It Will Be A Quiet New Years Eve

At home.  My daughter has no plans either, so we’ll have an appy type dinner, watch a few movies and that’s about it!

I’m quite happy doing this.  It’s been such a busy couple of weeks it’ll be nice to just hang around.

If this had of been a few years ago, something definitely would have been going on…..we ALWAYS did something for New Years Eve.  Sometimes it was gala gala do’s at the golf course, a party at someone’s house or even just a games night with friends or family.  This year though, some friends are away (would we have gone with them???) others live further away now so who wants to do that drive home, some don’t even stay up until midnight anymore!!  We’re starting to sound like “old farts”…….oh dear!

When I was packing up the last of Ken’s sports jackets, I found our tickets from the last golf course do we went to……2004!  Had it really been that long ago that we’d gotten all dolled up and went out?  It was always such a fun evening.  We’d usually go with his brother and wife and a couple other couples…8 or 10 people per table.  But, because it was local, we’d always see others there that we knew.  Lots of food, music, dancing, door prizes, hats, noise makers, champagne at midnight….ah yes, those were the days!

I sort of miss them, but then again, I don’t.  I think I much preferred the house parties and game nights…..except maybe the dancing…..I did enjoy that.

Last year was a bit tough…..had a fun evening, dinner and games at a friends but then when midnight came around…..who did I have to kiss and welcome in the new year?   Awkward moment….which luckily passed quickly after everyone had hugged and kissed their spouse/partner….then it was my turn.

I’m looking forward to this evening…..I really am.  We’ll crack open the bottle of champagne, probably before midnight, just in case I fall asleep!

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year !

L.

 

Earthquake!

Last night around 11:30.  Magnitude 4.8ish.  Sitting downstairs watching TV and it felt like someone/thing had banged into the side of the house.  Pretty scary and different from the other odd rattle and roll type quakes we get around here.

Luckily there were no aftershocks, or at least none that I felt.  Cats, except for my daughters who was sleeping ON the ironing board, didn’t bat an eyelash….scared the crap out of hers though because the board kind of wobbled.

Just one of those reminders to make sure that we’re prepared for the “big one” that they keep telling us we’re way overdue for.  Will definitely make sure I’ve got bottled water, first aid kit, canned foods etc. stored…at least for a little while, then when nothing happens you kind of let it all go….hmmmm.

Met my friend D (China travel buddy) for dinner last night.  Had a great time.  We exchanged Christmas presents, which we’ve done for eons.  I usually find something at some point through the year that is just the perfect gift for her…..and then I have to remember where I’ve put it!  This year she got an insulted sippy cup…..not just a regular one, but one specifically for wine!  It will be a good thing to have at their cabin on those hot summer days!

I got a purse.

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hmmmm…..not my style of purse, or is it???

But it’s not just a regular purse………

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….of course it’s not just a regular purse. Have wine will travel!!  What a fun thing this is!!

Today I’m meeting friends for lunch and going on a walk along the river.  It’s an absolutely glorious sunny day.  A bit chilly but will warm up by the time we’ve finished lunch.

Last night I really missed Ken.  You know it’s kind of that protection thing…..my daughter was here of course, but between the two of us, we needed Ken’s laid back nature to settle us down after the earthquake.  My daughter is into all that stuff, actually studied volcanology at college, so knows that those jerky kind of deep (50+km) are the potentially nasty ones.  It was a bit unsettling going to bed I must say…..I read for a long time before I turned the light out.  You kind of just lay there waiting…..

It’s funny though when I think back to the last biggish quake we had, I think he was more excited about it than me!  It was like that “whoa…wholly S#%T” thing.  But at least he was there!!

It was pretty cool last night so my hummingbird feeder froze…..poor thing is now hovering around trying to figure out what’s happened.  I did bring it in and got it partially thawed out so hopefully the sun coming up will finish that and she’ll be able to have her breakfast!  I must remember to bring it in tonight!

L.

 

Hooray….Lots Of Sun!

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This  the weather forecast for the next two weeks 🙂  A bit chilly at night but bright AND sunny through the day…..I love it!  I just hope it’s accurate.

