Sunday 29 January 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

This has been the most "normal" week I've had in quite some time. In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything to write.  That's unusual.

Work is still work, and I keep counting down the days to retirement.  This week, another of my co-workers will be leaving.  She's got some vacation to use up before she retires this spring.  There are days when I quite enjoy my work but there are others when I soooo envious of those who are in a position to leave now.  

At home, my daughter has been spending a lot of time with the boyfriend and so there has been fewer arguments.  Her last of work at her full-time job was Friday, and though she plans to continue to work her part-time job for a couple more weeks, I expect she'll be at the house preparing for the arrival of the baby.  We'll see how it goes.

There was a little excitement at home this weekend.  On Friday I had the water heater rental company in to do the annual maintenance.  This is a requirement of the rental agreement I have with them so when I pay the bill I always arrange the appointment at the same time.  The young man showed up on Friday, was very pleasant, and had the job done (I thought) in a about a 1/2 hour.  Before he left, he spoke to me about their customer care plan - which is basically a monthly fee to reduce the costs of future calls. I explained to him that I had already heard about it, had signed up for it previously, and cancelled it because of a situation with another serviceman.

I told him point-blank, I wouldn't have the company in my home if it weren't for the water heater rental.  He apologized and went on his merry way.  The following morning, I headed down to the basement to clean the cat litter.  What I found, was a water-laden towel in a pool of water.  When I saw that, I assumed my son had found it the night before and put the towel down.  I called the company, spoke with the answering service, and got a call-back from the on-call tech in less than 10 minutes.  I explained that a tech had been out the day prior to service the water heater, but now there was water on the floor and the pan under the heater was full.

He arrived within an hour and checked out the water heater.  He fiddled with some valves on the side, and had me run the hot water tap in the bathroom to allow the heater to cycle.  After explaining that the heater seemed to be fine, he noted that the tech would have bled the water and this was what had collected in the pan and on the floor.  He left after assuring me that he would discuss this with his manager at work on Monday.

Soon after, my son got up and I asked him about the towel.  He told me hadn't put the towel down.  So that means the young man, who was here on Friday, had gone into the laundry room to find a towel to place on the floor.  This suggests he knew that there would be more water than the pan could hold and said nothing to me.  You can bet I'll be calling the office tomorrow as well.

I checked last night and the pan is now empty of water.  

Beyond I did the usual housework, some cooking for the week ahead, and some crocheting.  I tend to crochet or knit more when I'm watching sports.  This weekend the junior men and women's curling semi and finals are televised.  You know what I'll be doing when I finish this post. ;)

I'll leave you with a photo my brother shared with me the other day.  He's a runner and lives out in the Qu'Appelle valley.  You can see his shadow in the lower right corner.  I love the scenery, but he can keep the running!

Well, this turned out to be a lengthy post for someone who had nothing to say. Now that's not unusual.  

Have a great week everyone!

Monday 23 January 2017

Baby Shower

My daughter's co-workers threw a baby shower for her on Sunday. They had thought to keep it a surprise but realized someone who suffers from anxiety as D does, it was probably not a good idea.  I know she enjoyed herself, as did I.

We met a F's house at 1 p.m. and didn't leave until nearly 4. There were about ten women in attendance, including D and me.  F and C were hosting the event, and with the very creative and capable assistance of J, it was truly special.  I wish now I'd taken photos of all of the decorations!  There were streamers on the ceiling, balloons on the floor, and a chair had been specially decorated for the mom-to-be. 

The afternoon started off with a pot-luck lunch of buns, cheese, sausage, veg and dip, pita chips, hummus, and a plate of sweets.  I'm sure I missed something on the menu but I certainly can say it was all very tasty.  On offer to drink were coffee and iced tea.

Everyone was given five clothespins to attach to a piece of their clothing.  We were told we couldn't say "baby" or someone could take a pin for us.  I was the first one to lose a pin...though I held onto the other four. We wrote messages on the back of diapers ...for D to read at a later date.   There were word games, we all made babies out of playdoh (I am not the least bit creative!) and there were small prizes for all.  

Then out came the cake!  I mentioned J earlier in the post.  She created the invitation for the shower and a very talented friend of hers created a 3D version for us to enjoy.  

The base of the boat is made of paper, there is a ribbon around the base, and the rest of the decorations were made of fondant.

Isn't it amazing?  The detail is phenomenal.  Before cutting the cake, J removed the pieces on top and D is planning to allow the fondant to dry to keep as a memento of the day.

The cake itself was white cake with a blue icing between the four layers.

I can't imagine how much time it took to create the cake.....but I can certainly appreciate the artistry.

