I must stop this!!

There is a fantastic shoe store not far from my house (too bad!!).  They carry big variety of the top lines/brands….and they are NOT cheap!  But quality over quantity, right?

I had tried to go last week one day but just ran out of time…and then again on the weekend but got caught up doing whatever so finally on Tuesday after work I just went and had a look.  The early in the year you can get there the better because they have lots of stock in and lots of different styles to chose from.  Over the last few years I’ve bought a couple pairs of shoes there.  The lady that runs the store is lovely too, which helps a lot.

I found quite a few that I liked so narrowed it down 3 pair (comfort, practicality, price!) and finally to this pair.


They are comfortable and sort of stylish….can wear with jeans, skirts, capris etc.  Wasn’t too keen on the colour….sort of reddish….but after much discussion with other customers I made my decision.

That “quick” trip should have taken an 1/2 hour but noooooo…..I was in there for over an hour!  Me and 4 other customers……one of whom mentioned that she was going to Italy and needed some comfy walking shoes…..then another one said “I’m going to Italy too”.  So of course then I said “Me too”!  The 3rd lady said she’d just come back!!  Then the last customer said “OMG, I’m going to Italy too”!!  We then ended up chatting about our trips, where we were going, where we’d been etc. etc.  That last lady was doing the same kind of bike tour that Brenda and I doing in France but in Tuscany!  That was fun to chat about.  One of the others that was going had never been so everyone jumped on that to give her lots of advice…..her biggest concern besides comfy shoes was what kind of bag to take…..I showed her my little one and she just laughed and said absolutely impossible to survive with a weeny purse!!  We laughed and had such a good time, the sales lady said we should all come back after and have a “wine and shoe party”.  I think that would be fun…..but god knows I DO NOT NEED MORE SHOES!!

So yesterday the bike ride just didn’t pan out…..too bloody cold.  It’s the wind that is the killer especially when you’re whipping along on a bike!  Brenda and I decided to just bundle up and go for a walk…..with a quick stop at that shoe store (cuz Brenda thought she’d like to have a look….) en route.  I bought another pair!!


There was no one else in the store so no big Italy trip discussions this time 😦 .

The weather is crazy here… minute warm and sunny, the next cold and windy with a bit of rain thrown in here and there.  You have no idea what to wear when you go out…..layers of clothes, that’s about all you can do.

After dinner I went up the hospital to see my ex-SIL.  She’s in again because of a lung infection and dehydration.  She’ll be in for a few more days until they do bone and CT scans.  She has decided to stop treatment… least for now.  She has a brand new baby grandson in Alberta that she desperately wants to see.  But until she’s in a bit better shape she can’t travel.  The plan is that she’ll move to Calgary to be with her girls.  They both have little ones now so can’t just hop on a plane each time she has a set back.  The Dr will transfer all her records to the cancer centre there.  She’ll be in good hands.  This time she’ll take only clothes and personal stuff….not the big move they’d talked about last year.  I think that’s the best decision.  Hopefully in the next month or so she recovers enough to do that.  She is really quite a fighter and trooper….credit where it’s due!  I’m not sure I could handle this as well as she is.  They did tell her that she’s not ready for hospice, which gives her more hope and you never know maybe in Alberta there is still some drug that she hasn’t had that will keep everything stable for a bit longer.

Today is another “in” day……after I go to the gym.  It’s semi-sunny so that gives me lots of energy to do stuff.  I have a pile of clothes on the bed in the spare room to go off to Value Village or somewhere so I need to get them packed up.  Cleaning closets makes me feel good…..and all those empty hangers such a sense of accomplishment.  Maybe I’ll tackle the hall closet later…..



An “In” Day…

Except for going to the gym this morning.

I’ve got a lot to do around the house because I’ve been out so much….no time for housework!!  And believe me, it’s starting to look very obvious…..even with the cleaning lady….I can undo all her work in no time flat!!

I was sitting and pondering life this morning with my coffee.  My life….my new life, my new normal.  I wonder if I’m there yet?

Would I be doing all the things I’m doing if there were Ken and me?  Would we have bought bikes?  Would we have gone out and joined a baseball team?  I’m pretty sure we would have been traveling but you can’t do that ALL the time.  We would have definitely been golfing.

