Saturday, February 25, 2017

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

Unrealistically, I have been hoping we would not get any more snow....yeah....as if.....right? 

Big fluffy flakes of the white stuff started coming down late yesterday morning and continued off and on throughout the day. It didn't amount to more than two or three centimetres total. In other words it is just enough to cover up the icy patches that were easy to avoid before. 

I watched my husband slippin' 'n' slidin' across the parking lot last evening on his way home from work and felt ticked off that I am once again going to have to tread carefully when I go outside. I cannot fall to the ground again this year, I cannot, I cannot. It has been 18 months since my last fall and broken bones. Mobility is something I am happily getting used to again! 

This morning I have choir rehearsal. We are rehearsing in the building where we will hold our spring concert. It will be good to be able to assess the space for how best to set up the eating area for our guests. They are fed well at every Amici concert, that is for sure! 

I am happy for the switch from Sunday afternoon this week. It means we are free to have our Egyptian friends over in the afternoon for tea. These friends love to see us at least every two weeks and have adopted us. They so miss their extended families in Egypt. Since my husband is working out of town the next two weekends we decided we had better arrange something! 

Tonight we are meeting other friends for dinner at Earls. They are set for a coupon frenzy to use up some Christmas gifts. We have not seen them since last summer, so it will be wonderful to get reacquainted. Busyness at work, health and family issues in both our families have created too much distance and it is time to rectify that! 

My husband is off work tomorrow, so maybe he can come to church with me. 

All in all it is looking like a good weekend social forecast despite snow and chillier weather.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Post-Surgery Update

We received a most encouraging report from our relative who had cancer surgery earlier this week.  Being at home and resting there instead of trying to rest in the bee hive that is a hospital ward is turning out to be a good thing.  There is lots of resting, there are short walks around the house, reading books and sending out wonderful emails to the family.  Since both the housemates are retired, there is lots of immediate assistance available and once the soreness from the incision settles down the recovery should speed along quite well.  Now there is a 3 week wait for the biopsy results from the tissue that was removed.  The "hurry up and wait" mode that accompanies this disease is such a mentally draining situation. Racing for a diagnosis, then waiting to get the results, racing to get on a surgical wait list, then waiting for the actual date, racing to hospital for the operation, then waiting for recovery and biopsy results, racing to the treatment plan then waiting for the actual procedures to start....it never ends.  Coveting your prayers over the next three weeks while the next steps to recovery get sorted out. We are encouraged by what we have been told thus far.

Well...I Won't Do THAT Again!!

Sometimes I am so stupid I surprise even myself!  

I am paying the price for ingesting too much sodium over the past week and have no one but myself to blame.  

It started last Friday night when we went to the home of friends for the most delicious ham dinner I have eaten in years.  I tend to stay away from ham and bacon due to the sodium content, but it has been quite awhile since I had such a delicious meal of ham, so I wasn't very careful about how much I ate.  Oh, and of course I just HAD to have a handful of the cracklings....fried, straight fat!!  I paid the price that night with a very restless sleep, but did I listen to my body and do a proper week of cleansing?  O no, of course not. I am way too stupid these days to do such a wise thing.

The next day I had a sandwich from the leftover ham our friends sent home for us.  The next 2 days after that I had a strip of bacon at lunchtimes because there they were in my refrigerator and they  needed to be used up before they went bad and would have to be wasted by throwing them out.  My husband was intelligent enough to know he shouldn't eat them and he doesn't have nearly the problems with sodium that I do. Sigh....

So that covers Sunday and Monday. Tuesday I ate lunch at the Afghani buffet....fantastic food, total sodium festival.  I felt kind of itchy a couple of hours later, 3 hours after the meal I had a huge anger melt down over nothing, truly nothing worth even a touch of crabbiness, but did my body's clear message mean anything to me? O no, of course not.

