Still Bad Days/Good Days

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This is so true.  You might have to look a little bit harder to find it, but there is something good each and every day.  It might be something as trivial as watching a hummingbird at the feeder or watching your cat do it’s morning stretch (and then sit by the food bowl meowling until you fill it!!)

Once, when my daughter was really depressed and so negative about absolutely everything and anything, I told her to get a piece of paper and draw a  line down the middle.  On the left hand side write the word NEGATIVE and on the right, the word POSITIVE.

She had to write down the first negative thought that came into her head.  THEN, before she could write down another negative one, she had to put down a positive thing…..it could be anything like what kind of chocolate bar you like or TV show, book or something that she was good at (karate, tennis), it was a nice day, she liked the cooing of the doves….anything.    She could have easily filled up the negative side but this made her stop and think about the good stuff too.  This was years ago and we didn’t realize at the time that she was suffering from depression…..simply thought it was one of the “teen year” things.

This probably wouldn’t work for someone that is truly clinically depressed but every now and again, for those that have bad days/good days……..or bad/good hours…..sometimes doing this can really change your mood.

It’s impossible to be happy and positive every hour of every day but it’s also not good to be sad and negative a lot of time either.  Sometimes you just can’t help it and that’s OK……we all need those moments…..but figuring out when enough is enough is the trick, at least for me.   That’s when I have to get up and change my focus…..find that good thing whatever it might be.  It’s not easy all the time but it works most of the time.

Today is laundry day…..some habits are hard to break even when you’re retired!!…..I bought some lavender water spray for my bedding…..as silly as it sounds, I can’t wait for them to come out of the dryer to try this.   It also motivated me to get my laundry done!!

The good stuff doesn’t have to be heavy, deep thought provoking stuff…like being thankful for a happy, healthy family, which I’m always grateful for….. just simple things that make you happy or feel better or add a little excitement to the day (yes, laundry can do that for me…..at least the ironing bit).

L.

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Nothing Exciting…..

It’s so hot….too hot to do anything!  And it’s supposed to continue for days AND days.  I’m not really complaining though…..I have A/C so can live with it but I do feel bad for those that don’t.  It must be unbearable.

I have three projects on the go……sort of.  None of them are seeing any action at this point, which is driving me a little crazy.  The patio under the deck is starting the week after next….and hopefully finishing then too!  That will make more work for me such as painting all the posts and beams under there so that it looks nicer.  I have an old table that needs a bit of repair and a fresh coat, or two, of stain.

The garage is still a work in progress….I’m assuming!  My BIL is away right now but I’m hoping that he’ll have the plans ready for the permit and variance board deadline for July when all the plans have to be in for review at the August board meeting.

The family room……had a guy come in to look at it and give me a quote last Thursday for gyprocking but I still haven’t heard back from him…..hopefully Monday.

I get really quite frustrated waiting for all this……it’s really beyond having patience, I think.

I’m not sure but I think that if there were the two of us, we’d be busy working on some of this stuff ourselves.  Having to rely on others for things is just too annoying for me.   That said, it’s too hot to do anything outside, even first thing in the morning…..it was 25C (almost 80F) when I got up at 6:30!

No plans for today.  I haven’t heard from the kids yet but they’ll likely be over this afternoon.  If so we’ll BBQ something for dinner……I’m going to empty my freezer.  So much stuff in there I really need to use it or, depending on the dates (which I put on everything I repackage….thank goodness!!), chuck it.

Just another day……..

L.

Another Culinary Trip

In September!   I’m going with my friend Connie.   We did the one to Italy in 2012 and had an amazing time, so when another special came up, this time to Mexico, we thought we’d try it again.

http://www.epitourean.com/master/923/A-Taste-of-Puebla-Seasonal-Special

It sounds like a great trip.   Because of flight arrival/departure times, we going to add a couple of days in Mexico City.  Apparently not a terribly safe city to do on your own, so we’re checking out a couple or organized day tours that are offered.

I love Mexican food, except for the mole sauces……or maybe I’ve just never had a good one!!

