Stuff Coming In, Stuff Going Out

The medical attention continues. Nat’s been taking care of me quite faithfully and in all honesty, a little too well. I may try and sneak by a dressing change, but dear hubby isn’t letting me get away with it. My arm is almost raw from removing tape and/or bandage strips from the tender underside, an area that really hasn’t seen daylight since I was a young petite business woman in my 30’s. Let’s get realistic, shall we. My tender flabby underarms will never see the light of day from here on in. At least the cyst has been reduced to an ugly little blight and is becoming a former shell of itself. The days of healing are now upon us, thank God!

With a lot of boredom now setting in and with the weather still somewhat balmy but cold, Nat and I decided to take a walk-about in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday the 16th. We assumed the colder weather would keep the tourists at bay, but we were wrong. With the  Canadian Dollar being as low as it is, who can blame the Americans. We managed to bob and weave around everyone else with the same idea as us, and soon came upon a newer store (1 year old) Olde Thyme Candy Shoppe which was a sheer delight. Chock full of sweets, treats, goodies and even (what use to be known as) penny candy. Nat and I headed to the British Import section and picked up a few items for ourselves for consumption later. “Consumption later” denotes that mine were demolished before midnight!!

We continued our day trip by visiting the Scottish Shop, By-The-Lake and Bake Shop, for a few more goodies. I finally found a half decent smaller-sized purse that I could work with – and on sale, too boot!!! Nat picked up some sausage rolls at the Bakery and with some more window shopping we were on our way home. The fresh air was a welcome change from what is becoming a stuffy kind of month.

On Sunday the 17th we attended a surprise 70th birthday luncheon for dear sister, Gail. We arrived early, as usual, at the Dunlop Adult Learning Centre, and were greeted by Thamazine and Liz who were in the throws of still setting up. Finally the guests had all arrived, and once the guest of honour was over her surprise we began our lunch with slices of roast beef, chicken pieces, salads, rolls and fruit. We enjoyed seeing Bonnie and she certainly looked to be in really good spirits. We couldn’t help but admire her new hobby of painted mini-bird houses. They were adorable. If I didn’t grab one to buy before everyone else, I was going to be out of luck. Just my luck everyone was eyeing the same one I was, but Nat tossed $20.00 in Bonnie’s hand and we were off and running. We really had a great time and, naturally, seeing my family and Gail’s friends was great fun. The snow was now beginning to fall again, so Nat and I felt it was time to head home.

Monday soon arrived and I was back to the usual items left over from the weekend – laundry and cleaning. Nat and I also had a good clear-out from the basement sump pump room. This little room had become an “if you can’t see it, it’s not there” kind of room along with some storage items that were put aside “just in case”. A few days earlier I cleared out a bit of formal glassware and other items no longer in use from the dining room Sideboard. It, too, was becoming a bit of a hiding place for bits and bobs from family get-togethers or meals. As those family sit-down meals and BBQs have become almost distant memories, it was time for just keeping the bare necessities. Any formal glassware was no longer going to be used in our family so we became realistic. Nat and I had now created quite a pile of stuff and it soon became apparent that another Garage Sale was at hand this Spring. Not quite enough for a large garage sale on my part alone, so I’m thinking a few invites to participate may be forthcoming to the rest of the family.

The days wore on and not knowing what gets into me now and again, another heated discussion soon reared its’ head about renovating the kitchen. Not truly knowing what Nat was thinking in that noggin’ of his, he soon revealed it was the financial aspect. We both agreed we didn’t want to drain whatever savings we now  have, but he soon came up with another idea, and with that we began to discuss the compromises we could make, the definite wants and to get a professional’s help. So we called our contractor.

Simon came by a few days earlier and he was definitely a great help for what we were envisioning. He also came up with a couple of ideas that we never thought could be done and looked like they would be affordable. With our and his ideas in mind he soon departed to make his calculations and get in touch with us once they were done. Now that we’ve got some plans in hand, Nat and I have a good idea of how we want to proceed. Now, it’s just a matter of how to get Nat to actually take that first step.

With what we thought was a pretty good week, we ended it by going to the Bartletts’ in St. Catharines on Saturday to see how they were doing. As always, we had a great laugh and chit chat. It always feels great to see their smiling faces and warm charm.