Wednesday I was grocery shopping and found some premade salad mix that I love but haven't eaten in many years. So why haven't I been buying it and eating it for such a long time?  There is ground bacon and salty paremsan cheese in the mix, that is why.  Did that stop me from buying it and eating it not only Wednesday night at dinner but also finishing it up on Thursday at noon?  O no, of course not!!

So, my kidneys finally got their message through to me at 3am today when I woke up with itchies from the tops of my knees all the way to my ankles. When I got up at 7am my lips felt kind of funny and sure enough, as I should have guessed would happen had I been using my brain this past week instead of only my tastebuds, the skin on my lips is so sodium burnt that the skin is peeling off them.

Way to go idiot!!!  Honestly...I DO know better than to treat my body this way.  What is wrong with me??? I haven't been feeling rebellious about my dietary restrictions.

I definitely deserve this reaction of physical symptoms, elevated blood pressure and the crabbies.  

I have been drinking water all morning and my lips have stopped peeling, the redness is fading, the itchy legs are not bothering me any more.  I will be drinking plain water all day and all day tomorrow.

Wow....lesson learned...hopefully at least.  I am like my son in that I only get the message when the extreme reaction occurs.  I always wondered when he was a kid why so much drama had to accompany every life lesson...obviously it is a trait he inherited from his mother. 

Well....duh....knowing I have confessed my stupidity and carelessness on a public blog will go a long way to reminding me not to embarrass or hurt myself so badly again with the wrong food intake....well....for awhile anyway..........I am not the brightest candle on the cake.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wonderful News From the Son!

We are very happy for our son today.  He just got word that he may have a job lined up in NYC when he is done teaching this term.  Hopefully that will work out well.  He would be working with some of his American college friends and they are an awesome group of people.  If this job doesn't work out in the end, at least his name is out there now and people there know he is looking for a position.

The other good news is that Vancouver Art Gallery has just purchased one of his paintings to add to their permanent collection, so he is thrilled to have some "seed money" for his trip south this spring.  A few thousand dollars will certainly assist him in getting set up there.

The story of financial provision from the Lord for our family seems to be continuing through our son.  I am not convinced God's intervention took the form of getting a gallery to purchase a painting so much as I see his intervention in the timing of the transaction. It speaks to me so strongly of God's involvement, his encouragement, his leading and his merciful love.

Thank you son for the great news!

AND thank you as well for the painting you are sending to us!  WOW!!

BUT....LADY....I Don't WANT To Get Old!!!

Oh, I see....well, I do understand.  I can't say that getting old was ever a cherished goal in my own life, but at this time in history there is not yet a way to prevent it, so I have decided to not only accept, but also embrace it.  If nothing else can be said in the positive about aging, the very least is that getting old is the best revenge!  You've heard that before but only now is it starting to mean something....right?

Not wanting to admit our actual ages, even to ourselves...or maybe especially not even to ourselves....is why we do things like continue into our elder years to wear pencil pants and revealing necklines, listen to the latest in pop music no matter how dreadful it is, and streak our all ready dyed hair with colours like blue and purple even when our sagging facial skin, knobby knuckles, unsteady gait and the slowing of our mental faculties give us dead away to all onlookers.

I guess one of the things I have wondered all my life is, WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE FOOLING???  And WHY DO WE CARE WHAT THOSE FOLK THINK ANYWAY???

Yes, hair dyes, botox injections, dressing young and plastic surgery can fool some of the people some of the time, maybe even for quite some time, but eventually cracks appear in the most carefully crafted of veneers. It is inevitable.  There is always some physical or mental clue as to our true age and the very people, often the younger people, we are attempting to fool are the first to clue in to that.  Do any of us who have used one technique or another in our attempts to remain youthful in appearance realize how often we are found out?   How often we are disrespected behind our backs?  How often we are pitied by the younger set instead of sincerely congratulated?  

There is nothing wrong with any of the methods we use to try to retain our youthfulness, within reason, but we older ones need to keep a sharp eye on our outward selves and an even sharper eye on our mental states so that we can discern when the time is right to quit all those things and get on with the realities of aging. 