One last photo of the cake, with my daughter D and her baby bump.  Baby Eli has definitely been making his presence known lately.  As of today, his due date is a mere month away.

After we'd all had our fill of cake* (which wasn't much), it was time for the presents.  The generosity of D's co-worker's was simply incredible. From hand-made gifts to gift certificates, storage boxes, a basket full of items gathered from those who could not attend, and even a bag full of gently used clothing, D received the most thoughtful gifts.

When we arrived home, D helped me arrange the gifts on and in front of the crib.  This picture doesn't do credit!  There are two hand-made blankets, one in the softest baby yarn, and the one in the middle in the colors of the Montreal Canadiens (my daughter's favorite team).  To the right of that is a crocheted shark sleeping bag!  I can foresee a photo shoot using it as a prop.

On the floor to the left is a small blue garbage bin, a basket full of t-shirts, pants, socks, and other sundries, a bat h toy, storage boxes, a toque and mitts and a little red rain jacket (on top of the storage boxes), a travel diaper pad, along with two bags.  The one in the rear is full of toddler size hand-me-downs. Not pictured are the many gift certificates, including one to a baby store, two for City programs (swimming lessons) and one for a massage for D. 
The afternoon was wonderful, there was lots of laughter and a few tears over the sweet gifts, and the love these women showed to my daughter was beautiful to see.  I met her "work mom" R and we laughed several times as we discovered we often said the same things to D.  She's a lucky girl to have the support of her co-workers and friends.  

We're one more day closer to meeting our little guy.  Although I still worry how she will manage, I'm looking forward to the first time I get to see his sweet face and hold him in my arms.  Won't be long now!

*The rest of the cake will go to the office with D tomorrow so the rest of her co-workers can enjoy it as well.

Saturday 21 January 2017

Lazy weekend

Phew, it's good to have this week behind me.  Things have mostly returned to normal at work.  My daughter hasn't had a melt-down in a few days, the weather is reasonably decent for January in Saskatchewan, and I'm thankful for a couple of days just to rest and relax.

I had the day off yesterday and spent most of it running errands and doing laundry.  I had my nails done along with a good visit with L, the esthetician.  I've been going to her now for 5 or 6 years and she's become a friend.  We've shared the highs and lows of life, some tears and lots of laughter.  She's the first person I shared the news of D's pregnancy with.  She told me then, that in time I would look forward to welcoming my grandchild.  She's right....I'm there.

The rest of the day, I did some grocery shopping at Safeway and Walmart, unloaded the bags and put away the shopping at home, and finished folding my laundry.  I picked up a few items for a gift for the baby shower for my daughter.  A co-worker offered to host the shower at her home tomorrow.  We're expecting ten or twelve women (including her and I) to attend. It should be fun...though I've never met any of these people before.

Being Friday, I joined friends at a local restaurant.  We all laughed when the waitress referred to us as the Friday night dinner club.  I guess they've finally come to recognize's only taken about 18 months.  The food is decent, the service just okay, but the prices are good and because it often isn't busy we don't have to rush.  Dinner is at 6 p.m., we order shortly after and we often don't leave the restaurant until around 8 p.m.  The group varies in size, from three to a dozen so it's nice to have a place that can be flexible.  Three of the group have been going out to Friday dinner for over twenty years!  

Today was simply a lazy day.  The cats woke me about 6 a.m. looking for breakfast.  I managed to ward them off until nearly 7.  After they were fed, I made a pot of coffee, and headed back to my bed to read.  Just as I was finishing my second cup, my daughter came in and we sat and chatted for some time before she left to go to her part-time job.  I finished the pot of coffee before I finally got of bed at 10!, made breakfast and a pot of soup, and finished washing up the dishes.   

That's all folks!  Seriously, I did nothing else all day.  It's almost 6 p.m. - I've played on the computer, caught up on blog reading, watched several episodes of CSI, Criminal Minds, Dateline, and the news channel.  Speaking of which, did you tune into the inauguration yesterday?  I caught pieces of it, the lead up to the big event, and later in the day as the Trump family climbed out of their limos to walk the rest of the way to the White House.  

Today I've been watching the news channel off and on, catching some of the Women's March on Washington.  I wonder what the Donald (or should I now refer to him as the President Donald?) thinks of the numbers who turned out to protest his misogynist views? They certainly out-numbered those who attended the day before.  I'm sure he'll feel the need to share his thoughts on Twitter....

And on that note, I'll wrap up this post.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, however you chose to spend it.

Sunday 15 January 2017

The calm after the storm

The sun is shining outdoors, the cats are napping, and the house smells like chili and cinnamon.  Sounds like an odd combination, but the former is tonight's dinner and the latter is a candle burning on the china cabinet.  It would seem all is good in my world and I will grasp this moment and hold it close.

