I’ve “Shed” A Lot

the shed "before"

the shed “before”

There was just an incredible amount of stuff in that shed! There was enough junk to fill the back of the pickup for a run to the dump. The brothers were here from 10AM until almost 5PM!

Old shelving, plastic shelving, paint….not one weed eater but three! Two of which were broken. The old power washer was in there too….some spring thing went on that about 5 years ago and we couldn’t get the part for it…so we just bought a new one. Why we kept the old one, I have no idea. There are 3 or 4 old toolboxes that were his Dad’s! A lot of the stuff was rusted beyond “unrusting”. Dryer venting…..just in case we needed more, I guess.

Ken’s shed was pretty organized BEFORE. Over the last 4 or 5 years, when he hadn’t used it too much, stuff had just been put in helter skelter as opposed to someplace that it belonged. This last year has even been worse….I just put stuff in there….out of sight, out of mind.

It made me sad to see it that way. Ken had put in a nice little workbench and rigged up the electricity from the house. He spent a lot of time out there fixing and making things and just generally puttering around. Going through everything would have been one of his retirement jobs…..he liked it out in his shed!

the shed "after"

the shed “after”

It’s cleaned out now….everything put in it’s place, so when we have to get rid of it to make room for the garage, it’ll be easy to just take the stuff out and store in the house or under the deck until it’s all ready to find a new spot in the new garage. There is still lots to go through….just how many screws and nails does one need? I have thousands! Maybe I’ll sort through them one day. Or more likely, if (will find out next Thurs if I have variance approval to actually build it!) and when the garage gets built, they’ll find a place on shelf in there.

I’m going to visit my ex-SIL today. She’s still in hospital and they’ll likely keep her there until the radiation treatments are finished. They will transport her to the cancer agency daily, for two weeks, for the treatments, which is a good thing. She has also decided to stay with the Onc at the hospital instead of being transferred to an Onc at the cancer agency…..her choice of course, but I think she’s kind of thrown in the towel, which is too bad. She does not want to read any of the test reports, so still doesn’t really know the extent of her disease. She also doesn’t know about chemo…..she wants quality of life as opposed to quantity….fair enough! To me, a decision like this should be made when you have all the facts, not just the tidbits given by a rather arrogant Dr. I’m not sure she even listens when they talk….she never has any questions. But at the end of the day, IT IS HER DECISION! I need to remember that!

With the shed task done, I can get back to the family room. Today I’ll order my carpet and get the paint for the walls and the door frames…..this will keep me busy most of the weekend. The carpet will take a week or two, so lots of time to get that painting done…..hah!

helping Craig with his suspenders......

helping Craig with his suspenders……

Today is our son and DIL’s 10th wedding anniversary. Had the party last weekend, which was fun. It’s hard to believe that 10 years has gone by so quickly. I have three absolutely adorable grandchildren that I love to bits….life is good!



Throwback Thursday

Ken in the white tee shirt....

Ken in the white tee shirt….

Ten years ago in November we went to Mexico with Ken’s brother, his wife and our nieces. They hadn’t been to the Mayan Riviera before and it had been a few years since we’d been.

It was a fun trip, especially for the girls, who were all in their early to mid twenties at the time. Lots of shopping, lots of drinking, lots of swimming and snorkeling. At all inclusives they have a lot of fun pool games in the afternoons…..I think we ALL participated in most of them. That wasn’t something I would usually do…..I like to sit and laugh while watching it all go on….but I did have a good time.

We headed over to Cozumel one day using a day pass from our resort for the sister one over there. I think there were at least 6 cruise ships in that day, so the little town was incredibly crowded. We were glad to head out to the resort to spend the afternoon on the their beach.

One other day we all headed into Playa Del Carmen to shop. I’m not a big shopper in Mexico, so Ken and I went off to find one of the great little beach bars to sit in the sand and relax with a cerveza or two while everyone else went off looking for treasures. They joined us after they’d finished their shopping.

I think we were lucky enough, from around 1999, to be able to do at least one trip a year to Mexico….either Pacific or Caribbean side….usually for just one week but there were a couple of two week trips. Sometimes it was in the spring to get over the winter blahs and other times it was the in the fall just because!

two for one!

two for one!

