Wednesday 30 October 2019

Wordy Wednesday

Sadly, winter has arrived.  
Already a small pile of snow on the patio.
The deck is covered. 

The bird feeder is well attended.

The only one who seems to be enjoying it is my brother's dog Kola, on a run with R.  

Sunday 27 October 2019


It sure doesn't take long after returning from vacation to get back into the routine of home, does it?  After doing my laundry and putting away the suitcases, there was the rest of the house to tackle.  My son did a good job of keeping things tidy, but the floors needed a vaccum and a wash.  Quick, somebody invent a self-cleaning house!  I'd have to win a lottery to afford it but a girl can dream can't she?

However, I didn't totally focus on the house.  Monday was election day here in Canada.  Even though the campaign only lasted 40 days it seemed much longer.  The rhetoric was histronic with personal attacks rather than policy announcements. Our media made no attempt to refocus the attention, and in some cases even stoked the fear and division. Reminds me of another election a few years ago in a neighbouring country.  I spent Monday evening and well into the next morning, watching the results roll in.  For those who don't follow Canadian news the Liberal government was re-elected but with a minority government.  It's a result I thought was likely to occur, and as a progressive myself, I'm grateful for the result.  It will require cooperation and stronger communication to govern....attributes that I believe are truly important for any government.  

Tuesday was a back to normal busy day.  I met my friend K for lunch - she had a birthday last week so it was my treat.  I'd dropped the car off next door at Kal Tire to have the tires changed over for the winter, so we met at Mr. Greek.  We both enjoy their gyros, and with coupons it was a good price.  After lunch, the car was still on the hoist, so I walked over to the Safeway, to their pharmacy, to get my flu shot.  It's the first time I've had the shot so they asked me to stay in the store for 30 minutes to ensure no adverse reaction.  Other than a sore arm, there was none and when I walked back to Kal Tire, the car was ready to go.  Reminder to self: check the trunk for the replaced tires.  I got home, went to unload and discovered they hadn't put them back in the car!  So a return trip was made to pick up the summer tires. 

I had coffee with my friend C on Wednesday morning, then made a trip to Costco for furnace filters and a Google Home Mini.  The mini was $25 off it's regular price and the filters were $10 off three.  I use the kind that are supposed to filter out pet hair.  They seem to work reasonably well, as every time I replace the filter it is covered in fur!  While Costco is a bit further away than it once was, the savings were sufficient to make going there worthwhile.  

After dropping off my purchases, I headed over to the library for stitch and chat. A couple of ladies weren't there, one has left for Arizona, the other was playing bridge, but there were four of us plus a new woman.  Although we don't know each other well, there never seems to be a shortage of topics to discuss.  From crafts, to weather, to family health, and even curling.  As a result of the latter topic I realized the Grand Slam of Curling's first event is being played this weekend.  Thursday morning was the first televised game....can you guess how I spent most of the weekend?  Add in a Rider game and I was in my happy place.  

Then on Sunday, Eli and his mom are coming for a visit as she has appointments tomorrow in the city.  They will spend the night, and I will spend the days following their visit cleaning up after them.  But I wouldn't miss the time I get to spend with the little guy.  

We'll be spending our time indoors, I imagine because I woke to this this morning!  This looks worse than it really is, but we do have about an inch on the ground.  We have a couple of days in the next week where temps will be above or near freezing so it may disappear.  But I suspect winter has truly arrived.  :(

As for the house, I've heard nothing from my agent so I assume it was a no go.  That's okay, I'm quite enjoying not being quite as strict with my cleaning regime.  Speaking of which, I'd best get the cat litter cleaned before Eli gets here.  Talk about reality!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Vegas, Part 3

We slept in even later on Thursday, in fact I even got over 8 hours of sleep, and I didn't wake until 7:30!  S was a sleepy head and didn't rouse until after 8.  That was okay as we didn't have much planned for the morning.   Shortly after 9 we wandered over to the Strat for breakfast, and then stopped in at the World's largest Gift Shop (according to the marquee) to browse.  I found t-shirts for both my adult children and a set of coasters.  The latter are to replace a set I bought on my last visit to Vegas...I think about 12 years ago.  The old ones are pretty much worn out so it was time.  

