The Wheel and Lost With A GPS

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I hate when reality proves there isn’t enough hours in a day or days in a week. When life is like being on a hamster wheel. With me running and running, and no matter the pace I get nowhere.

At least I’m still on my feet and life hasn’t thrown me out onto my butt. Smiley Face.

For anyone feeling like they’re in a wheel, let’s take a deep breath, put our heads down and focus. When it slows, we can jump off and take time to smell the roses.

How do I get so far behind so fast?

Are you, in the wheel or out smelling roses?

If you noticed I didn’t post last week it was because that darn wheel wasn’t laptop friendly. Besides, I was busy self-discovering.

Mister did a lot of traveling during his working years so him and I being separated was common back then. Since his retirement it rarely happens. The days we spent apart last week were eye opening. Who knew we would miss each other that much.

My biggest surprise was learning I’m human (or maybe aging). I’m not ashamed to share this next tidbit because maybe it will put someone else it’s happened to at ease.

Stress and sleep depuration can and probably will affect your concentration and coping skills more so as we age.

Did you know even an experienced traveler can get lost while using a GPS? It happened when I didn’t realize the wrong destination on the touch screen got programmed.

My road-trip home was going good, the first pee break was in the city I knew it should be in. After that was when things went south. Actually, I needed to drive south but under the cloudy sunless sky I didn’t realize I was heading east. Sure, I had moments of, this road seems different, but I chalked it up to Mister is usually driving while I’m distracted by reading or napping. When I passed a town I knew I shouldn’t was when all faith in the GPS left and I felt lost. That rattled my tired self which only frustrated me more. So, on the side of the unfamiliar highway with my data-less phone I made a few calls. Do you believe with everyone carrying cell phones it took five tries to reach someone who could confirm that I would eventually get home? The three hour trip turned into five because of my detour.

Thanks goes to the daughter-in-law who answered and the son who she put on the phone for the out of the blue call for a Google search.

Do you put your trust in a GPS when traveling?

The daughter-in-law informed me that it’s also very hard to get a good, clear picture of a hamster in a wheel for this post. Thanks for trying.

Party Pooper

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Yes, Mister and I acknowledge the day with the traditional greeting, and some years we’ve done the gift exchange, or a special date night.

Valentine’s day. A day to show that person in your life how much you love them. The concept is so sweet.

But, shouldn’t we be loving and kind to that person every day? Then they would know how much they mean to us. Isn’t an anniversary when we celebrate the union of our love?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Valentine’s Day or those who cherish and celebrate it, I’m just sharing some thoughts.

Restaurants, stores and florists would lose a bundle without Valentine’s Day. It’s said to be one of the top occasions when couples splurge.

Have you noticed, the newer the relationship the more emphasis that’s put on this day?

Some think it’s because the spark fades the longer a couple is together. That romance dwindles. I don’t see it that way. I see partners comfortable with their love. Two people no longer needing continuous reassurances. They’ve learned money doesn’t buy or strengthen the bond. They aren’t caught up in, if I spend more, it means I love more.

I guess I’m a party pooper because all the hoopla of Valentine’s Day just isn’t my thing. An old fuddy-duddy. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s someone wise enough not to fall for things or be swayed by what others think. Smiley Face. This, of course, is my version of the definition.

Dinners out that night are too much hassle for us, places are crowded, or need reservations. We go for a meal but not on the fourteenth. As for buying each other gifts why would Mister and I do that on Valentine’s day? We rarely do for our birthdays or for each other at Christmas. Neither of us needs much anymore. If we do, we prefer picking out our own, and besides we always shop together so there goes that spoils the surprise part of gift giving.

For over 35 years, February 14 has a different importance for Mister and I. It’s our daughter’s birthday. If you’re expecting this to continue into a touching tribute or loving birthday wish, sorry to disappoint. That will be shared, in a family get together not here. If I write something special for one person, I would need to do it for them all, making my posts repetitive and possibly boring reads.

If you are anticipating Valentine’s Day,

my wish is that it’s as special as you hoped and planned for.

Do me a favor though, don’t forget to show your love more than just on Valentine’s Day, and remember it doesn’t take expensive gifts to accomplish the gesture.

Be Aware, Prepare, and Take Notes

Razor

The extreme cold spell began its second week. A weather warning that -32C (-41C with the wind chill) meant extra clothing layers and minutes for Mister and I to dress for New Year’s Eve. We bundled up and walked to T & E’s place for card night. The playing was paused long enough to catch a television countdown and welcome in 2018.

This post’s topic may be one you’ve given some thought, maybe you’re already prepared, but maybe you haven’t thought about it at all. Sorry, in advance if the subject is a bit of a downer, but sometimes reality sucks.

