Sunday 25 November 2018

Light at the end of the tunnel

The countdown to the end of (paid) work is growing every closer and time seems to be speeding up.  Which is probably a good thing as it is getting harder to get up in the morning - partially due to the fact it is soooo dark.  Actually, I had a good excuse on Thursday.  Our power went out about 2:30 a.m. and wasn't back until 8:35 a.m.  Official reports say it was due to the heavy frost in the area.  Regardless, the trees looked sure looked pretty!

I woke up when the power went off because my furnace runs continuously and when the fan shut down I don't have the white noise I'm used to.  I went back to sleep but woke up around 4, the power was still off, so I got up and grabbed my cellphone to set an alarm.  I didn't sleep well after that, the cats were disturbed by my moving around, and decided they should be awake as well. After several head butts, some pats and a few purrs in my ear, they finally settled down. 

I was up at my normal time, just before 6 a.m., but getting ready for work was a bit more difficult than normal.  I made my breakfast by candle light, went without a shower (though I did wash up), and choosing clothing was done with the light of the cellphone.  I posted on Facebook, "if you see me at work today, just remember, I dressed in the dark."  It was at this point, I realized getting out of the garage was going to be interesting.

Thanks to Google a few minutes later I had released the door from the opener but now I had to actually lift it.  Let me tell you, a double door garage door is not light.  Plus the damned thing doesn't have any handle.  I managed to lift it enough to get my foot under, then used that position to lift it higher.  By the time I got it to my knee it was moving easier and I was able to push it up and open.  According to Google the door should be fully opened and that's what I did.  I started up the car and moved it out onto the driveway.  Next up, was closing the door.  I stand about 5' 2" in imagine me standing looking up at the garage door helplessly.  I tried a couple of jumps but could only reach the edge of the door.  There was no way I was closing it, and there was no way I was leaving for work with it open.

So I did what I had to do.  I woke my son even though I know he tends to be grumpy in the morning...and he was.  But he did get up and between the two of us we got the door closed.  He leaves for work about a 1/2 hour after me; Sasha wouldn't let him go back to sleep but at least he knew how to get out of the garage when it was his turn.

I certainly hope there won't be any such excitement this upcoming week.  I have just four work days left.  I expect they will be busy as my replacement for the rest of my team has been named. I've been thinking about this time for about four years and there is a part of me that can hardly believe it it here.  Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm pretty certain it isn't a train!

Back to regular weekend news, I had lunch with my friend K on Friday.  Her treat as a gift to recognize my retirement.  We had a wonderful time visiting, and hardly talked about work at all.  She's been retired for about 3 years so the connection is no longer as strong.  We talked mostly about our upcoming cruise.  She's been doing a lot of research on the various ports, as well as New Orleans, printed off walking directions to points of interest and looked at reviews.  I have a tendency to do my research when I first book, so I'm glad she's done all this work.  It's going to be a great trip!

I also did a bit of shopping on Friday as I discovered I don't have enough candles in the event of a power outage.  (My friend C informed last night that flashlights are a much better idea as they are much safer - she has one in her bedside table, one in a kitchen drawer and another in the garage. Her husband is, in her words, a boy scout).  While I was in Winners I took a look through their clearance items, and found a dressy tank top and a sweater for $11 each.  That was a nice find, and I decided to drop into Value Village and the Salvation Army stores as well. I stopped at S.A. on my way to lunch with K, and found three t-shirts, and paid a whopping $6.97 for all three. 

My best finds though were at Value Village.  I found a blouse from Jones New York, and a jersey knit tank top from Laura, for less than $12 total.  They can be worn separately or will go nicely together as a more smart casual look for dinner.  But even those weren't the best items I found. (I'm definitely learning from my readers who visit the thrift shops and share their finds.  Friday's success is definitely a motivator to see what else I might find!) 

This Hallmark ornament from 2001 is titled "Writing to Santa", and is currently listed on E-bay for nearly $30.  I paid $3.99 for it.  This will be part of D's gift from Eli this year.  I also found her a set of holiday stamps for scrapbooking, with 9 pieces for $4.99.  A similar set with 10 pieces is listed for $ I think I did pretty well or rather Eli did as these will be his gifts to his mom. I'll make him pay be back in hugs and kisses. :) 

D had asked me to check for Fisher Price Little People while I was there, and I lucked out and found a bag of six pieces for $3.99.  All of the items are garden themed, and while I did find a garden house through Google, it failed to find the actual little people.  I'm guessing that means they've been discontinued.  I'm sure Eli will use be able to use these with the barn I got for him for Christmas.  D had found the original barn, along with a lunch box, for $20 on the local buy and sell this summer. I don't like the newer version as it is more of a doll-house with an open back; the old version is shaped like the barns of my childhood.

