The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT


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Oh, Look Dear, An Evening Out

As much as I hate to say it, most of May and June have been very ho hum. As stated in my last posting the routine was pretty much spot on.

A pleasant surprise did, however, come by way of an invitation to dinner at The Keg (St. Catharines). Our second oldest granddaughter has graduated from McMaster School of Nursing this June and it was finally time to celebrate her hard work and tenacity. It was decided that her family would meet us at The Keg on Tuesday evening for 6:00 PM reservations. I personally couldn’t wait, as I love The Keg and was really looking forward to getting out of the bloody house to see if other human beings were out there. I was also really looking forward to seeing Felicia (the graduate), her sister, Bridget and boyfriend, Mike, along with their parents. We always seem to have a great get together.

Wtih all things Susan (Felicia’s mom), the afternoon did not go as planned. Dumb luck turned around and dealt them a big blow. With everyone now at the restaurant, we were waiting for Susan and Feilcia to arrive. They drove home in separate cars because of certain other events and timing, and as they hit close to St. Catharines a large transport truck carrying some sort of chemicals had turned over at a curve and the highway was blocked. Apparently certain residents had to be evacuated or “stay in place”  for safety reasons. Susan turned off onto Highway No. 8 (a small two-lane road that winds and twists itself into St. Catharines) knowing that she could get to the restaurant albeit a little late. Not one to have life easy, the highway was filled with evacuees and other local traffic that turned into one mega delay. They texted hubby and daughter at the restaurant to keep everyone abreast of their whereabouts.

As time was really ticking away, we were told by Susan, to at least go ahead and order if we wanted. As Nat and I were now starving (usually eating at 4:30 pm) we decided to at least order our salads. We had nicely started when Susan and Felicia finally turned up and began to tell us their tale of woe. Felicia looked gorgeous in her lacey white dress and I could not help but look at her and smile. She had grown into a beautiful mature young woman and was about to begin her lifetime of adventures.

As orders were now taken, Felicia and I began to talk about her future travels. This is going to be one girl who likes to go places, see things and meet lots of people. With the whole family now well into our steaks and conversation, we were having a great time. We even indulged in dessert – Billy Miner Pie, Fudge Brownie, etc. It was all sooooo delicious. We finally said our goodbyes and headed home. What a great evening.

Our next adventure will be the open house for Bertie & Clinton Mutual Insurance CompanyThey moved into larger headquarters and Nat and I are looking forward to seeing the new place, along with sister, Claudia, who is one of their agents. Another one of those few times I need to take to see a relative!!

Later that evening we’ll also attend our oldest granddaughter’s 24th birthday. This will just be an informal gathering and another chance to see Karly, Lucas, Marilyn, Sean and Linda.

We also received a “good wishes” only to my nephew’s 18th birthday party. Date and time yet undetermined due to work schedules. I’m really looking forward to this event, as I’ll see my side of the family and that’s always good for a lot of laughs, catch-ups and stories.

The month of July, Nat and I will be back to our usual routine. So will have to absorb as much of the family frivolities as I can to see me through to (hopefully) Thanksgiving.


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Ruby Red Blood

The month of June, to date, has been an emotional roller coaster, but this past week has gone ever so smoothly, thanks to my two sisters. Since our shopping trip I’ve been feeling damn good about myself. Nat and I have settled back into our loving routine of relaxing, running some errands, doing some chores and trying new shows on Netflix.

Only one panicky day so far – Monday. I had my usual tri-monthly blood work and was heading back to the car when I felt moisture all around my elbow and blouse. Damn! I was bleeding profusely from the inside elbow of my left arm. My bandaid was soaked in blood, my white capris had blood spots showing all down my left leg and my black and white blouse was sporting blood droplets as well on my left sleeve and side. I had also gotten “Ruby” a bit bloody along the inside driver’s seat as I was trying to get settled in to drive home. I began to panic a little, couldn’t find any kleenex in the car and it was obvious that I had to go back inside the Lab to get cleaned up. As I returned inside, the one patient waiting for her tests looked at me in shock – probably wondering what in hell she was getting into having her blood test at this particular lab. I grabbed some kleenex from the desk, wiped the blood from my arm as best I could and when the nurse called for this lady to come back, she called out “I think you should take this lady first!”

