How Much Slower Can One Go?

Believe it or not, it’s now the end of February 2018 and I’m only now going to see the dental surgeon on the 28th. I started this whole bloody process in November of 2017 hoping to have my teeth done by Christmas. That was wishful thinking.  I’m totally frustrated, anxious and stressed out and if this whole process is not done before the end of March I’m going to scream and write to the CDA to let them know that I can get major surgery done faster than dental surgery. That’s saying a lot with the huge lack of good medical doctors in this province.

While waiting for my dental surgery, I’ve actually had to give up on my sister’s web site. Totally frustrated with my lapse of knowledge and along with new design structures for WordPress I became stressed again. Trying really hard to keep my blood pressure down for health reasons, I had to admit my technical skills have gone and my brain is devoid of any creative thinking. Damn. My brain only allows me the skills of a now official senior citizen. My crossword days are waning, my patience for needlework is waning and even keeping up my blog with wild and crazy schemes hubby and I have gotten up to are gone. I can barely think of anything exciting to post. How sad am I?

On a somewhat more mundane, but upbeat note, I managed to find the perfect cargo pants for women. With a few exceptions, I hate using a purse. I find them cumbersome, clumsy and constantly in the way of using my hands.  I wanted what the men have – cargo pants that have enough pockets for your necessities – wallet, cell phone, glasses and any smaller items you absolutely need. After searching for years, buying ones that I thought were right and experimenting with similar styles, I hit upon the Land’s End web site and couldn’t believe my eyes. The first pair I bought were so perfect, I ordered another pair in beige and am now in cargo heaven. My search is now on for cargo shorts.

I came upon Land’s End while looking to replace an Oxford Shirt I wore and loved for over 20 years. Having to toss it out was heartbreaking. I soon came across the Landsend.com web site, a well-known, reputeable clothing establishment. I felt secure in knowing I could trust them and their inventory of women’s Oxford Shirts was more than I could have hoped for. At first I ordered a couple of cable-knit sweaters with 3/4 sleeve I find myself wearing all the time. Then I ordered an Oxford Shirt to give it a try and I was so pleased I ordered one in every colour. I wear them daily and love them. It now appears I may be a regular customer.

The day before my birthday, my older sister with breast cancer received her results. All good, she was told. Everything went well, they managed to remove the tumour cleanly and she would only have to see the radiologist for her next step in the process. She sees the Radiologist this Monday – the day before I see the dental surgeon. It seems we’re going along together in this waiting period of the medical and dental professions. Trust me, and dear sister will agree – the waiting time is extremely frustrating and stressful. No wonder the population has high blood pressure – created by the very professions that highly recommend you keep it in check!!! Talk about irony!!!

My birthday was quiet – turning 69 should never be shouted out too loud. We had lunch at the Mandarin St. Catharines – still leary about the Niagara Fall’s restaurant from our last crummy visit. We had a nice time and spent the rest of the afternoon quietly at home. (Damn, that “quietly at home” part sounds like I passed away!!).

Shortly after my birthday, that scammy Valentine’s Day was upon us. In my teenage years it meant something, but age and cynicism took over. Loving hubby, however, still bought me some Nigh’s Chocolates. Who am I to deny such a thoughtful gift. He knows exactly how to hit me right in the heart!! We also took the excuse to have a meal at the Queen Charlotte Tea Room – an authentic and proper English restaurant – the usual fish ‘n chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Beef w/ Yorkshire Pudding, Meat Pies, Afternoon Tea, High Tea, scones, a huge variety of teas and so much more. Set in an old house in Niagara Falls, it’s warm, cozy, friendly and the homemade fries are to die for!!!!!

My hubby is off today, helping his youngest daughter to move. She’s come to the realization that her townhouse condo is too much for her to handle financially and has found a very nice apartment which will give her freedom from expenses she found too burdensome. Nat rented a U-Haul truck and along with her daughter’s boyfriend, a neighbour and son, she’ll get moved in today and will have the balance of February and March to relax until her deal closes mid-March. She was lucky to take possession of the apartment early and will have lots of time to move, clean the townhouse condo and then get settled in her new digs. For me, it’s been a quiet day to get some small things done in the office, do laundry and maybe later watch a few old sitcoms I’ve taped for such an event.

On a final note, as I tried once again to grow my hair out, it became a disaster. I became frustrated again at any hair touching my forehead resulting in itching at night that drives me to drink. A side note – itching apparently is a side-effect from the Prednisone I’m on as an anti-rejection drug. My hairdresser completely understood and we decided to take my hair style back to it’s old no-nonsense ways. As much as I try to change my appearance or improve in some small way, reality brings me back to earth.

 

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Eating Humble Pie But Still Feeling Good

SO !!  After my email to Cafe´ Amore´ expressing my disappointment in our Valentine’s Day lunch, I received a response a day later. I really wasn’t looking for any response, but a nice gentleman sent me an email explaining the Dinner Menu being used on special occasions instead of the Lunch Menu. He also apologized for my burnt Lasagne, which was very nice.

