No Rocks

Got totally sidetracked with something else and never did get out to get them yesterday afternoon.

The kitchen lady came and went in less than an hour, so I can’t even use her as an excuse!  That is all in the works now…..just waiting until next week for “Cliff” to come and do the measuring.  Still roughly 6 weeks to have it completed.  In the meantime I have to find a drywaller to fix the hole in the ceiling where the hanging light over the table was and the hole in the wall that was made to put the new plug in AND fix the rest of ceiling where we took out the oak lightbox about 4 years ago.  Then painting…..ceiling and walls…..more decisions to make about paint.  The ceiling will be white and I think I’ll try for the same colour on the walls, which I think was café au lait .

Today is the cleaning lady and lunch and Spite and Malice day at Bev’s.  I think we’ve only managed one other game day this month….she owes me 17 quarters so far.  We settle up at the end of each month…..definitely won’t get rich off of each other.  Toasted salmon sandwiches for lunch…..just a fun couple of hours and so nice to come home to a really clean, fresh smelling house.

They’ll be done by 1,  maybe I’ll head out to get the rocks then….we’ll see.  I really can  take this manana business to the extreme…..but other than having to look at that unfinished garden bed, it’s not too big of a deal.  Last night I moved the playhouse and slide to one side of my yard, where they will stay until I get rid of them.  The playhouse is heavy duty plastic and not terribly heavy but very awkward to move….or drag…. across the yard.  It started to literally come apart at the seams but I managed to get the sides/corners fitted back in…..maybe I should have let it fall apart which would have been a good excuse to get rid of it!

If I ever get this bed of hostas finished the next thing too tackle is that pile of rocks…..a good workout for my arms….the back though, I’m not so sure!!  I’ve gotten some good ideas from the Houzz website for my rock garden.  The only problem is that it’s like those recipes pictures that people post on facebook……what the finished produce SHOULD look like and what it REALLY looked like.  I’m going for rustic….which really means it’s far from perfect but hopefully looks OK.

L.

Good Workout!

And not too many aches and pains to show for it!

I managed to finish digging out my little bed, get the hostas planted (probably should have gotten a couple more…), added some nice new topsoil, got the tarpy stuff down and the area outlined in the bricks.  I threw a few of MY rocks down just to make the sure the tarp didn’t blow off……

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they will grow (I hope!!) In the meantime I can fill in the spaces with pots.

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I thought I wanted a walkway along the garage but I don’t really need it…..

A lot of bending over so thought I’d be feeling it in my legs and back this morning but so far so good.  It was the heat that started getting to me.   When I started out it wasn’t too hot but by noon it was smoking hot.  I took a bit of break while waiting for the sun to get around the corner of the house and shade my work area.  That made a bit difference….it was hard to see with sweat in my eyes!!

 

It looks a little pathetic right now but once I get the rocks down, it will look better but it’s going to be a year or two before it looks any good.  I’m hoping to get the rocks this afternoon after the kitchen lady leaves and then get them down tomorrow sometimes…..after the cleaning lady leaves!    Really though…..who in their right mind goes and buys rocks when they have a yard that is full of them?  I mean really full of them….when they did the excavation for the new garage there were a LOT of rocks.  Big ones, little ones and everything in between.  I have raked the grass time and time again, picking out what I can (so the grass guy doesn’t get killed or my windows broken by flying rocks) but I swear they are multiplying out there.  I have a bucket, or two, of them and could probably use some of them but they aren’t terribly nice rocks…they are just rocks.  I would like to get those nice flat, roundish river rocks, which are a little bigger and easier to find if they do get in the grass.

There is still the playhouse and slide out there.  I think the kids are too big for both now, so I might just put them out front and see if there are any takers.  The grass guy will be happy too I’m sure….he has to move them every time he comes.

Ken bought those for our granddaughter when she was just over a year old.  He went to Toys R Us to buy a little slide and came home with both…..probably would have came home with more if it would have fit in the car!