This morning was another story.  My daughter is reaching the end of her pregnancy - just over five weeks until her due date.  I know the hormones are raging so when the meltdown occurred this morning, I wasn't entirely surprised. She had received a call to go into work for a three hour shift and was struggling to find something to wear.  Since I'm a little lot overweight I suggested she try to find something in my room to wear.  After trying on a number of t-shirts she settled on one, until she decided it did't look right, and the melt-down was on.  She raged at me that she hates her body and she looks ugly and fat.

I didn't try to reason with her, but told her that she looks beautiful to me.  That wasn't the right thing to say.  She told me she's gained forty pounds (most of which has been since the first of December), her face is sooo fat, and she can't possibly be beautiful.  Part is this is due to the raging hormones of pregnancy, but I suspect it is more likely due to her long term body issues.

I won't get into the history, but suffice to say she's struggled for years and has never reached a period where she was entirely happy with how she looked.  She was close to reaching that point in the months prior to getting pregnant.  She had lost nearly 75 pounds and was nearly back at her weight in high school and university.  I know she is feeling frustrated, and although there are only a few weeks to go those last weeks of pregnancy can seem an eternity.

What I did say to her, was that when they put that little baby in her arms, all of this will have been worth it.  That did seem to calm her down and she left the house a little less angry than she had been.  At least until the next melt-down occurs.  These seem to be happening every time she's this rate, the five weeks or so until the birth are going to seem very long to me as well.

Hence the reason I am holding onto that particular moment, because surely the clouds will come in again.  

Friday 13 January 2017

Friday Funny

I sure wish it would!  We've been suffering through some bitterly cold weather. The last few mornings, we've woken up to temps in the low -30C, with windchills in the mid -40's.  


Fingers crossed that the forecast is right and we'll be up to -16C (3F) by this afternoon.

Stay warm everyone!

Sunday 8 January 2017

Weekend wrap-up

We're having a sunny day here in Southern Saskatchewan, but with frigid temperatures.  This morning, I woke to -23C (-9F) with windchills making it feel at least 5 degrees colder.  Brrr!  I know it's January, I know this is normal weather for at least a few weeks every winter, and I know I complain about it every year.  There is a little cartoon that asks, "why do I live where the air hurts my face?"  The only answer I can come up with, is I blame my grandparents for settling where summer is a weekend in July, and the only good thing about the cold is no mosquitos.

However, it does make for a good day to relax and watch the curling on television.  The event is taking place in North Battleford, a city some 3 1/2 hours north of me.  It's just as cold there; my cousin who is attending the event has posted on FB that the arena is cold as well.  While I think it would be great fun to be there I'm grateful I'm watching it from the comfort of my couch.

I'm writing this post between ends, and sewing the loose ends into my almost completed afghan as I keep an eye on the television.  I'm about half done the sewing and the game is half-over so that part of the finishing should be complete.  The women's final is later today so I plan to complete the edging while that game airs.

On Friday I took a day of vacation as I'd booked appointments, thinking it was an earned day off.  Good thing, as it turned out to be a very busy day!  I dropped my son off at work, went home and did some chores before heading out to get some groceries.  I put those away and then was off to the salon to have my nails done.  From there I met my friend K for lunch where we spent nearly two hours catching up.  I dropped her off at home and headed for the drop-in oil change store where they complete the oil change and replaced a burnt out headlight in less than 20 minutes.  Then it was off to the Fabricland store nearby.  It will be closed on January 21st so pretty much everything is discounted.  (Not the yarn for some reason).  I picked up three more patterns, some buttons and material.  The one piece of material is perfect for t-shirts, the second I plan to make into bibs for the little one.  

So it is becoming apparent that sewing will be a priority in 2017.  At the moment my sewing machine and table are in the baby's room.  That's the next project for today.  I need to move my armoire in my bedroom to make room for the sewing table and chair.  I'd prefer not to have it in my bedroom but there is simply no other space for it in the house.  When we moved in here in 2010 I never thought I'd say that.  But having my daughter return with her furniture and household stuff (most of which was in a storage unit in 2010), and adding a baby to the mix is a bit of a challenge.  OMG, I had forgotten how much stuff a baby needs!

My daughter and I made a trip to Michaels on Saturday where she was able to get a scrapbook for the baby at half-price.  From there we went to ToysRUs where we found a baby bathtub, some toys, and diaper wipes at 20-30% off at their Babyfest event.  I couldn't resist this little octopus (Sock-to-pus) with the added bonus of 4 pairs of little socks.  He/she fits in with the fish/sea world theme, is practical, and is too cute!