S found a jean shirt for herself for $5.99 and a couple of other items too.  We headed back to the hotel to drop off our shopping bags, and then it was off on the monorail back to Ross Dress for Less.  I thought I had remembered seeing a pair of the brand of shoes that Eli's fat little feet will fit into on our last visit so we'd decided to go back and check.

My cousin P had contacted me the day before to say she and cousin B were arriving in Vegas on Thursday so we'd made plans to meet for a drink after they reached their hotel, the Park MGM.  We had a bit of time before we were to meet, so spent most of it at Ross.  I did not find the shoes, but both of us found two piece outfits (jacket and sweat pants) for our grandsons at very reaonable prices.  I purchased two, one for $6.99 and a Puma set for $12.99.  Eli is definitely going to be well out-fitted for the next year!  

We walked across the street to the Park MGM, as the pedway is still under construction there.  After wandering through the restaurant at the main entrance and into the casino, we found a quiet spot at the MoneyLiner bar to have a cold drink and wait.  Unfortunately, P's phone connection wasn't working and we weren't able to connect.  After an hour we decided it was time to head back to the Sahara to get ready for our evening.

We had planned ahead of time to dress up for dinner one evening and this was it.  After showering and putting on our finery we took a taxi over to the D Hotel for the show.  We'd been told to arrive at least a half before the show, and stood in line-up for that time before we were escorted into the venue.  We'd bought VIP tickets so were seated near the stage.  There really was no point to that, as the entertainment took place mostly off stage, but we were treated to a free drink and a free t-shirt for the extra cost.  

I only have a couple of photos from that evening as I was too busy watching and laughing through most of the show.  This was taken by one of the performers, as each couple was asked for one to choke the other...that's me on the right.  Not the most flattering of photos but we had fun!*

The meal started off with a nice salad as you can tell.  Our entrees were a choice of beef, pork, or a vegetarian cheese tortellini primavera with pomodoro sauce.  I obviously had the latter, while S enjoyed her beef. 

The meal was served while the performance went on, and I didn't feel I had enough time to eat my entree.  Otherwise it was all very good.  Dessert, no photo, was a red velvet cake trifle with a raspberry syrup drizzled on top.  Yummy but I couldn't eat it all.  I guess it didn't matter I hadn't time to eat all my entree either.

I wasn't able to solve the mystery either; while three people were "murdered" during the performance the killer and her motive weren't apparent until the very end.  "Marriage Can Be Murder" recently celebrated it's 20th year; written and performed by a husband and wife duo, with a few other actors and audience participation, it really is a fun evening.  We had a chance to chat briefly with Eric and Jane at the end of the evening.  While the story line remains throughout, the show is never the same due to the audience.  I would tell you, the cast has as much fun as does their audience.  I don't think I've laughed as hard as I did that night for a very long time.

It was back to the hotel after the show, where we used some free play they provided, and an additional $10 to play the slots for a bit.  We played for about 30 minutes but neither of us was lucky enough to take any money out of the machines.  Back in our room, we had a drink and did most of our packing.  Just the last minute items were left to be tossed in our bags in the morning.

I'm glad I didn't take my camera (thank you to those who told me I wouldn't need it) as it meant I had lots of room for my shopping.  I had taken a small roller bag along with my duffle.  I used the latter as my carry-on and it held all of my dirty clothes, while the shopping and anything that wasn't or was lightly worn (dress clothes), along with shoes and larger toiletries went in the checked bag.  S's large suitcase was full to the brim and she just squeaked in over the weight limit but was waved on at the airport check-in the following day.

Our shuttle was scheduled for 9:15 a.m., but we were ready to go a bit early, so they sent the driver to us when we called.  Good thing, as it took longer to get to the airport than our ride in, and the line-up at security was lengthy.  Our flight was slightly delayed but we were in Edmonton on our direct flight by 5 p.m.  S took the shuttle over to where her van was parked, to exchange the items in her suitcase for more cooler weather clothing, after which she headed back to the airport to catch a flight to Saskatoon.

When we had originally planned our trip, I had booked a flight home on Saturday but S's plans changed, and since the cost of making a flight change was greater than a hotel room for the night I chose to stay near the airport for the night.  My flight wasn't until 3:30 Saturday afternoon I spent the morning, reading, watching the Canadian news channels, and drinking coffee.  The hotel had a complimentary breakfast that I enjoyed as well. I checked out, and took the shuttle back to the airport around noon. I arrived back in Regina shortly after 5, and arrived at the house by 6.  I love to travel, but travel days always seem long, and good to be home. 

