Calmer Days With A Bit Of Darkness

With the hectic month of May behind us, Nat and I settled back into our usual routines. His 3 golfs games a week were a welcome relief despite a few scorchy hot days that zapped his energy and reduced his handicap. We also had the air-conditioner repaired and as it is still under warranty, our bank account took a big sigh of relief. Apparently that bloody little mouse did a bit of damage before executing himself. I repeat, Idiot!!

We did our usual quarterly run to Costco for groceries and refilled the freezer with summer BBQ treats we don’t normally buy in the winter months. It will be nice to have a good juicy steak before July and my dental surgery, despite the fact it takes me twice as long to chew anything substantial right now. I love steak and will enjoy it come what may!

As the Provincial election heated up after our return from Britain, Nat and I became even more confused who to vote for. We politely mulled things over, discussed the pros and cons and had no favouritism for any of the leaders and, truth be told, didn’t want any of them in power. We had missed the early voting with running around getting summer chores done, a couple medical appointments and even baking a few items, so we headed down to the voting station on the final day and cast our ballots. We never discuss who voted for whom as we both have different philosphies and thoughts about each party and their leader. We were, however, really impressed with the new voting machines. Quick and easy once we made it through the long line up at the door.

I went to bed at my usual time on Election Day and along with the Stanley Cup game between Washington and Las Vegas that same evening, my mind kept busy wondering who would win the election and the hockey game. I had secretly hoped that Las Vegas would win it, being their first year together as a team and it would certainly make the records books, and Alex Ovechekin is not one of my favourite players. Everytime he’s on the ice I see him playing like a bully, hitting and undercutting the opposing team as if he was some sort of God. Despite my feelings, dear hubby convinced me to root for Washington, only because if Las Vegas won the Cup there would be no living with any of the players or team management. Egos would be flying everywhere. Plus Ovechekin and his Washington Redskins have been playing for eons, is one of the elder statesment of hockey and has never won a Cup at all. Hubby felt it was about time they had their day. I ended up agreeing.

As I was starting to float into “LaLa Land” hubby came to bed and gave me the news. Washington had finally won the Stanley Cup. Good on them as from what I saw before bed time, they were fighting the good fight and were ahead in goals. My only thought now was what Provincial party would be our esteemed leader come the next day. No matter what, I surmised, the next four years are going to be either tumultuous, weird or taxing!!!!

Awakening to a new day and a quiet day from my point of view, it was soon revealed by hubby that Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives had won a majority in Parliament. Like I surmised the night before – the next four years are going to be tumultuous. Don’t really trust Mr. Ford from his previous days in local politics, but time will tell.

It was also that morning as I was reading my Twitter feed, Anthony Bourdain had passed away in his hotel room n Paris. As with the rest of the world, I was dumbfounded. He had such a strong presence on his Parts Unknown series, which I followed devoutly, along with other shows he had done. Strong, rugged good looks, intelligent and daring to try anything once, he came across as a very confident man knowing his true self. However, as with all things human, we all have our demons, and Mr. Bourdain had succumbed to his. We’ll all miss you dearly.

This Tuesday sees me having lunch with sister, Michele. Looking forward to hearing what’s new and going on. Have not seen any family members since our return from Britain and I miss seeing any one of them. We were, however, blessed with a visit from Laura and dog, Zoe, this past Sunday. I was actually very good in my attitude and was even taken aback when we received a few compliments on our kitchen. I’ll take whatever I can get and went on with the visit as if we in good graces with each other. It was then that we also presented her with the ring we picked out from Jenny’s jewelery box. Susan had received her’s earlier and succumbed to tears just thinking about the wonderful gester from Jenny’s family. The ring looked good on Laura’s finger and I told her so. Unlike Susan, Laura may wear her ring on special occasions, where Susan is putting her’s away for inheritance sake. I’m proud of both girls and how they’re treating their gifts. It seems so long ago now that Nat and I were in Britain and if it wasn’t for Instagram and Twitter Jenny’s family would soon become a distant memory, but at least now we can keep up with postings, pictures and other shenanigans. I truly love it.

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Seeing Is Believing

The dog days of summer are almost gone. The Autumn Equinox is only 5 weeks away. Of course, I have no idea what that really means, except that it’s 3 weeks to September and the beginning of some of the Fall Craft Shows I love to attend.