The one week ones were meant to be quick, relaxing getaways, but of course never really were. I think we were more tired when we got home than we were before we left…..but the main thing was we weren’t AT WORK! The two week vacations there were definitely more relaxing…..we’d plan a couple of excursions, snorkeling trips or trips into the closest town but then had all those other days to do nothing but sit and read, sleep, swim and of course have a drink or two.

lunch at Senor Frogs with friends and family!

lunch at Senor Frogs with friends and family!

We did manage one last trip to Mexico in 2013. I have no idea where the pictures from that trip went! How sad is that…..it was Ken’s last real holiday away. He did OK but struggled a bit with all the walking required just to get to the pool. I was more worried about him slipping and falling on the wet pool deck. He enjoyed being in the pool and just lounging under the palapas. We ate outside most of the time because inside the food smells were a little overwhelming at times. It was the beach that was a big disappointment for him……he loved the beach, going in the water and pummelled by the waves but that just wasn’t possible on this trip. Walking down to the water, through the sand, with a cane was too much of a challenge for him. We did spend a couple of afternoons on lounge chairs down there but it wasn’t the same and I know he missed what it used to be.

We were lucky…..very lucky…to be able to do trips like this and I know we enjoyed every single one of them. We never went alone….always with family or friends…sometimes both, so we were always in good company.


STAY At Home Day!

Yes, it’s definitely a stay at home day today. I think I’ll make ALL Wednesdays HOME days…..plan nothing BUT get at lot done around here. I can’t remember the last time I did laundry! Thank goodness I have a lot of towels AND underwear!

My blind guy came bright and early yesterday morning for the final measure for the window in the family room and tells me that it will still be another 3 or 4 weeks……oh the joy of garbage bag and sheet covered windows!

This means that I have a bit more time to get the painting done down there….which has to be finished before the blinds are up…..it should be more than enough time but somehow I always seem to be scrambling at the last minute to get stuff like this done….I hope not this time. It’s a long weekend coming up (BC Day Holiday on Aug 3)….not that it matters what day of the week it is anymore for me….it’s hard to break that weekend mentality sometimes….but I still seem to accomplish more on weekends than through the week!

I picked up carpet samples AGAIN and will have a look at them in the daylight and night light to see which one I really want and get that ordered too. Then only the baseboards will be left to get done…..and eventually new furniture….and deciding what to do with that recliner!

the view with my coffee in the mornings.....I  really could spend all day just sitting out there....and sometimes I do!

the view with my coffee in the mornings…..I really could spend all day just sitting out there….

Our weather is heating up again. There is still a lot of outside work to be done, but I think most of that will have to wait until next year…..maybe by some miracle I’ll have turned into a gardener over the winter! I think not…..but, you never know.

I said I wasn’t going to pay the landscaper for the patio until it was completely finished. Well, I did and it isn’t……but there are just a few little things still to be done and it’s completely usable and I can keep on his case when, and if ever, my grass needs cutting……it’s been so hot and so little rain, the lawn, other than the odd weed popping up, hasn’t grown at all….and because of watering restrictions, it’s getting pretty brown and will likely get even worse!

Part of my day yesterday was looking for some patio furniture….it’s all on sale! Which is great, except that they’re sold out of most of the stuff I really liked or it wasn’t on sale enough to justify spending that kind of money. I thought now would be a good time, but maybe just waiting until next summer and paying the big bucks AND getting what I want, as opposed to “just about” what I want, would be a better idea. And if I just don’t go looking again….that is what will just happen!

Lunch with my friend L yesterday. Had a great time, spent 2+ hours getting all caught up. How does that much time fly by and you don’t see, or even at least talk to, someone!! When Ken passed away she dropped off the biggest and most beautiful orchid I’ve ever seen…..it is still sprouting and blooming over a year later! She knocked on the door….just a bit and then just left it. It’s one of those things….she wanted to say something but…..then she wanted to call but….then time just passes by and you get busy doing whatever. We used to do a lot of things together…..wine club, monthly girls night out, golfing etc. and always had so much fun. I was still working, she wasn’t….her and her husband are both busy and away a lot of the time…but now there is no excuse to not get together way more often.