Cleaning day today for me……..the cleaning lady !

L.

An Outside Day!

Lots  to do out there…….

I bought my hostas over the weekend and did hope to get them planted yesterday but that was not to be.  The kids were here and helped….mostly played in the dirt…..get the bed ready to plant them.  Karter did really help, especially with pulling out weeds, tufts of grass and the raking.

Another nice day and so far not too hot so I going out right now to get them in.  I really don’t like doing stuff like this very much.  Back in the day I’d just pick out whatever and Ken would do the planting if it had to be done right in the ground….pots I can deal with.

I should have taken before and after pics but I don’t have my camera….these plants are going along the back of the garage….where once upon a time I thought I wanted a walkway.  I don’t really need one there and I think the plants will look a lot nicer.  I’ve got the bricks to line the bed and that tarp stuff that stops weeds from popping out.  I hope to get all this done today and tomorrow, after the kitchen lady comes, I’ll pick up some rocks to cover the tarp.  I’ll get a good workout getting the rocks put down!  At the landscape place you fill buckets and dump them in your truck….they charge by the bucket so it will be interesting to see just how this will work for me because there is no way I could lift one of those buckets full of rocks!!  I’ll check with them to see if they can do it, if not I hope 2 half buckets can equal one full one.  Then of course I have to deal with this when I get it all home……I can do it though.

The truck started right up this morning, which is a bonus because I’ve not been very good about going out and starting it up after it’s not been used for a week or so.  There is a fairly new battery in it, which seems to be hold the charge….

I have lots of things to do this week and since the weather is supposed to be great, I should be able to get it all done.  One thing I have to do for sure is clean the house…..or at least get it reasonably tidy because………..the cleaning lady is coming on Wednesday!!!  I know it doesn’t make sense but there are just some things that she shouldn’t have to do, like moving my clothes off the dresser to dust it.

Bev and I went out for dinner last night, which was really good.  Just to our local little diner/café type place.  It’s really more of a truck stop-ish café in an industrial area, but they have great food and it’s never too busy at dinner time.  We bitched about our kids!!!  Not really bitching I guess but venting about a few things.  I’m so glad we have each other to do this with because you do have to let it all out sometimes and there is no one else that I’d want to do that with other than Bev!!  We know each other very well and we KNOW each others kids too.  We’re very sympathetic and empathetic towards each other…..good shoulders to vent on!!

L.

 

Fun Sleepover

My granddaughter has spent the weekend with me.  It’s not often that I get one on one time with them, so it was very nice…..and quiet!

We went for Thai food on Friday night, which was something new for her.  Trying new stuff is good….she liked some of it but thought she could take it or leave it.  We watched movies and had popcorn and ate a lot of junk food…..something that only happens at grandmas, right?

She slept in the spare room by herself, which she wasn’t too sure of at first, and quite enjoyed it…..lots of room in that big bed AND the TV was right there when she woke up in the morning.

After breakfast yesterday we headed out to the nurseries to buy some plants for my backyard….and we also bought some bricks for edging…..44 of them.  Lunch was her choice (A&W).  We could sit and talk over our chicken fingers and onion rings and rootbeers, which isn’t something we get to do too often.

The day started out a little cool and cloudy but by the time we got home and unloaded all the bricks and plants the sun had come out and it had warmed up a lot.  We got the pots ready for her plants and decided that it was too hot to do anymore for the afternoon.   She wanted to have a little nap, which never really quite happened but she did have a couple of hours of quiet time in “her” room watching TV (I know not good but……) and I also had a couple of hours of quiet time too!

Our little talk at lunch made me a little sad…….it’s that terribly messy house/hoarding thing.  She doesn’t invite friends over to play because of it….that just about made me cry.  On Friday when I went to pick her up, I was met at the door with her and her little suitcase…..because “the other kids would cry” if I went in.  I don’t believe that for second…..this whole house issue upsets me to no end and I managed to get myself into quite the flap last night….at bedtime of course….and couldn’t sleep.