I’m anxious to get out and wander around most of these shows. I love, love, love Craft Shows. Hated them as a youngster but once you get your own home it’s fun to look around for so many different decorating ideas. My husband knows, too, that I love to change things around the house now and again for a change of scenery and to make things feel fresh and new again.

Having said that, I’m in the throws of redecorating the main bathroom. I know what I want to do and have a lot of the wall accessories ready to go. However, the wall colour is giving me a lot of grief (looks silver on the paint sample, but a grey/blue on the walls). Previously I concentrated on the wall decor matching the walls and the towels matching the vanity, trim or floor. I’ve never been totally satisfied. Somehow something was just wrong. I’ve been on a constant hunt for a new area rug to match the walls which is proving to be a really bad idea. The stores and the internet are coming up empty and dear hubby could have painted the walls by now and make my life easier, but I’m trying to make his easier. I’m starting to cave in, though!!!

This afternoon I think I found something close to what I’ve been looking for on Amazon.ca and we’ll see in a couple of days whether it’s a “keeper” or “returner”. God, keep your fingers crossed!!

On another subject, I’ve had a follow-up appointment with my Optometrist. He says it’s now time to have my cataracts removed. Now there’s something I’ve been looking forward to – surgery on my eyeballs. My eyeballs are sacred, but alas age has caught up with me, along with some of my medication and if it’s going to allow me to see without glasses, that’s a bonus. The surgery won’t happen for another 5 to 6 months yet, so I can sit back and relax until after the New Year.

Hubby and I have been living a boring existence for the past several weeks. Not much has been going on except for Nat’s golf games 3 times a week, my on-off baking energy and whatever else I can get into trouble with. I’m still loving this new ultra-short haircut. It’s been a godsend these hot Summer days. No fuss, no muss – just a finger brush in the morning and I’m away. I could kiss my hairdresser for trying it and one of her other clients for giving me the idea. Even our contractor noticed the new look and complimented me – what were the odds in that???

I’ll be glad when the 2016 Olympics are over. I’ve never been one for the Summer Olympics. I find them boring and tedious. Bring on the snow, the cold, the slopes, the speed and heart pumping ski jumps!! I also find that this years’ Olympics are a bit one-sided with the Americans winning so many medals it feels like there hasn’t been any true competition. At least with the Russians in years past there was some real competitiveness, but alas, even that’s been spoiled by modern medicine and other things. I’m glad Canada has accomplished what it has and I’ll root for any Canadian going, but I would prefer it to be knee-high in snow.

Our granddaughter should be home by the end of the week from the Olympics and it sounds so far that she’s been having a pretty good time. Despite her flight delays in the beginning it sounds like she and her other friend have met up with some more friends, and good times are being had. Can’t wait for her to get home and hear her stories.

On another holiday adventure I was following was my step-niece and nephew from England and their 2 week trip to New York and California. Every now and again, she and her brother would post something on Twitter that would make me laugh, but then a bit of disaster befell their father. He ended up losing his phone 3 times, his wallet once and then broke a toe. My niece was declaring that she couldn’t take her father anywhere. One more disaster hit them on the way home, with United Airlines screwing up their connecting flight to Newcastle and the poor family was stuck in the airport for well over 24 hours. They eventually caught a flight to London and then had to arrange for another flight to Newcastle. Needless to say the whole family was exhausted but extremely happy to be home. I wish I was there to hear their stories, which I’m sure they’ve got plenty of.

Bring on the Craft Shows – I’m ready!!

Oh, God, Not Another One!

The last couple of weeks in June have been more eventful than Nat and I had expected. Even our new neighbours have had their own excitement, too. This is the final year of high school for two of our grandchildren and a niece of mine, along with two birthdays in one week. For the first time in ages this was one of our busiest months.

The first birthday was for Zach, who turned 16 this past Sunday. Family members were treated with pizza, turkey on a bun, salads and delicious chocolate cake. Who could refuse anything! This was also the week that Zach’s little sister, Zoe, would be graduating Grade 8. My youngest niece has now grown up and is no longer that cuddly little rascal we all knew and loved. She showed me her gorgeous sequined, backless dress, beige high heels and explained how her hair was going to be done. Her Mom said Zoe was hesitant to go to the prom, but from my eyes I could see the twinkle in her eyes and I’m sure she’d have a great time. By way of birthday and graduation gifts, Nat and I popped some money in envelopes for the two kids to spend as they wanted. Naturally we all had a great time, but we had to leave earlier than usual, as I had my annual check-up at 9:00 am the next morning in Hamilton. Coming from Fort Erie it would take Nat and I over an hours drive to arrive at St. Joseph’s Hospitalget parked and walk the length of the building to the Transplant Clinic. I would have to be crawling out of bed by 6:00 am to get dressed and ready. What an ungodly time, at least for me!!

