some things), confirmed which eye was being done, applied the typical hospital wrist band (being tagged in case of escape) and (although forewarned) she applied some gel to my left eye. This was awful. It was gooey, sticky and felt like my eye was full of JELLO but I couldn’t remove it. Then, to my greatest surprise and while my eye is gelled closedshe handed me a blue pen and asked me to initial my left hand. Having never heard of this I was now full of smart-ass remarks. Along with the wrist tag and the initials on my arm, where in hell could I possibly go!!! I was a marked woman. My giggles were being suppressed – this was a bit overkill in confirming which eye (I assumed this is what the initials were for). Being left-handed it was a bit wonky using my right hand, but I got it done.

She then began to put in the shunt for the anesthetist and having extremely thin skin, this broad was starting to get on my nerves. It really takes a good surgical nurse to put shunts in my hand, and this one needed a few more days of training. She finally managed after hearing a few little yelps from me. She didn’t even have an “I’m sorry”, but just “I’m almost there”.

I was then advised to return to the waiting room, keep my eyes closed for about 10 minutes and wait to be called for my time. As I joined the others I wanted to laugh out loud – there sat a room full of mostly senior women, along with 1 man, all dressed in two blue hospital gowns (one going front to back and the second going back to front), blue hair nets, blue jeans, holding their personal blue medical binders, wrist bracelets, heads down and eyes closed. I claimed my chair in what I felt was now some sort of Twilight Zone, and joined the rest of the schmucks about to hopefully have better sight. God, this had better be worth this humiliation.

As Nat was still sitting with me and the room was filling up with one-eyed blue people, he left for the main lobby where he could sit, play  his music and wait for me to return to the recovery room. Within a half hour my name was finally called and I was soon wheelchair bound down the hall to the surgical room.

The nurse faced me towards the end of the hall, and to the left was a male patient waiting to be taken in for his surgery. They had covered me in blankets around my shoulders, along my legs and even placed a warm blanket for my lap. It really wasn’t that cold folks!! As I was sitting there, I could hear the voice of another patient I had struck up a conversation with coming from behind me. She was having her surgery done by another Opthomologist and was now waiting in line, like moi, but for the life of me I couldn’t turn around and wish her luck – I was being smothered in blankets and an oxygen tank behind me. If I cranked my neck anymore I’d be wheeled to a whole other department for a neck injury!!

Suddenly the gentleman in front of me was wheeled into the surgical room. Not long after they closed the door, I heard strange noises emenating from the room – a little whirling, a little light show and even a voice once or twice. What in hell was I in for!!! If I was quick I could toss the blankets and make a run for it – but alas, remembering I was a marked woman I wouldn’t get far.

Within 10 minutes the surgical door swung open and this gentleman was wheeled out none the worse for wear except wearing his plastic eye patch taped across his left eye. He had to wait to be wheeled back to the recovery room by a nurse. I soon had the anesthetist introduce himself, check my blue medical binder and tell me it would only be a couple of minutes now. I sat and watched parts of the room as they cleaned things up, put things back in order and donned new masked. I also had Dr. Phirbai come out and take a look at my eye.

As I could walk, in I went looking all around and getting a good look at everything around me. I was told to hop up on this flat surgical table with a little head rest at one end. As I lay there, now covered in that warm blanket, another anesthetist prepped things and I was soon looking down the front of a medium-sized round spongy thing with a tube puffing oxygen right into my face. Okay, that feels kind of weird, but I knew what it was there for. I was then looking straight up into Dr. Phirbai’s face as he strapped my head down with a piece of tape to the table. No escaping chance now – I was taped in!!

I soon knew what the gel was for and really didn’t feel like any anesthetic was being used, but I was relaxed and some clear plastic was placed over my eye and I was instructed to watch the little balls. The time was nigh – it was being done.

For the next 10 minutes (or whatever) I enjoyed a psychedelic light show in my left eye. The little white balls moved around, a couple went hither, one went yon. Then there were some circles of dark light that became background images, along with a few other array of images and colours. Within a second or two I felt a little pressure on my eye, and then my head was being released from the tape and I was told I was done. A little tipsy getting down from that bloody high surgical table, I returned to the wheelchair and away I was whisked to the recovery room, with eye patch in place and ready to greet my loving husband.