Oh, I know what else I forgot to mention earlier.  The house listing expired Wednesday, but on Thursday I had a text from my agent telling me that the people who had seen the house the previous weekend wanted to come back for a second look on Friday.  I contacted my son C, he was okay with it, so I agreed.  I let my agent know that C would be at work and the cats would be in the house, but they could go ahead.  I then sent C a text with some instructions - make sure the cat litter is clean, put dirty dishes (if any) in the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and ensure the air freshners were full.  Shortly thereafter, I had another text from the agent, that another group had been watching the listing and saw it had come down, so they wondered if they could get in.  After letting C know, I said okay.  I told my agent, if he could get me two competing offers this past 6 months would be worth it.  

As of this writing, I've yet to receive an offer.  However, the first couple told their agent they wanted to do some price-checking on work they'd want to do on the house before they decide on an offer.  So I have my fingers, toes, and any other bodily part I can, crossed that something comes of this.  However, in the meantime I'm not holding my breath either.  What will be will be.

The time away was good for me.  I'm feeling quite rested and relaxed, despite getting back into my routine, doing three loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning, etc.  

One final look at Vegas as we flew away.  I'm sure I'll be back!

*Perhaps I should caption the photo of S choking me, "S's reaction to my question of whether she'd be willing to travel with me again."  She enjoyed herself too, but did inform me that her feet will never be the same.  

Monday 21 October 2019

Vegas, Part 2

Sun rise view from our room
On Wednesday, we slept in a bit.  By a bit, I mean I think I was awake shortly before 7 and S was awake around 7:30.  We had big plans for the morning!  We were off to the Premium Outlet mall (North) for more shopping....charge!!

Wait, the mall didn't open until 9:30 so we had a couple of hours to kill.  I really don't recall what we did, other than clean up, sort through more brochures, check e-mails and the like.  Why we were looking at more shows is beyond me...we were already booked for every evening.  I'm pretty sure we sat and gabbed as we're both pretty good at that!

The mall is also a short taxi ride from our hotel, just over the $10 mark again.  We were there early, just at opening time, but several stores had yet to open their doors.  We found the food court where we both got a small bite to eat before we headed out to the stores.  I think we were both a little overwhelmed with all the options but we soon put those feelings aside.  Our first stop was at Gap for Kids.  I found two t-shirts and two pairs of sweatpants for Eli for a mere $4.99 each!  S did well too, finding items on sale for her grandsons here too.

I don't recall where we went next, but do know we had a long stop at the Jockey store.  I found a dressy t-shirt, a skort, and a pair of leggings for myself for less than $45 (less than $60 Cdn per my credit card statement).  The clerk found me a chair to sit in, while S tried on much of the store...she loves Jockey!  She walked out with a full shopping bag, clothing that will be good for her trip to Cancun this winter, and for summer too.  

Then it was off to the Disney store, where I found the cutest pair of pj's for Eli, while S picked up t-shirts for her grandsons.  We had planned to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, but there was a huge line-up when we arrived so decided we'd wait until we returned to the hotel.  After a few more stops in various shops, she headed to the Children's Place while I tried a couple of shoe stores looking for a specific brand of shoes for Eli.  He has wide feet that makes finding shoes to fit difficult.  Unfortunately I wasn't successful.  It was time to head back to the hotel, but on our way out we decided a burger at the Shake Shack was a great idea.  Our feet were killing us by this point, so sitting down was the key!

Back at the hotel, it was time to go through our purchases, gather up the receipts, do the math to determine how close we were to our limits, and relax a bit before we both showered and got ready for the evening.  Since we were booked for the show at the Stratosphere, we decided to take in happy hour in the Sky Lounge 107.  If one choses - we did not - you can eat at the revolving restaurant on the 106th floor.  

The photo is of the Strip - it was incredible to watch the city light up as the sun set.  We weren't fortunate enough to have this view from our seats as the place was packed but there was a spot where one could stand and take photos.  We had drinks and appetizers there before we headed downstairs for the show.