My son is away on his fishing trip having the time of his life, I hope, and I can’t say or do anything that is going to put a damper on that for him.  Biting my tongue is not one of my strong points but I will manage for his sake.

My DIL dropped the other two off this morning while she helps her sister move.  I so wanted to say……you need to go home and clean up and surprise your husband when he gets home…….her sister probably has more help than she needs so just not necessary to her to use up her energy doing that when it could be spent much better at her own home.

I really do think I’m going to have to get help…..for myself….for dealing with this but for today I’ll just enjoy the spending time with the grandkids…….

I so wish Ken were here on days like this…..I can only imagine what he’d be doing but I’m pretty sure one of the kids would be right on his tail trying to help…..

L.

 

Feast or Famine

That’s what it’s like around my house.

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Dinner two nights ago…..surf and turf fajitas (way too much of course!) and a Southwest slaw…..delicious!

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Dinner last night…..two poached eggs on toast (which I managed to over cook!!)

 

I would never starve to death of course, unless it was of my own making from sheer laziness when it comes to making something for myself.  It’s a good thing my daughter is here now….or maybe not.  What’s going to happen when she finds her own place….will I revert to my lazy way of cooking?  Or I guess I should say non-cooking.

You really have to be in the mood to make a half decent meal for yourself.  I am definitely better than I was at first but still have had many lazy type dinners…..a bowl of cereal, peanut butter and toast….or one of my favs, popcorn!!

Lunch is pretty much hopeless….unless I make sure I have some cheese and stash of crackers….maybe some fruit.  I find I shop very differently now than I used too….mainly just picking up what I need for dinner that night or the next and not really thinking about lunches or breakfasts.

I throw out a lot of bread!!  Or have a lot of baggies of breadcrumbs in the freezer for some day that I might need them for breading or topping something.  They should make half loaves!  In many places in Europe you can go into a bakery buy half a baguette or 6 inches or however much you want, or need.  I think that’s a very good idea.

I really do enjoy cooking but it’s all that work for just one person thing that stops me.  If it’s something like a casserole or soup, I try to make sure I’ve got enough to make two meals out of it, or can throw the leftovers in the freezer for another lazy day.

So now that she’s here we’re at least having good dinners most nights….and she tries to stick to a “weight watchers” plan, which is not a bad thing either.  It certainly makes you much  more aware of what you’re eating and how much!!  I found an excellent website with 30+ recipes for 7 points or less….some of them are really good.

My 7 yr old granddaughter is spending the weekend with us. Besides me enjoying having her here, it’s to give Mom a bit of a break.  My son is away for 4 days on a ‘fishing trip of a lifetime’ at one of our wonderful westcoast fishing resorts….and it’s all paid for by work!!

We’re going to do some planting in my backyard…..she’s bringing some of her seeds and flowers that she started.  I just hope the weather cooperates…..the forecast is saying sunny and warm all weekend…..

Last night my friend Bev became a Grandma!!  I’m so happy for her….so exciting.  Let the fun begin!  There is nothing better than watching your grandkids grow up…..except it happens all too fast.

L.

The Weather :(

I know I whine a lot about the weather……but really????

Yesterday was a quite nice, fairly bright and sunny with patchy clouds and warmish…..this morning is cold and pouring buckets!!

Karter’s preschool graduation was so cute.  A couple of great little skits, some songs and then the presentation of their diplomas.  The teacher said a few things about the kids, one of which was what they’d said they wanted to be when they grow up.  There were the usual firemen, policemen, a baker, a “stay at home” dad (lol), one little girl was going to be a doctor “like her Mommy” and my Karter….well he’s going to “run a museum”!!  Where he got that from I don’t know but he thoroughly enjoyed the couple weeks they learned about artists…..Vincent Van Gogh was his favorite.  I told him I would gladly come to his museum!

