Quiet New Years Eve

No plans for tonight….and I’m OK with that.

A few years ago it would have really bugged me to sit home doing nothing on New Years Eve but now I’m kind of looking forward to it.  Is this just an age thing or is it because things are so different now?  Don’t know and I guess it really doesn’t matter because that is just how it is.

Everyone is a bit scattered so getting together isn’t as easy as it used to be.  I do miss those days sometimes but at the same time I enjoy the quiet and not having to do all the planning.

It’s very foggy here this morning.  Temps are hovering around zero and will stay like that for most of the day until this evening when we’re going to see more snow.

I’ve had a couple of really lazy days and today won’t really be too much different other than heading out to pick up a few groceries and some wine….would be terrible to get snowed in and not have any of that!!

Tomorrow I’ll start to put Christmas away for another year.  It all just seemed to come and go so quickly.  It’ll be nice to get everything back to normal and get back into some kind of routine….kind of like when the kids went back to school.  I’ve dealt with the last of the turkey……soup to finish the last bit, two containers of stock in the freezer for another day, two small containers of cranberry sauce for the freezer too, turkey pot pie made and gone.  What a good deal turkeys are!  You really get your moneys worth out of them…..freezer full of stuff so they kind of go on giving for months after.

Next week I can start to do more planning for our holiday in June.  I wouldn’t mind escaping to somewhere in February….where and with who I don’t know but I’ll put some feelers out there……Hawaii?  Mexico maybe…..I haven’t been to an all-inclusive for years and a week of two of sun and beach would be a very nice thing…..hmmm.  Of course that type of vacation would mean I’d have to wear a bathing suit which is a bit scary….I have to start going back to the gym anyway to get in shape for the trip in June so starting right away in the new year is probably a good idea.  Should I make a new years resolution to do that?  I never make them because I have never, ever kept them when I did make them.  I certainly have time now so I should have any excuses…..I am good at finding them though.

This year was such a mix of good and bad.  A couple of great trips but then losing 3 friends, and all so close together, was tough.  But that is life I guess…..it puts everything into perspective for you too…..enjoy what you have while you have it!!

I hope everyone has a great evening doing whatever you’ve decided to do….send this year off and welcome the new one that will hopefully be filled with great things and wonderful adventures.

L.

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Awesome Concert!

Burton Cummings is so, so good!  He’s going to be 69 yrs old tomorrow and still have so much energy…..his show was over two hours with no breaks and I swear he never stopped moving the whole time.  He sang a lot of golden oldies….all very nostalgic.  I remember back in the late 60’s in high school, the Guess Who were just starting out, they played at an lunch time “sock hop”…..cost 25 cents to get in!!  Last night cost $100!!

The crowd was mostly old folks, like me, with a few younger ones thrown in here and there, like my daughter who appreciates good music and someone’s incredible musical talent….he played the piano, or course, the guitar, the flute and who knows what else can play that he didn’t.

My daughter said it was better than the concerts she normally goes too!!  Lots of yelling, clapping, hooting, people dancing, just a lot of fun.  Who knew there were so many men out there with long grey pony tails???  Some ladies dressed to the nines for a girls night out or ???  Along with the concert came some great people watching…..and wondering!!

After the concert, which was at the Hard Rock Theatre in the casino, I quickly lost $20 in a slot machine…..so the night really cost $120 but it was a lot of fun.

I’m so ready to take Christmas down…..but that doesn’t happen until after New Years, which won’t be any too exciting.  Was going to head over to Sechelt to my friends but the weather is just too unpredictable right now and as much as I love it over there I wouldn’t want to get stuck there.  My daughter doesn’t have any big plans either so maybe we’ll do another movie marathon (last year it was Harry Potter!), appies and the bottle of bubbly that I have.

After today, which is lovely and sunny but chilly, the temps are dropping again with more snow in the forecast…..argh.  I am soooooo ready to see the end of this cold….and the snow too!  Spring can’t come soon enough.