That first year was such a roller coaster, sometimes you really don’t think you’ll survive….just so much change, so much responsibility when there is only you.  All the decisions that you have to make on your own.  But that rule….I read it somewhere….of not making any major decisions the first year is a good one….because you really don’t know what direction you’re heading and simple decisions, like having to buy a new BBQ, can be overwhelming so I couldn’t imagine having to make any major ones.

I waited that year before retiring.  Work and life was just so stressful for those “sick” years.  I don’t think I realized quite how stressful.  We did try the one day at a time thing…..and it did work pretty good.  You just can’t deal with something that you don’t know so why stress about it until you have too…..if you have too!  Work was a bit of stress relief, eventhough there was stress there too.  But it was different stress…..not life or death stress.  After that day, those first few months when I didn’t really enjoy work anymore, I knew it was time to pack it in.  I enjoyed the social aspect of it but I wasn’t looking forward to new changes that were coming down the road…..I was done with “adapting” to new things.  I knew that would be stressful and not a good kind of stressful.  I kind of lost a lot of my tolerance for anything, everything and a lot of people voicing my objections more often than not…..not a good thing sometimes.  For many years….as I got older….I had this thing….I didn’t care what I said, or WHO I said it too.  The fact that I’d been there forever was my only saving grace I think….and they knew that I WAS eventually going to retire.  They sort of needed me, but I think deep down they were more than happy to see me go too.  A very good decision to retire.

Then there was that first year of retirement… was like being on holidays those first few weeks and of course that summer was the summer of all summers!!  A perfect time to have retired.  After the first few months though the novelty was kind of wearing off.  I needed something to do, but what?  I didn’t know where to begin…..traveling of course was always on the table but I couldn’t do that all the time and who with?  I was worried I’d have to start going places myself in tour groups…..that has not been the case.  If anything I have enough “travel buddies” to go off a few times a year BUT who can afford to do that…..hmmmm, maybe I’ll start buying lottery tickets more often!  I needed something to do beside all the things on my to do list.  But I wasn’t sure just how to go about it.  I wanted to start curling again…..but do you just appear at the rink?  I wanted to do more bike riding, but who with?  Not the bike club people… way I could come close to keeping up with them.  Maybe start going to yoga….hmmm.  Join the rec center….and do what though?

Then the second year….a bit better but still a little lost.  Goodness knows I had stuff to keep my busy and some of it I enjoy(ed) but still in a bit of limbo….

I’ve gotten through the 3rd year and working on the 4th and somehow……I have no idea how….things just seem to be coming together.  I did buy that bike and do get out on it, not as often as I’d like mostly because of the weather.  I’ve started play baseball….even that surprised me!  I’ve got a “part-time-sh” job, which is working out good….only a few hours here and there….and the hours of my choosing!  Bev and I play cards way more than we ever did (and I owe her lots of money!!).  I’ve been going to more plays than I had in many, many years….at least one a month.  My social life is great…..good old friends and I’ve managed to meet a few new ones along the way.  Is this my new normal?  Have I found it?  Or does it continue to evolve….I can’t imagine fitting anything else into my life right now.  Summer will be busy but maybe I have to start thinking about what I’m going to do all winter… that said, one of the gals at baseball curls!  So over the course of the season I’ll make sure I chat with her a bit more….maybe they’ll need spares….it’s a start.

I think having a good social network is important.  But how do you make that happen?  I think I was a little worried about that because not all my friends enjoy the same things I do.  Even golfing…..there are 3 of us and my BIL but he’s not around so much anymore since they’ve moved way out of town.  I’m lucky in that my social network is expanding…..not everyone is going to be your best friend, but they don’t have to be.  This is how you find people that DO enjoy those same things.  This just……I say just….but in reality it’s taken a few years, seems to have come about.  I don’t know how or when it started….and I guess it doesn’t matter….just the fact that it is is a good thing!



First Game!

Lots of fun.  And a bloody good workout too!

Took advil when I got home AND again before I went to bed.  Who knew there were so many different body parts that could get achy?

A real mix of people….all retired but ages seem to be all over the place.  Probably from mid fifties right up into the eighties!  Yes, eighties!!  And she could whack that ball way the hell out into right field….and run too!  Some of them have played for years, others are newbies like me.  Most of the women play on other leagues too…..some 4 times a week.