My friend Bev is just about a Grandma!  Her daughter is in labour and has been since last night…..she is waiting anxiously for that phone call.  The last she’d heard was a half hour ago and that things were coming along.  I’m so excited for her so I too am anxiously waiting for the phone call.

I am still waiting for one more quote for my kitchen but so far Home Depot is looking pretty good.  I really liked the lady that came out because she offered way more information than the other places and she spent way more time here.  One guy simply said it would be cheaper to do a whole new kitchen, which may be true but not what I was looking for.  I’m keeping my granite and backsplash because they weren’t cheap and I like them.  The customer service at some of these places really leaves a lot be desired.  I guess they are all busy enough that it’s not important anymore to be pleasant or in the case of place I went to, to put down your phone!!  Maybe I’m just getting old….ah sigh.

Tomorrow will be decision day!

L.

 

Graduation Day

For my grandson 🙂

He’ll start kindergarten in September….I can’t believe where the time has gone.  These little graduation parties are fun to go to.  They usually put on a little skit of some sort then they all get to walk up and across the stage to get their diplomas.  Ken would have really enjoyed these and as much as I love going to them, it really tugs a my heart to see other grandmas AND grandpas there taking pictures.  But that is life now……

Home Depot came yesterday, right on time.  The lady was great…..gave me some good ideas, had lots of before and after pics, samples etc.  I was a little worried about going white but she assured me that it would look great and blend right in with my décor (such as it is!).  The floors are dark hardwood, which is what I kind of thought I’d have to stick to for cabinets as well but she pointed out that my fireplace was white, the railings are white so all would flow well into a white kitchen.  Hooray, because that is what I wanted to hear….white will just brighten up that room so much.  We held up a bunch of the different samples that she’d brought to get an idea of what they’d look like.  She had initially suggested antique white but it looked yellowed or dirty to me.  The normal white looked really good, even with the beige backsplash tiles.   Initial estimate is within my budget, which is a good thing…..but doesn’t include the new cabinet which I hope won’t break my budget once I get the cost on that.  The size I want would have to be custom which will cost a bit more.  She said the guys that come and do the next measure/steps would be able to give me costs for both custom and standard out of the box sized cabinets, which might be OK, just not quite as big as I’d wanted.

The other cabinet place also came out, after I’d called them!!  “Oh, no problem, we can be out this afternoon”, she says….so if I hadn’t phoned would I still be waiting?  The guy did come out and told me I’d need all new uppers…cheaper to do that than to just reface (??) which is entirely possible.  The would have to “paint” the side panels…too costly to do the reface laminating etc. etc. etc……he couldn’t give me a rough estimate but did ask what my budget was.  They’ll email it to me, hopefully today so we’ll see then.  He was a nice guy but I don’t think I’d use them anyway……not terribly good customer service since I had to phone them to get them to come out and not impressed with the guy that I talked to in their office….a bit arrogant and not really very helpful when I asked about different cabinet styles and colours etc.  And this guy didn’t bring any sample with him…..

I’ll see what HD comes up with for a quote and as much as I said I wasn’t happy with them anymore the kitchen stuff is all contracted out of course, as is all the carpet installation.  I’ll get the name of the company, which is local, with the quote and then do some google research on them.

All this is just taking way too long…..both places said it could be done within 6 – 8 weeks, which seems like forever to me!!

L.

 

First Kitchen Estimate!

Home Depot is coming at 11 today.

Have heard nothing from the company that I prepaid the $50 to last week so this afternoon I’ll be heading over there to get a refund.  Not sure how reliable they’d be if they haven’t even bothered to call and set up an appointment.

Ah sigh…..one week and so little accomplished on this.  I still have to phone my nephew-in-law and see what he can come up with.  I’ll do that tonight.  I know he’ll at least show up to have a look!