Celestia is billed as "an all-new entertainment spectacular presented in a state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot theatrical tent and featuring a talented troupe of more than two dozen world-class performers."  It was a wonderful show and I have few photos to share and a video of the finale.  

There were two young women, one to either side of the stage whose flexibility was just incredible!  The show itself revolved around another young woman as she travelled through the world after falling from the sky (sorry no photos of that).  Along the way she met and danced/tumbled with several different groups.  Each group had a different theme or aparatus.  There were fire and ribbons and drums; throughout she appeared with her celestial orb that was presented to the group at the end of each performance.

One of my favorite duos was a father/daughter team who had been on America's Got Talent. Dad balanced his daughter either on his hands or on his head.  These two photos are the start of end of his climb up and over a ladder with his daughter balanced on his head.  Not once did it appear that either one was off balance!

I couldn't watch the entire finale, but did capture 30 seconds of video during part of it.  Yes, the height of their antics got to me, and I had to turn my head to look away!  These guys have no fear.  S told me they had several of the troupe below spotting them, but I don't care, if one of them were to fall from that height it would have caused some serious injuries. (I can't get it to play in preview so I hope it works for you!)

After the performance, we walked back to the hotel where we had a drink before settling in for the night.  It was a good day, just under 19000 steps on the FitBit, we both got some bargains, had some great food, and saw a fabulous show!  

Sunday 20 October 2019

What happens in Vegas

Gets posted here on my blog. :)  First off, I had a wonderful time.  It was so good to get away, to have someone else cleaning up after me, making the meals, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage, and doing the laundry.  All of which I've had to do for myself since I arrived home yesterday. 

I do have photos to share, and I'll probably split this post into two three parts as we managed to cover a lot of ground, literally, over the full four days we were there.  I met S and her husband P, at the Renaissance Hotel located in the Edmonton airport on Sunday.  My own room was their treat, as P had injured his foot, was on crutches and wanted to be as close to the airport as possible.  He was flying home to Inuvik the following day while S and I flew off to Vegas via Calgary.  

Friends of theirs joined us at their suite (an upgrade they were given on registrating) where we had a drink before we gals headed down to the hottub.  It was hot indeed, so after a 10 minute visit, we went into the larger pool.  It was near bath temperature and it felt wonderful to float about while we chatted.  Then it was off to bed, as the three of us had to be up by 3:30 a.m.  

We were on our flight to Calgary, shortly before 6 a.m. and then had a four hour layover before I next flight to Las Vegas.  We did need to go through the border security, spent a bit of time walking, before   S and I grabbed a quick bite to eat prior to boarding and then we were off. 
I'll admit I napped for part of the flight.  I always sleep when someone else is driving!

The first photo was taken about a half hour before we landed, the second one as we taxied into the airport.  That's a few of the humungous Vegas hotels on the Strip in the background. 

We arranged to take the Super shuttle to and from our hotel and the airport.  For $20 return it was definitely well worth.  Funny story (or at least we thought so), the cashier who sold us our tickets told us it would be 30-45 minutes for our shuttle.  So we both decided to hit the ladies room before it arrived.  When we went back out, the shuttle driver was running around looking for us.  He'd texted S three times (though she was busy and didn't see them).  When he dropped us off at the Sahara he told us "the shuttle will be here at 9:15 on Friday, don't forget!".  We chuckled about that and were plenty early.  

We had arrived about 1 p.m. local time and were able to check in early.  The hotel was part of a package deal we got, and it turned out to be a real blessing.  The Sahara is at the north of the Strip, currently undergoing renovations (which never disturbed us), with a smaller casino than many of the larger hotels.  

Our room had the two double beds, a desk and chair under the television (opposite the bed on the right), and an armchair and sidetable opposite the other bed).  In the hallway there was a closet, a fridge, safe and shelving.  The bathroom was large with a huge shower, and lots of storage under the sink.

We did have a couple of minor issues.  The fridge was full of liquor (which we didn't use) and the second shelf on the door kept falling off.  Although we contacted hotel staff twice about the fridge, no one ever came to fix it.  The sink also ran slow, so I took the plug off and tried cleaning the drain with a pen.  I think, however it was the trap that needed cleaning.  Since we'd had no response about the fridge, I didn't bother calling but did mention it on our way out.

