Monday, 12 November 2018

It's beginning to look a lot like....

View from my front door

I'm afraid this is it, winter is here to stay as the temperatures are quite cold.  Currently it is -10C (14F) and feels like -20C (-4F) because of the wind. The forecast does indicate a few days with temps above freezing, but for the most part it's definitely winter.  Sigh...if I had my way, the snow wouldn't arrive until the week prior to Christmas and leave a week or two later.  

Speaking of Christmas, I'm feeling a bit rushed (already) because of my trip.  NOT that I'd give up my cruise but suddenly it seems like Christmas preparations are more pressing.  The other day I made a list of gifts for each of my children, Eli, my brother and his family and a couple of friends and was pleased to discover I'm nearly done shopping and most of that is gift cards.  Hooray I won't have to spend time in crazy shopping malls.  Though I must admit I made a trip to our new Costco on Friday to buy pj's for my children.  What a bad idea!  The store opened last weekend and was a total zoo.  I ought to have turned around and left immediately but I stayed.  It took over an hour to wander a bit, pick up the pj's and make my way through the tills.  They really ought to have an express lane!

I got started on baking yesterday - though it will be gone well before Christmas.  We're having a potluck next Thursday at work, and I signed up to bring dessert.  I made a new-to-me recipe for orange cranberry cookies.  Oh my goodness are they good!  There is always that last cookie made from the last bit of dough that looks less than always ends up my tasting cookie.  I also made a batch of M&M cookies - basically a chocolate chip cookie with candy.  Also very yummy!

Years ago, I would make a variety of cookies and cakes for Christmas.  Most of it would be shared with my co-workers.  I stopped doing this about 5 or 6 years ago, as no one seemed to appreciate my efforts, though they certainly had no difficulty eating it.  I have continued to bake a few things for us and to share with friends.  This year, though I'm planning to bake a large batch of cupcakes to take into the office on my last day.  That's a project for next weekend.

I haven't decided what we'll have for dinner, that can wait until after I return on December 20th.  Decorating will likely also wait until then as my social calendar has suddenly become much busier.  Former co-workers are taking me for breakfast on my first day of freedom 59, while others have booked me for lunch the following week.  Plus Eli and D will be here for the weekend.  I'll also be packing for my trip, wrapping gifts, and doing a final clean of the house before I leave.  K and I spent some time firming up plans for each port last week, and she purchased tickets for the Creole Christmas at Preservation Hall (Dec 16) and a graveyard tour (Dec 19).  She has also arranged for a rental car as we plan to visit a couple of plantations (Dec 18).  Her partner J found a river tour which we likely do on the 17th, along with Cafe du Monde (for beignets and coffee), as well as some shopping.  We've left lots of free time too to allow for wandering and simply marvelling at being in New Orleans.  I'm so excited!  

On a totally different note, I got one of those scam e-mails the other day.  It appeared to come from my own e-mail address, and read that I had been hacked (I hadn't), and they had my password (a partial password that I haven't used in years).  The message went on to say that they had video of me watching porn (as if), and if I didn't pay up in bitcoin (sorry I don't have any) they would release the video.  There was more but by this point I simply deleted the e-mail.  Even so, there was a moment of concern - had they really gotten information that would allow them access to my accounts or was the e-mail a spoof of my e-mail address?  Norton said everything was up-to-date.  A friend  provided a site where one can check to see when/how one's information might have been breached. If you are interested, check it out here.  I learned that, yes, my e-mail address and password had been included in massive data breaches in 2016 and 2017.  It brings me relief to know that no other information was breached.  In the meantime I've changed passwords on pretty much every account I have.  Only one site made it difficult to do so, a local utility company, and I've yet to try again.  It certainly was a good reminder how important it is to change passwords on a regular basis and to ensure that one uses different passwords for different sites.  I'm going to write them down and keep them in a safe place; although I'm of sites that will keep track of them for me, I'd probably forget the password!

The rest of the weekend has been spent doing chores, watching curling and football, and knitting. I'm sad to report that our beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders came up short in the first playoff game so our season is done. :(  It ended on a sour note when our second string quarterback was hit high, likely causing a concussion.  Just last week our starting quarterback suffered a similar, and season ending hit.  Neither hit was called by the referees so there will be lots of discussion.  Oh well, maybe next year.