My Christmas baking is now done, unless I decide to make another batch of shortbread after I return from my vacation.  On Saturday morning, while the laundry was swirling in the machines, I baked a batch of shortbread, and a batch of chocolate mocha (slice) cookies.  There are 3 dozen in the container and along with the 3 dozen plus 2 cupcakes I made last weekend, will be taken into the office later this week. Sort of an early Merry Christmas, farewell gift to my co-workers.  There certainly aren't enough for the entire office but should be enough for those in the our division.  I won't make anything more for the family because my daughter loves to bake and I'm sure she'll arrive with more than we could possibly eat. 

This morning, I decided to get my Christmas gifts wrapped since I'll not be home from the cruise until late on the 20th.  The bag is for friends, the two piles to the left are for my brother and his family, and the others are for my children and grandson.  There are a few gifts not there, two boxes that I won't wrap (one for Eli and one for D) because they are far too large.  The one contains a set of broom, dustpan and mop - child sized - as Eli likes to help his mom with household chores, and the second has a small kitchen cart for D.  The latter is too heavy for me to lift (C moved it into the house when it was delivered) so I'll simply put a bow on it and call it good enough.  Eli's barn and lunch kit also haven't been wrapped and I probably will just put those out Christmas night so he'll see them first thing in the morning.

I still need to pick up a couple of gift cards for my niece and nephew.  While the pile may look excessive none of the items were very expensive so they'll each get more than one gift.  I intend to use ribbon to tie the gifts for each person together, but won't do that until shortly before we exchange gifts.  There is a certain cat (Saku) who likes to chew strings and ribbons.  He also likes to eat paper so everything is tucked away in the spare bedroom.  

I'll also pick up a bottle of wine for my friends (the bag contains an empty wine box as well as a set of wind chimes).  For those who drink wine, any suggestions for a semi-dry white or a nice red would be appreciated! 

I've got the kettle boiling to heat water to start a batch of buns, and after that I plan to spend the rest of the day knitting, reading, and watching the Grey Cup football.  Go RedBlacks!  Though my team isn't in it, I just can't cheer for Calgary, the rivalry is too great.  

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Almost wordless Wednesday

My friends C and N put their incredible Christmas village together this weekend.  Isn't it amazing?

Sunday 18 November 2018

Bored? I think not

Rhetorical question for can an adult be bored? I was talking to my daughter this morning and she mentioned she was bored.  Am I doing something wrong, because I can honestly say I can't remember being bored very often as an adult.  There is always just too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

This weekend, case in point, while grocery shopping I picked up a few more Christmas gifts, including gift cards, cards and envelopes for the gift cards, and a package of Tim Horton's steeped tea.  The latter is for my brother - he likes nothing better than sitting on the verandah of his home, enjoying a good cup of tea, and relaxing.  However, he too, does't suffer from boredom as his acreage keeps him busy when he isn't working his full time job.  

So that got me thinking that perhaps I should start decorating the house for Christmas.  I know it seems a bit early (though I'm told by friends it is not), but since I'll be away for a good portion of December it makes sense to put away the autumn decor and bring out the winter/Christmas.  I decided to limit myself to just winter decor, of which I have very little.  I replaced the wreath on the front door, tucked the snow penguin up on the shelf above the basement door, replaced orange candles with white (tied with red ribbon) and traded out the tablecloth with a snowflake motif one.  I'm done for the moment, though will likely do more next week.  Everything but the tree can be brought up, it can wait until I return from my cruise.

Time too, to start thinking about packing.  I pulled out my suitcase and brought it upstairs to the bedroom.  This is always a bit of a conundrum because I have a tendency to over pack especially if I start too soon.  Each time I try to reduce but I don't want to run short either.  On a Norwegian cruise I don't have access to laundry facilities, and though the ship will provide laundry service the cost is too high in my mind.  So I've added some laundry pods and a mini box of detergent.  I'll hand wash a few items on the ship, and we'll likely find a laundromat (if needed) when we reach New Orleans. On the other hand, I just realized that packing for the January cruise will be easy...just wash and repack from this one!  

Saturday morning, I actually slept until until 8 a.m.  Well, after a wake-up call from Sasha about 5:30.  I ignored him for a half hour and he finally let up and let me sleep.  He hasn't been eating well lately, and hadn't eaten much the night before, but he sure ate well this morning.  I worry about him, but at 18 1/2 years old I assume he has the right to be a little fussy.  I bought some new pate for he and Saku, which I'd given them last night...Sasha would not eat it.  Back to the Fancy Feast.