Maybe a nice walk on the dyke this afternoon would be good…the mountains are just beautiful….Bev?

L.

Yesterday Was My Birthday

Another year older and wiser, I think!

A fun busy day which started with having to renew my drivers license….can’t believe 5 years has gone by that quickly!  Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do this…and after their offices being closed for extra days over Christmas it was just a tad busy.  My own fault of course….I could have done this weeks ago but that is just how I am.

Lunch and a pedicure treat from Bev and a bit of shopping after made for a full, fun afternoon.  Chinese buffet for dinner, then back home to watch a movie and scratch all my birthday present lottery tickets.  So far I haven’t won any fortune, only a couple of free tickets, but I still have one more big one to do this morning….maybe that’s the big winner!  If not, oh well….it’s fun scratching them and I haven’t done this for eons.

It’s warmed up now (5-6C or 40ishF) with rain, rain and more rain.  Not quite enough to wash away all the snow but enough to make everything mushy and really messy.  Another cold front is coming our way in a few days, not too sure just how much more snow is expected…..not much I hope.

I AM READY FOR SPRING AND SUMMER NOW…..this cold, snow, rain etc. can just all go away now….Christmas is over, move on…….shooo.

I’m off to the dentist this afternoon for the first of a couple appointments to see just how many crowns I really do need…..not looking forward to it at all.  At least it’s the “new” way to have crowns done…..no more molds and temporary crowns and waiting for a week or two  https://www.animated-teeth.com/dental_crowns/in-one-hour-dental-crown.htm  I’ve had two done this way…..mostly because I’m a gagger and could never deal with the molding clay or whatever it is that they have to do for conventional crowns.  This appointment is for him to decide whether I need that third crown…..if so, I might as well have it dealt with at the same time.

Tonight I’m off the see Burton Cummings with my daughter.  Should be a great concert….seen him quite a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  He was one of Ken’s favs….

L.

A Great Christmas

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Christmas Eve….all in their matching jammies.

The kids spoiled me as usual.  They come up with some great gift ideas…..they tell me I’m easy to shop for!

 

My daughter got me a great clothes basket, which was filled to the brim with little wrapped presents….mostly food!  What a great idea….it’s all the stuff I like to snack on and some spiffy gloves with thingies on the finger tips so you can use your phone.  We went to my sons for presents and breakfast, which was delicious….lots of bacon!!They got me a pair of gold earrings, which I’ve been looking for for eons….they’re perfect!  And of course a bunch of other things and pictures of the kids.

A fun morning at the kids…..with all their new goodies!

Dinner here was really good.  My brother and SIL, my daughter and Bev.  Just the 5 of us. We played a game after, which was lots of fun.

We had a white Christmas, it didn’t snow during the day but there is lots on the ground.  It was beautiful sunny day…a bit chilly but so, so nice.

As I was getting everything ready and stuffing the turkey I started to think about who would do this when I don’t, or can’t???  Years ago, when I got my new camera, I decided I would take pictures as I went through the whole exercise then put them all together with all the steps written out.  I have the pictures but I’ve never written anything down.  One day…..I’ll add that to my big “to do” list.

I really enjoy making Christmas dinner.  I love the smell in the house and all the work that goes into it and to me the more people the merrier it all is.  Although I’ve also enjoyed those couple years where there are only 5 of us.  I think the last time I didn’t do Christmas dinner was 2010.

Yesterday I was supposed to go to our friends place for Boxing Day…..we always did that, I’ve done it the last couple of years myself.  This year the weather just wasn’t cooperating…..more snow pretty well all day before it turned to rain around dinner time.  The main roads were pretty good but just too scary taking any chances on the side roads, so many which still have sheets of ice hiding under the new snow.  When I’d ventured out earlier I came to a couple of corners where my ABS (???) brakes kicked in.  I think this was probably only the 3rd open house at Rob’s that we/I have not gone too in 40 years!!  Next year…..