The little hat on the penguin is meant for Eli.  This was my third attempt as Saku managed to snag the first two and drop too many stitches to salvage them.  I'm not entirely happy with this effort, it seems a bit short but perhaps that's because I put it on the stuffed toy that I thought might approximate the size of my grandson's head.  I've got another on the needles, perhaps for Eli or perhaps for his little friend Knox.  It all depends on whose head it fits, though I'll to make another if neither fits the little guy (Knox).  

Speaking of Knox, there was a bit/lot of excitement on Saturday as A went into labor.  For reasons unknown to me, she planned to give birth in Regina.  Her on-again, off-again boyfriend (and father of Knox and his sibling) dropped Knox with D mid-afternoon, to drive her to the city.  D had insisted that they take some blankets with them and that turned out to be a very good thing.  About 20 minutes outside the city, they had to pull over as A had an urge to push and with the assistance of the 911 operator she gave birth to their son, J.P.  Then they drove the rest of the way into the hospital.  They were released from the hospital on Sunday, spent the night in the city at her brother's home, and headed back to Melville today.  D said Knox seemed to know something was up, but was quite happy to hang out with her and Eli. 

D sent me this photo, taken just after they got up from their nap.  Eli was obviously still a little tired, while Knox was pretty happy.  Later they spent time playing in the playroom, before they showed up downstairs ready for supper.  It amazes me how well they play together, and it is clear they communicate with one another.  I'm sure they'll get lots of time together as A will need a break with two children under the age of 2.  Yikes!

Well, enough blather from me for this weekend.  I'm off to do the chores I didn't get done because I was glued to the television.  

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

In honor of my uncles, Tom Collins (WWI), Wilfred and Robinson Hodgins (WWII). I am grateful that each of you were able to come to your families at the end of war.  Thank you to all who served that we might be free.

*comments off

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Something different

We're back into the winter weather, waking to snow on the ground this morning.  It's continuing to fall but lightly - I'd estimate there is about an inch on the ground.  The temperatures are dropping (obviously) and by mid-week it will be cold, below normal temps for this time of year.  While not a surprise it makes me wish for a warmer climate.  Someday I'll make that wish come true.

Thankfully, Halloween was actually quite warm, no snowsuits over costumes required. Eli and his little buddy Knox were both dressed as little tigers.  While I didn't get to see him in person, D sent lots of photos.  I won't bore you with all of them especially as most of them are from the back.  That kid doesn't appreciate having his photo taken.

This is stand and sit stroller.  Knox is in the front while Eli is strapped into the back on the little fold down seat.  When the child is order they can stand looking forward. There were photos of A walking with the two little ones so perhaps it didn't last long.

Here at home, I had 35 trick or treaters arrive at the door.  The first two showed up around 6 p.m. and the last two were at the door about 8:30.  The latter did very well as I was ready to shut off the lights, so I took the remaining candy and divided it between the two of them.  It wasn't much more that I had been giving out to others, and definitely not enough had another group showed up at the door.  It was clear the weather was better, as this was the largest number of children I've seen in the 8 years we've been in this house.  

Speaking of candy, here is Eli with his haul.  He is enjoying his very first box of Smarties...I doubt he ate the red ones last.  D has tucked the rest of the candy away and is allowing him one or two small treats before bed.  She does like Doritos so I suspect he'll have to share those.  At any rate, it should take awhile before he runs out.

We were able to dress up for Halloween at work!  I don't have a photo of my costume, but I wore my pj's (a fleece set with jacket, tank, and pants), used hair gel to mess up my hair (think bedhead) and attached a sticker that read "retired".  With a cup of coffee in my hand it was perfect and probably the most comfortable outfit I've ever worn to work.

In fact, I've decided that for the rest of my days in the office, I'm going to dress for comfort.  Not pajamas,of course, but more likely jeans and t-shirts.  I no longer have any direct contact with clients so the only people who see me will be the staff and management.  If, perchance, someone doesn't appreciate my attire, they won't have to look at it for very long.  Just fourteen more bum-in-seat days!  This week I attended the farewell for a retiring co-worker and have been invited to the lunch for another next Tuesday. It seems to be a bit of trend, as after I'm done there are three or four others waiting their turn. Our organization went through periods of hiring, most often a large contingent, and then no hiring was done for several years.  Thus when we have attrition it is generally due to the number of individuals who were hired.  I'm a bit of an anomaly as I was much older than my peers (I started at the age of 38, the rest were in their 20's or early 30's) so I'm leaving with another group who started up to 10 years prior.

