National Grief Awareness Day……

Yesterday was fun and it was very interesting to learn about various traditions and customs. It will be continued tonight with the reception…apparently that is when the “fun” really happens.

August 30th was also National Grief Awareness Day

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Maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling so down in the dumps! The night before was awful and last night wasn’t much better…..

The wedding made for an early morning and long afternoon, but was good. I got home around 3 and got the first coat of paint on the rest of the risers….today they’ll get their second coat. Then I went out and picked up the stuff I need for Monday and was fine UNTIL I was in the bloody grocery store and they started playing the song “Old Days” …..we played that through the first part of the video for Ken’s Celebration. That just did it! I wanted to turn run outside or plug my ears, but couldn’t….I just stood there and the tears started……right there!

As the evening wore on I seemed to recover a bit but for the most part was on the verge of tears all night. Just so strange…..it was like it all happened yesterday, so fresh and right in my face…….

I hope today will be better!

L.

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Missing Him….

I feel terrible today…..I don’t know if it’s because I’ve planned too much, because I’m tired, because I’m not organized, or what…but last night I was almost overwhelmed with sadness and grief.

I miss Ken and my old life so much sometimes it physically hurts….I want it all back so badly.

These thoughts slowly start to creep into your head and then just mushroom to proportions so great that you can’t control them or “DELETE” them. It made me angry that I couldn’t do that….I don’t want to feel this way.

I haven’t had one of these days, or nights, for a while now and thought that maybe I had sort of reached that “gotten used to it” stage. It didn’t seem to make any difference what I tried to do, I just couldn’t lose that feeling last night. Anything and everything that I did or looked at just made me think of something else we did, or now, wouldn’t ever do.

Maybe it’s the weather….it’s changed. It’s cool, cloudy and raining off and on….that’s depressing to me. It’s dark in the mornings now when I get up and it gets dark earlier in the evening. The house seems dark no matter how many lights I put on. This just brings me down and that is when my thoughts seem to get out of control.

I should be looking forward to going to this wedding today (and tomorrow!) and I am in a way but it’s just taking so much effort to get my mind going in that direction.

Whatever stage of grief this is, I hope it passes soon. I don’t know where it came from…..I think about him and miss him ALL the time but sometimes it’s just so much more than others….like now.

L.

Very Busy Weekend Coming Up!

I know I keep telling myself being busy is a good thing, but this weekend I really have really taken that a little too far, I think! And I’m getting a little stressed over it.

Tonight on the way home I have to stop at the mall, again, to finish off my outfit for the wedding tomorrow. I at least know exactly what I’m after this time, a shawl, and will hopefully not get sidetracked in some other stores…….although a nice pair of earrings that are a little blingy might be nice……

Last night I put the second coat of paint on 6 of the risers for the stairs and all the rest have now been primed, so will get the first coat on those tonight. These seem to be taking forever just because of having to wait so long between coats. I will then put the second coat on tomorrow night after the first day of the wedding activities. If necessary a third coat…just to really “harden” them, according to the HD guy, can get done Sunday morning. I think I bought too much paint! A gallon, he told me……I think I will have more than half of it left!! Oh well….I’ll find something else to paint I’m sure…there are a couple of doors that can use a fresh coat…..some day!

Then of course there is this wedding….I love weddings, I really do, but this one is two days of wedding! The ceremony is tomorrow morning (at 9:30AM!). She told us there would be breakfast AND lunch so presuming that will go until mid afternoon sometime. Sunday night is the reception, which will be around 5:30, if I remember correctly.

Monday, I’m having the retirement party for our friend G. There will be about 20-25 people and everyone will be bringing an appy of some sort that will be dinner, so not really that much to do. I’m really looking forward to this. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a “party” and I’m hoping the sun will be back out so we can use the deck too. I will have to figure out what I’ll make for my appy…I think it will be something pretty simple.