I had a very nice day yesterday.  Got my area rug and ONLY that…..lots of sales right now so many things out there to temp me…..but I had restraint and am very pleased with myself about that…..it would have been easy to buy a lot of things that I don’t need!  I’m trying to get rid of stuff, not collect more!

Dinner was good and fun of course with the kids.  They made me cards…..I love those.

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my birthday presents!

 

Back home to a nice quiet evening….a few phone calls, some TV and that was it for me!  This time of year, whether you’re on the go or not, just seems to zap all my energy.

I’m looking forward to the nice days ahead……..I feel so much better when the sun is shining……so I’m hoping I get some of that energy back.

L.

Reflecting Back On The Year

Today is my birthday!  It’s not a milestone one, so just kind of a regular old day.  We’ll do dinner of course…..I think maybe Chinese….I’m ready for that again.

I’m going to buy myself a present…..an area rug for the family room!  How exciting is that?   But that’s the kind of stuff I like…..I’m so happy with my new shop-vac and mop that I got for Christmas.  Sometimes I wish I was a diamond and gold type girl, but I’m not and never have been and probably never will be.  Even a new iron can make me over the top happy!  That’s just how I am.

So, just what have I done over the last year?  Am I a different person from last year at this time……..or is it my life that is different?

  1.  I’ve been lucky enough to go on a couple of great trips with family and friends.
  2. I’ve tackled a couple of projects, none of which are really completed yet….ah sigh….but that is just how I am!  The garage….it’s done but still a lot of clean up, which will get done once the weather gets a little better.  The family room….still have those damn knobs to get on, baseboards and trim around the bookcases….and my present for today….the area rug.
  3. I retired!  That was pretty exciting and still is and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life!
  4. I’m still blogging, which I was only going to do for one year after….but it’s not like grief goes away in one year is it!  It’s still a bit of a challenge everyday and when I read back through the blog every now and again, I do see that I’ve managed to survive all the ups and downs that go with grief….and am still managing!  You still just never know how you will feel from one day to the next.
  5. I still have this “unsettled” feeling.  I’m not sure what it is…..what am I missing in my life besides the obvious?  I have great family and friends, a fairly active social life and goodness knows, enough to keep me busy around here forever.  So just what am I missing?  Do I need to travel more, take up a hobby, maybe I need to be even busier….I would like to get out and golf more and actually go and buy a bike.  Go back to school?  But for what and I know I’d never do assignments or homework after I got over the first month or two of excitement.  Write a book?  No, I don’t think that would work either…..I’m not a good writer and what would I write about?  My life certainly isn’t exciting enough.  Someone suggested that I give a talk about dealing with grief….I’m experienced with that but I’m not an expert and could only share how I’ve deal with it…..have I done a good job?  Does it matter, as long as whatever I’ve done has worked?  I’ve thought about getting a part-time/casual job….but doing what?  I’m not a volunteer type person…just can’t commit myself.  I just feel that I need to accomplish something,  what though is the big question!  Any suggestions are much appreciated!
  6. I feel that my emotions have been rather flat this year.  I don’t seem to get overly excited or sad about anything like I used to…..holidays, birthday parties for the kids, new things, going out…..deaths, illnesses, friends moving away!
  7. I think I’m stronger now, maybe it’s that lack of emotion thing!  I’ve always been kind of a realist and sort of a practical person….or at least I think I have.  I can do many things, mentally and physically,  that I never thought I’d have to do….or heaven knows….wanted to do (kitty litter box, plumbing repairs, fixing screen doors, going to the dump, cleaning out/throwing out/sorting out toolboxes and shelves full of stuff….this list goes on and on).  Does this really make me stronger or simply colder?  What exactly does it mean?

Life can be different without being a different person……..things aren’t like they used to be….I do reflect back on that quite often, but not with the sadness that I used to feel.  Now it’s more like how can I get some of those things back into my life.…but in a different way….that “new normal” thing.