I've been starting to think about what retirement will look like.  I can't say that I'm just starting thinking about it as retirement has obviously been on my mind for some time (at least 48 marbles/months) but now that it is this close it's become a bit of an obsession. There are the planned cruises (more on that later), and the eventual sale of this house, but what will my day-to-day look like?  I keep imagining one very, very long weekend where ever day is Saturday. A Saturday, where if I'm not careful, I can put off doing things because Sunday is still the weekend.  My friend C made a comment that when she first retired, she had no idea where the time went.  She would start cleaning a drawer in the morning, and poof, it would be dinner time.  I wonder if that will happen for me, or whether I'll get bored easily.  I hope not!  My next door neighbour retired, but went back to work after 18 months (on contract) because she couldn't stand being at home.  I certainly have no plans to return to work, at least not my current work, though part-time dusting shelves at a book store would be nice.  I'd probably get fired in the first week for reading instead of dusting!

Another possibility is volunteering, though I must admit, I've not come up with any particular organization or charity I'd want to do this work for.  While I am a strong supporter of our local Humane Society, I definitely couldn't volunteer at the shelter...I'd be back up to 6 or more cats in no time.   A group of us from work volunteered several years ago to assist with a Habitat for Humanity build. I really enjoyed that, spending time outdoors while we poured the basement forms, along with the physical aspects of putting the forms together. However, my talents certainly don't lean towards construction so I suspect that was a one off.  The true benefit of retirement is simply that I'll have time to figure it out.  

So I truly don't think I'll be least not for several months.  I may get a bit of cabin fever between January 19 and March 17 (between cruises) but that will be due to the weather, not for the lack of something to do. I'll be into the process of getting the house ready for sale.  There is some painting to be done, a bi-fold door to replace, carpet cleaning, clearing of cupboards and packing of photos and personal items.  The garage will have to wait for warmer weather.  

As to the cruises, the third cruise I had booked in March - I cancelled it.  While it was a unique itinerary, from Santiago, Chile to Los Angeles, California, when I finished my research I came to realize there was only one port I was truly interested in visiting.  I hemmed and hawed about it for a bit, then did some checking and found another, more appealing cruise, a ten day Eastern Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale.  I called my travel agent and she made it happen.  I lost $100 deposit but got $60 in on board credit for the other cruise so I'm not the far behind.  I'm also saving on the cost of the cruise as well as air fare, plus I get to visit two new ports to me, Grand Turks, Turks and Caicos, and Martinique.  I've yet to do any real research on either port since I'm gearing up for the December cruise, which is just over 30 days away.  I have decided, though, that I will spend an extra day or two in Fort Lauderdale, as I've always wanted to visit the beach by Port Everglades to watch and wave at the cruise ships as they sail away.  Silly I know, as I've been on those ships waving to those waving to us from shore. 

Anyway, that pretty catches you up with my world for the past week.  I'll be watching the final football game of the day (Saturday) as it will determine whether our Riders are in first or second place in the league.  First place, they'll have another bye week to prepare, second place and they'll play Winnipeg again next week.  Since Winnipeg beat us 31-0 just a few weeks ago... I'll be cheering for the B.C. Lions tonight. Oh the drama of it all!

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone! I hope there is no snow where you are...winter should just go away for a few more weeks.  

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Wonderful time of the year

I'm sure you are all shaking your heads...what the heck am I talking about with a title like that?  Don't I know winter is rapidly approaching?  Of that fact I am well aware.  We've had a few nice days with temps in the mid-teens (Celsius not Fahrenheit), but the colder weather is once again on its way.  Though surprisingly the forecast is calling for a high of 7C (45F) on Halloween...good for the little tricker or treaters. Perhaps this year they won't have to wear their winter jackets over their costumes!  

Back to my original thought.  It's a wonderful time of the year because not only are the football playoffs getting near ...Go Riders... but the curling events have begun in earnest!  This weekend features the Canadian Beef Masters Grand Slam event in Truro, Nova Scotia.  Yes, I'm serious Canadian Beef is the sponsor and the event is being held in a province known for its sea food.  Truth is often stranger than fiction.