So far……but it’s early…..nobody yells at anyone or gets mad etc.  There was a mini league meeting at the beginning and you could definitely see a little bit of the politics come out….certainly nothing like when the kids played baseball or ringet….now that was wicked sometimes.  Generally everyone is just out to have fun, lots of laughs and socialize…..which I think is great and pretty much how I was hoping it would be.

The teams will be finalized next week.  They try and mix up good and crappy (me!) players (that is where some of the politics come into play…).  I played centre field….and thank god no pop flies came my way…..not sure I could really catch one of those….I think they’re kind of scary.  I guess I should get out and get some practice in…..get the kids to hit some fly balls to me.  That is, of course, if the weather ever cooperates.

Luckily yesterday was our ONE nice day this week.  What a mix it was too… minute you’ve got your jacket on, the next your peeling it and a vest, if your wore one (yes…just in case it was really chilly), off.  This morning it’s raining….on and off pouring and oh so dark and grey.  Maybe it’ll brighten up later……

I’m off to work this morning for a couple of hours.  On the way home I’m stopping at the shoemaker with a pair of sandals that have seen better days…..but I love them!!  Not one, but two straps have broken or come unsewn or unglued.  I’m hoping he won’t tell me to just throw them away… he did with my other ones 😦

I would really like to get a bike ride in one of these days…..I may just have to brave the weather and get out there.  Riding the bike at the gym is just not same but at least my legs are getting a workout which is better than nothing.  My trip of just over a month away……I can’t believe how quickly the time is passing.

I’m pretty organized, clothes-wise.  I’ve bought a few new things but will pack my standard two or three white tee shirts, black capris, black skirt, black pants and then whatever else I think will coordinate.  I did buy a pretty tee shirts…..that has black in it….with blue flowers!!  That is just so not me….but it goes with my standard stuff and will be fun to wear….I think.  I also picked up a really bright pink, sort of a cross between magenta and raspberry….also goes with black.  Maybe tonight I’ll get everything laid out to see what I might be missing…, definitely those elusive comfy AND cute shoes!!



That’s all it does here.  I really think we must have taken over as being the wettest place on earth!  We broke a record in March and I’m pretty sure we’re going to break another one in April.  April showers bring May flowers……and moss and mold and muck!!  Yuck!!!

We even had a bit of a thunderstorm last night!

I’ve been very busy this week.  Worked 3 mornings, baseball practice, drove waaaaayyy out to this new humungus outlet mall ( ) stained my table, had Ken’s celebration dinner, cleaned my laundry room and took my granddaughter to her appointment at Childrens Hospital on Friday.  Yesterday I did nothing…..absolutely nothing.

That mall was so big we managed to get through maybe 1/4 of it……my fitbit started buzzing which told me I’d reached my 5000 steps for the day!!  They even have special tour bus parking!!  There is the usual mall type food court and a ton of other restaurants.  You could spend DAYS there!  Were there any super deals…..that is debatable.  Some not too bad sales.  I was in search of that eluvsive coat/jacket and comfy shoes….found neither but did manage to get a couple of tops for my trip.  I’m not sure if it’s because the mall is sooooo big or what but it was pretty empty.  No crowds, which I’m not going to complain about…..does make you wonder though.  It must get busy on the weekends.  It’s just so far to go….so when AND if I go again I’ll go a lot earlier so I can, with any luck, get through at least half of it….so many shoe stores that we never got too…..

Ken’s dinner was fun,  My niece joined us and my granddaughter too (she was staying over for her appt on Fri).  We laughed a lot and talked about all things that Ken/Dad used to say and do and of course wrote his name in the ice cream!

A bit of an awkward moment when the waitress asked what we were celebrating!  Explained that it was an anniversary of sorts…..and that yes, it was truly a celebration of a good life and someone that we all miss dearly.  I’m sure she thought we were a little odd but hey…..that’s life isn’t it!

Today I’m off to get some comfy pants for ball……some long yoga pants is the plan but we’ll see.  Jeans just aren’t comfortable enough.  I was hoping that one of the shorter, capri yoga pants that I already have would work….and they will if it ever warms up….and stops raining!  I do have an injury though already……somehow that bat hit my ankle.  I hit the ball (hooray!), dropped the bat and promptly stepped on it!  It somehow came around and the end of it hit my ankle on the other foot…’s a lovely yellow/blue/purple colour now….doesn’t hurt anymore but hurt like hell at the time.  The next time I made sure I dropped the bat behind me!  I think I was just so excited that I’d actually hit it and then that moment of admiring it I didn’t really think too much about where I dropped the bat……ah, live and learn!