When I arrived in the recovery room, the usual vitals were taken to be sure I still had a pulse and they soon handed me a small cup of apple juice and the world’s smallest muffin. As Nat soon found where I was it was within a few minutes I was released and allowed to go home. Now close to lunch time I was a marked hungry woman. Give me food, dear.

When we arrived home the first thing that was removed was the wrist band and the initials, leaving me with a white face cloth now coloured blue. We made lunch, sat for an hour and then had to return to Welland General for 3:30 PM to have the Doc remove the eye patch and make sure everything went well. Walking down the hall to the Doc’s office we were greeted with a line-up of chairs holding patients with the same thing in mind – see the Doc and having their patches removed. God, there must have been about 25 or more. We found a seat, soon struck up a great conversation with another couple from Port Colborne and had a great laugh. The husband also worked at GM so he and Nat did a bit of reminiscing. I was lucky in that I was the third person to be called once Dr. Phirbai arrived (apparently, he’s notorious for being late). I was only in for a minute, as he removed my patch, looked through his eye machine and gave me the all clear. I was now homeward bound to continue that tedious task of eye drops, ointment, more eye drops and wearing that patch at night. After all of the sights and sounds I saw and heard, I guess I can at least handle an eye drop or two.

Whoever said cataract surgery was easy, doesn’t live in my body and have a right hand that looks like someone put it through a wringer-washing machine (only the old folks will know what that is). I’m still a marked woman for a t least a couple more weeks  Ah, but I Can See Clearly Now.

Bad Luck Comes In 3’s -Please!! Let It End There.

These whole crappy bad luck days began this past Friday. Nat decided he wanted to change cell phone carriers. His Roger’s yearly plan was charging him by the dollar amount and not by the minute – ergo he was losing money from his account faster than he was using it. He found that Telus has a yearly plan that went by the minute and it made more sense to change over now when his Roger’s plan was down to $8.00.

An added note:- In October of 2016 Nat updated his old Nokia unlocked phone to a new SKY unlocked phone from Staples. After checking them out at the store, we ordered one online a few days later.

Friday afternoon, we decided to go to Telus to sign up as the Roger’s plan was now down to $8.00 and wouldn’t be renewed until June of this year. We’d be out of minutes long before that and it was going to cost us extra. We drove to Niagara Square, found the Telus Store, signed up for their new yearly plan, had SIM card inserted, and were now ready to go, or so we thought.

Saturday, as usual, I started doing laundry and in order to prepare for my upcoming Cataract Surgery we headed down to WalMart to buy some collapsible headphones for Nat. He was going to stay with me at the hospital for over the 3 hours it was going to take – waiting, eye drops, waiting, eye drops, surgery, waiting, eye drops and then hopefully home. While waiting, Nat could listen to his music on his iPod Mini and hang around the front lobby to pass the time. When we returned home, Nat decided to put the new Telus SIM card into the old Nokia phone, thinking he might like a change. The damn Cell wasn’t accepting the new SIM card no matter what he tried. AND THEN, when he went to put the card BACK into the NEW SKY phone, the card wasn’t working there either. What in hell happened!!!!

Not being too sure exactly what was going wrong and discovering that the battery charge wasn’t staying where it should have, we checked and re-checked online for a possible new battery but to no avail. Soon found out you have to return to the Cell Phone maker for such a thing. We continued putting the SIM card back and forth into each cell phone and nothing was happening. Total frustration was now setting in, and it didn’t help at all that everything connected with cell phones goes completely over my head. I have no idea what anyone is talking about when it comes to plans, the inner workings of a cell and get very touchy when it comes to such things. Everything was just fine before dear hubby decided to play around with this stuff. After several “discussions” between the two of us we left things alone until the next day. It was now getting a little heated in this little home of ours!!