Tomorrow is shed cleaning day….at least I hope it still is. Ken’s brothers are supposed to be coming over to help me go through it…..what to keep, what not to keep…..and just what the heck some of the stuff is! I think I’d win a contest for who has the most wrenches in the world….besides a store! Car parts galore, but from which car I have no idea! I’m pretty sure most of it isn’t actually junk but if I don’t need it, besides trying to fob it off on them or my kids, what do I do with it? A garage sale might be in order…..I like going to them but don’t like having them….it can be a lot of work to make a few bucks. Or maybe taking them to a “swap meet”, especially the tools and car parts…..someone, somewhere must want or need this stuff!

Also in the final stages of the Mexico trip planning…..that should be finished today. Extra days in Mexico city and tours too take….one week has morphed into two now.

I don’t think I’ll ever learn to organize my “retired” time…..especially there being only me! I know things would have been very different if Ken was here and retired too. I know my life wouldn’t be as hectic as I’ve made it…..I wonder if I’ve subconsciously done this on purpose or whether I’m just plain old dumb! I’m afraid I’ll have nothing to do and then end up with way too much to do. Maybe it’s still early in the game and of course being summer I’m sure makes a big difference. I love it though and wouldn’t trade a second of my retired time for those stressful work days….I am very lucky!


Good Party!

Despite the rain….and hail….and thunder and lightening!!

That happened around 4 o’clock just as people were starting to arrive. Luckily that was just about the end of the crappy weather for the day. We did have a sprinkle or two later but not enough to “dampen” the party.

Not everyone showed up, which was too bad, but not really a bad thing either because then it wasn’t as crowded so it all worked out.

organizing the table.....post it notes with what food went where...came in handy for those helping get the stuff out!

organizing the table…..post it notes with what food went where…came in handy for those helping get the stuff out!

There was lots of food, which was my biggest worry. Everything went pretty smoothly even getting everyone through my little buffet line. Because of it being wet outside, the little kids ate at the kitchen table so I had to relocate the kitchen table starting point to the dining room table, which made it a little more squishy but it all still worked out really good. The big people ate wherever. Lots went back for seconds, which was good as I didn’t want to be eating hamburgers for the next week! And there was only a scoop or two of the salads left at the end of evening…..I didn’t want to eat those all week either!

The little kids had a great time out in the backyard…..lots of running around AND screaming! It was fun though and their little cousin from Alberta was here so they got to know him a little better.

This morning, of course, the sun is shining and it’s much warmer. My hanging baskets are finally filling out very nicely and looking pretty good. I love the yellow daisy things…..the nursery person called them black eyed susans, but I’m not sure that’s what they really are. They’re really fun, pretty and bright trailing plants that perk up the baskets.

looking pretty good!

looking pretty good!

All that’s left now is the rest of the mess. I did some clean up but I was just too pooped to get all of it done. My nieces helped pack up the leftovers and get them put away and since I’d used paper plates and plastic cutlery and cups, there weren’t a lot of dishes to deal with so I just left them for this morning. Ken would have had them all done last night…..

My son bought a mouse trap for me, for my little brown rat. He loaded it and stuck it in the bottom of the BBQ last night, which is where I think it lives. After he left last night, I took it out and tripped it! As much as I don’t want rats around, I just couldn’t handle the thought of that poor rat getting it’s neck snapped in that thing and worse still……me finding it the next day!! So for now, I’ll put up with the stupid thing hanging off the birdfeeder and making a mess in my BBQ.

This week I’m doing NOTHING! Or at least I don’t have any big plans….I need a week to get caught up on my reading! I may head out and have a look for patio furniture since it’s all on sale right now but that’s a fun thing to do and maybe lunch with a friend…..or pick up the paint for the family room…..


Ah Sigh…..Rain

rain, rain go away........

rain, rain go away……..

…..it’s light rain but it’s blooming rain!   Of all days……oh well.  It’s still early and it is supposed to clear up later this morning…..my fingers are crossed!

Salads are just about done or prepped (Caesar) and just the last bit of cleaning up to do around here.  I was going to do a yard clean up too but will have to wait for a while to get to that.

