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.


Will You Still Meet Me, Will You Still Greet Me, When I’m 64?

 One more year to go and I’ll be singing that Beatles tune. Not exactly an accomplishment I want to achieve, but as I have no say in the whole  matter, I’ll just have to put up and shut up. Shutting up is the better of the two – you really don’t want to hear me sing!!!

The birthday morning was nice. I awoke, took my routine of pills and then opened up the birthday cards I had received earlier. (Nat doesn’t feel you should open your cards until the day of, so I abided by his wishes.) The cards from my sister-in-law, Jenny, and my cousin Wendy, in Britain, were especially appreciated. Nat then greeted me with my gift and card from him. His birthday card this year was spot on – he knows me too well and it’s a bit scary!! He gave me (or intended to) a Magic Trackpad for the Mac, but by accident had picked up the Wireless Keyboard which we already have. Before going to my birthday supper, we headed into Niagara Falls a little earlier and made the exchange. I’m anxious to get it going and see what all the fuss is about.

Around 4:00 pm we then headed into St. Catharines to try out Johnny Rocco’s Italian Restaurant for our dinner (after making the exchange at Future Shop). One of my dearest sisters (Thamazine) gave me a gift card for this restaurant in thanks for wrapping her Christmas parcels and both Nat and I were waiting in anticipation for this day. With each visit to The Keg  for previous birthdays and anniversaries, we passed by the newly built Johnny Rocco’s on Merritt Street, and each time our curiosity had been peaked. We now had no excuse not to give it a try.

We were not disappointed. The old building had been renovated beautifully and Johnny Rocco’s portion was gorgeous. The use of modern and old was extremely well done. The glass surrounding the pizza bar, the hi-tech televisions, the black and white old Italian photos hanging on the stone and brick walls blended nicely with the seating and rest of the decor. The food did not disappoint either. Nat ordered the spaghetti and meatballs and I ordered the lasagna. Once our plates arrived our eyes grew a little larger as we realized we were getting more than our money’s worth. The meatballs alone on Nat’s plate looked like they were On Top of Old Smokie, all covered in sauce … and my lasagna was smothered in gorgeous tomato sauce and towered 4 layers high. Each plate also came with a slice of garlic bread smothered in mozzarella cheese. We soldiered through our meals as best we could but alas neither of us could quite finish the whole meal. There wasn’t going to be any room for dessert. We could live with that, as we always enjoy our cup of tea once we get home and settled into our easy chairs.

We enjoyed the ride home listening to our favourite DJ, Robbie Lane, and tapping our fingers and toes to the oldies he was playing, along with one of our favourite songs, At Last, by Etta James, who had just passed away. The night was complete and the day was great. Hopefully I’ll be back this time next year singing that other golden oldie – When I’m 64.

Achoo, The Inspector’s Here And The TV Could Blow!

It started in Britain. It continues to this day – 3 weeks now. This damn bloody cold just won’t leave me. I understand why it takes me so long to get rid of colds, but this is now getting ridiculous. I’m tired, I’m keeping up hubby at night with the wheezing, hacking and nose blowing, and my head is starting to feel like it’s been through a wringer washer. From the shoulders down I feel terrific, even my hip pain has eased up (knock wood!!) but this cold has got a grip on me and just won’t let go. My family knows how stubborn I am, but man they should meet this miserable S.O.B. I’ll give in to Nat’s little jabs and call the Doc on Monday, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope. Every time I get one of these things it always takes me several weeks to shake it, but I’ll see if she can come up with some sort of miracle.

Aside from lounging around the house all week hacking my head off, Nat and I have been pretty quiet. It took me close to three days to do the laundry after our trip. As I wasn’t fully up to snuff, I took this necessary chore and did it in shifts – not by the hour, but by the day. What the hell, it wasn’t like I was going anywhere. I’ve not even cleaned the house yet and there are a few sisters out there that know how much that’s killing me. To prove how bad I’ve got it, I took 2 seconds out of my “lounging” on Friday, grabbed a duster and quickly swiped a couple of tables in the living room, only because it was time for the annual fire inspection by our insurance company and psychologically it made me feel better. It ended up Nick (the inspector) didn’t even touch the living room and was so jolly and nice I don’t think he would have cared if I had greeted him at the door wearing PJ’s, fuzzy rabbit slippers and a kleenex box in hand!