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2016 – And So It Begins …

The new year arrived quietly and without any excitement. Neither Nat nor myself get excited about the celebration. We leave that to the younger ones now. We’ve had our days in the past of celebrating with friends and family, especially Nat, but it’s come full circle now and our bodies can only endure the “midnight kiss” if we can stay awake that long!

Once 2016 was upon us, we continued on with our same old routine. I’m trying desperately to get back to my usual exercising routine before I took a few days off for the holidays. A few days obviously turned into more than a week and with that, the old body was starting to become stagnant and lazy. I had to find some discipline somewhere. I’m now hopefully back on track.

Nat’s birthday celebration was spread over a couple of days. The kids all came over on New Year’s Day for brunch – roast chicken, cold cuts, kaisers, pasta and green salad, with cookies and tea afterward. It was really nice to have everyone in the same room at one time, which does not happen often anymore. The grandkids all have jobs now and working out schedules have become nightmarish. Lucas was the only grandchild that couldn’t make it to Papa Nat’s birthday because he had to work. At least Nat enjoyed the day which was my No. 1 priority. As for his usual birthday dinner, we made reservations at a new place we discovered, Queen Charlottes’ Tea Room, on Main Street in Niagara Falls. A small two-storey home with a few tables spread throughout the main floor. They serve High Tea, lunches and suppers and everything is homemade on the premises. The menu was authentic British food – Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Steak Pie, Blood Pudding, Chips (hand-cut and humongous wedges) along with fresh Scones and a variety of sandwiches served up with an assortment of teas from around the world and a few British “sweets” imported directly from the Mother Land. We both agreed we would return. It was a lovely, quiet evening.

Our next adventure was Nat’s appointment – after a 9 month wait – to see a Back Specialist at The Trillium Centre in Mississauga. With our dumb luck the appointment was for 8:15 AM – an ungodly hour at least for me. We both had to be up, dressed and on the road by 6:30 AM in order to make the drive along with every other “commuter” in the area.  We relied on GPS to get us there and  once we arrived and saw the Doc (which only took about 10 minutes) we were back on the road by 8:30 AM. So much activity for such an ungodly time of day!! We were home around 10:00 AM and couldn’t believe we still had the rest of the day to fulfill. Hell, what were we going to do with all that time!!!! I know! Let’s just sit and relax after such a tense ordeal driving the Queen Elizabeth Highway with it’s erratic truck drivers, speeding youngsters in their up-scale fast cars, commercial vans, regular commuters and older folks trying to maneauver around all that turmoil. Nat’s hands never moved once from the steering wheel until we drove into our garage!

A few days later, it would be my turn. The cyst under my arm decided to flare up again. It had been sitting in wait since May of 2014 and I guess it got pissed off about something as the same God awful purply lump flared up and I knew I’d have to have it drained. Thinking I would go through the same thing as 2014 (having my Doc drain and bandage it) I made the appointment but was surprised when she felt the lump wasn’t as big this time as last. She advised I should go home, apply hot compresses and antibiotic cream four times a day until this “alien” (as I call it) deflates and clears up. I would then return for another assessment and discuss the possibility of actually having the cyst surgically removed for all time. Sounded good to me!

As I write this posting, my little alien friend has deflated to the point where it’s flat but still a bit bloody and sore. The skin broke from the hot compresses and my loving, reliable hubby has been tending to my arm for the past couple of days. We’re nearing the end, thank God. For the hot compress, I filled a tube sock full of kidney beans so Nat could soak it in Epson Salts and water, heat it up and apply to the lump. However, that bloody sock (no pun intended) is starting to get a little stinky from those beans being heated up so often. With each application I can smell the beans (which I abhor). So, naturally, having Nat just apply the antibiotic cream and a dressing is a refreshing change. At least I’m in the home stretch now. As usual, I’m anxious to get back to a normal routine. I’m thinking if the cyst is surgically removed my arm I will be “laid up” for a day or two.

For the most part 2016 has been coming in with just a small gust of wind,  instead of 2015 where a storm brewed for six months. Let’s hope this small gust of wind will keep any storm clouds from moving in the rest of the year.