Big Plans Today

Lets see if I can stick with them!!!  That seems to be the biggest obstacle for me these days…..making plans and sticking to the plan!

I plan on spending the whole day working on my cabinets and with any luck at all they will be installed and ready to use by the end of today.  They definitely won’t be finished….still have molding to add and the knobby things for the cupboard doors but close enough that I can put all the TV cables/cords etc. in and hidden away and get some order back into that room.

I’m heading to HD this moring to get the plain, flat white ceiling tiles that I need for around the edges in that room that have to be put up on the fireplace side before I can install the cabinets.  I’m going to do some shopping around for the coffered ones I liked….they’re really expense, around $18 EACH and I need 36 of them…..there has to be a good deal out there somewhere……Ken would have found one, I know.

If I manage to get this done today, I’ll then have to go through the old wall unit thing that we have in the spare room.  That could be a bit of a nightmare…..lots of junk.  It’s where we keep all the games (board type games), videos, old computer games etc.  The bottom of the unit has all my china in it……I haven’t used “good” china in years….do I want to keep it or ???    The games that we will still play will be kept, but the others can go…I’m thinking most of the video games can too……they’ve been there untouched for years so probably safe to assume that they wouldn’t even work on the computers today….and none of them were mine!!

Emptying out that old wall unit will mean a trip to the dump….oh boy!  Unless someone could use it for their junk, in a spare room.  I’ll check first, but I don’t think so.  That unit will be replaced with one of the newer bookcases that I’m replacing with my built-ins…….   Ken would just be sitting back at this point and shaking his head…..he always said I tried to do too much at the same time….and I know I do.  I should have gone through the old wall unit months ago and gotten rid of everything…I know that!  But these days I need some incentive…..like the new built-ins to get me going….really going and get stuff like this done.

Last night I babysat the grandbabes for a few hours while their M & D went out for dinner.  They are sooooo cute and so much fun, but boy….on a Friday night they can poop you out!  Today, after the fog clears, is going to be sunny and warm again.  Them and their Dad are coming over for the afternoon so they can ride their bikes and play with the other kids in the cul de sac…..I think I’ll put Dad to work while he’s here…..he can go through those old games and I’m hoping he’ll chuck them all.

Wish me luck today sticking with my BIG plans!!

L.

On The Subject of Feeling Happy…..

Found this on the Until Death Do We Part  facebook page……(don’t seem to be able to share the link to FB??….hmmmm)

http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/12-challenges-grieving-extroverts/

I didn’t watch the podcast, but did read the article.  I never really thought of myself as an extrovert, but I’m definitely not an introvert either…..

How do people perceive us grievers?  How do other grievers perceive grievers?  We ALL know there is no right or wrong way to grieve…..

Does it even matter what other people think?  I, personally, don’t think it does.  We really struggle those first few months…..maybe some struggle for many more months.  At whatever point on our grief rollercoaster ride we are able to accept our new life for whatever it is, it doesn’t mean we are grieving any less than someone who still hasn’t reached that point.  Do people think you’ve “gotten over it” because you’re able to have a good time…..laugh and have fun?

So true!

So true!

Should someone who has reached that acceptance stage, and is moving on with their life, try and help someone who is still struggling?

On a happy note….yes, I am happy today…so far…..today is Friday, I have only 47 days of work left J until I retire, and it’s supposed to be sunny and fairly mild the next couple of days.  All this makes me a happy camper!   But we all know that can change in a second…..

L.

Throwback Thursday

I can’t believe it’s Thursday already…..where the heck has this week gone??

1959 or 60ish

1959 or 60ish

This is a pic of Ken and his brothers and his Dad…..sometime in the late 50’s or very early 60’s.  I think he would have been about 9 or 10 in this picture.  They were probably camping….somewhere obviously where they could fish too.  He loved fishing!

I think he looked like his Dad, the others like their Mom.  Yet when they got older, it was always easy, if they were together, to know they were definitely brothers.

Big Island, Hawaii 2005

Big Island, Hawaii 2005

He was the middle child.  Very different in many ways from both his brothers.

I think he was the most mellow of them all.  He never really cared what anyone else thought….he never felt it necessary to impress anyone and he never felt he “had to have” anything.  He very rarely got angry, unless he was playing scrabble with his sister-in-law (lol…..) or I bugged him when he was driving on scary roads……

I think sometimes that he was the link that kept the “boys” together as they got older and had families.  He always got along with both his brothers.  I don’t think the brothers see each other as often as they did before…..which is too bad.  It’s not that they don’t get along, because they do, but they just have very different lives and think very differently.  Ken never thought about any of that.  What they did or what they had never mattered to him.  As long as he could have fun with them, all was good.