Dinner last night was lots of fun….and good too, even the dessert.  Fun as it was…..and I did really have a good time…lots of laughs, lots of wine, good friends/family…dinners like this are just not like they used to be…..but this is how it is now.   I don’t want to say that I HAD to make it fun for myself, because I didn’t….it was just plain old fun.   It’s just different…….hard to explain other than the obvious.  I miss not talking about it after everyone goes home…..who did what, said what etc.  Maybe that is still part of the “getting used to being alone” thing.  Not sure and only time will tell if this will change….maybe next time it’ll just be the “new normal” and I’ll not think it’s “different”…….

Yesterday was SO HOT!!  Today is supposed to be another hot one.  I love it but am very thankful I have air conditioning!

L.

Cleaning……and Cleaning

It just never seems to end!   I get one thing cleaned and find something else in the process……it really is a thankless job in some ways.   Very satisfying for a few hours, or maybe if you’re lucky a couple of days, then it just has to be done all over again.  But it is certainly nice when the house is relatively clean and tidy.  I’ll get to all those other things that still need doing, like baseboards one of these days……for now though, the cobwebs and dust are gone and it’s passable.

Maybe I just need to have company more often….that certainly gets me motivated.

I don’t bake…..I don’t like to bake.  It’s way too finicky for me and I’m not very good at measuring and following directions to a tee, so whatever I make doesn’t usually turn out quite like it’s supposed too……definitely it doesn’t look like it’s supposed too….but there is one thing I can make, thanks to frozen puff pastry and a handful of grated, aged cheddar!

Rustic Country Apple Pie!  The cheddar in the crust really makes this delicious!

Rustic Country Apple Pie! The cheddar in the crust really makes this delicious!

Slather it with ice cream and it tastes good no matter what…..that is my kind of baking.

Ken was a dessert guy.   His Mom liked to bake and had lots of time back then so I don’t think a dinner ever went by in his house growing up that didn’t include dessert.  I did try for many years but short of a cake or muffin mix, nothing I made was worth drooling over.  The odd time I’d get something right but more often than not, it would taste good but look terrible or just the opposite.  Even cheesecake is a challenge!  How do they get them to rise so much…..and then stay that way?  Mine are rather flat and full of cracks…..ah sigh.

He never went without his treats though,…..that’s what bakeries, friend and relatives are for!  My neighbor used to make birthday and wedding cakes.  She always had all those corners and cut off bits leftover so when my son was over there playing, she’d send those bits, all nicely iced, home with him for his Dad.  My SIL, after a dinner at their place, often sent home a care package of her baked goodies for him.  He loved matrimonial cake and hers was really good.

Once he got sick, I did try to bake things more often thinking that it would put a few pounds back on him…..but it didn’t.  He was a good sport and ate whatever I made, or at least most of it.  And there was always ice cream…..he loved it.  I bought chocolate sauce, Reese’s peanut toppings, and various kinds of fruit to go with it.

The menu tonight is pork roast with my special garlic and brown sugar rub, roasted potatoes and onions and root veggies.  I found yellow beets, which are great.  They taste just as good as red beets but don’t make such a mess and can be roasted with everything else.

Today is supposed to be smoking hot!!  I hope not too hot to sit outside later…..not something that happens around here too often.

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same basket, different side

same basket, different side

The hanging baskets love it.  They’re finally starting to fill in nicely now and the petunias are slowly tumbling over the sides.  I really thought I’d put enough plants in it to start but next year, if I make these again, I’ll really jam them in…..the more the merrier….and much prettier.

L.

Throwback Thursday

Ten years ago we were getting ready for my son’s wedding on July 31st.

They had a “destination wedding” of sorts…….on one of the beautiful Gulf Islands, Mayne Island.     http://www.vancouverisland.travel/regions/gulf-islands/   My DIL’s family has had a cabin there for eons.   It was a favorite place of her Moms.  Her Mom passed away in 2004 at the very young age of 51.  Kim had many great memories of summers spent there through her childhood.  It was a special place for her and the only place, in her mind, to get married.