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Yesterday morning…..at one point it was coming down so heavy I could hardly see across the street!!

 

The snow plow came through the cul de sac yesterday afternoon…..about 5 times!!  Totally messed up the plowing that had been done last week which was working out fine for everyone.  The first guy sort of plowed all around the edges, blocking everyones driveway in but was easy enough to get that shoveled out.  We sort of had this roundabout thing happening in the middle of the cul de sac where all the snow had been piled up.  It was all clear and plowed around the edges so everyone could easily get out of their driveways and the cds.  Everyone had also dug out a trench to the drains so all the melting snow wasn’t backing up in front of our houses….it all had worked great.  Until yesterday!!  This guy comes in and of course plowed all the snow in front of the driveways, which I know they can’t really do anything about….I get that!  But he also plowed away our little roundabout.  Instead of plowing it to the side of the cul de sac where there is no house….ie across from my house it’s a side yard so no driveway….he plowed all that snow in front of my house and the house next door!!  Both of us had gone out there and tried to tell the guy to move the snow to the other side of the street because we’d already chipped out inches of ice to clear the drains…..he got out of the truck and basically told us he had no choice because that is the way the plow goes……argh.  And to make matters worse, after about the 5th time of going back and forth piling up all this snow, he drove over it, packing it down solid.  My neighbor and my daughter and I were out there for over and hour trying to get it all cleared because the melting snow was already working it’s way up the driveway.  The guy was young, probably not experienced and certainly not very bright!!  There was absolutely no need to do what he did.  Rant over!

Today is soup day and dealing with all the leftovers…..not sure yet what I’ll do with them all.  Probably a turkey pot pie, which I might just freeze for another day see we had leftovers yesterday.  It’s another beautiful sunny day and warming up a bit.  It can do that …..Christmas is over, it was white and all was perfect, we couldn’t have asked for anything more…..now all this cold, snowy weather can just go away……I’m ready for Spring!

L.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I hope your day will be spent with family and friends making wonderful new memories for years to come but also with some time spent reflecting back on the old memories that will be cherished forever.

L.

All Ready!

Of course I don’t really have any choice…..there is no time left to not be ready!!

Tonight dinner is French Onion Soup and lots of little nibbly things like chicken wings (2 kinds), pork bites, cheese, pepperoni etc.

My DIL is a no gluten/no dairy person so the big challenge this week was to find a good no dairy cheese to put on her soup.

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I hope this one melts OK.  They are after all cheese slices so would assume you would use them on grilled cheese sandwiches…..we will see!  No problem finding gluten free bread….for a price.  This cheese was not cheap ($8!!) either so I hope it does work OK.  If so she can take it and the bread home with her.

Off for a walk this morning in the sun.  It snowed just about all day yesterday….on and off mixed with rain in the morning then just plain old snow.  Luckily not much accumulated but the driveway will still need to be shoveled.  This morning it’s cold so everything has frozen solid and will be a bit of a mess to walk around but oh well….have to get out and enjoy the sun while we have it.

All the presents are wrapped and under the tree…..should probably put them somewhere else since we’ll be taking them over to the kids place tomorrow morning where we’ll have breakfast.  I’ll be up early getting the turkey stuffed and in the oven…..I just love that part of Christmas morning!

L.

So Much Fun!

Last night with the “old” girlfriends was a lot of fun.  Husbands were all there too so nice to see a couple of those guys that I hadn’t seen for eons.

Heidi’s husband was there too of course…..he’s doing OK, just dealing with everything day by day.  Christmas is so hard, especially that first one.  He’ll celebrate it with her brother and his family, which is what they’d always done.

After dinner all the girls went down stairs where one of the friends that had helped clean up and get rid of Heidi’s stuff had put together treasure bags for everyone.  Linda found some things that she thought were worth sharing with everyone…..she’d even wrapped them all!

