New Year, New Outlook

A quiet New Year, as usual. Try as I might to stay up until twelve was a struggle and I gave up close to 11:00 PM. Nat continued on but came to bed shortly after the stroke of midnight. We woke up on January 1st with a new outlook for 2020.

We celebrated Nat’s 81st birthday with an early visit from Laura and dining out at The Queen Charlotte Tea Room in Niagara Falls later that evening. An old house located in a nondescript area of the City, decorated in the Victorian style and serving authentic English fare – Fish ‘n Chips, Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Roast Beef with Mash & Yorkshire Pudding, Steak & Kidney Pie, Battered Sausage w/ Chips & Beans, Afternoon Tea, High Tea, Assorted Sandwiches and desserts. The beauty about this whole menu is that you have to be patient, as each and every meal is cooked as soon as you ask for it, freshly baked, freshly made and absolutely yummy. You won’t find one frozen item used in the kitchen, even the french fries are homemade, chunky size and could be eaten alone as a snack!! Reservations should be made as this little home fills up fast and with limited seating it can get a little crowded when waiting at the door.

As the month is still fairly new, Nat has decided to start fresh with painting the living room, wanting to make it lighter and brighter. A great idea in the head, but the body tells you differently once the work gets started. He’s had this idea for quite some time and has decided the winter months would be perfect. With snow on the ground (what little we’ve had) and golfing days on hold until Spring, he felt this would at least keep him busy and fill the quiet days we’ve been having of late.

We’re still in limbo about the colour. Even tried a web site where you can upload a picture of your room and test different colours out. The ones we chose were not as expected, so we’re going to the paint shop for more research. In the meantime, Nat and I have cleared away furniture, wall decoration, pictures and other tripping hazards into the dining room so he can begin with any repairs and start the edging with the primer. He’s had his struggles with the two high walls – over the transom window and around the little alcove. Once he’s done that he wants to at least get the primer on so he can begin with the final colour. As I sit here in the office I can hear the moans, groans and ladder adjustments coming from the living room as he works his way around what appears to be a small living room, but somehow has grown into a banquet hall now that he’s started.

This month has also allowed me to get back to my regular baking. I’ve now refilled Nat’s cookie jar with his usual Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Coconut Cookies, a Coconut Loaf, British Scones and even a Raisin Loaf for good measure. My next baking day will be some bread. I’ve not had a chance to get some Dinner Rolls in the freezer for quite some time and I also want to try making an Egg Bread. Hopefully, once I get back into the bread making my “mojo” will return, which went the way of the Dodo Bird several months back and I’ve been looking for it ever since.

As I posted prior to Christmas, Nat and I decided to upgrade our computer and get the latest iMac. As it happened I also lost my “mojo” for even opening the box. It sat in the office for several days until we opened it after the New Year.  This was not like me. I love all electronics. Where did I go??  Watching my nieces, nephews and grandchildren working their iPhones posting things on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter  and whatever other Apps they have, is mind-boggling. They’re fast, quick thinking and clever about what they do to the point I get very jealous. My mind can’t compete as the little grey cells are deteriorating even as I’m writing this post. I’m hoping when the Summer months come along and Nat is back to golfing, I’ll be able to start some new projects and try out some of the new doodads that came with the new iMac. Hey, we can hope!!!

We were pleased that Apple will recycle your old computer so we saved the box from the new one in order to pack away the old one to deliver to the Apple Store in Burlington. Worked out really well, as we packed up the old Mac, said our goodbyes and drove to the store this past Monday for its final resting place. Deleting the old Mac was also very simple – just a few key strokes while turning it on and within a few hours it was back to its original self.

Setting up the new iMac was a different story. A lot of our Apps and programs were just a tad outdated and the new Mac was kept busy trying to install what it could from Time Machine. The procedure took a few hours of hunting and pecking what it would accept and what would no longer run on the new Catalina Operating System. It was soon sorted out, but then I had to delete whatever Apps and programs contained in the LaunchPad were marked with the “No Entry” icon and get acquainted with the new operating system. This was definitely a learning curve for me and kept my brain busy with research and investigations from Apple and Chat Rooms. After all is said and done, having a faster running iMac is a real treat, but I’ll be kept out of trouble in Summer trying to learn a couple of new programs.

Our happy wanderers continue to check in on Instagram & FaceBook. Their postings have been fabulous and certainly do  justice to such a beautiful country with lush greenery, mountains, rivers and general excitement. So far, aside from their previous adventures on the North Island (New Zealand), they have gone Sky Diving, Bungie Jumping and Hiked along Mountainous regions of the South Island, taking gorgeous videos. The Sky Diving experience wasn’t as high as they originally booked because of extreme high winds on that particular day, so they had to settle for 13,000 feet instead of 20,000. They were able to buy one of the videos of their experience and as Nat and I watched on Instagram we were both grinning from ear to ear at the excitement on Kyle’s face. We’re both so happy for these two as they are making the most of their trip and experiencing so much more of life than either one of us had to chance to do. Good on them.