Later on, in the afternoon, my son and I headed over to the mall where we did some errands before heading to Mark's Workwearhouse.  He used his Christmas gift cards (from me and my brother's family) to purchase two new pair of jeans and a new hoodie jacket.  He refuses to wear winter jackets...I have no idea what his aversion to these this is a heavy knitted jacket with a fleece lining.  With a t-shirt and long sleeved shirt underneath it is warm enough for most days.  He also purchased a new pair of steel-toed shoes, the cost of which, will be reimbursed by the workplace as these are required.

Today, the cats let me sleep until nearly 8 a.m.  That's nearly a record around here.  I've got some housework to get done (between curling games) including vacuuming my bedroom and scrubbing the kitchen floor.  Dinner is in the fridge - I put together a beef noodle casserole with cheese that I'll throw into the oven mid-curling game this afternoon.  It's pretty ho-hum, just some leftovers I'm using up to clean up the fridge.

That pretty much sums up the entire weekend. Lots of activity, but nothing too exciting. 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I know it's been cold or snowy or both across much of North America; stay warm and safe!

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Prep work

With the impending birth of my grandson just a few weeks away, my daughter is beginning to move into the "nesting" period of pregnancy.  Just after Christmas she purchased the crib, on sale, from Walmart.  It was priced $10 less than the same version on Amazon with no shipping costs.  

Initially is was over at her b/f J's house, but last week she had his roommate deliver it to my house.  My son C was feeling the need to be productive (his words) so he put it together one evening when she was over at J's.  After it was put together, I pulled the bedding from the cupboard and dressed the bed.

As you can see, D has chosen a fish theme, more specifically Finding Dory. (That's Dory in the left corner).  The little doll in the right corner is from D's childhood.  We called the doll Benji, although I did some research and found it is actually a Fisher Price doll named Holly.  We always thought it was a little Benji he will remain.

However, if you are observant you'll note that I've put the bumper pads into the bed upside down.  Yep, those fishes are apparently floating to the surface.  My daughter spotted it right away....I told her she can fix it.  

She was thrilled to see it complete, but J was not.  He has been a snit for much of the past week because he wanted to put it together.  I'm not sure when he would get around to it, as he's been promising to put the winter tires on her car since early November....I'm not entirely certain it ever would have been built.

Speaking of taking forever to put something together, I am finally in the process of completing an afghan I crocheted at least 4-5 years ago.   I recently had to clear out what was my craft room and will now be the baby's room.  I found the project in one of the many containers of yarn.  With the junior hockey on television today, I decided today I'd get some work done on it.  I knew I had all the squares crocheted, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the strips had been put it was a matter of crocheting the strips together. 

It now looks like this.   

As you can see there are lots of threads to be sewn in.  Once those are tidied up, I'll crochet and edge around the entire blanket. 

When I started it, the afghan was meant to be used in the spare room. Of course that room is no longer the spare room since my daughter has claimed it for her own.  

Oh well, I still think it is pretty and I can use it on the couch as a cover up.  

Also, in my clean-up of the closet, I pulled out a basket I use for travel items.  I was very surprised when I went through the basket to find a whole lot of cords.

I have no idea what they are for - obviously they can't be too important as I haven't missed them.  I tidied a bit, tossed the in an old shoe box and will either sell at a garage sale or donate the lot, with the exception of the white extension cord which I'll put somewhere where it is easier to find.

It's been a good long weekend, with time to relax as well as get a few things done.  I'll be back at work on Tuesday...thankfully it's a short week as I'm taking Friday off. 

Have a great week!

Sunday 1 January 2017

Goodbye 2016, welcome 2017!

Welcome to my new blog!  

The start of a new year would seem to be the perfect time to start fresh, not to forget the past, but to create a new space in my world.  This blog, like my last will focus on the things in my life and the world that interest, inspire, or make me laugh.

This upcoming year will bring new life with the upcoming anticipated birth of my grandson in February.  Accordingly I expect I'll be staying close to home more this year, but am still considering a trip in the early summer to go whale-watching with my cousin.  

Although it is very wintery out there right now, I'm looking forward to time spent in the yard, or hanging out with the cats in the sun room this summer.  In the meantime, my yarn stash grows bigger and, with our local fabric store closing, so does my stash of material.  I'd better get busy with the knitting needles, crochet hooks, and dust off the sewing machine.

And of course, I continue to make plans for the transition from the work world to retirement.  With 22 months to go, it seems like a bit of time, but much more de-cluttering and organizing needs to be done at home.  I've scheduled a week of vacation in May just for that purpose.

I'm making no resolutions for I'm sure they'll simply be broken.  Instead I plan to look for opportunities to expand my little world.  More on that later.

How about you?  What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Wishing you all health, happiness, and prosperity!