Sunday 23 April 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

It's been a busy weekend, such that I feel as if a couple more days off would be more than appreciated.  But alas, that is not to be, as I'll be back at work tomorrow morning at 7 a.m.

Friday, I had the duct cleaning company to the house at 8 a.m. only to learn that there was no easy access to the duct work.  I was told to have an access cut into the drywall just outside the furnace room and call them back at a later date.  Luckily there was no charge for the call-out.

I had arranged to meet my daughter after the duct cleaning but it was far too early.  So I read the news, had a couple of cups of coffee, and relaxed before heading out.  I got new glasses a couple of weeks ago and one of the nose pads had been irritating my nose; on my way I dropped by the optician's office to have them adjusted.

My daughter's boyfriend's mother (that's a mouthful) had arrived Thursday evening for a brief visit and is staying with them.  She was at the house with Eli when I got there, D and J were off at Lowe's buying garden supplies.  J was a little disappointed when I told him it's a little too early to garden here in Saskatchewan.  We generally have to wait until the long May weekend to ensure there is no killing frost.  Thankfully, they bought seeds not plants so he can prepare the garden plot in the meantime.

We left Eli with his Grandma D and his dad and went shopping.  My daughter had received a gift card from my brother and his family for Christmas.  We hit Ricki's and she spent her money.  Later we went to lunch, to my house to pick up a few items, and then onto a couple of other stores, before heading back to J's house.

I left and headed downtown to pick up my son from work, home to feed the cats, and then off to dinner with friends.  By 8:30 I was tucked up in was tiring day and I knew Saturday would be busy.

Saturday morning, I was up early doing some housework, before dressing for church.  
Eli was baptized on Saturday morning at the Holy Rosary Cathedral.  He was an absolute doll, not fussing at all, though D did say she "practiced" with him in the bath at home.

J and his family were raised Catholic, so having Eli baptized in the Catholic church was very important to Grandma D.  She provided the christening gown (which was made from her wedding dress) that her youngest children, including J had worn at his baptism.  She also had a bib made for him to keep.  The gown will be used again, as her daughter is having her youngest daughter baptized in the next few months, and another son and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in November.

Grandma D stood in for Eli's godfather (one of J's brothers).  His godmother M is a co-worker of D's.  She is so good with Eli.  She kept him calm, even though the water was much colder than expected.

There were two other little boys baptized yesterday morning.  Both were older than Eli, but he looked as big as one of them, and only a little smaller than the other.  What struck me was the multicultural aspect.  One of the families spoke Spanish, the second was from the Philippines, while D and J are several generations Canadian.  

After the service, I took everyone out for lunch to Ricky's.  It serves all day breakfast as well as a regular menu and I thought we'd be there by 10:30 or 11.  However the baptism service went long and by the time we arrived at the restaurant it was almost noon!  No matter, as we had a great lunch and good conversation. 

I took Grandma D, D and Eli to do a little shopping before dropping them back off at the car.  Off to home to change and then back out again to the grocery store.  By the time I arrived home around 3:30 I was ready to sit down. But first the groceries had to be put away.  I stumbled as I was coming into the house and tripped on the stair...I have a lovely bruise on the my thigh as a result.  

The rest of the evening was spent watching hockey before I went to bed at 9 p.m. to read.

Today, I was half-expecting D to come by but she didn't.  I did finally finish crocheting the beanie that goes with the mini turtle blanket.  Since I didn't have Eli to model it....I tried it on Saku instead. 

I think I woke him from a nap because he didn't get irritated with me until I'd taken the photo.  He doesn't look very impressed, and when I went to remove the beanie and the blanket he bit my hand (not breaking the skin).  I guess he let me know how he really felt!  

I took it easy for most of the day, doing a little housework (as little as I could get away with), some laundry, and a bit of reading while watching the hockey playoffs.  There is no curling so I have to watch something on ice.... :)  

It will be another early evening, as morning will come early...Saku or no Saku.

That pretty much wraps up the weekend.  This upcoming week will be busy as we have two days of meetings planned that will take me away from my desk.  

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Monday 17 April 2017

First Easter

My daughter and Eli came for Easter dinner this evening.  (J did's a long story I won't go into here...or ever).  Unlike my experiences with his mom, Eli slept through the entire meal.

I did take this photo of him two weeks ago (on his one month milestone).  I had time with him before his mom and dad arrived to have their photos taken with him.

No chocolate for the wee one, of course.  Instead I got him a couple of books, Pat the Bunny and one with various farm animals.

Pat the Bunny is a story book I had when my daughter was a baby.  I hope Eli loves it as much as she did.

He is getting more and more vocal, alert and awake for longer periods of time.  I think he'll be truly smiling in just a week or two.  I can hardly wait!

Have a great week everyone.

Sunday 16 April 2017

Easter interruptus

Happy Easter! 