I didn't do much for the first hour or so, just relaxed, drank coffee and did some reading.  It was cold out, -20C (-4F) and I didn't feel like moving from my comfortable chair.  But eventually I convinced myself that the baking wouldn't get done by itself.  I mixed a double batch of cake batter and made 39 cupcakes - it should have made 48, obviously some were larger than they ought to have been. Of course, I had to taste test one so there are 38 remaining.  I had crushed a dozen candy canes and put the chopped peppermint through a fine sieve.  I used the dust to flavor the batter (and color it pink) and will use the rest of the candy for a topping.  The plan is to dip the cupcakes in melted white chocolate and sprinkle a bit of candy on top.  I thought about making another batch as it won't be quite enough to for everyone on my floor to have one, but I think I'll put together a batch of cookies to take along with it.  Something with chocolate and coffee I think for a totally different flavor.

From there I went on to do a bit of packing, which means trying on my shorts, capris, t-shirts, and bathing suits to ensure things fit and are in good enough shape to wear.  (Doesn't everyone have a bunch of clothing that is worn but not worn out...good enough to wear around the house but not out of it?)  I have some dressier items that I'll wear for dinner, that I currently wear for work so those will have to wait a few more days. That includes a couple of sweaters as the long range forecast for New Orleans looks a bit cool, with day time highs of 64F (17C) and overnight of 45F (7C).  I had picked up a couple of pairs of jean capris this summer that should come in handy as they are a little heavier.  I've packed a pair of flip-flops, sandals, and my dressier flip-flops as well.  No heels for me, not only are they heavy to pack but I no longer find them comfortable.  At my age (and weight) I want comfort more than style.  Also packed are my cross-body purse which has RFI pockets to hold my passport, other identification, and my cell phone.  I don't use the cellphone except to access free wifi when we're in a port, but it's handy to have when I'm on my way home. 

Also in the suitcase are a bag for laundry, the detergent, magnets, towel clips, and paper straws.  Magnets are useful because the ship's cabin walls are made of metal - I use the magnets for invitations and other information.  The paper straws are a new item; Norwegian is no longer providing plastic straws with drinks.  I'm quite happy to hear that, as our oceans are already polluted with plastics.  I purchased these on Amazon, they were shipped from somewhere in China and I was beginning to think they'd never show up.  I have 200 so that should last for these next cruises at least.  I wasn't to find any locally but maybe in the next while they'll become more readily available. 

Still lots to pack, unmentionables, nightwear, tops and toiletries.  I have pre-packed a couple of quart sized bags with mini toiletry containers, one will go in my carry-on, the other in the suitcase.  I always ensure I have at least a day or two worth of clothing in my carry-on, along with a change of shoe wear, a bathing suit and toiletries.  Thus far, I've not had my suitcase go missing but better safe than sorry. 

Next up was to strip my bed and wash all the bedding.  One of the cats (perhaps Sasha) had upchucked at the head of the bed between my two pillows.  The night before I'd thrown a towel over it and slept there anyway.  I know, I know,  I'm lazy!  But in my defense, it was late and I was tired.  Besides the one who made the mess was the mostly likely to sleep in that particular spot.  

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching university football, knitting, chatting on the phone with my brother and my daughter, and generally just putting my feet up.  I did make dinner though for C and I, I had some ground beef in the fridge and I asked him if he'd prefer meatloaf or Spanish rice for dinner.  He choose the latter, so I made both...I used half the package for each resulting in a good portion of the rice for us for dinner, and a meatloaf for sandwiches or to re-heat for the next day.  I know most people don't put meat in their Spanish rice, but my mom always did as it made a one pot meal.  I brown the beef and drain it, add in some chopped onion and let that cook a couple of minutes, and then for an easy Spanish rice, I add a cup of salsa, 1 1/2 cups of minute rice and an equal amount of chicken broth.  Let that come to a boil and let it simmer for ten minutes.  Dinners ready! It isn't how my mom would make it but still tasty.

This morning, I was able to sleep until 7:30 which is a near miracle.  Neither cat bothered me this morning - I guess they were tired too.  Another mostly relaxed morning, reading e-mail and checking Facebook, and knitting.  I've finished a second toque but have started a third because of the sizing.  I'll find out in two weeks whether any will fit Eli.  I'm pretty sure I have one small enough for Knox.  

Eli met little J.P. last week and was not very impressed. D says every time he sees the baby he heads for the car seat seemingly to suggest that perhaps the baby should leave.  This bodes well for my hope that he stays an only child.  

The rest of the day has been spent doing housework, washing floors, vacuuming the bedroom and the living furniture, and cleaning bathrooms.  There is nothing like watching an episode (or two) of Hoarders to motivate one's self to clean house.  I know my home isn't that bad, but I also know the mess has to start somewhere.

Back to my initial thought, I am never really bored, though there are times when I'd prefer to sit and relax rather than do what needs to be done.  Occasionally I get help with that...Saku makes a far better door than he does a window!

Have a great week everyone! 

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.