I AM still the same person, just with a different life now.  And it’s a good one, it really it is!  I’m very lucky in many ways and have learned to appreciate everything I have more than ever.  It’s just lacking something….see #5.

L

 

What A Great Christmas!

It was….it really was.  My daughter and I had a leisurely morning with cinnamon buns for breakfast.  We opened our two presents each and then got cracking getting everything ready for the dinner.

Turkey was in by 9:30, potatoes peeled, veggies ready etc. by noon.

The other “kids” arrived just after one and then the chaos started.  But GOOD chaos.  Karter loved his spiffy watch….can play games, take pictures and videos….which is what he did all afternoon.  He ran all over the place, inside and out,  doing play by play videos of what and who he was looking at.

My kids got me a wet/dry shop-vac!  I had seen one on sales where my son works, so he scooped it.  It got a workout both inside the house and in the garage yesterday.

Everyone else started arriving around 4:30.  More chaos when my SIL arrived…..she loves the kids and they love her….she’s lots of fun.

Bev made an excellent lazy cabbage roll casserole and everything else was pretty darn good too!  And there was lots of it.  Di made a decadent three layer cake, my brother made almond rocca squares and of course, a bit of wine and beer flowed over the course of the day.

Ken’s brother and his wife were here too, so there were 12 of us.   This was a good, fun Christmas…..kind of like the old days.  Lots of noise, lots of people, lots of laughter.

We played a game after dinner….kind of like Apples to Apples, but an adult version.  The kids headed downstairs to play and watch TV.  My son and DIL even stayed late playing the game.  The little ones fell a sleep and the oldest ended up having a sleep over.

I’m pooped today but will head out later to our friend open house to see the “Christmas friends” that we I only seen once a year or so…..last year was a bit of bust because so many of them didn’t show up!  I hope this year will be different.

It’s a lot of work doing dinner and having everyone over BUT it’s so worth it!  I loved every minute of it.   Only one thing would have made it better but of course that can’t be.   New Christmas memories are now in the making……

L.

I’m All Ready!

Yes, I am.  I’m all set….no last minute running around to do so will thoroughly enjoy my day.

Bread bowls are ready….just need a quick warming up.  The chowder is made and just needs warming up too….and it’s really good, if I do say so myself!

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I do have 4 presents left to wrap, which I’ll hopefully get done this afternoon as opposed to midnight tonight!  If that does happen it will be entirely my own fault.  It’s that procrastination thing…..the more time I have the more I waste….

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Just one of many great ones we seen…..one cul de sac had even wrapped lights around the streetlights, making them look like candy canes!

Had a great time last night looking at Christmas lights.  The weather even cooperated, sort of…..it pretty much had stopped raining/sleeting but was damn cold.  My brother and SIL, brought a blanket for me….very thoughtful….or they knew they’d have to listen to me complain about the cold….I really do NOT like being cold!

I wish I had put up some lights  this year….nothing to elaborate but a string around the door would have been nice.  Oh well….there is only so much I can do and putting up Christmas lights was NEVER MY JOB!  There are just some of those jobs that I can’t do, or don’t want to do and if it’s not a “do or die” one, it gets the lowest of low priority on my list.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas Eve with family and/or friends or even just by yourself…..watch a couple of those hokey Christmas movies, pour a nice glass of wine or whatever, put your feet up…..and be thankful for what you have and all the GOOD memories.

L.

Fun Busy Day

Lots of fun stuff to do today!

I don’t care about the mess in the garage, my laundry may get done and that “hoarder room” will still be there next week!

This morning I’m making my bread bowls for dinner tomorrow night and I might just make the clam chowder today….because it’ll taste even better tomorrow!

I didn’t buy too many presents this year, so I’ll get those wrapped this afternoon and tonight we’re doing our Christmas light tour.  It got postponed from last Sunday…..which after my somewhat extended visit to my SIL/BIL’s place was a good thing.  I hope the rain stops though, it’s much nicer if you can get out of the car at some of these lit up places and walk around.