Sunday morning the SKY cell battery was at 100% and by noon was down to less than 50%. Nat was now worried why the Telus SIM card was no longer working and what the hell was going on with the phone. That afternoon, we had no choice but to return to the Telus Store at The Square to hopefully get the SIM card re-inserted. It was obvious we were doing something wrong. This is where we got totally perplexed with more frustration setting in.

The staff at the Telus store soon informed us:

(1)  Roger’s had locked our Nokia phone to their network when we were using their service (the unlocked Nokia phone was “unlocked” only for certain carriers and once you use them they become permanently locked until you PAY a fee to unlock them!!!!);

(2) the new SKY phone definitely had something wrong with it as the staff checked the SIM card with their equipment and it was definitely working. We would have to return to Staples store to hand it in for new battery or repair.

(3) the new unlocked SKY phone should be unlocked for all carriers – as it was an international phone. Who knew!!!!!

So, like the good little consumers we are, we drove over to the Staples store across town and were immediately informed – they don’t carry the batteries nor do they do repairs. We would now have to call the SKY tech service to see what we should do. As the phone was still under warranty, we were told it shouldn’t really be a problem.

As we were returning home, we discovered the 4-way traffic lights were all out at Stevensville, downtown Ridgeway and beyond. The generator was also running as we pulled into the drive. Once inside not only was the hydro down, but so was the computer, TV and home phone lines. The generator was doing its job – we still had lights, heat, stove and fridge, etc. We just couldn’t watch TV or play on the computer. We were now really worried about what was going on in our lives. Somehow, somewhere, someone wanted us to suffer.  We were totally shut off from the world. Not knowing, was driving me around the bend, so I decided to drive up to our local drug store until I tried to open the door and realized they were closed on Sundays. However, lucky me, the owner and his wife were in there doing work and Donnie let me in to find out what was going on. Yes, he had cell service, yes, he had TV (on Roger’s cable) and phone line service. He wasn’t, however, aware how big the outage was – all the way back to Stevensville. With that knowledge I returned home but we were still baffled as to why we had no TV, phone or computer. I couldn’t even get news from my Twitter account on my  iPad – our internet was out. Now I’m a little scared!!

Around 4:00 pm the power came back on. HALLELUJAH!!!!! When all was said and done, the power outage had also affected Cogeco customers in this area – of which included US. The outage had lasted close to 4 hours and we were at least lucky enough to have a meal with a working stove.

Monday morning, all is back to normal – we think! I decided to call the toll-free tech number given to us by the staff at Staples. Not necessarily a fun call, as I had a hard time understanding this lady from Doral, Florida and she had a hard time understanding what I was trying to tell her. After quite a few minutes, we managed to straighten things out and were informed we would have to fill out a form she was going to email us, wrap up our SKY phone and return it to them for repair. Once receiving the form and printing it out, the fonts were so small I had to use a magnifying glass to read the damn thing. AND NO, it wasn’t just me, it was Nat, too!!

We packaged up the phone – I just happened to have the perfect box – included the form and with a $20.00 postage stamp the damn thing was on its way to sunny Florida. How nice for it!! The delivery will take 4-5 business days to get there and who the hell knows how long to get the damn thing back. So, as it stands now, Nat is without a cell phone for my surgery tomorrow, which isn’t really a big deal, but it’s become a part of his body and he’s lost without it. The security of it all, I suppose. We now sit and wait.

With everything else going on, it was about time I filed the GST/HST for the solar panels with is due the end of the month. With my eye surgery being done tomorrow, I felt it best to get it done beforehand. Everything went well, as usual, until it came time to submit my payment online through the Canadian Revenue Agency site, which is extremely handy. Every time I tried my debit card it was refused and told it wasn’t being accepted. I tried and tried over and over again – maybe my account number was wrong, maybe I had the wrong PIN number. Nope, everything was right at my end, but total frustration was again setting in, as I’ve done this from the beginning. I ended up calling the Bank of Montreal to inquire as to what was going on. I was informed that as we received new Tap ‘n Go” debit cards in April of 2016, and that they were with the good folks at MasterCard, the CRA had not been updated yet to accept these cards. Apparently all kinds of stores and services were on their list to be completed. More damn dumb luck!!!!