At some point during all this I have to clean my house! I’ve left a message for my cleaning lady but I haven’t heard back from her….she may be away or just simply afraid of what she might find if she came!! I guess it’s not really that bad but it certainly needs a good vacuuming and dusting and would have been nice not to have to squeeze that in too. I will have time Sunday and Monday morning to get it done. It would be nice to see the grandkids too, but not sure when…..maybe tomorrow night for dinner.

This is hard when there is just you! Ken did so much that I never really noticed just how much more gets accomplished when there are two of you, especially when one of you (Ken) is much more organized than the other!! Another lesson learned…..planning things based on there being only one person to do it!!

Somehow this will all work out……I hope!

L.

Throwback Thursdays

1982 Camping at the lake with Rob and Lynn

1982 Camping at the lake with Rob and Lynn

Our old camping days…..this was taken 32 years ago! More often than not we seemed to be camping in the rain or cold even though it was summer. But living on the “wet coast” it was what it was. We packed everything from bathing suits to winter coats….you just never knew, no matter what the weatherman predicted.

We had great camping trips, usually with family or friends. One summer I think we took off just about every weekend. We’re lucky to have some great spots within an hour or so from home.

We were pretty well equipped to deal with whatever weather came our way. I only remember once ever packing up and coming home because of it being too bad. Getting the tarps up over the tables and as close to the fire pit as possible…and in tenting days, over the tent, was always the first job.

We’d go on hikes during the day and “look for bears”. The kids always wanted to see one….we never did while we were camping. We did have elk, deer and the odd skunk traipse through our campsites but that was the extent of our wildlife visitors. Our kids would play in the forest and climb the trees between the campsites. Every evening there was always a Ranger somewhere giving a talk about something…we went to all those. Once the kids were a little older we’d take their bikes and off they’d go.

And the food! Enough was packed to feed a small army but we very rarely came home with anything left….camping makes you hungry! We had certain things that we always had at least one night. Steaks done on the grill and potatoes wrapped in foil and thrown in the fire. “Camping spaghetti” was a fav and easy to make. Coffee made in one of those old metal purcolators was the best. One year there were 5 or 6 couples and all our kids, over on the island, dinners on that trip were feasts! Fresh crab or whatever else was available. We definitely ate good…..and of course had our fair share of drinks too!

Ken could always make the best campfires…even in the rain. Roasted marshallows on sticks, that the kids had collected, many burnt lips and fingers with those. And, even if we’d all eaten until we couldn’t move just an hour or two before, the weinies always appeared at some point during the evening and were roasted over the fire too. We’d sit around the fire at night and tell stories or talk about other camping trips. We played games or cards at the table by the light of our propane lamps…..and of course we shared all this with the mosquitoes! We’d watch for falling stars…the sky at night was amazing…you just didn’t see them in the city.

We camped down the Oregon coast at some of the best campsites ever, right on the ocean. Long walks on the beach looking for shells, sand dollars and whatever else the tide had washed up over night. Dune buggy rides and even horses a couple of times.

Back in those days we couldn’t afford to go on expensive holidays so camping was what we did…..I think I probably complained and whined A LOT about a lot of things (sand and dirt in the van or trailer was the worst!) but we did have a good time. The kids still talk about our camping trips…I like that. Both of them still go camping. The grandkids love it too.

Good memories…..really good memories!

L.

Beware of Painter!

I did pick up the primer but they were out of the paint that I needed. HD employee was very helpful as usual and he didn’t laugh at any of questions or scratch his head….I think that is a good sign! He did call and confirm that another HD, that is close to where I work, has the paint in stock so I’ll go and get it after work today.

My problem is having the room to do it. I was too lazy to get the workmate out but really, that would have only held 3 of the risers anyway and taken up room that I already don’t have to move around in.

the first 6 risers primed

the first 6 risers primed

He said I’d need at least two coats of the paint to get the tough finish that I’ll need, so I’ll get the first coat on these tonight, second tomorrow. I’m not sure I’ll get them all done before my BIL is back next Tuesday, but at least we’ll have some to work with to start.