I think the list of people now exceeds 50!  I’m trying to keep this as simple as is humanly possible with that many people.  It’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to set up the table buffet style that will keep everyone moving along as quickly as possible. My dining room is not very big but at least you can walk all the way around  the table……I’ll probably set it up so people can go down either side of the table for salads and burger toppings with the meat in the middle.  The kitchen table will serve as the starting point with the plates (recyclable paper), cutlery (beautiful clear plastic) buns and condiments.  I hope that works.

I bought 250(!) plastic glasses at Costco, way more than I need I’m sure but you never know. I even picked up some lovely plastic wine glasses from the dollar store. Everyone is bringing their own booze or whatever else they want to drink. I’ve borrowed a couple of coolers to fill with ice to keep it all cold.

"classy" plastic wine glasses!

“classy” plastic wine glasses!

With all the disposable and recyclable stuff I’m hoping clean up will be a snap. That’s always the worst part of any party…..the clean up!

I hope I haven’t forgotten anything…..I really don’t like to have to make those quick last minute dashes to the store to get whatever.

The patio just about got finished yesterday……just about. It was a little too wet from the night before to get the sand/silica stuff on properly. He’s got to come back tomorrow…..offered to come today and I said NO because I was afraid he’d show up at 2:30 and make a mess. So as a result I can say…..and it will be painfully obvious with the wheelbarrow, tamper and bags of sand…..it’s a work in progress. At least it’s usable and I’ll need it if it doesn’t stop raining!

Wish me luck!


Had A Great Day!

What a fun day!  Lunch with the “old” girls and then dinner with Bev and friends.  Way too much food though……I don’t think I’ll have to eat for a week!

Lunch went a bit later than planned but I still managed….just….to hit Costco and pick up most of the goodies for tomorrow.  There are still a few things like the condiments and some veggies to pick up at Safeway and the local market and other than doing a bit more cleaning around here I think I’m all organized!  At least I hope I am, if not….oh well!  They get what they get!

It rained just about all day…..not just drizzle but real rain….so my landscapers couldn’t finish.  Today is looking a little brighter with some clear breaks, so I’m hoping they can finish up and get rid of all the mess.  If not, oh well for that too!

I can’t get stressed over this stuff…..it’s pretty obvious that renos are happening.  I just wish they’d have happened when they were supposed to!

On the way into the restaurant for dinner last night, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of years.  What is more of a coincidence though is that I’d just gotten her new….and as it turns out, wrong…..phone number from another friend the day before yesterday AND she had gotten my new cell number…also wrong… from that same friend on the same day!!  We were destined to meet up yesterday…..otherwise with our “wrong” numbers we’d have never connected!  We’re going to get together for lunch one day next week before she takes off on holidays.

I’m so glad I’m retired!   If I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have been able to go to the birthday lunch…..everyone else is retired except for Joanne, who is a teacher and is off for the summer.  That’s part of why I didn’t seen these gals as often as I would have liked.  And now getting together with this other friend for lunch next week is only possible because I’m retired….so is she.

Off to a friends for dinner tonight…..me and 3 other couples.  I think I can finally say that I’m quite comfortable in these situations now.  At first they scared me.   That odd person out and such, but it wasn’t that way at all and once I’d gone to the first few I don’t really think anything of it anymore.  I’m really looking forward to going tonight…..B and I can tell our bear stories from our walks…even though one of the “bears” was just a big black cat!


Menu Planning and Happy Birthday Bev!

just about finished!  Not quite the "rustic" look I was hoping for....

just about finished! Not quite the “rustic” look I was hoping for….

The patio is just about done!  What a relief…..this will make Sunday stress free.  They arrived early (for them!) yesterday morning and stayed until after 6PM.  The only thing left to do today….depending on the weather….is the layer of silica/sand and then tamping it all in and hauling away all the old wood, stumps etc.  It’s raining this AM but I’m hoping they can get back at it this afternoon and finish it once and for all!   Even as is, it’s usable, and if it does rain on Sunday, there will be enough covered area to use.

What do you feed 50 people?  It’s got to be easy and not something fussy that requires a lot of work.

  • beef burgers
  • turkey burgers (no veggies….thank goodness!)
  • hotdogs (mostly for the kids)
  • Buns, buns and more buns…
  • Caesar salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Chips (regular and tortilla) with various dips
  • Slab cake of some sort from Costco

A little trick I learned from my DIL’s father from his years of experience cooking for girl guides….for the beef burgers, when cooking for thousands, put them in a large pot (pasta or dutchoven type) add a packet of beef stock and let them simmer away on the stove for a bit.  Then when ready just throw, as many as needed at a time, on the BBQ to give them the final grilling.  The burgers are incredibly juicy and delicious!  It’s best if they are the sirloin burgers, but works good with any of the frozen ones you can buy by the case!

