Tomorrow – A Changed Woman??

Since my last posting, our lives have been sincerely quiet. Most days we were either driving around picking up items at WalMart, relaxing with our crosswords or iPad games, and Nat playing golf three times a week (despite the horrid heat). Most afternoons I was afforded the pleasure of a lovely afternoon nap. Yes, my body is finally catching up with my actual age!!

I had my annual visit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and everything was great. The Doc was especially pleased that I’ve managed to keep the same weight for over a year now. From what I was told, that is usually unexpected. So I was pleased with myself, too. We then proceeded with our usual routine on the way home – lunch at The Gateway Centre in Grimsby.

We also took time to to visit the Outlet Mall of Niagara as we’d be driving by on our way home. As Nat gave me a gift card for Van Heusen for Christmas, I was anxious to see what was new and exciting to buy. I found 2 pair of regular pants, one pair of cropped pants and a bra. Paying a little extra after using my gift card was a small price for what I had found. I love everything I bought. My next visit, I’ll now have enough store credit points for another possible good buying spree.

July came in quietly with my usual monthly lunch with Michele. I tried something different this time at Swiss Chalet – the Crispy Chicken – but with what is left of my teeth, the meal was very difficult to finish. The chicken certainly was crispy, to the point where I had a hard time even cutting into the meat. The whole meal fell apart and after managing to eat about a quarter of my lunch, the rest was packed up in a doggy bag for sandwiches the next day. The discussion of the month was mostly my dental procedure a couple of weeks away. Michele was very re-assuring in her advice and help, but the jitters were just about starting to set in. This is unusual for me, as I’ve had so many operations, my mind goes blank on the days prior and I just do what I’m told.

The time had now come for my Pre-Operative appointment on Friday the 6th. We had to be there for 9:00 am and were taken in without much of a wait time. The pre-op itself, however, was a bit lengthy and more extensive than thought. With my medical history being what it is, the whole pre-op team pretty much covered everything, despite the fact I was only going in to have teeth removed. The Anesthesiologist took one look at the medical summary sent in by my GP and knew right away what I have been through. He pretty much agreed that I have become a “professional patient”. He really had no questions and neither did I. We both knew the whole scenario.

One appointment this month saw Nat finally going in for a re-working of his hearing aid. He’s been having trouble hearing in noisy settings, and certain TV shows with a lot of background music. The aids have now been adjusted to a better setting but it’s still difficult hearing certain conversations such as quiet British voices, but he realizes that it’s also just as hard for a normal hearing person. Even I have the volume up high while watching some British (and even American) shows with quiet voices and a lot of background noise. Why on earth they have to have background music playing while a conversation is going on, is beyond me!!!!!!

We were also lucky that our dearly loved brother-in-law, Daryl, was willing to take an old Rubbermaid storage bench off our hands. Nat has been pushing this thing around his shed for some time, as it’s no longer needed, and finally decided to give it away to anyone who would take it. Daryl came by in his work van and even picked up an office chair (also no longer in use) for his son, Zach, who was using a chair that was on its last legs – literally!! It was a smalll, but nice, break in our boring day to see and have a laugh or two with Daryl.

Four days ago, we also took some time to visit our good friends and former neighours in St. Catharines. The husband was fighting cancer and is now doing pretty good. We think about them almost daily and wanted to see them before I possibly become an old grouch after my teeth are removed. They, too, were worried about me – which is what I adore about them both – so we wanted to see how they doing. The visit, as usual, was fun and we love them dearly. Nat will call them shortly after my surgery to update them on the results.

This is now the final posting before my surgery tomorrow. Despite being re-assured by Michele that the healing process is not long at all, I’m still very apprehensive about the whole matter. Anything to do with my ears, eyes, nose and mouth are strictly off limits unless absolutely necessary. The cataracts on my eyes were bad enough but as my eyesight was getting foggier by the day, I knew it was a necessity. Plus now that enjoying good meals is getting rougher and tougher by the day, I had to face facts and admit to getting my teeth fixed. From November of 2017 it’s been a long, ongoing process that’s been frustrating, surprising and somewhat painful at times, but my head was telling my heart to smarten up and get things done now before it’s too late. If you enjoy eating good meals and smiling often, your teeth play the only role.

Tonight, as Nat and I try and watch TV, we’ll still each be wondering silently to ourselves what tomorrow will bring and worry about how each other is doing during the whole process. I’ll have to be up with the roosters in the morning, but a small price to pay to at least have the procedure in the morning. Hopefully I’ll be home shortly after lunch with Jello in the fridge waiting to be sucked back whenever. I truly hope I won’t have to be a gummer.