I’m also going to stop at the mall…again….on the way home to find a belt and scarf/shawl to go the with bottom part of the dress. I’ll take it with me to see what goes best with it….there are so many colours it shouldn’t be hard to find one that works. I will have to do the “reworking” of the top of the dress at some point too….probably midnight on Friday!

bottom part of the dress...I thought it looked Indian-ish and I love all the colours.....

bottom part of the dress…I thought it looked Indian-ish and I love all the colours…..

I was thinking last night as I was painting how much faster these jobs went when there were two people doing them! With painting, Ken would have taken over after the first riser and I could have been working on my dress! Sometimes I get mad at him, which of course is really silly….but it does happen and I can’t help it! I think he should be here helping me and then I start to think again of why him, why us, why ME…..he should be doing the stairs, not his brother! He should be here doing the painting, not ME! It is all about ME now so I’m hoping it’s OK, or normal, to think this way.

He also did all the clean up of the paint and rollers……I will leave more time for that tonight. And contrary to what they say….water based paint does NOT simply come off of your hands and arms with just soap and water….definitely some scrubbing involved and there is still paint stuck here and there…oh well!

The good news is, I guess, that I didn’t get it all over the my laundry room!

L.

Late Again…

I really don’t like these early work mornings!

It’s great to get in early and get lots done, but it seems like when I HAVE to be there early it’s always those mornings that I just can’t get going fast enough!! I have to be there by 8 and I know I’m going to be late…or just arrive there at 8 on the dot!

I didn’t get my paint yesterday….got sidetracked shopping for a dress for the upcoming wedding this weekend. So was a little annoyed with myself for doing that. Didn’t even find exactly what I wanted so will have to do a little tweeking to the dress I did buy….

Today I’ll get get primer and paint for those risers. I really need to get working on those so I’ll have them all finished by the weekend. I’ll have to do some sanding around the edges too….outside though so I don’t add to my dust collection!

By the time I’d had my dinner last night, I was in a foul mood! Mad at myself for getting a “just about right” dress, mad that I hadn’t got the paint, annoyed that I was here by myself with no one to complain too! And then I started missing Ken…..which always seems so much worse when I get into one of these moods. I don’t know what triggers them, other than my own disorganization and that is all my own fault. This almost exhausts me! How stupid is that?

I’m tired this morning…I feel like I haven’t slept at all….I will have to do much better today!

L.

Great Weekend

I had a great weekend….long weekend!

Lots of things to do, plus my dust dilemma, kept me really busy.

We got all the risers for the stairs yesterday and they’re sitting there waiting to be painted. I’ll pick up the primer and paint and rollers after work today and maybe get started on them tonight.

Ken has a “workmate” thing in the shed, so I’ll haul that out and hopefully get it is set up with no problem, an use it to paint the boards. The edges on some of them are a bit rough so I’ll also have a little bit of sanding to do. I’ll use some of the leftover board bits to figure out which grit sandpaper will be best to use….there is a lot of that in various grits in the tool cabinet downstairs. I’m a good sander ….that was usually my job in our projects!

Risers ready for sanding and painting

Risers ready for sanding and painting

Last night I went to a BBQ at my son’s in laws. They bought the grandkids those battery operated little cars, a tractor and a couple jeeps! They’ve got 5 grandkids so one for each of them when they’re all there!! Those things are so much fun and they’ve got a huge backyard so lots of room for them to drive all over the place. The kids are only 5 and 3 and are experts already. Even the 1 year old has it figured out except her little legs aren’t long enough yet to sit and hit the pedals. Just so much fun to watch them.

Back to work today……will be busy there too, so that’s a good thing and busy tonight. Busy is good!

L.

Great Party!

Had lots of fun last night! Lots of food and drinks of course. It was a beautiful night and no mosquitos either, which made it even better!