That’s the 3 – the old and new cell phones – the hydro – the debit card. I’ve got eye surgery tomorrow at 9:40 AM and not being a good early riser, things had better go really well, or there’ll be hell to pay and I wouldn’t want to be in Nat’s shoes if that happens.

Wanting to get this payment done, Nat and I drove to our local Bank of Montreal and paid the account there. Done at last.

There actually was one more thing – our Cogeco cable receiver. For several weeks now the receiver was cutting out for a few seconds but only on recorded events. Plus the TV guide wouldn’t load very quickly. We’d get the names of a few shows and then a lot of “To Be Announced”. The only good thing about this was when I called the tech people at Cogeco they were great. The receiver only had to be reset at their end. Thank God for small mercies.

After my cataract surgery in the morning, I’m returning  home, sticking half of my head into sand (have to keep the surgical eye clean, ya know!) and won’t be coming up for air until this month is over. It’s not been a good one and I’ll at least have until April 27th when I get my right eye done. God, here’s hoping the start of April will be a good one.

Let’s See, Shall We

The eyes are the windows to your world. Every reason why no one in Hell is going to touch mine, or so at least I thought.

Our lives have finally settled down after Nat’s chest pain attack. He’s been given anti-biotics for his pneumonia and is continuing to take the blood thinners. His family doctor is now on the case and will be monitoring his health from here on in. From his visit yesterday, it sounds like the Doc is really going to check things out and keep on top of it. Thank goodness – we really were not impressed with the Doctor at Welland General. He seemed to be on the wrong medical diagnosis from what Nat’s family Doc has indicated (but not said out loud – Doctor/Doctor loyalty!!)

The rest of the week turned my way. It was time for my eyeballs to be measured for the upcoming cataract surgery in March. Not really knowing what to expect we attended the appointment and everything went well. Looking into a “Doctor Who”-like machine (front facade had swirling lines that remained still) bright red lights flashed as my eyes blinked every few seconds. It’s hard to keep the eye-lids open when you’re flashed at!!

We then met with another person who explained the surgery, went over the requirements and filled in forms galore for me to sign. Every form was set up to cover every base, including possible heart surgery, or so it seemed. At least now I’m that much closer to getting this whole ordeal over with. All this so I can see that hunky Laurence Fox and other good looking men on the television!!!!

As a treat, Nat and I went to The Mandarin (Niagara Falls) again for lunch. We’ve not been since that Fathers’ Day financial shock, and thought we’d give it another try on a non-holiday. Sorely disappointed again. This time it was the food. New management? New cooks? Making cut-backs? We weren’t too sure, but everything was flavourless and certain items over-cooked. The buffet trays of food were also a little slack in getting filled up, and it wasn’t that busy. Nat and I are both thinking we’ll pass this restaurant for now. Too bad, it started off so great!!!

February is looking to be quiet on some fronts. An appointment here and there, but hopefully things will get back to normal and I can find some bloody energy to get baking again. I’ve become hooked on some games on my iPad and can’t get my ass out of the recliner long enough to do anything productive. Nat, too, is having a hard time finding things to do around the house and except for plowing the drive whenever it snows, he’s finding his recliner just as comfy!!!!

Good Riddance to 2016

From the very day that Glenn Frey died in January, I somehow suspected that 2016 was going to be different somehow – and I wasn’t far off. It turned out to be a crappy year all around. From entertainment news – unexpected deaths – to U.S. and world politics – this year just kept getting worse. Even our personal lives had some twist and turns we never expected nor wanted.

Hubby and I came out unscathed, despite the bad news about his sister in England having a rough time of it. She fell, ended up in hospital with a broken hip, had surgery for that and then took a small heart attack. More surgery – stents – and is still in hospital as I’m writing this. She’s 82 years old, never been in a hospital for this long, is extremely excasperated, frustrated and just bloody well wants to go home to her own bed. My heart goes out to her – I’ve been there – and the longer you dwell on things, the worse it gets. Your mind, however, won’t give you peace and somehow you can never see the end of the road. I’m thinking about her everyday, as is hubby.