I’ll have cheese slices, tomatoes, lettuce and condiments that everyone can plaster on their buns.  If I have time I’ll slice up some onions…..maybe even fry them up on the BBQ.

I don’t think anyone will starve and I certainly hope I don’t have a ton of leftovers….my freezer is still full of stuff that I’m trying to work my way through.

I’m celebrating two birthdays today!

Off to lunch with the “old” girlfriends to celebrate one of their birthdays (yesterday)…..I don’t see all of them very often, so it’s fun to get together and catch up.  One passed away a couple of years ago and one other can’t make it today, so there will be 6 of us that have known each other since we were 4 or 5 years old!

Then it’s dinner with my BFF Bev to celebrate a milestone birthday (today) for her!

This morning I’m hoping I have some time to pop into Pier 1 http://www.pier1.com/ to check on their summer clearance sales……now I need some furniture for the patio!  If I have time in between lunch and dinner I’ll head to Costco for my Sunday party supplies.

Another busy day…..I can’t wait until next week……I have nothing planned….YET!


My Problems…..

….seem pretty trivial considering other peoples.

I have a friend going in today for a double mastectomy.  My exSIL is still waiting biopsy results to find out what kind of cancer she has.  Another friends sister has just found out that she may NOT have cancer but is in excruciating pain from something….so much so that she can’t move her arm!  My little granddaughters JIA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juvenile_idiopathic_arthritis has flaired up and her meds have to be increased…..luckily it hasn’t really slowed her down and I hope it never does.

My problems are huge to me, and many are self made/caused, but so minor when I look at the big picture of others around me.  I should be grateful really!

And I am…..so very, very grateful!

view of the marsh towards the water with the island mountains in the background.....

view of the marsh towards the water with the island mountains in the background…..

My landscaper is a dork!   I have used many more choice expletives in my head than dork……believe me!   I think I may have to fire him if and when he ever gets this job done.  He didn’t show up yesterday morning so after a number of calls I finally got in touch with him.  His helper hurt his back, his tamping machine is in for repairs, he can’t get the paving stones on and on it went.  I suggested he call my neighbor, who is also a landscaper (I can’t afford his services unfortunately……) to see if he could get the stones.  Luckily Bill came to the rescue….not quite the same stones and everything will have to be configured a bit differently, but he’s suggested something that he thinks will look even better…..I can only hope my guy listens to him!  I’ve told him I was counting on him getting is done for Sunday.  If it’s not I’m not sure what I’m going to do!!

Sandhill cranes....they are huge!

Sandhill cranes….they are huge!

Had a great day yesterday at the Bird Sanctuary…..other than getting eaten by mosquitos!  Also had a wonderful dinner on the deck at a nice little pub overlooking a little marina….where we also got eaten by mosquitos!  You would think that with so little rain this summer they wouldn’t be a problem….

Today I have a ton of things to do and I really must do them, not just think about them!

I’ve got an outdoor table to stain, ceiling painting to finish, put together my shopping list for Sunday….and actually get the stuff AND clean the house.  I do have until Sunday but I’m busy tonight, tomorrow AND Saturday night, so that cuts out a few hours of my time.  Two people could have all this done in no time but as usual I’ve bitten off more than I should have…..or truthfully I’ve been slacking around here and could have had some of it done already.


If I don’t manage to get the house cleaned I might just have to do this……….lol


Patio Started………

I need this finished by Sunday!!

another layer of finer gravel today and hopefully pavers tomorrow.....and the junk gone!

another layer of finer gravel today and hopefully pavers tomorrow…..and the junk gone!

He mentioned/mumbled some problem about getting all the pavers (either 18×18 or 24×24)…….I hope he was joking!  It already looks 100% better under there.  They managed to get one of the fence panels out without the whole thing falling down, which is good since replacing that isn’t in the budget right now.

