New Years Eve

I think last year was the first year EVER that we did not do something with someone! Ken just felt too crappy to go out or just even have someone over the watch a movie.

In all our years together we had always done something…..not necessarily anything too exciting….but just even playing cards or a game with friends or family….always something.

Over the years we’d had a few parties, sometimes rather impromptu ones…I think some of those were the best! For many years we’d get all dressed up and head to the golf course for a big gala gala do. Those were fun, lots of dancing….not one of Ken’s fav things to do, but he would get up quite a bit on those nights.

One year, the kids got a Wii for Christmas….we had a bunch of people over and played that…..bowling was something we could all do…so much fun, the odd lamp knocked over or clonking the TV because they’d gotten too close…..you could really get into it…..just like real bowling!

When the kids were little, quite often is was neighbourhood parties or get togethers. Everyone would have fun….banging pots and pans at midnight, the odd time someone would have gotten some fireworks or firecrackers to set off.

Some years, we’d get a bunch of people together and head out to a restaurant for dinner then back to someones house to do whatever…..or we’d be at someone house and order a ton of Chinese around 9PM….

It just always seemed to me that News Years should be celebrated, somehow and with other people……last year, was different, very different. It was really quiet…..I think we watched a couple of movies, midnight came and went with a hug and kiss and a wish for a much better 2014. Which, of course, was not to be!

It wasn’t a bad New Years Eve, just different……it just seemed like any other night. I don’t remember what we did for dinner….I know we didn’t go out but did I make something special?? I don’t know, but I hope I did.

Who knew what the new year would bring…..or maybe we did deep in our hearts….

This year I’m going to the neighbours…..I think there are six of us going for dinner first then back to their place to play a couple games…and EAT yet more food! I’ve got a bottle of champagne to crack open at midnight. It will be fun, I know it will….we’ll definitely laugh and have a good time. It’ll be another first and thankfully just about the last of the “firsts” to get through. Are they any easier when they’re “seconds”??? We’ll all hug and kiss as usual…..you always find for your spouse to give that first kiss of the year too…..not this time for me.

This is the new normal…. what was is gone now, except for all the memories, of which there are many, many good ones that we have to cherish and be thankful for. Life goes on whether we like it or not….we have to make the best of it….we have to accept that and make our new normal, our new life, work. We can’t go back……

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and I wish everyone the best for 2015!

L.

Advertisements

Too Much Excitement for One Day!

I love reading cookbooks!  They're like a good novel....

I love reading cookbooks! They’re like a good novel….

Had a great lunch yesterday with a girlfriend. I hadn’t seen her for a couple of months so was fun to catch up….we yakked for almost 3 hours!

Heading home from the restaurant……early enough that I could get to the store and buy that lamp…..I was stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for people to finish crossing, when another guy stepped out on the other side and promptly got hit by a minivan……very scary! The pedestrian flew up on the windshield and the guy continued driving for another 15 feet or so!! When he stopped the man, of course, fell off the front of the car and hit his head pretty good on the road. I’m sure he must have been knocked out for a minute or two.

It was one of those things that you see happening but it takes your mind a few seconds to register….almost like it’s happening in slow motion.

I quickly put my 4 way flashers on and ran over to him. I have absolutely no first aid so other than telling him to just stay put and asking for a blanket or something to cover him with, there wasn’t much I could do. Luckily a lady came from somewhere with a first aid kit and helped me keep him down and moving as little as possible. Someone else that was on the street had called 911 right away.

The fireman arrived first and got the street blocked off and asked me to leave my car where it was to block traffic going in that direction until the ambulance got there.

It is quite amazing how you react so quickly in a situation like this…..I wasn’t sure if it was a life-threatening situation but knew that there could certainly have been some serious enough injury, like a concussion or maybe even something cracked or broken. There was a blood from the back of his head, so I knew he’d hit it pretty hard. He seemed to be semi-conscious but not coherent. Eventhough I could really do nothing for him, my immediate reaction was to jump out and do something!!

Other people on the street started to direct traffic around the minivan and down the side streets because all this action was right in the middle of the intersection. Everyone was amazing…..one young guy ran and got his Mom, who was a paramedic and another person, who had first aid also arrived.

The guy that hit him was pretty shaken up too…..he wasn’t going very fast, which was a good thing, but just as he arrived at the crosswalk I guess the sun, that had been behind the buildings, briefly blinded him and he could see nothing….

How quickly life can change…..one second, that’s all it took! It’s one thing to live with that cloud over your head because of illness, but to get up one morning and have your life changed in an instant at some point during the day is not something we really think about….you know it’s definitely possible, but…… You read about things like this happening all the time, but to actually witness it is really an eye opener!