We’ve gone on vacation with both of them at the same time, but only twice, that I can remember, Ken’s 50th to Mexico and to Hawaii once.  We had a really good time….I wish now that we’d done a few more trips with them both.  We went on vacation with each of them separately quite a few times and I KNOW we had fun on those trips.

I can’t see his brothers, without Ken, going on vacation together now.  That’s too bad too….but they’re just different in that way.  It’s not just the brothers of course, it’s the sister-in-laws too.  They’re just very different people.  Wonderful people, but different. Somehow when we ALL got together those differences didn’t matter.

We’re all going to Hawaii in April….even Ken!  But I wonder how that vacation will be.  I hope it will be fun.  I hope I can do whatever is was that Ken managed to do before that seemed to make everything work……

L.

I Think I’m Afraid to Be Too Happy

The last 12 months….no, the last 4 years, of my life have been just a bit difficult.  Most of that time, my life wasn’t terrible, but it was just that there were so many “unknowns” in it that it was a little hard to really enjoy life to the fullest….even though I thought I was….at least the best I could.

Things have changed….A LOT in the last year.

When I think about my life over the last year, it has had the darkest moment of my life but it has also shown me and taught me things that I never thought I’d have to know.  Most important I think, is that I’ve learned a lot about ME.

My life could certainly be better….it should be me AND my husband enjoying our twilight years, empty nester years, retirement years or whatever you want to call them….all those years that you spend your middle age preparing to enjoy.  But it isn’t both of us, it’s just ME.  And I’m quite determined to enjoy those years as much as I possibly can.  There are moments though……

Sometimes I think that, even though I’ve lost Ken, life IS good…..maybe too good.  Is it possible that I can have a good life like I’m having?  I certainly have my issues…..but most of them are pretty trivial when I really think about it, I’m darn lucky in many ways.

I have a wonderful family and friends and I have the means to do many things I want to do.  I’m NOT complacent ( definition of complacent ) .  I truly am blessed and very appreciative of everything I have, of all the things I’ve learned (nor not!) and I would be the first to say that I’ve got a lot more to learn….in many ways.

As I was driving (sitting…!) in traffic on the way to work the other day…..I started thinking about all this.  I remember doing the same thing about 5 years ago when we became “empty nesters”.  Thinking how lucky WE were that we were able to do the things we wanted and liked to do, that we could retire while we were still relatively young, that we had our health, that my kids were strong and healthy and independent.  I was really happy about that…it made me feel that we had accomplished what we should have in life…we were going to live the “American or Canadian” dream.   I also remember thinking that those thoughts were just too good to be true!  How could this be?  Was this possible?  I was really happy.  Was this bubble going to burst…..could life really be this good to me?

Of course, that bubble did burst…..like an atomic bomb going off!  My life was shattered….millions of bits and pieces that needed to be put back together.  Slowly, very slowly, it is getting put back together.

I can’t say I’ve gotten over it….I don’t think I’ll ever “get over it” but I’m dealing with it and I’m determined to carry on the best I can.  I think I’m doing OK.

Because I have all the things I do have, I worry that my happy bubble could burst again.  It’s almost like I shouldn’t be happy…..because that’s what happened before…..  Maybe if I’m not really happy, things will be OK….status quo.  If I start to enjoy my life and be too happy will something happen to burst my bubble again?  Is this why I feel so unsettled sometimes?  I thought it was because I didn’t know where I was going with my life, my new life, my new normal…..but maybe that’s not what it is.

Do I deserve to be happy?  I don’t know why I wouldn’t…..I don’t think I’ve done anything so terribly wrong in my life that I shouldn’t be deserving of what we earned.   Ken certainly didn’t do anything in life to deserve what he got!!  We worked hard to get where we were….I kind of think WE deserved it.   Is that not the right thing to think?

Maybe I am a bit complacent, not smug though….I’d never think that….but how do I appreciate what I do have more than I already do?  I keep telling myself how “lucky” I am….even now.  Some widows struggle with many more things than the trivial stuff in my life….they have young children, they have financial worries, they have their own health issues to deal with….so I AM LUCKY….AND I KNOW IT!

Am I the only one who feels this way or is this another of those other crazy thoughts that we get at some stage of grieving?  Who knows?  I just wish it would go away!

L.

TV Catch Up Night

Monday nights seems to be turning into this…….as opposed to doing anything that I SHOULD be doing.   I did the same thing last Monday night!   I have these shows PVR’d because most evenings I don’t watch TV….I find other things I can do….and I don’t like that TV room….yet!

I guess this isn’t a bad thing….Mondays, that first day back to work, are always tiring, so doing nothing in the evening is OK.

But as usual I’m annoyed with myself for not doing something downstairs…..I could have been multi-tasking quite easily.

My daughter was here so I did make dinner, a proper dinner, for the first time in what seems like weeks.  That is one thing I really need to get back into doing.