It appears I had jumped to a few conclusions – or assumptions – and I was soon made aware that I had to dismount from that high horse of mine. I decided to post the response from Cafe´ Amore´ – even though I didn’t make a copy of my original email (that was done directly from the restaurant’s web site), but there is a small synopsis of how our evening went on my previous posting. I’m also posting my reply and duly apologizing for certain assumptions made. After all, fair is fair.

Email from Cafe´ Amore´:

Thank you for your email and your thoughts regarding Valentine’s Day.

I am sorry your lasagne was dry, it is usually quite delicious and moist. I apologize for that.

We do run our dinner menu all day on three occasions each year. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

We do this for several reasons. First, these are the three busiest days of the year and there is a lot of preparation to do in the kitchen to ensure there is enough food ready. We don’t have time to prepare food specifically for lunch and then again for dinner while  trying to switch the kitchen over from lunch service mode to dinner service mode. We therefore focus on one meal service for the entire day and execute that all day long.

Second is the demand from customers who want to order from the dinner menu on special occasions. For example, this Valentine’s Day there was a party of 25 who were coming at lunch and wanted to order dinner.  It was a special day they wanted to celebrate together. Then there are others who want to have an early dinner to avoid the crowds that occur on special occasions, so they come for dinner at lunch.

We always inform people who are making reservations of the menu offered, just we did with you.

The meatball pasta your husband enjoyed is the same price and portion at lunch as it is at dinner. The large salads offered at lunch are exactly the same at dinner. There is no price difference. For lighter fare a bowl of soup and small side salad can be ordered if that is all someone really wants to eat. There are several lighter choices on the dinner menu as well.

Our intention is not to be greedy but rather to do what we can to service the demands of the day and the requests of our guests.

If you would provide me with a mailing address I can send you out some coupons to use another day to make up for the dry lasagne. I know you didn’t ask for anything but I would like to send them to you.

Thanks again for your comments.

Allan

My Reply:

Dear Allan:

Thank you so much for your response. It seems I’ve made certain assumptions regarding your Restaurant and am now eating humble pie. I was taking out previous frustrations from another restaurant that charges “Holiday” prices on at least 10 occasions and during the month of December. I should never have clumped other establishments into the same group.

I apologize if I implied your establishment was being greedy, and assumed your Dinner Menu was used more often than the 3 occasions you stated. I broke my only golden rule – “never assume”. It’s also quite apparent I’m making certain assumptions about other customers – again, my assumptions were wrong and just re-affirmed my golden rule.

I turned 68 years old 12 days prior to Valentine’s Day – so may we please chalk this whole affair up to me having a “Senior Moment” – which appears to be quite frequent for me these days.

I really did have burnt edges around my Lasagne and was a tad disappointed. I’m a “meat and potatoes” kind of gal, so when I order a pasta dish, Lasagne is my favourite. I’m going to chalk this little matter up to a busy day for your Chef and leave matters at that.

As for the coupons – I appreciate your offer, but it’s truly not warranted. As we live in Ridgeway, we only dine out at a restaurants in St. Catharines on special occasions. The coupons, I’m afraid would therefore would be wasted. We will, however, revisit Cafe Amore again in the future.

A  little anecdote:- When Cafe Amore first opened on Lake Street, we lived on Green Maple in St. Catharines. By way of coincidence our phone number was 688-1794 and the restaurant’s the same, except for the last number. We were astonished at how many reservation calls we had to re-direct. Our curiosity was finally piqued and we went for dinner just to see what all the fuss was about. We soon found out why you moved to a larger establishment. Congratulations.

Again, thank you for your response and much success in the future.

Yours truly,

******************************

I don’t regret my email to this restaurant only because I felt a need to let them know that I did, in fact, have a disappointing meal. Restaurants, as well as other commercial establishments should always be informed when there is no customer satisfaction. We’re paying for those goods and services and we at least deserve a good bang for our buck. When you’re wrong, your wrong and you should admit it or at least own up to your mistakes. I’ve also argued that anyone who “Assumes will somehow regret it or certainly be wrong in most cases. I just proved my theory right, and I deserved to be corrected.

As for an update on my disappointments with The Mandarin (Niagara Falls). I did receive a reply, only looking for further information. The response was from the powers that be higher up the food chain and I gave them my answers as honestly as I could. I never criticized the restaurant’s staff, cleanliness or service. My main concern was the downfall of the food, which I truly hope somehow, somewhere and by someone will return to its former tasty, delicious self. The Mandarin opened up a location in Niagara Falls because of public demand and I, for one, hope the public continues to get meals it deserves. I really do not want to loose a good restaurant that serves oriental food at its best.

To date, no response. But I’m not looking for one. I’m hoping to return sometime in the future for a great meal.