The ambulance left with siren and lights going…..I hope he’s going to be OK.

This all happened 5 minutes from my house and it wasn’t until I got home, an hour or so later, that my legs got all wibbly…..and I’d really thought about what I had witnessed.

I had just got myself back together and was finally going to get my lamp when the police called to come and get a statement……they’d be here in 5 minutes….not! He arrived a half hour later and took the statement, which took about ten minutes.

I did manage get to the store, about a ½ before closing, to buy my lamp. They only had the floor model left, which had some pretty nasty scratches on it and the legs had some issues…..telescopic legs that didn’t all stay telescoped at the same level. I had a good look at all this and decided I couldn’t pay what they wanted and a 25% discount wasn’t good enough….ah sigh. I really had my heart set on that damn lamp! The manager came over and had a good look at it with me and I pointed out everything that was wrong with it……she agreed to discount it by 70%! Bonus!! Everything that is wrong with it is pretty minimal and fixable by me, and for $40 instead of $140….I’m happy with my lamp.

Came home had a nice dinner of homemade turkey soup and movie night with my daughter. I’d had enough excitement for one day so a quiet night and an early night to bed, to read my Eataly cookbook birthday present, was a good thing….I didn’t make it past the olive oil section on page 14!

Today I’m doing nothing…..at least I don’t have any plans….yet!

L.

!!!!Surprise!!!!

IMG_4735

I don’t know how they did it…….I had no idea!

It was a great afternoon spent with family and friends. Many thanks to Bev….cuz I know stuff like this stresses her out…and my SIL, Di, my kids and everyone else that contributed to a super surprise and a wonderful time.

What started out as a bit of a depressing day turned out to be a great day. Yesterday morning I was truly feeling down in the dumps…..all the “what if’s” had really taken over. It was hard to get myself out of it, but the thought of heading over to Bev’s for a quick lunch and then on to shopping and buying a lamp, that I’d had my eye on for a long time, for the as yet unfinished family room, got me going. And of course a stop at Home Depot to check out the moldings and whatever else this reno was going to need. Things like this get me motivated…..and buying a lamp is as exciting as buying a piece of jewelry to me!! Odd perhaps, but that’s just me….buying a new iron can even get me excited!

Arriving at Bev’s and seeing my granddaughter at the door confused me….for a minute…one of those moments when think, “where the heck am I??” Then I seen everyone else standing back behind her. Lots of tears, but happy tears.

I had a great birthday…..and didn’t feel 60 at all 

L.

Happy Birthday….

Today is my birthday…..the big “60”.

I wonder what Ken would have done? It’s a special birthday, one of those milestone ones that we celebrated, so I know there would have been a surprise of some sort. Maybe not a party, but definitely a present to remember the day forever and a dinner somewhere with friends and family.

I’m feeling sad this morning because this isn’t going to happen, can’t happen. Today, and I think our 40th wedding anniversary back in July, will be the hardest days to get through yet, more so than Christmas or even New Years Eve.

If it were any birthday, other than this one, it probably wouldn’t be so bad but because it’s a milestone one, the only ones that we really did anything special for, I know that he wouldn’t have let this one just go by, no matter how he felt.

Most of the time I don’t feel 60….I can’t actually believe I’m that old!! Where has all the time gone…..the years have just flown by! There are some days though that I feel like I’m 80, but luckily those don’t happen too often…..yet!

lol...this puts it in the right perspective!

lol…this puts it in the right perspective!

What will I do today? I don’t have any plans but I think I’ll make it a real ME day…..which means doing a lot of nothing…..or something I like. Maybe I’ll just sit and finish my book, maybe I’ll go and buy myself a special present…but what?? I’m definitely not making dinner….Chinese buffet is a tentative plan. The kids, big and little, and Bev, will be celebrating with me whatever we do….I love them all dearly but it’s just not the same without Ken……and wondering just what he would have done for this day….he loved making surprises happen and giving special gifts. What would it have been?

maybe a surprise trip to someplace warm and sunny!

maybe a surprise trip to someplace warm and sunny!

It doesn’t really matter does it, because it can’t happen. I need to wallow in my thoughts a bit this morning and then move on and make this a good day! I will…….

L.

Boxing Day….a Bit of a Dud.

T & S came by around 5, so we had time for a quick glass of wine before heading out. Got caught up on their Christmas and the kitchen renos they’ve got happening.

Over the years we’ve always found the best time to be at R & S’s was between 5 – 9. Usually we’d catch everyone that was popping in and out through the day…..and of course all the food that they put out each year….