The first games were held on Wednesday but nothing was televised until Thursday evening.  Friday there were three draws and as I finally had a Friday with nothing planned it was a wonderful relaxing day.  The cats even let me sleep in until after 7 a.m.  Bonus!  The curling started about 8 a.m., the next draw was at 12:30 and the last at 5 p.m.  I PVR'd the last game as I went out for dinner as usual, and watched the last half when I got home.  There was also a football game, not the Riders, but one that has play-off implications for our team.  While I would never normally cheer for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (there is a fierce rivalry between our two teams), I did last night and they came out on top, beating the Calgary Stampeders.  Not as bad as they beat us a couple of weekends ago (31-0) but a win none-the-less.  

Not only do I appreciate this time of year for the sports I enjoy but it gives me time to craft while I'm watching.  I know, I know, I could do it when I'm otherwise watching television but since I'm sitting for a sustained period of time I get things done.  

This is a blanket for D's friend A who is expecting a baby in early November.  I made the main part using leftover yard from another project, and bought the white for the band so now I have more leftover yarn.  That's the thing about knitting and crocheting...all the leftovers generally mean I usually end up buying more yarn.  The blanket needs to be washed and blocked so that the band doesn't curl as it is in the picture. I'll do that and send it back with D when they are here next weekend.

Next up, I decided to find a pattern for crocheted mittens.  I grew with handmade knitted mittens and I have a set I made last year - I'm pretty sure I made then while I was watching curling then too.  But I'm not a fast knitter, and find crocheting provides results much sooner.  I found an easy pattern today, and started in using, you guessed it, more leftover yarn.  I had the cuff finished in no time.  I've set it aside for now as the curling is over, I'm watching football while I work on this post, but it is just about time to feed the cats and start our supper.  The Riders play after this game is finished so I'll be glued to the television.  They can't win (or lose) without me. :p

It is now Sunday and I've been awake since 6 a.m., thank you Sasha and Saku.  They just would not stop pestering me for breakfast. Sasha tends to get in my face and tickle me with his whiskers, while Saku prefers a less subtle approach  laying his 17 pounds of weight on me.  I can't ignore either of them for long.  I wanted to be up early as the curling started at 7...just not that early!

Back to last evening for a moment, the Riders won!  We lost our quarterback to a nasty hit, but our defense came through for us.  They shut down B.C.'s offense and scored 14 points on turnovers.  The Riders have a bye week coming up in the final week of regular play, while B.C. plays Calgary.   If B.C. is able to beat Calgary, we'll be in first place in the West division, if Calgary wins we're in second.  Either way we'll have a home playoff game, with the goal of reaching the Grey Cup game.

I've been quite lax this weekend with the housework; between curling games I will need to get laundry and vacuuming done.  I've kept up with the dishes, not that C and I make very many of those. I don't need to prep much for the week as I made a pot of chili and grilled a couple of chicken breasts earlier in the week.  I'll use these for lunches, along with some veg and fruit. I don't often cook much in the evenings when I get home as I'm tired and hungry so I tend to grab a sandwich or breakfast for dinner.  I did make an exception this week as my son C turned 31 on Wednesday.  I made one of his favorites, perogies, bacon, with sour and sauteed onions.  Carb heavy but oh so yummy!

I'll end this post with a photo of Eli from our visit last Sunday.  He was excited to see me, as I was to see him.  D had brought him outside to play and when he spotted me getting out of the car, he came running.

Once we were indoors I wasn't quite as big of a draw.  Here, he's watching Paw Patrol, his favorite cartoon.  He desperately needs a haircut and D had one booked for later this week.  She told me today when they went for their appointment, the shop was closed for a family emergency.  Hopefully she'll get him in this week or he'll soon not be able to see through those bangs.  

Eli has his feet crossed in this photo, this is something he has done even before he was born; we saw it on the ultrasound.  And aren't those big feet?  He's like a German Shepherd pup...when he's grows into them, he's going to be a big boy!

The curling is nearing the end of the semi-finals so I'll get back to watching...the housework awaits.

Have a great week everyone!


Saturday, 20 October 2018

What's on my mind

Fall is finally here, after a brief interlude with winter.  Yes, we've had snow and cold...but the last couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous with temps of 17C and 19C (62F to 65F).  The sunshine has been absolutely wonderful to see and I've been able to open up the sun room for the cats to nap.  Sasha especially appreciates the warmth on his old bones.