Arriving in Hamilton Tuesday morning, Nat and I got lucky and managed to park in the front parking lot, right next door to the Transplant Clinic which we’ve never been able to manage before. Parking in the back tiered parking garage is a nuisance and very difficult to find good spots. I guess early risers are rewarded!

During my appointment it was again emphasized that I need to lose at least 10 pounds, that my blood sugar levels should be maintained at 6, and Doc informed me that I did, in fact, have diabetesThis was a big surprise to me, as my blood sugar levels have remained in the 6 – 8 ranges. Not good enough apparently. Plus I emphasized to Doc that the weight loss has been extremely difficult despite the fact I continue to exercise. He then told me I couldn’t blame the Prednisone any more and he was going to prescribe another pill for diabetics along with the one I’m presently taking. This one, however, he advised may help me loose a little weight, but not to rely on it. At least this was a tiny bit of positive news and with that Nat and I drove home discussing how we would have to get back into a proper diet and exercise routine again. I admit to having fallen off the wagon somewhat this past year, but between an extremely long, cold, snowy winter, my depression episodes and other dramatic events, I found my “normal” life style going out the window. Ergo, we shall go forward in a more determined fashion this time. I’m going to hang my new dress in close view for Dalton’s wedding in September as an incentive to lose the weight. A couple pounds lighter will make it look even more spectacular (I hope).

After that early morning rise, Nat and I arrived home exhausted and spent the rest of Monday doing bloody nothing. Tuesday morning arrived and we were still somewhat lackadaisical so we just did whatever it was that had to be done and then back to those good old recliner chairs we so dearly love!! Seriously, I’m now getting concerned how attached we are to these things!!

Wednesday evening we were invited to Karly’s 22nd birthday get together at Marilyn’s. This was going to be the first time I would face my beloved stepdaughter, Laura, since those dark and stormy emails that were exchanged. Nat knew I was nervous and supported me the entire night. We had a great time and finally met Karly’s live-in beau, Mitch. An extremely nice looking young man and we knew he would be good for Karly. He has a good head on his shoulders and is into every kind of sport going, including fishing, camping, golfing and skiing. He was taking Karly on her first camping trip this weekend and we can’t wait to hear how things went!! The rest of the evening I kept Marilyn’s mother (aged 91 +/-) company while the rest of the cousins and adults mingled amongst themselves. We had a great meal of beef-on-a-bun, potato chips, veggie and fruit trays, along with good conversation between Marilyn, Shawn (Laura’s ex), his girlfriend, Linda, myself and Nat. I was able to avoid Laura for most of the evening and couldn’t look her in the face. Nat and I were joking how we were napping for an hour or so in the afternoons and Laura tried to inject her opinions, but I managed to stay clear while laughing along with the other adults. All in all the evening went well and I was pleased to get caught up on family matters with Shawn, Linda and Marilyn. Nat was able to talk to the grandkids on his own and get caught up on their news, and true to form he stood by me whenever possible. I felt positive about the whole affair.

Onto the next event – Thursday evening. Bridget’s Grade 12 graduation. Lucas’ graduation was the same night, but it was decided that Nat and I attend Bridget’s evening as Lucas’ other grandmother would be at his. We are now the only living grandparents of Felicia and Bridget and we were proud to attend her final days of school. The ceremony was nice (albeit a bit boring for two oldies!). I was never one that got excited about Valedictorian speeches, even at my own graduation, but Nat and I managed to make it through the entire evening. I will admit, however, to being a bit peeved at some family members in the audience. It became quite apparent who the favoured graduates were by their family and parents’ vocal loud hoots, holler, whistles, and clapping while watching a video summary of the graduates’ year.  They remained true to form during the awards ceremonies and I began to feel sorry for those graduates who had only one parent in the audience. I was a beneficiary of some of those loud excruciating whistles that came from behind me, entering through my left ear sounding like two tom cats fighting and whaling over some female cat in heat. God, the lungs on that woman! I quickly glanced over my left shoulder and couldn’t believe my eyes. There sat two youngsters, tattooed to the nines from shoulders to ankles, pierced ears, noses, lips and God knows what else, wearing apparel that suited an afternoon of ditch digging. Just to make things more morbid for me – they had a baby in tow. God can only look down and hope like hell their child will survive whatever life brings him.