Our major hurdle this year was completing the new kitchen. One of the few good things. We’re extremely pleased with the way it worked out. We have more space,  am more organized and I can’t believe how well the baking area is working. At last, less time and energy walking around, going to and fro from one cupboard to another and back to the pantry, now everything is in one of two places – the pantry and the baking drawer. Beautiful.

Naturally, some good things have consequences – we’re still paying for the kitchen but have no regrets.

The last half of the year has been more routine – Doctor appointments, special anniversaries and dinners, some craft shows, baking and some shopping. Nat was able to play golf 3 times a week, and sometimes more. Still very frustrated with his game, but it’s a great chance for him and his golfing buddy to get out for some “guy time”.

We both struggled with colds this Fall. Nat had his earlier on, then I caught it, and it’s taken me over 2 weeks to shake it. With my bad immune system, it takes me longer to shake anything in my chest and having to sleep with my head somewhat raised has been very tiresome. My sinuses were the worst and I’m just now getting caught up on the sleep I did miss.

As Nat and I have a lot of idle days when the snow falls, I try to get some baking done, but with the cold I’ve had, I was in no mood to turn any oven on, so I fell behind. I volunteered again to wrap Thamazine’s Christmas gifts and, as usual, had fun. As her kids are getting bigger, the presents are getting fewer and sometimes larger. So the task went a lot easier this year.  As another favour to fill my idle days I took on sister Gail’s recipes. She had a bag full of magazine clippings, hand-written notes and newspaper articles of recipes from breads to veggies, that she’s collected over the years. I had a great time sorting them all out, typing quite a few of them and then assembling together in a couple of binders. She should now be well organized and ready to try everything she’s ever saved. Hope most of them turn out to be winners for her.

It looks like we’ll be having our usual Christmas this year. Going to Laura’s for Christmas Eve for Nat’s side and to see the grandkids open our gifts to them. After the guests have left, she’ll have her little Christmas with her two children before they have to leave for other family events. We’ll be heading to Gail’s for her Christmas Eve after leaving Laura’s for more food and excitement.

Our Christmas morning will be spent at Susan’s with her family,  hopefully to watch her two girls open some of their presents and spend the morning with them before heading back home to make the mashed potatoes for Claudia’s Christmas supper. It feels like a lot of road time for us and if the weather is co-operative, we’re usually pretty good. When the snow flies and the wind blows is when we worry about road conditions and in the back of our minds would love to spend the time at home. We’d miss the whole season if we did that, so we make the sacrifice. We’re still very grateful for what we’ve got.

2017 is going to start out with a bit more activity on our part. My cataract surgery is set for March and I have the pre-op bit in January. Have to take eye drops 4 times a day for two weeks before the Optometrist’s. Just what I’ve always looked forward to – watery eyes. I have a huge aversion to anyone coming near my eyes, but for the sake of seeing more clearly, I’ll go through this crappy ordeal!

I’m not superstitious, but now and again I have a “sense” that somehow things are going to be good, whether for the week ahead or for special events. It’s been a bit of a trend that the years ending in an even number – ie 2014, 2016 – are sometimes crappy and the odd ending years are pretty decent. So here’s to 2017 – an odd ending year. We all have to believe in good things sometimes.

Seeing Is Believing – Guess I’m Screwed

Writing in my last blog post, I bragged about the gorgeous new shoes I bought for the Rangers’ (Golf) Dinner Dance held once a year. Everyone gets all dolled up in their finery, eats a great meal of Salad, Beef, Chicken, Pasta, and Tiramisu, get awarded prizes for the golf tournament winners in each of the three Classes, best player, etc., along with some pretty good gifts for the individual draws and 50/50 Cash draw. Nat managed to eke in a cash prize for third place in the Class C Division, which was better than he expected. He’s been having some bad years, but the new clubs have at least improved his game somewhat. He’s still working on that.