I’ve also got to get some batting gloves…..they have some nice padding that will stop that electric type shock from running up your arms to your head when you hit the ball in that weird spot.

I’m off for an early start today….I think the stores in our mall open at 10 on Sundays.  A good time to get there before it gets busy.  With all the rain, the last couple times I’ve been to the mall it’s been crazy busy…..I guess it’s a good place to spend rainy afternoons.


Three Years Ago…..

It still seems unbelievable to me sometimes.

It’s hard not to get into a bit of funk today… relive those memories…that phone call!

I am trying very hard to remember the good times and to celebrate the life we had.  In so many ways we were very lucky really and it takes all my energy to keep focused on that.

We’ll all do the best we can today.  Out for a steak dinner….”Dad’s fav”.  Not sure yet where we’ll go….probably Mr Mikes Steakhouse….he liked it there.

We all laugh more about things these days when talking about all Ken’s little quirky things….slamming car doors was something he always commented on…..”don’t slam the door”….we say that now and actually laugh.   I think that’s good…..laughing makes you happy!  And we are happy to have those memories.

Our weather is awful……certainly a day today that will help with that funky feeling but I’ll keep busy which helps to keep my mind on other things.

We will celebrate tonight… was good and I have to remind myself all the time that it is still good. 


Dumb and Dumber!

That was like Bev and me yesterday!

Her cell phone has not been cooperating……possibly operator error as opposed to a real problem but we’ll find out later.  She ASKED ME to go with her to talk to them about the phone, her plan and maybe having to get a new one.  Definitely the blind leading the blind……that would be much like  someone asking ME for advice about fixing their car!

But we managed and I think I have to take some credit here as being the “dumb” and will give Bev the honor of being the “dumber”……lol.  I am challenged by phones but I think she’s maybe a little worse than me.  The good news is we got it all sorted out, got her voice mail set up and she kept the phone she had…..the only reason I could help her a bit was the fact that it’s a Samsung, which is the same as mine.  We thought it might have been the battery that was causing her grief but the guy said it still looked like it was good so WE decided to just keep that phone for now and that she’d try charging it each night instead of however she was….or wasn’t………doing it before.

Yesterday was my grandsons 6th birthday!  Where have all those years gone?  He had the best curls ever when he was little……but they’re gone now as he’s gotten older and way more hair!  He’s sporting a bit of a Mohawk at the moment (Dad took him for his haircut!!)  Had pizza, cake with strawberries (special request from him) and fun playing with his new ninja “reading” mask (???) and MORE lego!


2 years ago with his beautiful curly locks…..



Table staining is coming along nicely…..just too busy the last couple of days to get that final coat on.  But it is looking good and can’t wait to get it up in the deck and all set up… soon as the weather gets better (hahahahahaaaaa).


And now…..such a big boy!


Working again to day…..was supposed to a play but we changed the changed the tickets to May 10.  Both of us just have too much else going on right now.  So a couple hours at work and then I’m still in search of that perfect coat/jacket… I’m thinking maybe two.  One for biking/casual and a nice raincoat type.  Whatever it get, you must be able to detach the hood!!  They drive me crazy but are a must have around here unfortunately.  If the weather is just that sort of coat-ish weather and NOT raining, or any chance of it, hoods drive me a bit crazy.

It’s not raining this morning……yesterday was bizarre as has been most days for weeks now.  Turned out nice in the afternoon…..even warm enough to NOT wear a coat!  Sun and lots of blue sky right into the evening when I got home from the kids around 8.  By 9 we were having a torrential downpour!!  Not sure what today is supposed to be like and it doesn’t even matter anymore!!!  I can wish and hope for sun and some warm weather but if it ain’t gonna happen, it’s not going to change what it.


A Fun Day!

Lots of fun yesterday.

The first part for me was spent cooking!  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it….except maybe the clean up!

The crockpot lazy cabbage rolls turned out really good.  I’m sure it was the bacon fat that helped.  I’d definitely make it again with the turkey.