With the frivolity over, we gathered in the huge hallway of the Americana Hotel, in Niagara Falls, found a spot for picture taking and snapped away. God bless Susan. She’s so good in recording everything her two girls do by taking pictures galore. Bridget’s boyfriend, Michael (another cutie) was also included in the mix, along with most of Bridget’s teachers. Nat and I felt like midgets standing next to Bridget, her dad and her boyfriend – all 6′ or over. I swear I was the Munchkin of the bunch. Nat and I soon said our goodbyes with hugs and kisses all around. By way of another mention – Felicia is flying to Italy & Greece this Sunday to meet up with some girlfriends, tour the sights and have some well deserved fun. Bridget will be going to Dominican later on this summer, so we wished both of the girls Bon Voyage, safe trip and instructions to snap away all they can and to Twitter us if they get a chance. We’ll be looking forward to seeing them as soon as they get home. Mom and Dad are worried, of course, but when you get a chance to travel like that it adds to your life experiences, your maturity and memories. This is also a good time to travel before the two girls get busy again in September with University and possible jobs.

Friday morning, again, found the two of us exhausted. We really are not night owls. There wasn’t even much to get by way of groceries – just a couple of items. Only because Nat had to go for gas we managed to scribble a few more items on the list to make it worth a trip to Sobey’s. I stayed home to organize next week’s pill container, do some month-end bookkeeping and maybe, just maybe, get some housework done. Once Nat arrived home we were certain we now had the day to ourselves. This was not to be! Mid-afternoon we received an email from dear sister, Gail, inviting us out for cake and ice cream to celebrate her son’s 50th birthday. Another night out, but what could be do. It’s only moments like this – special celebrations or holidays – that I get to see most of my sisters during the year. So, for me, it was a done deal.

Just prior to our lunch on Friday, we noticed the ambulance was parked in front of Richard and Helen’s home. We had just seen them drive down the road minutes prior, but suddenly they had returned with Helen now driving the car. The EMS guys were tending to Richard for quite a few minutes as he remained in the front seat.  Naturally, Nat and I began to speculate, and couldn’t help but continue to watch the scenario playing out. After some time, the ambulance attendants were helping Richard out of the car with his left hand supported by a board and bandaged up. Helen soon started up the car and followed the Ambulance down the road to the hospital. We felt so bad for the two of them. This was all they needed. As things turned out, Richard had fallen and broken his wrist. They were at the hospital for nearly six hours. We could only imagine Richard’s frustration with his left lower arm now in a cast – from elbows to fingers. I’m sure they’ll be glad to see the month of July arrive with hopefully better luck.

Assuming everyone would be at Gail’s we headed down the road for 7:00 PM. It soon became apparent we were the only family members that could make it. The two other households had made previous arrangements for that evening, so Nat and I were glad we, at least were there for our nephew.  Nice quiet conversations were had by all and naturally the cake and ice cream were fabulous. I had to cheat on the new diet, naturally, by having a nice-sized piece of cake. There was plenty to go around and besides I didn’t want to come across as being rude. Poor Gail had gone through all of this trouble and despite the last minute notice we managed to make a somewhat dent in the goodies.

We were fortunate enough to also have some unexpected entertainment. The volunteer Firemen had arrived in their shiny red firetruck at the house two doors down. Gail and her family became concerned as they knew the couple that lived there and suddenly the living room was empty as each one of them were seen scurrying across their front lawn to see what the fuss was all about. Nat and I remained indoors with Gail’s daughter, Liz, and it wasn’t long before the gang returned home. Turns out some kids were toasting marshmallows and some tell-tale neighbour called it in. There seems to be a bylaw in place that fires are not allowed in this rural area, but most locals usually look the other way. There seems to be some new goody-two-shoes that have moved in nearby. This proves why no one actually knew who had made the 9-1-1 call!!

Nat and I arrived home around 9:45 AM and I was ready for my bed. I mustered up some energy to watch TV for an hour, but then I had to hit the shower and my bed. God, where is this exhaustion coming from?? Seriously? I suppose we’ll have to start retraining ourselves for evenings out – Nah, I don’t think so!!