This year was a bit of a bomb!! Where was everyone? One had been in a motorcycle accident, injured quite badly, so he didn’t show up understandably, but where was everyone else? There were lots of people there but not all those “Christimas time friends”. No one had heard from any of them for months…..I hope they’re all OK! We left just after 9 so I hope we didn’t miss them.

I don’t think we did…..maybe we’re all just getting old and all this Christmas socializing is getting to be too much……

I still had a good time and it wasn’t awkward, nothing to worry about! There weren’t a lot of questions, other than the usual “how are you doing”, so maybe those others not being there was a good thing. But I am sorry I didn’t get to see them or hear all those stories about all the crazy things we all did way back when. That was always fun….”remember that time…..”, “remember when”…….the good old days!

Yesterday was a busy day so kind of glad last night wasn’t a late one. My son and the kiddies spent the afternoon. We started ripping out the old carpet from the family room! The kids were outside on their new bikes most of the time with my daughter so son and I got to work. What a horrid mess that carpet was. This is the start of my next reno project. The plywood subfloor will have to do for now until I can find someone to either build my built-in cabinets or help ME do it! I know there’s a way to retro-fit pre-made ones so will do some on-line research to see how that’s done.

Ken would have known!! And we would have done this ourselves for half the price it would cost to have someone do it for us. How do I know how much it would cost to have them built? I would have to get quotes of course, but how do you know who’s a good contractor or builder? A friends son is in the business and I know he’s good and I know I wouldn’t get ripped off, but he’s really busy and this isn’t a big job……I wouldn’t want to take him away from his real work, just because it’s me. I don’t want a “deal”, I just want it done right and for the right price. These are the dilemmas, trivial as they might seem in the big scheme of things, that I face now…..so must learn all that “stuff” that I just never had to know about before. Car stuff is even more scary!

I guess it’s all good to know and an important part of my “new normal” but it was never “my job”. Everything is my job now……

Tonight I’m off again……ah sigh. It’s my BIL and SIL’s 25th wedding anniversary party at the other BIL’s place. I’m making some appies and will go over a bit earlier to help them get everything set up. Busy is good at this time of year…..at least I keep telling myself that!!

L.

A Great Christmas

IMG_4728

Yes…..we did have a great Christmas. There were definitely moments throughout the day but we had a good time, good food, I had great family and friends with me. Only one thing could have made it better, but that can’t be…….

It was a busy day. All the usual Christmas morning prep getting the turkey ready and in the oven, My daughter and I opened our presents, then headed over to my sons around 10:30 to do presents with the kids. They got so much….and of course we bought them even more….there was hardly any where to walk in the living room. Lots of fun though. My son spent a good part of his time putting together princess houses. We had a delicious baked French Toast brunch.

I got some wonderful little presents that the grandkids had made themselves….I love these presents.

Great presents from my kids as usual….a sweater, a new Pandora bracelet, some more charms and a wine cork holder!! I collect them….why I’m not really sure…..great plans one day for a “girls craft night”, which is just an excuse to get together, drink some wine and have some fun….a little dangerous maybe if a hot glue gun is involved!

Daughter and I were back home by 2…..just enough time to get everything else ready for dinner and to sit down and relax with a nice glass of wine before everyone arrived.

There were five of us for dinner…..I don’t think I’ve ever done a Christmas dinner for just 5!! But for this year, it was enough. Dinner was great….way too much food but Christmas leftovers never go to waste.

Steve and Di got me a bottle of Chateauneuf de pape! Will save that for a special occasion to share with them. A new garlic press from Bev. After dinner we played a fun trivia game called “eye know”. Even Bev stayed late!! Lots of laughs.

spoiled as usual!

spoiled as usual!

…..Thank you all so much for being part of a good Christmas.

Today I’m off to our friend’s annual Boxing Day open house…..this will be interesting! I’m getting a ride with other friends….I think I’ll need a glass of wine or two to get through this…..many people that we do see often enough, but also those “Christmas friends” that we only see once or twice a year, most that I haven’t seen since the C of L back in May…..but I’ll make it through and at the end of the day I’m sure I’ll have had a good time.

L.

Merry Christmas!

IMG_4720

I don’t know what to say….this morning is starting off just like any other Christmas day. The turkey soaking in the sink because, as usual, it’s not quite thawed. The stuffing is ready to be stuffed. I’m the only one up….me and the cats!

How will this day go? I don’t know…….but I’m going to find out, like it or not!

Merry Christmas Ken, I love you and miss you so much.

L.

T’was the Night Before Christmas….

….and all through my house there is still lots to do!!

I was out way later than I expected last night, so have to make up for lost time this morning. I’ll clean, daughter will wrap. Ah sigh…..how did all this not get done already??

So true!

So true!