I am really my own worst enemy though.  I get a little OCD when I have something on the go, be it a trip or project or whatever.  But then I somehow manage to get too many things going on at the same time, which just starts to overwhelm me.  I was very bad for this before but I think I’m getting worse now!  Ken always kept his focus….which helped me keep mine.  This is something I really need to work on….get my head wrapped around one thing at a time.  My project should be my priority…..my trip isn’t for another 11 months…..I have lots of time to deal with that.

Definitely too many tabs......

Definitely too many tabs……

Yes, tonight I will put together a planner……and then I will try my darndest to stick to it.  I’ve taken so many time management courses and seminars, I should be good at this for goodness sake!!

This living alone business really has it’s challenges……

It sounds like the link in my post yesterday didn’t work…..this is the tour that I’m going on  Dream of China and Yangtze River + the 3 day extension in Shanghai

http://www.sinoramaholidays.com/tourpage/index.php?id=ch_12d_b_en_2015&office=toronto&theyear=2015&cur=CAD

L.

On The Road Again…..

Not until November though.  I’m off to China!

My friend S, found a good deal that we couldn’t pass up.  It was so good, we couldn’t believe it and went to the travel agency yesterday to make sure we were reading it right.

http://www.travelzoo.com/ca/vacations/worldwide/-1399-China-Vacation-from-Vancouver-Cruise-1800-Off-1938445/?utm_source=top20_ca&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1938445&utm_campaign=ca_top20_2015_3_deal:1938445

Not sure if the link will work…..it came up in Chinese last night!!!  Hmmmm….I should probably think about learning a few words…..

The deal is because it’s the end of their “travel season”.  So the weather will be much like it is a home in November and people just don’t travel as much then.  There will be two couples and myself and my friend Donna.  We’ll be sharing so no single supplements for us.

This trip is months away so I really have to stay focused on my project and the day to day stuff around here.  I had a very busy weekend and didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped.  I think sometimes I plan too much!  I need to manage my time better.  Set goals that are truly attainable as opposed to simply wishful thinking on my part.

The biggest problem is that there is just me…..there isn’t anyone to give me that little push I need sometimes and it’s pretty easy for me to get sidetracked.  I need to create a “planner” of sorts.  Breakdown tasks into smaller details such as put cabinet A and B together tonight as opposed to put ALL the cabinets together tonight.  If there were two of us, ALL the cabinets would be a reality, but since it’s just me, truly there just isn’t enough hours in the evening to do that.   I talk about getting myself organized better all the time but I don’t seem to do too much about it…..I really need to put into practice what I preach!

I am living and learning……albeit very slowly!

L.

Those Cables……

I did it!  It was way worse than I thought……just so many of them….what could they all possibly be for??  I feel like playing that Queen song “We Are The Champions” over and over again……

I put tags on the cables and thanks to a couple of people that had the great suggestion of taking a picture of the mess first, and with a phone call to my daughter, I was able get the PVR/cable box hooked back up so it would still record my Downton Abbey tonight!  Phew!!!

Ack!!

Ack!!

The other zillion cables are for the DVD player, surround sound and the 1000 or so speakers that are apparently hooked up, or were hooked up.  I can live without the DVD for now and the TV sounded just fine to me….and it worked, which was all I was concerned about.  Apparently, if I ever want to watch Top Gun again, without all those speakers, it won’t be the same……oh well!

Just plain old scary!!

Just plain old scary!!

Now that everything is exposed and just hanging there at the moment, I’m going to take some time today and get each cord/wire/cable wrapped up with twist ties.  Right now it’s like a snake pit and I have no idea what is what.  The kids can sort the rest of it out next time they come over.   This wire/cable mess, was just so not like Ken.  We had the TV before he got sick but added the various other bits and pieces along the way the last few years.  Maybe he just wanted to get everything hooked up and would deal with whatever later.  I don’t know.  I know now that some of the speakers are in the ceiling….so deciding to keep those ceiling tiles….assuming I’m going to leave the speakers in there….makes sense.  Just how many speakers I really need, I don’t know that either.

The good news is that once everything else was out of the way, I put the base cabinet together and it fits in that spot just perfectly!  I was a happy camper last night as I headed out the door to a friend’s for dinner.  Seen I was walking I treated myself to an extra couple glasses of wine!

I’m off this AM with friends to visit a travel agent to see if this trip/tour advertised is as good as it sounds……will tell all once I know more.

L.

Linda……The Cable Gal

This will be me today!  I am definitely dealing with those cables….no excuses today!

Talked to the HD guys about the cube legs and the best way to attach them to the cabinets.  He gave me this double ended screw thing to try, which I may or may not because he told me that gluing them on was also an option and sent me over the glue section/people to find the best one to use on wood and melamine.  Apparently Lepages PL Premium will stick anything and everything together.  She suggested scuffing the melamine up a bit with sandpaper first and there would be no problem.  I hope not…I rely on these people to steer me in the right direction!

