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!

Saturday 6 October 2018

Moving pains

I'm starting this post on Saturday, though I suspect I won't finish until Monday.  At the moment, I'm taking a short break from house cleaning.  I'm slowly making progress; starting in the kitchen this morning I cleared the counter-tops of miscellaneous clutter, thoroughly scrubbed them down, and threw out stale cookies and the onion skins from the plastic container (though the island is still a disaster).  The fridge got cleared out too and I put everything I plan to take to D tomorrow on one shelf.  

We had packed up the dry goods (or at least most of them) and taken them out on Friday, but somehow we managed to miss several items in the fridge.  I also found her vinegar, baking soda, and canola oil in the one lazy Susan.  When I made up my bed this morning, I tidied around the bed and found several toys as well.  Those have been tucked into a box, along with a couple of t-shirts, some bathroom items, and a container of cat toys.

Before I go any further, I should give you an update on the move.  It went well even though the movers were about an hour later than anticipated.  Eli and I left the house about 7:50 to visit my office.  He got to meet a few people (not too many were there on a Friday before a long weekend) and had a brief visit with Uncle C and two of his co-workers before we were leaving to head to Melville to meet the real estate agent at 10:00.  We ended having to make a stop back at the house (movers were there by then) because D had put her wallet in the diaper bag; she needed to buy gas on her way out of town.  The slight delay meant we didn't reach the house until shortly after 10, but the realtor wasn't there yet so I took Eli over to A's house to spend the day with her and her son Knox.  

We had snow again yesterday, and the roads were wet but not icy.  I did have to pull over to hit play on the I-Pad for Eli and the shoulder of the road was definitely slick.  Later in the day when I returned home the roads were clear, there was just a bit of rain falling.  Today would have been a perfect day, sunny, about 7-10C and clear skies.  Oh well, it got done.

The realtor met me back at the house after I dropped Eli off, and we did a brief walk through.  The previous owner left a few items behind, including a rocking armchair in the sun porch, a homemade bookshelf in the same room, a microwave in the kitchen and a shower curtain in the main bathroom.  We also discovered that D will be able to use the garage to park (the inspector had given me the impression that the cracks were large...not so), and the shed has a cement floor.  All good things!  

The other good news was the basement.  We trekked down the steep stairs to see how wet it was down there.  While the musty smell is still there, the basement appeared quite dry.  As a result, I've decided to postpone putting in the sump pump until the spring, but will pick up a dehumidifier for the time being.  I did some cleaning while I was waiting for D and the movers, cleaned out the fridge and wiped out the cabinet drawers.  I had just finished unpacking the groceries when D showed up.

The only "ick" moment was when I checked out the stove, both the interior and hood were disgustingly dirty.  I didn't have the supplies to clean it, baking soda and vinegar work the best, so left it for D to do today.  I talked to her earlier and she said she had cleaned out the oven, and was in the process of baking biscuits.  I know she is excited to be able to bake what she likes, when she wants.  

The movers arrived just before noon, and had everything unloaded and in the house by 2:30 in the afternoon.  D and I started unpacking before they left, washing and drying dishes, putting away clothing, and I used the green machine on her couch.  Saku apparently had decided to remind her he had been there, bad cat!  We continued to unpack after they left, until the house had warmed up - we'd left the front door open the entire time so it was easy for them to move furniture and boxes.  

Then it was off to pick up A and the boys.  Eli rode with me, while A and Knox drove over with D, since it made no sense to move his car seat just then.  We arrived back at the house a few minutes before they did, and when I brought him in, he was sooooo excited.  He ran around the main floor and then went up the stairs where I showed him his playroom. (It will never be the spare bedroom...that child has far too many toys!)  

When the others arrived, I decided it was time for me to head out.  I was tired, my one foot was cramping, and I figured D wanted some time without me in her home (she agreed).  The realtor had told me to let her know that supper was on him, so they ordered in a meal of pizza, lasagna, and Caesar salad.  

Here are the boys enjoying their first dinner at the house.  D bought this table and chair set used, and spray painted them black.  It is set up in what is the dining room, though except for Eli will be used a craft space (with a few toys thrown in for good measure.  The folding table is set up under the window, the armoires (both the pictured and the one to the far right of the ride on toy will be filled with craft materials...once every thing is unpacked.  

I arrived home in time last evening for a shower before heading out to dinner with friends. I certainly didn't feel like cooking and it was good to sit and visit, though by the time dinner had arrived and been enjoyed I was ready to head home to bed.  I'm not certain what is happening with my right foot.  I wore my winter boots yesterday, and I remember, getting cramps in my right foot last winter when I wore them too.  By the time I left D's, I had to drive without my boot it hurt so bad.  I managed through dinner (kicked off my shoe under the table), but getting to sleep last night was difficult.  If I weren't so stubborn I would have gotten up and taken some pain meds but I didn't. 

Today, I went to do some shopping and a few errands, putting on my running shoes.  By the time I reached my first stop, my foot was screaming in pain again.  I discovered if I loosened the shoe it didn't hurt, as much, and I was able to keep going.  By the time I hit the last stop, I also took off my sock and wore just the shoe.  Again, it lessened the pain somewhat but I was glad to get home and get the foot elevated.  So I haven't done as much cleaning up as I planned. I did manage the bit I mentioned before, swept up the living room (picking up odds and ends left behind by D), and the second load of laundry is in the washing machine. 

I did google toe cramp and I wonder if I'm simply dehydrated.  I know I didn't have anything more than a couple cups of coffee in the early morning, and though I had a bottle of iced tea with me in the car, I didn't finish it until I was on the way home.  Today I started off with coffee too, and just finished a large glass of water.  I plan to get several more ounces of water into me before bed because I sure don't need another drive with an aching foot.  C is coming with me but he doesn't drive a standard and I've already packed much of the stuff for D in my car.  I know I'll manage but I'd be much happier without the pain.

Well, I think I'll end this post tonight as it is getting rather lengthy.  I'll try to get back on Monday with some photos of our Thanksgiving.  We have much to be thankful for this year, with D and Eli in their own little home, and C and I enjoying the peace and quiet of mine. 

In case, I don't I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!