Softball Success!

The good news is that I can catch the ball!  And throw it too!

According to my softball friend I’ll do just fine with this league.  All seniors….you have to be at least 55…..even a couple that are 80.  I’ll do a few more practices before I get out there on the 24th of April.  It’s one day a week, Monday 10 – 12.  I can handle that….and even better, this is a fairweather league, so no rainy days to have to worry about.

Seen I’m not so good a going to the gym on a regular basis, this will get me out and active at least one day a week.  Hoping for good enough weather to get out and go for a bike ride one, or maybe even two, afternoons too.  And then there is tennis…..

I have to make sure that I have one day a week to work on my yard.  All that said, none of the sporty type activities that I have on my “to do” list take all day so in theory I could do both on any of the days.  We’ll see how this all works out.  I have all these great plans but……..

Today I’m off to my BIL/SIL for dinner and sleepover.  We (Ken’s brothers/wives) are finally getting together for dinner.  We’ve tried to get something organized since before Christmas and this is the best we could do……but we’re doing it.  I’m hoping it will be a lot of fun…..something I learned, since losing Ken, is just how much the family dynamic changed, so might be a bit interesting.  I know dinner will be good and we’ll have wine…..what could possibly not be good about that!

Sunday is birthday day for my grandkids.  My brother and his wife are off on their great European adventure in a couple of weeks and will be away for two of the birthdays so I’ll have everyone….including Bev, of course,  over for dinner to celebrate all three of them.  I’m going to do some of the salmon and halibut that my son caught on his fishing trip last fall.  I’ll have an hour and a half drive home tomorrow to think about how I’ll do them and what else I’ll have.  Bev….if she recovers, poor thing had a nasty cold, eye issues etc… making dessert.

It’s a good day for a long drive… myself!  I’ve learned to keep myself occupied on these longer drives… is good until you get so far out that you lose the signal….then there are eagles, tons of them out that way.  Trying to count them in the trees is a good past time.  I also have my Italian CD that I could put in…..I need to brush up on that and it’s a good thing to listen to when you’re by yourself in the car… one else to hear you butcher the words.

Doing stuff like this is much easier now…..partly because I don’t have a choice and I’m finally getting used to doing it.  Those first few long drives, alone, out that way or to other friends places were not something I looked forward too…..but I’m good now because I’ve done it often enough. It was a bit of challenge to start I must say….I definitely thought twice about doing it a second time but I’m glad I did.



Great Play!

Angels in America

I was a little worried that it might be morbid or depressing but it was exactly the opposite!  Excellent play and we’ll definitely be going to part 2 when it comes here in September.  The play was 3.5 hours with 2 intermissions!!  The time went quickly because you got so caught up in everything that was going on.  Roy Cohen, one of the main characters had an incredibly interesting and checkered past  I’d seen a documentary a few years ago about AIDS in America during this period and he was mentioned in it but I had really had no idea who he was……I’m sure there’s a good book out there to read about him.  I didn’t see the movie but Brenda had and said it was excellent….Al Pacino played him in it.

After the play we had an early dinner and headed to MEC to find some biking pants….how depressing was that???  Didn’t find any that didn’t cost a bloody fortune but did find a couple of cute tops…..which did NOT fit….even the large!!!  I felt like Petunia Pig……I wanted to think that it was just their sizing but I know that is not the case.  I felt like this a couple of weeks ago when I went looking for some new jeans and capris for my trip.  So what should I do……go to the gym at least every second day.  I started out a couple of months ago doing really good at that but fell off the wagon and manage to only go once or twice a week if that….no one to blame but myself and no use whining and complaining that nothing fits if I’m not going to do something about it!

I do like to tell myself that it’s just a winter thing……all that fat/flab/rolls etc. will just fall off once the weather is better and I can get outside…..but I think I may be beyond that point.  I have really let myself go all winter and will now pay for it big time.  I never used to have this problem….I mean I was never a skinny mini but I was also never overly “fluffy” either….age!!!  It has to be age…..and since I can’t get any younger, I’d better get cracking on getting into some sort of better shape or I may never go clothes shopping again!