While I washed for bed the other night, recent completed projects from my to-do list came to mind. Whether triggered by another year end or just the winter slowdown, something spurred Mister and I to do some planning for the future, by preparing for the end. Not because we’re hiding an illness. It was for peace of mind.

In many partnerships, bill paying and such is done mostly by one person. Since together our decisions have been joint efforts, I take care of a few accounts, but Mister is our main money handler. So, we listed and reviewed what each is looking after, giving us both a fresh and clear knowledge of finances. 

If something happened to you or your partner, would the other know important details?

  • What monthly bills can be expected?
  • Where are bank accounts? Are there non-joint accounts? If so, is a beneficiary named?
  • Where are all credit card accounts? Are there non-joint ones?
  • Are there, and if so, where are, investments and insurances? 

Be aware, I’ve heard some utility companies, after the fact, charge a re-hook-up fee to switch accounts from one partner’s name to the other, even if you’re married. Another thing I’ve heard is, the partner whose name hasn’t been on accounts has issues, because they haven’t established a credit record.

Then there’s subscriptions or services that are set up for automatic renewal and payment. Computer programs for example. I have a couple on my laptop that Mister wouldn’t be interested in keeping, and he wasn’t aware of them because they come out of an account I manage.

Social Media accounts are a chaos all their own. Which ones are you on, and should they be deleted?

What about point or loyalty cards? Can you both access these? Do you know which can be transferred? Should they be under joint names? I still have to check into some of these. True, many may not be important enough to worry about. But, if they have significant rewards collected, why lose what you’ve earned.

Being a published author, I have sites and online accounts that need attention if I’m not capable, so notes on these were worth jotting down.

Do you stash cash? Are your hiding places ones no one will find? If you want a loved one to receive this money not a stranger someday stumbling across it, then maybe leave a hint? I’ve known people who put bills under floorboards and sewed them in skirt hems.

Be prepared in case sickness or worse happens. Take a few minutes to list information and put it with your Will or someplace safe.

In times of stress and sadness even daily tasks can overwhelm a person. Don’t add trying to find and figure out these simple details to someone you care about.

Perhaps I’m too sentimental, but I learned after our parents all passed that many stories behind items they cherished were lost. So, another project I’m doing is marking items that can be, leaving notes in boxed ones, or listing others.

It’s not that we have items of marketable value, yet we’ve kept things like Mister’s grandpas straight razor pictured above, along with old watches and other jewelry from past generations.

Our kids may not be interested, but if they are, they will have the history behind these treasured trinkets.

Here’s a dilemma. I always presumed our fireproof home safe would be sufficient protection for valuable documents, pictures, etc. Then, in casual conversation with a firefighter he informed me that not all of them are water proof. They may leak in flooding or even if exposed to excessive water during a fire unless they specify both fire/water on them. Ours only states, fire, so my brainwave was, I’ll zip lock stuff then the water damage threat is solved. But, how heat resistant are they, I certainly don’t want a melted plastic mess inside. But, if papers and USB sticks are safe, a baggy should be, right?

My advice is to consider your needs and research options before investing in a safe.

Sometimes, I think, I think too much. But, I do believe in precautions and being prepared if I can.

I did get happier projects done from my to-do list too, but the above were one’s weighing on us for a while now.

Oh, our cold spell is over for now. The coming week’s daily forecast is for temperatures from, plus 3C to -8C. A nice change.

Are you a planner?

Are your ducks, regarding the future, as they say, in a row?

If you know more facts about safes, I’d love to hear them?

Double Celebration

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Holy Moly, 12,775 days. Last Saturday we had double the celebrations, mine and Mister’s 35th Wedding anniversary, hence the day count, and Canada’s 150th birthday.

In our younger years, on the Canada Day long weekend we would revisit, Kelly’s Saloon at Fort Edmonton Park, where we were married.

Thirty-five years ago, we exchanged vows in a simple western themed ceremony inside the historic saloon with only family and a few friends in attendance.

It feels like yesterday until one thinks about all we have shared and achieved. The most precious and cherished being the wonderful kids we are blessed with and the continued growth of new generations.

We have sampled the richer and poorer, and in sickness and health, part of our vow’s.

We have laughed lots and cried some, me more so than Mister regarding the last one.

As couples do, we bicker, but our love and devotion for each other is as strong today as it was the day we said, “I do.”

Simple things that work for us.

Communication is our friend.

Saying the hard things is as important as saying, I love you.

We each learned to compromise, so neither of us makes all the sacrifices.

We didn’t lose ourselves, sometimes we do things without the other.