Last night was just miserable…..absolutely pouring buckets.  I had a few groceries to pick up before heading to HD and wasn’t too happy about it BUT…..I found $5 in the Safeway parking lot!  I have more luck there than I’ve ever had in a casino.  Last month I found $20, in almost the exact same place.

On the way home I stopped by my friends D & B’s to see their new kitchen.  It’s beautiful……now I’m really anxious to get these built-in done and get thinking about my kitchen reno.  The cabinets are white and look so nice and bright….fresh!  They love to cook and now have a ton of room to do it in their fantastic new kitchen.  They did a pretty big gut and reno job, which is just not something I could handle….way over my head.  Mine will just be refacing the existing old oak cabinets, but it’ll brighten it up, which is what I need…..although I’d love those new drawers and doors that don’t slam shut.  And the pantry cupboard is just awesome…..you open the doors and all the drawer/shelves come out so you aren’t digging around in the back looking for something.  And they have a couple of the cabinets with glass doors….I definitely want a couple of those.

I did consider painting the cabinets…..they have some great new paint now for using on oak.  My thought was I’d do one or two doors and see what it looked liked……nothing to lose and lots to save if it worked.  A few hundred bucks for paint versus a few thousand to new cabinet doors……a possibility once I’ve retired…..maybe.  I’ll have a fairly tight budget for my kitchen, when I do get to it, and NO ONE to pull in the reigns if I start to get some fancy ideas……..I’ve got my work cut out for me just sticking to that budget!  I wonder if I could squeak in a new stainless steel dishwasher……hmmmm.

L.

“NCD”

This is what I’ve had all week!

no can do

I can get side tracked very easily, so I didn’t deal with those cables, again!

Some friends and I have started some tentative trip plans for October.  It’s a long ways off, but there’s a good deal right now and it would have to be booked pretty soon.  She’s going to make some phone calls today to get a bit more information and we’ll get together over the weekend to talk about it.

Planning holidays is one of my favourite things to do!  I spent a good part of last night on the internet checking things out……much more fun than those cables.

This morning I’m annoyed with myself for not sticking to my plan….because of course, it’s still needs to be done!  But I’ll have the weekend and maybe some help to deal with them.

I’m getting into a bad habit of coming home from work and while dinner is cooking, going on to the internet to check my emails, fav websites and blogs etc.  What does one do when having dinner alone…..continue on the internet or sit in front of the TV.  I guess I could get my book out and read too.  I can’t just sit and eat.

This wouldn’t be so bad if, once I finished dinner, I got up and did something, like work on my built-ins or laundry or get some of the housework done instead of leaving everything for the weekend.  This is one habit that I would definitely like to change.

The weather has changed….it’s still quite mild, but now it’s raining.  At least the days are getting a bit longer now.  I really have to force myself to do things when it’s dull and grey outside…..those are days it’s really easy to just crawl back into bed.  But then after I do that, as much as I might have thought it a good idea at the time, I’m mad at myself for doing it because whatever I was trying to avoid, housework, projects, laundry….., is still all there!  I know once I get things crossed off my list I feel better and will usually carry on doing other things.

So I’ve not just taken a couple of days off my project, I’ve somehow managed to take the entire week off.  I need a few more things to carry on tomorrow, so I’ll stop at HD on the way home…..then tomorrow morning, bright (?) and early, I’ll have no excuse to get back to work!

L.

Throwback Thursday

1972ish.......

1972ish…….

The scratches are not on the car….it’s an old scratchie picture….Ken would never have left marks like that on a car.  He loved his sports cars….

The last few days have been just beautiful weatherwise.  Bright, sunny and reasonably warm for this time of year.  Perfect for driving around in a sports car with the top down!

In the sporty car days, it didn’t really matter what it was like outside, the top was usually always down, unless it was absolutely pouring.  It didn’t matter if it was freezing, even snowing a bit was OK.  When the weekends came along we were off somewhere.

Not sure exactly what time of year this pic was taken but based on the tree in the background, I’d think pretty early in the year.  It was a nice day and probably fairly warm, so I’m sure we were either just coming back or heading out somewhere.  This was the lane behind his parents house…..maybe we were just going to visit them!

This TR6 was our last sports car.  It did many trips up into the interior and down the Oregon and California coasts.  We took it to San Francisco on our honeymoon.   We got sunburned so bad, but still didn’t put the top up…..we bought big hats and wore sweaters to save our shoulders.

a picture of a picture!  We were leaving for our honeymoon......a picture of a picture! We were leaving for our honeymoon……

Lots of good times back then…….

L.

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