The scalloped potatoes were just OK.  A little drier that I thought they’d be but other than that quite tasty.  I carmelized the onions first and instead of just milk or cream I did a combo with sour cream.

My fav though was the quinoa pilaf……I made it early in the day and sampled so much of it I was full and didn’t need lunch!  I added some chopped onion and green pepper, the mushrooms and a bit of soy sauce.  I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock.  It is definitely a make again dish.  I love the texture…..sort chewy and the flavor is kind of nutty.  Even Bev liked it!!

Just a good day all around.

Today is baseball and guess what?  It’s raining…..argh.  We had 1 1/2 nice days which is a 1/2 day more than we’ve had for a long time.  Hopefully this is just a bit of drizzle passing through this morning.  I’m really anxious to get out there to see if I can cut it actually playing.  I might never find out if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Some friends phoned yesterday morning to go on a nice long bike ride but I couldn’t go…..too bad because it was such a nice day.  If I’d know the night before I could have prepped a lot of the stuff ahead of time and done the ride but oh well……

The big table is ready to stain.  I got the legs back on and my son helped me turn it over.  I could have done it by myself because it’s not that heavy.  I’m impatient when it comes to stuff like that…..I was afraid though that I’d scrape the legs…..which I’d just stained…..and then I’d be kicking myself.


It’s A Beautiful Morning!

Happy Easter!

The sun is shining!  A bit chilly but should warm up in no time.  Today is the day of this week that we’re going to have a Spring day.  Wednesday will be half a Spring day…..the rest of the week well………I won’t even go there!

Kids are coming for dinner and maybe Bev, depending on her eyes.  Poor girl had a cold that turned into that nasty red eye thing, which cleared up but she thinks is coming back.

I was going to do an Easter egg hunt for the kids but decided just to do little baskets instead.


Each basket has a thingie of bubbles, a mechanical pencil, small smelly crayons, a little note pad (for when they play restaurant!!) and of course some sweet goodies too.  My little bouquet of daffidils… springy.  They brighten up any day!

I did get a ham…..that’s just kind of Easter food to me.  I’ve had a request to do a lazy cabbage roll casserole too but with ground turkey instead of ground beef.  Not quite sure what it will turn out like.  I’m going to do the crockpot recipe that I tried before, which was pretty good, but will add some bacon this time because I think it might be a bit dry without all the fat/grease.  Definitely not quite the healthy dish that you’d think of with ground turkey.  I’m sure it’ll be good but just may not taste like lazy cabbage rolls usually do.


I got the big table legs stained yesterday….both coats.  I was up early to get my daughter to the airport for 8AM so had lots of time.  Got the first coat on just after I got back home and then put the second on before I went to bed.  The hope is that they’ll be dry enough to put on the table top today and then my son can help me flip it over.  I’ll carry on tomorrow with getting the first coat on the top.  I just thought it would be easier to stain it that way… sort of a normal level.  All this bending, stooping and kneeling to do the little tables is a little tough on the back.  So happy though with how it’s all turning out!

Today is my first day to remember that day……but all good memories now.  Not so much of “that day” but all that was before.  Easter Sunday, regardless of what day of the year it falls on will always be “that day” to me.  Three years it’s been.  I still don’t believe it sometimes.  Funny how life changes…..such a different feeling this year from two years ago (in Hawaii) and so different again from last year (in Argentina).   Some tears but not the empty grief anymore, which I think is good because I’m able to think about the good old times, not without a little melancholy, but for the good times that there were….all the good things we had.  You seem to stay more focused on the positives of your past life.  Not everything was rosy every single day but those aren’t the days that counted so not worth thinking about.

Happy Easter Everyone!



I must say this is going pretty good!  I’m happy with the results so far.  One table done, two more small ones and the big one to go!


It’s not difficult just a bit tedious and finicky because of the slats on the top.  I’m just glad it’s working the way it was supposed too!  Sometimes I get these great ideas only to realize that they weren’t so great halfway through whatever.

I can’t wait to get them on the deck and set up with my new chairs…..the cushions are still in the plastic wrap that they came in because of the dampness.  I think I’ll have a look around for some cheapo ones to just leave on and then put the good/pretty ones out for company.