A lot of planning went into this.  A few day trips over the to island to get the hall picked out and rented, the catering organized, locations for pictures and a visit or two to the one lone bakery to pick out a cake.  There were a few tears and a few disagreements but in the end it all worked out and those trips, very costly on BC Ferries, were well worth it.

one of our views.....

one of our views…..

Ken and I rented a house, for the week, right on the water with beautiful views across the strait.  Lots of ferry and other boat traffic to watch along with the odd whale and many seals that frolicked only a few meters offshore.  The house was big enough and with enough deck and yard area to accommodate all the family that were staying over the weekend.  I thought my Dad and brother and SIL would stay but they were actually pretty smart and stayed at a B&B away from the 3 or 4 days of chaos.

We hosted the rehearsal dinner…..usually just for immediate family and the wedding party….but because 80+ people had made the trek (costly trek on BC Ferries) and were staying in hotels and B&B’s I invited them ALL!  I had made the whole things as simple as possible…..burgers and smokies and salads.   All went off without a hitch considering we’d just gotten access to the house at 3PM that afternoon!

Everything went perfectly the day of the wedding…..considering there were at least 20 people trying to get ready in that house.  On top of the family that stayed inside, some nieces and nephews and  their significant others had set up camp in the yard……we had one bathroom!!  It was a challenge but I gave them all notice that Ken and I got first dibs on it.

trying to get the "receiving line" organized.....and not a bad place to have one!

trying to get the “receiving line” organized…..and not a bad place to have one!

The reception was beautiful……we’d decorated the hall and outside covered patio area the day before while waiting to get into the house.  The party after was lots of fun……kind of the best part of any wedding that you’re involved in……the stress if all gone and time to just have fun.

They had planned the wedding for the long weekend, so it was a 3 day affair.  The day after the wedding, we also had the gift opening at “our” house.   We started around noon and carried on until quite late in the day.  Many people were heading home later that afternoon but had managed to stop by for a while.  Not to replicate the rehearsal dinner, I’d bought tons of cheese, crackers, cold meat and had manged to whip up a salad or two.  We had buns and smokies leftover so those got thrown on the BBQ at some point.

In hindsight, I do now wonder why WE hosted all this stuff……her Dad had the cabin, albeit a little rough, there was a huge big yard and the weather was good so everything was outdoors and her Grandma and Aunts had rented an even bigger house than ours, so other than having just US over for dinner one night, they didn’t really contribute a lot to all the activities!  I know, had Kim’s Mom been around, that wouldn’t have been the case…..her whole life surrounded her girls and this would have been so special for her.   I was truly in all my glory doing all the dinners and I loved having all the happy people around.  But I was thankful for the quiet time later on.

enjoying the quiet time after......

enjoying the quiet time after……

After most of the guests had left it was incredibly peaceful and we looked forward to having a nice quiet restful time the for last few days.  The kids were staying too but at the “cabin”, not with us.  A few friends had also decided to stay the week at other cabins/cottages and make it a bit of a holiday.  We spent the rest of the time exploring the island and having some great dinners together.

Ten years ago seems like forever ago now…….things were soooo good for us.  Who knew!!

Ken took most of our pictures, so as usual not too many with him in them……how sad really.  But he was a much better photographer than me and liked taking the pictures (mostly so everyone had their heads!!).

L.

Ho Hum

Just another beautiful day!  I absolutely love it.  I hope it’s not too much to ask for days like this all through the summer……we’ve had such nice weather for so long, I really expect days like this every day now!  Ho hum…..

such big plans in my head!!!

such big plans in my head!!!

I’m motivated today…..really motivated so I will get cracking on all my chores right away.  I’ve company coming for dinner on Friday.  I figure if I get started cleaning today I should be finished, or at least have a reasonably clean house, including floors, by then!

In reality though, I will very likely get sidetracked with something and then either get overwhelmed and just give up or I’ll end up with a bigger mess than I started with……then I’ll end up on the deck with a glass of wine and my book 🙂

I do still have one more cup of coffee to finish and I hope it isn’t lying to me…….