When one or both are stressed we lean on each other.

We ask each other their opinion and advice, it’s often helpful.

We don’t exchange material gifts anymore. The specialness of the occasion for us is relishing the fact we are still here to love one-another.

Mister says having our anniversary on a special holiday means he never forgets, and there is always tons of Canada Day activities to do.

I often forget to take blog related pictures, a perfect one for this post would have been the mass of 60 to 80 or more golf carts gathered for the annual July 1st, hot dog lunch at our resort.

Saturday evening the resort’s restaurant had an adult barn dance with a chuck-wagon buffet. We went with friends, but we learned early in the night it wasn’t what we expected. The four of us were like the tribes elders or the chaperones at a high school dance, in other words, the oldest there. Where were the other couples our age, we don’t know?

The extreme decimal they played the country tunes meant you needed to shout to communicate. Ourselves and the crowd obliged, creating an additional roar which we swear made them turn the music even louder. Aren’t I sounding like an old fuddy-duddy.

Our plan was to dance, but the youngen’s around us seemed content to drink. We should have done our own thing, but we already felt out of place.

An hour and a half later primed with liquid courage people flocked to the dance floor.

Was this our chance?

Nope.

The small floor area filled with arms flailing and bodies bopping while they all danced with each other. To our dismay there were no couples, and no two-stepping being done. So us and our old fashion ways spectated which was entertaining.

After the buffet, us four left and went to the nearest town for the annual firework show.

Not everybody can end their anniversary day with a great firework display, but we always do thanks to Canada Day celebrations.

Hope all our fellow countrymen had a wonderful Canada Day, and the same wish goes to our Southern neighbors for their 4th of July.

Did you stay home for Canada Day or July 4th, or take in some festivities?

Hiding In The Hotel Bathroom

hotel-coffee

Insight into travelling with someone whose sleeping habits differ from your own.

I rolled over, reached for the cell phone on the bedside table, and silently groaned. Of all mornings to be wide awake at 5:30am. If at home it would have been fine, that’s a great time to read or write, but getting up early today meant sitting in the dark and being quiet so not to disturb Mister.

I Tossed and turned, my mind raced with things to do, I did the grocery list, the weeks meal planning, and outlined two blog posts. Too bad I didn’t have a pen and paper to jot stuff down so I wouldn’t forget.

My iPad would have worked, but it was plugged in across the pitch black room and my glasses were somewhere but I wasn’t sure where.

Eventually, I dozed off and woke again at 7:30am.

Once my eyes adjusted and I recalled the rooms layout, I snuck out of bed and stumbled about in search of my clothes and glasses. You have to love those black out curtains.

Usually when staying in Hotels I have the coffee ready to just turn on in the morning, last night I thought about it but didn’t do it.

You see, coffee first thing is a necessity for me.

Next using a sliver of bathroom light I quietly moved the little in room coffee pot and makings into the bathroom. With the door closed I opened all the crinkly packages everything comes in and brewed a coffee.

Back out in the dark bedroom I sat in the armchair with my iPad ready to write this post. Not five minutes later, Mister woke, turned lights on and opened the blinds, my stealth was wasted.

Even though it was just one night stay in the city, mainly for a doctor appointment, we got some visiting in and the change of scenery was nice.

I do love to travel, how about you?

Sorry this Monday post is so late, I should be back on track next week.

Swinging With a Changing Family

swing

Family, a treasure in Life.

These family dynamics might confuse you at first, but I will explain.

  • Our son’s niece is six weeks older than he is.
  • The oldest daughter was pregnant with her first child when I was pregnant with our second.
  • The age between our daughters is greater than between the oldest daughter and myself.
  • I’m the same age as my son-in-law.
  • I have Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren, yet I’m not a senior by government age standards.

I’m sure you’ve begun to figure it out. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage. We are a blended family, nothing uncommon there.

Why I wrote this post is the fifteen years between my husband and I, and how that sometimes brings confusion to a story.

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Generations, close in age means fun times together

I won’t use their names in stories so here’s a brief, who is who, and how I will refer to them in future posts. For instance, I will call my husband, “Mister.”

  • Mister’s daughter, (my stepdaughter, but I have never liked that impersonal label) will be “the Oldest or Oldest Daughter.”
  • Mine and Mister’s daughter will be, “Our Daughter or Youngest Daughter.”
  • Our son being there is only one has his title sewn up.
  • The Granddaughters I’ll number, oldest being GD 1. She’ll love that title, but girls you’re all number 1 with us. (Technically, they are my step-grandchildren, but I have never and will never consider them anything but ours.)
  • Our one Grandson makes that simple.
  • We have three Great-Grandchildren (GGC’s) so far and I’ll number them as they came into our lives.
  • When I speak of a adopted son or daughter, it’s an endearment not a legal scenario. These two children, adults now, and their mother have been entwined in our family for near thirty years. They are too special for the title of friends so we refer to them as adopted. Their dear Mother, who we greatly miss since her recent passing, was often jokingly referred to as, Misters Other wife.
  • Our cute four-legged Grand animals have given me permission to use their names.