The weather is just not cooperating……one nice day and you think “oh boy, spring has arrived” only to wake up the next morning to damn near winter weather….cold, rain and whatever else there could possibly be.  We’ve even had a couple of little thunderstorms, including hail.  Things are starting to brighten up so maybe this afternoon will be one of those spring-ish days…..

This is definitely not biking weather and I’m starting to get a bit concerned that I am not going to be in any condition for the one on our trip.  I have tried to get to the gym as much as possible but riding a stationery (sp? ….is it ery or ary??) bike is just not the same even with the various “courses” that they have on it.  The last one I did was in Utah somewhere with lots of hills, or inclines up to 6.0!!  Still not sure you get the same kind of workout that you do on a real bike.

Easter weekend…..not the best time for me.  Three years ago Easter Sunday was on April 20…..possibly the worst day of my life.  This year it’s on the 16th so that means, at least to me, that “that day” kind of happens twice!  Easter Sunday will always be remembered for that day and then April 20, if not Easter Sunday, will also be remember for that day.  But we’ll make it good…..I try to now think of it as a celebration of life day.  The kids are coming for dinner so we’ll do a little egg hunt for the little ones, which will be fun.

I was trying to think of something other than ham, which I associate with Easter, to do but we’ll see.  You really can’t go wrong with a ham, scalloped potatoes and coleslaw, right?  I’ve got a quinoa pilaf recipe that I’ll try for my DIL (gluten/dairy free)….it’s got mushrooms and other veggies in it….sounds good and I like stuff like that.

Today I’ll get another coat of stain on the small tables and tackle the big one tomorrow if the others have dried enough.  That is what is taking forever, I think because of the dampness.  Even in the garage they’re taking a good 48 hours to really dry properly.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years!!


More Dental Work!

And staining patio furniture….in the garage because it’s dry!

Back to my regular dentist this morning to get a plan for the rest of my dental work…..I will never, ever let my teeth go again.  I’ve always had horrid teeth….even as a kid I don’t ever remember going to the dentist and NOT having a filling or something done.  As you get older all those old fillings start to breakdown….or maybe they shrink, I don’t know but whatever is happening to them seems to be causing my teeth, or what’s left of the teeth with the filling, to break….hence all the crowns.  I’m pretty sure all this work would have been required regardless of regular dentist visits but the problem teeth probably would have been caught sooner and the necessary work done on an as needed basis as opposed to doing a couple of years of catching up.  All I can say is that I’m very lucky to have such a good retiree benefit plan….all crowns are covered at 80%, if not there would a couple of trips that I wouldn’t be going on!  With any luck I’ll be able to have most of this work done before I leave on my holiday.

The rest of this morning will be spent staining my wooden deck tables.  They’re acacia wood, which is kind of like redwood.  I don’t like the colour anymore because it’s so reddish compared to my new chairs, which are mocha so I had this brainwave….or maybe it was a brainfart to stain the tables a darker colour.  I did the first coat on one of the small tables yesterday and it looks pretty darn good.  This morning I’ll do the second coat on that one and the first on another small one.  I have my dining table to do too but will have to get it into the garage first.  It’s too big to try and get through the house and in there so will have to wait until it stops raining to get it down the back stairs and in the garage.  The little tables are a little finicky because of the slats and all the different angles of the leg things but I think the big one might be even more so.  When I put it away each year I take the legs off, so that’s a good thing, but I’ll have to figure out how to stain the legs….I guess just leave one side not done to be able to lay them down, then do it after???  Not sure but I will figure it out!

Years ago when we replaced the wrought iron railing on our inside stairs (they’re back in now…..who knew!!) with wooden spindles, Ken rigged up a thing in the carport……he put a nail into the top of each spindle then hung them from a line and proceeded to spray paint them ALL in no time.  Not sure I’m up to attempting to spray paint anything, or try to rig up a line to hang them off of, so will do it my way, whatever that might end up being.

The weather here is crazy!!  One day it’s nice and sunny and even warmish….the next day it’s raining, hailing, windy and cold…..fresh snow of the top of the local mountains a couple of days ago!!  It’s April and on the west coast, not Alberta for goodness sakes!

Thank goodness I have lots of inside stuff to do…..never a dull moment.  That and working a couple of mornings a week for the next month and of course searching for the elusive perfect coat/jacket for my holiday.