Talked to some people about their trip to Peru and the Galapagos islands…..was on my bucket list before but I think I might have to move it up in priority a little bit…..fantastic trip to fantastic places…

More stair work today! Off to get the risers done. Our local wood place will cut them to size for us for each stair, which is really good so we won’t be adding to my dust collection. But I will have to paint them all, which is OK. They’re just going to be white and I can get them all done in the evenings over the next week. The bullnoses will be done by the end of the week too, so once BIL gets back from their long weekend away, we can start putting it all together!

Once the stairs are done, I can get going on the kitchen. I have so many ideas now thanks to this website http://www.houzz.com/photos/kitchen or maybe NOT thanks to it…..what started out as lights and getting new cabinet doors is slowly morphing into something a little bigger….I really need to put the brakes on. I have a reno budget and I really have to stick with it, if I want to get all the things I want to do done. Ken was very good about sticking to budgets and plans…..me, not so much, so I have to be really careful now without him to keep me on track.

I did think I was going to wait until after I retired to get some of this done….I’d be home so easy to get people in whenever as opposed to leaving a key with a neighbour etc., but now I think I want it all done before then. Then next spring I can concentrate on outside stuff and getting that all organized.

I’ll probably leave some of the painting until after…..I can’t even remember the last time we painted anything other than the bedroom when it was redone about 5 years ago. Ceilings need doing and all the baseboards could use a touch up. I’ll probably have to do the kitchen sooner though as I’m assuming some mess after the old light over the table comes out and the new pot lights go in.

In between painting the risers this week I have to do some planning for the “retirement party” for our friend next week. It’s just going to be all appy and finger food stuff, so not too much to do. Everyone will bring something, which means we’ll have a ton of food as usual. It will be good to have party here again…..I have missed doing things like this so much. I’ll just have to keep on top of the dust….fingers are crossed that I’ll see the end of it soon. There is less on the dining room table this morning, so that’s a good thing.

L.

Productive Day…..

Sort of! It could have been more productive or more efficiently productive but…..oh well!

Spent some time cleaning up the aftermath of my dust storm…..I’m worried it will never been gone…ever! Even after vacuuming and dusting within a couple of hours, if the air conditioning has come on, everything is covered again …..it’s a little bit less and finer but still there and still very noticeable on the dark hardwood floors and tables…..the floors are like a skating rink!

My sheers have to come down and get a good wash, all the nooks and crannies in the kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, blinds need cleaning…..everywhere….just WOW!

table this morning...was dusted on Thursday night!  Not sure why it's sideways????

table this morning…was dusted on Thursday night! Not sure why it’s sideways????

We I have a storage area under the stairs….luggage, golf clubs, vacuum, stuff like that…..it too is all covered. Probably a good idea to get all the vents cleaned out too.

I tackled some of it but…..wow, just wow is all I can say! I did think about getting my cleaning lady to come over but it’s all just going to come back, at least for a while, so will just keep at it, for now!

I’m having a retirement party on Sept 1 for a friend so I hope most of it will finally be gone by then.

Bullnoses for the stairs were bought and dropped off for staining. They’ll be ready next week sometime, but will then have to wait until after the long weekend to get going again. Slowly, but surely, we’ll get it done!

I have weeds and grass growing in my driveway and along the curb….it really doesn’t look very good. So off to Home Depot and our local garden centre to find the best, safest, fast acting stuff to use to get rid of it all. Sprayed all that then and ripped out the old flowers from the potted plant in front of the house and replaced them with “Winter Pansies”….she promised me they would bloom for a long time…..I hope so. I was also going to pick up a new furnace filter but forgot (memory like a sieve and didn’t take my “list”….argh), so will definitely need to go back today and get that….I’m sure this dust is not good for the furnace/air con……ack!