After a few horrid rainy, dark, grey, dull days it’s sunny this morning…..not that beautiful clear blue sky sunny but sunny enough that it’s a real treat after those rainy days.  Supposed to meet a friend for lunch today and toss the softball around.  Part of me hope that it starts to rain again….soon and part of me is kind of looking forward to it but we’ll just play it by ear until later this morning.  Lunch I can handle for sure.

I’m going to the gym this morning…….



Rain, Rain and More Rain….

Ah sigh…..just so not good for ones state of mind!

A rain warning has been issued for today until tomorrow afternoon… much more can it possibly rain?  It was nice…or turned out nice last Thursday afternoon and Saturday too was OK until it started raining again in the evening.

Brenda and I had a bit of chat last week about that stage of grief where you kind of hit a brick wall.  You think you’ve managed just fine for months…..all that busy stuff that you need to do those first few weeks.  Then you kind of get that burst of energy to get everything and anything done in your life, around your house etc.  You go and go like crazy then one morning you wake up and think “I just can’t do this!”

And you know what… don’t have to do it!  Have a day or two of your own pity parties…..go back to bed and pull the covers over your head….sleep is good.  The big challenge is when you wake up!  Hopefully that weeping, that sleep, that rest has managed to push your reset button.  For me it usually did.  You have those little self chats about what you can and cannot change or do…’s easy if you’re being positive, when there is no one to tell you otherwise, to get up and start over again.  You tell yourself that there is no going back… is what it is….you can’t change a damn thing no matter how much you dwell on it…..move on!!  Acceptance is key……that was one of the hardest things those first couple of months… it was all a bad dream.  Once I accepted that fact that this was my new life…another stage of the new normal….there is no other direction to go but forward and how you do that is all in your own hands.

I’m past that stage now…..more or less anyway.  I still have those days, not as many of course, but I do still feel sorry for myself every now and again but I’ve learned from experience that doing that is really of no value.

It’s been 5 months for Brenda.  She has been incredible at managing everything…..very level headed and realistic.  She’s also started yoga and meditating, which is great.  That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier but it keeps you from setting the bar too high like you do those first few months.  I don’t know why we do that….is it that we try to cover up our grief like….out of sight out of mind?  Are we trying to prove something to everyone or ourselves….we can do whatever because we don’t want to rely of others.

That first year is really tricky emotionally…..which is why it makes sense not to try to make any major life changing decisions.  You’re just all over the place….one day you’re sure you’ll do this…..the next day it’s no way, what was I thinking.

This trip will be good for Brenda…..she thinks so too.  Getting away from it all but being the first one without her husband it’s not easy but it sort of breaks the ice for moving forward.  There are going to be the 4 of us…all good friends….so some comfort in that for her.  I found the hardest thing on my first trip being a tour is that you are not with a bunch of people you know….it’s those first few days where everyone is getting to know each other……lots of questions ie.  “does your husband not travel?”  That first time you tell some stranger that you husband passed away 6 months ago is really hard…’re saying those words but……they will say “oh, I’m so sorry”, other will ask what happened etc.  It was good to answer those questions though…..not too many of course and ones that were within reason…..because you will get asked them again and again over time so better to get used to being asked than just ignoring it.

Our trip is just 2 months away……one hotel left to book and our trains, which we can finally start to book now (less than 90 days out from our train travel dates).

Tomorrow we’re going to a play in the afternoon and will stop at MEC to look for stuff for our holiday…..I need a light jacket and we’re both going to have a look at pants for the biking part of our trip…..maybe the ones with the cushioned bums!!  Shoes are another thing that I wouldn’t mind getting….but we’ll see.  They have great practical stuff (not cheap though….) in that store and it’s easy to get carried away.

Today, rain or rain or more rain……I am cleaning my deck off.  I want to get the new stuff up there to make sure it’s all going to fit the way I’ve envisioned it.  It’s not going to stop the rain but just putting some effort into getting ready for spring/summer will help.