Years ago when I was in one of my lazy moods and something needed doing, I would sit and stew, maybe even complain out loud,  about getting it done as opposed to actually getting up and just doing it……kind of like when the kids used to sit at the dining room table for hours COMPLAINING about having to do so much homework……if they’d just got down to doing it instead of complaining so much they’d have had it done in no time!

Ken was a good housekeeper.   He would just do whatever needed doing…..he could clearly see it…..never had to be asked.   If the dishwasher needed loading, he’d just do it or better still as he used a cup or bowl, he’d put it right in the thing instead of just setting in the sink.  If the vacuuming had to be done, he’d just haul it out and go to it.  He could dust and wash windows too!  He never ever said anything.  When I seen him getting started, it made me feel pretty guilty for just sitting around and then I’d get my butt up and going too.

Now there is just me, I have no one to make me feel guilty for just sitting around so it’s pretty easy to just do nothing, or not much of anything.   I sometimes think that simply cleaning the counter off is work enough for one day.   Being retired makes it even easier to do this.  When I was working, I only really had weekends to get cracking and clean up…..I really resented doing that too, because weekends were NOT for work…of any kind….in my mind…..but then neither was after work through the week….

Everyday is a weekend now but I can’t justify my theory from the old work days every day, so after this cup of coffee I WILL get going……yes, I will!

What To Do, What To Do…..

…..about doing SOMETHING!

I managed to do some of my list things yesterday, which did give me some sense of accomplishment.   Today will hopefully be much the same.

The key for me is to FORCE myself OFF the computer……or maybe I should just delete those solitaire apps!!!!…..or create a program that will shut the game down if I spend more than one hour playing it.   It is a terrible habit to have gotten into.

What is hard for me right now is the fact that I am NOT on vacation….this is life now and it can’t go on the same way….there is more to retired life than this!   All this said I really don’t spend my entire day on the computer but a lot of that time could be better spent doing something else more useful……like cleaning or laundry or going golfing or going bike riding, but it’s not going to happen if I don’t make the effort is it!  I need to phone someone to go golfing and I need to go buy a bike…..two more things to add to those lists!

The other problem is the weather….not in a bad way because it is beautiful and I love it…..but it makes me think I should be outside doing something as opposed to inside doing those things on my list.   What I should be doing is a bit of both.   Outside on my deck is my favorite place.  I could sit out there all day…..and have done that on more than one occasion.  If this weather continues, which I hope it does, I will have gotten myself into another bad habit that will be really hard to break when the weather gets crappy.

I must say, as much as I like reading…..and playing solitaire…..I’m finding this getting to be a tad bit boring.   I want to do other things.   I want to go places.  I live in an area that has many wonderful parks, museums, beaches, trails etc.  You could find a different place and something to do every day of the year and not repeat anything for a long time.

This is the part or retirement that had me a little worried…..not going places because there is just ME.  I’m adventurous enough that I could do whatever, but I don’t because it’s not really too much fun to do some of this stuff by yourself.

I don’t have an incredible urge or need to have go to these places but I would like to get out and do some exploring.  When though and with who?  Do I need to give it a try one day, alone, and see how I feel?

For today though, I do have stuff to do……

I finally found out where my ants are coming from!  I had watched and watched them, after putting the ant traps down, trying to figure that out, but there seemed no rhyme or reason to where they were coming from or going to.  I put a bit of sugar water on the deck last night……they literally swarmed it.  I then watched to see where they were taking the treats back too…..they are going under the siding by the backdoor!  Hooray!  The ant traps, so far at least, don’t seem to be doing anything, except possibly killing the squirrels or mice….two more of the traps were gone this morning!   I will pick up some spray stuff today and hopefully that will, once and for all, get rid of them.  I really want to get my hummingbird feeder back up……it’s like an ant magnet…..but won’t take a chance until I don’t see the ants any more.   A few I could handle but…….

L.

Eek! There’s A Mouse……

…..on the deck!   I surprised it the other morning when I headed out there with my coffee.   It ran….not terribly fast…. from under the BBQ and down the steps.