Tomorrow night is Christmas Eve.  Another change.  For many, many years, like 30+ we celebrated it pretty quietly at home with our friends/neighbours, R & G.  But they moved a couple years ago…..downsizing and being closer to kids/grandkids.  So last year it was just my kids, Bev of course, and our other friends, N & S.  It’s never a late night, just the simple dinner that everyone contributes to and a couple of drinks, which was never a problem because everyone was just a walk away from home.  For years, even after all our kids were grown up, they’d all still come over or at least drop by at some point….even their friends would come by!

This year it’ll be just N & S and Bev and my daughter.  Next year it won’t even be N & S, because they too are moving…..ah sigh.   That’s OK though, this seems to be what happens as everyone gets older and since we can’t have those good old, fun days back, all we can do is remember them and enjoy those memories.  We have to accept these changes don’t we and move on….make new fun times…..which I will do!

L.

Happy Today

I think I’ve finally gotten into the Christmas spirit!  Better late than never, right?

Maybe because I’m somewhat organized.

All I’ve to go do is my grocery shopping for Christmas dinner.  The house is reasonably clean, which makes me feel a lot better…..now I just have to keep it that way.

I’ve also torn up/recycled all my “to do” lists.  Not that I don’t have anything that needs doing, but I’ve put it all on hold until after Christmas….and New Years.

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking…..which is always a dangerous thing for me…..about my kitchen project, what else I need to do around here, what I need to buy etc. etc.  I rather overwhelmed myself…..where to begin was the biggest problem.  What do I do first.  I just gave up!

I know I’ve done this before……and I know too it won’t last!  But for the time being I’m good….

Today I’m going to pick up a couple more gifts….easy stuff….and putting up the blinds in the garage and that is it!  Whatever else gets done will be whatever I feel like doing, if anything.

I’m glad I’m having a bigger group of people for dinner this year.  That makes me happy.  It’s always a little bit of chaos but that’s what makes it fun I think.

I was thinking about Christmas morning and how there will just be my daughter and me…..but that’s OK too…..it could be worse I guess if it were just me!  I made it through last year and I’ll make it through this one too.  We won’t do presents until the other kids arrive.  It’ll be like any other Christmas morning….getting the turkey stuffed and in the oven then getting the rest of the stuff ready and setting the table.  I’m looking forward to doing all that now.

After today we’ll see a minute or two more of daylight each day…..that really makes me happy! 

L.

 

Two Visits Yesterday!

I made it out to BIL/SIL’s safe and sound.  Had a great lunch, visit and tour of their new house, which is just lovely.  Left around 3:30 so I’d get past the scary road…..at least the road I wasn’t terribly familiar with….before it got dark.  I didn’t even make it to the highway, which is only 5 minutes away.  Traffic, of which there isn’t a lot, was backed up on their road and the highway.  Finally after about 15 minutes it became apparent that no one was going anywhere.  A looky-loo walked by and told everyone that the highway would be closed for at least another 2 hours!

A stolen car, that was being chased, went over the spike belt they’d put down and then gone flying off the road and down a bit of a cliff.  I couldn’t see much, except for a lot of vehicles with flashing lights, but that would not be a good spot to go over.

I called them and said I was heading back…..so I stayed for dinner too!  It was kind of like having two visits….now I’ve been there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner….the fact that it was all on the same day…oh well.

I left again around 7:30, this time in the dark.  It was a bit scary and not something I would do again.  I was fine until a car came up behind me…..and believe me there is NOT a lot of traffic along that part of the highway…..he wasn’t tailgating or anything but just having him there was bugging me.  I did think about pulling over but then started thinking stupid things…..like what if he pulled over too!  It’s a very long, dark stretch of highway and, well you know……

It took about 15 minutes to reach the town/city where the road turned into a two lane highway and there were lots of lights…..a big sigh of relief for me.

I did the drive, which was good.  And I was right, I sang and talked to myself on the way there.   On the way home I mostly cursed to myself…at least that first 15 minutes.

I’m glad I live where I live!  Not far from anything, lots of lights etc.  Having a nice, big,  new house would be lovely but I think I’ll just stick with my little, old,  messy place for now………

L.