Smiles Speak Words

Seeing the great-granddaughter’s smile while at her new table and chair set made building it rather than buying one worth the work.

Years ago we made the great-grandson a set, and we were told this little sweetie loves using his. It was time for us to make her a set of her own.

Having to build outside means we’re at the mercy of a short hectic season, and days with good weather to boot. We feel bad, but for these reasons the great-granddaughter is older than the great-grandson was when he got his set. 

We decided to make the sets different. Her’s is obviously taller because of her age. So, it was more practical to make the chairs a ladder back style for sturdiness. Plus, for her patiently waiting extra years, her table has a special flip up top for books or crafting supply storage.

Her set was also given unfinished. Being a girl her age, we felt she might have fun helping decide what colour it should be. Maybe even help with the process.

The great-grandson’s set was more a modern style and I finished it with black legs and clear table and chair tops.

Is It Even Possible

One of the best sleepers I know

Is this like wining a lottery, with many chasing the dream and few experiencing it?

Does anyone feel better physically when they first get out of bed. Do you wake with no pain or joint stiffness?

Never mind the usual back, neck, shoulder soreness, most days even my fingers, wrists and ankles hurt.

Could this be from an inappropriate mattress or just an aging thing?

I honestly don’t remember if sleep was comfortable in my younger days. Back then after a full day of chores, life and raising a family, sleep of any kind was all that mattered.

Mister and I searched and splurged when purchasing our latest mattress in hopes of chasing the elusive, “good night sleep”.

“Elusive” being the key word. I understand waking up sore if activities done the day before can be blamed, but I know that isn’t usually my cause.

Okay, after whining a bit and writing this brief post I’m leaning towards I have an age issue with a hint of mattress trouble.

  • Even waking sore beats the alternative though.
  • I’m grateful for every new day I experience.
  • I’m aware of how blessed I am that my problems (although overwhelming at times) are as small as they are when compared to the possibilities out there.

I’m still curious though if anybody wakes-up without some sort of mattress related soreness?

Is finding a perfect (no, comfortable) mattress even a realistic goal to strive for?

Note- This is my first post using the new formatting program wordpress has now. Please let me know if there are any issues viewing it, like overlapping text or things.

What About After?

704C0C9B-699C-417D-B51C-AA62FDBC53F3

Does anyone else have these thoughts?

Are you ever going to be able to relax while in a crowd, or even just shopping or dinning out again?

Knowing this virus is still out there, how fast it can spread, or that this could happen again with a different virus, just how much paranoia is healthy?

Will flights, cruises or even mass gatherings have any appeal to you?

I’m hoping Mister and I can find a comfortable middle ground. I do think it’s going to take some time though.

Air travel won’t be in our near future, but to be fair, Mister has never enjoyed airports. We were checking out cruises when this all started, but they aren’t high on our priority list anymore either.

Respecting a strangers personal space anywhere we are will be our new habit.

Not to the point of if I’m in an elevator and a crowd enters I’ll flip out, at least I hope I won’t, but my eyes may widen if someone in there starts coughing or sneezing.

Will this isolation experience forever change your habits?

We’re still hanging in here, hope you are too.

This Is A First

1039B670-E3C1-49CE-AB94-1EF142547104

5:28 am. I’ve said many times I’m a morning person, so seeing these clock numbers is not unheard of, but being up at this hour for today’s reason is a definite first for me.

Mister is stirring in the bedroom and is about to join me which is even more unusual.

We’re not up because we’re sick, headed to a doctor, going on a trip, picking someone up at a airport, nothing like that.

We’re taking Covid-19 serious, but this I actually found funny. Well, I don’t think I chuckled the instant I threw the warm cozy blanket off and rolled out of bed.

It’s Wednesday, March 18, a coffee sits beside me as I start this post which I will finish later.

What are we up to?  We’re headed for groceries.

A store in a nearby Town is opening at 7:00am, a hour early for seniors and vulnerable people to shop during the Covid-19 social distancing. 

We live about a half hour drive from this town, and I shouldn’t be in public without at least one cup of coffee so that’s why I’m up long before the sun today.

We appreciate the store doing this, and hopefully we find the pork chops and few other things on our list.

The store wasn’t as crowded as we were expecting which was nice.

Experts say don’t touch your face, eyes or mouth when out in public, so of course standing in line I got something in my eye. Not wanting to use my finger and thinking I’m smart I took off my glasses and used the arm tip to rub my eye. Than I was like, wait, when was the last time I cleaned that part of my glasses. Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing and tried to clear my vision by blinking alone.

I won’t bore you with details, but we came home with everything on our list. We should be set to hunker in for awhile once again.

With all coffee and crafting get-togethers here canceled for now it’s a good time to dig out some tucked away projects. Maybe after a nap though.

Have you been having trouble finding or getting out for supplies?

What are you doing to ward off boredom?

Where Was I?

img_4142

This was a busy work station

To those who follow my blog I would like to apologize for my absence, and also let you know I’m working my way back.

Since my last post, I’m sure Mister and I have spent more time not home than home. With Wi-Fi not always assessable, (hard to fathom, but we only use phone data for emergencies) blogging was put on hold. The positive to this was, when we were not on a highway we were either with family or friends.