Met with the Oncologist for my SIL yesterday.  Not a terribly nice person….young, rather arrogant and no bedside manor whatsoever.  Discussed a few things, then he got right to it!   “You’re terminal” !!!  I almost fell off my chair……we, the girls and I, figured as much ……being blunt and to the point is a good thing and appreciated BUT having a little compassion when you’re firing off a deadly bullet helps in this type of situation.  Saying something like, “it’s not curable, but we’re going to do everything in our power to treat it to keep you with us for as long as possible” would soften the blow a bit and you’d know that they weren’t writing you off from the get go!!   He still hadn’t got the biopsy results, so doesn’t even know what kind of cancer he’s dealing with…..hopefully today they’ll know.

I can’t get too caught up my SILs case……or I’m hoping I don’t.  This brings back way too many memories!  It’s an easy thing to do when someone is in such a vulnerable situation and has no one else.  If you can’t advocate for yourself, what do you do?   If it’s anything other than lung cancer, which is what the Dr thinks it is, I’m hoping they’ll refer her to the Cancer Agency.  He’s an “onsite” Onc at that hospital, where they do have a chemo unit, which would be convenient for her but will she get the proper care with this guy??  I’m not sure about that.

I painted yesterday…..Bev helped.  All the walls are primered now and I’ve started on the ceiling, which is neck and arm breaking work.  The ceiling panels absorb the paint like a sponge.   This definitely won’t be finished by the weekend and the house will be in a mess but oh well……I’ll just tell them I’m still renovating, which some how makes the mess a little more acceptable.

I’m out for most of the day today…..heading to a Bird Sanctuary  http://www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com/ and then heading to a pub out that way for dinner with friends.  Should be a fun day BUT I should probably just be staying home to keep on the landscapers case and carry on with my painting…….I do get my priorities a bit skewed sometimes!!


Helping my Nieces

I mentioned a few posting ago that my ex-SIL had been diagnosed with cancer……just what kind is unknown at this point.   She had biopsies done last Friday.

My nieces asked if I’d come with them to the appointment with the Oncologist.  That is this morning…..at 8:30!

She’s been in hospital for almost two weeks and has gone through all the tests, scans etc.  At one point one Dr told her it was likely lung cancer with a bone metastases, then another said they are now leaning towards it being bone cancer with lung mets.   The Oncologist is only in this hospital once a week…..Tuesdays.  I’m hoping that they’ll have the test results so we’ll know exactly what we’ll be dealing with.   Whatever it might be, the Oncologist will then have her sent to a cancer facility where she’ll be seen by an Onc specializing in whatever cancer she has.

This is all good and everything has moved along pretty quickly….really.  Because my nieces don’t live in this province, they’ve had to get time off work to stay until they know what’s going on, it has added a lot of additional stress to this whole thing for them.  Once they’ve gone home, I’ll help out where I can, getting her to appointments etc……..she has absolutely no one else.  But I think I have to be careful to not get too involved…..this is not my life….I need to remember that!

rope lights around the railing......Ken loved these!

rope lights around the railing……Ken loved these!

When I get back from the hospital I’m hoping that my landscaper will be in full swing doing the prep for the patio.  I don’t know what I’ll do if he’s not!  I have almost 50 people coming for a party/dinner on Sunday and I NEED that extra space……and I’ve already bought some rope lighting for under the deck.

Painting on the family room started and ended yesterday!  The paint that Home Depot suggested was terrible….we stopped painting, packed it all up and I took it back.  A different paint person said it was NOT what I should have been using!!  Ah sigh…..the paint was too thick, almost gluey and wasn’t sticking to the walls….bubbling and peeling…..very strange.  I took quite a few pictures.  HD replaced the gallon that I had with the right stuff and threw in a paint pouring thingie for my trouble.  I wasn’t too happy since I also had to replace the rollers that I used.  I’ll have to lightly sand over what was painted, dust and wipe everything down yet again and then get going on the primer coat tomorrow night.   I should have just let the drywallers do the primer……what was I thinking!!   What I saved in $$$’s I’ve wasted in time…..I’ll learn one of these days…..I hope!

Blinds are ordered….not shutters 😦  They just weren’t going to work in that room.   Four weeks it takes for a custom order so sheets and garbage bags will still be up until then.

It’s all coming along……slowly but surely!