The hotel was also adjacent to a large Walgreen's store.  We headed over there on Monday afternoon to pick up a few things, a 6 pack of beer for me, 8 tiny bottles of wine for S, some snacks, and some toiletries that S had forgotten.  Then it was back to the hotel for a quick snooze for her (she didn't nap on the plane), while I perused the various brochures and magazines for things to do. When she woke, we went over some ideas and came up with a tentative plan.  The Sahara is also the last stop for the monorail that runs behind the Strip.  We headed up to the ticket office to pick up passes for the next few days.  We had learned that we could get a discount, but it turns out not at the ticket office, so we went back to the Concierge desk to get a voucher for the passes for the following day.  

Then it was off to Denny's for dinner - we walked past several wedding chapels, a cannabis store, and the Stratosphere on our way there.  The restaurants at our hotel all looked nice but the prices were a bit expensive so we chose to take a walk instead.  After our meal, we stopped in at the Strat and found their box office where we purchased tickets for the Wednesday night showing of Celestia.  Think poor man's Cirque de Soleil.  I've never seen a Cirque show but really enjoyed the Celestia, and at a far lower price!

We were in bed early on Monday evening, with over 20,000 steps registered on my Fitbit.  It was a long day but a good one!

Tuesday, of course, we were up bright and early.  We knew we couldn't get our monorail passes until the ticket booth opened at 10 so we puttered about.  I ran down to get us coffee, while S showered.  I took my turn when the coffee was drank, and then we walked over to the Strat for breakfast.  The price was quite reasonable and the coffee even better.

Just after 10 we were riding the monorail to the south end of the Strip to the MGM Grand.  Somehow we messed up and took a wrong turn when we left the station and ended beyond the hotel and back around.  Our immediate goal was the Coca-Cola store.  S treated us to the 16 variety option and we sat and taste tested such treats as Fanta Exotic Fruit Punch (Uganda), Fuse Berries Tea (Georgia), Thums Up (India), and Beverly (Italy). Some were quite nice, but the one from Italy was horrid, and there were several that tasted more like cough syrup than anything else.  My two favorites were Frestea Green Honey Tea (Indonesia), and Aquarius Libre (Spain).  The former definitely had a green tea flavor while the latter was much like a ginger ale ...without the ginger if that makes sense.

Next up, guess where we went shopping? Not hard to tell.  Next door to the Coca-Cola store is the M&M store.  There are 3 or 4 floors of M&M merchandize including the chocolates.  We were given a taste test of a coconut curry M&M....actually quite good which surprised me.

I picked up a tie died t-shirt for my self for a sleeping shirt, and a red t-shirt for my grandson.  S shopped for her three grandsons, two daughters, and DIL.  

Just down the stree was a Ross Dress for Less.  Years ago I picked up a pair of jeans at sister store in Fort Lauderdale and I hoped I'd be able to find the same brand here.  It wasn't to be, but I did find another pair of jeans for $10.81 USD (about $15 Canadian).  S was shopping for her husband and found 5 dress shirts for under $120 CDN! 

By this time we were famished, it was nearly 2 p.m. so we stopped at the nearby Denny's for a quick bite.  We had plans to head up to Fremont Street that evening and had decided to find a restaurant there for dinner.  We headed back to the hotel via the monorail to drop off our shopping, rest a bit, and relax.

Again, our hotel was in a great location as the taxi ride to Fremonth was just over $10 each way.  We were dropped off at the D hotel, where we made our way to the box office to pick up tickets for "Marriage is Murder", a dinner theatre performance.  (Oh yeah, I forgot, in our walk earlier in the day we'd stopped at a discount ticket booth to get a voucher for these tickets.)

We walked through the hotel, oh my was it smoky before reaching Fremont where even outdoors the smoke was at times overwhelming between regular cigarettes smokers and those smoking cannabis.  We walked the length of the street, stopping and watching some of the live entertainment. 
I could tell that S was not enjoying herself, so suggested we find a place to eat.  We found a small cafe that served Gyros, settled in and enjoyed our food.  My gyro was great, and the French fries were the best we had on the whole trip - we shared an order.

We finished walking down the end where this sign is located, then turned back and walked towards the D.  As we reached the side street, we noticed a cab waiting and took it back to the Sahara.  While I did enjoy the canopy of lights, I had to agree with S that the smoke and the near naked girls was not what I remembered from my last visit.