We need to be able to understand at what point we are no longer fooling anyone BUT ourselves and start to explore the amazing freedoms that come with age and life experience.  There are many and they are worth discovering. I am beginning to learn that.  

Want to join me?

C'mon!  I double dog dare ya'!!

Officially Elderly

I've had a bit of an interesting time applying for early payout of Canada Pension benefits, but this morning, after 10 days of the application website telling me it was experiencing technical difficulties, the discovery that the paperwork I filed back in 1977 after my marriage was not recorded and so my Social Insurance file would have to be updated before I could apply for pension, etc. etc. etc., I marched myself down to the nearest Service Canada office and did the deed!!

Armed with the necessary paperwork, I arrived at the office ready to plead my case, argue, shout, stomp, even cry if necessary in order to convince someone there that I absolutely need to get this application process underway.  Since I haven't been employed for years the amount I would receive by waiting until the age of 65 is so negligible there is no point in waiting any longer.  As it is, the monthly payout will barely cover a week's groceries, but I want to have a chance to collect something from the years I paid into the plan before something happens to bankrupt it.

As it turned out there was no need to plead any sort of case, no need to argue, shout, stomp or cry.  I arrived just ahead of the morning rush and was in an office with a Service Canada staffer less than 5 minutes after I checked in.  Within 15 minutes my SIN file had been updated, my pension application filled out and sent away to the "powers that be", and I was on my way back to the bus to return home.  Easy peasey!!  Just like that!!  

So, assuming my application is accepted, I can now announce that I am officially old!

I have never been the sort of person who is afraid of other people knowing my age.  I have a somewhat younger friend who freaks out anytime she is with me in restaurants or other places where seniors are given discounts since she usually gets tagged as being one because of being with me.  I am sorry she gets so upset by it.

My idea is that there should be some sort of perk for people who survive the stresses of life long enough to reach the retirement years, so if someone wants to give me a 10% or more discount on a meal, groceries, pharmaceuticals, hotel rooms, retail clothing or anything else, I am taking it!!  With gratitude!  With joy even!  Having a clerk at a cash register announce to everyone within hearing distance that I am eligible for a discount is like a badge of honor to me:  "See everyone within hearing distance?  See?  I am OLD.  I have survived sufficiently in tact to get FREE STUFF!!!  YIPPEE!!!!  Nope, sorry dearie, you are not yet old enough to qualify for the freebies and discounts, so you will just have to wait your turn! What?  You have another six years to wait?  Oooh, that is too bad. I am so sorry....NOT!! Nyaa haa haa.........."  

In approximately one month's time that first miniscule amount of cash will arrive in my bank account.  First one is my own to spend on something I want for myself, before the rest go into a savings account where, by the time I am 65, there should be almost enough accrued to pay for a month's rent at a discount seniors' facility!  Now, how exciting is that, right? WOW!!!!  

Hey, you have to look at life with as much humour as you can muster, right?  Otherwise you have far less chance of living long enough to receive all the discounts and FREE STUFF!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One Cute Thing I Forgot To Mention

I neglected to mention the very cute thing our vivacious and caring Korean "nanny" server did the other night at dinner. 

When our sizzling hot plate of beef and cabbage arrived at our table, before she dished the food onto our plates for us, she took first my husband's forefinger and then mine, touched them quickly to the edge of the hot plate, then blew on them and said, "Is hot!"

Isn't that cute? 

I suppose our western sensibilities could have been insulted. Although we are approaching senior citizen age and could choose to interpret her words and actions throughout the evening as her treating us as if we are senile, we chose to bask in the spoiling and in being treated as if we are honoured oriental grandparents. 

Remember, taking offence is a choice, right? 

We are plotting our return there! hahahaha We highly doubt we will receive the same level of service, but who cares? The food would be delicious even if we were shunned by the wait staff!