Outlet Collection of Niagara – A Great Change for Niagara Residents

With each and every trip into St. Catharines, Nat and I slowly watched the construction of the new Outlet Mall in Niagara-on-the-Lake with great anticipation. We literally watched (over time) as these massive open-air buildings were erected steel beam by steel beam. The curiosity was killing the “shopper” in me and I knew I would have to take a walk-about as soon as it was done. That time finally arrived this past Thursday, when Nat suggested we should go for a look see now that the first curiosity seekers had dissipated. I was excited to say the least and we both were not disappointed.

We meandered to the outskirts of St. Catharines where the Mall was located, right after lunch, and found a pretty good parking spot within minutes. I had already copied a list of the stores and where they were located from the Outlet Collections of Niagara’s web site. I had also circled which stores Nat and I wanted to check out first. We had no trouble finding where we had to go and were really pleased with the selections available for men. Nat has such a limited choice of where he can go (for a reasonable price) in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls and as a result he hates shopping for shirts, shorts, pants, etc. Even though we’re both retired, we both like to “casually” dress up whenever visiting family and friends, and even shopping sometimes depending on where we’re going.

The selection for Nat was wonderful and he agreed he would certainly shop at this Mall as opposed to the Pen Centre where you can walk for miles and not find a decent Mens store for guys Nat’s age, except for the usual same-old, same-old – Sears, which is becoming outdated, even in Nat’s opinion. My hubby is stepping up his fashion sense and appreciates a bit more quality. Old fashioned as it may sound Nat still enjoys a nice pair of slacks paired with a crisp co-ordinated shirt and a pair of good loafers for a decent and reasonable price. The Van Heusen, Haggar, IZOD and Rockport stores were all stores Nat said he would revisit. The selections were great, the styles and colours much more modern and up-dated and the prices were right on!! The one store he liked advised they had a small tailor shop in back if he wanted any shorts or pants hemmed!! Great idea, great service!! He knew he loved the Van Heusen and IZOD stores from our winter holidays in Destin, Florida where we would go to the Silver Sands Outlet Mall on a regular basis. Now there’s a great Outlet Mall!!!!

With no intentions of buying anything this trip, we continued to wander in and out of air-conditioned stores browsing around and checking out the merchandise. We both pretty much knew which stores to miss – not our thing, not our style or just of no interest. I, naturally, had to check out the Think Kitchen store and, again, no disappointment there. Different brands than what Nat and I were use to in Florida, but no complaints on inventory and selection. It goes without saying, too, that despite the fact we were not going to buy anything, I had to!! I found a great pair of flip flops from the SoftMoc outlet store and was pleased as punch at how great they felt on my feet – supportive, yet ever so comfy for a pair of flips flops – which I wear every day of the year indoors and on warm weather days outdoors.

With purchase in hand and after looking around as much as we could, we then meandered over to The Eatery where you could find a great selection of food joints, including a Deli-Meat shop, with plenty of seating areas inside and out. I had to check out The Frosted Cupcake as I’ve never been to any of their other stores in St. Catharines or Niagara-on-the-Lake village. I bought 6 Vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting but at a somewhat more expensive price than I anticipated – $15.00!! The sweet tooth had gotten the better of me on this occasion.

All in all, Nat and I were really impressed with the layout of the entire place, walked bare foot on the soft green turf installed in small areas, and walked in and out of large shaded or sunny areas while browsing through some very modern and more up-dated shops from what we’ve been use to in the St. Catharines and Niagara Falls areas. You have choices – you have huge varieties – you have fresh air and sunshine or shade whenever you want – you have plenty of benches for resting your weary bones or just to sit and watch the world go by (literally). There were plenty of tourists from all parts of this earth and you could walk past quite a few people and listen to a different language being spoken as they walked down the shaded strips carrying their shopping bags full of bargains and other goodies.

Nat and I also found the organization of the store locations well laid out. It seemed most of the shoe stores were in one area, while the clothing shops were in an adjoining area and mixed in-between were a few selective stores for a bit of variety. Variety is the buzz word here – lots of it and in modern shops with huge selection and (at least in the shops we visited) great “outlet” prices. No more need for Nat and I to drive over that busy Canada-US bridge to visit the land down-under (USA) unless it’s for something we definitely can’t get in our neck of the woods – e.g. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Apple, Pottery Barn.

We may not have seen the whole shebang, but we certainly have plenty of reasons to go back again, and again, and again. We both agreed that we would probably do most of our personal shopping there with one or two exceptions.

So, after a slow and breezy walk-about we headed back home in time to put a gorgeous piece of trout on the BBQ. After a great afternoon and a great meal we settled in for the night – NOW, what are we going to watch on television – it’s that same-old, same-old scenario again!!!

By way of a P.S. to those cupcakes: I have to admit I have a great sister who could bake a much moister cake with a creamier buttercream. I realize The Frosted Cupcake is only a kiosk and not stocked with cakes fresh from the oven, but I did find the cake portion drier than I’ve had in the past and a bit smaller in size for the price I paid. I think I’ll stick with my sister’s whenever I can get my hands on one!!