When we arrived back at the hotel, we settle in for a drink before bed.  I checked my FitBit and we'd managed another 20,000 step day!

Saturday 12 October 2019

Looking forward

The snow we got on Wednesday was pretty much gone by Thursday morning though it was still cold.  In fact, the temperature when I got up at 7 a.m. was -6C (21F).  Brrr!!!  Time to book my appointment to have the tires on the car changed over to winter tires.  It used to be that my local Kal Tire did not take appointments and one had to arrive early in the morning and hope to make the list. They opened at 7 a.m. and it wasn't unusual to see a line up outside the door.  An appointment is so much more civilized!

It did get above freezing in the afternoon so I spent about a half hour outdoors removing the last of the annuals from the containers, tucking the containers out of the way, and emptying and putting away the bird bath. It was full of ice!  I had stopped and picked up bird feed in a large bag earlier in the week, so I transferred that to a container and filled the bird feeder.  I also put out the suet feeder.  I suspect they'll find the feed soon as the natural sources will be disappearing due to the frost and cold. 

Friday morning was even colder, with an early morning temperature of -9C (16F).  I hope this weather doesn't last, the forecast is for more normal temperatures in 10 days or so.  I'll miss a few of those days, thankfully.  

I'm packed and ready to go to Vegas!  Just a few last minute items to toss in (chargers for phone and Fitbit, moisturizer, etc.).  I had thought I might be able to manage with a carry-on but I've decided to take my camera which takes up half the carry-on so I'll be paying for a checked bag.  And if I decide at the last minute not to take my camera, I'll have room for my winnings (ha!) or any shopping I might do.  We will be going to the M&M shop and the outlet malls for sure.  I likely won't be able to stop myself from bringing something back.  Actually we're unlikely to do much gambling - I'll probably toss a few dollars, less than $20, into a machine and see where it takes me.  The last time I was in Vegas, I did that and walked away with $60.  At least until I spent it at the mall.  Hopefully I'll do as well on this trip.  

My friend S flew out of Inuvik on Wednesday with the plan to fly to Winnipeg on Friday to spend part of the weekend with family there at a resort.  Unfortunately those plans had to be cancelled because there was a ugly storm brewing with freezing rain, snow, and wind.  Those are the vagaries of fall in the prairie provinces. First it's autumn, then winter, back to summer, and then autumn again...or maybe straight into winter. You can bet I checked the forecast for Sunday and Monday for Edmonton.  It's looking just fine so I'm not worried about flying out.

This week, I'm putzing around with some leftover yarn from earlier projects.  This will be pillow cover and I'm pretty sure I have just enough yarn to make a second one.  For the back of the pillow, I'm going to use leftover fabric from Eli's Superman costume.  It isn't quite as red as the red in the pillow cover but should work fine.  The pillow forms cost $10 a piece, so with a little time and some leftovers I'll have new Christmas pillows for the couch.  

I'm also crocheting Christmas ornaments....because I'm need more than project at a time. :p  Years ago, I made snowflake ornaments for my tree and in my clearing up last winter I found the pattern book again.  I'm hoping I can get enough done to use them with gift tags for family and friends.  If not, they're small and I'll tuck them away for next year.  The thread I'm using this time is much finer than what I used years ago, so I'm finding them a little more difficult.  Just started the second one, a different pattern, and finding it a bit easier, but in any event, my eyesight is not what it once was so I can't work on them as long.

Friday evening, I went for dinner with my friend C.  She's just returned from her trip to California.  It wasn't easy with all the memories but I think she did enjoy some of it.  She shared a few photos from the air show, the Safari park, and the Zoo.  Looked great to me, and someday I hope I get a chance to visit.

As the week went on I had thought (and frankly had hoped) there would be no showings this week, but I got a call for a showing on Saturday afternoon. In and out in 15 minutes so I'm doubtful there will be any further communication.  Unfortunately the house down the street that was put on the market recently, I believe an estate sale, has sold for a price $35K under what I'm asking.  That does not bode well for me.  

I had talked to my agent last weekend about doing a price drop for this week, but he delayed sending me the paperwork so I left the price where it was and will be allowing the current listing to lapse next Wednesday.  Once I'm back, I'll start the process of looking for a new agent and that will determine when I will list again.  I've pretty much decided I'll wait until January or February, so that we get through Christmas and New Year's without the hassle.  