I think he may be the culprit that is scooping my ant traps.   I’m glad it’s not the squirrels.  Not that I want anything to die…..except these damn ants……but mice aren’t good to have around.   You don’t hear about squirrels getting in….and living in……houses, but mice yes.   I don’t need them, thank you!

After a visit to Home Depot yesterday…..after my nice long hike and lunch with the kids….I can only hope I have enough anti-ant stuff around now to actually get rid of them.   I was surprised to see how little stock they had on their shelves……it appears that there are lots of ant problems this year.   They seem to like the hot, dry weather we’ve been having.

Had a great dinner at Bev’s last night.  Steaks on the BBQ, tons of great veggies AND a couple lobster tails.  It was all soooo good, and other than the 1/2lb of garlic butter, a reasonably healthy dinner.  We sat outside until almost 10 having drinks and chatting.   A super evening, with a super friend 🙂 .

Normal temps are mid 20'sC (75 -80F) but each year we usually have a heatwave that lasts a couple of weeks.....I LOVE IT!

Normal temps are mid 20’sC (75 -80F) but each year we usually have a heatwave that lasts a couple of weeks…..I LOVE IT!

This weather is supposed to continue all week and even getting hotter!  I love it and am thankful I have air conditioning.  I’m sure I picked the best year and time of year to retire…..the last couple of summers have been great, but June can be pretty iffy…..this year it’s been absolutely fantastic!  That said, for these two months it’s still like I’ve been on holidays….and I’ve done pretty much the same thing that I would have done if I WAS on holidays….which is not a heck of a lot.

It’s been almost two months, so I really should think about getting into some sort of routine….not one too structured but one that doesn’t include reading for two hours in the morning and then playing solitaire for another two or so.   There are things that need to be done….such as regular old household chores.   I need that quiet hour or so in the morning…..the best time of day for me…..but I’ve been stretching that a bit.

So today, since it’s Monday and the start of a new week, I think I’ll start on that today…….maybe……..

L.

Happy Father’s Day!

And it IS a happy one.  Certainly not how I thought we’d ever spend Father’s Days a few years ago, but a good, happy one anyway.

My daughter-in-law is working this morning so, my daughter, son and grandkids are going for a nice hike and then heading to a local “50’s” diner for lunch.  They’ll have dinner with their other Grandpa.

I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of my day but I’m sure I’ll find something to keep myself busy…..or maybe not!  I’ve started another good book so sitting on the deck reading doesn’t sound like a bad plan either.

Last year was so incredibly difficult.  It was the first Father’s Day for my kids without their Dad…….it was the first Father’s Day for me without Ken!  A very painful day, a first one to get through and only two months after “that” day.

I did sort of think that Father’s Day was just another day now but it’s not!  It is still a special day, it’s a day to remember all the good, and many, Father’s Days we had together and another chance to say…..Ken/Dad, we love you and miss you EVERYDAY!

L.

Single or Married?

That is your choice on most forms that you have to fill out.   I’m never quite sure which box I should be ticking.

So just what are we?  I know we are widows….or widowers….a term which I don’t really like and I don’t think I’ve ever used it when referring to myself except maybe on this blog.

I don’t think of myself as “single” since it has a certain connotation to it……..like I WANT to be or that I’m looking to NOT BE!  Neither of which is the case for me.   But then again I guess in the true sense of the word, I’m not married anymore either…….since there is just me now.

I didn’t tick either on my passport renewal form so yesterday at the office, the gal asked me.  I said my husband had passed away……not that I was a “widow”……..so wasn’t sure exactly which one I should be ticking.  She said, it didn’t really matter which one and it was OK to leave it blank.  So we did.   My marital status is a blank……unidentified.

Today is the 20th of June.  The 20th of each month forever is a day to remember…..now luckily more good memories than bad ones……it’s still a bit of a sad day each month though.  I wonder if the day will come when the “20th” is just a day, like any other day??

I’m babysitting this morning, so that will definitely keep me busy!  It’s another beautiful day so we’ll spend it outside.  There is always something I can find for them to do…….I think we’ll get all the wood (for campfires) under the deck piled up and ready for their Dad to take home…….one more thing to get rid of under there!

L.