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Some of the Grandchildren having fun with their Aunt and Uncle (I keep telling them they need to try this now that they’re in their twenties & thirties.) 

Over the years a couple minor hurdles have presented themselves, but the closeness and good times our family enjoys is worth every gray hair and smile line.

Often strangers have had comical responses to our age difference. I’ll share one reaction that we still joke about.

A towering male opened one of the heavy doors with thick glass covered mesh windows. He paused while two younger females with him entered. One hung back a step, her stride slow and hesitant.

Inside they faced a long, vacant and quiet hallway. When the three started walking the man’s cowboy boot heels clicked on the polished floors and two sets of squeaking sneakers joined in.

The two females shared a glance and actually giggled at the odd, rhythmic loudness.

They turned into the room marked “Office” and stepped to the reception desk in time for their scheduled appointment.

A smiling elderly woman led the trio to an inner office and gestured to three chairs. Behind the desk a man in a suit rose from his chair. Before they sat, the high-school principal shook the male newcomer’s hand.

“So, Mr… are both your daughters here to register for school?”

Mr… pointed to one female and replied, “This is my wife, and this,” he pointed to the other, “is my daughter…”

The principal turned colourful shades of red. Speechless for seconds, he shifted his feet and adjusted his suit jacket. He then voiced an apology, and we all sat.

The interview began, and during it the principle never once made eye contact with me.

Conclusions like this never bothered us. Awkward stares are also common when all the family is together and eavedropper’s hear people being addressed by their titles. Like if, I answer to both Grandma and Mom when young adults, close in age, call to me.

My skin has thickened with time, and I learned to brush aside unjust assumptions and judgements strangers sometimes make as to why we are together. We are where we are today because of 38 years of love, hard work, and combined efforts.

Age is only a number. True, but changing with age is inevitable. We enjoy our days and years together and simply tackle new challenges as life brings them.

Have you experienced a blended family?

Have you experienced love with an age difference?

Where The Heck?

key-basket

A spontaneous post of relief. We are not going crazy. Not yet anyway.

The situation started a couple days ago when the husband and I were building a shed base for an addition. It came time to cleanup for the day, and oh oh, did the keys just get locked inside the truck? No problem, right? We’ll grab the extra set.

A quick search of the key basket ended without success.

Now both sets of keys were missing. Peeking through the truck window we don’t see the first set. They must be on the ground somewhere.

We had to leave for a night away and both needed to get ready so he would scour the area where we worked while I took my shower.

A half hour later I had stuck my head out the door for a progress report. He snarled, “Would I still be looking if I’ve found them.” Okay, maybe it was a dumb question.

Then we heard a faint jingle. His jacket had an odd bulge. What the– The pocket lining had a hole and there between layers of cloth and stuffing we discovered the keys. Problem solved.

Not quite, where is the spare set?

We put the problem on hold until we returned home.

A new search began. Our cottage is not big, we head off in different directions to check all the logical places. Nothing. Well, darn it.

Maybe I left them in a previous purse I used? Nope.

With no luck, we’re stumped. Are we losing our minds?

Then he tells me there’s also a missing coat and thinks the keys are in one of its pockets. Neither of us can recall seeing that particular jacket all summer but a coat can’t disappear, this will be easier to find then a set of keys.

We dig through closets, nooks and crannies, the shed, trailer, the other vehicle, we’re defeated. Our mystery now involves two missing items.

It’s days later, the search is still ongoing. Again, we ask, are we losing our minds?

This morning in a text conversation, I mentioned our dilemma to the youngest daughter, maybe he left his coat at her place, I typed.

A miracle happened a short time later, she texted me back, she found the coat and keys!

What a relief.

Funny how all summer we hadn’t realized the keys or coat had gone missing and it’s also funny how once we knew it bothered us to no end, even though the items weren’t needed.

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“Saddles to Shorelines and Life as it Come” Blog

Saddles Shorelines      

Read about the world, past and present, seen through the eyes of a retired equestrian. A wife, mother, grandmother, and don’t try to guess my age but a young great-grandmother.

This Blog is where I write and share weekly posts covering, country living, family, friends, lake living, crafting, and life as it comes.

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