I woke to snow this morning, not a sight I'd hoped to see again this spring.  It's pretty much gone but the temp is still -5C so there is still a possibility of more later today.

I was planning Easter dinner for this evening, with my daughter, J, Eli, and my son C.  However, D called this morning to say that she and J were suffering some tummy troubles (I'll spare you the details) so dinner has been postponed to Easter Monday.

I have the day off tomorrow, and the roast will hold over in the fridge so it isn't a problem.  In addition, the Pinty's Grand Slam curling is on television today, semi-finals were completed this morning with the men's and women's finals to be aired this afternoon and evening respectively.  I won't be bored. ;)

As I sit here, I'm listening to the birds in the everygreen tree in the front yard.  It's unfortunate, but the kestral hawk is back so I suspect we won't have many song birds again this summer.  It doesn't seem to bother the blackbirds or grackles though. 

Saku is relaxing on the cat tree watching out the window.  I suspect he misses the birds as much as I do.

Oh well, tomorrow will be a better day.  It will be much warmer, 12C is the forecast high so the cats will get out to the sun room again.  I'll have my little grandson here for a visit, and it's an extra day off!

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday 9 April 2017

Cleanliness makes way for fun!

 Another week is rapidly drawing to a close.  More than once, I've asked this question, why do weekends fly by but weeks can seem so long?  Other than the fact the number of days in a week are longer than the weekend....  

I think part of my problem is that I start the weekend with such high hopes  I'm going to accomplish so much around the house...and then I don't.  Oh, I manage to keep the dust bunnies under control and the sticky spots cleaned up but I'm not a good housekeeper and I'm well aware of my tendencies to procrastinate.

My garage is an absolute holds a winter's year's worth of accumulation.  (I won't enlarge this's cringe-worthy!)

What you cannot see is there is lots of storage in the garage, to the left are metal shelves about 8 inches deep and to the right against the opposite wall are large wooden shelves that are a good 18 inches deep.  The previous owner obviously built them and the boxes are various shapes and hold a ton of stuff.

Over the winter I tend to walk into the garage where it's cold and toss whatever I've got to store in the garage onto the pile that hides the workbench.  At least the tires are neatly stacked (behind the strollers).  Oh yeah, I forgot to phone the tire shop this weekend to set up an appointment to change over the tires.

I do have a plan for this pile....I really, really do.  I'm planning to take a week off in May to clear out the garage, and more of the house.  My daughter wants to have a garage sale, so we'll do that for a couple of days and whatever doesn't go will go to the community living group or to the dump.  I don't care, I just want it gone.  That includes the bags of recycling; I've been waiting for one of the neighbourhood kids to show up on a bottle drive - they always do.

So while my spring cleaning and organizing falls behind, I have been productive in other ways.  

Recently I purchased a brand new dresser for my bedroom.  That's exciting because it's been nearly 20 years since I bought the armoire I've been using.  That piece was on sale at Sears Clearance and one of the doors were cracked in the move from the truck to the house (my b/f at the time and I dropped it).  The drawers no longer slide well and the one door was off kilter and never quite closed properly.

So now I have this.  It feels like a grown up piece of furniture...which is kind of sad when you think I'm 58.  

The reason I bought it was because I had purchased the second television a couple of weeks before.  My esthetician had purchased it for her own bedroom but hadn't measured it properly so it did not fit.  With my daughter living her, at least part time, it made sense to have a second set so we could each watch what we like.  AND I could escape to the privacy of my own bedroom.  

Back to the dresser...I had a table set up with the television but was worried it wouldn't hold up or that the cats might knock it over.  I did a tour of our local furniture stores (what a pain) and found this at Ashley Furniture.  The store is currently under renovation so everything was on sale.  I paid 75% of the normal price and got the store financing for year without interest.  I'm always happy to use someone else's money so will leave my savings in the bank and pay it off over the year.

While we're on the topic of spending money....I've booked two cruises, one for the fall of 2017 and one for next February.  (See, I told you I was productive).  
I found the September cruise as I was reading a thread on Cruise Critic for solo cruisers.  Princess was offering inside rooms with no single supplement on a New England/Canada cruise out of New York.  That is a rarity for Princess, it's a itinerary I've wanted to do for some time, and the price was definitely right so I jumped at it. 

Since then I've joined a Facebook group of solos who will be on the cruise.  There are about 30 members, some who have travelled together previously and the rest of us who have joined as a result of being invited by the group organizer through the Cruise Critic thread.  It seems like Jeanne is quite the organizer, she's already arranged to a meeting place for Sail-away, set up planning sheets so we can compare excursions, and will use her cabin door to post times for meeting for dinner and other events.  I think she's done this once or twice before!

Our itinerary has us visiting Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, Mass., Bar Harbor, Maine, St. John, N.B. and Halifax, N.S. before returning to New York.  I've never been to any of the U.S. ports but have been doing lots of research.  Still lots of time to decide what I will do during the visits.  