For the most part the first month of the new year has been extremely quiet, relaxing and uneventful. We can only hope the rest of the year is a repeat of the first. We’re both now at that stage in life where too many events on our agenda can make us a bit anxious and our bodies get tired quicker than we’d like. I like to take one day at a time and one event at a time getting as much rest as possible in between.

Adios, Adieu, Farewell & So Long

This may be my last posting for 2019. At least this past year was more uneventful than 2018 and for that I’m very grateful. Both of our lives have settled into some sort of senior reality – a few doctor’s appointments, regular everyday chores, shopping and a few family get togethers scattered throughout.

My semi-annual appointments with my Nephrologists were extremely positive. Now I just have to keep the old body up to snuff to maintain my lower weight, my blood sugars and staying as fit as I can for as long as I can. I can do that. No Problem. I’m a survivor. I managed to make it to 70 years of age and damn that’s good. My only regret is my parents never had a chance to see how well I’ve done. Gone way too soon.

After a great Bon Voyage dinner for our granddaughter, Felicia, and her partner, Kyle, they were on their way to New Zealand & Australia by early December. From their postings on Facebook and Instagram they’ve been having a fabulous time and experiencing the outdoors and life in general to the Nth degree. The pictures they’re sending back are fabulous, their adventures are awesome and daring and their stories are ones that should be written down for a lifetime of memories. They’ve sand-surfed, water surfed, bungie jumped, trekked across a Mountain in fog and cold, and eaten food items they wouldn’t get in Canada. (And it’s only their first month there.) I admire their tenacity, adventuresome spirit and daringness. Awe, to be young and free again!! Nat and I can’t wait for their arrival home in February 2020. We both miss them very much everytime we look at their postings on Instagram. Felicia has had an unbelievable chance to experience so much more in life than her parents ever had due to an exhausting work schedule to save the necessary money for her education and her extensive travels to Europe, Rio de Janiero, USA, England, and now New Zealand. So jealous.

As for the old folks in Ridgeway, I’m extremely grateful for the extremely quiet year we’ve had. If I ever have to relive 2018, you can take me out to the old shed and just shoot me. It would be more merciful. I mean that in all sincerity. So with great abandon I’m enjoying those quiet days of sitting with Nat in our recliners, doing crosswords and playing games on the iPadI’ve also had the chance to bake goodies for Nat and more goodies once the first goodies are gone. I’ve tried some new recipes with pretty good success, and am anxious to try some more once the holidays are over. I put together a package for Nat’s hair stylist and mine. I’ve got a batch of some for the family Christmas Eve get together which we’re looking forward to. Not seen my side of the family in more than a month and we always look forward to the comaraderie, laughter, and food.

Christmas Eve day is going to be busy. Hair appointment early in the morn, back home to make Pasta Salad for Laura’s get together and then on to the Irwin’s for their funfest with goodies in hand. Christmas morn will see us up early to go to Susan’s place for Bacon on a Bun and fill the void with Felicia and Kyle still in New Zealand. Knowing Susan, she’ll be worried every day, as any mother would be, but her youngest daughter, Bridget, will be there along with their big dog, which should make for a fun morning. We’ll then return home, relax a little and then make our little Christmas Dinner with the last of the turkey breast we bought at CostcoThere will even be enough leftovers for sandwiches the next morning. Yum!!!!

2019 has felt like a long year and I can barely remember what we even did in the first several months, which is fine by me. I’m still experiencing some wibbly, wobblies from all those head bangers I had with the Thrush. I’m at least holding my own and am able to get along with life as best as my body will allow. I’m happy with that. With 70 years of life behind me – in and out of hospitals – some travels and new life experiences – ups and downs no one saw coming – and even a marriage I really didn’t see coming – I think I’ve managed to do okay and truly feel it’s now my turn to enjoy what I have left of my years. I’ve been a positive thinker every one of those 70 years and will never quit. A positive outlook on life, a lot of laughter and support go a long way. And a long way to go is how I’m living my life.

Nat and I are naturally looking forward to a happy and prosperous (God, yes, a prosperous) year in 2020. The old calendar on the wall is empty of entries, except for birthdays, etc. and a couple of medical appointments, but knowing us it will get filled up with something at one time or another. We can just keep that positive attitude and hope it’s everything good.

Merry Christmas to All and A Very Happy New Year.