New Patio Furniture…

Is in and ready for pick up!  I’ll head out this morning to get it.  Unfortunately it’s going to have to sit in the garage for a few days until I get the other stuff down from the deck and do a bit of clean up out there.  The weather today is looking good so far so I hope I can get most of it done.

I have to get the new stuff up there to make sure it all fits as I thought it would….if not the loveseat will go back and I’ll go with the original plan of two chairs.

I was supposed to go for lunch today with my baseball friend….the plan was to throw a few balls first.  The weather is good so it would have been nice to do that BUT…..I cannot find a mitt/glove!!!  Not quite true…..I could buy a new one to the tune of big bucks but I don’t want too….what if it isn’t my thing?  I’ve checked in at a couple of local used sporting goods stores but have come out empty handed each time.  The problem is….I’m a lefty so I need a glove for my right hand….and a small one too boot!  I’m not quite a child size…just about but according to the guy in the store it doesn’t cover enough of my hand just below the wrist, so I have to go to a small adult one….size 12 and half would be the best he says.  The good thing about the used goods stores are the prices….I can get a good quality one for around $30, which is about the max I want to spend.  So I will wait….I’ve left my number with them and they’ll call (if they remember!!) when something comes in.  I have one more store that I will check with….a bit of drive but I’m heading out that way later today so with any luck at all they’ll have some in.  Part of the problem too is that baseball season is starting so gloves are much in demand…..especially the one I need!!  Not too many out there….at least in used sporting goods stores and the ones that do come in get scooped up quickly. Oh well…….

For now though I’ll just deal with the furniture……I got the stuff up on the deck that is out there now, so I should also be able to get it down.  I know the kids could help but I want it done sooner than later… I’ll give it a day or two.  If they don’t come over I’ll get at it myself.  None of it is heavy, just awkward.  Where  there’s a will……there’s a way!!




Very important to make sure your wheel bolts are tight!  Very, very important!!

Mine obviously weren’t……I got too Brenda’s safe and sound (5 minute ride) then we headed back towards my house to get on the trail.  My bike was making some weird clicking noise so I was going to stop……and I did but rather quickly!  Almost went over the handle bars.

I thought that maybe the chain had came off but no…..the bolts had come loose and it was my back wheel that had come off!  A bit scary.  Luckily I was prepared…..I’d thrown the little wrench in my pocket just in case of something.

Try as we might, we could not get that wheel back on… side was no problem but the other just would not go in the slot…..we couldn’t figure out what was stopping it.  The good thing was that we were only 50 feet away from my house.  Walked the bike back and threw it in the back of my car and off to the bike shop.

Very nice young guy….although he had told me I’d put the wheel on right before…hmmmm.  He got it all fixed up…..showed us how to lift the gear thingie, which is what was stopping the bolt from going where it should…..he wasn’t sure how or why that would have happened.  Anyway he tightened the bolts…..way better than I could have….and had a once over the rest of everything and it give the thumbs up.  I took it for a little spin through the parking lot just to make sure.

Back home and on with our ride, which was rather uneventful after that but good.  The sun even came out for a little while.

Our plan is to do this at least once a week…..this will save using the bike at the gym and it’s definitely a better work out too.  A couple of hills pushed my leg muscles just about to their limits but I made it….I’ll have to work on mastering the different gears so those hills aren’t so difficult.

Today is my last day of work…..sort of.  I will go in on Monday when Christine gets back to go over a couple of things.  Not sure how it happened but I’m going in on Tuesday night to help with a trade show that they’re putting on…..maybe it was the offer of a steak dinner that did it.  All is good though.  I really do quite enjoy it all.


First Bike Ride….Maybe

But it all depends on the weather.  I’m a fair weather only person for any type of outdoor activity!   From the forecast it looks like we might see the sun peeking through this afternoon so we’ll just have to play it by ear.