I definitely want to ensure that it's not on the market, one way or another, by early June.  I have the U.K. cruise booked and I am so looking forward to it.  My travel agent alerted me to a seat sale on WestJet this weekend, so I was able to get airfare of $1080 return!  For perspective, five years ago, on our TransAtlantic cruise, I paid $650 for airfare to return to Calgary from London, and another $150 for the return flight to Regina.  So a very good price!  

Since I'm flying out on Sunday to Edmonton to meet S, my adult children and I won't be getting together.  D and Eli are at home - she told me they're having Thanksgiving pizza tonight. :)  C and I will have grilled "mom" burgers, probably the last of the season.  It's pretty cool out there to grill. 

To all my Canadian readers,  Happy Thanksgiving!  Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend wherever you are.  


Sunday 6 October 2019

What day is it?

This is a question I ask myself almost every day.  Thank goodness for my Fitbit as it shows the week day, date and time at the first tap.  Friday was especially bad, as I couldn't decide if it was Friday, Monday, or possibly some other day of the week.  I just knew it wasn't Saturday or Sunday because my son had left for work before I woke up!  Yes, I actually slept through his departure, and the cats didn't wake me until 7:15.  I'd like to say I woke refreshed after 8 hours of sleep but I recall I was having odd dreams before I truly came awake.

Of course, that would be the day that I had morning showing.  So it was up and at 'em.  Feed the cats, start the laundry, finish cleaning the kitchen, sweeping floors, vacuuming, spot washing floors, all before I sat to have a cup of coffee.  Then it was back to cleaning, wiping sinks and toilets, adjusting shower curtains, making the bed, spraying Febreeze on the furniture.  Saku has a habit of hiding under the bed to nap, which can make it difficult to get to him to take out of the house.  I'm sure his nose was out of joint, but I closed the bedroom door until I'd put him in his carrier.  

Let's see, what else did I get up to this week. I don't recall Monday and Tuesday at all, though I know I did catch up on paperwork, talked to a former co-worker on the phone (a lovely long chat), and worked on a couple of projects. Photos to follow.  Wednesday I had coffee with my friend C in the morning.  She's off on her trip this weekend so we didn't have dinner together on Friday.  I'm looking forward to her return and hearing about her trip.  In the afternoon, I headed off to my Stitch and Make group at the library.  I truly enjoy these ladies, they're all all interesting and we never run out of topics to discuss.  Two of them brought quilts they've sewed this summer for charity.  They both go to Arizona for the winter and the group they belong to create these projects throughout the year.  Absolutely beautiful work, and I so wish I could sew lines that straight!

I finished a couple of projects this week.  First up, is a knitted stocking for Eli for Christmas. This was quick and easy, I knit it up over two evenings - it's made in two pieces and then sewed together, so far easier than turning the heel.  It's not perfect, I'm not entirely happy with the foot, but that was the pattern and my stitching of his name is uneven.  Besides when I think back to the stockings I made for my kids (30 plus years ago) this one is much nicer.  Besides I'm sure Eli won't care!

The second project took more time. I started this for my friend C for a Christmas gift.  To finish, I'll need to stretch it for framing.  I need a piece of cardboard or something similar to stretch it over, before I can put it in the frame I purchased.  The color of the frame is similar to the color used in the wording of flip flops.  I'll be sure to take a photo of the finished project to share.
 The most exciting thing to happen this week is actually a change in plans.  I'm flying out to Edmonton to meet my friend S, a week from today.  We had made plans in June to drive from Edmonton to Fairmont Hot Springs in B.C. for four nights.  Well, the best laid plans were set aside because the weather forecast is for snow in the mountains, and relatively cold temperatures.  I wasn't keen on driving in the mountains (a first for me) in the snow.  We discussed that perhaps this is a trip better suited for a different time of year, and after some back and forth decided on Vegas!  Definitely a different direction.  We've booked ourselves into the Sahara for four nights flying out of Edmonton.  While a little more expensive than our original trip, the pricing was really good, under $700 per person for four nights including our flights and taxes.  I am so looking forward to getting away from it all for several days.  And just think, someone else will make the beds, vacuum, clean the bathroom, make the meals, and wash the dishes! 