Here’s a quick update on happenings that have taken place.

  • Our daughter and her husband bought our acreage, and are busy making it their own. Thankfully, for the time being, we still store things there and we didn’t have to make a complete move. Thirty some years of accumulated address changes was time consuming enough to do.
  • Mister and I got to enjoy house hunting with the son and daughter in-law while they shopped for their first home. Then we shared our knowledge and extra hands to help build a garage and do some inside home renovations.
  • We put our cottage up for sale, which meant sprucing it up first and getting some small overdo projects done. It also led to packing up some personal items for staging (who knew that was going to take almost a full cargo trailer). We love where we live and our friends here are special, but it’s time to move closer to the kids to cut down highway traveling when visiting. After 37 years, I’m also looking forward to the conveniences of living in a town or small city.
  • We had our boat in for motor repairs last spring which resulted in it getting stolen. Fortunately, the R.C.M.P. recovered and returned it, unfixed but in one piece. The repairs finally got done this spring by a different mechanic.
  • With the help of social media, a very special person and friend who moved away long ago and I were able to reconnect.
  • One of our granddaughters had a outside wedding last September. The beautiful ceremony was made even more memorable by light falling snow.
  • There’s been an exciting addition to our family. We already have four awesome grandchildren, but in February we were blessed with grandchild number five. The son and his wife delivered a precious new grandson who definitely melts our hearts with his smile.
  • Whenever I can, I’ve been loving the smell of horse and leather again. Pulling experience from my past to help the daughter with training her young horse.
  • Sadly, but for her own plus her family’s well being, one of my sisters was moved into an Alzheimer’s care facility.
  • Some people believe winters in Alberta are long and boring, not so here at Gleniffer Lake. Although considered a summer resort, there’s a good number of year round residents which keep active with weekly coffee get togethers, crafting sessions and playing cards.
  • I also took time this winter to dig into my stashed sewing/quilting projects. A grand total of 132 got completed (wow, they can sure add up). Plus, a few hats were even knitted in the evenings.
  • I recently got to spend a week as the daughters assistant doing a kitchen cabinet make-over at the acreage. (I love doing this kind of stuff).

 

There are the highlights on what’s been going on in my life, and I’ll elaborate on some of these happenings in future posts.

I look forward to reconnecting with everyone.

The Wheel and Lost With A GPS

wheel

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.

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?

Our Bird Is Still Frozen

IMG_3142

For most, Christmas get-togethers, meals, and unwrapping are over, but we still have time. This year work schedules and other commitments means our family’s meal and gift exchange will happen late December.

From time-to-time this happens, “Better late than never,” is what we say.

Friends teased Mister and I, “Lucky you guys, you can do your shopping on Boxing Day.”

Even mentioning this makes Mister cringe. He’s a necessity shopper, not a crowd shopper. An adventure like that would probably give him nightmares well into 2018.

If I wanted to go Boxing Day shopping bad enough and begged enough, (heavy emphasis on the Italic words) Mister might come with me. He wouldn’t kick and scream (I don’t think), but he would mutter my craziness for sure.

So, our gifts were wrapped and under the tree almost two weeks ago. Leaving things for the last minute is not really my style, anyway. Well, most things, and most times. Smiley face. Sometimes I wish I did, because every year after I’m done wrapping, I think of or find what I consider better gifts.

Maybe this is normal, and it happens to others? Let me know.

In general, I do better with crowds than Mister, tolerating them for short periods. That is if I’m not trying to make an appointment or catch a plane.

Not living in a town or city makes Boxing Day shopping an effort and indulgence. In the last thirty-five years, I’ve gone maybe 4-5 times. I can’t remember if I bought much other than wrapping paper and a small wall mirror.

The years we stay at the son’s for Christmas, being he is a city dweller, he treats me to a Boxing Day outing. He enjoys shopping, so it doesn’t take much convincing.

This season had looked like we wouldn’t see family until late December, but that changed with a text message early last week.

A cold spell moved in, temperatures dropped from plus double digits to a low of minus 32 degrees Celsius at nights. That didn’t stop Mister and I, from hitting the highway Saturday. We made the 1 1/2 – 2 hour drive which took 3 hours because of heavy holiday traffic, and snowy weather.

With a little plan shuffling, we spent that night at the son and his wife’s. Oh, and the right team won in cards. Smiley face, it was the son and I.

The earlier mentioned text was an invitation from our adopted daughter (as we call her). Christmas eve her and her other half hosted an appetizer night with her brother and family, our son and wife, our daughter and husband, and Mister and I, in attendance.

We didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s Christmas morning, so Mister and I declined offers and stayed at a hotel that night. We did stop for a couple quick visits on our way home though.

It turned out we were blessed this year, and saw the daughter, son and their spouses, both Christmas eve and Christmas day. Plus, we caught-up with the adoptees and their families. This made for a great holiday season and it’s not even over yet.

The only other thing we could have hoped for was to catch-up with the oldest daughter, her husband, the grandkids, and great grandkids who unfortunately were busy with other family commitments.