I’m looking forward to getting my “new” bike out for a ride that takes in more than just the cul de sac and down the street.  I bought a nice new helmet the other day so I’m all ready to get out there.  When I was buying the helmet….who knew there were so many different kinds…..and so many different prices!!  Some of them were $$$’s.  Mine is on the cheaper side but a good one and even better that it was on sale!  The lady “sized” me up, showed me how it should be worn, which is sort of down over your forehead.  Got it on the right way and she made sure it felt like it should, front, back and centre….you’re supposed to be able to feel it on your temples but it should not be tight… a vice grip.  Then….she was so funny…..asked it I wanted to look in the mirror!  “Why”, I said…..”because you’re a girl”.  LOL….now wearing a bike helmet and trying to look good at the same time is kind of like an oxymoron….it’s just not going to happen, at least for me.  I feel confident that I will not be attracting anyone or anything (animals??) wearing my lovely new helmet.  But I’ll hopefully be safe, which is the main thing.

I’ve made a list of all the house things I have to do… is a bit overwhelming I must say.  Seems to involve a lot of paint!  The wood around my deck, the rest of the wood under the deck, the trim around the garage (it’s been almost two years, so really is time to get that painted!!).  The walkway at the side of the house that I started last year and need to redo…..didn’t dig down deep enough to set the stones in properly.  And of course my “garden”, which needs a lot of work.  Inside I have the trim around the door and windows and the baseboards in the kitchen….my old white is NOT white when compared to the new white cabinets.  The inside stuff I could work on but until the weather picks up a bit there isn’t too much I can do outside…..or there isn’t too much I WANT to do outside….certainly not gardening.

I’m not going to pressure wash my deck this year….definitely hiring someone to do that.  I thought I liked doing it….and I did the first couple of years….but last year I was ready to throw that thing as far as I could.  It’s a spiffy little washer but not terribly strong so took forever…..arms, ears….everything hurt.  This will be the 4th year of doing all the “spring” clean up stuff myself…..where has the time gone??  Definitely smarter and more realistic as to what I can and cannot do myself…..or what I want to do myself.

All the inside stuff just magically used to get done when I’d made a list……now of course I’m the only one that can make it happen.  And I can do most of it and I don’t even mind doing it, it’s just the time it takes me to do it….sometimes twice if I don’t get it right the first time.  My expectations are much lower now……what took Ken an hour or two can take me 5 or 10 or even two days!!  Depending on what it is the hardest part sometimes is figuring out how to do it….thank goodness for google and youtube!!

I been thinking about all this stuff to do because my new patio furniture has arrived.  I have to pick it up….may involve two trips….one for each piece.  I know I can get the loveseat in my car but pretty sure it AND the chair will not both fit.  Then of course when I get them home I’ve got to get them up the stairs…..and that’s after I take the old stuff down for the patio under the deck!!  I know I’ve gotten chairs up myself but not sure about the loveseat….it may just sit in the garage until my son is over on the weekend.  I hope it works OK on the deck.  If not, I’ll go back to original plan of just two chairs.  Which reminds me I’ve decided to stain all my wood furniture (dining table and little side tables) dark.  They’re acacia wood, which is redwood-ish.  I restained the big table last summer and it looked really nice and fresh, so will do it again this year but a darker colour….almost black, which will match the wicker stuff… more for my to do list.  It will get done….eventually.




Too Much To Do!

At least I think so…….but I want to do it all!

I’m working all this week….only a couple of hours each day….which is OK.  It gets me up and out as opposed to puddling around all morning getting nothing accomplished at home.

Today after work I’m going to buy a new helmet.  The one I have is not very good and since I’m not the best bike rider it makes sense to have a good helmet…..why take a chance?

My friend that plays ball has tried to encourage me the last couple of years to come out and play… I’ll give it a go this year. After I get a helmet I’m off to the used sporting goods store to by a baseball/softball mitt/glove.  I don’t even know which one!  I know the ball I’m supposedly going to be catching is an 11″, which is softball….I think.   We’re going out over the weekend to have a catching/throwing practice….this should be interesting!  Ken always said I throw like a girl…..this is OK when you’re playing catch with the kids but we’ll see if it works playing with adults (old ones…. thank goodness).  Catching, I don’t know…..those balls kind of scare me when they’re coming at you at what seems like a 100 miles and hour.  This activity may be scrapped sooner than later but I am going to give it a try…..nothing too lose, except maybe a few teeth!!