We had another showing on Saturday morning.  No real feedback, but that's not unusual.  I'm having a chat with my agent later today to discuss a final price drop.  If someone who has been through the house, is truly interested, this might be the encouragement they need to come back.  While the listing ends mid-October, there will be no showings beyond the 12th as I'm flying out the next day.  That means this upcoming week is the end of it, at least for the time being.  I've told my agent, I'll decide while I'm away if I'm going to re-list or leave it off the market for a bit.  I do intend to list it again, at some point, but will take some time to interview agents, and to determine whether I put more money into this property to improve the chances of a sale.  

Saturday was also a football marathon.  We had three games, back-to-back.  The first game was fun to watch, as it was a defensive battle with the Montreal Alouettes beating the Calgary Stampeders.  I always appreciate when an Eastern division team beats one from the West - unless it's our Riders.  The second game featured the Riders versus Winnipeg Blue Bombers, our arch nemesis.  This was little more nerve-wracking to watch, so I kept my hands busy creating this little stuffed pumpkin.  It used up some scrap wool, and best of all, the Riders won!  We're "the best in the west", at least for this week.  The third game was a blow-out with the BC Lions leading the Toronto Argonauts 34-0 at half-time. It was at this point, I turned out the lights and went to bed.  

Yesterday, was also the anniversary of my daughter's move into her home.  I recall, it snowed that morning, but by the time the truck arrived it had melted and it was just wet.  The movers were finished fairly quickly and the only blip was not being to move the box spring up the stairs to the master bedroom.  Eli had spent the morning at the home of A, and I went over to pick him up, while D ran another errand.  The little guy was so excited when I brought him home.  He ran around the house, up and down the stairs, happy to be there.  A year later, they're both so content there.  In fact, they were here in the city on Thursday to drop J off; Eli stayed with me for an hour or so while his mom ran a couple of errands.  When she got back to the house, Eli asked to go in the car, wanting to go home.  It's been a good move, for all of us!

Today, will be a quiet day.  Maybe a little baking later on, but with no scheduled showings, an overcast and cool day outside, I'll do a few chores and simply relax the rest of the day.  Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday 1 October 2019

September's to-do list

1.  Count my blessings – daily
2.  Send a letter or card to someone
3.  Drive out to visit D and Eli
4.  Invite guests over for a visit or dinner - I borrowed my friend K's nose.  I guess I can count that as a visit as we sat and chatted for awhile
5.  Attend stitch, make, and chat at the library 
6.  Make a gift - still a work in progress.  Just have the back stitching to complete.
7.  Sew or craft something/finish an ongoing project - I sewed the cape for Eli for Halloween.  No photos of the little guy in it....sometimes he's just not cooperative
8.  Go to the $$ or thrift store - I know I bought sandwich bags at the $$ store, but I can't recall if I went to thrift store last month.  
9.  Try a new recipe - tried a recipe for brownies that used chocolate chips instead of cocoa.  Not impressed although it tasted okay.
10. Read a book - in addition to a couple of true crime books that I picked up at the book sale in August, I finished "The First Time" by Joy Fielding.  The story of a woman diagnosed with ALS, and the affects on her life and those who love her.  
11. Watch a movie - I PVR'ed "Girl in the Bunker", "Cast Away" "Keanu", "Suffragette", "The Notebook", and the "Secret Life of Walter Mitty".  Maybe this month I'll get around to watching movies.
12. Take a walk in the park - I'm counting my hike up to the ridge and Hidden Valley with my brother for this one.
13. Repurpose/recycle something
14. Bake something and share it
15. Invest in myself – join a yoga class or Aquasize, or use my weights - this is something I have to challenge myself on.
16. Mow the lawn once, sweep the deck weekly
17. Have coffee on the back deck or front patio
18. List something to sell on Varage sale
19. Volunteer
20. Listen to my Spanish CDs in the car

It was a bit of a mixed bag this month.  I got some things done, but others just fell by the wayside.  It is what it is and I'm certainly not going to worry about it.  The list is good for those days when I can't think of what to do with myself, which are very rare. 

Since I have no photos of my progress this month, I'll share a photo my brother sent me.  He and his buddy Pete went hunting last weekend up near our home town.  Beautiful, isn't it?