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Everyone got a leopard mug and journals….I got the cat dishes and salt and pepper shakers.

My friend I’m afraid was a bit of a shopaholic and hoarder….she loved lots of bling!  Probably a little bit of depression….her husband is beating himself up now about not pushing her a little more to get some help.  Just so sad that Heidi wasn’t there and it made me even sadder that I’d missed so many of the things that had gone on over the years for one reason or another.  Lots of time to make up but unfortunately a little too late now that we’ve lost two people…..you can’t go back and redo what was done all I can do is move on and hopefully make up for all that lost time with the rest of them.

 

Dinner was lovely…..two big roasts done on the BBQ with all the goodies that go alone with it.  My butter tart squares didn’t quite turn out the way they should have….the bottom crust didn’t really crust….not sure what happened, maybe the butter alternative stuff was too soft???  img_1480  The top part was really good…..how can 3 cups of brown sugar not be!!  I took some of them along even though they were a mess, not so much for everyone to eat, but to find out from Linda, who is the no gluten/no dairy person, why the bottom turned out the way it did.  She said it’s just tricky and takes a lot of practice to get the right consistency or combination of ingredients.  That said, the whole plate of them got eaten so they couldn’t have been too bad.

The overnight with my grandson was lots of fun.  He’s such a good little guy when his sisters aren’t around.  After dinner we had hot chocolate, popcorn and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…..his parents probably wouldn’t have let him watch it but what happens at Grandmas house…….and he really enjoyed it!!  A bit of a late night for him….almost 10 by the time I tucked him in.  When he got up in the morning he quietly closed his door, turned the TV on and watched cartoons for an hour before he decided he needed breakfast.  That worked out perfect for me because I had time to have my coffee!

Today is laundry and house cleaning day and for the first time in years I’m making homemade cranberry sauce!  I don’t have to go anywhere.  Tomorrow I’ll have to run out and pick up buns and some non dairy cheese, which I found at our new little market…..that’s it!  Christmas eve dinner is going to be French Onion soup and chicken wings.  The cheese is for my DIL’s soup…..it supposedly will melt OK but I guess we’ll see.

L.

Writing, Reading…..

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Beautiful huge Christmas tree in the lobby of the theatre where the readings were held. It was at least 20′ tall.

Fun evening!  Something different for sure.  I’d never gone to “An Evening of Christmas Readings”.  There were 8 different authors, some very good and some just not my style of reading.  A couple of them had had their short stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, one was working on her third book in her detective series and a couple more read excerpts from their memoirs.  Having a life interesting enough to write about would be kind of neat….in retrospect, perhaps not at the time it’s happening as was the case for one of the authors.

I’d have to really embellish mine a lot to make it interesting enough for anyone to want to read about it!

I won one of the door prizes!  It’s a journal…..very pretty and made me think of India…..which is on my bucket list.

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Very pretty journal……so Indian-ish! And so sideways…..not sure why that happens sometimes…cannot rotate for whatever reason.

I finished ALL of my shopping yesterday!  I finally managed to find a mirror for my little granddaughter…..she loves looking at herself lol.  She’s stand in front of windows or mirrors making faces, dancing or spinning around when she’s got a pretty dress on.

The mall was a zoo…..drove around for so long looking for a parking spot that I just about left.  As it turned out I only bought one thing there, which I could have gotten any number of other places, and one thing for me!!  Another new sweater….I needed that like a hole in the head!

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Piles of snow……one of the parking lots that I visited yesterday that had been well plowed. 

A lot of the parking lots were a mess.  Some of them had been plowed overnight while no cars were parked but many others hadn’t.  Slush, huge puddles inches deep, some still really icy patches and mounds of snow you had to climb over to get to the sidewalks….it would look much nicer if got just a wee bit more snow to cover it!