I was led back to the testing room, cleaned up and rebandaged – double duty this time. I had completely forgotten that I was taking Plavix – a major blood thinner, and I should have stayed still a little longer before going for the car. Once I returned home, relieved the look on Nat’s horrified face, I ran my clothes through a cold water wash and all was fine again. Whew!!! Everything came out in the wash!!

Now Nat and I have one more week to ourselves and then our social calendar kicks in. We have a couple of graduations and a couple of birthdays all within one week. The first invite is Zach’s 16th birthday on Sunday, Monday morning we’re off to Hamilton for my annual check-up, Wednesday evening will be Karly’s birthday get-together (plus meeting her new beau), and Thursday evening is Bridget’s (& Lucas’) graduation in Niagara Falls. I realize that’s not really a mega-busy agenda to most young people, but for us olden golden oldies, it’s a lot. We’ll also be saying bon voyage to Felicia on Thursday, as she’s leaving for Italy and Greece the following Sunday for a couple of weeks. She’s been very fortunate in getting invited to Greece to visit a friend and I, for one, am glad she’s taking this opportunity to travel now. After she graduates McMaster School of Nursing she’ll be busy job hunting and won’t get a lot of chances to travel. I’m very envious she’s travelling and we’re not. Nat and I haven’t been on a long holiday for several years now.

I must also confess to Nat and I being nosy neighbours this past month. The new people that moved in across the street are from Thunder Bay and we’ve been intrigued to their unusual habits of redoing the place. About the second day of their move, I packed up some home-made cookies, a booklet on what to see and do in Fort Erie and my card. I meandered across the road, introduced myself and welcomed them to our little village. They introduced themselves as “Helen and Richard”, remarked that they were going to redo the entire house and were, in fact, putting up a bed frame. I advised them we knew of a really good contractor and landscaper if they needed one and to just call us for any help.

Each day Richard would travel down the road with his large trailer and return home with what seemed like more household stuff. It was becoming obvious that they had a storage unit somewhere and had to have been living in a hotel until their deal closed. As the weeks wore on, it became quite clear that Richard and Helen were mega do-it-yourselfers. It also became clear that there was no particular method in which they were proceeding with the renovations. One day we noticed they had been shopping for ladders, lighting fixtures, doors, and more; then we saw carpets and drywall being removed, we saw trailer loads of items going to the dump. Suddenly a new mattress was delivered for downstairs. It seemed like they were switching from room to room as they tore down and replaced items within the house. One day they went out to the mailbox to retrieve their mail and within minutes Richard had installed a new mailbox, all at the same time. The new front door went up almost the first day they moved in, and the new patio doors were installed a couple of days after the new hot tub was delivered. Helen began gardening and trimming a few bushes in front as Richard installed the new door. Then suddenly new exterior light fixtures were put up alongside the door. A week or so later, they installed a new light fixture above the garage door. It seemed like everyday was also a shopping day. Inbetween bouts of working inside and out, the two of them hopped in the car and returned a few hours later with a truck load of more renovating materials – wall board, new patio doors, interior fixtures and accessories. I must admit the two of them are putting Nat and I to shame for their work ethics. In fact, they’re putting the whole neighbourhood to shame. It was just yesterday that their new appliances arrived – fridge, stove and microwave; then this morning Nat watched as Richard hauled the old appliances and put them in the back of his pick-up all by himself. I swear to God this man has super powers!

Speaking of pick-ups, the two arrived in town with Helen driving their small black car and towing a small trailer, while Richard drove a gold coloured Dodge Ram pick-up and towing the larger trailer. No sooner had a week or so passed when they returned home driving a new white Silverado pick-up. Nat and I are now wondering what these two are going to do once all of this work is finished. These “no stopping us” pair have been working non-stop everyday for a solid 2-1/2 weeks. We’re getting tired just spying on them. I will admit, however, that the view I had of the living room from inside the door looked a bit dated but Nat and I honestly thought they would settle in and then tackle one room at a time. So far from what we’ve seen they’ve been fluttering from room to room, and maybe that’s how they do things in the North Country!! They really seem like nice people and we do really wish them well and hope to get to know them whenever they can settle down and stay home for a day.