Tuesday, 1 January 2019

And so it ends

I thought I'd do just a quick wrap-up of the last ten days since I arrived home, more for my own reminder than anything else.  Christmas was different this year, obviously, as I didn't arrive home until early on the 21st.  It took me a couple of days to adjust to being home...what, no one would make my bed, the fridge wasn't full of cut-up veg and tasty dishes, and really I had to do my own dishes? 

As a result the tree did not go up until the 23rd.  For the first time in years, the ornaments were placed and not moved several times to find the perfect spot.  A few did find their way off the tree, thanks to a helpful kitty (Saku) and an equally helpful grandson.

Speaking of Eli, he and his mom arrived on Christmas Eve around lunchtime.  Shortly after their arrival, came my brother R, his wife P, and their two children, K and L, along with K's girl-friend S.  My son C was home early from work so in a matter of a half-hour I had a houseful!  They had a wonderful time, especially Eli as he was tossed about, ran back and forth, climbed up and down on anyone who was willing to play with him.  As D said, he provided the live entertainment.

Santa arrived as expected after Eli had gone to bed that evening (a very tired little boy).  He was out of bed by about 6 a.m. but wasn't the least bit interested in his stocking.  D helped him open his first gift but he was happiest watching Paw Patrol and having his breakfast.  She opened the rest of his stocking gifts, the best was a light-up toothbrush!

Later, when my son made his appearance, we opened the gifts under the tree.  Eli is holding his favorite, Cookie Monster.  You might wonder what he is doing...he trying to eat the plastic cookie that Cookie Monster is holding!  Dinner was of mixed success.  At the last minute I had bought one of those pre-stuffed turkey breasts, instead of the cooking up the roast pork that was in the freezer.  The turkey was not great, we each had a slice, and the rest went into the garbage (yes, it was that bad).  But with potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, dressing and gravy we had plenty to eat.  Dessert included the baking D had contributed, (butter tarts, yum!) and mandarin oranges.

C had offered to watch Eli on Boxing Day morning so D and I could do a bit of shopping.  He actually was out of bed by 8 a.m. - except for work days I think that's the earliest he's been out of bed in a long time.  We had made a list of stores we wanted and did a bit of circuit.  Superstore was first for clothing - they had items on 70% off.  I picked up a new top and sweater that I wore on New Year's Eve for less than $20 total, and D found several t-shirts for Eli for about $3 each.  Next up was Michaels, PetSmart, ToysRUs, Value Village, and Shoppers Drug Mart.  D did most of the shopping, she had a budget and knew what she was looking for.  She was able to purchase items for Eli's birthday (I bought his gift too but darned if I remember what it is), for friend's birthdays, and a few gifts for next Christmas.  

We did well at PetSmart too.  I had picked up cat food there on Black Friday, but the price was even better on Boxing Day.  The stack on the right is what I purchased at 50% of normal pricing.  It should keep the cats happy for some time.  D also picked up a couple of flats for Sheldon and Stanley, as well as four containers of cat litter.

Our last stop at Shoppers was the best.  I picked up frozen pizza (a staple in this household), and deeply discounted personal care items.  The latter are something I often give my children for Christmas, but I even scored a trio of Aveeno products for myself for $9.  The body lotion, hand cream, and bath gel are sufficient to last for some months. 

We arrived home to Eli and C watching, of course, Paw Patrol.  While C went back to bed, D packed up their clothing and Christmas gifts, transferred her purchases to her car, and I sorted through the fridge for groceries to send home with her.  They headed out just before lunch time and my house was quiet once again.

I hadn't had my fill of Eli, so I drove out to Melville on Saturday and spent the night before returning home on Sunday.  I also brought out the cat litter D had bought as well as her Christmas gift...she ran out of room in her vehicle.  

I joined him in the bathroom while he had his bath.  I'm not sure what he was thinking, but he would fill the bucket with water, drop one of his fish into it, set it on the side of the tub, and then grab the handle with his mouth and drop it back into the tub.  He did this a number of times, silly kid!

This is D's gift from me. Her kitchen is long and narrow, the counter has a double sink, and holds her microwave as well, so she has very limited counter space.  I found this cart on Amazon and ordered shortly after they moved into the house in October.  

We put it together on Sunday morning in about 15 minutes, even with the help of a toddler.  The cart is very sturdy, the wheels lock (or in Eli's words, it's guck - which means stuck), and the bamboo cutting board on the top is a great size.  When it isn't stuck, Eli enjoys pushing it around the main floor!

I left just before lunchtime and was glad I did.  The temperatures were dropping quickly, there had been some freezing rain near Regina, so while the secondary highway was fine, the TransCanada was a sheet of ice for several kilometers.  There was at least one vehicle in the ditch, and traffic was slowed to a crawl.  I was very happy to reach the city!

We had a very short cold snap, temperatures dropped to -30C (-22F) the last couple of nights, and this morning it was still -24C (-11F). But the forecast, thankfully is for a warming trend starting later today.  I did go over to friends for New Years Eve last night, but not until nearly 9 p.m. I left shortly after midnight so the car was not sitting for too long.  Despite the weather there was a good crowd there, 20-25.  I've met almost everyone over the past few years, and there were a few of us from the office, all but one now retired or in my case on vacation.

That wraps up the rest of 2018.  I'm looking forward to what 2019 might bring, past March is currently uncertain. While that gives me some pause, since I'm a planner at heart, I'm sure it will be interesting, challenging, and fun!

Have a wonderful New Year's Day everyone, and all the best in 2019!


  1. Happy New Year! You've had quite the whirlwind lately.

    Your tree looks lovely, even if you rushed the decorating. And you all scored on Boxing Day, the cats included! The only thing I bought on or after Boxing Day this year was the cat food I ordered via PetSmart online. I was tempted by other (online store) items, but talked myself out of them: not needed and then I'd be be stuck trying to pay for them.

    The photos of Eli are adorable. Maybe he's so used to seeing cats carrying things (toys) in their mouths that he decided to try it with the little pail? Whatever his reasoning, it was cute!

    Anyway, here's to a wonderful, fun, exciting, happy and healthy 2019! Wishing you all the very best as you settle into retirement...though I suspect you'll be more active than ever! :-)

  2. Happy New Year! LOVED reading this today! Made me happy all the way here in Tennessee. Eli, you adorable thing. You remi d me of MY Grandson, James.

  3. A busy few days before Christmas! I'm envious of the fifty per cent off Fancy Feast; I'm always looking for a bargain for that brand, as it's the only thing I can guarantee the cats will eat.

    I chuckled over Eli and the bucket in the bath. Strange idea. Maybe he saw it on television. You can remind him when he's an adult, and he may actually recall the reason!

    A happy new year to you, though I think I needn't wish it, as retirement will provide you with plenty of happiness, I'm sure. Happy new year, anyway!


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