Outside, one thing led to another, pulling a few weeds here and there, getting rid of some old wood and junk, not enough to make a big difference though. I started looking around the yard and thought about all the things that could be done out there to make it look good but keeping it low maintenance…..but that can all wait until next spring once I’m retired. I’ve never been a gardener, nor was Ken. Our yard was never very nice….just the basic maintenance was done, like cutting the grass and weed whacking around the edges….any “gardening” was done in pots and baskets….hmmm, maybe I’ll take up gardening when I retire.

A girlfriend wants to do some kitchen renos, so I went with her to check out cabinets etc…..that was fun but gave me some more ideas….I need to finish one project at a time, right!! Stairs are a priority and I have promised my self that those will be finished before I start finish the kitchen which we started back in 2012…..I should really get the plugs fixed though.

Then dinner with my BIL and SIL at Denny’s! Good enough.

I really did do a lot yesterday, but so little to show for it really. Keeping busy is definitely good. It’s not a distraction though because a lot of the stuff that needs doing, that I want done and that is actually getting done, just makes me think how much I miss him being around and doing all this (the good stuff and bad….like the dust!) together….now it’s just me. He would help keep me focused on one project or job at a time….”let’s just get this finished first” he would say.

I’m off to a wedding party tonight….not sure what else to call it….it’s not the wedding or a reception, it’s just a party! Our friend’s son got married earlier this year, small ceremony, only his parents and brothers. Her family is in New Zealand and couldn’t come for some reason or another but are here now, so the “party” is tonight. It will be fun……it’s outside and the weather is great….I really enjoy these kinds of parties. We’re not supposed to bring gifts (or money), just to come and share a good time…..I find it hard to not get them something….maybe a card and a nice bottle of wine??? And what should I wear……

L.

The Stairs

Work has started! Getting the wood part all prepped and ready. D (BIL) had to saw off a little bit of the 2×8 existing tread that stuck out too far and was too thick for the bullnose to go around. That left dust absolutely everywhere in my house…..absolutely everywhere!! WOW….is all I could think of to say when I came in yesterday….WOW!

D is away next weekend and then a few weeks later they’re off on vacation for a couple of weeks, so depending on what I’ll be able to do, I think we’ll be working on this project for a little while.

I am still hoping to get this all done before I go away….which is two months from now…but since neither him nor I can work on this full-time it’s going to be a somewhat slow process. But that’s OK…..I am becoming a much more patient person!

I’m also rethinking how we are doing this. I found someone that could stain the unfinished pre-made treads and custom make them for those tricky corner stairs….it might cost a little more, but much quicker and easier to go that route. I will discuss with D and see what he thinks, because I’m thinking we’ve bit off a bit more than we can chew doing the way we are…..at least timewise.

If this were Ken and I, we’d be working all out on the project, whatever way we would have decided to do it. We’d work all day at our jobs, come home and grab a quick dinner and get going on whatever our project was. It was hard work sometimes, but we always had a great sense of accomplishment once we were done! I miss that with this project. But this is how it will be now especially with something like this where I need help. I just have to get used to it…..I have to have patience.

Everything I do now I think of how Ken would have done it or would have thought about doing it. He was very thorough and methodical when it came to this kind of stuff. He always had a “plan” in his head, which would eventually make it onto paper, sometimes lots of bits of paper, which I still find every now and again in my “cleaning” modes…..in pockets, in drawers, in his tool cabinet….

I have today off, so it was nice to actually sleep in….I’m usually up by 6 – 6:30 even on the weekends, so not getting up until after 7 was a treat…..I can really use that extra hour or so of sleep. My next cup of coffee will be on the deck enjoying the sun!

But I will have to get going this morning as I have “jobs” to do today for the stairs. Getting the bullnose pieces and calling the guy about the staining is a couple of them, but will touch base first with BIL to make sure he thinks we’re doing this the right way.

If Ken were here we’d be talking about this….on the deck with our coffee….talking out the whole thing….getting the plan together. I miss that so much BUT, it is what it is now!

L.