I was able to book a hotel near the airport using Airmiles; as a result I'll pay just $55C for a hotel in New York!  I had American Express points too, so used those "rewards" to book my flight for only $277C return.  It's really going to be a fairly inexpensive trip. 

The second cruise I booked may not be quite as inexpensive.  I booked it last week, after much dithering.  A year ago, I did the Norwegian Escape Eastern Caribbean cruise in a solo cabin and met a wonderful group of women.  Four of them went on the same cruise this year, but I didn't because we were waiting for Eli.  After they returned from their cruise this year, two of them immediately booked the Norwegian Epic Western Caribbean for the same time next year and sent an invite for others to join them.  The pricing was reasonable, and the itinerary was good, plus it provides an opportunity to hang out with great folks again. 

Unfortunately the cost of airfare is currently through the roof getting to Orlando.  I think it is because it is close to the President's weekend in the States and families may be heading for Disneyland/world  Prices may reduce a little closer - generally about five months out in my experience.  I sure hope so!  If I go a few days prior, the cost is somewhat less so I may consider that option and spend a few days in the Port Canaveral area.

I did find a great hotel in Cocoa Beach which is close to Port Canaveral and offers a transportation package to and from the airport and the port at a decent price.  What I might save in airfare I'd probably spend on the hotel but, on the other hand, I'll get to visit the Kennedy Space Museum and other attractions in the area.  Did you know that "I Dream of Jeannie" was filmed in the Cocoa Beach area?  (I didn't....a friend told me).

So while the house and garage may be in disarray, my vacation plans are proceeding nicely.  Maybe sometime I'll get it all together....

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday 2 April 2017

Spring has arrived!

I saw my first robin the other day (no photo as yet) and the daytime temps have been staying well above the freezing mark.  But it's only April 2nd, so I won't be surprised if winter rears it's ugly head at some point over the next few weeks.

In the meantime I'm enjoying the wonderful weather and not spending a lot of time at my computer.  Last night my daughter D and I took baby Eli for his first walk.  Heck, let's be honest it was the first walk G'ma has done for some time.  We (D and I) both felt a little stiff and sore.  

The rabbits obviously did well over the winter.  I'm sure we counted nearly near two dozen of them over the course of our walk.

There were three in this photo but I cropped it as this is the only one that appeared semi-focused.  I didn't have my flash on and it was nearly dusk so the quality is not particularly good.

There were lots of people out walking as the temp was 14C (57F) just around 7 p.m. Amazing weather!

We took a loop around the park that brought us back by "Riverbend" which is simply a pretentious name for a man-made pond near some pricey condos.

The geese have been back for a couple of weeks (we do have some that stay over winter).  There is just enough open water for these two to land on the ice and walk to the water.  Again a lousy photo as all the birds were across the way.  I was tired and ready to get home so we didn't walk around to the other side.

Little Eli slept through the entire walk.  He's growing like a weed - he has his next appointment tomorrow and I won't be surprised to learn he weighs over 10 pounds.  He still loves to eat, sleep, and poop but has been awake and more alert every time I see him.

This morning he hung out with G'ma, while mom and dad went to church.  They are planning to have him baptized when J's mom is here later in April so I guess they are practicing.

D says there were lots of little ones at the service today so she'll take Eli with her.  She also will be taking a couple of classes ahead of the baptism.  When she called to see if she could bring baby with her, the woman laughed and said there were 4 infants and eight toddlers at the last session.  

Today is a very special day!  Eli turns one month old. 

My daughter painted the little flower, in the colors of her favorite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens.  She says she plans to do that every month....hopefully she'll paint over the one before or she'll have a bazillion of these.  It is cute, but since a flower is the only thing she knows how to paint...well, you get the point.

J has his arm behind the sheet holding little Eli up.  We found the Dory at Walmart and will use him/her/it as the contrast to show how big the little guy is growing. 

It's hard to believe he's been here a month already.  I see him about once or twice a week, though they've been with me for the last few days.  J is busy slowly renovating his house.  There are walls to repair and paint, flooring to go down, but those tasks were set aside this weekend when he bought a new(er) fridge with water and ice maker.  I know he wants to get the work done before his mom arrives.  He doesn't want Eli there in the construction zone (I totally agree) so I expect they will be with me here most of the time.

I'm glad to report that D has really settled in to motherhood.  It's pretty clear there is a great bond between the two of them (and it's true of J and Eli too).  It is a blessing and a relief to see them interact with love and caring for this special little guy.  

Another happy note, my son C's contract was extended for another six months. I'm hopeful there will be another extension in the fall. 

In the meantime, things have settled down here at home and at work.  I'm still eager to remove a marble from the jar (one more gone on Monday!) but some of the frustrations of the last few months have lessened.  Or perhaps I've simply learned to give in and let go.  Or maybe, it is the beginning of the new season.  Whatever it is, it works.

Wishing you all a wonderful week, with beautiful weather and sunny skies!