I finally got the containers all cleared out and the rest of the garden related items put away.  It's sad to see the front patio empty and it is even more sad to think I rarely sat out there this summer.  Perhaps next year will be different.

My neighbour's have their house up for sale again.  They had it on the market in the spring, but saw very little action.  It's back on the real estate site with a price drop of $35,000 and new photos.  I think there were a few visitors yesterday - just based on unknown vehicles.  I'm sure they were trying to get a higher price because they had the garage floor and driveway re-poured a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately the real estate market here has declined due to over-building.  Even so, I'm pretty certain they should recover what they originally paid for the house plus a little more.  Our crescent is just a few blocks from an elementary school, as well as close to several shopping centers, while being at the quiet end of the street.  

It worries me a bit, as I plan to put my house on the market next spring.  I'm hopeful that the improvements I've done will have maintained the property value.  I don't expect to recover the costs but don't begrudge having done so, as it has added to my enjoyment of living here.  However, I'm in no real rush to sell, every mortgage payment I make should mean more in my pocket at the end of the day.

Time keeps ticking along, as it always does, but these days I'm more cognizant of it then ever.  I've yet to get down to hours, but the way I'm counting time until I've finished in the office is becoming more varied.  As you know, I have my marble jar looking quite empty with the last few marbles (3).  One more marble will come out in less than two weeks, and another at the end of November, ensuring I'm left with that I don't entirely lose my marbles before I leave.  

I have just 6 weeks remaining of work, and will spend just 21 days in the office over that period of time.  I reduced the time by one day because I'm taking vacation to attend a retirement luncheon in Saskatoon for one of my closest co-workers.  21 years ago, she and I started work - she in Saskatoon and I in Regina.  But there were just two of us in Regina so we were sent to her office for training.  She and I sat next to one another for the four weeks.  We didn't keep in touch then, but when our two offices were amalgamated we met again and over time became close.  I'll miss our daily chats.  We'll keep in touch through text and Facebook when she leaves at the beginning of November.  

On a totally different note, is anyone else sick and tired of all the media hoopla about the legalization of marijuana?  At first it was interesting (and somewhat amusing) to see the proponents and opponents present their conflicting view points, but after awhile it was simply tiresome.  If anything else happened around the world on October 17th we sure didn't get to here about it, at least on our news channels in Saskatchewan.

My brother sent me this photo; he works at the front desk of the local police station.  They were handing out potato chips (and have continued to do so) with a warning label.  I have to say, I think it sends a mixed message....if you've got the munchies drop by the station and we'll save you a trip to 7-11, just don't drive.  

To be honest, the news around the world is so depressing and often ridiculous these days, that even a news junkie like myself are starting to turn off. Wild weather, economic warfare, divisive politics, and the entrenched and inflexible viewpoints are wearing.  When did we get to the point where a civil conversation is impossible, where one must make one's point as stridently as possible, and heaven forbid we show any sort of open mindedness.  Sigh...

But there was one good news story that caught my eye. 
Goliath, Gunther, and Gasket

These big boys were being housed in a shelter in Edmonton, Alberta.  How they came to be there, I've no idea.  But the shelter wanted to ensure they were adopted together as they showed anxiety when separated.  

When the story hit the news there was no shortage of interest, with over 200 inquiries.  Fortunately a home with large one acre yard and another dog to play with was found. Can you imagine, just the food bills alone would run close to $300 a month!  They sure are a handsome trio, and I suspect a handful too. 

Back on the home front, I'm posting this on Saturday as I'm heading out to Melville tomorrow.  It has been a couple of weeks since I've seen D and Eli - G'ma could use some little boy cuddles.  We face-timed Friday morning and he was far more excited to see Saku and Sasha than he was to see me.  I guess that tells me where I sit on his priority list. :)

I'm off to do more housecleaning before the Rider game starts this afternoon.  Hopefully they'll show up to play this week; last week's game was a real stinker!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A work in progress

I'm embarrassed to admit how dirty my house is/was.  But it is too true.  I can't entirely blame it on my daughter, though having a second household's worth of furniture and belongings did tend to fill the place.  Add to that her propensity for clutter, the grandson's lack of control, add in a few cats and the spills and messes were hidden from view.  The main areas (kitchen, living room, my bedroom and ensuite) I've managed to keep up while she was here but the rooms that she used (two main floor bedrooms, the main bathroom, and the basement rec room and storage area) tended to be a free-for-all.  I just didn't realize what that really meant.