Got an email from the neighbours mother letting us know about her husband passing away.  I did reply saying how sorry I was to hear that but at the same time it was a little hard to get over the gushing email about all the love etc.  I know I shouldn’t be so judgmental but…….regardless I know just how difficult a time this is whether it’s because you’ve lost someone you love or just all the upheaval that goes along with losing someone that’s been part of your life for a long time.  And who knows what their relationship was really like….maybe they enjoyed all that drama and bickering/fighting.

I’ll drop a card off this afternoon.  I will  tell her to call me if she wants just because……

Everything else is on hold around my house right now while I scrub….and scrub….my laundry room floor.  I’ve finally found a way to get the drywall dust off.  The floor is vinyl but looks, and almost feels, like wood.  That stuff was embedded in the grains of the floor and even after washing it 100 times is still showing.  I am using the long handled brush that is for washing the car!  I tried another bristle type brush, which left marks of it’s own.  This one is a bit softer and seems to be doing the trick.  I have to get the floor fairly wet and let it sit for a few minutes then scrub, scrub and scrub.  It seems to be working on what I managed to get done yesterday.  Today I’ll have to move everything, one thing at a time (dryer, washer, wine fridge etc.) so not just a quick little floor wash.  I’ve gone over it all with the mop a few times and the amount of that dust/dirt that still washes out of it is amazing.  That stuff is horrid….I really thought my floor was wrecked but looks like there is still the possibility that I can get it back to looking good again.

Off to move stuff….I should be off to the gym but I think this will be a good enough workout for today.

L.

A Good Father’s Day

Went to my grandsons lacrosse game and stayed for a bit while they had their little wind-up party.  They still have two more games next weekend and that’s it for the year.  They definitely improved over the season and next year, being one year older, I’m sure the games will be a little more exciting.  They’ve got their passing down pat but the catching, well….that needs a bit more work.

Some shopping and then dinner at my place made for a great day.  We BBQ’d some steaks and chicken in the sunshine!!

Last night my neighbor let me know that another neighbours husband had passed away yesterday morning.  How sad.  He had definitely had some major health issues over the last few years but I don’t think this was expected.

This is the neighbor that I posted about a year or so ago….they had this love/hate relationship.  She is quite the drama queen…..one minute she hates him with a passion and the next she’d be going on about how wonderful he was.  She was also the one that said to me, one day only a couple of months after Ken passed away, “you don’t know how lucky you are”, much to the anger of another neighbor I was standing there with.  But they’d had some sort of an argument that morning and it was one of those days that she hated him…..she was so angry I’m pretty sure she didn’t even realize what she was saying.

I had often wondered what would happen if and when she lost him.  Not sure I’ll ever really know as I don’t see her that much.  She’s lucky in that she has a very close-knit family, many of whom are local and she has a lot of friends from work that she kept in touch with after she retired last year.  Today I wonder if she’s filled with guilt about all the things she’s said and done over the years….or is she even more angry with him than usual for dying?

I was going to go over today with a card and just let her know that I understand and if she needs someone to talk too to feel free to come over anytime…..or maybe not.  I might wait until tomorrow to do this.  I’m sure she’s got a great support network, which is good and I’m not sure I can deal with “drama” anyway.  Or maybe she really did hate him as much as she often said she did….then what?  I think I’ll just drop off a card and leave it at that……

L.

“Jun-uary”

That is what we’re having here.  I think it was a couple of years ago we also had a “Junuary” instead of a June!

We did have 2 reasonably nice warm days and now we’re back to clouds and a few showers for the weekend……so glad I’m not working!  I remember just barely getting through a workday week of nice weather anticipating the weekend of sun and fun, only to wake up Saturday morning to a cool, cloudy and often showery day.  Definitely one of the benefits of retirement being able to enjoy the nice days regardless of what day of the week they, or lately in our case, IT might fall on…..