As it turned out Friday was one of our busiest days. That morning we had received a letter from Sony Canada advising that our 40″ TV was one of several models with a possible defect. Word had it that some component in the back could be damaged, make the TV overheat and at times ignite inside and possibly result in a hole in a part of the cabinet ceiling. Good time for the fire inspector, right!!! Being the safety conscious folks that we are, we called the hotline, as directed, and sure enough a technician came by that very morning. Talk about efficiency, eh!! He turned up just as the fire inspector was driving out – talk about luck! The technician, thinking this was going to be easy, also had a surprise. Turns out, the wall bracket holding our beautiful 40″ Sony television,  was a doozer. Not one of those “just lift off” suckers. Nope. Ours had screws in 4 corners on the back underneath steel bars or rails that had to be levelled and naturally were extremely hard to get to. As I recall, this wall bracket took Nat and I a good part of an afternoon to assemble. This sucker wasn’t going to go anywhere! So, with a lot of patience, time and luck, the technician and Nat managed to get everything disassembled. After about an hour of disassembly, it only took this guy 5 minutes to check the part that could have fired a hole in the wall. Our TV was good to go and safe. This poor guy was probably glad to get out of this house and on to an easier inspection where the TV sits on a TV stand and is easy to get to.

With the arrival of Saturday morning we both got back into our usual routine. It didn’t take us long to get groceries – haven’t been having the big meals – so we also ran a couple of other errands and headed home for lunch. As we hadn’t really celebrated our 17th Wedding Anniversary – due to being 30,000 feet in the air – we took time out tonight and went to my favourite restaurant – The Keg. With a great steak meal finished off by Billy Miner Pie (mocha ice cream on a bed of chocolate cookie crumbs and topped with slivers of  pecans) we returned home and settled in to watch Hockey Night In Canada. I’ll finish off the weekend trying to get our travel pictures labelled and organized (both Nat’s and mine are mixed together, not that that means much) and right back into my Sunday routine of laundry and cleaning. God, I miss being in Britain!

“We’re Expecting You”, The Keg

February 2nd saw Nat and I head off to The Keg in St. Catharines. My only birthday wish was for a great steak in a great restaurant with my loving husband! How’s that for sucking up!!! As always, we had a wonderful time – a good glass of wine, a beautiful meal, a romantic atmosphere. And to make it a perfect evening Nat saw his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs later that evening kick butt against the New Jersey Devils 3-0.

As the rest of the week wound down, we had more quiet and non-eventful days, the way we liked. A day here and a day there saw Nat doing more painting of wall trim – the hallway is now done, the doors are done, and the fireplace has been done. (The fireplace was starting to “bleed” from the initial coat given when we first moved in, so Nat decided to re-sand and repaint in order to stop the previous stain colour from seeping through.) The whole house is now starting to “look” finished. Just a few small touches means a lot in the entire scope of things. While Nat was painting I finally finished our record album conversions. Except for one or two albums that failed to convert properly, our entire collection is done. I also left out a few comedy albums that I didn’t think were worth doing, but may rethink that at a later date. I’ll start to convert the tape cassettes and 45’s we have next.

Nat has now received his golf schedule for the 2010 season and you could see the twinkle in his eyes return. He’s chomping at the bit to get back on the course and we’re at least in the home stretch. We’ll have to get him out on the practice field to get him warmed up and ready to go!! I suppose it won’t hurt me to get out there with him and at least get in a few stretches to loosen up the old body from an inactive winter!!

Sunday saw us take a drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake just for the hell of it. Nat also wanted to check the hat shop there for a cap which he’s been looking for for some time. Naturally, it’s now getting a little too late in the season and he’ll have to wait until the new Fall stuff arrives – next September!! I managed to get a couple of the candy apples I love and with a small walk-about we at least enjoyed the crisp fresh air for an hour. With that we headed home, sat in our respective easy chairs and enjoyed the rest of the evening!! Could this life get any easier????