Friday, I started off the day at the tire shop, having my tires changed over for winter driving.  It may seems like good timing, as we're getting a bit of snow today, but the forecast is for temps in the mid-20's (70-75F) later this week.  However, the shop is incredibly busy and it is only going to get worse; better sooner than later.  I had thought to walk home and pick up the car later but they assured me the car would be ready in about an hour...which turned into 90 minutes or so.  After my appointment, I headed over to Safeway to pick up some groceries for the week, and then it was home to start the clean-up.  

First up was the main bathroom,going through the cabinets for items left behind in her packing, cleaning the sink and counter and scrubbing the toilet and tub. I moved onto Eli's room next, where I discovered that the floor and lower walls were covered in spilt* milk.  There were other mystery spots as well, perhaps from socks walking through said milk?  In any event the floor and walls needed a good scrub.  It took three pails of hot sudsy water - though I must admit I was making certain I got it all with that last pail.

About this point, I started feeling unwell.  I don't if it was something I ate earlier in the day, or if I had picked up a bug but it ended my cleaning as I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening, either in the bathroom or curled up on the couch with the cats.

Saturday, I woke feeling much better and ready to tackle the rest of the main floor, and with hopes of getting to the basement.  D's room was next and again the floor was a disaster.  I've never been a proponent to eating in one's bedroom but she did it all the time and it showed.  It took a couple of pails of hot, sudsy water to get it clean to my satisfaction.  Then I opened the closet and found a whole pile of stuff that ought to have been moved; I found an unused box in the garage, taped it up and filled it.

I found several bags of mail, some of which was a couple of years old.  Since I wanted a break, I watched an episode of CSI while I sorted and shredded what I could.  My brother called as well, and we had a good chat about his work and family.

Meanwhile I was waiting for my travel agent to call. She'd e-mailed on Friday to let me know that my flight booked for March 13 had been cancelled, requiring a change.  I was making myself some lunch when she called to let me know that I will need to fly out a day earlier (with the same flight times as the previous booking), but that she was able to get me an even better flight home AND best of all the cost is nearly $200 CDN less, which should cover the costs of hotel and meals.  She is looking into hotel options for me; we decided I'll likely stay near the airport as I'll be taking the cruise ship shuttle to the port the following day and it departs from the airport.  I'm not certain if I'll see much of Santiago but to be honest, the cruise is the part I'm most looking forward to.

Once my travel plans were settled, I'd finished lunch, and it was time to get back to work.  I headed back into Eli's room to check the closet there. I found only a few more items that needed packing. From there, it was off to my bedroom to move my sewing table and other items back into that room.  

D took the little end table I had in the room for the items in the tray on the floor, so I'll have to find something else (temporary as I have no plans to buy new or more furniture).  I will be moving another small folding table into the corner below the bulletin board to use for sewing as I need the other for cutting. Yes, I'm finally planning to get some real sewing done in the near future!  It just hasn't happened with everything piled into my bedroom. 

It is so good to see that the main floor of the house is finally clean.  There is still a bit of clutter, some odds and ends that don't have a real place, and I need to do a sort through my own closet.  In addition to Christmas presents I've stored old bedding, purses, and such.  I'm going to pack these latter items and send them off to Community Living. I've no spare bed any more as D gave it away, thus that room will remain empty.   

The next stop was the basement, so I gathered up my laundry and headed down.  Since C was using the shower upstairs I used the time to vacuum the rec room area before I started my wash.   I had to pick up bits and pieces of garbage and a whole pile of cat toys before that could be accomplished!  This is where I found the leftovers from earlier cat dinners.  Ewww!  D had a large couch, an ottoman, two armoires and a dresser in that area.  It was used mostly for storage, and it was rare that she and Eli spent time there...obviously the cats found it the "purrfect" place to regurgitate using the carpet for traction. I do have a carpet cleaner, but decided to leave it until I have more time (and when my son is at work).  Both the laundry room and cat litter room (in the furnace room) got a scrub down between loads of laundry.  

I still have the storage area in the basement to clear out.  She left a few boxes of garbage (one I knew about), an elliptical (she even tried to give it away free but had no takers), and an office chair which will probably end up in my sewing room.  That area also houses my bookshelves which could use going through and a good dusting. Last of all, the garage also contains items that were left behind - I'm not certain if on purpose or were forgotten in the last minute rush.  There isn't a lot, and I'll probably wait until warmer weather to get at it.