After all is said and done, there’s lots of dancing. The ladies (and some gentlemen) love to do their line dancing every year to The River of Babylon song, and it’s so much fun to watch. With that dance finished, everyone else is up and running for the other old and sometimes new rock tunes to dance to. The D.J. slips in a few romantic tunes to slow things down every once in awhile. Naturally, those are the only tunes Nat and I can manage to dance to and we did, in fact, dance a couple of times. Proving rightly so, that my new shoes were the perfect purchase. They worked out great on the dance floor giving me the stability I needed in my legs so I wouldn’t go ass over teakettle on the dance floor.

One change this year. As we walked into the hall and found for our table, we realized that two of Nat’s friends (Jim and Cathywouldn’t be attending. According to Nat’s ex-brother-in-law, they were going to Quiz Night at their favourite pub. We could both tell that something was up between these two couples who normally do everything together, including travel. It seems no explanations were given for their preference of Quiz Night and John and his wife, Anne (Nat’s former sister-in-law) took it in stride and figured things would work out somehow.

So as it went, I ended up sitting beside Anne. A woman with a heavy Scottish brogue accent (Glasgow) and extremely hard for me to understand. She has a good heart but can be domineering (as she showed at my wedding reception, which is another story). I shook my head and laughed whenever she did, looked at Nat a few times for confirmation and as the evening wore on, the silence became unnerving between the two of us. Neither one of us had anything in common to talk about. At least in previous years, our buddy, Cathy, would sit between us and keep the conversation going as she liked to talk and could keep any room alive with conversation. She, too, has a heavy Scottish accent, but has softened over the years, so I can at least understand half of what she’s saying. Plus she takes an interest in a lot of our family matters.

The night was quiet, but Nat and I still had a good time. We left earlier than usual but it was a 40 minute drive home and we were both tired. I had at least taped the Toronto Maple Leaf game for Nat to watch when we got home. I go straight to bed and Nat stays up later.

This past week we both had a few appointments that were going to fill some time. Me, the hair dresser and the Optometrist for a pre-op before Cataract surgery. Nat would have the car dealership to contend with, as we received a recall notice to replace some sort of thing-a-ma-jig in the computer part of the Buick Encore.

Not knowing what to expect for the pre-op, we headed for the Doc’s office with some trepidation. We soon found out that we would be there for a couple of hours. This guy was that busy. He takes patients from all around the Niagara District and is extremely well recommended. Shortly after arriving, I was called in for initial questions and answers by the Doc’s assistant, drops were put into my eyes – 3 sets of them – and then told we would have at least a 45 minute wait.

Noon hour soon came along so Nat drove out to the nearest Tim Horton’s for coffee and donuts where we were able to eat at a small dining area just outside of the Doc’s office. Well strategized, I’d say. This outfit knew how to take care of patients waiting for their turn. Nice touch.

About an hour after the initial visit, we were taken by the Doc, who was very nice, young, well-informed and friendly. More drops, again!! Along with an eye scan followed by a flash of blue streak, my eyes now felt like they were floating in their sockets. He advised that it was up to me whether I wanted the cataracts removed now or perhaps in a year’s time. He advised that I was at the stage where I could actually wait for a little while, if I felt the need. No, not I, let’s get this thing done and over with. My body and mind are psyched up so let’s do it! I really didn’t want to go through all of this again. I was also tired of wearing my eye-glasses for distance but still not seeing completely clear. (Yes, I clean my glasses every time I put them on!). I was tired of looking through blurry eyeballs, as if I’d had a few too  many.

A day later and my eyeballs are still as big as the Black Hole which surprises Nat and myself. Go figure, only me!! Hope it dissipates by tomorrow – I want to bake – and if I have to use a magnifying glass to read the recipe, I’ll scream!!

So now I sit and wait until March, 2017 when the surgery is scheduled. The Left eye in early March followed by the Right eye at the end of the month. Sounds like there’s going to be a lot more drops (which will be Nat’s job), along with dark glasses which cover the entire eyes – very cloak and dagger – and more visits to the Doc before all is right with the world again.