For as much as I love having a lot of calm days since the last posting, it’s been a bit of a reversal of fortune for others in my family.
Our days have been filled with checking in on Instagram every morning, looking for any posted videos by our granddaughter and boyfriend while travelling in New Zealand and Australia since December, 2019. We’ve enjoyed their fabulous photos of the country and all of its beauty and attractions. The videos have also been cute, interesting, exciting and enlightening. The pair have been bungie jumping, surfing, scuba diving, sky diving, held Koala Bears, hiked at great lengths, and have been certified for diving. There’s so much more they’ve experienced that my memory fails them all. We’re so proud of Felicia and Kyle and what they’ve accomplished and can’t wait for them to come home and recant all of their adventures.
While we’ve been enjoying our quiet days, it suddenly became time for Hubby to paint the living room, hallway and bathroom, as he had promised in late Fall. He’s pretty much been responsible for picking out the new colours – with a little agreement from me, and he’s been working diligently for the past several weeks to get it done. Taking his time, he would do the edging around the living room one day with primer, apply a second coat the 2nd day, then apply the main colour coat the 3rd or 4th day, depending how things went. While working away at his project, I tried to help by clearing away any wall decorations, pictures, etc. and store in a safe place to keep for later. I would then spend my personal days either working in the office, baking or just goofing off (with a little “Ruby Guilt”).
Once the living room was finished, I spent several days trying to re-arrange some of the decor just to freshen things up. Some items have been replaced and some just re-arranged, and we’re both pleased with the final result. We now have a bit of a new fresh outlook and bit of a boost while enjoying the room.
The hallway was a bit of a different matter. It became difficult for Hubby to paint down the stairs and he had to come up with some creative ways of placing his ladder along the stairway wall in order to complete the painting job. At one of his final stages, he happened to stand the ladder on some of the drop cloth, and as the ladder slipped, down he went on his backside at the top of the stairs. While sitting in the office I heard the kaboom and thud, went running out and looked upon his painful face, with hand placed behind his back, as I tried to help him sit up at the top of the landing. I was so grateful he didn’t do a one-eighty down the stairs and crash land on the cement floor.
As he sat at the top of the landing to get his breath and start to feel the back pain come on, we hobbled him to his recliner and there he sat until he was at ease. It went without saying, that his job was done for the day and he would go to bed that night waiting for the aches and pains when he arose the next morning. Luckily he wasn’t too bad and despite my apprehension, he continued on with the task at hand. “I’ve got to get it done” was his constant lament. He’s as stubborn as I am, and I, at least, understand.
Once the hallway was done, again, a huge difference could be seen. The dull, dim hallway was now light and bright and seemed even bigger than it was. Now it was my turn to redo or replace any decor we had hanging on the walls. As we took down a grouping of grandchildren photos a large piece of wall was now available for a dramatic or imposing piece of artwork or graphic piece. “Hmmmm”, let me think. We rehung the small mirror given to us as a wedding present from an aunt, that was made by a man who just happened to have the same last name as my maiden name. It’s near and dear to my heart. The ideas then began to flow for the stairway wall and we both came up with one or two good ones, but would cost more than we wanted to spend. In the end, I came up with a plan to cover a piece of artist canvas with burlap and then create a green floral arrangement on it. I managed to get it crafted with some suggestions from Hubby. The hanging of the canvas was a bit tricky, but hubby was able to position the ladder in a supportive way and again and we’re pleased with the results. Now the hallway at least has some character. A “Before” and “After” of colour:
After a few days, Hubby decided to tackle the bathroom. A lot smaller than the other two rooms but a bit cumbersome for working a ladder in and around the nooks and crannies. The final coat is being applied the first of the week, and again, a big difference is going to be seen. We decided to use the same colour of paint we had covered over in the Living Room and Hallway as he had a full can of that available. Saving money where we can! It’s a bit of a shocker, as the colour is a bit darker than the pale grey/blue that’s being covered over, but I, for one, am very pleased. It was a real challenge to match the pale grey/blue with accessories and towels. At least now I’ll be able to create a bathroom more colour co-ordinated.
Loving Hubby has done a fabulous job at the age of 81. He grew up in a disciplined, loving and strong family. He has a work ethic to be admired and he makes no apologies for what he’s achieved. This “aging” thing, however, is starting to wear on him and sometimes he’s had to admit to certain things he can no longer do physically. He’s not one to ask for help unless it’s evident. During our 26 years of marriage I’ve learned to step back, support him whenever I can and let it be.
In the middle of our redecorating, we’ve enjoyed my birthday celebration at The Keg (St. Catharines) along with a complimentary piece of Billy Miner Pie for making it to 71. If I had the will, I would eat a massive slice of that mocha-flavoured ice cream sitting atop a dark chocolate cookie crumb base, sprinkled with chocolate and caramel and sliced almonds around the edges. Along with their Teriyaki Steak, it’s a slice of heaven.
We also made our quarterly trip to Costco for our usual goodies as we were really running low and needed to stock-up. Nothing like a big grocery bill when the bank account is starting to quiver???
Along my family lines, we also received an upsetting email from one sister advising that another was being asked to vacate her apartment of 30 years. The new Landlord wants to renovate and as it will take several months, she’s being asked to find another place to live in the meantime. Not exactly the news our family needs at this time of life. With six girls and one boy all born in the 1940’s, ’50’s and ’60’s, we’ve become a bit long in the tooth for moving loved ones or anyone else for that matter. Naturally, we’ve chattered amongst ourselves as to how we can help this sister in any way possible for us, but the ideas are very slim. With a majority of siblings now in their Senior Years (including moi), we struggle to do our own chores and errands, let alone help someone move. We’ve all got our individual medical problems and some struggle on a daily basis, including the sibling that needs to be moved. Somehow we’ll get through this.
I attended at the apartment to help this sister pack, but it was slow going, as the apartment is only a one bedroom, in an old building and the size of rooms reflect the design for that period in history. One afternoon I got two boxes of china packed up using bubble wrap which was time consuming and then attended a week later with the same results. My mind tells me I can still leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but the aged body is saying “Whoa there old lady, those days are gone!!!!” I’ve now also joined the Sore Back Pain club that has befallen several of us. With time, luck and help from her Landlord, we hope this sibling will get through without too much struggle.
It’s only the second month in 2020, but I count my blessings every day that I’m at least healthy (despite the back pain) and have been stress free and happy. For a majority of my life it was always me in and out of hospitals or at home with something else ailing me, I was always jealous of other family members that appeared to be relatively healthy and happy, raising children of their own and living what appeared to be a normal life. Now with all my siblings either already a Senior or soon to become one, I’m wierdly grateful that I’ve joined the group and now am “one of them”.