It is definitely a work in progress, as I clean I'm feeling a sense of accomplishment, in attention to a few aches and pains from the bending and stretching.  By the way, I'm well aware that when I get this round of cleaning done, it will require on-going maintenance but now at least I have access to it!

This morning, I've been relaxing, having a cup of coffee, and enjoying the peace and quiet.  I'll get back to the housework later, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy the morning.

I'll leave you with this photo of Sheldon in his new home.  D found him sleeping on the stairs and he woke when she went to take his photo.  I miss him around here, but I suspect Sasha and Saku are not.  I had worried that Saku would show some anxiety, as he did when Sami passed away last fall, but there has been none. 

Have a great week everyone!

*which the grammar police want me to write spilled - apparently the latter is the modern spelling. Apparently I'm just old. :)

Monday, 8 October 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all readers in Canada!  

It's a busy morning, but I have taken a few breaks between cooking and cleaning spurts to reflect on all I have to be thankful for this year.  In no particular order:

My little family - my daughter D, my son C, and of course, my over the top adorable grandson Eli.  While we have (frequent) differences of opinion, I'm proud of the mom my daughter has become. She's learned a lot this year and I can see her putting it into practice in her own home already.

Yesterday, C and I went out to Melville to spend Thanksgiving with Eli and D, and while there he took care of several tasks to make her life easier.  He put up a smoke detector, hung the baby gate at the top of the stairs, moved a few bookcases, and took various boxes out to the garage.  At one point, I spotted C with Eli on his lap, reading a book.  They, too, have a bond that is wonderful to see.

Eli - what can I say?  He is truly the gift I never knew I wanted.  He makes me laugh, his giggles are infectious, and he's just a loving, happy child.  To watch him scamper up and down the stairs (his playroom is at the top of the stairs) is a joy.  Last night, he tasted pumpkin pie for the first time, and loved it.  I was happy to share!  

My extended family - especially my brother R.  We keep in touch almost everyday, sharing the mundane, and laughing at jokes only we would find funny.  My older M and I keep in touch via Facebook much less frequently, but I have several cousins who I've become close too again through social media.  B and her husband G, have been wonderful to me when I've visited Parksville as they live nearby.

My home - it may not be perfectly clean (especially now), and while there are some things I'd love to change about it, it's been home for over eight years and I'm comfortable here.  Yet, I'm looking forward to the day I put it up on the market.  

My cats - Sasha is 18.5 years old now, Saku over 10.  In the middle of the night I heard Saku playing with a toy in the hallway, bouncing it off the walls and chasing it down into the living room.  While one might think Sasha's days of playing might be over, not so.  This morning (at a much more reasonable hour) was playing with the toy Saku had left in the living room.  I love their purrs and cuddles.  I'll miss Sheldon, as we took him to Eli and D yesterday.  I'm happy to report he's settling in well, has found several hiding spots from the little guy, and D's bedroom faces south so he'll have sunny spots to nap in.

My work - although it too has its faults, I'm grateful for the 21 year career I've had with the organization.  I'm blessed that it has provided a good living that allowed me to provide for my children (even into adulthood), maintain my home, and spoil myself with opportunities to travel.  Just last week, my notice of retirement was formally accepted, and I'm in the process of completing the paperwork to obtain my pension.  

My friends - what would I do without the people who support me?  The Friday night crew have become much like family, we have our differences of opinion but we share more laughter than anything else.  My friends here in the blogging world, who have followed me to this new blog when my world blew up in my face two years ago.  I am truly blessed.

My future - while there is still much to be determined, I do know I'm going to enjoy my adventures on the planned cruises, and there is a move in my future.  The timing of the move depends on the sale of this house, and the logistics that go with any move.  To be honest, while it makes me a bit nervous to think about, I'm more excited than anything else.  

My health - while there are more aches and pains than before I'm still able to manage the housework and yard work on my own.  I'm pretty certain my foot issues of the other day were due to dehydration, though I suffered a bit yesterday as well.  I'll just have to ensure I keep drinking more water than coffee, and if it continues I'll visit the doctor.  In any event, the housework is calling my name again so I'll end this post by asking:

What are you thankful for?  Have a wonderful day everyone!