My hanging basket was very happy yesterday in the sun!  The first day that I haven’t had to pick slimy dead flowers off of it.  With the cool, wet weather it’s being attacked by aphids, white flies, black flies and who knows what else.  I’ve sprayed it a couple of times with the “insecticide soap” which I think is pretty useless now that we can’t buy any of the nasty insecticides that used to work…..I guess that’s not such a bad thing for the environment but not so good for hanging baskets!  Someone suggested getting ladybugs….they eat the aphids but not sure just how I’d make them STAY on MY plant…..hmmmm.

Today is a fundraiser shredding day at my bank.  They have a salmon BBQ (probably in the rain this afternoon….) and for a few bucks you can get rid of all that paper and have lunch!  I have to bags full that I’ve slowly been working my way through.  I had set up a “shredding station” in my garage and would do a bit every couple of days or so but now that my daughters stuff has taken over, it’s a bit of an obstacle course just to get to it.  Getting rid of the lot of it today will be good….and I can then hopefully keep on top of it from now on!!

Yesterday I collected more stuff to take to the shredding event….Ken kept receipts, pay stubs, bits of paper with notes, coins etc. in his night table drawer.  A lot of it could just get thrown in the recycle bin, but a lot of it needs to be shredded because of social insurance numbers and other bits of personal information.  There was not just one night table but two…..the one from our old bedroom suite that we replaced about 8 years ago.  That one had found it’s way into the spare room (AKA hoarder room!) and hadn’t been touched for eons.  It was full of all the same type of stuff only years older.  It was interesting going through all the bits and pieces of paper.  I even found ATM receipts from our trip to Turkey back in 2009!!  Lots of little notes that he’d made with peoples phone numbers or the product number of something that we either bought or he was thinking of buying…..the receipt for my wine fridge (Christmas present 8 or 9 years ago) and the picture of it that he’d clipped out of a flyer from Home Depot!

There were resumes that he’d had done when he was out of work 10 years ago and all the employment wanted ads from the paper (back in the day before the internet that is where you searched for a job) that he’d applied too.  He had cut them out and taped or paper clipped them to another piece of paper with the dates that he’d either gone in to their office or mailed off the resume.  Each notes with his follow up information etc.

I’m glad I waited over two years to do this…..seeing his handwriting on some of it was a  little hard to get over…..and to just throw it away or shred it seemed like throwing just a little bit more of him away…..like those old “car jackets”.  But being realistic and practical overrode the emotional thing.  I have a lot of cards that I’ve kept, which mean a lot more than little notes on bits of paper.

The dates on the receipts kind of told a story too…..there were a lot of them for before 2010 and after that, fewer and fewer.  Lots of gas ones when he used to still head out every day, then not so many come late 2012 when he’d only go out if he had too.  Interesting and made me think about a lot of things, along with a tear or two.

I still have a huge accordion file full of his medical records……maybe I’ll save those for next years shredding day.  They are of no value now and when I have read back through them, some of them make me angry depending on which Dr it was we’d seen and what he said in his notes…..I don’t need this now….angry isn’t good and it doesn’t change a thing does it…..other than getting me riled up for nothing!

My daughter was going out last night so dinner was going to be cereal or a bag of chips (and a glass of wine!). I knew my friend Bev had a bit of a rough day so I thought I’d call her on the off chance that she hadn’t had dinner yet (6:30!) or was also having a cereal type dinner night too.  She hadn’t, hooray!  But she was in no mood to go out either and her doggie needed his walk so I went to one of our favorite Chinese places and picked up two “Combo C1’s (rice, chow mein and sweet and sour…..), took them to her place and played a couple of games of Spite and Malice.  Turned into a fun evening….I think I won both games and she now owes me 17 quarters!

After shredding I’m off to my grandsons lacrosse tournament.  I’ll only catch one game today and one tomorrow.  They’re still pretty little (4 and 5 years old) so not a lot of excitement yet but they are getting better and just a lot of fun to watch.  There are a couple of little guys that had to have been born with lacrosse sticks in their hands…..they run circles around the other ones.

L.