Bev and I have decided that we’ll give tennis a go too…..and it’s almost time to start golfing!!

I’m going to have to designate one day a week to each activity….assuming that I manage to actually do them all!  I have not been very disciplined about going to the gym…..I’ll blame work for that….so I do need to get myself out there doing something.

I’m just lucky and very thankful that I have people to do all this stuff with!!  Being alone-ish and retired I can see where you can easily turn into a couch/computer potato…and even moreso during the winter when the weather isn’t the greatest.

So all these things are my challenge for the spring and summer……and I haven’t even included the yard clean-up that is so desperately needed at this time of year.  A couple nice days in a row and I can get out there doing something without slogging through mud puddles….that is if I’m not bike riding, playing tennis, golfing……….

I can do it!  This is all stuff I like to do…..we’ll see about that ball… I’m going to really make the effort to get into some sort of a routine that will get me doing everything.  The first thing will be closing the laptop after I read my emails and post on here…..maybe I’ll un-install one of those solitaire games…..hmmmm.




Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Looks like it’s going to be a very nice day too!   Maybe, just maybe…..I’ll get that bike out this afternoon.  Hopefully I won’t break my neck because I’m going out for dinner with friends tonight.

Back to work this morning….but only for the usual couple of hours.  Yesterday was tough….I worked 5 hours in the office.  It was a combo of the daily stuff that I’m doing while Christine is away, the email billing set up calls and a bunch of other scattered bits and pieces as they came up.  The reason I stayed as long as I did was because my car was in getting having the brakes, transmission fluid etc. done and I had to kill time so thought I might as well do it at work…..also since it was one of the drivers that I was getting a ride with back to the shop to pick up my car.

I was so happy when I talked to the mechanic…..he said “don’t waste your money on another car”!!  According to him my car is in perfect health (now!!) and in pretty good shape (“clean” as he put it…..not so much clean as in tidy clean but clean because there isn’t any body damage, rust…that kind of stuff) so it should last another 10 years!  I know fixing cars is his business but he dispelled that theory about getting rid of an OK car before everything starts to go.  Even if the transmission did go on it, a new one would be $5000ish…..a new(er) car would be at least $15,000.  A brand new one of course depreciates by a zillion dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot.  My car looks OK.  Driving a nice new one isn’t really important to me….just one that looks OK and runs good, which mine apparently does.  One less thing that I need to think about!



A Great Mini Vacation

Even the weather cooperated over there…..I guess that’s why it’s called the “Sunshine Coast”!

The ferry trip over was a bit misty so not a lot to see but the skies cleared up quite nicely. No rain except for a bit one night and even some sun.  The temps were quite pleasant too.  Ferry home was great….the usual beautiful coastal mountains.  The only thing that could have made it better was seeing whales….maybe next time.

Off to work this morning….back to reality after being spoiled at N & S’s as usual.  And my car is going in for brakes and a transmission fluid flush…or something like that.

Another potential trip is in the works for the fall…..more to talk about though.  One of those great deals that pops up every now and again, like the one to China a couple of years ago.  We’ll see though…’s always nice to have another one to look forward to when you get back from one.


Back To Rain

Ah sigh…..

It’s warmed up though, so I guess that’s the trade off.   But I don’t like it!

I ordered my patio furniture yesterday….the loveseat and chair.  I measured and measured but I’m still sort of second guessing that decision…of course.  This stuff is bigger than what I have now so will take up more room.  I don’t think a table will work out there…..maybe an end type table between the two but that’s about it.

I made sure that I could return it all if it didn’t all work out.  The more and more I look I think that loveseat might just be a bit too much…..but we’ll see when it all arrived in a couple of weeks.

Off to Sechelt this morning for a fun filled couple of days….