After the mall I went to IKEA…..one of my last resorts for a kiddie type mirror.  I thought I was a little crazy but it wasn’t busy at all!  No problem finding a parking spot, no line ups at the cashiers…..I don’t think I’ve ever seen it like that at any time of the year!  But no mirror.  One more stop at a home decorating place around the corner and there it was!!  It’s hot pink and will match the colours in her bedroom.

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Today my grandson is coming over and will stay for a sleepover.  It’s his turn and Mom needs a bit of a break with the 3 of them home.  Him and his older sister seem to have some trouble getting along these days.  He’s so good when he’s on his own……they all are. As much as I enjoy having them all here, one on one is better for them and for me…..can do what they want to do as opposed to all of them wanting to do different things at the same time!

I’m baking today so Karter can help with cookies…..assuming I get that far.  I’m making a gluten/dairy free dessert (Butter Tart squares) for the old girlfriends dinner tomorrow night.  I told Linda I was up to the challenge of making a dessert like this…..she is a gluten/dairy free person.  This is a no fail recipe that I used to make years ago…..with regular flour, it’s adaptable using rice flour and xantham gum, which I’ve never used in my life.  First off I’m not much of a baker, ever…..and using these ingredients is really going to test my ability at baking.  If it doesn’t turn out, I can stop and get something at the store/bakery on the way to her place tomorrow!!  We will see!

L.

 

 

Sun!

And it’s down right warm today compared to the last couple of weeks….up to 7C (45F).  Other than mucky mess side roads and mall parking lots, it’s not been any problem getting around.

When I got home yesterday one of the neighbours was digging out my driveway because the snowplow had came by and blocked it in.  How nice was that!  I got out there and dug a trench to the drain so I wouldn’t end up with a flood at the end of my driveway.  I had to use three different shovels to dig and chip away at the ice on the bottom of the snow piles.  It’s so pretty but such a mess!

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Managed to get most of my shopping done yesterday….hooray!  A few more things to pick up today and that is it!!

My friend Brenda, who lost her husband in October, lost her sister today.  She’d been very ill for many years with multiple myeloma.  A very tough lady but the horrid disease got ahead of her.  Poor Brenda, such a tough year.

Nine years ago today my Mom passed away.  Hard to believe that much time has gone by.  So difficult losing someone any time but when it’s at Christmas it seems even harder.  My Mom loved Christmas so we made sure we celebrated it with all the fun and flare that she would have enjoyed.

Tonight I’m off to a writers group Christmas reading with my daughter and SIL. They’re all local writers so I’m looking forward to it…..and they’ll have wine!!

L.

 

 

Back To Rain

It’s going to take a while though for the snow to disappear.  There is almost a foot of it on my deck!!  It snowed all day and until late last night….probably around midnight when it changed to rain.

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It did look pretty nice yesterday so I’ll be sorry to see it all turn to a mushy mess over the next couple of days.

My cassoulet turned out really good!  Definitely a make again dish.  Duck/goose fat probably would have made it even better but the pork fat worked fine.

The beans and all the meat ready to go into the pot.

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The vegetables just about ready…..

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And the final dish…..which I forgot to take a picture of BEFORE we dug into it.  A good hearty meal for a snowy day!

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It DID look really good with the chicken and sausages, nicely browned, sitting on the top.

 

I only used a tablespoon of the fat initially to brown all the meat, then you drain all that’s left after, so really not that much in this dish at all…..I’m sure likely more than you should have but per serving it’s probably not too bad.

I’m supposed to go into work today to do office stuff….nothing that HAS to be done today so I may just pass…..I have a lot I can be doing around here and getting my shopping finished once and for all.  There are also a lot of renos going on in the office so not sure if I’ll even have a computer or phone to use.  This project can wait, I think, until the new year…..most places will be too busy right now to deal with getting their invoices changed to electronic.  They’ve been wanting to do this for months so a couple more weeks hopefully won’t make too much difference.  And all their customers can start fresh in January with the new email billings…

L.