Our Christmas light tour was great. Some of the houses we went to see were unbelievable…..these people must have started decorating months ago and just where on earth do they keep all this stuff when it’s over and done with??

Wow!

Wow!

I am trying to NOT think about last Christmas or other Christmas’s……it’s a very hard thing to do though. We’re going to miss him so much but this is how life is now…..this is our “new normal” for Christmas. We can think about those other years but must remember them now as the good times they were…..we can’t have them back and dwelling on them isn’t going to change anything.

I have this need to make this a good Christmas too, one that we’ll remember for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. We can say “Ken would have done this”….”Dad would have said that” and I’m sure we will but I hope it’s the things we can laugh about.

Tonight will be fun and so will tomorrow. We will eat, drink AND be merry! Ken would have wanted that!

From my house to yours, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or a very Happy Holiday season, whatever you may be celebrating at this time of year.

L.

Last Day of Work

Hooray! It was tough getting up this morning….I’m ready for a couple of good “sleep in” days. I’ll be off until after the New Year.

Everything is done, except the housecleaning, which I’ll get busy on later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. I feel much better when I’m organized….which doesn’t necessarily last too long, so I have to take advantage of it when I am!

I must say I’m quite amazed at how good I feel, at least at this point. I had gotten myself into a bit of a flap/funk over Christmas, that first Christmas, and how difficult it was going to be, but I think I’ve managed pretty good. I’ve kept busy, maybe busier than I should have been, and planned what will hopefully be a good Christmas.

Maybe it’s because it’s been 8 months…..maybe time does heal, a little bit. It is definitely not easy but it’s also not overwhelmed me either. He won’t be in “his spot” on the couch Christmas morning, which will be tough, but our daughter will be here, as usual, so we’ll just have to make the best of it….this is how things are now! We CAN do it! I’m lucky to have her….I can’t imagine spending Christmas morning by myself….that might just be a little too much…

We’ll head over to my sons after breakfast and do presents with the kiddies….that’s always a fun bit of chaos! I know I’ll be very sorry that Ken isn’t here to enjoy this…and I know I’ll choke up then…playing with all the new toys, especially if batteries are involved or something has to be put together, after watching the kids open presents, this was the fun part of the day for him. It hurts that they can’t see Grandpa doing this…..they’re still so little I can only hope that the oldest one remembers him, at least a little.

Christmas cards have “flooded” in, lol…..I have gotten at least another 3 or 4!

Tonight we’re doing our Christmas light tour….hopefully the weather cooperates. Some people put up incredible displays…..I’m glad I’m not the one having to take it all down!

L.

Longer Days

Starting today thank goodness! Only by a few seconds, but that’s a start.

We’ve just had the shortest day of the year and I’m glad we’re moving on. These long dark days, especially if it’s raining do absolutely nothing to boost your mood….at least not mine!

I did get a lot done yesterday, but not everything on my list. My good, happy mood did a bit of a flip flop by late afternoon and I was just plain old tired by then. I sat in my living room and read my book most of the evening….that’s something I haven’t done in months and months. It was nice to just sit in there with the tree lights on and a couple of candles going….I don’t know why I don’t do this more often!

Tonight on the way home from work I’ll pick up my flowers and Christmas wine supply and then I’m done, except for some wrapping, which I’ll hopefully get finished after dinner.

I think what changed my go, go, happy mood yesterday was thinking about last Christmas. It was a good Christmas! The kids were all here for dinner, plus Ken’s brother and my brother and their wives and a niece and her little girl. We didn’t do anything different from other years…….if we had known it was going to be Ken’s last one, would we have done anything different? I don’t know, but I don’t think so…..what else would we have done? Maybe his other brother and SIL would have come. I never wanted to think that it could be the last one. He was doing OK, not great, but OK. We just never gave up hope…..we couldn’t could we.

We go to a friend’s Boxing Day open house every year……for over 40 years we’ve gone. Even before Rob has his own place, we’d go to his parents! We didn’t go last year…..Ken was pretty well exhausted from Christmas day and the weather was miserable. That was only the second time in all those years that we didn’t go….the other was about 5 years ago when it snowed and snowed AND snowed….we couldn’t even get our car out of the driveway that day.

I’m going to Rob’s on Boxing Day, but will get a ride with other friends. This will be another first. It’s always fun there…..this is also when we see our “Christmas friends”….the friends we only see once or twice a year. I know everyone is going to ask how I’m doing, tell me that they miss him and they’ll probably talk about the “good old days”…..but that’s OK, they’ll all be good memories.

This year will be different for sure…..I’m glad I’m doing dinner. I think I was afraid that if I didn’t I’d never do one again. I love doing Christmas dinner and hope too for many more years….

L.