The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT


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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.


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I Love This So Much, They Should Pay Me!!

The one bright spot in my self-pitying holidays has been the Apple TV Nat and I bought for ourselves this year. A little black box, connected to any television, that allows you to view (stream via Wi-Fi) anything you want from iTunes or the Internet on your computer to the television set sitting in your living/family room. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas now over (except for New Year’s which has never been a holiday to me) it was now time to play with our little toy.  I suppose I should say it’s “my” little toy, as I’m the one that talked Nat into going along with this idea of mine!! After all he didn’t even know this little black box existed until I started to extol its virtues.

I had heard from tech podcasts it was easy to set up, and they were right. It took all of 30 seconds to plug in the electrical and then hook up the HDMI cable to the TV and the Apple TV. I then ran into the office and turned on the home sharing in iTunes, returned to the living room and immediately began the set-up to receive the Wi-Fi stream from our computer. After entering in your Apple ID and password the rest was a no brainer. The only time-consuming part in this whole process was scrolling through the alphabetical letters and numbers to actually enter in your ID, as there was no keyboard to use. What the hell, if that was worst part, we were laughing. But along with the included remote control, I’ve also got the App “Remote” for my iPad.

Within ten minutes I was razzle-dazzling Nat with everything we could watch or listen to whenever we wanted. We could now:  buy or rent Movies – buy TV shows or watch what freebies are available – listen to or watch any audio or video podcast we chose to download – listen to or watch the podcasts I’ve already downloaded – watch home videos and photos from iPhoto – listen to Nat’s Playlists – listen to my Playlists or any song we wanted – listen to our music while watching our home photos go streaming by – listen to a gazillion radio stations – watch as much YouTube as we can take – sign up and watch NetFlicks – or view upcoming movie previews – all on the 40″ screen TV in our living room. I’m sure there’s so much more, but I’ve not had a chance to check everything out yet, but give me time! The upcoming movie previews was a real bonus and I had no idea that extra feature was available. It was soon after completing the set-up and discovering this little goodie, that Nat and I sat and watched a bunch of those Previews. We both felt this was a great feature and would now have a good idea of what was playing in the theatres and would probably soon be available on iTunes. The other bonus was, we can view all of our home photos and videos on the living room TV. A great feature should anyone ask “So, how was your vacation?” Be forewarned people!!!

I’m a huge Apple fan – the iMac in the office, the iPad that never leaves my side, the iPod Classic I listen to while cycling, and Nat is even enjoying my old iPod Nano. The Wi-Fi streaming works like a charm (through Airport Express), any service I’ve required has been great and so far I’ve never had a problem with any of these products (except the odd freezing of the iPod, but I’m not alone in that department). I’d recommend any of these products should anyone ask and I’m looking forward to any new product that Apple releases and hoping like hell it’s something I can use and afford!!