Soon, we’ll pack this bird, a ham and the wrapped gifts and head to our daughter and husband’s for two nights. Looking forward to it.

I wish the weather was warmer we could spend time with her horse, but visiting and games instead will be fun too.

Do you enjoy shopping? Can you handle crowed sale days?

Do you leave gift shopping for the last minute?

Never Too Much Color

 

IMG_3134

As empty nesters, and even though we don’t get many family visitors with everyone busy this time of the year, we still decorate for Christmas.

Mister puts outside lights up at the beginning of December, which by the way look great. This year he added a nice touch of extras where we can enjoy them from inside.

I love to start my days in a room lit by colorful tree lights.

No radio, no TV, the only noise the rhythmic ticking clocks. Which can be a choir if all six analog have batteries, but three currently don’t. The fridge and deep freeze’s unique chatters and moans chime in once-in-awhile, and the furnace’s comforting hum comes on when it’s time to take out the chill. Unless I’m thinking about these sounds they fade into the background and aren’t unsettling.

Has anyone noticed that weather affects the sound a clock makes? There’s one in our kitchen that gets louder when it’s cold outside.

Anyway, back to tree lights. With hot coffee at my side (and 2 cookies, I know bad habit,) I read or write, glancing up occasionally hoping to catch a beautiful sunrise through the window behind the tree.

We no longer put up a real tree to decorate inside, like we did when the kids were young. Our tall, slim artificial one fits our smaller living space and is a showcase of treasured memories. Most ornaments are handmade or ones we’ve bought during travels.

I admire beautiful themed trees, or those done in one color, yet ours is the opposite. Red, green and silver are my favorite Christmas colors, but our tree shines and glitters with multi colors and a variety of ornaments. The main reason is simple. It makes me happy, because it reminds me of the trees we had growing up.

So there’s a glimpse at what little things bring my December mornings peace and pleasure.

I hope you have a way to start every day with joy, that you will have the Christmas season you hope for, and that 2018 is kind.

Do you do themed, one color, or multi-colored Christmas decorating?

Do you collect tree ornaments from travel spots?

Coatroom Caper

IMG_3103

Only the instigator of this caper knew details beforehand and came prepared. When she first arrived she ducked into the coatroom toting numerous bulging bags, only to reappear minutes later empty-handed.

After the potluck meal this fun-loving lady, who often has something up her sleeve, stopped by tables, pointed at friends and said, “Come with me.”

By this time, most attendees were already a few drinks into their evening of celebration and rarely questioned her motives. The unsuspecting group she gathered followed her into the coatroom.

Mister and I, live in a gated golf and lakeside resort. The population and activities increase here in the summer, but a good number of semi or retired and even working people stay full-time. We are more than just residents, though, we are a community that enjoys socializing and getting together.

Last week, close to seventy people attended the annual Christmas Potluck at our clubhouse.

Seasonal decorations and a flickering fire gave the room a warm ambiance. The guest’s happy chatter indicated high spirits and moods which matched bright smiles.

Once again, buffet tables held a delightful variety of tasty foods and desserts, with more than enough to feed everyone.

Mister and I, have gone to this function many times before, but this night was different. An after meal surprise brewed in the coatroom.

IMG_3128

The instigator pulled out the stuffed bags she had snuck in and stashed earlier. She handed out props and costumes and created a cast from her followers.

An equipment issue meant a slight delay for the participants who waited in the coatroom, and that’s when my entertainment began. When I saw age related boundaries blur and fade.

I can’t help smile as I’m writing. Perhaps, this will help readers picture what I witnessed. Imagine a teacher or someone trying to control a group of excited preschoolers on a concert night.

From where I sat, the laughing and shenanigans that went on in the coat area proved again, age is only a number. Adults can and will, especially in the name of fun, act like children.

The boys teased the girls, mind you this feisty bunch teased back. Jokes were told and props were played with as the group’s attentions wandered from their instructor. I even heard, “I have to pee.” But, this comment isn’t usually followed with, “Where’s my drink?”

It took 3 different boomboxes, and fifteen if not more people’s efforts, before the required music CD would play. Once it did, the real show began.

The writer/director/instigator narrated a short Christmas tale she scripted while her recruits enthusiastically danced, lip synced, or sang at certain times. They deserve credit for their quick responses to her cues, considering this was unrehearsed, and they had no idea what was coming.

One person had a few lines to recite from a poem about being wrapped in green plastic and called a tree. For this another fellow stood behind the group and taped pages with lines onto a golf ball retriever, which when called upon he positioned so the tree could read them.

From start to finish, it was great entertainment for all in attendance. Nothing beats a night out with old friends or a chance to meet and make new friends.

Another unforgettable evening of fun.

This is just one way snowbirds who stay north keep themselves entertained during the winter months.

Act our age, isn’t a motto we always live by here. Staying active and having fun is what’s important.

For our fellow-laker’s who are down south right now or those who didn’t attend this potluck, see the fun you missed.

I hope my readers enjoy, Love and Laughter, during the Holiday Season and the Coming New Year. Travellers, stay safe.

Do you have friends you can sometimes be silly with?

Do you sometimes act younger than your age?